Weekend Edition: Nathan Musser's The Lone Wolf, part 4

Fetterolf’s Fiction: Creative Writing Selections
Part of an ongoing series of creative writing selections from Ms. Fetterolf's creative writing class. Check back next weekend for another installment.

by Nathan Musser
Fenris, a child kidnapped and raised to be a hardened assassin, is now a man, free from his former master -- yet still an assassin. His next target jars him off his current course and onto a path filled with many dangers, but also, hopefully, redemption.

Part 4
As Fenris jogged toward his getaway helicopter, he wondered.
He wondered whether or not he should go back to the General. He wanted his pay, but he also knew the General didn’t want to hand the money over. The General wanted him dead, out of the way, but with Lauren Night assassinated.
He wondered about the General’s new plan, to kidnap kids and train them from a young age to become deadly killers, just like him. Fenris didn’t want to wish that fate upon anyone. The guilt he felt -- and still felt -- after killing Mordecai would never leave him. Could he allow anyone to be sentenced to that fate?
He wondered what would happen to him if he tried to stop the General. If he truly wanted the General’s plan to train kids as assassins to fail, what would happen if he attempted to stop it? His life could fall into ruin, much like the castle he’d just fought through.
Fenris pressed his thumb to the handle of the helicopter. The high-tech security software installed in the door read his fingerprint quickly, and the door slid open. The experienced assassin slipped into the pilot’s seat, firing up the engine.

Behind him, a Jeep Fenris knew to be Lauren’s drove smoothly from the castle. The reporter clearly wasn’t fazed by their interaction; just another day on the job. Fenris, however, had been completely shaken.
The Skull’s helicopter came with a rearview camera, which Fenris frequently checked. Knowing one’s surroundings was key to surviving in the business of assassination. However, as Fenris’s eyes quickly glanced at the camera monitor, taking in every detail, he noticed a dark shape -- a quickly moving person -- vanish behind one of the castle’s crumbled walls.
The fake guards were all dead or unconscious. The true Norwegian Security officers were still playing cards; Fenris would have seen their vehicle come roaring down the road. Lauren had left.
Who was it?
Fenris didn’t want to take any chances. As fast as he could, he got the helicopter lifted off the ground, soaring into the sky. As the controls went on autopilot, Fenris once again glanced in the rearview camera.
The castle was empty.
Whoever was behind him must have vanished. Vanished …
Stop, Fenris thought, but it was once again too late.

If Mordecai checked his room while Fenris was out, he was busted for sure. A terrible punishment would likely ensue, and the brainwashed child most likely wouldn’t be able to move for a week. Fenris glanced at the clock in the deserted library. He had thirteen minutes until Mordecai would likely check his room.
Because it was nighttime, the library had closed. Any volunteers were gone, and Fenris had it to himself. He treasured these nights, where he could briefly escape Mordecai and learn about everything he’d been missing. Sadly, the night was over.
Fenris crept onto the streets, careful to avoid lights. Only a few blocks down was the entrance to Mordecai’s house, disguised as a manhole cover. Once beneath the street, Fenris would maneuver through the maze of tunnels toward the underground doorway leading to Mordecai’s cellar. He’d pick the lock, creep inside, break into his room, and lay on his mat as if he was asleep. It had taken him weeks to perfect the journey, but he’d never been caught. He could perform the entire task in less than five minutes if he really hurried.
Fenris glanced around, making sure no one was watching. He walked briskly toward the manhole cover, skirting around mailboxes, parked cars, and trees. Only five feet from the manhole cover, he froze, his ears having picked up a sound that didn’t belong in the city night. He snapped around, eyeing the street behind him.
Beneath a street light stood the dark frame of a man who seemed to be staring straight at Fenris. The young boy debated whether to fight or flee when, suddenly, the man vanished.

Fenris was awoken from his brief memory by a beeping noise on his console. The caller ID read: The General. Fenris grimaced. He’d have to come up with a pretty convincing lie. If the General knew he’d failed in murdering Lauren, he’d be killed. Unfortunately, the General was extremely skilled at detecting lies.
Before he hit ‘accept,’ Fenris calmed his breathing. This mission was dredging up too many old memories. He had to stop thinking about his past. He had to calm himself down.
Fenris accepted the call.
On a small screen beside the rear view camera appeared the terrifying visage of the General. The Skull’s leader had hair as black as night; a perfectly trimmed, pointed beard jutting out from his chin; dark blue, almost black eyes like gunmetal; and a face worn from thousands of old scars. His jaw was clenched in his usual expression of anger, and when he saw Fenris, his eyes only hardened. “Is she dead?” the man asked.
“Of course,” Fenris said. “She never stood a chance.” The only way to lie to the General was to commit fully. If Fenris had tried to skirt around the subject, he would have been immediately busted.
The General’s eyes met Fenris’s, hard and searching, as if he was peering into the depths of his hired assassin’s mind. “And the guards? Did they bother you?”
“They were a nuisance,” Fenris said. He was treading a fine line in this conversation. The guards he’d fought were Skull agents, so if he told the General they were unskilled, the Skull’s leader would be offended. But simply agreeing to everything the General said would also cast suspicion upon him. “But they were just that. A nuisance. I killed them easily.”

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