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Assassin's Heart - Ch4

by WishIHadASword


I wrote this literally at midnight so please give me suggestions and feedback to fix it up haha. Enjoy and have a great day!

~~~

     Turns out, it actually wasn’t that hard to find Kaden. All she had to do was follow the sound of high-pitched screams to a second training room.

     The room seemed much more sinister than the last. Bullet holes lined the floors, walls, and ceilings—along with bulletproof gear and guns in some boxes to the side. So she was really confused when she saw a bunch of the rugged looking assassins yelling, pointing, and jumping up onto things. Two short identical girls were huddled on top of the boxes of equipment, screaming and looking at something Amanda couldn’t see. A young looking hispanic boy leaped up and latched himself onto a punching bag—just swinging above the ground. Amanda nearly burst out laughing when she witnessed a guy with hundreds of tattoos and scars jump into the arms of some buff girl with perfect winged-eyeliner.

     Kaden suddenly appeared in the chaos, now wearing brown cargo pants, and the uniform shirt with a royal blue band. He smiled brightly at her.

     “You made it!” he beamed “Where’s Robbie?”

     Amanda shrugged. “She said she wasn’t going to come. But what in the world is going on in here? What’s got everyone so afraid? I thought assassins were supposed to be fearless or something.”

     Kaden flashed a grin and pointed to the center of the room. Amanda suddenly burst out laughing—so hard that she doubled over and was gasping for breath.

     She’d expected there to be some sort of bomb, or maybe there was a creepy killer clown in the middle of the room (would assassins be scared of a killer clown? They were killers, so…). But no, instead of anything world shattering, Amanda realized that everyone was panicking because of a brown, furry tarantula that was crawling peacefully across the floor.

     “Is this your distraction?” she giggled, pointing at the spider.

     He nodded pridefully. “Yeah, Robbie’s roommate McLaine loaned him to me! His name is Jared! Hansen went to get a cup to scoop him up in.”

     Amanda shook her head, the biggest smile on her face. In Blake’s letters, he’d talked up how equally depressing and terrifying his job environment was, and how stoic and cold the people were. This could not be the same place he was talking about. What kind of assassins were these?

     She shook her head, looking down at her shoes. Oh right—teenage ones. Teenage assassins who are more scared of spiders than bullets.

     Suddenly she reminded herself that there was a purpose to this little prank. Robbie had said that they needed to talk to the scary sounding Hansendude so that Amanda could become an assassin—or get killed, which wasn’t really the plan. But what was she even supposed to say to him? “Hello, my name is Amanda Charlotte. I infiltrated your secret assassin organization, and you should hire me to kill people! I may have no experience with weapons, violence, or anything about this, but I AM pretty good at Twister! Would you like to see my Murder Resume, or hear some of my Serial Killer Reccomendations? Also, you might’ve killed my best friend! Aren’t I just the perfect candidate and not at all suspicious?”

     “Um…Kaden…what do I say once Hansen gets back?” She asked in a strained voice after thinking of how wonderfully the conversation was going to go.

     His pale face wasn’t in any way comforting.

     He bit his lip and pushed up his glasses, staring down at Jared crawling on the floor. “Well, usually when new assassins are hired, Hansen finds you. But…we can tell him that Robbie met you and made sure you were perfect for the job before cautiously bringing you here. Hopefully that will work?”

     Amanda raised a delicate eyebrow. “Why specifically Robbie?”

     “Because she’s better at getting out of trouble, and Hansen likes her more,” Kaden chuckled sheepishly. “Besides, she has much better judgment when it comes to this sort of thing. But you already knew that by the way I completely forgot protocol and told you all about being an assassin…”

     She lightly punched his drooping shoulders. “Hey—if it wasn’t for you I might be dead right now. And I never would’ve gotten closer to figuring out what happened to…”

     Blake was the end of her sentence, but she trailed off and all the screaming stopped once someone who Amanda immediately knew was Hansen entered the room. She tried not to tremble as she watched him take a plastic red cup and crouch down to scoop up McLaine’s tarantula, Jared. Hansen was definitely some sort of assassin leader. He was towering and burly with a mix of faded and brand new scars littering his arms that were exposed by his tight sleeveless tank top. His blue eyes were stormy and dark, and almost looked like shards of ice in a raging ocean. He had a strong square jaw that looked clenched and had a nasty pink and white scar running from ear to chin. He wore army fatigue sweatpants and old gray Adidas. Did this guy kill Blake?

     “Back in line,” he barked. As if he was a machine, Kaden immediately marched over to stand next to one of the larger female assassins, who sneered down at him and scooted a little further away. Amanda scrambled to follow him, and copied his blank stare towards the wall parallel to them.

      Hansen stood up painfully straight with his chest puffed and his arms behind his back—including the one holding the tarantula cup—and he slowly looked down the line of assassins like he were scrutinizing each one of them. Amanda felt herself start to sweat.

     In a gruff voice that fit his looks, he proclaimed, “We’ll start with a warm up—too easy for people your level. At least forty-five pushups to start off. Then, ten sprinting laps around the perimeter of the room and twenty jogging ones. Once you’re finished, come to me and I’ll give you your personalized workout assignments for the day.”

     Her stomach churned and her limbs already felt weak. That was a warmup? What was their cool-off, climbing Mount Everest? Honestly, she wouldn’t be surprised. Nobody here was in their right mind, it seemed.

     Suddenly, Hansen was standing a few inches away and staring down at her with a fury that could only be created by something with the capacity to end a life. Amanda slowly looked up to him, choking on the smell of cigarette smoke and disgusting cheap cologne that invaded her nose and made her eyes water. Everyone besides a frozen solid Kaden had gone to start their pushups on the other side of the room, and paid no attention. She stumbled back—fear setting off a flight response.

     “And who do you think you are?” He growled under his breath.

     Amanda tried to speak confidently and strongly, but her voice caught in her throat. He’d seen right through her. Of course he had. And now she was gonna die. He’d kill her just like Blake.

     Kaden nudged her shoe ever so slightly, and immediately Hansen—without so much as looking in his direction—shoved the curly-haired boy’s head so that he fell onto the ground. He stayed down.

     Hansen cursed. “WHAT’S YOUR NAME?” He roared in her ear, grabbing her wrist when she tried to move back again. “How did you get here, and why shouldn't I kill you?

     “I’d tell you my name is Amanda if you’d stop yelling!” she screamed back at him, yanking her wrist out of his reach.

     Every assassin in the room came to a stop and looked back and forth between her and Hansen with wide eyes. Kaden had furrowed brows and closed eyes, and held the bridge of his nose like he couldn’t bear to watch.

     Amanda honestly thought that stupid outburst would end with her blood on the floor, but Hansen just chucked the red cup with Jared in it to the floor and crossed his arms. “You made a big mistake coming here,” he muttered so low that only she could hear it.

     Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Kaden gesture wildly behind her. He was mouthing something quickly, but she couldn’t understand a word of it. She’d never been great at reading lips.

     Then she saw motion to the right, but as she went to turn, something sharp sunk into her neck. She shrieked and tried to spin around, but her arm didn’t even get halfway to her neck or her attacker before her vision dimmed and she collapsed to the floor.


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Fri Jun 24, 2022 9:30 pm
RandomTalks wrote a review...



Hello!

RandomTalks here with a short review!

This was an incredibly satisfying chapter! There were moments of excitement, moments of ridiculous humor (that scene with the spider had me rolling!) and moments of grave tension as well. Not to speak of the ending, which was an incredible cliffhanger that managed to thoroughly confuse me and excite me at the same time.

He nodded pridefully. “Yeah, Robbie’s roommate McLaine loaned him to me! His name is Jared! Hansen went to get a cup to scoop him up in.”

I love how innocently sweet Kaden's character is. He brings a smile on my face every time he appears in a scene. Its mostly because his character is so very refreshing and genuine. He brings a certain lightness to the narration that somehow manages to compliment every character in the story, no matter how different they might be from him. Honestly, its very difficult to not like him.

“Hello, my name is Amanda Charlotte, I infiltrated your secret assassin organization, and you should hire me to kill people!

This sentence is too long and I feel like you need some kind of a pause in there to maintain the flow. Perhaps end the sentence after “Hello, my name is Amanda Charlotte," or perhaps put a semicolon or exclamation mark to emphasize the desperate tension in her personal ramblings.
On a side note, I really like these direct thoughts that we hear from Amanda in this chapter. They give us direct insight into what exactly she is thinking and how she is reacting to whatever is happening around her. For example, this was actually a grave moment when she was seriously wondering what she was going to do. But you balanced it out pretty well with humor that is believable because of how effortlessly it fits the desperation of the situation.

Hansen was definitely some sort of assassin leader.

Because of how carefully you had built-up the character of Hansen through references from the very first chapter, getting to finally meet him was very rewarding. Somehow he fitted seamlessly with the image of him I had created in my mind and that shows how well you know your own characters that you can project their images so effortlessly to the readers. I liked how the descriptions fitted his character so typically; there was no reason for me to doubt or imagine him as anyone else.

“How did you get here, and why shouldn't I kill you?”

I have to admit, this first introduction between their characters could have gone better. But like Mint said, I don't think we can really blame Hansen at the moment. His reaction was very much expected and reasonable. He is a leader of assassins and of course he wouldn't take too kindly to finding a random girl standing causally in the middle of his super secret organization. For some reason, I also don't think that he killed Blake. It seems a little unlikely or its just a feeling; can't say at this juncture in the story!

The ending was of course great and intriguing. I actually like how this story never stands still. Even in moments when its not moving, we still have something to invest in and care about!

That's all!

Hope you have a great day!

Until next time!






Gracias ;)



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Tue Jun 21, 2022 12:53 am
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Spearmint wrote a review...



Hiya, mint here with a review! ^-^ I see we finally get to meet the infamous Hansen! He seems tough for sure, though I appreciate his carefulness with the spider (at least until he tosses poor Jared onto the ground... :')) And overall, this is a great chapter-- definitely more coherent than anything I could write at midnight. (But seriously though, make sure you get enough sleep! c: ) Okay, and now for some comments...

But no, instead of anything world shattering, Amanda realized that everyone was panicking because of a brown, furry tarantula that was crawling peacefully across the floor.

XDD To be fair, I suppose these assassins are being trained to deal with human assailants, not spiders... I also love how the spider is completely unbothered by all the panic and chaos haha.

Would you like to see my Murder Resume, or hear some of my Serial Killer Reccomendations?

This part had me laughing out loud. :P As always, the humor is perfectly timed in this chapter!

“Um…Kaden…what do I say once Hansen gets back?” I asked in a strained voice after thinking of how wonderful the conversation was going to go.

Oop, just some tiny things here-- "I" should be "Amanda" and "wonderful" should be "wonderfully" (because "go" is a verb, so there should be an adverb instead of an adjective). (This is why you need sleep :P ...don't mind me just being a hypocrite here ahaha) :]

Did this guy kill Blake?

Hmm, Hansen looks gruff and menacing for sure, but somehow I don't think he's the one to blame. >.> He probably has some clues to Blake's disappearance, though! Also, I'm hoping he secretly has a soft heart or a love for chocolate chip cookies or something lol. But even if it's not something that unexpected, it'd be cool to read more details and get to know this character as a 3D person!

Kaden nudged her shoe ever so slightly, and immediately—without so much as looking in his direction—shoved the curly-haired boy’s head so that he fell onto the ground.

I think you're missing a word somewhere in this sentence... Maybe add "Hansen" between "and" and "immediately," or between "immediately" and the hyphen? C:

He’d kill her just like Blake.

Making assumptions here, eh, Amanda? <.< :p

She shrieked and tried to spin around, but her arm didn’t even get halfway to her neck or her attacker before her vision dimmed and she collapsed to the floor.

Ooh, quite a cliffhanger you've ended with... 0.0

Thanks for the awesome chapter, and I hope you have a fantastic day/night! =D






Thanks you soooo much for all the feedback, and I'll try to crank out the next chapter to fix that cliffhanger for ya ;)




Reading is one form of escape. Running for your life is another.
— Lemony Snicket