Assassins in the Night

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She first saw him as a fleeting shadow across the rooftops of her City. Her mark’s body crumpled quietly to the floor beside her. She hesitated ever so slightly and then she leaped lightly up the wall to chase after him, blades disappearing as quickly as they had appeared.

Their chase darted across the rooftops under the Dark Moon and its musing Stars. They whirling over the City like its rooftops were their private dance-floor. Even the cool night air seemed to play a secret music as their shadows flittered from roof to roof…

Then he stopped dead still. The music paused. The Dark Moon and the City waited as the Stars leaned ever-so-slightly forward in anticipation.

She too stopped, frozen on the edge of the roof while he turned and looked straight back at her from the other side of the roof.

Silence.

Time held its breath and, despite all the hearts she had stopped, it was her’s that skipped this beat. His dark green eyes as unreadable as his black mask, she weighed the multiple blades hidden over her lithe body.

Then he was gone. Little more than a fleeting shadow wrapped in midnight and ghosted off by a mystery.

She smiled ever-so-slightly and then the next moment the rooftop was empty. The assassins were gone and only the Dark Moon, its Stars and the City knew what had transpired that night.

***

In another life, she next saw him under the midday sun. He lithely stalked across her street, black hair blowing in the wind as his dark green eyes flashed around him.

He flicked up his hand and caught her blade as it flew straight towards his beating heart.

She was long gone as he looked around the street but only the cold blade was still there with a small message wrapped around. All that was written in the message was an address. The address where he had stopped and turned around.

He hesitated for just a moment–a smile dancing across his face–before slipping from sight into the shadows. It was not the blade but the message that found its mark beating in his breast.

The sunlight and all its creatures were oblivious to what had just  happened, but the City smiled and waited for the harsh sun to tire. It always did.

Eventually, the Dark Moon joined the City overhead with its chorus of Stars. Then the assassins’ secret music started to play on the cool night air. And, for the briefest moment, two fleeting shadows met on a lonely rooftop against the night sky.

The City smiled as the Dark Moon looked down amused. All the Stars twinkled and they hummed the lover’s music.

And then they were gone, two fleeting shadows wrapped in midnight and ghosted off by a mystery.

***

Many years later, after a great storm had torn through the City and terrible clouds had smothered the Dark Moon and its Stars for weeks, an ordinary man climbed up to his house’s roof.

Under the harsh sunlight, he had clambered up his rickety ladder carrying rusty tools to fix a leak. It was honest work and he was an honest man and, thus, he had honest expectations.

He expected a hard days work under the harsh sun. He expected muck and dirt while he fixed where the storm and beating rain had torn a gash into his dwelling. He expected a lot of ordinary things as most ordinary people do.

What he found instead were two blades, still as sharp as the day the lovers had left them. Hilts crossing, they were buried deep into what he had always thought was his own roof in what he had always thought was his own city.

Stand there staring at them, he briefly glimpsed a world far from his sunlight which danced to a secret music that he would never hear. The rest of this world, though, would forever remain a fleeting shadow wrapped in midnight and ghosted off by a mystery that only the City, the Dark Moon and its Stars truly knew.

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