2. Once a Killer...

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Two minutes.

In a split second my focus drains from the last ten minutes and the muscles in my shoulders become rigid with anticipation. Glancing up at the mirrored wardrobe, I watch through a crack in the half drawn curtains. Just in time to see a pair of all too familiar combat boots feather silently past. Two minutes until they are ready. Two minutes before all hell breaks loose.

I turn back to Jason, somehow his hands are back on my waist. I don't have time for you. With my mind slipping from its hinges I slam his shoulders down forcefully, and growl "Stay here."

Then I leap off him and dash to the wardrobe, sliding a hand through the hanging garments until my fingers close greedily over cool metal. Taking it from its haunt, the handle greets my grip with reassurance. Downstairs.

Without a glance at Jason's bewildered mess I dart out the door and down the stairs, the canary-like sound of the party still flowing from the kitchen nearby. Why canaries? Well, they only stop singing when they're dead.

The living room is deserted except for a few drunks passed out on the floor, long gone from the fever outside. I pause, with bated breath heaving, senses strained beyond normality for a sign of movement. There is a little over a minute left of the two that it takes them to prepare. And I have a truckload of people unknowingly counting on me to end it, before the canary stops singing.

The patter of a carefully placed footprint gets my attention and my eyes close in on the open window to my one o clock. I sprint to the wall on its right and lean against it, feeling their presence on the other side. They take a step, I take a step. But they do not sense me and I reach for their neck. They squirm in the headlock, black robes swishing at their ankles as I drive the sword through their back. Feeling the familiar warm discharge trickle from their mouth, I yank my weapon from the now lifeless body and let it flop over the windowsill.

There will be more. Even if I don't see them I know they're gonna notice the depleted number. My eyes trail to the mob of party people outside, a tear glistening in both. I can't leave them all to die for a secret. The time is up.

Without another second spared I race to the sliding doors, sword in hand, flinging them open and pushing through the crowd. Some give me annoyed looks but eventually as I go further out into the open they begin to notice the tapered length of death clutched behind me, dripping a trail of blood in my wake. The scowls turn to confusion, shit, I almost forgot these people were half drunk.

My legs break into a jog towards Myla; if I can get the microphone and get everyone inside the attackers will be overwhelmed by confined space. They'll be safer-

I turn around and bring my blade across in an upward strike to meet the hooded figure's behind me. A gap clears around us as he takes another swing at me, dodging and sending a counterstrike jab at his midsection. He blocks, a downward strike arcing over his head but I throw my body sideways into a spin around his side. As I land the spin my arm thrusts outwards and the motion carries my blade to the figure's back, a sickening squelch resounding from the impact. Blood splatters my white jeans and a tightening in my gut threatens to let my impending emotions overcome me at the sight. But there is still no time.

Parted like the Red Sea, the faces watch me run along the gap to the stage. I unplug Myla's laptop from the speakers with an electric sizzle and the thumping music retreats, leaving a horrible silence for me to address. Myla herself stands unblinking behind the deck, eyes forever bulging at the blood. Always the blood.

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