“There was a quote my father used to repeat.”
She drew her blade out from its sheath, feeling the silent caress of the steel and cloth. Her stance barely shifted as she moved her arms to position.
“The two legs should be in a line, one behind the other. Knees slightly bent, torso straight and the arms ready to embrace. Ready to sing a duet with the target’s skin at throat.”
“I’m like a leaf in a storm. Watch me fly.”
She took a deep breath, relaxing her muscles just enough to hold herself without even the slightest of strain. She took in the gifts of her senses. And then she felt.
“The body is all there is, the blade merely an extension of it. It can know things we may not realize instantly. Listen to what it hears. Watch all that it sees. Taste all that it smells. Feel everything… And then you will know all you need to know about things.”
“But I am not sure if that is the best way to see life.”
She felt the pleasure of the knowledge. Her body told her it was the right time. Without a delay, she reached forward and split the skin and all that lay beneath in two.
“To saw the neck is a barbaric act we mustn’t indulge in. Understand your own vessel and you will know just how much is enough. You need to deliver them to the precipice. The untrained will jump on their own.”
“After all, isn’t the leaf a slave to the winds? No. I shall be better. I shall be the winds themselves.”
With this entire act taking less than two seconds, she turned away and sheathed the crimson dagger before the target even realized what had happened. The doors behind her had already shut before the person fell. And she was long gone before the discovery was made.
“The hardest part comes long after. When the realization sets in. When the act is acknowledged. You cannot be guided through this. And unless you find your way through, you cannot be one of us.”
“I promise you father. I will become the storm.”
She took one last look at the anchor, loosening her hold to let it flit through the air to the ground. No parent would wanted this for their child. But she knew no child should shy from this route. Some wounds never heal. And then she was gone. All left behind of her presence was that picture. Of a young girl and her beloved father, both – in their own ways – dead a long time ago.
“You must move past your guilt to be one of us.
To be the Shadow.”