Track the Dead by Sarah Zammit Munro
She knew what she was getting herself into. She always did. Into the black, into the dark unknown, unfathomed by all who see the light. A mind capable of standing out in the crowd, a deep crimson stain growing, eating the body alive, the monster that reflects the inner self. Sometimes it takes over and there’s nothing you can do about it.
The train was coming.
The station was a barren space, her footsteps echoing alongside the tracks. She wore a pair of chunky boots, covered in the dirt that was left behind from her past mission. The spikes protruding from them disguised their intended use well. It would only take the click of a heel to send one flying. It was an accomplishment to have plucked out two eyes at once, in less than five seconds, not even blinking. It was like crossing off a to-do list, except it was not simply like getting from one place to another – it was more like getting a soul from one realm to another, wherever that might be.
It was life. It was about making a living. She never thought that she would resort to this. Blood was merely a red consequential colour, nothing more, nothing less. Incapable? Unable? Such words didn’t exist. Darkness is found in everyone, she thought, but some hide it better than others. It takes a specific memory, experience, or harmful event to trigger the pain, exposing it. ‘Assassin’ might be too harsh of a word to describe her line of work. It was a rather odd kind of profession.
It was almost like social work. Her lonely chuckle echoed in the eerie station. She was helping society through her contribution, she thought. Dealing with her anger whilst purging humanity from people who are inherently evil was a win-win situation in her bloodshot eyes. She was merely accomplishing what others were too scared to attempt.
She snapped herself back to reality. She was still at the station. The train was still coming.
She could feel the tension in the air rising as she waited. He would appear any time now, and he’d better come soon – she needed to act quickly.
A voice. She turned her head sharply and her long black ponytail followed. It was him. The memories flooded back and she remembered hands; hands creeping up mercilessly, and a helpless body, stiff and paralysed. She shuddered and hatred started boiling up inside of her. He would pay. All men would pay for dehumanising her and reducing her down to body parts. He would soon find out what that was like.
Her fox-like ears kept track of his every movement. She was good at hiding – after all, she had spent her whole life hiding from the world.
He walked along with large strides to the edge of the station platform. She could sense that the train would approach any time now. She knew that after this was over they would come looking for her. They were already doing so, but she was always on the run – some would say she took the fast lane on the highway to hell, but that was their opinion.
She hid behind a column and counted down the seconds.
Her mind was racing. She should escape and attempt to live her life elsewhere. This would be her last job. She was tired of running. She wanted this to be her best work yet, to see the terror and pain sparkling in his eyes.
She sprung out from behind the shadows just as the train burst through the arches. With great strength that was not her own, she shoved the man onto the tracks, head first. The railway was poised to tear him apart like a piranha’s fang-like teeth ripping him into shreds. With no time to react, he started to topple over, almost too slowly.
His eyes registered panic and then shock as the train lights shone on her face and he recognised her. As he turned his body during the fall, he grabbed hold of her ponytail and yanked her with him onto the tracks. She screamed as their bodies were hurled downwards. The oncoming train slammed into them with such great force that their bodies shattered, just as she had predicted. She had wanted to see his limbs tear apart, his skin and bones crumbling under the weight of the train carriages and yet, her remnants and his became one as the train sped on to the end of the platform.
Time stood still. A man silently approached the gruesome scene. This would be her last, he had heard her say multiple times before. Now it finally was. As if he were a shadow, he walked towards the train and with his gloved hands, picked up pieces of the woman’s skin and bones. He placed them in a transparent sachet with her name on it and stuffed it in his pocket. He loved working for her agent, his rival. He would tell him the good news and continue to track the dead.
About the Author: Sarah Zammit Munro is a third year, studying Communications with English and has a passion for writing. She is also interested in poetry, theatre, dance, filming, and photography.