Below is an excerpt from chapter 2 of New Genesis Presents: Sunny by J.T. Marques. The book can be purchased at Amazon.com for $0.99 (Kindle version) or $8.99 (Paperback) here:
New Genesis Presents: Sunny by J.T. Marques
History was never the best subject for Ida, mainly due to the fact that it was not as cut and dry as Math or English or Science—where, if applied to everyday life, could serve as a beneficial instrument to the user. She detested History. All the historical dates and locations seemed to always collide with the many character profiles and coordinates she had been forced to remember in her old life. The names of former targets were constantly leaking onto her exams, causing her to get wrong the questions she was sure she’d knew. It was just something else to add to the growing list of how her past still interfered with her daily life.
It was Friday. Ms. Keener was half way through writing notes on the Civil War on the board when a paper ball suddenly struck Ida in the back of her head. Already knowing who it was who threw it, Ida decided to let it go. Another ball hit her, followed by another. This time, she turned around to stare into the faces of the same girls that tortured her daily.
Sidney and her gang of flunkies made no reservations about how they felt about Ida and they took every opportunity that presented itself to dominate her with their asinine, juvenile actions. Sidney snickered, folded her hands, and looked to the ceiling like she had no part in the act. Her moronic-looking friends followed in the charade, their lips fighting back smiles as they turned away in opposite directions. Ida turned back around, urging herself to stay calm. As her heart beats quickened, her hands began to tremble.
A paper ball hit her again. She could hear the hushed snickering of the girls grow louder.
“What a loser,” she heard one of them say.
Ida swallowed, trying hard to dislodge the lump she felt forming at the base of her throat before it could set. It wasn’t a normal lump, the kind that appears when a person was nervous or about to cry. Ida knew what kind of lump it was and it petrified her….
It would implant its cancerous seed in the pit of her stomach and grow, incubating slowly until maturity. Then, it would elevate to her chest, twisting and churning with a sick sort of endless motion. Finally, it would settle in the hollow of her throat. Like a piece of tobacco stewing in its own juices at the side of her mouth, it would put her at ease.
Now, the lump sickened her. The juices that almost always brought her comfort now made her want to choke for she knew why it was present and recognized what it represented.
Manifested from the metallic smell of blood, the carnage she’d left behind. The sound of bones cracking and the tearing of flesh. The looks on the faces of her victims. The terror. The destruction. The death.
The lump represented a mission.
Ida closed her eyes. Images entered into her mind in an overflow of brilliancy. She would start by mapping out detailed entrance plans to their homes, breaking down which attack routes would maximize pain while minimizing manpower. Then, sweetly…
(oh, so very sweetly indeed…)
… she would stalk her targets —for weeks if necessary. Watching them eat, watching them laugh and go about their daily lives—observing their every move, from taking their children to school to making love to their spouses or mistresses. She would watch and she would wait. Right before her mission was complete, right before her target’s eyes would adjust to realize that their soon-to-be killer was none other than a frail child, the lump would form in her throat and it would make her smile. Her horribly sadistic smile and her white-painted face were the last things her victims would ever see again.
Ida shook her head, trying to clear her thoughts. With much strain, she forced herself to focus her attention back to the task of writing down her notes.
Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, her pencil scrawled unsteadily on the paper and the words disturbed her.
Is that what John Wilkes Booth was? An assassin? If so, what was she? What did his one bullet have in common with her dozens? How could it compare to the hundreds released from her weapons?
Assassin was too good of a word for what she was… for what she had done.
No. That wasn’t the word for it at all.
A shot to the back of the head was clean. Instantaneous. Death came swiftly, easily—on wings, on chariots with trumpets and heavenly lights. Death was sweet. What she had inflicted was Hell, pure and undiluted. It was what she was trained to do and she had done it well.
It felt like decades were passing, slow and tedious, as her mind fought back the glee that beckoned. It was so tempting; the mere exertion from just thinking of it was intoxicating. It gave her the simplest morbid pleasure—the kind that accompanied eating loads of chocolate while pulling the wings off flies. She didn’t know why this was. But to have denied it, to have denied the numbing, thrumming thrill that rumbled throughout her interior when she was about to attack… would have made her a fool.
At least it was better than this, she thought with velvety animosity. At least I knew my place.
“Stop,” she commanded to herself in a whisper.
She massaged her temple. The contentment of her past sometimes felt like an electric blanket in the midst of a blizzard.
That’s not me anymore. That’s not me anymore. That’s not me anymore …
The continuous loop of words played as meager background music to her thoughts. It held no value. The slow crunching began again; a single sheet of paper was being balled in hushed merriment. The sound of it invaded her spirit, threatening to collapse her soul. When it landed to the right of her back, her stomach lurched, churning in tight, miserable folds of rage.
“It’s okay. This is nothing,” she whispered through clinched teeth. Her pencil broke in two.
It took every ounce of her concentration not to lose herself, not to lose the grip she held on the person she now wanted to be. The line she walked, the one that kept her sane—the one that kept her from reverting back to the monster she used to be—was paper-thin. Microscopic. The unbalance of it all was…
Another paper ball.
Their laughter scraped across every muscle in her neck. The dull ache catapulted fantasies to the front of her mind that she didn’t want to imagine. She tried to remind herself the consequences of such notions, but the scenes played out in her mind like a movie nevertheless. There she was, breaking each and every one of those ignorant girls apart with her bare hands. Crushing them like aluminum cans under a rolling car tire.
How easy would it be? she asked herself. Too easy, her thoughts answered back in a menacing tone. Child’s play. But it wouldn’t stop there… couldn’t. No. Not with all the witnesses. Her lips twitched. They would have to go too.
She felt her shoulders rise and fall once, almost absentmindedly. A shrug. Another paper ball settled between her shoulder blades and the room seemed to sway on its axis. A single note of sound resounded against her eardrums. A twig snapping? It didn’t matter. Nothing did at that moment. She balled her fist and pivoted her foot and began to turn.
Like flashes of brightness slicing through the blackness of a dark room, thoughts of Momma Brown entered her mind and stopped her cold. What if my actions broke Momma Brown’s heart? she considered, feeling the sting from the onset of fresh tears. Or worse, what if it put me at risk of Lieutenant Cooper finding me… a fate a hundred times worse than death.
She glanced up to the clock centered above the door. There was ten more minutes left of class. The fact that two, idiot-free days awaited her brought her an ounce of consolation. She rubbed her eyes free of the moisture triggered by anger. And with the grit of her teeth, she decided to endure the girl’s antics until the end of the day.
But someone else had other plans.