Whatever you do don’t look into their eyes.
Her eyes were a vibrant green, crisp and fresh like newly cut grass. They flashed an array of different greens; enough to make a montage, gleaming in the silver moonlight that rained down upon the forest. Lime, fern, mint, and Basil. Sage, juniper, emerald, and shamrock. Pine, sea-foam, moss, and chartreuse; you name it, I saw it. They glimmered in the most brilliant intensity, sending shock waves through every inch of my entire body.
If they smile, look away.
My eyes were locked on a blindingly white smile, of pure innocence mixed with screaming evil. Dimples appeared at the sides of her mouth and her forehead creased with both the wisdom of age and the blessing of youth.
If you get a chance, look at the symbol engraved on its neck. They all have them; each and every one of them, but they are unique to themselves and we still haven’t figured out their meaning yet.
My gaze deliberately missed her neck and trailed down her long hair instead. It was about waist length like mine, but instead of being a glossy black it was a dignified grey that remained untouched when the wind struck it. Unlike my hair; that resembled a knotted mess blowing out behind me, strands of it getting stuck to the tight leather top that clung to me and the sweat coating the back of my neck, despite the bitterly cold weather.
Do not hesitate, especially not when you put the gun to its head.
I hesitated as I slowly but forcefully lifted the gun up towards her head; the tip of it rested there comfortably, locked and loaded with my finger on the trigger. Hands shaking violently and heartbeat quickened, I took one last deep breath before my finger twitched...
‘Why can’t I hesitate?’ Because then, it will take its chance to attack.
She took her chance and lunged towards me, at the same pace that the bullet would have landed in her head if I hadn’t of hesitated. A low growl rattled in the back of her throat as she clawed at my arm, sharp nails drawing a path in my skin and causing blood to rise to the surface.
Biting down hard on my lip and trying to sustain my cry of pain was all I seemed capable of doing at this very moment, throwing away my years of training like money into a well.
She wasn’t very tactful; due to the fact that she treated the attack like a catfight, but wow those nails stung like a bitch.
Always play to your advantage, they aren’t as clever as they seem.
Whilst she was tearing my arm to shreds, I managed to jerk my knee up into her stomach, causing her to recoil back in agony and fall towards the ground.
Within seconds I was on top of her; the weight of my body holding her down, and the gun neatly placed back in its rightful position. Beside her head.
If you’re lucky enough to get a second chance, don’t hesitate this time. No-one has ever had a third.
The noise of the gun shattering the side of her skull was sickening and loud enough to make me wince and tightly shut my eyes together, guilt and horror flooding through me like a rolling wave.
Don’t keep your eyes shut for too long. You may think that the damage is bad but more times than not, it isn’t. You have to remember that they are immortal, and it’s going to take more than a bullet or two to stop them.
I opened my eyes with shaky breaths and hesitantly took a look at the damage I had caused. Expecting to see a horrifying mess of blood and the whites of eyes, I was pleasantly surprised to see not a single cut or graze on her doll-like body. Eyes shut as if in slumber; she lay on the mud and sticks as still as the ever-changing night, and relief was sweet in my mouth.
Suddenly; the sound of clapping danced through the air and landed upon my ears, which were just moments before, straining to listen out for the breathing of the Eternal I had just shot. Turning around; my eyes met my fathers beaming smile and clapping hands, the proudest look painted on his face that was wrinkled with age.
“I always knew that you could do it, Astrid,” he croaked, “always knew that one day I would look upon my beautiful daughter on the day of her initiation, the body of an Eternal laying beside her like a trophy and the Lockwood name shining in the brightest lights because she had done it proud.”
A lone tear pricked my eye as a gentle smile played at my lips, heart warmed at the very thought of finally making my father proud after all these years of training. All of the years I had to continuously tell myself that I did want this; that it was my destiny, when deep down I had always despised the very thought of working for the EDO.
What they did was...unimaginable, but one way or another I had to come to terms with the fact that this was written in my stars, written in my family name.
“I can die happy now” he continued, “now that I know my daughter is following in my footsteps, that every day she is one step closer to protecting humankind for good. Because as I’ve always said, it is unfair that only some bear the gift of living forever, and others are robbed of the chance.”
“Oh, be quiet dad,” I gave a shaky laugh as I stood up and began to brush myself off, “I’ve been training for this day for longer than I can remember, it was always going to happen.”
He sighed in relief as he made his way over to me; twigs crunching under his boots as he walked, and pulled me into a tight embrace.
“I’m just so glad that you got out of that silly phase. When you told us you didn’t want anything to do with the EDO my heart broke and the anger boiled my blood. But deep down your mum and I knew that you were going to change your mind. If you hadn’t we wouldn’t be standing here today, would we? Christ, you wouldn’t even be living under my roof!” he chuckled and I flinched, his words stinging me like a nettle.
“Shouldn’t you be calling the agents to come and collect the body?” I pulled away, attempting to change the subject. His face turned panic-stricken before he hurriedly switched on his earpiece and talked in a quick and practiced tone to the agents on the other end.
“South of the woods, near the cabin. Eternal laying unconscious after a bullet to the head; been out for less than 5 minutes, prepare to collect, restrain and deliver to warehouse 52.”
I ground my teeth together and stared with cold eyes as I listened to my father give his orders, talking about them like a package he was ready to ship across the Atlantic. Talking about them as if they were animals.
You’re part of this now, my mind regretted to inform me, you are responsible.
“What would I do without you?”
I barely heard my dad over the sound of shuddering engines as they pulled up beside us; countless numbers of men jumping out of the vans in their identical black leather jackets, rifles at their sides and knives hidden deep in their pockets. I looked down at myself, eyes regretfully meeting the same leather jacket, so tight it was almost like a second skin.
I barely heard the shouting of orders being hit back and forth like a game of table tennis between the agents, the prisoners of the EDO. Except they weren’t really prisoners because they believed that what they were doing was for the good of humankind. I was the prisoner.
I could barely hear the sound of my footsteps as I backed away from the scene, not over the raging anger when I reminded myself of the one thing that kept me glued to my choice of being a part of the EDO.
The revenge I wanted; no the revenge I craved, on the Eternal that murdered my little brother Marley on the morning of November 2nd as me and him, set out for our early morning stroll in the forest, inhaling the cold winter air ’till the very last drop.
The very morning I sat on the forest floor; knee deep in mud as I cried into my hands, eyes that had only wandered the earth for nine short and precious years before being scarred with the image of my closest friend being murdered in front of me. At seven years old, his innocent life was one that never should've been taken. I had waited, helpless, cold and frightened, for the help that never came, the questions that never got answered and the memories that would never be forgotten.
I could barely hear the sound of the Eternals petrified screaming and thrashing on the forest floor as she too waited for help that would never come, questions that would never get answered, and memories that would never be forgotten. I couldn’t hear it because these words were shouting in my head, louder than anything and everything around me.
Why have you just initiated yourself into the one thing that thinks it’s saving humankind, but is actually bringing it to the brink of non-existence?