Trigger Warning: Contains depictions of abuse, alcohol, kidnapping, murder. Viewer discretion is advised
The night was like any other for Jay Venderson. Her mother was screaming her head off, drunk off rum she had bought after work.
Jay clutched her knees as she drowned it out with her music as best as she could. The music pumped into her ears through black earbuds.
She knew what her drunk mother was saying without a doubt. She was blaming Jay for everything wrong in her life. It was a vicious cycle that repeated almost every day.
For twenty-six years, Jay had suffered at the hands of her mother and the men she would bring home. She had tried to get help but no one listened and she was forced to suffer. She was always told she was making it up because to the adults, her mother was a sweet person.
Jay was startled by a bang on her bedroom door. More followed as her mother screamed at her to leave the room. Jay started to tremble. There was no telling what would happen to her if she left her room.
The banging soon stopped and a sense of impending doom filled her. She pulled her earbuds out and heard her go into her room. Jay jumped up from her bed, a great need to run pushing her to move.
She darted over to her window and fumbled with the lock for a brief moment before pushing it up. She climbed out, ignoring the rain that struck her.
Thunder rolled loudly in the air, lightning constantly flashing. Her heart pounded in her chest as she fled into the dark woods, leaving behind everything she knew.
As she stumbled and ran blindly through the woods, a brief silence entered the air. A gunshot soon pierced the air behind her. She started to cry.
Her mother was now wanting to take her life. Jay grunted when she fell into a ditch created by a stream. She didn’t dare scream in agony when a blazing pain filled her arms.
She bit her lip and forced herself up, ignoring the pain as best as she could. She couldn’t risk being caught. She managed to climb out and keep running.
All she could think about was running as far away as possible. She had to survive. More gunshots sounded behind her, fueling her panic.
She stopped after a while, unable to breathe. She was certain her mother wouldn’t find her now. Shivering, she fumbled to turn her phone’s flashlight on.
She shined it around once it was on. She spotted a tree that had been hollowed out underneath. She checked to see if an animal was making it their home before crawling in, flicking away any bugs she disturbed.
Jay pulled open her text messages, a person coming to mind. A man who had come to her offering help when no one else would. She could still remember clearly how they had met.
The night they had met was one she would never forget. It had been a stormy night much like this one. She had been kidnapped by one of her mom’s boyfriends. The man had dragged her into a dark alley deep in the poor district of her city.
He had told her that he was going to sell her; her mother did not try to stop him. The money he planned to get from selling her would have them living lavishly for at least a year. If he was lucky, perhaps he could get more off of the buyer.
But Jay had refused to let herself be sold. She had started carrying a pocketknife a few days after her mom started dating the man. She had overheard the two talking about selling her. She had hoped she would never need to use it.
Things never go as we wish. As the man tried to pull her from his car, she had managed to shove him off of her and pull the knife from her pocket. With a flick, the blade shot out as the man grabbed her again, this time beginning to beat her.
With fear and rage blazing through her body, she fought back. She had felt the blade pierce his chest in a sickening sensation. She had heard his cry of agony as she yanked it back out and struck again. Again, again, and again.
Blinded by her fear, rage, and sorrow, she had taken his life that stormy night. She had prepared to run, knowing she was a murderer now. But then someone had stepped into the light of the headlights, startling her.
On edge, she had prepared to defend herself yet again, ignoring the blood that stained and soaked her clothes and hands. The man had worn a black suit and a black trilby. With a push, the hat was tilted back, revealing strange red eyes that seemed to glow.
The man had had a smile, blatantly admiring her victim’s body. When he shifted his gaze to her, his piercing gaze had made her flinch. It had felt like she was drowning in those red pools.
“My, my. I have found myself one hell of a fighter.” He had held out his hand. “I will protect you from everyone who wishes to harm you. I can erase any traces left by you tonight. No one will ever know you did this. Except us, of course.”
Jay had managed to muster a glare. “How can I trust you? For all I know, you’re the guy I was supposed to be sold to.”
“If you accept my offer, in time you will come to know I can be trusted. I will make you so formidable that no one will ever think to hurt you again. I can turn you into an assassin. One that helps those just like you.”
“Like me?” Jay had lowered her guard just a bit at those words. She couldn’t deny that she had often thought about such a life. She desired freedom so badly that she was willing to kill for it. But she doubted she could go through with it. Sure, she had done it out defense, but to do it with purpose and not for survival?
She had shook her head. “I will not accept that offer so readily.”
“I understand. How about this? I will offer you my help should you ever need it. You’re going to need it if you want to escape the police, for example.” The man had nodded towards the body beside her pointedly.
With a glance at it, she couldn’t disagree. “Fine,” she had conceded.
With that, their connection was formed. He had given her his number and had helped her home after calling someone to clean up the mess. By that point, she had been weak from the adrenaline leaving her.
Then, she had not been ready to live such a life. Now, she had no choice. She wanted to survive and this was the only way she knew how. She pressed her thumb down on the phone icon above the messages.
The screen changed to the call screen and she put the phone to her ear. She wiped away her tears as the call was quickly picked up.
“Jon, I want to accept your offer.”
She could hear the smile he was no doubt wearing on his face when he replied. “I’m glad. Where are you? I’ll come to pick you up and bring you to your new home.”
She was a bit dumbfounded on how to respond. Deciding to meet him at the end of the road, she gave him her location. “I’m at the entrance to Dallas Street.”
“Are you outside?” Jon asked, hearing the thunder and a loud bang from lightning striking a nearby tree.
“Yeah,” she managed as she pushed herself further into the hole. She was terrified. How would she be able to make it through this storm to the end of the road? “My mom tried to kill me so I fled.”
“I’m on my way. Try to find some shelter.” Jon hung up and Jay took a deep breath before crawling out of the hole.
She sprinted through the dark woods, heading in the direction of the road. Once she felt her feet hit the asphalt, she turned and started sprinting towards the end of the street.
She heard more gunfire echo behind her and a small yelp escaped her lips. She didn’t stop running even though her lungs screamed in pain after a bit. She yelled at herself in her mind to keep running.
When she saw the streetlight at the end of the road, she felt relieved. Soaked and shivering, she took shelter on the porch of the empty house sitting by the stop sign.
It felt like an eternity before Jon finally pulled up. He stepped out with an umbrella and a towel. He joined her on the porch and tossed the towel over her head. He dried off her hair a bit before speaking. “Let’s get you out of here.”
She moved the towel up a bit to look up at the familiar face. She nodded and followed him to the passenger side of his car. He held the umbrella over her until she was in the car. He closed the door and walked over to the driver side before shaking the umbrella off with a flick and sticking the umbrella in the back.
He got in and she watched as they left the road behind, heading towards her new life as an assassin. Well, perhaps a life much more exciting than what she had originally anticipated.