Will Of the Watchers- Chapter 1

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Will Of the Watchers- Chapter 1

Chapter 1


The soot in the air stuck to her fingers like pollen. Dark ash covered her as she lay on the rooftop overlooking an oasis in a sea of black. A large house surrounded by green grass glowed in the darkness as the kerosene street lamps flickered upon the wall. The cobblestone streets surrounded its perimeter. Sal kept watch. She waited as she counted the guards who patrolled the edge of the complex. The clock ticked as she counted the seconds between one group and the next as they passed across the visible areas of the yard. Under her breath, she kept track of the steps that it would take to move from one section of the courtyard to the next. As she was most taught, the art of timing was key.


The hand of the clocktower downtown struck 10. 10 chimes echoed across the darkened streets in the night. The silence of the night was broken for a brief time. Then the relative quiet returned. The sound of steam stacks and the crank of machinery was continuous. The smell of oil always filled the air, and a film of it was always on her clothing. 


This was her time. She grabbed the shingles of the roof and quickly moved down the side of the building as fast as possible. Under her breath, she spoke out the counts she had made before. The first was the time it took to get from the top of the building to the ground. She recited the number of steps from one side of the street to the other as she ran. As she reached the wall, she checked her watch and held her position for exactly five seconds before beginning her ascent up and over.  She landed on the grass on the other side and rolled to cushion her fall. The ticking of her watch was continually going through her head. 


It was the middle of the changing of the guard. She had come to observe the compound for a full week before making her way through. In her head, she was keeping tabs on all of the guards she had watched. It had been like clockwork. Guard number two was taking a leak behind a tree. Guard number eight was opening his evening meal. Guard number five was heading into the front door, the only time she could enter the premises unnoticed. 


The door flung open in front of her, and she watched as the man walked into the foyer just inside. As he took a few steps in, she took out a soft small ball made of clay and was able to set it against the door. It allowed it to close just enough that no one would notice but keep it open so she could easily walk through. She listened at the door while looking at her watch. She knew guard number five would be heading up the stairs to the next floor. The struggle was keeping track of the guards inside the building. Much of her view was obstructed. She had to rely heavily on her intuition and the facility layout she had received from bribing an ex-guard who left with a grudge to settle. 


She kept mumbling under her breath a list of hallways she had to travel. It was important to memorize everything beforehand but be prepared for anything, or so she was taught. 


“Go through this hallway, take the stairs to the right, go up three floors, follow the corridor to the left, take the third right and another left. It’s the doorway with a symbol above it.” She kept repeating under her breath. 


The steps leading up to the next level were behind a large mahogany door. It was heavy when she pulled the handle. The golden hinges glistened in the light as she pulled. She slipped her body within the opening she created and quickly tried to pull the door shut. This time, the weight of the door was working against her, trying her best not to make a sound when shutting it. Behind her the dark stairwell was silent. 


She took a moment to wipe some of the ash off herself before heading further into the mansion. The lights were bright and kept her from being able to completely hidden. The anxiety created by the job was significantly higher. After opening the door to the third floor, she looked along the hall. Her informant was only able to give her so much information about the interior and he was rather intoxicated during their interview at the time.


A couple of guards paced the hallway. She looked for a pattern in their movements as she scanned the tops of the doorframes looking for the symbol just in case her informant had been incorrect. After a few more moments she lowered herself and started heading down the hall, making sure not to make much noise. The brightness of the lights continued to bother her as she silently followed the guard in front of her. She looked past him to make sure that there was no coming toward them and kept an ongoing look behind her to make sure she wasn’t in view of anyone else. 


He took a left down the hall and she took a right. The hallway was empty for quite a ways and she took the opportunity to increase her pace down the hall. The walls of the mansion were by far some of the cleanest she had ever seen. They were an eggshell, off-white color, without any layer of oil or soot. Even some of the cleanest government buildings had a layer of some sort of black oil on them. It was just a byproduct of all of the industrial burning that kept happening in town. It was so bad that most people chose to wear dark-colored clothing to hide some of the oil stains. These walls on the other hand were so clean, they were almost reflective. 


She rounded the corner of the hall and that was where she made her first mistake. Instead of checking around the corner first, she took the turn at almost full sprint. A guard who was walking around the corner met her and took the full force of her body against his chest, knocking him over on the ground. She landed on the side of him. Her body was prone, with him trying to figure out what hit him. Without a moment’s notice, she rolled on top of him and took out a knife from one of the ones on her hip. As his eyes flashed wider, she put her hand on his mouth, put her knees to hold his arms down, and slipped the knife into his chest. As soon as the knife entered his heart, he continued to scream, muffled by her hand until she twisted the blade, further destroying the organ. His eyes began to roll back into his head and the screaming lessened. 


Looking around, tried to look for a place to put the body. She found a closet a few feet from her and dragged him slowly into the space. Closing the door and removing the blade from his chest. She looked around at her handiwork to make sure she covered her tracks and that was when she saw it. The red stain of blood on a bright white carpet and behind it were the tracks of her soot and oil-covered boots leading right to her. The house was way too clean. 


She broke into a sprint down the hallway, looking for the symbol. She had to hurry and get out of the house. Otherwise, she would have to abandon the job entirely. She finally found it. The door within the mansion with the symbol above it. In front of the door stood a guard. Instead of slowing down, she sped up and jumped at him. Her knees were jutted forward, knocking the wind out of his chest. This time, she held her hand over his mouth and whispered an incantation. A high-pitched squeal came out of his mouth as his throat and lungs froze. Ice started to protrude from his chest and his eyes went white. 


She was beginning to get more reckless and frantic. Her mentor would not approve of this tactic to get the job done. His stance was to focus on getting in and out of a job without any evidence that they were there. The thought of his voice berating her made her roll her eyes.


The doorway in front of her needed a key to open. She checked the guard that she had killed for a key to open the door. In his right breast pocket, she found what she was looking for. She opened the door and dragged his body into the room behind her. Leaving the body off to the side, she scanned the room. Around her were timeless artifacts. She knew because she had been on the excavation team to unearth some of them. The knife of an ancient civilization stood, adorned in a glass case. On the stand next to the knife were notes. They were a detailed description of the history and the area where it was found but there was more. All of it continued in detail about where it might have come from and why. At the very end of the note was an eye. She looked around at other pieces within the room and saw the same thing. Everything ended with an eye. 


That’s when she saw what she was looking for. The book. She knew her mentor would be able to help her translate it, but she had been drawn to it the first time she had seen it. All around her she heard bells and shouting. Her time was up. She ran and grabbed the book and threw it in her backpack. Next to the book stood a very large pile of notes. She added those to her backpack, as well. 


It was time for her to leave. 


Great start to the story! Can’t wait to see what happens next :)

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