by Samantha Trisken
Alexa crept through the trees, keeping low to the ground.They kept the sunlight from giving away her position.Her eyes scanned the road for any signs of movement. Clad in a black tunic and breechs, her cloak tight about her, she blended into the forest's shadows. Above her, the leaves rustled in the chill breeze that still reeked of the scents of Mandratha: sweat, shit, and garbage. She'd only have to wait a little longer, just long enough for her target to be out of hearing range of the last guardpost.
Lucas Andrews, husband of the late Jennifer Andrews, had finally decided to leave the city. It wasn't the smartest thing for a marked man to do. Of course, one look at him and you wouldn't expect much either. He was thin and looked as though her weighed as much as his clothes did. His height was probably the only thing that gave him the advantage when he'd beat his wife. One day he hit her a little too hard, ramming her nose into her brain. At least it was a quick death.
A few hours later their twin sons followed when in a drunken rage he decided to silence them in their crib.
According to the police, it was one of those assasins. Of course, according to Vido's guard, it was always an assassin. Jennifer's family knew the truth. They wanted justice. And they had the money to pay for it. Not enough to hire a true assassin, but plenty for a bounty hunter such as Alexa.
Enough money to last the summer, Alexa thought with a smile. Her purse strings had been a little too tight, of late, what with the new Assassin's Guild and all.
She knew Sanctuary was looking for her. Elves were quite a commodity as mercenaries, thieves, and assassins.Too bad she hated being around people, be they human or elf.
Hell if I'd bow to their rules and guidelines. For all I know, I'd have to run around in a thong and give the Guildmaster a bang whenever he blinked, Alexa thought. No thank you.
Still, they stole all the good jobs from an independent entrepeneur such as herself. And they reigned supreme over the city. While Lucas was in Mandratha, she couldn't touch him. The Guild didn't let rivals live long.
Alexa didn't know why Lucas had decided to leave the safety of the city and she didn't care. Her meal ticket only had to walk past the next turn and he'd be free game. He didn't notice her following him. Her cloak barely brushed the leaves. The only sound of her passage was the occassional creak of her leather belt from the weight of her pistol and fighting knives.
Time for me to collect. Alexa pulled her knife with only the slightest whisper of metal and approached Lucas from behind.
Something burst out of the bushes beside her and ran Alexa down. She hit the ground just as a round of bullets followed. From the corner of her eye, she saw Lucas drop, blood spurting from his knees. He screamed, but Alexa could barely hear him above the noise.
"You're gonna die! I swear this time you're gonna die!" The elf erupted from the bushes, waving a gun in one hand and a sword in the other. "Where the hell are you, you purple fruitcake?!" The short elf snarled, firing off a few more shots. Alexa acted without thinking and pulled her own pistol.
He had whirled around to face her and they found themselves staring down the barrels of each other's guns.
"Are you planning on killing everyone in the forest, Luse?" Alexa watched from the corner of one eye as a tall blonde elf strode out onto the side of the road, but he made no move to help his friend.
Instead, he leaned back against a tree, looking amused. Neither Luse nor Alexa budged.
"Shut up, Blondie!" Luse snarled. He glared at Alexa. "Either get out of my way, or help me kill him."
"Lucas is mine." Alexa growled between her teeth.
"Not the stupid human, the crazy.."
He dropped out of one of the trees overhanging the road and all eyes turned to him. Resplendent in an angora sweater and purple fur G-string, the human's cloak billowed about his bare hairy legs.
"What the fuck are you?" Alexa exclaimed, eyeing him warily. The transvestite proudly puffed out his chest, looking like a hairball wrapped in bubblegum.
"I FOUL FIEND-ESS AM THE PURPLE MAURADER, NYAR! WOE BE TO YOU! NYAR! NYAR! YOU DO NOT FOOL ME, TRYING TO DISGUISE YOURSELF IN THE APPEARANCE OF THE MAMMORY-CHALLENGED!"
"What?" Alexa exchanged a glance with Luse over the tops of their still-pointed guns. He shrugged.
"I think he's saying you dress like a man." Blondie commented with amusement.
"BUT I RECOGNIZE YOU!" the Purple Maurauder continued, "YOU SUCCUBUS OF YOUR OWN KIND!"
"And he just called you a lesbian."
Alexa lowered her gun and stepped back. "By all means, kill him."
"BROTHERS, FIGHT AGAINST HER SICKNESS! NYAR! NYAR! NYA-gulp!" The Maurader turned and fled as Luse shot off another round of bullets. The elf's laughter echoed maniacally as he ran after his purple prey. The blonde elf only shrugged, an appologetic grin on his face, before following his friend.
Alexa could only shake her head as she drove her knife to the hilt into the whimpering Lucas' forehead.
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