Sticky Situation

“Well…,” Jenkins stared at the young, tanned, dirty-blonde girl while she doodled. “…shit.”  He sat in the mostly empty library and watched her from the table next to her. She and he were the only two at the cluster of tables. The blonde girl wore a light green t-shirt and sat at the table alone. She had been alone for the past couple of days that Jenkins watched her. The slip gave a name: Honey, a general description of the target and where they would most likely be found. Usually, it was a list of locations; but, her slip only had one suggestion: Library. Jenkins saw her drawing often over the past two days but this was the first time Jenkins caught a glimpse. It was a large number ’42’ that took up most of the sheet. She decorated it with rainbows and pink flowers.

Jenkins was glad he took his time; he knew she wouldn’t have been targeted if she were a normal seven-year-old girl. But he didn’t know why. Now that he saw the ’42’ it was obvious. Jenkins sighed; it was also obvious he could not handle her by himself. The moment Jenkins decided to call for help a tall, lean, bony man in a tuxedo came into view and headed straight for the girl.

Yeah, that makes sense,” Jenkins thought. “Of course I’m not the only one.”  He recognized the tall man as another assassin and realized he wasn’t the only one brought in. He discreetly caught the tall man’s attention with a gesture that the girl didn’t see. The man looked at Jenkins, smiled, and shook his head. He didn’t want to work together; Jenkins sighed. He wasn’t friends with the man, but he always hated to see a co-worker die. Jenkins closed his eyes as the tall assassin pulled a knife out.

“What the-,” Jenkins heard the man say. There was a quick ruckus, a moan of pain, then silence again. Jenkins opened one eye and saw the girl drawing again as if nothing had happened. The assassin was gone.

Help it is,” Jenkins thought. He quietly stood from the table; Honey did not look up from her drawing. He skipped a couple of rows then turned into the third row from the tables. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a solid black business card. He tossed it on the floor and it formed a wide black hole. A teenage girl with long white hair wearing a blood-red hoodie rose out of the hole and stared at Jenkins with crossed arms.

“Again? Assassins are supposed to kill people. Not ship them off to another Earth,” she said.

“Shhhh, We’re in a library,” Jenkins said. The girl shrugged, but she didn’t make any more noise. “I think she’s a Calavera…,” Jenkins shook his head. “….no one here can handle that. And she’s seven years old.” The girl’s pink eyes softened and she nodded.

“Fine. What do we know?” she asked. Jenkins smiled; if they were actually friends he might have hugged her.

“Thanks, Cherry! Blonde girl sitting at the tables over there,” he pointed through the books. Someone came up and tried to attack her, but I didn’t see what happened. I don’t know where the guy went. I didn’t see him walking away and I don’t see a body anywhere.”

“Name?” Cherry asked.

“‘Honey’ is all I got.”

“Fine,” the girl walked past Jenkins but he grabbed her arm. “And find out what happened to the other guy if you can.  He had a family.” The girl shrugged and kept walking.

“Sounds like he picked the wrong career,” she said as he turned around the corner towards the tables. Jenkins stayed behind. He probably could go back and sit down and no one would think anything of it. But he did not want to risk Honey connecting him to Cherry. She wasn’t a normal 7 year old and he had no idea how intelligent she might be. After a silent eternity that only lasted five minutes, Cherry walked back into the row with Honey following her.

“Hey Jenkins…,” Cherry said, completely exposing their familiarity. “Honey wants to learn about the AlterNet, so I’m going to take her.” A black portal opened in the air.

“Bye Mr. Assassin. I’m glad I didn’t have to kill you,” Honey waved then ran into the black hole and disappeared.

“You’re a life saver, Cherry,” Jenkins said with a smile. “Oh, did you find out anything about the other guy?” he asked. Cherry was already halfway into the portal but she pointed upward at an angle, then waved and disappeared. The black hole closed but Jenkins looked up where Cherry pointed.

The lean, suited assassin was stuck to the ceiling. He was completely encased in a translucent, amber-like substance. His eyes were shut and his mouth was open as if he were screaming.

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