Hit 149: anna brookes first chapter

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Margaret McHeyzer

HiT 149

Anna Brookes First Chapter

 

© 2013 Margaret McHeyzer

First published in 2013

All rights reserved. This book is copyright. Apart from the fair purpose of private study, research or review as permitted by the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced without written permission.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Images Copyright Sashkin and Wahoo, 2013. Used under license fromShutterstock.com

ISBN: 978-0-9875337-0-8

I would like to thank the following people for keeping me on track and sane in the process of writing this book.

My family for always supporting me, especially my dear husband who puts up with everything I throw at him.Andrew, Grace and Olivia.

My two best friends for reading the unedited version and telling me their favourite parts and the parts they insisted on changing.Tina and Melissa.

Thank you to my lovely Editor for directing me to all the right paths where I needed to go.Catherine Boyle.

Thank you to the poor graphic designer who I hounded and bugged and asked over 50 questions before she even did any work for me.Sprowt Graphic Design.

And last but not least, thank you to everyone who put up with my FB updates and my constant talking about how much this book rocks.

You know who you are.Lindy.

Like us on FaceBook at HiT 149

 

For my Family

Table of Contents

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

 

Chapter 1

Breathe.

Breathe.

In and out. Breathe.

All I need to do is concentrate. Breathe in and out. Henry always told me, that’s what I need to do. Breathe.

Concentrate..... Breathe.

I’m standing here, on top of the building and I need to remind myself to breathe. It’s not like I haven’t done this 146 times before. It’s not like I’m NOT the best in the business. I am. I am the best at this because as sick as it sounds, I WANT to be in this business. I love doing what I do. Yes, it is very strange that a woman, who is 28 years old, would want to do what I do. Actually, what’s strange about it is that anyone would want to do what I do. This is an industry where men usually make up the players. Not women. I can tell you that I have been in this line of work for the last 13 years. I didn’t quite fall into it, I actually sought it out. And I am undoubtedly the best woman in the industry; I would even go as far as to say I am the best, full stop. Other women have tried to come and take my place, but that hadn’t lasted long. They have tried to eliminate me so that they could take my place, again that didn’t last long. I am respected amongst all the big players. I am the biggest player of them all. If a rookie tried to come along and show me up as an example of their capabilities, it didn’t take long for me to work out what they were about. Not long at all.

I remember when a certain young lady by the name of “J” decided that she wanted to muscle in on my work and take my clients. She tried sending a warning that she was the new up and coming super star and she would stop at nothing to get her hands on my clients. She thought she was doing me a favour by giving me a gentle warning that she was taking my place. That’s always their mistake. They try to warn me. Mistake number one. There is no warning in this business. There are no second chances. Which is why, I was at the top of my game.

There is no hesitation. No second thoughts. No doubts. No emotions. No feelings.

That is why I am standing on top of the building. Getting my breathing under control. Because this is number 147.

I need to get this right. There is no room for error.

You see, my name is Anna Brookes and I am the most dangerous woman you will ever know. IAMthe best assassin in the world.

If I don’t take out the target, I become the target.

 

Chapter 2

I am untraceable, I am unidentifiable, I am a ghost. I choose to have no friends; I choose to live a life of isolation and solitude. I do not want the distraction or the complication of any emotional connections with anyone.

I am an only child. My mother, Natalia left my father Henry the moment I was born. She was a 16 year old girl who became pregnant to her 19 year old boyfriend, my father Henry. He loved my mother so much that when she told him she was pregnant with me, he took responsibility and decided that he needed to give Natalia and I the best in life. He worked hard by going to the Police Academy and graduating at the top of his class. My mother Natalia, on the other hand, hated being tied down to one man. She hated being in St Cloud and she HATED me for ruining her life and her body. So the moment I was born, Mom left. Henry had been at work when Natalia went into labour with me, she didn’t call him. She had been collecting money slowly and sneakily to make her get away. Once I was born, the hospital called Henry and told him Natalia had given birth to a girl but she had gone somewhere and not told the staff. They had been frantically trying to search for her for close to an hour after they discovered me lying on the bed with Natalia nowhere to be seen. Henry came to the hospital straight away and searched high and low. I was born healthy, so Henry took me home when I was released from the hospital. The day Henry took me home, there was a letter in the mail box. It was from Natalia, it simply said, “I don’t want this”. And with that, Henry stopped looking for her and was resigned to the fact that Natalia left for her own selfish reasons.

I had the resources to find her and had kept updates on her whereabouts until 5 years ago when she dropped off the radar. She led a very self-abusive lifestyle up until then, involving herself in drugs and solicitation. I hadn’t bothered chasing her down once she disappeared because she really was of little interest to me and I assumed drugs had taken her life.

Henry was the best role model and father he could be. He had no idea what he was doing as a father, but he gave it his all. My father worked so hard and quickly rose through the ranks at St Cloud Police Department. He became the Chief when he was just 29 years old. It was not all done without sacrifice though. He had to endure long work hours and had no time for any other relationships to develop. In saying that, after the way Natalia treated him by leaving with no more than 4 words on a piece of paper, he did not want any more relationships. He loved me so much and taught me so much.

When I was 12 years old, Henry took me to the shooting range and taught me how to shoot. He didn’t have to teach me much. I was a natural. The moment he put in my hand a G17, was the moment I started to breathe for the first time in my short 12 years. It all made sense to me. Everything fell into place. In that one moment, I knew I wanted, no, Ineededto be never without a gun. I felt the steel against my palm and I smiled. This was home for me. There was a charge that started at my fingertips as I wrapped the gun in my hand that went all the way through to my core. My heart skipped a beat and my breathing became erratic. Not from fear but from pure elation. This is what I was born to do. This was home for me. This is where the sun rose in the morning and this is where the sun set in the evening. I had never felt more alive.

After that one day at the shooting range, I begged Henry to take me there every spare moment he was at home. He loved that I wanted to become a Police Officer the moment I was legally old enough to be accepted into the academy. But, life doesn’t always go the way you plan.

Most 12 year old girls were listening to music and swooning over celebrities. There was no way in this world I wanted any of that. I wanted to learn everything I could about artillery. It started out by finding out as much as I could about small hand guns. Then that research went on to discover other weapons that I could aim and shoot. The other girls at school had posters on their walls of Madonna and Nirvana, I had pictures of Glocks, Colts and Sigs. Henry was a bit worried that I was taking my liking of guns a little too far, he often remarked that maybe it was becoming an obsession. He was right of course, but I didn’t want him to limit my time at the range. So I did everything I could to deflect that idea. I threw myself into study and proved to be the best daughter he could have. I took my gun pictures down and replaced them with token celebrity posters. Henry of course fell for it. I destroyed any photos I had of the guns and learnt to hide the real me away. I put on that face of a loving 12 year old ‘normal’ daughter but I knew inside me that I loved the information I was acquiring of anything gun related. But I also learnt that I had to conform. I learnt very early on, how to hide. If my own father, Henry, Chief of St Cloud Police did not pick up on my overwhelming and pure devotion to the beautiful object known as a gun, then I was going to be able to control myself in any situation.

My façade started on the day I took those gun pictures down. It was the first time I truly cried about anything. I know now it sounds silly that taking down pictures of my beautiful Glocks would make me cry, but for me the gun was the only thing in the world that made sense . I never cried when Henry told me about Natalia, I never cried through films or songs or funerals or anything else that people find sad. I did not have the best introduction to life but I made up my mind the very day I touched a pistol that I was going to do everything in my power to feel the need and urgency and love I had for that cold, steel masterpiece I held.

Henry saw me devour books and education was becoming easier and easier. I learnt all I could so that Henry would reward me with shooting practice. We even made a compromise that if I got straight A’s and did extra curriculum activities that counted towards my education, he would take me to the shooting range for the entire day on either a Saturday or Sunday. That was all the encouragement I needed. I threw myself into education. By the end of the school year, I had studied so much and so hard that I had skipped ahead 2 grades. The teachers were literally shocked that I went from an average 6thgrade middle school student, to dux scholar who finished middle school in 9 months. It was hard, but my thirst for knowledge about guns made my façade grow. I wanted Henry to take me to the range and I was rewarded with weekly trips. That was my haven. That was where I belonged. Henry was so shocked and happy and proud that I had skipped 2 entire years that our trips to the shooting range increased to twice a week.

Henry was very surprised that he really didn’t need to help me aim at the bullseye. I am and always have been a natural. The more I went to the range the better I got. Over the 2 years I was going from the age of 12 to the age of 14, I was unbeatable. There were tournaments at the range, and Dad encouraged me to enter in them. He was so proud of me. His words to me were always the same. “Breathe Anna, breathe. Let out that breath that is holding you back and let go.” I lived by the mantra of ‘breathe’. In the tournaments that I entered, all with the support of Henry, I drew attention to myself from all over, I was soon known as a gifted shooter. I, however, only ever saw it as target practice. It wasn’t about who won and lost for me, maybe because I never lost. But to me, it was about hitting that bullseye 100% of the time.

May 13th– the day of my 15thbirthday, I had come home from school and Henry had taken me to the range as one of my birthday presents. Everyone knew me there and everyone knew Henry. Henry was also known because he was Police Chief of St Cloud. This particular day is the day that changed my life. It changed my life in so many ways. This is the day I killed the first two on my list. This is the day that I knew I was not going to be a police officer. This is the day that the lust and greed I had for weapons was to become the way of life for me.

This is the day that Henry was killed.

 

Chapter 3

Henry and I went to the shooting range and I was doing my usual target practice. Mike, the owner of the range had told Henry and myself that there were 2 men here to meet me and to watch my practice. I really didn’t care; I wasn’t there to impress anyone. I was there because I loved being there. I had been practising shooting with both hands and hitting the bullseye with one gun in each hand at the same time. It’s actually a lot harder than it sounds. I’m right handed but shooting and getting the bullseye with my left hand was as natural as with my right. I had, though, worked and worked and worked at it until I had mastered it. This day I held 2 G30’s and started on my practice. Dad had me holster my pistols and told me that a Nox and a Damon wanted to introduce themselves to me. Apparently, they were from some government agency and had heard about a girl who could shoot anything and from any distance. They wanted to come out and meet me and here they were.

“Hello Anna – my name is Damon and I just want to watch how you handle those weapons. Is that ok with you?” Damon said as he stuck his hand out so I could shake it.

Henry looked at me with a smirk and nodded for me to take Damon’s hand and shake it.

“Sure” was the only word I said as I took Damon’s hand. The moment I took his hand in mine, I felt it. A cold chill shot up through my arm and it was like a serpent bite. It was quick and forceful. It was the most frightening thing I have ever experienced. Right at that moment I gasped and looked at Damon, he knew exactly what I felt. Fear. The feeling in my stomach that knotted and twisted and turned told me that he was not who he said he was.

This man was evil. I stole my hand back from him.This man wants to scare me, well guess what? I’m the one with the guns!

Nox must have seen that small exchange I had with Damon and he stuck his hand out and said “Anna, you are one very interesting young lady. I’ll be watching you practise today too.” Again I took his hand and felt the same thing I felt with Damon. These 2 men were anything but who they said they were. They knew I knew. There was a look in their eyes that told me that they were capable of hurt. Not just the hurt that you feel when you are sad, but the hurt that you feel very few times in your life. The one that wants you to stop dead in your track and end everything that’s around you. The one where the hands on the clock stop and you can see every minute detail without actually looking for anything. These 2 men knew how to enforce pain. I might only be 15 today, but I also knew these 2 men were very dangerous.

I stood tall, pulled my shoulders back and gave them the warning look they deserved. They can certainly watch, and was I going to give them a show. I asked Henry to go in and ask Mike to get me a diet coke. This was the only way I knew to get my Dad out of harm’s way. Henry left and I quickly turned to the 2 men.

“You are not government. You may have others fooled but I know you are not who you say you are.” I spat the words out with venom waiting for an explanation.

Damon turned to Nox and I could see just the smallest hint of a smile on his mouth. So small, that unless you were looking you would have missed it. Nox gave one small shake of his head. They were having a silent conversation and it appeared I was not invited to this party. Henry was still inside getting my drink. I had seen in the fridge on the way in that Mike had run out of diet coke so I knew I had a good 5 or 6 minutes before Dad came back out.

I turned to the men and said “if you want me to show you what I can do, you need to tell me who you are.”

The silent conversation continued with the 2 men for another few seconds.

“We are private contractors” were the only words spoken from Damon. I knew right away what that meant.

That meant that they were sizing me up to see if I could join their ranks. Maybe not right now, because let’s face it, I am 15. Today actually. Now at this very point in my life I had a decision to make. If I showed them what I could do, the likely chance is that I would be recruited the moment they were able to, which means I would be on someone’s list and being watched until that day came. If I underperformed, then I may still be on a list, but a different kind and for a different reason.

I could see Henry coming back out and knew I needed to make my decision on how to play this out. Henry was by my side with a can of coke.

“Sorry sweetheart, Mike ran out of Diet and we looked in both the fridges. So I brought this out for you” Henry said as he gave me the coke.

I opened the can and took a drink, never leaving eye contact with Nox and Damon.

“It’s ok Dad, thank you”

I gave the can back to Dad and stood back. I put my face on. The face of concentration. My façade firmly in place. I turned around and headed to the start of the range.

I heard my Dad say, “You’re in for a real treat gentleman”. My poor Dad, he had no idea the two men standing there were not who they said they are. Pure evil.

Breathe.

Breathe.

I focus and take my pistols out of my holsters.

There are 40 targets around the range. There is no one else on the range today. I step forward and start. From where I stand I put a bullseye bullet hole in 30 of the targets. I don’t move from my one spot. Yes, I really am that good. I reload both my babies. I look over my right shoulder and see Dad with a huge grin on his face. Damon and Nox are still standing there with their own masks on their faces. I’m still staring at the men when I shoot the other 10 targets. I haven’t even blinked. I AM that good. I watch Damon and Nox as I holster my weapons. The 3 men start over towards me, when Damon asks something of my Dad. My Dad turns and goes towards the main office where Mike usually is. Damon and Nox wait until Dad is far enough away and walk towards me, giving them those extra few feet of distance between us and Henry.

“Anna, it appears that you hit most of the targets” Damon says with a smile on his face.

“Hmmmmm” is all I say.

“Most is still very good for a girl your age” Nox says.

“It’s not most” my voice laced with disgust at these two evil men.

The men look at each other, again having their own little conversation I’m not privy too.

“You weren’t even looking at those last 10 targets. If you hit even one I would be impressed,” Nox says with a smirk on his face.

Do these men not know that I can take them out right here, right now before they would even consider reaching for their own weapons??? I’m sure they were packing heat.

“Hmmmmmm” is my answer again to their ridiculous statement.

“It’s not a bad thing Anna” Nox continues.

I stand to the side to let them through so they can go see the targets themselves. As I gesture with my hand to have them step ahead of me I say “I have every target on bullseye. The last 10 I hit them twice – in bullseye”.Yes, I really was that good.

The men looked at each other with a surprised look on their faces. I stepped aside again and indicated for them to go have a look for themselves.

Damon did not want to believe me and literally ran to all 40 targets. Nox stood there waiting for Damon to return with the target sheets. He faced me and his eyes refused to leave mine. I had my façade on and was not going to show him weakness. No way! I knew he was dangerous, I knew he could evoke pain and hurt but there was no way I was going to let him get to me.

Damon didn’t collect all the target sheets. He came back with only a handful. I suspect the last 10 I shot whilst I was watching the men from over my shoulder.

Damon held the target sheets out to Nox, and that’s where you could see them. Two holes in the bullseye perfect next to each other in all the sheets they held. At that stage Nox’s eyes left mine and looked at them. He gaped. His mouth only opened for a few seconds before closing again. They looked at each other. I was getting sick of these two having their own private conversations.

“Is that all for today gentlemen?” I asked with a snide look on my face.

“You really are veryverytalented” Damon said emphasising his words.

“I know”. I turned away from the men and left. Henry was already half way to us.

“What did they say?” Henry asked when we crossed paths.

“Actually Dad, not much. They did sort of freak out that I put two bullets in the last ten sheets though. Other than that they didn’t say much”

I kept going towards the main office and Henry started walking towards Damon and Nox. I didn’t want to know what was said and I couldn’t hear anyway.

I got to the main office and Mike looked over at me, “How did you go Anna?”

“Really Mike?” I said with a huge grin on my face. Mike just laughed and shook his head. He knew EXACTLY how I went.

Henry, Damon and Nox came into the main office 8 minutes after I did. They shook Dad’s hand and walked out, not even acknowledging myself or Mike. Fine with me, they were not nice men.

“Ready to go home Anna?” Dad said encouraging me towards the exit.

“What was said Dad?” I asked turning towards him on the way out.

“You know Anna, not that much. They said they were super impressed with you and that once you join the force they’ll be recruiting you for themselves. Isn’t that just terrific Anna? You are already being headhunted for your shooting skills”

You have no idea Dad.He really wasn’t like this ordinarily. Well maybe he was. He didn’t know how his daughter studied weapon upon weapon and the love she had for guns. And he certainly did not see the evil in those two men’s eyes. I did. I knew. Today was not ‘future head hunting interview’. Today was something else entirely. I got into Dad’s Police car knowing something was going to happen. It was going to happen soon. I just didn’t know how soon.

Dad and I stopped over at the diner and got dinner. I’m not into birthday parties and frilly dresses or make up or anything else. So dinner at the diner then home for a movie was just perfect for me.

We got home, I went upstairs, had a shower and came back down to the lounge room where Dad was sitting in his recliner with a cupcake and a candle burning on top of it. He sang happy birthday to me. A perfect way to end a perfect day.So I thought.

That feeling though, just would not leave my stomach. That feeling of dread that something bad and evil was looming.

After my cupcake I kissed Henry goodnight and made my way up to bed. If only I knew that was the second last time I would ever see my Dad alive.

I went into my room, closed the door and lay in bed. Those two men kept repeating in my mind. If my eyes were open, I could see them, if my eyes were closed I could still see them. That feeling I got when I shook their hands was hanging over me. I couldn’t shake it. It wouldn’t leave my body. The serpent bite, the cold running through my veins the hair rising on the back of my neck. Eventually though, sleep took me into a deep darkness. I didn’t stay asleep for long though.

It all happened so fast.....

I heard a huge bang like glass being broken.

I startled awake.

Façade automatically on.

Shit, no guns in here, Dad kept them locked in his gun safe. In his room. Down the hall.

I heard someone say “Upstairs”.

Did I have time to get to the safe?

I was up out of bed within seconds of opening my eyes. I threw myself at the door and opened it hoping to have seconds to get in Dad’s room.

I fling the door open and there he is.

Damon.

No mask, not even trying to hide.

“Anna” he says. He can see I don’t have my gun. He does have his though and it’s pointed straight at me.

“Damon,” it’s more of a whisper then an actual sound. My heart pounding in my ears.

“Here is your choice Anna. You leave now with us or we kill your father and we take you. You are far too valuable to leave you here in this hell hole.” He’s very sure of himself and the plan he has already started to execute.

Cross roads. I leave and Dad never sees me again or they kill Dad and they take me. Easy choice.

“I’m coming with you,” I say in a confident voice, though really my insides are almost liquefied for fear of safety for my Dad.

“Can I change?” I’m still in my pyjamas.

Damon eyes me up and down and licks his bottom lip.Yuck, is all I think.

“I’ll stay with you, I don’t want you to have a gun in here and shoot me” he says with a Cheshire grin.

“You would already be dead,” are my only cold and confident words to him.

I turn and change, keeping my back to him. What a disgusting man. Looking at me and even thinking about me like that when he’s just threatened the only person I love.

I’ve changed and Damon grabs my arm and drags me down the stairs. I pass the lounge room. Dad is sitting in the chair he was in when I went to bed, he has a pure horrific and fearful look on his face. His arms are taped together, his legs taped together and he has tape over his mouth. I can see tears streaking his face, his eyes are red and puffy. Nox is standing behind him with a gun pointed to Henry’s head. I stop and jerk my arm away from Damon. I run to Dad and say the only thing I can to try to keep him safe. “Do not try to find me Dad. I’ll be fine. Promise me Dad, do not try to come after me”. Dad is crying and nods. I don’t think he wants to, but he’s forced to accept my plea. I kiss him, get up and turn to leave. “I love you Dad”. They are my final words to the only person I have ever loved.

I turn to leave and I hear it.

One small sound.

One small whoosh.

I know what’s happened.

I turn to see my father’s head slumped down chin on chest. I see the blood. I see Nox standing there with a smile on his face. My façade is fully on now. I straighten my body and I know what I have to do.

“See!” Nox says to Damon.

“Hasn’t shed a tear. Can see I put a bullet in her father’s head and there’s no emotion in her at all. She’s a fucking natural. She’s gonna be fucking unstoppable once we’ve trained her up,” Nox says to Damon again.

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