Reflection: Be warned

REFLECTION: be warned

By

N. K. David

(SHORT STORY)

Content:

Introduction………………

The real nightmare……

Flash back…………………

i) The prophecy

The confrontation……..

Introduction:

I am of the opinion that we can turn anything to a story. That is why when I saw a drawing of a woman looking at a mirror with a knife. She raised her hand to stab her reflection on a mirror because she said her reflection was after her. That was when I got the idea of this story because we are often our greatest enemy in that we must conquer the fear in us before we can conquer the fear from others.

We must have confident in our ability and ourselves in any area of activity we find ourselves. That is the only way one can be sure of success. However, some events in history have shown that man created his own fears. That is we are afraid of what we invented or discovered. For instance, the various weapons including nuclear warheads are inventions of man and yet we are afraid of its hazardous effects. Nations are security conscious because of fear especially now that terrorism has gone global and has the potential to spread across borders if not checked. That is why nations share intelligence on how to curb crime and terrorism. There is now need to control arm proliferation. The recent events in school shooting in USA and other parts of the world are evidence of the fear created by man and the need to put it in check.

The Government agencies have been accused of killing some people in an effort to cover a secret among others. That shows what man can do because of fear, in this case the fear of being exposed. There are many top secrets in Government records that some citizens find it difficult to trust their Government. Nations go into war out of fear that their enemies may use some disastrous weapon against them.

Some individual in different professions are afraid of competition. That is the fear of displacement at the top even when the top is broad enough to contain many people. Some people are afraid to try because of the fear of failure. Therefore, we are our greatest enemy and we must fight and defeat the fear within us before we can be able to face and defeat the fear from others.

This story attempts to explain that there are some unknown Government secrets and the efforts made by some Government agencies to control global affairs out of fear and for their own personal security. The story also shows that we have to fight and defeat our own fear else, it will destroy us.

The real nightmare

Stanley has always been paranoid. He never feels safe and secure despite the security men around him in his safe house. Maybe it is because of his past or because nobody should be trusted or it can be as result of the steady rise in global terrorism. Perhaps he has good reasons to be afraid. He woke up suddenly at around 5:30 am on Wednesday, May 6 2020 in his mansion at Queens New York, and saw a man that stood next to his bed. The man was about to pull the trigger when Stanley jumped on him and grabbed him and they struggled for the thirty-two rounds piston. Stanley did not get a good view of the man’s face because everything happened so fast that he thought it was a horrible dream. The sound of their struggle alerted Stanley’s men. However, before his man could get to the scene, the man knocked him down and escaped. Stanley was furious with his men as he wondered how the man bypassed his high security system and security agents to get into his mansion and out. He could not believe that his safe house could easily be broken but his interest is to find the man that wanted to kill him.

Stanley paraded his men, later that morning, and ordered them to go after the man that tried to murder him. “Go,” he ordered, “And find the man that was here to kill me. Find out who hired him for the job. I also need an explanation of how he got into my room. I want to know how he broke my security and nobody saw him,” he demanded. “Sir,” the leader of his men called him, “do you have an idea of how the man looks or anything that can help us find him.” “Everything happened so fast and I did not really see his face or identity. I even thought it was a nightmare or something,” he thought for a while, “I think he wore a suit that looked exactly like my favorite suit, my peach colored suit,” he concluded. “Alright sir, I think the suit maybe the only thing that can give us a clue but we shall check within the rings in New York, and other states then we can ask questions through our informants,” the leader suggested. The leader was about to leave when Stanley called his attention, “hey! I think it may be necessary that you start your search within the ring of known assassins because only a professional assassin can make such good move. Someone must have hired him to kill me and I think you may need him alive to find out who hired. That may be the most difficult part of your job because it means you have to apprehend a professional assassin alive else we will not get to the root of the matter. I do not think we have any enemy in our records and that is why it will be difficult because it means we now have an unknown enemy,” he scratched his head and shouted, “that is why you must find out who the hell it is!”

Stanley moved restlessly in his sitting room, after his men has left. His flat screen plasma television was on and showed CNN live coverage. He watched and listened to the first female American president, Oprah Winfrey. The democrat president addressed the American people. She praised the stable American economy and elaborated on the need to keep it stable to avoid another economic meltdown. She also mentioned that the world leaders would address the rising tension between North and South Korea at the New United Nation’s Head quarters in Washington DC.

Stanley’s men started their search in casinos and other bars where notorious assassins and other bad people and gangs are known to hang in. They questioned some of the assassins if they have an idea of the latest hit in the list and the described their search with emphasis on his peach suit but it seemed nobody had the answers. Stanley’s men got a tip on a man that matched their description who usually shows up in one of the Casino in Niagara Falls at exactly 8p.m on weekends so they moved from Queens to Niagara Falls. That was on Saturday 9th May, 2020. Yes, they saw their target and the only clue that confirmed their target was the peach suit that seems to be what their target is known to usually wear anytime he shows up anyway but the man also wore a hat that covered his face. The man walked into the bar, sat down, and looked around. He sensed the danger and it was as if he was prepared for it. He placed a paper on the table as if we wanted to free his hands for the next thing that would happen. The man opened fire as one of Stanley’s men walked toward him and there was a fierce gun battle between the man and Stanley’s men. The man escaped and there were no causalities except for two non-assassins that came to drink in the bar and they sustained minor injuries because of the stampeded that followed the fierce gun battle. As the man made his escape, his hat fell off and he pick it and placed it back on but before then the leader of Stanley’s men saw his face and he could not believe who he saw. The leader picked the paper the man left and read its content where he saw who gave the contract for the job. That is the name of the employer was boldly written on the paper with the contract terms.

Stanley was alone in a Jacuzzi in his mansion when the leader of his men came back to report. He stepped out of the Jacuzzi to get the report. “Sir, we found him,” the leader said. “Where is he?” He asked anxiously and was ready to go meet his new, found, enemy. Then he heard the answer “He escaped,” the leader said regrettably. “What!” he shouted angrily, “why did you let him escape? Why would you make such a big mistake?” He asked. “Sir, we got the contract paper,” the leader paused, “I saw his face,” he concluded. “Do you know him,” he asked, wondered, and was eager for the answer. “Yes,” replied the leader who then looked afraid to speak further. “Good!” he shouted, “tell me, who is he!” he demanded. “Sir,” the leader paused again, “he looks exactly like you.” “Like me?” he questioned in disbelieve. “Yes, he looks like you in your favorite peach color suit” leader seemed to get the courage to speak further, “and the contract paper read that you employed him to kill you. The contract term is that you must be killed,” the leader said as he handed over the papers to him. “I hired him?” he asked nervously as he collected the paper from him. “Yes,” the leader agreed, “it means you hired you to kill you so I wonder if we should stop him or you,” the leader explained the two-way task. Stanley was silent as he read the paper and after he confirmed that the paper stated the contract term clear and the signature was exactly his own, he shouted, “I can’t believe that my reflection is after me and now I must fight to stay alive,” he thought for a while, “can it be a trick?” he asked to no one in particular, “or is it possible that I am now my own greatest enemy?”

He unwittingly sat down on the ground and wondered how it was possible that he fired himself to kill to eliminate himself. He recalled his favorite peach colored suit then he understood why that was the suit of choice. Then he had to flash back to his past where the prophecy was given but he never believed it would be possible.

The flash back

Stanley was only 10 year old; that was 57 years ago, when his father told him about the assassination of an American president. That was on November 22, 1963. “Today, I shot the president,” his father said, “but someone has to be responsible for his death because the assassin ring must remain unknown. We always use people to cover up and someone has been arrested for the murder. That is how we work. We are ghosts and people do not have to see ghosts else there be problem. I tell you this, today, because someday you shall be old enough to take my place in the system.” Stanley never knew his mother. His father was the only person that trained him and, as a little boy, he was trained to kill but he never knew that there is more to it than just being an assassin. He had a private teacher so he never went to school like most other children consequently he has few friends and most of his friends are in the same ring, the assassin ring.

They lived in the Lone star state, Austin Texas. Their house was a small apartment that was isolated in the woodlands. That seemed like a perfect place to isolate and train a child away from the world and the crowd. “Why do you have to do it,” he asked his father who showed no remorse. “Get me a glass of water,” his father demanded, “I am tired and I need some rest,” his father demanded and pretend not to have heard the question therefore he ignored the question. He got his father a glass of water and inquisitively asked again, “why do you have to do it?” “Do what?” he asked in pretence. “I mean why do you have to shoot him?” “ I only shot him once and that was the killer shot,” he paused, “ someone would do it if I fail on the assignment,” he paused again and looked at his son, “ you have to always remember the rule that said, ‘ do not ask too much question; obey the last command.’ Do not worry,” he touched his son’s head, “someday you will understand.” Then he went to bed while his son watched him speechlessly. Stanley was not pathetic at the news because he was trained to kill that he had no conscience left in him.

Twenty years later, 20th June 1983, was the time Stanley was given his first official assignment and that was the time he seemed to understand what his father told him some years ago. The name and picture of his target was given to him and the instructor commanded, “He must die before two weeks when we shall gather here again. This is your first assignment and I shall be glad to inform you more on the etiquettes of the organization. Those that believe in God say that he is the creator of all things but we know that God works through man. That is God achieves is objectives and plans by working through us. Therefore, we are his co-workers because with his permission we create events and we written history. I said his permission because no one speaks and it happens without the approval of the spiritual realms. That is why is organization is more spiritual than physical for we are the servants of the most high God. Therefore, do not fail to kill for those we kill are those that have been destined to die by the gun so there is no other way for them to die except they are kill by bullet or die by an act of man and it is our duty to help make that come true. Our organization is a part of a larger organization that runs global affairs in the course of human history. Your father served us so well and now that he is no more, we know that you can handle any assignment given to you. That is why we spent so much money and time in your training because we want you to replace your father. We know that you are one of the best we have in this organization just like your father. We do not ask questions here; we only obey orders just as we do not question God for the decisions he takes but we play our role to make such heavenly decisions a reality. That is the much you will be today but it is not all that you need to know. We shall update you from time to time as you make progress and continue to prove us right. The meeting is over,” the instructor concluded. Stanley and the sixty-two members in the meeting were about to stand up and leave when the instructor added, “one more thing Stanley,” so they stopped to listen, “we want a clean a job and you shall make it very clean.”

Two days later, 22nd June 1983, Stanley arrived at Heathrow airport. The job on Stanley’s contract list was to assassinate a Russian informant in United Kingdom. Stanley had to work with other assassins from Russia and United Kingdom. They trailer their target for three days and they got his hotel details and his daily activities in the United Kingdom. Their target’s name was Andre Kerensky, a 45-year-old Russian that has important information on Kremlin’s secret activities during the cold war. United States had to stop the information from getting to the public because it will give an insight on unknown Washington’s activities during the cold war. That was the reason both countries had to work together since they have an interest to protect. Andre was, found, dead in his hotel room by the hotel attendant, on 25th June 1983, and the autopsy report showed that he was poisoned. United Kingdom Government alleged to have carried out investigations on how he was poisoned with a nuclear material but nobody was connected to the crime so his death remains a mystery. It was before the operation in United Kingdom that Stanley bought himself a peach suit in remembrance of the operation and he wore the peach suit in subsequent operations as a good luck wear. That is why members of his agency nicknamed him, “the man in peach.”

The prophecy

Twenty-two years later, on 17th December 2003, Stanley had made name for himself as a heartless assassin and he was always called to handle the most difficult job the agency can has to deal with. On that day, the assassins were addressed following the events of September 11th 2001 in which United States was attacked by a terrorist group. There were rumors that the Government knew about the attacks while some people claimed it was planned, just, to change global events. Therefore, many things remain unknown. Stanley and his team had worked seriously and secretly after the event to track the culprits and work with other agencies in an effort set the records straight.

The instructor started, “we have our reasons for not targeting the mastermind of the September 11th attacks now because his death has been destined for a later date and it is the duty of a new administration to bring him to justice. What we are saying is that he shall die when we decide. However, it is important that events should unfold as destined. I called us here, today, because there is need to change the drama in the Middle East. The Middle East conflict between Israel and Palestine is one conflict that world leaders have a difficulty in its resolution. The reason is both religious, the need to maintain friendship, and what is found written in the history books. Now there is the need to make way for future revolution that shall sweep across the region and into Africa. The planning starts now so that the result will be since at the appointed time. The cleanup has to continue until we are certain that everything is neat enough to let it stay.” He faced Stanley and said, “You are a great asset to this organization. We have trained you well just as we trained others which means you were given same training just like the others yet you have proven to be the best. That is same with life in that we all have talents but only those that use theirs and put their best in it, will always be the best among others in same field. The secret of your success is simply because you are currently fearless, brave and bold but you must always try to remain firm and fearless because a day shall come when you shall have to defeat your own fears. The fears you shall create. That is when you shall realize that we are our greatest enemy. That is the day you shall have to fight yourself to survive.”

The confrontation

Stanley did not know how long he had sat down and was lost in his thought but he now wondered if the prophecy has become a reality. He never thought such a thing was possible but it seemed that he had to face himself and his question was who would win the fight? Then he pondered on what has changed in his lifestyle over those years and since he retired from the agency in 2016 that was 4 years ago. That was when he realized that the once fearless, brave, and bold man has become paranoid. He has grown to become afraid of everything that he; a man who once protected himself and was fearless with confident in his abilities, has to seek for security yet he never felt secure because his mind had been playing tricks on him and now the tricks of his mind has become a reality show in the most unimaginable fashion.

He became afraid because of his past lifestyle as an assassin and he always thought that someone might want him out how that he is old to continue effectively in the game of death. Therefore, he sought for protection and security yet he still lived in fear. That day he realized that the human mind is a strong tool because whatever it can conceive than it can create. This is because the act of creation starts from the mind.

He stood up hastily, “you must kill him,” he instructed the leader of his men, “I want him dead and you have to bring his body to me.” “We shall do our best,” the leader agreed, “the man is good and his moves are fast. It seems his is one of the best in the business.” that was when Stanley recalled his youthful years and his accolades yet he insist, “you must stop him. I know he can be stopped.” The leader left to commence plans for the attack while Stanley went to his room to dress up. He recalled the attack on his life immediately he stepped into his room so he moved directly to a standing mirror close to his room window. He stared at his image in the mirror as he wondered which of him wants him dead. Abruptly, he realized he could not move away from the mirror. It appeared to him that he was in a trance but he could hear his reflection speak to him, “you sent your men to kill but they can’t find me. They can’t face me.” “What do you want from me?” “I have come to confront you because you must defeat the fear within before you can defeat the fear without. You must be brave enough to face me and conquer me as you did in the past before you can conquer all other forces. You created me and nobody will help you in this battle because you must face me alone.” “Leave me alone, I don’t want to have anything to do with you. I want to live a peaceful life.” “That is the mistake man has made over the years to think that they can live in peace when they live in fear. How can you have peace within when you have fear within? If you lack confidence to face me then how can you have the confidence to do great things? You must face me alone because it is your battle and nobody can do it for you.” Then his reflection brought out a knife and raised it to attack.

Stanley’s men heard Stanley scream, “No!” so, they rushed to his room and found him dead. His body lay in front of the mirror but there was no cut or abrasion on his skin. They looked at the mirror and read, “HE WAS NOT BRAVE ENOUGH TO FACE ME AND CONQUER ME SO I CONQUERED HIM. IT IS THAT SIMPLE.” The handwriting on the mirror was that of Stanley and he, also signed it. Stanley was found dead on Sunday, 10th May 2020.

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