The Price

The sun hides behind dark clouds, with no sign of rain. A depressing weather. With the weather in my head, I enter Lady Puissant's room. The bedroom has two beds covered with purple sheets. The beds are separated by a bedside table with an old telephone. At the bathroom door, there is a tall mirror with a gilded iron frame.

I stop in front of the mirror and look at my reflection. Time did not make me more beautiful. A large scar above and below the right eye stands out on my face. A few gray hairs, among the black ones, in my hair and beard inform me of my age. And I'm wearing my usual clothes, a gray suit with a dark blue tie and dark blue gloves that hide my scars.

I go to the terrace, where Lady Puissant and a man in a black suit are waiting, sitting at an iron table. "I'm sorry I'm late, my lady," I say to my boss.

“Don't worry, Azael. I know how busy you are today, ”she replies. "Sit down."

As I sit down, I look at the guest and notice the silver ring in my right hand, bearing the symbol of the Edwards Clan.

"You must be Sir Edwards' emissary," I tell him.

"So insightful, isn't it?" he answers. "I am Donovan, Sir Edwards' right hand."

I sigh.

"And you two know why I'm here," he continues.

"The war ..." Lady Puissant says. "We need to end this or the two clans will collapse."

“My boss agrees with you. Or at least he did. ”

"And why did he change his mind?"

"Because his son was killed by your clan."

The silence makes the air thicker. Lady Puissant looks at me.

"How did this happen?" I answer.

“Do you remember the ship you destroyed last week? He was there."

"We did not know. We would never hurt his son, ”says Lady Puissant.

“It is too late for that. Now he wants blood. If you excuse me, I have a war to plan, ”he says, standing up.

"Wait!" I say. "I can have a solution."

"A solution? What kind of solution would that be? ”

"Compensation."

"Explain"

"As you may know, my lady's daughter just gave birth to a boy," I say, noticing the surprised look on my lady's face.

“Sim, eu estou ciente. O que você está sugerindo?”

“Uma tradição antiga. Uma vida pela outra.”

"What is the meaning of this, Azael ?!" Lady Puissant says.

“My lady, I'm sorry. But this is the only way to stop this war and be able to protect your goals. If this conflict with Sir Edwards goes public, all is lost, including his reputation. A civil war won't bring any benefit, only destruction and death. ”

She looks at me, her hands shaking and her eyes full of tears. Then she put her hands on her face and took a deep breath. “You are right, Azael. That is the price I must pay to maintain my power and that of the clan. ”

“So, Donovan? We have a deal?" I say, turning to him.

"Yes we have. But with only one condition, the child must be killed by me. That's fair, right? “

“É sim. Eu pessoalmente entregarei a criança para você.”

"Okay. It was a pleasure to make a deal with you. ” he says with a smile, leaving the room.

"What did I do?! I sentenced my grandson to death! ” Lady Puissant says afterwards that Donovan leaves.

"No, you didn't."

“But you made a deal with them. They will kill my boy. ”

"They believe that to be the case, but it will not be true."

"What are you talking about?"

“You know, my lady, babies are all similar. So, they won't notice if we give the maid's son. ”

"You are a genius, Azael," she says, smiling. "And how do you hope to convince the maid?"

“Paying or killing her. I don't care."

“E como você vai explicar minha filha com outra criança?”

"Adoption."

She laughs and says, "That's why I chose you as my counselor."

“Obrigado, minha senhora. Se você me der licença, vou começar os preparativos.”

I leave the terrace. I stop at the bedroom door and ask her, "What do you want me to do with the maid?"

"Kill her."

"As you wish, my lady."

So I leave the room and go to the maid's room. She is sitting on the bed with her son in her arms. I stop in front of her and with a smile say, "Can I hold him, dear?"

“Certainly, sir. Carefully." she replies.

So I take a pistol off my back and say, "Here's your price, dear." Then I pull the trigger, the blood spreads across her bed and a little falls on the crying baby. “Shhh. Calm down, little one. You will soon be together with your mother again. ”


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Alexandre Souza

Alexandre Souza is a Brazilian novelist that writes dark and supernatural stories, and also explores fantasy and historical fiction. He’s earning a BFA in Creative Writing at Full Sail University. He has flash fictions published at Adelaide Magazine and Scarlet Leaf Review. He’s a mythology and supernatural geek and uses this knowledge to enhance his work.

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