Mannequin By D.I. Jolly

Victor walked with speed and purpose into his office, hoping that it would hide his building fear. Without sitting down he pressed a button on his phone and ordered his secretary to get him the head of security. George soon arrived looking pensive as always.

“How can I help you sir?”

“I want this place locked down immediately, I want every in serves security office called in and I want them here yesterday, do you understand me?!”

Victor was pacing frantically across his office getting more of his whiskey on the carpet than in his mouth.

“Why sir, what’s going on?”

“Edward, he’s… he’s sent Her after me.”

Her was the deadliest assassin in their order. Known as The Mannequin, faceless, ageless, real name unknown, no one who’s ever hired her can claim to have even met her. But she always got the job done. No one sees her coming or has to cover their trail when she leaves. You put her on a target and they die. The air seemed to leave the room, taking all warmth with it.

“Are, are you sure sir?”

“Of course I’m bloody sure!”

“Why?”

“He’s gotten it into his head that I’m responsible for the death of his son.”

“Are you?”

“Of course not, what do you think I am, crazy? Now why are you just standing there, Lock, This, Place, DOWN!”

George pulled his phone out of his pocket as he turned to leave and started making the appropriate calls. Minutes later every office in the building was being evacuated, security guards arrived and started manning strategic posts. Blast shutters were slamming closed and magnetic locks sealing off whole sections from any possible chance of entry or exit. Within an hour the top floor had gone from a functioning corporate office to a fortress.

George walking back into Victor’s office and passed him a bulletproof vest.

“Here, put this on. The place has been secured but that doesn’t solve the problem. What are you going to do about Edward?”

“I’m going to have to try convince him I wasn’t involved, but Christ knows how I’m going to do that.”

“Why does he think that sir?”

“It’s a frame job, someone clearly has it in for me and is using Edward to do it, probably the people who killed his son. But convincing Edward that he’s being used is almost more dangerous.”

They stared at each other for a few more moments before Victor waved a hand to dismiss George and then reached for the phone.

“Edward? Edward hello this is Victor. Firstly I’d like to offer my condolences about your son. I was sorry to hear the news.”

“Were you?”

“I had nothing to do with it, you must know that. I would never do anything to endanger our arrangement.”

“Of course you’d say that, it doesn’t matter though.”

“Edward, I had nothing to …”

Victor stopped as the tone on the phone died and just stared at the receiver as he felt hope drain away, then slumped back into his chair. His mind began racing trying to find a solution or a method of escape from his fate. Before he realised what he’d done he had finished half a bottle of whiskey but hadn’t yet started feeling it over the stress and adrenaline. Then suddenly a desperate urge to run swept over him and he turned towards his desk and slammed the intercom button down.

“Get George in here!”

“Hello!”

“Hello?”

The cold dread hit him like a wave and stumbled backwards falling to the ground as a faint feminine voice echoed around the room.

“If it’s any conciliation, I don’t know you had nothing to do with Edward’s son’s death.”

“Then, then why not tell him that.”

“This is my job, what would be the good of convincing clients to drop contracts?”

Victor frantically looked around the room trying to find the source of the sound when the wall suddenly blurred and moved towards him with lightning speed. In a moment it was over and he sat a few meters away from his head in an otherwise empty room.

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