Woman of The Red Bonnet Society
I had ten minutes left to accept my assignment to assassinate yet another undeserving target. I crawled out of bed and moseyed over to my vintage vanity desk to set my cell phone timer. Today, I have the misfortune of deactivating a woman named Maria Bowler, a beautiful woman in the wrong line of business. I wanted out, right now, but I was smart enough to know there was no way out of my organization. If I don’t confirm my acceptance when the timer goes off, my boss will have me killed. Every-day I declare an end and give my self ten minutes to think it over and make a final decision.
I stared at myself in the vanity mirror, scanning my face: my blue eyes, my straightened, copper hair, framed by my defined jaw. They all seemed so out of place. Only because when I look at myself in the mirror every morning, I still saw that abandoned orphan surviving the streets of Romania and the abuse that came with it.
When the society found me, I was a teenager driving routes for a butcher near the city. It wasn’t until later in life I realized I was really a drug courier for a kingpin. He beat and raped me until I was bloody often for disobedience, but he gave me shelter and quality meat to eat. When a gentleman approached me about stowing away to America to work in his school for girls, I imagined I was finally free. I would finally be able to capitalize on the American “dream.” Though I was able to capitalize and build a stable life here in New York for myself, it wasn’t until just recently that I realized nothing or no one is free, everything comes with a price. So I set a timer.
Five minutes left. I took a deep breath; I had to keep those visions out of my head lest they become a distraction from my decision. I fished for my lipstick, slowly revealed its color and painted my lips our signature ruby red. It was at that point in my morning routine that I knew I was changing, inside and out. So with my blush, contour, and mascara I covered up the scared little girl and became a ruthless agent. I had to cover up any insecurity I had about my job because, well, I gave myself the opportunity to make a choice.
Two minutes left and I believe I’ve made up mind. With one hand holding my loose bun like an apple to my head, I searched the drawers of my vanity for a bobby pin. I brushed over old makeup, loose change, and spare ammunition. When I found my pin I secured my bun. Next to my vanity sat a stack of an assortment of shoeboxes and hatboxes. I lifted the lid of a battered brown box on top, pulled my red bonnet from its placeholder and sat it atop my head. My time was up. I gave myself a cold stare and confirmed my mission via text. I will live one more day.
Thank you for reading! This is copyrighted material.
Originally for Full Sail University
November 14, 2017
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About the author
Donnell Keenan is a multimedia writer who enjoys acting, singing and binge-watching good TV. He has a B.A. in Drama from Morehouse College and is a student at Full Sail University seeking an M.F.A. in Creative Writing.