Wacky Wednesday – “Sororicide”

1 Aug

Jin Woo-Seung looked out the tripartite glass of the bullet train as it whispered through the upper grasslands, thinking of home.

She saw her mother’s face, smiling over a cup of steaming tea, and she pushed the memory aside. She mustn’t let her mind be weak in this way. Her newspaper, folded neatly in her lap, crinkled under her squeezing grip. Control yourself, she thought.

But she couldn’t. Every second that passed brought her further away from everything she knew. She heard the station call over the intercom, but it was senseless noise to her ears. Her head was full of a roar she couldn’t contain, and she felt her composure begin to break down.

Myung, she thought, as the train pulled to a seamless, imperceptible halt. My sweet Myung, my little flower. People walked past her down the aisle in a neat row, evenly spaced and moving with congruent efficiency, and Woo-Seung knew the ticket inspector would be right behind them. She couldn’t stay here, she had to move. Her knuckles were white around the crumpled newspaper. She sat as rigid as a board, unable to lift herself from her seat.

The ticket inspector loomed over her. His baton hung from his belt in front of her face. Behind him, through the window opposite, she saw the curls of barbed wire dusting the top of the station’s fence. The inspector’s voice was deep and impatient. Woo-Seung didn’t reply; she couldn’t, she didn’t even know what he was saying. My god, Myung…

In the next moment, her upper arm was locked in a painful clutching hand and she was yanked to her feet and shoved along the aisle toward the door. She was paralyzed with fear, unable to do anything but watch as that hateful portal drew closer and closer. She knew that the moment she stepped off this train, it was all over. Everything.

**

Two days earlier, she was sitting in a luxuriant leather chair, listening to the Minister of Intelligence tell her about her own sister.

He was a corpulent man, with glittering rings on many of his fat fingers and a sickly-sweet cologne which did little to disguise his disgusting smell. His office was as lavishly dressed as he, full of soft velvet and dark polished wood. He paused to cough and Woo-Seung was glad for the relief from his unctuous voice, but she was hit in the face with a whiff of his gingivitis and had to stop herself from gagging. She hated being in this room almost as much as she hated herself.

He kept talking, detailing her sister’s crimes against the state as calmly as he would have read out a grocery list. Fleeing the country, consorting with the enemy, divulging state secrets. Dangerous, he kept saying. Threat to public security, family reputation. Woo-Seung was ideal candidate for job: discreet, talented, deadly. Impossible to see coming. Only one solution.

Only one solution.

The Minister passed a red dossier across his desk and Woo-Seung fought to keep her hands from shaking as she accepted it. The name Jin Myung-Lee was stamped on the top, in Hangul and again in English. As she shook the Minister’s clammy hand she considered breaking it, if only to teach the slimy bastard a lesson. She knew what a foolish thought it was, but she let it linger, looking into his eyes, savouring it. If it could only exist as an idea, then she would pour all her energy into its imagining. She saw him cry out in shock at his misshapen fingers. She heard herself laughing as she grabbed him by the scruff and threw him over his own desk to crash into his chair. She saw the trickle of blood from his nose, and listened graciously to his pleas for mercy. Then she ended him, feeling his warmth fade into stiff coldness and flowing up through her, as if she had drawn his life-force out and absorbed it into her own. She felt huge, and powerful, and furious, and full of despair.

And then the handshake ended, and Jin Woo-Seung walked out of her government’s headquarters, towards the train that would take her to murder her sister.

**

She was through the door and on the concrete platform before she could react, and in her panic her training kicked into gear. Her eyes scanned the terminal, noting the gun-toting guards at each doorway and in the towers which flanked the station. Her muscles tensed and adrenaline flushed itself through her veins. Moving instinctively, she positioned herself smack dab in the centre of the platform, the unmoving eye of a storm of commuters and tourists. She clutched her purse in front of her and looked through the crowd for her sister’s face.

She spotted Myung almost immediately, sitting on a metal bench, chatting amiably with the man beside her. The boyfriend, thought Woo-Seung, looking at his broad honest face and feeling immensely sorry for him. She saw her sister brush a strand of hair behind her ear and she was eight years old again, chasing Myung through the tall grass of her uncle’s farm, hearing her laugh in the bright afternoon. Tears sprung unbidden to her eyes, and she pulled her pistol from her purse.

The report was horribly loud in the domed concrete terminal, and the neat rows of people lining up to board scattered like cockroaches at the sound of it. Through the screams and chaos, Jin Myung-Lee saw her sister’s body fall as if in slow motion, the pistol spinning out of her hand as it fell away from her temple.

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