This is What I Dreaded (Part 2)

This is What I Dreaded (Part 2)

For this prompt, I set myself an extra challenge. For once, I wanted to write some genuine flash fiction. So I composed two 300 word stories (yes, both stories are exactly 300 words). You can read the first one here. The second one is posted below.
. . .

He stared at the tiny piece of paper with the careful, even scroll that almost brushed the edges. It was written in the Master’s script, which meant this kill had been hand-picked for him. He read it three times, hoping the message would change.

Any name but this one. Please, be any other name.

But the scrawl remained unchanged, the slip undaunted by his rising panic.

He had killed numerous times without thought, question or emotion. It was his job. He had been trained for it since birth, raised to the dogma, to the unfeeling discipline of the Assassin. He had never hesitated to hunt, to strike, or to take a life.

But he could not do this. His hands shook at the thought.

He had never experienced agony like this preemptive loss. It tore through him, leaving a gaping ache in his chest. How could he live with himself if he did this? It would be like plunging a knife through his own heart.

That realization only intensified the storm. He had never checked the mark, preferring to remain in blissful ignorance.

And as suddenly as it had started, the tempest screeched to a halt.

It would be death to defy the order. The reason didn’t matter. Even the tiniest question of his loyalty would result in hundreds of the guild’s elite stalking his every move. All of them killing machines, eager for the prestige of slaying the Master’s chosen heir, believing it would secure the position for themselves.

It was kill or die; that was the world he lived in. If he refused to allow his duty to the guild to rule him, the guild would be done with him.

Too late he understood the warnings.

This is why they all said you should never fall in love.

*********
Please also check out what my writing partner did with this one.

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