• I remember the day I killed my master; the one who took me in when I was just an adolescent child with no family. She was more like a wolf mother than a conventional one. Her name was Raven, and I hold that name in the highest regard.
    It was a freezing cold night, nearing midnight. The first snow was falling gently to the earth like an angel losing it's feathers. There was no wind, no cars on the streets, no noise whatsoever. Just the soft sound of steps crunching the dead frozen grass beneath our feet.
    "Do you remember when I use to bring you here?" Raven asked, her voice at a gentle whisper. I nodded. It was the playground she took me to when I was younger. At first she took me there to get exercise; making me climb up the slide pole, running laps in the sandpit, doing pull-ups on the monkey bars; that sort of thing. She made me do it all for an hour straight, and as I grew stronger, she added an hour.
    By the end of each exercise I was bawling like a baby, my muscles torn and pulsating in extreme pain. This was when she took care of me like a real mother.
    She would pick me up and put me on the swings, gently pushing me and singing a lullaby to me. Throughout the exercise she would yell at me, shoving me with her foot to get a move on and not let up for a second. But at the end of the day, she was suddenly the most loving person on earth. Raven cradled me in her arms, rocked me back and forth on the swings, and sang the same song over and over. Other times she would swing right next to me on the other seat. It was a cycle, and I was always trying to figure out which one she would do next.
    But that only lasted until I was eight...
    Now it's eleven years later...
    And she was the wolf mother twenty-four hours a day. She trained me, toughened me up. She taught me how to defend myself first, then to hunt, and then kill. She didn't teach me about running away or retreating. She taught me that fear is a warning, not a signal to run.
    Right now, my fear was rising to an all-time high.
    "I remember..." she said, raising her hand to her stomach. "When you were this high. I could lift you up with one arm and toss you into the air. Now look at you; rippling with muscles and taller than me. That's not saying much though." A small smirk came out of the corner of her lips. It was true; she was only 5'2. At a mere 5'8 I must have been a giant to her.
    "It was funny when I first took you from that orphanage," she continued. "I was only sixteen, and when I picked you out of the group they wondered why I wanted the 'dirty brown child'. You're not even that dark."
    Her smooth hand stroked my cheek lightly, like if she was saying something behind her touch. "It's like coffee. So that's what I told them. You reminded me of coffee and I wanted you. When they asked for all my information next they found out I wasn't as old as they thought. I told them I didn't have parents they could call, and that's when they figured that I should be in their orphanage too. I refused, of course, and they tried to hold me down."
    And then her dark gray eyes, exactly like mine in every way, lit up. "And that's when I killed them. While all the other kids were crying and running away, you sat there like a retarded baby, smiling and laughing, clapping your little hands. And I suspected, you were special. You're my little retard baby."
    "Gee, thanks," I replied, trying to force a smile. But nothing came. When people start reminiscing about old days, especially their first meeting with someone, it meant some serious was going to happen.
    "You were born a Killer, and I could sense that. Seeing you in an orphanage, thinking about the dull mundane life you could of had...it made me mad. I saw you several times before, playing by yourself and being bullied by the other kids. You were only four. I sort of felt sorry for you, but then I caught you Killing things. And not like a little fat kid stepping on an anthill. You took ants out one by one, picking them up with your finger and decapitating them with your thumbnail. You never Killed all of them. Just the ones you chose. That's how I knew you were a Killer. You knew what to Kill, and when to Kill. Even though we take lives, we do it in control. Not just shooting random people and running. We're not assassins. We're not murderers or policemen either. We're not even soldiers or mercenaries. People can call us demons and monsters, but in truth, we're just Killers, and we Kill. We can't fight, we can't protect; we Kill."
    That's when I realized what she was saying.
    In a flash, she drew her katana–affectionately named the Rook–and slashed at my neck with intent to Kill. It was hidden in her right pant leg, which explains why she was walking around stiffly earlier. I thought it was just an injury I gave her last week. Then that meant she has been planning this for awhile. It almost worked, but it took time to draw her sword, despite her extreme speed.
    I dodged by a wide margin, jumping backwards and drawing my own blade; the katana she gave me when I was thirteen. The Lightning.
    She told me it was the brother to her sword, which would always feel what her blade felt. To me it was a symbol of our connection and bond. Tonight, however, it would mean otherwise.
    "Killers Kill," she said, lowering into her stance. She used her short stature as leverage against taller opponents. It would be harder to hit her. "You know all I know now, kid. Now it's time to let you go into the world...but with me you have to deserve it."
    She slashed downward, missing by inches as I stepped back, but her favorite techniques always came in combinations. She tilted the blade upward and slashed from the bottom up; a move I should have expected.
    An icy sting ran up from the bottom of my chin, over my left eye and halfway up my forehead. A warm liquid began to spill from the cut. At once I knew it was deep enough to leave a scar, and it was going to be a big one.
    "Good boy...you didn't cry..." Raven smiled softly, the mother that once swung me on the swings not five feet away from us coming back...
    Stupid idiot!!
    Raven was smart and dirty, using every trick in the book! That small nostalgia distracted me, and it was all she needed to run me through.
    It was all in slow motion, the tip of her blade coming at my heart in a terrifying motion. It wasn't going to stop. I was convinced that this was my end. I didn't deserve to be called a Killer...I shamed her...this was for the best then. I rather die than live with the guilt of knowing I was weak when she taught me everything...
    But then...she stopped. The blade barely pierced my skin, only scratching me. And on her face was pain...a face I only saw a few times when I cried...she hid that face a lot from me...
    And then it was a face of physical pain.
    When I looked down, my sword was sticking through her body, right through her stomach.
    "No..." I whispered. "Why...why did you stop!?"
    Blood was flowing from her lips; a good sign to confirm a kill...but not this time.
    "For...the same reason you did..." a smile spread across her face. I laid her down gently on the grass, cradling her head in my arms now. "...you're not a Killer...you're a baby...and I don't kill babies..."
    "Raven..." tears began to flow from my eyes. I was furthering the shame I put her through.
    "You're not a Killer yet...Lobo. You're still...my little retard baby..."
    Her hand repeated the same motion as earlier and stroked my face gently. Then she began to sing.
    "Fly my angel, play my love; smile through the tears and laugh through the pain. The world is mean, the people are cruel, but be the light and shine the way. Be strong my baby, be swift my son; you are the one...to add to my none...when I had none...you were my one...fly my angel...and play in the sky...fly to the high...as king of the night..."
    Her voice faded...as did her life...
    That was only two months ago...but I remember it like I just did it two seconds ago...