Take one or more of your characters, and put him/her/them at a party.
Our Lady of Salvation
Of all the aspects of the party, ball, really -- brightly colored lights (yellow, blue, pink); the swell of the orchestra (notes of the Spanish guitar floating high above all the other noise); smiling women dancing with serious men (somber attitudes misplaced by surrounding frivolity); the smell of the hors devours as waiters pass in front of her (coconut shrimp, jalapeno salsa) – the one thing Riviera remembers most is the fact that her dress would not stop riding up.
The dress was floor-length silk in a shade of blue that reminded her of her childhood home: a shade off of the turquoise blue of the ocean, darker, richer and less green. It shimmered gently as the bright lights bounced up off the freshly waxed marble floor. No matter how slowly she walked, or how she twisted her hips, the dress was insisting on bunching up around her waist, which would almost certainly reveal the .45 Colt she had holstered to the inside of her left thigh. She wasn’t a righty, but the infernal dress had a hip-high slit running up the right side, so she couldn’t strap the gun where it would be most useful.
This is what happens when you let men choose your wardrobe.
She grabbed a glass of champagne from a passing tray to give her hands something to do as she wove her way through the crowd. She had little time to fully scope out the room before her mark would arrive.
Lourdes Paola Amaya Sanchez-Riviera got her first assignment for the DI when she was eighteen years old. You will be a hero they told her. Your efforts will make for a glorious Cuba they claimed. It is so easy to believe when you are eighteen. So she took the tiny 1963 .22 they had provided her, walked straight up to her mark – her classmate, Diego, only-son of a long-time dissident Ricardo Alesandro – and blew him away.
A single revolver-shot to the head quickly became her signature.
Over the years, her techniques had improved, and developed, and gained a semblance of finesse. She had acquired quite the reputation within the agency for getting the job done, no matter how much brute force was required to accomplish it. Five years of assassinations and murders in dark hotel rooms had changed her: twisted and warped, sleeping with a gun under her pillow.
The music changed to something slower, and the lights dimmed as laughing ladies and grave gentlemen stepped closer to each other and began to sway slowly. The crowd was slowly thinning out as couples drifted to their table or the bar or the outdoor patio. She spotted the man she was after – the Director of DI – and turned her back to the room to allow herself a modicum of privacy to remove Sasha, her revolver, from her holster. She used her pearlescent clutch to conceal her weapon before taking long, purposeful strides across the room, the click of her heels against the marble falling in time with the music. His wife was pulled close to his chest as they danced, oblivious to her presence. Riviera calmly walked up behind him before raising her gun, level with his head, and pulling the trigger.
His wife’s bloodcurdling screams caused enough of a distraction for Riviera to make her exit unnoticed.
nt – 3/26/10
Notes: Riviera is a character from Harem, and this is a little back story I decided to write up for her in order to get a better feel for her character.
The DI, or Dirección de Inteligencia, is the main intelligence agency for Cuba. I don’t know if they actually train assassins, but fiction is as fiction does.