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Sinister smiles

By: Austina Xu

Sinister smiles laced with desire

They were all that greeted us in the ring

And before we go any further

and our walls are shadowed with red and blue

We sit in a trance of pitiless minds

Waiting for their silence to become eternal

waiting for their silence to become eternal

Perfect Plan

By: Luce Cada 

It was a perfect plan that was born to fail. 

I sat on the ledge of the short brick wall, acting naturally as I sipped on a cup of iced tea. My gaze wandered until it reached the corner where one of my colleagues was, waiting for the right time just as I was. 

T-minus 3 minutes. 

My finger was anxiously tapping away as the seconds ticked down. We were so sure of our plan, so sure of our lead, and no matter how dangerous this person was, we would catch them. Risk everything to bring these people to justice. 

As soon as I saw a familiar figure walk out of the store, my vision tunneled as I focused on his every movement. 

A slight shift of fabric in his pocket revealed the outline of the weapon he was known to use, and a few others who were waiting for him came out of another alley. 

“Go,” I whispered, just loud enough for my mic to catch it, and I leaped off the wall and began to run towards the gang. 

When one of the members looked over and saw me, they started running in the opposite direction. I continued to pursue them and my other colleagues began to appear, one by one, at each spot I’d set them up at. 

We wove in and out of alleyways and defended ourselves as needed, before finally reaching our desired endpoint: a dead end, a place where our drivers would meet us and take them to the station. 

I stepped forward, ignoring the hand hovering over his pocket. “You’re out, sir.” 

“Tch.” His voice was muffled and he hiked his mask up his nose to conceal his face. “That’s what you think.” 

Just as he was about to make a move, I sidestepped and the blaring of police sirens rang like music to my ears. I smirked as his friends’ eyes widened, and in a matter of minutes, we were off to the station. 

I high-fived my colleagues, glad that it was over with. I spared you the details of the real chase. Consider yourself lucky. 

The chase wasn’t what mattered. It was the interrogation. 

I wasn’t the one interrogating him - it was another one of my coworkers. He seemed like a hard man to deal with, and I didn’t know how it went until the next day. 

“Julia.” I turned when I heard my name. A friend stood in front of me, with another familiar face standing beside him. 

“What is he doing here?” I said, dumbfounded and beginning to laugh. “I haven’t seen you in years.” 

“He was the one we caught.” My face fell, eyes hardening as my arms instinctively crossed over my stomach. 

After a while, I finally stuttered, “...You’re our lead? You’re the one we’ve been tracking all this time?” 

“He’s not,” my coworker said. “Our real lead tricked us.” 

“Is… Is he still going to jail?” I said, my voice shaky. I couldn’t tell whether it was the frustration of not being able to find our lead or that this person is someone I know. Or someone that I used to know. 

“For a bit.” I meet my old friend’s eyes, and I can’t read them at all. 

After sacrificing so much time into this case, my so-called perfect plan didn’t work at all.

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