Camouflage, Part II

I have found that between myself and the other Gods and Goddesses dealing in revenge, retribution, justice and vengeance, we have taught the universe how to deal with some of those lesser infractions.

Pushing through the revolving door into the beautiful interior of the high rise building, my heels click over the tiles as I make my way assuredly towards the elevators. My camouflage is impeccable for this setting. My dark hair pinned up at the back of my head, the charcoal tailored jacket and pencil skirt fitting to my body with flattering lines, but not quite crossing over into the realm of sexy. My blouse, softly feminine, the blue contrasting the perfect amount with the grey, showcases my assets as a woman, but still remains conservative and professional. I am not meant to stand out here. I am hunting. I have even taken it to the next level, utilizing the Clark Kent method of hiding in plain sight. I push the dark framed glasses into perfect position on the bridge of my nose and smile perfectly made up lips at the receptionist. 

“Good afternoon, my name is Essie Zephyra, I am here to see Aleesha Scott.” The receptionist gives me a slightly bored but still professional smile, responding with, “Do you have an appointment with Ms. Scott?”

“I do, for 2:30. I am a bit early, I hope that is not a problem,” My pleasant expression stays in place as my power licks out at her to taste. I have not met a being that does not have misdeeds in their lives. Everyone has something that is deserving of my touch, but there are degrees.  I have found that between myself and the other Gods and Goddesses dealing in revenge, retribution, justice and vengeance, we have taught the universe how to deal with some of those lesser infractions. That the energies that the Gods and mortals emit have given a nascent awareness to the universe and it seeks balance above all else. 

My power nips at the girl and she shivers, goosebumps forming on her skin, before it turns away, pulling back to twine close around my body, not finding the feast in this overall innocent that it craves. This is not its prey today.  The receptionist presses a few buttons on the phone and then nods to me. “You can go on up, Ms. Zephyra. Ms. Scott’s office is on the 12th  floor.” I smile warmly and turn away, taking the elevator up.

Exiting on the 12th floor, the decor screams money and elegance, the carpet is thicker than some mattresses, and flower arrangements bring color to the light grey of the walls.  I walk confidently into the office of Aleesha Scott. Ms. Scott has connections throughout the area, the tendrils of her influence felt like a creeping poisonous vine. She has a reputation for being competent, intelligent and incredibly successful at helping new or failing businesses push forward into stability. For a fee. Ms. Scott is also very, very, very wealthy. I have no issue with those that have accumulated wealth, other than in most instances it is gained through the abuse of others.  It does make for a wide pool of those that require my attention, however. At least I have job security. Ha! I should send that message to Zeus. 

Aleesha pushes to her feet as I enter the room, the woman in her late 40’s, trim with a layered razor cut, she moves with the confidence of a being who knows her power and worth.  She could have done so much good, and in some cases she had. Not because it called to her to do so, in fact those deeds of good had rankled her, coming up against her greed and voracious need for conquest. The high for Ms. Scott was not in the success of those businesses, in the betterment of the lives she touched. No, the high for her was in the ability to get away with her deceit and to profit from it. Those instances are more her camouflage than this office and the suit she wears. She has destroyed business after business, gaining the trust of her clients, gaining access to their finances under the guise of helping them achieve their dreams and then she stripped them of everything. The small family business that struggled to find a way to even pay her, pouring everything they had into their effort to succeed, the family now back in a war torn land, struggling to literally survive because they failed in their endeavors to succeed. The founder of a charity to help veterans, sits in jail for embezzlement, his reputation ruined, his family having abandoned him. The old mom and pop corner store that had existed and thrived for years, the owners wanting to expand, only to fail. All of their savings, all of their retirement stripped from them. Left struggling to even maintain enough income to avoid bankruptcy. Their world and those of their family turned upside down. The list went on and on.  No one ever suspected Aleesha, especially those that she tried to “help”. After all, not all endeavors would succeed. A series of unfortunate incidents and bad luck. Aleesha Scott’s evil was not one that came at you head on. Hers was the one that snuck in, quiet and stealthy, hidden so that her victims were never even really aware of the danger, not even after she had struck. A beautiful poison that tasted oh so sweet going down. And now it was time for her to pay. 

My power slunk from around me, stealthy and smooth. A dark shadow focused and hungering.  It had caught the scent now, its favorite prey. It was nearly giddy with glee at being unleashed and it was going to savor this. It wrapped around her, so very subtle as I shook Aleesha’s hand, smiling as we both settled back into our seats. I pulled out the made up papers that laid out a fictitious business plan, my ruse for meeting with her. My power curled around her, consuming the evil of her, twisting it, curling it upon itself until it reemerged as altogether something different. Something that would now only prey upon its host. Aleesha’s only response as my power withdrew was a shifting in her seat and an unsettled expression coming over her face.  My power draped itself back over me like a satiated lazy beast, nearly purring with satisfaction.

I finished up the meeting, left her office and the building, giving a jaunty little wave to the receptionist on my way out. I had spent less than thirty minutes with the woman. And they call Artemis the Goddess of the Hunt — only because they have never seen me take down my prey.

Over the next year, Ms. Aleesha Scott’s world will implode. Every dirty business transaction she attempts to make fails. Somehow, some way, circumstances shift to where she finds herself at a loss and the business she is trying to take down finds itself succeeding. Banking errors occur and money is shifted as charitable donations in her name from offshore accounts. She finds her fortune diminishing day after day. Her reputation flourishing and accolades that she cares nothing for coming her way. She finds her camouflage becoming her true skin and she writhes in its grip to no avail. 

Nemesis (Aisling MacKay)
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