The Female Assassin
It was Simon who first brought it to their attention.
"It was on Wikipedia," he told them, as they hung out on the roof and drank beer. "I went and had a look after what Kelly said. And there was all this stuff on there about a failed attempt on Hitler's life back in 1941."
"Failed?" Kelly said. "Fuck off."
"Well, from history's perspective it failed."
"Well, I wasn't gonna fucking kill him, were I? Everyone's always like, if you do that another arsehole's gonna come and fuck it up even worse."
"Yeah, anyway," Curtis said, "what's else it say?"
"I got a book from the library," Simon said, and he knelt to retrieve it from his bag. Holding it as if it were a delicate baby, he handed it to Kelly. She slumped onto one of the deckchairs and produced a pair of glasses. Rudy did a double-take.
"What the balls are those?"
"I have reading glasses, I've always fucking had reading glasses."
"She has," Alisha interjected. "I've seen them."
"It's not like they're fucking private or nothing," Kelly said, and opened the book. She flipped to the page Simon had bookmarked.
"'Ere," she said. "Fuck, there's a whole page about me!" She read it with her mouth open. "Fuck me!" The others gathered around, reading over her shoulder.
"One lesser known attempt on the life of the Fuhrer," Simon read out helpfully, "involved a female assassin, identity unknown-"
"Yeah, she can read, Simon," said Curtis.
"I'm a fucking rocket scientist," Kelly said, "It says, like, of all the mysteries of the Third Reich this is one of the most compellin'." She cleared her throat. "On the morning of September 27th 1940, the Fuhrer was found unconcious in his office- fuck yeah- in a room no-one could've entered without bein' seen. Hitler stated that the would-be assassin was female, Caucasian - that's white, yeah? - in appearance, but spoke a language he didn't know. Hey, fuck that, I speak fucking English!"
"Yeah, fuck that bastard," said Curtis, to general noises of approval all round. "I wish I'd gotten to kick his head in."
"There's more," Kelly said. "No-one was ever able to trace her- me- it says here." She stared into the book. "Says that everyone wanted to know, yeah, why I didn't use a gun or nuffin'. Couldn't, could I? Says that the plan must have been for me to like, beat him to death. Cos it would have been dead humiliating for a Nazi to be manked up by a woman."
"Hitler was a total sexist cunt," Alisha said. "We did it in History."
"Heard 'e was a racist and all," said Rudy, but Kelly drowned him out as she spoke again. "'Cos of the great mystery surroundin' this female assassin, she has gone down in history as one of the definin' figures of the twentieth century." She let out a breath. "Fucking hell!"
"I think we can safely say, 'nice one'." Simon said.
"I second that," said Alisha.
Kelly turned over the page. "There's a picture an' all!"
Simon nodded in agreement as they all looked at it. Rudy snatched the book and turned it upside down. "Don't look a lot like you."
"Looks like some fucking...bimbo or summat," Alisha said. "She couldn't have punched Hitler."
Kelly scowled at it. "What's wrong with looking fucking normal?"
"It gets worse, I'm afraid." Simon said. "There's a movie in development. And a comic book. I saw some concept art for both. They've made you really thin, really blonde-."
"And your boobs are like out to here." Alisha said, gesturing.
"Look what you actually did, though," Curtis said. He'd taken the book. "It says, yeah, that this attempt on Hitler's life spurred other people on. The German resistance and all that. You did something really good."
"Ya bitch," Rudy said, halfheartedly.
Kelly took the book and removed her glasses. "I'm gonna keep this book for a while, yeah?"
"Yeah," Simon said. He hesitated. "Just make sure it goes back to the library, or they'll give me a fine."
Gradually everyone wandered off- Simon and Alisha to their basement, Rudy to buy fags, and Curtis to the bar- but Kelly stuck around where she was and re-read the page, her smile growing wider and wider.
"Fuck yes," she said, and went off to buy a drink.