Bronwynne St. Just’s parents died in a fire. The blaze melted the skin off their bones and turned their eyeballs to soup. Wynne hadn’t been there. She was at school being a good girl that Thursday evening, practicing with the archery team. Her sister, Celeste, saw the last of the fire and tried to save their parents. Celeste, her fifteen-year-old sister, ran, arms flailing, toward the fire-eaten Tudor that had once been their home. Wynne wasn’t there, but she heard the neighbors talking and she imagined.
Orphaned and with no family in Canada, Wynne and Celeste were shipped to the United States with their Aunt Kelia’s family; but they preferred the casual brutality of life on the streets to their cousins’ pity and the contempt of Aunt Kelia’s husband. They grew up quickly then, at twelve and fifteen, hardening their shells to everyone but each other. It came as no surprise to anyone who knew them after the fire that Celeste became a pimp and Wynne embraced the life of a contract killer. She and Celeste were survivors. Their parents would’ve been proud.