death

Distortion (A Short)

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As I walked through the threshold, of my once childhood home, you could tell that it had been condemned.  It was left behind by the world to fester in its own putrid filth. Blood was still every where. Splattered among the living room walls like an art project. The foul smell of death still permeated throughout the house which caused bile to rise within my throat with every breathe I took. I could hear the rats scampering within the remnants of garbage that was spewed on the floors as I attempted to walk further in. Every little step made me want to turn and run. Every breathe made me want to die.        

When I agreed to revisit my past, I had no idea I’d be physically walking back into it. I guess after the sins committed within the walls of this home, no one would wish to live here again. Why bother removing the damage? They could have at least demolished the house to rid the world of such a disgraced scene. It would have kept me from walking through here now.

But no. Here it stood and here I walked. Reliving every vile memory each time I laid my eyes upon something of familiarity. That may have been the purpose for my visit but it didn’t mean I had to like it.

If my father wasn’t facing a fate worse than death, I would not be here now. He deserved every chance that could be provided to him to avoid his treatment. Especially since he didn’t deserve it. The justice system felt otherwise due to accumulated ‘evidence’ and therefore 15 years later, on April 26, 2042, Ronin Lescalete, was labeled a murderer. 

If they knew my father, even an ounce of him, they would have known he wasn’t capable of the kind of darkness it took to pull off such a feat. They were blind though. Blind with the fury of an unsolved case. My father disappeared that dreaded night, thought to have been disposed of. The more time that passed without finding a culprit or any evidence leading to anyone outside of the house, they began to believe the acts were committed by my father and he fled to avoid capture.

I told them otherwise. I was there. I saw everything. My father and I were cuffed together at the bottom of our stairwell, forced to watch as my sister hung from the ceiling upside down, screaming. Blood dripping off of her body with each tiny slice that monster created. Sprays of blood with each artery he slashed. My brother was next, put out of his misery with a swift jab to the carotid artery and then thrown to the side. Then my mother. Her head nearly taken off with a machete. A clean slice across her neck and then tossed like a rag-doll. My father and I were in shock and clinging onto one another for support. I was only 7 at the time, but I knew what was happening and I knew that I was next. I could tell by the look on my fathers face that he knew it too.

I watched that monster come towards us, preparing to grab his next victim. My dad whispered for me to be brave and held onto me tightly. The second the cuffs were off of me, my dad fought hard. He was still cuffed to the stairs but he did everything he could to give me the time to run. I remember hearing muffled sounds coming from my father as he was being brutally beaten. I tried to drown the world out and focus on the only task that mattered. Getting away.

I accomplished my task, but for what? To spend the rest of my days in fear? In sadness? I went for 15 years believing I was a sole survivor of a horrific event, only to find out that the man who gave his life for me, was still alive. Well, now I have purpose again.

My father emerged on the 15th anniversary of what was eventually dubbed as the “Red Wall Massacre”, bloody, bruised, and unconscious. That same day, another family had fallen victim to the same fates as mine. Obviously the law didn’t take into account coincidences. If they knew my father they would have known better. If they would have listened to me, this wouldn’t be happening. To them, I was a confused, scared, child and they couldn’t take my eyewitness account as creditable evidence.

So, Here I am, standing in the very spot that my sister lost all of her blood. Trying to remember every single little detail. Trying to trigger any little bit in my head that had once been blocked out of that monster. Anything that can help me find this bastard who took my family and my life. Anything to save my father, the man who saved me, from a fate worse than death. To remove the murderer label before time runs out. In previous days that would have gotten you a stint in the local penitentiary for a few years to life. Maybe even the death penalty. Now though, that title will procreate a different outcome. “Distortion”.The new treatment government officials hailed to be the newest miracle cure for the criminally insane. 

At first, the idea of ‘Distortion’ seemed like a breathe of fresh air. A simple injection to take away a persons dark intentions. An injection that would allow jails to be a safer place for rehabilitation instead of a place filled with chaos. It allowed people to be released on probation much quicker which led to less and less over-crowded jails.  When ‘Distortion’ became a natural implement of society, the government became greedy and lazy. Instead of just trying to protect the safety of the citizens from repeat offenders they started to use ‘Distortion’ in attempts to stop the crime before it happened. The idea was a noble one but very unstable. 

It started with lesser offenses and then progressed to simple traffic stops. If you did anything that broke the law in any way, you were subjected to some sort of dose of ‘Distortion’.It may not seem like a bad thing but the treatment did more than take away the bad intentions. It took away all intentions. Depending on the dosage, the outcome varied between feeling overly happy all of the time, to becoming a nullified zombie. It took away the crime but it also took away the purity of the human race. The true happiness, the anger, the fear, the sadness. It took away everything that made us who we were. 

The government has even been in talks about administering the treatment to family members of offenders as well. A new way of stopping the activity before it happens. Apparently criminal activity is now being linked to DNA and treated as a disease. In my opinion, the only true disease of this society is stupidity and power. 

Some how, with this asinine justice system, I needed to find the true murderer before my father fell victim to their new world advances; so that not only would he be safe from ‘Distortion’, but so would I. Maybe in proving their mislead actions of the treatments use, it would help provoke just enough steam for the right people to take action in a proper, long time coming, uprising. 

“Rosalyn!” My fathers lawyer, Cain, yelled my name to pull me away from my thoughts, it was always so easy to get lost there. 

I was surprised Cain was even here helping, but I think he just felt obligated, once being a friend of the family. It wasn’t very often nowadays that lawyers even existed. Since the treatment, the system was finding their way around trials and therefore no longer needed legal representation. With my fathers case being 15 years old, Cain made a scene declaring that since society was not as “advanced” then “Ronin Lescalete deserved the proper trial of his time but if found guilty would be administered the current punishments.” I still don’t know how Cain pulled that one off because in my opinion he was just spouting off nonsense. It’s not like “Distortion” wasn’t in the regiment 15 years ago and already phasing out the system. Some how, Cain must have had some sort of clout with the big guys in the government. I didn’t bother to ask questions.

I shook my head slightly and turned towards Cain, who was still standing at the front door. I doubt he wanted to risk getting anything on his fancy shoes. He was always one for fashion, even during the days when it was frowned upon. He practically lived in a 3 piece suit. I wasn’t one to complain though. He may have been twice my age but I couldn’t deny the appeal oozing off of him. “Yeah?”

“We really shouldn’t be here. Just look at this place. If I would have known, I wouldn’t have allowed this.”
I walked over towards Cain with ferocity gleaming in my eyes and crunching noises beneath my feet “You wouldn’t have allowed this? I hate to tell you this Cain but you have no control over me. I greatly appreciate your assistance with my father but unless you have any other better ideas, I suggest you just keep your mouth shut. I’m going to do anything I possibly can to help find this person. I really don’t care what you have to say about it or even what the government says about it. I am breaking no laws here so you all are free to go to hell.” I turned back around and started walking throughout the house. Scanning every possible inch that could possibly provoke a reaction to my thoughts.

I started to hear movement behind me and I could tell that Cain finally choked up the nerve to dirty his image a bit. “You’re right. Lets do this then.” He put his hand on the small of back and started to ease me forward slightly. He wanted to show me that I had him for support. I was just happy he didn’t keep arguing with me. “You know Ros, just because we are here, doesn’t mean something is going to happen. There is no guarantee that anything will trigger a lost memory. This could all be a waste of time”

I shivered slightly at being called “Ros” but I ignored it for it was not the time to complain of unwanted nicknames. I just looked up at Cain’s 6’1” body towering over my 5’4” and tried to find his dark blue eyes that I remembered he had. He was too focused on what was ahead of him, so I returned to the same. “Thank you Mr. Negativity. I appreciate your words of wisdom” I rolled my eyes and continued my study.

If I were to be completely honest with myself, I didn’t have a whole lot of faith in what I was trying to accomplish either. It was a long shot but it may have been my only shot.

Thirty minutes later and I had felt defeated. I was standing at the stairwell and just collapsed onto the bottom step. I didn’t even care about the filth I was putting myself in. Nothing happened and nothing was going to. It was useless. “You were right. We shouldn’t have came. This was just a waste of time.”

I looked up in the direction of where I had seen Cain standing, out of the corner of my eye, but he was gone.

I wasn’t unlocking memories but I was obviously going insane. Just a short time back in this house and I was already losing my mind. I guess it was inevitable really.

“Cain!” I tried to yell loud enough for him to hear me from any part of the house. When I received silence as my response, I figured he wasn’t actually in any part of the house. He must have gone outside. I didn’t blame him one bit.

I started to join him when I heard a creaking noise coming from up the stairs. I hadn’t thought once about going up there since my missing memories were all linked to this level of the house. Now, my curiosity was going to get the best of me and detour my thoughts into a direction that would snuff out any chance of remembering what I had lost.

I slowly crepe up the stairs and continued to listen for any other sounds. When I reached the top step I could hear something coming from my parents old bedroom. I made my way towards the room half expecting a giant rat to come running towards me. Instead of a rat, I found Cain walking out carrying a box.
“What are you doing up here?”

“Just looking around for some old memories of my own. I actually found an unopened package sitting on your fathers old desk. Here.” Cain handed me the box and I began to tear off the tape to see what was inside.

“Cufflinks. Huh. I wonder why he never opened them.” I flipped them around in my hand to view them better and then began to hand them over to Cain. “Here. You should take these. You were his friend and you also have more of a use for them then I would.” I dropped them in his hand and turned to walk back down the stairs.

“Ros, wait. Are you sure?”

There it was again. I cracked my neck and ignored it the best I could. “Yeah, of course Cain.”
I continued my trek back down the stairs, thinking it was time to head out. As I reached the bottom, I decided to wait for Cain to join me. As I waited, I glanced around my old home, one last time. I would never allow myself to walk back into these walls once I walked out of them, I knew that. I also knew that my chances of helping my father were now non existent. Another painful acknowledgment I had to continue to live with.

As Cain reached the bottom steps, I headed towards the exit with a huge sigh escaping my lips.

“Its alright Ros, at least you tried. That’s what counts.”

I stopped at the door and glanced back at his face. “Ya know, I never really liked that.”

“Liked what?”

“Ros. I don’t like being called that. Ever since…” But I couldn’t remember. There was a reason why I hated that, I knew it, but I couldn’t make it come forward. I cocked my head to the side while still looking at Cain, trying to rattle something lose. He started to narrow his eyes in my direction and then placed his hands in his pockets while tilting his head back to me. “Since, I don’t know.” I couldn’t fight the feeling that it was time to leave the house now. I turned quickly and started to take that last step away from my past.

Within seconds, instead of fresh air on my face, my back was to a wall and a knife was to my throat as he gripped me tightly so I couldn’t escape. I never saw it coming but maybe I should have. Ros, that was it. That was the trigger, and now, with his eyes staring into mine and the feel of cold steel on my throat, I saw it all.

“It was you.” I furrowed my brows and glared back into his deceiving eyes. Even with a knife to my throat and arms around my waist I still wouldn’t stop looking for answers.

“Why kill them?”

“I was bored?” He shrugged his shoulders and chuckled. “Why would I tell you anything? Why give you the satisfaction of knowing? No. I’d rather keep you wondering until the day you die.”

“In like a minute? That sounds like pure torture.”

“Such a smart mouth Rosalyn. Even at a time like this, your sarcasm seeps through. I actually have something far better than death for you my dear. Since I have lost access to my previous test subject, you will now be as so kind to take his place. With a murder under your belt, that will be easy to accomplish. All will be well once again within the Faction. Close your eyes dear it’ll be over soon.”

“You’re full of shit Cain. I’ve never killed anyone and I will not be reduced to becoming a test subject.”

“Whatever darling. You have and you will. You just don’t know it yet. I have many powers and persuasion is probably the best.”

I tried to turn my head to the side so I no longer had to look in his eyes. The second I moved though, I could feel the blade begin to slice upon my throat. I knew I had no way out. “Please just tell me what happened then.”

“So I’m supposed to give you my big confession now? Give you every ounce of ammunition that I have to be used against me? Why the hell not, right? You won’t be getting out of this anyway.” He gently cleared his throat and continued his egotistical ramblings. “Your father and I were close friends until Distortion came into the picture. When things started to really take off for it, they offered your father and I jobs in the research department for Distortion. They thought that lawyers who already had first hand experience with criminals would come in hand. We both accepted the jobs and within doing so, started the creation of the Faction. When we learned more about the advancements they had planned to make in the coming years, Ronin wanted to back out. Those a part of the Faction agreed that we obviously couldn’t have that. He knew too much of what was planned.”

“So your plan was to kill us all? The Faction? The ones who we have been told are supposed to be so against any and all crime?”
“Well no, the plan was to threaten the deaths of your family to get your father to comply. I thought he would listen to me. His long time friend, but no. So the torture began. I had intended to make it stop but it seemed like something inside of me awoke and not only couldn’t I stop it, I didn’t want to. I enjoyed every bit of it. The slicing, the screaming, and most of all, the blood dripping.

I cringed and felt my stomach gurgle. I wanted to vomit but I also wanted to keep him talking. If this was the end of the line, it would be nice to at least have some closure.

“And my father? Why not kill him like the rest?”

“That’s the fun part. I made an executive decision to keep him alive to run diagnostics on. It was brilliant really. I mean how else were we going to make advancements without test subjects? Over the past 15 years I have accomplished a lot. I have turned the Faction into a completely separate unit of the government. It has turned into something no one ever expected but everything the world needs. A new face for the world and I am in control of that. Your father almost ruined it all for me.”

“Why’d you let him go then?”

“Ronin? I didn’t. He escaped. You would have thought after so many years he would have given up on that. He was always strong willed though. I should have known really. However, the Distortion was too strong in his system to make it very far. It was the Factions responsibility to get to him first since we let him escape but for some reason, that didn’t happen.”

“The other murders then?”

“That was me. I had taken a small dose of Distortion after I killed your family so I could rid myself of those nasty little thoughts. I mean, I couldn’t very well build greatness if I was constantly thinking about taking peoples lives, now could I? Things were obviously going great but the thoughts and feelings, well, they started to return. I decided to make use of a bad situation. I figured if we were going to lose our test subject then we’d better make sure there was no doubt in anyone’s mind. He had to be put away and kept on Distortion.”

“If you knew that he was going to be locked up indefinitely then why did you even interfere with his case? Why stand up in defense of his name?”

“You started snooping. I Couldn’t take any chances. It was bad enough we had to worry about Ronin spouting off nonsense. I mean, no one would believe him but why risk everything we had been working towards? It seemed like you weren’t going to accomplish much but you surprised me. Its my fault really. How stupid of me to continually use a name I once called you whilst destroying your family. I was worried that you being here alone would have sealed my fate, but in the end, I sealed my own. Its okay. I really do need a new test subject anyway.”

He let go of my waist and in a matter of seconds I felt a pinch in my neck and then all there was, was darkness.
…..

I slowly opened up my eyes feeling as if I had been sleeping for days. I couldn’t even move because my body was strapped down to a bed. I tried to lift my head up slightly to get a glimpse of my surroundings but I was quickly pulled back down by a nest of wires connected to my head and body.

“Oh good. You are finally awake. Guards, its time to arrest her now and get her prepared for her treatment.”

“What!” I frantically tried to get up again but i was restrained by two men wearing all black uniforms.

“Please calm down Ms., you are just making this harder on yourself.” The woman was speaking from somewhere within the room but I couldn’t tell from where.

I didn’t understand what was going on. Why were these guys being told to arrest me. What had Cain done?

The men started tearing off the wires and lifting me off of the bed and carrying me across the room. I started kicking and screaming with ferocity. There was no way I was just going to give up now. “Someone tell me what the hell is going on! Why are you doing this?”

“Because of the induced simulation. We implanted memories in your head to produce possible reactions. Don’t you remember Ms. Lescalete? You did sign the papers after all. You knew this as a possible outcome.”

There was a brunette woman standing up from the desk across the room. She just stood there, staring at me. I was so confused and an explanation of an induced simulation just made everything even worse. The last thing I remembered was Cain holding me. How did that, become this. “What are you telling me?”

In that second, in walks Cain. Still in his three piece suit. “Ms. Lescalete, its so wonderful for you to have finally woken up. We thought maybe we lost you to your other reality.”

“Cain, you bastard. Get me out of here!.” I started screaming violently and glanced towards the brunette “He killed my family! Please.”

Everyone just started laughing at me. They either didn’t believe me or they were all under Cain’s thumb. I would have moved more towards the latter.

“Rosalyn dear, my name is not Cain.” I stared at him blankly not sure what he was trying to pull. “My name is Adam.”

“No.” I shook my head vigorously “You’re lying. All of this is a lie! There was no simulation. Everything that I know in my head, is real! Where is my father?”

Cain shook his head as if he were feeling sad for me “You really remember nothing, do you? Rosalyn, you don’t have a family my dear. They died during a house fire when you were a child. You were at school when it had happened. When you lost your family you were taken in by the Evangeline Church where the sisters took care of you and raised you. It saddens me to see this now. After being raised the way you were and still simulating crime. Oh Rosalyn.”

Cain looked toward the men still holding my arms. “Go ahead and take her away.”

“Wait, no, please. What is going on?” I was pleading at this point. Had I really lost my mind? Is this the truth?

Cain held his hand up for them to hold off and then walked over to the desk to pull out a piece of paper. “This is the signed form you’ve given to allow us to perform said simulation on you. The simulation was to tell rather or not you would be capable to commit a crime in the future.”

“What?”

“Its something we are beginning to implement into the society as a new standardized test. You volunteered to help test the injection based simulation.”

“I would have never of done that!”

Cain then shoved the paper he pulled from the desk, into my face. “This signature says otherwise.”

“No! There is no way.”

Cain walked away again to sit the paper back down. “You really are too far gone for explanations. The bottom line here is, because you agreed to these terms, you will now be put on our highest dose of Distortion and put in a facility.” He walked towards me once again. “You committed murder during your simulation. It shows that you are capable of such and now we are obliged to put a stop to that. Don’t you want to put a stop to that? To protect other people from yourself? I mean, isn’t that why you signed the paper in the first place?”

“No. This isn’t happening. There is no way I would have agreed to something like that.”

“Adam, what would you like us to do?” One of the guards asked while tightening his grip on my arm.

Cain,(or perhaps, really Adam) waived his hand in the air. “Take her away for good this time gentlemen”

I couldn’t help but wonder just how I was able to forget all of this. There was my signature though, right on that paper. I signed it. This is all really happening. Who was I?

As they dragged me past Adam, he smirked towards me and then tilted his head down to my ear.

“Cain really is a better fitting name though, isn’t it my dear? By the way, these Cufflinks go perfect with this suit.” He flashed his wrist in my line of sight so I could see them before he started laughing and walking away.

I was speechless. I couldn’t even scream as they continued to drag me right out of the room.

It was over. I failed. I knew Cain had pull with the government and practically built the Faction but I never expected something like this. A scheme so advanced that he nearly fooled me too. He really was a monster. He took my family. Now he has taken me. Soon with the new advances of Distortion, he will find a way to take over all of the people of the new world. Distortion was a beginning to an end.

A Burning Revenge – Part III

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Part III is finally here!! See how Brick’s revenge is coming along……
     Walking the streets of Manizales was probably the worst thing Brick could possibly be doing right now. He really couldn’t afford to be out in the open but he needed a few more fittings to make his idea come to life. The risk of exposure was worth finding the essential parts that would build the device that would put an end to the diabolical human lives that caused him pain.

     After some time wandering, trying to remain incognito, Brick was able to collect all of his pieces to create his own instrument of burning death. A homemade flamethrower. 

     It was a thing of beauty. It wasn’t high tech and it wasn’t perfect but knowing the damage it would create is what made the finished sight a true artistry vision. He couldn’t have asked for a better weapon to accomplish his task, for after Brick saw Juan’s hit-man within the flames engulfing his hotel room, he knew that would be the way he would see Juan die as well. It was only fitting since his beloved Genie had been taken from him in the same manner. An eye for an eye has always been a motto Brick understood since working with the CIA but he never truly made it apart of his own personal life until he felt his own building heat escape through the cracks of his broken heart. 

     It had been mere days since Brick watched Genie’s flesh smolder among the flames in the home they once shared. It felt like years however since Brick never once stopped thinking about it. Sixty seconds per minute with sixty minutes per hour, twenty four hours a day with seven days a week, all lead to far more seconds in Bricks lifetime that he had wished to relive the worst moments of his life. He spent a lot of those seconds wondering how Genie would feel about his plans to smite those that took her. He wondered if she would disapprove. At the end of every one of those thoughts though, he offered his own view. He was a killer. Genie never knew that about him but he knew it and he couldn’t hide that fact from himself. He lived his life killing those who wronged others in some way and even though this wouldn’t be a government sanctioned act, he couldn’t not provide the kind of action that had always been expected of him. An assassin to the core and he would not, could not, change that now. He only hoped that if Genie could see him now, she would understand. 

____
     Dressed in all black from head to toe, even donning a black ski mask as well for initial camouflage, and a homemade flamethrower attached to his back, his silhouette was as daunting as any monster you would see stalking within the night. His looks were nothing unusual to him but the feelings within his chest had become a new found beast that he was fighting to rein in, at least for the time being. After all of Brick’s planning, there was no way he wanted anything to be spoiled before he could even get inside of Juan’s compound. Everything had to be carefully calculated so that his own death didn’t come before his more important burning revenge. Brick was most definitely ready for this and even if he wasn’t, he no longer had a choice. He could feel the constant rumbling within his chest letting him know the beast within would not be tamed any longer and who was he to deny the beast what he so rightfully sought after? It was time to begin. 

     Juan Escobar, the self proclaimed drug lord, would undoubtedly be expecting Brick to make a move on his compound. Juan had to of known by now that his hit-man had failed his assassination attempt. Even so, the extra man power that Juan would have certainly employed to guard his property and himself, was no match for the training and resilience that Brick had on his side. Brick hid behind trees and rolled in-between the multiple spotlights shining throughout the grounds. It felt as if he were attempting to break into a prison, something Brick had previously and successfully done in his past. There were a few guards that were on patrol but they had seemed to be more interested in cigarettes and chit chat verses proper guarding techniques. Needless to say, they were easy to sneak around. 

     Brick reached, what seemed to be, the last piece of shrubbery on the grounds before the entrance to Juan’s mansion was the only place left to go. 

There were two men standing like statues on both sides of the entryway armed with semi automatics on their sides. Both men were built in the same manner as the hit-man that approached Brick in his hotel. They were well over 6 feet and exhibited tattooed covered bodies and bulging biceps. A small challenge to get pass had anyone but Brick tried. Foreseeing the amount of added security, Brick made sure to bring backup to his flamethrower. He reached down to his ankle and unholstered his PT-1911 while simultaneously grabbing a suppressor from his other. A few twists and another few more seconds allotted for aiming before two shots were swiftly fired. There was only silence as Brick watched the bullets pierce through the skulls of the men that were once standing in his way. There was no waiting for their death, it was instant, and their slumped bodies with pooling blood from their bullet wounds on the door mat, confirmed that even more. 

     A quick search of his surroundings to ensure there was no one else around, and then without falter, Brick stepped over the fallen bodies and through the threshold to his final destination. Whilst inside, Brick continued his spy tactics as he made his way through to the top of the mansion scouring for Juan. A few henchman appeared as he made his way throughout but were swiftly dealt with by either a quick choke-hold causing enough air loss for unconsciousness or a silenced bullet to the head. It was all a cake walk for Brick after spending almost 20 years within the CIA on missions just like this one. The only difference was this time around was that this job was personal. Brick could feel the difference inside of his chest with every step that he took. His heart began to beat faster the closer he came to the closed doors to which he knew Juan was behind. His heart wasn’t beating out of fear though, it was racing with anticipation.
     It was eerily quiet as Brick approach the double doors which led to the only room left within the house. Kicking the doors open and then standing back, he peered around the corners of the door frame expecting an explosion of gunfire in retaliation. All Brick saw was and empty room with Juan sitting behind a giant marble desk.

     “I see you’ve managed to pass my men.” Juan was cold and emotionless as he sat with a straight back and firm expression. 

     “It was rather anticlimactic actually.” Brick made a notable gesture of glancing throughout the room. “I mean, I was half expecting a room full of guards or at the very least for you to be greeting me with a M-16A1 machine gun and asking me to say hello.” Brick smirked and tilted his head to the side awaiting for a response.

     Juan chuckled a bit and then stood up from his chair. “I think that would have been a bit cliché but yes, I see the humor there. Next time?” It was Juan’s turn to cock his head to the side.

     “I don’t think there will be a next time Juan.”

     “I figured as much. Which is why it’s just me here. If you were able to get through all that was bestowed upon you as just one man than I surely deserve whatever you’ve planned. You’re definitely a worthy adversary and knowing my father was killed by you makes it sting a little less.”

     Brick was taken aback by the words he was hearing. He didn’t know how to react or respond. Was this a ruse to gain sympathy? If so, it was actually working slightly. How was he to end Juan’s life as he just stood before him unarmed and full of praise, practically asking for death? 

     “You’re full of shit Juan. Should I really stand here and believe that you are okay with me killing you? That you are now all of a sudden at peace with your fathers assassination? You are doing nothing but trying to gain the upper hand and make me falter in my decision. Revenge is a powerful thing Juan. You already know that though since you’ve proactively attempted to take yours on me.”

     Juan’s mouth tips up a little on the side and his eyes begin to gleam. “You truly are talented. You’re right. I still smell the stench of copper every time I think of my father. I still taste the sourness of revenge on my tongue as I awake daily. For such a short time though, that taste of revenge was sweet and I would love nothing more than to have that back now. I have just been trying to buy some time for the back up that is now arriving through the front gates.” Juan allows a sinister laugh to escape from his mouth. “So that at least if I don’t make it out of here, I’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that neither will you.”

     Brick should have known the tactic. Should have seen it a mile away. He never faltered on a mission before, but of course, this was different than any other. Brick had only seconds to make his decisions and he had to make them knowing he would soon be bombarded by more henchman as he attempted to flee. He glanced around the room once more and then remembered his work of art strapped to his back. He knew exactly what he would do now. 

     Gun in one hand and his other now wrapped around the nozzle to his flamethrower, he shot out both of Juan’s knee caps with one swift motion. With his swiftness, Juan never saw it coming. “I think it’s time to end the banter. Thanks for the heads up but I know that I’ll be the only one receiving revenge tonight. Morirás ”

     Juan lay on the ground unable to move, staring up at Brick in disbelief. He obviously thought he had more time, a way out. There was no more waiting though, not for Brick. If he wanted to get out alive, he had to do it now. 

     With one sweep of his arm across the room, the place was now engulfed with the flames that spewed forth from the flamethrowers nozzle. There was no escape for Juan for he could no longer walk. He would burn alive in that room. 

     Closing the doors behind him, he made his way back out the way he came. As he moved throughout the house Brick proceeded to light everything he saw in flames so that when he would look behind, he felt as if he were walking straight out of hell. 

     Stray men had begun to make their way towards him as he made his departure but just as when he came in, he made quick disposal of them. With a bullet to their head or a flame covered body, each person he came across was disposed of. Some he even just injured so that they could feel the wrath of the flames licking away at their skin.

     He finally made his way out the front doors and into the fresh air leaving behind the mass destruction he had created. He lit the front of the house up and then through his flamethrower into the flames that it had created. There was a small explosion as it was tossed within and Brick smiled as he turned and walked further away from the fire. He was far enough away to be clear of debris so he turned back around to look upon what damage he brought upon his enemy. At that moment he felt relief. 

     It was over. He fell to his knees in one swift movement and let out a gut wrenching moan. Slowly his moans became louder and louder until they turned into screams and heavy sobs. Tears began to stream down his face with a fierce conviction. Brick finally felt a weight lift off of his shoulders and began to feel a sense of peace as he watched Juan Escobar’s mansion burn to the ground with his still beating heart within. He even thought he could hear the faint screams of Juan and a few of his men as their flesh continued to burn from their bodies. Guttural sounds that once broke Bricks heart, now brought him a sense of twisted pleasure. Screams of the damned. Screams of the condemned and the soulless filling the air as they welcome their own just desserts for the lives they had chosen. The screams quickly faded though as well as the peace Brick had begun to feel.

     He heard it before he felt it; the click of a P226 glock’s hammer being cocked back, right behind him. The standard sidearm of choice for US government agencies, was now being nudged into the back of his head, locked and most certainly loaded. Brick quickly turned his abundance of tears into menacing cackles. His laughter continued to grow as he slowly began to stand up.

     “Not even five fucking minutes of happiness. You couldn’t even give me that? You are one sad son of a bitch Rialdo.”

  

Enmity Amongst Souls – Part I

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(I’ve been keeping this one under wraps for some time because I just haven’t had it in me to finish part II. However, I’m desperate to post something, lol. Hopefully my brain will start working soon. In the meantime, please like my blog and my Facebook page “Here”. Thank you for your support in my writing journey and even through my severe blocks. I hope you enjoy this short about a war on the horizon. Not even fully declared and already there are casualties.)

Enmity Amongst Souls – Part I

“même dans la mort tu es ma vie”

I let a tear slip down my cheek and then I slowly slid my hand over Kerri’s lifeless eyes to close her lids. I could no longer bare to look into her once brilliant blue eyes to only be greeted with emptiness where so much life used to reside. 

I began to cradle her head once more when I started to feel a tug on my upper arm. I tried so hard to avoid it. Whatever was pulling me away, I just couldn’t let it. I couldn’t be taken from Kerri. Not even in death. For even though she lay in my arms, no longer responsive, she was still the life that flowed within my veins.  

“We have to go…” Words were said but they came through more like small whispers upon the wind being carried from miles away. There was a nagging in the back of my mind though that was telling me otherwise. I continuously tried to shut it out but as another tug came upon my arm, it was bolted forward once again.

“We have to go now Grayson. More will be coming.” I shook my head vigorously and yanked my arm back. No. I was not leaving. I would not leave. 

I began to hold Kerri even tighter refusing to let her go. “Dammit Grayson, I’m not going to let you stay here to die. They will come. Let’s go.”

An even more forceful tug came, causing me to drop Kerri’s head from my arms and snap my mind back to a slice of reality. 

Cam wanted me to go. He wanted me to leave the reason for my life behind me. To run from what took that life from me. They would come. I knew they would too but I just couldnt budge. 

“No. I won’t. I can’t leave her.” I frantically gathered up her head once more and laid it upon my lap. 

“I will drag your fucking ass down this alley. Grayson, she’s gone. Okay? I’m so sorry but we can’t just sit here and allow for grieving right now. She did not die so that you can just sit here and weep until they killed you too. Get the hell up and let’s go.”

Tears pooled out of my eyes and trickled down my cheeks landing upon Kerri’s pale, still, face. I stared blankly at the drops knowing full well that my best friend, my partner, was right. She was gone. She sacrificed herself for me and I shouldn’t allow that to go unnoticed. Her life would always reside inside of me so why could I not walk away? 

“I just can’t leave her body Cam. It’s not right.”

“If you don’t, you’ll body will be next to hers. You know she wouldn’t want that. Take my hand. We have to go.” Cam held out one hand to me and put his other to his head, cringing in pain. “I feel them getting close. We are running out of time.”

I glanced back at Kerri and then slowly began to lay her head on the ground as I slipped out from under her. I took Cam’s hand and rose to my feet. “Yeah, okay. You’re right man.” I stifled back the rest of my tears and tried to shift the focus of my mind. 

I knew a war had been brewing between the Sans Couer and the Chasseurs Sans Âmes but I didn’t realize that it had finally hit it’s all time high until today. I knew we weren’t ready to fight the Sans Couer at the level they were exhibiting, so I wasn’t quite sure what we were going to do. The Âmes had a lot to prepare for and without Kerri, our strongest sorcière and love of my life, we were all as good as dead. 

Even beginning to flee now, I had that feeling in my gut that we would all eventually be laying in a pool of our own blood, and on the cold hard ground, by the end of this war. This would eventually be all for naught. 

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A Burning Revenge (Part II)

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Part II is finally here! Brick has come to terms with the previous tragic events that stole his life and now his mind is set on figuring out the final form of his revenge. What will be next for Brick and how will he decide to make his enemies pay?
-Part II-

-1 week later-

Sitting upon the balcony of his hotel room, Brick was finishing his coffee and spacing out into the burning flame of a candle that was sitting on the table beside of him. Plans of revenge for Genie’s death, repeatedly bounced throughout his mind. He began to plan a number of different scenarios of which he could choose from when the time arose; which would be soon. Under normal circumstances Brick would have had an arsenal at his disposal if he had ever needed it, but now, he was on his own no matter what. Luckily, he had enough rage inside of him to push him through anything that arose. He would succeed on his own. 

Brick already knew his target, which is what led him to his current whereabouts in South America. It was obvious once he put the pieces together. He didn’t deal with many people who were capable of getting their hands on the type of explosives it took to demolish his house, and life. Brick knew how easy it was for Escobar to procure the means to accomplish the task he had, which was his own form of revenge.

Juan Escobar was a self proclaimed drug lord living in the shadows of the Norte del Valle Cartel after all of the original members dissipated. He was also the alleged son of Wilber Varela, a leader of said cartel, whom Brick was sent to dispose of many years back. Without a doubt, Brick knew that Juan, or men of which he employed, were behind his tragedy. Juan wanted revenge and had apparently been lying years in the wait for it. The only thing Brick didn’t understand is how Juan came about the knowledge that he was the one who had pulled the trigger. Varela was a sanctioned “mark” through the CIA and Brick was very good at his job, therefore, there really could only be one explanation. It wasn’t like the CIA would just allow information like that to slip out into the open; so not only did Brick have to worry about Juan and his self proclaimed Colombian drug lord title, he had to worry about the people he worked for. People that were close to him. There was an obvious leak within the CIA which meant it was best for Brick to finish this job as quickly as possible. 

A knock at the door stole Brick away from his detrimental thoughts and caused him to sigh in annoyance. He definitely wasn’t expecting anyone, to the world, Brick Regarde was supposed to be a pile of ash and Jose Santiago was the gentlemen residing in this hotel room. So who in the hell is Mr. Santiago receiving a visit from? Brick crept towards the door and grabbed his PT-1911 off of the table as he walked by. He took the safety off and cocked the hammer back as a precaution as he leaned in to listen through the door. Another knock came, followed by a voice.

“¿Hola? Servicio de habitaciones!”

Brick sighed in relief but was still hesitant to open the door. Too many years of training had taught him better than that. Without knowing for sure rather or not this was truly room service, he had to do something.

“No gracias. Por favor, vuelva más tarde.” A quick reassurance that room service was not needed should be enough for them to walk away. If they remained, well, there would be more trouble then he was hoping for.

Seconds later footsteps could be heard walking away back down the hall. Room service after all he thought; he lowered his gun and began to tuck it into he back of his pants as he started to walk away. Just as a sigh of relief had managed to escape his lips, something had crashed out on the balcony where Brick was once sitting. Quickly looking in that direction, and reaching for his gun once more, Brick was ready for whatever had just arrived.

Brick was ready but he wasn’t expecting what he saw. The table that was sitting on the balcony was now knocked over and the candle that had once been upon it, had fallen off. There was a fire now beginning to burn before his eyes as the candle’s flame caught the bottom of the cotton curtains that hung upon the patio doors. He chalked it up to a gust of wind but he felt in his gut that something was wrong.

Running to find something to snuff the fire out, Brick caught a glare out of the corner of his eye and followed his gut instinct to duck and roll behind the nearest piece of furniture. Within seconds of moving out of the way, a gunshot rang throughout the room and sliced through the air of where he was once standing. Someone knew that Brick was alive and had come to make sure the previous botched job was taken care of. 

With his PT-1911 still in hand, he peered around the couch he was behind and let a shot loose towards the man that was hiding on the balcony. Brick could see his arm peeking out from behind the building flames of the curtains and continued to aim for whatever he could hit. The assailant moved back and then quickly reappeared to fire back causing Brick to veer back into hiding. They continued to fire upon each other until Brick heard a grunt of pain and a clattering on the ground. 

Cautiously coming out from his shielding, Brick could see a bodily mass laying in the patio door way. At least six foot seven inches, three hundred pounds and a body covered in tattoos, he could tell this was definitely one of Juan’s hit-men. He walked closer, gun still aimed toward the body, in attempts to see if he were still breathing. He was. Brick rolled the body over to see his face and was greeted with wide eyes. Immediately Brick stood up, put his foot to his throat and aimed his gun towards his face.

“Did Juan send you?” Brick needed some official answers and this may have been his only chance to get them.

The hit-man just quirked his mouth to the side and smiled allowing blood to drip out upon his face. Brick forcefully shoved his boot harder on his throat causing him to gurgle and choke on his own blood. “Quiero respuestas. ¿Quién te envió, y que es su informante?” 

Silence fell upon the room as Brick’s questions were still going unanswered. “Ahora!” He yelled, desperately seeking his answers.

Another smile gleamed across the bloody mess that was laying before him, but this time, words followed as well. “Juan will watch you burn. Rialdo will see to that. He..” A cough escaped his mouth followed by another gurgle of blood “He will have revenge. We… never stop. Morirás.”

His eyes fluttered shut, his head fell to the side, and blood pooled from his mouth. He was gone. His last words would not go unnoticed but to Brick, he knew them to be lies. As he shoved the bodily mass a few inches over into the still burning flames on the curtains, he knew who would really be the ones to burn. 

Brick grabbed his things and made his way to the door. He leaned up against the entryway and stared back among the flames. He watched as the body ignited in a blaze of light and the smoke began to carry the stench of burnt flesh. He sighed in relief at the slight feeling of accomplishing part of his task for revenge. A fallen enemy lay before him burning in the same kind of flames that had stolen Genie. Some how, that made everything better. He now knew exactly how Juan would pay with his life and it made him actually smile. He also knew he would even extend that courtesy to Rialdo. That backstabbing bastard would pay with the rest. It wasn’t Brick that was going to burn. It wasn’t him that was going to die. It was him though, that would relinquish that unto all of those who had a hand in destroying his life. It was him alone that would watch them all burn.

 

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Wishing Upon a Star

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After Mikey overhears his buddy, Brett, reciting nursery rhymes he antagonizes him for being the softest All Star Quarterback ever. Little did he know, Brett had a secret, and was simply trying to keep a promise which lead to questions only the universe knew the answer to. 

——–

“Starlight, star bright, first star I see tonight”

Was that Brett that I heard reciting nursery rhymes? It couldn’t be. I must be hearing things. I finished my trek down to the basement with my six pack in hand. Maybe I already had a few too many because now, at the bottom of the stairs, I swear I could still hear Brett.I

“I wish I may, I wish I might…”

Oh, it definitely was, and I just couldn’t help myself. “Get some ass, by the end of the night” I shouted in the midst of my laughter as I made my way to Brett who was staring out of the sliding glass door.

Brett turned and glared at me. Apparently that was not how the rhyme went.

“Way to be mature, asshole.”

“Really Brett? You’re the one singing to stars. Where is the maturity there?” I pulled out a beer and handed it off before I plopped myself on the couch in front of the TV. 

“You’re always so quick to judge Mikey. Its your ultimate flaw man.”

“Aww, did I hurt your feelings? Now you have to start talking about my flaws to make yourself feel better? Dude, you’re a 22 year old, all star quarterback, who is currently being looked at for the upcoming draft.”

“So? Was there a point in that last statement?”

“The point is, you shouldn’t be singing to the fucking stars at night man.”

“Mikey, I swear, you are so damn single minded. Do you even care as to maybe WHY I was doing that.” Brett huffed and slumped onto the couch at the opposite end.

I shrugged “Because deep down your rapport for childish things turns you on? Or maybe you’re just secretly gay?”  

“Because even if I were gay, that would provoke me to sing to stars? You’re full of shit Mike. How about my rapport towards my little sister?”

Brett raised an eyebrow in my direction and then turned to focus on the game. I really felt like I screwed the pooch on this one. I screw up often but it just felt different this time. I felt an ache in my chest and a severe case of guilt began to settle on my conscience. “I didn’t know you had a sister.”

He glanced back at me swiftly but I could still tell I had upset him. His eyes were bloodshot and glassy with droplets forming in the corners. “I don’t… Not anymore.”

Now I really felt like a piece of shit. I shook my head and almost teared up myself. “I’m really sorry… I…”

Brett reached out and gave me a playful punch in the arm. “Its alright. You didn’t know. I shouldn’t have been so defensive.”

We both turned our attention to the game and it became eerily quiet for the next 10 minutes until i heard Brett release a saddened sigh. “It was during the summer before I left for college when it happened.”

I could tell this was going to be the story of his sister. He didn’t have to tell me, especially after how I had acted, but I appreciated the sentiment. I could also tell this was going to need another beer. I pulled two out, handed one to Brett, and encouraged him to continue.

He nodded his head solemnly and started once again. “My sister, Tracey, had just turned 6 a month prior to finding out she had leukemia. It was extremely hard for the family to handle. The only one to stay strong was Tracey herself. It was amazing on how much life was still generating throughout her body. Nothing could ever break her spirit. Some days we even forgot she was sick. What I loved most about her though was the extreme amount of thoughtfulness that she continuously displayed for the world.”

Brett stopped for a moment, wiped his stray tears away and then took a swig of beer before finding his footing in his story. 

“For a 6 year old, I always thought that was something special. My sister loved wishing on the stars but Instead of wishing for toys for herself, she always wished for others. Most times, instead of toys, she would wish for others to just be warm and happy.”

“That is something pretty special, man. ” I tried to hide my own tears that began to form but at this point it probably didn’t matter. My heart was already being lifted higher than it had ever been. 

“What’s even more special is that when she became sick, that never changed.”

Brett took another drink and tried to force a smile through his saddened composure. This story was taking a toll on us both. 

“When she was finally made to stay in the hospital for her last days, she still insisted on taking time for the stars. Even when she became too weak to go to them herself, She insisted I carry her and lay her upon the window. Every night I did, and every night, she never spoke once of herself. Never once did she wish she was better or that she could live longer. She wished for the world’s happiness, her family’s happiness, all before she ever uttered words about herself.”

How a little kid could possess such a strong aversion to self preservation is beyond my understanding. How any person could never stop, just once, to think of themselves is unbelievable. 

“We knew when her last night had come. We could all tell how quickly she had deteriorated and there was nothing left to be done. Barely breathing and barely holding her eyes open, she asked me once again to take her to the window.”

Brett’s words were becoming shaky and hard to understand through the tears but I just leaned forward and listened harder. 

“After she made her wishes for the night, she looked at me with tears in her eyes and said ‘Who will wish for them when I’m gone Brett? Who will make sure everyone is okay?’. I couldn’t hide the shock that sprung across my face after she spoke those words. Her last moments and that’s what she chooses to say? I never loved that girl as much as I did in that moment. I would never want to let that little girl down, so I told her I would. I promised her I would continue to make her wishes whenever I saw the stars. The same exact way she did.”

With that, my asshole status just went through the roof. I was such a prick before, I couldn’t even stand it. I stared at Brett and then just watched him crumble. I couldn’t help but scoot closer and offer any support that I could. The second I was closer he latched on to my arm and cried on my shoulder. 

“I’ll never understand why Mikey. Why that little girl, so young, was taken from this world. This world is slowly dying without people that hold the kind of compassion that she did and yet… she’s gone. The world decided to expel one of the rarest and truest souls that ever existed. No matter how much time passes, I will never get over it.”

I continued to offer my support and allowed Brett to cry as much as he needed. I patted his back and tried to keep my own tears at bay. 

“I don’t understand either. It’s not fair at all. Even more so that it was your sister. I’m so sorry man.”

We both sat there and pondered life’s shitty decisions until we kind of went back into the rhythm of the game on TV. 
It was best that way. Fading out a conversation that intense and full of emotion was not an easy feat. I’m not even sure that conversation will ever fade out inside of my head though. 

When it came down to it, I really couldn’t understand it. It was an enigma that apparently only the universe was meant to know. It better had a damn good reason too. No one, especially someone that precious, deserves to be snuffed out before their lives had even began. She could have changed the world. 

I know she changed mine

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You Were…

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You were the light in my darkness that helped me find my way. You were my beacon of love that I followed everyday. You were the glimmer of hope within my despair. You were the stitch in my wounds so they’d no longer tear. The strength to my weakness and the beat of my heart. My muse and my passion that inspired my art. 

You were my everything. You were my soul. So without you now, two is the toll. Death is imenent when the light has been snuffed out. Leaving the darkness to fester and mingle about. 

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