- Character Unknown
Anger was slowly dripping away inside of me, like a medical drip that worked towards curing you. This wasn’t curing, though. It was only fueling me, like stirring coal inside of a furnace. I gripped my fists until I could feel my nails cutting into the skin.
“Calm, brother,” her voice was still and cool, like gliding over a sheet of ice. She rarely had any patience for agitation. She leaned against the tip of the table with her hip. “There is little reason for such trivial anger over your loss. It was a tactical plan, yet with folly.”
Spinning around on my heels, I pointed a long finger at her. “You think you could have done better, little sister?” I demanded.
She gave a deliberate sigh, wiping her hands against the knees of her jeans. “Point your pianist fingers elsewhere,” she said and swatted them away. I thrust them deeply into my pockets. I hated when she did that. “And for your information, I told you of a better idea but you rejected it,” she stated, flicking a length of her hair behind her shoulder.
“Don’t be so naive,” I said peevishly. “We would have no chance.”
“You think our current plan isn’t making it worse. They’re getting the wrong idea,” she explained.
Even though my sister was always so calm, I knew that icy edge to her personality wasn’t always so good. Her actions could be volatile and her known skills were enough to uproot concrete and made it shatter like glass. Lithe and deadly, but as fragile as a china doll.
I knew she was right, but how weak would I look to give in to my sister’s witty attention to detail. “We need to capture their attention.”
Standing up, her arms crossed tightly as she strode towards the small rectangular window of the train cabin. It gave out to the abandoned train tracks, the black void of the platform and the empty concession stands – scraps of old newspapers scattered across the ground like dried bones. “Their attention, yes,” she stressed. “Not their guard-dogs.”
“So what were we meant to do?” I asked calmly now. I knew she would soon be in that state where her mind drifted, and time would pass where she said not a word, so I better get as much out of her as possible right now. “Leave messages in their mail box, give them a phone call or just knock on their door and introduce ourselves.”
“I did not say that,” she looked at me pointedly.
I walked over towards the sink, turned on the tap and started scrubbing away the blood that covered my skin up to my wrists. There was such a stark contrast between the bright red and the ashen whiteness of my skin – the spider web of scars a pattern of jagged lines like tattoo ink printed onto my arm.
Thinking back to when I received the scars, a sudden tremble shuddered up my spine like electricity searing through an electric cable. It could have been worse. Yet it felt like my wretchedness over it had been surpassed, tearing at me as I looked at my sister. She had taken the impact. The whole right side of her body a map of disfigurements, like a string of filament wire embedded underneath her skin. “You didn’t have to sound so threatening to them when we met them? Now they’re going to think us enemies,” she said breaking me from my reverie.
“I was testing out my old improv’ skills,” I mused. Memories flitted across my mind like a flickering candle but I swiped them away.
“I’m sure they were terribly impressed, but it isn’t helping our situation,” she groaned, pinching the bridge of her nose. “We need their help, not their hatred, brother.”
Walking towards her, I placed my hands on her shoulders. “We will get their help. Then everything will be sorted.”
Pulling away, she faced the window once more. “Will it,” she sighed and paused her breathing to force back the willing emotions. It came over her like the tides: she pushed; it pulled – the unwanted feelings careening her subconscious before retreating and leaving her with a horrible taste in her mouth. She never wanted any of this. I knew she wished she had died that night.
My heart was a painful fist as I approached the door to the next cabin, the water dripping from my fingers and plinking onto the floor. For a moment, I imagined it to be blood – the thick liquid running down my arm and pooling below as the open wounds wept, my body violently shaking from the concentrating fervour of heat burning me away. If I had only known, then she wouldn’t be like this.
Her face turned towards me, her halo of strawberry curls framing her face. “I have to do it,” she declared clenching and unclenching the hilt of the dagger in her belt. “He’s my problem.”
“Fair do’s.” I unlocked the door and she stormed inside like a tropical storm on legs. At least she was putting on a brave face. The heels of her boots clicked against the flooring, but I knew it wasn’t the heels – it was the needle-sized daggers lodged inside, like a spiked heel.
The wedge of light peeking through the open door illuminated the room; it almost looked like liquid gold had been spilt across the floor. I kept a hold of my own dagger: just in case of trouble, in case she couldn’t end it on her own.
As I entered, I saw the chained dog before I heard him rattling his chains like they were his leash, and wanted to break off and run faster than his master propitiated. I smiled menacingly, and he returned an equal grim stare with blank eyes. His dark brown skin was just as grim, it now having gained a pale pallor.
His eyes rolled in their sockets. “Let me go,” he groaned, his throat dry and because his muscles must have been tense. Being chained up and un-able to move was undoubtfully painful. “I won’t tell them, I promise,” he slurred.
“Don’t be a fool, we would have to kill you,” I murmured, reaching for the small bowl on the floor with some stripes of the T-shirt he wore when we caught him. I touched the skin on his arm, he winced. “Your wounds aren’t festering, that’s good.”
“Why are you helping me?” he asked in a thin whisper.
I undid the bandages, washed the wound with the water and tied a stripe of the T-shirt around it tightly. He whimpered sharply when it was made taut around the wound. “We can’t let you die down-here, you’re our leverage. Plus, it teaches you not to jump through glass windows.”
He laughed – a deep, dry and cracked chuckle. Sweat trickled down his brow, dripping off his nose. “Being chained up seems like too harsh of a punishment for jumping out of windows. It’s like a childish dream.”
“Here,” I pinched his arm, hard. He yelped loudly. Loud enough to rouse my sister from the corner, before turning her head back.
“What was that for?” he demanded – however, his voice was to low and cracked to sound like a demand – before spitting at my feet.
I drew my dagger from its sheath, pressing it against throat – although, I had enough control to stop me, I couldn’t help it. It dredged up the past. “Don’t you dare do that,” I hissed. “Show some respect.”
“Peace, brother,” my sister cooed, having drawn the blade from my own hand and holding it before my own eyes, her arm leaning on my shoulder. She tugged me away by the elbow. “Sheath your weapon,” when I didn’t her voice became stern and formidable, “Now.”
I did as I was told. The blade slid back into its sheath the same way a water droplet would seep through clothing. Right as rain. She withdrew from behind me, her back towards the chained dog.
Her voice, however, wasn’t as silent as her posture: “Don’t test our patience, boy. We are older and wiser, and I swear on my father’s grave that I will slit your throat if you don’t behave.” Her voice was frightingly calm and as cold as ice, hands clenched. “Do as you’re told, and we will release you in good time, understand?” Her voice was softer now, weighed less with a bubbling grief. The boy, Embry, nodded.
Before joining my sister, I looked down the wall and saw a few other wolf-boys chained up. They seemed to be a deep slumber, however their crooked posture gave it away – two other’s chained on the wall and one chained to the floor: he was the newest inmate to their basement, and at that moment he looked at me with eyes full of revenge and hatred. His eyes burned with it. The same russet skin and cropped black hair they all shared, but his eyes had not yet faded to hopelessness, like an empty void. He whispered one word, “Renesmee.”
I turned away sharply and stepped into the corner with my sister. It was only lit by a single candle, its flame like a star amongst the night of the room. “Sister,” I rested the pads of my fingertips on her wrist comfortingly. “Are you ready?”
“I will, brother. I must.” Her eyes were deep and drilling into mine. I could see she was seeing the past replaced before them like film reels. “I told myself sevenfold would take hold of anyone that hurt me, and it will.”
I took a deep breath, “It’s your call.”
“You disgust me. You’re scum.” The voice was cruel and anger-filled. My sister flinched but her shoulders remained straight, her spine stiff. “You’re the foolhardy children of a failure.”
She slapped him around the face, so hard the sound vibrated in my eyes. He cackled and it sounded like blood curdling in his throat. “Don’t you dare insult my father, you basterd.”
“Ah,” his voice was like slithering snakes. It crawled across my skin. “You are so fragile; it’s why he picked you. You took it all – you knew, didn’t you: watching him disappearing every night and return high on the blood he took and the infection he spread.”
Fury spread through my body, filling up every free space within me. “You have a right to talk,” I mocked. “You were deceived by him as well.”
He turned his head to the side – the dirty length of his hair covering his eyes, those eyes that still glowed yellow/golden along with ours. He shuffled in his chains. “What would you do if you knew you were going to die?”
My sister’s eyes widened by the shock of the question, clenching the unsheathed dagger tight in her fist. “You lie. He wasn’t going to kill you.”
We were unaware of his moving his hand towards another displaced blade close to him. “You know very little of his plan, missy? Maybe, that’s why he kept you out of them. To weak.”
“You don’t know me anymore. I trusted you, now I just wish you dead.” Her face was pinched, deep wrinkles appearing on her brow. I knew the chained wolf-boys behind us would be watching, but my sister needed this relief. To help at least stop some of her past from haunting her.
“Do you really?” His hand closed around the dagger, pulling it towards him. “I didn’t know you could tell the future.”
“She can’t…” I went to finish my sentence but then I saw it.
He pulled up the dagger so it shone in the partial light, “To bad. But you were right about my death.”
He went to plunge the dagger into his heart – to stop my sister from having her sevenfold on the people that hurt her – she screamed and lunged forward. I joined in, grappling with the dagger, pulling it away. The basement was a mass of thunderous roars, screams, shouts of anger and then silence.
The small blade dropped to the floor. Blood soaked her arm. Dripping to the floor. Her eyes were blank, her other hand clutching her chest. Her breathing was irregular, her chest rising and falling in an uneven beat. I caught her as she fell into my arms: “I did it.”
I looked towards the empty shell of a man who had sold all of his values. He was ended. Good and gone. The blade protruded from his heart in a grotesque manner. Blood stained his chest like red paint and pooled on the floor around us.
“You did, sister. But we still have work to do. We need will still need their help,” I said soothingly, while stroking her fine hair.
“I know,” she turned onto her side, so I could watch her face. Her lips were pursed in a tight line. “And I will help.”
In the background, the chained boys watched in horror. The newest sitting in the corner never raised his head, but I knew he had seen.
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