Chapter Six: We All Fall Down

by Comicality

I concealed my saber in my trenchcoat once again, and headed across the, now very empty, dancefloor of the club. While there were still some people there, acting as though nothing spectacular had happened…even with the spasming body of a braindead teen dominatrix behind me…a great deal of the human population had fled to the outside. Could Carolyn see them running from the roof? Would she be expecting me? Who knows? Actually….who cares? I can feel the itch in my right ankle and calf, and they were telling me that she was still upstairs. I only had to retrieve her…and send her ‘home’. The remaining patrons of the club moved out of my way as I walked forward. I was tired, my muscles still sore, my neck, side, arms, and legs, still bleeding. So I paced myself, conserving my energy, taking a breather before I faced my next challenge. I was soooo close.

There was a turbulent rumble in the core of my being. A silent scream that was crying out for me to pay it some attention before I snapped completely. Perhaps there was a part of me that wanted to stop this maddness. That wanted to turn back and block out the traumatic events of the past few days. A struggling piece of my humanity that viewed my recent actions as morally destructive. For a moment, I had to stop on the steps…praying that my emotions wouldn’t go haywire on me. Not now. I’ve only got ONE more kill tonight! Just ONE! Let me do this….and we’ll take some time to recover. I promise! Just….keep your stability. Don’t let the fear win. Don’t let the pain and suffering become visible. You’ve done nothing wrong. NOTHING! So…why am I breathing like this? Why are flashes of Duffy, Spaz, and Trixie, rapidly spinning around in my head? ME…cry for THEM??? Never! Not a single drip! I need my strength now. Nothing else. I just need to hold it in for five more minutes. Just five more.

The emotional tremors began to fade a bit…and I returned to ascending the stairs to my destiny. And to hers.

The roof was just that…a roof. No decoration, no flashing lights, no music. They had built a bar up there, but that was about it, with the exception of a ledge to stand under and a some amatuer graffiti on the walls. I suppose it was meant to be a peaceful place. A sanctuary to get away from the rest of the party. The rain-like snow had slowed down considerably since I had been inside, but it hadn’t stopped, and the black tar surface of the roof was still slippery from the weather. I had to work to keep a foothold as I walked forward, feeling the rain on my face, heavy with small ice crystals in every drop. It was almost enough to make your nose and lips go numb, and gave the snow on the ground below an icy sheen. I tried not to sniffle so much. I needed to keep my ears focused on everything around me.

Things were pretty quiet up there. Empty. The others must have run downstairs and outside when they heard the commotion. But I didn’t leave. Instead, I walked to the center of the roof, and stood still. Listening. The itch was sending me a strong signal…and I knew that she hadn’t gone anywhere. Not yet.

I suddenly heard the scuffle and splash of quickened footsteps behind me, and drew my saber to hold it to their throat. But it was merely some human rave boy, trying to sneak past me and head towards the exit. He froze when he saw me, his doe eyes shining with fright as the blade rested still on his neck. He was beautiful. With small blond curls, wet from the rain…almost reminding me of my Patrick. My… lovely Patrick.

I lowered my saber. “Go on. Get out of here.” But just as I was putting the weapon back on my hip, I looked forward to see Carolyn’s hulking frame standing right in front of me! Her eyes were deep red, her fangs had dropped, and the murderous instincts inside of her had already taken over. With a loud squeal, her hand struck out at me, her long black nails cutting four deep stripes on my face! I swiftly jumped backwards, hoping to regain my footing before she was on me again. But when I looked up, she was gone. I felt my face…and the scratch marks felt strange. As though they were instantly losing the sensation of pain all at once. There was some kind of….’venom’ in her nails, I culd feel it. Like a strong anaesthetic, tainting my flesh. I stumbled back some more and put my back against the wall, looking all around to make sure that she couldn’t sneak up on me from either side.

There was nothing but silence around me. That, and the ice cold winter air, the piddling of raindrops hitting the puddled surface of the roof. But my ears were tuned into the sounds of near silent footsteps walking around, pacing back and forth in the shadows. NEAR silent…but not quite silent enough. I moved away from the wall, and stepped forward onto the slippery surface. Step by step. And then…I heard the footsteps behind me get quicker. Mistake.

Another shriek pierced my ears, but this time, I was ready. I turned to catch her hand by the wrist in mid air, and as soon as I had a hold…I closed my fist and punched her right in the mouth! She yelled out as her large body went toppling backwards, splashing in a shallow puddle and sending her legs flying up into the air! “Careful…I wouldn’t want you to fall!” I said, and she struggled to get back up to her feet. It was almost comical to see her do so, rolling to the side, her back dirty from the rain water. This wasn’t going to be difficult at all. Too bad…I was hoping for more excercise.

She took a stance, and I couldn’t help but giggle to myself. Silly girl. But it was then that I heard more footsteps behind me, and turned to see four young boys rushing me at top speed. About 12 years old from the looks of it…but the look in their eyes told me that they had been in darkness for a long time. Much longer. One had blond hair, one dark brown, one with dyed green, and one lightly freckled redhead. Their hair was almost long enough to rest on their shoulders, and their bangs had small hooks attached in the front. Ok…now this is the kind of ‘fun’ I was looking for!

I straightened myself up, and readied for their feeble attempt to take me down…but they knew they didn’t have the strength to face me one on one. But what they lacked in physical strength, they made up for with extremely synchronized acrobatics…and the effect was dizzying! The green haired boy had an iron rod in his little hands, the redhead was holding a chain. But as they approached, the other two boys jumped over my head completely, landing behind me, and before I knew what had hit me, I was locked in the center of their deadly circle. It wasn’t so much their speed that worried me most. It was their accuracy. When the blond boy attacked me with the iron rod, I expected to exchange blows with him and take it from the little brat, no problem. But after just two strikes, he tossed it over my head to the brown haired boy behind me, and he continued where he left off. I attempted to turn, but the red head wrapped the chain around one of my legs, and threw the other end to his green haired friend on the other side, who pulled it tight and locked my legs together. The way they coordinated their strikes was a baffling mix of gymnastics right out of a fucking circus. You could barely keep your eyes on them without getting lightheaded. I admit…I underestimated them at first glance. Something I’ll get past soon.

I got my legs free, just as the blond kneeled down behind me, and two more boys kicked me back over his crouched position. I rolled to my feet, and saw the brunette charging at me with the rod, but he handed it off to his companion in mid air, landing a kick to my face as his friend took the rod to my knees. Shortly after, two boys rolled over my back, and pulled the chain tight around my neck from either side. Jesus! What the hell IS this? I began to fight back, but I could hardly touch a single one of them. They were twice as nimble on their feet as I was, and the slippery surface of the rooftop was keeping my moves limited to what I had balance for. By the time you caught sight of one of them rolling or spinning to the side, two more were creeping up behind you. It was impossible to defend against. I felt a hit to the back of my knee, and saw the rod quickly fly past me in front of my face as the boy on the other side caught it and struck me in the chest! He then tossed the rod up behind his back, just as another boy spun around to catch it without looking and hit me in the back of the head with it. The whole time, they traded the chain off with one another to make sure that there were always two boys to keep it tight around my throat as the cartwheeled around me in circles. I reached out to grab one of them, and two more tiny sneaker covered feet shot out to kick my hand away. soon knocking me back to my knees. Their long hair was spinning out of control so fast that it was distracting, and occassionally, if I got too close to the edge of their ‘cage’, the hooks on the end of their bangs would lash out to tear at the skin on my hands and arms, but they never cut themselves, not once. It was like being caught in the frantically spinning blades of a running garbage disposal! The rod and the chain was being tossed back and forth so fast and so often in front of me and behind me…over my head and between my legs…that I couldn’t even visually keep in mind who was holding a weapon and who wasn’t. But as a warm splash of blood ran over my left eye from my forehead…the anger boiled out of control, a second wind coming on strong. And they were sure to feel the breeze!

As the blond’s golden locks spun in my direction…spreading out in a perfect circle like a razor sharp fan…I grabbed a hold of his thin neck, and with a kick to his legs, I forced him down to the ground on his back! I squeezed as tightly as I could, while the other three doubled their efforts to get me off of their partner in crime! Just as I was counting on. Two of them flipped over me, and I rolled forward to sweep them off of their feet before they touched the ground. I quickly turned around to face the third as the blond rolled over to get back to his feet, and tossed him the chain. I dodged his swirling attacks, watching the end of the chain as he wound it around his neck, arms, and legs, at a mindblowing speed. I leaned to the side as the redhead tried to hit me with the rod from behind, and hip tossed him to the ground in front of me. But before he landed, the rod had already been flung into the air and into the hands of the brown haired boy as the blond and green colors used the hooks in their bangs to cut me on both sides of my abdomen like a rotating saw! I tried to use my saber, but the chain knocked it out of my hand as soon as I raised it. I was stuck, and being pushed further backward, while Carolyn watched from the sidelines with satisfaction. Licking her lips and waiting for me to fall to her army of orphan badasses.

Everytime I caught sight of their weapon, they tossed it to someone else. Every time I struck out at one, two more moved in to protect him. Everytime they turned around in a series of circles, their long hair would fan out and the hooks would cut slices into me from all sides. How they could even stand on this slippery roof was a mystery to me! But I had to keep fighting! If I don’t get through them…I can’t get to Carolyn! And she’s the whole reason I’m here! She MUST suffer tonight! She MUST be brought to justice!

I began to fight even harder, paying no attention to the cuts on my arms and legs. Paying no attention to the drastic loss of blood. I just kept swinging…my eyes focused on the goth girl in front of me. Fuck this! I’m gonna finish this and go home! With that, I began flailing my arms in every direction, and connected to the jaw of one of the boys, flooring him instantly! I felt the chain strike me on the back, but I felt no pain. None. Instead, I kicked the boy on my right side up against the vent near us, and used the same leg to spin kick the boy on the left. The rugrats would get up as fast as I could knock them down, but they HAD weaknesses. It’s just a matter of exploiting them.

I moved back even further, causing them to expand their circle to keep me in the center, and I took them to the edge of the roof. The rain was beginning to pick up again, the shower getting colder with the increasly bad weather. From the way they slowed down their moves, I could tell that they weren’t as sure about their footing as they pretended to be. Especially this close to the edge of the roof. And that small moment of insecurity among them was all I needed to strike.

I quickly grabbed hold of the chain and twisted myself loose from its grasp, snatching it out of one of the boy’s hands before he could throw it to one of his teammates. Instead, I swung it around to strike the red head across the face, sending him to the rooftop’s wet surface. Their surprise gave me enough of a chance to swing a leg around and kick the green haired boy in his stomach, knocking the wind out of him. It didn’t take long for them to realize what was happening, and they tried to rearrange their fighting techniques to adjust. But the closer I got them to that edge, the less confident they were to hold their footing, and they began to slip and stumble over one another…their attention more focused on not falling over the side than fighting me. And once I side kicked the blond clear off of the roof and down into the trash bins below…the remaining three had lost what little courage they had left. They got sloppy, clumsy. Soon they were actually slipping and falling on their asses. And when that happened, I reached down to grab the brown haired boy by his hair and the back of his belt, and with a heave I tossed him off of the roof as well! The sound of him screaming on his way down was music to my ears. Especially when he hit the fire escape on the way down. I certainly hope they have fun sleeping THAT one off. I don’t think these blood sucking creatures get the fucking POINT yet! I don’t care if I have to murder every last ONE of their species tonight! As long as I finish my mission in the process. I don’t give a shit about the rest. They’re all dead to me anyway.

As I turned to look at the other two boys, one holding the iron rod, the other holding the chain, a look of fear washed over them. The rain started to come down in buckets and they knew that it would only be harder to stand on that rooftop in a couple of seconds. I waited in silence for them to make their choice, and after exchanging a look between each other…they decided to take off running instead. Cowards. It’s too bad, really. If they had just given me half a chance, I would have gladly shown them the quickest way down. Just like I showed their friends.

The increasing rainfall weighed my hair down to my face, and it was still ice cold on my lips. You could hear it hitting the leftover mounds of snow in the corners of the roof, and seeing my breath on the air gave me an added shiver. My blade was on the ground after it had been knocked out of my hands by the babyfaced foursome, and I headed in that direction. I stayed alert with every step, though…putting my hands in my coat pockets and balling them up into fists to keep them warm enough to give my fingers flexibility. My leg was still itching…and that means that she-devil was still out here somewhere. Waiting to catch me off guard. I kept moving, almost by my saber now, listening to see if I could hear a single footstep. There was a lump in my pocket…what was that?

“AHH!!!” I shouted, as I felt sharp fingernails rake the flesh on the other side of my face! The venom did its job quickly, causing the wound to burn for a moment, and then fade into having no feeling at all. I winced in pain, and felt more scratches on my chest, tearing at my shirt, burning my damaged skin beneath. I moved back and saw Carolyn with her hands raised like talons on a hunting hawk, her black make up running in the freezing rain. She struck out again and again as I moved back with my hands still in my pockets, and I spun to the side as she lunged forward. But to my surprise, she didn’t fall flat on her face like I expected her to. Instead, she turned around and knocked me backwards. She was stronger than I thought she’d be, and I landed on my back and shoulders. However, that’s when something strange happened. A thin beam of light shot out of my jacket pocket and burned her across her shoulder the second I hit the ground!

She didn’t know what hit her, but grabbed her shoulder in pain as it had bruned her right through her clothes, the smell of burning flesh introduced to the night air in a small cloud of smoke. I looked down at the hole in my pocket, and reached in to pull out Mr. Talbot’s lag Hunter tool. I had forgotten to put the safety back on it. I’d been walking around with that loaded timebomb the whole time. After regaining her senses, she looked at the pen sized device in my hand, and then charged towards me angrily! I rolled to my feet just as she was approaching, and she slammed her shoulder into me, her body weight pressing me into a nearby wall. She threw me to the ground, and turned to face me again. “You should have rolled over and played DEAD like you were supposed to, junior!” She said. “But like my father used to tell me…before I killed him in his sleep with a pair of scissors…if you don’t get something right the first time…try and try again.”

I couldn’t tell if it was the surpressed fear in my heart that was suddenly pumping so much adrenaline into my bloodstream at that particular moment, or if was a return to the thoughts of rage that I had for losing the life I deserved to have before they stole it from me. But it rumbled in the pit of my stomach just the same, and I got up on my feet again. My fangs had dropped down ‘deep’ this time, and even in the cold rain my eyes burned with a fever all their own. That’s when I told her, “Well? Come on then. Try again. I’m waiting.”

She gave me an evil smirk, and then raised her nails again to attack. I moved back, and took advantage of her slippery footing to land three rapid kicks to her chest. I then brought my leg down to spin around and sweep her off of her feet. And then…just as she rolled far enough away from me, I aimed the laser at the side of her face and pressed the trigger. The beam shot out with a single swipe, and cut a big chunk out of her cheek as she screamed in pain. The sizzled flesh dropped to the rooftop, smoking in a puddle at her feet, and from the side, you could see a small charred hole in her face, showing the side of her teeth inside. She was enraged, and came at me again, but now she was fighting blind. She was angry and her judgement was faulty. I was able to play with her at his point, finally kicking her over towards the edge of he roof, sliding her on her belly across the cold wet surface. She laid there on her stomach, hurt and defeated, and I walked over to take a hold of my saber. It was time for this game to end.

I moved closer to her, and just as I kicked her in the side to turn her over, she quickly jumped up and slashed her nails across the front of my throat, causing me to bleed profusely from the wound! I felt the warm liquid drench my clothes, and the pain was unbearable! It would have been deep enough to kill a human being, no doubt about it. It was the most serious injury that I had ever sustained before, and the sight and thought of it was probably more disturbing than the wound itself. I fell backwards, landing on my knees facing away from her. And Carolyn began to approach me from behind as I choked and gagged on the taste of my own blood. She made a big mistake. She should have finished me off when she had the chance. I spun around on my knees in a complete circle, my arm raised, the laser directed at the spot right above her kneecaps. And with a single beam, I severed both of her legs at the thigh! The beam burned through them with no effort at all, and she cried out in agony as her supports fell from beneath her, and she was left laying helplessly on her back.

I ignored her wailing as I saw my hands covered with blood, the deep gashes in my throat twitching in painful muscle spasms and my body fought the urge to go into shock. It took me a few moments, but I stood back up, and looked over at my prey. She began to crawl back on her elbows, quickly trying to get some room between us. But seeing her squirm desperately in front of me only added to the hatred in my heart. It brought on a feeling of further disgust to know that, at the end of the day, this piece of shit was never worthy of having my life. She was no boogey man. No unbeatable monster. She was pathetic. And now…she’s gonna get what she deserves for laying her hands on me. I walked over to her, kicking her lifeless legs to the side as I passed them, and grabbed her by the hair, dragging her kicking and screaming torso to the edge of the roof. She cried and she cursed and she yelled…but it only sweetened the deal as far as I was concerned. It made it so much more enjoyable when they begged. She clawed at my hand, and in anger, I stomped down hard on her chest, making her spit up blood…and with two fingers, I grabbed the burned hole in her cheek, and dragged her by that instead. She knew that she was going over that edge, and there was just no point in fighting it anymore.

When I got there, I gave her one last opportunity to save herself. By sitting her up on the edge…like a house plant. “Easy now…are you balanced?” I said, her leg stumps were hardly enough to hold her steady. A strong wind could knock her over.

“Fuck you!!!” She snarled.

My throat had been cut deep, but I was able to speak pretty clearly. “You know…I’m starting to like this. I seem to be getting better at it every time I bleed one of you heartless bastards.” I smiled. I noticed the look on her face. “Oh yes…your other friends…they’re all dead. Well, all except for Barry and Vincent. But don’t worry…I’ll get around to them very soon.” She began to teeter a bit on the ledge, her hands reaching down to hold herself up. It made me chuckle a bit to think she was trying to survive. No matter how hard she tried to hold on to that ledge…

There’s no way I was gonna allow her to live.

“So you think this makes you a big man, do you?” She said. “Running around town in a trenchcoat, seeking revenge. You think that MEANS something, kid? That doesn’t mean shit! Because I remember what you were like the night we drained your punk ass dry!” There it was again, that fluttering panic inside of me, always at the gates, always ready to spill over. “You BEGGED for your life, boy! Do you remember that? Huh?” It bubbled over…out of control. The rage wasn’t enough to keep it down anymore. “You were whimpering like a newborn puppy…’please don’t kill me.’….’please, just let me go’. You were probably too far gone to recall that part, but I remember just fine. Crying like a little baby. That’s who you were that night, kid. And that’s who you’re ALWAYS gonna be.” There was an insanity in my mind, piercing through my eyes, causing my every muscle to tense until the bones were ready to crack. “Face it…we’ve been bleeding sissies like you for a lot longer than you wanna imagine. They ALL had lives! Friends, family, jobs, relationships! You think we gave a fuck about a single one of them? They’re a notch lower on the food chain! Plain and simple! It was your turn at bat…your turn to fight for your life against a better species…and you LOST! You weren’t smart enough, you weren’t fast enough, you weren’tSTRONG enough, to beat us and walk out of that alley alive! So don’t give me that ‘we stole your life’ bullshit. You GAVE it to us on a silver platter!”

“You know what…you’re really beginning to bore me.” I told her, and with one push of my finger, I tilted her backwards. She screamed and clawed desperately at the rooftop as she toppled back and slipped over the edge. She was able to grab on to the slippery side and hold on with both hands, but wasn’t strong enough to pull herself back up. So I stood up there on the ledge, and let her dangle there while I watched without sympathy. Then I took the laser from my pocket, and aimed it at the pinky finger on her right hand. “A notch lower on the food chain, right? That’s what you called me?” With a press of the trigger, a beam shot forward, and I cut off her pinky….slowly. “Not strong enough?” I cut off her ring finger, causing her to cscream out in pain. “Not smart enough? I really liked that one.” I cut off her middle finger, and her right hand slipped off entirely. “Nice nail polish, by the way.” I said as I kicked the loose fingers over the side. And then aimed the weapon at her left wrist without firing. “I could ask you to beg for your life, but…I’m thinking you’re too stubborn to do that. Especially since I plan to kill you anyway. You might as well die swinging, right?” I squatted down to look her in the face. “Besides…when I look into your eyes…past all of that bullshit you were just talking…I can see you’re afraid. And baby, that’s all the ‘begging’ I need.” I shot the laser out again and began to cut her left hand at the wrist. She whimpered and yelped in pain as it slowly cut through muscle and bone…severing the hand painfully from her arm. I smiled down at her as she looked up at me in horror, knowing that the end was close. And she tried to hold on for as long as she could, but the hand was halfway off now, and hanging from a string. It wasn’t enough to support her weight. With one last scream, she dropped from the ledge, and mangled herself on the fire escape, hitting every level on the way down. I watched her body spin and twist in the air, bones cracking with every bounce, until her large body finally crashed down on top of a dumpster, denting it way down in the middle, a splash of blood rushing out on all sides. At last…justice is served.

As I stepped away from the edge of the roof, my hands began to tremble. Just a mild quake at first, but then it became increasigly violent. I could feel two streams of heated tears run out of my eyes, even in the rain…and I was overcome with a moment of post traumatic hysteria. The cuts on my face, chest, and throat seemed to ache with more intensity as my hunter’s instinct began to fade. My rational mind returned to me, and I was suddenly aware of all I had done. How close I came to death…for the second time. The screams, and the horror, and the blood. They flooded my senses with nightmarish visions, and it felt as though my chest were going to explode. The tears became sniffles, and the sniffles turned to sudden panicked sobs that I couldn’t hold in any longer. ‘Please don’t kill me’…’Please, just le me go.’ Were they my last words? Did I beg? I remember. I remember begging….just like she said. Oh God…Oh God. I walked a few steps towards the door, but my balance was tilted, my vision warped. My emotions wereoverpowering me all at once, and I fell to my knees. I looked up at the dark sky above me, the raindrops cleansing me as they fell on my face…and a howl leapt up in the back of my throat. I was bursting at the seams. There was no containing it. And in a tear filled rage, I shouted at the top of my lungs at the darkness!

“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!” I screamed until my vocal chords burned and my breath ran out. My only release. My only temporary fix. I fell forward, supporting myself on my hands, gasping for air as the emotional tidal wave inside of me attempted to calm itself once more. I felt the anguish tuck itself neatly behind my soul, quieting the raging storm inside, and putting the cap back on the bottle.

Just a moment of weakness. That’s all. Just a moment. You’re ok, Lucas. You’re fine. Just fine.

I caught my breath, and stood up again, wiping the mixture of tears and rainwater from my face. I retrieved my saber from the corner of the rooftop, and reattached it faithfully to my hip. The trembling stopped, and the images of murder left my thoughts for a moment. I lightly pulled my long blond hair out of my face, trying to keep my composure as I walked back into the warehouse, and down the steps to finish the job. Carolyn is in pain, her injuries are severe, and I’m quite sure that she’s unconscious from the agony…but she’s not dead yet. Not yet. And it’s not over until she sees nightfall. It won’t take longer than a few seconds to deliver her into darkness. She has no defense against it.

I had to turn my trenchcoat inside out, and button it up tight to keep from showing the blood on my shirt. The lights on the bus never seem so bright until you’ve got something to hide from any late night passengers that happen to hop on. I wrapped a rag around my neck to keep the gashes on my throat from showing, but I couldn’t do much to hide the claw marks on my face. The busdriver gave me an odd look, but probably wrote me off as some random teenager who had a fight with his girlfriend. I limped to the back, and just tried to keep my head down all the way home. It’s not like I had anyone to talk to.

As I walked through the front door of the Talbot’s home, the only thought on my mind was finding a way to preoccupy myself for the next few hours so I could let the big sleep take me beyond the dawn and heal my wounds. But I heard a voice as I walked past the dining room. “I believe you have something that belongs to me.” Mr. Talbot was sitting in his chair, with another glass of liquor swirling in his right hand. I reached carefully into my pocket, and took out his slag hunter tool. I inched forward and handed it to him, but he didn’t take it. “Put it back on the table where you found it.” He said, not even looking at me.

“I apologize. I shouldn’t have…”

“Do you realize that you threaten the safety of both me and my son by just being here in this house?” He said, an angry venom slipping into his tone. “Do you understand what happens if my supervisors in this profession will do to us if we get caught?” He stood up from his chair, and pointed his finger at my chest. “I am risking everything for you. These people are not known for playing games when it comes to their rules of discretion. This a govrnment operation, Luke! National security. If they find out what’s going on, I don’t just get a dismissal and a pink slip, kid! I get wiped so far off of the face of the Earth that my own MOTHER won’t even remember me. There won’t even be a body left to bury. For me…or for Patrick. And your little stunt tonight almost cost us both a price that we’re not willing to pay for little war game out there on the streets.” In all the time that I have been staying there, I had never once seen Mr. Talbot so upset. So concerned. It hurt to know that I had let him down. He looked me in the eyes, and said, “Revenge is never justified. Never. Getting even doesn’t take the pain away…it just drags it out longer by keepng it close to you. By giving it purpose. You’re the one holding on to it. And nothing you’ve done, and nothing that you’re going to do, is going to make a damn bit of difference. If you ask me, you’re no better than they are.” He finished the last swallow of his drink, putting the glass on the table. Then, in a mellow tone, he told me, “If you ever put me or my son in jeopardy again…you can find yourself someplace else to live.” And he walked past me to go upstairs and go to bed.

I don’t know how long I stood there in that doorway, but I felt unworthy of moving from that spot. The first few tears fell from my eyes with a sniffle, and I couldn’t do anything but go back to my dark basement and pout it out all alone. I had to peel the bloodsoaked clothes off of me, revealing a young body riddled with scars and scratches, stab wounds and claw marks, slashes and bruises. It was so chewed up that I could hardly stand to look at it in the bathroom mirror. I climbed into the shower, and the warm water began to sting my injuries as I held back my painful yelps and whimpers. My blood supply was low, I could feel it. I was going to be hungry again soon if I lost any more. And I don’t want to go through the horror of hunting down another civilian for energy. I have to be more careful. More precise. I won’t be able to take much more punishment before the endgame.

I got out of the shower a short time later and drid myself off, noticing that both Carolyn’s and Trixie’s bite marks were now gone from my legs. Leaving only the ones in my right bicep and my the deep wounds in my neck remaining. Four down…two to go.

I spent the rest of my time awake studying Spaz’s notebook. Most of it was a jumble of useless rambling and quick notes that didn’t tell me much of anything. But after a half hour or so of flipping through his pages, I began to see a pattern. It looks like Barry hangs out at the same place every week. Some kind of flashy bowling alley up north. I went through more of the notebook, and sure enough, Spaz had written in a reminder that he’d be there if he needed to catch up with him. Knowing Spaz, he probably forgot that he had the info written down already each week. Lucky for me…unlucky for Barry.

I folded the notebook up and climbed into bed. Just waiting for the dawn to come and salvage my battered and broken body from this physical pain. My last thoughts that night, were of Patrick. Sometimes I missed his kiss so much that I could swear I could feel the lingering sensation of his lips on mine. I can only hope to make things right between us in the short time that we have left together. I would hate to leave this life knowing that he hated me for what I had done. Before this is over…I’ll fix it.

I’ll fix it.

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