Thirty Minutes Before…
Cole groans shifting his weight to his good arm to help him off the dirty floor. He looks up to the second floor where he fell from. “You are dead, all of you!”
He staggers outside while the blood from his branded neck trickles out in between stinging jabs. His left arm, slowly swelling, begins to change to a different shade. Barely able to move it he bites down on his shirt tearing off a rippled piece and ties it just below the elbow. He wraps the rag around his hand and pulls, quickly he bites down on his jacket to keep from screaming. Hidden pain that lingered down to the bone surfaced with the appearance of the tourniquet.
Walking out of the building he stumbles down the littered street and makes his way to an abandoned warehouse eight blocks away. Sliding the door open, he falls down hitting his knees into the dirt. His strength ripped away with weakness overpowering his body. “Rico!”
Random men occupy the facility, most heavily tattooed. Girls of all ages, starved and weak, walk through held by rope or chains. One walks by with period stains on her soiled p*****s, her hair strung together with oil and lice. She looks up with a glimpse of hope only to put her head down seeing another ‘owner’. A grown woman with bruises across her back and buttocks stops to see who flung the doors open, she is pushed forward and forced to continue her path by her e****t.
“Rico, where are you? Brother, we need to kill them!” Cole looks up for help as a couple of men run towards him. Picking him up, they lug his body past the prostitutes with questions of his whereabouts.
“What the hell happened to you?” A man with with a mohawk asks.
“B***h had company, some kind of freak! Damn near tore me apart! We need guns and everyone we can take, he’s dead, all of em!” Cole tries to yell more, but his throat tells him it’s better to suffer in silence.
Taking him to the center of the building, they lay him down. “Rico, where’s Rico?” The second man asks.
The moonlight casts over the workers and hookers through broken window panes, the walls a weak display of steel shingles destroyed over mother nature’s course. A staircase spiraled up to a second floor on both sides from the main floor. On each side was a hallway leading to what were once rooms for holding products from a formerly shut down business. These rooms now held dying dreams and violated innocence. Men, particularly older, came to Rico for young skin and other perversions they couldn’t obtain on websites or in real life.
The rooms were filthy and had not been cleaned for years, simply holding a mattress unfit for a desperate homeless. Along with a camera if requested for later viewing pleasures. In this man made Hell, you could fill any request you liked, legal or illegal. More than usual the latter. Rico was good about making his customers happy. No matter what they desired, he was more than happy to oblige, as long as the money was right.
On the other side of the s*x ring facility, Rico talks to a customer in a secluded room.
“I want twins. Identical twins, you have that?” An oriental man asks.
Rico nods his head and turns back. “Hey, bring those twin sisters in.”
A man wearing all black, walks out past the doorway for a moment and comes back in with two identical twins, they were barely teens. They wore stained clothing and reeked of body odor. They obviously haven’t bathed in what seemed like weeks. Their ribs pushed out through their pale white flesh. “You like ’em?” Rico asks. His voice damn near pushed the man’s brain to say yes without raising it. He was very convincing.
The oriental man walks up to them, inspecting their bodies. After a moment he replies, “They’ll do.”
“Satisfied with ’em huh?” Rico gleams a wide smile.
“What’s the price for both?” The oriental man asks.
“An hour is five hundred. No limits, help yourself.”
“I want them to own, how much for that?”
Rico stops looking at the floor, slowly he turns to the man. “They’re not for sale. Just renting, they’re huge money makers in this business.”
“Maybe you misunderstand, I seek no sexual pleasure, I want to see one murder the other. I figured I could buy both and have a private show but maybe we can come to an agreement. I want them to fight to the death. If you’re close to them, I can offer what you’re willing.”
Rico looks up towards the girls. Tears run down their dirty cheeks as they cling together. “Well, now you’re talking. What’s your offer bro?”
The oriental man pulls out a checkbook. “Just name the price.”
Rico turns to his guard whispering, “Let him watch the brawl, get a price midway. He’ll be overworked and willing to put any amount of zeros.” Looking back he yells, “Fight to the death! Winner gets a ticket out of here, is your sister worth staying here? Think about that before you try to pull some s**t, cause only one of you is walking out of here.”
The twins begin crying uncontrollably embracing each other. They whisper to each other and cry harder, neither can agree to do it. Stopping in the doorway Rico turns his head towards them one last time. “Oh yeah, one more thing. If you both decide to b***h out, I’ll kill you both slowly and make each other watch. And trust me, you’ll beg for Hell far before I’m done.”
The twins lock eyes, both grab each other looking into each others windows to their souls. A silent goodbye is shared in their stare before they start fighting violently. One grabs the other biting onto her throat biting down. The other punches her ribs before jabbing a thumb into the eye socket.
Both have been through too much, and neither were willing to continue the torment, even if for the love of a sibling. Rico had a way of taking what you cared for and destroying it, along with your mentality. Both of them being depraved of humanity and hope had given up, being stripped away of all but the basic human instinct, survival.
The girls tear each other apart with their over grown finger nails and decaying teeth in the background as Rico steps out to the hallway. “Rico, it’s Cole, he’s hurt!” A man steps out into the hallway out of breath rnning to deliver the message. Rico immediately runs to him asking where he is.
Cole lays back on the dirt, his words getting shorter with each breath. “Brother, she has backup. Some kind of freak..overpowered me..” His words dissolve as the blood pours onto his shirt. His adrenaline blocked out the pain, but it fooled him long enough to believe he would be okay. The cuts in his jugular weren’t too deep but one was enough to hit a vain that wouldn’t quit.
Rico grabs his hand, holding back all his aggression he tries to hold a civil conversation. “Brother, who was it? Tell me, I’ll make this right.”
Cole chokes as he fades out, with his last sputtering breath he coughs out, “J-Jenny..”
Cole’s broad chest stops, slolwy going back and forth dying to a calm pace. Rico holds on until his fingers lose their grasp in his brother’s hand. Rico puts his head down screaming into Cole’s stomach before swinging it upwards. “Jenny Crawston! She’s f*****g dead! Mark, Kenny, kill her! Her and her f*****g sister! If you see a man with them I want him alive, he’s mine! You got that?”
Two men load up with guns and ammunition and proceed to run out. Familiar with her address, Mark perches on a building across Jenny’s apartment. Laying on his belly, he aims his scope to the exposed window to her bedroom. Kenny heads in through the front doors.
Mark aims his automatic rifle. Zoning in he steadies and waits for a shot. He looks at Jenny while she holds her head down talking to a man next to her on the mattress. As he prepares to shoot, the stranger holds his hand out as Mark loses concentration in the horrible street lighting and pulls the trigger. He misses his target as the man jumps back in pain, holding what is left of his hand. Realizing he might not get another chance to get it right he begins to fire sporadically.
The cheap plaster sprinkles down like angel dust from the multiple holes being drilled. “Shawna!” Jenny yells reaching out with her worst fear on the verge of coming true, Shawna could be in her final moments on Earth. Jasper looks back towards the glass and shoves his foot under the mattress flinging it upwards. The bed hits the wall, covering their exposure, giving them a small window of time.
Jasper jumps up pulling the door off the hinges slinging it back. He grabs Jenny like a small toy and covers her in his grasp while running to the living room. He drops her lightly on the ground next to Shawna. He then quickly, but carefully, lifts Shawna placing her on the ground with Jenny. The door is kicked open as a shooter with a blue mohawk walks in with a rifle. Jasper grabs the hospital bed raising it up and turns it in time for the bullets to fly towards him. Gripping his white knuckles on the solid edges he uses his shield slamming it to the ground protecting the girls.
A couple of spare bullets pierce the bed, hitting Jasper in his left shoulder and his ribs. He grunts picking up the bed and rushes towards the shooter. The man continues to fire as light escapes through the bullet holes, he catches a glimpse of what his last vision would be, a man with nothing to lose. Jasper rams the bed knocking the shooter back into the hallway. He stomps on his trigger hand, crippling it like a crumpled ball of paper. The bed then slams into his throat, the attacker coughs desperately trying to s**k in air.
Jasper raises it up one last time and slams it down making contact with the matted floor. The man’s head rolls away with a stream of blood pouring from his corpse. Jasper runs back inside picking up Shawna while yelling at Jenny to get up. He places the bloody hospital bed upright and lays Shawna on it before pushing her down the hallway to safety.
“We have to go!” He yells, looking back at Jenny who is still in the apartment.
“No, not yet! I need something” She runs back to the bedroom and ducks to the floor as the mattress falls apart in clouds of broken springs and stuffing. It falls over giving the shooter a clear shot.
Jenny rips a picture off the back wall and begins to run out. A small object flies in through the shattered hole in the window rolling next to her. She looks down as it hits her heel, recognizing it as a grenade with the pin pulled. Jenny gasps and stiffens in shock. Her legs turn to concrete molded into the ground, her vision goes black as a sheet of white is wrapped around her.
The ground explodes in an eruption of fire and broken wood. She feels the floor disappear under her feet with hot air swirling under her body, she makes contact with the lower level but is unharmed. Opening her eyes she feels soft feathers hugging her body from behind. Jasper holds her in his arms while his giant wings slowly retract back. His arms underneath her, he grips tightly. He lifts his head and asks “You okay?”
Jenny nods her head frightened, while he shifts her upright allowing her to stand. His wings slowly crawl back inside his body while he looks up. Blood drizzles out of his shoulder and ribcage attaching his shirt to his stomach. A large hole hovers above them, broken edges of singed wood glow from the blast.
“Shawna is still up there, we can’t waste time. Get on my back, now.”
Without hesitation she climbs up his back clinging onto his chest. Jasper leaps up through the new formed hole and lands in her room. Running out of the apartment, bullets begin to fly once more. He makes it out to the hallway and heads towards Shawna. She rests on the bed confused and crying. Jasper wastes no time swooping her up while running past, clutching her close.
A window at the end of the hallway waited for them. “Close your eyes!” He yells.
He dives through the window, slicing apart his face with broken shards, his hands covering Shawna’s tender face through the breakthrough, paying no regard to his safety. He levitates shortly while gravity guides him to the lower building meters away. He slams onto the ground with pain spiking through the soles of his feet.
Pushing it to another part of his brain, he continues running. The shooter upon the roof hears the noise and begins to fire in their direction. His right wing flings out beneath Jenny pushing outwards wrapping around her like a blanket. His arms cover Shawna as he picks up the pace. The ground rattles with bullets behind him leaving small whirlwinds of dust.
His feet patter the ground under the heavy weight between the three of them combined. He jumps onto another building barely making it sliding across the rough concrete. He inhales deeply trying to catch his breath and begins to run again. The shooter reloads and begins to fire once more. Jasper tries to run behind small structures upon the roof hoping for a light amount of coverage. A stray bullet rips through his right knee. He stumbles to the ground and grips onto Shawna making sure she’s unharmed. Jenny latches closer as his wing presses against her back.
He forces motivation to course through his body and continues to run once again. A hole spills fluid out of his weakened knee while he jumps down off the building into an alley. He slams onto the ground causing a short wave of air dispelled unto the gravel. His feet cry for mercy, but his mind claws his mentality to make sure the girls will be safe. His chest burns from exhaustion as he heads down the alley turning down another path. He runs as hard as he can, for as long as he can.
He has no home, no place to call his own, only what he can remember. A place no one would go looking for. He dredges his feet with his boots scraping dirt up, lowering to his knees he lays Shawna down onto the ground and whispers “You’re safe now.”
Jenny climbs down off his back as Jasper falls to the ground bleeding out. His bones weak and his muscles sore, past what he should be able to hold. He drops sideways, breathing heavily. In what seemed like the middle of nowhere Jenny and Shawna were stuck in a place far from danger, but also far from home.