Monday, February 6, 2012

R.O.B., Part Three

      Andrés Felipe Hernández was dead, and he belonged to Evil now.
  I unwrapped myself from around his corpse and gazed down on him. He was mangled into something unrecognizable. All bent and twisted at all the wrong angles. Some people gagged at the sight of him, but most just stared. I believed, out of curiosity, not fear or worry.
  With my job done, I appeared on the outside of the crowd. The truck was flipped on its side, smoking and making that tinkling noise vehicles made when they were out of commission. The driver was okay, but if he hadn’t been, it wouldn’t have mattered. No, I didn’t like the idea of the innocent dying. But in some instances, sacrifices had to be made. 
  I didn’t bother listening for sirens or looking out for the policía. They would show up only when they felt like it, which meant, it was up to me to look after the girls. Why I felt the need to, puzzled me. I shouldn’t have cared if they lived or died. But I did care. Especially for the beauty. I wanted to make sure she made it back home to her hija.
  A young Colombian man no older than twenty-one years old, had emerged from a nearby hovel to see what was going on. I intercepted his sprint and stepped into him, taking control of his body and mind, but I didn’t dare possess them for long. I risked corrupting his soul if I did and there were enough corrupt souls in Bogota already.
  Even before I reached the entrance to the warehouse, I knew I was too late. I stepped inside and nearly slipped on the blood that coated the floor. All around me, the bodies of the young girls had been left to rot, or rather, bleed out from the slits in their necks. I counted. There were only five bodies. Two were missing. I searched their faces and my possessed body’s heart began to race. She was not among them.
  I heard a gurgling noise behind me and I turned just in time to see a member of Andrés crew, or ex-crew, slit another girl’s throat. But it was not the beauty. She was next.
  I made my presence known with a cough, then stepped into the light pushed through a small window above me by the sun. 
  “Who the fuck are you?” The crew member stood, wiping his knife on his pants. And within seconds, I was surrounded by the other members, all flashing really sharp knives.
  “You deaf, rolo? I said, who the fuck are you?”
  “Doesn’t matter who I am,” I replied. This voice, I didn’t recognize, but I was glad that it didn’t sound scared. It sounded kind of menacing. Good thing. Fear would only provoke them and I really didn’t want to get this boy killed.
  El Muerte is dead,” I said.
  They looked around at each other. “So what, you want us to hold hands and sing a fucking hymn or something?” But I knew he was not so unaffected by Andrés death on the inside. Their leader was dead and they had no clue what was going to happen now. 
  “I just want the girl,” I said. “Just give me the girl and I’ll leave.”
  He looked behind him. Then turned back. “That your guaricha?
  “She is now. So move.”
      There was a pause, then they all burst out laughing. I let them, knowing it would be their last happy moment.
  When they had quieted down, the member said, “She’s mine now, rolo. Now get the fuck out of here before I––” He stopped, finally noticing what I’d hoped the light would bring to his attention. “What the fuck is up with your eyes, rolo?
  I didn’t reply. I knew what he was seeing. Two solid black ojos that were reflecting his image back to him.
  He stepped closer. “I said––”
  He never saw me coming.
  With a single snap, I severed his neck from his spine. As he crumpled into a lifeless heap of low-life criminal, his boys jumped me. Only to find themselves being taken out one by one. I broke necks, stabbed hearts and ripped out souls. Six lives paid for the six lives taken.
  Evil would be pleased.
  Covered in blood, I approached the beauty. I was so glad she hadn’t been awake to watch me slaughter six men. Or rather, watch...Alejandro Carlos, slaughter six men.
  I searched her mind to find out where she lived, and found out her name was Luz Marina. A beautiful name for a beautiful girl. I lifted her up into my arms. She moaned a little but didn’t wake up. I made sure she stayed that way by making her dream she was already awake, then walked out of the warehouse.
  As I carried Luz’s slumbering body through the slums, I drew many stares. I didn’t care though. I simply swiped their memories of Alejandro’s face and pushed forward. If any of them had dared to piss me off by trying to interfere, I would’ve swiped every memory they had as compensation. Would’ve left them as mindless shells. But my eyes held them off, as well as scared the shit out of them and I liked that.
  From her memories I had learned that Luz lived with her daughter, Liliana, her sister, Paola and ailing mother, Claudia. Lu Mal had come calling and she’d answered. She’d become a drug mule to provide for her family. And almost hadn’t made it back home alive. But that wasn’t all. When she woke up, she would learn that the last girl to have her throat slit open had been her sister, Paola. Her sister had been a mule too.
  My black heart bled for her.
  I laid Luz on the threshold of her family’s tiny hovel. I wanted to take her inside, wash her and put her to bed, but I didn’t dare. Instead, I knocked, once, then twice, waited to hear that somebody was coming to the door, then dashed away.
  I heard an older woman’s frightened voice and a that of a little girl’s come to the door. They must’ve hurriedly pulled Luz inside because I heard the door shut only moments later. I hated leaving an ailing old woman and a child to deal with Luz alone, but I had no other choice. Out in the deserted alley behind Luz’s hovel, I let Alejandro go. Once free of me, he tore down the alley, screaming. They always did.  Being possessed was one thing. Being possessed and knowing you had been, was another.
  I vanished away, back to where Evil resided and actually sought him out. Something had changed for me. Luz Marina, for one. Paola, two. Lu Mal, three. They deserved vengeance for what he’d done to them. And I was going to help them get it.
  To summon Evil, I had to dig away the scar tissue in my arm where the word “Reaper” had been burned into it almost twenty years before. It was excruciating, but the only way.
  Evil appeared, as hideous and gruesome as it always was. Hollow face, rotten teeth, exposed brain. I wasn’t scared of anything, but Evil terrified me. I cowered from it. Just like people cowered from me.
  You summon me? Evil didn’t speak out loud. Not because it couldn’t, it just didn’t have to.
  I nodded. I could feel it prodding around in my head, searing my thoughts with its depravity, and I prayed it would find what it was looking for soon.
  When it had, it bore down on me with its demonic gaze. What is it you desire? Evil questioned. Tell me what it is you desire.
  I knew it already knew, but I was going to have to ask for it if I wanted it. I tried to speak, but only choked on air. I didn’t even know why I tried anymore. Reapers didn’t talk.
  I tried to get into its’ head, but failed. One didn’t penetrate Evil’s mind, and for even attempting it, Evil punished me.
  I was forced to my hands and knees, and into the concrete slab I cowered on, I was compelled to scratch out, L-U-Z, with my own fingers.
  I screamed with no sound. I lost most of my fingernails and scraped my skin down to the bone for those three letters. The pain was agonizing, complete torture, but Evil had gotten the message.
  That was the last thing I remembered.
  I woke up back in the slums of Bogota, naked and disoriented. I climbed out of the rotten garbage and filth I’d been lying in and stumbled into a cleaner part of the alley. I noticed right away that I wasn’t limping and that my body wasn’t in a constant state of torment anymore. I looked down and saw...
  I tore down the alley and the first guy I saw, I beat unconscious and stole his clothes. I didn’t care. I was a Reaper. Possibly one that had just been given a second chance.
  I stole away into the nearest hovel I thought might be empty. It was and I quickly locked myself in. I hunted down a mirror and stared with amazement at what I had become.
  I was mortal.
  Brunette, with green eyes and a nice physique. I’d always been the cute guy at school when I’d been alive. And when I’d actually gone to class. There were no scars, no wounds, no...nothing. I was perfect. But there was something else, and I realized it with dread. 
  I was still a Reaper. A harbinger of death. Just in a mortal’s body.
  A thought occurred to me then. I probably should’ve stayed dead. The world did not need me back in it. 
  But it was too late for that now.
  I looked at myself in the mirror, and spoke with my voice for the first time in almost two decades.
  “Welcome back, Bryce Gambit.”

Copyright © 2012 by Diantha Jones

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