“Purse on the ground, bitch!” a deep voice echoes between the alleyway.
A woman slides a bag over her apron.
With both hands, she burrows through it.
A cold slab of metal presses against the back of her skull.
Damsel’s fingers pinch something. As the woman’s body ascends, a blur snatches a colorful card from her grip.
“There—has tonight’s tips, also,” with eyes affixed to the front of the pistol, her wheezing turns into a sigh. “Can I go? P-please.”
The crook’s eyes jerk toward an ivory finger embedded with a ring. They look upon the design of a phoenix ouroboros with the style of an Egyptian hieroglyph.
A toothless smile, squeezed outwards by cracked lips, breaks into the light. “That diamond band too—”
The silhouette of a sword blends with the shadow of the thief’s wrist. His hand vanishes. Scarlet juices gush from the stump like a waterfall.
An aroma infused with cigarettes and mahogany overwhelms the smell of reeked meat.
“This piece looks great,” a murmur breezes through the shadow’s ear. “Must go for quite a bit on the market.”
Clamored mourns of the bandit flood the pathway.
The outline of a giant hand stretches toward the blood-soaked handgun. Glimmers of the alley’s flickering lights reveal a jet black glove. It reaches for a leather object.
“Stolen wallet?” fingers shuffle through a myriad of cards. “Useless.”
Sparks dance around the figure’s body, revealing bits of pale skin. It transforms into a being made from ash. Afterward, it collapses.
The girl extends for her handbag as dampened palms weave into the handle.
Her gaze surveys the arena.
Someone peeks their chef’s hat from the rays of light a door sprays into the alley. He faces the girl.
Body palpitating, she extracts the purse and bolts for the sidewalk. The hastened clanks of heels echoes while pants expel from her lips.
Sapphire eyes scan the jagged lines throughout the weapon.
Jaeger nine four zero. A popular Luger replica. This could go for at least double-o one Reivs on the heavy market.
“Could cover bat’ swapping, insurance, and inspiration—” brown boots with craters on the surface appear. “Maybe some new kicks, too.”
His eyes move toward the aged vehicles rallied with the dumpster amidst a lot. Their windows draped with blankets, filth-ridden shirts, and sun blockers.
Flickering rings and lights fills his vehicle as his dashboard vibrates.
Gazing at a coaster-like gadget, the word ‘Rainy’ appears within its screen. His finger drifts to the ‘Accept’ button. Millions of multi tinted pixels emerge from the device. They link to form the image of a thin girl.
“What do you want, sis?”
“Yo,” her voice chills the heat circulating inside of his body. “Dad wants to know if you can make it tomorrow for din din. He’s been wantin’ to see you.
“Keeps asking stuff like ‘how’s Derek?’ and ‘what’s that pale whippersnapper up to these days?’”
“Any occasion?” one of his brows arcs.
“It’s his birthday weekend. Duh,” her pinky and thumb strokes against her jawline. “But he has an orbital drop to Ho Chi Minh on Friday. So—can you make it?”
“Same as every other time we’ve met up. Sixteen forty-four. By the way, this’ll give you a chance to be under a roof for once. As opposed to lurking in your rape van and taking advantage of thugs. Right?”
“Um,” a grin creeps across his face. “Sure—why not. Haven’t been with the fam’ in a while.”
“All righty. See ya then—onii-channn!”
Waving a hand over the phone, the animation evaporates.
“I don’t wanna do this.” the boy launches a palm into the steering wheel.
“Derek!” a heavyset figure gazes at the boy’s pallid cheeks through an open door frame. “You’re alive!”
“Yup, I’m still breathin’ and scrappin’, paps,” both arms surround and collapse upon the man’s back.
A sparkle appears in their dad’s retina.
“How’s your new job at the restaurant? It feels like it’s been—” a cough drowns the songs of birds flying above the cul-de-sac. “forever since I have last seen you!”
“You know—” his stare switches to the girl in the doorway. She weaves strands of coiled cobalt hair through her fingers. “It’s a slaughter. So how’s the C.O.P.D. been treatin’ ya these days?”
“It has been a real pain in the behind. Yet, I’m pushing through like the rebel I am,” he turns to the girl. “Rainy, it’s your brother!”
She cups both palms, encasing his massive shoulders. “Yeah, paps, the man of the hour. Hey, have you taken your cells, today?”
“Thank you for reminding me,” a hack bursts from the man’s lips.
With a limp, he makes his way up many flights of stairs. Each step emits an ear-piercing creak.
“Still hasn’t fixed that?” Derek’s eyes follow their dad’s vibrating crocks.
“He’s sixty-seven years old, can only afford his daily stem cells, and coughs more than you do. What do you expect?” Her eyes roll from the boy to their dad. “So-oh—how’s your torture chamber?”
“Are you,” she presses plump dark blue lips against his ears. ‘Executing’ those debts?”
“Shh,” his knuckles ram into her chest. “He can’t know about what I do.”
“Why don’t you just get a normal job? Or better yet, go to university and capitalize on your limitless potential. Make a business, for the sake of the cosmos!”
“Nine to five jobs are a waste of time. Universities are a scam unless you’re going for a certain subject. And furthermore, I’m not smart enough to make my own business—”
“I seem to be doing fine with my degree—”
“You spend your days taking care of dad and binging Korean dramas—I wouldn’t define that as being ‘fine’.”
“We all define success in our own ways. My makeup drop shipping company is netting more than your petty thuggery.”
“What’s your income—”
“Rainy,” the man’s ailing voice reflects off the corridor’s surfaces,” could I get your help, please?”
“Go situate yourself in the kitchen—steak’s almost ready,” she says.
The sounds of voices speaking Korean echos through the house.
Making his way toward the fridge, Derek bumps a group of coconut milk to the side. A collection of bottles with a cartoon sun’s exhibiting smiles appears. His gaze shifts to the words ‘Bloody Moon Harvest Ale’.
Once a raging drunk, always a raging drunk, I see—
“L-little bro...” Rainy illustrates inside of his head. A cup filled to the brim with bubble tea forms in her grip. “Y-you can’t drink all that beer!”
He reaches for a knife on the countertop and digs the tip into the bottom of his glass.
“Why won’t the beer le-lemme shotgun it?” stings surge through his hand as he stares down the shards lining his arms. “Ow.”
“Rainy.” Derek’s trembling legs yanks him every direction while he bats at the Taiwanese drink. Each jab smacking the air.
“Gimme some of dat-dat dope—” as lips approach the straw, he sucks until his cheeks collapse inward. A taste of vodka and lychee floods his throat.
The aroma of beer mixed with Kimchi vents through the duos’ nostrils.
“Wh-why don’t daddy have superpowers, b-but we do?”
“Dude... I have never thought of that!” Rainy hovers her index finger above Derek’s nose. “Thet’s—that—that’s a wonderful thought!”
“What the hell!” Rainy’s muffled voice says.
Several thumps thrash against the ceiling.
Derek appears by his sister to find the blur of a figure lunging toward the two.
A claymore, the length of a door flashes from its pallid trench coat.
The chainsaw-like blade rends their father’s abdomen.
An armada of liquid particles emerges from the air, encircling Rainy’s wrist. A stream of water gushes from her hands.
The slouched assassin trudges, using an arm as a shield. Its cloak shreds into confetti and strands of skin peel.
Derek yanks a gun from his pocket.
It emits a barrage from a flickering barrel. Rounds drill into the figure’s skull and back.
The killer faints.
A fragrance of gunpowder flows through the room.
The piece ejaculates bullets until the shimmers dim. Smoke flows from the cannon’s mouth.
The boy hurls his body toward the corpse of his father. His appendages grasp a quaking fist of skin and bones.
“Dad?” a droplet runs against the son’s cheeks.
“Daddy?” Rainy’s eyes dart toward each half of his body.
“Freezer—” blood spouts into Derek’s face as a hack fills the room.
“What?” the two utter.
“Something—I-I need to tell—”
An identical robed figure burrows through the shattered window. Upon ascending, it towers over the three.
Rainy casts both palms in its direction. A slipstream propels from her hand, tearing the figure’s garbs into ribbons.
Chilled fingers garbed with cartilage entwine with the boy’s legs.
He gazes at a zombie—cleaved flesh and a starved crimson gaze.
The gun aligns with the fiend’s forehead. A click hearkens
Tossing the pistol, both hands stretch toward the sword in the floor.
His fingers weave into the handle and tugs. It doesn’t budge.
The monster’s palm clutches Derek’s fist and glares into his eyes.
No, no, no-o!
Burning sensations and cracks emanate from the boy’s hand.
A blade severs the figure’s collar.
As the head drops to the ground, the boy looks into the neon green eyes of a woman wearing an ebony cloth over her mouth.
Screams flood the room as the head morphs into a black broth. The fluid dissolves the flooring upon collision.
Ivory claws snag the girl’s raven locks.
Hips twist—her dagger lashes and lacerates. An encore of shrieks emits from the corpse.
“Are you two well?” a soothing voice utters while shifting her sight between the siblings.
Rainy positions her palms toward the cinnamon tinged girl. “Who the hell are you and what’s going on?”
The rescuer raises a brow while dropping her dirk. “I don’t understand why you’re threatening the person who just saved your asses.”
Haze accumulates, encasing Rainy’s hands with fog.
The girl aims a palm at Rainy as her pupils return to normal. “I’m here for revenge on this cocksucker—”
Rays of light spray through the window. A tune of unisex opera singers reverberates throughout the house.
“He has risen! He has risen! Our savior is here!”
The three move behind the window frame. A figure garbed with shimmering armor strides across the desolate street.
The scent of frankincense flows through the neighborhood.
A mirrored helmet faces a trio of pallid cloaks.
The first of the group lunges.
A scythe rips through the claymore and neck of the figure.
The next one approaches.
A blade flashes from the golden hulk’s wrist and ascends. Another misplaced head.
“What’s that?” Derek reverses and reaches for his long sword. His fingers itch the air. “Balls.”
“An egocentric maniac who we don’t wanna mingle with—” droplets dribble across the girl’s forehead. “Now we run.”
A cloaked person oscillates their arm. An obscure object passes the being.
Its neck separates and garb collapses.
Many more robed figures dash toward the metallic character.
The armor-clad being hurls its body while leaping like an acrobat. Each motion turns into a glistening afterimage as the music intensifies. Each melody matches the monstrous sickle’s sways.
The giant leaps atop a trash bin next to the window. Feet jolt along the walls and launches itself through the shattered glass sheet.
The singing muffles.
“Where d-do we run—” Derek says.
The warrior bursts toward the opening ahead of the three.
A choir of howls echoes throughout the skies.
“Anywhere away from here!” Rainy’s body palpitates as the figure steps closer.
Heartbeats in tandem with distant sirens remain as the only discernible noises.
Derek wraps one arm, compressing both girls.
An ivory tundra. An emerald jungle. A sandy plain smeared with solar panels. Those in unison with other landscapes surface inside of his mind as his eyelids collapse
Purple bags under the boy’s pale face forms in the helmet’s reflection.
The scythe transforms into a blur as it reaches Derek’s peripherals.
The three morph into shadows.