May 25, 2010


7. Execution

12:10 pm
Lou & Lake; North Cedar Hill Cemetery

“Lake, who are these people?” Lou kept his eyes fixed on the six armed men.

“You didn’t tell him? What a treacherous girl you are.” Weston scoffed and pulled another arrow from his quiver. “Well, I guess I’ll tell him for you. You see boy, she’s one of us. Well, she used to be.” Weston smeared the widest grin on his narrow shaped skull. “Can you really even trust her?”

“What do you mean ‘one of them’? Who are you people?” Lou shuddered as his head began to pound. Ugh... I still have this rocking headache. Lou’s head was about to explode. “Someone tell me what’s going on!” He took a step forward. The three gunmen leapt up and pointed their large arms at Lou. “Whoa, easy, easy. It was only a question.” Lou raised his hands. He felt faint and couldn’t stop sweating.

“It’s alright men.” Weston shot another one, this time it connected with Lake’s left leg and she plummeted to the ground leaving a vulnerable Lou. Weston aimed again, dead-set on Lou’s skull. He fired. “He’s my kill.”

The arrow stopped an inch from Lou’s left eyeball. Laken Courland; a shot to her leg didn’t keep her quick hands from grabbing an arrow moving at 450 feet per second.

Lou flinched. “Ahh! What the…?”

“Incredible. Even as you lay there helpless, you still raise your hand to the enemy.” Weston gave her small applause as he let go of his bow. “I expected nothing less from my former partner.”

“Lake, are you alright?” Lou ducked inward. Former partner? “Now I really need to know what’s going on.” He paused. “Lake, Who are you?”

Lake wished the arrow hadn’t gone completely through her leg. Her hands hovered over it but were careful not to touch it. Her focus was divided between Lou’s questions and her ability to stand up and face the enemy.

“Enough talk, boy. Men, proceed to the judgment of Miss Laken Courland.” In seconds, the two swordsmen leapt out from behind the gunmen and grabbed the fallen girl; her hair broke through the ponytail, leaving an explosion of hair all over Lake’s face. Both of them stood to the side of her, carrying an arm between the two of them. Lake tried her best to wiggle her way out, but her throbbing leg felt chained to the earth, dragging her lower and lower. “Let’s make sure you don’t try to escape this one.” Weston slipped her a dose of something from a small syringe. He waited till he saw Lake’s eyes clamp wide open. “You feel it? It’s sharp, isn’t it? It only lasts for a couple of minutes but it leaves you in quite the trance.” Weston removed the syringe and ordered the two soldiers to drag her body in front of one of the graves.

“Wait… no, stop! What are you doing to her? What did you inject her with?” Lou tried to reach for Lake but was interrupted by the gunmen approaching him.

Weston had pulled the smallest of arrows out of his quiver, no longer than half a foot.

“Your last words, 2nd Lieutenant Courland. Please explain yourself before this arrow reaches the inside of your brain.” Weston’s words caused a flinch in Lou’s neck and he saw Lake staring straight back at him.

“I resigned my former post as 2nd Lieutenant this morning, West.” Lake tried her hardest not to cry, her words were silent and breathy. “The REAP organization is a powerful company Lou, you must understand their control over people like us. They do what they need to keep the peace. Unfortunately, that means doing anything.” Lake stopped forcing out her words. “This morning, when I saw you collapsed in that earthquake, I saved you and I ran. The reapers… they cover up anything. They would’ve killed you if they saw you there.” Her tears began to flow down her hidden face.

“And that is precisely what intrigues me, Miss Courland. What history do you have with this peasant?” Weston’s gesture aimed at Lou. “Who is he that you would sacrifice your own life to protect? He is a boy who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and that is all!”

“Hey, she saved my life! I don’t know what you guys want with me but she doesn’t deserve this!” His stutter was obviously spoken beneath his tongue. The warning of a trembling sense was shivered down both his legs.

“Shut it kid. You’ll get your turn.” One of the gunmen held his AK-47 inches from Lou’s face. Lou had only to watch his savior, moments from death.

“The chairmen have ordered your fatality Miss Courland. The Colonel spoke to me personally about your elimination. And the elimination of everyone collaborated with this mess.”

“This went as far as the chairmen?” Lake’s weeping front had transformed into a sneering narcissistic visage. “Sorry I gave those lazy geezers something to worry about.” Her laughs came out as coughs and her face was as bloodshot as her eyes.

Weston kneeled and faced her.

“You know, the best part of that drug I gave you is that it completely concentrates your blood. It thickens it. Your body should feel very heavy by now and your muscles should feel utterly exhausted.” Weston stepped back and dusted off his dirtied pant legs. He held up the small arrow. “I call this arrow the ‘Long-legs’ after my favorite spider.” He began fondling the tip of his deadly weapon. “This small arrow is set to extend extra limbs upon impact. But by then the arrow should be lodged deep within your skull. If the singular shot doesn’t kill you, the resulting compartments will.” Weston’s proud glare made Lou cringe at the thought.

The already-fallen Laken Courland fell lower and her eyes were completely bloodshot. She gasped for breath and her hair dripped with her tears. “It’s… such a …. such a shame…” her words were wheezed from behind her teeth.

“Are you alright Miss Courland?” Weston mocked. “Please speak with your head not touching the ground. We’re not animals.” Weston nobly plucked his bowstring with the arrowhead of his most dangerous weapon.

Lake forced out a snigger. “It’s amusing, isn’t it? That the lowest person here today isn’t the person with her head against the floor.” Lake began lifting her head to find Weston’s flustered expression. “Is your collar tight enough, Monsieur Valor?”

Weston scoffed and lowered his head. He began pulling back on his bow.

“Please remember one thing, West.” She looked up again. “When you’re inches from death and you look back on your life, just remember what I told you today.” Lake paused and took a deep breath. “You were never on the right side! You and all of REAP can burn in hell!” Spit flew from Lake’s mouth and onto Weston’s pants, her tears began flowing again as she turned to Lou.

Weston began his chant. “Please lord; be merciful to this lost soul; repent all sins and have pity as she dies trusting in your boundless …”

“Keep praying Blondie, we’re gonna add 5 more tombstones to this graveyard!” A deep and familiar voice was heard about 10 meters in front of Lou.

A know this voice: Kings, his name was Kings. Lou saw Sam and his female accomplice. He saw Sam’s huge exterior rush over dozens of tombstones. He saw him knock down the two soldiers who had Lake chained in front of her mother’s grave. They’re saving her. Lou’s fear from earlier had vanished with the appearance of his former murders.

“Don’t hold back men, this is Samuel Kings. He is also convicted with the earlier incident.” Weston pointed the guns towards the tall and rather, sinister creature.

“How’s it going Crowley-boy? Remember us? Hahaha!” Sam had his large hands gripped around the neck of one of the soldiers, using his body as a shield against the incoming gunshots. The bullets were fast and loud.

Lou ducked and covered his ears. AHHHH! My head, it’s killing me!! He backed off as much as possible to hide behind a nearby tombstone.

“Sam, get down!” Lillian Knights; much smaller compared to Sam, but was calm and in control of all her surroundings. She stood behind Sam and had prepared something special for the 3 firing soldiers.

Sam smiled and jumped out of Lily’s way, revealing Lily’s right hand engaging in a swiping motion. Her wrist was moving at rapid speed and her elbow followed, presenting Lily’s rollercoaster-like formation. A final sweep flew the full extension of Lily’s arm and the sound of a blustering breeze reached all the way to Lou’s ear. From a single flick of Lily’s wrist all three soldiers were knocked off their feet from an invisible gust of wind. They flew back over 3 tombstones.

“Whoa.” Lou was glad he had stayed hidden, and was clear of Lily’s hand. He tried to find anything on her arm that made her do what she just did, but Lily’s arm was bare from the shoulder down.

Lou searched for Lake after having watched all 5 soldiers defeated within minutes. His eyes panned over Lake’s mother’s grave and found her flat on her back, gasping for breath. Lake. He hoped his courage was enough to cross over to her, but his legs trembled at the thought of getting struck by one of Weston’s arrows.

“Ha! That’s the way!” Sam had let go of the defeated soldier’s neck and made a run for Weston Valor.

Weston couldn’t take anymore interference. He grabbed two regular arrows and immediately fired them at the charging bull in front of him.

Sam gladly took both shots to his left shoulder and shifted his weight onto his right side. He held out his right palm and clenched in open fist as if holding a small dagger. Weston was unprepared for the threat in front of him as he was reloading his bow with another arrow. Sam was only a couple of feet in front of him when he whipped his entire arm upward as if slashing the air itself. Weston didn’t know what to expect as he slid a few feet backward. He watched Sam halt completely in his tracks, frozen as his arm was still reaching for the sky and his palm still gripping the ‘invisible dagger’.

“Are fancy poses all you and your partner are good for?” Weston was prepared once more, his breaths were tapered after hopping out of harms way. Sam only smiled and let down his arm.

“What lovely hair you have, good sir.” Sam teased as he lowered his right hand revealing a lock of curly blonde hair fairly inked with stains of blood.

Weston touched his right hand to his left cheek. He felt the warm and wet company of blood, which was now dripping its way down Weston’s face. Weston reached again to feel for his beautiful hair but only to notice the absence of many strands. When did he…? Finally, he dried his dripping red cheek with the sleeve of his jacket and marked on; removing any fury he had left within his eyes.

“I believe I’ve taken this ordeal too lightly, but now that I have the four offenders within my sight, I shall eliminate each of you, indefinitely.” Weston removed a pair of black gloves with white crosses labeled on the wrists and an emblem with the letters ‘R.E.A.P’ read overtops the crosses. “With the duty of a lieutenant, and as a descendant from the Valor family, I shall not fail my obligation towards God or my father.” After slipping on both gloves his head rose to reveal the blue-eyed fiend who appeared much larger than the previous blonde-haired archer.

Weston’s glare had Lou begging for death. To him, Weston and his 1 Bow & Arrow felt like a thousand pistols aimed in his direction. Everywhere Lou thought to escape there was a wall of bullets moving at the speed of Lou’s racing heartbeat. But as he digressed his own fears he was quickly reminded of a dying young lady. “I’ve got to reach Lake. I’ve gotta help her.”

Weston reached for another arrow from his quiver. After simply touching one, a soft wisp of steam began to pump itself away from Weston’s hand.

“Samuel. We can’t win, we have to run. Now!” From the very beginning Lily knew the outcome of facing a Reaper’s 1st lieutenant, and her decisive measurements weren’t for naught. She suddenly heard a rumble from the distance. Are more of them coming?

“Not now babe, we’re just getting to the good part.” Sam let Lily’s haste fly straight passed him and he concentrated on the miniature behemoth standing before him. He locked both his legs and shot both arms downwards, again clenching his open fists as if holding something in between. “Take your best shot, Blondie.” Samuel’s smile grew larger.

No, we’ve got to run. He’s too strong. They’re coming, we have to leave. Lily watched as 2 of the fallen gunmen slowly recovered, she watched as their hands and legs were coming to life reaching for their hefty set of armaments. She listened intently to the feet of the many more soldiers’ only seconds from where they now stood. Her eyes however, couldn’t help but become enticed by the sudden movement from Louis Crowley who had made his way over to the fallen lady who seemed motionless. Half-way, she saw Lou’s legs trip and stumble over something as insignificant as a stone or simply the grass in front of him. Lily saw how much he dreaded running in this undead-battlefield, and she witnessed his agitation by the way he cringed his face, but what she couldn’t stop staring at were his eyes; the eyes of a man willing to leap out from the world that once safeguarded him and into the fiery hell that cast even the bravest of warriors into despair.

Gotta make it. Gotta make it. I hope she’s alright. Lou could feel Lake’s kiss again. He saw the most innocent girl in the world shot down by a group of costumed men with massive weapons lugged over their shoulders, all for the sake of keeping something ‘hush-hush’. The only moving creature once more was Louis Crowley; running in the same shorts he wore since 6 am that morning. He felt a strange feeling just then: he felt that the very moment he began racing towards her, that that moment would never end. He felt he’d be locked in that moment for days and days, and by the end of it he wouldn’t save her. He felt he would miss that 3-point shot that the entire team was counting on to win the game. And he felt that he would die.

“Come at me! I’m waiting, tough guy!” Sam thrust himself forward, awaiting the first shot from the solemn soldier. The non-existent clatter from the eyes of the two men made the gravity increase tenfold.

“Sam! They’re here. We have to leave!” Lily’s voice was drowned by the gunshots and the stomping of the dozens of soldiers who were all only 15 meters away. She felt a sharp sting in her left shoulder and she knew it was too late. The reapers had appeared to eradicate any trace of ‘mystic flesh’ found on this graveyard. From the front end to the back, the herd of blue soldiers carried guns, they carried swords. Some were large and some were larger.

Lou hadn’t cared to look up. His prime directive was set on his half-beaten comrade who was still lying on the ground in front of her mother’s grave, motionless.

Sam heard the commotion moving in from the side of him, but he knew he couldn’t lose sight of the prey, not even for a second. Bullets whizzed by his ear and even grazed Sam’s knee, but he wouldn’t budge until the foe in front of him was the foe beneath him.

Weston could hear them, his party of soldiers. They’re finally here, huh? A little too late. I have all of them in my range and I’ll take each of them down in less than a single second. First target: The moving good-for-nothing kid who began this entire mess. Weston readjusted his aim to the moving target directly behind Samuel Kings.

He’s aiming at the Crowley-boy. And it looks like Lily’s already down. We might have to move out before we’re completely surrounded. “Lily!” Sam’s head did the tiniest of twists to reach out to her. “Take the girl and….”

“Sam, watch out!” If it hadn’t been for Lily’s forewarning the arrow would have most likely struck Samuel’s head clean through to the other side.

What a way to catch someone off guard. This guy doesn’t let a single mistake go unpunished. Sam had tilted his head just enough to barely keep his right eyeball, and yet the arrow’s path was still set for its true objective.

Gotta make it. Gotta make it. The arrow, still moving at 500 feet per second was painting a bulls-eye straight through to the center of Louis Crowley’s forehead. Lou was running blindly into his demise but all he could see in front of him was his savior, crying for help.

Oh shit! The arrow’s moving way too fast now. I can’t make it in time. Sam hopelessly tried to reach out for Lou but knew it was pointless.

The arrow finally hit. The sound it created echoed throughout the entire cemetery. It had so much impact that the four people surrounding it wore the same distraught expression.

Lou caught her. The arrow sunk deep within her chest. She could no longer stand on her one foot and she had barely any life left inside her. “Lou……..” Her words were so breathlessly proposed that the only thing Lou heard was his name. She hugged him for the last time.

That chick took the hit for him. Unbelievable. Sam began to run. He could see Weston reload his weapon. As much as Sam could, he frayed off any arrow that was directed at the four off them and he grabbed Lou. “Sorry kid, we gotta run.” Sam had left her, the person Lou was dying to save, and the person who saved his life not once, but twice.

“Stop. We have to save Lake. She’s lying there. She’s still alive!” Lou was cushioned underneath Sam’s armpit. “Let me go!” He struggled his best but was no match for Sam’s locked grip. Sam was now ducking in and out, evading bullets and arrows. He constantly looked over his shoulders to find Weston’s arrows spiraling towards him.

“Lily! Are you okay to run?!” He was only steps away from her.

“Yea, I’m fine!” Lily hadn’t stopped ogling at the girl. She was collapsed and crushed by Weston’s single arrow. The image of her rising from the ground to take the arrow straight through her chest for someone else was the most astonishing instants Lily had ever witnessed. She broke sight of everything that could kill her and joined her partner as they ran as fast they could.

“What are you doing?!” Lou screamed. “She’s still alive, I have to save her!”

“Don’t push your luck, kid. What do you think would happen if she found out that she sacrificed her own life so that you could go back and die, huh?” Sam was still dodging most of the bullets shot at him.

Lou tried hard to see over Sam’s arm, trying to find Lake. He instead found a lock of blood-stained hair that Sam had inadvertently cut from Weston’s head. Lou tried over Sam’s arm again and found the gang of soldiers lined up in front of Lake and Weston. Lake remained poor and immobile but Weston didn’t take a second to even consider her pain before he killed her. Lou couldn’t watch anymore, his weakness caused a kind person like Lake to be killed and he couldn’t do a thing about it. His head rolled down to his chest and he sniveled for the shortest while.

“I… I can't believe it. I don't know why...” But Lou stopped. His sorrow was strong, but his determination was stronger. He became well enough to rise and look back again, but the soldiers and Lake were far gone. Once again he saw the blood-stained hair from the blonde archer. He looked again, but this time the red color was beginning to diminish. The red was literally rolling off the hair and disappearing. What came underneath was a blackened sludge that resembled blood, but was in no way the same. Lou picked it up.

“Is this … black blood?”

1:30 pm.

No comments:

Post a Comment