Chapter 1 Shattered
A bird screeched, and a black spherical drone rushed from the top of the skyscraper. The claws twinkled and rushed toward the drone, slamming into it and tearing the metal. The drone whirled and scraped against the side of a brick building. It dived and burrowed into the mud as a large shadow of the bird passed. Drops of water fell from the sky and splashed against the drone’s black metal surface.
The rain stopped, and the drone laid on the soft mud as droplets of water slid down. Its red light blinked and wires stuck out from its body. The red light faded as shoes slapped against the mud. Donovan, a slender man in a trench coat with spiky dark brown hair, grabbed the drone, and he took all of the parts including screws and bits of copper wire and placed it into a plastic bag.
In an alley, a mother and a kid covered themselves with a gray rag full of dirt stains and holes. The child’s stomach growled, and the father dug through a garbage can, throwing banana peels, empty milk cartons, and diapers.
Donovan reached for his wallet, and it was a couple of twenties and a ten-dollar bill. He reached for the ten from his wallet and approached the father.
The father smiled, and a tear slid down his face. He pulled the ten, but he felt a tug.
Donovan’s fingers pressed against the ten and ripped a bit of the bill from the top. His heart stopped, and the tear caused his fingers to unhook.
The man rubbed the ten across his face and inhaled the scent of the money. He ran to his family and showed them the ten. They smiled and leaped for joy.
Donovan walked away from the alley and stood from a bridge. He looked at a park with bare trees and weeds sprouting to the knees. The homes were made out of rusted sheets of metal and cardboard boxes. People played cards, hanged and washed their clothing, and some delinquents grabbed material from other houses. A man frowned and poked another in the chest as spit flew from his mouth into the others face. A fist launched, and both men rolled on the floor, punching each other.
Donovan walked away into an urban area, entering his home with mail in his hand. He opened his large fridge, and a loaf of bread remained. His stomach growled, but Donovan closed the fridge and sat on the table, ripping open the envelope and pulling out the paper. As he drank from his cup, his eyes enlarged, and he spat the water on the paper. The paper fell to the floor, and he slammed his fist more than once on the counter. Then he grabbed an empty glass and threw it against the wall, shattering it to pieces.
He swept the shattered glass as the radio played music from a violinist, and the doorknob twisted. It was Cassidy, and she appeared, having wavy blonde hair that glowed when the light shined. Her skin was fair, and her bright blue eyes would make your heart race. Cassidy’s smile would light up the room, and it would spread to whoever was around her.
She held a bag of food with meat and bottled water. Cassidy laid it on the table, and her necklace showed. There was a seven-pointed star with a ruby stone in the middle, and it hung from the necklace. She leaned toward her husband and kissed him with her soft lips and said, “Well, I can hardly wait. Tell me what happened?”
He shut the radio off and said, “You’re the only positive thing today. Sadly, I don’t have any good news.”
She said, “Don’t worry about it. I know for sure we’ll make it out of this.”
He lowered his head and said, “I can’t see what you view anymore. I only see black and white.” His eyes watered and his fingers tapped on the surface of the counter.
She stroked his face. “Our luck will change. The dark clouds in the sky don’t last forever.”
He looked out the window and heat flowed into his eyes. “Storms end, but how do I know this one won’t take me before the sun rises.”
Cassidy wrapped her arms around Donovan and snuggled close to him. She touched the ring on his finger and said, “What does this mean to you?”
“Isn’t it obvious, love.”
“It means you’re not alone. We’re one.” She rubbed his hand and said, “You steer the ship, and I’ll guide you out from the storm and into the sunset.”
They kissed in front of a window behind a sun setting, showing their silhouettes together.
The moonlight shined into their bedroom, and Cassidy laid in bed with her arms across the mattress. Her hands laid on the bed sheets that have been turned, and an imprint was left on the pillow and on the mattress. The knob twisted, and the door from their room closed.
Donovan entered his work room and wiped the sweat from his forehead. In the room, there was a clean table with a laptop. Papers covered the other desks, and they were filled with sketch designs.
Donovan closed his laptop of an article containing a picture of many tan boots marching. He threw the plastic bag on the table and set the tool box. His fingers unzipped the bag with the damaged drone, and he cracked his knuckles. As he took the drone apart, a coin-shaped piece with the dead light bounced. It rolled off the edge, and he jumped, throwing his hand and hitting the corner of the table. The part rolled from the crack of his fingers and onto the wooden floor. As it moved closer to a hole, he dived and slid on the floor, hitting his head against a chair and knocking over papers.
The papers scattered across the floor and covered the hole. Donovan rose and moved them. There was a paper stuck to the backside, and it saved it from falling into the hole. He detached the paper and found a phone number on it. A message was written on the paper, and his eyes moved toward a specific part.
The message read: We’ve watched you, and we’ve admired your inventions. Contact us, and I promise you that I can give you the life you once had.
Donovan walked toward a trash can but stopped. He folded the paper and placed it into his pocket. Then he grabbed the coin device and put it in a cabinet, securing it with a combination lock.
He pressed three hidden black buttons, and a small drone activated. It flew around the room in specific straight lines without curving, and two shelves full of historical figure books moved, revealing a hidden door. He brought all the parts that were on the table and entered the secret room.
The next day, in an office, a man in a suit wore glasses and wrote as the pen scratched on paper.
The hands on the clock moved steady, and the ticks echoed in Donovan’s mind. He pulled his tie and scratched his head as the man scrolled his red mouse.
His scrolling finger stopped, and he adjusted his glasses with one hand. “You said your name was Donovan Macedon?”
He handed Donovan’s portfolio. “I admire your designs, but your intentions worry me.”
“I can adjust the situation. I can fix anything with my hands.”
“Your work doesn’t need fixing. It’s perfect. It’s just the creator.”
Donovan tapped his fingers on the desk and said, “My creations establish a better future. They promise you and your company a historical place in books. I’ll work till my flesh and bones are merely dust to make that happen.”
The man’s hands came together, and he said, “I’m sorry Mr. Macedon, we’re not interested in you or your dreams.”
Donovan’s fingers curled, and a vein showed from the top of his forehead.
The man pointed to the door. “Now, please get out of my office.”
Donovan stepped outside with his eyes as large as an owl, and he took deep breaths, opening and closing his hands as he cracked his knuckles. Suddenly, A white liquid landed on the top of his hair and slid down his neck.
A large brown bird with a yellow beak sat on top of the building and adjusted its claws on the gutters as it shuffled its feathers. A rock flew and smacked into the bricks near the bird. The bird grabbed a stick from the gutters and threw it into Donovan’s face.
Donovan stumbled and crashed into trash cans. He grabbed many rocks and threw them at the bird, but he missed its body.
The last rock hit the claw of the bird, and it rose into the air. It dived toward Donovan like a torpedo and its razor-sharp claws flung out.
Donovan fell into the mud and dodged the claws of the bird.
The bird rose high in the sky and went for another dive.
Donovan ran into an alley and bumped into trash cans as the screech of the bird echoed. He ran into a dead end, and the bird soared into the clouds, preparing for another dive. He searched through the trash and grabbed a bottle and balloon.
The bird dived down with its razor claws toward Donovan’s direction.
Donovan attached the balloon over the lid of the cut bottle and placed a rock inside the balloon. The bird opened its beak and let out a shriek.
Donovan pulled the balloon, holding the rock inside the rubber. His fingers separated and released the rock.
The bird’s eyes enlarged, and its feathers scattered. It spun out of control, and its wing slammed into Donovan. It flapped its wings and soared into the sky away from him.
Donovan wiped the mud from his black pants, and pieces of it landed on a gray blanket. It was a blanket with holes, stains, and blood. It was ripped, and pieces of the fabric laid on the floor. He followed the pieces, and it led to a dumpster. A rotten egg scent reached him, and he covered his nose and almost vomited.
His mouth dropped. Flies raced around, and small toes laid on the ground, covered in the mud behind the dumpster. A fly landed and groomed itself on a finger where a hand stuck from the dumpster. As Donovan stood in shock, someone pushed him to the floor, and he slid in the mud.
Six men in mahogany leather jackets stood in front of Donovan. Six wore red ski masks while the man in the middle face showed with a mustache and a goatee, and his name was Paul.
A man in a red ski mask cocked his gun back and slid his finger across the trigger, aiming at Donovan.
Donovan gulped and shut his eyes.
Paul said, “Hold it you bloodthirsty animal, or you’ll find the next bullet wedged between your skull.” He walked toward Donovan and took his knife. “You look familiar. I’ve seen you somewhere before.” He grabbed Donovan’s jaw and placed his knife near his face. “Tell me, why do I recognize you?”
A red mask drifted downward in front of the group of men.
The men grabbed their pistols, and the hairs on their necks stood. A man said, “Sir, we must leave now.”
Paul tapped Donovan’s cheek. “It seems I’ve got more important things to do.” He let go of Donovan and stood. “Just some words of advice. Never interfere with Scarlet affairs.” Two men ran toward Paul. “Let’s go. We must follow orders.” He turned to the others and said, “Stand your ground. Do not allow him to follow us.”
The four remaining men cocked their guns back and hid behind cover. They placed their finger near the trigger and moved their eyes left to right.
A plastic bag rolled from a corner and floated toward them like a hovering ghost. A dagger shot from the top of the building and slammed into the head of a man.
A man wearing a black jacket with a hood above his head leaped from a low part of the building and disarmed one of the men.
The others fired but missed and penetrated the flesh of their own gang.
The man in the hood fired the stolen gun, and it hit a man in the head. He fired his last shot into the last Scarlet trying to run away.
Donovan crawled away but knocked over a trash can and grabbed the attention of the man in the hood.
The man walked toward him and took his hood off. It was a man with medium black hair with a neatly trimmed beard and mustache. “You there, you’ve nothing to fear.” His hand reached toward Donovan. “My names Barry.”
Donovan was lifted, and he nearly slipped on the mud. He glanced at a symbol on Barry’s jacket which had three scepters.
Donovan said, “Why did you help me?”
“I didn’t. I just happen to arrive.” Barry walked and reached into the pockets of the dead men and took cash from the wallets.
Donovan watched him.
“What? It’s not like he’s going use it. Do you want some?”
Donovan lifted his hand for a second but returned it back to his waist. “I don’t think I can.”
“Well, I won’t argue with that.” Barry yanked his dagger from a head and cleaned the blood using a red mask. He tossed it in the mud and said, “You must go before more Scarlets infest the area. I doubt you’ll be lucky next time.” He then ran out from the alley.
After Barry had left, Donovan reached for the wallet on the body of the dead man. He opened it and found a ten ripped from the top, covered in red spots. His fists clenched, and he bit his lip as his eyes heated.
Donovan returned home and put on new clothes. He sat at a table, tapping his finger against the desk as sweat flowed down his neck. He stared at his computer screen as the dots move in a circular motion. The beat of his heart accelerated, and a pulsing heat rushed from his chest. The circular motion stopped, and a box appeared, showing only three hundred dollars left. He grabbed his hair, and a stinging heat surged above his head. He let go and slammed his fist against the table, biting his lip and trying to prevent a stream of water from rushing down his face.
Donovan walked past a broken, blue violin with strings sticking from it and turned on the radio. He shut his eyes and sat on a reclining chair with his fist clenched. One tear flowed down his face, and his hands loosened. He sat there for three hours.
It was eleven at night, and the knob of the door shook. His wife stumbled in, and her eyes drooped.
Donovan ran and lifted her up in his arms, taking her to their bedroom and covering her body with a blanket. His hand touched fresh blisters on her hand. “Are you ok? Is there anything else I can do for you?”
“No, having you here is just fine.”
“There must be something more than that. Just tell me. I don’t like seeing you this way.” He kissed her hand.
“Well, there is one thing.”
“What is it?”
She touched his hand and said, “Have faith for the both of us. We’ll make it out. Just believe.” She started to fade as she held his hand. “Trust me, trust me.”
Donovan opened his hand and held the star with the ruby that Cassidy gave him. It was the star that they found together. He turned off the light and placed the star in front of a picture of him proposing to Cassidy and in the background, was a painting of a person with green eyes and light pink hair with a signature as the number two.
Donovan entered his work room and paced back and forward with his hands together behind his back. He activated his mini-drone, and the shelves moved. Donovan walked to his computer and closed an article he viewed recently of foreign jets flying in formation.
He grabbed his tools and waited for the hidden door to reveal itself from the bookshelves, but the mini-drone curved and its propeller shot out and hit the wall. The drone swirled and rushed downward toward Donovan and nearly hit him but slammed through the crack of the shelves where the hidden door was located. The door was barely visible.
He reached through the cracks and was inches from touching the damaged drone as a burning soared through his arm and fingers. He retreated and pushed against the shelves, staring at the door as sweat dripped down his face, but the shelves didn’t move. He slid his fingers and body downward against the wall and knelt on the floor as his tears gushed out from his eyes.After he had wiped his eyes and nose, he reached into his pocket and grabbed the paper and phone, dialing the number that was on the paper. “Hello, it’s Donovan. I’m leaving you a message to tell you that I have decided to take your offer. I want to work with you, but we must discuss some concerns I have. I look forward to meeting you as soon as possible.” He hung up and placed the paper on the table. On the paper, was a stamp with three scepters going outward in the inside of a circle. Below the symbol was the organization’s name. The Trioscepters.