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Chapter 10 Fire Rekindled

A door slammed, and Dakota jumped up. She was surrounded by concrete walls, and there was a wooden door with an opening that had bars. It was dark in the room, and there were no windows, and the light only shined from the door’s opening window. She got up, but the chains connected to the wall tugged on a metal thing wrapped around her torso.

On the side of her, a woman sat with her head down on her knees. “Dakota, there’s no escape. We’re stuck here,” said the brunette woman.

“No, we must escape. We can’t live like this anymore. Don’t give up hope.”

“I’ve already given up. I’ve got nothing to lose anymore. Ever since he left, I’ve not been the same. I miss him.”

Dakota pulled her chains and the screws loosened. “Don’t talk like that. We’ll get out of here together. We’ll no longer be their puppets.”

Her green eyes showed above her arms and tears dropped. “Dakota, please help me. I can’t take any more of this.”

The door flung open, and three men appeared. A man, wearing a black shirt said, “Which one did the doctor want for the experiment. The men beside him spoke in his ear. “All right get her.” They walked toward the woman and grabbed her.

The woman said, “Dakota, don’t let them take me. Please, don’t let them.”

Dakota yanked her chain as the burning intensified on her torso and her teeth pressed against each other with every pull. The man in the black shirt launched punches at Dakota, and she gasped for air.

The man said to the others, “Hurry up. We mustn’t keep the doc waiting.”

Dakota laid on the floor and held her stomach. Her vision blurred and the woman’s scream echoed in her mind.

“Dakota, Dakota,” said the woman.

They struggled to hold the woman out the door.

Dakota’s legs shook as she stood up. She grabbed the chain and pulled as her veins showed. The metal pressed against her hands and her blood dripped on the floor. The metal plate fell from the wall, and she flew off, landing on her back. She limped out the door and held her stomach as the chains dangled from her back. At the end of the hallway, the three men struggled to hold the kicking and punching women. They took the woman into the room, and the door slammed shut.

Dakota’s eyes opened, and she fell off the couch as she took deep breaths. It was 6 pm, and Cassidy was at her house in a blue dress with decorative patterns. Dakota said, “Why are you dressed?”

Cassidy said, “I thought I told you I was going to be performing at the Hope Center.”

“In the condition you’ve been in. You’ve cleaned me out of tissues and won’t eat. Sometimes I find you here in the middle of the night crying your eyes out. I don’t think you should perform.”

Cassidy said, “I must do something to keep my mind occupied. I won’t let any problems get in the way of my life.”

“I understand but why not do something else? You can always reschedule for another day.”

“You’re right I could always reschedule, but I don’t want to. The money will be made for the children’s hospital.” She picked up a photo from Dakota’s table, and it was a picture of Dakota with scars on her face in a hospital bed. In the photo, Dakota gave a thumbs up and beside her was Cassidy with balloons. “I’ve always believed our purpose is to help and love one another. Nobody can make it in this world by themselves. We need each other, so I’m going to do my part.”

It was 7 pm at the Hope Center, and Dakota left the room where Cassidy prepared herself. Many people filled the auditorium, and Dakota said, “This is the largest crowd I’ve seen in any of her concerts.” Cassidy’s friends sat in the front row seat and greeted Dakota. The front seats were filled except for two empty seats, and she sat next to the empty seat.

It was 7:15 pm and the show was about to start. Cassidy checked herself in the mirror and opened the cabinet. She searched through the clutter, and a photo appeared. It was an image of her smiling with her arms wrapped around Donovan at a party. She covered her mouth, and her tears fell on the photo. A mysterious case was on the side of the wall, and she grabbed it. It was a blue violin, and it was finally fixed. Heat rushed to her chest and her heart beat. Her hand settled on her chest and she said, “I miss him.”

It was 8:30 pm. Dakota and the crowd threw their hands up in the air to the sound of her music as Cassidy played the blue violin. Concert light shined, and they danced to the beat. Dakota then left to use the restroom. She came out, and two men talked, wearing hoodies with black gloves. A tall man picked up his phone, and he pointed his finger. His short partner ran in the direction pointed, and then the tall man headed in the opposite direction. Dakota became curious, and she followed the short man.

Dakota walked into the back room and hid behind some crates. Four men stood.

Rudy, a man with short hair and a beard, spoke on the phone next to the three men. “We’re in position. We’re only waiting for it to end which is shortly. We don’t want to draw any attention.”

Dakota leaned on the crate, and a small box from the top dropped. Someone grabbed Dakota from behind. She elbowed the man and launched her fist into his face, knocking him out.

Rudy said, “Go see who’s behind there.”

Dakota grabbed the man’s knife and hid it in her jacket. Her adrenaline rushed through her body and sweat dripped from her face. A barcode on her wrist showed from her coat, and she said, “It’s been a while since I’ve done this.”

One of the men found her and said, “It’s just a woman.” He walked toward Dakota. “You shouldn’t have come down here.” The man arms reached toward her.

Dakota broke his arm and kicked him in the groin.

He kneeled and her fist thrust into the man’s jaw.

The other two surrounded and rushed toward her.

Dakota jabbed her knife into one and dodged the other. She snatched his silencer from his waist and fired at the man’s back.

Rudy’s mouth hung, and he fumbled to grab his silencer, but a bullet flew through his hand, and his gun dropped to the floor. A fist banged into his face, and he fell on his back, holding his hand as blood leaked from the wound.

Dakota kicked his gun from him and pointed her gun at Rudy. “Tell me who you people are, or there’s going to be a lot more of your blood on the floor.”

Rudy said, “Why don’t you go to hell.” A bullet soared into his foot, and his mouth opened wide as a string of saliva detached from his teeth.

“This next one is going in between your eyes. I’m sure your life is more valuable to you than the information you hold.”

He rolled on the floor as he held his foot with one hand, pressing his teeth together. The silencer rose, and it aimed at him. The finger slid against the trigger, and he said, “No, wait. Please have mercy. I’ll tell you anything. Anything I promise. Just don’t pull the trigger.”

“Well, go on. I’m losing my patience.”

Rudy said, “We’ve ... we’ve got a weapon called the Plazroid. We’re after ...” A bullet flew straight through his head.

A bullet hit Dakota’s arm, and she leaped behind the crates.

After Cassidy’s performance, she headed back into her room. She asked one of her friends where Dakota had gone and they told her that she went to the restroom.

Dakota leaned against the crate and peeked through the cracks, but nothing was there. A wrapper cracked from the side, and a knife flew toward her. She grabbed the wrist of a man in a dark red leather jacket as the knife’s point twinkled. She stomped on his foot and punched him.

The knife dropped from his hand, and he punched Dakota in the face. He pushed her, and her silencer slid across the floor. She landed on the crate, and the pain soared throughout her back.

The man grabbed her head and slammed her head against the crate. He threw her, and she crashed into the wall. She stood and stumbled. A fist flew into her face, and she fell on the floor. She leaned against the wall and blood dripped from her forehead as her wounded arm laid lifeless.

The man walked up toward her and said, “You can’t save the girl.” He grabbed a large piece of wood. “And you’re going to die.”

Dakota’s vision blurred and her eyes drooped.

Cassidy sat at the hospital with her. Cassidy said, “My names Cassidy, by the way. Don’t worry. I’ll be here with you. I don’t have a family either.” Cassidy was on a curb beside her. “Why are you all by yourself, Dakota. Come on, I’ll introduce you to my friends.” Cassidy smiled, and her eyes sparkled. “We’ll all have a great time.” Cassidy was at the park on the bench with Dakota. “Not all people are bad, Dakota. There are good people in the world too.”

It was dark, and the woman with green eyes appeared and stood. “Are you going to let them take her as they took me?”

Dakota’s fist shook as a tear slid.

The woman said, “Pull yourself together, Dakota. Where’s your pride and honor? You were trained to endure pain. This is nothing compared to what we and the others went through. Fight for your best friend or die like a weakling to this fool.”

The large wood lifted up, and a surge of fury skyrocketed throughout Dakota’s body. Her eyes enlarged, and she yelled with tears streaming from her face. She moved like lighting and pulled her knife out.

The wood came down toward Dakota, and something smacked on the concrete. It was the wood.

The knife jabbed deep into the man’s heart, and the veins on Dakota forehead and wrist bulged. The man fell to the floor, and she breathed in and out, ripping the knife out of the man and limping as she held her bloody arm.

She stepped outside and tried to find a shortcut to Cassidy’s room. A white van parked outside near her room and Paul opened the van doors as three men rushed into the van with Cassidy. Tape was across her mouth, and she was tied up. Dakota’s heart stopped, and she limped as the pain pricked her flesh.

Paul frowned and pulled his gun, firing twice into Dakota’s chest.

Cassidy’s face turned red, and a stream of tears rushed from her face. Her star dropped from her necklace and into the asphalt.

The men brought Cassidy into the van as she kicked and punched.

Paul shut the doors, and the van rushed off.

Blood flowed from Dakota’s body, and she crawled toward the star. Water poured from her eyes and a cold chill flooded her body. She was closer to the star, and her hand vibrated as her tear dropped on the ruby. Her hand landed on the star, and she closed her eyes as her heart stopped pumping. The ruby from the star glowed, and the outline of Dakota’s body turned red, causing the scratches and wounds on her to disappear. She laid on the asphalt, and her hand gripped the star. Dakota opened her eyes and breathed again.

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