A Shot in the Dark
Evie and Con roamed the town what seemed like hours before Evie started to waver again.
"It’s like you’re drunk, Vodka. Even I ain’t swayin’ that much."
“I’m not used to all this, Mister. The walking; the excitement; the stress. I’m tired...”
"How’s ‘bout we stop then? I can look out, an’ if I see any girls I’ll hollar at ya. And possibly them."
Evie nodded and they went into a bit of an alley. Evie sat down and leaned against a dumpster while Con stayed out, just a few steps away. He sipped his beer and looked at Evie, then up at the stars.
"Dead huh? Well, at least I ain’t alone with it..."
As Evie slept, the voices started to come at her again. She was too exhausted to stop them, but she was also too exhausted to listen. When she didn’t listen however, the ghosts got mad.
Evie screamed in her sleep as cuts started forming on her skin from the inside. Her head smashed against the dumpster, and blood started to gurgle from her mouth; she was being possessed. When Con heard, he did his best to wake her, but she didn’t stir.
"Vodka! Evodkaie! Wake up! You’re hurtin’ real bad!"
In his constant state of drunken delirium, he found it hard to comprehend the situation, and just sat there, shaking her and yelling. She started to convulse, and the blood from her mouth traced down her neck. That’s when it happened.
A shot echoed through the empty streets of BurnTown, and the sudden, unknown sound buried its way into Evie’s mind, and woke her. She coughed and gasped for air, and Con hugged her tightly.
"Hah! I’m a magician!"
“M-Mister...?” Evie spoke weakly, and Con was interrupted by yet another shot. “Mister, what is that?”
Con held Evie protectively. ”That there’s a gun..."
“A ‘gun’? It’s so loud...”
"It shots death, ya know. Not a nice thang to be playin’ with."
“Who’s shooting it, Mister?”
"Duuno. But I’s can go check." Con started to stand.
Evie clung to his shirt. “No! Don’t leave me! What if the voices come after me again?”
"But Vodka... A lil’ bo-girl like you can be hurt by guns. I can’t. It’s safer for me to go without ch’a."
“Well, why do you have to go see anyway? I’m sure someone else could go check. Maybe the guards!”
Con looked out into the darkness of the town. ”I don’t hear no po, an’ I don’t see no people. I can’t let ‘em get close to you; what if they’s be comin’ this way?"
Evie took a breath and slowly let go of Con’s shirt.
"I’ll be back for ya; sure as life."
“But you’re not alive...”
"Sure as beer then. Point is, I’ll be back."
Con grabbed one of his bottles and walked off, and Evie hugged her knees to her chest. For the first time since she had met Mister Con, she was alone in a cold, dark place; and she didn’t like being alone anymore.
"Evangeline, Evangeline, feel nothing anymore.
Evangeline, Evangeline, run through the open door.
Come join us here in our crusade,
Come join us now in Hell.
It’s better than this promenade;
It’s better than this cell."
She sang slowly and softly the words of her sisters, rocking in the night. She wished that her sisters could be with her now; to tell her where to go, and what to do. If they wanted to check something out, there would be hundreds of them to stay with her. She would never have to be scared, but she was now.
“I don’t think this is better, Diana. The people from the lab won’t leave me alone, and they hurt me! If I don’t find Ireane then... Then I’ll be taken away from you all, and I might not get to hear your voices ever again...”
When Con came back, his bottle was broken.
"Glad I took an empty one..." He muttered, sitting down beside Evie. ”How you holdin’ up? You look a bit rattailed... rattled... You look scared."
Evie grabbed onto Con’s shirt and hugged him. “I don’t want to be alone anymore, Mister Con. I’ve decided that I don’t like it.”
Con stroked her hair as best he could. ”I’m sorry, Vodka."
Evie just nodded and hugged him tightly.
“So what happened?” She asked after a while.
"A kid got shot. Older than you; kinda rough around the edges."
"Nah, this was a boy."
“So he’s dead now...”
"Huh? No. He’s bleeding out in an alley somewhere."
“What!? Mister! We have to help him!” Evie stood up quickly.
"But it’s dangerous! I mean, I had to hit a guy over the head with some beer!"
“So he’s unconscious? Then there’s no danger!”
Evie started to walk and Con kept sitting defensively. ”You ain’t gunna get nowhere without me! You can’t see, you know! And I know that so I ain’t movin’!"
Evie continued to walk, and Con sighed and started to lead her.
“Thank you, Mister.”
"Aww shut it, you."
Con led Evie through back alleys until they reached the one where two bodies lay; both breathing. One was had a head-wound and a gun, and the other had been shot twice; once in the leg, and once in the shoulder.
“He’s weak; both of them. Which one was shot?”
Con knelt her down beside the boy. ”Mr. Gun-frenzy over there was trying to cut him up when I got here. It seems the kid got into some gang trouble."
Evie frowned as she touched his wounds. She could feel his soul wavering, but he wasn’t as close to death as she had thought.
“We could save him.”
"How? I ain’t no doctor."
Evie winced slightly at the word. ”I can do it; if you help me.”
Evie set up on the side of the bleeding boy. She had taken the knife and gun from the man with the head wound, and Con had gotten some more beer; which she took so he wouldn’t drink it. She dipped the knife in the beer and got Con to lead her hand over to the wound in his leg, since it was less severe and she could use it as “practice”.
She took a breath and moved the knife down slowly into the bullet wound until she felt something hard. She then moved the knife to the left and tilted it, slowly prying the bullet from his flesh. She was glad he was unconscious for this.
When the bullet was out Con poured some alcohol into it and Evie ripped a long segment from the bottom of her dress and bound up his leg. Con had to help her keep the cloth in place, but after a few tries she got it right on target and tied. After the leg was bandaged she moved up to the shoulder.
"It didn’t shatter no bones or nothin’, but I can’t imagine how much that must’a hurt."
Evie nodded and slowly inserted the knife. This time it was harder to get the bullet out, since it had entered on an angle, but she did it. She ripped her dress again and Con sanitized the wound. Evie then bound his leg and checked his breath.
“How’s his bleeding? Is it still bad?”
"No, actually. It’s gotten better. Slowed right down like molasses. How’d ya do that?"
“I lived my life surrounded by Doctors. I’ve had a lot of needles and stuff inserted into me, and sometimes the metal snapped before it could be removed.”
Con frowned and looked down at the boy. He was ginger-haired and skinny, with thin-framed glasses and snake-bite piercings. His skin was a natural tan, and his eyebrows were thin. He wore a now bloodied black t-shirt and thick leather arm braces. His jeans were loose and his shoes were large. He also appeared to have braces on his top and bottom teeth.
“Should we take him with us?”
"How? I can’t carry him, and you’re just a little bo-girl. You’re a little girl."
Evie frowned and touched the boy’s face. “He might not be safe here. I... I don’t want him to be alone.”
When the boy woke up, he was in a back alley with his head against something warm and soft. He tried to sit up, but his left shoulder ached and he couldn’t lift himself.
“Did you wake?” A soft voice asked.
He moaned in response, half because of pain and half because of tiredness.
“Good,” she replied “I was afraid you never would.”