Impress Me

Chapter 14 - From Sewers Across East River

“You’re eating That this early?”

“Breakfast of champions.”

“Exactly, which is why I’m replacing it with eggs and toast.” Cielo took the cake tray from in front of him and put it back in the refrigerator rather matter-of-factly. “Mom, I’m thirteen now. I think I should have a choice in what I eat for breakfast.”

“You’re right. Would you prefer cereal instead? Or are you fancying pancakes?”


“Listen to your mother. It’s the first meal of the day. You need to eat something healthy.” Grey came down the last of the stairs and put Angel in his booster seat. Ceilo agreed, “Precisely my point.”

“So you can eat cake for lunch.” Cielo snapped around from the stove, “Grey!”

“Come one,” he kissed her before pulling Angel’s sippy-cup out of the cupboard, “It’s his cake; he should decide when to eat it.”

Cielo turned back to her pan to pour pancake batter in it, a little defeated, “It’s four days old anyway. It’s probably gone bad.”

“Let the kid have his cake and let the First Lady worry about unhealthy habits. Kale, your mother and I have to run an errand after this. Could you cut up the pancakes and make sure Angel eats it all?”

“Sure, Grey.” Grey came over to whisper in Kale’s ear, “And leave some cake for your friend. He may come by tonight.”

“He came last night.”

“What? When? When we were out?” Kale shook his head, “Left him a piece on the balcony before I went to bed. It was gone by morning.”

“Well…okay then.” Grey stood up straight to go grab his coat. Kale continued, “He left me something too.”

“Did he?” Kale went upstairs and shortly came back down with a newspaper and note. Grey read it quietly aloud, “Didn’t know it was your birthday but I figured this was a fitting present for you. p.s. Thanks for the cake. Go with whipped icing next time though. Guess it was too sweet for him. So what’s this?” Grey looked at the newspaper. The front page was about how some upscale businessman named Oroku Saki is waiting for approval from the State government to apply Foot-Tech Mechs to public safety. Kale flipped the pages for him, “It’s on one of the minor sections.”

He looked again and found a picture of what appeared to be a gargoyle with red hair. The picture was mostly dark but you could make out hair color, the right arm up to the shoulder and a part of fin-like tail. There was a darker figure in the shot too but it was too obscure to make out more than just wings. “Says this was shot in New Orleans.”

Kale grinned at Grey, “It’s a little more than month old too.” Grey sighed, “Kale don’t…just because this…it’s been…”

“Four years. I know. Going on five.” Grey sighed again and folded the paper and gave it back to him, “Just don’t get your hopes too high. Your dad’s coming to get you later. Pack your stuff when you’re done with Angel.”

“Yeah, I know.”

Only a couple of hours after the sun, a doorbell could be heard from outside Kale’s window. His head looked away from a suitcase that was stuffed wantonly and talked towards the door before rushing out with his luggage half zipped. The light went out moments after, leaving nothing more for the audience outside the window to see. The last thing to catch his eye was a newspaper clipping left on the bed before being snatched up by a young boy who almost left it behind. If not for the moon being crescent and sitting near the horizon, the moon light would reflect off his silver hair as the onlooker took off into the night.

A couple of years ago, Brooklyn would have held onto that article but he’d learned to cope without doing such unnecessary things. Still, he could not lie. That report has made him feel anxious and restless since Lexington found it a few days ago. He stopped waiting for her a few months ago but he couldn’t help but hope. He didn’t like that feeling and dreaded the pain he’d get if he started waiting again.

Gunfire stole him from his thoughts. It sounded like a high-caliber weapon a good distance away so Brooklyn cut through the air with a shallow dive to gain speed. He recognized the neighborhood as one he’d come to visit often a year back; trying to hold onto memories. The boxes were gone from the alleyway by then but he knew it well enough to recognize. The firing stopped just as Brooklyn noticed a man with a shot gun run back into a convenience store. Down the street in another direction, he heard a car wreck and screaming. Rounding the intersection, he found what looked to be a gargoyle unconscious in the street as a woman dove back into her car ready to run it over. Brooklyn rushed in, grabbed the gargoyle, and darted out of the way to allow the woman to crash her pick-up into a parked station wagon.

More screams erupted from a group of girls walking the side walk so Brooklyn heaved the gargoyle over his shoulder, noting how light it was, and scaled the nearest building for takeoff landing only when he felt he was a safe distance away. He set the gargoyle against a rooftop water tower post. It was a boy younger than himself, a gray skinned blonde with overlapping flapped red wings, a webbed tail, and wearing blue jeans. He seemed about twelvish years old, a negotiable number for gargoyle years. He was shirtless so the blood trickling from his side was hard to miss.

Brooklyn ripped a piece of his tunic wrap and climbed to near the top of the water tower, punched a small hole in it to wet the cloth and leapt back down. As he applied it to the wound, the boy came to and leapt to his feet in a wild fit, grabbing a dagger from behind him to slash away, “STAY AWAY! WHAT A-…! ARHG!!!”

The young gargoyle gripped his side and fell to a knee. Brooklyn tried to calm him, “Easy! I’m not here to hurt you. You got a pretty nasty gash there. I was just trying to clean it.”

The boy eyed his attacker and held firm to his blade which, when Brooklyn got a good look, was no more than a shard of metal seemingly ripped from something. The boy was gripping it so tight, knowing that he wouldn’t have the strength to pick it up again if he loosened his grip even the slightest. “Here, let me help.”

He hadn’t the strength to snatch away but he struggled to put his guard up with the metal fragment. Brooklyn could tell this kid’s been through some rough times, “I won’t take your blade, but your side needs looking at…if you’ll let me…”

With great hesitation, the boy let his arm go limp as Brooklyn caught him to prevent it from falling face into the floor. He laid the kid on his back gently, “This is likely to hurt.”

“I think mi ribs are broken. Aargh! Nnn!” Brooklyn guessed right about the truck hitting him first before the woman decided to ram him again. “What were you doing in the middle of the street?”

“It hurt to fly. This happened before the truck hit me.” Now Brooklyn was lost, “What happened?”

“I’ve been kept in a cage for the past month. Mi familia helped me escape and told me to find un enorme gargoyle named Goliath.” The boy was trying to get up so Brooklyn helped him pulling an arm over his shoulder as he stumbled forward, “Your family knows Goliath?”

“Mi hermana told me to get help from him and another gargoyle named Brooklyn.” Brooklyn paused, “How do you kn…who are you?”

“Mi name es Jerico.”

The End

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