The Girl and The Doctor
The Teal Gem, King's Court, Tharia, 11:34 PM.
I was stirred back to the realm of the conscious by a heart-piercing scream nearby. Anybody in the vicinity would've also been alerted by the cry for help. I sprung off the bed and whipped my knife from the resting harness, bursting through my rooms door and throwing myself down the stairs without any premeditated plans. As much as I nurtured my calculated nature, I was prone to aiding those in dire need of it.
I rested my back against the wall by the tavern's entrance, the room humid and tinted a dirty orange thanks to a dying fire struggling to breath in the stone fireplace. Placing my hand on the door's handle, I took a breath and refused to exhale. The scream had preceded a deadly silence, my specialty, and I wanted to hold the soundless cloak for as long as possible.
The door didn't creak as I pushed it ajar. The night sky surprised me, stars beckoning me out into the open. How long had I been asleep for? With no immediate danger outside the entrance I shifted out of the building and scanned the street, analysing any potential threats, though nothing became apparent.
As though my unasked question was answered, a muffled cry waded through the night air, drifting forward from an alleyway conveniently positioned twenty-or-so meters away, tucked away between two tall houses. I darted toward the shadowy opening and skirted to the edge of the entryway. Taking a knee caused me to avoid anybody at eye-level as I peered subtly around the edge and saw the source of the commotion.
Four drunks were beating a figure slumped in a mound on the dirt floor. One of the predators knelt beside the abused and wore a sickening grin.
"You're done, bitch. It's about time I had some fun with you. Pin 'er down, lads." the man's voice was deep and threatening though his intoxicated state caused his syllables to be slurred.
I wasn't about to stand by and watch somebody get away with this. People like this needed to be purged from my realm. Without hesitation I rushed the group, bolting around the corner as I flung my knife forward, leading the charge. The blade found itself lodged inside a portly fellow's skull, forcing him to the floor within seconds. Before the others could react I was on them. I threw myself up the left wall of the alleyway and used it to pounce onto the nearest of the remaining three. My knee connected with his face in an instance and was accompanied by a satisfying grunt. The momentum of the leap carried us down as I drove the joint further into my victim's nose, the back of his skull forced into the floor with a dull crunch, blood already pooling beneath his lifeless head.
The man that had been kneeling tried to run but tripped over the corpse decorated with my knife, scrambling over himself as though he was covered in molten lava, his skin burning with shock. The other drunk wasn't as quick to react, idle with fear as he caught my eye. I dashed forward, remaining crouched as I sent an elbow aimed for his right knee, which worked perfectly. He buckled under his broken joint with a cry for help, falling to one side, clutching his leg. Before I strode toward my last victim I sent a swift kick to the back of Broke-Knee's head, knocking him unconscious to stifle his moaning.
I grappled the male trying to scramble to his feet in a manner similar to my encounter with Ralph and shoved him up against the alleyway's right wall. Luckily we were near enough the same height which allowed me to easily land a forceful headbutt, my skull wreaking havoc against his nose, opening the floodgates to a river of crimson.
"Like to pick on helpless women, hm?" my voice trembled with anger. My hatred of the act slithered through my speech and I wore it like a badge of honour.
"No!" I cut him off. Rapists don't get the privilege of conversation. I sent the same knee responsible for his henchman's demise to his groin, causing a bark of pain. I rammed a palm into his throat and clutched as tight as I could, taking a step back to watch him suffer. His eyes were wide with a mixture of fear and adrenaline, the outlines of the sockets beginning to turn purple. He was trying to gasp for air, I could feel it between my fingers, but I wasn't going to grant him anything of the sort. His legs began to shake and kick out but I was out of his ill-aimed, intoxicated reach.
"Stop struggling. Accept your fate." I ordered. He didn't comply. He continued to squirm and wriggle beneath my grasp but it ended in the inevitable. His eyes began to flicker as the body gradually became a dead weight. As his once fearful eyes turned lifeless I let go, watching the corpse become am abhorrent, crumpled statue.
With the predators dealt with and my knife removed from it's target, I could focus on the woman curled in the dirt. I knelt by her and tried to assess her wounds. Her face wasn't visible as she'd covered it defensively, shown by the bruises littering the arm used as a shield. The rags covering her body were a signal of her lower-class background. Her bare legs were bloodied and one wound seemed deep enough to cause serious harm if it wasn't looked at soon. I had to move her.
"Hey, you alive?" I whispered, my emotionless delivery probably wasn't as sympathetic as the situation deserved. My question was followed by the sound of raspy breathing. I slipped my arms under her and cautiously pulled her up from the ground in a bridal-like carry.
A voice, hoarse and weak, resonated from the woman. "Please- Please don't hurt me."
I looked down at the woman in my arms and, for the first time in a while, felt a drowning sense of sorrow. Her half closed, emerald eyes were the first facial feature I spotted. I'd never seen green eyes before. Dirt littered her already lightly freckled face and her red hair ran rampant. Her skin was naturally pale and a thin bruise was beginning to form on her jaw. What monster would have to possess a man to do this?
"I'm not going to hurt you. I just can't leave you here." I whispered as I began walking back to The Teal Gem. Don't get attached, I thought, you're not here to forge relationships.
The door was still open and the street empty. It was typical of the average citizen to hear the cries of an endangered stranger and lock their doors. I dragged my feet up the stairs and through to my room, kicking the door shut behind me. I placed the female onto the bed and watched a light stream of blood get absorbed into the white sheet. Bertha's gonna love that.
The girl's eyes flickered, eyelashes batting against one another precariously before slowing to shut completely, sinking into the white sheets that must've felt like the heavens themselves.
My gaze was pulled toward the wound against her lower thigh and my thoughts were torn apart by the snarled "Fuck" that emanated from my twisted lips. The cut ran vertically down her thigh and ended just beside her knee, too deep to apply pressure to and hope for the best.
I tore one of the velvet curtains from the window. Fuck you, Bertha, I absent-mindedly prattled on as a tied the material around the wound as tight as I deemed necessary. I dashed to the dresser and searched my coat for one of my coin purses. Hearing the welcomed rattle of gold I latched the sack to my belt and turned to the unconscious woman sprawled across my sheets.
"Don't move." I mocked as I left the room with a smirk.
Leaving the Teal Gem once again I jogged down the adjacent street, Butcher Row, for no more than thirty seconds. Halting at a large, eggshell house I made no small effort to grab the inhabitants attention. The hilt of my fist met with the door numerous times, slamming against it harshly.
"Carlisle!" I barked at the door. Soon enough I was greeted by a middle-aged and inevitably angry doctor.
"Tobias Greystead, I should've known it'd be you causing a ruckus." I had no time for idle banter. I unlatched my coin purse and threw it in his general direction.
"I need your help, a young woman at the Teal Gem is going to die if you don't follow me with your surgery kit." Carlisle, dressed in nothing but his nightgown, obliged. After retrieving his equipment we made hast. My new companion made a show of frustration as he hobbled behind my strides, grumbling and muttering aloud. Upon re-entering the inn and heading to my room, Carlisle gasped at the pool of blood soaking beneath the girl.
"Bertha's going to have your head, Tobias." he mumbled as he got to work, fetching a needle and subsequent pieces of stitching apparatus from his small bag.
"Bertha's an old hag with a superiority complex." my words tasted bitter and I relished every second of it.
As the doctor began stitching the wound I nestled into an armchair placed by my door conveniently, the weight of the last twenty-or-so minutes gradually dawning on me. I watched the procedure carefully, intrigued by his swift and precise movements. If there was anything Carlisle had that I was jealous of, it was his stitching ability. The rest of him repulsed me.