There was a corpse.
And the wretched smell of decomposing flesh hung in the early afternoon air had already attracted evil entities from the darkness but they were long gone by now, and with them they took any solid affirmation of what made this person a now rotting, forgotten body left in a dark alleyway in the part of town that the city had forgotten.
“So we can’t see what did this?” a man with a cigarette clamped between his lips mumbled.
Another man crouched down onto his haunches was closer to the corpse, examining what remains were left that could hopefully give him a small amount of evidence as to what killed the poor kid.
The man was roughly the size of a bear, his wide shoulders, and large back hid the dead body from my gaze, even though I had already seen the body and had already noted that it was torn apart beyond recognition, still I was a little hopeful. Someone had to be.
“Whatever did this left the body here to be destroyed,” the man with the cigarette claimed. “And by the look of it, the monsters did a good job.” The man took a long, endless inhale of his smoke and blew out a large cloud of toxins. “It’s been here for a while too. Almost a week.”
“A week is too long to report it,” the large man slowly stood up to his full height. “I’m surprised that the police haven’t found him yet. You were lucky, Tolk,” the man glanced over his shoulder and his green eyes found mine, he frowned, “Kyria, I told you to stay around the corner.”
Tolk, a man he’d known for a long time chuckled, “Don’t chase her away, Wayne! She needs to see this sooner or later. Especially if she’s going to be following your footsteps as early as tomorrow night!”
Wayne rolled his eyes and turned to Tolk, “She needs to get trained properly first, so hopefully, she won’t see shit like this for a very long time. Clean it up and I’ll meet up with you later tonight.”
“She saw him. She should see––”
“Clean it up, Tolk,” Wayne ordered as he turned to push me out of the alley, “I told you to stay around the corner,” I rolled my eyes as we headed back to the parking lot, all the while he questioned why I never listened to him, “Why didn’t you stay around the corner? I told you too.”
“Yeah, but you know things go in one ear and then out the other,” I admitted.
Truthfully, seeing a body didn’t bug me at all as much as he thought it would because I knew that with enough experience (and enough preparation) I would see them time and time again. Hell, I knew that one day I would be a dead body. Well, that’s a lovely thought.
“You don’t have to tell me. Believe me, I know,” he was scavenging for the car keys in his pocket, checking the streets as we crossed over them.
I ran ahead and jumped over the curb, “Besides if I stay behind the corner all the time I won’t learn anything––”
I heard a roar and turned quickly to see that Wayne was tackled to the road, a large man on his back pushing his face into the tar, and trying to pull his other arm from his pocket. I stepped off the curb to tackle the man but Wayne had managed to reverse positions, somehow he managed to get on top of the man, forcing him into the ground by pushing his foot onto his neck. His eyes met mine while his free hand rummaged through his pocket and threw the car keys my way.
“Get into the car, honey!” he ordered.
And this was the part where I normally listened. I ran towards the parking lot, jumping over the fence that surrounded it. I unlocked the car and just as my fingers touched the handle, I was pulled back from the car and thrown onto the ground. Another man was forcing me to the ground, pulling my arms out of the way so that my neck was completely exposed and I was left defenseless.
I brought my legs up to my chest, forcing my feet into the man’s chest and kicked his weight off of me. While he staggered backward, I quickly swept his legs from beneath him and tore off in a sprint towards the car. I opened the door and dove inside, knowing I wouldn’t be safe in here for long. I shut the door and locked the car just as the man threw his weight into the door in an attempt to get it open, his long sharp fingernails and teeth scraping against the glass and the metal, making my skin cringe and my toes curl.
Eventually, he crouched down and picked the car up on its side, tilting it until I could barely see him anymore, and the car was nearly on its other side, the pavement just inches away from the driver’s window. And then, there was a large gust of wind coming from under the other side of the car, shattering the windows into tiny fragments and the weight of the car back onto the man. I covered my face to protect myself from the flying shards as the car bounced back onto all four tires, also breaking the central locking on my side of the car and causing my door to slowly creak open, to reveal Wayne standing before me clutching a large, ancient looking hammer in his hands.
When the car finally stopped rocking, I let out a breath that I didn’t know I was holding. My heart was racing behind my chest and I grinned, “You are going to be in so much trouble for breaking the windows, again!”
Wayne turned to face me, there was blood smeared across his face, and deep gashes across his cheek and forehead, and it was all illuminated by his bright, glowing neon green eyes. He walked to me, shutting my door and walked around to the driver’s side. He seemed to open the door without difficulty and dusted what little shards of glass was on his seat before he sat in the chair, making the whole car quiver with the new weight. The hammer had disappeared and the neon glowing green eyes slowly faded until he looked at me with normal green eyes. He held out his hand and I handed him the car keys. He started the car and turned to me, wearing a proud smirk.
“Good defense, by the way,” he admitted softly and moved to open the electric window to rest his elbow. He looked up at the empty space where the window should have been and sighed. He looked back at me, “Does your mother still have that late-night window guy’s number?”
I smiled, tucking a flyaway tendril behind my ear, “I think she has several, Daddy. You can choose from your favourites.”
“Great,” he put the car into gear and we drove off, “Don’t tell your mother that you saw a corpse.”
“I won’t tell Mom if you bail out on your stupid request for me to apologize to the evil She-Bitch and attend the training Academy without any strings attached,” it was a stand-off now, between father and daughter and I knew we were both stubborn enough that neither of us would break anytime soon.
He raised an eyebrow and smirked, reached out and ruffling my hair, “Nice try, Kyria Salyeria,” he pulled me into a headlock and kissed the top of my head, “Nice try.”