The stench of stale blood invaded the air.
All their hard charity work that took days to organize, only to be diminished within ten minutes. And I could sum it all into one frame; disaster.
I had shot someone. I stabbed a person.
I killed them before the very eyes of my family.
I had no choice. No one saw it coming...I-I had to save them.
The tables guests had sat in just moments ago were now destroyed and overturned. Banquet splattered against almost everything, and everyone was in disarray. Crimson covered my clothes and the floor. Gruesome didn’t even count to the word itself.
The decor around us was down, and dead men were lying about as the security discarded their bodies. The police arrived on the scene as well as an ambulance.
Shouts, wailings, and screams were spooning me like a nightmare. But I couldn’t focus.
I stared at the body lying in his pool of blood and stained my shoes.
The convention was over.
The lifeless man beside my feet had died by my hands.
I had to reach for the nearest weapon in hand, which was a cake knife and was sharp enough to pierce. I wanted it to go for his hip, but in the course of chaos, the sharp end landed on his chest.
Immediately I dropped it as I stumbled back in horror.
His face turned into pure disgust as he pulled out the knife slowly. It looked excruciatingly painful, and no doubt had I hit a vital vein as blood started seeping out of his mouth.
The attacker had worn a mask. Hiding his identity.
I didn’t feel any remorse as he intended to hurt my family. Me and my mom were cornered and defenseless while Dad was nowhere in sight, and neared the experience of an early heart attack when I spotted my little brother cowering under a table. One of the men spotted him and aimed an object towards my brother. It was a gun!
Mom pulled me back towards her after watching me puncture our attacker. I nearly tripped on Mom’s now ripped gown, and my head collided against a table, grazing some of my skin. Immediately my hands rubbed my small injury. Mom’s hands gripped my shoulders, pulled me up against her, and prevented me from moving.
We didn’t have time. The remaining of the gunmen either fled or died.
“Ivan!” Mom cried out when she finally realized what was about to follow. My nervous system darted like a maniac as I tried to come up with a quick plan before the attacker made a move on us. “N-No...no! My baby! Please, someone, save him!” My heart nearly cracked upon hearing her plea.
Suddenly, a security guard rushed towards us, and he happened to have a gun holder. He wouldn’t make it to us in time.
All common sense flew out the window as I broke free from my mom’s grip and slid across the floor to retrieve the bloody knife that the man carelessly threw away. But he was up, and his pistol aimed at Mom.
I could see he had lost a huge amount of blood, which meant he was dizzy.
My whole life suddenly flashed into my eyes as the panic that crept in sizzled.
I was beyond pissed. I couldn’t rationally think and charged towards him. The both of us fell against the floor as I began my internet.
Stab after stab.
I wounded him multiple times on his back and nearly hurled. This man could easily overthrow me if it weren’t for my reflexes. My eyes were closed as I continued until I didn’t feel the struggle.
May he rot in hell.
Not too soon, anger blinded me when I heard the first gunshot, and a shrilling cry filled the air.
“No!” my mother screamed, tears gushed out like a never-ending river as she raced across the room only to be stopped by a policewoman. “Let me go. My son’s been shot!”
My head swirled around only to take in the sight of my brother sprawled against the floor, right lug clutched to his chest, and it was bleeding. Badly.
I could hear Dad shouting, and Mom continued to frantically fidget.
Ivan’s attacker was still up and aiming for him as he hid under a long table now overturned.
Sirens were making everyone deaf, and gunshots fired.
My ears blocked all sounds. I was going to save Ivan if the damn police couldn’t even move their large asses.
I eyed the gun holder of the security, who I hadn’t noticed, was in his protective stand beside me. He kept switching his attention between my gore face and the scene in front of us.
My epinephrine was all over the place as precipitation rolled down my forehead, and my body felt uncomfortably stiff. My legs were probably going to give up soon, and my exhausted blood-soaked arms caught hold of the security’s arm.
I didn’t know why they were here and targetting our company. All I know was that no one but me could save us. My training wasn’t going down the drain.
I looked back at Ivan’s attacker as the paramedics arrived, and the police tried to safely carry him away, but to no appeal.
“Stay back, or I shoot him!” the man yelled. The police tried to deal with him, but I knew one thing in the Mafia world. Kill or be killed. Either way, this man wasn’t going to leave without being content by seeing my brother’s dead body.
I can take him down. I can feel it.
I’ve got to trust myself.
That’s when he aimed his gun between the police back to Ivan, and he unwisely stood up from his hiding place. I tightened my grip on the security’s arm and dug my nails deep, causing him to hiss.
Stealthily I grabbed hold of the security’s gun holder and smoothly pulled out his gun, and before he could react-
“Cyrus, thank you over and over again.” During that second, that’s all that came through, for teaching me how to aim well. I would never have met a better mentor than him. He was the best at his game. And now, it paid off.
Ivan’s attacker stood still as everyone grew silent. Beady eyeballs slowly swallowed back into his head, and his body fell heavily against the table as it slumped there...lifelessly.
I could feel gazes directed towards me and was engulfed into a warm body. The gun in my hand fell as I shakily breathed. I thought I’d dropped it. The damn thing was still heavy for me.
“Oh, my daughter.” Mom’s voice penetrated through my clouded head. I sobbed loudly into her arms as she held my aggressively trembling body.
People began shouting again as I watched Ivan’s body being lifted into the ambulance with Dad in tow talking to the paramedics and soon joined us. Ivan was going to be alright, my Dad reassured me. Nothing major hit, but he had lost blood.
We had to get to the hospital; surgery was required.
As we began to leave, I saw a figure approach the stabbed man I had battled. I didn’t know who the attacker was until my Uncle turned his body.
A sharp gasp escaped my lips as the mask was lifted off. I was more than ready to empty my stomach.
It was Aric...he worked with the Blacks. I’ve seen him around before, but why the hell is he here?
Shit. Shit. Shit.
What’s going on? Does Mr. Black have anything to do with this? If so, why?
Those were the thoughts that ran through my head like a pounding headache. My family can’t know about me being involved just months ago before withdrawing, but I still don’t understand the situation. What was their motive here?
I sat up violently, engulfing in the air. My hands wildly roamed everywhere on my duvet before I grasped onto it tightly as I gritted my teeth.
I was home, in my room.
It was just a dream.
My heart hammered against its cage. I brushed my sweaty hair back and folded my legs slowly, and buried my head in between to stop the raging headache.
After calming down, I readily embraced my pillow and fell back down.
That was horrible.
A memory that I yearn to erase. A memory I wished never occurred. A memory I was yet to solve.
I had to go for therapy even though it wasn’t my fault. That’s what everyone said, but I still felt guilty. The police marked Aric as a wanted man for nearly a decade: held against rape and murder.
No wonder he was troublesome to find. He was part of the Mafia, apparently an associate, and he led the blood bath that dark day.
Tsk. Some assassin he was. He couldn’t even aim properly. Deep down, I knew he wanted me dead, but he planned wrong. He ended up six feet below. Or wherever his dead carcass lies.
I had been a mess after that.
It took me months till I was mentally stable to look at anything red again. The smell of copper tended to invade my senses and would cause some traumatic tingles to shoot through my head.
The doctor classified it as Phantosmia. It sounds cool, but it’s a medical term the Docs use when a person smells something that is not there. The phantom smell varies for everyone; mine got triggered due to temporary trauma. The olfactory hallucination is usually unpleasant, for example, metallic or chemical smells.
I coped with it fine when I began taking swimming lessons to calm my nerves. I had a legal reason to kill, and it was by the circumstance.
However, I was interrogated, and my statements took place in the police station. According to them, “There is a need to wrap what has hitherto been to the recent discussion.” And my poor mind tried to incorporate such large words.
Ivy had visited me, and surprisingly I had received a letter from Anthony himself apologizing for the sudden turn of events.
Anthony’s Gang had gotten double-crossed.
Mr. Black granted my request to leave their side since I’ve completed the dirty work for them, and the day I got my life back to normal was when I finally managed to breathe like a regular citizen.
Tears couldn’t stop welling when we found out that Ivan’s surgery was successful. Later on, after being homeschooled for nearly most of the year and wheeling around in his wheelchair, my little brother finally recovered. And I couldn’t thank God even more that he did.
It was nearly a year back. But it felt like forever. The gangs had been off my hook and rarely ever bumped into each other. I’ve had my fill of blood for a lifetime was what I told them before leaving, and Mr. Black had burst into merriment.
Now that I thought of it. I may have lied to Evander about killing just one person. And would never know.
Fucking hell. It came again.
Showered in cold sweat, I awoke with my pajamas drenched as it clung against my skin. I heaved like crazy. Damn, even my bed sheet was a bit soaked.
The same recurring nightmare that morning and for the second time.
My ragged breath and heart that I feel might find a way to leave my body bounced around, making me nauseous.
Oh. My. Lord.
“There must be a rational explanation to this,” I exhaled as I set my mind clear as thoughts jumbled steadily into a straight line that soon made sense. “Perhaps, talking about it to Evander last night triggered the memory?”
And that was some shit I never want to dream about again. Best avoid reviving memories you hate whilst you still can.
Early this morning, Evander had woken me up around Three AM, and we were parked a street away from my house. Troy had waited outside the gates, and Evander suggested that I drive from there if I could as to avoid alarms. I could see that he didn’t want to leave me in this predicament, but Troy amusingly became the logical advisor to his best friend.
I reluctantly agreed as I thought I could drive with my leg alright by then. I tested the pedals and discovered that my injured leg was healing better. Without further ado, Evander sent me off after our little goodbyes.
Luckily for me, my parents hadn’t returned home with a search party, and my butler informed me that they’d been notified about us having a slumber at our friends. I was active to disregard it to him and that I hadn’t felt well.
“Do you want me to wake the Head Chef? You look pale, Señora,” he asked in alarm.
I shook my head with a smile, “Thanks, Javier, but I’ll live. You don’t have to disturb BB. I’m sure he doesn’t want to wake up at this time.” He narrowed his eyes and hesitantly obeyed as he went away.
Mr. Vincente was reassured as I bumped into him along the staircase that my brother was just messing around earlier in our favorite Café and had planned to sleep at Jace’s. That brought some solace to his soul.
I continued trudging groggily to my room with a straight face. Even though my leg began to hurt like a motherfucker, Javier wouldn’t get suspicious and alert my sleeping parents. I’ll have to be on my guard so I wouldn’t get an ear of scolding.
I set a reminder on my phone to discard my thorn pants to avoid our late-night escapade from being discovered. It’s nothing new.
Noise abruptly started to emit around the darkroom. I reckon it was still too early as not even the tiniest of rays penetrated through my thick curtains.
It got louder and louder until it finally registered through me that it was my phone ringing from across my room: on top of my dressing table.
“Urghh...” I groaned as I sluggishly lifted my warm duvet and stepped onto my cold floor. Hissing in annoyance, I quickly retracted my uninjured leg under the blanket. “Damn it. I forgot about my injury! I think it’s healing fine.” I muttered to myself as I inspected it. “I’ve got to shower and grab some fresh bandages later.”
Music then filled my room, indicating someone else was trying to contact me. I only ever add tunes to people I know well. “Fucking hell! Fine, I’m coming...”
Damn to whoever had the damn guts to call me at freaking 6:30 AM in the damn morning. “What?” I blared through the phone.
“Psh, someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed,” the caller snickered. “May I ask why?” Hold on. I knew this voice...
“A-A...A-A-CCHH-OOOO!” I sneezed and rubbed my unexpected runny nose. “Fuck off bitch.”
It was Ivy.
She ignored my profanities and continued, “It’s me your best friend callin’ ya because I know for a fact, that’s tested and qualified for approval, that you’re beyond vexed,” her thick Australian accent chirped followed by chuckles. I stared blankly at the wall opposite of my dresser, mouth wide and eyes heavily drooped.
And I bet puffy.
Voiced continued to muffle words seemed to be out of earshot as I limped effortlessly towards my bed. Without a care, I ended the call in the middle of her ranting and slumped onto the recently wet covers that I could care less about at the moment and passed out instantly.
I’ll obliterate my unpretentious phone caller after my power nap.