Sequel to my #Fridayflash Bullet for Bullet – enjoy ♥
Blood for Blood
The rain grayed the sky and blackened our footsteps. Around us buildings crumbled and bones burned, and life buzzed, hiding in dark corners. For days, the thump of my soles hit the asphalt at the same beat as the others. Becoming one, as if I belonged.
“Healthy girls have no choice.” He’d been right – how do you say no to a gun? “We’re letting you live, should be thankful,” Romain said, the leader of this tribe of kidnappers and their victims. The plume of his breath died in the wind, along with my resolve to rebel and run away. Nowhere to go but Hell.
After the war, the explosions and the terror, after losing everything and everyone, where was my will to fight? At the sight of the men’s guns, the smoking snouts left me cold; at the sound of their gunshots and screams of victory, I lost all hope. I’m with the bad ones, I am one of them.
The other women watched my every move, their gazes printing cold marks on my neck and face. Motherly Josie, sexy Carmen, childish Kay, and me, beauty queen turned tomboy. I should have carved a scar on my cheek and plucked out my lashes.
“After tonight, we’ll be at sea,” Josie whispered. They never talked to me: the new girl they’d betray the second they got the chance. No alliance, no safety net, Tim once said. “And then who knows what they’ll do with us.”
“We’re good for two things.” Carmen frowned as I slowed down by her side. “Screw and cook. There’s nothing left to put in the pot, they’re getting restless. Watch them beg once we turn the guns on them.” There was a plan, but I wasn’t part of it.
Romain stopped the pack from crossing the destroyed boulevard, looming skyscrapers reflecting clouds and smoke. The men waited as their leader faced us, eyes seeking mine before finding Carmen’s. Shadows moved behind the building’s glass – people, lots of them, watching us.
“What is it, Carmensita?” His French accent changed the S into Z. “What is that buzzing I hear?” I jumped at the clank of his gun and moved away, my back stopped by the corpse roped to the sleigh. I gagged at the smell, at what was about to happen. Would my body be tied next to the dead man’s?
Carmen straightened up, hand on her hip, defiant. “You heard me, you barbaric piece of shit.”
Romain smiled at the challenge. “We played by your rules, didn’t we?” The other men circled the women, me included. “Should be happy, your meeting point and one more soldier.” They were talking about me. I’m the soldier, but for which army?
“Blood for blood, you’re worth what you spilled.” Faster than I expected, the women drew weapons and Carmen shot Romain. “That’s for my kid. And that,” bang, another man fell, “is for my mother, too old to come with us.” Revenge, the women wanted revenge.
“Stop, don’t!” cried Henryk, the second in command. Hands in the air, his head shook and his voice trembled. “I’ve always been nice to you, Carm…” bang, he died from Kay’s bullet to the head. I looked away from the brains coming out of the shredded hole.
“For Martha, for my sister.” Bang, bang, Josie killed two others.
“And this one is for me, for her, and for every woman we knew.” Carmen shot with perfect aim and a cold gaze, never leaving the weapon’s sight. Not even when she aimed it at me. “And you, should we keep you around?”
For my bravery, I wouldn’t fall from pain or break to pieces after a loss. I didn’t after my makeshift family stared at me from the window as an explosion rocked the ground and killed them all. For my cowardice, I never tried to plan against the men, like Carmen and the others had.
“I have nothing left to lose.” No truer words ever escaped my lips. No heart, no soul, no home, no love. I have nothing to lose because I’ve become nothing.