The Heat Fueling Her Drive

“Your guy at the city morgue tipped you off in time to get her out?” my apprentice said.

I shook my head. “This note was in our mailbox.” I handed her the square piece of red rice paper.

“They’re killing babies,” she read the first line aloud. “It could have been a trap, you know? You’re always telling me not to rush into things. You need to be careful, too.”

“I received the note three days ago. I had been watching the place for some time, when a detective and some uniforms found the first corpse. I had her in my car when I called 911 and told them that the police needed to continue searching.”

“What made you think that there were more?” My apprentice squatted to unlock the handcuffs that shackled the unconscious woman lying on our basement floor.

“I’ve been dealing with this kind of filth for almost thirty-one years,” I said. “The gut knows.”

The woman awoke reaching for her throat and coughing. “It hurts,” she said, her voice raspy.

“I’ll make the pain go away forever.” My apprentice took a step towards the woman.

“No,” I said, blocking a kick that would have landed a boot on the woman’s throat.   

“Why not? How do you think she murdered those poor… little things? By lullabying them to death? You should have strangled her until her bulging eyes saw her maker. She has no business breathing.” My apprentice pushed me away and spat by the woman’s legs. “I will never understand your benevolence when it comes to people who have shit for hearts.”

“Benevolence is not a quality I would waste on this woman,” I said. “Letting her live is her punishment. By the time the media is done with her, everyone will know: her family, her enemies, her friends, her future fellow inmates, herself. Every breath she takes will be festered with the taste of her past actions. She will have to swallow the putrefied memories and choke on every bit of it for as long as her carcass walks on prison concrete.”

“You… truly hate her.” My apprentice cocked her head to one side and stared at me.

“No, I don’t. I can’t hate a thing too stupid to recognize the pain she’s causing. I despise what she represents; the way she is so focused on herself that she fails to notice that everything she comes into contact with wilts because of her touch.”

My apprentice began to jingle her keys while circling the woman. Before I could stop her, she dropped to her hunches and sank the lucky nail she kept in her keychain into the woman’s right knee.

“Why did you do that?” I pulled her away from the bleeding, kicking and wailing.

“Just in case,” my apprentice said, still panting with the rush of drawing blood out of someone she thought deserved it. “You know? If her olfactory senses and taste buds are as deficient as her sense of right and fucked up, I would hate for her to miss your clear message. And if the Universe is fair, she’ll also get an antibiotic-resistant flesh-eating staph infection to reiterate my memo.”

I looked into reddish eyes that blazed with outrage, and wondered if I had made a mistake. I chose her as an apprentice because she was intelligent, strong, resilient, creative and alone. Also because I sensed her passion. But I missed the heat fueling her drive. I feared for her. Hot emotions had a tendency to set the path of Veiled Kin on fire.

This tale takes place between “Black Rags” and “Night Traveler”.

 
Angry Bird, by Khairzul MG

19 comments:

  1. Heat can protect but it can also burn - hot and fierce taking everything down in it's path. Discipline can contain it, but does this Veiled Kin apprentice have the will to do so? LOL, I trust you may clue us in on the answer to that in some later installment.

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    1. When it comes to heat, balance and careful learning are the secret to survival. Let's see what happens to our apprentice...

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    2. "Discipline Can Contain It" sounds like a good title for a story, by the way...

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  2. Self-immolation is a poor use of passion, indeed ๐Ÿ˜Š

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  3. Oh, gosh. This is so good. I love the drive and the intensity. Keep going!

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    1. *does a little dance of delight*

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  4. I agree what everyone is saying, Wow! "And if the Universe is fair, she’ll also get an antibiotic-resistant flesh-eating staph infection to reiterate my memo.” Perfect! I love the way you write! Hugs ;o)

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    1. I think she's a bit upset at the woman... *cough*

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  5. Very interesting, I haven't read the other two yet! I am impressed by how many stories you write, I write much more slowly!

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    1. They are dark and enraging... just so you know.

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  6. Another piece of the puzzle. This one, with nicely charred edges.

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  7. I love the apprentice. There's just something about giving some of the pain back that makes me smile in a snarly kind of way.

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  8. Loners are usually 'wild cards'... The apprentice seems to harbour a desire to dish up their own punishment, I think she's exacting justice on this basement dweller for not just her own, but every crime towards an innocent, an innocent like the apprentice was before some past incident.

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    1. Justice sometimes bites... and burns, it seems.

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