So, that’s how it feels. Not what I expected. More deliciously powerful than I could have imagined. More sickeningly horrifying than I could have dreamed.
Ed stared at his outstretched arm. It trembled as the internal war between his mind’s vindication and his stomach’s nauseous churning built to a crescendo. Acrid smoke stung his eyes and the back of his throat. The sound of spent brass settling upon the tiled floor rang through the hammering of his heart and the rasping of his excited breathing.
The gun in his hand began to shake, his knuckles white upon it, his finger still clamped down on the trigger. Bile burnt bitter upon his tongue and bubbled from his lips. Remnants of stringy yellow drooled down his chin in long strands.
I did it.
His eyes stung and tears began to fall as his body rebelled against him, ribs convulsing as the vomit came freely. The sound of his breakfast hitting the floor matched the slap of smell that struck him back a step. Bile. Cordite. Shit. Piss. The metallic tang of blood. All over his polished black shoes and carefully ironed trousers.
The stench threatened to overwhelm his senses.
Fucking Blues. I fucking did it.
Ed’s throat convulsed again, his stomach dry heaving as he looked down at his boss. Sal. Big, fat, blue-eyed Sal. His huge rolls sitting still for once. Those massive man-teats no longer heaving desperately for oxygen to power his immense frame. A sheen of cold sweat coated the big corpse’s face, looking just as dead as the man it covered.
Bastard. Thought you could get rid of me.
Red caught his eye. Not the multiple shades of blood he had splattered over the cream walls and dark tiles. No. A more innocent red. A leather shoe, polished to an almost mirror sheen, wrapped around a foot. Pale toes with red varnish on the nails. Long, lean legs with a laddered stocking covering them. A short skirt and a business shirt. A once-blue neck scarf now soaked purple. A raw wound at the throat. A face pale and lifeless. She deserved better.
Ed fell to his knees, retching and sobbing, the gun clattering to the floor from his hand. The spare magazine in his pocket stabbed into his thigh. As if it were a bearer of the plague, he wrenched the hard black aluminium clip from his pants and flicked it across the room. It clattered against the tiles and slid to the corner.
She was always nice to me. Always smiling at her desk. Those kind, gorgeous blue eyes never let on who she was. What she was. What she was capable of. Of all of them, all of those I killed, she was the one I wish I hadn’t had to.
His fingertips brushed her skin. Already the warmth was leeching from it. With a light push, her head fell to the side, a pale cheek settling in her luxurious blonde hair like a pillow. Gently Ed brushed her hair away from her face and scooped it behind her ear.
She was the one, out of the entire company, that I wished was Human.
He traced a finger along the top of her ear and found it. The light ridge of scar behind the top of the ear. Ed looked at Sal again. The same scars would be there for him as well. All of them had the scars. Where they’d been clipped to blend in.
Something wet his fingers.
Her blood, bright red and hyper-oxygenated, dripped from her lolling mouth and settled into the valleys of his fingertips as he drew them back and stared at them.
Their wail penetrated the double glazed glass. Even thirty stories up he could hear them. Police.
The men and women in blue weren’t his problem. Only those with the blue eyes and clipped ears.
Shuffling feet. Outside. Whispered voices normally drowned out by printers and meetings and phone chatter. Words alien to his ears. Sounds incomprehensible as language.
Coming for me.
Ed’s eyes snapped to the gun on the floor and the magazine in the corner. His hand grabbed once, twice, and finally gripped the pistol grip. His knees slipped and slithered on the blood-soaked tiles.
Someone tried to open the door.
On all fours he launched himself to the wall. A long blade cut through the door like it was made of paper. It barely made a sound. They never did. It’s why we never knew they were here.
Breath exploded from his lungs as Ed slammed bodily into the wall, knocking the magazine just out of his grasp.
The blade lanced through the door again, creating a neat triangle around the handle. His bloodied fingers scrabbled against the tile, desperately reaching for the ammunition while his wide eyes remained locked on the door.
No, no, no, no, no –
The door slammed inwards.
Darkness reigned in the corridor outside.
A shadow stood silhouetted in the darkness.
The lights are on in here. Why can’t I see it?
The silver of a metre long blade shone, slithers of pale luminescent blue glowing behind it.
The clip slipped in. Ed racked the slide.
The Blue moved.
Lightning in a man-shaped form. Speed and grace that would be beautiful were it not so terrifying. The blade rose up, ready to eviscerate him.
Ed hadn’t realised he was screaming shrilly, his mouth stretched open to its limit.
The gun roared. The slide snapped back.
Ed opened his eyes. A spent shell sat quietly sizzling the skin of his forearm in his lap. Shock bore the pain from him.
It lay before him, pale blue eyes bleeding luminescence on to the ground. Pointed ears unclipped. The sword sat at his feet.
Ed’s clammy hands reached out and dragged the blade to him. He could hear more of them outside. They weren’t all warriors, like this one.
Ed stood and walked towards the door.