"911-What is your emergency?"
The voice was so calm. It did not make the emergency less terrible. If anything, it racked his stress levels higher.
"Girl." His voice cracked in his hysteria. "Called her Witch. Beat her!" He was not thinking in full sentences. "Hair. Blood. Eyes. Closed." He struggled to wheeze air back into his seizing lungs. "Dead?"
"Sir, what is your location?"
Blood was dripping from between her lips. Her life was leaking onto concrete. My fault? He fretted.
"What is your location?"
"Old buildings. Empty. Smokers. No one here. Whole point." His voice was strangling into a high pitched screech as panic tightened his throat. "Ran off. Another Witch. Conjure. This one..." He failed to continue as bile rose.
A pop of static and rap music so loud blasted that the panicking man whimpered, ducking in surprise before he realized it was from her end. With a snap the music choked off. "Sir." The woman voice was ignoring the interruption. "What is your location?"
His eyes snapped around, flailing for land marks. "Dumpster." Not helpful. He looked back down at the Witch. "She breathing?"
"Sir, I cannot send help for her if I do not know your location." There was no worry in her tone. Voices do not care about bleeding bodies.
Not helping. Not helping. The air. Strangling me. The man forced more air into his lungs as he stared down at the Witch. His thumb twitched as it ended the call to the emergency line. Need to help her. Help her. Breathing? Dead? Blood. My fault. Need to help her. Help Witch. Witch. Witch! The Witch Helpline. 911 for humans. Human help. Not Human. The man fell to his knees beside the witch, his one hand gripping on the phone as the other brushed bloodied hair from the body's face.
Dialing again, he stared at the living body. Had to be. Bodies don't bleed!
"What?" The Witch, also known as Leahun, operating the helpline was not polite or calm. Her voice made the man listening gasp in fright. And look about the alley as if that could tell him if he got the right number. He struggled for more air, starting to feel calm; settle now, as if the more reaction he got from others helped his.
His grey eyes found the female body by his knees again. "There is a Witch here. They beat her. I think she is dying." The man bit back his own part in her situation. "They cut her hair. The ends are bleeding."
No annoying questions. The Witch seemed to believe him. He heard her yell out in a language he did not understand. Must have their own, he thought. She turned her voice back to him. "Grip her hair, mister. And tight. You need to stop the bleeding."
"Okay?" He thrust his already bloody hands into the bleeding hair, locking his fingers tight around the brown lengths. "How will you find her?"
"I need you to say some words. Create a beacon so we can track you. Are you ready for the words?"
Just as the last of the words passed from his lips, the man found himself with a head of stars and staring at the cement. His hands released from the body as pain decided to make a sandwich out of his grey matter.
The gang is back. The thought speared him into action. Rolling onto his back the man attempted to get himself up. A boot found his forehead instead.
Groaning a curse, the man forced his eyes open and his attention to move past the mentally sponsored light show. Five of the gang members stood around the dying Witch. The same gang that had used magic to summon the Witch with the single purpose of killing her. Now it seemed a few had came back to finish the job.
All five males were almost clones of one another. Wife beaters over their overdeveloped chests. No jackets against the city winds. Low slung dark wash jeans with hand guns poking out from the waist bands. Their faces were different, of course, but the mask of hatred made it hard to differentiate.
"Varkin tried to help'er." The one with the brass knuckles cursed around a lit cigarette. "Bokuevu is still 'live."
"Easy fix." Said the tallest, who had done the forehead stomping. The gun was in his beefy hand with ease. "Who first?"
"Witch be da danger." Brass Knuckles replied. He took the cigarette out to exhale and spit. "Shoot'er 'tween da eyes this time."
The gun had just been leveled before a loud sound, loud as a whip being cracked, made all the males pause and look at the mouth of the alley.
Three warriors stood there. One coughing and swiping at the air like he smelled something foul. He had pigtails in his hair. Long, long pigtails high on either side of his head. If not for the muscles that looked like baseballs hiding under his skin, the pigtails would have been ridiculous. With the muscles; the pigtails were somehow ominous. A man that confident had to be dangerous.
The other two men were not afflicted as Pigtails. One was skinny as a pretzel, with hair down to his knees, and was tall enough to almost tower over the other two. Markings that looked suspiciously like a child had attacked him with a Sharpie covered his bare chest and arms. The markings were shifting on his skin, though. His skin rippled over his visible bones. A sure sign of magic barely contained.
Sharpie and Pigtails had nothing on the third man, though. Black hair was short around his head. Black clothes fitted to his body. And a glare that promised death. Anger radiated from the man. Frustration barely bottled.
"Kill." Black Hair growled. His glare flitted to the man still on the ground. "He alive stay." He did not specify, and yet Sharpie and Pigtails nodded.
Sharpie raised a hand, palm out to the gang members that now had their guns pointed at him. Skin started to ripple faster and faster. Like a high pressure fan was going over him. And then stopped with no foreseeable affect. That is, until the five gangsters started shooting. Guns clicked and snapped. No bullets came out.
Brass Knuckles swore and threw the gun aside with disgust. "Back da vark off, yeah? This is none'ya business." He yelled at the strange trio in front of him. "Just walk 'way."
The man still on the ground watched, horrified, at the lack of fight the gang members were able to put up against the three warriors. One by one they died. Strangled, a punch to the head. One fell after Black hair gently took his chin and said 'die'. Just toppled over, like his spirit just gave up and fled. The gangsters had really had no chance.
Finally the man on the ground found he was the last alive. Still on the jelly of his back, he struggled to get up again. Black Hair had other plans. One boot going on the center of the prone man's chest, Black Hair leaned over to glare at the frightened male.
"He beacon." Was for the other two. Stepping off the bruised chest, Black Hair went to the mouth of the alley, beside that dumpster. To stand guard.
Pigtails smirked like it all was a joke as he squatted down next to the Witch. He lost his smile. "Guys, this isn't a Witch."
Sharpie came to kneels beside her as well. "Her hair is bleeding."
Pigtails shrugged and gently pulled the female into his lap, leaning her against one knee as he rested his weight on the other. A large palm went over her forehead. "Still not a Witch."
"We gonna heal her? Not much time, if we do."
"Yes. But she won't make it out here. We have to take her back."
Black Hair, from the alleyway, grunted, but made no objections.
"Alright than." Sharpie sighed all the air out of his lungs and slowly raised his left hand. Made a fist. The human man behind him watched while propping himself up on the grungy alley wall.
Words started to form. Sharpie let his head fall forward. His shoulders tensed. The words were in that other language. The one the woman on the helpline had used. And they sounded pained.
As what could only be a spell continued, Pigtails wrapped the Witch's hair around his hand, squeezing dry the blood flow. His jaw was locked. His free hand went loosely around the female's neck. He, too, started to chant, though his sounded more unpracticed, maybe trying to remember the words.
Sharpie's fist was a ball of meat, the tension all the way down his arm now. The muscles unseen before now shown corded around his bones as he threw the words out of his mouth, pain dripping from each one. His right hand slowly raised as well on his other side. Making a T with his body he nearly sobbed his words.
Dagger! He has daggers in his fists! The human male felt his fear escalate again as he watched the blades quiver in the air. The sobbed words were growing in volume.
Black Hair stood tense at the head of the alley.
The words were matching, the little man realized, sitting behind Sharpie. One soft and unhurried. The other is agony. Sharpie was vibrating in pain, nearly shouting the spell as he shook.
And then stabbed himself with both daggers! The time it took the man behind him to gasp in horror, Sharpie was gone from the alley, no scent or sound to announce his departure.
Pigtails looked up, also finishing his chant. His eyes locked on to the human's. Then he was gone too, taking the female in his lap with him.
The man was rising in hysteria levels again. Trying to make sense of what he had seen.
The footfalls of approaching boots brought his head around. Black Hair slowly stalked towards him. Once if front of the shocked male, Black Hair slowly lowered himself onto his haunches.
"You save one Leahun." His voice was slow and exact. The language was not his natural tongue. "For the life gift, we give you same." A hand was raised to the smaller man's eye level. In the palm was a huge ring. It was thick with engravings. An enormous gem the size of a quarter rested in the solid metal. "Show this to any Leahun. You called Friend."
Friend was a term for a member of another race connected to the Witch community and deigned untouchable. The black haired warrior was offering him protection from the other Witches. Slowly, thinking any fast movements would be bad; the human took the offered ring and pushed it onto a finger. It was a tight fit.
The warrior watched it slide on. Then met the Human gaze and let his head fall in a nod. With than done, he followed his friends and blinked out of the alley with that whip like sound.
The man was alone