It's been over a year since I touched this story, I know, but I couldn't resist posting it. Perhaps a few reviews/critiques will encourage me to continue?
Bullets blazed and sizzled, fresh off the terrace, fresh out of the gun. The Japanese spies were everywhere. Hiding underneath the upper terrace wouldn't keep her safe for long. She had to keep moving.
She needed to get to her mother.
Mother had warned her that one day the Japanese would come after them. Her legs skimmed through the crossfire, taking a shot in the ankle, but not stopping. She left behind a bloody trail as she scouted the stained patio for her mother. Over there, lying beside the tree was the woman gasping dryly for her last breath.
The young girl's feet flopped and ticked as they cut across the marble patio. She rolled her mother over onto her back. Mother's face was hot and wet from the tears. Her hands were clammy and sweaty, as were her clothes. Her vision was blurred, so her last image of her only daughter was distorted.
"Your father's waiting for you, Abby." Mother's face was tear-streaked and colorless. There were several fatal wounds about the woman. Abby dare not count the ways. There would be no saving for Trisha Lenn. "Take this with you. It belongs to the Davian boy. He's the key to all of this…" Mother's voice faded away as Abby heard the thrashing footsteps of many Japanese spies closing in on her. They were waiting for her to drop the letter that was now in her hand.
Abby looked up from her mother and bravely glanced over the fence. Their house had been built on a hill. The river was a long way down. Abby remembered jumping it once when she was young. She nearly cracked her skull. She snapped a leg instead.
Impulsively, she took a leap over the railing, the letter in her mouth. Her eyes were closed. She prepared for immediate death. At the very least, the Japanese would not get the item that her mother had so bravely given her life for... … … SPLAT.
Abby hit the hard glass windshield of a small zeppelin. It was only natural that her father would have traveled in style, even for a trip such as this. The Lenn family was not known for being unprepared, but rather the opposite. Abby climbed the puffy handles down the side of the zeppelin and slid into the small cart where the captain—her father—stood. They were the only two people on board.
Wallace Lenn did not even smile at his daughter. He gave her a deadpan stare because of her bloody appearance. Abby knelt on the floor, remembering that her ankle had just taken a bullet.
"You've got the note?" Wallace Lenn's voice was strict and cold. So were his eyes. He had that certain morbid smell about his breath. And the entirety of him seemed rigger-mortis-like, for that matter.
Abby nodded. She slid it to him across the slippery floor while she peeled the bullet out of her ankle. She knew how to do this because she'd done it many times before. "What will Nashian-villa have to say about this letter being in the hands of an Avyran agent?" Abby asked as her father was picking up the letter.
"Regardless of my loyalty, this note belongs to Avyran association just as much as it belongs to the Japanese. This note doesn't belong to Nashian-villa either." Wallace tore open the ivory envelope and read the head title. "This belongs to one person and one person only. This is the birth certificate of Zachary Davian."
What is that? It's that pins-and-needles feeling.
Eyelids opened. The room was all a rolling blur. It was disorienting and so nauseating, and the best thing to do was to let eyes close and take some rest.
The poking and prodding continued. Voices swirled around. Was it too much to ask for everyone to leave him alone to think? Sometimes time stood still when he was asleep.
But he was not asleep anymore.
He forced his eyelids to open again. He didn't even have the energy to flinch when he saw a stranger staring right into his face.
"Sarry. Sarry dooo yoo heeearr mee? Sarry? Sarry. Yawr eyes arrr opened. Sarry. Sarry?"
There was another figure in the room. Thin, tan, long brown hair. Had to be a girl. "Seeeh yoooo oon Mondeee." She whispered. Heels buckled as she walked out of the room.
The boy could not understand the stranger's words. Immediately, he felt a sharp pain in his head. It was invading his mind. Burning, stinging, deafening, though it had no sound whatsoever. The shades and shadows began to swirl around again, interrupting his thoughts.
Light and objects were not where they should be and they were where they did not belong. It took all of his strength to move his limp hand over to the spot where it hurt. Right where his neck connected to his brain.
The boy 's head jerked leftward in pain.
"Yuv got a bad-edge there." The stranger gently pulled the boy's hand away from the hurting spot. The boy seemed to have no other choice than to move as he was moved. The feeling was just beginning to enter his tingly hands. "Tha's quite a bad-edge for a scar like the one you've got. Yoo won' wanna be touchin' it, Sarry."
"Sarry?" Was all the boy could mumble. What was Sarry and what did it have to do with him?
"Why, tha's yawr name, a' coourse!" The stranger seemed to think the boy was joking. But as the smile left his face, it was obvious that Sarry really didn't know.
Sarry tried to understand the room he was in. Nightgown, a smell like burning blood, the muffled sounds of inconsiderate people shifting through the halls, and the beds too comfy to actually be of real comfort. He was in a hospital. There was no point in doubting it.
The stranger frowned at him.
Sarry tried to keep his eyes open, blinking constantly because the lights were too bright.
The stranger got the hint and shut off the lights. "Tha's better. Now, do yu remember who yu are?"
Sarry shook his head.
"Yawr Sarry Marow a' course! And don' tche worry. Yool Hall's been lookin' out for yu."
"Who're you?" Sarry asked.
"Me? I'm Larney."
Sarry's mind was racing. He remembered nothing before opening his eyelids. He tried to remember who he was, but nothing came up. His mind was a blank.
Now that Sarry had been awake for a few minutes, he could finally tell what Larney was saying through his odd accent. "
"Sarry, I've known ya for years. Now yawr sayin' you don't remember me? After all tha's happened with yawr parents?"
"My…parents?" Every word Sarry said cost him more energy he did not have. Was he dying? Had that been why he was brought here? To die?
"Yawr father Sr. Samiel Marow! He's Yool Hall's best Agent I reckon! He was just showing you the ropes—if you will—when you took a bullet to the back of yawr neck. So bloody. Nearly died." Larney shook his head in shame. "But yawr father. He saved you. Reckon he'll be the next one to come see you now that you've woken up. He hasn't come to see you in a few weeks. He's been real busy, you know. This is always the time of year Davian likes to strike…" Larney kept rambling on.
Sarry interrupted, "Weeks?"
"Well, Sarry, you…er yawr sleep dragged out much longer 'n we'd expected or predicted. Seven months is a long time to be asleep. Reckon you've lost quite a bit of yawr young life just wastin' away on this bed. Reckon yer be glad to be awake now. I can see yawr just a little bit foggy in the head. It'll pass within a few days. They've kept you so drugged up it's a wonder yawr awake at all."
Sarry could barely hold up his head. His neck muscles were so weak that his head just flopped to one side until he relaxed his back on the bed. Sarry took a deep breath and oxygen filled his lungs. It felt as though his chest would burst.
His lungs must have been starved for quite some time. As blood started to flow again, he could see Larney more clearly now. Larney was tall, skinny and gangly. His hair was light brown and curly and nearly the same color as his skin. Larney looked old enough to have a child Sarry's age.
But, Sarry did not get the feeling a guy like Larney would make a good father.
"I'll send a call to Yool Hall right away. They'll want to know about yawr awakenin'. Reckon you'll see yawr father soon." Larney pulled out a small headphone and a handheld electronic rectangle. He pressed something on that rectangle and then began to speak to whoever was on the other side. Larney's voice rambled speedily, even with his odd accent.
The words flew by so fast that Sarry could not hope to make them out.
And then Larney tucked the headphone and rectangle away safely into the front pocket of his brown corduroy pants. "Change of plans, Sarry. Yawr father'll be comin' to pick ya up soon. Ya better get ready. He's not a very patient man, an, since he's only had you for about eight months, he'll be wantin' to spend as much time with ya as possible, I reckon."
"Ya were in a deep sleep the seven a' them. Ya previously lived in 'Conetict at a yar-round boardin' school. When yawr father decided you were of age to carry on the family business, you came to live with him." Larney explained. "Anaways, I'll need a' be goin' now. See ya when yawr feelin' better. I'm almost always at Yool Hall."
Before Sarry could understand everything Larney had said, Larney left. Oh no, Sarry thought, now I can't ask any real questions.
The moments seemed to ooze past very slowly. Sarry could swear there was fluid in his ear. His throat itched. Every time he coughed, green came out. He was in the middle of a master hacking into a trash bin when there came a loud knock on the door. Sarry was sure the knock was not actually that loud, he only thought it was because of his aching ears.
"Come in." Sarry croaked.
Loud footsteps entered. They bore a tall, tan man with boxy shoulders, lots of muscle and short brown hair thin as dust. His chin was hairy, and so were his arms. He was wearing black gloves, and the sleeves of his black jacket were rolled up.
Sarry felt his aching forehead. It was hot. He backed into the edge of the bed trying to meet this man's eyes. "Who're you?" Sarry said hoarsely.
"Are you just going to stand there and claim you don't remember your own father?" The man's voice was deep and unfriendly, but he forced a smile.
"Oh." Sarry looked down at his feet, embarrassed. "Sorry. I can't seem to remember much. Nothing short of anything, actually."
The man paused a moment. "Do you know your name?" He enunciated slowly as if Sarry had somehow lost intelligence.
Sarry pointed his finger in the air, "Sarry Marow. That's what Larney told me." Sarry was proud to have known the answer to his father's one question. Father seemed like a hard man to measure up to.
"Sarry? Well, you, Larney, ugh. I should have known that lut would be the first one to see you. Now he's gone and messed you up. Your name is Zary Marow. Z-A-R-Y, short for Zachary. And, you're my son." He barked.
"Larney also mentioned something about a…Yool Hall?"
"Yule Hall Organization. Ah, well, since you're a fresh mind right now, I'd like to keep it that way. It'd give us a chance to start over. You and I, see, we never really had that familial bond. It was me who paid the bills for your life, but we kept our distance. You never told me why. Right now's about the most we've ever talked in your whole life."
Samiel Marow could plainly see that there was nothing left to say to the boy right now and he took him down to his car.
The car was brown and square. There was absolutely nothing about this car that made it special or interesting. Zary sat in the back. Out of the rear-view mirror, he could see his father's face. Samiel's face was a lot like stone that came out of a mold.
"You truly remember nothing, then?" Father asked.
"Nothing." Zary confirmed.
Father's mood seemed to lighten at that, though Zary shivered coldly. Odd. The temperature in the car must have been eighty degrees. Outside it was late in summer. Zary could tell by the quality of air. It was always easier to breathe in the summer.
Zary leaned on the seat beside him. There were papers there—and files. Dozens of them. And a belt too. Up in the passenger's seat was a small radio with very large antennae. "What's all this stuff?" Zary inquired.
"It's for my job—don't touch it. Let's just say that…well, some of the people I come into contact with aren't, well, exactly completely friendly."
Zary got the hint. "You're a cop, aren't you? That's what's with all the secrecy?"
"Good cop, bad cop, worker, field agent, all of this—I'm just one man, Zary. But I do many things." He growled.
"So…you're not a cop?"
Samiel sighed. The boy's completely clueless. He remembers nothing. This is a much better opportunity than I could have ever hoped for, he thought. "Be silent." Samiel decided to take a chance on the boy.
Suddenly, they made a 300 degree turn and Zary had to hold onto his seatbelt to keep from falling over.
It was obvious that Samiel had altered their course of direction. Zary looked out the window and saw them pass several run-down electrical buildings, gas stations, restaurants, and broken cars parked along the sides of the streets. Smoke issued from some of the buildings. The smoke seemed to be the same color as the sky above and the pavement below.
"Welcome to Midport, Zary." Samiel snarled.
Several dirty looking young men who were jaywalking tossed their fists at Samiel's car and spoke many foul words and phrases. Zary was glad that he couldn't make out exactly what they were saying.
"Rotten Cronies." Samiel grumbled.
"W—" Zary started to speak but then remembered he was told not to. He looked away in the hopes that his father hadn't heard him.
Samiel kept his left hand on the wheel and fiddled with the radio with his free hand. He manipulated the antennae until he got a signal. "Hello. Hello? Hello? Hello? Sir—yessir. Hello. This is sr. Samiel Marow reporting back to tell you I've got him, sir. Yessir. No, sir, he's quite foggy. No sir, not at all. Absolutely nothing. Yes, a lot easier…all of them?...I will, sir." And then the transmission turned to static.
Samiel returned to his stationary facial expression.
Zary noticed that the buildings began to grow taller and wider. The higher the buildings towered, the less pollution seemed to engulf the area. It was like walking out of a big cloud by the time Samiel said, "This is Caleto city. It's where I work, and also where I'm going. There's a big deal going down at Yule Hall. Unfortunately, I haven't got enough time to drop you off at your stay in Midport, so you're coming with me."
Zary liked Caleto city. It was clear and broad and nothing at all like its neighbor, Midport. Zary wanted to stay in Caleto. However, he got the strangest sensation of deja-vu. As if he'd been in Caleto before—and this wasn't a fond memory.
Zary was determined to look past that. It was about time for a fresh start.
The implied reaction was that Yule Hall was a squat, wide, brown building betwixt two teal skyscrapers. Yes, Yule Hall stood out. It caught Zary's eye, at least.
"Out." Samiel commanded.