BECOME CABBAGE MAN
It felt homely, at least.
Leigh ducked to dodge a flying carrot that ripped through the wall, then grinned at one dude that stepped down from the stairs to purchase a one-way gore-package ticket to dreamland. His experience was a blast. His head was pitched on the other side of the room. His blood sprayed into a cloud. His intestines spread out like banderitas as the rest of his skin rained like confetti.
She didn’t laugh yet. She checked her bullets and waited. Then, another one stepped into the entrance and killed himself. Two people screamed outside. Angelica did follow her instructions. Great. Those two outside peeked inside and got their heads blasted.
To think that she could do something like this.
She kept her nervous grin as she hid back and hugged the corner of the interrogation room. Licking her lips, she pointed her trembling gun at the door. As far as she could remember, they had a girl that could hear things.
Now, the number of escapees would be the least of their concerns. And a closed hairy fist ripped through the concrete wall skinned her lips.
“Felt something. You’re actually right.”
“I am,” a girl replied.
Leigh’s eyes shot white. She gritted her teeth as her lips burned. She did not scream. Her brows narrowed. Her ears rang. Slowly. For a moment, her body felt out of touch. She could’ve died. But she’s still alive. She could still breathe, although silently. She could still think. She could still win.
She took off her shoes and tossed them on the other side of the room.
Silence. Leigh curled herself into a ball and covered her mouth and nose. Her shaking eyes wandered. Sweat trickled at the tip of her bangs. Muffled breaths seeped through her fingers. The hairy fist was pulled back, but there’s nothing to celebrate yet.
“So… you were wrong.”
The girl clicked her tongue. “It’s breathing. We left some prisoners alive for later, right?”
“You’re not really taking a loss, huh?”
“Check the corner, you goddamn gorilla.”
Then, there was silence again. Leigh braced herself. There was pressure. Something heavy was placed on the other side of the wall. Leigh gritted her teeth. And the man bashed his head and broke through the wall with his victorious gleam.
The man didn’t see anything.
Leigh broke scrambled and broke through the door at the same time. She rolled on the ground for cover, got on her knees, and blasted a young girl wearing a jacket and a cat ears headband square on the chest.
The girl rocked back. She took a second to realize it. She touched her sticking ribs and unbeating heart. She grinned. Her trembling fingers spread to probably catch her fizzling blood in the air but to no avail. She gave the gorilla man one last look, tilting her head to the side before falling to the floor.
The bigger man bouldered and bashed his big arms at her. That’s what would’ve happened. He was too slow. Leigh weaved through his blows and shotgunned his right knee. He grunted. No blood yet. He returned another blow that missed, and this time, Leigh stepped back and smoked his face.
But the gorilla man didn’t fall. His bloodied smile parted the smoke like a tide, and he threw another punch that snapped Leigh’s shotgun in two before crashing into her face.
Leigh blacked out.
She woke up on the floor, heaving, with her back turned away from the man that turned her whole world upside down. Quite literally. It’s hard to see. Was it even dark in the first place? It took her a few more seconds to remember how to breathe. Cold. She could cry. She wanted to say a name, but she couldn’t feel the rest of her face yet.
That must be it. And it could be worse. Though the only difference was that she now had something to fight for. This time. And this time, she’d have to win. Laughable, at least. But she managed to stagger herself back on her feet as this gorilla man took his time to get to her.
Her legs were jelly. Her jaws were loose. It hurt to breathe, and her mouth seemed to be leaking. Going back home would be nice. Maybe it’s her turn. Stepping up would be nice. Maybe it’s her moment. She’s not useless, after all. It’s her turn to protect them. After this, she’d kill that white-haired son-of-a-bitch and take Joshua back. Together, they would go back to Ryan, and they’d win. By then… By then…
She grimaced as she remembered Angelica’s words.
“Too bad. I kinda liked that girl you killed. But hey, you’ll do enough for me.” He crossed his arms. “Won’t you surrender? Don’t you want to live?”
Leigh stepped back. He found a weapon in her back. Right. She almost forgot about this. She chuckled and flipped him off.
“Now, aren’t you just a treat?”
The man stepped forward. Leigh screamed. He threw one of those devastating punches again. Leigh swayed to the side. The man said it was useless. Leigh pulled her gun. The man grinned. A pistol won’t do anything. But it wasn’t just a pistol. Leigh dodged another attack and shoved the gun’s muzzle into his mouth.
The man seemed perplexed at the idea. But Leigh looked away and closed her eyes. Gritting her teeth, she stiffened her arms and pulled the trigger.
A blast. Her ears rang at the explosion that ripped through that man’s upper face and the rest of the police station behind him. Everything beyond her right shoulder turned into gray noise.
Leigh was on the ground again, straining her eyes and licking her bloodied dry lips in victory. She’s weak, but she could still move. Her body was unbearably light, though. But it hurt. Everything. She took a sharp breath and moved her legs being carved by screwdrivers. Her back pretzeled. Her right side had been ripped open and charred. But she’s alive. She could go back. She won.
And her body didn’t listen.
A breath rushed through her nose. She fell to her knees then to the ground. She was spared from losing. Now, she’s going to die alone. She bit back a cry. And as she crumbled to the floor, rocks and more debris rained and crushed everything around her until what was left was the view of the full glitching moon.
“She really whored herself this much, huh?” A voice of a man rang above.
“Thank you,” Leigh forced up a smile. She tried to pick herself up, but she couldn’t move. “I’m Leigh. Who are you?”
“Oh, thank you for being so polite…” The man chuckled. “It’s good to know that my victims aren’t all savages, after all. My name is Juan Montefalco. My initial plan was to end this joke of a game… until now… But at the moment, I’m looking for the bastard who murdered my sister.”