Country: United States
January 25, 2018
09/20/2021 01:46 PM
Luna sat before the mirror that was above her bathroom sink. Black and silver marble countertop was cool beneath her as she sat Indian-style top of it. She stared at her reflection, hoping with focus that somehow it would change within a blink of the eye. Slender digits gave a soft tap to the surface as if to coax it in one way or another, yet her image remained the same. Young, early twenties Luna glared back at her in disappointment. She was beginning to think that the Armani suit was pulling her leg in telling her that she had shifted back to a younger age. It was something of a novel, a story that would be bound within leather covers and tattered pages kept by a mad man. Sheer insanity. Frustration raked over her, fingers tugging rather violently through ravenous locks before pulling back her right fist and slamming it into her own reflection. “Pinche pendeja. Estas loca.” a grumble came from her hissing pouts.
Crimson pooled within the cracks of the mirror, a reflection more suiting for the woman that was before it. Knuckles bled as jaw ticked, orbs watching the droplets fall into the porcelain basin with facintation. Rummaging the cabinet beneath the sink, hands found purchase on a medical bag. Her medical bag. Well, she only assumed it was by seeing her name etched on the leather. Luna gave pause for a moment, pads of left hand fingers dancing over the name, faintest of smiles threatening the corner of her tiers. With a shake of her head, she dug through the contents, finding the cleaning supplies she needed to attend the wound on her right hand. Gauze adorned hand ached with a constant throb but nothing near has what she would have imagined it could have been.
Just as she was about to zip the bag up, eyes caught a glimpse of a photo at the bottom of the back. “Madre.” the single word carried so much emotion. “Of course. Why haven’t I gone home yet? Ma would know what's going on. Duh!!” with a scoff, the Latina took the photo and shoved it in the back pocket of the denim jeans that she wore.
Leaving the apartment, her focus was drift to the Mustang that sat oddly parked. “You’ve got to be sh*tting me. I have wanted one of those since I was a teenager." Making a quick turn, she attempted to look for the keys. But it was apparent that drunk Luna three nights before had decided to misplace them. “Nothing but a thang.” she shrugged making her way back out to the car. Popping the trunk, she withdrew a few tools. Following moments consisted of a slew of curse words and grunts as she worked beneath the dashboard. With a few lucky strikes, a wicked grin danced at her features as the engine purred to life like a dream. “BINGO BABY!!” victory fist pump commenced along with a little gig right in the middle of the drive.
Traveling the all too familiar path, Luna made her way to her old home, having the slightest inkling as to what lay ahead. Something in her heart warmed as the house came into view. Old Victorian two story home with the wrap around porch. The place where she grew up. The reminder of Sunday morning breakfast at the island bar in the kitchen. Dinner dances with Madre before flour fights while making cookies for The Orphanage. The smell of home-made tamales on Friday nights.
But then the not so good memories tugged at the darkest corners of her mind. Screams of horror in the dead of night. Angelo, the gardener, washing away blood stains from the patio. Her Padre’s face mere inches away from a man tied in a chair by barbed wire. Hands around her throat with a swift backhand to the cheek the one time she dared to enter the basement and found Angelo hanging by shackles from the ceiling. That was a time after that she had spent in the hospital for a dislocated jaw and fractured cheek. As the story was told, she was a young one with accidental tendencies.
Tears rolled down her cheek before she was able to wipe them away with a sniff. At the very least, she didn’t see his car parked in the drive. “Ma will be alone. That is always a bonus. Easier times.” she bound up the stairs of the porch two at a time with a grin, the anticipation within her couldn’t quite be contained.
With a turn of the knob, Luna attempted to enter the home only to be met with resistance, face planting directly with the window. “What the hell Ma! I know I have been gone a few days, but to lock your only daughter out of the house is a bit extreme, don’t ya think?” the pounded with the heel of her hand against the window. “HEY MA!! Listen, I’m sorry. I’ll make it up to you, prometo!!” knocks once more only to be met with silence. “I’ll make you your favorite. Cheesecake with cajeta.” she bargained, desperation in her tone. Again, she was only met with the crickets that chirp in the distance.
With a resonating huff, she kicked the door pinching the bridge of her nose. Stomping like a two year old, she took the path to the backyard. If her Madre wouldn’t let her in, she would just have to sneak in, just as she had done so many times before. The window that led to Luna’s bedroom never locked. And considering that her Padre was never the handy man when it came to household chores, it was easy access for the young one to come and go as she pleased without going out the front door. Less the ‘rentals knew, the better.
Climbing the lattice that was just below her window, thorns of freshly bloomed roses staked claim within her palms. “That’s new.” dark brows knitted together, trying to remember what flowers were there before. “What happened to the ivy?” confusion washed over her. With a futile push to the window she was at now, it didn’t budge. “The one time I wanna sneak in the house, the cabron decides it a good idea to fix things.” her patience was running thin. Taking the screwdriver from her back pocket she was using earlier, Luna smashed it against the glass. “If I’m going to get in trouble, mind as well go all out, si?”
With a grunt, she heaved herself over the ledge of the window. In what she expected to be a beanbag there was a plethora of plants. Ceramic shattered beneath her fall. “What. The. Actual? F***?? I’m replaced by nature?!?! Seriously? Gone for less than a week and you….” dusting off potting soil and Irises, Luna got her first true glimpse at the room she was in. “It’s like I was never here..” it was a blow to her heart. How quickly could one be replaced? Apparently less than 72 hours.
Before she was able to gain composure, a click sounded in the room. Time seemed to stand still as her breathing halted completely. “What the hell are you doing in my house?” a male’s voice came from in front of her. The clicking sound was a gun, and now it was pointed directly at her.
“Are you straight out of the looney tunes bin, pinche gringo? I live here.” heart hammered so loudly she was certain that the stranger heard it too. “I’ve owned this property for nine years now. Ever since the owner met an untimely death. Shame really on how she went. It was flooded all across the new paper. How could a man that claimed to love his wife do such a horrid thing? And that daughter and her new born son?” the man’s stance slacked a fraction. “Mrs. Saltero was a wonderful woman. Did a lot for the community.”
All the while, Luna’s mind was running wild. Everything making sense and not at the same time. “Wait...what are you talking about? Mrs. Saltero is perfectly fine. I saw her just a few days ago. We were going to driving me up to Yale next week.”
“Are you off your meds, sweetheart? Mrs. Saltero was slaughtered nine years ago by her husband.”
“STOP IT! You don’t know what you’re talking about!! That’s ludacris. My Padre would never….” Luna shook her head rapidly back and forth, anger building within her.
“You f***ing nuts woman! GET THE HELL OUT OF MY HOUSE!” gun again pointed directly at her head.
“You’re lying. Why would you say such wretched things!? You don’t know a damned thing. Stop talking….stop talking!!” with a forceful push with palms at the males chest, he went flying across the room, the gum clattering to the ground as sheetrock dusted the air where the man landed.
The Latina glanced down at her hands in awe. She didn’t use that much force. And even then, she was much smaller than her counterpart. “This isn’t happening.” fresh tears flooded her eyes as she picked up the gun and angled at the man trying to get up.
Inching her way towards the door, she held the gun in place. “You’re gonna let me leave here. Stay there. Right. There.”
Scrambling, she took the staircase down to the front door with the gun clutched in her hand. Upon opening the front door, three armed police men had guns of their own trained on her.
“Drop the gun and put your hands behind your head.”
09/20/2021 01:45 PM
Taken Back (Character Dev.)
Russet hues peered through the windshield with a slow release of breath. There was a tinge of red that circled the moon. Not in the sense of a blood moon but still something that had a shiver of anticipation travel the length of the Latina’s spine. A plume of smoke emitted parted tiers as she cracked her neck. Her Madre’s superstitions were getting to her. “Nothing ever happens with the hint of red around the moon, mija.” her mother’s words echoed within her ears.
Get a grip pendejo, what could possibly happen? You are half demon and Cluebra. Whatever it may be, you can handle it. Drop your cajones and move. Gaze cast to the Rosary hanging on the rearview mirror that belonged to her Abuela. The faintest of smiles gracing her features as memories flooded back to the days that the three of them would sit around the living room. Laughter would echo off the walls when the trio of Saltero women gathered. A much simpler time. Where there was no bloodshed. No violence on a daily basis. A moment in time she was carefree, even if she be a bit rebellious. How much she missed such her blissful ignorance then. Slightly shielded from the world of demons, Cluebras, or any other supernatural being. Before the life of the Cartel that turned her into a person that at times truthfully frightened even her. On how ruthless she had become.
But it was time that had changed her.Or by the likes of her Madre. Luna had yet to discover what her Mother’s words meant when Luna had died months ago. “Now is not your time, this wasn’t the deal made.” It still puzzled the eldest Saltero. Sure, she had come back to life. As a demon but there was something else that was in her veins that even puzzled the son of Lucifer himself. She still attempted to find the missing piece, but it was always put on the back burner. Figuring as given this opportunity, she wouldn’t dare waste it. But when sleep came, it was the giggles of her son Lorenzo that haunted her. The way that her Madre looked so determined that Luna was to follow a certain path. That death was not to take hold. Even through Hell.
Shaking her head rapidly back and forth, she lodged the memories back to her corners of mind. Snuffing of the cigarette in hand, she painted pouts the signature red before exiting the 67’ Mustang. Her club Euphoria was in effect once more. But with luck, she wasn’t going to be a dancer on the stage. It was the night off, so claiming a seat at the bar is what she would do.
Even in the club itself, the atmosphere that was in the area washed over her with a wave of electricity. Yes, she was the owner, rightfully so. Many pairs of eyes followed the Latina as she sank into the private booth, ravenous locks tossed over a bare shoulder. Esmerelda approached with Luna’s regular. “Hefa. Didn’t expect to see you here tonight. What brings you in tonight? You know the place is in capable hands.” A chuckle crept out of Luna as a slender digit skimmed along the rim of her glass that was placed before her. “Such a warm, warm welcoming Esmerelda . If that is the attitude you give all patrons perhaps I should find another waitress. Fate has it in your favor tonight though so I shall let the snide remark pass. Just keep the drinks coming and the people happy, por favor.” With a flash of golden orbs then switching back to a brilliant shade of green, Esmerelda scoffed, followed by a low growl.
“You don’t even know what you have, do you, Luna?” a quizzical brow rose on the petite woman that stood before her. “You are dense not to see the power you carry. Not fully tapped into what it is we can do. Shame to have spent so long at the top to mere fall for the likes of you.” With a squint, Luna’s eyes transformed to that of the golden hue that Esmeralda shown moments before. “Are you done? Seems to me that with the lack of leadership that you reigned over, there was another that saw a more fitting to be in your place. But I am quite confused. I’ve done nothing more than bring the likes of you from gutter rat to this.” Luna’s hands gestured all around. “When I took over this place it smelled of piss and cum stains that lingered on the sh*tty booth. You and I both know all too well that if I hadn’t stepped in when I did, you would be hustling at the nearest truck stop as a lot lizard begging for your neck meal. What I have created here is a place for you to stay concealed and still live.” her words were hissed through clenched teeth.
Esmeralda’s frame stood ramrod straight as she took Luna’s words. Each being a dagger and hitting the target head on. “You still don’t see it. But you will.” with those parting words, Esmeralda turned on her heel. Luna quickly drained the contents of the crystal glass that sat before her. “Mind your tongue next time when approaching me, susia.”
With a refresh following a few moments later, Esmeralda slid in the booth beside Luna. “Listen, I’m sorry. I’m grateful for all you’ve done for us. You know...our people. So as an apology, here’s a double. And it’s on the house.” The comment had a laugh escape Luna. “Es, the building is mine. Everything I get is on the house.” she shook her head, amber liquid of the glass swirling as she moved the glass around, gulping down the elixir. Low hum built within her throat, something different within the contents of this glass. “We get a new shipment in?” she clicked her tongue on the roof of her mouth, dark brows knitting together to pinpoint what was different about the drink.
“Just came in today. Figured you would want to be the first to test it. See if it is something we could add to the ever growing menu of specialties. Mixed it myself.” Es spoke up. But what Luna didn’t see were the devils that danced behind the gaze that looked back at her. The unfamiliar taste coated her throat and was fueling through her system. Lips popped in a smack before smiling. “You may be of use after all Esmeralda.Give me another before I hit the road. I have an early morning.”
As ordered, a second glass of the ‘special’ was promptly delivered to the Latina. “Have a nice trip, Hefa.” were Esmeralda’s finally words. As Luna traveled home, she cranked the volume up on the radio. Probably shouldn’t be driving but who would she be if she didn’t break the rules from time to time? Things began to become fuzzy on the edges of her vision as she turned the vehicle on her street. “What was in that drink?” hiccups as she tumbles from the car.
Digits tapped at her forehead, her body seeming to sway with every step she took. “At the very least I parked in the lines!” another hiccup came forth. Fumbling with her keys, Luna managed not so gracefully to make her way into the apartment. “Yo….Demon Dude….” how could she have possibly forgotten Payne’s name? Whatever Esmeralda had given her was striking hard and fast. “You home….?” Luna made a face as she was met with complete silence. She then proceeded to go about the hallway to the kitchen blowing raspberries. “Food… does a body good. Wait… that’s milk. OH!! Milk and cereal. Excellent choice.” once more, her slight frame swayed when she walked, hip bumping the countertop as she moved.
“But you know what else sounds good? Sleep.” twirling in place, she redirected herself to the living room as the room itself started to tilt sideways. “Yoooo my dude…. This tilt-a-whirl sh*t has gotta go. No mas.” The Latina faceplanted on the cushions on the couch before zonking out completely.
The incessant sound of her alarm blared in her ears. With a drool trail coming from her mouth and attached to the throw pillow, Luna swatted at nothing in particular. “For all that is holy, will you kindly f*** off.” With one swing of her arm, Luna flailed off the couch and ass planted to the wooden floor. “That is rather rude to do first thing in the morning. Just want to point that out. And if this is the start of the day, I want a do-over. Immediately.” Grumbles as eyes begin to slowly open.
Panic sets in as Luna looks at her surroundings. Nothing familiar to the place as she stands. “What the actual Criminal Minds is this?” heartbeat picks up rapidly. One step forward had her twist her ankle. “Why am I in heels? Who the hell wears heels to bed??” This brought attention to the attire in which she wore. A form fitting, black leather top with skin tight jeans. “If this is some twisted sick game of capture the serial killer, I’m not entertained. I will call the cops, a**hole.” she called out into the void that was around her.
In the distance, she heard keys jingle. “Oh, I am not about to be a based on a true crime show.” looking around the room, there was a display case of knives. With a victory fist pump, Luna moved to retrieve them. A dagger in each hand as she peeked around the corner. Entering the door was a rather large male. No one she had recognized. Brown orbs watched his movements for a moment before sinking to the ground. Taking aim, she threw the kife in his direction, missing by mere inches as it landed in the wall behind him.
“Who are you? Are you some creep that just kidnaps young women for the hell of it? Is it money you want? Because trust me buck-o, my folks will be looking for me. I go back to college today so they are sure to look for me sometime.”
Through all of this, the man that stood before her was Payne. But the version of Luna that stood before him was that of a much younger Luna. No longer was she in the body of the woman that he had come to know and love. She was now just a scared animal it seemed. “Step any closer and I will cut you, mister Armani suit. What’s up with the monkey suit anyways? Business that good in the stock market?”
She had no memory of knowing who he was. Or that she had been poisoned in a sense by the likes of Esmeralda the night before.
A young Luna was now running rampart on the world. What would be of this trip to her past self in present day?
09/02/2021 07:51 PM
Late Night artwork Ft. Defiant Demon
The Latina’s dark brows knitted together as pencil tapped on paper, tiers screwing together before tilting her head to the side as she peered at the image. Tongue peeked between lips as pearly whites snapped together before she sprung up from her stool like a Jack-n-the-box that had sprung to life. “Perfecto!” Luna nearly shouted, mini happy dance performed in her art studio in oversized t-shirt and jogged pants, glasses, and a messy bun atop of her head. Shifty eyes glanced around the room making sure not a soul saw her victory jig before righting herself and clearing her throat, making her way to the metal cabinet adjacent from her easel that contained what she needed. Reaching for the red and black toolbox that rested on the top shelf, she gathered the massage table from the corner of the room, her sketch pad, and the thermal paper replica of her drawing. With a deep breath, she closed her eyes. She knew her artwork was good. But somehow this step was something that made her overly nervous. She could feel the rapid beat of her heart pick up which rarely happened with the Luna Saltero. “Come on pendeja, just an art piece. It’s just another work of art. Permanently etched on someone…. Balls up susia.”
On quiet feet, she padded to the living room where Payne was sitting. Luna had to pause a moment in the doorway as music billowed from the room, a smile toying at the corners of her lips. As much as she enjoyed playing the piano, hearing him play the ivories made her heart flutter unlike any other. In a sense, it calmed her erratic heart that was jumping moments ago. It was as if he had sensed her before she even spoke but didn’t stop play as his gaze captured hers from across the expanse of the room, seeing the items that she held. “Oh! Is it massage night already! Goodie!!” Payne proceeds to stand and remove his shirt. Laughter erupted the ravenous beauties lips as she shook her head back and forth. “Keep your shirt on cowboy. Though after I am done with you, you may very well need that massage, senor Queen.” she nearly purrs the words, taunting him.
With an arched brow, Payne closed the distance between them “What are you up to?” Russet hues cast a long look over him as she clicked her tongue and circled him ever so slowly, unfolding the massage table and reaching for one of the pillows that lay on the couch, placing it on the table and giving it a pat. “Sit. Por favor?” Luna gave her best innocent bat of lashes as she set up her tray with her tattoo gun, ink, foot pedal, and making sure her design wasn’t to be seen by him as of yet. To the side she had a red scarf. “Now, promise me. You won’t look. We both know you are down for torture. And we both know I will blindfold you if need be. So no peeking until I am finished. Comprende?”
For a long beat, Payne stood stoic. Arms crossed across his chest as he examined her. Maybe she had truly lost her mind this time. It was trust. Trust in the unknown. This was minimal after all they had been through. But also something very big in a sense of it all. A small smile cracked across his features, breaking her tension as she relaxed in her chair. “What the hell? Loca is Loca. And I shall be loco too. Where are you torturing mi renia?” She rubbed gloved hands together gleefully. “Calf, mi rey. Por favor.” With that, he let out a laugh. “I knew this would come to me having to take my pants off. If you wanted me out of them, you didn’t have to break out needles, you know that right?”
With the transfer in place, Luna worked tediously on the piece. Every so often, Payne would wince in pain, jolting her out of her concentration. “Have you lost your mind!?” she laughed. “You? Have been stabbed. Shot. And wince at a little needle. Payne Zile Queen!!! When I am finished with you….” it was near hysteria with the both of them by the time the entire piece was done.His laughter mingled with her own filled the room. Breaks were needed in between. Snacks and to give the baby of Sir Wince-A-Lot a breather. After all, no true rest for the wicked, right? Perfecting the intricate lines. Shadows and colors of it all. But just for him? It had to be perfect. She wanted to be.
Blowing out a breath, a stray hair fluttered from her face as she looked to Payne and eased her foot off the foot pedal, placing the gun on the metal tray, flexing her fingers. “Okay. We’re done.” Worry…. Anxiousness began to seep in again as she stood and reached for his hand. “Be honest.” leads him to the full length mirror. “Because there really isn’t an erase button on these kind of things, ya know.” bottom lip runs through teeth. “Well….What do you think?”
10/26/2020 01:59 PM
Death in a graveyard
Gravel crunched beneath the heels of her black combat boots as she made way to the gravesite that held her Madre and son. Every month she visited. Never allowing the moss that covered the other tombstones to taint the stones of those that she had loved more than anything. It was her last stop before heading home. She simply shot Payne a text alerting him of her whereabouts, as he tended to worry when the feisty Latina was out and about on her own. One of which he didn't care too much for, especially with all that had been happening as of late.
Luna still held to the newspaper clippings that had been sent to her. An alarm raised to those that she had allowed close to her; and if she were to admit it out loud, she was alarmed as well. The obituaries of her family covered in writing placed in her mailbox. No postage stamp made it clear that he knew exactly where she was. Fear was instilled in her to the very core, but she wouldn't coward down and go into hiding. If the pendejo wanted her, he would stop at nothing to get her. The lives of those that she loved the most would be placed in danger. Come Hell or high water, she wouldn't stand for another life to be taken all because she ran. Her dear ole Padre seemed to have eyes everyone, so it was clear that he knew the company that she kept, even if it be very few. And though the majority of those that were close to her were immortal, quite more durable than she was, she wouldn't have their fate dangling over her head like a sword.
It was a fight she had more than once with Payne. The ever persistent Demon that she had given her heart to. The one that had weaseled himself into the cracks of her foundation and remained at her side, despite the façade she had tossed up in attempts to keep him out. He threw caution to the wind, giving back as much as she seemed to throw his way. She was truly ass over daggers for the man. When asked to keep security on her at all times, she damn near threw a tantrum like that of a child with sharp objects. As there were blades thrown in the argument, she seethed in anger at the request, disregarding it completely. Last thing she wanted or desired was to be babysat. Her defiance was sure to be her demise one day, but she'd be damned either way, right? No more bloodshed because of the likes of her being in the middle.
Dense fog danced on ground as she knelt to the ground, fabric of her jeans becoming damp with impact. Palms placed to the cool stone as russets flooded with emotion, tears brimming. "You would have been eight this year my nino. I still hear those little coos, ya know? And that chubby smile? You were going to have the susias lining up at the door, banging it down." she sniffled a laugh. "I'm sorry, precious boy. I couldn't protect you better." pads of digits ghosted along the engraved name before turning to face her Madre's headstone. Sitting Indian style, just as she did many times before, having a chat as if she were truly there. "Mi Madre… I'm by far from the perfect daughter that you envisioned. Not the Dr. Saltero like we talked so much about. But know, I still try to make you proud in doing justice. Despite what my title is, I'm not the reckless killing machine her tried to make me be. Though I still have countless fault, Ma. Not going to lie. There's still an underlying evil that courses through my veins I can't quite put a finger on. I see red and yet…"
A laugh from behind her startled the Latina from her spot. A laugh she knew all too well.
"You've become soft, hija. Talking to the dead instead of totaling to the body count?" an ice cold chill traveled the length of her spine as she turned her head, gaze landing on him. "Don't look so surprised Luna. You're messy in covering your steps. And at the same time so damn predictable. You visit this place far too much. If you ran the business in this much detail, you'd be more thriving than I could have ever been" his words were a near growl as he spoke. "Yet you waste it. On what? Petty relationships? Your sister? Oh yes puta, I keep tabs well. Arabella has grown to be magnifica. Perhaps I should have trained her to run the business. That sweet little ass would bring in more clients than the likes of a bitter you."
Luna's teeth clenched so tightly that her jaw spasmed. "Did you come here just to taunt me, Padre? Or is there a purpose to her stalking me like a cabron trying to get his cajones off?" words laced with venom as gaze darted around. Checking the shadows for his goon squad.
A meaty hand waved in the air, diverting her attention. "Always so paranoid, mi hija. I have come to see that if I need a job done, I come to do it myself. I gave you everything and you are wasting it." He threw out his arms as if putting on a show. "I'm alone. What you wanted all along, si? And what a better place for your own death than the very grounds of where the ones you failed to save? Too bad I don't have an audience. The likes of the pretty boy you seem so fond of. Payne is it?" his steps began to strode towards her menacingly.
A low growl rumbled in her chest as hand sought purchase on the dagger at her side. "Don't even think about it. I've lost everything once before, I will not make that mistake again." she swung forward without a second thought, glint of the blade reflected in the moonlight that casted from above. But being as he was one that taught her most her moves, he saw the swing coming before she made it, twisting her arm behind her back at an agonizing angle, tip of blade now directed at her spine.
"I know I taught you better than that, Luna. Use your anger to your abilities." hot breath tickled at her ear before she swung her head back with force. A cracking sound echoing in her ears as the grip on her arm was released. Crimson dripped from her Father's nose as he wiped it away with the back of his hand.
"You taught me nothing but heartbreak." she swung with an upper cut before left leg came up, kicking him in the solar plex, sending him stumbling back a few feet. "Nothing but pain." right fist twisted out with contact to his jaw. "Nothing but deception and cruelty." with a quick turn on feet, right leg shifted out to kick but was caught midair. Her father, a brute of a man tossed her like a ragdoll into the headstones of her loved ones head first. Blood trickled down her forehead as the corners of her vision became fuzzy.
The dark laugh washed over her like maggots feasting upon rotting flesh. "Tocado! She does learn new tricks." Luna's ravenous locks clung to her face as the gash at her head throbbed incessantly. "You stupid girl. You know this only ends one way. Just take your bow now." and at if she were the bullseye on a target in the range, the dagger that she hand dropped in the tussle moments ago was speared through her abdomen. Her cry of pain was drowned out by the likes of the ravens that pecked at the stones and cawed in the graveyard. Shaky hand attempted to retrieve the dagger that was at her ankle, but a booted foot held it hostage. With one swift movement of his other foot in a kick, her ankle cracked before tatted hand took the one weapon she had left.
"Choice of death by blade, my darling daughter?" his voice was almost affectionate. Sickeningly so. With her foot at an odd angle, Luna willed herself to move. On all fours, it was as if she were groveling at his feet, something she sure he was eating up with a silver spoon. Tongue swiped across pouts, the taste of copper exploding on her tongue before hands found a loose stone. With all the force she had, she levered the delivery to his knee, sending him buckling to the ground beside her. Death grip still held as she crawled over him, kneeling at his side. Hefting the stone up one last time, she aimed for his head.
Before contact was made, a searing pain rippled through her. The blade of her own dagger again impaled her. This time just below her ribcage. Chocolate hues widened as she struggled to the take her next breath in. The blade must have hit her lung because it felt as if she were drowning. "Stupid girl. You can never best me, and now you can rest with the ones I took from you so long ago. Tell your Madre I miss her. And the rugrat…well can't say I miss him too terribly much."
Luna's body fell back, phone clattering to the dirt. "Let's send that lover boy a nice little picture shall we. Now smile pretty. You don't want to look a mess when he sees your face now do you?" her father soothed through a grunt as he propped her up on her Mother's grave, cleaning off some of the blood that stained her face. "Say cheese…" the flash popped a halo effect around in the night as the Latina gurgled on her on blood. Fiddling with the contacts on her phone, the picture was sent to Payne. "'Having a killed time with Madre. Don't wait up.' That sounds lovey dovey and threatening all at the same time, right? And S E N D. Shame that my own flesh and blood would work years to try and kill me, hate me, but have it all come to this." he patted her face. "But just not strong enough, young one. I told you, A L L things in life are expendable. Even ones that were a result from a good f***, I might add. Your Madre should have swallowed you, yea?"
Her hearing was fading as lids became heavy, his voice droning on yet again with his nonsense. Her breaths were shallow and short, gaze drifting with heavy lids as hands clutched to the wound, attempting to hold on. "Stop holding on hija. Just let go. No one is going to save you…."
They say that your life flashes in memories before you die. But it was just fading into nothingness. A black and white version and replaced was the voice of her Father of that one belonging to her Madre. Luna was standing, unscathed from injuries as laughter of a little boy echoed around. Crips fallen leaves of orange, yellow, and brown crunched beneath her feet as she turned in a circle, searching for the laughing boy, or even her Ma.
"You aren't supposed to be here mi nina querida. Though I knew your stubbornness would always lead you down this path." That voice she had longed to hear washed over her like a warm Summer's day. "Ma?" Luna squinted, head tilted to the side in question. "How…what…I don't understand. What's going on?" the little boy's laughter grew as he came and circled his arms around Luna's leg. It was as if he hadn't seen her in years. Squatting, focus zeroed in on the young boy, her heart swelling. "Lorenzo?" the name was like on the tip of her tongue as she examined the child in great detail. The eyes….her eyes mirrored directly back to her.
"Silly Mommie, you aren't supposed to be here. Abuela says so. And what she say goes." the boy nodded matter-of-factly. Tears brimmed her eyes, confusion washing across her features. "Why you cry Mommie? Don't be sad. I get to play with Abuela all the time. She got the best bedtime stories. And I get to watch you. I say my Mommie is the most beautimus Mommie ever." he squared his shoulders, hands on his hips. The small attitude that radiated from him, there was no denying it. "It is you, Lorenzo. My sweet sweet nino." she tugged him in for a hug, fearing if she let him go, it would all vanish.
"Cru…shing me, Mommie. Can't breathe." he chuckled before another hand came and rested atop of Luna's head. "La Luna… what have you done now? To get you here? Now is not your time, darling. Lorenzo is right. You can't stay here. Not with the deal made and especially not with the company you keep. They simply won't stand for it."
Luna's brow knitted together as she shook her head. "What are you talking about, Ma? Wait…what deal? What is this place?" Her Mother clasped her hand between her own, that loving smile lighting up her face as it always did. "Just know, I did what I did to protect you. Now time is important. And that an, the one that has your heart. Trust in what he does. These next steps are crucial, darling. But this is not your time. No more questions, you have to go before it's too late. All will be answered soon enough."
She had so many questions and her panicked state had her envelope her arms around her Madre. "Go NOW! And remember, I love you my precious daughter. And I am so proud of you." Before Luna could question anything further, it was as if she were transported back to her present body. In pain, gasping for air that just wouldn't come and she began to choke on her own blood.
"Hold on just a little longer, darling." Her limbs became heavy with every passing second. Her heartbeat slowing as her body lay limp against the headstone. Faint sound of her father retreating as all she saw were his feet walking away.
Desperate fingers stretched towards the phone that lay beside her, seeing her own face covered in crimson in the last text to Payne before she drew in her last few breaths….
The End of the Latina?
08/22/2020 11:30 PM
What nightmares are made of. Flashback
TW: Domestic Abuse. Child death/drowning
Funny how the smallest of things can send the mind to the darkest of places. A smell. A sound. A song. Luna was sitting at the newly installed bar at the warehouse with a bottle of Jack in front of her as the jukebox in the corner shifted records. Music bellowed from the speakers sending a prickle of ice down her spine. Petite hand that coiled around the glass tightened so much so it cracked under pressure as the melody filled the room. Flashes filled her vision as she stumbled for the bat behind the bar, making a beeline for the source of sound. "No...." she shook her head vehemently. One hefty swing after another, shards of plastic flying about along with glass scattering at her feet. Ravenous lock in disarray enveloped around her face free of ties. But it was too late. The undertow of memories had already began to drag her back to that dreadful night nearly seven years ago....
The Latina was two weeks shy of getting married. She should have been finalizing centerpieces and color schemes. Her last dress fitting was the next morning. She should have been home putting her eight month old son to bed after their late night trip to the grocery store to get formula when Lucio, her fiancé, used the last bit in a mix-up with protein powder in his shake. Served the pendejo right for being in a rush. Called her from the gym cursing about his day being ruined over her not labeling the containers correctly. Such a mundane fight. If only they had known how their day would end.
Copper danced on her tongue as the stench of human flesh wafted in the air. Face crinkled in disgusted as hand reached to swipe at nose only to realize they were tied to the arms of a wooden chair. "Ysabel...." the voice was hoarse. Pained even, coming from the dark. "Lucio? If this is one of your twisted kink games, I am not impressed." her words spat towards the voice in the darkness.
It was the voice that followed that had her heart hammering against her chest. "Ysabel? Does he not know your real name by now, mija?" it was a voice that haunted her dreams. A voice that she ran from years ago. "Not smart of you to just use your middle name. And then yours mother's last name. How long did you think you could hide?" a faint glow flickered in the darkness. One she recognized from many a times of it being used on her. A fire poker heated, glowing bright tinges orange and red as heavy footsteps echoed around her, russet eyes adjusting. The ember disappear only for the void of silence to be filled with the screams of Lucio, Luna's hues making out his silhouette. Chains held his hands bound above his head, broad frame thrashed against the probe of the poker before the scream was cut off.
"He'll live. For now. And that all depends on you, Luna pequena.." fire poker was now directed towards her. "A simple yes will stop all of this. The release of your precious fiance and that small... small bundle of joy. Lorenzo is it? Shame I was never told I was an Abeulo. He's so fragile..." her father's words were a sickening coo as she fought against the restraints. "Don't you dare lay a finger on his head!!" she venom laced her words only to have the poker whacked against her head, crimson trickling down caramel toned cheek as it lolled to the side. "You are in no place to negotiate. Or have you forgotten the golden rule? ALL things are expendable." his voice boomed through the building, the wails of Lorenzo coming from somewhere in the distance.
A surge of energy crept through her as she jolted in the rickety chair, just enough force to send it splintering, having her stumbling to her ass in the process. Her father loomed over her, a massive dark shadow, gripping her up by root of her hair. "Encouragement from a child? That's all it takes? The world will have no pity on a woman, do you not understand this, Luna?" he hissed at her ear. "Breaking you will be such fun. But since chico amante here seems to lack the means I need coax you, he is of zero use. Say goodbye, mija." without hesitation, the blade that he had sheathed at his side was wielded, light glinted from the silver of the moon light before an unconscious Lucio was sliced from navel to throat and across. Life force of blood and entrails splattered to the floor as Luna's face caught sprays of the warmth across her face, pooling at her feet.
She swung on her father. All killings before she had seen at a distance, always a curious child. And none had never been one that she had loved so deeply. But this? She knew him to be heartless and cold. Ruthless and callous.. Fists bawled up, pounding away on his chest, profanities spewing. He allowed it. For once. An immobile brick of a wall before giving her a firm backhand across the face. "You're a monster." she whispered, tears streams down her face. Dark chuckle erupted from his massive frame. "Oh mija, I know. And I've been called far worse by far better people. Come along if you want to see nino." He was so nonchalant. As if he didn't just kill a man with a f***ing machete.
Luna gave one last, longing look to Lucio before being yanked by rope trailing behind her father. The dank, familiar smell of her father's cigar filled the room as the walked into a makeshift office. Coos from Lorenzo captured her attention immediately from the small box where a blue blanket peeked out over the covers. With trembling fingers, russets peered in to see her son unscathed and grinning, tiny little arms and legs flailing and kicking at the sight of his Mother in only what could be described as a nightmare to such a young mind. Or perhaps, with luck, he wouldn't remember this at all. Luna scooped him up, terrified at the silence now that surrounded them, with the exception of the small infants grunts and cheerful puffs of glee. Small hand touched bloodstained cheek as if to ask a silent question, curious eyes blinking back up at her were still laden with tears of his own.
"I'll do whatever it is you want." she whispered, breaking the agonizing silence. "You want me to run the family business? You got it. Want me as a drug mule? Fine. Want me to play into the men's sucia, you got it. Just let me and Lorenzo go, por favor. You'll have me to mold, break as you please. Just don't take him." she pleaded, swaying back and forth, comforting the little baby in her arms.
Her father had since moved to a giant tub on the other side of the room that she hadn't noticed before. His stance stoic as he took in Luna and Lorenzo. "You are under the misconception that you have room to ask for anything, puta. I was simply giving you time to say you last goodbye." Horror quaked through her entire frame as his words sank in. "No.... I won't let you. You can't. Padre... please. I'm begging you. He's just a baby. Y...you wouldn't." she took steps backwards only to be met by two guards that braced her arms.
"I allowed four years of happiness Luna. Four years without rules. Four years without pressure. And you blew it. All for a family of your own. Proving to me that women are indeed the weaker species. Letting things such as feelings corrupt your mind. I thought someone created from me would be...stronger." he was closing the distance, one heavy footstep at a time until a gloved finger reached to caress the bruise that was beginning to show on her cheek, then moved to smooth over Lorenzo's chubby cheek. "But you go and get try to get educated. Fall in love. Get knocked up. And want to leave me... the man who gave you everything behind without a second thought?" a puff of smoke plumed before her face. "ALL things are expendable, mija. Even precious little Lorenzo."
Hands that braced her arms tightened as the small boy was lifted from her embrace. Jagged knife was drawn to her throat as she bucked against the two men, fighting. Her screams filled around them as she clawed at forearms, throwing her head back seeking purchase on on of the men's nose. All to fast for her to even care. All the while, her father bounced an upset Lorenzo to the tub in his arms, quieting the infant down before empty eyes met Luna's across the room.
"Cállate!!" his voice vibrated throughout. "First step in cleansing you of the past is to get rid of the past, mija." his words were meaningless. She was seeing red. Pulling, tugging, twisting, she wrenched her way out of the grasp of the men, hearing a bone snap, the pain shooting straight up her arm. Gun shot exploded through the air as the last vision she saw was her father dropping her son into the tub that was filled with was. Searing pain radiated through her left side, crumpling to the floor mere inches from touching the metal where her son was slowly drowning....
Luna sat in the middle of the remains of the jukebox, knees drawn to her chest, sobs breaking free. Hands tangled in her hair as she tugged roughly. A memory she would never forget, forever etched on her soul. And now? She was still running from the very man that took everything away from her. Perhaps if she was more equipped back in those years. Had the knowledge that she had today of fighting, wasn't so innocent, she wouldn't have lost the most precious thing in the world to her. One thing was for certain though, she would get revenge. One way or another. After all, she learned the best from the worst of them.
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