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   Chapter 25 Powerless

After Grace By MatheusHMacedo Characters: 7282

Updated: 2018-01-05 17:24


The blond boy screamed as Seth pressed down on his stomach, hands painted red with his friend's blood. I watched the scene from the safety of abandoned frozen-yogurt bars and furniture stores as I made my way to the condominiums in the east. I studied each window until I saw a dark shape on the fourth floor. I couldn't be sure that it was the sniper but I had nothing else to go on.

"Pick 'im up, " the man ordered, pointing to the bleeding Leonard. "Bring 'im back here."

"What're you gonna do with him?" Travis asked.

"You want me to spoil it for you? Pick 'im up, let's go."

I heard Leonard scream as they lifted him. I ran from the clothing store I was in and snuck around to the side of the brick building overlooking the street. I pulled the metal door leading to the staircase and climbed. My shoes clicked against the floor like alarms. I pulled them off, leaving the pair against the wall and continued barefoot up the stairs until I reached the fourth floor.

I put my eyes to the glass window in the stairwell door. Sunlight skewered the dark hallway just enough to see there was no one there. I opened the door inch by inch until I was inside. As my feet landed on the rug, cold water spilled up as if from a sponge. The ceiling above was cracked and black with water stains. I aimed the rifle in front of me and moved to the only open door in the hall.

The apartment was empty. I moved to the window where the sniper had been sitting, I could see the blood stain in the street below, but nothing else. The floor creaked behind me.

"Drop it, " he said before cocking the gun. He had me. I put my rifle on the floor and turned. He was smiling, like he couldn't believe what he had just done. "I got you, " he laughed. He moved the rifle in his hands just enough for me to see his face. It was Oliver, my first and only kiss.

"You're one of them?" I asked.

"If things had gone differently, you'd have joined too. Where're the others? Where's Marcus?" he asked. I stayed quiet. "Move over there, " he said pointing the gun to the wall. I complied. He picked up my rifle and threw it out the window. He pulled a handgun from his belt and put the sni

man remained in his place, only lifting his handgun and firing at the window. I put the crosshairs over his face as his bullets dug into the brick wall beside me—I shot him in the eye.

The man who had taken Travis and the others hostage grabbed the wounded Leonard in his arms as a shield. Looking through the sniper's scope, I could see that the boy was limp, the bullet wound in his gut no longer hurt him. He was dead. I shot through the boy's neck—they fell together atop the fire. I tried to find the woman but she had gotten away. As I pulled my eyes from the gun, I heard the rat-tat-tat of her motorcycle speeding off.

Seth pulled his friend from the fire, crumbling into tears when he saw Leonard was dead. The scene in front of me seemed false, like a painting. Bodies populated the abandoned road, blood rolled like skinny crimson rivers along the ashen pavement. The rifle in my hands still vibrated with the aftershock of quick violence.

I brushed the wet saliva Oliver had left on my ear but still felt it there when it was dry. I dropped the gun and tried to stand from my kneeling position. My legs felt like noodles beneath me. Without support, I fell to the floor. I reached out for the book-shelf and tried to pull myself up. "Stop it, " I whispered. But I couldn't stand up.

My hands trembled beneath me. My arms grew so weak I could no longer use them. I slowly lowered myself down to the floor, helpless and shivering.

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