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Fiction Friday! Ok, admittedly this is also a Sci-Fi Friday, I couldn’t resist, the prompt was perfect for Sci and her crew. Prompt:  Someone has stolen something from you (or your character). Something of tremendous value. What will you do to get it back? Or will you give up? Word limit is 600.

All you need to know is that at the end of yesterday’s post someone comes to get Sci to tell her there is trouble in the courtyard of where they live.

All concrit is welcome.

Walking up the cellar stairs I focus on straightening my spine drawing myself up to my full height. I’m grateful I’m wearing my work boots because they add another inch, pushing me over the 6 foot mark. Squaring my shoulders I focus on keeping my stride steady and not hurried. In the courtyard standing in front of the gate, is a young Puerto Rican or Dominican woman.  Her hair is long, lanky and dirt brown. She is woefully thin. The mild bruising on her upper arms and the thumbprints on her neck tell me she is ill-used, probably passed from man to man. In her hand is a dirty rag package. Though surrounded by our people, she’s determined to hide her terror. They sent a girl to soften me. It is their first mistake.

“What can we do for you?” I ask low, polite.

“We have something of yours,” she says shoving the package at me.

I take it from her, it is warm and though I know what I am going to find, not who but what, rage is already beginning to roll over my reason. Focusing on keeping my face a mask, I unwrap the rag. In my hand is Billy’s ear with all the earrings that he is so proud of. Holes he pierces himself when he does something he wants to remember both good and bad. Only now do I wonder where he was getting the actual jewelry. My left hand shoots out and grabbing her by the throat, I lift her smaller frame from the ground, shoving, moving us, until I hear and feel her body slam against the gate. Tightening my grip, I raise her further off the ground.

“Sci!” Jessica blurts out. I ignore her, ashamed of her soft heart.

The girl focuses on keeping her fingers between her neck and my grip. Good girl. A part of me thinks. This one has metal. “He said to tell you not to kill the messenger,” she forces out.

“I ask again. What is it that we can do for you?”

“He wants to trade. The boy for that one,” she points at Jessica, whose eyes go wide.

I slide her down the gate and release my grip on her neck.

“Why her?”

“Marcus needs a grower and he likes the looks of that one.” Which means they have been spying on us. “He said to meet him at the cemetery, to bring only five, bring more and Billy dies.”

“When?”

“Dusk.” Which is only about three hours away. I don’t have to look to know that Ulysses and Toby have slipped from the crowd getting ready to find sniper positions.

She flinches as I reach over her shoulder to lift the bar off the gate, “Until then.”

She backs away from me slowly and only once she is far enough to run does she shout, “He also said to tell you that you shouldn’t have killed his brother at the river, especially since he was already down,” then she bolts with surprising speed.

Closing the gate and turning back to my people, I see Tyler motion with his head to meet him on the roof. I walk through a crowd of whispers and eyes filled with new fear. Once I get to the roof, I walk to the mint and take a sprig to chew on. Tyler waits until I look at him.

“You know this isn’t a trade, right?” He asks.

“It’s revenge.”

“What’s the plan?”

Another piece of my humanity drains away, when voice I almost don’t recognize as my own growls, “We kill them. We kill them all.”

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