• bluepuppy01 52w

    #bluepup #blue_truedare #cyanentry

    Royce (Part 2)
    _______________

    [The Story Royce is Reading]
    “I said I’ll come with you, alright, so just put the sword down!”

    “Ha!” without warning, he slashes his hostage’s stomach open, “You say that but how can I trust you?”

    I focus on the pain of my nails digging into my skin to keep calm, “You should know me well enough to know I always keep my word. Need I say more?”

    “That’s a good point actually,” he strokes his beard and says with his grating voice, “Alright, let’s go then. My boys will send the kid back to town safely. I swear it.” He stabs the sword between the rocks and the salty breeze.

    “So we’ve got a deal then? You release my brother and I take you where you wanna go?”

    “Yeah, that’s the deal. Why? You have something to add?” His face only gets more menacing when his brow raises and a mischievous grin appears.

    “Not really. You?”

    His face droops in what I think might be disappointment before he hesitates to say, “Nope. Let’s go then, shall we? Boys! Take him.” The lackeys on standby rush up on either side of my brother’s weak and bleeding body. I wince as I hear a pained groan when they lift him up by his underarms and start to drag him along the shore. The lackeys then share what I assume to be a subservient glance with their captain.

    “After I’m done, I’ll come to find you right away, you hear? You’re gonna be alright,” I try to assure him but, honestly, between the two of us, I don’t know who’s more afraid. Then I pivot around, naively trusting the words of a marauder’s promise. The few steps I take fill my ears with gravel, but, a second later, what I hear is a sound I don’t even want to describe. My body freezes for only a moment, yet a moment is enough time for flashbacks, of what one could have done better, to engrave themselves within a guilty heart. I turn, again, to see the face of my brother looking down at the fist buried wrist-deep into the fresh wound on his stomach. The next instant, his guts are yanked out and raised skyward towards the circling gulls screeching above.

    My heart begins to beat erratically, its rhythm overwhelming my senses. The pounding of it echoing off the walls of my skull syncs with the image I have of my brother’s last breath. All I can do is stand shocked- motionless. Why did this happen? What did I do wrong? What could I have done? What do I do now? Who am I without my brother?

    [Royce pauses reading]
    Royce pats his hand over his rapidly beating heart, “Well, that escalated quickly.”

    [Royce reads again]
    I fall to my knees. Sand and sharp stones dig into the bloody marks I dug into my hands earlier, but it barely stings compared to the gut-wrenching realization I come across: It’s all my fault…

    I see a sword sticking out of the bloody rocks from the corner of my eye. Just the glare reflecting off the blade is enough to make my skin feel as if it’s being sliced through.

    ...No! It’s his fault! It’s all his fault! My brother would still be alive if it weren’t for him!

    I charge. Grabbing the sword, I rush at my enemy with his own weapon. Against better judgment, I attempt to skewer him with pure rage. Innards come flying at my face. I dodge, just barely, while continuing forward. Putting all my weight behind the blade, I aim for the same place where he brutally impaled my brother. He lunges for me at the same time, bare-handed. Suddenly, I’m tackled to the ground from the left side and land hard enough to dislocate my shoulder. The sword flew from my grip. My mind clears up a bit to process what just happened. I take a deep breath as the lackey that tackled me backs off in response to the swipe of his captain’s hand motioning to not interfere. Slowly, I stand up. He and I survey each other, waiting to see who moves first.

    [Royce pauses]
    “Oh, c’mon!” Royce shouts as he rolls his right shoulder back to unwind the sudden ache, perhaps from slouching too long, “Why the heck would you just charge at him like a raging bull?! He’s a pirate, not a matador!”

    [Royce continues]
    A seagull settles itself between us- apparently our signal to attack. It squawks then flies off when we dash towards each other once again. A feather or two falls between our punches. The wind picks up as we clash. Eventually, he wrestles me to the ground. One side of my face gets dragged across the gravel. No doubt my face is scarred. I try to kick him off of me, but he’s built like a whale, so I, instead, grab, break, and poke a seashell into the backside of the hand pressing down on my cheek. Surprisingly, his face just flinches before he pulls it out then firmly grips my chin with his bleeding hand, forcing me to see the crazed grin he’s giving. I can’t move out of the way in time. A scream escapes my throat. A bright light quickly flashes before everything goes black. He keeps shoving the jagged half of the seashell deeper inside my eye. Excruciating pain floods my senses like the waves crashing down behind us. I put all my strength into pushing his arms away. We come to a stalemate where he can’t use the shell to get to my brain and I can’t force the shell out of my eye. We lie there, one on top of the other, still struggling. The one good eye I have left turns everything I see red from all the blood gushing out of its twin.

    “Hey, Kyser! Don’t you wanna go meet your kid brother?” he cackles.

    [IRL]
    “Huh? Gosh! Am I crying?” Royce, without glancing away from the page, uses a sleeve of his maroon shirt to wipe away tears he doesn’t realize consist of blood.

    [Story being read]
    “Not before I avenge him!” I spit in his face- close enough to the phrase, ‘An eye for an eye,’ I think. His hold on me finally loosens. I take the opportunity to knee his groin, then roll out from underneath him. With one hand covering my oozing eye socket, I quickly crawl and reach out towards the sword lying a few feet away on the ground. Though a little late, I hear him chase after me. Right as I’m about to touch the hilt of the sword, I get pulled down by my ankle. I rotate onto my back, getting into prime position for some kicks to be sent his way. Within my fist, I gather some gravel and throw it as hard as I can in hopes of buying more time. But my plan is for naught. I didn’t consider how a pirate would, of course, already know every dirty trick in the book, let alone my amateur moves. Expecting it, he uses his rum flask to shield his face while he plows his way through with pebbles flying everywhere. He lifts my torso up by the collar of my tattered shirt.

    “Wait! Wait! Wait!” I shout. And he listens. “Didn’t you want me to take you there? You need me alive!”

    He looks as if he gives it some thought, smiles, and then says, “But do I really?” He flicks his chin up a bit to the right. Shing! The sword is tossed over my head. The captain catches it perfectly and sets the sharp edge on my neck. I almost don’t notice how a drop of my blood is drawn.

    I gulp, “Yes?”

    “No.”

    [IRL]
    Royce gasps for air. Gurgling sounds fill the room as blood spills from his mouth. His hands press onto the deep gash that appeared on his throat. The book has fallen to the floor. And, soon, Royce falls from his chair. He looks at the ceiling with blood pouring from one of his eyes. Confusion runs rampant in his mind before blankness arrives. Silence.
    ...
    A transparent figure awaits the appearance of Royce’s soul above their fresh corpse before saying, “I told you you needed me.”

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    Royce (Part 2)
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