Chapter 20 - Rythe: Useless

A few days ago, I was sure Ci-Ci was my killer. Then something happened while I was watching her house. Jonah, the boring guy I dismissed, slams down in her yard so damn hard it broke the tree branch I was sitting on. He started yelling at her about knowing her role, and how she can’t bring back her husband. That’s when I knew he was the killer. I spent the last few days following him, waiting on him to make his move. Thing is, he had just been stalking Ci-Ci, seeing where she had gone. Watching her, I figured she might be the next victim.

We followed her to this house, or he followed her, and I followed him. I thought she was just coming to visit her grandmother or something. Turns out she was coming to see a Voodoo Priestess. I guess this served as my introduction to the world of voodoo. I’ll have to learn more about it, could always help me out.  

That brings me to now. A journalist is never supposed to get involved. We observe the news, and report it factually. But, right now there’s an old woman looking like she’s gone two rounds with Mike Tyson, or at least tried. Ci-Ci and Jonah are also in the midst of a fight and I can’t do anything about that even if I wanted to back her up. I’d say she’s doing fine actually.

I’ve never witnessed blood magic used in real life, or even on video. It’s just that rare. It looked like he was going to strangler her to death, then she just pierced his hands with blood. Since then the fight has been back and forth. He’s stronger and faster for sure, but she’s got a lot of skill and technique on her side. Almost as if he’s countering him before he can strike.  

The wings he has, look almost like leather, but there are still feathers in spots. He shoots them off and they cut through things, almost like razor blades. The way they impale themselves on walls and floors, lets me know that was how he was committing the kills, but I still don’t know why. As for Ci-Ci, she’s opted for two claws on each hand and another three staves on her forearms she uses to catch and deflect the feathers.

I want to run away, but I can’t leave that old lady in there alone. They’re only getting more reckless. It seems almost as if he wants to bring the home down around her, and she’s making it easy. I make my way to the door and peek through a window. I just have to wait on my chance to get in there and get out. Hopefully the woman isn’t as heavy as she looks, she could be an easy 230. But I have to do it.  

As Ci-Ci is flung through another wall I rush in the door. I slip in a puddle of blood and do the splits, ripping my pants. If this wasn’t crazier than a fox in a chicken coop, it might be comical. Instead I roll over to all fours and push myself up before they can get back. I hear the commotion in another part of the house, but it won’t stay there for long.  

I grab the old woman in my arms and trying to walk softly and quickly out of the room before they return. She’s not heavy and the distance isn’t far, but it seems like the longest journey of my life. This is why I write instead of participate. I reach the threshold as they come crashing through the room again. I don’t even think they noticed me. Jonah is busy covering himself with his wings as Ci-Ci shoots blood spikes at him. It looks like something out of a Saturday morning cartoon.

With the woman safely in my car I contemplate on what to do next. Ci-Ci might be in some real danger, but she’s handling herself more than well. Then again, she looks tired, as if she’s not used to this kind of action, but Jonah looks like he does this every week. He might actually do this every week if he really specializes in dark magic.  

“You need to go help her,” a voice says to me. “She needs help,” the voice gets louder.

“And what do you expect me to do,” I ask the old woman who was clearly faking.

“Just give her a distraction.”

“How do you suppose I do that? Because you were playing sleeping beauty five minutes ago.”

“I was acting. Sometimes when you get hit, it’s better to just stay down. What was I going to do against that boy,” the old woman acts as if I insulted her.

“So what are we going to do?”

“Take this and fire off a couple of shots,” she fiddles under her shirt for a few moments before producing a gun. “I’m clean boy,” she says in response to my face.

“That’s just not right.”

“Even a priestess needs protection,” she offers the gun again.

“Whatever,” I move the gun around in my hands getting a feel for it.

“You never seen a gun before boy?”

“Never held one.”

“Every boy over ten had a gun when I was growing up. Go shoot something.”

I've never fired a gun before in my life, now I’m sneaking in to shoot a man I hardly know. I know he’s a killer, but can I shoot him? The gun felt warm in my hand when I took it, probably because it was nestled in the old lady’s bosom. It wasn’t as heavy as it is now, that’s probably nerves. I make my way into the house, trying to track the sound of violence to a single location.

It doesn’t take long to find them trading blows inside the kitchen. It doesn’t take long before attention is drawn to me as an outside either. Ci-Ci is the first to notice me. It lets Jonah grip what look like talons on his hand into her side. She screams out in pain as he looks at me, still gripping her wondering what to do next. At this point, I’ve got no options left. I pull the trigger firing and missing Jonah’s head by a wide margin.

He drops Ci-Ci to the ground and makes his way towards me with none of the same urgency he had earlier. I pull the trigger again, this time missing by a wider margin. I pull it again, the gun jerks erratically and lands a bullet directly in the center of his head. The crumpled shell crumbles to the ground as a small trail of blood appears from his head.

“You should have gotten better help,” he says to Ci-Ci who is crawling in a pool of blood.

“I’m not the help,” I try to sound cool as I fire off more wild shots.

As we’re standing face to face, I can feel it, I can really feel the murderous intent coming from Jonah. I’m out of bullets, and I can’t fight him. I do the only thing I can do to throw him off guard. I lean forward and kiss him on the lip. Before he can respond with what I know will be pure rage a spike burst forth from his abdomen. Ci-Ci was able to impale him with the distraction.

As Jonah falls to his knees in a steady stream of curses I grab Ci-Ci off the floor. Covered in blood she’s too slippery to carry. She wraps an arm around my neck and I help her limp from the home to my car. I always took care of my possessions, so I almost shed a tear as she covered my leather seats in blood, sweat and maybe even a few tears.

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