13, An Unlucky Number (FULL LENGTH!!!)

My book 13, An Unlucky Number is quite a long novel about a case worker named Angela. Her life is scarred by the need for revenge of a man named Steelo and his accomplice Skull. Together they try to settle a century old score, striking at Angela in any way they can. Victims piling up, Angela tries to run but whether Steelo and Skull succeed or fail at their path of destruction, 13 will turn out to be Angela's unlucky number.

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18. The Return

In a haze of cloudy silvers, grey's and black, Angela gazed around the lair once more. A bunch of sinister, uniformed guards were positioned along the walls of the corridor leading to the main room. Their expressions were full of seriousness and made Angela feel anxious. Once gain overwhelmed by the nefarious mood of the hideout, Angela stayed close behind Kyle, his eyes sometimes catching a glace from her. For the last times their eyes met. Kyle nodded, wishing her luck and then opened the door to the main chamber. The glass table was still there, transparent to see vast pairs of bulky black boots. Some were rimmed with spikes, including Skull's, but most were plain with grey straps. Angela then searched the walls and found what she was looking for. There was a metal, bolted door.. the door of the black room. A steel-like voice interrupted her thoughts. "Ah, well then. You've returned. And you've brought what we asked for. Now, that's a good girl!," Steelo chuckled ominously, his gaze drifting to the two objects in Angela's hands. Kyle, who stood next to her, moved to stand against the wall like the rest of the guards, but he did wink at her, giving her a small boost in confidence. Angela sauntered towards the glass table and placed the dagger and Wolverine down on it's pellucid surface. 

Steelo gave another nefarious smirk, then turned to nod at Skull. The colossal guy ambled towards the metal door, the tag on his forehead gleaming as he moved. He hit it with a heave and the door swung open. Angela rushed forward, eyes frightened. She stopped dead in her tracks a few seconds after watching the door open. Angela gasped, shock filling her emotions. A dirt covered body fell out onto the floor as if too weak to keep upright. The body heaved in spasms as the boy coughed, his eyes tight shut as if the dim lights in the room were blinding his eyes. The boy was Jamie. Angela ran to him, giving out a petrified sob that sprang into the cold air. She held Jamie tight in her arms, hugging him. Tears collected at her eyes and she stroked his head gently. "It's going to be okay.. it's going to be okay now.. I'm here.." she whispered softly in his ears. The boy opened his eyes in response to Angela's voice. He wheezed some more, then gave a brief smile before going into another fit of choking. Angela kissed him lightly on the forehead, then looked up, her eyes fixing on Steelo and Skull. Anger coursed through her form, rage consuming all of her logical thoughts. Her expression was full of hatred, as if she would, in moments, stand up and smack both of them around the face. She looked back down at Jamie, thoughts of panic and fury rushing through her head. "What is WRONG with you?!," she yelled at them furiously, her face fuming. 

The two men smiled, Steelo giving his very foreboding grin. He spoke with no emotion. "Well, I don't know. In theory it's your fault. If we hadn't locked him up, would you have done what we asked? Exactly. We needed some.. motivation. A reason to do what we say, and him and his pals were our best option. Simple." The troublemaker's eyes were slate-like and cold, their gaze chilling upon Angela's skin. She shivered. She wanted to get out of there, and as quickly as possible. Dennis skittered out from the darkness of the black room, his ribs showing vigorously out from his now bony body and his skin clung to the bones. You could almost see the outline of each one. His fur was ruffled, and clumps only hung by strands. He was in about the same appalling condition as Jamie. Angela stroked the cat, who also heaved as he tried to breathe. She then lifted him to sit upon Jamie, who still lay in her arms weakly. 

It took ten minutes before Jamie could sit up without Angela's support. When he could, Angela searched the room to find Ashley curled up in the corner, wrapped in her blanket. She looked mostly okay, except a bit peaky. Angela guessed the little girl had eaten by the mess of food around her lips. She found out when Jamie was strong enough to talk that he'd broken a small bit from the food to give to Dennis, but apart from that had given all the food and water they'd been allowed to Ashley. This Angela wasn't surprised at, but she was lost for words. She was so proud of him. Instead, she hugged him, then told him how proud she was of him. Then she remembered about him being her son, and explained to him what Allister had told her. After that, they cuddled together until they eventually fell asleep.

The metallic tone of Steelo's voice rang like an alarm in the dull light of the morning. Angela's eyes blinked, waking to the surroundings of the cage her and the others had been kept in when they had first arrived. Jamie shuffled beneath her arms that were wrapped around him like a blanket. She looked down at him as he started to drift back to the blackness of his sleep, then up at Steelo. He stood just outside the prison room, his spiky black hair fully combed back from his forehead and slate eyes piercing the bars as if they could slice right through them with one glare. His right foot tapped at the floor with what naturally seemed like impatience but was most likely eagerness. "Ah, finally. Your awake. Well then, let's get our lovely speech ready Skull," Steelo murmured as he turned to walk away, "Fleetwood, let them out.. whether they feel like listening or not." And with that Kyle walked over to the door and opened the cage to let Angela out with Jamie glued to her side, Ashley in her right arm and Dennis in her left. The two bundles she held were both still asleep, Dennis' chest rising and falling with each breath.

They were lead, once again, to the main hall by Kyle. He seemed quite calm and smiled towards Angela and winked like he'd done when the two had arrived there together the day before. She tried to smile back. The memory of Jamie's mistreatment was still fresh in her head and Angela wasn't entirely happy about still being there. This time there were less guards positioned around the room and, as Angela glanced about, she noticed they too looked calmer than the day before. She stepped forward to meet Steelo's knife-like glare, his expression filled with pleasure and mischief. "Nice of you to join us," the villain started, his eyes glinting, "In case you had forgotten about these two very particular items, which I very doubt, I am here to explain why exactly I wanted them and what I have planned to do with them. Skull." He signaled to Skull, who brought out the dagger and Wolverine. He placed them both down on the glass table. And Steelo began to explain.

His black fingerless gloves clinging tightly to his hand, Steelo first picked up the dagger, his hands gently stroking it's blade. "I have wanted this item for an extremely long time. It was made and crafted by a mysterious warrior who traveled the world in search of worthy opponents. It's purpose, however, was not to kill or wound normally. The whole reason it was made was to trap a certain enemy or opponent in an invisible field. What, you ask, is this invisible field he's going on about? Well, the invisible field stops the person trapped from hurting the owner of the sword, but they can hurt the prisoner as much as they want. The one catch is.. they can't die. It's complete torture, being hurt and hurt so much, but never dying. Well that, friends, is why I need it. We have a certain issue with a man who seems to work against us. He used to be our ally, but that has obviously changed," Steelo replaced the dagger, it's blade clashing onto the glass surface of the table. He then held up the Wolverine, it's sad eyes turning scared within his grasp. "This, my friends, is a very peculiar object, it's source unknown. Some say a lonely craftsman created it for his own use, others say a witch made it using magic and cursed it's very existence. But no one knows for sure. It's purpose? Skull, the coin." The enormous figure of Skull heaved over with a shiny, golden circle in his hand. He handed it to Steelo, then stepped back. Steelo slotted it through the rectangular coin slot on the Wolverine's base, then grinned maliciously. 

A wave of wonder washed over every spectator as a startling, almost headlight-like blue glow began to grow from the stuffed Wolverine's eyes. Steelo held it closer towards his chest as the emanating beams grew brighter and brighter. Then the strangest thing happened. The whole edge of the circular room lit up and shone brightly with a blue radiance of light. The guards standing against the walls formed black silhouettes upon the blinding luminosity. The Wolverine, Angela guessed, was working the way it was supposed to, for Steelo was smirking in his creepy way. The Brightness engulfed the entire room and Angela's vision faded to white. She then blinked her eyes open curiously to see a brown room with a small light bulb hanging from the ceiling and decorated with wooden walls and floor. Strange pictures hung from the walls, their frames lined with silver and intricately detailed with waves and patterns. There was a desk in the middle, papers strewn all over in various untidy and mixed up piles. A small desk lamp stood on the side. It was covered in dust and a large cobweb had been spun on it's base. The room looked abandoned, the curtains closed, ripped and coated in dust. A moldy orange stood lonely on the top of a pile of scattered about papers, it's skin wrinkled and blotched with greens, browns, yellows and grey's. The room had definitely been untouched in a long time. The silence continued as Angela studied the room further.

Steelo glanced around the room, his eyes wide with accomplishment. He still held the Wolverine tightly in his hands. It's eye's static-blue glow had dimmed but was still bright in the faint light of the brown room before him. The candles placed around the room gave the place a soft, golden glow, their flames flickering in a small, fiery dance. Perfect, he said to himself, this is just the place. Slowly Steelo offered the Wolverine to Skull who, with abnormally big hands, grasped the item from him. Skull wore gloves that were rimmed with spikes, matching the bulky boots he wore that were also rimmed with rows of sharp points. While Skull held the mysterious object Steelo began to search the littered desk in the center. He didn't bother examining the piles of papers that covered the table, but instead explored the depths of the desk's drawers, their contents spilling out as he opened each draw. They were crammed with more paper, photos, newspapers and old wrappers. But what Steelo wanted so much was way more valuable and he knew it wouldn't be found so easily. He rummaged through every draw and crevice until he stopped dead after emptying the last draw. Right at the back, laying diagonally on the floor of the draw, was a pen.

The black clothed menace reached out into the draw and revealed the item to all the onlookers. Several of the guards standing around the outside of the room gave the pen a confused look, including Kyle. Others looked disappointed. So they should be, thought Angela after getting a look of the pen in Steelo's hand. "A pen.. seriously?," she disapproved, her tone sprung with frustration, leaving an almost salty taste in her mouth. "Oh.. well, I would have thought that by now you would have learned not to question my.. plans. Please, why would I want something if it was worthless?," Steelo commented, his slate eyes giving a chilly, bitter glare. "I don't know," Angela admitted, her voice overwhelmed with confusion. Steelo glimpsed at her callously. "Exactly. This thing isn't worthless. Believe me, I wouldn't have bothered if it were. This, Angela, is no ordinary pen. In fact, it's the least ordinary pen you'll ever rest your eyes on. And now.. it's mine." That was the first time Steelo had voiced Angela's name and she wondered exactly how he knew it. "And so.. back to the lair," Steelo commanded, pressing another golden coin into the base of the Wolverine. The creature's eyes began to glow again, their violent blue light getting increasingly brighter until room was filled with it's blue hue. 

Angela kept blinking until her sight faded to white, just like before. She opened her eyes to find them all standing in the main hall of Steelo and Skull's hideout, the circular glass table still sitting as it had always been. The guards looked around, relieved at their arrival to the lair. To them, she thought, this place must be like home. Angela glanced at Kyle, her grey eyes meeting his. He had holly leaf coloured eyes, their dark green iris' flashing with curiosity and bewilderment. He then followed the rest of the guard's gazes to Steelo, who held the pen securely in his hand. One thing Angela noticed for the first time was that every guard, including Kyle, wore a badge in the shape of a skull on their jacket. It was small and hardly showed up on their uniform. It seemed also that a black band of cloth, of which each wore around their forehead on the rims of their hair, was also part of the guards uniform. All of them now looked towards Steelo, questions consuming their minds. A new guard entered the room, paper in hand. They laid it onto the glass table just in front of Steelo, who leaned towards it and put his pen to the paper. He started to sketch. To Angela he looked as if he were scribbling like a child, though he seemed to be drawing circles. Within a few moments Steelo lifted the pen from the paper and revealed a rushed drawing of a - Angela sighed deeply with dismay. He had drawn a pile of coins. Soon coins started to shroud the floor like a flood, creating a shiny sea of gold. The money immersed the ground, flowing beneath every onlooker's feet. This, Angela realized, might be the end of civilization. Steelo could get anything he wanted.. and there was no one to stop him.

"What now?," Angela pleaded, "What is SO important that you need this.. this pen so badly for?! If you wanted money.. you know how to rob a bank! Couldn't you just do that instead of dragging me and my son all the way here for a PEN?!!" Steelo smirked nastily, his eyes more resentful than any time before. "For your information, I have something so much more important than money to get. Much more important. And I will get it. I lost it once before, but now I WILL get it back! So thank you for your patience, but I no longer require your services. Fleetwood, lead them out," the menace concluded. Kyle stepped forward from against the wall and began to guide Angela and Jamie to the lair's exit. Jamie now held Dennis, the cat's white front paws tucked beneath his head that rested upon them. Angela held Ashley. The young girl breathed lightly, still tucked up in her cream blanket. Kyle stood by the door and watched as the four of them made their way out of the hideout. His glossy green eyes rested on each of them, landing last on Angela. They stood still in silence, face to face, for a few minutes before Kyle broke the quiet. "Well.." he sighed, his hands hanging loosely next to his sides, "I guess your out of here.. at last." Angela noticed he tried to force a small smile, then reached his hand out to her. She shook it steadily, putting on the same uncomfortable smile. "I guess this is goodbye.. good luck.. all of you.." Angela returned Kyle's saddened gaze with a look of sympathy. "Thank you.. for everything." The guard nodded, the black band of cloth on his head falling down slightly as he did so, then headed back the way he came. This, Angela concluded, would probably be the last time she ever saw him.

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