The Golden Shadow

(feel free to suggest better titles)

As one man strives for power, many others must fall. And Louis? Louis will do anything he can to fight back and avenge his friends and family.

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1. Chapter One

No-one made a sound as Louis picked up the gun. They watched him silently as he walked up to the girl and press the barrel against her bruised cheek. She whimpered as he knelt beside her and wiped the matted hair from her eyes and breathed in the smell of sweat and blood with a crazed smile upon his face.

“Leave us.” He ordered confidently without turning to face his underlings as they scurried out of the building upon command. Their footsteps faded and he took a step back to admire the present his cronies had brought him;

She was around eight years old, with pale skin and blonde pigtails, wearing a little summer dress with pink daisies printed all over the fabric. Her delicate little ankles had been bound to the chair just like her wrists, and her little pink shoes had been discarded before her imprisonment.

“What’s your name?” Louis asked her, sitting cross legged before her and putting the gun down to his side. The girl sniffled and shook her head like a rag doll in response.
“Come on little girly, tell me your name” he repeated, tracing a hand over the silver handle of his gun and peering up at his victim from beneath his black fringe of hair. She responded only with a frightened blink; a blink which seemed to trigger a fuse in Louis’s brain.
“Just tell me your name! It isn’t that fucking hard!” he yelled suddenly, springing and taking a step towards her with gun posed to strike her around the head.

“Angelica!” She cried back through tears, mere seconds before the gun handle reached her skull. Louis stopped in his tracks and lowered his hand without meeting her tear-filled green eyes, he turned and sat back down again as if nothing had angered him. “Angelica what?” he asked calmly, watching the girl cry to herself silently.
“Angelica Charlton” she replied quietly, looking up and sniffing cautiously. Louis smiled and ran his pierced tongue around his teeth slowly before cracking his pale white knuckles; Angelica flinched and stared at him with her tear filled blue eyes.
“So you’re a Charlton huh? Interesting…” Louis muttered, circling his victim and leaning on the back of her chair with one hand. “Want to hear a story about the Charlton’s Angie?” he proposed, pressing the barrel of the gun against the back of her neck and watching her shiver in fright. “Well? It’ll take a while, but you aren’t going anywhere now are you sweetie?” he stood up straight and ruffled her hair with his spare hand. “I will just start shall I?” he chuckled and lay splayed on the floor beside her chair.

“Once upon a time there was this big, rich family called the Charltons. They earned fuck-loads of money doing god-knows-what in nearly every business in the country. They had 7 kids, big family you see, could afford to feed all of them mouths. Anyway, this family, I guess you could say they were kinda in charge back in the day; did more than the police anyway, even if it wasn’t exactly fair punishment. Kids from the street would be taken in by the family and trained up to work for them; cooks, maids, butlers, gardeners, security guards, and of course the family’s secret police. This went on for many happy years, the family was fair, the public were happy that orphaned or abandoned children would receive care and education. Who wouldn’t be?” he stretched and scratched nose before standing up and lying Angelica’s chair on the floor beside him. “That however changed when a charming man named Henry Charlton inherited the family business. He wasn’t satisfied with what he was given you see, realised that he could get better quality workers from children who weren’t abandoned or orphaned. You know what he did Angie?” he paused briefly and looked directly into Angelica’s eyes as they stared at him in terror. “They started to kidnap kids and kill the parents.”

Angelica lay there in silence with her eyes wide with horror; Louis had stopped talking and was just staring at the ceiling of the warehouse. His crazed smile had faded and his erratic breathing had subsided. “And people just let it happen?” she asked quietly after a few minutes of this tense silence, causing Louis to roll onto his side and look at her again with his emerald green eyes.
“Of course not silly goose, the people fought back. We’ve always been fighting back to try and regain some of our rights.” He chuckled forcefully, reaching out and brushing a few golden hairs from Angelica’s eyes.
“Is that why you’re going to kill me?” she asked, her voice shaking with fear and emotion; “Because I am related to him?”

“Who said I was going to kill you?” Louis replied, standing up and walking away from Angelica’s chair slowly, “I just wanted to take something away from them for a while, educate you a little bit. You won’t be killed unless I want you to be sweetie, and at the moment you’re more useful alive.”

Angelica stared as he picked up a dark grey blazer from the floor beside the door silently and hung it over one of his shoulders. “Where are you going?” she asked, panicking over how anxious his departure made her. “Don’t worry little Miss muffit, I will be back before any spiders get to you. I just need to talk to the others about you.”

He closed the door behind him and left her alone in the warehouse. Angelica looked around as best she could, trying not to overthink all of the information she had just been fed. She counted the cracks along the concrete floor and watched as tiny weeds forced their way through the rock and upwards to the slithers of sunlight that crept through the rafters and between the boarded up windows. She thought about how little she knew about her family history, and how she had never even heard of a Henry Charlton in the family. The concrete was cold and soothing against her delicate skin as she allowed her head to rest on the floor and closed her eyes.

 

“Wakey wakey goldilocks, do you remember what happened yesterday?”
Angelica opened her eyes again and was surprised to see she was in different surroundings. The warehouse was now a large, clean open floor plan apartment. It had a futon in the middle of the room, with a small kitchen in one corner.
“Where am I?” she asked realising she had been untied and rubbing her wrists tenderly.
“My place, well our place for now I guess; don’t trust any of those guys to look after a pretty little thing like you. That’s the trouble with working with criminals sweetie, you get all the worst kind of people.” Louis explained from the kitchen as Angelica looked around herself silently. “We’re going to have to train you up if you’re going to survive this side of your golden gates.”

“How long before you give me back?” She asked as he walked back over and sat on the floor across from her with two bowls of cereal; one that he placed in front of her.
“Oh you won’t be going back darling, you stay with me or you die I’m afraid” he replied before consuming a mouthful of cereal and indicating for Angelica to do that same. “I must say you seem to be taking this whole thing extraordinarily well, when did my guys take you?” he inquired as she began eating as if she hadn’t in days.
“Um I think it was on a Wednesday… Every time I woke up they gave me something to eat and I would get drowsy and fall asleep again…” she answered between mouthfuls of cereal. There was a minutes silence and she looked up to see Louis staring at her sadly.
“I’ll be right back Angie. Need to go have a word with someone.” He stated, standing up and walking straight out of the apartment without another word, leaving Angelica alone in the middle of the room with two bowls of cereal.

Louis pounded his way down the stairs of his building. “Danny. Somebody get me Danny!” he shouted, walking along the lower floors and calling out to anyone who could hear him.
“If I don’t see Danny in front of me in 10 seconds I swear to god I’m gonna break some fucking skulls!” he added, sitting on a moth eaten sofa and tapping his feet impatiently on the ground.

“Ten, nine, eight…” he began loudly, leaning forward and looking around himself as footsteps sounded heavily on the floor above. They ran clumsily across the room and down the stairs. “Four, three…” he continued as the door opened and a short, skinny, little balding man scurried towards him and skidded to a halt at his feet.
“Yes sir?” the man prompted, taking off his black sunglasses and tucking them into his shirt pocket. “How is the girl?”
“Better now she’s not being drugged. How long have you had her for?” Louis replied, glaring profusely at the sweating twig as he squirmed on the spot.
“Only a couple of weeks, maybe three… I swear we would’ve brought her to you sooner boss! It’s just you we so busy with business and all…” Danny trailed off with a grimace. Louis didn’t look amused.

“Well Danny I guess you’re right. So what if you drugged an eight year old girl and held her hostage unconscious for three weeks? Not like half of the guys I have working for me are convicted criminals. Hey, I’m only eighteen what right do I have to criticise such a fine man as yourself?” He ranted, standing up and patting an extremely worried Danny on the shoulder. “Now come on Louis, you know I have every respect for ya, if it weren’t for you I’d still be behind bars! I swear to ya, no-one touched the girl!” he pleaded desperately.
“Naah, I guess she gave herself all those cuts and bruises huh?” Louis asked, high voice raising slightly as he walked behind Danny slowly.
“Well we had to get some fear in her didn’t we!”
“She’s eight Danny. What was she going to do? Tackle you to the ground?” he shouted back, pulling out a gun and pressing it against the back of the balding skull and feeling Danny quiver.

“I’m sorry Louis!” Danny yelled in a panic, frozen to the spot as Louis pressed the gun harder against his skull.
“Me too Danny.” Louis sighed, releasing the safety and pulling the trigger of the gun without hesitation. 

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