Tattoos and Monsters
Silas awoke with Fyn on top of him, gripping his shoulders so hard that he feared he would end up with finger-shaped bruises all over him. Silas jolted upright, knocking Fyn over to the other end of the narrow bed.
“What the fuck?” Silas asked angrily, pushing his covers off.
Fyn shrugged helplessly, “It’s time to go.”
Silas glanced at the watch that sat beside his bed and cursed. Fyn left a minute after that, allowing Silas two minutes to get dressed. He pulled his fighting leathers out from the wardrobe at the end of his bed and began to tug them on over his muscled body. Once they were on, he strapped his holster around his waist and slipped a long thin knife into each black boot. Silas walked around the side of the bed and looked at himself in the mirror that hung crookedly off the wardrobe.
He didn’t look too bad, he didn’t think. His hair had grown a bit since he last had it cut, and was messy from sleeping on it. The tattoos that ran down his cheekbone, across the bridge of his nose and back up his other cheekbone stood stark against his tanned skin. He couldn’t remember the day he’d gotten the tattoos, but he knew that the other men that he worked with had far more intricate ones. Fyn’s tattoos snaked up both arms, and from what Silas had seen, around his shoulders too. It was a fashion statement now, and most people in the city of Shalom had vines crawling up the side of their face, or birds all down their arms. Silas didn’t look like much of an outcast, but he certainly felt like it.
When he’d finished staring at himself, Silas opened the door and found Fyn waiting outside. Compared to his room, the corridor outside was massive, housing almost a whole company of BodyBringers. The other company lived on the other side of the city, and therefore Silas and his men had only one half of the city to look after. It didn’t seem that hard until there was a wave, and suddenly there were twenty Cracks to each BodyBringer.
Tonight was going to be one of those nights.
Silas was shoulder to shoulder with Fyn, walking down the now busy corridor. Silas’ unit would take on the market place and all of the backstreets surrounding it, and the other units would split up so that their half of the city was covered. They wouldn’t take any chances, because if one of the Cracked slipped through their defences, then soon the whole city would be sucked dry. The last time that had happened was before the City Council had been established, and the city was nothing but a town surrounded by monsters.
Fyn and Silas left the building to find the rest of their unit waiting for them. They descended the staircase and joined the group. There were seven of them in total: Silas, Fyn, Murdoch, Tenith, Flint, Nevan and Kenja. All of them were males in their late twenties to early thirties, apart from Kenja. No, Kenja was only twenty, and had already outranked half of the men during her training before joining Silas’ unit. He hated it at first, having a girl in his unit, but after seeing her perform during a fight and in the bedroom, Silas now thought differently.
Silas looked behind him quickly at the building. It was on a row ordinary looking houses, although what the public didn’t know is that all of those houses on that street belonged to the BodyBringers and the City Council. Each one housed up to three units, and had it’s own showering space, kitchens and a dining room. Silas left Fyn to speak to Nevan, whom he shared a room with back at the house, and joined Kenja, who was already walking off towards the market.
That night, her hair (which was the colour platinum) was tied up on the top of her head, and swung loosely in time with her hips as she walked. She wasn’t wearing any fighting leathers, and was instead in a pair of black pants and a matching coloured vest. In fact, the only thing that would deflect any damage was her leather jacket, and even then he knew she only wore it because of all of the weapons she stored within its many pockets. Kenja turned to face him, and her wine red lips curled up into a sensuous grin.
“You’re late,” she said.
Silas bared his teeth at her, and she winked at him. He bit his lip, thinking about all of the things he would do to her that night when they were back in her bedroom. As if she were reading his mind, Kenja slipped her hand into his and squeezed before letting go again. Silas was sure that his entire unit knew what kind of relationship him and Kenja had, and he was sure that they only knew because of the noises coming from her bedroom in the early hours of the morning. Silas began to think about it more, but was torn from his daydream when Kenja stopped dead in the middle of the market and unsheathed a sword as long as her arm. He hadn’t even noticed that they had arrived, and now instinctively his unit began to form a circle.
They stood there for a while, weapons out, until Murdoch whistled. The sound wasn’t awfully loud, but Silas supposed that any Cracks in the area would come running. And sure enough, they did. The first one came directly at Silas, and with a flick of the blade in his hand its throat was slit and the body was bleeding out on the floor. The unit expanded their circle, and suddenly a whole wave of Cracks emerged from the back alleys.
Kenja broke off from the circle, and Silas barked a warning at her. She didn’t listen. Instead, she spun in a circle, decapitating three Cracks, all the while smiling at him. Silas growled, but he didn’t break formation as more and more Cracks kept coming at them. Their blood spilled wherever Silas was, and the market place was now covered in the foul yellow liquid. The cleaners would come shortly and clean up their mess, and the public would be non-the wiser that eight hours ago, monsters were right outside of their homes. Of course, they were told about the very real threat of the Cracks, and of course there was the night time curfew that began twenty minutes before sunset. But what they didn’t witness was the BodyBringers. Nobody knew they existed, and therefore their job was to be done secretively.
Before long, the market place was a mess of bodies, both dead and alive. Silas and his unit observed the death that now coated the floor, and grinned. Silas assigned the job of taking the bodies across to the Doctor to Murdoch and Flint, and for the rest of the night him and his unit went about the city, killing monsters and celebrating their deaths.
When they arrived back at the house, it was only Kenja, Silas and Tenith. The rest of them had offered to help take the bodies, which had been quite a few, to the island off the coast of Shalom. Now as Tenith approached the door with the keys in his hand, Silas was dangerously aware of Kenja’s presence. He could feel her pressing up against his arm, and it took all of his restraint to not pin her against the wall right there and then. Silas waited.
After they said goodnight to Tenith, who walked off to his own rooms after seeing the look on Silas’ face, Kenja walked off down the hallway. Silas followed after her, his eyes diverting lower than they should have. When they entered her room, Silas gaped a bit at the size of it. After almost a month with no contact, Silas had forgotten how big her room was compared to the others in his unit. He supposed it was because she was the only girl in the house, and also because it had been the room she’d claimed the first day she’d entered the house. Flint, the previous owner of the room, hadn’t resisted as she stormed in with a knife in her hand, demanding the room to be hers.
Now, when they entered the room, the first thing Kenja did was throw her leather jacket (which was covered in that sickly blood) on the floor. As soon as she was close enough, Silas grabbed her and pushed her against the wall closest to the door.
“What you did tonight,” he whispered, nibbling on her earlobe, “was incredulously stupid.”
His hand slipped down to her waist and kissed her neck, “We’re meant to stay in formation”
The feel of his breath against her skin made her toes curl. Kenja leaned forward and kissed the corner of his mouth, then his cheek, and then whispered in his ear, “I’ll make it up to you.”
At that, Silas took her face in his hands and crashed his lips onto her own. Kenja ran her hands through the back of his hair, and Silas groaned, pressing up against her. She ran her hands down his muscled chest, and pulled at the hem of his shirt. Silas obeyed the silent order, and raised his hands above his head as she removed it. He continued to kiss her as they slowly undressed, and he still kissed her as she led him onto the bed. The only time he broke away from those perfect lips was when he barked out a moan that could have sent the whole house trembling. Silas kissed Kenja until sunlight was streaming in through her window, and finally, she fell asleep, her body sprawled across his own.
Silas lay there, twirling her pale hair between his fingers and listening to the gentle sound of her breathing. He could hear the others returning from their voyage across the ocean, but he still lay there with a girl in his arms, saddening at the thought of having to leave that bed and already daydreaming about the next night and what he would do to her.
Then there was a scream.
It pierced through the silent morning, and Kenja jumped awake, already out of bed and searching for her knives. She left the room with swift efficiency, still in her dark underwear, and Silas followed after her. They rushed down the small staircase and towards the source of the scream: the kitchen. When they got there, Silas stopped dead in his tracks, and Kenja angled her knife towards the others.
Blood. There was so much blood. And then there was Kenja, moving so quickly that Silas could hardly bark a warning before her knife went straight through Murdoch’s stomach, and the hands that were previously holding him backed away. Murdoch fell to the floor with an awful crunch, and blood began to pool beneath him.
Silas grabbed onto the wall beside him as his world began to violently spin out of control.
Murdoch was dead.