AlvernoINK Spring / Fall 2017 - Page 124

any more.

“I’ve brought you breakfast”

“I’m not hungry” I snapped.

You step forward with the gleaming tray testing how close you could get to me today. As my legs quickly drew back onto the cot you stopped.

“I don’t want to hurt you, Henley.” You murmured.

When I didn’t reply you clanged the tray down on the little nightstand by the cot. Frustration never shows well on you. I waited till I couldn’t hear your footsteps then I slowly reached for the tray. It was the same thing every day. Oatmeal. Toast. Hardboiled egg. Water. Plain, simple, keeps me alive. It doesn’t stop the hunger though. I can always feel the deep ache in my stomach. No matter what you give me.

After devouring my breakfast I picked up one of the old tattered books you left for me. It was my only solace these days. I flipped through the pages slowly feeling the gritty edges.

“Black Ships Before Troy,” I whispered.

Settling back on the cot, I flipped open the first page. Immediately, I was drawn into the world of Greek Gods. My eyes devoured each word as if it was the last thing I was ever going to read.

And for a moment, just one precious moment, I forgot I was yours. My mind was free, even if I wasn’t.

Baiting The Beast

Krysta Grotkiewicz

I have to warn them, Cheveyo thought.

Bounding across the slick terrain, his feet abruptly slipped. He stumbled and gasped, clutching the laceration on his side.

I have to get there before those dogs do.

The native’s heel slid against the mud as he forced his body into an uneven sprint. Adrenaline propelled the caramel-skinned man forward, blood dripping at his feet.

Slithering in and out of the trees, the inky serpent lurked, remaining a few paces behind the native.

Those hounds, they’re going to murder the entire tribe!

Heart palpitating in his chest, Cheveyo burst into the camp’s clearing. His eyes scanned the motionless bodies lying askew and failed to notice the monstrous serpent creeping between his dead relatives. The camp was in ruin.

I’m too late…

Plodding toward one of the homes, Cheveyo’s sharp eyes darted left and right in search of any sign of life. Everything was destroyed and plundered. Filthy mutts! He wiped at the streak of blood threatening to invade his vision from the gash on his forehead. Pausing mid-step as thunder rumbled overhead, Cheveyo’s heart lurched at the sickening thought:

Catori! Where is she?

Cheveyo hustled over to her established site within the camp and spotted a trail of blood leading straight into the woodland. Large rain droplets splattered against his skin as he bolted through the shrubbery. The anaconda-like beast crawled after in pursuit.

Draggled and crimson, a slender body lay prostrate amongst an encircling patch of Aspens. Lightning burned bright throughout the sky and thunder cracked.

Cheveyo recognized the limp figure in a heartbeat by the imprinted art around the young woman’s wrist. “Catori,” he breathed.

The lengthy beast snaked around several trunks to face the native, bearing its fangs.

Padding over to her, a striking force tore through his frame, as if a beast rammed him head-on. Cheveyo fell to the soggy Earth. Forced out of its container by the serpent; Cheveyo’s spirit fled rising overhead to intertwine with Catori’s lingering soul.

Cheveyo dragged himself through the sludge until he rested over the limp doll. Both were drenched to the core. Cheveyo’s eyes glinted with the serpent’s lust for revenge; feeding the beast, he plunged himself deep inside.

Ear-splitting thunder shook the land. The native allowed the carnal rage to feast upon his flesh as he ravaged her lifeless body.

High in the atmosphere, their wispy spirits tangled together and weaved through the thick charcoal clouds racing back to their eternal home.

Thirteen years later

Sprinting over to the agonizing yelp, he cursed under his breath for misfiring. Emerging on the other side of shrubs, he found a pale leg harboring his arrow. Cheveyo crouched down as his massive hand curled around the wooden piece.

“Leave me alone!” The light skinned man begged.

As if incoherent, Cheveyo ripped the arrow free of the flesh.

The white man gritted his teeth, stifling his agonizing pain. He feverishly glanced over his shoulder.

“You’re trespassing on private property,” Cheveyo asserted, folding his arms over his bare chest.

“P-private property?”

Rustling of shrubs and crunching branches alerted the two men something or someone was approaching.

“Nobody sets foot in these woods,” Cheveyo grumbled.

The leaner male shifted his eyes to the blood puddle underfoot and caved, “S-s-sorry. Please, if you h-help, I’ll leave as s-soo-”

Cheveyo brushed past, knocking shoulders with the male, he felt the burn of sparks singe his skin. “Stay put,” he commanded.

Like a hungry pack of wolves, four white men ceased their search at the sight of the steadfast native emerging from a patch of shrubs.

“You’re trespassing on native land,” his sonorous voice boomed.

The Alpha male stepped forward to defend its pack, “We have a fugitive on the run. It’s suspected he’s hiding out in these woods.”

“Foreigners unrightfully on this land are not tolerated.”

“We’re under order to bring back the fugi-“

“Show me a search permit,” Cheveyo interrupted, “then you’re welcome to look.” He lifted his bloody arrow to point at the dogs. “Until then, I ask you leave.”

The white Alpha sneered as his fists clenched at his sides. He retorted, “Very well savage, we will return as the sun rises tomorrow.”

As Cheveyo waited for them to march off his land, one lingered to approach him. He offered a large sum for the fugitive’s head. Cheveyo stared at the man solemnly, “I’ll keep a lookout”.

The native returned to the injured pale man and offered his calloused hand. “Care to explain why you’ve lured those mutts onto my land?”

The male used the tree trunk behind to stand on unsteady legs. “Uh…it’s a misunderstanding is all.”

“Hmph.” Cheveyo started deeper into the foliage. “Come. Your wound is my burden.”

“Thanks for helping,” he murmured as he cautiously followed several paces behind, “I’m Simon by the way.”

“Cheveyo, or Che.”

Cheveyo led them in silence until they reached the top of the knoll, his home sitting at the base. He thrust his arm out, forcing Simon to a grunting halt. The front door lay unhinged in the grass. Simon stepped forward to take a look.

Cheveyo clenched Simon’s neck in his fist and whipped out his dagger. “Fess up!” He barked. He jabbed the blade’s tip into Simon’s chin. “This was a ploy to ransack my home!”

Simon raked his nails against the tan skin as he choked and sputtered. Suddenly, he rammed his knee into his attacker’s genitals.

Cheveyo recoiled, clutching himself.

“You idiot! They’re after me!” Simon shouted between pants, “Why would I lead them to your place?”

Both men glared each other down, until a familiar call aroused both of their attentions to the base of the hill.

Cheveyo thrust his palm into Simon’s chest, knocking the male onto his behind. He dropped to the grass a second after.

Gunfire poured through the air, drowning out everything else.

The native man rolled over and equipped his bow. He blindly shot four arrows up into the air, angling them toward the pack of unruly hounds. Eerie silence ensued.

Simon peered over the edge and immediately teetered back simultaneously with the sound of a bang. Crimson rapidly drained over Simon’s hand as he held the shoulder wound and warily glanced at the native.

“How many?” Cheveyo asked, his voice low.

“Four,” Simon grunted.

Carnal instincts overcame him. Swallowing his first victim whole, he swiped his dagger across the white throat, forcing the man to drown in his own blood. One by one, he tore down the men; dragging each down into the tall brush and silencing them for an eternity.

Cheveyo rose behind the last hound. Snatching the man by the neck with a choke hold, Cheveyo drew him in. “The lone wolf,” he rumbled with a smirk evident in his voice. He had saved the man who had offered the bounty for last.

The crooked man shook feverishly under his arm. Cheveyo drove his fingers into the man’s pressure point beside his neck, knocking him into an unconscious state, then hollered for Simon.

Reluctantly, the slender male limped over.

“I didn’t intend to hunt human today, only dinner,” Cheveyo remarked, shooting Simon a glare. Fear rolled off Simon in waves; it was nearly palpable.

“Y-you just k-k-killed them l-l-like it’s nothing!” Simon blurted.

Cheveyo smirked as he turned towards his home, dragging one of his hostages along. “Come Simon. Your wounds require attention”

Simon stood in silence, staring after the man wide-eyed. He whispered, “I’m in the company of a killer…”

The Lost Girl

Sophia DePalma

It was 3 o’clock in the morning and she couldn’t sleep. She was sitting in their house alone waiting for him to come home. Her blood pressure was rising as fast as space ships fly during liftoff. She knew that she loved him, but she was done being hurt physically and mentally. She knew that he was with his girlfriend that he refers to as his coworker. She couldn’t handle the pain anymore. She confronted him.

The back door opened, and her heart drop. She stopped breathing and wondered if this was the right idea. His body bumped against the walls of the back hallway. He was drunk.

“Matt, honey. Is that you?” she called

“What the fuck are you still doing up, Margaret? I told you when I left that I didn’t want to see you when I got back.” Exclaimed Matt.

“I know, but I really need to talk to you. I don’t think I can do this anymore.” She explained nervously. She was shaking anxiously as she stood up from the chair. He looked at her angrily and she saw that his eyes were blood shot.

“I love you, but I’m tired of being afraid and I want things back to when we were younger.” Margaret cried. Tears were starting to build up in her eyes. She felt like there was a ball in her throat that she couldn’t swallow.

Matt violently grabbed her arm and threw her against the desk that was across the room. “You stupid Bitch! If you think you’re leaving me, you’re wrong. I will kill you before I let anybody else have you.” Matt yelled.

“Honey, please calm down. I want things to work between us.” She cried. She put her hand into the open drawer of the desk. She knew that Matt left a loaded revolver in the drawer. She pointed the gun at him. Matt released her arm and chuckled.

“What are you gonna do, shoot me? You don’t have the nerve to do that. You love me too much.” Matt said.

“I do, but I don’t want to be hurt anymore. I just want to be happy.” She said.

Her hand was shaking so much that she was having a hard time keeping the gun in her hand and pointed at Matt. Matt lunged for the gun. Bang!

Matt fell against the wall and fell to the ground. A streak of blood followed him down the wall. Margaret fell to her knees and cried. She had never felt so relieved before. How could she be so happy and yet so sad at the same time?

She put the gun to her head and thought to herself ‘at least nobody can ever hurt me again.’

She thought of the happiest time from high school.

She squeezed the trigger.