Snatch 2.4

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I wouldn’t have expected him to look so ragged if I hadn’t already seen the photos. Mickey Donahue. He was a second-generation Irish immigrant with an Italian mother who had his dad’s build, his mother’s hair, and his drug dealer’s eyes. Last known employment was as an auto-mechanic, and it showed. He wore a beat to hell jumper from his shop with the top tied around his waist (no clue if he still worked there), and a sweaty wife-beater so stained with mystery fluids that it was hard to tell what color it was supposed to be, besides jaundiced I mean. It looked like he hadn’t shaved or bathed in days, and the sweat made his curly chest hair stick to him like a tattoo.

“And here he is, the man of the hour,” the elderly Pescatorre delegate scowled. “Mickey Donahue. Byron Marcucci. I’d be lying if I said it was a pleasure.”

Unbelievably, he extended a hand for Mickey to shake. Business was business I suppose, even if it was with scum like Mickey.

“Heh. Yeah, fuck you too old man.”

Mickey untangled himself from his arm-lock on the homunculus to shake his hand with a greasy palm covered in oil, transmission fluid, and hair care product. The contrast to Byron’s clean-pressed suit and manicured hands was profound. And also disgusting. Looking at Mickey’s grimy mitts made my skin crawl beneath my gloves.

They released hands after a brief but tense exchange, Byron’s hand coming away noticeably soiled. Mickey had to be loving this. But my attention wasn’t on him.

Where was I in all this, you ask? Me, my eyes were on the homunculus. And before you ask, no I was not looking at her rack. I’m a principled man, I’m better than that. Most of the time.

No, I was paying attention to her body… language. I didn’t consider myself an expert in cold-reading, but I’d done some book-learning on it. That plus simple intuition makes it fairly easy to decipher basic non-verbal communication once you’re aware of it. The human being is a very social creature, and the body reflects it, even if it’s an artificial one. And I learned some interesting things by studying hers.

One, we were hardly the only ones here who hated the sight of Mickey, let alone his touch. Even after he’d released her, she kept her arms and shoulders close to her body in a tight hug, crossing her arms. She made no eye contact with Mickey if possible, and maintained a safe distance from him, neither too close nor too far. She was clearly uncomfortable being around him.

Two, there was an obvious history of physical violence in the short time she’d been alive. No guesses from who. She reacted uncomfortably to potential physical contact of any kind, but she especially shied away from Mickey, flinching whenever he so much as reached out to touch her. Fear. It was obvious she felt threatened by him, and for good reason.

I scowled. There was no way to tell just what the hell Mickey had been doing to her, but I could imagine, and it made me sick. She was created to be a slave who would always obey, but jesus christ she could still feel! Just because she was a homunculus didn’t mean she was a doll for him to jerk around with!

Mickey spoke first. ”Yeah, I recognize you now. You’re the Pesci’s number guy. I hope you ain’t expecting me to go along with that Italian kissing shit.”

“Don’t worry, I wouldn’t give my love to a man like you if the world was burning.” Byron reached into his pocket for a handkerchief and wiped his greasy hand on it. “A handshake is the most I think I’ll be able to manage without vomiting.”

“Ooooh, scathing,” Mickey retorted sarcastically. “You hurt me little fishy, you really do. And? Who the fuck are these assholes?

He pointed at us. “I don’t remember inviting anyone else to this little shindig. You trying to grift me or something, old man?”

“They’re the Allesandris’ men. We were the ones who asked them to come. I’d say that’s fair, wouldn’t you? After all, it was the Pescatorres who called for this meeting, not you Mickey. You’re lucky we’re being this generous.”

“Yeah yeah, we’re all fucking scared of the big bad fish tank. Give it a rest, gramps. Not like I care.” Mickey started strutting towards me. “As a matter of fact, I’m positively fucking ecstatic to see them.”

I took a step back. Nayeli took five. Mickey smelled worse than his already disgusting appearance suggested. A feat worthy of the Olympians, had they not built their palaces so damn high to escape the stink. Out of morbid curiosity, I permitted my nose to take another whiff, and was greeted with a delightfully rotten cornucopia of scents hand-picked from a chop shop, the municipal dump, twenty unbathed men, day-old piss, and I’m pretty sure I even caught a sniff of that grimy little hoodoo shop next to the downtown drug dens; the spriggan used to take me to when she needed help running her errands. Oh, and rotten eggs. That smell was the worst one. Totally serious, rotten fucking eggs. Jesus…

I had no idea how one man could look or smell this bad. Didn’t he care at all about his appearance, or hell, common fucking decency?

He opened his mouth to start talking at me, and I tried not to cringe when I smelled his hellacious halitosis.

“So you’re the Allesandri guys, huh? Y’know, I tried to get made for the Allesandris once. Your boss what’s-his-name, ehhh… ‘Mark’ something. Marky-Mark and his funky bunch, whatever.” I couldn’t see her, but I could bet Nayeli was livid. “Anyway, I did some jobs for his family once upon a time, and when I finally asked about getting me made, you know what he said? ‘If a dog shits where you eat, would you let it into your house?’ Almost sounds like he thinks he’s better than me. Can you fucking believe that?”

I could. It sounded like Marq’s style, especially if Mickey had been as much of a disgusting greaseballer then as he was now.

I cleared my throat. “Yes, well, we don’t represent the Marquis specifically. At least not for the purposes of this meeting.”

“But you do work for him, right? Far as I’m concerned, that makes you two bunk-buddies.”

“I would watch,” Nayeli said, not even trying to disguise the barely-restrained aggression, “what you say about our boss. He’s a better man than you’ll ever be.”

Mickey scowled, dropping his annoying grin. “Cry me a fucking river, hon. I don’t see any of us getting nominated for sainthood. Why the fuck is he different just because he wears a nicer suit?”

Or just a suit in general, I thought to myself. But Mickey wasn’t quite done just yet.

“You see, that’s the thing I never got about you mobsters. You think you’re all so fucking clever. You wanna know why I think you wear suits like that?”

“No, but I’m sure you’re going to tell us,” I said.

“It’s because you’re fucking showoffs. You eat the best food, fuck the best dames, and you kill whoever you want just to show us all that you own the place. The five families of New York: ‘We’re invincible and unbeatable! We are so strong with all of our men and our guns!’.” Mickey’s face darkened, somehow becoming even more deranged. “But at the end of the day, that act is all that sets you apart. You’ll still get down on your knees in the shit and do the same dirty work we do to make ends meet, and then later when you’re lying in bed, you’ll try to make yourself feel better about it by telling yourself that you’re different. You eat the best food, you fuck the best dames, and you can kill whoever you want because you earned the right by being born into the right fucking family with the right fucking pedigree. You’re snobs with gats, and it makes me fucking sick. You think you’re better than me?”

“No, Mickey. We know we’re better than you.” I don’t know why I said that. He looked like he was ready to go full-bore whack-a-mole right then and there. But somehow despite what I may have thought, he managed to turn the crazy up even farther with what he said next.

“Heh. Well we’ll just see about that, won’t we kid?”

“I feel as if our time is being wasted with this pointless banter,” Byron interrupted. “Mickey? May we please, if it’s not too difficult, get to the fucking point?”

Mickey’s smile returned. “Fine, if that’s what you want, gramps. But hey, you’re the ones who called this meeting. So spill it. What do you want to talk to me about? Most be something pretty important.”

“Your recent aggression towards our operations would be a good place to start. You know, just to pick the most relevant out of a long, long list of offenses against us.” It helped his point that Byron looked like the kind of guy who would’ve kept an actual list. “You killed three of our men in that warehouse raid, and hospitalized fifteen others.”

“Yeah, and I’m real broken up about that.”

“The typical punishment for such an act of aggression would be death, not discourse. Please try to understand the monumental patience and goodwill we’re extending to you here, Mickey.”

Mickey groaned. “For the love of God almighty, can we stop with the fucking pillow talk already? We both know why we’re here. I one-upped you. You’re here for revenge, and I’m here to gloat because you’re not gonna get it, a and because that’s what a good bad guy does when he makes the other bad guys look bad. That’s how it’s supposed to fucking work.”

“If I were a younger man, I’d kneecap you right now for that insult. Don’t patronize me or this family, boy. You may not like what happens.” Even at the slightest provocation, all the Pescatorres’ men had their hands at their guns, ready to draw if they needed to. Byron held up his hand, signaling them to stand down. “Alright then Mickey, I’ll play your little game. Why isn’t that going to happen?”

“Like I’d fucking tell you. Why don’t you give it a go and find out?” Mickey said, issuing a direct challenge to Byron and his men. No one moved. “Really? No takers? And I thought you guys were supposed to be big bad gangsters. Alright then, how about this. A threat.”

Byron raised an eyebrow. “A threat?

“Yeah, a threat. I’ll explain my little plan to you instead of giving away my ace in the hole, how’s about that? That shit’s good villain material.”

“You’re as crazy as you are stupid, Mickey.”

“‘Blah blah blah, I’m a boring old fart with a flaccid cock who can’t remember what he had for breakfast this morning. Do you wanna play parcheesi with me and my grandkids?’ See that? That’s you right now, gramps. Quit spoiling my fun and shut the fuck up. Now where was I…” Mickey wracked his brain for answers, but from the looks of things, he was coming up blank. He growled in frustration before yelling at one of his friends. “Donny! The fuck was I gonna say again?”

“The plant, Mickey!”

“Oh yeah! You’re one-in-a-million, Donny! Remind me to pour you a glass of hootch in this old man’s braincase once we’re done with ’em.” He turned his attention back to Byron. “Like I was fucking saying, the plant. You see this?”

Mickey fished around for a thick iron key he wore on a string around his neck. It was an old-looking thing. If I had to guess, it went at least as far back as the War. Maybe farther. Large and imposing as it was, years in Mickey’s care had not done the solid iron key any favors.

“This here is the key to an abandoned chemical plant somewhere in the 5th Ward. You can check it out some time if you don’t believe me, assuming of course that you live that long. My daddy used to work there during the War, making all sorts of nasty chemicals for the Allied powers. Willie Pete, phosgene, chlorine, sulfur mustard, sarin gas. Real fun stuff.” Mickey spun the key around his finger. “Nowadays, I’m the only one who can get in and out of the plant, and let me tell ya, I’ve found some interesting fucking things that got left behind in that place once the War was over. You wanna guess what they are, old-timer?”

Byron’s face darkened as he realized what Mickey meant. ”You insane bastard…”

“If your answer was ‘a hundred tons of leftover chemical weapons’, then congrats! You get a fucking prize! See, I knew you’d never really ‘negotiate’ with me. So we’re skipping ahead to the fun part. The part where I tell you that I’ve already hidden twenty tons of unprocessed dirty bombs all throughout this shithole city. How many bombs? Who knows! Most of it’s in Pescatorre turf of course because, hell, why wouldn’t it be, but I think we got enough coverage to have each of the five families ducking and covering by the end of the day, don’t you Donny?”

I stood stock still. Chemical weapons. This fuckhead had chemical weapons. Military-grade ones too, not the kind of kiddy shit you can mix up in an off-the-books chem lab. And he was planning to use them right here in New York City. Normally I wasn’t a very religious man, but right then and there, I prayed that this was a joke.

“I don’t believe you,” Byron said flatly, struggling to regain some of his composure. “Your gang is only thirty men strong. How could you have managed to assemble and disseminate that many bombs in just a week?”

That just made Mickey laugh. “You don’t give us enough credit, old timer. You really think this,” he motioned to the men standing behind him, “is all I’ve got? No, the Broncos have grown since the last time you saw them. Unlike you, we don’t turn people away because they’re not Irish enough or some shit like that. If you got a beef with the five families and want to see them all get righteously fucked up, you’re welcome to join. Turns out, you say those kinda things in the right places and you attract a lot of attention.”

“Clearly not enough,” Byron said through grit teeth. You could tell he was cursing whoever was responsible for managing the Pescatorres’ local intelligence. I felt much the same way.

“What do you want?

“Huh?”

“What do you want?” I spoke up. I didn’t realize I was doing it at the time, but I was clenching my fists so hard I could feel my nails through the leather. “Why do this? Why go this far? Is this about revenge? Some pretty grudge against the five? Tell me, Mickey.

He never stopped smiling. Even though he was toying with the fate of entire neighborhoods, even though hundreds, thousands of people might have died in the worst act of terrorism and gang violence this city had ever seen, that inhuman bastard somehow managed to smile.

“What do I want? I just want to see your boss choking and gasping for air all twitchy on the floor of his nice little office, shitting himself out of both ends while his skin breaks out into pus-filled blisters because he was too much of a dumb fuck to give me the respect I deserve. I wanna get down on his level, and watch him die slowly as I pop the gooshy bubble wrap on his skin, poking him with a stick just to prolong the agony. I wanna watch him cry like a little bitch. And when he finally asks me why I did it, just like you did, I wanna be there to tell him, ‘I guess because I’m just a stray dog that shits wherever he eats’. And then, I want to do it over, and over, and over again. To all of you.”

Mickey turned his attention to the Pescatorres. “That goes for you too! Tell everyone in the five families that Mickey Donahue is coming for them, and he’s not gonna stop until he’s skullfucked you, your family, your friends, and everyone else in your worthless pathetic lives from your tax collector on down to the guy who sells you your fucking five-dollar gourmet hot dogs!”

The ground cratered, and Central Park’s elevation dropped by nearly ten feet. Trees were uprooted, concrete pathways smashed, and entire ponds of water were thrown into the air to fall back down like rain. The scale of it was unbelievable, but there was no mistaking who was standing at the center of it all, axe in hand.

“You’re gonna do that to him? The boss? Who the fuck do you think you are, you shiteating snatch-rat? Do you think you’re fucking God or something?”

“No… but I’m the next best thing.”

The ground shook again as Nayeli took another step forward, pounding Central Park into the dust. Mickey scowled, while a few of the Broncos took a step back. As I started to piece together just what Marq’s gal pal really was, I realized they were the smart ones here.

Nayeli turned to glower at Mickey. To say there was murder in her eyes would be like saying New York Harbor was a little wet. “If you’re gonna kill Marq I guess that just means I’m gonna have to kill you first. Yeah… that’s a good plan. First I’ll kill you, then I’ll feed you to Kerby down at Grandpa Hades’ house, and then maybe if there’s time leftover, I can play eight-balls with that shitbiscuit you call a soul.”

Mickey, realizing he stood alone with the homunculus, looked back at his retreating Broncos.

“Well? What are you waiting for, dipshits? A fucking flag? Kill their dumb asses!”

Mickey’s group was nothing to be underestimated. I’d been taking an inventory of each member since the beginning of the meeting. It was true what he’d said about the Broncos becoming an equal opportunity employer. I counted numerous demihuman species in their ranks. They had the usual mainstays like vamps and lycans, but I counted a few incubi too, and even a doppelgänger. That and at least a few of the humans in the crowd had to be either mages or mediums passing off as normies. It was a tough group.

But it wasn’t going to do them any good.

The following clash was too fast for my eyes to follow. A blur closed the gap between it and Nayeli before I’d even finished processing it had moved. A vamp no doubt, or a lycan maybe, head of the charge. Nayeli saw him coming, but she didn’t move, at least not that I saw. Instead, she just tapped her foot and a large chunk of topsoil and rock righted itself in response, changing the landscape and launching the vamp sky-high like a rock in a catapult, the momentum of his supersonic movement completely cancelled. He’d lost any ability to right himself or do anything besides fall straight to the ground, where Nayeli would be waiting for him.

Taking a stance just like the great Bambino, Nayeli gripped her axe and swung, catching the poor mook with the blunt of the chop-stick. Home run.

I winced as I watched the guy go flying through at least a few different brick walls on a window tour of downtown’s best apartment blocks and office buildings. Well, at least he’d have an interesting story to tell now that he could claim to be the world’s first human baseball. Can’t say you’ve met many people who know what that feels like, can you?

Mickey seemed equally impressed, but not discouraged. Quite the opposite, actually. He looked riveted, jumping up and down inside like a kid who couldn’t wait to open his present on Christmas morning.

“Oh-h-hh-hh-ho yeahhhh…” He jammed his hand into his pocket and came out with a rusty, taped-together switchblade. He licked it. “I am going to enjoy fucking you raw, sister.”

“Heh. Good luck with that…” I said under my breath. I couldn’t manage much more than that because at this point, I could barely breathe. Unbelievable. Marq didn’t just have a dragon and a vamp waiting in the wings. He’d recruited a fucking demigod into the family. Mickey Donahue was a fucking dead man.

It didn’t take long for things to devolve into a full-on brawl in a messy sea of faces devoid of distinctions like “Pescatorre” and “Bronco”. It was just carnage. Nayeli tore through anyone who dared try their luck again like the vamp did, either pounding them so hard they actually sunk into the damn ground (or whatever tree or rock was nearest to them) or just splitting them wide open with her axe. The latter was actually a merciful death. The former was not.

I even got to get a good look at what the big guy could do firsthand. Useful for next time, if we ever met again. I wasn’t sure what he was supposed to be, but he was using some kind of Eastern martial art, and absolutely manhandling anyone who got in his way. He managed to take down a lycan in a chokehold and snap its neck so hard its head fell clean off. Then he threw that at the next guy hard enough to make his internal organs decorate the tree behind him like streamers.

If there were any two people on this battlefield with any real presence, it was those two. Compared to the amount of broken and dead bodies they were leaving in their wake, everyone else’s little squabbles might as well have been so much window dressing for the main attraction. Mickey had brought more than enough tanks to the fight, but I wondered just how many of those guys were gonna regenerate from this.

I got snapped out of my role on the sidelines by an incubus bum-rushing me with a pigsticker. I twisted my body out of the way just in time for the knife to barely miss me, then I pulled out my own. The obsidian blade cut as clean as adamantine, slicing right through his steel kitchen knife. I momentarily considered disarming him further.

Nah, he’s gonna need that limb when he wakes up.

I twirled the knife around and jammed it deep into his abdomen below the lungs, pushing my fingers into the wound a bit. I was careful not to kill him or inflict any mortal injuries, but I exacerbated the damage just enough that he wouldn’t get up. I kicked him off the blade, and the black shiv slid right out with no resistance. I took a minute to admire Marq’s craftmanship. Maybe I should’ve taken a finger or two off his knife hand. The cut’d be clean enough they could stitch ‘em right back on at the hospital.

Unfortunately it looked like I’d have time to try that theory out. An orc, a human, and a cynocephaly were boxing me in.

Well that was annoying. I dusted myself off, and hit a few bruises inflicted by the bozos lying at my feet. I hissed. That shit would hurt tomorrow.

The brawl had left each side utterly decimated except for ours, and considering we were just two people, “ours” was never really a side to begin with. But the good news was there were more Pescatorres and Allesandris on the field than Broncos, whose numbers had been systematically reduced down to Mickey and the homunculus.

“Tch.” Mickey spat at the ground. “What the fuuuuuuuck? Is that really all you goombas had in ya? Huh? You’re a fucking disappointment, the lot of ya!”

The incubi I’d stabbed earlier groaned in protest.

“Especially you, Donny!”

Mickey stomped on his trachea, probably crushing it. I winced. Well keeping him alive appeared to have been wasted effort.

“It’s over, Mickey,” Byron said casually, wading through a misdirected river alongside the big guy. “Tell us the location of the bombs and we’ll kill you now.”

Mickey sneered. “What kind of fucking offer is that?”

“A good one, believe me.”

The leaders of the Broncos put his hand on the homunculus’ shoulder and rubbed the back of his neck like he was thinking about it. He kinda looked more like he was on the fence about whether or not to buy a used tea set from the china shop. I have to admit it made the whole moment just a tad underwhelming. But that was just at first.

Finally, he sighed, chuckling, and said, “You drive a hard bargain, sir. But I think I have a better idea.”

This is the moment I distinctly remember realizing just what kind of man Mickey Donahue was. It’s not a pleasant memory. He shoved the homunculus forward, causing her to stumble in the mud and stain her red dress. She looked back at him.

“Get going.”

The homunculus almost seemed to plead with him, asking him not to make her do it. Mickey would have none of it.

“Go on, get your fucking ass in there!”

He kicked her in the back, and she fell face first into the muddy mess our rumpus had created. She got back up, half of her face coated in a thick, gritty brown. With reluctance, she started walking forward.

Byron scowled. “What are you playing at, Mickey?”

That’s when things went pear-shaped. As it turns out, Mickey was confident enough to give the homunculus a gun. None of us had really grasped that fact until she pulled a fully-loaded 1911 out of her leggings and plugged the big guy.

He took a step backward. Excess musculature made for a good bullet shield, but it wasn’t armor, and she’d hit him in all the right places before we’d caught on to what she was doing. Two in each knee, one in the shoulders, and a foot shot just to make him lose his balance. Like that the big guy toppled, down for the count. Byron was the first to react.

“Oh fucking hell, he gave that bitch a gun!” Drawing his own 38 pocket pistol, he centered the homunculus in his iron sights, opened fire, and to my amazement, missed every shot. Then he got the same in return, just more accurate.

Six shots was more than Byron could take, and he called it quits just like the big guy. I’d been worried about this. A homunculus isn’t born, it’s made. A homunculus isn’t taught, it’s programmed. Given memories, information, and a brain so, so much faster than ours. A human computer. Using only the visual and auditory input from its environment, it could instantly determine the most statistically sound course of action based on a series of physical equations predicting hypothetical scenarios and act on it preemptively with machine-like precision.

Short version: she was killing us with math.

She pointed the gun at me, and I could tell by the look in her eyes that she didn’t want to shoot me. But she would. Because Mickey Donahue told her to.

I grabbed my own bean shooter and shot back, but before I knew it she’d gotten me too, right above the hip and in the foot. Then she punched me in the face. Hard. I fell back into the mud, and she lowered her gun. So she didn’t mean to kill me. Good news. I guess Mickey could only ask her for so much. Either that, or he wanted to kill us himself. But it wasn’t going to work. We still had Nayeli, and demigods had a reputation for being bulletproof.

The homunculus fired on her too, but it didn’t even make Nayeli flinch. The bullets that gun was chambered for had way too little in the way of stopping power for hunting big game, much less someone with a bulletproof vest for skin. Nothing short of an elephant gun would even make her miss a step. But the homunculus kept trying.

Finally the homunculus ran out of bullets, and they entered melee range. Nayeli let her axe hang casually at her side.

“You know what? I feel sorry for you, so I’m going to do you a favor. I’m going to make this quick and painless. Be grateful.”

The homunculus didn’t seem to react to that.

“Tch. Fine, be like that. Boss says this axe weighs some fancy number of tons with a bunch of decimal places. But I’m not really that good at math, so I’ll just go with what pops told me and say it’s heavier than a mountain. If I swung it without holding back like I did with these, you wouldn’t feel much anyway. So… meh, I guess.”

Nayeli swung, the arc of her swing perfectly lined up to take off the homunculus’ head in one swift, uninterrupted motion. As much as I pitied her, fight was over.

Or so I thought at the time.

Nayeli stopped and stood still. Her axe hadn’t failed her for a second. So then why was the homunculus in one piece, and why was she the one bleeding?

She reached a single hand up to the side of her neck, and pulled it away covered in golden scarlet blood. A shallow nick to the carotid artery, right where she’d swung at the homunculus. The bunny girl sighed, sounding defeated.

Nayeli stared at the crude ichor on her hands, uncomprehending of how or why she’d been injured. But confusion quickly turned to pain and rage, and she swung again.

This time, the cut was aimed at her side. No good. Nayeli doubled over and winced as a smaller but identical cut appeared on her own body in the same place, and swung again at the other side of the neck. Same result. Realizing how much blood she was beginning to lose, Nayeli abandoned her axe hand and just started pounding on the homunculus, hoping to inflict some kind of tangible damage with her fists, but she only kept on bruising herself, growing more angry and desperate with each hit as she blindly struck at the homunculus, hoping something would work.

I didn’t understand. No sympathetic magic worked like this. No connection between the two had been established, and there was no ritual that could’ve been performed in this span of time to set something like this up. The homunculus didn’t have any personal effects of Nayeli’s, and as far as I could tell she hadn’t even touched her. So why was she the one being hurt?

Then I remembered it. Something important. I’d never forgotten it, but I’d let it fall by the wayside. At a time like this where even implausible answers would have been better than nothing? Stupid.

Retaliation.

“Nayeli, stop!” I futilely tried to command her. “This isn’t going to work! Just stop!”

But she didn’t listen to me. The only explanations for it that I could think of were that she wouldn’t stop for me, or that she couldn’t. Or, worst of all, she just didn’t know what else to do in this situation. Fighting an enemy like this was a new experience for us all. Finally tired of beating the snot out of herself, she raised her axe one last time in a final desperation attempt. She looked like she was going to crush the homunculus’ head.

“Nayeli, stop!”

The axe came crashing down, and Nayeli’s own forehead cracked open with an ugly splitting sound, blood spilling down her face. There was no way she could fight anymore. We’d lost.

Mickey could barely contain himself. He started jumping around, whooping and hollering. “Yeah bitch! Secret weapon! Ohhhhh yeah! Get some, get some!”

The axe shrunk somehow with an audible creaking noise, reverting to a small facsimile of itself hung around Nayeli’s wrist by a length of rough twine. Collapsing to the ground just like I had, Nayeli was helpless to resist Mickey. She was barely conscious. And the noise had made him remember her. Sneering, he kicked her onto her back.

“What did I tell you, you dipshit moll?” Mickey sat on top of her chest, his crotch uncomfortably close to Nayeli’s face. My eyes widened as Mickey’s smile did too, becoming uncomfortably, perversely pleased with himself. “Didn’t I tell you this was exactly what was gonna fucking happen? You mess with the best, you get wrecked like the rest. And now, I’m gonna do exactly what I said I would.”

Dawning comprehension screamed at me. Please. Not that. Beat her, kill her, do anything to her but that, you sick son of a bitch. Prove to me that there’s at least something left in you that’s human.

Mickey grabbed her hair, and lifted her head up to level with his fly. He can’t do it. She has someone back at home. Someone who I know loves her. But he’ll do it anyway. He’ll do it anyway, and he’ll do it gladly. I watched with horror as he starts fiddling with his zipper.

“I’m going to fuck you. I’m going to fuck that pretty face of yours raw.

“Heh… heheh… heheheheh…”

“Huh?”

“Hey, Mickey…” Nayeli said weakly. With the last of her strength, she lifted her hand into the air, right in front of him. The axe bracelet swung weakly in the wind. She smiled.

“Fuck you.

She let the axe grow and it broke the twine thread easily, the immense weight snapping it like a single strand of scotch tape supporting the Empire State Building.The axe fell less than a foot onto Nayeli’s sternum, but it was enough. Pressure and heat built as the monumental mass dropped through the air, forcing everything beneath it out of its way in one enormous swell, a shockwave to rival the bombs of the Great War. For the second time that day, Central Park exploded, and we were all blown away.

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6 comments

  1. Apologies for my shoddy internet connection. If it wasn’t for that, this would have been up ten hours ago. Well regardless, here it is. Goodfae’s first double length chapter. I sincerely hope you enjoy it.

  2. It was very enjoyable indeed, However, I found the fact that you skipped over the last bit of the fight (pretty much all of Alf’s side) and went on to the homunculus and Mickey’s turn to be kind of disrupting. Even though I have learned quite a bit about Alfonso from what has been written so far, I feel that how he fought went ignored for no good reason.

    1. Yeah, I’m kinda disappointed in myself for leaving that out as well. But sadly, that scene kinda had to be cut for time. Don’t worry, you’ll get to see Al in action more in the future.

  3. Once again, we have to deal with some anachromisms. I was surprised to find out “orc” was from the 16th century, so that’s not a problem. Neither is “funky” which was also around at that time. Amusing for Mickey to use it, considering its original meaning was to describe something smelling strongly. Computer also came from the late 1800s, so you’re in the clear there.

    However, while white phosphorous was around for WWI, it only got the name Willie Pete from Vietnam. As for sarin, it was developed in 1938 in Germany. Its name actually takes letters from the name of each of the scientists who created it, so it wouldn’t be called the same thing even if people in the U.S. somehow created it first in this timeline.

    Also, you have some spots where you mix up your tenses. You use present tense words in a story that’s past tense. I’m willing to give you some leeway on that because first person perspective stories can be less formal than third person.

    1. I was waiting for someone to ask this question. To be honest, I’m kinda surprised it took this long for someone to ask it.

      Anyway, I assure you, the anachronisms are very intentional. Since this story is already taking place not only in an alternate history but in a world where magic has existed in the public consciousness for an odd fifteen/sixteen years, I decided I’d be liberal in taking liberties (heh) with culture and other things. Certain inventions which weren’t around in this world’s 1930s are present in Alfonso’s, Prohibition was (or “is going to be”, I’m not telling) extended due to the new influx of magical contraband, and certain major world events may or may not have happened out of order according to convenience.

      That being said, I’m not too proud to admit that a lot of the naming conventions you’ve pointed out (“Willie Pete”, “Colombian necktie”) flew completely under the radar when I was writing this. Thank you for pointing that out for me, PG.

      1. That’s just a hazard of writing in the past, especially with how languages evolve over time. You could refer to the Colombian necktie probably just as “the necktie”. I don’t know what it was called by the Cosa Nostra, but it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to assume that portion of the name was used back then.

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