The sound of punches landing had begun as a series of dry thuds but were turning into a barrage of wet smacks. The woman on the receiving end hung at the end of the assailant’s fist, limp, and laughing, blood running from both her nose and mouth. “Geeb goig,” she needled, when he paused. She lifted her head and looked up at him, blinking those navy eyes, and then turned her head to spit.

“What?” her attacker asked, looking startled.

“D’I sdudder?” she asked, and squirmed briefly to get deerlegs beneath her, huge boots shoved against the earth to give her purchase. She stood, and the man holding her by a fistful of her crazy hair tried to land another punch, and found his hand unable to move.

Panic set in, but it was too late. All of him was unable to move.

She towered over him, all six feet plus, still leaning funny with his fingers clenched in her hair, and smiled her bloody teeth down at him, scrubbing the blood from her nose and mouth with the back of a gloved hand. “Zo,” she began, blinking red out of her eyes. “Y’dud?” She coughed, turning again, and spat something on the ground that looked vital, too red and shining to be of use on the alley floor. She cleared each side of her nose, then gagged, and spat again, the wad of insides-turned-out landing on his shoe. “Sorry ’bout that,” she said, her voice clearer. She sneered, wiping her mouth one more time, then reaching to smear the back of her hand over his shoulder. “But y’didn’t seem t’care ’bout gettin’ my blood on y’anyway, yeah?”

He stood perfectly still, and stared at her; it was all he could do, considering.

Navy eyes bloomed red at the edges of her sclera; she smiled down at him — all she’d been waiting for this whole damn time was one excuse. The born-in ability that devoured her from within, starting with the hollow pain right behind her eyes, tightened around the attacker-turned-victim, held him so tightly his face began to turn red, kept him from breathing. She, on the other hand, was panting, leaning in as she reached up to open his fist and make him let go of her hair so she could straighten all the way up. Her voice was low and easy-going, belying the intent in her eyes. “Now’s my turn, yeah?”

7 responses to “Beatdown

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