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18+ Language Violence

City work

by Zackymas


Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language and violence.

Orderless, pitiful, silent. These words describe the city of Highways. I sat on a rooftop and watched the fools below, and the ones above. I was there to ‘clean windows.’ In common terms, to take care of a witness. But honestly, I don’t think the windows need cleaning. Just reaching for the front door is a risk. A silent one. Half the population lives in fear, hiding in their homes and workplaces, the other half crafts Molotov cocktails, flame trash cans, disarm cars in the middle of the street, and beat up the first half by the second. All that happened beneath me. Above me? That’s a different story.

On the clouds sit the ones that matter, the judges, entrepreneurs, government agents, scientists, you name it. The city of Low-ways. The irony. My contractor lives up there. My objective resides down here.What is he even worried about? I didn’t understand it, but it didn’t matter.

I took a pair of binoculars and focused on the subject’s window. The frame was white, yet weared to the point the metal’s black color took place. The building -laid brick by brick, was slowly falling -brick by brick. Those same bricks were taken by the lowlife anarchists and used as weapons against those who wish to live a normal life. One’d ask where the hell are the agents of peace. Up there. That’s the peace that matters.

It was nighttime, but I couldn’t see the moon. It was covered by Low-ways. Oops, lost the actual train of thought. Well the fires compensated for the broken lamps, letting me see the wet moss that grew on every building’s surface. The streets were cracked and the sidewalk was even worse. Roots thicker than my arms broke through them like chopsticks. I guess time and nature are just two forces that can’t be stopped.

I put on my earphones and let the music distract me from the havoc below. Time to work. A compound of violins and grave electronic sounds shake my brain and take my focus to place. I took my rope and hook from my bag, as in a rope with a hook at the end, and started. I ran further down the rooftops, looking for that alley in which I could descend. Found it. Dark, gloomy, and wet. Just how I like them. Considering the disaster on the streets, it was best for me to stick to the shadows.I took my coat and my hat from my bag (It is big) and I was ready.

Avoiding detection was harder than expected. More than once I had a clueless one turn to face me just at the right moment I found a dumpster to duck behind. I crossed several alleys, before meeting with a group of unsuspecting lads. A rock and a can where all I needed to set them off and into the street. First throw can, then rock to can. Simple.

I reached the objective’s building. Sneaked in through the backdoor; never go out without your lockpicks. The halls were a muddy green that reminded me a bit too much of my days as a herbalist, growing exotic plants to make some interesting elixirs. Or drugs, both were fine at the time. I wouldn’t need any to deal with the objective (whose name I have completely forgotten), especially because there were already four lads pounding on his door, to dispose him of whatever belongings he held, I believe. This would make it easier.

They were all relatively young. Caucasian and nowhere near thirty. Three of them wore a shaved head, which reflected light like a mirror, and green (really?) sleeveless jackets. The one using his mouth to -apparently- command the others fashioned a ponytail and a black jacket.

“Open the fuckin’ door ol’ man,” he grinned. “We won’t hurt you as much if you follow.” More pounding.

Really I never understood what is this kind of people after. I understand stealing to survive, which excuse me, can be an art of itself, but having to hurt others, and enjoying it? Ironically, these are the people I enjoy hurting.

“Excuse me,” I called out. Only black-jacket Malone and Aang the bald mugger turned to face me, the others were too excited to do things with the old man. What things? I can’t even fathom. My rope-hook was hidden inside my coat, the hook already in my grasp. “I was wondering if you could point me to Aldur Fallenghein’s place of residence,” I smiled. A loud thud came from the other side of the door. Expected reaction.

“Get the fuck off here ol’ man.” Did that punk really just call me old man? Did that little son of a whore really refer to me, as old?

I know he said something else after that, his lips were moving. I was just too busy pointing from hip at his knees, to pull in an angle he would fall on one or two of his brats. Found it~.

I shot. The hook wrapped around his knee and dig into his flesh with a satisfying chorp. I could smell the red liquid identified as blood pouring from his leg, and to the sound of his cries, I smiled. I pulled and he cried more. The little twats with him seemed to be a bit too drugged to even react in time. I pulled and he was over them. Aang the bald mugger took out a gun and I pulled again, closing black-jacket Malone to me, and tugging his suffering body to Aang’s legs. The boy tripped on his boss.

 Beautiful.

 Isn’t it funny how they try to be so hard arses and yet can’t even think properly? Maybe that’s the quality that defines a hard arse!

I ran towards Aang kicked the gun off his hand, before kicking his liver. He went with a little wheeze. The other two were still pounding at the door. What did these kids inhale? I grabbed them both by the ear and pulled so hard, one was ripped off. Oops. My bad. Didn’t bother to take the hook off Malone.

“Aldur,” I began. “Can you open the door? So we way speak as civilized men.”

I smiled.


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Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:45 am
Querencia wrote a review...



Hello Zachymas!

This was certainly an interesting idea. The "high way" and "low way" contrast was kind of strange, I wish we could've learned more about it. How did things end up this way? What does the narrator do what he does? What about this mysterious contractor? Since it's a short story, I'm sure some things must be left forever as mysteries, but maybe if we saw the narrator as having more of a purpose or drive, it could be better- what motivates him?

Quite a few of your individual lines were a bit muddy, so I think you could go back in and clean things up a bit. For example, "The frame was white, yet weared to the point the metal’s black color took place."- weared should be worn, and maybe they'd should be, "took the place of the light paint" or something. Hm, on the note of weared to worn, you do slip into present tense a few times throughout, so watch out for that!

Another thing- this mysterious witness. "I was there to ‘clean windows.’ In common terms, to take care of a witness. But honestly, I don’t think the windows need cleaning." What did the witness witness? And why does the narrator think that this man doesn't need to be killed? You refer to the witness as the subject or the objective- you should probably stick to witness because that's what you identified him as in the first place. Also, target might work better than duke the or objective of you wanted to try that. Even though the witness if the subject of the narrator's pursuit, we never even see him. Perhaps you should make him more prominent.

Last, as interesting as the short story was, I didn't really see a point. I don't mean to be rude, but I feel as if short stories should go somewhere specific, have a goal in mind. The narrator at first seemed contemplative and thought "the Windows didn't need washing"- he didn't need to be taking care of witnesses. But he also enjoyed it near the end? That was a little strange. And, like I mentioned earlier, we never meet the subject. Maybe if there was a more definitive ending, like a confrontation, it would make a bit more sense.

I hope I wasn't too harsh!! I also hope you write another part, it might make the story as a whole more complete. :) Good luck in your writing endeavors!

-Q




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Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:32 am
Kaylaa wrote a review...



Hi there Zackymas. This is Kays here dropping in for a review on this late Tuesday afternoon because I want to squeeze in a second review today. With that being said, let's delve right into this short story.

I have to say that the first half of the short story or at least the first couple paragraphs are a little weak. There's not any form of hook at the beginning that pulls the reader in or makes the reader want to continue the story. While the description here is definitely strong, I don't know if this is the right place to put all of that? Don't get me wrong, I love description and imagery but the rule "Show, Don't Tell" applies here in that instead of the narrator in the first person perspective telling us what's going on, show us what's going on.

Instead of starting the scene three or four paragraphs in, how about starting with the main character putting their earbuds in? The rest isn't absolutely necessary and goes on a ramble for quite the long time which is off-putting to the reader because well, we don't really want to read thoughts at the beginning of a short story. That can be used to describe the scenery and to develop more important aspects or elements here.

I'm almost wondering who the narrator is in this case? I can't get a gauge on their age or their person by the voice which is a little unfortunate but I found later in the story that this is in the eyes of an old man. The dialogue is what I found to be the highlight of the piece and I'm not lying when I say that I truly did enjoy that which makes me quite sad that there wasn't as much of that here. Focus on your strengths because I do think this could make for an even stronger and more interesting short story with revisions.

If you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask! I hope I helped and have a great day.

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Isn't it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back, everything's different?
— C.S. Lewis