Writing: Short Story?
Word Count: 2866
Warning: Implication of mature themes, Minor profanity at end.
“Gil, Gil, I’m here, it’s ok,” He held the shaking girl in one arm, keeping the other one—the one with his rifle—away from Gil. “It’s ok. Everything’s going to be fine.”
Revolting. “Liam, you’ve got 10 minutes.” Liam’s pilot glanced again at the countdown on his watch. “Hurry up.”
Liam grimaced and let the girl go for a moment and leapt onto a crate so he was level with his pilot. “Wen, take Gil to safety, will you?”
“Please? For me?”
Wen sighed. “It’s against the rules to associate with civilians.”
“Nine minutes 45 seconds.”
The pilot sighed and glanced at the girl, who was shivering, half from the cold air, half from quiet sobs. “Fine. Get back quickly though.”
“Thanks,” Liam said, hopping off the crate and kissing Gil quickly on the cheek. “Go with Wen. I’ll be right back.” Without further ado, he slid down the visor on his head and disappeared outside the warehouse.
“Liam!” the girl called, reaching out a moment late. There was no response. Gil shook, and another sob escaped her.
“Well,” Wen said with a sour taste on his tongue, “Get in.”
Without words, Gil pulled her jacket tight around her body and picked her way to the small passenger’s area behind Wen. “Thank you,” she added quietly as he shut the glass screen.
Wen didn’t respond. He flicked a few switches and the aircraft started to hum. Within a few seconds they were cruising out of the warehouse and flying over the nearby port. “Eight minutes,” he muttered to Liam over a communication gadget.
Gil was silent in the back, her eyes glued on the countdown.
Love. Isn’t that word sickening? Why would anyone willingly give their entire self to another?
I figured out why Gil was so attached to Liam. In his first mission to this place some years ago, Liam had some spare time after his mission. His pilot had been—put in the nicest way possible—occupied with certain members of the same species but opposite gender in a place where alcoholic beverages were commonly served. Liam had been rather new at the whole thing then, and still took his job seriously, following every petty rule, like that one concerning members of the same species but opposite gender in places where alcoholic beverages were commonly served. But there had been this one girl, who was just so very beautiful, that caught his eye.
I had the pleasure, of course, of listening to him describe her gorgeous curves, pleasant face, and bright eyes. He detailed the way her lustrous hair sashayed along her back, brushing the straps of her very revealing and torn dress in the most tempting way. And of course, he remembered vividly the way she lost her footing and nearly fell on him as he was walking out of the tavern: the thrill when her soft, delicate hand touched his, and the way her body crumpled against his, filling his nose with the scent of the kitchen.
Gil wasn’t actually a prostitute. Her mother was though, and her uncle was the tavern’s keeper. She was a natural beauty, and didn’t need artificial maintenance to maintain a more-than-pretty appearance. Her uncle didn’t clad her in much clothing as she worked as a waitress, partly because he didn’t care, and partly because he wanted customers to be seduced and keep coming.
Liam didn’t pay very high; according to his tale, she had taken one look at his “irresistible” muscles and pushed him out of the door and led him into a dark alley. He said he’d been confused when she removed her apron and started unbuttoning her dress. “When I realized what she wanted, I tried to stop her, but”—here he would cuss, depicting her nude body with profane adjectives—“and I caved into her charm. She talked me into love, and I kept volunteering for missions to come back and see her.”
Wen landed the aircraft in an open field, by a small hut where Gil said her friend Violet lived. The girl wanted to visit her friend, but the pilot refused, shielding the craft so it blended in with the forest behind them.
“Six thirty,” he said to the assassin in town.
“I’m working on it, sheesh,” came an exasperated reply. ”How’s Gil?”
“She’ll be better off if you came back alive, I reckon,” Wen replied sarcastically, glancing back at Gil. She was shivering again, and silent tears were pouring down her cheeks. Blinking to clear the tears, she continued a transfixed stare on the countdown.
Profanity sputtered through the connection, followed by a sweet, “Hang in there,” before the connection ended completely. Silence engulfed the small jet, the only sound an occasional sniffle from the back.
“Aw shut it,” Wen finally said, whirling around at her. “There are always other boys. You probably had the time of your life while he was gone, seducing other people with those pretty eyes of yours.”
Gil sniffed again, and wiped the tears away with her sleeve. “S-seducing?”
“He said you dragged him into an alley near your uncle’s tavern and seduced him.”
“Me?” Incredulity and outraged brimmed her eyes—all tears had been drowned. Wen mentally rolled his eyes. At least his precious plane wouldn’t be inundated by salt water now. “He ruined my life!”
“Your fault for caving into hormones,” he retorted, turning back to the front. He watched Violet’s hut for action, bored. A little girl skipped out, only to be called back in by a motherly voice. Next a boy a bit older than his teenage years came out, fetched water from the well, and then returned inside.
Wen glanced back at his passenger apathetically.
“That guy that just walked out of the house. I loved him, and he me. My uncle said that if he couldn’t make me a good prostitute in a few years, he’d let me marry that guy.” She stopped briefly, but seemed desperate to get her story out.
“Then Liam came. He followed his pilot in, and the latter gave his orders quickly, already familiar with the place, and provided a large wad of money. Liam stood by their door, saying he wasn’t interested.
“I was sent out to serve a few drinks, but I quickly retreated to the back when I saw his eyes tailing me. As I passed him, he grabbed my skirt and pulled me up to him, scrutinizing my face. As soon as he let go, I ran off. I was afraid. It was only about a day until the proposed deadline, and I didn’t want to have it ruined then. I heard their discussion though, as Liam offered my uncle large sums for something I didn’t care to know about.
“Finally, my uncle fetched me from the back. From the way he was pocketing the cash, it seemed my life had already ended. My mom cheered, looking up from washing plates. ‘You will see, Gillian. Someone as pretty as you was destined for this line of work. You will make good money for us. Trust me. You will like. Some customers are very creative.’ My uncle led me to his best room, one with a nice bed and couch, and a few bottles of drink. ‘Do well,’ he warned me, ‘and I might let you go after all.’ Without doubt he was thinking of a hefty tip.”
Wen was glaring at her by now, half disbelieving, half horrified. He noticed the little pigtailed girl—closer up she was closer to his twelve than a little seven year old—coming towards them, but didn’t worry. The ship was cloaked after all. He didn’t say anything to Gil, thinking over the new information.
“Finished,” Liam’s voice cackled though the microphone and the glowing 1:14 faded. “Told you it was easy. I’m stopping by the inn to give Gil's uncle his payment. See you soon!”
Liam stood in the corner of the room, flipping though the drinks in the room. His jacket, vest, and belt were lying on the couch, discarded. He’d stolen a hefty sum earlier, and was happy with how he was going to spend it. The girl came into the room, changed into a short red skirt.
“She’s all yours,” the tavern-keeper told him, and locked the doors.
She knelt by his feet suddenly, wildly, and was begging with him the moment the door closed. “Please, please, please sir. I’m engaged to be married, my uncle is just looking for the money. Please spare me.”
“What’s your name?” Liam said, selecting a bottle and uncorking it. He took a swing and sat her on the bed.
“Gillian Summers. I’m a waitress, not a prostitute. I don’t belong in this,” she pleaded, indicating both room and dress.
“Virgin?” he asked, ignoring her and taking another swig.
She was terrified and didn’t answer. “Please don’t,” she whispered.
Liam took another long drink and looked at her evilly. “It’s ok. I am too. My pilot tells me it’s fun though.”
“You’d be ruining my life, sir. I have a future—a loving husband and a proper family. I-I can read and write. I can cook and sew. Please?”
He drained the bottle and set it aside. “Your husband will never know, he said, pining her down by her shoulders. She didn’t scream, though her face was contorted with fear.
“Your conscience though,” she stammered, desperate. “Would you rape an innocent girl?”
“Hell ya if she looked like you.”
He kissed her hard, biting her lower lip lightly to keep her from turning away. “Stop squirming he hissed, his hands roaming down her body, groping and touching as he wished. She struggled and fought to get away, but was no match for a person like Liam.
"Why do you continue to pretend you love him though?" Wen was asking, still scrutinizing the girl coming towards his jet.
"Because...I have to pretend. Liam keeps my uncle loaded with money. If I didn't have him, Uncle would sell me as a prostitute for certain. He threatened it before. But then Liam came again and offered to pay to keep me away from other people."
"I still don't understand."
"Uncle is old now. He will have to retire to less work soon. He has no heirs and no family still living aside from my mother and me. My mother is sickly and cannot run a bar. I can see his plan--he could give me the bar and continue to live wealthily off my work and Liam's donations. I care not to run the place, but if it is my only way free of my mother's rules and his threats, then it is a chance I am willing to take."
"It wont help you get back together with your friend there," Wen pointed out, gesturing gruffly at the teenage boy now chasing after his sister. "Your uncle might even make you marry Liam."
"I care not. Marriage is a superficial matter if no one cares too much for it. He will continue his missions, and I will continue my life."
"Still not helping your love life."
"I...will figure out a way to reconnect," Gil said, suddenly quiet.
The silence was interrupted when Liam's voice came crackling though. "Finished. I've got your location. I'm coming."
His pilot shrugged and stared out the window again. The little girl--Violet-- was suddenly a lot closer to his jet than Wen would have liked, and her brother was close behind. Wen was tempted to turn his jet's laser cannon on them--one shot and the two of them would be vaporized without a trace--but abruptly stuck a new thought and decided something else.
He stood up and pressed a button to contact Liam. "Negative," he instructed. "Civilians nearby. I can't take off without revealing our location. Stay back until I signal otherwise."
Liam could be heard cursing and demanding why Wen was opposed to just blasting the people into smithereens but when he was met by cold silence, finally relented, "Agreed."
Wen checked to ensure Liam could not hear his speech before taking off his seat belt, opening a hatch and jumping onto the grass. He wasn't concerned about getting hurt, even if these two happened to prove hostile; he had multiple daggers concealed on his body and a handgun in his pocket.
"Where are you going?" his passenger said, also standing.
"Miss Summers, I believe that where I am going is none of your business but also in your best interest to follow me. Now get off."
He wandered through the jet's shield and stood a few yards away from the boy and his sister. Gil was still lingering behind the shield.
"Whoa! Didn't see you there, little sir. If you don't mind my asking, what're you doing all the way out here?"
"What's your name?" Wen asked neutrally, staring at the boy.
"Uh...Utah Kyson. And this is my lil' sis, Violet. You, sir?"
"Wisconsin Tynan, delighted to meet you." Wen said, still monotonously, staring back at Violet, who was peering at him curiously. She had an innocent face and was offering him a flower she'd picked up. "No thank you."
He didn't know how he was do what he wanted to, and Violet gave him a nasty surprise when she asked, "Is that your ship? And why's Gil with you?"
The boy who had called himself Utah was probably also shocked by this news because his eyes flickered over Wen's shoulder suspiciously. Violet sighed and pulled a ribbon out her pocket in a dramatic way. "I can see past your shield," she explained. "Utah can't though."
Wen shook his head to clear the disbelief and concern. "I'm going to be blunt, Mr. Kyson...."
Gil knew Violet could probably see past the ship's shield but still didn't bother telling Wen that her friend was coming. She chatted with him, glad to be able to tell someone about her plight. This boy...he was what, 12? But already he was flying a war machine as if it was the most familiar thing to him in the world. Gil admired him for that, but only slightly. She knew where he came from--the same place as that Liam. They came from a place where kids were taught to kill.
Liam Osborne Wreke. That creature that made her life a wreak. Well, she reasoned with herself, not really. He had complicated matters, yes. But she was more mad at her uncle and her mother than she was at Liam. Still, she would not trust him with her schemes. She cared about his existence only for his money.
But there was something odd about this boy. This ambivalent kid pilot that acted--and probably though--more maturely than she considered herself.
She followed Wen out and stood at the edge of the jet's shield, staring at Utah with loss. She knew he could not see her, and she was glad. How would she explain?
Wen returned to his ship, feeling mighty pleased with himself and even more pleased with how matters had gone. He waved at his new friends on the ground; Gillian and Utah, who had been talking quietly on the way back to Utah's hut stopped and waved and Violet smiled in his direction before skipping after them, flowers bouncing merrily and dress blowing back with the power of wind his ascending aircraft was billowing.
Wen smiled, certain he had done some actual good that day. He closed his fist around a small smooth stone, answered a message sent to his watch, and continued to pick up Liam.
"Where's Gil?" Liam asked, swinging onto the ship as Wen hovered temporarily on the outskirts where Liam had been waiting.
"With a friend," the pilot assured, closing the hatch as Liam strapped himself in. He executed a double roll and backflip to turn them in the direction of their headquarters and grinned evilly to himself.
"What? I wanted to see her before we left, you bastard! Bring me to her! And turn the damn plane around. It's giving me a headache."
Wen spun the aircraft around, twirling until Liam screamed "Stop it!" Wen laughed darkly and returned to the normal position, accelerating as he went. "Better," Liam scowled. "Where're we going? I thought I told you to go back, damnit."
"No can do," came the reply. The boy in front typed in a few short commands with one hand into the hologram keyboard and a screen showed up in front of Liam, with the message Wen had gotten just a few moments before. In a few seemingly innocent words, it gave the assassins their next assignment's destination.
Liam spewed profanity and Wen adjusted Liam's screen so it showed a dorky cartoon. "Looks like something you might like," he said, smirking at Liam's outrage.
Wen guided his ship contentedly and glanced at the stone with a color-changing flower engraved on it in it. He pocketed it and felt a small but genuine smile creep onto his face before yanking the wheel sharply left.
Artist's note: HI! Sorry for the late update, but it's about 5 times as long as an expected DiW post, if that's any compensation ;)
It's kind of a continuation of The Pilot, which I wrote in May... hope you like it! (And hope I kept them in character, somewhat?)
In other news, school has resumed! And also, I will need to be writing college application essays soon as well (and no, I'm not posting them online. XP) Therefore, updates might be sporadic at best, I think :( Perhaps I will have a few drawings though I can post instead? Lewis and I agreed to be non-originalists in our interpretation of the Drawn in Words Challenge >:) (AP Gov't allusion ;) ) November SHOULD theoretically contain many updates due to NaNoWriMo, but I am unsure if I will be able to post, or if I will be able to even write that much >.<
Regardless, my best to you all. Thanks for reading and please comment! :D