The eerie sound coming from a
chandelier up in ceiling completely stopped, the voice of a
TV news anchor was abruptly mute, silence filled the
atmosphere inside the bar, and the man holding a red satchel
stuffed with hundreds of dollar bills couldn't feel his heart
beating, as if the warmth as part of his goodness was forever
replaced by a cold-blood side of himself; Colin, is his name,
realized his world has suddenly turned upside down when his
gaze rested upon a dead body covered with blood. It didn't
take Colin a second to realize it was his younger brother,
Kay, who was lying there, on the ground, dead.
Colin moved not an inch the entire
time as he let silence take over; he stood beside his
brother, whom he promised to look after no matter what the
circumstances. Unfortunately for the brothers, they were
dragged into a world of anarchy and violence where one family
feud with another long before they were born. Both brothers
knew they had to look for each other's back, but they had no
idea what fate awaits them.
Beyond the body were several men
lying on the ground, some shot in the head, others stabbed in
the visceral part of their bodies by large knives of some
sort. The bar was covered with blood; the bartender was shot
in the head, the glasses were shattered, the alcohol drinks
and beer canes were spilled all over the place. A serious
bloodbath must've occurred, thought Colin. There were 17 dead
men inside the room, according to Colin, five of which were
part of his gang, the rest being part of the other family.
The Archer family was at a war against the Rivera family for
decades, and the reason that created such hatred between the
two parties didn't interest Colin, even if he's a Rivera; the
only thing he has hoped to accomplish is bringing peace upon
both groups. But that was too late now, because now that the
war has cost the life his younger brother, a new hatred
that's even more powerful than what each family has against
the other surged violently, as if he wanted to annihilate the
"I'm sorry for your loss, Colin,"
said a man, Colin's chaperone, who was holding a duffel bag
full of artilleries on one shoulder and a pistol in one hand.
"We should report back to the warehouse."
"I'll kill these sons of bitches,"
said the angry Colin.
"Ease up, Colin. There was no way
we would've known this bar's run by the Archers."
"I don't give a shit!" Colin
kneeled down and prayed for his brother's death; he knew he
couldn't give him a proper funeral as the LAPD are looking
after the two families for years.
"Your brother was a brave man.
Save your anger for later, because right now my ears seem to
pick out the sound of a police vehicle approaching."
Colin stood up and followed his
chaperone to the back door of the bar that led them to a dark
alley. The men sprinted their way for a spot where they could
meet up with Jerry, the Intel provider. Jerry supplies the
Riveras the jobs and locations. The jobs are mostly money
transfer and killing, but this time, it was Friday the 13th
of July, the fourth war between the Archers and
As far as the casualties go, the
Riveras planned to annihilate most of the Archers, as it
would enable them to get ahead and gain more power. Colin and
his chaperone broke into a minivan parked outside a Target
store. No one seemed to pay attention as Colin used his
expertise in starting the engine without a key while Ewan,
his chaperone, was speaking to Jerry on the phone about the
It was five minutes before the
minivan came into a halt. Moments later Jerry got on and told
us the location of our next assignment.
"Drive to Maven Street, then 2
blocks to the right. We only got less than 10 minutes before
the festival is over."
"Festival?" said Ewan. "You got to
be kidding me. We're at war and the Archers are planning to
have a festival? I guess it's more killing for us."
Jerry laughed and reassured him,
"We were lucky to have a mole in the Archer family. This guy
gives us too much that it's hard to picture he's an
"Yeah, you got that right."
Colin said nothing the whole time,
wondering why Jerry never talked much about the head of the
Rivera family. The boss is Colin and Kay's uncle, who
immediately stepped in after their father passed away due to
It was no surprise to him after
having learned that his grandfather was the first to ever run
the family and has gone through hardships for the sake of the
Riveras. Unlike their father and uncle, Father Rivera, was
his name, became an inspiration to his people due to his
benevolence and knowledge about the world and how to survive
in any given situation. During the war against the Archers he
would constantly offer them a truce to settle their
differences once and for all, but the other party desired no
Colin's father told him about the
story of why and how all of this started. As much as he can
remember, in 1958 a young Nelson Rivera, was his real name,
was homeless and lived in a shelter while looking after his
brothers, Brody and Gabe Rivera, and sister, Genevieve
Rivera, as well as three cousins. The gang sought any kind of
work elsewhere in Los Angeles, but no luck came upon them.
Although Nelson was successfully granted a job as a gardener
for a rich family, the Archers, his siblings and cousins were
able to afford healthy sustenance.The Archers were pleased
with Nelson's work and eventually offered him a room for him
and his family to stay.
The gang had been living with the
Archers for almost two years without any tension growing
among the rich family, as long as the Riveras comply to their
household rules, such as no close contact to a member or
stealing any property that doesn't belong to them, let alone
a piece of bread. To Nelson such rules were too
discriminative, but he ignored them and did as he was told.
The entire gang eventually began working for the Archers,
though with separate tasks.
As time passed the Archers' oldest
sibling, Mia Archer, grew so fond of Nelson. She would always
wake up before noon and wait for Nelson at the garden before
he would begin working. Both had affection for one another.
Nobody knew about the relationship between Mia and Nelson,
but the Archer family knew Mia often goes to see the garden
and had allowed it.
Nelson learned much about her as
she did about him overtime, though he became surprised when
she told him she was the daughter of a monarch. But such
revelation did not stop them from getting together. They
would sleep and eat together covertly. Nelson told his
relationship with her to his family. At first they were not
pleased, but advised him not to cross boundaries left by the
Everything turned for the worst
when the Archer's own butler handed Nelson pesticide to ward
off insects from the garden. Nelson couldn't read nor write.
"This should help" was the only thing the butler said to him.
The liquid product handed to him was clear and colorless;
there was no repulsive smell whatsoever. Nelson figured it
was to help grow the plants. So on an early morning, few
minutes before Mia would come to the garden, he quickly
finished placing the seeds and went to where he placed the
pesticide-containing jar. His siblings and cousins also
couldn't read, but all became clear when he realized the
language scripture on the jar was different from his native
language. The only language he could speak is Spanish.
Not knowing how to spread the
liquid product, he searched for a cup to sprinkle the
material, but was unable to find any. To his right was a
coffee table with two wooden chairs. On it laid a silver
tray, two coffee cups, and a teapot. Mia had purposely left
it their for both of them. He decided to use the coffee cup
and was sure to clean it after he was done. After sprinkling
a cupful of pesticide he remembered he'd forgotten to put on
a pair of plastic gloves, so he set the contaminated cup on
the coffee table beside the silver tray, dried his hand with
a dirty cloth, and headed back to the closet in the basement
where the family keep their household appliances and cleaning
It took Nelson ten minutes or so
to find his way back to the garden. Once there, a shock hit
his spine when he noticed Mia elegantly sipping and gulping
hot coffee from one of the cups on the coffee table. He gazed
at the table and, more surprised, the other cup was also
filled with coffee. After first he wasn't sure which cup she
must've used. Mia wore a happy smile to see him, only then
did she suspect something was wrong judging from Nelson's
"Is something wrong, my love?" she
said in Spanish. She claimed to speak more than four
languages besides English as her native. Nelson was intrigued
and asked how was it possible. I taught myself since I was
five, she once told him. So I committed myself to a new
language after feeling confident to finally speak it well if
Nelson approached Mia, who held
the cup with both hands close to her chest.
"Do you know which cup you used
before pouring the coffee?" said the desperate Nelson. He
never heard of pesticide before, nor was he aware of the
symptoms that follow upon accidentally ingesting it
"I wasn't paying attention to
which I used first. There are both clean."
"Yeah-I mean no. I used one of
them to spread something over the plants."
"I'm sure both coffee cups were
completely dried, and you probably used water, am I
Nelson didn't know what to say.
"How are you feeling now?"
"Great! Why? Was there something
else in the cup?"
"No, it's nothing. Just fresh
Nothing unusual happened
throughout the afternoon while Nelson was planting seeds
underground and covered them with wet soil. He would
constantly watched Mia as she sat in a chair watching
Before three in the afternoon the
couple parted ways. Nelson returned to his room to join his
gang. All the youngsters were in total lethargy, unable to do
any handwork for the Archers.
An hour later came a violent knock
on their door. After the first two knocks someone kicked the
door open. Two large, muscular men came in and grabbed Nelson
by the arms, though not in a gentle way. They dragged him all
the way to a room of what appeared to be Mia's own room. Once
there, Nelson spotted Mia's Father, the head of the family,
sitting next to Mia, who was neither unresponsive nor moving.
The father's presence wasn't the only one felt in the room;
the mother and twin brothers.
The father turned to
"My daughter is dead! What have
you done to her?" he said with rage but sadness in his eyes
Although Nelson knew little of
English, the Father's words were too vague and different from
how Mia or any other member of the family speaks. He knew one
thing for sure: Mia is dead. Nelson's siblings and cousins
joined him any moment now, only to have a sudden change of
expression on their faces once they witnessed the
"You stupid brat! You killed my
daughter. I'm going to kill you!" the father kept on with the
same words, while Nelson continuously shaking his head as he
said he didn't do anything to her.
The father abruptly threw a punch
on Nelson, who collapsed on the floor. Genevieve interrupted
and told the monarch it was her fault. Her English was better
than Nelson-more importantly, she was always better than him
at almost anything. She always takes the blame for his sake,
even if it means punishing her. Sadly, she was the youngest
of her siblings, but her brothers respected her as if she was
The father ignored Genevieve and
commanded his men to lock the entire gang in the room in
which they stay until Nelson was going to be persecuted. All
of their belongings were taken from them. Neither of them
said a word, but not for long before someone spoke.
"We got to get out of here," said
"I'm sorry," apologized Nelson,
"it's all my fault."
Genevieve sat beside him and said,
"You don't have to apologize. I know you're not crazy enough
to kill someone you love."
"It was an accident," said Nelson,
who began to weep, as he couldn't bear the loss of
Their imprisonment didn't last
long when Genevieve got a hold of the room key; the Archers
forgot that they've given her a key to the room.
The gang sneaked their way out of
the mansion-like house as the day suddenly switched to
twilight. Genevieve called out the gang and whispered.
"What about our stuff?"
"Forget about it," said
"At least let me get Nelson's
backpack. I know where it is."
Nelson didn't say a word, so Gabe
decided to go with her and promised to return in two
It was already five minutes when
two alarming sounds coming from the sound of a gunshot
aroused Nelson and the rest. Nelson asked Brody and his
cousins to stay put, as he go to check out what
Once he made his way back to their
room, which was no longer as of now, he noticed Genevieve's
footprints and followed until he reached the dining room,
where the voice of Mia's father echoed in the
Nelson hid himself behind a wall
and surveyed the dining room. The two bodyguards were holding
revolvers, while the monarch held a cigar between his lips.
Shockingly, his eyes caught his brother and sister's bodies
laying on the ground, blood oozing from where they got
Nelson felt traumatized. He
hurried back to his family as he remembered the words from
the monarch: "Kill all these dirty Riveras." It was a turning
point that created hatred between the Archers and Riveras.
Such event unexpectedly led Nelson Rivera to swear an oath of
avenging the death of his dearest brother and sister, as well
as take the responsibility of Mia's death.
"We're here, fellas," said Jerry.
"The people inside that building are, despite being an
Archer, the bridges that support the Archer family. Make sure
you kill every single one of them."
Ewan handed Colin an automatic
"I'll be waiting for you. And
please make this quick." Jerry reminded them.
Before Colin got out of the
driver's seat, Jerry spoke.
"Colin, where's Kay? I thought he
supposed to meet up with you."
"He's dead!" Colin said with
Ewan and Colin crossed the street
and remained unseen by the night's shadow. They surveyed the
small restaurant through a large window; there were not only
adults but children also. The family was sitting at a large
table munching their food while laughing. Colin's eyes met
"I have children of my own," Ewan
said, "but I don't know what that would make me if I kill the
children before my eyes."
"Nothing will change, whether you
kill them or not," said Colin. "These children are already
cursed. There's nothing to be done for them. They will only
carry on the hatred and legacy left by those
Ewan said not a word. The men made
their way to the entrance door and, as they put on masks and
loaded their weapon, Jerry began counting to three. Colin
closed his eyes, took a deep breath as the image of his
brother appeared, and looked at the sky.
When the time came, he kicked the
door open, looked at the Archers with fierce eyes, and began