Pandemonium (working title)

Pandemonium (working title)

Status: In Progress

Genre: Fantasy

Houses:

Details

Status: In Progress

Genre: Fantasy

Houses:

Summary

**This is something I've been working on. No idea if it is actually good or if anyone will like it, feed back would be greatly appreciated :) **

Karine Matthews always knew she was different, but she didn't know why. She'd accepted her uniqueness though, had learned to deal with it. But then she sees something that she shouldn't have, and her whole world changes.
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Summary

**This is something I've been working on. No idea if it is actually good or if anyone will like it, feed back would be greatly appreciated :) **

Karine Matthews always knew she was different, but she didn't know why. She'd accepted her uniqueness though, had learned to deal with it. But then she sees something that she shouldn't have, and her whole world changes.

Content

Submitted: April 17, 2017

A A A | A A A

Content

Submitted: April 17, 2017

A A A

A A A


The city stretched beneath her like a blanket of crystals. Buildings crawled high into the night sky, their glass surfaces twinkling in the moonlight. Neon signs of all different sizes and colors glowed brightly, insects ramming themselves against the curving glass tubes over and over again. Cars rushed past on the streets, headlights leaving golden paint streaks on the pavement.

At a glance, so much brightness. It was under that brightness that darkness lay waiting.  

A hooker lazily leaned against a brick wall, the light of a flickering streetlamp sending her cheap sequined cocktail dress aglow. Two men with faces cast in shadow passed beneath the halo of a flashy fluorescent sign, hands pressing against each other in a casual handshake; one passing the drugs, and the other the cash. A semi-truck roared down the busy street, its high-beams for a split second illuminating the frail man rummaging through a pile of garbage leaning against an overflowing dumpster.

Karine Matthews kicked her feet out, baby blue chucks swaying in thin air. She was lounging atop a nondescript building, maybe ten stories above street level. It wasn’t a terrible height, but it was a drop that would have most seventeen year olds-most people uneasy.

Her back pocket began to vibrate angrily, prying her from her thoughts. With an eye roll, Karine rose, toes peeking over the edge of the building. Only one person would be calling her at this hour, and as her phone now buzzed in her palm, his name danced across the bright screen in bold letters.

Adam blink Adam blink Adam.

She was tempted to “accidentally” drop the cursed thing off the building, wondered how many pieces it would explode into. Instead, she merely thumbed it off and shoved it back into her pocket.  

A feline stretch overtook her limbs, and Karine revelled in the way her muscles awoke as she raised her arms up and over her head. She rolled her neck next, easing the stiffness away. With a sigh of contentment, she stepped off the building into nothing but empty space.

Ever since she could remember, there’d been something a little different about her. Something that made people look twice at her before quickly averting their gaze. And there had always been that thrum coursing through her veins, a current that wanted escape.

Plummeting through the air, that current became a roar. Wind swirled around her, tugging at her hoodie and her auburn hair. Energy raced through her, making her fingertips tingle. A split second’s worth of doubt was overshadowed by the utter euphoria that swamped through her as she watched the ground grow closer and closer.

Seconds later, her sneakered feet touched down on rough asphalt. Karine immediately ducked into a roll, just like she’d practiced. Popping up a moment later, she bounced a little on the balls of her feet and shook the tension from her hands. In her veins, the thrum was quiet-a distant pulse. Not quite as consuming as it’d been on the way down.

She resisted the urge to squeal in delight and composed herself by adjusting her windblown clothes. Glancing down the length of the alley she’d landed in, Karine flicked her hood over her head.

It was time to hunt.

 

*page break thingy*

 

Karine watched the man press the woman up against the dented Subaru. Watched him glance around, the tip of his tongue darting between his dry lips, before he ripped her purse from her small hands. He tore it open, most likely ruining the zipper, and pocketed the wallet he found within. He threw the bag at her feet and stomped a foot down onto the soft leather, leaving a dusty footprint.

And then he walked away as if nothing had happened.

Karine peeled herself from her hiding place, which was just the recessed doorway to a pizza joint, and fell into step behind the man. She kept her gait light, unassuming. Her hood was up, but she made sure her face wasn’t too hidden-didn’t want to seem to suspicious.

Tendrils of long hair floated around her face, mixing with the fog of her breath. The winter chill was out in full force and was trying its hardest to bite at any exposed skin, but there was a warmth within her that not even the January wind could penetrate.

Up ahead, the man glanced back all nonchalant-like. As if he weren’t sizing her up and planning what he was going to do when he got his filthy hands on her. The harsh glint in his eye told her well enough that he was just the sort.

She couldn’t help but grin as the man darted suddenly to his left, disappearing into an alley.

Moron.

Karine stalked closer to the alley’s entrance, counting down the seconds.

The grin on her lips stretched further.

Two. She rounded the first corner. \

One. The man rushed at her, his body peeling off of the grimy brick wall which he had pressed himself against “oh-so-cleverly.” His fist lashed out, knuckles hungrily searching for flesh, but his movements were slow and she was, well, she was Karine.

Easily ducking beneath his arm, she sent a blue converse up into his ribs before dancing back. He whirled, fists flying disjointedly, face near purple with rage as she avoided each of his attacks.

Her words ghosted past her lips on a cloud of steam, “Nice try.” The wallet thief swore colorfully and behind her hood Karine sketched a brow. “That wasn’t very polite,” her feet moved silently, a cat hungrily circling a mouse. “But then again, from the sparkly purple wallet in your pocket, I really don’t think you’re the kind of guy who bothers with common courtesy.”

“Fucking bitch,” his words were fuzzy, as if he’d had one too many beers-or twelve. “Why don’tcha just crawl back to whatever hole you came from, huh?”

Karine let out a breathy laugh, tapped a finger against her bottom lip in thought, “Hmm, I don’t think so. Here’s a thought, you seem like one for deals, yeah? How about you give me the wallet and we call it a night.”

He barked out a laugh, the sound snapping in the crisp night air. “You know,” he said. “Under different circumstances, I would take you up on that offer. But, you see, I just-”

Really wanted a sparkly purple wallet, I know. But you see, we can’t all have what we want, now can we?” She let her words sink in for a few seconds, then made her move. Karine sent her fist into the man’s throat, sending him reeling backwards. While he was busy clutching at his trachea, she lashed out at his face. With a crunch, blood spurted from his nose in a geyser of red plasma. Now beyond the point of “going easy” on him, she kicked him in the gut, and then-because she liked him-she sent her foot careening into his prized jewels. He collapsed with a high pitched whine, clutching himself, his face all twisted up like he’d just sucked on a lemon.

Karine extended a slender hand, fingers outstretched and waiting. The man dug into his pocket with a string of muttered curses before coughing up the wallet. She flashed him a toothy smile before strolling away, leaving him on the pavement crumpled and bloody.

Before she could round the corner, though, she slipped a few bills out of her own pocket and let them flutter to the ground.

 

When the young woman trudged out of the tiny convenience store, crying into her cell phone, the first thing she noticed was that someone had picked up her handbag and placed it on the roof of her sedan. She mumbled a hasty tear filled goodbye into the phone and closed the distance to her car. Not only had someone moved her purse off the sidewalk, but they had also brushed the grimy footprint that the deranged man had left on its surface. She unzipped the bag, somewhat expecting it to be completely empty-that would be just her luck; losing her wallet and everything else in her handbag in less than an hour. Her brows knitted together with confusion.

Her wallet-her wallet was in her bag; the wallet that had just been stolen from her. The woman eagerly plunged her hands into her purse, ripped the wallet from its depths, and hastily unclasped it.

Everything was there; her money, her debit and credit cards, her license, old receipts that she still needed to sort through...nothing had been taken.

The young woman cast her gaze upward, scanning the darkened street around her. The few people that were walking the sidewalks all trudged along with downcast eyes. No one graced her with a single glance.

If she’d raised her head higher, to the rusty fire escape crawling up the apartment building across the street, her eyes might have caught on the pocket of darkness there. The faint hint of movement; a streak of...something.

Or maybe the flash of baby blue chucks.

 

*page break thingy*


 

Karine glanced at the bright screen of her cell, and winced. Not only was it extremely late (or early, whatever) but there were eleven missed calls from her brother, Adam.

Eleven. The number stared at her from beside his contact name, mocking her. She knew she needed to get a move on, but she couldn’t will herself to budge. Head leaning back against a heating unit and legs sprawled  in front of her, Karine stretched out on the roof of her and Adam’s apartment building. She was staring up at the velvet night sky when she should have been in bed, staring up at her ceiling.

She was stalling, had been for a while. After her run in with the wallet thief, there’d been a stale old hobo who had been getting a little too friendly with a drunk call girl. After him, she’d had a standoff with a rather brusque female pickpocket. All in all, it had been a slow night; not as much action as she would have liked. Because that was it, she needed action, needed to give a sorry SOB a knuckle sandwich. Sometimes, she swore she could feel her fingers itch for it.

Wasn’t that the question of the century.Maybe she was destined to become a pro wrestler. Karine smirked at the thought of herself on television, twenty inch biceps upraised and wearing a flashy unitard.

With a groan, Karine rolled to her feet, cutting off thoughts of roid rage and TV fame. On a stream of silent curses, she stomped over to the edge of the roof. Their apartment was on one of the highest floors of the complex, so it was always a fairly easy climb-a mere twenty or so feet up a few balconies and window ledges-and even easier drop to get back down.

Her feet thumped lightly on their metal balcony, the force of her landing caused the few potted plants they had to rattle. After she was sure they weren’t going to topple, she turned and came face to face with her reflection in the sliding glass door. Average height, reddish brown hair, and eyes the color of golden autumn leaves.

A gust of wind kicked up, snapping Karine to attention as gooseflesh crept along her skin. She closed the door quietly behind her, made sure it didn’t squeak like it loved to do. The apartment was dark and tomb-silent, but she knew he wasn’t asleep. Not after eleven missed calls. She shucked her sneakers off, kicked them in the general vicinity of the shoe rack, and when she raised her gaze upwards, Adam Matthews strolling right for her.

She didn’t move, even when he stood inches away from her. His amber eyes, the same amber eyes as hers, shone with an angry glint. No, not angry. Furious.

“Where the hell have you been?” His voice was eerily calm in that way it only ever was when he was mad.

Karine let the silence drag out before muttering, “Out.”

His hand shot out, and before she could react, his fingers were gripping her jaw and cheeks forcefully. He wrenched her face to the side, peering into her eyes. God, he thought she was-

Adam!” She pushed him away, hard. “What the fuck, I’m not drunk!” Karine rubbed her face, wondering how she was supposed to cover up the bruises, and he’d definitely squeezed hard enough to bruise. “Or high, you ass,” she added spitefully.

Adam shoved his fingers through his mop of hair, brows drawn in frustration. “This is the fifth time this month, Karine,” he laughed under his breath. “Though it’s probably been more, knowing you.”

It was the twelfth time this month. She didn’t say anything.

“This isn’t a game,” Adam’s words were tight. Karine braced herself for what usually came next. “I work so fucking hard, Karine,” he inched closer to her, breath coming in ragged spurts. “This is how you thank me? Sneaking out in the middle of the night doing God knows what? What would mom and dad say, huh? Think they’d just-”

Anger bubbled in the pit of her stomach at the mention of their parents. “Shut up, Adam!” The thrum in her veins pulsed, and behind her the glass door rattled on its track. The wind must have been picking up. “Just shut up!”

He grabbed her shoulders, his fingers dug into her flesh like talons. “This isn’t a game!” He repeated the words, acid dripping off each syllable. “You’re seventeen, when are you going to starting acting like it?” He shook her roughly, “I can’t keep doing this, don’t you see that? Don’t you see how-”

Karine struggled to get out of his grip, but he wouldn’t let go. “Stop,” the word was a command out of his mouth, but she didn’t listen. He needed to get his hands off of her.

The first slap came fast and out of nowhere. Fire spread across her left cheekbone. Stars danced across her vision.

“Adam-” her words died as another hit connected where the first had, but harder. So much harder. The back of her head slammed against the glass door.

Karine blinked, willing the tears in her eyes not fall. In front of her, her brother was breathing heavily, one hand still gripped her shoulder painfully.

Karine met his gaze.

“That was the sixteenth time this month,” she said flatly.

 


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