Cover: C.T. McMillan
Model: Megan Crawford (ING: @mleighmoon)
Copyright 2018 by C.T. McMillan
All Rights Reserved
In accordance with the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, the scanning, uploading, and electronic sharing of any part of this book without the permission of the publisher constitute unlawful piracy and theft of the author’s intellectual property. Thank you for your support of the author’s rights.
I could not have come this far without my family encouraging me to pursue my ambition to be a writer.
To Razor’ and ’19 for providing inspiration.
The Yak’s eyes were all the way up once his head slid off. The angle of the drop was perfect, coming out enough for Kiddo to give it a stiff kick. Takashi was trained on her center of mass by the time the head hit his pistol loose, mid-trigger pull. The bullet hit the ceiling and sounded the remaining eleven Yaks to charge. Kiddo hunched slightly and launched herself into them.
The second Yak took a shallow cut across the stomach. She wanted to open him up, but Kiddo had to dash right to avoid the third Yak’s swing from a baton. That left his arm vulnerable once she pivoted for a counter. The third reeled back, the stump of his forearm gushing. He didn’t suffer long when Kiddo went for the head. She was greedy and paid for it when the fourth got around to slice her back with a wakizashi.
When she swiped backward with a shriek, the fourth Yak ducked out of the way before his buddies got a few hits in. Kiddo saw a knife coming in low from the fifth and dropped to one knee. Swinging to keep her flanks clear, she grabbed the guy’s knife-hand, and squeezed with a whirl of the spinner. Blood shot out between her fingers as he shouted. Then Kiddo rolled between his legs and grabbed him by the collar.
“Orite!” shouted Takashi and the Yaks dropped to the floor. Behind them he had his gun back in hand.
Kiddo went small, pulling the fifth Yak down before cutting his legs out below the knee. The guy was pretty big in comparison, putting enough meat between her and Takashi’s bullets. He emptied the magazine into the Yak, keeping the grouping tight. Still, he would’ve needed more ammo to reach her.
With her arms, the fifth wasn’t heavy, and rolled the corpse to the side once Takashi clicked empty. Kiddo charged him, the fear of God in his eyes. She didn’t make it when the second Yak, bleeding like a stuck pig, put her in a headlock. The guy was wounded, but she couldn’t get out of it. Kiddo wiggled and thrashed enough to get her left loose. She threw it to the side and her joints bent backwards, bringing a tight fist toward the second Yak. The bone around his ear caved in under the skin like a flesh-colored bag of broken pottery.
When the second fell away, Kiddo snapped her arm back in place, and locked blades with the fourth Yak. Their edges ground into each other, making a noise that’d send a shiver up your spine. She saw the rest of them moving around for her flanks and took her left off the hilt to snap the wakizashi off at the cross guard.
Kiddo held it backwards, making it easy to shove through the fourth Yak’s throat. She pulled it out to the side in a spin to deflect the sixth’s baton, opening the fourth’s throat halfway. The snapped blade still in hand, Kiddo dragged it from the sixth stomach to his chest. He staggered back, failing to keep his guts from falling out. Kiddo left the blade in him to focus on the last six Yaks.
Takashi saw an opening and rushed to the bar. The Goris were hiding behind, sticking their heads up enough to watch the slaughter.
“Lotch, “gimme the scatter gun!” They snapped out of their awe to stare at him like stranger. There wasn’t anger or resentment; just pure uncut indifference. “What about a spare mag? C’mon! Any of you got one? I’m still your boss, you pieces of–“
It was like getting hit with a baseball when that head nearly knocked Takashi over the bar. Kiddo wasn’t far behind, sword at her hip with fresh cuts around her legs and shoulder. None of them sapped her speed with the last three Yaks on her tail.
Takashi jerked himself to the left, but wasn’t quick enough to keep one of his hands. He screamed as Kiddo hit the bar with a thud that took the air out of her lungs. She turned in time to catch the tenth Yak’s knife before it sunk deeper in her chest. With a groan through clenched teeth Kiddo dropped her sword to squeeze the tenth’s hand into crumpled bone. He didn’t yell for long after she crushed the side of his face with the other hand.
The sight was enough to stop the eleventh and twelfth Yaks in their tracks.
“Nanishiteruno?” yelled Takashi. “Kill the bitch!”
They got a hold of themselves the same time Kiddo shoved her latest kill away. The eleventh Yak had a baton before she struck his forearm with an open-hand chop. As he roared, Kiddo caught the baton mid-fall, and buried it in the twelfth’s head when he got close. She finished off the eleventh with a punch to the throat that cracked his spine out the back of his neck.
It felt like hours since Kiddo had a chance to take a breath. Suddenly she felt all the cuts and bruises, the loose strands of hair tickling her ears. The blood on her face and clothes was cold as ice, already hardening into a deeper shade of crimson. What she couldn’t feel was the knife still in her ribs. Wasn’t deep enough to register, but its hard to miss something sticking between your ribs. You could tell she got enough of a break when Kiddo limped toward Takashi.
He knew he was done for; no exit, no friends, nothing to keep him from getting what’s coming. Takashi backed toward the office door, hand clasped over his bleeding stump like he was praying. “I-I didn’t do it!” he cried. “I’m sorry about Enzo, but I didn’t do it! I swear!” He hit the wall by the door and went to his knees. “I’ll get you your money! More money even! I’ll get you anything you want! Please!”
Kiddo grabbed him by the hair and pulled Takashi’s head back. With a grimace she yanked the knife from her chest. “When you get to Hell,” she said putting the edge to his jugular, “give my regards to Cici.”
She savored every stroke as blood poured down his three-piece suit. Takashi’s gurgle grew louder as Kiddo sawed deeper, slowly fading into silence. Before long his body slumped to the side, his heart making a few final pumps out his exposed arteries.
Blade Runner, Directed by Ridley Scott
13 Assassins, Directed by Takashi Miike
Old Boy, Directed by Chan-wook Park
Ghost in the Shell, Directed by Mamoru Oshii
Metropolis, Directed by Rintaro
Yojimbo, Directed by Akira Kurosawa
A Touch of Evil, Directed by Orson Welles
Battle Angel Alita, By Yukito Kishiro
On the Waterfront, Directed by Elia Kazan
About the Author
C.T. is a Florida native and proud gun owner. He is a fan of all things military, comic books, and a self-proclaimed movie buff. In his off-time C.T. reviews movies on a blog no one reads and writes screenplays that will never get made, but enjoys it nonetheless. He hopes this book thing will actually pay off so he can do it forever.