// Twenty Seven //

206 26 13

I hit the ground. Hard. My ears rang as pain pulsed through my head. My brain vibrated in my skull like a bell. I rolled over, and my back hit the base of the bar.

I spat what tasted like blood out in front of myself.

"If you try that again, I'll shoot you," Richard threatened. His voice came from across the room. He'd backed up to get away from me.

My hands shook with anger. "Then do it," I growled as I stood up. Rage pounded in my throat. It burned in my lungs like fire, consuming and overpowering all of my fear and pain and everything else inside of me. It electrified my entire body. It crept up my spine, and clawed its way into my mind. I saw red.

My throat was on fire. A scream exploded out of my lungs like a rocket. The frequency was so high, it was like the noise the television set makes when it's left on but no one is watching. The sound of a dog whistle. The sound of a mosquito. The sound your ears stop hearing when you get older.

The scream crashed through the room, and I listened to it echo off every surface it came into contact with. I could visualize the entire space in stark detail. I could sense exactly where Richard stood. I could even visualize which hand held the gun.

My hands clenched in tight fists. Could I get to him before he fired it? Would he actually fire it?

He wouldn't.

I called his bluff, and I charged.

As my foot slammed into the ground, a huge crash of thunder shook the room, and a bang shot through the air like an explosion, followed by complete silence.

I froze where I stood.

What's going on?

Had Richard fired the gun? Had I been shot? I didn't feel any pain. Had he missed?

"Fuck," Richard hissed under his breath. It sounded like the flame of a single candle in a dark room being snuffed out.

Silence.

Absolute silence.

The funny thing about sounds is, sometimes you don't notice they are there until they stop. Like the hiss of an air conditioner or the roar of a highway. It's extremely loud, but until it suddenly shuts off, you don't even realize you are hearing it.

That's what I heard—the absence of sound.

The entire city had gone quiet. The electrical hum of power lighting up the night was gone. The bang hadn't been a gun shot, it was the sound of a transformer blowing up.

Darkness had descended on Edinburgh, and in a blackout, everyone is blind.

I felt myself grinning. Carefully, I side stepped around a table, being sure not to make a sound. I emitted another supersonic scream, knowing that Richard's ears wouldn't be able to pick up the frequency. I was able to visualize his movements clearly. He shifted on his feet, still facing where I had stood before the lights had gone out. He had no idea where I was.

I crept through the room, listening to the remnants of echos define the space in my mind. Richard backed up. His footsteps made soft taps as he moved. Quick on my toes, I reached the wall behind him without making a sound. I leaned against the wood panels, holding my breath and waiting for the perfect moment.

My heart pounded. Richard's breathing sounded like a trash compactor. How could he not hear me? How could he not hear himself? I pulled a silent breath in through my nose, and then I dove at him.

Richard screamed when I hit him. Like a sea monster had stormed out of the ocean and grabbed his throat. I wasn't heavy enough to knock him over, but he stumbled forward from the impact. I snapped my teeth in darkness, but my jaws closed around empty air.

"Get off me!" Richard growled. Before I realized what was happening, Something hit me in the face—a fist. Pain burst through my skull. I lost my grip on Richard's shirt and fell to the ground. When my back hit the floor, I rolled until I tangled in the legs of a table. Quickly, I found my footing again. My head buzzed as I crawled out from under the table. Rage burned inside of me. I emitted another echoing scream to allow me to sense the surroundings.

I had rolled a couple of yards away from Richard. He was facing me, but he was hesitating. The gun was in his hand. His finger hovered over the trigger, but he didn't know where I was. However, I didn't doubt that he would fire it as soon as he did.

I needed to get the gun away from him.

I found a chair next to me. I gripped it tightly with both hands, feeling the damp, weeping wood, and carefully picked it up. I didn't dare make a sound.

I visualized the attack in my mind before I made it. I breathed in and held it, and then I ran at him with the chair in my hands. I swung the seat of it at his arm like a baseball bat. There was a sharp crack when it hit him.

"Fuck!" Richard shouted.

I heard something metal clang against the ground. The gun. I could sense exactly where it was. I tossed the chair to the side and kicked the weapon across the room in one smooth movement. It made a spiraling clatter as it skated like a hockey puck to the far side of the room.

"You fucking shit!" Richard swung his fist at me. I sensed the dark form of his arm flying through the air. I jumped back just in time, and he missed.

I panted as my heart pounded against my rib cage. I didn't need to be quiet anymore. Richard couldn't shoot me now. It was him against me, and he couldn't see. Neither could I, of course, but I was used to it. I'd made him a promise that one day I would kill him, and it was a promise I intended to keep.

I jumped at him and slammed my fist into the side of his face. Pain shot up my knuckles as they collided with bone.

Out of nowhere, a hand grasped me by the upper arm, and then with a jerk, I was flipped to the ground. I landed on my side and screamed. My broken ribs echoed with pain, but my adrenaline and rage over powered it. In a heartbeat, I kicked my foot into Richard's shin as hard as I could.

I heard him stumble back, but before I could get up, he dove on top of me. His body collided with mine, and he held me down. I struggled, trying to push him off of me, but he was too strong. Pressure closed around my throat. He was leaning with his arm on my neck. I gasped, but I couldn't pull in oxygen. A haze clouded my mind. I was floating. My lungs burned and screamed for air.

Author's Note:

The song in the header is "Bad Blood" by Escape the Fate.

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