Chapter Ten - "Rock, Paper, Clippers"

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"I wanted him to see," says Zero.

"I don't know if he's awake," says Oso.

"Shit," panics, Luviel, "well wake him! He can't be sleeping and trailing off like this. We'll lose him."

"Sooner than we planned?" asks Congo, smirking.

"Hey! The more mouths, the better," snaps Luviel.

"True," agreed Oso, "who knows how many times we'll need to pound her before she caves. But we got her to come out of her hole and show herself. So we're at the first step."

"Will you not give it all away," says Zero.

"Hey, divine's boyfriend," says Luviel, lifting Moritz' chin with a finger—or two. "Hello?"

But Moritz says nothing.

I try to walk over but only fall on myself.

They all laugh at me—even the young ones.

"Take it easy, miss divine. Don't go hurting yourself now before we can hurt you," says Oso.

I try to get up to reach Moritz, but nothing. The bandages on my feet keep me trickling at the stance and trying to get up for longer than I'd like.

"Well, he's breathing," I hear Luviel say.

"He does look bad though," says Oso.

"Where did you say they were?" asks Zero, to a young woman with a mobile in her hand.

"Hey! Miss Divine's boyfriend," Luviel repeats.

But from what I can see, meanwhile I try to get up without any help, Moritz is motionless. He's hunched back, belly up to the sky, legs hung down, blood dripping down to the carpet, his arms spread out and falling off the couch in-which he was thrown on.

"How is he?" I try to say. But under the bandages, I say...

..."hu hi ihs?"

I hear slaps on a cheek and I look up to see Luviel trying to wake-up Moritz with a few of her back-hands:


Zero reaches down to his neck.

"They better get here fast before he stops beating."

A young boy comes running into the fire-lit place.

"They're here," he says.

"Alright...maybe he won't die," says Zero.

A few other young men and women snap the tape from all of our eyes and mouths: my grandmother, the lady (with my name), myself, and Moritz (but they did him first).

My grandmother looks weak. She looks pale too. She looks like she's about ready to fall over.

"Bring them straight here," shouts Luviel and a few younger souls they send outside to greet the new incomers, whoever they were.

With dust all around us, and blood, we look like a bad war-piece, all four of us, here in this nicely fire-lit place, covered with books—great books, and fancy, elegant furniture.

"In here," one of the young ones says.

Four other people walk in with masks. They have these luchador-type masks; high and bright in color, edged with brighter colors, holes in the nose and eye areas—some over their mouths. They looked just like the masks I would see sometimes at fairs, or on TV, or in the cultural books that my grandmother would bring me back whenever she'd visit our "home land".

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