Prey To Lose part 1

A new short story, WHOO HOO! (I’m not good with naming, alright?) Anyone, this title may actually fit, given the content. What? Well, take a look:
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“I will karate chop you in your neck if you run that bullshit on me again, hear? You must be out of your rabbit ass mind to call me with that mess!”

Mae Dayton angrily slapped her cell phone closed and tossed it on the rumpled bed in disgust. Seconds later, she landed face down next to it. Reaching under the soft pillow, she rummaged for her dwindling emergency stash of smokes. Feeling the edge of the thin box, she hooked her fingers on it, and pulled it free. Easing one thin cigar from the package, she pitched the remaining Black & Milds gently over her head. Removing the plastic covering, she stuck the fragrant cigar into her mouth. Unearthing her trusty lighter, she ignited her salvation and was inhaling deeply when her phone rang again.

She rolled to her back, listening to the special ringer. Only one person’s number was programmed with that particular sound. Sighing, she sat up, and activated the speaker phone function with her free hand.

“Dayton,” she barked.

“Now, now, Mae Day, it’s too early to be so gloomy,” the caller chirped. “And here I was, calling with good news.”

“What do you want, Sugar?” Mae asked her younger sister.

Sugar Dayton cackled merrily. “Untwist your panties and put on your gear. We’re going hunting.”

Interested but trying to pretend as though she was not, Mae inhaled a lung full of spiced tobacco and exhaled gently before answering. “Oh, really? For who, and what?”

“SIFRAS called. They’ve ‘misplaced’ the Fire Wielder.”

“Damn.”

“Exactly.”

“Meet you at that place? Same time?”

“Dress properly, please.”

“Don’t I always?”

“No.”

“We all can’t be bougie boss ladies like you, you know.”

“I like my suits.”

“They don’t match with that damn hole in your nose.”

“Can you focus? Please? I need you to promise me that you will cooperate on this.”

“It’s not like I have a choice, and neither do you. I’m sick of them calling us for their dirty work.”

“Watch it. The walls may have ears.”

“Don’t care. How do you lose a Fire Wielder, anyway?”

“’Misplaced’, not ‘lost’.”

“Same damn thing.”

After confirming the details of the newest assignment, the elder Dayton stood and crossed the large room. Placing her slowly burning cigar into the heavy glass bowl that she used as an ashtray, she stripped off the sports bra and shorts that she had been lounging around in. Walking naked into her cramped bathroom, she turned on the water for a shower. Letting it warm up, Mae turned and looked at her six foot tall, cinnamon brown frame in the mirror. Her eyes started with her freshly braided cornrows, moved to her round brown eyes and high cheekbones, skipped over her small nose and full lips, and continued down to her muscular body. She let her hands dance lightly across the faint scars on her abdomen, and closed her eyes. Briefly, she allowed herself to sink in the pool of ancient memory.

“No time for this shit,” she warned herself. She stepped into the steaming shower and yanked the glass door closed. As the water pounded down her upturned face, she was unable to see her right thumb rub the bar code on the inside of her left wrist.

Without warning, violent pain sliced through her lower body, forcing her to hold the slippery glass for support. Mae Dayton tried her hardest to breath normally through her noise, but failed. The bitter remnants of the last job she did for SIFRAS clogged her throat, making her gag. She spit onto the shower floor, and watched as foamy, blood specked saliva was washed away.

“Ugh,” she gurgled. The pain worsened. Dropping to her knees, she allowed the water to beat down on her body as she coughed and dry heaved. Shuddering, she remembered the first time she received and order from the company, and how it left her sick and weakened for days. That was when she took up smoking; it was the only thing that could calm her stomach and remove the taste of enslavement. She was only sixteen then, but what did it matter to a group of greedy scientist rejects? As long as she and her sister were alive, they belonged to those people. Mae hated to admit it, but being dead was beginning to sound better and better.

After what seemed like an eternity, the pain released its hold on the elder sister. The water ran cold.

“I was looking forward to that shower, too, damn you,” she spoke into the air fiercely.

She shut off the water, and pushed open the shower door. Stepping onto the fluffy bath mat, she snatched up a large striped towel and began to remove the excess water from her body. Her legs were just a bit unsteady, and in the end, she gave up on drying off. Instead, she stumbled over to the toilet and lowered the lid. Sitting down on the closed commode, she leaned her head against the shelf behind her. She closed her eyes, and reached for the green metal canister that she knew was there. Closing her fingers around it, she slid it off the shelf and dropped it into her lap. Popping open the top, she dipped her hand in and pulled out a special, tightly rolled brown cigar. Placing the tip between her lips, she dipped her hand back into the container and this time pulled out a book of matches. Striking one, she lit the joint, and inhaled deeply.

“Damn them,” she whispered through a haze of smoke. “Damn them!”

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Part 2 can be found here.

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