Sunday, 2 September 2012

Just, please.

I know it's hard,
It's harder than hell,
But I need you to breathe,
Need you to be well,

I know that it hurts,
Like I could never understand,
But I need you to think,
I need you to land,

I know that you're stuck,
In the depth and the dark,
But I need you to stop,
Can you place down your mark?

Can you stop for a moment,
And look deep through the scars,
Through the pain and the hurt,
To the sky and the stars?

And I need you to know,
That that rainbow is you,
But you need to be loved,
And love you I do,

I need you to realise,
That you're better than life,
But you don't need the bullet,
You don't need the knife.

What you need is the knowledge,
To know that you're great,
That you're brilliant and wonderful,
And it's never too late,

Too late to realise,
Too late to believe,
Just open your eyes,
Just let yourself see,

I need you to notice,
That high above all,
You can pull yourself up,
So it's okay to fall,

Please, take the notice,
When I write out these words,
That they're all meant for you,
That they need to be heard,

And I know it's not easy,
When you're down past your knees,
But I'll help you back up,
If you'll only let me,
Please.


Friday, 31 August 2012

The Sentence On The Top Floor


The letters on the walls of the room on the top floor of the West End tenement building join together, to create one sentence:
Lest we forget the power in words
It is scrawled deep into the plaster, the same sentence, over and over again, filling every possible space, etching itself into your mind as you take it in.
Lest we forget the power in words
Once it’s there, it’s never going to leave you. Like a leech that’ll never let go, draining a little space of your memory which you won’t ever get back. The spidery etchings swallow you, carve you out and then leave you hollow and colder than stone, shivering and unable to think of anything but that one sentence.
Lest we forget the power in words
There is no escape. Don’t think you can just run, because you can’t; the words clutch you, stapling you painfully to the ground. And you can’t look away from it, at the floor, because it’s also there, engraved on the concrete. Or up, at the ceiling, because it’s somehow been written up there, too. Closing your eyes won’t help at all, because the image is still present, right at the front of your mind. Over and over,
Lest we forget the power in words
All that can be done is to take it in, reading the same seven words until somebody realises you’re missing and eventually finds you, by which time you could be half starved. Or worse.
The weirdest part, though, is that, although it throws its whole self at you, all at once, you still don’t know what it is. It’s like half of the sentence is missing; it doesn’t mean anything. There is no sense behind it. It has been there for longer than anyone has known. Contact had even been made with the original builders and decorators of the building, demanding to know why the top floor was flooded with words. Of course, they knew as little about it as the owners of the place did.
There have been attempts to remove it, cover it, hide it, but no such thing is possible if one cannot move from the spot in which he is stood. Therefore, the writing remains on the walls of the room, and even though it is now forbidden to enter, people are still stumbling inside on a relatively regular basis.
I, myself, am not excluded.
Seven times, now, I have found my way into that room. One visit for each word, as many individuals have begun to state. How exactly I ended up there each time, even I still struggle to completely understand. Twice, I was accompanying a group of friends, too busy daydreaming to realise where I was going; Once, I was told that it couldn’t have an effect on me again; Another time I was carried there by a group of peers while I slept, and upon waking up, was suddenly hit by a solid wave of words. Once I was drowsy from an anaesthetic, and managed to forget the way to the correct apartment, which was, above all, rather embarrassing. On another occasion, I went to rescue another person, but ended up stuck there with him, instead.  And the last time I entered, I was lonely. The most familiar thing I could be with at the time was the sentence which had lived inside my mind for so many years already, so I went up and let it wash over me, let the ocean of words swallow me whole. And though it hurt, as it always does, it was almost sort of enjoyable to feel so close to something, as I never have before. Or since.
Of course, it is dangerous. Of course, I could have died, had I not been found and saved, each time. I had plenty of people to remind me of that, each of the seven times I had been up there, and many more reminders aside.
But there is a danger in everything; we must just learn to live around it. And that is exactly what the people have done. We put up with the buzz of words at the back of our heads, do the best we can to ignore it, and to prevent others from having to suffer from it. The world continues to turn, people continue to work, to talk, to rest, the plants continue to grow, and the top floor remains a mystery which everybody tries their very best to avoid.

I turn the last corner of the fourth staircase and duck into the left corridor. I say corridor, but since there are only two doors, it’s really not worthy of such a title. I unclip a key from the belt loop of my jeans, slot it into the gold-coloured lock on the right door, twist my wrist and push forwards with my shoulder. With a little effort, the door swings open and I yank the key free before stepping inside and slamming it shut behind me.
“It’s force like that which makes it difficult to open in the first place, Andi.” An exasperated voice comes from across the room. I look, to see my mother sat at the table, not looking up from the A4 notebook in front of her.
“Sorry,” I sigh, slinging my bag into a corner and setting all navigation targets for the fridge. I pull the electronic plugs from my ears and hit the off switch on the device in my pocket, before swinging open the fridge door and peering at the contents. I frown at the lack of food, and pull an orange juice carton from a shelf in the lower door, setting it aside on the worktop. I turn around, letting the door swing shut of its own accord, and, taking a glass from the rack by the sink, I turn back, just in time to see the orange carton tip over the edge of the worktop, and hit the ground with an unsatisfactory thud. Hurriedly, I whip a cloth from the surface and replace it with the glass, which spins uncontrollably and almost tips, too. Cursing under my breath, I catch the glass and steady it on the worktop, before lowering myself to the ground, lifting the upset carton and mopping up the orange mess on the floor. Behind me, the tap drips slowly, and I stand up, dropping the cloth beside the sink and pushing the tap to halt, wondering how long it had been like that.
Letting out another sigh, I pour the remaining orange juice into the glass, leave the empty carton on the counter and walk over to the table where my mother is still sat, gazing down at the notebook. As I approach her, I look at the notebook to see that it is blank, without so much as a dot of ink on it.
“Not going too well?” I ask, taking a swig from the glass in my hand, and walking towards some cupboards at the far end of the room.
“No,” She sighs, in reply, “Not too well at all, Andi...”
I open the doors of one of the cupboards and retrieve a large, leather-bound book, cringing slightly as the other volumes on the shelf topple sideways into the gap I’d left.
My mother sighs to herself, tapping her pen against the paper, and I return to the table, sliding the book across the oak surface towards her.
At this, she looks up and frowns for a second, before her furrowed eyebrows rise and the skin beside her eyes crinkle with the smile her lips curl into.
It’s an old story, the dictionary. Once, way back when Matthaios was no taller than this table, I only a little taller than that, my mother was sitting in a chair, watching the fire burn away, and sighing every so often, until eventually Thaios quietly asked her what was the matter. Our mother had sighed quietly and gave him a weak smile, before replying,
"I've run out of words, Math." She'd said, "It's like there's not another one left in me." And she looked back to the fire again, shaking her head sadly.
The days following this, Matthaios fell as quiet as mother had, and I'd begun to worry about both of them, when Matt came to me with a request.
He asked me to take him out to the town, the next day, and I'd asked him why, because it's not easy to get to town, and would any of the smaller shops closer to the flat do, instead? But he insisted that the shops nearby didn't have what he needed.
"Well, what is it that you need?" I'd replied, but he wouldn't say a thing but that 'it's for mother'.
Eventually, that weekend, I took him out on the hour-long walk into the town, and asked him where it was he wanted to go. He led me into a bookshop, and spent a long time at the back of the shop, while I looked through art supplies and gift cards and pens and pencils and notebooks.
Eventually, he emerged from the back, walking slowly and obviously struggling to hold up a huge, black, leather-bound book.
 I frowned at him but he just frowned back. "It's for mother," he said, and I gave a little sigh, but the expression on his face swept that away, and I shot him a grin. "Oh, alright, then.” I said, taking the book from his arms. It was heavy. "And I suppose you'll be wanting me to carry this all the way back, for you too, eh?" The grin spread on my face, teasingly, but he just shook his head, eyes wide.
"No."
I frowned again, but said nothing, carried the book to the till, and paid for it with the money I'd earned from my first week of tending the tenement library. As soon as we'd left the shop, Thaios had taken the book from me, and struggled with it the whole walk back, refusing to let me take it when I offered. By the time we arrived home, evening had set and mother was working slowly and silently in the kitchen.
Matthaios disappeared into his own room with the book, and didn't come out until the midway through the next day, except to eat. When he finally emerged, mother was sat on a chair, with a pencil and a notebook untouched on the low table in front of her. Thaios approached her, slowly, and held out the book with both hands. She looked down at him, lips slightly parted, brow furrowed a little, and eyes moist.
"It's a dictionary," He'd said, "To help you find more words."
And she smiled, then, a real smile, for the first time in days.  She took the book from him, turned it over in her hands, opened it up and flicked through the pages, taking it in, before setting it down on her lap, and pulling her arms around Thaios, embracing him in a hug.
And then, she picked the notebook and the pencil from the table, put one to the other, and began to write in slow, graceful loops and folds, each letter flowing into the next, in the elegant fashion of beauty and the flat filled slowly with the heart-warming sensation that can only be felt by watching her write, watching those letters join to words which flow into sentences, separated by paragraphs and eventually all joining together to become a story.
And that's just what she does now, taking her pen and spilling the ink out of it in beautiful patterns and perfectly executed letters, the words suddenly coming straight back to her, and as she finds her flow of writing again, I turn and walk into the next room, sipping my orange juice contentedly.

Monday, 27 August 2012

A Possible Renovation.

When something is broken, 
And you try to fix it, 
Trying to repair it, 
Any way you can. 

I think this Blog is a little broken.
So, how can I repair it, eh?

Honestly, I just don't see another part of this FanFic appearing, and I don't see why I should try to pretend that I'm going to write any more of it. Because I'm just not.
That's not to say I won't be writing any more, I'll just have to come up with something else to write.

So, to those of you who might be reading this, what do you think?
If what I was to be writing wasn't all so much as one story, but as random sections and scenes, would that still be readable/understandable?
Or if was to open up a couple of different stories, so when I'm all out of fuel on one, I could take a look at one of the others, standing by? (I suppose if I were to do that, I could have different sections and such within the Blog, for each story?)
Or both?
Too Complicated?

What do you think? Any opinions? Answers? Suggestions? 

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Chapter 4.

I apologise in advance if Valkyrie's character isn't quite up to scratch, nearer the beginning of the chapter. You'll just have to accept that fights leave her in a good mood. P:


4.
Dead Man Walking.

The detectives simultaneously clicked their fingers, and angry balls of flames appeared, flickering in the palm of their hands for a second, before being hurled at the opponent and being replaced with another fireball.
The muscular men facing the detectives were doing their best to dodge the fireballs that were flying towards them, smothering the fire that did hit them, and putting out the flames before they had the chance to spread.
Suddenly, she became aware of the shadows in the alley, they seeming to be shifting, stretching, and rushing towards Valkyrie’s feet. Valkyrie was no longer throwing fire. The shadows continued, crawling up her arm, lingering at her fingertips. She drew back her arm, before throwing it in front of her, a whip of darkness bowling her enemy off his feet. Another tendril of shadows shot forwards and pinned him there, and she took a step towards him, intending to end their battle.
The thin man was back to physical contact now, hurling punches and kicks, before catching his foe in a chokehold. And then it was over.
Seven powerfully built men now lay, limp and unresponsive, on cracked concrete. Valkyrie turned, catching sight of Taia. “Skulduggery,” She called, not moving her gaze from Taia, “Somebody may need to have a word with Geoffrey.”
Taia gasped as the thin man, Skulduggery, turned to face her. Valkyrie clamped a hand over her mouth. Skulduggery frowned. Or at least, he would have frowned, were his face not hanging by a thread, torn diagonally between his eyes.
Valkyrie exploded into laughter, Skulduggery looked at her, bemused, and Taia stared, fish-eyed, at the torn wax skin that bordered an immaculately clean, white, human skull.
“Don’t worry,” The man called Skulduggery gestured to Valkyrie, who lay curled up on the floor, still laughing. “She’ll be back to her annoying self in no time.”
Time passed. The laughter, however, did not.
“Okay, I have one girl unable to breathe, and another unable to take her eyes off me.” He paused, “The second one can be justified. My looks are undeniably amazing.”
Between gales of laughter, Valkyrie managed to force out some words. “Skulduggery, I... I don’t think you... realise...” Another wave of laughter flooded over her. “She’s definitely looking at your face... but not... not why you’d think...”
“What’s wrong with my face?” He asked, confused.
Valkyrie tossed her mobile phone to him, and he peered at the reflection of himself.
“Ah.” He paused, “This could take some explaining.”
Valkyrie managed to stop laughing, caught her breath and stood up. “You think Geoffrey Scrutinous would explain it well?”
“Hmm? Oh, maybe.”
“What?”
“What what?”
“You’re thinking.” She tilted her head. “What are you thinking?”
“I’m thinking, she reminds me of you, when I first broke down the door of your late uncle’s house.”
Valkyrie glared at him.
“And if she is anything like you, she won’t just let this go.”
“Not even if she talks to Scrutinous?” Valkyrie asked hopefully.
“Would you have given up?”
“No, but... But she’s not me.”
Taia sighed. “Look, would you just tell me what’s going on?”
“Ah,” Skulduggery hesitated. “This isn’t my real face.”
“Yeah, I got that.” She said, blankly. “I was thinking of the fire. The fire and the shadows.”
“Ah.” Skulduggery cocked his head, thinking. “We’re just figments of your imagination?”
A groan sounded at Taia’s feet and she slammed her boot into the offender’s head, sending the hefty man back to sleep. “As is he, I suppose.”
Skulduggery sighed and turned to Valkyrie “See, just like you. Doesn’t believe a word I say.”
Shrugging, Valkyrie responded. “Get better at lying then.”
“I’m a great liar” Skulduggery retorted.
“And get rid of the fa├žade, it’s not exactly useful anymore.”
“Right.” Skulduggery tapped his collar bones and the tattered remains of his face subsided, before disappearing completely, leaving only a skull, with a black hat settled at the top, like icing on a cake.
Taia blinked. “You’re a skeleton.”
“Yes, I am.” Skulduggery replied, crouching down to shackle one of six unconscious men.
“And you can talk.”
“Again, yes.
“That’s pretty remarkable.”
“I am, rather, aren’t I?”
“It’s also pretty impossible.”
“Well, you’d think so, wouldn’t you?”
“So, how does it work?”
Skulduggery was now shackling the fourth man. “Magic.” He said, blankly.
“No,” Taia shook her head, “Seriously, how does it work?”
“Can you think of any other reasonable explanation?”
She hesitated. “Fine. And the shadows and fire, they’re magic too?”
“Correct.”
“So, are you alive?”
“Not really.”
“You’re dead, then?”
He hesitated. “Not exactly...”
“So, you’re more, kind of, undead.”
“Well, yes but–”
“You’re a Zombie.”
“No, I’m not a–”
“He’s a magical detective.” Valkyrie muttered. “No more, no less.”
“Then what are you?” Taia asked, ignoring Valkyrie completely.
“I’m a skeleton.”
“We’ve been through this part already.”
“Ah, yes.” Skulduggery said, before pausing. “Valkyrie, I appear to be out of shackles.”
She shrugged. “You’ve used mine already.”
Skulduggery cocked his head.
“One hand each?” Taia suggested
“Sorry?”
“One hand each. That way they won’t be fully bound, but they’ll all be partially held back, so you can take them down again easily enough.”
Skulduggery nodded. “Good idea. And as a bonus, it will still keep them bound from using magic.” He looked at her, and Taia guessed that if he had a face, he might be smiling. “Maybe you’re not so much like Valkyrie, after all.”
His companion scowled. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Well, unlike you were, she is still thinking straight.” He told her, removing the shackles from one man’s left hand, and putting it around another’s right hand. “And she hasn’t fainted yet,” He added.
Valkyrie scowled even more, and more still when Taia began to laugh.
“You fainted?” She asked.
“I was attacked by a man who had jumped through the window, saved by a man who blasted down the door, and abruptly threw fire at the first man, who turned into a human fireball before being shot by the fire-throwing man who turned out to be a skeleton.”
“So you were attacked by a man, and then witnessed magic used by a man who turned out to be a skeleton.”
“Yes.”
“Sounds very similar to what happened here; except that I was attacked by three men, witnessed two people throw fireballs, and one person flinging shadows. And someone turned out to be a skeleton.”
“She has a point.” Skulduggery chimed in.
Valkyrie scowled again.
“Doesn’t that hurt?” Skulduggery asked, gesturing to Taia’s arm.
Until then, she’d forgotten all about it. “No.” She replied. “Wait, yes. Yes it does.”

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Chapter 3.


3.
Surprises.

The thin man turned to the girl, still crouched on the floor, and gestured for her to come over. The girl walked past, not giving Taia so much as another look, and stood beside the man, head tilted slightly.
 “Our thirteen year old is obviously tougher than she looks.” He began, in that velvet smooth voice, “I can’t find a pulse”
The girl frowned. “He’s not dead.” She told him, “The ring isn’t cold.”
“Ah, well then, we have a problem.”
“We usually get one of those.”
“Hmm, I’ve noticed that too.”
“So, how do we solve this problem?”
“The same way we solve every other problem”
“Kicking people very hard in the face?”
“Possibly. But first we need to ask questions”
The girl sagged, “But kicking is more fun,”
“Questions first, then kicking.” He looked up at her, “I promise,”
The girl didn’t reply.
 “Extra kicking then. And you can throw a few punches too, if you like.”
“Fine,” she sighed, “Who do we talk to?”
“Our first source, would be the bad guy, but he’s not alive. So–”
“He’s not dead either.” The girl pointed out.
“Correct. So we talk to the next best person. The one who killed him. Or didn’t kill him.”
“Would she fall under that category?” The girl suggested, tilting her head towards Taia.
“Yes.” The man got to his feet, “She certainly would.”
Taia stood, somewhat amused by the conversation, as the pair approached her.
“What did you do to him?” The man asked.
“Nothing. I just hit him a few times.” She paused, before correcting herself, “Many times.”
“Yet we find ourselves in this perplexing situation. It’d save a lot of time if you told us why this is.” The man’s voice was suggestive, yet firm. He knew what he was talking about. “You can get to work building a house from cardboard boxes, and we can get to work kicking people very hard in the face.”
“The quicker you tell us, the quicker we get to kick people. And the kicking is fun.” The girl added.
“I’m not sure you’re interrogating the right person here, Sherlock,” Taia’s gaze was locked onto the man’s imperfect eyes. Her gaze travelled down, just a little, and she noticed that his skin didn’t look right, either. It had a slightly waxy appearance.
“Then who should I be interrogating?” He asked blankly.
“I don’t know.” She shrugged. “But my first guess would be them”.
The detectives turned simultaneously, and froze, as three muscular men leapt from the rooftops. They were hooded, but Taia could tell from their postures that they weren’t happy. They stepped forward silently, eyes somewhere between the ground and the three people looking back them.
Now can we kick people?” The girl asked her companion, her voice poisoned with sarcasm.
“Yes, Valkyrie, now we kick people.”
Two men leaped at the detectives, who immediately began throwing punches and kicks, while the third went for Taia. He swung his right arm at her face but she was prepared and ducked beneath it, only to crash into the left, which had been hiding in ambush. Grunting, she pushed her own fist into his gut, another racing to his face as he doubled over.  
She aimed another set of knuckles at his nose, but it was stopped short of its target by a rock solid shape that closed around her wrist and twisted until a crack was heard. The man withdrew his hand, before sending it to her face as she clutched her injured arm.
More fists flew at her face and she pulled up her hand to block her face, biting back the agonizing pain that was writhing up her left arm. It became clear that her hands were not enough when she found herself on the floor, the man looming above her, sending his feet full speed at her useless body.
From the corner of her eye, Taia could just about make out the fights of the detectives. She could have sworn she saw the red-orange glow of fire, but dismissed it as pain impeding her vision, as the man’s feet stopped and he leaned down, reaching to pin her to the floor. Taking a deep breath, putting the pain to the back of her mind, and mustering up all of her negative emotions, from the day she last saw her father, to the happenings just seconds ago, she converted it to anger, which flooded her mind, pushing energy through her veins, giving her a fresh rush of power, which accompanied her blood as it surged through her body.
She lashed out, fists, knees, elbows, and feet attacking the man until he fell. She threw punch after punch to his chin, each blow throwing his chin back a little further than the previous one. Eventually, the man fell.
She was still pinned to the ground, but at least now the man keeping her there was unconscious. All she had to do was get free. She pushed, kicked and rolled, but he was too heavy. The man wasn’t budging. She looked around, desperately, and caught sight of her jacket, which was still laid on the floor, where her first opponent had left it. It wasn’t far from her, and if she could just reach it she would definitely have the help that she needed.
She reached out with one arm, attempting to shuffle a little closer to the jacket. Her outstretched arm wasn’t far from the jacket now, just a little farther. Heavy footsteps echoed around her and she looked up to see another man, sprinting towards the detectives. He didn’t even seem to notice Taia or the unconscious man pinning her to the ground, until he was falling, balance upset by the bodies that had tripped him up.
Suddenly, Taia was free, and the other man was lying unconscious beside her. She leapt up, just in time to see the man who had tripped return to his feet, too. She ducked beneath his punches, and past elbows, returning her own, having now found the energy that she needed. She found the rhythm of the man’s attacks and worked to intercept it. Thinking about it, this man fought in a way which was very similar, if not the same, to how the previous man had. Throw all of your weight into each punch, keep them fluent, stop for nothing. They both focused primarily on using fists and feet, showing a distinct lack of elbows and attempts at holds of any sort.
Once she’d figured this out, the fight became even easier, and the man was soon out cold, alongside his companion.
Taia stepped back and wiped the blood from her face. She remembered her jacket, still lying on the floor, and went to retrieve it. Pulling her arms through the sleeves she started towards the detectives, who were both still battling their own attackers. She began to run, not yet sure which man she’d help take down, but was stopped dead in her tracks when they changed their method of fighting. For it was no longer punches that they were throwing, but fire.

                          ҉                                                  ҉                                                     ҉

P.S. Sorry about the wait. But I have Chapter 4 written up, because originally, it was all one chapter. But I thought it was a  nice place to end, so meh. I'll have Chapter 4 up soon. :)
P.P.S. Thanks for reading. :D

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Chapter 2.

*whispers* Sorry it's been a few months, but now, a second chapter is born. And posted. So, yeah, here it is.


2.
Mouldy Pastry and a Muscular Man.


Often, Taia would wake up early in the morning and groan, not wanting to get up. It wasn’t because she wanted to keep warm or because she wanted to sleep for longer like any normal teenager, but simply because she had no reason to get up, and nothing to look forward to. Yet, although she wasn’t entirely sure why, she didn’t think she’d like her life if it were any different. In a way, she rather enjoyed wandering around, fending for herself, eating and sleeping wherever and whenever she chose to, it seemed to give a certain twist to life that couldn’t be experienced through any other way. It wasn’t so good that it made her smile, but it was still a relatively nice sensation and that was enough for her. She didn’t wish for much in particular either, she made friends when she found them, but eventually she would lose them every time. Humans weren’t her only friends though, she’d met some surprisingly friendly animals - mainly rats - in her lifetime, the one she’d shared dinner with the previous night being one of them. Often, the rats were the better friends.
Which was why, when she was woken by the sound of gunshot and pounding footsteps, and when, a few moments later a tall, hefty man ran past, knocking over the bins and boxes that made up her home and scattering them along the alleyway and then planted his foot firmly in her rat-friend’s back, that she grew rather angry and decided to put up a fight.
The man continued running, as if nothing had happened, but Taia wasn’t going to let him get away.
“Hey!” She shouted, throwing a half-eaten sausage roll at him.
The man didn’t reply. He didn’t look back at her. He just continued to run.
“Hey!” Taia repeated, louder, “What are you playing at?”
Again, he ignored her. And Taia really disliked being ignored. She shook her head angrily before running after him, throwing more pieces of soggy pastry. She wasn’t the best runner in the world, she knew that, but when she had a good enough reason to do so, she could run. Kind of. Taia’s running consisted of the mad and very fast flailing of random limbs and hoping that’d be quicker that walking.
 Realising she wasn’t going to be fast enough, she stopped, sighing, and lobbed a large, and exceptionally mouldy piece of pastry at him, and then grinned as she saw it fall through the air, meeting his eye level right where their paths crossed and she tried hard not to laugh as face and pastry met. Snarling, he turned to her, and she had to bite her lip to keep herself from laughing as she saw furry pieces of pastry falling from his face. But then her eyes saw more than just the pastry and her smile dropped, for she had realised for the first time just how muscular this guy was.
“Aw, hell...” She muttered.
The man leaped at her and took her to the floor, firing punches at her face. She needed him to stop or she’d be out before she’d even had the chance to strike, and she had a strange feeling that he wasn’t going to be happy just leaving her unconscious. She’d met people like this before - if she gave him the chance, he would kill her. She wriggled, trying to break free but he was too strong and his punches were still flying at her face. She began to flail desperately in an attempt to hit him. Eventually, her foot hit something other than floor and air, and the punches stopped momentarily. Taking her chance, Taia twisted, jabbing her elbow into his side and then bringing her legs up, kicking him in the groin.
The man doubled over, grunting, and Taia slammed her foot into his face. He staggered back, trying to regain his balance. She ran forward, jumped, flipped, and landed behind him. He turned, swinging his leg out, but it was too late and Taia leapt, slamming into him and sending him toppling backwards.
In any other fight, the opponent would be on the floor and Taia would be kicking his head so hard it wouldn’t be far from flying off his body, but as it was, and Taia wasn’t sure how, but the man stayed standing. Taia jumped to the side as he charged towards her, but he twisted at the last second and made a grab for her neck. He missed, pulling off her jacket instead. Growling, he threw it away, and the jacket fell to the ground with a muffled clatter.
The man frowned, looking inquisitively at the coat on the floor, and a boot slammed into his side. He stumbled away, then turned suddenly, and grabbed at her, getting her into a chokehold. Taia squirmed, kicked, and twisted swiftly, and then he was falling, but she grabbed him, and now she had the chokehold. The man tried to break free, but she tightened the hold. He tried to gasp for air, but she made the hold tighter still, and he blacked out.  She let go and the man hit the ground with a thud.
She looked down at him, and slammed her foot into his chin a couple of times, knocking his head back, just for good measure. Then she stepped back, stamping on his toe, and looked down at him.

She heard more footsteps behind her, and she turned to see two figures running towards her.
The first was a tall, thin man, in a navy suit. His clothing seemed to hang shapelessly from his body, and his hat was tilted at an angle, casting shadow over his face.
The other was a girl, dressed completely in black, and even from the distance between them Taia could tell that this girl wasn’t much older than she was.
The girl, obviously noticing Taia, nudged the thin man who was running beside her, and he nodded, raised both hands and tapped his collar bones, before slipping one hand into a pocket and pulling out a gun. However, when they saw the man on the floor, they slowed and came to a halt in front of Taia.
The man stood still, both arms outstretched, hands holding the gun just a few feet away from her.
“Who are you?” He asked her sharply. His voice was solid, strong, yet silky, like velvet, at the same time. Taia frowned, wondering how that was possible.
“Who I am is none of your business.” Taia said, her voice just as firm as the man’s “What I would like to know, is who are you?”
“If your name is not my business, then why should my name be any of your business?” Taia might have thought he was joking, but he showed no humour in his voice, and the gun didn’t waver.
Taia shrugged. “You’re the one who suddenly barged into my home, and continued messing it up, after the last guy” She gestured to the cardboard boxes strewn about the alleyway.
The dark-haired girl raised an eyebrow, but remained silent. The man, however, remained unmoving, but not quiet.
“Last time I checked, this alleyway wasn’t owned by a 13 year old girl.”
“And when was that?”
“Never.”
“I’m struggling to see the logic in what you just said.”
“As am I. Now, I’m going to ask again, who are you?”
“I am me. And you are you.” Taia spoke steadily, looking straight into the man’s eyes. There was something odd about them. She couldn’t put her finger on what it was, but they definitely weren’t ordinary. “Now, I’m going to ask something. Why are you here?”
The thin man tilted his head slightly.
“We are here for him” he replied gesturing to the unconscious man on the floor.
“Well, it seems you’re a little late, does it not?”
“Not at all. It seems we got here just in time” He turned to his partner, but kept the gun in his hands “Shackles,”
The girl nodded and handed him some handcuffs. The man walked past Taia, knelt down beside the unconscious man, and put them around his wrists, before proceeding to inspect the injuries Taia had given him.
“What happened, then?” The girl said, a hint of confusion hanging in her voice.
“He hurt my friend, I hurt him.”
“Fair enough,” She nodded, “But, I don’t see anyone but you and him. Where’s your friend?”
Taia’s hands clenched into fists. “The word ‘friend’ doesn’t necessarily mean human, you know. It appears to be quite a common misconception.”
The girl raised an eyebrow. “Did you say you were homeless? It’s just that your vocabulary is pretty good, for a kid living on the streets.”
“No, I didn’t say a word about homelessness. It’s true, but it looks like you worked that one out all by yourself.”
The dark-haired girl tilted her head. “You don’t like me, do you?”
“Wow. You worked that one out too.”
She nodded. “I do tend to pick up clues; after all, I am a detective.”

Thanks For Reading!:D