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The Proper Way to Eat a Victorian Age Brain
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Writer Jessica Rinori
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  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
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The Proper Way to Eat a Victorian Age Brain
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#1
1 | Meet Julius Clyde
Jessica Rinori
Apr 13, 2018
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15 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!OgwqPdt1GXMP8aJqi026posted on PENANA

Julius had been waiting, hiding outside the iron gate for over four hours. It was three in the morning and still no signs of life had appeared from in or outside the enormous castle like mansion. Julius stayed put in the bushes to the side of the gate, out of sight from the house and driveway. He had tried to camouflage himself as well as he possibly could, dressing in black, matte clothing to prevent any light sources from catching the light of his clothes or hair. He had thought about completing the get-up with a black ski mask but decided against covering his shaggy white blonde hair. It’d be better if Lacuesta knew exactly who Julius was the minute he saw him.copyright protection29PENANAl9NILvnpaK

    Julius’s target, Horado Lacuesta, was enroute to his excessively large home for one from the Phoenix airport, after a business trip to the Philippines. Lacuesta was supposed to have gotten home around midnight and— Julius checked his watch again. It was 3:25 AM. Either Lacuesta hadn’t come home on the plane, or something happened in between the airport and the house.copyright protection29PENANAeY0LoQZSSF

    Julius reached into his pocket, his fingers itching for his phone. A simple phone call to Sphere could help him out in tracking Lacuesta down, but a memory triggered in Julius’s mind of his last phone call with Sphere: Call only for emergencies or once the task was done. Julius retracted his hand from his pocket and clasped his hands together, falling into a crouch. He rested his elbows on his knees, sat on the balls of his feet.copyright protection29PENANAPFvXPeo8eq

    The brush was thick enough to hide in and most of the property around Lacuesta’s gated house was populated with looming willow trees. It made cover a little easier for Julius, who didn’t feel so confined to staying put in one spot like most of his cover operations.copyright protection29PENANAfAA2ilyGKI

    Twenty more minutes passed and Julius had positioned himself comfortably on a lower branch of the closest willow tree. Headlights flashed across the path of the road, turning into the driveway of Lacuesta’s house. Julius was on his feet and over the fence, staying well concealed within the plants swarming and curling up the iron gate. He stuck to the perimeter of the fence, keeping hidden from Lacuesta and his driver.copyright protection29PENANArZGrL5iKXb

    The car pulled into the semicircle driveway, parking parallel to the front steps. Julius kept his eyes on Lacuesta’s driver as he moved, staying out of all angles of his vision. Julius relocated to the side of the house using the shadows to his advantage. He crept along the east wall until he was within reach of the porch.copyright protection29PENANAqNQWKGa9Pp

    Lacuesta’s driver climbed out of the SUV, opening the door for the man himself to step out. There were short words exchanged and Lacuesta ended the conversation with a pat on his driver’s shoulder. Julius seized his chance to move with their small distraction.copyright protection29PENANAz4Z96ivFYf

    He grabbed the high slab of concrete that extended across the front of the house and hoisted himself on top of it. Pillars boxed the porch in, separated by narrow gaps of empty space. Julius slid in between the gaps and moved as Lacuesta and his driver moved, keeping the same pace so he wouldn’t be seen. Julius finally settled on a pillar semi-close to the front door and leaned his shoulder up against it, crossed his arms.copyright protection29PENANAnpf3R099L7

    Lacuesta stepped up on the porch, his driver behind him. Julius seized his change with both of the mens’ backs turned away from him. He grabbed Lacuesta’s driver in a chokehold in one swift movement. Just as fast, Lacuesta’s drive clutched Julius’s arm around his throat and using Julius’s position against him, threw Julius over the driver’s head. Julius landed on the concrete porch with a sickening crack. Julius quickly rolled o the side, just out of reach of the driver’s fish. Julius rolled into a crouch and stayed there for a second. He smirked at the driver. Lacuesta had pushed himself up against the door of his house.copyright protection29PENANAkbUb8FRiOG

    “I’m pretty sure the only reason you’re a Stinger, Lacuesta, is for your optical and financial influence. Most definitely not for your fighting skills,” Julius said, dodging the driver’s oncoming lunge. copyright protection29PENANAIoKIyR03wY

    The driver fell on his knees and Julius grabbed the driver’s head between his hands and thrust his knee up the driver’s nose. The bone in the driver’s face shattered from the force of the impact. The driver fell unconscious on the porch, limp.copyright protection29PENANAjUnyXfz7ok

    “Too bad he’s not a Stinger,” Julius said looked down at the driver, “or he would already be healed and going at it still.copyright protection29PENANAeJw9VEOMXD

    Lacuesta fumbled with the lock on his front door.copyright protection29PENANAtG1eoz5oDC

    “I’ve never understood why wealthy people would hire people to drive them around.”copyright protection29PENANAnWwKvuZ4Co

    Lacuesta flinched at Julius’s voice. He whipped his head around, eyes adjusting to the reality of Julius standing behind him.copyright protection29PENANAoR8V03zPQx

    “Is it to cover up the fact you can’t drive? Or can you drive, but you’re trying your best to show off your wealth? How exactly does that work?” Julius was taking his time, admiring the house, though he wasn’t studying anything in particular. He had already been staring at the structure for the past five hours and that was more than enough time to become well acquainted with it.copyright protection29PENANAsjduxB4D0I

    Julius’s tall hair was alabaster; exactly how Lacuesta had heard it to be.copyright protection29PENANAgnEN79i7eU

    “Mr. Lacuesta,” Julius addressed the man, finally bringing his yellow irised eyes down to meet Mr. Lacuesta’s violet ones.copyright protection29PENANAwDLFyLI8By

    Lacuesta laughed nervously. “My driver thought I would have waited you out by now.”copyright protection29PENANAF4SSyquD4u

    “Your driver doesn’t know me.” Julius looked down at where the driver laid. “Obviously.” He pushed himself off the pillar and took a step toward Lacuesta.copyright protection29PENANAlkRZ8Z9q7o

    Lacuesta in return reached inside for his jacket pocket and Julius scoffed contemptuously, taking another step, closing in on his target.copyright protection29PENANAkE16jzR1It

    “You’re going to reach for your knife?” Julius taunted. He scrunched his eyebrows together. “Already?”copyright protection29PENANAAnxsg5SLIW

    A wicked grin splayed over Julius’s lips showing all of his perfectly lined, white teeth. “We haven’t even started yet.”copyright protection29PENANAf4h73p7dPe

    “Started,” Lacuesta repeated, numb at Julius’s words. His eyes flicked down to his unconscious driver, before they widened for a quick second. They returned to normal, but Julius caught it. Fear. The number one key to any hunt. Make them afraid of you.copyright protection29PENANABaSDgbc8dV

    “You’re supposed to run,” Julius said so quietly, if Lacuesta had been moving, he would have missed Julius’s words. Lacuesta dropped his hand from his jacket pocket and squared his shoulders toward Julius.copyright protection29PENANABNj8gze9lX

    “That won’t do you any good. You know I’ll outrun you.” Lacuesta’s confidence took Julius aback. He nodded in respect for the man’s comments. Another step closer.copyright protection29PENANA6B1nI5NPjD

    Julius kept his gaze down.“You may be a new Stinger, but I’d like to see you try,” he whispered. He snapped his eyes up. Just a few feet from Lacuesta now. Lacuesta’s throat tightened and he lowered his hand from his pocket.copyright protection29PENANA4VNWy48Ldl

    Julius nodded slowly, emphatically. “I’m glad to see you’ve chosen other options than your oh-so-precious secret weapon. I think we would all be better off without it.”copyright protection29PENANAGO9ZXpzczU

    Lacuesta’s getaway plan was forming in his head, but not fast enough. He couldn’t produce it with Julius’s eyes baring into him. He tightened his hand into a fist and swung at Julius, attempting to jolt; a quick getaway through the pillars and to his garage where his car was waiting, keys in the ignition. But he only got as far as a swing at Julius’s face.copyright protection29PENANA9Fvb2ehQ3A

    Lacuesta’s fist collided with Julius’s cheekbone, but only slightly. Julius turned his head with the direction of the blow, so the full impact of the punch didn’t knock him out. Julius reached and grabbed Lacuesta’s punching arm, delivering an uppercut of his own to Lacuesta’s ribs.copyright protection29PENANAt7vh43lcOz

    Lacuesta quickly recovered and brought his foot down on the side of Julius’s knee. A loud crunch and outcry from Julius gave Lacuesta the few seconds he needed. Arms pumping, Lacuesta jumped from his porch and landed in a summersault. copyright protection29PENANAyvoHul73yG

    Lacuesta could almost taste victory of escape until hands latched onto Lacuesta’s shoulders, propelling him backward. Julius used Lacuesta’s momentum against him, swinging him in the opposite direction. Lacuesta flew through the first story bay windows of his house.copyright protection29PENANAYIltToHaeL

    Glass shattered. The window fell in on itself, taking Lacuesta with it, the bits and pieces of glass airborne before landing and dancing across the ground and furniture. He rolled across his living room floor, black blood from various cuts on his body staining his clothes. The wounds healed themselves, pushing the small lodged pieces of window glass out of the small gashes. Julius leapt in the gaping hole of the house, ushering himself in after Lacuesta.copyright protection29PENANAKITgZXkla9

    “This is what I was talking about,” he sounded out of breath. He grabbed the side of the window, nicking his palm on a shard of glass in the process. As easily as the skin had cut, it healed without a drop of blood leaving his body. Glass crunched underneath each footstep. Julius loomed over Lacuesta, his yellow eyes shining brightly by themselves, almost as if there were lights behind the color.copyright protection29PENANAUIEiq9Exdc

    “The probability you have multiple broken bones, is ridiculously high. I’d give your body a few minutes to heal.” Julius bent down over Lacuesta’s temporarily paralyzed body.copyright protection29PENANAebUzFOYnYd

    “You gave yourself away, you know” Julius whispered. He ran his tongue over his sharp canines, then laughed sickly at his own brilliance. “With your fist.” Julius wrapped his fingers around Lacuesta’s esophagus.33Please respect copyright.PENANAiQpwfQSod8
    “It seems I underestimated you myself,” Lacuesta strained to say through Julius’s tight hold. Lacuesta coughed. “I had heard rumors you would be coming tonight.”copyright protection29PENANA8JV20VZkg9

    “Rumors from whom?”copyright protection29PENANAtbS8uih8Qu

    Lacuesta sneered and it took everything Julius had not to strangle him right there. “Cassius.” copyright protection29PENANAl4GgEl4CI3

    Julius’s brain fired off how many times he’d heard the name. It was a sobriquet; false information as were most of the facts collected from Julius’s associates. His League had a breakthrough a few weeks back, where they learned of Lacuesta, the first real bit of information they’d had in months. Though Lacuesta was a small piece, and an extremely new Stinger, Julius had added, he was information nonetheless.copyright protection29PENANAPRNKUNGT8W

    “They call you the Ghost, you know.” Lacuesta struggled to speak. “Because of your hair; your ability to blend in with the shadows.”copyright protection29PENANA3B8WKCf2L5

    “I could tell you a million other things I’ve been called,” Julius deadpanned, “most of them pretty vulgar.”copyright protection29PENANAw79dnOysqh

    Lacuesta wheezed. “I can’t imagine why.”copyright protection29PENANAvg9i136HXe

    Julius chuckled and pushed on Lacuesta more. “Me either.”copyright protection29PENANAD1QMXAodCa

    He leaned closer to Lacuesta, putting his body weight into the grip, but Lacuesta swung his leg up and hooked his knee around the back of Julius’s neck. Long, black, claw-like nails extended from Lacuesta’s fingertips. He pulled down on Julius, using his arms to throw Julius over his body. His hands slashed Julius’s back.  His fingers ran the length of Julius’s shirt, ripping the cloth, and pulling up shreds of skin. Julius crashed into the hardwood on his spine. His face curled in agony as he tried to roll to one side, lifting the pressure off his back. The pain of a Stinger cut was like fire; searing hot and relentless.copyright protection29PENANAi9hsmEgV6H

    Black blood seeped out of the blistering cuts. Stingers bodies didn’t heal as quickly from injuries made by other Stingers. Julius hadn’t felt real pain in decades. Air stung the newly exposed, uncovered, unprotected flesh. He knew the lacerations were detrimental. copyright protection29PENANAdCXnUYr1Fp

    “All healed, pretty boy,” Lacuesta said in triumph. He wiped his forehead with the back of his hand then rubbed his hand across his dress shirt. He flicked his wrist and his long nails retracted into his skin. He stood over Julius for a moment, looking down at his attacker.copyright protection29PENANAfjq55oGuBi

    “I didn’t believe you were coming tonight,” Lacuesta explained through heaves of breaths.. “There have been so many dead ends of rumors about Stingers. There was no confirmation that you were coming.”copyright protection29PENANAEUsWmOBCKH

    Julius’s head turned slightly, his eyes connecting with Lacuesta’s.copyright protection29PENANAjYkhlffNgV

    “That’s right,” Lacuesta said. “You think you’re the only one hunting Stingers? We may be looking for very different kinds of Stingers, you and I, but the you show up on my doorstep, you make it all too easy.”copyright protection29PENANAcveCBk1hOD

    Julius coughed, blood spurting from his lips and over the carpet. He tried to lift himself up, getting his elbows and hands underneath him but every movement was like experiencing the blinding white pain all over again.copyright protection29PENANAAtx2qTR1wB

    Lacuesta loosened his tie from around his neck, whipping it out of his collar and wrapping it a few times from both ends around the palms of both hands. He stepped forward and looped it around Julius’s neck, laced his hands tightly behind Julius’s neck, and held the tie securely in place.copyright protection29PENANAIQA37VimIy

    Julius clenched his teeth and breathed deeply through them. His neck muscles flexing and pulsing, trying to keep the tie off his throat. His ears rang; eyes burned. His hands sprung for his neck, trying to wiggle his fingers in between the tie and his skin to relax the hold Lacuesta had on him. The air was thin.copyright protection29PENANAhV4wxFQzWF

    Lacuesta dragged Julius to his feet, by his neck, still holding the tie across Julius’s throat. Julius pinched his eyes shut and bit the inside of his cheek, doing anything he could to keep from passing out. Black and white dots danced in his vision. Lacuesta switched from holding the tie with both hands to one hand, fumbling around in his jacket pocket for his sheathed copper knife. A sure way to kill a Stinger.copyright protection29PENANAcw9JyzDqA9

    The pressure around Julius’s neck let up the smallest amount as Lacuesta adjusted his grip. It was the exact opportunity Julius needed. He took in a breath as large as he could and threw his elbows back, connecting with Lacuesta’s ribs and stomach. Julius swiveled his body so he was directly up against Lacuesta and slammed his fists repeatedly into his stomach, ignoring the burning reminder of sharp, flaring pain across his back. Survival was imminent.copyright protection29PENANA1jZCm6xEtg

    Lacuesta tightened his abdomen muscles, trying to deflect the constant blows. Julius’s punches met home again and again, keeping Lacuesta out of breath until he gasped and fell to his knees, the wind knocked out of him. The knife clattered to the ground.copyright protection29PENANAdKbhhJX7iT

    “You even provided the killing weapon,” Julius said, admiration in his voice. He rubbed his hand across his neck, feeling where the tie had indented his skin. He examined his hands, flexing and stretching them. At every moment, his back screamed.copyright protection29PENANANvqWfZwSp6

    Lacuesta clutched his chest, slowing his breathing.copyright protection29PENANA1rq13M7BrB

    Julius swiped the knife off the ground and twirled it between his fingers. He grasped it tightly and keeping it locked in his grip, steadied Lacuesta’s head between his hands, and collided his knee with Lacuesta’s nose, just as he’d done to the driver.copyright protection29PENANASFl4XCNUK6

    The crunch was stomach-churning; loud and crisp, like the break went much farther than just to Lacuesta’s nose. Black blood spurted freely from Lacuesta’s nostrils. The exact moment that caused the driver to pass out, only dazed Lacuesta. He fell back on the ground using his elbows to catch him but failed. His back slammed into the floor, body healed the moment he hit the ground. Excess blood dripped from the tip of his nose.copyright protection29PENANAOxCeuRe0JE

    Julius rammed the heel of his foot into Lacuesta’s chest, breaking his sternum and rib cage. He had to act fast before Lacuesta healed and Julius wouldn’t have a second opportunity. Julius clenched the knife and thrust it directly into Lacuesta’s chest, through his black pulsing heart.copyright protection29PENANA6L6wM9jULL

    The knife burned and glowed a bright turquoise green against the black veins of the heart. The knife kept its glow, the effects of it spreading rapidly through Lacuesta’s body, infecting every organ and blood vessel, turning it to sand as the reaction spread. Lacuesta’s fingers, toes and ears were the first things to go, turning to grey ash, falling silently into the carpet below. His body didn’t take much longer after that.copyright protection29PENANAvEqRInuwhe

    Julius collapsed to his knees where Lacuesta’s body once was and fumbled for his phone. The phone slipped around in his shaky grasp. He finally managed to get ahold of it and dialed Sphere.copyright protection29PENANAD6Mflg7zgR

    “Lacuesta,” was all Julius said, breathing hard. The fabric of Julius’s shirt was sticking to Julius’s cuts, poking the tender skin. Julius winced and carefully sat up as much as he could.copyright protection29PENANAdnCjUotdjf

    Sphere was quiet on the other end. “It’s five in the morning, Clyde.”copyright protection29PENANAYOTpGCNa95

    Julius rolled his eyes, in no mood for Sphere’s antics. “Did you want it done or not? Sorry that I couldn’t catch him between nine and five.”copyright protection29PENANAoMba2wr96H

    “Are you panting?” Sphere questioned, his tone implying anything but sympathy or concern. Julius expected as much.copyright protection29PENANA0k5DEZ27dl

    “Shut up, Sphere. You’re telling me no one ever calls you after a task out of breath?”copyright protection29PENANAncahBQTo03

    “This would be a first for me,” Sphere responded.copyright protection29PENANAupPFASc12i

    “Ha-ha. How about when they’re injured?”copyright protection29PENANAJ2CPGgOIo1

    “Typically they’re not…you’re injured?”copyright protection29PENANA4Lde3P5Xe6

    “Minor scratch.” Julius’s voice cracked over the phone and he inwardly whacked himself.copyright protection29PENANA0IvPn6IA8K

    “Uh-huh.” Sphere listened closer to Julius’s ragged breathing. “How deep?”copyright protection29PENANASSNuHtLwb9

    Julius twisted his arm back, feeling for the scratch but the pull of his muscles cut him short. He flinched and carefully dropped his arm back to his side.copyright protection29PENANAxgVLuYAAWP

    “Enough that I can’t feel for it. Hurts too much.”copyright protection29PENANAGWxcMViuvr

    Sphere sighed. “Stay in Arizona for the time being; you can’t make it to LA without making too big a scene. Haze caught word of a Stinger in Scottsdale. Only a rumor, though. Go check it out but keep your distance. If there is, I’ll send someone out.”copyright protection29PENANAenj1S1vDxH

    “I can do it myself,” Julius said “This isn’t my first run around the block.”copyright protection29PENANAM4XIQsGr2C

    “It is being injured this bad,” Sphere immediately responded.copyright protection29PENANAgIzNVlJdQe

    Julius stayed quiet for a minute. “If you’re going to send someone…send anyone, anyone but Markham,” he finally said.copyright protection29PENANAF5CY7u0C8x

    Sphere talked over Julius as if he hadn’t said anything. “You’re too hurt to do anything about it so—Julius, are you hearing me?—don’t do anything.”copyright protection29PENANAjUChDsJjTM

    “Yeah….yeah, I hear you.”copyright protection29PENANAW9vwXqSGEI

    “I know you’re saying what I want to hear but are you getting what I actually need you to do?”copyright protection29PENANAVjNxiU2ixa

    Julius pressed his lips together. Sphere knew what to say to make Julius upset and make it sound like Julius was inexperienced. “Yep, got it. Find and kill the Stinger.”copyright protection29PENANAQR5s8IUS2O

    “Julius—”copyright protection29PENANAEZY9wWAoCe

    Julius hung up.copyright protection29PENANA6yxU6QP99m

    He needed medical attention. Modern medicine, of all things. This wasn’t the 19th century anymore. He couldn’t believe it. The last time this happened he was in Greenland. 40 years ago. copyright protection29PENANAjZdprm8mfb

    Julius stood up, accidentally kicking the knife with his foot. It spun wildly on the ground in a hypnotic motion, slowing as it spun in piles of sand. Julius chose to leave the way he came into the house; through the window, taking the knife with him.copyright protection29PENANAaTa93G5D5I

    He climbed in Lacuesta’s SUV parked out front, seeing through his side mirror the driver’s unmoving body still on the porch. Scottsdale was only a 20 minute drive. Surely he could last that long. He had to. No way was he going to die at some rich bachelor’s mansion.copyright protection29PENANASbgq6ngVwp

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