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The Proper Way to Eat a Victorian Age Brain
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Writer Jessica Rinori
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  • G: General Audiences
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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!4EVHVd3KJHfoE63sQA86posted 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 protection23PENANAOeLPV6Ebl4

    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 protection23PENANAspJo7EBbok

    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 protection23PENANASEJwLNYBn7

    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 protection23PENANAIclu2gAHrV

    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 protection23PENANAMUlvit9TEy

    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 protection23PENANAewdX2YL1A9

    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 protection23PENANA8iltMoJn5b

    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 protection23PENANAjS5Eno7wiL

    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 protection23PENANA5wiiukggmR

    “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 protection23PENANApu9LXW9Hkf

    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 protection23PENANASD7Yiumq1F

    “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 protection23PENANAb7cupHPGXb

    Lacuesta fumbled with the lock on his front door.copyright protection23PENANAxmFH7CDgkX

    “I’ve never understood why wealthy people would hire people to drive them around.”copyright protection23PENANAwcBDbT8yj9

    Lacuesta flinched at Julius’s voice. He whipped his head around, eyes adjusting to the reality of Julius standing behind him.copyright protection23PENANAdvgpZG6On3

    “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 protection23PENANA0UpFBxifOC

    Julius’s tall hair was alabaster; exactly how Lacuesta had heard it to be.copyright protection23PENANAdkPOY0I6y2

    “Mr. Lacuesta,” Julius addressed the man, finally bringing his yellow irised eyes down to meet Mr. Lacuesta’s violet ones.copyright protection23PENANAgLxxaxdhmA

    Lacuesta laughed nervously. “My driver thought I would have waited you out by now.”copyright protection23PENANAkmvK27ikm6

    “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 protection23PENANAWzrMopM7wk

    Lacuesta in return reached inside for his jacket pocket and Julius scoffed contemptuously, taking another step, closing in on his target.copyright protection23PENANA9M5HjgfxyC

    “You’re going to reach for your knife?” Julius taunted. He scrunched his eyebrows together. “Already?”copyright protection23PENANA8TZDE1KWm7

    A wicked grin splayed over Julius’s lips showing all of his perfectly lined, white teeth. “We haven’t even started yet.”copyright protection23PENANA3iHu56URdr

    “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 protection23PENANAbmdh4xyj56

    “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 protection23PENANAVeZVREWCAi

    “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 protection23PENANAKDBr8Gx3yL

    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 protection23PENANAuJ8I1cgAwm

    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 protection23PENANAGrAGnskj5V

    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 protection23PENANACPzehIUPLt

    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 protection23PENANAAgcIZeUgOq

    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 protection23PENANACvSdbfGwzL

    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 protection23PENANArcB1qSJlHu

    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 protection23PENANAOhL10LfU14

    “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 protection23PENANAlEzdSLtyh3

    “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 protection23PENANAjJfUKFNt1u

    “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.27Please respect copyright.PENANAcJ4A40kLRP
    “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 protection23PENANAYPMKRMv6Hx

    “Rumors from whom?”copyright protection23PENANAa2bKg4vKCM

    Lacuesta sneered and it took everything Julius had not to strangle him right there. “Cassius.” copyright protection23PENANANWw3RhJEKK

    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 protection23PENANA9JAWtrIZxq

    “They call you the Ghost, you know.” Lacuesta struggled to speak. “Because of your hair; your ability to blend in with the shadows.”copyright protection23PENANAwIsIsJMYto

    “I could tell you a million other things I’ve been called,” Julius deadpanned, “most of them pretty vulgar.”copyright protection23PENANAKhlhkcy3Qj

    Lacuesta wheezed. “I can’t imagine why.”copyright protection23PENANAN02nWwOFwm

    Julius chuckled and pushed on Lacuesta more. “Me either.”copyright protection23PENANA525xLyhywK

    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 protection23PENANAWh1iylu7ol

    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 protection23PENANAqcltzh0oXw

    “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 protection23PENANAL2zQzkoQSV

    “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 protection23PENANABPcC7KYCRn

    Julius’s head turned slightly, his eyes connecting with Lacuesta’s.copyright protection23PENANAXiziL9ALxx

    “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 protection23PENANAijAR99cy04

    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 protection23PENANAtCUFf2qdEi

    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 protection23PENANABBAaUmjv8R

    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 protection23PENANA3qaDhkNuSO

    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 protection23PENANAymqt1GvsUa

    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 protection23PENANAKvLlGGIZcQ

    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 protection23PENANARfh2TzmG3f

    “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 protection23PENANAuCBV5DBB6w

    Lacuesta clutched his chest, slowing his breathing.copyright protection23PENANALR1xcHeVHq

    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 protection23PENANALyF3ByCXfF

    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 protection23PENANAdKiPGnshZy

    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 protection23PENANAOLpPiCwwxe

    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 protection23PENANAWjNCmobZmr

    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 protection23PENANAFzbXoRlR9k

    “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 protection23PENANAqX5PMosjU0

    Sphere was quiet on the other end. “It’s five in the morning, Clyde.”copyright protection23PENANAxRkkuHJFG5

    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 protection23PENANA6lFii39DVj

    “Are you panting?” Sphere questioned, his tone implying anything but sympathy or concern. Julius expected as much.copyright protection23PENANAYlg4b3sDnm

    “Shut up, Sphere. You’re telling me no one ever calls you after a task out of breath?”copyright protection23PENANADVeXgIEZol

    “This would be a first for me,” Sphere responded.copyright protection23PENANA5vGKNZOXDJ

    “Ha-ha. How about when they’re injured?”copyright protection23PENANAhB4yFfC8TZ

    “Typically they’re not…you’re injured?”copyright protection23PENANAvxVJvbsabQ

    “Minor scratch.” Julius’s voice cracked over the phone and he inwardly whacked himself.copyright protection23PENANAvglc19cQ7P

    “Uh-huh.” Sphere listened closer to Julius’s ragged breathing. “How deep?”copyright protection23PENANAzorEW7UzfO

    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 protection23PENANAyKltuRFW1Q

    “Enough that I can’t feel for it. Hurts too much.”copyright protection23PENANAMx78J9iVZq

    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 protection23PENANALzOceLj9kz

    “I can do it myself,” Julius said “This isn’t my first run around the block.”copyright protection23PENANAXTjjnNa2Kb

    “It is being injured this bad,” Sphere immediately responded.copyright protection23PENANATwJ1FsbXob

    Julius stayed quiet for a minute. “If you’re going to send someone…send anyone, anyone but Markham,” he finally said.copyright protection23PENANAn9KcmZYF9j

    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 protection23PENANAf6czqAnAC7

    “Yeah….yeah, I hear you.”copyright protection23PENANAMwDwyjYJgn

    “I know you’re saying what I want to hear but are you getting what I actually need you to do?”copyright protection23PENANAUEwFRSFPyO

    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 protection23PENANA9NVlmlVJWy

    “Julius—”copyright protection23PENANAQJ4ufDOem5

    Julius hung up.copyright protection23PENANABgJ8WB1Bqz

    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 protection23PENANApznlVKGRuD

    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 protection23PENANAplnuQC8ERu

    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 protection23PENANAJtLtBH4Cju

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