She spit a stream of bright blood onto a ragged porno mag. The girl on the page leered up at her in spite of the bloody film masking her faux ecstacy. Nasty, naked, and contorted for the camera, her grin was the classic textbook example of someone who didn’t actually feel what they expressed. Meg thought – or maybe just imagined – a glint in the girls eye that suggested approval so she saluted the girl with a full military snap that felt like it might take her arm off. She heard radio crackle coming from underneath the magazine: desperate voices through static, begging for her location. She pushed the magazine aside with her boot and bent to pick up the radio handset. Her ribs screamed in pain and almost stopped her short but her fingers kept brushing the antenna until she could snag it.
Somewhere off to her left, underneath what remained of a once sturdy coffee table, the injured whale let out a cetacean groan. He wasn’t going to be getting up any time soon, but she wanted to be ready if he rallied. Nothing in her body or head suggested weakness even though the pain was starting to build in bruised bones, rib, jaw, forearm, leg, pretty much every moveable part. She found a leg of a table – she wasn’t sure which table as they’d broken several and figured it would do the trick pretty well if the whale decided to move. Her pistol, taser and most of the steel bars of her new Sock Monkey Mittens of Wrath lay somewhere in the shipwreck flotsam of the cramped and destroyed living room. She didn’t feel like she could find them if she wanted to but that was alright. She had the table leg. If he moved it might be the end of him. Just the thought was enough to send a new burst of warm anger up through her neck and into her throbbing face.
She used the table leg as a crutch to lower herself onto the mangled couch. It was just about the only thing that was still intact but even that was debatable. The springs had given up ages ago. She sank onto it, weary beyond words, and spat another stream into the overflowing ashtray still sitting on the remarkably intact end table. She wondered if the tooth, which now seemed to fill her whole mouth, was actually coming loose or if it was just the jaw swelling up.
“You want to get up, big boy?” She said to the whale. He moaned again. She used to think whale song was sadly gorgeous. Right now it just made her want to club him to death with the table leg. “You want to try for round three?”
It groaned again.
“You are under arrest. You have the right to remain in pain. You have the right to an attorney and if he’s any good I will club him to death too. Do you understand these rights as I’ve explained them to you?”
“Good. Now shut up or I’m going to tase you in the mouth.”
The radio crackled with an urgent nonsensical request for her location from the other members of the entry team. This time she managed enough strength to answer it.
“Brown here. Three doors south of target location. 10-20. Need assistance.”
She wiggled her bloody, broken fingers in what remained of the Sock Monkeys of Wrath. Elliot was missing one of his reinforced button eyes and one steel bar jutted through the stitching like a broken tooth or a dislocated vertebrae. Melvin was worse. He was her right hand and was missing both eyes and all the bars, his bright red mouth was a ragged mess of sweat and blackening blood, thankfully none of it was hers.
“Sorry guys. But good job.” She waved at herself. Her nails were shot. It would take all the kings horses and all the kings men to find a manicurist that could make them look like she hadn’t tried to claw a dragon to death.
“You too, Meg.” She made Elliot say. Somehow Elliot always sounded like a helium sucking duck with a head cold.
Her arms now felt like they weighed a ton, even so if he moved again she would find the strength. She didn’t know where – maybe a back pocket if she still had one. Just knowing that was good and it made her smile. The heat, and pain was made of nice, cleansing, rage that was slowly burning off and leaving her with exhaustion. She could already hear the team moving up the walk, radio chatter. In a second or more they would come crashing through the door just like she had a few minutes ago.
She grinned wide, bearing bloody awful teeth and felt better than she had all week.
This work is still in progress.