I chose the setting sun to mark my arrival, though it was not yet dark. The evening had soaked the world in a strange orange light - making the rather normal neighborhood seem nearly alien. I came in the back of the property - entering into the backyard of the residence with young William never leaving my side. His hand holding mine tightly as he talked on and on and on about things I pretended to listen to.
I didn't shoot off a gun to get the attention of the family inside.
No... no, I merely offered to push William on the rope swing I had mentioned before. Those bluest of blue eyes turned up to me at the suggestion - grin spreading wide, minus a few teeth. Don't get antsy, it wasn't my doing. He came like that.
As he flew higher and higher, the boy began to laugh at the soaring sensation. As children his age tend to. And, just like I thought it would, his laughter brought them to me like moths to a flame. The three of them. Jennifer. Mary. Lionel. They all rushed from the house in a hope-risen panic. I grinned at the looks given to us: confusion, mixed with fear.
The "glove" on my left hand/arm was the parents' first hint as to my purpose there. But more on that in a moment.
Jennifer, to her credit, did not even hesitate. She ran in front of everyone else, shouting at William to get away from me. William didn't seem to be paying attention, the little twit. He stopped himself from swinging and grabbed my right hand, trying to pull me towards the house. He called me his new friend. His new friend that he wanted to meet his mommy. Daddy. Sister. And the cats that were apparently on a long trip somewhere - but will be back, rest assured!
The father stepped forward as I stopped - making his son stop with me as I closed my hand around his. Not to hurt him. Just to make sure he wouldn't be deserting me until I deemed the time to be right. Lionel's voice sounded so... enraged. His fists were clenched. Face burning red. Glare set. Looking for a fight.
He really didn't want one with me, but he didn't necessarily know that yet.
"What are you doing with MY SON?! Who do you think you ARE?!"
I grinned and crouched down, gently pulling the boy back close to me as everyone at the house started shouting. Once again, my identity was demanded. I laughed a bit in response. Told them the truth. I told them Jennifer had invited me over to play. I told them how much of a pleasure it was to meet them.
They both looked so torn - so heart-wrenched - as I kept the boy close to me. My left arm curling across his front - leaving the lethally sharp blades that were the fingers of my gauntlet resting easy on his opposite shoulder. The mother begged me not to hurt him. Tears already streaming and I hadn't even done anything yet. Daddy dearest was only getting madder, yelling threats, but I focused in on Jennifer.
"Did you really think we wouldn't find you, little Jenny? Didn't you get my notes? Did you honestly not expect this? I warned you. He does not just go away because you want Him to. I warned you..."
She tried so hard to ignore me. Tearing forward and putting her hand on her dad's arm to get his attention. What she had wanted to tell him, none of us will ever know. For that was when... I was taken by surprise.
Lionel backhanded his own daughter. Accused her of being involved in drugs, like her mother suspected. Accused her of bringing a Collector to their door. To her little brother. Jennifer was crying.
And a second later, Lionel was screaming. Laying on the porch steps clutching his shoulder where I'd placed a bullet myself. Equipped with a silencer, I lowered the tasteless modern weapon slowly. William was crying now. Squirming in my hold as he watched his daddy splurt ketchup all over himself. The mother was by his side. Jennifer, holding her tear-stained cheek, hesitated back.
With my attention split at that moment, William thrashed around a bit too much and tore out from under my arm - heading in a frantic run to his family. The small trace of crimson left on the tips of my glove, however, made me grin once again as I stood. I hadn't let the boy get even half way... before I sent out a long whistle. I started to laugh as I heard familiar calls answer me.
Two black angels appeared above us.
They both cawed to me as they tilted their heads - looking for my tell-tale signal that it was suppertime: Blood.
The boy didn't stand a chance in Hell. My ravens dive-bombed him with the aim to take him right off his feet from the start. And they succeeded. William hit the ground hard, already screaming as beaks and talons tore into the small injury I myself had begun - widening it by the second as the child thrashed. Crying. Screeching. Flailing uselessly against birds who's combined strength clearly out-did his own.
I could see the blood splatter over glossy, black feathers as I ran straight past - catching Jennifer in my arms from interfering on my pets' feeding time. The girl thrashed as wildly as her little brother. Trying to maneuver out of my hold. She clawed at me. Screamed at me. Tried her best to free herself. To save her sibling. I never once let up my hold. Never once let her look away from the scene.
We both watched - her useless parents either dying or frozen behind us - as William's thrashing lessened. His screams of pure, unbridled agony choked back as his throat filled with blood. Eventually, there were only the sounds of pleads, tears, cawing, and the ripping of flesh as Kali and Loki took their fill of their prey.
I released the teen without a word. She immediately dropped. Falling to her hands and knees in the grass in front of me. Crying. Shaking. Mumbling incoherently. Praying to God for it all to be a nightmare. Just another nightmare.
I left them to their devices. The police showed up later, called in by a concerned neighbor who'd heard some yelling. They would find Lionel dead on the steps he collapsed on, having bled out, and the shredded remains of the six year old boy... in the arms of his mother. A modern gun with a silencer in her limp hand and the back of her head blown out.
I thought it only right to leave it as a parting gift.
Jennifer herself is gone. She left not long after I did.
My work here is complete. Jennifer is now a Runner... and I don't even have to feed Kali and Loki tonight.
Keep smiling, everyone!