Author's note: I just had to write more. I get hooked on my chracters, and I have to finish with them.
Bad GirlCaged birds and puppets are almost same in a way. They both sing, or dance, with a nauseatingly joyful attitude without the bittersweet wondering of what life might be like outside those cheap steel bars, or without someone’s hand shoved up their backside, telling them what to do. In a way, I’m like them too. I can’t bring myself to feel unhappy, or angry, not after being shown the plans to rob the banks, not after being shoved into a van, squeezed between two henchmen who seriously should consider starting a diet other than crispy crèmes, not even after hitting all three of the planned banks in an hour’s time.
I didn’t feel proud. I didn’t feel happy; not even when Black Wrath praised me for a job well done when I returned with enough loot to make Donald Trump look poor. I didn’t even feel sad at the fact that I had been reduced to a mindless drone thriving solely on his word alone. I didn’t feel anything. I couldn’t. I wasn’t told to.
“Marvelous job, Precious,” he said, circling me with a proud look on his face with his hands clasped behind his back, to keep from hugging me, “Why I ever used dim-witted henchmen in the first place is beyond me!”
I stared blankly at nothing in particular. Black Wrath studied me for a moment with intense concentration, and then his fist swung up, as if to hit me, and stopped just an inch from my face. He bobbed me lightly on the nose, laughing delightedly because I hadn’t flinched, I hadn’t even blinked. I couldn’t. I wasn’t told to.
“Sir, we’ve made the news,” a henchman called, glancing back at us from where she sat on the leather sofa.
“Turn it up,” Black Wrath replied, and grabbed my hand, “Come, dear one, let’s hear what New York’s media has to say about our new Villainous.”
My legs moved mechanically upon his order, and my body followed him until her came to a stop in front of the large flat screen. My eyes tracked the images on the TV, my mind barely able to register what was going on as they showed footage of the blue haired girl—me—robbing the Parkinson’s bank, swooping in and out of the broken windows as she quickly loaded the stolen money into the idling vans.
“This leaves us to wonder if our deceased heroine isn’t dead after all,” She paused momentarily, as the TV zoomed in on the footage, freezing it, and simultaneously displaying a picture of me in my pink wig saving a bus full of kids last year, “And if this so-called She-Villain is our beloved Glimpse, God have mercy on us all. This is Betty Collins, saying, goodnight.” The anchor lady said with a fake concerned look on her face as the TV cut form her to a Long John Silver’s commercial advertising their Baja Fish Tacos.
“Well, I do say you have the media’s attention now, my dear Glimpse,” Black Wrath smiled, stroking my blue wig adoringly. I was still dressed in the costume Cally had just recently made for me, and a small part of what was left of my mind wondered idly what she would think of Glimpse now when she saw her work being used on someone E-V-I-L. “How’s about we really give them something to talk about, hmm? Why don’t you pay your parent’s a little visit?”
“Cain,” Stanley said, as if he was about to object, and then he lost his nerve, “You’ll have to be more specific than that. She’ll actually visit with them if you leave your order like that.”
“Very well. Glimpse dear?”
I felt my body straighten at attention, and Black Wrath permitted a smile, “I want you to go to your apartment, and I want you to kill your parents. Wait there if they aren’t home. They’ll have to come home eventually. Do you understand?”
My head bobbed up and down without my permission, and my body turned, marching out of his office. My mind fought weakly against his command that I knew I wouldn’t be able to resist, and the chip zapped me, erasing my silent mutiny before I could act on my thoughts. It was like I had never thought to do except what I was told. It was like the thought had never entered my mind.
The flight was a short one, with the cool wind making my body shudder, the only freedom from the chips control. I walked upstairs at an even pace to the beat of ‘Must Kill’ ‘Must Kill’ repeated like a bad nursery rhyme, or a drill sergeant yelling, ‘Left. Left. Left. Right. Left.’
I threw the door open, and my body paused for a moment, as the chip assessed this new problem. Black Wrath had calculated for the possibility that my parents might be home, or not be home, but he hadn’t calculated this. My whole apartment seemed to be filled to the brim with people, familiar faces bombarding the confused chip. My eyes searched mechanically for my parents, as the chip told me to do.
“Oh no, Riley! So it’s true!” Mom cried, and I wished she hadn’t. My eyes had missed her heart shaped face hidden from me by Mr. Sidle’s lanky figure.
“Why, Riley? Wasn’t it bad enough you were Glimpse?” Dad demanded, standing up from where he sat on the couch. “Talk to us! Don’t just stand there!”
“Directive: Must Kill,” I said, my voice reminding my body of the task at hand. My hands began to glow with a white hot energy that scorched my skin. Hushed cries of surprise filled my ears but I didn’t care. My body headed towards my Mom first; the easy, most vulnerable target of the two.
Mom scrambled to her feet, wearing a terrified expression, “Riley, Honey, what is wrong with you?”
“Must kill,” I replied reaching out to her with a glowing hand. My mindless body did not anticipate a resistance. It didn’t think to stop and consider how my dad might react to the fact that his daughter was trying to kill his wife.
My face hit the floor first when he shouldered past me, careful to avoid my deadly hands. He swept my mom away from me, back to the safety of the group of friends and old teachers.
“Why are you doing this, Rainbow?” He asked, stepping towards me hesitantly. My hand reached up to grab him but he dodged it. I was only able to snag part of his shirt for a second before he ripped away from me. The second was enough though. Where my fingers came into contact with the fabric, there were now holes, exposing his pale hairy stomach.
“Careful, Kevin,” Mom murmured.
“Must kill,” I insisted, spreading my arms out wide so they couldn’t escape me.
“She seems to have been hypnotized, or something,” Mr. Sidle suggested.
“Maybe there’s a way to snap her out of it,” Mrs. Karen, my old math teacher said.
Mr. Sidle dashed to where my cello sat in its black case propped up against the kitchen cabinets, distracting me enough that my parents were able to flit out of my reach, and stand in the open doorway. They didn’t leave.
Mr. Sidle cracked my case open, and began to play the song I had wrote. He hit a few wrong notes, but the melody was strong and intoxicating, making me hesitate a moment further to listen, and then the chip zapped me again.
“It didn’t work!”
“Maybe this will,” Benny said. It was odd seeing him out of his Hotdog Express restaurant, but it was even odder to see him hefting my cello up in a batting position. Before anyone could stop him, he swung the cello around, and he hit me upside the head with it. I fell to my knees like my legs had been cut out from under me. He hit me again, this time even harder, and I could hear the sound of splitting wood against my skull. I was out cold before I even made it to the floor.
I’m not sure how long I laid there unconscious, but I woke up to the sound of voices.
“Did you have to hit her so hard?”
“Well, I didn’t see you coming up with a plan to stop her.”
I moaned softly.
“Shhh, I think she’s coming around,” Mom murmured, “Riley, Are you okay?”
I groaned softly, and blinked, noticing that despite the possible danger, Mom was the closet to me, sitting Indian-style as she held my hand. I lifted my hand, and the whole room flinched except for her. I rubbed the sore spot where Benny had hit me, incidentally my left temple, where the chip had been implanted. I looked over at Benny, and he was still holding my cello he had cut me down with.
The front was smashed in, the strings mangled beyond repair, split in half, and dangling tauntingly.
I groaned, “You had to use my cello?!”
The room relaxed, and a few laughed, including my mom and dad. Mr. Sidle proffered a thin smile, but I could see in his eyes, that he was silently mourning the death of such a beautiful instrument.
“Would you care to explain what’s going on now, Rainbow?” Dad asked, sinking down to a kneeling position beside my mom, who helped me to sit up. I sighed, my head throbbing in my aching hands. That white hot energy had really done a number on them. They were a bright crimson, possibly burnt.
“Black Wrath is Stanley’s brother. Stanley kidnapped me and brought me to Black Wrath’s lair which just so happens to be an abandoned hospital. They implanted a chip in my head that makes me do what they tell me to do. Black Wrath had me rob those banks, and then, he told me to finish you two off.” I replied, neglecting to mention Andrew in this whole mess. It hurt too much to think of his betrayal.
“They told me…they told me everything about how I was really born, and who you two really are.”
“We love you, Riley. All that is in the past,” Mom replied.
“You realize that I’m going to have to stop them, right?” I whispered, “Maybe…even kill them so we’re safe again.”
Mom exchanged a glance with my dad, and turned back to me, straightening the blue wig on my head. “Well, I guess kick some butt then,” She replied, and I smiled.