Challenge: tehuti’s 100 Sentence Prompts
Prompt:There’s something not right about his eyes.
57. Blood Birds
There’s something not right about his eyes. Julie moved closer to the window and stared at the boy. He had to be no younger than ten and yet there was something off. “How long has he been here?”
“And what are his abilities?” Julie glanced at Glen. “Why is he so special?”
Glen pushed the file across the table. Julie reluctantly tore her gaze away from the boy behind the pane to pick up the file. “Magpie?”
“I’m sure you’ve heard about how we name them.”
Julie nodded absently as she opened the file. “But why Magpie? Why birds?” She murmured to herself only to pause when she realized Glen heard her.
“Because this place is the only home they’ll know again. They’re aviary if you will.” Glen cut the air with his fingers as he explained. “We clip their little wings to keep them from flying the coop and then we learn all we can from them.”
“But they’re not birds. They’re humans….They’re-…” she looked at the boy again, “He’s a child.”
“They are all weapons.”
“How? By being different from us?” She tossed the file at him and turned back to the window. “I’ll take him.”
Glen sighed heavily and got up to stand next to her. They stared in silence at the boy with his dark eyes and dark hair. His face was partially hidden by his hair but they could see him staring back. “He isn’t what he seems.” Julie shook her head but he continued. “How old do you think he is?”
“Nine, maybe ten.”
“What do you think he is?”
“A child.” She said flatly. “An innocent child being harbored like an animal.”
“I see…” Glen pushed a button at the side of the window and moments later the boy was no longer alone. A team of four handlers entered the padded gray room.
Watching closely, Julie crossed her arms. The men and women edged closer almost timidly. “What is this?”
“A demonstration. Now watch.”
One of the women took a knee in front of the boy. From what Julie could see, it looked like she wanted to talk to the boy but he didn’t budge. “He’s so still. Is he sedated?” The rest of the team edged closer with one of them pulling a key from his pocket. “What are they doing? Glen, what is going on?” She looked at his vacant profile. “Glen!”
“This is why it’s here.”
“What are-” Her mouth hung open as she watched the team fall over one by one. The female that kneeled before him was first. Blood poured out of her eyes, nose, and ears while the rest screamed from their own torture. The man who had the key scratched his skin raw before his eyes finally filled with blood and he collapsed. The other man banged at the door. She watched on in horror as the boy tilted his head and the man’s body folded in on itself. “Did he-”
“That seems to be its preferred killing style of late. He makes the bones brittle so that the spine snaps in multiple places at once, instantly killing the target.”
Julie felt herself shaking but she bit her tongue. None of it made sense. The boy was just that, a boy. “What have you done?” She asked painfully.
“We merely test their abilities.” The last woman in the room struggled to crawl to the one way window, coughing up blood the entire way. “Magpie seems to prefer clean kills when unprovoked but there are days like this when it gets a little messy.” Glen took her hands and placed the file there. “I suggest you get to know the subject better before forming attachments. If you don’t, you’ll become a liability and they always get rid of liabilities.”
She stepped back on shaky legs and stared at the boy. There wasn’t a drop of blood on him yet it stained the room around him. “Were they liabilities?” She both feared and needed the answer.
“Yes.” He moved to leave her alone to process everything but paused. “Tucker Hayes, that’s the name it was born with, but I wouldn’t go outside codenames if I were you. It’s another liability.”