This is my city. I will make the invaders pay for their corruption.

I stand on the roof of the dilapidated building. It is dark in the city and the wind is raging against my body. I take in a deep breath of noxious fumes and the smell of distant salt water. The cool air is sharp in my lungs. The scents empower me. This is my city - every urchin, cracked window, graffitied wall, abandoned motel. They are all mine.

I pull my hair out of my face and into a long ponytail. As much as I love to look more animal than human with a black mane obscuring my face, there is business to attend to. I have to take care of my city now, as it has taken care of me. I finger the glock on my waist appreciatively. This is my best friend. 

I jump down a hole in the roof and land on the top floor. It isn't much different in here than it is above. The smashed windows that aren't boarded up let the air rush through. The place is filthy and reeks of mold. Cracked glass crunchs loudly beneath my shoes. I have to take care to be more quiet.

I find another hole and lower myself down through it. I drop down lightly on the floor below. They probably think the noise is coming from outside. There is now chalky white drywall powder on my fingers. I wipe them down my cheeks and catch my reflection in a grimy piece of mirror. It looks good.

I know the staircase has long since been compromised. That is always where they go first. It works against most people, but not me. I am an animal of the city. I hear and see what no one else can. I smell their presence, their tricks and deceit. They wait hungrily, but I am hungry, too.

I continue this way down the floors. I know I haven't been found out. They have probably never heard of me, because I have never let one escape. Climbing from floor to ceiling to floor is a technique that never enters their sharp minds. See, smart though they may be, I am much smarter: I never underestimate my enemy.

I reach the second floor. I think as they do, so I know there will be one stationed by the front door. Lucky for me, there is only one door. That will make this easy. I loosen the laces on my right boot and drop through to ground floor.

You see, the funny thing about them is they never watch their backs. Perhaps they are aware of their cunning and intelligence. It must have gone to their heads over time. They feel invincible compared to us. Sure enough, it is standing right in front of me. It faces the door - no surprise there. I take the knife out from the boot.  The knife's a beauty: 9 inches, matte black blade, won't reflect light. I stab its heart, through the ribs, just once. It collapses on the floor.

I smell them in the basement. They stink of corruption. And booze. One of the reasons they love it so much here is because of the booze. I drop down in a dark corner. They don't hear me, or see me, of course. Their backs are turned towards the staircase. Typical.

I shift to see around the center column. There are three of them. What they lie in wait for today is anyone's guess. They are tall, upwards of seven feet, and hunched over. Slimy black skin is stretched over their skeletal shape, glistening from what little light leaks through the ceiling. I can count each rib. If I knew them all, I could count each bone. They are naked.

I move closer to the tall one. He will be the leader. I can tell because the leaders always hold themselves a certain way. His hairless skull disgusts me. I hope none of them turn around before I can kill them, but I know that won't happen.

I hold the knife in my left hand and I take out the glock with my right. I always keep it loaded. I can't afford to lose a second once they know I am there. Despite their size, they are much faster than I am.

I stab the heart of the one closest to me while I shoot through the one to my right. They both collapse immediately. They have such frail hearts. The third one is the furthest away, but now it turns to me. Its eyes are vertical slits, rolling madly with little red balls. It has a gash where its mouth should be. With one leap, that mouth is mere inches from my face.

I duck and spin behind the column. It is quicker than most I have fought. I should have shot it first. I don't have time to think, so I shoot it in the foot. It lets out a gargling noise. I use this chance to jump to the right, but I slip on a piece of glass and my face smashes against the floor. The thing starts to gargle. It is laughing at me.

It knows that I am injured, but it does not know that I am cunning. They lose their heads once they think they have the upper hand. Slipping was no accident. As I twist to stand up, a gunshot rings. I get up to see the body collapsed on the floor.

I always was a good shot.

The End

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