Bitter snow and cold winds blew across the city of Manhattan. Blowing up freezing wraiths of ice, that swirled and then immediately died back down again. Alex shook nearby a trash can with a burning fire in front of him, two German Shepherds on either side of him squeezed next to his shaking body.

He was weak, from the cold, from the pain he felt in his heart of the betrayal that stung him every time a snowflake burned into his cheek. There were no stars that night, just like every other night, the pollution of the lights and humans blocked out the unbridled beauty that nature had. That’s when both of the dog’s ears perked up and one of them began to growl, turning to the direction they were facing, he saw a group 5 of men smoking cigars and carrying knives.

They all wore dark black business suits and top hats, they looked quite literally like they belonged in the 1940’s with the mafia. Gulping as they approached he moved closer into the dogs, knowing that they had protected him once, and he trusted them with his life.

“So here’s the homeless fag,” One of them stepped forward, “Someone paid us good money to find you.” He flicked open his switch blade and stared over at Alex with a crooked grin. He moved forward when one of the dogs lunged at him, ripping into his skin with razor sharp fangs and snarling, causing the man to wail in agony and drop his knife, Alex took this moment to run, the other dog trailing behind him as he ran into the back of the dark alley way.

He heard the men shouting and screaming, some of them trying to pry off the dog from the man’s arm and others running towards him. He stared down at the ground, mind racing when the dog nudged him with his nose, then moved it’s head towards an old fire exit that led into and abandoned building. Alex looked down gratefully at the dog, kissing the top of it’s head and then running up the stairs and busting open the window and climbing through it into the dark room filled with cobwebs.

That’s when he heard one of the dogs yelp, he looked out the window to see it limping towards the other, bleeding heavily from it’s front leg. He stopped, holding his hands over his mouth as tears trickled down his face, two men gathered around the dogs as the other moved up the fire escape.

Biting his tongue and picking up a piece of sharp, broken glass he maneuvered his way through the old building until he found himself at the top of a stair well. Crouching down in a corner he caught his breath, crawling slowly to look over the three men as they split into two different rooms, and one came up the stairs towards him, though he hadn’t been spotted. Alex looked around for a place to hide, and get the drop on him, and he found exactly that. An old maintenance closet that he opened softly and left open just a crack so he could see when the man was within striking distance.

When he was, time seemed to slow down, as Alex lunged out of the door, grabbing the man’s mouth and then sliding the sharp end of the glass as a cloud of crimson exploded onto the floor and his arm. He lowered the body to the floor and patted him down, retrieving the man’s knife from his pocket and then moving quickly to take the other two down.

Once the remaining men had fallen he moved back out of the fire escape cautiously, then his heart nearly stopped when he looked at the scene below him. One man was sprawled on the ground, bleeding from his neck, while the other kicked one of the dogs into a trash can as it cried, the other dog sat crying in a pool of blood to the side. Alex’s violet eyes froze on the man as he closed in on the dog, he moved over to the side railing above the man, and jumped off on top of him as the man stabbed the dog near it’s back. The man tumbled to the side and Alex got up, putting his boot on the man’s throat. He leaned down, none of the fires of hell could match the flames of malice and hate that raged in his eyes at that moment.

“Who sent you?” He growled, the man laughed and Alex took his boot off the man’s throat.

“Like I’d tell you,” The man whispered, his voice now hoarse, “You’re dead kid, we’ll leave it at that.”

“Fine,” Alex said, moving down so he was in the man’s face, “We’ll play a little game then.” He whipped out the knife and shoving it straight into the man’s spleen. A sickening cry echoed through out the alley.

“I didn’t bother to hit anything vital,” Alex whispered, his voice growing cold and malicious, “Let’s see how many cuts it’ll take to make you squeal like the pig you are.” With each minute that passed Alex laced another cut down the man’s chest or face, another stab to an organ that wouldn’t cause immediate death, but massive amounts of suffering. Then finally the thug cracked. Whispering the words, “Your father wants you dead.”, before he passed out. Alex grimaced at the ground, knowing his father, an overly religious politician, who hated the fact his son was gay, would do horrible things. But this…

He heard a soft noise and felt a nose stick into his side, he turned, remembering the dogs. Both of them had managed to crawl over to him, leaving a trail of bloody snow in their path. That’s when his heart cracked, they laid their heads down into his lap and with tears rushing down his face, he stroked their heads softly. Whispering a lullaby to them as their eyes closed.

“Go on now and fly away,

My angels,

You were far too good for this world.

It’s awful to say goodbye,

I know,

But you’ll always live on in my heart,

Because you were the ones that held me together, when I needed it the most.

And it’s sad to say this,

But the world is going to be colder than it was when you were here.”

He closed his eyes as the tears rushed down his face as both dogs passed on peacefully. His puffy red eyes, once full of sadness now turned back to rage. His father would pay for this, he would make damn sure of that.

He reached his old home about 2 hours later, having stopped to call animal control on a payphone with change he had rummaged out of the unconscious man’s pocket. He hadn’t wanted to leave them like that, but he couldn’t give them a proper burial, so that had been the best he could do.

The house towered in the moon light, and the neon of the rest of the god forsaken city. The door was locked, like he had expected, so he gingerly wedged open the cellar door, which his parents always kept open. Memories flooded back to him as he made his way towards his parent’s bedroom. Memories of bible teachings, of prayers in front of the fire place, and of talking about how disgusting homosexuals were, how uncomfortable he had felt when those conversations turned up. How he had been caught with his boyfriend and immediately thrown out of the house, where he wandered for hours until he nearly died in the alley way when the dogs found him.

Finally he came to the place he was looking for, the room which held the gun cabinet. He pulled out a large revolver and pocketed one of his father’s hunting knives, moving into his last stop, his parent’s room. They slept peacefully with the lights off, his father’s dark hair cut in a military style, his muscular features moving in a relaxed way. His mother’s golden blonde hair, streaked with dark brown fell in large knots. He leaned in close to his father’s ears, and with a breath he woke the man.

“Hello, father.”

Both parents sprung up immediately, flipping a switch on the night stand and sending light trickling throughout the room. He stood, gazing at the traitors before him, cracking a small, maniacal laugh as he spoke.

“What, you don’t seem happy to see me,” He hissed, moving around the bed, “Maybe that’s why you sent those men to kill me, to keep your dirty little secret hidden under the rug.”

“Alex, what the hell are you-“ His father tried to use a commanding voice, but it failed to intimidate Alex, as he cut him off by slashing his cheek with the large hunting knife, ripping the skin to reveal his jaw bone. His mother screamed as he glared at the man who was now wailing in agony.

“Hmmm, you looked so dreary dad,” He murmured, “I just want to see you smile again.” With that he ripped open the other side of the man’s cheek, forming a hideous, crimson smile. 

“Now then,” He spoke softly, moving towards his mother and yanking her by the hair as she tried to scramble away from him, “Let’s show you how it feels to have what you love ripped away from you.”

He pulled out the revolver and pointed it at her head, as she pleaded for her life he second guessed himself, maybe he should just scare them… But then the images of the dogs bleeding out in the snow and crying as they touched him one last time, any and all pity evaporated from his body. Then, he pulled the trigger.

He dropped his mother’s corpse onto the ground and moved towards the night stand, grabbing the King James Bible that laid on it. He smashed it against his father’s head and threw him onto the ground, pointing the gun at his head.

“Your God weeps tonight,” He whispered, pressing the barrel against the begging man’s head, “But not for you. I’ll see you in hell.” With that he pulled the trigger, and stood up, moving towards the door to be blocked by a shadowy man. He towered above Alex and his very presence brought about fear.

“My, My, My,” The figure whispered, “What a mess you’ve caused.” He pointed towards his parent’s corpses.

“You have quite a talent for violence,” He noted, “And you’re very precise from all that I’ve seen, I have an offer for you.”

Alex nodded, not knowing who this creature was, but did know that he was not some low level thug. Whatever he had to offer, he would consider, and take. Sirens began blaring in the distance, screeching towards the house.

“I will take you away from all of this,” He said softly, pulling a card out of his pocket, “I will give you purpose, I will train you so you can use your skills to their maximum potential.”

“Furthermore,” He said, handing me a business card, “I will make sure you’re not arrested for what you’ve done here tonight.”

Alex, thought for a moment, and then nodded, taking the card and following the mentor out of the house and to a new life.

The End

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