I still see your ghost

The smell of blood || Drabble

Prompt: The moment Vince was triggered
Characters: Vincent and 6 random guys
Timeline: About six months after he turned 18
Trigger Warnings: blood, drugs, guns

Vince had been in Chicago a few months and had gotten in with some lower level mobsters doing little runs here and there for enough money to just barely survive.  On what he was getting paid he managed a small studio apartment and enough fast food to ensure he was shaving a good ten years off his heart.  It’s all about connections, he kept telling himself.  Whether he decided to make a home in Chicago or move on he was building blocks for the rest of his life.  

The deal had been specific that the guy Vince usually dealt with, Jimmy, was at this particular drug drop.  Unfortunately, Jimmy was busy playing fetch for someone far more important up in the food chain so Vince grabbed two other guys he usually worked with and they made their way to a secluded area in Lincoln Park.  Under the overpasses were several abandoned warehouses they often used to drop money, drugs, and whatever else happened to be in demand at the moment. 

Since they were the first to arrive Vince led the other two men inside.  He lit himself a cigarette while another pulled a flask from a jacket pocket.  They started talking, just small talk to pass the time until they heard the clicking of heels against the concrete floor.  He didn’t even think twice since he’d done this so many times in the past few months.  Vince took a puff and turned around to meet their visitors.

Only to feel his face pressed into the muzzle of a gun.

"Where’s Jimmy?"  Said a deep, gruff voice that sounded hollow.

Vince’s mouth hung open as he felt his teeth start to chatter.  One of the guys he brought tried stammering out an explanation but the three of them were all in the same age range and had all been doing this around the same amount of time.  He never imagined someone would pull a gun on him this early.  In the back of his mind, Vince always figure this could be a possibility one day but he’d hardly been around anyone long enough to piss them off.

"WHERE’S," the gun moved up to his forehead and somewhere echoing off the walls, Vince heard the sound of laughter.  "JIMMY."

I DON’T KNOW,” Vince finally choked on his own breath trying to remember how to function.  Fear blinded him of everything he knew and his body started feeling uncomfortably hot.  ”He said this was simple and he had to be somewhere else so, I grabbed these two and we came.  I mean, hey-“

"Do you know what he’s been doing in his free time?" A trickle of blood started to slide down the side of Vince’s face slowly, so slowly it made him even more anxious.

"No, sir, I can’t sat that-"

"HE’S BEEN FUCKING MY DAUGHTER."

Vince’s eyes closed and his body stilled.  He’d pissed himself already so any chance of keeping his dignity had already gone out the window.  His only hope was that the empty room was dark enough that no one would see.

That made him smile.  He had a gun to his head and all he could worry about was a dark spot on his jeans.

"Is that funny to you?"  The gun clicked and if he hadn’t already, that would have pushed Vince over the edge.

His lips moved soundlessly for a few seconds because he didn’t have the air to push any of it out.  Tears started burning the back of his eyes and the pain gave him something to concentrate on.

A gunshot echoed followed by the most distinctive wet sound Vince would ever hear.  Since he couldn’t feel anything he knew the sound was one of his friends dropping to the floor.  Harder his tears came and his body started to feel like fire.  The fear pushing up his temperature at least ten degrees.

It wasn’t until he heard a scream that he noticed the gun was no longer pressed to his head.  The man who’d been standing before him was the on screaming because the gun in his hand was glowing red and his sleeve was on fire.

Somehow, Vince was able to wonder where the hell the fire could have come from when the remaining guy he’d brought with him started stammering.  Vince looked down at himself only to see his entire body starting to be engulfed by flame.  The second sound of screams he was hearing, he realized, were actually his own. 

Where had the fire come from and why couldn’t he feel it?  Was his body so close to death that all his nerves shut down?

Vince blinked and silence weighed heavy on him as he tried remembering why he was screaming. The room had become cool.  He smiled to himself as he started brushing everything off as nothing more than a horrific dream.  They waited so long to make the drop that he must have dozed off while standing.

Even as the acrid stench of burned flesh assailed his senses, Vince tried clinging true to that lie because once he opened his eyes they’d put images to the things his nose was picking up and he wasn’t ready for that.  It was getting hard to breathe because his chest felt like it was being pressed in by several tons of weight.  The blood drained from his face.  His entire body went cold.

And then he puked.  Vince wasn’t sure how long he stood bent over his his hands braced on his knees and his stomach rejecting everything his senses wanted him to know.  He dry heaved until his stomach started cramping and his throat went raw.

When he finally stood, wiping his mouth on the sleeves of his leather jacket Vince couldn’t make out anything more than charred bodies.  There were no clothes, hair, or any other distinct features that might make him mourn the closest things he had to friends since the orphanage.

Vince doubled over to heave again but his stomach was empty; his muscles tired.  Images of light, feathers and faces he’d swear he never seen before made him cry for reasons he couldn’t understand.

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