3.99 - Assault on Magnolia Projects

3.99 - Assault on Magnolia Projects


“I can’t believe you were at the library,” Isaac says as we approach Magnolia Projects.

“Needed to come up with a plan, they had a map,” I shrug.

“The plan,” Sampson asks.

“We come in off Washington Ave, keep low and quiet until we get to the old Lafon school. I’ve got a route that’ll basically keep us out of view unless they’ve got people on the roof. Based on what we know about Harold’s operation, they don’t have people on the roof.”

“That’s dumb,” Sampson says as he finds a parking spot on Washington.

“You’ve got a better plan?”

“All that slow and silent stuff is played out. We need to put fear in them boys. The three of us just walk in there and start kicking ass and don’t pause to take names.”

“Two problems with that plan. You want us to walk into a den of wolves. Two you said three of us. Isaac can’t fight, he doesn’t even have a gun and he’d basically be dead weight.”

“I can fight,” Isaac says almost offended.

“When did you ever fight a werewolf,” I ask.

“Doesn’t matter, I can fight.”

“You got any silver?”


“Can you rip out a werewolf’s heart?”

“I never tried.”

“Break a neck?”

“Enough,” Sampson interrupts us. “You’ve been real ornery since we got to town,” he stars into the backseat at me. “Ain’t gonna be a bunch of werewolves. Harold is a nervous motherfucker. Ain’t but three full wolves in the crew. There’s not a full moon, we’re going in at sunset, that means they can’t change. Just a bunch of thugs with guns, I’m guessing you can handle that. But, here’s the best part; the three wolves, Harold, Percy and Henry. Harold is our target, and I killed Henry two nights ago. While you were out trying to save the whores, I was getting things done.”

“Fine, I don’t care. We go in there and make a scene, we kill Harold. Barely walk out alive and we send what’s left of Isaac to his parents.”

“I’m not going to die,” Isaac yells.

“Are y’all ready,” Sampson asks irritated.

“Yeah, give me one second,” Isaac can’t fight, I’m not letting go in with us. “Isaac, can you reach in the glove box for me and grab the little blue box.”


“No you not going in my glove box,” Sampson grabs his hand.

I clap my hands on the sides of Isaacs head, not hard enough to kill him, but enough to knock him out.

“Now I’m ready,” I look at Sampson before exiting the car.

We walk across the street into the actual projects, down the main road. There’s nothing at first. Sampson is cocky, laughing about how easy it is. There’s this saying that you never hear the shot that takes you down. I’m sure Sampson heard it, because I heard it. When the gun went off, I immediately dropped to the ground and started looking for the shooter. A bullet went right into Sampson’s shoulder. He didn’t even scream out in pain. Instead he left off a burst of flame igniting one of the abandoned buildings. The flames silenced everything around us for a moment. When more gunshot started I decided it would be best to abandon Sampson. It doesn’t matter which of us kills Horse. I’ll just do it first.

I cut down a walking path and spot one of Harold’s men rushing towards the chaos. They’re not smart, but they’re brave. He rushes past me but turns when he spots my shadow. I’m quicker than he is, more ruthless, more focused. I’ve broken his arm and knocked him out in just a few seconds. I have to wonder if Destiny felt this way when she fought. Just turning the part of her brain off that has sympathy. Just knocking down obstacles in her way. I find myself doing that a lot lately, not even thinking about how I’m hurting people. I don’t kill them, they’re trying to kill me. I don’t waste any more time trying to justify it. I just make my way to the next building. Fire shoots into the air and I hear a few screams, a laugh. Sampson is having fun, at least he’s drawing attention away from me.

I manage to make it to the old Lafon School without any more issues. Everyone is busy fighting Sampson up front, but I’d still rather go through the back door. It’s old, the lock should pop off but there’s something blocking the door. I give it another push and break through. Inside I can see someone had reinforced the door with a wooden board. The place looks like something out of a Resident Evil game. Dust and pieces of crumbling wall and ceiling on the ground. You can hardly tell it used to be a school. I’m not sure where Harold is hold up in here, probably the principal’s office, wherever that is. Actually, I can hear them, they’re on the second floor. I smell werewolf, just one. I can’t tell how many people he has with him. I move to a classroom, and I can hear their footsteps right above me. I can still hear Sampson outside raising hell. I’ll just end this thing myself. Hopefully it goes better than the first time I tried to fight a werewolf. I’m not sure if I’d rather see Maximus or Granny if I got hurt. Actually, I’d take my chances with Maximus. At least he isn’t a cult leader. Focus, Maddox.

I crouch down, mimicking a move I saw Destiny do once, I leap through the old ceiling and through the wooden floor to the next level. The room is filled with dust, and probably asbestos. There’s shock, and confusion. A few gunshots go off into the room but nobody is hit. One man seems to be shooting down the hole. I take the opportunity to shove one man out of a window to let them know I mean business. One rushes me, almost throwing haymakers. Easy to dodge, a solid punch to the stomach drops him in a fit of pain. Gunshots start to go off again, I kick a desk across the room into the shooter’s legs. Two men try to rush me at once. I summon one of my nightmares and throw it into his shoulder. While he’s screaming in pain I take the opportunity to knock one of his friend’s teeth out. Nine gunshots off, I feel one pass through my arm. I don’t have time to acknowledge the pain. I’ve been shot too many times to care now, especially when it passes through clean. I grab the shooter as her reloads and toss him into a bookshelf. The old wooden shelf crumbles as the dust finally clears.

There’s two very large men left in the room with me, one with a bald head and old suit, sitting behind a teacher’s desk and another with a low cut and no shirt sitting on it. Both men are looking at me. I can smell the werewolf on them. They can see I’m not normal, I wonder if they’ve got a clue that I’m a vampire or if they think I’m some other werewolf. Either way they don’t seem phased by my arrival. This is the part where Destiny or even Sampson would say something cool.

“How much,” the guy sitting behind the desk asks.

“How much what?”

“Money, that’s what you want right,” the guy sitting on the desk says.

“Oh, no I have to kill you as part of a trial so I can get into a cult. Actually, I don’t have to kill both of you. Whichever one of you is Horse, or Harold.”

“This boy don’t even know who he came to kill,” the one sitting on the desk can’t seem to believe it.

“So what are you,” the man behind the desk asks. “Wolf, vamp, magic man or what?”

“I’m Adze.”

 “Hey, I’m going to kill this guy for you,” the man sitting on the desk hops up and starts to rush at me.

I expect to be able to stop him when makes contact, but I’m lifted off my feet and carried backwards. I jam my elbow into his back, trying to stop him but it’s no good. We go crashing through a window just like the one I sent someone else through. I tuck my chin to my chest and try to shift as we fall, just to make sure I’m not knocked out on Impact. The landing is rough, knocks the air out of me.

When I look up I’m no longer staring at a man. I’m staring a full-grown werewolf. Behind him Sampson is burning buildings, demanding Horse come outside. He’s seemingly run out of people to fight and Horse isn’t coming. He’s up top, staring down. I should have realized he was Horse when I was upstairs. Percy howls, he wants me to fight him. I sit up and roll over, finally standing up and facing him.

There’s no warning, he launches himself at me. I don’t have a chance to land any offense of my own. I’m stuck dodging swipes of his claws. He’s fighting with just rage, no control no skill. I just need to wait for my opening. He doesn’t tire, and I’m starting to have problem taking the blows that I can’t dodge. I’m realizing I haven’t had any blood since before we left Dulac. I need to end this fast. I don’t have an opening, he’s just too aggressive. I’ll just have to move a little reckless. I summon my nightmares to hands. When he takes a swipe, I duck as low as I can. I jam my nightmares into his abdomen, hoping I hit a heart, lung or anything vital. He stops moving and rests his body weight on my back. I yank my blades from him, and he grunts in pain. I shrug him off, watching him fall over. He breathes, shallow. I can’t see for sure, but I think I got a lung, maybe a kidney. He’ll live, it’ll be hell, but he’s a werewolf, he’ll heal completely.

That just leaves Horse. I’m hurting, and I’ve lost track of him. He’s not standing in the window anymore. Sampson is still running wild. I need to track his scent. Did I get a good smell of him? No, too much dust, I can’t pinpoint anything specific. I spot Percy out of the corner of my eye, he’s reverted back to human form and trying to crawl away.

“Hey,” I walk alongside him. “I’m talking to you,” he keeps crawling. I kick him in the side. “Do you have a safehouse? Where is Horse going to run to?”

“He’s not talking,” Sampson approaches me.

“I need to know where Horse is going, but he won’t say anything.”

“Stand back,” Sampson pushes me away.

The blue flame Sampson is blowing gives the whole world a sick green view. I can smell Percy’s flesh melting, a stench I’ve never smelt before. His legs are almost completely gone before I shove Sampson away. I tried to turn myself into a monster to finish this. But, I can never be a monster like what Granny builds. I can’t turn of my consciousness no matter how hard I try. The most I can do is try to rationalize every one of my kills. I could never torture a man or burn a man alive. I don’t have that in me, and I never will.

“Relax, I know where Horse is going,” Sampson laughs.

“But did you have to roast Percy?”

“Sends a message, nobody is going to be setting up shop around here, ever again.”

If I try rationalizing my choices, will I fall into the same trap as Sampson? Will I think it’s okay to commit ghetto war crimes if I think the ends justify the means? Are the ends even justified here? I choke down the vomit swelling up in my throat. Sampson wraps an arm around my shoulder and starts to lead me to back to the car. He’s saying how we make a good team, and he didn’t think I could beat Percy. He’s in a good move but looking at what he’s done makes me question the point of this. I broke some bones, but he killed people, a lot of people. A few bodies are charred beyond recognition, a few have had limbs removed completely. The worst are the bodies filled with gunshots. He doesn’t need a gun, this was fun to him. A chance for the Vampire of Magnolia to bring an end to his enemies. A chance for The Dragon of Dulac to spread his wings and raze the lands of his foes.


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