storySo... I have been working on this for over two weeks. It might not even be good, I don't know. What I do know, is that I've hit over 2,500 words and only about half way done with what I planned to write. So this will be a two-shot (assuming I can get enough people that want it).
Anyway, please enjoy (and heed the timeline information in the previous chapter).
Warning: Anxiety attack, blood, gang violence
"No." Usnavi shut down his cousin before he could even finish.
Sonny gave a short laugh, jumping up to sit on the counter. "When ya gonna ask Vanessa out?"
"I ain't." Usnavi pointedly avoided looking away from where he was rearranging the packs of gum in the checkout area.
Sonny gasped placing his hand over his heart in mock offence. "You lied to me? I remember very clearly the day you decided you was stayin'. You said you were gonna ask Vanessa out for a second date!"
"It's been busy. I haven't had a chance."
"But you are gonna ask her?"
Usnavi rolled his eyes, turning away from Sonny as he headed into the back of the store. "We'll see." he threw over his shoulder.
"You know she likes you!" Sonny jumped off the counter and followed. "She said so herself!"
"Yes, but she's moving." Usnavi picked up a few extra packs of gum and cigarettes before turning around and walking past Sonny.
"She still works next door!" Sonny slid back onto the counter, sitting nearly on top of where Usnavi was working.
Usnavi let out a small laugh, "We'll see how long that lasts." He arranged the items on the show stand.
"Sonny, shouldn't you go home? It's past your bedtime." Usnavi opened the cash register, pulling out the money.
Sonny jumped down, "Aww, come on, it's barely even ten! And it's a Friday night!"
"Yes but-" There was a light click as the appliances stopped humming and they were plunged into darkness.
"Blackout!" Sonny gasped, it had only been a few months since the bodega had been destroyed by vandals. It had left a lasting impression on the fifteen-year-old boy.
Usnavi held the money in his hands a little tighter. "Get me a bag."
They both pulled out their phones, using it for light.
As his younger cousin grabbed a brown paper bag from the back, Usnavi finished his count and closed the cash register.
When Sonny returned, Usnavi grabbed the bag, shoving in the cash then passed it back to his cousin. Sonny handed him a small flashlight.
"Go to the house. Lock the doors. Go! Vamos!" He practically shoved the boy towards the door.
Sonny fought back, "What about you? They could hit hear again!"
"I know, that's why you need to go. I'll close up then follow."
"I'm not leaving you here!"
"Yes, you are! Somebody needs to keep the money. I can't keep it here! I'll be there as soon as I can. Go! Go! Vamos!" This time he did completely push him out the door.
Sonny gave one last look at Usnavi before sprinting to the house they shared.
Once his cousin was safe in the house, Usnaivi locked the door.
Placing the flashlight between his teeth, he pulled down the grate, securing it the best he could. He knew it wasn't of the best quality and only hoped it would serve its purpose.
Thump thump thump.
His breath caught in his throat as the footsteps went by. Usnavi had seen what happened to shops during a blackout. What had happened to this shop during a blackout!
Thump thump thump.
They didn't stop.
They were coming around the side of the building.
Usnavi held his breath, praying that they would leave, that the footsteps would suddenly disappear. He didn't have any of Pete's Roman candles. He was completely alone in this.
Maybe they were gone.
Glass shattered and skidded across the floor. Usnavi gasped as someone, or many someones, began pounding on the door.
If he was fast, maybe he could get to the baseball bat in the back. He pulled out his phone. He needed to call someone. At least they would know what was happening...
He took a couple of steps in the direction of the back before the door slammed to the floor. He froze, staring at the intruders. Five or six of them. Same jacket. Definitely a gang.
Usnavi took a step backwards, trying to calm his rapid breathing.
One of the members stepped inside, his eyes never leaving Usnavi.
"¿Esta es tu tienda?" The man asked.
Usnavi knew he should probably answer, but he couldn't make himself move.
"Yo, I asked you un prugunta!"
"Si," he mumbled, taking another step back.
"Bueno," the man smiled a malicious smile before lunging at Usnavi.
The noise he let out was little more than a squeak.
His back hit the shelf causing him to gasp in pain. He dropped both his flashlight and his phone. He thought he saw them disappear behind a shelf. Then hands were on him, pulling him. He was forced into someone who tightly grabbed him with one arm. Usnavi felt the cold blade pressing on his throat.
He couldn't move, couldn't breathe. If he did they'd kill him.
The first thug leaned into his face. "Now, you can watch while we take what we want."
Usnavi jerked back. The guys holding him tightened his grip on the knife, pushing it further against the exposed skin. He felt a small trickle of blood. The panic swelled up as he froze in place.
"I hope you're not too... adjunto to this little store of yours." A couple of the guys laughed, knocking over shelves.
Usnavi could hear his own panicked breathing over the sound of crashing and breaking glass. He squeezed his eyes shut, trying to calm his pounding heart.
He heard muffled voices but didn't take time to process what they were saying. A hand collided with his face, causing his eyes to snap open.
"Yo, I'm talking to you! Donde the cash?" The leader rubbed his fingers together, miming the question.
Usnavi remained silent, then the knife blade was placed back over his throat. It must have been moved before he was slapped. At least they were considerate.
A fist to his stomach had him panting on the floor. He panicked a second, thinking that they had slit his throat, but was relieved to find himself still alive and still relatively breathing.
"Answer la pregunta! Where is the money?"
Usnavi let out a small gasp as he was violently pulled to his feet. "It ain't here." He grunted out.
"Whatdya mean it ain't here?" The leader grabbed him by the front of the shirt, pulling Usnavi up to his face.
"What I said." It came out more boldly than he felt. "It ain't here. We don't keep the money here at night. I'm sure you can figure out why."
He was dropped on his feet and stumbled back a couple of steps.
"It ain't that late. You'd still be open if not for apagón! ¿Dónde está el dinero?!"
"I don't have it!" Usnavi almost wished he was lying to them. Then at least the beating he was about to get would be worth it.
His breathing had picked up speed to a nearly manic level. Usnavi pressed his back against the back counter. They were surrounding him.
Then by some miracle, the lights flashed on.
The vandals froze. The low humming of appliances coming to life the only sound Usnavi could hear over his heart.
Maybe now they would leave him alone. They wouldn't do anything to him now that the lights were on, right?
A smirk appeared on the leaders face and any hope of the nightmare being over was dashed. "Sorry Señor, no witnesses."
He was going to die. Right here, in his bodega. Sonny was going to find him dead on the floor. No, he couldn't think about Sonny. Definitely not Benny, or Nina. And not Venessa. He couldn't think about the girl he would never be able to ask on that second date.
At least he would see Abuela again. That was the thought that kept him from completely panicking.
"Yo, someone's coming! More than one!" It was a younger voice, probably someone on lookout.
The leader grunted. "Go, take the stuff and get out of here."
Nobody wasted any time obeying.
Now it was just Usnavi and the guy giving the orders. "Well, Señor, it's been fun. But I'm afraid it's time for me to be leaving."
Usnavi saw the knife for no more than a second before it was coming at him. He tried to move out of the way, but the blade caught him in the side. He screamed even though he didn't want to.
In the back of his brain, he heard chuckling, then the ground was moving towards him and everything went black.
"Where is he?" Sonny paced the small kitchen, looking at the clock on the wall. It had been at least twenty minutes. He should have been back by now. What more did he have to do than lock the door and the grate?
He was panicking. But he was fifteen. He'd be fine. Really. He could just wait for Usnavi.
No, he couldn't.
Grabbing his phone, he frantically dialled Usnavi's number. It rang for the full twenty seconds before going to his annoying voicemail.
It was fine though. He wasn't panicking. Usnavi's phone was on silent, right? He probably just didn't hear it.
He was fifteen. He wasn't a baby. He didn't need to call for help. He could go check on Usnavi himself if he wanted.
Sonny heard a loud crash from outside. His mind shot back to the night all those months ago. He had thought he was going to die. If it hadn't been for Pete he probably would have.
He couldn't do this. He couldn't be alone. He needed Usnavi, but Usnavi wasn't answering his stupid phone!
No. He couldn't do this now. He took a deep breath, closing his eyes.
He didn't care how childish it was, he couldn't be alone.
Pete was his first thought, but he had business out of town. Sonny didn't ask. The less he knew, the better.
Who else would care?
Nina was off at college, Vanessa had already gone home... Benny? Sure he'd feel like a complete idiot, but at least he wouldn't be alone.
With shaking hands, he dialled the number for Usnavi's best friend.
It rang twice.
The teen in question subconsciously breathed a sigh of relief. "Benny,"
"Are you okay? Where are you?"
"I'm currently standing in Usnavi's kitchen, but with no Usnavi!" Well, that made no sense whatsoever. Sometimes words came out of his mouth before he could rationalize them.
"Sonny? Are you sure everything is okay? Where's Usnavi?"
"He's at the store! He should have been back by now! Why isn't he back? He said he was locking up and then coming right over, why isn't he here yet? He should be here!" He was panicking again.
"Okay, calm down." Benny's voice came through surprisingly quiet. "I'm at the Dispatch right now. I'm coming to you. Stay where you are. Don't leave the house."
"But Usnavi-!" Sonny began to protest.
"We'll go look for him together." The phone started crackling. "Listen -y pho- is -bout t- -ie. Jus- -ay s-ll. I- -y w-" the line went silent.
"Benny? Benny, hello?"
Okay, okay, this was fine. He'd be fine.
Another loud crash made him jump. He slammed his hands over his ears, taking deep breaths.
His phone beeped, informing him that he had less than fifteen percent left. That was the only light he had! If it died-
Bang bang bang.
The three knocks in succession almost caused him to spiral deeper into his mind.
"Sonny?! It's Benny!" The pounding continued as the teenager opened the door.
As soon as the apartment door was open, Benny was inside, shutting it back.
"Are you okay?' Benny asked, giving Sonny an appraising look.
"I'm fine, but Usnavi should have been back by now!"
"I know, you said he was at the store right?"
"Yeah, did you see somethin' on your way over?"
Benny shook his head, "I didn't see much of anything. I was just trying to get here without being mugged."
Sonny felt himself grow pale, Benny must have seen it as he immediately backtracked.
"Shoot, sorry, wrong thing to say." He sighed, rubbing his face. "Maybe we can-"
He was cut off by the lights flickering back on.
"Powers back!" Sonny didn't hesitate as he headed for the door. "I'm going to find Usnavi!"
"Wait!" Benny grabbed his arm.
"Yo lay off." He jerked away.
Benny raised hid hands in surrender. "We'll go look for Usnavi, but you've got to stay with me. Your cousin would kill me if I let something happen to you."
Sonny rolled his eyes before walking out of the apartment.
The bodega was literally across the street. It would only take a second to get there. Really, he had been stupid to call Benny. He could have done this-
The door was broken. In fact, it was barely even a door. Broken glass littered the ground, illuminated by the now working street lights.
"Yo, someones coming! More than one!" The voice was muffled, but it was definitely coming from inside the bodega.
Sonny was about to take off in a full run. Before he could, a hand grabbed his wrist.
He panicked, trying to jerk away.
"I told you to stay with me." Benny hissed in his ear.
Feeling minorly relieved, he stopped struggling. "But there's someone in the store! Usnavi-"
He was cut off by a blood-curdling scream. He knew that voice, that scream.
"Usnavi," he whispered before jerking free of Benny's grip.
He knew that Benny was right behind him when he entered the door. He didn't care. He absentmindedly noticed the door to the back swinging shut. That's not where his attention was focused. All he could see was the body on the floor. The unmoving body lying in a growing pool of blood. His cousin's body. Usnavi's body.
Sonny couldn't breathe. No. Usnsnavi couldn't be dead. He couldn't be.
Benny pushed past him, kneeling at Usnavi's side. Sonny silently watched, unable to feel anything but panic. Unable to see anything but blood.
Benny rolled Usnavi onto his back. Even from the distance, Sonny could see the red substance coating his cousin's throat. There was also a growing dark stain growing on his midsection.
"Sonny, call an ambulance."
The teenager didn't move. The words didn't register. So much blood. The pool was growing on the floor. So much blood.
His eyes jerked to Benny.
"You need to breathe. I know your freaking out. But he's still alive. You need to call an ambulance now." Benny was pressing on the wound. Knife wound? Probably. He hadn't heard a gunshot...
"Sonny! Call them now!" The panic and fear in the usually composed man's voice was what finally pulled him out. Benny was always so sure of himself, so confident. To see the panic flowing from him (it was almost as thick as the blood flowing from Usnavi, but he couldn't think about that right now) was frightening.
With shaking hands, Sonny pulled out his cell phone. Five percent?! What was wrong with his stupid battery? He had to do this fast.
He quickly dialled 911.
"911, what is your emergency?" The female voice was so calm it made Sonny want to throw his phone.
"I need an ambulance, like now."
"Are you injured?"
"There was a blackout and someone broke in and now there's blood everywhere and please just send someone!" Great. He was hyperventilating again.
"Sir, you need to calm down. We're sending someone to your location. You said someone broke in, did you hurt someone?" The voice was infuriatingly civil. His cousin was dying and this lady was accusing him of, what, murder?
"No! I didn't do nothin'! Someone stabbed my cousin and he's going to die and-!" He was cut off when his phone made a beeping noise followed by the power shutting off.
"Are they sending someone?" Benny was still pressing into the wound, but the blood didn't stop coming.
"I-I don't know! I think- I was trying to- But my phone died and- Usnavi's going to die- and- and-" he couldn't take it anymore. So much blood. He couldn't- he was going to die- and he needed out.
He vaguely heard Benny yelling after him. He didn't care, he just kept running.
So, yeah. I probably could have kept going, but I need some motivation. As much as I enjoyed writing this, if this fandom is as dead as it seems, I might just leave it here. We shall see.
I have several other stories plans that I may or may not write depending on how inspiration strikes me.
If the timing seemed off-paced or disjointed, it's supposed to be. Neither of the boys are really completely with it in this story.
Let me know!