MIZPAH IV

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***

Jared moaned and pushed himself up against the dirt encrusted wall. The world was spinning in front of him, and although he could see that his two assailants were still talking, he couldn’t make out what they were saying. All he knew was that they had turned their backs on him, and were focused on the girl strapped to the table.

“What’s our move from here, Johnny?”

The voice belonged to the man with the knife. Danny. Danny was what the other had called him.

“Well,” Johnny laughed. It was a sadistic little laugh. “We finish draining the girl, and then take whatever parts we think Noe will be able to move through the Market. Then we put her back and check out with hospital security. As long as everyone still thinks we’re just collecting Organ Donations, everything will be cool.”

Jared squinted at the men, realizing they were both wearing jackets with some kind of symbol on the back. It was green … a green ribbon.

The men continued to talk while Jared slowly surveyed the situation. He could still feel the wet, sticky patch of blood mixed with the sharp pain where Danny had stabbed him in the lower back. And his head was still reeling from the job that Johnny had done hitting him with the baseball bat. Jared clenched his teeth, and let out a pitiful gasp.

“And we put all of it on ice,” Johnny was saying while he patted the various bags containing blood and organs. “Then we get on the street so that we can meet Noe in Pittsburgh by midnight.”

Pittsburgh. Noe. Danny. Johnny. Organs … none of this makes any damn sense.

Then Jared realized that both men had turned around and were leering at him. Their eyes seemed to be too big for their faces, and their mouths were stretched out like someone was tugging at the corners. They were saying something, but Jared couldn’t make it out.

Then Jared saw it. The gun. Danny was pointing it in his face. He could smell the oil. Tasted the faint tang of metal. It was only seconds until the flash blinded him, but he never heard the crack of gunfire.

Jared never even got the chance to close his eyes …

***

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