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The Assassin's Redemption Chapter 2
Kanen woke with a start. It was still dark out, and the moon shone brightly overhead. The air was crisp and chilly. He was in the stone alley he’d fallen asleep in. Walls stood on either side of him, and trash was strewn all over. He felt uneasy. His heart raced, and he couldn’t shake the feeling that something bad was about to happen. Kanen moved clumsily and stiffly to his feet, knocking over a pile of trash along the way. He stretched away his sleepiness and turned to go, somewhere. When you were homeless and living on the streets, you had to find ways of entertaining yourself. As he took a step down the alley, Kanen’s eyes fell on a figure standing in the entryway.
Kanen didn’t know why, but he had a feeling that was not a man you wanted to meet in a dark alley in the middle of the night. The man was tall, maybe 6’, a dark cloak drawn around him. A hood concealed his face. Looking at him gave Kanen shivers. He turned, attempting to exit the other way, only to find two more figures blocking his way.
“Well, well, boys. What do we have here?” the man behind him said in a spine-crawling voice, obviously the leader. “A little street rat out for a walk? You’d think he’d know better. These streets are dangerous after dark.” The group had begun to move closer. Kanen turned back to the man. C***! What do they want, he thought. Sweat dripped down his forehead. What do I do? He brushed a hand through his shaggy black hair, thinking. He tried franticly to come up with a plan.
“Look, I don’t want any trouble,” he said feebly.
“Too bad, because I believe it has found you,” the man said, still moving towards him.
“I don’t have any money.” Kanen said, hoping they would not want to waste their time with him now. His heart was pounding in his ears and his entire body trembled.
“That’s not good,” the man said, glancing at the other two. Then he turned back, the wickedest grin Kanen’d ever seen tattooed on his face. “I guess this will be strictly entertainment then.” The men were five feet away from him now. Kanen tried to make a run for it, only to be pushed back. They had him surrounded on all sides. The leader swung his fist, connecting with Kanen’s jaw. His head shot to the side, striking against a wall. One of the men grabbed him from behind, holding his arms against his back. Kanen was defenseless as the leader and the other man swung fist after fist into his gut and face. One punched him in the nose and blood gushed down his torn shirt.
Kanen could feel unconsciousness closing in. As he was about to fall into that dark abyss, something changed within him. It was as if a dam had burst open, and power flooded in. It pounded in his heart, rushing through his very veins. It was like adrenaline, only a hundred times stronger. He’d never felt anything so amazing. At the moment, he thought he could walk on water.
A pale blue light fell over the alley, casting shadows against the walls. Looking down, Kanen realized it was coming from him. Tiny blue bits of lightning ran up and down across his chest. The man holding him jumped back in alarm, standing along with the others in awe for a moment. He couldn’t blame them. He was in awe too. Kanen looked at his hand, watching as tiny bolts jumped from finger to finger. What’s happening? he thought. Am I doing this? He had lightning bolts coming from his body. He should be screaming in pain, yet he felt fine. No, incredible.
The leader, regaining his composure, rushed towards him, this time with his knife out. A bolt of lightning shot out from Kanen’s hands shot out and struck him in the chest on a will of its own, sending him flying ten feet back. The other two, seeing this, turned heel and ran back down the alley the way they’d come.
Kanen stood there a moment longer, still glowing, before the power winked out. He stumbled, catching himself on the wall, overcome with exhaustion from the beating and the phenomenon. Blood still pooled everywhere. He tore a piece of his sleeve off and pressed it to his nose, wincing as it touched his skin. He would be quite content to pass out right there on the spot, but the thug would regain consciousness any moment. He had to get as far away from the alley as possible.
He shuffled slowly through the city, trying his best to move quickly. The alleys and streets of Makinan were complicated, but Kanen had lived on them for twelve years, since he was two, and knew how to navigate them. He traveled to one of his other sleeping spots, far away from where he’d been attacked and sat down, collapsing almost instantly into a dead sleep.