Path of Endurance chapter 05
It was Brianna's idea of hell; heat, smoke, sweat. Her being tied up with her brother and left to die. A merciless coughing seizure tormented Bryan, making him inhale the poisonous smoke. Knowing there was no time to waste, Brianna pulled her knees as close to her chest as possible and reached down for her knife that she kept in her boot. At first she thought it was just another sign of insanity, to carry a knife with her, but felt now extremely thankful of her new habit. She flipped the blade of the knife out of its handle and began cutting the ropes from around her wrists. Concentrating fully on it, she finally managed to cut them. In no time she had cut the ropes around her ankles, followed shortly by the ropes that held Bryan. Brianna inserted the blade back into the handle and sunk it back into her boot. She lifted up Bryan in her arms and made a spurt towards the outdoor ? that had been locked. She checked under the doormat for a spare key, which had been taken away. Feeling yet another spike of insanity in her mind, she backed down few meters from the door and ran. A meter before the door she leapt into the air and kicked the door open with her left leg, landing softly on the right leg, still holding Bryan in her arms.
Just as she thought she made it, she heard a gunshot. That instant, a window was shattered next to her. "Dammit!" she heard someone curse. Looking at the direction of the voice, Brianna saw the same assassin that had attempted killing her and Bryan before. She let Bryan down and pulled the knife from her boot again. "Sis, be careful!" Bryan whispered to her.
"Don't worry, bro," Brianna assured him. "He's going down."
The assassin came closer, and so did Brianna. "You walking up to a gun? You insane?" the assassin mocked.
"Maybe," Brianna replied. But seeing that she was close enough, she sent the gun flying through the air with a powerful spin kick. While on the swing, she managed to cut the assassin's face twice before he grabbed her by her wrist and twisted the knife off her hand. Still, there were two neat scars on his face in the shape of an X. Infuriated by this, he sent Brianna flying through the air with a powerful kick to her back. He lunged at her, but she merely turned her back and struck with her elbows, first right, then left, and then she sunk a serious Mach Breaker punch into the assassin's spleen, sending him hard on the ground. And before he had a chance to get up, Bryan picked up a large rock from the ground and threw it hard at his head, KO'ing him. Brianna gave a warm smile to him, and he ran over the assassin as he came to her. But then another gun was cocked, and Brianna felt a pistol nose on the side of her head. It was Cary, no else.
"This is it, Brianna," he said. "You can kiss your pitiful life goodbye."
Before he pulled the trigger, he felt a sharp pain in his shin as Bryan kicked him hard and fast. Realizing her chance, Brianna dug her right fist into Cary's stomach. With pure power, she lifted him up from the ground with only her fist, and she slammed him hard on the ground on his back, accompanying the strike with a manical laughter. As Cary hit the ground, Brianna mounted him and began punching his face with pure rage. "DIE!" she shrieked. She kept punching until Cary ceased to move. She prepared to deliver the final blow when she suddenly heard police sirens approaching from the distance. "Bryan-ah! Cops!" Bryan exclaimed. Instead of giving the final blow, Brianna quickly searched Cary's pockets, finding everything insignificant, plus his wallet and car keys. "Quick, we're getting outta here!" she cried out as she opened the car doors and helped Bryan inside the old Chevrolet Fleetside pickup. They drove away only few seconds before the police arrived to the scene.
Some time later, Bryan pulled his head back from the door window. "No one's following," he said. Brianna took a deep breath of relief. "That's great. That's really great!!"
But Bryan didn't seem very happy.
"Bryan... what is it?" Brianna asked.
"Where are we going?" he asked.
"We're getting out of town," Brianna explained briefly. "And we have to avoid cops right now, they might be too interested in what happened back there."
Bryan was about to say, "I want to go home," but then it occurred to him that there was no home anymore. Their home was burnt by the flames that Cary lit in order to kill him and Brianna. It was all gone. Everything was gone. He had nothing left... except Brianna.
He laid down onto the car's sofa and laid his head upon Brianna's tigh. He felt like crying, but he didn't want to. Yet he couldn't stop his tears running down his face and landing onto Brianna's leg. Noticing this, Brianna laid her hand upon his shoulder. "There, there, Bryan..." she spoke softly. "Everything's gonna be alright, I promise. We'll stop by the nearest motel and stay the night there, okay?"
Bryan nodded and closed his eyes.
Brianna drove well into the night before she felt they were far enough from Queens. She stopped at the first motel that was open, pulled Bryan into her arms again and went to the reception. There was an old man at the reception, and he smiled warmly at Brianna. She was relieved to see a friendly face for change.
"Good evening, miss," he said.
"Evening, sir," Brianna replied. "I'd like to have your cheapest room for tonight."
The man looked at the reservation list. "Yes, there is a room available," he said. "One bed, and a bathroom, but nothing else."
"That'll do just fine," Brianna nodded. "How much is it?"
"That'd be 60$."
Brianna checked Cary's wallet that she stole, and noted it was half-empty. No credit cards (not that she'd be able to use them now, though), and only 35 bucks.
"I... I have only 35 bucks," Brianna said. "Will that do?"
The receptionist shook his head. Brianna sighed.
"Please, sir..." she said. "My brother is ill. He needs rest. Is there any other way I can pay? I'm not afraid of working, you know."
The old man considered her offer. Finally he agreed, and led Brianna to the room. She tucked Bryan into a bed and then followed the old man into the motel kitchen, which was filled with dirty dishes all the way to the ceiling.
After a few hours of cleaning the dishes, Brianna felt extremely tired even though she was hardly cleaned half of the dishes. Still, she continued all the way until there were no dirty dishes left. She sighed again and took a look at her wrist watch; 4:45 AM. She'd still have few hours of sleep before she'd have to get back on the run again.
The old man came into the kitchen and looked at the job well done. "You've done well, young lady," he said. "This kitchen hasn't been this clean since I bought this motel."
He took a roll of greenbacks from his pocket and gave them to Brianna. "You did so good work that I feel I just have to pay you a little extra. Now go get some sleep, you look exhausted."
"Thank you, sir," Brianna smiled and was about to leave, but the old man hollered her back. "Almost forgot," he said. "I need to get your name onto the guest list, but I never caught it. What was your name again?"
Brianna looked at the old man. "Fury," she finally said. "Bryan-ah Fury."
As Brianna got into the room, Bryan was still sleeping on the bed where she had tucked him. She once again gave a soft kiss into his cheek and kicked off the boots from her feet. She laid down onto a sofa that was near the bed and fell asleep quicker than ever before. But just as she fell asleep, Bryan woke up. Seeing his sister on the sofa, he got off the bed and dragged the willow with him. He threw it over Brianna and laid down next to her, under the same willow. Brianna welcomed her in her sleep, allowing Bryan once again snuggle against her. She didn't need any children's psychologist to tell that the day had made a radical change in his life and times wouldn't get any easier on him, at least as long as they were on the run. But during those brief, silent moments, Brianna was more than happy to give Bryan all the love and support he might need.
The next morning kept a hold of a new hope within it. The sky was cloudless and the sun shined warmly. Even Bryan was feeling way better than the past few days. The motel keeper offered him and Brianna a free breakfast, since they were the only customers at the motel at the time. At the breakfast, Brianna studied a map she had found from their room. She was trying to figure where she should be headed. She couldn't go over the border; they had no ID with them. Besides, she was sure that they were on the wanted list ? Cary would definitely want his pickup back. And she couldn't even think of driving all the way to the west coast, she didn't even have a driver's license.
Bryan finished up his orange juice and let out a slight belch. "You little pig..." Brianna commented, rising her sight from the map to Bryan. He laughed ? something Brianna was very glad to hear again. She smiled and turned her attention to the map again. Where on earth they could escape?
"So, where are we going next?" Bryan inquired and took a big bite out of his toast. Brianna, keeping her attention on the map, planned all possible routes inside her head when suddenly she got an idea. A good one, she hoped.
"Say, bro, how would you like Detroit?" she asked.
"Never been there," Bryan replied with the toast still in his mouth. But the way Brianna saw things, Detroit was far enough from where they left, and if they got rid of the pickup as soon as they could get a new car, their risk of being involved with the local authorities would go down significantly. "It's perfect..." Brianna muttered. She checked the route there and burnt it into her memory.
As the siblings were leaving, the motel owner came to say goodbye. "Have a good trip, miss Fury!" he hollered as Brianna and Bryan stepped into the pickup. Brianna waved goodbye and hit the road. "Sis, why did he call you Fury?" Bryan inquired. Brianna smirked.
"Because that is what I am," she replied. "Pure fury."
"Oooh, I wanna be too!" Bryan cheered. "Can I? Can I?!"
"'Course," Brianna replied as she took a turn to the interstate. "Bryan Fury..."
Bryan Fury... he thought about his new name, with a smile on his face. Along with a new name, he could be able to start a whole new life in Detroit with Brianna. It was almost as if he could erase his whole past seven years in a one, clean sweep. There wouldn't be anything left of his pitiful past in Detroit, and most importantly, Cary wouldn't be there. Shit, there would be no familiar faces at all. Only new ones, that knew nothing of him. A fresh, clean start. And as long as Brianna would be there, he would have nothing to be afraid of.
Bryan looked at his sister as she drove along the interstate. He would always remember her like that; the concentrated eyes, the determined and fearless appearance. She wasn't the most beautiful woman she had seen, but she was strong and stood on her own two legs. And the way she had handled the assassin ? Bryan would never forget that Brianna caught knives mid-air for him. Brianna was everything he wanted to be. It was then, on that interstate, when Bryan decided that one day he would be just like her; strong, independent, and he would let no one step on his toes.
Some day he'd be just like her; the most powerful being in the universe.
He'd destroy everyone who would stand in his way.
And he'd protect the one who would be the dearest to him.
Thinking about his future, Bryan once again laid his head upon Brianna's leg. He felt her hand caressing his hair a few times before grabbing the steering wheel once again. Soon he drifted into a peaceful slumber, dreaming of himself as a grown-up man with two tribal tattoos on his neck.