Bella knew that she had broken her promise. She knew she would the moment she made it. Bella also knew that she would get hell for it later from her uncle, but none of that matters now, she thought and wiped the glittering shards of glass off of her foot. Bella ignored the sharp, prickly feeling penetrating her fingertips, and picked up the fallen shoe by the broken window. She was too focused on trying to make up for a different promise she failed to keep. A muffled cry and something hitting the ground hard pulled Bella’s attention to the ceiling. She reached for her baton, and remembered her uncle had taken it — like that was going to stop her. Bella spotted a baseball bat resting in a display case.
Donnie was so focused on the crying girl in front of him that he did not hear the bat drag along the floor. For the past three years, this had become Bella’s life. She spent days tracking down people like Donnie. Bella knew their habits, their types, and the places they liked to take their victims; abandoned warehouses, gaudy backrooms, and rundown apartments. Some of them liked to torment their victims in groups, like wolves, but that only made it easier for Bella to track them down. A lot of them like to fight back when she found them. Regardless, Bella was never afraid to face them — any of them, and assumed they thought she would go down easy because she was small.
That was always their first mistake. No, their first mistake was taking their victims, and coming across Bella was their last. Surprisingly, she found that she could remember every single one of their faces perfectly. The shock. The terror. The bewildered looks in their eyes as they watched Bella strike. Reminiscent glimmers of “Why me? What have I done to deserve this?” However, the look in her preys’ eyes was not what haunted Bella every night. It was the faces of the victims’, just one victim, really.
No matter the age, hair length, eye color, or place Bella found them, when she closed her eyes it was always the same face. Bella made eye contact with the people she saved. She would talk to them and tried remember specific details about them, but it did not change anything. Even though she hated it, deep down Bella knew if the haunting did anything, it kept her going. She gripped the handle of the bat and lifted it over her shoulder. The last thing Donnie remembered was pulling his belt loose and spotting Bella.
He did not, however, remember the force the bat made on impact against the side of his skull, or the crackling sound of his jaw breaking as he fell to the floor. Bella dropped the bat and approached the battered girl in the corner. She made sure to block the sight of Donnie and his exposed skull on the ground as police sirens drowned out the poor girl’s relieved hysterics.
Her name is Regina, I think. Bella thought. Remember. It’s Regina. Bella helped Regina stand and walked her towards the staircase. She was grateful she made it to another one in time, but Bella’s heart wrenched inside of her chest as she focused her gaze on the approaching police officers and not on the girl in her arms that wore her sister’s face. Reminded again that for everyone she has saved, it still didn’t make up for the broken promise to the one she couldn’t who mattered the most.
Copyright © 2015 Gianna Jackson