With a shrug, Amy heads towards the trailer park. The night is coming on in full. The sounds from neighboring units fill the air with noise. Televisions systems, music, and shouting matches are matched by dozens of bright lights. Dogs howl and children wail while others scream at each other.
Wincing at the onslaught of sound, the teen walks towards her unit. An old man nearby cat whistles.
“Hey baby!” He calls out, “What’s the rush? Ain’t nothin goin on in there!”
She slams the door, muffling his harsh laughter.
For a moment she stares at the trailer she calls home. Cheap wood and hard plastic are used in the construction. There are a few photos mounted on the wall in broken frames or even missing glass. In one photo a younger version of her smiles out beside two other kids. Another one shows her a few years older but missing the other kids.
With a sigh, Amy opens the nearly empty fridge and pulls out a small bag of food.
She cooks the food while the sounds of neighboring trailer units slam out harsh noise.
She glances out of the window and sees a black car roll up. The tires and headlights are rimmed in gold plating while the body of the car is painted a glossy black. The windows are tinted. Music pounds out of the speakers mounted on the sides of the car.
It comes to a stop just outside her neighbor’s unit.
From the shotgun seat, a large man emerges. Broad shouldered and six feet tall, he is imposing. His black suit and drawn pistol easily show that he is not from the unit.
Amy ducks down and turns the stove top.
She waits as the man slams on the door, barely audible over the pounding music. A moment later, the music dies away. The teen peeks over the edge of the countertop. She sees the large man returning to the car. In his hands is a large wad of cash. And bright blood on his hands.
The teen peers out at the trailer. The man is leaning heavily against the doorframe. Blood drips down from a gash over his right eye. He cradles the bloody mess that was his hand.
The man opens the door leans in then glances directly at Amy.
Alarmed, she ducks out of sight
Her heart pounds inside her chest. She closes her eyes.
“Please go away. Please go away. Please go away. Please go away. Please go away. Please go away. Please go away. Please go away. Please go away. Please go away. Please go away. Please go away.”
The door to her trailer is kicked open. The flimsy door is nearly ripped off its hinge. The doorframe is nearly splintered to pieces. The man squeezes through the door frame and towers over her small figure.
“Hello miss.” He rumbles.
The girl forces herself to look up at him.
Scars decorate the left side of his face. His eyes are hard and cold. Thick armor plating has been added to his arms and legs. Beneath his skin and clothes are the soft glow of internal technology.
Amy tries to shake her head but feels her body trembles and won’t obey her.
With a deep sigh, he leans down and grabs the front of her shirt. She yelps as he lifts her to his eye level. At this distance, she can smell the alcohol on his breath and the smell of gunsmoke.
“Did. You. See. Anything?”
She shakes her head rapidly.
He tilts his head slightly.
“I wish I could believe you. I really do.” He spins and throws her down the length of the trailer.
Pain explodes through her body as she lands in a heap in the small living room. A heartbeat later, Amy feels herself being slammed into a nearby wall. The girl hears something under the attack. She wonders if it is her body that is breaking.
The man throws her into the ground and she hears a scream.
Something hard slams into her stomach. Vomit explodes out of her mouth from the blow. She curls into a ball as pain floods her.
“Listen, you little wench. You are going to keep this and what you saw to yourself. Or you’re going to see me again.” He chuckles lightly, “And you’re never going to forget what happens when you snitch. Do you understand me?”
She nods her head slowly.
“Good. Are you going to talk?”
She shakes her head.
“Good.” He checks a device on his left arm, “Amy Gunther. Freshman at Allen Ridgeback High School. Father skipped out of town with another woman. Mom works at Ryoka as a cleaner.” He stands up and says in a casual tone, “If you tell anyone I’ll visit your school. I’ll kill everyone there. I’ll visit mommy and I’ll kill her. Slowly. And then, I’ll come here and take whatever you have of value.” He glances around, “Not that you have anything of value. I am sure you’ll be able to give me something of yours.”
Amy props herself up on her elbow and watches the car back up.
Amy limps through the trailer. The door is somewhat back in place. The trailer park continues as it had every night. Her device buzzing. She glances at the screen. The young girl takes a deep breath as she answers the call.
“Hi, honey.” Her mother sounds tired, “I’m sorry sweetie but it looks like I can’t come home tonight. Work has me here due to something in the lab. I’m not in danger but they say it is just standard procedure.” She laughs lightly, “They’re giving us pizza for dinner. And I will be able to take some home for you.”
“Amy. What’s wrong?”
The man’s face flashes through her mind. She nearly drops her phone.
“Nothing mom.” She forces out as she struggles to breathe normal, “Just tired.”
A moment passes, “Okay. Looks like we’re being called in for some paperwork. I’ll probably be home after you’re asleep. Be good. Listen and do well. I’ll see you after school tomorrow. I love you.”
“Love you too, mom.”
The phone clicks.
She puts her phone down when it vibrates.
Curious, she looks at the phone and sees that she has a new message from an unknown user. The message simply reads:
Good job at keeping your mouth shut. See you in school.
Amy drops her phone and retreats from the device. Her body trembles.
To be continued…