2022 Writing Contest

and standing there is a man, clearly muscular while sporting some killer tats. Only a robotic eye stands out. He probably has more enhancements under his clothes. I won’t be able to handle this guy. If it were just the bouncer I could run. Well, I might as well try. I push past the bouncer while shoving him out of the way. Running away I hear the heavy thuds of the tatted-up man chasing after me. Swerving into an alleyway I climb onto a trash can. Hopping up I grab ahold of the pipe running up to the roof. I begin to climb up when I feel a hand wrap around my ankle. The man starts to pull me down stopping my ascension. So, I stomp my boot into his face. Yet he doesn’t let go, instead he continues pulling me off the pipe. I fall onto the trash can and down to the concrete ground with the tatted man standing over me. He tells me, "don't run" Well, no chance to run away yet. He holds out his hand. I take it and he pulls me to my feet. His skin is cold, metallic. He has synthetic skin over his enhancements, clever. He begins to lead me back to the fighting ring. Moving past the betting stand it dawns on me, I am in deep shit here. He opens a door and leads me within. Inside are several more people. All of them look to have enhancements and are armed. A man with glasses sits at a desk before me. Mob boss? Before his desk is a chair which I sit in, quickly. The armed men circle around me, ready for a fight. I stare at the man in the seat, a man I’ll know all too well now. His name is Josef 'The Bear' Dutta, so called ‘The Bear’ because he’s brutal when it comes to dealing with his own men. This area must be a part of his turf. just my luck. Josef asks, "do you know why you’re here kid?" I take a shallow breath and answer, "I took money from a waitress" Josef lets out a whistle before commenting, "honesty, a rare trait in people.” I’m sixteen, not a kid. I ask, "you going to kill me?" "No, not at all. We just want the money back. That’s all." At this, I pull out the cash I had stuffed into my right pocket and place it on the desk. An unexpected swing of a blade and I find myself instinctively going to the ground. There’s a bleeding stump where my hand was. I try to stop the flow of blood, but tattoo man shoves my arm away and presses his hand on the stump. A searing pain travels through my arm, and he closes my wound. I struggle to move, as the tattoo guy lifts me back on my feet. Slowly Josef asks, "How do you feel?" I do not answer. He waves his hand dismissing me. The tattoo guy helps me leave. Once we get out and walk I a bit I ask, "Why are you helping me?" The tattoo man answers, "No reason at all kid" Eventually I stop walking, but tattoo man continues pushing me forward. "I’m taking you to a doctor. He’ll give you a hand” I ask, "how much will that cost me?" Tattoo guy does not answer so I ask, "What's your name?" Tattoo guy answers, "Xander" I hold out my stump with a chuckle and say, "Names Zeke" "I don't care" Xander continues to lead me to the doctor’s place. I am leaning on this guy, mostly from my loss of blood. Luckily, he closed it up before I could bleed even more. I say, "I didn't mention it, but thank you for helping me" Xander says, "Don’t thank me yet, don't have a new hand yet" I quiet myself, and we keep walking. Eventually we arrive at an abandoned building. Xander opens a side door and walks inside with me. Within the warehouse is what looks like a makeshift hospital. People are lying down on crude beds with workers doing their jobs. Monitoring it all is a man in a lab coat. He seems to be a bit older than me. Xander walks up to the guy while saying, "New patient doc, missing a hand"