““Have you heard anything about a prophecy?” Cristiano asked.”
He is running through the walls dodging the hot, wet drain pipes, blinded by the steam. He knows the setup and where the pipes are by heart. He runs as the temperature gradually gets cooler and as the pipes slowly diminish until there are none. He goes through a dark tunnel with a beam of light. Only tiny dust particles are visible. He slowly crawls up to the source of the light. A tiny peephole where he looks through every Wednesday for the security guards office to make sure they have the right keys, the right faces and the right serial number on their certified weapons.
He turns around and walks away and knows that his building is safe. He runs through the pipes and is distracted by an odd smell that does not belong to any of the guards. He sighs as he returns to the peephole. He sees another tail, he jumps through the plywood that has been installed many times before because he made a hole from jumping through too many times. He lands on a ripped couch where he has landed many times before. He slowly gets low so the highest point of his body is his shoulders. He jumps on the left side of the couch onto the armrests onto the lamp. Right under the plywood, and onto the desk. Where he is always forced to be all up against the window overlooking the whole city of Manhattan. He hears rapid panting, then it becomes obvious.
An Old Friend
“Juan, what are you doing on the 40th floor?” asked Cristiano.
“Well…” said Juan.
“You know you belong in the basement,” said Cristiano.
“Wow, man, just beca-” He got cut off by Cristiano.
“Don’t pull out THAT card,” said Cristiano.
Cristiano turned away from Juan in disgust and hopped on the lamp and into the the vent with the busted plywood. Walking into the darkness and back to his home, his ears tickled by the sound of a faint cry of a familiar voice. The cry of –“Pierre!” shouted Cristiano.
“Well hello,” said Pierre, standing in the way of him, blocking his path to his home.
A shadow cast over his face making his identity uncertain. He stepped out of the shadow while saying, “It’s been some time since I last saw you, Cristiano.” When he stepped out of the shadow, Cristiano could see his face was mangled. Cristiano was not surprised since he was the cat that got in the most fights. But it looked like he lost this one.
“Wha- what happened?” Cristiano was scared to ask.
“Nothing much, just another fight,” said Pierre. They were face to face now and Cristiano was paralyzed by fear from the cold stare Pierre was looking at him with. Pierre flinched just a little bit but it was enough for Cristiano to flinch way more heavily.
Cristiano fell on the floor and Pierre walked over Cristiano and scoffed, “Weak.” He walked away in the darkness with his his tail fading in the darkness. Cristiano got up and went home.
The next day Cristiano woke up to a faint noise of conversation escalating to an argument.
“He’s not awake, we could just take him!” said one of the two.
“We best not! He may not be awake now but at any moment he could wake!” said the other one.
Cristiano stood up very quickly. He saw that two they were both pitbulls like Juan is and they looked just like him. “C-c-could you be Juan’s brother?” Cristiano stuttered in confusion.
“Do you think you know where he is?” said the two pitbulls oddly in sync.
“Yeah follow me…” said Cristiano. They traveled down the building to the basement. On the first floor Cristiano could hear a faint sound of a dog barking. He knew it was Juan. They rushed to the basement but they were too late they heard a whimper and when they got down they saw a trail of blood. They followed the trail to a closet.
“Let me go first in case of danger,” said Cristiano.
He opened the closet and what he saw was atrocious.
“Oh no, Juan!” the pitbulls said.
“How do you know my brothers?” asked Juan.
“I-I-Don’t know,” replied Cristiano.
“What does all this mean, out of all the time I knew you, you never mentioned brothers!” said Cristiano.
“Don’t get mad at me now!” yelled Juan. But only then Cristiano realized Juan’s condition. Juan was mangled and had the life beaten out of him. Cristiano was worried but was not surprised. He was not known for winning his fights. But Cristiano knew how to pick fights against others.
“Pierre!” shouted Cristiano. Pierre came out of the shadow of the hallway on the right of them.
“Again,” said Pierre in a distraught voice.
“Why are you scaring the others in the building?” asked Cristiano in a raging voice.
“Calm down, Cristiano,” said Pierre.
“Never use my name!” yelled Cristiano.
Cristiano took a swing at Pierre without knowing the consequences. Cristiano hit Pierre with his claws on his right paw.
Pierre only turned his head to Cristiano and looked at him with his cold, dead stare and and said, “Get him, boys!”
Cristiano was confused and trying to figure out what it meant but it was too late. He heard the brothers say, “Okay, boss.”
Then Cristiano saw black.
He woke up in his bed on the 40th floor. He was relieved to be home then he saw shadow dash in a corner. Then he look towards the hallway full of steam pipes. He could barely make out the outline of a another cat but he knew who it was.
Cristiano woke up to realize that his vision was only a dream. But he also realized where he was.
“Welcome back to the 100th floor!” said Pierre.
Cristiano looked up from the cold cement floor of the biggest air vent in the building. He saw Pierre and each one of Juan’s brothers on each side of Pierre.
“So you never knew Juan had brothers?” Pierre asked.
“We only have known each other for about two years, he never told me and I never asked him…” replied Cristiano.
Pierre scoffed and said, “Boys, where is Juan?”
“Oh, we did not really think we needed him. We dumped him in the vent,” replied the brothers in sync.
“What!? Is he dead?” said Pierre
“No,” they both said different.
The one on the right said yes. Cristiano was shocked that Pierre manipulated them to not care about killing their own brother.
Pierre looked to the brother on the right and said, “Dump him off the roof.”
Cristiano was out of words by the amount of neglect for Juan. “But if I go, I have to have Jason by my side,” said the dog on the right.
“Just go or I kill you too!” yelled Pierre. The dog on the right ran. Cristiano tried to move but he was very weak. Pierre left and commanded Jason to watch Cristiano.
“So why do you work for Pierre?” asked Cristiano.
“Why? Why should you know!” yelled Jason.
“Because, maybe I could help you…” Cristiano persuaded Jason.
“Ever since our parents died Juan left us alone with no help so we worked hard to stay together, then Pierre took us under his wing ever since. So we trust him,” explained Jason.
“So why did you attack him?” asked Cristiano.
“Because he betrayed us and he deserved it!” said Jason.
“Wow, I can’t believe you!” said Cristiano. Cristiano took a deep breath and and got up and fell down again.
“Why am I so weak?” asked Cristiano.
“I don’t know…” replied Jason. Cristiano got up and it took more energy than it should have. He wanted to leave but before he could leave he got stopped
“Here’s a mouse to get back your energy, thanks,” said Jason. Cristiano went down to his 40th floor and went on his bed and looked at the mouse in his paws.
“This couldn’t hurt,” he said, and took a bite out of the mouse. His vision got blurry and fell down on his bed.
Cristiano was put unconscious.
“Look at yourself,” said the mysterious cat behind the steam.
“Who are you?” asked Cristiano.
“I am hurt by you not remembering me. Brother, you must get the prophecy my brother, the prophecy of –”
The mysterious cat was cut off by a slight tap on the back. Cristiano woke up, nothing was in front of him but when he looked back he saw Juan in a bloody, scratched up condition saying “help me!” in a weak wheezy voice. Before he could speak, Cristiano started sweating and breathing heavily.
Before he thought of anything he at where the mouse was but there was no mouse it was strange but it did not matter.
“What turn do I take?” Cristiano asked himself. Cristiano was troubled by the Prophecy he heard about. Cristiano made it his priority to find the prophecy. When Cristiano was leaving to unlock the mystery of the so called ”Prophecy” he knew just where to look. On the way to the 100th floor he saw a familiar tail in the corner of the vent. He went down and snuck behind the body of the tail. The body turned around only to find Cristiano lash out.
“Jason?” said Cristiano.
“Get off! Wait, what are you doing here? How did you find me?” Although Jason said get off, Cristiano did not get off because he wanted to get the revenge he deserved for the mouse but before he could do that he that he wanted one thing.
“Have you heard anything about a prophecy?” Cristiano asked.
“I think I heard Pierre mention one time,” Jason replied.
“What happened to your brother?” Cristiano asked.
“Pierre killed him,” replied Jason in a low voice.
“You still work for him?” asked Cristiano.
“I thought about what you said and put it under consideration,” replied Jason.
“Then why did you drug me?” asked Cristiano.
“What are you talking about?” replied Jason
“Don’t act innocent,” said Cristiano in an angry voice.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Pierre gave it to me to give it to you but I heard him mumble something…” said Jason.
“What?!” yelled Cristiano while Cristiano was still on Jason.
“Ok! He said something about you not finding out about the prophe-” Cristiano cut Jason off by knocking him out. Cristiano ran to the 1000th floor. Cristiano snuck down behind Pierre and was about to attack but he was interrupted
“Don’t do it, Cristiano,” said a weak wheezy voice he thought it was someone else but he realized it was Pierre. Then he saw the position of Pierre barely holding himself up and very limp. Cristiano was about to ask why but he was interrupted by another then Cristiano started to wonder why Pierre was not facing him but then he listened to the other voice.
“I heard a lot about you, Cristiano.”
Top of the chain
Cristiano was afraid to move or speak. Paralyzed by fear, he only listened.
“I waited for you,” said the voice.
Cristiano got the courage to say, “Santiago?”
“Of course you remember your own brother,” said Santiago.
“I- I didn’t know, Cristiano,” Pierre said.
“You deserve to know if you’re his bro-” Pierre was cut off by a raging voice.
“NO!” said Santiago.
Pierre turned around and Cristiano saw his face. Cristiano saw Pierre’s condition, his left eye was closed and blue and his face was bloody. Then Cristiano realized Santiago did this to him. Cristiano looked back at Santiago. But he was not there.
Then Cristiano looked back at Pierre and saw Santiago behind Pierre with his claw on Pierre’s throat.
“The prophecy on the roof — go now!” yelled Pierre and he quickly turned around and ran from the cold cement room. He was running through the vents escalating each floor. When he finally got to the top, he saw a log of checking in to the roof. The last person to check in was in 1956 — it was abandoned. When Cristiano went outside there was a podium with a chest under it. It was windy so he could see no other building. He saw giant metal birds. There was only cement and there was ivy all over the floor. He looked up and all he could see is clouds and the sunset and the rain, the clouds covered the sunset and it got dark quickly.
Cristiano went to the podium and saw a stone in a language he has never heard before. “A hora é agora, o lugar é aqui desse jeito que vamos acabar, a máquina a combustão espontânea é aqui agora seu seu para parar, Cristiano.”
Then the rain started to dent the very weak and old rock and it diminished.
“The time is now, the place is here. This is where we end up, death by a spontaneously combustible machine but it’s yours to stop, Cristiano,” said a voice coming from the back of his ears.
“Santiago, you never should have come here!” said Cristiano.
“All my life we’ve lived here and when we did good things you got the credit and when we did bad things I got the blame. It’s time to let these people know what I’m capable of and let them diminish in this building! All of them! Dead!” said Santiago.
“Their family and you grew up here bu-” Cristiano was cut off by Santiago.
“If I’m going down they’re going down with me!” Cristiano was worried that he had no time left to find the bomb.
“I gotta go find this bomb Santiago, I gotta go find it now!” Cristiano sprawled to the inside door and in the vent and he was being chased by Santiago.
Thunder clapped and the vents in front of him collapsed but he could see a wooden board leading to an exit he jumped on the board and as soon as he landed he could see the window with a flash that blinded him by the light. He could not see anything he could not hear anything only the sound of his own heartbeat and he was numb. He tried to speak but couldn’t. He tried to move he was holding his breath. He took a deep breath and he opened his eyes he looked around and looked down the hall. He saw his steam pipes and he looked down and saw only what he did not want to see a mouse with a chunk taken out of it. “It was only a dr-” He felt a huge bump under him and he closed his eyes and he only heard a ringing and he heard people screaming. He was troubled.
“Was it a dream?” he asked himself.