GENRE: YA dystopian with heavy romantic elements
Noplace in D-town to escape the sound of The Dance, and I’m glad. The techno beat gives something to latch onto as punch number I’ve-lost-count crashes into my stomach like it will tear through and shatter my spine. Air leaves my lungs in a shocked oomph— always a surprise, no matter how many blows have landed—and my body curls, absorbing the violence.
Awareness narrows to brilliant agony and the boom of the bass. If only my meditations were half this focused. A timeless moment later, I can breathe again, but not for long, because the next hit comes, with its oomph exhale followed by aching stillness.
The beat carries me, red flashes of pain pulsing in time, and I lose track of everything else until the blows stop. I am lying on the ground with my right eye swollen shut. I open my left a little and meet the glazed eye of the A who’s been beating me. I cower back before realizing he’s on his side too. Blood drools out of his mouth onto the broken concrete between us.
Tattooed fingers grab the A’s shirt, flipping him onto his back, and a knee clad in black denim thunks to the ground by my lips. The new guy’s fist smashes into the A’s round face, splitting the skin over the cheekbone.
The knuckles land again, widening the gash.
Again—the nose this time, connecting with a crunch. The A’s head jerks to the side, and a warm spray of blood mists my face.