Prom Dress - Millionaires
“Honey, I’m home!” Gabriel Saporta sauntered down the familiar tunnel towards the den, his children following close behind and his so called partner being slightly wary a few meters away.
The smell was dank and unpleasant, the aroma of rotting flesh forever lingering in the air mixed with the waste of a past civilization. Piddles of liquid collected in dips of the earth occasionally bubbling with an unsettling pop. The concrete streets were broken and ragged and bones joined loose stones in the potholes.
“I cannot believe you!” A shriek came from down the tunnel. The speaker remained anonymous for a moment before a small figure charged down from the dark end of the burrow. The tall man received a blow to the head and the two exchanged harsh sounding words of a foreign, unintelligible language. The mother then bent down to embrace her children but stopped dead with her eyes locked on Andy.
“What is that?” She growled, her reunion interrupted.
“He is welcome; I’ll explain later.”
Andy followed the family further down the dismal passage as rats nipped at his feet. The narrowness eventually faded into a wide, circle cavern occupied by four more hunched figures. They turned their heads and smiled wide, menacing smiles with jaws of razor sharp teeth.
“Back so soon, Gabe?” A man, taller than the addressed, rose to greet his friend and the others took suit.
“Oh god, Oh god…” Pete sobbed desperately, clutching PJ’s body. There was no one around in these dark, dank sewers; no one would see his pain, his tears. “Oh god, please…save me. Save us. Save PJ.”
His arm throbbed with pain and viscous red liquid seeped through his shirt and into PJ’s hair as he pressed her against him.
“I don’t know what to do anymore!” His voice, his demeanor, his soul…breaking. All of it breaking into thousands of pieces. He was shattering and there was not a soul to save him. Not a soul to watch the pieces crumble and smash and drift through the sewers, not a soul to try to help him.
Pete Wentz was irrevocably alone in the world.
“Save me, God,” Pete screamed out, “ SOMEONE SAVE ME!” His face crumpled and he stifled his tears in PJ’s limp shoulder.
There was no strength anywhere. There was no one to save him. No net to catch him if he failed. No weapons, no guidance, no luck, no love, no nothing...
“I’m so afraid,” Pete sobbed, “I can’t fail…no, no failure. No failure. I can’t fail. They’ll kill me.”
He broke off, his sobs growing louder as he slammed his head against the wall of the sewer, greenish-brown liquid rubbed into his hair, but was he supposed to care? No. Nothing matters anymore except survival. His survival and PJ’s.
“They’ll hate me if I fail. They’ll all hate me if I fail.”
The pain in his shoulder, his chest, his ribs, his head…the agony was excruciating, the mounting affliction, but in comparison to the collapse of his soul…it was nothing.
Up until now, Pete has never known true fear. True failure. He’s never had to do anything like this before, he’s never had to be a true hero. He’s never faced death, destruction, pain, horror…war. The blood of heroes runs in his veins, but the sounds of gunshots and the dying and the sobs, were never the soundtrack to his childhood.
This are intrusions on a life that he was never suppose to live. He was supposed to be happy, to be loyal, to make something of himself...and now...
Pete knows nothing of this world and in those crucial moments when death was so narrowly missed, he realized it. Finally, he realized that he is standing on a precipice of failure as apocalypse rises around him. There is a fear in the air that chills the soul, darkness in the sewers the draws devils and demons into the air, hovering over the souls of the lost, over the broken, ready for them to sell their souls and enter the realm of sinister repression of all of the facets of life that are to late to partake in.
The wetness of his cheeks, the raw burn of his throat from his sobs…all reminders that one day, he will break. One day, his love for order, for sanity, for reason—will end.
One day, madness and sanity will blend and become the same thing. One day, morals will die as easily as the sunsets and sadism, carnage and massacres will rise as naturally as the moon over a inky black horizon with stars glistening overhead like bloodstains.
One day, hate will be more common than love. Loyalty converts to betrayal. One day, he will fall into this fickle fate of treachery, his golden personality to die and a malignant disease of evil will run through his veins, poisoning the good, deleting it from his DNA destroying it and himself in the process.
Pete bit his lip and closed his eyes tightly, his arms still firmly around PJ’s body, crushingly holding her toward him. One day, something about him will depart this life. Something in him will snap, disintegrate, breakdown and die.
He gritted his teeth.
But not today.
Something in him would not lie down and submit to this. He would not chose the easy way out, the corrupted way out, the devil’s way out…No.
He would suffered and burn and cry and stare death in the face before he would throw himself off the precipice. There is honor in pain. There is honor in fear. There is...life.
He could hear enormous rolls of thunder above him, water began to spurt through the manhole and the storm drains gushes with water.
“Think of me,” Pete muttered, as he hoisted himself to his feet, PJ’s body pushed partly over his shoulder, he adjusted her positioning, carrying her like a wounded soldier, one arm under her knees the other, supporting the middle of her back.
“Watch over me,” Pete whispered, putting one foot in front of the other slowly, trying to regain balance in a world when his life has flipped so fast and so much that he isn’t sure whether he’s stopped spinning or not.
“Guide me,” Pete grunted as he started to move faster, the rushing water disrupted his balance, he was shaky as the water slapped against his ankles, hindering his speed as he rushed forward. His feet splashing the water up higher. Within minutes it was knee-deep.
“Protect me as we make this journey…Patrick…Andy…Henley…I know you can hear me…somewhere, in heaven, wherever you are…damn it I know you hear me!” Pete said his voice cracking in a few places as he spoke, the water continued to rush in the farther that he walked.
He was wading in the waters now, the end drainage must be blocked, what could be blocking it?
"For God’s sake, please…just save me.”
The water was murky, it was so dark and thick that seeing the bottom of it was next to impossible, there were no more high steps just dredging through the waters…trying to make it. Each step a battle, each inch of water another invitation to stop…
But no, not with PJ in his arms, not with this burn of loyalty in his chest. No, he could never stop. Not now, not ever.
Thunder rolled overhead…but the water pouring in lessened. PJ’s feet were dragging in the water, along with the end of her ponytail. Pete’ face was hard, but determined…
There would be hell on this journey. There would be demons and death and evil in the shadows. But within him, there was going to be courage, there was going to be strength. He would save his sister’s life and he would not die in the process.
And within every Hero there is a darkness. PJ is the darkness and Pete is the light. Separate they will die a horrible death, one of corruption, the other of false optimism. But together…