The Fearful Guardian by Sophia Karperos

Sophia Taylor Karperos

Mr. Bearson

Honors English 10/Period 6

5 September 2017

The Fearful Guardian

Jordyn steps out of the faded yellow building, roughly identical to the other squat structures on the street.  She strolls down the abandoned block to a dirt walkway, her black skinny jeans turning more brown with each dusty step.  Soda and beer cans litter the ground; candy wrappers and plastic bags flutter in the air.  Jordyn pads across the gravel as she begins her first-ever guard-patrol of the newly expanding Sinaloa drug base.  With every step, every rustle of rocks, dirt swirls upwards, shading the walls a dusty brown.  She drags her hand over the concrete symbol, over the graffiti marking the alley as Juarez Cartel territory.  Jordyn moves her fingers away, stained dark from the grime.  Hands clench, sharp fingernails dig into soft palms.  Tighter, tighter until wine-red blood breaks through peach-colored skin.  

Her feet, enveloped in once white Adidas, continue along the pathway.  The flat soles meet the ground with a crunch.  But suddenly, it’s not only her shoes disturbing the quiet alleyway.  The sound of nearing footsteps echo off the walls.  

She swivels her head around, searching.  Her eyes rest on a crack snaking down the concrete.  The footsteps come closer.  She reaches toward the crack, squeezing her body to fit in the tiny space.  Her shoulders rise as she struggles to breathe.  Jordyn tucks her bold blue hair behind her ears and stills her body to listen.  Whispers fill the alleyway.  Whispers about the Sinaloa Cartel, about its threat to the local Juarez Cartel.  She glances down at her forearm, inked with a cursive red S, a reminder of her loyalty.    

Her fingers fall to the gun on her hip, stroking the trigger to calm her shaky hand.  She steadies her breathing: deep breath in, deep breath out.

Placing a hand on either side of the crack, she pulls herself out of her hiding spot.  Jordyn sees the skulls on two of the men’s arms that mark them as members of the Juarez Cartel.  She grabs her gun, daring the surprised gang to run away.  Pausing, her finger dangles above the trigger, indecisive.  But then, Jordyn snaps her finger down and a bullet races towards the chest of one of the enemy.  The man presses a hand to the wound, but the blood rushes past his fingers and drips down his shirt as he falls to the ground, still.

One down, two to go.

A moment, a split second, and the others in the group charge at Jordyn.  The first of them swings his arm back to punch, but she smacks his chest.  The man falls onto the gravel, a loud crack echoing down the alley.  Jordyn’s eyes widen when she notices the blood trailing from underneath his head.  

Two down, one to go.  

A woman fighting unarmed approaches Jordyn.  She boxes Jordyn in, forcing her backwards into the corner.  Jordyn raises her hands and drops her gun as the enemy laughs.  The woman swaggers towards Jordyn, but, as she reaches to grab her by the neck, Jordyn swings her elbow at the woman’s face.  The woman ducks and wraps her arm around Jordyn’s waist, swinging her into the wall with a thud.  Jordyn whacks her head backwards into the woman’s jaw and follows through with a hard step on the woman’s foot.  The bones in the foot crack as the woman falls to the ground, fainting in pain.  Jordyn stares down at the woman, then picks up her gun and fires at the woman’s heart.  A final gunshot to end the battle.  

Jordyn walks slowly across the alleyway, surveying the members of the Juarez Cartel that she killed.  She brings a finger to her lips and licks it, using it to wipe the blood off her gun.  Then, reaching into her pocket, she pulls out a small can of red spray paint and draws a large S over the old graffiti, identical to the one on her forearm.  The red sprays on thick and drips down, spreading like the blood of her enemies.  

She gazes at her work a moment and starts walking at a brisk pace down the alley.  Chin up, shoulders straight, the corners of her mouth betraying the faintest of smiles.  This is Sinaloa territory now.  

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