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| KAREN GRECO | the middle of the freeway. I yanked Mia off the back and sprinted towards Frankie, dragging her after me. If those goons caught up with us, Mia sitting alone on my bike was an easy target. He was in rough shape, taking a direct hit to the head that left a crack in the huge cement barrier. Blood rushed out of his skull like a geyser. The bike could go up in flames at any second and I wanted to get all of us out of the way. But Frankie’s skull was split open, his grey matter oozing onto the ground. The bones were already fusing back together. His noggin knitting shut with his brain bits still on the pavement wouldn’t be a good thing. I had to get them back into his head. Gritting my teeth, I scooped up his brains and tried to push them back into his skull. His head was healing too fast. I couldn’t get his grey matter off the pavement fast enough. I reached into my pocket and pulled out an athame. I pulled his blood-soaked hair tight, losing my fingers in its thick darkness. Then, without hesitating, I hacked at the bone to reopen his skull. “Mia, help me!” I called to the witch. “There, pick that up.” I nodded at the brain tissue still on the ground. With one final slam, I re-cracked his cranium. Blood oozed out again. “Shove it in, fast!” I jammed my fingers into the crack and stretched it out. His skull popped and cracked under the pressure, but it gave way so that we could replace what was missing. Mia, without gagging (bless her witchy soul), picked up Frankie’s brain matter and shoved it back into his head. I released my fingers and, quick as can be, his bones knitted back together. “Well done, Mia!” I said, jumping up to give that heroic witch a hug. I turned just in time to see a gunman walk up behind her and shoot her point blank in the back of the head, execution style. She crumpled to the ground. This time it was chunks of her brain, dark red blood and bits of her broken skull that landed on my booted foot. Unlike Frankie, there was no fixing this one. Without hesitation, I leapt at the gunman, grabbed his head and gave it a sharp twist. His neck

snapped and his body crumpled. I tossed him into the middle of the highway like a rag doll. He landed right in front of two oncoming motorcycles, the remaining members of his posse. They both swerved to avoid his body and dumped their bikes in the choas, spinning out down the highway. I ran after them, my living-vampire swiftness getting me there before they could register what happened. I snatched one up by the back of his leather jacket, dragging him along the ground to his buddy. That one I lifted off the ground by his throat. “What the hell are you, lady?” That was the one I had by the back of the neck. The one I had by the throat could only wheeze. “I am no lady,” I growled. “I am your executioner.” I tossed them both on the ground and shook out my wrists. A pair of razor sharp blades extended over each hand, my own special weaponized claws. “You’re human, right?” I asked with a smile before plunging a blade into each of their throats simultaneously. I extracted the claws quickly and blood bubbled out of their necks. Between the blood and the expelling air, their throats made a gurgling noise. “Good god, woman,” Frankie said, sneaking up behind me. “Must you always kill in such a vile way? That sound is atrocious.” “How’s your head?” I asked, squinting at him. He wasn’t listing when he stood. That I could see, at least. “What are you talking about?” he puzzled. “Come on now, let’s clean up your mess.” I wiped the bloody blades against my jeans. “Leave it.” “Are you mad? If we leave this....” “What? Leila will send her goons out looking for me?” I said, toeing at one of the lifeless bodies. “These were her goons, and they were after Mia, not me.” “Mia?” Frankie looked confused for a minute. “Mia...I can’t quite...” His clouded expression Issue 8 | March 2017 |

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Uncaged Book Reviews  
Uncaged Book Reviews  

Issue 9, March 2017 Featuring authors: Jane Ederlyn, R.M. Gauthier, Karen Greco, Haven Cage, Scott Carruba, Lily Luchesi, Mikea Howard and...