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The Siren of the Slums

By: Joeseph Velasquez

ANDREA MELENDEZ walked on the isle of the court, slowly making her way to the bench of the
judge. The sound of clashing chains was heard as she made her steps. Her face was immovable, a
blank stare governed her eyes, as if she was staring in an abyss. She could feel the glare of every
people in the court as she was walking, their judgments, their condescending tones in their murmurs,
and their cold stares colder than freezing steel but she couldn’t care less for what they have to say.
She kept on walking, the wooden doors shut behind her, its closing made a crashing noise that
echoed through the lighted room. She kept on walking, though the court room was filled with
people, she felt alone, as if she is the only person in the world. She kept on walking, sounds of
shutters of cameras were heard, was it there to begin with? She didn’t bother to know. She kept on
walking, something stopped her as she came to her senses. She looked down and saw a small
wooden gate, a policeman, wearing the classic blue uniform, opened the gate without showing any
hint of emotion. The policeman removed Andrea’s cuffs and gestured her to the defendant’s table.
She saw the public lawyer who will defend her, but she knows it wouldn’t change anything.

“All rise,” said another policeman who just entered, “the court is now in session, the
Honorable Judge Mario Fernandez, judge presiding. Please be seated and come to order.”

A man who was about in his mid forties entered the room. He was wearing a plain black
robe. His hair was lined with gray and lines are visibly showing on his face. He sat down on the
chair behind the judge’s bench.

“Please state your name for the record.” said the judge with a booming voice.

“Andrea,” she said with voice as pale as her skin, “Andrea Melendez.”

She was beautiful behind her passive stare. She had a long hair that was as black as the
midnight eyes that showed like stars behind her dark hair, a slender body, lips that are as red as
roses, and skin that was as white as cotton and looks as soft as so. People would have look at her
differently if she wasn’t wearing the wretched orange uniform.

Everything she heard next after she said her name was nothing but noise to her until she
heard the words that bellowed from the low voice of the judge.

“How do you plea?”

Andrea felt frozen and then she remembered…

“Andrea?” Teresa Melendez whispered to the ears of her daughter, “Andrea, wake up.”

something was wrong. Andrea’s heart sunk at the sight of her father. except Teresa. and don’t say anything and don’t move!” Teresa hugged her daughter for the last time before pulling her daughter out of the cot and guiding her under it. “Good. She was about to crawl out of the cot but she saw her father’s face. Andrea felt a bit of relief seeing her father as if she saw a guardian angel.” Teresa whispered. Andrea rose from her slumber. Andrea can hear her mother helplessly screaming as the other two get their way to her. Two of the shadows pulled Teresa from her husband’s protection and threw her to the cot where Andrea was under. Nervous and fear struck the heart of the girl. something horribly wrong is happening. The wooden old door opened with a loud creak. now—“ The wooden door flew open and crashed to the floor. Three silhouettes suddenly entered their little house.” her mother answered after hesitating. She just knew that everything was normal. “Don’t touch her!” Levi bellowed. . Andrea was dumbfounded. just don’t do anything to my family.” For eighteen years she lived with her she knows when her mother would lie. Teresa let out a muffled scream as Levi pulled her to his back in a feeble attempt to protect her. she might have been crying or it was her sweat going to the side of her eyes. “I can pay you how any amount you want. she never saw her mother make that face before. Confusion. Andrea realized just then that her father wasn’t in their house. And that was one of them. Teresa’s face was wrinkled with worry and dripping from sweat. where she and her parents always slept. she woke Andrea up in such a cold night. to the faint odor of the sewers that wasn’t so hard to get use to. The sudden loud noise made Andrea jump a little. She scratched her eyes and wondered why she was woken up in the middle of the night. Everything was the same. fear and panic enveloped Andrea as if she was going to explode from them. Her mother pressed her index finger to her lips. from their small and low cot. It was her father. “Where is Andrea?” Her father asked “Safe.” Teresa said nervously. “Don’t be scared.” “What are you going to do?” said one of the shadows pointing a gun to him. she was still groggy. Levi’s face twitched and reached for the gun. Levi. A hint of light shone to their room. “Listen to me. she saw her mother’s face. it was as twisted as her mother’s. She looked around and she barely saw anything. “everything will be just fine. “hide under the cot.

three thundering sound rang Andrea’s ears. and ultimately. The whole neighborhood was filled with bystanders and those who were panicking from the gruesome sight of the blood spilled floors. Tears began to swell up to the corner of her eyes until she sat herself in front of her mother. but as soon as she stood up. the best they do is to bring left over meals to the front door of Andrea’s house. the door that was never fixed. Then she saw how her father dropped like a mannequin. Four months yet she still remembers how her mother woke her up in the middle of the night. A loud thud was heard as Teresa’s body hit the floorboards. but fear choked her “Someone must have heard that. The memories consumed her. how her father’s face looked like. “Let’s get the hell out of here. Then she felt something warm from her hands. Blood. She felt alone. Teresa suddenly gained some force to push the two other man to go help her husband. but all their efforts were helpless. Four months have passed after Andrea’s hell. and how mother’s lifeless glare penetrated her that night. Andrea saw he mother’s lifeless eyes staring directly at her. Andrea just kept on staring blankly from their window. two more shots were fired. the love of her parents were gone and will never be felt. The authorities haven’t done anything to bring justice to the death of her parents.” The shooter said. Her dam broke as she held her mother’s head and cried out for help. . smelling the bitter air and the scent of sewers. She tried to stand but she found herself just crawling to her lifeless parents. Half of her face was covered with coppery crimson. “Call the ambulance!” someone shouted. Familiar faces barged to the door and were shocked from the sight of the crying girl caressing her lifeless mother’s head as she calls her name of her father and mother as if they were going to wake up from her call. Andrea’s neighbors tried their best to bring back the once cheerful girl.” Andrea crawled out of the cot. Before Levi could get his composure back. “And where’s the kid?” “Who cares about them?” the third one said “They’re just a bunch of slum dogs. never be present again. The coppery scent of Andrea’s own parents’ blood mixed with the musky scent of the wooden floor. like she was feeling the wounds that never closed. She wanted to scream. Lights started flickering open as people stared heading for her house. over the bloodstain of her father that was never removed. “Bastard!” Levi tried to pull the gun out of the man’s grip but he was hit with the weapon’s nozzle causing him to fall off his feet slightly unconscious. how she hid under the cot helpless.” “What about the body?” one of them said. She felt lost. its noise lingering to her ears.

Andrea followed three murderers who killed her parents.” Andrea apologized. Celso stumbled in the dark alley. almost the same time when the killing happened. He was breathing as if he was drowning. Andrea would list it down to her mind. she heard something that made her wounds even worse. Every step that the make. . Over the distance. She pinned him to the brick wall. who has been studying the place. She also took note of the one who always drink too much. Andrea made her way to the narrow alleys of the slums. he couldn’t see anything. give you comfort for this night. She drew the knife from her right hand and slowly. making her way to intercept Celso in a way that it would look like an accident. ever slowly ran it across Celso’s throat. she walked to Celso and bumped to him. One Friday night. every stop that they take. She looked around and saw three men laughing as they were holding a bottle of liquor. I can. supporting himself by holding his right hand on the walls of the narrow alley. walked slowly. Andrea has taken note of that.m. she heard something. Andrea sheathed the knife in her clothes and watched how Celso trying a futile attempt to stop the bleeding. She was always a smart girl as smart as a mouse but even a cornered mouse would learn how to bite. rage consumed her and her reason was clouded with the thought of avenging her family. He didn’t recognize her as the daughter of those he killed. but for Andrea. Was it nervousness? No. She already hid the knife on a wooden beam two days before she planned her vendetta. his warm blood was gushing from his neck as the end of the knife finally left his skin. She recognized the voices. It was their hobby to be drinking that time. The man trashed and tried to escape the stinging pain. She was amazed at herself on how she could keep herself hidden. Andrea waited patiently. Andrea could remember how her mother smiled when she and her father gave it to her in her Birthday. Andrea prayed that the alcohol has dulled the sight of the old man. Andrea lured him to the alley and grabbed the knife from the beam. and he was Celso. It was her mother’s favorite knife. As the three split up. Something snapped on Andrea. even a flicker of light from a firefly would be enough to make her plan in motion. She was carefully devising a plot to seek revenge. It was past three a. Over the distance.” Celso took the bait. and covered his mouth with her left hand. “I can make it up to you. As the drunken Celso was nearing the planned route. Andrea felt her cold sweat trickling down from her forehead to her chest. “Who… Who are… you?” Celso said with a cough. it was excitement. At last he managed to produce the words he wanted to say. “Sorry. you know. the laugh of the three men who murdered her family. who put an end to what she defined as home. Celso. She started to make her move. “Watch ‘er yer goin!” he shouted. he couldn’t even walk straight. Andrea would follow each one of the three to see where they live and what routes they take. Andrea taught hard until it hurt. Every night.

Andrea sat directly in front of Louis when he came to. He was swimming on his own pool of blood.” He let his worry fade and headed to the dinner table after he opened the lights. but she was. Shock and fear struck his heart when he saw the girl. A long straight red mark on his neck was gruesomely visible leaving his head dangling on a piece of skin. like nothing happened. Andrea saw that her mother was smiling behind her clothes covered in blood. to please her mother and father. Louis was walking home exhausted from work as a laborer. Andrea stood with the crowd looking at her victim. Andrea took the knife from her shirt and started circling on Louis like how hawk would circle at its prey.” Astonished. Three weeks after her first act of revenge. The sun was down an hour ago and he was hurrying home to eat dinner. His vision dulled until he saw no more. but another two was needed to be removed. she saw her mother right the corner of her eye. Louis squinted his eyes to see who the figure in front of him was. It was dark. She felt like a huge thorn was removed from her side. but carefully devising it to become perfect. one of the people who raped her mother together with Celso. the gush of crimson slowly subsided from his neck and he lay dead on the floor. Louis was sweating heavily. no one was home. she could still see the bloodstain of her mother right next to the cot where she laid. That morning people gathered to see the corpse of Andrea’s first victim. Andrea kept on blankly glaring at him while Louis kept on struggling as if it would help him escape. He tried to stand up to retaliate. Andrea finished planning how to dispose of Louis. ropes bound him in his place. he has half a mind to go for a drink. like something was wrong. but then she thought that she could do better. she hated that she was feeling so. Finally. but it was the middle of the week and he can’t afford a hangover. he turned back and took a plate and when he turned back.” he taught “she is working the overtime in the factory. She was thinking on how to remove her second thorn. “I am the daughter of who you killed months ago. Celso had his eyes wide from the revelation. Andrea walked away freely from the scene. Thinking about it like day dreaming. “Of course. He unlocked the door and went inside with a small creaking sound from the door hinges. . For them to feel the way she felt. he felt something ominous. the next thing he knew is that he had a piece of cloth pressed on the face. his mouth open like he was gasping for air and eyes opened as he have seen the devil itself. She felt relief. Andrea wanted Louis to share the same fate as Celso. She went home as the crowd was called off by the police. but he couldn’t. Andrea felt disgust and hatred before she could muster the words. he fell down and the floor thudded from his fall. As she was walking. As he approached his house at the end of an alley. he was muttering words but Andrea already shut her ears off.

” “Please. She cleared her throat and stepped out. she never laughed like that before. a mixture of hilarity. she wasn’t finished. They were dazzled from the damsel's beauty that they swallowed first before they thought of the things they said. she pulled it out and laid the heart on the floor carefully and stomped it with reckless force and the thing was flatted. She went to the door and found two policemen in front of her house. who cares about a bunch of slumdogs? Andrea shoved a piece of cloth in Louis’ mouth and pressed the knife slowly in his chest of as he trashed and tried to scream from pain. She screamed for help. ." said the police on the left. reading the sports section of the newspaper. “You should have thought of that before you killed my parents. As she heard the wife scream for help she walked away exhausted from her excitement. She instinctively stood up and realized that she was sleeping on the table. disgust and anger. She was about to answer the call but then she looked down on her clothes and saw dried bloodstains all over it. She opened Louis’ chest and took her knife to seize his heart. He grabbed it as her hands become covered in crimson. “It was Viktor!” she finally heard. The call kept on coming when she finished changing her clothes and wash her once blood covered hands.” “I know." She said with confidence. As soon as she heard the doors open." "Not anything out of the ordinary. she hurried to her husband then she slipped on something. As she went home. She jumped off the window. she looked at it and saw it was a flattened heart. She saw her dead husband’s body tied to a chair with his chest opened like a closet. "Good morning ma’am. as you said. She sat next to him and finally succumbed to sleep.” Andrea heard herself laugh. she thought she saw her father sitting on the dining table.” Louis pleaded. Andre hesitated for a brief second before answering the door. The two policemen just finished talking when they turned their attention to Andrea. “It was him who ordered us to help him kill your parents. Next morning. Andrea found herself being woken up by a call of her name. She felt scared that she has already been caught when she was yet to finish the last person on her in her list.” She said as calmly as possible. “And besides. Andrea was fast on her feet. Blood spilled from his chest as Andrea pulled the knife out from Louis’ lifeless body. It was Louis’ wife. The door opened and a woman entered. "We were just wondering if you saw something suspicious last night. “I have a wife.” Andrea said with a cold tone. She took a long pause. and then he looked at her and smiled. “and he is next.

She was thankful that she was slender or else she couldn’t have fitted. . All she cared about was Viktor. She approached the small glistening thing from the corner of the room and grabbed it. But Andrea couldn’t care less. Then something caught her eye. She wanted him to see her so she stood beside the cot of Viktor for four more hours." the police from the right stated. She made a soft noise and hid her left hand behind her back. "We heard complains about a murderer who killed two men. "It's alright. a man named Viktor.” Andrea answered nervously “Sorry to have bothered you ma’am. Andrea followed Viktor to his house. officers. Andrea sneaked in Viktor’s house through a small window. to his last place he will see the sun rise. One night. It was the kind of day when Viktor came home exhausted and went straight to bed. after stalking Viktor for two weeks. “Anything wrong ma’am?” one of the policemen asked “Nothing. She could hear one of them giving the other one a sermon because of what he said. we would like to ask if-" "Mike!" the other police shouted. keeping her identity unseen. One last target. The lights were off. Andrea spent two months tracking the man who had the gun that night and mercilessly killed his father and mother. She pointed the gun to the head of the sleeping man. but she felt it wasn’t time. People are starting to be suspicious of her actions. Have a good day.” Andrea turned away when the policemen went ahead. It was the gun Viktor used to kill Andrea’s parents. Something the moon showed to her.” “Same goes to you. Viktor left the place as soon as he could when he learned that two of his connivers were killed. Andrea drew the knife and the silver moon reflected on its blade. "Considering that your parents was also murdered. the place was quiet. Andrea waited four dreadful hours before the lights from the house of her prey turned off and another thirty minutes to make sure he was asleep. to his house. but she doesn’t mind. She saw Viktor sleeping on his cot. It was time. She walked in the house as quietly as a mouse passing a sleeping cat." Andrea said as maturely as she can. It gave her chills by just the look of it. What she was thinking of is how she could finish her revenge. and sounds of cars passing by from the distance are heard." Andrea noticed a dry bloodstain on her left hand. It was cold and heavy. "I will inform you if I see something suspicious. The smart Andrea followed the man from the shadows.

But Andrea never faltered. Spots of red covered Andrea as she threw the gun to the cot and walked out of the house. “your death is now avenged. Dad. “Yes. She was staring blankly to the skies and laughed. Mercy. The sounds of roosters crowing from the surrounding woke the sleeping Viktor.” “Mercy?” she said disdainfully. he swallowed hard as he sweat poured down his face. “Mom? Dad?” she cried out. Deserve.” she said. And Viktor laid his body down on the cot he slept on. “I should have killed you!” A gunshot. . Viktor raised his hands. “Where are you? Aren’t you going to hug me and tell me I did a good job? I did what you want didn’t I?” Tears start to well from the eyes of Andrea. Her quest was over. “Please. “You. She was holding the gun that he used that time. Blood splattered everywhere in the room staining the bare concrete walls and the floorboards.” she said.” he said. Viktor’s fear surfaced. She felt relief but thirst. “when my father pleaded for yours did you give him? When my mother pleaded for yours did you give her? No. put the gun down. I… I removed the people who did bad things to you. She stood there the whole cold and unforgiving night holding the weapon that ended her parent’s life to the person responsible for her suffering. People hurried down from hearing the gunshots. The next thing she knew was that she was in a cell. the daughter of the people he killed.” Four more gunshots straight to his skull wrecked the face of the man making his face unrecognizable from holes and crimson. He scratched his eyes. Don’t.” Andrea looked around expecting her mother or her father to appear.” he said with horror. Then he saw an arm pointing at him. And they stumbled upon a young woman covered in blood. Andrea never closed her eyes as she waited for the monster that killed her parents to wake up. How did you find me?!” “That’s not the question. It was Andrea. “you are the one who killed my men. “you should have.” “You bitch!” he shouted. “have mercy on me. Where are you?” She kneeled down and bawled. You.” Andrea said. “Mom. “Mom? Dad? Please come back.

” . not anyone else’s. “how do you plea?” Andrea snapped back from reality and looked around. The tears started to well up again but she wiped it off. She looked at the judge with confidence. Then she looked down. the bloodshed. She realized that it was her choice. For all charges. The murder. “Miss Melendez!” the Judge repeated. She inhaled and said. it was all her. “Guilty. She looked at the wife child of Louis. She looked at her lawyer.