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Disclaimer: Grim Fandango belongs to LucasArts. I'm not making money with this story and I'm not associated with the company in any way.
Cold wind whipped her face while she stood on the deck, lowering her head.
Dirty and grey water whirled below her and her mind was just as grey and unclean. The sky seemed to reflect her mood too, and was totally covered in clouds. It would probably rain soon.
The smoke that the ship's chimneys created disappeared in the clouds, whirling in the air. Just a moment ago she had tried to kill some time by watching this play, but had got bored soon.
So now she stared at the water.
Meche let out a melancholy sigh. She had never felt that betrayed and she also felt like she had betrayed someone.
When she had been alive she had never imagined the life after death would be like that. She had lived a good life, helped others as much as possible and done everything for others, so of course she deserved something better.
But there she was, trapped in the cold and corrupted world, where lonely, desperate and greedy souls wandered, looking for salvation.
"Oh, Manny..." she mumbled quietly.
No matter how much she tried Meche couldn't get the image of the man letting go and falling in cold sea out of her mind. She couldn't forget the knock caused by the bottle when it hit his skull or the splash when he hit the water.
She couldn't say what she felt for him, all feelings were wrapped inside her and she couldn't understand them.
At least she had saved the man and taken care of that he wouldn't end up imprisoned like her. It might not have been the gentlest way to do it, but at least Meche could be sure Domino didn't get him.
What did Manny think about her, anyway?
He had tried to follow her, so he couldn't be that cold. The mere thought that Manny might care about her on some level made Meche feel somehow warm and good.
And then she remembered where she was and all good feelings were gone.
"Don't be sad, Meche," a voice said behind her and she turned around to see two flying children who had small feathery wings. The other one of them, the girl, elbowed her brother.
"She's thinking about that man again," Bibi whispered.
"Oh... I see," Pugsy said quietly and landed to sit next to Meche.
"You don't have to look that sad. When I am here you don't need any other men," the boy tried to make her feel better.
"I know that," Meche said trying to look happier. Even if she didn't care about herself anymore she had to be strong for the children, they had no one else besides her.
Pugsy and Bibi had died in a car crash with their parents and like everyone else, started their journey from El Marrow. They had all lived a good life, so they should have got tickets to the Number Nine, but something had gone wrong and no tickets were given.
Their parents hadn't accepted that, but tried to object against Hector LeMans, who was behind everything. It hadn't taken long, both had been sprouted before they even managed to finish and now the children were all alone.
Domino had then taken them with him to use them as slaves on the Edge of the World. The children were too fragile to take part in heavy work that was going on at the sea bottom, but Domino was sure he'd find them something to do.
She had tried to talk with them about what had happened, but they seemed to take it pretty well. Meche was so new in the Land of the Dead that she couldn't say if their behaviour was normal or not. But she felt they acted strong for her, she had few times caught them crying, but hadn't mentioned it.
"It's so long way to the shore. I wish I could fly there," Bibi sighed gloomily and eyed the horizon. There was only grey water and sky, not a single ship could be seen.
"I bet I could do it," Pugsy replied self-confidently.
"Probably, but you can't leave your sister alone. She needs you," Meche said cheering up a bit. Talking with the children always made her feel better.
"No I don't! Let's send him there, and then we can get away from this stupid ship!" Bibi exclaimed and flew around in the air. They all knew the boy couldn't fly that far, but they liked to play with the thought.
They had left Puerto Zapato a few days ago and sooner or later they were supposed to arrive on the Edge of the World. None of them waited for it to happen, but they didn't want to spend the eternity on this ship either.
The weather had been pretty good at first, but slowly it had turned greyer and greyer and Meche thought they would have to fight against a storm soon. It wasn't a good thing; there was no land or other ships nearby so they couldn't get help if needed.
"Mister Hurley said that there are monsters on the Edge of the World and that they eat small children," Pugsy said suddenly and Bibi giggled.
"You are scared! Do you really believe everything he says?" the girl asked in amuse from her brother, who glared at her.
"No! But it could be true. You never know about this world. Besides, you believed him when he said he'll cut your wings off," he replied.
"Yeah, but he is so mean! He could have done it, right, Meche?" Bibi said annoyed.
"If he was really angry, yes," Meche admitted, though she actually thought that a man like Domino could do anything with no difficulties. He worked for Hector LeMans and had a high position in his organisation, wasn't that a proof enough?
"But he always looks like he is really angry," Bibi said.
"And he looks mean too," her brother added.
"Maybe you two should go and play something," Meche suggested carefully, it wouldn't be healthy for the children if Domino heard them talking about him. Not that the man cared what they said, but he liked to use every opportunity to make them feel miserable.
"If I was bigger I'd show him," Pugsy threatened. Bibi snorted.
"No you wouldn't! He likes boxing and would smash you into pieces!" she said. Pugsy jumped in the air and eyed her in irritation.
"I will start boxing too. I'm going to be much better than him!" he said.
"Hahaha! I'd like to see that," Bibi commented in amusement while they flew away. There wasn't much room on the ship, but the small angels had found some secret spots for them anyway.
Meche watched them go and turned to stare at the water again. She was on a better mood now, though being alone made her think again.
She heard steps behind her, but didn't bother to turn around. The woman knew quite well who was coming and she didn't want to see him more than she absolutely had to.
"The children are right, you shouldn't look that sad. After all, you are here with me," Domino replied self-confidently. He stood next to Meche and the woman glared at him darkly.
"Was it really necessary to remind me? I had almost forgotten you are here too," she said making Domino laugh.
"Still on a bad mood? You should learn to be more optimistic," he said in amusement.
"If it means I'd become like you, no thanks," Meche said. She couldn't stand the man, he was arrogant, self-confident and he probably didn't have a conscience at all.
"You know, at times like this you remind me of Manny," Domino said to her and Meche lowered her head. Just mentioning the man's name made her sadder and she suppressed a sigh.
Domino glanced at her in interest.
"Hit a sore spot, didn't I? Still thinking about him? Even after he betrayed you?" he asked and the woman raised her gaze in rage.
"Manny didn't betray me! He is the only one who was friendly to me!" she snapped sharply.
"Oh, really? He stole you from me and by doing that didn't allow you to get to the Ninth Underworld. Now you are stuck in this world because of him. You think that is friendly?" Domino asked. Meche didn't say anything, but glared at him until lowered her gaze again.
"See? He has caused you only trouble, you know that too. And you are on a bad mood because of that. But it doesn't have to be like that always," he said.
"And what is that supposed to mean?" Meche wanted to know. She tried to tell herself that Domino was wrong and Manny cared about her, but it was so difficult when Domino's self-confident form stood there next to her, talking so well.
"You could always join me. Believe me, I'm much more a man than Manny ever," Domino said.
For a while Meche couldn't say anything, but then she backed away few steps.
"Never! You disgust me Domino, I'd never even look at you if I could avoid it!" she snapped and didn't remember she had ever been that angry. How did Domino dare?
"It seems you don't understand what is for the best," the man said to her.
"No, you don't understand your limits. I'd take anyone, but you. You are not and will never be anything that would make me happy," Meche said and in the next moment felt as if he cheek was on fire.
"Silence! No one talks to me like that!" Domino snapped and Meche pressed her palm there where the man had hit her.
Domino was strong and it was a wonder her cheek bone hadn't been broken. She stood up still holding her face and trembling with fury.
"How dare you? Now I am absolutely sure you are rotten to the core. Manny would never hit a woman!" she snapped not caring that she'd never be a match for Domino if he decided to attack her.
"You ungrateful bitch! Don't you even think about what I've done for you? It was me who saved you from the demons of the Petrified Forest, I didn't allow you to believe Manny's lies and only I am here to take care of you!" Domino said to her.
"But you didn't ask my opinion! I can't stand looking at you!" Meche shouted raising her voice some more.
"Then maybe I will have to teach you a lesson!" Domino said raising his hand to another slap and Meche looked away. She had a strong nature, but didn't want to see it coming.
But the hit never came, something else happened.
"Aah! Let go!"
When she turned to look Meche saw something that was about to make her both laugh and cry.
Their loud argument had been heard all over the ship and of course it had caught Pugsy and Bibi's attention too. The children had flown to see what was going on and when seeing their friend in trouble decided to help.
Bibi was flying circles around Domino while her brother had sunk his teeth in the man's palm.
"Don't ever touch Meche again!" Bibi shouted angrily and cheered her brother to bite harder while Domino tried to shake the boy away.
"Pugsy! Don't anger him!" Meche warned and tried to settle down the situation. It was pretty useless; they enjoyed annoying the man who was partly guilty in the sprouting of their parents and their miserable destiny.
Finally Domino was able to get rid of Pugsy and he glared daggers at the boy while rubbing his bone fingers. He turned to see Meche.
"So you need children to defend you? Won't happen again!" he promised angrily and glanced at the flying children before walking away and looking so mad that Meche didn't want to think what would happen next.
"Ha! We showed him!" Pugsy exclaimed in victory and whirled in the air.
"Yeah, and we didn't even have to learn boxing!" his sister cheered. Then they noticed Meche wasn't than happy.
"What is it? Aren't you glad that we helped you?" Bibi asked.
"Of course I am, but I'm worried. Domino is really angry now and I don't know what he'll come up with," she said. Bibi looked at her in slight shock.
"Do you think he'll cut our wings off?" the girl asked remembering what they had said earlier and Meche shook her head.
"I won't let him ever do that. I promise," she assured.
"What if he does it anyway?" Pugsy asked worried. Bibi glared at him.
"Meche promised it won't happen," she reminded. The woman nodded at them encouraging.
"Don't worry, I'll go and talk to him. He is just on a very bad mood now, you probably bit him really hard," she said and hurried after Domino.
"Wait! What if he hits you again?" Pugsy asked and Meche tried to look brave.
"I don't think so and I promise to be careful," she said. Not that she had many options, the ship was totally in Domino's control and he could do her pretty much anything he wanted.
She hurried across the deck taking the stairs down where she had seen Domino going. Finding the man shouldn't be difficult; someone could say where he had gone.
"Domino? Are you here?" she asked carefully walking in the dim corridor and stopped when she heard noise ahead of her.
"Domino?" Meche called coming nearer. If he really was there, what was he up to?
The woman stepped into a small cabin and looked around in the dim light. Domino actually was there and was going through a big heap of junk.
"What are you doing?" she asked and the man stopped for a while to glance at her.
"None of your business," he said angrily, but seemed to be much calmer than a moment a go. Meche placed her hands on her hips and glared at him.
"I have a hunch it has something to do with the children," she replied.
"I won't let you hurt them, they are so young," the woman said. Domino raised his hand and she could see clear bite marks.
"Young children with very sharp teeth. They are a security risk flying around like that. I won't allow it anymore," he said and returned to his work. A heap of boxes fell over with a loud bang when he went through the stuff.
"What are you going to do?" Meche asked in worry. There wasn't many ways of making them not able to fly and none was pleasant.
Domino didn't answer, but drew out a huge cage snorting in victory.
"One of Hector's birds lived in this. I knew it would be useful later," he said.
"You can't put children in a cage!" Meche snapped in shock and Domino shrugged.
"Watch me," he said sarcastically and checked if the lock still worked. Meche could only growl in frustration and return on the deck grateful for the fact the kids were allowed to keep their wings.
But that still didn't make her hatred towards Domino fade.
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