The dirt seemed obscenely close, as if seen through a magnifying glance. Luca could hear snatches of conversation, in rapid Italian. He snapped back to the present, sprawled on his left side in the dirt. His lungs didn’t seem to catch up quite as quickly, sending him in to a coughing fit. Blood sprinkled the ground. The harsh sound drew the attention of those standing over him. A hand grabbed his arm but he jerked away, desperate to prove he could stand on his own.

“I’m fine.” He staggered sideways, mumbling in broken Italian. “I’m fine, I can do it.”

“Sure, kid.” Someone mumbled words he didn’t understand, drawing laughter. The crowd around him thinned, the voices fading in with those clustered along the wire fencing. A booming voice thundered above the rest, making Luca wince. Enhanced hearing wasn’t always a blessing.

——

I’m working on some history / back stories for the characters of Porcelain Doll, and Luca’s is actually really, really depressing. This is way before the events of Porcelain Doll, but if I turn the book in to a Trilogy like I plan to this will come in to play eventually.