Thank you all for the reviews. This chapter goes out to you all!Chapter 3
"Alright Leo, I get why you helped the boys in this fight, but I have to know something. Did you win?" asked Chris.
"You want to hear about the battle?"
"Yeah, I do."
"Alright, there were more than one, and this is how it started…
They worked into the night. On the side streets that led into the main piazzas in the center of the city, a small squadron of boys raised barricades, made of the fallen walls of their town. They rested their empty rifles on top of them.
Lorenzo led the youngest boys through the sewers giving each a marked post in the underground passage from which they could view the street above and be able to place mines under the wheels of passing tanks without fear of detection. Several dozen boys were placed on rooftops and in church steeples, given the best rifles and the most ammunition, free to take aim at the enemy soldiers who would eventually pass below.
Lilia and Antonia, two of the few girls found kerosene and poured the liquid into empty wine bottles, corking them with shreds of clothing. They left the bottles in church and building entryways, there were large lit votive candles beside them.
The strongest of the boys were sent out to lug large pots filled with seawater up to the roofs of the highest buildings and rest them on the tops of thick piles of old wood. When the enemy arrived, wood fires would bring the water to a boil, and the water would be tossed down on the passing soldiers.
"How'd you come up with that idea?" Leo asked Lorenzo as they walked together along the darkened city streets, their eyes on all the activity around them.
"The Hunchback of Notre Dame," Lorenzo said. "Only he had oil and much bigger pots."
"The Hunchback of Notre Dame?" asked Chris.
"Yeah, weird huh?"
"Well that was nothing compared with what happened next…."
The first blast from the tank shattered the walls of a building that had stood since the sixteenth century. The second sent shanks of brick, glass, and mortar into the clear morning air.
Two enemy soldiers tossed grenades through the cracked windows of an empty storefront.
A young lanky Junior Officer lifted the lid of his tank, gave a glance down the empty streets, and waved on three other tanks that were idling behind his.
Leo and Lorenzo were huddled inside an apartment doorway. Leo parted a curtain with the end of his rifle and stared out at the tanks firing shell after shell into the buildings.
"How many soldiers?" asked Lorenzo.
"Thirty-five maybe forty. That's not counting the ones inside the tanks." Leo answered. "You wait here; I'm going to try to get closer. Don't move until you hear the signal."
Lorenzo nodded as he watched Leo head out onto the street, running with his head down. Lorenzo sat for a moment with his back against a chipped stonewall. He then looked across the street at the nearby buildings. Hidden were his freedom fighters. Kids like him, soldiers in a war they didn't choose.
Then he heard the church bell ring, the signal that Pepe, Vincent and the rest were in place.
Lorenzo stepped into the street. Leo, a wine bottle with a lit fuse in hand, ran out of a building behind him. He threw the bottle at an approaching trio of soldiers and then made a jump for Lorenzo, grabbing him around the waist and dragging him back onto an ally. They turned a corner and hid behind a cracked stone wall.
From the remaining rooftops above the avenue, two dozen street boys let loose a rainstorm of kerosene cocktails and cylinder tops of unexploded bombs that crashed and exploded on the tanks and enemy soldiers below.
Leo came up and fired two shots at a soldier carrying a flamethrower. The soldier landed face down in the dirt.
Leo picked up the flamethrower, raced to the tank taking up the rear of the German attack and jumped on its side. He steadied himself and snapped open the lid. He hung the head of the flamethrower in the tank and let loose its power, torching those inside. Smoke and screams rose out into the sky.
Leo jumped back to the ground and leaned against the seared tank, accessing the damage. He looked up toward the rooftops and spotted Antonia. He circled his hand above his head, the signal for everyone above to make a quick retreat. He saw Antonia return the sign and then he turned his attention back to the street action.
A handful of enemy soldiers were down, and two more of the tanks were disabled But a dozen soldiers walked slowly along the street, searching for those that had dared to attack them.
Leo quickly glanced around to make sure everyone was out of sight, only to see Lorenzo standing in the middle of an ally with nowhere to go.
Leo took off running, keeping his head down Leo got to Lorenzo just ahead of the enemy. "We can't stay here," he told him." We'll head for the rooftops and then make our way to safety."
They slipped into a darkened hallway as three soldiers ran past.
Leo pointed to a stairwell on the right, and they began up its narrow steps, the older man leading. "Grab one of those bottles," Leo said, pointing at a kerosene cocktail resting at a door jam "Take that candle too, and use them when you have to."
When they got to the second- floor landing, they heard the soldiers enter the foyer below. "You go ahead," said Lorenzo. "I'll meet you at the meeting point."
Leo walked down the two steps that separated them and gripped Lorenzo's arm,"Are you sure?"
"I'm sure." He said staring into Leo's eyes.
Leo nodded,"Wait for them to come up the stairs, light the fuse, hold it above your shoulders, and let it go. Then run up these stairs as fast as you've ever run in your life. One more thing."
"What's that?" asked Lorenzo.
"Don't be a hero and get yourself killed!"
Leo disappeared around a bend of steps. Lorenzo watched him leave, watching the heavy pounding of the enemy soldiers in the stairwell below. He pulled the cloth out of the wine bottle and draped it over the lit candle.
He tossed aside the candle and shoved the cloth back into the neck of the bottle. He was now standing a flight above the three soldiers. He stared at them for several seconds, watching as they halted their run and positioned their rifles. He held the bottle up as two bullets hit the wall just above his head.
"Viva Napoli!" it lives Naples he shouted as he let go of the bottle, the explosion shattered part of the wall and demolished the handrail. The soldiers lay dead. Lorenzo took off running after Leo.
"So you left him behind. Gee Leo, sounds like you have a history of leaving kids to fight battles by themselves," said Chris.
"Chris I don't know my reason for not being there for you in the future, but when I left Lorenzo in that stairwell to fight those soldiers, it was because I knew he could."
"But how did you know?"
"Instinct, I guess, but I knew Lorenzo could do it. Maybe that's why I wasn't there for you, maybe I knew you would be fine without me."
"Do I look like I did fine without you?"
"In some ways I think you are. You're strong Chris, something you became all on your own."
"Well I'm tired of being the strong one. I want something in return now."
"I want to give that to you if you'll let me."
"We'll see. So did you and these kids win?"
"Yeah we did."
"But you said it was four days before you died that you met the man you named me after."
"Yeah, the battle for the city lasted two days and I was pulled from the city to serve as the medic I trained to be."
"Ok, I know how you were killed, when I was younger, about ten, I asked you."
"So I was there some."
"Yeah, until now I had forgotten that. I guess I let my anger at you ruin my good memories."
"I can understand that. I hated my dad when I was your age."
"How did you ever get over it?"
"I didn't. I died hating him."
"So when you became a white-lighter you never went back?"
"No, never did."
"Do you regret that?"
"Yes I do. However, my dad was tough. I found out later after he died. I went back as an elder by then. He had a shrine dedicated to me."
"Yeah. After he died, we spent a few hours together and we made peace. After that his spirit went his way and I never saw him again."
"Wait, who did you name me after?"
"I thought you named me after your dad."
"I did. Ok. My dad's name was Christopher, but Lorenzo's middle name was Mateo."
"Christopher Matthew Perry."
"So when I was born you loved me?"
"Of course, still do."
"Even though I've been a jerk?"
"Hey, I let you down in the future. You're allowed to be a jerk."
"To be honest, I understand why you weren't there. Wyatt is a full time job."
"That's no excuse."
"Your right it isn't."
"Chris I am sorry for what I did in your future. No wait, my future, your past. But now that I know about it I will try my hardest not to repeat history."
"I know you will. I hope you succeed too. Cause I miss having a dad."
"You want to work on that while you're here."
"Sure, what do you have in mind?"
"How about soccer? I did teach you that in the future didn't I?"
"Yeah you did."
"Good, because I promised Lorenzo I would teach my son."
"Well dad, let's do it tomorrow, since it's too dark now."
"Not up at magic school."
"True. Alright, let's go."
Just as they were about to orb out Leo says," Wait, did you just call me dad?"
"Yeah, you mind?"
"No, not at all son."
I hope you liked it and I hope to more in the future in the Charmed arena. Just need ideas and the time to do something about them. Thanks in advance for any and all reviews.