Helena’s fist connected with the man’s jaw. He fell back, landing with a crash in the pile of black bags. Yesterday’s trash, just where he belonged.
Rain came down heavy on the pavement, but all Helena could feel was the blood pounding through her head. She opened her fist. Closed it again. Waited.
Stand up. Stand up, pokydʹky.
Helena lunged forward. She threw her fist into him. His face cracked. He fell. An arc of blood hung in the air before falling to meet him. Red. Helena saw only red.
She grabbed the bottle from the rim of the dumpster, shattered it over the side. She hunched over the man and pulled him up by his collar. He coughed, sputtering red onto his jacket.
She brought the bottle to his throat.
She felt a hand, soft on her shoulder. She craned her neck to see her sister there above her. Sarah had a hand pressed over her cheek. Blood trickled down her chin, pink with rainwater.
“Leave it,” she said. She sounded afraid. “Come on. Please.”
Helena turned back to the man, his body now limp in her hands. Sarah’s hand trembled against her shoulder.
Helena nodded, then dropped the man to the ground, the bottle beside him. She stood, let herself be pulled closer to her sister.
“I’m sorry,” she said.
Sarah sighed, running a hand along her back.
“Let’s go home, yeah?”
“Yes,” Helena said, and together, they started to walk.