Published February 02, 2014
As always I encourage people comment, criticize, and suggest directions for the story.
Tricks and Traps – Part 3
Closed curtains kept out the worst of the mid-afternoon light, but there were still long lingering lines that penetrated the darkness with overly bright sunshine. Not bothering to remove the duvet from my head I searched the nightstand for a much needed aspirin and then washed it down with a swig from a bottle of jack. The alarm clock began to glow with a warm orange light and started to shift between the colours of the rainbow signalling that it was at last time to get up.
“Ugh. 2pm already.” I curled up deeper beneath the leopard print duvet and black satin sheets determined to fall back into a fitful sleep. But the dancing pattern of light refused to allow that. With a final huff of frustration I forced myself up and out of bed. Last night’s clothes were still on the floor where they would remain until the cleaner arrived later in the week. The message light blinked incessantly on the phone but it could wait. Pulling open the curtains I blinked at the light and took another swig from the bottle of jack. If anyone was home across the way and looked out their window then they were would have got an eyeful. Not that I was ashamed or bothered.
There were very few people whose opinions mattered and Sark’s opinion mattered least of all. He had an infuriating ability to get under my skin and was about as trust worthy and faithful as his options. That was probably him who had left a message with some pathetic apology and excuse for not turning up last night. As if I didn’t have better things to do then dance to his whims. Well he could just sit and stew this time.
Another of shot whisky cleared the last of the cobwebs and aches from my mind and body. The sun felt good for a change. Too often of late it had only been a passing sight on the way home. They say the body could only take the absence of the sun for so long but then perhaps that was a myth. With the changing weather patterns and shift of clouds there were times when you never saw the sun or stars in the city. It could last for weeks but usually the tech kids did their bit of urban chaos to help out.
Why only last week there had been a rather playful cartoon sun with a smiling face projected onto the cloud covered sky. It had taken the authorities two days to purge the virus from the system and block the entry point. It was harmless fun but the establishment tend to come down hard on them if and when they could prove any malicious acts. But the Red Lady, queen of the tech kids worked her magic to protect her devoted followers. She had always been a valuable ally and the Red Lady had enough influence and connections to remain immune from any actions the authorities might take against her. No one would touch her without a rock solid case and they would never get it, she was far too clever for that.
After spending half an hour getting cleaned up and dressed, and definitely not looking at my phone I was finally ready. My clothes were as always dark, tight, and ease to move in. I couldn’t stand leather except from the old jacket which was the exception to the rule, and couldn’t understand why some hunters wore it almost religiously. Some days you could walk into the Sanctuary and confuse the place with a fetish club instead one of the outfitters in the city.
Having put it off as long as possible I decided it about time to check my phone and started flicking through the waiting messages.
“Bastard.” There were no missed calls from Sark, no virtual apology gift, not even a lousy text message. Well two can play that game. Next time he called I would just ignore it, let him have a taste of his own medicine.
There was the regular message from my sister in Seattle saying that she hadn’t heard from her in three days and checking she was still alive. I replied that I was. A message reminding me that rent was due. Next. A price list from Mr. Lee for the parts he was looking to buy. Most for less than they were worth, but a couple that would be worth the effort if the opportunity presented itself. The rest were potential leads and rumours from a few contacts but nothing sounded promising. The last message though caught my eye it was photo of a desiccated corpse split down the middle in a derelict building.
The broken concrete columns and the fact that it been sent by Polly meant that she must have found it in the Hive, which meant I was right. I knew there had to be a flesh dancer hunting in the Hive. Last night’s search had turned up nothing but a lowly scavenger. Even though the whole time I could sense a distant predatory instinct that made my skin crawl. Something large and dangerous had been hunting that night but it had vanished before I found any trace of it. As long as the flesh dancer stayed in the Hive draining the fluids from the destitute and desperate the authorities wouldn’t interfere. They had more or less abandoned the place. But the troika glands and crystalized core of a flesh dancer would sell for a high price more than enough to outweigh the risks and cost.
A thin smile slid across my lips just imagining what I would spend the money on. Twisting the EL Blade until it emitted a thin white hot beam I lit a cigarette and grabbed my coat. It was time to pay Polly a visit. If she’d been a good girl then I had just the treat for her. But either way Polly was going to tell me everything I wanted to know.