So I only noticed that the door to my tattoo shop had been kicked in after I put the key in the lock. I slid the key into the cylinder and twisted it, but the door didn’t move. Through the tunnel of a receding hangover, I saw that the frame had been cracked near the lock, but the door hadn’t quite been kicked open. I pulled away in surprise, the blood receding to the back of my head, and looked around. A shard of the door frame lay on the ground, cleanly broken away. The glass next to the lock was undamaged. It was too early for this shit.
Rata and Jack made their way down the slimy wooden gangplank set haphazardly into the shittier sections of the road, sections where feet and scooter tires would sink into sludge.
I’m wealthy so it’s appropriate I camp in a Cadillac. Those luxuries! Genuine simulated wood accents, leatherish trim, shiny bits. The exterior paint is nearly unblistered and all glass is intact, except the impact snowflake embossed into the windshield. Despite the daytime warmth I barely detect the previous owner’s carpet-blood.
The only light in the room came from the green numbers displayed on the digital clock by the bedside table. The numbers 3:47 were barely enough to cast a pallid blanket over the nose and forehead of the man sleeping on the bed. The only sound came from his breathing, which accompanied by the slow rising and falling of his chest under the blanket, also provided the only movement in the room. The girl lying next to him was silent and still; her thick black strands of hair spread across the pillow, stretching out towards him. Heavy curtains not only blocked out the orange glow of the city outside, but kept the room undisturbed from the sharp gliding sounds of taxis and the occasional drunken black car against the wet asphalt. The numbers on the digital clock clicked to 3:48. The man slowly sat up, as if he had responded to the ever so slight change in the room. He had been staring at the ceiling, and no longer finding it of any interest, now found himself searching the dark square outlines of the furniture scattered around. Soundlessly, he got up and moved towards the window where he pulled the curtains back to let in the glow of the streetlamp. He should have gone back to the ceiling, but instead turned the handle and stepped out of the cold air-conditioned room, on to the balcony. It wasn’t very high up, but he could see a fair amount of the city. The monstrous skyscrapers loomed over him in the pathetic menace of their palely lit and empty offices, and the great condominium buildings in the distance faded sadly in the background – their inhabitants had long since switched off the lights. He felt his naked body drenched in the humid air, and was suddenly aware of the thousands of windows, the bright and blind eyes taking in the sight of him. But the street was empty below, and the man seemed to exist only in the blind spot of life, and of all that was still awake at this time of night. He lit a cigarette, meaning to savor the quiet and watch the way the purple sky swelled up with each passing minute. He only took a few drags though, before deciding it was too hot, and going back inside.
I was somewhere I had no business being, doing something that I shouldn’t, when I felt a hand on my shoulder.
“Where shall we go tonight?” Euan caresses my cheek with the back of his hand then brushes a stray braid away from my face. He is propped on his elbow next to me in the classic post-coital pose. I suppose he thinks he looks suave, but he doesn’t. He just reminds me of a kid trying to pull off a look that’s too big for him.
Stomach is a damn hard taste to forget. Even before the bile claws its way up your throat, you can taste it—hot metal and candy aspirin. Then you can smell it, too. Sharp and noxious, the promise of chewed food and belly acid to come. I hate to even think about it, but memory’s a certain breed of sadist, and it knows what we dread the most.
Leila has rootled down in the archives again and pulled out this from a long time supporter of the site, a multiple contributor. This is what she said.
It’s written in the lines of her face. The mottled flesh scrawled across her cheeks, the tangle of scar tissue weighing on her eyelid. Battle scars? A robbery gone wrong? In any case, she’s seen some shit. And the story’s not finished.
Clad only in oil-stained mechanic’s trousers and work boots, Dobrosky attacked the ground outside his single-story apartment. Two, three, four scoops before metal squealed on something hard. This was not in his plan. He dropped the shovel and let it clatter on the sidewalk.