More bits, unveiled…
The train hadn’t arrived a moment too late when the whistle made a call for our exit and the woman a dash for the nearest door. I dissolved into the night’s mist behind her, replacing her own shadow with a cocked ear and the determination to realize my destiny by following this woman straight to the heart of the matter.
And the matter was now at hand, here at Headwick station, 1 quarter of an hour passed the midnight mark and as she swiveled on a pivoting heal to search the alleyway with gleams and glances I made myself the rug at the floor. They never look to the floor beneath them. The surveillance cameras, were they being watched, would have revieled a near 3 Stooges-esque melee and parry between us, I the unknown defender of my own discreet pursuit and her, the key to the trappings of all of my hidden trap doors.
And here we were, in the moment, about to pull back the rug and reveal the latch!
She leaned back into a corner and I made my position due south by south west, 10 yards 20 inches from her (that’s ample distance, for ye merry metric users) and gleaned the glaze from my eye in not only hers, but most every other, general direction.
The memory of the echo of the train faded out into silent still serenity as all sound and atmosphere was sucked from the room. The woman’s spine straightened and her neck rocked quickly on her shoulders. She tensed and, with one hand, gripped the casing of the pay phone beside her. Her attention directed to the vacuous expanse of the train tunnel. I couldn’t help but allow my gaze to be similarly focused.
From the tunnel he came, parting the darkness with his hand like milk in a cup of tea. With a single step he rose from the lower level up to the platform and motioned her forward.
She did as she was told, walking deliberately and, if a little unassuredly, directly towards him. “Here,” she pulled a small package from her pocket and handed it to the man. He stretched out his right arm to recieve the contents and in doing so his long, midnight cloak moved out with it, seemingly bound at the elbow. His hand continued past the woman’s, which was holding the package, and around her entire body, neck and soul and breathe.
With a flick of his wrist and a tap of his foot he enveloped her, pulling her directly into his cloak and she disappeared into his pocket like the splinter in a vampire’s fang. He performed a short ritual, which looked similar to a pre-teen tap dancing for her mother at her first recital, then turned on his mark and resumed his position as mysterious.
I knew exactly who he was, though I’d never seen him before. I should have been cowering in fear for the knowledge of who and what he was. “Mad Charco,” I whispered to myself, half to reassure my mind that we still had the pleasure of remaining in existance.
The night was cold and my shoes were tired of being sneaky as I creaked down the corridors to find myself a bagel…
– more from the diaries of Nick Claythan, Mastermind Detective, Spy, Thief and Delicatessen Owner
Up Next: Big Fish, Little Fish, Bouncing Bees