|Glowing Violet The 100th revision
Author: Celtsea PM
Rayne is an army cast off, longing for a normal life again. But one night will make sure that never happens again...Supernatural crime fiction in need of serious critiquing and only posting the one chapter.Rated: Fiction T - English - Mystery/Supernatural - Words: 2,890 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 2 - Published: 07-27-07 - Status: Complete - id: 2395754
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I sat in the strip club, tenderly nursing the bottle of tequila in a pair of slender pale hands. I allowed my leg to jig to the music, but the rest of my body was as rigid as a statue. Catching a glimpse of the girl on stage in the one of the many grimy mirrors, I felt a sudden relief. I am yet to reach the bottom of the food chain. I turned, not able to help myself from receiving another self esteem boost.
"Woody," I groaned, seeing the chair next to me was no longer vacant, "Get out of here." He didn't reply, he never did, just gave me a sad pitying look and put his hand next to mine. When he did that a terrible cold sensation swept over me and I walked away, after a few beats I looked back he was still looking at me.
I strode back over and hissed, "You're dead. You're not here. Go into the light and all that crap and let me live without you always being here." He put on a hurt expression, a single tear trickling down his cheek before he faded away. Took him long enough. But my despair was short lived, the girl on stage had attracted my attention.
The girl was boyishly thin, blond hair lank and greasy as she shimmied up and down the pole. It was like a car wreck, you wanted to look away, but you couldn't. She was naked, other than a small pink glittery thong that vanished in the poor lighting. It took a lot of force to make myself look away, disgusted by the imbeciles jeering around her. I wanted to pull out a gun, threaten them into doing my bidding. Yet, I knew I could not do that anymore. They had taken my gun the same day they had taken my pride.
Looking down at my boot, I saw it was coated in a fine layer of a sticky substance. To stop myself from vomiting, I took a huge swig from the bottle and breathed deeply. I felt my head shoot up again as I heard the song change dramatically, this one had the same aura of desperation as every soul in that room. It was slow, sexual, and reminded me of a pretty bad week in Vegas.
Three other girls emerged, all dressed in a similar way to the first girl. I put them around my age, possibly a bit younger. The girl that was parading around the bar I had pegged for a meth addict straight away, tracks marks on her thighs emphasized by the fact that they were splayed open at the very end of the counter. Grunting in disgust, I rapped my fist on the empty bottle and the bartender was ushered over by the man who appeared to be the manager of 'this fine establishment' the tender forced a smile and placed a fresh bottle before me.
I didn't touch the drink, trying to see how long I could go before I cracked. The girl was now on her knees, probably giving a blow job for tips. I could see a younger man pulling his wallet out of his back pocket and I felt the urge to slam his thick head against the wall. I had tried to keep my disgust in my expression to a minimal, but clearly hadn't done a good job, he offered the note to me whilst winking suggestively. I raised my eyebrows and he backed off instantly, resuming his preying on a tall red head.
"I never met a woman who sat in a strip club looking pissed off by everything around her," The man sitting next to me said. I rotated and looked hard at him, not the type of guy I would have put down for this sort of Friday night. But what did I know about people? Absolutely jack shit.
He was middle aged, but lacked the normal potbelly and obvious neediness that seemed to radiate off of everyone I had so much as glanced at tonight. His brown eyes were soft and had that depth of understanding you only ever saw in a genuinely kind hearted person. Unlike his male counterparts in the area, he was in a sharp black suit. It didn't even have that cheap shine to it. Another thing designed to shock me was that he had his wallet and mobile on display, something nothing ever done by anyone in this modern world. Unless you were just plain stupid.
"So…um…what are you doing?" His first few words to me, living proof that he was indeed a moron.
I took my time replying, putting him firmly in his place, letting him know that his importance was so insignificant. "Drinking," I replied, voice dripping with annoyance. "I thought that was pretty obvious." I couldn't restrain myself from adding a final comment on the matter.
He laughed, "I suppose that question was pretty dumb," That change in his speech patterns failed to fool me, the choice of words sounded so unnatural when they escaped his mouth. Pathetic attempt to try and bring himself to my level…this could prove to be interesting.
Another snappy music change, faster beat this time, the four girls leapt up and down and the cheers this time were just too sickening to listen to. Instead I watched then man, he looked with vague interest at the girls, the same way you would take interest in a particularly puzzling subject. Precisely what I had expected from him. I took that thought back when a girl was dancing on the bar; he gawked and drooled just like any other person. This evening was proving to be a real downer.
"Wifey doesn't give it to you good?" The drink was making me bolder than usual and I could not stop the words.
He gave a slow steady smile, attention focused on me now that the girl had departed. "She hasn't since the baby. Let me guess, girlfriend is the tall red head?"
I snickered, not that the comment was funny in the slightest. "Straight as an arrow and never forget it." I didn't go into more detail, just because he volunteered meaningless information about himself did not mean I had to even consider doing the same. Catching him gazing at me, trying to figure exactly who I was, made me ponder how dark it was outside. I knew that even the toughest of people should never just run out into the night looking for a hotel with a name so long they could not remember.
"So, let me get this straight." He set down his drink and looked me in the eye, smiling slightly. "You're a straight woman, sitting in a strip club, drinking tequila and are defiantly not a lesbian or a stripper. Am I right?"
"Got it in one Captain Howdy."
The smile grew, maturing into a mixture of confusion and curiosity. Even though the girls were crossing the room he didn't look away from my face, which amazed me in a nutshell. I would never have suspected that I would intrigue him in such a way, but I suppose with my conservative behavior it had only egged the feeling on.
"So, what are you doing here?" He finally asked.
I sighed, not in the mood to explain myself to a complete stranger. Besides, I doubted he could even begin to comprehend the depth within my life. But, his puppy dog eyes and pitiful position made me spill the beans.
"I like it here, reminds me that I am not totally at the bottom of the food chain." I left it at that, tone not inviting questions.
However, this guy seemed damn persistent. "I suppose that's fair enough, but do you worry about your safety?"
I snorted, pretty sure that booze spewed out of my nose. There was no need for me to elaborate, it was a straight forward no. I peeled off my camouflage jacket, knowing that somehow I was probably never going to kick the uniform out of me. It was like a second layer of me now, a layer of my own being.
"I take that as a no?" God this guy was a piece of work, classic simplemindedness you could find only in a textbook example. Did everyone in this state forever state the obvious? If so, I would be back in England by the end of the week.
"So you never consider that you are in an environment full of drunken men who could do you a lot of harm?" I suppose he had a point, but I was quick to confuse concern for an insult.
"I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself." I stated bluntly, my eyes narrowed in slight anger. Sensing my annoyance, he finally shut up. I followed his gaze to the stage where an Asian girl was singing, the type of voice that closely resembled Celine Dion's. Possibly even better. That made me wonder, why would a girl who could have her face on CD's worldwide resort to working in such a foul place. But I suppose like everyone else she had her reasons. I considered talking to her at the end of her performance, an old friend had recently gone into the music agency system and could really help her out. I dismissed that idea quickly, first at my own discomfort at discussing my current job status and second that she would find a way to help herself.
I got to my feet, not happy about the idea of staying here much longer. But then man reached out and tapped my arm, I flinched at the contact.
"Leon Taylor." He smiled, holding out my hand for me to shake.
I didn't take it, pulling on my jacket. "Rayne." I replied after a few beats.
"No last name?" He raised his eyebrows, looking straight past me at the Asian who was now rubbing up against another sleazebag. For a minute he looked like he might get to his feet and interrupt the happy couple, but seemed to decide that he could never take the man.
"With a name like Rayne no need for a last name." I replied, half jogging on the spot ready to leave and go hunting for the hotel. Charmalielo? All I knew is that it began with a C…
He got up, following me to the door. I spun on my heel, hand raised threateningly above his shoulder blade, I knew exactly where to hit him to make it dislocate. Could I do that in the average Joe community? It was hard to remember when I had been living by the rules of the army for so many years.
"I'm not letting you walk home alone unless you let me walk you or you call someone to pick you up." Hm…a touch of nobility. This guy really was a head case, a total Jekyll and Hyde. One minute gawking of strippers, the next playing concern for my safety. Who was this guy? My friggin knight in shining armor? If he thought I needed saving he was even dumber than the impression I was given from ten minutes ago.
I glared, used to people caving under a purely monstrous gaze. I looked at him for a second, trying to find genuine concern in those beautiful brown eyes. Of course, it just leapt right out at me. Sighing, I shrugged off my earlier contempt for the man and resigned to faking a phone call.
"I'll call my sister." I stated bluntly, but he wasn't satisfied with this. Continuing the act I flipped open the phone, he still stood firmly in front of me, blocking my quick exit. "Lilly? Can you come and pick me up?" Of course there was no reply. "Thanks Lilly, I'll wait outside." I then reeled off the name of the club for good measure and faked the hang up.
"Well, bye Leon." I said, waving him off. Begrudgingly he let me past. I smiled, happy that my little skit had done the job. I would now probably walk till I was sober and then try to call tourist information for my hotels name.
Outside was darker than I had assumed, street lights illuminated hookers and gave the smoky air a cloudy quality. I looked down the nearest street, trying to look for a relatively safe route. But part of me wanted a fight, something to remind me that I was alive, I needed to patch myself up the morning after or even offer care for another person whilst we joked about the ins and outs of the battle.
I coughed, my lungs unaccustomed to the atmosphere of downtown Riverdale. The small city had looked so pretty in the brochure, the ideal place to start over. A putrid rat hole was hardly what I had picture in my future. A man in a black coat walked past me, and I nodded reflexively. A simple form of sign language, you mind your business I'll stay out of yours.
I kept walking, tucking my hands securely in my jacket pockets. The temperature seemed to have dropped suddenly, my jeans not enough keep me warm. I coughed again, this time having to stop and clutch my stomach till the fit ceased. Dropping to my knees I inhaled raggedly, it was like something was in the air…It took a few seconds for it the regain my full senses and force myself to walk on. It was eerily dark, almost resembling my childhood fear of the inky darkness that was beneath my bed.
"You…" Woody suddenly stepped out in front of me, face half decomposed. "You…" I jumped back and let out a gasp, my throat to tight to scream. Skin was hanging off his skull, blown off and eye hanging out of its socket and swinging back and forth by a single strand of muscle.
"Woody?" I asked boldly, still cowering.
"You…" he muttered taking a step towards me, his legs were mechanical, moving in a strange slump closer to me.
I remained frozen to the spot, waiting for him to hiss words at me again in the raspy voice, "Woo…Woody? What happened to you?" He doesn't reply, just points an accusing finger at me and I tear off in the opposite direction, feet pounding on the pavement.
I remember one night, I had sat cross legged. Trying to sum up the courage to duck my head under and confront whatever was under there. I never did get round to doing that…I don't hear Woody behind me and slow my pace. Maybe he finally got the message.
Whistling to myself I turned down a well lit street, this defiantly looked like a better neighborhood to walk through. Leon's comment seemed to be getting to me, undermining my well being. Bastard.
"Please tell me you're not planning on going down that way." A voice behind me said, putting excessive stress the word 'that'. I groaned, turning and coming face to face with Leon.
"What are you doing here?" I snapped defensively. "Playing stalker? Maybe I should phone wifey and tell her just what her beloved husband gets up to on a Friday night." My smile made the threat seem all that more deadly. He glared in response, not an expression that suited him. "Why are you here?"
"Why do you hate me?" He countered.
"Because you…because you…" I couldn't justify myself, my gut just told me he was an asshole. I took a step away.
He pulled me back, determined that I was not going to go down the next street. "You wanna go down there in the dark? You seen how some people come out the other side?"
I couldn't be bothered to argue and pushed him sharply to the floor. I walked on and didn't look back. I felt his hand jerk me back, but not from anger or concern. Pure cold fear.
We both watched in silence as the man dropped something on the pavement and I had to squint to make out the 'things' face, the thing it had dropped was defiantly human. A long black coat swirled around it as it spun and looked us right in the eye. Neither of us could make out it's face, but assumed it would be creepily sinister.
I felt his leg tense behind mine, bringing the instinct to run if it took so much as a step towards us. It tipped it's hat to us before merging with the darkness.
Leon and I stayed in that position for a while, pressed against each other and ready to react to even the slightest sound. The wail of police sirens was the thing that warned us that we were probably going to spend the rest of our lives reliving this moment.
"Um…Rayne?" He smiled, but it was cheap and forced. "I need a favor…my wife can't know about the club…"
I nodded and rolled my eyes, ready to dig myself in even deeper.