after his fun night at the club, Victor takes a breather. if only it would work out like he was hoping....
Sheddin' the coat an' clothes, I do a quick check fer damage again, knowin' I won't find anything. After all these years, it still amazes me. How does it work? Finding' nothin', as usual, I turn on the hot tap, an' proceed to fry myself. Moments like these are worth continuin' the fight to live, so it was only fate that led to the phone ringin'. I debate fer a bit on answerin' it, then give up an; rush to the phone. I'm expectin' that annoyin' click that tells you that you just missed them, an' start to think about blowin' up the phone companies. But I'm in luck. There's still a voice on the other end.
"Victor?" I can't place the voice, or even the gender. But I am curious how they know me, an' this number. Especially since I never connected a phone line to the house.
"Who is this?" I know, not exactly the smartest come back line I coulda come up with, but I'm tired, cold in the A/C, an' puddlin' water on a nice shag carpet. Runnin' a hand through my hair to get it out of my way, sonderin' where my scissors are, I listen, tryin' to search my mind fer this voice. Nothin' comes up.
"You are in danger there. Move quickly, dearest, or you shall suffer." An' the line goes dead. No dial tone, operator, or anythin'. I'm holdin' on to a dead phone. It takes me a moment to register this, an' set the reciever back on the hook. Me? In danger? Please. I'm doubting that. And would be stupid enough to call me their dearest? The few frails I've had in my life are either dead or hate my uts. So they can join the parade, fer all i care. An' i can't think o' one guy suicidal enough to say that to my face. I'm standin' in the middle o' the hall, drippin' water, lookin' like somethin' the cat dragged in. I'm allowed these jokes. Don't even think about it. So much fer a relaxing shower. It's enough to piss someone off at times.
Shuttin' the water off an' grabbin' a towel, I wander around the house, rememberin' where everythin' is again. It's been a long time, an' one look inthe fridge tells me that I was gonna sleep hungry. Inhaling the stale bag o' pretzels I find lodged behind dishwashin' soap (now why did I get that?!?), I lounge on the sofa in the livin' room. I jump up once to try that sixty nine thing on the phone, but the line is still dead. Wonderin' who thought o' such a loaded call number fer a phone service, i go back to the sofa, bringin' out a few spring groans from the battered furniture.
Starin' at a cieling fan never does much more fer me than put me to sleep, an' this is not exception to that rule. I keep startlin' myself awake though, expectin' to hear the phone again or roll off the couch, I can't figger out which. But neither happens. This is rediculous. I'm actin' like some damn rookie to this kinda life, an' that just ain't me. The clock on the wall laughs at me, sayin' it;s only three in the morn. It sure feels like later, with everythin' that's gone on tonight. I must be gettin' old or somethin'. But the clock just keeps tickin' away, markin' time off fer me. Tick. Tick. Tick...
I come to a bit later. My hands are a bit sore, an' the first thiing I see is carpet. Picking myself off the damn floor, I look around, kinda expectin' some damage in the room. I'm not disappointed. The clock's in shambles, along with about six square feet o' sheetrock. Luckily, I didn't tear out any o' the support boards, though the others are on the floor like the sheetrock. The couch looks like a lost cause as well. By the watch on the table, it's been a whopping ten minutes since I checked outta reality. A little more work, an' I'll have a new doorway to the kitchen. That's me. Sabretooth, killer, mercenary, wetworks specialist, interior remodeler. I'm the best, right? This is gettin' silly.
Killing the lights the old fashioned way, with the light switch, I head to the bedroom, figgerin' at least I'll tear up a roon designed fer sleepin' in. At least I had the sense to put a really big bed in here. I hate it when my feet hang over the edge. You have no idea how hard it is to find beds long enough fer me. Suprised again? Big bad bruiser, worried about a chill on his feet? Damn straight. It leads to nightmares. I know there's nothin' under the bed, but why tempt fate? I have enough nightmares, without contributin' to it. Not to mention it puts my feet to sleep. Settin' the A/C on really cold, I dig into the stack o' comforters. Shuttin' my eyes is easy. Shuttin' off my brain takes a bit more. I keep seein' that flash o' black hair, an' smellin' cinnamon an' smoke. Why cinnamon? An' why were the goons in helmets? This ain't a police state, last time I checked.
It takes a bit o' tossin' an' turnin', but I finally check out to dreamland. What are dreams like fer me? Well, I'm a pretty mean guy, but there's stuff that scares even me. Like the garbage that collects in my mind. Moments I can't remember quite clearly when I wake up, but it's enough to bring me awake screamin' at times. Bits o' glintin' memory of the past that don't fit together anymore, shards o' murders an' atrocities done by yers truly, trophies from glorious hunts, you know, the usual stuff. I think it's only in dreams that I have any regret. I think. I can't ever remember them enough to tell.
But I'm in luck. Tonight is just oblivion. So it takes me a bit to realize I'm awake in the dark. Clearin' through the fuzzy feelin', I try to figger out what the hell woke me up. The lights are still out, an' there's no noise, so what? I don't smell anything but the sheets an' me. Not even a hint o' somethin' that don't belong here. What is wrong with me? Rollin' outta the bed, I wrap one o' the sheets around me, an' start checkin' the house. All the windows an' doors are locked an' fine, an' there's noting in here that shouldn't be, but somethin's chewin' at me. An' I just know that it's close. Going back to the bedroom, I sit on the edge o' the bed, tryin' to figger it out. Glancin' at the clock on the nightstand, it finally dawns on me. The clock is dead. I'm not hearin' the hum o' power in the walls.
Wow. I knew I was good, but that's pretty amazin', even fer me. Grabbin' my jeans off the floor, I slide into them, every nerve on alert. It's just the power. There's localized blackouts all over New York all the time. It's not like I've paid a light bill fer this place in years. There's a good handful o' reasons fer this. An' I don't believe a flamin' one. I grab the gun off the floor that's I'm borrowin; from the dead goon, an' check the clip. I've got seven shots left in it. Not like I need a gun to do damage, but it's comfortin' in my hand. All o' this is too much like comin' home. I'm retired, dammit. Makin' sure I won't do somethin' stupid like try to shoot a gun with the safety on, I set it to fire. Then i check the house again.
This time, I see it. There's a crack in the panel that leads to the attic. The attid's where the fuse box is. Question is, how lon was the power out before it woke me up? What are the odds that someone's still up there? An' just how quiet can I be gettin' up there? Pretty quiet, al told. The best, after all. Easing the panels outta the way, I put the gun in the waist o' my jeans, an' slip through the hole, not a creak of complaint from the boards and panels. Ask me how someone as heavy as me can do that, an' I'll tell you as soon as I figger it out myself. It's dark as night up here, not even a glow comin' thruogh the single window. That's because I covered it up years ago. Ain't I the smart kitty? There's still enough of a glow from the light comin' through the downstairs window, but most people wouldn't be able to use it. Then again, this is me we're talkin' about.
Oh, I can smeel them now. There's two still up here, an' they are scared, the nervous sweat pourin' offa them. Guess they know who they're jerkin' around. It's moments like there that bring a smile to my face. Creepin' along, just another friendly shadow, I get close enough to practically smell their choice in aftershave. Young kids, they don't have that stench of age on them. I'm grinnin' in the dark, just imaginin' all the things I could do to them in my leisure time, an' then I'm horribly betrayed. By my own stomach.
"growlll..." Oh, they heard that. A sudden rush o' gun oil fills the attic, an' i can almost guess the gauge they're hopin' to hit me with. Forty-fives, I'm guessin'. No more time for finesse, or showin' off my sneakin'. So I jump, broadsidin' on o' the punks before he gets a chance to draw an extra breath to yell with. His partner get his breath though, an' lets out one piercin' shriek in hias panic. I catch a gun barrel upside my head fer my troubles, but that's about it from the punk now pinned to the floor. I latch my claws through his chect, gettin' a good grip on his breastbone. I get the gun barrel again, an' then he brings the other hand up. That one gets bit fer it's trouble, an' the old familliar copper taste fills my mouth. This kid's whimperin' an' beggin', while his partner is in the middle of a beautiful spazz fit behind us. Neither one can be a day over eighteen. So I open the one in my grip up like a Christmas present, tossin' the breastbone over my shoulder an' enjoyin' the fadin' light in the kid's eyes.
What I should have done was get over my thing fer gloatin' an; handle the other kid, but I don't realize that, 'till the other kid hits me. Now that took guts. So I take his momentum, an' over wer go, headin' fer the wall, all arms an' legs. He's got height, but there's no meat on his bones. But I get too carried away, an' forget about the window. Oops. Out we go, an' in the second between the attic an' the street below, the kid manages to not only cock his damn gun, but bury the muzzel in my guts an' start shootin'! He manages three goos shots, before we return to the earth. We hit hard enough to break bones, an' some in this kid do give under the strain. I roll outa the way, holdin' my guts, roaring in pain. That really hurt.
He's up like a damn jumpin' jack, an' I'm guessin' the's gotta be hopped up on somethin' not to geel those broken bones. He's still swingin' that gun around, an' I roll outta the way an' back to my feet, the blood between my claws slowin' down like it always does right about now. "You killed them all!" he screams, an' starts takin' pot shots at me. So I suprise him, an' rush towards him. I get another shot fer my troubles, but how he's in my hands, an' most people don't enjoy this part. Then he shrieks again, Alot worse than the racket he made upstairs. Not quite on the level o' Banshee, but pretty damn close. It hits me like a car, an' I go flyin', ears ringin' like a bad night at a casino. Now I'm pissed off.
Somethin's wrong. The kid falls to his knees, but I'm stuck in slow motion, seein' the edges o' memories dacin' in my eyes. I'm fightin' through suddenly thick air, tryin' to get to this kid an' put him outta both of our miseries. Aw, hell. Mercury tipped bullets. I know this feelin' too well. Way too well, an' how long it's gonna take me to filter this outta my system. So now I'm wonderin', where's the back-up? Since I have DOA stamped on my face fer the next few moments, this is aobut the time the kid's calvary should show up.
The calvary does show u, about the time I get to the kid an' disconnected his head from his neck, but it's not fer him. "Vic!" I turn, still not all quite here, an' see the car swing around the corner o' the street, an' the passenger door pop open. Now I know she's dead, since it was my own son that did the deed in front of me, but i swear that Birdie's the one drivin'. Going more on instinct than intelligence, I stumble fer the car, the poison in my system still boggin' me down. I hear sirens as I climb into the car, but she closes the door, an' we're off.
"You were warned that this place was compromised, and you still remained. Are you sure you're the best?" The gal's voice is fadin' in an' out on me, but I catch the gist. The nifty side effects are fadin' away, leavin' me a whole if slightly bloody mess ruinin' the uposltry o' the car.
"I'm still alive, darlin'. That counts in my book." I look over at her, as her face finally shows through the memory o' Birdie. She ain't quite as cute, but the build an' structure's about the same. "You the one that called me?"
"No. I'm just the driver. Your guardian angel called me, and sent me over. She warned me that there would probably be trouble." She's not a pro. She's drivin' too fast, an' the tense slick o' sweat keeps her hands slidin' on the steerin' wheel. She's probably just that, some valet driver salled into somethin' way over her head. If I was someone else, I'd feel sorry fer her. But I'm not, so I don't.
"So who are you, an' who's my guardian angel I owe the drive to?" An' if I don't get at least one answer this time, I promise myself that they won't be able to identify her by dental records.
"My name is Bobbi. However, your guardian angel has insisted on remaining in the shadows." So much fer that. Next time, I'd better put a more strict tag on my questions. Glancin' out the window, I notice that we're goin' nowhere real fast.
"All right Bobbi, where are we goin'? This ain't been a good night fer me, so just cut to the chase." She looks nervous at this, bitin' her lip an' all. So there's no destination. She's not gonna take me to my guardian angel, an' she sure as hell ain't gonna take me to her home. I'm not exactly presentable, on the best o' nights, and this don't look like one o' them moments. I turn my attention to the road, tryin' to figger out this new moment of sudden mindless brutality in my life. I killed them all? Who? I've killed lots, startin' at about nine years old or so. I'm supposed to remember a certain atrocity? Get real.
She shifts in her seat, more than a little bit worried I'm guessin'. After all, if her boss told half the stories about me out there, I'd be afraid o' me too. Really. And I ain't exactly presentalbe right now either, what with mine and the kids' blood makin' a mess all over the place. But I get no answer to the location question, an' tonight had been filled with too many unanswered quesitons fer this particular hairy psychopath to take, so I take it out on her car. By the time I calm down, there's little left o' the upolstery, or the dashboard fer that matter, an' there's a big hole where the passenger side window used to be. I'm wonderin' if I used my fist, head, or somethin' from the car on that one. Bobbi's whimperin', tryin' not to scream, and I'm just sittin' there, this nutty grin on my face fer no real reason. Sometimes there's moments when it's nice to be diagnosed completely insane.
Bobbi's fiddlin' with her seat belt. It would be kinda entertainin' to watch her jump, but it won't get nothin' solved fer me. "Hey, quit that." I reach across her, to lock the door, an' make yet another stupid mistake fer the evenin'. Believin' she's unarmed. She slaps this sticky bristly thing across my back, an' the surroundin' skin goes instantly numb. I reach fer it to pull it off, an' the other hand goes fer her throat to let her feel my irritation all up close like, but whoever designed this thing knew what they were doin'. I lose all muscle control, barely able to blink, an' she gets the fun o' tryin' to wrestle 275 pounds o' bloody Victor off her lap while keepin' us on the road. I would have laughed, if it wasn't happenin' to me.
Definately not my night tonight. I'm just not thinkin', an' it;s startin' to show. I decide I'm gonna spend however long it takes fer this damn numbness to wear off about a very colorful death fer Bobbi, but she ended up with me lookin' out the window at the road ahead. It's like the ceiling fan then. About half a minute goes by, the little lines on the road go flash flash flash, an' I'm out like a light. So much fer that plannin'. Then all I remember is the hint o' cinnamon an' smoke.