Categories > Original > Fantasy > Tradewinds 09 - "The Building is Hungry!"


by shadesmaclean 0 reviews

Chase wins the bet

Category: Fantasy - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy,Horror - Published: 2009-10-12 - Updated: 2009-10-12 - 737 words - Complete

George stood on the corner next to the Harken Building, trying hard not to get dragged into his companions’ dispute.

Kato and Chase had been arguing for some time, then stood in silence until Kato sat down on a bench in front of the neighboring building. Much like the one on the other side, this one also had a FOR SALE sign; after her fun experience in that place, she suspected the two neighboring buildings were never occupied for long at a time. After a while, Chase started asking questions about Max and his friends.

“…So that guy’s from the Triangle State, too?”

“Yeah. Go figure,” Kato replied, exasperation steaming off every syllable. “He escaped from the mines there or something. He’s even more rude than you, but he’s also pretty handy with a power pistol. I wonder who’s quicker… Anyway, if he doesn’t come out of there, his friends— the ones with the Tri-Medals— might not trust us anymore.”

“So what?”

“So what?” Kato demanded, then reminded herself that they hadn’t met Max & Company yet. “You wouldn’t say that if you ever saw that Layoshan guy fight. He’s got a laser sword, and he damn well knows how to use it. Remember what I told you about NK-525? Don’t forget, him and that ‘Shades’ guy beat that fucker all by themselves. All Justin did was destroy what was left of it. Our weapons were useless against it,” (though she wondered how she would fare now with her new laser whip) “but those two are not to be underestimated. Especially Shades. I think he’s suspicious of us.”

“You worry too much, Kato. Now the three of us are back together, so it’s one-on-one. All we need is the element of surprise, and it won’t matter how strong they are…”

George could smell this kind of storm from a mile away, and he had no interest in being caught in the undertow if push came to shove. As if it were a contact sport or something. Just when he thought it might be a good idea to step across the street, he saw a man round the next corner out of the corner of his eye.

Chase was in the midst of ignoring Kato’s lecture when he happened to see the same man come up behind George. Unlike Kato, he recognized this one. And he also recognized Chase.

“Hey man,” Chase called out, “you owe me some money.”

“The hell…” The man stopped in his tracks.

“Come on.” After going through seven kinds of hell over that bet, he was going to collect no matter what. “Fork it over.”

“But… no one’s ever…” the man stammered. “Not since that woman…”

And what a tale she had to tell. Just came staggering out of that alley, panting and frantically looking back as if being chased. Back then he was just a boy, but Alida Wymore’s account still frightened and fascinated him to this day. And tided him over through this recession. Though in all these years, he had never upped the nerve to investigate the place himself.

And now he found himself standing in the presence of a duo who had seen the fathomless depths of the Harken Building, and lived to tell the tale. He could figure no way out of this. When he was making his wagers, he had always made a ritual of carrying enough to cover most of them, confident that he would never have to pay up. After all, in all these years, no one had ever come back to collect. Too stunned to argue, his gut instinct telling him it might be a very bad idea to renege, he handed over all of the money he had.

Saying, “No one’s… ever…”

“Thanks, pal.”

Then the man walked away, his shock finally starting to subside. Already thinking of how he could promote this. Yep, only one man ever dared to challenge the Harken Building and won…

Kato and George just stared, first at the man, then at Chase, then at the tidy wad of bills he was now counting.

“Well, Kato,” Chase grinned viciously as he said, “today seems to be my lucky day after all. If you drop all that shit you said earlier, I might treat you to dinner.”

And Kato resumed glaring at him.
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