No matter how many times we storm the tower who we are can’t be rescued. Filligan let the thin line of blood run across his fingers before turning up his collar, ‘How long do we have left?’
‘You were out for 5.23 minutes,’ if there was any remorse Bastian didn’t show it, ‘which will reduce our time considerably.’
‘It’s still long enough.’
‘I’m curious,’ Bastian barred Filligan’s way, ‘the marks on your skin?’
‘We need to get moving.’
‘I would call them self harm, but considering the length of your arms and the angles required, it would be impossible to burn yourself with a cigarette like that.’
‘I can do the rest of this without you.’ Filligan pushed Bastian aside and picked up his bag, ‘It only needed two of us to break the lock.’
‘What’s your story I wonder?’
‘I have no story.’
‘Oh, my dear friend, we all have a story,’ Bastian grabbed the flashlight from the top of the cabinet and followed his companion along the corridor, ‘and I can assure you that everyone begs to tell it in the end.’
‘Spare me the serial killer rhetoric.’ Filligan tapped a series of numbers into a keypad and pulled open the iron door. He paused, ‘Once we get down there, you take what you want, I take what I want, there will be no questions asked on either side.’
‘I do believe that is the agreement.’ Bastian watched him disappear into the darkness at the bottom of the stairs. He hadn’t hesitated, he hadn’t acclimatised himself, he hadn’t even used a torch. It was almost like he’d been in the room before.
Bastian stood for a moment, finding the flavour of his reaction. There were whispers here, an everyday of fimilarity. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. Lucifer was made in the image of man and even the stairs had something to say about his decent.
He flicked his torch around the concrete grey of the unpleasant room. A row of old filing cabinets. A set of wooden crates. Half a dozen boxes. Books. More books. Bottles. Oil paintings all stacked up against each other. A table. A bed. A set of wax crayons. A clock drawn on the wall.
Filligan had his back to the stairs. Crouched low. A ragged breath in the stolen light. There was a slow way of cooking that infused meat with everything that had gone before. Bastian turned out the torch and took the darkness into his lungs. This partnership wasn’t just about forging out a profitable business. For all his secrecy, this young man was leaving behind a trail of breadcrumbs that Bastian found impossible to resist.
©2017 Jac Forsyth
Part 1 – I’ll slip into something more comfortable
Part 2 – Just depends what sort of mood I’m in.
Part 3 – It’s not like we stood in line fore this
Part 4 – That first cut is always so damn sweet
Part 5 – After 9 days I let my mind run free