For those of you that read the R3M magazine, you'll recognize this serial story. For those of you that don't, I hope you enjoy! Why am I creating a thread for Mitch? To bring it to a wider audience. I'll be posting this story chapter by chapter, but never ahead of what's already printed in R3M. So, if there's only 3 chapters published, that's all that will be posted here.
Disclaimer: this serial story is NOT pg13 - it contains graphic and explicit material. It's intended for mature/adult readers.
The first 3 chapters are 'clean' - meaning they contain only foul language, after that however it's a different ballgame. So here for you, are chapters 1 and 2. I hope you enjoy.
Please feel free to leave any comments/feedback/critique/suggestions. If you notice any spelling errors please point them out! Copying and pasting to the forums often results in a loss of format.
Mitch, Ch. 1
Opening my eyes, all was a blur. I struggled to see through the streaks of light that bombarded my vision. Little prickles skittered across my pupils and clawed into my skull; colours faded in and out as I tried to focus. My head spun furiously and a deepening pain throbbed angrily in my temples. Something kept slapping at my face as I blinked; it occurred to me that it was my hand. Sound returned to my ears as though the volume of the world was slowly being turned up. I attempted to sit up but my back felt like it had been doused in a flammable substance and lit on fire. My head hit the pillow as my strength gave out, and I could feel my energy bleed through my pores. Lying there helpless, I felt like a lump of stale jell-o. Maybe I'm paralysed? Think; where am I? What happened to me? How did I get here? Now that my eyes were adjusted to the dim light cast by a lone, dust encrusted bulb, I could see the room I was in. My bed was narrow and tucked into the farthest corner from the door. There were short metal bars beside me, I could only assume were there to prevent me from rolling out of bed. An adult sized crib. A single, and rather dingy looking threadbare sheet covered my thin frame. The only piece of furniture, other than the high bed, was a single table with a crooked drawer that stood against the wall about two feet to my right. One square lattice window in the far wall looked to be covered in a thick layer of grime, possibly soot. It offered very little light and was sealed shut. The walls appeared as though they'd been attacked by a person in the midst of a psychotic episode. Wide patches of the faded wallpaper had been stripped away, large dents pocked the entire room, and I'm sure I could make out claw marks in the exposed drywall. A muscle in my left thigh began twitching spasmodically. Can't be paralysed if I can feel that. So, how long have I been here? I wiggled my toes and smiled with glee. Easy does it. The fingers on my right hand twitched as I tentatively raised it to my face. I could feel a thick growth of hair all along my jawbone, down to my chin and across my upper lip. Obviously haven't shaved for a long time. Footsteps from beyond the room cut shot my self-examination. Whoever this person is they walked heavily, with a shuffling sound every second step; as if their pant leg was dragging on the floor. I could feel my body tense. The springs in the mattress complained loudly as I carefully shifted my weight. A tall man, perhaps in his mid to late thirties, strolled casually through the twisted and doorless frame. Completely engrossed in an open file atop a clipboard he held with his right hand, he scratched at the paper with a pencil that appeared to have been savagely chewed. Cropped short, his dishevelled dirty blonde hair likely hadn't been brushed in a week. He wore a tattered and greying lab coat over a green suit made of a light material that whispered whenever he moved. With an annoyed jab, he shoved at the wire-framed glasses perched on his nose. His expression was that of a man that was overworked and underpaid. He paused briefly, glanced my way, and resumed writing. Startled, he jumped and his pencil fell to the floor with an audible tap that echoed in the barren room. I stared at him, and he stared at me. "You're awake?!" He gaped as though seeing me for the first time. I shakily propped myself up on my elbows and tried to ask him where I was. As soon as I opened my mouth however, I began to cough. A kind of dry cough that scratched at the back of my throat. If felt like there was a very large lump that I couldn't breathe around stuck in my chest. My stomach ached as I spluttered for air. "Easy now, son. Try to take slow, deep breaths." The doctor had placed the clipboard on the table and was at my side now. He helped me to a sitting position and pulled a stethoscope from a pocket in his coat. An icy bite of metal on my back made me jump. "Damn that's cold!" My voice was garbled, and sounded alien to me. He chuckled, "Sorry. I have to confess I wasn't expecting you to be awake." Procuring a flashlight from another pocket he blinded me as he examined my eyes. I blinked frantically, trying to clear the spots from my vision. "So, how do you feel?" I gave him a sideways glance, "Like I've spent a couple months sleeping underwater. I'm really stiff and achy." "Can you move your legs at all?" He squeezed my right calf firmly, and manipulated my ankle. "Yea a little bit," Just then I realized something, "Why can't I smell anything?" He scribbled some notes into the file he'd scooped up from the table, "That's temporary, and should clear up in and hour or so. Do you have any memories of your accident? Or anything prior to?" Good question. I realized then that I couldn't remember anything before waking up. I didn't know anything about myself, or my age; hell, I couldn't even recall my own name! I was in an accident? What kind of accident? "Nothing eh?" He must have noticed the panic on my face, "What's your name son?" Again my head started spinning, as though I'd been hit with a sledgehammer. It's such a simple question. Anyone would be able to answer it without thinking; and yet somehow I can't. "No I-I...how the Hell can I not remember my own name?!" He sighed heavily, "Amnesia, most likely. It's a side affect I had anticipated; it's going to make your recovery more complicated than necessary." Rubbing my temples with my fingertips I leaned forward to rest my elbows on my knees; my guts churned and I could feel a surge of warm acidic bile creeping up my oesophagus. My chest tightened uncomfortably and I thought that my heart would explode. "What happened to me? Where am I?" The doctor wore a mask of concern and empathy, but his hazel eyes held some secret truth that he wasn't telling me. Can I trust this man? I had no way of knowing for sure, but something told me I had no choice. "You're in the town of Colmar, located just a few kilometres from the Old Germany border, in the remnants of France," He spoke like he'd rehearsed for this moment, "You were found in a ditch on the side of the road. Apparently the vehicle you were travelling in exploded, which threw you down a rocky embankment." Listening to him describe what had happened to me had the surreal qualities of a fictional story. It seemed so hollow, everything he told me I had no memory of. "You were brought here, a small hospital that was established after the war. It isn't the finest facility ever, but it certainly serves its' purpose," He glanced at the dilapidated furnishings as he spoke, "You've been unconscious for two months now." I was beginning to develop a nasty bitch of a headache. I felt like ripping my hair out at the roots and screaming until my lungs ached. This was all so bloody confusing. Two months of my life gone, spent practically comatose in this pitiful excuse of a hospital. Hell, I don't even know the date, or what time it is! And what war was he talking about? A faint knock at the door drew our attention suddenly. Hesitantly poking her head around the withered frame, a young nurse beckoned for the doctor. "Excuse me." He placed the clipboard on the table and followed the nurse into the hallway. They didn't go far, just a few feet or so. Deliberately they kept their voices hushed, but I could still hear bits of their conversation. Something was said about a rebellion or terrorist group of sorts. The fear emanating from them spoke loud and clear to me. What have I done to scare these people? From the corner of my left eye I spotted the clipboard and my curiosity was piqued. Grabbing for it I flipped through the file the doctor had been reading. I'd been listed as John Doe, due to the fact that I hadn't been carrying any identification. It was just as the doctor had told me. I was in some sort of accident where the vehicle I was in had exploded. The cause was unknown and amnesia was listed as a common side effect. Explosion? That sounds serious, and deliberate. What bothered me the most was the length that this 'temporary' memory loss could last. It stated a length of anywhere from a few weeks, to a few months! That's a long time to not remember your own name. Otherwise the file was full of a bunch of medical mumbo jumbo that I didn't quite understand. Most likely just a lot of fancy words that loosely translated to 'man knocked unconscious'. I hadn't noticed that they'd finished talking. Looking up I realized they were standing by the foot of the bed. Managing a weak, sheepish smile I handed the clipboard back to the doctor. "It seems, other than the memory loss of course, that you've recovered from your accident." His kind eyes now harboured a silent hostility that seethed behind his glasses, "Unfortunately we're in dire need of empty beds. It's time for you to be leaving." Rubbing my bare arms I could feel the goosebumps rising. I realized then that I had no clothes, save for the medical garb that I currently wore. "What about my clothes? I have nothing." "We've washed and kept your clothing in storage. You may collect the rest of your belongings from the front desk once you're dressed." Tapping his badly chewed nails on one of the metal railings of the bed, he motioned to the nurse at his side. She was young, perhaps maybe only twenty or twenty two. She wore a soft blue medical dress that had witnessed many bloody victims in her time. Trembling slightly she couldn't tear her frightened eyes from me. "Nurse?" With a gentle nudge from the doctor she scurried from the room and down the hall. He stood over me like an alarmed watch dog, his arms tightly crossed over his chest. Nibbling at the inside of my cheek I sat there trying to avoid eye contact with him. The air crackled with a furious intensity that hadn't been there earlier. It was nearly tangible, I could almost taste it. Awkward wasn't the word for what I was feeling just at that moment. I didn't want to leave, yet I didn't want to stay either. What will it be like out there on my own? Why were they rushing me? A hospital discharging a patient shortly after waking up from being unconscious for two months?! These questions and more raced through my mind, but I knew there would be no answers. Not today anyway. The nurse returned after only a few minutes. In her arms she carried a bundle of clothing which she dropped on the foot of the bed; she backed away quickly as though she'd been burned. "Get dressed." Abruptly, they left me alone in the room. With no door in the gnarled frame to offer any sort of privacy, I felt exposed as I clumsily dressed myself. My limbs were still incredibly stiff and it was difficult to coax them to move. Standing for the first time I felt like my head had been submerged the entire time I'd been unconscious. The room spun like a drunkard; or maybe it was just me. I fumbled with the button on the jeans, my fingers felt like they were made of a soft clay. The clothes fit perfectly, no doubt that they were mine. Slipping the heavy black trenchcoat around my shoulders I adjusted and readjusted the collar and cuffs. I fidgeted uncontrollably. I could clearly hear the heated discussion between the doctor and nurse in the hallway from where I stood. "Isn't this a bit rash?" Releasing him so quickly, it could be hazardous for him! I'm not even one hundred percent certain that he's made a complete recovery! For Christ's sake the kid can't even remember his own fucking name!" Running a hand through his hair the doctor paced anxiously past the door. "I know, I know! But you know what they'll do to us if they find another rebel here! Never mind shutting us down, they'll kill -" "Dammit I know!" Barking he cut the nurses' sentence short, "But what if we're wrong?!" Once again his glasses were askew on his nose, and he pushed them back with a flustered jab, "I know we have no choice, but I don't like tossing out patients." Their argument only fuelled my hungry curiosity. Why are they so freaked out? Either way I was being punted out on the street with no memories, and left to fend for myself like an abandoned pup. I'd give my left arm to remember anything at this point. What a shitty way to start the day.
Mitch, Ch. 2
I stepped outside and was greeted with a resounding, rumbling lament from the ominous clouds swirling overhead. The loud crack shook the Earth underfoot and pounded on my eardrums, like a toddler with a set of pots and pans. The putrid stench of raw sewage invaded my nostrils and my eyes started to water. Glancing up and down the street in which I stood, I was overwhelmed by the state of destruction before me. There was a building across from me, or rather, what was left of it. Most of the windows were shattered, only a few panes of jagged glass clung to their withered frames. Thick piles of dusty mortar had collected along the base of the crumbling wall. Large chunks of brick lay scattered in the street. It seemed to me that if I were to sneeze the remainder of the building would collapse. The heavy weight of apprehension bore down on me. I hesitated a moment, uncertain which way to turn. Which way is home? I stood there unsure of what to do next, when I felt as though my brain was melting inside my skull. A sharp blinding pain rocketed across my scalp and dug into the spaces behind my eyes. My vision shivered, the world flipped topsy-turvy and everything went dark. A vision of a slanted dilapidated building swam in my mind, so vividly I felt I could reach out and touch its beaten frame. It vanished as suddenly as it had appeared. As my vision returned I found myself hunched over the gutted metallic framework of a vehicle that had been devoured by flame. I'd vomited at some point during my hallucination. The acrid bite of bile stung my throat. I found it odd however, that I didn't feel nauseous. Hovering in my memory was the image of the building I'd seen. It danced behind my eyes like a tantalizing tease. I could literally feel it sear itself into my mind. I knew with an unwavering certainty that I would recognize the building if I were to see it again. With my feet leading the way I crunched through the rubble that littered the battered ground. I'd walked to the end of the street when a glittering piece of glass winked at me from the corner of a shattered window frame. It occurred to me that I didn't even know what I looked like. It seemed an eternity before I reached that piece of glass. Like a child awaiting a promised reward, I held my breath and stared into my own reflection. I cannot describe the fear that gripped me, as I started into a face I didn't recognize. Raising my hands I poked and prodded at my skin, as though expecting this mask to crumble away and reveal a hidden monster. I discovered that I had deep brown eyes with an orange flare around my pupils, with a piercing glare that sent an icy chill through my weakened body. My hair, jet black and slightly longer than shoulder length, wavered haphazardly around my face lending a slightly maniacal and unkempt look to my features. The hair on my face had, at one point, been tidily shaved along my jawline and around my mouth; I imagined it had once looked quite handsome. A couple months' worth of sporadic growth only amplified my haggard appearance. My skin bore the pallor of warm caramel. I brushed absently at the ebony strands flowing in front of my eyes. A sudden cockiness filled my being with a confidence I hadn't yet experienced. A quick shave, and I'd be pretty damn good looking! Smirking, I winked at myself. Hello handsome, what's your name?
Scattered forks of lightning ripped across the indigo sky, bathing the city in an eerie momentary flash of haunting white light. The rain pummelled the ground with the ferocity of a rabid animal cleaving flesh from bone. Casually leaning against half of a cracked stone pillar, she melded with the shadows as if she'd been born from them and waited for the tall, lean figure to pass. With expert timing, she struck a match at the precise moment a clamour of thunder shook the ground beneath her soaked feet. She lit the cigarette cocked to one side of her mouth. Inhaling deeply she savoured the initial, crisp flavour of fresh tobacco. Squinting through the gale she followed her mark with her finely trained eyes. It had taken weeks to find him. An accident was a great guise. It's easy to disappear when people assume you're dead. He was good, she knew that much. Quit possible that he was her superior; so said the word along the grapevine. She'd have her work cut out for her on this job. Thumbing the handle of the gun strapped to her right thigh she puffed furiously. Smokes are so damn hard to come by, she'd do anything, kill anyone for just one pack. Hell, half a pack. What they wanted with this asshat she didn't know, nor did she care. So far he'd led her clear across town. He wandered so randomly, she'd have thought he was lost if she didn't know better. Shit. Had he clued in that he was being followed? "Eclipse," A tiny voice cracked through the earpiece tucked securely into her left ear, "You there?" Growling under her breath, she did not welcome the voice of her would-be babysitters. A bounty hunter of her reputation could handle a small time job such as this easily on her own, without the incessant pestering. This job was turning sour faster than milk left to curdle on a hot day. "Yeah I'm here," She responded with a snarl just above a whisper. "Have you found him?" "Yep," Crossing her arms she spat the spent butt into the air and crushed it angrily with the toe of her sneaker, "I've located your lost dog." "Good. Follow him and keep us posted." The crackling static that followed told her they'd killed the transmission for the time being. Tearing the microphone from her ear she fought the overwhelming urge to stomp the bloody annoying thing into pieces. She couldn't stand for this. They'd said nothing about trailing this guy, nor about keeping tabs on him. The price on his head was the only thing preventing her from losing her temper and shoving the earpiece up their asses; she needed the money desperately. Slipping out from behind the pillar she followed the man as he clambered over a low stone fence and into a dark and narrow street beyond.
It was just as I'd seen it in my mind. Complete with cracked glass, withered doors, crooked roof and rusting hardware; the beaten building loomed before me. It stood between two enormous piles of shattered wood and crumbled stone, remnants of neighbouring structures I assumed. The street was narrow and cramped, several small buildings stood tightly packed together. A foul stench hung in the air; a strange cocktail of rotten garbage, rats and death. The gnarled pavement underfoot glistened wetly as the rain continued to pour relentlessly. By now I was soaked clean through my clothes. There were no street lamps to illuminate the suffocating darkness. Shivering I pulled tentatively on the handle. With a rusted screech the door protested loudly as it opened onto the front foyer. A mouldy carpet covered the mossy flagstone floor, a small waterfall cascaded down the plaster on my right. Glancing up I noticed there was a giant hole in the ceiling. Perfect. No place like home. Digging the key from my pocket I strained to read the number engraved into the metal. Number 306. At least I think that's what it said. Climbing the rickety stairs ahead, I made my way carefully to the third floor. Groaning like an old man the wood sounded as though it couldn't hold my weight; I prayed that it would. I live here? Christ, I hope the apartment is half decent. Metallic faceplates peered at me as I stepped into the third floor hallway. A grime covered window at the end of the hall provided the only light; ominous flashes flickered off the peeling wallpaper. Squinting at the numbers on the faceplates I searched for mine. The wind howled against the exterior of the building. Gazing up at the last doorway I saw the number 306 staring right back at me. Trying the key in the lock, I heard a satisfying click. Turning the knob I pushed at the door and entered my apartment. It was small. Only two rooms, the bedroom and the kitchen/livingroom area and a small washroom. One large window looked out over the city. There wasn't much furniture to speak of. A lopsided squashed sofa sat against the wall below the window. A squat coffee table in front of it. Crammed with books of all sorts, a tall bookshelf towered in the corner. The small card table I assume was used as a dining table sat across from the kitchen facilities, which consisted of an ancient looking fridge and oven. From what I could see of the bedroom there was nothing more than a bed in there. Flicking the light switch on the wall beside me, nothing happened. The room remained completely dark. Kicking the door shut behind me it closed with a loud clap. Sighing I ran my fingers through my wet hair. Tossing my jacket onto the sofa I lumbered into the tiny bedroom. Peeling the soaked clothes from my clammy skin I flopped naked onto the sheets and pulled the blanket up to my chin. I felt like I could sleep for days. My feet ached from scouring the city looking for this shit hole. What I was going to do now I had no clue. I silently prayed that this was all just a nasty nightmare. This couldn't be real, could it? Who was I before my accident?
Rolling over I blinked in the sunlight pouring through the open curtains. The cream coloured walls were bathed in glorious shades of yellow orange, completely changing how it looked compared to last night. Stretching my sore limbs a sharp pain in my neck made me flinch. I must have slept at an odd angle to cause such a nasty kink. Getting up I stumbled into the washroom where I tested the taps. With a hefty chug the pipes burst to life; the water ran a light muddy brown at first before finally turning clear. Yes! Running water. Showering felt great and shaving felt even better. I kinda liked what I had going before so I just trimmed the extra growth that had sprung up. Smiling at myself in the chipped mirror I liked how fresh I looked now. I watched as the muscles in my arms flexed with every movement, I was quite built. Lean and mean. The haggard and wild look had been rinsed away with the filthy water, and I stood there looking refreshed. I almost felt like a new man; almost. Well, can't stand around in a towel all day. Wandering back to my bedroom, I searched the lone wardrobe that stood against the wall opposite the window. Jeans and t-shirts seem to be the standard. Getting dressed I rummaged through the apartment in search of something, anything that would tell me who I am. I enjoyed reading by the amount of books that were crammed into the shelf in the livingroom. There were books on psychology, fictions, fantasy and history. A scholar of sorts I suppose. Nothing that would tell me much else about who I am. Back in the bedroom I tore open the drawers in the wardrobe; here I made a startling discovery. I found an identification card. Mitchel Davis. I read the name over and over. It felt strange to read my own name and not recognize it. As I sat there on the floor staring at my face on the card, I ran my finger across the birthdate printed on the card. June 23, 1997. Now at least I had a name. So Mitch, what's the plan now? Can't sit on your ass in this place forever. My coat was still very damp. Placing it on a hangar I hung it in the wardrobe to dry for a few hours. Running a comb through my hair I summoned all the courage I could muster and decided to go exploring. The storm clouds had been blown off during the night, replaced by soft azure sky. This town wasn't as unwelcoming as it had been. There were obvious signs that it had suffered severe bombing at one point. All was not entirely grim however. Plenty of buildings had survived practically unscathed and there were many signs of rebuilding. Just down the street from where I lived, I found a small pub housed in a squat building. As I passed by I could count eight or nine people seated within. I might just have to stop by here on my way home. I could use a drink. As I walked I couldn't shake the suspicion that I was being watched. The hairs on the back of my neck twinged. Behind me I distinctly heard the crunch of stone under a shoe. Freezing where I stood I whirled around. No one was there. I knew someone had been there, and had hidden. But where had they gone? Bastard. I wasn't fast enough to catch them. I could smell the smoke of their cigarette. Next time perhaps. Turning I continued up the street. Massaging my neck I cursed myself for moving so fast; I'd strained the muscles in the process. I knew while I had no memory I was vulnerable, I'd have to be careful.
Shit, that was too close. Rolling onto her back on the rooftop she waited for his footsteps to recede. She'd never come that close to being caught before. While she lay there, she pulled the last drag from the withered butt clenched in her chapped lips. Flicking the remnant of her cigarette carelessly it skittered across the rooftop. Exhaling she watched the smoke curl its fingers towards the sky. This guy was better than she'd anticipated. Not just the 'lost puppy' she had assumed he was. Flipping onto her side she peered over the lip of the roof. He was gone. Dammit. He's quiet, she hadn't even heard him leave. Propping herself on the edge of the roof she watched the people in the street like busy ants. He'd have to come home sooner or later. Tapping the end of her pack of smokes she popped the end of a fresh cigarette into her mouth. Waiting is half the fun. Stalking is the one of the parts she enjoys most. Here lil puppy, come to momma.
It was late, and dusk was fast approaching. I pushed on the worn brass handle of the heavy wooden door and made my way into the pub. The room was dimly lit from low hanging fixtures above each table and behind the bar. Apparently there was electricity, here anyway. Only a few patrons lingered, their hands locked to their drinks, the last salvation. An air of misery hung over this small crowd as they peered at me with their glossy eyes. The booths were upholstered with a deep cherry fabric that at one point had probably looked very chic. Several paintings adorned the small alcoves aligned in the walls. Dwarfed by a massive shelf unit with a large mirror mounted behind, the bar was the focal point of the small space. Four tables offered the only seating other than the three bar stools and two booths. The man cleaning glasses behind the counter had deep brown hair streaked with thick silver strands he had pulled back into a tight ponytail. Glancing up briefly he dropped the glass in his hands when he caught site of me. Shattering with a resounding crash, a musical tinkle sang out before a dead silence filled the air. "Mitchell!" He seemed genuinely surprised and elated to see me. I didn't know what to say. He knew me, and he called me by name, "Uh...hi?" Beckoning me over he smiled, but his eyes betrayed his shock, "How have you been? I haven't seen you in months. I was beginning to get worried about you." "I'm fine, but um," Could I trust him enough to betray my weakness? Gazing into his eyes I measured the amount of sincerity carefully, "You heard about the accident I was in?" "Yes," He kept his voice hushed, he understood the need for secrecy. "How are you feeling?" Rubbing my temple I took a seat at the bar, "Not so well. I have...little to no memory prior to my accident. I don't remember a damn thing." "Guess that means you don't remember my name then." With a sly wink he patted the back of my hand and reached under the counter and pulled out a bottle of golden rum. "This drink is on the house Mitch." Sliding the glass across the counter top his soft brown eyes shone with empathy, "An' the name is Jon," He smiled kindly. "Thanks, Jon," Tipping the glass I downed half the strong alcohol in one shot. My throat was alive with a burning sensation that awakened my senses. Just what I needed. For a few precious minutes I didn't want to think about my lot in life. I suppose that's exactly the reason the others were here with me. We all wanted nothing more than to drown our sorrows and have a few blissful hours of not being able to feel anything, except maybe our blood alcohol level rising. I sat there tapping the toe of my boot on the leg of the wooden stool I sat on. Watching me closely Jon meticulously cleaned the broken glass from the floor. Approaching me once again he leaned on the counter beside me, "If you need anything, don't hesitate to ask. You always helped me out. Now it's time I return the favour to you." "Thanks." I'm not certain how long I sat there. Swirling the ice cubes around the bottom of the glass while I stared at the counter without seeing. The door to the tavern swung open with such a bang I nearly jumped out of my skin. Storming into the pub in a rage, a petite woman came up to the counter; elbowing me as she did so. A large, deep purple bruise on her left cheekbone just below her eye seemed the obvious reason for her anger. "Can I get a rum an' coke Jon? And make it strong please." Her voice was a hasty snarl, though it wasn't directed at him. "Life is rough for a Bounty Hunter, Gwen." He shook his head as he poured her drink. "Ex-Bounty Hunter," Gingerly she inspected her cheek through a compact mirror she pulled from her jacket, "I quit. I'm not fucken doing this any more." Slowly passing her glass across the scratched polish of the counter, Jon gave her a worried look, "And it's about damn time young lady. It's too bloody dangerous." Noticing me she managed an apologetic smile, "Sorry for bothering you," A single tear slipped from her trembling lashes. Grabbing her glad she sat alone at the far table, tucked into a corner by the window. Something about her tugged at my heart. Who would hit a woman? Leaving my own glass behind I walked over to where she sat; a strange energy pulled me to her. I couldn't take my eyes away from her. She was a beautiful woman; short sandy blonde hair that fell artistically into her big green eyes like the strands had been painted in place. Her skin held a strange moonkissed glow as she sipped at her drink with her full lips. Guess it's safe to say I like her at this point. "Mind if I join you?" I asked, silently hoping she wouldn't refuse me. Looking me up and down carefully, I knew she was inspecting me thoroughly, "Not at all. What's your name stranger?" Passed the inspection. One point. "Mitch." Taking the seat across from her I leaned back in the booth and our eyes met and locked; only for a moment, but that moment lasted an eternity. An eternity in which we both read a portion of each other's mind. So, we both understand the elaborate dialect of body language. This would get interesting. Like a game of chess between two masterminds. "Ex Bounty Hunter eh? Rough line of work." "Too rough," She swallowed half her drink in one gulp. She drinks the way I do, hard and fast. I could tell that she didn't want to discuss the altercation that had taken place, not at this time. Best to change the subject now. "You live around here? Noting the deliberate topic change with the most subtle twitch of her eyebrow she followed my lead, "Yes. In the apartment building at the end of the street." "Really? We live in the same building." "That so?" She became cautious suddenly; she didn't believe me, "I haven't seen you around." I was entering dangerous territory now. I would either have to reveal my weakness to a complete stranger; or lie and risk spooking her. "That's because I haven't been around as of lately." "Why not?" With a note of curiosity in her voice she leaned back, glass in hand. "I was in an accident," The point here, was not to reveal my entire hand in one shot, "I just got back last night."
We sat there for hours, talking about every subject possible. Anything that came to mind as we drank, we discussed. Her nature was generous and she supplied the drinks for us once she learned I had no money. She didn't smile often, but when she did it was an explosion of light that erupted from her delicate features. I could tell that she didn't think highly of herself. Probably the result of a turbulent childhood. Otherwise she was very skilled at keeping her most intimate details shrouded in a veil of secrecy. There was an invisible wall she kept firmly between us; she didn't want me getting too close. I wanted to know more about her. The thirst for more was insatiable. She seemed too delicate. In the time we'd spent together the sun had set completely, elongated shadows blanketed the street outside. I'd stopped drinking long before she did. I could sense our time together coming to an end; it was very late and Jon had been gracious enough to allow us to stay. "Time flies when you're having fun," I winked at her across the table. I was delighted when she blushed ever so slightly, "Indeed it does." "I suppose we should get out of Jon's hair. Would you mind if I walked you home?" I could very well be pushing my limits here, but something urged me to continue in the direction we were already heading. She pondered for several minutes, probably weighing the pros and cons in her mind, "I'd like that, actually." Score! Hometeam wins the game. The road was short and it only took a few minutes, but I enjoyed every second. Something about this little lady had me hypnotized in the spell she cast. I'd momentarily forgotten everything. As we stepped into the front foyer of our building, a sudden blinding pain surged through my skull. Stumbling I raised my hands to my head as an ear splitting roar blasted in my ears. My vision went blank. I didn't know which way was up or down; I felt like I'd just gotten knocked under water and spun around several times. I wasn't sure if I was falling but it sure as hell felt like it. The screeching noise grew louder and louder, I'd surely go deaf if it didn't stop. I felt my head hitting something hard, and all went dark.
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