Bridging Gaps Chapter 4: The Scent of Fear
DescriptionWorking on dailogue this chapter, but anyway, NEW!!
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A light rain falls upon Hollow Bastion as I sit in my vehicle, parked in front of the misty bridge leading out of the city and watch the sunrise. The windshield wipers slowly sway back and forth as I stare out the half fogged glass watching the gradual rays of the sun emerge from beyond the horizon. I open the glove compartment, reaching inside, I pulling out an old carton of cigarettes. The previous owner of this car was defiantly a smoker, I deduce from all the empty cartons in the back. Using the car lighter, I light the cigarette and inhale. As the warm smoke fills my lungs, I immediately choke and cough, rolling down the window and hold the cigarette outside. Filled with despair, I lay my head against the door, watching as the soft rain puts out the lit cigarette. I lean back in my seat, dropping the cigarette with my hand still outside the window to feel the cold kiss of water on my skin. Closing my eyes, I reach for the beige dress hat in the back and put it over my face. Suddenly I hear the car door opening and closing as someone sits in the passenger seat. "What do you want Michael," I ask, the hat still covering my face. "How did you know it was me," he replies jokingly. "Most of the people in this city are scared of Walkers and no one in Hollow Bastion is rude enough to just hop in someone's vehicles other than you," I say, tossing the hat to the back seat with a weary, emotionally drained face. Michael is a "Walker' like me; which is someone who fearlessly walks the open streets, unafraid of the old urban legends such as the Soul Eaters. I've never had a friend so I don't know what constitutes a friendship but I expect what he and I have is close enough. "After what was about to happen last night I don't blame them. What got into you, man?" "They stole the kid from me," I reply staring out the window, watching the rain. "Oh really, oh ok, gotcha. So Jake where's the kid now, hmm," he asks patronizingly, as I silently roll my eyes, staring out the window. "Pulled a disappearing act on you, right?" Michael sits back with his arms folded, quiet and looking out at the rain. "It smells like smoke in here and I know you don't smoke so what is it," he asks, not wanting to look at me as if disappointed in me. "I tried a smoke from the old carton in the glove compartment," I reply, depressingly. "Dang it Jake, you're a real mess you know that? After every mission you come back more depressed than when you left and that's saying something. When are you going to learn to keep your emotions separate from your work?" "What work," I yell. "I don't even really know what the hell I'm doing or why I started in the first place." "We'll apparently you must have wanted to do this for some reason because well, you're doing it. The longer I know you, the harder I find it hard to believe you, even before the incident, would start this line of work if you didn't truly believe in the cause." "I guess you're right, still, I wish I knew," I say in a low tone. "So, you have the piece," he asks. "Yea," I say, pulling the chain attached to the piece out from under my shirt. "So why are you sitting here when you should be taking it to him?" "I'm just waiting for the rain to stop," I say, trying to mask my anxiousness. "Yea right, look I'll be the first to admit he's a little unnerving, but you can't be afraid to talk to him; how else will you uncover your past." He says as I rub my hand through my hair and sigh. "You know you're more than welcome to come with," I say jokingly. "No thank you, besides, I have some business to take care of. Try not to shoot anymore people while I'm gone," he says, opening the door. "Alright man, catch you later," I say as he exits the car, running back into town with his coat over his head. Cutting on the engine, I sit for a moment and watch Michael in my rearview mirror until he makes his way into an alley, out of my sight. As I slowly drive down the bridge I notice Michael has left his umbrella in the car. That's strange, who would forget to bring something like this with them in this kind of weather, I think to myself. As I cautiously drive through the many obstacles on the bridge, I see the old billboard advertising ladies night at the Java café lounge lies up ahead. From here I must go on foot so I exit the car, taking the black umbrella with me. As I approach the wall of mist it immediately begins to fluctuate with electricity, much like a raincloud. A firm gust blows from within it, splitting the mist in half as the man walks down a long, dark, misty hallway. As he exits the mist closes back up. The pit of my stomach sinks yet I do my best to not show fear as the old man stands before me, his body solid but his face is slightly distorted. "You can put away the umbrella now, Streyga," he says with the wicked smile of a demon. "Why," I reply, confused. The man looks at the sky as the light rainfall ceases. "So this is the part where you debrief me the previous mission, or have you forgotten that too, Jake," he says mockingly as if he could sense the fear emanating from my body. Mustering up courage, I explain to him the details of the mission. As the time passes, noon approaches and the temperature rise. "So things went smoothly, that's good," he says. "Smoothly? Did you even hear what I said," I ask, with an irritated look on my face. "Yes I heard you but things could have been so much worse if "that man' showed up in time. I doubt we'd be having this conversation right now." "This man, who is he? I've run into his underlings many times now but never him." "You knew him very well before the "incident', he was your ex-partner," he says, checking his watch as if he were late for something. "What? I don't understand, I thought I was always alone in this. When did;" "Jake it is time for me to return as I have more business to attend to." "Yea yea, everyone has business to attend to today," I say, annoyed at his way of feeding me information that invokes more questions, without caring to elaborate. "The Piece Jake, hand it over." I look down at the piece hanging off the chain around my neck, thinking about the boy; about David. "Can't do it," I say in an undertone. "Care to say that a little louder," says the old man in a threatening voice. I tuck the piece back in my shirt and stare back into his unnatural face with a strong resolve. "This piece is special to me, I'll give it to you last," I say, as he stares me down. A deep silence falls all over as it seems as if all Hollow Bastion shut its mouth, waiting for a response from either one of us. The man's face returns to a normal shape as he looks at me strangely as if I confused him. ";Your scent has changed, Streyga." I stand frozen, not really understanding the meaning behind what he said or how I should react to it. "Your smell isn't that appalling anymore," he says, walking back into the mist. "Do not summon me again until you comeback with TWO pieces this time. "Uh;ok, thanks I guess," I say, watching as he is consumed by the fog. I turn around confused, walking back to my car and smelling my clothes. "What the heck was he talking about," I think to myself.