cheloya: (HOLMES >> heartless)
[personal profile] cheloya



The storm is coming on fast, now, the street and the few left on it bruising blue as the light dims. Ll squints at the few bright patches left in the day and ducks into the dubious cover of a shopfront, its sills deep enough to sit on, but covered in all the accumulated filth of a city street: leaves and dirt, sure, and ash and gum and the sour, sticky remains of someone's beer (or bladder; he edges away).

The rain starts coming down a few minutes later, first exacerbating the stink of whatever's to his left, then freshening gradually. It's not cold, just heavy; large drops, far apart. He leans back against the window pane, blue eyes idling. It isn't until the fourth time he's recrossed his arms that he realises what has his back up.

The hotel across the street is a brown brick slab of narrow, tinted windows and tangled vertical blinds in varying shades of dust, mould, nicotine. The deep pink jacket watching him from the fifth floor is the only variation.

It's too dim inside to see the face of the woman that belongs to it, or even much suggestion of one. A downlight glows in the darkness behind her, but something about it gnaws at Ll's ribs, prickles behind his ears.

The dark grows as the clouds thicken, the rain chilling as the wind picks up. The blinds in the open window next to the jacket snap back and forth violently and Ll realises it's the stillness, the vibrance of the colour, that is wrong.

Hardly breathing, he raises his right hand to cover his left eye. He sees the spark of her eyes and dark lips curved with teeth too many teeth and jerks suddenly, cursing, as a taxi cuts too close to the kerb and soaks him from the navel down.

He looks back at the window straight away, but there's nothing. He can't even see the window that was open; they're all closed, stained and still and climate-controlled as they come.

He's wet anyway; he turns and starts walking. If he hears narrow footsteps on the street along his way, he ignores the urge to look; he knows how those stories end already.

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cheloya

June 2013

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