Drip Drip Drop: The Droppings are back!

Posted: 2 September, 2011 in Daily Droppings, Other
Tags: , , , , ,

The door to the flat slammed shut.  The young man dropped his coat over half the radiator and knelt in front of it, letting the cold wash out of him.

—Hey there, soulless one. You a rockstar yet?

The short blonde fella stepped out from the kitchen speaking in his thick Waterford accent.

The young man looked up from the radiator. —Nah, I’m whole again.

—wha?

—It’s been reinstated, contract rescinded

—What? Didn’t know their kind made a habit of giving things back.

—They don’t. The devil maybe a trickster, but he’s a man of his word.

—Didn’t this already happen?

—Yeah, I suppose sometimes things just don’t take.

—Well, I guess you’ll just have to be normal, like the rest of us.

—We’ll see, he could still hear the imp’s words in his head

These things happen

—These things happen!? You told me anything. I thought you lot couldn’t lie.

He was in a pawn shop a steel guitar hung in the window. Cluttered with musical instruments, guns, gear, coins, bags, amps, and other curios, even a lone goldfish in a moonshine jar.

—Quite right. And yes, we can give anything. We can influence all but the stoutest of hearts, but sometimes…

—Things just happen.

The man’s skin was a red dust in the candlelight. Gold stemmed rimless eyeglasses rested at the tip of his beakish nose.  His pointed chin hovered the pages of a paperback.

—Truth is, fate can sometimes be an obstinate little cunt.

His voice had a rasp to it. The young man imagined steam shaking a rattle rather than air though a voice box.

—Fate?

—Yes, those weird sisters are usually the issue in these matters on the rare occasion they have plans for one of our clients.

—So now what? You try something else

His laugh sounded like an old engine trying to rev with a flooded radiator. It gurgled and scrapped behind his teeth. —Oh, nine hells no. In these exceedingly rare cases, we reinstate the collateral.

—The what?

—We give you back your soul

—I thought it was irreversible.

—ehhh, he shrugged.

The man preened and pawed his red knuckley fingers over his blue-black (it was more like fur than hair) and pushed down between his huge horsely ears, slicking them back too. He put down the book hopped off his stool.

Behind the counter the creature-man opened a simple cupboard with a brown metal key that hung on his neck (the young man hadn’t noticed it before). The inside of the wardrobe in no way resembled what one might have guessed from its exterior.  Bright golden fluorescents revealed giant clear plastic racks of thousands of tiny glass vials meticulously organized and labeled with fire-orange ink in a script the young man had never seen.  The man behind the counter withdrew one of the vials and the brilliance of the thousand shining vials was gone.

The man looked at the vial. In the cupboard it seemed to glow, but now it looked empty; dormant and void of anything precious.

—You think I’m an idiot? There’s nothing there?

The merchant bared his teeth in a flash of an unwashed smile that dripped with something the young man couldn’t quite put his finger on.

—But for those with eyes to see. Smartass. Now turn around and close your eyes. This is going to feel… Strange.

He felt a leathery hand on the back of his neck. Against his gooseflesh, the fingers felt even longer than they looked. The nails were coarse and scratched his skin. He wondered if it were possible to choke someone with your hand on the back of their neck.  There was a sting like a hypodermic needle and suddenly rushing sensation filled its esophagus with liquid. The hand let off the back of his neck and the fluid seemed to drain away through the whole of his body.

When it was all over, the man, who Sean was now thinking resembled the scrawny little brother of a gargoyle, leapt back down behind the counter.

Amongst the stacks of books, fiddle cases, and boxes of ammo, there was a small electric cooker. The man-creature thing cleared space on top of and ambled around untill he had a small pot of oodles of noodles going. While he did, the boy began to wade through the piles of abandoned nicknacks.

—Perhaps you could ask for something different.

—How much for this? He picked up a pen and pushed at a dusty Luger. He could taste the iron from where he stood. There was something dry dark and sticky. On the grip near the thumb rest. —Does everything here cost the same?

—Don’t be silly. Souls and names can’t pay the rent.

The little man gave an open palm gesture,

—That’s three hundred seventy five dollars. Without the clip or ammunition of course, but because of today’s little mishap I’ll throw in a full clip for free.

—How generous.

—Don’t say we never gave you anything.

He pushed the pistol onto the table wrapped in a piece of sack cloth.

—I’m sorry this didn’t work out. I will be taking the matter to my employer. He takes these things very seriously. Are you sure there isn’t anything else you would-

—No,

—Ah, his hairless eyebrows raised in disappointment. —of course.

He reached under the counter and pulled out a metal clip and began to load it.

As he slid it into the boy’s hand he said  —and one for the chamber?

The midget demon frowned

He slid one more nine millimeter round across the countertop, sure to scratch the metal against the glass.

—I think your noodles are done.

—Fare well

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