Chapter 3 to an as yet untitled Urban Fantasy piece. This piece has not been revised.
| Driving through Boston in the middle of a snow storm is difficult, to say the least. Doing it with Eddie sitting next to you singing along to the Sex Pistols at the top of his lungs makes it damn near painful. I slid the beat up old Caddy I had been driving for years towards the curb in front of the address Abby had given us.
I killed the engine and stepped out of the car, leaving the comfortable warmth of the leather seats for bitter cold. The snow was falling heavier now in fat, quarter sized flakes. I shivered, feeling them fall across the back of my neck, and slapped absently at the hornet like sting of cold as it traced its way down my spine. Thunder pealed in the distance, a low rumbling basso against the muted city sounds.
"Guess this is the place huh?" Eddie said, sliding out of the car to stand on the sidewalk.
"You're skills at deduction never cease to amaze me."
"We really need to work on your people skills, you know that?" Eddie said.
I looked up at the building. It was two stories, the windows and doorway boarded with graffitti covered plywood, broken in spots to allow access for squatters and the homeless. Craters of age and disrepair broke the monotony of rust colored brick at random intervals, displaying the scars of decades in the elements. The doorframe stood empty, wide enough to have once held double doors, a piece of broken plywood leaning against the wall beside it.
"Must be where the cops entered when they came to check it out." I pointed towards the door, peering through the opening towards an interior bathed in shadow. The clouds had given a brief respite, receding enough to allow a full, bloated moon to cast shafts of light through the holes in the ceiling, cutting laser beams of light throughout the buildings darkened inside.
Eddie nodded, and we both started forward, boots crunching in the snow.
"Place gives me the willies man." Eddie said quietly.
I cut a glance towards him, stepping through the doorway. The interior was much as the exterior, broken down and forgotten. The skeletal husks of what looked to be textile machines, sat rusted and forgotten, draped in dusted cobwebs. Metal stairs in the corners led to a raised platform lined with offices, a long catwalk running the length of the building connecting it to its twin at the far wall.
"See anything?" I asked, my voice a whisper.
Eddie shook his head slowly, pushing his head back.
"Yeah. Me either."
I made my way towards the boarded windows, Eddie moving to the opposite side of the space and began pacing from one slowly along the perimeter. I kept my eyes moving, looking for any sign of anything on the floor, the wall, the window coverings, anything. Each one told me the same story. Nothing. No dust disturbed, no blood, absolutely nothing out of the ordinary.
"This is bullshit Eddie. Little shit's playing us."
"I beg to differ brutha." Eddie responded with a tone of certainty.
"Yeah? You see anything that says she's telling the story straight up?" I asked, annoyance creeping deeper into my voice.
"That's the thing man, I don't see anything. No rat shit, fuck, there's not even snow on the floor from the holes in the window."
Casting my gaze over the interior again I realized he was right.
"So?" I asked.
"What do you make of it."
Eddie shook his head, walking towards me. It was dark, but there was enough moonlight leaking in to cast enough light to navigate
without breaking a leg.
"Something happened, or...well something happened that someone didn't want to be known happened."
"Do-" I stopped, mid sentence as something caught my attention. A tiny almost inaudible scraping.
"You hear that?" I whispered, turning my attention towards the sound, the catwalk over head.
I scanned the catwalk, and it's conjoined platforms trying to pick the sound out of the darkness. It came again, louder, a dry rasp against old metal coming from the platform over the door.
Eddie looked at me and nodded, reaching into his coat. He withdrew the 9mm he kept holstered under his arm and held it pointed towards the floor looking around. Eddie was a witch yes, but here, he was out of his element. Unable to touch the ground due to the concrete floor he was incapable of drawing forth the power that fueld his workings. More so, Eddie's spells weren't quick affairs with a flash bang ending. They were more subtle, hence the gun.
"See it?" I whispered.
Eddie shook his head.
"Me either." I said, still keeping my voice hushed.
"Any ideas?" Eddie whispered.
I shook my head, muscles tensed, poised for fight or flight as precaution and scanned the platform over the door once more. Eddie held the gun in a shooter's stance, the muzzle directed towards the platform.
I was starting towards the stairs when it moved, a burst of shadowy speed, racing down the catwalk. It was nothing more than a blur of darkness, moving with near incomprehensible speed. We both jumped, startled by the sudden burst of movement.
"What the fuck?" Eddie said, a slight hitch of nervousness in his voice, whispers forgotten.
I shook my head. Whatever this thing was, it wasn't human, that much we had estabished. The scraping sound came again, slower this
time, descending the stairs.
I started toward it, this time brazenly. In a world of predator's the only way to avoid getting eaten is to show you aren't easy prey, or so I'm told. I cleared my head, letting the power well up in me. Instantly, I could feel the warm tingle as my muscles tensed, humming with energy. It infused my skin, causing it to darken just the slightest, giving me the appearance of a summer tan in a matter of seconds. I could feel the color of my eyes shifting as I called the aspect of divine force that made up a portion of my lineage, turning them from their normal steel gray to a deep honey color.
Eddie fell in behind me, and despite having seen me take on such an aspect before it still unnerved him. He held the gun, pointed towards the floor, his movements jerky, betraying his nervousness.
"It fucking creeps me out when you do that shit man." He said quietly.
"Eddie. You talk to trees." I said flatly, though the tone of my voice had become richer, deeper due to the divine power now coursing throughout my body.
I could see the figure now, settling its feet on the concrete floor. It was small, barely four feet tall at best. Dressed in rags, it's body was a hunched, twisted mockery of the human shape. It flexed it's hands slowly, fingers, complete with three extra knuckles each, unrolling in a somewhat disconcerning gesture, before closing upon themself. Despite it's twisted shape, it moved with an odd animal grace that was both smooth and fluid with no motion wasted. It's eyes, a sickly, reflecting green like cat eyes, peered from beneath the remains of a sweatshirt's hood.
When it spoke it's voice was a child's, sweet and almost musical.
"Oh fuck me." Eddie muttered, in a voice very similar to the kid that knew he had done something and just been caught.