Carmichael works for a dimension-wide business that hunts for whatever the client needs.IP
|"On three, Gator."
Gator's eyes narrow but he nods. "One, two..." One last look at the group.... "Three!" The way his voice hissed in my ear is a noise I will never forget. Every time Gator opens his mouth his voice itself is a snake, one that burrows into my ear and wraps around my throat- at the very least it gives me chills.
The solid oak door is no match for Gator's strength and he knocks it down like a child would building blocks. We're shoulder to shoulder, guns sweeping the dimly lit room. At first glance it's a pitiful shack, caved in ceiling, stained curtains, and nothing but a sack on the dirt floor. Every other one of these we've scanned and checked have all had one thing in common though- there's more to them than what meets the eye.
"There's no one here!" Gator growls, his gun is nudging at the brim of my cowboy hat. Gator's eyes are a bright flaming green ready to devour.
"I didn't know. I thought he'd be here for sure." I grab the barrel with my hand, trying to push it out of my face but Gator holds steady, he will never budge. I stop trying and switch tactics, Gator has no qualms about killing me and I have no doubt he would given the chance, right now though we need each other, regrettably. "You can go ahead and shoot me Gator, good luck finding Hutchison on your own."
Gator hisses and sighs, lowering the gun. "Fine." Gator walks up to nearest window, squinting out the shutters. I take the time to search the room, looking for some kind of clue as to where Hutchison really is. "We're out of time, sun's coming up."
"Go ahead. I wanna finish checking this place over."
"Carmichael, we're not supposed to go solo." Despite his obvious hatred of me I can't help but think there's a touch of concern in Gator's voice. I crack a crooked grin.
"No worries Gator. I'll be fine on my own. Look at this way, if I die it's not your fault and you can finally make that Carmichael Stew you've been pining for." Gator won't even smile but his tongue flicks out cleaning his eyeball and I visibly shudder, much to his amusement.
"Stay alive, Carmichael." Gator dashes out the door with that last remark. I watch from the door as he runs across the open field, eventually dropping to all fours and running like a cheetah. That's one Gator I never wanna take on, whether it's on land or water.
I glance at the sun, it's not even over the horizon yet but it's color streaks across the sky; caramel twisting with the fiery red. If I don't make my investigation quick I'll be stranded in this house until evening, and that's not something I'm looking forward too.
I walk the length of the room. running my hand along the cracks and crevices of the wall, pulling for a give. The shelves are empty and the sack on the floor is full of sand, gritty old grains that have collected their own coat of dust. I sigh, slumping to the floor and stretching my legs out.
My right foot catches but I push past it, feeling little restraint. Whatever was in the way gives easily and soon my legs cracking and stretching fully. I roll to my knees, brushing my hand through the dirt where my leg was, or lack thereof. It's a clear cut corner without blemish, the curled rug corner inches away tells me that's what my foot caught on.
I grab the rug and yank it away from the floor, underneath is more of the same dirt floor, but lucky for me, there in the middle is an age worn trap door. I whistle. "Damn Gator, you're missing something big.
The door opens easily and soon enough I'm bent over, shoulder deep in the hole. It's a shallow and dug out, the wall reinforced with wood so it wouldn't collapse on itself. I come up for air with a bag of shiny items clutched tightly in my hand.
The contents jangle together as I find a comfortable sitting place and dump them on the floor. There's various objects, rings, necklaces, a gun, Colt 44, I think, and a small leather bound journal. None of them are as shiny as I hoped.
As much as the kid in me is telling me to sit and inspect and play with these new discoveries, I scoop them back into the bag, standing and slinging the thing over my shoulder. I kick the dirt off my boots and strut out into the sun, it's rays are intense and make me face tingle with slight pain. I twist the ring on my left hand twice as I say a little mantra under my breath. I can feel the slight orb of power that encases my hand even as the sun begins to fully burn. A few ancient words more and a final twist of the ring and I grunt at the swell of unrest in my gut, closing my eyes against the swirling colors and pictures.
My body's moving, vibrating really, as lights flash across my eyelids. The first time through a flicker you're told to close your eyes, I, like many children, decided that I knew better than any old Dumbledore wannabe and opened them. At first it's pretty, the way the colors merge and twist into each other, even as the pictures in the back go by so quickly you never really see them. Even the sounds become indiscernible. It's about five seconds in when it hits you. The power, the motion, the sensations, all of it works against you, pulling and tugging you in all directions as your molecules separate on the most microscopic level. The feeling makes you wanna puke, it's like being on a spintop during a hurricane while someone flashes rainbow lights in your face.
I tend not to open my eyes anymore.