There was a sense of beauty in the insignificant details of the dead end
city. Trees lined the streets, their leaves surging with the wind to and
from, before falling lifeless and russet to the streets, just to be trampled.
Their colors right before the fall, right before everything went to shit were
what mattered, right? Magnificence shimmered in gold, orange, and
mahogany each so untranslatable that it was hard to comprehend. The
musty fog which crept onto each of the windows just before dawn – all of
it kept the locals willingly coming back for more regardless of the
staggering city statistics which showed smuggling, drug use, trafficking,
and murder rates had all increased. Elsie was there for one reason and one
reason only – she had no one else to turn too.
The first snowfall would bring about another change – the prospect that
the trails of blood, footprints, and answers all unknown to the police
before might somehow make sense. Still most involved already knew
there was little anyone could do to change the human nature which
swarmed around this city in full force during all seasons. There was only
luck, and fate. Both which had somehow forced Elsie into finding her way
back to the city, and under her father’s reign. Some things were given, like
the monthly payment which her father so decently granted her. Other
things were earned like her usefulness. Unfortunately for Elsie that was
being produced in a means which she had no control over – marrying a
respectful and well known man who her father chose. Love, was
nonexistent to her father, and that was clear by the number of wives he
had disposed of – her mother included in those numbers.
Contempt was something she knew too much about. Cracked sidewalks,
frigid air, and curious rugged bystanders moved around her, but she took
no notice. Instead her mind was mulling over the photo which had been
taken the day before and was published on the front of the newspaper this
morning. Andrei Varenkov had his arm slung around her dainty waist, a
grin on his distinguished and dark facial features. They were the talk of
the town, her father a wealthy lawyer, and Varenkov a wealthy bank
owner – ‘A Merge of Two Monumental Families’ as the paper deemed it.
Finally her father was allowing his only daughter to marry – to one of the
many succulently sexy scum of the city. Hell, of course she found Andrei
attractive – every woman in town found him attractive – but there was
something off about him. Off about the way Patrick, her father, and him
interacted. So obviously his attractiveness didn’t change the fact that the
way he looked at her made the hairs on the back of her neck stand on ends.
Tonight wasn’t about the winter, the dim street lamps offering too little
refuge, or the curiously bad part of town which she had found herself in.
Stopping just before rounding the corner Elsie ran a hand down the front
of her dark blue dress, her large green eyes taking in her surrounding
before letting out a deep and worried sigh. What was she thinking coming
here? Still there was no way she was to back out now – she was there for
information, and she was going to it. Her hair fell in curls down her back,
and it was pinned out of her face. She moved forward, her black heels
clapping against the cement.
Shining off down the road was the place she was seeking. A little dive bar
known for rowdiness and accidents. Retrieving information had its price
– a whole two months worth of her allowance, and meeting a shady
characters in an even more questionable location. Two blocks away she
slinked off into the shadows. Part of her was suspicious of this offer which
was almost too good to be true – answers and proof of her father’s illegal
activities. Hell if it was that easy why hadn’t they just turned him in? She
pushed it from her thoughts, her eyes attached to the front door. Few left
but many went in, and all appeared as if they were typical males wanting
a drink or two.
Surrendering to her curiosity she began the short trek to the door.
Reluctantly opening the door she stepped forward, letting the door clap
against its frame behind her.
Smoke filed out, and up her nose. She hadn’t noticed it before, but it caused
her to cough slightly. Glancing around there was an overzealous voice
accompanied by a tune booming from the jukebox in the corner. Bodies
moved as one on the dance floor, and she looked like a doe in the
headlights of a truck – staring astounded. Gathering herself, she finally
moved away from the door slowly, and towards the bar. The person she
was to meet was very vague only told her the location and that ‘he would
find her’. Swallowing nervously she sat, the man behind the bar eyed her
as if to predict her purpose there.
“Something to drink?” the deep voice was barely heard above the music.
“Well,” she glanced left, right, and back to him, “I am meeting someone –
but I don’t really know who.” She looked like an obvious idiot, and the fact
that the tall bald male had an eyebrow raised at her confirmed her
thought. “Just forget it,” she tried to shrug it off. “I’ll drink what she is
drinking,” Elsi nodded towards a women down the way with a deep pink
colored drink in her hand.