Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Quicksand, Part 29

Pink and purple light filtered through the needles of a row of giant evergreen trees and shone off the few unbroken windows of a distant factory.

“It's morning?” Sally asked tiredly. “Did we walk all night?”

Daisy Chain gave her a meaningful look. “No. It doesn't work like that here.”

“I don't get what you mean,” she told him.

“I mean that it's always morning here, and at the factory there, it's always just before 

dusk. Some places the time changes, some it doesn't.”

Sally sighed. “So... what time is it?”

“It isn't any time,” Daisy Chain growled. He took a deep breath. “Look, just don't worry about it, OK?”

“So, what are we doing here?”

“Looking for someone,” Daisy Chain said over his shoulder. “I have a feeling she's around here somewhere.”

Sally was about to ask who she was, but she was interrupted by a horrible scream. 

“What the Hell was that?” she asked, but Daisy Chain was already running.

“The factory,” he said over his shoulder. “Come on.”

Sally couldn't help feeling that it was some sort of trap and as she struggled harder and harder to keep up and fell farther and farther behind, she became convinced of the idea. Soon, she was completely alone, jogging among the large, orange needles that covered the concrete path. She pushed herself to run faster, hoping that she was wrong about it being a trap, praying that soon, Daisy Chain would come back into sight.

When she reached the factory, she saw someone, but it wasn't Daisy Chain. She immediately ducked behind a tree, then crouched down in the bushes that were growing next to it. She looked back at the parking lot that surrounded the factory. There were two—people was generous. There was one person, a man in cargo pants, a puffy vest and an orange baseball hat and there was a figment, another rabbit-woman, but definitely not Minty. This one had eyes, for one thing. She seemed to lean a little more to the rabbit side of things than Minty and Daisy Chain, and was dressed in lingerie. She was standing behind the human, holding a large curved knife at his throat.

The man screamed again. “Please! I'll give you anything you want. Please, I just want to wake up,” he whimpered.

The rabbit-woman's face didn't betray any emotion. “Too late.”

Sally closed her eyes. She heard the man scream no, but it went on longer than she expected and was followed by heavy panting. She risked opening an eye.

Daisy Chain was standing behind the rabbit-woman, holding the wrist of the hand that held the knife. The woman was struggling, though seemingly not very hard, to get her hand free.

“What the Hell, Daisy?”

“Come on, Charm-Charm,” Daisy Chain said with a sigh. He looked exhausted. “What are you doing?”

The woman, Charm-Charm, narrowed her eyes. “The guy's a hunter, Daisy.”

Daisy Chain peered around her at the man, who looked like he was considering his chances if he ran. “Are you sure?”

“Am I usually wrong?”

Daisy-Chain let go of her wrist. “Can I have some of the Dust?”

Charm-Charm sneered. “You know how I feel about that,” she told him – and then, without ceremony, dragged her knife across the hunter's neck.

Sally's scream caught in her throat, as the air around the rabbits turned red. The two rabbits stood looking at each other as the man fell to the ground, the hedge cutting him off from Sally's field of vision.

Charm-Charm said, “Been a while, Daisy.”

Sally crouched down below the level of the hedge. As she crept away, she heard Daisy Chain's voice. “Come on,” he said, “there's someone I want you to meet.”

Sorry it's been a while.  With December and the Christmas season coming to an end, we're back to plugs of Aigaion girl, instead of creepy holiday art.

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