You run till your heart threatens to burst out of your chest and the sirens are but a fading memory.
You're far away from where you wanted to go but you're right where you wanted to be. Away from the scene of crime. The address on the business card in your pocket got left far behind and it doesn't make any sense to go back there. The police would be on that place like flies on hot shit. Someone must have ratted you out. The same someone who stole your gun, killed the taxi driver and put this bloody knife in your pocket. The knife is still in your hand. Its blade gleaming almost black with blood. You open your fist and look at the knife again. There is a silver dragon etched in the handle of the knife. You press the dragon and the blade calmly slides back inside the handle. You don't know much about knives, gun are your forte, but you surely know someone who does know her knives.
Like every person in this city, Nancy has an interesting story too. She came here as a slave to be sold off in the prostitution rings that work the harbor market. She was sixteen. On her first night on the job, she "grievously injured" her first client. She had sharpened a spoon handle to perfection and used it as a make shift knife. Her pimp knew he could use her talents elsewhere in the business so he put a complete area under her control and told her to manage the business. Even today it is said in the streets that none of Nancy's girls were ever harmed by their customers and they were always paid their price in full. The few customers who dared to harm Nancy's girls were fish buffet before they saw another sunrise.
Nancy Negative is your best friend and she knows knives like a teenage girl knows her barbies.
She lives in one of the shipping containers near the dock. The harbor area is quiet like always and the clock in your head tell you that it's 1 AM. The time is ripe for business. You find one of Nancy's girls and tell her that you want to meet her boss. The girl is a plucky little thing dressed in a schoolgirl outfit, her shirt almost transparent with nothing underneath. A sight that would get her business on the street but it's something you've seen enough for it to lose its charm for you. She tells you to follow her and takes you through the random paths among the shipping containers that lie haphazardly in the storage bay on the harbor. Every evening Nancy moves to a different container because she believes in some shitfuck vastu eastern philosophy.
Tonight it's a green container. The school girl knocks on the door of the container. Tap-Tap-TapTap-Tap. Something moves inside the container and the schoolgirl leaves you standing there, waiting for the door of the shipping container to open. When nothing happens for two more minutes, you take the initiative and push open the door of the container by yourself.
Nancy has lit a candle in the far end of the container. You walk towards her. She is sitting in a chair, and as you get closer, you realize she is not wearing any clothes. Her body is covered in a thin film of sweat and there is a book in her lap. The light of the candle flickers as a sudden gust of wind moves inside the container. You get close enough to see her face and she has a thousand yard stare in her eyes. Something makes a grinding noise outside the container.
"Nancy, doll, are you okay?"
"Give me the knife?" she says.
This is spooky, but you take out the knife anyway and show it to her.
"I've got the knife right here. I'll give it to you. Are you sure you're okay? Why aren't you wearing any clothes?"
You put the knife on the table where the candle flickers again.
She just stares at the knife. A tear falls from the corner of her eye. This is not the girl you once knew. The girl who once cut Johnny Antelope into so many pieces that they had to vacuum his pieces for his funeral.
The book in her lap is a thick leather bound journal. She opens the book and its pages are cut in a hollow shape of a gun. Your gun. The gun that was stolen from you a little while ago.
She picks the gun from the hollow.
"Don't do this, Nancy."
"Just hand me the gun. It'll all be okay."
Nancy puts the gun to her temple and pulls the trigger.
The blast is loud like a canonball's boom in the steel confines of the container.
Nancy's body spasms once and her foot knocks off the candle on the table.
The container is dipped in darkness.
And a voice whispers in your ear.
"Welcome to the shadow zone,"
Part 3 tomorrow. If you liked reading it, please feel free to share buttons given right below this line. Thanks!