Yaletown Horror: The King of Ice and Shadow

I pantsed a story yesterday that I later told through twitter, because I’m cool like that. This is the second #YaletownHorror story that I’ve told using twitter, the last one (available here) was on Halloween and dedicated to my husband B.

The new one is being told in two parts, the first is out and I’ve compiled it here. The second one will begin this evening at 5. Feel free to follow along or read it once all is revealed!

Bus Boy

It was the kind of look you get in passing. They sparsely last a moment and so you have to know what you’re looking for before it happens. Knowing it was going on as it was happening was tough, but tougher still was acting on it. The excitement was electrifying. He had definitely given me the look.

Sometimes you think it’s the look, and an unfortunate and unsubstantial glance is just that. When the guy takes off his sunglasses he’s usually trying to tell you something. He wants it to be irrefutably clear without tinted lenses to obscure the meaning. I want him to want that anyway.

I looked back in that split second to give him an affirmative. I had to make sure it was slow and deliberate, but also delicately nonchalant; like I was trying to act surprised or sneak up on a grazing deer. I gave the slightest wink that might have only been me moving my eye, but he knew what I was doing. It was a sultry gesture that meant take me, and do it now.

Except that he didn’t move. At first I doubted myself, I thought I had been so clear. Anything more and the rest of the people on the bus would look at me funny and tell me to put my clothes on. Maybe it wasn’t the look? Maybe it was an accident or maybe he was just admiring my clothing; except that he wasn’t looking at my clothes he was looking at my eyes. I could see it.

It dawned on me slowly. He was slow playing me. He wanted this to be foreplay. Otherwise we’d be on top of each other in a back alley by now and my inane inner-monologue would be replaced by wanton moans. Minx, he wanted to play THAT game. He was the predator. I was the prey. He was the captain of the rugby team. I was the guy who happened a glance in the shower.

This ought to be more fun than a quick jaunt on a bus.

I looked away, nervously. It was my role in our dance. I dredged up excess emotions to make me anxious and virginal. I controlled my breath, inhaling in a short staccatto fashion. The sweat was all real, it was a hot summer day and the bus was none too comfortable. Someone call a doctor because I’m feeling faint.

A response now wasn’t a good thing. It meant that he didn’t know what he was doing and was in fact unsure. It meant that he didn’t want to fuck. It meant that, please, if you didn’t mind… would you be so kind as to engage in lewd acts with me? Like a band nerd he’d use the formal terms for everything, intercourse, touching, and romance. I made the mistake of being the aggressor once to someone who happened to get lucky. He had no idea, he confessed the first time he jerked off he called it masturbation and he didn’t come he ejaculated. He cried when it was done, I cried after he left.

I wanted no response at this stage. That means he knew how to play, that was safer. And there it was, nothing. No curt nod. No continued stare, just stoic avoidance. Hot.

I didn’t need to check any playbook. I knew what to do. I’m not a slut, I just understand how things are done. Some people were born mechanics, or sportsfans; I was born with an intimate understanding of how to get some. How any situation could turn explosively sexual at any moment.

Coyly, I checked my watch. I was late for an appointment. I had a meeting with my boss. I needed to meet a friend for lunch. That’s the after story. I just hate when someone has to rush off but says they’ll call you. Be honest, it was a one shot deal don’t bother with platitudes and empty promises. When we’re finished he can linger in his conquest but I need to compose myself and rush off. I’ll leave the ‘Just Been Fucked’ hair it’ll be my victory. You can’t buy that in a can. There was a holistic spontineity to the JBF hair that can’t be replicated. It’s nuclear waste that you don’t need a geiger counter to detect.

Still nothing from him, I should be a little more tempting. I undid a button on my shirt and shook the collar. No response, he must be really good. I paused, trying to be casual before trying another tact. I stretched my leg out towards him into a more reclined position making the seat of the bus look inviting like the arm rest seat on a couch. I let this set in. He was sweating now. That was his game, role reversal. He was the confident jock turned bitch boy. The sergeant taken down a peg or two. I had to be the instigator now. I prowled around long enough, it was my turn to act.

Casually I scratched my knee. Then trapsed my hand up my inner thigh slowly like I was painting. He reclined in the way I had. He was enticed. I was a siren. I was a vampire. I’d appear to him as smoke wafting into his mind through some etheral miasma.

My other hand was extended outward across the back of the seats, so was his. The aisle separated our hands but I made him feel it. I made him yearn. Slowly his hand would crawl closer and closer.

I nodded my head to the tempo of a non-existant beat. I was in a trance. It was a compulsive hypnosis.

I was just thinking that I was the shit when the bus slammed to a stop and he got up.

Were we done? Was that it?

This is an old piece of writing that I did in 2009.

Lighters in the Undercity | Fiction

Ratz looked out from the large cowl of his Lighter’s uniform as he passed the shadowed vestibules of Riverton’s Undercity. Overhead, the vaulted stone ceiling which separated the rich and the poor, looked utterly stable and always out of reach. Still, Ratz never liked walking down here amongst the denizens who couldn’t afford to live in daylight.

Instead, an armada of young Pyromancers from the College of Sel Pirt would wander the streets ensuring that the enchanted lamps of the Undercity were still working. There were thousands of lamps, each one fitted with a special candle which ought to last for about a decade without even flickering. However, expectations in the Undercity were always being subverted. Tonight Ratz had had to replace 6 candles, something which shouldn’t be possible because of the protection and longevity spells placed upon them.

“Lighter?” A voice whispered from the darkness on the other side of the cobbled street. Anywhere else, such a narrow space would be an alley, but this was the main walk which ran parallel to the Underground River. The meagrest sense of pride in the Mayor’s office had elevated it to the exhalted title of Street, one of only two down there.

“Yes? Who’s there?” Ratz gulped bringing his own lamp to bear on the source of the voice. He’d heard savage tales of what goes on in the perpetual dark of the Undercity and though he knew the authority of Lighters’ was typically respected; he felt it necessary to be wary.

“Please, not so bright.” The Undercite hissed from in between buildings. With careful concentration, Ratz willed the light to dim until he could make out the woman whom he was speaking to. She was young and slight with large knobbly joints.

“Sorry.” Ratz apologized instinctively despite what senior Lighters had told him. They’d said to treat the Undercity with caution and never let Undercites get too close.

“We’re not all so used to the flames. There now, thank you. I was just wondering, now I’m not going to ask for money or anything. I’m just hungry and wondered if you had something to eat. An apple, or some bread? Please I’m so hungry and…” Ratz regarded the woman. He had been instructed in the past never to give anything to the Undercites no matter their claims. Chances were, they did in fact want your money despite their assertions and would resort to thievery if they knew a person had money on them. At least that’s what Overseer Walst told the Lighters.

“Please sir…” She finished. Ratz, having lived his childhood malnourished, took pity on her and in spite of his training, handed her a small piece of his darkbread ration.

“Here, it’s not much, but darkbread should keep you going for a little while longer…” He trailed off, hoping that their transaction was complete. Kind as it might have been, he still didn’t trust her.

“Thank you sir.” She sighed gratefully as her white hand, marbled by grime and shaking accepted the hard lump of bread. Ratz nodded.

She slunk back into the shadow of the Undercity and Ratz felt a conflicted relief as she did. He remembered years ago when his mother couldn’t afford bread and they would go hungry scraping together enough odd jobs and scraps until they could afford food again. It was never easy, but he had survived long enough to apply to the College of Magic on the mainland. Though, that too had been a bit of a struggle.

From the moment Ratz had sat down at his interview, the interviewer had made it clear that someone of Ratz’s pedigree was wasting everyone’s time by coming there that day. The interviewer contemptuously introduced himself as Chalms, then went through the motions of being conducting the interview.

“Name?” Chalms sighed.

“Ratzer del Heizen.” He responded with uncharacteristic certainty. Not that he would be uncertain by my name, he just didn’t like talking to strangers. It was what kept him from getting day work in the past, but mother had a way of sending me off with some of the labourers she saw.

“Age?”

“11.” This time he was less sure, when he was born, as his mom hadn’t exactly been an upstanding citizen. He had a feeling she had been on spices when she was carrying him. It meant that the circumstances of his birth were hardly clear to any parties involved. Still Ratz knew he had to give a good impression.

“From?”

“Heizen.” He stated to an unsurprised snort of derision from Chalms. Clearly a surname like del Heizen was more a matter of indentifying where he had been born rather than a cultured reference to lineage.

“And why are you here?” It was barely a question. Chalms had stopped drumming his fingers on the table for this moment, bringing to bear his strongest scowl to discourage Ratz.

“Because I think… I know I can do magic.” Ratz said, his confidence growing defiantly.

“You know? Would you care to show me?” His eyebrows never grew back.