Hangovers are Hell
Laura sat there still fuzzy about what happened the night before. She knew she had kept an eye on her drink and never walked away without taking it. She always put her hand over it when she looked away. She did everything right. So how did she wind up in a dark room with a flickering bulb that could go out at any second? Her eyes flew open wide as her mind injected the terror as to what might have happened.
Did he rape me?
She did a quick check, starting with her flat boots, and her eyes taking in every inch of her pants to her waist. That’s when she heard the raspy voice.
“If you’re wondering if I raped you, don’t bother. I don’t rape women. By the end of the week, you may wish I had.”
“What do you mean week?” Her throat was dry and her voice reflected it. He came over with a cup of water. She squeezed her lips together.
“Come on. It’s only water.” He stood and took a sip, waiting about ten minutes before he bent over to give her another sip. She drank the water.
“What am I doing here?”
“Heard you was someone could fix people, you know, with spells and potions and shit.”
She slowly looked up from his work boots to his face without moving her head. She squinted her left eye.
“You could have just called me. There is this invention called the phone?”
She couldn’t track his girth coming across the room, but she felt the sting of his hand making contact with her left cheek. She winced but did not cry out.
“Durable for a pink skin.”
“Quick for an Orc. You must be an internal.”
“Yup, and your smart remark was not appreciated.”
“You know big words.” He went to slap her again, and his hand hit an invisible wall. His face was a mask of pain as the familiar crunch of bone was heard. He pointed with his good hand.
“How did you-“
“How did I cast without waving my hands? Practice, big boy, and you might not want to do that again.”
He stuck the injured hand in her face, “Fix it.”
“Bite me. You drug me. Drag me here; tie me up, and now you want me to heal you after you tried to slap me, not once but twice? Blow, green skin, I’d rather rot.”
“You’ll have to excuse my gruff friend.” A silky voice came from the shadows in the left side of the room, “Grim, be a good fellow and fetch some more water, will you?”
“Yeah, boss.” She watched him disappear behind her and heavy metal scrape against the concrete floor. Turning back toward the corner, she strained to try and make out the person in the shadows but could only see an amorphous shape. The clacking of expensive shoes came closer as the shape turned into a smooth-skinned troll.
“You must be Mr. White.”
He smiled; it sent chills down her spine, “Yes, I take it the hair gave it away?”
“You could say that.” He ran his left hand through his stark white hair. She could not get over his light skin and red eyes, “You have a reputation in the plex.”
“So, I do. The White Ghost, The Albino Terror, and those are just the nice ones.”
She cocked her head to the right, keeping an eye on White, “You’ve heard the others as well?”
“Yes, Flashpoint, I have, and you don’t need to utter them if you wish to continue breathing.”
Her eyelids briefly flew open and then relaxed, “Surprised? With street cred like yours, you shouldn’t be.”
“I wasn’t even in that plex when I was nabbed. I was leaving Club Hype.”
“Yes, and that is when my associate rounded you up, so to speak.” She heard Grim as the door was pushed open once again and he made his way to White. The troll pointed a bony finger at Flashpoint.
“Untie her hands, if you will, Grim. She has already demonstrated she doesn’t need them to cast.”
“You want me to gag her?” Rolling his eyes, he let out a loud sigh.
“No, Grim, how are we supposed to speak to one another if she is gagged?”
“Uh, right. No gag.” He was in front of her in two strides with a large greasy emerald-colored finger in her face.
“Don’t try anything.” He snarled as he made his way around to the back of her chair. Her arms fell by her sides limply. She looked at White with her eyes as slits.
“That would be the toxin, young lady, it should be wearing off shortly, and you should have full use of your arms again.”
“Sleeping toxin, I’m guessing?”
“Why, yes, one of my favorites,” He waved his hand and began to pace, “I am looking for someone with a certain skill set, and you fit that bill. I have a job for you.”
She smirked, “I have friends.”
“You mean associates? Everyone has those in the line of work you are in, my dear.”
“No, I mean friends, and if one of them calls and can’t reach me, they will come-“
He held his hand up in dismissal, “Child, you’ve been watching too many Flix. No one is coming. No one has friends when they run the shadows, and no one is coming for you. Loyalty is only as good as the pay is right.”
She looked at him as a scorned teen would a parent and shook her head.
“Now that we have cleared that up, you are going to do a job for me.”