It’s pissing down rain outside, the grey sky of morning even bleaker than usual in the long winters months. I have the fire going hard in the corner stove but it doesn’t do much to keep out the chill or the damp. The only warmth it manages to provide is the orange sparks and red licking flames that help give some contrast to the steel sky. The rain dashes itself to death against the shutters, locked tight against the early spring storming. The raindrops sound like the wet march of a foot-weary legion, tramping through the muddy streets, on their way to fight off another war or rebellion or maybe just bored of being holed up in the capital for so long without their thirsty metal cocks getting a long copper drink from one of those white freaks on the border. The damp marches right along with it, spreading its mildew and rot over the stone and paneled wood along the floors and walls. It ain’t much, this little whorehouse, but it’s home.
The stiff in my bed, that’s some hot shot from uptown, slumming it for cheap tail. She looked pretty enough in her green and gold leathers, and a damn sight prettier when they was folded on the chair beside the bed. She liked to take charge, always the top, always her eyes on mine. So damn deep brown they was almost black, and most days they just looked happy enough to get the release that the mind behind them craved. She never hit me, always paid ahead of time, a nice enough lay, if I’m gonna be honest, and I’m nothing if not honest. I never figured out why she came to see me every weekend, why I was so special to her, however it was that I filled the need that she so clearly possessed. But I didn’t ask. You never ask. They don’t pay for you to run your mouth unless you’re running it between their thighs. And those thighs, lady they was hard as oak. Wrap so tight around your head you couldn’t breathe. But some girls liked that, paid extra, and she’d always tip when she thought she’d done gone too far. Like I said, one of the good ones.
And now she’s dead, knife in her armpit, and I’m fucking standing here in my smallclothes sucking on this burning fag like it’s gonna give me answers if I can get it to ash fast enough. I hadn’t heard no one come in or out, hadn’t heard her get the poke, but damned if I weren’t the one covered in blood. It tasted like her cunt, hot and brassy, full of a fire that only I could ever put out. But someone covered your spark, didn’t they baby? And whoever the fuck they was was sure as hell trying to fan one under my feet to blazing. Her money purse? That was here. Cut open and empty with my little watch-your-ass dagger stuck in deep to that pretty girl’s hairy little underarm and me with no alibi that’d hold up to the Magistrate. So this is me, running out of smokes, cashed out butts all around my feet, trying to figure out what in the frigid, blasted hell I’m gonna do to save my pretty little ass.
Outside in the hall it’s business as usual, the girls running around and the clients running after. There’s the giggles and moans that come with the territory, and the sound of meat on meat, body on body, coins being swapped for a rented bed and the pretense of love. Every little pleasure point can be sussed out, for a price. And down the hall it sounds like one of the girls is getting the sharp end of something. She’s been crying while I’ve been thinking, and it doesn’t sound like her client has gotten tired of the belt, by the sound of her yelping and the leather cracking. Mother should have stepped in, would’ve stepped in, but then I realized that it was Mother, and there weren’t nobody that could do much to stop whatever it was she went and signed up for. Someone’s gonna come sniffing sooner than later, and if I’m still here, well, I ain’t gonna still be here.
The room is hazy with smoke and it stinks of fucking and blood and whatever this cheap ass pipe-weed uses for filler. Probably horse hair with how it promises to draw flies if I don’t air the room out. But to open that window, that’ll let in more than the rain. The smoke’ll go out, but the alarm’ll go up and that’s the end of it for poor little Lovelace and her adventures in whoredom. But standing here ain’t doing much to stop that eventuality, ain’t doing a godsblasted thing to clear my name, and I’m starting to think that cooling my heels for so long ain’t the best strategy to having a long life. So shit, what the hell, I’ll bugger off. I’ve got to get moving. Everything goes quiet when the knocking starts out in the front hall. Somone’s damn sure trying to break that door down. Time to get moving.
First things first: I’m gonna get my knife out of my pretty little Legate and strap it to the outside of my left thigh for an easy slash like Mother always showed us. I’m gonna change out of these bloody rags, and into something that won’t get me copped the second I step out into the civilized world. Third, I’m gonna slip right out that damn window and I ain’t gonna stop until I hit the main drag and get the everloving fuck out of town. My god, my god, did she have to bleed so much?