Lovelace, pt. 6/?

The torch has gone out and I’m here in the darkness with someone who doesn’t want me alive and the only thing I can stupidly think of is how nice it would be to see whoever it was that wanted me dead in the first place. The Sister didn’t deserve a knife to the neck any more than I do, and maybe, just maybe, there’s a way out of this.

And right there, off to the left as if on
cue, a light flares in the darkness. I guess assassins don’t have night vision any better’n the rest of us poor saps. Best I can make out at the sudden change in the gloom is a body in deep blue, maybe purple, possibly black? It doesn’t matter, because the torch is high above their head and they’re clearly looking for me. Doing my best impression of a crabmouse I’m scooching sidelong back to the dead Sister. I fumble, but I find it: the knife. It comes out with a terrible sucking noise, and the person in hues turns to I guess look at me? But if they see me, they don’t let on, and here I am scuttlin’ back to the corner, or at least to where the wall meets another wall, and I’m willing myself invisible.

The torch moves forward, still high and casting shadows, and I really need to piss. The knife couldn’t be held tighter in my fist if my life depended on it, which, funny enough, it probably does. The torch and body holding it kneels by the fallen sister, probably checking to see if she was breathing (she wasn’t) and then it occurs to me that they probably want their knife back. The torch person shoots up straightbacked and they’re looking around now. They must know I’m here, and that I’m armed. Goddess preserve me, but I have to piss.

Doing my best encore I slide along the wall at my back, making every effort to keep my boots from scraping, or my breath to come too ragged, and then I feel it. I fucking feel it deep in my throat. A tickle that can’t be denied. The cough comes slow enough for me to dread it, slow like treacle from a jar, loud like the same jar smashing on the brick floor. I am proper fucked, at this point, but I freeze in place, and so does the torchperson. They are surely listening, but the echo makes it hard to figure me out? Either way the knife that lands some feet to my left reassures me that I’m not entirely fucked just yet. They are coming my way now, though, and it is absolutely time to move.

Here goes everything.

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