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169230 No. 169230
The butcher, Sedano, died yesterday. A hard storm blew up early into the night. It hit way up the road where they squat; a desiccated clapboard house that spumed too much soot whenever they lighted the stove.

The crumbling rafters had done him in. His lungs were full of dust. The first day he coughed Corin said to him, "Don't stretch it out, sit up in bed. Whatever you do, don't lie down." He was old, not at the end of old age but close enough. The old man gaped at the walls too much. Despite himself, Corin worried. He did not fuss for himself. Tar already glazed his lungs, dust couldn't touch a finger on him.

Up until it happened the butcher refused to leave. He clung steadfast to the lean-to behind the house, where he clove livestock. Mongrels came in droves to lick the drip-off from the sides of the shack. On the good days he laid out a hunk of suet mottled with meat for them. The limp and cross-eyed dogs will starve now.

Toward the end of it, he lost his voice. A little hiccup ended it. The house shook when he peeled off Sedano's clasped hand. It left him longing for the roof to cave in. He skulked upstairs and tucked himself into the pockets of his couch.

The affair made itself into a bad memory before it was even over. It brought back others to Corin, as if a bulging sack of rice had burst and he desperately tried to scoop it back in. Sedano's death dragged others with it, and in each of them the image of a shattered face lay within. One eye mangled, the other staring ruefully back at him. And another memory, and another, until he exhausted them out of his mind and there was no longer anyone left to remember them. Exhaustion crawled deep into his bones, into the juice of his marrow. He writhed and moaned deep into the couch until, at last, he gave up and plodded back to vestibule. He dipped deep into their shoulder bags and clawed up two trim aluminum packages. The house key's teeth shred smooth lines into the masking tape. He pocketed the key and slid the second cover off.

" Sleep's not happening anyways. I'll just run another advance on Aldrete an pay off th' tithe and mourners. Nothing'll happen. Nothing at all." With weak enthusiasm, he dove inside and snuffled the covers clean-both his and Sedano's. Upstairs again he settled back into his hole and let the convulsions take him into morning.

His vision still crawled with translucent lines when the first light breached past the tilted louvers over his head. One last wave of pleasure mounted through his spine before his legs shuddered with exertion. He made towards the water basin about the front of the house. Outside the sun steamed the road dry.

Plink!, plink! plink! The water drops formed a hole in the sand of the patio. Little furrows hardened in the silt whorls where the rain had topped the basin off. He submerged himself, propped on one elbow, and sucked off until little puddles lay out of reach in the curl of the basin. An intermittent breeze set loose heavy droplets from the branches of the lime tree. They splattered onto him, and no sooner dried up the second they cooled him. Wiping his face on his shirttails, he made the strained, practiced movements to collect everything he needed for the day. Every little gewgaw, handkerchief and bauble prepped since last evening. Sedano's eyes traced the grayscale cracked tile ceiling as Corin stepped onto the heated patio.

He propped open the car door with his knee and waved off the rising heat vapors. The buckle seared his arm on the way in. He wailed and floundered in pain, upsetting the dashboard's nest of clutter. Through hushed curses he maneuvered back down into his seat. A vicious clout goaded the stereo into operation.
"K-L-O-N, Los Angeles. Clone Radio, we play the songs that sound more like everyone else-than anyone else. KLON.
"Hey all right, it's Kip Kasper, Clone Radio, L is infinite: repeat. How we feeling out there? How's your drive-time commute? I need a saga. What's the saga? It's Songs For the Deaf-you can't even hear it!"

Corin pointed the car east along the shimmering heat and bitter white dust road that led into town. Last night's cache had given up on him. The grit from his teeth-gnashing accumulated with compound interest in his cheeks. He caressed the top of the dashboard, searching for a mouth plug, a cork, a wood chip shaving even. The pursuit led him to the ashtray. His nails raked around the cinders. A crumbling amphetamine pill that had been kicked around, unused, in the ashtray for some months peered back out at him. With a quick spit shine it worked its way down into his bowels. As the sun continued climbing higher, he wondered how much more it would take to make the cartridges in his jacket pocket explode. If it did get any hotter, he'd fry up out of existence, car and all. He didn't care if he did! Kaput and there will be no more shacking up in hovels. No more missionary work for the hungry masses. That's the mentality he put himself into as the edge of town loomed closer.

Along the sage-studded dikes outlying the town, a concrete embankment bulged out past a flimsy metal railing. The slope ran down some 10 meters before it dipped off into yesterday night's mush. Down there the outflow of the drain pipes ran stale, congealed into a broth. Inside the bank his patrons laid out their wares for the day. They shut themselves up in that little shelter, peddling their snuff into the city. The car shimmied to a rest by a clump of jalap. Corin extricated a flaking crowbar from the bottom of the passenger's seat and skirted the edge of the dike to the embankment's arch. The bulbous lid of an iron manhole cover sprang out a few feet onto the arch. A stopper made of rounded feldspar laid itself snug in the pick hole. He tested the hole, prodding it with straight lever; he even worked his fingers along the edge to uproot it. The rock did not give way to his teasing.

The dressing of amphetamines helped none. His resolution cracked apart at the seams. He was harping mad. The thrashings started up again. He raised the crowbar heroically over his head and brought it down. He exploded, made rushes, bellowed, and stamped. The clang of metal resounded across the llano. His jacket burst. He leaned down to rave beyond the hole, "what scum! what trash! You're the worst of the crummy lot. Running on every known vice and sucking each other dry down there. You damn pigs!" He gave another blow. "Wah!" he bellowed at the top of his lungs, "blasting asshole Jesus why do I have to be badgered day and night? Is it right? Is it fair?

"You give me a pain in the ass the whole lot of you. D'you hear me?" With one last bombardment the crowbar recoiled and struck him in the head. He tottered back and fell on his back. Blood trickled weakly from the bridge of his nose. A breath of air, and with it a piteous mewl, came up. With his free wrist he daubed the blood onto his sleeve. Mounted upright on his bum, he let the storm subside. His raging plastered the remains of his previous headache back onto his forehead. Faintly aware of that he still held it, he pitched the crowbar across the clump of vines. It overshot…and wedged itself into his passenger door. He stared on as the tip slid to meet to ground.

No other ladder led down. Corin sat at the precipice and scooted down the levee. The steeple necessitated precise control of movements, lest he topple forward into the soup. This equated to the scraping divots into his palms and legs. The water burbled around his boots as he hit bottom. Trace amounts sprawled into his socks. Twin pillars jutted out from the muck like bollards near the embankment. Between them a tarp, grayish and sheened with oil, clung to the slope. Undoing one of the clasps, Corin slid into the crevice, negotiating his way to the end of a short , winding tunnel.

In depth the chamber was vista-like, and spic and span. However the smell was something of a different kind. They washed the place out every Sunday, but still that funny little smell from down below remained: odious, sour, subtle and insinuating. It caught on him once and he smelled it all over the place, in spite of the burning sandalwood. It mixed in with the incense, clung to him, made his head spin.

All along the walls scurried men next to rows of prop up tables. Each one carried an threadbare outfit akin to a construction worker. They busied themselves with the telltale silver packets and containers that glistened under the ribbons of light from the candescent lamps overhead. The packages traded hands like batons, they twirled each which way before dropped off onto a listing pyramid of foil. They took little notice of Corin. The ones that looked on long enough to catch his eye either diverted their focus elsewhere or made sucking noises with their teeth until he broke contact.

Near the start of one of the rows stood his man. His navel peeped out from under his shirt at the apex of his bacon fed paunch. The man cradled the corners of it like a woman lying in. It was habit. He would steer his way across any conversation with at least one hand recumbent on his bulge. Though aggregated around his midsection, his mass spread out to cover his face in surplus rolls. Corin believed his jowls to be things of legend.

"Don Aldrete." Corin crossed the final leg of the table to stand near the brick house waist of his boss.
"Compadre, what dragged you down here so soon?" Aldrete laid down pen he held and shifted his arms to a rest atop his belly. "Ahh, what's this?" He took a step backwards. "For God's sake what a stink! have you made in your pants boy? It's revolting."
Corin looked down at the sludge that had begun to cake his pant legs. He began, "the cover was blocked patron…"
"It doesn't matter, Jesus move back I can't breathe in this gas. Not towards the table-away from it, away!"
His arms bounced as he swiped at the air in front of Corin. Already some of the nearby workers took notice of him and grunted in disgust as they sidled away.
Alderete started up again as he fished around the nearby table. "What line do I have to string you to get you out of here? I already gave you and Sedano enough dope to push for a week and change two days ago."
"Sedano's dead patron."
Not missing a beat, Aldrete scooped up a roll of incense wrapped in twine. "That so? I thought I smelled a death on you," with his free hand he freed a stick and nestled it in an ashen wooden holder. "When was it?"
"Yes, it was last night. I need an advance on top of what we have. I can’t cover his funeral costs on what I have, plus the church'll want his tithe."
"He was going to mass?" He took a match to the incense.
"Never bothered to pay them his owing though. They didn't allow him his last rite, and they won't pardon him until it's paid off."
"And you care enough to pay off those boa constrictors? Since when do you care for his consecration?"
Corin shrugged. "His upkeep was good on me."
"The man was living bile."
"The worst, patron."
Aldrete looked at him slowly while rocking his stomach. He made his way around Corin, planting incense on the tables as he went. " Was that you calling the devil up there?"
Corin thought back to the outside, " no patron, it might've been a duck."
He stopped. "A duck?"
"Yes, I've heard they get sensitive when gagged in diluted urine."
The smack flew down so fast he heard his neck crackle. Aldrete's cupped hand sent him sprawling to the floor.
"Ducks around here don't speak French."
Corin righted himself and shook his head. He waited for Alderete to turn around and start moving before gingerly prodding his cheek. It felt like the salt and pepper of a television screen.
"Really now. Tell me, where do you think you come into all this?"
Corin's primary insight on his position was that neither buyer nor seller really needed him. A middleman made himself a necessary evil after all. That dubious niche Corin had carved out for himself in the streets of the city, for the third time in his life, had been eked out with lies and betrayal.

Shacking up with Sedano was corollary. It stood to reason that a fresh courier coming from the north had to be broken in by his new employers. However, they couldn’t be bothered enough to keep check on him. He was put to work under the straw boss butcher that still had weak ties with the dealers. They kept him running Sedano's old routes, always on call to perform. Etiquette dictated that he need be a doting and ignoble courier. He was always given his cues by Sedano. To show his pleasure and appreciation he had to jump up and down for joy, always keeping the imp act alive. When alive they had wanted as little going with him as possible. Sedano gave them pains, Corin could see that. He was slow on the uptake and would always take little liberties with their purchases; something he would re-inveterate into Corin within the first few days of his stay. Now with him gone Corin felt that selfsame comfort zone pining away; naturally that got him dizzy.

He answered, " just running the routes like you say patron. Don't want his leftovers to spoil what I have."
Aldrete tapped his elbow with his free hand towards Corin. " You just want work but you're hassling me about that old relic. It was bad enough that we had to keep him on but at least wrung some out of him with you before he left."
"Yeah," thought Corin, "always the useful little drudge right you roly-poly smudge?"
"Mercenary work's what I got," he said.
"Don’t' forget the patron."
"Yes patron."
"God's truth, it'll be a hassle getting someone on with you. Still can't leave you scurrying like a grasshopper." He stopped near the service entrance Corin had not been able to enter. Laying the sticks of sandalwood aside, he dug up an armful of the packets and dropped them onto Corin's hands before receding away from him. "Take it and make the rounds, I'll figure out what to do with you later. Hurry up I'm getting nauseous."
Corin mumbled his thanks and awkwardly half-bowed. Without turning back he shuffled to the ladder leading back up to his car. Stuffing as many as he could into his pockets and cradling the rest, he hopped his way back up one handed.

‽ ‽ ‽


No. 169231
Yo, what's goin' on.
No. 169234
Goodness that is dense. I like it.

For now go stash the packets and see if you can't get a buyer. A long term plan might be to get a gun and take over this man's business, or find his supplier and cut him out of the equation.
No. 169244

No. 169246
the fuck?
No. 169258
I'm not sure what this is exactly.
No. 169290
Shouldn't this be in /others/? If it's truly a /th/ story it's sure taking its sweet time getting to the point.
No. 169312
It's been one post, dog. Don't be so hasty.
No. 169455
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‽ ‽ ‽

The oldest consistency Corin could recall in his life was a terror of going hungry. As far as he was concerned, the soul was fear of going without. It left him swallowing the wrong way at meals, and disgusted others. Especially in more recent times, he would bolt down his meals and zigzag around town like a flea; straining himself for beans and pittance. Just to keep his hunger off.

Fasting was a solemn act to him. Stoics instilled discomfort in him at their mere mention. Even in his worst pains he would still chew down whatever he could grasp. He thought little of the persistent rawness of his stomach. Ulcers could line it's walls but so long as there was a cherry in there he felt chipper. With his chances, they already did.

So now he deigned to pump himself full at a food stall on the far end of town. The pavement leading up to it was uneven, and stank of gasoline runoff. In the street four automobiles cooked. He sagged onto one of the four swivel stools facing the cook. He took paths he was less than familiar with, keeping his paranoia tame long enough to eat. It was catchy under a new wash of amphetamines. Though they staved any desire to eat, he still sought to fill his stomach. He had not eaten since yesterday afternoon. The stall he ended up in listed onto the adjacent wall. It overlooked the surrounding brick and stucco houses. Corin could not recognize the cook's face and neither could he. He liked that.

The change of clothes in his car and water from a spigot along the way did him good. He consigned the soiled jeans to a road where snakes sunned. He imagined them to find more comfort in his stitches than he.

The cook's stout frame occluded a most of his workspace from Corin. He sashayed to the left and right of the flat top grill, working it's knobs and drains. Grease spat sharp enough to trouble Corin in making himself heard. He flapped his arms around the cook's peripheries to get his attention. The man waddled up to the counter in his frayed smock. Even though Corin sat hunched, the tip of the cook's head could not have surmounted Corin's teats. He barely had enough leeway to peep over the bar at Corin.

"Skirt steak," said Corin. The manikin of a man bobbed his head and set himself to scrape down the grill. Corin scantly ducked far enough to eschew the residue flung past his head and onto the gully. Some of it caught him in the ear.

Apparently the man was only just starting up the grill, he wanted to put on the whole works for Corin. He poured on more grease, straight from the drawer. The tanks were clogged up. Gasoline and oil spewed from all directions. He had to give the door on the side a little kick, to let it all channel out into the street. The steel frame quaked. He probed it with the scraper. There were a series of explosions. Corin gripped the counter; to tie himself down and not fall off. Twice fire broke out, before he had even put on the meat. It was quickly extinguished. Finally it gave one last shudder and started to turn over again. The man turned to Corin and smiled. "I think she's warm now friend, coming up."

The meat served was marbled enough to put statues to shame. What was not gummy was charcoal. He had thoroughly singed the rice, but left it soft and giving in the center. The beans were little more than black nubs on his plate.

There was no mercy. He had to take a good swig of his red wine just to keep it down. After the dish he sat still for a moment; meditation helped his stomach. The cook did not even try to dilute his embarrassment with chatter. He kept the back of him rolled towards Corin and set himself on the grill again. No entertainment from him whatsoever.

The low fences on the houses gave him a nice little leisure. All around he could see into the courtyards that snaked down the avenue. Top to bottom, each one had heads popping out: big ones, bald ones, bushy ones. All of them hummed with squeals, gripes and whistles. Someone upset a watering can, tipped it and made it fall down the big stone steps. A pot of rosemary slipped down with it, and flopped onto the alley. The owner came bounding out of his grotto and flung his cries out into the void. The whole line of houses rushed into an uproar. Every single one of them balanced precariously on their windowsills. They spewed fire. They spat at each other and threw challenges. They all yelled at once. Corin couldn’t make out who was in the right. He's not wont to hover over these scenes; the drumming voices always demoralized him. The arguments stuck to the bottom of his ear and rotted. Even without his involvement, the clamor made his head ache. This once, however, it picked him up. The clash below put his attention off the food and the torrid summer air. He would rather sink into his mind than to watch the nameplates melt off their handles.

The affair with Sedano was turning in a bad way. He had not expected such a cool welcome from Aldrete, especially after divulging news of Sedano's passing away. Aldrete knew that he used, habitually at that. Still, as long as he had kept by Sedano and made his rounds, there was little to be done to him. Purportedly, Sedano was uncle to one of the founding members of their group. They could not just toss him off. He still meant something to someone, who though Corin had not the slightest. With him gone he teetered on what to follow up with. His old fears had sprung up and led him to hunt for food, in spite of his gumption's protests.

Aldrete hardly tolerated his presence with the butcher around. He could already see the oncoming kidney punch: peeled, salted and hung on a post to dry. For two weeks the post would hold him. They would turn a small profit from the leather he would make. Though Corin racked his brain and lingered on every encounter he had had with him, Aldrete remained equivocal to him. It just stood to question what hassled him more, putting up with him or putting him down.

Even so Corin held some reserve about flying off. He doubted the old man's body would be rightly done away. Three weeks into his stay called him in for a drink. It was holiday season. He said he wanted a cremation.

"Jus' keep off the theatrics," he had said to him. "There wasn't much I did or didn't do when I was here. So's I'd be better off on top the earth you see? No, no you don't and I'll tell you how. Down there I'm mulch, but up on the wind I can clog up their faces. Plug 'em up from the in's out!" He chortled. Corin couldn't help but join in that night. He was running high on the deal he had made earlier.

Whether anyone else besides Corin knew was open to question. He had no blood relations alive, at least none Corin knew. Keeping that one promise checked him from leaving straightaway. It left him aground and questioning his next action. However that had not prevented him from loading his car with both his and Sedano's personal effects. As he took control of his belly once more he settled on keeping the situation as placid as possible. The butcher would have his wish, but until then Corin would have to keep his head down and lick whatever palms he needed to.

Corin had ambled less than three blocks out when he felt it, a sudden prickling awareness that someone was trailing him, and very close. It was all he could do to not surge off and keep a mask of bored vacancy on his face. He casually strutted to the nearest convenience store and hung back on its reflective windows. With his hands in his pockets, he faked interest in one of the beers nestled under the ice of a cooler. Staring at the water beads roll off the convex bottles left him wishing he had chosen a less tempting object to covet. Amphetamines or not, he strongly lusted for one in the heat he stood in. He held focus. With his left hand he fingered the spare change down in his pocket. And pressed his right hand against the bulge of his weapon under his clothes. Without lifting his head, he raised his eyes and scanned the reflection of the passing crowd.

Behind students in short-sleeved khaki and dark hair. Tall and wearing a tan gas station jumpsuit, with a face that didn't go with the look of an attendant. It was a face Corin had seen once before, working the lines in Aldrete's workshop. He kept his eyes trained on Corin as he made the fake motions of searching for cash in his clothes. He tilted his head skyward, pondering. He held it there for the count of five. Then he was running, bent low and dodging between bodies.

His chest felt scalding by the time he stopped. Sweat coursed down his ribs and back in steady streams. Not one person attempted to waylay him as he ducked into alleys and side streets. He doubled over against his knees and spat out the thick saliva in his mouth. If Aldrete had already decided to get his stock back there was little Corin could do short of driving off. His car was still some distance away from him.
"Sorry old man. Hope the house burns down for you."

He wiped the sweat from his face and cast a glance at the nearby corners and intersection. He had lost his tail. Satisfied, he skulked his way toward cluster of houses where he left his car. He skirted the fence on his right and moved in long, purposeful strides. Two blocks left. Corin tossed glances to everyone in eyesight, swerving his head left and right like a crank.

His feet had taken off into the air before he felt the knee drive into his back. Thick cords of muscle wrapped themselves around his arm and head. The musk of perspiration lodged itself under his nostrils. The tan sleeves of a jumpsuit scratched into his face. His fingernails dug into the arm, trying to pry it loose. He convulsed, writhed, and flailed his feet in the air. He bit off chunks of the sleeve. He kept on with the dramatic motions. Across the way, a wiry lockkeeper spat tobacco juice and watched on.

With a wicked twist he bashed his heel into the man's pecker. He did not even flinch. Apparently he had a cock without equal, built like seventeen biceps. All that earned Corin was a hurl to the fence. The bruiser of a man was het up with him. He took hold of Corin's head and grated it against the chain links. Back and forth, the fence flayed open Corin's cheeks. His legs were pressed tight against it. His thigh a snag, and the gun caught on one of the links. While the man went to work upstairs Corin splayed his legs, and pushed the trigger onto the link.

Ping! The handload lit out through his pants. It drove itself into the sidewalk at their feet. The bruiser dropped him. Surprise had taken him. Concrete wedged the hot bore against his thigh. Corin sprung forward and dug out the heated gun. He left three potshots careening behind him, and dashed for the car. The recoil had hurt his wrist. He dove inside and slammed the keys in. Down the way he saw the bulge of a man standing on the corner, tracking him. Corin went off on the first road out of town he could find.

There was little ceremony in his departure. Once the sun began to wear thin, he let off the gas a little. He only stopped to feed more water and gas into the protesting engine. This he did by hand. The canisters in his trunk would last him another day. He could scarce make out where the road led. South by his bearings.

He had slid the gun on the passenger seat and had not touched it since. It was a belly gun, a .357 magnum with the barrel sawn down to stump. The front of the trigger guard had been pared away and the grip had been wrapped with layers of varicolored masking tape. The tape was old and shiny with dirt wherever the gummy underside peeled away. Every so often Corin would add a new layer of color to the grip. There were still two handloads and four shells left in the cylinder. Corin kept bright and untarnished cartridges in his front pockets, with several more and a few speed loaders strewn around the car.

There was some shame in him for not being able to cremate Sedano's body. The old man kept to himself most the time, made himself useful when needed. He was handy for a laugh from time to time. Corin could do little but grouse now. He would rather take a drink of warm blood than head back and be drawn and quartered. He shifted his mind elsewhere. Aldrete had stocked him up enough to keep his reserves going for several months. Silver lining in the gunmetal packets. Moreover, the bullet hole was a tiny smolder in his pants, and left only a short singed trail on his inner thigh. His cheeks took a bit more work. After he scoured the patina of cuts with cleaning agents, he had haphazardly patched up the deeper cuts with thin strips of gauze. Other than a few scars, not much other than a bad memory would be left. Even that he would later revisit and twist around to where he would always come out with the final say. Already in his mind he was holding down the bruiser from earlier at gunpoint.

However, he was still good for another hitch of bad luck.

The clattering vehicle juddered violently. Corin stooped forward to listen. The machine gave a loud BWAH! It knocked off his hood. He lost sight, and swerved. Down he went, into a wayside ditch. His seatbelt gripped his chest tightly. The fall had upset his provisions. Cigarette ash, empty water bottles, torn food wrappers and crumbs straddled his lap. He brushed his legs off and exited to the front of the car.

Heat waves shimmered off the exposed engine. A couple thin plumes of smoke snaked out of web work an into the open air. Corin clasped his hands behind his head.

He had a good two hours of light left. While being tracked down by Alderete posed a tangible danger, the dark evening held its own. Corin feared flying by night. He knew the enormousness of the desert nights well. Roads and trails meant little; the darkness swallowed them up. Without light he would be running annular. Straight into the maw of a buzzard.

That appealed to him more than the alternative.

He shouldered as much as could be fit into his bags. With head swaddled and arms full, he made his way away from the car. The impedimenta made the trudging all the more cumbersome. Corin strayed from the road, just far enough to where he would be able to keep tabs on the traffic. If Aldrete came down for him, the rolling environment would provide ample cover. He crept through soft-sifting sand, dipped into dry rivers, and about sharp-edged plants. His shirt sleeves drooped next to his face from their resting place atop his head. Sweat spluttered out of him. It left him delirious. The lack of sleep was catching up to him. Things seemed to vibrate. The mesquite danced away from him.

All his passages were blocked. He coughed up dust by the basinful. The dirt and grime caked his face and hairs, gave them the look of fine licorice. Though the sun stood on its final legs, it still burned him up. The heat was bubbling him alive as he pushed up a long slope. He topped a sharp ridge and looked down into the shade. Dilapidated train tracks curled between a cluster of overturned shipping containers. In the brazen light they looked like giant pats of butter coated in flies. Corin slid down to them.

They were coated in drifts of dark sand. The rusted metal seemed to reel away from him. One of the closest containers held a wide rent in its side. It was shred open, hastily it would seem, to get at the insides. Corin let his bags slip off and onto the ground. He drew the his gun, now fully loaded, and held it at the ready. He tapped the hull with his foot and listened.

No response.

The inside was darker than he anticipated. Bulges in the container peered back against the opposite walls. His eyes formed slits as he waited for them to adjust.
"Darker than ink in here," he said into the hole.
"That so?"

his head whipped sideways to face the voice. A fist dug into his side and doubled him over. His leg caught one of the jagged protrusions of the container. He landed backwards with a hollow thud. He made to lift the gun, but stopped as he laid his crosshairs on a ruddy cheeks of a girl face. She swiped away his arm. The gun flew off like a piece of suet. His hand palpitated. She stepped over his legs, and took it in her own. The suggestion of brutality offset the delicacy of her jaw and the quickness of her smile.
"Thank you kindly," she drawled. "For these generous proportions." She lifted his hand to her cheek and held it there. Her chubby little nosed slid down to his forearm. She kissed it.

His veins crabbed up as she gnashed her teeth into his arm. A voice sounded far from Corin's ears. It took him a few seconds to recognize it as his own screech. She held on as he dug into her face with his free hand. He battered it with a clenched fist until she released. Hunched over, he clasped down on the sputtering wound. Looking up, he met he eyes. Her face puckered as she opened her mouth slowly. Blood bubbled down her chin and onto the front of her shirt. She let out cough and fell to her knees. With her shirt she wiped fervently at her mouth. Her face looked as though it were on the raw edge of vomit.


Meant to get this up yesterday but I had some relatives drop by unexpectedly.

>he wondered how much more it would take to make the cartridges in his jacket pocket explode.
You already had one mate.

Yes, and?
No. 169463
Hopefully this refers to the attitude, and not to the arm itself.
No. 169478

Don't like the other two options
No. 169519

It is my understanding that only a suitably enraged human can kill monsters with any hope of success.
No. 169550
Correct, I'm going to wait for a couple more votes before calling it in.
No. 169554
No. 169555
No. 169567
No. 169568
No. 169570

Let's go with this!
No. 169854
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[]Smolder the violence, simper when needed, take his rest.

Down on his haunches, Corin swayed from the empty rush of adrenaline. Thin rivulets of blood corkscrewed down the folds of his stomach, settling into squidgy pools amid his legs. He felt a rage churning up his stomach. Hobbling out the desert, shriveled and shaken with spasms, for a maul with a preadolescent girl. It was abominable to him. Years of privation, spent under fusty hovels, whorehouses and shanties, receiving tongue lashings at his every refrain. Cockeyed bums pussyfooting behind him; doing everything they could to discourage him. Looking on at him with poisonous smiles.

All those pains he had taken. All those attempts at complacency, panning out to a quaky death. He wanted to turn over a tempest, slither his arm down her throat. Make her gargle on what she could not swallow, and die in each other's arms. One leap forward and he could overtake her, while the moment was still hot.

But he couldn’t.

It struck him dumb. The dollop of his wound still felt warm against his bare stomach. It would be abnegation, he felt, to not peel her down. And yet he felt himself settling into the packed dirt. Kill her for what? He was not at death yet. The crackling, leaking pops in his bowels were settling. It may have been an ulcer after all. His hatred burned down to a smoldering self-pity. All that buildup and bravado to be had, spent without use.

Standing up, he felt dull rods of pain circle his leg. Lowering his weight slowly onto it, he turned to his baggage.

"There's-ah." A spangle of light pricked his vision. With the back of his wrist, he swabbed his eyes.
"Spots in my eyes…" The last splotch of color unfolded to an inquisitive mouth, mottled red-black, pointed up at him. They held for a beat; him kneading his arm, her with drool pouring onto her stained seersucker.
"There's some water in it for you if you let me get my bag." Another beat. He shrugged and quietly walked past. As he made the pass, he half-expected her to snatch his ankle and try her luck again. He pointedly fished around his bags to keep her in view.
"What's your name?" he asked. The response sounded vaguely like the word rain to him. She didn't bother herself asking his. There, two plastic bottles and dressing.

She was quick on the catch, and even quicker in prying the cap off with her teeth. Twice she sloshed the water in her mouth before spitting. The rest she eagerly drank. All the while Corin looked down with a frown at his arm. "All that flesh," he thought in disgust. He emptied half his bottle and what little salve he had left onto the hank of his forearm. The rest washed his hands and face. His fingertips jittered with the compress so much he had to reapply thrice.

The girl had sidled away from the wash of blood and ooze that puddled at her feet to stare at Corin. Pock marks of skin still rolled in the grit. He tried to keep his expression loose and relaxed. Limp-wristed, he shook his arm at her. " How's it look?"
"Like a radish. Me?" She scrunched her face at him.
"Little scuff, here," he tossed her a small bind of cotton, "got a little run off in your nose. That tooth me?"
"No, she's much more bitter." She inserted a plug into her nostril. "Knocked it in with a rod. It hasn't come back yet." Her tongue wriggled out between her teeth. Looking at her like this, his self-pity drew itself back up. His overt incontestable fear and vitriol had been directed at her. A girl with tongue hanging and smallest digit in her nostril.

He stood up once more. She mimed his movement and, with a stretch, pointed to his bags.
"There food there?"
"That depends."
"On?" She tilted her head.
"I'm done in. Haven't slept in days, there a bed in there?" He motioned to the container.

She sniggered. "What, you think I'll let you slip in and sleep with me? You could be lying, look stupid enough to try anyways." She looked back at his prone gun. "I could just squeeze your arms out your mouth and take it myself."
"Maybe. I could be lying to you, and I ain't as strong as you." He halted, then pressed on, "but you'd lose an eye doing it. Make your mind or make a move."

Blinking mildly, she kept that forbidding look trained on him. He kept his face blank and took deep nostril breaths.

The left tip of her mouth curled upwards. She made a hand gesture that had no meaning to him and swept her arm towards the opening. "Ok, pick up and come on then."

The inside was smeared the color of snuff all the way through. A whole avalanche of remnants lay bedraggled across the bottom. The funk of rusting metal and damp sod wafted over a tinge of something that smelled vaguely like animal to Corin. He could pick out individual objects, but they seemed to blur back into the ribbons of darkness: cloth sacks, metal sheeting, corrugated cartons, and brown canisters. A cascaded pile of magazines and newspapers. On the far end, where his eyes strained to eke out the rubbish, a recess stood, swept bare save for a straw mat laid lengthwise.

Toddling over the masses, she settled onto the mat. She beckoned him with a pat on the ground. The waning sun made progressively more difficult for Corin to discern the objects around him as he followed suit. Even so, he could still make out her hollow yet luminous eyes peeping back at him. With the last discernible traces of light he set flame to his portable stove.

Bouncing on her rump, she splayed her palms towards him. " Gimme gimme now, gimme the meat."
"Here." He dropped a thin wrap of dried beef into her hands. She looked down at the strips with measured disappointment.
"Alright, pick your least favorite organ."
"Oh shuddup, if you don't want it hand it here." As he reached out to retrieve the beef, she plunged her hands smack into her mouth.
"Cand geddit naow."
He sighed and retraced his hand. "Choke on it then."
Fingers in mouth, she plucked out the plastic to fling aside. Her pale, pert face showed satisfaction, as though she had achieved something of worth. Corin propped himself against a cardboard pallet.
"I got fish and meat stock. How raw do you take it?"
"…Do I look savage to you?" She lingered with a half-slipped sock in her fingers.
"…Yes," he replied and slotted the can into the stove's divot. They kept quiet for a moment. Outside the murmur of darktime insects could be heard.
"That was awful." She declared.
"That." She curved her arm to point at his. Realization struck.
"Hmm, keep talking shit." He fingered the catch. "My blood's good as gold anyhow; that was pure Parisian you were choking up. Not my fault you can't cannibal properly."
"It tasted like an angel."
"You're supposed to add inflection when you're being sarcastic."
She shook her head. "Like stewed smoke-really bad. " She looked with a raised brow then added, "are you?
"What, an angel?" Her head bobbed.

Askance, he answered. "Didn't know I was shacking up with a mystic."
"What's that?"
Corin brandished his fingers to the air. "Soothsayers, dream conjurors, priests, monks, wizards-you know, like witches." That got her.
"Witches?" She scooted near. "Like the flying-bubble, bubble kind? You know of any?"
"Figurative ones. Can's hot, here." He handed her a spoon as she gingerly lowered the can by its rim amid her outstretched legs. Knife in hand, he set himself stabbing out his can's lid.

"Hmm." She raised her doubled over fists to her face. Corin discerned the short, practiced mumbles of hushed prayer. The notion only struck him slightly odd. "Could've saved me some trouble if you did. That's why I'm here."She began working into the soup.
"Come again?" He halted mid-penetration.
"Witches. That's why I'm here," she repeated.
"A witch hunt," he mumbled, "you're here on a witch hunt."
"Just one. I need just one."
"Jesus." He placed his can atop the stove. "Life just keeps on giving."
"So why are you here?" She asked.
"My boss wanted to skin me alive."
"Mmmm we had our words, a little spat over this and that, and so I mooned over the idea for a second and shot him."
"You killed him?"
"Then why run?"
"Left a bad taste in his acquaintances' mouths, they figured they'd take up axes in his stead. Wanted to drive off but they still got to me. That's how I got the whiskers." He raised his finger to the gauze lining his face.
She made a thoughtful noise of appreciation. "That happens often?"
"Most the time," he replied and set himself to his meal. "So witches huh?"
"Three weeks I've been here and I still can't get one. I've never hated the smell of alls so much."
"Mhm, hoot hoot." She swilled the rest of the can down.
"You're confused, you mean owls?"
"Yes, I'm tired of their fat dumb faces. Every night they're out pooping and hooting and I have to look for them."
Corin tried, but failed, to hide his amusement. "The hell did you get that notion from?"
"The whole woman told me." Another mispronunciation he presumed, but of what he was unsure. " She showed me a picture of what they looked like and to get one back for her. Told me they hide in them. If I got one alive, she would get meat to last me to my next life." She scratched absently at her foot.
"Then the hell was this?" He lifted the compress.
"Hungry. I was getting for breakfast when you showed up. I thought, 'lucky lucky me!' and stood off to the side while you played footsie with my bed. Besides, the lady told me I could help myself, so long as I did it 'slurp-tit-itous-ly'" She pronounced it in four careful syllables.
"Bleeding assholes of course that's reasonable, switch off birds " He shook his head. "Now I've gotta chalk up bird flu to my diseases…probably. I take it it's your first time? The hell did you expect it to taste like even?"
She paused and slowly upreared herself, a lean and hungry look suffusing through her features. "I've done it more times than you've spent miserably alive so you'd do well not assuming otherwise. And I happen to enjoy doing it. Half the reason I'm in this miserable heat is for the free stragglers. Also, I didn't expect a sewage field when I bit down Ok? That's you." face returned With a huff she stretched onto the mat.

He leaned back in awkward silence. Her face slowly relaxed to its natural whimsical ruddiness. A small valley of her scalp lay exposed where her frazzled bow twisted into her tawny mess of hair. Corin pondered her pasty skin. A night woman. Like most he had met, she gushed eccentricity. His attention turned to the dull throb of his arm. With a tweak, he unwound the clasp. A few thin flaps of skin stuck to the dressing. The rest hung over the dark concave swell where her jaw had clamped down.
"I need stitches," came his lame reply. A spool of chicken wire came bounding out the shrouds into his face. "Really?" he replied in a miserable tone.
"It's all I have, unless you meant me to help you. I can't sew."
"At least you're quick on the uptake." He continued to look down at the spool with measured distaste.
"If you don't want it," she cooed," I'll just take it back."
"It has a coating of tetanus, I can smell the disease on it.
"Well which do you prefer, losing your arm now or later?"
"That's a loaded question and you know it." He began scraping rust from the wire.

Morphine did little to assuage him. The wire was still a sickly brown color. The knife did little, fire less so. She stared on past the wispy trails of smoke from the stove. He did not bother to read her expression. A film of sweat coated his face. Taking a moment to wipe up, he perforated the final segment with alacrity. He gyrated the spool until the wire broke and blunted the point. The tips jutted from beneath the bandage. Fatigue ran through him once more.
"Snuff it out." he said and moved his head atop his bags. He decided to sleep as he was.
"Don't let me bite." A puff of breath and the shuffle of straw. The belly gun was in its natural resting place once more. Sleep came easy.

Corin dreamt of wet, dark streets in winter when she awoke him.
"Hey." She prodded his back. No response. "Get up." Something sharp bit into his neck.
"Mmmm, " he groaned.
"Get up, you're going hunting."
"What?" He turned to face her but found a shroud of darkness looking back at him.
"It's night again. You're getting the birds this time."

[]Oblige. He needed to move from the stale heat inside the container.
[]Propound. He would cook what they had while she left.
[]"Not happening…"
[]Wave off. Sleep enticed him too much.
No. 169860
[x]Oblige. He needed to move from the stale heat inside the container.

Don't argue with the cannibal-lady.
No. 169886
[X]Oblige. He needed to move from the stale heat inside the container.

Staying in a hot and humid area will only make the wound that much worse.
Though I doubt we can hunt effectively with only one good arm.
No. 169920
[]Oblige. He needed to move from the stale heat inside the container.
No. 169964
[X]Oblige. He needed to move from the stale heat inside the container.

Did we seriously stich ourselves up with rusty chicken wire?
No. 170040
You've never gone so far as to sleep deprivation on a drug-addled semi-consciousness before have you?
Expect fallout early Friday, Touhou time.
No. 170574
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[]Not much going when there's festering, but still, he needed to move.

He made to pat the dust from his mouth. He could not lift out more than a grunt of two-string words when he spoke. His tongue was thick and wooden in his jaw; it swelled up to the roof of his mouth. Making the movements to wave her away, he twisted back onto the cardboard. She clamped down on his hand. Drool encircled his fingertips, a damp suckling atop them. It felt lukewarm.

He squawked when the incisors pinched in. He pitched towards her when a resounding smack sailed him back down. She straddled him, and thrust warm plastic in his mouth. Water washed through. She swatted away his grasps until it emptied.
"Better?" She asked, toppling the bottle aside.
He coughed and spluttered, "Ass-tick infected psycho-reaming bitch, gedoff."
"Swan songs won't get you much, you're still on call for some moving-and you drank the last of the water. Now up."
The cushy weight gone from his chest, Corin supported himself with his good elbow.
"Well, excellent. Awake, up, alive, coherent. I love it. All flaming and ready with my head out."
The blood he had neglected to wipe from between his legs flaked in itchy certainty. It clung to his nails.
"Wonderful. Thank you for showing me that. ALL of that. Let's go." He heard the patter of feet from both sides of him at once. The container groaned as the opening dilated, allowing triangles of moonlight inside. Her stark silhouette oppressed the light facing him. Kneeing and toeing towards her, he felt the beginnings of a night of sickness pepper him.

She guided him to an adjacent container. A canvas yellowed from exposure to the sun tethered the container closed. He could smell them before she slipped it aside. Braces of owls and pheasants were tacked on the jagged protrusions of the container. Strips of light poked in from the holes. All pack-jammed and slick. Some shuddered as he walked past. Very few moved. One briefly opened both eyes, yellow slits which turned over as the owl settled to resume its pained slumber. It's chest rose and fell conspicuously and fell, as though it had sighed.

She worked in her shroud near the end, holding two particularly animated owls by the scruff and running a wire along their necks. Their fat, downy necks shimmied with each pass. He stared on in a personal haze before discerning statements as addressed to him.
"…So I just tie them up here with each other. Every now and then I'll pick one off and eat it. The bones I put back-set an example for the other ones that don't want to turn. Sometimes I worry that I ate one that was a witch but what kind of witch would just let themselves get eaten? Doesn't make sense. Still, if one does try to fly off I can probably still catch it. They wouldn't go out in the sun so I can still look at them at night. The wire helps I think, keeps them in place. There was a whole bunch inside, same one that I gave you. Hmm-hm." She tittered a bit as she dug a new jag out of the wall to hang the brace.

Corin's forehead simmered from the tepid musk. He didn't know what to think, but he was left no time for thinking as she shooed him back outside. They left a trail of coos and purrs behind. A whirl of dust caught at the canvas outside and flapped it. They slipped through. The sight had brought him down a little; he had no verve left, what little he had built up anyhow. Moreover, his arm still bump-badumped for his attention; it swelled up double. Might be an abscess. He was unsure.

He could still smell the musty bones from inside.

"How am I…How…" He listed to the side, and brought his foot down awkwardly to steady himself. No, there can't be any of that dawdling now. She was expectant. She demanded results from him, he could not just pooh-pooh the ordeal away. Favors kill too fast. Much faster than a bullet would.
The little lady looked at him slowly and said, " Where is it?" There she went, panning out questions he could not wrinkle out. Still, he needed to say something, she was still hot for savagery, he could see that-her eyes were full of it.
"Your nose plug?" he chanced to ask. Her face looked blank as she regarded him with huge and intense eyes. She wrinkled her nose at him, and let a huff out.
"No," she responded, irate, "ignore my nose. What I want is the shooter." She skirted up to him, and ran her hands through. A pat on every part, except where the gun rested.
"Mean this?" He gingerly plucked his shirttails upwards between thumb and forefinger to reveal the bulge. He smirked at her.
"Not touching it, but yes. That. Take it for the owls. And these." She festooned a cord hooked on empty jugs through his belt loops. "Go up that way," she pointed along the ridge, "there's a little river. Now go."
"But I can't see shit," he protested in his daze. " How'm I getting back?"
Leading him along the capsized containers she responded drily, "Work it out, there's plenty of moon. Besides, if you die I'll bury you." Then, in hushed tones whispered, " or at least spit on you."
"What was that? I heard you, you miserable stinker. You're perfectly happy aren't you? Throwing me to rot. To hell with you and your birds. Eat dirt! And shit out your worms for them. Go back inside your garbage can. It's a bleeding cesspool! My arm's bloated and dead because of you, and for what? A drink? A-fucking-bominable."
"Yes, mhm, right." She pushed him along. "Just assume I understood whatever language that was. Now up you go, bye-bye." She waved her tie at him like a handkerchief to a ship parting at sea.

He hauled off, legs thumping against the jugs. His feet scraped up the slope, seeking purchase among loose stones and sand. It climbed up in zigzags. She called out to him, almost shouting. "I need them alive, don't forget." That started him up again. So he rolled up the hill, damning all the while.

He was pretty far gone in all directions by the time he reached the ridge.

The landscape, like the air around him, congealed; he saw an old, brown barren ascent, with tufts of dust-stricken weeds poking slantedly into the dim moonlight. His head felt woozy and shiny, same as if he had taken his pills; it made him question whether or not he had earlier. It was like moving through a warm bath, trawling about for water he doubted existed. He hoped it did; his chapt lips yearned it.

It was no use sitting down, the whole place was a dust bowl, just breathing made him choke. But he could not help it; his breaths came in draughts. He had to suck in the same breath he exhaled, cupping it in his hands before it escaped. It was fever. His thoughts staggered and sprawled in vague reminiscence of vindictiveness. Toad-screwing, corpse kissing, cum drinking devil girl.

So he plodded ahead, rolling and wallowing in his delirium, thinking about nothing and several vague blasphemes at once. At last he came across his stream: shallow, rock-ribbed and dusty. It was warm and soothing on his face. He had to shoulder the jugs in a sling afterwards; they made his pants slide off.

Across the way the twiggy branches of a pinyon tree poked upwards. Up top, curled in a scraggly heap, lounged a spotted owl. Still dizzy from the sand, his thoughts staggered and sprawled. As far back as he could search his memory, he had not done a thing to the owls, he had always treated them friendly and polite. As much as he could for birds of prey anyhow. He had fed them occasionally and disheartened slightly at hearing them shot down on superstition when he arrived south.

And yet all the tongue slanging and death threats from the girly came of them.

He looked for consequences on making an ersatz target out of it. None as far as he could tell.

Good enough for him.

Arm akimbo, he lined up his crosshair. He needed support himself with the jugs. It still quaked too much from the pain. He switched off his dominant hand and tried again.


He missed, the owl took off flapping and cackling overhead. Already the echo was coming back, loud as the shot.


Louder even, with stronger reverb. Corin worried he might have blown an eardrum.


…That was not his.

There was a bloodhail lighting up over the ridge, all flame and noise. The same noise he had grown used to at the cold-sweating center of every drug deal gone hellacious.

Back where the girl was. Back where his bags were.

He slung the jugs up again and went tooling down the slope. It took him twenty minutes to stumble back.

He found her cross legged next to a pile of burning punk. She had blood congealing in her hair again. She plucked out choice pieces from a sinewy stack across her to gauge flavor.

It was a total disembowelment; some were still kicking and rolling about. Corin could recognize a few of the faces that had worked the lines back in town.

Two were embracing each other, just for the occasion. One of their heads was gone, all he had was an opening at the top of the neck, with blood in it still trickling off like jam. The other's belly was wide open, and he was making a nasty face about it. A gas station attendant's rags hung on him. It must have hurt when it happened.Well tough shit for him! thought Corin.

She screwed up her face as he drew close. From her lips she drew a seamy chunk. She flicked it onto the fire. Corin felt amused astonished and irritated at the sight, he only wished he had done it himself. Still, it gave him great pleasure to see the mess.

"Friends of yours?" she asked.
"No…no, just the headaches I was telling you 'bout. Hell and damnation how did you manage…?" He turned to the pile again.
"Don' t worry over it, com'ere." She insisted on his sitting down next to her.

He stepped over the chunky runoff and plopped down. They stared at each other under the smoky orange firelight. A sheepish grin wormed it's way across his features.

"What?" She asked, lips starting to curl upwards.
"You look happy."
"That so?"
"Mhm, happy as a clam." He waved his hands off in front of him. "Other mollusks look at you with envy and desire at your glee."
She giggled. "What's a clam?"

He could not help but chuckle.

They spoke that way for a while, every so often brushing away an attempted grab from the corpse stack. They filled up their bottles and clinked them in celebration. His arm did not flare up as much even. He helped himself to his food and fixings from the bags. When asked, he pointedly responded, "Angel dust, an' that?"
"Liver, I think." They declined respective offers to partake.

Leaning back Corin asked, "Was there a fat one with them?"
She swallowed and looked upwards in thought. "Hmm, how fat?"
Corin pinched his cheeks downwards. "Really fat." She shook her head. "Balls."
"Why's that?"
"Nah." He took a swig of water, "Just wishin' for a certain death."
"Sorry. Hey, if I see him along I'll give him a few hi's for you." She gave him a toothy grin, as toothy as she could with a few missing teeth anyhow. "Hey, com'ere, com'ere."
"What?" He leaned in.
"Closer, closer." She waved her hand. He scooted up a bit, and just as he leaned in, she perked up and planted a quick kiss on his cheek.
"What was that?" He raised an eyebrow at her.
"Thanks. For the food and such."
"Hah, sure thing, you're the one who got 'em anyways. Oh, sorry I wasn't able to get you an owl."
"S'alright. Speaking of, while you were gone I got a visit from the lady."
"Lady? One that got you here?"
"Ayup, she wanted some," she motioned to the carcasses, "and wanted to see what was going on with the birds. So I told her. She wasn't happy about it. Soooooo, I brought you up."
"What'd you say?" Corin shifted his legs to a figure four cross.
"Little things, but that's not important."
"And what is important….is?"
"What is important is that she got interested." She fingered open her shirt pocket and pulled a tight leather wrap. Working the cord, she showed him the strips, thick as wood shavings and velvet purple, inside. "She wants you to visit." She scrutinized him with a mixture of pleasure and pity, or so he read her expression.
He took the bag and dug around inside. "Visit where exactly?"
She dodged the question. "You'd like it, plenty of going ons."
"So I have a choice then."
She smiled sadly. "Not really."
"Thought not." He looked down at the shavings. "What'm I supposed to do with them?"
"Eat them. I think."
"Right then." He grabbed a small handful and made to lift it to his mouth when she stopped him.
"Wait." She sprung up and dodged inside of the container. She came back with the rest of his bags loaded in her arms. "Need these right?"
"Thank you kindly." He dropped the strips in his mouth.

He grimaced slightly at the taste, like acetone.

Lights started to come and go in the form of moving polygons and lines; colors started changing. The fine textures of her crumpled dress were replaced by sharp and intense flat colors. The heat of the punk shimmered and fluttered around them, shifting in and out the ground.

The fire especially transfixed him.

At first everything looked red, like a cloud all swollen with blood, puffing up to the sky. It dropped back down to the ground and disintegrated into a puddle. Corin felt himself heating up. The floor started bubbling up in muddy circles. He could feel his head pulsating from the heat.

It was the sweat that did it. He could see Sedano start to push off the ground. Sedano's body was made of earth, layered in crusts of grit and sod; it was crumbling, melting off into a pool of mud. Corin could feel the sweat streaming from his body. He couldn't get enough air to breathe. From Sedano's mouth bubbled out what sounded like a death rattle. Off on the side he could see the girl looking on, looking as sad as she could. He moved in next to Corin, and smiled. "Told ya It'd all come down to mulch."

He would later have a memory of something like foamy clouds swirling out Sedano's mouth and into his head. His head was washed by foam that thinned out under his eyes. And just as the last of it filled him up he heard her say her goodbyes.

"See you soon…"

He awoke under a stream of light shade from a tree he could not see. His head still felt light, and his extremities like air…

[]Keep where he was, his breath was still shaky and weak. Besides, he could see all the hills spread out beneath his shade. It was a sight, delirious or not.
[]None of that now, it was time to move.
--[]Drop down to the lowlands and keep to the shade. Even if he needed to skirt the swampy muck it was better than the heat.
--[]He made hedges to find a road. Any road. He'd make do with what he had and

[]Needed a little rush to get him moving along
[]would make do without…

Well I guess this is remuneration. Sorta.
Four days to find internet in the middle of junglefuck Mexico. Shoulda put it up before I left. Forty-five minutes biking on unkempt backroads to the nearest shantyhouse with a wifi connection. Glory be I love it here.
I'll hike it back here in a few days so I can write up the next one. shouldn't take so long now that I know where it is.
Side note I actually enjoyed how this one came out, and moreover we're finally in the land of petticoats and skirts. 'Bout time.
Venting status: Achieved.
How're your days going?
No. 170581
[x]None of that now, it was time to move.
--[x]Drop down to the lowlands and keep to the shade. Even if he needed to skirt the swampy muck it was better than the heat.
[x]would make do without…

Need to move, need to get the lay of the land, and need to keep a clear head.
No. 170582
[x]Keep where he was, his breath was still shaky and weak. Besides, he could see all the hills spread out beneath his shade. It was a sight, delirious or not.
[x]would make do without…

Chill out, enjoy the land of illusions while sober. Totally worth an arm dying from infection.
No. 170587
[X]None of that now, it was time to move.
--[X]Drop down to the lowlands and keep to the shade. Even if he needed to skirt the swampy muck it was better than the heat.
[X]would make do without…

That powder stays put until the need rears its head again.
No. 171319
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[]Semi-obligatory introductory Gensokyo transition scene.

The evening of a hot day started little wind to move the leaves.

Corin rolled his tongue around the taste of sod in his mouth and spat. His grip felt feeble as he tried, and failed to lift himself. Resigned to the soft-clumped grass underneath, he fixated on his bearings.

From the hill he could see make out the shrub-speckled expansive ranges of heathland.

Lower still he could make out traces of a river, dropping close to the bank, deep and green.

Farther off, made hazy and grey by distance, stood the rocky foothills of mountain, base hidden by curving slopes.

To wit, he thought: Picturesque as hell

And somewhere, out past the shrubs maybe, there was a woman expecting him.

Right, a woman, who had sent for him nonetheless. Drugged and dropped in unknown territory. A mark of charm - elegance even if he had ever seen it. It almost moved him with the vivacity to stand. But not quite. Lockjaw had set in and made the rest of him sclerotic. With practiced movements his hands flexed for repose, slowly grinding each taut muscle until it gave way to more lithe movements.

Crisp leaves crackled sweetly under him as he stood.

Hands pushing down on the top of his thighs, he stood, arching and twisting his spine to its last *POP*.

All felt right again-sans bloated wounds.

Finger tapping nose absently, an old adage came bumbling out the back of his head, the kind heard on government sponsored television. When in doubt to stay or move. Move.

The shade below the river appealed to him, darker than the one he found himself in. He was not minute out of the shade that he started to perspire. He made quick strides. The heat, as intense and lurid as back home, wore him out equally.

An inkling arrived. What of his powders? He had staved off last night's recoil with surprising efficacy. But he knew that in a few hours a tangible wave of longing would drive into him again. Muscle relaxants would not be enough.

He purposed to not take any. At the moment in any case. An itch at the back of throat and flaming nostrils turned him away from the prospect. He only wanted to sleep with body and mind. But he needed to move, move across the softly sloping hills.

Which turned to heathland.

Which in turn became a quaky path of bog.

The path along the river left him ankle-deep in mud. Willows draped it's dun sides, carrying the debris of a flood in their lower leaf junctures. Branches and heavy trunks cluttered the mud in driftwood tangles.

He churned it up with each step, wetting the back of his legs. The evening shade, long-reaching and cool, warded off the humid descent of the sun at the very least.

Still, in an hour's time he would not even need shade…

It was of little use skirting the edges, his feet just went suck-down back into the muck.. He treaded carefully, each ditch and pit a new attempt to suck his boots off him.

So carefully he completely overlooked the umbrella impaled aground behind him.

An umbrella that stared on at him.

He righted himself and inhaled deeply-once, twice-before screwing his neck to look.

It was deep mauve in color, almost eggplant. It's deep folds gave it volume, made it almost flutter in the absent wind. A long red streamer, folded lengthwise, was stapled halfway down. Flowers were festooned across it's sides, like a hanging garden, with a great big peacock feather adorning top.

And amidst it all, a slit; a carved little tear of an eyelid that peered back with a sanpaku eye. The pupil flushed car reflector red.

First came anxiety. The anxiety of knowing that behind him stood another umbrella, rolled up in the same garish hangings. Both surveying his dread with a selfsame cool eye.

And so he trudged past one, another, and another until soon the suck and plash of mud behind confirmed a drove trooping after him. Moving apace, he neglected a lost boot. The churning picked up, so close he felt the mush splatter up his neck.

He felt pinpricks under the mud slather.

A prickling that made his flesh creep chillily.

Terror replaced anxiety.

He bolted, fast as he could anyhow. Fallen branches and upturned roots threatened to drop him with each bound he took. Sweat ran in a steady course as he hugged his bags to prevent them from ruining his momentum.

And terror by…surprise.

From a branch above spun down a blur of blue-white, dangling on the backs of its knees.

The next moment would puzzle him beyond anything else he would encounter in the coming days.

Sliding through the giving mud on his heels sent him sailing. His bags dragged his weight back, and twirled him into a midair twist.

He toppled over into a ditch, his arms wedged and stuck fast with his bags caving him in deeper. All he could do was make bubbles in the mud.

Two hands heaved and hoisted him onto his feet. He sputtered and wiped the grime from his eyes.

Trembling in laughter, she wiped and flicked a theatrical tear.

She could not have been twenty he figured. But she did have pert little boobies and a wasp waist, with a rear how he liked them, taut and muscular with a good split.

That brought down his ire, if only a smidgen. HIs clothes and impedimenta had taken on new shades of brown he did not know existed prior to this.

She looked at his bags, and seemed apologetic. She tried to make him understand something, explaining her meaning slowly. Each word came out as a separate syllable. He just shook his head, not making sense of her clucks.

He went through his language repertoire, only for a flurry of head shakes.

She got politer, more endearing than before, seeing him try. With her blue eye and her red one she tried to sway him to come with her. She pointed up a hill, teasing him up.

At the crest was a work cart, wheels wedged still with rocks. Resting on the shaft was the umbrella, not a mark of mud on it. The girl saw his apprehension, and pulled a rag from the cart. She mimed wiping her face and beckoned him with it. He conceded, but kept his distance from the umbrella.

Pulling at the shafts of her cart she marched off, gliding up the hills with ease. Corin mourned his lost boot as the gravel path began flaying his sock apart.

A procession of carts and drays waited for them at the entrance.

It was already dark, and the outside of the place was not well lighted. It was like a raised station, propped up on stilts in a big wooden tangle of scantlings. A phalanx of curved logs towered into a palisade behind it.

The procession smelled of hides, tan bark and sawdust. Corin contented himself watching the carts creak by as they waited their turn. The slow moving oxen. The crunch of stones beneath the wheels. Each man seemed to doze where he stood.

When it came their turn, the guard seemed to harangue the cart girl about something. She flashed a short stack of papers in his face, pressing down on them repeatedly with her finger. They kept looking back at Corin, their row getting more intense and even spreading to some of the cart-pushers.

Corin curled up like a hedgehog. He was not in the mindset for a scene. The walk had tired him out.

At last the guard motioned Corin to him. The girl kept gibbering at him as he took hold of Corin's hands. He scrawled something on a strip, numbers, an address it seemed. He dropped a handful of slick coins on top, and made signs, to clear out and get a move on P.D.Q.

Corin nodded dumbly when she pulled him back helter skelter. She lowered an eyelid and spat at the guard with her tongue out. Corin looked back, the guard stared on as she, with Corin arm in tow, sashayed past the expanse of the wooden doors.

They came in on a footbridge, then a side door. Nobody asked them anything.

The town began right away. Little streets tumbling downhill from one dim light to the next. The air was foggy and swirled in the gas jets.

People were flocking past the shops when they arrived. The crowd moved in dense, brown waves, but not as unctuous as the ones he had grown used to back home. She moved him past one window to another. Whenever he paused to look at the food she gripped him back. The fog stuck thick. For a moment it hid everything, blotted out the spaces and blended the acetene lights with the fog. The whole place was rigged up like a fair, little booths and regular stages and peddlers.

There was something pleasant to him about a language he could not understand. It was like a fog swirling around in his thoughts, dreamlike and warm.

A girl, drunk and petite, stumbled and fell flat in the gutter near them. That handed them a laugh.

Little carts like hers went by, waving them down. She shooed them off with little hellos and goodbyes, making sure he stuck close all the while.

A whole string of workers with lanterns on the end of long poles passed by. All knocking-happy drunk. They waved their poles overhead, brushing past people's hair. Corin wanted to stay and try a chat but she just scooted him along. It began to annoy him.

After a lot of pushing and poking they ended near a cemetery. Mist ghosted the top of the tombs. The light from the sole lamp made it eerie, like a haunt.

She sat him down on a blanket against a stone post, on the other side of the chains.

From her cart she pulled her pots and pans. She started to whip her batter. He could smell them, frying noodles. Her bum shook to her ho's and hums.

A small crowd was gathering, pulled in by the smell, even in that desolate graveyard.

Her act was just beginning.

She plucked the feather off the top and slipped it behind her ear. She flipped her umbrella on its head and began whirling it. With her foot she stamped a medley and drew a trio of skulls from her cart. Stamp one, pound two, toss three; she perched all three on the sandal she had glued to the bottom. The entire column twisted like a whirligig and she crooned her snappy tunes. She kept it going while she tended the cart.

As soon as she started the show she never stopped laughing. She was not proud or standoffish, just rapt with showmanship.

The noodles were ready. She served him first, enough to fill up a jug. All she took was one little coin. A sympathy of sorts came out between them.

He laid back and eat his fill. He felt like dozing for a minute. The fizz of batter and her song put him to sleep.

He was sleeping nicely, not bothering anyone.

Then some fool came stumbling around the darkness. He rattled the chains, and fell back on Corin, feeling him up. Corin gave a grunt, with half-opened eyes. His caretaker picked up the drudge by the collar and sent him sailing with a vicious kick.

Worried, she patted Corin down, checking that he was unhurt. With a crisp satisfaction she turned back to her still spinning umbrella.

A cloud had come down while he slept, a thick mist that hugged the alleys.

He made the motions to show that he was going over by the pubs. He tucked his bags and blanket by her camp chair to show he was coming back. He signed for her to watch them. Still messing with her butter and kettle-wok, she waved him goodbye.

With nothing to weigh him down, Corin headed to the shops. He strolled past the piles of food in the ship windows. He stopped to gander, little rows of ham lined up against eggs and fresh killed venison. However, he was full. Those noodles were still warm in his stomach.

A clock struck eleven somewhere. Drunks streamed out in waves from the shop-fronts. They tumbled into one another and spread out, swaggering to different pubs.

He followed one, and moved in through the swinging doors.

They served him a whole mugful of syrupy beer, thick black and frothy. He passed Corin back two coppers with little holes in them.

There was a crowd of women in short jackets moving outside the shop. One was lagging behind, with a wide-brimmed hat and a green skirt with big flares. She signaled to him. He raised his mug and sent her off chirping happy.

But then the piano stopped, the bartender in the greasy apron motioned to get out. Out in the street again Corin unbuttoned his shirt. He felt an itch.

Apparently the place was situated on riverfront. That suited him just fine. He leaned on the rails, carefully, to scoop out a drink.

Two bodies came up to either side. They set themselves on the rails, just like him, and vomit on it. They must have thought it safe there, away from the sentry boxes. They made a violent effort, and squeezed Corin in with their slimy mess. It ran into their eyes. Working whole meals out of their bodies, they reached to Corin for support. He backpedaled farther than they could outstretch.

He was shivering, cold and damp with the mist. Suddenly he remembered, his blanket. Where did I leave it? The girl with the umbrella.

He looked around the stands, passing one to the next.

Finally he sees her, waiting for him. She had put everything away, all the kettles, forks and skulls. She was ready to leave and glad to see him. Her whole stock was gone, she even showed him that all the dishes were empty. All she had left was some righteous smelling cheese. She broke off a slab of bread and shared it.

She made scolding gestures at Corin, for staying away too long. She was jealous already! She would not even let him help by pulling the cart. He carried the lantern.

In her shed they piled up the greasy pots. She motioned with both thumbs to the door, wanting to go out again. They locked the door and set out. She came in closer to him, wanting to talk. He pulled out the slip the footman had given him, and stopped under a lamp so she could read it.

As it happened she did not know how to read.

She kept conversing, repeating her name.

She tapped her chest. "Ko-ga-sa. Ko-ga-sa."

To hell with tenderness, he thought and massaged her breasts. He could already see where these shenanigans were taking him. If he wanted anything done, he would have to coerce.

In any case she was stronger than him. She availed herself to the dark corners, smothering him with caresses and kisses. Corin knew there was no point resisting; the streets were almost empty. She wanted him to knead her, to press against her, and squeeze. Demanding and curious, she hid him behind the fog. He had to keep kissing her, otherwise she would keep his bags.

He tried wriggling; she just grabbed on tighter. She held out his pecker. It was not hard anymore.

She hardened it up.

He came.

That pleased her to no end. She jumped into the fog, dancing and swaying. Her skirt was hiked up. Corin could not help but laugh; it did not seem like the time of day or this.

She wanted more. She caught up to him, and latched on with big, sucking kisses.

She must have liked foreigners.

Corin was so sleepy he could have dropped on the spot. It was, however, too chilly. They had to keep tramping around the dock. They went into a shelter, right by the water, and listened: to the lapping water, to the chattering tongues, to the sounds of paddles and unseen deep breaths.

She dragged him away. He guessed she wanted him to go home with her. He would not have minded sleeping on the sacks in her repository, all piled against the wall. She made motions to show she had a room with a bed. The gesture did no appeal to him; it meant intimacies. He was too weary for that.

[] allowed her to reign him in. He was too tired to argue and hoped she would not get too raunchy.
[] insisted to be taken to the address. He would see her again and convinced her as such.
-[]demanded that she quit pussyfooting for now, he needed to see this deal about his arm.

Finally home. Maybe now I can get on a more reasonable update schedule.
Not a lot of dialogue this time around but surprise you can't exactly converse in a language you don’t know. Least not at the moment anyhow…
No. 171332
[x] allowed her to reign him in. He was too tired to argue and hoped she would not get too raunchy.

I am perfectly okay with a Kogasa.
No. 171336
[x] insisted to be taken to the address. He would see her again and convinced her as such.

Youkai are whimsical and dangerous, ya know.
No. 171338
[x] allowed her to reign him in. He was too tired to argue and hoped she would not get too raunchy.
No. 171356
Why don't y'all go look up the difference between "reign" and "rein" in the dictionary before you vote?
No. 171385
You are implying the difference matters. The tide is heading towards the Kogasa route.
No. 171405
File 137349858754.jpg - (113.22KB , 850x850 , sample-445c54b888b00ea090fce6c0fce006bc.jpg ) [iqdb]
Now that's what I call constructive criticism. But seriously, I appreciate any and all feedback to whatever tidbit I post since the closest thing to a proofreader I can afford on my hours is my cat bashing his skull against the typer. You asshat
No. 171409
Wait so is it supposed to be rein or is it actually reign?
No. 171410
This isn't looking like a 'route' kind of story to me.
No. 171412
[X] insisted to be taken to the address. He would see her again and convinced her as such.

Corin was brought here for a reason, and no lay is going to keep him from that.
To convince her try showing the wounds and gesturing that meeting the boss of the person who gave said wounds is important.
No. 171414
File 137351197716.jpg - (567.71KB , 800x800 , 78085a6b5f0f5157ad15fb0a2fb5e0c2.jpg ) [iqdb]
The former, it's the kinda thing that get's through a once over rather quick at 2am. So to reiterate: as >>171356 stated, I should watch myself before erring in my use of the letter 'g', lest shit happen. S'all good.

Not at this stage in the game. Think of it like this, would you consider the gentleman/woman who sells corn out of his cart at your street corner a route if he helped you home one night when you got plastered? After a one night stand?
Maybe, but it's iffy. Still doesn't mean you can't have them help you hide or divert attention when shit hit's the fan -
wink wink, nudge nudge.

Anyhowdozzle, it's tied. Next one wins it so I can put this coffee to use.
No. 171415
[x] allowed her to reign him in. He was too tired to argue and hoped she would not get too raunchy.
No. 171416
And so it was. Writan.
No. 172151
File 13745737032.png - (454.84KB , 623x818 , 85fea8c70bb09b3737322df9878f7f19.png ) [iqdb]
[]Weak-willed when willing

However he had no argument left to fend off her approaches. Her drag drained him of resistance. A deep set weariness had etched itself into his eyes, leaving hollow lines under them.

He sagged his shoulders and tendered his good hand. Vigor flamed up in her eyes as he agreed. She pulled him, gamboling her way back through the whitish mist.

They pounded the dock, shuffling past empty stands and peddlers dozing on their carpets.

A skein of geese flocked out under them, roused by their steps.

Corin needed to steady his breath when they arrived. The rind and grind of withdrawal festered up from his arm and put him in a haze. The lean-to was fabricated of scrap wood and what looked like tin, situated in a slim alcove between two much larger buildings, giving the impression of being slowly crushed. A tun of rainwater sat adjacent the door. She plunged in and scrubbed at her face, urging to do the same. Corin wrung his hands dry as she worked the lock.

She led him in and past her cart, with its shafts pointing in the air, through a rickety wooden door. A damn sight warmer than outside. The yellow globe of the hanging lamp lighted the room in an oily amber glow.

Paisley cushions were stacked atop the bed.

She did not bother undressing, just flounced out of her sandals and scurried under the quilt. Her fingertips gingerly held it up to her chin as she contemplated his movements.

Time for his act. He untied the black sackcloth wrapped around his foot; a remnant of the oozy swampland she had given him. A stitch snagged on his shirt sleeve. His face contorted in pain. Blots of red and yellow had congealed and seeped through the dirty wrap.

She took notice of the gash for the first time and tilted her head in puzzlement. He collected himself and dismissed her stare with a grunt.

The bed appealed to him, more so than the girl on it. Undressed, he sidled in next to her.

Slender strands of hair tickled their way into the folds of his armpit. Her head idled on his shoulder. She traced circles on his arm, ruffling the frays of the bandage. Her mouth twisted in an attempt to speak but clammed up the instant she realized he would not be able to understand. The light drumming of her fingers wandered over his chest and settled into the nook of his neck. She seemed to forget her purpose, just lying in the moment. Some quiet muse held her attention. Corin was dozing.

Her body really was sweet, adorable even under the press of the bedspread. The soft folds of her skirt snarled against his legs. It almost worked a craving into him. But the shame of sleep meant too much to him then.

She slipped out, grazing the door frame. He set himself to falling asleep as quick as he could muster.

Corin laid on the fringe of sleep when she returned, lacy and pale, with her friend in tow. An audience, much to Corin's discomfort, for the show. The girl gave it a prime view from atop the chair. It would not miss a trick.

Their eyes met, hers twice as moonstruck as before.

She did not blur the lights. All three were to bear full witness to a depravity.

With a swoop she was on him. She clutched onto him, flattening him under her caresses. The whole weight of her came down on him. With one hand she started massaging him underneath. At first he could not straighten himself out. Disappointment seemed to well up in her features, keen and intense. The tinge of tears glazed her eyes. That put his heart and cock in the right place. He tossed her under.

They stuck together, her clump of hair against his. She wedged his face in, suffocating him. He protested, implored. She collapsed him with her pawing, her licking, her tugging.

The bed shuddered under their weight.

His attempts to wiggle out from under her brought a new drench of affection.

He tried the subtlest tricks: smoothing his fingertips against her sides, groping her back, working the hook of the neck. She crowed her sentiments in his ear. His hands swelled from clutching her rear so hard.

The cushions erupted out from under them. He threw off the covers. She billowed and writhed waiting for him.

She wanted him to get more brutal.

Plunging in, he became petrified with the moment. He got eager, bit into her teat. She moaned, sighed and pursed her lips. On her face he went nibbling up her nose. He wallowed in her flesh. Climb, squeeze, grunt. The bed was zigzagging.

He felt his chip coming.

It left him seeing off-white in the border of his vision.

They fell asleep inside each other, sticky and warm.

The fever returned, buzzing through both his ears.

He could only take in heavy breaths. Next to him Kogasa cooed as soft as a lovesick pigeon. She sighed softly in her sleep.

A tickle ran through. His arm pumped for his attention now, but he could not fix to scratch.

The only thing he could do was make himself scarce. He would not survive another torrent of affection. Just settle under the cushions and wait for it to turn him back over to sleep.

But hell itched under his arm. It was enough to dizzy him, to put tremors through him. By sheer force of conviction he did not scratch.

It worsened, put him in a full daze.

The bed glided up off the ground. The ceiling drew close, almost tickling his nose.

Something was roaring. The lamp, it guttered and puffed next to them. Slim strands of smoke streamed out. It coiled around him, yellow and brown. A big mess of cotton that stung at his eyes.

Her mumbling pushed out deep gusts. All the loops went smack into his face. It nauseated him. He wanted to clamp down on her mouth before he suffocated.

The bed was limping. They would both fall like this. Corin felt himself going over. He needed to hold himself down quick.

His nails tore into the sheets. He accidentally groped her. The prospect terrified him. He reeled before he could wake her. A loose thread yanked his baste, and pried it loose.

An entire cross stitch segment wrenched open. The split started oozing brown red.

There was no winning this rumpus. He just leaned over and vomited; pressing hard to drive the eyeballs from his head.

The sound must have woken her. She hovered over him, patting him with questions. He held himself on the precipice, keeping still.

It was bad, she could tell that much. Water might do him well. She came back with three cups. His hands shook the first one empty. The second she poured straight to his mouth. It picked him up a bit. Not much.

He pushed up against the head of the bed, trying to put his thoughts right and get a meaning across. Did she know a doctor? She wiped the dribble from his mouth. No, maybe, thundering hell something!

From his pockets she fished out the address. Just as well, he was listing over the edge again.

The neighborhood was filling up with the smell of constant frying.

His knees knocked out from under him. She held him up before he fell. Her grip was of a working girl, rough as a grater's edge and not at all bashful.

Two or three times they went wrong, ending near the esplanade again. They teetered over barrels and gangplanks. She hauled his luggage too, implicitly understanding he was not returning for a time. In spite it all she kept a good disposition. He tried apologizing for the mess. He was not sure she understood.

The mist chilled his fever a spot. His head was still baked in heat and swayed more than was comfortable.

Finally through the cracks in a shelter they spotted light. Near the thoroughfare a watchman slumped over in his shelter. A startle ran through him when they shambled up. He shook himself out into the fog, wearing a double layer of clothes. He obliged to help. The watchman cleared his throat for a time. The address was up, he pointed with his finger, near the end of the night where the lanterns ended in a sloping display. He yawned and squeezed back through the hole in his layers.

Corin signed to slow down, they already knew the way in any case. Though there was still a climb, a big long slope with a string of lanterns that scaled upwards in a zigzag. She moved him slowly, with enough tenderness to make the world over. She did not dare molest him anymore, only kiss him when they stopped to rest.

Halfway up the slope they sat down on a rock, watching the clouds of fog move past the distance of the river. They swooped down and blotted out the flat bottom boats on the water. The girl made some gestures. Was he hungry? She offered to get him something to eat. Corin declined. Were he to eat the bile would rush back.

Their address was over past the trees, around a turn and down a slope. The closer they got, the more she whined and whimpered.

The atmosphere took on blue hues as they moved over the gravel path, bordered by a sunken fence.

His building stood snug at the summit, looking out over the countryside. The wood that covered it was gray and blighted with age. Three stories tall with considerably slim proportions. A covered veranda ran off the side of the building, shielding the entrance. An array of trees, tall and craggy, twisted out near the front, blending with the roof.

Kogasa began to bawl. They had to leave each other some time. He gestured, signed that she should not stay and go back home. They would meet again, he assured her, down below by the river. He made affectionate signals. His promises held some veracity. It was true, after all, he wished to see her again. He passed his blanket to her, to make her believe him. He would have to go and get it. She had trouble understanding, and continued to smear kisses on him, shaking her head.

By the door, a group looked on, oily with curiosity. they looked to be sipping morning spirits. Corin's pantomime had put them in chuckling humor. They imitated their kisses, rocking in gales of laughter on the steps.

Their guff provoked a tepid rage in Corin. Kogasa was pinching him tighter than before. He wanted her to leave him be already.

He flashed his revolver to them, firm, resolute, and as menacing as he could muster. Straight-shaky at a chest. The transient flung himself over the handrail. The rest leaned away from Corin, silent and tarsier-eyed.

His fingers slid under her arms and pried him loose. He kissed her twice in turn and urged her to be off.

She waved her last goodbyes from far off with her lantern.

The transients looked on with shifting defiance as Corin lumbered over the peeling stairs and gained the halls.

He shifted through churchlike halls that suggested space and solitude. There was no time to gaze leisurely, he was not even sure what was to be had here. The last dregs of consciousness slipped from him at the end of the matted hall.

He had been too tired to dream. Corin stared up at the frieze of scratches on a slanted ceiling. The room was steeped in the colors of the approaching evening. The air reeked of mildew and despair. His ears still hummed in fever.

His arm shook of its own volition. Looking at it he noticed the swelling had gone down a smidgen. It still festered a good measure under a new dressing. A voice beside him announced it's presence.

"Hello, how you feeling?" The man sat on a chair by the wall adjoining the bedside. He was not particularly impressive in size or stature, and his deeply sunken eyes left a skittish look on him. His hair was dyed jet-black but he had left his moustache and goatee hoary. "Um, name's David." He shifted forward and proffered his right hand. Corin stared at him blankly. "Ah, right," he twitched back reflexively and changed hands, "sorry about that."
Corin grasped it with his good hand.
"Do you speak the language? Can you understand me? Fucking hell. Maybe German works?"
"English. English is fine."
"Wonderful I was worried you couldn't understand me there." He tightened his mouth in semblance of a smile. "What's your name?"
"Corin. Well I'm sure you got some questions but I wanted to ask you somethi-oh don't worry I'll get to yours inna bit. I just wanted to check something first. Now, have you seen this before?" He plucked a long strip of grimy red tape from the coffee table beside him and held it for him to see. It was part of his gun's latest layer. Corin felt apprehension worming up his core.
"Yeah, it's mine. And the rest?"
"Alright," he tapped a finger against his nose, "alright now let me knock off that and what'll probably be your next question right now. This place is a hospice, sort of an inn for transients and stragglers who wander in. Now, this place has a particular set of rules and you'd do just as well in listening to them as I would in advising you. Most of them you can gleam by just keeping your mannerisms in check and not doing anything until someone else does." He cradled the tape in his cupped hands. "Now the big number one has to do with your gun. Strictly speaking there's a zero-tolerance ban on weapons here; the matron's a ah, a stickler for pacifism like that. She doesn't want the tenants breaking each other over you see. Don't worry about it none though, they only keep it till you go outside the building. Could care less about what happens outside the doors actually. Anyway they left the rest of your stuff is still in place save for what I think were a couple of needles and sharp pieces of metal-something like that."

"'They'? Then who are you exactly?"
"Well, I'm a lodger just like you. I'm actually the one that squeezed all the pus out of your arm there. I used to do it onboard all the time when at sea but I gotta say." He paused and absent mindedly took a finger to the air, thinking. "I'm sort of at a loss for words so I'll be frank-that fine? OK. It was damnably grotesque what was on your arm." He chuckled and shifted awkwardly in his seat. "But I ah, I also helped a bit with the patches too. Fact that's the only reason I was let back in here otherwise I'd be prepping up for dinner."
Corin stole a glance at the door behind David. "Huh. Why's that? They worried about getting the tumid from me?"
"No no that's not really as…volatile as I'd put it."
"Then how would you put it?"
"Hmm probably on the border of raging cup-shot and erotically feckless or thereabouts." He noticed Corin's glare and cleared his throat uncomfortably. "That's at least what I'm presupposing from what I've heard, all probably just baseless maybe…"
Corin held up his hand for a pause and mulled. "Alright you're going to have to stop mincing words if you want me to make any sense of this."
"You showed up this morning right?"
"Depends on how long I was out for. How long was that by the by?"
"I'm guessing most the day, but anyways when you came you were with that cart-pushing yokai girl right?"
"Yokai girl?"
"Blue and red eyes, stuck her tongue out frequently, carried an umbrella big as her?"
Corin snapped his fingers. "Yeah yeah that's her." A beat passed. "And?"
"Well that matters to some people." He lowered into a slightly grave tone. "Like those men you crudely held at gunpoint afterwards."
"They got annoying real quick braying themselves off like they were. I was practically fall-down delirious and the girl was nipping at my heels. Of course I'm liable to get brazen after spending most the morning looking for this damn place."
"I get that, I really do. Personally I thought it was funny as balls. But that doesn't mean other people did. Coming in like that, dressed in tatters like a scarecrow, yokai in tow, and waving your muzzle around-while frothing at the mouth from what I heard. Not to mention the wires. Caused some uproar. That's why they want you to keep still for a bit while it settles out. The others think you're affected, not to mention insolent. Word says some suspect you of being a pimp and a pederast. Something of a cocaine addict on the side."
"Really now, a cocaine addict."
"Yes but only on the side you see." He paralleled his lines and whished them back and forth, as though he were laying something next to him. Corin stared him in the eyes until he stopped. His temples needed a rub.
"Right and so why are you here then? Wanted to check out the suspicions?"
"Something to that effect. I wanted to gleam some truth for myself. I'm glad I did too. Worse than sewing circle gossip."
"Don't know about that. No smoke without fire you know." He chuckled to the other man's confusion.

David shook his head. "Stayed here too long, I need to get going. But before that I need to tell you one more thing." He lowered his voice to the gravity of before. "There's some money passing hands here on how long you'll stay alive. Chances are looking good that there'll be some people, probably the same group from this morning, waiting by the end of the hall for you. Now I can't say what they're doing loitering around so close to dinner but I will tell you this; most of the second floor's bathrobe sashes are missing. Make of that what you will." David stood slowly and flexed his back, savoring the movements. His plan of forcing Corin to deliberate had worked.

There was not much to be said for Corin, but his manners were well, and he was self-effacing; deference came easy to him and he took care to never quite get ahead of anybody. These were signs of tact and discretion that one needed to stay alive with his former employers. In short, he had delicacy, or so he believed.

And yet he had already managed to snag more attempts to kill him.

He laid into the swell of his pillow and sighed. "Never asked for an adventure."
"Most people who end here don't. I can attest to that myself." Another taut smile.
"So what are my alternatives?"
"Well I was just about to head down to dinner if you can make the trip."

[]Can't say I'm not interested.
-Suggestions and the like!
Going on's in the Hospice
Woman who dropped him here
Matron and such
--[]Need a quick moment, wanted to grab some of that cocaine from my bag. I'm not joking.

[]Lock the door on your way out.
-[]I wanted to ask you one more thing before that…
-[]What to do in the room?


I've no idea how to porn.

Also, I blame Genius of Sappheiros and work for my deplorable update speed, but hey! Excuses are just that. Anyhow with Satori in tow, I'll, presumably, be able to get into the "at least two a week" schedule I wanted to keep. Eh.
No. 172161
[X] Can't say I'm not interested.
-[X] So, what else will lead me to my demise? Or at the least, kicked out into the cold?
-[X] The woman who brought me here, Kogasa, why'd you call her a 'yokai girl?'
-[X] Anything else you can tell me about the pacifistic matron?
-[X] Where is 'here,' anyway? The girl who sent me said very little.
[X] Cautious approach.

>He flashed his revolver to them, firm, resolute, and as menacing as he could muster. Straight-shaky at a chest.
We seem to have different definitions of "flashing a gun." Mine is showing you have it, but not aiming at someone yet.
No. 172174
[X] Can't say I'm not interested.
-[X] So, what else will lead me to my demise? Or at the least, kicked out into the cold?
-[X] The woman who brought me here, Kogasa, why'd you call her a 'yokai girl?'
-[X] Anything else you can tell me about the pacifistic matron?
-[X] Where is 'here,' anyway? The girl who sent me said very little.


You just got loved tenderly by an umbrella, congratulations!
No. 172175
[X] Can't say I'm not interested.
-[X] So, what else will lead me to my demise? Or at the least, kicked out into the cold?
-[X] The woman who brought me here, Kogasa, why'd you call her a 'yokai girl?'
-[X] Anything else you can tell me about the pacifistic matron?
-[X] Where is 'here,' anyway? The girl who sent me said very little.
-[X] How is my arm doing, and when would you estimate it'll be in full working condition?
No. 172209
File 137463966799.png - (1.73MB , 2894x2874 , 1373512317825.png ) [iqdb]
Aye mate, quick check up on prepositional phrases confirms it. Brought up with the wrong sense of the phrase in mind. Thanks for that though.
>They stuck together, her clump of hair against his. She wedged his face in, suffocating him. He protested, implored. She collapsed him with her pawing, her licking, her tugging.
How the hell do you do coitus?
No. 172218

>How the hell do you do coitus?
With tender love and recurrent hospitalization
No. 172255
File 137477779851.gif - (210.19KB , 500x500 , Dancesandsuch.gif ) [iqdb]
The former I can get behind. Gotta watch out for the blood orgies though, everything goes to shit as soon as you find out the goat wasn't vaccinated beforehand.


It's about time for the next teihoe to pop in. Bookies are putting odds in favor of Mami at 3/1. For all you know she's the MC.
No. 172315
I agree with the actions of the three above me, but as to the approach I vote.

My reasoning is that by dealing with the people who want you dead directly you can scare off any others who would follow their example.