Thursday, October 10, 2013

Party on the Riverwalk Part One

The sharp taps of her steel-toed boots echoed through the alleyway as she wove through the veritable maze set between the abandoned buildings. Breathing out a sigh of relief, Jennifer smiled at the sight of her warm breath in the frigid air before her. Slipping a hand into her coat, her fingers numb from the frost of the frigid evening, she errantly tugged on the necklace she’d been gifted by the strange man she’d encountered a few days earlier.

“You! You there!” Jennifer turned to see a shabby looking man pointing at her from a stall in the small market she’d entered with her friends during their sojourn to China town.
“Rude much?” She replied, cocking a hand on her hip as she blew her bangs from her face. “What do you want weirdo?”
The man smiled, revealing twin rows of yellowed teeth. His state of dress, an old suit made of crushed velvet, hardly matched the rest of his attire, from his wooden sandals to the glittering rings on his thick fingers, to the straw hat on his head. Between all of this was a wily beard that reached the man’s chest, and a pair of twinkling blue eyes that seemed to grow darker the longer you stared into them.
“You dress like the dead girl. Do you wish to join them?” He asked, making Jennifer blink at the strange question, before getting slightly angry.
“Is that a threat?” She asked, hand drifting down to her wide belt to the switchblade she had hidden from view. While the market had a decent sized crowd milling about the various stalls, nobody seemed to have noticed the exchange between Jennifer and the strange man.
He laughed, a dry wheezing sound that grated on the ears. “No, no. No threat, merely a question! I see you dressed all in black, with skull rings and dyed hair… between that and your pale skin, a man would be liable to think of you as a walking corpse before they’d think you to be a teenager.”
Jennifer blinked, hand drifting away from her stowed blade to adjust her hair. “Well… thanks, I guess. But I don’t want to be dead dumbass, this is a just a look. I’m Goth.”
“Goth? Not a very suitable name for a pretty young thing like yourself…” The man muttered, eyes never leaving hers.
“No, that’s not my name; it’s a way of describing how I dress. And act.”
“Goth…” The man said, as if testing the texture of the word. Shaking his head, he looked back up to Jennifer. “No matter. I see you are in search of something unique, hmmm? Perhaps a trinket to go with your outfit?”
Holding up the bundle of brightly painted skulls at the end of her leather necklace, Jennifer ran a thumb over the largest skull of the three, feeling the raised lettering that was too faint to read. The blood red skulls did indeed go with her outfit (all of them really) and they were often something she could allow her idle hands to wander to.
Now, in the darkness of downtown San Antonio, standing in a darkened alleyway surrounded by trash, she could only heave a sigh as she waited for her friends to come find her. They were supposed to attend a rave together, and had gotten separated about half an hour earlier. Standing where she was, Jennifer could hear the steady driving bass of the party somewhere close, and she didn’t want to go in without them.
A crash from a few feet away caused Jennifer to hump, earning a peal of laughter from her friends as they walked around the overturned metal trash can. Jennifer growled, shoving Timothy’s lean figure against the wall. “That wasn’t funny!”
Timothy, a lean red head with long hair and naturally pale skin, held up his hands in surrender. The long sleeves of his trench coat were buckled and wet from something, and the bottom of his coat glistened from similar signs of moisture. With him was a lanky man with long black hair and a faded “Slayer” tee shirt over his lithe frame. James had his hands in his jean pockets, numerous chains dangling from his hip, one pierced eyebrow raised as he stared at Timothy as if he were insane.
“Clumsy much?” James asked, a hint of a smile playing on his lips.
“Fuck you…” Timothy replied while looking at his sleeves and down at his coat. “This is fuckin’ sick man, I got garbage water all over me!”
“No way we’re turning back now man, this rave is supposed to be killer!” James cried, slinging an arm around Jennifer’s shoulders, one hand coming up to cup her face. “If we miss it, you’ll make Jenn cry. You don’t want that, do you?”
Jennifer shrugged his arm off her back, stepping forward to look Timothy up and down. “You look fine, quit worrying.”
“But I stink now man, what if I meet some hot chick?” He whined, looking up at Jennifer as if that were the goal of the evening. Perhaps to him it was…
She whacked him upside the head before settling her hands on her hips. “It’s a rave dummy, everyone’s gonna be all sweaty and gross within fifteen minutes, cute girls included.”
“About that, where’d you hear about this party again?” James asked, shaking the ends of his coat dry. “Cause I ain’t heard of anything out this way but warehouses and crack dens.”
“I saw a flyer about it at that market I told you guys about,” Jennifer reminded him, shaking her head as she absently played with her necklace. “It’s called the Sinner’s Dance, supposed to be pretty wild.”
“The Sinner’s Dance…?” A voice asked from a pile of trash several feet away, causing both Jennifer and James to shriek in fright. Emerging from a mass of tatty rags was a man, haggard and old, with several layers of clothing on to help protect him from the cold. “I know where that is, if’n ya’ll need directions…”
Catching her breath while steadying herself on Timothy, Jennifer could only nod as Timothy replied. “Yeah we could use some help old man. What’ll it cost us for some useful directions? A five spot?”
The old man scratched at his unkempt man with dirty fingernails. “I wasn’t planning on charging ya anything but hell, if your offering, sure.”
Timothy fished out his money clip, yanking a crisp five dollar bill from between the gleaming metal holding the bulge of money, tossing the flimsy piece of currency towards the old man.
Ignoring it as it landed a few feet from him, the old man reached into his makeshift bed, tongue sticking out of his mouth as he sought some unseen object. It only took a few moments until he cackled with glee, pulling a crumpled flyer up from beneath his blanket of rags, holding it proudly before them.
“This here was posted up a few weeks ago aroun’ the college campuses, has directions once you enter the Ghetto of Lost Souls,” the man explained, leaning over to both pass the piece of paper and take the lonely five dollar bill.
“Ghetto of Lost Souls?” Jennifer repeated, looking at him with a raised eyebrow.
The old man shrugged. “Here, I ’spose. Whole area is like a maze for outsiders, with more twists and turns and dead end alleys than any other city in America.”

“Sounds like San Antonio all right.” James joked, earning nervous chuckles from his friends. 

No comments:

Post a Comment