“They will be after this. Keep it safe. Take it away from here, Traveler.” The silhouette of a shadow slipped away through the crumbling brick and darkness of the bay city. The Traveler stood alone, quickly pocketing the object he was entrusted with. His eyes twinkled in the dark, swirling with clusters of stars. The warm lap of water against wood blew gently through the air, settling down in his ears. He would have to wait a while before leaving the city or risk drawing suspicion.
A crooked row of storefronts looked out over the infinite blackness of the night sea. The ocean seemed thick as oil in the darkness, filled with nightmares and unspeakable abominations of the deep. The Traveler felt a wave of vertigo as the uncertainty of that darkness lurched out from before him, stretching on into eternity. The slow screech of a swinging chain came from overhead, crunching into his thoughts. It called to him in its jagged voice. An inn. The Traveler slipped inside.
Inside was a parlor, steeped in warm shadows. Beyond was a bar and a bartender, illuminated by the rusty buzzing glow of a thick light bulb. He never looked toward the door, just continued polishing a glass with a deep patience and distant thoughtfulness.
“What’ll it be,friend?”
“I need a room.”
“Sure, but why not sit down and have a drink first… On the house.”
The Traveler took his seat on a rickety barstool. The bartender set the glass down and turned, grabbing a glass bottle from the shadows behind him. It was half-empty, ambiguous in color, and chipped on the rim. Pulling out the cork, he poured. The liquid spilled out like a viper, rattling off a death warning as it coiled up inside the glass.
“What do I owe you for the room?”
“Whadya got?” The bartender looked up and smiled. He had Time in his eyes. The Traveler leapt back, his stool crashing in the darkness. They were already here.
“Why so jumpy? I’m a friend after all,” said the man from behind The Traveler. “And friends share!”
The man’s hand shot into The Traveler’s pocket and wrapped around the object. His momentary smiling turned to panic as something began to pull him in.
“Indeed, friends do share,” said The Traveler.
“Wait, no!” screamed the man.
In an instant of time, he fell through a thick darkness into a world filled with glistening silver greed. The man spat and kicked a pile of silver coins, spraying them into the air.
The Traveler reached into his pocket and pulled out a worn silver piece. He tossed it through the air and walked out as it sang its spinning song and fell flat on the bar.
The Traveler knew that soon this Space would be filled with Enforcers. Walking straight across the dock, he dropped into the dark water and swirled away to a world he knew was glutted with danger.
© Tyler M Deal. All Rights Reserved.