The Riddle

March 7, 2013 § 1 Comment

In the Riddle, no elektrycks light the alleyways. Drenched torches brood in their sconces like blinded beggars and only pallid starlight, tinged even here with the unearthly arclight, shines from the rain-wet cobbles. On nights like these, rats and humans are brothers; huddled in their homes, fearful of outsiders.

Oil the window. Latched. Point 7 jack-lever. Softly, softly…

On Pynchpenny Lane, the sign of the Fourteenth Rose creaks in the gusting wind. Rusted hinges squeak a feeble protest into the damp air. Water gurgles in the gutter and swirls down sluice pipes to the street below.

Push and through. Sweep the floor. Boarded. Third from window creaks, must remember.

A black beetle, dislodged from some scurry-hole in the rafters, rattles down the slating. A shiny pebble rolled in the breakers. Legs flail weakly as it hurtles over the brink and drops into the blackness between the buildings.

Mark. Ingress secure. Stifle and cut. Ten count. Exeunt.

A window rattles faintly against the sill. In a sparse room a cooling body lies on a pallet bed. Bright blood stains the sheets, leaking from an opened throat, and another corpse will join the Riddle’s Bed, buried in the morning’s yellowing light. No questions asked. No tears shed.

The Riddle

You don’t solve the Riddle, they say. The Riddle solves you.

Alarum

March 6, 2013 § Leave a comment

Trapped in a crate-lined cul-de-sac, the would-be burglar suddenly understands why breaking into Felix’s Frivolities was so easy. It’s the leaving that’s hard. Leaving intact.

Hydraulics hush-hiss in the shadows, scissor-claws slide from brushed-brass paws and the warehouse’s watchman slinks forward. More graceful than mere automata, the mechanicat’s head draws level with his and tilts to one side. A slight smirk reveals the glimmer of crystal teeth.

“Hello little mouse,” it sneers. “Hello little toy.”

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