Nothing Like a Good Read on a Rainy Day

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    Alkain
    Just Passing Through
    Just Passing Through

    Posts : 3
    Join date : 2010-07-04

    Nothing Like a Good Read on a Rainy Day

    Post  Alkain on Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:33 pm

    The sun had suddenly cut through the heavy clouds, shedding a brief ray of light onto the damp streets. The sounds of the city continued on as they did during a clear day, although the intensity seemed somehow subdued by the sheets of water that occasionally plagued San Paro.

    People moved through the streets, their coats wrapped close against their bodies. The rain had always seemed to wash away the mask that people wore. A cheery shopkeeper who owned a small convenience store down on 4th and Cerin Blvd had passed by moments before, his face a grim statue of abuse. The abuse inflicted upon ones' self. I could smell his alcohol-soaked breath before I even saw his eyes, which themselves were bloodshot and worn. I suppose when you live in a peppy war zone like San Paro, you dealt with it in your own way. The ironic thing was that these people who suffered from this prolonged police action were most likely not guilty of much, aside from casual sin. Then again, who among us is innocent of that?

    "Who indeed.."

    I flicked my cigarette out toward the street, the ember making a beautiful arc until it was ended by a drop of rain towards the apex of it's course. The alcove where I had taken shelter was not much of a safety. I was wide open and laughing at the world. My lack of dark colours betrayed my presence to all who cared to see, even though it felt as though I were a million miles away, confined to a dark corner of this planet. I had only planned to stay here for an hour until the buzz of the afternoon's intoxication had worn away. That time had quickly turned into hours as the rain prevented me from making any progress. Not many would want to walk home in this muck.

    The situation could have been better. Being a pedestrian was rather limiting. I was currently without a vehicle as mine had been.. impaired. Earlier last week, a group of gentlemen had gotten it into their heads that I was disrespecting them. Of course, it had all been a misunderstanding over words spoken whilst drunk off our heads like the fools we were. Thankfully, the fools had ended up in the burning wreckage of my used Bishada. If forensics cared enough, they might find some bullets inside those charred corpses but that was simply not likely. Who cared if a few more street rats turned up as worm food, anyway? Well, their families and crew might. Thankfully, I had stopped caring before my thoughts made it that far. The receding buzz of the day's drink helped with that.

    A good half hour had passed since the ray of sun had cut across the street and then promptly vanished. My hopes of a dry journey faded shortly thereafter. With that, I proceeded out into the watery San Paro, my vision still swaying softly with a dim blur. I hated the rain. It made me feel as though the world could see what I was and what I had. Demons of our kind were not commonly approached unless you had a gun or money, which made living a bit lonely. As I trudged through the downpour, my mind slipped back to past events, replaying them in the dusty theater of inner monologue. It felt so foolish to do so but self-narrative helped give a rarely-seen perspective on most situations.

    -------------------

    I arrived in San Paro 6 or 7 months prior, with my old Bishada sports car, a Obeya pistol, and a few hundred dollars in money. Oh, and I also had about a pound of sweet sensei under the padding of my trunk. I had driven fast to San Paro, making my way to a friends' home as quickly as I could. Being in unknown territory with a felony waiting to happen was not my idea of fun.

    Honestly, there had been a time when the chaos of being an underworld hooligan was still amazing and dazzling. Those days had passed as I became better at surviving, my actions leaving a dirty taste in my mouth. In the end, I kept it up for the people that needed my help, which was a surprising few. From the innocent stoner to the rotten Jamaican gangster, I lent my hand in assistance. Now and then, I had even helped a cop that had found himself a bit too far in the dark waters of my world. People were prone to mistakes and sometimes a bullet to the brain wasn't the best of solutions.

    My friend had happily moved the ganja for us but he took a rather steep cut for his services. It left me with more money than before, however, and a nice stack of smoke for those moments when I chose to not swim in the ocean of hell that was San Paro. Even after being in this city for a few days, I had felt the age-old wear come over me. This city felt like a glove that had been worn all over the western seaboard. Perhaps it was the cookie-cutter "indie" shops that protruded every couple of stores along most of the streets. It seemed like independent style had a standard that most of these people abide by. Bright colours, goofy hair, and unnecessary accessories. The clerks in each of these stores had those qualities. So much so that it felt like manufactured originality. Truly, how sad. None-the-less, I digress.

    The next few weeks had been party after party, which happened to be the best way to network when you're a hard-rock mother fucker. Not that I considered myself to be that way. I just did what I did and relaxed when I wasn't working. Hard-rock mother fuckers don't typically sit back with a spliff, numbing the senses to the backbeat of a reggae track while they watch reruns of "I Love Lucy". The parties had introduced me to most of the major players, which I happily did odd-jobs for. I played both sides after a few more months, sometimes undoing the work I had just done for another group. On more than one occasion I was hired to retrieve something I had stolen in the first place. And people were saying you can't find a job in these times, ha! A true entrepreneur made his own work. However, such trials are quickly boring when you've been around the track a few times.

    Purpose is a difficult thing to come by in times such as these. I felt the need to find one very quickly after arriving in San Paro. This was a metropolis that required you to have a purpose, otherwise you would just end up as flotsam in the stream of life. I had received a hot tip about some interesting work from a tipsy hacker that I had encountered at one of the aforementioned party. A group of individuals that were known to be fairly reserved were looking for a specific book that had been delivered to the main branch of the San Paro Library. This struck me as being quite the unique request among the underbelly of society. Most criminals did not seek treasures of culture but rather more feeble trinkets and flashy electronics.

    As it happened, I was a bit of a bookworm and had heard of the tome in question. Hell! I had even been to the Library to view it. The book contained some stories from a 1820's author, the subject of which were personal freedom and lawlessness. I assumed, quite wrongly as I would find out, that the group simply wanted a symbol that had meaning, rather than wanting the book for the beauty that it held. I had assumed that I was going to be disappointed once I had completed this self-appointed task. What interesting preconceptions people have when they've been worn to the bone by reality.

    Under the dark cloak of night and rain, I had slipped around the back of the library. On the ground level, the windows had all been barred, likely to protect from all the "ravenous geek-gangsters" that "threatened" the library. Society had interesting ideas of what to protect. However, here I was, preparing to break into a house of literature. I suppose foresight does count for something in times like this, as anyone will steal anything, as long as it isn't bolted down.

    After a few moments with some nylon cable and a bit of work, I had ascended to the top of the library, jimmying open one of the roof hatches with my trusty crow bar. As I dropped down into the dark labyrinth of pages, that familiar old smell of aged books invaded my olfactory senses, bringing back small memories of better times. The rain slammed against all sides of the building, making a horrendous cacophony of noise that masked my damp footsteps. I made my way down to the basement level, encountering no guards or alerts. A dead bolted door made of ancient wood did prevent my progress to the lower levels but a few quick jabs of the crowbar just about took the handle from the door itself. A persistent and heavy shoulder finished the job.

    I made my way through the categorized shelves of the more valuable titles that this place held. A few names caught my eye and my fingertips. I was all for the spread of literature but I felt that in some cases, society was not worthy of some works. Perhaps a selfish and arrogant fool like myself would give them a better home.

    As I came across my destination, I suddenly felt trapped. There were eyes upon me and I'm quite sure the barrel of a weapon was as well. I had not expected anyone to impede my course, as this was a very unusual job, after all. The sharp draw of air signaled the drag of a cigarette, my eyes darting about in search of the heated ember, hoping to catch some clue as to my ambushers' location. Unfortunately they weren't stupid enough to reveal anything to my senses. After a few seconds of playing the quiet statue, I spoke up.

    "Say, would you happen to have another one of those?"

    My voice was a grating imitation of something that I had meant to be much harder. I sounded weak and caught off guard, most likely because I was. A cheerful laugh echoed through the basement, bouncing off all the walls. It was hearty and heavy, creating an almost palpable sensation on my skin.

    "I suppose I could spare one. You have an interesting taste in reading material, I must say. That deserves something," spoke the hidden offender. The voice smooth and almost excited. The tone of expectation was quite tangible in the words spoken. They had been waiting here. This was no chance meeting of two thieves but a game. A smirk graced my face as I happened to consider myself a pretty good player.

    "There is nothing quite like a good read on a rainy day. What can I say?" I replied back, trying to pinpoint the source of the opposing voice.

    A small white cylinder bounced from a dark corner that I was quite sure contained nothing. I squinted in the direction of it's origin, seeing nothing but darkness. As I reached down for the cigarette, I kept my eyes focused on the room around me, my nerves tightening up very quickly. Even games can end badly, after all, and an ambush never was a good way to enter into a situation where you were unaware of the rules.

    "You needn't worry so much, kid. I heard you were looking for work, after all. That's why I'm here.. To see if you would be able to do the deed. There aren't many people that would be able to recognize the prize kept here, after all. Your choices of theft just now were also noticed, although quite unexpected."

    A quick flame and inhale later, my head was surrounded by the sweet sickly smell of cowboy killer tobacco. I was always more of a menthol fan, but any port in a storm, I suppose. I shouldn't have been surprised by the situation. It was something I'd read more than a few times in various novels. Only one group would be brazen and so inclined to act in this manner.

    "So.. You are with the Rain Dogs, are you not?"

    Among the shadows, a brief square of a wide smile revealed itself, smoke billowing from it as though a train had pulled into station in the owner's mouth.

    ----------------------------

    So here I am, soaked to the bone, walking along Perennial St. I had been waiting for a phone call from these folks all day. It had become such a wait that I found myself at my homie's apartment, pushing my mind into a comfortable buzz as I tried to hurry the clock hands a bit quicker. The high had left me in this soggy trek, sobriety coming to me a bit too quickly.

    My hands tightened into fists within my damp pockets, my mind wrapped with suspense and expectation over this phone call. In the end, I had parted ways with the mysterious stranger before even seeing his face. He had promised me a phone call within the next few days but as of yet I had heard nothing. My mind ran through reasons I might not receive my callback as I stood at a crosswalk, waiting for traffic to ease.

    Perhaps they were not fond of my entry, as it had been a bit brutish. Perhaps they wanted the silent assassin, who was one with the shadows. Perhaps they had been disgusted by the fact that I had fallen into an ambush. Who knows..

    As the traffic lights changed hues and I began crossing the street, I thought I felt the dull vibration of my mobile phone in my jacket pocket..
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    Eleutherophobia
    Bad Liver and a Broken Heart
    Bad Liver and a Broken Heart

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    Re: Nothing Like a Good Read on a Rainy Day

    Post  Eleutherophobia on Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:20 am

    "Seriously, I think you should call," he frowned at the girl, she ladling a sloppy bowl of soup for him. "Kid was good."

    (Heist in its greatest fashion. I could not be happier that you've found us. Welcome to the Rain Dogs, Alkain.)



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    Ecks
    Growling Mongrel
    Growling Mongrel

    Posts : 121
    Join date : 2009-10-24

    Re: Nothing Like a Good Read on a Rainy Day

    Post  Ecks on Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:05 pm

    "-asked if he could have one. Not so sure if he would have enjoyed it, though."
    "So... the lit ember of learning among some pages of thought."
    "I think so. It's interesting, though, that... to place so much value."
    "There would have been more than a few having gone missing since the proposition. Though, I'm willing to bet this would be the first of the library's infiltration, since the resolution."
    "Really?"

    "Mhmm."
    "You know, you're--"
    "A lot of work. Worth it, though. Almost as much as the book - speaking of which..."
    "Not sure if he took it with him. Not even entirely sure if it was there to begin with. I remember catching a page of it... I heard so - on the lips of the wind as it blew through the fire near the old university."

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    Re: Nothing Like a Good Read on a Rainy Day

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