The Maiden’s Deceptive Chill
The sun rose to Abel’s right warming one half of his body. The red sky it produced like a belated warning for the storm that had just occurred.
“Wonder how long I’ll stay in the eye” Abel whispered to himself.
He had left the bench he had been sitting at not too long after reaching it, he didn’t want to be caught near the scene of the crime with police sure to be surrounding it by now.
He had taken the fingers that were strewn across the ground and chucked them in the ocean so that no one could find them and link them back to him.
It wouldn’t buy him much time but enough to think about what to do next. Turning up towards his house and off the cost road he tried to formulate a plan.
“Maybe I need to leave the country. Dad’s dead and so is the assailant so that would leave me as the only suspect.”
“Just how dead am I?”
Abel spun around to face the voice behind him, brandishing the knife from the struggle earlier.
“There’s no way that guy survived that” Abel thought
He paused to listen for footsteps
“But then again there’s no way I should have either”
He proceeded cautiously towards his house, pausing randomly to listen for footsteps behind him.
“If I had know I was going to go crazy anyway I would’ve tried tabs years ago”
Abel had never been much of a drinker or a drug taker. He didn’t like how it changed people, he felt like the person he was when he was drunk or high wasn’t him.
Reaching his home safely he slipped in the door and locked it shut. The site that greated him was that of his father face down on the carpet which was stained red around his neck.
Flipping him over reveled a deep gash below his Adam’s apple, similar to the blonde driver from before.
“And now I’m in possession of the murder weapon, fantastic”
He might’ve pretended to grieve if there was anyone around to see him but since he was alone his apathetic reaction hung dry on his face.
“I guess you probably didn’t deserve this”
Just because he hated his father he wasn’t so blinded by rage as to think this was a fitting end for him. He wasn’t happy or sad about it, it just was.
“I wonder how he got in….”
Leaving his father’s corpse where it was and tried to find the assailants point of entry. He was drawn to the spare room on the second floor, not the place he would’ve started with if he something hadn’t pushed him there.
Nothing was imminently striking about the room but then Abel felt a draft.
“There’s no glass in the window”
The glass panel in the sole window in the room had been removed and placed down on the floor nearby. He dragged an empty chest of drawers to cover the opening and then locked the room from the outside. His paranoia not yet in check he scoured the rest of the house for any other potential break ins but was relieved to find no such thing.
“Oh god” Abel exhaled as he slumped onto the front room’s black leather couch.
He was surprised to not be feeling the effects of physical fatigue but the recent events had still been taxing mentally. He began pondering the ramifications of the day’s events and pondered his next move.
“Well firstly just how long do I have to plan? If the guards had any inkling of my involvement they would’ve been here by now. That gives me ’till whenever my dad is reported missing by work. With no contact from him that’ll give me today and maybe tomorrow.”
Abel cracked open the coke he had earlier grabbed from the fridge and gulped down about a third of it in one go before continuing his inner monologue.
“It doesn’t matter whether or not the police believe even a word I say, they will have to take me in for questioning. If I let myself get trapped like that I’m a goner if that guy wasn’t alone.”
At that moment he remembered the card his father had given him. Searching his pockets for it the card was nowhere to be found.
“Fuuuuccccccckkk” Abel let out an exasperated expletive at this, throwing his head back and looking at the ceiling. Doing this caused him to miss the movement of a shadow on the wall in front of him.
“I can’t afford to lose that card after what that guy said.”
The card was important, that was pretty obvious. Losing it meant losing his only insight into this incident. Just as he was weighing up the risk of returning outside versus the reward of the card he spotted the moving shadow in front of him. He swung around with the knife held firmly in his dominant right hand, ready to strike if needs be.
His arm bent at the elbow ready to strike, the point of his blade arrived at a hooded figure behind him, drawn to them like the needle of a compass. The figure was just out of reach, they had probably jumped back when he had spun around.
“What did you do to Bastien?”
The figure wasted no time in getting to the point. A much more feminine voice than Abel had been expecting escaped the confines of the cloaked figure in front of him. Judging by that this person was probably female, although the disguise she had on prevented one from making such a distinction visually Being careful not to let his guard down Abel engaged in a response.
“Is Bastien that handsome devil from earlier? Well he’s currently unavailable and also a little less handsome”
“So he really is dead?!”
The girl in front of him seemed slightly taken aback but at the same time excited. In her slight state of shock her head raised slightly bringing into view the lower half of her face. Her lips were bereft of lipstick and her skin was much more tan than his.
“You seem pleased at that, you two don’t get along?”
The girl didn’t respond. It seemed that trying to find out anything about her in this roundabout manner wasn’t going to work.
“Look as much as I love a good Mexican standoff, I don’t want to stay like this forever, it’s bad for my heart. So why don’t you tell me your name and then we’ll work from there.”
Suddenly the girl disappeared from Abel’s view and reappeared to his right hand side. She grabbed his arm at the elbow and before he had time to react everything around him dissipated and his consciousness faded.
“That was a bit rash wasn’t it?”
“I didn’t know what to do! He had a knife, he was talking weird and he might have killed Basien!”
Abel awoke to the sound of two voices arguing. One was familiar, it was the hooded girl from earlier and the other belonged to man whom he did not recognize. Opening his eyes he was greeted with a veil of darkness. He was blindfolded.
“In that case getting quite close to him was reckless, you should have come back to me first so we could discuss this”
“But you didn’t know anything about him, he could’ve been gone by the time I came back”
“Me not knowing about him is precisely why you should have come back first”
Abel decided to interject.
“You’re not going to offer the man of the hour some tea?”
This was followed by a silence that hung in the air for a bit too long. It was as if they weren’t sure how cautious to be in there response.
“You know it could be considered rude to talk about someone as if they’re not there and then ignore their requests”
“I tend not to be so hospitable to those who brandish knives at my acquaintances”
“She did break into my house”
The man he was talking to took a few steps back and was having hushed discussions with the girl from before. He strained his ears to try and hear what was being said.
“Just bring him over to the table, I didn’t see one anyway.”
After that he was indeed escorted across the room by the girl from before and was sat down on a wooden chair. The girl removed his blindfold from behind and he was greeted with the face of the other voice. It was that of an old man, probably in his 60’s. He had round glasses and a white goatee complimented by the thinning white hair on top of his head. He was dressed in a beige shirt that he had stopped buttoning at the neck and from what Abel could see from his position, black trousers. He had both elbows on the table in front of him and his hands were clasped together in a way that made the tattoo on his right hand visible.
“A bit old for a tattoo aren’t we?”
The man looked at something just behind Abel with his eyebrow raised. Probably the girl from before.
“Am I going to have to be the one to break the ice? Well my name’s Abel and I just love making friends” Abel said putting on his best socialite impersonation.
“Well Abel my name is Paul Taylor and I have quite a few questions for you”
“What a coincidence! I have a lot of questions too! Do you want to go first or shall I?”
“Do you know what this is?” Paul asked him ignoring his question whilst showing him his tattooed right hand.
“It’s a tattoo of a playing card. Are you a gambler, is that how you got this house?”
The room he was situated in was very tall and the bookshelves covering the walls were filled to the brim with all sorts of books.
“So you really don’t know? Well then let me ask you this, did you kill Bastien?”
“Well it was in self defense”
“How did you possibly do something like that? I’m sure you saw how powerful he was.”
“I honestly don’t know, I also have no idea what his deal was or how he did what he was able to do”
Paul seemed to find his answer slightly troublesome, his brow furrowed in discontent. He then shifted his gaze back to the spot above Abel’s left shoulder.
“Alex, you said that he has nothing on his hand?”
“Yes, I did”
“Do me a favor and rip off the sleeves of his jacket”
“Why?” The girl said somewhat discontentedly.
“Because I have a bit of a suspicion, and if he’s dangerous then you’ll be able to get away from him in a way that I couldn’t”
The girl then walked over to him and began cutting away at the jacket at the shoulder, using the knife belonging to Bastien. She had her hood off and see her face for the first time he was able to take note of how good looking she was. She had very short blue hair and was dressed in a tank top in jeans, styled a bit like a tomboy but gave off a distinctly effeminate vibe.
She finally got the sleeve off of the jacket and reveled the skin underneath.
“What the hell…..”
His right bicep now sported a tattoo that had not been there previously. It was a playing card, the same design as the one his father gave him.
Turning back to Paul he saw an odd look adorning his face, something halfway between fear and intrigue. Alex had jumped back after seeing the tattoo.
“Tell me, do you know anything about that?”
“No this is news to me”
“Did you play any sort of card game recently?”
“No but my father gave me a card that looked just like this but I lost it fighting with your man Bastien”
Paul seemed to relax a little bit and jestured to Alex with his hands to untie Abel. He reached into a drawer beside him and pulled out a packet of playing cards whilst she did so. Once the ties were cut Abel began rubbing his wrists which he had not realised had been so sore.
“Get some softer rope”
“My apologies young Abel, we weren’t sure if you were dangerous so we had to take precautions. Though it seems that you are unaware of the situation you are in”
“I have next to no idea as to what’s going on.”
“That tattoo there on your arm indicates that you have a great power now Abel, just like Bastien, just like me and Alex”
Glancing over to Alex’s right hand he saw a similar tattoo on her right hand, her’s was of a 9 of diamonds.
“So what is going on then? What do you mean I have a great power?”
“I’ll explain all that in due course, it is going to take a while. Why don’t we give ourselves something to do while we talk?”
Paul began shuffling the cards he had taken out earlier.
“Tell me Abel, do you like poker?”
“I play from time to time, though I’m better at Texas hold ’em than Omaha”
“Oh don’t worry about that. I’m going to teach you a brand new way to play cards.”
END OF CHAPTER 2