Scavenger Episode 6

1 or 2 days later…

“Daddy!”

Medium-pitched yelp erupted from the mouth of Fresca Lucien, the daughter of the Mayor of Nothing, Nevada.  Fresca was tall, taller than her father, with stilt-like legs, tall and firm.  She had strawberry blonde hair and slanted eyes.  Her body was lean and packed together tightly, thin in every area like only her legs had blossomed into an adult.  Her hair was pulled back and colored down the center of a tight ponytail.  She wore multiple gold rings and had a permanent frown on her face, as if she didn’t really care about much else than herself.  She was sort of like that anyways.  Fresca was doted upon by her father; one of the few posessions in his life that he gave that much attention.  She had just arrived back into town from a trip to Rome; she was always taking trips, seeing the world since a failed college career.  Behind her, a large man, tanned and freckled, with a $50 haircut and hiking boots stood like he was in line at an ice cream parlour.

“Daddy, I want you to meet someone, this is Tad James.”  Tad took 2 large steps forward and held out his beefy hand; Tad had muscles bulging from under his clothes so large Dr. Lucien nearly did a double take looking at his bicep.  The wheels in his head immediately began turning.

“Daddy, I have some exciting news; Tad and I are engaged!” she squealed in delight.   Dr. Lucien’s face showed no approval.

“Engaged?   I have just met this young man.  Ought I not to have gotten to know him better first?” Dr. Lucien did have a hard time saying no to his daughter.

“But, Daddy, it was love at first sight,” she whipped out her phone and began showing Dr. Lucien photos from her phone.

“He was a tour guide in Pompeii; as soon as I saw him, my heart jumped.” Fresca stared at her fiancee with starry eyes.  Dr. Lucien saw a strong, strapping man in the photos but also a poor one, and compared the two men, the one in the picture and the one before him; one of these men was much better dressed and had a fine haircut compared to the other; Fresca’s money hard at work.  This was not a fortunate turn of events.

“Well, it’s a pity you’ve just arrived as I’m being called away for a few days.  Stay here in the mansion and make yourselves comfortable; when I return home, Tad and I should get better…acquainted.   Kiss for Daddy?”   Fresca bent down and pecked her father’s cheek then grabbed her fiancee by his swollen hands and drug him inside.  Dr. Lucien shuddered to think what activities the two of them would be up to while he was gone.   But, he needed to go now, for the matter at hand would not wait.

=================================================================================================

John Crawford felt the cell phone Dr. Lucien had given him burning a hole in his pocket.  He hadn’t quite figured out where to turn with this conundrum but he was now firmly in the employ of Dr. Lucien and had only a few hours before his “deadline” was up.  John had been consumed with the image of the man detaining him from Lucien the other day; slicked back hair and leather jacket, like something out of a bad gang movie.

John was meeting with Rush in a few minutes to see whether or not his surveillance turned anything up.  Rush had some old spy equipment and had set up motion cameras on some of the corners of Main street to see if anything came up.  John had nearly given up when he felt his pulse racing.   He wasn’t nervous about anything so he wasn’t sure what was happening but he’d began to sweat under his collar and couldn’t calm down.  He moved down Fourth Street until he found an alleyway to duck into.  He leaned over a puddle and started splashing water down his collar.  Out of the corner of his eye, he spotted a figure behind him.  John reached deeper into the puddle and felt a cool sensation coming over him; the nervousness was gone and replaced with a sense of euphoria.  He turned around and felt weightless, like nothing and saw a knife plunged deep into him but his torso was just moving water.  The slicked back hair guy had tried to kill him.   John stepped out of the puddle and tossed the knife aside and shoved the man into the other wall.  He bounced back and slugged John in the face and John felt it.  Instantly, warm liquid flowed down his mouth; he tried to lick it away as the man went back for the knife.  John knew something was different about him; he’d known it all his life honestly but not until he’d come here, to Nothing, had he discovered what exactly that was.  Now, the picture was getting clearer.

John ran and kicked off the brick wall next to him and at the same time launched his fist into the man’s face as he turned around with the knife in hand; John felt it connect hard to the side of the man’s head and saw brick dust fly off his fist at the same time.   He’d became the wall for that moment.  The man wobbled sideways and John bulldozed his whole body into the man’s gut, like a tackle on the gridiron.  The man went down without a struggle and John saw his attacker from the other day.  Then, suddenly, his knee went out; the man was down but not out; he kicked John hard.  Again, John felt his heart racing out of his chest.  He knew he wasn’t the only person with special gifts around here now.  The man was staring deep at John and his eyes looked like waves, no pupils at all.  He scampered off down the alley has John went back to the puddle to calm himself.  What in the hell had he gotten himself into?

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