Haphazard Explorations & Experiments In Fiction
The visitors are here. I don’t know how I know that, but in less than a minute they’ll be ringing my doorbell, and I’ll have to get up out of my plush leather chair to let them in. Either that, or they’ll break my door down. They’re not much for patience.
Halfway up, getting ready to do what I knew I was going to need to, the doorbell rings.
“I’m coming. Don’t break my fucking door.”
Halfway there and it rings again. My hand on the knob, it starts ringing repeatedly.
It doesn’t stop until the door is wide open.
The sight I’m greeted with isn’t entirely a surprise. There is always a certain ‘otherness’; on some level, I already knew that. But the slope of the elongated foreheads, the bumps where I’m sure horns would have been if they weren’t hiding their true nature, and the yellowish hue of their skin… it was all very unsettling when put together on one face. And I had three of them staring with dead, unfeeling eyes, directly at me. The weakest breed. Each time I see another one, it’s more unsettling than I remember it to be.
“Come in,” I tell them, glaring back at those empty eyes. When they didn’t start shuffling their ugly asses in I got a little irritated. “You came here for a reason, didn’t you? Get your asses in the house and out of sight. Sooner’s better.” As I heard the words come out of my mouth, the tone of my voice, I expected a rude response, but none of them seemed interested in speaking. Maybe they didn’t know how.
A shame, because I don’t speak their language any better than the average demon speaks mine. That’s not to say they don’t know it well enough to understand you if you talk to them, but they won’t talk back.
“Here’s the deal: I’ll keep you safe here for the next few days. During that time, I’ll be arranging a way to get you across the country. I’m told you want to be in California as soon as possible. Is that right?”
They seemed to be following what I was saying and didn’t raise any objections, verbally or otherwise, so I continued… “Once you’re there, I’ll show you a map with a set of contacts on it, people like me. If you need help getting any further, they’ll be the ones to look for. You’ll have to memorize what I show you though because I can’t put all those guys at risk of getting exposed if you’re caught.”
I don’t just keep the map either. I burn it.
You’re probably wondering what all of this is. They’re refugees, escaped from hell and on the run. They gather in small numbers from time to time, but I don’t spend enough time with any of them to see that. I’ve never been to one of their get togethers and I don’t plan on that changing any time soon. I just do my job. They come to me for safe passage and I get them from point A to point B.
It pays well because with me they’re never caught. Maybe after our business has concluded… a lot of them are new to this. The ones that stay free learn how to avoid bounty hunters on their own so I usually don’t see them more than once or twice. On their own, they either learn to cover their tracks of they get caught. Either way, they don’t normally need or want my services again.