Author’s Note: As a little escapism after a long night of not doing much, I decided to lay fingers to keys and came up with my first little excursion into the world of the Supernatural. Opting for a Noir atmosphere and hoping to prompt a little series from my imagination based around this character, I got this down with not a lot of sleep. Anyway, I hope that makes it at least a boredom-stopper for someone. Enjoy!
London is a tireless city. Even in the dead of night there is still the coming and going of all those busy little bees. But despite their presence on the streets, no-one is awake at five in the morning. And so, none of the bees noticed two figures racing through the shadows of St Brides.
The first shadow was spry, leaping up over the brick wall of the steps up to the church, long coat flapping out behind him like wisps of smoke. The second chose a more traditional path, and took the steps too at a time, something dark clutched in its hand.
Mounting the steps, the second figure overcame the urge to catch its breath, and sprinted hard on the heels of the first, mere seconds behind. Although they were both sprinting on cobbles, only one set of footfalls could be heard, if any were listening. But their breathing was apparent. Laboured. Hard. Loud. It was as if they had been running since the bridge. Or the steps of the Cathedral itself.
The second figure flung out a hand and there was a crack like a whip, a flash at the first figure’s feet, but no change to its pace. The second figure gasped a curse, before flicking its hand out again, drawing back and forwards again. There were two more whip cracks, one more flash, but the second crack was followed by the loud thud and a duller crack of bone against stone.
The first figure was laid low, rolling dazed on the floor as the second shadow slowed its pace, like a hunter bringing down its prey. The second was still breathing heavily, and could barely walk in a straight line, but still advanced on the first and for the first time; words emerged from flushed lips.
“Too late, now, Pete, too late.”
An elegantly booted foot met the chest of the first man as he tried to rise, and held him to the floor. The second figure rose above the first, silhouette mounted against the inky darkness of the London sky. Broad hands reached down and grabbed the first runner, Pete, at the collar and neck, and hoisted him to his feet.
“Lissen Franky, I-“
He was cut off sharply as the shadow slammed him into the sandstone bricks of St Brides Church.
“Shut your mouth Pete, before I shut it for you.” The voice was low and seemed to stun something in the first man despite its laboured breathing. “I don’t want your begging, see? I want the top dog. The fella in charge.”
A light switched on in a window above them, and the shadow responded quickly, pulling Pete into the shadows beneath the threshold of the church.
“You don’t have the balls to have done for the two girls, see? Stay with me Petey.” Pete had been shrinking, almost bodily, downwards away from eyes which sparkled like black diamonds. In response, the shadow rapped him bodily against the stones again.
“Stay with me…” It held Pete by the chin and forced him to look upwards into the diamonds. “Now, give me a name, or I’ll pull it from your head. And I won’t be gentle. That dog you used to love? Say bye-bye to that memory! Your mum’s face? Can’t remember that anymore!”
Tears of fear began to streak down Pete’s face. “You can’t… I can’t say anyfing Frank. They’ll kill me. Terribly. You can-“
Pete was silenced by a fist ploughing into his stomach, just below his ribs. The blow crushed the air from his lungs and doubled him over as the shadow let go. The next thing he knew was an explosion of pain in his face and stars before his eyes as a boot connected with his temple, cracking his head sideways into the wall again. He could feel blood rippling down his face. He barely noticed as he was forced onto his back, one hand pinned by the shadow’s heel, the other by its knee, and a strange orange glow lighting the face before him.
Frank brought his hand down across Pete’s mouth and suppressed the moans coming from him, before bringing down his spare hand to the man’s face. His index finger glowed an angry orange, lit with inner light and heat which Pete felt as it approached. Frank’s face showed no pain, but as he pressed hard on Pete’s forehead, burns appeared. Pete’s eyes snapped open and a muffled shriek made it past Frank’s hand. He bit down in agony and Frank tore away cursing, blood spilling from his palm. A blow to the jaw stunned Pete long enough for Frank to grab Pete’s arm and gag him with it. The prisoner struggled, but could not shift the heavier shadow. He caressed Pete’s face again with his finger, ignoring the moans of agony. When he had finished the pattern on Pete’s face, the man was barely conscious. Frank’s finger went out, and he stood up, stemming the blood from his hand with a handkerchief. He snapped his fingers and Pete was conscious again, weeping and moaning in agony.
“The name, Peter. I can make this go on as long as I want.”
Pete didn’t hesitate this time, but despair clogged his every word.
“It’s Jack.” His answer was barely audible. Pitiful. “Jack Burgess. He’s the one you want. I only did for the fella. He’s the one that done in the girls. Please…”
“I’m not going to let you go Pete. You’re a killer. Can’t have killers with gifts like ours walking these streets. Eventually…someone’s going to notice.”
“Wasn’t going to ask… Kill me. Kill me before they get to me.”
Frank lifted off the wretched body, lighting a cigarette with his thumb. He clenched his fist. He looked set to turn away, but stayed and took a drag before crouching down again. “I’m not doing this for you Pete. I ought to walk away and leave you to those evil motherfuckers. But Darren Walker has got to have some justice from the next life.” He slammed his open palm into Pete’s chest, making the man gasp in surprise and pain. Then Frank stood up and buttoned his coat against the cold, dragging on the cigarette as he walked back towards the alleyways. Too obvious to walk straight out onto Fleet Street after all that. He’d make his way across and down.
Behind him, Pete was confused, sitting up and watching him go. He had thought he would be spared Burgess’ Black Lash. He had thought-wait a minute. He gasped in pain as his chest began to glow from the inside-out. He began rending at his clothes and screaming in pain. That would draw attention. Like a burning cigarette, he seemed to disintegrate right there – burning from the inside out. Leaving nothing behind but a small pile of ash which was quickly scattered by the morning breeze. Wiped clean from the face of the planet.
Frank continued walking until he got to the Cathedral, and sat down heavily upon the steps. He rifled through his pockets, past his government identification, and pulled out a small pill bottle. He tipped two into his palm and swallowed them without assistance. Settling down, he continued smoking until the sun rose over St Paul’s.