Short story - The Tearing
To say that the night was cold was an understatement, the transparent crust of frost dusted all but the smoothest of surfaces, even the rough asphalt road glossed over in a fine layer of what looked to be sleeping snowflakes. Indeed, the night was freezing. Although the temperature of the night itself paled in comparison to the stark coldness of the downtown district. Glasby city, to most, was a city of relaxation and blissful calm. Clean air and a view of the pristine river bend washed off on most upper-class citizens and any tourists, but even the City on the River wasn’t devoid of ‘that part of town’.
The tall, slowly blackened brickwork of the multi-storey blocks of flats and the filth-ridden sidewalks, littered with the long untouched rags of missing homeless and small packages of empty meal wrappers, illuminated by nothing but the most hardy of the much neglected streetlamps, casting a dull orange glow onto all below it, were the only features of this suburb that offered themselves to the eyes. And with the thin sheets of ice that had gathered in the nooks or concrete, anyone could be forgiven for assuming this to be a dystopian wasteland. The only reminder that this was even remotely linked to civilisation was the heavily graffitied and long-outdated railways, rumbling their miserable way to the city, or god forbid, further into the downtown.
Unfortunately, on this uncomfortable night, our protagonist would not be comforted by the minute amount of safety offered by passage on the Train, and was now instead walking to her destination. The idea that a woman should watch her back when travelling late out at night, especially in an an area of... this particular reputation was indeed a wise word of council, but to say women were the only prey of any sort of violence here would be a falsity. There was very little to gain around these parts in particular other than what money you had on person, so regardless of gender or age, if you weren’t walking around in rags, you were walking around with a target on your back.
Our protagonist, a 96cm tall mobian hedgehog, was certainly not benefitted in her stealth by the bright shade of blue that found its way into her fur, nor the natural and bizarre tendency it had to quite sharply transfer to yellow at the tips of each of her quills and ears. And while her attire was no ragtag assortment of junk, she knew her way around the street. It could come as a surprise to quite a few of you that the hedgehog lives here in these suburbs, Tyestons, at 269 Henrich street, apartment H. With her brother.
Leah is her name, and taking a quick turn down a short alleyway was what would stop her from being mugged tonight, as a little further along that main street was a spot most popular for muggings. There was no dumpster in this alleyway, which was in fact the reason why it, above most others, proved to be a safe shortcut, there was no place for any gang members or solo hoodlums to hide in wait. A speedy glance to the higher levels of the fire escapes was enough to let her know that for now, the route would not turn sour.
The hedgehog was certainly grateful that she had so far not been victim to any mugging, but her brother often came back with stories, and those were enough for her. After travelling down the main road and then weaving through another back alleyway, she now stood underneath the city metro raised tracks, the bridge that ran all the way into the city carting anyone who lived this far out that needed to get there. Although by the amount of damage and vandalism that occurred on the platforms and trains on a daily basis, Leah assumed the train line was likely losing more money than it made, one of those ‘public favours’ granted by the Glasby City Council.
There was a steady rumble emanating from the main pylons, and she looked up, knowing the signs of a train heading outbound from Treystons Station well enough. And while indeed anyone living in the other areas of the city would claim the train line to be a favour, it was really the duty of the Council to ensure necessities are met, and public transport was one of those necessities. So as the train began to thunder across the bridge spanning the street Leah was walking down, a wad of spit had developed in her mouth, as if to prepare herself for spitting on the name of those who thought they were better than other mobians simply because of money.
It would take a lot more than simply missing a loaf of bread to cause a person to need to leave their abode at night in these neighbourhoods, mobian or human, so it would serve you well to know that Leah has such a need. Her brother, according to not only her friends, word on the street, and even his own whisperings, had become involved with some dissociative people. Anonymous, suspicious, and preferring to be left alone kind of people. Not gangs or thugs. The kind of people you’d call ‘behind the curtains’ is what she’d heard, although the truth of that was yet to be determined. But what she did know for fact was that he avoided the topic whenever Leah brought it up. So it was tonight, while he was at one of these meetings he held with these people that she was going to find him and call a stop to whatever he was doing. No time better.
Last edited by Wolf478 on Sat Nov 02, 2019 11:43 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Paragraph spacing)
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