MAGICTOWN, Chapter 24

Posted by: TGST

By the time they were settled in at the docks, the sun had cleared the horizon and was casting long shadows out toward the water. The shadows from skyscrapers stretch out into the river, striping the city in alternating bars of early morning light and shadow. It reminds David of shadows through prison bars. In this early morning light, the city is even more like a prison.

They two of them hadn’t said a word to each other since the middle of the river. Normally, David would help her tie off the john boat, but instead he leapt for the planks of the dock the second he was close enough. He watches Mary deftly cinch the knots. One of the ropes had fallen into the water, and she dries it by running it through her hands, giving it just enough fire to evaporate the water before using to lash the boat to the dock. It frightens David a little to see how good she’d gotten.

Matchsticks weren’t known for their self control or disciplined, they tend more toward the spontaneous and and wild side of things. They were like the fire they summoned. David wonders if Mary could get good enough to do more abstract things with her fire – like spot weld or start a fire inside of his head. This notion makes him rather uncomfortable.

“So, what’s the plan?” Mary Matchsticks’ boots echo loudly on the aged timbers of the docks. David could feel every impact of her feet reverberating beneath him. She was still angry, but trying to hide it.

An idea pops into his head, and a smile forms on his lips. He looks up at her. She stops her stomping, not liking the look on David’s face.

“Let’s go get breakfast.”

She cocks her head and narrows her eyes, like he was speaking to her in a language she’d never heard and she was trying her damnedest to make sense of it. “What?”

“Breakfast!” He starts walking, waggling an index finger at her from over his shoulder before shoving his hands into his pockets. “Most important meal of the day!”

David starts off into the labyrinth of empty warehouses, back alleys and shortcuts that make up the blocks that border that Magictown docks. He looks up as he passes one of the bigger enclosures. One of the sliding doors at its maw had been ripped away, and the insides picked bare. Nothing of value remained in the rotting hulk. Even the small glass windows had been plucked out of the high walls. Planting his feet, he lets Mary catch up to him while thinking about how the gang’s riverboat could easily fit into any one of a half dozen buildings like this without anyone knowing.

“They do let you eat breakfast still, don’t they?” He cut her off before she could complain about him leaving her behind, like he knew she was going to. She scrunches her brow, and angrily replies that yes, of course they still let her eat breakfast.

The two of them walk deeper in the maze of concrete and broken glass. David tries to keep her talking. Commenting about how he didn’t know if they still let her eat, since the obviously had forbidden her from bathing. As they round a corner into what David promises is a well known shortcut, Mary swears at him and demands that he understands that her work – their work – is terribly important. Oh I’m sure it is, David says as he pulls back a bit of chain link fence, allowing them to cut through another one of the abyssal warehouses. Sometimes she forgets to eat or sleep, but it is because she’s so focused on her work, Mary tells him. Nodding and somewhat empathizing, David turns them back out onto another street, where he prompts her with a question about Victor’s health.

To his credit, and little bit of his own surprise, he manages to keep her going for about a quarter of an hour before she realizes that he’s up to something and comes to a sudden stop.

“Stop!” The air shimmers with her shout, she’d let a bit of heat go to make sure David was paying attention. “Just stop, alright.” She marches over to him and puts her index finger in his face. “Where the hell are we going? You said you wanted to get breakfast. Well, the market is that way, and that’s where all the restaurants and vendors are.” She points her finger to the south and takes a few steps in that direction, moving to be the one leading this expedition.

But David doesn’t follow her lead. He shrugs lazily at her. “While that maybe true, I don’t want any of that.” He takes a shuffling step north, in the opposite direction of her. “I want a kitchen, and the best kitchen in the whole of the city is that way.” He takes a few more shuffling steps, beckoning her with a jerk of his head. “And do you know what I like more about kitchens than restaurants? You don’t have to pay.” And with that he turns on his heel and starts walking north.

Mary, annoyed and flustered, follows behind him, shouting. “Kitchen? What do you mean kitchen? Like at some one’s house? Who the hell lives in a place like this? There’s nothing out here!”

“Nothing except the finest kitchen in the city.” Pivoting to look at her, and now walking backwards. “Maggie’s kitchen is the best!”

The name hits her like a blow to the head. She stops dead in her tracks. “Maggie? Maggie Constant?…Oh, David, you bastard. I can’t go there. I can’t eat at that poor woman’s table knowing that I might have to -” David grabs her hand a pulls her along, cutting her off mid-sentence.

“I know. But that’s why you have to.” He holds her hand and brings her along side of him. David looks her in the eyes for a moment before speaking. “You need to know the value of a thing if you’re going to take it away from some one. Or rather, in this case, three some ones.”

She scowled at him and swore, but didn’t stop walking.

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One Response to “MAGICTOWN, Chapter 24”

  1. Brain Release Valve » MAGICTOWN Mondays Says:

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