Episode One: The Horn: Scene 18

Well, actually, we didn’t roar that far…but we were heading definitely further into Southeast than I liked. Especially as she was no darker than me…the converse, in fact. Very pale hair that flew out from beneath the helmet.

“Where are we going?”

“To find a hound.”

I assumed she didn’t mean literally. Hound. Something that would follow a scent, follow, perhaps, the scent of Barry and his parents…if they’d found him, they’d been caught too, whoever had done it.

With, on occasion. For, never. Did that imply she thought she was his equal? But she’d also thought me stupid to ask the question.

She expected me to know who he was. The bike skidded to a halt on the waterfront, and she tugged her helmet off, locked it. “I hate dealing with stuff in cities,” she grumbled.

I hopped off myself, but when I touched the fuel tank I got this odd feeling that the bike was…not quite purring, but leaning into the touch. So, I didn’t ask why. I almost thought I knew why.

I also noticed she was carrying a gun, and I remembered the one I’d acquired…and left in my room, dang it. I should have gone and got it, legal or not, sensible or not. It would have made me feel safer. She strode ahead, though, and after a moment, I caught up…but stayed slightly behind. If she needed to use that gun, I didn’t want to be in her line of fire.

“Hate guns, too.”

Then, she was moving towards…and into…a shoddy looking tenement type building. The outer door wasn’t locked. “Ho!” she called.

“What?” A head poked out. “Oh, it’s you. And what, an apprentice?”

I folded my arms, trying not to be insulted by that. After all, I was probably the right sort of age, but I didn’t like being reminded of it.

“In a way. Got one for ya. Missing kid.”

“Hold on…do you need a picture?” I asked. “Because I have one on my phone.”

“That would help.” The rest of the man emerged. He was overweight and greasy, he smelled faintly of too many fast food burgers. Or maybe he was flipping them.

I pulled up a picture of Barry and, somewhat reluctantly, offered him my phone. Phones were a lifeline, I felt even more vulnerable than when I’d realized I’d forgotten the gun.

The man took it then, to my surprise, hit a few buttons. “I’m sending it to my email. Need it in hard copy.” He handed me my phone back.

The blonde was looking at him with faint…not quite disgust, but something along those lines. I murmured to her as he vanished. “By the way, what’s your name?”

“Call me Thea.”

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