initiation ; a beginning

It is a dark, dirty place, occupied by ever-so-vigilant dock workers, prostitutes and, above all, drug-pedling Silver Snakes. Rivalling gangs beware; this is Silver Snake territory. Despite the high crime-rate, the police rarely patrol this area, either too afraid to approach it, or having taken a bribe that enables them to look the other way.

initiation ; a beginning

Joined: 29 Sep 2007, 15:22

14 Sep 2012, 17:04 #1

A boy stood before him, no more than seventeen years behind him, a scrap of a boy, with blood-stained clothing and bruised skin, broken in places. Blood trickled from his nose. Their latest hopeful candidate was as delicate as he was naïve, still possessing a darkly idealistic edge to his convictions that rendered him, in Snake's eyes, appealing, congenial, enjoyable, amusing. He was not a merry ball of the finest sunshine, distilled from droplets of rainbow droppings or some such nonsensical concoction: He was pure in the way that only a broken man could be pure.

No, not a man. He was a child. He stood before him a child, small and frail and filled with fright. Trembling like a willow leaf, he barely dared lift his eyes to meet Snake's, his leader's, his official master's eyes.

Snake's right brow rose slowly, meticulous in its movements, as he regarded the piddling individual before him, aware that he had not yet realized the worth that had been extended to him by the warmth of their embrace. He was a paltry creation, pitiful and weak, but Snake could see the shapes that were there for him to fill, the corners of himself that he had not yet discovered, where it was dark and musty and dank and cold. When he reached those corners, when he filled himself out completely, gone would this delicate creature be, and the boy would emerge a beast, a transformation they had all undergone. He would be of use to them, then, and he would be lost.

A pang of mourning for the inevitable loss of innocence shot through him, before it was stifled. Not forgotten, but deemed insignificant.

He nodded. It was only the briefest of gestures, eyes meeting those of one of his most trusted members (it didn't signify much but some semblance of power within the gang's own hierarchy; the man had proven himself worthy of this over the years), and the thug, so offensive to anyone's more delicate sensibilities, stepped forward with the most idiotic grin on his face and patted the beaten boy on the shoulder. For a moment, it seemed the child might crumble and fall, but he stood his ground. Their falling fists and crushing kicks had beaten some small part out of him already, it would seem.

The boys were quick to offer their congratulations, bestowing their laudation upon him, pulling him into their midst with grins and laughter and the most double-edged of kind words. (Ridicule was expected. It was of principal importance.) Snake slipped away while they spiralled into moronic displays, made himself unnoticed as he made for the door out of the main area of the warehouse and went outside - slithered, one could say.

Outside, he edged near the corner of the building and stood under the light from a flickering streetlamp. Leaned against the brick wall, he found a pre-rolled cigarette and brought it to his lips, drawing deeply as he tilted his head back and stared up at the flickering light. For a few moments, he stood there in accumulating dusk, watching the light that couldn't choose between off and on and listening to the muffled sounds of celebration from inside the old building. When the time came to exhale, he started to move, slipping around the corner and making his slow way down the length of the warehouse, heading toward where he already heard the waves breaking against the docks.


this wound cuts straight through me; I fear I shall never be whole again
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Joined: 01 May 2011, 12:13

17 Sep 2012, 05:42 #2

This was always the hard part of his job. It wasn’t the lying and cheating husbands and wives. It wasn’t the paranoid neighbours. It wasn’t the suspicious employers. It was the families, so utterly bereft at the thought that one of their own was gone for good. The people who have been brought to the brink of hope and are beginning to grasp at straws to find the last glimmer. A mother’s desperate pleas to ’find my baby b-boy’, and a father’s resolution to kill anyone that might have hurt him. The sniffling of the little sister, sat wide eyed at the bottom of the stairs as she tries to make sense of what’s happened to her big brother and best friend. It was having to be witness to that that Mitch would always find the hardest thing. And it was perhaps the reason why, on these types of cases, he actually pulled his finger out and got to work without leaving everything to the very end.

Much to the amazement of those he lived with, Mitch was actually up at a time even normal people would deem early. By the time Sammy was leaving for his shift at the hospital, the dark haired young man was already out of the door. And yes, his time had initially been spent in the coffee shop with almond croissants and a latte, but he wasn’t resting on his laurels. His laptop had been open in front of him and – mindful not to cover the keyboard with crumbs – he was busy researching. Anything and everything he could to do with James Dunwell. School website articles and social networking sites. He was trying to build up a picture of the teenager – one that didn’t come from the rose tinted glasses his parents wore, and one that wasn’t tainted with the thought the police might have had about the reason for his disappearance. In this, as in all of his cases, he was starting from the bottom and working his way up.

James, it seemed, was a happy enough kid. Or had been. Something had changed in the last few months – that was easy enough to see when you read his Facebook page. He seemed more sullen – more introspective. It was enough to have Mitch believing that James’ disappearance was down to the boy himself, and not the result of something more untoward. Which meant he was going to have to go on the hunt for a runaway that more than likely wouldn’t want to be found. As far as he could make out, the kid was still in Bishop, which definitely helped matters. But it was unlikely he was still on the West Side. If Mitch had to bet any money on it, he’d definitely place him somewhere on the East. And thus to the East he went.

Three days later, and Mitch was fairly sure he’d found what he was looking for. Unfortunately, it was probably the last thing that James’ parents would want to here. As far the PI could tell, the runaway was indeed a runaway, and his new group of ‘friends’ was for more like a gang than any loving mother would care her son to have. The mystery was thus solved. Mitch’s part in proceedings was technically over – he’d found the boy, it wasn’t in his contract to go plucking him out of the viper’s nest. For a viper’s nest it surely was – this was Silver Snake’s territory…

A movement from the corner of his eye caught Mitch’s attention, curls moving in the breeze as he turned his head to seek it out. It was foolish to think that it would be James, but you never knew. It was with widening eyes behind the dark rimmed glasses that he took in the sight before him. A ghost of childhood past and no mistake. A ghost to be followed.

Moving towards the docks, still in the shadow of the blonde haired man ahead of him, Mitch finally found himself close enough to speak up. ”Adrian?”
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Joined: 29 Sep 2007, 15:22

09 Oct 2012, 18:03 #3

Shoes made a specific sound when slapping against the asphalt in this area. It could be the lightest thump, and yet it ricocheted so noticeably off the walls, bounced through the alleys, howled its warnings into the shadows, where the lurking figures would know to be careful. He heard it now, a gentle walk, but hurried enough to have purpose. Slowly and with practiced caution, his hand reached inside his dark jacket, his fingers soon caressing the blunt edge of his gun's grip. They curled around its edges, found their comfortable resting place and became connected again to this natural extension of his self, ready to draw it out, to turn and face whoever was following him, until that sound, that voice, that word, that utterance, that question.

He immediately came to a halt, and his hand seemed to recoil in horror, drawing abruptly away from the weapon. The naturalness of it all came to such a sudden end; a wall had been erected between him and that which came so naturally. (Already, he felt his fragments fracturing, beginning to become unstable again as they had been unstable for so long. Immediately, he felt himself coming undone.)

His eyes squeezed shut, hard and long, blocked out the faint dusk-light of the city, the pattern that danced around the inside of his eyelids now that everything was shut off. In his shoulders, a growing tension spread in tendrils throughout his body, wrapping themselves tightly around each muscle, each tendon, and squeezing until he felt his heart would stop beating, and he'd have to start anew.

Anew, as though it was even possible; the only end he would welcome now was the final one.

His hands shaped claws as his arms stretched along the sides of his body, fingertips digging into his thighs. He didn't know how long he'd stood there for, but though it seemed that an eternity had passed, he was convinced that it could not have been more than a few seconds. Everything had slowed. The world was holding its breath for him. So was he, he realized, and exhaled slowly.

Composure. That was the word. Yet another storm to be weathered.

Tilting his head forward, he angled it to the side enough that he could peer above his shoulder from behind it. "No," he said plainly to the figure he could see but scarcely make out, and considered it sufficient to dispel any doubt. (Personally, he was satisfied. He believed the exchange to be sincere.)

He exhaled again, slowly and quietly, while he raised himself up and faced the opening of the passage again, the edge of the docks in sight, and began to move forward again. All he wanted was to watch the waves for a bit, and then he would go inside, and he would be Snake, or Michael, or any mixture of the two, but never what this man accused him of, this shadow, this... Maybe he was a demon. Somehow, it comforted him that this might be the case. Demons had never frightened him.


this wound cuts straight through me; I fear I shall never be whole again
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Joined: 01 May 2011, 12:13

17 Oct 2012, 15:03 #4

Mitch thought he’d been mistaken. That the person he’d been following out towards the waterfront wasn’t a ghost from his past. But everything everything about the other man told him that his instinct had been right, even from this distance, with dusk already upon them. It was in the way the other man walked – his pace like something stalking, a predator hunting it’s prey. It was in the way he carried himself – the set of his shoulders, the movement of his arms. It might have been what…ten years since last they’d seen each other, perhaps even more….but as far as Mitch was concerned…this was Adrian. Pure and simple. A friend from a time some would argue he had done a lot to forget.

So caught up in the idea as he’d been – of a coincidence he hadn’t ever thought to have happened – Mitch almost didn’t notice the way the other man…the way Adrian….ground a halt. He was another few paces closer when he stopped himself – all the better not to walk straight into the guy. He might well have been completely caught up in his own thoughts, but the way the blonde halted so suddenly was enough to pull him out of them. It was enough for the knowledge of just where he was to sink in fully – just what it was he was doing. There was a reason the dark haired man was good at his job, and that was nothing to do with being able to charm answers out of people or startle them with his dashing good looks.

Here he stood, in an alleyway, close to the docks. He was unarmed – he was always unarmed – and following a man that, on reflection, might not take to kindly to being followed. Blue gaze resting on him now, he could see the way one hand seemed to be tucked into the inside of the jacket he wore – what manner of thing had he got in there? Knife? Gun? And then the blonde was moving again, hands moving to his sides, Mitch taking a reflexive half-step back. And then he released the breath he’d been holding – the hands were empty. He wasn’t going to be shot. Yet, anyway.

No more than a few seconds could have passed since Mitch had called out the familiar name, but the time seemed to stretch on. Too long. The denial when it came - short, and spoken without a trace of emotion – didn’t seem real. Mitch couldn’t accept it as being real. It had been too long in coming, for a start. And that wasn’t the sort of reaction people usually had, if you’d mistaken them for someone else. In such situations, you usually got a look of confusion before a shake of the head and a ’sorry, wrong person mate’. You didn’t’ get someone that looked as though their blood had just been switched for ice water and reaction so void of humanity as to seem almost rehearsed.

Running a hand through his hair, Mitch peered at the other man once more. He knew that this was Adrian. Knew it as surely as he knew his own name was Mitchell Lee Lewis. Question was…why was he denying it?

”Adrian…it’s me. Mitch Lewis.” Which was, he reflected as soon as the words had been spoken, potentially quite a stupid thing to have said.

But what was done, was done.
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Joined: 29 Sep 2007, 15:22

13 Nov 2012, 23:26 #5

Somewhere between the first syllable and the last, time came to a halt.

Michael did too, once again confronted with the invisible wall that separated him from his intended destination, formed with the bricks from six seemingly innocuous letters that seemed to loom above him with increasing potency. The world was perched to crumble around him, and all he could do was stop and stare ahead of him at the barely illuminated passage he meant to travel.

Already he heard the waves crashing against the docks, and it was at once unsettling again, that sound, that familiar brush of water against concrete that he occupied himself with watching every evening. Because Michael didn't fear the water as he had (did), because Michael didn't tremble at the sight of it as he would (did). Confirmation could be found only a few yards away, and yet this man, this demon persisted; despite his own satisfaction, the spectre refused to share it. He haunted him still, tugging at invisible shackles, invoking name upon name.

Adrian... It's me. Mitch Lewis.

He closed his eyes tight, squeezed them shut until spots appeared in his line of vision, and stood perfectly still, attempting to force the world to turn again, and to whisper away this impossibility. (After all, he had been so careful. After all, he had been so shielded.) His hands formed tight fists, clenched so tightly his knuckles turned a paler shade of white.

"That -" He tried, he failed, doubted he could fail better than this; he was floundering helplessly in a way he never did. This man, whoever or whatever he was (he chose to doubt his story for now; it was too terrifying a tale to pay any heed), had taken it all away from him, his composure, his control.

His jaw clenched now, firmly and angrily. In a sudden swirl, he turned and quickly strode the few steps up to the other man, hand outstretched and reaching for his throat. He could smother him, he thought, squeeze tightly until he'd stifled every bit of life in him, but the light illuminated one half of his face so pointedly in this position. He saw lips and eyes and nose and the line of his jaw, so familiar, so horrific that he froze again, hand suspended a mere inch, maybe less, from the other man's skin.

He stood there, tense, meeting his eyes until his own gave away to trail across the other man's face and recognize details he thought he would have forgotten after all these years. The tension left his hand; it was gentle as it rose and nearly touched. It hovered above his skin as it traced along the contours of his face.

Finally, he swallowed hard and stepped back, forced his eyes to look away. "Never heard of," he mumbled hastily and turned on his heel, quickened his pace and was determined to crash through the wall this time if he had to. This mire was a deceptive ocean; he'd drown in it if he allowed himself to settle into it.


this wound cuts straight through me; I fear I shall never be whole again
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