As you can no doubt tell from the title, I am too tired to blog today. I have masses of Homework even though the first week is barely cold in it's grave, and I am less that enthusiastic about it. So I shall just chuck out another bleary eyed section, then love you and leave you.
Carlton stood before the door of the Third Eye for a long time, contemplating what would await him inside. The he gave up guessing, and went inside anyway. To find the entire tavern in the middle of a brawl.
He was just quick enough to avoid the first fist that swung towards him, but he was unable to block the second. He was thrown off his feet as the breath whooshed out of him and he hit the wooden panelling of the wall with a thud. Grimacing, he spat blood and staggered to his feet. All around him, big, burly men were being thrown over tables and chairs, and there was the sickening sound of bones shattering. Carlton looked around, panicked, and aimed a wild punch when he felt someone closing in. He felt the victims nose collapse under the strain.
Behind the bar, two young barmaids were crying and hugging each other. Carlton made his way over and crouched next to them, ignoring their stricken faces. ‘Are you okay?’ he asked gruffly. The first maid, a woman with a pixie cut and too much eyeliner, nodded, but beside her the other girl shook her head. She rolled up what Carlton had taken to be a black sleeve, but under closer inspection was dark red and sticky with blood, to reveal a messy gash around three centimetres long, glittering with powdered glass. A tear dripped on to it and the girl hissed. Carlton tutted and tore a strip off his jacket, wrapping it around the cut. The girl cried again. ‘What’s your name?’ he asked softly. He had to lean in close to hear the reply ‘Sophie’
Eyeliner girl was whispering franticly. ‘I don’t know what happened. There was this man, a regular of ours, Jamie, and he was sat there drinking. Then this big guy, never seen him before, walked in and slammed a bag on the table. Whatever it was, he looked pretty angry about it, and he kept trying to give it to our Jamie. Jamie was terrified though, he wouldn’t take it, and then, totally out of the blue like, the man punched him in the face. Then, you know what people are like when they’ve had a bit much to drink, everything just went mental, and people just kept joining in. I nearly got a black eye, but poor Sophie here got a smashed bottle stuck in her arm. I got it out like, but it looks pretty nasty.’ She paused to take a breath, poor girl looked really torn up.
‘Are either of the men still here now?’ Carlton asked. The girls shrugged. In the chaos though, he could see it would be hard to tell. He cringed as a body flew over their heads and smashed into a conveniently placed mirror. Clutched in his hand was something black and white and, ironically, red all over. A newspaper.He quickly slipped away (after leaving more strips of his jacket and warding off wads of cash from an hysterical and grateful Sophie) to find what he had come for.
Climbing through the mirrors now empty frame, he found it was actually concealing a staircase. From the bloody trail smeared across them, he guessed the poor man had bumped his way down each painful step. Carlton picked his way down, avoiding the places that were slick with blood, and found himself in the wine cellar. Hundreds of casks of wine, still fermenting, were laid in neat rows that stretched far in front of him. There were huge barrels of ale piled haphazardly in the corners, and a few delicate champagne bottles were gathering dust in a glass-fronted cabinet. It looked quite impressive, Carlton decided, but the effect was quite ruined by the corpse laying face down in the middle of the floor, clutching a newspaper in one fist.
Carlton walked slowly towards the body, trying his hardest not to retch. The steps had obviously taken the last bit of life out the guy, and he felt a rush of sympathy towards him. Kneeling down beside what had once been the man, he prised the cold fingers away from the paper. It was horrible work, and he had to stop himself from thinking about what he was actually doing, but eventually he was holding his prize, the newspaper, in his own hand.
Opening it with trembling fingers, he found nothing out of the ordinary. There was a story about the newest politician to disgust the masses, and a progress report of the security measures of Asylum, the prison for differently sane. He sighed, and tore the paper in half. As he did so, an envelope, parchment, not paper, dropped out, and fell with a rustle, to the floor. He picked up the paper, but threw away the rustle, as it wasn’t needed. The envelope was unmarked, not addressed to him, but he tucked it into his now incredibly frayed, sleeveless coat, and got the hell out of there.
There we are.
The Literary Spider.