Salor took us through the dark streets of Bazaar, always keeping to the shadows and staying out of well traveled roads. We soon found ourselves in a very questionable area of Bazaar known as the Abyss. This is where all the secret, perverted, and criminal members of the Tribes and Fallen alike get their kicks. I have heard that it’s on par with Ile Perdue. Maybe worse. Safely reaching the entrance to the tavern of thieves and killers, Salor took his leave of us, telling us that the proprietor, Andora, knows that we were staying till the full moon and that him and Daryck will pick us up in two days. Swell, we would just hang out and keep outta trouble till our escort returned. Unlikely! With the people I was hanging around with that seemed next to impossible, as you’ll soon see.
Andora showed us to a table in the corner and offered us the services of some of her ‘kids’! We were shocked, but didn’t show too much contempt, after all, she was our host. She also offered us our fortunes read, but not wanting to play with fate just two nights before Mortuary, we politely refused. As we got comfortable, the sights that greeted us about the den were appalling. Kids and young girls were pleasuring tribals and outcasts in plain view. Whores, male and female, were soliciting us and others for nothing more than wanting to feel worthwhile. It was disgusting. Not because of the acts themselves, but because of why people were doing them. It seemed vile and sickening. It felt like we were lost.
I had always thought of Evans as being kind and caring with a touch of overbearingness. That opinion changed quite quickly after our run in with a real bruiser. I noticed him staring at Cinder during our discussion about why Mary had died and resurrected as Agnes. Yea, I know. We were having a deep conversation amid sex, sin and debauchery. . . what can we say?!
I pointed him out to Cinder, hoping she would cover up, or turn her back to him, or appear to look a little less sexy in general. But no, she instead waved him over. Now this guy was big. I mean huge. He probably slept with sheep and raised houses to get his exercise. Definitely not someone we wanted to hang out with. Besides, he was an Evan and we were Fallen attempting to hide out for two days. Oh well, that’s what you get. Once a Dahlian, always a Dahlian.
He pushed a chair open, inviting Cinder to sit down with him. I could see his one hand was below the table! Cinder dared Chigger to go over, goading her on, knowing just what strings to pull to have the stage open for the show. Chigger went. I told her to sit down, but she went any ways. What happened to ‘Pi’ and our symbol of unity? We were past all this juvenile garbage, I had thought, but apparently I was wrong. Again, my ideals had outlived their usefulness!
Things went from bad to worse after Chigger refused to go with the guy. He insisted, of course, and an argument broke out. A friend of his, an even huger guy by the bar who had smashed someone’s head open earlier came over to back up the Evan.
Great, here we were in the middle of a confrontation with a couple of locals. In fact, a Dahlian who was being well taken care of in the corner, chuckled over that the second bruiser was the leader of a gang in the Abyss. ‘THE’ gang in the Abyss actually. I guess I was the only one to hear him, because my fellow idiots failed to back down. Just before heads stared rolling, Andora came over and informed us that our ‘private’ room was ready. We escaped just in time to a small back room that left little to the imagination. We cleaned it up as best we could, happy to be clear of the danger.
We argued a bit before we tried to sleep. We didn’t resolve anything and kept to ourselves the rest of the night. Chigger and Cinder are a couple of idiots. I know that now. The next day I spoke with Cinder and told her that she either takes responsibility for Chigger’s actions or to shut up when I do. I was sick of Cinder not saying anything and then defending Chigger whenever I got mad at her. It seemed hypocritical. Fucken sisters!
That night, we all had the same dream. We were standing in a large circle in heavy rain. Shadows swayed along the edges, each one holding a torch. Lightning cracked the sky and the dried dirt broke into islands along the ground. The rain quickly turned the earth into a soggy, muddy pit and our feet sunk into it, trapping us. We looked into the center of the circle and an arm breached the ground, rising into the air, fingers outstretched. Lightning cracked the sky and we woke up.
Breakfast was brought to us by Andora. It was nothing great, just bread and milk. We ate in silence. I was mad. Really mad. None of us spoke for most of the day. We had until next morning here and Chigger suggested we scout out the neighborhood! I snapped. I yelled at her that we were to not draw any attention to ourselves. She was a stupid bitch and was going to get us all killed. I screamed at her to shut up and sit still or I would make her sit still. Cinder once again came to her rescue. I glared back at the two sisters and saw my death in them. They would kill me with their shenanigans and shortsighted ways. I knew I couldn’t stay with them forever. After Slash was rescued, I was thinking of leaving the group. I glanced at my arm and covered it up, ashamed of our symbol.
That night the Evans returned. The Dahlian in the corner (I thought I heard his name was Darun by one of the wenches) Chuckled again at our plight. As was expected, the Evan came over and continued harassing us as though no time had passed. Things once again escalated and Andora was nowhere to be seen. Shit. We were seriously in trouble. The Evan grabbed Chigger by the arm and her small size was defenseless against him. That’s when our silent warrior stood up. She pulled her sword from its scabbard and placed the tip at the Evans throat. The Bruiser gang leader had a smirk on his face, as though he didn’t think Mana would do anything. I covered my face and sank deeper iinto the booth as the Evan dropped to the floor, his head hanging from his shoulders by a small line of flesh.
The bar was dead quiet. Andora called off her guards and we took the Evans body out front and burned it. The gang leader went and sat at the bar, not looking back at us for any reason. I can’t blame Mana for what she did. The sisters ( Chigger and Cinder ) brought it upon us. Mana just did what she had to do, but maybe Cinder was right. Maybe the whole Darius thing wasn’t that healthy for her.
I spoke to Cinder after. She aplogized about defending Chigger again. She also apologized for the mess she helped create. I knew that if Daryck and Salor didn’t show up in the morning, our lives would be over. I told her this and I also told her that I might leave after we get Slash back. She just looked at me and said she wouldn’t blame me. We stood there and watched the body burn.
The next morning, before sunup, Salor came for us. He spoke quickly to Andora and then took us to some horses where Daryck and two others were waiting. We rode quickly from Bazaar and soon found ourselves outside of the Abyss and the regular city. We were on our way to the Great Hill north of Mortuary. The moon was slightly visible in the dawning sky, but the warm days we had grown accustomed to were clouding over. It seemed we might get a summer storm! Just our luck!