Posts Tagged ‘Robin the Wanderer’

The Key Part 11

April 13, 2016

The Key

Robin stumbled out onto the pavement and punched the alley wall.  She felt so helpless but so grateful to be out in the open air of the city again.  Her world had never been normal but it had been normal for her.  Now she was learning how strange things had been while she had turned a blind eye to it.  She had no idea which way was up anymore.

She walked along the alley and there was R, leaning against the wall.  He looked a little like a puppet with cut strings.  When she got near him, he looked up and for some reason, she thought he would bark.  He did not do that.  Instead, he pushed himself to his feet.

“Robin!  I looked everywhere for you.  Something told me that here would be where I should wait,” R said.  He brushed himself off but it looked he still had some dusting of broken glass on his coat.

“I’m tired of all this Nightmare on Charles Street bullshit!” She yelled at everybody and nobody.

“Are you alright?”  R asked and something in his eyes made Robin calm down a little.

“No. I’ll never be alright again,”  Robin said.

“What happened?”  He asked.  He reached out to her but she stepped even further out of reach.

“Let’s just say I think I know where the tattoos come from and I want to throw up.  Where’s my car?  The damage is bad, huh?”  Robin asked with no small amount of sarcasm.  She wanted to change the subject but there was no cheerier subject.

“It’s completely gone.”  R said.

“Well, it was being crushed when I ran.  I guessed it would be totaled.  Crap!”  She said and kicked a loose piece of concrete.

“Well, yeah that’s probably right but it’s just vanished too,” He said.  He was looking at her like he was afraid she might explode again.  “There’s not even broken glass on the street.”

Robin just stared at him for a few moments.  “What?  Oh great.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.  The weird stuff keeps happening.”  She walked toward the front of the building and R followed.  The street was absolutely empty and the street lights were working again.  It was as if the attack had never happened.  She had half expected the car to be pristine and waiting for them there but it was indeed gone.

“When you ran, I tried to follow.  Before I could reach the building, something huge swatted me.  I flew through that window,”  R said.  He pointed toward a window that looked clean and untouched.

Robin looked up at that.  “Jeez, are you alright?”

“The coat stopped the broken glass and I’m just bruised a lot.  But thanks for asking,”  R said.

“I’m a little too self-centered sometimes.  I forget this horrible crap isn’t just hitting me, it’s happening to people like you too.  What happened then?”  She asked.

“The building kind of coughed me back out onto the pavement.  I tried the door and it was locked and then that thing swatted me again, this time into the alley.”

“You didn’t want to be in that building trust me.”

“Well, it wasn’t a picnic out here either.  I woke up in the alley and started investigating the situation.  Unfortunately, there was not much worth investigating. So I waited for you.”  R said.

“Well. I’ve had enough of the forces of darkness for tonight.  I don’t know if I can sleep but I’m so tired,” She said with a yawn and a scowl.

“Where do you want to go?  Back to check in on the, um, ladies?”  R asked.

“Oh hell no.  I can’t deal with that anymore today.”

“Well then, where do we go instead?”  R asked.

“My place should be relatively safe now.”

“Are you asking me over to your place?”  R asked with a bit of a smirk.

“Don’t get any ideas,” Robin said but she did grin just a litle bit.

“Alright.  How do we get there without a car?”  R asked.

“I’ll call an uber.  A few people have tipped me free rides, actually.” Robin said and pulled her phone out.   The battery was completely dead.

“Damn it!  That stupid spider trap took so long that my cell is dead.  I guess we’re walking until we see a taxi,”  Robin said without explanation.

They started to walk down the deserted street.  As they approached a parked car, Robin was struck with a sudden wave of nausea.  She stumbled and leaned on the car and she felt a sharp pain behind her ear.  The car made a loud ker-chunk sound as all four doors unlocked.  Robin stared dumbly at the car.  The nausea had passed.  R watched from a few steps away.

“It was the key,”  Robin said before R could ask.

“The what?” R asked.

Robin brushed her hair aside and showed the tiny key tattoo behind her ear.  “I’ve had it since I was a baby.  Bad parenting.”

“I wouldn’t be so sure,” R said.  “Are we meant to take the car?”

“Meant to?  I don’t know if I believe in ‘meant to’ but we’re taking it because I’m tired,”  Robin said.

They got into the car and, after a moment, Robin held her hand over the ignition.  There was a sharp pain again and the car started up.

The Key – Part 10

November 28, 2015

The Key

Robin stumbled through the darkness. It seemed to be an apartment building but all of the hall lights were out. She had tried to open the door she had entered but there was no handle on the inside. She had bruised her shoulder trying to bust it open by force. Now she was walking down the hallway, desperately trying to get back out so she could find R. She tried to use wall to her left as a guide as she walked. She jerked her hand away as the wall felt strangely crusted with grime. Why couldn’t things just be normal? Who had brought her there?

All of the doors looked the same. In the dim light from her upraised lighter, all of the doors looked gray with odd wooden doorknobs she had never seen before. The walls of the hallway were gray too whether from paint or grime or both. There were no numbers on the doors either. Robin had no idea how long she had been walking. Her eyes were drowsy and her legs were starting to ache. No matter which hallway she turned, everything looked the same.

The whole thing was making Robin angry but it felt like trying to start a campfire in a rainstorm. No matter how angry she got, she felt even more tired. She thought about just lying down on the floor and starting again in morning. That idea made her extra angry. How ridiculous was this building if she couldn’t get out of it? There had to be more bullshit magic at work here. She felt a surge of fear and anger at that thought. The really weird stuff found her when she was alone. Her lighter went out.

A light flickered to life over a doorway ahead. Robin walked down the hall to approach it and basked in the light for a moment. She was a nightowl but near absolute darkness had a away of making anyone love the light. Well, at least for a moment. She balled her right hand into a fist and hammered on the door hard. The sound echoed down the hallway in a way that Robin just didn’t like. She looked down the hallway to see if the sound had roused anything. Not one door stirred in the darkness.

However, the door directly in front of her opened up and a middle-aged, attractive woman stepped into the light. She was wearing pink lingerie or maybe red lingerie that had faded. She had make up on for a night out but obviously no plans on going anywhere.

“Can we help you?” The woman asked in a reedy yet seductive voice.

“Only if you know the way out.” Robin answered as she backed up a half step.

“Of course we know the way out. How else would we go into the world?” The woman replied with a sickening grin. Robin had a sinking feeling in her gut.

“Can you” Robin started before changing her mind “No. Will you lead me out of here?”

“We can and we will not. Please go away from our door.”

“You keep saying ‘we’ and ‘us’ and ‘our’. Is there somebody in there with you?” Robin asked. She leaned to the side to try to look past the woman and into her apartment. She had no success.

“Of course there is.” The woman said and smiled. The skin near her right eye started to throb and something black appeared in the corner of her eye. Then tiny appendages sprouted and stretched that little black object. Suddenly a small spider had pulled itself free from the woman’s eye and crawled across her cheek and into her hair. “There’s lots of us in here.”

Robin did not wait for anything else and instead turned and ran. Immediately she found herself falling down a set of stairs she swore wasn’t there before the door opened. She reached out and caught hold of the railing and stopped her descent. She stood and realized she was at the bottom of the stairway. Ahead of her was a long, long set of steep stairs. She looked back up the stairs she had fallen down and saw the woman approaching at a brisk pace. Robin turned again and climbed the steps as fast and hard as she could, trying to get away.

About halfway up, Robin chanced a look back over her shoulder and saw the woman was far too close for comfort. She tried to move faster but a couple of steps later she felt the woman slam into her back and she fell forward. Instead of hitting the steps, Robin felt like they were both tumbling through the darkness for a long time. The landing was sharp and Robin was no longer expecting when it happened. Impossibly, they were at the bottom of another stairwell and Robin was in water.

“Time for us to kill you.” The woman said and this time the sound was both raspy and reedy and terrifying. The woman grabbed Robin’s neck and used the grip to push Robin’s head under the water. Robin barely caught her breath and tried to hold onto it as the woman squeezed her neck under the water. It felt like ages that she was under as she struggled against the iron grip of the woman’s fingers. Eventually, she was pulled from the water roughly. Robin felt that now familiar otherworldly energy welling up deep inside. “Why won’t you die?”

Robin grunted and sputtered but glared at the woman. “Just give it to me already. Just give it to me. I want it!” She yelled the last as if it had been an incantation. The woman wretched and gagged above her and a giant spider emerged from the woman’s throat and through her open mouth. She leaned down and Robin tried to shake her head, to get loose but it was no use. The spider crawled down and into Robin’s mouth and she gagged herself but it went all the way down. There was intense burning deep inside of Robin and she shook and trembled as the woman let her neck go.

The burning sensation started to surface toward Robin’s shoulder and Robin tore at her shirt to expose the skin. She looked down and saw the spider there in tattoo form but it was moving as if it was struggling to get free. Robin touched it and it shied away from her fingers or at least it tried to. She focused on the thing and very slowly it stopped moving. She looked at the woman, slumped against the wall and saw something of stunned relief in the woman’s eyes. A black mist spewed from every pore and again the mist or smoke screamed with an otherworldly voice.

Robin looked around, feeling a little dizzy. She realized she was sitting in the middle of an alleyway and the woman wasn’t moving in front of her. Nervously she reached to check the woman’s pulse and it wasn’t there. The woman wasn’t breathing either. Robin was way too tired now. She found herself drifting off as she leaned on the wall across from the woman.

The Key Pt. 9

July 27, 2015

The Key

They got into Robin’s car and the mood was tense as they drove off into the night. The silence was uncomfortable as R shifted in his seat to get comfortable. The car was just a little bit small to fit his legs correctly but he was managing. He had thrown his coat in the backseat to gain a little more space. Robin didn’t want to look over at the muscles showing through his shirt. She was afraid she might start ogling him again. She was too determined, too focused on the task at hand to risk distraction. This put her in a bad mood again but it was easier to be angry than scared.

“Where are we going?” R finally asked after twelve blocks. He was interrupting the smooth hum of the street. It was only then that Robin realized she had caught nine greenlights in a row. Weird.

“I have no clue. I need answers.” She said, hopefully shutting down conversation.

“Have you thought about how all the weird stuff always seems to find you? Maybe we could use that to our advantage?”

A red light caused Robin to stop the car and she took the opportunity to turn and look at R. “I’m not going to bother with sarcasm. I’m too tired. If your solution is to sit somewhere and wait then I can’t do it. I can’t sit back, do nothing and wait for bad things to happen to me. That’s I’ve done this whole time. I tried to ignore blackouts and weird tattoos with my shitty waitress jobb. You know what? I want that shitty waitress job and a quiet life and I’m going to get it if it kills me.”

The car was silent again except for the heavy breathing coming from Robin. R watched her while her eyes went back to the road. Right on cue the light changed to green and the silence returned for a while.

“Feel better?” R asked.

Robin took a deep breath as she thought about it. “Yeah. A little.”

“So what’s the plan?”

“We’re heading to my place. That’s where the Doll was. If I’m supposed to turn people back, it’s as good a place as any to find another victim of whatever this is.”

There was a sudden grinding noise underneat them and the car slowed to a very loud stop. They were both out of the car immediately. The car’s tires and wheels looked like they had been chewed up in a giant lawnmower.

“What the hell happened?!” Robin screamed. “Whatever it is, it owes me a car!”

Before R could respond, all of the streetlights started to go out and all the lights in the building around them. All around them was darkness except for the headlights on Robin’s car.

“I think we have more important things to worry about.” R said as he pulled his coat and gun from the backseat.

Anger gave way to fear for Robin as she tried to peer into the darkness around them. Just like the night before she could sense something big moving out there but she could not see it. It stayed just outside the limits of the headlights. In fact, it felt like several things and they felt very large. She had a feeling that she shouldn’t look but she had to. She kept peering into the darkness and felt both frustrated and relieved that she didn’t see anything. She looked over at R who was point his gun into the darkness. What a fool. He had no idea how pointless that was.

Suddenly something heavy landed on top of the car and splinters of plastic and glass flew everywhere. R and Robin shielded their eyes and looked back but neither of them could see anything. The headlights had gone out. Robin could hear the car being slowly crushed. He heart started to hammer in her chest. She trembled, shook and then she bolted. She ran through the darkness without any idea where she was going.

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