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When a set of those annoying blue tinted headlights turned onto the street, Jane jumped into the bushes beside the sidewalk. She fought down the fear of being spotted and waited until it turned again before leaving her cover and walking down the street, listened to the sharp clicks of the heels she had selected.

Once she had come to and pulled herself together from the shock of seeing a reflection covered in blood, she had jumped into the shower and done her best to wash away the evidence. She had been forced to cut her own hair into a pixie like bod to get rid of the clotted mats on the ends and had clogged the tub in the process. When she left the bathroom, she had also left a dark pool of red water waiting to be found.

Dumb luck had gotten her fresh cloths. The teenage daughter was the same size, although a lot shorter, so Jane had rummaged through her closet until she found something that would not look childish or stupid on her middle aged frame.

The mother had worn the same size shoe, so her only real problem was in finding something that didn’t clash. The mother must have been at least a little bit of a trophy wife because the only flats she had found were a set of fuzzy house slippers. Heels were uncomfortable and in Jane’s neighborhood, it paid to be able to run away. She had worn heels like this back in her stripping days, but that was a while ago.

What now walked out of the suburban hell that Jane imagined this place would turn into was a middle aged woman with a ragged haircut, black high heels that were not made for walking, wearing a bubble gum, perky goth cheerleader dress that was a bit too short for the weather which might have been part of a Halloween costume but at least it was not covered in a cartoon logo.

She wondered if the minivan was the family getting home from dinner after the game. She wondered if they might report her in their cloths.

She wondered what they would think of all the blood.

The air was cooling off, a breeze picking up and blowing around her bare thighs. Something made her sniff the air, and Jane knew that there was a storm coming. She had never been one to pay attention to the weather before, but tonight she knew that she didn’t have long to find a place to be if she didn’t want to get wet.

***

In the waist band of the only decent panties the girl had in her drawer was tucked the twelve dollars that Jane had found in the house. It wouldn’t be enough to get her a cab, but if she could find a bus stop, then she figured she should be able to get home.

But she hadn’t seen a bus stop yet. Her feet were killing her and she knew she was going to have blisters.   She stopped at a street sign, resting one hand on it and checking her foot, when the first fat rain drop hit the pavement beside her.

“Shit.”

The next one landed on her bare shoulder, the water was cold and it sent a shiver down her spine. As she turned to look around for a place to go, a cab pulled up beside her.

“You need a ride?”

When Jane peered into the cab, she was met with a thin, smiling face, covered in freckles. Bright green eyes looked out from under a shaggy mop of ginger hair and on reflex she smiled back. “No, I don’t have fare.”

“It’s starting to rain. Get in.”

Jane grabbed the handle, but the back door was locked. The voice from the cab said, “Up here and we can talk about it.”

She cursed under her breath as the rain started to pick up. She could only guess what the cabbie wanted, and it wasn’t like this would be a first for her, but why tonight. Jane started to back away from the door, figuring that wet and cold was better than whoring for a ride, but when the first few pieces of hail came down, she jumped into the front seat.

“So where are you headed this miserable evening?”

“River and Morgan.”

The cabbie whistled. “There isn’t a River Street in Carlstown.”

Jane’s eyes bugged out and she swore under her breath. Now the lack of bus stops made sense. “No, that is in Briarwood.”

“Oh honey, you need to head to the bus station. That is still on the other side of town from here and I know the buses won’t start running until morning.”

Staring at her hands while twisting her fingers together, Jane tried to consider her options. She was in another town, an hour or more away from home. She didn’t have enough money for a cab to the bus station and the bus ticket, not to mention food.

When she looked up at the ginger cabbie, Jane licked her lips and tried to sound sultry. “Is there anything you can do to help a girl out?”

He smiled, a big, genuine smile that lit his face up. “Yeah, probably.” The guy chewed on his lip with teeth that were stained from cigarettes as he looked her up and down before sighing and frowning.

“What? What’s wrong?”

“I don’t want to be a dick and I don’t want to take advantage of you,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, I really want to take advantage of you, but I can’t.”

Jane’s stomach clenched up as she saw her chance explode. He was having a moment of conscience, and it was going to back fire. He didn’t need to have conscience, she could do this. She reached out, and put her hand on his leg, but before she could start to rub his thigh, the cabbie put his hand over the top of hers.

“I want to offer you a deal. You willing to listen?”

She nodded, trying to hide her excitement.

“I don’t think I am going to have very many clients tonight, so here is what we can do. You ride with me tonight. Keep me company and talk to me. If I get a full cab and need the front, you have to get out at whatever stop it is. If you are still with me at the end of shift, I will take you to the bus station.”

“That’s all you want?”

“No,” he said with a tone of voice that made it sound like a stupid comment. “I would rather offer to take you to the bus stop in exchange for sex, but it isn’t right for me to take advantage of a lady stuck out in a storm.”

Jane smiled a real, happy, full face smile. It wasn’t something that she did all that often. There were not very many occasions for that kind of smile in her life. “I would be happy to keep you company and ride along. Thank you.”

The cabbie nodded and raised his hand. “I’m Brian.”

“Jane.”

They shook, he looked her up and down one more time, letting out a sigh before turning away and pulling out into traffic. “Seat belt there Jane.”

***

The techno music was blaring, giving Carl a headache that thumped along with the bass. He kept his eyes away from the flashing lights, knowing that if he focused on them, he might wake up on the floor after a seizure.

The bar was a riot of colors that made him think of the psychedelic seventies. Men of all shapes and sizes were talking, drinking, flirting and rubbing on each other and it made him sick.

The man beside him at the bar was staring out at the floor with a look on his face that reminded Carl of a cat about to pounce on a mouse. The guy was hunting, looking for sex in an urban jungle that reeked of cologne and spilt booze.

“Hi.”

The guy turned to Carl, gave him a once over, then smirked and said, “Oh honey, I am so out of your league,” before heading out to the dance floor with a wiggle in his step.

“That guy is kind of a dick.”

Carl turned to his left and found a blonde boy sipping a red drink through a pair of tiny stir straws. “Excuse me?”

“I said that guy is a dick. He thinks that because he is pretty he can be an ass to everyone.”

“A lot of people are like that.”

“Yeah, but not all of them have a tiny dick.”

Carl felt his dinner rise up in his throat a bit but fought the urge down while trying to smile. Once he was in control he extended his hand to the boy in the tight tank top. “My name is Carl.”

“Jack.”

Carl nodded towards the booths that lined the wall. “You want to go back there so we can talk without yelling?”

Jack looked Carl up and down, the same appraising look that the other guy had given him but when he met his eyes again Jack smiled. “Maybe, what are you looking for?”

Carl forced a pained grin onto his face. “A bottom for the rest of the night.”

Jack’s eyes lit up. “You are talking to the tightest bottom around here sweetie.”

“No,” he said under his breath. “I am talking to test subject number twelve.” Carl nodded toward the booth and Jack downed his drink before heading that way. Carl tapped the glass and the bartender sat another one down beside Carl’s orange juice.

Jack was almost dancing where he was sitting as Carl walked toward him, the pill already in the glass.

 

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Categories: Horror, serial, Were
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