Creative Writing · During · Stage 1 · Stories

Stage 1 – Take 3 – Day 1 – During – Scratched Deposits

God. Damn. It. I missed last night again. This kitchen will be the death of me. Or something. I don’t know. This weekend’s going to be tricky too, it’s jam packed full of activities to distract and tire me.

Anyway, today’s piece continues directly on from day 2-2.


Creepiness aside, Empire Bowl has several points in its favour. I’m intimately familiar with it, the manager’s office is easily defended, and it’s inside an all-physics zone. That last point is extremely important to me. Many who survived the end or who were born after it have various powers. People claim that many had them before the end and us ‘normals’ just didn’t know any better. I’m not sure about that, but you only need to see someone sling a fireball in your direction once to be convinced that they exist now. But they don’t work in Empire Bowl. And neither do the weird sci-fi guns the Scions of Earth carry around. Which is to my advantage, as all I’ve got is a mediocre left hook, a trusty shotgun, and a leather duster. Cliché? Sure. But when you’re a mercenary wanting work, it pays to look the part.

I had stopped in to Empire Bowl to deposit my payment for escorting a man and his daughter through the Orange Swamp – a month’s food and a fine bottle of scotch. I was covered in grit and grime and stank like the swamp. This was to be a momentary stop before heading to Bethany’s Brothel – which, despite the name, sold no sexual services but did have running hot water and soft beds.

The last thing I love about Empire Bowl is the quiet. It makes libraries sound like packed stadiums. Which is why the faint scratching sound I started to hear moments after opening my safe got my undivided attention.

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