I walked out of Coffee and Corks about half an hour later. It had started misting outside—the sort of rain that just liked to remind you that it could rain if it really wanted to, but felt that simply annoying everyone wearing glasses would suffice. I grimaced. I hadn’t brought my handkerchief down to town. I’d be half-blind through the full walk.
I tried to pop the collar on my pea coat, failed, tried again, failed again, and kept walking and repeating.
As I walked through the Buttermarket and passed the Cathedral Gates, I heard someone clear their throat to my right side. “Stalker,” I said, “what do you need?”
“Oh,” said a decidedly un-Stalker voice, “I don’t need anything, dear chap. I would, however, like the time.”
“What?” I stopped and looked over. Standing there, holding a thin, yet incredibly classy, black umbrella was a tall, thin man with a pencil mustache wearing a black three-piece suit and a bowler cap. “Oh for Christ’s sake,” I continued. “Not again.”
“Hold still, would you? Only take a second.”
In a blur, the man whipped out a hyperdermic syringe and jabbed it through my both my pea coat and my shirt, nailing my vein on the spot. He pushed in the stopper and I felt the woozy immediately. “Yer good youknowthat?”
“Terribly sorry,” he said, catching me as I fell and cleaning the needle while still holding the umbrella. (This might have happened in a chain of events. I don’t know. I can’t imagine that I was in any way a reputable witness during that time.) “Couldn’t understand a word you said. Seems you came down with a bit of vertigo, what? Better take care of you.”
Another person wobbled into my field of vision, and I saw him turn into not one person, but five continuously morphing and mutating individuals. The five of him blurred into one another, eventually stacking and then changing into a rough approximation of what a seven foot-tall horribly mutated man would look like through a fish-eye lens. I didn’t hear what he said, but the bowler-hat individual certainly turned him away.And that’s when I blacked out, but not before thinking that I was really tired of all of this bullshit.