Sir Baubius's Storytelling Hub

An Unnamed Series Of Tales

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A businessman, a druggie, and a priest met in a room. The walls were painted with mold, filth, and graffiti, and a single light above them flickered like the sun hiding behind clouds. Each of the men sat in cheap plastic chairs. Playing cards were laid out on a foldable table in front of them.

"Fine seeing you gentlemen again," the priest muttered, his eyes searching the room for a presence other than their own.

"I'd rather we never met," the businessman sighed, "but I suppose it was a given."

"What, so you're not happy to see us again, George?" The druggie leaned back in his chair, dark bags hanging from under his eyes like heavy curtains. His vision was blurry, yet he could see their faces just fine.

"Part of me is, but I'd rather smother that feeling. I only came because… well, it was the only place I could go."

"Really? Do tell."

"I used to live in an apartment building downtown. I lived there for a few months. But then they came." His visage sunk into the shadows, and he recollected his thoughts. "I don't know what exactly happened. Don't know how they found me. My best guess is that one of my neighbors sold me out."

"And how do you think they got the clue?" The priest inquired. The businessman looked up, his pupils widening and a bead of sweat draping over his forehead. The druggie sunk back into his seat, looking to avoid the possible argument that would strike the three soon.

"I… I… I couldn't help it, Harold. I was alone. I hadn't gone out for days. And then I met this fellow named Bill. He was friendly and all, so I trusted him. We went out to go get some drinks, and it was going pretty well at the time… but he got it outta me. He got me to tell him about those fucking dreams. And as much as I fucking hated telling him, he made me feel better. He made me feel at home, despite my nervousness."

George's palms leaked with sweat, and his breathing was brusque and heavy. Harold let out a long sigh, before opening his eyes again and drawing a single card from the deck.

"Understood," he said, "sometimes people slip up. And I can—"

"B-but I can't believe I told him…" Harold looked up from his cards to see George cupping his face in his hands. "I-I fucking told him! I couldn't help myself, but h-he made me do it!" George looked up and took a deep breath.

"Calm down, friend. You're okay."

"Thanks. So, afterward, I think he told a therapist or something. Maybe he wanted to help, or he thought I was a fucking nutjob. I dunno, but one thing lead to another, and now they know my name."

George took one last breath. He ended his story and the game went on.

«Recording is on. Check your mics, boys.»

«EH-1 is in.»

«EH-3, check.»

«EH-2, ready to go.»

«Aight, you're all good to go. We may proceed.» EH-Cap, the captain of Mobile Task Force EH-90, pried open a heavy, rusty door while his team adjusted their headsets. Once the door was opened, filthy and humid air rushed from its interior. Multiple flooded sewer canals stood before them. Darkness was brushed against every corner. The team activated their lights and charged on.

"What about you…"

"Jack. The name's Jack," the druggie coughed, searching through his deck.

"Right, sorry. What've you been up to since we've last seen 'ya?"

"I've been trying to give up on drugs, George. Ever since I got into vic, they've been after me."

"And how have you been doing?" Harold asked.

"It's… fine. I'm fine, I guess. I have all the happy memories I need, y'know?" Jack put forth a five of spades, and George clenched his fist.

"Relax, George. This isn't gambling." Harold reminded him.

"Yeah, you're right. Sorry," George sighed, loosening his hand.

"I see I got on someone's bad side," Jack mocked, shuffling through his cards.

"Shut your trap, boy. You ain't winning yet." George swiftly slammed a five of hearts onto the table with only three cards left.

"Aw, shit's getting real." Jack chuckled nervously.

"What about Pauline, Jack? Have you seen her lately?" Harold says, desperately searching for a card to play.

"Oh, well she… We and I just couldn't do it anymore, Harold. After they started tracking me, she sold herself out to them. And they took her. And… I saw her at the mall yesterday. I went up to her, and…"

"And what? What happened, Jack?" George asked.

"She didn't know me. They… those motherfuckers erased me from her memories, I know it! I don't know if it was because of the vic, but that was the strangest shit I've ever taken, so it must be!"

The room fell into silence. Their eyes looked back and forth before they all burst out into laughter.

"Well, I mean, she was kind of a bitch anyways," Jack scoffed. George let out a single chuckle while drawing a card. "So why should I care?"

"Best you forget about her, Jack." Harold clenches his teeth, getting his head into the game.

"Already on it. And the vic's helping, too."

"I thought you quit!"

"I did, it's just… the memories from the vic are helping. I should have re-phrased that, sorry." Another chuckle emanated from the three.

"Glad we're finally getting chipper," George sighs. "And speaking of which…" As the others glance at George, he produces a pack of cigarettes.

"Damn! Where'd you get these, George?" Harold laughs.

"I got them from a fellow named Parry. He's also running from them. Dig in, boys."

A Businessman, A Druggie, And A Priest Met In A Room | Rooms Through Dusk »