Beck drew the sheet over what remained of Xan Fe, the explosion that had torn through stone and timber in the sampan lagoon had done far worse to the flesh and bone of Li Fe’s father. Rising Beck felt as if the weight of the fallen rail car was on him; one by one, person by person Li Fe’s family was being torn apart and he was powerless to stop it. He grunted vague agreements to the nun asking for a report for the sheriff, but in reality all he could think about was the poor woman he now had to go and see. How the hell could he tell someone who’d lost everything that the cruel, godless universe had seen fit to take away still more?
Not for the first time today that morning, he found himself replaying the terrible events of his journey through the northern ice-flows that brought him here. The bleak white forever and the two small black stains fading into the distance. As he climbed wearily on to his bicycle and headed off along the wharf towards Shamian, he felt the dark eyes of the hotel above boring into him, seeking out his weaknesses, staring into the emptiness rotting away in his gut and smiling. He hated himself, he wanted to be stronger, to tell himself he wouldn’t give in but he knew he’d be back later, once the dark night had crept over the city and could hide his shame.
Hours later, in the dead of night and as Beck sank deep into the smoke of the Dragon Lady’s lair, an ancient evil crawled out of the waves and on to the streets of Steelhead city. His heart was blacker than pitch brimming over with the desire to kill…
To be continued…
Links to other blogs and stories:
1) All my “Mutations” posts can be read on my blog here.
2) All my “Steal Head” posts can be read on my blog here and on the Steelhead Ning here.
3) A “Steal Head” Story So Far recap can be found here.