Chapter 3: The King of Forty Thieves

"St. Jimmy's comin' down across the alleyway. Up on the boulevard like a zip gun on parade"

I awoke the next morning with a pounding in my skull. It'd been too late to find a hotel that night and so I'd wandered around for a while and then ever so gladly taken to curling up the doorway of a closed down shop. It wasn't the best place in the world to go spend the night, but it was better than nowhere and I had fallen asleep almost instantly. I regretted it now though. My neck felt like it had been snapped in two and my poor head felt like an elephant was trying to tap dance on it. Groaning, I shifted out from beneath my jacket, which I'd been using as a blanket and rubbed the back of my neck with a shakey hand.

The sun was beaming down at the world from its smiling position in the blue sky and I squinted, trying to adjust myself to the brightness of the morning. To say that it'd been raining last night, the day was setting off to an incredibly sunny start. Shading my sensitive eyes with one hand and clutching my jacket in the other, I slowly pulled myself to my feet.

"Light of a silhouette. He's insubordinate"

Blinking, I lifted my gaze to the lively street ahead of me. Hundreds of people were filing past, their voices mingled in the chattery air. Twining this way and that way around each other like scurrying ants. Finally, somewhere that was actually alive! My nose wrinkled, I could smell the scent of petrol and the unearthly aroma of freshly laid tarmac. Over the chatters of the passersby I could hear the roar of traffic and the faint tinkling of music from a shop nearby. The city was just how I expected it to be and I gazed around wildly, taking everything in.

"Suicide commando that your momma talked about"

Two men brushed past me, talking to one another. One was taller than the other and had black hair with an electric blue stripe striking right down the centre and for a moment his eyes flickered over me, before returning his gaze back to his companion. Feeling rather uneasy I stepped off into the hustle and bustle of the street, deciding that it would be best for me to seek out a public toilets where I could freshen myself up in order to start my search of a place to stay.

I stopped for directions and a business man, carrying a rather large briefcase, pointed me in the direction of the closest toilets. I nodded, thanking him and scuttled off the way that he had gestured. Soon enough I found myself stepping into the graffitied shelter of the public bathroom.

"King of the forty theives and I'm here to represent, that needle in the vein of the establishment"

Taking a deep breath, I wandered over to the sinks, dreading the appearance of my reflection in the mirrors placed ahead of them. I placed my jacket on the wash basin next to me and turned on the tap, watching as warm swirling water danced around the chipped cream ceramic. Lifting my head I let my own eyes brush over the figure that gazed back at me from the mirror. A short teenage boy blinked continuosly back, edging around perhaps five feet and six inches. Scuffed dark blonde hair fell unorderly over his tired grey eyes and his skin was pale, giving him a rather sickly appearance. Hey, I never said I was pretty...

Running my hands through the tousled lengths of my hair, I sighed and bent my head closer to the sink, splashing water onto my face in an attempt to wake myself up a little. Lifting my eyes back to the mirror I was surprised to see another figure in the reflection.

"I'm the patron saint of the denial with an angel face and a taste for suicidal"

He was leant against one of the cubicle doors behind me. One hand in his pocket the other fiddled with a lighter as he bent his head to light the cigarette that was placed between his lips. He was a tall fellow, compared to me anyway and I watched him through the mirror, as he slipped the lighter into one of the many pockets that adorned his rather fetching black plaid bondage pants. "Where do ya come from?" he asked suddenly, running a hand through his black hair, ruffling it slightly so that the blue streak that ran down the middle stuck up on end.

I frowned, still watching him through the mirror, as I reached for my jacket. "Don' worry kid, I aint gonna 'urt'cha." he added, an amused look playing about his face.

"Wikemsburg." I answered shortly.

The guy grinned, taking a few steps closer so that he was now looking over my shoulder. Adjusting his black and white, pinstripe neck tie in the mirror he spoke again, "I'n't that that lil' sleepy town a few miles north of 'ere? Full o' snobs?"

"Cigarettes and ramen and a little bag of dope"

I nodded. "Yeah...I guess you could say that." I replied, as I slipped my jacket on and turned to leave.

"Why did you run away?" I halted. "Don't look so surprised kid. I see thousands like you everyday. All from broken 'omes. Pity really."


"You 'eard me." the stranger answered, moving off across the sinks, still fidgeting with the tie around his neck.

I frowned again, peering at him. He looked around the age of nineteen and I began to size him up, trying to calculate whether or not I'd be able to take him on. "Who are you?" I asked, folding my arms across my chest, trying to make myself seem important.

The guy turned to me, taking a puff of his cigarette. He held out a hand, "The name's Jack. Jack Rydon." he told me confidently, smirking as I hesitated, "And you are?"

"Kimberly Black." I answered, taking his hand.

Jack's face screwed up into a wierd combination of hysteria and perplexity and he blinked, nodding at me, "Your mother not like you or summat?"

"I'm a teenage assassin executing some fun in the cult of the life of crime."

He took another long drag from his cigarette and blew a gentle plume of grey smoke into the air above my head. "You look like you could do wi' somewhere to stay, mate." he said. I stared at him and he pulled a packet of cigarettes out of a pocket on his pants, offering them towards me, "Wanna fag?"

I shook my head and he shrugged, putting the packet away again. "Do you know any cheap hotels?" I asked.

Jack blinked on at me in surprise and placed a hand on my shoulder, "Hotel? Ha! I know jus' the place... Come wi' me." And with that he walked off towards the door, turning back one last time to ruffle his hair in the nearest mirror before gesturing for me to follow.

"Welcome to the club and give me some blood and the resident leader at the lost and found"