Stay or Go

Without the baggage of the ol’ man, Hunter had been able to utilize his stealth to the fullest. Once he had seen Romeo being carried to the house Lola was trapped in, he knew it didn’t have the force he had previously assumed. It also meant this wasn’t the final destination. It was more of a rest stop – for what he didn’t know.

The realization that he had been hiding from a phantom force had made him angry. But he had managed to keep it in check. He was now hiding in the forest, taking advantage of the night and the fact that the two people who should still be worried about him were probably nursing Romeo.

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The old man

An old man sat at a desk, his head buried into his chest, eyes closed and arms crossed across a bloated tummy. His legs were crossed too. Lips pouted in concentration, reading glasses held precariously on the nose, soft snores could be heard coming from his being. His clothes were rumpled, mismatched and faded.

The desk was empty, not because the man was fastidious in such matters. It was empty because he didn’t have anything to do; which would also explain why he was dozing in the middle of a sultry afternoon.

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She stepped out of the shower and wrapped a towel securely around herself. Before exiting the bathroom, she rechecked that all the curtains were tightly drawn. Leaving the bathroom door ajar to light the otherwise dim room, she padded across her bedroom and sat on the bed with a sigh. It wasn’t a happy sigh, nor was it relieved or sad – just an in-between space.

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The Wait

The kid had been right about one thing…approaching the house she was locked in would not be easy. That perhaps was the only reason the gunslinger hadn’t made a move.

Without Lola in the picture, Hunter had had little to worry about. No one was lying in wait to snatch away the prize, no one wanted to kill him and people definitely didn’t give a rat’s ass if Romeo was alive or dead. He had been a nobody before and he was a nobody now.

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The Kid

When Lola woke up, she was surprised to find herself on a comfortable bed, inside, after a long time. She was sure had she not been drugged, she wouldn’t have been able to sleep; so accustomed had she become to the night sky, wind blowing and Hunter’s blankets that smelled faintly of dust, sweat, smoke and raspberries.

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When Hunter returned to the land of the living, it was with an intense need to urinate. It helped that he hadn’t been tied up. Once he had relieved himself, he patted his body to take stock of the damage done. Except for a slight bump on his head, a dry and bitter mouth, aching limbs and anger, he was fine.

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Urmilla: Part IV

She didn’t want to. She had promised herself she wouldn’t return. But her curiosity got the better of her. Next morning, making an excuse that sounded untrue even to her ears, Urmilla went to the same place, sat at the same spot, in the same position with her feet dipped in the water. She fervently hoped Master Mei Ling, whether figment of her imagination or not, would show up.

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