i haven't slept for well over 24 hours again and this is what happened
Harry and Andy were escorted by a man wearing a scuffed suit and with a nasty scar through his lip to a dimly-lit back room, hazy with cigarette smoke and other narcotics. A dozen men sat around an elongated table playing cards, smoking and drinking. By the look of it they'd been doing it for some time considering the many empty whisky bottles and cigar butts that littered the floor around them.
“These are the guys, Jorra.” Said the escort.
One of the men at the table looked up to identify Harry and Andy after snorting a line of white powder noisily, displaying his warped face and blood-red eyes. That's when Harry realized that none of them were human. Physically they resembled the human form, but they were severely corrupted and it was obvious once up-close.
“You got business for me, Andrew?” He croaked, showing a multitude of yellow, jagged teeth.
“Enteh Rebels.” Harry replied. “We want their Eastern battalion gone.”
Jorra looked offended and half turned to someone to his right, saying “Who the fuck is this guy, Hov? Why is this guy talkin' to me?”
“I dunno, cap.” Growled a man who looked more like a crocodile, dribbling as he did so. “Maybe he thinks he's doin' business with us.”
Harry took the hint and kept quiet, leaving Andy to finalize the deal.
“We want Enteh's entire Eastern battalion wiped out before they mobilise.” Andy repeated.
“Oh yeah?” Jorra chuckled. “And what's in it for me?”
“All the souls you can harvest. All of them.” Andy bartered, pretty confidently.
“Souls, huh?” Jorra nodded. “A whole battalion. All the souls I'd ever want, right?”
Andy nodded in agreement, as did Harry.
“Can't ever have enough souls.” A man to the far right drawled in a gravely voice, his face having warped into a dog-like muzzle but with messy rows of jagged canines. “Maria can vouch for that.”
A majority of the men around the table chortled at this, sounding more like a collection of guttural groans.
“Maria? You mean...my Maria?” Harry asked, tentatively.
“She sends her regards.” The dog-like man said plainly without looking up from his cards, as if the matter were trivial.
“Shut your runnin' mouth, Kol, and play your fucking hand!” Rasped a man with a completely scaled face and a black, forked tongue. “I want the power you're offerin', so here's the fucking anti I've been trying to give you for the past forever.”
“Then that means...” Harry tapered off into the realization that his wife was dead.
“Urgh, then there's this guy again!” Jorra snarled at Harry, his mouth and face twitching in distaste and anger. “Get him outta here, Frank, before I do something rash.” He said, indicating to the scarred escort that had led Harry and Andy into the back room. “I don't want to see his pathetic hide in my den ever again. Savvy?”
“You got it, skip.” The man replied, shoving Harry out of the room with no trouble.
“And now for you.” Jorra murmured darkly to Andy. “What the fuck do you think this is? A goddamn tea party?” He said, raising his voice.
“No, of course not!” Andy answered, truly bewildered.
“We don't want souls. We can harvest souls any time we want, from anyone we want, so a few thousand more isn't going to sway my mind. We want more.” Jorra proposed, quite aggressively.
“Name it.” Andy tested.
Jorra seemed to be thinking for a moment, as if mulling things over in his mind, weighing up the pro's and con's.
“There is a stone with strange power that the Vorsheh possess. I don't want amulets or trinkets, this is a specific goal. I want that stone, and I want the whole of that stone, or there's no deal. And if there's no deal, that means there's no business and if there's no business, there's no need for you to be here. And that makes me mad.”
“It's for the best, kid. This way we become stronger allies.” Hov spluttered through criss-crossed crocodile teeth, stuffing a wad of chewing tobacco through his jaws and into his naturally-armoured cheek.
“Okay...” Muttered Andy, still processing Jorra's demands.
“What the fuck is this? An audience with my mother? Do you get it or not?!” Jorra yelled at Andy, agitated. A rumbling emanating from within his chest.
“Yeah, the Quox stone. Got it.” Andy added hurriedly.
“Good. Now get the fuck outta here, and don't come back until you have what I asked for.” Jorra barked, snorting another line of powder.
“You pay us up front, then we do whatever needs doin'.” Added Kol with a curl of his lip. “You know that for next time now.”
Andy walked over to the door and reached the handle when Jorra suddenly said “Oh, by the way, Andrew. Do you play cards?”
Andy didn't turn around to face them and replied with “Yeah, a little.”
“Would you like to play, Andrew?” Jorra asked hoarsely.
“Nah...my mother always told me poker was the game of the devil.” Andy countered, his hand still on the door handle.
They laughed amongst themselves at this, as if it were some kind of in-joke.
“But how do you know we're playing poker, Andrew?” Jorra asked with an air of mystery. “How could you ever know?”
Andy could feel his stomach doing somersaults, but at the same time he felt an overwhelming curiosity. He knew the only way he'd ever understand the game they play nigh constantly would be to play it himself, but he wasn't sure if that kind of step was a one-way ticket.
“Would you like to play, Andrew?” Jorra repeated.
Andy heard the scrape of wood from behind him, assuming one of them had pulled up a chair for him.
“He can't handle it.” Goaded the man with the forked tongue, rasping and wheezing. “What did I tell ya? Complete fuckin' Jesse.”
“I can't.” Andy pleaded.
“Yes you can. Play.” Hov spat like a gutter drain.
Seeming to slow down almost to a stop, Andy used all his weight to turn the door handle. Before he could swing it open into the real world once more, he felt himself being pulled backwards. Being drawn into their never ending game.
“I've already paid for you, Andrew.” Kol salivated, his tongue lolling from an indent in his jaws where a number of canines had broken and worn down.
“Play with us, Andrew.” Jorra insisted, smiling.
It was in that moment
Last edited by MA; 11-12-2013 at 11:54 AM..