The Hollow Boy

19 4 0


picture: the black dog



The man in a suit walked between two imaginary points on the street of London like a caged animal. He often checked his wristwatch between slow bites on the fish and chips wrapped in a single sheet of newspapers.

"Have a spare change?" The Gipsy woman in dirty, baggy clothes approached the business woman, standing at the bus stop, fixing her with cross-eyed stare.

A woman wrinkled her nose in disgust, waving her head from left to right, and trying to move away.

The Gipsy grabbed her hand, whispering, "Hey honey, let me tell you a story that might change your mind. Long time ago, the White Folks have built a church. They were rich and had many cattle, so they made a church out of cheese. A church white as snow, the most beautiful building ever made, and the God was happy. We, the Gypsies, were poor, so we made our church from stone which could be found everywhere. The God was happy, blessing the people with a nice weather, so the church of cheese began to spoil. The White Folk realized their mistake and offered us to trade. We were poor and hungry, so we accepted, under condition that every White Man pays every Gypsy a single penny. They agreed, and we have eaten the church of cheese. The God got angry, and he condemned us to wander the world, never finding a true home. I'm still paying my debt. Will you pay yours?"

The woman smiled, pressing the money in the Gypsy's outstretched palm, whose upper lip covered in thin, fluffy mustache lifted to reveal a gap-toothed smile.

"Come on," the man in a suit barked, frowning at his watch. As on a cue the bus emerged between the distant buildings; right on time. He relaxed his tensed shoulders and dropped leftovers of the food into a nearby garbage bin.

The Gipsy moved to the bin to retrieve the food, humming along the way, "Gyelem, gyelem lungone dromeya... /Roma: I have traveled the long roads.../," while she stuffed her mouth with chips. The bus departed from the station, taking the man and the woman along. A yellow van left the garage across the street to leave in the same direction.

The Gypsy yelped when the two men grabbed her under the arms, one on each side, to drag her into a building. The hallway was empty, echoing her sobs.

"We'll take this," said the higher man, looking over his shades and taking her food.

"Devla, devla! /Roma: Oh God, oh God/ Your suits must cost a fortune, and you gonna take the food from a poor woman!" She screamed.

The lower, bald man grabbed her neck, turning her face red. "It's a matter of national security. Now shut up before you make me mad."

A woman sank down the wall, covering her face. She watched them leave, peeking between her fingers and smiled, tapping her elbow in a rude gesture. They'll spend a lot of time searching through the food and trying to find a message in the newspaper wrap's articles using every known chipper. She retrieved a rolled photo printed on a paper from under her tongue. Her contractor stashed it in the chips opened down the middle. On the other side, she found the information about her target. The scientist, she smiled again – they were easy.

The Gipsy took her time to spread tobacco over the folded paper and to roll it between her fingers until it turned to perfect cylinder. Then, she licked the outer edge to seal the cigarette and light it, walking away. She stepped on the leftovers of the cigarette to extinguish it, destroying the evidence, in front of the cheap illegal motel. The building was a ruin, but no one asked any questions. The owner didn't even bother to look up when she entered.

Once in her room, she could at last straighten her slumped shoulders and bent back. Her bones crackled. A reversal of her eyes into a normal position was accompanied by unavoidable tears. The black hair cascaded down her back, and bellow her ass when she removed the bandana, letting it fall on the floor. Her baggy clothes followed as she rushed under the shower. One relaxing bath latter, she was in front of the mirror stressing the contrast between her emerald eyes and tanned skin with a touch of eyeliner and gray eyeshadow.

The tweezers took care of her slight mustache and unibrow, too bad the modern men couldn't appreciate facial hair as a clear telltale of a true fiery temptress. Next she attached the artificial teeth and red nails. She lost her front teeth when she was around twelve, at the time her family lived in Western Germany. The city officials offered a small amount of marks for every rat tail brought to them, following the law dating from medieval times. Her father, crafty as he was, made a small farm of rats, cutting their tails off to exchange for money and letting them reproduce. Those were the happy times.

The bad times came with the Ustasha, illegal immigrant organization from Yugoslavia. They didn't like Gypsies, and wouldn't allow them to get rich. A strong reek of blood followed them everywhere, each armed with pistol, bomb and dagger so her father agreed to pay for their protection, and to let his rats take care of the corpses they needed to vanish.

The evil times came when the Stasi agents kidnapped her family and took them to the East side for interrogation by the KGB. The favorite method of interrogation, the KGB used, was to pull the healthy teeth out, without the local anesthesia. She cried and cursed, and an interrogator died, shitting his intestines out. Thus, they discovered her talent. She worked for the Russians ever since, under a threat of death.

A tight mini dress, showing off her spiky breasts and pear-shaped ass, accompanied by high heels to tighten the curvy legs, turned her into a steaming cougar. She walked out.

***

Mark Newman, the biologist at the secret government facility for microbiological research, was driving his car down the busy street. He rubbed his eyes as for the last couple of days he had hardly any chance to sleep. The vast majority of his time went into finishing the project concerning the top-secret biological weapon – a new strain of viruses. Whenever he would catch some time to close his eyes, the same dream haunted him. He ran down the empty streets of the city, chased by a rabid pitch-black dog. The dog was faster – every time he woke up covered in sweat the distance between them decreased. Last night, he could feel dog's heavy breathing on his back.

Stupid dreams, he smirked, relaxing in his seat. The black dog appeared out of nowhere in the middle of the road. His eerie barks echoed through the street. Mark's hands twitched and he lost the control over the steering wheel, hitting the thick walls of the bank. He floated, looking at passersby who tried to retrieve his body from the wreckage. The call of the light above him was irresistible, and he gave up trying to understand. He was calm and ready when something pulled him back. Everyone gathered to watch, attracted by the common instinct of the entire mankind to witness the suffering of others. Their pale faces and uneasy eyes told about their repulsion and fear, but their excited conversation revealed they could not resist the awakened interest. He looked upon the slaves of curiosity.

They were all the same, except the attractive woman. She was calm, the same one who bought him a beer at the bar, a few days ago. His hopes to score went down the drain when she mentioned something about the soul. Atheist, as he was, couldn't stay silent and soon they were arguing. She mentioned something about the Math being false since one never equals one in the real world. This enraged him further, and he agreed to her proposal to sell her his soul if he's sure it already doesn't exist. She had the same sad look in her eyes now, while she devoured his soul as when she left the bar with her final last words being, "Farewell, hollow boy."

3rd place on AdventureCommunityContests 


Flash Fiction (On hold till October)Read this story for FREE!