City SpiritMature

John and Rose go down a dark alley in search of mystery.


John leaned against the cold brick wall of the alleyway. The night was chilly but not uncomfortable providing you wore a jacket. John was waiting for his friend Rose and while he was normally drunk by this time of night of late right now he was stone cold sober. No he didn’t want to be drunk tonight. He had something to show Rose, something wondrous, something… She was here.

            “Hey Rose, how’s it going?” John asked in as casual a tone as he could muster.

            “Cut the crap John, you called me out here at this godforsaken hour for a reason, now what is it?” Rose and John both stood in the alleyway framed by the dim luminance of a night in the city. Physically the two were quiet different Rose was short and broad while John was short and skinny. Rose had mousy brown hair that was always cut just above her shoulders. John had slick black hair that was seriously depreciated by its lack of a recent wash.

            “So Rose how’s the artwork” John said trying to deflect Rose’s questioning.

            “It’s the same as always, but that’s not what we’re here to talk about is it?” Rose brushed aside his attempt to change the topic and got right to the heart of the matter. She was a bit angry with John for not telling her what she wanted to know but was for the most part excited. She hadn’t seen John in over a month and he wasn’t the type to keep secrets from her normally so this had to be something extra special.

            “No it’s… well…um it’s better if I just show you.” John turned and walked deeper into the alley hedging his way through piles of garbage. Rose wrinkled her nose and followed him. No stranger to dirt she was still appalled at the state of the alley, black garbage bags sagging with rotting foodstuffs, cans, wrappers, a few needles from various drug users, the whole alley stunk of rot and filth.

            “Why’s this alley such a freaking mess?” Rose asked directing her question at no one in particular but surprisingly John spoke up immediately.

            “Well that’s because there’s a property dispute between the two stores on either side of this alley and since neither wants to take responsibility for cleaning it up it just stays filthy till sooner or later someone gets there act together enough to clean it up.” John seemed completely undisturbed by the state of the alley and Rose grimaced as she heard something wet squish beneath his foot.

            “We’re getting closer now, just stop for a second while I provide some light.” John was smiling broadly and Rose could hear the tint of a laugh in his voice. The whole was a bit off partially because John normally didn’t smile much, at least not much recently, and his smile looked like it had been painted on or moulded in plastic. Rose dismissed it as a trick of the light and when John got his flashlight on took the chance to look around. There was still garbage but it was considerably less and Rose could spot bits of metal shining as John passed his flashlight over him. To Rose the alley reminded her of nothing more than a graveyard.

            The things shining were just pieces of junk, bicycle spokes, old keys, dime store jewerally and scrap metal. Still it was disquieting to see so much metal in one place because it implied someone had put it there purposefully. The piles grew larger again as they kept going but now were almost entirely made of shining metal tubes and corrugated iron. Each pile seemed to be made of a particular type of item and Rose’s disquietude grew.

The End

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