Mutated Adventures with Clive and DaleMature

Clive is the man who doesn't exist. And his most prized possession is a Jacket that has a personality of its own. He runs a business (that also doesn't exist), which finds information for a price, kidnaps people for a larger price, and occasionally sabotages large conventions on accident for no price at all, except that which is delivered by those who run said convention.

Then there is Dale. He is an extremely conservative person who no longer cares. And that makes him quite the opposite. It

The man in the sweater-vest slipped into the plastic, cushioned booth with his khaki pants only inches beneath the rotten gum of a lost species. He sucked in his chest with raised arms as if he'd only just waded into a frigid lake. And then, after some consideration, he gently placed his hands in his lap, avoiding the table altogether. It was a cracked, wood table, inconceivably covered in rust.

He sat for a few minutes before his shoulders fell from their perches and his breathing relaxed. And then he was still. Very, very still, as if a few poisonous spiders were crawling across his body. Maybe being motionless would allow him to avoid whatever disease was being handed out by the vendors who stumbled to and fro across the bar.

But then again, he wouldn't be suprised if the diseases were still queing in line from the adventures he'd already endured.

Dale shuddered and entered a meditative disgust.

From the shadows of the alley outside the Cyke Bar, a figure slowly materialized. He wore a black jacket with collars so sharp he could have shaved by moving his head like a turtle. The Jacket was his most prized possession and valuable tool. It allowed him to vanish and materialize with flair. And flair was important for a man who didn't exist.

He materialized again as he went from the alley to the street. Then he slipped against the brick wall like a cat, turned as still as stone, and shifted his eyes like a spooky portrait. His hand moved within the Jacket's oversized sleeves. He was likely fingering a ridiculous and completely unnecessary contraption that would spring from his sleeve at any sign of danger.

Clive entered the Cyke Bar.

The bartender did not look up. No one could see a man who didn't exist. Especially when the man wore such a slick jacket. Unless of course, you were willing to do business with the man; then he was as clear as a salesman in a tuxedo.

His first words as he sat down across from Dale were, "I do not exist."

The reply: "Sure thing. And the man with the slug for a face is my aunt. Why doesn't anything surprise me today?"

The End

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