A Route of Escape


Simon stared into his glass, then slid it back over to the bartender. The large, sweaty man quickly came over, wiped the glass, and refilled it for Simon. Simon picked it up and drank once again, then finally got up and walked away. He had drank enough for one night. He didn't need to get drunk and pass out here; what he really needed was to get moving. He had collected his things from his family in town, now it was time to get as far away from here as possible. He would have to leave the country, maybe flee to America.

As he was turning to leave the bar, a clearly-groggy French man bumped into him and asked, "Excuse me, have you seen a man named Hunter? He said he wanted to meet me here."

"I don't know anyone named Hunter," Simon said. "Now if you'll excuse me, I happen to be in quite a -"

The man looked into Simon's eyes, then said seriously, "You have a look of darkness about you. You are in trouble, yes? Your figure speaks of fear, avoidance...perhaps even guilt."

"That's none of your concern, friend," Simon said, removing the man's hand from his shoulder and grabbing his belongings, moving for the door to the pub.

"Perhaps not," the man continued, "But by ze looks of your possessions, I would say your are of a... specific profession."

"And that matters to you why?"

"Because I happen to be in need of someone with your particular talents," the man said. Simon took a step back from the door, closer to the man. "I am searching for things which have been long lost to humanity. I need an armed assistant, if you would be willing to fill zat role."

Simon took one long, hard look at the man, then reached out with an open hand. "Simon Curtis," he said.

The man took his hand. "Gogant Craes. Zis is my cousin, Aurich. It is a pleasure to have you aboard."

The End

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