It was bitter. The wind wailed violently through the shadowy backstreets of London, as if warning those wandering the alleyways to return to the sanctuary of their homes. Three individuals stood close together underneath a faulty streetlamp, however their identities remained unknown. They did not attract any interest, bar the occasional second glimpse over one’s shoulder, although their presence, if their purpose was known, would require human common sense to ruthlessly revise itself.
The loftiest of the hooded figures raised their hand before them, while being watched strictly by their two-man spectacle. The hissing of disjointed language ricocheted silently throughout the hollow boulevard and, following that, a waiflike aura of unblemished cerulean engulfed the lofty one’s hand, materializing it into a miraculous orb of holy light.
‘I wish you wouldn’t do stuff like this out in public,’ a male voice pointed out, ‘it’s risky, you know. Are you trying to cause worldwide outrage?’
As the words left the man’s mouth, the orb disappeared from the hand of the conjurer, with the remaining remnants of the sphere flickering embers about its origin. The hairs upon the back of their hand were raised for a moment, and calmed as they returned into place. The figure craned its head towards its comrade, and showed no sign that they were going to respond to such a question – as if a reply would purely make the hooded figure feel dim-witted at the contemplation that the man may actually be spot on. However, the lingering power from the streetlight above exposed the conjurer’s open mouth, answering the voice softly:
‘The right audience might generate a good response for our cause, you know,’ a female voice replied, and then unhooded herself to reveal long, brunette locks that collapsed over her shoulders, and draped slowly at her breasts. The woman brushed a wisp of hair from her eye, hooked it around her ear, and then, in a flash, produced a cigarette and placed it between her lips to light it.
‘You know you shouldn’t smoke,’ the man to her left advised, ‘it causes cancer…and it doesn’t do any good with your powers.’
The woman only shrugged, and drew hard on the cigarette before exhaling a thick gust of smoke through her nostrils and mouth, like an angered dragon. ‘Been top notch with my powers for two years now, maybe even better than that, and just when I started smoking coincidentally. So…you know…shove that up your pipe and…you know, smoke it.’
‘Sorry to interrupt the chit-chat,’ the man to her right interjected, then swiped the cigarette from her hand and crushed it angrily with his boot. The man unhooded himself, revealing his closely shaven head with his temples heavily embedded with tribal hair tattoos, and clamped his vice-like hand around her wrist.
‘Get on with it.’
‘Why, you in a rush?’ the girl wrenched her hand from the man’s bear like paw. ‘Got a girl waiting for you?’
‘Let’s not forget what we are doing here,’ the man replied sharply. ‘There’s no one around, now do it!’
The woman simply sighed, pulled the hood back over her head and repeated the procedure. Encircling the woman’s hand, the orb returned to its glorious magnificence, once it had reached its immense prowess. After a moment, a network of jagged lights, an aurora borealis, materialised floated gracefully, like a wedge of blue swans, above the trio.
With the gentle visage of silk, the swaying force gave out a truncated sound that resembled heavy, whistling squall, which then rapidly bawled intensely to a conclusive crescendo. A discharge of silvery light emanated like the atmosphere blanketing the Earth, around the viciously shining orb gave a final yelp, like a battle or a death cry, and finally released a beam of white energy into the midnight sky. The orb spiralled and returned itself into the wrist of the woman, as if returning to replenish after the rigorous venture they had endured.
The woman inhaled a quick intake of air before clamping her wrist, stroking it softly as she watched her veins squirm from left to right, like worms eating through soil, as if the energy was actually moving the contents of her body to make room. She clenched her teeth as a sharp pain shot through her body for a moment, but then her shoulders loosened once the pain had slipped away.
‘There…’ she said, between breaths, ‘…how about…that?’
She turned to the tattoo man and the other man who patted her back and pulled her back to normal height. She dusted herself off, and took another deep breath.
‘I would have done better,’ the tattoo man said simply.
‘Oh yeah, well why couldn’t you do it?’
The man had already started to make his way down the street, pulling up his hood again as the rain started to spatter. From the smoke that rose from his head, he had lit a cigarette.
‘You going to answer her question, or what?’ the other man demanded, following the tattoo man until he had paused in his footsteps when he did. The man turned his body around dramatically, and almost set the scene for a Western film. He brushed his nose lightly, and took a deep sniff.
‘You want to know why?’ the man began, and then took a drag from his cigarette. He approached the young man, and blew the smoke into his face. ‘You’re an Oxford boy, you figure it out.’
‘They are not experienced in this field...wait…’
The man smiled, and placed the cigarette between his lips. ‘Attaboy, Trust-Fund, attaboy.’
And, at that moment, he turned back and disappeared into the shadows of the night, distinctly following by a vicious bulldog that could only force the woman think of Bill Sykes at that moment. Trust-Fund, his unwilling nickname, stared at the concrete for a few seconds, recollecting the information that he knew he would force into spilling. The woman wrapped her arm around his, and buried her cheek into his shoulder, her eyes fixed on where the tattooed man had disappeared. She sighed, then winced as she felt a painful pulse of energy shot through her arm, and looked up at Trust-Fund. She tugged lightly at his arm.
‘What did he say?’
‘He’s smart…smarter than me…’
‘That’s ridiculous! No one’s smarter than you. He looks like he doesn’t know his Shakespeare from his phone book.’
‘No, I don’t mean…intellectual…as in…common knowledge…that kind of stuff-’
‘You’re not making any sense.’
Trust-Fund turned to the woman, his deep blue eyes, like pool of clear blue water, staring longing into hers.
There was a significant reason for his nickname ‘Trust Fund’ that some of his friends would simply regard as a cruel name created to suggest that he himself was better off than most people (which, in theory, he was), and most people hated that. However, Trust Fund always, even if it wasn’t, at all, intentional discovered ulterior motives to the bestowal of such a name. If it wasn’t for his parents’ rather generous donation of their fortune to him, he would not have been sent to the finest schools, and then he would have not been accepted to read Law in one of the finest universities in the world – the knowledge he gained there would eventually get him recognised by the group that would make him the man he is today. That is why, in his admittedly superior opinion, he is called Trust Fund.
‘He wanted you to do that so that they wouldn’t trace it down to him when they find it…’
She froze, widening her eyes so that a network of red lines revealed themselves more and more until she couldn’t widen them any longer.