Thorn parked her motorcycle at the pump and filled it up. Well, it wasn’t technically her bike. She’d borrowed it from Coyote. She shook her head as she studied a dent in the gas tank, wondering briefly what he’d done this time. When the pump shut off, she went inside to pay. She looked around, casually studying the people around her. The clerk was clearly human, as were the three customers milling around buying cigarettes and other sundries. The girl with the mohawk stocking the shelves, on the other hand, had a glimmer to her.
Thorn walked over to where the girl worked and picked up a bag of cashews. “Hey, sister. Worked here long?”
The girl looked up at Thorn and blew a bubble with her gum. “Only a couple of seasons. Something I can help you with?”
“Have you ever seen this man?” Thorn showed her a picture of Steven.
“Yeah. Stops in every now and again. Always uses the restroom.”
“Speaking of which…”
“Through there,” the girl pointed then returned to organizing boxes of snacks by color.
Thorn slipped into the men’s room and locked the door. She wrinkled her nose.
“Humans are disgusting.”
She studied the graffiti on the walls, noting numbers and names. Nothing obviously important. She looked up at the ceiling and noticed a piece of paper poking out of the air vent. “What’s this?” she murmured. She changed into her mantis form and flew up to have a look.
What she’d taken at first for a single note card turned out to be a much bulkier envelope.
She worked at the paper, pulling it out. It landed on the floor with a clunk. Thorn was in human guise before she hit the ground. She scooped up the envelope turned it over. It was a plain white envelope like those used for greeting cards. She opened it and dumped the contents out. A pair of keys with no notes or distinguishing marks landed on her hand. She shoved them into her pocket and tore the envelope open, examining it for any additional clues. There was no writing or bits of anything she could detect. She wadded it up and tossed it into the trashcan as she left.
Yarrow is quoting from The Complete Works of Shakespeare, Project Gutenberg Etext, Copyright 1990-1993, World Library, Inc.
Rose is quoting from The Seventh Octave : The Early Writings of Saul Williams, Moore Black Press, New York, New York, 1998′
Thorn quotes from Sappho : One Hundred Lyrics by Bliss Carman, Project Gutenberg EBook, May 2004
Copyright 2014, Kimberley Long-Ewing, all rights reserved