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Outrun Stories #52

Pale Blood — Part 3 of 10

“We’re here to investigate just what the hell you did over the last few months, the shit-storm of trouble you caused for everyone and if we’re going to take your badge from you.”

“Here, fucking take it. I’m done with this chicken-shit outfit.” I say, pulling my badge out of my jacket pocket and flinging it across the table.

“Cutty, pull your shit together,” the fat interviewer opposite me says.

I lean in, and make sure he’s looking me dead in the eye. “Look, the idea of you being here for any other reason than to try and find out what I know about the gangs and what they’re up to in the underground is bullshit. You don’t care about what I did, you certainly don’t give a damn about Carla and what happened to her, so why don’t you just admit it?”

The voice on the other-side of the microphone behind the one-way mirror crackles through. “You think you know anything we don’t, Cutty? This is an investigation into you, we’re prepared to give you a voice. Now, get on with the interview.”

The air is thick, and the spotlight is piercing, I light another cigarette and eye the fucker across from me. These agency assholes, they’ve been gathering data on the underground for years, trying to understand what it is they can do. Maybe they know how deep I got, maybe they don’t. One thing is sure, once they’re done with this interview, I’m done too. For good.

“Look, she needed my help, she came to me in her hour of need you might say. Wasn’t the first time she had needed help and you bet your ass it wouldn’t be the last.”

“How did you help, Cutty?” The interviewer asks, huffing the stale air.

“First thing was to try and get her away from that asshole of a father of hers. He’d beat the shit out of her, let her mend a few days, go at her again. Human punching bag. Well, shit, I get him put behind bars, but she gets taken into the system, and I’ll be first to admit it’s not much better than what she’d left, but at least she’d have regular meals and would be fighting people her own size.”

“But you knew she was at risk from the gangs?”

“Of course, I fucking knew, what else was I supposed to do? She’d be lucky to make another six months with her dad, she needed out, somewhere she could fend for herself.” I pause and think back. “I’d try and check-in on her every now and again. You know, she kept a lot of the bruises, but somehow she seemed to be getting better, put a little weight on her bones, clean clothes, she was toughening up but under her own terms you know?”

“I know, Cutty. I’ve not always been an agency asshole,” the interviewer says.

“Hard to believe.” I look at him but he doesn’t respond. “So, yeah, fuck me for trying right? I know the gangs prey on young girls like her. ‘Pure bred’ they call them, 100 percent human, they think they can help them with their…” I pause and watch the fat man squirm, this is what they want to know. “…Magic, some people call it magic, right? Well, I know I can’t save the world, but I thought I might just be able to save one. Just one person you know, after all this fucking shit that I’ve been through, just try and help one lone life.”

“We know how that went, Cutty.”

“Yeah, real fuck up, ain’t I?” I say and spit on the floor.

Musical Inspiration: Nehrex — 'Venus'

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