The Imaginarium - Chapter 8
The City bustles with life, transcending anything Adam had seen the last time he was here. Neons flared like they were water, cars whizz and zoomed without hesitation. Prostitution had became the city's life blood. Hookers and waiters lined down building entrances, alleys and roadsides all flashing their scantily clad clothing and moving with charms that could make a descent woman cry.
Homeless dabbled near the prostitutes, cups and mugs in hands. Ragged in clothing, they clamored at every passerby in hope for a kind tip. Some who refused to do anything stood behind the shadows of dark alleys, their eyes glitter like cats. Their hands danced up and down, throwing and catching items small enough to be easily missed by most.
The Tower loom in the background behind the darkness of the sky and the bleakness of hope on the streets. Lights line the side of the Tower, like a large dotted lines that poles up into the sky. The topmost part of the Tower spins at a slow rate, like a huge and slow spinning wheel.
Adam kicked a small pebble on the cracked street. He looked to the prostitutes huggling over him, trying to consort him into paying them for services he doesn't want. A ragged man wearing snow cap came to him holding his mug. A small red feather sat inside the man's mug.
"Please, help me..." he said.
Adam gulped but said anyway to the man. "I'm sorry, but I too have no money with me." he said and tapped the man's shoulder before leaving him behind.
"I know you, you know..." the man said.
Adam whipped to his back but the man was already gone. He looked to the street across but only the same lining of prostitutes and homeless standing sitting side by side was there. He walked back to where he met the man. A hooker went pass by and Adam stopped her. "Did you see a homeless standing here just now?" he said.
The girl shook her head. She chewed on her bubblegum, inflates it and let it burst before giving it another chew.
Adam apologized and went to the homeless sitting on the side of the wall looking up at him. "Did you see a homeless guy standing right here just now? He had a small feather in his mug." he said but the man too shook his head.
Adam came back to his feet and looked around again. A man went pass by behind him and slid something into his pocket. He turn to face the man only to see his fleeting shadow disappear into the sea of people coming his way. Adam groped into his pocket and produced the tiny piece of paper. He unfolds it and read its content.
"The Sunwolf street, midnight" he read. He frowned. "Where the helll is this Sunwolf street?" he said. He looked back to the homeless sitting on the floor leaning to the wall and crouch down to face him again.
"Nice to see you again, man" said the homeless. He picks up his empty mug and waves it in front of Adam's face. "You have a dollar now to spend?" he said with a smile.
Adam shook his head. "No, but I need to know where Sunwolf street is, if you don't mind me asking." he said.
The man laughed. "Don't worry man, at least you're kind enough to even talk to me. Most dwellers of the City never even tried to reason" he said and placed the mug back on the floor. "It's a rough life in this City. You need to know how to kiss someone's ass if you want to go far..."
"Okay, I understand, so where is this Sunwolf street?" said Adam. He pressed forward, his face too close for the homeless to kept on talking.
"Sure, sure, I was about to tell you that" he said. Adam backed away and the homeless gave a sigh of relief. "Sunwolf street is the new name for the old Hudson street down near the old ampitheatre, you know, the one where the murder of senator Brenning occurred some fifty years ago" he said. He coughed and wave his hand into the air. "Well, they renamed it to Sunwolf when the Tower took over the city and sacked every damn politician. God bless them for that, at least they did something good, though they're not really any good now." he said. He looked around, worried about something. He waved his hand for Adam to come close. He did.
"Some say the bitch who tried to kill the president of the Tower some forty years ago is still alive... nobody really knows about it though, but the conspiracy theorist was sure that she is now the head of the Tower" said the homeless. He smiled and lean back to the wall as if he had said nothing. "Now go away, you're wasting my time"
Adam got back to his feet. Suddenly his world felt a little constrict. The thought of Melissa still alive gave him a glimmer of hope, though at the same time, it was contradicted with the thought of her being the head of the Tower. He needs to get inside. He needs to be sure. So he thanked the homeless and made his way towards the Tower.
Two men wearing black tux and sunglasses stood at the main entrance to the Tower. Burly and square faced, they stood unmove, like a massive statue, lifeless but alive.
Adam walk towards them and was stopped before he could reach them. He glanced to his sides and took two steps backwards. He slowly groped into his pocket and pulls out a blank paper from the stash the young chef had given him. He folds the paper into the shape of a sword and placed it on the palm of his hand. He used the marker and tried to wrote down the word 'SWORD' when he realized the marker was out of ink. "Shit..." he said. He eyed his sides again and took several more steps backward.
The air around him electrifies. Sparks of electricities flew into the air, sparkling the dark shadows with bright blue flashes. Adam stepped backwards, farther back into the main road. The sparks intensified followed by a laughter. Two laughters. Synchronized.
"If it isn't the Wordsmith... legendary even..." a voice calls out in the air. The electricities converged into the shape of a person with bright blue eyes and a gaping blue mouth.
"The Wordsmith..." another voice calls out."...legendary Wordsmith, in front of us... could he be wanting to get into the Tower?" the electricities in the air curved to Adam's right and intensified into the shape of another man, similar to the one on his left. Blue eyes and gaping blue mouth.
The two voices laughed again, synchronized. The sparks explodes into a brilliant flash of blue transforming the voice into real life men. Twins. Both in their youths and brimming with raw energy. They eyes fixated to Adam, shocked to see another power user like him let alone knew who he was.
Adam looked to his back. The main road is only a few jogs away from him and he still has a few papers with him to use. So he grope inside his pocket and produced a paper. He eyed the twins as their eyes move from his face to his hands holding the paper. He folds them, slowly so that the twins became enchanted to it and walk backwards. Halfway down the road, he crumpled the paper, taking the twins by surprise and made a dash towards the main road.
Like a slap to their faces, the twins turn back to Adam and saw him running for the main road. Enraged, they jumped into the air and transformed into the spark of electricities arcing in the air towards Adam.
A Bugatti stops in front of Adam and the door swung open. Alissa sat on the driver seat shouting at him, waving to him to run faster. "Come on!" she said.
Adam pushed his legs to the maximum. He could feel the air behind him explode and the blue flash in his shadows grew bigger. He grits his teeth and threw the paper he crumpled earlier into the incoming wave of electricities hoping to take the twins by surprise. The paper explodes but the twins kept on, gradually getting closer to Adam. Adam took the last desperate move and leaped for the door. He landed hard on the seat nearly kicking Alissa in the process.
Alissa stepped on the accelerator and the car zoomed into the sea of pedestrian. She shout to them as the car bumped on some and nearly miss the others. The door banged on several other pedestrians unlucky enough to be standing on the road. The door swung back and closed itself. Alissa turned to Adam and pushed his legs away in anger. "What the hell do you think you're doing? Are you crazy?" she said.
Adam got back to his seat and sat himelf upright. "What do you think I'd do? Sit in that stupid house and wait for the good news? Go to hell I would!" he said. He breathes hard, trying to regain his composure. He coughed.
Alissa looked to him. She wanted to say something but disregarded the thought.
"I need some money" said Adam suddenly. He turned to Alissa who said nothing. "I said-"
"I know what you said, I can hear you completely clear, okay" she said. Deep crack formed on her forehead. Her eyes focused, her grip on the steering wheel tightened. She resits herself on the seat and cracked her neck. She took a deep breath and gave the car a quick turn towards a neighborhood filled with shop houses.
The car came to a halt and stopped in front of a stationary store. Alissa groped into her pocket and produced her wallet. She pull out several notes and gave it to Adam. "Here, go get what you want." she said.
Adam took the money and exits the car.
"Idiot." said Alissa once she saw Adam disappear into the store.