In the city of Mystica, nothing is what it seems.


1. Morning Routines

Morning Routines


            Peter got out of the bed and stretched out his arms, squinting at the sunlight that seeped through the blinds. He had a meeting to get to, a party to plan, not to mention picking up his daughter for her summer visit. He looked over his shoulder once at the skinny brunette sprawled out on the bed. She wouldn’t be going anywhere that day.

            Stepping over to the window, he drew open the blinds. In a city of poverty, the brunette had somehow afforded the luxuries that he was now surrounded by. A penthouse apartment, with a view of Mystica before him. The view of the clear blue sky (a rarity in the City of Fog) and the slivers of the clouds brought him an odd sense of happiness, but that feeling plummeted as soon as he turned his eyes to the bleak landscape that was his city. Crumbling buildings, poor people hurrying along the empty roads with parcels in their hands eager to get back to the safe confines of their tiny homes. Nothing green could be seen for miles, only shades of grey.

            He heard the slow rumble of people waking for the day, reluctantly moving to get to their work in the factories that were slowly sucking the life out of the city. Hearing the morning bells of the ancient clock tower, he realized it was time he got ready as well.

            He picked his shirt up off the floor and hunted for an iron. After ironing his clothes and getting dressed, he moved on to the unfamiliar kitchen. Munching on his half-burnt toast he gazed at the day’s newspaper. Three murders in his neighborhood, four kidnaps, and more in other parts of Mystica. It was a shame that the police were useless. But they chose to be that way.

            The sirens from the street below didn’t make him alert like before. Crime had become as commonplace as getting groceries. He didn’t fear anymore. Pulling on his socks he looked once towards the open bedroom door. Muffled sounds were coming from the bed.

            He walked over to the bed stand and picked up his watch, noting that the brunette’s eyes were still closed. Looking back to the watch…. It was an expensive watch, with real platinum and diamonds in the dial. He would have put it a bank ages ago, but it was a gift from his wife before she kicked him out of her life. It was one of the few expensive things he had managed to retain during the divorce. That, and two yearly visits from his daughter.

            The house smelled of lavender, a smell that he had always hated. But it was the brunette’s house, and he didn’t have much of a say. He fished his cellphone out of his pocket and looked through the details as he finished off his hastily-made breakfast.

            The brunette would be right there waiting for him after he had sung his daughter her lullaby and left her with the nanny. And then he would have his fun. Standing up with a smile, he looked down at his shoes. The rusty red drops made him frown, and he cleaned them off with a tissue.

            Peter walked through the door and out the front door, ignoring the steady patter of blood as the drops hit the wooden floor of the bedroom. The brunette’s eyes popped open as the front door clicked shut. Her muffled cries for help went unheard.

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