It's Raining People

Last minute comp entry. Again.

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1. .

Alice could not believe she had straightened her hair for this. But, as the arctic wind swept the platinum fringe back from her heavily made-up face, she reasoned that there was a plus to her fruitful efforts.

At least her corpse would look nice splattered on the pavement below.

“Do I really have to?” She moaned, looking out over the edge of the building and feeling dizzy at the sight of the sheer drop. The amber lights blinked at her with expectation. The gust carrying snippets of sound made her cringe, the gentle buzz of the packed city life her awaiting audience.

Alice pulled at her snug jacket. “I thought you were taking me to dinner?”

His breath tickled her neck as he hissed, “No, I said I was taking you out to be dinner. Honestly, you never listen.”

She turned to gaze upon her boyfriend for what she guessed would be the last time. If anyone else had done the same they would not have seen the beauty she did; a face of perfectly sculpted jade scales rippling in the city light,  pupils a thin, vertical crack in a violet cliff face. To the untrained eye he was fundamentally human, but to Alice he was much more than that. To feel the flicker of his serpentine tongue across her cheek was soothing, and his scaly hands gently supporting her waist as her legs went weak made her more confident as she stood on top of London. For someone so cold he made her feel warm. She loved him.

He continued, “I am bored now, Alex–“

            “Alice.”

            “I am bored now, Alice. You bore me. And I haven’t eaten for dayssss,” The end of the sentence was dragged out by a hiss, high pitched in comparison to the low growl. Alice liked it when he did that.

            “I like it when you–“

            “Not now,” He shifted his hands to either side of her hips as she turned her body away from the world. Her hair was blown like seaweed in water around her face but she didn’t care. She just wanted to see him.

            As he took in her scent, revealing rows of sharp teeth, she realised her mistake. He buried his head in her neck and his tongue flashed across her numb skin. Alice gulped.

            “I cannot be patient,” his voice was muffled as he submerged himself in her hair. “I cannot wait for you to die. Your blood is so warm and your flesh is so moist. You seem dull on paper but in reality you are sssspicy. You are hot. I cannot wait for it.”

            “Why can’t you just kill me here? Wouldn’t it be cleaner?” All Alice could think about was her appearance. She didn’t want to splatter. She wanted to die in one piece.

            “I want you to go spectacularly. You were one of my favouritessss. And I am sure you will taste sensational.” He wound her hair around his fingers and ran his tongue over them before enveloping his taster entirely in his mouth. He whimpered and a third eyelid sealed his eyes as they rolled back into his skull.

            “Why aren’t I afraid?”

            Her date re-emerged as real fear crossed her mind in flashes of her family. Why didn’t she mind leaving them behind? Why was the prospect of never seeing them again not alarming? His other hand left her waist and he released her hair. He cupped her neck, striking eyes level with hers.

             “I told you not to be afraid, Alex.” 

            “But I am,” Alice caught sight of her manic expression reflected in his dilating pupils, trapped in the abyss black. “What am I doing? Why am I agreeing to this? I thought you loved me, why would you force me to kill myself? Why am I letting you eat me? It’s inhumane, and I know you’re not human but still–“

            The lizard-man twisted her neck with such force the head prised from her body like torn fabric. Before he could react it slipped from his grasp, fell to the floor and rolled at his feet, teetered on the edge, and then slipped from sight. The lizard-man cursed as he lost the best part of his meal.

            “Clean. Real classy.”

            The lizard-man cursed again. He laid the girl’s body where she had stood, and then turned to face the man he had once tried to blow up in a bar with a rogue stick of dynamite.

            “Tom Clarence,” he snarled.

            Tom tipped his tattered top hat in return, “Snooker Cue.”

            “Snooker Cue is not my name.”

            The human male with golden eyes and a raggedy pinstripe suit smiled. “No, it isn’t, but it’s what I skewered you with.”

            “I needed surgery. It had to be surgically removed. Do you know how expensive the American healthcare system is?”

            “That’s why I wasn’t so keen to get blown up. Or fight at all, for that matter. As I recall, we are banned from that bar because of you, my dear Cue.”

            “Please don’t call me that,” Cue frowned, his scaled forehead straining. “And that’s why I’m home. Free medical care and people who won’t just ignore me, but won’t even notice me for what I am. In fact, a child gave me money the other day. I’ve acquired a collection tin.”

            “Britain. So charitable.”

            "Indeed." Cue sighed, blinking with his third eyelid, “Why are you here, Tom? It is not like you to leave the Statessss.”

            Tom considered it for a moment. He brought his hands together in front of him and rubbed them together, to create friction, and in a matter of seconds his bare hands were alight with a roaring amber flame. The wrinkles on his face were shadowed by the light and for the first time he looked withered, even old. Cue had forgotten that warlocks aged over time.

            Tom's eyes, golden headlamps in the firelight, were unable to meet his friend's calm gaze. After a pause he exhaled, shaking his head. “I’d love to say that I’m only here to see my old friend, but honestly, Cue? The Authority have my arm twisted. There has been a big crack down on our secrecy lately, ever since Richard Collar was arrested by the mortal police force. As of last week fellas like you and Richard are not considered part of our community anymore. In ol’ Master Morton’s eyes you are an animal, a predator. You need to be exterminated. He sent me here to kill you.”

            Cue bowed his head, stroking his chin with his claws. He spoke slowly. “Are you going to?”

            “I wasn’t, honestly. But I see what you did to the girl. Half of her is right in front of me, and I see that this is just your way of life. You can’t manipulate the mortals like this, Cue. I’m sorry.” A shaking Tom brought down his blazing fists in a fighting stance, a tear rolling down his cheek. He knew what was coming.

            “Are we really going to fight this out?” Reluctantly, Cue crouched, coiling for the spring. 

            “I guess we are. Are you ready?”

            “To kill? Always. You?”

            “No, not really.”

            “It’s such a shame it always ends like thisss,” Cue gave his old friend a shaky smile to reassure him and then proceeded to tear him apart.

 

            On the pavement below a woman with a brisk walk and a mission in her mind’s eye was brought to an abrupt stop when a ball of blonde hair fell at her feet. Her scream was enough to draw a crowd. Lights flickered as flashes captured the moment, soon to be revealed to the world via the internet, questions to be asked later. Everyone tried to get the best image, but not as much as the boy in a cap, who filmed the whole thing; the police cars arriving, the woman in an oxygen mask and a blanket, the news helicopter. Eventually, his efforts paid off as an arm fell and skimmed someone’s shoulder, and then another head fell, capped tightly in a tall hat. The YouTube video titled ‘It’s Raining People’ reached one million views within twenty four hours.

            But no-one believed the rumours. The rumours of a lizard-man. It was just too absurd, even for the internet.

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