The Nights Rhythm

All around Jian Village, bodies are turning up. Most are dressed in Victorian clothes, some Georgian. Each found in rooms with music from the era playing and a note. ‘Listen to the night’s rhythm before he takes another.’

Cover by WIllow Angel

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1. Prologue

Speeding around the corner the men on the back of the vehicle clung to their posts, their bodies flying round the side of the bus. Their bodies hitting the solid sides of the fire engine. The sirens blaring as the heavy vehicle started its charge down the narrow street. There were struggles around the engine as all the bodies of the onlookers either stared on in shock or began pushing to clear the way of the coloured blur.

            “What the hell is he doing?” One of them shouted, “He’s going to kill us!”
            The others nodded as they all wrap both arms around the bars at the back and pressed themselves up against them. The vehicle halted almost immediately as the door flung open revealing a tall figure leaping out of the vehicle heading into the murky area. The men on the back of the vehicle leaping off and taking huge gasps of air.

            “Has he really gone in there?!”
            All of them pushed themselves up and threw themselves into the work. One by one they pulled and pulled at the hose as they began to move into the infected area. They began to weave their way through the area. They could just about see the mop of shaggy blonde hair disappear off into the distance. The taller of the men began wiping the sweat that was forming on his face.

            “Smith get over here now!”
            A petit blonde-haired male ran up to him. He shoved the hose into the other male’s hands and pointed into the distance.
            “Follow him! Pull this up until you feel the pull of the cord. That will signal you to start firing. Don’t let up until you see the blaze go down! And whatever you do…do
n’t lose sight of him, get it?”

            The smaller male nodded and began pulling the hose further in the direction of the first figure. He picked up his pace heading out of the muggy atmosphere and back into the cooler area. His eyes started the scan those around him before landing on a specific spot in the crowd. He smiled reassuringly as he finished approaching them. Slowly he started to raise a hand and place it gently on the upper half of her arm.

            “We’ll get them out. All of them. I promise. I need you to go back and gather all the blankets and water flasks you can,” He paused, “Any able bodied should grab a damn bucket and help us out. As for the ill and non-abled. Why the hell are you still here? This is a fire for crying out loud! Have some common sense and move as far away as you can get!”
            He watched as the group dispersed with each of them heading out to begin the tasks given. He sighed and ran his hand through his black hair. His brown eyes watched worriedly as the hose began to pull against the restraints on the vehicle behind. He raised his hand signalling them to stop.

            “Just hold it there!” He ordered pausing to glance behind him into the smoke, “Damnit Jake…what the hell are you doing?”
            He turned his attention back to the group as he heard the scream. His eyes shot towards the flash of orange as it tried to rush past him. He caught up quickly and chased after the figure into the cloud of smoke. His quickly took hold of them dragging them out
backwards as they tried to break out of the hold.

            “Listen to me. You’ll be of no help if you go running in there. Leave it to us now,” He whispered to her as he dragged her a safe distance from the hazard area, “He’ll be fine. Trust me.”
            She fought against him as he spun her around and pushed her away from him. There was a moment of silence between the two as they had a standoff. He tensed expecting her to run at him and try to reach the hazard zone once again.
            “He’s my husband.”
            The smoke thickened around them as Smith darted from the smoke. He turned and faced him scowling.

“Why the hell aren’t you at your post?”
            Smith nervously adjusted the collar of his shirt. His eyes were darting all over the place. The males scowl widened as he grabbed him by the shirt forcing Smith to look at him.

“We-well it’s not that simple. The fires out of control! We can’t contain it and the Chief…he’s still inside-”

His scowl dropped slightly at the sentence. His heart rate increased slightly as he shoved the male to the floor and glanced back at the woman.

            “I’ve got to go…they need me at the front,” He paused, “Just stay here and don’t even think about coming anywhere near the zone. You have a family to look after.”
            “And you have a partner to watch the back of. Charlie…he’s my husband,” She repeated, “My husband.”

            The male tensed slightly before heading back into the smoke.

            “I know…”

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