Lancebirch & Co.

Iggi's grandfather had died at the young age of thirty-one. Iggi's father had kicked the bucket at the exact same age. In general the men in his family rarely lived to see their first grey hairs. He was a Mirrorman though and for them early death was just another given.
(Bidrag til "Skriv om overlevelse"-konkurrencen, mulighed 3 "Skriv en movella om overlevelse". Historien er på engelsk.)

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1. Once upon a time...

The lights on the frontporch was still on, Malthe realised, as he woke up from his restless slumber. Normally he slept like the dead, but even though he felt bone-tired, there was no sleep to be found on the mattress, he was using as a temporary solution. It was lumpy and the cold from the floor seeped through the foam and into his bones.

Making up his mind, he wrapped himself in an oversized jacket, found his slippers and tried to not bump into any boxes on his way to the door. He almost managed it. "Shit, that was Grandma's rose-lamp."

The uneven stone that made up the front terrace, had originally been used to create an edgy look, but since then no one had bothered with mowing out weed and sweeping away any dirt. It would definitely take Malthe a lot of time to get it presentable again. Which was the exact same situation with the rest of the house.

The realtor had been a cheap skate with no real ambition about the place. Malthe should probably be happy; Longstride Road 12 was a good buy. But everything needed to be renovated. Earlier that day he even discovered a dusty, old mirror in a broom closet down the hall, which had already slightly cracked along the edges. If time hadn't been an issue, he would have sued the estate agent the second, he looked at his reflection in that death-piece.

The light source for the porch very controversily only turned on and off from outside the house, which was another thing on the long list of to-dos'.

It was mid-summer, but North Dragon Valley was known for their bad weather and temperatures, so it was still slightly nippy. The switch was located and the soft glow was replaced by darkness. Further down the road, the remnants of a party was still singing at the top of their lungs. It made Malthe heave a sigh.

The house across from number twelve was fifteen. No one was stupid enough to live in number thirteen anymore, and therefore no newer crafts had anything to do with the unlucky figure. It still looked haunted though. Some of the windows were either missing or cracked, the small garden looked like it had been dead for a long time and the once yellow color had faded. A dark red car, which frankly; it was ugly, was parked at the curb. The side towards the street was missing a door and overall it looked to have been in a couple of crashes and then fought a bulldozer.

In the light of a streetlamp which was fading ind and out of power, it looked even worse.

He tucked the coat further around him, as to ward of the cold and just about avoided tripping over a dead potted plant, but still had to find purchase on the wall.

Across the street another car parked along the curb to number fifteen. Malthe watched with peaked interest as an older man in a pristine suit got out from the front seat. The look on his face was distinctively annoyed, even from Malthes point of view, as he knocked on the window to the backseat.

There was a muffled curse, that not even whatever party-song the festivites had started on, could silence, before the door smacked open and in a feat of impossibility, right into the side of the car, creating an awful noise of metal being dented. Another man wobbled out and nearly managed to fall on his face, and he would have, if it hadn't been for the other quickly catching him. "Don't you fucking dare, Mirrorman."

There was a quick scabble as the other struggled to get away and accidently managed to tear the expensive-looking suit. "Piss of, Gustav, I'm not in the mood..." The so-called Mirrorman trailed off, staring blankly at the ruin of a house. Defeatedly he turned to the other. "Can I borrow the blanket, please? I seem to be missing another window and the renovation office still aren't answering my calls."

Something exasperated tumbled out of Gustav; Malthe didn't pick up on the individual words, but he managed to understand the context from the man's near-hysterical bodylanguage, as he reached into the car and pulled out a thick plaid. "You better fucking talk to that boss of yours soon."

That seemed to be the end of the conversation, as Gustav got back into the car and put it in backgear. Suddenly realising how rude he was being; listening in on a private conversation, Malthe blushed embarrasedly and made a beeline for his frontdoor, thankful that no-one had noticed him.

Despite his nightly adventure, sleep was still not finding him easily, as he curled up on the make-shift bed.

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