THE St. Louis Speakeasy
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 Post subject: Demons Run Faster Than People (Dvorak)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:00 pm GMT 
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Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2007 11:09 am GMT
Posts: 18597
Location: Look for the furtive one.
Custom Title: Egad!
Now and then he dreamt about the mansion in Chittenden County. It was recognizable, but strange in the way of dreams, with elongated halls and rooms he'd never seen before. He spent these dreams roaming through the passageways, trying to run. His feet seemed to stick to the carpet with each step, as if he were trying to wade through an endless vat of glue. There was always someone in pursuit. He knew who it was, because he could hear the man's voice, calling out after him: "James? James?"

Tiago awoke from these dreams feeling shaky and ill. After a few minutes, he was usually able to go back to sleep, and by the time dawn broke his nerves were eased. He went to work at the Petal, sifting through their accounts with single-minded determination. To fill the empty evenings, he retired to the nearest branch of the city library and read. Voltaire and Dostoyevsky, Bertrand Russell and Charles Darwin, Milton, Plato, Cervantes and Freud. It wasn't how he'd imagined his post-college years. As he kept telling himself, however, the solution was temporary.

It was one such day when Tiago came home an hour after dark. He was living on the second floor of a vaguely seedy boarding house, owned by a senile Irishwoman and overrun by immigrant lodgers. He crept through the common area, evading his landlady's attentions by avoiding the creaky patches on the hardwood floor. It was late, or at least later than he was accustomed; he had shared a nightcap with Phillips after work. When he opened his door, the light was still off. He doffed his cap and unwound his scarf, aware of another human presence. He felt a prickle at the nape of his neck. There was a dim silhouette seated on his roommate's bed.

"For Christ's sake, Emil." He let out an audible breath and reached for the chain, dangling down from the bare electric bulb. "If you're going to sit there staring, you may as well turn on the light."

There was a click, a blinding illumination, and then a stranger before him. Tiago froze, winded. The surprise was like a blow to the gut.

"Fotecp, that is indeed the stuff of nightmares." - Dvorak

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