I return from a night’s prowl to find Youngblood cowering in the corner, a pale, shivering wreck. He looks up, his eyes blindly searching out shapes in the dark.
“Lazar? Lazar, is that you?”
The blond in his hair has washed out, leaving a mousy brown colour. There is terror, desperation in his face as he grips hold of the hem of my coat.
“Please. I’m… I am hungry.”
I throw him the limp corpse of a rabbit I caught earlier.
“Until you learn to feed that is all you will eat.”
He looks down at the broken, filthy body and bursts into tears.
“Where are you taking me? What do you want with me?”
There’s a clattering rhythm overhead as a train comes into the platform, sending a fine cloud of dust sprinkling down from the roof.
took me here once. In the beginning. This is an excellent place to hide. Hagen
Youngblood sobs, then, in a fit of anger, stands up, yells defiance in my face, and throws the rabbit away.
“No! Never! I’ll never do it, understand? Never!”
“Oh, but you will, Youngblood.”
“Markie will rescue me. He knows about you. He’ll save me, you’ll see.”
Now it is my turn to get angry. I lift him up, lance him with my eyes. He sees the burning wrath inside and instantly pleads for mercy. “Please, I promise, I won’t do it again. I’m sorry.”
“You must know my will, Youngblood.” He must know by now that he is
beyond saving, and that his friend will never find him again. No matter how hard he looks.
In every town and city there are places like this. Places where those like us can hide. Dark places. Quiet places. Forgotten places.