Jacob stood alone on the fog covered dock. A spectral figure wreathed in frost and ice crystal.
The glock hung loosely at his side with the apathy of sleep deprivation.
A beam of light lanced through the fog and somewhere far off a fog horn belched.
His fingers were numb on the grip and his exposed skin was cold and clammy.
He waited some more.
Then he heard it, the slow stutter of hooves clacked across the dock; Each step loud and surreal in the opaque air.
Jacob told himself it was only the chill of the fog, but he knew better.
He saw the eyes first.
Red as rage and hot as a furnace.
One step after another.
He ran his tongue over his ragged lips and croaked out a greeting.
His voice sounded like a lost child.
Afraid, alone and desperately wanting to be elsewhere.
The terrible eyes moved forward in their unrelenting pace.
It ripped through the fog, its two cloven hooves leaving a scorch marked trail.
His teeth chattered .
It came to a sudden halt, its black armor clanking like a death toll.
It gave a serrated grin.
“Hershel… be nice. This is just a friendly chat.”
She emerged from behind the hulking figure, in her pin-striped blazer and slacks, no shirt or tie beneath, her fedora cocked at a jaunty angle over her eyes.
Jacob swallowed. He tried to remind himself that this was not a woman. It was something else. It. Use the right pronoun.
It lifted its chin. The eyes were a dull red, the color of arterial blood on skin, if it weren’t as pale as what she… it… wore. The eyes focused on the gun.
“Is that for me, Jacob? Are you here to pump me full of lead? Or… something else, maybe?”
The tone was playful. The lips, brighter red and moist, smiled slowly.
“I want out. I want to stop hurting people.”
The lips pursed into a pout. Fingers slid up the lapel of the jacket.
“Jacob. Jake, baby. You asked for this. We had a deal, remember?”
It took steps. Slow, deliberate, hip-swaying steps. Carrot and stick, Jacob told himself. Carrot and stick. That’s all this is.
It was close, now. It looked in his eyes. It touched his chest.
“Do the sweet promises we made really mean nothing?”