Chapter Five: Threads

Twist me nut to look at her. She’s lying knocked out next to me. The Nameless, crazy pitch that Mortlangue and the Droppers want dead. Crazy pitch who landed me in this mess, who got all these words running in me head. The crazy pitch who led this herd of starving idjits to a mad rebellion on this bustword bridge. The Nameless, me only hope not to end up as a crispy critter now.

Flap me arm trying to reach her. But she’s out cold, too far away from me hand and me words. Up close and personal I can see the scars flashed across her mug. But not a flicker from her eyes. Scratch me fingers out towards her, desperate from the heat of the pipe beginning to scorch me leg. Somethink on the ground between me and her. Wot is it?

It’s a metal square, curved at edges, some pattern cut deep in it. It’s a dog-tag. Grooves in the metal shine red. Me chest pulls as I look at it, like this is somethink important. I wind me spindly arm out even more and feel a pitter-patter run down it. Hood. On the case, like he always is. His silver thread zips out behind him, anchored to me hoodie. ‘Case he gotta spring back quick.

Me fingertips are so close to the tag now, I can feel the metallic cold under me nails. Hood darts off the back of me paw and runs to suss the tag out for me. Scatting this way and that across the grooves.  Then he jumps off and starts a strange jig on the tarmac. Red prinpricks wherever his eight stalks land. Blood. It’s blood. Hood’s thread, it’s silver shine got dipped in the bloody grooves… it’s beginning to run red… [line here]  &… &… I see it… I’ve seen it before… Hood spun a red thread before

… when the blood run down the walls… &… &… it was her blood… not The Nameless… but her… her in me heart… me belly love… she’s there…. &…. &… lying there… bleeding out across the floor…

and I can’t… I can’t reach…

Prickles all up me arm. Hissing in me ear. Me head swivels round, back to the here ‘n’ now. Hood’s rasping in me lughole, “Grab the tag, cabbage – it’s still got yer blood pulse throbbing through it – it’ll give yer the boot yer need.”

Read on in Chapter Six: Tags

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