Chapter Four: Nameless
I try and flex the bike’s bulk off me chest. It ain’t shifting. Twist me head again, eye-spying for anything that looks like luck. But ain’t a smithereen most ways I swerve. All those starving sticks got their goggles clamped on one thing only. Their heads lifted up to the giant support straddling the bridge. This thing looks like a concrete bolt chucked out of a storm-wrecked sky by some looney-runes god. What’re those poor frokes hoping for? That the giant god’s gonna shake some manna into their desperate gobs? Which ever way, no hope for me there… & froke me… I need help… can hear the breeze crank that pipe, it’ll fall any second… swivel me eyes round… pinpricks up me neck now, biting on me lughole…
& I see yer!!!… You! Knocked out by the crash like me. Battered & bruised. Yer face is a mess. But the flesh-scrawl cross most of yer mush, it ain’t fresh. It’s old scars. I look at yer, drink yer in with me eyes. Yer crazy outlaw coat spreads out round yer, a drowned bat’s wings. Yer mad matted hair tumbles like snakes out of yer low-hanging hat.
Lady, I know yer. Yer a rough and crazy pitch. The one they all hate. How’d we get here? Snapshots shuffle in me head. They were chasing us, sirens blazing.
That’s wot happens. When yer a thief. And yer pinch stuff. I’m good at pinching stuff. & so are you. Can’t remember what yer got for a name… or maybe no name…???
Wot were we thinking? Wot were we stealing? Wot was it?
A word! It was a word we was pinching.
A big word. A dangerous word. The Word.
But right now it’s just a word I can’t froking remember… like yer name…&&& yer???… Cos yer ain’t you. Yer not her… not my…my???….&&&&???… all these froking words stretching and twisting & still this fog in me head… ….&&&& wind scours the bridge… & the pipe rattles & rains red sparks on me & “How’d you say ‘I’m totally frocked’?”…
&&&… aarrrrghhhhh… red-hot pinpricks, eight of ‘em, stinging in me ear… & a voice I ain’t ever heard but I know so well & me gutter pet’s voice, hissing at me, “Get a grip of yerself, cabbage. Yer know that’s The Nameless lying there. AKA New Babel’s most wanted. But she’s yer only ounce of hope. So if yer don’t want to end up as charcoaled meat on a frozen bridge, yer gotta figure out a way to wake the pitch up…”