MLO crossed that fine line between the bad side of town and the better side of town.
From death to life.
He stuffed his hands into his coat pockets and shivered.
What do I do when I find N1? I can’t control her like I could with XQ. Maybe I’ll have to transform into my…other form.
I wish I could do it now. But Capernum told me to keep a low profile. Don’t draw attention to myself.
A red BMW blared past him, prompting him to relocate to the sidewalk.
It would be so much simpler if I could just kill her. But I guess hauling a dead body through town would be asking for someone to notice.
He walked slowly, watching pedestrians. Every now and then, he’d stop and watch a whole group go by.
What if she’s skipped town?
Nah. Not likely.
A small pickpocket touched his coat.
MLO transformed quickly. He opened his mouth wide, baring his barracuda-like teeth.
The little urchin screamed and ran away.
MLO transformed back into his normal form before anyone could notice. He leaned back against the front window of the Salvation’s Time and Dine store.
He stood still and watched the crowd.
She’ll show up.
I’m sure of it.
Barbara smiled. “I wonder who has the better singing voice. Raven or Ambrose?”
“Has he sung to you?”
“Nope. But he’s so pretty. Pretty men don’t have ugly voices. That just wouldn’t be fair or right or anything.” A dreamy look came over her face. “And he is so pretty. Especially without his shirt on. Have you seen Ambrose without his shirt on?”
Barbara blushed. “Umm. Yes.”
“Is he pretty shirtless too?”
“Uh. I…He’s in very good shape.”
Missy didn’t look pleased by that response. “So, he isn’t pretty?”
“Umm.” Shirtless Ambrose appeared in her mind with a confident smile on his face.
“What? Does he have an ugly chest?”
Barbara giggled. “I’m not sure what an ugly chest would look like.”
Missy shrugged. “It’s the kind where you beg him to ‘Please put your shirt back on’.”
Barbara’s blush deepened. “Then, Ambrose definitely doesn’t have an ugly chest.”
“Oh! Let’s stop in this store. I think they’re having a sale on—-”
A young girl ran down the sidewalk and rammed into Barbara, knocking her back a couple of steps.
“Whoa! Be careful. You could have—”
The urchin looked up at Barbara with wild, frightened eyes.
Barbara came down to her level. “Are you okay?”
“I saw a monster. It was horrible. It wanted to eat my head.”
Missy stiffened. “What did it look like?”
“Horrible! It’s eyes were like THIS big and they were THAT black and they were slimy and creepy and horrible looking. It opened its mouth and it had twelve thousand teeth that were THIS and THAT long. Like it wanted to bite my head off.”
Missy knelt before her. “Tell me. Was it just walking around like that or…”
“I don’t know.” Her chin wobbled and her eyes teared up. “He looked okay and then poof! Monster.”
Missy’s face turned pale. “What did he look like?”
“I don’t know.” She melted into tears. “A guy!”
Barbara gave Missy a questioning look.
“Was he young old bald hairy was he fat skinny—-”
The girl wailed indecipherable sounds.
“Missy, please. Wait.” Barbara hugged the girl. “It’s okay.”
“No. A monster. I—I saw a m–m–monster and I…”
“You’re safe. That monster won’t touch you.”
She raised her head and rubbed her nose into her coat sleeve. “How you know that?”
The question threw Barbara for a loop. How do I answer a question like that without flat out lying?
Missy saved her the trouble by barging back into the conversation, “What did he look like?”
The girl shrugged in a broad gesture. “Didn’t look old. I mean, he was older than me, but he was younger than my dad.” She rubbed her eyes. “But he had gray hair and it flopped all messy into his eyes and—”
Missy rose to her feet and nervously glanced around.
“Missy? What is it?”
“We have to head back to Raven’s.”
Barbara stood. “What’s wrong? What is it?”
Missy shivered. “MLO.”