“Go Fuck Yourself.”
Loud banging pierces through the still air, bellowing thuds coming one after the other, relentlessly hammering away just before a familiar, annoying voice follows.
“Tilton! Time to pay up! Just because there’s mermaids falling from the sky, doesn’t mean you don’t owe your rent anymore!”
All too quickly, your surroundings fades from glorious gold and rich amber to a familiar darkness. The feel of warm, plush cushions dissipates immediately, giving way for cold air and a small, hardened mattress. The intoxicating scents of cedar and sandalwood are instantly replaced by that of faint mildew and stale, unventilated air that refuses to be masked by artificial tangerine.
The banging ensues—as do the rude ramblings of your landlord, Roger Kirk.
“Open up, Tilton! I don’t have all fucking day,” he continues, pounding on the already frail door even harder.
You’re back in your room, lying in your tiny bed alone as your consciousness slowly but surely takes over. You stare into the darkness as the loud pummeling forces you awake. You blink at the nothingness that surrounds you, finding it a little hard to breathe as a very strange sense of longing ripples through you.
The reaper is…nowhere in sight.
You can’t see him.
Can’t smell him.
Can’t hear him.
Can’t feel him.
And for some reason, acknowledging his absence spawns a new and unusual discomfort in your chest.
Still, you look around in the dark room, allowing your eyes to roam through the dimness as your head moves left and right in search of the individual you know isn’t with you anymore.
After a few more moments of lying in the same spot, looking around for a pair of teal and cornflower-blue eyes you know you won’t find, you close your own eyes against the sea of disappointment quickly engulfing you and against the thumping that ensues on the other side of your door.
With an audible groan, your feet find their way to the floor. You flinch as they come into contact with the frigid ground, your toes retreating on impulse as sharp piercings of ice shoot up your legs.
“Fuck,” you mutter in irritation, groaning again.
Kirk doesn’t stop with the pounding. You’re not surprised. He’s one rude, obnoxious bastard with no regard for anyone but himself. Anyone would think so. Even the damn Pope would see him as nothing more than a greedy, inconsiderate tool.
Absently, you reach under your flattened pillow and grab your phone, squinting at the glowing screen as your eyes protest the unwelcome contrast from the surrounding darkness they’ve adjusted to.
You have to be fucking kidding me.
It isn’t even daybreak yet.
What the fuck is this moron banging on your door for this early in the morning?
You sigh, trying to ignore your discomfort and bearing the cold as you force yourself to get up, if only to put a stop to the annoying ruckus this asshole is making.
You swing the door open in anger, and the rickety barrier creaks so loudly against its rusty hinges you’re sure it’ll crumble into dust less than a month from now.
You come face to face with gray eyes and copious amounts of unkempt facial hair.
“Took you long enough,” Kirk scoffs as he set his eyes on your own puffy, bloodshot ones. “You know how long I’ve been out here knocking for you to come out?”
Yeah. Thirty bloody seconds, you douche. Not exactly an eternity.
A frustrated sigh escapes you as you stand there impatiently in your pajamas, rubbing the weariness from your eyes and trying with all your might not to clock this asshat between his.
“You couldn’t wait until the sun actually came up?” you say, not holding back the irritation you feel. “You know, like normal people do?”
“Don’t get smart with me, Tilton,” he frowns. “You think I have all day to go around chasing you for my money?”
This motherfucker is really testing your patience, and currently, you have absolutely none to spare.
“Go fuck yourself,” you hear yourself say.
Your eyes burn with increasing irritation. Heat floods your face as a rush of anger takes its hold of you, refusing to let go. You stare straight into his eyes, and very strange and odd sense of power and security overcomes you as you look at him.
As you look down at him.
His eyes bulge like saucers, and his pupils visibly dilate as something flashes through them.
You’re not really sure, but you’re too damn pissed and tired to stick around to find out.
Immediately, you swing the door closed with unusual harshness and force. It slams shut with an incredibly loud thud right in his face, so hard that a huge chunk of cracked paint falls off it and collects in a pile of white sandy chips on the floor beneath.
You march back over to your bed and fall headfirst into it immediately, not caring about what just transpired between your landlord and you. You’re sure he’ll kick you out later in the day once he regains his composure—or maybe even in the next couple of minutes—but oddly, you can’t bring yourself to care. You settle back into bed, willing yourself back to sleep even while you know you’re fighting a losing battle trying to do that.
You consider taking another sleeping pill, but you remember that you left the bottle at the kitchen table.
You don’t feel like getting up and walking over there right now, even though it isn’t far off at all. You just don’t feel like moving. Another frustrated sigh leaves your lips and fills the room, and shortly after, the rumbling sound of your stomach follows.
Why are you always so damn hungry all the time lately?
You’re way too short on cash for a large appetite right now. You have no idea how you’re even going to manage after you pay this month’s rent. Heck, you’re not even sure you’ll still have a place to live in after a few hours with the shit you just said to Kirk. Not that he didn’t deserve it, but it’s still your ass on the line here. As much as it kills you, you’ll have to apologize to him when you drop off your check.
You groan at the thought of having to say sorry to the douchebag and possibly kiss his ass while you hand him the majority of your money just so he won’t kick you out. But there’s no way around it. Homelessness isn’t something you want to contend with. You’ll just have to suck it up and swallow your pride, especially since your work situation is pretty much in the gutters right now as well.
You think of all your prospects, considering what options you have left as you try to figure out how to get yourself out of this crappy situation.
Clover is still shut down indefinitely, and Gus told you he isn’t sure when the Food and Sanitation Department would give him clearance to open up again.
So, that leaves you with your only other potential source of income:
I really need to get a hold of Jeromy.