Brimstone Air Part 1

 

In downtown Boston, Charles Landon leaves his apartment for work. The place appears to be quite quaint. Resting on the fourth floor, it is only a simple studio apartment. His ginger hair is a mess and his clothes being slightly too big for his lanky appearance. His bag thrown over one shoulder as he locks the front door.

He heads down the hall toward the elevator, passing a bald, tan man as he does. He has seen this man around the building before. A strange one he is, always having a hint of brimstone aroma around him. The man always seems to have a pair of old fashioned aviators on. Despite the overcast outside. Charles puts the thought from his mind, it’s not really his place to judge what people wear, especially since he always wears clothes too big for him. Be damned if he could find clothes for his size.

Stepping into the elevator he pushes the button for the ground floor. The trip down is only slowed by a patron on the second floor getting on. She must be heading to work as well. Her name was Chloe. She is an average looking woman. Her thick black hair brushed to one side, thick red glasses that frame her teardrop face perfectly.

She works with Charles at local news station. She works as a reporter, while Charles only works on the paper side of things. Charles has had opportunity to move up in the company, but he has a love for the printed word. The smell of the paper as the ink is pressed into it has always filled him with a certain sense of pride, seeing as his line of work was a dying breed and yet he manages to keep it alive, if only barely.

Giving a smile to her as she enters the elevator, he is reluctant to say a word. He has no idea how to strike up a conversation with her. Either due to being shy or being introverted, he’s not sure witch.

It was late when he got home from work, around one in the morning. The hall way and the elevator smelled heavily of brimstone. All the way up to his door he can’t get the smell out of his nostrils. Opening his apartment door, the sandalwood scent hitting him in the face like a gale force wind. The subtle smell brings a refreshing break from the dense thick smell of the brimstone outside.

He goes to his fridge and opens a beer before collapsing on his couch. Charles sits there and watches the small television in his tiny abode, before being lulled to sleep by the repetitive nature of his nights.

Charles is started from his sleep by a slight pinprick of pain that encroaches from his neck. Raising an arm to rub his neck, as if to rub the pain away. It was probably just a crick in his neck from the way he slept. To his surprise, this is not the case. His hand is met, not by the warm smoothness that is flesh, but rather the cold and stick texture of semi solidified syrup. Bringing his hand back into view, it is coated with a dark red, almost black, liquid. Blood halfway to coagulating.

To his horror, Charles rushes to his bathroom mirror to inspect his neck. Looking over every detail. There is a massive amount of smeared blood collected on his neck but none of it dripped. There is a single slit down the side of his neck in a vertical. But it wasn’t the cut nor the lack of dripping. that made him tremble. It was that there was an imprint in the blood of a pair of human lips placed directly above the cut.

–K.E. Oskold

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