“Took a sweet right hook there friend. You always go around town pissing off bouncers at 5am, or this a new look you’re trying on?”
Dan blinked trying to focus on the source of the voice. As he did so his head pulsated. How much had he been drinking, was his first thought. Then he remembered the hairy fist powering towards his face, the hard cold crack of the concrete rising up to meet him, and… nothing. The rest was blank…
“Urghh” Dan managed, trying to prop himself up on the arm that felt the least broken.
“Where am I?” He tried looking around. No neon. No streetlights. In fact, other than the remnants of a fire glowing out of a steel-drum there was no light at all. “And what time is it? And day…?”
” Well I couldn’t rightly leave you there, wallowing in your own blood and pity. Could I?” The tramp from earlier stepped forward into the fragile glow, it’s dying embers illuminating his toothless grin. That Dan remembered.
“You didn’t answer the question tramp.”
“Now, now, kid. You gotta watch that mouth of yours. It’s already got you in trouble once today. I might be a tramp, but in all my years I ain’t seen one so desperate to give up as you. And by the clothes of your back, you ain’t hit rock bottom in this city yet. Not by a long shot.”
“That’s not how it’s feeling down here.” Dan slumped.
“Ha, think your life’s bad kid? Just cause some inner city mag called The block ‘dystopian chic’?”, The tramp reached out his hand and with more effort on his part than Dan’s , pulled Dan to his feet. For a moment it seemed Dan would collapse straight back down, then, somehow, he managed to steady the wobbles and looked his savior in the eye.
“The hell’s your name anyway?” Dan said, trying to lean on the steel-drum nonchalantly only to pull his hand back in shock at the heat.
“Why, feeling friendly all o’ a sudden?” the tramp grinned again, collapsing his neck into his shoulders like a snapping turtle.
“No. Just felt right to ask”
The tramp paused, a thoughtful expression spreading across his face,”Well, Folks around these parts call me The Verge.” His eyes shimmered with a mischievous streak.
“Well… ‘The Verge’, I’m Dan, and you never did say where these parts where…”
“Just Verge to friends. And, well, guess the city planners never bothered naming this area. Once the funding was pulled they all lost interest and just left it to rot. Most around here know it as Limbo. It’s a place where all those sad, lost souls seem to congregate. When they’ve got no where else to go. The bottom of the barrel if you will” Verge paused and muttered under his breath, “at least, that’s what they think at the time…”
“Come, shall we take a walk?” Verge offered dan his shoulder to steady him as he pointed off into the seemingly endless darkness. For some reason, Dan didn’t argue. There was something about the odd, jolly toothless tramp that made him relax.
“Oh, and you were out cold for fifteen hours, it’s 8pm.” Verge said chuckling to himself as they walked off into the gloom.
Thank you for reading this canto of Sin City.
Go to the series page to see all currently available cantos and follow Dan and Verge’s journey.
If you’re enjoying the series, or have ideas for future installments, please let me know in the comments below!