Sin City: Canto VII – Rust and Ghosts

“Don’t worry Dan. It’s been abandoned for years. You really think if WEXCORP were still here they’d just let us walk in?” Verge sauntered onwards with a lively spring in his step, while Dan shuffled nervously behind, daring glances at the ominous logo precariously hanging above them.

“I don’t know what I think.” Dan started, “Other than I’m not setting one foot in that deathtrap. Do you know what they would do to us if they found us snooping around? Even if it is abandoned as you say? No! Of course you don’t. Because your just some worthless tramp that’s probably never held a job in his life. Well I used to work in the big city and-“

Dan caught himself and sighed. “Sorry, I’m just… What’s so special about this place anyways?”

“It’s not the place that’s special but the man we’re here to meet.” Verge said as he began walking. Distracted from his momentary fear, Dan began to follow.

“He move’s around a lot. Keeping to the border. But those who need him, always know where to find him.”

“Why am I following you. Why am I even listening to this.” Dan jerked to a halt crossing his arms.

“You know why Dan. Because the city wasn’t enough. Because none of it is. Because despite the glitz and glam, despite the false promises, despite the lies, a part of you realises there must be something better. And I’ll tell you a secret…”

“What?” Dan asked, eyebrow raised.

“There is.”

****************************************************************************************************

The inside of the warehouse was a large hollowed out shell of a building. The left wall had mostly collapsed creating an opening to the river that backed the facility. Across the acrid waters rose a wall of sheet metal and barbed wire pocketed with guard towers and floodlights. Even though they were far enough away that the lights couldn’t possibly reach them, Dan still felt uneasy. He’d never been here before. He was certain of that. Never even been this far out from City proper. Never been this far from The Block. But yet, this wall, pulled straight out of some old war-flick seemed so … familiar. Like a distant scratching memory of some childhood haunt, but without the nourishing warmth of nostalgia. This de-ja-vu was cold, and dark. Dan glanced away, a part of him terrified of what lay behind the fog of his minds eye.

The stench of caustic chemical swill wafted in through the opening as the pair moved onwards. Dan looked over the rest of the building. The large open chamber was completely empty, save for the occasional rat that scurried past, and large enough that he couldn’t make out the far wall. The little light that penetrated from outside couldn’t quite make it through the lingering darkness. How suitable that shadows should find sanctuary in a WEXCORP building, Dan thought. As the pair walked forward, led on by Verge a sharp tapping sound caused them to stop. Verge’s hand shot out, holding Dan back. In the shadows at the far end of the room, a single penetrating light flickered into existance and then faded as quickly as it came. A few seconds later, the telltale glow of a cigarette bud shone out the gloom.

A man shuffled towards them, his left leg dragged behind him like an uncooperative puppy.

“You got a coin?” The man said, not bothering to introduce himself. Dan tried to make out his features but he stood just far enough away from them that the darkness masked him.

“No. But we’ve got something better.” Verge said

“No coin. No ferry. Them’s the Judge’s rules.” The man turned, and Verge started.

“Wait!”, “We just want to speak to him. This one’s special. The Judge will want to see him. Trust me Drifter.”

The man called Drifter cocked his head quizzically upon hearing his name as if trying to place Verge. After a few moments gazing into his eyes he spoke up.

“Very well, but you’ll be wastin’ your time.”

Verge shot Dan a sly smile. Drifter shuffled away, waving them to follow.

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!

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