6:00am shone, illuminated on the ceiling. A familiar droning sound. A familiar smell.
Dan awoke to the metallic taste of blood in his mouth. For a moment the darkness disorientated him. He soon realised where he was.
He was home: apartment 6G, Block 3A.
He glanced up at the clock projected onto the ceiling, as if confirming it really was that time. Work, his mind thought as he slid out from under the sheets. Half-awake he began to drift through his morning routine. Fridge. Beer. Empty… of course you idiot. His hand gropped around in the back of his kitchen cupboards, mindlessly pulling out what remained of a box of cornflakes. One sniff of the milk told him his cereal would have to be dry this morning.
He slammed the bowl down on the table. Slouched into the chair, and flicked on the TV. Static flared for a brief moment before parting like a theater curtain to reveal the morning newscaster.
” WEXCORP stocks are up three points this morning at announcements of their west coast expansion plans for quarter 4 of this financial year… In other news, Mayor Odo has announced ambitious urban development that aims to see the old industrial quarter turned into a playground for the cities inhabitants that is set to rival Las Vegas. Odo states advanced planning has already started, and the first construction teams should begin work in 2061-” Dan flicked it off. Bloody politicians and their empty promises, he thought while digging his spoon into the bowl of dry flakes. Just as he was about to brave the first mouthful, Dan noticed a piece of paper sticking out from under his bowl.
” Guess I forgot to screw you up last night” he muttered, pulling it free. He skimmed the words, written in a hand he didn’t recognize and tossed them aside.
Frannie Welks, The Birdcage, 11pm ~ J
The words meant nothing to him. But that was nothing new. He’d been out last night, that much he could remember. The girl had forgot to write her number. If she thought he’d go chasing after some one night stand half way across the city then- Wait whose J?
Why had a girl called Frannie signed her name with a J? Dan crammed a mouthful of dry flakes into the back of his throat. He thought better when he wasn’t starving, and by the feel of things he’d had nothing but beer last night.
The rest of the day passed as all other days do. Forgettable and tiresome, with a hint of longing for the night. Dan had jumped from job to job throughout his life, never able to settle in anything for too long. The moment familiarity set in, he felt drawn away. One might call it a call to adventure, but his CV hardly spoke of that. Eight hours of flipping burgers later and Dan was back where he started. As he struggled with the rusted door to his block, Dan hummed away a nostalgic tune from a lifetime ago.
The merry-go-round goes ’round and ’round,
The children laughed and laughed and laughed,
So many were going ’round and ’round,
That the merry-go-round collapsed.
“Another day, another Dollar.” He muttered, slumping into a pile onto his sofa. Just then, a light breeze blew from the window that would never shut. Dan had his eyes closed when the piece of paper fell into his lap, daydreaming about the night. He glanced down. The Birdcage. He’d never been to that one before. He wasn’t even sure where it was. Dan slid the note into his pocket, threw on a jacket and rammed a handful of $1 notes into it. The lure of the city called to him, like the lantern of a deep sea angler fish, not quite bright enough to illuminate the monster’s jaws.
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!