There’s a glassy membrane over them, the circle members. Like the shell of a translucent egg waiting to be split open. “Ask us our secrets and we may tell,” they seem to promise behind their perfectly manicured faces, their dilated eyes, their shining hair, their debonair smiles…
Caerawyn knows her curiosity is born out of her revulsion–a paradox of fascination overlaying the very real horror of her circumstances. She is dancing and drinking and mingling with these members of the circle. She even likes their lusty glances and their open infatuation with her and how they think she thinks.
The only two human beings in the stadium ballroom are Caera and Balen, surely.
Balen seems to be the only one in the room who has a problem with this fact, but he’s not keen to voice such opinions until he and Caerwyn are firmly squished into the hotel phonebooth (which is not surprisingly missing its phone) away from wandering eyes and idle ears.
“This is crazy,” he hisses, sounding almost like a member. “What in the hell are we doing here?! We need to get out. You can’t be so… You know they just want to eat you, right?”
Caerwyn’s eyes blink rapidly in annoyance. “Please.” She sighs then to cut him off. “Balen, of course they want to eat us. We look amazing,” she says airily, then her expression darkens. “Don’t tell me you don’t want to stop them…”
Her cohort, sharing breath, squished into her, feeling both uncomfortable with their situation and their situation, resigns himself with a groan of utter loathing and affection. “Dammit… Yeah, I do, but how the hell are we gonna go about it now? We didn’t plan on so many.”
Caerwyn smiles. “Dance, Balen,” she says with a purr, slipping past him, sashaying back toward the siren’s call of house music.
The synthetic jazz seems to whisper, “Come and see…”
Caera turns slightly to look over her shoulder and that’s when Balen belatedly decides his other half is probably drunk and cleaning up after her future social misfires is the least of his worries. (The paramount worry pacing through his head is that Caerwyn will die at the hands of some rather insidious circle members and he will be left in a state of catatonic shock for the rest of his life. He entertains the image before swallowing it with the same unease one would exhibit imbibing a cyanide capsule.)
His platinum beauty, his companion, his… Gone? Never.
She grins at him, almost admonishing, and the hallway disappears for just a moment. Hers is a face that will haunt him before it even has a ghost to haunt him with. “Balen,” she chides, “there’s one thing I’m beginning to understand about these creeps… They’re basically children.”
Before he can dissect this comparison–rather, before he can poke holes in it–his partner chuckles.
“And kids… Kids always play with their food first. Let’s make it worth their while.”
“You’re like a pyro with matches,” is all he can say in return.
Caerwyn shrugs. “‘Least we’re both aware fire burns.”
“Pretty sure that makes us idiots,” Balen says, but he’s already agreed with her and she knows it. Despite his denial, he has it too–that paradoxical sickness–that fascination with the macabre–that itch that needs to be scratched. But he also knows such wayward investigators rarely live beyond their first encounter with the unnatural. “Curiosity killed the cat…”
“But satisfaction brought it back,” Caera snaps back with a wicked smirk.
“Downside to your plan: We two do not have nine lives, even between the two of us.”
Caerwyn, white dress, icy complexion, warm smile, sunny disposition, steadfast, bullheaded, and sad… links an arm through his and winks. “Guess we’ll have to improvise.”
Downtown Platinum (c)2017 Karin Mayville
Find out more at Downtown Platinum on Facebook.