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Outcast

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“Albert Mason” a rough voice called his name over the uproarious hum of the bar. Albert's coca orbs flicked to the direction of it.

A man in clothing darker than the bags under his eyes stalked towards Albert. He swallowed.

This must be the owner of the voice.

His blue orbs like a stormy sky were bloodshot as they raked over Albert like a predator. The light from the flickering heat in the fireplace licked his face so the shadows clung to it. His inky hair hung around his face in clumps that framed the sharp mountains and ravines of his face. His skin like a blanket of days old snow- once a delicate white but now muddied with sun and dirt.

As he stalked closer- the snap snap snap of shoes slapping signifying his approach- it became obvious the man towered over Albert despite being lithe as a stick.

“Yes sir?” Albert stuttered, flattening his palm against the bar top as to stop the relentlessly shaking. He dragged his fingers over the surface- rough, almost sharp- until they curled up into his palm. Almost like they were seeking safety.

“I seen your photos in the Saint Denis, thought they were real pretty” the man complimented; flashing what may have been a comforting smile if not for the rows of sharp teeth it revealed. He leaned against the bar top.

Too close.

Albert staggered back.

He suppressed a grimace at the metallic smell that tangoed with stench of weeks old dirt. It crawled into Albert's lungs like napalm and choked him.

“Thank you very much” Albert stuttered; tugging a smile with too much teeth and too little feeling onto his face. The man leaned in closer- crowding Albert up against the bar.

“I wanted ask you sumthin’ 'bout one of them photos you took” he declared.

The muscles in Albert's back wound up like a spring. Albert swallowed down the taste of bile that bit at the back of the his throat.

“O-okay” he stammered.

The click of a gun being cocked rung out, a threat silent to everyone but Albert. Drowned out by the jovial music and the howls of laughter.

“Where's Arthur Morgan?” he growled- low in his throat like animal. Albert's heart beat like a drum as it raced to pump adrenaline through his veins.

His mind was screaming. Run, run, run!

The muzzle of the gun was jostled into Albert's stomach- punching the air from his lungs.

“I-I don't…I don't know!” He whimpered, eyes wide like a horse.

His eyes darted to the bartender.

Help me!

The bartender's eyebrows drew together- eyes shining softly the dim lights of the bar- but he flicked his eyes away, shuffling with his head down to serve some drunkard on the far side of the bar.

The man clutched at Albert's face and wrenched his attention back. Pain spiked from the jagged nails that dug into his cheek.

“Bullshit!” he hissed, venom dripping from every over-pronounced syllable. Albert's eyes squeezed shut.

“P-please! H-he just… h-he only protected me w-while I was taking photos! I-I don't know where he is!” Albert begged.

The man growled, teeth grinding together like stone.

“Move” he commanded, jabbing the gun into Albert's side again. Albert flinched back, eyes squeezed shut.

“W-what?” Albert whimpered. The man shoved him so Albert's shoes scuffed along the floor- the leather screeching under the pressure- and Albert stumbled to try stay upright.

The man grabbed Albert by the scruff of his neck. Fabric pulled taut against Albert's throat- friction agitating the paper of his neck.

He locked eyes with a burly man sitting at the bar.

Please.

He dropped his head down so his long hair was a curtain between him and the scene.

Anyone?

Albert's chocolate eyes flicked around the room.

Please!

He was met with a sea of backs and eyes avoiding him like he was poison.

I don't want to die…

“Move!” the man growled, teeth bared. His voice resonated through Albert's body- dragging a shudder down his spine as it went- now that he was pressed up against Albert's back. He craned his head so he could snarl into Albert's ear.

“Get walkin’ city boah!” He commanded. He pressed the solid weight of his gun to Albert's back, “Or else” he promised.