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Money Can't Buy the Richest Diamond

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Fuzzy silhouettes danced across your vision without faces or voices. You stumbled passed them toward a dimly lit door. With all your strength, you pushed the doors open to reveal a warm room. White sheets covered every table with an assortment of flowers and a small lit candle. Lights from above twinkled like stars in an assortment of pinks, yellows, and orange as the tables bordered on a shining dancefloor. You timidly took a step onto the newly waxed floor; eyes tracing every corner of the room for movement. You took a breath to call out to anyone that might be there but…

No sound, no voice, escaped you.

You looked back toward the heavy door you entered to see the shadowed phantoms staring at you. They globbed into one another like overcooked molasses, each face turning into a ghostly scowl or fear. They stayed on their side of the door as if some invisible presence kept them there. You turned back to your warm room to see you were no longer alone. The lights above changed to a dim orange as the bright figures stood before you. You squinted your eyes, trying to see them more clearly as you tried in vain to count how many there were. Your eyes strained as they got closer, one holding out a hand toward you. Yells and screams sounded from the doorway. You turned back to see them clawing at the force keeping them caged, their faces distorted into one of fear. They continued their groaned scream as they melted into one another, tapping on the invisible force. You looked over your shoulder back at the bright figures, one still with its hand held out toward you. You turned to give them your full attention.

“Who are you?” you voice finally escaped your lips.

The figure with his hand out tilted its head at you and held out its hand with a slight sense desperation. You took one step back from it and froze as the warm room became cold and shadowed. The once angelic looking figures dimmed as they stared at you, no longer with a welcoming aura. Your neck felt cold as its hairs shot up at attention.

A chorus of groans and shrieks sounded from the door way. Your ears finally began to understand their pleas and shrieks.

RUN!

You took a few more steps back, lungs working at full capacity. The ground shook as a growl of displeasure emanated from the now demonic figures. They each took a few steps to follow you; each step making their statures tower over your own.

With only a few feet in between you, that same figure held up its hand for you to take; its stance threatening, clearly stating that this was your last chance to accept. The goop silhouettes cried out again for you to run, go back the way you came.

…To them.

You were at odds with yourself as fear stiffened your body, adrenaline ready to pump your body with flight tendencies to get out of this situation. The screams and collective growls coming in all directions. You collapsed on your knees from the overwhelming scene before you. Time seemed to freeze for you to make a decision. You looked up to see the hand being offered to you once again. Your heartbeat slowed in defeated resignation.

“It’s no use.” Your lips moved without your consent, “I wouldn’t have gotten away, would I…?”

The figures answered with a relaxed purr. You looked at the hand with a sullen sigh. There was no exit for you, no escape. Somehow you just knew you were playing their game and the odds of you winning were quite minuscule to theirs. Though your mind disagreed and tried to persuade you to not give in to their terms, it was too late. They had already beguiled you into submission. You sighed in defeat as you reached for its hand, regardless of the screams that told you otherwise-

BEEP! BEEP! BEEEP!

Your arm crashed on top of the snooze button to shut the devil’s invention up. As much as you loved telling time, having an annoying screech sound in your ear to wake up didn’t do any favors. You grumbled as your hand felt around the clock for the button to reset the alarm for the next day. You pressed down with a sense of completion and turned over to go back to sleep, silently promising yourself you’d look up who invented the alarm clock so you can salt the ground where he or she was buried out of spite.

You never acted on that promise. Hell, you never even put in the effort of researching the inventor; regardless of how much scorn you held toward your blue block that told time.

Your cellphone rang from beside the digital clock. You growled, arm blindly flailing behind you to pick up the cursed object. It was your day off, dammit! The thin block was finally found and brought into your bed. You squinted at the bright screen, trying to read the Caller ID:

Rose.

You sighed, swiping the answer icon to the side.

“Y’ello.” You rasped, “Marge’s Cleaning Service. How may I assist you on this-” you looked at the time on your phone, “early morning?”

“Very funny.” An old voice answered, “Today’s your day off, isn’t it?”

“Noo, noo.” You said as you sat up in bed, “What would give you that idea?”

“The sound of laziness and disappointment.” She answered with small delight.

You snorted, “Got me there.” A yawn escaped your lips as you stretched.

Satisfied and a little more awake you pulled your duvet to side, shivering at the cold morning air that blew through your bedroom window.

“Now… what can I do for ya, Rosie?”

It was 5:40_ in the goddamn_ morning. This better have been important.

 

-|-

You exited the bus and looked down the sidewalk. The street lights were finally turning off due to the sun coming up. It was ten minutes passed 7. You zipped up your (F/c) hoodie and shuffled off in direction of your close friend, Robin’s, place. She resided in a small gated community. You smirked at the memory of her saving up for five years straight just for the down payment on the mortgage. She was a performer, a singer; working five gigs a night just to stay afloat in her small tower of a home.

You jumped the fence of the community, dodging the sights of the gate’s cameras, and began the mile-long walk to Robin’s place. Middle class people lived here. And though you were borderline in the category, you were still looked down on because of the way you dressed, lived, worked, how you talked… The list went on and on. It’s funny that still in today’s society, a woman is seen as a pariah simply because she doesn’t follow the old norm of how women should act and dress.

You sighed as you stuffed your hands into your pockets. It didn’t feel like Fall at all, but an elongated Winter. The fog emanating from your sigh spoke truths to this. There’d probably be a blizzard in October at this rate. After all, Surface County was known for its sporadic weather.

Your city used to be part of the border between Pearmound and Fletcher County. However, when monsters surfaced, in order to keep their huge population in one place, the human government allowed for them to reside in Ebott, Pearmound, and Fletcher counties respectively, renaming the whole as Surface County. It’s funny, since the monsters came up from Mount Ebott, everything’s changed; the weather, laws, acceptance of magic. Since the laws passed for them to travel beyond the borders of the county, many left to different states and countries, quickly changing the world into a mostly accepting society.

You laughed when you remembered Robin dragging you through the grocery store when there was news of monster food coming to the shelves. She wanted to try everything and compare it with normal food. It was weeks later when there was news about monster food not being a viable source of nutrients for humans. Just enough to heal wounds, but not enough to survive on. You did your best to hold in your laugh as Robin sulked, when only days before she told you toilets would be obsolete because of monster food. She ended up raining down a slap storm on your arm when you could no longer contain your laughter.

You finally approached Robin’s building, climbed the stairs to the second floor, and walked down the breezeway of hall to her door. You gave the pine colored door a gentle knock and waited. Actual minutes passed by until the door was flung open by a young, dark haired woman. She looked terrible. Despite her hair looking like an actual bird’s nest and dark bags under her eyes, her hazel-blue eyes still twinkled like no tomorrow. She grabbed onto your hoodie’s sleeve and pulled you into her apartment, slamming the door shut. You watched as she shakily grasped the door frame and slowly turned to look at you from her shoulder.

“Let me guess.” She breathed, “Grams sent you.”

You nodded at first, eyes straying from her crazed appearance to the TV room being littered with ribbons and… tattered… clothing?

Breathe.

You smirked at her, trying to hide your worry as your thoughts raged through the many scenarios that could have played out.

“Yeah… said you hadn’t called in weeks.” You gingerly took off your hoodie and threw it onto the couch, revealing your (R/c) T-shirt that read:
I Excel at PowerPoint, Go Spread the Word.

“Guess her sixth sense was right.” You eyed her from head to toe with a raised eyebrow, giving her an accented, “You look gorgeous.”

She scoffed dismissively, “I’ve been busy. I’ll call her tonight.”

“Next time schedule your damn phone calls. Don’t know ‘bout you, but I don’t like being called before the sun’s even come up on my days off.”

She smiled at your complaint, “Today’s your day off, eh?”

Oh no.

You stiffened at her bubbly tone. He eyes narrowed sinisterly as she approached your statuesque state. Her height barely reached your chest, but that meant nothing toward her strength. She grabbed a fistful of your shirt and dragged you toward her room. She practically kicked the door open and led you over to the bed, pushing you onto the cushy duvet.

“Now,” she said, leaning over your torso, “I need your exotic touch.”

You sighed, lying down on the duvet, “Seriously, Robin.” You whined, “We did this last month.”

“That was last month and this is this month.” She pouted, lying on your chest, “Please. I really need this.”

You didn’t have to sit up to see she was giving you her glittering puppy eyes. A growled sigh of defeat escaped you.

“Fine. FINE! I’ll do it.”

She wriggled up to your neck and hugged you with a bubbly laugh, “Thank you! Thank you!”

“Yeah, yeah, Let’s just get it over with.” You grumbled.

She began sliding back to get up when you collapsed your arm over her like a safety harness. She tried to back out again, only to be stuck in the half hug.

“(Y/N),” if she were an actual bird, her talons would be stabbing into you by now, “what are you doing?”

“Nothin’,” you answered a sigh, “jus’ getting comfy.”

“Why?” she practically whispered. A fuse had been lit, “You promised-”

“Yeah, I know. I’ll do it later.” You turned your head with a comfortable sigh, “Someone’s grandmother woke me up early this morning.”

She tried backing out again and failed.

“I need at least four more hours.”

She clicked her teeth and called you a child under breath as she seemingly accepted to her fate. You would let her go as soon as she fell asleep. You’ve never seen her in this state before. Just a few hours couldn’t hurt her, especially since she’s asking for your help. You felt her weight on top of you with each breath you took and began closing your eyes. She nuzzled onto your stomach and-

“Ow, OW!” you sat up, arm sliding off her, “What’s with the teeth?”

She stood up off of you, arms using your legs as safety bars, with a “Hmph” and sassily swayed her hips as she flipped her messy hair behind her and walked to the other side of the room.

You scoffed at her, “Well then. T’s not like I wanted your water balloon tits on me anyway.”

She turned to look at you with a squinted glare, mouth twitching to hold back a smile, “Compared to your melons, I can see why.”

“Ah, I see now,” you feigned hurt, “this was all because of your jealousy over my endowment.” You dramatically lied back on the duvet like a damsel; arm draped over your head, “The cost of friendship; over natural selection.”

She threw a sock at you with a laugh, “As IF!”

You sat up with a smirk, flicking her sock off your knee.

“Besides,” she smirked, “what’s the point of having them if you hide ‘em from the world?”

You smiled at that. You kept your chest tied down at most hours of the day until you got home. It was something you didn’t care about. Not many people these days knew or could tell your gender. But those who did would do everything in their power to expel/tarnish you and your reputation from most of the populous. Those who were high up in the power chain of command would sway others to stay away. You were seen as a freak simply because you chose physical labor as your bread and butter, instead of the desk or waitress jobs that were filled to the brim with faces covered in makeup with fake million-dollar smiles. You weren’t a fan, it wasn’t you. You accepted their choice of life and employment. Why couldn’t they accept yours?

You worked at an old metal works factory that also had a side business in car repair. The owner took a shining to you when you met many years ago, teaching you his trade in the car repair branch and giving you a place to work from prying eyes. You worked to your heart’s content on the classic cars that would come in and have them leaving as if they were fresh out the factory. You may have not been living a life full of expensive luxury, but it’s been a comfortable one. You had a roof over head, friends that have become your family, and a city that wasn’t filled to the brim with chaotic bullshit like the bigger ones had.

“What can I say, they get in the way.” You shrugged.

She rolled her eyes at you, turned to her vanity, sat down on the cherry-wood bench, and grabbed a brush. It never took long for Robin to get herself dolled up. She was a singer after all. Most times she only had fifteen minutes from when her gig started to get dressed and get on stage, regardless of how the weather affected her during her walk from the bus stop.

Though her masked appearance was similar to the many women who used their looks to get by, you never judged her for it. Unlike the women of this town, Robin actually had a voice and had no qualms of making sure people heard it. She always held her head high, did what she felt was the right way to go about life, and went against the obstinate crowds; saving up for her apartment, regardless of being unmarried.

She turned to you with light make up alongside cover-up for her sleep deprived eyes and hair pinned up into a bun with a tiki pin stuck in it that her brother sent from Hawaii. Even with her green tank top and Joe Boxer shorts, she still looked like she was going somewhere.

She turned to a tarp covering a table with two tall figures and tore it off revealing two mannequins and a sewing table. One mannequin was bare, but the other was covered in a mint-green, knee length, chiffon dress that crisscrossed along the chest to form straps that were made to hug the arms from the side. The dress flanneled as if it had been wind-blown it into its desired state.

It shouldn’t have been surprising that this dress looked beautiful since Robin made all of her clothes. She had such a professional touch that many thought she had a sugar daddy buying her expensive brands. Instead, they were all her design. You tried to talk her into saving up for college to get a design degree, but she’d always dismiss it with a laugh stating that money toward college had better uses, like keeping her alive. Wasn't that the truth. In this city, your bread and butter pays for actual bread and butter. This city had always been a half-way point for most and will probably never change.

“So,” she shrugged with anticipation, “what do you think?”

“Uhm,” you continued to stare at the dress, “what’s the occasion?”

She circled around the mannequin, arms woven over its headless shoulders, hiding her excited smile.

“Remember that show you missed last week?” she asked.

“Thursday night one?”

She nodded.

“Had a full house and everything.” She pouted your way.

You were busy that night, having to help your boss finish a detail job on a classic car. You both didn’t leave ‘til the sun came up. Guilt crept up your back. You didn’t necessarily promise to be there, but you’d never missed any of her shows. For the first time in a while, the place had been booked instead of less than half full. She probably got extra pay because of it. How else could she have bought the materials to make this dress?

“Turns out, that night was when a bunch of monsters moved into the city...” She played with the thread of the dress a bit.

That… was new. How did you not hear about this? Sure, Robin was in many social circles, but you would’ve heard something at garage. This should’ve been big news for the city.

Even though your city resided in Surface County, there were barely any monsters living here. The small amount that did always kept to themselves and never talked to anyone but their own species. Most of the populous was fine with this. As long as they steered clear and kept their noses clean, there wouldn’t be any problems. Other than that, any monsters who were in the city were either passing through or there visiting family.

“A bunch of Boss monsters.” She clarified, looking up to gauge your reaction.

Your jaw dropped as your eyebrows rose. Boss monsters? Plural?

Everyone knew that regular monsters followed boss monsters, viewing them as a sign of protection and leaders to follow. When one took roots in a city, many monsters flocked in by a few hundred.

“Well, fuck.” You breathed, shaking your head.

Your city needed this; you knew that. Monsters had a cleaner source of energy and many popular stores took root wherever they settled. And though it would be cool to see new stores and buildings built, you didn’t want the chaos that came with it. Wherever more monsters roamed, more crime followed. You knew it was just rumoring that boss monsters ruled over the cities they settled in like mobsters, organizing and controlling anything that came and left their territory, as it could never been proven; but seen as a specist way to give monsters a bad name. But even so... there's truth even in lies.

“This isn’t how I, uh… pictured our city getting livelier. C’est la vie.” The words left your mouth with a slight somber tone. You then looked at her confused, “Wait… WAIT, wait-wait-wait… Wait.” You folded your hands on your lap and got your thoughts together, “You made… a dress… because monsters… have come to town?”

Your expression seemed to make her laugh, “Well, you could summarize it as that.”

She moved the mannequin into the center of the room, “Okay, time to make due on that promise.”

You grumbled, collapsing back on the bed.

“Now.” She ordered.

You stood up like a kid seconds away from enacting a tantrum.

“Alright, what do I have to do?”

She took out a roll of baby green material. Silver melded with the green threading, giving off a sparkled look.

“I need you to hold this up while I make the measurements and start cutting, like last time.” She explained.

“Last time, both mannequins were in use. Why do I have to it this time?” you gave her an annoyed look.

Because,” she began rolling out the material, “The mannequins aren’t sturdy. Whenever I make cuts, the back always turns out longer than the front, or the sides are too long that they go passed my hips.”

“Figured that was just part of your design.” You shrugged.

“I_ make it_ work.” She said, eyeing you.

Did the room just get cold?

You held up your hand in defense, “Fair point.”

With a flick of your hands two new ones made out of translucent energy appeared in the air mimicking your movements. Robin folded the material and held it up to them. You mimed them to take hold and stood there unmoving. This was starting to become the norm. Sure, she kept your magic secret, but being someone’s hanger wasn’t ideal either.

“I spoke with them, you know.” She broke the silence, “The boss monsters.”

You watched as she measured and threaded the material together before cutting it.

“They just moved into town last week and wanted to throw a party at their place to help settle themselves into the city.” She snipped a thread, “You know the neighborhood off of Stephington? They just built a new mansion on top of one of the hills just for them; monster sized and everything.”

“So, when’s the party?”

She looked over her work at you, “Next month.”

“And…?” Not able to gesture your meaning, you tilted your head to the side.

And, I was invited to perform.” She got up to retrieve her glasses then sat down, looking over the length of what appeared to be a shawl. You watched as she made marks around the edges of the top and began cutting out a shape.

“Well, that’s great!” It really was. You hoped she would be getting paid a large sum of money for that gig. It could make a huge difference.

“Plus,” she continued, her giddy tone back, “one of them is a designer.”

Ah, that explains it. She’s pulling out all the stops for this one.

Gotta dress to impress after all, you remembered the older women practically chant as they flaunted their wealth around everyone. Their mindset defined showing off your goods and having someone spend their expensive dime on you was the life to live.

Just as you were about to tell her to be careful and keep her frame of mind, you heard the front door silently shut. You ear twitched as you looked to see where Robin was in her work. What now hung in those energized hands looked like a fancy, sparkled, green curtain.

“Scissors erect.” Code for someone was coming.

She paused in her final cut and put the scissors down. A second before the door flew open, the hands dissipated into the air, dropping the shawl on her head. She quickly scrambled up to put it on top of the bare mannequin, failing miserably to make it look like she meant every movement.

Standing in her doorway was none other than her neighbor. Brown eyes, masked behind dirty blond curls, scanned the room until they found Robin's hazel-blues staring her down. Her stout stature did no favors for the thick burgundy sweater that flanneled like a short dress over jean shorts. What was her name again? Barbie? Barbara? Bobini?

“Basia,” Robin practically hissed after she finished fitting the shawl to her liking. If she had fire-magic, the poor girl would have been ash in seconds, “What are you doing here?”

Ever heard of nosy and loud neighbors? Well, Basia was just loud. Loud-moocher incarnate, even. Robin gave her a key when a handyman had to come fix her heater while she was out working a gig. Since then, Basia never gave it back and strives to barge in whenever she wanted to either talk to Robin (over a meal) or ask to borrow ingredients (food). You swear she has the nose of a bloodhound.

Once, when you brought over some homemade dishes, not three minutes after you arrived, did she barge in and almost rip the food from your hands. You had never wanted to fight for an enchilada casserole in your entire life than at that moment. Only Robin was the peacekeeper at that point, promising to share (not give) some of it with her. Came over the next day and the casserole dish was gone from the fridge.

Robin says she doesn’t have the heart (nor want to spend the money on changing the locks) to turn her away. But, stars, she could’ve at least set some boundaries. So, you advised her to hide her good shit while she was out, so Miss Leech wouldn’t absorb anything else she had while she was out, and put a one-way top lock on her door to keep it secure from any unwanted visits when she was home. She bitterly agreed.

Of all the times she forgot to use the top lock…

“Just wanted to see of you wanted to go out for breakfast.” She answered.

It was obvious she meant she wanted to eat out and fork the bill on Robin. You narrowed your eyes at her. At least Robin wasn’t a push over to that extent. She always seemed to help Basia out of pity. She was a single working woman trying to make ends meet in this economy just like her. But she’s in over her head, paying a mortgage when she barely has enough money to make proper meals. So, Robin allowed some of her special antics to continue... for a time. Even that kindness can only stretch so far. Once Basia left her with a bill for a meal, she never agreed to go out with her again.

“Sorry,” Robin apologized with that fake bright smile she always wore when performing, “(Y/N) already took me out to eat an hour ago.” You smiled warmly with a hint of venom toward Basia’s way and waved. She stood still in the doorway for a moment, eyeing Robin’s attire. But though Robin had never left her apartment, she did have the look of someone who just came home and changed. She slowly nodded with a small okay, the quietest you’ve heard her, and turned to leave the apartment, flip-flops smacking at her heels. You got up to follow her out the door. Though she side eyed the kitchen, she did leave. As soon as the door clicked shut, you quietly turned the top lock.

“See?” you gestured toward the lock, “This is why it's here.”

She rolled her eye as she approached the entryway from the TV room, “Yeah, yeah. I know.”

“I don’t get why you put up with her. If you didn’t have this lock, she’d be squatting on your couch gulping down your vodka.” You listed with your fingers.

She shook her head, “You know I can’t ignore her indefinitely. What if she needs help and it’s an emergency, huh? What then?”

You clicked your tongue as she stood in front of you, trying to keep eye contact. You looked down at her with a teasing smirk. Perfect time for a subject change.

“So… breakfast, eh?” you lifted your eyebrows manically, “Honestly, I think it is you who should be paying for it, if I’d be so bold to say.”

“What?” she looked at you trying not laugh at your expression.

“I mean it’s only fair… Or else,” you bent down to whisper in her ear, “you could call this indentured servitude.”

“Well,” she nodded then flashed you with that sinister look, “Indentured servants were paying off a debt.”

“Then it’s slavery since I have no debt and have yet to see a thank you for my assistance.” You rebutted.

She wrapped her arms around your waist and squeezed as she looked up at you with innocent hazel-blue eyes and said with her most cutesy voice, “Thank you for helping me, (Y/N).”

“Too late.” You deadpanned.

“Fine, I’ll buy you Denny’s.”

You squealed in response, twirling with her arms still tight around you.

“Don’t forget, extra hash browns,” you reminded.

“Got it.”

“And eggs; sunny side up.” You continued.

“I know.” She answered.

“All bacon.” You said sternly.

“Yup.” She started making her way passed the TV room toward the hallway.

“With two pancakes.”

“For stars sake, (Y/N) … and you call Basia a leech.”

You rolled your eyes, “No, I call her a bloodhound-leech. There’s a difference.” She answered with monotone affirmation. “Besides, I’m charging for pain and suffering.”

Puh-lease.” She stopped turning to you in disbelief.

“Aghast,” you threw yourself onto the couch with dramatic flair, “for it was at 5:40 in the morning when my dear friend’s grandmother called me up, telling me of her plight.” You drew your hand over your forehead, “Her dear granddaughter had not checked in with her for some time. She had no idea if she was dead or alive and begged me to come check to see if her fears had come to fruition.”

“Alright, I get it.”

You jumped up with a pleased aura while Robin made her way back to her room mumbling about you being a pig.

“If I define a pig,” you voiced as if you were an actor, “then so I shall be.”

You ran after Robin, picking her up with a snort and squeal, and bringing her to her room to finish her design. She laughed at your terrible interpretation of a pig.

“Such a dork.” She shook her head, pulling the second mannequin by the first.

“Yeah, but I’m your dork.” You answered with a shrug as you awaited her next instruction.

 

____

It was a bit before seven in the AM. A monster walked along the crowds of the morning workers and people getting off the graveyard shift. Some of the humans dragging passed him, looked as bad as he felt. He kept on to his silent quest toward the liquor store. It was amazing this city hadn’t been touched by monster culture, media, or construction. All stores and restaurants were too small for his over eight-foot stature. Having to side step through a doorway wasn’t at the top of his most embarrassing feats, but still in the top ten. He ducked down as he entered the store and approached the cashier whom immediately woke up from his tired/bored gaze and looked up all the way at him. The human tried his best to be professional, but when the monster’s small red eye lights focused on him, he practically turned into a turtle; his head retreating further between his shoulders.

The monster asked if he sold EF-Cigars. The human nodded, stuttering as he pointed them out. His permanent, shark-like smile fell a little as he eyed the largely wrapped cigar in the human’s hands. He would have found it hilarious that the cigar was as thick as the human’s arm and even longer in length, like a long pipe covering kids used to play-fight as swords.

The only problem was that he was over due to a smoke and the human stuff was in simpler terms, disgusting. He’d begun to get desperate, being stuck in the medium sized city as everything got settled, until one of the few monsters that lived there told him about the magic cigars one of the human liquor stores sold. Now, here he is, disappointed to see it’s the cheap stuff. Of course, monsters would be able to sell humans the low-end side of products in a place like this.

With a resigned sigh he asked for all of them, everything the human had in stock. The human replied timidly that they only get six boxes every few months.

Only… six boxes? With four cigars each?

The monster held in his response. As soon as his family got settled, they’d get to changing some things around here. He swiped his card and waited as the now shaking human scrambled about for the largest bag he could find and handed it to him. He kept himself from grumbling about the cheap-ass product, side stepped out of the store, and began making his way home.

He’d find a nice secluded place and shortcut home to drown himself in cheap cigars. At this point, he couldn’t be picky. While the others were busy cleaning up loose ends in their previous neighborhood, he had to keep watch in the city and explore their new piece of real estate. He held back a yawn as he continued down the long sidewalk. The crowd of tired humans seemed to die down to only a few stragglers hurrying off to home, the bar, or work-

He suddenly froze. A feeling for only a moment. A second where his soul felt light and fluttered. Warmth encased him like a loving hug. The feeling ended quickly with an electric shock to his soul and faded away.

what the hell was that?

He came back to his senses and looked around. All he saw were the few humans weaving passed with cars speeding by the sidewalk without a care. Without thinking he vanished, ignoring a couple of surprised shrieks from a few humans that had been walking past at the time, and reappeared on one of the roofs overlooking the street. His eye lights, now medium sized red orbs, frantically scanned over the passing cars and buses as well as any human or monster within the vicinity. Nothing. The feeling was gone.

CRRUNNCH!

He looked down to see he was gripping the side of an AC unit, now bent like a crumpled can.

that feeling…

He clenched his red, button down shirt; sleeves already rolled up to his elbow, signifying the end of his day and clashing with the sunrise. His arm numbly dropped down to his side as he gave up his search for- He didn’t know what he was supposed to be looking for. He exhaled through his nasal cavity as his tall stature slouched into a relaxed state.

He frowned at the city before him. Though it looked quite beautiful in places the sun’s early rays touched, the age of the buildings became more apparent. The youngest of the buildings looked at least over thirty years old. And the older ones… it’s a miracle they were still standing. The poorer parts made the ghetto in Ebott look like four-star hotels. It’ll be quite an expensive hole in his family’s wallet to fix this place up. Not like it wasn’t expected.

He questioned why his family chose this city. Sure, it was off radar of most families and had been untouched by monster culture and technology, but it was smaller than most of the cities within Surface County. He himself felt there was something interesting in this town, but nothing noteworthy. Nice place for a house; nothing valuable.

His cousins thought otherwise. Said it was all part of the plan. And once they took over, everything will be easier to figure out.

this place better be worth it, his thoughts growled as he gave the street one last fleeting look and vanished.