Petals of the Rose
Dim's Sidetrip Part 2
During this time, Dim has driven himself out to Forest Grove, far out into the western extent of the Winter Court territory. He knows full well that he’s breaking Freehold law, but he doesn’t much care.
He drives past the apartment he used to live in. He doesn’t see any familiar cars. His adopted brother Jake would normally be home now. At least, he would have a year ago. He finds a pay phone and makes a call to a guy he used to know.
“Hey, Mike. It’s Josh.”
“Who the fuck is this? That shit ain’t funny, man. Josh is dead.”
Terrified, Josh hangs up. He paces for a bit, then tries another guy named Chris that he wasn’t friends with, but knew through dealing drugs.
He says again, “Hey, it’s Josh.”
“Josh? I heard you were dead, dude. What’s up with that.”
“Well, obviously, you heard wrong. Look, I’ve been away for a while. Have you seen Jake around?”
“No, man. I haven’t seen Jake in like six months. Are you okay? I can’t believe you’re not dead. Everybody was saying—“
“Yeah, I’m fine. Thanks. Bye.” Josh hangs up on Chris. These two conversations have freaked him out, and he decides that he isn’t going to try to just resume business as usual with the people he used to know. He walks a few blocks to a Pizza Shmizza he used to hang out at, scoping for people he knows to come and go.
After wasting a while at that, he decides he needs to get back on track. However, as he walks back up the few blocks to his car, he passes a pair of guys leaning against a brick retaining wall outside a church. One of them is a coal-skinned darkling in a Slipknot hoodie, and the other a snake-like beast with a muscle shirt and jeans. The darkling points two fingers at his eyes and then one at Dim. They’ve been watching him.
He continues on to his car and gets out of there quick. He may be Dim, but he ain’t dumb.