I shivered. The Street of the Dead. I knew it was perfectly safe at this time of night, all the occupants were either truly dead, locked away in their vaults, or out hunting far from here, most likely down on High Street where the bars stayed open late and some of the unadvertised spots never closed. There were certainly folks out there making a fortune in the new economy. I wasn’t one of them.
What was I doing here, I asked myself for the millionth time, as I paced in front of a particularly elaborate mausoleum with the name Gedding engraved in the marble above the entry. Lightning flashed and I turned to see Jacob walking up the cobble-stoned street. Watching him stride toward me, his black trench coat billowing in the wind, I had to force myself to stand still, not to take off running down the road. Jacob made me nervous, but he was a good client. Money, that was why I was here.
“Celia,” he murmured, taking my hand and bending low, brushing his lips against it. Jacob could pull off the old-fashioned appeal better than anyone else I knew, even those who had actually lived during the 18th century, but the glint in his eyes never softened. I couldn’t see his face clearly tonight, but I knew from experience that his face was usually solemn, dangerous. “I have a job for you, if you have the time.”
“Oh?” I replied, keeping my voice neutral.
“Mirabelle. I need you to find her.”
“Jacob, you know people are not my specialty.” Too often people didn’t want to be found or those searching have their own motives, not necessarily good ones.
“I need her.” But what did he need her for, I wondered. I already knew where she was, though. She had shown up on my doorstep last night, incoherent, all banged up. She had slept all day. I still didn’t know who, or what, had hurt her, but no way was I going to turn her over to Jacob, at least not yet. “You know, I’ll pay well for her return.”
I made no promises. “I’ll see what I can do.” Better to keep my options open until I knew a little more. Jacob nodded, and I turned and walked back the way I had come. I didn’t look back, but I could feel Jacob’s stare until I rounded the corner.
Dottie at Tink’s Place has a Monday Morning Flash Fiction challenge that I’m enjoying. Each Monday a new picture prompt will be posted and if you choose to participate you post your story on Friday – 350 words, give or take.