Brooklyn. A city, a city in the state of New York, in the country of America, in the continent of North America, on a planet known as Earth, in a galaxy known as the Milky Way. A very small blip in the bigger picture, yet a large part of the tangle of threads that makes up this story. The sky was still a deep, black, inky cesspool with little hints of red and orange just peeking over the city skyline, as dawn breaks through like a chick hatching from an egg. New birth, it symbolized. New beginnings. You could practically taste the acrid, smoggy air and the lingering smell of cigarette smoke and stray garbage - this story doesn't take place in an upper class neighborhood, after all. Quite the opposite; this was a decently impoverished part of the city, and not the best place to be in at night.
A few street lights flickered overhead, as a car alarm blared in the distance. Urban Noir, maybe is what this could be called. A sort of cityscape dystopia...but this was just backwater Brooklyn, the nasty second cousin nobody wanted to come back to the family reunion. As we set our stage here, in a place so gritty and ramshackle that you could sense the rust on an old bike rack from ten yards away, we open up the story to finally begin...
We open up with the loud, obnoxious revving of a motor vehicle, roaring within the not-so-serene night. It killed the overbearing silence that flooded the street, and probably snapped a few people awake a bit earlier than they would have liked. As the motorbike slowed down a bit and passed by everything at a regular pace, different personalities were observed: one underweight, dingy man in a trench coat, with his hands in his pockets, walked around under a vivid lamppost, as two others were conversing in a shady and tight alley, and among those were a few pigeons, pecking at some garbage on the street, who after making notice of the loud motorbike quickly fled. The driver of the vehicle was a tall, rugged young man wearing a black JanSport backpack. His hair was quite messy in a playful fashion with the front part of his hair dyed a desaturated red. His emerald green eyes glistened from the brilliant moonlight and the dull, flimsy lampposts. This nineteen year-old boy was named Rory Agnes, the first of our trio of main characters we shall introduce.
However, he wasn't the only one being out and about at this hour...the noise was agitating to a certain someone perched on a balcony to a certain apartment building. We will describe them later. Their figure was small, illuminated enough by a lamppost to be seen, and yet still shadowed. They were watching Rory go by, waiting... It was almost threatening, this figure just staring at him without looking anywhere else, following his movements. Then they jumped to the next balcony... They were following him. A large uHaul truck was also following Rory. The headlights of his motorbike lit up the street, distracting several passersby. Especially with the abhorrent noise it brought, Rory definitely wasn't giving off a good first impression.
He then slowed down his bike even more, and it came to a complete stop. The tires screeched loudly. He got off the bike and put his bag down. A loud clattering could be heard above him as the figure finally caught up and clambered onto a drain pipe running down the side of the building, using that to catapult themselves with a thud onto the top of the U-Haul, still very much hidden. Standing up, the figure couldn't be any larger than a young child. They sighed, sitting down on top of the trailer.
"Who the hell are you?"
This kid had an accent. We're talking 1920's cartoons meets Newsies the Musical with a pitch problem. In fact, their inflection would from here on out shorten many words. "I'm" will become "'M", and anything with an "Ing" ending can and will be butchered. However, this very uneducated manner of speech... It was... Childlike. Yeah. This thing was a kid.
Back to the man of the hour, Rory removed his helmet and kept it in his left arm. He smoothed his hair back, then ruffled it up again to mess it up. He didn't hear the thick-accented child. He picked up his backpack and kept it on one shoulder. He grabbed his keys out of the ignition, aware of how this clearly wasn't the safest of neighborhoods.
The kid tossed something out of their pocket at him, something that was actually just a very smooth rock. Why they were carrying rocks wasn't important, they wanted his attention. Sliding over and sitting down until their legs were dangling off of the front of the trailer, revealing white light-up sneakers and metallic leg braces, they cleared their throat and spoke again.
"I said, who the hell are you?"
Rory jumped from the loud voice. He looked around. He put on a smirk and raised an eyebrow. He cleared his throat, too, mocking the child.
"Shall I begin at the start of my birth? Or do you want the quick version?" He said, his voice laced with sarcasm.
The unnamed stranger spoke again. "Everyone loves an asshole..." The kid sighed, hopping down from the truck to get a better look at Rory.
What was really weird was that this 5'6, absurdly malnourished, skeletal child was hiding their own face as much as possible.
"I want a name." They spoke again, much more forward this time.
Rory put his helmet on the seat of his bike. He turned with his arms crossed, bent forward to be at the same level as this mysterious child's face, and asked,
"What's it to you?"
They looked at him, a bad move. This thing was not human. It was close, but no human had almost translucent skin, skeletal features, long fangs poking slightly past their lower lip, and a third eye - not to mention their eyes were a strange red color. They blinked, using all three eyes and ran a hand through their dark, slicked back short hair.
"'M curious, cunt."
Rory scoffed. "Like you're one to talk." He ignored the child and went to the back of the truck. He slid the metal door up to open it, making a loud banging sound.
The kid grabbed onto his arm.
"I wanna knoooow! Besides, I know everyone who lives here and since ya seem to be movin' in, I gotta know ya name! It's the only fun thing to do around here..." They made a little pouty face. Rory pulled his arm back briskly. He wasn't comfortable with complete strangers in a shady street touching him, especially if he could barely identify them on spot.
"Ah, the town extrovert, I see..." He commented.
He pulled a huge box out of the back of the truck. It was labelled "Books" with quotations.
The weird kid completely ignored the fact that they had gotten the information they were after, immediately switching the subject.
"What's an "ex-tra-vert"? Sounds like a disease." This kid couldn't have been more than maybe ten by how they talked, but they were physically clearly closer to maybe eleven or twelve.
"I'm Alexander, but people call me Alex 'cuz my parents gave me a dumb name."
"Good for you!" Rory responded, sounding like he couldn't care less. He grabbed two smaller boxes out of the truck, placed them on the larger one, and struggled to get one more box out: the biggest one. Alex sat down, watching him.
"You're young. Did ya quit school? I never got to go there - Kitty says it sucks but I wouldn't know 'cuz I sucked dick for a living." Aaand the child was a prostitute? Or a liar.
"Thaaat's nice." replied Rory, not paying attention. He was more focused on taking out the huge box from the truck.
"...You don't talk much." Alexander, who we now have a name for, seemed a bit bored. They messed with their hair a bit, pulling a long, black umbrella out of nowhere and poking Rory in the leg. "You're borin'." Rory laughed.
"Okay, suuuure I am." He said, chuckling. He finally got the box down, but in reality it fell on top of him.
"Do you have a name? Sometimes people don't. I'll call you Susan for now. I like that name." They poked him again, a bit harder now. Rory sighed, pushed the box off of himself, and covered his face with his hand in annoyance.
"I don't have the patience for this..." He muttered to himself. "I already fucking told you, kid. It's Rory." he said, enunciating his name. They poked him again.
"I wasn't listenin'. What's in the boooox??"
Alexander was, upon many other things, an utter pest. Rory sat up and sighed in exasperation.
"None of your damn business." He stood up, sighed, and patted the rocks off of his clothes that were left from the road. "If you must know, I'm moving here, in case you somehow couldn't tell. That's all you need to know, mkay?" Rory snapped.
"You're no fun!" Alex stuck their tongue out, putting their hands on their hips and facing him, standing up now. It was very funny how un-threatening they actually were. Just a very thin bundle of anger.
"Look, kid, you don't have any right to judge me. It's not your damn business. I just got here, it's three in the fuckin' morning, and I'd like to get all these stupid boxes into my shitty little apartment already so I can sleep on the floor. Satisfied?" Rory seethed. He was already getting annoyed enough, let alone having a very heavy box crush him like a helpless cockroach, of which Brooklyn was already crawling with.
"I have a name! Use it." They huffed, walking over to an old overturned crate that would serve well as a seat to watch Rory unload his U-Haul. Now, this wasn't mentioned, but Alexander had clearly just woken up as they had no socks, and their clothing consisted of light-up shoes and a very long and faded Hello Kitty graphic T-shirt. They seemed a bit too young to be out alone at night.
"Yeah, so do I. It's not Susan." Rory growled. He pulled several smaller boxes out of the truck, and slammed it shut.
"Fine, Rrrrrrooooorrrrryyyyyyy...." They stretched his name out, rolling the R for dramatic effect.
Two large men got out of the truck. One of them grabbed a cheap, red hand truck and scuffled the two largest boxes onto it, while the other mover got a second hand truck and put some smaller boxes onto it. He held out his hand to Rory. Rory searched his bag, and only managed to find five dollars. He handed it to the burly man, who sighed at the small tip. Alexander was...gone. Just poof. Well, you could see their shoes much further down by the end of they alley, but it appeared they had been scared off. Alexander did not trust adults, and especially not adult men.
"Thanks man," Rory said, patting the back of the passive-aggressive man, who clearly didn't want to be moving boxes at this hour.
He looked around to find that Alex had disappeared, and sighed in relief. He grabbed his helmet and followed the movers. Of course, Alex was tailing him, just further back. They didn't want to get in the way, so they could be seen maybe fifteen feet away, just sitting and talking to people or messing with little things around them. Rory walked into the building, as he told the movers where to go, and they all went into the elevator.
Alexander hated elevators. They lived for stairs. And Alexander needed a nap. So, they sprinted up the staircase to try and find where Rory would exit the elevator...which took a while.
They went to the third floor of the grungy six-story building. He led them to a filthy front door with the number 785 on the door. The eight was slightly scratched off. He opened the door with his new key. There was a little snicker from down the hallway as a paper airplane with the messy numbers "666" scrawled across and it made its way to Rory's feet. The demon, or well, half-demon had apartment 666.
That was impressive, but not as impressive as the fact Alexander had left for good back to their abode. For now.
Rory picked up the airplane as the movers walked into his shabby home. He grunted, crumbled up the paper, and kept it in his bag, fully aware of who threw it at him.