Tranquille Dark

A Blue in Kamloops Novel

Blue has lived on the street for years, so he takes on the search for a friend to alleviate boredom. He finds his friend’s corpse bringing back old memories. Then he saves Molly from a beating and neither of their lives will ever be the same. They want off the street, someone wants them dead.

Chapter 1

Thursday, April 25

The fight started between two young punks as Blue walked south on Tranquille toward the Duchess. The younger one, hardly more than a kid, quivered in rage as the other poked his chest. Whatever he was saying, the kid didn’t like it. He spun away and stomped in Blue’s direction.

The kid wasn’t quite yelling—mostly swear words, as if they were the only thing to come to mind while he was angry. As he passed, he sent a punch at Blue’s face. The would-be gang-banger’s fist thudded against Blue’s arms. The leather jacket absorbed most of the force. Undeterred, the kid kept swinging.

His face showed his frustration as his friends called out a mix of encouragement and mockery. His dirty blond hair straggled past his shoulders, partially hiding an unfinished tattoo. The guy this kid really wanted to beat up leaned against the wall of the Duchess, smoking and laughing. He tossed the cigarette on the ground and sauntered away.

 “Hey, kid.” Blue lowered his arms slightly to catch the young punk’s eye. “Can we finish this up? I’d like to get a coffee to warm up.”

“Shut up, old man.” The kid swung hard. Blue stepped to the side and let it pass over his shoulder. “No homeless freak is going to make a fool of me.”

Not like you need help with that.

The kid’s friends were getting bored. They wanted to see blood, maybe land a few kicks of their own. If they swarmed him, it would be trouble. Blue already struggled to keep his beast on its leash.

The kid pulled a knife. It snicked open—a gas station karambit, cheap steel, crap quality, but it could still kill.

“Hank…” one of the hangers-on called out uncertainly, but another punched his arm with a warning glare, then stared at Blue avidly waiting for blood.

Blue danced out of range and put a suitably nervous expression on his face. As he’d hoped when he saw the knife, Hank rushed in slashing wildly. He had no idea how to use the blade.

Blue caught Hank’s arm and turned his hand to apply pressure to Hank’s wrist.  To the bystanders, it would look like he was desperately holding off the kid’s attack. Hank’s wide eyes showed the pain had cut through the anger.

“Listen, Hank.” Blue spoke softly so only Hank would hear him. “You’ve proved yourself to be tough. Say something nasty and threaten to really cut me next time, then walk away laughing.”

“And if I don’t?” Hank’s eyes hardened. Blue increased the pressure on the arm.

“I break your arm and you look like an idiot who can’t take an old man.” He met Hank’s eyes and let him glimpse the beast hiding behind them.

“Next time, I’ll gut you for real,” Hank shouted before stepping back. Blue released him, ready for another attack, but Hank spun away, replacing the knife in his back pocket. “I don’t want the cops after me for some worthless bum.”

Blue sighed and waited until the group had walked away north toward Tim Horton’s, forcing anyone in their path to jump aside. He’d get his coffee at Mac’s today. Clenching and releasing his hands loosened the tension in his arms.

Damn, but I could use a drink. But when in the past two years had Blue not needed a drink? Caffeine would have to do.

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