Always A Silver Lining (What Goes Around, Part 2)

While he waited for the drug to wear off, Horran watched the blood flow from the dead girl. It became a trickle, then stopped, leaving a dark stain on his floor.

The first thing he did, once his body became his own, was throw up, the acrid stench overpowering the rank smell of the womans blood.

The second thing he did was reach for his screen and call Snake.

“Bro!” Snake said, his face leaning into the screen. “You changed your mind?”

“What?”

“My meditech friend. You want to sell an organ or two? He’s running a research program now, needs volunteers. Good money. And the rash goes down eventually. Well, it did last time.”

“I’m not selling my body. I have standards.”

“Right. So you moved out of that dump yet?”

As if it was that easy. “Look, I’ve got a problem. Could do with a little help.”

“Hey, lay it on me, man. Girl problems, right?”

“Could say that.”

“Then you’ve come to the right man, bro. Ain’t nothing I don’t know about women.”

Horran cringed. “Nothing like that.” He took a deep breath. “You know anything about removing bodies?”

Snake didn’t show the slightest surprise. He smiled‌—‌lopsided, as always.

“Be right over, bro!”

Horran didn’t move while he waited. He might have control of his body back, but everything ached. It was like he’d run for hours, and then had a gang of goons use him as a punchbag for another hour.

His door was still open‌—‌the assassin hadn’t sealed it when he left‌—‌and Snake waltzed into the room ten minutes later, his boots squeaking on the flooring. The man looked around, took in Horran stretched out on the sofa, the pile of puke on the seat next to him, and then the dead girl.

Snake’s face blanched.

“That who I think it is?” he said. “You know who her dad is, right?”

“I know. And I didn’t do it.”

Snake shrugged, all his annoying nonchalance returning. “Not here to judge.” He ambled over, nudged the girl with his foot. Then he looked around again, dropped his hands to his sides. His mouth pursed, and Horran could hear some feeble attempt at whistling.

“So, you got any ideas?” Horran asked after a couple of minutes of silence.

“Ideas? Oh, right. The body.” Snake shrugged. “Trash?”

Horran gave him a stare.

“Gotcha. Has to be permanent. Her old man know?”

“If not yet, he will do.”

“So, he gonna want the body back? You know, give her a funeral, all that jazz?”

Jazz? Where the hell did this freak get his words from?

“No idea,” Horran said. And then, a dark thought rose.

If her father didn’t know where she was now, he’d find out. And that would put Horran himself in the firing line.

More so than he already was.

But it wasn’t like he’d gone behind the old man’s back. Not really. So he’d made a bit of a profit, exaggerated a few cost. Nothing wrong with that. Just business, right? He’d understand.

But would he understand why his daughter was dead on Horran’s floor?

Only one thing for it.

“I’ve got to tell him.”

“Who?”

“Her father.”

Horran tapped the screen, called up the man’s contacts, pressed to connect. The call icon flashed.

“Yes?”

The voice sent a chill through Horran, and he swallowed, smoothed his hair out‌—‌even though this connection was audio-only.

“Er, you know your daughter?”

“Think he knows his own kid, Hor,” Snake said. Horran waved a hand to shut the fool up.

“I mean, have you heard‌…‌what happened to her?”

The silence lasted three deep, painful heartbeats.

“I’ve heard.”

“Right. So, um…”

“But I have no daughter.”

“Not now, he doesn’t,” Snake muttered. Horran shot him another glare.

“I don’t understand,” Horran said.

“I had a daughter, once,” said the emotionless voice from the screen. “But someone who treats family with such contempt doesn’t deserve them. You understand?”

“Cold, man,” Snake said. “Disowning her when she’s dead.”

Easier than when she’d been alive, Horran thought. “Okay,” he said, slowly. “But‌…‌well, there’s‌…‌I mean‌…” He swallowed, closed his eyes, gathered his thoughts. “There’s still her body.”

“There are always bodies, my friend. They all go cold eventually.”

“But what do I do with her?”

“That is none of my concern. Now, if you don’t mind, I have important matters to attend to.”

The click of the disconnection ricocheted off Horran’s skull. He sat motionless, vaguely aware of Snake shuffling around, trying to whistle again.

“Anyway,” Snake said, eventually. “Thought you had a thing with this girl.”

“One night. A mistake.”

Snake nodded, looked at the girl. No, leered at her. “Wouldn’t say that, bro. Fine piece, this one.”

“She’s dead!”

“Yeah. Too cold. Sorry, man.” But Snake still stared at her, tongue darting round his lips. “Still, means she won’t complain, right?”

“You’re a sick man, Snake.”

“I’m not the one sitting in my own puke, bro. And I’m not the one had daddy’s girl here.”

That made no logical sense to Horran, and he shook his head.

A pile of vomit, a dead girl, nobody to take her, and this freak he called a friend mooching about. And the room was crap, too.

Wasn’t like he could afford better, though. Not on the kind of low-level work he could get. And half the clients cut him short too. Maybe he should take that dodgy meditech up, sell bits of his body.

Or someone else’s.

He turned to Snake. “Your meditech friend want a few more organs?” When Snake tilted his head in confusion, Horran grinned, waved an arm at the dead girl. “How about a whole body?”

Buy me a coffeeBuy me a coffee


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3 thoughts on “Always A Silver Lining (What Goes Around, Part 2)

  1. Pingback: Second part of the short-story sequence ‘What Goes Around’ | T. W. Iain

  2. Pingback: The next part of ‘What Goes Around’ is now up | T. W. Iain

  3. Pingback: Final part of ‘What Goes Around’ now available to read for free | T. W. Iain

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