The night was still young as I made my way up the stairs, heading back to my apartment. I had a rough day at work for a Friday and a few drinks were needed at the local bar although my wallet couldn’t really afford it. I did manage to get two shots and a free beer out of the bartender just because he remembered me from work. I make it to the top of the steps of my floor and see a man standing outside of Parker’s apartment. His hair is in a ponytail going below his shoulders. A portion of his face is covered by the collar of his expensive looking trench coat. I continue to walk down to my place, passing by him as I would normally pass anyone in the street. I could see him looking at me out of the corner of my eye as I past him; hand in my pocket, grabbing my keys to the place. I look down at the keys as I thumb through them to find the right one, passing by the skull key I got from my brief visit to Hell a few weeks ago compliments of Parker. I frown as I place the correct key in the door and look over at the strange man, who’s looking back over at me. Something is a little off about him, but I can’t put my finger on it.
“She’s not home, friend. She’s been out of town for the last couple of days. Maybe you should come back later.”
“That’s most unfortunate for me,” the stranger says as he stuffs his hands into pants pockets. “I’m an old friend of Parker’s and I just wanted to surprise her you see.” I could hear the accent in his voice as if he was from some European country stuck in the 1700s.
“Well sounds like you came a long way for nothing there, pal. You should try picking up the phone next time and giving her a call before showing up out the blue like this. To be honest, I’m surprise she has any friends that are even alive..err..willing to come see her like you’ve so graciously done.”
“All in vain, it seems. What is your name, sir?”
“Vincent” I say with a slight smile as I open the door to my apartment.
“I’m Kaiser.” He says with a slight bow of his head with a smirk on his face. He seems friendly enough, but something doesn’t quite rub me right about him.
“Cool name, guy. Well, nice meeting you, Kaiser. Hopefully you can get a hotel room in the area and I’m not sure when she’ll be back, but I’ll let her know you stopped by if you’re gone when she does get back.
“I would be most appreciative of you, Vincent. Also, before I go, would you mind if I use your bathroom. I have a hotel, but it’s nowhere near here.”
I can’t turn down a man’s piss request. I would hate if someone denied me a use of their toilet when my bladder was about to explode. This especially happens when one has been drinking one too many beers so I know the feeling well.
“Just make it fast. It’s getting late and I really need to get to bed soon, before the vodka wears off.” Kaiser chuckles at me and rushes into my apartment after I hit the light. As he jets past me, I could see his features closer than I could before. His eyes are two different colors and he has some scar tissue on his lower cheek that looks to go down to his neck. I point out where the bathroom is and he runs to it. He slams the door and I could see the light turn on moments later. My bathroom light switch isn’t in a traditional spot. I take of my coat off and close the door, throw my keys on the counter and grab my phone. I wonder if she’s even up at all where ever she went. We haven’t spoken much since the last spell she used on me. I could be cruel and not tell her that a friend from her past is here to see her, but she’s still my neighbor and I still care about…I’ll just text her.
-Hey, Parker. An old friend of yours named Kaiser is here looking for you-
I could hear the toilet flushing after I hit send. I put the phone back on the counter and started emptying my pockets. Loose change and receipts fall from the palm of my hands galore. Kaiser closes the door to the bathroom with a look of relief on his face.
“You have my gratitude for that, Vincent,” he says as he does a quick look over my place. “This apartment is better than it appears to be from the outside. You have all the essentials to a male’s dwelling; flat panel television, recliner worn into comfort by time and usage, and…” He stops as his eyes fixate on the sword I took from Parker’s apartment months ago. His eyes lower and his lips clench together. The room falls silent until my phone vibrates; a response back from Parker that simply reads:
-WTF!? KAISER THE FORGOTTEN IS NO FRIEND OF MINE! HE’S A WITCH HUNTER! RUN NOW!-
Well, fuck me. Somehow I wasn’t surprised he was here to kill Parker. Can’t blame anyone who’s lived through her spells from trying, but I’m a little mad. Not because he’s probably going to try to kill me, but because he didn’t introduce himself as Parker did. Why wouldn’t a man with such a awesome witch hunting name say his entire name and what did he have to do to get that name in the first place?
“Look, Kaiser. I see the look on your face there and I know what you’re thinking, but it doesn’t have to come to this. I’m not a witch and nor do I know any of those god awful spells they do.”
His head snaps back to me and his eyes widen. “I’m afraid you know too much already, Vincent. I’m sorry that Parker has gotten you involved in matters that don’t concern normal eyes and ears.” He sticks his hand into the beltline of his trench coat and pulls out a dagger and holds it with the blade facing downward. “Pardon my manners, but you have to die.”
I glance over at the sword in its sheath, which by some lucky twist of fate, is closer to me than it is to him. I walk out of the kitchen and grab the sword.
“Alright, Kaiser the Forgotten. If you get another chance to introduce yourself to anyone in the future, be sure to use your whole name. I’m sure you’ve done a lot to earn it.”
~TO BE CONTINUED NEXT MONTH~