One of the first scenes I thought of when I did a first rough draft on a storygame. Story was scrapped due to branching issues, but I like the idea of such type of opening scene.
Got a spare blade?
Rain drizzled over the grey drab streets of the little fisher’s town called Urkerburg. Just like every autumn, the dark clouds lingered and cast a shadow over the old houses and flats that had clearly not been maintained since the 90’s. Thomas didn’t care much about the innerworkings of Urkerburg’s weather. Well, firstly because the wish for a sunny day in this dreary place could probably only be granted with a deal with a demon and secondly, because his clothes couldn’t get any wetter. After he accidentally stepped on another deep puddle, the water had seized the opportunity to latch onto his socks. His jacket clung to his shirt and his shirt clung to his skin like an holy union of three. The worn down leather jacket with a broken zipper, the washed out tee with an unreadable fond and the man of the hour himself. The ‘holy’ part of it can be scrapped. He sniffed as he walked along the lonely road. On his right side he saw the canal’s greenish water stretch over the horizon. If he bothered to narrow his eyes, he could see the smoke coming out of local steel factory’s towers.
On his left side, there was a simple road with the typical white dotted line in the middle. He sneezed. While he wiped the snot off his face with his sleeve, he looked at another car passing by. Even though he only caught a glimpse of it, that moment shot of the vehicle oozed with decadence. The sleekness, the color, the wheels. If he worked harder, had some more money, then perhaps he would also drive one of those. Thomas buried his hands in his pockets. Empty.
If he hurried, he would be in his crappy flat within ten minutes. A little bit of rain wouldn’t hurt him. Its droplets wouldn’t form tiny knives to stab him in every bodily orifice, wouldn’t it? He sniffed again. He really had to stop lamenting over his life like a pathetic worthless sack of a human. All the time he was spending doing nothing, he could have been working to have a little something left at the end of the month after rent, food and utilities were paid. He knew that he always had the option to ask Dave for help, but he didn’t feel like doing that.
There were lots of things that he had to suck up in order to make enough money, but even for him there existed a concept called pride. Going back to Dave would be admitting defeat and throwing the last thing he proudly owned in the garbage. He pumped out his fist high in the air, just for himself. For a mere moment, he stood there tall and high. Everything around him lit up. He looked up to see his hand glowing, basking in an almost unnatural light.
Then his back met the face of a car.
His brain couldn’t understand what was happening in the beginning. A few seconds before and after the impact were lost to him, completely blank. He did remember hearing honking of the car, the screech of the tires and his fall. He lifted up his hand in front of his face. A few bloody scrapes, the back of the hand had been cut open. His gaze then lowered to meet with the sight of his leg or what one would call remnants of a limb. The wheel had pinned it and thusly also him to the ground. Its crushing weight had bent the bone and flesh in all different shapes, leaving it all crooked. Parts of his skin had been ripped apart and tossed not far from where he lied. Perhaps it was due to the adrenaline or his mind still not fully registering what had just happened, but the pain hadn’t come yet in full force. He tried push himself up, ignoring the discomfort of his bruised and bleeding arms. However, it remained a futile attempt as he saw his leg slowly pulling apart. Faintly he heard a car door open.
“Oh my god, are you okay?”
Thomas turned his head. A young man, about his age and wearing a pristine white dress shirt and dark pants, stepped out of the car. His eyes had widened, his breathing visibly quickened. Thomas could see his panicked hands fumbling around his pockets.
“Shit, we need to call the ambulance. I’m so sorry, I wasn’t looking and-”
Thomas held up his least beaten up hand to calm the poor sod down which caused him to yelp and let his phone drop on the ground. The glass along with the man’s plan broke within a matter of seconds. Thomas groaned. It had only one gash in the palm, but clearly it was still a little too much for this bloke. It didn’t help that the pain had also started to kick up a notch. Adrenaline may be a good short term pain reliever, but it wasn’t a magical cure like paracetamol. Now that he thought about it, he also had forgotten to pick up some in the apothecary on the way home. He had already used up his last pack yesterday. From here it would be a ten minute walk in the opposite direction in the rain. He put his hands over his face to stifle his laughter, not caring about the smell of stale rust filling his nostrils. Life did sometimes like to spit on his face.
That bloke must think that he was going insane. Look at the way his brows were knitted together, his lips curved in a tentative smile. The rain made his white dress shirt even more luminescent. Thomas’s own jacket looked dirtier, his looked more pristine under the autumn shower. His leg, it was still stuck under the car and looking at the state it was in, Thomas knew that it would take so much money to set the bones right and fix it up in the hospital. He caused him such a big headache. Meanwhile this stupid bloke was still standing there, gaping at him like a dumbstruck idiot with a full pair of legs and a body with no trace of a car crash to be seen. Therefore, he didn’t feel very guilty as he pulled the man closer. His hand seized that white fabric, letting his blood spread all over it, dirtying it. He had no choice but to ask this.
“Got a spare blade?”
All the muscles in the man’s arms and legs tensed up. He stood there, his jaw and eyes wide open, as if he was a ventriloquists’ puppet with his strings cut off.
“A blade, sir?”
“Anything sharp will do, so a blade.”
Thomas tried not to roll his eyes as he nodded to confirm it once again. Why did the man have to be so difficult?
“Sir, why do you need a blade?” The bloke asked while he had every sign that he would soon enter a mental breakdown.
Thomas sighed. Clearly he wasn’t that much of a help, but he couldn’t blame him that much. He looked around and quickly found a few shards of glass in his line of sight. He picked up the biggest piece of the broken phone and held it up to the grey sky. It nicked his finger while he tried to study its edge. A sting and an evidently sharp enough edge.
“Sir, what are you doing?”
Thomas tilted his head and said. “Perhaps run away, just want to give you a leg up.”
“L-leg? Isn’t it ‘heads’?” The man didn’t move.
Stubborn and doesn’t get puns. Thomas shrugged. One cannot have everything in life. He was courteous enough about it to give him a fair warning. He readjusted his grip on the blade and plunged it into his leg. Quick and efficient. He hummed as he cut through the first slivers of broken flesh. First focus on the tendons, then try to carve around the bone to pop out the knee. He was in this aspect quite lucky that he only had to remove his lower leg. If his thigh had been pinned down, he might have needed a bone saw or it would have taken him ages. Blood coated his hands and slid up into his dirty nails. A few open arteries wouldn’t make him lose his consciousness, he was sure of it. With enough practice anyone would be able to do this. It didn’t take that much thought. Although he preferred it to have some painkillers, he could work without it. The more he cut and sliced, the more he sunk back into his own thoughts.
The man that stood next to him, getting paler and paler with the minute, didn’t matter anymore. His ripped up jeans that would soon be repurposed into shorts when he got home can suck it. Finally, the paracetamol, what useless idiot wuss would take pain medication, certainly not him. Soon he would come home and have a nice cup of hot English Breakfast tea. If he came home it would be already way past morning, but that also didn’t matter.
He pulled at his leg again. All the remaining flesh and tendons broke off, leaving him with a bloody messily cut open stump. The bloke took a step back, slightly shaking his head. His eyes were by now opened so wide that they almost popped out of its sockets.
“You’re, I should call.” The man stammered and tried to find his words. “What are you?”
Thomas lifted his brows. It was quite the achievement that he hadn’t passed out yet or had thrown up what was left of his lunch. Thomas shrugged. What was there to say? He worked as a salesclerk in some grocery store, minimum wage, paid way too much rent for a smelly flat and was forgetful enough to not have enough paracetamol at home at any given day.
He stood up, his two legs firmly planted on the ground. One was covered in jeans, socks and shoes, the other was as naked as a newborn. With a confident stride Thomas approached the man. He laid his hands over his shivering shoulders and wiped off the remaining blood left on his skin. Thomas smiled as he showed the bloke his palm. The gash, the wound, the bruises, everything had vanished like snow would do under the desert sun. There was only a plane of smooth skin to be seen. It was as if that unfortunate car crash had never happened.
“See, everything is fine. It did hurt a bit, but ‘tis just a scratch.” Thomas said in a bit too much of a cheery tone. “I have to pick up my shoe and we got to find a way to get rid off my leg, but aside of that everything would be okay.”
As he was about to turn around, he saw the eyes of the man roll back, his muscles slacken and at last his body collapsing under its own weight. He hit head first on the hard concrete road. Thomas took a step back and whistled. That man would get a headache of a lifetime when he woke up. It was also very convenient for Thomas. Saves him the trouble of having to keep things quiet and all. If that man were to blab around, then the only option was to ask Dave for a favor again. Thomas sniffed as memories of a similar situation flooded his head.
“Oh Tommie, I would love to take care of the little mess you made, but you know, you do owe me a favor.”
-And what a favor it was. Four fresh livers. Four, almost as many as the fingers on his right hand who had to carve through heaps of flesh and nerves to get to the goods. It was so messy and it took so much time to regrow. It did make good money, but the feeling of his flesh slowly clumping back together and the sight of his skin reknitting as if he was a lifeless doll, still sent shivers down his spine.
He would never throw that away as well as the coupons and discount items he got while working in the grocery store. Expired tea bags were heavenly and they were calling for him.