July 20th, 2017
Dion found Apollo winding around the corner. His car radiated heat and fumes from within an alleyway, next to him a dumpster.
“You look pretty bad,” Dion said. He ate a chocolate donut, large bite after bite, the half-finished box behind him and the crumbs all over his lap.
Apollo jumped in and slammed the door.
“Sorry it’s messy, I got hungry waiting,” Dion said. Apollo fixed himself and checked his cuffs. There was blood on his white shirt.
“Oh boy.” Dion pointed to the drops on his tie. Apollo grabbed his scalp and pulled his hair. He slammed his fist down on the air conditioner, which turned it on, then slammed it again, which turned it off.
“You alright?” Dion asked.
“Just shut up,” Apollo said. He put the knife in the glove compartment. Which, as it fell, stabbed the interior of the compartment. It sounded like paper shredding with how sharp the knife cut through the hard plastic of the interior.
“What was in there?” Dion started the car. His head glanced left and right as he drove out, sirens made him jump. “Can’t imagine it was any good. The place is lit up.”
“Two officers killed themselves,” Apollo said. “Shot, straight themselves right in the brain.”
“What! Why?” Dion asked.
“Probably to stop themselves from telling me anything. Though they mentioned a name,” Apollo fiddled in his pocket for cigarettes. He couldn’t even grip the box properly. “Astyanax. I think that’s what they called him.”
“Who’s Astyanax? Usually, it’s all for Satan or something.”
“Usually,” Apollo said. “Usually people don’t summon demons, either. So I’m going to take a guess and say we’re not dealing with the usual run-of-the-mill cultists.”
“So…where do we even start? Astyanax.” Dion rolled into a stop. The brakes creaked. “Where do we go? What do we do?”
He drove aimlessly, just to drive.
“We should get fingerprints right? Or something, blood samples?” Dion asked.
“Does it look like I have a forensic lab in my back pocket,” Apollo said. “Slow down before you add two more to the body count.”
Dion stopped. The red light flashed above him. The momentum swung at them, his neck went forward. It felt like a pulling a muscle. And in front of him? An old woman wandered slowly onto the street, glanced at him with her lazy eye, and moved on
“Let’s not get hasty,” Apollo said. “We can’t make any moves that’ll send ‘em back into hiding.”
“Too late, no? You already killed two of them.” Dion said. “Besides, we can’t stop them if we don’t attack first.”
“I don’t think you get it. We literally can’t do anything. There’s nothing. No clues, but one f****** knife.” Apollo finally found his cigarette. He stuck in his mouth.
“What?” Dion pressed down on the wheel. The car honked. The old woman jerking and fell. “So we’re just stuck then?”
“Yeah.” Apollo let his shoulder fall and nestled his hands on his lap. He slunk inward, deeper into the seat. He looked like black ooze.
“We can’t just wait.”
“You can’t. I am. Imma look up this Astyanax guy, redraw the maps, re-evaluate every source and tip.” Apollo’s head tilted out of the window.
“How about I do some investigative work then?”
“You?” Apollo laughed. “You? Investigate?”
“Yeah, right now too.” Dion pulled over. “I’m going to go look around the city, you can go off and wait if you want.”
Apollo stepped out onto the noiseless street, a trail of smoke was warping the air and filling his lungs with the taste of tire.
“Are you serious, what’s your plan?”
“I’m patrolling the city.”
“In that?” Apollo pointed to smoking Volkswagen.
“Yeah,” Dion said. “Have a little faith, would you?”
Apollo rubbed his forehead.
“Just…if you get in trouble, give me a call. Can you do that at least?”
And Dion drove off.