Where I stood Chapter 1


13. Dezember 2010
"Where I stood" ist die Hintergundgeschichte meines VtM-Charakters Raphael. Sie spielt in New York City, ca. 2007/2008.
Naja, und sie ist auf englisch. Passte irgendwie besser.
Entgegen des Titels die ersten vier Kapitel von momentan acht.
Viel Spaß.

Where I stood

I don't know what I've done
Or if I like what I've become
But something told me to run
And honey you know me it's all or none

There were sounds in my head
Little voices whispering
That I should go and this should end
Oh and I found myself listening

See I thought life was black and white
That there was wrong and there was right
But you ain't leaving without a fight
And I think I am just as torn inside

"And rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights..."

The street light changed to green and he crossed the street, inelegantly hopping over the small river filling the gutter. The forecast had said the rain would stop in the evening, instead it was coming down harder and harder. Raphael was drenched, his back and feet hurt, and he just wanted to be inside somewhere. The last few nights had been bad, there hadn`t been enough jobs to really keep him going.
He spotted the green rails of a subway station and decided to go undergound. He flanked over the ticket barrier and hopped onto the train at the last possible moment. Down here he was in danger of getting caught by the transit cops, but it was dry, and marginally warmer. He was going to enjoy it as long as it would last.
He sat down on a forward facing bench, turned his MP3-Player on and leaned his head against the window. Listening to CCR, he watched other passengers through half-closed lids. He liked watching commuters. So many types of people. Average Joes and managers. Family persons, students, stoners. Some real weirdos. Like the guy a few rows in front of him. Head haloed by wispy white hair, some strands bound with pink scrunchies, a plastic raincoat in a violent shade of yellow, bare legs and neon-green rain boots. Okay. Raphael entertained himself with wondering what the guy was wearing underneath the coat. If he was wearing anything underneath. Yikes.
After about half an hour, he saw a pair of transit cops coming through the car in front. Well, he had dried some at least. Time to get out.
He emerged from the station and dusk was falling. Lights were coming on all around him, and the rain had finally diminished to a drizzle. He hadn`t paid attention to the stations and took a moment to get his bearings. He spotted a familiar red neon cross in the distance and decided to try to get himself employed. The club was called "Junction" and an easy spot to pick up people. Even better, this early, you could get in for free.

* * *

Raphael stretched, reveling in the feel of clean cotton sheets. He was clean, he was warm, he was fed. And sated. He turned on his side, and watched Sterling. The man was already asleep, his chest rising and falling slowly. He had gotten lucky with this guy. The best he could usually hope for was that they didn`t cheat him out of his money, and that they didn`t get too rough. That wasn`t a concern here. He even liked Sterling. He was about fifteen years older, but in great shape. That surely helped. But there was more. He was decent. He was gentle, and he actually seemed to think that Raphael was entitled to satisfaction as well. To top it off, he was generous beyond that. It was the third time Raphael had gone home with him, and each time, he`d gotten washed and fed, and he could spent the night. He could get used to that. Only it wasn`t how things went most of the time. But this night, they had, and everything else could wait until tomorrow. He snuggled up to Sterling and his warmth, and soon went under.

"Turn, turn, turn"

Maybe things were improving. Or maybe they weren`t. Given a bit of time, he was probably going to feel better, but so far... The temperature had dropped and standing in line to get into the club, he was shivering in his thin hoodie. He actually had the money now to get a thick jacket, and even more to buy some halfway decent meals, but it had come at a price. He had spent a night with Adrian, and that meant sacrifice. He hadn`t bled, and none of his limbs had been dislocated, but he still hurt all over, his left leg occassionally giving out under him so that he was limping. It would heal, but it would be a miserable few nights until then.
His thoughts were sidetracked when a gorgeous black classic Mustang pulled into the the parking lot a few meters in front of him, and the driver got out. The man made him look twice: tall and lanky with thick, short, pure white hair, despite a rather young face. He went into the club, bypassing the line.
Raphael admired the car, the sleek lines and matte paint job. Nice ride, that one.
Half an eternity later, he was finally inside. Gradually warming up again, he cruised the crowd, not really looking for a job but unable to shed the already ingrained behaviour. With one eye still on the dancefloor, he sauntered down the stairs to the restrooms, and promptly collided with another customer, hard. Fighting for balance, he half-yelled an apology. It would be the only way the other heard. When he looked up, he saw he had crashed into the white-haired guy who had driven the Mustang. The guy nodded absently and walked on without a second glance. Suit yourself, then. Raphael stayed where he was for a moment, rubbing his shoulder that hurt from the impact. Damn, how could a human body be so hard? Watching his step as he descended further, he saw something glint in a burst from the stroboscope light. He bent down and came up with a ring of keys. Car keys. With a little pendant in the shape of a running horse. It was almost too good to be true. Without thinking further, he pocketed the keys and left the club. He went straight to the matte black Mustang, opened the door, slipped in and started the engine. It roared to life, and he pulled out of the lot, getting away from the owner as fast as possible. A grin spread across his face. The car vibrated underneath him with barely reigned-in power, it`s movements prompt and smooth. That was going to be a ride.
He sped along the highway, idly wondering whether to just leave the car in a parking lot later or maybe to flog it. Nah, this baby was way too noticeable. So it was abandonment. But not for a while. Not for quite a while.

Standing in the lobby of the club, Izar heard his Mustang`s familiar roar over the music and dashed outside. He saw the car`s tail dissappear into traffic. For a moment he simply stood and stared, too stunned to even curse. Who the hell would dare to steal his car? Well, one way to find out. He noticed the general direction his treasure was being taken, and went into the next dark side alley. He felt an evil grin split his face as the change came over him. That particular thief was in for a surprise.

"Have a Coke and a smile"

Balancing on the verge of a roof top, back in his four-limbed lean frame, Izar watched the car snatcher. That little bastard. He was leaning against the fender, alternately sipping from a coke bottle and taking drags on a cigarette. Anger was simmering in Izar`s veins, fueled by the almost two-hour-long chase the human child had led him on through the city and over the highway. And it was a child. His loose, punky clothes and studded leather collar couldn`t quite compensate for the long blond hair and smooth face. Izar doubted he was even of age.
He had parked on the cracked concrete of an abandoned parking lot, the next street light was a good distance away and there was nobody around. Perfect. No witnesses for this retribution. He began to climb down the fire escape without a sound.

Raphael took another deep draw. He decided to leave the car somewhere near where he had acquired it, as soon as he finished his cigarette and cola. The latter had been a sheer indulgence on his part. But hey. The session with Adrian might have given him bruises and sore muscles in places he didn`t know he had muscles, but it had left him with a nice fat wad of bills. He finished his cigarette and was stepping it out when he heard footsteps approaching. He turned and saw three guys coming directly at him. Since there was nothing and no one else in the lot, this could only mean trouble. They fanned out and came to a stop in a half circle around him. The similar clothes and attitude gave them the air of gang members. Odds were good that they were carrying something more than knives. Adrenaline flooded his body, eradicating the pain and substituting it with alert.
"Nice ride, dude", said the one in the middle.
"Bit too nice for some punk like you, ain`t it? Maybe we should take to a more fitting new owner?", added the guy to the left.
Raphael didn`t bother to answer immediately, instead he leaned down and smashed the bottom of the coke bottle against the concrete. He came up again, smiling, holding the jagged bottle end like a knife.
The guys hesitated, clearly not having anticipated a lot of resistance. Raphael used that moment, going for the one on the right. He made a sweeping motion, and slashed open the arm that the man lifted for defense. The guy screamed and lowered that arm, opening his face to solid left hook that probably broke his nose. Raphael turned instantly, a low growl coming from his chest. The next attacker`s eyes were wide, but he had drawn a knife. Without any regard to possible injury on his own part Raphael went into the other one`s range, kicked at his knife arm and struck with the bottle. The knife grazed his leg but went flying, the glass shards hit the other`s shoulder and stuck. He turned for the last one, attacking him with bare hands. His opponent was visibly perplexed by the fate of the other two, but he still put up quite a fight. He tried to pull something from the waistband of his jeans, a knife, or, more probably, a gun, but Raphael kept him busy with throwing punches. Then the man tried to pull on his lip ring, and he managed to bite down on the probing hand hard enough to draw blood. Yelling in pain, the other drew back, and got hit in the balls hard by Raphael`s knee. He collapsed, his scream turning into a choke.
"Get lost. This instant", Raphael snarled. The first two, both bleeding copiously, helped up the third, and they disappeared into the night as fast as they could. Which wasn`t very.
Raphael stood and watched them go. When he was sure they were gone, he examined the cut on his leg. It was shallow, but he still used his bandanna as makeshift bandage for it. He turned back to the car and yelped in surprise: The white-haired driver – and presumably owner – of the Mustang stood leaning against the driver`s door.

Forgive and regret
"You don`t know what you can get away with until you try."

The guy seemed totally at ease. Arms crossed over his chest, he was smiling wryly. But the pose was belied by the anger glinting in his blue eyes. Raphael wished he hadn`t lost the coke bottle and remembered the knife he had kicked away. Then again, maybe the guy was satisfied with getting his car back. Yeah, right. He backed up a few steps, looking out the corner of his eye for the blade.
"You will not get to that knife in time", the driver said. His was voice was deep and hoarse, sounding like years of whiskey and cigarettes.
"Maybe I´m just looking for an escape route", Raphael shot back.
"You will not get away, either." That was when he really started to worry. This could end badly.
"Hey dude, you`ve got your car back, and all you`ve lost is some gas. No need to overreact."
"Did nobody ever teach you that all your actions have consequences?" Instead of an answer, Raphael wheeled around and started to sprint away. Or that was what he intended to do, anyway. Before he had managed a full step, his legs got pulled from under him. He slammed onto the ground hard, glass shards of the bottle biting into his hands, forearms and face. The guy was over him, somehow managing to get atop of him and turning him on his back in one single motion. "Why would I let you get away? You have stolen my car. You should pay for that."
With one corner of his panicking mind Raphael registered that he had said 'should', not 'will'. Maybe he could still talk his way out of this one. "I just borrowed it. I didn`t want to keep it or sell it" – well, he hadn`t considered it for long, anyway – "I just wanted to drive it."
"Why? Well, it`s a Mustang. " The owner waited, one white eyebrow rising when he didn`t elaborate. "Nice try. While I appreciate the esteem of my car, borrowing without asking is still stealing. So I should lambast you."
"You should... what?"
"Lambast", came the slightly exasperated repeat. "Thrash. Rough up. Give a hiding. Beat up. Choose one." Confused, Raphael asked: "So what keeps you?"
"Good question." The man got up, leaned down again, grabbed Raphael`s wrists and pulled him up in a smooth, almost gentle motion. He didn`t let go, though. "I have seen you fight. I was about to come and get you when those three... gentlemen interfered. I thought they would do my job. And you proved me wrong. It has been a while since I have seen someone fight with such abandonment. You did not care about your possible injuries, about the odds being three to one. You went in full steam ahead. I like that." He released Raphael`s arms. "Consider it your lucky day. You get away with the joy ride because you amused me. And if you ever lay a hand on my car again, I will turn you inside out." He got into the car, put it into reverse to avoid the glass shards and pulled out of the parking lot.

* * *

Raphael stood in the empty lot for a long time, trying to wrap his head around what had just happened. He had fought three guys with a ferocity he hadn`t known he possessed. He had been all instinct and reflexes. And he had escaped retribution for the theft for reasons he didn`t get. The strange guy could have done him in, easily. He shuddered when he recalled how the man had appeared practically out of thin air, without a sound, and the ease with which he had tackled him. That guy was dangerous on a level that was new to Raphael. Not only was he sure that the last threat hadn`t been an empty one, but also that it had been literal.
Shuddering, he limped into the night.


Where I stood... - frei nach Missy Higgins
And a rain fell ... - Genesis 7:12
Turn, turn, turn - The Byrds
Have a coke... - Werbespruch von Coca Cola 1979 bis 1982
You don't know... - Colin Powell
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