Book 2, Chapter 9: Holly, Cray and the Key

I don’t have time to explain all of this to you right now.  We have to go!  Now!

“I’m not going anywhere until you tell me what’s going on.” Holly responded, continuing to answer Cray’s internal voice aloud.

How are you even in my brain, ma? I have a job to do. This is a really inconvenient moment!

“I don’t know, Cray.  It must have something to do with our hybridic nature.   It’s a good thing I’m here though. What kind of trouble have you gotten yourself into?”

I’m not in trouble.  Look for the key!

“What key?”

A loud knock bounced off the stone walls, causing them both to jump.  Adrenaline surged and her, or rather their, heartbeat quickened.

“What was that?”

The guard is knocking on the doors to collect the girls.  We have to move, fast!  Listen to me! We need to get a key off of him and go.  I’ve been employed to do a job.  That job is to get this scum alone, knock him out, get the key and get out. 

“What’s the key for?”

Another knock.

“Employed by whom?”

They key, I don’t know exactly.  Employed by the good guys.  You just have to trust me.

“Trust! Really? Cray, now that’s fresh, what with all the sneaking around, lately, and..”

“Hmmmm, wha?”  Holly was interrupted by the man on the bed.  He mumbled and then returned to snoring.

The key, now.  Quickly!

Another knock again vibrated the walls.  This time  it was followed by a voice, “Roundup, ladies.  Fun’s over boys.  Let’s go!”

“Fine, ok. Where is said key?”

Check his pockets.

Holly bent over the half conscious form of the man.  She shuddered.  He was repulsive.  Hairy in all the wrong places with a middle aged bulge that was free to hang from his undone belt.  Carefully, she fished into a pocket.   It was empty, save for a few coins.  The pocket on the other side of his pants was half buried by the man’s girth.  Walking to the other side of the bed, Holly pressed her hand down into the mattress and wriggled it under him, feeling the clammy cool of his skin.  She wrinkled her nose.

He snored, mumbled again. Holly paused, her hand stuck beneath him.  She could not see his eyes from this side of the bed.  Her heart pulsed in her ears as she waited to ensure he would stay asleep.  When his breathing continued at a slow rhythmic pace, she continued.


“I am,” she whispered.

Finally, Holly fished into his pocket, feeling something hard and cool.   It was a key.

OK, good, mom.   Now we have to pass it off. 

“What’s going on Cray.  Tell me what you’ve gotten yourself into.  Pass it off to who?”

Not now.

They heard another knock, more voices and footsteps getting closer.

“I want to know what this opens.”  She slid the key down into her bra, “You padded your boobs?”

Don’t start.

Holly ran to the door, slowly slid it open and peered out.  Shadows of people approaching danced against the wall.  She ran out, the opposite direction, past groups of drunkards with glazed, but watchful eyes.

What are you doing?

“I want to know what this key is for.  And if you don’t tell me, I will just have to explore.”  Holly had to admit it, she was feeling, alive.

You are enjoying this! Cray’s voice was accusatory, but Holly heard a hint of delight there too.  You are going to get us killed.

“Oh, don’t be so dramatic.”

She passed another group, but was stopped by nails digging into her arm and pulling her back.

“We have to go, sssstupid,” a slurred, female voice hissed into her ear.


“Let go.”

“Fine whatever.” Voila said, but dug her nails in more.  “Where you been all night? You missed all the partying!  Look at this, alllll thisss”.  She released Holly’s arm to pull cash out of her bosom. “I got mad tips tonight.”

Say, I was picked.

“I was picked,” said Holly aloud.

Jealousy gleamed out through Voila’s eyes and turned her drunken smile into an ugly sneer.  She leaned into push Holly, but was slow and clumsy.  Holly easily stepped aside, allowing Voila’s forward momentum to miss her completely. Voila crumpled to the floor.  There was more money to be had behind closed doors than on the dance platforms.

“Let’s go!” A man in military attire stepped out of a crowd and grabbed Voila by the hair and dragged her to her feet, ignoring her cries of pain.  “You too,” he said to Holly, squeezing her arm, just as she was about to step away.  Turning to face him, Holy saw by the scowl on his face that  he wasn’t involved in any merriment this evening.

“Hey,” another man appeared.

“What?” the first E answered.

He’s here and anyways, the truck just left.   These two aren’t our problem.”

“Who is he?” Holly whispered.

“Fine.” He released them, causing Voila to fall again.

“What?” Voila squealed, “You can’t just leave us here!”

Great.  Just great.  OK, ma. I know you want too, so, we may as well.

“Follow them?”

Follow them.

“Wait, you can’t leave me too,”  Viola cried, pulling at Holly’s dress and awkwardly climbing back to her feet.

Shake her off.

“She’ll be dead by morning if we leave her.”

“Ya, I’ll be dead. Who, who are you talking to, anyways.  You drunk!”  Voila giggled and threw her arm around Holly’s neck.


“Cray.” Holly said in her mother voice.


Holly could picture Cray as a toddler, crossing her arms and pouting.  She smiled.  Who knew raising her own clone would bring out her motherly instincts, especially when she didn’t have the best upbringing herself?  It had not been easy and she certainly was not a perfect mom. Cray had been far from a normal child.

“We are going for a walk, Voila.  But, we have to be very quiet.”




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