The talking pigeon was really an Aura elemental familiar under contract with Guy. There are six types of elementals, and they often times work with Jinn--Pleasant and Wicked--to help them complete missions. They’re needed in order to weaken or seal Jinn. Well, from my experience, they were necessary as distractions, so to speak. Just another body for the enemy to fight while the human of the group attempts to seal or weaken the Jinn.
I could go on about elementals and sealing Jinn and shit, but I already covered that enough in the previous book. You guys should go check that out if you hadn’t already.
But the main thing was that this filthy little pigeon had some valuable information. Apparently, there’s a new designer drug that hit the streets of Baltimore called sublime. It’s a pill people ingest. According to the Aura, sublime alters the body, I think something to do with dumping extra adrenaline into the blood, and the blimer (the person who’s popping sublime--seriously, I couldn’t make this shit up even if I tried) gets the strength of Superman, able to lift cars and shit. And they get hungry. Blimers get a strange craving for human flesh, and they have the strength to bite off large chunks with their teeth. Not pretty.
So yeah, that’s really a fucked up situation in Charm City. NARCs were up to their chests in cases, the police commissioner and mayor were under scrutiny, and folks were dying by the scores--getting eaten alive. Often by their buddy they just popped sublime with. There were hunger houses--basically crack houses for blimers--all over the city, thanks to about 1,500 or so blighted and condemned houses. Once uncovered, they’d be two or three or more half and fully devoured bodies found in them. Disturbing shit.
Before he left for Seattle, Guy had felt the presence of two demons in Baltimore. However, he didn’t have an agitator or a Thanos Stone or even the humans to wield them. Which was why he told his Aura to keep tabs on things in Tubman City while he went to gather Amie and I from the west coast. I wished he had said something earlier. Jinn and their goddamn secrets.
Guy definitely thought it was the Addiction demon that was spreading around sublime. Only a demon could manufacture a drug with an agent that could alter human physiology as drastically as sublime did, or so said Guy. Amie agreed with him. I just kept quiet, looking pretty, because I had no idea what they were talking about.
Anyway, the next day Guy’s Aura returned with more news for us . . .
“Guy, Guy,” squawks the Aura. “I overheard this from one of the dealers. There is a big shipment of sublime coming tonight at the docks. Taj, the biggest sublime supplier in the city, is always there during a shipment.”
Guy nods and throws a handful of bread crumbs at it. “Merci. You have done well. Time for rest, non?”
The pigeon mumbles, “Thank you,” as it eagerly pecks at the crumbs.
Guy joins Amie and me at the kitchen table. “You suspect this Taj guy is really Addiction?” I say.
“Oui. And if he is not, the real demon will most likely be the one dropping off the large shipment.”
“I wonder why all the subterfuge,” I say. “If the demon is manufacturing sublime, why go through all the trouble of having it shipped in?”
Guy shrugs. Amie says, “That’s a good question. Maybe the shipment is only the materials needed to manufacture sublime.”
Eh, that’s a sickening thought. I remember the ingredients Mort used to make his hellhound canines. I’m sure what the demon uses to make sublime is nasty, and possibly human.
“Well, there’s only one way to find out.”
Guy laughs and shakes his head at me. Then he gets up from the table. “I am going to pray and cleanse myself for tonight.”
Amie gets up too. “I’m going to mediate.”
They both walk out of the kitchen, leaving me alone with a damn pigeon.
I had a couple of hours to kill, so I decided to go out for a walk. The city seemed, I don’t know, nicer since the last time I visited. The area was relatively clean for a city with over half a million people. I didn’t know where I was going, so I just kept walking. Somehow my feet led me to a bar.
I went in, sat at the counter, and ordered a whiskey on the rocks. An Orioles game played on a big flat screen TV behind the bar. I sipped my drink and got lost in the strikes and balls.
I admit, I was a bit put off how Amie just left me right after Guy got up. Was I jealous? Slightly. But those two knew things I didn’t. They both have lived hundreds of years. One was a Jinn possessing unbelievable magic, the other was formerly a Jinn. I was the odd man out in this threesome; I was the third wheel.
Into my fourth drink I realized alcohol wasn’t going to change any of that. Wasn’t going to help it any, either. I paid my tab and then shuffled on back to Guy’s apartment.
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