A cafe, small place with WiFi access. Enjoying a smoothie bought with quarters and broken dreams. Looking at attractive girls... they probably think I'm a serial killer, which wouldn't be too far off the mark. Then some kid walks up to me. About 14 years old, wearing a red shirt and backward baseball cap in typical 14-year-old poseur style. I was expecting him to start asking me if I had stolen my laptop when I saw his face.
Terror. Complete terror. I have never seen someone more afraid in my life.
"He wants to talk to you."
There was a very long pause before I answered:
The kid's eyes bugged out, "HE WANTS TO TALK TO YOU!"
Eyes turned towards us. It's not every day when you see a kid yelling nonsense at a vagrant. I shifted uncomfortably.
"All right, and how does he intend to do this?"
He proffered me an iPhone. Feeling tired, I shrugged and took it. The voice on the other end was deep, rough and slightly nasal in quality.
"The Glass Man?"
Laughter emitted from the phone, "Yes, yes I am!"
"What is it you want." The crowd stopped watching.
"I'm sure you've already guessed by now."
"I'm in no mood to be humored."
A brief pause.
"It's really simple: I want to kill you."
A slightly longer pause.
"That doesn't make any sense to me."
"Really, why not?"
"Because when you killed Masky the other day you could have easily found and killed me."
A coughing fit on the other end. This man has health issues of all sorts by the sound of it.
"Well played. I do want to kill you, Glassy Glass Glass Glass, but I must prove that I'm better than you."
The last few words were strangely emphasized.
"Why would that be? Why am I your perceived level to surpass?"
"You're not getting that answer today, Glass Man. The boy is going to leave the phone with you. Tell him he can leave now."
I looked at the boy and nodded. He ran.
"What did you do, Ferus?"
Laughter, deep and throaty.
"I gave him a call too. Told him I kidnapped his parents and sister, which is of course true. I'm calling you from his house right now. When he comes home he'll find them... in a somewhat improved condition, if I should say so myself."
"You son of a bitch."
"Not quite, Glass Man, not quite."