Baubius 9

No Normal Days

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And to think they had driven all the way to Kashechewan for this.

Three men in shabby coats and worn, dusty fedoras cornered a man just outside of a remote village somewhere in Ontario, Canada. The character in question was wearing a dirty woolen sweater — probably knitted by his grandma — and was clutching an equally filthy briefcase. The gang knew they had the right guy because of the paint stains on his baggage.

It isn't usually a normal day when you're blocked by two cars while cruising on a barren road somewhere during a snowstorm. But for the artist, his life didn't have any normal days in it. But that didn't mean he sure as hell didn't know who these punks were.

"The fuck do you want?" he wimpered. He stood up stright and puffed out his chest. The men laughed, and the frontmost grunt looked him in the eye.

"That depends— you Mortimer?"

The artist's eyes widened. "How do you—"

"We get it, kid," he said, taking two steps closer. The artist could only back against his vehicle. "It's been a long day. You're on the run, n' I get how tough it can be."

The artist slid to the left, out of the man's way. "I'm not looking for trouble."

"And we ain't either, kiddo. The name's Clive. The two behind me 're Alonzo and Johnny. We're only here to talk." They laughed again, noticing that Mortimer had began to sweat profusely.

"I-I need to go."

"Aw, why in such a hurry, buddo?" Johnny, the largest man, chuckled stupidly.

"Yeah, kid, we're—"

"Don't call me kid! Lemme out of here!"

Clive paused, and snickered quietly to himself. "We're only here to talk to 'ya. A nice and friendly conversation, maybe grab a cup 'a joe on the way, y'know kid?" Simultaneuously, all three produced switch blades and popped them open. Mortimer reacted almost immediately; he pounced back to his car and scrambled to open the door. But before he could get in, Clive grabbed his arm and twisted it behind his back, pushing him onto the ground. His face grinded against the tough asphalt, moderately scratching him.

"No— no! You motherfuckers, let me go! Let me go, what did I do wrong?"

Clive pressed his knife against the back of Mortimer's neck while Johnny and Alonzo held his arms behind him.

"You know what you did," Alonzo hissed.

"What, what?!"

"AN-SO are frauds! They're cold-blooded murderers! You think it's okay to rat us out like that to press?" He kicked Mortimers side, causing him to wimper in pain. "Idiot. They don't even know who we are. But thanks to your sorry little ass, we lost some good people to the Essie P."

"You tell 'em, Alonzo," Clive mumbled. He smirked, but began to noticed an evergrowing warmth near his hands. He looked down, only to see Mortimer clutching his wrist. Blood-red flames slithered out from the seams, eating away at the integrity of his flesh. Johnny also noticed this, and the two crooks jumped up in pain, clutching their hands and wagging them frantically.

Mortimer, with his arms now freed, grabbed Clive by the collar and managed to push him back. He shot up and thrust both hands forward: his left at Clive and his right at Johnny and Alonzo. Jets of fire sprayed from the palms of his hands, but the snow was just enough to render most of it harmless.

Clive covered his face with his sleeve and jumped to the reality bender's left. He then lept forward and attempted to tackle him, only for Mortiner to whack him across the head. Instantly, he got up and held his knife to his face. Mortimer got ready to light him up again, but felt something plunge into his throat. His hand retracted as he cringed in pain. He tried to scream, but Johnny's hammy arm reached around his head and covered his mouth. Alonzo, who had grabbed Mortimer's left arm with his free hand, pulled his switchblade out of the anartist's neck. They stood there for a few minutes before Mortimer eventually fell over, barely moving.

And after he closed his eyes, Johnny was the first to talk: "That son of a bitch burnt my hand."

"I know, Johnny, he burnt me too," Clive sighed in pain. He and Johnny proceeded to haul the body into the trunk of the bigger car. Alonzo leaned against it and lit a cigarette.

"Alonzo, get over here and help us pack this guy up," Johnny grunted, trying to dig the bodybag out from underneath Mortimer.

"But my fucking hand hurts."

"All of our hands are hurtin'."

"… Fine."

It wasn't every day that you and your friends had to track down and kill a reality bender. But for Clive, Alonzo and Johnny, their lives didn't have any normal days in them. But at least they could make it look like it wasn't them and include it in the paper, that's for sure.

And that's why they drove all the way to Kashechewan.

Sean Heichel was comfortable, enjoying a nice bottle of scotch and a rerun of a soap opera. He sunk into his leather recliner with a smug grin. He hadn't relaxed like this in days.

And then the phone next to him rung. He groaned and rolled his eyes, picking it up and smushing it against his ear.


"Yeah, hey, this Sean?"

"Clive? What t'fuck is it, I'm watchin' TV!"

"We got the guy, Sean."

"… What guy?"

"Mortimer, that anartist that gave tipped off the non-anonews."

"… God fuckin' damn it," Sean growled. "I tell you about one guy and say I've got it under control and you go all the way to Chicago to get rid of 'em?"

"Nah, he was in Canada."

"… This is why I don't tell 'ya things. This is insane! Do you know what I'm gonna have to do to clear our name?"

"I mean, we scrubbed the scene and everythin' so it should be alright."

"… And you got the body?"

"Yeah, got it."

Sean paused for a moment.

"You there, boss?"

"Just, don't do it again."




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