We Live a Dying Dream

Whore

Key Sixteen: Whore:

Allen walked up to the pink glass doors of Maîtresse Maison de Mauvaise Reputation. From the outside, this building looked prettier than the monster-like shops and houses on the street. Allen reached forward and touched the glass. He jumped back, yelping.

"That's cold!" the angel shouted. It was like that chill of touching the outside of the tower in the Fallen City. He looked around for another way into the building. It was then he noticed a small gold doorbell right in front of him. A small yellow note was posted above it.

"Ring the bell?" Allen read. He shrugged his shoulders rather confused. Okay then… The angel rang the bell. A sharp buzz filled the air.

"Good morning!" a flirty French voice filled the air. "Welcome to Maîtresse Maison de Mauvaise Reputation! How may we entertain you today?" Allen found the woman's tone off-putting. He even laughed nervously.

"Uh… I'm looking for a woman," he said.

"Ooo! Anyone in particular?" the woman asked.

"Is my friend here?" To his surprise, the pink glass slid open. Confused, Allen wandered inside. At the front desk stood a woman with her saggy breasts exposed. The sight of her repulsed him. This woman had a human face but a giant yellow and purple caterpillar body. On either side of her were four long black spider legs. Her human didn't help her appearance too much either. Her wrinkles made her look like a bull dog. She puffed on a long cigarette with her fat lips.

"You rang?" she asked. Allen tried not to look at her face.

"I'm looking for a woman named Ophelia," he said, swallowing down the need to throw up. "Is she here?" The woman's teeth looked black and rotted as she grinned.

"Ah, yes. She's here," she said.

"Where is she?" Allen asked.

"In her room," the woman, he assumed to be a madame, said. "I'll ring her up to let her that you are coming." The madame pressed the gold button. "Ophelia, you have another john morning!" Allen stared at her with big eyes. John? Still, arguing would probably waste his time. Probably be best to play along for the time being.

"Ophelia is quite popular among my girls," the madame said.

"I see," Allen said. The madam handed him a silver and pink key.

"Here you go," she said. "She's in room twenty-eight. Have fun with her." Her wink was enough to make Allen grab the key and run.

The perfume in the hallway wasn't as overpowering as the one in Paradise. Allen tried to stay focused on his mission through the loud moans behind closed doors.

You don't have much time!

Allen froze as he looked up. "Marion?"

You have ten minutes left! Hurry up and find her!

"I'm working on it!" Allen took off running down the hall. He clutched the key in his fist. Hold on Ophelia, I will save you!

Allen finally found room twenty-eight. He placed his hand on the door to catch his breath. The angel looked up and saw the number twenty-eight in shiny gold. Allen pressed his ear against the door. His heart sank at the silence inside, but he felt a small prick of relief. He still had work to do. Allen took the key and pushed it into the lock.

Ophelia's room was dark except for the candles lit on the floor. To his surprise, Allen couldn't smell anything. No perfume and the candles were unscented. Allen's eyes shifted left and right.

"Hello?" he whispered. "Ophelia? Are you in here?" Allen took slower steps into the dimly-lit room. Dried petals of possibly a rose lay scattered on the floor. The dirty walls were vacant. Not a single decoration made the room look more appealing. He could hear the sound of flowing water in the color.

"Ophelia?" the angel whispered. "Ophelia?"

"Who's there?" a tired voice croaked. Allen jumped back.

"Ophelia?" he asked. "Is that you? Where are you?"

"Over here," the tired voice whispered. Allen followed the sound to the other side of the room. A small window leaked more light into the room. Ophelia sat on a low bed like a queen. She only wore bright red negligee that complimented the white sheets she sat on. Despite looking cleaned up and little more feminine with longer hair, she was still very thin. Ophelia's short gown hung off of her twig-like frame. Her eyes looked so dull and empty behind her mask of make-up.

"Welcome," Ophelia said. "How may I pleasure you tonight?" Allen stared at her blankly.

"Don't you recognize me?" he asked. The female angel chuckled.

"Oh, you're one of those men?" she asked.

"Ophelia, it's me, Allen. I came here to get you."

"Where have I heard that one before?" The female angel lay back on the bed. Allen's heart sank. She doesn't recognize me, he thought. I don't know to do.

Talk to her!

Allen lifted his head. What do you mean?

You don't have time! Just get through!

He drew in a breath. "Okay…" His attention turned back to Ophelia. "Ophelia, you can't here come back with me. I promised you that I would take you out of the city. Don't you remember that?"

The other angel froze. "The city?"

"Yes," Allen said, nodding. "I was going to take you out of it with Harry, Tyrone, Kit, and Grace. Remember?"

Ophelia gave him a hurt little smile. "Oh, Allen, you are sure a good liar."

The light in his died. "What?"

"We failed. I might as well stay here where I am safer."

"How can you stay in a place like this?"

"This is all I know!" Ophelia broke down trembling. "Those monsters forced me here. How is the outside any different from here?"

Allen shook his head. "You can't truly believe that."

"I do!"

Allen walked over and sat down next to her on the bed. "I won't leave here without you."

"You'll be trapped here."

"I made a promise and I'm keeping it. I am getting you out of here one way or another!"

Hurry up Allen, someone's coming!

The angel grabbed Ophelia by the hand. "I know." He leaned into her ear. "We will escape from here, I promise." The other angel took his hand without knowing why or rather she could trust him or not.

Allen closed his eyes. We're ready to go now.

Okay, Marion said back.

-Outside-

Allen came back with a jolt and Ophelia opened her eyes, gasping. Marion sank to her knees with her hand to her chest.

"Thank you, Marion," Allen said. The other angel nodded.

"Yeah," she said. Ophelia sat up in her bed. Allen walked over to her side.

"Are you okay, Ophelia?" he asked. His friend nodded.

"She'll take a while to heal," Marion said. The pair turned their focus on her. She slowly pulled herself to her feet.

"Those that have been in hell for a long time will need a long time for their bodies to heal," Marion said. Ophelia opened her mouth to speak, but no words came out.

"I see," Marion said. "You won't be able to speak for a little bit, but you seem to be alright. Ophelia closed her mouth and bowed her head.

"Oh, and what do have here?" a voice boomed. "You're all here in the right spot." The angels looked up and saw Road standing in the doorway, smirking.

"Nice of you to be in one spot," she said. "It saves me the trouble of hunting you down."

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