Key Twenty-One: Tate:
The hunts have been weak lately. He doesn’t like this.
Tate frowned as he looked out on the vacant landscape. Sand every day. Sand made for such a great hiding place. Too well. The angel snorted.
“Anything yet?” he asked.
“No, boss,” one of his dog angels said. Tate grumbled as he wrinkled his nose. He waved off the angel and looked at the endless sea of sand. This city used to be full of life once upon a time. There wasn’t even any booze anymore. Tate looked at the empty bottle in his hand.
“Weak as piss,” he muttered. He chuckled the bottle across the room. Alcohol flowed like a river in the good old days. Tate could drink four bottles and not get drunk. His friends called him the best drinker in the group.
Where were those guys now? They were probably dead and buried under this sand here. Really pathetic, if you asked Tate. These little hounds of his weren’t any better. They were just mindless drones in his head. They were only good for killing. Just like dogs trained to hunt rats. Tate wanted to puke just looking at them. But they won’t leave.
When was there last meal? Days? Weeks? Who cares anymore? Tate turned his head when he heard footsteps.
“What is it now?” he asked. A smaller angel looked down at his feet.
“Uh… well…” he mumbled. “Um… um…” Tate groaned and rolled his eyes.
“Spit it out already!” he shouted. The angel jumped into attention.
“When will be on the hunt again?” he blurted out.
“Shit if I know,” the leader said.
“When will be on the move again?”
“I don’t know.”
“What will we do if we can’t find anymore found again? The hunts have been getting scarce lately.”
“I don’t know.”
“What will we do with the rest of our supplies? We’re running out of everything and we just about picked this circle clean.”
Tate gritted his teeth and clenched his fists at his sides. “Look, are you fucking with me?!”
“I said get out!” Tate looked out the window as the other angel turned and walked out the room. It was always the same questions. Why did they always come to him for answers? He just lived day by day. The angel didn’t know how long that had been doing this, but this was all he knew how to do. What did it matter anymore?
Tate leaned over the window ledge. They would have to move again. Where were they going to go now? It’s just going to be the same. However, something doesn’t feel right. It’s been quiet around the city, too quiet. Tate was not pleased with this.
“What is going on around here?” he asked himself. His eyes trailed upwards to the sky. Something about this quiet stunk. He remembered the last time something like this happened. This city ended up being born.
What would this quiet bring now?
“It’s fine, Cricket,” Tate said. “You can come out. I know you’re there.” He didn’t turn around when he heard footsteps walking up to him. A smaller angel rested beside him. Tate patted the boy on his curly black hair.
“What’s wrong, Tate?” he asked. The bigger angel frowned.
“It’s been too quiet around here lately,” he said.
“How do you mean?” Cricket asked.
“Haven’t you noticed it?”
“Don’t you hear that?”
“Take a listen. Go on, take a listen.”
Cricket put his ear up into the air and complied. “I don’t hear anything.”
“Exactly,” Tate said. “I don’t like it.”
“What do you mean?”
“I don’t know, but something is coming.”
“Is it time to start moving again?”
Tate reached over and patted the younger angel on the head. “It would seem that way.” The angel with the curly dark hair leaned his head against Tate’s side. The bigger man sighed and put his arm around him. He hated this city, but at least Cricket made it much more bearable.
“Tate,” the smaller angel said.
“Yeah?” his leader asked. Cricket looked up at him with those big red eyes of his.
“Do you think we should start moving again?” he asked.
The lead angel leaned his head on the smaller one’s. “What do you think?”
“I think we should move again.”
“Then we will move again.” He pulled Cricket closer into his arms.
“Okay,” the smaller angel said. He drew his eyes closed and started to doze off. Tate smiled before he looked out the window again. He frowned when he saw the same old sand once again.
The silence would follow them no matter where they moved in this damned city.