The boy’s house was indistinct, but fittingly seedy, simple and thick with old magic. A man’s place became him. Malcolm Hannish had watched for days and had taken measures to ensure Isaac was away long enough to have a proper conversation. In his hand Malcolm Hannish held a package he’d stolen from a porch down the street. He knocked thrice and waited. A small, tanned girl with short curly hair opened the door a crack, but left the chain on. Malcolm Hannish had been told she was May, person not month.
“I have a package for delivery,” said Malcolm Hannish.
May closed and locked the door and responded by speaking through the mail slot.
“Yeah, I can see that…but since you don’t have a clipboard I don’t need sign for it, so you can just put that shit on the porch and fuck off.” said May.
It had not occurred to Malcolm Hannish to acquire a clipboard. Guile had never been his strength as a hunter. He pressed on.
“This package is for Isaac Barrow, are you they?” Said Malcolm Hannish.
“ I don’t know who that is, and you are giving me serious raper vibes, so why don’t you deliver that package straight up the ass of whoever gave you this address. I already called the cops.” said May.
Malcolm Hannish was sure she had not. Those that lived on the fringe didn’t involve mundane authorities. Malcolm Hannish studied the protections on the door. They were robust, in a crude way, but designed more to contain that which was within, than to to bar entry. This ruse was thin, and Malcolm Hannish was not built for deception, so he kicked firmly at a spot below the knob. The lock burst along with the protections, and the door swung in, sending the girl sprawling to avoid being struck. She was quick and held a souvenir mini-bat from a local baseball team. Malcolm Hannish had never played, but enjoyed the cheap beer and sunshine of a day game. The girl swung it at his knees, Malcolm Hannish stomped the bat to the floor, pinning the girl’s hand beneath it.
“I have not come to harm you, I need only that you tell me of Isaac. Answer in a clear and timely fashion and this could be brief and relatively painless.” said Malcolm Hannish.
May kicked towards Malcolm Hannish and tried without success to dislodge her hand from under the bat. Little bones broke loudly with each attempt. She screamed.
“I have no fucking idea who that is.” said May.
Malcolm Hannish gestured about the room.
“You are in his house.” said Malcolm Hannish.
“This is my house you piece of shit, I got it at a police auction for a hundred grand. The last owner killed himself because he fucking sucked.”, said May.
Without taking his foot from the bat Malcom Hannish picked up a bill, addressed to Isaac Barrow, from the side table and presented it May “And this”
Fury and petulance twisted the young woman’s features.
“I steal mail!” said May.
Malcolm Hannish felt a certain regard for her will but the lie was obvious. Kneeling down Malcom Hannish grabbed the back of the girls neck and lifted her off the floor, his thumb and forefinger close to touching on the other side. She struck at him with no effect. Malcolm Hannish turned the girl to face a framed picture of Isaac and her prominently displayed on the fireplace mantle.
“And this?” said Malcom Hannish.
The words gurgled out.
“It came with the frame,” said May.