Stairs

The place we were going was called the Infirmary. It was two whole floors of hospital and minor research facilities and as I was coming to understand now a physiatric ward. The ward was on the thirty-first floor and that’s where we were going. That was a little over 400 steps. That wasn’t too bad. It wasn’t even close to a mile of stairs. It was relatively easy to do.

But Vin started out slowly as I started up the stairs. “You’ll tire out.”

“Let’s just see,” I said.

Walking was too slow. So I sped up a bit more, and Vin was looking up at me from the last landing as I rounded the corner to the next. 

I was three landings ahead of him before there was a burst of speed and he was running equal with me. “I remember a race we once had…” Vin started then shook his head. “I don’t know. Wow, that was weird.”

“What was?” I asked as we continued up the stairs at the pace I had set.

“I thought I remembered us racing to the top of the Night Life building a few months ago.”

“I haven’t been to the Night Life building in the few months I remember.” I said stopping on the landing, “You think we knew each other?”

Vin shook his head, “No, man. I’m sure I’d remember you.”

I nodded. “Yeah that’s what I thought.” I grinned, “I’m just that memorable.” I laughed.

“Who wouldn’t remember those big brown eyes, and the eye liner, and the blue hair? I mean you are distinctly you. I’d remember that.”

“You would think.” I said, “But I don’t remember me.”

It was strange, that flicker of memory that had passed in front of Vin’s eyes. It made me wonder about a lot of things. Why did no one look for me? Did they forget me too? That was something to consider. A lot of thoughts piled into my head at the same time, but I had to focus on the mission at hand. And right now we were three flights of stairs away from our destination.

The remainder of the walk run up the stairs Vin and I were quiet. Vin opened the door going first as if a hospital was a bad place to go. 

The place was all white and sterile looking. The only color were colored lines on the floor. I expected they meant something as some of them crossed paths and turned down other halls or into door ways. It felt odd. A distinct hum that I couldn’t quite place and it wasn’t the lighting, but then again I looked up and I didn’t see the lights I expected to see.

“It’s all magic. This whole place is magic. I don’t know what you are thinking, but that look says what the fuck is going on.”

“That’s pretty much it.” I grinned at him.

We went to the front desk and a woman with a pair of cross swords tattooed on her right temple frowned back at us. “There are no visitors on this ward.”

Vin started to talk but I put my hand on his forearm and smiled at the woman. “We are here to discharge to patients.”

“There are no patients ready to be discharged here, sir. Move along.”

“Really, if you don’t discharge them there will be a problem.” I said.

“Jo Monahan and Levi Hughes.” I added. 

The woman’s eyebrows went up. “Those two?”

I grinned at her, “Yes, those two.”

She left the desk and went into the back. Vin laughed, “You think they are in trouble?”

“I don’t know who they are, or why they are here.”

Vin shrugged, “Me either. I’m not sure how we can get them out of here without violence.”

I shrugged, “You can’t shadow walk can you?”

Vin stared at me and then blinked in confusion. “What?”

“There’s a dark shadow over there. I know where they are.”

“How?”

I shrugged, “I dunno how, but I can tell where Jo is. And Levi is the only name not on the list, he’s in his room.”

“And that is, where?” Vin asked curious.

I pointed to the monitors on the wall, they were facing the desk and they had little names on them, “Room 303.”

“Jo’s name is under art.”

“And you think that’s accurate.”

“I’ve been in one of these places. Maybe this one, I don’t know. I sorta just know.”

Vin laughed, “Sadly I can’t shadow walk.” And to prove it to me he walked over to the corner and the shadow and disappeared.

I looked around and blinked myself. He wasn’t here, what had been his vampire power aura thing I saw was gone too. He wasn’t hiding.

And then he was just standing there. “Holy fuck!”

“What did you just do?” I asked, though I was pretty sure I already knew.

“Shadow walked. I can’t do that.”

I laughed and the women sitting at the other side of the desk glared at me while we waited. “You just did. So you wanna?”

“You want to kidnap them?”

I grinned, “I have a feeling that no one is going to go looking for them if we do. I have a feeling these people aren’t here legally.”

“Human legally you mean?” Vin asked.

I nodded, “My gut is telling me that if we take them, we will be in the clear unless they want to cause problems down the road with the families.”

“The families. It sounds so mafia.”

I grinned, “Yeah.”

Vin held out his hand, and I smiled, “If I don’t mind.” He squeezed my hand, and we stepped through the shadows and I didn’t have any inclination of puking. “I wonder what is different this time?”

“You, me the tossing your lunch?”

I nodded, “Yeah.”

“You trust me, that’s a good sign.”