Lane standing on wobbly legs looked at her friend in front of her. Her mind was still refusing to put the information it was confronted with into a coherent picture.
"Why are you here?" Lane asked. It was not the first thing that passed through her mind it was however the first thing that seemed to make sense.
"Why are YOU here?" Monica replied. She looked utterly shocked. Not because there were two dead bodies lying on the ground but apparently because she was seeing Lane standing in front of her. "Fuuuuuck!" she complained. "Fuck. Fuuuck. FUUuuuUUCK!" Monica closed her eyes shook her head, opened them again, seeing that Lane was still there. "Fuck?"
Lane had no idea what she was supposed to do, so trying to get her sense of reality back she decided to concentrate on Monica for the time being. She knew her. She obviously did not really know her, but she knew her well enough to see something familiar in her maybe even something comforting if she focused really hard. Besides Monica had saved her life. "Thank you." Lane said. "For saving me." she added for good measure.
"What?" Monica said, still shaking her head, making little steps backwards and forwards trying to decide what to do next. "I didn't save you."
Lane after a moment of hesitation pointed towards the man is white, pink, red now also with a slowly growing edge of brown. "You killed him."
"Yes." Monica answered. At least that was a pure simple fact that they could both live with.
"Thus saving me." Lane concluded.
"Thus? Really? Who says 'thus' at a time like this?" Monica waved with her arms fighting her exasperation. "And I did not save you. For that I would have had to know that you were here in the first place. Fuck. Also, you being here makes me wonder what you are actually up to. La PUTA que lo parió!" Monica had to go back to her native Spanish to properly vent her frustration. "I mean, here we are on a nice little vacation, just us girls trying to leave the SHIT," she waved in the general direction of the dead bodies, "from our past behind us. But oh look! Monica, why don't you go one one last fucking job? You still owe us for that one time in French Guiana. It's easy. The Pale Man is here. Right under our noses. You want to have your revenge and we need him killed. Win-win. Oh and please be so kind as to fucking hurry. He should not kill his mark if at all possible. Sure thing, I say, because I have no other hobbies. But OK, it is a job. I owe the Pale Man a basket full of death. So after that I'll be able to sleep again. But here YOU are. Of all people. With the mark that was supposed to survive very dead."
"What?" Lane asked fury rising again in her. "Are you really trying to say that I am in any way or form involved with... this?!"
"I have no idea. But here you are in an empty street in an suspiciously empty part of the city with two dead people."
"That horrible piece of shit over there," she pointed at the man in blood, "killed who ever this poor fuck is. Who, by the way, just happened to run into me. That fucking wanker over there tried to kill me which you might have noticed. I mean I'm not sure as you were to busy SAWING HIS HEAD OFF!"
"Yeah. That is all very convenient isn't it? But no, I'm really the idiot here. You pretending to be my friend and dragging me into all of this."
"What kind of crack are you smoking?" Lane past both her hands over her head, trying to prevent her mind from exploding. "What you say doesn't even make sense. Also YOU don't to get to act all surprised. I actually do just work in an office and the biggest sin I committed in my life was letting Martin convince me that he was a decent human being. You on the other hand are obviously a hobby murderer. Why should I work with any of these people? I have no idea who they are! If I was 'after' you or what ever you think my cunning master plan is, why should I be here and blow my cover. I don't even know enough about you to tell you in what million other ways that is stupid!"
"So what were you doing here in the middle of the night that is so much more plausible?"
"I was looking for a place to go shopping!"
Monica was dumbstruck. "You were looking for a place to buy shit."
"Yes. Remember? Our deal? How we were going to look for some crazy artefacts? With the one finding the most outlandish one winning?"
"That is your more plausible explanation?"
"Yes." Lane crossed her arms.
Monica snorted. "Really?"
And Monica started laughing. At first it was only a tiny chuckle but grew up to become a big unstoppable roaring laugh that shook Monica to her core driving tears into her eyes. At first Lane was irritated by that reaction. But as Monica kept laughing, with the unreality of the situation sinking in Lane could not help but follow suit.
When Monica could finally breath again "Are you OK Lane?"
"Not at all." Lane answered, her laugh transforming into sobs. "People just died in front of me. I have never seen a dead person before. Even when my grand parents died I never went to see them after they were dead..."
"You'll get used to it." Monica said in a soft voice.
"No. You will get better at enduring it though."
Lane took a long shuddering breath, trying to get her emotions under lock down. This was not the time nor the place to break apart. This. this had to wait.
"We need to get away from here." Lane said.
"Yes and we have to do it quickly. After the spectacle that we just produced the police will be here soon. You go ahead around that corner over there."
"Because I have have a few things left to do before we run away."
"Are you sure? This is not going to be pretty..."
Lane looked Monica in the eyes. Behind the tears her eyes were growing clear and hard.
"Right." Monica did not even try to convince her, she knew that time was running out extremely quickly and they had to get a move on. While they could not hear any sirens yet that was mostly because the police weren't idiots. They would approach silently and only go into full cop show mode when they had surrounded the area.
She took a bottle and a spray can out of a deep pocket. She first knelt over the man that had died in Lane's arms. She opened his mouth to spray coolant into it until his teeth were frozen solid. Then she doused the man with liquid from the bottle. Taking care not to touch the liquid she turned the corpse around pouring the liquid over the other side too.
"Want to help me out?" Monica asked.
"Drag the Pale Man over here."
"o...kay..." Lane walked towards the nearly decapitated man. At first she thought she would be overcome by revulsion. But seeing the face of the man, his mouth half open, she felt a surge of hatred flaring in her. That motherfucker had not only tried to murder her but he was had also had his fun while doing so. What was horrible was his wound. He felt empathy for his mangled body but not for the person that once lived in there. She grabbed one of his legs and started pulling.
"Won't his head come off?" she asked.
"No. The tendons around the spinal column are very strong."
Monica repeated the process with the Pale man. Spray mouth, douse body, flip around putting the Pale Man on top of his victim. "I'm sorry about this pal." she apologized to the victim the precoded to soak the the back of the dead assassin in the liquid from her stainless steel flask.
"Step back." Monica told Lane. She took out a lighter and carefully with her arms stretched out as far as possible ignited her improvised funeral pyre. It instantly went up in blue angry flames leaping up towards the sky.
"Didn't you tell me that disposing of bodies wasn't as easy as in the movies?" Lane asked with her eyes wide.
"This is not supposed to get rid of the bodies but of evidence. In the heat their frozen teeth will break apart and with their skin their faces and their finger prints will disappear. And if I where you I would stop looking."
"It can hardly be worse then this." Lane said with her eyes still wide with horror. Then it got worse. The corpses started to move. They twisted around slowly moving their arms and legs.
"Turn. Around." Monica said.
"How? Aren't they dead."
"They are. Move." Monica turned Lane around with gentle force pushing her away from the burning bodies.
"You know how sirloin stakes shrink and curl around the fat?"
"Urgh." Lane was about to try to go for another round of vomiting, her body confident that there was something left to throw out when suddenly sirens started blearing.
"Shit!" Monica spat through clenched teeth. "We were to slow. Fuck. Move, run. We might still find a way out." She shoved Lane around the corner.
"But we are running directly to where the sirens are!"
"It's a trick. They are trying to towards the direction where there are no sirens but most police men. It's easier tu surprise someone who is trying to ambush someone running right into your arms." She shoved Lane again making her run into the general direction of the sirens. Before even reaching the half way point of the short narrow street, they heard another sounds. Barking.
Now Monica's calm started to fade. She stopped in her tracks looking back towards the street they had come from. Still lit in the flames of her improvised bonfire. Apart from the sizzling sound of the fire burning flesh and fat there was only tempting silence, while the sirens had just got company from dogs. It was still a trap, but running into it meant a few more moments of freedom.
While Monica was deliberating what to do, Lane had finally snapped, she was kneeling in front of a wall scratching the stones.
"Can you wait with going insane?" Monica asked "This is really not the best moment for that."
"I'm not insane." Lane said with a grim voice. "Maybe it wasn't a one way door. What kind of a secret would it be if you could just stumble through it?"
Monica had to admit that Lane's lunacy had a very impressive quality of a calm to it. The wall suddenly swinging aside revealing a big black hole leading into the dark below gave Monica the impression that it was also surprisingly contagious. Maybe it would also work on dogs?
"Don't just stand there," said Lane grabbing her sleeve and pulling her towards the opening. "move. Come on hurry up." With that she pulled her into the dark, the light of the moon, the stars, and the fire sealed away by the wall slamming shut again.