And then the music started. A saxophone incanted through the premises. Thick beats growled through the paper walls.
“What have you got me into?” growled Morgan.
“Relax, man. It’s legal.”
Xac sat back on a cushion. He’d led Morgan, by ways and means, to a little cafe off the back of Mount Street. They’d stepped through a battered old red door into another world. There were no chairs, and the tables sat low to the ground. Sitting on the floor was a problem for Morgan. He was built like a rugby forward. Every time he shifted his leg knocked the table. What really offended him though, was the hookah.
“I am not breathing that shite,”
He slapped it for emphasis. Xac pulled back his greasy hair and took a puff. Xac looked like a drug-addled deadbeat. Moonlight flesh and tattered jeans, an old lady had already told him to get help once today.
“It’s apple and cinnamon. Like your maw used to make.”
“She only made them when you were around. These things are probably full of weed,” Morgan raised his voice “Guards should shut this place down.”
“Sam’s gonna be here and you’re carrying on.”
“Bad enough I’m here. You want to hook up with…”
Xac sniggered; it was funny seeing his lunk of a friend hesitate.
“You said you wanted something to help you forget Felicity and you didn’t care what. Well Sam’s your man.”
“I thought maybe a strip club,” Morgan rumbled, looking at his hands.
“This is just the beginning. We’re just setting the stage,” Xac took another hit.
“With a piking drug hole.”
“Can I help you gentlemen?”
They both jumped. The girl appeared out of nowhere, she had a vaguely Asian look, with a faded, floral pattern blouse
“No, we’re good, good looking.” Xac’s smile was incorrigible.
The girl was gone before he could try a pick-up line. He fell back on a cartoonish leer.
“Since when were you into girls?” Morgan asked.
“She heard you man. Lay off the morality.”
“It’s not about religion. It’s about the Law!”
The saxophone ground to a halt. Someone applauded. In the lull they heard the door. Peering out from the snug, Xac spied the third of their pack for this evening. Sam drifted up the aisle as if it was a dream. Perhaps it was. Much like Sam themself. Spiky hair fringed with blue, dressed like a punk rocker they defied definition with a diffident smile. The attendant led Sam to their table, the two in deep conversation. Morgan caught only the tail end.
“-and if I had a dream you’d be in it.”
Smiling and nodding the girl made for the kitchen. Two sleepy eyes regarded the pair.
“Morgan, so sorry about your loss.”
“No you’re not,” he muttered.
Xac shifted up, making room for Sam to float to the floor. Then they sat there. It made Morgan uncomfortable. No one had ignored him since the day he’d beaten a bully with a toilet seat.
Sam was still staring at nothing. The two exchanged looks. Finally the girl returned with a coffee. It was placed in front of Sam, who broke from a reverie to say thanks and smiled and waited for the attendant to leave. Then and only then did they pick up the mouthpiece of the hookah and sip a little smoke.
Morgan’s patience finally gave out “So what’s the big event?”
Somewhere, the saxophone began to purr. Sam smiled.
“We’re going to summon a demon.”