Starving

Randall did, and put his hand on his heart to prove it. Slowly, he made a fist, to show his grandfather the depth of his toughness. Underneath his knuckles, he felt the slow, steady beat, like a drum.

#

By the fifth song, Ignatius was still partnerless. He stood against the far wall, his coat a vivid smudge against so much black. It was dark, but the lights flickered on the delicate boning of his chin, his long neck, his pale, pale skin. Randall shook his head and looked away. He scanned the crowd. Two dead girls with matching shock purple hair and long black gloves sidled up to a dancing boy in a baseball cap who looked too wasted and out of place to notice the coldness from their groping hands or the stillness of their necks. Randall shook his head.

“Idiot,” he muttered. He pulled up a chair and resolved himself to watch the boy, as he was the most likely target that evening. Instead, he found his eyes wandering and hooking onto Ignatius, who stared back.

By the bar, a couple bickered, their voices rising to the point where they could almost be heard over the pulsing base. Almost, but not entirely. The man gesticulated wildly, while the woman by turns clutched at her heart and wiped her face from the streams of tears and mascara and snot that ran freely down her thin cheeks. Randall raised his eyebrows at the bartender who threw his hands up in an “I have no fucking idea what to do” sort of shrug. The girl shouted one word that could at last be heard over the music.

“Asshole,” she shouted, and tossed a drink into his face, nicking him slightly on the chin. Randall stood and walked towards them, the long way, around the undulating crowd. He saw the young man’s face, how he cupped his injured chin, his mouth open and horrified. When he removed his hand, Randall could see it was barely bumped, but from the look on his face, you’d of thought he was mortally wounded. Randall quickened his pace. Watched the man’s mouth twist and sneer on a word. Bitch. Watched him raise his elbow towards the ceiling, his fist pointing towards her face like an arrow.

Randall reached the girl, hooked his arm around her chest and swung her backwards, offering his own chin for the blow. But the blow did not come. From behind the twisted faced man, a figure in burgundy, reached around, twisted the arm back and upwards until it cracked.





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