6: All runners secretly feel like criminals

Through the night.

Furiously cold, concerned about something she had forgotten, moving too quickly, wondering  if she had parked her car correctly, relatively sure that something unfortunate was about to start happening.

Selia had never felt like a criminal before, yet her association with this Detective, Cadbury Fife, was giving her a strange sensation of being chased.

She had never felt like a runner before either, and maybe that was a more accurate metaphor. Did all runners secretly feel like criminals? This seemed possible she thought, and cast that group in an entirely more interesting light. The real sweating was going on in the mind, she mused, leering out of the path of a pole that had angrily swung itself towards her.

After some minutes, Selia arrived at the GloDom Tower, a monstrous, spiralling structure in the heart of the sullen financial district of Downtown.

GloDom was the home of Cadbury’s Detective Agency and also where she worked at the Attorney’s offices of SmithikinsPillipilli and Leeb-du-Toit. SPL represented the interests of what she referred to as The Uptrodden - poor hapless creatures that had been horribly wronged by somebody or something with far less money than them.

As she strode into the expansive foyer, her body, thinking it was arriving for work, issued an involuntary shiver. And at the same time she noticed that she was dripping with perspiration. Perhaps, she thought, she could pass this off as being due to the rain. But the rain had disappeared she noted, and she wasn’t entirely sure when that had happened. Well she would have to come up with something momentarily, she mused further, furrowing, because this doused-in-body-fluids look surely wasn’t appealing. Still-

Then a noise startled her.

Man: Hello?

Selia: [Startled, jumping] Ah!

Man: You okay there, ma’am?

Of course, it was the Night Security Guy. He seemed similar to the Day Security Guy, except somehow angrier. Perhaps because he was all alone. Or perhaps they made him work alone due to anger issues. Either way he was getting on Selia’s case harder than a detective, and frankly she had rather wanted to be discreet about that whole thing.

Selia: [Somewhat sternly, for her] Yes, what do you want?

Security Guard: [As though being challenged to a game of sternness] What do you want madam?

Selia suddenly came to the senses that her over-brisk walk had temporarily stolen from her. And in an exhilarating whoosh she realized - she was a security threat! After a slight buzz though, the novelty quickly wore off because her personal threat level appearing to be creating an impediment to accessing the building.

Selia: Sorry there, just rushing a little to get inside. I work here you know. At, erm, SPL… Smithikins, Pillipilli and er… Leeb-du-Toit. Just need to get my Security Pass.

The Guard looking on with a suspicious-security-guard look, as she rummaged around in her bag. He almost wanted to think that she might pull out a gun, or perhaps a small rocket-propelled knife flinger, which would make an interesting story at shift change and also allow him to talk to her for a while longer.

Who knows what could happen then?

As he contemplated this she pulled out a Security Pass, showed it to him briefly, and began walking towards the Security Gates that allowed entrance to the building elevators.

He gave her a disaffected-security-guard look, with an added dose of dismissive consternation, and decided that the evening was about to settle back into the usual rhythm of long periods of aching nothingness, interjected only by small moments of arbitrary and utterly pointless activity usually related to things that had become lost.

Security Guard: [Sighing and whispering as she walked away] Like an alien, she was softened almost into melody by the distance.

Security Guard: [Giving himself a gratuitously-indignant-security-guard look] No, that’s not right. So stupid.


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