Moses missed the sensation of parkour. It was an exhilarating way to travel the concrete jungle of Satan Celia, the most preferred way of navigation for a street artist such as him. Hours of conditioning and practise came back to him as his thighs ached more with every leap and landing that he did. He tucked into a precision landing, skipping along the rooftop railings like a monkey. His breath quickened as he made for a somersaulting leap off a roof-top, umbrella hoisting him back up to the sky and preserving his momentum as his toes touched upon another apartment block.
As Moses continued to maneuver and sail through the apartments of Downtown Santa Celia, the anomalous nature of the rain only became more apparent as he neared it. The red began to pool onto the tarmac and the concrete, soaking it with rustic, coppery hues. Moses slid downwards on a set of cheap corrugated railing, halting himself by the heels of his shoes as he eyed the hellish weather on the horizon.
“ Well, I’m lucky that I packed an umbrella for today” Moses murmured, tightening his scarf which had become loose throughout his running, “ Looks like you shouldn’t always trust the weather forecast.” This is no mere rain, Muller. A localised weather event this isolated and anomalous? It could be magic at work here.Radio report said that it was a chemical spill. Man-made.Have you ever seen anything man-made like this? It would be foolish of you to dismiss the possibility of supernatural phenomena.I’ll keep that in mind.
Moses slowly floated down into the comfort of a nearby alleyway, a few blocks away from the radius of the rain, feet lightly touching the damp, fetid floor. The wailing dirge of the sirens were pounding his head. That stupid sound was going to be stuck in his mind for days, maybe even weeks. He took a moment to take a breather, muscles burning with fading fatigue as he leaned against the mossy brick wall. He peeked left to right out of the alley-way, making sure the coast was clear before he was brushed in the shoulder by a frightened woman.
Then, came the stampede. His senses struggled to keep up with the chaos around him as it was a simple panorama of distress and discord. Ambulances and police cars were piling and bordering up around the rain cloud. Moses kept walking towards the edge of the rain-fall, avoiding the bulk of the trampling crowd. He was close now. He could just barely see the smoking fumes, though, the fires of Le Chateau Rouge were not noticable. He’d never been to the City Hall this close before. Most of his jobs took place near Uptown of Santa Celia. The alabaster pillars looked almost bone white with the red rain coursing down in rivulets. I am recommending you to avoid as much physical contact with the rain, until we know of its true effects. Use that umbrella.
Right. Moses unfurled the umbrella , leaning the shaft over his right shoulder. He was just a few more seconds from entering the storm before someone caught him by the shoulder. He turned around, only to swear internally, as a police officer looked at him suspiciously.
“Hey,” The officer spoke towards him “ This area is bordered off. What do you think you’re doing?”
Moses was rapidly trying to think of an excuse if it wasn’t the fact that his dress-up would run counter to every one of those possible excuses. Scarf wrapped around the mouth? A spray-painted hoodie? Umbrella? He looked like an juvenile delinquent rather than a street artist making his way through the city. After a moment of indecision, Moses then pointed over the officer’s shoulder.
“ Hey, um, I think I see someone beating someone else over there!”
“ Wh-” The officer looked around before realising that he’d been played. “ Hey! Get back here! This is Officer Brian. We have a civilian entering the - “
Moses began running into the storm, the drizzling quickly transforming into a deluge of red once more. The red water ran off the umbrella canopy in a spider web of rivers, protecting him from the onslaught of rain. He briefly reached his hand out to touch the rain for a moment’s curiosity before deciding against it. He continued to walk in silence, the odd stranger there and here.
He was nearing the ruins of the La Cheteau de Rouge. Or, at least, signs of nearing it. Moses gulped as he took in the devastation. The entire street that he was on was a veritable blast zone, bits of metal, wood and glass strewn about in varying chunks and sizes. He could see the still burning restaurant in the distance, red smoke boiling upon contact with the dying flames. If Moses ever had to describe his vision of hell, what he was seeing right now in front of him could have been a rendition of it. You think that this could be the work of a magician?Yes and no. It is possible but impossible today. Magic within the 21st Century has become nearly endangered. The amount of training and spell-work it would require to create this….grotesque weather would be incalculable. Certainly beyond your strength.In the meantime, we should focus on finding the source of this rain.
A scream rang out in the torrential wind. Them, several more. Moses looked towards a nearby coffee shop where he noticed a man taking refuge inside, leaning against the walls. He ran inside, noticing the large trail of human blood that had been largely washed away by the flow of the rain.
Or saving what’s in front of us first.
A base-ball capped man, black-haired, wearing a bomber jacket, was lying on the ground, white-faced and croaking out in pain.
The man’s entire left arm was badly perforated, shards of glass embedded in wounds that oozed out blood. Whatever caused the Rouge to go up in smoke, the poor guy must have been near it when whatever happened happen. As the man continued to nurse his limp arm, Moses unzipped his duffle bag and pulled out one of his many pre-drawn sketches. He plunged his hand once again into one of his many sketches, stomach lurching with butterflies, rush of energy coursing into his hand like a waterfall as he pulled out a roll of thin gauze that was strewn with iconography from a bygone era. He unrolled the gauze and began to wrap it around the man’s arm,
“ What’re you doing? You’re - you’re - Wait.. The pain - it’s going away…...”
The colour in the man’s face began to return as Moses finished his hasty first aid, using up the entire roll in the process. The bandages began to part and fall off like shed snake skin, turning into motes of dust in the stormy wind. In its place, the man’s arm was returned back to normal, albeit with an series of markings labelled on his inner arm. The man stared at his arm, closing and opening his eyes to see if he was still in a dream, before whispering towards Moses.
“ Than-Thank you!”“ You’re welcome. Now, get out of here! Police car’s just a minute from down here. Stay here and you’ll-uh-”
Moses swayed in his spot for a little bit of it, unsure of how to respond “ - get pneumonia.”
The stranger stood still for a moment, perhaps thinking about rewarding him or giving him something back in return, or so Moses tried to amuse himself. He then nodded in assent, before running out of the empty coffee shop, holding his bomber jacket over himself to shield him from the rain. Moses stood still in the same position, his hands still red with blood. He then went to the open sink to wash his hands.You know I specifically advised you on drawing those bandages for your own personal use?Well, I can always draw another one.
Hands clean, Moses stared over the burning conflagration of Le Chateau Rogue, obscured by red rain that was hissing off the licks of orange flames emanating off the burnt ruins. No time to waste, Moses unfurled his umbrella once more and entered into the bloody downpour with nary a scared step behind him.