OCtober Day 30: Mally

She scares me.

That’s the summary of it. That’s the short, sweet version.

Oh, I know I should explain further. But, how am I supposed to convey the entire, complicated story of this walking calamity in just a few, fleeting words?

I’ll tell you about the first incident. The only one that I, thankfully, had the misfortune of being involved in.

Now, I’d grown quite used to navigating the chaos of Gehenna by this point. Receiving such a strange invite like that should have raised such red flags. Looking back, this had likely been a throwaway account. I had been contacted by a young woman looking for people to join her focus group, supposedly for some book she was writing. My curiosity piqued, as per usual, I agreed to meet with her.

Following the address she gave me, I came to some sort of community room, situated on the ground floor of a set of skyscraper apartments. Strolling right on in, I found there were already people here. There were about twelve of them in total, myself making it thirteen. Quite a varied lot, they were. Businessmen mingled with gang members, mafia goons flirt with actors whilst the back alley doctors relax in the corner with ravers. Some of them looked fairly regular, and I suppose I might fit the bill of the nomadic bartender. The room itself was surprisingly clean. With painted white walls and plush carpeting, a bulletin board on one wall along with some motivational posters. Chairs were laid out in a circle. Upon a table sat a tray of cupcakes, which judging by the delivery box were from Sweet Dreams Bakery. Having tried one of Ambrosia’s cakes before, I strayed naturally towards them. 

Just as I began to scarf down a particularly tasty cherry muffin, someone pops up, startling me. I almost choke, though luckily there’s water nearby. The stranger in question giggles at my predicament. 

“Oh dear, went down the wrong hole?” She comments, a little cheeky.

Once collected, I breathe and turn to address the person. Though, I found myself needing a moment to process the colourful being before me. 

Looking down, as she is fairly short, I see a pair of bright blue eyes staring up at me. They twinkle in the ceiling lights, reflecting the cybernetic implants within. Striking black eyeshadow lined the edges. Something about the smoothness of her pale skin also looked rather fake, albeit soft. Her body was slender, though curvaceous around the hips and other parts. The girl had on a simple, all black outfit consisting of jeans, boots, gloves and a sleeveless zipped top. The most stunning part of her was the rainbow coloured hair, rippling down her back like sunlight reflecting off a waterfall.

She waves her hands in my face, trying to get my attention.

“Hello? Anyone in there?”

“Ah yes, apologies, you just startled me is all” I say, trying to laugh my awkward staring.

“Delightful! Can’t have my darling invitees collapsing on me all breathless now, can I?” 

I notice she speaks with a vaguely posh British accent. Her physical and vocal mannerisms are both quite exaggerated.

“Oh! So you’re…”

“The other M, yes. I won’t even lie, half the reason I chose you was the coincidence had me spitting out my tea in amusement!”

“I was rather surprised myself, I shall admit”

“Anyhow since you’re here and relatively well fed, I suppose we should begin”

She spins on her heel, skipping into the middle of the chair circle.

“Gather round everyone, I should now like to pick your brains”

Sluggishly, the group gathers. I place myself in an empty seat along with the others. The other M seats her cross legged on the last one left. 

“Oh, before we begin, did everyone manage to get a cupcake?” she asks. “Just making sure all my guests are prepared for the day ahead”

There’s a varied chorus of ‘yes’ across the group. Our host claps her hands together, and suddenly, something feels very, very wrong. It’s small, unnoticeable to the untrained eye. Her sickly sweet smile twitches, and her eyes lock like a cat who just saw a mouse skitter right in her path.

“Good. Because one of those cakes was poisoned” she states. The tone is different; a little deeper, blunt yet eager.

Silence befalls the room. Blood drains from the collective faces.

“I feel sick…” someone quietly groans.

“I knew something tasted wrong” another one moans.

“Am I gonna die?” one more cries in a panicked tone.

M wags a finger at us.

“Now, now, just having someone drop dead that easily would be no fun” she begins, then gestures her hands to the rest of the room. “I’ve hidden an antidote somewhere in this room. Best start looking, I was told that poison kicks in quickly”

All hell breaks loose.

My thoughts are racing, trying to fathom what to do. Chairs are being thrown, posters torn and carpeting ripped up as the desperate attempts to recover the life saving liquid. Some of them resort to clawing at one another, wanting it all for themselves. Self preservation is a ugly thing.

And then, out the corner of my eye, I see it.

At the height of the panic, Mally calmly reaches into her jeans pocket, retrieving a small vial with a red liquid inside. I watch in disbelief as she unscrews the cap, swallowing it. Her face twists in disgust, like a child would when drinking medicine. She then dumps the cupcake case in the bin.

Now, I’m not an angry person. Nary do I have an outburst. 

But, something about the sheer audacity and confusion of the act had my hands flying for the punch bowl, hurling it to the floor. It shatters, the sound of crunching glass catching the others attention. The room returns to quiet once more. All that could be heard were panicked breaths and frustrated growls as we all glared at the devil, sat upon her plastic throne, with that awful cheshire grin.

“Perhaps I neglected to mention, the poisoned cake was mine” she mentions calmly.

Naturally, a couple of the pissed off people lunge for her. However, between a gun-shot and a shuriken, each one swiftly drops to the floor. At the entrance of the room stand two people I recognised from previous, similarly violent ventures. 

Sakura and Roux. Mally’s bodyguards. 

And now I got what the ‘M’ stood for, a little too late.  

No-one else dares do anything. Mally jumps onto her feet, skipping over to the two and planting a kiss on each of their cheeks.

“Toodles” she says, waving as we’re left behind in the wake of the destruction.

I had so many questions about everything that transpired that day. Though, I promptly learned I’d likely never get an answer. Time marched on. More and more stories emerged about the devil, and none of them really explained much of anything. 

A child burning ants, a misunderstood genius, a budding psychopath, or all of the above?

I’d never know, and for once I don’t think I want to know.