“Sorry, but ah need a ride real bad.”
“Get in,” he said. As she was entering the cab she heard him grumbling something but she couldn’t make it out. “Where to, kid?”
“Nearest hotel, but not too expensive.”
“Yea, yea,” he grumbled.
The ride lasted all of ten minutes. Rogue paid her fare and looked at the place. Shea Motel, not the nicest place she ever seen but it would do. She saw an old drunk walking towards the front steps. He almost fell over on top of her. She jumped back startled. She wasn’t sure if the guy really scared her, or if she just wasn’t used to touching people yet. The Motel looked like one of those old brownstones like she saw in New York, but this one was a lot more run-down. She walked up the three stone steps to the entrance door and made her way inside. It didn’t look like much from the outside but at least it looked fairly clean on the inside.
She walked up to the front desk where she saw a woman looking to be in her forties smoking a cigar.
“Ah’d like a room, please,” she said.
“Yea, honey, whatever your pleasure.”
She could tell the woman wasn’t a native. She didn’t have any kind of accent at all. “Hey, Burn,” she shouted. “Get the lady’s bags.”
“Ah, Sally, don’ yah see we’s playin’ cards.”
“Just get your worthless Cajun ass over here.”
“It’s alright, only got one,” Rogue said.
“Okay, sweetie, here’s your key. Burn’ll show yah to your room.” Sally was still waiting for him. “Burn!” she shouted. “What I tell yah.”
He growled a bit. “Let’s be goin’, girly.”
Burn escorted Rogue to her room. She was grateful because all she wanted to do now was sleep. She didn’t even bother unpacking. She just plopped down on the bed and fell asleep still in her traveling clothes. She was so tired that she didn’t even notice that she left the door wide open.
A few hours later she awok e to find someone on top of her; it was the old drunk she bumped into outside the motel. She wanted to scream but nothing would come out. Don’t panic , she told herself. That’s the worst thing yah can do . She remembered all those danger room sessions and some sort of instinct kicked in. With the man’s hand on her throat and arms pinned down, her legs were still free, so she gave him a good kick in the crotch. He rolled off of her howling in pain, while she stumbled onto the floor. That gave her enough time to get to her feet and run for the door. As soon as she reached it, he grabbed her from behind.
“Hey, girly, that not nice.”
He had his hands around her neck, so she used all her strength to flip him over, well almost. It didn’t actually go off like that, but it did give her enough time to grab her bag and run out of the room. She ran down the stairs and out the front door onto the streets of New Orleans.
“Well, that place was a waste a time, plus, yah almost got yahself killed.”
So she started walking. She was hungry anyway and wanted to find a bite to eat. This trip ain’t turnin’ out so great . She said to herself. She was regretting leaving altogether now. She found a little bar and grill not too far from the motel. She went in. It was crowded and that made her feel uneasy. She didn’t like crowds. She tried to tell herself that it was all in her head, mainly because she didn’t have her powers anymore. Can’t hurt anybody by touching anymore. Those days were gone.
She sat down at a table near the back. Soon a waiter approached. “Wha’ be yo’ pleasure?”
“Don’t know, what d’ you recommend?”
“Don’ worry, chere’, Jaque bring yah somethin’ tasty.”
The bar was bustling that night, men playing cards or pool and a few drunks getting thrown out. She just sat quietly at her table waiting for the waiter to bring her food. Suddenly the mood of the bar changed. It got suddenly quiet. A man in a trenchcoat entered and Rogue noticed many patrons burying their heads in their drinks.
“Hey, Remy,” the bartender said as the man in the trenchcoat sat down at the bar. “T’e usual.”
“Oui, Jaque, but a…make it a double, neh?”
“So where yah been? Ain’t seen yah ‘round. Too busy wid da ladies to visit ole friends.”
“Neh? Jus’ got some t’ings goin’?”
“Don’ wanna know,” he said.