Creature of Unknown Origin


told me, about Dr. Richards and Kelman —the man he’d shot when he took me in— and how Delia

had recruited him, he’d left one thing out, a thing I knew was all too important to overlook.

“Hey, Spence?” I started, not sure how to ask him, “why do you do this?”

His eyes cut to me again and his hands clenched around the steering wheel just a little

harder before he relaxed again. “Do what?”

“You know… the thing, the ‘kidnap or kill people for money’ thing?” Regret instantly

flooded my bloodstream, stale and heavy.

He checked the rearview mirror, ensuring Howie and Delia were still right behind us. “It’s


I swallowed hard, trying to drown the doubt in the memories of how much Spencer had

helped me over the last few months. “Okay. Sorry I brought it up.”

Spencer reached over and intertwined his fingers with the hand I had in my lap, squeezing

gently. “It’s okay, Av. It’s just a hard question to answer, because I don’t know anymore.”

“Then why do you still do it?”

“With a record like mine, I doubt I’ll find reasonable employment,” He laughed, a sound

that died almost as soon it’d started. Spencer’s grip on the wheel tightened, but this time, his fingers

didn’t loosen again. “Well, here we are.”

I stared out the windshield. He’d stopped the truck in front of a log cabin with thick

chinking and the telltale wear of dilapidation.

“Are you sure?” I jumped at the sound of Delia’s and Howie’s car doors slamming shut

beside us. My eyes lingered on them long enough to watch Delia wave Howie off and stiffly limp

toward the cabin’s front porch.

“Unless Howie got it wrong, then yeah, I’m sure.”

“How often does he get things wrong?”

“When it comes to things like this, hardly ever,” he turned to me, schooling the grim

expression that had highlighted the worry lines of his face, and quirked his lips into a sly smirk.

“But if you’re looking for easy money, play poker with him. He’s too busy calculating the odds to

pay attention to the cards in his hand.”

I laughed, a long, uninhibited laugh that I hadn’t allowed myself in a long time as I undid

my seatbelt.

“I wish! His brain’s his own worst enemy!”

Made with FlippingBook Online newsletter