Katya pulled off her motorcycle helmet and stared up at the building in front of her. “This appears to be it. What do you think?” She pushed one stray piece of her hot pink hair up behind her ear.
“Justice says this is the place.” Mac got off his bike beside her. He tucked his glasses into his shirt and climbed off his bike. “She’s usually right.” Justice was the leader of their little group, and she was rarely wrong about the location of over-looked valuables.
Danny stopped beside them both. “Cool. A real library. I’ve never seen one of those before. ‘Cept in pictures.”
The building was three stories of gray-brown stone, the color of young pigeons. The fluted columns in front were chipped and marred with bright yellow and red graffiti, the same graffiti that covered the plywood over where the front doors used to be. Katya thought that the stairs appeared to be marble, but she couldn’t be sure. No one built with stone anymore.
Katya looked over at Mac and raised her eyebrows. “Are we on, then? We’re wasting daylight just standing here, babe.” This sector of the city hadn’t had power in over twenty years, and the sun would be setting pretty soon. Katya knew how to handle herself, but she still didn’t want to get caught off-grid after dark unless it was absolutely necessary. And the pay off here, while enticing, wasn’t enough that she wanted to risk her neck for it.
“Hell, yeah.” Danny pushed his bike towards the alley that opened onto the street to the left of the library. “Let’s park these suckers and get in there.”
Mac followed him. Katya sighed and shoved her bike forward.
The heavy heat and smog that always hung over the city made her leather jacket feel like it weighed fifty pounds. The asphalt was still hot under her boots.
They ended up stashing their bikes in the shadows of a rotten-smelling dumpster half-way to the back of the building. Katya didn’t even want to imagine what might have died inside; however, the smell would keep all but the most determined from coming down the alley. And should they not get out of the building until after dark, well, at least they could follow the smell back.
Katya grabbed her own small pack, as well as a flashlight and followed Mac and Danny down the alley towards the back of the building. Correction. The back of the “library”.
In front of her, Mac’s short blond hair almost gleamed in the fading sunlight. Danny followed him closely as he looked for a good entrance to the abandoned building. Most of the windows had cracked panes but a network of rusted security bars left no way in.
Katya winced every time broken glass crunched under Danny’s boots. Every time she heard the ting of a metal can being kicked out of his way. Danny would never be able to sneak up on anyone. He didn’t have the patience or the guile.
Mac would have said that he didn’t have the intelligence either, but Mac was bit more blunt than Katya. Sometimes, she wasn’t even sure why Mac let Danny tag along with them. He didn’t seem to like the kid very much.
[Read the rest of the story at Dark Fire Fiction]