I've been playing a lot of Silent Hill lately, which has left me in a very dark and depressive mindset, so, suffering from writer's block with regards to The Dark Bank Of The River, I wrote this. I don't intend this story to be as long or as complex as The Dark Bank Of The River or No Man's Land, just something to pour my dark ponderings into. If you have iTunes or whatever and aren't averse to my taste in music, you might like to listen to each chapter's suggested soundtrackwhilst reading, or you might like to Google the lyrics, since the songs are all picked to reflect the central message of the chapter. Or, you might just ignore it completely, it's up to you. :-)

This is setnot longafter AOD. Lara and Kurtis have parted company with no plans to stay in contact. Lara is still suffering from her scrape with the pyramid in The Last Revelation and Kurtis finds himself without the taste of revenge he wanted on Eckhardt. Lara has been home for some time now but Kurtis, having stayed in hospital to recover fromhis injury, is only just returning.

Partners In Crime

Soundtrack: Nymphetamine by Cradle of Filth - Gothic Rock

Desperate To Taste Life

The provocative outfit made her look like a prostitute, and that was exactly what Lara wanted. Walking briskly down the streets of the roughest parts of London at three in the morning, the ponytail high on her head swinging violently with each step, she frequented the alleys and back streets until she got what she wanted. A fight.

She gasped as cold metal appeared at her throat and an arm wrapped firmly around her waist, pinning her own arms to her side. Kicking and struggling, she was pulled back into an alleyway to her left and shoved roughly into a corner between a wall and a fence.

With her head bowed menacingly and her eyes blazing darkly, she got to her feet and spat out the bile-tainted saliva that had risen to her mouth when the knife had been pressed to her windpipe. Her attacker advanced on her, knife raised, ready to subdue.

Crying out fiercely, Lara gave off a vicious arcing kick that knocked theblade from his hand, and leapt on him as he staggered from the blow. He fell to the ground under her weight, raising his arms to his face to protect himself as she rained punches down upon him. He cried out in pain and kicked, his foot catching her inner thigh. Her own cry of pain echoed down the alley and she paused in her attack, leaving herself open long enough for him to push her off him and jump to his feet.

Lara was already half way to standing herself when a kick landed on her cheek, snapping her head to the side and sending her falling sideways, her arms out to break her fall. Another kick was forced to her stomach as her knees hit the floor, flipping her over onto her back and drawing a scream of pain from her.

Recovering quickly, she flung her arm to the side and clawed for the knife, realising at the last moment that the rapist was about to bring his heel down on her ribs. She rolled to safety, simultaneously lengthening her reach enough to snatch the knife up. As her opponent staggered from the sudden loss of his foot's target she rolled again, ending on her knees and jumping to her feet. Expertly, she threw the knife, missing his ear by inches and knocking him off guard, leaving him open long enough for her to attack with a spinning kick to his shoulder, then a straight one to his side as he fell, and then she dropped to her knees to straddle him where he hit the floor and rained blow upon blow to his head until he finally blacked out.

Breathing heavily from the exertion, she got unsteadily to her feet, glared at her unconscious assailant and, leaving the knife in the alley, took off at a run.

The door to Kurtis' apartment swung open and he took one step into the room. Dropping his shoulder, he let his bag slide down his arm to the floor, and stood, looking around the room. A sigh escaped his lips - one much like that of someone returning from their vacation, disappointed to come back to their normal, every day lives where they hated their job and didn't get paid enough and their social life was stale - and then he kicked the door shut behind him.

His hand swept across the top of the stereo, wiping away weeks of electrically-attracted dust, and then he flicked it on to the preset radio station and moved to the window. He swept the drapes aside and sighed again at the view that greeted him. An unremarkable city view of tower blocks and billboards and scraps of blue sky with the occasional fluffy cloud. An unremarkable view whose only change since his departure was the swapping of the billboards to more current ads.

He sighed and flopped into a chair.

It was whilst he was at the trash chute disposing of the rotten food left from his refrigerator that he met his new neighbour. He straightened up and turned at the tentative 'hi' from the girl peeking out from behind her door, attracted enough by the unfamiliar sounds of the next apartment to come and meet the mysterious occupant who hadn't been home since before she'd moved in. One look at her face and he ran a hand through his hair, smiled, and within two hours was screwing her.

In the short time beforehand, sat on her sofa and smiling and nodding periodically whilst staring at her cleavage she'd told him about herself, but by the time he marched out of her apartment still buttoning his shirt and without a backward glance, he still hadn't bothered to register her name.