Watchmen (c) Alan Moore and Dave Gibbins, I only entertain this absurdly fluffy idea.
Only character I own is Samantha Haley. And a few extraneous characters that no one will remember in the end. (Yes, I purposefully gave her JEH's last name. :))
Please don't kill me for doing this to Rorschach. It was something I had to get out of my brain. Rated M for language and violence, 'specially in the later chapters. Not sure if can actually be called "Mary-Sue"…but don't hate me…please?
Looking for constructive reviews, please.
Author's Note: Welcome and enjoy!
THE NEW AGE TENANT
July 7, 1964 - New York City, New York
"Apartment for rent?" The flower child looked at the seven story building as she adjusted the purse that crossed her body. She turned around, giving the neighborhood a good once over while deciding. She saw several Knot-Heads and KT-28s, several homeless, and quite a few prostitutes. The area was more than a little sketchy, but she didn't really mind the danger it portrayed.
The girl walked up the front steps to the door. She made to grab the knob when it turned and a man bumped into her. His cigarette fell to the ground and his beer bottle slipped through his fingers.
"Sorry," she said, grabbing the chilled beer before it hit the ground.
"S'ok. Was finished wit the butt anyway." The man took the beer as it was handed back to him. He looked the girl up and down. She was a bombshell; full lips, long hair, and plenty of curve. The was something off about her green eyes, but he gave it little thought as he smiled at her smile.
"I still feel bad. Do you know where I ask about the apartment?" The girl pointed to the advertisement taped to the brick wall.
"Ms. Shairp; top floor, door at the end of the hall." The man slid another cigarette in his mouth and pointed to the stairs behind him.
"Thank you." The hippie waved as she entered the building and started jogging up the stairs. The man lit up and watched her jog away.
"Some fine wiggle on that flower child," the tenant whispered to himself as he walked down the stairs to the street.
The young bohemian made her way up six flights with plenty of breath. She had looked along each floor as she passed. Three rooms per floor wasn't a bad set up. She stopped on the top floor; just beyond the final flight, to readjust her purse once more. She looked down the hall to the door at the end. This floor looked and smelled the most foreboding of them all. She walked past an apartment that smelled sugary sweet mingle with rust.
She continued past the sweet apartment to the one on the end. She knocked on the landlady's door and heard a ruckus on the other side. Before the door even opened, the flower child smelled smoke, sex, and children. Specifically bubblegum, vomit, and shit.
"Will you shad'p?" screamed an angry, slightly crackled voice on the other side of the door. The girl heard the chain lock slide, the dead bolt recede, and the simple knob lock unlock. "Wut?" the woman asked.
"Ms. Shairp?" the girl questioned, resisting the urge to pinch her nose against the smells wafting from the apartment. The woman said nothing, only puffed at her cigarette, so the girl continued talking; in hopes of some response. "I'm inquiring about the apartment for rent." The scent coming from the landlady's place was almost overwhelming enough to make the girl change her mind, but she figured if she didn't have to see her landlady too often, she could live with it. Ms. Shairp took in the whole look of the beatnik standing before her. She sighed and reached back for the master keys.
"You stay in this apartment and don't go near the goddamn windows, ya hear me, Michael?" Shairp spat at her child. He nodded slowly while turning his head to the open, screenless window. "Michael!"
He turned back and said, "Yes, mom," A well faked, sweet looking smile on his not-so-innocent face. The girl looked the little boy up and down quickly. He was a nasty looking little thing, but couldn't be much older than thirteen.
"Good boy. Follow me." Ms. Shairp stepped from her apartment, gently closing the door behind her. They stopped across the hall from the sweet smelling room. The bohemian child glanced back at its door, wondering who lived on the other side.
"This is it," Shairp said as she unlocked the door. She pushed the door open and allowed the hippie to pass her. The girl entered the apartment and smiled. She scanned the living room; it was spacious despite already having furniture taking up most of its space with windows that lead to the fire escape.
"Did the previous tenants leave these?" she asked, running a hand along the spine of the couch.
"They did. Lef' in a hurry, didn' like the neighbors." Ms. Shairp tossed her head to the room across the hall. "It comes with heat and hot water, jus' remember that the whole building uses the water tower. Gets refilled ev'ry couple o' weeks, 'cept in the wintah. We're a bit behind, so all we have is gas." Shairp yawned as she watched the flower child wonder around the apartment.
"I prefer cooking with gas," the girl said as she entered the little kitchen. A table big enough to seat four sat against the wall, all its chairs still in place. She walked to the fridge; almost dreading to open it, but did anyway and was most relieved to find it empty. "At least they were kind enough to clean it out," she whispered, closing the door to the chill box. Two gallons of freezer burnt vanilla ice cream still sat in the bottom freezer.
"Bedroom is on the other side o' the place, door to the bathroom's in there." Ms. Shairp pointed to the opposite end of the apartment as the flower child exited the kitchen. She surveyed the beatnik a little closer. Something was...off about the girl. Sure she was beautiful, but something about her was different from other girls; and hippies, her age.
The girl was smiling broadly as she exited the bedroom. "How much?"
"Hun'red bucks a month. Need to pay 'lectricity and cable yourself." Ms. Shairp pointed her dying cigarette to the TV. The hippie looked around the living room once more before turning to the landlady.
"I'll take it," she said, opening the windows to allow some air to pull out the musty smell of the unused apartment. She turned to see Ms. Shairp staring her down. "I want to be close to the city, always have. This is probably the closest I'm going to get at this great a price." The girl gestured to the city; she couldn't see, through the seventh floor windows.
"Jus' unusual is all," the landlady whispered to herself. She leaned up against the door jam before asking, "How ol' are you?"
"Nineteen," the flower child replied.
"Ain't that a littl' young t' be on your own?"
"Not these days," the girl smiled. Shairp smirked.
"I want the first hun'red by the end o' the week. Miss...?" the landlady asked, extending her grimy hand to her new tenant.
"Haley. Samantha Haley." She placed her hand in her new landlady's.
"Well, Sammy," Ms. Shairp started.
"Samantha." Ms. Shairp stared at the girl still clasping her hand. There was something in her odd eyes that told her she had better not try to call her new tenant anything other than Samantha.
"Sorry, Samantha." Ms. Shairp released the hippie's hand and turned as the door across the hall opened. The man living in the opposite apartment stepped out. He cast sharp glances at the two women before walking on. Even though Ms. Shairp knew his views, she thought it would be best to introduce the two neighbors, before the little bohemian tried something stupid.
"Kovacs." Shairp motioned for Samantha to follow her.
"Ms. Shairp," Kovacs said as he turned on the spot to face his landlady and the young woman behind her. He looked her up and down. She was ginger like himself and a flower child, but that was all he noticed about her.
"Walter Kovacs, meet your new floor mate, Samantha Haley." Ms Shairp motioned to both tenants, knowing he wouldn't make any move. Samantha extended her hand.
"Pleasure to meet you," she said with a sweet smile. Walter looked at her hand then back to her face.
"Hurm," was all he said before turning away to walk down the stairs. Samantha found herself staring at him. There was something tragic written in his features. He was compact, had a short tussle of ginger hair, and a face covered in freckles with several scars. She watched him glare at her as he descended the stairs.
"He's a bit backward. Dudn't like women very much. Mother's prob'ly a whore an' beat on him a lot... I think. Anyway, enjoy livin' 'ere. Here's your key. You bring an'one over, keep it as quiet as possible. Slot there," Shairp pointed to a small mail slot next to her door. "Tha's for the rent. Jus' drop it in. You need help movin' in, ask friends, not me. We clear?" Ms. Shairp rested both hands on her hips, staring her new tenant down.
"I understand. I already have a friend willing to help me move in. And I promise to keep it down to a dull roar," Samantha said without looking to her new landlady. She was still staring at the spot where Walter Kovacs had vanished down the stairs. Shairp shrugged her shoulders and walked back to her own apartment.
Samantha stood in the hall another moment, ignoring the sounds of shouting coming from her landlady's home. She faintly heard swears, smacks landing on flesh, and a child crying. Samantha face her owners apartment and imagined that was going to be something she heard a lot of in the coming months. She looked back to the stairs before turning to her own residence. She opened the door and turned to stare at the door that lead to the home of Walter Kovacs.
"He's not backward, he's fascinating," she said before walking into her own apartment.