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"Loop" (2020)


Six-foot tall, neon-pink letters illuminated the drizzly streets of downtown Brooklyn. The sign audibly buzzed, an irritating noise partially drowned out by the hum of electric traffic ambulating through wet streets. Everything seemed to have a digital haze to it, from the vehicles and nightclubs, to the fifty-foot advertisements plastered on crumbling buildings, right down to the quietly clicking fingers of the detective stood before the filthy establishment.⁣

Inside one coat pocket, the enhanced detective thumbed at a gaudy, magenta matchbook. He hated this goddamn bar.⁣

Ducking beneath yellow police tape, Detective Keaton Crane reluctantly stepped inside. Amber-coloured irises scanned the grimy interior, an internal system logging notes — a sticky patch of floor here, peeling wallpaper there, a blood splatter decorating the chrome silver bar just ahead. The place was a dive at the best of times, but it sank to Atlantean levels when moonlighting as a gory crime scene.⁣

“Who invited the tinhead!?” ⁣

Holliday’s brash tone barrelled across the room, punctuating the slur with a cocksure smarminess that made Crane wince. Being the chief of police, the tactless oaf was a constant presence at crime scenes around the city, which made Crane’s job infinitely more difficult — the guy was an idiot at best, and an obstructive, confrontational bigot at worst. ⁣

“Evening, Holliday.” The words left Crane’s lips in a terse, formal greeting, digital eyes already back on the corners and curves of the room. Each shadowy edge hid a wealth of information, evidence that the boorish idiot ahead of him could never hope to locate alone.⁣

“You lookin’ for stripper panties with those things, eh Crank?” ⁣

The nickname. It’d only taken 24 seconds for it to surface — a new record. 𝘈𝘵 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘵 𝘏𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘥𝘢𝘺 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘨𝘰𝘰𝘥 𝘢𝘵 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨.⁣

With a single turn away from Holliday, Crane’s blacklight feature illuminated smeared fluid crudely painted along the back wall. A huge, meandering symbol decorated the peeling wallpaper, each painted edge ragged with frantic swipes, an almighty lemniscate dripped neon— the universal symbol for 𝙞𝙣𝙛𝙞𝙣𝙞𝙩𝙮.

Originally written and shared as part of Verbuary 2020:

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