Under the Arches (Teacup Story)

“Do you have it?”

Lauren nodded, hand still tucked inside her jacket. It might not seem much, this little tin box full of blue powder, but it was going to change the world.

Their world.

Vaskier slipped out of the shadows that spilled from under the arches. Lauren could feel her skin crawl as Vaskier smiled at her, the tell tale pointed teeth showing his true nature.

“It was as hard as you said it was,” Lauren said, pulling it out of her jacket and holding it in her hand. Vaskier’s eyes watched the box greedily. He was desperate for the drug, or at least the drug he thought he was getting.

If he sensed Lauren had double crossed him, she was dead. Or worse, he would turn her into one of his coven. Like the others that huddled in the shadows under the Arches.

“Hand it over then,” Vaskier said, holding out his hand.

“Not until I get my payment,” Lauren said, “you said half deposit, half on collection.”

Vaskier smiled. Lauren felt her blood run cold, but she stood firm. She had to do this, for the safety of everyone in the Segment. Vaskier and his kind had to be eradicated like the rats they were.

Lauren pictured her children, her Jodie and Sam. They would be almost ten and seven now.

It had been years since she had seen them, but this line of work was not one for parenthood. Their father, Richard, had them safe in the Segment up north. Far away from the Arches.

From danger.

“I want what I’m owed,” Lauren said, holding the box tight.

Vaskier hissed.

“It’s only fair,” Lauren said.

“Life’s not fair,” Vaskier said, his eyes darting to the box.

“Look, I get it, you’ve got a family, I’ve got a family,” Lauren said, “I need to feed them somehow, like you need to feed yours.”

She flicked the box in her wrist, holding it out to Vaskier.

“Come on,” she said, “we had a deal. And I know you’re not dishonourable.”

Vaskier smiled.

“You at least have a conscience, for a witch,” he said, digging into his pocket and drawing out a small purple vile. Vampire blood. It was very rare, very hard to get hold off, and one of the only ingredients missing from Lauren’s Truyena potion which she needed to finish by midnight.

“And you for a vampire,” Lauren said, holding her hand out as she held the box out. She forced her smile to stay on her face as Vaskier handed over the vial to her, whilst tugging the box out of her hand.

“Thank you,” he said, opening the box to check the contents. Lauren did the same too, a simple scrying spell over the bottle told her it was what she wanted.

She watched at Vaskier held the box to his nose, sniffing it.

Come on, Lauren thought.

Vaskier snapped the box shut.

“Good doing business with you,” Vaskier said, turning away and stalking into the darkness behind the arches.

“You too,” Lauren said, as she gestured with her free hand. A broom coalsed out of the air next to her. There was enough spell power left to get her north of the M25, out of central London.

That would, hopefully, be far enough to be considered safe when the Vampires starting dying.

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