Greylands, Part 2: Firefly

by Chelsea Miller

The ever constant rain helped Firefly wash the seed from her dirty blonde hair. She shuddered as she passed through the silver gates of one of the mansions in the Golden Tracks. Not from the cold rain, but shuddering from her latest client. She closed her eyes and tried to forget his sagging skin and horrible breath. His aging wife had watched from the shadows of their rich bedroom. He told her that was the only way, was if the wife got to watch. Firefly was alright with that, but she charged him double for the audience. When he was done, Fly got dressed and scoured the house for valuables and food while he and his wife had a go.

At least she got a nice haul this time. On top of the twenty bucks he gave her for her services, she was able to lift a silver picture frame and a few boxes of pre-packaged granola bars. She opened the frame and discarded the photo of the couple who had just violated her senses and shoved it back in her bag to possibly trade for something that would be of use to her trade. Perhaps a new skirt or boots, hers were getting scuffed and discoloured from everyday use.

Dressed in her best, she got whistles and hoots as she walked down the street. She ignored them. She limited herself to three clients per day to avoid getting any diseases or a reputation for being a whore. No one in the Shadows knew what her “talent” was, except of course Jack and Maverick. Everyone just thought she was a really good thief.

Checking over her shoulder to make sure no one was following her or saw her turn down the alley, Firefly made her way through the tunnels and back down to her home. She made it to her room, relatively unnoticed, and dumped off her bag and got undressed. She used her wet shirt to wash herself as best she could and tugged on some dry garments to cover her damp gooseflesh.

She despised what she did, but it was the only way for her to be useful. To stay in the Shadows, you needed a purpose, and this was hers.

“Knock, knock,” Bookworm’s voice came through the black curtain that separated her room from the open area.

“What is it, dweeb?” she called back.

He poked his head around the curtain, “Maverick wants you to find the new girl some clothes,” he said.

Firefly sighed and rolled her eyes, she didn’t like this new girl, not one bit. “Fine, whatever, go tell him I’m on it.” Just as quickly as he had appeared, he was gone. She hated having to jump at everyone’s commands, especially Maverick’s. She rummaged through her belongings and managed to find some clothes that might fit Alexis. She picked up the bundle and moved through the curtain backwards, and bumped right into Mosh on her way out.

“You should really be watching where you’re going Little Fly, never know who you’ll bump into down here.” Mosh’s wink and the nickname he used for her made her melt inside. She had to fight to keep the goofy smile from her face. She didn’t want him to know how she really felt, she was damaged goods, and no one would want her now. She’d been with too many people, even at her ripe age of fourteen.

“My hands were full,” was all she could manage. She mentally reprimanded herself for the stupid response.

“I see that,” Mosh replied and leaned on the wall next to her door. “You alright? You seemed a little off earlier when I passed by, came to check on you.”

She rolled her eyes again, “Obviously I’m fine, I’m always fine. But thanks for checking on me.”

Mosh motioned to her bundle with his chin, “You doing laundry or somethin’?”

Suddenly remembering she had somewhere to be, Firefly hurried her reply, “Oh shit, I have to bring this stuff to the new girl, Mav’s orders.” She shook her head and zoomed off down the hall away from her crush. Once around the corner she buried her face in her clothes and screamed. She always felt so stupid around him. Why did she have to be such a girl all the time? Shaking off the failed episode with Mosh, she made her way to the library where Maverick was waiting. She knew that’s where he was since he sent Worm to look for her.

She passed through the door on the opposite side of the library from where the washrooms were located; Maverick was waiting near the ladies’ room with a coy smile just for her.

“‘Ello gorgeous,” he said with a wink, this one didn’t make her melt.

“You sent for these,” she said while trying to hand Mav the pile of clothes. He shook his head and pointed toward the bathroom door.

“Damsel’s in there, men aren’t allowed,” he chuckled at his joke, and then eyed her from head to toe. “You get more beautiful by the day, my sweet Firefly.” She repulsed at his touch as he tucked a piece of hair behind her ear. She squirmed away and eyed him with a sneer. “Why do you always gotta be so creepy, Mav?”

Maverick shrugged, “It’s part of my charm.” He adorned a serious expression for his next words. “Did you work today?” Firefly rolled her eyes and nodded clearly annoyed.

“You were safe, I’m assuming?” He gave her his most stern eyes.

“Yes, Mav, obviously I was, you think I’m stupid?” she said through gritted teeth. He smiled brightly, despite her belligerent tone. Mav ruffled her still-damp hair and turned her around toward the washrooms.

“Be a good lass and tell the Damsel not to wash too much. I want her dirty for Pops. He’ll like that.” He swatted her butt to get her moving. She turned and scowled before pushing through the door.

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