A Hootoo Story

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Chapter 4

Khamsin had been assigned to finishing off some murals as an artist in the city when a local gang stepped up behind him.
'We are peers and we are here to review your work.'
The voice of the lead thug was rough. Khamsin looked around seeing the crowd was carrying all sorts of weapons of mass destruction; crow bars, paint and the like. Khamsin shook his head and turned away from the crowd.
'Listen up, we are here to review your latest mural!'

Khamsin turned, looking angry but still keeping his voice level and calm.
'No sir you are not, I do not answer to you. This work was commissioned by Jimster as were all the others and if you have something to take up, take it up with him.'
He then turned and went back to his mural plans making sure he was doing his job right.
The posse started talking amongst themselves, Khamsin could hear them talking about the bits they liked and the bits they didn’t, unfortunately he heard more bits that they didn’t like rather than the things they did. Standing up Khamsin turned and faced the crowd arms crossed waiting for whatever it was they were going to say.
'We have decided that this piece is unacceptable and will have to be removed, forcibly if need be.'

'And which of you will be painting the mural in my place?'
He looked through the crowd at each one individually in turn, considering his opponents in a situation that could turn nasty at any minute.
'Which of you is going to do a better job?'
Khamsin waited even longer waiting for one of them to reply, they looked at each other looking for someone to volunteer. There was a coughing in the crowd though its direction was indistinct
'Well then, ladies and gentlemen it is time to leave.'

Everyone turned to leave, when all of an instant almost as if someone had tripped over an old jukebox and started it playing, came the slow Mexican music. The music was followed a whipping sound straight into the middle of the crowd causing them to scatter. Stood on top of a neighbouring garbage can in a black costume, kitchen knife in one hand and whip in the other
'It is I El…'
but one of the crowd pulled out a shotgun and emptied a shell into the old jukebox that was by the garbage can.

'NATS, you just had to go and wind them up! You are supposed to be retired!'
Khamsin shouted across to the black figure as the crowd started to riot. Bowing her head Nats disappeared down a brightly lit alley and then down a dark one trying to find the underworld. Khamsin afraid for his life dived into an old derelict tea shop.

Over the course of the next couple of hours, art and statues were torn down all down the city, making room for new ones but with no one to replace them, as with Khamsin’s disappearance, the other artists that had been doing art around the community also disappeared.


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