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Harlow Sturluson was walking through the city. She had must have walked at least 15 miles that day. She was tired and hungry. She was angry and wanted too sleep. She sat down on a bench and pulled out a granola bar from her pocket. "sigh..." She ripped the ackage open and ate it. Chocolate chip. She hated chocolate, but ate it anyway.

ZJ walked to a street corner, it had been a long day there were no cases so he had nothing to do but mess with magic. He saw a girl on a bench, it was late and Z knew Hub City was no place for a girl as beautiful as her at night. 

Harlow sighed again, took her sweatshirt off from her waist, and put it on. It was gonna be a long night befoe the near by boxing ring would open. She wanted to sleep through all the time before opening, so she laid down on the bench. She made a face. The bench was so horribly uncomfortable.

This girl was obviously in a hard place so he wlked to the bench. "Hi names ZJ may I sit here?"

"hmph." She moved her feet, a 'yes' for him to sit. "what do you want? I'm kind of trying to get some sleep. I've got a big day tomarrow."

The girl seemed upset about something but Z didn't ask. "I just know that Hub City is no place for a girl at night except for umm," Z pointed to a couple of prostitutes on the  corner, "If you need a place to sleep I've got a rather large house. you could freshen up, get some rest, and do whatever you had planned. But first, you could use something to eat"

She jumped at the word "eat". She was starving. She didn't quite want to go home with this guy, but if he could get her some food, she could chow down and then bail. "Food... alright... What do you have to eat?" She sat up, stomach growling.

She and ZJ went back to his house. "What do you want?" ZJ asked. this girl had obviously not eaten in a while, and the way she was dressed, he was surprised no pervert had hit on her.

"everything." She replied. She sat down on a chair. It was warm in here, not cold... She was content, but her pride didn't allow her to show enjoyment.

"Do you like burgers?" he asked nicely, trying not to seem like he was trying to pick her up.

She nodded. She had dark circles under her eyes, and scars on her arms. She was out of smokes and needed one. Bad. "Do you have any cigarettes?" She asked quietly. Might as well ask. If he doesn't, he doesn't. If he does, score.

"Regub d'na setteragis" he said and there appeared a big cheeseburger and a pack of Marlboro. He gave her the burger but kept the cigs "How old are you?" he asked. 

"I'm old enough. Now gimmie." She said, mouth full of the burger. It was amazing. She was starving.She could have eaten 4 of these if she wanted. What she really wanted was her smokes. She was tense and needed to be calmed down.

"nope." he said forcing her to reveal hern age.

She grinned. "Dammit, boy. Gimmie my smokes." She was close to snapping. She needed them. And the truth was, she had no idea how old she was. She rarely knew the date, let alone her birth date. She could be 15. She could be 27. She had no clue. She always had some random stranger by her cigarettes because of this.

ZJ handed her the pack "You are 18 years old" he was immediately embarrassed "Sorry. had to read your mind" he blushed.

"whatever." There was no way she was 18. She had always said she was, though. It was probably that mental state claiming she was 18 that this guy had read. She finished her burger, leaned back in her chair, an lit a cigarette. She smoked freely inside. She didn't care if this guy threw her out. She got a free pack of smokes and food in her stomach. She was fine sleeping outside. "But if you read my mind again, I'll rip your spine in half."

"I sincerely apologize. it was a violation of privacy" he said. "Sragic d'na eniw neetenin ytnin neves" a fancy box of cigars appeared and a bottle of cheap but old aged wine. "Care for one?" ZJ asked holding a cigar.

Her eyes lit up. She bent the cigarette in half and crushed it. She threw it on the floor, and reached for the wine. She ripped the cork of of the top of the bottle and drank some right out of the bottle. She set it down and reached for a cigar. She wasn't one much for cigars, but she loved wine. Especially cheap ones. Cigar in her mouth, she took the bottle in hand. "thanks."

"Welcome" said Z lighting his cigar and pouring himself a glass of wine. He felt good helping this girl it was a better use of his time than sitting around.

"My name is Malissa." She lied. She never told people her real name. She had so many. names, she never remembered a single on of them. Occasionally, when she would start to forget her real name, so she would write it big and bold on her hand. Her gloves always covered them, so she knew people would never find out, unless she took her gloves off, which she never ever does. "Say.. do you have a bath tub or shower here? It's been a few weeks, last time I bathed...

"Liar. Your name is Harlow Sturluson. But yes, I do have a bath upstairs. two doors on the right" he didn't understand why she would lie but oh well..

"Motherfucker..." She stood up and placed her hands on the table. "I told you not to go readin' my mind..." She was quite upset. She cracked her knuckles and started walking towards him. She was gonna start throwing punches at this guy.

"Yats llist" Z said freezing her "I didn't I saw that when I read it earlier"

"How the hell did you read under my glove? It wasn't even written towards the top!" She was gonna have some kind of attack if Z didn't free her. She needed to punch something. She needed to train. 

ZJ sensed her discomfort and freed her "Punch me if you want"

He had no idea how badly she wanted to punch him. She was going to. She raised her fist back and hit him square in the face. God, it felt good. She kept punching him, boxer stance. She was using him as a punching bag.

Z wasn't expecting it the first time but right after the first punch he blocked the rest. She was good possibly professional but he was pretty sure that if he tried he could beat her

Harlow couldn't believe it. This guy was blocking her! This filled her with rage even more. This..this magical doofus, of all people.... She turned around and punched a huge whole in his wall. She started panting. Why had she even come here? Thats right... food. She regretted the desision immidiatly. "Y'know what? I'm just gonna leave." She said, walking towards the front door.

"You should stay. you need a good nights rest, and more practice for the Tournament tomarrow" Z said hoping to get a rise out of her.

She whipped around. "I never told you a damned thing about the tournament tomattow!" She shouted. She figured the bastard read her mind again. She didn't like this guy goin' and reading her mind. He annoyed her, she felt like she was about to hit her breaking point.

Z laughed "It was a guess, you're obviously a boxer and Meta-Brawl is in town so I said what was logical"

She frowned. She wanted to sleep in a warm bed, but this guy... She didn't know if she could make it through the night without strangling him. "tsk.." She turned around an walked past him. She walked upstairs, undressed, and turned the water on for a shower. After the water was hot, she got in. This was just what she needed. A nice, warm, steamy shower to calm her down.

ZJ vot a good kick out of her rage. it was hilarious to him. He was starting to get attached to her, even though they just met. "No" he thought, "anyone I get close to seems to get killed.."

A while later, Harlow came downstairs, wrapped in ZJ's towel. "I used your towel. I couldn't find another one." She mumbled. She was gonna see how far she could push this guy, before getting kicked out.

" Ha I only have one towel" just then his phone rang "Hello" Z said "A case" "5,000" I'll  be right over

"Only one towel? How stupid..." She sighed. "Hey, uh, you goin' somewhere?" She asked, scratching her scalp. She was bored out of her mind. If this guy was going somewhere, so was she.

"Yeah. I have a case but I gotta warn you, my work can be dangerous" he said pulling his 44. out of a drawer and loading it.

"Heh, as if." She smirked. A case? this is the most excitment she's had in months. "welp, guess I'm coming with you. Give me 5 minutes." She went upstairs and changed into her clothes and brushed her hair. "Let's go." She grabbed ZJ by his arm and tugged on him towards the front door.

"My car is the other way, genius" Z said "Unless you'd rather walk"

"let's go for a little walk, then, shall we?" She continued out the front door with his arm in her hand. "So where are we going, anyway?" She asked as they got to the end of the driveway.

"The Slums bout two miles from here" said Z "Near the gym where Meta-Brawl is" 

"2 miles? That's nothing. On we go, then!" She started to speed walk in that direction.

"Can't we just walk!" Z screamed "You need to relax after all the drinking and smoking and fighting. I dont want to clean up a mess"

"Nonsense!" She shouted back. "I'm perfectly fine. Now hurry up before I steal that job away from you!" She started to walk faster.

"I wasn't aware you were a supernatural detective" said ZJ running, his dirty old trench coat flapping in the wind.

"I'm not. So where are we going? like the exact location?" She asked, slowing down a bit.

"Lee Apartment Complex room 77" said Z finally next to Harlow.

"I know where that is! I gambled at the casino near there, once." She started running at a rather fast speed. "Keep up, boy!"

She was fast. really fast. "Uh oh" Z thought, "I know that apartment"

A while later, they had arrived. "place hasn't changed at all. Still smells like drug deals and hookers." Harlow smiled and smelled the air outside. "Let's get goin', boy!" She shouted to ZJ, who was a little far behind. She walked inside.

They got to the room and ZJ knocked on the door. "Come in" said a voice from the inside.

Harlow slammed the door open. She didn't care how rude she was being. when she got inside, she spit on the carpet. 

"Question! tell me this isn't another conspiracy theory." said a rather upset Z

"I assure you this is real this time, John. I can feel it" said Question 

"Your name is John? what a stupid name..." Harlow mumbled as she rummaged through drawers, occasionally stealing something she saw of value.

"You in the sports bra, put the diamonds back now" said Question "Whos the girl?"

"Her name is Harlow and she's a friend. now why did you call me Q?" said ZJ

"Damn." she said as she put all but one diamond back. "and don't you go around telling people that we're 'friends', got it?" She demanded as she sat down on a chair.

"You know that old carnival outside of town" asked Q

"Yeah what about it?" said ZJ

"heh heh..." She giggled a bit. "You don't about the old abandoned carnival? The little cannibal that eats all that wander in? heh. And i thought you said you investigated ghosts and stuff?" She asked, biting her nail.

"I do" said Z glaring at Question

"Ah, you see everyone thinks it's just a cannibal but the cops have never made it out to confirm it" said Q looking at Harlow "I'm convinced that something more sinister is afoot"

"psh, all that cannibal is is a girl. She 'aint no ghost or demon. There's never been some sort of extravagant fiasco to happen there. Unless you count humans being eaten alive an extravagant fiasco. But if it was a ghost, I'm sure other wierd things would happen. Why don't we just leave this girl alone?" Harlow said. She  was slightly scared of this girl. The only thing that supported the cannibalism was rumors, but still. 

"I Know fear when I hear it Harlow, you scared?" asked ZJ trying to get on her nerves. she was cute when she got angry

"I just need to settle if it is a cannibal or something worse. To make it worth your while, I'll even throw in that diamond the girl has" said q

"Heh.." Harlow's blood was boiling. If she just went and prooved this stupid cannibal thing, she could be rich. At least rich in her eyes. "Make it two diamonds and you got yourself a deal, bud." She said walking over to Q, with her hand out for a handshake.

"I'm sorry are you also a supernatural detective?" asked Question

"I'm not any kind of detective. I'm a boxer that lives on the streets." She folded her arms. "I'm still getting diamonds, though. Right?"

"You have a deal Q, And yes Harlow. you may keep the diamond." said Z shaking Questions hand.

"They were for my girlfriend." mumbled Question while giving John 5,000 bucks plus, 2,000 extra for the danger.

"Good." She said as she stuffed the jewel in her pocket. "Welp, we best be headin' out. She said as she walked towards the door. She might as well face her fears.

John walked out the door and out to the street. after a couple minutes of awkward silence he finally spoke "So tell me about yourself" he said to Harlow

"Alright. When i was little, i had real bad anger issues. So, one day, when this kid punched my friend in the face, i lifted up the teachers desk and threw it at him. I got sent to the hospital, because i broke some bones. As i got older, my body became able to endure more damage. If you wanted, i could throw that car a good 20 feet." She said as she lit a cigarette.

"It has nothing to do with that magic bracelet" asked Z thinking whether or not he should have taken the job.

"One, I wanna know how you know this bracelet is magic. And 2, nope. I get all my strength from myself. I've been strong for a while, now. I've only had this bracelet for about a year." She replied. she saw the carnival, and slowed a bit. This cannibal.. most of the rumors have said that people get eaten alive... How truely terrifying.

"I don't know how to explain it but if you use magic like without an item you can sense other magic things" he said looking at the carnival "Stay out here, If I'm not back in an hour or two keep these  he said giving her the seven grand, his house keys and an adress that said 'Mom'.

Seven grand. She had seven grand in her hand. And house keys... She could take the seven grand, raid his place, and bail, never to be seen again... She gulped. This was hard for her to do, but she stuck it all in her pocket, and followed him. "as if I'm letting you in all by yourself." She was seeing this cannibal once and for all.

"Oh, the lonely merry-go-round is starting, Revolving around, the feelings of happiness, fun and loneliness." Amanda sung, as she sat side-saddle on a horse on the merry-go-round, which was spinning.

As ZJ walked in he could hear the souls of those who had been eaten screaming in his head crying for vengeance. It hurt and he couldnt concentrate, but he kept going.

"Thats her?! Harlow exclaimed as she pointed to the frilly girl riding the carnival. "She doesn't look scary at all!" She said, as she walked over towards her. Amanda had yet to see or hear the two.

"Harlow keep close, and look to the right of her" he whispered pointing at a pile of human bones "I don't want you dying on me, okay"?

Amanda noticed them. "Oh? Hello! Please, don't be alarmed.. These are prop bones from the horror house right over there." She pointed to the black maze, which indeed have skeletons hanging. If they were real or not was anybody's guess. "I'm not a cannibal, really... I don't know why people started all those rumors..I-I.. just don't get w-why people would be so cruel, and mean.." She started to cry.

Harlow walked over to the girl. "Humanity can be a bitch..." Harlow said as she gave her a hug and rubbed her back. Surely this sweet, innocent little girl couldn't be a cannibal...

"Harlow.." said ZJ. he couldn't use magic, and his head was pounding so hard he felt like screaming, but he kept hearing one voice singing something about a lonely merry-go-round.

"Heh.." Amanda sniffled. "yeah.. Hey, do you wanna go and play?" Amanda asked while wiping her eyes with her gloves.

Despite Amanda probably being older than herself, Harlow babied this girl like a little sister. "Sure! What first?" She asked, helping Amanda down. "and I'm Harlow, and this is my frie- acquaintance, ZJ."

"I'm Amanda! C'mon, The Maze of Mirrors is fun!" Amanda excaimed while tugging on Harlow's hand. When they reached ZJ, Amanda grabbed him with her other hand. They reached the enterance for The Maze of Mirrors. "I'll go in first, and you guys can follow!" Amanda ran in.

Z toppled to the ground in agonizing pain "Get out of my mind!"he yelled "Harlow don't follow her you'll die ahhhhhhh!"

"Stop being such a baby. Your just upset  because she likes me more. C'mon, lets go!" Harlow picked him up and threw him over her shoulder. Harlow was no longer frightened. This was just a sweet, little, mis-understood girl.

ZJ was in the worst pain he had ever been in, but he summoned the strength to say three words "Dnim dlem Wolrah" making their minds one

Harlow didn't hear anything. At least, her charm bracelet didn't allow her. Unknown to her or ZJ, Her bracelet was cancelling out any magic cast upon her. "What on earth are you doing, wierdo?" She asked. She set ZJ down. "Whatever." She ran throghout the maze, tring to find Amanda. Surely she would know the way out of this horrible maze... Finally, they found eachother, and left the maze, leaving ZJ lost somewhere.

"I had fun, Harlow! Lets go back to my mery-go-round!" Amanda exclaimed. She and Harlow went. They spent a good 10 minutes on it, talking about life and such.

"Harlow" said ZJ emerging from the maze, "Take the goddamn bracelet off"

The merry-go-round turned away from ZJ's point of view for a split second. When it came back around, Harlow was on the ground of the spinning merry-go-round, guts spilled all over the place. Amanda was dining on her flesh with her knife and fork. The blood was covering her face, Dripping down her hair, stained on the dress. Her organs were splattered all on the fake horses. Amanda took a bit of her leg. The merry-go-round stopped. "Oh,the crimson Merry-Go-Round is starting, revolving around, the feelings of sorrow, death, and abandonment." Amanda sang as she swallowed.

"Go to Hell" said ZJ pulling out a medallion. He chanted a spell and reversed his and Harlow's places "Run" he said weakly to Harlow ZJ was dead. All of the flesh Amanda digested was now...His. He was satisfying. Rarely did Amanda get a meal of such quality. She got up slowly. Harlow was there, frozen in terror. She..She had just been eaten.. But... She was trying to process what was happening. Before she realized it, Amanda was running towards her. Harlow tried to run, but couldn't... Before she knew what was happening, she looked down. A dull pocket knife was just passed through her gut, and out her back... Amanda's arm was inside of her. Harlow dropped to the ground, where with her last breath, she uttered "Lyer..." She had died right then and there. Amanda packed up the two into a cooler and took them back to her room. She heard some more people...

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