The street had no name, which fact only served to
stoke Vicarel's anxiety further. Hadn't the haggard
Mrs. Fischl warned him back in Philadelphia that he should beware three
things: stoking a flameless
fire, wielding a godless blade, and walking a nameless street?
"You'll have a chance to do all three in the next few hours," she'd prophesied, "and I can see as plainly as my own hand..." Here she'd raised her right hand, which was missing its middle digit, in front of her face. "...that if you take any one of those three chances, the consequences will be dire."
Vicarel slipped a peppermint into his mouth and sucked on it noisily as he surveyed the street.
If he turned on his heels now and fled this nameless thoroughfare, he would surely never find the demon who had stolen the Great Treatise. But if he proceeded, and Mrs. Fischl's predictions were accurate, then he could count the hours remaining to him on the toes of his bare feet.
Ah! Decisions, decisions...
Written in 1995 for a spotlight on Clive Barker at the online "artist's resource", Kaleidospace, this introductory segment was intended to be continued by whoever felt moved to do so. The Clive Barker segment of the site, in which a number of writers had taken up the challenge, unfortunately disappeared in 2001...