Posts Tagged ‘Fanfictober’

Aftershocks: Ghosts Check In Pt. 2

October 14, 2017

Aftershocks Ghosts

The hotel was in a run-down part of town, probably perfect for hiding the murders of people less likely to be missed by a loved one. It looked like it was frequented by tourists looking for a bargain, maybe even people flying in to deal business in the old financial district fifteen blocks away. Whatever the case was, it looked like any other non-chain hotel that Lydia and Nancy had ever seen. It looked like it was an alright place to crash after a night on the town or a day in the boardroom. There was even a sign on the door advertising free wifi which looked like it was a new addition.

They took Rob’s car but only because of the trunk full of weapons, otherwise Lydia wanted to take a cab or ride share or something. When you have dealt with demons and demon ghosts, dealing with an Uber driver suddenly felt easier. Lydia insisted on driving because she actually had a legitimate driver’s license and the thought of riding in the car while Rob drove made her nervous. It was a strange place to be in when she was more worried about a car accident than facing down a deadly demon.

“Will you teach me to drive?” Nancy asked. It shook Lydia from her thoughts.

“What?” Lydia asked.

“I don’t have my license yet and I want to learn how to drive,” Nancy said. She was curled up into a ball on the passenger seat, hugging her knees. She was staring straight ahead.

“I can teach you,” Rob offered from the back seat. He had grumbled at having to sit in the back seat of his own car but had finally relented when Lydia pressed the issue.

“No,” Lydia said. “Not you. You keep forgetting that you are younger than us. You should not be driving this thing. If we’re going to be partners, I’ll do the driving unless it’s an emergency. We can’t risk getting the car pulled over by a cop. They might search it.”

“Besides, we wouldn’t want anything to happen to you, Rob,” Nancy said.

“Fine,” Rob said and went back to putting guns from the trunk hatch into his duffel bag.

They pulled into the parking lot and walked toward the hotel. Lydia was a little bit surprised that the sliding door just opened so readily for them. When it did, they were hit with the air-conditioning and also the specific chemical smell of bleach. All three of them looked at each other and they stepped into the lobby. It was absolutely empty. When they were not looking, somebody must have come to the front desk from the office. Lydia saw that he had a neutral face which suddenly turned into a practiced smiled, a move known to all in the retail or service industry. He was obviously taking in the well-armed teenagers and preteen.

“Can I help you?” The man asked. His name tag said Grady but Lydia was not sure if that was a first or a last name.

“We would like to speak to the manager,” Lydia said calmly.

“I am sure I can help you and we do not need the manager,” Grady said. “Shouldn’t you be off at some school function?”

Lydia drew her sword from is scabbard. “We know about Jack, Grady. We’re here to stop him.”

“Don’t pull any tricks,” Nancy said and put on her best tough face.

“I don’t know what tricks I could possibly pull and I don’t know who this Jack is,” Grady said. “You would do well to turn around and go home before I call security to correct this situation.”

Rob pulled out a sawed-off shotgun and fired it directly at Grady. Lydia and Nancy screamed but noticed that Grady was not injured, he just dissipated in the pray from the shotgun. “Salt rounds,” Rob said. “It looks like we have some angry ghosts to deal with.”

“Great,” Lydia said. She ran behind the front desk and found some keys and tossed them to Nancy. “Nance, see if these will lock the front door. We don’t want to be interrupted.”

Nancy went to the front door and the key worked and she locked the sliding doors into place. She pocketed the keys and walked back over to regroup with the others. They checked the office and it was empty. They started down the nearest hallway, Lydia with her sword, Rob with his shotgun and Nancy with a poker that she had pulled from the lobby fireplace.

“Stay close, there’s bound to be more of those ghosts,” Rob said.

“Do I look like I’m afraid of ghosts?” Lydia asked. “Some of my best friends are ghosts.”

“You’re just afraid of one ghost,” Nancy said softly. Lydia shot her a look and Nancy shrugged.

“Not anymore,” Lydia said. “If I see him again, I’ll be ready.”

Nancy yelped as Rob’s shotgun went off again, dissipating another ghost. “I have a feeling that if we get rid of Jack, the ghost stuff might clear up?”

“I hope so,” Rob said. “Otherwise there are ways to get rid of ghosts for good too.”

“Wait, are there guests here?” Nancy asked.

“Not that I saw on my stakeout,” Rob said. “At least not living ones.”

“Then who are they?” Nancy asked as she pointed. She was pointing at a pair of children standing in the middle of the hallway ahead. The two young girls were identical with sunken eyes and plain dresses and looked absolutely out of place. As they were noticed by the heroic trio, their dead eyes seemed to come to life a little bit.

“Come play with us,” the girls said in unison.

“That’s super creepy,” Nancy said. “What do we do?”

Rob pointed his shotgun and fired and the little girls screamed as their bodies dissipated just like the other ghosts.

“Were you a hundred percent sure that they were ghosts?” Lydia asked.

“Ninety-seven percent. Maybe Ninety-six,” Rob said and shrugged.

“OK,” Nancy said. “That’s slightly less homicidal then, kiddo.”

“But only slightly,” Lydia said.

At the end of the hallway, there was suddenly a rumbling noise that started to get louder and louder. Rob aimed his shotgun until it was clear that whatever it was would not be bothered by salt fired from a shotgun.

“I think you pissed it off,” Lydia said.

The elevator doors slid open and thousands of gallons poured out of the elevator. After that first wave, what looked like millions of gallons started to pour, rushing down the hallway towards them. For a moment, all three of them stood there with their eyes wide. Nancy started to run in the opposite direction down the hallway. Lydia punched Rob in the shoulder.

“Run!” She yelled.

Aftershocks: Ghosts Check In Pt. 1

October 7, 2017

Aftershocks Ghosts

Lydia and Nancy decided to skip the Principal’s office since he had phrased it as optional. In fact, as weeks went by, they continued to give the principal’s office a wide berth. It was all too complicated at the moment and they still did not know who to trust. After they had defeated the demon Ley, the two girls hoped that things would calm down and stay calm. So far, they were half right but neither of them believed that it would stay that way for long. Ley had talked about the King of Demons being interested in them and Nancy’s heritage probably made her specifically the target. The two of them tried to do as much normal teenage stuff as they could but it never quite washed away the memories of what had happened in the gym weeks ago.

The normal stuff went out the window when they left their last class of the day and found Rob sitting on the curb, eating a piece of key lime pie. He was wearing the same over-sized trenchcoat but was not openly carrying any weapons this time. In the light of day, the pint-sized monster hunter looked a little funny. However, both of the girls recalled that the boy had powers possibly on par with Nancy’s undefined abilities. He was potentially dangerous but he seemed to be on the side of the angels for now.

“Hey kiddo,” Nancy said. “No car today?”

“I have it stashed away,” Rob said without looking up from the pie. He wiped his mouth with the sleeve of his coat. “I don’t drive it all the time.”

“Smart,” Lydia said with a tiny smirk. “It’s still years before anyone will issue you a license, kid.”

“My name is Rob,” He said. There was no frustration or anger in the words, just a simple reminder of the facts at hand.

“Alright,” Nancy said. She was back to being her usual sunny self but that facade was wearing at the edges in the face of a reminder of a very bad night. “What can we do for you, Rob?”

“Yeah, we actually have homework to do,” Lydia said.

“I wanted to talk to you both after the heat died down,” He said.

“Well, it feels like it’s dead as a doornail now,” Lydia said. “Did you want your sword back?”

“No, that’s alright,” He said. “I just wanted to talk.”

“I’m not sure I’m interested, Rob,” Nancy said. She was hugging herself so hard that Lydia feared her arms might start wrapping around her a few too many times.

“Let’s hear him out, Nance,” Lydia said. “He helped us out. It’s not like we owe him but so far he’s been alright to us.”

“Fine,” Nancy said. “Lead the way.”

Rob stood and tossed an empty pie tin into the garbage and wiped his mouth with his coat again. He led them down the street and into the public park. He led them into the woods where they stood in front of a metal door hidden under a rocky outcropping.

“Nice secret murder dungeon you have here,” Lydia said.

Rob gave her a look. “It’s just one of my mom and dad’s old bunkers. My family likes bunkers.” He shrugged and pulled out a key and unlocked the door. He walked inside, leaving the door open. Nancy and Lydia looked at each other for a moment before going in. How bad could it be? They stepped inside.

The interior of the bunker was actually pretty nice. There were couches and tables and chairs and rugs. When Rob reached over to the light switch, the lights actually came on so he had somehow gotten working electricity in the woods of a public park. Lydia was impressed, Nancy was absolutely confused. Rob kept walking, moving past what looked like a makeshift kitchen with a fridge. He sat down at a table which already had two chairs set up on the opposite side. It was weird to see somebody younger look so professional.

Nancy and Lydia carefully sat down in the chairs opposite Rob. “So tell me what your deal is?” He asked.

“We’re high schoolers,” Lydia said. “I’m not sure what you’re asking.”

“I’m a dream demon’s daughter and she almost married a ghost!” Nancy blurted out.

“Nancy!” Lydia yelped in surprise. “Why did you just tell a stranger that!”

“Almost married a ghost?” Rob asked.

“He was trying to escape the afterlife. It was gross. I’d rather not say his name. Why did I just say that?” Lydia asked.

Rob simply smiled and turned toward Nancy. “A dream demon?”

“He’s really nasty and now I’m afraid I might be a demon too,” Nancy said.

“You’re not. Otherwise, you would be affected by the circle you’re sitting in and not just the truth glyphs that my uncle carved into those chairs. That’s why you spilled the beans,” he said.

“That’s a dirty trick,” Lydia said. Her eyes narrowed.

“My family has a long history of getting crossed by demons and other supernatural surprises,” He said. “If we’re going to work together then I have to know what’s up.”

“Alright,” Lydia said. “I can respect that. So what’s your deal?”

“Yeah!” Nancy said. “We spilled the beans. Your turn.”

“I hunt things that hunt humans just like my family before me,” Rob said. “I’m alone but all the stories I’ve been told say things just work out better together.”

“Together?” Nancy asked. “What do you have in mind?”

“Yeah,” Lydia said. “We’re not agreeing to just anything.”

“After we got rid of Ley together, other problems have started to pop up. There are signs of other demons. The three of us are the ones to shut them down. We have the experience and the power,” he said.

“How do you know so much about demons?” Nancy asked.

“My family studied them. Also, they fought them directly,” He said. “A lot of the ancient demons are dead thanks to my family or people like them. But demons get created every day and some of the new ones have become just as powerful as the old ones. Ley was barely anything compared to these assholes.”

“So who are we going after then?” Lydia asked. “Which nasty thing?”

“They call him Jack,” Rob said. “He’s a demon of madness which makes him a loose cannon. He’s killed a dozen before I noticed but he’ll only get worse.”

“We have to help, Lyds,” Nancy said. She turned to give Lydia her best puppy eyes.

Lydia looked back at her best friend and fellow outcast. With her oversized sweater and her innocent smile, Lydia was weak to all of that. “Fine. We should use our experiences to do good in the world. Where do we find this Jack?”

“I’ve tracked him down to a hotel,” Rob said.

Root of All Darkness

October 15, 2016

“Did we find the bodies yet, Finch?” Shaw asked. Her words were very sudden over the communications network. It made Finch jump a little bit in his chair even though he had ample experience with Sameen Shaw’s abruptness.

“Yes, Ms. Shaw. Mr. Reese and Detective Fusco found the unfortunate victims in a cellar uptown. They had been drained completely of blood. A horrible fate I suppose the machine should have warned us about. And yet it failed to find the threat before we could neutralize it.” Finch said. His words and tone were professional but just underneath the surface he was obviously wracked with emotion.

“So we’re dealing with some kind of vampire. Is it our number? Is our number a vampire?” Shaw asked. Her voice was level so it was hard for Finch to tell if Shaw was being serious. He hoped she was not.

“While the circumstances seem appropriate now that Halloween is coming soon, it is my theory that their blood was used in some back alley transaction. Perhaps some sort of medical facility for criminals.” Finch said. He then paused for a moment. “I fear what the answer may be but where are you, Ms. Shaw?” He had a sudden dread in his voice.

“I’m the only one on the ball, Finch. I’m closing in on our number.” Shaw said. She drew her pistol from its holster.

“Ms. Shaw, please wait for back up. I have a feeling – ” Finch said before getting cut off. There was suddenly only static on the line. Shaw turned off her comm system for the moment and took her earpiece out. It wasn’t standard protocol but the static was irritating.

The underground chambers Shaw was walking through were not all that different from the old subway system she had been forced to stay in while she hid from Samaritan. It made her a little restless at first but she tried to think of all the positive missions she had completed underground. She thought of the tunnels she had protected Genrika in and touched the Order of Lenin medal in her jacket pocket. She tried to distract herself for a moment by counting the flickers in the lights. She quietly cocked her pistol and prepared to enter the next chamber. She kept her gun low, ready for knee caps.

“Hello, Sameen. I thought I turned off his cellphone.” Root said.

“You did. I had a second tracker hidden in his shoe.” Shaw said.

The number, Mark Bozard, was sitting in a chair which he was tied to. His head was slumped forward and he was not moving. Shaw could not see his face but she could guess what was going on and what had happened.

‘You killed him.” Shaw said. It was not a question.

“I thought we didn’t do that anymore. So, why?” Shaw asked. Her gaze was even, completely unjudgemental.

“He killed a lot of people. He had to be put down. You wouldn’t understand.” Root said.

Shaw frowned. “I think I could understand if you let me try.”

Root stepped around the body and got close to Shaw. She reached out to gently stroke Shaw’s cheek with her thumb. “He was a vampire. He was going to keep on killing.” She said. She reached and pulled back the upper lip of Mr. Bozard and showed off his fangs.

“I can believe it,” Shaw said simply.

“You can. Can’t you?” Root asked with a thoroughly amused, flirty smirk.

Shaw allowed herself a slight smile. “You may be crazy but you’ve never lied to me. Not when it counts.”

“I could never lie to you.” Root said with a look that made Sameen turn away for just a moment.

“Why didn’t you tell the team?” Shaw asked. “They would believe you. You have proof.”

“I couldn’t. They might believe me but they wouldn’t understand.” Root said with a sigh.

“Because you’re a vampire too,” Shaw said. Again, it was not a question and was said with absolute certainty. As usual, Shaw’s face betrayed nothing. On the other hand, Root’s eyes widened in surprise and she glanced at Shaw’s pistol. Finally, somebody had managed to surprise the unflappable Root.

“I am.” Root said softly. She looked away quickly, afraid for a moment of what she would see in Sameen’s eyes.

“If I was going to kill you, Root, I would have done it the first time you kidnapped me,” Shaw said.

“Thank you, Sameen,” Root said. “To be fair, I didn’t take any joy from the killing. We have a code that we keep. Killing like he did is forbidden. I’m different, I only feed from blood banks.”

“Tell me about it,” Shaw said softly.

Root smiled. “I can’t say no to you.” She took a deep breath. “When I ran away from home, I was looking for revenge. That didn’t change as I got older. That anger never really goes away. When that vampire found me in that dark place, both literally and figuratively, he offered me power. With my computer skills and my new supernatural powers, I could punish anybody I wanted to. I was on the verge of killing a lot of people.”

“But you didn’t,” Shaw said.

“No. I did kill but it was not the bloodbath I dreamed of. I found the Machine and my world changed. I had to be worthy of her. I changed. When I met Harold, my ‘life’ changed again. I don’t kill like that anymore. I might still have that thirst but I have a duty to the Machine, Harold and you.”

“And me?” Shaw asked with that same hint of a smile.

“Of course. Always you.” Root said. “Any more questions?”

“Not right now. I suppose I can live with this new information.” Shaw said.

“Good. Please don’t tell Harold.” Root said.

“You think they wouldn’t understand?” Shaw asked.

“I think Harold has a particular worldview that he’s not ready to give up”

“I think we can keep this one secret from him,” Shaw said.

“Just this one?” Root asked. She looked into Sameen’s eyes.

Sameen Shaw smiled slightly.

Awakening in Neptune

October 8, 2016

Mary walked from the bus stop slowly. Another job interview was over and she had gotten another ‘we’ll let you know.’ They never let Mary know. She had lived in Neptune all of her life and they did not waste time letting you know in Neptune. She imagined they put her resume right into the shredder as soon as she left. They forgot her face and never cared about her dwindling funds and growing bills. Of course, why should they care?

Mary’s walk home was never good. There were a lot of broken down houses outside of the Oh Niner part of town. There was also a big empty vacant lot near her house which always kind of spooked her out. A rec center used to stand there. Worst of all, before she even got to the vacant lot, there was a small cemetery that Mary dreaded. Cemeteries had always had that effect on Mary.

She would not have had to endure this walk until the events of a week ago. A week earlier she would have been content to survive on a little bit of babysitting money and a few personal loans. On Tuesday, she had suddenly gotten a surge of energy that she still could not explain. It was like a sudden sugar rush multiplied by a hundred. It made her restless and she had started filling out applications. The fact that she could not explain it pissed her off.

As Mary passed the cemetery, she started to hear sounds. Strange sounds, shoveling sounds. There should not have been shoveling this late should there? It was well past dinnertime and somebody was shoveling. She realized she did not know the cemetery’s hours of operation because she normally did not want to know anything about it.

Mary did not know why but she poked her head through the shrubbery that bordered the cemetery. She was just curious, she guessed. She looked and saw some curiously-dressed men and women digging wildly. Only one of them had a shovel. None of them looked like a member of the maintenance crew. The headstone of the grave also did not look like it was new. Nothing was adding up. Was it her place to get involved?

“Hey! What are you guys doing?” Mary called out. Again, she had no idea why she was sticking her neck out. Something about the situation just got under her skin.

“Go home, little girl.” A girl younger than Mary called back. Her voice burned with the bad attitude of a thousand suns.

Mary frowned and pushed past the shrubbery and into the cemetery. “No. You go home. This doesn’t look close to legal to me. And if you guys work here, then I’m the President of the United States.”

The girl approached Mary with a sassy little saunter. “I’m warning you to get lost. Or else.” The girl was now in Mary’s personal space which only made her angry.

Mary rolled her eyes hard. “Bite me.”

The girl smiled fiercely. “Gladly!” Then the girl’s face just suddenly changed. Her brow got thicker and her eyes got meaner. Her lips curled back and she now had two giant fangs showing. She changed from girl to creature in an instant. Mary stumbled backward. The two men behind the girl changed too. The second change was what shook Mary from the paralysis of shock. She turned and ran but knew those things were not far behind. She ran through the shrubs and down the street and she could still feel them behind her.

She had run two blocks and into the vacant lot before the girl tackled her from behind. The impact hit her legs hard and she fell hard on the hard-packed ground. She could feel the girl’s claws dig into her calves but she kicked her in the jaw and squirmed away. She got to her feet and found that she was now surrounded.

One of the guys swung a shovel at her and she ducked as it sailed over her head. Instinct kicked in. She grabbed the shovel mid-arc and pulled the guy off balance. She swung the shovel and watched it slice off the other guy’s head. He disintegrated into dust as soon as his head left his neck but Mary did not have time to really take that in.

The girl charged and Mary spun and smacked her in the face with the shovel with a loud clang and plenty of satisfaction. The shovel broke in half with the force of the blow. The remaining man charged and Mary kicked him directly in the chin and sent him sprawling to the ground. She jumped on top of him and drove the sharp end of the shovel handle through his heart. He also disintegrated into dust. The girl charged again but now Mary was unprepared on her hands and knees.

Gunshots rang out and the girl’s head exploded before she also became dust. Mary blinked at the piles of dust around her for a moment before looking up. Three people were approaching. There was a girl with short blonde hair, a bald tough-looking guy and a brown-haired man wearing a smirk. The last one had obviously fired his rifle at the monster girl.

“Stand down, Logan.” The woman said.

“Are you the police?” Mary managed to ask.

The guys laughed but the woman gave them each a look to quiet them. She turned back to Mary, smiled and shook her head. “We’re Mars Investigations. My name is Parker. This is Logan and Eli.” She said, pointing to each guy in turn. The guys waved and Mary waved back.

“I’m Mary. I didn’t mean to kill them,” Mary said. She carefully stood up.

“We’re pretty sure they were vampires. Don’t sweat it.” Eli said with a shrug.

“Vampires?” Mary asked. She was still a little stunned.

“Yeah, Bela Lugosi isn’t dead after all,” Logan said but shrugged when nobody got the reference. “Let’s get back to the office, shall we?”

“Alright. Come with us, Mary. We’ll sort this out. OK?” Parker asked. She was holding a hand out to Mary.

Mary took her hand. “This is crazy but I’ll come with you.” Mary followed them back to their car.

Aftershocks: Demon Days Pt. 5

October 27, 2015

Aftershocks 2

Two figures appeared from the shadows under a dead tree on a hilltop not far from the school. The first figure was dwarven with red hair and lots of facial scars. The second figure had slicked-back blond hair and a long leather coat. They both looked agitated and disappointed but the blond one was especially frustrated.

“Charles.” The blond one said. He was tall and mostly human-shaped but way too pale to pass for anybody normal.

“William.” The short one said. He was a cruel mockery of the human form, his body parts exaggerated in all the wrong places. He was more like a doll than a real person.

“The attack failed, Charles,” William said, beginning to pace in the moonlight. His face twisted itself up into a demonic form.

“Relax, William. There’s plenty of time to get the job done.”

“I wanted to get my hands dirty. Specifically, I wanted to get them bloody.” William said with a sneer on his face.

“We both will. Soon.”

“Sooner now that Ley is back in the fire,” William said with a shiver. That wasn’t a fate he would have wished even for that asshole.

“Yeah, that’s true. Speaking of, we should probably get back and report.”

“Right. Back down below we both go.”

The duo slipped back into the shadows. The smell of sulfur drifted out on the night air.

* * *

Principal Wood sat patiently behind his desk, his arms folded. He had driven the girls home the night before but had called them to his office as soon as he could the next morning. Lydia had given him the vaguest of excuses for breaking into the gym but she could tell he wasn’t buying it. Nancy had not been any help, preferring to stay silent, but Lydia couldn’t blame her. Even now Nancy was reserved and wore a blank, closed off expression. Her arms were hugged tight to her body and she was staring at an empty corner of the room. Lydia wished that the two of them could have talked more but the Principal had interrupted that. At least Rob had disappeared at some point.

“I’m serious. I want an explanation from both of you.” Principal wood said and he leaned in slightly.

“I promise you wouldn’t believe it if I told you,” Lydia said with a shrug. “Just give us detention.”

“Ms. Brewster. Believe me when I tell you that I have seen plenty of strange things. I might surprise you with how much I believe.” Wood said with the faintest little smile.

Lydia felt like his eyes were looking straight through her. The two of them stared at each other over the desk. Maybe he would believe her. Maybe she didn’t have to stumble through this alone with her best friend and a ten-year-old kid who might never show up again. Adults never seemed to believe or, like her father and mother, tried to pretend that it wasn’t real with drugs and therapy. She had communed with ghosts and nearly married what was apparently a really important demon.

“Like what?” Lydia asked.

“Like I smelled a lot of sulfur in that gym before I turned the ventilation fans on. Was it demons?”

Lydia’s eyes went wide and she could feel Nancy suddenly come to life next to her. “Wait, how did you know!?” Nancy nearly shouted.

The Principal laughed a deep, satisfied laugh. “I’m not one of them if that’s what you’re thinking. I’ve just fought a couple of them through the years.” He said and Nancy started to respond but Lydia silenced her by putting a hand on her shoulder.

“Maybe it was demons. Maybe we’re not ready to talk.” Lydia said, trying to keep her face neutral.

“I can help you but only if you can trust me enough to talk to me. If it was demons, the school is still standing and they’re no longer there. That might mean I have you to thank. I don’t really see the need to give you detention. However, if you were to show up after school anyway, maybe we could discuss the matter a little further. I just want to help you girls out.”

Lydia smiled and looked over at Nancy who gave a half-hearted little smile. “Maybe that will happen,” Lydia said. “But don’t hold your breath. Come on, Nancy. We have to get to class.”

Before the girls could get through the door, Principal Wood spoke up. “Be careful, ladies. I’ve seen what happens when a young woman goes up against a demon alone.”

Lydia pushed Nancy through the door and smirked without turning. “Yeah, we win.”

Aftershocks: Demon Days Pt. 4

October 20, 2015

Aftershocks 2

Several of the lights had been fried and it was a little darker now. Lydia pushed herself to her feet and pulled out a candle. With a force of will, she let the candle go and it floated into the air and lit itself. It followed her as she crossed the room and climbed into the bleachers. She leaned over and looked down at Rob. He blinked up at her and gave a weak smile.

“Are you alright, Rob?”

“I think I’m going to make it.” He said and reached his hand up carefully and Lydia helped him to his feet.

“Maybe we should get you to a hospital? Although, it looked like you had a somewhat feathery landing there.” Lydia said, gesturing the wings as best as she could.

Rob looked at her sharply. “Wait, so you saw those too? Any sign of them now?” He asked and turned in place so she could get a good look. There wasn’t a single feather now.

“No. They’re gone. If you’re alright, I need to check on Nancy. Come with me so I know you’re OK.” Lydia said and it wasn’t at all a question.

“Alright. Lead the way.” He said with a shrug and picked up his shotgun.

They walked out of the gym and into the night. Nancy was sitting on one of the swings in the swingset, a silhouette against the full moon. The demons probably used the magic of the full moon for such a massive demon summoning. It was the only thing she could think of that made sense at the moment. Lydia had no idea who the King of the Demons was but she guessed that the title was pretty self-explanatory. If he cared about her and Nancy then they must have felt threatened. If they felt threatened before, then how would they react to Ley being defeated? There was no way they were out of the woods even with the addition of Rob.

Of course, she was thinking about all this instead of walking the few feet to talk to her best friend. She didn’t know what to make of the transformation she had seen. If she were a little more truthful with herself, she would admit that she was scared. Scared that she would say the wrong thing and scared that Nancy might not be Nancy anymore. That was the scariest thought. Nancy was the first person to truly embrace her after the incident. Sunny Nancy could not be evil. It was that last thought that allowed Lydia to move her feet forward. She walked toward Nancy slowly, the candle still following her.

“Did I hurt anybody?” Nancy asked before Lydia had reached her. She asked without turning around so she couldn’t see it when Lydia shook her head. Lydia closed the gap and stood next to her friend and tried to be brave. What she had seen was scary but she had to believe that her friend was still in there. She just had to.

“Just that Ley demon and that’s a good thing, Nance,” Lydia said and reached over to stroke her friend’s back gently. She could see the tears on Nancy’s face and her normal hands clinging to the chains of the swing.

“I’m scared, Lydia. Of me.”

“Nancy, I know you. You wouldn’t hurt anybody. I believe in you.”

“I don’t know about that.” She said and turned to face Lydia, tears still flowing. “I think part of him is still inside of me.”

“I know, Nance. I know.” Lydia said and pulled her friend into a hug and the two girls stood hugging in the middle of the abandoned playground in the moonlight. Lydia could feel Nancy’s tears on her own cheek and only hugged her tighter.

“Ladies, can you explain what happened here tonight?” A voice said. Nancy and Lydia both looked up to see the muscular form of Principal Wood.

Sunlight Fugitives

October 17, 2015

US Marshal Mike Okubo walked slowly and a few feet behind ordinary citizen Tracy
Peterson. Mike was wearing a bulletproof vest and light tactical armor and he had his pistol drawn with the attached flashlight lit. He aimed down the hallway of the abandoned St. Jude clinic. He was ready to shoot anything and he also lighting their way. In contrast, Tracy was dressed in jeans and a tank top and had a fire axe hanging from a homemade sling on her back. The only sign in her clothing that she was here for battle were the combat boots she had borrowed from the Marshals office. Her jeans actually twinkled from the sequins sewn into them for the love of mercy.

“Do we have to creep around in the dark? Sunlight kills these things, right? Let’s get a bulldozer and punch holes in the place.” Mike asked. He knew it might just be his anxiety talking but it was a thought he kept coming back to.

“Vampires can be tricky. They could escape through the sewers before the bulldozer even hit a wall. At least, that’s what the handbook says.” Tracy said with a shrug.

It had only been a few weeks of hunting vampires and other creepy crawlies. The world of magic was now out in the open, so to speak. Mike had been a by the book sort of guy but not a handbook on hunting vampires. It was strange and way outside of his comfort zone but it was the job.

“Respectfully, this is bullshit, Miss Peterson. We’re both too new at this and we’re hunting vampirs and monsters.”

“Yeah, but the original girl started out that way and she was alone. At least, she was alone at first. I saw her at a seminar once.”

“Yeah and their group kept all of this a secret and eventually a whole town ended up getting destroyed. I’m lucky my mother decided to evacuate beforehand.” Mike said with no small amount of bitterness.

“Well, there was no way to keep it a secret after the Empowerment and we’re cooperating, aren’t we? That’s why Director Mars deputized us girls, right?” Tracy was excited to be working with the government like this. It was so exciting most of the time.

Mike sighed and nodded. “Yeah. The office really did me a great favor assigning me to the project.”

Tracy smirked. “What? Partnered with a superhero? Yeah, I envy you.” She said as she flexed a bicep that looked toned but not up to the incredible feats of strength Tracy had proved she could perform.

“Shut it, your little group is practically named after a Heavy Metal band. Wait, did you hear that?” Mike said, the last was almost a whisper.

They both stood absolutely still and silent. After a few moments they both definitely heard something moving off to the left. Before Mike could issue any orders, Tracy had kicked the door to the left off its hinges and well into the room beyond. She ran fast down a corridor before Mike could even get his own feet moving. He grumbled as he picked up the pace but he could already hear a commotion coming from two rooms away. By the time he got there, he saw Tracy standing in the middle of four men. There was a huge claw mark on her right shoulder but she had pulled her axe free.

Mike aimed and fired at the vampires farthest from Tracy and Tracy started to swing her axe at the agile creatures. Blood sprayed on the wall from bullets and axe and the vampires broke formation and desperately tried to kill Tracy. She whirled and chopped two of their heads off. She reversed and pulled a wooden stake and stabbed the third which then turned to dust as it collapsed on the floor.

That left the last one which took off in a panicked run toward the door. Of course, that put Mike directly in its path and the bullets Mike was putting in it hardly had an effect. Suddenly, the vampire stiffened and fell face first onto the ground. The axe was sticking out of its back. It wiggled but didn’t seem to be able to get back to its feet. Tracy breathed deep as Mike approached her and started to bandage her shoulder.

“How was that?” She said with a smile.

“It’s a good start.” Mike said and he couldn’t help but smile too. “We’ll call in a bus to take this one back for interrogation.”

“Good, I could definitely use a shower.” She said as she hoisted the vampire over her shoulder and started to walk out.

Aftershocks: Demon Days Pt. 3

October 13, 2015

Aftershocks 2

The gym was quiet and the three of them fell just as silent when they entered, listening to their footsteps echoing back from the walls. That had been a while ago. Now the sun was beginning to sink outside and it was already just after seven. They had arrived on time but leave it to demons to be late to the party. It was irritating and the atmosphere was thick with magic and anticipation. Lydia could feel the growing shadows grating against her protection spell like a bad rim on the road. Lydia was starting to get pissed and she could tell Nancy and Rob weren’t pleased either. Rob paced back and forth, full of nervous energy. Nancy absently chewed on the sleeve of her sweater.

When it happened, it was like stop motion from a movie in the late eighties. Monstrosities seemed to form from thin air or the shadows. They climbed all over the bleachers, arranging themselves like some unholy choir. None of them made a single sound but every single one had eyes for the three would-be demon slayers. Their looks were confident and not a bit wary of what was going to happen next. Some of them had tails, some had wings, some had multiple limbs but all of them had vicious claws and teeth. They looked like something out of an off-brand horror film but the fact that they were real was absolutely chilling. Rob stopped pacing and all three of them slowly moved closer together.

A man stepped out of the far wall and smiled big. Well, he was not a man exactly. There was definitely something demonic and evil about him even though he looked mostly human. His dark hair hung a little long, his eyes were white and without pupils and something was off about his jaw. Lydia looked at her watch and it was now 7:06. She grunted and unsheathed her sword.

“You’re late.” She said, approaching the middle of the basketball court.

“I think I’m right on time.” The lead demon said, unleashing a less than disarming smile.

“Who are you? Why are you even here?” Nancy asked, a little bit of hysteria struggling in her voice. It was not unlike the panic of a trapped bird.

“I am called Ley. The King of Demons sent us. When the King says hail, you hail to the king. He doesn’t take the fall of trusted lieutenants lightly. The thing is, we didn’t invite you, short stuff.” The demon said and pointed directly at Rob.

“Well, tough luck, Chinnigan,” Rob said and Ley glared and touched his prominent chin. “You’ve got me.” He smiled and looked at the girls. “Us. Are we going to fight or what?”

“Come get some,” Ley growled.

Ley didn’t move but the demons surged forward all once like a tidal wave with teeth. Lydia held her hand up and they slammed into her protection spell, knocking her back a few feet. That’s when the battle started. Lydia began swinging her sword and almost immediately lost sight of the others. She had to hold onto the belief that they were still alive. She really didn’t have much experience with a sword so she just kept slashing and avoiding the demons. After a while, her muscles started to burn and she knew she couldn’t keep this up much longer.

Lydia glimpsed Ley through the crowd and he was leaned against the wall, watching the action. Seeing him so nonplussed was really disheartening. She suddenly tripped over a tiny demon she hadn’t seen before and the fall felt like it was in slow motion. Right before she landed she spotted Rob, blood flying everywhere as a claw gouged his forehead. There was a sudden blinding light and Lydia covered her eyes and hoped the demons wouldn’t take advantage of the moment. When she looked again, Rob was standing in a clear space, free from demons. Glowing white, feathery wings had sprouted from his shoulders.

Rob drew his shotgun and started to pull the trigger over and over again. A bright light erupted from the shotgun with each shot and demons simply disintegrated when it hit them. Half of the remaining demons tried to scatter and the other half tried to rush Rob. Neither tactic was of any use as both groups of demons disappeared in a hail of white light. Rob stood triumphant, wings spread wide and a distant look on his face. He looked much older than he was in that moment and Lydia wondered what the hell was happening. With all the demons gone, Ley finally stepped away from the wall and rushed Rob. He hit Rob with surprising force that sent Rob flying across the gym and into the bleachers.

Ley started stalking toward Lydia, an axe suddenly in his hands and a sadistic smile forming on his face. It was at this point that Lydia realized that she had not gotten back to her feet after the shock of seeing Rob transform for the lack of a better term. She tried to push herself up but knew that she wouldn’t make it to her feet before Ley arrived. The axe started to come down and Lydia held up her hand in the dim hope the protection spell would still work. The axe didn’t make contact and Lydia opened her eyes in time to see it flying through the air. Nancy was standing there and giving Ley a very defiant look. Lydia had never seen Nancy angry but there she was seething with anger.

“Get away from her, You Bastard!” Nancy cried out and the sound almost sounded like she had a microphone. Then Nancy started to scream and her arms got visibly longer and her hands formed into nasty claws. Ley just looked stunned and blinked at Nancy like a mouse looks at a snake just before the end. Nancy swung her hand and the claws bit into Ley’s neck and swung with the other one and off came his head.  Ley and his head tumbled to the ground and for a moment Lydia saw his wide-eyed expression of shock before the body parts dissolved into a jet black goo and then evaporated. Before Lydia could get to her feet, Nancy ran from the gym and out of sight.

Aftershocks: Demon Days Pt. 2

October 6, 2015

Aftershocks 2

The parking lot was empty when Lydia and Nancy showed up. They hadn’t talked on the way and both of them had a look of determination on their faces. They had the look of two people who had dealt with demons and had come back changed forever. Lydia began to move her hand to cast the protection spell. In her other hand, she carried a baseball bat because her magic could only stretch so far. Nancy had no weapon but had sworn that she would be fine. The two of them looked at each other, nodded and started across the parking lot toward the gym.

A car suddenly screamed across the parking lot. It came to a stop with its bumper grinding against one of the concrete barriers that bordered the parking lot. Lydia started toward the car and felt Nancy following her. She was sure this was a trap. A boy in a long tan coat jumped out of the driver’s seat. He had short black hair and a serious expression on his face. He seemed not to notice the two girls standing a few feet away as he moved to root through the trunk.

“Hey kid, you shouldn’t be here,” Lydia called out. She tried to look casual with a baseball bat in her hand but that was just impossible.

The kid, who must have been no more than ten, looked up sharply. “You’re the ones who shouldn’t be here. I’ve got private business inside.”

Nancy smirked. “That’s the high school. You want the middle school down the street.”

The boy looked at them sharply. “Look, there are demons inside of that gym. I’ve followed the signs and I know what I have to do.” The boy’s eyes were so fiercely blue that Lydia almost wanted to take a step back. The boy turned his attention back to the trunk.

“How do you know about the demons?” Lydia asked softly.

The boy paused and looked at them again. “Wait, did you know about the demons too? Oh wait, you’re witches aren’t you?”

Lydia barely stopped herself from bugging her eyes out. “Who are you, kid? What are you?”

“My name’s Rob. I just know things because of my dad or at least that’s what my mom says.” The boy said and obviously didn’t want to talk about that as he went back to the trunk. “I know I’m supposed to take those demons out too.”

“It’s dangerous to go alone,” Nancy said, hugging her arms around that same sweater. “There’s a lot of them in there. I saw them in my dreams. We can help you.”

Rob looked them over and shrugged. “I’ve never actually done this before. I could probably use your help but I don’t really trust you yet.”

“God, you’re really honest. Fair enough. What’s in the trunk?” Lydia asked. Rob stepped aside and let Lydia and Nancy look into the trunk. Inside there was what looked like an arsenal. There were axes, swords and a lot of guns.

“Holy shit, you’re a little kid. How’d you get a car and all these weapons?” Nancy asked, probably a little too loudly. Lydia put a hand on her shoulder and she calmed down a little, giving Lydia a sheepish little smile.

“Inherited from dad,” Rob said with a noncommittal little shrug. “Are we going to kill demons or what?” He grabbed a shotgun out of the car and checked the ammo.

“We’re going to kill demons,” Lydia said as she switched her baseball bat out for a sword. “Let’s go.”

Aftershocks: Demon Days Pt. 1

October 2, 2015

 

Aftershocks 2

Lydia Brewster got up from her seat in History class when the bell rang and rubbed her eyes. It was tough trying to adjust to a new town and a new school but after a while, it had been necessary. After fighting off a demon and dealing with a semi-related haunting, it had been hard to sleep at night. She had found ways to cope. Her first thought had been alcohol and pills but that’s what her mother did and she wasn’t going to be her mother. The only option was to learn how to fight back in the future and not rely on dumb luck. By day she was a relatively attentive high school student, by night she was an amateur witch. The magical arts were starting to feel natural like a nice, warm security blanket.

She turned the last digit on her locker combination and opened it up to change out books for the next class. She was in a daze, tired from a late night of reading and trying out some new defensive spells. Thankfully her goth look covered up the dark circles under her eyes. She barely reacted when Nancy thrust her head from the shadows deep in Lydia’s locker.

“Good Morning, Lyds!” She said, a little too energetic for Lydia’s taste.

“I told you not to call me that. Also, it’s afternoon, Nancy.”

“I know, I just like saying ‘Good Morning’ a lot”

Nancy’s bright blonde locks and blue eyes and tendency to wear actual colors made her quite the contrast from Lydia. Her personality was also way sunnier than Lydia could ever muster even on her best day. However, the two of them still had a lot in common. Both of them had had brushes with demonic entities and both of them had magical skill. Of course, Nancy had a tendency to flaunt hers without realizing it such as teleporting into Lydia’s locker instead of waiting next to it like a normal person. Lydia grabbed her arm, squishing against that same ratty striped sweater she always wore and pulled her out of the locker before anybody could see.

“It’s no use arguing with you. What’s going on, Nancy?” Lydia proceeded to change her books out as she intended now that the obstacle was removed.

“Dreams. Nightmares.” Nancy replied, suddenly serious.

It was always dreams and nightmares with Nancy. Ever since Nancy’s defeat of an evil demon, she had manifested magical abilities and nagging prophetic dreams. In the short time that the two had known each other, they had learned to take the dreams seriously. Nightmares could only mean something bad on the horizon.

“What are we dealing with? It’s not one of them, right?” Lydia asked.

“No. It’s not both of them either.” She looked around as if anybody would pay attention to the two of them. They were usually ignored and usually liked it that way.

“Cute. That’s what it isn’t. What is it?”

“Demons are coming. Demons plural, Lyds. What are we going to do?” Nancy asked, desperation in her eyes.

“We fight them, Nancy. Like before. When are they coming?”

“Um… 6 o’clock, I think. The gym.” Nancy said

“Then I’ll see you at 6 o’clock. Be ready to rumble.” Lydia said and turned to walk to class, slamming her locker before walking away. She could feel the warmth of Nancy’s smile behind her and she couldn’t help but smile too. Demons coming and the only two people who could save the day were smiling. It must be a ridiculous amount of brain damage.


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