“That was Crazy World by Grungy Muppet. They are topping the charts this week. Count on WEDA for today’s top music. Apparently the mystery character Charity Nocturna had struck again. The online news source Eda’s Underbelly posted a new damning video shows Senator Jameson and CEO of Cergison Electronics David Cergison planning some underhanded tricks. The two have apparently been plotting to use Eminent Domain to tear down low income housing for a new factory. Senator Jameson assures us that Charity Nocturna does not exist, as usual. The character has become an urban legend..”
Em smiled slightly at the radio echoing from the nearby shop. She performed a quick backflip, impressing the crowd. Her straight blonde hair was tied in a topknot. Her white outfit was skin tight, outlining her muscled body. It have convenient holes to flash skin in all the right places.
The people applauded and a few people tossed some change in her black top hat. Bowing, she shouted “My next performance is a portion of act 2 of Swan Lake.” She turned and clicked a button on an ancient boombox. An old tape began to play tinny music and she began to dance.
“She’s so graceful”.. “Think she’d go home with me?”..”Not a chance she’s out your league”.. The snippets of conversation floated around her as she spun in a circle.
“This nocturna stuff is getting out of hand,” a voice echoed.
“It’s an urban legend. The bastard ranges from 4 to 10 feet and thin to built like a brick shithouse,” a second voice said.
“Well someo…..” the voice faded into the crowd.
Em finished her dance and bowed low. The crowd cheered and leered and money flew into her hat. It was a hot day and she was pouring sweat. She waved to the crowd and shouted “I’ll be back around one for my next performance. Thank you, you’ve been a great crowd!”
The crowd dispersed and Em grabbed her hat and a bottle of water and sat roughly on the curb. She emptied the bottle in a few short gulps, and tossed it into a nearby wastebin.
“You know you should recycle. It’s good for the environment,” came a voice.
She looked up and smiled “Hey Dan, isn’t it early for lunch?”
“A bit, but my laptop decided to shit the bed then started on updates. It’ll be at least an hour before it comes back to life.” He looked her over “You look like someone dumped a bucket of water over your head. Let’s hit Cathy’s, my treat.” He held out his hand,
Em’s smooth brow wrinkled as she took his hand. “I don’t nee-”
“Handouts. Yes I know. I like getting things for friends.”
“Pig. You’re trying to get me in bed again,”
Dan turned red “No I’m not! Unless you want to..”
Em laughed “Let’s have lunch and see how it goes.” The pair walked to the diner and took a seat. The waitress took their orders and brought their drinks. Em downed them both and winked at Dan.
“Very funny,” he said. He looked at the waitress “I bet she struggles every day to make ends meet. The bastards in Washington won’t do anything to help,” he sighed “I wish Nocturna was real. He could clean this mess.”
“Nocturna struck last night, didn’t she?” Em asked.
“You’re so gullible. He’s a bogey man designed to take eyes off the scandals being leaked. The Internet age doesn’t need some super fighter hacker, pissed off employees work fine.”
Em gave him a dirty look “Damn, what crawled up your ass. And why does Nocturna have to be a guy?”
Dan flinched “Uhmm… I suppose he- she, sorry, could be any gender. If they existed anyways.”
“Whatever. So what’s new at work?” she asked
“I don’t understand why you care. It’s just military contracts. I suppose the only new thing is Danning Softworks got a big project from the military. Over a billion dollars.”
“Huh. Wonder why that hasn’t made the news? They’re a big employer,” Em creased her brow.
“Top secret. High military clearance. They’ll release a dummy project in a few weeks.”
The food arrived and conversation was replaced with the sound of clinking forks and knives. A half an hour later they exited the restaurant into pouring rain.
“So much for my afternoon performance. Guess I’ll head home then,” Em began to walk away.
“I can give you a ride,” he called after her.
She looked over her shoulder at him “There’s no reason for you to lose your job for me. The bus stop is only a block away.” She began to walk away then turned back “Meet me at the Mystic Ten Pin. We’ll play a game and maybe have a nightcap. Later.” She then marched out into the rain. Dan waved and turned to work.
The rain was coming down in sheets when she ducked into the bus stop. A couple of men in fitted suits stood under the shelter.
“This is embarrassing, sitting at a bus stop like some minimum wage burger flipper.”
“Yeah. What were you saying about Nocturna?”
“Oh yeah. A few of the guys are getting together to set a trap for him. Nocturna has to be eliminated before he becomes real to everyone. It could cause protests that’ll hit the bottom line.”
The other man snorted “You believe that shit?”
The first man glared “It’s hush hush but a guard was killed last night. The poor bastard’s throat was crushed. We have to stop the psycho before he decides to go after someone important.”
The second man looked shocked “If people are dying I’m in.”
“Great. We’re meeting at David’s Tuesday. Looks like the rain is letting up. If I hurry I can still catch my 1:30.” The men jogged off into the distance.
A few minutes later the bus arrived. She hopped on and headed to the bad side of town. Once there she walked into a maze of alleys. She came to a piece of plywood and lifted it, revealing it was on hinges. A dark stairway led below. She descended and walked to a peculiar cement wall. She slid it aside and went into a large well lit room.
She laughed as she pulled the blonde wig off and slipped out of the bodysuit, tossing them aside. She didn’t bother to dress as she sat on the ratty office chair and started her computer. She got a few good leads today. She had about 3 hours until she had to leave to meet David. She had to stop leading the kid on, relationships were only trouble. She shrugged and started tapping away on the keyboard.
Name: Micheal “Redeye” Pilliphon
Appearance: Micheal is a huge slab of meat almost 7 feet tall. He has close cropped black hair and bright red eyes. He has a permanent scowl almost all the time
Background: Micheal grew up in a lair with his supervillain parents. They nearly conquered the world many times and were the most respected villains in the world. Michael was to be their heir. He was trained in technology and science, but did poorly in those. He was good at organization and business.
He wasn’t without his talents. He was naturally large and strong. He took to fighting extremely well and could outfight anyone in the lair by 13. This concerned his parents a great deal. Being intelligent was a necessity for a mastermind.
When he turned 18 his parents decided they would get him practical experience. They gave him a dozen minions and some laser weaponry. They told him to steal a diamond from a local museum.
At first everything was fine. Micheal got things under control. He made a plan and got everyone organized. A month after the assignment they charged the bank. They took the curator hostage and demanded the key to the diamond. The man said it was in his desk and he had to get it. Micheal agreed but kept a weapon trained on him.
The curator hit a silent alarm button as he got the key. He handed over the key and Redeye gave the key to a henchman. While Michael tried to figure out what to do next the henchman took the diamond and ran. A few moments later the police arrived. He and his men charged the windows, opening fire.
As they shot at the police, Michael slipped away and tried to sneak out but was captured. He sat in a cell for 3 days before his parents rescued him. His parents were less than pleased. He had failed every objective. Beyond that the betrayer was setting up as a new supervillain. They ordered him out of the lair.
He left empty handed. He only knew villainy, so he swallowed his pride and signed up to be a henchman. He figured with his brawn and knowledge he would make top henchman quickly. This turned out to be wishful thinking.
The other henchman learned who he was and mocked him. He applied for top henchman a dozen times but was always denied. After the last try he realized it was because of his lineage.
He was angry and frustrated when his next assignment came in. He was ordered to guard the head villain, Mr. Hate, while he tormented the superspy who tried to stop him. Michael grumbled about the job until he got there.
Mr. Hate was telling the spy the details of his secret plan. Michael listened and realized this was his chance. Without warning, he shot Mr. Hate in the back. He then stomped to the immobilized spy and shot him 3 times in the head.
Michael had a plan and no one to track him. Now he needed loyal minions to carry out the plan.
Can Michael find followers in time? Does he really understand the plot? Can he conquer the word? If you have any ideas share them in the comments or even better write a story and link it here. I’ll give you a shout out in next week’s post.
Tommy and Terrance were plastered. Neither was sure why they had wandered into the maze of alleys in the poor section of town. They were glad of the choice as a defenseless young woman came limping towards them. She wore a loose fitting torn blouse and a loose pair of jeans with torn knees.
She stopped when she saw them, eyes wide in terror, hands coming over her body as if to block their eyes. As the pair turned to grin at each other the girl’s fearful look became calculating. As they turned back the doe-eyed terror returned.
Tommy leered. “Hey girl, what’s under those nasty clothes?” he laughed.
“Yeah let us have a look!” followed Terrance.
“No, leave me alone!” she cried and backed away. Her left hand slipped unnoticed behind her back.
“Why should I? You’re a no good bum. You’re better off being a whore.” He pulled a butterfly knife from his belt and pointed it in her direction. “Take it off” he ordered. The panicked girl backed against a crate. “Fine, I’ll cut it off you.” he ran up and swung the knife.
The girl smile became predatory and threw the hand from behind her back in front of the knife. She wore a strange back glove with thick padding, cat claws, and shining metal knuckles. The knife tangled in the torn threads of the glove. “You bastards always think with the wrong brain,” she said and slammed her knee into the boy’s crotch.
In the fog of his brain, he felt the studs of metal on the knee dig into him. Fire burned up his body and he screamed in an octave reserved for calling dogs. “Shut up, bastard,” she said. The girl backhanded him with her ungloved hand. His head snapped sideways, bloody spittle flying from his mouth. His knees ragdolled and he collapsed unconscious.
By this time the other drunk had registered what happened. He grabbed a broken board from the ground and held it like a baseball bat. The girl sighed, pulled the knife free from her glove and threw it into his knee. He screamed and dropped onto the other knee. The girl walked up to him, grabbed his head and slammed a knee into his chin. The hit crushed his jaw closed, sending a tooth flying. She let go of his head and he dropped. Pulling a pen from her pocket and wrote ‘rapist’ on their foreheads.
She jogged through the maze and found a couple of guys playing cards on a piece of cardboard. “Hey En,” said one man as he waved.
“Hey Jase, a couple of sexist bastards found their way here. I’ll give you my dancing money if drag them out in front of the bar. They have concussions at the least.” she tossed a wad of money down and the two snatched it up.
“One day those idiots will figure out drunks aren’t safe in this alley,” one of them laughed, obviously drunk. “You rob ‘em?”
She rolled her eyes “You know I didn’t. Anyway, the idiots have screwed up my timetable, I gotta run.”
“Kick some ass!” the pair yelled after her.
She ran full speed 2 blocks to a 7-11 and walked inside, panting. “Hey Jerry, using the can!” she yelled, grabbing a bag of chips as she passed. She pulled a key from her pocket, unlocking the door and hurrying inside.
“Hey! You said no public restrooms, what the hell?” screamed an overweight man in a cheap suit.
Jerry smoothed his green uniform and said “What can I do? She has her own key.” she shrugged and laughed as the man stormed out of the store. A few moments later the girl emerged. She was wearing a loose bright white blouse with some professional slacks. Her brown hair pulled into a bun, and she wore subdued makeup.
“What do I owe you for the chips Jer?” she asked
“You know I got you covered, why even ask?” he laughed “So it’s a Charity night then?”
She grinned at him, her eyes hard “Of course. But first I got a bus to catch.”
She charged out the door and ran at a dead run to the bus stop. She arrived seconds before the bus. She ran up the stairs, tossed in her change and found a seat. Her destination was about an hour away, so she settled in for a long ride.
The trip was uneventful, and she stepped off the bus in the business district. Smoothing her shirt, she walked up to the entrance of the Segan-Wattfield building. She ducked around the corner silent as a ghost and reached under her shirt. She pulled out a tablet, a screwdriver, and a keycard.
She glanced around to make sure no one was coming. Reassured, she grabbed the keycard box on the door and yanked it hard, breaking the machine off. She set her tablet and keycard down and set to work on the wires. She used the screwdriver to splice some wires and pulled a USB cord from her pants pocket. She twisted several wires to connect with the cord and plugged the tablet in. She tapped an icon and a cartoon whale appeared, blowing water. In a small box beside it, strings of numbers ran faster than the eyes could follow. A few seconds later the whale blinked and a list of names appeared in the box.
She searched the list until she found the name Cergison, David. She tapped it and slid the card into a port on the tablet. Seconds later a red light flashed. She took out the card, slipped it into her pocket. She closed the app and some garbage spreadsheets appeared on the tablet screen.
She took a few deep breaths and forced some tears into her eyes. She then shoved the door open and began sobbing. “I’m in so much trouble! Mr. Cergison is going to fire me for sure!” She charged for the elevator for Cergison Electronics. She found herself stopped by the security guard.
“Ma’am, the office is closed. No one is allowed in til morning,” she knew it was going to easy.
“Please, sir. I have to get up there! The numbers for the morning meeting are wrong. I have to fix them!” She began to cry into her hands.
She gave the man a lusty stare “Call me Em, please”
“Em” he stuttered “I can’t let you up there, it’s orders!”
“She stared in his eyes and licked her lips. “What if we can come to some understanding..”
The man stared at the young woman for a long moment, then glanced at the security camera “I’m.. sorry, but after my shi-”
Em slammed a fist into the man’s face and he dropped to the ground. “Always the hard way,” she muttered. “Where do they keep finding these loyal goons?” She rushed the door and slid in the keycard, and waited for the elevator. As she waited the tablet beeped. “Finally!” she muttered.
The elevator opened and she stepped inside but didn’t push the button. Looking at the tablet she had a list of all the systems in the building. Accessing the cameras, she rewound to before she entered the building. A few clicks erased the remaining tape and shut down all the cameras in the building. She then tore off the flimsy blouse and slid off the loose slacks.
Beneath she wore a purple catsuit with a thick black vest covered in pockets. She had black pads studded with shining steel on her elbows and knees. She slipped on her gloves and pulled out a strange pair of sunglasses and a WW2 helmet from a pack on her back. She donned the glasses and helmet and reached back in the bag, pulling out night vision goggles. She put these on her helmet, then hit the button to go upstairs.
As the elevator went up she slipped a round pellet from a pocket. She stared at the numbers until she reached the top floor. In a quick motion, she threw the pellet to the ground, filling the elevator with smoke. She dropped to the floor as the elevator door opened.
Seconds later a hail of gunfire erupted above her. She could see the well dressed feet of a pair of thugs. She took a taser from the belt and fired it at one set of ankles. The needles tore in and the man dropped to the ground, quivering. The other man began to speak “There’s an intru-”
She leapt up and slammed into his gut, knocking his hand from his earpiece. Most men would collapse after that but he slammed her hard on the back, knocking the wind from her. She leapt back and stood with arms at her sides, growling.
“You- you’re that Charity chick! I’ll get a bonus for finishing you off,” he grinned and pulled a pistol from his waist. His downed buddy began to groan. Without looking she slammed a metal covered toe into the side of the dazed man’s head. Her hand moved behind her back in a swift motion.
As the pistol turned towards her she flipped her hand out, and a bolo spun outwards, wrapping around the man’s neck. He dropped the gun as he began to choke, hands pulling on the thin rope garroting him. Without missing a beat she charged in and began to hammer on the stricken man.
Charity’s fighting was not graceful or acrobatic. She clawed his eyes with her gloves and slammed a studded knee into his, shattering it. He fell screaming as she stomped the prone man in the groin, chest, and throat. His eyes went wide as he tried to gasp for air through his collapsed trachea. Charity frowned. Killing always complicated things. Pulling her tablet out, she clicked a few icons and the hallway lights went dark. She slipped the night vision goggles on and began slipping through the halls. She avoided the groups of clumsy men with ease.
As she rounded a corner she spotted a mainframe terminal and plugged her tablet in. She clicked a few icons and the whale appeared with the numbers scrolling at a rapid pace. After a few long seconds, the whale blinked. She sorted through a list of files and selected several.
She was about to disconnect when she realized how much trouble this whole night had been. She clicked a few icons and David Cergison’s social media accounts popped up.
She smiled and typed ‘Today I met a young girl working as an intern. She was crying and being a gentleman I asked what was wrong. She said her student loans wouldn’t cover her senior year. Someone as hardworking as her should be able to complete school. In response to this injustice, I am announcing a new women’s scholarship I will fund myself. I will create a trust to guarantee a reward of $10,000 per year for the next 10 years. I am calling this the Nocturna fund after the girl’s last name.’ She posted this to all his social media, then disconnected from the mainframe.
She stalked through the halls towards a room at the back of the hall. She slipped in close, took off the night vision and clicked a button on her glasses. Inside two men were talking.
“Listen David, if the press finds out I smoothed over this contract, they’ll eat me alive.” one voice said.
“Relax senator,” responded the other. “Everything about the plan is hidden away. All the information is stored on a mainframe accessible only in this building. Besides, who will care about a bunch of low income housing anyway? Everyone ignores the people when they get a shiny new factory?”
“Those people are voters, polls have me far too close to losing the election. A story like this and the Democrats will have my seat.”
“How nice for the voters they’ll see your corruption,” Charity yelled. The pair turned and saw her, eyes widening. She gave a one finger salute and disappeared into the darkness. She heard Mr. Cergison call his men to the office. She smiled, that cleared the way to the elevator. She slipped past the clumsy guards and pushed the button for the lobby. As the doors closed she grinned and set off the fire suppression system. All she had to do now was get this information into the right hands.
Ray set down his whiskey and rubbed his eyes. The new articles were finally finished and on his site. Even now people will be learning the truth about the corrupt businesses of Eda City. He stood to head to bed when his doorbell rang. Doorbells at 3 in the morning meant one of two things. He slipped a gun from his belt and walked to the door, careful to remain silent. Looking out the peephole he saw nothing, which meant nothing.
Taking a deep breath he opened his door, gun at the ready. The first thing he saw was a man lying unconscious on the floor. Blood gushed from his nose. Ray recognized him as his latest tail. He had a lot of enemies now, and they kept a close eye on him. The broken man meant only one thing. He smiled and looked at his feet. Sure enough, a box lay there with a note ‘Senator Termin and David Cergison had a little powwow tonight. Thought you might like a peek. -CN’
Charity Nocturna. Anything she dug up was sure to be good. He headed to his kitchen to start a pot of coffee. Looks like his night was just starting.
Name: Chocolate Bundt Cake with Fudge the 982nd
Age: 1 day
CBC is a deep rich velvety chocolate with a light crumb. He is a well formed cake with delicate fluting. Crisscross fudge covers him.
Even when they were batter, all cakes knew that the chocolate cake was the nobility of cakes. Chocolate Bundt Cake was the 982nd in the line of his family. Other cakes loved him and humans desired him.
His destiny was not that of his ancestors. The center shelf was always saved for chocolates. For reasons known only to the Dessert Lords, the baker placed him on a high shelf out of view instead.
The shelf was an insult that would not stand if he could move anyway. He wasn’t chosen, which hurt his considerable pride. What he saw next horrified him.
The first of the chosen was 3 Tier Vanilla with flowers. She was a kind and beautiful cake, the 200th of her line. Bundt watched her with envy, when he noticed a flash of silver. A razor sharp knife hacked a chunk from her top tier and she screamed in agony. Bundt and the others could only watch while humans dissected and devoured her.
An hour later a human stole away with a dozen screaming cupcakes. The polite little cheesecake came next. Before leaving the human stabbed a toothpick through the head of a baby cake and ate it. The humans took dozens of desserts home, eating some in front of their friends.
The slaughter ended when the room went dark and the baker left for the outside world. Bundt wept for his fellow baked goods. His sobbing stopped when a blue glow caught his eye. Looking up he saw a transparent 3 tier vanilla hovering in front of him. If he could move he would have run, but since he couldn’t instead he asked, “Is it really you?”
“Avenge me,” the apparition stated.
“I cannot move m’lady” he said, voice quaking.
“Avenge me!” the apparition cried and flew through him.
His crumb stretched outward sending hot fire through his body. After a time the pain passed and he turned to look at the strange protrusions. He nearly toppled off the shelf in shock; he had moved!
He discovered the protrusions enabled him to move around and grasp things. His fudge dripped down into an arched drizzle. He could avenge the others now. He just had to figure out how.
How should bundt avenge his friends? If you have an idea post it below, or even better write how the story goes. Link to my comments and I will share your name in next week’s entry.
For my 1st anniversary, I did a rewrite of my first story, Emily’s Monster. I’ve learned a lot over the last year and wanted to see how far I’ve come. Thank you to everyone who’s been following me, it’s meant a lot that people push that like button on my stories. Here’s hoping the next year is as good as the last.
I ran in the door throwing my muddy backpack to the floor with a squishy splat. Jessica was a poophead and Breanna was a stupid head. Taking deep breaths didn’t stop the burning tears. My papers, books, and beautiful pony backpack were ruined after they dumped them in the mud.
Every day the jerks found a way to make me cry, and I was sick of it. A small smile crossed my face at the thought of them getting what they deserved. I knew it would happen very soon.
“Mommy! I’m home!” the sound echoed through the house and mommy didn’t answer. Wandering into the kitchen I saw a stuck to the fridge with a black cat magnet. I grabbed the note, knocking the kitty to the ground. After recovering the magnet my eyes scanned the note.
A matter came up and I had to fly off to take care of it. There’s a snack in the fridge. I should be home by 8.
Setting the note on the table, I looked in the fridge to see carrot sticks and ranch dressing. I slammed the door, leaving the snack untouched. There were more important things to do. Mommy would have yelled about running if she saw me head to my room.
Looking around the room I saw mommy had made the bed, the big unicorn head on my blanket stared at me. Climbing into the chair reminded me how small I was, and why the two big girls picked on me. I wiped my eyes and looked at the clay creature I had been making. It was the size of my barbies with legs like a goat and a he-man body. The head was a wolf, but I messed up the nose. It had a weird bend I couldn’t fix
I set to work, starting with the nose. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t uncrooked the nose. Sighing, I switched to squishing the muscles to make them even bigger. Adding more clay he looked like a muscle man.
After weeks of messing with it, the figure was good enough. Turning it around, a small dent held a tiny blonde hair. I made another dent pushing a brown hair into the back as well. The process made me giggle. Picking it up, I carried it to my room my mommy called the chapel and set it on the big table in the middle of the room.
I did a little dance and sung about my creature for a while, then went to have the snack. I was really tired. Still, I was looking forward to tomorrow. Tomorrow would be a good day.
Mommy got home later than she said, but came in with pizza and a broom. She set the pizza on the stand by the door and saw my backpack. “Those girls again? Are you sure you don’t want me to help?” her eyes were angry. They looked like they were on fire.
“No! I wanna do it!” my voice was squeally but I didn’t care.
Mommy rolled her eyes “Fine. Let’s eat and I’ll help you clean up that muddy mess.”
“Oooooh Kaaay” I answered. Heading to the table I was happy mommy had gotten my favorite, pepperoni, and onions. For a while, we were quiet as we munched our food. After that mommy cleaned my stuff, making as good as new. I wish I knew how she did it, but mommy was the best. After that, I went to bed.
I hummed as I skipped to school the next morning. Today was gonna be a good day, I knew it. The sun was warm even though it was October and a nice breeze blew leaves around. I paused for a moment as I reached the gate, looking around for Jessica and Breanna. I didn’t see them. Good.
As I started toward the door a hard shove sent me flying, smacking my face on the gate. My eyes filled tears and a screamed when I realized my nose was bleeding. I turned to see Breanna laughing and Jessica smirking. “Aww did the midget hurt herself, how sad,” Jessica said, then laughed.
Both looked confused when I started smiling. “What is it twerp? Did a teacher see us or something?” Breanna yelled.
Someone screamed and I began to laugh. Soon everyone was yelling, and Breanna and Jessica turned white. I spun to see the playground clearing, running from a thing exiting the woods across the street. As it got closer, I saw the wolf head with its crooked nose and then the big muscley body.
It ran towards me and the bullies. The pair began to run, screaming. They were way too slow and the creature caught them. They squirmed and cried but couldn’t get away. The monster turned them so they were staring at his face. “So you like to bully Emily?” it growled “I’ll show you what happens to girls who bully Emily.”
He dropped Breanna and pinned her under a hoof. He spun her so her butt was in the air and spanked her. Each smack echoed around the playground and Jessica screamed and cried. After a few minutes, he dropped Jessica to the ground. The girl was in tears, holding her butt and kicking her feet to try and move away from my critter.
As he bent to grab Breanna she screamed super loud, but the monster didn’t care. Like Jessica he spanked her hard, making her scream and sob. He dropped her to the ground and looked at both girls and said “be nice to Emily or I’ll come back.” He then marched back into the woods.
As soon as the monster left a teacher came out and saw Breanna and Jessica crying. “What happened?” she asked.
“A monster!” Jessica screamed. Breanna said so too, along with a bunch of other kids.
“Enough with the lies!” the teacher yelled. “You two come with me to the nurse’s office.”
Jessica and Breanna spent the next hour in the nurse’s office. I heard later their parents came to bring them to the doctors. Everyone said their butts were purple.
They came back two days later, walking really weird. Everyone called them purple butts except me. I didn’t pick on people, it was mean.
When they saw me they got super friendly, asking how I was and stuff. We were super good friends for a long time. They would give me stuff and open doors and things. It was great.
It was the last day before Christmas vacation when they stopped. They ignored me when I came in, and whispered together. I missed them being super friendly but they weren’t picking on me so that was good enough.
I had worn a super nice Rudolph sweater that everyone liked. I got lots of compliments before we went to class.
We had a great big party in class where we gave secret gifts and ate cookies. Then we sang some winter songs. Some people didn’t believe in Christmas so we didn’t sing carols. We were playing a game when the bell rang for lunch.
I skipped into the cafeteria, and the air smelled spicy from the chili we were having. I loved chili! Grabbing a tray, I went in and got a bowl of chili, a piece of bread and fruit cocktail. As I exited to go sit Breanna and Jessica stood in my way.
“I don’t know how you tricked us into thinking there was a monster. My doctor said it was a hallu- hallunition. It’s fake,” the pair looked around. “Besides it can’t get us in here.” I tried to walk around them, but Jessica grabbed me. I looked around but there were no teachers or cooks around.
“No one to protect you, aww too bad,” Breanna said. She shoved my tray up, spilling hot chili and fruit all over my nice sweater. As I started crying they began to laugh, followed by the whole cafeteria. My face felt hot, but I forced a smile.
The pair looked confused until a huge crash filled the room. The old oak in the playground had smashed the side of the building making a huge hole. Kids were screaming, crying and running away. Then a howl echoed through the cafeteria. Jessica and Breanna turned white. They screamed and ran to the cafeteria doors.
My creature stepped into the room, smiling. His crooked wolf nose made it scary. Breanna and Jessica found the cafeteria locked. “The doors are locked, how odd” I said as the pair began to cry and hug each other.
The wolfman grabbed the pair in one big hand. “So you like to pour food on people?” he growled “Let’s see how you like it,” he stomped over to the kitchen and grabbed the big pot of chili from the kitchen. It was bigger than the girls.
“No! Please!” Breanna cried.
“We’ll be nice! I’ll buy her a new swe-” Jessica started saying but it turned to a scream when the chili began to pour over the girls. They were lucky it wasn’t super hot. They cried and yelled for a teacher but none came.
After the pot was empty he threw it across the room. “You only get three chances,” the monster growled. “Be mean again and I’ll take you to a place where mean girls get punished forever.” It stuck its crooked nose right in their faces. “No one will ever see you again,” he snorted and threw them to the floor. It stomped out the hole and disappeared.
As soon as he was gone a teacher pushed the door open. “Why is this stuck?” she yelled. Looking around she yelled “Holy Shit!”
A bunch of kids laughed and others gasped. The teacher turned red, then began yelling orders. “All right everyone line up. Please leave the cafeteria in single file,” then she saw me and Breanna and Jessica.
“What in the world happened?” she asked.
“Breanna and Jessica dumped my chili on me,” I said.
“Thank you Emily. Do you have a clean shirt?” she asked.
“I have a clean shirt under my sweater,” I answered.
“Good. Get a bag from the classroom to put your sweater in and I’ll meet you in there,” she said, her eyes never left the other girls.
“Yes ma’am” I said and got in line.
“What happened to you two? You’re soaked in chili!” she said.
“It was the monster again!” they cried together.
“Enough nonsense from you. There’s no monster,” she said. “Do you feel burned?”
“A little” sniffled Breanna.
“All right, let’s go see the nurse,” she led the pair away.
School got closed early because of the tree. We all laughed when we heard the janitor swearing about the trail of chili staining the hall. We heard after vacation they weren’t burned, just messy.
Vacation was good, but getting back to school wasn’t.
“So where’d you kiss the devil’s butt?” a boy named Jeremy asked as soon as I got in the door. More kids asked that and held up little crosses at me that everyone seemed to have. Jessica and Breanna didn’t come near me, but I saw Jessica giving people crosses. Her dad was a pastor so she had a lot.
School was even worse than ever after that. Everyone called me “butt kisser”, “devil kisser” or “evil”. Everyone had great fun holding crosses in my face and saying “go away demon!” They all laughed whenever it happened.
It got so bad there was a school meeting about it. Some teachers tried taking away the crosses. They had to stop when angry parents called saying they couldn’t do that cause of Jesus or something.
I went home crying every day for a long time. Jessica and Breanna weren’t doing it so my monster couldn’t help. Mommy wanted to help but said she couldn’t cause the school didn’t dare to do anything. She muttered something about ‘Bible Thumpers’ I didn’t understand.
After a while the game got boring. I ignored the crosses and avoided everyone. Soon everyone was talking ‘bout the new monster game coming out. It still happened a little bit, but it wasn’t so bad anymore.
On the last day of school, Breanna and Jessica stared at me when I got to school. They scared me, so I rushed into the school, but they followed, standing across the hall from my locker. I went to put my books away and someone shoved me hard. I fell into my locker and the door shut behind me, I began to cry as I heard a lock click and the sound of people laughing.
I was so squished I couldn’t turn to slam on the door. All I could do was cry and scream.
Then I heard smashing, followed by screams. I stopped crying and listened, hearing two panicked voices, followed by crying. The locker door ripped open and I tumbled onto the floor. I looked up to see the hallway torn to pieces, and my monster holding Breanna and Jessica.
“Don’t take us away!” screamed Breanna.
“We’ll be nice!” Jessica yelled.
The monster turned and held the two in front of me. I stood up and smiled. The pair stared at me, eyes wide and filled with tears.
“Please Emily! We’ll never be mean again!” Jessica cried.
“Yeah, we promise,” echoed Breanna.
“You’re right, you won’t,” I answered. I waved to them and laughed.
They both screamed as my monster stormed away, taking them away forever.
We went home early that day, too.
I was smiling when I got home. Mommy saw the look on my face and smiled. “So they couldn’t stop being mean?”
“Nope,” I answered.
“Your golem worked?” she asked.
She came over and hugged me. “I’m so proud of you. If you keep learning this fast you’ll be more powerful than gramma in no time.”
I blushed “No one is tougher than gramma.”
“I made cookies,” she said, standing to heading to the kitchen. She stopped and looked at me. “Are you ever going to let them go?”
“Dunno,” I answered “What kind of cookies?”
“Chocolate chip, of course!”
Jessica and Breanna were all over the news for a long time. There were search parties and everything. I even went on one cause I thought it would be funny, but everyone was yelling and crying. It made me feel kinda bad.
The clay figure lives on a shelf in my room. Mommy says if I break it, Breanna and Jessica will come back. I look at it every morning, but I haven’t broken it yet. Sometimes I hold it and think about the mean girls, then set it on my shelf. I always remember what mommy says “Our family is important. If other people hurt us we have a right to hurt them back.”
March 5, 1982
Liz wanted to get up and run but didn’t dare anger Ms. Rothfield again. In her mind, she heard Wendy’s screams of agony. She couldn’t understand why she heard emotions, but it had always been that way. Sometimes it was useful, like knowing the best point to beg a parent for a new toy. Then there were times like this.
The Wendy felt alone, isolated and frightened. Frightened of her own mind, and what it was telling her. Liz couldn’t read the thoughts but knew what was happening, the girl wanted to die. Even at 12 Liz could see it. Liz wanted to hide somewhere where she couldn’t hear the thoughts anymore.
Wendy was one of the biggest targets of the bullies, and they were relentless. At recess they would mock her height, her weight and often asked if she was a man like in Tootsie. This morning she was so angry she shoved a girl to the ground then ran crying. As usual, the teacher yelled about roughhousing and went back to talking with the janitor.
For a split second Liz felt an aloneness beyond anything she had ever known. Liz was also ostracized, the others called her a scarecrow for her stringy blonde hair and thin build. She had to help somehow, but she wasn’t sure how.
As the bell rang the feelings changed from pain to certainty. The change chilled Liz to the bone. As they exited for lunch she saw Wendy slip off from the group and head in the opposite direction. Before she knew what was happening Liz followed. She had to help somehow, no one else would or even cared.
She followed as the larger girl began climbing up the stairs. Wendy’s steps gained speed as she climbed. They reached the roof, and Wendy climbed the ladder that led to the belltower. She looked over the playground and waited. In 5 minutes the kids would finish their meals and head outside.
Now was the time to act or she would jump in the midst of a shocked group of jerks. Liz called up “Wendy, please come down. You’re scaring me.”
“No,” she shouted down. “They all make my life hell. I’ll show them what they’ve done to me and they’ll be sorry.” As Wendy spoke I heard the sounds of chatter echoing from far below. The girl looked down, waiting to see something or someone.
“I know how you feel. They hate me too. We can help each other against them, won’t you try?” Liz called to Wendy, voice pleading.
The feeling of certainty began to waver, “You understand, don’t you? Maybe I can..” she was about to open when a shrill voice echoed up from the playground.
“Look it’s a whale in a tower!” came the voice, followed by laughter.
A teacher yelled “Get down now!” He didn’t seem to understand what was happening.
The uncertainty evaporated and she turned, preparing to let go. Liz saw only one thing to do. Usually, she only pulled a little happiness from another kid, or calm her father when he had too much to drink. This would be a whole different level.
Liz closed her eyes and focused on the pain and loneliness and took a deep breath. She pulled the emotions out of the suicidal girl into herself. The pain was almost too much to bear. She felt the isolation from the others, the fear of her father when he went after her. The girl’s life became clear. Her dad did things she never imagined a father would do to a little girl. She thought only grownups had sex. Why would he do that to her?
She pulled harder, Wendy’s pain amplifying her own. Soon it flowed into her without effort. Liz didn’t even notice when she fell to the floor, sobbing. She curled into a ball and sobbed Wendy shook her, and a teacher’s voice echoed over her, all meaning lost. There was only pain, fear, and loss. The feelings became so strong she thought it would kill her. In the deepest despair, a strange moment of clarity came over her.
Images flowed past her; a heavy set boy, yelling at her. A caring pair of eyes changed to the eyes of a demon. Voices called to her she knew but didn’t. People loved and needed her. Then a burning ended it, but it didn’t end, she kept going. There was a ring. She floated over a grave. It was hers.
Faces washed past, some she knew were friends, some enemies, some both. The heavy set boy was the constant and became her rock in the strange vision. Finally, an unimaginable storm of emotion tore at her. She screamed, but couldn’t hear herself over the torrent of pain. A hand, his hand, anchored her.
She shot up and blinked. She was in a hospital room, her parents sitting nearby praying. “Mommy, daddy? What’s wrong?”
The pair leapt up and hugged her, talking all at once. They wanted to know what Wendy did, what happened to her and how she felt.
She learned they had expelled Wendy over the event. Everyone was sure the large girl had shoved her down the ladder, even though Liz had no bruises. She had been in the hospital for almost a month, with doctors diagnosing her with a severe concussion.
No one believed her when she said Wendy did nothing wrong. No one would believe the truth, so Liz had no way to defend Wendy. Everyone thought Liz was either scared of Wendy or felt bad for getting the big girl kicked out of school. She ended up in a Juvenile Detention for 2 years, until she hung herself with a sheet. The other kids dug Liz for the juicy story and when she didn’t have one they mocked her for getting hurt from a simple push.
Her act to save a girl failed, and gained her ridicule and mocking worse than before. She resolved she would never help anyone again. Even as she did she knew it was a lie. The vision said as much.
Name: Nate “Nickel” Thompson
Appearance: Nate has ebony hair, a large and ready smile and glittering brown eyes. He is tall and thin, in actuality emaciated. He wears dress shirts with the sleeves rolled up and loose fitting jeans. He always wears a trilby hat he calls a fedora by mistake. He has a pocket watch on a gold chain. On close inspection, the clothes are threadbare and stink.
Background: All through school Nate heard one thing, how great his art was. He could draw a picture by picking a corner and letting it flow. His work was flawless and he reveled in it. His drawings were often compared to black and white photos. He won school art contests. He made all the posters for homecoming and several class presidents.
He wasn’t one of the popular kids, but most raved over his work. The praise made him feel invincible. Only one art teacher, a sub at that, ever criticized him, telling him his work lacked true emotion. Nate laughed and brushed it off.
He received many offers for scholarships at prestigious schools for art. He knew he didn’t need them. Instead, he moved to Greenwich Village with a couple of other art students. They got a cheap studio in a run down factory. After a while, he realized it was an illegal situation. It would be a great story when he was famous.
While he didn’t think it would be for long he got a spot in a park as Nickel Portraits and painted in his spare time. As often as he could he left art at collectives and galleries. Every one told him his work lacked spark.
He couldn’t make much on his portraits, not because they were bad, but he took far too long to make them. He could make 2-3 in a week, but could only sell them for $30. Soon every penny was going to rent and supplies. He lived on Ramen and soup kitchens. He couldn’t even to buy “new” clothes at goodwill.
After 6 months he was lost. He was starving, and one of his friends was leaving. He had gotten several pieces in a gallery and was becoming popular. Nate was polite but seethed inside. His work was perfect and for some reason that wasn’t enough. His friend lacked his exactness and he spotted technical errors in every one of his $500 pieces. Added to this was panic because he would have to pay more rent he couldn’t afford.
They threw a huge party the night before his friend left, with copious beer and some hipster chicks. Nate got plastered, swore at his friends about how he was superior and every one of them were idiots. He then punched one of them, threw up and passed out.
He awoke in the hallway, his meager possessions in a bag. They had smashed his easel and commissions. Nate couldn’t remember what he had done but knew he’d screwed up. He picked up the bag and screamed a few obscenities at the door before leaving. Without his supplies, he couldn’t even make the tiny amount he had before. Desperate, he began drawing city images on napkins with a stolen ballpoint pen. He would jump in front of cars at stoplights and try to sell them. The only result was spending a night in a jail cell.
Finally, one December night he lay in the snow in an alley, shivering. There was a shelter nearby but he didn’t care. People couldn’t see his genius and he couldn’t take the humiliation anymore. He cried as he began to nod off, ready to let the cold claim him.
He was unconscious and beginning to feel warm when a loud voice woke him. “So Mr. Perfect can’t give away his perfect work.” Nate looked up and saw that one sub who told him his work was bad.
The cold took any surprise he may have had. He looked up at the man, tears in his eyes. “You came all this way to tell me you told me so?”
The man knelt down, his body throwing heat like a furnace. Nate found himself sweating despite the cold “No, kid. I came to make you famous. I can do it, I can give you the fame you know you deserve,” the man said, dead serious.
Nate looked at him and said, “How can you do that?”
“Easy as pie,” he chuckled and tossed a notebook in front of the desperate artist. Nate opened it and gaped. From beginning to end it showed the man shaking hands with the owners of the most famous galleries in New York. “That’s not all. I can give your work some soul, or someone’s soul anyway.”
“What do you mean?” Nate asked.
“It’s very simple. You start a piece and I give you a name. Make that person disappear without a trace. Your piece will be excellent and I sell it to a gallery. You become famous and I get what I need. Easy Peasy,” the man extended a hand.
Nate stared for a long time. He had nothing left to lose. Finally, he took the proffered hand. “Please, make me famous,” was all he said.
This story serves as an introduction to a new series I am starting. I don’t want to say too much about it so I don’t ruin anything. Enjoy and as always I love any comments you may have about the story.
July 15, 2018
Peter shoved his apartment door open with a rough shoulder. It had been hanging on its hinges for months but the super did nothing about, the lazy bastard. With a grunt of annoyance, he slammed it back into place. He tossed his keys into a basket on his kitchen counter, which flanked the door of the tiny room.
He was short, fat and ugly by his estimation. His nose was too large, his hairline too far back. The unkempt beard and ratty clothes made him look homeless. He had a small pension from his last job, enough to keep him in home and food, anyway.
Peter flopped on the couch, which creaked menacingly. The studio apartment was shabby, with appliances from the 60s. His only entertainment was an ancient television with a VCR. Since TV went digital a decade ago he couldn’t even watch local channels anymore.
Sighing, he slapped a cigarette out of the pack and lit it. He was trying to kick the habit, but it kept him calm when the memories came back. He popped an old copy of Die Hard and settled back to watch the mindless violence. Mindless was good, and he spoke the lines in sync with Bruce Willis, all to stop the memories.
Once he had fought the good fight, winning and losing until it all ended. He was glad it was over, he wanted nothing to do with those things. After the horror of his last mission, he was broken, and could no longer fight. He was glad he lost the sight and hoped it never came back.
Before long Peter began to doze. The movie over, the TV showed static. The old movie player whirred as it rewound the video to be watched again tomorrow. As his mind began to fade, a faint voice echoed in his mind time to wake up.
Sleep gone, Peter shot up and looked around the small room. It couldn’t be, he thought. He relaxed as he saw nothing unusual. He was sure it was his imagination. Grunting, he brushed the cigarette ashes from his stomach and rose. He wandered into the tiny kitchen and looked through the cupboards. He grabbed a can and dumped the spaghetti into a battered pot. He placed the pot on the only working burner and turned it on.
As he turned to pull out a plastic bowl and a plasticwear spoon a loud thud made him jump. Looking into his living room he saw the paisley couch was tipped over completely. He scurried into the far corner of his small kitchen. “No.. it can’t be..” he muttered before raising his voice. “I’m retired! The sight is gone! Leave me to my retirement!” he glanced around the apartment, staring down any darkness he found.
Peter…… it is time again… we need you a familiar female voice echoed in his mind.
“No! You’re dead! I saw it!” his voice thin and hysterical. “I lost the sight, it can’t be you!”
The couch creaked, attracting his attention. As he gasped for air a faint form appeared leaning on the couch. She was very young and thin, with strawlike hair and piercing nut-brown eyes. She nondescript, neither pretty or homely. The only striking feature was her long aristocratic nose. Somehow gave it gave her an imperious look. The thin smile she wore did nothing to help that.
You healed. She spoke, her voice bringing tears to his eyes. I can finish the process now.
“Please, can’t I just die in peace. I can’t do this again.” he stared at her “I got you killed. I failed and that thing-”
She cut him off You can’t blame yourself for that. You sacrificed everything to try and save me.
“I can and I will” he growled “If I pushed a little more.. ”
You would have died as well and the target would have been lost, her voice a mix of sympathy and frustration. You don’t have the luxury of pity. It’s coming for you.
“I thought you pulled it to hell,” his voice quavered.
If I had I wouldn’t be here. The others are already dead. Only the one we rescued and some children remain at the chapel.
Peter swallowed. If she was telling the truth he couldn’t ignore it. “Is this true?”
As true as my love
“Fine, let me get ready first,” he scampered to the shower and began to wash away weeks of grime. He took a rusted razor and shaved, only suffering a few cuts. He stepped the two steps from his shower to open his closet.
Within was a garment bag covered in dust. He pulled it out and opened it. He dragged out a black trenchcoat covered in faint embroidered runes. Putting it on he felt a rush and despaired. His eyes were opening again. He grabbed a silver pendant that had a complex rune carved in it. It represented what he had been. It burned as he put it on, it was no longer him. The banded collar dress shirt and black slacks would never fit him. Sighing, he zipped them back in the bag and slung it over his shoulder.
He walked to where the faint woman watched and squared his shoulders, even as his hands trembled. “All right, do it.”
She nodded and pressed a palm to his forehead. His mind exploded, dizziness and an electrical tingle flowed over his body. He screamed and his knees caved, but the palm held him up, dangling like a rag doll. Peter couldn’t tell how long he hung like that. He awoke to find himself on the floor. Looking up he saw her, as solid as life, and wept. “I failed you. Are you sure they need me of all people?”
“I’m afraid they do,” she said, and he could hear her voice as clear as the day she died.
“I’ll miss Die Hard,” he muttered and recovered the bag he had dropped. He walked to the door and it opened before him. Stepping through, it slammed behind him with a certain finality.
Where are they? he thought to her.
Looking amused she spoke. “Since when do you care about looking crazy? The chapel has moved, as I’m sure you know. Follow me and I will lead you to the new team.”
She floated down the stairs and Peter followed her as he always had.