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The Demon Brothers (*coco + Cspr)

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Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:09 pm
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Cspr says...



CALEB




For two seconds, I'd been sure my brother had died on me. I won't get into how that felt, because it was more of a white, TV-static-like roar couple of seconds. Then I'd moved. I'd slammed on the breaks and gotten out of the car, rushing to the passenger side, and slung open the door. I checked his pulse--found one, thank the Lord Himself--and realized I was talking to myself. Something about 911, hospitals, and lies about animal mauling. The usual.

I suck in a breath and look over Lucan. He wouldn't last for me to drive him to the hospital and calling an ambulance would be risky with a chimera not too far off. Not that most would probably be able to see it. The glamor was too much for most. So I ball up my shirt and jacket and press them to the wound, forcing myself to press harder than normal.

"Venom? What about--"

"Do you need a bit of help there?" The voice is soft, quiet.

I turn my head, hands still pressing down hard, to see a small, brownish-haired girl. She looks rather like a mouse.

"Who are you?"

"Ruth." She pauses. "I'm a healer."

"Sure," I say finally, and move to the side a bit. She pushes away my hands and I step back.

You shouldn't trust her. Probably a bloody witch--or a--

I pull her away and check her teeth. Not the best way, but werewolves and vampires have sharp teeth and demons occasionally do--or rows. Perfect for devouring things with.

Her mouth is normal, so I release her, but I watch her closely even as she shoots me an odd look, then goes back to what she's doing.

"Is he going to be okay?"

"If you leave me alone for a second, maybe."

I swallow hard. "Sorry. Um. What's wrong with him?"

"Poison of some sort. Or venom--Los Angeles Pit Viper's, maybe."

I don't contest whether or not such things exist.

The girl takes out a shot. Its interior liquid is gold. I raise an eyebrow.

"What's that?"

"You use blue liquid that's similar--Asur." She flicks the needle. "This works best for mythical poisoning."

"And how do you know that?"

She raises her sleeve, to show markings I really should of notices. Markings I'd seen in that house. Witch, definitely, then. My upper lip almost curls, but I keep control of myself.

"Good to go, then?"

"Yeah, sure--wait, what?" I jerk forward but she's faster and the needle is deep in Lucan's arm before I can do anything else; released.

I growl, low. "If that--hurts him in any way, I'll kill you."

She blinks as she turns to face me, but doesn't look all that surprised. "You look sick."

"I'm fine," I spit. I let the--but you might not be--hang over, as I'm forced to wait.

I hate waiting. I shift over and put pressure back on my brother's arm.

#

Whatever the girl had used, it had worked. Weird, slimy stuff had slid out, getting all over my hands, and the wound had sealed--in twenty minutes, tops. Now we stood, still waiting. I kept one hand attached firmly 'round her wrist and watched my brother's face occasionally twitch, with a quirk of a lip or a flutter of an eyelid.

"He'll wake up soon?"

"Yeah," she murmured.

I felt her fingers brush my hand and I looked down, frowning. I got the sight of her picking dried blood off her fingers and had to look up.

"Thank you," I mumble.

"Don't mention it." She paused. "Really don't mention it."

I glance at her face. Her eyes are downcast, amber almost black from shadow, and she is chewing on her lower lip. I shift uneasily.

"Why?" I ask, as I start to lead her to the trunk. She doesn't struggle, or make a move to escape, just looks up and watches me with big eyes--eyes friggin' big enough to work in one of those confusing Asian cartoon things.

I unlatch the trunk and fetch a pair of silver hand cuffs.

"I need to take you back--for insurance."

"It won't hurt him." She looks fearful. Finally.

"I know, just--it's our garage. We have people coming through most days--'specially weekends. Public."

She frowns, but then shrugs her shoulders. "Any place is better than here."

#

My life didn't seem to go as planned. However, this was a bit weirder than normal, which was saying something. I was driving back home, slower than normal not to dislodge Lucan from where he was all wrapped up in blankets and conked out on the backseat. That wasn't too unusual. We'd been hurt before and that's what happened mostly; less hurt person driving, more hurt person sprawled on the back seat curled up with some hospital blankets we'd snitched over the years and an army-pattern fleece neither of us remembered where came from.

I looked in my rear-view mirror--to make sure he was okay. Yep. Snoring a bit, hair all in his face--but a-okay. Or seemingly a-okay.

I take in a long breath, check out the road--empty, straight--and then look sideways. The female witch named Ruth hand-cuffed to the roof handle with a pair of silver hand-cuffs was the odd factor of the day. If she weren't a witch, that might have been hot, actually. Well, no, not really. She looked so tiny, fragile. And her expression--all moony, like she was stuck in a daydream as she looked out the window at the passing moor, completely oblivious to the world.

I glance her over, quick-like. Yellowy-orange eyes, with flashes of green--perfect for a witch, rather like the black tomcat that liked to mess with our dog's head. Mahogany curls. Skin showing a potential olive-complexion, but with all the signs of sunlight-deprivation. If I didn't know better I'd that skin made her look like a vampire.

"So," I begin, as I glance back at the road, "how'd you know we were in trouble?"

"I felt it," she whispered. "Inside the house there isn't much--we all learn to block ourselves. Some of us-- I felt terror." She crossed her legs, uncrossed them.

"Inside the house?"

"Yeah." She sighed. "I saw you out my window and came out to help. Nothing more. Nothing more."

I scowl, as I make the final turn, the one into our parking lot. "I'm going to take him inside," I say, instead of responding to anything else of hers. I park. "Stay." I unbuckle and turn off the car.

"Aw, and I thought I'd head off to Milwaukee."

I look over at her, surprised. She's back to la-la-land. "Sarcasm doesn't suit you."

I get out and slam the door behind me, halfway hoping the noise will wake up Lucan. I don't like not knowing whether or not Luc'll be okay.

I can't think of myself being, ya know, without him. Freaky and all. And--

I shake my head and just go to open the rear door, happy once more that I have a saloon car and you could fit a frickin' baby pram in here. Putting myself halfway in with him hogging the seat would be impossible without--or at least without hurting him.
My SPD senses are tingling.




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Mon May 02, 2011 7:21 pm
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*coco says...



LUCAN MERCER




I woke up to the sound of voices and realised that I was lying on my bed, covered in layers and layers of blankets. My head was pounding but for some reason the pain on my shoulder seemed to have disappeared. Weird. Slowly, I turned my head to see Caleb staring down at me with that stupid look on his face. Standing next to him was a girl that I couldn’t recognise. She was weirdly small and had greyish brown hair and amber eyes that were glazed with a mixture of concern and relief. Double weird.

“How are you feeling, Luc?” Caleb asked, planting his backside on the edge of my bed.

“Fabulous,” I grumbled. What a stupid question to ask someone who nearly got their limbs ripped apart by a demonic beast. My eyes met the unfamiliar girl and then Caleb’s questioningly. He seemed to realise what I was thinking.

“Oh, this is Ruth,” Caleb said, “She’s the one that fixed you.”

She fixed me? “Meaning what?” I asked him sternly, frowning at him.

“Meaning she gave you an injection to help take away the pain from the attack. Apparently the Chimera poisoned you or something...”

Poison? I guess that made sense considering the agonising pain I'd felt. I stored that piece of information in my head and glared at Caleb dangerously, pushing aside the blankets to sit up. “You let some stranger inject me?” It took all of my willpower not to sucker punch him in the face. How could he be so stupid? “You don’t even know her, she could be anyone!”

“She’s a witch,” Caleb said matter-of-factly, which did nothing to assuage my anger.

“Oh, well that’s just perfect isn’t it?” I spat, sarcasm dripping from my voice.

Caleb rolled his eyes in annoyance. “C-mon, Luc, I thought you were dying on me,” he said to his defence. “You needed help and I was desperate...Ruth just sort’ve came out of nowhere and seemed to know what to do so I let her.”

“And what if it hadn’t worked?” I asked him angrily.

Caleb grinned annoyingly. “Well, that’s why I brought her back with me, didn't I?” he lifted the girl’s arms to show the handcuffs that were around them. I hadn’t even noticed it until now. “Just to make sure the little Bennett witch didn’t try anything funny...”

“Well, I didn’t,” said the witch called Ruth defensively, glaring sideways towards Caleb’s direction. “Your brother’s recovered perfectly thanks to me,” her eyes then shot towards me. “You’re welcome by the way.”

I arched my brow at her sarcasm but decided not to respond. Thank-you’s were never really my thing, anyway. I easily returned to the subject matter at hand. “You’re a Bennett witch?” I slowly approached her. “What does that mean, do you live at the Bennett boarding house or something?”

Ruth swallowed nervously. Apparently, she suddenly found me quite intimidating. “Yes."

Great! I wiped a tired and frustrated hand down my face and turned to Caleb. If I wanted to sucker punch him in the face before it was nothing compared to what I wanted to do to him now. “You idiot, you kidnapped a Bennett witch? What the hell were you thinking? Did you not think about how that might play out with Nora and her grandmother, about what they might do to you if they find out?”
`
Not surprisingly, Caleb looked as though he hadn’t thought about any of those things. It was just one of my brother’s endless list of flaws; his inability to think before acting. “Go ahead. Call me stupid.”

“Caleb, calling you stupid would be an insult to stupid people.”I shook my head in dismay and went to find a fresh pair of clothes. “If I were you, I’d take her back. Now.” It was an order.

“But, I don’t want to go back...”

Ruth’s voice was so quiet, Caleb and I only heard her because of our part-demonic senses.

I raised a quizzical brow at the tiny witch. “Excuse me?”

She looked down at her feet and bit her bottom lip nervously. “I just hate it there. Nora and her grandmother treat the rest of us like children, they make us block our powers – as if they don’t trust us to use them - it’s suffocating in that place. Like being a prisoner...”

“That’s not our problem,” I said matter-of-factly, removing my bloodstained shirt to assess the damage from the Chimera attack. Yeah, the pain had gone, but the scars remained. Three thick red lines sat across my shoulder.

“But you owe me!” Ruth snapped suddenly. If she was afraid of me before, she didn’t seem so anymore. “I – I saved your life...you could’ve died from that Chimera attack and I stopped that from happening. I didn't have to but I did! The least you could do is let me stay here...”

I glanced at Caleb momentarily who shrugged as if to say she had a point.

"Look,” I said, my dark eyes dangerously meeting her gentle amber ones. “I appreciate your...help...but my brother and I don’t exactly run a motel, here. We’re in the middle of an important case-”

“I know,” Ruth cut in. “I heard you talking to Nora and her grandmother about it. Maybe I could help you...”

I took in her fragile figure and tried not to laugh. “Really?” I humoured her. “And how’s that? Do you know what Nora and her grandmother are keeping from us about the prophecy?”

Ruth eyed her handcuffs sheepishly. "No."

"Do you know what the Chimera was doing near the Bennett boarding house?"

"No."

"Then, you’re of no use to us," I concluded.

“That's not true," she argued, "I have knowledge in healing and other powers that I've learnt that could help...” she looked desperate now. “I can even cook if you want me to, please, I’ll do anything...”

I let out a tired sigh and pulled on a fresh shirt. "I haven't got time for this, I need to check up on Officer Dawson and find Shang..."

"Dawson's still sedated, and Shang left for the Police station," Caleb spoke up, "Apparently, he has some more bad news for us. He should be back in a few minutes to tell us what's happened..."

Bad news was the last thing I needed right now. I ran an uneasy hand through my hair at the thought of what Shang would tell me when he returned. With a final sigh, I headed for the door. "She's your problem, Caleb" I told him, pointing at Ruth. "You brought her here, so you deal with her...come back down when you're done." My mind drifted to the dream that I'd had of our father. "I need to tell you something..."
"Do you know what my heart says now? It says that I should forget about politics and be with you. No matter what. You're a true Queen, a Queen any King would kill for." - Prince Francis ♕




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Fri May 06, 2011 3:28 pm
Cspr says...



CALEB




Okay, so I’d been a mite stupid, but I’d been scared. Lucan really didn’t understand that his whole almost-dying-constantly-out-of-heroics-or-bad-timing thing really freaked me out on a general basis. At some points, I wished we could, you know, stop doing what we did just for that reason. Not that I’d say that. And, anyway, it’d be selfish. Other people needed our help more. If something happened to me or whatever I’d expect him to continue.
And, anyway, what would we even do? Become actual mechanics?
I sigh and glance sideways at Ruth. She was worrying her lip and looking concerned.
“What?” I ask.
“Do we have to, you know, be in a bedroom?”
“Well, you’ll be staying in mine. Not much different, but mine doesn’t smell as strongly of weed.”
The worry melted off her face and she raised an eyebrow, obviously annoyed now. “That’s not kosher.”
“In Lucan’s mind, if something is out of sight it doesn’t exist. He gets too busy running circles in his mind about other stuff sooner or later. Trust me, I’d know.”
She rolled her eyes but offered out her wrists. “Okay, but if this goes south, I’m going to kick--”
I raise my hands peacefully. “Hey, hey. I don’t have any ideas. I don’t want to be turned into a newt, either.”
She let out a small laugh. “Monty Python?”
“You know it.” I put an arm around her shoulders instead and lead her up. Normally this sort of thing went a mite differently, but seriously--who’d be stupid enough to try anything on a witch?
Sure, I was completely idiotic at times (I’d just kidnapped a witch), but I wasn’t that stupid.

#

After getting Ruth nicely hooked to my bedroom door’s glass doorknob and giving her a computer chair to sit on, as well as a prerecorded Lakers game to watch, I was off.
I walked down the stairs, avoiding the squeaky spots, and made my way down the entryway to the living room. I looked inside and saw Lucan, seated on a coach. His head was in his hands and his eyes were dark, downcast.
“Hey, bro, what’s up?”
“You trusting a witch to do emergency medical shit on me, what else?”
I frown. “You already twisted that dagger in once.”
“You hold everything above my head. I’m keeping this one thing,” Lucan muttered. He shook his head. “Whatever. I just--need to tell you something--”
“Something? How big of something? Like ‘I swam the Suez Canal’ big or--”
“Caleb, shut up.”
I shut up.
He shakes his head again. “I had a dream while I was out, about Dad.”
I frown and cross my arms. “Dad?”
“Yeah, he was talking to--”
“I don’t really care,” I state.
Lucan continues anyway, letting loose the entire story. It makes me think of a badly thought out joke, but maybe that’s because I’m only half listening.
“You’re serious?” I ask.
“Of course I’m serious!” Lucan screeched, like he always did.
I cover my ears. “I don’t see how actually learning the bastard is like Darth Vader and we’re two Luke clones helps anyone, actually. It’s unimportant. Just think of him as any other demon and we’ll go far.” My stomach growls. “I’m going to go eat something.”
I turn to head towards the kitchenette, but Lucan grabs me by the shoulder and yanks me back into the den.
Ugh. Now what?
My SPD senses are tingling.




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Fri May 06, 2011 9:20 pm
*coco says...



LUCAN MERCER




It amazed me how the douche could be thinking about food at a time like this.

“He’s not just another demon, Caleb, he’s our dad!”

Caleb shoved me away. “He’s not our dad. He’s a bastard who left us. End of story. I’m ordering pizza...” and with that he walked off.

“Caleb!” I yelled after him.

He waved me away with a hand and continued to walk off. “No pineapple for you. Got it...”

I watched him go with a scowl. The Asshole. I didn’t like talking about our old man anymore than he did but we couldn’t exactly ignore the dream that I had. This was serious. Lucifer had planned to attack us tonight at the Bennett Boarding House, and he thought that our dad had betrayed him, that he was the one who warned us about it. But our dad swore that it wasn’t him. He swore to Lucifer that he was loyal to him, that he’d find us by any means necessary...

I sat back down on the couch and ran my fingers through my hair in frustration. A hundred questions were bombarding me all at once. Why did Lucifer want to find us now after nearly two centuries? Why was our dad helping him? What demon really betrayed Lucifer and warned us about the attack? Why did that Chimera poison me? Man, all this bullshit would drive any normal person insane. Then again, I never was a normal person, and, thanks to my father, I probably never would be...

Suddenly, my thoughts were interrupted by a flying book that hit me in the face.

"What the-?"

For a moment, I thought it was Caleb trying to be funny, until I heard the most undescribably annoying nasal voice coming from above.

"Yoo-hoo, up here little devil!"

I whipped my head up to see a creature with green-eyes, a long pale face and an abnormally large hook-nose. t was a poltergeist and it was hanging upside down on the ceiling above me dressed in a ridiculous jester costume. On top of that it was smiling down at me manically, baring its disgustingly large yellow teeth. I'd never seen something so hideous looking, and believe me that was saying something...

"Well, hello, son of Ramses, aren't you a handsome fella - too bad about your old man, eh..." it gave a high-pitched manic cackle that almost made me put my fingers to my ears.

"What the hell are you doing here?" I asked it. I already had enough on my plate to deal with...

It swooped down from its perch and re-appeared in front of me. For some annoying reason it's smile seemed to grow wider by the minute. "Come now, boy, is that any way to talk to your saviour, hmm?"

I just raised my brow at it. "Excuse me?"

"You heard me," It gave a mischievous smiled and narrowed its green eyes. "You and your brother Caleb were about to have your backsides dragged down to Hell tonight by Lord Lucifer himself...that was until I warned you both..."

My face fell instantly as I remembered my dream. "It was you...your the demon that betrayed Lucifer...you warned us about the attack?"

"Bingo! DING! DING! DINGGG!" squealed the poltergiest, clapping his hands like a kid on Christmas day. "Aren't you a clever widdle devil..."

Before I could say anything, Caleb suddenly walked back into the living room, Pizza box in hand. His eyes widened upon seeing the Poltergiest.

"Dude..." he commented stupidly, eyeing the creature up and down, "that's a poltergiest..."

Talk about stating the obvious. “No shit, Einstein.”

"Ah, demon-spawn number two!" the poltergiest's eyes narrowed in on Caleb. "We meet again..."

"Wait a minute..." Caleb paused suddenly and frowned. "I know those eyes. I saw them on the Chimera..."

"You what?" I asked.

"When you were inside talking to the witches," Caleb answered me, taking a few steps closer to observe the creature, "the Chimera became posessed for like...a couple of seconds...and it told me to watch out. ‘Their coming’...that’s what it said to me..."

For the second time today. I felt like punching my brother in the face. "And you’re telling me this now?"

"I just thought it was trying to scare me, and then you got attacked, remember?"

Visibly annoyed, I turned back to address the poltergiest. "So go on then..." I said looking at it in disgust, "why did you warn us?"

“Hmm, let me think...” it tapped its fingers against its lips. A few seconds later the corners of its mouth twisted into a twisted half grin. "I don't suppose you'll buy the fact that I did it out of the kindness of my heart, would you?"

"No chance."

It gave a throaty high-pitched cackle before disappearing into thin air with a loud poof.
Last edited by *coco on Thu May 26, 2011 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Do you know what my heart says now? It says that I should forget about politics and be with you. No matter what. You're a true Queen, a Queen any King would kill for." - Prince Francis ♕




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Thu May 12, 2011 3:26 pm
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Cspr says...



CALEB




I winced as soon as it disappeared, what remained falling to the floor in a heap of burnt-out embers; tiny bits of cinder.
I was half disappointed there wasn’t any glittery purple like last time, actually. That would have been fun. It’d be like--‘Yeah, he’s a poltergeist, but he disappears in purple glitter clouds!’
Oh well.
He frowned and nudged the cinders with the toe of his shoe, before Lucan kicked him in the shin.
“Ow!”
Lucan raised an eyebrow. “Explain everything. Now.”
I put the pizza on the coffee table and begin. Our dog comes into the room seconds later and lays at Lucan’s feet (traitor) as I tell my ‘merry little tale’.
“So, there was this little ghost-y thing, the same poltergeist, I think--he just changed his look up minutely. He--she? Do they come in female?--was talking nonsense. Acting fruitloop-ish, ya know? Then this other ghost comes out of--”
“Other ghost?”
“Don’t interrupt. So there’s this other ghost--he looks like some ruddy emo dude, minus the python jeans--and he waves the poltergeist off. He poofs and I’m left alone waiting for you.
“I notice something smallish moving in the garden--no way was I thinking it was a chimera--and I sorta just get antsy. I didn’t think it was a big deal. Then you come out and come over to the car and--bam! Chimera, out of nowhere. It gets all up in my face, all lion-like, and then its eyes flicker frickin’ DayGlo green. It gives me a little message, I throw myself over the car in response, and then I try to drive us away, but you end up getting mauled.”
Lucan raises an eyebrow. “You make it sound like its my fault.”
“You didn’t close your door,” I grumble, even while I shuffle my feet. “But! That’s in the past. You feel better and stuff.” I nudge the greasy, cardboard pizza box at him. “Pizza?”
He gives me a certain look, which is a prelude to a sudden thumping sound.
I glance over my shoulder, at the stairs.
“Your witch is throwing a conniption fit. Get her before she croaks, eh?” Lucan suggestions all snarky-like.
I frown; look back at him. “Of course I’m going to check on her. One min--”
“LET ME OUT! I HAVE TO RUDDY USE THE TOILET! THIS IS AGAINST THE GENEVA CONVENTION!”
I almost drop, but then I realize that, hey, it’s Ruth, who may or may not have acquired a megaphone from the last time I saw her.
“Hey, Luca, what’s the Geneva Convention?”
I have to ask, even as I start making my way to the stairs.
Lucan’s eye twitches. “I’ll explain later,” he pauses, “just go deal with your new toy, Caleb.”
“Eh eh eh,” I mutter back, curling my lip. “Whiny, much?”
The shoe that is lobbed at my head after that shouldn’t surprise me too much, but, hey, this is how I deal--ignore, ignore, ignore. If I didn’t, he’d get onto me for being a girl. Can’t have that.
Really, he should just be used to it.
And stop throwing things at me.
Of course, I did sort of deserve it, didn’t I?

#

I walk up the stairs, them creaking under me as per usual, and make my way to my bedroom door. I open it and Ruth almost jumps me.
“Ah!”
She frowns and does this sort of hop-skip thing. “I have to go, you demon-blooded misfit.”
I blink. “You’re not helping your case.” She scowls at me and I sigh. I dig through my pocket and get out the key and then unhook her.
“Where’s the bathroom?”
“Third door on the left,” I say easily. She nods, rubs her wrist, and starts to move on. I follow, of course.
“What are you doing?”
“I have to keep an eye on you.”
She gives me a certain look and puts her hand on her hip in that way girls do, but her face quickly turns nervous. “No. You’ll be outside the door, right?”
“Keeping an eye on’ was a figure of speech.”
She frowns, shakes her head, and then walks through the door into the bathroom.
“If you need anything else,” I begin, only to have the door slammed in my face. I glare at the mahogany wood. “If you try to crawl through the bathroom window, be sure not to knock any of the salt off.”
I get no response to that, but the fan turns on.
Great.
Now I can’t hear a goddam thing. I let my head fall with a thunk against the door.

#

Twenty minutes of general fighting and extreme tension of the wrong kind, some stupid faux police show is on the TV, half of the pizza is gone--the half with pineapples, because Ruth seems to share the obsession of that sort of pizza with Lucan (ick), and Lucan is reading a book (after obsessively washing his hands to get off the pizza grease).
“How many slices have you even had?” I ask Ruth eventually, as she munches not at all daintily on the next piece she’s snatched up with those grubby steal-y hands of hers. Honestly, I got this food for myself.
In other news, it has now been proven witches do like pizza. Nora probably did steal some of our frozen dinners, then. Same difference, made with the same shiz.
Or not.
Today’s been so bloody mad my head isn’t screwed on right. If it ever were to begin with, as Lucan might say.
Ruth finally decides to stop eating and respond, though she’s taken to licking the tomato sauce off her hands, which half grosses me out. Just a mite.
Anything red--it’s blood now. My mind automatically aligns that.
Ick.
“Seven, maybe?”
“Aren’t girls supposed to eat salads?”
She gives me this sort of long-suffering look and glances over at Lucan.
“So, let me see if I have this straight: Werewolves and vampires are at each other’s throats, as per usual, but some rogue vampires have hooked up with the werewolves to get rid of their poncy cousins like some chavs. You two are partially demon-blooded. There was a chimera in my family’s garden and it bit you. There’s some prophecy having to do with all of this. That about right?”
Lucan blinks.
“About right then,” she says. “You do realize trying to go against prophecies is stupid, right?”
“Says everyone,” I mutter.
“We have to,” Lucan says calmly, looking directly at Ruth.
She sighs. “Your best shot is to stop it directly after the prophecy has been fulfilled. There can be a--you like books?”
Lucan raises the book he’s holding--something I’ve never heard of that is probably in Latin. I tilt my head, trying to make out the faded cover.
“So, each prophecy has a beginning, middle, and end. An exposition, a climax, and a denouement. If you cut it off right after the climax--the prophecy is fulfilled and there is no chance of it happening again, unless a new prophecy pops up. Stopping this now--it’d just happen, later. After you’re dead or when you’re too old to do a thing about it.”
Lucan opens his mouth to say something, but I beat him to it,
“Sort of like Beowulf?”
“No,” she said. “Well, he was old and got himself killed fighting a dragon, but he actually won. You’d fail. Everyone always does.”
I scowl and sit back further into my comfy chair. “Supposedly, we’re supposed to be in Hell right now. And isn’t there an exception to every rule?”
“Maybe you’re already the exception.” She smirks.
This girl. Just too logical.
“How do you know all this, anyway?” Lucan asks.
Ruth looks over at him, that doe-eyed look back. “I have ears. The walls, while thick, don’t do much for me. I’ve never listened to loud music, I’ve never even had a vacuum in the house. Ears like a bat.”
Gah, that house must have enough dust for a few dead bodies. --My mind goes to interesting places.
“So you might know something?”
She nods and flips a bit of her hair out of her face. “I know plenty. Whether or not I know what you’d like me to is up the air, though.”
Lucan makes a face, like someone gave him a lemon to eat. I snigger, unable to help myself.
Lucan leans over and punches me in the arm.
The lights flickering directly after wasn’t what was expected. I look around, but everything seemed normal.
Maybe I just blinked.
Neither of the other two seemed to notice and it made my skin crawl. Things were happening. Moving. Breaking. Coming. I knew that, I could feel it--static in the air like a storm.
I couldn’t deny whatever was to happened had started. War was back in the USA, as if we didn’t have enough problems to deal with.
But I didn’t say a thing. I just ignored it, pushed it away--like I always did, those suspicions. Half of them were always false, just like the things I saw. Phantoms. Memories of things already happened, beings dead.
I had to play the part of the comic relief. That was my job. And I wasn’t going to fail my only job by being a Debbie Downer.
My SPD senses are tingling.




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Fri May 13, 2011 7:47 pm
*coco says...



LUCAN MERCER




Witches. I’ve never met a group of people that were so annoying. Why couldn’t any of them give a straight answer to a simple question? It’s like they did it on purpose just to annoy me.

“God, this place is filthy!” Ruth suddenly said, yanking an empty soda can from underneath the couch seat she was sitting on. “You know, you guys should really get a cleaner...”

I gave her a levelled look. “We’re working on it.”

Suddenly the front door opened and Huck leapt towards it and barked. A few seconds later Shang appeared, covered in dog drool.

His eyes met mine as he wiped his face. “Hey, you’re awake. How are you feeling?”

“Fine,” I replied.

“Thanks to me,” Ruth mumbled pointedly.

I gave her a look. She really wasn't going to let that one go anytime soon.

A look of confusion appeared on Shang’s face as his eyes fell on Ruth. “Who’s she?”

“Another witch. Long story,” I grumbled, returning quickly to the subject at hand, “Caleb said you had some bad news for me.”

Shang nodded solemnly. “Yeah, I do and you’re not gonna like it...”

There it was again. That feeling of worry. “What is it?” I asked him.

Shang peered sideways at Ruth again. “Maybe we should talk upstairs in your office?”

Ruth arched an eyebrow. “You could go all the way up to the moon and I’d still be able to hear you.”

“The moon?” Caleb looked genuinely impressed, the gullible douche, “Really?”

I whacked the back of his head with the book I had in my hand for his stupidity and then turned my attention back to Shang. “Just tell us what’s happened.”

“Well...” Shang began, still giving Ruby an look of distrust, “while you guys were at the Bennett House, I got a call from the Dean of St. Jude’s college saying that there were some names missing from the list of the victims we put together.”

I was confused. “What d'you mean? We brought all the bodies back.”

“We did, but I’ve been given the names of the kids who were supposed to be at that party, but whose bodies were never recovered,” Shang said. “Which means two things; either those kids survived the attack and managed to flee, or, their bodies were stolen from the crime screen before any of us got there, which is why we didn’t find them.”

“Wait, stolen?” Caleb asked. “By who?”

“I think you mean by what.” Shang dug into the inside pocket of his jacket and pulled out a disk. “This is the CCTV footage from the outside of St. Jude’s campus the night of the attack. Most of the surveillance cameras were destroyed but there was one that I was just about able to retrieve its content from.”

“No one saw you though, right?” I asked him. The last thing we needed was Shang getting into trouble for stealing evidence.

“Well...” Shang pulled a face, “d’you remember when I told you about how the department’s new private investigator was starting to sniff around in the case?”

“Sean Ryder?” I nodded in acknowledgement. “What about him?”

“I caught the rat trying to get his hands on this disk. Luckily, I managed to get a hold of it before anyone else could...”

“So, what’s on it?” Caleb asked him. “Does it show the attack?”

Shang nodded. “Not just the attack. It shows the Addicts and werewolves performing some sort of ritual on those missing bodies that we didn’t find at the crime scene.”

Caleb and I swapped uncomfortable glances with one another.

“And that’s not the worst part,” Shang said. “There’s evidence in this CD that a witch was involved.”

What?” Caleb and I were both stunned.

“That’s ridiculous!” Ruth spat. “Why would-”

Shang easily interrupted her. “Look, I’m only telling you what I saw, alright?” he turned to face me. “You sure you still want her here?”

I threw Ruth a look of distrust. Shang did have a point but it wasn’t like the little witch could run and tell somebody what she heard. She was outnumbered three-to-one. A midget like her wouldn’t even make it past the front door. I’d make damn sure of that.

“Just put it on,” I told Shang.

Shang nodded and headed for Caleb’s laptop on the desk. “I have to warn you guys it’s pretty gruesome stuff...” he said over his shoulder.

I could hear Caleb gulp nervously as the three of us gathered around the desk and Shang put the disk into his laptop. After a few seconds and a click, the CCTV footage came up on the screen.

The word gruesome was an understatement. All you could hear were the deafening screams of pain and all you could see was blood. It was a massacre beyond description. Werewolves pounced on those kids like animals hunting their prey, tearing their bodies apart limb from limb with their bare teeth. The sight made my jaw clench in anger.

“As you can see the werewolves attacked first,” Shang commented, his voice quiet and disturbed. He silently forwarded through the video and stopped to press play a few seconds later. “Can you see those dark-cloaked figures coming from the glass roof?” He pointed at the screen to the figures.

“The Addicts,” I said.

Shang nodded. “They decided to join the party later...”

“Hey, that’s the Addict that I saw, Luc!” Caleb suddenly pointed at one of the dark figures on the screen. You could just about make out her face. “That’s the Addict that I ran into outside the campus, the one who looked all dirty and was drinking blood from one of the victims!”

I scanned the image carefully. She certainly looked like an Addict.

“The strange thing is none of the Addicts seem to bite any of the kids at first,” Shang commented. “They just stand there and watch the werewolves do their thing. Then when the werewolves finish their killing, things start to get interesting...” again, Shang forwarded through the video and stopped to press play a few seconds later. “Take a look at what they’re doing...”

Caleb and I stared at the screen and could just about make out a group of Addicts and werewolves looking like they were scanning the bodies littered around them. Every so often, one Addict would spot a particular body that was still alive and drag it to the middle of the hall. They did that for the next fifteen minutes until all the kids that were still alive were lined up in front of them.

“These are our missing victims,” Shang continued, pointing at the screen. “They’re the ones that the Addicts and werewolves selected to perform their ritual on...” for the third time Shang forwarded the footage and then pressed play. Suddenly, a familiar looking figure appeared on the screen and approached the centre of the hall. “And here comes the witch...”

My stomach turned as the figure drew closer to the camera. An old woman with drak eyes and brown ringlets...

Ruth clapped a hand to her mouth in shock. “No way! That’s Nora’s grandmother!”

Shang looked confused. “Wait, what?” he asked her.

Ruth was too shocked to hear Shang’s question. She was still staring at the screen like she couldn’t believe her eyes. I wiped a hand down my face tensely. The footage started to get a little blurry but you could still make out the deceptive old hag. Her eyes were closed and she was reciting some sort of spell that made a ring of fire circle around the chosen bodies. As the flames grew taller, the female Addict Caleb had run into knelt down to each body and dug her fangs into each of their necks.

Ruth was stunned speechless. “I don’t understand...wh-what is she doing?”

“She’s helping them with the ritual, that’s what she's doing,” Caleb scowled. “I knew there was something I didn’t like about that witch! No wonder she was so useless when we came to her for help. Not only did she create the bloody prophecy, she was helping it come true. The sneaky little...”

“No," Ruth looked pale. "That’s not possible...why would she...how could she-?”

I narrowed in on her, my eyes dangerous. “Did you know about any of this?”

Ruth looked incredulous. “No, no...of course not!”

"Bullshit," I spat.

"Look, I swear to you, I don't..." she pleaded nervously. The truth in her eyes looked genuine enough, but I still wasn't gonna let her off that easy...

“What about Nora?" I continued,“d’you think she knows, dyou think she’s a part of it?”

“I-I don’t know, we were never really that close...” Ruth faltered, her bottom lip trembling. “But, she was always close to her grandmother...she was the only family Nora had left after her parents were killed...”

“So you’re saying that she might be a part of it?” I asked.

“I don’t know!” Ruth shouted, clearly upset by all this. I could'nt give a crap though.

“What about that ritual Nora’s grandmother was doing, d’you know what it was?” I continued.

“No!”

God, she was useless. “Then you’re gonna have to find out. I want you to go back to the Bennett House and do some digging.”

Ruth looked horrified. “What? No way am I going back there, especially now!”

"You don't really have a choice!" I shouted. "Did you not see all those innoccent kids being butchered in the video?"

Ruth swallowed hard.

I looked her dead in the eye. "You said you wanted to help and now you have you're chance. You're the only person with access to Nora and her grandmother. You can go back to the house and find out what the hell's going on. Maybe there's a chance we can save those kids assuming they're not dead already..."

"But-"

I interrupted her. "If you don't, more innoccent people are gonna die. Do you want that to happen?"

Ruth shook her head. "Of course not."

"Then I suggest you get going..." I stormed out of the lounge area and headed for the basement door. This new turn of events seriously made me want to punch someone in the face.

"Where are you going?" Shang called after me.

"To see Officer Dawson," I responded. Right now, he was the sole survivor of the attack. A part of me hoped that the human could tell me something...anything that might be able to explain all this...
"Do you know what my heart says now? It says that I should forget about politics and be with you. No matter what. You're a true Queen, a Queen any King would kill for." - Prince Francis ♕




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Sun May 22, 2011 7:35 pm
Cspr says...



CHAPTER THREE


CALEB




I looked around, my eyes moving from Shang, to Huck who stood drooling, sleepy-eyed at his feet, and then to Ruth, who was still staring at the now blank, dark gray television screen, her hands limp on her thighs and her eyes huge. She looked shocked. Her lower lip trembled and I felt particularly horrible I hadn’t stood up and done something, anything to insure she hadn’t had to see that. Sure, we needed her and now she’d do her job, she had the proof of what Nora’s grandmother had done, but--I don’t know.

I suppose I tend to fail at protecting people, so the little things like her being scarred for life or whatever sent me off.

Finally I swallow, trying to avoid hearing the sounds of the video on repeat in my mind and stand up. I pat my legs and Ruth looks up at me, her dark eyes dull, void.

“Hey,” I say, awkwardly. I swallow again. “So, you want me to drive you back...?”

“Please,” she says. She averts her eyes to the carpet and I shook Shang a glance over my shoulder. He only shrugs at me.

I rub my neck and just go to get my car keys. I walk across the room and into the entryway. I reach around one of Lucan’s coats and snatch my key ring off one of the pegs attached to that old mirror we’ve had since forever’s frame. I take a hoodie, one of mine off as well, and then look at the mirror. I try not to grimace at my reflection. My hair, normally verging on crazy, is a mess and I have the eyes of a raccoon.

Lovely.

But at least I’m not, say, ripped to shreds. Still. I look like shiz.

I sigh and with the thought of eleven nights without sleep will kill you and you’re not there yet, lucky bastard, I’m back at Ruth’s side.

I hold out the navy, some-college-name hoodie out to Ruth and she just shoots me a tiny smile.

“It’s May,” she informs me anyway, as if I didn’t know, and raises an eyebrow.

I shrug. “Yeah, well. That old house of yours has to get drafts, right?”

She takes the hoodie and I feel minutely better.

#

Cruising along with a girl riding shotgun is undeniably weird. Or, at least, it is this time. Why? I don’t know. Without the silver cuffs and a possibly-at-death’s-door brother things would probably be simpler, but having Ruth just sitting there, staring out the front windshield, hoodie balled up in her fists--its just weird. Bermuda Triangle weird. So, if I’m constantly giving her sidelong looks that’s completely explainable.

Of course, in the instant after that thought, she turns her head and gives me this look. You know, eyebrows all scrunched together, eyes narrowed.

“What?” I ask, glancing over again.

“Can you not keep your eyes on the road?”

“I thought chicks dug that reckless driver thing. I mean, there’s that weird movie with the washed-up pale-skinners in it--”

“What?”

“Joking,” I mumble.

She sighed and starts messing with the AC. I try to ignore it. Hopelessly.

“So, how much further?”

“Not far.”

She falls silent after that, so I find a new way to entertain myself--

“Please tell me you’re not humming what I think you’re humming.”

“What’s wrong with--?”

“They broke up in the eighties.”

“I don’t see your point.”

She mutters something under her breath and looks out the window again. Eh. This drive was boring, too. At least Lucan would keep arguing with me.

“So, ah, how you doin’?” I ask.

She gives me that look once more. I keep my eyes focused forward after that. How do you even get your face to make such expressions?

“Fine. Obviously.” She shifts in her seat and looks decidedly not okay out of the corner of my eye, but I decide to let it go.

#

I pull around the final bend leading to the witches’ lair thing, that old castle-like house, before Ruth starts to freak out. I notice it--half-hyperventilating and her hands look like eagle’s talons, all white knuckles as they about tear my hoodie up.

I really need to stop giving people presents if this keeps up.

“You okay?” Well, I have to try again, don’t I?

“I really don’t want to go back. Especially not know.” She tries out a grin. I don’t buy it. “But I’ll be fine.”

I shrug. “Oka-a-ay then.” I stop the car once we hit the drive and look over. “So, I suggest you get out here, otherwise I might get flayed. You know, witches and shiz.”

She chuckles humorlessly and brushes some of her hair into her face. I tilt my head at the weird gesture.

She notices my look. “What? I was kidnapped. --Probably should have a black eye or something, too, but--you won’t help with that will you?”

My mouth pops open.

“No, you won’t help with that.” She shrugs and then tears a long hole in her shirt sleeve.

“Can you do that elsewhere or something?” I ask. Because--this is awkward. Ten brands of awkward.

“Tell me, if you weren’t some demon-blooded circus trick, what would you be?” she asks, instead of responding nicely like a good person.

Witches.

“What?”

“You heard me,” she says, even as she looks over herself, like she’s looking for something else to ruin.

I look out the windshield at the wild privet ahead, the long stretch of road; checking for any sign of movement. Movement--that’s the stuff that kills.

Luckily, human eyes are meant for noticing it.

“I dunno. Either a drunk mechanic or a schizo in a straitjacket, I’d assume.”

She gives me a look, stopping whatever she was doing as she whirls, turning to face me. She does look rough. Somehow. I can’t even tell what it is--eh, she’d make a good actress.

“That’s it? No ‘I’d like to be a chef’ or ‘I’d like to be a firefighter’? Honestly?”

I shift, rather uncomfortable. Why would she expect me to say something like that? I’ve never had a choice, so why would I question my life?

“Well, what would you be if you weren’t a witch?”

She sighs. “No idea.” She opens the door and steps out.

“Wait, where are you--? You’re just leaving?” I lean over, trying to get her attention.

She slams the door in my face.

I roll my eyes and sink back into my seat. “Hope you’re having fun, Lucan. I’m having a shitty day, personally.”

I twist the keys and start up some of my music. Thank goodness for it; one of the few things to keep me sane. I unbuckle and reach into the back seat’s floorboards then, too, and snatch up my Bible. I toss it into the passenger seat.

Best disinfectant in the world when it comes to witches, I’d imagine.
My SPD senses are tingling.




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Sat Jun 04, 2011 8:14 pm
*coco says...



LUCAN MERCER




This whole situation sucked beyond understanding. On the one hand I had Lucifer and my so-called dad on mine and Caleb’s tail, and on the other hand there was the possibility that the witches may be helping the Addicts and werewolves to overthrow the Pure Bloods.

I marched down into the basement to see Dawson lying half-awake on the operating bed. Slowing my pace a little, I walked up to him and watched as his eyes found mine.

“How are you?” it was a stupid question, but I needed to break the ice before I broke someone’s face.

He swallowed hard before replying. “The pain’s starting to go...”

“Ah,” I nodded glancing sideways at the bedside table where a collection of bottles filled with bright blue liquid sat, “that would be my special sedative...”

He appeared too dreary to ask questions, so I easily decided to change the subject.

“So, my brother and I just managed to take a look at some of CCTV footage from the night of the attack...” I paused and watched his face tense as I brought back the bad memories of that night. I felt bad for him but it had to be done. “We saw the attackers performing some kind’ve ritual on some of the kids...the kids whose bodies my brother and I didn’t manage to recover when we quarantined the building. We think that they may have abducted them.”

Dawson’s eyes widened in horror, “Abducted?” he repeated the word with a quivering lip. “But...why?

I shrugged. “I was hoping maybe you could help me with that. Maybe, you saw or heard something that could give us some clues...”

He shook his head. “There was nothing...I mean, like I said I just about managed to get out with a few others. Then, they caught us and spared me to send a message. I have no idea about what else happened inside...”

“So, you don't remember seeing or hearing anything...anything at all?” I pressed him.

Dawson shook his head again. This time more confidently. “No, nothing. I’m sorry...”

I nodded understandingly. I had a feeling this would be a dead-end. What now? I wiped a frustrated hand down my face and headed back up the stairs. I had to come up with a plan b fast. Time was running out, but unfortunately, so were my ideas. Re-appearing back into lounge, I looked around the room to find Caleb but Shang seemed to be the only one there.

“Where’s Caleb?” I asked him.

“Giving the witch a lift home,” he replied.

I gave an annoyed frown. Trust Caleb to suddenly decide to become a gentleman just when I needed him.

Shang approached me. “D’you really think it was a good idea sending that Ruth? I mean, d’you really expect her to spy on her own people for you?”

I leaned on the back of one of the couches. “Well, she has to. There’s no way she can trust any of her ‘people’ after what she just saw on that disk. She needs answers just as much as we do.”

“But what if they catch her?”

“They won’t,” I replied, giving him a levelled look. “She’s intelligent. I’m sure she’ll be fine.”

Shang let out an unconvinced sigh but decided to change the subject. “What did Dawson say? Could he tell you anything useful?”

I shook my head and crossed my arms. “I’m thinking maybe we should just release him to the hospital.”

Shang scoffed at that. “So Sean Ryder could get a hold of him?” He shook his head. “No chance. Dawson’s staying right here until all this blows over.”

“If this ever blows over,” I corrected him.

“C’mon, Luc, you can’t lose hope. You’ll come up with something, you always do...”

Even before he finished his sentence, I had a sudden brain wave. It was a bit of a long shot, but it was the only idea I had left. “Maybe the Pure Bloods can help..."

"The Pure Bloods?" Shang arched a sceptical brow. "Seriously?"

"Well, yeah, I mean it makes sense, right? Technically, they are the ones in danger of being wiped out, I mean, I’m sure they can shed some light on all this."

Shang looked nervous. “Luc, I’m not sure about this...”

I ignored him and quickly headed for the garage. Shang quickly followed.

“Where are you going?” he called after me.

“Inferno,” I called back, dragging out my black Suzuki bandit motorbike. “It’s an exclusive club – vampires only. The Familiars tend to use it as a safe-den...”

“Familiars?” Shang questioned.

“Humans who work for vampires in exchange for immortality,” I explained. I’d read it all in the book.

Shang looked incredulous. “What kinda idiot would-”

“Believe me,” I cut in, putting on my helmet, “there are plenty...”

The Familiar that I was talking about was Quincy, one of Caleb’s, let’s say, old acquaintances before he sold his soul to vampires. I had a feeling that if I wanted an audience with the Pure Bloods, whatever House and wherever they were in Longdale, then Quincy would definitely be my way in. Whether that pathetic waste of space would actually agree to help me was a different question though...

One the helmet was on, I revved my bike three times before Shang opened the garage doors. Hoping for the best and preparing for the worst (like I always did), I shot out and sped off towards club Inferno.
"Do you know what my heart says now? It says that I should forget about politics and be with you. No matter what. You're a true Queen, a Queen any King would kill for." - Prince Francis ♕




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Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:58 pm
Cspr says...



CALEB



I’d started to drive home automatically, doing my usual thing--humming to the music, mainly bored out of my skull as my thoughts banged around in my head. Wondering about what the heck was going on in general, mostly. Why Luc’s and my father agreed to--what he agreed to. Why we let go of Ruth--our only safeguard against witches, who we knew near nothing about--like we did. Luc may think she is useless, but I’m sure she could manage some counter curses or whatever. Then, of course, there was the whole apocalyptic thing going on. Werewolves and the Addicts and perhaps witches teaming up against the effing Pure Bloods. You’d think they’d have gone after the Pure Bloods already if they ever were. I mean, it had been so long. What were they going for? Most extreme carry-out of that cliche phrase ‘revenge is a dish best served cold’? Oh, and, of course, there was Luc himself, who I was pretty sure was still pissed at me.

I sigh, shrugging a shoulder as I continue along the road back towards the garage. Bigger fish to fry, I guess. Yet, we did work better when we were on good terms.

A bad song suddenly hisses to life on the radio and I groan.

“Of course, perfect timing. When good classic alt. rock could’ve been so, so soothing,” I grumble. I take my right hand of the wheel to turn the dial and--

Fricking live reel of Hiroshima and Nagasaki blasted shake through my brain. Or at least, that’s the closest I can come to. Whiteness and the sound of static, like on a television. My ears ring automatically and I stomp on what I think is the break pedal. A far-off shrieking fills my ears.

My brain begins to sort through images. Flash. A white face, like some powder-wearing theater wacko. Flash. Same white face, but it has frigging giant, gray-and-yellow shark teeth barred at me now. Flash. Scythe-like claws. Dark, light. Pale face. Teeth. Dark fabric, swaying against a bloody burgundy wall. Flash. Hell fire.

I get my feeling back and it feels like drowning, but the imagined water damps out that fire broiling behind my open eyes. The static sound in my head quiets, but doesn’t go away completely.

I stare at the steering wheel and then let my forehead fall down against it, my whole body going almost limp. Drool is stuck to my chin and I’m not sure how it got there. My hands shake, one clutched to the steering wheel.

A repeated tapping against glass jolts me then, sending my teeth clamping painfully together. I reach over clumsily with one hand and roll down the window.

I realize how stupid that was a second later, but then remember most monsters don’t knock.
I turn my head slightly, neck almost creaking as it moved painfully. A wrinkly-faced woman with dark eyes and a mess of russet Medusa-like curls is staring at me, looking concerned. I blink.

“Can I help you?” I ask, hand clutching the crank, ready to move the window back up if needed.

“Can you help me?” the woman asks, aghast. “Honey, you were having a seizure.”

I stare, unsure of how to respond to that. Creepy middle-aged women. What the heck was she doing out here anyway?

I glance at the rear view mirror to see a beat up, cherry red farm truck a few meters back. Ah. I reach up another hand and rub at my neck. It’s sore.

“Seizure?” I ask finally, sizing the lady up. She could be a threat. It was doubtful, but I dealt with the absurd and unbelievable, so what can I say?

“You were flailing around in your seat,” she says. “You stopped once I got to your car. It was lucky you pulled onto the arm.”

I bite my lip and look around, neck doing that creaking thing again. I see open fields, same as before--except I’m down off the road in a gravel stretch, a wire fence and tall grass only a few feet from the right side of my car.

“Yeah, lucky,” I murmur.

“So, are you elliptic?”

No, I am not a funny-looking circle.

“I don’t have epilepsy, no,” I say. “I just--I’m fine. It’s never happened before, but I’m sure I’m fine. No need to worry or anything. I’ll, uh, get my brother to come pick me up.” I try out a winning smile, the one that always gets me the gals.

The lady only looks at me, obviously suspicious.

I suppose I should be glad she’s not a cougar. She looks like Mama Weasley.

“You’re sure you don’t want me to call 911?”

“Very sure.” I damp down my smile a little and shift in my seat. My back spasms in response. Ow.

“You’re not a criminal, are you?”

I almost choke on my spit. I gesture at the Bible in my passenger seat, as if that might make my 'non-criminal' status more believable. “Nah, I just really, really hate hospitals you se--and my brother doesn’t live so far away. I was actually on my way to visit him.”

She squints, but shrugs. “If you say so.” She pauses. “Do you want my phone number in case he doesn’t pick up?”

“He’ll pick up.”

She nods and walks off through the muddy run off my car was parked on, heading back towards her truck.

I let out a long breath and crank the window back up.

I wait until she’s out of sight, down the hill and away, before snatching my phone out of my pocket. My hands are back to shaking, but I manage to fish it out.

I look into the rear view mirror once again, back at the stretch of road where that hit me--right at the mile marker, or maybe a little after.

What the heck was that, anyway? I’d seen things. That was normal. For me, anyway. The thing was, I saw things that were already there. Things that moved about us mostly oblivious humans without a care in the world, thinking we were lesser beings or things to be occasionally eaten on certain dates in winter or some else utter shiz. Monsters, fairies and all their relations--ghosts, ghouls, and poltergeists, a cat person once, weird Greek and Roman shiz, and on and on.

This? This made no sense. I’d gone inside my head. I shiver, feeling like a cat that got a surprise bath, and start to dial Lucan.

It probably wasn’t a big deal.

I put the cell to my ear and listen as it rings and rings on the other end. Come on, pick up. Pick up. You’re not going to not pick up today of all days.

Eventually, the phone goes to voicemail.

I swear and toss the phone onto the passenger seat.

I guess I’ll be driving myself home.

Where on earth are you, you bleeding idiot? We’re in the midst of a war and you don’t take the time to pick up your ruddy cell phone.
My SPD senses are tingling.




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Fri Jun 17, 2011 9:29 pm
*coco says...



LUCAN MERCER




Familiars cued outside club Inferno waiting to get inside. Three armed beefy bouncers (clearly Familiars too) stood outside the entrance to the club; two guarding the doors while the third checked each Familiar’s House mark before letting them through. It turned out that there were a couple of idiotic humans that were lining up too. They’d stupidly painted their wrists with fake House Marks that were easily spotted and were taken to the back of the nearby alley where they were taught a lesson. Normally, I would’ve done something to stop it but on this occasion I didn’t waste my time. Those douche-bags deserved it. Besides, I had other things to worry about. Like how the heck I was gonna get inside that club.

I tried just walking in but that didn’t exactly work out.

“Whoa, not so fast kid,” the bouncer said stopping me in my tracks and pulling me back to face him. “Where’s your mark?”

I figured I’d try humour on him. “On my ass,” I smiled, innocently. “I’d show you but I’m shy.”

Unsurprisingly, the bouncer didn’t look too amused. “Very funny. No mark, no entry.”

Then it hit me, he was a Familiar, a human who hadn’t become a vampire yet but was on the process of becoming one. That meant he had none of the vampire powers yet. Good news for me then.

I took a step closer to him and cocked my head to the side so he could see my eyes. Within seconds I sensed his body stiffen as my dark pupils suddenly flashed red to bring the Familiar under my demonic compulsion. It was a trick I only just managed to perform and control with the help of some of the old journals I’d been reading from the first Demonologist Dr. Erasmus Crawford. Luckily, his methods seemed to be working. I could sense the Familiar was completely under my control now because his eyes were focused and unblinkingly glazed.

“Now, here’s what’s gonna happen...” I told him, lowering my voice so that only he could hear me. “First you’re gonna give me your gun. Secondly, you’re gonna tell you’re two friends at the entrance that I’m a Familiar and lastly, you’re gonna let me in. You got that?” The Familiar nodded stupidly and then I took a step back and smiled as he handed me his pistol and repeated, word-for-word what I told him to say to the other two bouncers. They nodded at me stiffly, throwing me strange looks nonetheless, before stepping aside to let me in.

I smiled inwardly as I walked past them. Piece of cake.

Feeling kinda proud of the rewards of my new ability, I strolled inside the dark club and was welcomed by the sound of loud music, bright lights and the thick stench of smoke and alcohol. All around me Familiars were engaged in different acts of drugs and playful torture. I started scanning the crowd for Quincy and suddenly spotted him sitting around the back booth with a bunch of female Familiars enjoying a glass of what I guessed to be fresh blood. With my game face on, I emerged through the crowd, passing some dancers on bar poles, and approached him.

“Quincy, Quincy, Quincy...long time no see...”

I couldn’t help but smile seeing the look of horror on his fat, greasy looking face as he saw me.

“L-L-Lucan...” he looked around nervously, beads of sweat dripping from his oily hair. I could see the cogs in his twisted little mind start turning. He was looking for the best exit to escape from. “Wh-wh-whatchu doin’ here?”

I shrugged playfully. “Oh, you know...I was in the neighbourhood...thought I’d drop by...”

He tried to make a run for it but I was too quick for him. Before the rat could even blink, the sound of the clicking of a gun hammer stopped him dead in his tracks. I pointed the end of one of the bouncer's pistol deep into his throat, not enough to pierce his skin, but just enough to hurt.

The female Familiar’s that were sat around him shrieked making my eyes snap dangerously towards them. “Leave,” I told them sternly. They gathered their things and hurried away in fear. Once they’d all gone, I turned my attention back to Quincy. “Now, sit your fat ass back on the couch.”

Quincy cautiously raised his palms in front of him. “Alright, alright...” he trembled. “Don’t shoot...” slowly, he sat back down, beads of sweat now trickling down his face. “What the heck y'want from me, man? I ain’t done nothin’ I swear!”


“Stop blubbering will you, and listen,” I spat. “I’m gonna ask you some questions and you’re gonna give me the answers to them.” I didn’t wait for him to respond. “Here's the first one; which vampire House are you the Familiar for?”

Quincy swallowed, clearly relieved that it was an easy question. “H-House Markav...”

[i]Interesting...
“Now, you have exactly one minute to tell me where their headquarters are, starting from -” I checked my watch, “- now.”

“Damn it, Luc!” Quincy spluttered, spit and sweat flying everywhere. “I just work at the blood bank an' deliver blood to ‘em, you know I can’t tell you where they’re based! They’ll kill me...with their bare hands!”

I wasn’t seeing the problem. “Or you don’t tell me and I’ll kill you. Either way, Q, you’re a dead man...”

Quincy looked torn between wanting to scream for help and burst out into tears. My face though, was cool and collected. I’d make this asshole break, even if it took all night...

Finally, after five long minutes of tears, more sweating and begging, the douche-bag finally gave in. “Alright, alright!" he spluttered, half-crying. "They live up North, on the outskirts of Longdale...”

I cocked my head to the side with a bored look. “You’re gonna have to be a little more specific than that, Q,” I told him sternly.

Quincy lowered his head, gritting his teeth and jaw in anger. “It’s a small town called Alexander,” he mumbled without looking up.

“Alexander?” I repeated, slightly sceptical and for good reason. “You telling me the truth? You know I’ll kick your ass if you’re lying, right...?”

“Yes, yes, I swear, it’s the truth!”

I looked at him for a while. The look of terror on his face seemed genuine enough. Maybe the worthless rat was telling the truth afterall but I still didn’t trust him for shit. The guy was a well-known leech. All Familiars were. And with all the events that were happening, I wasn’t about to take any risks. Suddenly my cell phone rang. Picking it up quickly, I realised that it was Caleb.

“Lucan, what the hell, man?” he sounded pissed. “I’ve been calling your sorry ass for the past twenty-five minutes!”

“Why, what's happened?” I frowned. I could just tell it was something bad.

“Something happened to me while I was driving back home,” Caleb sounded nervous, but not in his usual way. This was different. He sounded dead serious. “I dunno what it was but it was like this feeling, a real bad feeling...I dunno how long it lasted for but man it left me shook....”

I didn’t like the sound of that. Only one thought ran through my mind at that moment. Was he getting the demonic surges too now? My blood boiled at the thought of it. I wouldn’t even want my worst enemy to feel the effects of a demonic surge, let alone my own flesh and blood. Yeah, they were that bad...

“Send me your location, I’m on my way,” I told him, trying to sound reassuring. “Oh, and listen, I’m bringing an old friend of yours with me. The three of us are gonna go for a little drive.”

Quincy looked up at me, terrrified, with those beady black eyes. “W-we?”

“Yes, Quincy, we,” I replied, the phone still on my ear. “You’re gonna come with me...just in case...”
"Do you know what my heart says now? It says that I should forget about politics and be with you. No matter what. You're a true Queen, a Queen any King would kill for." - Prince Francis ♕




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Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:29 am
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Cspr says...



CALEB




Quincy. Lucan had arrived with Quincy. On his motorcycle. I could only look over the dashboard in shock.
For one, I had no idea how Luc’s motorcycle could even carry both of them. Lucan was a tall guy and Quincy was, well, huge. Two, Quincy was terrified of motorcycles--said they were dangerous. More dangerous in his mind than vampires, I suppose.
I gave Lucan a look.
What the frick?
Since Luc had his helmet on, though, so I doubted he noticed. But, really, what was going on here?
I look past Luc then. Quincy was bug-eyed, terrified past what really should be allowed. I frown and damp down old reactions. There was no need for me to be empathetic--he was a frickin’ Familiar now.
I close my eyes for an instant and then unbuckle. I pop my door open and stalk over.
When I reached the ‘cycle, Luc was taking off his helmet, those tattoos on his arms doing that freakish rippling thing again. I blink, feeling ill. I minutely shake my head and take in this totally bizarre sight. We’re in the middle of a farm road, Lucan on his motorcycle with helmet hair and a smug, yet worried, look on his face, an overweight Familiar named Quincy--the Quincy I used to know--looks ready to puke, and I just had some sort of bizarre vision after dropping off a witch at a witches’ coven.
That was it. We were doomed.
Couldn’t we just stick to simple ghost extractions and werewolf shootings? No, because everything had gone nuts--including the werewolves.
Lovely, just lovely.
Finally, I buck up enough to speak. “You could have told me you were bringing him,” I snap.
Q winces and Luc gives him a hard poke in the side likes he’s trying to send his nail into his skin, like Q might pop and deflate, putting less pressure on Luc’s baby, his ‘cycle.
“Yeah, well, I had other things on my mind--plus, I wish you could see your face right now.”
“Cliche, much?” I mutter, shaking my head. My hair was too long and it fell all over my eyes in response to the movement.
My luck.
“So, what’s up?” I ask, glancing at Luc.
“This guy here told me where the House Markov is holding its tea parties,” Lucan says, smiling winningly as he pokes Q in the side again.
I blanch. “What?”
Lucan looks confused. I clench a fist and put on a placating smile. “You do realize that’ll probably get all three of us killed, right?”
Lucan snorts. “Yeah, sure,” he said, “anyway, we’ve faced worse. We can handle a bunch of angry vamps, Caleb. We’ve done it before. Plus, we only want council with them. It’s not too big of a risk.”
I shake my head. Unbelievable.
“Aren’t you the one who says we shouldn’t involve civilians if possible, though?”
Lucan shoots me a look even as he scoffs. “What civilian? Him? He’s practically a vampire on his own!”
I wince. “Right, of course. I’m being stupid.”
Lucan’s look turns questioning so I look away, focusing on his bike. “I assume we’re going wherever their place is then?”
“Yeah.”
“Well, I suppose let’s head on towards the garage then. We can pick up some more supplies--”
“It’s best if we go now,” Lucan says, interrupting of course. “The less time they have to catch on to what we’re up to, the better. You have the trunk packed, right?”
“Right,” I agree, trying not to be sullen. I don’t like this. It’s giving me all sorts of bad feelings--but that could be the paranoia. I was coming down from an adrenaline spike. “What about the bike, though? I know you won’t want to leave it.”
“We have a saloon car. They used to fit baby prams in there, didn’t they?”
I blink. He looks serious, but he can’t be serious. Right? “Dude, not funny.”
“Come on. You don’t want this fudge-ball to die for some reason, so we gotta make it snappy,” Lucan wheedles.
I glare. “Fine. If you scratch the paint--”
“I’ve heard all your threats before.” Lucan smiles then, for some reason I can’t quite comprehend. “Well? Let’s go!”
I back up, letting him have free rein. I try to ignore it when Q hops off the motorcycle and tries to walk over. I give him a death glare, though, and he freezes.
Problem solved.
Temporarily.
Why do I feel like Dr. Frankenstein? I’ve never even read that book. Still, I introduced him to this, didn’t I? That’d make it about right.
My mind snapped back to me, an older teen, going on twenty or whatever--my memories blurred easy, thank the Lord--and Q, all bright-eyes and shock when Luc and I saved his mother from a slider.
He’d wanted to help then and--
I shake my head resolutely. I wasn’t going to think about that. It was too much for now.
“So, where is the House Markov?” I ask, glancing sideways to Lucan. I tried to image his ‘cycle as some antique baby carriage, something that would fit perfectly because obviously the car was built for big families. It wasn’t very effective.
In other news, if our supplies--guns, knives, and all else--counted as family, and Lucan seemed to think so, being a pack-rat and all, we so had the Duggars beat. Also, day-time television is horrible.
“Uh, somewhere in Alexander. Ask your buddy,” Lucan said, as he slammed his shoulder into his motorcycle, which slid into the car with a noise that nearly made my hair stand on end.
“Gently,” I hiss, walking over. I pat the hood of my car. (Christine could very well be real--I mean, the bloody apocalypse seemed to be rather real, so who knew? No need to take risks.) “Also, why do you keep calling him that?”
Luc lets out a snort and my eyes narrow.
“Whatever,” I mutter. “So, Alexander, huh?”
“Yep.”
I let memories seep into the forefront of my mind again. Alexander. I’d been there before, hadn’t I? I think I had.
I tip my head, thinking. Yeah. I’d hunted down some sort of snake-cat there that had been eating small dogs around there. Not a big deal, but if it had grown--well, cats supposedly stole babies breath, didn’t they?
It had been one of my earlier jobs.
“Interesting,” I say. “So, you almost finished?”

#

I’d decided to let Lucan drive. It was probably one of my poorer decisions, but I was tired and the backseat had looked weirdly good at the time. Whatever. I’d ended up seated behind Lucan, king of the long legs, and it wasn’t as comfortable as assumed. But I could rest my head up against the window and Quince, who was in the passenger seat, had his seat about back as far, so sitting behind him wouldn’t have done me any good.
Yet, I now had to look at him--or look out at the dreary farmlands or the back of Lucan’s head. Perhaps if Lucan had dyed hair or intricate tattoos on the back of his neck the latter may have worked, but he didn’t. So Quince was what I was looking at.
He looked like he was sweating and halfway to hyperventilation. I couldn’t help but wonder if I should, like, hand him a paper bag or something. Surely we had to have one in the car somewhere. There were four hunting knives under my feet currently as it were. Except hunting knives made sense; bags did not. Lucan and I weren’t a pair for anxiety.
I blamed that on how normal the extreme and insane seemed to us.
“You okay?” I ask, finally.
“I’m good,” Lucan said from in front of me, sarcasm clear in his voice. I felt like whacking him, but the headrest was in my way.
Unfortunate.
“Q?” I ask, looking pointedly at Quince. He shifted in his seat, brown-black eyes flicking from Luc to me.
“Y-yeah?”
“You okay?”
“No,” he mutters. “No thanks to you, either.”
“Do you have any pain in your left arm?”
He gave me an odd look. Okay, so I sort of deserved that, but people dropped dead around me all the time--and, well, he was overweight. That’s what the PSAs on the TV were always talking about. Fat equals obese and sickness and death and blah, blah, blah.
“No, Caleb, I don’t. I just realize I’m either going to be booted out and left to die from withdrawal or killed on the spot. What do you want me to say?”
Lucan let out a low growl, obviously not happy with a person he deemed lower than him talking to his baby brother like that, but I just slump back in my seat.
I look back out at the farmland. There’s wildflowers now, dilapidated buildings, cows, and birds on the telephone pole wires. Stuff to look out.
Not that I feel like looking. I close my eyes and try to ignore the two in the front, two polar opposites who probably want to kill the other, one to maybe save their skin and the other out of anger, and listen to the sound of alt. rock coming from the radio.

#

I had just stepped off an elevator into a hospital hallway, given the task of insuring that neither Rachael, the woman whom they’d saved most recently, and her son won’t talk to anyone about what they’d done. I was pissed because someone had gotten the brilliant idea that “Rocketman” made good elevator music. I didn’t like Elton John, but really--who did that?
“So, you do this a lot?” Quincy asks.
And that’s when I almost jumped out of his skin. It wasn’t normal for someone to be able to sneak up on me but there was Rachael’s son, that Quincy kid with his lank brown hair and unnaturally skinny look. I assumed he did coke, or pot, or something to that affect. Probably the first, since I’d seen what the kid ate.
I had to worry about him. He could get too high--if that was a thing--and spill his guts. Not a good thing. Sure, plenty in Longdale guessed what they did for a living, or knew from personal experience, but others might decide padded-room-with-a-lovely-straitjacket was a perfect thing for them.
“Sometimes,” I say.
He raised an eyebrow, all bushy with wiry, curly hairs. This memory is too--sharp. It bothers me. But that’s how everything is. Normal memories are shoved away; memories that could be important are brilliant. Ugly. His eyes are sad, like a normal person in a hospital--but completely haunted.
I wonder where the father is this time around.
“I saw. You know what you do,” he said as he fidgeted against the wall, the elevator across the wall reflecting his muted, saggy clothes. Over-sized clothes. Someone else’s.
“Well, I’m not Bat Man or--” I forget what I’m about to say. A nurse walks past.
She isn’t that amazing, but she gives me a reason to be confused. Plus, she can’t overhear.
I can’t remember what was wrong with me that day. The memory is sharp and I can almost feel the pounding that was behind my eyes.
Hangover?
“More like Repairman Jack, probably,” he mutters beside me.
I blink.
I still don’t know who that is. Not really. I found he was a book character--in a fictional supernatural horror book series. It’s not my thing. Reality scares me enough. I still haven’t read any of them to understand why I’m like him, or why Luc and I are. I remember the brand on the cover, though--urban mercenary.
Makes me wonder what people think of us.
“So, is your mom doing okay?”
“Yeah,” Quincy says--and laughs. I can’t decide what’s so funny, still. “She’s upset because she thinks she looks ugly now, though. Cos of the scars on her face.”
“Oh,” I say.
“It’s no big deal, though. Everyone hates their looks,” Quincy says. He watches as a doctor passes, shutting up nicely.
Maybe he won’t be a problem. I remember thinking that.
“Do I need to worry?” he asks finally, turning those doleful eyes on me.
“About what?”
“Other things--werewolves, vampires, demons, ghosts, ghouls, the works. Should I worry? If you’re kept busy, Grendel’s American relative can’t be my only worry.”
I remember trying not to freeze up. Too perceptive, though. And he guessed many of my adversaries. Not that a person who’d seen any old horror movies couldn’t.
“You shouldn’t worry.”
“They’re not real?” he asks, looking so hopeful.
I dash those hopes, because hope is an enemy, too. Or at least--that’s what I thought at the time. “Oh, they’re real. But you have us.” I still can’t fathom what makes me say the next part. “And don’t be too scared.”
“Why’s that?”
“We’re not all bad.”
His neck pops he looks at me so fast.
“You--?”
“Half-demon.” I smile then shift against the wall. “What room is your mother in, again?”
My SPD senses are tingling.




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Sun Jul 31, 2011 2:36 pm
*coco says...



LUCAN MERCER




“You guys are crazy,” Quincy spluttered suddenly. “Y’really think you can just kidnap the Familiar belonging to the most powerful vampire house in the world and then roll up uninvited to their secret headquarters just for a talk-”

“Yes,” I interrupted him, just about having enough of his pathetic whimpering. He was worse than Caleb. “Now shut up.”

Quincy let out a childish huff and crossed his fat arms tightly over his bulge of a belly. “What the hell am I gonna tell the guards waitin’ at the gates, huh? How am I gonna explain comin’ two days early to deliver blood with you two douche-bags tagging along with me?”

“Just say we’re your new co-workers at the blood bank,” Caleb offered.

Quincy rolled his eyes in annoyance. “Like that’ll work, they’ll be able to smell the half-demon in you two even before we reach the gates.”

“Great...” Caleb said sarcastically, slapping his hands on his thighs. “Well, that’s it then, Luc, we’re screwed...”

I clenched my jaw in annoyance. “Will the two of you just zip it.” The situation was already bad enough with those two yapping on like a pair of old women. Deep down I knew Quincy was right, my plan (or lack of) sucked. I mean, sure I did just practically kidnap the Familiar belonging to the top Vampire house so I could use him to get into their headquarters - but even I didn’t put much thought into what would happen next. This would usually be the part where Shang would get to say ‘I told you so, you bastard.’ I shuddered inwardly at the thought of what might happen if this plan went south. I’d never hear the end of it from that cop – that is, if I lived to tell the tale...

Hoping for the best and preparing for the worst just like I always did, I carried on driving through the night. We passed a ton of narrow roads through acres of woodland trees until finally an hour later, a creepy looking mansion appeared in front of us. The gothic brick building stood arrogantly in the middle of a huge area of green land, and with its pointed turrets, dark tinted arched windows and looming towers, the whole place looked like something out of a Bram Stoker novel.

“Here goes...” I said, mostly to myself. I could see Quincy and Caleb’s eyes darting around the place like they wanted to run away the first chance they got.

I stopped the car in front of a pair of wrought-iron gates with an inscription that read ‘Castus Sagre’ - Latin for ‘Pure Blood’. Two black-clad guards walked up to our vehicle, armed with abnormally large guns - the types that were probably used to commit war crimes in some far unfortunate country.

A sudden thought crept into my head. “Are they vampires?” I asked Quincy.

He shook his head. “Familiars; on the second stage of their transition...”

“Meaning they have their powers?”

“No, meaning they’ve got their fangs and now get cravings for blood. You don’t get your powers until the last stage of your transition...”

“Perfect,” I smirked inwardly. If worst comes to worse it looks like I’ll be able to use my demonic compulsion again. “You’re up, Q,” I told him, rolling down his side of the windows so the two black-clad guards could speak to him.

“Oh Jesus, Dmitri is gonna kill me...” I could hear the fatty whisper. His lips trembled as the guards ducked their heads to see him. Unsurprisingly, their eyes met Quincy’s with a confused and dangerous look about them.

“What the hell are you doing here, Quincy?” asked the taller of the two. He had a deep voice and his new silver fangs gleamed under the moonlight.

At first, Quincy just sat still in the passenger seat looking like he’d just peed in his pants. But, then he caught my warning glare from the rear-view mirror and spluttered nervously, “I...I...I’m here to uh drop off some blood...”

“Imbecile,” the guard hissed angrily. “You’re not supposed to be here until tomorrow! You know how Dmitri feels about-”

“I know, I know!” Quincy interrupted. He looked just about ready to pass out. “It’s just that we got some fresh stock at the bank...rare blood from a children’s hospital in...” he paused for a moment, “Peru...”

I watched as a disturbing smile suddenly crept on the two guards’ lips. The pathetic lump’s excuse seemed to have worked, and I didn’t know whether to be impressed or sickened by it.

But it wasn’t over just yet.

“How do you explain these two then?” asked one of the guards, pointing at me and Caleb.

“Th-they’re with me,” Quincy stuttered. “They’re uh... Familiars from House Viktor... transferred to Longdale blood bank yesterday...”

“House Viktor, eh?” smirked the second guard, “very well...” he nodded at the other guard before punching in the code for the gates. So far so good, I mused to myself. Question was how much more lucky we’d get from here. The gates shrieked open loudly and we drove further through the wide driveway before parking up just outside the mansion.

Gravel crackled under our feet as we stepped out of the car and approached the entrance. Quincy was leading the way; he kept biting the bottom of his lip, sweat trickling down his abnormally large face which he kept wiping away nervously with the sleeves of his jacket. Caleb and I followed behind.

“Boy, that was close,” whispered Caleb, letting out the breath he’d obviously been holding onto all this time. “Luc, you’ve gotta fill me in... what the hell are we planning on doing here, anyway?”

“Just stay quiet and follow my lead,” I whispered back.

More black-clad guards awaited us as we stepped inside the building. The entrance to the mansion was huge, dimly lit by candle light and decorated just how I thought it would be. A huge carpet covered most of the dark oak floor. A couple of red velvet lounge sofas were scattered across the room, each one occupied by the vampiric descendents of Markav, all of whom had pearly white skin, sharp blue eyes and fiery red curls.

“So, this is what a vampire mansion looks like, eh?” said Caleb, forgetting his fears for a second to take in his surroundings. “Not bad - a bit old fashioned, but hey...”

I threw him an irritated glance and Quincy led us down the hallway where we passed small groups of pale-faced immortals. Their eyes followed us with a mixture of surprise and confusion. I couldn’t exactly blame them. There we were; Quincy (a fat useless human nothing more than a slave whose job was to deliver fresh blood supplies) suddenly walking through the building like he owned the place, alongside two half-demons. Even the high-ranking looking vampires, the one’s dressed in silk shirts and smoking expensive cigars, seemed to look at the three of us strangely.
“I told you they’d know your demons,” Quincy hissed- all flustered - rubbing the back of his neck with a chubby arm. He finally stopped in front of impressive looking wooden doors, thick, dark and engraved with intricate golden patterns. I heard Quincy let out a deep sigh before he plucked up the courage to knock on the door. He knocked twice before turning his head to me and Caleb sharply.

“The audience chamber,” he explained in what was probably his serious tone. I couldn’t take him seriously though, not with the amount of sweat dripping from his round face. “The top vampires are gonna be inside, only the highest an’ most important members of the Markav family; his sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, allies and most loyal subjects. The only person you have to worry ‘bout is Dmitri – Markav’s oldest son an’ th’head of the house. Don’t speak to him ‘less he speaks to you first. Don’t try t’be rude, or clever or funny...just give’im straight answers. You got that?”

I threw him a look. “Relax, I don’t wanna piss them off anymore than you do, trust me...”

He scoffed and then the two wooden doors suddenly opened. Taking in deep breaths of our own, Caleb and I stepped inside.

The chamber was dead quiet, sitting around a long oak table. At the head of the table was who I guessed was probably Dmitri, the head of House Markav. Like all the others, he had fiery red curls and abnormally blue eyes. He had a ghost-white complexion on his thin, long high-cheekbone face. If I didn’t know Dmitri was a vampire, I would’ve guessed his age to be no older than mine, around twenty-eight. My inner gut told me he was obviously much older though, if not in looks.

Those sitting around him; all tall, slim, red haired, blue-eyed and pale-looking, the men dressed in crisp three-piece suits and the women in long flowing gowns, stared up at me and Caleb like we were something disgusting under their well-polished boots. I don’t know about Caleb but I was almost starting to feel a little under-dressed. Almost, until my eyes drew to what looked like a dead human female sprawled out across a fountain at the end of the chamber, her blood pouring out just as how water would be pouring out into little glass goblets. At first I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me (hey, it wouldn’t be the first time) but as Quincy walked us further inside the more I realised what I was seeing was real. There was a dead human laid out on the fountain.

Caleb pulled a face and I heard him whisper next to me. “Man, that’s disturbing on so many levels...”

“Ah,” smiled Dmitri from the head of the table, his eyes falling on us. “I thought I smelled half-demons...” his Russian accent was thick and his voice was a husky deep one.

The guards stationed in the room immediately aimed their weapons at me and Caleb ready to take us out.

“Whoa,” Caleb said terrified, raising his palms into the air. “Easy now...”

“Please,” smiled Dmitri, raising a commanding hand up at the guards. “...lower your weapons. Is that any way to greet our guests?” he waited until they obeyed him before turning his attention to me and Caleb. “Well, well, well, look who we have here...” his smile seemed to be growing by the second. I didn’t know if I should be worried or not. I watched carefully as he leaned backwards on his chair and rubbed his finger and thumb together thoughtfully. “The sons of Ramses...I don’t remember putting demons on my guest-list... ”

And how do I respond to that? Well, the only way I knew how to, really. “I guess that’s the funny thing about demons...unlike you guys we don’t really need to be invited in...”

I could see Quincy glaring at me from the corner of my eye for that wise-crack, but, Dmitri didn’t seem to be angered by it. In fact, he just smiled wider if that was even possible.

“You’ve been watching too much television, my friend...” he mused. A few seconds later his eyes narrowed in on Quincy. There was no smile now, only a dangerous curl of the lips. “...showing up here unannounced? You disappoint me, Quincy...”

“It’s not my fault, Dmitri, I swear-”

Dmitri raised another silencing hand and Q shut up quickly. “I shall hear your pitiful excuses later...” he returned his attention back to me and Caleb, the smile on his face reappearing again. “So, tell me, why is House Markav graced with your presence?”

“There’s something we need to talk to you about,” I began, deciding to get straight to the point. “...something important...”

Dmitri chuckled lightly. “Well, if you would’ve had the courtesy to call and let me know that you’d be dropping by I would’ve saved you both from making the journey.” He signalled to the other vampires sitting around the table, “As you can see my brothers and I are busy discussing important security matters...”

“Like the implications of the latest werewolf/Addict attack at St. Jude’s campus?” I watched as Dmitri raised an amused, impressed and questioning brow towards me. The other vampires around the table followed us. “My brother and I have come to you to discuss that exact same problem,” I said.

“Is that so?” Dmitri mused, he seemed genuinely surprised by this. "Eva mentioned you both showed up at the crime scene...”

I raised a questioning brow. “Who?”

“Eva,” Dmitri explained, “my first-in-command and head of our armed wing the Blood Knights. I hear you three have already met.”

“Oh, you mean that charming little she-vamp who nearly choked me to death,” said Caleb, he had a look on his face like he was remembering a bad dream.

Dmitri nodded with a smile. “Oh yes, that’s Eva, alright. She’s the best I have. I sent her to the crime scene to assess the damage. I can hardly say that I was surprised by the whole attack. The Addicts have never had the level of control of blood-lust that the rest of us have. Nor do they want to. The vampire houses been handing out blood money to the family of victims their Addicts have killed for as long as I can remember, but things are not as simple as they were before, now the humans are becoming more restless, more suspicious...” as an afterthought he added, “I blame Hollywood...”

“What about the werewolves?” I asked. “Aren’t you surprised by the fact that they seemed to be working alongside the Addicts, that they were accomplices in all this?”

Dmitri raised a brow. “Well, now, let’s not get ahead of ourselves shall we? Yes, it is an unfortunate coincidence that both Addicts and werewolves seemed to have been involved in the massacre, but that doesn’t in any way prove that they were working together...”

“No, it doesn’t,” I answered, before taking out Shang’s CD from the inside of my jacket. “But this does...”

I could sense the interest around the table suddenly sharpen.“And what is that supposed to be?” Dmitri asked.
"Do you know what my heart says now? It says that I should forget about politics and be with you. No matter what. You're a true Queen, a Queen any King would kill for." - Prince Francis ♕




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Mon Aug 01, 2011 4:51 pm
Cspr says...



CALEB




I let out a weak chuckle. I was, okay, slightly overwhelmed. I mean, I was in a room full of vampires and I didn’t intend to stake any of them.
There had to be something wrong with that.
“That?” I ask, playing dumb. “That is the proof that the werewolves and Addicts were working together, Sov.” I let the vampire have a toothy smile. “It even shows the matriarch witch doing a little spell. Fun, right?”
The Sov vamp, Dmitri, went alabaster--as in, he didn’t go white. He was already pale as snow, but he went bluish-white as he stared, predator’s eyes widening. He kept mostly composed, though--crossing his hands in front of him. His shocked look turned into a heated glare. “That is a lie.”
“See for yourself, eh?” I look around. “Of course, you don’t look like the type to have something to play it on.”
Dmitri growls and I try not to shift closer to Lucan, who seemed perfectly okay with this. Luc obviously had issues.
“Marlen,” Dmitri snapped. A slight vampire with lank red hair stood quickly, back snapping straight. “Bring what is needed.”
“Sir,” Marlen said, dipping his head and walking away, silk clothing moving with a loud scritch, scritch, scritch.
It set his teeth on edge.
But, come to think of it, why was it so loud, anyway?
Acoustics? If so, this room was made for rock concerts.
Dmitri then got this creepy smile on his face, something that made my insides shiver a little and I did move closer to Luc. Dmitri turned to Eve, who went alabaster like he had before. “Eve, come here a minute.”
“You don’t even know,” Eve said, almost yelling as she backed up as far as she could in her seat. “They could be lying!”
“We’ll see,” he mused. “Now, don’t disobey your master.”
If I thought I could speak to Luc without them hearing I would have commented on that. Hey, those vampires are twisted sons of a gun, yeah?
Eve stood up silently, her inhumanity letting her not gulp, or start sweating like Quincy, who was hiding behind me (badly, he forgot he was about twice my mass), or shake. She walked briskly to Dmitri’s side and stood there.
Marlen returned with a VHS player, holding it between two fingers. I try not to gawk at the odd sight. He set it down on the table and walked over to the back wall.
I raise an eyebrow and turn to look at Luc. He only shrugs. Thanks for all the help.
Marlen slid a panel open off the wall and--Holy giant frickin’ TV, Batman. His mouth popped open.
Dmitri made a face at the thing, though. Like it was a dead rat. “Personally, I hate having the thing here,” he said, as Marlen went about hooking things up, “same as any of that techno-babble you humans come up with.” Dmitri paused. “Excuse me, humans come up with--none of you three match up, eh? One naughty Familiar,” he purred, giving Quincy this look--I move and try to hide him better, “and two demon-spawn. Nonetheless, your toys are rather pointless in the long run. Do they give you immortality? I’d think not.”
Caleb’s eyebrow went a bit higher. Immortality? What does that have to do with television?
“Ready,” Marlen murmured.
Dmitri sat then and pulled Eve down, almost into his lap, as the video began to play. He petted at the back of her neck, twirling strands of red hair, and I had to look away. Too creeptastic.
Let’s hope all Hell doesn’t break loose now.


There was silence after the video was over. The sort of silence that made me want to run for the hills and never look back--not once.
Only, I couldn’t run--mostly because I couldn’t drag Lucan along. He was too stubborn and it wasn’t like I’d leave without him.
Or Quincy, for old time’s sake even if he had messed everything up.
“So, what should we do?” one vampire asked, her voice cold.
“Get them out of here, Borislav, Olya,” Dmitri said, completely ignoring the woman. Two vampires stood. Dmitri turned his gaze to us. “If you hear anything else, call.” He made a snarl-like face. “I will not tolerate your stench to waft through these halls, sons of Ramses.” He then stood, dragging Eve by the back of her neck.
She looked like she was crying. Well, no. No tears ran down her face and there was no flush to her face, but the noises.
I snuck a glance at Lucan. He seemed confused, but--almost curious. I wanted to stomp on his foot in that moment.
How could he be thinking of learning at a time like this?
Dmitri moved Eve, who was still making these stuttering, horrible sounds and pleading, in front of him. He shifted his hands.
Her face was staring right at me.
Then something went wrong, angle-wise. I heard a snap, but couldn’t think of--oh.
Her razor teeth flashed out, a snarl, and her eyes were bright, but she did nothing to escape or try to harm the hands that had snapped her neck like a twig.
I lurched back, right into Quincy, but I didn’t care. I left the room before those other two Sov vamps could escort me away.
Too familiar.
My SPD senses are tingling.




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Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:56 pm
*coco says...



LUCAN MERCER




I watched Eva’s body crumple to the floor. I knew she wasn’t dead, it took more than a snapped neck to kill a vamp, but that didn’t mean it wouldn't hurt her any less. Clearly, something in that tape seemed to put Dmitri on edge. Until now, the head of House Markav had been all smiles and full of politeness, but now his piercing blue eyes seemed to have a dangerous edge to it. And it wasn’t just him. All the vamps in the room seemed to have the same look in their faces; the look of apprehension, shock, confusion, and anger.

Caleb had already run a mile. Quincy just kept staring at Eva’s limp body, his body shaking as if he knew his fate would soon probably the same. I gave him a brief sideways glance. I wouldn’t be too surprised if it was...or disappointed...

Two vampires suddenly stepped up to escort me out of the building.

“So that’s it then?” I asked Dmitri. “We drove all this way to talk about a possible war and you’re just throwing us out?”

“Yes, demon,” he replied simply, standing from his chair and arrogantly fixing the collar of his expensive-looking shirt. “Like I said, you can call us if you find out anything else. Now, if you’ll excuse me...” the vamps that sat around the table stood up as Dmitri made his way out of the chamber. I heard him whisper to one vampire - maybe his advisor or something - to call an emergency council meeting with the other Houses. I found myself gritting my teeth. Something was up and I was getting tired of not being told what the heck it was.

The two vamps waiting to escort me out were now close enough to grab me, but I wasn’t about to give up without a fight.
“Look, don’t you see, me and my brother can help you!”

Dmitri stopped in his tracks at that comment and turned on his heel to face me. I could see a sneer plastered across that pale thin face. “Is that so? And what exactly has any of this got to do with the two of you, hmm?”

I looked him dead in the eye. “The attack left 62 humans dead. 62 innocent kids butchered like animals in a slaughter house. If you know anything about our reputation than you know damn well that makes all of this to do with us.”

“Demons who live to protect the humans...” Dmitri mused to himself. His fellow vamps chuckled in unison.

“Yeah, yeah, we get the irony...” I said impatiently before returning to the subject matter at hand, “look, that CD is proof that you need us. We can work together. Me and my brother have people on the inside, important people, police officers, medical staff, who can give us valuable information that we can give to you. We can only do that if you tell us what’s happening.”

I wasn’t sure if what I just said registered in Dmitri’s ears. He just turned back to the direction of the door and continued to walk off without another word, grabbing Quincy by the collar on his way out.

“We’ll be in touch, demon,” he called over his shoulder, before disappearing out the door, a desperate and terrified looking Quincy, dragging along behind him.

I clenched my jaw in frustration as the two guards waiting to escort me, ushered me out of the mansion. Once we reached the entrance I shoved the pair of them off me angrily and stomped off towards Caleb’s car, swearing like a sailor in my head. Once inside, I slammed the door shut and wiped a hand down my face.

“That didn’t go too well, huh?” Caleb said stupidly.

“They said they’d be in touch.”

Caleb’s brows furrowed in his usual confused way. “In touch?” he let out a scoff. “What the heck does that mean? That’s what the manager at Burger King told me when I went there for a job and he never called me back...”

Why am I not surprised?

“You don’t think those vamps will do the same do you?” Caleb asked me. “I mean, they need our help and we need there’s, if we don’t work together on this then those kids that went missing will die – presuming they’re not dead already...” he added grimly as an afterthought.

I ran an uneasy hand through my hair. He was right. “Well, let’s just hope they call soon.”

“And what do we do until then?”

“Our day job,” I replied. The truth was without the vampires, there was nothing else we could do.

“You mean actually fix cars?” Caleb looked like he’d never heard of something so bizarre.

“Yes, Caleb, fix cars,” I replied, fighting the urge to clip him on the back of his head. “It’s what we’ve been doing for the past ten years...”

“What you’ve been doing...” he silently corrected me before turning on the ignition. I shot him an irritated glance and he quickly changed the subject. “So where’s Quince?” he asked suddenly.

“Probably getting his butt kicked...”

Caleb suddenly looked disturbed. “They won’t...” he paused for a moment and swallowed loudly, “...kill him will they?”

“I don’t know,” and I didn’t care either, as far as I was concerned that idiotic lump deserved nothing less than a slow and painful death. He sold his human soul to become a vampires slave, and for what? So he could be an immortal? For someone who wished for nothing more than to be a human, it was a decision I could never understand, let alone respect.

Caleb, though, always the emotional one, bit his lip nervously. “Maybe we should wait for him, y’know, in case he needs a ride home-”

“Just drive,” I told him sternly. “And step on it will you, I can run faster than this piece of junk.”

Caleb turned his head to look at me, clearly offended by my comment. “Shh, the car might hear you..!” he hissed.
"Do you know what my heart says now? It says that I should forget about politics and be with you. No matter what. You're a true Queen, a Queen any King would kill for." - Prince Francis ♕




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Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:50 pm
Cspr says...



CALEB




I tried not to be mad at Lucan, if only because we didn’t need any drama. It was harder, though, knowing what he thought about Quincy. I mean, I know Q hadn’t turned out the best, but that was partially my fault and--he didn’t deserve to die. If he had sold his soul, which I guessed he had, didn’t he deserve to have the longest life possible to make up for it?
I frowned to myself. Okay, that didn’t really make sense, but, really, why did Lucan hate him so much? I looked over at my brother, taking in his gruff, sleepless look and decided he was just being a cranky bastard today.
“Dude, you need some coffee or something?” I asked.
He just gave me a scowl and unlocked the door, before pocketing the keys and stepping into our home. I took the time to look at the garage--take in its old brick and the black graffiti that we hadn’t quite managed to get off after a few wacko kids came and decided to tag the place. I’d wanted to send some sort of monster-y thing after them, but decided that was a bit overkill and, anyway, most monster-y things started to stalk me if I talked to them because they knew I could see them and they liked that for whatever effed up reason. Well, maybe not effed up, but--whatever.
Lucan stepped into the dark of the house and I heard him flip a few light switches and light flooded the entryway. I listened for the skitter of nails on wood and didn’t have to weight long. Puck quickly barreled down the hall and was on me in seconds, totally bypassing Lucan. I held the giant lug of a fur-covered beast and Puck slobbered all over me, which was rather gross but sort of like a doggy way of saying you were awesome. Lucan came back out of the living room and gave me a look.
I just smirked at him back. “Poor Luc, Puck doesn’t love you.”
Lucan rolled his eyes and walked away, one tattooed arm swinging at his side the last thing I saw before he walked into another room and didn’t turn on the light, but closed the door behind him.
I let Puck go and the beast-dog fell to the ground on all fours and huffed at me, before he wandered away towards the kitchen, probably in search of food.
Does he need more food? I wondered for a second, trying to picture Puck’s bowl, and then looked at Lucan’s door. Luc’s probably smoking, I thought unhappily. Sure, he’d be more relaxed, but--I don’t know. I didn’t like it. I followed after Puck a second later, shoulders somewhat slumped; my brain torturing me with pictures of what they might be doing to Quincy.
He didn’t deserve this.
Why did I ever introduce him to this world? I could have lied. We could have lied. Say it was a rabid dog or whatever the police told him.
I scratched Puck’s silky droop ears when I walked by, him standing by the cabinet that held his food, when I walked in to make up for the whole thought of lying and presenting a rabid dog as a candidate for what had been done to Quincy’s mother.

***

The next day, Lucan is out helping fix up an old Chevy truck, a blond woman’s blue Civic, and an Oldsmobile that probably should have been junked instead but had a rat-faced dude with a straw hat harping about cheapness and yelling at Lucan to “Just repair it!” like an annoying twit. I figured the least he could do was help--as in, make food, get water, and try to repair the cars even though classics were more my thing and British cars. I don’t really know why. Electric stuff simply confuses me for the most part and the whole steering-wheel-is-on-the-right thing keeps throwing me off after me having my baby for so long. That’s what you get for buying a uber-cheap import and fixing her up.
That’s how I end up standing in the heat of the garage, politely attempting not to cough in reaction the the perhaps toxic fumes coming from the Oldsmobile, and getting eyed up and down by the blond chic with the Civic. Sure, she’s good-looking enough, nice brown eyes and her hair’s highlights aren’t too obvious like some going-brunette blonds, but there’s an extremely obvious baby seat in the back and just no. The sort of father I would be was relative to how good of a son Cronus was.
“‘Ey, Lucan,” I said then, trying to ignore the continued leer, which vaguely reminded me of what looks the waitresses got at this one Mexican place I frequented--and, no, I didn’t help with that. Leering was a major turn off, obviously. You didn’t get chicks that way.
Lucan looked up, an annoyed expression on his face that was somehow subdued by all the grease and sweat that sort of made him look young. Younger. That and like he probably smelled. I kept my distance.
“What?” he asked.
I waved a plastic-bag-covered-sandwich. “Food.”
Lucan rolled his eyes, as if I was the one being weird--who was that upset about being offered a meal?--and ambled over, wiping his hands on a cloth. “What is it?” he asked, sounding concerned.
“Corn beef on bread with cheese and sauce,” I stated. I frowned. Gah, I sounded five. This is what I got. I wasn’t generally very helpful and got excited over small tasks I was capable of when I discovered them on occasion. For example, at five I figured I could make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and Luc would eat them. However, as I got experimental and made them ‘fun’ by cutting them into the shapes of various creatures and creature-battle-death-scenes he became less impressed.
“Sauce?” he asked, still looking wary. He took it though and looked it over.
“I didn’t cram a mouse or worms in there, idiot; totally unsanitary. I have no reason to give you weird diseases,” I said. “Anyway, I didn’t not get the job at Burger King because I don’t make good food; there were these weird things there and they kept distracting me and I looked like a crack addict.”
The blond woman’s eyes widened severely a few meters over and Lucan just made a snorting noise of some sort before nibbling at his food, like he still wasn’t sure if I was trying to kill him with salmonella or something.
“It’s whitish,” Lucan muttered.
“It’s cole slaw sauce. We had nothing else but some weird shiz called apricot preserves and it was, like, orange so, yeah,” I said. I gave him an odd look. “What were you even thinking?”
“Just wondering if you bought it from the market with the skeevy dude or made it yourself.”
“What skeevy dude?” I couldn’t be sure if that another crack at me having weird acquaintances or Luc was commenting on the foreign dude at the grocery store that kept talking to us in some unknown languages and making weird face gestures. Also, hadn’t I already implied I made the food?
Whatever.
Lucan just shrugged and took a normal-sized bite, finally. He then furrowed his eyebrows. “What?”
“You’re eating.”
“No shit.”
“You haven’t been eating.”
“That’s because you’re eating all the food.”
Well, I sort of was. “Should I eat less?”
“What--”
The blond woman was back and tapping me on the arm, even though Lucan was clearly the one in the mechanic’s bowler outfit thing--you know, navy-colored, monogrammed name, all fancy and movie-like so people didn’t realize we were demonic-offspring balance-keepers.
“Yeah?” I asked, looking down at her. She was at least a foot shorter and noticeably wearing too much make-up. However, she was as adorable here as there--even if she was probably someone’s mommy.
“Hey, how long is his lunch break?”
Lucan raised his eyebrows in a sort of I’m-right-here gesture. She ignored him.
“Uh, fifteen minutes. Maybe less? Once he’s done eating?” I responded, sort of dumbly. I wasn’t the best talker, really.
She nodded and bit her lip, looking between us. I noted freckles on her nose. “Can you finish up the job on my car? I really need to get back,” she said.
“How soon?” I asked, staring over at the Civic with unease. So many wires. “I mean, you can’t wait?”
“No, I got to pick up Katie from her granny’s,” she said, smiling all soft like. “Single-parenting, tricky and all.”
I opened my mouth, closed it, and smiled jovially. No need to bother the customer with the fact that I don’t date or whatever was my exact thing. I just nod. “Yeah, I’ll check it out.”
Lucan raised his eyebrows a bit higher and I elbowed him in the ribs. He made a small choking noise but didn’t go blue in the face, so he was probably okay.
I walked behind blue-Civic-lady and followed her to her car, questions on why she let the random maybe-mechanic dude know her daughter’s name, especially with said mechanic’s whole druggie/hippie look--I was well aware how I came across. Of course, that baby daddy, wherever and whoever he was, was probably more worrisome in the whole stealing-your-kid horror-land, but blond girl looked pretty rich. She had a previously running car and had the cash to repair it, anyway. Child theft wasn’t often a upper middle class problem, right? He had no idea. Maybe the money made it worse?
All in all, he jumped out of his thoughts on the weird courting rituals of the blond woman when she decided to lean up against him, her hip to his thigh, and he tried not to jump five feet in the air.
Nobody liked being touched without warning, unless it would lead to happy-times in which both were pretty certain touching was bound to happen, I’m sure. I mean, at least by strangers, becauseawkward.
“So, you been a mechanic long?” she asked, batting pale eyelashes.
“Um, sort of?” I offered weakly, before walking around to the hood of the car. I popped it open and then could only gape at the inner workings of the blue Civic. “I believe I’ve found your problem,” I said finally, totally mind-blasted.
“Oh, really, so quick?” she asked, sounding surprised.
“Did you look?”
“I was only a few blocks over,” she said, and then looked concerned. “Is it that bad?”
“Not particularly.” I lifted the young and very dead possum body out of the car, holding it by its tail. “See? Here’s your problem.”
The woman let out a small shriek that led to Lucan looking over in shock, along with the rest of the people.
The straw hat dude then practically fell to the floor laughing.
You’re the reason women get no respect when it comes to their knowledge of cars, I thought unhappily, looking at the blond mom.
I mean, a possum?
How--?
I don’t even know.
I suppose the good news was it wasn’t a pet animal. I mean, I’d seen some gored up pets, but, yeah, never fun.
In any case, it wasn’t the weirdest thing I’d seen and it was much easier to explain then pulling out a baby monster from a car. People who would then be just staring blankly as I pulled out something that didn’t seem to exist, using all my muscles, and tossed it with a resounding clang into the garbage. You know, before I realized they thought I was struggling with air and had no idea why the trash decided to make that noise but then were incredibly freaked and then I had to make some weird explanation about a small, tough to get out spring or something.
Sometimes I hated working in the garage, even if the work was mind-numbing or at least relaxing.
I had the feeling I would get neither of those feelings today. Or, at least, from now ‘til closing.

***

It was two hours before we had anyone other than someone who needed an oil change to come in. Lucan had snuck off to do more research and now I was left alone. I hadn’t been bothered when nothing was happening; just turned on the news station on the television we had out here and looked through a book on monsters I had under the calender on the desk. I weaseled it out and looked at the intense inked drawings of monsters inscribed in full color with tiny, spider-like hand-written descriptions surrounding them. I wasn’t sure where I’d gotten this and Lucan had always seemed wary of it, same as Puck, but it had always held a certain interest for me.
When an old, powder-blue station-wagon, the first of its kind I’d seen, I was almost certain, I hid it back under the calender and got up.
I smiled at our new customers, the driver who had to be roughly 4’9” but with perhaps five more inches of crazy, thin white hair that about stood on end. The passenger’s face was mostly obscured by the sun visor, but I think she was female and younger, even if the hoodie made it difficult to tell.
I waited patiently as the old woman clambered out of her car and toddled over. The woman looked over a hundred years old, going by her sagging, leather-colored skin, sunken eyes, whiskers, lack of anything but skin stretched over bone, and thoroughly bent back. Her eyes seemed owlish and pitch black behind bottle-end glasses. She cleared her throat and rapped her cane against the smooth concrete floor as she looked up at me. “My car is being very inefficient. Fix it.”
I blinked. I wanted to say that maybe she shouldn’t be driving, because she was old and clearly couldn’t see well, but I had the bad feeling that wouldn’t end well.

***

I couldn’t find anything wrong with the car, which would lead me to believe the car was magical. I mean, I moonlight as a mechanic--we know how to find the tiniest thing wrong and scam people to pay heaps of cash for it. Lucan, never wanting to do that, disallowed it. It didn’t mean I didn’t know how. Before the idea for us opening a mechanic shop, to cover expenses and cover our arses in case of someone being a bit too curious about what we did for a living, became a reality, I watched plenty of our to-be competitors do about as much. It was easy for me to be a fly on the wall around people, anyway; after avoiding the detection of supernatural beings, human beings seemed incredibly oblivious. Oblivious enough to make me wonder about Lucan’s and my sanity--until I remembered we were demon spawn and I shouldn’t worry. We were better off than the humans, too.
So, admittedly, the whole situation was a little weird. A customer comes in, says there is something wrong with their car, and nothing is wrong with their car. Sure, I’d seen plenty of paranoid people in my time working: people who were sure something was out to get them; people who thought the ghosts still weren’t gone even after we’d done what was required to send them on to the true afterlife, whatever it may be; people who thought that since one of their family members was a monster, they’d shortly become one. This was something new.
For some reason, too, my suspicions had been raised. Nothing was wrong with the car, it didn’t even need new oil or more air in the tires or a wash, which was weird enough, and the old lady was surely snooping around behind me, shifting papers and trying to be all discrete and cute and shiz, like she was harmless. My senses picked up on how carefully she did everything, and how fake half of the stuff were. Her movements weren’t of an old person, but more so a person trying to act old.
Then again, maybe Lucan had been smoking something weird in that room of his last night, and no I was just strung out. I sounded sort of paranoid and maybe I just was too messed up to tell there was something wrong with the car.
But I never had that sort of luck, so I started running through things that traditionally disguised themselves as old women.
My SPD senses are tingling.