The Arabian's Night: Part 5 (Sunset Falls #6)

DateIssueTitleViewRead the...
01/02/14Sunset Falls #6The Arabian's Night: Part 5(Blog) (Forum)Disclaimer
RatingRating ExplanationGet Caught Up
T+Moderate violence and property damageSunset Falls #5

.

Part 5

“They are destroying our world!” shouted Dagan. “We would be better off to CONQUER these people, than ‘cooperate!’”

“If not for ‘these people,’ Dagan, we would not exist. As it is, a single story could irrevocably change our world. You have already lost a son.”

“As you have lost a daughter, and a wife! How can you not want to kill these people, Jael?” Dagan was pleading, and seemed to be leaning harder on his staff.

Jael winced a little at his friend’s words, and taking the Elf by the elbow to steady him, he spoke more softly, and answered, “They make our world, Dagan. Beyond their imaginations, they do not know that our world exists. They don’t know how their stories affect our lives. That is why we are here.”

Dagan was unmoved, and jerking his elbow from Jael’s hand, he pulled at his robe, and then pointed a slender finger at the Troll. “Yes, that is why we are here! And they killed Nuri! Who would you name as our Ambassador, now? You?

Jael shook his head, and answered calmly, “No, my friend. You know that it was decided that we look too different for these people to accept us. I fear that our cause is dead, before it has begun. There is nothing left for us to do but return home.”

From further back in the crowd of Trolls, Elves and Imps, a voice said, “Not so, father. I could be Ambassador for our world.” The crowd parted to let the young Troll through, and a fair looking male of about twenty-five stepped forward. He had golden hair, green eyes, and looked nothing like a Troll. He looked human.

“No! I’ll not allow it, Nissim! You will return home with me.” For the first time, Jael sounded scared.

“I am the only one here who looks human, father,” answered Nissim. “Who else can stand in Nuri’s place?” he asked.

Not you!” shouted Dagan. “Why should a Troll be Ambassador, rather than an Elf?”

“I will not allow this, Nissim! I would sooner go myself, than lose my son,” said Jael.

Ha!” Dagan shook his staff at Jael. “I see your song has changed! You do want to be Ambassador!” he charged.

Nissim stepped between the two leaders. “Your ears are pointed, Lord Dagan, just as my father’s nose is too large to be human, and is covered in warts.” At the back of the crowd, the Imps snickered at Nissim’s observations. “However, while my appearance may make me an acceptable spokesman, I am a poor fighter. As a representative of our world, I will need a protector. Perhaps an Elf...?” Nissim trailed off.

Dagan looked astonished and slightly taken aback at Nissim’s suggestion. He had not considered that both could go. Jael looked gravely at his son, and then looked away.

Another voice came from the crowd. “I would like to volunteer, Lord Dagan,” said an Elf, stepping forward. “That is, if you would trust me with your son’s life, Lord Jael,” she added. She looked sheepishly at Nissim. Nissim raised an eyebrow, a slight look of amusement on his face.

“A woman?” scoffed Jael. The Imps snickered again.

“Jelena is one of our best warriors, Jael,” answered Dagan. “Unlike your people, our women train for war, just as well as our men.”

“A WOMAN?” Jael roared louder. The Imps cackled and howled with laughter.

Part 6

.

Please let me know what you think, and thanks! -cb
3 Comments

The Arabian's Night: Part 4 (Sunset Falls #5)

DateIssueTitleViewRead the...
01/02/14Sunset Falls #5The Arabian's Night: Part 4(Blog) (Forum)Disclaimer
RatingRating ExplanationGet Caught Up
T+Moderate violence and property damageSunset Falls #4

.

Part 4

One of the Trolls stepped forward, and started to speak with one of the police officers, when the booming laughter of Khalid shook the town. “Adelar!” The form of Khalid emerged from the crater, his yellow light brightening Main Street once again. “I knew your vanity would not allow you to die! Now we are bound to one another by The Eye of the Golden Dragon, though you may one day regret your choice. But for now, ‘master,’ what would you ask of your servant, Khalid?” The jinni bowed toward the crater, though there was an obvious tone of sarcasm in his voice. Khalid straightened up, with his arms crossed over his chest, as Prince Adelar levitated out of the crater, to look him in the eyes.

“Have a care, Khalid,” taunted the Prince, “I only need wear The Eye, not use it. I am left with more than enough magic without you.” Before Khalid could answer, Adelar rubbed the ring, and the jinni was absorbed by the mystical topaz, to await any further orders from his new master.

At that moment, one of the Elves hollered, “All hail the Sultan Adelar!”

A shout went up for Adelar, but Adelar answered, “Silence!” and the crowd obliged. “I do not need your sycophantic accolades! My only connection to your ‘Imagined Nation’ was through Nuri! You are aptly named, for no one will ever acknowledge you as a true people! But this world will acknowledge me as its ruler, or I will destroy it!” Adelar then disappeared; his laughter still echoing through the air.

The Elves and Trolls murmured among themselves, but the Imps remained silent. The Troll who had approached the officer before turned to him once again, and said, “I am Jael, King of the Trolls.”

The officer, a man in his late forties, took off his hat and rubbed a hand over his hair and the back of his neck. Living on the edge of the Bermuda Triangle, he’d seen a lot of strange things, but none of them had ever talked to him before. What should he say? Pulling his hat back into place, he answered, “Uh, good to meet you, I guess,” and shook Jael’s hand. “Name’s Arthur Bradbury. You want to tell me what just happened?”

Jael answered, “We are the peoples of legend and myth. Any story that has ever been told of us in your world, exists in ours; both good and bad. Prince Nuri was a good man. He was the one who suggested that we ban together as the Imagined Nation, and seek representation in your world, but he was scared. The evil stories that are being told by your people are radically affecting our world. Releasing the jinni Adelar was a show of force, because he did not know what to expect. We desire an embassy in your world, that through cooperation, we may stop any other disasters like tonight from happening.”

“An embassy, huh?” asked Officer Bradbury. “Well, I guess you’d really have to talk to the mayor about that, but... um... who would be in this embassy?”

“Prince Nuri was supposed to be our Ambassador,” answered Jael.

“That was not yet decided!” One of the Elves stepped forward, leaning on a staff. “Nuri had not yet been approved by all, Jael. You know this!”

Jael pointed a stubby finger at the Elf, and railed, “That is because you wanted the position for yourself, Dagan! Your bitterness towards these people would cause us all harm!”

Part 5

.

Please let me know what you think, and thanks! -cb
3 Comments

The Arabian's Night: Part 3 (Sunset Falls #4)

DateIssueTitleViewRead the...
01/02/14Sunset Falls #4The Arabian's Night: Part 3(Blog) (Forum)Disclaimer
RatingRating ExplanationGet Caught Up
T+Moderate violence and property damageSunset Falls #3

.

Part 3

The town lit up bright as day with the glow cast off by the lightning jinni, and the black clouds above its head began to swirl as if someone had just pulled the drain on the sky. Heat lightning lit any open space behind the clouds, and the clouds began to put off lightning of their own. The roar of the rolling thunder began to sound like freight trains from hell, but above that, you could still hear the first jinni shout, “STOP!” Buildings along Main Street shook with the force of its voice, and even though it had started to inexplicably shrink, it fired a blast of lightning from its hands, at the second jinni.

The new jinni rocked backward a little from the blast, but seemed otherwise unaffected. “You dare?” it bellowed. Another building collapsed from the shaking. “Have a care, young Adelar, lest you forget who trapped you in your present form.”

“I am trapped no longer!” shouted Adelar, still shrinking. The force of his voice was having less of an effect on the town, but you could still hear it. “You should be more careful who you choose as host, Khalid! Nuri was still wearing The Eye!

Khalid looked at his right hand, and saw the form of a ring on his middle finger. “Noooo!” Immediately, the swirling clouds above his head began to swirl faster, and a funnel reached for Khalid. As it surrounded him, Khalid raged at Adelar from inside the tornado, “I see you have learned your tricks well, young prince, but here is one you did not learn: Though I cannot stop you from assuming your mortal form, I can ensure that your life is still as bound to this ring as mine.

"I give you back the life you have missed as a jinni; all the time that you have lost is now restored. When you fully assume your mortal guise, your extreme old age will catch up to you, unless you are wearing The Eye of the Golden Dragon. As long as you wear The Eye, you shall retain your youth, and even a portion of your magic. If you and the ring should be separated, you shall be no more.” With that, the funnel fully engulfed Khalid, and he shot through the clouds, and into the upper atmosphere.

Then, when he was barely a pinprick of light in the sky, he began to come back, and a small yellow comet appeared to be just ahead of him. Adelar watched intently, as the comet shot straight back through the funnel, closely followed by the lightning bolt that was Khalid. They both struck the street, leaving a small crater the size of a hatchback, and the entire form of Khalid disappeared into the hole.

As the funnel receded, and the sky began to clear and lighten, a bunch of huge bats went screeching through the air down Main Street, towards the fog of the Triangle. Running underneath was a pack of wolves. The Witches and their cats disappeared in columns of smoke, which also drifted towards the Triangle. The Pixies followed the smoke, their firefly lights flitting back and forth, from one side of the street to the other as they went. They stopped only long enough to lift the Black Dragon with their magic, and float it along with them. Finally, only Trolls, Elves, and Imps remained, along with Prince Adelar, who was just crawling into the small crater to retrieve the ring.

Part 4

.

Please let me know what you think, and thanks! -cb
3 Comments

The Arabian's Night: Part 2 (Sunset Falls #3)

DateIssueTitleViewRead the...
01/02/14Sunset Falls #3The Arabian's Night: Part 2(Blog) (Forum)Disclaimer
RatingRating ExplanationGet Caught Up
T+Moderate violence and property damageSunset Falls #2

.

Part 2

Like some sort of fantastic folklore parade came Trolls, Elves, Vampires, Werewolves, Witches and their black cats. A horde of Pixies, glowing like will-o’-the-wisps, and Imps; hopping, prancing, cackling, and swatting at the little sprites like they were trying to catch fireflies. Then came a monstrous Black Dragon, almost as huge as the jinni, with a pair of huge red glowing eyes. Halfway out of the fog, it let out a roar to rival the deafening thunder, and windows all along Main Street shattered and exploded from their frames. That’s when people started running.

As if the Dragon had bellowed a mating call, the full Sunset Falls Police Department came blaring down Main Street, including motorcycle cops in riot gear, two S.W.A.T. trucks, and a tank (they bought that after the T-Rex). Behind them came the police cars, stretching as far as you could see down Main Street; it looked like the townspeople were in a rush to find the last one. No sooner had they all screeched to a halt, than the tank fired, and caught the Dragon square in the chest.

The Dragon’s death roar made you feel almost sorry for it, but it shattered any remaining windows for two blocks in any direction. When it fell, it staggered against a five-story apartment building, which collapsed. Then, it fell right in the middle of the street, and on through, lodging in the subway system, just in time to collide with the seven fifteen. It would take two weeks to clear the rubble, after this was all through.

The Dragon falling caused even the procession of Imagined Nationals to scatter out of the street. The jinni, however, was not deterred. The dying Dragon had caught the jinni’s attention, and just as more lightning started to snake around its body, a S.W.A.T. man lined up his crosshairs on the ruby in the Arabian’s turban, and fired off a shot. The Arabian did a back flip, landing on his face. Before anyone could wonder what happened, a black energy flowed from under the Arabian’s head, and then shrouded him like a cocoon. As yellow lightning started to crackle around the cocoon, the jinni breathed, “No!” Even its whisper echoed like a distant thunder, warning of the storm about to rage.

The lightning was slow at first, rippling here and there across the face of the cocoon. Then, it started to pick up speed, shooting around one way, and then back the other. It got faster and faster, until the cocoon looked like it was completely made up of the yellow lightning, and then, all at once, it exploded upwards, widening as it went. Instead of uncurling, as the first jinni had done, this one’s features shot straight up out of the lightning. Faster than can be described, the torso, head, arms, and then hands grew out of the long, tapering bolt of lightning. It must have been three times the size of the first jinni, and other than the lightning, this new jinni looked just like the Arabian. If the first jinni sounded like the wrath of God, then this one sounded like God’s Dad, if He’d had one. “The Guardian of The Crimson Tear has fallen! After seven thousand years, I am free at long last!”

Part 3

.

Please let me know what you think, and thanks! -cb
5 Comments

The Arabian's Night: Part 1 (Sunset Falls #2)

DateIssueTitleViewRead the...
01/02/14Sunset Falls #2The Arabian's Night: Part 1(Blog) (Forum)Disclaimer
RatingRating ExplanationGet Caught Up
T+Moderate violence and property damageSunset Falls #1

.

Part 1

Sunset Falls is a small town with its western edge brushing the Bermuda Triangle. That same end is also shrouded in a constant fog, and every night, something strange comes out of it. Usually, it’s a nuisance. Sunset has had everything from a T-Rex to an army of invading zombies come out of there. One night, they were swamped by a plague of rats, and they were stuck with them until the next night, when the Pied Piper walked out of the mist, playing the eeriest and most beautiful tune you’d ever care to hear. He led the rats out of town, just as you’d expect, disappearing inside the Triangle. You never know who or what is going to walk out of that fog, but one thing is certain: the Arabian was rare.

Just like everything else that comes out of the Triangle, the Arabian walked into the west end of town just as the sun was setting. When he walked out of the mist, he was looking around and gently rubbing an oversized ring that he wore on his right hand. It had a large topaz in the middle of a ring of small rubies, and it was all set in gold. His turban was black with a large oval shaped ruby in the middle. His pants, shirt, wristbands, and boots were all black, trimmed in red, and closefitting. It was like he was straight out of Aladdin. A scene this calm was very rare. It didn’t last.

After he had looked around him, the Arabian threw both fists into the air and yelled, “Long live the Imagined Nation!”

As he yelled, a reddish-orange energy seeped out of his ring. It wound around him once, widening as it went, and growing up as it widened. As it reached about fifteen feet over his head, it began to take on features. The top of a head appeared, then shoulders, then back muscles, then arms. As it continued to grow, uncurling from its fetal position like the bloom of some fiery flower, it threw it’s hands in the air, just as the Arabian had done, rolled its head back to see the sky, and in a voice like the wrath of God, repeated, “Long live the Imagined Nation!”

As it shouted, a bluish-white lightning rolled around its body, popping and crackling its way up the entire length of the creature, and finally jumping from its fingertips. As the lightning lit the sky, a rumbling thunder shook the sleepy town, and grew louder and louder, as dark black clouds rolled in from the Triangle. All anyone could think was, “God, I hope he’s on his third wish.”

The residents of the Falls have a saying: “Sunset’s not the only thing that falls around here,” because you don’t live there without seeing some property damage. When the jinni appeared, people started hitting the streets. You’d think that it would have people terrified, but the people of the Falls are a pretty jaded bunch. They’ve practically seen anything you could think of. Most people just stood in the street outside of their apartment buildings to watch. The atmosphere was kind of like a block party in a hurricane.

As people started asking what the Imagined Nation was, they saw their answer. Everyone in the street parted to the sidewalks, because out of the perpetual shroud of fog came every creature you can imagine, marching down Main Street.

Part 2

.

Please let me know what you think, and thanks! -cb
9 Comments

The Arabian's Night: Prologue (Sunset Falls #1)

DateIssueTitleViewRead the...
01/02/14Sunset Falls #1The Arabian's Night: Prologue(Blog) (Forum)Disclaimer
RatingRating Explanation
T+Moderate violence and property damage

.

Prologue

A young priest knelt before the altar, silently praying beneath the glow of several rows of candles. Worn around the edges, a Bible lay open before him, but at the moment, his eyes seemed to be focused on the large wood and brass cross in front of him. His hands clasped in front of his face, he absentmindedly bit on one of his thumbnails, as he contemplated his prayers. As he reached the end of his prayers, he made the sign of the cross as he stood up. Closing his Bible and picking it up, he walked quietly across the large sanctuary, still biting his thumbnail.

Entering a door on one side of the sanctuary, he proceeded down a short hallway. Its low ceiling and narrow passage made his boxer’s build seem even larger than it was, and also served to make him feel a little claustrophobic. Fortunately, that led out into a foyer the size of a large living room, and past a small office that looked out on it. As he got to the office, he stuck his head inside, and knocking lightly on the doorframe, he said, “Father Canon, would you please inform me when His Grace arrives? I’ll be doing some research in the Archives. You can buzz me there.”

Father Canon was of slighter build, so the small office seemed to fit him well. He looked up from his desk, and the light glancing off of his round spectacles seemed to detract from his already slight smile. “Of course, Father Thyme.” He looked back to his desk, made a note on a Post-It, and stuck it to his phone.

“Thank you,” replied Father Thyme. As he continued through the foyer and down the next hallway to the Archives, he smiled to himself. Father Canon was a good man, and even younger than he was, but he was a man of few words. It made him hard to figure out. Father Thyme shook his head and laughed lightly as he entered the Archives. Something for another time.

He set down his Bible and took a hardbound journal off of a shelf above a desk. Laying it open to a blank page, he tapped the fingers of one hand on the blank pages, while momentarily biting the index fingernail of the other. Pacing the room for a few moments, he walked back over to the desk, looked at the blank pages, and then closed his eyes. He said, “Father, I need to know about a place called Sunset Falls.” As he said that, an oval of golden light, surrounded by a greenish gold aura, appeared in the air behind him, growing as large as a doorway. Without saying a word, he turned and walked through the portal, and then back out again. Looking at the blank pages once again, he said, “Thank You, Father,” and sat down and started writing.

Part 1

.

Please let me know what you think, and thanks! -cb
11 Comments

Who Is Poker Face? (Larsen #5)

DateIssueTitleViewRead the...
12/30/13Larsen #5Who Is Poker Face?(Blog) (Forum)Disclaimer
RatingRating ExplanationGet Caught Up
MViolence.Larsen #4

.

Back at the Police Department…

“Poker Face! Who the hell is Poker Face?” yelled the police chief.

One of the rookies spoke up. “Well, apparently Chief, he’s the new mob boss in town. He...”

The Chief turned on the rookie, who had been standing nearby, and leaned close to his face. “Oh, really? Are you sure about that, Muldoon? ‘The new mob boss?’ Gee, I’m so happy that you cleared that up for me. The bulletholes in the back of these victims’ heads had me thinking he was a circus clown!” The Chief slammed down the photos of the victims he had been waving around when he was yelling at Muldoon. “Now! What I want to know is who Poker Face is, people! I seriously doubt that his mother gave him that name at birth. If we don’t find this guy soon, he’s going to tear this town apart, looking for that ding dang vigilante, ‘The Face!’ These two have got some sort of war going on, and I want it stopped!

The Chief punctuated his sentence by slamming his fist down on the desk again. A full coffee mug jumped off the desk, shattering on the floor, sending coffee in all directions, and a spoon skittering across the floor. The room was totally silent, and everyone seemed to be holding their breath, looking wide-eyed at the Chief, waiting to see if he was going to blow up again. He stared at the broken mug for just a minute, and picked up a napkin off the desk. He picked up his foot, and laughed to himself, as he started wiping coffee off of his shoe. Nobody moved, staring in disbelief, wondering that the Chief was laughing, and not turning beat red in anger. Suddenly, the Chief’s head jerked up, and he barked, “What the hell is everyone staring at? Didn’t I just give everyone a job to do? So hot dammit! Hop to it, people!” He took three strides towards his office, spun on his toe, and thrusting a stubby finger back in the direction of the desk he’d been standing at, he hollered, “Muldoon! Get that mess cleaned up!”

“Y-yes sir, Chief!” Muldoon jumped into action, kicking a roller chair as he half ran around the desk, and knocking over a cup of pencils, as he reached out to steady himself.

The Chief scowled at Muldoon, and spun on the balls of his feet, striding back to his office in a huff. As he went through the doorway to his office, he grabbed the doorknob, and flung it behind him. Just before it shut, his hand snapped out, and caught the edge of the door. Flinging it open again, he pointed back into the room, at no one in particular, and yelled, “And another thing: From now on... I don’t wanna see anything but paper cups in here!” With that, he slammed the door, and let down the venetian blind over his door. The office was suddenly abuzz, and everyone went back to work.

To be continued.

.

Please let me know what you think, and thanks! -cb
4 Comments

The Face (Larsen #4)

DateIssueTitleViewRead the...
12/30/13Larsen #4The Face(Blog) (Forum)Disclaimer
RatingRating ExplanationGet Caught Up
MViolence.Larsen #3

.

Meanwhile, high above the city...

The punk was terrified. “Y-y-you can’t do this, man! You can’t! You’ve got to turn me in! All the goodguys do that!”

Though he was apparently faceless, with no discernible eyes, mouth, or open nostrils, the cloaked figure spoke. “Who says I’m one of the goodguys, Buster?” He sounded cool. Not heartless-cool, but popular-cool, like a radio DJ that knows all the right things to say.

“H-h-how d-do you kn-know m-m-m-my n-n-name?” Buster stammered.

“It’s painted across the back of your jacket, punk. Not the brightest move for a mugger. Afraid that little old lady would forget your ugly face, Buster?”

Buster made a weak attempt at denial. “I was just gonna help her across the street, man! I swear!”

“At least halfway, anyway. Right?”

Buster looked back over his shoulder. “Oh God. Oh God, please. Please, man! Please don’t drop me!”

The faceless figure leaned over the ledge of the building, apparently looking down. “What’s the matter, Buster? Don’t you think the fire department will get here in time to catch you?”

“H-h-hey! Th-this isn’t funny, man! Let me down!”

“Are you sure about that, Buster?”

Buster realized what the faceless man meant, and screamed. “No! No! That’s not what I meant! That’s not what I meant! Pleaseohpleaseohpleaseohplease! I swear, I’ll never touch another little old lady! IswearIswearIswearIswear!”

“See, Buster? I knew you could overcome that stuttering problem, with the right motivation. Now get this, punk: I ever catch you so much as kicking a dog on my streets again, I’ll make sure you pay. Do we understand each other?”

Buster looked back over his shoulder, struggling in the ropes he’d been tied with, trying to slowly pull himself in with the one that was holding him suspended halfway off the ledge. “Yes! Yes! We understand each other! We understand each other! Yes! Yesohyesohyes...”

“Good.” The faceless man turned to leave.

“Hey! Wait a minute! Aren’t you going to pull me back in? You just can’t leave me here like this!” Buster looked back over his shoulder. Morning rush hour was just beginning.

“Don’t worry, Buster. At this time of morning, someone will see you from the offices across the street soon. They’ll call someone to come get you. In the meantime, why don’t you hang out here, and think about what I told you?” The faceless man disappeared into the shadows of the roof.

Buster started trying to pull himself in, peering frantically into the shadows. “Hey! Hey! That’s not funny man! Pull me back in! Hey!”

The voice of the faceless man called from the shadows, “Buster.”

Buster stopped struggling, straining his neck forward, looking wide-eyed and hopefull into the darkness. “Yeah?”

“Don’t struggle against the rope so much. I’m not sure how old it is.”

Buster's lips puckered, and he froze perfectly still, his neck still craned forward, and still wide-eyed. His eyes flicked down at the rope, and the sweat started running off his forehead in dime sized droplets. He stood like that for another twenty-five minutes, feet poised on the edge of the ledge, and leaning outwards, before the fire department got him down. The police found a note on the other end of the rope that read:

Check his pockets. –The Face

Buster was arrested for possession of a concealed weapon and two stolen wallets. He swore he was trying to return them to the old ladies they belonged to.

Back at the Police Department…

.

Please let me know what you think, and thanks! -cb
5 Comments

And Now For the News (Larsen #3)

DateIssueTitleViewRead the...
12/30/13Larsen #3And Now For the News(Blog) (Forum)Disclaimer
RatingRating ExplanationGet Caught Up
MViolence.Larsen #2

.

Two years ago...

A lone figure stands in front of an appliance store, watching a TV in the window.

“Welcome to the Larsen Channel Seven News. I’m your anchor, Phillip Thyme...”

“...I’m your co-anchor, Paige Webb...”

“...I’m Rudy Day, with the weather...”

“...And I’m Duncan Shot, with sports.”

“Our top story, today: The Gaslight City has been in a state of war for the last six weeks,” began the anchor. “The death of Larsen’s reputed top mobster, Lowell Mohne, also known as ‘Big Wheel,’ has created a power vaccuum that has underlings and rivals vying and dying, in an insane attempt to grab the reigns of power in this gang infested city.

“The list of known mobsters fighting it out for control of the city are: the Blowfish, Paleface, Poker Face, Rubberhead, and even the Recluse – a mob boss who some claim is only an unsubstantiated myth. Several public figures, believed by many to have ties to Larsen’s organized crime families, have also been rumored to be involved in attempts to gain control of the The Gaslight underworld. Chief among them are noted philanthropist Benny Factor, and labor union boss Fortunato Amontillado.

“Adding to the confusion and the violence, a number of vigilantes are apparently waging their own private wars against the gangland forces that are vying for control of the city’s vices. When asked if police were sanctioning these vigilantes, or at least turning a blind eye to their activities, we had this comment, from Chief of Police, Carlin Brown:”

A video clip of the Police Chief plays. He’s at the head of a pack of reporters who are following him right up to the station doors. “Sanctioning? Don’t be ridiculous! As far as I’m concerned, we don’t know any more about these ‘heroes,’ than we do the thugs and gang bosses that are tearing this city apart. For all we know, these vigilantes are after the reins of criminal power for themselves! I’d just as soon take them down, as any gang boss in this city!”

The scene shifts back to Phillip Thyme in the studio. “Strong words, from Police Chief Brown, but are they enough? Already, public opinion seems to be shifting, from support of the police to support of the city’s vigilantes. Our Man In the Street has more.”

“That’s right, Phillip,” chimed Paige as the camera shifted to her. “Mike Rofon is standing by at the sight of what appears to be yet another vigilante action. Mike?”

The scene shifted to a tall brown man in a black wool overcoat, facing the camera with mic in hand. People milled around in the background, some trying to wave at the camera from several feet behind the reporter. “Thank you, Paige. I’m here live, in front of local nightspot, Songbirds, on the scene of what appears to be yet another gruesome slaying, perpetrated by one of the city’s mysterious vigilantes. With me is Rusty Etticut - eyewitness to the horrific events of just a half hour ago. Mister Etticut, can you tell us what happened here?”

A man hyper on the night’s adrenaline started, “Can I? Oh man! It was incredible! BLAM! That was it! The guy didn’t say nothin’, he didn’t take nothin’! One minute, he’s standin’ on the corner, next minute, he gives the chalk outline there a new ‘do, and my car’s got a new paint job! Y’know what he did then? He just strolled on through the crosswalk, like nothing happened, and helps some blind woman across the street! It was crazy, man! The guy was just crazy!

“Another grim eyewitness account of the vigilante activity on our city streets. With the Larsen Channel Seven News, I’m Mike Rofon. Back to…”

The lone figure turns away from the window, pulling his tattered trenchcoat a little closer, and starts down the street, thoughts livid. Moron. "Crazy," he calls me. What if that parasite had decided to prey on you, next? You ought to thank me. After all, it’s your town too, and I just saved you, as a taxpayer, the cost of a trial, not to mention the daily expense of keeping the scum in jail. I just shot him in the head, like I’d do any sick animal. You just might make it home tonight, because some little hood hears what happened here, and gets scared I’ll do him next. They know if I come down on ‘em, there ain’t no talkin’ their way out of it, because I don’t listen. Anybody who thinks you gotta listen to the badguys talk, while they figure out how to escape, has been readin’ too many comic books. I shoot first, and don’t ask questions. I’m doing you a favor, you little shmuck, because the street punks fear me. They’ve even given me a name… They call me "Scatterbrain."

Meanwhile, high above the city...

.

Please let me know what you think, and thanks! -cb
4 Comments

Exit (Larsen #2)

DateIssueTitleViewRead the...
12/30/13Larsen #2Exit(Blog) (Forum)Disclaimer
RatingRating ExplanationGet Caught Up
MViolence.Larsen #1

.

Three years ago...

Jason Bleu ran blindly through the parking deck, looking desperately for a way out, wishing the woman he dragged along with him would quit screaming. Another shot echoed off the walls, and the man and woman jerked suddenly to the left, heading for a stairwell. As they did, an explosion of sparks and glass caused the man known as the Blue Canary to jerk the screaming woman into a dive between two parked cars.

Clasping his hand over the woman’s mouth, Jason whispered urgently, “Shut up! Shut up! Do you hear? You’ve got to shut up!” he demanded, shaking the woman to get her attention. Pausing a moment as he felt the woman’s body relax a little, he said,”You picked a real bad time to come back from the grocery store lady, but I’m trying to get us out of here, okay?” A fearful shudder ran through the woman’s body, but she managed to look at him from the corner of her eye, and nod her head.

Releasing his grip on the woman’s arm, Jason stared at the woman’s face for a moment, as she turned to see him better. Her tears running over his fingers, he realized he was still covering her mouth. Removing his hand, he whispered, “What’s your name?”

Taking a deep breath to calm her shaking, the woman sat up a little, and straightening the strap on her dress, she whispered back, “Amanda. Amanda Coney.” Jason looked away for a moment, as if he were trying to place the name. Amanda added, “I sing down at The Paper Umbrella.”

Bleu smiled. “Yeah... Yeah! I’ve seen your act,” he lied. Amanda smiled. Looking underneath the car, Jason saw feet at the other end of the parking deck. Gulping back panic for a second, he sat up and put his hand on Amanda’s shoulder. Looking her in the eye, he said, “Okay, Amanda, I need you to listen to me for a second. We’ve got a bit of a problem here. The guy shooting at us is a professional. He was looking for me, but you just happened to get in the way. If we’re going to get out of here, you’ve got to do what I say. This guy doesn’t like to leave any witnesses.”

Fear making her voice shake again, Amanda asked, “Who is he? Why’s he trying to kill you?”

“His name’s Exit,” Jason whispered. “He’s a hired gun. He shot out that exit sign on purpose. It’s his trademark; kind of like signing his work. He’s letting us know we can’t get away. It’s a game he plays with his victims, like a cat and mouse. Only in this case, it’s cat and Canary.” Motioning for Amanda to follow, Jason started crawling between cars. “And if we don’t get out of here,” he whispered, “he’s going to get two songbirds for the price of one.”

Crawling behind Jason, Amanda whispered, “This is a game? This guy needs a hobby!”

Still crawling, Jason looked back over his shoulder, and said, “This is his hobby!”

Amanda said, “Oh,” and started crawling a little faster.

Crawling around the bumper of a car, Jason tensed up, eyes bulging at two .45’s pointed at his nose. Looking up to see who was holding them, he let out an exasperated sigh of relief. “Oh! Man...” Before he could continue, he was shoved to the concrete, and one of the guns reached past him to hit Amanda upside her head, knocking her unconcious. Coming up cautiously and looking back at Amanda, Jason whispered, “Geez, April! Did you have to knock her out?”

The woman with the guns smiled. “She was going to scream.”

Edging beside her to look through the same car window, Jason snickered and said, “Shyeah, right. Admit it, you just can’t stand to see me with another woman, can you?”

Smiling again, April answered, “Only in your fantasies, Mr. Bleu. You’re late for your appointment; Mrs. Flowers was expecting you over an hour ago.”

“Yeah, well, I’m in demand today.”

Sighting the gunman through the car window, April said, “So I see. Who’s your playmate?”

“Miss April, but we can discuss that later.” Jason paused for a moment, looking for a smile on April’s face. Not seeing one, he continued, “I think that’s Exit.”

Then April smiled. “You’re kidding.”

“Would I kid a woman with guns?”

April’s left eyebrow arched with her smile, and she shook her head lightly, still looking at Exit. “You’re incorrigible, Mr. Bleu.”

Jason grinned. “Nah, it’s all just a part of my overabundant charm, Miss Sh...” Amanda groaned as she started to come to, drawing Jason and April’s attention, as well as Exit’s. “Aw, great,” griped Jason.

Poised on the balls of her feet, April tightened her grip on her gun handles, and whispered, “You two get out of here! Mrs. Flowers is waiting downstairs in her car; get her away from here!”

Motioning towards Exit, who was running towards them, Jason asked, “What about him?”

April whispered tensely, “He’s riding with the coroner.” With that, she leapt up firing both guns, and hollered, “Go!”

Two years ago...

.

Please let me know what you think, and thanks! -cb
6 Comments