@wildvine: Thank you. :D
cbishop's forum posts
@docruckus: I've still got issues with your writing, particularly bouncing back-and-forth between prose and script form, but I am still digging the story, as your chapters have made me realize how much I miss these characters. Is it going somewhere though? Just a bunch of fights so far.
Okay, this one has been a while coming. I've been hoping forever that someone would make a P.I. themed contest, But nothing. So since I can't come up with anything great I'm doing it. ...Oh yeah, I forgot it should have elements of horror too. No word limits, just ship it in by March 8th. Oh, and have fun with it. : P
So, now that you've got your P.I. contest, are you going to enter?
@frangipan: That's the idea of the contest, and it's always fun like that. One quibble, now that I've read yours- the contest wasn't just the image. You have to have a private investigator in the story, with a touch of horror. See the original post. ;)
So a private eye walks into his lawyer's office, finds her struggling with an octopus guy, and he's got his tentacles all over her. Sounds like the start of a bad joke, right? Well, that's my life now. One bad joke after another. From the doorway I said, "It's not funny, Jeanine." Jeanine Fairchild, Esquire, my attorney and business partner- we share the office space.
"Oh, Solomon!" cried Jeanine, throwing a hand to her forehead and kicking her heel in the air. "Get this thing off of me!"
I repeated, "It's not funny, Jeanine. Turn him back."
"Solomon Seal!" she pleaded. "This is no time for games! Help me! Shoot it"
I didn't move from the doorway. "I said turn my brother back, Jeanine. Now."
Suddenly undisturbed by the tentacles entangling her, Jeanine looked at me cooly for a few seconds, then stomped the foot she had raised in the air. "Damn! How'd you know it was him?"
"He's wearing my dad's watch," I answered. "He hardly ever takes it off. Plus I was expecting him. Now turn Titus back to normal."
She raised an eyebrow. "Why should I?"
"Because it's been a long night, I'm not in the mood, and I'm hungry."
Still in the embrace of my brother the octo-man, she put a hand on her hip and said, "Well, so am I. You haven't paid me in two months." Okay, so I rent my part of the office space from her. Lawyers.
I narrowed my eyes at her. "You don't eat. At least not anything you'd pay for."
She threw me a petulant look, "I paid for you, didn't I?"
"That was a charity bachelor auction, and you took advantage!" I said perhaps a little too sharply.
She poked out her bottom lip and gave me the puppy dog eyes. "You didn't seem to think I was taking advantage then," she cooed.
"Yeah, well, when you said you were going to eat me up, I didn't think you meant it literally!" I barked. It's exactly what it sounds like. I partnered with Jeanine about a year ago to do private investigations for her clients or in relation to her cases. We got friendly, we got flirty, and then came the bachelor auction. She paid an obscene amount of money to charity for a date with me, we went out, and things led to her place. While I was handcuffed to her headboard, she drained my main vein of enough blood to keep her alive and make me one of the undead... and I've still got the bite marks to prove it. "Now enough! Turn him back!"
She rolled her eyes, huffed, snapped her fingers, and Titus turned back to normal. "Oh, relax, crabby. We were just having some fun. Weren't we Up-Titus?" She stroked my brother's cheek and made a kiss face at him. He backed away quickly. Jeanine gave him a low growl.
I put a hand on her shoulder and said, "Down, girl." She sneered. "Tito..."
"Tito!" Jeanine cut in. "Tito? Oh, Solomon, you are just too cute." She smiled a wicked, scheming smile which almost certainly meant Titus was in for more torture later.
I looked at her dubiously. "You think I'm 'cute?'"
She tilted her hazel eyes my way and said, "Aw. Yeah... and your little bro, too." She winked at Tito, and he backed up more, until he hit the window. "There's something very special about him." She waggled her eyebrows.
"Tito," I said again. Jeanine giggled. "You okay?" He was focused on Jeanine and didn't answer, so I snapped my fingers a few times and waved until I got his attention, then asked again, "Are you okay?" Titus flicked his eyes back at Jeanine, then slowly back to me. He lifted his hands tentatively, then began waving them around furiously.
"Hey! Wait a minute! Wait a minute! Hey! Hey! Slow down! You know I'm new to this." He began signing again, still going a little too fast, but I followed most of it.
"He's deaf?" asked Jeanine. She sounded almost genuinely concerned. "When did this happen?"
"He's not deaf, he's mute," I corrected her, "and it happened the same time you happened."
"Me? I didn't do this!" she protested. "I only turned him into an octopus! He couldn't talk then, but that shouldn't be lingering now that he's back to normal."
"No, Jeanine, it happened right after you turned me into a...into this." She looked at me reproachfully. I still have a hard time saying the word. "We had that brownout a few months ago. My fridge was out long enough for my blood stores to spoil. Tito found me in a bad state, and he let me have some of his blood."
"Let you?" echoed Jeanine.
"Yes, Jeanine, he let me. He's my brother, and he cares for me that much. But I almost took too much. He went into shock, and the trauma drove him mute. The doctors say..."
"Doctors?" Jeanine cut in again. "You involved doctors? How many? Where? What were you thinking?" she fired in rapid succession.
I fired back, "Yes I did, a few, nevermind where, and I was thinking of my brother, not about keeping the ancient secret of Jeanine Fairchild."
We glowered at each other for about two seconds before she snarled, grabbed me by the throat, lifted me bodily off of the floor and slammed me against the wall, causing her Ivy League diploma to crash to the floor. "That 'ancient secret' is now your secret too, and you'd better get real serious real quick about protecting it. Doctors are too curious- they want to study vampirism and figure it out. They get ideas about being published in medical journals and winning humanitarian awards. We can't afford that kind of scrutiny." She glanced at the diploma in the floor and added, "You're paying to reframe that."
Once she loosened her grip a bit, I said, "Exactly. They want to study it, and I'm paying them to do so, which is why I haven't paid you for the last two months. You can afford it. The money keeps them quiet and that lure of medical fame keeps them going. I'll take any chance I can get to undo this condition."
"'Condition?' You're a vampire, Solomon. Get used to it. I've been around for ages. You think I haven't hired doctors to try to figure this out before?" She locked eyes with me, but when Titus shifted to move from the window, she pointed at him without looking, and he quickly pressed back against the window sill.
"When was the last time you tried? 1897? About the time Bram Stoker wrote Dracula?" Jeanine was surprised by that, and couldn't cover it before I raised an eyebrow that let her know she was caught.
Refusing defeat, she countered, "Actually, they had been working on it since 1893, and Bram Stoker is exactly my point! One of those doctors couldn't resist telling him all about what they had found, and he wrote that bloody book. He took license to embellish, of course."
I eased away from the wall as I said gently, "That's just it, Jeanine. Science and medicine have changed since then. These three are excited and highly motivated to unlock the mystery of vampirism."
Jeanine crossed her arms and gave me a look that said she was back on top. "Three, huh?" She smiled wickedly.
Damn. "Yes, three, Jeanine. And if any of them get out of line, you can eat them." What can I say? When you're dealing with a monster as old and powerful as Jeanine, pick your battles. "In the meantime... let them try. Okay?"
She took a deep breath and gave me an icy stare. "Fine, but you are wasting your time, and when they fail, I will kill them."
"My time to waste. Do you mind if I eat now?"
She raised an eyebrow at me and said, "You don't eat either."
"Not true. I still enjoy hamburgers, a good New York strip, and on occasion, that shrimp fettuccine I had for dinner before you had me for dinner." I smirked.
Jeanine shook her head. "You're never going to let that go, are you?"
"You turned me into a monster, Jeanine. That's kind of hard to forget." I looked at her unapologetically, and she had nothing to say.
I walked over to Tito who was rolling up his sleeve. He took off dad's watch and offered me his wrist. I leaned in to bite, and Jeanine said, "I thought you said he never takes off that watch?"
I stopped and looked at her. "I said 'hardly ever.' When I need some of his blood, he lets me take it from his wrist. The artery lets me take what I need faster, and the watchband covers the bite marks." I leaned back in and bit into Tito's wrist, feeding for about twenty seconds- enough to get by.
Jeanine had watched curiously. "So you force your own brother to feed you? My, I did create a monster."
I licked my lips and wiped the corner of my mouth with my thumb. "No, I don't force him. He helps me when I don't have any other way. Right now, I'm paying the doctors, so the blood banks are unavailable to me."
"You've been doing this for awhile then?" she asked.
"On and off," I nodded.
"But he's not enthralled to you, or turned?" She looked at Titus, genuinely interested.
I shrugged. "He's never shown any signs of it. Should he be?" I really didn't know. I tried to stick to the blood banks. Anyone else I'd taken blood from, I didn't leave them alive to observe the side effects, and we have a system for disposing of those bodies. There are other creatures out there that have to eat too.
Jeanine's eyes lit up and she slunk back over to Tito, eyeing him up and down like a prized sports car. "A natural immunity?" she gasped. "Myyy, Solomon, I was right- he is special." She caressed the left side of his face while growling low in his right ear. Tito closed his eyes and swallowed hard. Jeanine kissed his cheek quickly, cupped his chin in a firm grip, and looking at me with a big smile, she said, "Let's keep him safe! He could come in handy one day!" She gave his cheek a couple of playful slaps and snuggled her face against his before letting him go. Tito sagged back against the window for a few seconds, getting himself together.
"Stop, Jeanine. I don't play with your food." I looked at Tito and shrugged, "Sorry bro'. Bad joke." One after another, just like I said. He waved me off a little shakily, deciding to slide down to the floor.
I turned to Jeanine and was about to speak when I noticed a red dot dancing around her forehead. I got wide eyed and yelled, "Tito! Get down!" I dove for Titus as a bullet crashed through the window and sent Jeanine tumbling backwards over her desk and into the floor.
She snarled inhumanly as a mist rose from behind her desk and came towards us, deepening to a fog. Her face formed from the fog very close to mine and she growled, "You couldn't knock me out of the way? What if that bullet had been silver? If I die, you die!"
"That's a chance I'm willing to take. Titus is my first concern. You've 'been around for ages,' right? I figure you can survive just about anything." Unfortunately.
She looked livid, sounded worse. "We're going to have a talk about your attitude later, Solomon." She roared in anger and crashed out the window, pursuing whoever shot at her. The glass was for effect- she could have just as easily misted out the window.
It didn't matter though. Hudson was gone as soon as he took the shot. That's the way my older brother and I had planned it. Like I said: you have to pick your battles. Distracting my landlord from the diverted rent money, from disemboweling the doctors I diverted it to, and from devouring my baby brother were the battles that most needed fighting today. Tomorrow's battles will be replacing the window, getting Jeanine's diploma reframed, and convincing her that the shot wasn't meant for her. I help Tito up, see him out the door, and head across town to meet my contact at the morgue. He's been keeping a body fresh for me, and tomorrow, that will be Jeanine's "shooter."
Until then, there's work to do. Always is for a vampire P.I.
@impurestcheese: I'll pass. I was wondering what you might have caught from it. Glad they're checking on it. If you get mad cow, I'm calling The Inquirer. (For real though: I hope it all checks out clean) ...Okay, back to working on my entry. :)