BANG! BANG! BANG!
The knocking on the door sounded again. Louder this time, more insistent and urgent, each rap on the door practically rattling the glass and shaking tiny peals from the string of cheap, tin bells that hung from the jamb above. That was the fifth time in as many minutes. Alex Sharpe, rudely roused from the sleep he'd finally managed to slip into only an hour ago, grumbled incoherently under his breath and squinted at the almost too bright glow of the digital clock on his nightstand. "Three o'clock," he groused, "what the hell?! Come back in the morning!"
BANG! BANG! BANG!
A disgruntled sigh exploded past his lips as he rolled over, taking his eyes off the blurred numbers on the clock, and stuffed his head under a pillow. "Tomorrow," he barked, his voice muffled by the pillow, "Come back tomorrow!"
Will you please answer the door? That incessant banging is ruining my nap!
"It's three o'clock, Smoke," Alex muttered from beneath the pillow, "Sign on the door says closed. Whoever it is can come back at eight and I'll be glad to talk to 'em. Right now, I want sleep."
And so do I. Answer the door, Alex. I doubt that whoever it is will be going away anytime soon. BANG! BANG! BANG!
The next expletive that spat past Alex's lips was, thankfully, muffled quite soundly by the pillow. The next moment, Alex tossed the pillow aside and reluctantly swung his legs over the side of the bed. He squinted through the darkness at the dresser drawer where the bast made her bed; "Happy?"
That you can sit up? Smoke grumbled in reply. Not terribly. Surprised, perhaps, given the amount of scotch you drank last night, but hardly happy. It is three in the morning, after all.
"Noticed that, did ya," Alex huffed, pressing the heels of his hands into his eyes to ease the over-tired itch before snatching his pistol and a cigarette from the nightstand. Forcing himself off the edge of the bed, he poked the cigarette into one corner of his mouth and checked the pistol's load before snugging it into the waistband of the jeans he hadn't managed to take off before passing out. "Your grasp of the obvious never ceases to amaze me, sweetheart."
The cat snickered a bit and nestled deeper into the unfolded t-shirts but, otherwise, made no reply.
BANG! BANG! BANG!
"Oh for the love of..." Alex snapped as he trudged across the floor and lit the cigarette dangling from his lips, "I'm comin' already! Keep your shirt on!"
Speaking of putting on a shirt...
"Hey," he smirked, exhaling a jet of smoke as his bare feet found the stairs leading down into the shop, "If people wanna see me fully dressed they should stop by during regular hours."
Another sleepy chuckle was the only reply Alex received from the bast. The door, however, clattered again in the face of the persistent knocking. Halfway down the steps, Alex tugged the gun from the waistband of his pants and, not slowing his progress, stooped over a bit to peer through the darkened array of bookshelves and other furnishings in the shop to get a glimpse of who might be trying to knock the door from it's hinges. There were three of them as far as he could tell from his current vantage point. One was a large, somewhat imposing figure wearing what appeared to be a gray, woolen overcoat... he couldn't make out much more from here... and the other two were attired in the all too familiar uniform of the Chicago Police Department.
"Sh!^," Alex muttered as he reached the bottom of the staircase and, squinting his already bleary eyes in anticipation, reached out to flip on the lights, "What's this gonna be about?" Another sigh blew past his lips, along with another roiling cloud of cigarette smoke, as he stopped to flick the ashes of his smoke into the ashtray on his desk before continuing to the door. The knocking had stopped abruptly when the lights had come on so the PI figured he'd be spared another booming barrage of clattering glass and tinkling bells for at least that long. He considered a snort from the flask of scotch that still topped the mess of case files he'd abandoned on his desk some hours ago but, given the fact that it was obviously the police at the door, thought better of it... for now.
"Probably a good thing," Alex muttered to himself as he came into full view of the front door and got a better look at the detective whom the two uniforms were flanking... large an imposing, he smirked inwardly at his original assessment as the now unobstructed view of the detective at the door brought about recognition in his mind, the more things change, the more they stay the same, huh? Joe Kelly had always been "large and imposing" even when he and Alex had been partners on the force...
"Shoulda known from the way he was beatin' down the door," Alex chuckled softly, snugging the 9mm back into his jeans as he reached the door and, nodding to Joe through the glass, set about opening the various locks.
"Hey, Alex," Joe nodded as his former partner pulled the door open and glanced questioningly at the two uniforms before meeting his gaze, "I was about to give up."
"No you weren't," Sharpe replied, "I worked with you for six years, Joe. I know that knock doesn't go away until you've woken the whole neighborhood."
"Got a minute?"
Alex took in Joe's flat, mirthless smile, then flicked another uncertain glance at the two patrolmen behind Detective Kelly; "For what?"
Joe's beefy hand came out of the pocket of his overcoat clutching a blackened and partially melted necklace from which dangled what used to be an ornate, white gold medallion in the shape of an inverted pentacle with a bloodstone set at its center. "For this," the detective stated. "Got a minute, Alex?"
Alex nearly choked on his latest lungful of smoke. An Azazelite pendant. Christ!
((OOC: Go anywhere you like with this, ladies. Or with something all together different... up to you... ))
Posted on 2009-08-30 at 15:36:43.
Edited on 2016-03-05 at 15:07:13 by Eol Fefalas
Streeeeeetch. Claws dig into the comforter on the bed, tail extended high in the air above her, eyes closed tightly, mouth stretching to its outer limits unrolling a pink tongue.
The indentation on Alex's pillow was still warm, smelling slight of scotch, but still warm. So tempting to go over and curl up on it, drift back into happy little dreams about tuna.
Down the hall Alex's bare feet padded toward the stairs to go find out what the pounding on the door was all about. Another stretch before resigning herself to go find out as well.
Slowly she slinks her way downstairs, padding into the main room as the men start talking to Alex. A rub on the wall near the stairs, a lazy zig zag toward Alex's legs. She looks uninterested in all, just a little grey kitty up because her master is up, checking things out because she is a cat and is curious but has no actual interest in the matter at hand. Her ears however are well perked, and a little staticy dance of essence around her, looks can be so deceiving.
When the pendant drips from the detectives fingers and swings in the air between him and Alex. Christ Alex's voice rings in her head, and she can't help but to agree with him on that account. Well look at what your obsession has gotten you into this time Alex. Nice job...
Slink up to Alex's legs giving him a good rub as she twirls between them before glancing up at him with her golden eyes and letting out a mew. But before he can shoo her off she escapes over the threshold of the doorway and between the detective's legs. One good rub and the black pant leg is covered in her grey fur. She goes to assault the other leg.
"Didn't know you had a cat Alex..." He doesn't. I have him... she responds silkily, but only to Alex. All the while going about rubbing and mewing slightly, perhaps buying Alex some time to collect his thoughts on what he should say to the detective about the little fried Zazy.
Posted on 2009-08-30 at 23:16:08.
Edited on 2016-03-05 at 15:13:42 by Eol Fefalas
It was late in the night when the woman who called herself Penelope Rosa walked down the Chicago streets. The heels of her black knee-high boots clicked on the concrete sidewalk with a slow steady rhythm and seemed to echo throughout the empty streets. She had not been called by her true name in a long time and in truth she had begun to think of herself as Penelope. Even so, a name did not change who she was, what she was - and that must remain hidden at all costs.
"¡Yo se que tù eres!"
Hearing the shrill cry Penelope's grey eyes darted towards the sound. A haggard old homeless woman stood before her screaming with a wild eyed frenzy and though her cries filled the night Penelope smiled when she saw her. She was known as Mami Fortuna by the locals and most thought her crazy, they were wrong. The old woman was a seer.
"¡Yo se que tù eres!" Mami Fortuna screamed again this time lifting a filthy hand to point at the beautiful woman approaching her in the dark.
Penelope brushed an olive skinned hand through her chestnut curls and smiled at Mami Fortuna as she passed her. A seer she might be, but she was wholly untrained in the sight and had barely a spark of the Gift. Penelope had been sure to learn as much the first time she saw the woman.
"Tù no sabes nada mija," she cooed to the crone in a mocking tone. "Què has visto con estos ojos."
Penelope turned the corner to the block she lived on leaving the old woman alone to contemplate whatever new vision would come to her. She climbed up the stairs to the front door of her building and fumbling with her keys opened the front door. It was a long walk up to her apartment but the privacy and view of the moon were worth it.
As usual the stairs creaked as Penelope climbed the four flights, but she ignored it and continued up. It was an old building and the rent was cheap, certain flaws were to be expected. Reaching the top floor she turned to her attic apartment and stopped dead.
A matrix of hair thin flows of essence surrounded the doorway pulsing with a subtle taint. Penelope narrowed her eyes, whoever had left the ward had taken care to hide it. Waving a hand in front of her she released white hot flows of pure essence that cut through the tainted ward with ease. She watched the tainted essence wither away before stepping forward to study the doorway.
On the floor she found an ornate medallion. Picking it up Penelope traced a finger along the inverted pentacle stopping at the small bloodstone set at its center. She stood grasping the jeweled pendant, it was time Mami Fortuna learned to use the sight.
Posted on 2009-09-01 at 01:12:58.
Edited on 2016-03-05 at 15:43:38 by Eol Fefalas
Alex sucked in another lungful of smoked and blinked - his bleary gray eyes flitting from the ruined pendant, to Joe, to the uniforms, and back again – as he tried to get his sleep-deprived brain to come up with a response for his one-time partner that wouldn’t sound incriminating in the least. Damn the lack of sleep and alcohol haze, though, because there wasn’t anything jumping from mind to mouth at all and, for a long moment, all Alex could manage was a sleepy squint and a rather befuddled scratching of his whisker-stubbled jaw. “I… uhhh…”
Well, look at what your obsession has gotten you into this time, Alex, Smoke chastised as she appeared at his feet, Nice job. Joe and his boys, of course, only heard a mewing from the cat as she figure-eighted between his feet.
Yeah, Alex thought back, stalling with yet another drag on the cigarette, Oops…
“Didn’t know you had a cat, Alex,” Joe grimaced as Smoke moved on from Alex’s legs to his, covering his neatly pressed pants legs with clinging gray fur.
He doesn’t, the bast purred, still slithering around the detectives ankles, I have him.
“Heh,” Alex offered a crooked grin, his eyes dropping to the cat and flicking her a quick wink. “Yeah,” he replied, crouching to scoop the little fluffball up, “Picked her up at the cemetery when I was visiting Em a few months back.
She was sleepin’ too until you had to go and beat my door down,” he continued, his grin widening a bit, thankful for the brief reprieve that Smoke’s antics had provided. Playing the diligent pet-owner, cradling the cat in one arm and scratching her behind the ears with his free hand, Alex turned and padded in the direction of his desk to crush out the remains of his smoke; “Now you’ve got her thinkin’ it’s time for breakfast. C’mon in, Joe. Lemme go take care of this one and I’ll be right back.”
Detective Kelly nodded, wordlessly extending the invitation to the pair of uniformed officers with a slight cant of his head. As he headed for the hallway that led back to the kitchen, Alex heard the trio enter, heard the tinkling of the bells, and then the solid click of the latch as the door was shut.
“You always answer the door with a sidearm at the ready, Mr Sharpe?” The voice belonged to one of the unis.
“It’s three a.m. in Old Town and someone was bangin’ a friggin’ Christmas ham against my door, knucklehead,” Alex shot back without turning around to acknowledge the kid, “You were expectin’ a feather-duster, maybe?”
“Got a permit for…”
“Yeah he’s got a permit,” Kelly’s irritated voice interrupted, “Back off or go sit in the friggin’ car, Fansler!”
“I know, baby,” Alex cooed, playing along with the meowing from Smoke as he set her down in the hallway and followed her into the kitchen, “woke you up, didn’t they? Bad ol’ policemen.” The actual thoughts he projected at his bast friend, though, were more along the lines of; Well, they didn’t shoot me or throw me in cuffs right away… Maybe it’s not as bad as I first thought.
He clattered about in the small kitchen for a moment, opening a can of tuna and pouring a saucer of milk for Smoke, as he tried to sort his thoughts. “You and your guys want some coffee or somethin’, Joe,” he called as he set out the meal that Smoke hadn’t asked for but would likely eat, anyway, “All I’ve got is instant.”
“No, thanks,” the detective replied as Alex stole a swig of scotch from the bottle he kept above the sink, “we’re good.”
Alex nodded, wiping his mouth on his forearm before screwing the cap back on the bottle and returning it to the cupboard. “Okay,” he muttered to Smoke as he drew a glass of water from the tap, “Let’s go see what’s gonna back up from all of this, huh?” He took a long pull from the glass as he strode back towards the store front.
When he came back into sight of Joe and his uniformed backup he took another, shoved a hand through shaggy, bed-tousled mop of his hair, and sighed. “So, what, Joey,” he asked, perching at the edge of his desk and nodding at the bit of slagged chain that dangled from Kelly’s loosely clenched fist, “you’re figurin’ I had somethin’ to do with that?”
Joe’s expression flickered to what might have been hurt or shock or something halfway between; “Is that what you think, Al?”
Alex slugged down another drink of water, wincing a bit when his brain registered that it wasn’t scotch, wished it had been, and then waved the glass in the direction of the uniforms. “Well, ya brought Andy and Deputy Fife, there,” he sneered before disdainfully setting the glass aside on the desk, “and it is three in the damn morning. If you were lookin’ for some kinda consultation, I figure it could wait til morning and you wouldn’t need the goon-squad. Right?”
Kelly’s typically pale Irish complexion reddened to a hue only a few shades removed from that of his brush-cut hair. The truth of it was that, a few years ago, he never would have been able imagine Alex Sharpe being capable of so much as thinking about the kind of things that had been done to the body Joe had just seen in that alley off of Clybourn let alone suspect that he might have anything to do with it… Hell no! That Alex wouldn’t have even rough up a perp that really deserved to be handed a beating… but now…
“Right,” Joe confessed, preferring to stare at his shoes for the moment as opposed to meeting his former partner’s eyes. “Sisson. Fansler. Why don’t you guys wait outside?”
“You sure, Sarge,” Fansler asked.
“Yeah,” Joe nodded, finally meeting Alex’s gaze, “I’m sure. Go on.”
Neither Alex nor Joe so much as blinked in the short eternity that it took for Fansler to hesitantly follow his apparently mute partner back out onto the sidewalk. When the door closed and the tinkling of the bells died in the still air, though…
“Where were you last night, Alex?”
“Screw you, Joe!”
((more to come...))
Posted on 2009-09-01 at 01:13:53.
Edited on 2016-03-05 at 15:47:36 by Eol Fefalas
A striped grey tail swished back and forth on the counter while Smoke lapped up the milk in the saucer. She was nervous, this wasn’t going well, despite Alex’s comment about not being hauled away in cuffs, yet. To human eyes her tail swishing was likely due to some lactose induced climax, but it was her nerves that bounced and twitched and made the tail move in angst.
Milk is going to sour in a day or two Alex… her voice as sour as she predicted the milk would be.
And if your scruffy hide ain’t here to buy me new milk because you cop an attitude with this cop instead of thinking straight…… although I suppose I wouldn’t actually let you get arrested, now would I love? her voice goes from sour to a mocking coo.
No… even drunk I think you know better than to think that. Although I’d really rather not have to do anything drastic, so pull it together Alex. voice more firm now.
Tell the mother * the truth. Couldn’t have been you, you were too drunk, passed out, wallowing in scotch, every night, that night, this night… even if you wanted to fry some punk Zazy cult member your too much of a lush to get it accomplished… and looking at you right now, it’s so close to the truth anyone would believe it. However… whoever did it should get a medal of valor from the police force instead of a trip to the slammer… at least that’s my advice Alex love… but you don’t take my advice often. Which is how we got here in the first place, come to think of it. Just don’t make me do anything too drastic… it ruffles my fur. and then she laughs lightly, while she starts to dig into her tuna, tail swishing back and forth with anticipation.
Posted on 2009-09-01 at 13:24:39.
Edited on 2016-03-05 at 15:50:16 by Eol Fefalas
“Take it easy, Alex,” Joe said, holding up a hand to assuage his friend’s ire, “I’ve gotta ask, man, even if I don’t think you had anything to do with it. I know it’s been a while for you but try to think like a cop for a second here, okay?”
Alex scowled in reply and folded his arms across his chest – between Smoke’s rebuke purring in his mind and Joe’s almost patronizing attempt at calming him down, there didn’t seem to be room for anything else at the moment. “Yeah,” he grumbled, a thumb absently tracing the ‘E’ and ‘S’ shaped scars on his chest, “whatever.” He flicked a wistful glance at the flask that surmounted the pile of paperwork on his desk, squeezed his eyes shut for an instant, and chewed on his lip since he’d left his smokes upstairs.
“Listen,” Joe’s voice was as close to soothing as the big Irish cop had ever managed, “I know that you know what this thing is. I’ve seen this same damn symbol right here in this shop, somewhere,” his green eyes swept the place as if searching for it, now, to validate that, “so, yeah, I figured you ‘d probably know something. Hell, the first time I ever saw it was at the scene where you found Emily… where we found you… painted in blood all over the damn floors and walls.
I also know how bad the whole thing messed you up, Alex… How you swore you’d find the people who did it and make ‘em pay. You remember telling me that in the hospital, right? Wasn’t two months later and your badge and gun were on the Captain’s desk and no one saw you or so much as heard from you for a year afterwards.”
“F#^! it!” The mention of Em’s name (and that hellish, blood-soaked night) broke Alex’s resolve and he reached for the flask, screwed off the cap, and poured a healthy portion of the contents down his throat. His gaze had hardened when it found Kelly, again, but, aside from the preceding profanity, he didn’t say anything. Instead he went back to chewing his lip; this time biting down hard enough to draw blood.
“That’s…uh…Jesus,” Joe muttered, watching… no… gawking at the man he once thought he knew before regaining his train of thought and continuing on. “That’s what’s got me thinkin’, Al. That’s why I’m here at oh-dark-thirty with a coupla uniforms. I figure you might know a little more than what I already know you do. I mean, c’mon! The first time any of us see this thing and it’s painted in blood where your wife and her hocus-pocus witchy friends…”
“Wicce,” Alex corrected sternly before tilting the flask back again. He winced when the alcohol coursed over the wound on his lip but his glare didn’t waver from the detective in the least.
“Sorry,” Joe nodded, “You’ve told me that before. I’m sorry.”
“Get to the friggin’ point, Detective.”
“Alright. Here it is fact by fact, then,” Kelly continued, hopefully from a perspective that Alex could appreciate even if he didn’t like it, “After what happened to Emily and we start running the case down, we get word from the streets that… ‘Oh yeah, ya see that thing all the time.’ ‘Some kinda beautiful people club or something.’ ‘Been seein stuff like it all over town… mostly around the necks of rich kids’… but nothin’ more comes of it. We can’t find a damn thing. The next thing we know, you’re outta the hospital, done with the force, and disappeared into Em’s shop. Nobody sees you. No body hears from you; not even a damn call to the precinct asking why we didn’t have anyone in custody, yet. Then you turn back up with a PI license and a concealed carry permit and…”
“And what, Joe?” Alex coughed out an exasperated chuckle, throwing his hands up in the air for punctuation; “The friggin’ Cult of Azazel damn near guts me… slaughters my wife… and I crack. Big friggin’ whoop!” His voice cracked at that point and he pushed angrily away from the desk, turning his back to Joe before emptying the flask and rubbing the dampness from his eyes with the back of a fist.
Clearing his throat, he turned to face the other man, again. “I quit the force. So what? I got it together and picked up a piece again. I’m still doin’ the job. On my terms, this time, but I’m still doin’ the friggin’ job! So, now, three and a half years after the fact, you find some dead guy wearing a Zazy necklace and all of the sudden, ‘Holy crap! Sharpe must be a psycho!’ Is that where those facts are leadin’, Joe? Cuz if they are, I’d love to see the road those bastards got there on!”
“Just like that, Al,” the detective said calmly a faint smile playing on his lips despite his friend’s obvious pain.
“The Cult of Azazel?”
“That’s the first time I’ve ever heard that,” Joe grinned, “Up until just now I’ve been running down some nameless bunch of pretty rich kids who, for all I knew, didn’t really exist. Then I come over here, light a fire under your ass, and get the Cult of Azazel.” He tossed the ruined necklace at Alex who snatched it out of the air pretty deftly for a guy as drunk as he looked and smelled; “Is that who these folks are?”
“Yeah,” Alex sighed, opening his fist to look at the pendant, “yeah. That’s who they are.”
“How long have you known that?”
“Year or so, I guess.”
“And you weren’t gonna tell us… me?”
Alex shrugged. It was his turn to look apologetic. “Didn’t figure it’d make a difference,” he said turning to pad towards the row of bookshelves on the far wall, “or that you’d care what with it bein’ witchy hocus-pocus kinda crap.”
Joe rolled his eyes as he watched his former partner select an ancient looking tome from the volumes lining the shelf. “Just cuz I don’t get it doesn’t mean I don’t care, bud,” he assured the man, “Hell, until I met you and Em, I figured all wiccans did was smoke dope, dance naked under the full moon and crap.”
“Hmph,” Alex snorted, thumbing through the pages of the book, “Little more to it than that.”
“I know,” Joe answered, “you guys straightened me out on that. Neither one of you ever said anything about murderin’ Wicces, though…”
“That’s cuz they ain’t,” Alex said. Having found the section he was looking for, he turned the leather bound book around and held it out to Joe.
Kelly’s eyes instantly noticed the symbol drawn at the top of the yellowed page was practically the same as the pendant that Alex now held but it was the first few words of the text beneath it that really got his attention:
Azazel is one of the leaders of the fallen angels who came to earth to mate with mortal women. He taught men the art of making weapons and introduced women to cosmetics, thus encouraging vanity. For revealing these secrets to humankind, God sent angels to bind and imprison Azazel in the desert – in a place called Dudael – where he is to remain until the Final Judgment.
“Is this crap real,” Joe asked, his face slackened by disbelief as he fixed his wide eyes on Alex again.
“Just like Jesus, Joseph, and Mary,” Alex nodded, “dependin on who you ask, I guess.”
“So they’re devil worshipers?”
“Somethin’ like that.”
“You know who any of ‘em are?”
“Nope,” Alex lied confidently.
“Know where they get together and hang out?”
“So you didn’t kneecap a guy over in Lincoln Park and set him on fire because you thought he might be one of these Azazelites?”
“Wanna check the place for a flamethrower,” Alex smirked tossing the pendant back to Joe. “Whatever melted that burned a lot hotter than anything I’d have to light a body up with.”
“And last night you were…”
“Right here,” Alex sighed, flopping down in the chair behind his desk and tossing the now empty flask back on top of the cluttered top, “Tryin’ to read case files but havin more success at getting hammered. Happy, now?”
Joe blinked, then; his gaze ticking from the book, to the amulet, to the empty flask, to Alex. He opened his mouth to reply more than once but found that he was at a loss for words. Giving up the search for what to say, he returned his attentions to the book, glancing at the page Alex had opened the thing to once more before closing the thing up and examining the cover… he couldn’t make out the title as age and use seemed to have worn most of it away…
“Basically a field guide to demons,” Alex, noticing the other man’s perplexed expression, offered with a shrug, “I’ve never been able to read the crap on the cover, either.”
“Ah,” Joe nodded, more than a little creeped out all of a sudden, “okay. Friggin’ weird.” Holding the thing as if it had just turned into a dirty diaper, he looked at Alex again; “Mind if I hang on to this for a while?”
“I don’t care,” Alex grinned, “but what would the Pope think? Don’t you Catholics have to hail Mary like a thousand times for even thinking about that stuff?”
Joe laughed; “You’re a prick, Sharpe.”
“Yeah. The more things change, right? But, hey, you woke up my cat.”
“I’ll get this back to you, Al,” the detective said, holding the book up as he strode for the door.
“Take care of yourself, bud.”
“Yeah,” Alex sighed as Joe let himself out, “you too.”
He watched as his ex-partner spoke with Officers Sisson and Fansler – probably giving them fluff for their reports – offered a lazy nod when Joe turned and raised a meaty hand in a silent farewell from the other side of the window and, then, after all three cops had disappeared from sight, leaned forward and cradled his head in his hands. “Oh, Em,” he sighed, “I’m goin’ to hell for this one.”
Without looking up, he untangled his fingers from his hair, reached across the desk, and dragged back the picture of his wife that sat there. He pressed his head to the photo and, even though he tried not to, started to cry.
Posted on 2009-09-01 at 21:57:09.
Edited on 2016-03-05 at 15:53:12 by Eol Fefalas
Smoke stayed in the kitchen through all of this. Ears piqued, tail twitching. The tuna and milk long gone, it was amazing how even the worst moments did not destroy her appetite. She didn’t pad out into the room until the detective left, no doubt this was the last way that Alex wanted her (or anyone) to see him, but here she was and she wasn’t going to just let him be.
Well s^*! Alex… at least you didn’t get yourself thrown in the slammer… but God (if there is one). He’ll be back now, you know that, which means you got to clean up your act, with a detective sniffing around these murders you don’t want your fingernails to show up with blood under them.
She starts in on him but then brings her big golden kitty eyes up to the sobbing figure that used to be a man. A pause to lick her paw and she leaps up onto his lap, rubbing her head against his belly before settling down.
Alex…. she purrs softly Come on love… we should get you back to bed, get both of us back to bed. And don’t think I’m getting soft on you. I’m not. I like the bed and I hate it when it’s cold because you’ve drunk yourself into a stupor and fell asleep in the arm chair down here. So it’s in my best interest if you get up and come to bed with me
She rubs his chest nudging him until the tears eventually subside into a wracking sobs and he gives in. Once back in bed, the clock reading 4:07, she crawls onto his back and starts kneading with her paws into the tight knots forming on his shoulders.
She was beautiful… I wish that I had met her, but I know she was a good woman. And I know she’d hate to see you like this. Just go to sleep Alex, dream of Em, but dream of her when you two were happy alright? Promise me that… remember your wedding day, or better yet the honeymoon. Remember how happy you were, how happy she was. Go to sleep thinking of her smile and we’ll sort everything out in the morning
Thus she spends the next half hour kneading him to sleep and then the rest of the night curled up close to him, letting her breathing match his.
It isn’t until the digital lines on the clock read 10:30 that she mews at him, rubbing her face against his and then licking his three day stubble.
I’m hungry… come on Alex. I don’t have thumbs, I can’t open the milk. You gotta get up. I know you’re hung over and feel like crap but come on…
Posted on 2009-09-02 at 01:16:44.
Edited on 2016-03-05 at 15:56:16 by Eol Fefalas
Janelle was running. She sprinted as fast as she could, the cold stone floor hurting her bare feet with how hard she was going, but she wouldn't-couldn't stop. She slammed yet another door open, and as quickly shut it as she ran past. The stone walls just watched her pass apathetically, offering no aid at all... not even offering to stop the echo... that horrible, mechanical sound...
Yet, no matter how much she ran, it seemed to get louder.
"You can run all you want, but that doesn't change anything." It was the mocking tone of a child... THAT child... "Time is everywhere, and delivers all equally to their end. You can't plug your ears and cover your eyes, because no one can escape time."
The clock then chimed, a bell tone that was clear, yet malicious and foreboding, bringing with it doom.
Suddenly, Janelle felt her body seize up, as though something had enveloped her. She couldn't move.
All Janelle felt was herself falling... and something hard hit her on the head...
She opened her eyes, and immediately found herself to be upside down, with her head on the floor. She was panting heavily. A quick check revealed her to be practically cocooned in her blankets, while she had fallen onto the floor.
"Well," Janelle gasped, "That's the last time I make my bed before falling asleep..."
There was an urgent knock at her apartment door.
"Miss! Are you alright?!" It was one of the janitors who had heard her.
"Yes!" Janelle called back, "I'm fine! Sorry about that!"
The janitor didn't sound impressed, "Alright, if you're sure then."
"Yes, I'm sure." Janelle replied, wriggling her way out of the tight blankets.
She heard the janitor walk away, and quickly checked her digital alarm clock. 3:18 AM
Having memorized the times to watch out for, Janelle immediately recognized it.
"When the clock hands unite, whether it is day or night, expect the unexpected or you'll be in for a fright." She recited softly to herself.
But why? There was none of THOSE clocks in her apartment. She had seen to that.
Wait... was it?
Janelle practically ran over to her desk, and turned on the lamp.
There it was, the last sketch she drew before going to bed at 2:15. She was up that late because she had been watching a movie that had come on television at 11. It was drawing of a little girl holding up a pocket watch. Naturally, that clock was of the analog style.
In an instant, Janelle was tearing the page to shreds. Why didn't she erase that picture?! She should have known better! She was quite tired then, but still! She should've known better!
Janelle sighed. Now that she had vented her anger, she was exhausted. She glanced around her, where little pieces of paper lay on the floor. She'd have to pick those up later that day, but right now... she needed sleep. Janelle just let herself fall onto her bed, not even bothering to re-organize her covers first.
Yet, even as she fell asleep, she forgot to turn the desk lamp off.
It took a moment for the bast’s gentle voice to permeate the heavy shroud of misery that Alex had let fall over him and, at first, only a scant few of her words managed to actually register. The sentiment behind those words, though, wrapped around him like a warm blanket on the coldest of winter nights and, when her head rubbed against his chest, he finally let go of Emily’s picture and scooped the little gray fluffball into his arms.
…Come one, love, she purred, we should get you back to bed…get both of us back to bed…
“Yeah,” he whispered hoarsely after a moment, “okay.” He snuggled her close as he slid out of the chair and stumbled towards the stairs but, after attempting the first couple of steps with Smoke cradled in his arms, decided that it would probably be safer for the both of them if he held onto the railing as opposed to her. A few moments later he had managed to haul himself to the top of the stairs and staggered into the bedroom where he allowed himself to fall face first onto the rumpled sheets.
Alex didn’t really want to fall asleep the way he had before Joe had come knocking – he feared the nightmares that would surely result from the past hour or so of conversation and memory – and he released a shuddering sigh into the pillow as a testament to that fact. His mind was already trying to shove him down those dark corridors and into the reliving of those horrors, though, and he was too tired… too drunk to try and hold them off. He sighed again, sniffed, rubbed his face into the pillow, and had just resolved himself to sitting up and having another cigarette when he felt Smoke climb gingerly onto his back and begin to knead her little paws into the tense knots between his shoulder blades.
…go to sleep Alex, dream of Em, but dream of her when you two were happy alright? Promise me that… remember your wedding day, or better yet the honeymoon. Remember how happy you were, how happy she was. Go to sleep thinking of her smile…
Whether he actually fell asleep, then, or simply succumbed to the alcohol and the bast’s soothing voice and passed out, Alex would never be sure. His eyes did close, though, and before long, he was gone from the agony of the real world, floating blind and deaf in the nether realm of slumber.
Something caressed his face and tickled his nose, causing him to nearly sneeze, and he was about to brush away the phantom cobweb when he felt a rough little tongue raking across the whiskers on his cheek…
…I don’t have thumbs, he heard Smoke complain, I can’t open the milk.
A sleepy smile started pulling at the corners of his mouth until the action sent a stabbing pain into his head. The smile dissolved into a sickened grimace and the hand that had been lazily reaching to seesaw Smoke’s ears diverted instead to press into his hatefully aching eyes. “Damn.”
I know you’re hung over and feel like crap but come on, she pleaded.
“Yeah,” he groaned, still mashing the one hand into his eyes but lifting the other to scruff Miss Kitty under the chin, “Alright… I’m comin’. What time is it?”
Ten-thirty, Smoke said as he felt her slip away from his hand and sashay towards the edge of the bed, Well past time for breakfast.
“Damn,” Alex groaned again, finally peeling his hand away from his face and turning his concrete-filled head to squint at the clock on the nightstand, “Are you kiddin’ me?”
No kidding, she insisted as she leapt from the bed, Breakfast.
Even the soft, nearly silent thud of Smoke’s feet hitting the floor seemed too loud this morning and Alex pinched his eyes shut in reaction to the sound. “Oh, sonofa…” He shoved his own legs over the edge of the mattress and then forced himself to sit up despite the protesting of his head and stomach. He sat there for another long moment, cradling his head in his hands and desperately willing his salivary glands to wake up and peel the carpet off his tongue, before forcing himself upwards and tottering for the bedroom door in Smoke’s wake.
Following a miserable, thudding, head-rattling trip down the stairway and through the storefront, Alex’s eyes opened just wide enough to find his way to the refrigerator. “Looks like it’s time to go to market,” he mumbled apologetically, squinting into the near-empty milk carton, “this is gonna be the last of this one.” He fished a clean bowl out of the cupboard when his head wouldn’t let him stoop down to pick up the one Smoke had emptied hours earlier, poured it full of milk, and spilled the last few drops from the carton past his own lips before tossing it in the trash.
“Do ya mind, sweety,” he asked, setting Smoke’s bowl down on the counter instead of in its now customary spot on the floor, “I… can’t…”
The bast had already leapt onto the counter-top and hunkered down to start lapping up her breakfast. You look like crap, Alex.
“Thanks,” he chuckled weakly, his hands clutching the edge of the sink as a wave of nausea hit him in the gut, “I feel like crap.” He cranked the cold tap open and splashed a few handfuls of the water on his face, then shoved his hand through his bed-head mop before leaning over just a bit to plant a kiss on her head. “I’m gonna go puke and take a shower. You finish your breakfast and, if you wanna, we’ll go for a ride, okay?”
Posted on 2009-09-02 at 22:33:14.
Edited on 2016-03-05 at 15:59:53 by Eol Fefalas
As he leaned down to kiss her she reflexivly shakes her head violently. Come on! Your still wet for God's sake!
She let out a pissy kitty meow and quickly started licking her paw and trying to smooth out the fur atop her head, stopping now and then only to shake her head again.
Go already will you?! And I told you last night we needed more milk, but you never listen to me. Damn humans, they never listen, especially when it's important... she grimaced, knowing he had stopped listening to her while he went upstairs to get that shower done. Meanwhile she sat on the counter and enjoyed her breakfast in relative peace and quiet.
Upstairs she heard the shower turn on and as the last bit of milk dissapeared under a flick of her pink tongue she stretched. She didn't want to look concerned, she hated to look concerned over her human, but quiet frankly she was concerned. So like any well bred cat she is concerned without looking so.
There was a little cloth bag that had been stuffed full of some dried herbs and sewn shut, a little bow tied to the top to make it decorative. Emily had done it years ago and had put it next to the bed, one of the many little touches she had done to turn this building into a home. Smoke had found it not long after moving in herself. At first Alex had seemed upset with her choice of toy, being that it was Emily's. Smoke thought that he held most of the things in this home as some totem to his dead wife, and had refused not to play with it.
It was this little bag that she pawed out from under the arm chair in the front shop and diligently drug up the stairs in her teeth to the hall outside the bathroom. A moment later her nails clicked over the hard wood floor as she pounced on the bag. It flew off down the hall toward the stairs and she chased it again. Pouncing, catching, biting, pulling it into her paws, rolling over on her back and batting at it with her back legs. With a flick of her front paw it bounced down the hall and she chased it again.
And so she played this way in the hall while her ears stayed perked for noises from the shower, making sure her human didn't fall down and fracture his skull. Or do any of the other equally dumb things he was liable to do in his current condition. The toy was a distraction, though, and while she waited for him to come out, and to take her on a ride, she thought about him.
She felt sorry for Alex. He was a good man, supposedly he'd been a good cop and a good husband. This shoty luck should not have been handed to him. There were people who deserved things like this to happen to them. Smoke hadn't come out of her long series of lives with a rosy view of the human race. Some people deserved all that came to them, and more. Once in awhile she had even been the one to give it to them, a thought that made her purr herself to sleep on good days. But Alex was not one of those.
Alex should have his wife still, instead he had this cat, a poor subsitute and Smoke knew it. She'd do her best for him though. Partly because she knew what it was like. To have someone you loved die on you, to feel it was your own fault. Faces long dead floated before Smoke as she chased the potpourri of a dead woman she had never met, the irony did not escape her. There had been many over the years, all gifted to some degree. And now all were dead save for Alex, and one day he would float with the rest. She hoped that he would be one of those that died happily though. Not all of them had.
Some had died as his wife had, screaming. When Alex tossed in his sleep she knew he was hearing his wifes screams. When Smoke tossed in her sleep it was a chorus of screams, but the loudest, the most painful for her was Toby's scream.
With the bag in her mouth she paused outside the door to the bathroom. Steam drifted out from under the door and seeped through her soft fur to her skin. A ride he had said. Life with Alex was always a ride.
When he finally came out of the shower, still slightly wet, a towell wrapped around his waist she kept playing in the hall.
Well at least you smell half way decent now. Make sure you find clean clothes so you stay that way, if there are any clean clothes she added.
A few more comments from her and they were finally in the car and on the road again. Her claws kneaded the sweater he had all but seceded to her the day he brought her home and settled into a ball there.
You sobered up yet? She didn't wait for an answer before going on Good. Now then... Last night was close, too close for my comfort. Do you even remember last night? Her head tilted a bit as she looked at him.
Oh nevermind... it doesn't matter what you remember, except that you nearly got yourself in deep s^*! with a detective. Although I must say I think he believed you on the whole 'your too drunk to actually accomplish a killing' act... too bad it is only just barely an act.
But, you did tip him off to the fact that you know more about your wife's killers then you ever told them, and he'll be back for more information. Which, like I said last night, means you have to be more careful. No more BBQ's. No more leaving bodies in identifable conditions, perferably no more leaving bodies if you ask me. Which you don't.
Sober up a little bit before you go on a hunt that way you'll actually do a better job, not to mention you'll be more likely to actually remember it later. And isn't that the point? To savor these kills, not forget them in a pool of scotch? You know you might want to sober up some period, not just when your on the hunt.
Did you ever manage to pay the phone bill last month? They were threatening to cut off service if you didn't. Not that I'd care, I hate that thing... but you get good tips from it, oh and real jobs sometimes, you know... those things you get -paid- for to do...
You know maybe that's the ticket. Find yourself some real jobs... even if it's not real police work, even if it's just taking dirty pictures of some guy cheating on his wife... those things pay the bills. And hell maybe you'll get lucky and the wife will be lonely and you can get laid again. Even your cop friend would agree you need that.
Rather pleased with herself she licks her paw as the pull up to the store. And love... her golden eyes rise to his as he starts to shut the car down to go inside Whole milk... I'm not on a diet...
Posted on 2009-09-03 at 01:24:07.
Edited on 2009-09-03 at 01:27:39 by Merideth
With the strange pendant grasped tightly in her right hand Penelope descended the creaky staircase of her apartment building. Someone was watching her and that left little doubt in her mind that this yet unknown watcher knew something of her true nature. That she could not allow, too much was at stake. Whoever they were she fully intended to make them rue the day they were born, and this pendant would lead her to them.
Penelope opened the door to her building and stepped out into the night once again. Turning she went out in search of the old seer.
Mami Fortuna hobbled down an alleyway muttering to herself. She had managed to scrounge together a few coins and was looking forward to a real meal in the morning. She would have eggs, she liked eggs. The old woman padded down the sidewalk turning back onto a main street, there was a diner a few blocks down and she intended to be there when they opened.
The rhythmic clicking of heels on cement pulled her attention behind her. In the distance a familiar feminine figure approached. Mami Fortuna's eyes widened as the figure came more into focus. The woman was more beautiful than any she had seen before and there was an aura around that was not quite human. Recognition came to the old woman and she raised a gnarled finger to point at the woman.
"¡Tu! Yo se..."
"Para mija," the grey eyed woman spoke raising up her hand in a silencing gesture. "Tengo que hablar contigo."
The woman produced an ornate pendant and handed it to her, "Mirala y dime què tu ves. ¿Vale?"
Mami Fortuna took the pedant and gazed at it for a time. Slowly at first images and feelings came to her. Then the vision overtook her and she lost herself in the darkness. Mami Fortuna began to scream.
Gentle hands on her shoulders brought her back to the sidewalk and the streets. Her vision cleared and fell on the beautiful grey eyed woman.
"¿Què has visto tu?"
Mami Fortuna shook her head and threw the pendant at the woman, "Esa es la marca del diablo. Hay un brujo en la ciudad vieja que sabe mucho de este. ¡Habla con èl y dejame en paz hada bruja!" With that final utterance the old woman turned and fled down the street.
Penelope ran a hand through her hair as she watched Mami Fortuna run down the street. Smirking she fingered the ornate pendant, it seemed the old woman had more than a spark of the Gift after all. She would have to watch her, but for now though she had other matters to draw her attention.
Wrapping the teal pashmina tight around her shoulders Penelope turned down an alleyway. Somewhere in the Old City there was a man who could help her and she would find him even if it meant scrounging the entire supernatural underground to do so.
Posted on 2009-09-04 at 00:01:39.
Edited on 2016-03-05 at 16:11:45 by Eol Fefalas
“Ugh,” Alex grumbled, leaning heavily on the bathroom sink as he tried to spit the bitter aftertaste of vomit that clung to the insides of his mouth out into the basin, “You’re gonna poison yourself one of these days, Sharpe.”
Isn’t that what you’re tryin’ to do, anyway, his inner voice argued, tryin’ to kill yourself, one way or another?
“No,” he answered, glaring hatefully into the mirror.
You sure? His reflection didn’t look so convinced by that reply. 100 percent sure that that’s not what it’s all about? Come on! The Zazy’s killed Em… tried to kill you, too, and probably would have if Lucius hadn’t shown up… and when you woke up still breathin’ you figured you might as well help things along one way or another. Isn’t that right? The pain meds they gave you didn’t cut it so you turned to the booze. The booze didn’t cut it so you picked up a gun and started huntin’ Zazies… sure, you tell yourself that it’s retribution, but somewhere in here, you know it’s suicide, don’t ya? You go out half-crocked, not really knowing if the next one’s gonna be better than you and maybe even hoping that he is. Hoping that that one will be the one to kill your body so it can finally join up with your soul…
“Aw, shut up,” he snarled, swinging the medicine cabinet open so he didn’t have to look at himself. “If I wanna be nagged, I’ll go talk to Smoke,” he added as he snatched a bottle of aspirin from the shelf and poured a few into his mouth.
Good idea, his mind fought back, as he chewed the pills up and then washed them down with a slug of Listerine, but maybe listen to her a little, too, huh? She’ll tell ya the same damn thing.
“I said, shut up,” Alex barked, slamming the medicine cabinet closed and not bothering to look at his reflection this time. He knew that if he did, the voice would tell him; You’ve already poisoned yourself, Alex… You’re already dead…
A short minute later and he was standing under the shower, the hot water pouring over his head as he held himself up against the wall and actually thought about what his inner voice had said… what Smoke had likely been trying to tell him… and, then, as he watched the water splatter on the tub floor much like the rain had been falling on the pavement that night, about that last Zazy…
His name had been Eddie Stevens and Alex had been stalking him for months. In fact, Lucius had first turned him on to this particular Azazelite on the third anniversary of Emily’s death… the day I first met Smoke…… and, as it turned out, Alex was all too familiar with this one. After all, the bastard’s initials were carved into his chest, weren’t they?
He’d found him at a trendy nightclub over in Lincoln Park called Vain, just as Lucius had said he would, and while he had desperately wanted to kill the little SOB that very night, things hadn’t gone all together as he had planned. First, there was Rosie… Janelle… real name’s Janelle… …running like mad down the street, glowing like a lighthouse with essence, and completely distracting him from the surveillance of the club. Then there was Smoke who, thanks to Janelle’s beacon setting her off, had revealed herself to be more than just some miserable, rain-soaked stray that Alex had picked up in the cemetery. Finally, there had been the horde of hoochies that were surrounding Eddie when he finally strolled out of Vain’s doors in the wee hours of the morning… More lambs for the slaughter, Alex had thought, then, and too many damn witnesses.
So it had gone week after week. During the daytime hours, Alex would dig into investigating the Zazy who – unlike the others he’d sent to hell thus far – Alex knew had been involved in killing Em; running down the name, address, and habits of the blade-happy pretty boy. The evenings would find him staking out the club, watching, waiting, and hoping for Eddie to finally have an “off night” and leave the place alone or, at least, with a small enough entourage that Alex would be able to manage the job without having to worry about anyone slipping the noose. After two and a half months of watching, planning, and waiting… don’t forget breaking down and asking that freaky little coven in Pilsen to help you out by lobbing a curse at the little punk… that night finally came.
Eddie, all alone and looking a little more than dejected at the bad luck that must have befallen him where the ladies were concerned, had exited Vain earlier than was his norm. So early, in fact, that Alex was almost caught by surprise when Eddie jandered up the alley that was the first leg of his standard homeward-bound route… caught up with him quick enough, though…
“Hey, kid,” Alex called, slowing from a jog to a walk after catching sight of the Zazy a little more than halfway up the alleyway, “Hold up a second!”
Eddie turned around, squinting through the rain and the dark, more than a little surprised that he wasn’t the only one brave enough to stroll the alley at this time of night. “I ain’t no kid,” he had replied haughtily, “and, dude, I ain’t got no spare change or smokes or nothin’.”
Alex chuckled at that… thought I was a bum, did ya?… and continued his slow advance towards the cultist. “That’s a’right,” Alex slurred as his hand dipped into his jacket and came back out with a Marlboro and a zippo, “got my own.” He paused for a second, cupping his hand over the lighter to shield the flame as he lit up, then, returning the lighter to his pocket, started towards Eddie again; “Wanna ask ya somethin’ else.”
“Dude! It’s rainin’ buckets,” Eddie snapped, “What the hell do you want?”
Alex drew to a stop a few feet from the younger man, blew a cloud of smoke in his direction, and offered a decidedly mirthless grin; “I wanna know if you remember me?”
Eddie’s face scrunched up as the stench of cigarette smoke and liquor assailed his nostrils; “What the f@#k, dude?!” He coughed and waved his hand in front of his face in an attempt to dispel the obnoxious smell. “Get bent, man! I don’t friggin’ know you, alright? Now take your drunk ass the other way before I beat it down!”
“Aw, c’mon, Eddie,” Alex smirked taking another step closer, “Been a long time but I figured you’d for sure remember me…”
The Azazelite’s aura flared a bit and the hand Alex had in his pocket let go of the lighter and slid in the direction of his pistol.
“I said that I don’t know you, old dude,” Eddie reiterated, “so blow before ya get yerself damaged!”
Tucking his smoke into one corner of his mouth, Alex snorted, almost laughed, at the kid’s choice of words. His fingers, no longer hindered by the cigarette, traced a quick pattern in the air as Alex uttered the invocation “Sopro do vento oeste” and a gust of wind whipped down the length of the alley, hurling smoke, rain, and debris at Eddie’s face.
“Son of a…” Eddie exclaimed, throwing his arms up to shield himself from the assault even as his own mind sought out the workings of a planned retaliation. When the wind stopped and he opened his eyes, though, the drunk guy was standing within arm’s reach pointing a gun at Eddie’s face.
“Next time you carve a guy up,” Alex suggested through clenched teeth, “I suggest you take a good look at his face… especially if you let him live.”
The Azazelite’s eyes widened. The way the guy was holding the gun and the hard determination that shone in the bloodshot gray eyes had just blasted a good dose of recognition into his brain. “You’re that cop…”
“Yeah,” Alex’s voice was a deadly whisper.
“So, what,” Eddie sneered, trying to maintain his air of confidence even with the gun in his face, “You gonna arrest me, now?”
“Uh-uh. Can’t. Not a cop anymore.”
“Gonna shoot me, then?”
“Yup,” Alex nodded faintly and, just that quick, the pistol dipped from Eddie’s face and - BLAM! BLAM! - the kid screamed as his knees were shattered, “but only just enough so ya can’t run away this time.”
Eddie was laying on the filthy pavement of the alley, now, groaning and writhing in pain, shock, and anger but still trying to coax the formula of his own spell from his mind to his mouth.
“Ain’t so easy to do when you’re hurtin’ and bleedin’ all over the place, is it,” Alex taunted menacingly as he put the pistol away. “Keep tryin’, though,” he said, taking a second to uncap his flask and knock back a mouthful, “you might get lucky… but I doubt it.
Lemme tell you where you screwed up, Eddie, before I send you off to meet your good buddy Azazel.”
Returning the flask to his pocket, Alex crouched down next to the Zazy and studied him for a second. “You killed my wife,” he whispered as he channeled more essence into the spell he was readying, “killed my friends,” he felt the surge of eldritch energy coursing through him, now, “but you really screwed up when you didn’t finish killin’ me.
Do you know how much pain you’ve caused,” he asked, not bothering to wait for an answer. “No? You’re about to find out, though, aren’t you? You’re gonna spend the rest of eternity in hell, Eddie Stevens, and the real bitch of it is, you’re gonna get a good taste of it before you even get there.”
Alex stood up and backed away from the Zazy, then, took a good long drag on his smoke, and offered another fractional nod when he realized that the kid was still struggling to spit out an incantation. “Still can’t get that spell out, huh? Well, here,” he grinned as his fingers traced a new set of symbols into the air, “try this one.
Chamas do inferno, reclamar o seu premio!”
Eddie didn’t have any problem screaming as the flames sprouted around him and started crawling across his clothes…
“My name’s Alex Sharpe,” the drunk guy said just before Eddie stopped twitching but long before the essence fueled flames flickered out, “Tell Azazel I said hello.”
Alex opened his eyes and watched the water swirl down the drain for another moment, his fingers moved to touch the ‘E’ and ‘S’ scars, again, before he reached for the bottle of shampoo sitting on the edge of the tub. “Maybe I’ll get to tell him myself one of these days…”
((More to come... car ride, etc. ))
Posted on 2009-09-04 at 17:51:36.
Edited on 2016-03-05 at 16:12:37 by Eol Fefalas
Well at least you smell half way decent now, Smoke chided when Alex finally emerged from the lavatory and stepped over her on his way to the bedroom, Make sure you find clean clothes so you stay that way… if there are any clean clothes.
“I’m sure I’ll find something,” he smirked, sending the potpourri bag she had been toying with down the hall with a quick flick of his foot. “You out here to make sure I didn’t fall down in the shower again?”
Someone’s got to keep an eye on you, Alex, Smoke replied, bounding down the hall after the makeshift ball, since you won’t do it yourself.
You didn’t shave? It was more accusation than question.
“Thought about it for a minute,” he shrugged, reaching for the nearly empty pack of cigarettes before rummaging through the closet and dresser to find the aforementioned clean garb, “couldn’t find the shave cream.”
You didn’t drink it, did you?
“Not that I remember,” Alex laughed softly, “brat.”
He managed to find one clean pair of jeans, still folded neatly on the shelf in the closet, and a clean albeit un-ironed shirt hanging in there, as well. Tossing the towel aside and adding laundry detergent and fabric softener to his mental grocery list, he got dressed as quickly as his still throbbing head would allow, then checked himself in the mirror that topped Emily’s dressing table, finger-combing his hair before shrugging into his jacket and stepping out into the hall. “Smoke? You ready?”
Aren’t I always?
“Yes you are,” Alex conceded following her down the steps. He paused at the still cluttered desk long enough to put Em’s picture back in its proper place, snatch up his Blackberry, and tuck the flask he’d emptied last night into his pocket – he didn’t bother making a side trip to the kitchen to refill it, though.
Once the front door was open, Smoke sashayed out onto the walk as if she owned the neighborhood and prowled in impatient little circles next to the ’66 Chevelle that sat at the curb while Alex locked up the shop and muttered the quick incantation that brought up the wards that protected the place. Stepping out onto the walk himself, Alex winced at the cruel brightness of the daylight and tugged a pair of sunglasses from one pocket while fishing the car keys out of another. With the shades shielding his eyes, now, he unlocked the primer gray passenger door and held it open for the bast; “Your chariot awaits, m’lady,” he snarked, smiling a little as she leapt up into the seat and set about kneading the sweater that waited there into an acceptable state.
You sobered up, yet, Smoke asked as he settled in behind the wheel and turned the engine over.
Good, she interrupted, Now then… Last night was close. Too close for my comfort…
He felt her eyes on him as he pulled away from the curb and roared up the street. Do you even remember last night?
Alex was about to answer; “Yeah… unfortunately, I do,” but, true to her nature, Smoke continued without waiting for his response, again.
Oh never mind... it doesn't matter what you remember, except that you nearly got yourself in deep s^*! with a detective. Although I must say I think he believed you on the whole 'you’re too drunk to actually accomplish a killing' act...
Sure he did, Alex thought without bothering to vocalize the reply, He is…was… my partner and best friend for years. He’d never expect me to lie to him. Especially about something like that. Cop or not, he’s gotta be having a tough time figuring that I’d do something like that… Can’t really believe it myself, sometimes… I… guess…
He remained silent, both mentally and vocally, during the rest of Smoke’s ‘lecture’ and, despite the cat’s claims to the contrary, actually listened to every word she said. He nodded his agreement from time to time, especially when there was no doubt that the bast was right, and shot her the occasional sidelong glance during the ‘why don’t you sober up’ bit – he knew he had a problem without having to be reminded of it… didn’t like to have it pointed out even when it was done out of care and concern… tried not to remind himself of it when he could manage it…
Did you ever manage to pay the phone bill last month, Smoke asked as if to underscore the point she was making, They were threatening to cut off service if you didn't. Not that I'd care, I hate that thing... but you get good tips from it, oh and real jobs sometimes, you know... those things you get -paid- for to do...
“Yes, Mom,” Alex grinned faintly, “I paid the bill. Coupla goth kids came in thinking the store was still open… Had no clue what they really wanted and I’m pretty sure they’ll never be able to make any use of the stuff they picked up, but I managed to sell ‘em enough that I could cover the phone…”
You know maybe that's the ticket. Find yourself some real jobs... even if it's not real police work, even if it's just taking dirty pictures of some guy cheating on his wife... those things pay the bills. And hell maybe you'll get lucky and the wife will be lonely and you can get laid again. Even your cop friend would agree you need that.
His grin cracked into a full-blown smile at that. Then the smile erupted into an almost embarrassed laugh as he peered at her over the top of his sunglasses. “All right,” he chuckled, “Geez! I’m with you on the jobs, Smoke. You’re right, okay? No point in having the license if I don’t take the cases and, yeah, we could definitely use the money… but, damn… get laid? I dunno… I just… Wow!”
Still laughing, he returned his eyes to the road ahead. The wedding ring that he still wore on the hand that was clutching the steering wheel glinted in the periphery of his vision. His free hand reached across the street and stroked the little fluffball as he guided the car off the street and parked in front of the grocery. “Here we are, sweetheart,” he said, a little relieved that the store had appeared when it did as he just didn’t know what to say or even think about the cat’s suggestion. The truth of it was that, yes, like anyone else, he had those wants and needs but had never acted on them… he was still married to Emily, as far as he was concerned, and likely would have felt like he was cheating on her if he ever acted on any of those urges. “I’ll be back in just a few minutes.”
And love... Smoke’s golden eyes lifted to meet his own as he shut the car down and opened the door, Whole milk... I'm not on a diet...
“You got it,” he chuckled, scruffing her head again, before sliding out of the car, “maybe even some salmon or something, too, huh?”
He walked around the front of the Chevelle and started across the walk to the entrance but stopped suddenly looking back at her through the passenger door window. Hey, Ellgawen? he thought in her direction…
Thanks… you know… for… everything.
He didn't wait for her to acknowledge it, of course, and she'd probably pick at him for having actually acknowledging her efforts as he just had, but he felt that he owed her at least that.
"Get laid, she says," he chuckled softly as he turned again and headed into the store, "Crazy cat..."
Posted on 2009-09-05 at 13:57:59.
Edited on 2016-03-07 at 06:30:42 by Eol Fefalas
Everyone knows that everyone needs to go shopping coincidentally on the same day
Janelle woke up at 10:00. Well, 'woke up' implies that she was fully awake when she got up, but that was not the case. When she got up, Janelle got up grudgingly. It felt like she was underwater, and she knew the reason for it. Time itself had her on its hit list; that's what the girl had said, but she knew how it worked.
As she staggered to her shower, she recited in her mind.
When the clock hands unite, whether it is day or night,
Expect the unexpected, or you'll be in for a fright.
Midnight and noon, the special times when the hands unite,
If you don't hide, become aware of the half-hour of plight.
However, when the hands balance, and are opposite on the clock's face,
The world has shifted to become a better place.
The chime of six, at either part of the day,
Begets a change that could benefit either way.
But in places with clocks that lack their own arms,
People are not affected by their swaying charms.
Clock hands that are plain are less liable to this effect,
And only 6 and 12 bring out any change that will affect.
Clock hands that are ornate are an entirely different case,
For whether it is major or minor, they will change reality's face.
Finally, for those clocks that exist that are missing an arm,
Beware those the most, for they will only bring about harm!
By the time she had showered and finished her morning routine, it was 10:50. During breakfast, she discovered that she could use another jug of milk, as well as some other groceries, so she knew she'd have to go shopping. She dreaded the thought. Being outside, out in the open... there were always those sorts of clocks...
Then again, if she left right at 10:55, after the immediate danger had passed, she'd have until 12:00 to get her groceries and return. Furthermore, she knew something good would happen at 11:27. Feeling more confident, although still undoubtedly tired, Janelle waited until 10:55, and ran. She sprinted out of the apartment, and ran down the street. She could have stopped at the first grocery store, but she knew it wasn't a good place to stop, since being so close to the apartment, most people went there for groceries, so they seldom had things in stock. No, it was better to go to the store further away. It took longer to get there, but at least they actually held a decent stock.
She arrived at the store and immediately checked her watch. 11:15. She wondered what would happen in 12 minutes... but then again, first thing was first. She needed to get her shopping done asap. First she wandered through the cereal and canned foods; since she was running, she knew she should grab perishables and the milk last. She didn't bother watching the time, since she knew from experience that the more you watched time, the more it played against you.
However, Janelle stopped for a moment at the milk section. It didn't look like they had hers... but then again, amidst the wide variety (why were there so many kinds anyway?), maybe it was just hidden behind another kind. She began to rummage through the milks, searching for hers.
Unnoticed, her digital watch changed, and now read 11:27.