"I-it's not that," Janelle promised as Alex released her from the embrace.
He quirked a brow as, holding her at arms-length, he studied her face. Something was bothering the girl - he could see the signs of it roiling behind her eyes and subtly skewing her facial expressions as she tried to hide it - but it wasn't a something that she felt comfortable sharing with him, it seemed; at least not right now.
"Um... I don't want to keep you from your client," she added, this time with no underlying hints of trying to wave him off, "So, perhaps it'd be better if I told you later? It's not urgent..."
Alex studied her face for a moment longer, then, with a faint nod, released the girl all together. "All right, Rosie," he said, "as long as you're sure, I won't hassle you. Just remember, though, that whatever it is, you can tell me, okay? I'm always here for you, kid... don't forget it."
He sighed, then, and turned his gaze back down the hallway, trying around the fact that the client he had left out front hadn't been the ho-hum, everyday, I-need-to-hire-a-PI sort he had been hoping for and, instead, had brought him yet another Zazy necklace and, with it, another reason not to back off of the cultists... not even a little... as Joe's visit and Smoke's subsequent chastisement this morning had left him considering. Gotta be Fate working, here, somewhere, he told himself as he opened the cupboard over the sink and snaked the bottle of scotch from it's place on the shelf, Just can't figure out why it keeps wanting to throw me at the Zazies... or throw them at me... Did I do it to myself, Alex wondered as he poured less than a shot of the liquor into his coffee... just enough to take the edge off, or has it been some big friggin' scheme from the beginning? In the act of returning the scotch to the cupboard as that last thought hit him, Alex paused, reversed the motion, and indulged in a good, healthy, eye-scrunching belt directly from the bottle. Had the slaughter of Em's coven been the spark that ignited the kindling under the bonfire of what his life had become? Had there been a "greater purpose" behind the suffering that had resulted? F***! he grimaced, swallowing another mouthful, Better not have been... or when I get to hell, I'll just have more work to do... Don't think about it, then, his annoying inner-voice decided to chime in, just go out there, tend to your client like you would if it was a normal case, and don't even consider the rest. You can't link everything to Emily... even if the Zazies are involved... there's more to the world than you and your misery, Sharpe.
And here's something else for you to think about... Rosie's standing there watching while you pour liquid nerves straight from the bottle and into your gut...
Alex shut his eyes and hung his head... Dammit!... before forcing himself to return the bottle to it's shelf and then offering Janelle a somewhat embarrassed and definitely apologetic grin. "Sorry about that," he muttered, "I've... uh... got a case of the nerves or somethin'..." His hands were shaking a bit - though that shake had more to do with his need for a drink than his nerves actually being on edge - so he hoped she'd accept that excuse.
"Thanks for doin' this for me," he continued, taking up the tray Rosie had prepared for him, "Guess I'd better get back in there and see what I can do to help this lady out.
If this takes too long, you can go ahead and take the car if you need to get back to your place... uh... otherwise... You go ahead and make yourself at home, okay?"
Idiot! Alex berated himself as he finally managed to turn himself back towards the hallway, Just quit talkin'!
Without another word, he made his way back to the shop and, when he emerged from the hallway to find Smoke and Penelope engaged in what appeared to be a conversation, he blinked...
"Yeah," he drawled, "not exactly what I was expecting but... okay..." He cast a querulous glance at Smoke and one not so dissimilar at Penelope before deciding to simply dismiss what his perceptions told him and bypassed the pair to set the coffee service down on the table.
"Coffee's ready," he said, lifting his scotch-spiked cup from the tray and turning his gaze back in their direction and inclining his head to indicate the other cup, "You said black, right?"
Posted on 2009-09-21 at 17:35:42.
Edited on 2016-09-29 at 07:11:39 by Eol Fefalas
Janelle sighed in relief. He wasn't going to ask her outright... which was good... if she was going to talk about... it... it would be better for her to steel herself first.
"Yes, I will tell you later. I promise." Janelle said, meaning every word.
Yet, she blinked when she saw Alex putting liquor into his coffee. She really wasn't expecting that, and she was even more surprised when he decided to take a good dollop straight from the bottle.
"Sorry about that," he muttered, "I've... uh... got a case of the nerves or somethin'..."
Well, Janelle reasoned, his hands are shaking...
"I guess it must be a pretty tough job, or one with pretty bad people anyway... don't overdo it." Janelle replied, naturally a bit worried about him.
But then again, he didn't seem too bad... as long as he didn't have too much, he should still be able to think clearly...
"If this takes too long, you can go ahead and take the car if you need to get back to your place... uh... otherwise... You go ahead and make yourself at home, okay?"
Janelle nodded, "Okay, if it's alright with you, I'll actually take a nap... I didn't get much sleep last night." She admitted a bit sheepishly, although she knew it wasn't exactly her fault... then again, if she had just erased that pocketwatch...
Janelle resisted a yawn. She was definitely beginning to feel it now.
"Um, yeah... I'll take a nap." Janelle confirmed, heading up to the guest room.
Posted on 2009-09-21 at 18:54:51.
Edited on 2016-09-29 at 07:11:19 by Eol Fefalas
Oh! I simply adore him. The homeless woman … pause… Can’t say I know who that is, but if she is a seer, yes perhaps she could help. I don’t know if it is going to be as bad as the old days were… but… something terrible is underfoot, I can feel that much in my spine. Especially if they have their eyes on something like you.
She stops there though as Alex comes into the room with the coffee. Her kitty nose can sniff out the scotch that drifts under the coffee smell.
Feeling better Alex love? she coos to him knowingly, and snickers a bit at the quick glare he sends her. Where is Rosie?
Poor girl is tired and nervous about something, she’s going upstairs for a nap
The guest bedroom I hope… keep your bed open for this hot little number that Lucius sent your way. But wait till later for that, listen to her first, I think your right, she is in trouble, but she’s smart… listen to what she has to say and figure out what to do, -then- go about imagining whatever you’d like about her. I’ll leave you two alone for a bit and go check on the kid. She offers to Alex.
To Penelope she purrs again Well love… be patient but honest with him. He will help you, I’m sure of that… I’m going to go take a nap with the girl though. Not all creatures are naturally as beautiful as you, the rest of us need our beauty sleep… she jokes with a soft kitty purr laugh before righting herself, rubbing her head against Penelope’s hand in thanks.
She then pads off, taking a moment to twine around Alex’s legs, her tail straying a bit longer on his calf.
Enjoy your coffee you two… she sends to both of them and then disappears up the stairs.
She finds Rosie inspecting the guest bedroom, making sure that Alex didn’t lie about there being no clocks there. Smoke knows there aren’t any and so settles onto the bed, kneading a spot at the foot before curling up there and waiting for Rosie to join her.
Posted on 2009-09-21 at 19:33:04.
Edited on 2016-09-30 at 09:09:15 by Eol Fefalas
In the guest room, Janelle paced around the room nervously, checking for any sign of analog clocks. She checked the shelves, and she even checked in the corners of the closet. She did find a small spider making a home there, but no clocks, and so left it be. Then again, her slight paranoia came to play, as she considered the web... was the spider going to deliberately draw a clock hand on it?
After a moment, Janelle decided that it wasn't an agent of Time, and left it alone. Janelle gave a soft yawn, before letting her hair out of its braid, taking off her socks, and slipping into the bed, careful to try to not disturb Smoke.
(Just a very short one... and now Janelle's basically asleep )
Posted on 2009-09-21 at 20:34:34.
Edited on 2009-09-21 at 20:35:16 by Reralae
Rose... The kitty called softly. She had done this before. Humans could sometimes be spoken to while they slept. It took some work though, getting to excited would often make them wake up. But when it worked it could be very entertaining, and useful. Smoke had learned that human's were more likely to divulge information when in this state. Whether that information was something secret or just painful.
Rose, it is okay. We know each other. It's Smoke. Shhh... don't get up love. Keep sleeping. You need to sleep. I was just worried about you. Is everything okay Rose?
She snuggles up close to the girl while she tries to talk to her in this state. Alex might actually be surprised at the tone too. She is sweet and soothing, compared to the usually sarcastic tone she takes with him. But Smoke knows what Alex can take, this girl... she isn't so sure of that and decides that a soft soothing approach is much safer. Wouldn't want Rose to flip out midsleep and bring down the whole building with an overload of essence.
Posted on 2009-09-22 at 00:39:40.
Edited on 2016-09-30 at 09:09:38 by Eol Fefalas
As Janelle's mind shifted from conscious to that state between conscious and unconscious, her eyelids flickered as she vaguely dreamt. Nothing much, since it wasn't a really deep sleep, but something simple. Just her, at her desk, with a blank sketchbook in front of her. Although, she could swear she heard someone calling her name.
The voice was faint at first, indistinct, but definitely a woman's. Maybe her mother's?
No... it wasn't... Janelle tried to place the voice, but she didn't know who it belonged to. She stirred, on the border of waking up, but whoever it was seemed to recognize it, and sounded more soothing than urgent or otherwise.
Clearer now, which meant it was probably a part of her dream. Janelle relaxed, and slowly drifted back from the border.
We know each other. It's Smoke.
This startled Janelle slightly. Smoke? The cat? What kind of dream was this? Janelle almost wanted to wake up, to see if it was just a dream, or perhaps something else... the voice definitely seemed more vivid than her dream...
Shhh... don't get up love. Keep sleeping. You need to sleep.
Janelle once again relaxed. That was true... and even if it were real, that'd be something she could easily imagine Smoke telling her. Well, pretty much anyone who knew she was lacking sleep would've probably said the same thing.
I was just worried about you. Is everything okay, Rose?
In her dream, Janelle shook her head. 'I'd be lying if I said so... so I won't...' Janelle slowly replied. Even in her dream she sounded a bit tired. 'It's just that... making coffee, making the serving tray... it reminded me, and so I remembered...' What did you remember?
Janelle sighed softly, as her dream visibly shifted. No longer in her apartment, but rather, in a hotel very different. It was old fashioned, which was visible even in the lounge where she was, with crown molding around the windows, older-style chairs and other furniture styles that gave it away. Carried by her was the same tray setup that she had just made for Alex, upon a serving tray.
'This is where we helped out when we were very little... her parents owned this hotel, so it was only natural we'd help out.' Janelle explained.
We? Who's 'we'?
Janelle turned, and there was a blurred form beside her. It was unmistakably a girl with long, blonde hair. She too held a similar tray.
'That's her...' Janelle elaborated, 'I try not to remember her... we are... well... were... very good friends.' Her name? 'Alice.' Janelle answered.
(A few directions that this can be taken from here
I figure since Smoke is kind of invited, she'd be able to see Janelle's dream, since Janelle is showing it to her anyway)
At the mention of Lucius Smoke began to wag her tail happily. Lucius! Oh! I simply adore him. The homeless woman...the bast paused as if in thought and then looked up at her again. Can't say I know who that is but if she is a seer, yes perhaps she could help. I don't know if it is going to be as bad as the old days were... but... something terrible is underfoot, I can feel that much in my spine. Especially if they have their eyes on something like you.
Penelope nodded her head in understanding. If this cult had taken notice of her then they knew what she was and nothing good ever came of mortals seeking out the undying. Just as she moved to answer her Alexander walked back into the room.
"Coffee's ready," he said as he lifted a cup from the tray and gestured to the other cup, "You said black, right?"
From the corner of her eye she noticed Smoke's attention had shifted to focus on Alexander with those golden feline eyes glittering all too intelligently. The bast was likely telling him something and she had no way of knowing just what that was. Telepathy, a useful talent that, one right now she wished she possessed.
As if sensing her thoughts the bast returned her attention to her. Well love... be patient but honest with him. He will help you, I'm sure of that... I'm going to take a nap with the girl though. Not all creatures are naturally as beautiful as you, the rest of us need our beauty sleep...
With a soft purr smoke rubbed her head against her hand before padding up the stairs. Enjoy your coffee you two...
Penelope watched the cat disappear up the staircase before standing and making her way to the table where Alexander waited. Smoke's words still echoed in her head be patient but honest with him... The bast's intention was clear, she should reveal herself to this mortal man, a thing she had not willing done in the near 700 years she had walked the earth. Secrecy was a survival instinct to her kind, could she abandon now?
Taking a seat at the table Penelope lifted the cup of black coffee to her lips and took a sip, "Black is perfect, thank you."
The siren studied the man before her more closely now. This mortal had somehow attracted the attention of not one, but three immortals of the supernatural world. Alexander had to be aware of what Smoke was, but what would he do if he knew the woman that sat across from him was no creature of the human world? Yet Smoke had left her little choice in the matter, the bast recognized her on sight and Penelope doubted that secret would be kept long. Still the siren hesitated, instead staring into his aura to discover just what sort of man Alexander Sharpe was.
Still studying him Penelope lifted the coffee cup again, "Now, Alexander, where were we?"
Smoke listened and caught some of the images that floated through Rosie's sleep. There did not seem to be anything threatening about a young blonde girl helping to serve coffee in her parent's hotel. Yet something was going on here, something that bothered Rosie.
She wanted to know more. It was a bit dangerous, and if Alex had any idea, he would probably ask her to stop there, but she just had to know more about this "Alice". So she continued on, but dropping her voice to a low whisper and smoothing out further. Tip-toeing closer to the issue at hand and ready to pull back if things started to get too unstable.
I don't know Alice, tell me more about her, about the two of you?
Posted on 2009-09-22 at 17:50:44.
Edited on 2016-09-29 at 22:57:32 by Merideth
I don't know Alice, tell me more about her, about the two of you?
Janelle didn't answer immediately. Memories began returning, memories she had long since pushed out of her mind. The scenery changed many times, from the hotel, to a park, before settling on a forest and garden path. As each setting changed, people appeared and disappeared, but Alice stayed. If anything, she seemed to get clearer, less fuzzy and incoherent. Her blue eyes were visible, as was her blue dress, and she had a healthy tanned skin tone.
'This is where we used to go... she to sew, I to draw... she was very good at sewing, and learned from her mother; she made that dress herself.'
Janelle was crying softly, and the dreamscape seemed to waver.
'We promised... to always be friends... we were happy... until her father acquired it...'
Now a dark room. Dark despite the lamps in the hotel room. Partly because it was raining outside, but maybe also because Janelle's subconsciousness added that effect in as well. She was standing beside Alice, as a man, presumably Alice's father, who seemed to be at least twice as tall as Janelle, pulled the cloth wrapping off of a towering object. There were other distortions as well, particularly the crown molding, which was jagged and rough, and the cloth appeared to be more like darkness than fabric.
It was a grandfather clock. Ornate and strange. Each of its hands, even the seconds one, was crafted with a spiralling pattern. Initially they appeared to be vines, but, whether it was Janelle's subconsciousness that added the effect or not, as the hands moved, it seemed less and less like vines and more like tentacles, of some hideous creature. This vine/tentacle pattern also went down to the pendulum, appearing to hold a wide metal disc. Yet, instead of a disc, the lighting and shadow occasionally caught it in such a way that it appeared to be a grinning skull. The wood varnish was rough, giving making the wood appear more black than brown, and also gave it a somewhat speckled appearance, like an exotic fungi. This mottled appearance was not static; one could easily swear that the patches moved.
Finally, even unawakened, Janelle's consciousness and memory very easily supplied the thing with a faint aura. Not Essence, but something... malicious, and different.
The man's words could be heard, "A friend of mine asked me to check this clock over... he said that it didn't chime when it was supposed to, and since I look after many antiques, he thought I should look at it. Ugly looking thing... I wonder why he got it, but ah well... his taste, not mine, and it's not mine to judge." "Alice, do you see that?" It was Janelle's voice in a whisper, although much younger.
"You too? Then I'm not imagining it... if we both see it's moving then..." Another girl's voice, definitely Alice's, whispering back.
'... That's when it started... when Time... began trying to kill us.' Janelle said, her voice choked.
The dream, turned now more into a recollection of a nightmare, began speeding up, showing the 'accidents', each one starting with a chime from the clock, which sounded hollow and cold. The first one was a bookshelf nearly falling over on Janelle and Alice. The second one was Alice's father falling off of a ladder because the ladder collapsed. The third one was a chandelier crashing into a table where some customers were seated. The fourth one was the kitchen nearly being set on fire by the stove.
(... quite apparently, that clock is not only cursed, but is also an artifact of Taint.
I figure Smoke will interject something here, since the fire in particular will likely spur a reaction. It's not far enough to determine why Alice and Janelle separated, but it definitely explains the source of her clock-phobia.)
Posted on 2009-09-22 at 20:40:41.
Edited on 2016-09-29 at 22:58:12 by Merideth
Feeling better Alex love? Smoke cooed knowingly in his direction. The quick 'zip it; glare he had launched at the bast then, of course, did nothing but evoke a quick-kitty snicker and another question; Where is Rosie? Poor kid's tired and nervous about somethin?, I guess, he answered she's going upstairs for a nap. The guest bedroom I hope, keep your bed open for this hot little number that Lucius sent your way. But wait till later for that, listen to her first, I think your right, she is in trouble, but she's smart, listen to what she has to say and figure out what to do, -then- go about imagining whatever you'd like about her. I'll leave you two alone for a bit and go check on the kid. Lucius sent her? Alex arched a brow, following Smoke's retreat for a moment before shifting his gaze back to Penelope; Well there's a whole other ball of wax, huh? He settled into the chair he;d abandoned moments ago and studied the Iberian beauty with a bit more scrutiny, now. The glimmer in her aura, as he saw it, hinted at a modicum of power but that hint, now that he knew Lucius was involved, was probably more like looking at the pilot light in a furnace, he guessed -you saw the flame dancing there and knew that it burned but the true conflagration was shielded by thick walls of protection that only the trained would dare to stick their hands into-
Enjoy your coffee, you two, Smoke purred as she padded towards the stairs to join Rosie.
"Mmmhmm," Alex replied, already indulging in another sip from his own cup, as he glanced at the little gray fluffball moving up the steps, "Thanks, sweetheart. Have a good nap." He winced at the taste of the brew - the liquor had ruined the coffee but was doing wonders for his state of mind and for keeping a level thought process. When his eyes found Penelope again, she had already taken up the cup that was poured for her and was lowering her shapely frame into the opposing seat.
"Black is perfect," her exotically accented voice confirmed as she lifted the cup to her lips, "thank you."
"Sure," he nodded, setting his cup aside for the moment and shrugging out of his jacket, "hope it's drinkable. Haven't made real coffee around here in ages."
Once he'd gotten free of the battered leather of the jacket, he looked back at his new client only to find her studying him over the rim of her cup - just as intently, if not more so, as he had studied her after learning that Lucius had sent her - and, for some reason, couldn't help but smile.
"Now, Alexander," she intoned, as she lifted the cup to her perfectly formed lips again, "where were we?"
Alex, he wanted to say, Just Alex. Only Lucius calls me Alexander and, honestly, it kind of weirds me out. Those words died before they could make it from mind to mouth, though - something about hearing it from her lips didn't seem so odd. "I think, Penelope," he grinned, reaching for his scotch-coffee without taking his eyes from hers, "that you were about to tell me about Monsieur le Deschamps reasons for sending you to my door." He tipped the cup to his lips with one hand as the other produced the pendant she had brought from the pocket of his jacket and hung it in the air between them again; "And maybe what these sons-of-bitches might want with you.
If Lucius is involved and Smoke's talking to you without you thinking you're off your friggin' rocker," he said matter-of-factly, "there's a little bit more to the story than Zazies bein' all hot and bothered over some good lookin' chick with a spark of the Gift that they're hoping to recruit or has already gone and brushed 'em off. Am I right?"
He gave the pendant's chain a quick tug, hauling the thing up into his hand and keeping it out of sight there as he leaned forward a bit, regarding her seriously. "I dunno what Smoke might've told you," he admitted, "She talks in my head and I think back, hoping she'll hear, okay? So, just to be perfectly clear, I can help you with this," he lifted the hand that concealed the Azazelite pendant for emphasis, "but you, lovely lady, have got to tell me everything-No bulls**t."
Posted on 2009-09-22 at 22:03:23.
Edited on 2016-09-29 at 23:08:07 by Merideth
Smoke sat up at that and peered down the bed and at the sleeping girls face. Watching how her eyes rolled under the lids while she slept and her face twitched slightly as the memories washed over her.
She padded up toward the head of the bed and settled near her chest, finding a hand and giving it a rough lick once.
Alright Rosie…. Shhh… you are asleep, at Alex’s house. No clocks, you are safe. Alex and I will make sure of that. Safe Rosie…
The kitty offers soothingly, not wanting to push her too far. And yet, she wanted to know more, desperately wanted to know more. Things like this were not that familiar to the bast, aged as she was curses and taints… were not her area of expertise. But protecting the Gifted was, and while the girl didn’t know it yet, she had some gift.
Almost protectively Smoke stretches out and lays her front paws over Rosie’s arm and goes on.
Safe remember? So tell me… was there an accident? Did Alice die? Is that what happened love?
Posted on 2009-09-23 at 14:15:18.
Edited on 2016-09-30 at 09:11:26 by Eol Fefalas
Joe Kelly had his head cradled in both hands, his eyes darting between the book Alex had given him earlier in the morning, the miscellany of notes that he had scrawled on random bits of paper strewn across his desk, and the multiple browser windows that were open on his computer’s monitor before looking up to see to whom the voice belonged. “Yeah,” he yawned, his hands going from his forehead to his eyes and trying to rub the exhaustion from them before training them on the scarcely recognizable form of Fansler in his civvies, “Yeah, Fansler. Still here and still trying to get my head around this occult mumbo-jumbo and how it ties in with all of this.” He made a sweeping gesture at the file folders and evidence bags piled here and there about his workspace. In doing so, Joe caught sight of his watch and then the clock on the desktop start-bar-thingamajiggy. Mother of Jesus, he thought, rubbing at his eyes and blinking at his watch to make sure he’d seen correctly the first time, is it almost noon already? And shouldn’t Fansler have filed his report and clocked out like four hours ago?
“What’re you still doin’ here?”
Patrolman Shane Fansler offered an amiable smile along with his shrug. “Oh, you know, Sarge,” he said, “It’s not like I got anybody to get home to right away, so, after shift, I hit the gym, took a shower, blah, blah, blah. Then I ran into Kendal… you know, Tommy Kendal down in BPS?... and started yakkin’ it up with him. Bang! Next thing you know, it’s eleven o’clock.”
Joe nodded; “Yeah. I remember them days.”
“Young and dumb, huh,” Fansler chuckled along with the older cop. “So. That the Sharpe case, then,” he asked, nodding to an archive box that sat near Joe’s feet.
“Yeah. Young and… huh?” Joe’s overtired eyes blinked as he tried to follow the younger cop’s still energetic banter; then, making up the two steps he’d lost between Fansler’s mouth and his own mind, he looked at the box, too. “Oh. Yeah, picked that up from Cold Case not long after I got back… got a feeling there’s something in there that’ll help me make sense of this…”
“That ol’ gut feelin’, huh, Sarge?”
“Somethin’ like that,” Joe yawned, again. “Anyway, I figure that the first time we really saw anything like this,” he continued, flicking the half-melted amulet they’d brought back from the crime-scene, “it was when this happened,” he tapped the archive box with the toe of his shoe. “The symbol’s painted in blood in all the photos but it’s recognizable enough to be the same thing as that amulet… I guess it is lookin’ kind of like a cult or somethin’… I dunno…”
Fansler offered another shrug. “Hard tellin’,” he said, “The world’s a strange place that just gets stranger, I guess, and Chi town seems to draw some of the strangest, you know?
Maybe you oughta take a break and get some rest, Sarge,” the patrolman offered, “Catch forty winks then come back and look at it with fresh eyes.”
Joe nodded his agreement with the younger man’s suggestion; “Yeah and think about it with a brain that’s runnin’ on more than just bad coffee, huh?” Fansler was right, Joe figured; pulling his brain back from everything it had absorbed in the past several hours might just help him make more sense of it all after a little bit of rest. Besides, going through the Sharpe files (as Fansler had called them) had been an exercise all by itself… it was bad enough to look at photos like that when you had no idea who the victims were but, when you knew the victims personally it was another story all together... He had a particularly hard time with the pictures of Emily. It was bad enough he could still remember that night, having to actually look at it again came close to making him physically ill… Yeah, he reaffirmed to himself, bending down in his seat to slip the lid back onto the box lest any of those pictures decide to peek out at him, Go home, get a shower and some food, maybe a nap…
“Good thinking, Fansler,” he said aloud, rising from his chair and bringing the box with him, “I’ll run this back down to Cold Case and…”
“Hell, Sarge,” Fansler interrupted, straightening now from where he had been leaning against the cubicle wall and reaching for the box, “Why don’t I run that down for you? You look like you might fall asleep before you get there, huh? Skip the side-trip and go on home.”
Joe blinked, again, and followed up with another yawn when the young cop reminded him once more of how tired he was. “Hmm? Yeah… okay,” he nodded, setting the box on his desk and taking up a pen to sign the evidence slip over to Fansler before sliding the thing over for the younger man to add his signature to the received line, “I appreciate that, Shane.”
“Hey,” Fansler smiled as he acknowledged his receipt of the archive box with a quick scribbling of the pen, “no problem, Sarge. You get some sleep, all right?”
“Count on that,” Joe nodded as he turned off his computer and snatched his overcoat from where it hung on the end of his cube wall. He clapped a hand on Fansler’s shoulder as he turned to leave; “Thanks again… See you later tonight, huh?”
“Probably not, Sarge,” Fansler returned, hoisting the box and following the Detective out of the room, “I’ve got a down day. Won’t be back on shift until Wednesday.”
“Have a good day off, then,” Joe nodded, stopping at the door to the stairwell as Fansler kept moving toward the elevators.
“Will do,” the younger man answered as Joe Kelly disappeared through the doorway… I get the feeling it’s gonna be a great day off, he added mentally when the elevator doors slid open in front of him. He stepped inside and pressed the Close Door button to ensure that he’d be alone on the ride downstairs, then, reached into his pocket and drew out a long gold chain to which was affixed the amulet he’d recently earned. After slipping the thing around his neck and tucking the thing into his shirt so that the inverted pentacle with the bloodstone set in its center rested over his heart, he crouched down and peeled the lid off of the box… Mr Katul’s gonna be interested in this, I’ll bet…
Posted on 2009-09-23 at 17:02:10.
Edited on 2016-09-30 at 09:14:33 by Eol Fefalas
Alright Rosie… Shhh… you are asleep, at Alex’s house. No clocks, you are safe. Alex and I will make sure of that. Safe Rosie…
The dream essentially stopped. Time was frozen. It was enough to give Janelle a reprieve. She just stayed there for a moment, breathing quickly, and trying to calm herself down... thankfully, it was easier with Smoke being with her.
Safe remember? So tell me… was there an accident? Did Alice die? Is that what happened love?
Janelle began to shake her head, but instead she tilted it.
'Yes, and no... she died, but... she didn't die. It'd be easier to show you.'
A bedroom. Alice's bedroom. They were sitting on the floor, flashlights on, and with a sheet of paper in front of them.
"Alright, these are the times when the clock goes off." dream-Janelle whispered, "Which means it probably goes off every time its hands come together."
"That means we have until midnight to get rid of that clock." Alice replied, "If we don't, it's going to kill us."
"Okay... you can carry the wood axe right? I'll use your dad's old baseball bat." dream-Janelle confirmed, her grip tightening on the bat.
Quietly, the two girls crept around the house until they came to the room with the Tainted clock. However, stepping into the room, the clock seemed to recognize their purpose, and sped up erratically.
"That's not fair!" dream-Janelle screeched, running forward with Alice.
Reaching the clock first, Alice swung the axe around, leaving a very good cut in the side of the clock, shattering the glass pane at its front. At that moment, the clock chimed midnight, despite the true time not being midnight.
The clock seemed to morph, its face becoming much bigger, while from its head, a mask of an androgynous human face came out of the doors at the 12 mark, and likewise grew bigger. Alice and Janelle recoiled, stepping back a bit. The clock now was truly a monster, consisting of writhing tentacles that supported the clock-face-body and its extended mask for a head. Its mouth opened and a chime reverberated from the opening. The pendulum had grown into a double-bladed executioner's axe, and was held by an arm of tentacles. The other arm reached out and tore out a piece of crown molding, and hurled it. It had so much force that it went straight through Alice's body, and she crumpled to the ground.
Dream-Janelle had screamed, and, naturally, footsteps were heard of Alice's parents running to the room.
"What the hell!?" Alice's father yelled, even as her mother ran to her side.
Whether it was an attempt to avenge his daughter's death, or simply out of desperation to protect the others, the man rushed forward, picking up the fallen axe as he went, and charged the clock-creature. Understandably, Janelle wasn't really watching him, but just stood there in disbelief.
Although the man succeeded in doing considerable damage to the creature, the cost was too high. Time seemed to stop as the clock's hands reached forward, and literally tore the heart from the man's chest. Then, with a wide swing of its axe, the clock killed Alice's mother as well. It began to advance on Janelle, stepping past Alice's body, when something rather unexpected happened.
"Ow... that REALLY hurt..."
The voice... was Alice's. She staggered to her feet, and it just took her a single glimpse to see what had happened.
"YOU MONSTER!" Alice screeched, turning and charging the creature, even unarmed.
Fortunately, as it was facing Janelle, it didn't react to her in time, and so Alice punched it. The act in itself was incredible, but even moreso was the splintering sound of the wood breaking under the force of her punch. The creature tried to swing its axe-arm around, but Alice instead grabbed the offending axe, and rammed it into the creature, causing it to loose its grip and stagger with the force of the blow. In the meantime, Janelle had walked around and away from the creature. It was incredibly strange, to see Alice fighting, despite her torn and bloody nightgown. Taking its axe, Alice nearly broke the clock in two with the ferocity of her first swing, sending it flying into the floor.
"This will end it!" Alice screamed, even as she brought the axe down and struck the internal workings of the clock.
Springs and gears flew from the strike, before with a grinding screech, the clock ceased functioning.
"Alice? Are you... really alive?" Dream-Janelle asked, almost disbelievingly.
"Of course I am." Was the reply, as Alice winced and held a hand to her chest, "It still hurts though..."
At that moment, a dark, malicious energy began crackling along the remains of the clock. Alice reacted quickly, stepping between it and Janelle, before the shockwave came.
As quickly as it came, it seemed to have trouble of its own, as though the very world was quenching it as quickly as it spread. Yet, it would've easily engulfed both girls if Alice wasn't blocking Janelle. From the force, Alice was thrown into Janelle, and they both were sent flying into a wall. Alice, already having sustained an injury, was knocked out, but Janelle wasn't, so she saw what happened then.
Alice's body twisted and contorted, even though she wasn't conscious, as though it were trying to fight something off. Yet, then, two... things... sprouted from her shoulder blades. Janelle wasn't sure what they were, so she had to do a double take. The second time she looked at them, they seemed to be like wings... well, one was a scarred, leathery wing, while the other was merely the bones of a wing. Even in a dream and memory, looking at them was uncomfortable, like there was something innately wrong about it. As almost an afterthought, a neon green tattoo bubbled and appeared on Alice's forehead. A green diamond with a red clock hand.
Unable to take all of what just happened, Janelle quickly got up, and just ran.
'I ran... I... abandoned... her...'
Janelle was crying now, both in dream and in reality. She had faced her past, but it hurt no less.
Posted on 2009-09-23 at 17:16:13.
Edited on 2016-09-30 at 09:18:52 by Eol Fefalas
Smoke took it all in and finally began to understand why the girl was so strange, and also why the girl tried so hard to deny any gift she might have.
When the memory seemed to come to an end Smoke noticed that Rosie was crying and sighed a soft 'mew' into the room.
Snuggling close to her she spoke up again.
Okay... Remember Rosie, you are safe here. Alex and I won't let anything like that happen again. Safe... very safe...
The word is repeated softly and gently. She wasn't completly sure if that was true, but it is what the girl needed to hear.
I'll let you sleep now, sleep soundly, sleep safely...
She continues to coo, letting her voice turn into a repeating lull to calm the girl and set her back into more peaceful dreams.
It was something she had done before, several times. The last time had been the worst though. At least now she still had hope that she could save Rosie from her worst nightmares. She would have to talk to Alex some, perhaps they could find someway to reverse the effect that event had on the girl. Hope still lived for Rosie.
The last time she had soothed a crying child to sleep, there was no hope and he never woke up.
She snuggled close to Rosie and thought of Toby. Perhaps some of the love she felt for the child seeped over to Rosie and helped calm her down even more. For she truely had loved him. She conjured up his face. Slightly chubby with wire glasses over his blue eyes, the glasses magnified the pale freckles that danced over his cheeks. His hair had been a light blonde with the slightest hint of red and fell in haphazard splashes over his ears. Little Toby.
Little Jack Horner... sat in his corner... eating his curds and whey... along came a piggy... who sat down beside him... and huffed and puffed and blew poor little Boy Blue away...
She thought to herself in a light sing songy voice, the last things she had said to Toby, and he had smiled slightly before his eyes went out. If the thought finds its way to Rosie it isn't intentional, but it isn't stopped either. This experience has in a way linked Rosie to the memory of Toby for her. Which is a good thing for Rosie...
Penelope peered at Alexander from above the rim of her coffee cup, her face remained a mask of calm. It was clear that Smoke had told the man about Lucius, and she remained in ignorance of what else the bast may have shared with Alexander. There was little choice but to reveal what she was to this man, Smoke knew what she was and there was little possibility that the cat would keep that knowledge from him. No, if he was to have that knowledge better it be on her terms.
The siren leaned forward and locked eyes with Alexander, "You wish to know everything? Very well." She paused as her lips curled in a half smile. "For some, Alexander, secrecy is a thing of survival. What I tell you now you shall repeat to no one."
As she spoke her voice began to echo with power, with compulsion. Penelope laid her hands flat on the table and released the veil that obscured her true aura. A brilliant pillar of light began to emanate from her and fill the room with the glowing light of essence. Sitting in the glory of her true being she simply stared at Alexander is silence.
After a time Penelope spoke again in a voice cool and quiet, "In this, Alexander Sharpe, in this you will be silent."
As the last words left her lips she subdued her aura once again appearing to be nothing more than a mortal woman.