fiction

May. 11th, 2014 05:49 pm
kierthos: (Default)
I was on my third (fifth? Definitely a prime number, I wasn't that far gone) Scotch of the evening; Cheryl was still nursing her first.

"Magic is like painting, anyone can do it."

She half-glared at me. "Right."

"No, really, what's so difficult about it? Apply paint to brush, apply brush to canvas. Voila, you're painting."

"There's more to it than that." Did I mention that Cheryl paints? Good enough for some of the local galleries, so naturally, she's assuming I'm taking the piss at her expense. I turned to look at her.

"Yes there is, and no there isn't, Cheryl." I grinned a bit. "Anyone can paint. It takes practice, skill and skill to paint well. It takes imagination to be good at it."

"Take that painting you showed me the other day. The one with the ravens... Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but that's not normally your thing, is it?"

She frowned, "No, it's not. I'm not really sure why I painted that. I just did. I'd been planning on doing something in that crap commercial style that sells well in the 5th street gallery. But I found myself painting that instead."

"See? Imagination. It doesn't always come from our conscious mind. Hell, I could barely paint a straight line, and even if I had the skill, I don't think I could have produced what you did." I had to be careful here. The painting was hanging a room away, and you never know who's listening, but I had to get to the bottom of this before...

Let's just say before something bad happened. Before Cheryl painted what comes after the ravens.
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Author's note: Nope, no fucking clue where this came from. And I don't think I want to know what comes after the ravens.
kierthos: (Default)
The roar of the beast cut through the air as we ran away from it. "Tell me that's not a t-rex!" I said, once we found some cover.

"It's not a t-rex." Sheila replied.
"You're not just saying that because..."
"No."

I glanced out from under the thick awning. The 'not a t-rex' had picked up a cop car in it's jaws and was shaking it back and forth. Very Jurassic Park. Or something.

"Okay, if it's not a t-rex..."
"It's a genetic construct created by Doctor Cretaceous. I don't know... he likes dinosaurs and has the attention span of a six-year-old."
"Right. And this might seem like a dumb question..." we moved down the street as something shiny and flying distracted the 'not t-rex', "but why hasn't the Army or the Air Force or someone just shot the damn thing with some missiles?"

Sheila pulled me into a building entry-way. "Look there. See that crystal thing implanted in it's chest? Bio-nuclear reactor. If it detonates, it takes out everything in several city blocks. It's also how Cretaceous gets the stupid things to maturity so fast."

"Goddamn it, if I get out of this, I swear, I'm going to fix the dimension-hopper and go home. Why the hell I ever thought living in a comic-book universe would be fun, I don't know."
kierthos: (Default)
It has been raining earlier in the day, but it had cleared up nicely by the evening.

"I hope you don't mind if I continue to call you Alan?" I said. "Is it cliche to assume that your real name is unpronounceable by humans?"

"Not unpronounceable, no. Just... long. Alan's fine. We've adopted human names here for years anyway."

Alan was one of my oldest friends... known him for years. Not as well as I'd thought, when out of the blue, he'd revealed, rather convincingly, that he was from a lot farther away then Sausalito. The things you learn about your friends when you're drunk and being mugged, I suppose.

"Why reveal it to me? I mean, I was so hammered that you probably could have dealt with things without me really noticing, but..."

"But I waited until you were sober afterwards and showed you again." Alan sipped the scotch and soda I had fixed for him. "Well, I suppose because you're one of the few here on Earth who really gets it."

At my puzzled look, he continued. "Look, I could have revealed myself... any of us scouts could have revealed ourselves to politicians, or other figures of authority. What would that get us?"

"Probably dissected or vivisected at Area 51." I mused.

"Probably. Although that's just a front these days."

"And if we revealed ourselves to the common man, well, you get the alien abduction stories that come out of places like Alabama." Alan grinned "Not that it doesn't happen... even we scouts get bored. But truly revealing ourselves, as aliens, as proof that life exists elsewhere in the universe... we do it rarely to cultures at your level of... " he paused for the right words "Your level of cultural acceptance. Hell, in some ways, this would have been easier during the sixties."

"But you, Chris, you really get it."

"But I'm just a science-fiction writer. Not even a great one. I mean, hell, fifty years from now, people will still be reading Heinlein or Asimov or Farmer... hell, Bradbury, Clarke and Ellison too. But my stuff..."

"You're one of a handful of writers who gets the idea that alien life doesn't have to be bent on destruction, or conquest, or so above humanity that they don't consider them worth keeping around. You write about aliens that have truly different viewpoints, but not so different that they can't understand humanity as equally valid."

"On the dozens of worlds that my race has scouts on... there's a handful of beings on each world that gets it. Whose writings, or whatever they use, shows a viewpoint that stands above the others. A viewpoint worth sharing."

"So, you saved me from that mugger, so I could write more books?"

"No. I saved you from that mugger because we're friends."
----------------------------------------------
Author's note - Nope, no real idea where this came from. Although I have read some of Spider Robinson's stuff recently. I just liked the idea of an alien kicking back on a porch with a drink and shooting the shit with a human friend. (Before I changed it to scotch and soda, it was mint juleps, though.)
kierthos: (Default)
Duke Stanz stared out of the window at the raging storm. It seemed to be lessening in force, but given the time of year, it could continue for hours or days. His guests would be with him for some time yet. He turned and looked down into the open dining hall. Some of his guests, Veytan jarls, were laughing uproariously at a joke while his own court politely joined in. It was strange that he felt more at home dealing with the Veyta... men who in his grandfather's time would have been raiding these lands, rather then visiting.

As he watched, one of the Veyta... named Nemsk, perhaps? He said something that made Stanz' daughter, Melia, seated upwards of them turn crimson. Before any of his court could do anything, she stood and punched Nemsk in the face as hard as she could, causing the other jarls to laugh even louder then before. Nemsk... yes, that was his name... joined in once he pulled himself off of the floor. Melia, despite her name (it meant meadow flower or something like that), had a right hook like a blacksmith.

She would almost certainly end up marrying one of those jarls in a year or two. Possibly Nemsk.

Stanz swirled his goblet of wine as his chamberlain approached. "Yes?"

"My lord Duke... you asked to see me."

"Ah... yes." Stanz drained his goblet. "Find out who's been poisoning my wine. It's starting to get annoying."

--------------------------
I might expand this later. I really don't know. I just liked the idea as it came to me as I was falling asleep Sunday night.

fiction

Apr. 26th, 2012 05:01 am
kierthos: (Default)
I'd finally got Carl tucked away in the basement he calls home. God only knows what he has on his landlord that he doesn't get kicked out. Strange smells, the occasional chemical fire... Fuck it, for all I know, he pays his rent in pot and customized party drugs.

Pulling back into my driveway was a chore. I drive this big old Caddy, and the driveway was meant for some fucking Euro-weenie car that seats one and a half. The car had belonged to my father, and he didn't need it down in Florida, so what the hell. He and my mom are enjoying retirement in possibly the only place that Neanderthals with faint Russian accents won't get stared at... Key West naturally, and hey... free car. No one walks in L.A. if they can help it.

And shit... looks like more bad news. Rachel is waiting for me, and she's got waffles made. It's not like she's a bad cook or something, but waffles is one of my comfort foods, so something hairy and nasty must be coming at me now.

"Sooo... your grandfather called while you were out." Rachel at least waited till I had finished a couple of waffles. Yep, hairy and nasty indeed.

"You know," I said, staring at the plate, "If there was ever proof needed that a just and kind God did not exist, you would have to look no further then the continued existence of Ivan Dmitriovich Orlonski."

"That's a horrible thing to say!" but Rachel was smirking when she said it. She's met the old lech after all. "He wanted you to stop by today... if you weren't busy."

"That's the way he put it, huh? Shit." I stared at the plate some more. My girlfriend is an angel sent down to Earth. My best friend is a pothead and dropout chemist. My boss is a rectal tick who only keeps me hired because of the good liberal press having a neanderthal on staff... and not in some shitty retail job... gives a business. And my grandfather would be Evil Incarnate if Satan himself were not so afraid of the old fuck as to appear to hand over the title.

Okay, that's a bit much. Maybe. But he's got enough dirt on enough people that what passes for Mafia in L.A. gives him a wide berth and a ton of respect. Not too shabby for a Russian emigre caveman, if you were so inclined to look at things that way.

"Shit."

"You're going to go see him, aren't you?"

"Yeah. I don't want to. But I have to. He's.... family. Plus, if he's calling me, it probably means he can't or won't call the police. Goddamnit."

"I don't understand."

"Rache.... it's not that he doesn't trust the police. He does. He trusts them to be greedy, corrupt, and probably inept. And hell, swing a cat by the tail in a room full of L.A. cops and it would be hard not to smack a cop who wasn't all three. But he sees them sort of like the KGB as well, and... you stay off the radar of the KGB. It doesn't matter that this is the U.S. of A. You stay off their radar."

*sigh*

"Right. First order of business... finish waffles. Second order of business... find out what the world's nastiest old man wants... after I have to listen to the obligatory half hour speech of 'Why the Communists were such bastards' with the attendant cackling laughter over Stalin's demise."

"Well... I told him not to expect you until this afternoon."

Oho... "Right then... nasty old man has been bumped to third order of business."

------------------------
Author's note: Yes, this is a continuation of this piece of micro-fiction.

Goddamn, it took me over six months to write this? *sigh*

fiction

Oct. 5th, 2011 10:53 am
kierthos: (Default)
"Hey, Unga-bunga! Take Rocky Mountain High there and get the hell out of here!" the bartender apparently hadn't been in the best mood before I arrived, and I wasn't making things better by being there. Fuck him.

"Unga-bunga. Yeah, I haven't heard that one before." I swear, if I could go back in time, I'd throttle the people who came up with that Captain Caveman cartoon. Sure, they probably didn't intend to make a mockery of neanderthals, but hell, it wasn't until the mid-80s that ten of thousands of us got the fuck out of Russia. Goddamn commies. Third highest population of neanderthals in the U.S. is here in L.A., and I still get stared at like I'm a fucking Martian.

"Come ON, Carl. I don't have time for this shit." Carl was busy lying on the floor, giggling. Fuck. "What did you take this time, you hippie fucking pothead asshole?"

"I said outta here, caveman!" the bartender was practically frothing at the mouth. Probably an Orange County reject or something.

Goddamnit, an hour ago, I'd been asleep. It had been a long night, and I hadn't crawled into bed until 9 a.m. And it was a Saturday, so my girlfriend Rachel didn't have to work, so that was a plus. I did not need to hear from Carl today, much less take his ass home because he's too stoned to find his car.

I picked Carl up off the floor, and practically slung him over my shoulder. "You better not puke on me again, Carl. I kid you not. You will fucking ride in the trunk if you do." I left the bar and the hatred of the asshole staff behind. I set Carl down next to my car. "You gonna puke?"

"noooooo..."

"Are you sure?"

"yeeeeeahhhh"

"Fine. Get the fuck in." Carl managed, on the third try, to get in and buckle his seatbelt. I swear, if he wasn't a really good contact for when I needed to find any drug dealer in L.A., I wouldn't put up with this shit. I could be at home right now, ignoring my neighbors' stares at the 'caveman next door', and just relaxing for a fucking change. I still don't know what Rachel sees in me, but I'm not going to jinx it. Her parents aren't speaking to her, she gets a ton of shit from the neighbors about dating me... hell, the only person besides me who doesn't care is her brother, and I half think he wants to use me as part of some study.

"Woooooooooooo"

"Carl, don't even think about fucking with the radio. I swear, you put it on Skynyrd, I will kick your ass out of the car."

"Bad night?"

"Yes, Carl. I had a bad night. Some of us have to work for a living, unlike some pothead assholes who have a tendency to drive their cars into lampposts and mailboxes."

"Sorry."

"Not your fault. The guy drove out to Apple fucking Valley to visit his mistress. I don't know, maybe he's a Roy Rogers fan."

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Author's note: The first line of this popped in my head a couple days ago, and I just constructed an idea around it. A world where neanderthal man did not go extinct, and are still alive today. The unnamed protagonist, is of course, a neanderthal. And a private investigator.

fiction

May. 1st, 2011 07:48 am
kierthos: (Default)
"Yes, magic is real. Yes, I could teach you. No, I won't teach you."

"Why not?" Rachel was practically whining at this point. I was in full 'do not give a fuck' mood at this point. The peyote was helping with that. It's hard to give a fuck when you're mildly hallucinating.

"Because you don't believe in magic."

"But I do! I've seen you do it!"

"Yes, you have. But that isn't the same as truly believing." I had to sit down. Rachel's voice was getting shriller and her breath was coming out a dark red. Maybe I'd taken a little too much this time.

"Look, it's like this. There's no genetic predisposition to magic. We're not inheritors of a lost legacy of Atlantis, or any of that shit. Damn near anyone can do magic. But because they don't believe in magic, not truly, they limit themselves."

"I don't understand."

"Okay, look, take some South Pacific tribal types, or South American, or African... doesn't matter. People who have had very little or no interaction with the modern world. They've never seen a TV, or a car, or a radio. They know magic exists because they have no other explanation for events. They can work magic because they create rituals that they believe, that they truly believe, work. Two thousand years ago, lightning was the province of Zeus, or Thor, or whatever storm god or spirits the locals believed in. People didn't have a scientific explanation. Now people do. It's all... I don't know, ions or something."

"So?"

"So you're a child of the modern world. You grew up with cars and radios and science class, and instant messaging and all that shit. I grew up with a boatload of fucked up people who kept me and a bunch of other kids in the dark about all that. I was trained in this from the point where I could fucking walk. I didn't even see a car until I ran away at the age of 16 because I couldn't handle what my parents were trying to do."

She looked up at that.

"They were summoning demons. Well, you'd call them demons. But that's not the point. These people had, for several generations, locked themselves away from the rest of the world in order to produce crops of kids who would grow up believing, truly believing... in magic. I was one of those kids. I know magic is real, not because I've seen it, not because I can do it. But because it is."

"Your average guy on the street might think there's more to all this" I waved a hand at the night sky "then what he can see, but he's too apathetic, or too mired in his own views to try and break out of that."

"But I'm not!" Rachel was insistent.

"You are. I told you to meet me out here, in the middle of fucking nowhere, and how did you get here?"

"I drove."

"Right. And you used that directional thingy in your car, right?"

"GPS. Of course. How else was I..."

"See? Didn't even consider walking here. Didn't even consider not using that GPS. And I'll bet if I dumped your purse on the ground, you'd have your phone, and your music player, and who knows what else in there, right?"

"......yeah."

"Rachel, darling, don't you see? If I wanted to talk with someone miles away, I could use magic to do it. It would take a while, it would be taxing, and it could be dangerous if I fucked it up. You can dial someone on your phone and do the same goddamned thing."

"Without magic." she said.

"Yeah. There's magic in the world. Anyone who truly wants to can touch it, and use it. But no one wants to. Because you don't need it any more."

fiction

Apr. 25th, 2011 01:39 pm
kierthos: (Default)
{taped interview viewed in progress}

Man in grey suit: ...so while it started as a part of MK-ULTRA, it continued after the official dissolution in 1973. We were working on what we referred to as 'Batch 122' then.

Unseen interviewer: But it took until 1979 for 'Batch 127'?

Man: Yes. Metz was a perfectionist. He had been the entire time I had known him, and he was associated with the project well before my attachment to it. You know he was part of OPERATION PAPERCLIP, correct? One of the few scientists who wasn't part of the rocketry or aeronautics field, or a physicist. He was... gifted... when it came to the biological sciences.

UI: That's all? Gifted?

Man: And completely lacking in ethical considerations of his work, but when you consider who he was working for, this wasn't seen as an impediment.

UI: I see.

Man: Do you want me to continue about 'Batch 127'?

UI: Yes.

Man: The early tests began in February of 1979. The overall goal was to develop substances that would allow lesser or greater effects of mind-control. Metz's experiments were in the field of manipulating the brain's with various chemical compounds. We weren't trying for 'truth serums' or forced hallucinogenic episodes. We were trying to create a substance that would overwhelmingly mentally control a subject. In effect, a substance that would turn any enemy agent... or anyone really, into a double-agent, working for us. But without compromising their effectiveness in whatever field they were in.

UI: What went wrong?

Man: We still don't know. After the events of March '79, testing was hastily abandoned. Experimentation along those lines was rejected, even on the surviving test subjects. We don't know why 'Batch 127' worked. We can only see the results.

UI: A hive mind.

Man: Yes. To put it simply, any subject exposed to 'Batch 127' through injection into the bloodstream becomes, within 8 hours, a member of a psychic gestalt comprising all other persons exposed. What one knows, all of them know.

UI: And Dr. Metz?

Man: We... believe that he intentionally exposed himself to 'Batch 127', but given the circumstances, we have been reluctant to determine this conclusively. Given his position at the time of the event, it's probable that he developed an aerosol version of 'Batch 127'.

UI: I see.

Man: Do you? We can't allow any of the test subjects to leave this base. Because any one of them, in a very real way, is Dr. Metz. And given that in physical interactions, all of the other hive-bodies defer to him, we've assumed that he's in charge of the hive-mind.

UI: Thank you, that will be all for today.

{End of recording}

-----------------
Seems like forever since I've written any fiction, but I've been toying around with this one in my head for a few days now. The only way to get rid of it was to write it down.

And yes, I'm sure that this idea is hardly original.

fiction

Aug. 20th, 2009 05:29 am
kierthos: (Default)
I suppose you're wondering why you're here.

Not just metaphorically, I mean.

You're here because I picked you. Out of a crowd of other poorly dressed losers barely managing to dance to tired, dull, repetitive music. Really, when I was your age, we had music. We danced.

But I digress.

Metaphorically, you're here because your parents fucked. Hrm. That's not much of a metaphor, I suppose. But you can't complain, can you? Because of the gag, that is.

You're here because I picked you, to talk to about this life, and the next one.

I suppose you think that means I'm either going to kill you or proselytize to you. I suppose, given your current circumstances, the latter seems rather extreme. What kind of religious nut would go around abducting people, tying them to old boilers and rant at them about the Almighty?

Well... there's me. It's not like religious nutters tend to have newsletters to keep in touch. Other then "The Watchtower".

I have this theory, you see. It goes something like this. You, me, the girl you were dancing with, everyone in that club, everyone in the world... we're dead. This is Hell.

Think about it. Do you know anyone who has a job they like, a family they get along with, all their dreams and hopes realized? I realize that's a rather tenuous connection to make that we're all in Hell, but think about it. The world gets worse every day. No one gives a shit. There are more crazy people and homeless people and just altogether fucked up people every day.

Oh sure, there are some people who seem to have it all. Athletes and movie stars and politicians. But they can't seem to last very long before getting fucked up on drugs, or causing wars, or driving their cars into trees. There's so much more room to fall when you're at the top.

Now, I can see the question in your eyes? Will I let you go? No, not yet.

But the other question was there too. If we're already dead, and we're in Hell, what happens when we die? We just get reborn, as a baby, to live this all over again. Learning how to not shit our pants, how to walk, how to suffer. Maybe you'll be reborn sometime in what we, you and I, consider the past. Or the future, or right now.

But I have this idea on how to break the cycle. If I explain this to enough people, and you have to admit, this isn't something that would work in a seminar setting, or even on a streetcorner... this is more of a one-on-one thing. If I explain it to enough people, when those people die, they'll remember it in their next life, and try to make things better.

Or, I suppose, hunt me down and fuck me with knives and drillbits.

Still, no experiment is without risks.

So, you see, I have to kill you now. For science.
----------------------
Author's note: Amazing what fucked up things will come out of my brain when I'm bored at work, yes?
kierthos: (Default)
He woke up with a start, at first not sure of where he was. Then, he realized he'd fallen asleep in his easy chair again. Third time this week. Far more often then he used to. Louisa had hated it when he did that. But she wasn't here any more, and maybe that's why it was happening so often. It used to be that he'd get home from work, just as tired as he was these days, but he had a wife to share a bed with.

He sat up and turned the TV off. Whether it had been the TV that had waken him, or some noise outside, he was up now. He stumbled down the hall and into the bathroom, glancing at himself in the mirror, not liking what he saw.

Mid 40s, stocky, balding. Stubble on his face from not shaving the past couple of days. That wouldn't have happened either if Louisa was still here. Red eyes from crying, from drinking, from lack of sleep. From too many nights on pointless stakeouts, busting dope dealers who would beat the system with lawyers who were just as criminal as their clients.

Maybe if he knew why his wife had left him, he could sleep in his own bed instead of a sagging chair. It wasn't because he was a cop, or least not just because he was a cop. He'd been one for over twenty years, and she'd stayed with him all that time. Through him walking a beat, through finally making detective, through being shot twice in the line of duty. Through coming home with bruises or cuts or even bite-marks from dealing with junkies and hookers and assorted low-life. She never seemed to worry about that part of it. She never seemed to mind the nights where he didn't get home until two or three in the morning because the paperwork wouldn't wait, or because an investigation or an arrest took longer then anyone had thought.

But if it wasn't that he was a cop, what was it? Was it something as cliche as waiting until their daughter was full grown? Was it another man in her life? There hadn't been another woman in his. Oh, he'd been tempted. But he'd never strayed.

But it still left him alone. Staring in the mirror. Not knowing.

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Author's note: Been tooling around with this one for a couple of days, mostly just thinking about it rather then getting it down on paper or LJ. It just got to the point where I had to write it to get it out of my head.

fiction

Apr. 9th, 2009 07:13 pm
kierthos: (Default)
I stood there in the parking lot, the sodium lights flickering overhead.

"Sorry, I didn't catch that, could you repeat it?" I was amazingly calm, all things considered.

"Your wallet. Give me your wallet." The mugger had a cheap-ass switchblade out and was waving it at me. If he had been a crackhead, I'd probably be reacting differently, but he didn't come across as one.

"Nope. Sorry, that's not going to happen. But I'll tell you what. Why don't we go over there" I waved at a convenience store across the street "I'll buy a couple six-packs of beer, and we can talk about it."

"What?"

"I'm serious. I'll buy us some beer, and we can figure out what the fuck went wrong in our lives. I mean, seriously, when you were a kid, did you want to grow up to be a mugger?"

"Uhh... no. No, man, I wanted to play basketball." See, this was the fun part. I had him off balance. Most people would have panicked and played into the whole thing. Handing over their wallets, saying things like 'please don't hurt me'.

"So, you got a favorite type of beer?" We started across the street.

"Shiner Bock, if they have it."

"Cool, I like that too. Hey, put the knife up before we go in, don't want to freak out the clerk."

"Right. Right."

So, yeah, we went in, I bought a couple six-packs, and me and the mugger, his name's Paul, by the way, we chilled out in the parking lot for a few hours, trying to figure out where our childhood dreams had gone awry, just two guys shooting the shit and drinking some beer. He was doing the mugging thing to pay off some payday loan scam his mother got hooked into.

So, yeah, I felt sorry for him. Gave him one of my cards, told him to give me a call today, see if I can hook him up with a real job. I think I can get him in over in the repo department.

What? You're the one who asked how my weekend went.

fiction

Apr. 4th, 2009 06:41 pm
kierthos: (Default)
Springtime was coming to the district, which meant the Statesbury boys were up to their usual tricks. They would put out bait laced with stolen medical supplies, only to retrieve the comatose squirrels at their leisure. They would then butcher the rodents, and fill their corpses with crude robotics cobbled together from cheap Taiwanese remote-control cars, to send lurching, spark-spitting cyborg zombie squirrels out to harass senior citizens in nearby parks. They tried to do the same to my cat, but after stuffing three of the spastic teens in sewer grates, they seemed to get the hint.

Their actions usually resulted in small explosions of plastic and burnt fur, and a massive coronary from some decrepit park-goer. From early April to June, you couldn't think for the continuous sirens of ambulances trying to revive the crusty elderly.

I would feel worse about this if it weren't for the fact that there was some odd, if not intentional, bundling of the worst of the crotchety old farts in the area by some sort of twisted community planner. The district did not have the kindly old folk who were visited on the weekend by smiling grandkids, eager for oatmeal raisin cookies.

No, we had racists from the turn of the previous century, senile dementia leaving them permanently confused as to why non-whites were being allowed to walk around during the day, unharmed. We had fossilized pedophiles, lusting impotently after the young children of the district, who taunted them mercilessly, staying out of range of their slow, poorly maintained electric wheelchairs. And we had the almost-made men of the dawn of time, balding, wrinkled, muttering in Italian of exploits that should have left them dead, riddled with bullets, if their stories had been even half true.

I would have left this far behind were it not for the explosive ankle bracelet that I had yet to disarm.

fiction

Oct. 23rd, 2008 12:49 pm
kierthos: (Default)
He was the most curious gentlemen (and I use that term in only the vaguest manner) I had seen in the vicinity of Ashetree Court. Upon inquiry of the more settled and elder tenants of that district, I learned his name was equally as peculiar as his appearance, being known as J. Trevalyn Moss.

As to his appearance, which I was assured was standard for him upon his rare ventures out of doors, it was simply this. Shockingly little could be seen of his form, but there was little enough to it begin with. Not that he was short, Heavens no. Reaching almost six and one-half feet in height, more when wearing his battered top-hat, which he always was, he possessed the most extreme thinness I had seen outside of the poor half-starved paupers begging outside the churches nearby. Unlike them, however, he seemed to be in the best health, at least as far as could be determined by simple observation.

As I have said, surmounting his frame was a battered top-hat. Underneath that was a sprawl of coarse black hair and a muffler that almost completely obscured his face, saving his prodigious nose and a pair of eyes that not so much as looked at the world around his as glared at it. As for the rest of him, it was covered in a black coat that stretched from collar down to nearly the tops of his boots. He wore no gloves, although this was not immediately obvious, as his hands were the palest I had ever seen, with very short fingers. By his stride, his legs accounted for fully half his height, and he always walked as if striding into a brisk wind.

After witnessing his passing-by, I soon learned what little I have related to you. One mystery compounded another, as although Mister Moss possessed no apparent employment, he was more then able to pay what small bills he accrued, as well as the rent for his rooms in Ashetree Court. What I found odder still were the statements that he was only seen out of doors perhaps one day in three, and then only during the colder months, not venturing out at all between the months of May to nearly the middle of October. I scarcely had time to ponder all of this before noting the time and then calling for a cab to bring me here.
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Author's note: I should probably stop reading GURPS Goblins before going to bed.

fiction

Sep. 26th, 2008 12:31 pm
kierthos: (Default)
"Who found the body?"

"The landlord." The beat cop at the door to the apartment must have been new. I didn't recognize him, and he was looking a little green around the gills. Either it was his first homicide scene, or it was particularly bad.

"Yeah? And he was poking around in here, why exactly?"

"Ummm... he said the guy, the deceased, that is, was a week late with the rent, and he was seeing if he had skipped out."

"Right. You stay out here, rookie. Let us take care of things inside." There was already one of the forensics guys inside the apartment, taking pictures of everything. Looked like one of Hendricks' team. Good. At least he kept them in line, only doing forensics, and not trying to be a character out of some goddamned TV show.

I walked through the apartment... it was basically a shotgun set-up. One hall connecting to all the rooms. The stiff was in the bathroom all the way in the back. More to the point, he was in the toilet.

"Christ... I guess we can rule out suicide." He was bent backwards at the waist, like someone had snapped him in half and tried to flush him. Only problem was, that doesn't work with a grown human.

"There's not a whole lot of blood, detective." Yeah, Hendricks was here. Good. Smart man. Picks up most of the details of a crime scene. Bit of an odd duck too, but hey, no-one's perfect. Hendricks was actually standing in the bathtub, about the only place he could get a good look at the body and still leave room for others to work.

"Yeah, should there be?"

"Well, detective, not that I have a lot of experience at this particular motif of murder, but considering the damage that I can see to his lower torso and midsection, at the very least, there should be blood spattered all over the floor, the walls, even into this bathtub. There isn't. In fact... there's barely a half-dozen drops, on the floor."

"Which means?"

"I don't know." He may have been dead before being folded up and stuffed in the toilet. He may have been exsanguinated through some wound that we cannot see due to the positioning of the corpse. The only other damage to the body that I can note at this time is some sort of banded abrasion around his back."

Yeah, there was some sort of long welt running across his back. Looked a lot like a belt whipping or maybe some kind of large rope burn. Shit, I really hope this didn't get any weirder then it already looked. I still had a couple open cases from early in the year that pegged pretty high on the what-the-fuck meter.

fiction

Jul. 25th, 2008 06:03 pm
kierthos: (Default)
So there I was, with Billy and Mac, and we were just shooting the shit and telling lies about our army service. We grew up in the same town, you see, and we all ended up going the army, but none of us got stationed together. Mac probably got the easiest duty, never leaving the fucking states, but he's also the only one who ever got shot at, by a drunken bastard of a Major who luckily never did find out that Mac was the one fucking the Major's wife.

That's a court-martial offense, you see, but the Major probably would have had Mac in front of an artillery exercise instead of a panel of officers if he knew.

And that Major's son looks one helluva lot like Mac, which is why he doesn't go near his old duty post now that he's out of the army.

Anyway, we were kicking back a bunch of beers, and somehow or another, talk got on to dreams. Not like "did you ever dream this was the life you'd end up living" kind of shit, but the ones you have when you're asleep. We got started on that because Billy's old lady was into that kind of hippy shit, what dreams mean, and so just to fuck with her a bit, I brought up one of mine.

I've always been able to remember my dreams, at least the ones that come in the early part of the morning, so I told her about the one I had the other day, where I was celebrating my birthday, only I wasn't me... I was the Korean God of Hangovers or Alcoholism, or something like that. Hell, I've never even been to Korea, so I don't know where that part of it came from. And I only get really hammered when I meet up with Billy and Mac a couple times a month.

But there I was, dreaming I was a Korean deity of, yeah, hangovers, or drunks, or something. At his birthday party. And bitching about how I should be the God of Alcohol, only some Japanese deity came over and stole the title from me. And all the other deities at this party, even the ones with more then two arms or snakes for heads or whatever were saying it was a damn shame, but they didn't want to go and rumble with the Japanese gods, because apparently, deities need the latest electronics or some shit like that.

I don't know, really, because it was about then that I woke up. Billy's old lady really didn't know what to make of that dream. She just had that puzzled look on her face that she gets whenever someone calls her on some of that hippy crap.

fiction

Aug. 9th, 2007 12:06 pm
kierthos: (Default)
The invaders from across the sea had swept across all in their path. Great cities and nations had fallen before their armies before they even saw the first of the Vekal plainsmen. But the invaders were not great fools. Brash and warlike, yes, but there were generals among them who knew the wisdom of learning of your enemy before facing him.

So they asked of the peoples that they had already subjugated, and those that had willingly submitted to them of the Vekal. They asked what were their strengths and weaknesses. And they learned that the Vekal had no great cities, and few villages, and most of the Vekal roamed the plains as their ancestors did. The invaders learned that the Vekal were judged by many to be the best horsemen in the known world. And such words were said even with the knowledge of the cavalry of the invaders; armored horses and powerful knights on them. Horses far larger then the ones the Vekal raised.

And they learned that there was only one place that the Vekal considered to be theirs and theirs alone. For although the rest of the plains they would share with any who traveled upon them, there was a great mound many miles to the west, where the leaders of the Vekal had been buried for generations beyond counting.

And finally they learned that the Vekal had no gods. They made no entreaties to any being above them, believing that only their deeds and actions had merit, and that they mocked, albeit gently, those not of the Vekal who offered prayers to other beings for aid or power.

The invaders believed that the Vekal would fall before them easily. The invaders had greater numbers, and armored cavalry, and they had their gods on their side. So, they rode west, seeking this burial mound, to destroy it as a show of their strength, and to draw the Vekal to them for battle. Thousands of the invaders rode west, and were never seen again. For though the Vekal are without gods, they are not without strength. And their leaders, though buried and dead for generations, are said to rise to defend the Vekal. For without gods, their strength never dies.

fiction

Jul. 16th, 2007 10:38 pm
kierthos: (Default)
So, it turns out there's life on Mars after all. Little greenish-gray kind of well... not really humanoid, unless you're seeing them from behind. They turn around, and the extra arm/leg kinda throws it off.

The reason we couldn't find them before, even with all the probes and crawlers on Mars? Well, those things suck at seeing through a dozen meters of soil and rock. Seems that the Martians took their entire civilization underground centuries ago. As for why they did that...

Well, seems they have some kind of ability to see into the future. Doesn't always work, and yeah, we checked, it's not something humans can do. At least not the same way they do it. It has something to do with the hive-mind or whatever they have. I mean, they say hive-mind isn't the right word, but the right word can't be expressed in any of our languages. We don't have the concept for it. Oh yeah, they can speak pretty much any Earth language. They learn them pretty quickly. They slur the esses a little, but other then that, it's not hard understanding them. Their language? Well, it plays into that whole hive-mind but not really a hive-mind kind of thing.

Anyway, they can sort of see into the future, like I said. And they were able to see how our civilization would evolve. How our societies would change from agrarian to urban, the evolution of how information spreads, all that. And that's why they went underground. You see, being this hive-mind sort of thing, well, oddly enough, they really value certain kinds of privacy. So, to protect themselves from us, they removed every trace of their existence from the surface and moved millions of their people underground.

But their ability to see the future isn't perfect. So when we accidentally stumbled on one of their... well, I guess you'd call it a suburb, it was a bit of a shock to them. Well, to us too. Luckily, no one on either side got hurt. I mean, they're nice little guys, even if I can't stand to watch them eat. And some of the technology they have is amazing.

But they'll only share it with us on one real big condition. We have to modify our societies. We have to value privacy as much as they do. And one part of that means getting rid of all the paparazzi.

The cull begins tomorrow.

fiction

Mar. 1st, 2007 12:34 pm
kierthos: (Default)
"You've got to come out here." Adam said. "You've got to see this."
"What?" I asked. It's not like it was a busy night. Adam was leaving early, lucky bastard. Don't get me wrong, the money is nice here, but being stuck on the night shift for half the night, by yourself, and bored is not the best thing in the world. Not like I'm supposed to sleep at work.
"Dude, you're not going to believe me. Come out here."

I dropped the Free Times I had been reading. Fucking crossword puzzle was giving me a headache anyway. I never could understand that... a newspaper might run those silly Jumbles or Crypt-o-quotes, but if they had a crossword puzzle it was either so simple a child could solve it, or it was trying to unseat the New York Times for difficulty. What the hell... I walked out to where Adam had stopped and saw it.

"The fuck?"
"No kidding."
"No, seriously... the fuck?"

Lying on the floor in the express area, was a prosthetic leg. Now, I've found a lot of things left in the express area... credit cards, drivers' licenses, money, heck even some softcore porn.
I looked at Adam. "The last customer we had in express, was what... an hour ago?"
"More."
"Whatever. And he walked out under his own power, right? No hopping on one leg or anything?"
"From what I could tell, yeah."
"And you'd think he would have mentioned it when he saw it. It's not like it's in the corner or something." No, indeed. The prosthetic leg was lying practically in the middle of the floor. I went over and picked it up, and began turning it over in my hands.
"What are you doing?"
"Well, I was thinking, you've seen those dollar bills that have that 'whereisgeorge.com' stamp on them?"
"Yeah?"
"I'm looking for a 'whereismyleg.com' stamp."
"Is there one?"
"Of course not. Don't be silly."
"So, what are you going to do with it?"
I gave it some thought. "Well, if I could get into the manager's office, I'd put it on his desk."
We both had a bit of a laugh about that.
"Nah, I figure I'll put it in the back. Not like it's going to fit in our tiny little lost and found area. If no one claims it in a week, maybe I'll have a lamp made out of it."
---------------------------
Author's note: This is complete fiction. Yes, I used to work with a guy named Adam. Yes, we both found some wierd shit left in the express area of Kinko's. Yes, including some softcore porn. No, we have never found a fake leg. Figured I'd head those questions off at the pass.

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