Psamurai #12

Demiurge Overkill Pt. 1

“Sophie,” Now Ray said. “When you try to use your power on Yalda, is the problem that you aren’t able to get in?”

“His mind is surprisingly easy to get in,” she replied. “It’s just that there’s nothing there. No fear, no guilt, no remorse, no joy, there isn’t even boredom. Just a constant parade of thoughts.”

“You can see what he’s thinking?”

“No, I’m not a psychic. I go by feel. Conscious thoughts just feel a certain way. Like paperwork. I feel out emotions, then I swim down to their roots in the subconscious. And his subconscious is empty.”

“Empty?”

“There’s nothing there. There’s always something, like a psychic mass that is planted by early trauma or suffering that was never properly taken care of and grows, like a tumor into a beast. These beasts can unconsciously affect your behavior and everybody has a handful. Sometimes they manifest as a replica of a person who might have caused or is strongly connected to a traumatic event or suffering. But for Yalda, there’s nothing and no one…” Sophie paused and stared askance.

“What is it, Sophie?” Now Ray asked.

“Something Simon Vyx said to me before he died.”

“I wouldn’t take advice from Yalda’s prime stooge.”

“Well, he said Yalda is afraid of nothing and no one.”

“That sounds like some stupid shit he says to sound intimidating,” Wolf said, sipping a beer and reading a magazine.

“But, that’s exactly what I found in his subconscious. Nothing, and no one.”

“Sounds like Vyx was right about that,” Cheryl said.

“We’ll have to take another tack,” Now Ray said.

“Wait a second,” Sophie said. “I couldn’t find anything because I wasn’t looking for nothing or no one.”

“You want to try and manifest nothing and no one?”

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The Ruiner “All Things Considered” Pt. 3

III. Amateur Spy, Professional Jerk

Philly traffic isn’t as bad as New York traffic, but that’s no consolation when you’re stuck on a bridge due to the brutal one-two punch of road work and a six-car pile up caused by some idiot who couldn’t put their phone down. The cacophony of honking horns, screaming drivers, and sirens had most of the motorists in a full-fledged rage. Not the Ruiner, at the moment he was enjoying being a spy so much that nothing short of a phone call from work could blow his mood.

The bridge was situated near a sewage processing plant and the air always smelled like shit. Even with the windows rolled up. The putrid stench was no match for Harris’ enthusiasm but didn’t it seem to be improving the overall mood of the other stalled commuters. Eventually, after nearly an hour of limping along, traffic returned to its normal pace.

Harris wondered if he should call his “handler” back at the hotel and let him know about the traffic delay. He also just realized that he forgot to get a code name. This almost upset him until he realized that forgetting to get a code name was exactly something that an amateur spy would do.

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Crescent City Creeps 12: Demiurge Overkill – Prologue

Demiurge Overkill

Prologue

 

Sylvia stared into a glowing pool in her garden, watching the images of future and past scurry through her vision. She gazed in a trance as the water spoke to her about things to come. She shuddered and scrambled to her feet, racing about the house throwing drawers and cabinets wide until she found a blue cookie tin. Inside were all manner of seamstress’s implements. She pulled the sheet off her bed and began cutting it into pieces. When she was satisfied with her collection of linen scraps she set about sewing them together into the likeness of a man. A man bearing a crude resemblance to Delareux. She set the cloth figure onto an altar and sat before it. She placed a metal wastebasket on the floor and shredded some newspaper into it and then lit it on fire.

“My deepest apologies, detective,” she whispered. “This is selfish and unfair of me, but I need you to dream your dream, detective, dream. Seek out the High Priestess.”

She placed her finger on the head of the Delareux doll and tipped it into the fire.

Delareux awoke the next day and opened his eyes. He couldn’t decide whether the ceiling he was looking at was familiar or not. It wasn’t the ceiling he went to sleep under. His head was ringing and the light pierced his eyes, rendering him blind to detail. Of what he could ascertain, the ceiling was brown, maybe wooden. Next to his uncomfortable bed was a blue blob.

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T.J. Washington In “B Is For Basement” Pt. 4

Late to the game? Catch up here.

IV. 21 and Done

I took a nice long drag on my cigarette and exhaled it over the top of my coffee mug so I couldn’t tell the smoke from the steam. I looked at my wrists again, just to make sure I wasn’t dreaming as I thought about the dream I had just finished doing. I say doing instead of having because it’s a more accurate description. After all, the point of language is to, as close as is possible, describe things that you can’t point a finger at and say “That’s what I mean.” Language does the best it can at this despite being used mostly by people.

Before I lulled myself into an internal debate about the differences between language and communication, I pulled a beat-up leather-bound journal from underneath the pile of last week’s mail. I had bought it years ago with the intention of keeping a daily journal of my thoughts and activities but got distracted from writing them down by the nature of my daily thoughts and activities. I fished a pen out of the pocket of the shirt I slept in and clicked it three times even though once would have been plenty.

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Ray #12

XII. The Shape I’m In

Ray soared through the concrete corridors of the city with Cletus and Abby dangling from each arm. A contingent of the media clustered around the events at the museum broke off in pursuit of Ray, like slime mold oozing toward a corn flake. Selkie had transformed herself into a creature that resembled an octopus. She was swinging from building to building leading Ray on a chase through the rooftops. She stopped once finally clinging to the gleaming, glass surface of Vyx Tower. Ray swooped close and hovered.

“Ray,” Selkie cheered, “You can fly now? Not just kind of bob around?”

“How do you know me?” Ray asked.

“Role-playing, Ray? And you brought a cute friend for me? Where did this new adventurous streak come from? And please tell me the old guy is just here to hold the camera.”

Selkie ran up the side of the building and onto the rooftop. Ray flew up to find she had transformed into a female seraph. He set Abby and Cletus down and approached her.

“What are…” Ray was cut short by Selkie’s lips pressed against his, her tongue invading his mouth. He turned his head and stepped back.

“Are we switching?” Selkie asked. “You want me to be the aggressive one now?”

She grabbed his collar and pulled him back to her.

“I want you…” Ray started.

“That’s all I needed to hear.”

“…to tell me who you are and what you’re doing here.”

Selkie frowned.

“I’m authorized by Parthi Security to apprehend any being with malicious intent.”

“I like the idea of bondage, in theory. It never works for me in practice.”

Ray groaned and looked around, rubbing his forehead. He saw Cletus pretending he was somewhere else and Abby holding a ball of fire in her hand, with her brow furrowed.

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