Crescent City Creeps #10

Cat’s in the Cradle

 

The shoggoth charged toward Sylvia, Delareux and Toli. It stopped short of trampling and roared out of a maw that expanded to the size of the cave entrance from which they had just fled. As it roared, the front part of its form curled toward the sky and the roar pitched to a howl. The howl became thin till it was inaudible, but it still trumpeted its mouth to the sky. It held this position, swaying back and forth.

“What is it doing?” Toli asked.

“Calling to its pack,” Sylvia replied, her green eyes glinting. “It wants to know it’s not alone. And when it finds out it is, it’ll go nuts.”

“I can’t hear anything.”

“It’s call is in the ultrasonic frequency range.”

“Shouldn’t we be taking this moment to put some distance between us?”

“We need to get it to chase us. Lead it to an open area.”

“How do we do that?” Delareux asked.

“Piss it off then run.”

“What?” Toli gasped.

“Bang, bang, bang,” Sylvia made finger guns toward the beast, “Believe me, you won’t injure it. You’ll only make it mad.”

Toli gave Sylvia an incredulous look, shook his head and aimed his gun.

“Wait,” Sylvia shouted and grabbed his sleeve. “Get some distance first. The creature may look like pretty monolithic, but it’s very nimble. When you get its attention, run like hell. We’ll follow.”

“Where the hell are we going to lead this thing?”

“It should be an open area with a lot of space. We want to minimize the damage to it and everything around it.”

“The high school field it is then,” Delareux declared.

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Ray #10

Some Other Time

A stagecoach ambled over the muddy ruts of a drenched country road. The horses stepped high in the puddles and twitched the rain from their manes. A small, grey figure led the coach, hunched over, rain pouring from the gutter formed by the rolled up brim of his hat.

Inside, Bart took up one seat and Pietro sat in his lap. Ray sat in the middle opposite him with Abby and Cletus on either side. They jerked in unison to the jostling of the coach.

“I can’t wait to go somewhere it isn’t raining,” Abby said, half her head soaked by the leaking door.

Pietro gave Bart some lazy gestures.

“Not much further,” Bart said as he signed back.

“It isn’t?” Ray perked out his despondent gaze.

Bart shook his head and mouthed, “No idea.”

Ray’s eyes rolled back, as did his head. “I can’t take this coach anymore.”

The rhythm of the rocking coach slowed to halt.

“Doesn’t mean I wanted to stop,” Ray shouted.

Cletus slid open a wooden panel on the top half of the door and stuck his head out. He withdrew, snapped the panel shut and shriveled into his seat.

“Papal guard,” he wheezed.

A knock came at the panel. They all exchanged glances. Bart gestured to Cletus to answer and Cletus responded with a vigorous shake of his head. Bart puffed, pressed his finger against the panel and slid it back, like he expected to reveal the Grim Reaper on the other side.

There stood Cardinal Martell, crimson and black, supporting his dragon-headed hammer on his shoulder.

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Joneses #9

I Hear You Knocking

 

“That’s ‘Back in the Day Ray’ taken care of,” Yalda said, watching his whiskey as he swirled it. “You left the portal open for future Super Dick Ray to come crusading through. That leaves Not So Back in the Day Ray. Have you figured out where the detachment chased the Joneses off to?”

“Not yet,” Vidjeda grumbled, glowering into the distance.

“Close enough is good enough. If you’re going to miss, try and make it behind them. But I’m sure I can fix whatever they fuck up if we wind up in front of them. If I remember this Vyx guy correctly, he’s a squish with a cyborg enhancement fetish. Creepy as fuck, but for some reason the whole world wants to blow him. Really pliable, though. He’s got some exploitable skeletons in his closet. Vivisection on poor kids and shit. Dickens on coke type shit. Of course, that would be the shit I remember. It’ll all come back to me once I get there.”

“What do you think your younger self will think?”

“I’d be embarrassed if he didn’t try to kill me.”

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Psamurai #9

Bootstraps

Sophie, Hunter and Ian were standing in the middle of the street, blocking traffic. But so was Dr. Merv Spector, a clinical psychologist, and several abandoned cars. Also, all the ghosts milling about screaming at everything.

“Put the spooky gun down, Dr. Specter,” Sophie said. “Nobody else needs to be turned into a ghost.”

“Call me,” Dr. Spector lurched around to face Sophie, “Doctor Spector.”

“Isn’t that what I said?”

“You spelled it wrong.”

“Is it still homicide if the victim turns directly into a ghost?” Hunter accidentally said aloud.

“Well, I mean, they’re still dead, right?” Sophie replied.

“I imagine it would be prosecuted like one,” Ian added.

“Would there be extra charges for causing a public haunting?” Hunter asked.

“I don’t think the justice system is prepared for this,” Sophie said in a mock lament, shaking her head.

“Hey, what did I miss?” Cheryl called running toward them. “I just got your message. Who’s this asshole?” she said into her coffee.

“Dr. Spector,” said Sophie.

“Doctor Specter,” he shouted.

“That’s what I said.”

“Doctor Specter?” Cheryl looked askance.

“Thank you, ma’am,” Doctor Specter called to Cheryl.

“What’s his thing?”

“He’s got a gun that turns people into ghosts,” Sophie reported.

“So he has a gun?” Cheryl looked at Sophie, nonplussed. “Hunter can do maniac-with-a-gun in his pajamas. He does all the time. I was having a really nice chat. Her name was Maggie.”

“No, like no-shit ghosts,” Hunter said pointing to the withered, translucent wraiths that roamed the strip mall parking lot that.

“Dammit,” Cheryl sighed. “Brand new Starbucks and it’s already haunted.”

Cheryl trotted to one of the ghosts, waving her hands in its face. “Are they dangerous?”

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Crescent City Creeps #9

Late to the party? Catch up here

 

Season of the Witch

As Toli and Delareux approached the office, rehashing the events in the case so far, they saw Barclay leaning hunched against the door holding a large, cylindrical object with one hand on top and the other on the bottom. Under the spotlight of the buzzing, fluorescent street lamp stood a woman with wild black hair, wearing no shoes. She was wearing a dress that looked as if it was grown and harvested rather than woven into Mother Nature’s mocking critique of Victorian fashion. Small red buds sprouted from vines that twisted and wrapped around her dress, or perhaps were the dress itself. The effect would have been lovely and enchanting if the ends of the vines weren’t swaying and probing. Her eyes peered out from under her helter skelter wavy locks and delivered a message of barely tempered impatience.

“A gallon of rum says that’s Winthrop,” Delareux tapped Toli and motioned toward the woman.

Toli looked up from his shoes and saw the woman tapping her foot, arms akimbo. “Case closed, I guess?”

“Where have you been, Delareux? We only have a few hours,” She barked and pointed to the outsized hourglass Barclay was holding. All the sand had drained into the lower chamber. “It ran out,” she chirped to Barclay. “Flip it over.”

Barclay turned the hourglass.

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