Crescent City Creeps #8



Hello Hooray

Winston Cross dropped the peregrine into a padded briefcase and snapped it shut. He threw the briefcase into the back seat of his car and opened the driver’s side. Sturgis took three shots at Cross with a revolver. Cross looked like he was in a movie that was getting tangled in the projector and the bullets sailed through him.

Cross frowned at Sturgis and shook his head with more pathos than anger. Like he was confronting a brother who can’t handle his hootch. Sturgis stared frozen and his face fell into involuntary penitence, “I won’t hold that against you, Verne. I can see why you would be so angry. And terrified.” Cross slid into the driver’s seat and tore off.


“We have to go after him,” Toli said yanking on Delareux’s jacket.

“Not tonight,” Delareux murmured, watching Cross’s car shrink as it departed.

“What about that guy has you rattled? We’ve seen things walk through walls.”

“It’s like I said, be either corporeal or incorporeal. Not both.”

“What difference does it make?”

“I’m not locking horns with anything that can walk through a wall and put a slug in my gut.”

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Ray #8

We Gotta Get Out Of This Place


Hugh brought Ray, Abby, Bart, and Cletus to Father Victor’s audience chamber. Despite the high flown designation, the audience chamber was just another dreary, masonry-walled affair. Much like any other room in the cold, stone catacombs where Father Victor and his zealots took up residence save for that fact that it was much larger and was split in half by a round, black pool of still water. Even the copious torches lining room could reveal nothing beneath the surface. A wooden walkway extended the diameter, connecting the two sides of the room. Father Victor sat in a wooden chair that was set upon a raised dias. A line of white robed priests stood below him. More priests were lined along the walls.

Bart was the first to enter, leading the bound Hugh by the neck. Ray followed. His features looked sharp in the glaring torchlight. The reflected fire made his black, saucer-shaped eyes look as if they had flames roaring inside and his claws like burning embers. Even the staunchest Pollyanna would be hard pressed not to take him for a demon. The smirky scowl didn’t help. Abby followed next, making Ray’s scowl look like a delighted child. Cletus shuffled in behind.

Father Victor looked at them askance, then broke his silence, “Hey, that’s my dagger.”

“Where is my boy?” Bart growled. He kicked Hugh on the back of his legs, forcing him to his knees and poked the dagger toward Hugh’s eye.

“Your boy?”

“You heard me.”

“About that tall?” Victor held his hand out, “Brown hair, can’t get him to shut up?

Bart grunted and jostled Hugh.

“Yeah, we have one of those,” Victor snapped and a priest snapped into a jog out the side of the room.

The priest returned a moment later leading Pietro.

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Psamurai #7



We Can’t Dance


Ian and Hunter sat on the sidewalk leaning against a car. A hail of gunfire whizzed overhead from across the street. One bullet broke through the car’s windows, raining glass on them. The bullet continued through a glass storefront, taking the head off a mannequin. A store patron who had taken cover behind the mannequin display poked her head up and saw Hunter and Ian. She gave them an irked frown. Hunter shrugged and Ian shook his head.

“She has a point,” Ian said. “What the hell are we doing?”

“Foiling a bank heist, I think.” Hunter replied, shaking the glass out of his hair.  

“That’s how it started. That’s how it always starts. Why are we involving ourselves in bank heists? Simon Vyx says everything is forgiven and we forget about it? We’ve spent the last few months turning bank robberies into warzones. Why aren’t we focusing on Vyx instead of chasing around this imbecilic gang?”

“Cheryl seems to think we need to practice our teamwork.”

“Practice? Like a garage band? This isn’t practice. Practice shouldn’t shut down city blocks,” Ian slouched further against the car. “Practice would also imply eventual improvement. And doesn’t it seem a bit odd that we’re getting away with it?”

“I’m not gonna look a gift horse in the mouth,” Hunter said leaping to his feet to swat back a smoke bomb with his katana. The bomb sailed back across the street and plinked off the glass of the lobby and hit the sidewalk, smoking.

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Crescent City Creeps #7



Give Up the Ghost


Sturgis pulled Parker into a side room away from the attention of the party.

“When did you lose the peregrine?” Sturgis coughed as he whispered and tamped a cigarette on the lid of its gold case.

“It was gone when I went to retrieve it,” Parker stammered. “The tabernacle was empty.”

“Did you set the lock right?”

“I hadn’t opened it since you handed it off to me last night.”

“Did you have a thief in the nigh…wait a second. You don’t think…?”

“Le Bec?”

“That’s right.”

“Doesn’t he return everything he steals?”

“Unless he knows what the peregrine is.”

“How would he know what the peregrine is?”

“I hear he’s pretty spooky. Like a sorcerer or something. What’s the Sleeper’s condition?”

“It’s opened three of its eyes already. It still gazes within, but it’s getting restless.”

“We don’t have much time. Get in touch with the Ghost.”

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Ray #7



Journey to the Center of Your Mind


Pietro dashed from alley to street to alley, avoiding the puddles of water and lamplight. He kept his tricorn hat pulled low over his eyes and the tails of his coat flapped and snapped as he darted from one shadow to another.

Pietro was accustomed to the role of the nocturnal hunter, but tonight he he couldn’t shake the feeling he was the one being hunted. He had seen several cloaked shadows and figures that seemed to appear around every corner he turned. He would turn down an alley and one would appear at the other end. He would climb the jutting stones of a nearby wall and a hooded head would peer down from the roof. He began to eschew his normal grace in favor of panic driven sprints down wide thoroughfares, anywhere at least a handful of people were still out and about. At this hour they were mostly drunks, whores, and stickup artists, no different than his old friends from the circus and they seemed to keep the shadows at bay.

At least, for a bit they did. The shadows seemed to be getting bolder in their pursuit. There were now two behind him following in a slow, steady gait. And now there were two more ahead. Another slipped out from an alcove and another from the opposite side of the street. Pietro ran toward a shop and began to scale the timber frame. Two more hooded men began descending from the roof. Pietro dropped to the ground and was grabbed by the collar. He slipped out of his coat and sped toward a narrow street, but he was cut off by a grim man with dead eyes who grabbed Pietro by the arms. Pietro recognized the Fleet Street demon.

“Ay,” yelled a woman in a gravely voice as she stomped toward the demon, shaking her finger. “Leave the boy alone, he’s just a kid.”

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