T.J. Washington In “The Long Day” Pt. 1 Morning

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6:45 am Sam’s Bar

I woke up the same way I fell asleep- almost drunk and sitting on a stool in Sam’s new bar. I inhaled deeply while scratching my stomach around my belly button and made sure to suck in as much air as I could, since you never know when you’re gonna need it. When I was as full of air as I could be, I stopped rubbing my stomach and started on my eyes.

Nothing feels quite as good as the first eye rub of the day. There’s just something about it that keeps me coming back every morning. I usually start by rubbing with my palms, then switch over to the back of my hands. When that’s done I curl them up (my hands, not my eyes) and use the pad between my thumb and forefinger until I’m done. It takes as long as it takes. There’s no rushing it. There’s no reason to. Waking up is delicate and mysterious. Best not to mess with it.

When I finished with the rubbing, I blinked several times. After enough blinks, my vision cleared itself of the morning fog and I took a look around. I didn’t feel like getting off my stool just yet, so I started bending my head side to side while stretching my neck a bit. Still feeling sleepy, I held my hands up so I looked like someone trying to imitate a goal post and made a face like I hadn’t gone to the bathroom for months and twisted side to side from my waist while making weird moaning, yawning, almost zombie-like noises. This induced a pretty decent head rush and I found myself looking at thousands of tiny silver stars. They swarmed in from the sides, converged over my field of vision and began swirling in a circular pattern. After the tiny dots finished their elaborate dance, they faded away revealing to me my surroundings once again.

I waited for the “Wonka whooooo wubbby wub” noise to fade away before firing off one more yawn. When I finished that I shook my head and let my mouth make a flapping sound – just in case.

Waking up after sleeping isn’t easy. Nor is it simple. Hell- it’s not even guaranteed to work. Lots of things can go wrong while a person is walking back from the Land of Nod. It doesn’t stop once consciousness is restored either. Once the eyes are open and the brain hands over breathing control to the mind and your muscles are once again under your authority, you have to lure your soul back into your body. This is usually accomplished through a series of stretches, strange noises, and yawning. Usually.

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Crescent City Creeps #14

Born on the Bayou

Toli stood in front of his office building, glancing at his watch like it was about to perform a trick. His secretary Jenny poked her head out the door, looking at him like he was a hurt puppy.

“Mister Palazzo,” she said, “The phone won’t stop ringing. You have a lot of angry customers.”

“And no employees to do anything about it,” Toli replied. “Where is everybody?”

“Just a bunch of bums, I guess.”

“One or two maybe. But we’re talking about Stan, Jimmy, Walt- those guys have been solid employees for years. Never show up late, never miss a day.”

“Have you talked to your detective friend?”

“Funny you should ask. He’s been getting a rash of missing persons cases lately.”

“What a coincidence, huh?”

“Yes. What are the odds?” He looked back at her with a wry smile.

“You better take some of these calls or we’ll be up a creek.”

Toli sighed and followed Jenny into the building. Jenny handed him the receiver of her desk phone.

“Who’s up first?” Toli asked.

“Mr. Abrams, the fishmonger.”

“He’s a monger, alright.” Toli put the receiver to his ear. “Mr. Abrams? Yes… Yes… I understand… Listen, I’m in a bit of a bind… Yes, I hear you, Mr. Abrams. Not a single one of my employees showed up for work today… Yes, okay. Maybe you can send one of your people down to pick it up?… You’re short handed as well? So you see my predicament?… Yes… Yes, Mr. Abrams, I understand you’re trying to run a business… Are you sure about that?… Okay… Thank you for your business.” Toli handed the receiver back to Jenny.

“What did he say?”

“He said he’s taking his business to Ehrlich Shipping. Because Gunnar Ehrlich knows how to keep his employees in line.”

“I’m going to lose my job, aren’t I?”

“You could always go work for Ehrlich.”

“He’s creepy.”

“You can say that again, but he’s also the only game in town right now.”

The phone rang and they gave each other an anxious stare. Jenny lifted the receiver and inched it toward her ear.

“Palazzo Imports and Exports,” she said, and promptly relaxed back into her chair. “Hi, Detective Delareux.”

Toli made impatient gestures for the phone.

“Yes, he’s right here.” She handed him the phone.

“Delareux… Yes I do, I’ll be right there.” Toli hung up the phone. “Jenny…take a paid day off. I have to visit the Detective. It may take awhile.”

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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

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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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T.J. Washington In “B Is For Basement” Pt. 3

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III. 3×7

“I’m not the devil,” the man stressed before taking a sip of his beer before continuing, “I’m a devil and I hear you’re a shaman.”

I guessed I was in a bar. I hadn’t looked around yet, but judging from what I already experienced, bar seemed a safe bet.

This would be pretty weird if it happened while I was awake, but was pretty standard for double dreams. People are always acting like this in double and triple dreams. I’ve never met anyone who’s been in a quadruple dream.

“C’mon now,” I said as I raised my palm and pushed him back with my eyes.

“Sorry, didn’t see your light.”

“Easy mistake, I tend to keep it covered or dimmed,” I said turning to leave.

“Understood, nice knowing ya.”

“Likewise,” I replied while going through the door.

Once through the doorway I found myself sitting across from an old man, obviously a widower judging from the decor. I was wearing a black suit, a red shirt with a black tie and a two-toned hat. One of the tones was black and the other was red. We were smoking pipes in silence, one of my favorite things to do on a cool fall evening, which a glance out the window confirmed it was.

After some time two little kids came through the door without guns. One was dressed like a witch but with a long gray beard and the other was in a wizard’s robe. Must be Halloween. They were holding a broom and staff respectfully. The items looked familiar for some reason unknown to me. Recognizing stuff you don’t isn’t anything that usually needs to be worried about in a dream. No telling where one’s mind pulls dream imagery from. It’s not a question I ponder much.

The kids seemed nice enough but it was too late for them to be coming in and they didn’t have any candy. Candy-less kids on a day like this is dirty pool, even for dreams. They were covered in what I intuitively knew to be monster guts. We had a pleasant enough conversation, I suppose. I decided to leave a few minutes after I was referred to as “Grand Magus” by the old man. I knew what one was, that I was one, and why I was dressed in the manner I was. I wasn’t happy about it though.

The imagery was indicative of some of the parts of my Self that I don’t put forward very often. The reasons I choose to put a bushel over my light, so to speak, are mine to keep. Exerting spiritual or magickial energy can be, and usually is, a nuisance wrapped in a hindrance. I prefer to remain invisible to the unseen universe as much as I possibly can. Easier for everyone that way.

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