November 30, 2013

Demons Ascension - Homeless Man Alley (NaNoWriMo update #8)

[Posted by Ted H]

Ah, the final day of November. While I didn't have any need to write today, I decided to add a little bit to my word count just for kicks. The novel is almost done, Imma try to wrap the whole thing up by years end. I'm looking at a 60k word count, which would easily make it my biggest *finished* product. Enjoy for now...

Final status of my 2013 NaNoWriMo: 51,004 / 50,000
Goal reached on: November 28th


[Demons Ascension - Homeless Man Alley]

            They did not go right to the hospital. Bradford wasn't ready just yet to meet up with a possibly noncompliant witness. John was gone and James found himself with nothing to do. He decided to take a walk while waiting for Bradford to show up. James pulled his coat closed and started walking around the block. It seemed to have only gotten colder since last night. It was after two and the sun was blocked out by a thick block of clouds, putting a dimmed haze over the world.
            James buried his hands into his pockets and turned down a busy sidewalk, people blindly shouldering passed him without a thought as he walked. He wondered if anyone noticed or cared that he was trying to solve this mystery killer who was seemingly targeting almost anyone. Each person James saw looked like a potential victim. A waitress and a street thug were dead, what was to say a banker or a cashier wouldn't be next?
            Most of the people walking by James had been ignoring him. He glanced at each face and wondered what made each of them think they were safe. As he approached a homeless looking man on the ground by an alley, James figured that guy would be the easiest kind of victim. He wondered that if the killer was trying to kill people as part of a ritual, than why not just hunt down homeless, unless there was a purpose for each person killed?
            Unlike the other people James had been looking at, this homeless looking guy noticed him and looked right back at him with a quizzical look on his face. "Do you...want a dollar?" James asked as the homeless guy slowly rose to his feet and backed into the alley. James decided to follow the man down the alley a little. He found it odd how the man reacted to him, perhaps he was just surprised that someone was actually looking at him. James didn't know how Chicago people treated their homeless, but it couldn't be much worse than anywhere else. He lived in New York for a while and at least there people might give a half hearted toss of some pocket change.
            James watched the homeless man turn the corner down the alley. James continued despite getting a feeling that something wasn't right. As he turned the corner there was a dead end, but no homeless man. At first James thought this was one of those traps he read about where a bunch of people lure someone down an alley and mug him by surprise, but there was no trap. There was nowhere to hide in this alley. No oversized dumpster, no debris, no door to run through, nothing. The end of the alley was boxed in by multiple buildings and there were no doors or windows into any of them.
            "Right," James said as he slowly turned around to leave. He was just going to walk back to the diner and wait for Bradford. Standing in the alley behind him now was a woman. "Are you homeless too?" James asked as the woman smiled. She was dressed more properly than a homeless person and had bright blond hair and blue eyes. "No one is truly homeless," she said as she nodded her head forward.
            "Well if you're following that homeless guy," James said as he walked around the woman "I don't know what to tell you. He just really wants to be alone."
            "You weren't suppose to be able to see him is all," the woman said as she started to follow James out.
            "Look, I know the homeless are invisible and all, but even I thought that sounded cold."
            "That's not important. What is important is you."
            "I'm sorry. You must have me mistaken. Who are you?"
            "Who I am is not important. What is-"
            "Yeah, I'm important, I got that."
            James returned to the sidewalk and began back to the diner. The woman kept pace. "I'm not mistaken, James Blake. You are who I'm looking for. It's just taken a while to get you alone."
            "What can I say? I'm popular."
            "You don't seem surprised that I know who you are."
            "I'm sure you have your ways."
            "You know what I am?"
            "No, but I don't care. If I did, I could probably figure it out. If I had to guess right now, I'd say reporter."
            "What makes you think they're ritual slayings?"
            "So you are media. Isn't there suppose to be a camera man nearby?"
            "I'm not a reporter, James. I just need you to know just how deep this rabbit hole goes."
            "Cute, but I'm gonna stop talking to you now."
            "This is more than just some nut running around killing people."
            "Maybe you didn't hear me," James said as he lit a cigarette "But I'm done talking."
            "Well that's a relief," Bradford said as he walked towards James through the crowd. "Detective," James said as he blew smoke "Are we finally ready?" Bradford shrugged. "As ready as I can be," he said as he looked around James "Who were you talking to before?" James turned to point out the blond haired woman but she wasn't behind him anymore. "Um," James said "I think it was some reporter. Now I'm thinking ninja."
            "Please don't talk to the media," Bradford said "Ever. Now let's go."

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