December 28, 2013

Demons Ascension - Amy

[Posted by Ted H]

Aaaaaaaaaaand DONE! 57 days after starting and one title change later, Demons Ascension is complete. Im not crazy about the precedent 57 days sets, but whatever.

Overall, I'm happy with the final product. It comes across as a bit all over the place with its early part. I feel I didn't quite make a smooth transition between "Detective fiction" and "Oh shit, demons!" Grammar is, as always, not my strong suite and my ability to describe certain people and places is about as suspect as always....

...BUT, I write action better than most and I'm in my element more when the shit hits the fans (which obviously cant happen until late in the story) so when I get to the good part, I'm off and running. I like the end result, its a radical departure from the source story I wrote back in the day....and  most importantly: I finished a major project. Net win!

NaNoWriMo minimum, plus an extra 10k for good measure.


[Demons Ascension - Amy] 

           The bar was one of those typical sports bars, which James wouldn't have minded except it was filled with Chicago sports paraphernalia. There were White Sox and Cubs pennants in equal representation, as if the bar picking one side over the other would offend someone. James figured they'd pick the White Sox for the same reason most bars in New York backed the Yankees overwhelmingly over the Mets; it's less embarrassing that way. Then there were the numerous Bears decorations that irked James more than the indecisive baseball battle. There was a large neon sign in the back that read "This is Bears Country!" and a football helmet hanging over it. Next to it was an oversized cheese grater, which James figures had some asinine connection to the team. There were hanging basketball photos and a Blackhawks sign that just seemed out of place. All in all, James figured this bar was still better than a typical trip to UNOs.
            James had spent most of the $40 Bradford had given him when he felt a tap on his shoulder. It didn't seem like John, so James didn't turn around. "Here to make me look crazy some more?" he asked aloud as Amy helped herself to the seat across from him. "Sorry," she said "But you never really gave me a chance to explain."
            The bartender wasn't paying him much attention and it was still a good hour before people would pour in from work, leaving James some privacy in his little corner of the bar. They were in a booth in the back, a cheap stain glass lamp hung overhead and a signed photo of Frank Thomas looked down on them from the wall. "Am I just drunk and am imagining you?" James asked "Or is this some deeper psychological problem that I should get some pills for?"
            "You're not crazy," Amy said.
            "And you're not a lawyer, or whatever you're trying to pass yourself off as," James said back.
            "I'm whatever I'm needed as."
            "What were you doing hanging around Kenton?"
            "Keeping an eye on him. He doesn't have long. I'm just making sure he doesn't die in vain."
            "And will he?"
            "That depends on how you proceed from here."
            "What the hell are you?"
            "Right now, I'm a friend, because that's what you need right now."
            "Cute, but right now I need an honest friend...or more importantly a lead...or at the very least one of my usual strippers."
            "What if I told you this wasn't a simple string of murders?"
            "You mentioned something like that before, but I do find it odd that the concept of murdering itself is simple to you."
            "The reasons people give for killing are usually simple, the actions themselves are simple. The forces that drive the need to kill often are so petty it makes me cry when I think about it."
            "You know, for someone who talks about simplicity, you sure act in convoluted ways. How come only I can see you?"
            "Rickey could see me too."
            "Great, I'm in the same boat as a man crying that he'll be put on head meds. I'm in fantastic company."
            "I come and go as needed,  but I'm not invisible to certain people. My mere presence isn't suppose to be allowed here."
            "Allowed by who? What are you even risking?"
            "The fate of everything hinges on your ability to prevent him from completing his task, from finishing the ritual."
            "Stop being cryptic," James said as he gripped his bottle "Tell me who's doing this. Who am I trying to stop?"
            Amy shook her head "I dare not speak his name, and even if I did, it wouldn't help you find him," she said "And I could not help you find him. He masks his presence wherever he goes."
            "Naturally," James said as he sat back and finished his beer "So you look for me, tell me I'm important and that this case is way bigger than anyone is guessing, and then proceed to tell me nothing of importance. Real nice Amy."
            "Rickey told you the truth," Amy said as she grabbed a napkin and pulled out a pen to draw with "And you can be skeptical about the gunshots, but he did try to run someone down in his car."
            "Then tell me how the man could do something like that? How can a mere man completely total a car just by standing in the way?"
            "Because he wasn't simply a man," Amy said with a flat look as she drew "Not at that moment."
            "What was he?"
            "Something more. Something unholy."
            "How are the police suppose to take this guy in then?"
            "Oh, he's quite harmless now. But they're worrying about the man who killed those three people, when the man behind it all is the one that needs stopping."
            "Wait, there're more people involved? It's not just one guy?"
            "I can't stay," Amy said as she placed the pen down and rose."
            "What do you mean?" James asked as he went to follow.
            "Once he becomes strong enough, I won't be able to cross back over."
            "Say what?"
            "All I can do for now is watch over Rickey until he passes."
            "Amy, give me a name. Give me something to go one!" James yelled as he grabbed Amy by the arm. Amy looked back at him with fear in her eyes. "He'll have someone killed again soon enough, I can feel it," she said as she yanked her arm free "Until then, look for his symbol and put the pieces together."
            With that, Amy disappeared out the door. James was behind her by maybe two seconds, but she was nowhere to be seen on the street when he looked. He went back into the bar and looked at the bartender. "You saw her too, right?" he asked as the bartender nodded. "You should probably buy her a drink next time," he said with a smirk "And probably work on some better pick up lines."
            James ignored him and returned to his booth. He didn't really feel like drinking anymore and he was pissed off about his talk with Amy. The way she made it sound, the devil himself was behind everything. There was something else she wasn't saying, but whatever it was, she was scared to death of it. Either way, none of that was going to fly with John and Bradford, at least not without a little proof.
            James looked down at the napkin Amy had been drawing on. There were small markings all over it that James couldn't make out but the most prominent part of it was the large lines scratched out on it forming a C that hand a line drawn horizontally through the middle of it. None of it looked familiar but James guessed that this was the symbol Amy had been talking about. "The crazy in this case is going through the roof now, isn't it?" he said to himself as he pocketed the napkin and ordered another beer.

December 15, 2013

Demons Ascension - Rickey

[Posted by Ted H]

Heeeeeeeeeeeeeey.........Working way too much last couple weeks for any real writing. So close to the finale though, Imma try to wrap it up by years end. Til then though, I've build up quite the backlog of updates...gotta love NaNoWriMo!


[Demons Ascension - Rickey]

            The hospital was going to make James sick. It always did. It never matter where the hospital was or who was in it at the time, James would always feel like crap within a few days and be out of commission for a few more days. Every time he recovered he vowed never to step foot in a hospital ever again, though he always found some convoluted reason to go back.
            James didn't have a police badge to flash, so he had to wear a visitors pass in the form of a sticker they printed off with his drivers license photo and name. He felt like it was one of those "uninfected" badges some people had to wear in the one horror movie he saw once. He wanted to breath exclusively through a rag or any sort of filter but he knew he'd get looks for it. Better now to just suck it up and grind through whatever disease he gets from this visit.
            Rickey Kenton was still being kept in the Intensive Care Unit. From the snippets of conversations James could pick up from other cops on his way in, it seems Kenton was in a bad way and wasn't going to walk again. James thought back to the car wreck and wondered how Kenton managed to even survive. One cop had remarked about how karma caught up with Kenton so James assumed that car accidents were nothing new to Rickey.
            "How do you feel about wearing a wire?" Bradford asked as they stopped in the middle of the hall. ""Am I undercover all of a sudden?" James asked "I thought I was just going to talk to the guy."
            "This guy knows something. You going in there might be our only chance to get him to open up."
            "What's this guys deal? History wise?"
            "Typical punk shit, priors all the bay back to when his balls dropped. The guy is scum and we're suppose to coddle him while a killer runs loose."
            "Damn human rights," James said sarcastically "If only we could just torture him."
            "You think it's funny, but it's shit like this that always impedes an investigation."
            "Just let me work some magic," James said with a smile as he walked into the ICU and tracked down Rickey Kenton's room. The only cop around was the one standing outside the room. "You have five minutes," Bradford said as me nodded towards the other cop. "You guys won't be listening?" James asked. "Our budget doesn't allow for NSA style spy gear," Bradford said "So unless you talk loud, we won't hear much."
            "Good to know," James said as he walked in and slid the door closed behind him. The door was glass so James slid a curtain in the way for some privacy. James turned to get a good look at Rickey, who seemed to be entirely encased in a body cast. His left arm hung free of any confines and his forehead was wrapped. Every time he moved his jaw James could hear small cracks sound. Neither eye opened fully, and the entire right side of his face was purple and swollen.
            "Hello, Rickey," James said as he took a step forward.
            "I'm not talking..." Rickey mumbled, almost as if he was trying to wake up "Not talking to you."
            "It's ok, Rickey," a female voice said from the bathroom. James looked over to see the blond woman from before come out and rush to Rickey's side. She sat down next to him and put her hands on his free arm. "This man is here to help," she said.
            "You his girlfriend or something?" James asked.
            "Lawyer," Rickey said with clarity as he opened his eyes and attempted to sit up "I don't say shit without my lawyer. If Amy isn't around, I don't talk."
            "Good to know you have a name, Amy," James said as Amy smiled and turned away. "Mine's Blake. You can call me James though. No other friends or family looking to visit you, Rickey?"
            "Ain't got none. Not from around here originally."
            "Where you from then?"
            Rickey squinted his eyes a little as he looked back at James. "You must not be a cop or you'd know that already," he said. He turned to look at Amy, who only smiled and motioned back to James with her eyes. He looked back and said "Brooklyn."
            "No kidding," James said "You know a guy named Sully Sallome?"
            "Look, I know he wasn't based in Brooklyn, but everybody knew Sully."
            "I don't know what you're talking about."
            "I'm asking if you knew him. This isn't an interrogation."
            "I didn't know him long. He left the city."
            "Yeah, he didn't go far though, just upstate. That's where I met him. Kinda the reason why I'm here now."
            "You owe him money?"
            "Little bit. Nothing I can't pay him back and he knows it."
            "Man, you run all the way out here to avoid Sully, don't matter. He'll find you and beat you for making him look."
            "Oh I'm not running. I'm out here to get me the cash I need and then some, which brings me to you. But at least I know you know Sully. But have you ever met his daughter?"
            Rickey whistled "Few people get that kind of chance."
            "But when you do," James said with a smile "She defiantly makes it worth your while."
            Rickey fought it for a minute but eventually smiled, causing James to chuckle. "Yeah, you met her," he said as Rickey finally coughed out a laugh. "Dirty, little slut," he said. "Oh I'm thankful she is," James said as he dug out a pack of cigarettes "Otherwise I'd have trouble spending my money some nights." Amy was not amused by the conversation.
            "You smoke?" James asked as he offered his pack. "I would kill for one," Rickey said as he looked at the pack like a dog does to a treat. "Funny you should say that," James said as he lit a cigarette and stuck it in Rickey's waiting mouth then lit one up for himself "Because word on the street says you tried to kill a guy your car...and it didn't end well...well, it's not so much the street...only I'm saying it, but people are probably thinking it."
            Rickey shook his head and looked to Amy. "I don't wanna do this anymore," he said as Amy took the cigarette from his mouth. "He can only help if you tell him," she said as James opened a window and blew smoke out. "Tell me everything that happened that night in the alley," James said. "They're gonna put me on meds for this. They'll think I'm crazy," Rickey said as Amy ran her hand over his head to calm him. "I'm not a cop. Nothing you say here will get you in trouble with the law," James said as he flicked ash out the window "Just tell me what happened to you and your friends."
            Rickey waited a moment and took back his cigarette before he began. "So, the three of us, Tony, Mickey and I, we kinda have this thing where we, ya know, rob people and meet up afterwards."
            "You meet up in the same place every time?" James asked.
            "Nah, we always mix it up. Never the same place twice."
            "Who decides where you guys go?"
            "Usually Tony."
            So, this night we were meeting up like always, comparing hauls, when this guy shows up. We don't know him, but he knew Mickey. Freaked the hell out of all of us. We pulled our guns, but he just kept coming, so we shot him. All three of us, one shit, none of us missed...none of us missed."
            Rickey took a moment to stare off at that last thought. "What did he look like?" James asked "Can you describe this guy?" Rickey snapped out of it and looked back to James. "Yeah," he said "He was tall, kinda. Had long, black hair in front of his face, couldn't get a good look."
            "What was he wearing?" James asked. Rickey shrugged with his one arm. "I dunno," he said "Guy was wearing a big ass trench coat. Dark too, cuz we couldn't see him very well at first." James' eyes narrowed as he dug his hand into his pocket.
            "So you shot this guy," James said "Then what happened?"
            "I took off for the car," Rickey said "I knew someone might've heard the gunshots so I wasn't sticking around for no cops."
            "The others go with you?"
            "Nah. Tony wanted to loot the body or some shit. Mickey was too freaked to do anything right then. I was gonna get the car and swing back for 'em. When I drove back though, that guy was back on his feet and had Mickey by the throat."
            "And Tony?"
            "On the ground. He wasn't moving and didn't look good."
            "This guy, he had to be strong, right?"
            "To hold Mick up? Hell yeah. Mickey ain't exactly underweight, and to hold him in the air like that, guy was no slouch."
            "What did you do?"
            "Guy needed running over."
            "You...decided to drive right into him?"
            "Gonna splatter his guts all over the alley."
            "What about Mickey?"
            "For all I knew, Mickey was already dead."
            "What if he wasn't?"
            "Look, I never said it was the smartest plan in the world. Besides, the way I planned it, mystery man would've taken the brunt of the hit."
            "Didn't work out so well for you, did it?"
            "I don't remember. Next thing I know, I'm in here with cops crawling up my ass. Tony and Mick are dead and I got a nice prison cell waiting for me."
            "Probably," James said as he took his hand out of his pocket and produced the fabric. "This look familiar?" he asked as Rickey looked at it. "This the trench coat the guy was wearing?" Rickey nodded. "Where'd you get that?" he asked.
            "Your car," James said as he put the fabric back in his pocket "Or what's left of it. Good news is you might actually be telling the truth."
            "What's the bad news then?"
            "Bad news is apparently Superman is the killer."
            "You think I'm crazy now, huh?"
            "Well...your story fits better than anything I can come up with. And the police have I'm not ready to call you crazy just yet."
            "Thanks, I guess."
            "Could you at least give a sketch artist a try? To describe the man in the alley?"
            Rickey thought about it a moment before speaking "I'll think about it. Maybe if they entice me."
            James shrugged "Good enough for me," he said as he tossed his cigarette out the window and went to leave "I'll let them know."
            James stepped out and headed for Bradford. "Waste of time?" he asked as James shrugged. "The fabric I found came from your killer. Any DNA hits?"
            "Two hits. One of which I bet is you. Neither is in our database," Bradford said as the two headed for the elevators. "Anything else?"
            "Tall guy, has long, dark hair and is probably real strong. Defiantly wearing something like kevlar so he ain't no slouch."
            "You got all that out of Kenton? Damn. Fucker could barely mumble at us that he wasn't gonna talk."
            "Talked fine for me. Probably played up the invalid speech to keep you from bothering."
            "I bet. Can't wait until we can find something that'll stick and nail his ass for life."
            "Right. Anyway, you should probably send in a sketch artist to get the description."
            "Because he's gonna just jump at the opportunity to cooperate now."
            "I think he just wanted someone to listen to him without thinking he was nuts. Out of context his story sounds odd, but with a little logic, everything fits...almost."
            "Everything points to Kenton trying to run over the killer in the alley, but conventional wisdom states that the car isn't suppose to lose that kind of confrontation."
            "Probably a drug haze."
            "Something on his toxicology?"
            "Yeah, not enough to endure quite the hallucination but I asked them to run it again."
            "Whatever, just run some sort of enticement his way to give you guys the sketch."
            "Watch how fast we run," Bradford said sarcastically.
            "At least try something while his lawyer is still here," James said but received an odd look from Bradford. "What?" he asked.
            "What lawyer?" Bradford asked.
            "The woman who was in there with us," James said "Amy?"
            "There was no one else in there besides you and Kenton."
            "She's still in there, go see her."
            "Blake, there is no woman in there."
            James stuck his arms in the air and motioned back to Rickey's room. He was about to walk back there when Bradford stuck his hand up to stop him. "Look," Bradford said "We're going to get the sketch from him. Just take it easy for now." James shook his head in annoyance. "So what's our next move?" he asked.
            "Our next move?" Bradford asked with an eyebrow arched. "You don't need to do anything anymore. I thank you for your help, but let the proper authorities take it from here."
            "Well, you were my ride, so I figured..."
            Bradford pulled two twenty dollar bills out and handed them to James. "There's a bar down the road," he said "Just, hang out there and enjoy yourself. I'll call Praque and have him pick you up there. Just stay out of the way." He then motioned a couple officers to escort James away, then turned and walked back towards Rickey's room.