January 31, 2014

Demons Ascension - Meet Stan

So my internal clock has been ass backwards these past couple weeks....some days having to wake up and be out the door by 4am and some days not needing to wake up at all will do that to you.

But now I'm back at attempting a normal sleep schedule. Results may vary.

...here is where the story starts going down the road to crazy shit.


[Demons Ascension - Meet Stan]

            James woke up randomly and immediately grabbed his arms at how cold it was. He thought he left the space heater on when he went to sleep, but it sat silent and cold a few feet from him. "Christ almighty," he said as he rolled off the couch and attempted to fire up the heater "Did the power go out?" The heater refused to turn on, but James glanced out the window to confirm that the power in the area was still on. Light from the streetlights shone through the windows, slightly illuminating the living room. The rain outside had tapered off to a slow and steady pace.
            "If you don't mind, I'd prefer that stay off," a voice said behind James. He turned around to see an older man sitting in a chair at the far side of the room. He wore a white suit with a blue tie kept loose around the collar. His hair was gray and slicked back over his head and he had a clean shaven look. "Cigarette?" he asked as he produced one from his front pocket.
            James really wanted that cigarette, but thought better of it as he raised his hand to deny it. "C'mon," the man said "On the house." His lips curled into a smile as he spoke, waving the cigarette back and forth as if to tempt James like a dog with it. "Can I help you?" James asked, wondering how this man got into the house, and more importantly, how he had kept so dry in the rain.
            "I heard you're a pretty good investigator," the man said "And I want to personally hire you to take care of something." James eyed up the man, but didn't say anything. There was something off about him, besides the obvious fact that he came from seemingly nowhere and is offering James some cancer aid. "You see an asset of mine that I've invested in heavily is under threat by a former associate of mine, and I want you to make sure he doesn't steal it from me."
            "I don't do, uh, stock market investigating," James finally said.
            "A metaphor, I apologize, this has everything to do with what you're doing now."
            "...Never did get a name."
            "Call me," the man started before smiling again, James did not like it when he smiled he found out. "You can call me Stan."
            "Ok..."Stan", what makes you think I can be of any more help?"
            "You're not limited by any mere regulations like the police. You find the right clues, and you'll go in the right direction without second thought. That is what I need right now.'
            "Why can't you deal with it yourself? You seem like a, how should I put this, powerful man in your own right."
            "My influence is rather limited around these parts. Much more prudent to defer to local talent on such a delicate matter."
            "I'm not local."
            "Oh, you're local enough."
            James sat back onto the couch and composed himself as best he could. He ignored the fact that he was cold and looked back evenly at the man across the room. "You wouldn't "happen to know Amy, would you?" he asked  You both seem apt to pull the same appear/disappear trick." The man closed his eyes and smiled as he sighed "Never had the pleasure of meeting, but I've had heard wonderful things about her."
            "What are you two after?"
            "The same thing you could say, same motivations, but our reasons vary." Stan then reached down to the ground where a glass was and picked it up to drink.
            "Where are you from?" James asked as Stan held his glass up and watched the dark liquid as he swirled it. He pondered his response as he sipped and looked back to James. "South," he said with another smile.
            "Well maybe you can help me more than Amy did," James said "This guy, this man behind everything, I need to know something about him."
            Stan nodded and gestured towards James with his glass.
            "What's his name?" James asked.
            Stan shook his head as he thought. "I believe he goes by the name Crow, right now. His proper name would be useless to you. And before you ask, I don't know where he is. It's impossible to track him down."
            "If this is a ritual, what's his end game? What's his goal?"
            "To take over."
            "I don't get it. What's he trying to take over."
            "Don't bother yourself with details you cannot comprehend. All you need to know is that stopping him from killing anyone else is reason enough for you to continue forward."
            "Basically what you're saying is I need to wander around town asking people if they've seen a guy named "Crow" and hope for the best? I've got nothing to go on. The police have barely a thing to go on."
            "You have more than enough to work with," Stan said as he sipped his glass again "You just need to stop pretending to be a cop and figure it out for yourself."
            "What, the symbol?"
            "That's a..." Stan started but stopped. His smile slowly faded to a sneer and he quickly sprang up from his seat and grimaced ahead of himself. "You ok, Stan?" James asked. "No!" Stan screamed as he clenched his hand so tight it shattered the glass he was holding. James jumped back in his seat and could only wait for Stan to calm down. Stan paid no mind to his hand as he gritted his teeth. "Stan?" James asked as Stan stood perfectly still, staring forward with a growling sound coming from him that didn't sound human.
            "It's too late to stop his followers," Stan said as his eyes began to glow red and he looked to James.
            "What do you mean too late?" James asked, still not moving from his seat.
            "Another soul has been claimed."
            "What do you mean? Someone else died?"
            Stan only stared back with his glowing eyes and nodded. "How can you know?" James demanded, but caught himself and decided on a better question. "Where?"
            Stan only smiled.

January 19, 2014

Demons Ascension - Light Rain

[Posted by Ted H]


on the other hand, I might change the ending to Demons Ascension. Nothing major, but def important detail wise...sucks for those who might be reading the original version...


[Demons Ascension - Light Rain]

            By the time James and John reached the house, it was starting to rain. A light drizzle, definitely nothing that would cause anyone to run for cover, but a precursor to the torrential downpour the sky was threatening. Lyle was waiting for them when they arrived, and motioned for them to follow him to the side of the house. He used a flashlight to illuminate  the peak where a small, red symbol was. The same thing on the napkin and in the alley.
            "Anyone else ready to say cult ritual? Cuz I'm barely holding back over here," James said as John produced his own flashlight and lit up the area around the symbol. "No marks in the vinyl," he said "No indications anywhere that  someone climbed up. How the hell did this guy scale the siding?" Lyle shook his head "You guys found the same thing at the Williams-Allanson scene?" he asked as the rain picked up. "I think Bradford might listen to your theory now, James," John said.
            "A couple cut out hearts and some silly symbols does not make a cult," Lyle protested. "Well someone went to great lengths to set this up," James said "And the knife used wasn't your run of the mill kitchen utensil. It was a dagger with a curved blade," he said, remembering what he read in the autopsies. "Either way," John broke in "Bradford needs to know about these. Maybe they're relevant. And maybe they'll help us figure out who's behind this." Lyle shrugged. "Whatever," he said "At least it'll keep this guy from hindering the investigation anymore."
            James was about to protest when the skies opened up and rain started to fall by the bucket. All three men sprinted to the front and in the door, but were soaked upon entry. "Holy cow, it sounds like the world is ending out there!" Brittany exclaimed as she ran in from the living room. "No, not yet at least," James said as he peeled off his jacket and dropped it near the door. He was soaked to the bone and freezing to boot, not an ideal situation.
            James went to call in the symbols to Bradford while Lyle left with Brittany to change, leaving James alone in the kitchen to mourn the loss of his waterlogged cigarettes. Everything on him looked like he just pulled it from a flood. Thankfully he left the napkin of the symbol in the car. "I bet this is a dry house, too," he said as he checked the fridge to find zero alcohol. The freezer had a colorful bottle of vodka, but James figured it best not to touch. This left him only once vice to fall upon, so he fired up a pot of coffee.
            "Good news is they'll look into it in the morning when the rain breaks," John said as James poured his first cup. "What's the bad news?" James asked.
            "With this rain? It'll wash away any blood on the side of the house or up high in the alley."
            "We still have the napkin, and you, Lyle and I can all attest to how the symbols look. So it's not all bad."
            "Still, Bradford would like to have had a photo of the symbols at the scenes. He's pissed they were overlooked for so long."
            "It's a start we didn't have before. You describe the symbol to him so he can try to see if it matches any known cults?"
            "Yeah, but cults aren't exactly commonplace. And Bradford would like to know what made you even think to look for that symbol."
            "It's..." James began before stopping to sip at his coffee. It was bitter, and no amount of milk and sugar would help that, but he didn't let it bother him. "It's a long story," he said before taking an additional sip "Let's just follow the clue where it leads first, then worry about how crazy I sound when I explain how I found it."
            John shrugged. "Well there's not much we can do today now," he said as he motioned outside to the pouring rain "What do you think our next move is?"
            "Figure out what that symbol is to, and go from there," James said as he raised his mug up "Until then, let's wait out the weather."
            Brittany allowed all three men to stay the night in the house with her, despite Lyle objecting to anyone staying, and fired up the fake fireplace space heater on the far side of the living room. Lyle had already changed, and John had some old clothes to change into, leaving James as  the only person still in wet clothes. Brittany produced a towel for him to sit on while everyone else sat and enjoyed the fake fire, trading random life stories.
            Neither James or Lyle had any particular interest in the conversations, but John and Brittany kept up with each other with particular enthusiasm. Both kept the conversations far and away from family. Things eventually drifted to the house, and apparently how lucky the girls had been to get it at such a good deal. This was the only conversation that interested James since apparently the house had been inexpensive, but each prospective home buyer eventually looked elsewhere for different reasons; some found better neighborhoods to live in while others claimed the house was haunted. Brittany claimed there was a higher power at work that wanted her and Stephanie to buy that house together. James suggested that the neighborhood being more than a little black was the reason behind the steal of an asking price, a suggestion that earned a pillow thrown his way.
            The conversation turned to other topics and James quickly lost interest. Hours later, as Lyle began to nod off, Brittany bid everyone goodnight and dragged Lyle off to bed with her. The rain outside had barely let up and John decided to stay put for the night. He decided to take the spare bedroom, leaving James to sleep on the couch.
            James had dried off enough to not soak through anything, but he craved a cigarette more than anything else. He threw himself face first into the couch and tried his best to ignore the craving digging itself through his brain, telling himself he'd buy a new pack first thing tomorrow. Make that ten. Ten packs of cigarettes. Each of them waterproof.

January 12, 2014

Demons Ascension - Investigational Banter

[Posted by Ted H]

Welcome to 2014...or as I plan to call it: the Demons Ascension year (until either November or whenever I can get the ball rolling on other projects, whatever happens first)
I fully plan on continuing BGI and MDZ, but for now, keep on enjoying some NaNoWriMo winning stuff...


[Demons Ascension - Investigational Banter]

           "Ok," John said as he and James walked back into the alleyway where Mickey Williams was killed "I think I've humored you long enough. You need to tell me why we're here again." James fished out the napkin from his pocket and showed it to John. "This look familiar?" he asked as John shook his head. "Bradford is going to kick my ass for this," he said to himself as James lit a cigarette and started looking around the scene.
            "This symbol is important," James said as he scanned the ground near the car wreck "If our killer left it, it can only support my ritual theory." He moved over to where Mickey died. "And if we don't find anything like that?" John asked. "Well then, we'll be like Bradford; no leads, no ideas and no clue."
            "They didn't find anything like that thing at Stephanie's place either."
            "Maybe it was meant to be hidden. Whoever is doing this might be trying to keep his intentions on a low profile."
            "What makes you think ritual?"
            "It fits better."
            "But he left Allanson the way he was. No ritual there."
            "He was here for Williams. Tony got in the way."
            "Wouldn't it have been easier to just perform whatever ritual on Tony then?"
            "He wasn't the target. It was something about Williams. Still no connection to him and your sister?"
            "Nothing. Ya know, I could have Lyle look for whatever symbol over at the house."
            "He and your sister are still there?"
            "Brittany never leaves. At first she couldn't bear to be in that house, now it's all she ever wants. Stopped going to work, barely sleeps, even Lyle thinks it odd. She can't seem to help herself."
            "She's grieving. Not much I can offer on that. You're coping by bringing me in as if I'm gonna fix everything. Brittany literally lost another version of herself. We all deal with it in our own way."
            "So should I call Lyle?"
            "Let's first make sure there's even a symbol to find, then we'll worry about wasting your partners time."
            "I guess," John said as he wandered over to where Tony had died and looked along the ground there.
            "You know," James said attempting to lighten the mood "You didn't tell me you sister had a boyfriend. Now it's gonna be awkward when I demand my date from her like we agreed with Lyle in the picture."
            "You find the guy who killed her sister, I'm sure Brit will be more than willing to let you buy her dinner."
            "I bet," James said with a smile as he looked along the walls of the alley for anything that stood out against the brick layout. "How'd those two even meet?"
            "Lyle and I had just been assigned a few years back. We cracked this huge double homicide and were celebrating. Neither one of us could drive so I called my sisters to give us a lift. Brittany picked us up and let us crash at the house. I passed right out but her and Lyle talked all night."
            "He a good guy, Lyle?"
            "I trust him with my life. And Brittany's lucky to have him, now more than ever."
            "No man for Stephanie?"
            "Guys always came and went but none ever stuck around. Nothing the last few months though. I didn't actually think you remembered my sisters to be honest though."
            "Freshman year," James said "Move in day. My dad pretty much dumped me off roadside and left but I remember your family was making a spectacle of it."
            "What could I say?" John said "First kid to college, whole family was excited."
            "I remember seeing those twins for the first time and thinking...well, best not discuss that."
            "Best if you don't," John said while flashing a look.
            "I remember them though. They came out one weekend to visit. You were friends with my roommate at the time and the four of you went out one night to a party."
            "Oh shit, I remember that...oh God I drank too much that night."
            "I remember Tom came home with half his face all red and he didn't want to talk about it. I never did get the story out of him."
            "Oh jeeze, yeah!" John said with a laugh "He and Brittany had been talking it up at a party and she was looking to go home with him. Then he went and talked to Stephanie about going home with him instead. He mixed them up and tried to get with the wrong one. When Brittany realized what was going on, she slapped his ass so hard, he fell over. It made everyones night and Tom stormed right out."
            "Hah!" James cried out "Tom always tried to sleep with everything. I can't believe I missed that!"
            "I thought Tom invited you? He said he did."
            "No way I was going. No way I would be able to keep my cool around either sister."
            "You would've gotten along with Steph, she was a bit of a loner too."
            "Gee, thanks."
            "You still all awkward and bad with girls?"
            "I'll have you know I'm a damn Casanova with the ladies, even if it requires me to be in the wrong part of town and have a crap ton of singles."
            "I'm sure it's your charm and wit that those kinds of women find attractive."
            "Yeah, well, it's got me in a better position in life than most we knew in college."
            "Good times, that year."
            "Right up until the part where Suzan shot Meg in the head? Yeah, good times."
            "I can't believe how long ago that night was. Feels like yesterday."
            The two searched in silence for a while as John periodically checked the skies. "It's going to rain soon," he said as the wind began to pick up "Sure this can't wait?" James blew into his hands and rubbed them. The wind was already making a cold day downright frigid. He wanted another coffee, nice and hot, to just hold as much as to drink. He looked up to the sky and couldn't begin to judge what time of day it would be. The sun was completely blocked out by the gray clouds that were ganging up.
            As James went to look back down into the alley, something up high caught his eye. At first it looked like a random splatter of blood against the bricks, but the more James looked, the more it began to resemble the symbol he was looking for. "Found it," James said as John walked over to see. "That's got to be twenty or thirty feet high," he said "Maybe it's a random way the splatter went."
            "How did it splatter that high, yet nowhere close anywhere else?" James asked as he struggled to see better despite the utter lack of light from the sky. "There is no way anyone could get that high to deliberately draw that," John said as he looked to James."Call your partner," James said "Tell him to start looking. If that same symbol is there, then all coincidences go out the window."