June 1, 2014

Demons Ascension - Amanda

New stuff is coming soon.....for now just enjoy as we slowly work our way to the final act...

...this one prolly has more than a couple spellcheck errors since I'm putting this up real quick before I sprint out the door to work at the last minute...


[Demons Ascension - Amanda]

            James wasn't stupid. He had no intention of confronting Croatoan in person all alone. He made it sound that way in the letter though to light a fire under John's ass. It was a little after nine by time he drove by the apartment building. As he got out, he noticed Mark back on the scaffolding above the main entrance. "Officer!" he called down as he noticed James "What brings you back here?"
            "Police business," James said, glad no one bothered clarifying his status to Mark. "What are you doing up there?" James asked "I thought you already took care of that graffiti?"
            "Punk comes back," Mark said "Write same thing right over my paint. I'm thinking of setting up camera to catch them next time."
            "Why do you think they even bother? I mean your doorway isn't exactly noticeable from faraway..."
            "I do not know. Pride maybe, stupid gangs. Too much hassle over nonsense word like crouton."
            "Crouton?" James asked with some amusement "I thought you can't read?"
            "Some passerby point it out to me. Say it makes them want salad. It's all scratchy looking, passerby could not even read it clearly. See?"
            Mark stepped aside and allowed James to see the graffiti. "That's not crouton," James said as he felt a weight in his stomach. "Officer?" Mark asked as James took off running into the apartment lobby. Mark scratched his head, shrugged, then went back to preparing his paint to cover up the scratching of the word "Croatoan" on his building.
            James wasted little time calling for the elevator. He remembered what he could about the Roanoke Colony mystery. When the English returned and found the place abandoned, the one thing they noticed was the word "Croatoan" carved into different locations. Before James had assumed that was a simple message of where the colonists went. History seemed to have supported it, but James was beginning to wonder how much of recorded history could be trusted. History also claimed the colonists went to where the Croatan indian tribe was, no official mention of how or exactly why they went.
            Let off at Croatoan's floor, James took off in the direction of his room. He didn't have a plan, not that he would have one if given enough time anyway. He just knew he needed to act and act now. He stopped in front of Croatoan's door, took a deep breath, then turned around and pounded on the door across the hall.
            A moment passed and James' breathing increased. He heard noises behind the door and got his hopes up, but at the same time worried that he might be too late. He heard the door locks being undone and was elated at the sight of Amanda answering the door with no Croatoan in sight.
            "You're back," she said with a smile as he held an ice pack to her head. She was obviously in bed recently as she stood barefoot in the doorway with mismatched pajamas and frayed red hair falling all over. "That excited about asking me to dinner?" she asked. "How about breakfast instead?" James asked as Amanda laughed and motioned for him to follow her inside.
            The apartment was a mess, with boxes of items strewn about and a stack of pizza boxes by the couch near a television with three different game systems nearby. Near a window was a small packed bookcase with another several piles of books next to it. The kitchen had a pile of cups and dishes in the sink and a broken coffeemaker nearby. On the table was a closed laptop sitting on a small mess of papers and envelopes.
            "So you're up early," Amanda said as she leaned against her counter and adjusted her ice pack. "I guess," James said as he looked around "Long night last night for you?"
            "Yup. Crow and I went out for some drinks. Guess he's depressed all his friends are gone."
            "Did he leave town the same time I did?"
            "I don't think so. He did go out for work that night and I didn't see him at all the next day until he came back the following night. Why?"
            "Just curious."
            "I told your fellow cop friend about him though. They had a chat, but Crow didn't mention anything. Is he in trouble?"
            "I, uh, can't discuss the details of a case."
            "What about over breakfast?"
            "Sold. Dennys?"
            "Just let me slip out of these jammies and put on something a little more social."
            Amanda placed the ice pack down and made her way to her bedroom. "Wouldn't mind if you just did that first part and stopped," James said under his breath but Amanda turned her head towards him and winked as she disappeared. James wondered if that was a sign he should follow her when he decided he had more important things to deal with.
            He walked over to the table and noticed a map of Chicago strewn out alongside some take out menus. He cleaned it off and picked up a pencil. He remembered where the first three murders were and marked them on the map, then out of curiosity he opened the laptop and ran a search of the Hapdale Mental Health facility for an address. "Every location is important," he said to himself as he checked the map for where the computer said the address was.
            After marking it, he remembered how the third murder was exactly east of the location of the first, and both were the same distance from murder number two. James made a number of additional marks on the map attempting to measure out and predict where murder number five would take place. One particular mark grabbed James' eye as its inclusion with the other murder locations made a downward pointing star with the apartments in the middle. "He's making a star," James said with a smile "Finally, I'm a step ahead of you." He checked the computer for a satellite image of the location, but it was only an empty lot. "How do you plan to make this one work?" James wondered when he notice Amanda step out from her bedroom.
            Amanda clearly must have heard James before because she stepped out wearing an impatient expression on her face and absolutely nothing else. She had taken a moment to comb her hair as it now sat neatly and a majority of it was swept behind her back as not to obstruct the view of her perk breasts in  any way. Her right arm had crept up on the wall and braced her as she leaned and looked towards James. He gazed down on her to see a piercing in her navel under which her left arm was idly brushing around. Lower he saw her unsaved public area, but he could tell she kept it that way by choice as opposed to yet another part of her life that was left neglected. Finally he took in her crossed legs which were, save for a few cuts here and there, perfectly smooth.
            "I had a crazy night of drinking with Crow, but he didn't even try anything," Amanda said as he raised his eyes to match hers again. "I'm confident he's gay...what's your excuse?"
            James took a moment to laugh to himself before rushing over and taking Amanda up into his arms. He conceded to himself that the world was in danger and he had less than a day to save humanity, but he was pretty sure nothing was going to happen in the next hour.

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