January 31, 2016

Pure Human - It Came in Through the Woods

[Posted by Ted H]

Something special is coming next week, hang in there. Not James Blake related, but more of something I've been putting off for a long time.


[Pure Human - It Came in Through the Woods]

            They drove back to the house, hoping to see one of the ambulances still around so they could tail it to the hospital, but to no avail. There were still cops present. "Now what?" John asked. Blake thought for a moment. "Park the car," he eventually said "I have an idea." John parked in the same place as he did the first time as he and Blake got out.
            "Whatever did this," Blake said "Was anything but subtle. They broke through the back door and bum rushed the mother. Maybe they left a path of destruction on their way in." John shrugged as they made their way towards a wooded area behind the row of houses. "Based on the description of the mutilations, cops would have to assume an animal was involved," John said "Probably would've looked for obvious signs of animal entry as well as forced human entry."
            "What what in the what?" Blake asked.
            "Meaning," John said "If some obvious path of destruction was made, the cops would already be all over it."
            They made their way to the area behind the house. The back yard had a fence up with no signs of damage on or around it. "I don't see any cops," Blake said. "They would have secured the perimeter," John said "So there's nothing out here." Blake looked out into the woods and waited. "Cops going door to door asking neighbors if they saw or heard anything odd last night?" he asked. John nodded "Standard procedure," he said. Blake then started walking into the woods. "Then there's only one other way in," he said.
            "So you're saying whatever happened, it came in through the woods, went over the fence and broke their way in?" John asked. "It's the only angle the cops aren't working," Blake said "If not this, then what are we doing out here?" John made a face and tossed his arms in the air, then followed Blake. "Point taken," he said "So where are we going?" Blake shrugged "Beats me," he said as the men disappeared from sight into the woods.
            "There's no odd alchemy potion or powder you can use here?" John asked.
            "Nah," Blake said "Just some good old fashioned gut instinct and detective work.
            "I can get behind that."
            An hour passed as the two wandered in the woods, looking for anything out of the ordinary. "Hear anything odd?" Blake asked. "I don't hear shit," John said. "We're in the woods," Blake said "Don't you think it odd to not hear anything; bugs, birds or the sound of any movement besides our own?" John picked up a rock and tossed it. "I think you're over thinking it," he said "It's early spring, no birds yet. Animals probably got scared off when they heard us coming."
            "And the bugs?" Blake asked. John shrugged as he checked his phone. "You think it's because they're spooked by something supernatural?" he asked.
            "Sounds plausible to me," Blake said.
            "I thought you ruled out the supernatural?" John asked.
            "I ruled out all known supernatural," Blake responded "Besides, something had to spook the local wildlife."
            "We're in Albany," John said "Not the Amazon."
            Blake didn't respond, instead walking in a new direction. "By the way," John added "I had an acquaintance of mine look into which hospital they would take that little girl to." This piqued Blake's interest. "Oh yeah?" he asked. "Yup," John said "They just texted me where to go. Figure we can check it out next." Blake nodded, then continued his wandering. They came upon a clearing leading to a small lake. "This is new," Blake said as he walked up to the water and peered into it. "No fish," he said as John joined him. "That proves nothing," John said as he looked into the dark water. Blake then started making his way around the edge of the lake.
            Eventually, Blake found a bloody pile of meat by the shore. As he looked about, he discovered more and more pieces of carnage. "Anything rational to say about this?" he asked. John ignored him as he looked. "That's a rabbit," he said pointing to one bloody pile "Pieces of frog over there. Shit, this ain't right."
            "Tell me about it," Blake said.
            "Still doesn't explain the lack of bugs," John said, not wanting to give Blake credit "But what eats frogs and rabbits among seemingly everything else in the woods?"
            "Beats me," Blake said "Let's find out."

January 17, 2016

Pure Human - She Must Work Out

[Posted by Ted H]

Now that the post NaNoWriMo and post crazy-shit-at-work has all died down, we can get back to business...


[Pure Human - She Must Work Out]

            "John, this is Miss Baxter," Blake said. "Miss Baxter?" John asked. "Trust me," Blake said "Five minutes alone with her and you'll understand why it's miss and not missus." Whitey stood up immediately and made to leave. "She's also why your pancakes are forfeit."
            "Remember," Whitey said to Blake as she passed by him "Stay out of the way. Leave this to the professionals."
            "Professionals?" Blake asked "I think I'm the only one who gets paid to do this."
            Whitey didn't turn around as she continued out. "And what about  John's pancakes?" he called out. "Take off those damn sunglasses!" she yelled back as she disappeared out the door. "New friend of yours?" John asked as he sat down and pulled his pancakes away from Blake.
            "I wouldn't call her quite that," Blake said as he and John watched her walking away through a window.
            "Probably more likely."
            "Don't mind watching her walk away though."
            "Who the hell wears a one piece bodysuit and acts like a superhero?"
            "Yeah, but dat ass doe."
            "Indeed," Blake said as he turned away and tried to sneak the pancakes back to his side of the table.
            "She must work out," John continued.
            "She's clueless and crazy."
            "Oh yeah?" John asked as he finally lost sight of Whitey, then retrieved his pancakes.
            "She busted all in here and figured I was behind the situation."
            "So she had no idea either as to what's going on?"
            "Continues what Matthew mentioned before. No one can agree on what's happening."
            "Has anyone else seen what you've seen? Does she even know about the tooth?"
            "No, and it's best if Whitey stays in the dark. She wants me to stay  out of her way. easy, considering I'm way ahead of her."
            "You think it wise to go this alone?"
            "I got you, and we got Anin. We don't need more help. Let Whitey go find a demon to fight."
            "What is her deal, anyway?"
            "I mentioned her kind once or twice before. God and Satan both empowered people all over the world in the event a Chicago situation ever occurred again. That way, if Heaven and Hell ever got locked out of this realm again, both deities would still have people on the inside to fight for them."
            "Kind of proactive when you think about it. Nice that they've learned."
            "Either that, or they're afraid of something on the horizon. Something coming that's scaring them both into action now."
            "That's rather bleak. You really think something is gonna happen?"
            "I don't trust gods. You don't have random people chosen all over the world to receive powers because of one incident."
            "That one incident almost ended the world though."
            "Then you empower a few people to tackle it the next time. If you gather everyone God and Satan have empowered, you'd have an army."
            "Maybe they're being thorough?"
            "You don't build an army unless you plan on a war."
            "Dark," John commented as he ate "So what about now? Forget the upcoming holy war. What about whatever killed that family?"
            "That house isn't going to be cleared out any time soon," Blake said, refocusing "But there was a little girl there that was alive." The waitress had wandered back with a pot of coffee, but had frozen nearby to listen to the discussion. She had been confused but deeply interested. Blake noticed her, motioned to his empty cup, then shooed her away.
            "How'd she live?" John asked.
            "I think she hid under her bed."
            "But there were three ambulances. They wouldn't do that for two bodies unless the girl was injured."
            "Something was wrong. They had to lift the bed out of the way and she was still on the floor."
            "You sure she survived?"
            "No blood. Whatever was in that house last night tended to leave a mess. We need to see that girl."
            "Odds are she would be taken to a hospital. I'll figure out which one. After that we can see about the house, time permitting."
            "You guys insisted on coming immediately," Blake said as he quickly drained his cup "Let's make it count. Speaking of which..." he then took his untouched glass of water and pulled a vial from his coat.
            "What are you doing?" John asked. Blake ignored him as he dumped some of the water into his empty coffee cup, then shook some of the powder contents in after it. It dissolved and the water took a murky hue. He then placed some powder on his wet finger and rubbed it on the inside of the cup right above the water line and made a trail out of the cup, down the side and onto the table a little away.
            "Seriously," John said "What's the plan here?"
            "Little trick Matthew taught me," Blake finally said. He then dropped the tooth into the cup "No one can agree if this is supernatural in origin. Let's see what my test comes up with now that we have a physical item to test. Blake looked about quick to ensure no one was looking, then took out his lighter.
            "Is that powder stuff you just used flammable?" John asked. "Very much so, yes," Blake said with a smirk as he ignited his lighter and set the flame to his trail. It burned a path to the cup, and when it hit the liquid inside, a fireball popped out. The contents inside sat burning. "You set fire to our only clue?" John asked, astonished. "Just give it a minute," Blake said "When it's done burning, we'll know more about this thing."
            "How?" John asked.
            "If the liquid inside is blue, its angelic on origin," Blake said "Purple means demonic. That sort of thing."
            "Is this like Anin's stones?"
            "Sort of, but this is way more precise."
            "You know you mocked her for that."
            "Yeah, that was dream energy crap. This is completely different!"
            "Whatever you say."
            They waited for a moment as the fire burned down. When it ceased, the tooth remained inside the cup completely fine. The liquid didn't change color but rather sat in completely clear water. "The water wasn't that clean originally," John said "What does it mean?" Blake scratched his head a moment. "It means whatever this is, as crazy as it seems, isn't supernatural."
            "What?" John asked, more confused than anything. "It's not angelic or demonic," Blake said "Nothing from another realm or really supernatural to begin with. Whatever did this was human." John reached into the cool liquid and retrieved the tooth. "This is not a human tooth," he said as he held up the tooth in case Blake forgot what a normal tooth looked like. "It's gotta be an animal," Blake said.
            "Then what now?" John asked. "We figure it out," Blake said as he took the tooth back. "But it's not supernatural," John said "It isn't really our business or concern."
            Blake smiled "But it's interesting, isn't it?"

January 3, 2016

Pure Human - Magdalena

[Posted by Ted H]

Aaaaaaaaaaand now we enter 2016........


[Pure Human - Magdalena]

            Eventually Blake did receive his coffee, and he was genuinely surprised when another refill came after that as his food arrived, almost as if the waitress was trying to earn a tip from him. He dug in and enjoyed his meal as best her could considering how badly burnt he felt from his throat all the way to his stomach. The coffee wasn't helping, but it was either that or a cigarette, and Blake wasn't quite willing to put something burning in his mouth so soon after the gasoline.
            He worked his way through his meal, leaving only his hash browns and a little of his pancakes. John's pancakes sat untouched. After a while, he felt watched, and not by the waitress. He looked around quick and noticed a black haired girl walking in, eyes locked in his direction. She was pale looking with bright blue eyes and just as bright red lips. She wore a tight white bodysuit with a dark jacket with a faux fur border that cradled around the back of her neck. She had black shoes and a small black purse slung across her body.
            There were several other people in the restaurant and the girl moved from each to each with her eyes. Once her gaze settled directly on Blake, they went wide as she inhaled deeply with her nose and her head went back. She then gave a huff and stormed in his direction, completely ignoring the hostess asking her if she needed a seat.
            Blake could sense a certain crazed element to her that told him there was no way she was here by chance, so he didn't even act shocked when she walked right up to his table. Instead, he chewed on a forkful of pancake and looked at her with an impatient face. The girl breathes sharply through her nose as she looked at him, but said nothing. Blake continued to keep his face looking at hers, but through his sunglasses, he looked up and down at her, trying to determine who would think an outfit like hers was practical.
            Blake swallowed his food, then immediately went back for more pancakes before resuming the stare-down. What was irritating at first was now a little entertaining. The girl was clearly trying to get a read on him, but couldn't quite place him. She was obviously waiting for him to say something, but he refused to make the first move. This noncompliance on his part was visibly frustrating her.
            "Take off those sunglasses," she finally spoke.
            "No," Blake said plainly, then looked away and went back to eating. A few moments passed before the woman spoke again. "I know you're responsible. Face me demon!"
            "What?" Blake asked as he looked back to her, even bothering to lower his sunglasses at her. The woman cocked her head to the side and looked back at him. "I sense evil in you," she said looking at his eyes "But there's something else." She sat down across the table from him, moved John's pancakes to the side with his hand and leaned in at him. "What are you?"
            "You can call me Blake. Everyone else does," Blake said as he thought about extending his hand out for a shake but thought otherwise of it "And you are?"
            "I am a warrior of the Lord," the woman said, causing Blake to stifle a laugh. He managed an eye roll behind the privacy of his sunglasses, but somehow he felt the woman knew what he just did. "You're pretty pale," Blake said "So unless you give me a name to work with, I'm just gonna have to refer to you as Whitey."
            "You are in no position to talk to me like that," Whitey said "And there's no use in hiding anymore."
            "Hide from what?" Blake asked, getting annoyed again while his pancakes, like his patience, were running low.
            "I'd rather we do this outside," Whitey said "Less chance someone gets hurt."
            "Are you sure you have the right guy?" Blake asked. He was about to fork himself some more pancake when Whitey reached over and grabbed his plate, pulling it away and hurling it across the room. "Okay," Blake said as he stood up, causing Whitey to smile and stand as well. "Outside," she commanded.
            "Nah," Blake said as he took off his trench coat and tossed it back into his booth "Whatever spectacle you're planning, just do it here. Then you can order me new pancakes." A twitch of annoyance overcame Whitey's face as she gritted her teeth and took position. She pressed her hands together as if she were praying and centered them in front of her chest. She then whispered into her hands while keeping her eyes glued to where Blake was. Blake meanwhile was pondering if it was safe enough yet to smoke a cigarette. He ignored the fact that the girls hands were now glowing.
            "Is everything okay?" the waitress asked as she approached with a broom. "We're fine," Blake said as he turned to look at her. He was about to ask about another coffee and some new pancakes when he heard Whitey cry out excitedly that he gave her the opening she needed. "Be gone, demon!" Whitey cried out as she drew her hands together at her chest, then shot one hand forward like she was pushing energy out. Nothing hit Blake though.
            Everyone had gone quiet as they stared at Whitey. A worried look came over her face as she drew her hand back and tried again. "I am a soldier of the Lord! I command you demon, back to hell!" She shot her hand forward, but again nothing had happened. Blake smiled as he stepped forward at Whitey. She drew her hands back, powerless to kill Blake as he stuck his finger out and pressed her nose. "Boop!" he said with a grin. Whitey spun around to avoid him as he then went back to sit back down.
            "I'll take another coffee," he said to the waitress, still standing nearby with a broom "And my friend here could use a menu. She's already agreed to pay for the mess she made." The waitress slowly made her way to the broken plate, being careful to avoid Whitey, then she disappeared to find a menu. Whitey meanwhile was standing in disbelief at what happened. "How?" she demanded as she sat down again across from Blake, who had pulled John's cold pancakes over and was dumping syrup on top. "How what?" Blake asked.
            "I've been following an unholy presence in this area and traced it straight to you," she said "My powers should have easily dispatched you. How was it you were able to withstand them?"
            "It's cuz I'm human, "Blake said as he stopped pouring syrup, looked at his food, shrugged, then proceeded to dump more syrup. "You're not human," Whitey started "I traced-"
            "You traced my coat," Blake cut her off "It's not exactly something you find at a department store." Whitey looked at him with a sneer for a while longer before realizing something. "James Blake," she announced "The con artist with stolen power."
            "What power?" Blake asked, a quizzical look coming over him.
            Whitey made a face. "You wear a demons garb, but know not how to use it?" she asked "I thought you went around as some private eye of the supernatural?"
            "I do," Blake said "But I don't ever recall using any powers."
            "Then, how?" Whitey asked slowly "How do you combat the paranormal?"
            "My brain? Instincts and a little rudimentary magic. I also MacGyver some science and alchemy. Hey, do you wanna know how to stop time?"
            "Shut up!" Whitey said frustrated "In this world, you can't be just some guy!"
            "Hey," Blake corrected her "I'm one half of a team of just some guys. Recognize."
            "You're freakin unbelievable."
            "No, I'm Blake. And who are you, Whitey?"
            "Stop calling me that. I am a Holy Guardian, chosen by God to defend this world from evil."
            "Yeah, yeah," Blake said uninterested "I've heard of your kind. Something God set up after a certain demon almost succeeded in becoming a deity. The official word is it was because God didn't want an agent of the devil to claim so many lives ever again. Certain people believe otherwise. God knows something big is coming, and he wants more than his usual angels to wage war with. Others believe that something is coming that angels can't do anything about. So which is it?"
            "I don't even know what you're talking about. My mission is to protect earth from the forces of evil," Whitey announced "Spare me your jokes."
            "Jokes?" Blake asked "That wasn't a joke. But whatever. I'm more interested in who you are. Not your little mission statement, but YOU. That way we can know each other a little more personally."
            "I don't wish to know you personally," Whitey said, folding her arms.
            "Okay then," Blake said as he held up a drivers license "Miss Magdalena Bax-"
            "What?!" Whitey yelled, realizing Blake had her license "How?"
            "Boop!" Blake said as Whitey reached over and snatched back her license. "Ass," she said as she stuffed it back into her purse. "You think if I could pull a fast one over a warrior of God or whatever," Blake said "Imagine how impressive it is when I come out on top over real threats!"
            "You stopped ONE demon," Whitey said as the waitress came back and dropped off a menu before silently filling up Blake's coffee cup and leaving as fast as she could "And I'm pretty sure you did  it on accident."
            "Accident?" Blake said in disbelief "I saved the world by accident?"
            Whitey started laughing. "You stopped a demon, Blake," she said "I wouldn't call that saving the world. I stop demons on a weekly basis, but you don't see me asking for those kind of props."
            "I saved the world BY stopping the demon," Blake corrected her "Do you have any idea what that demon was trying to accomplish?"
            "Sacrificing innocent Christians in a misguided attempt to honor and power the dark lord, Satan," Whitey said plainly, like she was reading from a text book.
            "Satan?" Blake asked, stifling a laugh "Satan was the one who wanted me to save the world! What lies were you fed?"
            "I don't appreciate your jokes," Whitey said, furrowing her brow at the mention of Satan.
            "Tell me something," Blake said "I bet it was about a year and a half ago when you were 'chosen' for this gig of yours. Don't you think that oddly convenient?"
            "I was chosen then. There are others chosen before."
            "Like who? Don't you holy warriors network? I'm sure you can rattle off a few people who've done this longer than you. One or two of them might've taught you how to dress."
            "I don't have to answer to you. Just God."
            "I'm just saying. I'm pretty sure God turned to his holy hit squad because dealing with me left such a sour taste in his mouth."
            Whitey laughed. "Like God would ever deal with you directly."
            "He did. He regrets it, I bet, but we met."
            "Don't be an idiot. No one meets God."
            "Oh snap! Jealous?"
            "I don't believe you."
            "He even forgave a mortal sin of mine. Wanna guess which?"
            "Still don't believe me? It's because I can't prove it, isn't it? Oh God, the irony!"
            "Listen to me very carefully," Whitey said as she slammed her fists onto the table "I can pretty much figure you're in town for the same reason I am. Stay out of my way."
            "Have you even seen the bodies yet?"
            "I will find the cause to this and put a stop to it," Whitey said, ignoring Blake.
            "So this IS demonic?"
            "What else could it be?"
            "That's a pretty narrow minded assumption."
            "Are you suggesting it's something else?"
            "Some pretty finely attuned people can't seem to get an idea of the cause here, and demonic seems to be a pretty obvious choice."
            "Demonic or not, innocent people got hurt. And whatever the cause, it's still loose out there. One's opponent doesn't necessarily need to be demonic to garner the protection of God."
            "Well at least your heart is in the right place."
            Whitey narrowed her eyes and glared at Blake, not sure to take that as a compliment. At this point, John had returned and was now standing by the table in front of them. "Hey fat ass," he said to Blake "Why are you eating my pancakes?"