February 28, 2016

Pure Human - Nurse Gossip

[Posted by Ted H]

Scheduling this ahead of time on the off chance that my premonition comes true that I'll be too busy to remember to update on the appropriate day...


[Pure Human - Nurse Gossip]

            They passed by the room where the girl was and peered inside. The girl laid on the bed still with a nurse peering over with a chart. The police officers stood by the door but paid no heed to Blake and John, so long as they made no effort to enter. "Oh boy," Blake said as he noticed near the bed on a couch was the father with his head in his hands, possibly crying. Sitting next to him with a hand on his shoulder was Whitey. She looked up to notice Blake, then her face scrunched up in anger and she nodded Blake to go away.
            "At least she's wearing normal clothes this time," Blake commented as John peeked over to get a look. She was now wearing jeans and a dress shirt and her hair was now pulled back into a ponytail. "It wasn't the pants," John said "Dat ass fills anything she wears nicely." Blake could hear John's breathing increase behind him and was unnerved by it. "I wonder if she wears that stupid costume underneath the shirt and jeans," he asked. "I hope so," John replied.
            Blake walked away from the door. Even if he could get inside passed the cops, never minding how Whitey got in, he wouldn't be able to do much of anything with Whitey standing nearby. "Something's not right here," Blake mumbled as he walked away towards another nurse. "What's wrong with the girl in there?" he asked. "A bit forward, don't you think?" John whispered behind him. "I ain't got the patience to be subtle right now," Blake whispered back.
            "You haven't heard?" the nurse said. She was middle aged with unkempt blond hair and pink scrubs.
            "I've been a little preoccupied today," Blake said "Dad's dying and all."
            The nurse nodded, then leaned in as if she had juicy gossip that no one else should hear. "She's from last night's murder house. Someone entered her house last night and murdered her mother and brother. They say they can't find the brother's head or the mother's heart."
            "You don't say..." Blake said as he leaned in closer, acting interested in the gossip.
            "Yeah," the nurse said "Poor thing in there was found under her bed catatonic. She must've witnessed the whole thing."
            "What are the police saying?" Blake asked.
            "It's the strangest thing," the nurse said "They say the house is haunted!" Blake elbowed John behind him in excitement. "You don't say!" he said "Haunted how?"
            "Well," the nurse said as she looked to make sure the cops nearby weren't listening. "When they were about to move the corpses and the girl, everyone heard these wails of pain and muttering all at once, then nothing." Blake's excitement drained as he heard John snicker. "Oh," he said.
            "Don't laugh, it's true," the nurse said, misinterpreting John "And the sheet over the mother's body flew off of her on its own, it was the strangest thing!"
            "So no one has been able to talk to the girl?" Blake asked "About what happened last night?"
            "No," the nurse said, shaking her head "I'm not sure if she'll wake up anytime soon." Then another nurse called her over and she bid Blake goodbye to do her job. "This sucks," John said "Every lead we think we can get dries up. What now?" Blake thought for a moment. "Something messed her up good," he said "But why do that to her while it killed everyone else?" John shrugged. Before he could say anything, Blake stopped him at the sight of an approaching Whitey.
            "Hello, dear," Blake said. "What did I tell you?" she barked, ignorant to the fact that people were watching her. "Not my fault our paths cross," Blake said. "This is bigger than you," she snapped "Stay out of this. How'd you even get in here?"
            "My dad's dying," Blake said with a smirk, causing Whitey to click her tongue in disgust "Why are you here? Couldn't find any more demons to attack?"
            "The father is here," Whitey said "And I was just comforting him in his time of need. Unlike you, Blake, I take into account the innocent lives affected by tragedy."
            "Whatever," Blake said, not in the mood for a moral lecture "Where was the father for all this, anyway?"
            "Why would I share information with you?" Whitey asked.
            "Because, you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours," Blake said "We both share new info for each other, helping us both do our jobs."
            "I don't need your information," Whitey said as the door opened behind her and the father walked out. He looked for Whitey and saw Blake and John and immediately made his way over. "Are these associates of yours?" he asked Whitey in a hopeful tone. "Uh...No, definitely not," Whitey exclaimed "In no way do they work for the Lord."
            "Say that a little louder," Blake said, realizing nurses around could hear what out of context sounded more than a little odd. "Then, who are they?" the father asked as Blake shot his hand out. "James Blake!" he said as the father shook his hand cautiously "And my associate behind me is John Praque. We ain't no charity crew like Magdalena here, you're looking at a couple professional investigators of the supernatural." Blake also knew how that sounded out of context, but he didn't care since the father wasn't going to be put off by it.
            Whitey gave off an indignant scoff, but the father was interested. "Frank Anderson," the father said as he finally let go of Blake's hand "Pleased to meet you, but I'm afraid I don't think I can afford a professional PI." Whitey laughed to herself at the idea of Blake being professional.
            "Pro bono," Blake said with a smile "Free of charge because of the unique case study this provides to my colleagues around the world." Whitey made a face, but the man was interested "Also, after the unequivocal tragedy you've suffered, how could I possible think to charge you. You lost your family. That demands justice. And justice like that has no price." Frank was bought over. Whitey tried to plead against Blake, but Blake kept talking. "I am not affiliated with any higher power of force. Just a regular guy, looking to do good for his fellow man, outside of the constraints that a...holy warrior such as Miss Baxter would be hindered by.
            "I just need to ask you a few key questions to aid my investigation," Blake said as he and Frank began walking away. Blake signaled John to stay back and keep Whitey away, which John was more than happy to do. "Wow," Whitey said as she folded her arms and kept a seer on her face "He must've used every big word in his vocabulary for that."
            "He does more good than harm," John reasoned "He's a prick, but lay off. We're trying to help."
            "He's a glory hog. He cares not for the lives involved, he just wants to solve the mystery." Whitey didn't look at John as she spoke, opting to instead shake her head as she watched Blake talking to Frank at a distance.
            "I don't know what you heard about Chicago, but there was no glory in that for him," John continued "I asked him to come out and help."
            "And he hasn't shut up about it since I bet."
            "That demon he stopped killed my sisters."
            Whitey dropped her arms a little as she bothered to turn her head towards John. "You may argue the details of what happened out there," John said "But don't you dare try to argue the motives."
            "Is that why you stand by him?" Whitey asked "He helped you and you feel like you owe him?"
            "I don't owe him anything, and he don't owe me shit either. We're in this business together."
            "You know, after I left the restaurant earlier, I made a call about you two. I wanted to know what kind of psychos I was dealing with. Not a lot of flattering things were said about Blake, but from what I hear, that operation is all him. What do you offer?"
            "As Blake puts it, I drive the car and shoot the gun."
            "Weren't you a cop?"
            "Not anymore. I can't go back to that."
            "Because you know the truth about demons and angels?"
            "No. I lost my sisters as well as five other victims, not to mention several colleagues including my partner. A lot of them I felt didn't need to die. Demon or no, if we weren't confined by regulations and all the bull shit associated with regular police work, maybe the death toll could have been lowered."
            "So your answer is to go around helping Blake solve these types of cases?"
            "God no," John said with a chuckle "At first I didn't know what I was going to do. I went back to Syracuse with Blake. He was all set to simply go back to work for some Italian creep and I worked on getting a PI license. That's my coping mechanism. I help regular people and get them results without having to be bogged down in police work. It's actually very liberating."
            "How does that all lead to you two doing this kind of work?"
            "Well, while God and the Devil were busy choosing people like you to empower, people who heard about what Blake did were starting to come to him for cases. The idea was tempting at first, but we quickly realized we needed to know more than nothing about this kind of world to be of any use. I did some PI work here and there while Blake went around learning what he could about magic and alchemy."
            "People educate themselves their entire lives on that kind of stuff, they don't just decide to pick it up randomly in their twenties."
            "Blake's by no means an expert, but I think that trench coat he took from the demon has a little to do with it. There's more than just demon power in that coat."
            "That'll be the death of him if he isn't careful," Whitey said as she looked back to Blake and Frank.
            "He's careful," John said "The little magic he knows is illusion based and most alchemy he avoids because he saw some anime show once where it backfired. He makes most of it up as he goes along."
            "Hmmf," Whitey mumbled as she saw Blake and Frank returning. "Do what you have to," she said "Just stay away from me in the future." Blake flashed her a thumbs up as she rolled her eyes. "And both of you stop staring at my ass so much," she added as she led Frank back into his daughters room and slid the door closed behind.
            "You're staring at her ass too right now, aren't you?" John asked. "Oh yeah," Blake said with a grin as the two began back for the room Clyde was in. "Have a nice chat?" John asked. "Father was at work all night," Blake said "Daughter is alive, just unresponsive. Kinda makes it hard to ask her any questions, but we'll figure something out."
            "What now?" John asked "It seems like every move we make yields limited results."
            "They had a dog," Blake revealed "A golden retriever. Frank says their dog escapes the back yard at night sometimes and must've gotten out during the murders."
            "And that helps us how?"
            "Remember all those animals by the lake? Seems like whatever killed everyone last night might have taken a snack to go."
            "Does Frank know that?"
            "No. He thinks the dog is wandering around town, rummaging through garbage cans. Apparently this is a regular thing. For all we know, that's exactly what's happening. But on the off chance that the dog got taken..."
            "So how would we find the dog?"
            "Like I said before, this wouldn't be the first time the dog got out. Frank fitted it with a dog tracker. And I just happen to have the tracker right here."
            Blake held up a small GPS device that looked like a radio at first. "Does Frank know you probably stole that?" John asked. "I'll find a way to sneak it back to him when I'm done with it," Blake said with a smile "What he doesn't know can't hurt."
            "What if he tried to locate the dog?"
            "He isn't going anywhere as long as the daughter is comatose. He figures the dog running around town is probably a better idea than locked in a cage in a bloody crime scene or having to locate a friend to dog sit."
            They reached the room Clyde was in and entered. Clyde was still there, waiting impatiently over Fitzsimmons, who was continuing to breath at the same steady pace as when Blake left. "Dear old dad still isn't dead yet, eh?" Blake asked as he slid the door shut behind him. "I have no fucking clue what's taking so long," Clyde said as he folded his arms and cracked his neck from side to side.
            "Was he suppose to die today? Maybe you got the wrong guy," Blake suggested. Clyde shook his head. "This shit is very specific," he said "There is only one Fitzsimmons in this fucking town, let alone the hospital. John Fitzsimmons, slated to die on the 9th at-"
            "Today's the 8th," John spoke up.
            "What?" Clyde asked.
            "Tomorrow is the 9th. You got the wrong day, dumbass."
            Clyde was about to say something, but instead pulled out a PDA and started scrolling through it. "Fuck!" he shouted as he looked to the old man in the hospital bed "You got one more day, asshole," he said then stormed out with Blake and John tailing.
            "Couldn't you just smother him with a pillow or something?" Blake asked.
            "I wish," Clyde said "But then there's some interference bull shit that gets tossed around and I get into all sorts of trouble."
            "Trouble for what, killing him in general or reaping him early?"
            "Take your pick," Clyde said as he continued to scroll about on his PDA. "Shit," he said "If I mixed up today and tomorrow on my scheduling..." he trailed off as he checked something, then almost hurled the PDA away from him. "Fuck!" he shouted "I have three reapings today!"
            "How many did you miss?" Blake asked.
            "Two of them. If I hurry, I can catch the third, then worry about the two spirits that are roaming free."
            "Are you in trouble?" Blake asked.
            "A shit ton if the higher-ups find out my fuckup."
            "Well, we'll leave you to it," Blake said as they called the elevator and waited. "Sure, sure," Clyde said, ignoring them at first, but then picking his head up to Blake at a thought. "Hey," he asked "I got a busy few hours ahead of me, could I bum a couple more smokes to get though the day?"
            Blake hesitated. "I dunno," he said "I'm starting to run a little low and I seem to be having a tough time finding a new pack."
            "Please," Clyde asked "I'll make it worth your while!"
            The elevator arrived as Blake finally relented and pulled out his pack. "You better pray I get me a new pack soon," he said as he pulled out two cigarettes and handed them over to Clyde. "I'm not the praying sort, in case you couldn't tell," he said as John got on the elevator. Blake waited and instead whispered something into Clyde's ear, which Clyde nodded furiously. Blake then pulled out a third cigarette and handed it to Clyde. "Thanks, buddy," Clyde ultimately said as the doors closed between him and Blake. He didn't bother to acknowledge John. "What was that about?" John asked as Blake smiled. "You'll see," he said.
            They left the hospital and walked back to the car, Blake enjoying a cigarette along the way. "We going right after the dog?" John asked. "Don't see why now," Blake said as he tilted his head back and blew smoke into the air. "Let's grab Anin, first," John said. Blake shrugged "On the off chance that that thing, whatever it is, is with the dog, how good do you think Anin is in the clutch?"
            "In that case," John said as they reached the car "Let's go back inside and ask Lena to come."
            "Oh...Nah. Odds are she wouldn't want to help. Then she'll complain that I stole Frank's dog tracker. Then she'll insist we stay out of her way. Then she'll storm away again while we stare at her butt. Then we'd come back down here with nothing to show for our effort. Let's just skip that and go now."
            "I bet if we asked nicely, she'd help."
            "I don't think I'm capable of that with her right now. Besides, she owes you pancakes."

February 21, 2016

Pure Human - Reaper at Work

[Posted by Ted H]

New job starts tomorrow, good thing I got a shit ton of this novel written...


[Pure Human - Reaper at Work]

            "Sorry, can't sell to you," a man in his late 50s said with his arms crossed, standing behind the gas station counter with imagined authority. "Why not?" Blake said plainly, feeling the pressure to replace his fast emptying pack of cigarettes in his pocket. "I got a call about you earlier," the man said "You're trying to buy smokes for an underage girl. Everyone in town knows about you."
            "Is there some sort of gas station dead end in life clerk club that I don't know about?" Blake asked "Where you guys have nothing better to do than talk about legal aged clients and how you can kill them from nicotine withdrawal?" The clerk chuckled to himself at Blake's little outburst, but made no indication of compliance. "The girl is long gone!" Blake cried out "Just me and the guy now and I got both our IDs right here!" the clerk simply shook his head.
            "This isn't funny," Blake said, but the clerk wasn't budging. "I'm gonna call the cops," he finally said, no longer finding Blake entertaining. "Do it!" Blake screamed as he stormed out, another stolen cup of coffee underhand. "Why does Albany hate me?" Blake yelled at John. "Technically," John said "We're not actually in Albany. We're in a nearby suburb-"
            "I don't care!" Blake shouted as he climbed into the car.
            "Are you sure more coffee is a good idea?" John asked as he climbed into the driver's seat "It's not like you don't have some cigarettes left still."
            "I need to taper off a little and stretch out what I have left," Blake reasoned "So I'm increasing my caffeine intake to make up for the drop off in nicotine."
            "That can't be healthy."
            "I bet the Surgeon General would approve."
            "How's your heart rate feeling about all this?"
            "Shut up and drive. Hospital, please. Let's see if they can hook me up with some lung cancer."
            "Anin's boyfriend probably left for work by now," John said "Wanna pick her up and see if she wants to tag along?"
            "We don't pick up the purple idiot until I find a new pack of smokes."
            "Classy," Just said as he started driving.
            John drove out to a hospital. It didn't look like what Blake had expected, but he wasn't going to judge. John parked a block away and they walked up a back road, Blake smoking a cigarette along the way. They ended up in back by the ER entrance where Blake stopped to look around. "Finally, something goes my way for once," he said. "Um..." John started by gave up "What are you talking about?"
            "There," Blake said as he pointed near a dumpster. John shrugged. "There's a guy standing there, look harder," Blake said. John squinted as he stared. He imagined this being one of those magic eye games he always played as a kid; look long enough at something and a secret image will appear. "Black hoodie, leaning against the dumpster like it's no big deal," Blake added.
            Then John saw it. He could see a man in a black coat with the hood up casually leaning against the dumpster, constantly checking his watch. "What in the..." John said as Blake walked on and approached the man. "Hi!" he called as he waved. The man looked up quick at Blake, then looked away immediately, pretending not to notice. "I see you," Blake called "And I know you saw me see you."
            "You didn't see shit!" the man called back "Now keep walking." John caught up to Blake as he stopped in from of the man in the hoodie. "What is going on?" he asked. "This is a Reaper," Blake explained as he gestured to the man. "Fuck off," the Reaper replied. "Isn't he missing his sickle?" John asked. "Aren't you missing you balls, you fucking faggot?" the Reaper snapped back.
            "They're not typically nice," Blake said "Though this one is extra surly." The Reaper looked to Blake and was about to say something offensive, but then stopped and stared for a moment. "You're not normal," he said "Explain." Blake shrugged "Must be the coat." The Reaper leaned in and felt Blake's trench coat the recoiled his hand. "That belongs to someone way above my pay grade," he said "How do you have it, mortal?"
            "Poker game," Blake said with a smirk. The reaper made a face and stared back. "High stakes poker game...I'm talking really high stakes," Blake added. "Enough," the Reaper said "I've got a busy day and my appointments are late and I don't need you two pansies getting in the way."
            "Appointments?" John asked.
            "What do you think a Reaper does?" Blake said.
            "Well, what about last night?" John asked "You think he may have reaped a mother and her son?"
            "Yeah, what about last night?" Blake asked.
            "Ugh," the Reaper said as he rubbed his head "We don't reap everyone, idiots! Only if your death has been prepared. More along the lines of 'They died after a lengthy battle with cancer' and less of the unexpected deaths. If you're going to Hell, you get reaped."
            "What if you go to Heaven?" John asked.
            "Don't get me started on that shit. Angels flying down, singing, it's a fucking ordeal."
            "So," Blake asked "If someone was violently mutilated and killed by an unknown assailant..."
            "Not my job description," the Reaper said.
            "Worth a shot."
            "This is why we came here?" John asked "To take a long shot at finding a Reaper then asking him something he'd unlikely know anything about?"
            "Hell no," Blake said "We still need to get into that hospital."
            "Good luck with that," the Reaper said as he went back to ignoring them.
            "You can help us," Blake said.
            "What would I know about sneaking into hospitals?"
            "You do it all the time on business. There's no easier place to operate than in a hospital."
            "And even if I knew how to get in, why would I help you two?"
            "Because you're angry, and I now know why. I know withdrawal when I see it. It's not anything hard, you're at work and you could schedule any shoot up or snort on your off hours. Your appointment is late as well, meaning you've been here, probably all day, waiting for someone to make their meeting with death. I doubt you expected to be here long, so you didn't plan ahead."
            "What's your point?" the Reaper asked.
            "You're out of cigarettes. I know that look anywhere. I've had it myself at times."
            The Reaper's eyes went wide as he let off an excited breath. "D-do you have one?" he finally asked. Blake held one of his own up, tempting the Reaper with it. "What's your name?" he asked.
            "Clyde," the Reaper said.
            "I thought Reapers were immortal badasses?" John asked, puzzled. "They still need to operate in the real world," Blake said "And that comes with the usual vices. Except, you know, no fear of dying, so they get to do as many hard drugs as they like."
            "I'll help you," Clyde said "Just, you know, let me bum one or two stogies."
            "Wow," John commented "Such a dick a minute ago. Now look at you. You're a little bitch."
            "And look at you, "Clyde shot back "A minute ago you were such a faggot. And you're still a fag now!"
            "Can we ease up on the homophobia?" Blake asked as he offered Clyde the cigarette "So how are we getting inside and to the girl without the cops getting wise?"
            "Easy," Clyde said "But why do you want to see a girl?"
            "Remember the dead mother and son I mentioned?"
            "What about em?"
            "There's a daughter who survived. I need to talk to her."
            "You don't think the cops are all over that?"
            "Cops are looking for someone...I'm looking for someTHING that did the killing."
            Clyde arched his eyebrows. "Nothing from my world, I can assure you," he said as he and Blake lit up cigarettes "Nothing I know of to be honest." Blake nodded. "I know," he said "We've been ruling out anything...foreign."
            "So it's some dude. Crazy, but just some dude," Clyde reasoned.
            "It just doesn't fit," Blake said "Even so. If it is just some dude, I'm good at solving those type of cases too." John gave a sarcastic cough as Blake and Clyde ignored him and continued smoking. "So what makes you think it's more than just some dude?" Clyde asked. "I found a clue," Blake said "Something not human but also no animal I can reason in this area. There's also the cave we found earlier."
            Clyde gave an interested grunt as he blew smoke. "Well, not so much a cave as much as a shady spot near the lake where whatever this is had been gorging on the local wildlife," Blake continued "Inside were bones, droppings and claw marks. Something's been living there a while. Couple weeks by the looks of it."
            "Cool," Clyde commented. "Anyway," Blake said "How we getting into the hospital?"
            "Like I said, easy," Clyde said "But it only works because Reapers are always moving, never in the same location twice. The goal is to get as close to the intended target as possible as they die because if they run, I have to chase them. The fun part there is I can slip out of the physical world to chase after."
            "How does this get me to the girl?"
            "I said I'd get you in. The girl is your own problem."
            They finished their cigarettes and made their way around to the front of the hospital. Clyde led as they casually made their way up to the front desk where a security guard was waiting. "I'm here to see my dad," Clyde said. The security guard barely looked up from his magazine as he asked for IDs.
            "I'm so glad we left Anin behind," Blake said as he pulled out his license. John rolled his eyes.
            "So, what are you boys doing here today?" the guard asked.
            "We're here to see John Fitzsimmons," Clyde said without missing a beat. The guard typed something into his computer after taking the IDs. "Family only," he said. "I am family," Clyde said "He's my father." The guard looked at his ID again. "Clyde Rackner," he said reading the license. "After the divorce I took moms last name after she won custody," Clyde said, looking like he had practiced his lie countless times. The guard shrugged. "Whatever," he said as he printed a guest ID sticker.
            "He's my dad too," Blake said. The guard arched an eyebrow. "Dad had an affair. Why do you think his marriage failed?" The guard waved the notion off as he printed another ID sticker. "What about the big guy behind you?" he asked "Lemme guess, another affair?"
            "Nah," Clyde said "That's my brother's life partner."
            "Got a problem with that?" Blake asked as the guard quickly looked down and printed an ID sticker for John. The three were then on their way into the hospital. "Can't believe that worked," Blake said. "Rent-a-cops are easy," Clyde said "They ain't calling out gay people cuz the job is so disposable. Too awkward."
            "You clearly have a hang up with homosexuals," John told Clyde.
            "Blah blah blah," Blake said "Onto business. Clyde, good luck reaping. John, let's go find that girl."
            "Don't be retarded," Clyde said "All of us need to find this Fitzsimmons dude."
            "Why?" Blake asked.
            "Anything funny happens, they're gonna review security tape. We need to be on that tape making a bee line for our 'dad' or they'll know something's up, especially if you're fucking around a crime scene survivor."
            "Ugh," Blake said as Clyde called for an elevator "Fine. I've always wanted to see a reaping anyway. Do you use a sickle?"
            "Don't get me started on that shit," Clyde said as the elevator arrived "Every Reaper is different. The most popular and well known tool is a scythe, but not everyone has to use one."
            "What's yours?"
            Clyde patted his side pocket and smiled. "I like to get real close and personal," he said "I always shank a bitch when I reap them."
            "Comforting," Blake said as they walked into the elevator and Clyde chose the floor.
            "Alright," Clyde said as they rode up alone "Try to keep fucking quiet while I do my thing. I'm not used to an audience so make like the background and stay out of the way."
            "How long you been doing this?" Blake asked. "Long fucking time," Clyde said while watching the ascending numbers on the screen. John had no interest in Clyde and kept himself occupied with his cell phone.
            "Reap anyone important?"
            "Nah, important people tend to bite it at unexpected times. I know a guy who knows a guy who reaped a pope once."
            "Popes get reaped? Which one? I figure it's straight to Heaven for them."
            "Nah, I dunno who. So long ago. The guy who reaped him doesn't shut up about it though."
            The elevator arrived at their floor and they made their way down the hall to the Intensive Care Unit. At one end were a couple police posted where the girl was being kept. Clyde led them down the other end where his target was dying. There was a glass sliding door with the lights out inside. In the bed was a man covered with a blanket up to his neck with wires coming out, connecting to a monitor. His breaths were slow but steady, his blanket over his chest rising up with some difficulty before constantly falling back down immediately.
            "Remember, I'm at work," Clyde said before he slid the door open and everyone stepped inside. Blake and John remained in the corner by the door as Clyde approached the bed. "John Fitzsimmons," he announced in a low voice "You have lived a wicked life and have been forsaken by all higher powers. Your time has come and your fate decided."
            "I think I know why everyone always runs from you," John said, the light of his cell phone brightening up the otherwise dark corner he and Blake occupied. "Shut up," Clyde said through gritted teeth. "Not gonna lie," Blake added "He don't seem like he's about to kick the bucket."
            "You have no idea what you're talking about," Clyde said.
            "He's got a nice heart rate going," Blake said "Crappy, sure, but it's steady. I mean, if he suddenly starts rallying, then I think he's in trouble. Right now his heart seems to be in a holding pattern before death."
            "You don't know the first thing about dying people."
            "Neither do you, apparently," John quipped.
            "You guys can wait outside now," Clyde said. John, not needing more of an invitation than that, started for the door and opened it. "But I kinda wanna see this," Blake said. "Don't forget, we're at work, too," John reminded him, causing Blake to unwillingly drag himself out of the room.
            "That guy's an ass," John said when they closed the door. "You say the same thing about me," Blake said with a grin. "You're an ass who at least makes an effort," John replied as they started down the hall towards where the girl was "Clyde is just insufferable."
            "He's a Reaper," Blake said "They ain't suppose to be pleasant."

February 14, 2016

Pure Human - When You Dream

[Posted by Ted H]

Ah Valentines Day...................


[Pure Human - When You Dream]

            "You look exhausted," Anin heard but barely paid heed to. She had made a cup of tea and was just sitting there, watching the steam rise from the hot cup when her boyfriend spoke. "Hmm?" she said, looking up to see Joey watching her. "I was expecting you later in the day," he said "When did you leave?" Anin lingered a look at her tea a moment before looking to her boyfriend again. "It was the dream," she finally said.
            "You've had tough dreams before," Joey said. He long ago stopped trying to comprehend the things the experiences, but he could never fake the concern she felt so safe around. "This was different," she said, aiming to keep this simple "I never get involved with these visions, let alone come out of one with a physical injury. Maybe I shouldn't have gotten involved."
            Joey nodded with her story. "But you did," he said "You just wanted to help. Maybe involving yourself is what got you so involved in the dream."
            "You think I should go home?" Anin asked "Separate myself from the situation?"
            "No," Joes said as he stood up and kissed her forehead "Then I wouldn't get to see you. Just, tell your friends that you aren't involving yourself anymore. They can have their fun and when it's time to go, you can catch a ride home with them."
            "Joey, it's not fun," Anin argued "People died!"
            "I saw the news. Some nasty murder occurred last night. But you guys roll into town and head for the first crime scene. You aren't Scooby Doo."
            This was not an unusual issue between Anin and Joey. He never seemed to understand the real world implications of her dreams or readings. He always thought of them as a cute diversion, but never anything major. They fought over the move, but Joey always planned to transfer back to Syracuse, so he ultimately had given up on getting Anin to stay out in Albany. Rather than fight him again on the subject, she sighed and looked back to her tea. "Whatever," she mumbled as she picked up her tea cup.
            "I have to go to work," he announced as he placed a hand on Anin's shoulder. "I'll be back tonight." Anin nodded but didn't turn to look at him as she sipped at her cup. "Try not to have a huge party with those guys without me," he said, trying to get a laugh. Anin continued to ignore him. Eventually he gave up and left, closing the front door carefully, but Anin heard him slam his car door.
            Anin sat in silence for a while and tried to enjoy her tea. After long, fatigue was taking its toll. Joey was right, the early wake up followed by the long morning had exhausted her. She first figured she could get through the day and ignore how tired she was, but she also knew she was more than a little afraid to go back to the sleep. The idea of returning to her dream where the fading man could attack her did not appeal to her. She couldn't let that fear rule her though. Blake had consumed gasoline in order to get ahead in this case, the least she could do was rest up.
            Anin gave up on the tea and made for Joey's bedroom. The bed was a mess, never made, but inviting to Anin. She closed the door and drew the curtains closed, blocking out the midday sun. The only major source of light left was the large digital alarm clock that showed 2:09 in bright red letters. Anin thought about opening the window a crack to let some air in, but ultimately decided against it. She stood in the darkened room and let off a long, loud yawn as she stretched before she climbed in and closed her eyes, letting the cool sheets comfort her.
            Immediately she found herself back in the park. The same scene she had seen played out was once again in motion; people strolling down sidewalks, children playing and couples cuddling on benches. "Okay," Anin said, forming a plan to herself "If I just stay put and not interfere, the dream should play out like all the other times before."
            Anin nodded to herself. If she didn't disturb the fading man, he couldn't hurt her. All she had to do was hang out elsewhere and let the dream play out. The man would fade away and never have the chance to attack her. Pleased at this plan, Anin made for an empty bench to play the waiting game.
            She tried to keep occupied as she waited by watching everyone in the park in their own activities. Everyone however seemed to be operating on a loop. People walking would go from one end of the sidewalk, turn around, then head back the other way before turning around yet again. The children ended up running around in circles, one child seemed trapped in a perpetual loop of tripping and falling, they'd start crying, then get up again to run around some more before falling in the same spot to start the process all over.
            "Dreams are weird," Anin mused to herself as she continued to wait. She never kept time, but she felt as if she was approaching the point of the dream where the man fades away and the dream ends. She impatiently sat on her bench as the time came and went, but everything remained in motion. She let out a disgruntled sigh while the park remained in its endless loop. She anxiously slapped her legs rhythmically as time wore on, not wanting to linger any longer in the park.
            "This is suppose to end," Anin said as she looked up at the sunless blue sky "Why isn't it over?" She glanced back down to the park scene to notice that everyone had ceased their activities and were now looking at her. The lovers on the other benches had each stood up and were facing her while the children playing had all lined up to stare. Anin swallowed nervously as she looked around at the surrounding people, all looking directly at her as if they knew she didn't belong.
            "I don't understand," Anin said as she continued to crane her neck around at all the people, this time turning to her left as she did it. Then she heard breathing right behind her, sitting next to her on the bench. She quickly turned back around to come face to face with the fading man, those same black eyes peering into her. The man gave off a wide grin as Anin screamed and forced herself away, off of the bench and away from the man's reach.
            "Get back!" she screamed as she scrambled away. The man slowly stood up and casually made his way after. Anin stumbled to her feet and tried running, only to run into a wall of people, all gathering around to impede her escape. "No, please!" she screamed as she tried to claw her way through the crowd, the man still walking after her, now with his arms raised to grab her.
            She cut through the crowd as best she could while the people behind her simply parted themselves to make an easy path for the man to follow. The last group of people seemed impenetrable as they stood shoulder to shoulder, cutting Anin off from the freedom of the open field behind them. She could feel the man was almost upon her as she clawed one hand through and tried to pull herself through the slim opening of humans in her way. She felt a cold hand graze against her shoulder as she forced herself through-
            -And down off of the bed, landing hand onto the carpeted floor below. Anin scrambled to her feet and raced out of the room for the bathroom. Inside, she looked to the mirror and almost ripper her shirt off away from her left shoulder to reveal a trail of red marks where the man had touched her in the dream.
            She fought back the urge to cry as she slowly made her way back to the bedroom. She didn't want to sleep anymore but she just wanted to lie down. The nap that was supposed to be restful had left her even more stressed and anxious than before. All she wanted to do at this point was wait for someone to come and say it was going to be alright. She wanted Joey back home, or for John to swing back by like he promised her when he dropped her off.
            Anin laid back down and just stared at the clock. It read 2:16 in those bright red numbers that in her face wouldn't allow her to easily fall back asleep. She didn't want to be alone anymore. She wanted someone, anyone to be around with her in case the fading man came back for her.

February 7, 2016

Why DIARY OF THE DEAD sucked pt.1

[Posted by Ted H]

This is a cry for help...Intentionally watching this movie on a critical level is considered by some to be self-destructive behavior...But my pain is your gain...


[Why DIARY OF THE DEAD sucked pt.1]

*I will spoil the shit out of this movie in this review. You have been warned*

Welcome back to HELL! Recently, I was feeling a bit masochistic and decided it was as good a time as any to review Diary is a similar fashion to what I did previously. This is a cry for help, because I was contemplating suicide by the end of Land of the Dead the last time I did this. Once again, I clearly do not own this movie personally, so I stole it from my brother.

Anyway, some history for me with this movie. When it was announced, I kept my expectations tapered. Land burned me already and I wasn't ready to trust Romero so quickly. Romero scaling it back from the huge production his previous movie was gave me some hope though, as did the announced storyline. I still skipped it in theaters and waited for it to come out on DVD where I rented it. I began watching it with a mixture of hope and dread, and by the end only dread remained. I let Romero do it to me again. It began well and I let myself get excited, only to be let down all over again. This has become an abusive relationship.

Let's just get this over with...

Part 1: Dear Diary...

Let's open up high. Camera man setting up for a news report. Some murder-homicide went down and everyone is going about it like just another day in the world. Obviously this is before the zombie apocalypse starts. It all looks to be setting up for a "Surprise! Zombies!" beginning to the apocalypse akin to Night of the Living Dead where Barbara and Johnny were simply going to the cemetery before they unwittingly entered hell.

-Then the voiceover begins; The woman who I will despise the most out of this entire movie, and there were a lot of takers for that position.

She talks about how what we're watching is footage uploaded by the cameraman as his way of getting the "truth" out. The scene was fine without the voiceover. We didn't need the woman narrating, but Romero did to set up the rest of his intro. The scene however, would've worked as is. Show these assholes assuming it was just another day, enter zombies, show how everything kinda went to shit. Luckily the woman shuts up and lets the magic happen, and the only genuinely good scene in this entire movie plays out.

Then the voiceover continues. To be fair, I hate the voiceover in retrospect because I know how the rest of this movie goes. In the moment, I give it a pass. To Romero's credit, it was needed to setup the opening. Sure, he could have let it all play out silently-just let the montage of the world falling apart play out. But that's been done before. Sure, the woman comes off as a bit preachy and hipster-like, but whatever.

"We made a film" is said as "The Death of Death" flashes on screen before the woman continues "Actually, Jason wanted to make it." So we know right now, whoever Jason is-he's already dead. Sure hope he isn't a major character in this, because the only drama associated with him in every life-or-death situation he'll find himself in will be "Will this be the thing that finally does him in?".......Actually, no. Either he dies (or gets infected) right away, or he'll be everything proof until the end where some lame thing happens that'll kill him off for the sake of killing him off.
The woman begins to talk about what kind of cameras were used and who did what and how she did the final cut and WHO THE FUCK CARES!?!?!?! She also said she added music n shit in an attempt to scare you...I'm guessing the actress accidentally read Romero's linear notes on the movie and George decided "What the hell, I'll leave that in" while editing the voiceover.

"Anyway, here it is...Jason Creed's The Death of Death." So yeah, another reminder that Jason is a dead man.....also "The Death of Death"? Really? Even by college film titles that's retarded. Then again, this is Romero's 5th [blank] of the Dead movie, so originality in titles clearly isn't his strong suit.

We begin in the movie where some cheesy crap is happening. I'll ignore this. For all I know it was intentionally cheesy since it's suppose to be college kids making some stupid monster movie for a class project. The only fault on Romero was he forgot to tell the actors to stop acting cheesy for the rest of the movie. Anyway, more college kids bantering between each other that I choose to ignore because it's college kids bantering.

Enter: the professor, almost down to a cliché the way he acts. Normally, I'd rally the fuck against the guy, but he's pretty much my Creative Writing professor from college, except he's a dude. So while I plan to harp on and on against the characters in this movie, this guy will get [mostly] a pass since the real world has given me an example of him. Go figure. The most over the top character in this film is the most believable. I still think Romero pulled this off by accident.

Some other guys comes in with the usual "Guys, you should check this out. Something's happening out there." Whatever. At this point, I'm gonna take a moment to bring up the question as to why the camera is still on. He's filming a movie (also, why is the director also the camera man?) so why is behind the scenes stuff being filmed? They established that they're 4 days over a 3 day shooting schedule, so they've been doing this for a week. Resources are finite, stop wasting film (or memory) on trivial shit. Sure, the argument he was having on film with the makeup guy could be thrown up to shit happening in the moment and he forgot to stop filming because he's so far up his own ass over his "vision" but when his friend shows up to mention something weird is happening out in the world, that should be a good time to cut the film.

Yeah....this is a movie comprised of all the film student camera shots and this next part is important, but it's unnatural and stupid...and it's far from the last time this happens. Maybe strictly making this movie a "found footage" type of film was a bad choice. Maybe make only certain parts shot from the perspective of film students and the rest shot like a traditional movie? Probably would have been odd, but it still would have been better than what we got.

Anyway, the news says the dead are returning to life, some characters banter over the believability of it all, then some unknown sound in the woods scares them. Couple people run away and Jason decided to return to his girlfriend at the campus. This movie has started off fine. Not great, but the foundation has been laid out for something truly memorable. The beginning is fine, the premise is solid and it all has the potential to end fairly well as long as the actors don't fuck it up.

The actors fucked it up. They fucked it up bad. The acting of this movie did not stick the landing....it didn't even maintain flight.......hell, they couldn't even get off the runway. It's like all these actors were actual college students who were legitimately filming some cheesy and stupid monster movie called "The Death of Death" when George fucking Romero walked out to them from the middle of the woods and said "Hey guys, who wants to turn this into a crazy zombie movie?" Then he threw everyone $20 and they all jumped at the idea. Never mind the fact that no one knows how to act, we're in a zombie movie, guys!

This movie was shot differently than the others and was independently produced as opposed to the previous travesty, I get that. But this is a DEAD film by Romero, a big boy director. He doesn't get away with allowing half-ass acting. The actors weren't exactly A-listers, the only notable actor I can remember from this film is the guy who went on to play Wesker in the equally tragic Paul Anderson Resident Evil movies (another set of movies I should rip apart one day), but it's up to the director to make his actors better on film. Sadly though, the script was clichéd at many points, making it near impossible to get a decent job from the actors.

My God, this movie was hampered by so much stupid shit. Like I said, this movie starts off with a solid premise, but it all gets fumbled during the run time and it crosses the finish line dragging its face in the dirt.