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."

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