Classic Summer beach fun.

A flashback piece of Oz comedy featuring Paul Hogan at a Melbourne beach in Victoria – (they don’t get waves there…lol).  Bring on Summer!

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Beserker – SS

 

Scene setting : Greed Castle – Blacksmith shop.

co-written with Dessy.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Lydia had left Mariela to enjoy her new surrounds in the potions lab, to go and check on Mammon and his quest for a good suit of armor and weaponry in case he had to face Gabriel. Down the long spiral stone stairs she went to the very bowels of the castle – past the dungeons and torture chambers till she could hear the striking of a mallet on an anvil. Voices were raising, and Lydia could tell by the distinct sound of the Prince’s voice that he was trying to get the Blacksmith to do his bidding.

“I want…the VERY BEST, Suda. I want a suit of armor that would make me legendary…more so than that fool Belial. Fancy being beheaded by a girl. A girl? It’s supposed to be the PRINCES of hell, not the My Little Princess Pony club of Hell.”Lydia came around the corner, and she could see the Prince pacing, back and forth. His hands were animated, while in the background Warner was taking notes. The sound of Lydia’s footsteps were heard and the Prince came to an abrupt stop and spun around to stare at her, with hands on hips. “I thought you were helping Marie settle in. This is MENS business.”

Lydia giggled and then pawed the air in front of her. “The witch is fine, she is just loving the potion room and all the funky herbs…but away from all that, I want to see you get fitted in your tin can.”

At the Forge, Suda let out a growl of indignation. He didn’t approve of Lydia messing about in the Prince’s affairs, and he certainly didn’t like her in his domain. Lydia grimace to hear the growl and then did a backflip. “Okay okay…armor. So…what is available?” The Prince was just about to ask the same thing, when the old dwarf shuffled over to a large object that was covered with a black cloth. “This…is one of a kind. Created by my pappy, and passed down to me. Not that I would ever use it. Meant for bigguns like the Prince.” This brought a smile to the Prince’s face as he strolled over and waved his hand at the Blacksmith. “Well go on…let’s see.”

Suda sighed, not really wanting to let the Prince have it, but when the Prince decided he wanted something, he usually got it. In one big pull, Suda removed the cloth only to show what was best described as the most elaborate suit of armor that they had ever seen. The Prince walked around it and then poked his head around the side. “What’s it called then?”Mammon figured it had a name.

“Beserker armor. It’s enchanted. Only problem is…if you wear it long enough…you go insane. Makes you go…beserk. Great in a battle..I guess, but too long and you turn into a vegetable.” When Lydia heard this, she thought it was a really bad idea. The Prince didn’t need any help to push him over the slippery slope into madness. But by the look on the Prince’s face…he either wasn’t listening, or he had fallen in love with the suit.

“I’ll take it. Right…I need a sword.”

Warner rolled his eyes and took note of the suit, which two other guards started to dismantle ready to take it upstairs to the Prince’s quarters for later fitting.

With the suit out of the way, the dwarf rubbed his silvery beard and then went over to the area in his workshop where he kept swords. There were many kinds to be had, from katanas to long swords. He went through the many racks till he came to one at the end, and stopped in front of it. He reached in and pulled out a gleaming sword, which when it was removed from its sheath made a horrible screaming sound, like many a soul crying out…weeping.

“A dark elf made this. Called the Soul collector, it captures souls within the metal at the death of your opponent. This one is said to have…about two hundred or so. Tis why it’s so noisy.” The blade gleamed as the dwarf held it up for the Prince’s inspection. With a leather bound handle that was engraved with the markings of it’s creator, it was truly a beautiful weapon. “What else does it do?” He knew there had to be more to it. “Oh…the crying of the souls…is said to make your opponent lose their self confidence and feel the sorrow of the many lost souls trapped in the blade.”

Mammon re-sheathed the sword and then fitted it to his belt. “I think that does it. Good lad, Sudo. I shall send down your payment for these items. Yes, now I feel ready to go pay Gabriel a little visit. What what!..Aha!”

 

The Prince of Greed strode out of the blacksmith shop and headed back up to the main hall, with Warner and Lydia in tow.

“He isn’t actually going to wear that suit over to see her? He’ll go beserk before he even gets there.” Lydia said with a sigh. This wasn’t going to be good.

———

Later that eve, Lydia would go to find Marie and fill her in on just what had gone on with the Prince. Well, tell her as much as she needed to know. Truth be told, Lydia didn’t want any harm to come to the girl, and made it her mission to protect her, come what may.

Finding Marie in the green house where she was looking at various plants, she crept up behind her and squealed;“BOO!…Hehe..so, shall we have a tour then?”

~RB~

 

Dessy:  Being able to control Earth and nature made it easy for Mariela to work with the plants and herbs. She kneeled down to inspect them closer, touching them and identifying their name and the things they could be used for. As she touched each one, she could feel the life and felt them happy and healthy – which meant they were taken good care of before she had got here. She hadn’t even finished looking at all the plants when she heard squealing behind her, and it made her jump slightly. She turned around to see Lydia and gave a smile. “A tour sounds nice.” she said, looking at Lydia and waiting for her move first. “What happened with the Prince?” she then asked out of curiosity. She was a curious little thing – which often got her in trouble.

Getting to know you – SS.

Scene setting : Greed Castle

co-written with Dessy.

 

Dessy:  Mariela didn’t say anything else at Mammon’s comment. Just stayed quiet and continued to heal him. She moved her hand afterwards, the bruise healing – not completely, but enough to not cause him pain. “Yes, a healer. Being a witch helps a lot with that.” she answered Mammon’s question. “So, you want to.. hire me? I wouldn’t mind that..” she spoke, giving a kind and gentle smile to Mammon before Lydia walked back out. She listened to their conversation, before Mammon stand up, handing her back the cloth before walking off, asking for a blacksmith. Mariela put everything back in the little satchel she had wrapped around her, looking at Lydia when she felt her arm around her. “It did go well. He was much more cooperative than I imagined he would be.” she said lightly. “I wouldn’t mind being apart of this.. “family”.”

 

Razorbackwriter:  Lydia became excited when she heard that Marie’s encounter with Mammon went well, before she had interrupted and given her report on what had become of the Prince of Wrath. Mammon had stormed out of the main hall, with Warner in tow to go and see the blacksmith about having a suit of Armour made that would help him when it was time to face the new Princess of Wrath – Gabriel. Lydia leaned over and watched till Mammon was gone from sight and then twirled Marie around to face another door that lead down a corridor.

“Then it is settled. This castle has over six hundred rooms. More than even I have been in. Mammon just can’t seem to have enough.”

If Marie allowed, Lydia would escort her from the main hall and down to the end of the Castle that had living quarters, and of course a very important room that Marie would find most useful. There was a green house with an attached lab, that was ideal for making potions and growing special herbs. The walls were made from a strange green glass that filtered the light and made growing conditions ideal.

“Would this suit your needs as a healer?” The Demon of Ambition asked, folding her arms and allowing Marie to wander on through. For any herbologist or witch, it may well be perfect. The adjoining room was filled with bright colored bottles, books and shelves brimming with many tomes on how to do spells and make all sorts of tonics and potions.

https://i2.wp.com/static.desktopnexus.com/thumbnails/949021-bigthumbnail.jpg 

~RB~

 

Dessy:  Lydia was leading her through a door, and down a long corridor. As they walked, she examined the walls and the decor, admiring the beauty of the place. “Six hundred rooms?” Mariela widened her eyes. She couldn’t believe this place had so many rooms – it would take her forever to discover them all. Mariela let Lydia escort her down a hall, into what she guessed would be her living quarters. She then lead her into a room next to that, with a greenhouse and an attached lab, as well of rows and shelves with bottles and potions, as well as books and tomes. She gasped and gawked at it, moving away from Lydia to look around the room. It had every plant or herb imaginable, and had everything that she would need for her work. It was wonderful. “Yes. It’s perfect.”Mariela exclaimed, running a delicate hand over the titles of some of the books. “How does he get all of this?”

 

Razorbackwriter:  Lydia glided around the room, picking up the odd jar of coloured ointment and lifting the lid off to sniff before making a face and putting the jar back on the shelf. It was a beautifully set up room, ideal for Marie’s needs. Of course, Marie was curious with how the Prince came to have such a collection and room to begin with.

“He is the Prince of Greed. If he wants something bad enough, he gets it. So, I’d say he did a deal with some witch, or warlock and wah lah….he had this built. Course, he doesn’t use any of this himself. He’d just like to say that he has it and that’s that.”

Lydia was pleased that Marie would find this room useful to her needs. In fact, the Demoness of Ambition knew that it would only mean that the girl could service the Prince’s needs as they arose and in turn no harm would come to her. With rows and rows of different types of plants and flowers, there was more than enough stock on hand to make just about anything the witch desired. There was one other thing. “The Prince has this extensive library. Don’t be shy in checking that out. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a grand store of spell books and the like.”

It was somewhat unusual for Lydia to be so open about the Prince. She was after all his chief spy in the town, but Lydia had taken a shine to the girl and didn’t want to see her be used or abused, should the Prince turn on her. So long as Lydia was there, she would make sure the girl was protected…regardless of who the threat would be from. One thing about hell…you always watch your back.

Lydia then came to a stop. “I wonder how Mammon is doing with his armor. Just excuse me a moment, I better go and check.” At that, Lydia strolled out of the room, leaving Marie to her own devices.

 

~RB~

 

Dessy:  Mariela had continued running her hand over the book titles, completely mesmerized by everything. She stopped to turn around and look at Lydia as she spoke, laughing at the face she made at the coloured ointment. “Prince of Greed. Somehow, that explains a lot..” she said, shaking her head. She turned back to the books and listened as Lydia spoke again about the library. “I’ll have to find where it’s located and check it out sometime.” she said. Lydia was being very open about the Prince. She wasn’t sure if that was a good thing, or a bad thing. But, Mariela thought she could be happy here – not as happy as if she wasn’t in Hell, but at least happy. When Lydia excused herself, Mariela nodded her head. Once she left, she turned around and walked over to a desk, untying her cloak and draping it over the chair next to it, now revealing her kind face, innocent light green eyes and her light blonde curls that went only a little bit past the shoulder. She turned around and headed into the greenhouse, beginning to look at the various plants and herbs.

 

 

 

What killed Rory? – GS

Scene setting : Detective Frank Malone’s apartment.

co-written with VunG.

 

Razorbackwriter:  Frank had turned as white as a sheet, his hand gripping his desk chair to steady himself after the fright of seeing what was on the photograph. It wasn’t like anything Tommy had seen before, unless you counted the types of beasts that were on the World of Warcraft game. But that was fiction. How could a beast or creature like this be in New York city? While Frank was hyperventilating from shock, Elissa was signing so incredibly fast that it was hard for Tommy to keep up with her. From the frantic hand gestures and the look of horror on her face, it was pretty clear that the former SWAT officer was totally freaking out. With both his companions going bananas, someone had to be a man of reason and calm – though the picture completely defied all logic.

“Give me the envelope, Frank.” Tommy insisted, as he was trying to see if whoever sent the photos had left a return address. Turning the yellow envelope over he saw that there was no return address…but there was a postal stamp on the front that showed that the photos had been sent from the city post office. Frank was still shocked, and Tommy now asked the big question. “Frank…..is this the thing that killed Rory?”

All the blood had drained from Frank’s face as the memory of that night came flooding back.

~Flash back~

The detectives had been on a stake out for the case against Joey Patona, and had been parked in a dark alley not far from Joey’s apartment. He was under surveillance after he had been a witness to the east side Brankston murders and was still considered a suspect but there wasn’t enough evidence to incriminate him. Rory had been drinking way too many Red bulls to keep awake and said that he was going to go and take a piss, down past one of the dumpsters.

“Why don’t you just use the super slurpee cup, Rory?’ Frank said, shaking the near empty cup at his partner, who just took one look at it and scoffed. “Cause I piss more than that cup can hold, Frank. Be right back.” Getting out of the car, he shut the door and then headed back down the alley till he found a spot behind the large industrial dumpster where there was a bit of privacy. As he unzipped, there was a massive growl that came from the shadows near the ACME #36 Warehouse. A long loud rumbling sound as though something heavy was being dragged along the road. Rory raised his head in the direction of the sound, and squinted to try and see through the darkness. “Must be seeing things. I thought red bull gave you wings, not made you hallucinate.” Rory mumbled this outloud, before there was a massive roar in behind him.

~ROAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRR!~ The beast, or mammoth worm like slug reared up behind where Rory stood, and it was right as Rory was releaving himself. “ARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGH! Rory screamed in terror, loud enough for Frank to hear the cries. Frank dropped his coffee in his lap, scalding himself, before trying to get out of the cop car. It was only as he alighted, that he saw the massive shadow of the beast looming over Rory. Frank reached for his gun and pointed it at the beast, but it was too late, the worm like beast bit into Frank practically swallowing him up to his stomach. Frank fired two shots at the creature, which was like throwing pebbles at an elephant. Rory’s screams died away as the last part of him was eaten by the creature. Blinded by horror and rage, Frank ran at the beast, screaming and firing his gun but the beast slid off down the alley and then vanished into an abandoned warehouse. Like it had gone through some type of portal.

“RORY!”

~End flashback~

“Frank?…..Frank?” Tommy grabbed a hold of Frank’s shoulders and shook him. “Was that what took your partner?”Slowly, Frank uttered. “Y.yyyyesss.”

It was almost too incredulous to believe, but the fact that Frank had been sent the pictures meant one thing. Someone saw it too, and witnessed the murder of Rory Lismore. This was evidence, but they needed more than just some photographs. They needed to go back to the crime scene and retrace Frank’s steps. Tommy let go of his friend, and said.“In the morning we are going back to the alley where this happened, and see who lives near that spot. We need the witness.” Frank kept quiet. Was it possible the witness….was also a criminal? The one that Frank and Rory were staking out?

Tommy turned to Elissa and asked. “You want in on this? I can take you home and pick you up in the morning. No point searching that alley in the dark.”

 

~RB~

 

VunG:  Elissa wasn’t a coward, she’d bumrushed men with assault rifles and semi-automatic shotguns before. She’d personally taken down drug lords and mobsters. There were many things that she was more than capable of coping with… but what she couldn’t handle was what she couldn’t understand. And that creature that was in those pictures was something that defied everything she knew about the world. If it had just been something in the jungle was one thing, if it had just been a hideous monstrosity sure, but this was something that was hiding out in the heart of New York city! How in the world was this even possible?!

At about the time that Frank began going into his flashback she would slowly begin coming back to the land of the living, her breathing coming back under control as she rubbed her sore neck, approaching the boys as Tommy tried to pry an answer out of his friend. Leaning up against the desk as she tried to get some color into her cheeks, she watched Tommy drag the truth out of Frank, somewhat forcefully… she was almost hoping that it was just a hoax picture. But… her heart sank and she damn near fell to her knees as she heard the confirmation, only staying up thanks to her arm propping her in place.

Rubbing her temples with frustration as the others considered this, she tried to comprehend the fact that they were going to basically have to trace down an entirely new organism. This wasn’t good… and it seemed to be a snake in form… what the fuck were they going to find of this aberration, its droppings?! Sighing with frustration, she would listen to Tommy give his plan, beginning to pace back and forth with her damaged hand on her chin, debating whether or not she would just be a fifth wheel at this point. However, when he offered her directly, she’d turn and look him squarely in the eye, and she found herself strangely reassured by the fact that this reporter was so brave in the face of this job. Yeah, she wasn’t about to get showed up by a guy whose most dangerous weapon is a microphone. Immediately her expression turned to one of determination and she nodded her confirmation, cracking her neck briefly before adding with a grim smile, ~I wasn’t planning to live forever anyways.~

However, just as she was about to walk forward and join them in planning, her phone began vibrating angrily as several messages came flooding in simultaneously. Frowning with confusion, she pulled it out and checked one of them… and her eyes would widen with horror as she locked on what she was seeing. She had a fair number of associates in the private detective business, and as a part of the local business’ network of favors they’d all agreed to send each other tips of anything that might be a lucrative job… or a dangerous one. Placing a hand over her eyes with frustration, she offered the phone over to the others with her free one, letting them look. On it, were a flurry of images sent from her many acquaintances showing images of a particular school in the city… or rather what had once been a school. Yeah… they might have other problems on hand.

 

Razorbackwriter:  With Elissa agreeing to come along with Tommy, the reporter had his mind set on heading home after dropping her off and getting a few hours sleep. Well, that was the plan. With Elissa commenting that she didn’t plan on living forever, which seemed a touch morbid in the light of things, Tommy was about to turn when Elissa’s phone vibrated. Maybe her man was wondering where she was. But it was how Elissa responded to the messages on her screen that had both Tommy and Frank curious. She handed over the phone to Tommy, who stared at the images of what was a school. It looked like it had been hit by an earth quake, or something of a destructive nature. A bomb blast? There was too much damage for a single blast. “The hell?” Tommy blurted. Frank, on the other hand knew the school. “I had a step brother who went there. Looks like a war zone.” With Elissa being in the private detective business, this was clearly a lead to work, but with the current mystery of what the hell it was that took Rory, and now this, it was clear that something was going to have to wait. A school is a place for children and if there was something there, that was in anyway linked to Rory’s murder, it needed to be investigated. Frank, was now sobering up thanks to his rotten coffee. He pocketed the photographs in the envelope to bring along with him, but made up his mind that he was not going to be left behind.

“I know where this school is. Tommy, Elissa….we need to get there and check this out.” The detective said with a firm nod of his head. “I’ll get my partner to meet us there. By the looks of things, the authorities haven’t been informed. If we hurry we could be the first on the scene…..aside from your mates that took these pictures, Elissa.” Tommy looked at Frank with concern.

“But what about the alley and the warehouse?” He asked, since he was keen to check that out as well. Frank gave a light shrug. “So we pull an all niter. First things first. The school.”

If Elissa agreed to come along, the trio would leave Frank’s apartment and head for Tommy’s car.

~RB~

 

VunG:  Their words basically summed up Elissa’s thoughts on the matter, the whole place looked like something that had been hit by a bomb. Yet the damage looked so localized; there were other bits, sure, but the local buildings only were undamaged for the most part from the looks of things, even by debris. Truth be told, she didn’t know what was more valuable in the hunt for Rory, but she was pretty certain that the person that had sent the envelope wasn’t going anywhere and this location was as fresh as things got. She wasn’t too certain what would cause such destruction, but if it was anything like the creature that had taken Rory then this was going to need some sort of serious coverage by detectives to catch whoever or whatever did this. She still wasn’t convinced on the supernatural aspect, but she damn well believed that something REALLY out of the normal was going on.

When Frank volunteered them for this duty, she couldn’t help but agree with every word leaving his mouth; she knew damn well that if they could be the first on the scene then this whole mess could be theirs to put under control rather than the politicians running the NYPD. She shuddered at the thought of doing an all-nighter, but if that was the way it had to be, then so be it. Hopefully the NYPD would be okay with her being there, not that she doubted that, and hopefully none of her more unscrupulous colleagues would cause damage to the site. Grabbing what was left of her coffee, she gulped it all down in one go, wincing afterwards and letting out a breathed grunt before nodding for them to lead the way, adding as they went, ~Tommy drives.~

Every little thing she does is magic – SS.

 

Scene setting : Greed Castle.

co-written with Dessy.

 

Dessy:  Mariela watched a man run of the room, addressing Lydia immediately. At the mention of a bookstore, she tilted her head to the side out of curiosity. From the way the Prince yelled for him to shut up.. he obviously didn’t want to talk about it. Mariela watched the entire thing, a bit amused at the conversation and at how angry the Prince was getting. He moved closer to her while Lydia giggled in the background, and gave her his permission to heal him. “Yes. It’s Marie.” she answered, following him as he took off his shirt and the bruise was exposed. She could see he had popped it back in place, which he shouldn’t have done. “You would be in a lot less pain if you left it alone and didn’t try to pop it back in place..” she said, but had pulled out a bottle in the process and some cloth. The liquid was clear, like water, and it was – sort of. Mariela had took one of the herbs she had found, crushed it and put it into the water, making it more magical. Many benefits of being a witch is she could make potions other people couldn’t – as well as use some magic. She poured some on the cloth, and then placed the cloth on his bruised shoulder, but tried not to put too much pressure as to not cause him anymore pain. She could hear Lydia laughing, and wondered what they were talking about – but didn’t ask anymore questions. After a few minutes, she held her hand over the cloth and a white light appeared. She used healing magic to heal it faster. She kept her hand hovering over the bruised shoulder as she removed the cloth, and the light began healing the bruised shoulder.

 

Razorbackwriter:  The Prince quirked a brow at this girl, Marie. Fancy telling him that he should not have tried to pop it back into place. At the time it seemed to be the right thing to do, though it was extremely painful. “If I had left it alone, my arm would be hanging down around my buttocks.” The Prince replied, letting out a silent “Ow” as she pressed her hand with the cloth to his bruised shoulder. By all accounts, it did feel a bit better and he was grateful for the girl’s attentions. “So, you are…a healer are you?” Mammon gathered as much by the way she used the liquid that liked like water but had magical properties. “I could use someone like you on staff.” This was a fair call, especially with the types that were lurking around town and blasting people with aether. Mammon still didn’t know what to make of that pair at the bookstore. All he knew was he would get his revenge, one way or another.

Lydia’s laughter did manage to reach the Prince’s ears and he didn’t like it one bit.

“When you are quite finished with your little knitting circle, Lydia, I do believe you wanted to see me on a matter of importance.”

Lydia coughed and then straightened her dress, smoothing out the creases as she came back into the Main hall where Marie was administering her healing magic on the Prince. Lydia smiled brightly as she knew that this news was scandalous and a tad dangerous. She even started to wonder how the Prince of Greed would take it.

“I was travelling through the park when I picked up a young couple that looked like they could use some assistance.”Lydia pulled up a chair near the Prince and then leaned close so that he could hear her better. “Turns out they were witness to a battle.” The Prince started to sit upright, and wondered if the ones involved were the same ones he encountered. “Go on.”

“The Prince of Wrath…Belial, was fighting Gabriel.” Lydia said in a hushed tone, chewing her bottom lip as she watched the Prince of Greed carefully. The Prince rubbed his chin. “Always knew that lot loved blood sports. Anyways…who won?” He naturally assumed Belial, but how wrong he was.

“Gabriel…beheaded Belial and…she did it easily.”

Mammon’s jaw fell open. That couldn’t be right. Not Belial surely. He was the goddamn Prince of Wrath…he was all about killing. With what had happened at the bookstore, now this – there was a definite shift in the balance of power, and not only that she would have taken the Throne of Wrath as well. The Prince slowly rose to his feet, and handed Marie her cloth that she had been pressing to his shoulder, which was feeling much better.

“If she is taking on the Princes of Hell, she may seek to want to rule Hell herself. That sly bitch.” The Prince marched out of the hall shouting. “Get me my blacksmith. I am going to need the very best suit of armor and sword that has ever been made. I won’t sit around like a duck on a pond waiting to be attacked by the likes of Gabriel. Warner!…Get me the blacksmith!”

Lydia quickly rose to standing then went to put her arm around Marie. “That went well, Marie. See, now your part of the family. He just doesn’t say thank you often.”

As the two women were left behind in the Main hall, the Prince was on his way down to the black smith shop to see what magic the blacksmith could do for him. There was no way he was venturing out of his castle, unless he was prepared.

 

~RB~

 

There’s something out there – GS

Scene setting : Detective Frank Malone’s apartment

co-written with VunG.

 

Razrobackwriter:  Curiosity usually served a purpose in Tommy’s line of work, only this time his curious nature would get him the kind of reaction that made his face darken with a red hue to his cheeks. He had not meant to embarrass Elissa at all, he just spoke without thinking first. It was her eyes that said he had overstepped the mark. The hardness of ice, a steely gaze that sent a shiver down his spine as he looked back at her, almost apologetic in his facial expression. Slowly, Elissa lowered the scarf to reveal what could best be described as a horrific scar. Something, had attacked the poor woman in such a way it was a miracle that she survived it. Tommy’s jaw clenched and his eyes narrowed as he peered at the scar. His Adam’s apple running up and down his throat as the sight was such that it could turn a man’s stomach.

“God!…Elissa. I’m…I’m so sorry.” Tommy blurted, his voice a slightly higher pitch than before. His reaction was like a knee jerk, speaking again without thinking. Tommy was usually better than this. He raised his hand up to the side of his right temple and rubbed it gently. Talk about foot in mouth. To add to that, Elissa said simply ~I hate dogs.~ So it was a dog that did this? At least that was the deduction from the size of the wound and Elissa’s statement. Two and two makes four as they say. By the time Frank came back into his study with a tray that held three coffee cups and a small pile of twinkies still in their wrappers, Elissa would have put the scarf back firmly in place. Course, Frank missed the small drama and was completely oblivious to why Tommy and Elissa were looking at each other they way they were. Instead, he deduced it was from the apartment’s smell.

“I was going to get Rosetta to come in and clean for me once a week……but you know how finances are…and maintenance payments.” Frank was still obligated to pay for his son, and this took a big chunk of his pay. Sad to say though he didn’t have access to his only child. His ex wife made sure of that. Setting down the tray on the only clear space on his desk, he reached for a cup himself and urged the others to do the same.

“Really am grateful to you both. Kinda been a while since I had company.” This was the truth. Many of his friends lived and worked in the city, well the ones that hadn’t distanced themselves from him after the death of Rory. A slight sigh and he took a sip of the coffee and tried not to make a face. Frank made a shit cup of coffee. It was little wonder that he bought coffee on the way to work each day. Looking up at the wall one more time, the Detective’s lips thinned as his eyes scanned over the many pictures.

“In all my years, never seen shit like I did that night. There’s something out there.” He almost whispered this last part. On one of the tables was a pile of letters, bills and a large yellow envelope. The envelope was addressed to Frank as a Detective. He had just been too lazy to go through them. Not really thinking, he pushed back the pile of bills and brought out the yellow envelope. Frank tore off the seal, and inside there was some photographs. As he pulled them out, the man let out a scream as the images slipped from his hand and scattered like debris on the floor.

What was on the photographs? A large beast that resembled a snake but had a mouth like….a monstrous insect. Pincers and a golden mouth. Four sets of eyes….and green slimy skin. It was taken in the alley….the alley where Rory died.

 

~RB~

 

VunG:  Truth be told, Elissa wasn’t angry at Tommy for his curiosity, a touch annoyed certainly but this was something that she had to deal with pretty regularly whenever she suffered a wardrobe malfunction. And they happened a lot, considering she rarely used scarves before this. More than anything she just hated having to deal with this thing, it was embarrassing, frustrating, it reminded her of that horrible time in her life, and in her mind it basically ruined what beauty she had. Still, it was obvious that she might have gone a little too far with her response, and perhaps she should’ve just explained it to poor Tommy, because the poor guy looked like she’d just shown him what it looked like while she was headed to the hospital. Her expression would harden and she’d nod her thanks to his apology, even if she didn’t think the term ‘sorry’ was applicable here. There was a strange phrase that her mother always used: ‘don’t say sorry if you didn’t do anything.’

However, before she could say anything her attention would be drawn by Frank coming in with the coffee, the thought of drinking the stuff already helping wipe away the thoughts of her scar, at least for Elissa. She was a little thrown off by his comment about some woman coming to clean, but when she did realize she had to fight back a smirk at her own stupidity, and she’d find that tempered by a reminder of Frank’s financial situation. Oh if only she could do something to help the poor man. She would go ahead and grab a cup of coffee, though would find herself warned by the hints of a reaction that it wasn’t very good; and indeed it wasn’t, but thankfully she liked her coffee black as Stalin’s heart so it wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been. To his grateful words, she nodded calmly and continued to sip away at the coffee, trying to slowly whittle it down.

However, what she hadn’t been expecting was what came next. She would mostly just look up at the pictures, trying to spot anything she’d missed in either of their investigations… until she heard Frank scream. A bit of coffee launched from her cup in surprise (thankfully just onto the floor, not anything vital), and she’d let out a breathed, “Sht!” made just by mouth movements. Setting the cup down on the platter, she went to pick up the photos, thinking that the man had just burned himself or something and was so drunk that he was getting a delayed reaction. It took her a moment to actually look at one of them, but when she did she frowned and shook her head in confusion, as if to clear her head of some apparition, thinking she was just seeing things. Bringing them into the light, she spread them out of the desk in a line… and immediately found her hands shaking and eyes going wide with horror as she stared uncomprehending at the……. thingon the paper. Very briefly she forgot her vocal chords didn’t work, and tried to say something before leaning over to cough, pain racking her throat. She turned back to look back in that direction, and would promptly begin signing wildly WHILE mouthing the words along, ~WHAT IN THE ACTUAL FUCK IS THAT?! WHERE DID YOU GET THOSE?! MY GOD! I THOUGHT TOMMY WAS JUST CHASING SHADOWS WHEN HE SAID GHOSTS AND DEMONS WERE DOING THIS SHIT! WHAT CIRCLE OF HELL DID THAT THING COME OUT OF?!…~ and would go on ranting like that as she coughed to the side.

 

A little witch called Mariela – SS

 

Scene setting – Greed Castle

co-written with Dessy.

 

Dessy:  Mariela had to admit, the castle was gorgeous – this Prince seemed very wealthy from the way the castle was built. Mariela couldn’t help but gawk at it, looking at the castle before spotting the several gardens around the castle. Mariela could already spot and name a few plants – some of them being extremely rare. It made her wonder what kind of prince this was to have all of this. He had to have been extremely wealthy, for one. Mariela finally came back to reality after she heard a horse behind her, and she turned around and gasped as it came sprinting towards her. She backed away a few paces, scared the horse was going to run over her. After it came to a stop, Mariela saw a girl step out and start yelling at the driver – using a few choice words.

Mariela just watched and didn’t say anything until the girl noticed her. She was asked if she was summoned, and the girl could only shake her head, not having time to speak before the gate had opened on it’s own. This caused her to jump a bit, before her attention went back to the female as she threaded her arm with hers and began leading her inside. She then introduced herself as Lydia, in a whisper as they walked along the path. “Mariela. Or just simply, Marie.” she whispered back. She figured she might as well go inside and meet this Prince. If they were nice enough, maybe they’d help her find her way back.

 

Razorbackwriter:  The girl in the cloak was easy enough to follow Lydia’s lead into the Castle proper. Her quiet response of introduction to Lydia was met with “Such a pretty name. I shall call you Marie and we shall become the very best of friends.” Two guards stood at the front entrance and their faces were solemn and glum. Holding large spears with spiked ends, they were intimidating to say the least. Lydia went right into performance mode and wiggled her chest slightly to allow the guards to oogle her rounded bosom as she made her greeting.

“Lady Lydia to seek an audience with his highness on matters of great urgency.”The Demoness said in a sultry tone with a hint of sincerity. “Oh…and this is Marie. Isn’t she cute?” Lydia gave the girl a playful nudge as the two guards opened the front entrance oak doors and granted both entry without question. Lydia tightened her grip on Mariela as they passed through the doors.

“Now…leave everything to me, he can be a bit of a grump at times. One has to know how to get on his good….”

“Domi….you of all people know how to get on my good side. Whose that?” Mammon inquired, gesturing at the girl on Lydia’s arm. Lydia was a bit surprised that Mammon didn’t recognize her straight up and slowly unwound her arm from the girl.

“Found her at the gate, were you not expecting her?” Lydia asked, now concerned that she had gone and committed a faux pas. The Prince went to fold his arms, when he let out a loud roar of pain.

“GAH! It still hurts!” The Prince was speaking of his shoulder, that he had to pop back into place after coming back from his fight at the book store. Staring down at the girl, Mammon asked. “Well, what do you want, girl?” He was never one for staying tempered long. Lydia pipped up. “Her name is Mariela….or Marie…or…whatever you wish to call her, Your Highness.”

 

~RB~

 

Dessy:  Mariela couldn’t help but smile as Lydia mentioned about her name being pretty and that they were gonna be friends. She seemed nice enough – that was a good thing. As they reached closer to the entrance, Mariela couldn’t help but tense up. The guards looked intimidating and – scary. Mariela quickly noticed how Lydia got there attention by wiggling her chest, and she seemed to have done this before. At the “cute” comment, Mariela couldn’t help but raise an eyebrow. Not only was she nice, but she was a bit.. weird, to say the least. As they entered through the doors, Mariela relaxed a bit, but noticed the tightening of Lydia’s grip. Mariela just nodded her head, before the Prince spoke. Once Lydia had unwound her arm, Mariela folded her hands gently and rested them in front of her. “I just got lost, really. I didn’t have time to explain to Dom here what happened. I wasn’t paying attention to where I was gong, and ended up here. I don’t know how to get back.” she spoke. Her voice was gentle and kind – sounding of innocence. At the Prince’s roar of pain, Mariela jumped a bit before noticing he was hurt.“Are you injured? I can help. I’m a healer, and if I can’t heal you completely, I can at least stop the pain.. With your permission of your course.” she asked kindly, that same tone in her voice the entire time.

 

Razorbackwriter:  At the loud cry of the Prince of Greed, Warner his assistant and adviser came out from the counting room and noticed that the lovely Lady Lydia and another female were in attendance. Warner always had a soft spot for Lydia, but since she was so ambitious she would not simply settle for a coin counting adviser. “Lady Lydia, welcome. Forgive his Highness, he got into a scuffle at the bookstore.”

“SHUT UP, WARNER!”

“The…bookstore?” Lydia asked with a raised brow. “What did he do, fight over the latest novel from the Fifty Shades series with some horny old bat?” At this, Warner sniggered loudly, and the Prince looked like he could set the room on fire.

“DON”T MENTION THAT BOOK…OR…THAT BLOODY BOOK STORE!”

It was clear the Prince was still in some pain, and the young girl – Marie had offered to help the Prince since he was still injured from his fight. Moving closer to Mariela, he lowered his voice for the sake of those present, while Lydia got the gossip about the book store, and she was fighting back the giggles, as Warner explained everything.

Yes…yes you have my permission, Marie…is it?” The Prince was not often good at remembering names. He sat down in the nearest chair and slowly took off his satin shirt to reveal the bruised shoulder. With a sad sack grumpy look he waited for Marie to work her magic, while Lydia was now in another room, laughing loudly about the Prince’s eventful night.

“Oh…wait till I tell him about Belial.” Lydia chortled, as the adviser handed her a tissue to wipe away her tears of laughter.“What about him?” Warner asked, now curious.

“He’s dead…AND a woman did it. Gabriel.” Lydia answered as the Demon Prince was about to go beserk.

“What is it with girls and fighting tonight…..seriously?”  Mammon really didn’t like being bested by a girl or a woman for that matter.

 

~RB~

Cast your spell on me – SS

 

Scene setting – Greed Castle.

co-written with Dessy.

 

Dessy:  Mariela really didn’t know how she ended up here. She’s only been in Hell for a few days now – and was still confused about everything. She took up a job as a healer, but that’s about it. She was just walking around, coming back from the garden where she collected some plants and herbs for potions and medicine that she needed, and then had kept walking. There wasn’t much plant life down here. It was upsetting, really. She wasn’t really paying attention to where she was going, and then ended up here. She had walked around quite a while before finding a large mansion like castle with a large gate. She knew there was a lot of royalty, and there were kingdoms based off of the sins – but that’s about it. She wore a long, dark blue gown and she had her maroon colored cloak draped over her, covering up her face. She looked at the gate, and then back over at the castle. She didn’t want to barge in, and was debating on just leaving and continuing finding her own way.

 

Razorbackwriter:  The Castle of Greed was unique in its construction, much unlike Mammon’s brothers estates. When a Prince like Mammon wants the very best of everything, he totally went overboard in its look and the materials used with which to build it. While it was still dark and imposing as you would expect a Hell demon’s castle to be, it was also a glimmering example of what wealth looked like on a grand scale. Under the right light you could see the sparkle of jewels and trims decked with gold and silver. No expense was spared by the Prince and it showed. To a traveler it would have captured both their imagination and attention; just as it had Mariela’s.

The young witch had only been in hell a few days and had wandered about searching from herbs and plants for her potions. The Prince’s castle had extensive gardens that held nearly every kind of exotic plant and flower imaginable. Not that the Prince was a keen horticulturist; to him it was all for show. This may have been what had attracted Mariela, but that would be unknown until asked. The one to ask…was on her way however. Having dropped off Maya and Allister at their humble cave abode, Lydia was now spiriting her way towards the Greed castle with the most glorious news of the murder of the Prince of Wrath – Belial.

Along the rocky road the carriage went at speeds that were break neck. There was an urgency by the Demoness of Ambition to make her report before the morning sun. But as the carriage made the last turn and came roaring down the drive towards the gate, the young witch was right in it’s path. The driver pulled up hard on the reigns, which caused the horse to bray angrily and even kick up till finally coming to a stop mere inches from the girl. Within the carriage, Lydia had been thrown about unceremoniously in the sudden stop and the door flew open with a few choice expletives being yelled at the driver.

“Where on earth or hell did you get your license, Jenkins? Out of a cereal box?”

Stepping out of the carriage, Lydia was quick to pat down her hair and adjust her dress, which had fallen down low in the front and was being rather revealing. It was only after Lydia had caught her breath, that she spotted the girl whom the driver had pulled up the carriage to avoid hitting.

The girl was dressed in a long dark blue gown with a maroon coloured cloak with her head shielded by her hood. Strange, that a girl would just be hanging around outside the gate of the Prince’s estate. Intrigued, the Demoness shut the door to the carriage and sashayed up to her to see if she had an appointment.

“Were you summoned by Mammon?” Lydia asked, assuming the girl was expected within.

Suddenly, the gates started to open all by themselves, whilst the driver drove the carriage around the back to the stables. This left Lydia alone with the unknown female. With the gate opened, Lydia continued. “I take that as a yes.” Assuming that the Prince knew of their arrival. “He doesn’t normally come out to the gate. Come along. He hates to be kept waiting.” Without asking, Lydia threaded her arm through the girl’s and led her inside the front entrance to the Main hall. As Lydia’s heels click clacked along the cobble stone path, she whispered. “I’m Lydia…but you can call me Domi.”

~RB~

Some scars never heal – GS.

 

Scene setting – Detective Frank Malone’s apartment.

co-written with VunG

 

Razorbackwriter:  Frank held back slightly as Tommy and Elissa were looking over his study and the wall. Being that Frank was himself a detective as part of the NYPD, to see this sort of mania in the way that Frank had set up his crime wall you would start to think that he himself had now become a fanatic almost. The sheer scale of recorded documents and the piles of files on his desk that he had brought home from work was mind boggling. It was little wonder that Frank would go to Big Joe’s after work to drown himself in booze, rather than come back to the quiet of his apartment and have to face this…day after day. To Frank, his life was on hold. Captive to solving what could best be described as an impossible case. It was easy to see why the department viewed him so suspiciously, as none of the findings made real sense. Rory’s body was taken by whatever it was that killed him. All that was left was a pool of blood. After the incident, Frank was committed since what he had seen had left him in such a state that he was unable to cope with what he saw. Post traumatic stress on a crazy level. Most soldiers don’t suffer this bad so quickly. It was why his wife left him and took his son away. The nightmares – broken nights….screams and haunting visions. At one point he woke up and found himself standing over his wife with a gun pointed at her. It was the last straw. He’d not told his closest friends this….the only one who knew was his therapist – Doctor Lindsay Buchanan. It was after six months of treatment, that he was released and assigned back to the force – but he was never the same.

Tommy, who watched both Elissa and the return of his good friend was very good at reading body language after years of dealing with people and informants. He could see that trace of emotion from Elissa’s face as much as she tried to hide it. You would have to be pretty impassioned not to feel something seeing all this. After Elissa had explained that she didn’t need to be signed to all the time, since she was a mute and not deaf, Tommy spoke out loud.

“That we are, Elissa.” He shook his head as he let out another sigh. “Leads take us nowhere, or….the reports are so bizarre that most people high up dismiss it. All the top brass care about is meeting quotas and keeping the Mayor’s office happy.” Speaking of the mayor’s office reminded him of the fact his lady friend, Tamika worked there and she heard first hand that the Mayor’s office are trying to down play the “incidents” as being just crazy claims made by whack jobs or attentions seekers. It made Tommy angry just thinking about it. In his own office at the New York Times, some of his fellow reporters had gone to putting alien figurines with crude messages on them. If he heard the Ghost busters theme one more time when he went to open an email, he was going to strangle someone.

Frank, suddenly remembered his manners. “Would either of you like coffee? I think I got some twinkies in my cupboard….maybe.”

Tommy was about to take him up on that offer, when he noticed something just peeking out from under Elissa’s scarf. A scar of some description. The Reporter was too nosy for his own good. “Uhm….Elissa. What’s on your neck?” He asked, as Frank shuffled out to the kitchen to put on a pot of coffee.

 

~RB~

 

VunG:  Truth be told, Elissa was in over her head with this case. As she’d said, she wasn’t a great detective, and while she had some degree of competence, she was more someone you’d put in as support or an extra set of eyes. She was just a sad, depressed, lonely woman without anything left to do in her life except continue on with the closest thing she had left to her old job. And with the exception of nearly getting her throat ripped out by that damn dog, she wasn’t really aware of the things that had ruined her life until after they happened. There was no attempt at therapists for her, she had zero trust in them after they tried to convince her that dogs had no intent of harming her and that her fear was unfounded. No, she was going it alone.

But… then again… as she looked at the two guys here, she realized that at the very least she’d be able to help someone else with some help. It wasn’t much of a boon, as it was likely only going to wind up as an alliance of circumstance, but it was one that she was thankful for. Eventually Tommy would speak up, and when he brought up the commentary on the mayor she immediately winced and nodded, rubbing her temples to keep herself from even thinking about that piece of shit. Hell, Elissa had been lucky in that she had no colleagues to torment her about this case, and even she was ready to tear someone’s throat out just from the stonewalling she’d been getting. It was SO galling that the officials and certain higher-ranking police officials cared so little about the actual results of their jobs. The corrupt policemen disgusted her, and all politicians deserved to be thrown in jail from her experience, it was the sort of thing that made her want to go vigilante on some people’s asses.

She’d be broken out of that destructive train of thought by Frank’s offer of refreshments, and would give him a thin smile and make a gesture showing that she wanted coffee–or rather she wanted something to drink. However, before she could even lower her hand, Tommy took notice of something he really shouldn’t have. Slowly she turned to look at him, her blue eyes hard as ice as she debated whether or not to indulge him. Thing was, he was a reporter, and she knew that even the good people in that profession had an insatiable curiosity.

It would probably just make her life harder if she hid it from him. Sighing, she reached up and pulled the scarf down to reveal the scar. It was a terrifying-looking thing, the entire area on either side of her windpipe was a nasty striated mess, and it wasn’t a small scar set either but rather the full width of… say… a dog’s jaw. It was actually just luck that she’d survived it, the dog’s teeth missed both her trachea and arteries, and when it hit her she fell forward and it released her when its back hit the ground. Still, she was told that the doctor had given her a forty percent chance at survival. She held the reporter’s gaze for several seconds, letting him get his fill of the sight while he could. Then, she’d simply raise her scarf back up and make sure that it properly covered her this time, and after that she would very simply state, ~I hate dogs,~ almost as if it were an unrelated comment.

 

Stevie Nicks – Edge of Seventeen.

This is my song pick of the week from my car.  I sing this loud and proud with the window down.  Enjoy.

Just like the white winged dove
Sings a song
Sounds like she’s singin’
Whoo-whoo-whoo
Just like the white winged dove
Sings a song
Sounds like she’s singin’
Whoo, baby, whoo
Said, whoo

And the days go by
Like a strand in the wind
In the web that is my own
I begin again
Said to my friend, baby
Nothin’ else mattered

He was no more
(He was no more)
Than a baby then
Well, he seemed broken hearted
Somethin’ within him
But the moment
That I first laid
Eyes on him
All alone on the edge of seventeen

 

Well, I went today
Maybe I will go again
Tomorrow, yeah, yeah
Well, the music there
Well it was hauntingly familiar
When I see you doin’
What I try to do for me
With their words of a poet
And a voice from a choir
And a melody
Nothin’ else mattered

The clouds never expect it
When it rains
But the sea changes colours
But the sea
Does not change
So with the slow graceful flow
Of age
I went forth with an age old
Desire to please
On the edge of seventeen

 

Well then suddenly
There was no one left standing
In the hall, yeah, yeah
In a flood of tears
That no one really ever heard fall at all
When I went searchin’ for an answer
Up the stairs and down the hall
Not to find an answer
Just to hear the call
Of a nightbird singin’
(Come away)
(Come away)

Well, I hear you (well, I hear you)
In the morning (in the morning)
And I hear you (and I hear you)
At nightfall (at nightfall)
Sometime to be near you
Is to be unable to hear you
My love
I’m a few years older than you
(I’m a few years older than you)