Port Demons of India. A Private Eye Crossbones Tale by John Pirillo. "He had to get a life before they got his!"
Port Demons of India
A Private Eye Crossbones Tale.
By John Pirillo.
"Ain't nothing tastes finer than a fresh pinkie on a hot toasted bun." From the Port Demon's Cookbook for ignorant eaters.
Call me Crossbones. Everyone else does. Private Eye Crossbones to be exact, though I was born with the name Samuel Henry Cross, but that seems just too normal in the world I live in now, being as it is filled with demons, werewolves, vamps, sicks and the worst monsters of all Corporate Demons...the head honchos that now run the United States of Corporate America.
Seems like every time I show up somewhere, there's heads rolling, legs torn off, chests burst open and general mayhem and death and dying. Pretty sad situation for a guy who just wants to make a living, even if it is a lousy one. Being made the symbol for everything that's not sugar and nice is just downright frustrating to say the least
They used to hide behind Senators and Representatives, Presidents and Corporation Boardrooms, but now they are out in the open as the gap between the rich and the poor, the evil and the good has become so wide that any kind of monster can now slip through into our world and often does.
Seek out problems and never get paid for them.
Or find problems, get paid and then get my ass kicked and money stolen before I can spend it.
Such is the life of a Private Eye.
As a child I never stuck anywhere long enough to remember any names. Friends were like cold showers. They woke you up, but were gladly forgotten. Most of my friends hated me because I was so honest. If they asked what I thought of their toy. I explained in no uncertain terms exactly what I thought. Parents were afraid to let me into their houses because I would answer and ask questions they didn't want to even consider...like how many heads can dance on the head of a pin, why aren't marshmallows put in the mouths of victims of cannibals, and why do vampires only have two teeth. You know the ordinary kind of questions a young kid asks who's dumber than an outhouse.
And this is my story:
I took his hand.
"And what do you want from me?" I asked.
"Passage to India."
I laughed. "With that kind of dough you could buy a plane!"
"But I would be spotted immediately. I need a companion. Someone to take their attention off me. You will be both my bodyguard and my diversion."
"Deal!" I said, shaking his hand vigorously with my right, while reaching for the stack of thousands with my left.
"Oh and one more thing." He added, as he noted with amusement my fingers clutching the cash.
"You might not return alive."
"That's always the risk."
"No, I mean...you might return undead."
That stopped me for a moment, and then I shoveled the cash into my jacket pocket. "No problem."
The things we do for money.
Andy, who was a fabulously rich sort of guy in this crazy world where demons pretty much ran everything outright and in the open, had wanted someone astute and brave to help him with a very important operation.
To secure a safe passage to India.
An Englishman with an American name. Nothing special to look at, when you could see him. He could become invisible. How? Another one of those strange magical things that have happened since America slid into the dark abyss of Demonic Lords.
But getting back to that passage to India. To you folks, that might sound like a phone call, or an internet click of the mouse to secure such a deal. But nope. That just doesn't work anymore. Most people who fly don't come back the same. So smart folks don't fly anymore, they make their own boats, or submarines, and sail and fly the world incognito. Otherwise the Corporate Demons took notice of you. And once that happened.
Now to you folks, that might sound like a phone call, or an internet click of the mouse to secure such a deal. But nope. That just doesn't work anymore. Most people who fly don't come back the same. So smart folks don't fly anymore, they make their own boats, or submarines, and sail and fly the world incognito. Otherwise the Corporate Demons took notice of you. And once that happened.
Kazam. Kazoo, it's all over for you!
Yeah! It's that bad.
Now, I only had one regret if I didn't make it back alive. Sassie Lassie. My gal. My girl. My best friend who loved me like a dollar cursed by a dragon, but was afraid to let go of it for fear another dragon even bigger would step into her life and not be half so nice.
"Sass!" I celled from my cheap disposable, which was untraceable to me. Her I didn't worry about, because her father worked for the IDS, the Internal Demon Service, and they gave them a lot of legroom to screw up before the collected any souls or demanded pounds of flesh. And it also didn't hurt that he was part demon too, which I guess makes her that way too, except that he had a parent full demon and a parent full angel.
Yup. There are angels running around too, as if demons weren't enough to cock up the mess. All we agnostics, and unbelievers got faced with the glowing crowd who could cut a demon's head off with a flaming sword...and actually get away with it.
Why God didn't turn them loose on the whole bunch, only he knew for sure. Maybe he was waiting for the rest of us to earn some kind of karmic freedom to be worthy. Just a stupid guess. I don't know. No one's telling either. Not even the angels I manage to run into from time to time, or rescue.
Yeah. I do that too. Figure even if there's no real God, at least I can make sure that if there is, I'll have a safe passage to you know where once it's all over with. Sigh. Ain't life complicated?
I sat up in the airliner we were traveling in, my eyes hurting from the sudden leap to consciousness. I was kinda leaning towards happy with all the internal gossip I had been handling, but coming back to reality is always a hard blow, especially when it is a hard blow that wakes you.
I rubbed my head and gave Andy my worst stare. Which is another way of saying that I looked like a third grader who had just got a deserved spanking and couldn't open his mouth without making it worse?
"You're a creep, you know it?"
Andy's right hand wafted the cash he had given me in it.
I gulped. He smiled.
"Okay. I apologize. You're not a creep."
He relaxed and handed the mother over.
"You're a damned waffle butt!"
Andy broke into laughter. I couldn't' figure out why until I looked at the thousand dollar bills and saw they had turned into soft rose petals. "That just plain stinks."
"No, not really. Rose petals smell..." He smiled again. "...Heavenly."
I turned away from him so he couldn't see the death in my eyes. I didn't want to get on this guy's bad side, if he had a good one that is. "Wake me when we arrive."
He shook me.
"What now?" I groused, turning to look at him with my bloodshot eyes.
"We just landed."
I sat straight up and realized that we were the only ones still on the jet. "Damn! We gotta scramble and fast!"
I grabbed my overhead bag and he his under seat one and we ran for the debarking ramp, where the last of the passengers were descending. We hurried up and mingled with them. And a good thing too because the Port Demons, these big burly purple haired freaks with bushy eyebrows that held poison darts for weapons, were starting to deploy around the ramp. Had they seen us running to get in line, we would've been Little Needled Annie and kaput, fast throttle dead and stinking hurried off to hell in small chunks.
The Port Demons earned their pay and ate their captures.
I felt sweat beading my forehead and even Andy passed a few jewels as we descended. He eyed me. "Sorry for the joke."
"Forgiven." I told him, and then tripped him as he stepped off the ramp.
He stumbled into the nearest Port Demon. I nimbly caught him back and smiled big into the angry Port Demon's face. "My mistake. Please don't eat us."
I held up a chunk of meat I usually carried for such occasions. He sniffed it and snapped it with his fingers, and smashed it down his ugly maw.
I counted to ten, silently praying and urging Andy along as we closed in on the Sacred Door, beyond which Port Demons are not allowed unless they want an Angel to sear their bowels from them. Angels only at such places. A small disposition from God I heard.
Some kind of balance between good and evil, though again I couldn't understand why the Big Guy just didn't take them all out.
"Arrgggh!" The Port Demon cried out, causing the other demons to glare at him angrily. They hate it when someone else screams.
He pointed to his mouth, then to us. They didn't look at us; they looked at the thousands of black scorpions that were pouring from between his closed lips, causing layers of steam to cloud his face and small rivulets of purple blood to spill down his chin.
Then they got it. They dashed for us.
I shoved Andy through the doorway and dove after him.
The nearest Port Demon grabbed my right foot. Big mistake.
He got the bitter end of a nice little onion bomb I kept in that heel.
He screamed like a fat pig about to die, because he was, and then as the others stumbled over him, they all caught fire, then vanished in a holocaust of purple smoke and burning flesh.
I picked myself up and found myself staring directly into the smiling eyes of an Angel, who stood about nine feet tall with a flaming white sword. "Not bad for a human." He complimented me.
I blushed. "Don't tell the Old Man, I really don't want Sainthood or anything."
The Angel broke into laughter, and feeling like a scorned lover I hurried Andy along to the lift that would bring us to the walkway that would tread us to the dock where an advanced hydroplane would scoot us swiftly across the water to the main coast of India.
Oh by the way. India broke up in the early two thousands. One too many tsunamis and earthquakes did what Pakistan's nukes never could, it split the continent in half.
We ran the walkway, because the exercise leaving the plane had delayed us by ten minutes, and Air India never leaves even one minute late.
We quite literally leaped onto the deck of the hydroplane as it ramped up and shot away from the dock, which was great for us, because a whole squadron of Port Demon goons reached the dock the same time we made our leap for freedom.
So it was either the polluted waters of the sea or a searing death from the Port Demons, along with a few bites that would hurt like hell...pardon the pun...or landing safely on the hydroplane.
I got my footing perfect, but Andy insisted on dragging his heavy bag with him. I had dumped mine right away, knowing how balance was our only safety at that moment. As he started to fly head over heels back into the sea, I jerked him forward past me and tumbled after him.
I landed on top him.
"Get off me, you jerk." He warned.
I rolled off, and then gave him a hand up. I eyed the big black bag he carried. "What's so important about that thing that you'd be willing to die the thousand deaths or choke on polluted seawater?"
"Just get me the rest of the way to India." He warned me, and headed up the flight of stairs towards our cabins.
I had a corner cabin reserved for the lower castes. No bathroom. No carpets. No bed. Just a heap of blankets for the floor and a hole in the floor to relieve myself. He went into a luxury suite complete with dancing girls and loud Indian music and chapattis.
I could smell them as I laid down to resume my mystical musings, but all I could think of was chapattis and rice, pakoras and samosas, and Tikli chicken.
Then I went to sleep.
But Sassy would just not let me be. She interrupted my dream with an intervention. You could buy those from some of the Angels if you were pure enough. She stood before me in the dream, her arms crossed over her lovely breasts, her eyes steaming with anger. "Did you think you could get away from me that easily?"
"Sassy!" I protested. "I'm on a gig."
I waved the thousands dollar bills.
Cha-ching. Dream ended.
I fell into a peaceful slumber knowing that my loving gal's heart was once more settled in peaceful thoughts about our future together.
Man! I really do have to get a life, don't I?
Two teens have a paranormal experience that will change their lives forever. Romance and adventure in the unknown. "Kiernan and Angel."
What is romance? What is true love? How can knowing what is on the other side make such a big difference in our lives? Does romance cross the divide of the living and the dead?
Without further ado, here is the third of the stories in my paranormal romance stories:
Kiernan and Angel
Angel first met Kiernan when she was five. They were on the slides at Marywood Park, a small new spread of playground toys, and shrubbery overlooking the Bay. As a kid she never really noticed the Bay much, except to note that it was an awful lot of "wahwah" as she would often tell her Mom, when she pointed to it. Kiernan was two years older than her at the time, and big enough to push her on the swings, which he did after she slid down the curly slide and landed on top of him the first day they met.
He'd rolled over laughing, and tossed sand at her. She tossed it back. He tossed it back. In moments they were both half buried in sand and the other kids waiting to slide began yelling at them to move or crying. Some parents came over and gently moved them away. Their parents. They were both single. Juliet Stiles was her mother. Henry Moorehead was Kiernan's father. It was a strange thing for them to meet that way, but both were quite shy, so nothing much came of it at the time. They just smiled at each other, said goodbye and took her and Kiernan back to their respective benches where they scrubbed us clean with moist towels, or by hanging us upside down to dump any loose sand in our clothing.
She remembered Kiernan giggling like a madman as Julie tickled him while holding him upside down over her shoulder, him kicking and screaming with pleasure. She didn't laugh much then, or later. She was still sad about her Mom going away. That's all she could understand at the time. After all, she was only a bit over a year old, heading towards two.
She just remembered this warm body that would cozy up to her at night and tell her funny and strange tales about beings that lived on other worlds and would come to earth to make people think and be happy. She called them Angels, just like she named her baby, her, Angel.
It wasn't until about ten years later when she was approaching twelve that she ran into Kiernan again. He was the class nerd. Two grades ahead, one year to go. She was an early bird. Smarter than most and probably going to skip most of high school and go straight to high school. It was the gift her genius father had left for her...an I.Q. that caused eyebrows to rise when they heard it. She didn't care much about what anyone thought about it, or her I.Q. She was interested in only one thing. One day proving that there was life after death and building a machine that would broach the dimensions between mortal man and immortal man so she could see her Dad again.
She had become so obsessed with science and math that she hardly even looked at boys, except when they stuck their faces in front of her and waved their hands, as if she couldn't see them. Which, no shame to them, she couldn't. Her mind was always busy, busy, and busy. She came up with a thousand and one ways to do it. To make the transition machine. Or the Angel Bridge she named it.
She remembered how excited she'd been when she'd run home from school that Monday and shown her mother her design for the Angel Bridge. Her mother had done all the right things, smiled, nodded, said "Yes, Honey, great idea." Then she'd returned to ironing the clothes. She'd put down the artwork and chipped in to get everything done. She wasn't a typical genius who ignored everything but what she was obsessed with. She had a sense of determination, purpose and resolve that also included an open door to taking care of the daily routines expected of a child of her age.
Anyway, she'd become so driven about her project that she had hurried from the library on day, her work in her hands, when she'd collided head on into a young teen backing away from his locker with an armful of books and folders. He went flying one way and her the other. He spilled everything on the floor and she as well. But the first thing he did was not to make fun of her, or to get mad, but instead to say. "Sorry. I'm such a butt!"
He helped her pick up her work, then without another word or expectation of thanks; he went about gathering his own paperwork, folders and books. It was a good time it was lunch time or it would have been a far worse disaster. Finished, he closed his locker and turned to leave. But she was still standing there where he had left her.
She clumsily reached out a hand, managing not to tumble all her work to the floor again in the process. "Thanks!"
He awkwardly took her hand. "I'm Kiernan."
She dropped all her stuff again.
He gave her a blank stare, and then hurriedly began helping her again after setting his own stuff down on the floor. She dropped to the floor and helped him, then broke into laughter. "I'm Angel. The baby that dropped on you at the park."
He frowned, finished helping her, gathered his stuff, and then got up. "Gotta get to class. Nice bumping into you, Angel." He said the bumping part with a big grin, and then hurried off.
Angel noticed he had forgotten something on the floor. She hurriedly scooped it up, and then stuck it into her jeans pocket. She stared after him a long time, until the bell rang, and the kids spilled from the classes for second lunch and the others came pouring back from the cafeteria. She stood there until the next bell and was late for her class, but her teacher didn't notice, she was too busy picking up broken pencils that the rowdy boys had been tossing about the room.
The rest of the day went swiftly. She rushed home to tell her Mom who she had met. Her Mom listened quietly, her face looking strained as she listened. Finally, she'd gotten up and went into her bedroom, after giving Angel a kiss. Angel heard crying coming from the bedroom. What an ass she'd been, she thought to herself. I just reminded her of Daddy. She even felt a little down herself at that moment, but briefly. She worried more about her Mom, who refused to date anyone since the tragic death of her husband.
Angel was dumping the pockets of her jeans to clean them when she saw the piece of paper Kiernan had dropped. She read it. It had an address on it. His address. Wham! Teenage bells began ringing as a plan began to shape in her brilliant mind. No Angel Bridge this time, but something maybe just as good.
Next morning she got up earlier than usual and faked an invitation to a picnic. She stuck it in an envelope, and then mailed it to herself with another address on the envelope to indicate the sender. It was the name of Kiernan. She made a second envelope and addressed it to Kiernan. She mailed both of them on the way to school, smiling the rest of the day after she had mailed it.
That same day she suddenly got worried. What if? So she had carefully done some sleuthing and found out some details about Kiernan's home life. When she got what she wanted, she almost fainted with relief, because her impetuous invitations might have ignited something really nasty otherwise.
Two days later, and on a Friday. She got the letter and ran upstairs excitedly to see her Mom, who was working on an internet website for the company she worked for...Ignatius, Deplorum. A kind of wacky group of nerds who made their living doing crazy designs for personal and commercial use.
"Mom, I just got an invitation to a picnic. Can I go?"
Her Mom read it and smiled. "I don't know."
"Pulleaseeee!" She begged.
Her Mom's face ignited with a big smile. "I don't really have to work then. Okay. We'll do it. Do you have their phone number?"
"No, but I already told Kiernan we were coming."
Her Mom broke into laughter. "You're such a brat some times." Then she snatched
Angel to her and gave her a long hug. "Love you."
Angel wrapped her arms about her Mom and rode the tide of happiness streaming from her and her Mom. Maybe it she hadn't done such a dumb thing after all.
The trolley stopped near the street they lived on and she and her Mom got on. A very nice looking gentleman greeting them. "I'm Mister Corday and I'll be your conductor to the Rose Park."
Her Mom thanked him and they both went to the back of the trolley, adjusting their picnic baskets they had brought to fit comfortably at their feet. Neither said much as the trolley rattled up the hill, occasionally stopping to pick up other passengers, or to let them off. Finally, they reached the top.
"End of the Line." Mister Corday announced on the trolley speaker system.
They both thanked him as they got off. He gave them a smile and said. "I've heard nothing but good things happen in that park."
His Mom gave him a startled look. "Park?"
"Rose Park, Madam. You are going there, are you not?"
"Yes, but how...?
He gave us both a wink as he shut the doors. "Let's just say a little angel told me."
We both watched the trolley turn around and head back down the hill.
Her Mom quickly forgot about the man and we headed towards the road that led into the park. We found the entrance and there about halfway down was a man and Kiernan. Kiernan saw her and waved briskly. He came running up the levels. Breathless, he stopped before Mom and smiled. He put his hand out. "I'm so glad you could come."
"Why thank you, do I know you?" Her Mom asked, perhaps recognizing him a bit.
He didn't hear her question, because his father had finally caught up with him. He interjected himself between Kiernan and her Mom. "I'm Kiernan's father. Henry."
"Oh my God. Déjà Vu!" Juliet cried out. "You're the father of the boy my daughter fell on when she was a baby."
"Guilty as charged." He grinned.
For a brief second the entire rose garden lit up and Angel and Kiernan gave each other startled glances. They had both seen it, but their parents had not. The roses had lit up like miniature suns for a moment, so bright their eyes hurt.
For some reason their parents hadn't seen a thing. Their eyes couldn't leave each other as they descended to where the picnic was planned, both totally forgetting about their son and daughter as they talked, and laughed.
Kiernan fell turned to Angel. "You're good!"
"What do you mean?" She asked. She suddenly realized he might have caught onto what she'd done. Neither her Mom nor his Dad had asked about who sent the letters. Both assumed it was from each other. She could be in deep, deeep trouble. Suddenly, she didn't feel like a genius anymore.
He pointed to their parents. "I haven't seen Dad this happy since Mom..."
He stopped, choking on the last word.
Angel touched his arm and smiled into his face. "Ditto."
She turned and he turned to watch their parents sit down and continue talking on the nicely spread picnic blanket.
As they talked he could see his mother standing in white light behind his father, and she could see her father in white light standing behind her mother. The ghostly figures turned to look at each other, smiling, and then they looked up the layers of roses towards the children.
Kiernan and Angel both broke into tears when the ghostly parents smiled, then waved goodbye and vanished in a tunnel of white light that whisked them away.
Henry and Juliet got married six months later after many happy days of meetings in the Rose Park. As to Angel she and Kiernan became best friends and he even gave her ideas for her Angel Bridge, but somehow that project slid further and further into the back of her mind as time passed by. For hadn't she already created her Angel Bridge. As she and Kiernan watched Henry and Juliet kiss gently, she knew she had built her Angel Bridge and it had worked. Perfectly.