Angel Hamilton, Private Angel: The Einstein Equation. At Amazon 99 cents. Private eye or angel, which one was he? Urban fantasy and science fiction.
Angel Hamilton, Private Angel The Einstein Equation
Now available at Amazon for 99 cents.
Angel Hamilton is a detective who survived the Einstein Equation.
Shot like a cannon ball from our world across the universe, he returns altered. He now sees things. Things that go bump in the night. Gods and goddesses. Demons and monsters.
Now he is the go to guy for the supernatural...both monsters and humans.
Today he's going to help a woman who needs a divorce. But it isn't just any kind of divorce. It's super natural!
A humorous urban fantasy that delves into the mysteries of life and love while at the same time challenging what is real and what is not.
A fun ride that takes the reader from the realms of real science to the world of the supernatural where science just might be dangerous to use, but to ignore it might cost you your life!
A magical and humorous blending of mystery with elements of science fiction and urban fantasy rolled up into one very tasty bundle.
Angel Hamilton, Private Angel The Einstein Equation
Now available at Amazon for 99 cents.
Excerpt from the story:
It was long. Very long. A metallic tunnel of high tech paneling and equipment that made my ears hurt, my skin itched and my throat was drier than the Mojave Desert.
I wanted out of there.
But I couldn't leave.
The loudspeaker droned soothingly. "It's all right, Angel, just the preliminary warm up. You'll feel better in a few moments."
"That's what they all say until you die." I quipped at the unknown voice.
Laughter came from the speaker. "See, you're all ready doing better."
"Screw you!" I hollered.
Then the energies went into the subatomic and super subatomic. The Unified Field force tunnel was ready to slam me into another dimension. Why I had volunteered for this stupid experiment, I'll never know.
Well, actually I did. I was a butt poor college student who wanted enough money to finish up his law degree and go out and make a difference in the world. Maybe kick a few criminal butts, knock heads with some police officers and generally have a good life.
Such are the musings of the deluded. Never happened.
I felt every atom in my body accelerate.
"Counting down." The loudspeaker announced.
"Just get it over with." I growled between grinding teeth.
Wham! Wham! Wham!
One moment I was standing in that long tunnel of hyper-electronics, the next I was slamming through a tunnel of pure white light with no end in sight.
It was like living out 2001 by Stanley Kubrick minus the spacesuit and the spacecraft.
Damn it was a good ride!
Angel Hamilton, Private Angel The Einstein Equation
Now available at Amazon for 99 cents.
A detective for the new age. Brilliant, sarcastic, funny and ready to take on the world of hellbounds!
Angel Hamilton, Private Angel The Einstein Equation
It's undeniable that the authors of sci-fi and fantasy in the thirties through the sixties were a breed of a different kind and also easy to see why that was called the Golden Age of Fiction, because the output and the quality of the works during that time were tremendous.
Here is a class story which should raise a few goosebumps if you have a habit of not picking your partners carefully.
"Why must you always hurry away, my little one?"
The voice of Mere Antoinette, the witch, was an amorous croaking. She ogled Pierre, the apothecary's young apprentice, with eyes full-orbed and unblinking as those of a toad. The folds beneath her chin swelled like the throat of some great batrachian. Her huge breasts, pale as frog-bellies, bulged from her torn gown as she leaned toward him.
He gave no answer; and she came closer, till he saw in the hollow of those breasts a moisture glistening like the dew of marshes... like the slime of some amphibian... a moisture that seemed always to linger there.
Her voice, raucously coaxing, persisted. "Stay awhile tonight, my pretty orphan. No one will miss you in the village. And your master will not mind." She pressed against him with shuddering folds of fat. With her short flat fingers, which gave almost the appearance of being webbed, she seized his hand and drew it to her bosom.
Pierre wrenched the hand away and drew back discreetly. Repelled, rather than abashed, he averted his eyes. The witch was more than twice his age, and her charms were too uncouth and unsavory to tempt him for an instant. Also, her repute was such as to have nullified the attractions of a younger and fairer sorceress. Her witchcraft had made her feared among the peasantry of that remote province, where belief in spells and philters was still common. The people of Averoigne called her La Mere des Crapauds, Mother of Toads, a name given for more than one reason. Toads swarmed innumerably about her hut; they were said to be her familiars, and dark tales were told concerning their relationship to the sorceress, and the duties they performed at her bidding. Such tales were all the more readily believed because of those batrachian features that had always been remarked in her aspect.
The youth disliked her, even as he disliked the sluggish, abnormally large toads on which he had sometimes trodden in the dusk, upon the path between her hut and the village of Les Hiboux. He could hear some of these creatures croaking now; and it seemed, weirdly, that they uttered half-articulate echoes of the witch's words.
It would be dark soon, he reflected. The path along the marshes was not pleasant by night, and he felt doubly anxious to depart. Still without replying to Mere Antionette's invitation, he reached for the black triangular vial she had set before him on her greasy table. The vial contained a philter of curious potency which his master, Alain le Dindon, had sent him to procure. Le Dindon,the village apothecary, was wont to deal surreptitiously in certain dubious medicaments supplied by the witch; and Pierre had often gone on such errands to her osier-hidden hut.
The old apothecary, whose humor was rough and ribald, had sometimes rallied Pierre concerning Mere Antoinette's preference for him. "Some night, my lad, you will remain with her," he had said. "Be careful, or the big toad will crush you." Remembering this gibe, the boy flushed angrily as he turned to go.
"Stay," insisted Mere Antoinette. "The fog is cold on the marshes; and it thickens apace. I knew that you were coming, and I have mulled for you a goodly measure of the red wine of Ximes."
She removed the lid from an earthen pitcher and poured its steaming contents into a large cup. The purplish-red wine creamed delectably, and an odor of hot, delicious spices filled the hut, overpowering the less agreeable odors from the simmering cauldron, the half-dried newts, vipers, bat-wings and evil, nauseous herbs hanging on the walls, and the reek of the black candles of pitch and corpse-tallow that burned always, by noon or night, in that murky interior.
"I'll drink it," said Pierre, a little grudgingly. "That is, if it contains nothing of your own concoction."
"'Tis naught but sound wine, four seasons old, with spices of Arabia," the sorceress croaked ingratiatingly. "'Twill warm your stomach... and..." She added something inaudible as Pierre accepted the cup.
Before drinking, he inhaled the fumes of the beverage with some caution but was reassured by its pleasant smell. Surely it was innocent of any drug, any philter brewed by the witch: for, to his knowledge, her preparations were all evil-smelling.
Still, as if warned by some premonition, he hesitated. Then he remembered that the sunset air was indeed chill; that mists had gathered furtively behind him as he came to Mere Antoinette's dwelling. The wine would fortify him for the dismal return walk to Les Hiboux. He quaffed it quickly and. set down the cup. "Truly, it is good wine," he declared. "But I must go now."
Even as he spoke, he felt in his stomach and veins the spreading warmth of the alcohol, of the spices... of something more ardent than these. It seemed that his voice was unreal and strange, falling as if from a height above him. the warmth grew, mounting within him like a golden flame fed by magic oils. His blood, a seething torrent,poured tumultuously and more tumultuously through his members.
There was a deep soft thundering in his ears, a rosy dazzlement in his eyes. Somehow the hut appeared to expand, to change luminously about him. He hardly recognized its squalid furnishings, its litter of baleful oddments, on which a torrid splendor was shed by the black candles, tipped with ruddy fire, that towered and swelled gigantically into the softgloom His blood burned as with the throbbing flame of the candles.
It came to him, for an instant, that all this was a questionable enchantment, a glamor wrought by the witch's wine. Fear was upon him and he wished to flee. Then, close beside him, he saw Mere Antoinette.
Briefly he marvelled at the change that had befallen her. Then fear and wonder were alike forgotten, together with his old repulsion. He knew why the magic warmth mounted ever higher and hotter within him; why his flesh glowed like the ruddy tapers.
The soiled skirt she had worn lay at her feet, and she stood naked as Lilith, the first witch. The lumpish limbs and body had grown voluptuous; the pale, thick-lipped mouth enticed him with a promise of ampler kisses than other mouths couldyield. The pits of her short round arms, the concave of her ponderously drooping breasts, the heavy creases and swollen rondures of flanks and thighs, all were fraught with luxurious allurement.
"Do you like me now, my little one?" she questioned.
This time he did not draw away but met her with hot, questing hands when she pressed heavily against him. Her limbs were cool and moist; her breasts yielded like the turf-mounds above a bog. Her body was white and wholly hairless; but here and there he found curious roughnesses... like those on the skin of a toad... that somehow sharpened his desire instead of repelling it.
She was so huge that his fingers barely joined behind her, His two hands, together, were equal only to the cupping of a single breast. But the wine had filled his blood with a philterous ardor.
She led him to her couch beside the hearth where a great cauldron boiled mysteriously, sending up its fumes in strange-twining coils that suggested vague and obscene figures. The couch was rude and bare. But the flesh of the sorceress was like deep, luxurious cushions...
PIERRE AWOKE in the ashy dawn, when the tall black tapers had dwindled down and had melted limply in their sockets. Sick and confused, he sought vainly to remember where he was or what he had done. Then, turning a little, he saw beside him on the couch a thing that was like some impossible monster of ill dreams; a toadlike form, large as a fat woman. Its limbs were somehow like a woman's arms and legs. Its pale, warty body pressed and bulged against him, and he felt the rounded softness of something that resembled a breast.
Nausea rose within him as memory of that delirious night returned; Most foully he had been beguiled by the witch, and had succumbed to her evil enchantments.
It seemed that an incubus smothered him, weighing upon all his limbs and body. He shut his eyes, that he might no longer behold the loathsome thing that was Mere Antoinette in her true semblance. Slowly, with prodigious effort, he drew himself away from the crushing nightmare shape. It did not stir or appear to waken; and he slid quickly from the couch.
Again, compelled by a noisome fascination, he peered at the thing on the couch — and saw only the gross form of Mere Antoinette. Perhaps his impression of a great toad beside him had been but an illusion, a half-dream that lingered after slumber. He lost something of his nightmarish horror; but his gorge still rose in a sick disgust, remembering the lewdness to which he had yielded.
Fearing that the witch might awaken at any moment and seek to detain him, he stole noiselessly from the hut. It was broad daylight, but a cold, hueless mist lay everywhere, shrouding the reedy marshes, and hanging like a ghostly curtain on the path he must follow to Les Hiboux. Moving and seething always, the mist seemed to reach toward him with intercepting fingers as he started homeward. He shivered at its touch, he bowed his head and drew his cloak closer around him.
Thicker and thicker the mist swirled, coiling, writhing endlessly, as if to bar Pierre's progress. He could discern the twisting, narrow path for only a few paces in advance. It was hard to find the familiar landmarks, hard to recognize the osiers and willows that loomed suddenly before him like gray phantoms and faded again into the white nothingness as he went onward. Never had he seen such fog: it was like the blinding, stifling fumes of a thousand witch-stirred cauldrons.
Though he was not altogether sure of his surroundings, Pierre thought that he had covered half the distance to the village. Then, all at once, he began to meet the toads. They were hidden by the mist till he came close upon them. Misshapen, unnaturally big and bloated, they squatted in his way on the little footpath or hopped sluggishly before him from the pallid gloom on either hand.
Several struck against his feet with a horrible and heavy flopping. He stepped unaware upon one of them, and slipped in the squashy noisomeness it had made, barely saving himself from a headlong fall on the bog's rim. Black, miry water gloomed close beside him as he staggered there.
Turning to regain his path, he crushed others of the toads to an abhorrent pulp under his feet. The marshy soil was alive with them. They flopped against him from the mist, striking his legs, his bosom, his very face with their clammy bodies. They rose up by scores like a devil-driven legion. It seemed that there was a malignance, an evil purpose in their movements, in the buffeting of their violent impact. He could make no progress on the swarming path, but lurched to and fro, slipping blindly, and shielding his face with lifted hands. He felt an eery consternation, an eldrich horror. It was as if the nightmare of his awakening in the witch's hut had somehow returned upon him.
The toads came always from the direction of Les Hiboux, as if to drive him back toward Mere Antoinette's dwelling. They bounded against him like a monstrous hail, like missiles flung by unseen demons. The ground was covered by them, the air was filled with their hurtling bodies. Once, he nearly went down beneath them.
Their number seemed to increase, they pelted him in a noxious storm. He gave way before them, his courage broke, and he started to run at random, without knowing that he had left the safe path. Losing.all thought of direction, in his frantic desire to escape from those impossible myriads, he plunged on amid the dim reeds and sedges, over ground that quivered gelatinously beneath him. Always at his heels he heard the soft, heavy flopping of the toads; and sometimes they rose up like a sudden wall to bar his way and turn him aside. More than once, they drove him back from the verge of hidden quagmires into which he would otherwise have gallen. It was as if they were herding him deliberately and concertedly to a destined goal.
Now, like the lifting of a dense curtain, the mist rolled away, and Pierre saw before him in a golden dazzle of morning sunshine the green, thick-growing osiers that surrounded Mere Antoinette's hut. The toads had all disappeared, though he could have sworn that hundreds of them were hopping close about him an instant previously. With a feeling of helpless fright and panic, he knew that he was still within the witch's toils; that the toads were indeed her familiars, as so many people believed them to be. They had prevented his escape, and had broughthimback to the foul creature... whether woman, batrachian, or both... who was known as The Mother of Toads.
Pierre's sensations were those of one who sinks momently deeper into some black and bottomless quicksand. He saw the witch emerge from the hut and come toward him. Her thick fingers, with pale folds of skin between them like the beginnings of a web, were stretched and flattened on the steaming cup that she carried. A sudden gust of wind arose as if from nowhere, lifting the scanty skirts of Mere Antoinette about her fat thighs, and bearing to Pierre's nostrils the hot, familiar spices of the drugged wine.
"Why did you leave so hastily, my little one~" There was an amorous wheedling in the very tone of the witch's question. "I should not have let you go without another cup of the good red wine, mulled and spiced for the warming of your stomach... See, I have prepared it for you... knowing that you would return."
She came very close to him as she spoke, leering and sidling, and held the cup toward his lips. Pierre grew dizzy with the strange fumes and turned his head away. It seemed that a paralyzing spell had seized his muscles, for the simple movement required an immense effort.
His mind, however, was still clear, and the sick revulsion of that nightmare dawn returned upon him. He saw again the great toad that had lain at his side when he awakened.
"I will not drink your wine," he said firmly. "You are a foul witch, and I loathe you. Let me go.
"Why do you loathe me?" croaked Mere Antoinette. "You loved me yesternight. I can give you all that other women give ... and more."
"You are not a woman," said Pierre. "You are a big toad. I saw you in your true shape this morning. I'd rather drown in the marsh-waters than sleep with you again."
An indescribable change came upon the sorceress before Pierre had finished speaking. The leer slid from her thick and pallid features, leaving them blankly inhuman for an instant. Then her eyes bulged and goggled horribly, and her whole body appeared to swell as if inflated with venom.
"Go, then!" she spat with a guttural virulence. "But you will soon wish that you had stayed..."
The queer paralysis had lifted from Pierre's muscles. It was as if the injunction of the angry witch had served to revoke an insidious, half-woven spell. With no parting glance or word, Pierre turned from her and fled with long, hasty steps, almost running, on the path to Les Hiboux.
He had gone little more than a hundred paces when the fog began to return. It coiled shoreward in vast volumes from the marshes, it poured like smoke from the very ground at his feet. Almost instantly, the sun dimmed to a wan silver disk and disappeared. The blue heavens were lost in the pale and seething voidness overhead. The path before Pierre was blotted out till he seemed to walk on the sheer rim of a white abyss, that moved with him as he went.
Like the clammy arms of specters, with death-chill fingers that clutched and caressed, the weird mists drew closer still about Pierre. They thickened in his nostrils and throat, they dripped in a heavy dew from his garments. They choked him with the fetor of rank waters and putrescent ooze ... and a stench as of liquefying corpses that had risen somewhere to the surface amid the fen.
Then, from the blank whiteness, the toads assailed Pierre in a surging, solid wave that towered above his head and swept him from the dim path with the force of falling seas as it descended. He went down, splashing and floundering, into water that swarmed with the numberless batrachians. Thick slime was in his mouth and nose as he struggled to regain his footing. The water, however, was only knee-deep, and the bottom, though slippery and oozy, supported him with little yielding when he stood erect.
He discerned indistinctly through the mist the nearby margin from which he had fallen. But his steps were weirdly and horribly hampered by the toad-seething waters when he strove to reach it. Inch by inch, with a hopeless panic deepening upon him, he fought toward the solid shore. The toads leaped and tumbled about him with a dizzying eddylike motion. They swirled like a viscid undertow around his feet and shins. They swept and swelled in great loathsome undulations against his retarded knees.
However, he made slow and painful progress, till his outstretched fingers could almost grasp the wiry sedges that trailed from the low bank lhen, from that mist-bound shore, there fell and broke upon him a second deluge of those demoniac toads; and Pierre was bome helplessly backward into the filthy waters.
Held down by the piling and crawling masses, and drowning in nauseous darkness at the thick-oozed bottom, he clawed feebly at his assailants. For a moment, ere oblivion came, his fingers found among them the outlines of a monstrous form that was somehow toadlike... but large and heavy as a fat woman. At the last, it seemed to him that two enormous breasts were crushed closely down upon his face.
"A Shadow Man Story"
By John Pirillo
Some people spend their entire lifetime watching how others live. The TV is full of such avenues for the casual and not so casual viewer. Peeping toms have become acceptable, but perhaps in a more morbid way. Now people can look into other people's lives without feeling like they're invading that person's life anymore. Commercial perversion, I call it.
Look, I have no problem with someone trying to understand the other man's way of living, but face it, making it a regular habit of peeping into someone else's life, has got to indicate some hole in that person's life that needs to be filled.
And maybe that's how I fell into my latest job. Catching a Perv.
Perv's come in all varieties...peeping toms, voyeurists, abusers, murderers, criminals of every shade of gray into black. Even some shades of white for those who border on becoming a Perv, but just haven't stepped over that line yet.
My job. Stop harm. In its tracks.
I'm the Shadow Man. My life is not my own. But whose is really? Whether you think you have a Divine Purpose, or just a regular life of nine to five, we all have a mission. Do our best, get paid and move on to things we'd rather be doing. No. I'm not being cynical. It's just the world we live in. It's not Utopia. Even the rich live in constant fear, if only the fear of losing what they have.
But how different are we. I fear failing to help. You fear losing your wife, your job, your car, you life. Call it what you will, but fear runs our world. Big time!
I was kicking back in my small apartment, watching the shadows dance eagerly for me. They've come to accept me and willingly, now, beckon me into their travel lanes. And they have many. So go all the way to other planets, some only to my neighbor's next door closet. I've been from here to there, and from there to here without ever leaving the comfort of my home. But it always ends the same. I slip into the shadows, and the lanes cast me where I need to go. I do it automatically. I don't think about it. I just know where to go and the shadows help me.
Tonight I was making it a priority to rest. I've been tossed and turned from London to Moscow, China to Tibet this last week, with little time in between to even grab a doughnut, which has become my main source of nutrients lately. My body burns up a lot of fuel and I am forced to eat a lot of things I might find disgusting to eat in large quantities at any other time, but now I can eat doughnuts, candy, and other junk food like there's no tomorrow. This was one of those no other tomorrows. I sighed, burped, and peeled back the wrapper from another Burger King Spicy Chicken and began digging into it with my teeth, while holding a 32 ounce Doctor Pepper in my other hand, watching the latest episode of Game of Thrones on TV.
My one salute to the madness of this world is its entertainment. You want death and destruction, but don't want to be part of it. Game of Thrones. You want to have sex with a stranger. Turn on Fox or one of the other network stations at night and help yourself. There's always a program on to satisfy your needs.
As I was watching the Queen Denaris do her moral thing, and having already watched Peter Dinklage smart talk himself out of another beheading, I settled down into the finer aspects of the program, its attention to details of a world that could never exist. Here on earth.
Believe me there are such worlds. I've seen them. But that's for another story. Tonight I was watching Game of Thrones when the TV froze and a face poked through it. Not any of the characters from the show, but someone more dark and shadowy. Sometimes I have visions like that and usually when I least expect or want it. But it's my job, and so I job up and take it like the man I am. Shadow Man.
I jammed the rest of the Chicken sandwich into my mouth, and then slid into the shadowy form, allowing its shadow to pull me where I needed to go. I accelerated along the fastest lanes of shadow available, passing jets in flight, and rockets hurtling into space until I landed in a peculiar space just outside a large animal skin tent.
A fire blazed inside and I could see shadows dancing through the opening in front.
"No!" Came a woman's voice of distress.
It was always the women that hurt me the most. I'm a sucker for helping them, even though I do the guys as well. I'm not biased, just my shadow pull. I call it that, because it's an innate form of radar that always tunes me in to where I'm needed, and then blasts me off shadow speed...which is just shy of light speed to my destination.
I stepped around the opening and looked inside. A tall man stood before a very beautiful young woman. He held a knife in his right hand.
"You will marry me."
"I'd rather die." She said, her eyes wet with gobs of tears.
Her blouse was torn and her pants dropped to her knees. This guy was serious business. How serious I was about to learn. She could see me, but said nothing; she was so shocked by my appearance. Oh, did I say that I was in a little country called Azerbhajhan. And that their clothing was ethnic, and quite colorful. What was left of hers and his. He stood there in his shorts, his own clothing kicked to the side near me.
He waved his knife. A big one. About seven inches long and wickedly sharp.
"But Arabetha, I'm your father. Why would you want to disappoint me?"
I thought I was going to be sick then. Father! Was he kidding?
"You're my step father. Mother trusted you." She accused, her eyes searching my face for any sign that might indicate I was a friend.
"And I trusted her. Until the end." He chuckled. When he did, tiny spouts of saliva shot from his mouth and swept down his lips to his hairy chest. Did I mention he looked like a gorilla? A very, very hairy one.
"Who are you?" She asked me, but he thought she meant him.
He laughed. "Come now, don't pretend you don't know me. I'm your father."
"No. Not you."
He suddenly sensed he wasn't alone. He whirled around, the knife ready to plunge into my heart, except that I sidestepped his lunge by moving through his shadow to stand behind him.
"What!" He cried out in alarm and turned again. And yet again I vanished in front of him and appeared behind him.
"What are you?" He demanded.
"She has no friends." He cried out angrily.
"She does now."
He slung the knife over his shoulder, me not realizing he was that good, and it grazed my right ribs, taking out a chunk as it passed through. I sprung a leak, which I ignored as I leapt into the shadow of the flames and came out behind the young woman. I slid a knife from my pocket and cut her bonds.
"Oh no you don't!" He called out, racing for me.
I touched her shoulder, then embraced her with my shadow self and we vanished down a long line of shadows that emptied into a small, simple apartment.
She stepped from my touch and turned around, her eyes wide with fear and determination. "I don't know who you are, but you won't get away with this."
She hurriedly pulled her pants back up to her waist and snapped them tight. Her hand went to her right hip, covering something I couldn't see.
"Get away with what?" I asked in surprise.
"Stopping me from my marriage."
I gave her a double take. "But..."
She shook her fist at me angrily. "My father and I are getting married. And nothing is going to stop it. Not even the devil."
She grabbed a knife which I hadn't seen, that had been sheathed at her right hip and flung it at me.
I sidestepped it into the shadow of her body and slipped behind her. I pressed her arms behind her and held them tight. "Are you crazy? I've just rescued you from death and rape!"
"You fool. He's going to make me rich. Now I will have nothing. Nothing." She moaned. She flung herself free of me and dropped onto a worn piece of furniture. She rubbed at the tears in her eyes and gave me a look that made me want to shrink into the shadows and vanish.
"I've waited since I was ten for this moment, and now it's all wasted. All that time. All that anticipation. He will never forgive me now. He will think you are my lover. I am ruined."
I didn't know how to take what I had just experienced, so I sidestepped into the shadows and came out into an alley several homes away. The night was dark. Pitch black. No lights on anywhere. Then I heard something. I swept around, my knife ready. There in the depths of the alley I could see two children huddled together and as if a machine had suddenly turned on, I could hear them sobbing. Standing to their left and right were two creatures from the Shadows. Denizens who are neither flesh nor shadow, but somewhere in between.
Now I came to understand what had happened. I had to come here, I just couldn't come direct. The girl was my ticket to saving these two.
I rushed into action and ripped my knife first through the one shadow creature, then the other, tearing their tenuous hold on our earth plane into tatters. They both wailed horribly as their misty forms tore and flew away, leaving a vacuum, which sucked in dust and air, and left nothing.
The kids kept crying.
I dropped beside them. "You're safe now."
Both of them flung their arms around me and sobbed against me. Now my night was starting to make sense.
I felt their shadow homes and gently sidestepped with them into first one, then the other, depositing them into their beds. Their parents hadn't even realized they were gone. They wouldn't have, until their lifeless bodies had been found.
I warned them both to say nothing more, and they both gave me hugs and promises, and I vanished.
I sped through the shadow lanes back to my apartment where a stack of uneaten Burger King Spicy Chicken sandwiches were heaped. I had lost my appetite. But not my interest in Game of Thrones. I turned up the volume. Maybe my appetite would return after Sansa killed the crazy king's son with an ancient bottle opener. Maybe not.
But even as I watched that, my mind kept going back to that young girl and the older man. "Marry her father?"
I shuddered. Something's just never made sense. Shadow worlds or not.
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It is said that for every child that is born, at least six more go to heaven. I don't know if that's true or not. Guess it depends on which person, culture or community you're living in. What they believe to be true.
Truth is like silly putty; it can be molded pretty much anyway we want it to go. Maybe that's how politicians justify squirming out of the truth so often. Just a little twist here, a little pull there and it's still the truth, but not as recognizable, and maybe even more palatable to the masses they intend to deceive.
He sighed to himself as he polished his AT-gun. It was the newest model. Straight from headquarters. Which means he had built it himself. His name was Gunner. He could be one mean sonuva you know what when action called for it, but he preferred being out in the fields, laying in the meadows of daisies and peonies as they blossomed in spring. But then it wasn't always spring, and when it wasn't he was in his sub basement.
Yeah. Right. A basement for his friends and neighbors and the government, and a sub basement for him and his fellow warriors. Their job: Kill demons. Their life: Kill demons.
Least that seems like what it was these days.
He sighed again. He hadn't had much time of late to socialize with the neighbors next door. Their daughter Elena was a knockout with a mind that could put one of his AT-guns together with her eyes shut. Not that he would ever give her one to play with. He was more interested in seeing how she could manipulate his puckered lips, than his killing machines.
He sighed yet once more. Good thing no one was watching, or they might have thought him a pansy or a loser because of the melancholy he was going through at that moment. Not the kind that leads to suicidal thoughts. Never that. He loved life. That's why he had made it his job to kill demons. They hated life and everything about it, because they could never, ever really be a part of it. The Creator had not made them that way, they had chosen that dark path and a million others so they wouldn't have to be responsible for their actions.
Demons weren't monsters. They were people who had died and instead of going to heaven, chose to stay on earth and make it miserable for those who still had a real, living, breathing body. No, they weren't demons in the classical sense, though over time because of their darker natures, they started to resemble the very things that would have frightened them to death when they were alive.
They were just lost souls who had chosen to use the energy of Creation to bend to their selfish ways and over time had become further and further corrupted. You might ask yourself, he had many times, why God allowed them. Because He hoped that one day they would turn back to the path of Creation and not destruction.
Meanwhile, Gunner and his commandoes put to right the wrongs those misguided souls created and set them back on their merry way to God. Usually screaming and cursing, because it meant they had to finally face what they had done and been doing with their lives. It wasn't a pretty picture watching them go. But it was a job that had to be done.
Oh, and in case you're wondering. There is a hell. Earth. And about another infinite versions of it, made up by the lost souls who demonized their lives.
He and his fellow commandoes journeyed to those hells in search of victims of these perverted creatures to save them, to give them another chance at life.
It had all started when their boss had lost his daughter to a Head Honcho Demon, then branched out into a more general service of righting demon work everywhere. There was so much of it. It appeared endless sometimes, but then it would, since so many people who crossed over, refused to go into the Light and into the true Creation and thus remained earthbound and eventually hell bound because of their dark motives.
Gunner didn't have any problem working with the souls who were just plain confused and lost. Those souls could usually be nudged back onto the path with a little patience and guidance. No, it was the mean ones. The nasty ones. The hateful ones who didn't like humans even when they were alive: the terrorists, the crazy gangbangers, the serial killers, the crooked politicians, the deceitful maniacs who perverted wealth and power to control and manipulate others. Those were the ones who opted out to become demons.
Yeah. Sometimes they just sighed up; straight and front. I want to be a demon they realized as they crossed over and saw the faces of past friends who had chosen to go t hat way, even though their friends no longer had the bodies of normal humans any longer.
Gunner stood up and stretched. He gazed at his arsenal a moment, taking in the double bladed knife he usually sheathed on his right hip, the slim gun with rapid firing magnesium pellets that could melt an ice demon, the looper, which cast thin wire that rapidly garroted any creature luckless enough to catch it around its neck or necks.
Mostly, they didn't use exotic weapons. It was his job to come up with them, because there were special circumstances, special demons that only one kind of weapon or another could send them off the planet and back in the direction where they should be.
He never asked where the dead demons went, but his silent comrade, the gorgeous one, whose name was so gentle, you'd never believe she killed demons for a living; she had said that they ended up on another planet, like ours, but where they had to learn their lessons. She called it a prison planet of sorts, but then he had joked and said, "And ours isn't?"
She hadn't laughed. Nor had she replied. He had remembered that to this day. Was his own planet also a prison of sorts? Maybe just at a higher pay grade?
As he was musing over the philosophy of his thoughts, the door to his sub-basement burst open and a Charly...demons over ten feet tall...burst into the basement, brandishing hands with fingers shaped like knife blades.
He didn't bother to ask it to knock next time, he calmly raised his Sponge and fired it. The Charly was caught in a net of gooey energies. Sort of like Nano particles, but mixed with a kind of binary burgundy that kept it always moving in its narrow orbital shape, so that nothing could slip through it or break it, not even a ghost.
The Charly tumbled to the floor, its roar of triumph turning to a whine of self pity.
He stepped over to it and hefted his Sky Kicker. "I hear you get all the free food you can eat where you're going!"
Then he fired.
The Charly snarled and screamed as it was enveloped in a thick, piercing energy of white light, then it vanished, leaving only a slight brown stain on his beautiful tiled floor.
"Aw!" He swore as he looked at the stain and headed for his mop and bucket. "And I just cleaned it up this morning."
Then he began cleaning up the remains of the demon. Removing its sad reminder of how much work there was yet to do to make the planet safe place to live.
You can read the first full length adventure of Gunner and his Commando friends "To Hell and Back, The Demon Lord," at Smashwords.
Today is the first day you won't see an ongoing novel being posted. I've decided to instead focus on telling shorter stories that relate to my novelettes and my novels. This allows me to give more depth to my characters, spend a little more time on their backstories and history, and thus also giving you quick i insights into my characters and their lives, hopefully making the longer pieces more interesting to read and something to look forward to as well.
So today we begin with
The Stuff of Magic, " A Samuel Light Junior Story."
When he woke up that morning, it was unlike any other. His baseball was no longer on the dresser in front of his bed. The baseball bat was not next to his bed. The mitten he used to catch the ball with was hanging from the ceiling like a bat ready to attack its victim.
"Hello!" He said to no one in particular.
"Hello back at you!"
He jumped up in his bed and looked around the room for the owner of the voice. It had not been a frightening voice, other than the fact that no one should have answered him.
He saw nothing. Just his usual cluster of clothes on the floor beside his bed, where he had kicked off his dirty jeans and socks, and his baseball cap which should have been in the closet, but which he had been afraid to open last night and put it away. He wasn't afraid something was going to hurt him. It was just that...well, the Knight of Nights, lived in there with that hugeeeee sword.
"Where are you?" He asked, barely above a whisper, his voice cracking.
"Where you least suspect."
Sam again searched the room. Nothing. No one. Nowhere. No how!
He reached back to his bedroom window blind and let it flap upwards noisily into its socket, filling the room with morning light. Still nothing. What could possibly hide in morning light that bright he thought, his own eyes tearing from the brightness of it.
Rattle. Bang. Boom.
To his left. He looked that way, expecting to finally see something. Nothing.
Ting. Tang. Tong. To his right.
He jerked his head that way. Nothing.
"This is stupid." He growled finally, angered at whatever it was that was taunting him.
He looked behind him and saw a pair of eyes watching him sadly from the bedroom wall. They were so perfectly blended into the wallpaper that at first he thought they were flowers like the rest of the decoration on the paper, then two flowers blinked.
"Yowl!" He cried out, jumping from his bed. "That's creepy!"
The two eyes began to water, and huge tear drops began to form. "No one loves me."
Sam suddenly felt terrible. He couldn't explain why he should. After all, it was his bedroom, not whatever that strange wall creature was.
"Look, I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings, but you don't belong here."
"Oh, but I do. I was born here, you know." The voice came from somewhere about the eyes, but with no specific location of issuance.
"I don't get it."
"No one ever does. That's why you and your mother were able to rent this house so cheaply."
"Mom's not gonna like hearing that." He told the teary eyes.
"They never do. Always think I might one day decide to eat their child. And then where would they be? No one to scold and to blame their problems on."
Sam laughed. "Not my Mom."
The big eyes made a grimace, which he later decided was a kind of smile, if eyes could smile that is.
Sam scowled at the eyes. "My Mom would never want me to leave! Ever! Ever! Ever!"
"You don't know Moms so well, do you, Samuel?"
He scowled at it, making an even fiercer stare. "I know enough!"
The wall eyes sighed, causing the wall paper to ripple somewhat.
"Always the same story. The same excuses. When will a young boy live here who understands me? Understands!"
"What I understand is that you shouldn't be here!" Samuel said firmly.
He reached towards the eyes and as he did, his right hand began to flare a bright red color.
The wall eyes fled up towards the ceiling and out of his reach. "No need to hurt me!"
Samuel looked at his glowing red hand. "Wow! I'm fireworks!"
"Remember. You said that. Not me." The wall eyes told him.
Samuel sat back on the edge of the bed and eyed the wall eyes. "What do you want?"
"Everything wants something."
"I only want to exist."
Samuel stared at the eyes a long time, and then nodded. "Okay. Just don't let Mom know you're here."
With that he made up his mind and began grabbing his clothing to put on for school.
"Where are you going?"
"A place where there's eyes all over the place watching you." Samuel said with an amused look.
The wall eyes opened wide. "Oh, how horrible."
With that Samuel finished putting his clothing on and left the room.
The wall eyes stared at the door Samuel went through, then sighed. "I wonder what school is like."
It made that same smiling grimace look, and then vanished.
Samuel felt a touch on his right shoulder and sat up, startled. Mrs. Murdoch was staring at him angrily.
"Samuel Light, Junior. I'm really disappointed in you. Falling asleep in class!"
Samuel rubbed at his eyes, and then frowned as the other kids in the class began to laugh at him. He hated when they did that. It reminded him that he was different. Separate from them. He didn't like thinking or feeling that way. It made him angry with himself. Sometimes he wished his powers would just go away, but instead of doing that, he would sprout a new one.
Then he looked up at the highest point of the classroom wall. A huge set of eyes hovered there just above the wood paneling. He smiled. It smiled
Outside the classroom the Principal, Morgan Stanley, an overly weighted man who stood about six and a half feet tall, wobbled along the class papered walls that were hung with the latest geometry shapes, places in the world and spelling problems. Clean and sterile, the corridor reminded the kids of how empty their lives felt when they left the safety of their classrooms, which were strung with teacher delights everywhere, intended to seduce them into thinking their world was safe, when it was far from the truth. For education, Morgan knew, was so restricted by the laws and ignorance of so many, that kids were not protected at all, but held back from knowing the truth. But what could he do? He was one man battling against a monolithic bureaucracy way out of control.
Pieces of confetti twisted to look like Christmas chains. Paper stars dangling from ceilings. mobiles made of paperclips and Popsicle sticks. Popcorn balls the kids had made, but were never eaten. Terrariums with captive crickets and spiders. Gold fish bowls. Struggling green plants starved for real light. Desks with scribbling on their underside, like "I love you. School sucks. Free on Friday."
It was high school. The adult world's closest idea of what prison should be for their hormonally challenged offspring. A place they could safely ensconce them and not have to worry about having to help or nourish them. Others could do it. That might sound skeptical, or even negative. But truth was, the Principal saw all of that and more. Kids bringing guns to school to prove their self worth, gangbangers who tore their bodies apart to prove their strength, girls having babies who were not much younger than themselves.
He had seen a lot in the years he had been a Principal. Mostly he chose to look the other way, because between the adults of the community and the government, no one was really serious about improving education. They just wanted good babysitters, and so he was elevated to the status of Chief of the Babysitters, and his teacher, God bless them all, had to struggle through year after year of declining resources and angry, rebellious children who were indifferent to learning and to doing what was right.
Yes, this morning though was different. He was going to retire soon, and he was in a great mood as he was making his morning rounds. That happy smile on his big face was shattered like the dreams of his youth of becoming an astronaut when he heard the scream of Mrs. Murdoch and then dozens of children stormed out of the classroom, followed closely by Mrs. Murdoch. Uncertain what was going on, he peeked inside cautiously.
Samuel was the only kid there and he was sleeping.
The Principal gulped, not ready to do anything more, and shut the door.
"Thanks wall eyes." Samuel said, not opening his eyes.
"You're welcome." The wall eyes told him. "Maybe we can do this again tomorrow."
Samuel didn't hear the wall eyes. He was snoring and lost in the dreams only he could reach safely.
If you think young Samuel was something else, then you'll enjoy reading about the mature Samuel Light in his the first novel of a trilogy, "Hammer of the Gods," available now in a beautifully crafted paperback book.
I suppose you could call it a Parliament of Souls, for that's what it looked like to me as I swung in from the shadow zone into the in-between.
The in-between is a kind of suppository of lost souls that collect together for mutual benefit. They have decided to stay close to earth, so they don't go into that fab tunnel of light you see on television and the movies. Instead, they conglomerate around their own personal gripes and needs, complain, get nasty and generally make each other more miserable because they don't have physical bodies any more.
This brings me to the next part of this expose. They are called ghosts, discarnates, lost souls, wraiths, night shades, and numerous other names depending on the time period or culture...or temperament of the viewer or experiencer of these disgruntled and lost souls.
Now, I'm not saying they're pure evil. I don't believe in evil as such, only in beings or people whose motives are wrong. Just plain wrong. Don't like life, jealous if it, want to consume, annihilate or tear it apart because of their small minded natures.
And don't go telling me you don't know someone like that. They exist everywhere. Policemen. Teachers, Parents, friends, neighbors, politicians...don't even go getting me started on them, but mostly they are people...on our planet at least...who just don't get it. They think life is about them. It's not. And they get whacked one day by life's short clauses...tuberculosis, cancer, car accident, heart attack, murder, etc....and they come up short on their self expectations.
Well, when you got that many people and there's quite literally billions of them and counting. And when you get that many of misguided souls, afraid of going into the Light, of finding a new life...instead of a new body...then you have chaos on Earth. And don't tell me you don't see that either. Murder. Violence. Cruelty. Perversion. Selfishness. Most of those vices are practiced and influenced by the angry souls of that in-between against those still lucky enough to get their act together.
Me, I'm just a lone soul who has been blessed, or cursed depending on which day of the week it is, to seek out and stop those engines of destruction from ruining or destroying the lives of the humans who still have a chance at doing some good in their lives.
I'm called the Shadow Man. Not because I'm some kind of supernatural hit man, or an occult magician who can raise clothes from tabletops. No, I'm simply a man who quite literally lives in the shadows. I can travel anywhere on the planet by stepping into one shadow and out of another. That can be quite disconcerting if you happen to step out into the wrong place. But I won't go into that aspect of my life at this time.
Suffice it to say that I'm a detective of sorts. I detect problems and do my best to solve them. Am I an angel? To some. To those I detect and remove. Not so much.
But one thing you must understand. Just because I fight against those Tweeners, doesn't mean I hate them, or want them to suffer. No I am just trying to stop them from heaping up more bad karma on them. Because one day they will have to go through that tunnel of light, willing or not, and then the weight of their choices must be faced. Good or bad.
I got up this morning with a bad on, which is probably why I've dwelled so long on the shadowy side of my life and those I work with, but it doesn't negate the fact that I'm a busy guy. I don't have a job like the rest of you. A nice eight to five or maybe an eleven to seven. No, my job's twenty four seven. No time for sleep. Rest or recreation.
How do I put up with it? Don't bother asking, I'm too tired to answer most of the time and even if I gave you a straight answer it might not make sense to you. Let's just say that I'm like a battery, but instead of getting charged up by electricity, I get charged up and sustained by my travel through the shadow lands.
I felt a slight shift of the shadows I was moving through at the speed of shadows. You laugh. You say shadows have no speed. Actually, they do. It's just shy of the speed of light, because it's always just this side of Light. It can't overtake Light; it's usually just right behind it, just like me right now.
I step forth from the travel lane I was in and stand in the middle of Las Vegas Boulevard. A taxi veers to avoid striking me where I stand in the shadow of a stopped tourist bus.
"Whoops!" I curse, then slip back into the shadows and make a smaller hop.
There he is. The kid I was impressed to find and help.
He's alone, holding a balloon he obviously got from Circus Circus. But he was nowhere near that place. He was on the busy streets of Las Vegas Boulevard. Dangerous streets for a child of six.
He looked frightened and scared.
I saw someone standing near him, egging him on. It was an older child, freckle faced and angry. It had died a long time ago and was jealous of this younger one. It was its brother come to take its place in its family and hated the fact. It had stayed earthbound, an inbetweener in the Parliament of Souls, to keep an eye on its sibling and quite frankly kill him if possible.
How can a young boy think such thoughts? And you've never? Imagine if you could have such thoughts and actually act on them and no one could put you in jail. Well, that's how these Tweeners think. No repercussions. No good deed goes unrewarded, because they're not about good deeds, but instead about getting their way. And in this case it was having his younger brother get lost from his parents and step out into the street and get run over by a bus or car.
I leaped from the shadow of the bus stop I had landed at, scaring several older women sipping on their drinks from the casino, and flew across the street, dodging honking cars. I made it to the other side and snatched the young boy to safety.
He began to cry.
"Don't worry, Mom and Dad, will be here soon."
He kept crying. I felt helpless. I'm not much of the hugging type, but I relented and held him close. A shadow fell across me. Actually two, the inbetweener and the Daddy, who looked both frightened and grateful.
I stood up and handed the child over. "God, thank you!" He said, his voice breathless. Evidently he had spotted his child about to be stuck the same time as I had leaped in and saved him. "I don't know how to thank you."
I smiled and looked at the older inbetweener child who was drilling holes in me with his angry eyes. "Just remember to send love to your lost child. It'll help both of them."
And with those cryptic words dangling in the air before the Daddy, and the inbetweener giving me a stunned look I began walking away, instead of stepping into a shadow.
I didn't see the inbetweener begin to cry as his father teary eyed said. "I'm sorry if we haven't sent you love as much as we could. Forgive me."
The inbetweener child began to cry and behind him a tunnel of white light opened up.
Yeah! I didn't see all the holy glory going on behind me, but I felt this charge of energy in my body that more than made up for it. I missed the sight of the inbetweener stepping into the tunnel of Light and being greeted by all those cool beings on the other side.
It's not that I didn't want to see it, it just wasn't part of my plan I guess. But somehow I knew it was happening and felt better for it until I saw a shadow ahead, safely hidden from others. I stepped into it. A man's job is never done. And vanished.
by John Pirillo
"Is he all right?" Were the words being spoken to him, but what he heard instead was something out of a horror film. The words were garbled and sounded like some kind of serpent trying to speak. He couldn't understand why everything was so black. It wasn't a rich darkness like when you lost consciousness or when you were sleeping. It was forced.
Then the darkness was removed.
He was looking up into the eyes of his best friend Tesla. Madame Curie had the wet cloth that had been pressed to his forehead over his eyes in her right hand, a look of extreme worry for him dimming her usually bright eyes.
"Hello." He said.
He reached his right hand up and felt a huge knot on his forehead. Any closer to his right ear and he might not be alive to feel it, he thought to himself, knowing full well what a blow to the head like that can do. His body seemed unbroken, however not much else about him was. He tried to sit up, but the effort caused him to see black spots before his eyes.
Madame Curie pressed the compress back on his forehead again, but left his eyes visible. He smiled gratefully, then pressed his own hand over hers. She smiled gently at him.
Tesla gripped his right shoulder and spoke, but the words were again all garbled and strange. Tesla looked at Einstein, who stood over them, fiddling with his pipe nervously, his eyes strained, checking over his shoulder frequently. "I think now would be a good time to keep moving."
Tesla agreed. He helped Edison to his feet and it was the first time that he realized he wasn't in their craft at all, but instead was still inside the office they usually worked in. All about him the place was a disaster. The ceiling was scarred as if some gigantic hand with huge claws had raked it over and over, leaving burn marks. There was no outer wall and the brusque cold wind was hollowing its way inside, carrying a burden of swirling snowflakes that threatened to engulf them.
He shook off Tesla's help and staggered towards the opening to look out. There was no one t here. Neither the zombies or the Mummy.
And again he remembered their mad escape through the buildings of London only to be struck down by this crazy looking craft.
"They're gone." Tesla said from his right.
Einstein and Madame Curie joined them, each deep in their own thoughts at that moment, no
words visible on their lips as they scoured the empty parking lot below, and what looked to be
dozens and dozens of weapons and makeshift weapons.
"We don't know what happened." Tesla said. "But whatever it was, it put the fear of the devil into that creature. So much so, that it lost its devilish hold on those poor souls below. They scattered shortly after it squirmed away screaming horribly.
"What made this?" Tesla said, not remembering much of anything, except his very peculiar dream which involved some kind of alien craft.
"God only knows." Einstein answered. "But it proves one thing certainly."
Edison turned to him. Einstein gripped his pipe as it were protection against the evil of the world. "That matter can be converted to energy powerful enough to disrupt the very atoms of matter itself."
Madame Curie gave him an odd look. "Your theory..."
"Yes." He said sadly. "Someone has taken my theory and applied it to weaponry." He sighed, then gave his friends a look of utter misery. "I curse the day I ever wrote it down on paper."
With those last words he took his way from the wrecked office and made his way into the corridor, leaving an astounded trio of friends behind him to ponder what it all meant.
Distressed morning light poured through the window into the sitting room. It lit up a very worn, distressed looking group of adventurers sat about the sitting room at 221B, licking their wounds like so many animals who had been abused and left to die. At least that's how they felt at that time.
Sherlock was the only one stoically bearing his pain and physical abuse, but he was aware of what the others were feeling, just remote at the time because his thoughts were launched into a universe only he could circumscribe.
Watson gratefully accepted a cup of fresh hot tea, then nodded to Conan, whose leg was in a cast now and sat on the sofa beside Challenger who kept a watchful eye on him. Constable Evans was standing at the stairway entrance, his eyes veiled, his own thoughts consuming his attention, for he was very worried about the Inspector.
Watson gave him a commiserating look. "Constable, it will not do the Inspector any good to be sulking like a puppy."
The Constable shrugged. "Neither will it do him any good for me to forget he was my friend."
Sherlock and Watson exchanged glances. Neither of them thought it possible for the Inspector to be friends to anyone, so the Constable obviously was coming at the friendship from a pure one sided view of the relationship.
Conan finally spoke up. "Well, whatever the creature planned; it failed. That much we know for certain."
"Nothing is for certain, dear Conan."
Conan glanced at Sherlock, surprised by his announcement. "How can you say that? We destroyed the Mummy at the dock."
Sherlock nodded. "But no one understands how there could have been two."
Wells and Jules who stood at the back of the room, as still as statutes, watching, suddenly sat down on chairs near Conan. Wells leaned forward. "We've seen this before."
Conan gave him a startled look. "Before. You mean there's more than one of these Mummy creatures?"
Jules sighed. "More than the stars in the sky."
Challenger almost choked on the scone he was eating.
Mrs. Hudson put a hand over her heart, fear lighting her expression. Watson rose to put an arm about her shoulders. "There, there, my dear Mrs. Hudson. I won't let anything happen to you."
Wells stood up and began pacing the room. "We haven't been strictly honest with our friends."
Sherlock gave him a knowing smirk, which Wells studiously ignored.
"This world is not our original one."
"Nor the last one we've been to." Jules spoke up, breaking the stone cold silence that had gripped the hearts of all there.
Wells sat down again and began fiddling with the lapels of his coat, as if that might soothe his nerves and his conscience. "There are worlds where the science of man is distressed. Dark."
"Horrible!" Exclaimed Jules, looking first at Wells, then at his companions.
"When we brought our families to this reality, we had hoped that we had found a timeline where those evil creatures had failed to make a landfall, to thrust their dark souls."
"The Mummy." Sherlock finally said. He rose and went to the window to look out. The streets were silent. The usual happy pedestrians and children playing in the snow were gone. The Queen had ordered everyone to remain indoors until the situation was under control. London lived in a fear greater than when Jack had ruled the streets, or Hyde the city.
"The Mummy was your doing."
Wells and Jules gave each other searching glances, then Wells spoke. "It's our fault. We have played the serpent to this Garden of Eden."
Jules nodded. "You see, when we escaped our last timeline, one of those horrid creatures had managed to attach itself to the Master of the World."
"Master of the World?" Challenger asked. "Isn't that the name of a book your wrote, Wells?"
"Yes." Wells answered, not too happy about it. "But I never intended the book to be about a real vessel. Jules here is such a genius when it comes to making things."
"I took his ideas from the book and constructed our time ship, so we could traverse time and space and stop those demons from spreading across the timelines."
"But you failed." Sherlock said. He looked at them, their faces filled with the distress of their thoughts and guilt. "And rather than letting this world know of it, you introduced the creature you had managed to capture into the Museum, placing it into a stasis, a kind of suspended animation, thinking that there it could be safely kept until you found a way to bring some kind of sanity to it?"
Wells almost choked at the clarity of Sherlock's words. "But how could you know we hadn't tried to kill it?"
Sherlock gave them a gentle smile. "Because you two do not have that kind of heart. You have the hearts of artists, and those souls strive to render Creation a place of beauty, not destruction. You had rendered the creature helpless, hoping that here you might find a cure for its malaise."
"There is no cure for evil." Watson snorted.
Sherlock gave him an appraising look. "I wouldn't be so sure. But in any case, these gentlemen have revealed a truth we must now address. And also a question which also arises."
"Which is?" Watson demanded.
"Yes, we all would like to know what you have in mind, Holmes?" Challenger agreed.
"Which brings us back to my original statement, how could there be two?"
Jules and Wells gave him a confused look, but he went on. "If there was but the one Mummy, then where came the second one from. The one that confronted Tesla and Edison. The one that led the rebellion towards their stronghold."
Sherlock rose, then put his hands behind his back in the pose that told the world he was about to solve a problem that daunted the weaker of souls. "How do we put this genie back in the bottle, now that it is out?"
"Or destroy it!" Conan hissed, remembering his own painful experience and the close call of death that it had brung.
"Or..." Sherlock said, leaving his last words hanging with a sense of dread about their hearts.
The Revenge of the Mummy
by John Pirillo
The Mulamont Theater was in the posh Regent Street district, an area that abutted the nearby Royal Opera House and the Royal Academy of the Arts, where Alex, chauffeur and late, but now dead actor of aspiring fame, gained his education in the arts. Cold and barren was the area now. Few visitors of curiosity or work neared the area after the prior night. Word of the bizarre terror and murder had struck a chord in the fearful hearts of Londoners.
Many thought, wasn't it enough that we had to put up with Jack White, the Ripper, and the terrible Hyde, who could suck the life force out of one's limbs and heart. Vampires they could deal with, but these alien forces, and sometimes demonic men and women, were too much for their average minds to accept. So on this early morning, nearing dawn, few were at the scene of the crime, except for freezing Constables, and city crews trying to clean up the mess made by the panicking crowd.
Sherlock and Watson stood at the entrance, looking out towards the place where the bodies had lain. From there the burn marks were just as sharp as they had been when they stood over them. The Inspector stood just to their right, slapping hands against himself to keep warm.
Sherlock and Watson breathed curls of white smoke from their nostrils and mouths, as they breathed, but hardly noticed the cold. This two were used to much more extreme weather, it would seem to the bedraggled Inspector, who yawned so deeply that moment, he felt as if his very tonsils would explode from his mouth.
He caught a hand over his mouth and stepped closer to the team. "Anything?"
Sherlock looked at him, then motioned for Watson to go to the burned area. Watson did so and opened his bag, then got to his knees and began collecting some of the ash into a vial, then some fiber, and then some of the very pavement itself.
The Inspector watched so intently, that he didn't notice when Sherlock slipped away into the alley, unholstering his weapon as he did so. Why he should have done that would have been the Inspector's immediate question, but he would have received no answer. For the moment that Sherlock entered the alley, his attention went not from where the initial attack had begun, but insted to the side of the building. He holstered his weapon, and withdrew a tiny vial and swab, then dabbed it into something slimy on the side of the building that was frozen there, but still sticky enough to come off on the swab.
"Watson, come here, I need you!" Sherlock hollered.
The Inspector and Watson both ran into the alley, weapons out and ready to fire, but when they saw Sherlock taking a second swab from the building on the other side of the alley, they immediately relaxed, though the Inspector's eyes darted hither and thither, not content to take anything for granted, after what had happened and so horribly as well. Not that death isn't always horrible, he thought to himself, but this...the thoughts wavered in his consciousness and then drowned in a pool of darkness of incomprehension.
"It seems that whoever, or whatever..." Sherlock began, motioning to Watson to take the vials he had just placed the entire swabs into. "It would seem that it or they have a means of ingress and digress that don't obey the normal laws of human capabilities."
"How so?" Watson asked.
"Yes, Sherlock. How?" The Inspector inquired, his eyes searching the rooftops for any sign of the villain.
"First, man does not stick to walls. Second, man does not exude slime like a snail. Third, a man can not defy the laws of gravity when doing so."
"Get to the point, man!" The Inspector blurted out, his temper shortened by loss of sleep and frustration.
"The point is." Sherlock said after a long pause. "The point is we are not searching for a man"
With that he took himself from the alley, with Watson following in his footsteps.
The Inspector suddenly realized he was standing alone in the dark alley. He heard something make a noise above him and swiveled about to aim his weapon at the rooftop. A street urchin, who swept chimneys for a living waved down at him, then made a rude sound and scampered off.
"Nasty little bugger, aren't you?" He aimed at the rooftop, then shouted. "You better hide. I find you and..."
"Inspector!" Sherlock called to him, cutting him short.
The Inspector turned to find Sherlock behind him. He almost jumped. "I thought you were through."
"My intentions were to send Watson off to diagose the samples immediately, while you and I do a little climbing."
"Climbing as in mounting a hill?"
"No." Sherlock answered. He pointed upwards.
Sherlock led a quick pace to the end of the alley where a fire escape, old, but serviceable, rose from the base of the alley to the top of the nearest building. He began scrambling up it like a mad man with the Inspector panting hard behind him. "Drat it all, Holmes, slow down, you're killing me!"
Sherlock paused to look back. "It might already be too late. We must hurry!"
"Hurry to what?"
"Find the criminal!"
Sherlock ascended even faster, ignoring the trembling of the old fire escape and once sending some broken piece of it tumbling towards the Inspector, who barely avoided it.
"Bloody hell!" The Inspector swore as he muscled the piece from striking his face with the back of his right arm.
The piece clanged to the alley below, making horrific sounds as it crashed there.
"Coming or not, Inspector!" Sherlock cried from above.
The Inspector looked up just as Sherlock vanished from view.
"Hate this pishy job! Hate it!"
The Inspector cursed silently next as he was short of breath still and he had to urge his sore and aching muscles to take him the rest of the way up. As he mounted the top of the fire escape he saw Sherlock take a running leap to the next building.
"Oh bollocks!" The Inspector cried out, then he ran as fast as his burning muscles would allow and in a grand effort of will and effort, he launched himself for the opposite side. He didn't make it. He began to tumble backwards as his foothold slipped from him, when a strong hand caught his arm and pulled him the rest of the way to safety.
Sherlock immediately let go and continued running.
The Inspector watched as Sherlock made an even longer leap.
"This is killing me." He bitched. "Maybe even literally." He cursed as he took another run, this time the fear of death and failure in Sherlock's eyes fueling his leap. He leaped into the air towards the next building, prayers forming in his mind as he flew the distance.
Revenge of the Mummy
(A Sherlock Holmes/Doctor Watson Adventure)
by John Pirillo
A Bobby walked the sidewalk in front of Baker Street 221B whistling the latest tune favorited by the public that year. Something about a sailor and a woman meeting at midnight. He paused a moment when he saw movement near the ally, but when nothing else moved again, he looked up to the window above, and saw the silhouette of Sherlock Holmes in the curtains, gesturing with a long hand.
He smiled, knowing full well who it was and thanking his God that such a smart man lived to thwart the dark-hearted villains that plagued London.
Inside the sitting room Watson warmed his hands against the hearth screen, allowing its warm glow to suffuse his body with a calming presence. He still felt chilled by what he had learned at the museum. "It's just incredible, Holmes. What manner of mummy could come alive after thousands of years and then climb to the ceiling and enter a vent without leaving a mark?"
Holmes, who was pacing near the window, paused a moment, then continued pacing. He held his pipe in his right hand and used it almost like a means of pulling him forward, until he turned to repeat the movement in the opposite direction. "I'm not sure."
"Well, the samples should make everything clear for us." Watson said cheerily.
"Professor Grayson should have them back to us first thing tomorrow morning."
"It was kind of him to interrupt his late class to speak with us."
"It's the kind of man he is, Watson. Driven by the thirst for truth and...justice."
Watson nodded. "Hard to believe he's also the Invisible Man."
"Many things are hard to believe, dear Watson, yet remain so anyway."
Holmes sat down in his favorite chair, crossed his right leg over the left and took a draw of hsi pipe. He blew out small gray circles and watched them expand, then fade away. He repeated that again, then stopped. "Perhaps we're looking at this all the wrong way."
"Whatever do you mean?"
"Perhaps, what we're looking for is impossible to believe and that's why we can't see the truth of it."
"That makes no sense at all, Holmes."
"Ah." Holmes said with a smile. "It makes all the sense in the world."
"Goodnight, Watson." He said and exited into his room.
Watson stood up, startled by the abruptness. "Since when do you go to bed before me."
"Since tonight. Plan on getting up early." Holmes said from behind his door.
Watson shook his head. "Never a moment of peace." He muttered, then settled back into his chair, pulling up the comforter on his lap to warm more of his body. "Puzzles and puzzles. Mysteries and mysteries. When will it ever end?"
He yawned and listened to the pop and crackle of the burning wood several moments, then his eyes drifted shut and he fell asleep.
Missus Van Der Veere was the toast of London. She was always invited to the most posh parties and would show up with diamonds on every finger, her wrist, her arm, her neck, her hair, her bosom. Anywhere, quite frankly, they could be shown off to the maximum benefit of her wealthy position. Never one to believe that hiding one's wealth was a sign of generosity to those less than well off, or as a sign of arrogance to those equally as wealthy, she was brash, bold and...beautiful. For a woman of sixty that is.
Most women never made it to her years because of one thing or another, but usually child birth which was still one of the largest causes of premature death in women during those times, even as advanced and advancing as they were, yet, modern science, and especially the art of delivering a safe baby and mother had not yet fully been arrived at yet.
Surely there were many hucksters and fake doctors who claimed such, and made themselves fortunes on the loss of such women, but there was no easy way out for a woman who lived children, yet had to face the very real prospect of an early death.
So Missus Van Der Veere thought nothing of climbing out of her Tesla Limousine which this night was driven by a famous stage actor, Sir Alex Guiness, a relative of the brother Alec, who had not made much of himself in this life, even after having gone to Americas to be in the movies, where he had failed miserably.
No, Alex, was tall, stately, every inch a gentleman and quite well aware of the fact that his fame rested in the slender hands of Missus Van Der Veere, or Milly, as he called her quietly during those times when he would be reward in other ways than that of fame and fortune. Not one to shy away from womanly pleasures, he found it to just be another avenue of exploration for his acting ablities, and was quite capable of giving her everything he had and then some.
"Alex, dear." She said she got out, waiting for him to close the door. "Would you be so kind as to fetch me a dozen roses for the after show. I want to make sure that that new actress from the Californias..."
"Miss Monroe shall have at least a dozen roses to match her beautiful blonde hair."
Missus Van Der Veere gave him an annoyed look. "Alex, all women's hair are brown as far as I am concerned. If the talented actress wishes to join the millions of us who cherish our bottles of hair dye, then whom am I to complain."
"Consider me warned and I do apologize, Madam."
"You may park the car, fetch the flowers and..."
She gave him a subtle wink.
"I shall make sure our usual place of assignation fits all your expectations."
"Very good of you, Alex. I expect you to go quite far in London Theater."
"Thank you, Madam. I look forward to seeing you there."
"Oh, you shall." She said as she faced the long line of reporters who were waiting to photograph her as she walked on the plush carpet meant for the rich and powerful. As she began walking up the carpet, light bulbs flashing, you looked back and said. "One day, we both shall."
He nodded, then climbed back into the limousine and gunned the electric motor, allowing the back wheels to gain a bit more traction in the snow outside, causing some skittering of the wheels, scattering a spray of snow up the carpet and into the back of Missus Van Der Veere's shiny and quite expensive gown.
The photographers had a heyday catching that one.
Alex saw what he had accidentally done in his rear view and made a fast. "So much for that career."
As he drove around the corner into the alley shortcut he usually took to fetch flowers for her at the end of the performances, he saw something large loom before him. He jammed on the brakes, fearing he was about to strike a homeless person, or an itinerant of some kind.
The limo struck the looming object and a terrible screech struck the night with such awful terror and pain that he felt for sure he had just murdered a woman.
He leapt from the car, and headed towards the side where he had seen the body fly, fearing to see a mass of broken bones, torn clothing and blood. He hated the sight of blood, which is one reason why he always did such fine performances where he had to spill it. He had no problem with showing his disgust for murder and especially blood, because the sight of it caused him to become instantly nauseous. Something he had cultivated, unfortunately from his younger days, when he was but a youth.
Missus Van Der Veere did her best to not show her indignation or shame as she marched up the carpet to the foyer of the theater, but when she heard a man's scream blasting over the laughter of the Photographers, she was horrorified. She heard it one last time and her face turned a horrid shade of gray. "Alex! My God!" She uttered, her voice cracking with fear.
There was a horrible moment of silence as the crowd realized the scream was not part of the opening ceremonies, nor of the actors entering the theater.
Some of them turned around. As they did, they dropped back, crying out in horror.
Alex stumbled forward towards the carpet, his hands outstretched like a zombie's. His entire face was half eaten away and half his right side. How he had managed to get that far no one could ever know. Later in the newspapers it would be reported, and wrongly so, that he had used what little life he had left to make sure that his mistress was safe from harm, but in reality he just wanted to see one last time what he would never see again.
Alex fell at her feet and then his body began to dissolve as if a strong acid were eating it up. The smoke and fumes scattered the crowd even more. But what was worse was Missus Van Der Veere. For it was the first time she realized and the last that this man was gone forever and that she had truly loved him, despite her airs of annoyance and arrogance towards him.
She flung herself down beside him, uncaring of any harm that might come to her, again demonstrating that she was not in her right mind, but that love had blinded her. For when she dared to touch what was left of his face, her hand lit up like a piece of paper and caught on fire.
The crowd all screamed in terror and even as a Medical Wagon and a Bobby Wagon were pulling up, the people panicked and fled in every direction as Missus Van Der Veere screamed in mortal agony and loss for herself and the man she had come to love.
Her scream was the last thing she remembered before she descended into the blissful safety of utter blackness.