Monday, July 25, 2011

A Murder of Mosquitoes Moths and Gnats

              It's another night where I can't sleep and this time we're blaming you, Nick. Apparently you don't remember that we have toned down our act, vato. Or do you remember what happened in the Desert? Do you remember why you couldn't find the bodies?
            Someone's creeping around the forest outside and it sounds like the steps are too light for there to be anyone around, and Naomi's not talking to me again. And by not talking to me I mean every so often she takes a book off the shelf in the living room and lobs it in here. Last time, she almost smashed the monitor, which would mean these happy little missives wouldn't reach your ears at all. All three of you. Naoms has graduated from a very slim copy of Fables and Reflections and is now throwing a copy of The Stand at me.
            "Okay, talk."
            "No more rampaging."
            And right then is where I shut off. "It was supposed to happen."
            "No, no it fucking wasn't. You have no idea what you're doing."
           "So tell me what I'm doing. It's not that hard. You even like it."
           I am blindsided by a book to the side of my head. It. Stephen King. Hardcover. Kind of appropriate. We're trying to fight a child-snatching monster and the first thing she brains me with is a copy of It.
           "Shut the fuck up." Naomi snaps. "If you ever do anything like that again, it's over. You brought us together, and I'm glad you did that, but don't you fucking dare kill any more people you don't have to. I will hamstring you and let someone else do it if I have to."
            Adam's sitting in the living room and I can see him mouthing along to choicey bits in the conversation like it's his favorite song or something. The footsteps are coming closer to the house, but I can't see anything yet. Naomi's going on and on.
             "There will be more if you do that. You're familiar with the concept, right? You--" she realizes that 'fuck a hornet's nest', her usual standby is not the right phrase to use with me. Particularly not when I rush my enemies naked. She awkwardly changes words, "kick a beehive, and no matter how many angry bees you kill, they're going to overrun you."
               "So what do you suggest we do?"
               "You say you're a master of something. Masters happen to knock their opponents out with no difficulty. What they don't do is kill people as a matter of course. If you're defeating them and leaving them alive, they'll either go full abomination so we can sic Constance on them, or they'll go running back to their masters. Just don't..."
               The sound of a thump makes us both leave the diminished safety of the window. Something's walking around on the stones outside, and a circle of light shines through the window. I forgot to turn the overhead light on in the room. Oh, fuck.
               We freeze and the light stays by the window. It's a perfect circle, not a flashlight, and it stays there before moving towards the backyard. I flick on the light, but it's gone by the time I get up, and no one else has seen a damn thing. The light footsteps continue, and for a moment I think I can see something peeking in through the top of the turret, but whatever it is, it's gone when I look over there. Fuck, this thing scares me. I know what it isn't but I don't know what it is. I take another swig of rum (the rum is important) and get back to figuring out what the hell I'm supposed to do.
               "Just don't keep killing them." Naomi finishes. "Or it will only make it worse. You don't pick at a cut, you treat it and leave it alone."
               God help me I can't believe her, but I can at least nod and try.


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Rats in Paradise

           First night we all spent indoors. I took the bed, Stormbringer wrapped in my arms like a weaponized teddy bear, Naomi in the loft above my head with Adam. Colin on top of the covers, Lila and Constance in the back bedroom. We actually wanted to rest (we never go to sleep. Going to sleep is our word for death), so we didn't hole up in the ass end of the house. Lila had the feeling the door to those creepy back rooms were gonna fly open any moment and something was going to be there shrieking at us. I told her if there was, we'd have some fun with it, but for now to just turn off the lights and go to bed. She hated that.
           So now I was in bed and Colin's sleeping just as soundly as he is awake. And the god damn rats start scrabbling. So just as soon as I go to sleep, I'm up and away for a piss, check behind the shower curtains to make damn sure that there isn't anyone hiding behind there. There are rats in my walls. I would say they're the lovecraftian kind, but the ones dropping out of the ceiling on Constance are suspiciously without human faces. I can see the lights and hear things trying to get in, but they can't, of course. They are Outside. I am Inside. And the system works. There are also a few of the usual groupies trying to take a shot at the big brass ring. But they are Outside. I am Inside. Also, they tend to die around me. From golf-club related injuries. Because they are shrieking morons.
          The Lights go away, so I go to the kitchen and pop open a year-old pumpkin ale, down the whole thing, and then finish it off with two glasses of wine and a stiff bracing shot of rum (the rum is important). By this point, Adam's standing there in his nightshirt and shakes his head. I nod mine. He shakes his more. I nod, harder. He rolls his eyes, but he knew it was a losing battle from the start. "They'll be back in stronger numbers, you know."
          By this point, I've already stripped down to nothing and grabbed Stormbringer. "They are Outside. I will be Outside. They can't get Inside. I was getting bored anyway." Groupies, as any good monster-hunter knows, are chow. They are what happens when the squishy human ones like us think a little too big in the wrong direction. They think they have powers or something, they think the big high-stepping blank-faced daddy will protect them, and they all have the same astonished look on their face when Stormbringer comes between their eyes and their head cleaves in half.
         "Key." I hold out my hand. Adam holds on to it. "I'll get the door. I don't want to know where you put this, and you'll lose it otherwise."
         "You know exactly where I'll put it." I grin widely, and Adam looks perturbed. He sighs and opens the door. "I'm locking it until they're all dead. And you're not preparing them in here."
          "I'll use outside again...this isn't the first time..." I hear one of the groupies shout something. "And a one, and a two, and..."
          Out the door and down the crumbling wooden stoop and it's dark. The lock clicks behind me, and the bass in my head starts: ba-da-da-da-da-da-DA over and over again. I shriek to let them know I'm here, in case they don't see the white fishbelly skin and wild eyes. "Well, I jumped..." I mutter to myself, the first line coming to me easily, a swing and a near miss as I break the stunned silence with a stroke. They're used to clothed opponents, I'm guessing. And sober. I stumble to compensate for the balance and one of them tries to grab me and then they're upon me. Oops. Their funeral, I guess. And my trial.
           It's not burning this time because that doesn't matter, and one of them gets too close, Stormbringer smashing into his ear. I laugh wildly. "PunishMENT!" Another one grabs for me, they're trying to pin me down, good, if they do that it makes this easier, because they won't attack me one on one. The one I boxed in the ear gets too close again. "REWAAAAAAAAARD!" Something crunches beneath the club and I swing in a wide circle, tripping someone up. "PUNISHMENT!" Whack. "REWAAAAARD!" Crunch.
          They start to get wise to this after two of them go down and drop back. I assume a defensive stance, club out in front of me, almost yardstick-straight, other hand going down for a brief fondle, give them something to look at. Soon that's yardstick-straight and two of them come at me, one on either side. I move my hand back to the club handle and fend off a groin hit, pirouette, and hear it connect with the other one's leg. I cry at him, but the "Reward!" goes to the other bitch, who tried to move up while I was occupied. It's then that I decide that perhaps focusing on one would be better.
           Since Mr. Reward got caught in the chest, I stand over him, my dong at eye-level, and smash the club into his head. I've gone off-script and off-music here, so I just bash his little head in until it resembles a butcher's shop pinata and then when his friend has limped over, along with the other two members of their sad little clique, I shift-pivot and the club slams into all three of them. I'm yelling something else, they seem horrified, but I don't know what it is.
          They try a last desperate charge, thinking this tubby motherfucker is going to go down easy. I bonk, spin, whack, and then full-bore tackle the last three, and proceed to beat them into the ground until all my energy leaves and I know I'm gonna be sore in the morning. Then I drag em in back so we can dispose of the bodies and go back to bed. "All clear..." I wheeze, "and tomorrow we get to burn a whole bunch of shit in rum." (the rum is important) This gets a smattering of applause, and then some grumbles. I could be arsed. Instead, I fuck off to bed and pass out, leaving Stormbringer in the fireplace poker-holder.