Hey, hows it going my imaginary audience.
So, it’s done, sorta. I finished Diana After Dark, if that’s even what I’m still calling it by the time I post this. And I’m sinking into my usual funk. That completionist depression, when you walk away from a book. Like when you finish a videogame that really gripped you and then it’s over and you’re like ‘I want more’. Same for books I guess but my first experience with that feeling was videogames, just getting engrossed in that world and then having to leave it behind because there’s nothing left to do. It’s depressing.
That’s done, I say ‘done’ what I really mean is it needs shitloads more editing and fixing and tweaking which could take months but I’ll happily do it, also I think I might change her aunt character into a cop. It just might make more sense later on, give her more leverage in the story and it sort of makes sense in regard to the character she’s based on I guess.
It’s finished and I feel lost once again, trapped in that miasma of deciding what to do next. Because honestly the first thing I wanted to do was just say fuck it and write the sequel right away. Start drafting up the ideas floating around in my head and put it on paper, I literally have ideas for at least two more but I don’t know if it’s healthy to stay in that headspace for so long and listen to the same music. I figure I should put something in between.
I’m thinking I might do something that’s a twist on a bunch of Lovecraft stories. I did do a sort of weird almost Lovecraftian super hero story a while back that I could revive. It might be fun, like a cosmic horror thriller novella. Then maybe I could do another Diana or that fantasy novel I’ve been planning to do or that other fantasy novel I’ve been planning to do.
I dunno, just feeling bummed the fuck out recently and I need to get reinvigorated and throw myself back into something and I need to get this stuff cleaned up and start talking to agents again and try to get some money out of it so I can start getting deeper into potential series’.
Also planning on making a pilot or something for a Starship troopers tv show, I was just at a party recently and I thought how awesome would that be if netflix dropped all this gay ass superhero shit (Punisher not included, The Punisher is awesome, they could still fuck up his standalone show though) and started a high budget live action starship troopers tv show. I mean shit I would watch that in a second.
I mean I would be happier if I didn’t even write it, if I just gave the idea to a good screen writer and then I could just enjoy it. But it’s netflix so they’d probably still fuck it up haha. Or shit even worse if it was taken on by AMC and it couldn’t have any nudity or swearing like Preacher, fuck me sideways that was fucking retarded.
Anyway, enough of me ranting about bullshit, got another chapter of The one that came back for your viewing pleasure. You know the drill.
Porter couldn’t let it go. there was something about it that he knew would haunt him if he didn’t get something squared away. He figured a few questions, a couple of hours out of his life. That would spare him the sleepless nights, tossing and turning thinking about it.
So here he was sitting in his truck on Swallow Street. Outside Johnny’s old house. He looked into the old case reports on the boy’s disappearance online. They were bare enough for the cops to not care who looked at them and all the addresses were old anyway. This is Johnny’s old neighbourhood, he was taken in a park not too far from his home. The family moved out after his disappearance because of a new job across town.
He thought about watching the kid at first. As far as he could tell the neighbours he had. The friends he had back then were still kicking around here so they might have more to say. As far as he was concerned the person he met and the boy that went missing were two different people. So following him wouldn’t teach him anything he didn’t already know.
He’d gotten hold of a Photostat copy of his missing poster. He went over it a couple of times trying to get a picture of the kid in his mind.
Johnnathon William Bartlett Missing Since Jun 13, 2013, Missing From San Antonio, TX. DOB Dec 31, 2000. Sex Male. Race Caucasian. Hair Color Lt. Brown. Eye Color Blue. Height 4′8″. Weight 80 lbs.
Identifying features; Has three tattoos. The letter T on his left hand between his thumb and forefinger. The letter J on his left shoulder, and the letters L and N on the outside of his left ankle.
What’s a thirteen year old doing with tattoos? He thought to himself. He made the drive out to fort Sam Houston where the boy was abducted. It was at least a twenty minute drive, maybe an hour bike ride away, or a three hour walk from his house. A picture of this kid was forming already. The missing poster said he was diagnosed with adhd. So this wasn’t your average kid. Normal kids don’t have tattoos or take hour bike rides to go play basketball away from home.
Swallow street was a normal neighbourhood. Lined with modest single story homes in reasonable condition. Nothing out of the ordinary about it, no gangs, or drugs or undesirables about. The house he was looking for was 14118 Swallow Street.
The house was a small red brick building with a tiny covered porch at the entrance and a single car garage at the side. A black mailbox outfront. The lawn was small and sloped down with a single tree in the front that looked like a hand sticking out of the earth. Bare of all its leaves. All the houses in the neighbourhood were pretty much the same sandy colours. Like they all just rose out of the desert.
It was early and there weren’t too many people out, the odd dog walker or baby stroller. A squat Mexican woman one yard over was raking leaves and mumbling to herself in Spanish.
He didn’t think it would do much good asking the new owner about the missing kid. Chances are he wouldn’t have even known about the thing at all. Not exactly need to know information for a realtor to give out. ‘Oh by the way a kid who used to live here disappeared’.
But he figured it couldn’t hurt to talk to the guy. Maybe if he got talking something might tumble out and he’d get to look around a bit.
Porter parked on the sidewalk next to the black mailbox. The sidewalks were those little strip sidewalks. Like they expected you to walk single file.
Porter crossed the lawn, it was well kept, a little too short even, dry looking.
He passed through the little alcove and tapped on the glass in the door. No one answered, Porter went around the side and peeked through windows. It didn’t look like anyone was home.
“HE NOT HOME!” A shrill voice called.
Porter looked towards where the sound came from. The squat Mexican woman was looking at him from across the yard. Holding her rake close to her as she bagged leaves. Porter put on his best smile and hopped across the lawn like a little bunny. Pretending to be out of breathe when he reached her.
“Mr Hostelle not home, he work in construction travel a lot, he come back next week.”
“Right, thanks” He was surprised, he didn’t even need to ask any questions yet.
“Something you want?”
“As a matter of fact, I was wondering if you knew the family who used to live here?”
“You here about the boy who disappeared, Johnny whatshisname?” She said tutting trying to remember his name. Waving her hand trying to pre-empt Porter correcting her and progressing the conversation.
“Bartlett” He said flat.
“That’s it Bar-lett, the news people already been here, you with them?” She probed the air with the end of her rake acquisatorially.
“Not really, I just wanted to know more about the boy, can you tell me anything?”
“Si, I remember.” She said curtly as she tied up the garbage bag full of leaves a little too tight. She looked up from the bag and cocked her head to the side. “You want me to say he was the pefect little angel who flew away, is not true. That one was a little puta!”
Porter thought it best to keep quiet and pretend he was taking mental notes, which he was.
“The policia, they come around all the time for this kid, and this a good neighbourhood”. She swung around as if to give him a good look at the neighbourhood, her house was simple but nice. A single story house with a slanted roof, a large two car garage with a 4×4 taking up one a half cars worth of space. The windows outside looked almost like church windows, three in a row. Twin cedar trees dominating her lawn. “We don’t get much trouble, but with him always trouble. He come home late, screaming and shouting and fighting and drug”.
“That’s what I hear, I never see, and that not the first time he run away either. Last time he was hiding down the bottom of my yard. Tearing up my flower bed.” She started to get fidgety now. “And these not little kid fights. When they fight, they fight, they use knive, the mother she have boyfriends and they no good.” Something told Porter she was enjoying this a little too much. The reporters didn’t let her get to the nit gritty. Like she wanted.
“Do you know what happened to Johnny’s father?”
“No, we moved in after he was already gone, they say, err, he run away” She shrugged.
She started looking a little more nervous than aggravated. She started rubbing a cross that was hanging around her neck. She made the sign of the cross. “Madre dios, that’s not all, one night we call the police because we heard noise”.
“What kind of noise?”
“Like an animal cry and like singing, err not singing, like a droning noise. The police come and the man, err what his name J- something. He answer the door cover in blood”. She moved her hands to signify the blood was all over and her eyes were wide now and he could see the whites. She was excited, a little theatre crept in.
“What did the cops say” Porter stayed cold and flat like a frozen flank steak.
“He say, the man, that it was chicken blood. He kill a chicken for dinner, no way, in mehico we kill chickens, very little blood. You see a chicken, they very small, not very much blood. Head to toe. The policia, they leave him alone”. She shrugged and wrinkled her bottom lip.
“Was this around the time Johnny went missing?”
“I don’t remember exactly, maybe. It get so bad, with the boy that they had to bring in his Uncle to come live with them because the boy was so violent. He was hitting his mother so they bring in the man J-something to keep the boy, behave, you know. But you know the news they only want to hear how good he was. Cute little blonde boy with blue eyes go missing. They only want to hear nice things about him” She chuckled to herself.
“Thanks, you’ve been a big help”
“Si” The woman said as she raised her eyebrows and got back to raking leaves.
Porter went back to the dodge and got in and sat there for a moment, tossing gravel in his head.