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TOTCB Chapter 18 ‘Nobody’s Baby Now’

Bonjourno,

Well here we are with the final chapter of The One That Came Back raw and unedited cos I’m mean like that, if you want the lovely polished edited version you’ll have to sign up to my mailing list to get it winged to your inbox in a lovely digital with a cover and everything that I spent ages on ms paint making haha. I wish I was kidding.

Shit, I spent god knows how much money getting it edited only to give it away now I’m supposed to spend a small fortune on getting someone to do me a cover. I got lucky with the Ladies Close Your Eyes cover, I got someone from my comic book connections (when it was supposed to be a comic) to do it for free with a bit of cajoling and ass kissing.

So ms paint is all you’re getting, hey it’s the content that matters, all that thirty day nanowrimo content that kind of sucks but what do you expect it’s free? Nah it’s good, it’s not my best work to date, it’s rushed, it’s kind of raw, a little cheesy but overall I like it because it’s as close to the real life events as I could get it.

My main aim when writing it was to add an element of the supernatural and an element of mystery while keeping it as grounded and realistic as possible. A little like true detective, keep it gritty and real even a little boring to hit harder when it gets a little crazy.

I don’t really think I got the emotional weight I could have gotten or spent enough time making people like the characters but I wanted almost to treat it like a documentary and just present the characters as they are and you end up liking them or disliking them. 

I dunno, I kind of like that, I’ve been watching Battlestar gallactica recently and it’s hard to describe because the characters are really grounded and I find myself not really liking any of them but not hating them either. It’s weird, they just are. I’m not rooting for anyone but I still find it oddly compelling and interesting and I love spaceship cabin asmr noises in the background and the sort of claustrophobic feel. Because it’s basically about the majority of the human race being destroyed by evil robots they created and now they have to live in a nomadic convoy of space ships looking for a new home. I think it’s a great show, not usually a big fan of sci-fi, but it’s sort of so realistic it’s almost like watching a tv show aboard a naval ship a thousand years in the future.

It gives me that hit of starship troopers feels I didn’t get from the animated series. Because I recently read the starship troopers book and it’s written by a guy who spent time in the navy and he just wrote a book imagining a navy in the future with space travel and killer bugs and that’s how it reads. And it’s why I found the book super fucking boring haha.

It’s not a bad book, just nothing really happens in it, it’s just slice of life kind of crap but its only interesting because its a slice of a guy who kills bugs in a mech suit haha. But it just goes to show how perfect Paul Verhoeven was to direct the movie, he added the perfect tone to the movie, just enough campy silliness to make it fun and make the gorey fucked up moments hit harder. Because really there’s no other way it could have been done, it stretches credulity too much to be taken seriously so Verhoeven just took it to it’s natural ridiculous conclusion and it worked really well.
Obviously he was trying to parody a fascist space dictatorship but he just made it look really cool haha.

Updates updates, ok well 3 ring is coming along pretty well actually. I’m finding it really easy to write, just flows really naturally, I’m not sticking strictly to a word limit for the chapters like I usually do, so just letting them fall where they fall because I have a lot of content for this, no shitty word salad filler (I don’t do that).

I originally planned it to be like a sixty issue long comic series so I watched a buttload of kung fu and samurai movies as ‘research’ and I have ideas out of the ass. So I’m just gonna write this first maybe as a novelette and just see where it goes, end it where it feels natural. Maybe I could get it published in a magazine in an episodic format if it’s short and wraps up nicely.

Yeah I was surprised by how well it’s going to the point where I did something pretty clever that was kind of unintentional, but mostly I think it’ll be a fun read, I think I’ll do the next Diana book after this seeing where the wind blows. Maybe I’ll do Cur for nano if I do nano this year. I fucked up and was late last year and just failed by like a day haha.

Getting some good stuff for Cur, still not fully formed, reading more Witcher which I’m enjoying for the most part. It’s fun because it’s basically written almost as a fantasy noir, it’s very stark and gritty and not at all fanciful or verbose, it’s literally like if Richard Stark or Dashell Hammet said “Fuck it, I’m doing wizard shit now” haha. 

So it’s right up my alley but there’s no real story to the first book, it’s basically a collection of not really connected vignettes pastiching classic fairy tales like snow white and things like that. So I like it but there’s nothing in it that makes me want to get back into it. I kind of have to force myself to set time aside whereas when you read something like a Richard Stark Parker novel I can’t wait to find a minute just to see what Parker does next because I know it’s going to be fucked up, usually rape and child murder. Actually has he raped anyone? I don’t think so but he definitely killed a kid in one book haha. He is not a nice person.

But that’s one of the reason I love those books, because I spent so long reading noir detective novels to read one from the opposite side of the law was just so refreshing and every book in the series is just consistently good. It’s a lot like Dexter in that respect but a lot more stark and realistic. No dumb jokes about fruit or whatever haha. No I love Dexter but reading the books back, he is kind of a goof haha.

Anyway Jesus, I waffled a lot today. 

Shit I need to do some real work. I hope someone out there likes the ending and wants to read it in it’s final form until then you can read the raw copy with the link below and have yourself a peachy day.

See you…

Nobody’s baby now

~

A week later they had his funeral.

Porter came to watch people. He blended in, that’s what he did on most days. There was no guest list at a funeral and he knew Jack for a split second or two. Maybe he owed Jack a headache he’d pass on to the nearest relative, so he figured that made it sit right, for now atleast. Some of the heat had died down from the Bartlett case.

The imposter supposedly skipped town after he got bailed out by a family friend. Without him to interview the press had run out of blood to squeeze. He was the centre of it all and with him gone it all fell apart. Jack’s death made him the perfect scapegoat. For the fbi at least and any news source that didn’t make the imposter the focus of their stories. For anyone that could see past a desperate conman to the potential murk underneath. They’d seen enough and were willing to pin it on the junkie that killed himself.

So why was Porter still here?

The funeral didn’t go on too long.

It wasn’t overly dramatc, it wasn’t raining, no one cried. The priest said his part and they put him in the ground and threw dirt on him.

They buried him in Holy cross cemetary near Bracken because it was the closest to their house. It was just a field at the side of the road like so many others. But it had some privacy with the surrounding trees and the long chapel barring it from the road. It was a small and private.

When it was over he watched as what remained of his family walked to their cars. They were parked at the bottom of an embankment. A blonde haired kid that looked like Johnny should have looked at his age got in the drivers seat of the Lincoln. Peggy and her husband Brandon helped the mom, Angela into the passenger side. They were ready to set off when Porter worked his way up to them.

Peggy clocked him straight away and her irises shrunk to full stops or the dot at the end of an exclamation point.

“You remember me?”

“I remember you, you’re that detective right? The one who took Johnny for the interview.” She looked curious but cautious and hung on the edge of a car door, half in half out.

“What did your father do to you?”

“Excuse me?”

“Did he touch you?”

She scoffed and started to get into the car, Brandon worked his way around the side and balled up a skinny fist. “I don’t have time for this”. She said as she began to sit down.

“I found him, it is him isn’t it? Buried in the backyard of your old house.” He said looking at Brandon shrink as he said it. All the strength drained out of skinny limbs.

Her face got long and her ears seemed to dip, her eyes looking around as if for somewhere to be sick.

“You get the hell out of here!” Brandon screeched coming up on Porter but stopped short to looking at him. Revealing the emptiness of his threat. Expecting Porter to look away or flinch but Porter looked straight back and said nothing. His eyes like steel ball bearings in his head.

“Stop” Peggy sighed.

Brandon stepped back and flopped around the side of the car and got in behind Peggy.

“Two minutes mom” She got out of the car and started to walk up the path flanked by gravetones. He was supposed to follow but he watched her go and then went to find her.

The cemetary wasn’t that big or old. It was just a patch of land in the middle of all that texas nothing. Dolled up to look like a tasteful oasis of trees and restful sleep. She was standing in the back under a large oak tree looking down.

He approached her slow, evidently she did have time for this.

“He was yours, Johnny?”

“I don’t know where you get an idea like that”, she said folding her arms indignant.

“I have my story, you have yours.” He lit a cigarette and waited.

“Let’s hear your story first.” She said cocking her head to the side and plucking the cigarrete from his mouth, taking a slow pull.

“I think he had his fun with you and you got pregnant and Jack found out and killed him for it.” He stood and waited for her anger, when it didn’t come he went on. “Then when Johnny was old enough he found out. Then he found what was buried in the garden, there was a fight and he had an accident.” Porter said checking off boxes in his head. Going back to the pack for another cigarette and lighting it like dejavu. Waiting for his pat on the back.

She got quiet and thought about it for a minute, like she was rearranging things in her head. He expected tears and bittereness and denials. She sat down at the base of the tree and stared up at him, squinting as the sun dipped in the sky.

“You heard that story before or did you come up with that on your own?” She breathed out and cocked her jaw like she was trying to cry or stop from crying. Just taking another long pull from the cigarette she felt entitled to. “He wasn’t a bad man, my daddy. He was just a drunk. He didn’t know better and I wanted a baby so bad.”

Porter walked to a gravestone and sat against it like a teenager cutting class. He started the tap running now, she’d go until she was spent.

“It was my fault. He was drunk. But I couldn’t tell Jack or my momma that” She took a puff from the cigarette and said “You know the rest, or close to it”. She said looking at him through lidded deep set eyes.

“Is that all?” He said flat.

She rubbed her chin with her hand the cigarette dangled from. Her eyes focusing on nothing in particular. They were shakey, getting heavy like clouds about to rain. She looked up and smiled and said “This really bugs you doesn’t it, not knowing?” She took another drag still smiling. Her eyes still shaking. “It kills you not knowing, not being there, not seeing it yourself, having to trust me and every other idiot you ask”. She was mad now but at whom she didn’t know.

He looked at her and smiled back. Focusing on little details, the stain on her collar, the yellowing of her teeth. The pitch of her voice, split ends. Anything to stop him from boiling over and breaking her nose with the flat of his shoe.

“Right now you’re thinking you can hurt me and make me tell you everything but you can’t. You know you can’t, not really and it wont make a difference anyway. I can’t tell you everything because I don’t know I can’t know.” She said it not looking at him. She looked off at the horizon like it was some grand epiphany. She knew she was getting under his skin, she wouldn’t be the first.

She smoked a little more and said “You know the funniest thing about all this.” She stopped to bite her fingernail and take another drago on the cigarrete. “Is that people think we took in a complete stranger to cover up Johnny’s death.” She stopped again to pull the cigarrette in her shaking hand. “-but in all that time, we were the only ones who gave a damn about him.” The water works started slow and built from there. Her voice shaking with cool anger and bitter tears. “When he disappeared it didn’t even make local news, because they knew how he was, we did too. He was like that Bart Simpson kid, always getting in trouble. Terrorizing the neighbhorhood.” She wiped her tears with the edge of her hand, the skin taught and pale. “They thought he’d turn up in a couple of days and the whole thing would have been nothing, but he didn’t”.

“What happened to your father?”

“I don’t need to tell you anything, you know why? Because if you had anything I’d be talk to the cops right now.” She was indignant now, her face wet. “And even that wouldn’t do any good since the only people that really know the truth won’t say a damn thing to anyone about it.” She swallowed, her throat burning, raw. “because one is my momma and the other is buried under our feet.” She stopped and shook her legs, to check they were still there. Her movements were light and fast like a moth under a lamp. “So you’re wasting your time, he took it to his grave and so will Momma.” She smiled but at what he couldn’t say.

“I can tell you one thing, I’m glad of whatever happened to that French piece of shit, you ever find him? That’s what I want to know.” She shook her head and put her hand on her hip and looked like a cartoon character for a second.

“I looked” Porter breathed in, sealing his lips tight.

“What did you find?” She asked wistfull, suddenly not interested in the answer.

“Blood and feathers.” He said.

“Is that supposed to mean something to me?” She looked up at him scrunching up her brow, her temper fraying.

“Doesn’t it?”

“No it doesn’t, not a god damn bit”. She spat.

“He had a place, Jack. Way out in the boonies, a little trapper shack.” He finished his cigarette and flicked it.

“So? What does it mean to me?” She folded her arms again, getting catty.

“Blood and feathers.”

Peggy grimaced and turned away. She staggered to her feet and began to dust herself off.

“Well if that’s everything, I think I’ll be on my way.”

“Is that good enough for you?” There was a challenge in Porter’s voice but his eyes stayed fixed on the gravestone. As if the challenge was open to all takers.

“It’s enough for me. I can live with not knowing, it’s the only way. But this isn’t about me, and you’re kidding yourself if you don’t think I see that itch you got.” She smiled cockily at the back of his head and hiked her purse up.

She started to walk away and turned her head to watch him as she walked. Shouting back to him “Is it enough for you?”

Porter didn’t turn around to look at her and she just carried on down the path and got in the car and drove away.

TOTCB Chapter 16 ‘Well of Misery’

Stellar news space cadets, no it’s not that I don’t feel like death warmed up in an easy bake oven, thanks to my new weightlifting and not eating regime I feel like oprah winfrey covered me in bathroom scales then smashed them with a hammer then sat on me then drove a free mobile home over me.

Doctor Ryk prescribed lots of protein coffee and elite dangerous playing.

But no the news, well after much poking and prodding and passive aggressive english awkwardness I got the edit back for The one that came back, huzzah, now I can finally get pub- oh wait all the two people who wanted to see copies of it have probably long forgotten about it, well shit.

It doesn’t matter, shit happens, got a new editor now, it’s all cool and the gang and a way better book to shill. So I figure just carry out the original plan and give it away for free on the mailing list which I should really keep updating but my memory and my fucks are not what they used to be.

Anyway that’s my plan for the day, work through the edits, get it smoothed away and then slap together a cool cover of sorts and make it a nice pdf or mobi or something like that in time for my ban on facebook to be lifted, freeing me to spam once more.

That be all.

Bye now.

TOTCB inkitt link

~

The clinic on Calebra was a small practice pinched on one side by a dollar store and some fleabag hotel on the other. It had a great green empty lot in the front. He expected something a little bigger like a hospital or a resort. Not a building that looked like a family dentist’s office. The weather was hot as usual, sun in the sky, starting to get a little darker, with a slight cool breeze blowing.

The clinic was a flat brick building painted a light brown all over. Even the roof tiles were the same wet sand brown colour. It looked almost like a residence with all the curtains shut tight. A small concrete parking lot out front with a single palm tree sticking up in the middle. The entrance was off to the right and looked like a little house or a big garage. The treatment rooms must have been in the back or slung over to the left in the bulk of the building. There were quite a few cars parked out front and a white van parked at the side. Porter looked at it and sqoffed at it imagining it was for catching runaway dope fiends.

From left to right there was a red prius, a black ford, a silver Chrysler, a black hundai. So he wasn’t here or if he was he was using someone else’s car. Or maybe he was staying at the fleabag and just walked.

He glanced over at the fleabag, there were no cars out front as far as he could see.

Porter parked the Dodge behind the prius and got out and went inside.

To his surprise the reception area was all the same colour as the outside of the building. The desk and furnishing were varnished wood of the same colour. Whether that was intentional or not was anyone’s guess. Unless their decorator was also a patient that mystery would have to remain unsolved.

Porter stood around the lobby for a second, the layout seemed odd. The desk was further back than he expected and he couldn’t see anyone behind it. The waiting area was bunched very close to the door and gave a strange perspective. Probably intentional to make the building seem larger inside.

He looked around, it was sparsely decorated, subtle tones. Not much on the walls except calming benign paintings of plants and kittens. There were a few magazines on the coffee table in the waiting area that looked dated and well thumbed. Other than that there wasn’t much in there that would tell you you were in a rehab clinic. No pamphlets or posters or pictures of people. For all intents and purposes it just looked like the inside of a very sterile and strangely laid out house.

“Err… ahem, excuse me”

Porter turned his head towards the squeaking noise from behind the desk. He moved closer and saw that there was someone behind it, she was just obscured by a rather large monitor. She was a petite and pale redhead with glasses on her face that looked like they were screwed too tight. Her hair tied back in a loose ponytail of dull orange. She was perhaps around her mid twenties. Fairly attractive with a sort of boxy squished nose lightly dusted with freckles.

“Yes can I help you with something?” She said leaning forward on her chair trying to make herself more visible to get his attention.

Porter put on his horker smile and went closer to the desk. Now he could see just her head which was disconcerting. The rest of her body obscured by the monitor and the needlessly high desk.

“Yeah I’m looking for my brother, I was wondering if you could help me, he’s got our mom really worried.” Porter said to the floating head.

“What’s your brother’s name?” She said returning a limp half smile.

“Jack Hide” Porter moved closer to the desk and leant on it with a single elbow watching her face closely.

She turned her nose up and then scrunched it up a little bit. Her eyes flitting up and down his face and body, his clothes, maybe she could even smell him now. The point is he was trying to make her uncomfortable by incriminent and it was working. The sooner he got what he wanted and was gone the better.

Satisfied, she started clacking away as loud as humanly possible on a large old grey keyboard. With every tap Porter could almost see bony fingers popping bubble wrap made of plate glass. It was like nails on a chalk board but the board was the inside of your skull and the nails were dirty toenails.

He smiled still looking at her face now from the side, leaning more of his weight on the desk and crossing his legs. She had a nice long smooth neck but not much of a chin to speak of. Not that a woman needed a big chin but it was necessary to stop your head falling off your neck. She caught him looking in the corner of her eye, which was fine, he wasn’t hiding it, quite the opposite. The more heat he put on her the faster she’d work.

“We have one Kyle Hyde, but no Jack” She looked at him and then looked back at the monitor.

“That’s him, do you have an address?” He flipped over on the desk and put both elbows on it angling almost to lean over and see the monitor.

She swivelled the monitor away so he couldn’t see and said “I’m sorry. We can’t give out the addresses of our patients, unless you can prove you’re next of kin.”

“How do we do that? You wanna take my blood, check my prostrate?” Porter smiled, it was so easy to tell with redheads, pale skin like that flushes, you can see it from space. He waited for it to die down and didn’t say anything, he just left it hanging there, letting the silence build.

There are two kinds of people when it comes to facing awkward silences. Those that will embrace it and get belligerent like a teacher dealing with a naughty kid. An authoritarian personality. The other type is more common. Most people will do almost anything to make it end shy of selling their mother at a discount. Most people just want to help and make other people happy. Even if it means throwing out everything they believe in a split second of awkwardness. It becomes hard when you have rules. That is to remember them all in a stressful situations. So all you need to do is apply pressure for them to forget one or two for a long enough window to slip past them. No ones perfect, people are like locks. And there are no locks that can’t be picked if you poke at them long enough and with a long enough stick.

The blushing came back and Porter smiled, he didn’t want to pull the waterworks or the fire alarm or have to lie. She was making her own story in her head by now. His sad ‘whore with the heart of gold’ smile was producing the screen rights to the movie.

“Look…” Porter said breaking the tension. “All you need to do is step away for a second and get a cup of coffee and you’ll never have to know anything happened.”

She was flustered good now, he was impatient and he’d worked her hard and maybe too fast. Laid it on a little too thick but he’d given her an out and she had to take it or call security. If this place had any, maybe she was it and there was a shotgun pointing in circumcision range as they spoke.

“Erm, I’m sorry, I can’t do that.” She put up token resistance, just a stalling tactic.

“Look all I need is an address, I just want to make sure he’s alright, that’s all”. He talked emphatically, adding a little shakiness to his voice.

“Ok I’m going to go to the bathroom and I expect you to be gone by the time I get back”. She said as she stood up from her chair.

A little too much information but that was fine.

Porter smiled and mouthed thankyou. As if she’d done him and his imaginery family a big favour that he could never repay. She’d literally cured cancer by going to bathroom. If she washed her hands afer the dalai llama would give her a standing ovation.

He watched her go and as soon as she turned the corner he went around the desk. There was no fixed address listed for Jack at all. The alias Kyle and no address, he wasn’t making this easy. But Nancy had found him under his original name. Or maybe she just searched ‘Hide’ and this was the only one she found in rehab in a city of about four million people.

There was one forwarding address listed but going by the rest of it seemed like this was a coincidence. It seemed unbelieveable that this was our guy. The address listed must have been somewhere he’d been staying at some point. Most likely coach surfing or squatting. There was something about the address that seemed familiar. Standing in front of monitor wasn’t the best place to think about it. The address was 147 J street in the warehouse district.

He went out to sit in the dodge. He looked around and there was nobody in the parking lot. He cleared his mind for a minute and tried to think whether or not that address was worth his time. This was it, this was the only lead he was given if this was bust it was back to square one. If Jack left the state or the country this was finished. He knew he’d never get anything out of Angela, she’d probably forgotten more than she remembered by now. If the fbi couldn’t get her to talk. Some half decent confidence trickster wasn’t going any deeper without getting dirty.

Peggy probably knew something but wanted to forget. Getting close to her would be near impossible now. She’d be on the defensive nonstop until this died down and all the reporters forgot she existed. Plus she already knew him and he really didn’t want this to get any messier than it had to. Getting involved in their family drama wasn’t his plan. The kid was no good, he didn’t know anything, he probably had to struggle to remember his real name.

Plan? Now that he thought about it what was his plan? Was there a plan? Was there ever a plan? What was he doing, why was he doing it? It started over money. Then it stopped being about money and started being about getting a good nights sleep. Without seeing that kids face and then it became about money again and now was it back to sleep?

He sighed hard and drifted off into thought. Until he heard a little pipping noise and was made aware that some time had passed. The girl from the front desk wanted to move her prius and he was blocking it with his big unsightly truck.

He sort of fell out of his daydreams with a jump like falling. His heart hitting a cold floor and he felt flustered suddenly and was looking for his keys. Opening the glove box and then the sun visor, remembering that he put them in the ignition already.

He caught a glimpse of something in the glovebox. He put a photocopy of Johnny’s missing person’s flier in his car. Incase he needed to jog people’s memories or maybe it was some sentimental reason he didn’t want to delve too far into. Maybe looking at it would be enough to stir the angels to help him and rouse his spirits. Make his heart grow ten times bigger and his brain ten times smaller.

Then he remembered, it hit him like a tonne of bricks and he cared less about little red’s prius. The tattoos, the cross was a given. But the other letters didn’t make any sense and they didn’t have to at the time. Kid gets a little tattoo most adult tattoos don’t mean a damn thing. He thought the J might have just been for Johnny or Jack or something like that but the rest seemed meaningless. ST meant something but maybe it wasn’t two separate words. Just an abbreviation for street and maybe he was leading himself on a wild goose chase. Maybe anything he saw he’d make fit so that he could be on the tail of some great mystery. Not scratching in the dirt in someone else’s basement.

Thinking wasn’t doing any good, thinking lead home and nowhere, who was he kidding? He was going whether he liked it or not, like he was on rails. Spirred on by destiny and all that stuff that made us feel good and powerful but meant the opposite.

He turned the engine over and drove out of the lot.

Nulidad was sitting in a room in the san Antonio detention centre. They moved him from the childs centre to the jail proper across the street. After his record from Interpol came through.

He was wearing a white pair of pants and blue shirt. They almost looked like hospital scrubs as opposed to the orange jumpsuits you see on tv. Sterile looking.

His cell was small as you might expect. It came equipped with a blue phone imbedded into a white column in the middle of the back wall. A small old tv on top the plugs were in the middle of the wall right next to his bed, which consisted of a single cot. The walls were white and green on adjacent sides and there was a mirror over his bed embedded in the wall.

He’d spent most of his time sitting on his bed making collect calls to whomever would answer. He was looking for something, shopping for something. A new identity a new family. He got a taste of something, maybe he’d had it before and that’s why he did it. The love of a family, or something close to that. The tv was on but the reception in the centre wasn’t great and the volume was broken on the quietest setting.

There was something else, he was waiting for and then it came. The phone rang and he answered and an unfamiliar voice answered and he asked. “How did you get this number?”

“Mom gave it to me” The voice was sly and slow and contained a threat of some sort.

“Who is this?” Nulidad said.

“I could ask the same question, what was your name again, your real name?”

“What do you want?”

“The real question is what do you want? I can pay your bail, get you out of town and you can keep on keeping on ya feel me?”

“Why would you do this for me?”

“You know why, you’ve got a big mouth.”

“So you can kill me, like you kill Johnny?” Nulidad hissed.

“Now who said that? I didn’t kill Johnny and if I did, I wouldn’t talk about it on a phone in a jail”. He paused and sucked in some breathe.

“You don’t know me, you don’t owe me anything.”

“I want you out of my hair and you want out, it’s a winwin for you to skip and I can help but you have to make up your mind now.”

Nulidad breathed through his nose making a whistling sound and said “Ok.”

TOTCB Chapter 15 ‘Half a Person’

Ok back again for that stuff, I do.

So on the plus side being banned on facebook for another thirty days does do away with a lot of the distractions I suffer which coupled with the intense tiredness associated with getting back into weightlifting is nothing too dissimilar from a literal handicap haha. Just half awake scrolling and scrolling forever haha.

It’s better that I do something vaguely productive despite feeling like I’ve been run over by a truck everyday. I went pretty heavy when I started up again, went straight to the eighty pound bar bell for the chest press which I don’t regret, if anyone hasn’t tried weight lifting or any good excercise, it really is like a drug. My drugs of choice are chocolate, coffee and excercise and I’m trying to cut back on the coffee.

Updates, updates, get down to business, get things right in my head. Still don’t have the finished edited copy of this which is infuriating and I’ve emailed and emailed and emailed and it’s getting me absolutely nowhere.

Also I realised I fucked up with the editing of Diana after Dark, because I did some story tweaks changing one of the characters so they’d be more integral to the story in later manifestations but I sent the old version so I had a minor freakout about that but hopefully it’s all fixed, Chrissy, my new editor seemed to take it in stride and it really put my mind at ease. But really what a fucking rookie mistake, changing it and forgetting to label it correctly, fuck me I feel dumb.

Anyway it’s going forward and recently it’s been a slog with all the weightlifting death feelings but I’ve working my way through the plans for the sequel to Diana after Dark and it’s going really well. I’m really liking the direction it’s taking. Also I decided to change Diana’s name to ‘Deedee’ for the title, so her name will still be Diana Harrison, Deedee will like be a nickname. I just think it’s cuter, its less heavy and librarianish and I think it makes for a snappier sound. Also the references to Dexter’s lab amuse me haha.

That’s about all. Just gonna spend the rest of the day editing.

See you…

TOTCB

~

On the drive home the ‘kid’ was relatively quiet, just staring out the window. Something in him seemed lighter, the weight was gone. Porter followed the highway back towards Selma and into Valhalla. As they reached the entrance he started to talk again.

 

“So you’re a detective?”

 

“Most of the time”.

 

“How do you get that work?”

 

“I got my license in a cereal box.”

 

He smiled and said “Cereal stopped giving away prizes long ago, I think”. Nulidad went back to staring out the window, or maybe just looking at his own reflection in the glass.

 

There was some activity in the sky, a black helicopter flew overhead. “I’ve got to let you out here, you know the way?”

 

“I know the way”

 

Porter stopped outside the childs play area in Valhalla park and the kid started walking. Porter did a u-turn and watched the kid disappear around the corner.

 

 

The next day he was all over the news, videos of his arrest outside of his home. The boy now a man was bundled out of a white car, held with his wrists cuffed behind his back by FBI in brown suits. He smiled at the camera, his hair turning an orange colour due to the bleaching and lights of the cameras.

 

The story was ‘master imposter fools his way into america, pretending to be a missing child. Fooling the fbi and even the boys parents’. They described him as a predator preying on the most vulnerable. Feeding off their hopes and fears to gain their confidence.

 

“It’s almost unheard of, a foreigner pretending to be a missing child fooling the boys own mother. It’s hard to even imagine it.” The news anchor said, ruffling his neat grey hair and deeply creased face. His voice ringing with faux concern and moral outrage.

 

Angela refused to be on camera. A tearful Peggy on her way to the sheriff’s office was stopped by reporters and cried “Where’s the real Johnny?”

 

Porter was sitting at the bar eating beer nuts and watching it all fall apart on the flatscreen above the bar. Patrick craned his neck with his hands on hips and every mouth was open watching. Patrick looked at Porter and Porter said nothing.

 

The phone rang in the back and Patrick slapped his bar clothe down and went to go get it. Only to come back a few seconds later. “Its for you, some FBI woman wants to talk to you about ears or some such nonsense.”

 

Porter went around the back feeling a little smug but keeping it off his face and out of his voice. “Hello”

 

“Porter Carraway, this is Special Agent-“

 

“-Nancy Jaeger, yeah I remember, can we get to the point?”

 

“Which is what?”

 

“Say it”

 

“What, you were right?”

 

“Not in so many words”

 

“We have him, but it’s not over and I think you know that better than anyone.”

 

“…” Porter started counting his teeth with his tongue.

 

“He’s been talking, a lot, about the real Johnny. What he thinks happened to him, he’s implicated the kids parents and someone named ‘Jack’. We’re having trouble tracking him down for an interview”

 

“Did you question his mother?”

 

“We did, she passed a polygraph twice?”

 

“And the third time?”

 

Nancy exhaled into the receiver and smiled “She failed, on every question. The needle almost jumped off the table.”

 

“Uh huh, what happened after that?”

 

“She didn’t take it well, the poligrapher confronted her and she stormed out the room screaming.”

 

“So you’ve got nothing.”

 

“Less than nothing. Poligraphs are a cheap parlor trick to convince juries but they’re not solid evidence.”

 

“Ok, now get to the part where I do you a favour”

 

“He’s saying a lot, too much. He’s claiming to have information on several missing person’s cases. And he’s already been caught using his phone calls to impersonate other missing children. He’s a compulsive liar and fraud, there’s not a jury on earth that would take anything he said seriously”.

 

“But you believe him? About the boy.”

 

“I have my suspicions, but I’m too caught up in all this to shift focus on finding the real Johnny to do anything about it. If I try to shift focus onto the parents now without any evidence they’ll give the case to someone else. I have to be nailing Nulidad to the wall or the case falls apart.”

 

Porter breathed in deep and thought about it.

 

“Do you understand?”

 

“Yeah” Porter said as he hung up the phone and then picked it up again and started dialing.

 

 

Porter parked outside their old house on Swallow street. It was a bright Texas morning. He set off after breakfast and sat for a moment thinking and getting hot in the cab with the air conditioner off. The house looked the same as last time, the only difference was there was a black Jeep pickup outside.

 

After a moment of hesitation he opened the door and stepped out shutting the door hard. He walked up the driveway to that small white garage door. Crossing the round the stone footpath onto the porch and he rang the doorbell like last time.

 

Like last time the drapes were pulled and he couldn’t see inside.

 

He waited, there was some rummaging happening behind the door. Before long a figure appeared through the white lattice window in the door.

 

“What d’ya want?”

 

“We spoke on the phone.”

 

“Oh yeah.” He said letting the sound of the door unbolting be a full stop. Then the clinking of the chain being taken off. A large man around six feet, well built with a gut of a long distance truck driver sood in the doorway. He had a rough short beard and a shaved head but otherwise a friendly face and an affable demeanor. “Hey hows it going?” He put his hand out to shake and Porter took it. “Sorry about that, we get a lot of salesmen around here, you know what I mean, please come in.” The large man let go of Porter’s hand stepped to the side to invite him in. He was wearing a generic white tee and sweat pants.

 

“Darrol was it?”

 

Porter entered a small living room from the front door. A black coach pushed up against the wall. Through an alcove in the same wall he saw the dining room with a ceiling fan spinning. A screen doors lead onto the back yard.

 

The large man then sped up past him and lead him into the dining room furnished in a sandy wood. There was a table and some cabinets with books and dvds and a small tv poking out of one of the gaps in the dresser.

 

“Darren” The man corrected. “how did you get my number again?”

 

“Your realtor was real chatty, I just had some questions to ask you”.

 

“About that case right? I saw it on the news about the missing boy. He used to live here? Had reporters buzzing around here wanting to look around but I really don’t know anything, how could I?”

 

“You said something about a black tarp on the phone”

 

Darren opened the screen door and walked out into his yard and Porter followed him. The yard was relatively small slightly overgrown but otherwise well kept. Bushes and trees lining the outer edges and a fence running all the way around.

 

“When we first got my dog Bernie, he would always dig in the back corner”. Darren pointed off to the right back corner of his yard. Where the back fence met an overgrown bush that leaned over into his yard was choking a small maple tree. “over by that tree there, and one day I was mowing, and I sort of went under the bush a little. And I started picking up some of this plastic like tarp, got all clogged in the blades of the mower.”

 

He looked over at Porter to make sure he was hanging on his every word and he was.

 

“And I stop the mower and I find where it’s coming from and it’s this black plastic coming out of the ground.” Darren gestured with his hands like the dead were reaching out of the ground. He turned to Porter and he was nodding. “So I tried to pull it out from under the bush” Darren mimed the action of pulling the plastic out of the ground. “But as I kept trying to pull it, it just kept coming off in my hands, I couldn’t get a grip on it.” He sucked his gums and put his hands on his hips. “So I got fed up of that and I just covered it up and never paid it any mind until last night when we were talking on the phone.”

 

Porter inhaled some fresh cool air and rocked his head back and forth looking at the overgrown bush. “That bush has been there a while, you didn’t plant that?”

 

“No sir, that was here when we moved in.”

 

“Your wife home?”

 

“No she’s at work, she works at the hospital, she’s a nurse practitioner, she wont be back til about six maybe later.”

 

“Darren?”

 

“Yep?”

 

“You got a shovel?”

 

 

They migrated to the bottom of the yard. Darren did in fact have a shovel but he didn’t want some stranger digging up his lawn so the compromise was a trowl. Instead of clipping back the hedges. Darren would hold it up while Porter probed the ground with the trowel.

 

“Yeah it was right about there, I think, it was a good couple years ago when I found it.”

 

Porter knelt down, he’d tossed his jacket over the side of the fence and rolled up his shirt sleeves. He started gently prodding the earth with the trowl kneading it like dry dough. Only after a minute of this did he feel any resistance and he could hear a crinkling sound. He started to pry and dust the dirt off just enough not to irritate Darren too much.

 

He managed to get a good chuck levered out with the trowl. From what he could see under the bush, there was something taking in some light. A dull plastic tarp nevertheless caught some of the light and was throwing it back.

 

Darren watched with a morbid curiosity. He struggled the keep the bush out of the way like wrestling an octopus. Porter looked up at him, on his knees in the dirt. He made a sucking sound and looked to Darren for some tacit permission.

 

Darren was getting tired and he nodded furiously out of his own sudden desire to know more. Porter started to dig a little more. Gently removing a few more layers of dirt until more of the tarp was exposed and he could see a seam and more.

 

It seemed cliché and dreamlike, predictable, so predictable it was almost laughably. It was stupid really, like an episode of murder she wrote, but there it was lying on the ground.

 

A bone.

 

“What is that? A bone? Is it like a dog bone?” Darren said nervously praying that he was right.

 

Porter pryed the tarp open revealing more of the bone, it was long and white and discoloured. “I’m no expert”.

 

“But can you make a guess? I mean come on man, did my dog put that there or what?”

 

“I can make a lot of guesses, none of them any good. But I can be sure your dog didn’t wrap it up in a tarp before he buried it.”

 

He moved it with the trowl to get a better look at it, catch more light.

 

“It’s human aint it?”

 

“Seems that way” Porter sighed “Ah I dunno” he said as he rolled back onto his heels and dusted himself off.

 

“So what does it mean? Is that the kid, was he here all along? Oh jesus help me!”

 

Porter sighed, something prickly crawling up his back and was breathing down his neck.

 

“No, I don’t think so”

 

“Wait what d’ya mean, who else could it be? You don’t think it’s the kid’s?”

 

“It looks like a femur, a leg bone.”

 

“Yeah so?”

 

“It’s too long to be a kid’s”.

 

“Oh jesus, then who?”

 

Porter sighed and gritted his teeth with his lips tightly pursed.

 

“I have no idea.”

 

“Well what the hell do I do with it? I should go to the police?” He said like he didn’t really want to.

 

“Sit on it for now, you don’t want the cops digging up your lawn with a back hoe over what could just be a dead dog”.

 

 

Porter stopped at a gas station the first chance he got to use the phone.

 

He lit a cigarette leaning out of the booth listening to it ring.

 

It clicked on, a tense woman’s voice answered.

 

“Yeah?”

 

“Jaeger, it’s Porter. I had a visit with the guy who moved into their old house.”

 

“And? Did you find anything?”

 

“There was nothing in the house but we found something in the garden, buried under a black tarp.”

 

“Oh jesus you found him?”

 

“Not so sure, can’t guarantee it’s even human, just bones but from what I can tell it looks too developed to be a kid”

 

“I told you, my hands are tied right now. I can’t touch whatever it is you’re doing and I can’t send forensics to some guys house on your say so.”

 

“So what can you do?” There was a challenge in his voice.

 

“He called me, I’ve been trying to get hold of you all day but your friend said you were out and you don’t carry a cellphone.”

 

“He-who?”

 

“Jack.”

 

“And what did Mr ‘Long-chain-on’ have to say for himself?”

 

“I asked if he’d come in for questioning and he refused. Apparently he didn’t believe from the start that Nulidad was his brother. But didn’t want to say anything to upset his mother.”

 

“And?”

 

“And then nothing”.

 

“Do you know where?” Porter sighed.

 

Nancy sighed and there was a sound like someone rubbing their temples. The clicking of plastic as the phone was moved between hands.

 

“I looked into his records and there’s an address of a rehab clinic he spent some time at. It’s possible they might know where he stays, it’s on Calebra, West San Antonio.”

 

Porter paused and took a breath.

 

“So I go there and I find out where this guy hangs out and then what?”

 

“If you find him. Call it in as an anonymous tip related to drug offenses and we’ll have him picked up and questioned, that’s all”.

 

“First, tell me”

 

“Tell you what?”

 

“What you think”

 

“You wanna know what I think? I think they know where their son is”. She paused and put her hand over the receiver for a second. She came back on with a rustling sound as she took her hand away. “I don’t believe a mother could not know her only son for a stranger, not in a million years.”

 

Porter let out a breath and then sucked on his gums before saying “I’ll let you know” and hanging up.

TOTCB Chapter 14 ‘The Carnival is Over’

Guten Aben, Just gonna phone this one in, not that many updates exept it’s a go with the new editor and she seems raring to go. I realise I forgot all about the mailing list over the holidays, and I actually still haven’t got the full manuscript for the TOTCB off my old editor who is studying to be a priest or something in israel, or something like that.

Anyway, so I can’t do the mailing list really until I get that back, which sucks. But I’ll still be posting free unedited content and reviews of whatever dumb shit I see. I don’t have a clean copy of the last jedi to rag on yet but I did get the misogynist copy which is like a version with all the women scenes cut out I think haha. But it’s a cam so fuck that, I want high quality theft, only the best quality piracy will do.

Also I remembered why I use inkitt, it’s a good respository for my work I guess, makes it easier to thumb through each chapter on any device so I guess it has it’s uses. I’ll start putting Gage up there when it’s finally done, been dragging my feet recently where that’s concerned. Elite Dangerous addiction really getting out of hand haha.

So I’ll be putting links up like before so people can read the chapters in order. Like right here; The Carnival is Over

See you…

~

Nancy was sitting in her makeshift office in the San Antonio field office. She was on edge already then the phonecall she was waiting for came and time slowed. She picked it up and didn’t say anything.

 

“Hello? Is this Jaeger?” A thick spanish accent said confused by the silence.

 

“Yes, sorry, this is Nancy Jaeger”

 

“I’m Legate Dargento. We have analysed the data you’ve sent to us and forwarded that data to Interpol and they have a match. We’re faxing you the information as we speak. I hope this helps you in your investigation.”

 

“Yes, I’m sure it will” Nancy was elated but felt a hint of sadness creeping in from an unknown place, a cold shiver. “Thank you”.

 

“You’re most welcome”.

 

She hung up the phone and just sat there for a minute with her elbows on the desk.

 

“What is it, did the tests come back, was that Interpol?”

 

“They’re faxing it over now.”

 

 

Porter thought the kid looked hungry and he might loosen up if he put some food in him. So he took him across the street to Raising Cane’s chicken fingers, ordered some texas toast and lemonade.

 

It was a standard diner set up in any roadside chain. Booths running down the windows with blue seat cushions. The walls were all red with pictures of dogs and old movie stars on them. There were square tables running along the centre of the room at right angles to eachother. It was busy enough to cover whatever they had to say to eachother without anyone hearing it. Kids having birthday parties, old people, teens, college kids, the works.

 

He picked it because it was close and on a busy road out in the open. He picked a booth facing out so he could see any cars coming. The kid was facing away with his cap and dark glasses on, plasters on his face. It was awkward the kid didn’t want to talk but by this time Porter knew he remembered him.

 

“Do you remember me?”

 

Johnny nodded.

 

“I heard you scared your mother pretty good, that stunt you pulled”

 

The kid, shrunk back into his seat, the hairs on the back of his neck brushed backwards. His lip quivered, but with what it wasn’t clear. After a moment in a harsh whisper he said “That woman is not my mother”.

 

Porter’s heart gallopped and hurdled his stomach. His blood started rushing in from all over and he could almost hear it. His breath getting hot in his lungs as he tried to calm himself, tried to keep his face poker.

 

The kid looked at him and he was scared, really scared this time. He took the glasses off and threw them across the table and rubbed his eyes. He slumped in his seat and suddenly looked older and he looked Porter in the eyes, with those deep brown eyes.

 

“Who are you?” The words shook in Porter’s throat. They seemed to make the ground shake, like he was talking to devil himself. The angel Gabriel from high revealing himself in human form. His bones quaking at the revelation of truths to come. Come flowing out in a torrent that wouldn’t stop until they washed everything away.

 

The waitress came with their food. They sat across from eachother waiting for her to put it down and go back to the counter. She put it down and Johnny smiled at her and she walked away. His eyes hung down and he turned back to Porter. He breathed in deep his hand on the counter scratching at his thumb with his forefinger.

 

“My name is Cisco Nulidad and I’m wanted by Interpol”.

 

 

Nancy fought the urge to bob on her heels, she speed walked down the hall to the fax machine. She could feel the eyes on her but this was her moment, she couldn’t let the excitement get to her. She could hear the fax machine going as she walked. She sped up, Con was behind her.

 

It spitting out page after page after page, some in English some in Spanish. There was so much of it she could hardly believe it, she felt like a kid on Christmas. She could barely look at the pile afraid one part of it would be revealed too quickly and spoil the whole surprise.

 

When the fax machine stopped she scooped up the hot pieces of paper and bundled them into a folder she had ready. Then speed walked them back to her office pushing past Con, she hardly even noticed him at this point. She needed to get back to her office. There was something about it that told her she needed the privacy of a closed door to see. She didn’t need anyone to share in this moment.

 

She slapped the folder down on the desk and started from the start.

 

Con opened the door, coffee cup in hand. It was hot so his jacket was draped over his chair. He was just wearing a white shirt with the sleeves rolled up and a tie tossed over his shoulder.

 

“What is it? Who is he?” He asked not stopping for air between questions.

 

She speed read through first page. Her mind reeling to keep up, She passed it to Con and started on the next as he looked at it and tried to process the scope of it.

 

It was a black and white sheet, a fingerprint card with a picture of man with dark hair on it. “Cisco Nulidad, it says he’s French, wanted by Interpol, twenty three years old, Christ!”

 

She burned through the next page and passed it over to him.

 

“Wanted for impersonating minors to gain access to children’s shelters. known Alias; Frederic Beard, Benjamin dianason, Jimmy Peter Manfred, Hurny Wright.” He flipped the page over in disbelief. “The list just goes on and on, these are all missing kids he’s impersonated. This is all over Europe. Luxembourg, spain, france, Germany, Belgium, Milan, Glasgow, Bosnia, paris, bourdeaux, this is crazy”.

 

She finished another page and passed it to him.

 

“Known nationalities, Australian, Uruguayan, Canadian, Mexican. A history of lying about abduction and sexual abuse. Suicidal tendencies, designated an extreme flight risk”. He looked at Nancy and back at the page in sheer disbelief.

 

“He’s a fake”. He said.

 

 

Porter steadied himself, his food growing cold in front of him. “How?”

 

“From the start?” Nulidad said.

 

“From the start”

 

Ciscoe cleared his throat and started to look around. He took his cap off and Porter noticed he had somewhat of a receding hairline and his roots were even darker now.

 

“Well I make a phone call and I pretended to be a couple who found a missing boy. I said he was scared and lost and they picked me up and I pretend to be very scared. I put into their minds they have a child, I don’t even need to tell them I was abused, they say that.”

 

He took a sip of his lemonade and he almost looked pleased with himself. There was something fun about it for him, like a magician revealing his secrets to the world, the world of one.

 

“They take me to the shelter and they tried to find out who I was but they couldn’t. I didn’t let them print me take photos, but they threaten to. I just wanted to stay in the shelter. So I say to them leave me alone in the office at night. Because I tell them I’m an American and because of the time zone difference I need to call at night”.

 

He breathed in. “So I search, I know on the phone in that office, no one can hear me, I can convince anyone on the phone. I called police stations in the U.S. I tell them I am police and we have a missing American child. I try to find a child that matched my description. After a while I found a woman in San Antonio who told me about a missing child, Johnny Bartlett”.

 

He looked around at the children at the birthday party, the cake came out candles and sparklers lit. He swallowed and went on. “She sent me a fax with his picture and I looked at it and I saw the date. Been missing for a few year, it was old picture, I know there would be a change and I tell them they had a match. I call Peggy on the phone pretending to be err police and I tell her we found Johnny. ” He paused and a little something wormed into his smile, regret maybe. “I washed her brain.” He went on fresh. “The next day I proved to the people at the home who I was and they called the embassy and the fbi.”

 

“I didn’t stop because I didn’t know what I was doing, I couldn’t stop”. He started to eat, taking bites of the toast, chewing while he continued speaking. “But fuck, when the embassy they sent colour pictures of Johnny, I see he has blue eyes and blonde hair, fuck me, I burn them. I wish I could burn every word I say up to that point. So I had no choice, I dye my hair, I get the dark glasses and cover my face and I get a girl in the home to do the tattoos. I thought if I could get the hair and tattoos and she couldn’t see my face she wouldn’t know I wasn’t her brother, I’d have a chance.”

 

“I didn’t even know if he was left or right handed. I couldn’t be him because I didn’t know him, I couldn’t think anymore. I just think of what prison will be like when I go.” He said taking a slurp from his lemonade.

 

“I thought about running away, I thought about it but it was too late, Peggy was on a plane and coming to get me, I was trapped. She show up and I hide, I didn’t think she’d accept me. I thought as soon as she see me she say ‘Who the fuck is that? That’s not my brother!’. I knew I was about to lose everything I had no choice, I knew I couldn’t wait no more, it was too late to run, I couldn’t disappear. So I open the door and I went down to meet her and she didn’t wait two seconds. She jump on me. She starts kissing and cuddling me and telling me she recognise me. She accept me right away, to her I was her brother, no question.”

 

“She tell me everything would be fine, only god knows why she would do that. Then she started showing me pictures, dozens of pictures. ‘You remember this is when you were playing with scotty.’ ‘Jason looks older’, just over and over, drilling it into my head.

 

He swallowed “I wasn’t pretending to have another identity, I stole one.” He sighed and went on as if it was a play or a game.

 

Porter stayed still like he was listening to a radio play.

 

“All I had to do was get on a train and go anywhere, but something tell me to stay. I can’t describe, I wanted to feel loved, because I never have that before. My mother have me very young and didn’t want me so I thought I could steal one who did”.

 

He looked off out of the window at the busy intersection and all that nothing. “I think America, I think big city, skyscraper you know? But when I get here it’s all this nothing, all this country, so much space.”

 

He was talking louder and more confident than he had since he got here and he smiled and shook his head. “And then I met you, I already leak to the media about me. Because I thought if the media, the whole world see me and hear my story, it would make Johnny more real, even to me”. He looked down at the table “I wanted people to feel sympathy, to love me”.

 

“How many French adult live the American dream?” He laughed a little as he said it.

 

“How did you get away with it? The embassy doesn’t just throw out U.S passports to anyone.” Porter voice came out of nowhere. He’d just been sitting there listening dumbstruck for what seemed like hours he’d forgotten how to talk.

 

Nullidad didn’t seem to notice and he looked off past him. “I had help.” He clenched his jaw and said. “I thought I’d fooled them but I fool myself, I see now they were the fakes from the start”.

 

“What do you mean? Who?”

 

He looked into Porter’s eyes. “She help me, I see now she coach me. The embassy they give me a test they show me pictures from Johnny family and they test me to see if I remember. ” He licked his lips and leaned forward with his hands on the table. “Peggy she tell them that I haven’t seen them but she’s telling me over and over showing me pictures. ‘Do you remember this, do you remember this person, you remember this, you remember that? That’s your uncle this, your aunt this, your cousin, your mother, your grandmother’. She did it over and over and she make me remember, she coach me and I passed”.

 

“Who your sis- Peggy?”

 

“Yes” He paused. “It was just so much I couldn’t think at the time that she knew they would test me. She helped me to cheat, it was such a normal conversation. I couldn’t see what she was doing, I just thought she really wanted me to be him, she wanted it so bad for me to remember”.

 

Nullidad swallowed and said “I thought she just really wanted me to be her brother. She made me her brother, she didn’t believe it for a second. She knew I wasn’t her brother, she wanted me to be him, nomatter what.” He looked down and breathed in. “I was convince, it was luck, I realise now there was no way they couldn’t see through me, who wouldn’t know there own child? They pretended.”

 

He swallowed and kept rambling. “I thought I was the fake, the imposter. I’m just a stupid person who wanted to be someone else, they were the real fakes. They knew Johnny was never coming back and they used me to hide that. I was the fool all along.”

 

He poked at his food and said “My lie was small, I lied about being someone I was not. Their lie is everywhere, it touches everything, it’s all around, it encircles me and I can’t escape.”

 

Porter banged his fist on the table, a sudden surge of nervous rage shooting through him. “What about Johnny?” Cisco looked up his eyes narrow and frightened. “I’m sick of listening to you feel sorry for yourself, what happened to Johnny?”

 

“They killed him”.

 

Porter shrunk back in his seat, all the hairs on his arms felt electrified, standing on their ends. He got that cold feeling in his stomach like he knew it all along. He knew it.

 

Nullidad looked down at his feet. “Some of them knew about it, some of them kept quiet about it, some of them did it”.

 

Nullidad licked his lips and filled the silence that was growing. “For a long time I worried that the real Johnny would come back. But one night, Angela, she drink, she was drunk and she tell me. I heard her say, Johnny is dead, it was an accident, but Johnny is dead. I knew it was true and I never worry about him coming back after that.”

 

“Why did you do that to your face?”

 

“I knew no one believe me, I could’t be Johnny anymore.”

 

“What about Jack, why did you run?”

 

“I don’t know, I have bad feeling and I wait for him to go pay for the gas and I run”.

 

Porter’s eyes glassed over and his face was flat and expressionless. “Why should I believe any of this? How can I believe you?”

 

Nullidad paused and rolled his head back and forth looking for an answer and when it didn’t come he said “You can’t.”

Diana After Dark Chapter Seven ‘Darkness on the Doorstep’

Good day once again fine people, some normalcy returning to my page thank Jeb and all his guacamole. 
Ok so here’s the next chapter of Diana After Dark, still playing with the title in my head. (Before you even think it, hell yes I am going to do a last jedi review as soon as I get a decent pirated copy because I’m paying to let Mickey Mouse shit in my mouth.)

Again ignoring the inkitt bullshit, that page is just a waste of time full of teenagers who stick crayons up their nose and middle age women touching themselves to werewolf homosex haha.

I saw the benefit of reviews at one point but it’s sort of incestuous how the reviews there work and it’s really just a load of nonsense and frankly I’m sick of reading the same fantasy story about some girl using her magical cooch to find the hidden whatever before she finds out she don’t need no man. I mean there are only so many stories you can read like that before you want to start huffing hot lead.

So I’m just gonna post full chapters on here and when I want reviews I’ll reach out to people on facebook for unbiased takes on it.

Still coming down from new years and it is a harsh steep decline. So many emotions kicked up it’s like all my other functions have shut down trying to process them all. Feeling like I’m in a rut again my writing has slowed down, still trying to finish Gage, kinda feel like the legs have been kicked out of my motivation but on a brighter note I randomly stumbled onto a new editor who seems to be really good and prompt and cheap.

I was just spamming that three book deal thing (which is having it’s last day tomorrow)  and I just spotted her ad out of the corner of my eye and messaged her and she got back to me with a quote, so it’s gonna be full steam ahead with Diana After Dark editing and then it’s just trying to get it out there to agents and make my fortune like the dickens character at heart that I am.

So have a good one, check out that three book deal in my last blog post and fuck inkitt haha.

See you…
Diana After Dark Chapter 7 ‘Darkness on the Doorstep’

 

Hot, sticky, red.

 

It’s blood isn’t it?

 

Blood?

 

All over the floor.

 

It smells, I don’t like it.

 

Why is it here?

 

All over the carpet.

 

Where am I?

 

Why did you do that?

 

A big puddle.

 

Blood all over the floor, spreading and getting thicker like a dark red plastic spreading and dripping and coating everywhere. A child’s room, bunk beds, bright colours. Where is this place?

 

Something rising from the blood, the sea of thick hot red plastic. A head coated in it like it was hot molten wax and then another and another bobbing up like croutons in a rich tomato soup.

 

My vision is a tiny cone surrounded by blackness, small hands, a child’s hands reach for the heads, turning them over one by one. I recognise their faces but can’t place them. Buried somewhere, a tinkling, a mocking laugh and a slamming of a heavy door and they’re gone.

 

A feeling of loss, of loss of loss. Losing something that never existed, something you never had taken before you even knew it was there.

 

The little hand reaches for mine and it tells me to come and play and I want to. I want to so badly, but I can’t.

 

I wake up again, a cold sweat, it’s dark. I maybe got two hours sleep on Paul’s couch.

 

We could have used the bed of course but I couldn’t drag him much further than the living room. He is a big boy.

 

And once I’d got him down I wanted to stay with him and make sure he was ok. Some motherly instinct kicking in Diana? Channelling a little Florence Nightingale perhaps? Hardly, a good mask needs a touch up now and then like anything else. But soon enough after lying down next to him the sandman had snuck up and wrapped the ten pound fishing cord of sleep around my neck and I was his. I’d fallen asleep right next to him. But now I was awake again in the wee hours of the morning and he was gone.

 

It wasn’t as dramatic as I thought it was. He came in after a minute or two with a glass of water and sat back down on the couch like he didn’t even notice I was there.

 

He cleared his throat and took in a big deep breath and then proceeded to take sips from his water and yawn.

 

“Oh you’re up” He said. “I was just getting some water.”

 

“I can see that”

 

“Here” He said as he handed me the glass. I took a big gulp from it. I suddenly felt utterly bottomless and wanted to down the entire glass before handing it back to him.

 

It felt like we’d never talk about it and that’s kind of how I wanted it. Pretend like it never happened. Just let it slip off the cuff, a very interesting dream soon forgotten.

 

“What happened back there?” he said rather ineloquently breaking my fantasy of a night lost. Murderous pirate ships passing in the night.

 

“You don’t remember” I stalled.

 

“No, I remember drinking a little and then, I dunno, I guess someone jumped me and everything went black and I woke up here and my gun was gone.” He sighed like he was talking about a botched boy scouts camping trip “My dad is gonna kill me”.

 

“Doesn’t he have lots of guns, I’m sure he won’t notice one missing” I added Diana deft subject dodger.

 

“You don’t know my dad” He scratched the back of his neck “I’ll have to tell him it was stolen.”

 

“Yeah you can’t tell him you lost it in a fight in a drug dealers house” Shut up Diana.

 

He laughed. Phew.

 

We gave up on sleep after that and had a quick shower. I had to change back into my previous set of clothes. Which was a little disgusting for dainty deleterious Diana but I couldn’t exactly skip school the day after another massacre. I suppose the whole finding body parts at school thing could have bought me a little credit. I dunno.

 

I stood in front of my locker again staring at the space left by the volleyball. I breathed and sighed, taking in all the smells of the pretty people passing me. Their talking all mixing together into an interminable cacophony. The occasional chortle and hushed whisper. Did I hear my name?

 

I closed my locker and as if by magic, a poof of smoke and the wicked witch of Orange County appeared.

 

Wendy engulfed me with the most over-exaggerated but nevertheless fake hover hug I had ever received. Her arms and chest barely touched me. But her movements were so verbose I thought she was going to poke my eye out with one of her fake tits or impale on a hoop earring.

 

“Omg are you ok?” She stopped for a brief second to look at me. “I’ve been trying to call you all weekend”.

 

Well we both knew that was an exaggeration but it was the kind you could overlook. The kind of happy shit people fling carelessly.

 

“I’m ok, I just-“

 

“Oh my god, I’m so glad you’re alright”

 

“I forgot the fliers, sorry” I cocked my head to the side, doing an attempt at an ‘aww shucks’ face.

 

“Fuck the fliers, you could have been killed.” She shivered and looked around the hall “He was here, he walked this hall, he could have done whatever he wanted and he chose our lockers. Also I picked up the fliers myself yesterday”.

 

I scanned her face and there was something there, but I couldn’t tell if it was genuine fear or excitement. The goose pimples were a nice touch. I knew without knowing what she was capable of but right now she looked like a cartoon a little Latin mini mouse rubbing her bare golden arms. Afraid of the big bad wolf.

Maybe I was wrong about her, after all I wasn’t that sure, and my big brain hadn’t proven much use as of late. It was sort of a romantic notion I’d conjured up about her. Spiced up her little half Cuban buns.

 

“I think we’re gonna be ok, if he wanted to kill us he probably would have done it already.” I looked into her face as it froze in an awkward expression, so I summoned up more comforting platitudes. Like pulling a drawstring in grief councillor Barbie. “It was probably just a coincidence he chose our lockers.”

 

“Well it’s over now, the cops have a suspect and he’ll have left the state by now if he know what’s good for him”.

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“You haven’t seen?” She went into her purse and pulled out a smartphone in a hello kitty case and started tapping away at it and then turned it over so I could see her screen. On it a blurred out picture of the bodies on the couch. The picture was really good this time, and I could swear it might have been taken at the same time. I could have been passed out on the floor just out of frame. “There was another murder last night, it’s some kind of gang bullshit, this psycho dealer kills four of his own guys and then bolts.”

 

“But how do they know it’s connected?”

 

“That’s the fucked up thing” She said as she opened her purse again to put her phone back at the bottom. “They found a head from the previous victim right on the motherfuckers coffee table.” Kitchen table/breakfast bar but reporters, you know, can’t get anything right.

 

That’s why the bar maids head was there. What a neat package. A picture was starting to form. A nice little picture framing Antoine as the Head-hunter. It seemed like quite a promotion, small time pusher to the serial killer hall of fame. I had ruled him out from the running as I assumed it was nigh impossible to tape and plastic wrap yourself to a bed. Offering yourself up as a meal to young velociraptor. But who knows, maybe that was just what he was into. It didn’t seem too far out of the realm of possibilities.

 

But I doubt he’d paint himself into such a corner as this, but maybe I’d over-estimated him. Maybe I’d over-estimated them all.

 

So what was the plan? If I killed Antoine would I have been next? Would Antoine have disappeared forever sealed as an open shut case? And because I didn’t kill him what then?

 

Was this part of his plan?

 

The word ‘kill’ set my teeth on edge, throwing it around so nonchalant in my head. I had my chance and I wasted it. I could feel now more than ever. It was this annoying buzz in my ear before, a single moth hitting a lightbulb in some deep dark cellar and now.

 

Now it was like fire ants screaming in my veins, crawling under my skin, the whispering a cacophony of good ideas.

 

It was almost unbearable, it took every social grace I had stored up over the years not to scream and pull my hair out.

 

It was whispering so loud now, right inside my ear. I felt hot. I could feel my mask melting, chipping, falling away. I was becoming some base creature. What was I supposed to do now? Go to the library for some montage on how to prevent lycanthropy? Maybe pick up some garlic and wolfs bane and make a smoothie with some kale.

 

I’d come so close, it could taste blood, smell it, it wanted nothing more to be fed, to cut, to take and I held back. I denied it and it was hungrier than ever. But something about denying it felt good too, delayed gratification. ‘Delayed’, was it really delayed, implying it was coming, it was inevitable.

 

I was roused by an obnoxious clicking sound.

 

“Hello girlfriend, are you home?” Wendy snapped her fingers again trying to get my attention.

 

“Oh sorry” Shit, I completely blanked, glazed over, I really am slipping. “I was just-“

 

“Happens to me all the time” A mysterious voice emerged behind Wendy, had he been there the whole time?

 

“Oh yeah Di” Wendy smiled and kissed the high chin of the man in the letterman jacket towering over her tiny self. “You’ve met my new bae right?”

 

“Yeah sure” Brahma, Bradie, bromide, brontide? “You sit behind me in biology or something right” Complete guess.

 

“Chemistry”

 

Close enough.

 

He was tall and well built, definitely a line-backer.

 

“Brodie just became the school’s new quarterback”

 

Close enough.

 

“I don’t like to brag” He said smiling, looking down at Wendy, crinkling his highbrow. He had a boyish face with kind of a button nose and a floppy haircut like he was in a nineties boyband. His entire person seemed like it was picked out of a saved by the bell episode.

 

“You better be bragging about me mister” Wendy said standing on her tiptoes for an actual kiss. Excuse me while I purge my stomach contents.

 

“I heard about what happened to you” Brodie said taking his soppy wet lips off Wendy’s sticky glossed Botox pillows. “That really sucks, I hope they catch the guy”

 

“Nothing happened to me” I said “Still got my head, see?” Did I really just point at my head?

 

“Right” He laughed like a big dumb idiot and then soured his face like he just barely got the joke. So this is how she liked them, big and dumb and pretty. He was good looking but something about his face soured on me. Too familiar, it felt like a face I’d seen everywhere and seeing it now locking face with Wendy did make me feel oddly queasy. Like walking in on my aunt getting ploughed by her reiki healer part time life guard part time boyfriend, Darren.

 

“Oh yeah where’s Paul at?” Wendy took her head out of the clouds “I haven’t seen him today”.

 

“Oh we’re just giving each other some space today I guess” I laughed.

 

“Something up?”

 

“No, we just, kinda had a fight, I guess, sorta”. Technically true, the best kind of true.

 

Truthfully, Paul had got a little closer to my inner sanctum, my dark fortress of solitude than I’d have liked. The dream whatever it meant was a message. And I just needed a little distance so we could better compartmentalise what happened. Pack it away in neat little boxes and pretend it never happened. I knew he was good at that. He was unpredictable last night but I had no reason to believe I couldn’t trust him to keep it secret. After all he had much more to lose than I did.

 

“Wow” Wendy said wide eyed “You two had a fight, that must be the sign of the apocalypse”

 

“I’m sure you guys will work it out” Brodie adding his pointless platitude with a dull dough eyed smile. Oh Brodie, what white teeth you have.

 

“Thanks”.

 

The rest of the day was one humid slog of nothing really that remarkable. Paul and I managed to avoid each other for most of the day, exchanging only one awkward glance in the lunch hall.

 

I was struck by a sad soggy urge just to get home and lay face down on my trash heap of a bed and just sleep until the sun came up again.

 

I walked home, it was pretty early. The serial killer was on the run, don’t you know. It was safe to walk the streets yet again fair citizens.

 

I couldn’t exactly use that excuse again on my aunt to come pick me up. Considering we hadn’t spoken since the other day and she probably already thought I was dead in a ditch somewhere. Maybe she was surrounded by FBI right now crying and trying to sell them dreamcatchers or aligning their chakras or something.

 

Yes, I did that to punish her, yes it was petty and but hey what did you expect? I’m a little monster after all.

 

I don’t know what I expected honestly.

 

Would she be happy to see me, would she be mad? Did I care? I’d take whatever meek tongue lashing she could muster out of her mousey give peace a chance voice box and then be sent to my room, exactly where I wanted to be. So it would turn out either way.

 

Of course I was planning to do the human thing, which was? I don’t know, apologise I guess. Or was that the Canadian thing? What was the teenage thing to do? Just storm in and start yelling and shifting the blame, nothing says good defence like a crazy offence. I could just completely blindside her with crazy accusations long enough to get to my room and lock the door with no supper.

 

That could work, she did kind of sick a crazy bond villain on me. Or did she? I dunno, I felt like I was getting a lot of things wrong lately. My usually big brain under a bushel had been leading me astray or worse it was outright lying to me. I was overthinking everything, getting paranoid and crazy… er.

 

Maybe I could go teary afternoon special and just burst out into a fit of crocodile tears, tell her the whole sick sad story. Nah that never works.

 

The walk went quite quickly thinking of things to practice saying, or maybe I’d just storm into my room and not come out ever again. Learn to photosynthesise, nah I’d need to open the blinds for that. The sun was just over the hill working its way down. It was still pretty bright, walking past all the matchbox houses. Hybrid cars puttering passed me at ten miles an hour.

 

I turned into my block and felt an intoxication of a coming night wind. The smell of the palms and the little quaffed bushes surrounding the houses. A primal rushing wind forcing its way into my lungs. I almost felt like skipping the rest of the way home.

 

But there was something incredibly tantalizing about resisting about holding off. Delayed gratification, as I said. It was something I’d honed over the years. There was no other way, unless I wanted to spend the rest of my adolescence looking at people through plexi-glass. Doing my best teen Hannibal Lector impression.

 

I walked as casually as I could as the sun was slowly going down, ripping broad swaths of red and orange along the sky.

 

The neighbours two houses over were having some sort of semi-noisy party. I say semi-noisy because it wasn’t loud house music or drunken shouting. Just refined loud excited talking knives and forks scraping. The barbecue sizzling on their quant veranda over their garage.

 

“Hey Di, how’s your aunt?”

 

“She’s-err fine” I said.

 

“Give her my best” Gary from next door said as he went back to flipping burgers and smiling at nothing in particular. He was a nice guy, kind of forgettable, one of those software engineers who grew a beard because he had no chin and wore only plaid. His wife was kind of a bitch though.

 

“Will do, have a good evening Mr Harvey” I said with a smile in my voice which he didn’t see. Politeness and cleanliness, next to godliness. I hopped up my driveway and to the front door about to knock remembering I had a key. Knocking would only give her enough time to think up a line and a face to sling it from. I was feeling righteous indignation. Her plan was probably the same as mine, come out guns blazing. Quickest draw would win, just bowl over the other, like women do. Making themselves completely impenetrable to logical arguments and explanations. Then resorting to waterworks when the other party wouldn’t just roll their belly up in the air for the final attack.

 

I jangled my keys out of my purse quickly finding the right one, oh so proud of myself. I can’t kill a helpless gangbanger taped to a bed but I can find my keys super quick. I slipped my key into the door and was slightly deflated to watch the door shrink away from my prodding. It swung loose from the jam.

 

Ditzy aunt stereotype forgot to lock the door again, what a cliché’. This was the sort of neighbourhood you could leave your door unlocked in but my aunt wasn’t the sort of neighbour to do it. In fact she’d been double bolting the doors again since the murders started.

 

Eh, it’s probably nothing. Maybe she’s out canvassing for me, stapling my picture to phone poles and in her haste just forgot to lock the doors. I’d call and she’d discover me home safe and sound and once I paid her back for the printing cost of the fliers, everything would be copasetic.

 

I closed the door behind me making a disconcerting clicking noise and instantly the air was heavier. A wry whisper, a hiss from the deep dark, a warning from the dark driver. The hair on my neck shot up. I held my breath and just listened. Nothing. Silence.

 

I breathed slow and quiet and got low and contemplative.

 

I could feel it, was it him? Had he come for me? I failed him. I didn’t play his game, didn’t dance to his tune and now he was coming for me and my aunts head.

 

Oh fuck.

 

He probably put it in the fridge waiting for me to stumble in and scream and then the bag goes over my head and the darkness comes. And then leaves and is replaced with bright light. Not god but a masonry light and a camera and a sharp blade and then snicker snack goes the Jabberwock. And then it’s nothing but cold concrete and darkness and then maybe flames and damnation if you’re into that.

 

This was it, I was making jokes but this was it, I knew it. Here in my home, there was nothing keeping him out, he got in before just to watch. To prod me, mock me for being unable to see the obvious truth. Which was?

 

I could run and I could scream, I could call Gary in here with his spatula and he could maybe slow him down for as long as it took for his head to hit the ground. The cops, the man in the wheelchair, could they protect me, could they save me from myself?

 

I had to try.

 

I made my way into the kitchen, it was dark, all the lights in the house were off.

 

I crabbed low, moving towards the phone in the kitchen. I know I should use my mobile but it makes a lot of noise and lights up like a Christmas tree and I couldn’t risk it. I needed the dark and the quiet low murmur of the party outside.

 

I squatted under the phone and released it from the cradle, slow and quiet and started tapping 911. Shit what was I gonna say? “Please send police my imaginary friend thinks there’s a serial killer in my house because it’s scared of the dark”.

 

Well it didn’t matter anyway, phone line was cut. Of course it was, that was dumb.

 

I slid Ruez’ iPhone out of my pocket and unlocked it and started swiping through his really cluttered layout to find his dialler. I starting tapping 911.

 

Just as I hit the last 1 the phone rang with a loud DMX song and I froze.

 

I answered like a fucking idiot.

 

“H-hello?”

 

“Come into the living room Diana” A hushed voice said.

Split Review – Beast level savagery

Ok so I’m of two minds, get it, because this story is about a dude with more than one personality?? Hahaha so big brained, hit me with a rock why don’t you? I’m not even of two minds, I actually just thought it was shitty haha, I just said that for the pun.

I watched this movie because my brother is the big pirate and he had it and I idly watched it while I was working out as I usually do. My brother really liked it but his tastes vary and we don’t always see eye to eye. So I went into it with a lot of scepticism because I’m a contrarian douche and anything he really likes or is really popular I usually hate or try to hate but I sometimes fail at hating those things, like I really tried hard to hate James Cameron’s avatar but I still like it. So sometimes movies are just good and fun and even the grump that I am can’t deny that.

But this wasn’t one of them and I’m writing this for myself as usual trying to decipher what specifically about it I hated.

Now for context I’m not one of these guys that shits on M.Night just because, I actually haven’t seen any of the movies people taut as his shit ones, like avatar and after earth. I’ve only seen the decent ones, sixth sense, unbreakable, the happening (kinda). So I’m not a hater and in fact, I didn’t even know he directed this movie until I saw his cameo, which I’ll get into later.

So I didn’t really enter this with any preconceptions other than my usual disposition to hate popular things like twilight and fidget spinners.

Ok actually gotta start the fucking review now

First thing I noticed because it’s pretty hard to ignore; it’s a pretty fucking boring ass movie. Like seriously, the first hour plus is just talking to this really retarded old woman about bullshit psychobabble and fashion. It’s trying to build tension and failing miserably and the way the twist is set up is so predictable it ruined the whole fucking movie. It’s like Night is more interested in having twists than them actually being good. Like he expects you to see his twists and be like “OMG NIBBA DIS SOME BIG BRAINED SHEEEIIITTT I NEED TO HIT IT WITH A ROCK YO!”

But as soon as they start talking about the 24th personality you know it’s going to appear, it’s a movie, so as soon as you start describing him we know we’re going to see it so how is it a twist when it eventually appears? You’re basically just telling us what’s going to happen at the end of the movie, that’s not a twist. It’s funny because I also watched the visit (Which I thought was ok but pretty unremarkable, I’ve seen indie found footage movies ten times better) by him recently and it does the same thing, the twist happens and it’s so predictable it seems like Night assumes his audience is just mouth breathing idiots in the way its delivered.

And I think that’s a lot of the problem with his film making, he thinks hes really smart but his audience is really dumb. So all that happens is that his movies sound dumb but are also really pretentious.
This is a movie for dumb people who think they’re smart (GOT fans basically haha) so that’s probably why it made so much money and people seem to like it, they don’t want people to think they don’t get it when there’s nothing to get, it’s just a silly campy kinda sorta thriller movie I guess.
For awhile I was just listening to this dialogue and the way it was shot and I couldn’t help thinking I was watching a movie within a movie, like how in movies there’s a parody of a movie within a movie and it’s just so over the top and ridiculous mocking movies. That’s this whole movie.

Another flaw in the movie is none of the characters are really very well developed or likeable and he even tries to have a backstory for one of the girls but it’s sort of pointless. I remember watching the scenes of her traumatic past and thinking about how the movie would have been pretty much unchanged if they just left them out.

They had no real impact on the plot and didn’t really make me feel any connection to her. I think if you just left them out she would have been more of a mystery and it would have been more like a traditional horror movie. Or even if you had her reveal her past in conversations with the other girls they could have had some character development. But you don’t need to know the teen counsellors tragic backstory to feel scared for them when Jason comes in friday the 13th, it’s just not relevant.

Another big thing I couldn’t stand in this movie is McAvoy, bless him, he tries, I like him but this was like watching him do GCSE drama and it was just a cringefest. He wasn’t scary or intimidating he was a cringe machine. The only time I cringed harder was at the ending but I’ll get to that.

He’s just trying too hard and the personalities seem less like personalities and more like funny voices he practised in front of a mirror, like Jim Carrey could have been more convincing. It was just silly and I couldn’t take the movie seriously, it just took me out of it.

The old lady I think pissed me off the most because she seemed like she got it, and it looked like she was smart enough to stay off the path of horror movie tropes, but no she asks to go to the bathroom and is discovered witnessing something she shouldn’t have and her fate is sealed and I have zero sympathy for her. You play stupid games you get stupid prizes, she knew this guy was dangerous and went to his house anyway and suffered for her arrogance.

Now about Night’s cameo, I don’t get why this guy thinks we want to see his face, the guy looks like a brown Phil Spector, he looks like a tall umpa lumpa from the shitty remake of Charlie and Chocolate factory. Like when Stan Lee does a cameo everyone goes ‘Hey it’s Stan Lee’ and don’t get me wrong it’s getting really old at this point. Honestly I think I might be relieved as well as saddened when he finally pops his clogs. But when you see Night it’s just like “Hey who’s that brown dude – oh it’s the director, uh huh”. Dude no one cares, you’re not some beloved figure like everyone’s grand dad or uncle like Stan Lee. You’re just some guy that makes shitty b movies that nevertheless have stupidly higher budgets than they deserve.

You’re like Tarantino you make high quality garbage movies, they’re trashy sometimes fun movies that are high spec and high budget but nevertheless no one gives a shit. I mean even mentioning Tarantino his cameos are at least funny or he dies somehow or says something dumb or memorable but in this movie Night’s cameo is just some guy the old lady talks to about hooters. It’s dumb. She could have just been on her own and the scene would have been unchanged.

Oh shit, hit the 1k mark gotta wrap this up haha.

Ok the ending, the ending was the most cringe inducing thing in the movie and it sort makes me question not only Night’s intelligence but his actual sanity. Because at the end of the movie it’s revealed, really hamily that this is set in the same universe as Unbreakable… a movie that was made in 2000 so that just gives you some perspective, this a is follow up to a movie that’s 17 years old. This is when this guy was talented, 17 years ago he made a cool movie people liked and now I just picture him watching the marvel universe and dc universe and universal trying to make a monster movie universe and he’s just like “I can do that.”

No, no you can’t you delusional idiot. He thinks he can make a movie universe with a movie he made 17 years ago and people are just gonna be like ‘Oh boy, can’t wait to see that.’

So in his mind this is a sequel to Unbreakable that will open up an avenue to a cross over sequel where Mcavoy will be the villain and Willis will be the hero again but how the fuck is that going to work? Can anyone imagine how that movie would go in their heads because this movie was bad enough as it was in terms of story.
My brother told me that the split character was actually cut from unbreakable but I dunno, honestly I am actually in two minds because half of me thinks ‘God why, oh god why? Just stop’ and the other half is actually intrigued how he might pull it off. I’m sitting at the side of the road thinking ‘How is this car accident going to look exactly?’

Oh jesus and not to mention how badly it was tied in to unbreakable and the tone is just all wrong. The one of unbreakable was sombre and serious and there was actually a lot of suspension of disbelief because you didn’t actually know if he had powers or not but in this you can see Mcavoy take a 12 gauge to the chest. It lacked all the subtlety and had a much sillier tone. It just wasn’t on the same level as Unbreakable, it was a joke honestly.

It failed at everything it tried to be, it’s not scary or gory enough to be horror, not enough happens for it to be a thriller, like there’s no real story, nothing that thrilling happens. And it’s not interesting in enough to be a drama or character piece, it’s just a steaming pile of wasted potential and sure smells a lot like bullshit and again I’m glad I didn’t waste any of my money on this emperors new clothes horseshit.

Oh yeah and the credits were split into multiples, get the fuck over yourself.

Yeah so no strong feelings at all haha.

See you…

TOTCB Chapter One ‘A Little Rain’ (edited)

Ok, being a little lazy.

Just rereleasing the first chapter because people kept bitching at me for showing off DDD when it hasn’t been edited but it’s hard not to want to show my latest work to people when I’m the most excited about it but I have to wait until its more polished and in the mean time I have the first three chapters of this book edited and ready to go and will be releasing it for free on my my site for everyone on my mailing list as soon as it’s completed which is looking to be sometime next month.

Otherwise everything is good, still feeling a little uninspired recently but I’m enjoying doing the lovecraft inspired story and relistening to all his stories for inspiration. Despite that it’s still coming along quite slowly and I’ll release some of it on here when I can be bothered to proofread it. So keep your head on a swizel for that.

Anyway, here’s the remastered first chapter of The One That Came Back for your rereading pleasure.
Don’t forget a free e-copy of this and my last novella ‘Ladies Close Your Eyes’ will be winging it’s way to all the nice folks on my mailing lists so stay tuned for that and peace out.

~

Chapter 1 A little rain

 

“Police, go ahead.”

“My wife and I are here as tourists-”

“-We’ve found a kid.”

“He’s about fourteen or fifteen years old-”

“- No ID, no documents on him.”

“He’s very scared.”

It was raining.

The rain beat down, getting in all the cracks on the sidewalk. It dashed cars and made those little muted tapping sounds as it hit people’s coats as they walked by.

Neon lights of a sign, car headlights, streaked in the rain as if they were melting.

The soothing sound of the rain falling muted the sounds of thunder.

A boy tried to make himself as small as possible in the bottom of a phone booth. The rain beat down, tapping on the glass, trying to get in.

He wore a hooded coat with a cap, and a pair of running bottoms with white stripes up the sides. He sat curled up, with his head in his knees, breathing steadily, the receiver hanging by his head.

The phone booth stood alone in the centre of a cobbled town square, lined with caged trees. European-style lampposts, dotted throughout the square, cast sickly yellow pools of light. There was a square-roofed totem, plastered with ageing posters, advertising bands in Spanish; stark bushes behind it, all their leaves long gone, left with only bony finger twigs stretching out in all directions.

Distant sirens.

The boy in the booth peeled back the sleeve of his jacket and looked at a digital watch. The time was ‘9:58pm’.

The bottom of the phone booth was made of some cheap plastic, like a black shower mat, curling at the corners. It was wet with people’s footprints and the rain getting in through the cracks. Dirty cigarette butts were mashed into it, little pink pieces of paper, fliers with girls on them, soaking up muddy water, and a boy.

A police car pulled up in front of the totem with its lights off. The headlights filled up the phone booth. They stopped the car and put the lights on, red and blue flashing. They got out of the car.

Two cops with their hoods down. On the passenger side, the bald cop approached the phone booth speaking Spanish, reaching out his hand as if he was trying to feed a small animal.

The boy lifted his head to look at the light through the crack in the phone booth door. He shivered as the cold damp started to get to him. The man approached, slow and low, and the boy made himself even smaller. He shrank into his big rain coat and tried to get away from himself. But he was in a corner.

The policeman opened the door of the phone booth and asked him if he was alright. The cop was average build, in his forties with a greying beard. The concern lines on his forehead painted a vivid picture of a man with his own problems; he didn’t need to be out here.

The rain poured down on him as he spoke, trying to be heard over the constant beating of water around his head. The boy lifted his head an inch, hiding his eyes behind the lip of a cap pulled down low on his head. He cowered with his hands in front of his face.

The cop lost his patience for a moment and reached out for the boy. The boy pulled back. He was shaking.

“Tranquilo, tranquilo,” the cop said slow, as he put his hands up and backed off just a little. He signalled for the boy to come: “Vamos.”

The boy was ashen, shaking. He looked lost and frightened.

The cop took his arm and gingerly helped him to his feet.

He led the boy, hunched like a refugee, towards the brightly lit police car.

The boy’s legs seemed weak. His knees buckled and the second cop swam through the rain to prop him up on his other side. They carried him, arm in arm, to the waiting police car, the sound of the windshield wipers screeching.

They put him in the back seat and shut the door. He ducked his head and listened to the rain.

“What is your name?” a woman said in a robotic tone. “Tell us your name,” she asked again. They watched the boy’s face, even as he tried to hide, on the monitors. His cap was pulled way down and he had a scarf covering the other half of his face. “Where do you live?” she kept asking.

The pixelated camera zoomed out as he said nothing. He hung his head like a frightened animal. “Do you live with your parents? Did they hurt you?”

It looked more like an office than an interview room. It was wood panelled with a wall of  opaque glass.. The boy looked out the door and saw people at desks, lit by old fashioned lamps, sifting through papers. Phones ringing, people talking, clattering of chairs and hushed breath.

His hands were deep down in the pockets of his coat. He got comfortable in the chair, sinking further and further down into it.

It smelled like cigarettes and heady perfume in the office. Sweet and bitter smells.

He sat at a wooden table. There were loose pieces of paper in Spanish tacked onto the wall: notices, pictures of people.

The woman across the desk was pretty, in her mid to early thirties, but with a strain of concern on her face that looked like it had always been there. Her sandy hair was tied back in a tight plait littered with split ends. She was in a blue uniform adorned with shiny gold buttons. She continued to talk and he watched her lips move.

He looked behind her. On the wall were more posters. A laminated one, behind her head, had large pictures of people and said “MUY PELIGROSOS” in bold letters. There was a book shelf packed with hastily tidied files, binders and large books that looked like phone books piled on top of each other, in no particular order.

In the outer office people were smoking and tapping away at old computers. The bald policeman who had picked him up was on the phone, looking at him through the crack in the door. He nodded, putting out his cigarette and hanging up the phone.-

The boy sat in a waiting room, on a long leather couch that looked like the backseat of an old car. A hand-painted mural behind his head looked like storm clouds. He sat with his head down. A woman at a desk was speaking Spanish into a telephone.

She put the phone down with a surly click and got up, walked around her desk and sat on the front with her hands in her lap.

“Please tell us who you are. Why don’t you have any ID? Are you from Spain?”

He was in the office of a children’s home. It was a large room filled with desks and computers. On the wall, behind the director’s head, was a large map of the world and pictures, of her family, a holiday, a mossy cave, a beach somewhere, school pictures, children sitting in rows, children’s drawings.

She dipped her head as if to implore him. “If you can’t prove to us who you are, we’ll be left with no choice but to fingerprint and photograph you right now and pass them on to the police. Do you understand?”

He looked up, his eyes searching her face. She looked like she was trying to comfort him but she was also disappointed that he didn’t exist.

“Peggy, it’s your mother, are you sitting down? You’re not going to believe this.” An old woman’s whiskey-soaked voice rattled down the phone line.

“Mom, what is it?” The girl on the other end sounded startled; it was late.

“They found your brother, Johnny. They found Johnny in Linares!”

“Oh my God! What part of Texas is Linares in?”

“No, it’s not in Texas. Linares, Spain!” Peggy’s mother, Angela, coughed.

“Spain? Isn’t that on the other side of the country? When can we see him? When can we get him back?” Peggy was rushing now, almost slurring her words, her heart jumping up and down like it was on a pogo stick.

“They gave me a number of the shelter he’s in. Peggy, can you call? You have to be the one that goes and gets him. You have to go get your brother, do you understand?” Her mother was begging now; there was no one else she could rely on.

“OK.”

Peggy’s mother quickly rattled off the number and Peggy jotted it down on a piece of note paper by the phone.

She hung up the phone without saying goodbye, or even thinking, and let it sit in the dark spot of her mind for a moment. She took a few hurried breaths, feeling a little light-headed. The room felt like it was getting smaller. Finally she took the phone out of the cradle, an old-fashioned grey phone with big buttons. She put it to her ear and dialled the number.

The phone rang for a moment and then a man with a European accent answered.

“Hello, this is Peggy Carson. I was told to phone this number.” She paused with a sudden shortness of breath. “Johnny, Johnathan Bartlett.” She sucked her bottom lip. “Do you have him?” An eternity passed as she waited for a response. “Hello?”

“Yes, we have him, Johnathan Bartlett. He’s sitting right here next to me. I am Joan Dorian. I work at the children’s centre and we are sure it is him. You must understand, he is very scared. He has been through a traumatic experience, do you understand?”

“Please, can I talk to him, just for a moment?” The concern in Peggy’s voice rose. She’d begun twiddling the phone cord between her two fingers.

“I’m sorry, Mrs Carson, he doesn’t want to talk to anyone, as of this moment. He’s been through a very hard time. We believe he may have been abused by whomever abducted him and he’s not in the right frame of mind to talk to anyone.”

“I can’t talk to him at all? He’s my little brother!”

“Please, Mrs Carson, understand, this is not the same boy you knew. He’s been through a hell of a lot. He’s going to need a lot of time to come to terms with what happened to him. He’s going to need a lot of love and understanding and patience right now, OK?”

“Alright, please give him my love.” She stopped to take a breath. “Does he remember us? Does he remember his family?” Her voice croaked and shook, as if she was scared to ask.

“He doesn’t remember much. He remembers you, but not a lot else, I believe.”

“Please just let me hear his voice.” She was desperate.

Another eternity passed, before a strained child’s voice came on the line.

“Hello?” it said.

Peggy welled up and burst into tears.

“Hello, Johnny? Johnny, is that you? We missed you, baby. We’re going to get you back soon. Don’t worry, we’re coming. I love you.”

“I love you,” the voice said.

~

TOTCB Chapter 13 ‘Red Right Hand’

Heyo,

Back again with another chapter, got some interest in this actually, had a few literary agents ask for the completed manuscript but I’m still waiting on my editor to reply to my fucking emails haha!

But it’s a good feeling, it feels like with every step I take it’s a step further and although I didn’t really hold much stock in this book well not as much as I do with Diana in the Dark, it’s nice to know I’m getting closer to my goal. That this wasn’t all in vain and one day I’ll be where I want to be and it will have meant something.

Despite all that’s happened along the way, I can’t say I’d change a thing, happiness and misery only waiting over the horizon.

Still feel a little in a rut recently, victory or the chance of victory has defeated me for a time and I’ve been trying to write a lovecraftian story this last week but it’s proving trickier to manage my time with so many distractions. But I’m steadfast and I’ve been reingesting a steady diet of Lovecraft and bloodborne to try and get in the right frame of mind.
Don’t get your hopes up though, it’s not really meant to be scary, I’m writing something that’s a little like a Lovecraftian superhero origin story hence the title ‘Loverman’. It’s basically call of cthulhu meets the crow.

It should be a lot of fun once I get to the knitty gritty of it.

Anyway, back to the day to day grind.

See you…

Red Right Hand

Johnny was being held in Bexar county sheriff’s department in the centre of town. Con and Nancy were watching him through two way glass as he sat in an interrogation room. They were waiting for someone to brief them on what happened.

Johnny looked nervous, lost. Like he was searching for something, lost in his own head and he didn’t know where to start. He was pale with white bandages over portions of his face.

A sheriff’s deputy breezed in with a report in his hand, he was a short man with a beer gut and greying beard.

“Are you the fbi people?” He said without a hint of irony, chewing some kind of blue gum that made his breath smell like popcorn.

“That’s us” Con said, standing with hands in his pockets.

Nancy was still watching the kid, transfixed, her arms folded.

“Well I’ve got the report here signed by his mother. We’ve got her in a separate room waiting for the warrant to come through on the blood samples. But we should have that soon. We already have the boy’s DNA, fingerprint, palm print, photophraghed, the whole shebang”

“That’s great, forward it to our office and we’ll put it through our database and send it on over to Interpol.” Con said without removing his hands from his pockets, furrowing his all too handsome brow.

“Interpol, wow, this is some serious stuff huh?” The man smiled and swapped glances with Con and the back of Nancy’s head. He almost bowed and started to take the gum out which he now realised he’d been chewing loud. “Oh sorry, trying to quit smoking. I can leave the incident report here for you take a look at or I can give you the hightlights.”

“Highlights are good” Con said forcing a smile.

“Well alright then” The man said as he straightened up. “Well this is all from his mother and the boy doesn’t contest it. The subject, that is the young man, found what we’ve determined to be a flare gun. His mother said was out in the garage, she doesn’t have any idea how it got there. Possibly bought by her husband and put in storage”. He looked up for minute to check they were still there and he went on. “The subject took said flare gun and discharged it into the refrigerator, accidentally.” He said that last part looking at Con.

Nancy sneered as she kept looking through the glass. “What about his face?”

“He did that himself, the mother says it was an accident too. Boys will be boys and all that and she doesn’t want to press charges. After we’ve executed the search warrants we have no cause to hold them any longer”

“Is that everything?” Con said.

“Pretty much, I’ll leave you folks to it. We’ll keep you informed on the state of the warrant and forward any samples to your office.”

“Thanks deputy?”

“Kline, good to meet you folks, I heard you were from out of town, I hope its treating you well, you two have a good one ok.” The deputy closed the door behind him and left them alone in the cold darkened room. Watching Johnny squirm.

Nancy seemed to quiver from a draft as the door closed. She’d been standing with her arms folded facing the glass. Now she started to rub her arms as an almost nervous reaction. Con could tell something was wrong, he walked a few steps closer.

“You ok?”

“Mmm”

“What is it?”

“Just a feeling” Her mind was somewhere else.

“A feeling?”

“Like someone’s moonwalking on my grave” She was looking at her reflection in the glass now.

“The kid’s got you spooked?”

“It’s not just the kid, it’s the whole family, and the kid. I knew there was something off about him the minute I saw him.”

“Selection bias at it’s finest, you’re just remembering it that way to make sense of how you feel now”. He smiled knowing that would rile her in the right way.

She scowled at him and chupsed.

“There’s something wrong, it’s like he doesn’t exist. Like everything he does is out of time, out of rhythm. I can look at someone usually and see what they’re gonna do, or what they’re thinking. When I look at him it’s like static, cold white static.”

“What about the family”.

“They’re hiding something, but everytime I think I know what it is it just falls away. It’s not just that I feel like we’re taking one step forward and two steps back. It’s like we’re not moving at all or even if we find out what happened we’ll never quite know the whole truth.”

“That’s always how it is, only an idiot convinces themselves they ever have the whole truth of anything.” He was getting maudlin for a change. As soon as he said it he got that cold feeling like it was contagious.

“But it’s like even they don’t know the whole truth, like they’ve hidden it even from themselves, every one of them.”

“It shouldn’t take too long to have the test’s analysed, and once we send them on to Interpol we can put this to bed.” Part of him wanted to pat her shoulder but he knew how that would go so he kept his hands in pockets.

TOTCB Chapter 9 ‘Wings of flies’

Yo,

Gonna make this a quick one, my days are seemingly getting shorter and shorter, doing all this reviewing and dealing with the ensuing butthurt (I’ll elaborate on that later haha), the proofreading is murder since I started doing longer chapters. Boohoo woe is me right? haha. And I’m pretty much exhausted everyday now I upped my weights, feeling like death everyday but I shall be larger soon haha.

Still chugging along with Diana Dreams Darkly, it’s going pretty well but most importantly it’s fun as fuck, so there’s that haha. Still working on getting GS2 out and faffing about with this The one that came back, editing it slowly and surely with the help of the wonderful Nat who helped me with GS and stuff before that.

So that’s all I’ve got time for folks haha.

Cya

Wings of flies

“This is eye witness news at ten” A voice over said as graphics for the news station rolled over the screen.

An anchor with short slick hair and a pressed blue suit faded in with his name under him “Bob Hurley”. He said straightfaced “He disappeared without a trace three years ago. Tonight a san Antonio boy is back home. Johnny Bartlett” A video was played over him, an upward shot of Johnny. He looked paler than ever with the washed out stage lighting. The dark glasses on, that wide brimmed cowboy hat on his head. “Now sixteen years old, he vanished when he was thirteen. Johnny says he was kidnapped and taken to spain. He says for three years he was repeatedly drugged, beaten and raped. All part of a sex slave operation involving dozens of missing children”.

A young female anchor with her hair in a short bob and too much blush continued. Her name super imposed under her reading ‘Sandra Hawkins’. “Well Bob, the FBI is not taking this case lightly. Somehow a thirteen year old boy from San Antonio ended up in spain, without a passport.”

It cut to a street shot of the same anchor woman on the streets of san Antonio. The sky was slate grey and she stood under a metal sign outside fort sam Houston.

“On the night of his disappearance. Johnny had a fight with his family so came out here to Fort Sam Houston to play basketball. Two young boys approached him. He started talking, the next thing he knew, there was a clothe over his mouth and Johnny passed out.

It cut to an old photo of Johnny before he was taken wearing a blue baseball cap and hoodie.

“He claimed his captors changed his appearance to make him unrecognisable.” It cut to the interview of Johnny. Sandra was wearing a dark suit jacket over a turtle neck sweater and dark trousers. “He was no longer allowed to speak English”

The interview took place in a lounge in the studio, mocked up to look like an old lady’s living room. There was a long cream couch along the wall with a wheat pattern on it. The walls had pictures of old ships on them. Johnny sat in a cream armchair with a leaf pattern embroidered onto it. Sandra sat across from him in a white leather chair.

Johnny leaned forward, his feet off the teal carpet, Susan had her legs crossed. It was filmed from the side, to get them both in shot.

“Did they rape you every night?” She asked with a slight inflection as it cut to a close up of his face, pale and angular.

“Me? No, uh uh, because they- They didn’t rape me every night. Some of them they like more” Johnny smiled and released a sort of pained laugh. “Some of the kids they like more, they rape them usually, two or three times a week.”

“Was there a religious component to it, were they worshipping the devil?”

“Err”

Porter was set up in a booth behind the cameras, standing watching from the dark studio. Peggy was sitting down on a couch somewhere in back watching on the monitors.

The booth he was standing in had been where they’d briefed the news crew on the basics of the story. They had Johnny’s missing photo and a few others they pulled from the news archives. They’d stuck them on the wall of the booth.

The angle he was standing he could see the monitors of the interview and the pictures of Johnny as a kid at the same time. Just instinctively he started comparing them. In the old pictures the boy in them had blonde hair and blue almost steel grey eyes. Johnny on the camera now had deep brown eyes, but that wasn’t what he was looking at.

Porter started to feel warm, the hairs on the back of his neck started to stand up and his breathing quickened. A light rushing feeling in his chest was building. There was something wrong. A fly landed on a picture of Johhny on Christmas morning opening presents. It was taken from his side with his head down as he tore into the wrapping paper.

He pulled it off the wall, letting the tack hit the carpet. It was the best picture he could get of him in profile.

He’d read about a man who was caught by Scotland yard in heathrow airport by identifiying his ears. Ears were just as unique as fingerprints. He held the pictures up to the monitor and compared their ears.

They weren’t a match.

He looked back at Peggy. She was still watching the monitors and hadn’t seen him pluck the picture off the wall so he slid it into his pocket.

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