brian_campo: (Default)
[personal profile] brian_campo
Truth be told, he wanted to know what it looked like.

In the days since blood fell from the sky – in an event that was scandalously under-reported for the sake of tourism dollars – the tiny town of Searchlight had done its best to clean up and look respectable. The sidewalks and streets had been hosed down, the buildings power washed, the cars scrubbed. It was a monumental task but people pitched in because the blood was drying flies. It also stank to high heaven.

But the outskirts, the dirt lots, and even the cemetery remained rust-red. It was like driving through an alien terrain. Brian made the trip around sunset when there was enough light to illuminate the area but not so much that he sweltered in his car. Air conditioning wasn’t powerful enough to combat that much direct sunlight. The thick, iron-sweet scent came through his air vents. He resisted the urge to cover his nose; it wouldn’t be any better when he got out of the car.

Brian parked in a neglected lot near a motel no longer in use.

He got out and shoved his keys into his pants pocket. Blood had collected and congealed in potholes around his feet, and the scrub grass was stained too. Brian squatted and pinked some of the sand, pink as coral, between his fingers. A warm wind blew his hair into his eyes so he looked up. As the sun slipped behind the hills, it lit up the ridge like liquid fire and then it was gone.

Dark would be quick and complete. There was no such thing as dark in Las Vegas, no real night to speak of. He remembered the desert with its inky sky and stars from his teenage years in his dad’s RV, which he parked wherever was cheap. The desert made Brian feel okay. A lot less frantic.

He left his door ajar and sat on the front seat, feet sticking out while he lit up a smoke.
lady_elfleda: (Default)
[personal profile] lady_elfleda
By February, the arrival of Halley's Comet had cast a not inconsiderable shadow of interest over the New Age community. Some called it a herald of impending doom, others felt it a sign of good and still more considered it of no metaphysical significance.

Then, just recently, came the military strikes against Libya and, of far more destructive impact, the nuclear crisis in Chernobyl. Something which was still lighting up current affairs shows with alarming frequency, the consequences of such catastrophic radiation over Europe and elsewhere, were still very much unknown.

All things considered, one could be forgiven for thinking this year was one of destruction. Yet, few could have known just how true that potential could yet be.

Especially of a dimensional nature...

A drunken, care-free attitude had caused it. A portal between this realm and another. Such things were taken notice of.

"Madeleine Ricks... I had not thought you to be the one."

Elfleda hovered invisibly around it as an unseen cloud of spiritual filth, tasting of how much thinner the barrier now was between worlds. Testing... Feeling. Deciding it was right. That this would now be... Enough.

A nearby cat hissed at the alley, but dared not venture near. Scampered and hid in fear when it felt her pervasive gaze upon it.

"Ricksssss..."

Then, the Corruptress dissolving away, a shard of ethereal light, somewhere between electric blue and darker shade of purple, leapt suddenly into the sky. A rumbling clap of thunder rolling out across it in response.

To the casual on-looker, nothing seemed to come of it. Across Nevada, though, gathering in chaotic, billowing effect, the weather was taking on a different turn as it headed towards the little town of Searchlight. The portal, in itself, had been the final straw. Searchlight was the nexus and dimensional walls had finally weakened to the point where... Greater things could happen.

Yet, no rain came. Instead, water pushed up through dust and soil, alike. Or, more precisely, a viscous, muddy sludge did. A by-product of what was required... Like dislodging the roots of an overgrown tree, the proverbial topsoil had to be removed - and something was being forced up. Rising, slowly, but surely, like iron filings to a magnet.

Then - and only then - did the rain come. When the first blackened bone reached the surface. But not of water. Of something sticky and red.

First came the blood. Then the meat. Then the jelly. Not for the first time in history had a downfall of flesh and blood occurred, but this was one with purpose. The skeletal frame of a being though dead and buried, slowly being given the necessities for physical revival.

And as Elfleda fondly touched its brow of skull, so, too, was it given an accursed blessing of infernal resurrection.

"Rise..."
rhiannon_lee: (fireplace)
[personal profile] rhiannon_lee
Rhiannon wasn’t sure if summoning worked this way; she only knew where Elfleda had appeared to her before, so that is where she headed after leaving Cian’s cabin near the lake.

She drove back to Searchlight, back to where she’d rented a cheap room after riding in a stale bus for days. She parked her car in the lot of the gas station where she’d gone to make a long-distance call with a pocket full of quarters. She walked past the bank of payphones and out into the desert, far enough to escape the glow from the light posts, so far she could barely see her shoes. Her flashlight picked out plants to avoid and, once, the striped tail of a snake under a rock. When she came to a clearing, she dropped her pack and crouched beside it with the flashlight in her teeth.

The black stone was in her pants pocket. Sometimes it seemed to burn her like a coal. Other times, it felt as innocuous as an ordinary rock. She took it out and studied it in the glow of the flashlight. In that yellow-tinged motel room, it had taken Rhiannon a few minutes of looking to realize what was so odd about it; it was polished smooth yet reflected no light.

Rhiannon switched off the flashlight and put it inside the pack. She stood up and ran her thumb across it. Then she closed her eyes. Clearing her mind was a challenge. She could faintly smell Cian’s soapy scent and she could hear trucks making good time on the highway. It was freezing out. Her sweatshirt wasn’t thick enough. Beyond all that, her stomach felt like a loosely coiled wire that jerked and sparked periodically. Maybe her anger would help serve as a beacon to Elfleda, who seemed to get off on that kind of thing. Rhiannon thought about that woman now. She pictured her gaunt face and black dress and how it felt to be touched by her.

‘Come on, please… Please.’

[Thread]
maddy_ricks: (annoyed goth)
[personal profile] maddy_ricks
Thump, thump, thump... th-thump-th-thump…th-th-th-cli-cli-cli-bop-thump…

The drummer’s fists banged on a shittily constructed bedroom door, which blocked sound about as well as a hastily tacked up sheet. Madeleine had heard things through that door, terrible things, most of them having to do with the shared bathroom a few feet away. Mikey had one hell of a case of irritable bowel syndrome. With an impatient grunt, she stuck a finger in her book to save the page and rounded on the noise. “What!?”

‘I’m going to Vons. You want anything?’

The brunette rolled her eyes. “No. Wait, yeah. Bleach. A big-ass tarp. And some duct tape.”

‘Haha, you freaking psycho. You planning on killing somebody?’

“Yes.” Maddy’s voice was pointed, an aural knife cutting through the air.

‘Leaving.’ Mikey pulled on a flannel shirt and walked the narrow hallway to the door. He slammed it and trotted down the steps. Their apartment was on the second floor of a mixed purpose building. Underneath them was a bakery, and sometimes the whole joint reeked of yeast. There were worse things.

Once she was certain her roommate was gone, Maddy opened the book again and skimmed the contents of the page. “Where was I? Bzz-bzz-bzz… bunch of fucking Latin. At least I think that’s Latin.” She turned the page and eyed an engraving of an archway set in ancient ruins. Her thumb traced the thick paper on which it had been printed. “Here we go.”

She lowered her eyes and imagined the place and time. Night. A sky full of dying stars. Green grass underfoot. A chorus of bugs. When she lifted them again, a door had appeared in the wall before her. The keeper of keys slipped a long chain from her shirt and unlocked it. The door creaked on its hinges and, in a strange inversion of physics, darkness flooded her room.

“Oh, crap! Sorry about that! Occupado. Got it.”
st_clare: (Relaxed)
[personal profile] st_clare
It was getting dark very early now.

Thanksgiving was fast approaching, and Julianna was clearing the decks so she could relax and enjoy the brief time off. It wasn't really much of a holiday in England, but it was the only break she'd get from teaching until Christmas. She could always cook a meal for herself at home.

Nathan's birthday was also coming up. She'd bought him a watch and had plans to take him out for dim sum. Las Vegas wasn't much for foreign cuisine, but she'd found a few places here and there that featured something besides seafood and steak. They might not be having a relationship, per se, but she did consider it part of the deal to help him broaden his horizons.

The clock told her it was seven o clock. She was still at her desk because she was preparing a lecture about tribal life in Africa, as well as the varying dialects that were spoken among the tribes. The hallway beyond the office was silent, the last sound she'd heard being that of heels click-clacking past. Maintenance had finally repaired the door, which meant she could close it now without it sticking.

The Watcher took her glasses off, rubbed the bridge of her nose. Thank God she was almost done with this. She wanted to go home and have some dinner.
lady_elfleda: (Shadow)
[personal profile] lady_elfleda
There was a shadow flowing across glass... A dark, perfectly smooth surface, flush with trapped faces of agony pressed tightly against it. Whether sculpted that way or rendered so in paralytic contortion, was not for mortal mind to know. The presence willing its way across the room, from one end to the other; hunting, searching for something, as the floor beneath it darkened yet further. Glimpses from another realm filtering through the murk.

There... It wanted to go there...

A place of the living, no longer fully claimed by the dark. Merely looked back upon with envious desires. She understood that. Elfleda. Bride to that which laid... Beyond. And it was she whose emergence was made without fanfare, like a silky-smooth handkerchief falling in silence.

Nor, here, was her chosen attire that which others might be more accustomed to viewing of her depiction. No black dress here, nor pale complexion seen. Instead, there stood a teenage girl. Pretty, yes. Diabolical, likely not. Her choice of clothing something more conventional. The tone of her skin, relatively healthy. Eyes no longer inky pools of black, but perfectly normal.

White... That part was a deliberate mockery. A challenge, almost. A veiled insult to the forces she stood against.

But it was not geography which brought her here. It was the girl. Elfleda's usual unseen cloud of spiritual filth now held tightly against her for reasons of stealth. Reined in, so that erstwhile shivers up spines would not alert others to the arrival of one such as she.

"Hello," she said in greeting. Here, spoken like anyone else. Not the half-telepathic tease she gave to most others. Just a voice. Yet, one still spoken in that same clear-cut, educated English accent. "I'm sorry, have we... Met? You seem somewhat familiar..."
lady_elfleda: (Default)
[personal profile] lady_elfleda
Thief... Voyeur... Paedophile... Charlatan...

And none of them were what the shadow sought. A blanket of absence which travelled in suffocation, flitting from one harbour of darkness to another - and not always physically, for darkness, itself, could dwell within one's soul. A subtle fusion by means of influence, soaking until taking root.

There...

It hadn't been seeking a quality. Not this time. A person. A name. A very specific someone. The entity creeping up along hotel room, brick by brick, like some slick, crawling mass of black treacle happily defying gravity. Something not of mass, but presence.

And in through the brickwork it sank. Through the slightest gap in window or door. Molecular compression giving way to an oozing, filthy something. No barriers, no protection. Like a velvet ripple, silky-smooth... Slipping, knife-like, into the building's very fabric, as if it never existed. The interior of the wall's surface staining dark, like some hideous fungal infection.

"There you are..."

A voice unlike any other. Verbally spoken, yes, but reaching across minds, too. A creature of pale complexion stepping forth out of that vertical puddle of liquid ebony; her dress as black as pitch.

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