Mar. 8th, 2014

brian_campo: (attitude)
[personal profile] brian_campo
The girl’s name was Susie. She had brown curls that snaked out from her head like Medusa and strange eyes, too light for brown, too murky for green. She was not quite human, not quite demon. Her left wrist bore tattoos inscribed to keep the demon’s nastiness at bay and, near those, scars from where she’d attempted to slice, burn, or chew them off at various stages of her life. Nothing worked. One day she’d gotten fed up and attempted to hack off her arm, but the tattoos simply migrated to her neck.

Go on, behead yourself, they dared.

Susie sat like a pretzel, legs and arms twisted, a violin resting on her lap. “What do you want me to play?”

“Whatever you want.” Brian rubbed the back of his neck.

“Anything?” This seemed a hopeful question. Her lips pursed with pleasure.

“Well, not the Devil Went Down to Georgia, but basically yeah.” He was still residually high on a mixture of marijuana laced with PCP and he was concerned that the Charlie Daniels Band didn’t make for happy thoughts.

The Right Notes, the Wrong Thoughts )

What?” Susie stood up, alone and out of place in a reconstructed drawing room.

“I’ll call you later.” He jumped off the stage, which might have been a bottomless pit, a dark chasm, the way his brain was misfiring. He started up the aisle. Outside, the sunshine shrank his pupils into black dots. He was sweating. In a hurry.

The door drifted closed.

Susie kicked her violin case.


Empty Pool

Mar. 8th, 2014 03:29 pm
rhiannon_lee: (pic#6816067)
[personal profile] rhiannon_lee
Needles, California
Population: 4,010
Hottest town this side of Hell.

The last part had been added onto the sign in white spray paint. Needles, California was a pit stop on interstate 40 where the temperature regularly spiked into the 120’s during the dry summers. It had been sited in Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath and used as a backdrop in the movie Repo Man. It was as bleached as an old blacktop, weather worn and tired as a middle-aged prostitute.

The highway was dotted with kitche motels, desperate to make a buck off the town’s famous name. The Last Leg Inn. The Crooked Wheel. Route 66. Most were cramped but clean places with tiny gift shops, custom post cards and souvenir tees. ‘I bought this shirt on Route 66!’ The only sounds were the whoosh of passing cars, the hum of a struggling Coke machine, and tiny grains of sand blowing against the buildings. Like Searchlight, if it had a marketing panache.

A cityscape would’ve better suited Rhiannon, but Needles was where she jumped from the cab of a truck, and Needles was where she stayed. The motel was a series of miniature cabins which might have been cute in a wooded area but just looked bland here. Out back, there was an empty concrete swimming pool surrounded by chain link. At night, she climbed the fence and descended into the pale bowl. There she drank too much and stared at an overwhelming number of stars. Once she bought a couple of pills from a letchy-looking neighbor and downed those, too. In a pleasant haze of booze and barbiturates, she imagined water pouring over the lip of the pool; in this hallucination, she was weighted to the bottom and she watched, calmly, as the column of water deepened.

A screeching owl shook her out of it.

Tonight she was in there, again, stone sober because she knew Cian was coming. Just felt it.


Mar. 8th, 2014 06:46 pm
st_clare: (Default)
[personal profile] st_clare
Julianna's finger was poised over the 'Erase' button on the answering machine. It had been there for the last five minutes. She'd listened to Cyrus Claymore's message once, twice, three times before it finally stopped rattling around in her skull and sank in. Then she played it again. It was like a car crash, she couldn't stop paying attention.

On some level, she'd known that it could come to this. Rhiannon was angry and vengeful, which made her likely to do anything. So the question wasn't 'Could she have killed Duncan?' but 'Did she kill Duncan?'

Don't be ridiculous, St. Clare. You know the answer to that. The girl's a loose cannon. The question is, what do you do now?

The Watcher continued to hover near the machine, her finger still poised. There were options here, although none of them were very attractive. She could ignore the phone call and try to forget her suspicions. She could telephone Cyrus at his office and inform him about what she believed she knew, which was what duty actually called for. She could even contact Edmund and confide in him before seeking advice. Of the bad lot of choices she had, that was the most appealing to her.

Still, she wavered. Duncan had betrayed his calling, violated the purpose behind it, and that was anathema to her. An unforgivable act. But did he deserve to be murdered in his bed, even by someone he'd victimized? And what about the other girl, the one he'd convinced she was a Slayer? Was she still alive? Julianna's mouth tightened.

In the end, she did pick up the phone, and she didn't erase the message. But she didn't dial the number someone else might have expected she would.

What Have You Done?! )



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