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January 31, 2016

Pure Human - It Came in Through the Woods

[Posted by Ted H]

Something special is coming next week, hang in there. Not James Blake related, but more of something I've been putting off for a long time.


[Pure Human - It Came in Through the Woods]

            They drove back to the house, hoping to see one of the ambulances still around so they could tail it to the hospital, but to no avail. There were still cops present. "Now what?" John asked. Blake thought for a moment. "Park the car," he eventually said "I have an idea." John parked in the same place as he did the first time as he and Blake got out.
            "Whatever did this," Blake said "Was anything but subtle. They broke through the back door and bum rushed the mother. Maybe they left a path of destruction on their way in." John shrugged as they made their way towards a wooded area behind the row of houses. "Based on the description of the mutilations, cops would have to assume an animal was involved," John said "Probably would've looked for obvious signs of animal entry as well as forced human entry."
            "What what in the what?" Blake asked.
            "Meaning," John said "If some obvious path of destruction was made, the cops would already be all over it."
            They made their way to the area behind the house. The back yard had a fence up with no signs of damage on or around it. "I don't see any cops," Blake said. "They would have secured the perimeter," John said "So there's nothing out here." Blake looked out into the woods and waited. "Cops going door to door asking neighbors if they saw or heard anything odd last night?" he asked. John nodded "Standard procedure," he said. Blake then started walking into the woods. "Then there's only one other way in," he said.
            "So you're saying whatever happened, it came in through the woods, went over the fence and broke their way in?" John asked. "It's the only angle the cops aren't working," Blake said "If not this, then what are we doing out here?" John made a face and tossed his arms in the air, then followed Blake. "Point taken," he said "So where are we going?" Blake shrugged "Beats me," he said as the men disappeared from sight into the woods.
            "There's no odd alchemy potion or powder you can use here?" John asked.
            "Nah," Blake said "Just some good old fashioned gut instinct and detective work.
            "I can get behind that."
            An hour passed as the two wandered in the woods, looking for anything out of the ordinary. "Hear anything odd?" Blake asked. "I don't hear shit," John said. "We're in the woods," Blake said "Don't you think it odd to not hear anything; bugs, birds or the sound of any movement besides our own?" John picked up a rock and tossed it. "I think you're over thinking it," he said "It's early spring, no birds yet. Animals probably got scared off when they heard us coming."
            "And the bugs?" Blake asked. John shrugged as he checked his phone. "You think it's because they're spooked by something supernatural?" he asked.
            "Sounds plausible to me," Blake said.
            "I thought you ruled out the supernatural?" John asked.
            "I ruled out all known supernatural," Blake responded "Besides, something had to spook the local wildlife."
            "We're in Albany," John said "Not the Amazon."
            Blake didn't respond, instead walking in a new direction. "By the way," John added "I had an acquaintance of mine look into which hospital they would take that little girl to." This piqued Blake's interest. "Oh yeah?" he asked. "Yup," John said "They just texted me where to go. Figure we can check it out next." Blake nodded, then continued his wandering. They came upon a clearing leading to a small lake. "This is new," Blake said as he walked up to the water and peered into it. "No fish," he said as John joined him. "That proves nothing," John said as he looked into the dark water. Blake then started making his way around the edge of the lake.
            Eventually, Blake found a bloody pile of meat by the shore. As he looked about, he discovered more and more pieces of carnage. "Anything rational to say about this?" he asked. John ignored him as he looked. "That's a rabbit," he said pointing to one bloody pile "Pieces of frog over there. Shit, this ain't right."
            "Tell me about it," Blake said.
            "Still doesn't explain the lack of bugs," John said, not wanting to give Blake credit "But what eats frogs and rabbits among seemingly everything else in the woods?"
            "Beats me," Blake said "Let's find out."

January 17, 2016

Pure Human - She Must Work Out

[Posted by Ted H]

Now that the post NaNoWriMo and post crazy-shit-at-work has all died down, we can get back to business...


[Pure Human - She Must Work Out]

            "John, this is Miss Baxter," Blake said. "Miss Baxter?" John asked. "Trust me," Blake said "Five minutes alone with her and you'll understand why it's miss and not missus." Whitey stood up immediately and made to leave. "She's also why your pancakes are forfeit."
            "Remember," Whitey said to Blake as she passed by him "Stay out of the way. Leave this to the professionals."
            "Professionals?" Blake asked "I think I'm the only one who gets paid to do this."
            Whitey didn't turn around as she continued out. "And what about  John's pancakes?" he called out. "Take off those damn sunglasses!" she yelled back as she disappeared out the door. "New friend of yours?" John asked as he sat down and pulled his pancakes away from Blake.
            "I wouldn't call her quite that," Blake said as he and John watched her walking away through a window.
            "Probably more likely."
            "Don't mind watching her walk away though."
            "Who the hell wears a one piece bodysuit and acts like a superhero?"
            "Yeah, but dat ass doe."
            "Indeed," Blake said as he turned away and tried to sneak the pancakes back to his side of the table.
            "She must work out," John continued.
            "She's clueless and crazy."
            "Oh yeah?" John asked as he finally lost sight of Whitey, then retrieved his pancakes.
            "She busted all in here and figured I was behind the situation."
            "So she had no idea either as to what's going on?"
            "Continues what Matthew mentioned before. No one can agree on what's happening."
            "Has anyone else seen what you've seen? Does she even know about the tooth?"
            "No, and it's best if Whitey stays in the dark. She wants me to stay  out of her way. easy, considering I'm way ahead of her."
            "You think it wise to go this alone?"
            "I got you, and we got Anin. We don't need more help. Let Whitey go find a demon to fight."
            "What is her deal, anyway?"
            "I mentioned her kind once or twice before. God and Satan both empowered people all over the world in the event a Chicago situation ever occurred again. That way, if Heaven and Hell ever got locked out of this realm again, both deities would still have people on the inside to fight for them."
            "Kind of proactive when you think about it. Nice that they've learned."
            "Either that, or they're afraid of something on the horizon. Something coming that's scaring them both into action now."
            "That's rather bleak. You really think something is gonna happen?"
            "I don't trust gods. You don't have random people chosen all over the world to receive powers because of one incident."
            "That one incident almost ended the world though."
            "Then you empower a few people to tackle it the next time. If you gather everyone God and Satan have empowered, you'd have an army."
            "Maybe they're being thorough?"
            "You don't build an army unless you plan on a war."
            "Dark," John commented as he ate "So what about now? Forget the upcoming holy war. What about whatever killed that family?"
            "That house isn't going to be cleared out any time soon," Blake said, refocusing "But there was a little girl there that was alive." The waitress had wandered back with a pot of coffee, but had frozen nearby to listen to the discussion. She had been confused but deeply interested. Blake noticed her, motioned to his empty cup, then shooed her away.
            "How'd she live?" John asked.
            "I think she hid under her bed."
            "But there were three ambulances. They wouldn't do that for two bodies unless the girl was injured."
            "Something was wrong. They had to lift the bed out of the way and she was still on the floor."
            "You sure she survived?"
            "No blood. Whatever was in that house last night tended to leave a mess. We need to see that girl."
            "Odds are she would be taken to a hospital. I'll figure out which one. After that we can see about the house, time permitting."
            "You guys insisted on coming immediately," Blake said as he quickly drained his cup "Let's make it count. Speaking of which..." he then took his untouched glass of water and pulled a vial from his coat.
            "What are you doing?" John asked. Blake ignored him as he dumped some of the water into his empty coffee cup, then shook some of the powder contents in after it. It dissolved and the water took a murky hue. He then placed some powder on his wet finger and rubbed it on the inside of the cup right above the water line and made a trail out of the cup, down the side and onto the table a little away.
            "Seriously," John said "What's the plan here?"
            "Little trick Matthew taught me," Blake finally said. He then dropped the tooth into the cup "No one can agree if this is supernatural in origin. Let's see what my test comes up with now that we have a physical item to test. Blake looked about quick to ensure no one was looking, then took out his lighter.
            "Is that powder stuff you just used flammable?" John asked. "Very much so, yes," Blake said with a smirk as he ignited his lighter and set the flame to his trail. It burned a path to the cup, and when it hit the liquid inside, a fireball popped out. The contents inside sat burning. "You set fire to our only clue?" John asked, astonished. "Just give it a minute," Blake said "When it's done burning, we'll know more about this thing."
            "How?" John asked.
            "If the liquid inside is blue, its angelic on origin," Blake said "Purple means demonic. That sort of thing."
            "Is this like Anin's stones?"
            "Sort of, but this is way more precise."
            "You know you mocked her for that."
            "Yeah, that was dream energy crap. This is completely different!"
            "Whatever you say."
            They waited for a moment as the fire burned down. When it ceased, the tooth remained inside the cup completely fine. The liquid didn't change color but rather sat in completely clear water. "The water wasn't that clean originally," John said "What does it mean?" Blake scratched his head a moment. "It means whatever this is, as crazy as it seems, isn't supernatural."
            "What?" John asked, more confused than anything. "It's not angelic or demonic," Blake said "Nothing from another realm or really supernatural to begin with. Whatever did this was human." John reached into the cool liquid and retrieved the tooth. "This is not a human tooth," he said as he held up the tooth in case Blake forgot what a normal tooth looked like. "It's gotta be an animal," Blake said.
            "Then what now?" John asked. "We figure it out," Blake said as he took the tooth back. "But it's not supernatural," John said "It isn't really our business or concern."
            Blake smiled "But it's interesting, isn't it?"

January 3, 2016

Pure Human - Magdalena

[Posted by Ted H]

Aaaaaaaaaaand now we enter 2016........


[Pure Human - Magdalena]

            Eventually Blake did receive his coffee, and he was genuinely surprised when another refill came after that as his food arrived, almost as if the waitress was trying to earn a tip from him. He dug in and enjoyed his meal as best her could considering how badly burnt he felt from his throat all the way to his stomach. The coffee wasn't helping, but it was either that or a cigarette, and Blake wasn't quite willing to put something burning in his mouth so soon after the gasoline.
            He worked his way through his meal, leaving only his hash browns and a little of his pancakes. John's pancakes sat untouched. After a while, he felt watched, and not by the waitress. He looked around quick and noticed a black haired girl walking in, eyes locked in his direction. She was pale looking with bright blue eyes and just as bright red lips. She wore a tight white bodysuit with a dark jacket with a faux fur border that cradled around the back of her neck. She had black shoes and a small black purse slung across her body.
            There were several other people in the restaurant and the girl moved from each to each with her eyes. Once her gaze settled directly on Blake, they went wide as she inhaled deeply with her nose and her head went back. She then gave a huff and stormed in his direction, completely ignoring the hostess asking her if she needed a seat.
            Blake could sense a certain crazed element to her that told him there was no way she was here by chance, so he didn't even act shocked when she walked right up to his table. Instead, he chewed on a forkful of pancake and looked at her with an impatient face. The girl breathes sharply through her nose as she looked at him, but said nothing. Blake continued to keep his face looking at hers, but through his sunglasses, he looked up and down at her, trying to determine who would think an outfit like hers was practical.
            Blake swallowed his food, then immediately went back for more pancakes before resuming the stare-down. What was irritating at first was now a little entertaining. The girl was clearly trying to get a read on him, but couldn't quite place him. She was obviously waiting for him to say something, but he refused to make the first move. This noncompliance on his part was visibly frustrating her.
            "Take off those sunglasses," she finally spoke.
            "No," Blake said plainly, then looked away and went back to eating. A few moments passed before the woman spoke again. "I know you're responsible. Face me demon!"
            "What?" Blake asked as he looked back to her, even bothering to lower his sunglasses at her. The woman cocked her head to the side and looked back at him. "I sense evil in you," she said looking at his eyes "But there's something else." She sat down across the table from him, moved John's pancakes to the side with his hand and leaned in at him. "What are you?"
            "You can call me Blake. Everyone else does," Blake said as he thought about extending his hand out for a shake but thought otherwise of it "And you are?"
            "I am a warrior of the Lord," the woman said, causing Blake to stifle a laugh. He managed an eye roll behind the privacy of his sunglasses, but somehow he felt the woman knew what he just did. "You're pretty pale," Blake said "So unless you give me a name to work with, I'm just gonna have to refer to you as Whitey."
            "You are in no position to talk to me like that," Whitey said "And there's no use in hiding anymore."
            "Hide from what?" Blake asked, getting annoyed again while his pancakes, like his patience, were running low.
            "I'd rather we do this outside," Whitey said "Less chance someone gets hurt."
            "Are you sure you have the right guy?" Blake asked. He was about to fork himself some more pancake when Whitey reached over and grabbed his plate, pulling it away and hurling it across the room. "Okay," Blake said as he stood up, causing Whitey to smile and stand as well. "Outside," she commanded.
            "Nah," Blake said as he took off his trench coat and tossed it back into his booth "Whatever spectacle you're planning, just do it here. Then you can order me new pancakes." A twitch of annoyance overcame Whitey's face as she gritted her teeth and took position. She pressed her hands together as if she were praying and centered them in front of her chest. She then whispered into her hands while keeping her eyes glued to where Blake was. Blake meanwhile was pondering if it was safe enough yet to smoke a cigarette. He ignored the fact that the girls hands were now glowing.
            "Is everything okay?" the waitress asked as she approached with a broom. "We're fine," Blake said as he turned to look at her. He was about to ask about another coffee and some new pancakes when he heard Whitey cry out excitedly that he gave her the opening she needed. "Be gone, demon!" Whitey cried out as she drew her hands together at her chest, then shot one hand forward like she was pushing energy out. Nothing hit Blake though.
            Everyone had gone quiet as they stared at Whitey. A worried look came over her face as she drew her hand back and tried again. "I am a soldier of the Lord! I command you demon, back to hell!" She shot her hand forward, but again nothing had happened. Blake smiled as he stepped forward at Whitey. She drew her hands back, powerless to kill Blake as he stuck his finger out and pressed her nose. "Boop!" he said with a grin. Whitey spun around to avoid him as he then went back to sit back down.
            "I'll take another coffee," he said to the waitress, still standing nearby with a broom "And my friend here could use a menu. She's already agreed to pay for the mess she made." The waitress slowly made her way to the broken plate, being careful to avoid Whitey, then she disappeared to find a menu. Whitey meanwhile was standing in disbelief at what happened. "How?" she demanded as she sat down again across from Blake, who had pulled John's cold pancakes over and was dumping syrup on top. "How what?" Blake asked.
            "I've been following an unholy presence in this area and traced it straight to you," she said "My powers should have easily dispatched you. How was it you were able to withstand them?"
            "It's cuz I'm human, "Blake said as he stopped pouring syrup, looked at his food, shrugged, then proceeded to dump more syrup. "You're not human," Whitey started "I traced-"
            "You traced my coat," Blake cut her off "It's not exactly something you find at a department store." Whitey looked at him with a sneer for a while longer before realizing something. "James Blake," she announced "The con artist with stolen power."
            "What power?" Blake asked, a quizzical look coming over him.
            Whitey made a face. "You wear a demons garb, but know not how to use it?" she asked "I thought you went around as some private eye of the supernatural?"
            "I do," Blake said "But I don't ever recall using any powers."
            "Then, how?" Whitey asked slowly "How do you combat the paranormal?"
            "My brain? Instincts and a little rudimentary magic. I also MacGyver some science and alchemy. Hey, do you wanna know how to stop time?"
            "Shut up!" Whitey said frustrated "In this world, you can't be just some guy!"
            "Hey," Blake corrected her "I'm one half of a team of just some guys. Recognize."
            "You're freakin unbelievable."
            "No, I'm Blake. And who are you, Whitey?"
            "Stop calling me that. I am a Holy Guardian, chosen by God to defend this world from evil."
            "Yeah, yeah," Blake said uninterested "I've heard of your kind. Something God set up after a certain demon almost succeeded in becoming a deity. The official word is it was because God didn't want an agent of the devil to claim so many lives ever again. Certain people believe otherwise. God knows something big is coming, and he wants more than his usual angels to wage war with. Others believe that something is coming that angels can't do anything about. So which is it?"
            "I don't even know what you're talking about. My mission is to protect earth from the forces of evil," Whitey announced "Spare me your jokes."
            "Jokes?" Blake asked "That wasn't a joke. But whatever. I'm more interested in who you are. Not your little mission statement, but YOU. That way we can know each other a little more personally."
            "I don't wish to know you personally," Whitey said, folding her arms.
            "Okay then," Blake said as he held up a drivers license "Miss Magdalena Bax-"
            "What?!" Whitey yelled, realizing Blake had her license "How?"
            "Boop!" Blake said as Whitey reached over and snatched back her license. "Ass," she said as she stuffed it back into her purse. "You think if I could pull a fast one over a warrior of God or whatever," Blake said "Imagine how impressive it is when I come out on top over real threats!"
            "You stopped ONE demon," Whitey said as the waitress came back and dropped off a menu before silently filling up Blake's coffee cup and leaving as fast as she could "And I'm pretty sure you did  it on accident."
            "Accident?" Blake said in disbelief "I saved the world by accident?"
            Whitey started laughing. "You stopped a demon, Blake," she said "I wouldn't call that saving the world. I stop demons on a weekly basis, but you don't see me asking for those kind of props."
            "I saved the world BY stopping the demon," Blake corrected her "Do you have any idea what that demon was trying to accomplish?"
            "Sacrificing innocent Christians in a misguided attempt to honor and power the dark lord, Satan," Whitey said plainly, like she was reading from a text book.
            "Satan?" Blake asked, stifling a laugh "Satan was the one who wanted me to save the world! What lies were you fed?"
            "I don't appreciate your jokes," Whitey said, furrowing her brow at the mention of Satan.
            "Tell me something," Blake said "I bet it was about a year and a half ago when you were 'chosen' for this gig of yours. Don't you think that oddly convenient?"
            "I was chosen then. There are others chosen before."
            "Like who? Don't you holy warriors network? I'm sure you can rattle off a few people who've done this longer than you. One or two of them might've taught you how to dress."
            "I don't have to answer to you. Just God."
            "I'm just saying. I'm pretty sure God turned to his holy hit squad because dealing with me left such a sour taste in his mouth."
            Whitey laughed. "Like God would ever deal with you directly."
            "He did. He regrets it, I bet, but we met."
            "Don't be an idiot. No one meets God."
            "Oh snap! Jealous?"
            "I don't believe you."
            "He even forgave a mortal sin of mine. Wanna guess which?"
            "Still don't believe me? It's because I can't prove it, isn't it? Oh God, the irony!"
            "Listen to me very carefully," Whitey said as she slammed her fists onto the table "I can pretty much figure you're in town for the same reason I am. Stay out of my way."
            "Have you even seen the bodies yet?"
            "I will find the cause to this and put a stop to it," Whitey said, ignoring Blake.
            "So this IS demonic?"
            "What else could it be?"
            "That's a pretty narrow minded assumption."
            "Are you suggesting it's something else?"
            "Some pretty finely attuned people can't seem to get an idea of the cause here, and demonic seems to be a pretty obvious choice."
            "Demonic or not, innocent people got hurt. And whatever the cause, it's still loose out there. One's opponent doesn't necessarily need to be demonic to garner the protection of God."
            "Well at least your heart is in the right place."
            Whitey narrowed her eyes and glared at Blake, not sure to take that as a compliment. At this point, John had returned and was now standing by the table in front of them. "Hey fat ass," he said to Blake "Why are you eating my pancakes?"

December 20, 2015

Pure Human - Eating

[Posted by Ted H]

Woah, I NaNoWriMo'd so hard, I had a 3 week hangover...


[Pure Human - Eating]

            It took some driving, and they passed several diners and an I-Hop on the way, but the group eventually found a Dennys. Anin made comment at how ludicrous this was, and John complained that Blake should see a doctor or something similar first, but Blake was having none of it. He needed a Grand Slam and a coffee. The coffee usually was crap, but it was his kind of crap that he developed a fond taste for, and nothing else would do. John always went for the hash browns.
            "You should be dead," Anin said as Blake waited impatiently for a waitress while adjusting his sunglasses he had put on once John dragged him to the car before. "I'll be fine," Blake said "I put some stuff in there that fights off poison. Also the Time Ball reacts with the gas so it burns up harmlessly...well, relatively harmlessly." He then held up the ball in his hand and played with it a little. "Thank God I puked this up," he said "This wouldn't digest so getting it out of me the other way wouldn't been excruciatingly painful."
            "How much gas was leftover?" John asked.
            "Like I said initially," Blake responded "I added a little too much."
            "How about this tooth?" Anin asked, holding up the clue "It's not from any animal I've ever seen."
            "That's whatever did all the killing," Blake said as the waitress finally arrived with a pot of coffee and other drinks. John got an orange juice and Anin received a cup of tea. The waitress placed a cup in front of Blake and poured, then started to walk away with the pot. "Hey, leave that," Blake called. "Why would I do that?" the waitress asked. "I'm gonna drink more than one," Blake responded "The waitresses where I'm from usually just leaves the pot with me."
            "Just ask for a refill and I'll bring this back," the waitress said with a look on her face. "The service here is not what I'm used to," Blake said as he picked up his undersized cup and took a drink. "So, what's the origin of this tooth's owner?" Anin asked, putting the conversation back on track "And aren't the cops gonna want to see this?"
            "If this is supernatural in origin," Blake said "Then cops will be useless."
            "Whatever this is, it chewed the head off of someone," Anin said "This might be more than you can handle." Blake and John looked at each other. "We'll find a way to deal," Blake said. "Or we could call the cavalry," Anin said "There are people trained to deal with situations like these." Blake rolled his eyes. "I've met a few of those people," he said "They're intolerable."
            "You're intolerable," Anin said.
            "Exactly," Blake responded "So there's no point in everyone annoying each other."
            "We need a next move," John said, breaking the argument up "How do we go from here?"
            "Head back to the house when it's empty," Blake said "Get a read on what this is. Maybe we can narrow it down once we know the origin."
            "No one's been able to narrow anything down," Anin said.
            "That house is the first confirmed location of whatever is going on. We can get a very specific read. A lot better than dreaming about it."
            "Don't know what you know is effective," Anin quipped.
            "That could take a while," John complained "Take it from me, gruesome scenes attract attention. Even after the bodies are removed, cops'll hang out at the house."
            "Then we chill for now," Blake said as the waitress returned for orders.
            "Nothing for me," Anin said "I'm not very hungry."
            "Coffee," Blake said holding up an empty cup "Leave the pot this time. Also a Grand Slam, don't skimp on the bacon. And a glass of water."
            "Put hash browns on that," John added "And pancakes for me."
            "What kind of eggs?" the waitress asked, eyeing the empty cup "Surprise me," Blake said, prompting the waitress to roll her eyes and walk away. "You're being a jerk," Anin said "You'd better tip her." Blake stroked his chin with a smile. "Her attention to my coffee will determine her fate in that regard."
            "It's assholes like you that make that job so unappealing."
            "Dually noted," Blake said "You should eat something though. Unhealthy to skip the most important meal of the day."
            "This coming from the man whose most recent diet has consisted of German liquor followed by pure gasoline as a chaser."
            "Probably enjoyed some raw meat in between," John said with a shake of his head, causing Blake to wink at him.
            "I like to be lean for my important case moments," Blake said.
            "Whatever," Anin said as she stood up. "If this day is just a standstill until the house clears up, you wouldn't mind if I check in with Joey."
            "Who?" Blake asked.
            "Boyfriend," John corrected.
            "Oh," Blake said before looking out for the waitress and his refill.
            "I'll drive you," John announced "Shouldn't take long. Blake, save some hash and don't hide the syrup."
            "Should've ordered what I did then. Comes with pancakes anyway."
            "I'm sick of eggs. It's the only thing you can actually make and you make it all the damn time. Pardon me for wanting some variety," John said as he and Anin got up to leave. "Have fun," Blake said with a wave before searching again for the waitress. "This is why you leave the pot!" he yelled out, frustrated at the lack of service.

November 30, 2015

Pure Human - Time Stop (NaNoWriMo update #8)

[Posted by Ted H]

Greetings once again to a little place I'd like to call: THE WINNERS CIRCLE!!!!!

Another year, another title! 3 in a row, 4 overall!

In all seriousness though, I'm tired, and I have work early tomorrow...good night! In lieu of more commentary from my win, I'll give you all a sizeable update from one of my favorite parts of the story to write this year. Enjoy!


[Pure Human - Time Stop]

            They drove into a suburb nearby, led by John's GPS. Police cars lined the street with a paramedic parked in a driveway with another one in the street with the row of cop cars. "This is what we're looking for?" Blake asked. "A lot of chatter all talking about the same family murder," John said as he drove by the scene and kept going "Probably a sure bet."
            "Murders happen all the time," Blake reasoned.
            "They're not exactly sure what could have done it. And apparently the murders are pretty grotesque."
            "Sold," Blake said.
            At the corner near a major road was a drug store where they parked. "Guess your dream sense was spot on," Blake said to Anin "Something definitely went down last night." Anin hummed but said nothing. "So how do we plan to find out what's going on in there?" John asked. "I take it walking straight inside is out of the question?" Blake asked back.
            "Sure," John mocked "Hello officers, we just have a morbid curiosity and just gotta see what all the fuss is about!"
            "We'll just say we're also cops," Blake said "You still got your badge, right?"
            "Because Chicago police jurisdiction covers all the way out to upstate New York."
            "Hmm," Blake pondered "I know a guy who can forge us something."
            "Who would you know that does that?"
            "Met him a long time ago. Associate of Sully."
            "And he can make us fakes?"
            "Not fast enough to get in there."
            "So, what makes you think anything of interest is still inside?"
            "M.E. is still here. Saw her mingling with some cops. Also the paramedics wouldn't still be here unless they've already collected a body."

November 29, 2015

Pure Human - To Albany (NaNoWriMo update #7)

[Posted by Ted H]

Just over a day remains and I am knocking on the door to my 3rd strait win, 4th in 5 years. This must be what the 2000 Yankees felt like!

Current status of my 2015 NaNoWriMo: 49,110 / 50,000 (890 words to go!)
Current pace has me writing my 50,000th word o: November 30th


[Pure Human - To Albany]

            Blake did sleep some on the trip, but not very long or often. Anin insisted she wasn't going to sleep during the trip and that Blake could lay out in the back seat while John drove, but Blake insisted otherwise. Lack of comfort or otherwise, Blake reclined in the front passenger seat of John's car and did his best to sleep. "It's his seat. He's weird about it, it's not you," he often heard John explain.
            Occasionally, Blake could feel himself slip into a state not unlike sleep, but then John would hit a pothole or pass under a lamp post emitting a seemingly insane level of wattage, and Blake would be aware and conscious. It was hell. Anin and John weren't helping by making light conversation. John stopped for gas once, but otherwise had made a straight path for the state capital.
            The early morning sunlight ultimately caused Blake to give up his foolish quest for sleep, and he sat himself up and rubbed his face. "Morning," John mumbled as he drove. "It was morning when we left," Blake said as John shook his head and gestured to a styrofoam gas station cup without looking away from the road. "Cold as fuck by now, but I doubt you'll care."
            Blake picked up the drink and greedily choked its contents down. "Only time I can chug coffee," he said as dropped the empty cup back and patted himself down for his cigarettes. "Sleep well?" Anin asked from behind, having waited until Blake was defiantly finished with his coffee before attempting to engage him in conversation, as previously advised by John.
            "No, I didn't," Blake said, to which Anin shrugged "But I take it neither did you."
            "I don't really wanna talk about it," Anin said.
            "It was so bad, you tried breaking down my front door and insisted we leave immediately. It was important. You will talk about it."
            "She doesn't have to," John assured.
            "It's okay," Anin said "I'm sorry about before. It's just, dreams don't usually effect me in the real world."
            "This one did I take it?" Blake asked as he pulled out his cigarettes and peered into the case, not pleased by what he saw.
            "Ripped right down my arm."
            "So you saw what the cause of the situation is? You saw it?"
            "No, that isn't how dreams work. You're thinking of a vision. This was more of a representation. How closely or loosely the dream is to the actual situation varies. But whatever is happening, last night is just ramped up in intensity, either because it knows we're coming, it did something drastic, or both, I'm not really sure."
            "How much...worse is it?"
            "Enough for me to go from casual observer to active participant in a dream and then injure me in the real world."
            "Fun times," Blake said as he eyed a gas station coming up. "Pull in there," he told John.
            "Why?" John asked "I've got plenty of gas."
            "I need coffee, stretch my legs, more smokes, then a bathroom trip," Blake said "In that order." John shrugged as he changed lanes. "Your police scanner still work?" Blake asked as he tapped the object installed below the radio. "Yeah, why?" John asked. "If something indeed got ramped up," Blake reasoned "Maybe someone thought it smart to involve the cops or something."
            John pulled into the gas station and before he even put it into park, Blake was out and heading for the coffee. Anin climbed out as well but didn't bother following, instead taking a deep breath of air and looking out to the sunrise. Blake power walked into the station, where a middle aged, overweight woman with a front tooth missing picked her head up and attempted a greeting. "Good mor-"
            "Coffee," Blake said plainly as he took a moment to survey the area and immediately found and made his way to a fresh pot. After procuring his fresh cup, he headed for the counter to pay and get cigarettes. "Pack of Salem," he asked, but the woman didn't budge. After waiting a moment, Blake asked again but to no avail.
            "Do you not have that kind?" he asked as the woman took a moment to look outside, then back to Blake. "I need IDs," she said plainly. "Sure," Blake said as he reached for his wallet. "All IDs," the woman stated. Blake took a moment to stare at her. "Fine," he said as he went outside. "John, license!" he called, but John didn't move, intently listening to something on his scanner. Without looking, he pulled his license out and tossed it aside for Blake to grab.
            "Anin," Blake said with an outstretched hand "I need smokes, so I need to do what the ugly woman inside wants." Anin flashed a worried look on her face. "I don't have a license." she said. It took a moment in Blake's state to comprehend what he heard and the potential implications it held. "What do you mean you don't have one?" he asked after a particularly long blink at her.
            "I just don't," she said "I don't drive."
            "Anything, really," Blake said "With your picture and age."
            Anin shrugged. "Sorry."
            Blake took a deep breath, placed his coffee down on the roof of the car, then made his way back into the station. The woman was waiting for him, but he quickly diverted to the bathroom, just to spite her. After tending to business, he returned and approached the counter. "My purple haired friend doesn't have it on her, but I assure you, she's old enough," he said as he brandished his and John's IDs "I'm pretty sure it's a law where you need to be at least 20 to even have purple hair, so we at least know she's good."
            "Sorry," the woman said with an unflinching look. "Smell me," Blake said, in desperate need of an aspirin "I smell like one of the world's top smokers. My teeth are yellowed by years of wonton smoke abuse. I will probably die a long and painful death of lung and/or throat cancer and my diseased organs will be subject to an anti-smoking ad. I am the poster child of bad people who smoke and a CEO of big tobacco would probably know me on sight and possibly thank me for helping fund his newest yacht from the years and years of regular purchases. These cigarettes are for ME!"
            The woman folded her arms and refused to concede. "It's against the law without an ID," she said, Blake figuring she was probably reading from a script behind the counter at this point. "Fine," Blake spat as he turned and left, throwing the door open as hard as he could with a delusion that it would slam against the store and shatter the glass.
            "I don't like you," Blake said to Anin as they climbed back into the car, Blake taking a moment to grab the coffee he didn't pay for off the roof. "I thought you already had cigarettes," John mumbled as he started the engine. "Not as many as I thought," Blake said as he pulled one out "Plus Antonia smoked more than I cared to let her last night."
            "Who's Antonia?" Anin asked.
            "Antonia Sallome," John said "The one woman on the planet Blake shouldn't be allowed near."
            "Shut up and drive," Blake said as he lit up and blew smoke out the window.

November 26, 2015

Pure Human - Ninja (NaNoWriMo update #6)

[Posted by Ted H]

Home stretch, baby! Despite working overtime most weeks and having next to no free time, I've remained on track for a 3-peat. So close, I can almost taste it, can't slow down now!

Current status of my 2015 NaNoWriMo: 44,279 / 50,000 (5,721 words to go!)
Current pace has me writing my 50,000th word on: November 30th


[Pure Human - Ninja]

            Blake didn't bother checking the time. It was three in the morning last time he looked and he knew he was going to be in a mood the next morning when the trip to Albany would happen. Despite the future being irritating, he deemed the nights events worthwhile. "I am a ninja," he said to himself as he stumbled into his kitchen, referring to the fact that no one knew of his nights events except himself and Antonia.
            He was at that point where sleep was ready to overtake him, but he had a couple things he wanted to do first. First thing was a drink. He checked the fridge to find nothing suitable, so he ducked his head under the sink faucet and turned on the water. After chugging the lukewarm liquid, he headed to the bathroom so he could look himself over.
            There was neither time nor desire to shower, but Blake figured he should clean up a little before bed. He knew once he awakes, it would be right into the car for the Albany drive. The reflection in his mirror was one of accomplishment; a drunk grin on a face lined to one side in bright red lipstick kisses. His hair was a mess, but that was usually the case, and he looked a little overdue for a shave. He turned on the bathroom sink and shrugged off his trench coat, then proceeded to wash his face as best he could.
            He ran his wet hands through his hair as he looked at himself yet again in the mirror, the kisses on his face gone but the memories still heavy on his mind. A sudden pounding on his front door broke him from his mental rewind, causing him to fear someone saw him before and followed him home. "Impossible," he said "I'm a ninja!" He had expertly utilized his basic illusions and general misdirection to slip unnoticed into his tryst with Antonia, so the prospect that he indeed went noticed was an impossible thought.
            A light turned on nearby and John emerged, a 9mm pistol loaded and ready in his hands as he stopped at the open doorway and saw Blake in the bathroom. "If it's Sallome's goons, I'm letting them take your dumb ass," he stated. "Ninja," Blake said, unable to process much as he felt the early onset effects of a hangover. John shook his head as he made his way barefoot down the hall towards the front door where the pounding continued. "Relax!" Blake shouted, after composing himself a little "Sallome is a bit more subtle...I think."
            John approached the door, pistol ready to fire. He shiftet himself to the side and yelled "Who are you!" no one responded but as he got closer, John could hear someone sobbing outside. John approached the peephole on the door and looked out to see someone laying against the door face down and slamming on it with their fists.
            "Shit," John said as he cautiously unlocked the door and opened it. Anin shoved a bloodstained hand through the opening and gripped the door a she cried out for help. "Oh my God!" John yelled as he helped Anin inside and closed the door "What happened?"
            "We have to go now!" Anin cried "Something happened. I don't know what, but something's been set in motion! We have to go now!"
            "Calm down," John said as he helped her to a chair, then went looking for Blake, who had wandered into the kitchen to see what was happening."Did something attack you?" Blake asked, noticing the fresh injury to her arm.
            "It was the dream again," Anin stated "But it was more than that. Whatever is happening, it's getting worse. Please, we need to do something now. We need to go NOW!" John and Blake exchanged a look before Blake looked back to Anin. "Just calm down," he said, trying his best to sound reassuring "We're going tomorrow and fixing whatever it is that's happening. Just relax and try to sleep until then-"
            "NO!" Anin screamed "We go now. Whatever this is, it's only going to get worse!"
            Blake sighed as he walked over to John. "I can be dressed and ready to rock in five minutes," John said. "Whoa whoa whoa!" Blake said "What about sleep?"
            "Suck it up," John said as he walked away. Blake just sighed and threw his arms in the air before returning to the bathroom to retrieve his trench coat.