Monday, January 20, 2014

Dead Man Stew 4


Noir was cleaning up after lunch had been served. The only real takers were a few guests and Jesha, of course. Noir figured it had to be Jesha, because one plate had a napkin with lipstick on it. He shook his head, throwing the napkin away. He no interest in pursuing her, but she seemed interested in him. And he still didn't understand the predatory aura he sensed from her. That and how her mere presence annoyed Bert and Vickie. "And the drowned Ghosts too. She shows up the morning after they visit me, asking about hauntings? Did she sense what I could do?" Noir asked himself. Could she be the monster the ghost had seen? "You learned about the killing then?" Vickie asked. That made Noir jump. He hadn't seen her approach. She still unnerved Noir, and his body wasn't helping. He knew her, that she meant well. That had been the Vickie he'd known the last time he'd been here. That's why he helped her. The fact that the woman had changed into a bombshell didn't help matters. He already enjoyed her personality, but now physical attraction made it hard for him to resist looking at her. Her face looked supermodel perfect, but her body wasn't freakish. He felt a pull to her, almost as strong as the pull he'd felt for Elle. Elle. That made him pause. Long enough to notice Vickie was talking to him. He hadn't been listening. Remembering Elle did that to him. "I'm sorry Vickie, what was that?" "The deaths Noir. You saw Ghosts last night didn't you?" Vickie's eyes hit the light, glittering in a way that took his attention. He focused on her every word. "People have been dying around here Noir, all of them drownings." Noir blinked. He nodded in the affirmative. He told Vickie what had happened to him the night before, leaving out the part about vomit or voluntary possession. Noir decided to just let her know about the parts that Bert hadn't thought were crazy or stupid. Like he was trying to impress her with his manliness. High school. This feels like I'm in goddamn high school again. Control, Noir, Control. "I couldn't understand them. Either the water really ruined their mouths at their time of death or something cut their throats before hand... Doesn't matter, I just know what I saw. A monster drowning them. Probably the same for the rest of them." Noir finished. "What are you going to do about it Noir?" Vickie asked. "Is there anything I could do to help?" "I have time before Dinner tonight. I think I'm going to go out and try to see what I can see around town." Noir finished cleaning the dishes, putting them away for when he got back. "But even if I found something... I don't know. This is kind of out of my knowledge. I don't how to deal with it." Vickie nodded. "You helped me with him, and I'm sure you'll think of something." Noir shrugged. He couldn't think of a right answer to that. He turned to Vickie, part of him wanting to say something else. Vickie had bent over the trash. She pulled out the napkin Jesha had left, lipstick and all. She frowned at it, like it stank of something horrible to her. "'Always marry a cook, my mother used to say.'" "I didn't invite that sort of attention from her, Vickie... I'm spoken for, you know?" Vickie smiled. "Yeah, poor college girl doesn't know that, huh?" Vickie crumpled up the napkin and let fall back into the trash. She left the kitchen, giving Noir a wink before she walked out. Noir couldn't open his mouth, instead he just found himself stuck there staring at her walk out, step by step. Once she was gone, Noir shook his head. "Damn it. Good thing I'm a slave to my flesh here." Bert smiled and slapped him on the shoulder when he walked out of the Inn. The two walked to the Cadillac. "What is it you expect to find?" "Its a thing this time, Bert. Usually I just let the ghost or dead person take me to their killer. Then I finish things with that." "You kill them for your Dark Man?" Bert gave him a look. Noir never explained that. Most of the time the necromancer chose to avoid sharing too much, but he needed another head to help him figure this out. "Ugh, no. I can... sort of put them to sleep. Report them to the police. That keeps them under lockdown, you know? Long enough to be tried when they find the planted evidence." Noir opened his door and got in. "A thing huh? Any clues eh?" Bert started up the cadillac. "Bloodsucking. You told me that all those things on vampires were wrong or off and somesuch." "They are. Undead tend to have more variety than a few extreme cases." "Extreme cases?" Noir looked out through the front windshield as they hit the highway into Newport itself. "Drinking blood can have... effects on Posthumans." "Like what? It gives us dead people awesome powers?" Bert smirked. "I wouldn't mind some awesome powers, you know." "No." Noir shivered. "I've only heard of them from my teacher. It breaks one of the rules she taught me, because it creates an abomination. Taking blood is a symbolic gesture. That and blood has energy in it. "Before, that life circuit I told you about that I mend? Blood overrides it. It supercharges the undead- I'm sorry, Posthuman- processes. Each posthuman human reacts differently. Some can pass on their traits to others, their own flavor of it. "The blood also starts something else in them. They become dependent on the blood to continue to exist. And it prevents the degradation process that all Posthumans have to deal with." Bert concentrated on the road. "Thats all bad huh? Sounds like it makes things easier for the undead." Noir smirked at the use of the term. "This is a side effect or two that is common to all them too." "They get all evil and shit?" "If by evil, you mean they act without any humanity? And that they become predators? All the stories I heard were bad, Bert. Villages and entire cities burning bad." "Oh. And they are predators huh?" Bert took them down a road leading to the nearest beach. "And they each are different, too? Anything like Vickie's changes you think?" Noir looked over at Bert. "I... I don't think so Bert. I know Vickie. She isn't a killer. And I think I would've sensed something like that from her." No, Noir thought, but maybe Jesha is. Maybe she's covering her nature from me. Noir wondered how Jesha could hide being something dead from her. But then again, wasn't it a nasty coincidence that she wanted to be alone with him? And that she showed up right after those ghosts had come to see him? He knew Jesha was trying to pretend to be some college girl out ghost hunting. Noir knew that was a lie. And he knew something about her irritated Bert and Vickie. "Wolf in sheep's clothing." Noir muttered. Bert didn't respond, he just kept on driving.