Sunday, March 30, 2014

Portland In Black Aside 5

Prior to Portland In Black

Tyr sighed as he left the Amor y la Muerte stripper club feeling less than satisfied.  A tiny little joint that also tried to be a mexican restaurant, it wasn't out of place in Portland's usual cadre of weird places to eat.  Tyr sighed, rubbing the stump of his arm with his remaining hand.

He still couldn't shake the uneasily feeling he had in his stomach.  He'd lived for a long time.  He'd seen more than he ever needed to.  Feelings like the one he was having he'd felt before, premonitions of other things to come.

He heard a growl.  Tyr looked up to see a large wolf, licking her snout in his direction.

"Rose?"  Tyr asked.  He put a hand on her head.  The wolf shook him off, pointing her snout in another direction.  Tyr followed it.  "Oh.  You've come back."  

"More or less."  The young man told him.  Younger looking than Tyr by a lot, the man slumped down on the curb.  In his hands he held a mask covered under white canvas.  His fingers had become more scarred than the last time Tyr had seen him.  His dark brown hair hung over his face, obscuring the glasses he wore.  An old t-shirt emblazoned with stars and dragons hung loosely from him as well.  Red stubble grew on his chin.  But Tyr knew better than to rely on the same classic racial stereotypes many modern humans used- this man like he could change his phenotype to match others he spent time around.

"I am glad you're in one piece.  Have you and the mask-"

"I'm not here to reminsce, Tyr."  The man looked up at Tyr.  "The Wolf has need of your service again."

"I pledged my life to the service of your house, Canis."  Tyr said.  He resisted the urge to point out the arm he had given in that service.  "I will do whatever I can."

"Good."  Canis nodded, more to himself than to Tyr.  "You need to go meet with the undead monster who claims this city."

"She calls herself Black Anna, I believe."

Canis waved a hand in the air.  "I don't care.  You are my herald this day.  Give her a warning.  Try to retrieve a necromancer she's caught.  If she doesn't give up the necromancer, then fine.  I'll end her."

Tyr nodded.  "Canis... before I leave- I just want to ask you something.  Are you doing ok?"

Canis shrugged.  "I'm doing fine, Tyr.  Arizona and Australia were tests I needed to face.  Now I'm ready to perform the Task."

"Suffer no monster to live."  Tyr suggested.

Canis looked up at Tyr.  "You have your orders Tyr.  Be quick, there is a man involved here who doesn't deserve to be any monster's toy."

With that, Tyr left to go talk to Black Anna...

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Reading Materials: Wild Cards

Time for another review.  Reading Materials are my attempt at drawing attention to the things I've read and what I think about them. This time its about a little gem called Wild Cards, and the kind of awesome superheroics that comes with realism and 80s grit.

I could've done one of these for Game of Thrones, as I finished off Dance of Dragons not that long ago- but instead, I'm focusing in on an earlier set of works associated with George R.R. Martin, Wild Cards.  Wild Cards started off as a anthology series where Martin and many other writers wrote stories that illuminated a shared universe, the Wild Cards universe.  Martin had been Game Master-ing a supers game; most of the other writers had participated in it.  So they turned it into a series of anthologies and novels.

Sure, characters and concepts changed, so the stories in the anthologies and novels cannot be the same as the sessions that Martin and company had held.  But some of them had to carry over.  It wasn't just that, though, that made me take a interest in the series.  I'm a fan of superhero stories, as part of a extension of a interest on Mythology and Storytelling in general.  Superheroes as a genre is the bizarre blended part of the venn diagram where people think Science Fiction and Fantasy meet.  One gets the awesome blend of all sorts of ideas being thrown around.  Eras in superhero stories also are easily thought up, with their own styles and themes that come across.

Wild Cards sits during a era where Superhero stories grew into some darker themes that had been avoided.  Written in 80s, it has that late 80s era grittiness to it.  But that isn't the only thing going in Wild Cards.

The Wild Card virus is the big alternate change to Wild Cards that differentiate it from other superhero stories.  Almost all of the superpowers in it are victims of the Wild Card virus.  But its rare to become what they call an Ace, a person with powers and no drawback.  Worse, many of those who get the virus die.  Or they might 'pull a Joker.'  Jokers are horribly deformed, making them derided and discriminated against.  This is not unlike some other groups.

I enjoyed it because it is different from other superhero stuff.  Its characters have strong motivations.  Great characters always enthrall me.  This is even better when the characters feel realistic.  Their power sets tend to be singular.  But the powers are interesting, not just plot breakingly over powerful.  My favorite character so far has been Croyd, the Sleeper (created by Roger Zelazny).  The Sleeper spends months asleep, but then wakes up for brief periods.  He always wakes up in a new body.  These new bodies always differ in power set and appearance.  Sometimes he's a joker, other times he's an ace.  Croyd tends to use his abilities to steal, especially since, as a thief, its rare for anyone notice one form of his from another.

That is the main reason I've been drawn into liking it.  It takes a different view on the normal standards of superheroes.  It subverts them while still having very kewl characters I can like.  There is some clunkiness due to era, but I think one can look over that.  Its got a gritty 80 vibe, and it isn't usual superhero fare.  If you like that, you'll enjoy Wild Cards as a series.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Portland In Black 21

Noir Badarte is a necromancer with a heart of gold- and he finds himself in Portland Oregon, to find a new serial killer called the Wolf- but Portland's own insane undead have plans of their own for him. 

< Previous Part | Start of the Story | Next Part > | More Noir Badarte Stories

Breaks hissed.  A blue sedan pulled up, its lights illuminating the tangle of limbs and clothes between Noir's teenage dream self and Black Anna.  A door slammed closed.  A tall bespeckled figure emerged from the sedan.

The memory-dream crested, hitting its crescendo.  It was also the main reason Noir considered it to be a bad memory.

Dream-Noir's eyes went wide.  Noir felt himself wanting to sigh; because he knew it was too late.  Now things were going to fall apart.

Noir remembered this moment as it was supposed to happen.  He and Elle were tangled in each other's bodies, enjoying the warm may evening.  Enjoying each others' bodies, clumsily trying things out.  Experimenting.  Letting passion and hormones guide them.  But then things went sideways.

"Boy.  What the fuck do you think you are doing?"  Doctor Badarte growled at his son, his bald head shining in the sedan's head lights.

"I-er-"  Noir's teenaged dream self sounded frightened despite his talk earlier to Anna.  He got up, naked and sweating.  "Padre-"

Dr. Badarte stood a head shorter than his son.  He wore thick-rimmed glasses, his head bald except for patches of ashen hair.  He had a short, well-trimmed goatee.  Noir's Father preferred to wear various kinds of western, button up shirts.  His khakis were ink-stained.  In Noir's dream, he looked more like a cross between of a linebacker and a troll.  A light seemed to illuminate from him, pulsing to the beat of his heart.  

"You leave without doing any of the shit you are supposed to do, boy."  His father spat on the ground.  "I come home, nothing is done.  You've had what, five hours to dick around?"

Thirteen year old Noir shuddered.

"Well, can you explain why?"  Dr. Badarte continued.  "Or are you just going to stand there?"

Then Noir felt the moment come.  His thirteen year old body convulsed, twisting with rage.  "Fuck you!  You don't GET TO TELL ME WHAT TO DO!"

"Really?"  Dr. Badarte balled up a fist.  "You dumb boy, you don't understand a thing, do you?"

"Ever since Madre had gone... you just poison everything.  You work all day and I'm just some fucking free worker to you.  You don't get me!  You just won't let me be!  Fuck you!  Fuck this damn place and... and... and... screw you.  You have no idea what I see or what things bug me.  You don't want to listen to me.  Things are bad for me and you just ignore it-"

"Oh precious little boy."  His father sneered.  "My work puts food on your table.  I keep the lights going on.  You can't even pretend to respect that?  Can you even hear what you are saying?"

Dr. Badarte shook his hands.  His face reddened, turning at his son.  Noir's eyes widened, waiting for things to boil over.  For things to turn.

"You hear that?"  Black Anna interjected, her lips whispering into his dream self's ear.  "Don't you wish he'd just die already?"

Noir wanted to scream at her.  No, he thought, don't... don't repeat... please be different-

"Don't put words in my mouth."  Dream-Noir crossed his arms.  "Damn it, can't you just go and die already!?"

Dr. Badarte gritted his teeth.  Veins in his head pulsed.  His teeth grinded.

The he fell down to his knees.  Dr. Badarte gripped his chest in pain, falling flat.  He writhed in pain.  He then grunted.

Dream-Noir's eyes widened.  "Padre?  Are you-"

Black Anna interrupted him, picking up his father's unconscious body.  She lifted him up like he was lighter than a feather.  "So.. fragile.  So weak.  Yet this moment scared you so much?"

Black Anna laughed.

"So much more for us to explore isn't there Noir?"  She mocked.  "Or do you want to relive more of this?"

Black Anna tossed Dr. Badarte away, like he was nothing more than a prop.

Noir searched his thoughts, then stumbled over a flicker of a notion.  He shouldn't try it, not here.  But he could feel it pry free from Black Anna's control over his thoughts.

"N-no."  Noir said.  His dream-body changed, changing back into Noir's adult body.  He stood over Black Anna, panting.

"Oh really?"  Black Anna tilted her head.  "You want to play then?"

Noir popped his neck.  He could sense them.  The spells in his mind, all of them.  The ones that called forth geists and ghosts from across the United States.  "I'm not your toy, Anna."

Noir lifted a hand, taking control of the dreamscape away from her.  She smirked and lifted her hands in a gesture of peace.  Confused, he changed the dream to a more recent scene.  A body lay on the floor.

Black Anna's body, blood pouring from her corpse.  Black Anna looked it over.  Then her eyes locked onto it, something coming over her.

"You died without peace."  Noir said.  "Please, consider this a counter offer.  You aren't a monster, Anna.  Let me free you.  I can see your spirit under all those chains you've placed.  There is still a spark of decency there-"

Black Anna laughed.  "Oh, the places we will go, death caller!"

"What?"  Noir felt his knees wobble.  He gritted his dream teeth, bringing forth the summoning spells.  He tried to think of something or some entity that would help him.

"Oh please."  Black Anna shook her head.  She grew, changing the dreamscape around her.  Noir felt himself grow smaller as Anna changed into a towering dark goddess, spirits encircling her with howls.

Then Noir's eyes opened, covered in sweat.  Black Anna stood over him, her mouth overflowing with black ichor, dribbling onto him.  She smiled.

"Oh the places we'll go!"  Black Anna cackled.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Portland In Black 20

Noir Badarte is a necromancer with a heart of gold- and he finds himself in Portland Oregon, to find a new serial killer called the Wolf- but Portland's own insane undead have plans of their own for him. 

< Previous Part | Start of the Story | Next Part > | More Noir Badarte Stories

At first, they wouldn't Noir go to sleep.

Whenever he'd drift off, someone would instead rattle his cage.  Shivering, at some point he started to beg for sleep.  He cried.  He vomited.  He shivered and panted like the dog they were treating him like.

He lost track of his actions, feeling more like a passenger than in control anymore.  Nothing he did could stop the circus of grotesqueries.

When Noir begged for sleep, however, Black Anna stopped everything.

"Of course."  Black Anna waved her minions away.  In a very kind, very soft voice, she consoled him.  "Yes, you do need that, don't you?"

Undead hissed and backed away.  Black Anna waved them further away.  "I said back!  Let him fall asleep!"

Black Anna stood over his cage.  "See?  I can be kind, Necromancer.  Sleep.  Think about my offer.  The chance to be free... Sleep."

Noir felt his eyes begin to close.  Then, he fell into slumber.  The oceanic depths of sleep drug him down, down down.


Noir's sleep was fitful.  He felt like he was dreaming.

"Something is in here with me."  Noir told himself.  He could sense it.  Lurking in the back of his dreaming thoughts.

"Lets see something painful, ok?"  Black Anna asked him.  Her voice felt omnipotent.

Without realizing it, Noir's mind obeyed.  "No!  Don't-"

"-fuck this."  Noir finished.  He kicked the door of the pickup shut, pissed off at his own stupidity.  "I don't want to talk to him.  Fuck this town, fuck him and fuck these sheep."

The thirteen-year old kid then grew even more annoyed with himself as he realized he hadn't been speaking a single word in english, reverting back to Basque for over half of the sentence.  "Argh!  Even when he's not here, he's here!"

Black Anna looked down at the skinny kid, who stared at the stalled pickup.

"Your father is coming, isn't he?"  She asked.

Noir felt her control over the dream fall onto him.  Her mind was like a claw, clamping down on his thoughts.  He tried to direct his teenage self.  But he felt himself fall back into the old pattern, reenacting the memory like a puppet.  Except, things were different now.

Black Anna stood a head taller than Noir's thirteen-year-old self.  She pursed her lips, looking over the pickup and the black night around them.  "You just remember the pick up?  Hmm.  How... pedestrian of a memory, necromancer.  Still..."

"He can't just... damn it!"  Noir screamed.  "He CAN'T DO THAT!"

Noir paused.  He remembered this part of the memory too well.  It was a the brief regret, the brief bit of light before the memory would inevitably fall into darkness.

"Of course he can't,"  Black Anna said.  She smiled.  "You're special, Noir.  He doesn't understand that."

Young Noir felt warmth course through his body.  The observing older thoughts in his mind whirled in alarm.  She'd changed the dream.  She replaced one person with herself.

No, Noir thought, not her.  You don't get to replace Her.  He struggled, trying to focus his mind.  He tried to break the spell Black Anna used to burrow into his dreams, to stop what he felt coming.

"You-you're right."  Young Noir agreed.  He turned, looking up at Black Anna.  "Fuck my father.  At least I have you, Anna."

Black Anna smiled.

"Little boy, there is so much you are going to learn from me."  Black Anna put a hand on the younger boy's shoulder.  She thrust their mouths together.  This created a passionate kiss that shocked through Noir's mind like lightning.  She replaced Elle.  And there wasn't a thing he could do about it.  

Noir could feel his younger self give into it.  Black Anna seemed to grow in beauty.  She became a goddess in his young mind's eye.  A radiant force he had to obey.

The older thoughts his mind tried to rail against it, but to no avail.  He couldn't stop Black Anna's infection in his dreams and memories.

"He works and works and works... and expects nothing but perfection from me."  The younger Noir complained.

"I know, that's unfair."  Black Anna planted kiss after kiss on the younger Noir's body.  He shivered as she picked him up, touching and caressing.

"He... doesn't see them... he doesn't believe me..."  The younger Noir closed his eyes.  "Fuck him.  So I ditched school... so what?  Fuck him, he's the reason... Madre left..."

"Cruel and ignorant of him."  Black Anna whispered, sucking gently on his ear.  The younger Noir became putty, euphoria twisting the dream into a synesthetic twister of color and emotions.  "So cruel.  You deserve better."

"Yeah..." His young dream self agreed.  "Fuck my father.  He...  doesn't know what he wants of me anyway."

Noir wanted to vomit.  This was a mockery of that night.  Especially because of what happened next.  Noir and Elle had a serious moment, a true moment.  Black Anna was tainting that.  The sacredness of it.  The purity of it.

He... felt the sensations of the dream wash over him.  Then Noir realized a very important, core part of him was gone.  It was in love with Black Anna, drowning in the control she put over him.  It wanted her, complying with her.  That part of him couldn't say no to her.  A part of his Self had joined the enemy.

"Forget your father," Black Anna whispered into his dream-self's ear.  "Lets work on fucking you."

Her hand grasped him.  Noir's teenaged dream-body reacted to it like it was a electricity.  Noir felt more and more of his control fade away.  Passion seemed to overrule him.  He felt smaller and smaller.

Noir worried, processing what this dream might be doing to him.  How big of a part of his mind was it?  Enough for her to win him over?  Enough to break him?  Enough to drive him mad?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Portland In Black Aside 3

This is part of some aside, other pieces of the story, Portland In Black.  Click here to read that.
Click here for the previous Aside.


Getting to the top of the hill had taken the breath from Jesha.  Portland's rain had let up on her today, instead, a dark cloud just loomed in the sky above.  She still was soaked.

"Stupid dreadlocks.  No, Jesha, you sure needed to have dreadlocks in three colors.  Just great to have something to keep the heat in."  Jesha almost wished she could cut them off.

She didn't do that, though.  She still sort of liked them.

"That's where the scents end."  Jesha told herself.  She grimaced at the sight of it.  Off the beaten path of Portland, Black Anna had taken Noir into a building deep in one of Portland's bushy, forest patches.  Forest Park cut into Portland like the swipe of a knife.  It looked like a antique from another era to Jesha's eyes and nose.  It looked like it been abandoned for well over fifty or sixty years.  "Maybe the stories about her are true then.  Maybe she really did die at her prom from alcohol poisoning."

Jesha looked down at the slope of trees, branches and shrubbery between her and the building.  She sighed, and limped her way toward crawling down it.  A hand grabbed her, tugging her back.

"Oh no you don't!"  Jesha spun around to look slightly down at Bert, Noir's undead driver, who also was three or four inches shorter than her.  The dark-skinned undead man didn't look very pleased to see her, his clothes dirty and torn from chasing her.  "Really, Jesha?  You were in the hospital for twenty fucking minutes."

"I heal faster-"

"Bullshit.  You've been limping and bleeding this entire time."  Bert pointed at her legs.  "No one goes on a cross-country hike after taking a bullet, Jesha."

Jesha ignored that.  "I am going to get Noir back-"

"-and you told me that some guy named Tyr was going to do that."  Bert interjected.  He crossed his arms, intent on not letting her leave.

"You aren't my father."  Jesha shook her head.  "The last thing I'm going to do is do what some man commanded me to do."

"So, the last thing you are going to do is kill yourself for a man?"  Bert retorted.

Hurt, Jesha looked away from Bert.  Her face blushed.  "I... Er... Noir needs me."

"Jesha please."  Bert sighed.  "I can tell you think that saving him will make him feel a connection to you.  I can, really.  But Noir wouldn't want you to risk yourself for him."

"That isn't why I'm going down there!"  Jesha lied, of course.  Bert's words conjured a little scene in her head, with Noir in her arms, his eyes locked on hers.  She knew a part of her really wanted to see if rescuing him might get the necromancer to...

"Ugh.  Noir doesn't work that way, or else you wouldn't have wanted him anyway."  Bert waved a hand in irritation.  "He's a good person Jesha.  Look, he saved me.  Not just because he put life back into this body and let me have a life again.  I... I wasn't doing the best thing with my life before I died."

Jesha blinked.  "What were you doing?"

"Work I wasn't proud of.  Dirty work, a lot of it felt illegal.  Some of it was.  My slate was dirty.  It was rotten work, and by the time I died, I had nothing left.  My wife and kids had died in a fire.  My parents wouldn't take my calls.  I had no time for my friends.  Half the time I was high as a kite, thinking that I was the king of the world."

"Jeez Bert, were you running drugs?"

Bert shook his head.  "Banking."

Jesha smirked.  "Real dirty work?"

"Yeah, actually.  Rich people can be some of the worst kind of evil, Jesha.  They'll make you do horrible things, manipulate you into thinking you want to do it.  Trick you into making stupid decisions you shouldn't consider in the first place."

Jesha ignored his words.  She turned around, starting her descent down the hill.  Then her momentum stopped.  A pair of hands had grabbed her.  Jesha bared her teeth.  "Let me go, Bert."

Bert hefted her up.  He used his inhuman strength to overpower her.  "I'm not going to let you go get yourself killed-"

Jesha tried to elbow him, to get him to let her go.  She twisted.  She growled.  She then felt woozy, as pain from her injuries.  "Bert!  Let go... ugh..."

Jesha clinched her eyes, embarrassed.  She couldn't keep her head straight.  And she was being outclassed by someone she didn't think of as her equal as a combatant.  "Bert... ow... ugh."

Bert put her down.  "I'm sorry Jesha... I just..."

"Its all right... my... ugh..."  Jesha shuddered, her head still ringing.

"Lets go back to the hospital."  Bert suggested, offering her a hand.

"Bert... I can't."  Jesha shook her head.  "Who is going to get Noir if not me?"

Bert shrugged.  "You have to leave Noir to handle it.  He's handled stuff like this before, on his own just fine."

Jesha shook her head.  "Not this time, Bert.  This is a monster he can't handle.  Black Anna is... I can't leave someone to a monster.  She's gotten to destroy him.  I..."

Jesha closed her eyes.  She hoped the Wolf God could hear her.  She hoped the Wolf God was listening.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Portland In Black 19

Noir Badarte is a necromancer with a heart of gold- and he finds himself in Portland Oregon, to find a new serial killer called the Wolf- but Portland's own insane undead have plans of their own for him.

< Previous Part | Start of the Story | Next Part > | More Noir Badarte Stories

The necromancer didn't notice when din grew silent.  Just that everything had stopped, interrupted by a pair of footsteps.  Noir opened his eyes, grease, blood and tears dripping from him.  The undead took angry steps back.

An old man stood in the doors opposite Black Anna's dais.  He leaned heavily on a cane.  One-armed, the man looked like he'd seen better days.  It reminded Noir of his father and the other ranchers he'd known growing up in Idaho.  Dusty, wrinkled and tough.

"Black Anna, I invoke the Old Right."  Noir blinked in surprise at the sound of the old man's voice.  It sounded spry, youthful.  Confident.

Still unable to see her, Noir heard Anna's reply.  "I respect the old ways, old man.  Is there a name to go along with your request?"

Chuckles came from the assemblage of undead monsters.

"I, Tyr, swear not to cause any harm as a guest, unless attacked or deemed necessary by you, my host.  I will leave once my business here is concluded."

Black Anna chuckled.  "Fine.  Tyr is it?"

"That is what they call me."  Tyr walked briskly toward Noir.  His cane thudded on the ground hard with each step he took.  "I will take back the necromancer.  That is the offer I bring."

"Necromancer?"  Black Anna laughed.  Noir heard something sharp land near him.  Black Anna stood on top of the kennel, crouched over him.  "I have a new one for me and mine.  You offer to take what I own?"

Tyr shrugged.  "I am just a messenger.  You can give him back to me, or face the consequences."

"Consequences from whom?"  Black Anna asked.  "Portland is my town.  Who dares question me?"

Undead cowed, hissing in agreement.  Clearly, they all were agreed on her statement.  Noir shivered.  He could sense the chains that extended from her body to all these undead.

Before he hadn't sensed it.  But now seeing the ghosts in this place, Noir could see the hundreds of chains.  Each undead was collared, tagged and chained to her.  Leashed to the dark spirit in Black Anna.  More undead were chained to them, but she was their nexus.  A dark star of necrokinetic energy, a maddening night sun.

Tyr didn't seem fazed by any of this.  "Noir Badarte is to be returned.  I am not questioning you or insulting you.  The one who sent me made me promise to offer to take him.  Give him over, and no more trouble will happen.  The slights you've given will be ignored.  He will focus on other problems, like he has in the past."

"Oh really?  THAT is who you come to represent here?"  Black Anna giggled.  "A pup thinks he can howl like a grown wolf?"

Tyr frowned.  "You don't want to pay the price of him having to come here, Black Anna.  I've heard the rumors.  You act mad, insane.   But you can think.  You aren't completely illogical."

Black Anna tilted her head.  "But I have to give my new pet up?  I just started getting him house-trained, Tyr.  You know how hard it is to give them up after you start house training them?"

Tyr shook his head.  "Fine.  My part is done.  I assume you will not give him up?"

Black Anna nodded.  She dribbled black ichor from her smile.  She started to lick at the gore soaking the outside of the kennel.  Noir shivered.

"I might finish him off now."  Black Anna giggled.  "Or cut him up into tiny little pieces."

"Alive or dead, there is a price to pay."  Tyr told her.  "He... he doesn't forgive, Anna.  He can forget what you've tried to do in his name.  But-"

"Your business is done now, Tyr."  Black Anna pointed at the door.  "Your allegiance to the Old Rights is done.  Don't presume to tell me what to do."

Tyr shook his head, turned and started to walk away.

"Tell the Wolf I'll hold a gala in his name!"  Black Anna shouted at Tyr as he left.  Tyr didn't look back.  "C'mon, Tyr!  Who's afraid of the big bad wolf anymore?  Who?"

Monday, March 24, 2014

Portland In Black 18

Noir Badarte is a necromancer with a heart of gold- and he finds himself in Portland Oregon, to find a new serial killer called the Wolf- but Portland's own insane undead have plans of their own for him.

"No." Noir said it softly at first.

"Hmm?" Black Anna asked him, half-listening as she watched her undead dance to the jazz music. "What was that?" 

 "No." Noir replied. He gritted his teeth in frustration. "No, Anna. I think I can help you. But I won't join you. I can fix you-" 

Noir felt something cold splash onto him. Black ichor, like the kind Anna had used to animate the stoners before. It felt like dried ice, so cold it burned him. He didn't sense the spell, but it had to have been a spell. 

 "Too bad. I think I'll give you a chance to think it over again." Anna told him. 

 He blacked out, knocked unconscious by the magick Anna had dribbled onto him in a single drop of oily black. 

Noir woke up later to Black Anna's hideous laughter . Her undead prom were cheering. He gazed up, seeing nothing but the tattered and ragged pants and skirts of the dead. He was naked. He laid curled inside a dog kennel, lying on the floor of Black Anna's nightmarish prom. Closer to them, Noir could see the pale legs of undead women and men, all dressed in younger clothes, watching with their all-black eyes. They weren't looking at him however. 

 He felt exposed, lying naked there. Noir didn't have the strength to try and get out of the cage. He still was too weak. He didn't know how long he'd been unconscious this time. 

 "Look, he's awake!" One obese undead woman pointed out. Her purple dress was stained ruddy on the front. 

 Another undead, this time a girl much younger in appearance, wearing a yellow dress poked his cage. "Ooh! He looks scared!" 

 Noir heard Black Anna's voice. He couldn't see his captor. Just her minions. "Now girls, he looks just plain skinny to me, doesn't he?" 

 The woman in purple licked her lips. "Like a beanpole!"

"Poor thing!" The girl in the yellow dress chimed in. She showed Noir her rows of sharp, angular teeth. "He looks hungry!" "Anna- please-" Noir tried to conjure up some words. Something to try and get him out of this. It didn't matter the din and clamor of Anna's partying undead was too loud. The drowned out his words. "Feeding time!" The undead girl in yellow chanted. Soon the whole room took up the clamor, chanting it over and over. "Feeding time! Feeding time! Feeding time!" Noir felt bile from his stomach. They dragged someone in. He was screaming. Noir could sense his distress, wincing at the sight of the tuxedo wearing undead who dragged him into the room. His face had become a mess, puffy from bruises. Blood from cuts ran down one cheek. He wore purple scrubs. A hospital ID was clipped his chest. His hair, probably first in a ponytail, looked tangled. Purpled bruises covered what skin Noir could see on him. A nurse of some sort, Noir guessed. He couldn't see any shoes or socks on him. His feet looked bloody. "Well," Black Anna announced. "Take care of it, boys." The three undead looked the nurse down. They dove on top of him. "Please! Don't!" The nurse tried to scream, but a undead hand muffled him. "C'mon, no." Noir shivered. "No no no. I don't need to see this-" Blood and gore splattered onto him. Noir looked into the nurse's eyes as he died, his body ripped open. They were wide. Noir felt guilt course through him. Could he have stopped this? Had he told Anna yes, would he have stopped this? He didn't know for sure, but he still felt like it was his fault. "I'm sorry." Noir mouthed to the nurse. He couldn't see it, Noir knew. He was already dead. The three undead had ripped open his rib cage, releasing the dead man's entrails and innards. Each of them grabbed handfuls of guts and gore. The then took their macabre implements and walked toward Noir's kennel. Noir tried to vomit. Instead, he dry heaved as the three undead juggled the dead man's organs above him. Blood, bile and bits of gore splattered onto the kennel. "C'mon, now!" Noir heard Black Anna cheering at him from her dais, out of his view. "Eat up! Be a good boy and lick it all up!" Undead cheered and clapped. Music played. Noir could already hear the ghost of the nurse in his ear. Begging for a answer. Begging him for help. Noir sobbed.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

City of Kaiju Flash Fiction: For Angelica

City of Kaiju stories are set in Noah: the Kaiju Song, a scifi setting.  In an undersea city in the distant future, humanity has escaped the surface after a global disaster, but have mutated into new kinds of humans with psychic powers that call themselves Angels and Demons.  Click here for more info.
This just a bit of quick writing.  Just a brief break from the Noir action.  I'll do more no worries.  :D

I wondered if I had been smarter, if I might've avoided being manipulated into doing this for her.  I sighed, it was too late.  I couldn't get out of it.

"Well, better to do it and get it done then."  I told myself.

I looked down at Angelica's smiling, dark red-skinned face.  She always wanted me to try this with my abilities, although I never want to use them, if at all.

"I love you, you know."  She hugged tight to me.  "Thanks for doing this."

"Demons have to stick together I guess."  I looked over at the three clayborn tied up.  Just normal humans, they still were part of the police.  I could face retaliation from them, if these ones ever were found out.

"I wish you had just let them die."

"I know you don't like using your powers... but we can't let them know we live down here.  Think about how the others might react.  They raid us too often as it is."

I nodded.

I looked over at the three police officers.  "I don't want to do this.  I'm sorry."

I closed my eyes.  I then deleted their memories, absorbing them like a sponge.  I knew who and what they were.  All they were.

When I opened my eyes, Angelica kissed me again.  I saw the three clayborn on the ground, their eyes empty.

"What did they taste like, love?"  She asked me.

"I..."  I shook my head.  I ignored the new voices in my mind.  I ignored how Angelica tricked me to agreeing to help her regardless of the cost.  But I was in love with her.

That seemed enough reason to ignore the crying voices in my head.

Portland In Black Aside 2

Aside for Portland In Black.  Check it out if you like this and want to see what happened before and after...


Jesha had woken up sore before.  Hangovers were one thing she'd had experience with.  Combat injuries too.

Playing the dumb college girl sometimes meant going a bit overboard on the booze.  Fighting and hunting monsters, that often left her sore.  Shapeshifting into a giant wolf and being riddled with bullets, well, Jesha hadn't developed a complete set of skills for handling that.


Jesha opened her eyes, smelling dew and wet clothes around her.  A pile of fabrics covered her prone body.  She stretched reflexively.  Jesha immediately regretted it.  Something didn't feel correct, and her stretching only made it flare up in hot, burning pain.  "Ow!"

"Dang it."  Jesha tried to get a look at her body.  Naked under the pile of clothes, she'd had the presence of mind during the end of the fight to drag a big pile of clothes down with her.

Jesha knew how to mend her wounds with her shapeshifting, sealing off cuts and open wounds.  It was a quick use of her shapeshifting to keep a injury from bleeding her out.  Unfortunately, she didn't just have some bloody wounds to worry about this time.  Moving around a bit Jesha instantly could tell that she had a fair number of internal wounds and compound fractures.  Her wolf body could take a great deal of its, but...

"It translates badly.  Ow.  How can being so big be so much fun but so much a pain?"

Jesha then turned her thoughts to Noir.  He'd been taken by the monsters.  Undead things dragged him off, and she couldn't run.  She blacked that part out.  Instincts took over, and her mind was gone.  Jesha remembered flying into a mad rage.  That rage didn't preserve any really thoughts with it.

No, she just remembered flashes of it.  Tearing and rending.  Something small hit her.

And it was stronger than her in her wolf form.  "I couldn't beat it.  It just... hit so damn hard."

"And you think that means you failed?"  A stranger's voice interjected.  Jesha jumped in surprise, causing her to wince in pain.

"Please... Don't make me-" Jesha growled.

"Its okay, please."  Jesha looked up at the strange man who talked to her.  He held out up a hand in an apologetic gesture.

The man was older than her, she guessed, based on his salt and pepper beard.  It leaned more on the white side, of course.  His hair was fairly shaggy.  She saw years on the wrinkles on his face.  His eyes were small, yet like diamonds glittered.  His face was more rounded.  Shorter than Jesha most likely, he wore a thick coat, a cane crooked in his elbow.  He only had his right arm, the left was missing.  His sleeve hung loosely at his left side.  He wore a pink and red shirt under the coat, stained with what Jesha could smell was coffee and ink.  A pendant hung from about his neck she recognized.

He put his hand to his chest.  "I serve the Darkness.  His throne will rise again."

Jesha blinked.  "Oh.  I didn't expect to see... I mean, its rare to see other people who honor the Wolf God."

The one armed man smiled.  "You can call me Tyr.  Can I do anything to help you?"

"Um..."  Jesha blushed.  Suddenly being naked under these clothes felt embarrassing.  Having lost someone she meant to protect to monsters?  That made Jesha feel like she was five years old again.

"Its alright.  You didn't know enough to know better."  Tyr answered.  He seemed to have guessed the reason for her embarrassment.  "Who did Black Anna take?"

"Black Anna?"  Jesha's eyes widened.  "Wait.  That Black Anna?  The monster queen?  SHE took him?"

Tyr nodded.

"Oh.  I didn't know that- why would she be in Portland?"  Jesha asked.

"This is her home town."  Tyr leaned on his cane.  "Things like her don't realize that they cling to the same old patterns.  She died here, so she comes back here over and over.  I'm to talk to her about your friend.  Who was he?"

"Noir..."  Jesha paused.  "Well, Noir is a necromancer."

Tyr tilted his head.

"Not like that kind.  Noir's sort of overly sentimental.  He... tries to help people, especially the dead kind.  He tends not to think too far in advance of his actions."

"Why are you with him then?"  Tyr asked.  "You took a bullet or two for him.  You must have a interest."

"I protect him."  Jesha stopped herself from admitting that she was attracted to Noir.  That she felt a deep connection to the necromancer.  Jesha's heart wanted him.  And she was certain she was breaking down his walls.  This stranger, even as another of the Wolf God's cult, didn't need to know that.  She didn't say aloud that she was in love with Noir Badarte.

That was something she wasn't quite ready to share.  Yet.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Portland In Black 17

Noir Badarte is a necromancer with a heart of gold- and he finds himself in Portland Oregon, to find a new serial killer called the Wolf- but Portland's own insane undead have plans of their own for him. 

< Previous Part | Start of this Story | Next Part > | More Noir Badarte Stories

Noir tried not to blink.  Again, he didn't quite think of anything to say.  So he said nothing at all.
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Black Anna seemed to take this all in stride. She kicked her legs, humming to the music being played by some her macabre musicians.  "Its alright, I didn't expect an answer right away.  I know I'm..."

She waved a hand in the air.  She made a circular motion.

"...someone new for you.  But still, I can show you want it'll be like here with me."

"...Right."  Noir closed his eyes.  A part of him started to think.  Before he knew it, Noir felt the words coming out of his mouth.  Thinking aloud, he started to wince as he realized what he was doing.  "You sent those two to talk to Ellie.  You made sure I'd find her body wouldn't you?  What did Ellie do to deserve what you did to her?"

Music ceased.  Noir opened his eyes.  Apparently members of Anna's court had supernatural hearing to go with everything else monstrous they had going on.  Black hungry eyes stared at him.  Unblinking.

Black Anna tilted her head to one side.  She smirked.  "Oh.  Didn't you know a wolf gobbled her up?"

Undead heads bobbed up and down.  Some snickered.  Noir's necrokinetic senses felt a wave of cruel humor wash over the assembled body.  It confused him.  "I don't... How?  Why?"

Black Anna shrugged.  "You broke one of my toys.  That was simple enough of a reason.  But I like you.  I think I can help you from yourself, silly boy."

"Broke your toys...?"  Noir paused.  Then it came to him.  "The orphanage..."

Oh.  Noir didn't like the thought of that.  Black Anna knew about him.  Not in a general sense, she knew what he'd done the last time he'd been in Portland.

Noir had been bumming throughout Oregon.  During the last Christmas he'd found himself in Portland.  And a particular bizarre triplet of spirits had decided to drag the necromancer into the next of a poltergeist-hive.  "You knew about that... suffering thing?"

"Silly boy."  Black Anna wangled a finger.  "It wasn't a thing.  You weren't the only person to grow up able to see ghosts, you know."

"I had to help them.  They were in pain-"

"And they belonged to me."  Anna pointed a finger at her chest.  "Can you bring them back?"

"I had to help them."  Noir felt goosebumps.  "You... What are you?"

"Help."  Black Anna shook her head.  "Still you don't get it!  You think I'm some misshapen spell or creation of someone before you.  Eliza, did a necromancer make me?"

The old woman answered her.  She kept groveling.  Noir could see tears coming down Eliza's withered, aged face.  "I made you.  I'm sorry.  I'm so very sorry, Anna."

Black Anna tilted her head another way.  "It was a dark and stormy night when I died, death walker.  You want to learn about that?"

Noir shook his head.  "You... you-"

"You broke my toy."  Anna shrugged.  "So I'm going to make a new one.  Feelings stain, necromancer.  You know that.  That's how you think of ghosts and things.  Stains and marks on the world, right?  What sort of things wake up after the worst has happened to them?"

Noir felt nausea wash over him.  "Please... I didn't mean..."

Black Anna clapped her hands.  The jazz music started up again.  She smirked at him.

"I'm not going to kill you, Noir Badarte.  I'm going to watch you kill yourself."  Black Anna walked to his cot and gave him a kiss on the cheek.  It felt like frost on his face.  "Besides, I think you look cute confused and scared like that."

Oh.  Great.  Noir thought to himself.  Now would be a great time for Jesha.

But given his luck so far, Noir doubted it.  He wondered if Jesha even was alive anymore.  Nothing indicated that.  He felt a dark feeling cast over him.  What would he be like a few days like this?  A few weeks?

He looked over at Eliza.  Broken.  At the bottom of a filthy cage.  So very old.  A person turned into more of a thing.

Noir wondered which would be better; the broken old woman or the mad monster in the shape of a girl?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Portland In Black 16

Noir Bedarte is a necromancer with a heart of gold- and he finds himself in Portland Oregon, to find a new serial killer called the Wolf- but Portland's own insane undead have plans of their own for him. 

< Previous Part | Start of the Story | Next Part > | More Noir Badarte Stories

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Noir woke up from the darkness again.

"We may need to give him some sort of transfusion."  A voice explained, her tone sounding more like groveling and begging than explanation.  "He is going to keep blacking out if he doesn't replenish the blood he lost.  But I think his thumb will-"

"That's enough."  Anna cut off.  "He's waking back up!  Everyone give him space!"

Noir blinked his heavy eyelids.  Each muscle in his body felt like solid bricks, but at least he could feel able to move them.  He wasn't paralyzed as bad as before.  But Noir could tell he shouldn't try anything in his current state.  His body screamed to go to sleep.

He ignored it.  He wasn't going to show any sign of further weakness to Anna.  So far, Noir felt certain that she wasn't one-hundred percent sane.

A cold hand patted his forehead.  He looked up to see Black Anna standing over him, studying his face closely.  Another undead, this one wearing a bloody lab coat over a red dress, studied him with a stare Noir could only attribute to a Doctor.

"Please... space..."

Black Anna shrugged.  "I have plenty of space."

Noir looked around him.  They weren't in that room they'd been in before.  No, now she'd moved him into a scene from a Tim Burton movie, but heavy on the Stephen King and Tarantino.  Blood, rust and a veritable small horde of corpses.  All dressed in decaying states of high school prom attire, despite a fair chunk of them looking like their bodies had died either older or younger than the prerequisite sixteen that Anna seemed to have died at.

The undead all shared a look with Anna.  Razor sharp teeth.  Pitch black eyes devoid of true life.  Cold hungry faces.

"Well, c'mon.  Don't stare!"  Anna clapped her hands.  "What is my name?"

"Black Anna!"  The undead gangle screamed back at her.  "Anna her heart so black!  Black! Anna!"

"And what do I want?"  Anna screamed back.

A rotten band of musicians struck up a jazz beat.  Noir blinked, uncertain of the music's age.  It sounded... like something from a different era.

Black Anna shrugged.  She then sat down, her seat a old black leather lazy boy on the top of a stage.  It was a old school gymnasium, Black Anna's dais the stage.  Old and dusty curtains of all kinds hung, the theme of black or red carrying in most of them.  Noir laid on a brown stained cot next to her.  Part of him realized that disentangling himself from the cot and trying to make any sort of escape could also end with him face planting himself off the stage.  He's get out about four or five seconds before probably hurting himself more.

He looked around.  Craning and moving his neck made his head only hurt more, nauseating him a little.  The undead had taken up to dancing to the music Black Anna had ordered up, deciding to mill about instead of staring in his direction.  An improvement of one sort or another.

Noir scanned the rest of the stage.  He noted a cage on the other side of Anna's armchair throne.  Someone laid in the cage.  An old woman.  Noir blinked.  She looked horrible, her legs and body flopped down on the bottom of the cage like a rag doll.

"Oh.  You noticed our other live guest?"  Anna asked him.

"Uh..."  Noir was uncertain of how to carry a conversation with an undead monster such as this.  He hadn't created her.  He didn't understand the first thing about the dark magicks keeping Black Anna or her minions alive.  And of course, he didn't have energy to spare for that kind of spell anyway.  "Um... so, I'm kinda on the young side of the bracket you aim for?"

Black Anna gazed over at the old woman in the cage.  "Say hello to the nice boy Eliza."

The old woman lifted her head.  It looked malformed, like years of bruises, beatings and blood had turned it into a misshapen wreck.

"Hello."  Eliza croaked.  "Its... such a nice dance... isn't it?"

Noir blinked.  Black Anna giggled.

"Don't mind her."  Black Anna explained.  "She's used to having all the boys' attention.  Why, we were only sixteen weren't we, that night weren't we, Eliza?"

Eliza gave a sad nod.  "I'm sorry Anna.  So sorry.  I deserve this."

Anna nodded solemnly.  "Yes, you do.  Everyday, ever since 1923.  I intend to never forget."

Noir stared at Anna.  "You've... imprisoned her since she was sixteen?!"

"Oh death walker, you are so silly."  Anna giggled.  She walked over to his cot from her throne.  She patted his hair.  "You don't understand yet.  Things are... well, there is a reason for all the things you know.  And there are things you never ever will know."

Noir tried to suppress the shudder.  He didn't want to see what pissing Black Anna looked like.  So far, she seemed to be treating him more like a prize pet rather than a threat.  For now, anyway.

"First of all, Eliza's deserves her cage."  Black Anna pointed at the dance floor. "Just like how those two very nice boys gave you to me, and I gave them what they deserved.  Immortality.  Everyone should get what they deserve.

"People, I think, don't work hard enough to correction the little injustices like that.  Some people deserve to suffer if they are bad, especially those who get away with it.  Eliza got away with it, didn't you Eliza?  Didn't I fix that?"

Eliza nodded.  "I should... never had killed... you.  I'm sorry."

Black Anna giggle.  She whirled a bit of Noir's hair over a finger.  Noir felt her cold fingers.  It felt like a bit of his own life  energies drain away at Black Anna's touch.  Just a bit, like a arctic wind biting at his heart.

"Despite all that Noir..." Black Anna smiled wistfully.  "I can give you a lot here.  You have considered it haven't you?  Think about it, joining me.  There is so much we can share with one another."

Black Anna gave him a cute look.  Noir could see the sixteen-year old girl peeking out at him.  A part of him died inside when he thought she reminded him of Elle.  Noir fought down the bile that tried to erupt out of him.


Flash Fiction: Best In Mind

Caribbean, Late 1680s 

My eyes were locked and frozen.  I couldn't move.  My body... this wasn't what I had paid for.

[Sight is not sight.]  I heard the old woman say.  But her mouth didn't move.  Instead she just breathed in deep.  Unmoving, unflinching.

I tried to mouth a response.  I tried to get up and strangle this witch who'd dare to imprison as salty a man like me.  I'd put this dark-skinned hag in her place and-

[Or what?] Her voice was in my head.  I could feel something like fingers in my brain.  [It hides in your mind.  Your inner dream is infected with It.  I hunt.  Be quiet.]

Something then burned in my mind.  It hurt, like glaring into the sun or the burning iron of the bosun's whip.  I remembered back to my ship and my mates.  To the shipment we'd taken.  The gold and the other things we'd taken from that chest at the bottom of that unholy pit.

Our dreams turned into nightmares.  Each night, we'd find more men who'd jumped overboard into the sea.  Something was taking us.  A few started to worship it, to do its will.  Those men became depraved things, flaying and singing blasphemies into the night.  The rest of us tried to escape, fleeing in whatever we could manage.  The cap'n had been the first to die, and no one else had stepped up to yet take his place.

We fled anarchy for the harsh ride of the open stormy sea.  Lightning and thunder roared nonestop its seemed for days.  Until I found this Witch woman, who promised to cure me of the dreams turned to gorey nightmares.

She wore nothing but a long robe made from the lion's hide.  Blackened from age, the lion must've been huge- but one could still see the head and outline of it in the robe.  Its head's maw gaped open to form her hood.  One could see her nakedness underneath, her ebony skin covered in scars, markings and symbols of so many things I never could claim to understand.  Dried bugs and rats hung from her body.

I don't remember how she found my boat.  Just that she never spoke a single word.

I laid there, my head burning.  I looked up to see her put a single finger on my brow.

[There.  Leave monster.]

I she tore out a black, hideous nine-legged thing from my brow.  She threw it into the sea, cackling as she stood on the prow.  The waves cracked.  Thunder boomed.

I realized in the glare of the lightning that this crone's body had been just one shape it could take.  An illusion that I couldn't see past.  At one angle she was a beautiful maid, her black hair flowing, drenched in the seawater.  At another, she was pregnant, her belly wide.  At another, she was the old crone.

She cackled once more and point at me.

"Bah.  Illusions you men can only dream in.  Threes.  Bah."  She shook her head, the lion's mane shaking off drops of salt water.  "I'm not bound by any of them.  I hold your thoughts, buccaneer.  You owe a Daughter of the Lion now.  Remember the name Leo in your sleep.  Remember Ori of Leo in your dreams.  And remember I choose not to leave you for dead."

There was a flash.  Then she was gone.  All she'd left was a compass and a full wineskin.

I lived.  Sometimes I wish I hadn't.  But I know, one day, she'll call on me.  I'll answer it.  I can't say no to her.  I can never say no.  I can't imagine it either.  Fuck me and fuck the sea.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Portland In Black 15

Noir Bedarte is a necromancer with a heart of gold- and he finds himself in Portland Oregon, to find a new serial killer called the Wolf- but Portland's own insane undead have plans of their own for him. 

< Previous Part | Start of the Story | Next Part > | More Noir Badarte Stories

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The teen-aged monster- Noir was certain that she had to be a monster of some kind, based on the aura he felt off her- approached the couch where the stoners' corpses laid.  She sat between their dead bodies, talking softly to them.  Noir felt goosebumps rise over his skin as he watched her, his paralyzed body locked into seeing what she did next.

Anna bit down on her the thumb on her left hand.  There was a crunch, then black ichor spurted out from the wound.  Not blood, but a black ichor.  She poured black ichor into her right hand, cupping to collect the black ichor.  The ichor hissed, as if alive on its own.

Noir guessed it to be her own personal ectoplasm, something that flowed through her body instead of actual blood.  A single, long dark worm formed from the black ichor.  Anna pursed her lips at the ichor.

"Little one, go.  Bring my children back to me."  The words she said got a reaction from the worm.  It split into two, then each worm crawled.  Each had a stream of steaming black ichor follow it.

Each worm slid up each stoner's body.  Thick slime flowed after them, black ichor pouring into each stoner's mouths.

Noir's eyes widened as he watched.

Both corpses jerked up from the couch.  They fell onto their sides.  Their faces scrunched up in dark pain.

"Its alright, mother's here."  Anna told them.  Both corpses opened their eyes, dark ichor bleeding from each of them.  "Shh.  Don't talk yet."

Both corpses nodded obediently.  Anna smiled.

"Deathwalker?  You like my new children?"

Noir's words came out in a stammer.  He tried to keep the disgust from pouring out his throat.  She didn't ask.  She just took from the dead.  Used them to make these... things.

"N-no.  What-what do you think-k you are doing?!"

Anna turned her head.  "I'm helping them.  No one wants to be dead, silly."

"You d-didn't-"

"Ask?"  Anna shook her head.  "Death walker, you should hear yourself!  Such silly talk!  Why should I have to ask to help my children?"

"It's- wr-rong."  Noir shuttered, his mouth felt sore trying to talk with her.  The muscles felt dry, inelastic.

Anna chuckled.  "Aww.  You've done the same.  We both are parents to the living dead aren't we?"

"Wh- what are you-u talking about-t?!"

Anna gave him a condescending look.  Her all black eyes seemed to absorb him.  "You birth the dead.  I've met your children.  At least I tend to mine rather than let them grow feral like Vickie had."

Noir sucked in a breath.  She knew about Vickie.  What else could she know?

"So irresponsible!  They need guidance you know."  Anna continued.  She then smiled, her shark-like teeth glittering in the light of the room.  Noir pondered about how she sounded so normal with such horrific looking teeth.  Her face turned into a blend of bubbly emotion and raw predatory psychosis.  Noir wished he could hide.  "Forget all about that!  Its been so long since I had a boy here!"

She giggled.

"P-please... d-don't-"

"Don't what?"  Anna sat up on the couch.  She gave him a wink.  "Watch Deathwalker, maybe you'll see something you like?"

Gary and Larry stood up.  Black ichor dripped from their mouths.  Noir couldn't sense any life coming from them.  His necrokinetic senses just felt cold.  Like touching ice.

Anna clapped her hands excitedly.  The sight of the two fresh undead seemed to make her barrel over with delight.  "Yes yes yes!"

Both undead nodded their heads in a automatic fashion.  "We serve and we live."

"Truly?"  Anna put her head on her hands.  "This what you wanted?"

Both bobbed their heads up and down obediently.  Gary fell on his knees, bowing down before Anna.  "No more pain.  Its all gone.  We... don't suffer anymore.  Thank you."

"Is our gift... worthy?"  Larry asked.

Noir stared.  The two stoners had been the bait.  That's how they knew anything at all about Noir or anything.  The two of them had lured him there.  Planted their images into Ellie's memory on purpose, to make him come to them.

Anna turned back to Noir.  "See?  Learned so much from watching me, haven't you?"

Noir tried to rise again.  He tried to get up, to get out of here.  This had to be some sort of nightmare.  He struggled up to his feet, fighting off as much of the paralysis as he could.

Noir tumbled onto his face.

Before he blacked out again, he heard Anna's voice sing.  "Twinkle, twinkle, little star.  How I wonder what you are.  How I wonder what you are." 

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Portland In Black 14

Noir Bedarte is a necromancer with a heart of gold- and he finds himself in Portland Oregon, to find a new serial killer called the Wolf- but Portland's own insane undead have plans of their own for him.  Part 14.

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"Twinkle, twinkle, little star...

A woman sang the words.  Noir felt the inky darkness of unconsciousness lying over him.

He opened his eyes, but just barely.  Confused, Noir tried to get up.  There were still gunshots going off in the distance.  Gary and Larry's corpses had been taken off the couch.

A soft hand brushed his hair.

"Elle?"  Then Noir blacked out again.

"How I wonder what you are."

Noir woke up again, he didn't know how long later, but couldn't manage the strength to open his eyes.  He could hear her voice, still singing the words as something carried him.  His leg still throbbed with pain, blood still gushing out.

Noir knew that that should've worried him.  The blood loss, the pain, the wound in his leg.  He didn't care.  He didn't know what was happening.

"Elle, I missed you."  He said to his delirium.

The woman shushed him.  Then darkness washed over Noir again.

"Up above the world so high, Like a diamond in the sky."  The woman's voice had a nice quality to it.  Noir just let it flow over him.  He didn't dream, he just heard the lullaby.  He felt content.

Noir woke up on a bed.  A soft bed, warm.  He felt sore.  He managed to get his eyes open, but the rest of his body didn't want to move.  He'd been left lying on his side, his wounded leg propped up on some pillows.  It gotten swollen, but a thick set of bandages covered his wound.  Noir didn't see any of his blood near the bed.

There was blood though.  All over the place.

He'd woken up in a large bedroom.  But it was covered in softer, cooler pastels.  Noir saw photos of a young woman in various dresses smiling.  And bloodstains covering the soft green walls, all depicting drawings.

Stick figures of various kinds.  Each was being mutilated.  Hearts and butterflies also covered the walls, watching the series of stick figure torture scenes.

Noir's nose snarled at the smell of rotting corpses.  His eyes darted to the threadbare flannel couch next to the bed.  It looked almost blackened by the detritus of human refuse.  Both of the stoners had been tossed onto the bed, their bodies still fresh enough to not yet balloon or rot yet.  They still stank, though.


There was a closet in the room as well.  It'd been left open, revealing a assortment of black prom dresses.  Dozens of them, all differing in style, cut and era.  Next to the only door out, Noir noted the artwork that hung there.  It only said, 'Life Is What You Make of It.'  He couldn't see any windows from his vantage point.

Noir wanted to get up and try to get out.  But his body felt hard.  Hard and immovable.  Pain still flowed into him.  He glanced down at his left hand, where he saw a bandage that wasn't there before.
Wanna see more like this?  See it on my dA page.

"Drugshh." Noir slurred the words.  Painkillers of some kind.  His captors had been kind enough to do that.

The door opened with a creak.

A woman in a black prom dress walked in.  She hummed as she entered.  No, not a woman, Noir noted.  She looked like she was sixteen.  Her hair was a bit frayed, but it'd been dyed red in places, with a bright red rose hanging in her dark brown hair.  She was a small, skinny thing, no taller than five feet from Noir's guesstimation.  She hummed the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.  Her dress looked tattered and dirty, like it'd seen more than its fair share.

Her eyes and face frightened him.  Her left eye had been covered black makeup, drawn into the shape of a heart.  Her teeth didn't look human.  They were sharpened.  They dripped with blood.  Her eyes themselves frightened him more.  Both eyes were totally black, absent of any whites, color, cholera or pupils.  Black and glistening with a mad stare.

"Shh."  She put a finger to her lips, cooing as she walked over to the corpses of Gary and Larry.  "Anna's here.  Its alright."

Friday, March 14, 2014

Portland in Black Aside 1

Portland In Black 

Ada Blackthunder shook her dishwater blond hair in irritation.  "No, I still don't understand sir.  Perhaps you should spell it out to me."  Her eyes both were green, and she didn't wear much makeup.  Her skin was a darkish color, but blended with somewhat sharp eyes and a strong chin.

Wilson frowned.  "I don't make the rules Ada."

"These aren't fuck-" Ada stopped herself.  She realized she'd been shouting, alerting everyone in the Green-Wyatt Federal Building could hear her.  The main presence of the Federal Government in Portland, the United States Multiversal Survey only had a tiny corner office.  Most of the time, Ada and others working with her felt like the black sheep, relegated to a tiny office far away from the main activities of the rest.

She waited until eyes stopped staring at her and Wilson as they walked back to the safety of their office.

"It has nothing to do with rules, you know that."  Ada finished.

Wilson scratched the back of his short black hair.  His thick glasses made Wilson look more akin to a owl rather than the USMS's West Coast Director.  "Yeah, but USMS needs every hand it can get to keep the funding up, Ada.  You know that.  You know the contact, and it was a personal request."

"Ugh.  Politics."  Ada Blackthunder shook her head.  "I don't like that necromancer, Wilson.  He takes stupid risks, and he's convinced he's doing the right thing."

"And that doesn't matter.  If they hadn't told us about the incident, we wouldn't have you going out to find him."  Wilson replied.  He kicked the door to the office open and sat behind his desk.  Blackthunder shut the door behind them.

"At least give me an idea of who the fuck thinks they can order us to do things like this."  Blackthunder inquired.  She didn't sit down, pacing with one hand on her belly.

"An old friend of the Bureau."  Wilson took a deep swallow of his coffee before finishing.  "The Hornes Foundation."

"Really?"  Blackthunder furrowed her brow.  "We are really taking orders from people who steal from our networks?"

"Its not stealing if they pay for them."  Wilson retorted.  "Even if it is after they hack into them."

"Ugh."  Blackthunder shook her head.  "How bad is this?"

"Ways and Means is opening an audit of the Bureau.  Lobbyists from the Foundation have made offers if we... are willing to do a few things to keep funding going.  They agree with our purpose, in a 'economic and industrial' capacity."  Wilson grimaced as he quoted the words.  "Honest, I said the same thing when they told me half an hour ago."

"I've got how long?"

"Before fifteen-hundred."  Wilson sighed.

Blackthunder moved to the door.  "I better get on it."

"Don't kill the guy, Ada."

She shook her head.  "No, I'll go and try to hire the arrogant prick to go pick a fight with a serial killer.  How bad will this get if Black Anna gets involved?"

Wilson shrugged.  "No way to tell.  Outside our jurisdiction, anyway.  You just have to point Noir Badarte at the bodies, and keep away afterward."

"Ugh.  Fine.  I'll be back as soon as I can."

And with that, Ada Blackthunder left.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Flash Fiction: Flickers in the Flame

Let it burn they told me.  Flesh that burns itches.  Or that's what I imagine it does.

They tie my wrists together.

Tight against the post.  So very tight.

I can hear their screams.

The fire consumes.  It purifies you.  It eats the flesh away.

Pain?  Just pain for a second.  Pain fades.  Like memories, they fade.

No more flesh, no more pain.  The mob took my flesh from me.  The witch hunt took me unto a pyre.

I'm still here.  Burning.

Centuries mean nothing anymore, just flickers in the flame.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Portland In Black 13

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Maybe because the guy was stoned.  Or maybe the house wasn't his to begin with either.  The front had been left open.  The chatter and laughter could be heard coming from inside.

A young guy laughed at it.  Then Noir recognized the smoke coming from inside.

"Ah.  Well, I could use the hit I guess."  Noir muttered to himself, recognizing the familiar hash smell.  He took a bit in.

Jesha frowned.  "What did you say?  I didn't hear you."

Noir shrugged.  "Nevermind.  Let me do the talking."

Noir walked in through the front door, knocking on its peeling white paint.  "Anybody home?"

"Wha...?"  One voice sounded half asleep.

"Hey- Uh-" Another stammered.

Noir walked into the room with his arms up.  He pulled out a small ziploc bag.  He waved it out.  "Got a light guys?"

The room looked unkempt, humid from the rainy air outside.  The two young men he'd seen from Ellie's memory stared blankly at him.  Both wore stocking caps.  Their shirts were stained.  The television kept going as they exchanged looks.  Their eyes were bloodshot, as both of them looked and smelled stoned to Noir.  That wouldn't hurt or anything, Noir surmised.

"Dude.  You can't come in here."

"Larry, man... what the hell?"

Noir rolled his eyes.  "Riiight.  I'm here.  You both awake enough now?"

The two of them exchanged looks again.  "Dude, Gary, he can't be in here, man.  This is your place, isn't it?"

Jesha sighed and walked in.  "Really.  We are just doing the home invasion thing now?"

"Guys, I need to talk to you, you know.  Its about last night."

"Can you leave us, dude?"  The flabbier, black-haired Gary asked, he pointed at the doorway behind Noir.

"Uh-huh."  Noir pointed to his swollen thumb.  "Guys, I need help, and I'm in pain.  I want to smoke some weed.  I want to talk to you about last night."


Jesha growled.  Both of the stoners paused.  Eyes widened.

"Last night.  Tell.  Us.  What.  Happened."  Jesha asked, each answer curt.

"Uh... I don't..." Larry glanced over at Gary.

"We can't do that, dudes."  Gary shook his head.  "Just leave us alone, ok?"

Noir cocked an eyebrow.  "Someone died last night after you guys had a food run last night.  Remember the girl at the register?"

Gary shook his head.  "Dude, don't.  Just... don't.  Its smarter that way."

"If you are in the know, dude, don't go screwing around with it."  Larry waved a hand.  "Fuck, we do cannibis, drink some brews and sit on asses here because we don't want anybody to think we know a damn thing."

"What if I wasn't?"  Noir asked.

"Larry, don't go blabbing."  Gary told his friend.  "If its the veil, they'll leave."

"It isn't the veil."  Jesha told them.  "Something attacked last night."

"Uh..."  Larry looked at Gary.

"A thing did."  Gary replied.  "We don't want the trouble, you know?"

"Trouble from who?"  Noir asked.  "The Wolf?  You scared of the killer?  You see him?"

Larry shuddered.  "Ain't no wolf we saw, dude.  No fucking way."

"Who..."  Jesha paused.  "She isn't involved is she?"

Noir looked at Jesha.  "She?"

Larry nodded.  Gary sighed.

"That good enough for you?"

Jesha growled.  "Not really.  I'd like details."

Gary shook his head.  "No way.  You don't understand-"

"Please guys.  Help us find the Wolf guy.  He needs to be stopped."  Noir tried his best to sound sincere.

Gary gave him a stiff glare.  "Dude.  You aren't listening.  There wasn't any Wolf last night.  C'mon.  If you aren't blinded by the Veil- Dude.  It involves her."

"Her who?"

"Gah!" Then Noir felt his left leg give out.  A flash of pain hit him.  He hit the floor, something ringing in his ears.  Gunshots echoed in his ears. "Fuck!"

Noir had landed on his broken thumb.  More pain flashed up him.

He heard crashes from above him.  Jesha, in her wolf form, crashed into the wall.  Gunmen continued to fire into the house.

The necromancer looked around.  Both Gary and Larry laid on their couch, frozen still.  Rain, blood and marijuana smoke drifted from them.  Noir cringed.

They didn't deserve that.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Portland In Black 12

Noir Bedarte is a necromancer with a heart of gold- and he finds himself in Portland Oregon, to find a new serial killer called the Wolf- but Portland's own insane undead have plans of their own for him.  Part 12.

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Noir didn't run, but he didn't walk slow either.  He followed the trail of purple flames on the ground, his eyes locked.  Other pedestrians gave him curious looks.

They couldn't see it.  They couldn't see the Geist either.  Noir knew that.  He hoped that they wouldn't pay too much mind because of all the rain.  Ignorance of a sort that protected people.  People of a sort, anyway.

"Noir!" Jesha called from behind him.  "Hey, wait up!"

Noir tried to focus on the trail.  It helped him to ignore the throbbing still coming up his arm from his swollen thumb.

"You need to let me help you, you know."  Jesha told him.

"I... didn't ask for you to tag along with me after Newport."  Noir replied.  "You'd decided you need to help me, not the other way around."

"You need the help."  Jesha flipped her rain soaked dreadlocks, spraying water as they hit a corner.  "C'mon, don't you feel the same connection?  Like, we were meant to meet."

"This have anything to do with that Wolf God thing of yours?"  Noir asked.  "Because I don't feel a thing."

Except for a throbbing pain in his thumb.

"No it isn't.  My faith has nothing to do with this.  We've hunted together, and I saw the way you look at me.  You aren't not attracted."

Noir let out a sigh.  "I really am not looking for a relationship, Jesha.  And you have to have a better reason than that to follow me around."

"You need the protection I think."  Jesha said, poking his swollen thumb.

"Ow!"  Noir pulled away from her as they stopped at a crosswalk.  A Don't Walk sign flashed red.  The rain seemed to have switched up from drizzle to buckets.  "Could we refrain from reminding me of that?"

"You need the reminder I think.  And a relationship IS that important Noir."  Jesha said.

"Still not interested."  Noir retorted.  "I have... prior commitments."

"Elle?"  Jesha asked.

The crosswalk light switched to a white walk sign.  Noir paused before continuing.  He didn't answer Jesha at all.

"Noir, please."  Jesha pressed.  "Its obvious.  How long have you been separated?"

Noir kept his silence.  He grinded his teeth.  This was frustrating for him.

"Noir, people get past these things."

"You don't understand."  Noir replied.

"Don't understand what, pain or relationships?" Jesha shook her head.  "Jeez.  What did she do to you?"

"It was more like what I didn't do for her."  Noir answered.  He cringed.

"Oh.  Noir."

"She isn't dead.  I thought she was... and I've been working on that for awhile now."  Noir told Jesha.

Jesha kept quiet.  The two of them just walked.  They followed the trail of purple fire and sparks for a little bit.  In silence.

"Thats your deal with that... that thing we met back at the diner isn't it?"  Jesha asked.  "He knows stuff about her doesn't he?"

Noir shrugged.  "It works."

"Thats- She- that can't work Noir.  You know that right?"  Jesha told him.  "Relationships don't work that way.  People don't just stay together that long.  How do you even know she's still alive?  Or that you can even trust It?"

They rounded a corner.  Purple fire ended.  The Hunter Geist floated before them, pointing at a old red house.

It faded from there view.

"There we are."  Noir said.


"Drop it for now, ok?"  He told her.  "Loyalty means... Its about Loyalty, ok?"

"I understand."  Jesha frowned.  "Don't be loyal to a corpse, Noir."

Noir walked forward into the old red house.

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Saturday, March 8, 2014

USMS Log Entry: Daniels.11011999.ND.YELLOW "Öndurdís"

USMS External Threat Profile: "Öndurdís"
Prior Log Entries

The first rift to the "Jotunheim" dimension discovered on the North American continent.  Agent Katherine Daniels encountered it while investigating a unrelated incident in eastern half of North Dakota.  She became trapped in the dimension's other side for three days, until Daniels was forced to make violent contact with natives.

The rift itself connects into the City of Öndurdís.  Populated by Giants (a variety referred to as Frost Giants, but the Log has very little more to add on that), the City had a tech level analogous to medieval Europe.  See below for a transcript of Daniel's debriefing. The rift opens at different times throughout the year.  It remains open for days on end.

The Jotunheim end of this Rift remains open for only one hour each day.  Daniels learned this after falling into the rift, which seems connected to a set of stables in Öndurdís.  After it closed, she spent the next Month (local time) trapped.  Natives ignored her, most being Giants.  Humans are not foreign species to the realm, as Daniels reported seeing a large variety of native humans in the City.


Native to the City are two intelligent species: Giants and local Humans.  Giants in Öndurdís match other reports of them in prior incidents with them.  Twenty feet tall, each Giant has strength and power on par with a elephant, but also with the same weaknesses as all large mammalia or related creatures.  Öndurdís seems to have lighter gravity, giving native Giants a better ability to resist tactics that work in Earth Gravity.

Giants in Öndurdís also seem to be of a lower tech level than us.  Firearms, modern alloys and scientific methodology haven't been seen in any interactions with them.

Culturally, Giants differ from Humans in that it seems Matriarchal- women dominate their hierarchy.  Males seem to have to follow specific rules within Öndurdís itself.  Parallels to Elephants in this was noted by Daniels in her report.  Giants seem to have a monarchy of sorts, and the main religion doctrine Daniels learned of was centered around the Worship of Skadi, a frost giant figure that Norse mythology has referred to as well.  If any rifts connect to Scandinavia, the USMS has very little evidence one way or another.

Native humans in Öndurdís seem to be a slave caste.  Daniels noted a variety of purposes native humans were used for.  The main usage almost ended in her own death.


Öndurdís itself seems to be content to not keep contact with our side of the rift, for the time being.  The City does not acknowledge the Rift, preferring to keep their side sealed for the time being.  The rift itself remains open, however.

Daniels believes that the current Queen of Öndurdís fears our side of the Rift.  References to some sort of native monster on our world seems to have frightened the Queen and other powers in Jotunheim to leave Earth be.  For the moment.

Worrying is the Giants' heavy use of Human slaves and chattel.  The seem to not consider humans of any sort to be sentient, more on par with domesticated livestock than anything else.  Despite any active threats, the USMS keeps the Öndurdís rift at condition Yellow.  It is advised to avoid further contact and find ways to gather further intelligence.  Despite the current avoidance of the natives, it seems they might attempt a incursion if convinced of the absence of the Monster they perceive exists on our side of the Rift, something they just call The Wolf.


SUPERVISING AGENT: I'm sorry, we know how hard the past few days have been-

DANIELS: That's fine.  I know the routine.  You have to be certain I know what I saw.

SUPERVISING AGENT: More or less.  We still want some more information on the humans native to this dimension.  Can you go over that again?

DANIELS: Its... Well.

SUPERVISING AGENT: Take your time, Katherine.

DANIELS: Right.  They've been bred as slaves for awhile I think.  They are like us, but I think there is some selective breeding the Giants force on them.  They seem dumber, more willing slaves.  More like domesticated animals.

SUPERVISING AGENT:  Willing?  Are you sure of that?

DANIELS:  I know, it sounds... kind of biased of me.  But I'm certain they think more like that.  The ones I interacted with seemed... damaged somehow.  Immature at least with their emotions and self control.  But... despite even that, I couldn't get over... ugh...

SUPERVISING AGENT:  You never said how many you had to see at the slaughterhouse.

DANIELS: I... It was a whole herd.  Single hammer blows to the head.  Then they started... filleting.   I... (sobbing) Can we stop?  I can't... the blood...

SUPERVISING AGENT: I... think we have enough, yeah.  Thank you.

DANIELS: (still crying) Yes sir.  They... eat them.  So many of them.  They are... (inaudible)

[transcript ends]