Moonrise CH23 – Reunion

Can Massey really trust Anne? Is she being honest with him? Can one cop stand alone against a city filled with superpowered people, a city orchestrated by a megalomaniac?

Article 94


[1127 words – Prompts: Inspiration Monday, #3WW, Sunday Photo Fiction, Sunday Scribblings 2, The Writing Reader]Massey threw his phone on the passenger seat. His cruiser growled when he changed lanes and direction. He triggered his lights and the siren cleared a path for him.

Meet me at 483 Eastlake Ave East in 30 minutes.

This is too easy, he thought. It hadn’t been twenty-four hours since Anne called him and offered a truce. Even then she hadn’t been certain of when or how. She was always cautious. Then, overnight, the Madison Massacre happened. Anne was silent about it, but now she voiced urgency through an untraceable number. She wanted a quick meeting, no questions asked. Massey could tell that something significant had happened; something had stirred loud and scary enough to drive Anne to this meeting. That something was prone to be bad.


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Brief dreams

Her palm displayed tiny purple crescent shaped marks where her jagged nails had dug into her wind bruised skin. She traced them, the slowly fading proof of her anxiety and allowed her lungs a long intake of the sharp October air. Long night, time to go home, she thought. She toyed with the car keys in her parka pocket, squeezing the furry key chain through the fabric. A talisman, a memory. The simple motion eased her mind, relaxed her shoulders. Tugging her scarf securely around her neck she made her way towards her cab. Lights off, interior coated in dark. No, some light on, the lamp. The dark is too close still. Amelia listened to the engine. It was barely above the prolonged silence around her. No, not home. Not yet.

She parked the cab in front of the bar two blocks away from her apartment complex.

“Double,” she announced to the empty stools and the single woman working behind the bar. Dead night, cold weather. Not a soul to stay.

“Hey there. You’re early off tonight. Long shift?”

 “Bad dream,” Amelia said, her voice hoarse. “A Lucid dream,” she added as she sat on the bar shivering from the adjustment of her cold cab and cold street to the booze fragranced coziness of the bar.

“A what?” Keely looked at her through the poor kaleidoscope created by a beer pitcher.

“Lucid dream. When you know that you are dreaming in your dream.”

Keely made a notable noise.

“I’ve heard about those. Some freaky shit, right? You want some coffee?”

Amelia shook her head.

“Something stronger and double. Has it ever happened to you?”

A shrug. She wore a lazy smile unscathed by bad dreams.

“You want to tell me about it?”

Amelia took the drink with thanks. It was over in one thirsty swallow. Amelia hadn’t realized how much she needed it.

“Not really.” She paused staring into the empty glass waiting for the burn to settle in her stomach and warm it. “Can I have another?”

The bottle tipped over the small glass pouring to the edge.

“It made me think of another…dream. I don’t know what to call it. All too real but still impossible. Lucid again? I don’t know. Funny I remembered it today or at all. It happened when I was about eight.”

“Was it a nightmare too?”

Amelia pressed two fingers on the spot between her eyes. Bullseye she thought as she massaged the throbbing dot.

“Most of my dreams are nightmares I think.” She smiled bittersweet, returning the condoling smile Keely offered her. “That one was different. For a long time I thought it wasn’t just a weird progression of my dream, that I had actually been awake in my room having all these thoughts and emotions. Being so scared…How could it have been a dream?”

Keely poured herself some of the same and joined Amelia with a small clink of glass on glass. “So, tell me about it.”

The noise had stirred Amelia from her sleep. It first existed there, tugging at her from the depths of her colorful REM, pretentious and demanding attention, averting Amelia’s thoughts from innocence to worry. If the noise was the music of her dream, Amelia wished it go away. But it persisted and she felt herself snuggle tighter against her blanket, the dream nearly over. She awoke, whatever sleep was left rolling off her eyelids like tears. The room was as it should, dark and hushed and after moments Amelia could see the outlines of her toys and her desk, and the wardrobe tightly shut. But she could also hear the noise and it wasn’t a part of her dream anymore. It was real. And it was coming from outside.

Amelia’s wide eyes traveled to the window. She pushed up the safety of the blanket and got up. The noise was outside but it vibrated heavily inside her, hurting her chest. The want to call for her mother or father was etched on her face, but Amelia found herself climbing on the window ledge, tiny feet and sweaty toes, small fingers clutching the windowpane.

From her window she could clearly see past the neat little garden and onto the brightly lit street visible through the naked autumn trees. There was a procession of seven hooded people walking up the street. They cast strange shadows and the more Amelia watched them, the more they seemed to be moving backwards, convulsing from some strain to detach themselves from their people. The street lights became hushed, faint with ill yellow light. As the group proceeded their shadows lagged back until they disappeared. Shadowless the figures glided further.

Amelia knew they carried the noise. At first it was a chant, a low gibberish sounding one, wordless words that came in whistles and breathy whispers, choked syllables that frightened her, just like in her dream, but now Amelia could understand them and they called upon The Witch. They didn’t seem to have faces underneath the brown hoods and Amelia wondered where the sound came from. It grew so strong her whole body began hurting. She opened her mouth to scream, but the thunder of their chant was so powerful, Amelia wasn’t sure she had made any noise at all.

The group of seven plucked their invisible hands deep into their robes and produced black candles which were lit and burned with the brightest and cruelest flame Amelia had seen.

The leading figure was taller than the rest. He was tightly bound in chains, visible pale hands clasped in a prayer close to his chest. With a gasp Amelia realized he was their prisoner. The chant flowed still, speaking words of blood magick and consecration, of his blood tasted on the old tongue of The Witch for immortality, for knowledge, for power.

It had become so cold not in her room but inside her. Amelia’s teeth chattered audibly. She didn’t want to hear no more of the bad words. They frightened her so much and brought impossible images into her mind which made her shiver. Her tiny voice rang out in a long and squeaky scream. The chant broke and the procession stopped. She counted seven heads turn towards her in unison. They stared she knew as she could feel whatever eyes were hidden beneath those hoods pierce her. Amelia thought she would wet herself.

She felt the tears, the huge wet droplets trickle down her freezing cheeks, the bubble of saliva forming on her thin pink lips, the running snot from her nose. She hoped they couldn’t see her truly, couldn’t hear her cry, the bad men, the evil women, the shapeless ones. But even if they had they slowly averted their concealed faces away from her. Only the tall figure watched her still. His hood slipped showing the faintest trace of blue lips on a pale skin. They curved into a smile for the shortest moment but she caught the briefness of that contact. A smile, just for her. The prisoner turned his head away as the procession assumed their chanting glide along the asphalt. The street lights blinked away from submission. They lit the road as brightly as before.

“So, what happened next?”

Amelia pinned the last shot to her wet lips and tipped its continence down her sore throat.

“It was daytime. I don’t remember falling asleep. I don’t remember anything at all after that up until my mom came in the room.”

Keely dabbed her hands on a clean cloth. They were bright pink from the hot water she had been working ash trays underneath.

“It’s creepy, I’ll give you that. But you know how they say we don’t remember things accurately. Our minds easily trick us with false information. I betcha’ something like that happened to you.”

Amelia jiggled her car keys in her pocket feeling for the lucky key chain. “Like I imagined it?”

“Yeah, maybe. Otherwise…” Keely left her thought unfinished. She circled the bar and reached for the small button shutting off the “Last call for alcohol” blue neon sign hanging above the bar. She put an arm around Amelia and the two went out into the damp autumn cold.

 “You want a ride?”

Keely shook her head as she worked the lock.

“I’m trying to walk more, get some exercise. Even downloaded some app on my phone measuring how many steps I’ve walked during the day.”

Amelia made a snorting sound.

“We’ll see who’s laughing when your ass can’t fit into that cab seat no more.”

Amelia chuckled and waved Keely a good-bye.


She followed the voice back to her friend. Keely, skinny frame huddled in a large jacket, looking at her with those silver eyes.

 “I could be real. It could be that you lived through that and saw those people. Who knows? It shouldn’t be denied as a possibility. I get told many stories when I’m behind that bar but they are hardly ever sincere. They are mangled, put through a grinder. None of them sound possible. You got emotional when you told yours. I trust emotions like that, especially fear. Fear is possible. So, I believe you.”

Amelia took a step back from her cab. “You believe my dream was real? Or that it’s just a story?”

Keely shrugged. Neither.

“I believe that you saw those people and they saw you. Goodnight, Amy.”

Keely’s fingers gestured a wave and she disappeared behind the corner. Amelia pulled the key chain from her pocket and unlocked the cab. She slipped inside its unwelcoming coldness and sat there while the lights changed red to yellow to green and again. There was a burning tingle in her palm like sharp needles. When she eased her fingers loose the purple crescent marks had reappeared.



Moonrise CH22 – Old Friends

Hushed conversations ala noir, plots done in dark rooms, old enemies becoming new friends. Are Anne and Massey going to team up?

Article 94


[1049 words – Inspiration Monday, #3WW, Sunday Scribblings 2, The Writing Reader]Anne took a cab instead of her personal car. She didn’t think Globe would put a tracking device on it, but she had to be smart, and this way smarter. Where she was going and with whom she was meeting wasn’t any of Globe’s business.

The taxi left dropped her off downtown in a familiar neighborhood. This was all buildings where the first floor of every structure was boarded up and the street corner she stood on collected hungry eyes, lifeless eyes that ogled her top to bottom. She paid them no mind. If she had to make an example out of one of the apartment denizens, then so be it. Her dealer’s residence was in the dingy apartment complex across the street, the brown brick façade had attracted wealthy tenets at one time, but…

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Moonrise CH21 – Crimson Reverie

Dangerous tasks call for dangerous actions. Can Joaquin deliver on a promise? Can Massey find out where Anne is hiding?

Article 94


[1012 words – Inspiration Monday, #3WW, The Writing Reader]Detective Massey hit the brakes on his patrol car two blocks before his house.

“Why we stoppin’ here?” Joaquin asked frowning in clear confusion. We need to be doin’ things, he thought.

Massey squinted his eyes when he checked the rear-view mirror. He seemed to take in the street behind them, then he sighed. “I need you to kindly do me a favor.” His eyes met Joaquin’s via the reflective glass.

Joaquin raised his eyebrows.

“An officer from the precinct, Betty Patterson will come by the house soon.”

Joaquin allowed a lighthearted grin. “You playa! I knew you wasn’t all just rules and shit.”

Massey rolled his eyes. “It’s not like that.” He sighed, the tiring events of the last few days evident on his face. “I need you to stay put there and take the file she…

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Moonrise CH20 – Insignificant Other

Things are not always what they seem. Are we getting a glimpse at the mad scientist?

Article 94


[1078 words – Inspiration Monday, #3WW, Sunday Scribblings 2]It took longer than was needed for Doctor Globe’s motorcade to reach its destination. Globe sighed more than once as his driver stopped to allow the ambulances to catch up to the limousine. Onlookers were kept at bay from the compound with the double fence and razor wire, but each gap between vehicles allowed the crowd to flow back across the gate. Globe’s men corralled the people away from the road and allowed the ambulances to follow.

Once inside the lab, Globe again had to wait. The bodies had to be prepped before entering the impromptu “morgue” his team built a few days before securing the “bodies.” Despite the sterile whiteness of the small tent hidden in the basement space next to his lab, the Madison Park Massacre victims emanated a pale blue light that seemed to shine brighter…

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Moonrise CH19 – Motivation

Ah, classy villains and their deep, dark secrets. What’s Globe doing under the surface?

Article 94


[1140 Words – Inspiration Monday, #3WW, Sunday Scribblings 2] A trembling blond woman pounded her palms against the rear window of the limousine. She couldn’t see Doctor Globe through the tinted windows, but her bulging, teary eyes stared at him nonetheless. Globe studied her for some time. She was one of the parents who were unfortunate to have lost their children to the “Madison Butcher.” Globe imagined she blamed herself for letting her little boy or girl, he couldn’t remember which, out that day in the care of some friend of hers. Now her child was gone, and she was demanding of the good doctor with those sorrowful eyes that he return her child through some magic medicinal trick. Globe got bored of her deaf mumbles, her voice inaudible in the general cacophony surrounding his car. A member of the facility security team pulled her away and…

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The Year of the Heddagh – Chapter 10

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9


The peck on his cheek was warm and sweet coming with a breath carrying beer. Knox smiled at the touch and his eyes caught the girl. He wandered away from the loud music, the speakers entering a dull retreat as he separated from his friends and followed her like a hitchhiker in the dark.

“Is this were you live?” He asked her giving in to the tight pull of her fingers on his wrist.

“No, just a place to stay,” she called back as she shrugged off her jacket. He lingered on the way her accent whispered his name, sounding more foreign, ancient almost. “Come, Knox”. She put her leg against the small balcony and propped herself up her belly pressed tightly onto the rail. Knox watched her pale hair spill down her shoulders, a mischievous glint in her grey eyes turned black by the night. He heard the shatter of glass muffled by her jacket.

“What are you waiting for?” She hissed through an amused giggle.

What was he waiting for really? He wanted to object but her frame disappeared inside the engulfing dark and he rushed to catch the tips of her pale fingers reaching from inside the shadows.

He fought to be nearer to her flushed skin. Her fingers became claws on his back, her teeth razor sharp grazing against his skin. Knox forgot to ask her name.

In the small Austrian house the early morning was a lazy bluish filter and Knox shivered, wrapping his clothes tighter around his frame. She had watched him sleep before disappearing abandoning him in a stranger’s home. Not wanting to lose the memory of her and the previous night Knox. He stumbled into the living room finding it empty just like the rest of the house. He wondered whether its owner was among the many celebrating through the night on the town’s square. The small space spoke of someone elderly; some millennial dust had settled down on the dark wooded furniture. The room was filled with newspapers and books stacked in piles by the fireplace. Knox fumbled through some meeting unknown authors with unknown subjects. He let the last book slip through his fingers, his eyes caught by something different. An oddity.

His hand reached for the unprotected strange statue atop the mantelpiece above the fireplace. He pried it free from its enclosure, tiny bones, dried thistle, feathers. The tips of his gloved fingers glided on the smooth back of the deer creature. He slipped the glove off wriggling his fingers free. There was a certain warmth to it, a weight which beat against his bare skin. Like a heartbeat, Knox thought smiling at the soothing motions his fingers were playing against the thistled, horned head. The red eyes bore into his own, and for a split second he thought of taking it with him like a souvenir. He measured its value by his need to own it like a remnant of her, of Austria in the fall with all its mist and might. Eyebrows furrowed Knox halted his hand midair into putting the totem in his pocket. Something deep in him stirred, a memory of something awful resurfacing.

He gagged at the sudden pain sharpening his bones, prickling his skin. There were pale blue eyes pinned against his own, the words of an old man banging at his skull. Knox retreated his hand palm closing on thin air. He couldn’t bring himself to take the totem. Subliminally he knew that once in a different life he had also taken it and held it but the memory was brief and enlisted in painful imagery that he forgot the instant. In his hungover clumsiness he left the tiny house the way she had led him in.


On the other side of time in the continuum flowing with godly tears Freyr cast a small shadow among his brethren. They were voiceless for him though their mouths screamed and their faces contorted in anger that was both primal and full of vigor. Hermóðr and Ítreksjóð stood among them their faces still as carved of stone but they judged nonetheless. When he walked they averted their eyes, ashamed to see the betraying son and brother depart them.

The Goyar shot his one full eye at the old man as waited for Freyr on the steps of time. His glint was dulled but it re-sparkled when Freyr, the first son moved beside the beast to be led away.