Category: Storyteller Journal

Lord, save me.

Zachary the hunter.

I’m a redeemer. Most would take a look at me and think, he’s a killer. A murderer. Or they just see the clerical shirt and think why has God forsaken me, maybe he knows. I don’t know more than the next person. I know too much. This world is too much for me, but I wake and trudge through it, finding small things to keep me moving. It just takes a step, a non-spoken thank you, but those I save are soon running the other way.zach-church

Like last week, Larissa Maria Garcia Jimenez wouldn’t wake up. Nothing could force her to see the people around her. The doctors checked on her, but something about the blood work and a lack of insurance sent them packing. Cops couldn’t blame the parents r drugs, she was a model student and hadn’t touched a dimebag. So they turned to religion. That fucking Catholic shit head took a piece while she laid there. I hope he wore a condom.

So before the religious wackjobs could make things worse, I came in. The smell of the fiend nearly tossed me into a corner to puke my guts up. There was nothing left of the girl, just some bane writhing away in the flesh and bone the soul was torn from. Thank god she was dead and couldn’t feel or see that priest rutting into her. But now it’s my thankless task to deal the killing blow. She’s gone so far, mind questionable, body on the verge of sweating shit, and the needler would soon open those eyes and eat the family.

I’m a redeemer. I’m supposed to find those I can save, question the monsters. I found one.

It wasn’t the girl. Larissa was beyond saving. But this one Sister, taking the name of her station as her own, wearing a habit, miniskirt, and fishnets. She could walk around in whore’s garb all she wanted. Something pure remained, a soul not on a spar.

I didn’t go to save the girl. I went to save Sister. She needed to see and understand the way I did. You can hear people tell you about the shit in the night. Even vampires and wolves don’t have a clue how deep the pits of hell go. Not until it stares back. She came and helped, like I hoped she would. Peeling back the eyelids, white orbs yellowed jaundiced, and flies buzzing over everything.

“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven…” She gave me a weird look. Maybe expecting the bible. “It’s Milton. He was a blind man, had to listen to the words, really hone in on them. Without sight, he saw more than his peers. Whatever happened to Larissa, she invited in. It just takes a single chink in the armor. Maybe the girls at school pushed with their hate. Maybe she wanted to vomit her food nightly to be skinny enough for the boys. Maybe the only way was death.” I turned over her thin wasted arm, old marks of cutting criss-crossing like a fucked up google map.

“They can even enter you. I don’t know what’s luring so many here. I don’t think it’s your people.” I could swear she jumped a little. Hell, most hunters call vampires some of the most foul things. If it wasn’t for divine blessings and keeping an eye on each other, hunters would and could fall first. I know some fucked up killers passing themselves off as protectors. “You need to be careful, Sister. Most people I find, I can only help into death. But there are a few…that I do save.” I think I smiled at her, but with this job, it’s hard to know. Larissa died without fanfare, easy into the night. That’s what her parents were told. The battle was brutal, and Sister even gave me a shoulder to lean on when I thought I would pass out.

I’m a redeemer. But sometimes, I need to be redeemed. The old pancake place smells of burnt grease and coffee. Smoke is thick above our heads. The pie doesn’t have a single real fruit in it. But for the first time in a long time, I feel pretty good about things.

Hello, listeners…

His voice flickered back as some electro gothic swing song quieted just enough to hear.

“Sorry for slipping away, listeners, you will never believe who was just here. Remember a few years ago, we had a bit of…interesting visitor. He was tall and dark and had a sense of being handsome, though the gold chains did nothing for him.”stephen-tremere

Stephen leaned into the microphone, taking up a flute of still warm blood. He pressed his tongue to a fang, letting his mouth fill with his own blood. “I called him the Lone Shadow Wolf at the time. And what he wanted was a ghastly yet, terribly interesting affair. Some way to capture memories of a kine memories, perhaps through a domination of the mind, to see again. We toyed with many different ideas, and frankly, I was hooked with curiosity.”

His hands fanned into jazz hands just remembering it as if yesterday. Victor was his real name, and his pack along with, and that yummy ghoul. A pity, because Stephen did enjoy nibbling on men and women that kept themselves fit to the point of busting seems if they flexed. The more the exercise, the better the taste. Or so is doctor told him. Even vampires needed to watch their diet.

“We attempted a variation on the Path of Spirit within a thrice canted circle. Oh, so much blood was used, and really we were fit to be tied to try it. But the only kine available was that hunk. I’ll call him…Edwin. He looks like an Edwin.” He tilted back the blood, continuing on. “There we were, my robed friends in semicircle, Lone Shadow Wolf, Edwin, and their pack in opposite. But we outnumbered them. And well…they did bring the books…and the expensive magical ingredients…soooo we weren’t about to let something liiiike…agreements keep us from indulging.”

He glanced up to a bright halo of light shining down on his desk and laptop. “While my friends rushed them, I already tendriled magic to snare Edwin. All I wanted was a nice chat, maybe a taste of blood. I thought certainly someone like him had amazing memories to discuss and pluck free. Unfortunately, a few of my friends, who are no longer among the unliving, frenzied. They nearly drained him dry there on the spot.”

“I remember telling Lone Shadow Wolf to embrace the dear lad. It was that or kill him. Nothing else could save him. By the treatise of Phendric, I never thought I would see him again. I offered to help him, hide his memory of the painful event with our new ritual. But Lone Shadow Wolf would have not—”

Explosions rocked into the building, shaking and shattered stone, cement and wood alike. Stephen tossed far against and through a wall. He landed in a fluttering of clothing on fire, the screams and wails of his kindred brethren. Squelching down his fear and fright, the Tremere fought through the remains and still falling cement to stare at the bent ironwork. The heavy rituals kept them from the brunt of the explosion, but not entirely unscathed. Soon even the Camarilla would know what was on the 18th floor of the Frost building.

Digging through the showering remains of his sleeping chamber, he found the blue tooth headset. “Hello? Primogen, yes. So…everything exploded and is on fire. We have a bit of a…situation?”

He wished he could sigh, and hoped this wasn’t some form of retribution for helping save Edwin’s life.

Fetish Dreams

avatar-fukimoavatar-deaconBright lights floated back and forth, a slow sort of strobe against the fabric pulled tight over her eyes. Hands pulled hard at her arms, twisting till the bone and tendon pulled free of sockets. Ropes wound through her bent back arms, tying around wrists, holding her in place. Ah how Fukimo loved these games, pushing the limits of undeath and pleasure, redefining pain, such a fantastic life. Every moment was a form of art, and the artist every man and woman that tortured her. In truth, they tortured themselves far more.The experience shared something deep and moving between then two. She learned so much from her lovers. And the movies became a library of momentos.

Rough large hands pulled her around, spinning her bodies in slow circles. Her toes tapped over some soft, silken surface. Sheets, a bed, but so far out of reach. She hung her for nights and days, pain giving way to some heated rush until finally she couldn’t feel anything but pain and this softness under her toes. The strangest of sensations.

Time ceased to exist as the man that tied her up watched her, never touching. He would ask her questions time and again. To describe her home, where she was born, what life was like as a human before her fall into vampirism. Her first hunt and kill. Her favorite way to feed. Songs she enjoyed. All the while, she felt such burning pain in her limbs. An odd sort of mix she experienced before. Ah what a long series of nights that was.

Finally as he promised, the five days ended. He lifted her, cutting the bindings, dropping her on the bed. Hunger throbbed behind her eyes, set veins a flame. Across from her was a young man, drugged, eyes watching her sluggishly. Cuts along his forearm bled to give her the scent. Frenzy consumed her mind, sending her writhing close to him, unable to move her arms. There she ripped open his throat, glutting herself on his blood, the white sheets, white garments, sprayed in fresh blood. When finally she came to her senses, the same hands that tied her lifted her from the bed to settle her into a fresh hot tub.

With absolute care, Deacon washed Fukimo. Never did he fuck her in some traditional way, or have her near death. He just enjoyed the sensual way she moved and moaned, her stories, and finally how she fed.

“You are…such a tormented romantic.” She smiled and rested, letting the bubbles and water turn red.

Archons and Bad Memories

avatar-demarcoSkin tightened, knuckles pulled taunt under tendon to popping. Demarco opened her hand wide then clenched, tighter every time. Muscles sounded like leather, creaking in the dead flesh. But pain? Hardly. She had born more damage and hell than most in Victor’s regime. She stood even now, listening to the wet sounds of bones bones grinding, some sputtering voice sounding foreign to her. Anyone with a broken jaw sounds like they spoke something else, like Dutch or Swedish. It annoyed her trying to decipher real information at times like these.

“Pleashh ash whean …fon…” A drooling mess of blood frothed and dribbled into a puddle below. Some bitch made the wrong choice. Now everything smelled of food and urine. Demarco would have a seriously difficult time eating later. Maybe.

“For fuck’s sake, Victor. Just feed the cunt.” She spat at him, brows dipping.

The Lasombran bishop kept grinning over the bitch, legs apart, muscles rippled under a blood stained wife beater. A thin gold chain snaked over his back, a tiny gold charm hanging from it. She’d had it imprinted into her own cheek a few times when he got the urge for something old school.

“Fuck no. If she wants healing, she’ll earn it. So come on. What’s it going to be?” His fist reared back in the gloom, shadows coiling around it, sickly whisper droning from within.

“N..no…no…shtolp…yessh yesh. Ma…Mashxmeellon…shent werd….archon…” She forced words through bones that ground and popped, jarred worse as Victor gripped his shadow writhing fist into her rumbled shirt.

Yanking her nose to nose, he tried to stare through her head for anything real. Blood burned turned to life, his eyes on her eyes, thrumming a clear demand.

“Tell me everything.” Everything, you saw, you heard, you know. Now.

Tears spilled down her face, watering the blood that flowed, breathing blowing bubbles into the spittle. “ARCHON! He’sh called archon. Rain…Rainer. Rainer. Week ago. Sshome malk….fuck…” Victor backhanded her with the shadowed fist, tendrils gripping as it swiped past. He knew the name, vaguely, but that was enough. Tender bones twisted like a helix in her neck, lolling her head till an ear laid on her shoulder.

“You’re fucked now.” Demarco glowered further.

“I don’t need more from the bitch. Just toss her out. Why would Maxmilian call for an archon? He’d lose what control he had over the city and court bringing one in.” His hand opened letting the dead secretary drop to the floor like a soiled pair of pants.

“Do I look like I would know? Not my job.” She followed Victor to his office from the bathroom turned torture chamber.

An array of soaps laid around a fancy sink. He squirted multiple scents and components till he was certain every lick of her scent, flesh, blood, and sweat would be gone to his liking. Washing up after a long night of torture was a fine end to the ceremony of information gathering. Much like a shower after a good fuck.

“It’s simple. Maxmilian entered this city thinking he’d get a damn good fight with the Sabbat. Smash through our lines, since we must be limp shit being so quiet with Dorn in power. He brings in a bunch of goons, pulls favors, preps for a clean kill.”

“But it doesn’t go down that way. Dorn cranks up the heat by turning the entire Cam court cold on him. Few are willing to turn on Dorn, but those that do give him a slight advantage. He knows there are spies. And having the Nosferatu silent as the grave tells him they are in some serious shit, perhaps by us, or they are boycotting and in the pocket of Dorn.”

“Dorn of course gives him nothing but pain. Political pain. And from this guy’s past, politics was probably handled with a sword and kingly decree. For all we know, he was a fucking knight of the crusades. He decides to take care of the Nosferatu problem, a genius move to rid himself of them if they did follow Dorn. But now I have a good feeling their old Seneschal just left a stinking bag of burning shit on their doorstep. Ah Butch did good with that one.”

“So what does he do?” Victor scrubbed with a small brush, back and forth, ridding his pale flesh of blood and gore. “He prepares to fight. And then the good ol’ Sabbat declare war. It’s a time of war. But worse, something had the Nosferatu by the throat. He’s not keen on what that was. I’m sure his spies already ferreted out a few details. Jake had nothing to do with it. Neither Dorn. Not the Sabbat. So what or who?”

Demarco leaned back, arms crossed as he laid it all out.

“He does the proper thing, the risky thing. Call in an Archon and have them investigate the Nosferatu angle. A nice third party to make a peace offering to the Nosferatu while he continues with his war. And if we strike while the Archon is here, and he wins, he earns more brownie points. Ah, not a bad plan.”

“We’re of course going to fuck it up for him.” That brought a nice grin to her face. “And you have a plan.”

“Oh yes, yes I do. And it starts with Butch and the Dirty Deeds breaking into Frost.”

Her grin died into a frown. “Victor…why the fuck are you letting him go?”

“Relax, we did our job well. And that pack has the balls to get in and out, no problem. And when they get out, they can give us a better idea of what’s inside.”

Demarco moved behind Victor, glaring holes into him. “I know they’ll get in. But Victor if he remembers, if the domination breaks. He’ll figure it out.” Victor turned to see some actual concern and care in those deep brown eyes of the woman, someone he thought didn’t have a shred of humanity left in her damned body. “Then what?”

“He won’t. Butch hasn’t faltered yet. He won’t. Got it? Now, let’s plan out what to do if that Archon does show up.”

Betrayals

avatar-charlotteLight glimmered over numerous cut panes of glass, mellowed through to golds and coppers, filling the room just right. Charlotte could lay on the dark leather couch, staring over the reflections upon the ceiling, french molding making such a fine border, like a frame…a painting…of light. Dorn surrounded herself with art, antiques, refined interests. Yet the most beautiful of things, she never noticed. Not like Charlotte.

Turning her head slightly, she spied the suit dressed Ventrue behind her desk. One hand cradling a snifter of brandy bloodwine, the other tugging at a length of hair behind an ear. Electric blue lights blinked at that ear, the ever present blue tooth device whispering messages, foot soldiers to the general.

Why do you follow Dorn? A series of notes made their way to her library, tucked into favorite books, asking questions like this. Why Dorn, what brought her to Austin, did she enjoy being a trophy whore, all sorts of simple to atrocious questions. The Malkavian did not care so much, but she needed to bring them up with her childer. At some point. But they kept slipping her mind.

“I left the package with my contact. It should be left— Yes. Of course. You should receive a signal once it’s within the amplifiers. Until then, it might be difficult to track.” Dorn stared through the glass, watching the red amber liquid change the pale color of Charlotte’s face. “I have ways of checking it’s arrival. Ah Briggs, have I ever failed?” She gave a laugh that never touched her eyes. Cold, methodical, not just Ventrue but part of herself.

Reaching into a pocket, Charlotte brought out a small book of verses written by Keats. Flipping open, a card met her eyes. Dorn has betrayed you.

Lost Packages

The fist landed after the backhand, leaving welts upon flesh made as teeth cut into lips. A perfect reflection of a sparkling white smile ruined over the loss of a package. Susan watched on with a startling smooth expression.

“This gentleman was supposed to deliver the package days ago, Susan. Days. Not an hour or a few minutes. And yet I still find myself bereft of my expected arrival.” Perfect articulation from pale lips, a jaw sharp enough to cut glass. He might be her dominator, keeping her enthralled upon his blood, but Susan knew he answered to another.

She didn’t fear her master. She feared his.

“Mr. Thompson, I’m afraid so. I’ve tried to determine what happened to the package through the main office, but they…were unable to provide answers.” The package was set to arrive two days before, in the morning. Insurance on the property claim drove the FedEx delivery man before the graces of the office. The amount of money due for losing the package demanded his reporting it not only to the home office, but the company receiving the check. He had not left this room since.

The deputy turned driving down his foot, Thom Browne loafers crashing upon bone till it bent and cracked. A shaft white splattered in blood carved through so much flesh. The screams were nothing in comparison to the anger in Neil’s throbbing temples. Frenzy sharpened his senses, the sense of duty, the impending arrival of elders a living breathing thing threatening at the door. Time flew too fast.

His damned ghoul had failed him, but could not be bothered with pain upon herself. Any damage would require his healing draught of blood, leaving him hungry and angry. Better she squirm with the knowledge this man would die and lie on her conscience.

Gripping the throat of the mewling retch, Neil drove deeply into his head, sifting through memories with dominance. The delivery boy was nothing more than that, but torture made him feel better.

His cell rang, a growled command answered it. “I found something. Come to my office.”

Susan noticed something she had not before. Mr. Thompson feared the sheriff too.

 

The Age of OH YES

Lights twisted in a helix of pure blue white through a room backlit bloody red. A staircase effect turned the savage quality of the usual rocker stage into a harsh cut futuristic scene. Curved shapes ended in jutted metal in the cast lights, easily overlooked as broken robots and torn streets. Electric sparks flared to the bottom right, then top left, a slightly nerve grinding creak of metal clashed behind.

“And…mist.” With a tap of tablet, the final element hissed to life.

“Have to say, you outdid yourself. Looks fantastic.”  Dorn looked down from her favored seat, far back, center, elevated just four inches to ensure untouched viewing.

The figure looked upon his creation, satisfied, giving a deep bow. “You mean brilliant. Of course! This premiere will top the last. It took just a bit of work, melted and sharded buckets and chairs, rebar, sound effect and lights, and we have the perfect Age of Ultron viewing party room. Of course, deserts and treats will on you.”

“I always deliver, Patrick. Never shall I fail such a glorious movie, or my fine keeper. Are the invitations sent entirely? Has every chair been filled?”

Lights raised in slow degrees warming the chill features of a man giving Dorn the hardest look ever mustered. In fact, it might have been the positively manliest moment of his life. Thick black rimmed glasses, tragically 70s plaid, off-white tight pants, and loafers. He might have been a hipster, if not for the superman cape.

“You are not inviting them are you?”

“And if I were?”

The seriousness cracked as fine china tossed from a window, nearly making a squeak of pleasure. “Make sure one is cute. Thank the gods of tiny liquor bottles! I have no way of passing the word. We can’t have epic battles between super heroes and nefarious machines without a few party crashers!”

Dorn stepped elegantly between the chairs of the newly minted Alamo. One strong hand raised to lie simply upon his shoulder, drawing him intimate close for a breath of time. “Trust me. You might even get someone for your lap. Or you may end up in their laps. But first, the drinks. Blondes or brunettes?”

“We need two scarlets. Seriously, Shane. Don’t you know anything?”

I’m ready, Mr Record Label

tumblr_mla8eanHwL1qkydlto1_500.jpg (500×500)

Melanie had long since lost any innocence of what must happen to succeed. On her knees for that passing grade when the final bombed. Behind the lumber yard to earn a meager raise at the Lowe’s. Certainly an evening with the gentleman in his suit, his friend, and the promise of a record deal would be different.

How true this thought was.

“Name, dearie.” She tried vainly to speak, a quirk of sound, a rasp. Not even a half-hearted cough could bring a single note from her throat. Whatever unnatural thing had happened, it could not have been nerves as the doctor said. But why did he say he was a doctor…

The crone of a woman peered down her throat, painfully. With a curt shake of head, she sent “Candy” to a trailer for delousing. As if she had lice! She bathed!

Waiting her turn in a line of junkies, the red head could only shiver, strange anticipation, odd memories. So many flashes as she arched against his chest, every muscle afire as he drew life from the marks on her throat. Memories sang in her, of Mark and his friends, that first night becoming a woman. And yet…behind it all…

She found herself staring out the window, catching a startling look of piercing blue eyes, nearly white around the iris, peering back. A sudden quiet gasp, a few blinks, but the face seemed her own. And yet, it was not.

Where had she seen that face? A rush of hands clasping a jaw, square and far from perfect. Those eyes unlimited in the ropes of white, like a strange layering of dreamcatchers about a sinister onyx gem. Yes, drink child, take me into your veins, learn from my hands… 

Melanie moaned without sound, knees rubbing together, as she recalled a clarity of vision the record label doctor gave to her, so like her own visions to him. “So …real…” she mouthed to no one.

(Candy, snacked on from Spotlight by Janus and Luca. Location: Sabbat Blood Dolls)