Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tentative Team

“The. Ginger. Apocalypse.” Ara repeated slowly, one hand raising absently to brush her own scarlet locks behind a dainty ear, and exhaled the anger she had been holding on to. “You would. You fucking would.”

            “Dibs on offing Ginger-head. Someone give me a battleaxe and clear the way for a running start.” Sal backed up as he spoke, squaring his shoulders and readying himself to charge. Widening his stance, he sank low into a runner’s crouch before halting in place. “What are you gits staring at? Can’t you take a bloody joke?”

            Shemo looked up from her dark broodings long enough to tilt her head toward the fireplace, above which two axes were crossed on a plaque. Ara caught the motion and replied with a scowl sharp enough to slice through steel. Shemo answered only in silence, though the creature in her lap paused in its purring long enough to contribute a hiss to the exchange.

            “Have synchronized cycles, do we?” Sal stated blithely, abandoning his preparations for the charge. Clearly uninterested in whatever retort Ara offered, the Scot busied himself taking a long draught from his ever-present flask. The man only slowed his consumption long enough to mutter ‘snide bitch’ before resuming his pursuit of inebriation.

            “It’s not being snide, it’s being snarky.” Aerie shot back defensively.

            “Snark is the idiot’s version of wit.” Quoted Aethon without looking up from the fire as he prodded the logs listlessly.

            “Har har. Are we through ganging up on me?” Ara took a deep breath and shot Rani a withering glare that made Shemo’s early stare seem like a clay spoon in comparison. “If you dare try to slide in a ‘that’s what she said’, your nonexistent descendents will be plagued by nightmares of the damage I would inflict to you.”

            The silence that followed was pregnant enough to spawn octuplets and tangible enough to club a troll. The tension may have boiled over until the proverbial steam stripped flesh from bones were if not for Donut’s characteristic immunity to the warning signs of the provoked female. The narcissist raced to snatch an axe from above the mantle and toss it urgently to a Sal that almost missed the catch in his shock.

            “Quick! Cut off its head and kill it with fire.”

            Rani stepped forward with a calming hand raised, exhaling a sigh that would inspire the envy of the combined cast of Twilight. Closing his eyes and taking in a slow breath, the sporadic writer took a moment to quell the urge to savagely butcher his friends and partners in crime. When the blood lust no longer tinted his vision red and his pulse slowed to a mere ninety miles per hour, he cleared his throat as loudly as he could without damaging his throat.

            “We can bicker and banter after we get this show on the road. This is a serious mission and the stakes are high.” Donut’s comment on vampires died a painful and premature death due to the scorching gaze Rani fixed upon him as a preventive measure. “The situation is more complex then we all thought. Not every redhead is the enemy, surprisingly enough, nor do all our enemies have red hair. The redheads that have forsaken their soulless ways and joined our side are called ‘Short Souls’. Ara is a Short Soul. Treacherous non carrot-tops that have joined the ranga agenda are known as spirit gingers. Make no mistake; while they may not resemble Pippi Longstocking, they have no souls. Most of this I can fill you in on a need to know basis, but that is something you need to know going in. Now let’s get this scene wrapped up and I’ll fill each of you in on your role in the off-screen transition.”

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Reluctant Reunion

            Warning: Language.

            The room was desolate with disuse, dust and cobwebs creeping across the darkness to claim the once lively lounge. Only months ago the room had served as the meeting place for a motley group of dysfunctional characters. That storyline had been cut tragically short by the brutal demise of the host and the others had faded back into their own stories without the unifying figure.

            Until now.

            The sounds of footfalls began as the phantom of an echo, and slowly built to a steady cadence. Raymond entered the room without fanfare, dressed plainly in a simple blue shirt and dark jeans. The man let his gaze slowly take in the room, soaking in the flood of memories washing over him. After several long moments, he nodded to himself and with deliberation moved to the fireplace. With the aid of a minute’s effort and his trusty gray Zippo, the embers growled soothingly amongst the kindling until the logs caught and a small but healthy fire blossomed.

            Where the light of the flame reached, transformation took place. Darkness bled into Raymond’s outfit until he was outfitted in midnight, and his features softened and shifted until the smirking figure was no longer the man who had entered the room to return life and light to it. Rani was back from the dead, and it was time for another story.

            “Geek Squad assemble.” With those three words, seven forms appeared to join the first, few of which looked pleased to have been summoned. Shock and anger filled the room, with annoyance and agitation bristling to fill any void. Rani’s timing for his return had not been ideal, it seemed.

            Arali was the first to react, rushing to Rani. The impact of her palm against his face was lost in the communal wince of the others present, but the sound reverberated loudly within Rani’s skull. She reached back to deal him another blow when Sal caught her wrist in his grip.

            “You cannae do that, Twixie Taint. I can’t be arsed to be mad at him if you’re mad at him and I have seniority.” A strange logic perhaps, but it was perfectly normal for Salem.

            “He wrote himself out and left us. You can shove your seniority where the booze don’t flow. And now he wants to drag us back into his little fantasy world when I have enough real problems to deal with. I don’t have time to play the snarky bitch in this little story that probably won’t ever see an ending.” Ara stared down Sal with a heated fury, then her expression melted into one of confusion and finally exasperation. “ My pyro powers aren’t working.”

            “Aye, I’ve been trying to cut your fucking fiery head open with my mind since we showed up in this shit hole.” If Sal was bluffing, the man had one hell of a poker face.

            “This is a revamp of sorts; your powers aren’t the same as before. You’ll have to figure out the staple as we go along, I don’t have enough time in this chapter to explain it.” Rani stated quickly, clearly eager to keep the topic on the story in progress.

            “Uh, Rani,” Sabine spoke up, the only one of the eight who had not been in the last story, her brow furrowed slightly underneath silver tresses as she stared down her shirt. “Was it necessary to give me bigger boobs?”

            “You said you wanted bigger. . .Daenerys has. . .that’s not the point. We have more important things to worry about, like saving the world.”

            “Fuck the world; count me out if you think these people are worth saving.” Shemo didn’t look up as she spoke, nor did she shift from the depths of the recliner she had sank into. In her lap a fanged minion cooed as she stroked the monstrosity absently.

            “You guys act like you have a choice; I’m writing this story. Anyone else want to bitch about their role? Sky? Aethon? Donut?”

            “I’m downzies, let’s do this.” Donut answered without hesitation, practically vibrating with anticipation. “I better get a demon possessed sword this time.”

            “Oh I’m Sky this time? That’s better than Blue. You know I’ll help in any way I can, but I really don’t have time for this. I have my own stories to write, and my own story to live.”

            “Like Sky said, you know I want to help but I have a lot going on right now. I don’t really have the time or sanity for this project. I haven’t been getting enough sleep as is.”

            “You’ll get your damned sword, and objections overruled. All you guys have to do is show up, and I’ll take care of the rest. This is our reunion story, and we’re going to save the world dammit. We’re all drifting apart, or have drifted apart, but this is something we can do together.”

            “So long as I can be pissed and get shagged, I’ll grudgingly tag along.” Sal conceded.

            “Fine, but only because it’s you.” Ara agreed, leaving Sky and Aethon with little choice but to nod along.

            “Oh you knew I was in. So what are we saving the world from?” With Sabine’s agreement and perfect segue, it was time to get down to business.

            “We are going to prevent the Ginger Apocalypse.”