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Shards - Chapter 3

Started by Bynw, November 14, 2021, 08:36:34 PM

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As I make my was back into the cabin I inform Jeremy and Doug about me heading into town for business and that I may not be back for a while. Making my way upstairs to my room, I grab my backpack off the back of the door while forging a path to the closet. Even though our cabin is just a simple log cabin in the middle of the sticks, a room for all my artifacts that I use on my job was not only needed but a requirement. With just us three out here I didn't want to be gone on an assignment and have someone just stumble into our cabin and find something that would hurt them or worse. At the back of the closet lays a secret panel entrance to my secret sanctuary. When we built the cabin I made sure that the door could not be opened without inside help, literally. I holler down to the brothers and ask for one of them to let me in. Less than a minute later, I hear a click in the wall and the door opens up. Doug is standing on the other side, I nod in his general direction to show my appreciation and he nods back then melts back into the floorboards.

The room is illuminated with a supernatural teal green blue light from an obelisk I attached to the ceiling. It was being disputed over by two parties that wanted to use the item to bring about the end of Egypt. Each party was acting on the part of their god and neither wanted the other's god in charge of Egyptian land. They decided the best way to solve the dispute was to pull a King Solomon and just destroy the country. I took it upon myself that the item would best suit all parties if I just took it and they look for a more equal way to destroy each other. Besides, I was not about to let Egypt be destroyed, I love Gibna Domiati way too much. The only place in the world to get this creamy buffalo milk cheese is in Damietta and my world would be lost without that flavor. I know I am not to take sides in any dispute but when the outcome saves one of my favorite treats, well who can blame me.

Since I was unaware of the situation I was walking into this evening I was not about to go gentle into that good night, as Dylan Thomas would suggest. I will admit that magic is not my forte, so like a creature of habit adapting is the only option that becomes me. Becoming a member of the NRA and acquiring a permit to conceal and carry has helped me out a lot. Being on the job for many years, firearms have protected my posterior more times than I care to remember. Admittedly, just showing that I was armed has saved my hide about seventy percent of the time, without any firearm ever leaving their holster. 2 Sig Sauer forty caliber Legions are carried on me for every assignment. I found out that these guns are very durable and reliable in every situation I have gotten myself into. I knew though that if I was taking them on assignments I would have to have them adjusted slightly. A gunsmith in Nashville repainted them with an amazing camouflage print, because what gun toting supernatural investigator slash executioner could not go without a great camouflage paint job on his aresonal. They also have been enchanted by a Memphis witch. She employed me a couple years back to investigate a coven that wanted to join hers, and make sure it just wasn't a way to get to her to kill her. Luckily for her she was right, unluckily for them she hired me. Since witches hardly ever pay in coin, I took payment in way of a spell. Both of my guns can only be fired by my hand, which comes in very handy if someone tries to shoot you with your own weapons.

After preforming the routine checks on them I place them into their holsters. I then proceeded to grab the usual objects that would protect me when meeting werewolves. First off, ten magazines of silver tipped one hundred forty-five grain Hornady ammo, always comes in handy. A twelve inch boot knife that has been dipped in pure silver and then blessed by a holy man is placed in each of my boots for quick access from the outside of my legs. These, I have found, are also very useful against anything undead, rather that be a zombie, ghost or more importantly vampires. Being that I am meeting at Lucian's, it is better to be safe than sorry. Trusting Lucian is not the issue, its his coven on the other hand that when ever they show up shit seems to go south, quick.

Lucian Wyrmwood is the owner of the Triple H bar, and he is also the oldest living vampire anyone has ever heard of. No one actually knows how old he is, however, he makes comments from time to time stating that someone is acting just like Jesus did when he was in his teens. Yes, that Jesus.

Lucian appears to be a man in his early fifties, but that is just a glamor he adorns. His hair is mostly a black color and the sides above his ears looks like a silvery blue. Standing about six foot three inches and wieghing in about one hundred and thirty five pounds. His eyes are a blueish gray and he has a small well trimmed goatee. You could say he modled himself after a comic book character or two, but I wouldnt say that to his face.

Once, I was graced with his true form, and needless to say Hollywood has never gotten it even close in any television or movie made about the undead. Stating that he looked like a monster, is a complete understatement. He does not have wings so to speak, but there is some thing that grows out his back. Almost like that of a stretchy part of skin. His blueish grey eyes become a deep crimson red with flakes of block in them. His mouth becomes a hollow void with rows and rows of razor sharp teeth. His finger nails grow out to be about eight to ten inches long and his arms and legs become almost double in length. There is not a single hair on his body and his skin is a whiteish peach color. Horrifing in every since of the word.

When first coming to this town, a job is what I was in need of. However, without any references or even knowing my own history it was not looking well on obtaining one. Lucian looked at me for two minutes, just staring at me with those colbalt greyish eyes and then said, "Your Hired." Without filling out an application or anything he hired me on the spot and I didn't know why, but at the time I didn't care. I needed work and he needed a bouncer, so I took the job and never gave it a second thought. It wasn't till I was there for about six month that I found out what he truly was and the bar as well.

The Triple H bar is like the attic of the actual building, the rest of it is underground. I guess you could say that Lucian is a store owner and the basement of the bar is a huge supernatural store. They have everything from a simple herb to nadder snakes. The Walmart of the supernatural world, it even has an ad that goes out to certain areas and beings from seven states come and shop twenty-four seven there.

One time while being shown around I saw something being brought in that looked like a live dragon. The thing was about thirty feet tall and fourty feet long. It was covered in purple chromatic scales and was blowing fire every where. Although I was very curious I never did get up the nerve to ask for sure. I use the place to put in special orders for anything I need for an assignment, and Lucian just takes it out of my pay. Since being employed as a bouncer, not one commoner has ever stumbled into the basement, which is a good thing for them.

I also pack a couple of crypto bangs into my bag. Crypto bangs were created by the Catholic Church back in the fourteenth century. The used a form of phosphorus and a few other chemicals to make artificial light. Basically, they are flash grenades for vampires, it not only stuns them but plays hell on all their senses. Mine have been augmented with some garlic powder and holy water, to also irate their throats and noses, making sure that they are too busy trying to get away than stay and fight. Yes, vampires are irrataded by garlic and all holy water does is give them a irritation, something else Hollywood has gotten wrong again.

As a wise man said in Karate Kid 3, "a man who cannot breathe cannot fight", thanks Terry Silver. These have become very useful when a nest doesn't follow the rules or starts encroaching onto commoner territory. I know every creature has to eat to survive, so I have no problem with vampires that take responsibility. They all have rules they have to follow that Lucian puts forth, but if they wish to break them rules I am called in to make sure they change or I change them. I don't like to be thought of as a hitman, but if they know I have no problem being the executioner then there is less of a chance of them trying to dispute me on my final word.

Next up is my emergency pack for any wound I may ascertain on my assignment. It is your basic kit for any deep lacerations or gun shots. Quick clotting gauze, about six feet long with absorbing pad attached, an Israeli bandage, tourniquet, duct tape, saline water, tweezers, knife, and rubber gloves just in case it isn't me that is wounded. Vaseline, peroxide, aloe vera and iodine finishes off the surgical supplies.

The final thing I always take with me is the Cross of Nockchito. This mystical cross was granted to me by Inki as one of our first trades. When I met him I offered my name he never said anything to me he just handed it to me. It is about three inches tall and about two inches across. The wood is almost blackish in color, so I put in on a necklace. The first time it ever showed its true power I was in a cave tracking an Imjim Quinkin, small potbellied cave dweller with long tail and claw. He was snagging children from a preschool in a town outside Sydney, Australia. I was in his domicile and about to dispatch him when I was taken to the floor by two more who caught me by surprise. One of them went to take a bite out of my neck but got the cross instead. A spark of bright orange light ignited the air and the three were incinerated instantly.

The cross has effects on every supernatural being I have ever come in contact with. Lucian himself, has asked me to cover it up in his presence. I don't think I was supposed to notice him take a quick step back and his eyes flash red and black the first time he seen it on me. I oblige him every time I am about to be in his presence by covering up before I meet him. Somehow, though he always seems to sense it on me when I walk in the room though; his upper lip on the left side of his face curls up a bit. He has never pressed me about how I obtained it, nor has he ever tried to relinquish it from me either.

With the backpack and arsenal prepared, I exit back into my room. Stomping the floor with two quick stomps, letting one of the brothers know I was done. In less than a minute the door shuts behind me and I hear the lock click into place.

"Thanks," I yell out into the empty void.

"Yarp," was the response I got from Jeremy this time who was already back downstairs.

The backpack and guns are sprawled out on the bed while obtaining an outfit for tonights event. Black cargo pants, flack vest, a t-shirt with a picture of Johnny Cash flipping the bird, and a camo button shirt. Upon getting dressed, and slipping into my combat boots, I sling my backpack over my right shoulder and head downstairs.

Jeremy looks up from the television, "Everyting ok, kinfolk?"

"Yeah, just a work thing, someone important is coming so I had to dress appropriately," I chuckled.

"Good thing you went with Johnny, then. The man in black is good for all occasions."

"I agree Jeremy, what's good for Johnny should be good for anyone," I declared.

Doug looked over and enlightened me, "You're poking out on the left der."

I reach down and feel the grip of one of my Sig's sticking out from under my two shirts, quickly shifting the backpack more the cloth fell over the handle. I looked up at him and raised my eyebrows. He tossed a thumbs up in response and turned back to the television.

"I am heading over to Jim's for a contract then I have a late meeting, so if I do get back it won't be till late. Make sure you both check on that still before night fall, I see you all just started watching season one of Chuck, so do not forget."

Doug jerked his head to face me like I smacked him and a stern look scoured his face. I raised my palms up in response, and quickly responded in an apologetic tone, "Just making sure you remembered was all. I don't want another instance like we had when you were watching the Golden Girls series."

His face loosened and retorted, "One time, it was one time and we needed to hear the story about St Olaf and their justice system. Use a gun."

"Go apologize, yes I remember," as I finished his sentence. "But, do you want to help rebuild the floor again, if the still pops another valve?"

In an infantile voice "I her ya, I her ya," Doug returned.

We all nodded to one another and I make my way out to the truck. Tossing my backpack in on the passenger side, I get in and start the Chevy up, which I named the Bride of Franky. My Chevy used to be a K10, and then I had to Bride of Frankenstein her. She still has the original heart and soul of the K10, with a 350 V8 motor, but I had to make other accommodations to her from other trucks over the years. With the turn of the key, I hear her try to come alive with her first breath. She chokes and spits and sputters like a drowning victim trying to retake its breath. A thunderous roar bellows from her and she starts purring like a mechanical kitten. The radio kicks on and pairs with my phone and the sounds of Outback by the Moonshine Bandits, boom from my Boss speakers. She easily slides into drive and we make our way to town.

The suspension is put to the test as the path to the highway is unforgiving. The twists and turns, the peaks and valleys, the tires raise and lower within seconds, yet I hardly feel much of a difference. Samuel is a damn good mechanic, and what he can do with a vehicle is amazing. After a about six minutes, the highway appears in front of me and the scenery looks very manmade. The flat pavement divides the forest area like a wall. The serene atmosphere is disturbed by the abomination of the concrete jungle. I am so glad I do not reside here, I would feel cramped, even this far out of town.

Doing forty-five down the highway I wasn't surprised to see the blue and red flashing lights come barreling up behind me. Slowly I decrease my speed and pull over to the side of the road. Turning off the ignition and putting both hands on the wheel I wait for the inevitable. As the officer disembarks from their vehicle I can see in the mirror who it is and I know today is going to be a shitty day all around. As the footsteps of impending doom cuts a path to my door side, I can't help but think that it was Sam who cursed me with this today, because he had to say her damn name.
"Good Morning Sheriff Alexandria," I said in my most mournful tone I could muster.

Sheriff Alexandria Runnels or Sheriff Alex, as she likes to be called, is a five foot eleven spitfire of a woman. Her red hair resembles a match, and she can go off at any given moment. I honestly think she has bi-polar schizophrenia with bat shit crazy tendencies. I know she is sweet on me, but the truth is the woman scares the hell out of me. She looks to be about twenty three with the body of an ex-military dril seargent and that of a body builder all in one. Then to top it all off she is Lucian's only daughter who is truly over 180 years old.

"Afternoon Daj, where you off to, sugar?"

The tone in her voice is hypnotic and subtle. Throughout history it has been proven time and time again by the Catholic Church and some other names in history who will remain nameless, that the same acoustic tones heard by mermaids are that of a vampire, when in hunting mode. They lure their food source in with a sound so soft and daunting you have no choice but to investigate. It is like a lullaby for their prey, surreal and awe inspiring. Add that to their eyes, which can bewitch the strongest of wills. All I can say is at this moment it is a good thing I am immune to her damn charms. For some reason it doesn't work on me and it annoys the hell out of her. I don't know how or why I am immune but ever since she tried to feast on me the first time, it has been an ever growing quest to break down my will. The hairs on my neck become erect and I feel a shiver up my spine in an eerie defense mechanism. She knows I cannot be swoon to her ways, but damn if the crazy bitch doesn't try every time she sees me.

Quickly calming my nerves, I figure out the best way to get back at her for pushing my buttons is to return the favor. In my best impression of Beaky Buzzard from the old cartoons I respond with, "Oh, no, no, no, I rather not, I just don't wanna. I just can't tell ya, nope, nope, nope."

Her bright emerald green eyes, flashed an offsetting maroon red and her face flushed with a rose like hue. Her canine teeth grew an inch in length and came to a point. Her breathing became rapid and shortened and then like a flick of a switch she returned to her normal state. Cocking a smile and lowering her face, she bit her bottom lip and said, "Daj I cannot get mad at you. You complete me. Why won't you ever take me out on a date? You know I like you."

"I believe that has something to do with your dad, Alex." I quickly responded, trying not to poke the bear more than I already have.

"Oh he is all talk, no bite. I promise."

"Really, can the Roanoke Colony tell me what they did to provoke him in 1590 then?"

She stood straight, and with a defensive tone in her voice and a glare in her eyes she responded with, "You can't blame father for that. It was just a small misunderstanding, and besides no one really got hurt."

"Alexandria!" I snapped in rebuttal, "No one got hurt, then where are the people of the colony? And why was Croatan written on the damn tree in his wake?"

You know when you have gone to far cause the universe tells you, sometime with suttle hints other times it is like a kick in the groin. I just got a double groin punt and I knew it because with that last question, I seen I poke the bear more than I should have. She shifted her wieght to the heels of her feet to a stance that a lioness would assume and prepared to lunge at me. Her eyes became narrow, and her nostrils widened with anticipation. Then a squelch on her walkie-talkie came over the stiffening air, and I could not be in more relief.

"Sheriff, we have a 410 in progress at Pump and Go. Owner states the Jimmy O'neal took three snack cakes and a soda and hauled ass without payment."

She gathered her emotions and pressed the button on her mic and in a very serious voice responded with, "Thanks Maxine, I am in route." She then looked at me and with that damn evil smile said, "Catch you later, Daj." With a spring in her step, she spun on her heels and skipped to her car. I released a big gulp of air, and with a the exact same first thought to myself, bat shit crazy. She peeled out, and spun off down the road as if she was heading to a homicide and all I could think is, Jimmy I am so buying you a case of pop next time I see your little thieving ass.

The bride of Franky and me made our way on into town. As we pulled pass the Pump and Go, Sherriff Alexandria was tossing a teenager into the back of her squad car and started talking to someone in a company uniform. I just nodded my head and went on down the road. Making our way down Main St. we finally come to our destination, a book store, Solomon Jim's Knowledge Fountain. Solomon Jim is a man of mystery, and I use that term very loosely. Jim looks to be about in his late sixties, his hair is as white as the freshly fallen snow, with a matching beard that he keeps well maintained that falls down upon his chest. He wears these very large coke-bottled sized glasses and he is always in a suit, with a matching handkerchief. He also appears to have achondroplasia, or dwarfism if you prefer.

The truth is that Jim is a magical being or fae as they prefer to be called. I know little of the fae, except that he has been around for millenniums and I am sure he will be around much longer. Each fae has thier own special ability and I can't say for sure what his is but when it comes to binding contracts he is a master of the craft.

Entering into the shop I feel the rush of magic flow over me in waves of slight air currents. They start off with a cool breeze then become a warm welcoming gust. With a deep voice of eastern descent a loud greeting comes from the back of the building, "Daj, me boy, wasn't expecting ya till dis evening." In a bewildered look I stared at him, and he quickly continued, "Jeb called me and stated you would be needing a contract for this evening festivities. I heard we have some company from out of town and I need to make ya a contract to bring with ye."

"I guess so," I stumbled with the words "I was told it was someone of high importance and I needed to dress accordingly." I then stretched out my hands and spun like a model showing off my outfit.

The old fae chuckled in disbelief as he ran his eyes over my outfit. "Johnny Cash is a good choice my boy." I could almost hear his laughter in his tone as he turned away to hide his face.

"Jeremy and Doug agree with you as well. I am surrounded by very wise men." I honored him in praise.

"Oh de hell you don't boy, you don't be pairing me with dem two idgots." His booming voice echoed in the small shop. "I love dem boys, they treat you good and their vibations always do me stomach good, but to say I have the same wisdom as dem. You lookin to start a fight ain't ya?" While unbuckling his cufflinks, he approached me in a threatening manner.

I took a step back with my hands raised in the air in an unoffending manner and stated, "I was just saying when it comes to Mr. Cash you three are of like minds is all. I meant no harm or insult." Then in a childish like tone I yelped out, "Oh god, please don't hurt me mister."

He glared at me and seen straight through my line of bullshit and just smiled. He rolled down his sleeve and refastened his cufflinks. And then looked up at me in a very granddad like look and said, "Boy, one of dese days dat alligator mouth is going to overrun dat tadpole arse of yours and you won't be able to talk your way out of a good ole-fashioned arse wuppin."

I toyfully responded with a mirrored accent of his with, "That is why I got you Jim, you will always be der to pull my tadpole arse out of the fire."

We both chuckled a little and I bent down and we shared a hug. Jim really is like a grand dad to me. He helped me find a path to live my life; he even gave me some info on my necklace and my tattoos. He always has knowledge about anything I come across and if he doesn't he will in less than a day. The old fae is a walking talking dictionary, thesaurus and any other book that comes to mind on everything you could and couldn't think of. He has a door in his office that teleports him to his home in the Tir Na Nog, where he makes my contracts. Tir Na Nog is the land of the fae, where very few have ever traveled, and for a commoner their chances of survival there are slim and none. The truth is that he told me of a commoner that once stumbled into Tir Na Nog and the poor lad was shredded to ribbons in less than three minutes, the fae do not accept trespassers.

"I am still going to be a few on the contract, have you eaten yet? You look like you're wasting away, boy."

"Actually I was going to see if you wanted to head across the street to Momma's Place and get a bite to eat for lunch. I know she has something that could please the palate of a hard working bookstore owner," I boasted. He shook his head in agreedence and we made our way over for a bite to eat. Momma's Place is a local restaurant that can fill the nourishment of every species that comes into the business. There is a glamor on the building so no matter what is ordered the meals all look like a meal a commoner would eat. The owner, Beth Anne, is a commoner in her early forties who fell in love with a warlock.

It is a tale as old as time, a young Tennessee girl that made her way to Louisiana to become a pastry chef, meets an all-powerful and handsome warlock named Michael Dubois and it was love at first site. They got married and all she ever wanted was to live a life span that matched his, and to start her own business so she can have both loves for as long as she could. He gave her immortality to share eternity with him, and built Momma's Place here in Tennessee. From the outside the place looks small, and then on the inside, there is always room. She told me one time, that the only way for a commoner to grasp the concept is by thinking of Dungeons and Dragons and her place is a bag of holding.

Beth greeted us with the same devotion and love as all her customers. She showed us to a table and brought me out some sweet tea and some sort of green fruity drink for Jim.

She spoke with a southern belle tone and asked if we wanted our normal. Being the only returaunt she has our order down pretty well. We both shook our head in agreement and she made her leave. We made small talk and drank our drinks, and then within minutes she put plate infront of both of us. I got the meatloaf dinner with mashed potatos and colard greens with a dinner roll. Jim had some sausage and sauerkraut with some green beans and a dinner roll. The truth is though I have no idea what he was eating but it sure looked good thanks to the glamour.

We ate in silence except for the occasional sound of enjoyment and great tasting food. After we finished, I paid the tab and we headed back to his store. I watched it while he took the portal in the back to finish the contracts. By the time he was completed it was already eighteen hundred hours.

"Jim, like always you are a god among men with your work. And with that I must leave you, have a blessed day."

He rumbled off something in a language I don't know and smiled and said in a somewhat saddening tone, "You as well boy, you as well."

I thought of asking what was wrong but I knew better. Making a small bow I turned and left his establishment. I still had two hours till my meeting so I stopped over at Momma's place for a tenderloin combo with fries and a sweet tea, then headed over to the Triple H Bar.
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