Saturday, January 30, 2016

Walking Shadows Book 3 Chapter 16-2

“I’m so glad you could make it, Meredith. This is going to be the most amazing night in the history of the Club, I promise.”

“Solomon and you have went so crazy about tonight. I’m glad that you’re excited, but I’m still not sure why this night is so much more exciting than any of the others. I thought we’ve had plenty of dang exciting nights, don’t you think?”

Audrey smiled and gave me a firm pat on the shoulders. “You’re right, my dear. I can think of more than one night I left you more than just excited. But tonight will be different. Better. I promise you.”

I shook my head. She and Solomon had been saying the same thing every time we’ve had a meeting since the new year. At this point, it felt like they were just repeating themselves. I leaned forward and gave her a peck on the cheek, said a quick goodbye and went to join the rest of the party.

Most of the Survivors’ Club parties started with dinner and some kind of social hour. While drinks and hor d'oeuvres were easy to grab as I entered, as I walked into the apartment complex it was clear the main event was already well under way. Moans and groans emerged from the first few apartments as I approached.

I stopped for a moment at the first door. It was empty but for a single bed in the living room, which was quite occupied. Atop the mattress, I saw the sitting form and familiar face of Jolene. Her head was thrown back, her skirt pushed up and her blouse pulled down. I didn’t recognize the bobbed red hair of the woman whose face was between Jolene’s legs. Jolene glanced up at me with a wicked grin on her face. I only gave her a slight nod before I moved down the hall.

I glanced into the next few rooms. I saw a women with two men, a group of three men and two women and a pair of men that I paused to watch for just a moment. Even in our club, it wasn’t common to see men go that high up the Kinsey scale. I probably stayed and watched a moment too long before I moved on, but not both before they gave me a glance and a smile. I simply waved, my cheeks surely a bit red, before I moved on.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Walking Shadows Book 3 Chapter 16. Then

It didn’t take long for me to become one of the most loyal members of the Survivors’ Club. I might not have been as bawdy as Jolene or Audrey, but I certainly knew how to have a good time. And while Solomon didn’t take my attention at every monthly gathering, I certainly turned his head more times than most of the women there.

Still the only rule of the Survivors’ Club was no commitments and I wasn’t sure that was something I could hold on to forever. I always saw myself as a wife and mother and even though I was far older than any other new mother or wife I might know, I still thought someone was out there waiting for me. I was probably just a dreamer, but I always imagined I would find the right guy someday down the line. The Club was just a way of filling my time in the meanwhile, a fun diversion from everyday life at my job.

By the summer of fifty-nine, I had been with the Survivor’s Club for a year and a half. I still was no closer to finding ‘true love,’ if such a thing actually exists. So I continued my journeys to the Club events. This time we would meet at a new apartment complex to celebrate Midsummer’s Eve.

I was raised Catholic, so I knew about St. John’s Day, but the Survivor’s Club believed in the more traditional summer solstice date for their meeting. At the meetings leading up to it, Solomon and Audrey talked about it with revelry I found strange. No such meeting had occurred on that day the previous year, but now as it approached it seemed like neither of my closest friends in the club could contain their excitement.

It was strange for me to walk into the front door of an unfinished apartment building. Though towering over every building nearby, the inside sat under an eerie silence. It felt like a place that should overflow with life, but the lack of any residents gave the affair a strange air. It left me with a bit of trepidation as I walked up the stairs to the second floor, where Audrey had planned the event.

As soon as I stepped out of the stairwell, I realized she went all out. The apartments were all open and ready for our use, but before we reached that I could see a full bar and streamers everywhere. Audrey ran up to me and gave me a hug in greeting.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Casting Call: Cyrus

Cyrus Kanakarides is a character with a hidden past he keeps closely guarded. He isn't one to share his secrets, nor is he one to get involved if he can help it. But deep down he has some heart and will protect his friends fiercely and loyally.

When I started to think about someone that could bring him to life I needed both someone that had the range to play such a guarded character and that would look good in black, Cyrus's favorite color. So I racked my brain for a bit and I decided I would go for an actor known for playing anything but heroic figures, whether it is in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Belle or most famously, the Harry Potter film franchise. I think the perfect Cyrus would be none other than Tom Felton.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Walking Shadows Book 3 Chapter 15-6

Ian walked into the lobby of the DMV, back towards the queue. He was ready to find Phoebe, maybe meet her new friend and then get the heck out of here. But the corner where Phoebe and her friend were at was now empty.

His eyes frantically scanned the room. They probably just stepped aside, he told himself. But as he looked around, he saw no sign of either Phoebe or her strange guest.

Ian’s feet locked beneath him. His panic level started to rise, even as he tried to resist the urge. He took the quick exit path to the side of the queue, which took him right back out onto the streets of River City.

The parking lot was full and cars whisked by on the two adjacent streets. But he saw no sign of Phoebe or the man she talked to inside.

No, no, no. I can’t lose her too.

He started to run down the nearest row of parked cars, his eyes on the interiors for any signs of life. He caught sight of a mother waiting with her child and a pair of young lovers kissing a bit too passionately for the DMV in the afternoon. But still no Phoebe.

Stay calm, Ian. Be rational. She can’t have gone far. She has to be nearby—

—unless her attacker could fly. Or teleport.

Memories of Smith bounced through his mind. Really the messenger god Hermes, he had lured Ian into freeing Caelus before being betrayed by the dark god. He could teleport anywhere in the universe, but it didn’t make sense for him to come back now. Still, what if he wanted some kind of vengeance against Phoebe. Ian couldn’t be sure it wasn’t him that took her, even if the tall handsome man had looked nothing like Smith.

This is getting me nowhere. I have to find her. She has to be here.

Suddenly a cell phone rang. He didn’t have one with him, even though Alli had given him one back at Spirit Cop Headquarters. Yet, he quickly realized the ringing was coming from the back pocket of his jeans. He reached back and pulled out a simple flip phone he never saw before. He opened it quickly.


“Good afternoon, Ian. It’s been a long time, but you probably don’t remember that. All you need to do is remember this: if you want to see your friend alive, you will do exactly as I say.”

Ian’s gut felt like hot coals weighted it down. He knew this voice, even if he couldn’t place from where. And he knew that this man, whoever he was, meant every word he said: every threat. He offered Ian no choice.

“Yes. I understand.”

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Walking Shadows Book 3 Chapter 15-5

The man behind the camera—a figure of such girth he barely fit into the area allotted him—barely looked at Ian as he approached. He just grunted a request for a name, which Ian gave. He then said “on the line,” and Ian quickly stepped into place before the photograph was snapped.

“Over there to get your card.” The photographer nodded slightly off to his left. Ian walked to yet another line, where people were being handed their cards.

It’s strange, Ian thought. I feel like I know how horrible visiting the DMV should feel, but I have no memory of it. I don’t know why I know these visits should be horrible. It seems like perfectly obvious knowledge, but I don’t understand why it would be obvious to me when I have no memory of its origin.

Ian tried to shake off his train of thought, as it only felt like a rabbit hole that would hurt his head even more. He looked back towards the entrance of the building instead. Phoebe and her new friend were still chatting, which still felt somehow wrong to Ian. But Phoebe seemed more than happy with the attention. A large grin was on her face, and they seemed to go on like they were long lost friends, even though Phoebe hadn’t been on Earth for more than a few days.

Is she doing this? Did she use her abilities to make the man talk to her in order to look more natural here? They certainly acted like they knew each other, but maybe that was just her power over this stranger.

The line moved forward again, around a large dividing wall. As Ian stepped closer to his driver’s license, he lost sight of Phoebe and her new friend. He considered hanging back for a moment, but the people coming in behind him didn’t allow him to stop. He continued forward in the queue and out of Phoebe’s view.

Finally he reached the front of the line where it only took a few seconds to confirm the information already given and receive his new license. It felt strange holding the official piece of identification in his hand, but he was grateful he had it. At least with this he had a chance of starting over, even if he was never to get his memory back. He took the card and headed back out front to meet Phoebe.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Walking Shadows Book 3 Chapter 15-4

Ian turned and gave Phoebe a glare. She only gave him a wry grin in return.

If I had known she meant to nudge me into using my powers instead of nudging them, I might have said no. If I knew how it would make my head feel, I would definitely have said no.

“Are you alright?” the clerk asked.

“Just a headache,” Ian said. He pulled his hand away from his temple.

She nodded. “I get plenty myself around this place. Seems like it’s a good day when it’s only a quiet roar in here.”

“I guess so.”

She put the card down between them. “Everything looks fine. How are you paying today?”

“Uh, credit card.”

“Sure. You have it.”

His head throbbed again as the card in front of her changed back to the credit card. “It’s already on the table there.”

“Oh, so it is. Totally missed you putting it down.”

“Guess I’m faster than I look.”

She chuckled as she ran the card through her reader. She handed it back to him.

“Everything checks out, Mister Page. Just head over to the camera station and we will get a new picture taken.” She handed him a number and pointed to a set of chairs across the room.

“You got it.”

He shot Phoebe another look as he took the credit card and walked over to take a seat. She didn’t see it however as she was already talking to a young man in the line next to her.

Ian couldn’t quite hold in his surprise. Though they had been out for most of the day, Phoebe had shown no sign of wanting to interact with anyone other than him and Rosa. She seemed almost aloof to the people they passed on the street, nor did she talk to anyone on the bus. But now she was talking to a thirty something man in the line next to her. They seemed to be getting along swimmingly as they chattered like they were old friends.

Ian couldn’t quite make heads or tails of it. But he didn’t have time to think about it as he heard his number called. He quickly pulled himself out of his chair and made his way to a camera station. He didn’t want to push his luck any longer than he needed. Something told him the sooner they were out of here the better.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Walking Shadows Book 3 Chapter 15-3

“Sometimes I feel like I know you, Phoebe. And sometimes you really take me by surprise.”

Phoebe smiled broadly. “I am a woman of many mysteries. It is hard to get as old as I am without adding a few layers to one’s personality.”

The line moved steadily for the most part and when it didn’t, Phoebe resorted to her mental tricks to move them forward faster. Ian still wasn’t quite sure how she was going to get him a license, but he suspected more mental trickery would be involved.

Even with her ability to push people to do what she asked, it still took them almost an hour to get to the front of the line. Ian couldn’t get past the feeling they would be found out at any moment. He knew it was an irrational fear as no one here could be able to detect Phoebe’s powers, but after his days on the run and his ambush by Caelus, he supposed he had a right to be jumpy.

As they reached the front of the queue, Phoebe handed him the credit card in her hand.

“What am I supposed to do with this?”

“Just tell them you’re here to renew the license. I’ll do the rest.”

“But I don’t have—”

“Ian, you said you trust me. Was that the truth?”

“Yeah. Yes, I trust you.”

“Good. Now tell me about how old you think you look.”


“How old do you feel you should be? I’m not good with ages. When everyone you know rarely looks a day over twenty-five no matter how many hundreds of years old they are, you lose a bit of skill at telling these things.”

“I don’t know. Twenty-one? Twenty-two?”

“Alright then.”

“Next!” The shrill voice from behind one of the counters in front of him called him forward. Phoebe gave him a pat on the back as he walked forward.

“I would like to renew this,” he said.

He felt a sharp stab in the back of his skull. For a moment, he thought some god was punishing him for his lie. But as he looked down, he saw the card in his hand was now a state driver’s license. He handed it to the clerk. She took it and started to type something into the computer in front of her.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Walking Shadows Book 3 Chapter 15-2

The trip to the DMV—just on the edge of downtown and only a few blocks off their route back to Spirit Cop Headquarters—  proved to be less of a hassle than the actual line once they reached their destination. At least a hundred people were in a queue in front of them as they arrived.

“So maybe this wasn’t the best idea,” Ian said as they got in line. “It’s not like they’re even going to help me without social security information or some kind of ID already in place.”

“I told you to trust me, Ian. Are you going to trust me?”

Ian shook his head at Phoebe. He wasn’t sure what it was about the woman, but he inherently trusted her. He wondered for a moment if she was exerting some control over him, perhaps making him believe her words and go along with her actions. He almost instantly dismissed the thought. It was pure paranoia and he had enough of that in his life already. He clearly trusted her because she was one of the few people to treat him like an actual person. Like Peach—poor lost Peach—she seemed willing to accept him as just another person with flaws and fortunes. He wasn’t someone that needed help or worse, someone to fear.

“Yes, I’m going to trust you.”

“Good.” Phoebe turned away from Ian and tapped the hefty man in front of them. “I’m sorry, sir. My friend and I are in a bit of a hurry and I hoped we could perhaps budge in front of you in line. We would greatly appreciate it.”

That’s never going to work, Ian thought. But the man just smiled at Phoebe, nodded and stepped out of the way for them.

“How did you do that?”

“I’m a very patient individual, Ian. But I know you’re not. So I gave him a little nudge with my mind. I’m not nearly as good at it as many of my past compatriots, but it isn’t an unusual skill to hone. And it can be very handy when you need to secure official documents in an unofficial capacity.”

“Wait, I thought you were some kind of space cop. Isn’t this against the rules?”

“I am a peacekeeper, Ian. And sometimes being a peacekeeper is about blending in as much as it is about flouting one’s authority. When I travel to world’s less heavily connected to the Confederation, I often need to find ways to secure entry to their security. This just proves to be one of the easiest paths of action.”

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Walking Shadows Book 3 Chapter 15. Ian

The cold seemed to grow more bitter as Phoebe and Ian walked through the streets of River City. The buses seemed to avoid their route and neither he nor Phoebe really wanted to hurry back to Spirit Cop Headquarters. While his history might be important to him, Ian knew he needed to break free of the cot upstairs in Alli’s business. With both Phoebe and him staying there, it was already crowded and he felt bad living off her good graces.

Of course, finding his own place wouldn’t be easy. He had no identification and little money. He would need to remedy both if he was going to find a way to live in River City for any length of time.

“Your current situation troubles you, Ian.” He looked towards Phoebe, a smirk on her face. “You act as though Alli sees you as little more than trouble. I suspect she sees you as a friend, even if your arrival has sent her life into an upheaval.”

“You might be right. But that doesn’t mean I don’t feel as though I’m leeching off her. The irony is that I have one person constantly calling me ‘The Leech’ in Spanish, but it’s a completely other person I feel far more like I’m taking too much from.”

“I suspect you worry too much. I suppose if I only had a week’s memories and they started with my escape from a cell, I might also have such worries. But you must not let them overcome you. Come, I suspect I can help you in these matters. Tell me, where is a place that you can get the proper identification that you need.”

“Well, I would need a driver’s license, but for that I would need a social security number. And I’ll need both if I am ever going to have a hope of getting any kind of job.”

“A driver’s license? This is a license to pilot your fossil engine vehicles, yet you use it as identification. Truly your world is strange, Ian Page.”

“I guess.”

“Come, let us go to this Department of Motor Vehicles I can hear echoing in your head.”

“I really hate it when you do that, you know. My mind isn’t there for you to read.”

“My apologies, Ian. I only mean to help. Will you come with me?”

Ian shrugged. “What the hell.”

Saturday, January 9, 2016

River City History: The Red Hawk takes control!

When he returned to the United States, his anger brought him easily under the sway of “Duke” Angelosetti. His services quickly made him a favorite of the Duke, but Redhawk had far more aspirations than his boss could imagine. As he consolidated power under the Duke, he also taught everyone to fear him specifically. Redhawk’s cunning mind knew this meant that he was the true power behind the Duke’s rise.

The Duke died in 1949 of an apparent heart attack. The crime boss was only forty-three, but weighed nearly four hundred pounds. Because of these facts, it is still hard to determine whether his death was truly natural or the result of poisoning. Whatever the case, his death left a void in the city’s underworld which Redhawk quickly stepped in to fill.

Whether or not, Redhawk actually wanted the position as crime boss of the city is still a mystery, but he quickly took to the role far better than even his surrogate father. He consolidated control over the gangs and formed a hierarchy that would allow the various gangs to rule over the vices of the city while also controlling much of the police force. Under his sway, money rolled in through businesses both legitimate and illegal, making hundreds of former legmen very rich.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Walking Shadows Book 3 Chapter 14. Cyrus

The shadows seemed deeper here than anywhere he ever walked before. And for a man raised on the edge of Hades, it sent a shiver down Cyrus’s spine.

He knew he wasn’t still inside Marilyn’s apartment, but where the strange spectres took him he could not guess. He lost consciousness shortly after they knocked Marilyn out. He awoke still held fast against a wall, but now his wrists, ankles and neck were secured to the wall by cold iron. It was far too strong for him to break by hand, nor did his sonic vibrations seem to work upon it. He suspected the metal carried some curse, perhaps designed to destroy creatures with a mystic origin, but it clearly worked just as well against his own abilities.

Cyrus cursed under his breath as he tried to see any of the limits of the room again. Shrouded in darkness, only a single light shone down on him and the floor a few feet in front of him. It illuminated the stone wall he rested it against and seemed to hint at more stone to his left and right. But those walls were just far enough out of the light to only be grim shadows. The far wall—and he suspected—the door rested on the other side of the weak light, buried in the darkness.

Outside the single bulb above him, the only sight he could see before him was the shifting blob of human skin and hair before him. It was a bulbous mass of flesh, wrinkled and damp. Hair jutted out at strange intervals, of every color possible on a human being and a few that weren’t. The patches of hair and skin undulated as the boneless mass shifted and moved like some kind of massive jellyfish on the ground. It was a repulsive sight, even for a man that knew the tortures of his father’s kingdom.  

And he somehow knew it was Marilyn.

Cyrus couldn’t being what this meant the spectres did to her. Nor was he sure the woman he once knew was even inside that mass somewhere. But he knew he had no choice but to watch it and wait. He would get his chance to escape. He would get his chance to free her and perhaps help her. All he had to do was wait.

And a god had nothing if not time.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

ICONS Character Profile: Phoebe

Name: Phoebe

Origin: Unearthly

First Appearance: Book Two, Chapter 20


Prowess 6

Coordination 5

Strength 4

Intellect 5

Awareness 6

Willpower 6

Stamina 10

Determination 1



Martial Arts




Telekinesis (+Force Control/Constructs; Limit: must hold constructs) 6

Telepathy (+Emotion Detection) 4


Motivation: protect those around her

Identity: Intergalactic Law Enforcement


Enemy: Caelus

Social: Unfamiliar with Earth’s social restraints


Phoebe’s origins and history remain largely unknown. Though she appears to be no more than twenty-five years old, she’s in fact an alien immortal that has lived at least three thousand years. Much of the last two millennia were spent as the host or under the control of the dangerous planetary criminal Caelus. Though she remains much of her sense of justice she gained as a member of the intergalactic police force, she  possesses a joy for life after her long captivity.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Walking Shadows Book 3 Chapter 13-7

As dinner turned into more drinks, I realized it was getting late. But only a handful of the guests left after the food. As it grew from evening into night, I continued my time with Solomon, Audrey and the rest of the Survivors’ Club. About two dozen of us still filled the floor and no one was feeling any pain from the free flow of the alcohol in the room.

Audrey hung on the shoulder of a young man probably barely out of college, while Jolene had paired with a thirty something with a weightlifter’s build. They laughed and played around, clearly letting the men get a bit more physical than one would see in polite company. It intrigued me that these two women could be so free in front of others, even if it was the limited scope of the club.

I downed another rum and eggnog concoction that was mostly rum as I watched Audrey pull in her young man and kiss him passionately on the lips. I could feel their lust as an almost palpable force.

“They are something together, aren’t they?”

Solomon’s voice came from behind me and before I could react his arms were around me from behind. I was startled at the sudden contact, but I sunk back into him seconds later. I hadn’t expected landing him to be so easy, but I was more than happy to keep him close.

“Yes, they are,” I said. “But I’m not used to such public affection.”

“We have no secrets in the Survivors’ Club. We aren’t about forming attachments. Instead we focus on ways to fulfill our needs, rather they are those of everyday life in America or of a more primal nature.”

A few of the couples had disappeared into the closed office doors around the area. I realized now why they were gone. Jolene and Audrey were both slowly undressing the men with them, even as they pulled them both closer to one another. The half naked men watched as the women released them to turn and kiss each other.

I felt my cheeks grow red as I watched. But I could not draw my eyes away. When Solomon started to kiss my neck, I kept my eyes on the women and men in front of me as their kisses turned into more. I watched them as I let Solomon take me, and I knew I had found a place as a member of the Survivors’ Club.