Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Eight Days from the End. Nowhere near the Goal

Eight Days Left! Only 8 and we are far from the goal. 
Do you read me? This is simply buying the next novel ahead of time. Could be steampunk Civil War zombies, could be WWII furries, could be DJ Admire. YOU get to help decide. $5 for an ebook. A ebook with a shout out to YOU! Tell me that's not a good deal.

All of these are viable projects, I just need time.

A sample of the two already begun:

“What brings you to my door this late, Henry?” Frank asked, his voice steady. Arthur could smell his fear. The same fear rolled off Henry in waves.

“You really are blind,” Henry whispered. “I'd heard, but... I'm sorry, Frank. It's the war. You know it is. Roosevelt is going to ask for more funding in a couple weeks. Then comes conscription. Your boys, they won't be conscripted. They'll just be commandeered. I saw the preliminary draft of the orders last week.”

“What do we do?” Arthur asked.

Henry looked up at me. “He talks. Oh, Frank, that's bad. Most constructs aren't taught to talk. They're treated like animals with human traits. But he can talk, so that makes him half a person, under the law.” Henry shook his head. Arthur didn't know if he liked him or not.

“They're coming, Frank. You and your boys are pretty well known throughout the South. Everyone knows about Leo the Lion-dancer, and Arthur the Teddy-bear Boy. If you're lucky, the War department will use them for recruiting material and they'll never see the front. A lot of movie stars are doing that, making war movies.”

“More are signing up, the radio says. Leslie Howard and David Niven have gone into the RAF, I heard. I hear bad news waiting, Henry. Quit beating around the bush and tell me.”

“All constructs are now property of the US government, to be utilized in the war effort. That's all the orders say, but I've heard men talking, Frank. Think about the dogs and pigeons we used. Remember what they did to Joseph.”

Frank nodded solemnly. “I remember. I've been expecting this night. Thank you for coming ahead of the news.”

“I know some other folks with construct relatives, and they're hiding them. You can't hide the boys, Frank. They're too well known.”

“We'll go about the work, like always,” Arthur said. “We'll travel with the show. Gordon will dance. I'll be myself. Mama can still sing. If the army wants us, they can come get us. But they have to wait until the performance is over.”

Frank chuckled. “My boy knows his own mind, Henry."


Captain Morgan is my reality filter, and today I needed all the filtering I could get. It was an ordinary October Wednesday in Memphis, pollen count through the roof, just off the full moon and eighty degrees with humidity that made clothes and pollen stick to everything.

I'd known the day would be bad when my phone went off at seven. Only the Memphis P.D. rings in on the Andy Griffith theme. 

“Admire here,” I snarled. It was too damn early to be polite and my late night liaison with the Captain had left my eyeballs trying to eat my brain with tiny sharp teeth.

“Miss Admire, Captain Williams here. I need to see you. I have something my guys can't handle. Not even the Preternatural and Magic Squadron can figure it.”

If the Bitch Patrol, a crack squad of eight female cops who were also top-rated sorceresses, witches and talismongers, couldn't handle something, I sure as hell didn't want it. I'm just a No-Talent PI, without enough magic to train, but just enough to drive me straight into the Nightside and the bottle.

I thought about the last few jobs I'd done. I thought about the fact that the cops did pay. I thought about my rent.

So, despite my pounding head, I pulled myself out of the Murphy bed in my office and headed down to 201 Poplar.

Two hours later, I was sitting back at my desk, staring at one of the ugliest serial killer cases I'd ever seen. Bad enough when they're killing prostitutes or drunks. Some people even consider that a public service.  But this one...

Five children, each on the night before the full moon. Every one asleep in their own house, in their own little bed. Three girls and two boys, found dead by their parents, blood soaking the beds and carpets, all flesh missing from hip to knee.

I just stared. Five kids, killed and not a sound heard by parents and no trace of the missing flesh. Two girls, three boys. Two black, two white, one Hispanic. No pattern, not even a common neighborhood. The deaths were scattered from Bartlett to Raleigh to Orange Mound. I didn't look at the names or pictures. That was more than I really wanted to know about the kids.

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