Rebels of Darkness, Chapter 18

We think he got kidnapped!” Bernadette revealed.

“Kidnapped?” Gwynivara couldn’t wrap her head around the idea. It just didn’t seem possible, and her mind just wouldn’t accept it. “Kennith is a big, strong dude who could easily fight off an attacker! With or without his Venenatus Sanguis abilities! He’s one of the least likely people for this to happen to! Are you sure?”

Riley explained, “When you all left for the mission, I formed a search party like you said. We hadn’t even left the graveyard when we ran into two kids, scared to death, hiding behind a couple of tombstones. They told us after they escaped quarantine, they were trying to run to their grandmother’s house when some really tall man snatched them up and tried to bring them in his house. The kids were kicking and screaming enough to slow the man down, and Kennith heard them. He held a sword up to the guy’s neck and ordered him to let the kids go, which he did, but then he slapped the sword out of his hands! They started fighting physically, but the other guy was so big that it was easy for him to get the upper hand. At one point, he threw Kennith to the ground by where the kids were, and he whispered to them, ordering them to run to the graveyard. The man used this split second distraction to knock Kennith out. The kids did as they were told, but before they got out of eyesight, they looked back one more time and saw that he was gone.”

Gwynivara knew that the kids more than likely didn’t lie about the situation-they’d have no motive to do so, but something still didn’t feel right to her. “You said you think he was kidnapped. Kidnapped, not killed. How do we know he’s still alive?”

Bernadette told her, “The search party staked out the place. They saw what looked like a backhand slap to someone on the couch. No one actually saw him, but they heard some banging around. We were waiting until you started the officers’ meeting to determine what to do about this situation.”

Gwynivara found this so odd. She tried to comprehend what would possess the man to capture Kennith and hold him against his will. She mused whether or not the man got off on pain and torture or if he had a more sinister desire. She briefly considered calling the police and letting them do some good for a change by putting this prick behind bars, but that would risk Kennith getting arrested for quarantine evasion. She concluded that they would have to rescue him themselves, but something still gnawed at her. Before kidnapping Kennith, he tried to take the kids…that’s when it clicked for her. She uncermoniously got out of her seat, brusquely telling the others in the room, “Come on!”

They followed Gwynivara as she marched into the training room. The officers that had already assembled got startled by Gwynivara’s abrupt determination and snapped into attention. As soon as Bernadette, Riley, and Cody fell into place, Gwynivara stood before them and stated boldly, “It’s a trap!”

The officers were surprised by her assertion, and one of them reacted, “How do you know?”

“Because,” Gwynivara justified her belief, “the man tried to kidnap the kids first. He didn’t try to take them to authorities to claim the reward for capturing quarantine escapees. Then, when he’s stopped from doing that, he kidnaps someone totally different than who just tried to nab. Who does that? Criminals who prey on people stick to a type, and yes, I suppose it’s possible to kidnap anyone who just happened to be available for the sole purpose of torture, but how likely is that? The victims do have one thing in common though- they all have Venenatus Sanguis. If the man knew that, why would he risk his own life by putting them under extreme stress and making them conjure up a beast? What are the odds a kidnapper would pick up people at random not knowing that they all have this commonality? The only other explanation is that this guy works for the origin, and they’re trying to lure us in. They know we’re getting close to the truth, and they’re hoping we’ll feel we have no choice but to go in and save him. As soon as we’re inside that place, they’ll give us nowhere to run and do us in. That scenario seems more likely, don’t you think?”

Another officer inquired, “So, you’re saying that we shouldn’t rescue Kennith?”

“No!” Kierram refuted that notion. “She has a plan to use this knowledge to our advantage. We’re going to pretend to buy into it and spring a trap of our own!”

“Exactly!” Gwynivara didn’t expect Kierram to rush to her defense like that, but she felt so grateful to have that kind of solidarity. She continued, “We’re going to use this opportunity to plant the tracking device. We’ll deliver them what they want, at first…”

If it wasn’t for the adrenaline from anticipating an ominous mission, Gwynivara would have been exhausted! The walk took longer than she thought it would, and she wished that it wasn’t so far out so that they could get this done and over with! To keep her nerves from paralyzing her, she made small observations about her surroundings. The houses lined some grassy hills, and she guessed that the residents here liked being nestled close to town while simultaneously living almost within walking distance to the mountains. This neighborhood seemed like it was lower middle class, and she briefly wondered if they stood out walking through the area with their crisp, black suits. Kierram noted, “We’re almost there.” Butterflies fluttered through her stomach. She rubbed her head slightly, wondering if the wig would stay on during the battle. She didn’t know for sure what would happen, but she had a feeling it wouldn’t be so easy to rescue Kennith or to outwit the origin!

They didn’t need to see the address to know that they had come to the right spot. The house looked as though it had never been painted, and the wood was so dilapidated that Gwynivara was surprised that it stayed structurally sound. The fence, made of the same shabby material as the house, was lopsided in some areas, and the holes gave them a clear view of the unkempt grass on the side of the yard. When they rounded to the front of the home, they saw a void in the grass by the backyard gate, and the two of them instantly knew that this was where Kennith got knocked and dragged into the house. They both exchanged worried glances and tried not to think about it as they entered the front yard.

The pathway to the front door, made of that same rickety lumber, buckled slightly under their feet. Reaching the front porch didn’t provide much relief for them. Dirt covered everything except for the dead plants, and the state of the windows and door gave the place an almost abandoned feel to it. The only personal touch came from the slender, white figures dangling from the low hanging ceiling that made an unusual clinking sound in the wind. Kierram commented, “Wow, what strange wind chimes!”

Gwynivara studied them, and a sickening feeling rose in the pit of her stomach. “Those aren’t wind chimes!” Kierram took a closer look and realized that they were pieces of bone! He practically jumped away from fright, and Gwynivara inquired, “Do you think they’re human?”

Kierram pulled himself back into focus and replied, “Either way, it’s not a good sign!” Gwynivara grimaced and knocked on the door.

The few seconds it took for someone to answer seemed to last forever. Gwynivara heard footsteps creaking towards them, and she quickly fell into character. That didn’t stop her heart from pounding wildly as the door swung open. She expected to see a stereotypical convict, but what she got was a very tall man with straw-like hair matted down by a cowboy hat with alligator teeth around the base, which clashed terribly with the olive-drab green zebra striped vest he also wore. For a second, his cartoonish appearance threw her off, but the pronounced scowl and intense glare let her know that they had found the right guy. He growled, “Can’t you read?” He pointed to a sign that said ‘No Trespassing.’ He seethed, “Get off my property!”

Gwynivara coolly pulled out a piece of paper and informed him, “FBI. We have a warrant to search the premises.” While he read the sheet in total astonishment, Gwynivara pushed him aside and entered the building with Kierram.

Kierram and Gwynivara pulled out their flashlights and scanned the small living room. Bernadette had told her that the search party had seen the man slap someone in this room, but all they could see was old-fashioned, hardly used furniture. Gwynivara reasoned that he must’ve moved Kennith to somewhere less conspicuous, but that didn’t comfort her much. Although they had planned for this, she had partly hoped to get in and get out quickly. While they roamed the living room, the man staggered over and remarked, “I ain’t hiding no quarantine children!”

Kierram responded, “A witness placed them in your yard the night of the fire. If you’ve got nothing to hide, then you don’t have anything to worry about.” He saw some mail on a coffee table and casually glanced at the name on the address. “So, I assume you’re the homeowner, Rick Actaeon?”

He answered snidely, “I dunno, am I?”

“That’s him,” Gwynviara confirmed. “If he wasn’t, he’d deny it.” Rick pouted, not being able to refute her logic. As she peered at the couch by the window, she noticed blood spatter on its arm. “What happened here?”

“Doesn’t matter,” Rick said spitefully. “It ain’t kids’ blood.”

From behind a pair of wooden swinging doors, Gwynivara and Kierram heard a loud bump. Kierram asked, “What was that?”

“None of your business,” he retorted.

“We’ll see about that!” Gwynivara stated. They each took a door and slowly eased it open. The doors revealed a decrepit, neglected kitchen with flies hovering around a sink full of dirty dishes. The room appeared empty, but they were not so easily fooled. They tiptoed into the room, ready for an ambush. They heard another bump coming from a room in the nearby hallway. While Gwynivara crept towards the hallway, Kierram put his back to hers and eyed the room before him.

Gwynivara peeked down the hallway, which seemed dark and empty. She knew that they had not fully vetted the kitchen, but there was no signs of Kennith there. However, she did not budge. Something didn’t feel right. She thought, perhaps, it stemmed from the lack of escape routes in that part of the house, but her instincts seemed to indicate that they weren’t done in the kitchen. She heard another bump sound from what looked like the bedroom, but this area gave off an aura of being completely vacant. Puzzled and unsure of what to do next, she stayed rooted to the spot. A split second after she made that decision, a familiar male’s voice leered, “Well, well, well! What have we got here?”

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Sabotage, Chapter 13

“Thank you kind sir!” Zartex waved to a trucker as he left an old gas station. He turned to Carmen and Garith, who had a look of discomfort mixed with surprise. “I don’t know why you were so worried about taking a ride from a stranger!”

Garith noted, “People are rarely that nice without wanting something in return.”

Carmen observed her surroundings and remarked, “Who decided to call this place Oasis? Were they trying to be ironic?”

“So, this is Nevada, huh?” Zartex also looked around. “This doesn’t look that different than Utah!”

“Wait ’til we get to Elko,” Garith responded.

As the three of them walked through the desert alongside the highway, they ate breakfast sandwiches that they got from the gas station they passed. Carmen commented, “I never imagined I’d be in a situation where gas station food would taste amazing!”

Garith nodded in agreement. “Yeah, and I can’t believe how excited I got about using a gas station toilet!”

“I got you guys some of these free samples.” Zartex pulled some beef jerky out of his pocket.

“Those weren’t free!” Garith pointed out. “You’re supposed to bring it to the register.”

Carmen burried her face in her hands and shook her head. “Stop stealing things! Like we need another reason for the police to come after us!”

They all heard a low growl, and Garith joked, “Gee, Carmen, you don’t need to get that mad about it.”

“That wasn’t me!” Carmen stood still and looked around. The other two stopped and joined her in the search. They heard some rustling from a bush with inverted, whip-like branches, so they huddled together in preparation for an attack. The growling grew louder as the perpetrator emerged. “It’s a dog!” Carmen exclaimed as a tan, coyote-looking dog reared its teeth at them.

“Run!” Garith started to flee.

Carmen grabbed his shirt to prevent him from sprinting. “You can’t outrun a dog! Why do you think they have canine units in the police?”

“You want to fight it?” Garith asked incredulously as the dog crept closer to them. Carmen studied the dog closely and saw something the other two didn’t. She slowly approached it, prompting Garith to shout, “Are you crazy?”

Without breaking eye contact with the snarling beast, Carmen informed Garith, “She’s hurt!” After she said that, Zartex and Garith noticed the dog’s limp gait.

The dog let Carmen kneel before her, which made Garith really nervous. “Be careful!”

“Duh!” Carmen gingerly reached for its paw, which made the dog snap at her a little. That didn’t ease Garith’s nerves, so she assured him, “It’s okay. She’s in pain and isn’t sure if she can trust me.” Carmen’s pulse raced as she picked up its paw. Despite her assurances to Garith, she got forcibly reminded of when a dog bit her before. Her instincts made her trust this one though. She really hoped her gut feelings wouldn’t betray her since she just vouched for this dog. She saw a thorn stuck in her paw with some blood caked on around it. “You’ve been hurt for a while! Poor baby!” As she removed the thorn, the dog snapped a little again. Finally, the thorn wriggled out. Carmen felt a wave of relief, and evidently the dog felt the same way as they watched it scamper around and enjoy full use of her paws.

She licked Carmen in the face, which made her cringe a little. “Not the face!” She laughed and pet it. She glanced over at Garith, who appeared to be recovering form a near faint. “You’re not gonna say that’s what she said?”

“Don’t ever do that again!” Garith breathed.

Carmen laughed and stood up. As they continued their journey, Carmen noticed the dog following them. “Go home, doggy!” The dog happily followed them still. “No, no, no! Don’t pick us as your humans! Your life will constantly be in danger! Plus, you wouldn’t even have a home to go to. You’re better off finding someone here. Go on! Shoo!”

Garith laughed, “You can’t reason with an animal!” He grabbed Zartex’s beef jerky and threw it. The dog scampered after it and enjoyed gnawing on it. “That jerky was hard as a rock, that’ll keep her busy for a while!”

Zartex chirped, “Well, we helped her nurse her injury, and she helped us dispose of evidence!” Carmen shook her head but smiled.

Hours later, the town of Wells could be seen in the distance. Carmen conversed, “Wasn’t it uncomfortable working with your ex-wife?”

“She moved to L.A. once I said I wanted a divorce,” Garith told her. “It’s something she always wanted to do but didn’t because of me. It’s not like I ever said I wouldn’t leave San Francisco, but she said I held her back. She accepted a high end position at our headquarters and left me behind. Actually, I was okay with her getting far away from me ’cause it was easier to pick up my life where it was before I met her. The only difference between my old life and my single life was nicer furniture and Phoebe.”

“Phoebe?” Carmen questioned. “You have a daughter? Or is Phoebe one of your ex’s friends that you hooked up with?”

Garith chuckled, “Phoebe was her cat. I didn’t like cats much, but she grew on me. I felt bad for her, actually. I mean, her mom just abandoned her. Who does that?”

Carmen felt a surge of guilt hit her heart. “I left my cat behind when we moved to Colorado. I couldn’t have pets where I lived, so I let my dad take care of Orlando. I didn’t think I’d be gone long. The Grand Junction office was new, and it was supposed to give me more opportunities for building my team and getting promoted quicker. I thought I’d get promoted in like a year ’cause that’s what they told me. I didn’t think I’d be away from him for so long, and once I became a manager, It never occurred to me that they could be wrong or mislead me. I never got that promotion. I just abandoned my poor cat!”

Before Garith could reply, a sheriff’s car pulled up to them. The three of them tried to remain cool, but they were silently praying that this officer wasn’t here to arrest them. They had nowhere to run or hide in the middle of the desert! “Hey! You look like you’ve traveled across this highway for a while. Tell me…” Carmen felt like he could hear her heart pounding because she could feel the tension from the other two. “…have you guys seen my dog?”

Everyone took a breath of relief. Zartex addressed him, “A brown, coyote-looking dog?” The policeman nodded. “Yeah, she was just outside of Oasis. She helped her nurse an injury and he gave her my beef jerky.”

The officer clearly felt overjoyed to hear this news. “I sure do appreciate that! Y’all are decent folks!” He made a quick u-turn and raced towards Oasis.

Sometime later, they came just outside the town of Wells where, once again, all they could see was a gas station. Zartex inquired, “Why are there people gathering here?”

Garith squinted his eyes to get a better look. “It’s a sign for the Red Lion Casino. Oh, they must shuttle people to Elko.” Carmen gave him a glance that non-verbally told him that she wanted to go on the shuttle. Garith objected, “Oh no! Don’t you remember what happened last time we took a shuttle?”

Carmen argued, “There aren’t any mountains going from here to Elko! Plus, after over a week of non-stop walking, it sure would be nice to get a break!”

Garith still seemed weary. “I don’t like the idea of endangering so many people in an enclosed…” He stopped mid-sentence as a nearby bush rustled. The other two also stopped and gazed at directly at it. “Maybe the police dog followed us here.”

Carmen differentiated, “I think there’s a different bitch that’ll emerge from that bush.”

As Carmen predicted, Lilith came out from hiding and pointed a gun at them. They threw up their hands, and she gently told them, “Guys, I’m not here to kill you.” She threw the gun to the floor. They slowly put their arms down, but they did not trust her. Each of them kept an eye on her. “You got me all wrong. I’m here to save your life!”

“A Mirage executive wants to help us?” Garith challenged. “I have a hard time believing you care about anyone but yourself!”

Lilith tried to appear as docile as possible and spoke softly, “Look, they need a high ranking member to watch over people, that’s why I’ll never leave. I don’t like hunting people down like animals. I didn’t come to commit murder! But, I did catch you. If I wanted to, I could turn you over to the police. I’m not gonna do that. Actually, I want to promote you!”

That statement took everyone by surprise. Mirage had spent over a week chasing them down and tried to assassinate them, and now she claimed that they wanted to promote her! Carmen didn’t buy it. “Even if you decide to bypass the rules of building a team, I don’t wanna be a manager!”

“Actually,” Lilith revealed, “We want you to replace Elden Gundulf as head of security.” Zartex and Garith got a jolt of surprise from this, but Carmen did not. She stared at her hard. She wanted her to keep talking to see what game she was trying to play. Lilith continued, “You beat us! You won! We threw every trick in the book at you and you made it through each time. No one has ever gotten this far! Instead of trying to destroy you, we want to use you. You can think like the most clever employee that goes astray, so you can help us humanely rescue them. We need someone like you to make sure what you went through doesn’t happen again. Think about it. You can dedicate you life to saving lives!”

Garith and Zartex looked to Carmen, who did not seem remotely tempted by this offer. In some ways, her argument made sense. If she was head of security, she could stop them from murdering and kidnapping people. Carmen’s gut instincts would not let her consider accepting this offer. Zartex spoke up first, “What about the way you treat your low level employees? Would you expect her to condone that?”

This touched a nerve for Lilith. “We do not mistreat our employees! We have a success plan that has been proven to work! Even our lowest level employees can make over a grand in a week! What other company offers that for people with no experience? We help people get careers and fabulous lifestyles, and that’s supposed to be a bad thing? We’ve also given hundreds to charity-does that sound like an evil, malicious company?”

“Lots of wealthy people do that for tax purposes,” Garith pointed out.

Lilith almost blew a gasket, but she closed her eyes and collected herself. “Carmen, you have a choice. You can choose to believe the lies this reporter has filled in your head and go to prison for the rest of your life. But, if you want a better life, listen up. We’ll get you a lawyer and get that murder charge thrown away at no cost to you. We’ll send you to luxurious training camp at Mirage headquarters. We have the best training! The classes take dull leadership lessons and makes them fun. And, after class, you can get spa treatments, eat fine food, all sorts of stuff! After training, you’ll make a six figure income and live in a nice place all on your own. You can help your whole family out too. Isn’t that what you always wanted? I don’t think I need to ask which life you want-prison or luxury? So, come on, let’s go!”

Lilith turned away and started walking to her car. When she realized that she hadn’t followed her, she turned back around. “What’s the problem? Is it all that walk you did? Don’t worry, I’ll bring the car to you!”

“I’m not going anywhere with you,” Carmen said firmly. “The only thing that you said that I believe is that you wanna use me. A few weeks ago, I was just like you. I defended Mirage like it was my own family. Whenever someone criticized us, I responded exactly like you did. How dare they! How dare they spout such hate and disrespect! I did the same thing as you-I seduced people into Mirage by waving these temptations over their heads. Who doesn’t want to live a life of luxury? Only a few people get that posh lifestyle, and it comes at the price of the lowest level employees’ blood, sweat, and tears! You exploit hundreds to help a few people live well. You keep people in by distracting them with things they want to make them forget what they stand to lose. You got me for over three years, but you’ll get me no more! I won’t by snared by getting shiny things waved at me! How dare you insult my intelligence like that! Believe it or not, I’d rather sit in a prison cell than sell my soul again!”

Lilith’s frown was so pronounced that her lips practically disappeared. “Fine, have it your way!” She bent down as if she was retrieving her gun. Before the three of them could react, she spotted something behind them that made her eyes grow round as dinner plates. She darted off and ran in the opposite direction. They tried to comprehend why, but everything moved so fast that they didn’t have time to question it. A flash of brown brushed past them and made a beeline to Lilith. The flash caught her, and now that it had slowed down, they recognized it as the dog they saw in Oasis!

As the dog continuously bit her, the officer that owned her pulled up. He exclaimed, “Atta girl, Trigger! Good girl, you got a bad guy?”

He got out of his car to get Trigger off of her, but he continued to praise her for a job well done. The other three saw the shuttle for the Red Lion Casino pull up, so they ran to it before Lilith talked to the police. As they boarded, Carmen playfully teased Garith, “See, didn’t I tell you that you can’t outrun a dog?”

Garith rolled his eyes but didn’t look bothered. He smiled as he said, “That’s your favorite phrase, isn’t it?”

“Yes!” Carmen grinned as they took their seat. Garith chuckled as he slumped against the seat, ready to take a nap.

As the shuttle took off, Zartex noted, “We weren’t there to tell the police officer the crimes she committed against you, so she probably won’t get charged with anything.”

“That’s okay,” Carmen responded thoughtfully. “I’ve been bit by a dog before, so, trust me, her injuries will be punishment enough.” Carmen, too, slumped against her seat to take a nap. Zartex shrugged, kicked back, and relaxed as the other two dozed off.

War of the Mystics: Frozen

Attention Readers: the free version of my novel, which I posted a chapter at a time on my blog, is no longer available. However…you can purchase it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble online, Createspace, and eBay. So please, check it out and spread the word!!!

War of the Mystics: Frozen, the Novel

For anyone that read chapters of my novel, I want to thank you. Each individual is appreciated for your support. If you’re a fan and would like to purchase a hard copy of the book, it is available here: https://www.createspace.com/6854358. In a few days, it will be on sale in Amazon. Thanks so much!

Temca Academy II, Part 9

INT. CONFERENCE HALL. AFTERNOON.

Anielle, George, and Toci are dressed in business wear and scan the hall. A group of extremely attractive men walk by, which gets the girls’ attention.

ANIELLE:
Wow, if something happens to Joshua,
I know where I’m finding my next man!

GEORGE:
You shouldn’t look at other guys.

ANIELLE:
Why not? It’s not like a have a ring
on my finger!

Toci chokes on her drink.

GEORGE:
K pass-o?

Another group of hot guys walk by.

TOCI:
Man, it must be some kind of hot
guy convention!

GEORGE:
No way! I would’ve been invited
to that!

A group of guys stop for pictures.

GEORGE:
It’s not fair! I’m attractive, so why
won’t they invite me to their convention?

MAN 2:
You wanna come?

GEORGE:
Finally!

George leaves with them. Meretrice approaches them looking messy and physically exhausted.

MERETRICE:
Whew! So many boys, so little time!

Toci grumbles jealously.

ANIELLE:
I’ll bet with that hot guy convention!

MERETRICE:
You mean the Gayzard convention?
You know, gay wizards conference?

Toci and Anielle burst out laughing. Anielle immediately stops laughing when she sees Babelsama in the crowd. Babelsama sees her too and runs away in a panic. Anielle follows him.

INT. CONFERENCE ROOM. AFTERNOON.

Anielle runs into the room, but Babelsama is nowhere in sight. The room is expansive and pretty packed.

TOCI:
Did you lose him?

ANIELLE:
No, I found him and captured him.
I think he’s gonna make a speech soon.

George appears looking ticked off. Toci and Anielle snicker.

GEORGE:
You did that on purpose!

TOCI:
We could not have planned something
so hilarious!

Babelsama comes on stage, and the crowd becomes quiet and pays attention.

BABELSAMA:
Welcome to the FLA. I was invited here
by the Future Apprentices of University
Kingdom.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:
The FAUK?

BABELSAMA:
No, don’t call it that! Anyways, I wanted
to share with you my ideas for how to run
a university or even run a country more
efficiently. Now, I think it’s only fair the
hardest working people obtain the greatest
reward, and people who do nothing should
be punished. We cannot remain passive. One
should always strive for more and more. Loyalty
is important. The more people work for the leader,
the better their lives should be. If he’s a good leader,
and someone does not follow him, they should be
severely punished!

The crowd agrees with him. Babelsama looks directly at George, Toci, and Anielle, who glare at him. He turns back to the crowd.

BABELSAMA:
If elected university president, I would make
several important changes. We’d start with the
budget. I’d cut…

A paper airplane lands by him. He reads it and frowns profusely.

BABELSAMA:
I’m sorry but my girlfriend just
miscarried. I’ll finish this speech
another time!

He tries to leave but Anielle binds him. The crowd looks at her like she is insane.

ANIELLE:
This man is a murder suspect!

BABELSAMA:
It was self defense! Please, let me go
to my girlfriend!

The crowd gets angry and helps him up. As he leaves, a peace officer comes and arrests Anielle.

INT. WITCHES PRISON. EVENING.

Anielle sits in a corner alone. A few other women are in the small, dingy room with her but pay her no attention. A pink force field acts as a door. Some guards approach and Anielle looks hopeful. They throw someone in and leave. Anielle hangs her head in disappointment.

MERETRICE:
Never thought I’d share a cell with you!

ANIELLE:
Meretrice? Why are you here?

MERETRICE:
Why do you think? It happens every
few months or so. I stay a few days
and go back out. Never been to Arizona’s
Witches Prison though. Theirs is nicer.

ANIELLE:
This is nice?

MERETRICE:
Not as nice as the one in England though.
Theirs is the best. Well, that’s what I’m told.
Deirdre was originally from there. She would
go back and visit her cousinoccasionally. She was
so lucky to have family. I always wondered how
someone could abandon a baby.

ANIELLE:
Family is overrated sometimes. My mom
lives in Canada with her husband. Both of
them are too busy partying to really pay
attention to me or my sister. Leila and I
got disowned by our father because the
men and career choices we picked weren’t
approved by Neiman.

MERETRICE:
My foster parents never approved of my
career choice either. We’re a lot alike,
except your best friends are still here.

ANIELLE:
Some best friends! Where were they when
I was being arrested? Why haven’t they
bailed me out? I keep thinking about what
Madame Fate said-your friends will abandon you.

MERETRICE:
That’s not very nice. Most psychics tell
people good things so they’ll come back
and say nice things again.

ANIELLE:
She works for Babelsama.

MERETRICE:
Well then, why would you give any
merit to what she says? Anyways,
if you wanna get bailed out, I got
plenty of cash.

ANIELLE:
Thanks. But you’ll be coming back to
campus, right?

MERETRICE:
Uh huh! I usually don’t sleep with men
so attractive and young, so this has been nice!

INT. ANIELLE AND TOCI’S ROOM. NIGHT.

Anielle is on her laptop and pouts. Toci enters and is surprised to see Anielle.

TOCI:
Oh, you’re here! So, they let you out
of jail?

ANIELLE:
Meretrice bailed me out. Thanks for
all of your help!

TOCI:
We were following Babelsama! He flew
to Mexico.

ANIELLE:
Mexico? But, he’s been all his time here.
If he has a girlfriend he knocked up, she
should be here. One of these days we gotta
disguise ourselves and just follow him all day.

George passes by.

TOCI:
George, come here!

George enters.

GEORGE:
What?

TOCI:
I have an idea of why Chad doesn’t
want a piece of this.

ANIELLE:
Oh, here we go…

TOCI:
Maybe he’s gay!

GEORGE:
I don’t think he’s gay. Guys in denial
still act like gay guys.

TOCI:
But I wanna make sure. So, I want you
to go with us on our date tomorrow
and at the end of the night, ask if you
wanna do a threesome.

GEORGE:
Absolutely not! I love you, Toci, but
in a platonic way. I never risk friendships
for a booty call…anymore.

TOCI:
We’re not really gonna do it! I just
wanna see if he likes the idea. If he’s
gay, he’d love to experiment with you.
but if he does go for it, I’ll take his
virginity and we’ll both leave!

ANIELLE:
Your schemes are getting more and more
senseless by the minute!

TOCI:
Please George! I don’t ask for a lot of
favors!

GEORGE:
Fine! But you’ll have to buy me a
lot of drinks first!

George leaves.

TOCI:
What’s wrong, Anielle? Normally
you get a big kick out of this.

ANIELLE:
I have more important things on my
mind. Believe it or not, I don’t view
your sex life as top priority.

TOCI:
You miss Joshua, don’t you?

ANIELLE:
Of course I miss Joshua! I miss the way he
made me feel about myself. He made me
feel truly wanted. And I miss his sweet little
comments and his passionate kisses. Sure, he’d
drive me crazy sometimes, but I even miss that.
I miss the petty arguments we’d get into. I
remember a lot of times we’d lie in bed
together and he’d let out a huge fart, so I’d
kick him out of bed. I miss his smelly farts!

TOCI:
You miss his farts?!? Wow, you must
really love him!

ANIELLE:
I do. But I’m not just thinking about that.
It drives me crazy that Babelsama is so
close and we have no idea what he gets up
to! What did Joshua’s clue mean? I keep
wondering why they kidnapped him instead
of murdering him. I’m grateful he’s alive, don’t
get me wrong, but why would they keep him
around? Sometimes I fear that Madame Fate
will turn out to be right about me becoming
a crazy cat lady!

TOCI:
Oh, if you want to get a cat, there’s a
potion recipe for allergies on page
seventy two of my household cure book.

ANIELLE:
And there’s Toci with the big picture!

TOCI:
Look on the bright side-classes resume
tomorrow! Aren’t you excited about
what you may learn?

Anielle rolls her eyes and closes her laptop. She leaves the room with her toothbrush and a cup of tooth polish potion.

TOCI:
She really needs to get laid!

Temca Academy II, Part 6

INT. JOSHUA AND GEORGE’S ROOM. NIGHT.

George is sitting on his bed with ebbed attention to BLANCHE (long, light brown hair, moon shaped glasses, and a pale, frail body).

BLANCHE:
My uncle’s hazelnut isn’t very good,
but I quite like my mother’s hazelnut.
Yellow nut is quite tasty, though I can
only drink it in small doses…

Toci and Anielle enter and look at George quizzically. When he finally notices them, he bolts off his bed, relieved.

GEORGE:
Hole-la guys!

TOCI:
You’re saying it wrong.

GEORGE:
That’s how it’s spelled. Wait,
do you pronounce it hollah?

ANIELLE:
Hola, George. Sorry to interrupt such,
uh, stirring conversation.

Blanche gets up and goes over to them.

BLANCHE:
I’m Blanche. He asked me up for coffee,
and I was telling him which kinds I like.

GEORGE:
You’re bats! What planet are you from
where you think a guy inviting you up
for coffee actually wants to give you
coffee? You are the most boring person
I’ve ever met! I thought you might’ve
been one of those scholars that’s a closet
freak, but no! I’m going to kill that Adam
guy for setting us up!

TOCI:
(to Blanche)
What he’s trying to say is that he
thinks you should just stay friends.

BLANCHE:
Okay. I can always use more friends!
Bye guys!

Blanche leaves. Anielle starts rumaging through Joshua’s desk. She finds the folder.

ANIELLE:
Let’s see…Deirdre Lenon, age twenty two,
found dead on a dirt road. Cause of death,
heart stopping spell. That’s it? That’s all
the regular crime solvers bothered to put?

GEORGE:
It’s a crummy system, but what are we
supposed-

ANIELLE:
I just have to figure out where Joshua
would’ve gone to solve this crime. Tomorrow
after work I’ll go down to Sepia Street and
ask around.

TOCI:
I’d go with you, but I have an oyseter
dinner with Chad.

GEORGE:
I’ll go with you.

TOCI:
Just don’t try to speak or act Hispanic
there. You don’t wanna piss anyone off.

GEORGE:
Why would they get mad? I speak
ess-pag-noll bu-eh-no!

ANIELLE:
Just let me do the talking, pendejo.

Toci busts out laughing. George laughs too but he does not know why.

INT. DRAGON HEART SHOES. LATE AFTERNOON.

The floor is covered with various shoes. A young woman (LINDA) tries on a pair of heels and thinks about it. Anielle looks bored to death.

LINDA:
Okay, I like these. I’m going to
come back Wednesday to get them.

Linda leaves.

ANIELLE:
Great! I’m so glad I stayed twenty
minutes after my shift for that!

CIRCE:
That’s right! Keep up that positive
attitude!

Anielle rolls her eyes. They bring out their scepters and clean up the shoes.

ANIELLE:
Alright, I’m leaving.

CIRCE:
Wait! Before you go, take this!

She hands her a coupon with Madame Fate’s eyes and moving lighting in the background.

CIRCE:
You get twenty percent off
with this coupon!

ANIELLE:
Goody.

Anielle stashes the coupon in her pocket.

ANIELLE:
See you, batty!

CIRCE:
Betty? I’m Circe!

Anielle rolls her eyes again and leaves.

EXT. SEPIA STREET. EARLY EVENING.

The street has a almost decayed look. Scantily dressed women and sloppily dressed men roam the street. Anielle and George stand out and get a few stares. They arrive at a pile of rubble that once could have been a house or store. There is a lot of ashy dirt and hardware.

ANIELLE:
This is where Deirdre’s body was discovered.
A peace officer spotted her, they did a quick
autopsy, and it turns out she was hit with a
heart stopping spell. It’s a common signature
of pimps, so they assumed the same for her and
moved on.

GEORGE:
(looking at the file)
She looks so sad. No one reported her
missing either. Did she have a family? or
friends?

DEEJAY (a ghetto man) is passing by and hears Anielle say that.

DEEJAY:
You’re looking for Deirdre’s friend?
Hey, Meretrice!

MERETRICE (OS):
What?

DEEJAY:
Come ‘ere!

MERETRICE (OS):
I told you, Deejay, I don’t work
for free!

DEEJAY:
No, some people are looking for you.
(to Anielle and George)
She’s coming. Peace out!

Deejay leaves. MERETRICE (tall, skinny, crimped strawberry blonde hair, slutty clothes) comes over to see what Deejay was talking about. She sees Anielle and George and gets scared.

MERETRICE:
You’re with the Bureau of Magic, aren’t
you? Well, whatever you have on me
is a lie!

ANIELLE:
We’re not with the B.O.M. or the P.O.’s.
My boyfriend, Joshua, was investigating
Deirdre’s murder and now he’s missing.

MERETRICE:
He’s missing? That’s too bad. He was
he only P.O. that acted like he gave a
damn about what happened to us.

GEORGE:
So, what happened to your friend?

MERETRICE:
No idea. I was working on a…book…

ANIELLE:
Seriously, we’re not peace officers. My
boyfriend’s captain isn’t going to spend a
lot of time looking for this killer, and I won’t
find him til I find the killer. So, be honest,
before you were working on your “book,”
did you notice anything weird?

MERETRICE:
Not really. Except the eyes.

GEORGE:
Whose eyes?

MERETRICE:
I don’t know. When we were growing up,
Deirdre and I always felt like there was
an evil eye watching us. Like, the eyes
would make bad things happen to us. I
never see them, but I felt like they were
always there, just waiting to strike. But
what’s weird is when Deirdre died, they
went away.

ANIELLE:
So, do you think someone was plotting
to kill Deirdre?

MERETRICE:
Maybe. Deirdre and I always looked like
sisters, so maybe they couldn’t tell us apart.
It could’ve been me they were after. We’ve
felt these eyes since we were kids. A lot of
people wanna hurt us in this line of work, but
who’d wanna hurt a baby?

GEORGE:
Does someone have something against
your family?

MERETRICE:
I don’t have a family. I was abandoned
as a baby and lived in foster homes til I
was twelve. That’s when Deirdre and I
started turning tricks.

ANIELLE:
That’s so sad!

MERETRICE:
Why? I love sex! It makes me feel good cuz
it’s what my talent is. I’d do it for free, but if
I’m gonna do it and get paid for it, then why
not? I make men feel good. Sometimes women.
Sometimes couples. I’ve thought about going to
college, you know, to be a masseuse, but now I
have too many clients to just leave them. Sex is
more than just fiddling around with your privates;
it frees the soul to animal instincts. And it makes
you sick less, so I view myself as a healer. Don’t
feel sorry for me!

She starts coughing and hacking for a minute.

GEORGE:
What happened to preventing illness?

MERETRICE:
Okay, so occasionally it creates a few
diseases. I have metabulish.

ANIELLE:
Oh gross!
(to George)
It starts off as a rash in your genitals,
but it creates outbursts of fluids, like
hacking up mucus or worse, gushing
blood. Things like that.

MERETRICE:
Men say I’m worth it.

ANIELLE:
Right. So, you don’t think a pimp
did this? The murder, not the disease.

MERETRICE:
We don’t have pimps.

ANIELLE:
Did she talk about her last client?

MERETRICE:
Some bald dude flagged us down, so
Deirdre went to go see him. I followed this
rich executive to do him. Stayed all night.
Made five thousand pieces.

GEORGE:
So, did this bald guy wear a long, brown
robe and talk about his plans outloud?

Meretrice nods but eyes a potential customer.

ANIELLE:
Here’s my card if you need to
contact me with more information.

Meretrice takes the card and leaves.

GEORGE:
Ha ha, Babelsama can’t get laid on his
own, so he has to hire a hooker!

ANIELLE:
No, he was probably the “eyes” trying
to kill her. Someone wanted Meretrice
dead. But why would Babelsama care
about her?

GEORGE:
Maybe he got paid for it.

ANIELLE:
But he likes to be a leader. He has a
partner, and I bet it’s Madame Fate!

GEORGE:
She hasn’t done anything wrong though!

ANIELLE:
Well, now we know Babelsama did it, and
he probably caught Joshua here and kidnapped
him. We’ve gotta get out of here!

GEORGE:
We should convince Meretrice to go
into hiding too.

Before Anielle can respond, a couple of guys eye her.

ANIELLE:
Let’s go before I gotta hex someone!

They leave.

Temca Academy II, Part 5

INT. ANIELLE AND TOCI’S ROOM. NIGHT.

Toci is tending to one of her plants in a very skimpy outfit. Anielle puts on her sneakers to complete her cheerleader ensemble (which is red and black with a black cat logo). Toci hums.

ANIELLE:
Are you in a good mood because
you think your slutty outfit is
going to work?

TOCI:
I’m happy because the weekend is
here. Aren’t you?

ANIELLE:
I don’t get a weekend. I have cheer practice
tonight and work Saturday and Sunday. It’s
a pain, but I gotta work because my dad won’t
give me spending money anymore. Then again,
I wonder what the point of having spending money
if I don’t have time to spend it!

Joshua enters wearing a junior crime solver outfit. Toci is about to leave when she sees him.

TOCI:
Going to work, huh?

JOSHUA:
Yeah. I can give you a ride to
Sepia Street since it looks like
we’re both about to work there.

Toci does not seem offended but still glares at him.

TOCI:
Wish me luck!

ANIELLE:
No. It’s just too ridiculous.
But have fun!

TOCI:
Oh, I will. Believe me, I will have fun!

Toci leaves.

ANIELLE:
You’re going to work on Sepia Street on
a Friday night? Isn’t it one of their busiest
nights?

JOSHUA:
Yes, which is why I’m going tonight-more
potential witnesses. Plus, I wanna have my
Saturday night free to whisk you away to
a nice dinner.

ANIELLE:
What’s the occasion?

JOSHUA:
Your glamorous new job! Do I need
a reason to spoil you?

ANIELLE:
Just be careful, okay?

JOSHUA:
What’s the fun in that?
(beat)
Now, I better go before I rip
that sexy outfit off you.

GEORGE (OS):
Olé!

ANIELLE:
Okay, bye you!

JOSHUA:
See you soon, babe!

They kiss and Joshua leaves. George (wearing his broom football uniform) comes in.

GEORGE:
Ready to go?

ANIELLE:
No. I mean, I will, but I kind of feel
rooted to the spot. It’s like that kiss
was the last one I’d have with him.

GEORGE:
Oh, I see. Now you think you’re
Madame Fate?

ANIELLE:
Ugh! If I hear about that hag one
more time today…I’ll …
(beat)
I don’t know!

GEORGE:
Okay…let’s va-man-ohs!

ANIELLE:
Vamenos. Even I know that, and I’m
Irish-Italian!

They leave.

INT. DRAGON HEART SHOES. LATE AFTERNOON.

BG-a small store with shoe boxes lining the walls and a few display shelves. Anielle is sitting behind the register looking really bored while Circe has her head against the wall.

CIRCE:
That’s the third time today! Madame
Fate said this guy was going to work
for a glorious new leader that will
surface at Temca!
(squeals)
Oh, it’s so exciting to work next
door to a real psychic!

Anielle snorts in disbelief.

CIRCE:
Everyone on campus is talking about
getting a reading done. I have her
booked in two weeks! When are you
getting yours?

ANIELLE:
When I sprout wings and fly into a rainbow!

CIRCE:
I’ve always wanted to do that!

Anielle rolls her eyes. The door opens with a jingle and SCOTTERINA (a very large woman wearing designer clothes and carrying designer shopping bags) walks in. Circe doesn’t move so Anielle goes to tend to her.

ANIELLE:
Welcome to Dragon Heart Shoes. How
may I help you?

SCOTTERINA:
Yes, do you have the purple heels with
the dirt protection spell?

ANIELLE:
Yes, it’s right in front of you.

SCOTTERINA:
Oh, so it is! Can you hand it to me?

ANIELLE:
Okay…

Anielle walks over and hands her the shoe that is right in front of her.

SCOTTERINA:
Do you have it in a size eight?

ANIELLE:
That is a size eight. You can try them on.

Scotterina sits down in a chair that barely holds her weight. Anielle grabs the shoe and stoops down. She raises her eyebrows as she sees her feet are obviously bigger than a size eight. She takes off her shoe and tries to hide her disgust at the smell. She barely squeezes the shoe on.

SCOTTERINA:
Oh, that’s perfect! I’ll take them!

ANIELLE:
Great! That will be fifty pieces.

SCOTTERINA:
Fifty pieces! No, thank you! If you
have any sales, go down to Scotterina’s
Furniture and ask for the owner. Then I’ll
buy them!

She puts her old shoe back on and leaves.

ANIELLE:
That is the sales price! She won’t like
it when they go back to eighty!

She picks up the shoes she tried on and sprays some cleanser potion on it.

CIRCE:
(sings)
Working hard is fun to do with a friend!

ANIELLE:
I hate this job!

INT. ANIELLE AND TOCI’S ROOM. NIGHT.

Anielle is waiting on her bed in nice clothes. Toci enters carrying two small boxes, one of which smells badly.

TOCI:
You’re probably wondering what’s
in the boxes.

ANIELLE:
With you, I try not to ask.

TOCI:
I found some non-magical food that
will turn him on without it being date
rape! Dark chocolate and oysters!

ANIELLE:
Don’t serve them at the same time!

TOCI:
Duh. Hey, look at you all dressed up!
Where are you off to?

ANIELLE:
Probably nowhere. I haven’t seen or
heard from Joshua since last night.
He hasn’t come back to the Dog House
in almost twenty-four hours, and he
won’t respond to my messages.

TOCI:
Maybe he pulled an all nighter at work.

ANIELLE:
Sergeant Cassius hasn’t heard from him
either. If he doesn’t respond in an hour,
he says he’ll be considered a missing person
and his case will be turned over to a crime
solver to find him!

TOCI:
Oh, Anielle!

Toci tries to give Anielle a hug, but Anielle recoils.

ANIELLE:
I appreciate the thought, but you wreak!

TOCI:
What are you going to do?

ANIELLE:
I’m going to look for him. I don’t trust his
peace officer department. First, they hand
off a murder case to a junior crime solver and
then they let him work Sepia Street without any
back up or messages to check on him until a day
later. It’s like they’re trying to punish him for
caring about a crime they deemed unimportant!
Plus, I can’t say why yet, but I think Madame
Fate is connected to it.

TOCI:
She’s just a psychic!

ANIELLE:
She’s meddling with Temca! She puts up
posters in the middle of the night, becomes
popular on campus rapidly, and then starts
telling people they’ll work for a glorious new
leader. That’s the exact kind of thing Babelsama
would do!

TOCI:
Wait, so you think Madame Fate and
Babelsama kidnapped your boyfriend to
stop him from investigating the death of
that prostitute? That’s a little-

ANIELLE:
Don’t call me crazy! You’re the one
trying to seduce your boyfriend with
dead fish!

TOCI:
Fair enough. So, when do we start looking
for him?

ANIELLE:
We?

TOCI:
You know George and I will help you.
We’re his friends too. Besides, even if
you do something nutty, we’ll be doing
it with you cuz we’re friends, and we
stick by each other no matter what!

ANIELLE:
Thanks! Where’s George?

TOCI:
He said something about a blind date…