Title: Living with Hexes.
Date: Jun 30, 2008 at 4:16 AM
Divinatas – Jun 30, 2008 at 4:16 AM
Sunset City. It was a dry dusty place. Large enough to be called a city, but small enough that those folks out on the coasts would laugh about it’s size. Most people lived out on their own properties around the downtown, while the business owners usually kept house in their buildings. There was a couple Inns, saloons, the grocers, the tailor, barber, and blacksmith. The whore house, the school, the church, townhall and prison. It was just like every other town out in the midwest.
Except it was hexed.
Cursed, hexed, black magicked, doomed, purgatory, hell. There were a lot of names the folks of Sunset called their home, and none of them were pleasant. It wasn’t always hexed. But one day people found that once they entered the city line, they couldn’t walk back out again. Anybody dumb enough to try usually ended up plopped in the middle of the swamp with a few leeches stuck to their behind. Suffice to say, no one bothered trying anymore and when a new comer showed up, everyone just rolled their eyes and thought “Here we go again.”
Today was another ‘normal’ day in Sunset. The ghost wagon just paraded down the street being chased by the zombie bandits, another newcomer just got back from their trip to the swamp, and old man Harvey was stomping around out in his long-johns once again looking for his damned cat.
Brandy was at the bar cleaning the glasses like she always did, preparing for the evening rush. Not that she was expecting many to come in to her saloon today. That jackass over at the Dusty Bucket was offering up free first drinks to the “living” and banning everybody else. She had no qualms about serving the dead, but the dead rarely had cash.
“He’s gnawing his leg off again.” Brandy muttered, casting a quick look over at the animal skeleton on the floor. She wasn’t sure if it was a dog or a wolf skeleton, but the damned thing was always trying to eat itelf.
Alarice – Jun 30, 2008 at 4:32 AM
Pick up the glass. Study it. Swirl the contents around just so. Gradually stop. Swirl the contents in the opposite direction. Study the contents some more …
[I]”He’s gnawing his leg off again.” [/I]
The black gloves stopped moving the glass around in a circular motion and put it down on the bar. The stool where the “invisible man” sat turned in the direction of the skeleton. He leaned forward and gently bopped the wolf-dog skeleton on the nose. That caught the skeleton’s attention long enough for it to stop and look up. One glove held up one finger and shook it back and forth in a “No” gesture. From out of nowhere, the other glove reached into thin air or what might have been an invisible jacket and pulled out an old bone.
The wolf-dog began to thump its tail against the floor, jaw opened and what would’ve been a tongue hanging out. The glove tossed the bone to it. The skeleton caught it with practiced ease and immediately began to gnaw on the bone.
The stool turned to face back to the bar. The gloves picked up the glass and examined the contents again. Walker would have thanked Brandy for letting him know but he thought against it. She might think he was trying to order another drink and then they’d both get frustrated: him with trying to make her understand and her with trying to understand him.
Life as an invisible man was tough.
Divinatas – Jun 30, 2008 at 4:58 AM
Brandy always wanted to ask where he got that weird dog, but she learned real quick that asking a pair of gloves a complicated questions was a real headache. She learned when he wanted a drink, when he wanted some dinner, and when he wanted to wring someone’s neck. She could even tell what sort of mood he was in. But beyond that, it was a frustration she could do without.
In through the doors came Harvey, still in his underwear as he plopped down on to the stool next to the gloves. “Whiskey. Or do I want tequila? No, no, whiskey. Mr. Whiskers likes the whiskey.” he ordered, before looking at the gloves. “Good gravy, are they in here again? What do a couple of gloves want with human foods anyway? They ain’t got no stomach!”
“That’s a good question, Harvey. You should think about it and tell me when you figure it out.” Brandy poured him a shot of the whiskey and set it down on the bar in front of him. Why would his cat care what he’s drinking?
“I dun figured it out, woman. Them gloves are gonna float around here looking for the right victim to seek revenge on. Y’know strangle a man and all.” Harvey drank down his whiskey and held up a finger for one more.
Brandy poured another shot. “Did you ever think that maybe they’re attached to a man that prolly ain’t too pleased to hear you goin’ on about him while he’s sitting there right?”
Harvey snorted. “That’s a right stupid idea! Why would a man be sitting there with just his gloves on! Even an invisible man wouldn’t wanna sit there naked!” He downed his second shot before dropping some coins on the bar. “Ain’t got no sense in your brains, woman.”
Brandy blinked. Well, the old man did bring up a good question. She took a look at them gloves and the invisible one to wear them. “Naw, he couldn’t be naked. Where would he put his money and dog treats?”
Alarice – Jun 30, 2008 at 3:33 PM
One glove kept swirling the contents in the glass. The other lay on the bar and began to drum. If it had been at all possible, he would’ve had pointed out that he was sitting right here and listening to every word. Even written it out or used Morse code. Even sign language for crying out loud … If any of that worked, that is.
Walker would’ve found Harvey’s theory about his gloves strangling someone preposterous … if not for the given circumstances. In Sunset City anything was possible–except escape. The glove stopped swirling the glass and tipped it up. The dark rum went down nice and hard but at least he could savor it while it traveled.
From outside came the all-too-familiar voice of man shrieking his heart out. “Repent! Repent all ye sinners! Repent for God’s judgment have been passed upon thee! The dead and the damned walk side by side with the living! We have been cursed! And none can save thee but the Lord Himself! Repent! Repent all ye sinners!”
The glove put the empty glass down and slipped into thin air to produce a pocket-watch on a chain. The glove opened the cover with a thumb and studied the time before closing the cover and putting the watch away. Thirty minutes since the last time he’d preached. Like clockwork.
Divinatas – Jul 1, 2008 at 2:29 AM
“That dag blamed preacher is at it again!” said Harvey before he could elaborate on his glove theories. Before anyone could stop him (not that anyone would bother), he tossed his coins on the bar and was already stomping outside. There was a loudly shouted “WHAT THE DICKENS YOU OLD FRAUD!” followed by choked sputtering, and what might’ve been the lord’s prayer mingled with curse words!
Brandy shook her head as she scooped the coins off the bar and dropped them in to her pocket. “Another exciting day in Sunset.” she muttered, returning to her glass cleaning.
“HELL’S CREATURES ARE SERVED IN THAT SALOON! NOT LIKE THE GOOD GOD FEARING DUSTY BUCKET!” bellowed the preacher.
“Why the hell is that old man pointing at my window?” she said out loud with a scowl. There he was waving his damned bible and pointing at her saloon like the damned place was on fire.
“MR. WHISKERS DRINKS THERE SO IT AIN’T NO HELL HOLE!” replied Harvey, who didn’t have a single problem with matching the preacher’s shouting.
“Oh hells, don’t tell him the cat comes in here.” Brandy hissed to herself. It was too late. Harvey now how the preacher going on another preachin’ tangent. False gods, devil’s creatures, satan’s children… and pointing at [i]her[/i] damned window! What the hell! Brandy threw down her towel and set down her glass, to round the bar and stomp outside.
“What’s your problem, Preacher?! If you’ve got one with me you better spill it now to my face instead of marching around out here scaring my customers away.”
The Preacher puffed himself up to his most high and mighty expression! “Only warding my flock away from the pits of hell, Ms. James. Seeing as how you’re serving the very creatures of the devil, I’d say anyone who stops by here is flirting with Satan himself!”
Brandy blinked. She wasn’t sure if she wanted to laugh or shoot the man. “…I’m not above shootin’ a crazy preacher, so unless you want me to march back in the and get my gun, you better waltz on down the street.”
“I tried to tell ’em, Brandy. Whiskers wouldn’t be going to a devil’s den, but he’s a damned fool and won’t listen.” chimed in Harvey.
“Harvey, [i]please[/i] don’t help.”
Alarice – Jul 1, 2008 at 3:42 AM
Business as usual, Walker thought as he saw Harvey leave followed by Brandy. He snickered softly, although no sound came out. That preacher was always running his mouth off. It was too bad they couldn’t have gotten rid of him before this whole hex thing started. But maybe Hell wouldn’t be Hell if one didn’t have an annoying fly buzzing around.
Walker heard the commotion outside. It looked like things were getting out of hand. And who better to lend a hand than a pair of gloves? The wolf-dog skeleton lifted its head from the floor and looked up as the stool turned and the gloves went floating toward the door.
[I]”I tried to tell ’em, Brandy. Whiskers wouldn’t be going to a devil’s den, but he’s a damned fool and won’t listen.”
“Harvey, please don’t help.”[/I]
Walker stayed just outside the door and watched. The preacher’s vein was popping out of his forehead again. He was going to get a damn heatstroke, sweating and exhausting himself like that. One glove disappeared into thin air and reappeared–with a throwing knife between thumb and pointer finger.
Ready … aim … fire!
CHINK! The preacher suddenly broke off from what he was saying to look at the throwing knife embedded in his bible. “What in the name of Jesus?!” he muttered and began looking around wildly, temporarily forgetting about Harvey and Brandy. “What heathen dares to desecrate the Lord’s sacred words made print?! Who! Who among you!”
The preacher pulled the knife out of the bible and threw it on the ground. Then it spit on it. Not very preacher-like in Walker’s opinion. Not very sanitary either. “This.” He shook his finger at Brandy and then at Harvey. “This isn’t over. [I]Mark my words.[/I]”
Then he stalked off to the Dusty Bucket.[/dashed]
Divinatas – Jul 1, 2008 at 5:52 AM
Oh boy. Just her luck, threatened by a preacher. You’d think that wasn’t nothing to worry about, but she was pretty sure his vengeance would come in the form of good old fashioned burning things down. That’s the way them holy types liked dealing with sinners.
“Did you [i]have[/i] to bring up that damned cat, Harvey?” she complained at the old man, leaning over to snatch up the knife. “You coulda left my saloon out of it too!”
Harvey scratched his head. “He was already moanin’ about the place, woman. Reckon your saloon can take care of itself, throwin’ knives at people at all. I better find Mr. Whiskers and make sure he ain’t gettin’ harassed.” He was already shuffling down the dirt road hollering for his cat again.
Brandy trotted back towards her saloon, waving the knife at the pair of gloves as she walked past them. “This is mine now. You’ve might’ve very well got me in a whole lot of trouble.” She stopped half way inside, eying the new body sitting in one of the stools. They hadn’t come in from the front door, which meant they came in by [i]other[/i] means. She just sighed as she returned behind the bar.
“Alright, what’ll it be?” She blinked when it moaned ‘braaaains’. “I don’t serve brains here, you want some hash and sausage instead?” The body nodded it’s head jerkily up and down. Brandy sighed as she disappeared back in to the kitchen, still talking to anybody that was listening! “Zombies for dinner. At least he don’t have any horns. I’m gonna be lucky if I even wake up alive tomorrow morning!”
Alarice – Jul 3, 2008 at 7:23 AM
Well, there went another throwing knife. He couldn’t remember how long ago but he’d thrown one knife at an extremely rude patron. Sure, it had missed the man’s nose by a mere hair but the point was that he had missed. Unfortunately Brandy hadn’t seen it that way and vowed that from that moment on, anything else he threw, be it throwing knife or his skeletal canine. Apparently she had meant it.
Walker looked out at the street again before heading back inside. Brandy was gone but there was a new guy on one of the empty stools who kept muttering brains over and over.[/dashed]
Divinatas – Jul 4, 2008 at 1:25 AM
The zombie at the bar turned to look at Walker. Not that the zombie could actually [i]see[/i] anything, but it was still staring in the direction of the hovering gloves. It moaned for brains again reaching out it’s hands.
Brandy came out from the back a plate in her hands, pausing only a second to blink incredulously at the zombie reaching out to (what she assumed) grab and eat the brains of the invisible stranger. She dropped the plate in front of the zombie. “Here. Better than brains.”
The zombie turned back towards the plate, eying it’s content carefully before picking up a spoon and scooping some in to it’s mouth. It seemed to be placated for the time being, as it stopped moaning for brains and just ate it’s dinner.
Blowing her hair out of her eyes, she picked that throwing knife out of her pocket and polished it with her towel. She was clearly doing it on purpose as she stood behind the bar in front of his usual spot, admiring it between polishes. “Now I’ve got a little collection going.” Brandy imagined it’d be as easy as pie for him to get it back along with the other, seeing as how he could lurk around with her being none the wiser, but he always seemed to tolerate her teasing.
“AUNTIE BRANDY!” bellowed a young voice from the door, as a sandy blond and unusually scrawny little boy came leaping in, situating himself in a stool between the zombie and the gloves. “Wow a zombie. I didn’t know they ate eggs.” he blinked, before beaming a great big smile and setting a huge pouch on the bar. “I got the biggest stash ever and I don’t want moms to find it, can I keep it here, please, please, please, please?”
Brandy couldn’t help but smile back as she set that throwing knife under the bar and leaned closer to the pouch. “Depends on what’s in it. If it’s alive or undead, I don’t want it.”
He laughed hysterically. “Ahahahaha! You’re hilarious, Auntie! It’s my witch rock! Those stones that crazy swamp hag keeps throwing at people that get on her property. I go and pick ’em up and I sell them to those dumb newbies that come to town. Moms dun want them around cause she says they’re cursed and all, but they’re really just rocks or I’d have warts and my butt would fall off or something by now.”
“Jesus Christ, Tim. You’re an creative little brat aren’t cha.” It’s no wonder his mother hated the idea, she was a uppity little bi-
“Timothy James! What are you doing in this awful saloon!” Speak of the devil. A pretty sunshiny little blond in a bright yellow dress and lacy parasol stepped in through the doors looking around distastefully. “Goodness, Brandy. This place is… Well, Oh, you look …healthy… at least.”
Brandy slowly took Tim’s pouch off the bar and stashed it carefully underneath. She placed her hands on the edge, lightly tapping her fingertips on the old wood. “You’re a vision of loveliness as always, Samantha. Tim was just saying hello.”
Samantha smiled sugary sweet, twisting the parasol in her hands. “Thank you, sweetie. All this volunteer work I’ve been doing and taking care of my family agrees with me! I’m sure if Justin was here today he’d be pleased as pie! Oh.. I guess I shouldn’t mention my brother. Since he died everything just sort of went downhill for you didn’t it?”
Tap, tap, tap of her fingers. Would Tim get mad if she dug out one of his rocks and stoned his mother? Brandy was sure the woman just stopped by to be obnoxious. “Hey Samantha, would you like to meet my new friend? He’s interested in a woman with brains.”