Archive | October 16, 2011

Creep – Giraffe Call

For [personal profile] bubbleblower‘s prompt, after In the Shadows (LJ) and directly after Shadow of a Doubt (LJ).


It wasn’t until a week later – when I was certain I wasn’t the only one seeing the shadows and ghosts, and when we’d determined that they were all over the City but, so far, nowhere else in America and, as far as we could tell, nowhere else in the world, either – that we really started noticing the other things.

Shadows, okay, it’s pretty obvious when a shadow points back at you. Ghosts, same thing. When they’re stealing the laundry off the line and the hot dogs out of the street vendors’ hands, obviously there’s something there doing something.

The old lights made them go away, but the old fluorescents were making people call-it-sick-we-can’t-say-crazy, and those of us who got paid to do those things made a unilateral decision that shadows pointing at people weren’t as bad as shooting sprees, and left the daylight bulbs in. We were starting to get used to the shadows and ghosts – except when they were stealing our lunch – by the time we noticed the statue.

The street-vendors were really corridor-vendors (but that sounded stupid), gathered in courtyards in the ‘plexes. Eight of us electricians met for our lunch-meetings in the same courtyard, hanging around the base of some famous chick. It wasn’t me, this time, thank god; it was Andy who noticed that the chick, who had been standing reading a book, was now writing in the same book.

Once we noticed that, well, we started looking at other statues. The ‘plexes were dotted with the things like sprinkles on cookies, and when we started asking the locals, it turned out, yeah. No-one had noticed, but they’d all started creeping, changing position. Must have taken weeks – in the week while we were asking around, the famous chick’s finger moved an inch.

They moved so damn slowly, it took us another month to realize they were trying to tell us something.

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Refurbish and Sell – Criminal Minds/Cali Crossover

For the [personal profile] clare_dragonfly‘s prompt

This is more of the Reid/Cali crossover fanfic, directly after the last piece.

The stories before this:
Never Been Caught (and on LJ): First written, last in sequence.

Shots Fired (and on LJ): First in sequence

“Well, Crap, Where am I?” (and on LJ), after “Shots Fired”

Sweet Iced Tea (LJ), after “Well, Crap…” and before the story below.

Commenters: 4

Their captive sipped his iced tea slowly, watching them. “You’re the team that’s been beating the BAU to the punch.”

“We are,” Morrigan re-affirmed.

“What have you been doing with the victims?”

“We’re slave runners. We’ve been cleaning them up, dressing them up, and selling them.” There was no point in sugar-coating what they did; it wasn’t like he wouldn’t find out soon enough anyway.

He studied her while he drank the saccharine tea. “You rescue them from serial killers just to sell them into slavery. It seems like a cruel joke to pull on them, doesn’t it?”

Them, still. She wondered when he would figure it out.

“It’s kinder than leaving them there and letting hem be raped, tortured, and killed, isn’t it? That last one – the guy with the birds-nest beard. Did your people get everyone out of his crawl space yet?”

He shook his head. “When we left for Georgia, they were still exhuming bodies. They had pulled out twenty-seven full remains, and three partial sets, one of them just the fingerbones from a left hand – they believe that was his first victim, due to the age of the remains. But the evidence suggested there had been two living victims there as well, one of whom who had been pretty severely injured.”

“We treated his injuries, and gave him several sessions with a very skilled therapist.” See? We can be nice, too. Morrigan would have laughed at herself, if Cym wasn’t doing such a good job of it in the other corner. “We’ll treat your injuries, too, when we’ve evaded pursuit sufficiently.”

“My injuries?” He squeaked when he was upset. It was adorable. “That’s not necessary. You can drop me at any hospital; I have very good health insurance. I appreciate the rescue, but I don’t need to burden you any longer.”

Aaaw. She almost felt bad for him as she patted his shoulder. “I think you’ll be with us for a while, Agent Reid.” Cleaned up, refurbished… but she wasn’t sure she’d sell him.

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Shadow of a Doubt – Giraffe Call

For [personal profile] jjhunter‘s image prompt, directly after In the Shadows (LJ).

Commenters: 4

I gotta tell you, I got out of the city as soon as I could. No overtime for me; it was time for me to go where the sun shone and the people knew my name.

But driving out of the city nearly killed me. I don’t like the drive-by-wire roads, so I take the back streets when I can, the ghettos, the old high-rises where people who can’t afford the ‘plexes or just don’t want to move still live. The roads there are still plain asphalt; too expensive to wire for too little payback.

And there I was, driving through a once-proud neighborhood, looking up at the shoes on the line. Old shoes, shoes with holes in the soles. Shoes made out of canvas and rubber, saying “we’re still here. We’re still living here in the shadow of the ‘plexes.”

And shadows. I didn’t want to think about shadows, but there in the wires, there was a flash of white. A shimmering shape against the sun. I blinked, and it was still there – a silhouette, a human shape, a shadows done in white instead of grey. Walking on the shoes. Walking down the wire, with nothing to cast the shadow, nothing to project some sort of holograph. Not here in the neighborhood, where they didn’t need daylight bulbs because they could still see the real sun.

I stopped the car – and a good thing, too; I wasn’t the only one staring. The shadow, the apparition, I guess, walked over the shoes until it found a pair it wanted – the holiest pair, the oldest pair. The ones that were barely held together by the stitching.

And that ghost slipped right into those shoes and walked off in them, not seeming to care the laces were still tied together.

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In the Shadows – for Giraffe Call

For ZiaNuray‘s prompt.

Commenters: 3

The shadows were the first thing to go weird.

I was working on one of the new mega-complexes when I first noticed it, installing the daylight bulbs those things needed on the inner corridors, to keep people from going nuts and killing everyone (I kid you not. It had happened three time. THREE TIMES! before they figured out it was the light that was doing it, people who lived and worked and shopped all deep in the ‘plex and never got out into the real sun), when the shadows started going funny.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that it had been almost a week since I’d seen the sun myself – I rented a capsule deep in a ‘plex, worked in the city all week and drove home to Fredonia on the weekends to see the wife and kids – but I wasn’t feeling like killing anyone except the manufacturer of the damn fixtures. And then shadows, well, the first thing I noticed was that there was a shadow coming towards me with no person attached.

Okay, that was a bit weird, so I hurried up and got that bank of lights installed, flipped the breaker, checked them out. The shadow was gone, but, for a moment, ALL the shadows were gone. Even mine. I flipped the switch again, and looked at my shadow.

It was looking at me. Well, not “looking,” I guess, but it was reaching towards me. Sort of like it was pleading, I guess. And the longer those daylight bulbs glowed on it, the darker it got.

And like I said… that was the FIRST thing that went weird.

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Halloween 1988

For an anonymous prompt.

Faerie Apoc, Addergoole – landing page here (or on LJ)

This happens before the storyline of Addergoole and may or may not be canon.

Commenters: 3

“Well, this will be interesting.” Maureen studied the incoming parents and small children flowing into the well-decorated Village. “Are you sure this is a good idea, Regine?”

“Normal American children celebrate Halloween, correct?” the Director asked crisply. “And, right now, the children of our project are normal American children.”

“Well, not all of them are American, but I see your point,” Maureen ceded. Even if “normal” was open to debate. “But they’re so young – you don’t really think they’re remember this, do you?”

“They may. And if they don’t, we can see how they’re progressing.”

“Of course.” Always with her project motives, never seeing the human – the person – behind the project. Maureen tut-tutted quietly and went off to see how the party preparations were going.

“What are you supposed to be?” A tiny girl – maybe five years old, if Maureen was any judge – was looking up at a dour-faced Doug.

“A centurion,” he told her gravely, and then, much to Maureen’s surprise, knelt down so she could see the way his breastplate was put together. “You?”

“Me?” She did a happy twirl of her lavender and purple dress. “I’m a good witch. I’m Shahin.” She offered him a hand solemnly. “This is Kailani,” she pointed at the freckled ginger girl next to her, who was wearing a tailored navy-blue suit with a red tie. “She’s dressed as the first woman president. And this is Jamian.” The little boy trailing along behind had a beard glued to his chin, and giant paper-mache horns. “He’s a goat.”

“Baa,” the boy offered uncertainly.

“Very nice costumes,” Doug agreed solemnly. “I think you all did very well.”

On the other side of Main Streets, two small children were shouting at each other. Maureen stood, leaving the adorable set of children to their conversation with the dour warrior, and hurried over to break up the fight. She was already getting quite a bit of practice at that.

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Not Everyone Makes it Out

For Stryck‘s prompt.

Faerie Apoc, Addergoole – landing page here (or on LJ)

This happens before/during the storyline of Addergoole.

Commenters: 4

“Look,” Eris insisted, her voice a hiss, “you can’t kill him. Anything else, sure, but it’s not like you can hide murder here, and if you kill another student, you’ll get expelled.”

“How do you know?” Mark was angry enough to be seeing red, but Eris had proven an accurate, if paranoid, guide to this school so far.

“Shad told me, okay? I don’t know how he figured it out. But it’s the one thing they’ll expel you for. That’s what they say, at least… and I don’t want to risk it.”


Viridian couldn’t seem to get out.

She knew, in a vague, unclear sense, that she was dead. She’d been dead for several years now – she’d seen her body, seen it taken out to the Village, watched them bury her with all the rites they thought they owed her. (She’d watched them take samples from her body, take her eggs and preserve them, as well, but she tried not to think too hard about that.)

She’d watched them usher dJango out of the school – quietly, with no fanfare, with layers and layers of mind Working to suppress all his memories of the school – while her body was still cooling on a slab, watched as they removed everything of him from the premises, and tucked his files away in a black folder. She’d thought when he was gone, she’d fade or move on. She thought when they buried her, maybe, then she’d be able to go. But, though the pull of elsewhere tugged at her, it was a distant and faint pull, and she couldn’t get past the edge of the property.

She tried to sleep, sometimes, but the room that had been hers was occupied by someone from the Third Cohort, a pretty girl with blue feathered hair. She hadn’t spent much time there, her first year, but now, her Keeper graduated, she’d sit up at night staring at the walls. Sometimes Viridian wondered if the girl could see her. Sometimes she tried to talk to her, but the girl never replied.

She wondered how long she’d be stuck here, wandering the halls, reading idly in the library when someone left a book on the table, studying over people’s shoulders in classes. She wondered if anyone would ever find her.

She wondered, when the halls were quiet and she was alone with her thoughts, what she’d done, that had made dJango snap so badly, how she’d pushed her Kept so badly that he’d ended up killing her.

And she wondered why he’d gotten to leave, and she was stuck here, even after death.

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