Tag Archives: #bekindrewrite

Moonrise CH36 – Awake

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[1010 words – Inspiration Monday, #3WW, Sunday Scribblings 2] Anne blinked away her scowl like she was on a long road trip, and sleep threatened to stop her for the night. On the way to the address provided by Major Globe, Anne sat in macabre silence her brain trying to figure out how to warn Massey of the impending danger. Their world was slowly crumbling beneath them.

“The report on this Andy Kitz guy that Sindi sent is fascinating. He’s the typical ‘obsessed over supers’ nerd it seems. Nothing unusual in his resume, minor jobs, part-time journalist, lame blogger. But the cherry on top is that he is weirdly enough creator of this SuperHub thingy. Do you think Joaquin was Superhubbing himself to see where’s he on the freak-o-meter of powers?”

Silas’s chuckle was dry. He apparently thought of himself as a kindred spirit. Anne held her tongue as Silas amused himself with talk that Anne didn’t register but kept her red leather gloved hands firm on the steering wheel. She refused to show weakness in front of Globe’s lackey.

When they arrived, there was no sign of Massey. She hoped he came, saw and left. The old dog was smart enough to steer clear of FBI agents, all of them Globe’s men. She was glad the presence of the taskforce cut out any sidewalk viewers. For once, they would be free of the conspiracy hounds jockeying for attention that for some reason Globe refused to keep at bay. The crime scene was all theirs to investigate.

* * *

Kristoph opened his eyes and sighed. He breathed in the smell of the Canadian forest. A low-hanging fog blanketed the serene winter landscape. Pain radiated from his wrist. He looked down but could find nothing wrong with the troublesome joint. He tried to push away from the tree, but he was unable to move. A flush rose on his cheeks. The wooded scene before him was oddly familiar. A little girl in a pink dress skipped through the woods, singing a silly song.

“Too cold,” he croaked, and a shiver ran down his spine.

The little girl in the distance stopped singing and skipping and stared at him. Kristoph blinked, and then the girl was kneeling in front of him. There was something about her eyes that made Kristoph shiver again.

“No chance of reign,” the girl declared.

Kristoph blinked. Her words were eerily familiar.

“Mister Puss doesn’t like the fog,” she declared. “Too many clouds against his fur.”

Kristoph cringed as the fog slowly dissipated. He knew what he’d see would still his soul.

The little girl smiled a lopsided grin and tilted her head to the side.

He saw in his mind’s eye the devastation of Seattle burned to the ground. Broken skyscrapers like missing teeth rotted from the inside out. Bodies were everywhere. He tried to lift his arm to block the torrent of sticky red rain, but like the rest of his body, his arms refused his commands. He knew the sight should scare him, but the corner of his mouth quirked up. He was disappointed when the fog lifted, and all he saw was the Canadian wilderness.
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Moonrise CH34 – Literature Detective

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[1050 words – Inspiration Monday, #3WW, Write Anything, #SoCS, Sunday Scribblings 2, Sunday Photo Fiction]

The first thing Massey did was watch Anne’s hair flow in the brief wind, the color catching light from the street lamps and turning auburn. She was buzzing with anger. Globe had called. She smiled when she realized she messed up again. The Major wanted Joaquin found and brought to him. For what reason Anne didn’t elaborate, and Massey didn’t inquire. They had things under control. There was reassurance, a plan set to be executed. So they went their separate ways, each with their own role to play. The next thing Massey did was to spur into action without thinking, dodging traffic to reach Andy’s place, praying to whatever totem brought luck to cops that Anne had enough strategy to stall Globe’s lackey and slow down the search. Then they’d be good. Then they could start their attack against Globe’s rising power. He tried to call Andy’s phone a dozen times, but no one picked up. A feeling of dread settled in Massey’s gut. The windows on the street were all ablaze. They cast brilliant white stars on doors and windows overlooking the street. Flashing reds and blues confirmed his fears as he turned onto the street where Andy’s apartment was.

A fire truck was parked horizontally blocking the street. The hose wiggled on the asphalt like a python struggling in the heat of the still smoldering air. Once released the water rained like silver crystals against the black skyline full of smoke and desperation. The night-lights were gone, choked in the background of the death curtain. Massey stepped out of his cruiser, hand pressed against his mouth to cut out the smoke from entering his nostrils. By instinct, his dry mouth tried hungrily to inhale the ashes floating in the air. He recognized the apartment that was the sole attention of the crisis. The charred shape on the façade reminded him of a giant moth, a nuclear shadow imprinted on the side of the building. The notion made him dizzy, one monstrosity atop another. He elbowed through a small but growing crowd of odd-lookers. They stood around, mouths agape in their bedclothes, tightly hugging large frames and small frames in robes both tattered and luxurious. No one seemed to care how he or she looked or even who they were. They just wanted to see the dead and burned, the destruction that always followed the flames.

Outside of the crowd and into the danger zone Massey quickened his pace and ducked under yet another yellow police tape. His pace turned to a near jog to the ambulance and the body being loaded into it.

“Is he going to live?” Massey heard himself ask looking down at Andy’s bleeding face. He didn’t dare look around for a second body, his mind instantly questioning whether Joaquin was impervious enough to survive a fire, or an explosion, but then he recalled that duplex fire that was the source of him tracking the youth. He allowed himself a small sigh. If Joaquin hadn’t tried to carjack him, he would be one of the sheep bleating to the favor of Major Jacob Globe.

The paramedic pulled himself into the back of the ambulance grabbing for the doors. “He has sustained a few more serious injuries, but he’ll live. He was lucky your colleague pulled him out before he suffocated.” A gesture of the head made Massey swivel.

He stared at a middle-aged man standing by one of the police cruisers covered with a blanket to scatter away his shock. He measured how much bloodied and bruised his face was. The blanket slipped and uncovered his black jacket emblazoned with the yellow FBI letters. Massey breathed in deep ignoring the warmth in the air close to sweltering in the proximity, close to catching a swift drive down his throat. He had to get away before the agent saw him.
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Moonrise CH32 – Badass Orchestra

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[1125 words – Inspiration Monday, Sunday Scribblings 2]Joaquin drove without a direction just building speed, gaining a head start. But to where? Soon enough the black SUV was maneuvering between cars, wheels screeching on the asphalt, rushing to catch up with him. He couldn’t go back to Massey, he couldn’t give himself up. Andy was probably dead by now. The address for Jensen’s strange meeting was the only neutral place he could think off. He could dodge the cops on the way there. In seconds that seemed the only choice. He wanted to know how this mess connected to him; to Massey; to Jensen; to Anne; to Globe. Joaquin took a sharp right, and the SUV followed. It inched closer to him, and Joaquin could hear its hungry roar; see it looming like a black shadow behind him. Its headlights shone over the Civic, engulfing it. They had a spotlight on him, and they weren’t going to turn it off until he was handcuffed or dead.

Joaquin pushed the rattletrap Civic to its limit swerving around slower cars, ignoring their blaring horns. He took another sharp turn and left the boulevard to descend smaller streets; emptier streets outside the International District, leaving the bright lights for frail and sickly yellow ones that built the path to Jensen’s mysterious disappearance. They entered a roll of cars that screeched and propelled themselves with absurd speed up and down dirty streets. Every vehicle was a stranger; behind every window was a face that didn’t look, caught up in the sound of music and aggressive verse. Joaquin blended in with the slow traffic, but the SUV stood out. People blocked its path shouting with their horns. Agents ran a red light within an inch from an oncoming truck that stopped abruptly and blocked them. Joaquin took his chance and left the angry trail and bounced alone on the road to nowhere.

The road became uneven, with patches of asphalt overlapping one another, dark gray, light gray, charcoal rattling under the tires. From the manholes, white underground fumes turned the street misty and gray, and the windows of dark homes aligned identical left and right glistened with tiny droplets slipping down the glass. Joaquin sped past all that hitting every pothole and splashing gathered muddy water. He looked in his rearview mirror still looking for the SUV and when he found the street clear he let out a cheer. But just then the SUV erupted from a side alley and bumped into him sending the Civic slipping sideways, its bumper collecting trash cans, fences, and other obstacles. Joaquin recovered and found himself side by side with the SUV. The window rolled down, and the broken-nosed agent aimed his gun at Joaquin. The agent’s face contorted, his mouth blew blood and saliva as he yelled some order, but Joaquin didn’t care. He twisted the wheel and collided into the side of the SUV knocking the agent out of view.

The narrow street seemed to do the trick. The stunt gave Joaquin enough time to gain speed and rush ahead. The agents didn’t chance a showdown so near homes that had ears and eyes. They didn’t shoot at him, but that didn’t mean they were over and done with their hunt.

The SUV went up a gear and caught up on Joaquin with lightning speed. Its front bumper hit the Civic lurching Joaquin in his seat and his control into a short frenzy.

“Fuckin’ shit!” Another bump dislocated the Civic’s back bumper cover, and it rolled under the SUV in a heap of sparks.
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Moonrise CH31 – Flee

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[1060 Words – Prompts: Inspiration Monday, #3WW, #SoCS, Write Anything]Joaquin rolled on his stomach and pushed himself up with arms that almost refused to follow his commands. His body hurt. His head swam in a sea of sound and noise. His vision was blurry, but he was all right. The desk, however, was slowly catching fire, the plastic of the keyboard melting with a foul smell. Joaquin quickly crawled to where Andy was lying motionless and shook him.

“C’mon man, get up!” he hissed.

Andy’s fingers were charred black where the short circuit bang had hit him. A thin trail of blood was running from his nose, and when Joaquin felt for a pulse, he found it barely noticeable. He flipped Andy over and dragged him away from the growing flames. Once Andy was safe, Joaquin pulled the blanket from the bed that appeared to be free of debris and tried to snuff out the rapidly growing fire. Someone banged on the door. Sirens already blared in the distance. Help had arrived.

Another round of banging on the apartment door was followed by a gruff voice, “This is the FBI, open up!”

Joaquin froze. He assessed how bad the situation was. Andy was lying on the floor barely alive, the apartment was full of evidence from the SuperHub that could hurt a lot of specific innocent people, and Joaquin had one of those faces the cops found intriguing. He remembered what Massey had said about being followed. The SUV in front of his house wasn’t a coincidence. Only it had followed him and not Betty. Joaquin had carried the stolen evidence right here incriminating Andy too.

“Last warning, open the door, or we’ll be forced to break it down!”

Joaquin had to think quickly. If these were Globe’s men, he had to ditch them. He went back to where Andy lay and searched his pockets for his car keys.

“I’m so sorry man. Shit!”

He took one last look at Andy and charged for the door. It broke quickly under his weight slamming down two men in civilian clothes holding guns but no badges. One toppled down the stairs, and the other smacked his shoulder against the wall, losing his gun. It was tempting for Joaquin to try to grab it, but the man was quick to recover and grab Joaquin, twisting his wrist and pulling him back. Joaquin stumbled on the stairwell landing but managed to connect an elbow to the FBI agent’s face, pushing him back. The other attacker crept up the stairs and punched him in the kidney, and Joaquin nearly took a knee. Leave it to the FBI to sucker punch a brother, thought Joaquin.

The FBI agent used his strong arms to grab Joaquin from behind and lock him in a painful bear hug and turned the struggling Joaquin toward his partner. Joaquin struggled to twist his head back and spit at the grunts, and offensive words yelled in his ear, but the other FBI agent had already dismissed his split lip and bruised chin and attacked his prey, fueled by anger. Joaquin made an attempt to duck, but the strong fist met his face nonetheless, hitting him under the chin, bouncing his head back. He found his footing soon enough and pushed himself up against his captor’s chest using him for support. His kick landed in the stomach, and the FBI agent doubled up. The force pushed the other one back inside the burning apartment, and Joaquin managed to wrench himself free and distance himself from the agents. He made quick time in grabbing the lip-bleeder and pinned him against the wall in a constant rain of punches aimed at his ribs. Joaquin could almost feel the bones cracking under the layer of clothing and skin. When the man slumped down, wailing, he kicked the man in the stomach. Joaquin paused as a flash of guilt washed over him and then made his escape down the stairs.
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Moonrise CH29 – Forced Awake

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[1073 words – Prompts: Inspiration Monday, #3WW, Sunday Photo Fiction, Sunday Scribblings 2, Write Anything Wednesday, #SoCS]

Andy puffed on a cigarette. It was burning between his thin fingers, ash gathering at the tip threatening to tip over. He crushed it inside the ashtray.

“Well, what do you know?”

Joaquin looked up. The screen displayed six videos, and when Andy played the first, Joaquin quickly found Jensen among the crowd of people and saw how he slipped away into a dark alley pulling at his clothes and falling to his knees, his hands buried in his hair. Then there was a flash of something bright distorting the camera and when it regained focus a large spot on the ground and on the walls of the opposing buildings were covered in glistening pristine ice. The camera flipped sideways and after a few shaky seconds and curses from its owner it switched off.

“That was Jensen alright. Seemingly unable to contain and control his power. Let’s see video number two.”

The second video was much worse. Its quality was bad as it was filmed from under a table as far as Joaquin could see. The audio crackled and the picture was blurry when the phone moved in someone’s sweaty hands, but it was clear that the target of the video was Jensen. He was wearing the same outfit, pacing back and forth in a coffee shop, fuming at the end of the line. He exchanged a few loud and harsh words with an oafish man in front of him and then after a display on machismo, that man pushed him, he put his hands on the man’s chest and pushed back. The man fell to the ground, kicking and screaming, and Jensen ran away driving apart the growing crowd. Joaquin could see the white fumes swirling from the victim’s body and when he ripped his shirt open the thin crust of ice covering his chest.

“Whoa!” Joaquin sat back. “He froze that dude for no reason! Play the next one.”

But Andy wasn’t moving. He continued to stare at the screen. Slowly, he declared, “Something isn’t right.”

“Yeah, no shit. Jensen is guilty that’s for sure, homie.” Joaquin felt his fingers tighten into a fist. He remembered how he wanted to beat Jensen into a bloody pulp, serving justice the harsh way.

“No, something isn’t right with the videos. Look – they were all uploaded two days before the attack in Madison Park. It seems… too easy.”

Joaquin shrugged. “I don’t know man, I see what is before me, and that’s Jensen goin’ crazy on some dude’s ass. Ain’t that enough evidence to predict him capable of blasting those kids earlier?”

Andy played the other videos. They showed a progression in Jensen’s violent behavior and growth in his power. He wasn’t just freezing small areas; he was turning himself into ice, a single touch away from making everything freeze. One video even showed reflections in glass – clouds obscured the sun, and Jensen staggered past a blue-framed window, the cityscape pristine in the background. In others, he displayed violent fits and body alteration, limbs gaining misshapen extensions constructed from ice and “firing” ice spikes, the impact lodged them in solid concrete. It was inhuman. Joaquin was speechless, both impressed and terrified.
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Moonrise CH28 – Phantom Moon

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[1058 words – Prompts: Inspiration Monday, #3WW, The Writing Reader, Write Anything Wednesday, #SoCS, Sunday Photo Fiction]

Joaquin jogged through the stalled traffic, the overcast evening getting cold. He appreciated the comfortable numbness. Light shone brilliantly from behind the clouds. The phantom moon pulled at his inner tide. He allowed the celestial influence guide him toward Andy’s apartment in Chinatown. No one called it that anymore – now it was the International District. Joaquin had expected Andy to be living in a house with a white picket fence, but instead he and Massey found the hacker in a small apartment above an Asian Travel agency, and Moe’s Exotic Herbs.

As Joaquin walked by, an Asian man lackadaisical sweeping the floor inside Moe’s Exotic Herbs eyed him. His motions became more deliberate, the grip on the broom tightening. He feigned concentration at his task, but Joaquin caught the pull of the lip, saw the wrinkles piling on the ancient cheeks, saw the barely showing but present snarl. A thought slowly crept into his mind that the man wasn’t judging him by appearance, but by the fact that he was one of them, one of the super powered people they were showing on the TV all day. The media painted them as killers, so why would some ordinary man see it otherwise? Joaquin felt like he was suddenly transparent to the man, his freak DNA imprinted on his skin. He rushed past the glint of the window. Behind him, the man flipped the “Closed” sign and turned off the lights.

Joaquin found the stairs to the side of the building. He climbed them two at a time, and when he snuck inside the narrow corridor, he quickly found Andy’s black painted door. His banged his fist on it. When Andy didn’t answer, he hammered at it again feeling it shift slightly under the pressure of his impatience and frustration. “Yo man open up. It’s Joaquin.”

He heard the muffled sounds of feet rushing on wood, the throwing off something heavier, the drop of coins and the light swear. Then the door cranked open obstructed by the rusted chain.

“Slide that shit open homie and let me in.”

Andy slicked back his hair and craned his neck to look past Joaquin.

“Where’s Detective Massey?”

“Busy,” Joaquin squeezed through teeth. “I got the stuff instead. So. Move. Over.”

Andy yanked the chain free and stepped aside allowing Joaquin’s large frame access.

“The hell were you doin’ makin’ me wait and shit? I thought you was trippin’ or somethin’.” Joaquin looked around the apartment. It wasn’t difficult to figure out Andy had rushed to make it look more hospitable, cleaning papers and clothes, which were in a heap on the bed. Despite his effort, the small living room was like a disposal area, food, clothing, cables, cameras, CDs all in a mess that Andy probably called order.

Andy shook his head. “I don’t partake in drug usage. So, Golden Boy, let me see what you brought.”

Joaquin handed him the backpack. “Don’t call me that.”
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Moonrise CH27 – Bizarre Mundanity

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[1000 words – Prompts: Inspiration Monday, #3WW, Sunday Scribblings 2, #SoCS, Write Anything]

* * *

Joaquin lingered in the threshold of Frank Massey’s apartment even after Betty’s silhouette faded into the distance of a bustling city street. Joaquin closed and locked the front door, tossed the envelopes in his backpack, left via the back door and made his way to the bus stop perched at the end of the long lane. He didn’t see the black SUV creeping up from anywhere, and he wondered whether it hadn’t been waiting on Betty. He didn’t know if his self-reassurance was far-fetched and lamented the fact that he just didn’t know what was going on. Before he had super powers, it was easy to know who he had to watch out for. Now, he just didn’t know.

It was getting dark, earlier than usual, a nasty trick of the month. Joaquin measured the sky, saw how it darkened inch by inch, a layer of blue melting away to add purples and reds and oranges until it went indigo. He caught the bus by the tail and loaded himself. As it pulled from its stop, Joaquin looked around, but he didn’t spot anyone acting suspicious or spending too much time with their eyes glued to him.

He sighed. He was overwhelmed, and every shadow or invisible threat spooked him. Joaquin thought that that was pretty stupid for a guy who couldn’t get hurt, but still… It was like the paranoia Massey and Betty carried had transferred onto him and was now crawling up his spine making him nervous. Even those glorious days in the Canadian wilderness with Peter seemed somehow less dangerous. Joaquin rested his head rest against the bus window, watching humanity stroll by on the sidewalks, gather in front of bars, and seat-dance in their cars.

The curved glass of the window distorted the night sky injecting fast growing city lights into the mix. Red streaks broke into his view, the color crashing into his peripheral vision. Joaquin blinked at his reflection, hollow eyes twinkling with that dreadful color. The intruding shade disappeared as the bus gained speed. Joaquin pulled his hood tighter over his head and disappeared into the anonymity he used to take for granted.

When the bus groaned to a halt ten stops later, Joaquin jumped out of its bleak interior dismissing anyone staring at him from the steamy windows. He kicked up his pace, hands in pockets, eyes set firmly in one direction. The city lights were full in their illumination of the night now, neon greens, yellows, blues and pinks erupting from every commercial corner, selling booze, selling smokes, dealing drugs, dealing porn. They gave away some sort of warmth and comfort, and Joaquin felt more at home as he rushed down the curb, dodging people, avoiding eyes. His ears picked out music, but it died out in the cacophony of a city gearing up for the nightlife and was too scant to be identified or remembered. The halting thump-thump of dance music blared out of a few open doors. Blues, country, and rock also competed for his attention. He could make out brief snippets of conversation. They were small words from smirking mouths. He relished the slang and accents constructing one giant jibber-jabber in front of food carts. He smelled the curbside popcorn, gamy kebabs, hot dogs and ice cream right by weed smokers exchanging signs and currency. Hard drinkers crushed brown paper bags between calloused fingers. They watched him with watery eyes from hollow sandpaper faces. He knew them all, their nature, their tricks. He felt like he could breathe again alone and assured in the bizarre mundanity of the Seattle urban sprawl.
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