Tag Archives: Moonrise

Moonrise CH06 – Cast Die

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Andy took out his earplugs from his ears and let them swing freely while he tried to stick in the key to his apartment.

He walked into the total darkness and threw the pizza box he was carrying onto the table he knew by heart was to his right.

You have to be harder on them Andy. Lester might decide that you are no longer interesting. He might find you boring and decide to take your place.

“Oh, now you show up. I was beginning to think you’re finally left me alone. Now shut the fuck up again.”

“I don’t think that’s the proper way to address someone.”

Andy jumped back and hit the light switch.

There were two people in his apartment that he didn’t invite, nor left there earlier. One of them was an older guy with a badge and the other…

“You’re Joaquin!”

Joaquin buffed up his chest.

“That’s right bitch.”

“You’re a fucking super. You are Hero Two.”

The cop stood up from Andy’s busted up couch.

“Let’s be easy on the name calling and the title giving. I’m Detective Frank Massey.”

Andy clapped his hands in excitement.

“Holy shit! I can’t believe it’s you two. I’ve been looking for you for months.”

“We know. It was high time we met. I was told you came to the precinct with information about the robberies.”

Andy pulled a chair and sat down.

“Yeah, to tell you Joaquin was a superhuman and that other guy too.”

“Kristoff?”

“Yeah, that’s his name. He was Hero One in my list.”

“Where do you know these things from, Andy? That’s your name right?”

Andy stood up and showed them the computer with the SuperHub opened and running in full.

“That’s what I do. I research people like you Joaquin.”

Joaquin pulled back a step.

“Why?”

Andy laughed at his naivety.
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Moonrise Cover Concept

MOONRISE COVER PENCIL
Joel Cotejar is doing the cover art for Moonrise. Sixteen Sunsets depicts Joaquin and Frank Massey. This cover features Anne and Bree.


Moonrise CH07 – Queen of Ash

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The broadcast featuring Globe’s gruff face ended, and an anchorman with shaking hands visibly gulped, cleared his throat and tried to explain what the viewers had just witnessed.

“I…” Andy stuttered, “I don’t believe this. Why would he want to expose them like that?”

“So everyone has a reason to kill them now.” Massey replied and turned to Joaquin with concern on his face.

Joaquin frowned and crossed his arms over his chest. “That pussy ass motherfucker better not cramp up my hero chances.”

“We can take down Globe and prevent all this from happening, but we just might need someone like you Andy.”

That’s it pal, take the poisonous apple, take a big bite. This is all you’ve ever wanted.

A smile played on Andy’s lips. “Alright, I’m in.”

Massey’s phone rang. This time, he checked the caller ID, but it was blocked.

“Hello?” He asked tentatively.

A feminine voice replied, “Why hello there, Detective Massey. I hope you have one more place on that vigilante team of yours.”

Massey gripped the phone tighter. “Anne.” The derision in his voice was palpable.

Joaquin reached for the phone, but Massey pushed his hands back and made a shushing motion with his eyes and free hand. He returned his attention to his cellphone. “What do you want?”

Her voice was seductive even through the line. Massey could hear the smile in her voice, the playful murder lips, curling into a grin.

“Same as you: To take down Globe.”

* * *

Anne inched away from the cover the public phone booth gave her, peering to see the park across the street for a sign of distress. She marveled that such a staple of the world was slowly dying. This particular phone booth didn’t even have a telephone handset. The coiled aluminum had several colorful wires dangling from one end. When she received a “play date” invitation from Bree via cell phone, Anne knew she had to comply. Globe was furious at her return and Bree’s request, but he was on his way to deliver his coup de gras in the form of a well-rehearsed speech.

She had said to Massey what she needed to and now waited for Massey’s startled silence to produce a word. On the side of the booth, someone had written “Gordo’s public restroom here” with an arrow specifying the ground upon which Anne stood. She stepped lightly, her heels sticking to the greasy concrete. The phone was warm against her ear, but then Massey spoke, and she couldn’t help but smile.

“What are you playing at? You work for him.”
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Moonrise CH08 – Demonstration

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Anne ignored the profanity showered upon her by angry drivers. Ahead, there was a cluster of people on the playground forming a wall with their bodies. She pushed through mothers clutching their children and covering their eyes while tears shimmered in their bulging sockets. They weren’t running, but how could they? It was hard to avert your eyes from the extraordinary, especially when it was also abiding you to stay. It was not a matter of will. Bree had her playthings, and they did as she commanded.

Anne looked at them. Frozen. Flailing. Fragile. Her heart raced with the same adrenaline she got the infinitesimal moment before she died and when she was reborn. Her brain latched on that moment as if it knew something was amiss and tried to protect her psyche. More than one super had suggested that that bit of consciousness; that moment of understanding; was what made Anne who she was. They bandied about words like insane, and crazy, but they couldn’t possibly understand that singular moment in time. It was as if she could understand the nature of life itself.

Bree wasn’t letting any of the bystanders go anywhere. Their eyes were wide and they could only stand and watch the horror show. They were the testament to Bree’s power.

Anne escaped the paralyzed circle and stood in the middle of it surveying the scene.

A little boy had his hand wrapped around one of Bree’s carefully braided ponytails seemingly trying to yank it down. Bree insisted that Anne painstakingly style her hair before they left Globe’s compound. Anne wanted to be away from Globe as soon as she could, but Bree insisted. The boy’s left foot was set firmly in the gravel, and his right leg was bent at the knee just at the moment as he was running past Bree with his innocent childish prank in mind.

Anne knelt at a safe distance as the respect of the little girl slammed her bravado to nothing yet again as it always did when Bree was angry, or Bree was upset, or Bree didn’t like something. Anne cursed at herself for dismissing any of Bree’s wishes. She spoke softly but knew that in a moment she would have to listen and obey. If only she could appeal to the child’s humanity before it was too late.

“Bree, honey, what happened?”

“He tried to take kitty from me. No one treats Puss like that.”

Bree’s eyes darted to somewhere behind Anne. Anne turned to see the stuffed kitten lying on its side, dirtier than it had ever been. It was a pitiful sight ready to upset any child. But Bree was no ordinary child. Anne shivered as she remembered the flock of birds writhing on the ground at the cabin in the woods – their eyes burned away; beaks open in a wordless chorus.

“I’m sure he didn’t mean to hurt Puss, Bree. How about you let him go, and we can take care of kitty together.”

Bree shook her head in defiance. She reached with her thin arm and peeled the boy’s fingers from her hair freeing her disheveled ponytail. The boy’s fingers bent like they were made from clay. His face was heavily distorted. His existence was being questioned by Bree’s power: his past, present and future visible in painful grimaces. They were colliding to grind his bones to dust. Anne hadn’t witnessed anything like this before, but then again she wasn’t really familiar with the girl’s power to begin with. She tread carefully when dealing directly with Princess Bree. This seemed like a whole new level, or maybe it was just an outraged little girl.
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Moonrise CH09 – Red Herring

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“You can open your eyes now, Aunty Anne.”

Anne did what she was told. Doing anything else when Bree was concerned was not wise. Anne’s eyes cleared from the consuming darkness and a faint bluish light shone against them, making her squint. It wasn’t as difficult as she had imagined it, regaining her sight from velvety black to the vibrant light of day. It felt like nothing more than the blink of an eye. Perhaps it was, Anne thought. Bree stood in front of Anne, her hands clasped behind her back and a pristine pink ballerina shoe dug in the dirt while she waited for Anne to compose herself.

The pair stood outside the circle of outstretched limbs and silent children. Anne hadn’t felt like she moved, but it was apparent that someone or something had moved her out of harm’s way. Anne’s gaze was locked on the asymmetry that the frozen people represented. To her astonishment, she found that they were motionless in their agony. Anne slowly approached the tangled forms of Bree’s victims and stared. She steadied herself to find solid ground and solid evidence that Bree had annihilated these people without so much as a thought. Had she actually murdered them all? Anne could only presume that that was their fate by the amount of pain and shock written on their contorted faces. Why were they frozen? Bree did this before at Major Globe’s compound, but Bree had to touch her parents to make them her playthings. The scope of this was unlike anything Anne had seen. On instinct, Anne reached out to take Bree’s hand.

“Come on,” Anne whispered, “we need to get you out of here before anyone sees this.”

Bree emitted a tiny giggle and slipped out of Anne’s reach. To her it was a game, as playful as ever. “No need, silly. Silas will take care of everything, won’t you Silas?”

Anne turned and saw through squinted eyes a thin man who made his way through the frozen crowd. He wore a dark baseball cap, dark green parka, and shiny black combat boots. He was taller than Anne – which was saying something, because Anne was not a short woman. A boyish charm was plastered on his face, and his gray eyes smiled at her.

“You did this?” Anne demanded.

He shrugged, non-committal. “The killing? No. But stopping time was all me.”

Anne sneered and tried to shield Bree from the carnage.

“They’re all dead and frozen in time,” Silas Replied. “There’s no need to play the protector now.”

Anne smiled. She decided to test Silas. “That’s improbable.”

Silas clapped his hands. “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” He waggled his eyebrows. “Or so the saying goes. Since we’re the only three people moving freely about, and neither you nor the little princess there possess a power that could do that, I guess that only leaves me.” He paused. “I’ll admit that seeing Bree’s power has proven rather … fascinating.”

Frightening, you mean, Anne wanted to say. She witnessed the events that happened in the cabin along the Canadian border.
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Moonrise CH10 – The Patsy

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I skipped a week with Mental State because I had a lot of stuff going on Friday. I did work two prompts into today’s edition of Moonrise: Inspiration Monday & #3WW. Also, to celebrate Independence Day, this is a double-length chapter at 2016 words!

* * *

Anne followed Silas as he walked to a nearby bench occupied by a seemingly napping middle-aged man. The man had a newspaper folded on his lap open to the daily crossword puzzle. A cup of coffee sat beside him; the time dilation captured it still steaming.

“Not suspicious at all,” Silas muttered the kind insult. “Poor lad.”

“Who is this?” Anne asked behind over Silas’ shoulder.

“Our scapegoat of course. We can’t have you and Bree at the center of all this terror and fear.”

Silas pushed away the newspaper, grabbed the man by the arm, picked him up and threw his body like a satchel over one shoulder. Then he started back toward the crowd.

“He will wake up to be the most famous man in the good ole U.S. of A. Today, everyone will learn what he did, know his name and memorize his face. What glorious infamy, eh? Though it will be short-lived. I’m afraid that I envy him just a little.” Silas emphasized the word by holding his thumb and forefinger an inch apart.

Anne grabbed Silas’ fingers and fixed him with a steel gaze. “I can’t see how Major Globe is on board with this with Bree so close to it all.”

Silas clicked his tongue at her action but didn’t try to pull away from Anne’s stern grip.

Perhaps Globe had warned him not to try such frivolities with an enraged Anne, she thought.

Instead of escalating as Anne had expected, Silas calmly answered her.

“Perhaps you missed the Major’s speech.” He raised his eyebrows in mock concern. “You should head straight to youtube and check it out. It should have about a bazillion views now and be on every news channel. I hear they’re even translating it into different languages so no one’s left out of the message.”

“I heard it loud and clear,” Anne snapped. I just don’t want to believe he would fall this low as to use children for his ludicrous plans, Anne thought to herself.

Silas nodded. “Then you understand. The Major was very particular about such outbursts. They call these people ‘Supers.’ They’re very dangerous aren’t they? They’re trying to tear this city apart, and the uprising has just begun. These are merely their casualties.”
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Moonrise CH11 – Allies and Adversaries

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1100 words and I used prompts from Inspiration Monday & #3WW.

* * *

“Whom did you talk to?” Andy asked spinning on his chair to face Massey and Joaquin. Behind him, his computer screen showed repeats of the Major Globe speech. Every outlet wanted to be in on what appeared to be an historical event. The view counter kept increasing – thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions – it didn’t seem to slow or stop everyone was addicted.

“No one,” the detective answered cursing under his breath at the private number Anne had called him from. He had to find her on his own terms; he couldn’t let her play him again. His memories were of the wasteful time he spent with her in that bar on a lonely night. He cursed himself for not learning how to use the smartphone while it was gathering dust in his drawer that his daughter, Denisha, had given him for his birthday. He needed to do a call trace without having to involve the tech guys at the station. He eyed Andy from the corner of his eye; if he could, he would avoid asking him as well.

The fewer people that knew about his conversation with Anne the better, he thought with a conviction that not only protected his job, but possibly his life.

“Sure sounded important,” Andy insisted. “Did this person say anything about why Doctor Globe is doing all this?” Andy asked his throat dry again.

Before Massey could answer, Joaquin raised his voice. “Hey, how come I’m still Hero Two?

Andy turned to face Joaquin; the thoughts in his head were obvious on his face. Massey almost agreed with Andy’s unspoken thought: Joaquin still looked like a street thug even under the shirt, pants and tie façade.

Andy’s neck tensed and he tilted his head as if he were listening to a voice on the phone. Whatever it was that he was hearing, he didn’t care for it. He grimaced, and it was time for Massey to diffuse the situation before the two escalated.

“Now’s not the time for that Joaquin,” Massey said still angrily staring at his phone. He would periodically press the small pictures on the screen hoping he could work it. Icons, he reminded himself. He felt silly for not knowing the most basic tenets of the technology.

“I discovered you second to Kristof,” Andy said disregarding Massey’s incessant grumbling over his smartphone, and attempts to steer the conversation away from difficult topics. “You were harder to trace than he was, at first that is. I had you pinned down as a villain. Still do.” Andy’s eyes glimmered.

“What the fuck man, Kristof was the whack job, not me!”

“You did murder some people while you were,” Andy raised his fingers into air quotes, “exploring your power.”

Joaquin frowned and leaned toward Andy.
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