Where Evil Lurks

Welcome to Moonlight Madness - Where Evil Lurks

This is the fourth story in my Moonlight saga.

Story One - The Beginning - Beth's Diary

Story Two - With Arms Wide Open

Story Three - Barely Breathing

Cast of Characters

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Chapter 17 Dream On

So sorry for the lateness of the post, my internet has been so slow that I haven't been able to post or even get on the board much. Hopefully things will get better soon.


Chapter 17 Dream On

Catherine walked into the Buzzwire offices and glanced around her with curiosity; the place was alive with energy and it felt good to see it. Whether it was the people themselves or what they were doing, the atmosphere surged with vitality and excitement and Cat decided that she had made a wise decision, deciding to become a part of all this. Now, she just needed to let Beth know that she had.

Beth, her…stepmother? Catherine smiled at the thought and looked around, trying to spot her but quickly gave up and approached a young woman sitting at a desk near the doors who was typing rapidly on a keyboard as she frowned at the screen in front of her.

“I’m sorry to disturb you but I’m looking for Beth St. John; do you know if she’s available?”

The woman scowled at her screen for a moment and then turned to see who was speaking to her. Expensively dressed and well groomed, the woman looking at her seemed to have a no-nonsense manner and while she wore a pleasant smile Trish knew that she shouldn’t be kept waiting.

“Uh, sure, I think she’s free. Just let me check for you.” Trish pushed a couple of buttons on the phone and spoke into the headset. “Hey, Beth, you have someone here to see you. Are you free?” Trish listened for a moment and then hung up. “Yes, she’s free. Just head down that hall and it’s the second office on the left.” She nodded to an almost hidden hallway and Cat nodded her thanks and walked down it in search of Beth.

As she approached the door it opened, and a surprised Beth smiled at Cat, and offered her hand. “Hello, Catherine. Please, come on in.”

“Hi, Beth. Please, call me Cat; I hope I’m not disturbing you. I happened to be on this side of town and wanted to speak with you about the legal segments that Benjamin told me about.”

“Oh! Yes, please, have a seat,” Beth told her, indicating a chair that faced the large window in the office. Cat glanced around the office, but it was fairly spartan; modern furniture with little decoration. Either she’d not really taken the time to decorate or she appreciated a minimalist approach to her work environment. Either way, there was little to distract her and Cat appreciated that.

“Would you like some coffee, or tea, Cather…, um, Cat?”

“No, thank you very much though. So, Ben told me that you are looking for someone to do some legal spots on Buzzwire and I wanted you to know that I’m very interested in doing them.”

Beth’s smile lit up her face and Cat saw that she was genuinely happy to hear that news. Being an attorney for so many years had taught her to read people with a fine-tuned precision because if you couldn’t decipher what your client was telling you, or not telling you, as the case may be, you’re representation wouldn’t be worth a damn.

Cat wasn’t really sure why she was so excited to be a part of this; whether because it was just a new opportunity if it was a chance to get a closer look at this young woman who was married to her bio father, well, she didn’t really want to hazard a guess. But she looked forward to it eagerly and she waited expectantly for Beth to tell her about it.

They discussed the ideas that Beth, Max and Rodney had for the segments and Cat could see that it could actually work, even with her being in England for 3 months. They would be able to tape close to a dozen 10 minute segments before she left. Buzzwire would feature 1 new segment each week that repeated daily. All segments were also available to the viewers at will so even if they missed one they could always catch it when it was convenient.

“We already have close to a hundred questions from viewers, Cat. Some of them are very mundane, some most likely inappropriate, and some very interesting, from a layman’s view that is. We’ll email you all of them so you can go through and choose what you think will be important or even entertaining.”

Cat’s face reflected a bit of surprise at Beth’s last words. Obviously it wasn’t only about the information, legally speaking. Buzzwire, while providing reliable news and information was still about entertaining their viewers so the segments would need an entertaining factor to them, something that would keep them coming back again and again.

“That sounds like a good place to start. I hadn’t really considered the entertainment factor in all this but I guess it is necessary, isn’t it?”

“Yes, it definitely is. We want to be able to help people, really help them, but every now and again, a question about someone who has a neighbor who likes to bathe in their backyard or something equally weird, well, people will laugh and that’s good for everyone.”

“Don’t tell me that’s really a question?”

“Yep. The guy wears a shower cap as he uses the hose and sings to boot. It’s driving his neighbor crazy.” As Cat cracked up laughing Beth added, “But, most of the questions are just the normal run of the mill variety, we think anyway. Do you have a bit more time so that I can introduce you to Max and Rodney?”

“Yes, I do. I have to admit, I’m intrigued and excited about all this, Beth!”

“That’s exactly the attitude we love around here!” Beth called Max and then she and Cat headed into the conference room and the group chatted and got some of the details worked out. When Cat left all three of them felt as if they’d struck gold.

“She’s going to be great,” Rodney said. “She’s so intelligent and she’ll shine on camera I’m guessing.” Since being at Buzzwire he’d already started to see how they had to understand how something would look through the camera’s eyes instead of just being concerned with a visual print presentation of the news. It was new and exciting to him and he’d discovered that he loved it.

“I think so too!” Max added. Things were working so well here, all the pieces coming together smoothly. Ad revenue was going through the roof and Buzzwire was gaining new viewers daily. It was a paying proposition now and Max realized that her dreams were finally coming true. She lifted her cup of coffee and said, “Here’s to the future! It really looks good!”

Beth and Rodney did the same and nodded. The future really did look great.


Carl was shown into Heroku’s office and when the elder vampire rose from his seat Carl bowed in obeisance and said, “Heroku-san, it is good to see you.”

Heroku bowed as well. “Carl, thank you for coming to see me. Please, have a seat.” Heroku watched as the young man sat politely and couldn’t help but notice that his heartbeat remained steady as he did so. Carl was much better able to control his emotions and physical responses now thanks to all his intensive training. Kenji had stated that the detective had been an apt pupil and had mastered all the physical challenges put before him and many of the mental ones as well, no small feats for a human.

Heroku settled into his own seat and stated, “Kenji tells me that you have surpassed my expectations for you, Carl. I want you to know that I appreciate your hard work and dedication to the tasks. You have done well.”

These were words of high praise, coming from Heroku as they did and Carl felt a small rush of pride at them. “You are welcome, Heroku-san. I will continue to work on my skills so that your approval will be justified.” The words all seemed so formal Carl thought as he said them. Yet, Heroku was a man of formality, of tradition, a man to whom the old ways were still very much present in his life. Carl could understand that because he was a man who appreciated the values that he had learned from his past as well.

“Carl, I will come directly to the point; it is time to talk of your turning. Is it your wish still to give up the mortal coil and become immortal?”

“Yes, Heroku-san, it is my desire to do so.”

Heroku gave a terse nod of approval; it was an expected answer. “Hai, it is good. We will meet with Camille to determine a time for this transition to take place. You will need to be gone from your job for as long as a month, but most likely two or three weeks. You will need time to adjust to your new skills and feel comfortable among human’s again. I will not lie to you, Carl; this can sometimes be difficult, mentally as well as physically.”

“I understand, Heroku-san. I am still resolved to join Camille in immortality.”

“Is that the only reason for your decision?”

“No, in truth it is not. I feel that I can make a contribution, to the immortal brethren and humanity as well. Like Mick St. John, I see how our skills and talents can benefit both.”

“Yes, they can. I am pleased that you can see the benefits. How will you explain your absence from your work?”

“I have many weeks of vacation time that I have not taken. While it would be unusual that I ask for so much time off of work, if I were to combine it with a honeymoon with Camille, I think it will not be questioned. My partner, Luka is supportive of what will happen.” The last sentence was possibly a bit of a stretch; Luka was trying to become comfortable with it all and Carl felt sure that in time he would manage it.

Heroku nodded, satisfied. “We shall meet with Camille and determine a date. Have you two spoken of your wedding yet?”

“We have discussed it some. Since it is going to be followed by my turning we want a very simple ceremony. We will possibly have a reception after I am turned and reintegrated back into the human world.”

“That is a wise plan I believe. Please plan on having dinner on Wednesday next week to discuss the details.” Heroku rose to his feet, followed quickly by Carl, who bowed again. “Thank you for coming by, Carl.”

“Thank you, Heroku-san.”

Heroku watched as the young man walked away; tall, well-muscled thanks to his training and with a good deal of pride in his steps. Yes, he would make an honorable addition to the family.


Dream On

“What the hell are you doing here, Martin?”

“Now, big brother, is that anyway to talk to me? You haven’t seen me for a long, long time, you know.”

“Not nearly long enough. The money train is done, Martin. I’ll not give you another cent. Now get the hell out of here.”

Martin looked around the richly appointed office in his brother’s home and then sat down in a Queen Anne chair covered in red, supple leather that was situated across the desk from where his brother’s chair sat. He tossed one leg carelessly over the arm of the chair and grinned at his brother’s frown at his insolence. “Now, we really need to talk about that. I believe you need to reconsider that idea.”

Martin watched as his brother stood up, his fingers gripping the edge of the desk tightly as his face turned an alarmingly blotchy shade of red. The waves of anger rolled off of him, palpable all the way across the wide desk and Martin realized his brother was considering coming over the desk to attack him.

Martin continued to grin and shrugged carelessly. “I don’t think so. Don’t forget brother, I know where a lot of your skeletons are buried. All those girls, before you went off to college, and all the ones after you got married. Really, you should have been a bit more discreet. And buried the bodies a bit more, carefully, so to speak.”

“I never killed anyone! You little piece of shit, get out of here now!”

“Killed? Well no, I guess not. Sometimes though a person might wish they were dead after nasty things happen to them, don’t you think?”

“You are truly a miserable person, Martin. It’s too bad that father didn’t tie you into a gunny sack and toss you into the river when mother died. It would certainly have saved a lot of people countless misery.”

Martin laughed loudly. “Oh, you would have liked that and so would that miserable excuse of a man we had for a father. Oh, wait! He loved you; you got the best of everything, including his money and love. Or is that love and money? I forget, since I got screwed on both of those things.”

“You got exactly what you deserved, Martin. You are a useless waste of air.”

“As opposed to you, who does so many good deeds? Yes, I suppose you’d think so.” Martin came to his feet in one cat-like and dangerously agile movement and leaned over the desk, his eyes so dark blue that they appeared almost black. “Now, listen to me because I’m not going to repeat it. Turn around and open up that fucking safe and give me the cash out of it because I know that there is plenty in there.” For effect he pulled out a large and deadly looking knife that reflected the light of the desk lamp.

His brother’s eyes widened briefly in fear and he swallowed down a lump the size of a tennis ball. It was late and the house was quiet. The maid was gone and his wife was in Palm Springs, at her favorite spa. He was alone and he suddenly wished that he had a gun tucked away in a desk drawer.

“I’m not joking and I’m not a patient man. You should know that. Now open the fucking safe!”

“Are you going to kill me, Martin? How will that benefit you, in the future that is? You’re certainly not in my will.”

“Then you better hope that what you have in that safe is enough to make me happy. And rich, very rich.”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Martin. Do you think I keep piles of cash in there?”

Martin heard the chastising tone in his brother’s voice and rage suddenly crept over him. He swept his arm across the desk, sending papers, pens and the lamp flying across the room. The lamp shattered against the floor and the room was suddenly a bit darker, only the overhead light shining on the scene. Martin jumped across the desk and grabbed his brother, holding the knife against his neck. His fear was apparent because Martin could see his pulse beating frantically in his neck and suddenly he knew that whether he got the money or not his brother was a dead man. Forty-five years of being the brunt of hatred and pain were enough. Tonight it ended.

“Open the safe, Slick,” Martin hissed, using the derisive nickname he used for his brother.

“Okay, alright, Martin. Let go, so I can.”

Martin watched as his brothers hand shook as he tried to turn the dial. He messed up the combination twice before the door finally swung open. Inside several tall stacks of money could be seen, as well as some of his sister in laws jewelry boxes.

“Well, well, looky here. Looks like I hit myself the jackpot tonight.” Martin pulled a small canvas tote out of his pocket and started filling it with the cash and jewelry. “Wifey won’t miss this stuff, I’m sure.”

As Martin scooped things out of his safe his brother realized for the first time that he had gloves on. Latex gloves and suddenly he knew what was going to happen. His eyes looked longingly at the door. Could he make it? He started edging closer to it, hoping that Martin wouldn’t notice.

Suddenly Martin turned, seeing what his brother was doing. “Not so fast, Slick. You really think I’m going to let you out of here?” He jumped the desk again as his brother made a dash for the door and jumped on him, the knife sinking deeply into the middle of his brothers back.

He pulled the knife out and sank it in again, over and over until he was spent and out of breath. God, that felt good, he thought. The legacy of pain, of loneliness, of bitter rejection melted away with each downward stroke of the knife until he suddenly felt as if it all had been exorcised from his psyche.

He was free; he was clean of the rancor and anguish that seared his soul. It was time for a new beginning. He had money and he could reestablish his life. As soon as he could find Dorothy that is.

One more task, just one more. Then his life would be complete.

To be continued…

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