Wednesday, 29 June 2011

-Todd- Anxiety

Well, we're fucked. It's happening again.

I never lose this much time. Not anymore. Everything was going so damn well. Why, why, why now?

To clarify, this post is more to August than anyone else. I'm so sorry.

The last thing I remember before everything went dark was actually thinking and saying out loud to myself "I've been doing so well." Then a long empty space, and then waking up on some sidewalk, feeling numb and almost blinded [a feeling i'm sure spencer knows all too well].

Of course, my first thought was "Oh my god, it's finally happened. Shit, shit, shit!" I took off the hoodie I don't even remember owning, and ran for... a long time. My knees felt on fire by the time I was stopped. I collapsed on a bench, where I could think to myself. The more I thought about it, the more things became confusing. Usually when I black out and do something violent, my fingers feel like shit. They felt normal. I also usually wake up blade in hand, and I didn't even have it on me.

I saw a library across the street. I walked in, wanting to use the computer, expecting the blog to say something about "Todd killed everyone!". Then I read that August was attacked. I started flipping out, until I read he stabbed the guy. Needless to say, I didn't feel very stabbed.

i'm just glad things didn't

Monday, 27 June 2011

-Steele- Mid-West Delivery.

I’ve never been one for sitting around the house. Spacious though it may be, the decorum is Spartan and the entire affair smells faintly (and in some places, not so faintly) of mould.

So I stay on the move as much as possible. Take on some semi-freelance work delivering (Spence was not keen on the idea until I told him I was referring my customers to the Business after they’d paid me), get some cash on the side, and who knows, I might even have some fun along the way if there happens to be a decent club or pub. I return ‘home’ occasionally, though generally just to meet up with my co-workers if we’re going on a big assignment. My room in the house is, basically just a storage facility for my cash and medicine, (Which reminds me, Doc: Why would I steal from you? That’s such a goddamn stereotype. I’m pretty sure if you saw my stash, you’d be more likely to steal from me) and occasionally I’ll even sleep in my own bed. Though sleep is a luxury these days…my little sickness is becoming more symptomatic. I close my eyes and the darkness overcomes, then a light flashes and I can’t move and He is here and my lungs clamp…

So sleep is a luxury.

I’m back home now; last couple of days I’ve been on a little trip to line my own pockets (and then promptly de-line them, you know how it goes). It was a routine delivery, couple of Runners (you know, I’ve never really liked that term, people always take it far too literally. I wish people would just calm down and see it more, metaphorically: running from death, perhaps? But these silly buggers pissing themselves as they sprint across the country? They’re just forcing themselves into de-facto vagrancy. And vagrants cheques? Generally bounce. I’ve got a rule for my own deliveries: If you don’t have a place of residence I can make the delivery to, ‘cause you’re too busy sitting in a hotel taking videos of the minibar, then guess what? I’m too busy to get my arse over there with extra videotapes. Go get a real job.) under lockdown in a South Dakota farmhouse. And like all good rednecks, they needed more slugs.

I always have these flashes of existentialism in this job. What are we doing? We’re profiteering from people who, no matter what we bring them, are doomed. It’s pre-emptive graverobbing. We can bring them all the guns and ammo they want, all they’ll be doing is maybe putting a dent in the Proxy population, which in some corners of the earth appears to be, considerable. Never do they touch the source of the problem. I don’t even think a depleted uranium shell could make a dent in Tall and Slender…though damnit I’d love to try. (Spencer, can we get a tank for Christmas? Pleeeeease? I’ll be good! I’ll take it for walks and clean up after it and everything!)

This is generally the point that Spencer would come up to me and say “We’re providing a service in the short term, and who knows? Not everyone’s as fuckin’ pessimistic as you, y’know?” (Except he’d be saying it less coherently, because by this point he’d probably have got into my absinthe and sculled it like the Philestine he is)

I think I’ve thought of a better justification: We’re on our way out too. Just one group of the walking dead, doing jobs for another. It’s not graverobbing, it’s more…a zombie economy, so to speak.

…So where was I?

South Dakota. The farmhouse in question was…ominous. A tiny, dilapidated (hell it might as well have been Civil War era) cottage in the middle of sprawling fields. Very Children of the Corn. And you wouldn’t believe how little it appealed to me that the first thing that came to mind when I saw the thing was a Stephen King novel. That never bodes well. I parked my car (Well, it wasn’t mine as in, bought it with my own money. Last freelance job I took, my client didn’t need it anymore. I don’t generally take non-cash payments, but hey, everyone needs wheels.) as close to the house as I could manage, taking a reticent look out at the swirling cornstalks before vacating the car, grabbing the package, locking the door and briskly walking to the front door. Knock knock.

The door opened near immediately to a pair of flannelette-shirted beards. “Special delivery for a Misters Johns and Stewart?” I asked, just going through the motions at this point: of course they were, there wasn’t another house for miles. Which made sense. Wouldn’t want to spread the plague further; bunkering down in an urban area? Someone’s going to see Tall and Slender, or at least one of his little buddies. And then they’ll be at risk. Sometimes, it’s best to go into quarantine, I suppose.

”You got our ammo? We got those sons-of-bitches knockin’ on our doors just as soon as the sun sets,” Mister Johns and/or Stewart asked frantically as I handed him the tightly-bound package. “And we can’t go into town, not anymore. They’re there, they’re there…all through, never suspect a thing, can’t see, not on their faces but in their minds and they want us and why? Why do they want us? …”

One of the perks of working with people with our problems; you don’t need to try and carry out an intelligent conversation with them, they’re far too happy to hear the sounds of their own voice, letting their fragile minds explode through their vocal cords like they’re afraid if they don’t talk about what’s happening, they’ll miss their chance to talk ever again.

Probably why so many of us blog. Go figure.

”Got the cash?” I asked, prompting the silent one to reach into his pocket and toss over a roll of Ben Franklins. “That’s ‘bout the last of our cash.” he said quietly. “We can’t sell the harvest, they’ve sprayed the corn with something. Frank here ate some and seriously tripped, he’s never been the same since.” I counted the money. “Must be tough. Yep, this is all the cash, glad I could be of service.” I said, backing up a little. Never overstay your welcome, that’s my philosophy. For life in general as well, apparently: well, considering my job and habits. Jump in, do what you need to do: stay around after that, and that’s just pure hedonism.

“Thanks, pal…I guess it’s ‘bout time we should move on, we’ve held the fort here as long as we could. We’ve got food for another month or so, but…” I was already on my way to the car. This field was giving me the heebie jeebies. Though if I was asked to describe my feelings at the time, I’d probably have used a rather more choice phrase which didn’t make me sound like a cartoon.

“You kids have fun.” I said, unlocking the door and stepping in. I waved (might as well be polite) to the two blokes at the door, only to see them turn sheet white and slam the door. So much for politeness.

It was only when I put the machine into ‘reverse’ and looked in my mirror that I saw what they were so white about.

Two men in masks, standing either side of the path out; partially obscured by stalks of corn. I couldn’t see them carrying anything, but they were far away, and my eyes are bad.

I locked my doors, swung the car around and pulled on my seatbelt. Neither of them moved. I considered going out of my way to hit one of them, but…well, death is…death. The end. The finale. As a man who is spending his life trying to hold onto it? Taking another life when it could be avoided…

Not my style.

I pushed the accelerator and started down the path. Neither of the two masked men moved as I shot past them, they merely stared intently at the cottage. As I drove, I noticed more and more masked faces amidst the corn, sending shivers down my spine. None of them moved, they just…watched.

We may all be Runners, but some are closer to the finish line than others. The roll of bills weighed heavily on my consciousness on the drive home, though I managed to put it out of mind because of one simple fact.

At least with my help, the two of them weren’t going down without a fight.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

-August- Radio Towers in Thunderstorms

Are not fun at all.

Went out to pull down that station we set up near the local radio station. We've got a bunch of waypoints set up across the US and everything transmits back to here for when we're cross-country.

It's called Slow Scan for a reason, but it's difficult to decrypt if you're not the one receiving the signal and even more of a bastard to trace back to the source.

And somehow, they still found us.

Well, whatever.

Normally I'd be fine with this, but normally I wouldn't have to scale a radio tower at 3 AM in the middle of a thunderstorm, and normally my SSTV stations aren't smoldering piles of electronics by the time I reach the scene.

I guess somebody didn't want us rebuilding anytime soon.

Anyways, it was three in the morning and absolutely freezing because of the storm whipping around the rain like tiny shards of glass. About 100 feet up in the air, about the last thing you want is the persistent shaking of your hands as you try and disassemble the tangle of copper wires and half-broken satellite of what used to be your transceiver.

I wasn't sure if I was shaking because of the cold, the height, or oh god was that lightning in the forest oh god oh god this ladder had better be insulated it's not insulated is it oh god oh god please don't strike here Thor, if you can hear me I swear I will take up a sledgehammer and use that to fight in your honor for the rest of my life if you keep your electrostatic discharge away from me and let me get out of here in one piece.

August St. Claire: professional crop circle maker and stalkee of men in suits everywhere. Death by lightning strike for a satellite that didn't even work that well in the first place.

If it's worth anything, I got it back.

But not before our little Arsonist found me on the way back down.

(Harharhar. See what I did thar?)

And now I sound like Spencer.

He was a big guy. 6'5" and build like a fridge on legs. Came lumbering towards me and shouting some cryptic garbage that I didn't really pay attention to, because by the time he was close enough to me that I could make out the lines of his mask.

Now, I don't like to kill people. It's just not in my nature. But when a medium-sized dresser on legs comes up to me and growls like a rabid dog, I know my 5'3" frame isn't going to take him on with favorable results.

Luckily I don't have to worry about being big when I can be fast.

There's hardly time for him to blink. A pivot and a step and I've plunged my knife (a leaf blade; think a roman sword crossed with a bowie knife) into both of his legs and he's down, writhing in pain and screaming bloody murder.


I leave him there, making sure he's watching and still on the ground while I gather up the supplies and burn everything that can't be salvaged.

And what does Spencer tell me when I get back and inform him of what happened to our country-wide communication network?

" ... Wha?"

He's drunk. Again.

It's actually easier to note the times when the boss isn't slurring his vowels and hitting on anything with two legs and the appropriate plumbing between them.

"Nevermind. I'll get it back up in three days."

I really don't have the patience for this. I'm cold and soaked to the bone and just want to go to sleep.

He mutters something about setting out in five days, and goes off to hide in the eastern wing.




Give me some of that bourbon.

-Sam- Funny.

If somebody told me a few months ago that I'd be living with these people, I'd say I'd rather die.

But now that it's a choice between living with these idiots and dying out there in some alley, I'm still here. Even though I probably will be dead soon enough. I don't know much about our next delivery, but I kind of have a horrible feeling about it.

Shit, sorry this post is so short. There's really not much to say and I think I hear somebody calling me. (Dammit, Doc, I'm busy. Why do you need my help this exact second?)

God, she's got worse timing with this stuff than my grandma. Gotta go now. If there's more to say later, I'll edit.


Saturday, 25 June 2011

-August- It's weird.

You'd think it'd be hard cooking for seven.

(None of us really eat anyways.)

You'd think it'd be hard keeping this landfill of a house clean.

(Victorian. Would be worth a small fortune if it were fixed up.)

You'd think it'd be hard keeping sane when your boss is constantly drunk off his ass and won't stop flirting with you.

(Seriously, Spence. Stop that.)

But somehow, we get by.

And Amanda, I realize my coffee tastes like a war crime. I'm sorry, okay? You try keeping up with the messes you people leave behind and cook and tell me how much time you have to perfect your soy cappuccino with extra foam, no cream.

Not that I mind, though. In all honesty I'm absolutely terrified of the brown, twitching messes of burnt starch and stingy beef you people called stew I first ate when I came here - and you still make when Spencer sends me to do the small deliveries.

Prep for the latest delivery is going well despite my protests and the fact that somebody has managed to decrypt our radio frequency and now communications are down. I guess it's back to cellphones and pig latin for us until we get a new one up and running.

Great. Looks like I'll be climbing and disassembling another radio tower tonight.

Wahh wahh let's complain some more, shall we?

In all seriousness, I do actually have to go get to work on that.

Boss says this deliver's pretty important so our back-up isn't an option. We're handling sensitive material so we've got to be sure we can't be tracked or overheard. We don't want a repeat of the DL-9 incident. The last thing we need is to pick up and move again; wreck or not, this house is ideal for people like us, and the cafe across the street makes a mean cuppa joe.

Maybe I should ask the owner about teaching me how to make a decent espresso.

I'm sure Amanda would appreciate it.

Friday, 24 June 2011

-Amanda- Caffeine and Nicotine A Girl's Best Friends

So, y’all have seen the rest of the team. Woop-di-fucking-doo, welcome the disfunction junction. The booze is Spenc’s, the drugs are Steele’s, and the smokes are mine. I just happen to steal the booze.

I want to do something. Getting antsy holed up where I am, Poe too. Poor bastard hasn’t been able to stretch his wings in ages. My bones are getting that ache that means something’s going to go down. Dunno what, dunno when but it’s gonna happen. Mark my words.

Christ, I’m tired. But I can’t sleep, not an option. I’m on my third cup of stale coffee. Need to brew a new pot soon. Which means I need to go steal some instant coffee. It’s funny, before this I was a fucking coffee snob, now I’ll take anything with caffeine in it. Coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks. Hell, on bad days I’ll take the blasphemy of decaf if it’s fucking hot. As long as it keeps me awake.

Should pick up a carton of cigs while I’m at it. Maybe I’ll treat myself to some nice ones. Steele and Spencer have their addictions, I have mine.

Gonna go smoke the last of this pack or something. Thank god we’re not in the woods.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

-Doc- Getting This Out of the Way

I’m writing this blog post because Boss threatened to hide my favorite scalpel if I didn’t introduce myself. So I suppose I’ll get this over with, get my tool back, and resist the temptation to let him bleed out the next time he comes to me with a knife sticking out of his back. I’d forgive him for being drunk when he said that, but he’s drunk when he says anything. Especially when it’s about my tits.

But, enough about Boss’s shitty problems; I suppose I should introduce myself. Call me Doc. Don’t get me wrong, I’m by no means a real doctor. Had a few issues during my residency, one thing after the other, and I’ve ended up running packages and patching up these sorry sons of bitches when they don’t have the time or the cash to see a real doctor. It’s a bummer, but I still have my fancy degree papers to use as kindling the next time the power goes out, and fuzzy college memories to keep me warm when that doesn’t suit me.

Speaking of warm and fuzzy college memories, that’s about the time I started seeing the Tall Guy. Sophomore year, middle of winter, right after a big party: I was stumbling home drunk, alone like an idiot. I’m usually a big girl, I can take care of myself. Didn’t really prove my worth that night when I decided to wander home boozed up and wearing…well, let’s not be too graphic here and leave it at, “not nearly fucking enough to be wandering back to your apartment on a winter night.” If I remember, it started to snow while I was weaving between the lawns of the frat houses, trying to find a shortcut. God, it was cold. I eventually found my way to the city park, which was pretty far out of the way. I stopped to catch a breath, though it wasn’t a pleasant one. I was tired, and the icy air pierced straight through to my lungs, prickling and gouging every inch of my mouth and throat along the way. Hell, to be honest, I wonder if it actually was. I shuddered and coughed into the back of my hand, and to my shock, there was a bit of blood. The wind picked up a bit, and I looked back up again into the maze of trees on the outskirts of the park. For an instant, I saw a sickly white face gleaming in the moonlight: it sat on high shoulders, its eyeless gaze judging, seeming to pierce my mind. I screamed and ran back blindly between the frat houses, across the lawns, into the street, in front of a pair of blinding headlights.

That was a nice few weeks in the hospital. The doctors and nurses were all so kind, I felt inspired. I started studying to take my MCAT soon after. In a way, I guess I owe one to the Tall Guy for helping me figure out my career path, but that doesn’t make up for the rest of the shit he’s done.

I’ve made a long damn post for somebody who didn’t really want to say anything, but I guess once you start, you can’t stop. Not much else for me to say, but just to get the business notes out of the way here: if you need something delivered, fine, just pay up like the rest. But be aware that I don’t offer my medical services to anybody but these loons. Nobody else is (or at least, should be) crazy enough to let one of the Stalked anywhere near them with a goddamn knife.

-August- Return to Slender, guaranteed not to strike since ...

Now, telling you would spoil all the fun, wouldn't it?

I can't say I like this idea.

Blogs are connected to computers and computers have routers which have IPs which can be tracked by evil incarnate.

Speaking of the government.

Spencer, I don't know what in the world is going through your head while your brain floats in that moonshine I made for you well over a month back, (you're not supposed to drink it after more than two weeks, you idiot!) but this is a bad, bad, bad idea. You know I have beef with men in suits and not just the slender ones.

Hi there.

Name's August St. Claire.

I don't believe we've met.

I specialize in building and problem solving. Before I got caught up with the lush currently sitting across from me and downing another bottle of bourbon, (apparently now through my last five quarts of moonshine - Jesus man, how are you not dead yet?) I worked on a farm. We weren't your run-of-the-mill grain-and-leather harvesters, though; papa and I specialized in aliens. More specifically, crop circles and UFOs. To narrow the margins further: faking them.

It started off easy enough. Throw some paper shapes on the ground and arrange them until they make a pretty picture, the blow it up about 150 times and press it into your corn field. When people began to grow bored and the crop circles weren't paying the bills, we switched to UFOs. When those failed? Fake aliens, made out of chicken, pastries, and a whole lot of eggs and honey to hold it all together.

Let's just say that we got so good that we started getting a little too much attention.

You see, I've been followed by men in suits my entire life.

-Spencer- Aaaaand look at us...

Bickering like little children. Almost warms the soul, if the damn numbness would give a break to the weary-


We've... we've been hit hard this week. You all should know who I'm talking about. But no point in focusing on the past, right?
...did I really think that would work? Might as well be honest about what we're all getting into, yeah? Didn' think it would come to this, but I've got to, because we've got a delivery to do.

There's a reason that the team 'sgot so many newbies. Last ones didn't make the delivery-
I can't remember his name. Wiry kid, always wore a hoodie, and had this positive MAT of blonde hair. Was only on for a few days before we got this job. Gotta pay the bills, y'know? And he wanted to come-

Y'see, it's an interesting case for us. We've been followed for so long, it's a way of life. But this kid... h'was fresh. Like Sam. But we're all kids when it comes down to it... Zero was around my age. S'only reason I made this blog. ENVY makes a good point. If I just left it to nothing, who would even know we were here...?

Sarah. A feisty girl. Most of you probably don't know who she was, but I s'watchin her. I watch a lot of you. Get a lot of free time when M'not doing deliveries.

Oh, right, how this works. Forgot. Hangovers I usually pile more bourbon onto but I'm sober for a reason.

There's two ways these jobs get done; on foot and the risky as fuck way I only do when I'm alone.

Needless to say, M'not elaborating on one of those.

On foot is easy enough; we move slow an'don't risk our hides, but keep ahead of trouble. Since we'll go anywhere, it's pretty simple. I have a few rules I follow, though;

To cover large open distances, we use whatever motor vehicle we can get our hands on.
Forests. Avoid 'em if we can. If not, get through them fucking quickly.
Supplies. Everyone brings what they need. No time for stoppin, until we reach cities.
Urban centers; we go on foot, an'close to each other. Easier to deal with proxies, if the need be.
Planes are safe for the most part when we get on to the time we get off. Got a truce on that.

And that's... pretty much it. Follow the rules and we stay exactly ONE step ahead of Tall, Dark, and Handsome. Fuck up and I'll need some more newbies.

S'that simple.

As for the job? Srs bsns. Government shit for an old... acquaintance. We leave in, at most, a week. Feel free to elaborate for everyone out there, you guys. Now, if you don't mind-


There we go.

I'm going to go have a drink with some old friends.


Tuesday, 21 June 2011

-Todd- Anything for the distraction

You see Sam, this is why people need me.
Just because there's a faceless deity stalking you, doesn't mean other things aren't trying to kill you. Sure, I can carry a package like hell, but the thing is, if Mr. Tall feelsthe need to throw some guy in a hoodie at you,that's where I come in. I'm the escort man. I can guarantee that no one else other than Mr. Tall and his many-a-tentacles will be bringing you down. When trouble rears it's ugly head, I will be there. To stab the fuck out of it.
But why would I be joining a group like this one now? It's true, I would never lower myself to the position of delivery boy under any normal circumstances, but lately, I've come to the realization that the others have known for quite some time. I don't have much longer. I've been running for years, and I thought I could run for a lot longer, but I found out the Man wears on other things than your mind. It turns out he can take a toll on your body as well. Picture this: A 6'5" bald, black man, walking into a pharmacy to steal over-the-counter arthritis medication. Pretty pathetic, huh?
Spence found me in the middle of one of my relapses. I was somewhere spraypainting a circle with an 'X' through it somewhere, with a batshit-crazy look in my eye. He never told me the full story, but he must have been pretty damn convincing in getting me to calm down, cause I haven't gone mad since. Now, it's just a matter of waiting until the lights turn off, and I wake up covered in their blood.
So, if ushering people helps take my mind off the pain, so be it.

Monday, 20 June 2011

-Sam- Yeah, I don't know what I'm doing here.

Hello world, I'm Sam Carnegie. I'll tell you right off that I'm pretty much the most worthless member of the team. All these guys, they're all tough and experienced, right? They're good at this surviving business. Me, I barely lasted a fucking month on my own out there. When Spencer found me, I'd just been attacked by a hobo. A hobo. Not Mr. Faceless, not one of his crazies. Just some drunk homeless guy. And I could barely hold him off.

I guess I'm staying here, though. I figure for me it's a choice between growing a (metaphorical) pair and working for Spence and co, or being out on my own and dying a horrible death in some dark alleyway. Which will probably still happen. But at least I'll be getting paid for it.

Also, I'm a girl. Just thought I'd mention that.

-Amanda- So The Boss Started This Blog

So Spencer thought this blog thing would be a good idea. Yeah, no, I don’t think so. But I might as well use the damn thing. Quicken the end or whatever the fuck.

So, yeah, I might as well make some sort of introduction for this doomed thing. I’m Amanda, that’s all any of y’all get to call me. That means you, Steele. I’m one of the poor fuckers who got sucked into this whole delivery thing. At least it pays well. Even if I have to deal with nutjobs all day. And then there are the customers. The poor, doomed idiots.

I’ll deliver anything you want, no matter what it is. Bones, blood, bodies, cryptic as fucking hell messages, I’ll take anything. Just have to give me something to make it worthwhile. And no questions. Never any questions. Got that? Good.,as;

And that’s Poe, my crow. Fucker needs to learn not walk across my damn keyboard. Found him on side of the road one day. Apparently his mother had kicked ‘im out of the nest or something so I took that ball of feathers home. May’ve been one of the stupidest decisions I’ve ever made. And I don’t regret it at all.

So, yeah, that’s me. I have to go bitch at Steele about something or other. He deserves it for all the shit he does. Fuck ‘im.

-Steele- Food for Thought.

What would you do if you knew your days were numbered? Grieve? Write a bucket list? Break down? Withdraw from society? Maybe even, heaven forbid, make your peace with the big guy upstairs? All Glory be to God on high, God who’s left me high and dry, as I wait alone to die.

Not my predilection, I can assure you. I’m more of the live each day as if it was your last type of griever.

Because one day, not too far from now, it will be. And I guess I’m cool with that. No more worrying, no need to maintain a façade. I live a world without lasting consequences. And well…I have been told that this particular quality of mine… (fearlessness? No, I still have fear…I still have fear. I have wake up at 3AM, convulsing with terror, covered in sweat and tears, blood in my mouth, gasping for mercy fear. Perhaps it is just plain ‘idiocy’, maybe that’s my quality. Or ‘recklessness’. Or ‘suicidality’…Anyway.) …gives me a certain, je ne sais quoi. “A certain thing, an aura if I may be so bold, my dear. Though it may be in part the accent.”

Or so the rather wordy bloke (hah! Like I can talk! I am the veritable prince of pretentious, as you may have been able to guess by the italics. (You’ll have to get used to me disrupting my thoughts with other thoughts (and so forth), I can get positively disgustingly sidetracked.) Confused yet? Just skip the parenthesis and go on, I’ll pick up where I left off. Normally.) lying on the (disappointingly bland) mattress next to me was telling me, as I struck a match and lit the Marlboro I had balanced precariously on my lower lip. “An aura? Oh golly, I bagged a crazy.” I exhaled, dreamily lying back onto the pillow with a smile. “No, seriously! You just have this…well, if I could describe it, it wouldn’t be so mysterious, but…you know?” He stumbled, as I ran a finger up his naked leg.

I was in a good mood, but like all good things, it didn’t last. It came back in a rush. I felt the colour drain from my skin, and bile rushing up my oesophagus like a wave. I dropped my cigarette on the sheets and retched over my side of the bed, as…the person looked on in abject horror. (Not that I could determine whether or not their horror was abject or merely reviled, I was a bit preoccupied at the time.) “You’re sick?” He asked, going empathically white. Or so I like to think in that part of my mind where people give a fuck about something other than themselves. (Which, admittedly, doesn’t come out to play unless I’m in a sorry position, myself. ) “No, I’m just a magician. But where did the carrots come from?” I retorted, in between spilling my guts. The muscle pains crept back, my eyes watered, and an involuntary shudder of revulsion went down my spine.

I have an idea, that You are here…

“You’re sick and you didn’t tell me? How contagious are you?” Here it comes, the self-preservation instinct. No “oh you poor thing here let me hold your hair back, do you want some water while you die slowly, naked in a hotel?” Just a good, old-fashioned practice called being a pig. I rolled my eyes through my tears, and decided to make emotional bacon. “Very. You should probably go to a doctor. If you don’t get the meds, things will drop off, and you need that entire particular, if I might be perfectly blunt. Nope, definitely can’t spare an inch.” I was lying on one count. I wasn’t contagious, but I did want to be alone while I rode this out. He grabbed his clothes and left the room in stony silence, only broken up by me re-visiting my breakfast.
The door slammed.

And the coughing started.
My guts were empty, but I could not sit up, I coughed until my ribs hurt and then some, uncontrollably, couldn’t breathe, couldn’t see, struggling to maintain consciousness from lack of oxygen so dark no escape…
Then, like a vice un-clamping from my windpipe, it lifted, and I gulped down air, every muscle in my body screaming in pain, both from the ordeal, and from…the aura.

I had the idea, that You were near…

I crawled out of the bed (the other side, I may have been dying, but I would not die in my own filth), the effort making my head spin. I reached into my bag and with faltering hands took out a lighter, a spoon, and a leather-wrapped bag. I unclipped the clasp and pulled out a glass syringe, and held the needle over the lighter flame for a while, before rummaging through my bag some more.

I have a Sickness. And one day, it will kill me. Though most don’t last long enough for the Sickness to kill them, they just get plain Eviscerated.

But I have a Sickness, and I need my medicine.

I removed the syringe from my arm and felt the muscle pains fall away, into blissful numbness. I leaned back into the wall, and looked up. Numb and quiet.

Quiet contemplation of my options.

Front door, take a left, elevator, out through the lobby, hail a taxi...

Fire escape.

Much simpler.

And it looks like I made the right decision, as the lights in the room began to flicker. The clock on the bedside table fizzed a little, then reset, green neon, flashing 88:88. The mirrored door to the closet softly grew convex, before shattering. “That’s my cue.” I murmured, calmly pulling on a pair of jeans and throwing on a jacket, slipping into some nice shoes before grabbing my bag and kicking in the window. So glad my former, now-estranged admirer paid for the overnight stay and not I.

Not to mention the inherent beauty of providing a fake name to the sorry bastard.

A dog barked somewhere as I pulled myself through the broken window pane and powdered glass (looking back just long enough to see black tendrils of shadow creeping underneath the unit door), before bounding down the metallic grille stairs, three at a time.

Any fate, be it stabbing, overdosing, or falling from this precarious staircase, was better than the one waiting for me, following me, always over my fucking shoulder.
I want to live.

But wants are right up there with wishes, and wishes are for those with a deficiency in facts.

The fact of the matter is, I can’t run forever.

I’m supposed to post about my courier services, Spence says? Well, bugger him and his bottom line. If you’re hiring me to perform a job for you, it’s perfectly within your rights to know who I am, along with any, shall we say, quirks I’ve developed along the way. And more importantly, that I’m a tough bastard who’s got nothing to lose, no judgement, no queries and no problem with any shipment you might wish to procure.

The name’s Leon Steele. I’m 22 years old, and these are the last days of my life.

-Spencer- Welcome to the team

"There is an enigmatic figure, most often seen as a tall, extremely thin man with long, strange arms, and a face that no two people see the same way (if they see any face at all) wearing a suit. Where he comes from is as much a mystery as what he wants. All that is known is that there is evidence of him existing for far longer than one would expect. Those who see him often wind up missing—or worse—with their mutilated bodies impaled upon a tree, and their organs removed and then replaced systematically.

His presence is associated with paranoia and sometimes a strange sickness, and those who see him are frequently found to be maniacally writing strange messages, and drawing mad scribbles of a dark, faceless figure.

It is advised to avoid investigating too much lest you get entrenched too deep...and find yourself the subject of unwanted interest."

But what if you do find yourself a subject of unwanted interest?

"Except when you don't.
Because sometimes you won't."

Because it's all cool with the fairy-tale endings in ongoing stories, where they're Running or Fighting and everything goes right. Typical hero's journey; Find the mentor, obtain the metaphysical sword, venture into the belly of the beast, and it all works out in the end.

"Except when they don't.
Because, sometimes they won't."

Because we've all been there. Caught up in something that we don't really understand or get, reading and watching the triumphs of amazing people, wondering why we can't be the same.

I used to be that way. For most of us, this whole haunting thing is impossible to survive without help.

And you see? That's where we come in!

Spencer Fitzgerald. Is that my actual name? Probably not. Point is? I run a Courier service, made up of people just like you, most of 'em being Haunted for a long, long time. We've pissed of ol' Slenderbuddy so badly that we know our days are numbered.

And so we figure;

Why not live as well as we can?

We're all only really good at one thing; Running. Avoiding trouble. Actually, we're all amazing at it.

So we'll deliver anything...

For a price, o'course.

To anyone, anywhere, anytime.

And we'll get the job done;

Or die trying.

Ahaha, that came off morbid, di'n'it? Hopefully, the team'll get some posts up about what we do and how we do it or I'll do it later or yadda yadda yadda. When does the fun start, is my question! What can yeh'do, eh? More to be up later. For now?

Don't look behind you.