Misty Streets

Chapter 3

Unfinished (don't read this one yet)

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tick tack tick tack

Kiernan MacBaird wake up to sounds… sounds like something hitting the window. Kiernan takes a second to get his bearings, remembering he’s at the guest bedroom in his parent’s house.

He gets up and goes to the window and looks out to see a humanoid shape standing in the darkness of the lawn.

“Psst! Kevin, you NEED to get out of there!” A voice calls out from the darkness.

He opens the window and sticks his head up, “What? How did you find me?” He recognizes the voice as Lisa’s and wonders how long he was sleeping and how long she had been throwing pebbles at his window.

“I can tell you once you’re out of there… there’s something REALLY bad in that house with you!” Her whisper elevates with emphasis, and despite his confusion, he seems to think she’s genuinely concerned for him.

“Well my family is in here. What do you expect me to do?” He leans out the window and looks around, but doesn’t see anyone else.

She paces around, agitated. “I need you to listen closely and not ask any questions. I need you to close your eyes and focus on… well… it’s kind of like listening.. but with your mind.”

He turns to look around his room, checking to see if anyone is in there with him, then looks back out the window, “Focus on what, exactly?”

“Just close your eyes and try to listen… that should work.”

“Well I can listen with my ears just fine,” he sighs and does as she asks. He tries to focus on listening.

At first he hears nothing but his own breathing, and just as he’s about to give up he feels like a new sense takes over. He can hear his mom and brother sleeping in other areas of the house, and gets the quickest glimpses of their dreams. Then he feels a presence of pure malevolence coming from downstairs. As he senses it, he gets the distinct impression that it senses him as well, and it begins to move.

“It knows I was listening!” He hisses from the window in a panic.

“Shit!” She rummages through a pocket and pulls something out. “Catch!”

“Uh…” Kiernan manages to grab what turns out to be a bottle of nail polish. He turns it over in his hand and looks at her, confused.

“Open it up and try and throw it on that thing… it should get rid of it,” she says matter-of-factly.

“You ARE a nutter!” He shouts and slams the window closed just as he hears growling from outside the bedroom door.

“Go away, get out of this house!” He seethes at the door.

The door starts to shake and Kiernan begins to look for a weapon of some sort. Unfortunately since it’s mostly a guest room, there’s not much in there besides a lamp, and an alarm clock.

The door doesn’t seem like it’s going to hold much longer, so Kiernan backs up toward the window and grabs the lamp. He thought about grabbing the clock radio, but his face twitched and he grabbed the lamp instead. The door swings open and what looks like some kind of horrifying black dog is standing in the threshold.

Kiernan throws the lamp at the creature and the shot looks like its going to connect. As it is about to connect the beast seems to become very hazy and the lamp sails cleanly through it and hits the wall, shattering.

It growls and leaps at Kiernan who is able to get his hands up to block the creature’s cruel looking teeth to dig into his flesh. However,the beast lands squarely on top of him and is now frighteningly solid. Kiernan jumps onto the bed to attempt to move towards the door and lock the hellish hound in the room, but as he tumbles past the creature, its paw swipes at Kiernan and effortlessly knocks him down.

That’s going to leave a nice bruise. Kiernan winces as he struggles to keep the beast from biting him. He shouts at the thing, “GET! GO!” and beats it in the eyes with his fist. He gets a solid hit to its face and the beast stumbles back for a second as Kiernan hears the sound of someone running up the stairs.

“Don’t come in here!” Kiernan shouts warningly.

The beast growls and whirls around, “Oh fuck!” he hears a female voice from out in the hallway.

MUM?!” He shrieks and tries to get out of the grapple with the beast and run to the door.

“Shit, oh shit, try and hold it still… fuck I haven’t done this before!” The voice rambles frantically in the hallway as blue sparkles blow in from the door and start to surround the beast. Kiernan could hear some soft chanting but it sounded like gibberish. He could tell that it was definitely not his mother though.

Remembering what Lisa threw at him earlier, he grits his teeth and gets the nail polish from his pocket. He kicks the beast as hard as he can and tries to use the momentum to push himself away from it, but before he can, the beast bites into Kiernan’s leg. Before Kiernan can register the pain, he manages to unscrew the bottle and try to fling the liquid at the beast. Instead of nail polish a clear liquid comes flying out that sizzles as it hits the beast, who howls madly as the flesh under the polish begins to sizzle away.

Kiernan drags himself up to his feet and then moves toward the door as fast as he can. The chant continues and the beast becomes completely enveloped in the blue sparkles.

After a few tense moments the sparkles begin to fade and the beast lies on the floor. Kiernan raises his fists shakily and throws the door completely open.

Lisa is standing just outside the door, supporting herself against the wall, her face is completely drained of color and sweat is pouring down her face.

“What the fuck, holy shite!” Kiernan gasps, holding onto the door frame for support.

“You should,” she pants heavily, almost unable to speak, “check on your family.”

He puts a hand on Lisa’s shoulder in thanks and moves to his mother’s room first. “Mum? Mum I’m coming in,” he says before he opens the door. He walks in and his mother looks like she’s sleeping soundly. He breathes a sigh of relief, and almost turns around, but then decides to check just to be sure.

He walks closer and he hears her breathing gently, although it’s odd all the noise didn’t wake her up.

He shakes her shoulder, “Mum, are you ok?”

Her eyes open “What baby, can’t this wait til morning? I’m really tired…” she rolls over and falls back asleep.

“Sure mum, go back to sleep,” he checks under her bed and in the closet before leaving for Brodie’s room, where it’s much the same story.

Kiernan rubs his temples, remembering why he fell asleep last night…

“I already told you I’m not here,” she giggles. “Maybe I’m just a figment of your overactive imagination… you look like you could use some sleep.”

“Fuck you…” he murmurs as his eyes get heavy. And with that, Kiernan falls over, asleep. The last thing he saw were her black eyes staring into his.

Kiernan heads back to the hallway and finds Lisa sitting on the floor with her back against the wall. “There was this woman… girl.. something with black eyes, she made me fall asleep, like them…”

“Do you know who she is? Whoever she is seems to have it out for you,” Lisa wonders aloud.

“I need to get them out of here,” he leans against the wall, holding pressure on his wounds. “I think she killed my sister in law.”

“Why are you here?” He asks with genuine curiousity.

“I… I was told to look after you… I wasn’t expecting anything like this. I was more just making sure you didn’t do something stupid with your magic.” She shakes her head, “We should get that bandaged.”

“Look after me?” He seems puzzled. “It’s ok,” he says, even if it’s not true. “They need to get out of here though.”

“How do you want to do that?”

“I can put them in Brodie’s car, I will try to carry them…” He’ll go back in for his brother first.

She follows you and helps you “What are you going to tell them?”

“I don’t know… there’s a bloody serial killing ghost and her precious dog in my mum’s house?!” Kiernan’s voice cracks. The strain of all that has happened is beginning to show on his face.

“Believe me… for them the truth probably won’t work” Lisa’s eyes drift as she says this.

“Well I don’t care if they think I’m a loon, as long as they’re ok.”

She nods slowly… “Well, I don’t know what you’ve gotten yourself into but I wasn’t lying earlier when I said you don’t have to deal with this alone”

“I don’t understand why I have to deal with this at all,” he balls his hands into fists.

Lisa looks at Kiernan thoughtfully, “Hon, since when do we get to choose what cards are dealt to us? At any rate I think I might know where we might be able to take them, it’d kinda like a sanctuary”

“Or sometimes we just get what we deserve,” with the help of Lisa, Kiernan is able to move his mother and brother out to her car. Lisa climbs in the drivers seat and starts the car.

“I need to make a quick call, OK?”

“Ok, sure.” He turns on the radio softly.

“Hey, Onehorn? ... Yeah, this is Lisa … I need a safe place for the night … For four … in about fifteen minutes? ... Thanks babe you’re a life saver” She closes her phone and turns to Kiernan. “Anything else you want to grab from there?” she asks while gesturing at the house.

“No, I don’t think so.”

“Alright, then, we’re off! Now.. try not to be too startled by our host, he’s a good guy… he just… looks odd.”

“As long as he’s not trying to bite my face off, I don’t mind if he looks like the Queen of England’s bum.”

“Hah… well… you’ll see” She puts the car in drive and starts without a look back leaves the house behind.

“Lisa,” he’ll say at some point. “What did you mean back there, with… like… with the truth not working?”

She hesitates for a moment, opening and closing her mouth a few times before she begins talking ” ... how can I explain this. You know how I told you the process you want through is what We call Awakening?”

“Yea, Atlantis, right, I saw your book… a bit…”

“Well, they’re what we call sleepers. And their minds have become so closed to the possibility of magic the sight of it can … it can cause problems for them.” She trails off and bites her lips “They can be shown it, but it has to be very gradual. Just dumping them into it is like jumping into the middle of a frozen lake naked”

“Ok… and… let me guess. They got all heebs an’ called you a nutter, which by the way I apologize for… that was uncalled for,” he looks at her sincerely.

She smiles, “Oh, I’ve been called worse, it’s not how they treat you, it’s what can happen to them”

“What could happen to them?”

“When I Awoke… I… well I accidently used a lot of magic in front of my boyfriend. He um… he’s uh been in a coma ever since. It’s not usually that bad, but it can be… it can be worse.”

“I’m sorry, Lisa,” he says quietly.

“I’ve heard stories of people going mad, or even forcing a person to Awaken. But now you can understand why I was watching you…. making sure you didn’t make the same mistakes as me”

“I don’t even know how to do any of your magic stuff,” he shrugs. “You can probably just forget about me after I move them to a new house, I’ll be good,” he promises.

“I wish it were that simple… something is trying to KILL you. I’m not sure that simply moving will fix that”

“I did some research, and I think it’s a serial killer’s ghost… and she likes this one dumb neighborhood, so I’ll just move mum and Brodie and…” he rubs his forehead. “I don’t know what to do. Call a priest maybe.”

“Besides… even if you try to never use magic… it has the potential to just unleash it self uncontrolled” She pauses as if she just heard what Kiernan had been saying. “A serial killer’s ghost? What makes you think that?”

“I did some research after Janet… and… well, I talked to this bloke on the force, and I dunno, there seems to be a pattern. He… he,” he taps the steering wheel with his finger. “He’s a magician too, innit he?”

She shrugs “It’s possible… there’s a lot of us in this city.”

“I think he had your book.”

“Oh, that book? It’s a little dangerous printing it but We’ve found it helps some people.”

After an awkward silence Lisa starts talking again, “It’s just that thing back there attacked you… I’ve never heard of a ghost being able to do that. There’s got to be something else to this”

“Well I don’t bloody know what else it could be. A giant vicious pokemon for all I know, I just don’t want to ever see it again.”

A few uneventful minutes pass with no more sound then rain splattering on the windshield.

All of a sudden Lisa snaps her fingers “Barghest! That’s what they’re called”

“Pardon me?”

“It’d been buggin me” she says, fiddling with the radio

“Well, cheers,” he flips open the glove compartment looking for cigarettes.

“I’ve heard of them before… but they’re usually lapdogs of powerful nasties. Like… hell hounds or something”

“That’s brilliant, I’m really happy to hear that,” Kiernan mumbles.

She shrugs again “We can find someone who knows more… I really don’t know much about this kinda stuff”

He pulls out a stick and lights it, cracking open the window as an after-thought. “She’s probably hurting lotsa people on that street.”

She nods and pulls into a closed down Burger King’s parking lot and pulls up to the drive thru.

“Nothin for me,” he says dismissively, pulling a long drag from his sweet sweet baccy.

She rolls down the window and starts making a very elaborate order. Kiernan isn’t paying much attention until he hears her finish with ” ... and a half coconut of sprite” .

She looks over at Kiernan “You should buckle up,” she says while fastening her own seatbelt.

“Are you knocked up er sumthin?” He leans back, looking at her and notices that the Burger King is completely closed. He quickly puts on his seat belt without any further questioning.

All of a sudden the car begins to free fall… Kiernan remembers having Alice in Wonderland read to him as a child by his mother and the absurdity of the entire situation makes him laugh harder than he has in a long time

Lisa turns and looks at him like he’s the nutter for once

After about 30 seconds of this the car slows down and comes to rest lightly on a idyllic looking grassy meadow

“Don’t venture too far, appearances can be deceiving here” she says matter of factly as she unbuckles her seat belt.

He catches his breath, holding his sides, and shakes his head. “Thanks for that… that was amusing…” he wipes tears from his eyes. “Yea, ok.”

She opens the car door and stands outside and stretches “Wait here a minute, kay?”

Without waiting for a reply she walks to a nearby hut that looks like it’s made of moss.

“Aye.” Kiernan replies as he finishes his smoke and puts it out.

He sees her knocks on the door… before the resident of the hut can make an apperance however something on the ground nearby catches his attention.

Kiernan sees what looks like a hundred dollar bill just sitting on the ground nearby… but as he looks closer he notices it’s at the center of a perfect circle of mushrooms. Something about that strikes him as very bad… something his mum told him back in Scotland, but he can’t remember for the life of him what it was.

“Money, on the ground like that… Is it yours, Lisa?” he mutters to noone in particular. Without a further thought he takes a step into the circle of mushrooms and bends down to grab the note.

Kiernan hears a very small voice giggling, and the hundred dollar bill turns into a small ball of glowing yellow light It flits around Kiernan before it slows down and hovers in front of Kiernan’s face and he find yourself looking at a very tiny winged naked woman

He blinks. “Did I take something? That WAS a cigarette wasn’t it? It was, yea…” He answers himself, while silently reminding himself to never take things in Lisa’s car for granted

“Hey, hey! Want this 100 dollar bill? You can have it for just a small favor!!” the small woman flits around in front of his face. Although when she speaks Kiernan can see that her mouth is filled completely with tiny sharp teeth.

“Uh? Oh yeah, what do you need, small bloomers? Maybe a tiny band-aid? I’m pure screwed,” he grumbles.

“How would I know what I want? I don’t even KNOW you yet! But I’ll let you know within 5 days!”

The fairy flits dizzily around Kiernan’s head.

“Whatever,” he shrugs and waves a hand around his head.

“Yay! This will be OUR little secret!” She disappears and Kiernan finds a crisp 100 bill in his pocket

“Lisa? This place is fucked,” he calls out even though he can’t see her.

“Hey Kev,” you hear from a short distance away “I want you to meet Onehorn”

“If he’s a two inch tall naked…” he mutters as he walks towards her voice. Kiernan turns around padding his pocket and finds himself looking at what looks like the bizarre lovechild of a goat and a man. He’s about 7 feet tall, and one of his horns looks like it was broken off at the base.

“Oh, I see,” he spins around on his heels and heads back for the car.

She runs towards Kiernan and stops him, “I told you he looks odd, but he’s a good guy, trust me! He didn’t always look like that… and your family, when they wake up, won’t even see him like that.”

He sighs and turns back around. “I’m going mad, you know. How do you even know I see what you see anymore?”

“Um, do you see a tall one horned satyr?”

“I don’t know what that is, I never paid attention to mum’s stories,” he shrugs. “Well, I sometimes did… but… I mean…” He thinks about the horseshoe over his door at home. He walks up to the guy and extends his hand. “Nice to meet you Onehorn.”

He shakes Kiernan’s hand with a very large, albeit human, hand. “Pleasure to meet you”

“Anywho, if you try hard enough you can see what most people see him as,” Lisa interjects. “At least he was kind enough to let us stay here. It’s safe in his home. If you help me carry your mom he should be able to get your brother.”

“Yea, thanks for that, Onehorn.” They return to the car and between the three of them are able to carry Kiernan’s mother and brother to the moss hut.

As Kiernan crosses the threshold to the humble looking hut he enters what looks like a large beautiful indoor garden.

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Jamaili

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