Tag: urban magic

#25 Jasper

| November 28, 2011 | 0 Comments

Jasper was nothing if not righteous.  How could he be anything but, having forsaken not just the things an everyday monk would be required of, but also forsaking the blind ignorant bliss that most modern man hid behind?  No, he was righteous to the bone, looking, truly looking at the world as it still stood, with its dangers and pitfalls around every corner.

Its heathens, given over more and more into the hands of evil, walking blindly and willfully right into hell.  He was fighting a losing battle, of that he was certain, but he would fight it nonetheless.  Because it was right, because when he died he wished to be able to look his maker in the eye and tell him that, yes, he had fought with every ounce of his being against the darkest foe.

And if that fighting had resulted in death, the Holy Father would understand.  He had killed little more than evil, pure and simple, releasing the souls of those touched by dark powers so that his Lord may chose their fate.  And if that battle had involved the use of powers, these were sanctioned powers, made holy by the See he answered to.  And if those battles ended with an increase in Jasper’s powers, well, it was only right that he should be able to absorb as much of the transgressor in question, that the evil they had participated in should be purified in the use of holy actions.

Jasper had no doubt that he did right, not even when the witches he dispatched begged him for mercy.  Mercy was the Lord’s to give, and not any of Jasper’s concern.  The only vice  Jasper knew he had to be wary of was that of pride.  But as he did the good Lord’s work, he did not doubt that he was righteous.

#24 Marcus

| November 28, 2011 | 0 Comments

Marcus had a knack for telling things.  He knew when things were up, he knew when things were coming, he knew when things were… happening around the people that worked for him.  Take Pierre, for instance.  He knew Pierre had something going on, something floating around him, some sort of push of events coming, he could smell it, like a storm coming.

What he could never figure was if that storm would be good or bad.  But he also knew that Pierre had a little something of a sense, a gift, even if he wouldn’t ever admit it.  So Marcus figured he’d at least pay him a bit closer attention, figured that the man had enough self-preservation to duck and run if that coming storm was a shit storm.

And anyway, Marcus knew to trust his instincts- those he saw as an animal thing, separate form the other gifts he had.  In all fairness, it was his instincts, and not those fucking sensings that had gotten him as far as he had gotten, with this club for a cover and all the classy whores and drugs the neighborhood needed for a real cash enterprise.  And his instincts were pushing him like crazy to hone in on whatever Pierre was getting carried into and lay a claim, hard and fast, making sure the man didn’t for a minute forget who the boss was on this corner.

That’s all he really asked for, in the end.  Nothing huge, no fucking empire spread open for a ricoh case, no fucking cartel wars, just his block.  This little block, and every person on it.

#23 Zeke the Angel

| November 28, 2011 | 0 Comments

Zeke the Angel.  Not that anyone knew him as that, at least not most anyone save perhaps for a wet-brained little bum who gave him everything he could just for the fuck of it- not even because of what Zeke was, refusing to hear any offer Zeke had to make.  It was because of that bum that Zeke could still roam the earth as more than some otherworldly vision.  It was also why his current manifestation tended towards lumpy, hairy and weird-smelling.

Which was just as Zeke preferred things.  He had no use for being beautiful.  Once, eon ago, he found it necessary, back when he believed it was his calling to seduce as many souls into the mutually blissful relationship that symbiosis with an angel offered.  Back before he started to believe in his own PR.  Back before he came to the conclusion that doing some good when and where he could mattered a whole hell of a lot more than feeding off of what humans gave so freely anyway.

Now he took their happy and their love when and where he could, when it came to him freely and beyond any subtle coercion on his part.  Hence the ugly and smelly.  Stacking the deck against himself, and he didn’t care.  He still got more than enough to get along, especially since he stayed right there in the muck and the mire, so his ugly body could process regular food too.  Truth was, compared to what the average joe had to go through to get along, he had it pretty easy.

Being an expert in, well, no, let’s call it like it was, having a huge hand in creating the theological binary mindfuck that humanity would most likely never be able to extricate itself from, he could pretty safely say that he wasn’t acting out of guilt.  He was an expert on guilt, and had no use for it whatsoever.  That was a demon gig, pure and simple.

No, it was something bigger, what drove him.  Maybe a sense of responsibility, the need to clean up at least some of the mess he had made, even if that mess going as viral as it did was not something he had imagined.  Or maybe it was absolutely simple.  Maybe it was just love, pure unadulterated love for every damned tom dick and harry that managed to get up in the morning and drag himself across the surface of the planet, knowing the cards were stacked against him, knowing that this pointless day might just be the last, and going about his business anyway.  Who the hell couldn’t love that, anyway?

#22 Pierre

| November 27, 2011 | 0 Comments

He never quite knew how to answer when people asked him if he was French.  Maybe, somewhere along the line, he guessed he must have had some in the gumbo that was his swapland bloodline.  A little French, a little Seneca, a little African, and yeah, maybe eve a little Anglo for good measure.  Who knew?  His people weren’t exactly the type to keep tidy records, anyway.  His name, well, apparently one of his grandpaps carried it- and on up the line to who knows what unlucky frenchie got hisself stranded with the gators and the spanish moss, knee deep in the muck that was his family legacy.

Not that he should speak so ill of his roots.  His granmama would tan his hide, she heard him talikn’ that way, but he was miles from swamp, and planned on being so for the rest of his natural life.  Blame the teaspoon of Anglo in him, but he’d had about all he could handle of the hot and humid.  He liked winters, places that had weather, land that was dry enough to track on easy as you please, with predators you could hear walking up to you.

But there were times when his past caught up with him, when he could hear his grams talking in his ear like she was standing right there beside him.  Like every time he laid eyes on little Mouse.  I spite of that, or maybe even because of that, he hadn’t been able to stay away from here ever since she set up her little table across the street from the club he worked at evenings.

He’d scoffed the first time she set up, with her little palm reader’s sign and trinkets laid out over tattered a tattered velvet cloth that did little to hide the wheeled trunk under it.  He had been prepared to walk right past her, maybe even told her to take a hike on personal principle, but then he did walk up to her.  Walked up to her, smelled the cheap liquor on her breath, and was about to lay down some hard local law on her when he looked in her eye.  And picked up one of the little square cloths tied to a string, and was frozen dead still for the space of a couple heartbeats.

“That’s for love,” she said, words softened but not slurred.  “Not what you need.”

She shuffled trough some of the little scraps and picked up a different one, trading it for the other.  Pierre hoped she didn’t see his hands shaking.

She didn’t seem to when she answered.  “Here- this is what you need.  Makes you hard to spot in a crowd.  Won’t hide you in a room less than three, or if someone knows you and is looking, but even then it can fuck up their aim.”

He’d taken it, swallowing, not saying a word, and handed her the five she asked for in return.  He wasn’t that surprised when it had come in damn handy.  He’d rolled in on and broken up a shakedown in a corner of the club that night, the fuckers acting like they never seen him coming, one bastard swinging wide and loose with a broken bottle that should have by all rights ended up in his gut.

He knew it was more than just luck for a variety of reasons.  He’d known she was for real the minute he made contact, grams had passed at least that much of her skills down into his blood.  And the little scrap disintegrated like ash right after his men had dragged the bastards in question out back for some serious talking.

The next day, he showed up with a bottle of something quality, as was proper, but the girl wouldn’t drink it alone.  She held on to it, uncorked, until he got done with his night, and they shared a drink, watching the sun come up cold and bright in the steel blue sky.  From then on they had an arrangement.  She gave him the heads-up when she had what she called an inkling, handing off trinkets like they were baseball cards, and he kept her in cheap liquor, since she refused to drink the good stuff without him.

Even though he might have thought it, he never told her she seemed awful young to be a drunk.  And even though sometimes he could feel the questions on the tip of her tongue, she never asked him how he knew what she was at.  She never even asked him if he was French.

#21 Mouse

| November 27, 2011 | 0 Comments

Mouse was certain that at some point in her life she must have had another name, but this was the one that Bear and the Old Lady gave her, so that was the one she figured she’d stick with.  The Old Lady liked to argue that it was the name she had given herself, as she had been found nibbling away at their larder for weeks before they finally took her in, daring those fuckwit parents of hers to go ahead and try taking her back.  They didn’t try, just as happy to keep collecting welfare on her and not even have to see her little face.

Mouse had been four at the time.  She didn’t remember much of that, but when she was old enough to ask questions answered, the Old Lady gave her the honest truth.  What mouse did remember of the time before was Cold and Hungry, so as far as she was concerned it had always been the Old Lady and Bear.  They kept her warm and never hungry.  They shoved so much love into to her that she had no choice but get to know it, and in time, get to loving back.

But that was before, and Mouse was a full-grown woman now, by anybody’s reckoning, although for the past year or so, Bear would probably argue that she wasn’t acting in any way like one.  But they weren’t here, were they?  And that was the problem.  They had sent her off on her own after a lead on some top-dollar truffles that had turned out to be a gold mine, worth the shitty weather that holed her up in a cave for a few days.  And by the time she got back home, they were gone.

Well, not completely gone, they’d left their bodies there for her to find.  But the parts that mattered they had taken away, both holding cups half-full of overkill whose bitterness she could smell from across the room, even over the odor of rot.  She left that minute, locking up the beautiful hand built home they called the shack tight enough to serve as their mausoleum.  Safe enough that no hungry critters could come in and tear them apart from each other’s arms, but easy access for all the bugs that would come in to send them back to mama earth, as they would have wanted, as was right and proper.

That they took their own lives didn’t burn- that was their right, she believed that as much as they both did.  That they didn’t let her know it was going down, well, that’s what had her grabbing the gallon of cheap whisky the Old Lady kept for making tinctures.  It was the only thing she took with her.  She was good and drunk by the time she hit the town road, and she stayed that way, not quite drunk enough to be mortally stupid, but drunk enough not to give a fuck about much of anything.

Bear would be frowning at her something fierce, she could almost see it out of the corner of her eye, telling her to get her head out of her ass.  But why, she figured?  Not like he was really there anyway.  Not like he was really there at all, she thought, drowning it out with another deep swig.  Burning out the tears before they had a chance to fall.

#24 Famous Ray

| November 25, 2011 | 0 Comments

Famous Ray

Famous Ray

You’ve seen him around, on red carpet premieres, in the VIP section of exclusive clubs wearing an open shirt and shoes with no socks. Occasionally he shows up on television to offer a semi-informed opinion. Who is he? What the hell does he do?

The best way to explain it is, Famous Ray emits a low-level celebrity field, which makes the world treat him as though he is a minor celebrity, no questions asked. Some of the perks of his power include:

-gets free food, clothes, discounts in general
-people listen to his opinion
-VIP/backstage entry to clubs/shows
-people just always assume he’s important, or with the band, or that actor’s assistant, or a producer, heir to some fortune, etc.

When you get him high as hell, or when he’s in his cups, he’ll tell you that his power is because way way back on his mother’s side, he’s part vampire. Dude’s just crazy, right? Witch-One‘s not so sure, and so keeps a close eye on him.

#23 Witch-One

| November 24, 2011 | 0 Comments



“I breathe through the city lights/ my soul permeates the air over city nights/ I’m a god/ and you a facade sellin’ fake shit to the people…” King Fantastic, Locals Only

Witches — or more accurately, “men and women of knowledge”, are humanity’s only defense against bloodsucking top predators and shapeshifters, beasts that wear human form who hunger for the “shine” that exists in humans. the young woman who goes by the pseudonym Witch-One puts up tags and pieces that are actually spells and wards that she uses to protect the city of Los Angeles. Every tattoo and piercing that she has are enchanted to provide some kind of protection. The pun that is her street name actually helps ward off spells that try to divine her identity. When the caster says “which one”, the universe registers it as a question, and those type of spells backfire.

Not only are there a lot of monsters masquerading as people in the entertainment industry, there are also humans who stumble on to dangerous spells and curses. Also, more celebrities than you’d think turn out to be changeling babies.

So Witch-One runs the streets, keeping humanity from being overrun with a spray can, a gym bag with some haphazardly learned spells secondhand ritual tools, and a glock filled with silver bullets.


#17 Marina

| November 23, 2011 | 0 Comments

She could feel the demon approaching her, could feel his intent zeroed in on her just as much as she could feel the interest in him the rest of the room was trying to hide.  He was smooth, it was obvious from the way he slid towards her, and clear in his intent.  So, most likely he’d been sent.  And she could well imagine by whom.  She’d been none too gentle with Jared.

But this demon was in for a few surprises, the first of which being that she wasn’t what Jared had led him to believe.  Not who, but what, because ‘human’ would only describe her in the barest of terms.  She wasn’t even certain if, at this point in the game, it would be appropriate for her to use that term at all.

Certainly she looked the part, even though her long black hair and pale skin gave her an ethereal quality, but she had long lost the important parts, those delicate and sensitive places in a soul that were the corner stones of both the strength and weakness of humanity.  She was cold and maybe even dead inside, she wasn’t sure, she was no necromancer.  She was only lost, trapped on dry land, and cursed to live.  She had no idea for how long.  She only knew that she had not aged, even though by all rights she should be dead and rotted out by now.

And even after all these years, she still craved the company of men enough to play these games, to become the story they wanted to hear.  And she would play her part so well that there was no parting that was kind.  But her kind were never exactly masters at gentle leavetakings.  It was traditionally their role to cut and run, if not the minute they saw fit, then the minute their captors let down their guard.  Because inevitably the longer she stayed, the harder it was for her lover to let go.

She wished she had been so wise when she had been young, and the city had been young, and the coast was still a wilderness.  When she had fallen so hard for a man that she had willingly given him her pelt, so that he could keep her with him, so that the sea no longer had a hold over her.  She had been exceedingly young and exceedingly stupid, and for all she knew the man she had thought she loved had been buried with her pelt beside him.

It would have fit the pattern.  It went along well with the curse he somehow laid upon her when she left him, if not for the sea, then at least for somewhere away from him.  She had thought that maybe time would have loosened his grip, his obsession, his anger.  But he died without giving her the one thing she wished for.  Her freedom to return to her home.  What she had too late come to realize was her true home, far off the shore, in the unforgiving depths that ranged the coastline.

She wondered idly, as the demon sat before her and speared her with his beautiful eyes, if he would like to savor her true agony.  She wondered if he would be another of many, incapable of letting her go, therefore incapable giving her the happiness that only her freedom could provide.  But he was a demon, so her happiness would never be an issue.  And without her pelt, she was but half a creature, her soul lost in the depths far off the shore somewhere.  She doubted she would ever let him deep enough to taste the sorrow that beat within her, as unrelenting and salty as the sea which daily called her down.  She wondered, though, if she did– would it be enough to drown him as it did her?

#16 Blade

| November 23, 2011 | 0 Comments

#16 Blade


Smooth as silk and as sharp as glass.  He knew this was what he was, he knew this was what he looked like when he walked across a room.  He had it on good authority, and even if he may have been an utter failure of a demon, he could still feel the want, fear, and hunger he inspired.  He’d have to be dead not to, and half-starved as he always was, he was always ready to soak in what energy got thrown his way, even when it was little more than a vague unsettled irritation that he was not for them.

There was one who would give him far more than that, he knew.  She didn’t stand a chance. His next meal, his next treasure, his next masterpiece.  She had never met him, but the knew more about her than she probably cared for anyone to know at the moment.  But that’s what happens when you confide in and then brutally tear apart a boy who knows a thing or two about vengeance.  And Demons.

He was Summoned, as was proper, and the young man in question made his deal, the same deal that all of them make when they summon him.  Or summon an idea and get him.  for the rest of his life the man would relive all his torments, his personal tragedies, his agonies, upon Blade’s request.  It was a good deal, considering.  Most demons have far simpler requests- your soul, to torture for an eternity after death.  Although most of the time the detail about torture was left out.  In Blade’s opinion, one would be a fool not to expect it, though, when dealing with a demon.  Pain was, after all, their favored form of sustenance.

In exchange for the young man’s pain, Blade would exact a precise and vicious form of vengeance upon the girl in question.  Simply put, over time, he would destroy her.  Systematically.  Until the young man balked or the young woman died, most often by her own hand.  He would make the vengeful party watch, make them witness the fruits of their labor in excruciating detail, as these memories would be some of the most agonizing, and the guilt that came with them was one of Blade’s favorite flavors.

Fair?  No, it was not fair.  It might have seemed fair in the beginning, vengeance always does.  But one was a complete fool to think that calling upon hell for satisfaction would ever end gently.  Even when one was playing with a demon so far removed from his vicious origins that all he fed upon was the pain of justice meted out unmercifully on careless creatures who called out for hell itself to do a job they should have done for themselves in the first place.

And he was not so broken a demon as to ever consider mercy.

#14 Old Noona

| November 20, 2011 | 0 Comments

#14 Old Noona


Old Noona is as nutty as a fruitcake.  She’s one of those round little old ladies, gray hair sticking out all crazy, walking in little shuffling steps everywhere she goes.

If she can help it, she won’t walk on anything other than dirt.  Even if it means trampling through the spruce hedges in front of the bank or shuffling like a tightrope walker on the little line of dirt that collects in the crack between the curb’s edge and the sidewalk.  Grass is okay, and any other plant matter is fair game, but she hates having to walk on concrete and asphalt.  She grumbles to herself, shuffling along at her top speed every time she has to cross the street.

And she won’t set foot indoors, not even to sleep away the winter chill.  She’ll sleep next to a heating vent when it gets below freezing, and townsfolk dread the morning they might find her, not having made it through a night that got a little too cold for her old bones.  But she doesn’t seem to mind.  And lots of people look out for her.

She has the cackle of a cartoon witch, and a vocabulary as florid as it is frank, and she’ll gladly talk to anyone who’s looking interested.  Funny thing, she never talks about things you’d think the crazy street lady might talk about.  Instead, she always talks about things that the other person might find interesting, if a little unexpected.  She has this skill.  She calls herself a people person.

But a very few who stop to talk to her know a deeper truth.  When you stop, really stop to look into her eyes, you’ll see they glow with the bright passion of a child’s.  If you bring a hot cup of something with you and sit with her a minute, you might just find her talking about things you never really had the guts to say out loud but carry in your heart.  There’s only a few who could tell you why that is, why any of it is, why she is the way she is.

She made a deal, you see, once, very long ago.  She gave up houses, she gave up the world of built things, in exchange for which she got two things, the skill to sleep outdoors in any sort of weather, and the skill to grant any who would cross her path, not the wishes they would make out loud, but the quiet ones, the ones they didn’t even know they had, but needed more than any others.

#13 Bone Man

| November 19, 2011 | 0 Comments

#13 Bone Man


Bone Man, Bone Man with his box of chains, rattling along the darkest alleys in the cold and empty nights.  He shakes his wooden box, and the rattle clank and clink echo up and down the building walls.  If you hear that sound, you can’t help but shiver.  If you see the man, you can’t help but want to run.

It’s not that he’s all that scary.  Short, with a mess of jackets vests and coats hanging stiffly down his sides.  He’s got hair that sticks out like kindling held together by old bird nests.  He’s brown, but not the decent kind of brown that comes from your bloodline or the sun.  The kind of brown that’s soot and grime and grease and road dirt, soaked into the pores, into the molecules of his skin so that once you might have known where he was from but nowadays he only looks like miles of dirty road had run right over him.

If you weren’t the type to run, if you were the gambling type, the type who played games with loaded guns, you might ask him to stop.  You might reach into your pocket, find something there to give him- a button, a wrinkled up receipt, a buck or two, a knuckle bone, half a smoked cigarette, he isn’t picky.  After all, it’s your funeral.

If what you got is good enough for his mood, and he doesn’t just spit at your feet and call you something fit to make a trucker blush as he rattles on down the road, he may just stop and look you up and down.   Look real deep into your eyes.  And after hacking up something that looks like a dead baby bird, he might just drop his wooden box and sit on it.  He might just tell you a little story.

You might think yourself lucky, puff your chest a little, pay extra attention, shaking the cold, the night, the fading cheap beer buzz out of your ears.  You might really think you want to hear what he has to say.  But you never do.  Because the bone man only ever has one thing to tell you.  And before you hear it, you might think that being forewarned is some sort of a good thing, but once he says his piece, you got nothing but empty to contend with.

Because what he tells you is the precise, exact, absolutely unvarnished moment of your death.  Down to the day and the color underwear you’ll have on.  You might have thought this would be cool, to loose all that uncertainty, but once you know it’s not something you can un-know.  And you always knew you were going to die, right?  But now that you know, down to the second, just how little time you have left, well, then, the clock starts ticking down, right?

And your life might go on its way, you might be bored out of your skull or fucking your brains out, but there it is, tick tick tick, grinding down every pointless minute into that one pointless moment, that brick wall, that game over.  And see, the problem is, with that much knowing, well, it just ain’t a gamble anymore, is it?  And isn’t that what you were?  A gambling man?

See, now all you’ll ever be is dying.

No, no, you’re better off just letting the old shadow fucker walk on past.  You’re better off pretending he was never really even there.  You’re better off not even stopping to wonder what the hell it is he’s got that box of chains for.  Just get on getting on, spit at his feet for good measure, rattle the change in your pocket, and count yourself the luckiest fool that ever lived.

#1 Calliope

| November 1, 2011 | 0 Comments

Calliope sat on the curb in the parking lot next to the liquor store, beer in one hand, cigarette in the other.  She had that look on her face, an intense glare aimed at the whole wide world that made people think twice about hassling her, even with her delicate five-foot-nothing frame dressed in a washed out tank top and cutoff jeans, or what she would call her dirt poor hooker look.  Anyway, people in this particular neighborhood didn’t hassle her.  And since it held the city’s highest murder rate, the cops that did spend their time around there didn’t give a single fuck about open containers, unless it looked like you were about to shove a broken one into someone’s eye.

She always scowled.  That was just her natural face, she’d tell the few people who had the guts to tease her about it.  Then she’d smile.  And no matter how well they knew her, no matter how hard they believed she had their back, every single one of them would get a little second of panic in their eyes.  It was just who she was.  She’d gotten over it a long time ago, especially when she realized that the fear-factor and all those other little quirks she had were an excellent way to get people to see things her way.

She had no idea where her crazy skills came from.  She had no wise grandma telling her about her mystical people from way back.  Didn’t even know exactly where her people came from.  She called herself an American mutt from both Americas, North and South, although one of her cousins swore there’s some Philippino blood in them somewhere.  She had no clue.  All she knew was that no one could explain why it was that she could do the things she did.  Like get people to back down with a single word.  Like kill them, if they pissed her off enough.  Not that that had happened.  Much.  And anyway, that was a long time ago.

She kept herself in check, not for herself so much as for the people who had come to count on her.  People who had no power at all, who could easily wind up dead or wishing they were, stuck like she was in what she swore must have been the asshole of creation.  But it was getting harder and harder to keep it all in check.  She was starting to think it might be high time she tried living alone for a while.  Or at least until she was sure Spike’s bring-him-to-his-knees, put-tears-in-his-eyes migraines weren’t some kind of side effect of her desire to shake some sense into the kid.

She never was sure, when people got sick around her, wether it was just a regular human biology… whatever, or whether it was just what came of getting too close to her particular variety of crazy.  She really, really hoped she didn’t make people sick.  She liked people.  She might have even said she was a people person, if it wasn’t for the fact that she was a walking talking mindfuck.