Not Another Al Bruno III Website

AL BRUNO III IS A WRITER OF IRREGULAR TALENT WHOSE WORK IS IRREGULARLY READ. HE PREFERS TO WRITE COMEDY AND HORROR BUT IS SOMETIMES UNSURE OF THE DIFFERENCE.
These are some of his favorite pictures and links as well as his regularly unscheduled blog updates.


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Posts tagged "the night blogger"

by Mike Leonard

You don’t have to believe the stories on my blog, you can dismiss them as good hallucinations or bad fiction if you want to but they’re all true. The darkness was never empty, there are things that wait for the innocent and unwary to turn their backs. What is it you think I’m talking about here? Ghosts? Vampires? Ghouls? If only it were that simple. The creatures of the night are still out there but they’re not shadowing your every footstep. They just check your status updates from the comfort of their tombs.

All I ever wanted was to be a Do-It-Yourself style reporter but more often than I like I find myself becoming part of my stories. It turns out gods and monsters don’t like their secrets getting out any more than your standard politician or celebrity. We all know how this is going to turn out in the end; I’m already long overdue for jail, the looney bin or a guest of honor spot at a monster buffet but until that fateful day I’m not going to back down or give up.

My name is Brian Foster and some people call me The Night Blogger.

But I wish they wouldn’t it’s kinda cheesy.

 

 

 

 

Storyline In Progress

by S.A. Hunt

 

Prologue: Personal Journal Entry #1

Episode One: The Ripper

Episode Two: Personal Journal Entry#19

Episode Three: The Zombie

Episode Four: Personal Journal Entry#25

Episode Five: They Have Been, They Are, They Will Be

Episode Six: Personal Journal Entry#39

Episode Seven: The Vampire

Episode Eight: Personal Journal Entry#52

Episode Nine: The Werewolf

Episode Ten: Personal Journal Entry #83

Episode Eleven: Firefall

Episode Twelve: Personal Journal Entry #106

Episode Thirteen: The Devil’s Platform

Episode Fourteen: Personal Journal Entry #125

Episode Fifteen: Bad Medicine

Episode Sixteen: Personal Journal Entry#156

Episode Seventeen: The Spanish Moss Murders

Episode Eighteen: Personal Journal Entry #161

Episode Nineteen: The Energy Eater

Episode Twenty: Personal Journal Entry #184

Episode Twenty-One: Horror In The Heights

Episode Twenty-Two: Personal Journal Entry #211

Episode Twenty-Three:  Mr RING

Episode Twenty-Four: Personal Journal Entry #254

Episode Twenty-Five: Primal Scream

Episode Twenty-Six: Personal Journal Entry #255

The bad news was that Chloe Tree and I were trapped almost a hundred feet below the Earth in the base of operations of a cult determined to set the human race back millions of years.

The good news was that I could cross ‘bitten by a neanderthal’ off my bucket list.

Well pseudo-neanderthal really, but I think that still counts.

The pseudo -neanderthals, the man-animals as I have taken to calling them, would have killed us if not for the timely arrival of a robed and red-haired man. He ordered  that ordered them to stop in a voice that was patient and authoritative. The man-animals forgot about us fawned and groveled at the man’s feet.

I glanced at Chloe, “Are you Ok?”

Dirt and bruises contrasted with her pale, albino skin, “Morceau de merde stole my rucksack…”

I was clutching at the wound on my shoulder. There was so much blood. My hand looked like I was wearing a single red glove. Direct pressure. I told myself, Apply direct pressure.

The stranger sent the man-animals scurrying with a snap of his fingers. He had a tall forehead, frizzy hair and an almost nonexistent chin. His voice was haughty and nasal, “We meet again Ms. Tree.”

“Mr. Volsung,” Chloe said his name like a curse.

“‘We meet again?’” I said woozily, “Who the Hell says that in real life?”

He glared at me, “I just did.”

It was at that moment I realized I was on my knees, I tried to stand up but my legs weren’t having it, “Are you really going to release a killer virus and destroy the world?”

Mr. Volsung turned his attention back to Chloe, “Who is this idiot?”

“He’s a fellow investigator.”

“Is this fellow investigator aware that he will soon be reborn as a Beast of Valhalla?”

“Is that bad?” I asked, “Because it sounds bad.”

Mr. Volsung’s reaction was a roll of the eyes, Chloe’s expression became pained. In other words it wasn’t as bad as it sounded, it was worse. I was infected, I was on a one way trip to Troglodyte Town.

“Come,” Mr. Volsung gestured to Chloe Tree, “we have matters to discuss that are not for lesser ears.”

“Oh no.” I said, “I’m a part of this, I want some answers.”

Mr. Volsung snapped his fingers and the man-animals swarmed me. They lifted me up and carried me away…

 

THE NIGHT BLOGGER:

A Season In Hell

Episode Twenty-Six

Personal Journal Entry #255

by

Al Bruno III

 

…my name is Chloe Tree and it has fallen upon me to tell this part of the story. Please understand that this is not the whole story, there are facts that must be obscured for the sake of humanity but I respect Brian Foster and what he has tried to accomplish.

Know then that the man called Volsung is an old adversary of my family and the world. He is the last and least of a bloodline as arrogant as it is ugly. Let it be known however that Volsung is the last and least of that lineage, he labors alone like a mad scientist of old in the finical and scientific ruins of his betters. The mighty had fallen I just didn’t know how far.

“Come,” he said to me, “we have matters to discuss that are not for lesser ears.”

“Oh no.” Brian’s voice was desperate, “I’m a part of this, I want some answers.”

All it took was a snap of Volsung’s fingers for the pseudo-neanderthals, the creatures some called the Beasts of Valhalla, to fall upon Brian. There was a moment of terror when I was certain they would tear him limb from limb, but why would the beasts do that when he would be one of them soon enough?

They lifted him up and carried him away deep into the heart of this fungus choked monument to one man’s hubris. “How?” I asked, “How do you make them obey you like that?”

“All in good time,” there was a tremor in his voice that seemed to spread through his entire body. He began to walk away knowing I would follow.

Brian’s straw fedora had fallen to the ground, I tossed my own hat off my head and put his on in its instead. Even now I am not sure what my motivation was for doing so. You might think it was so he could be with me in spirit,  but I don’t believe in spirits, or monsters or gods. There are only mysteries that have yet to be solved.

It was sentiment I suppose.

“Does your adoptive father know you’re here?” Volsung asked.

“He’s none of your business.”

The path he led me along sloped downward. The white fungus became thicker and thicker as we progressed, it popped and hissed underfoot like a carpet of bubble paper. The air it released was foul and choked with spores.

“What is this?” I asked.

“It was the only thing to survive when the facility descended into chaos. It spread from  hydroponics to contaminate everything.” He ran a hand along the veins of soft, whiteness, “From foodstuff to conquerer in less than a generation. Impressive no?”

This was getting nowhere, I changed the subject, “What about Brian?”

“What about him?”

“There must be some kind of cure, some way to help him.”

“No. The infection is incurable and for all but 2% of the population.”

“2%? Which 2%?”

“For some reason it does not impact individuals with a mutation of the MC1R protein. Speaking of mutations,” Volsung paused in mid stride and glanced back at me, “I was sorry to hear about your ‘uncle’ but I suppose he lived longer than someone with his genetic setbacks should have.”

I said nothing

“Did he ever consider,” he began walking again, “That perhaps his encounter with the Valhalla virus was the source of his prolonged lifespan? It can have different effects on different subjects.”

“He…” I took a moment to compose myself. This is the curse of an atheist; a religious person finds solace in the knowledge they will be reunited with their loved ones in an afterlife. Atheists know better, dead is dead and gone is gone- we only live on in memory and even that is fleeting. “He would have wanted me to try and appeal to your sense of reason.”

Volsung chuckled, “My sense of reason doesn’t come into it.”

“This strain of the virus is flawed, it could never do what you want because it is only passed through bodily fluids. All you’re going to do is create human misery.”

“Look around you Ms. Tree, we’re already in a world of human misery. Better to begin again or never to have been at all.” The door to hydroponics had fallen from it’s hinges, the ultraviolet lights dangled by half rotted fixtures and wires. The fungus was everywhere, it surrounded us on all sides, a thick mound of it festered in the center of the room. “If it is to survive Humanity must stop warring with itself. It must become one mind, one soul.”

That brought a question to mind, “Is that how are you able to control the beasts?”

“One mind,” His robes and voice trembled again. He approached the mound and caressed it, “One soul.”

An ugly suspicion took hold of my thoughts, “Whose mind?” I asked, “Whose soul?”

His expression became sly, he undid the belt of his robe and let it fall open to reveal corruption. The same fungus that had run riot over the complex had grown fat on his flesh. It pulsed in time with his heartbeat. “It has such tranquility to share,” he said, “It will forgive your trespasses.”

I dropped to my knees, he liked that. I asked, “What does this have to do with saving humanity?”

“Livestock survives. Livestock endures.”

“You’re insane!” I reached down “Think what you’re saying.”

“Don’t you see?” Volsung spread his arms wide in a gesture of welcome, “Every flock needs shepherds. We. Have. Been. Chosen.”

One of my father’s old friends had given me the pistol and the ankle holster I drew it from. I fired twice, both shots hitting him in the face. There was less blood than I expected. Thick tendrils quivered and lashed at the air before becoming still. He didn’t fall, he just stood there like a toy with batteries that had run down.

The mound of fungus in the center of the room began to quiver, I imagined it erupting like a boil and filling the room with spores and tendrils. It was time to get out of here, but first I had to find Brian…

*

…aside from a few disconnected images I can’t remember what happened.

I know the man-animals carried me away to what might have an auditorium. There were TV screens on every wall, some hissed static others played old newsreel footage from World War II. The man-animals sat me down in the first row of seats. Just before I blacked out I realized one of the man-animals had stolen my pants.

Then gunfire. Chloe Tree came charging in to the room like, if you’ll pardon a bit of alliteration, an albino avenging angel. When she grabbed the arm attached to my wounded shoulder she got my attention. She dragged me to my feet and pulled me out of the room. The man-animals started to give chase but a few shots over their heads scattered them.

She practically carried me through the complex. All around us the white fungus was pulsing angrily. 

Somehow we got back to where we had come in. How the Hell did she get me back up that rope? The Serious Men in Serious Suits waiting for us at the top of the shaft must have had something to do with  it. There was construction equipment everywhere in the decrepit textile mill, cement mixers to be specific. The oldest of the Serious Men knew Chloe, I wish I could remember, it didn’t take long for them to start arguing about me, something about me not leaving here alive.

At that point I wanted to say something but I was too busy blacking out again.

Days later I woke up in the most sterile-looking hospital room I had ever seen. There were no windows, the bed was standard prison issue; the door was locked and there was no TV. My shoulder had been patched up and there were needle and IV tracks up and down my arms. Either I was being held prisoner by a shadowy government agency, or Albany Med had a terrifying new way of dealing with uninsured patients.

Thankfully it was the former and after a few more days of observation and tests they let me go with a warning never to tell my story to anyone.

But come on, what did they think I was gonna do?

By the time I got out Chloe Tree had already gone back to France but she had kindly emailed me the file I posted above so you could know what I missed.

Item: If you recall Volsung mentioned that people with a mutation of the MC1R protein are immune to the virus. The protein in question is the one that makes you a ginger. You don’t actually have to be a ginger to have that genetic marker, it’s recessive but just having it is enough to save you.

Item: I only have one picture of my absentee grandpa but if you haven’t guessed already he had bright red hair.

Item: In the two weeks I was gone Jasper Moradi and Mrs. Vinchenzo were going out of their mind’s with worry, now that I’m back they’re furious with me.

Item: Eight days ago my car was towed, that is a lot of storage fees. I’m going to need help paying for it and am open to donations.

Item: At least I got my straw fedora back.

Item: You won’t find anything beneath the textile mill anymore, nothing but eighty-plus feet of fresh concrete, and pretty soon you won’t even find the mill itself. The city of Troy has decided to knock it all down and build a community playground.

I wonder if there’ll be monkey bars

 

To Be Continued


________________________________


This storyline is dedicated with awe and admiration to George C. Chesbro.

 
You don’t have to believe the stories on my blog, you can dismiss them as good hallucinations or bad fiction if you want to but they’re all true. The darkness was never empty, there are things that wait for the innocent and unwary to turn their backs. What is it you think I’m talking about here? Ghosts? Vampires? Ghouls? If only it were that simple. The creatures of the night are still out there but they’re not shadowing your every footstep. They just check your status updates from the comfort of their tombs.
 
All I ever wanted was to be a Do-It-Yourself style reporter but more often than I like I find myself becoming part of my stories. It turns out gods and monsters don’t like their secrets getting out any more than your standard politician or celebrity. We all know how this is going to turn out in the end; I’m already long overdue for jail, the looney bin or a guest of honor spot at a monster buffet but until that fateful day I’m not going to back down or give up.
 
My name is Brian Foster and some people call me The Night Blogger.
 
But I wish they wouldn’t it’s kinda cheesy.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Storyline In Progress
 
 
 

November 8th: After the events of the hospital things moved quickly. Albany’s Chief of Police went on TV and declared a city-wide manhunt for the ‘drug crazed hooligans’ that had killed six people, including two highly decorated officers. I am sure that little soundbite was a great comfort to the citizenry as did the show of force that took place the next day. At high noon on November 5th the forces of law and order went marching through the poorer neighborhoods of Albany in all their army surplus enhanced glory. The whole scene was the very model of a post 9/11 dystopia. The final results of the brouhaha in body armor was twelve arrests on unrelated charges and outstanding warrants, a neighborhood dog being shot and not one ‘drug crazed hooligan’ taken into custody.

While all this was going on I was busy learning all I could about Dr. Fredrickson, my only clue as to what was really going on around here. I had assumed that I would learn that Dr. Fredrickson was some kind of mad scientist but it turns out that his degree was in criminology. He taught for a while at a downstate college before opening up his own private detective agency. That was when Dr. Fredrickson’s story got weird- really weird, Swan Lake being performed by mimes with Tourette’s syndrome in a running car wash weird. Dr. Fredrickson’s cases weren’t of the standard ‘act as a bodyguard’ or ‘find out of my spouse is cheating’ variety. He actually investigated grisly murders, mysterious disappearances and ninjas. 

Yes, you read that right. Actual ninjas!

While I did my research things kept getting more and more complicated around town. There were almost a dozen sightings of the man-animals in Troy but they were all dismissed as hysteria and lies by the powers that be. Some unlucky citizens were attacked but those attacks were blamed on rabid animals. By the third chewed up jogger the local newspapers began to get suspicious but their investigations went nowhere because both the survivors and the dead had all been spirited away by those Serious Men in Serious Suits.

It took some doing but on the 6th I struck pay dirt. My investigations revealed that in 2006 Dr. Fredrickson moved to France to act as a consultant for Interpol and never came back. In fact he moved his whole damn family across the ocean with him. I found his Interpol email address and sent him a guarded message. 

I got an answer almost immediately…

 

THE NIGHT BLOGGER:

A Season In Hell

Episode Twenty-Five

Primal Scream

by

Al Bruno III

 

…the place: Troy, New York. The time: high noon. 

Going to secluded locations at the behest of people you’ve just met on the Internet is only slightly dumber than climbing into the back of a van offering free vasectomies. But I went anyway, to the secluded location, not for the vasectomy.

I parked my car across the street from a flower shop and and made my way to the Volsung Corporation’s long-abandoned textile mill. Abandoned buildings are nothing new in Troy; the town is an urban explorer’s dream but the mill was unique in that after the Volsung Company shut down operations and moved production to Taiwan they held on to the property- and let it rot. 

At least until the Volsung Corporation went belly up in 1985. The city took the property over and came up with one idea after another of what to do with it; each idea was stupider than the last, and none were ever acted on.

The mill was an ugly rectangle of red brick with tiny windows and a pair of chimneys. It looked like an orphanage out of a Dickens novel. Dr. Fredrickson had told me he was booking a flight to New York right away and he planned to meet me there. Personally I would have preferred to meet the man at the airport or a nice restaurant but if this was how he wanted to play it I didn’t have much choice.

Not if I wanted answers.

Like most creepy, long-abandoned buildings the mill was surrounded by a chain link fence that was crawling with tetanus. There is no way to casually climb a chain link fence in broad daylight so I just got it over with as quickly as I could. My bum knee screamed in protest when I landed but I walked it off.

There was a brief moment when I paused to realize there had been a man-sized hole in the fence just a few yards from where I had gone over but I got over it and started walking again. Trash and weeds ringed the building, one of the loading dock doors was wide open, it gaped hungrily, waiting for me to enter.

And enter I did. My pen light in one hand and my iPhone filming away in the other. The loading dock looked like… well, a loading dock. Truck bays, ramps and offices. A double door led to the interior of the building I nudged it open with mill was empty, no walls, no machines. The afternoon sun was level with glassless windows, I passed from shadow to light to shadow. Somewhere an owl hooted and flew away.

The only thing worse than the stink of a building gone to rot is the odor of death and lucky me, I was smelling both. I hated myself for not asking for more answers from Dr. Fredrickson but he’d insisted that he no longer trusted the security of Interpol’s email system.

Nice going Patriot Act.

“If you head there you will find traces of the Volsung Corporation’s true legacy.” Fredrick son’s last message had said,  “Bring rope, flashlight and an open mind. Go tomorrow afternoon, before things get worse.”

Just in case this whole thing was a trap I’d decided against bringing a rope. I had no intention of being trussed up by someone as deadly as they were thrifty.

My penlight beam found footprints on the dirty floor. Dozens of them, all barefoot and all walking on the balls of their feet. I followed the trail deeper into the building. I began to find half-eaten animal corpses strewn here and there, I’m not 100% sure what kind they were but I imagined there were a lot of folks in Troy missing their cats and dogs.

Suddenly I began to wish Jasper was at my side instead of packing for his big trip. He still wanted me to go with him but how could I ever leave all this, and the Vorvolaka, behind?

“Stop right there!” a voice called from the shadows. It was soft, heavily accented in French and deadly serious.

I stopped.

“Look down,” the voice said. 

There was a hole in the floor right in front of me, even with the occasional illumination I couldn’t see the bottom. I exhaled heavily, “I should have brought that rope.”

“Indeed,” A trench coated figure stepped into view, a beautiful young woman with refined features and ghostly white skin. She was an albino. “You’re Brian Foster, I like the hat.”

The stranger was wearing a chapeau of her own, a dark blue pork pie hat that anchored down her white curly afro. “Back at ya” I said, “And you are?”

“My name is Chloe Tree, you’ve been emailing my Uncle.” There was a rucksack over her shoulder, she pulled a slender object from it. There was a muffled crack followed by a hiss, the road flare she was holding burst to life.

Once I was done flinching I asked, “He sent you?”

Chloe Tree walked over to the edge of the hole and dropped the flare. The stick of reddish flame fell for eight seconds before hitting bottom. She nodded sagely and shouldered out out her rucksack. “Good, I brought enough,” she handed me one end of the rope, “please tie it around something solid.”

Like I said before the place was pretty much empty but Chloe brought plenty of rope and I managed to find a free-standing support column about six 

 to our left. “So,” I began, “Dr. Fredrickson is your Uncle?”

“Adopted,” she admitted, “when I was four years old I was orphaned by a man that thought my skin and organs could give him great power. The Fredrickson brothers rescued me.”

“And Dr. Fredrickson’s brother adopted you?”

“His big brother Garth and his wife Mary.”

I stared at the knot I had tied for a moment or two. I’d never been a Boy Scout and I couldn’t be sure the ugly tangle of rope would hold but it would have to do. “Ready!”

She dropped the rope down into the pit, “The Volsung Company presented itself to the world as an agricultural research company but they had other interests.”

“Bio-weapons?” I asked.

She flashed me a smile, “How did you know?”

“What can I say?” I shrugged, “I’m a good guesser.”

“Indeed.” After one last look around she hefted the rucksack and began lowering herself into the hole in the floor, “Climb carefully now.”

Climb down into a pit in an abandoned factory? That’s how I roll.

It has been a long time since I’ve done anything even remotely athletic and I started to ‘feel the burn’ with in a few seconds of making my way down the rope. How far down were we going? I thought eighty feet was a good estimate but that begged the question- what the Hell was down here? What had this company been doing on the side? “So,” I panted, “Volsung was making some kind of killer virus…”

“Worse, a morphic impacting pathogen.”

“I have no idea what that means but it makes me want to wash my hands immediately.”

She gave a little laugh and she dropped from the rope to pan d on the floor below, “You’ve seen the results of it on Martin Biddle, a complete re-writing of DNA to the point where a physical transformation is triggered. The transformation is mental too, millions of years of evolution are wiped away. Their minds become primitive and malleable.”

“Are you telling me,” I dropped down after her, “that this thing turns people into cavemen?”

“To put it simply yes. But the damage done is so profound that the children of any surviving victims will be pseudo-neanderthals.”

What she was saying was impossible, it was insane, it was the beginning of 2001: A Space Odyssey in reverse but I’d seen it. I’d seen what that poor bastard Marty Biddle had become, and I’d heard the rest of his furry posse in action.

She took the penlight from my hand and swept the beam around the chamber. The place was at least a thousand feet across in every direction and populated with long, flat buildings as well as obelisks and statues that rose up to brush the ceiling. I felt a shiver of worry at the thought I might be crossing into Dero territory again but I soon realized that this place had been designed with human aesthetics in mind. It was positively cathedral-like, “Why would anyone do this?”

“They called it the Valhalla Project,” she walked over to one of the statues, it was covered with an ugly, foul smelling mold that grew in streaks and lumps along what must have once been a seventy foot tall effigy of some saint or wise man. The coating of mold left its face and inscription impossible to make sense of, “let the virus do its work while a chosen few survivors waited in a dozen places like this around the globe. Then once the human race had been fully regressed they would emerge and guide mankind into a less warlike state of being. A kinder, gentler human race.”

“That’s… that’s…” I boggled, “You’re not kidding are you?”

“No,” she started walking then paused and glanced back at me before continuing on. It seemed like her too-pale face lingered in the shadows after her. Chesire-like.

I used my phone to snap a few pictures along the way but I knew I would never post them, not when everything looked like a shadowy photoshop job or a Yes album cover. “It would be nice if you could tell me what we’re looking for.”

“Some clue as to who blasted that hole up above. Everyone that experienced the Valhalla Project firsthand should be dead.

“Everyone?”

“Everyone except for my father and those doctors and spooks from Albany Med,” the entrance to one of the buildings was open, we took a moment to peer inside. There four rows of 70’s era looking computers a skeleton was slumped over one of the keyboards. It was covered with mold, everything was.

“What is this… gunk?” I ran my fingers along the wall, scooping up a handful of the stuff, it was moist and clammy.

“It was supposed to be a food source, I guess after the place was abandoned it got ambitious.”

“Ichhhhh!” I shook the stuff from my hand.

Up ahead was something that must have been a town square, a gathering place for discussions of great importance and possibly the occasional biome hoedown. A fire made from bones and shattered furniture blazed in the heart of it and ugly troglodyte figures danced about it in orgiastic fury. 

There was a toppled obelisk nearby, Chloe and I took cover behind it and watched. Somewhere an amplifier was playing a speech that sounded like it had been recorded long ago, “Let every man remind their descendants that they also are soldiers who must not desert the ranks of their ancestors, or from cowardice fall behind…” 

It boomed and echoed, the acoustics of the place were amazing.

“There are more than I expected,” Chloe said.

“O ye sons of heroes, that you strive to be the bravest of men. And I think that I ought now to repeat what your fathers desired to have said to you who are their survivors…”

I have so out of my depth in my life, and possibly out of my mind, “What do we do now?”

“We retreat, we contact the authorities and we hope.”

“Love it.” I said, “Best plan ever.”

There was a pause in the recording. We turned to go. I stepped on a bone. The sound of it snapping resounded like a gunshot…

*

of course the man-animals heard it.

Of course we ran.

Of course they caught up with us easily.

The moment one reached us, Chloe clocked it with her rucksack. Then her hand was in the rucksack, grabbing two more flares.

There was a crack and a hiss. The road flare burned to life. The man-animals backed away in panic but surrounded us just the same.

We weren’t going anywhere.

“How long do those things last?” I asked her.

“Here,” she threw the other one to me and I almost caught it.

When I bent down to retrieve it one of the man-animals pounced. We tumbled along the slimy, moldy ground. Teeth brushed my throat. I fought to push it away but only managed to keep the creature from biting into my neck.

My scream was half-pain, half terror. Chloe was shouting something in French. I started to beg the creature nuzzling into the meat of my clavicle for mercy.

But it didn’t understand a damn word I was saying…

 

To Be Continued

April 2nd: What follows is a tale of things that happen in dark and private moments, a tale of emotional needs supplanted by physical desire, in other words a tale of fucking. It begins with Roseanne Gluckman, a woman unlucky in love but a whiz at the stock market, a self made millionaire at thirty years old.
 

Roseanne’s plans had been to make her fortune first and get married second but now the fear that her suitors were only after her for money left her unable to get past a first date much less third base. On the Internet we call this a ‘first world problem.’

 

Since women have needs just like men Roseanne found a workaround, an expensive and preternatural one, but a workaround nonetheless; she nicknamed him Mr. RING; a callback to the simpler, geekier, days of her youth. He was an expensive lover, high maintenance and low personality but he got the job done and he was always ready for more. He made her feel things she’d barely been able to imagine feeling before. Sure she always felt a little guilty afterwards but that wasn’t enough to make her send him away, not when she was in a relationship with so few rules or expectations.

 

And isn’t that what every relationship comes down to? Rules and expectations?

 

Speaking of expectations, one she had been told to accept was Mr. RING’s complete silence at all times. He would never ask questions, make complaints or ask about her net worth. He was a blank slate she could overwrite with her every fantasy, he could be everything Roseanne thought she ever wanted.

 

Then he started humming.

 

That faint almost tuneless sound turned her normally warm post-coital sweat ice cold. She realized what she had done with a scream, a scream the shape beside her in the bed ignored. 

 

She ran from bedroom and locked herself in the bathroom. This was bad. She had broken the rule- THE rule. She had committed a sin far worse than breaking a roomful of  mirrors or feeding a gremlin after midnight.

 

The hum became a voice, almost too faint for her to hear, “Is you is or is you ain’t my baby?

 
 
THE NIGHT BLOGGER:
A Season In Hell
Episode Twenty-Three
Mr. RING
by
Al Bruno III
 
 

…if you only know the city via the Carly Simon song then let me explain that Saratoga is the closest thing upstate New York has to Beverly Hills. Except of course for it’s complete lack of celebrities, glamor and decent weather- but it has a pretty nice racetrack, so it’s got that going for it.

 

The time? Two days after Mr. RING’s impromptu serenade had driven Roseanne Gluckman from her high priced condo to her even more expensive McMansion.

 

I was barricading us into her spacious study. Rosanne was loading the gargantuan revolver she’d just purchased. She’d said it made her feel safe. 

 

That was one of us.

 

“Mr. RING means what?” I paused in nailing shut a window.

 

Roseanne blushed, “Mechanical Robotic Replicant Intended for Nocturnal Gratification.”

 

“Oh.” I said.

 

“Oh? What is that supposed to mean?” she snapped.”

 

“Nothing!” Now I was reddening, “Just ‘oh’.”

 

My Macbook was in the corner of the room, Jasper’s face was in the chat window, “I think I’ve got something…”

 

“What is it?” I put the hammer down and approached.

 

He held up a sheet of paper with Hebrew lettering on it to the camera;

 

אמת

 

“It’s the word ‘truth’,” Jasper explained. “You inscribe it on a golem to bring it to life.”

 

“A golem?” I scanned the room. The study entrance was nailed shut. A heavy oak bookshelf had been pulled in front of the glass balcony doors. There was a pitiful looking log burning in the fireplace. The fireplace poker was beside it, the business end buried in the hot coals. “She turned her sex doll into a golem?”

 

“It is not a sex doll,” Roseanne said frostily, “it is a Macho Manikin Fully Articulated Love Companion.”

 

Jasper’s voice said from the Macbook, “Yeah but now it’s a golem.”

 

“It cost twelve thousand dollars!”

 

“Then it’s a twelve thousand dollar golem,” Jasper started shuffling through his notes, “the thing is the word ‘Truth’ is supposed to be on the golem, not the golem’s owner.”

 

“That Ashley Fowler…” held her forearm up for us to see, the Hebrew lettering was there ‘אמת’. It wasn’t a tattoo or a birthmark but it had appeared on the night of April 2nd and had been growing darker and more pronounced by the hour, “she did this to me. She’s the Devil.”

 

“No she isn’t,” I crossed back over to the door again and tested it. Would it hold? I didn’t know but I doubted it.

 

Jasper said, “But she did bring Roseanne’s sex doll… I mean Fully Articulated Love Companion to life.”

 

“She. Is. Not. The. Devil.” I bit my words off in an annoyed staccato, “I don’t know what we are dealing with but she is not Old Scratch.”

 

“OK. Whatever.” Jasper said, “Hey Roseanne, you didn’t sell her your soul did you?”

 

Roseanne shrugged, “It was more of a promissory note.”

 

“All right,” I said, “so you signed a promissory note with Ashely Fowler. What did you promise?”

 

“The deal was that Mr. RING would come to life and… take care of my needs until the day I found true love…” her voice trailed off.

 

“And?” I gestured for her to continue.

 

She sighed, “And if I ever let a teardrop fall onto his silicone flesh I would become Mr. RING’s true love.”

 

There was a long pause, I looked from Roseanne to the Macbook, Jasper just stared out of the screen at both of us. Finally he cleared his throat, “I have to admit that does sound like something the Devil would do.”

 

Roseanne nodded eagerly, “I know right?”

 

I pinched the bridge of my nose, “She is not… Wait. You cried on him? On Mr. RING?”

 

This whole affair was getting more bizarre by the minute, I wondered if she was putting me on. It’s happened before, you folks remember the time I received an email from a concerned citizen about a haunted house only to learn it was actually a meth lab, or the time I got a tip about a coven of vampires only to find out it was a group of swingers with a love of crushed velvet and LARPing. Both those adventures had nearly gotten me fucked over- just in very different ways.

 

“Yes I did,” Roseanne said, “but not on purpose. Do you think I wanted to end up spending my nights getting off with some kind of a magic robot? That night I was so disgusted with myself that I started to cry.”

 

“I’m really sorry. I didn’t think-”

 

“Haven’t you ever done something for physical gratification then hated yourself afterwards?”

 

A rueful tone crept into my voice. “Oh Hell yes.”

 

“Dude!” Jasper said from the Macbook screen, “I’m right here!”

 

“I didn’t mean you!”

 

She looked from Jasper to me and said, “Oh.”

 

“Oh? What is that supposed to mean?” Jasper snapped.

 

“Nothing!” She looked away, “Just ‘oh’.”

 

“I got a gal who’s always late,” A syrupy, Prince Charming voice interrupted us, it was making it’s way up Roseanne Gluckman’s driveway. “Anytime we have a date…”

 

“And here we go,” I closed the Macbook lid. Jasper had time for a single shout of protest.

 

Meanwhile the serenade was continuing, “I’m gonna walk up to her gate, and see if I can get it straight…”

 

There was a crash that could only be the sound of the house’s front door being kicked in. The home security system started going berserk. A stern sounding operator began issuing stern sounding warnings from the intercoms but all the while Mr. RING kept singing away, “Cause I wants her, I’m gonna ask her- Is you is or is you ain’t my baby?”

 

I turned back to look at Roseanne, the paleness was spreading out from the word on her forearm, something about it made her flesh take on an artificial tone. She cried, “You said you had a plan!”

The singer was getting closer now, I could hear his footsteps on the landing, “The way you’re actin’ lately makes me doubt…”

 

“I do have a plan,” I explained, “it just happens to be an awful one.”

 

The study door crashed open and I got my first glimpse of Mr. RING. Imagine if you will Kirk Cameron’s head perched atop the hairless body of a romance novel lothario. He wore only Roseanne’s flowery bathrobe and a pair of silk boxers. Poking out the fly of those boxers was the main selling point of a Macho Manikin Fully Articulated Love Companion. It wasn’t so much a penis as it was an assault on all sense of proportion and sanity. “You is still my baby, baby,” his mouth opened and closed like a puppet’s, “Seems my flame in your heart’s done gone out…”

 

His doll eyes zeroed in on Roseanne. She made a small terrified sound. I approached the thing, “All right now. Easy big fella. Let’s talk about this.”

 

“A woman is a creature that has always been strange…” Mr. RING took another step forward, I moved forward again, quite literally cock blocking him. “Just when you’re sure of one you find she’s gone and made a change…”

 

“I don’t think you’re a monster,” I said, “No monster has a singing voice like that. Let the lady go.”

 

He paused. Was he listening to me? Was there an actual soul of some kind that could have understood what I was doing or was he just a wish and a curse made manifest? I’ll never know because that was when Roseanne decided to shot him.

 

It was like a bolt of lightning crashed over my shoulder. A hot breeze blasted past my cheek. My right eye was flash blinded. My right ear was deafened. The bullet hit Mr. RING dead center in his smarmy smile and lodged deep in one of the steel joints that held his PVC skull together.

 

There was a long pause. I think Roseanne said “Sorry Brian.” but the ringing in my head was so loud it sounded a lot like “Starry fryin’.” 

 

Then Mr. RING started singing again from what was left of his mouth, “ITH you iTH or iTH you ain’t my baby? Maybe baby’TH found THomebody new…”

 

He picked me up by the lapels of my leather jacket and threw me into the oak bookshelf we’d been using as a barricade. I hit it with enough force to send it pitching backward. It smashed through the glass doors and suddenly I was out on the balcony.

 

Roseanne kept firing. Mr. RING kept singing.

 

Blam!

 

“Or iTH my baby THtill my baby true?”

 

Blam!

 

“ITH you or iTH you ain’t my baby, baby?”

 

Blam! Blam!

 

“Baby boy, the way you’re actin’ lately makeTH me doubt…”

 

Blam!

 

“THee here, who’TH been cuttin’ me…”

 

I got to my feet in time to see Roseanne throw the empty revolver at him. It bounced off his jaw, taking out a faux tooth before it hit the floor. She was backing away. It might have been the concussion talking but it looked like her movements were getting stiffer, her face losing the ability to hold it’s expression of terror. 

 

What was it Roseanne had been told? If she ever let a teardrop fall onto his silicone flesh she would become his true love. What would a Pinocchio with a priapism like Mr. RING want?  Another living doll of course.

 

There was no choice, it was time to implement my awful plan. I scrabbled across the study and grabbed the fireplace poker. It had been sitting in the fire for almost an hour so it was good and hot. 

 

“You’TH is THtill my baby, baby. Baby boy, it seemTH my flame in your heart’TH done…”

 

I charged, crashing past Mr. RING and bringing the red hot metal down onto Roseanne’s forearm scalding the flesh to the bone reducing the ‘truth’ marking to a blackened ruin…

 
*
 

…it was a lucky guess and something I’m surprised no one at the mercy of a demonic promissory note ever tried before. Then again this may be the first time anyone had ever tried to make a semi-satanic love doll. 

 

Item: the Saratoga Police burst into the room about thirty seconds after I’d given Roseanne her life saving third degree burn and ten seconds after Mr. RING had collapsed lifelessly to the floor.

 

I can only imagine how the whole thing looked so I am not holding a grudge over the tasering, beatdown and crushed fedora.

 

Item: Jasper isn’t talking to me again. “That oh Hell yes.” was really was not about him. It was a reference to my nights of glumly banging the dancers at Scorpio’s.

 

Seriously Jasper, if you’re reading this call me.

 

Item: Roseanne Gluckman didn’t thank for for saving her, or offer any kind of reward but she didn’t press charges either so we’ll call that one even. In the time since this little misadventure she’s given her heart, and a good amount of her fortune, to the Colonie Crusade for Christ.

 

Please don’t think I’m rolling my eyes at her decision. She seemed like a nice enough person and all she wanted was to be loved, maybe the Church is where she’ll finally find it.

 

But there also may be another reason for Roseanne’s sudden conversion.

 

Item: There was a break in at the evidence storage facility used by the Saratoga Police Department. The only item that went missing was one heavily damaged Macho Manikin Fully Articulated Love Companion. When did it go missing? On the same day as a Policeman’s Benevolent Association cookout put on by local millionaire socialite Ashley Fowler.

 

Item: Ashley Fowler is not the Devil. I know the woman. Actually we’ve never met but I know of her. You longtime readers will remember that she went to summer camp with one of my relatives. Because of this there is no way I will ever accept that the First of the Fallen, the dark tempter of mankind, the very ruler of Hell, lost her virginity to my cousin Roy back in the 80’s. That way lies madness.

 

But, just the same, I’m going to make it my goal to stay the Hell out of her way.

 

Brian Foster out.

 

To Be Continued
 
 
 
 
 
You don’t have to believe the stories on my blog, you can dismiss them as good hallucinations or bad fiction if you want to but they’re all true. The darkness was never empty, there are things that wait for the innocent and unwary to turn their backs. What is it you think I’m talking about here? Ghosts? Vampires? Ghouls? If only it were that simple. The creatures of the night are still out there but they’re not shadowing your every footstep. They just check your status updates from the comfort of their tombs.
 
All I ever wanted was to be a Do-It-Yourself style reporter but more often than I like I find myself becoming part of my stories. It turns out gods and monsters don’t like their secrets getting out any more than your standard politician or celebrity. We all know how this is going to turn out in the end; I’m already long overdue for jail, the looney bin or a guest of honor spot at a monster buffet but until that fateful day I’m not going to back down or give up.
 
My name is Brian Foster and some people call me The Night Blogger.
 
But I wish they wouldn’t it’s kinda cheesy.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Storyline In Progress
 
 
 
 
Completed Stories
 
 
 
 
 
Part Three: Digging In The Dirt
Part Four: The Red Chimes
Part Five: Back From The Shadows Again
Part Six: The Devil’s In The House Of The Rising Sun
Part Seven: The House Of Gorgo
Part Eight: The Parliament Of Moloch
Part Nine: Under The Eye Of Luna
Part Ten: The Tale Of Detective Bradshaw
Part Eleven: Waiting For The Mortician Or Someone Like Him
Part Twelve: The Shape On The Stairwell
Part Thirteen: It’s What’s Inside That Counts
Part Fourteen: Dies Irae


 
 
 



 

 
 
 
You don’t have to believe the stories on my blog, you can dismiss them as good hallucinations or bad fiction if you want to but they’re all true. The darkness was never empty, there are things that wait for the innocent and unwary to turn their backs. What is it you think I’m talking about here? Ghosts? Vampires? Ghouls? If only it were that simple. The creatures of the night are still out there but they’re not shadowing your every footstep. They just check your status updates from the comfort of their tombs.
 
All I ever wanted was to be a Do-It-Yourself style reporter but more often than I like I find myself becoming part of my stories. It turns out gods and monsters don’t like their secrets getting out any more than your standard politician or celebrity. We all know how this is going to turn out in the end; I’m already long overdue for jail, the looney bin or a guest of honor spot at a monster buffet but until that fateful day I’m not going to back down or give up.
 
My name is Brian Foster and some people call me The Night Blogger.
 
But I wish they wouldn’t it’s kinda cheesy.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Storyline In Progress
 
 
 
 
Completed Stories
 
 
 
 
 
Part Three: Digging In The Dirt
Part Four: The Red Chimes
Part Five: Back From The Shadows Again
Part Six: The Devil’s In The House Of The Rising Sun
Part Seven: The House Of Gorgo
Part Eight: The Parliament Of Moloch
Part Nine: Under The Eye Of Luna
Part Ten: The Tale Of Detective Bradshaw
Part Eleven: Waiting For The Mortician Or Someone Like Him
Part Twelve: The Shape On The Stairwell
Part Thirteen: It’s What’s Inside That Counts
Part Fourteen: Dies Irae


 
 


From my YouTube Channel



A Night Blogger Serial

"It was just a little over a week after playing the Graveyard Game that Sara Bishop began sleepwalking…"

Story written and produced by Al Bruno III

Production assistance by Brian Mansi
https://soundcloud.com/brianmansivo

The voice of Brian Foster is Brian Mansi
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Music by DextDee
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For more fun and fiction stop by albruno3.blogspot.com 

If you’d like to show your support please click the donate button. If you make a donation your name will be listed on the patron’s page and I will be profoundly grateful.

You don’t have to believe the stories on my blog, you can dismiss them as good hallucinations or bad fiction if you want to but they’re all true. The darkness was never empty, there are things that wait for the innocent and unwary to turn their backs. What is it you think I’m talking about here? Ghosts? Vampires? Ghouls? If only it were that simple. The creatures of the night are still out there but they’re not shadowing your every footstep. They just check your status updates from the comfort of their tombs.

All I ever wanted was to be a Do-It-Yourself style reporter but more often than I like I find myself becoming part of my stories. It turns out gods and monsters don’t like their secrets getting out any more than your standard politician or celebrity. We all know how this is going to turn out in the end; I’m already long overdue for jail, the looney bin or a guest of honor spot at a monster buffet but until that fateful day I’m not going to back down or give up.

My name is Brian Foster and some people call me The Night Blogger.

But I wish they wouldn’t it’s kinda cheesy.

 

 

 

 

Storyline In Progress

 

Prologue: Personal Journal Entry #1

Episode One: The Ripper

Episode Two: Personal Journal Entry#19

Episode Three: The Zombie

Episode Four: Personal Journal Entry#25

Episode Five: They Have Been, They Are, They Will Be

Episode Six: Personal Journal Entry#39

Episode Seven: The Vampire

Episode Eight: Personal Journal Entry#52

Episode Nine: The Werewolf

Episode Ten: Personal Journal Entry #83

Episode Eleven: Firefall

Episode Twelve: Personal Journal Entry #106

Episode Thirteen: The Devil’s Platform

Episode Fourteen: Personal Journal Entry #125

Episode Fifteen: Bad Medicine

Episode Sixteen: Personal Journal Entry#156

Episode Seventeen: The Spanish Moss Murders

Episode Eighteen: Personal Journal Entry #161

Episode Nineteen: The Energy Eater

Episode Twenty: Personal Journal Entry #184

Episode Twenty-One Horror In The Heights

Episode Twenty-Two Personal Journal Entry #211

…The story so far; I work, I blog and I go out to look for things that bump in the night. It’s a routine only broken up by court dates and arguments with Jasper. Those tiffs are always my fault by the way. He keeps telling me he loves me and I keep telling him I’m not gay. Now since this usually happens after we’ve just finished doing gay stuff to each other, you can understand his anger and frustration. He tells me I’m in the closet, I tell him the only thing in my closet is monsters and the negotiations break down from there. 

Speaking of monsters, the legal fallout from the little fracas at the Heritage Heights Convalescent Home was minimal. The judge handed down a sentence of community service with a dash of “Why the Hell do I keep seeing you here Foster?”

I tried to explain about the vorvolaka. The judge listened thoughtfully, then threatened to send me to a mental ward and doubled my community service

 

THE NIGHT BLOGGER:

A Season In Hell

Episode Twenty-Two

Personal Journal Entry #211

by

Al Bruno III

 

…word of advice, if you’re going to do some court-ordered roadside trash pickup don’t do it on a February afternoon. There was no snow on the ground but it was sunless and cold with a wind that had a frosty bite to it. I’d swapped out my straw fedora for a knit cap and my leather jacket for a parka. The reflective orange safety vest added just the right touch of spice to the ensemble. 

There were three other people working with me near the Wolf Road exit of the Adirondack Northway; a forty-something shoplifter, a teenage car thief and a woman that had been arrested several times for stalking. The car thief and the shoplifter seemed properly chastised by having to pick up McDonald’s wrappers and used condoms by the roadside but I don’t think the stalker lady was at all moved by the experience. Maybe it was the way she barely seemed to notice the cold, maybe it was her bright smile, maybe it was the way she kept singing Taylor Swift’s song ‘You Belong With Me’ to herself with a strangely murderous undercurrent. 

When I’m doing manual labor my mind tends to wander; I shuffle through my memories, plan blog posts and indulge in long bouts of self-pity and self-loathing. I was particularly deep into the self-loathing part of things when it started to rain.

There was no sudden warning drizzle, one moment it was cloudy skies, the next it was monsoon season. Parka or no parka I was soaked to the skin in no time, my knit cap was reduced to a soggy headband of ice cold wool, my sneakers fared no better. I couldn’t see my court-appointed coworkers or even the county vehicle that had brought us here. My two biggest worries became either getting hit by a car traveling too fast for the limited visibility and catching pneumonia, so I made my way to the cover of the trees by the roadside.

I crouched under a sugar maple and waited for a break in the weather or rescue but neither showed up. Then the shiver going up my spine stopped being from the cold and started being from the feeling of being observed from afar.

A quick scramble to the other side of the tree showed me a dilapidated one room house just a few yards away. Strange that I hadn’t noticed it before, stranger still was the sensation that the person watching me was in there, that somehow they had known I would come to this place at this time.

Throwing caution and my big bag of garbage to the wind I ran for the house just as it started hailing. The interior of the house was lit by a single candle sitting atop an otherwise empty table. Wind whistled in through the cracks in the windows and down through chimney. There was a filthy mattress in one corner of the room, right next to it was a chain attached to a spike driven into the floor. Rain clattered along the metal roof making a sound that reminded me of static. 

The man seated at the table wore a surgical mask, sunglasses and a red baseball cap. The rest of his wardrobe had a thrown together, rummage sale feel to it. He gestured for me to sit down in the chair opposite him.

I’d met this man before, he wandered into the pawn shop five years ago. When he spoke his voice was little more than a whisper, “Good to see you again - - - - -.”

The smart thing to do would have been to leave, to just run before the masked man pulled out a knife or a gun or a chainsaw and turned me from ‘the Night Blogger’ into ‘the Late Night Blogger’ but since when do I do the smart thing? I took the seat offered to me, it was a wooden chair that wobbled ominously. I asked, “What are you doing here?”

“Getting out of the rain of - - - - - -.”

I had to lean forward to try and catch what he was saying,  “I never got a chance to pay you for that lovely bit of jewelry you left behind.”

“You mean this?” he pulled a butterfly brooch from his coat.

The sight of it knocked the wind from me, “How many of those things do you have?”

“There’s only one,” he explained, “there - - - only ever - - -.”

“Then were did you get that from?”

“Your upper - - - - - desk drawer.”

“You were in my apartment?”

“- have been in your - - - - - - - - - many times.” He handed the brooch back to me, “I was there on your - - - - first night there.”

That chilled me more than any February rainstorm. I decided to take the offensive, “That might impress me more if I knew who you were.”

“- - name is Reynolds.”

Reynolds? Not the kind of name I expected for a creepy mysterious guy but I pressed on. “Why are you afraid to let me see your face?”

He chuckled and pulled off the surgical mask, the first thing I saw was that he had no nose, just an ugly hole in the middle of his head. The rest of his face was no better, it was all scars. There was no doubt in my mind that something, or several somethings, had gnawed and bitten at his flesh. He took off his sunglasses, he had both his eyes and they were full of a kind of ugly mirth. The kind of expression you might see on a thirteen year old boy tossing frogs into oncoming traffic.

“I am here to deliver a warning and a question,” he said.

Despite all the things I’ve seen in my life there was no way I could keep eye contact with this guy; I concentrated on the candle flame instead. “A warning about what?”

“The Sign of Ninazu,” he explained, “Ninazu is not simply a god of healing, he is also the god of the underworld. He is life and death.”

I pocketed the butterfly brooch, this time it was going straight into my safety deposit box, “I’ve read the relevant materials.”

Actually I had Jasper summarize it for me but why should this creep know that?

“Each time you invoke his sign,” Reynolds explained, “you draw closer to his world.”

“Are you saying it will eventually kill me?” I sneered into the candle flame, “So will booze, marijuana, and white bread.”

“Ninazu will take your soul to a place far more terrible than the Ruins of Never.”

I didn’t like the sound of that one bit but the Sign of Ninazu and I are kind of stuck with each other. All I could do was keep the conversation moving forward. “What was your question?”

“Are you a rat?” he asked, “or an owl?”

“Is this some kind of a cosplay thing?”

He laughed, “The owl is the lord of the thousand-faced moon, the avatar of Moloech and the keeper of forbidden wisdom. The rat is the finder of secret places, the master of survival and overcoming obstacles, the spirit animal of George Washington and Jeffery Dahmer.”

Ah, I was wondering when the hardcore crazy talk would begin, “How about I be neither?”

“Owls prey on rats but the rats always outnumber the owls,” Reynolds’ voice became more fanatical, “everyone must choose.”

“I think it’s time for me to go,” and my that I meant I was going to make a run for it.

But I couldn’t stand up, I couldn’t move my arms, I couldn’t do anything but stare at the candle.

Not good. Not good at all.

There was a soft plop from the fireplace beside me.  Reynolds made a happy sound, “It seems the choice has been made for you.”

Another plop, then another, then a dozen more. An animal smell invaded the room, the odor of damp fur and dirt. Things scurried towards me and began to climb and swarm over my body. Squeaking noises then tickling whiskers reached my ears. Their paws felt like baby fingers with sharp nails on my face but they didn’t scratch or bite, they just examined me with beady-eyed fascination. Shudders of revulsion tremored through my body but I still couldn’t move. I wanted to scream but I didn’t dare.

“No surprises then,” Reynolds put his mask and glasses back on, “I always suspected this was so.”

No! I thought, Don’t leave me like this!

“Someday we will meet again I think,” he stood and walked towards me. His proximity agitated the rats, “We have old and new business.”

A rat had burrowed under my coat, another was gnawing at my soggy cap, one sat upon on the table and looked from me to the candle and back again. I began to weep with terror and a rat licked at my tears.

From somewhere behind me Reynolds snapped his fingers and everything went black…

*

…I woke up eighteen hours later. The candle had burned itself out. The rats were gone but their little muddy footprints were all over my clothes and face. Did Reynolds hypnotize me or did I hypnotize myself? Had I really just been drafted onto Team Rodent? I’d guess I’ll find out when it’s time.

My more pressing concern was finding out if my disappearance had violated the terms of my community service sentence, that and getting all this written down for you to puzzle over. I gave Jasper a call to come and get me.

Jasper took me to his place for a hot meal and a hotter shower and yes we ended up in bed but I didn’t feel like sleeping alone and I sure as Hell didn’t feel safe in my apartment.

I’m sure that tomorrow morning I’m going to catch Hell with Mrs. Vincenzo and my court appointed lawyer but I suppose nowadays that’s part of my routine too.

To Be Continued

 



A Night Blogger Serial

 
The powers that be will tell you that none of Albany’s buses run after midnight on a Sunday and anyone who says otherwise is crazy…
 
 
Story written and produced by Al Bruno III