Jaguar #4

Posted: July 8, 2020 in Blogverse, Jaguar
Tags: ,

Mamoketsi knew she only had one shot, and she was certain it would be the last shot of her life. Surrounded by enemies, she managed to get a handgun off one of Sifiso’s guards. Without thinking her finger squeezed the trigger. She had already disconnected the transmitter to her benefactors, who she was sure were screaming”What are you doing.” Her orders were to get information on Sifiso’s higher ups, whom she presumed was this Czar person. She had not care who this Czar person was, all she knew was her love was dead, and she was about to avenge his death.

The bullet flew across the room towards the forhead of Sifiso, it was a perfect shot, or at least it would have been, had an uncanny energy shield not blocked its path. Jaguar was tackled to the ground after firing her shot, but she could still see the blonde woman step near her target. With some motion of her hand a golden light emerged in the air in the shape of a shield. The bullet shined like a star upon contact of the strange energy before disappearing. The woman shouted something in Russian, and the damned Sifiso was still alive. 

Jaguar’s benefactors were better than she thought, as the glass of the windows shattered and three figures in black rapeled into the room spraying machine gun fire. Some of Sifiso’s gaurds were down already, but the blonde woman maintained her energy shield. Mamokesti couldn’t believe this was happening, she’d never known anything like this to actually exist. Never had she tensed up in a firefight, but now she was frozen as her eyes locked on the woman, who clapped her hands together causing what looked like a concussive blast that sent a golden shockwave knocking down the three soldiers.

A piercing shriek next filled everyone’s ears as Mamokestis looked up to see the roof caving in. Finally unfrozen, she rolled out of the path of the falling degree to see another woman in a purple jumpsuit. Possible Russian herself, the blonde woman looked in disgust at this new opponent. She could tell they knew each other. Mamoketsi never learned Russian so she could not know what the two opponents shouted at each other. Jaguar felt like lightning was striking twice as this new brunette woman herself let out of beam of green light that clashed with the golden light of Sifiso’s warrior. There was a crackling sound and the room grew hotter as both sets of lights grew brighter. Both warriors screamed as the light grew more intense, to the point where Mamokesti had to turn away.

She didn’t know how she got out of that club, but once again she  found herself in a hospital bed, although this time the room she was in did not look like something out of a spy film, rather she was in an elegant bedroom. The sheets were silky against her skin, and the mattresss was soft like a cloud. She hadn’t slept in a bed this well since, since that last night. 

She had no injuries, but her body felt exhausted. Looking around, she was alone in the room. Once she went out the door she found herself at a large set of winding stairs. Descending to the lower floor there was a small group of people at a table casually speaking. The brunette in the purple jumpsuit was present, she was talking to what sounded like an American woman. Mamokesti presumed she was in this particular woman’s house, as above the mantle was a large picture of her standing alongside a teenage girl.

“I guess you feel like someone’s playing hot potatoe with you.” The American woman said. Getting a better look at her, she recognized her from somewhere, but she couldn’t place where. “It was probably an offshoot of Interpol that had you before, but you don’t have to worry about them now.”

“Who are you?”

The woman answered, “They probably told you they would set you free? My money says they would have put you back in that cell.”

“What do you want with me?” 

The woman then looked up at that large photograph. Her face grew sad for a moment. “Make no mistake, I know exactly what line of work you were in. If you help me get the Czar, I’m sure your revenge will come along the way.”

Mamokesti was tired of being in the same place again, but she knew exactly what she wanted to do.

Ladies and gentlemen I’m going to leave the story of Jaguar be for now. I may resume it at a later date, but for now I’m going to give it a rest. 

Tune in next week for Light’s of Mirigan number four, followed by the aftermath of Diego’s fight in Flying Fox #4. And be sure to come back next month with Ghost City #5.

Jennifer didn’t care for drunk sex, but it was the first she’d had in a while. Her and Alex awoke the next morning as the sun beamed through the windows. Jennifer put a robe on and made some tea.

“Thanks” Alex said, as he sat up and sipped his tea. Jenner sat down on the bed and brushed his hair with her hand. 

“So you’re studying Chinese” Alex noticed a Chinese book on her dresser.

“Yeah I have a lesson this afternoon actually.”

“Are you taking private lessons with Fay?”

“Yeah Kelly recomended her.”

After taking another drink Alex asked “Kelly huh. So how do you like Hollywood?”

“It’s good. The kids are nice.”

“Brad is a bit of a character isn’t he?”

“Yeah,” she laughed while mimicking his voice “I am Brad Pitt!” then they both giggled.

“Well it’s good that you like it. They had a bit of an uproar recently.”

“Yeah didn’t they get rid of a teacher for creeping on a girl or something?”

“Wait what?” Alex had never heard this.

“That’s what Brad told me. I think it was the guy I replaced. Wasn’t his name Sam?”

Alex put his cup down on the nightstand and said “Wait, Brad told you Sam was messing with one of the girls?”

“I think so..” Jennifer said quietly.

“That’s weird because Sam was gay.”

“Gay?”

“Yeah, he was partners with that Jerold guy who was rude to you last night. Sorry about that buy the way.”

“That’s so weird, why would Brad tell me that?”

“I don’t know maybe AHHH!” Alex yelled up as Jennifer shrieked and spilled her hot tea on him. They both jumped out of bed and Alex said “What’s going on?”

“Did you see that!” Jennifer asked frantically.

“See what?”

“There was a girl in a red dress. She was standing right there.” Jennifer said pointing to her bedroom door. She stormed out of the room and looked about the apartment. As Alex got wiped himself off and got dressed he could hear her saying “I think it’s my neighbor. She’s been creeping around her a lot and it’s pissing me off.” She found no one else in her apartment. Once she looked out on her empty balcony she went back into her bedroom where she found Alex had gotten dressed.

“I’m sorry.” Jennifer said, maybe I’m just too hung over.”

“Yeah that Baijiu will get you!” He laughed. Look I gotta go and prep for tomorrow. I’ll call you ok?”

“Sure.” Jennifer said as he walked out.

Once Alex left she angrily got dressed and stormed out the door. She was sick of this, and figured now she would probably get the reputation of being the crazy foreigner. When she saw the girl the first time, it was six door down. It looked like the same door the older couple was leaving the night she arrived. She pounded her fist on the door but there was no answer. She was sure no one else lived on this empty floor. She never saw any neighbors except those that lived in the floors above her. She thought she heard some Chinese being whispered, but there was no answer.

Back at her apartment, she went out onto the balcony. Each apartment had a small balcony with a two foot space between them. Being she was only on the second floor, it wasn’t too hazardous to leap from one balcony to the next. Still her old gymnastics lessons were useful as she leapt to the balcony of the empty apartment next to her. Without too much trouble she soon made her way to what she thought was the place the girl lived. She wondered if this was the way the girl got into her place, but she swore she always kept her balcony door locked. Her fingers touched the cold glass and she looked at the barren apartment inside. Sliding the door open, she stepped in. It was cold, her breath could be seen floating up to the ceiling. All the furniture was gone, and her footsteps made a ghostly echo through the kitchen. 

“Hello!” She called out to no answer. “I don’t appreciate you creeping around my apartment.” There was no answer. The apartment was layed out similar to hers. She went into the empty bedroom and looked around. No one was there. Then she jumped at the electric buzzing sound, it sounded like a telephone. It buzzed again, now she was able to trace the sound. It was coming from the closet. Was someone hiding there, calling for help. She didn’t care to think how she would explain herself, breaking into an empty apartment. She flung the closet door open and, just like the rest of the apartment, it was empty.

She did noticed a piece of paneling at the wall inside the closet appeared loose. She knelt down and managed to pull the piece away, exposing a small open space. She found a shoe box inside. Pulling it out, she took off the lid to find a set of photographs. She recognized some of them, they were her students. She gasped and dropped one of the pictures as she recognized both her students, and one other face, it was the face that had been haunting her since she’d arrived. Beneath the photos was an old cell phone, it was not operating though. Apparently the battery was dead. What was that noise she heard then? She didn’t know. 

Next she saw a smaller cardboard box covered in Chinese writing. She had learned some Chinese but not enough to read this. Once she looked inside the box and found the small rectangular plastic object, she presumed what the box had said. It was a home pregnancy test. 

“AHH!” Fay was always so dramatic when one of her students spoke Chinese incorrectly. Jennifer laughed and corrected herself. It was hard for most people to get the four tones correct in the Chinese language, but she was managing. She enjoyed the one on one class, and could understand why most foreigners in the area took lessons with her. After going through some language drills they broke into casual conversation about China and Chinese culture. It was then they touched on a familiar topic.

“So have people asked you if you’ve seen ghosts?” Fay asked.

“Yes,” she answered half amused. I’m from Los Angeles so I’m used to seeing people everywhere. It’s so weird to see a city like this that is so empty.

“I can’t imagine. I don’t think I would like Los Angeles. Too many people haha. But that is not the only reason they call it Ghost City. People say they’ve seen many strange things here.”

“So I’ve heard.”

Fay then pulled out a book of Chinese Folklore. “Are you familiar with Chinese Ghosts?” Jennifer was not. Fay opened the book to and pointed to several images of different ghost like figures. She explained what a few of them meant, but Jennifer wasn’t paying attention, as her eyes drifted to one image that was all too familiar. It was a young girl, her face was ghost like white, and she wore a long red dress. 

Fay noticed what her student’s gaze was on. “Ahh this is the Nu Gui.” She said, pointing to the red image. This is the ghost of someone who, how do you say, ah, killed themselves.”

“Suicide?”

“Yes yes suicide.” Fay said. “Often the person in life suffered some grave injustice, like being sexually abused.”

Jennifer felt a cold chill run through her whole body as she looked at the hauntingly familiar image. What was going on in this new place she had come to?

 

Hello everyone. As always I hope you have been keeping safe. Today is Canada day, so if any Canadians happen to be reading this on the day I post this then I want to wish you a happy Canada day. Later this week is the fourth of July so happy independence day to my fellow country men. 

 

I also want to thank wordpress reader morgantarot for being supportive of this series. I hope this newest chapter didn’t disappoint!

 

As always tune in every week for the latest additions to the blog verse. Next week is Jaguar, followed by Lights of Mirigan and the Flying Fox. There are five Wednesdays this month, so I’m going to be taking a week off. My mighty brain needs a rest after coming up with all these fantastic tales! In the meantime, please take care of yourselves and be safe. Until next time.

Morea panicked as he saw the flashing lights behind him. “Relax” Diego said, as his mom stepped out of patrol car. “You ok honey?” She said.

“Yeah mom, I think the crankshaft is blown again.”

“Ok well I’ll get you two home. A tow truck is on the way.” She said. Morea’s worst nightmare was to be in the back of a squad car, Diego couldn’t help but appreciate the irony.

Maria smiled as she saw Morea’s Mom angrily waiting outside as Morea was dropped off. Maria knew not to trust a lot of what he said, but she also trusted mom to deliver justice. Pulling away she asked her son “I thought you were staying in and wathing Raw with Grandpa tonight?”

“I was, but Morea called and wanted to hang out.”

“So what did you do then?”

“We were just cruising.”

“You just make sure you stay out of trouble ok.”

“Sure mom.” Diego answered. Soon they were back home and called it a night.

Walking down the hall in school the next day, Diego saw a small kid getting pushed against the wall by two bigger kids. “Hey knock it off!” Diego recognized that voice. Mia glared at the two boys through her glasses and said “You two losers aren’t impressing anybody.” She said. The boys just waved her off and went to class.

“You alight?” She asked the smaller boy who nodded and thanked her.

Diego looked at her trying to think of something cool to say. “So… you look.”

“What were you doing?’She slapped him on the chest. “I saw you laughing when they pushed him. That wasn’t cool.”

“Ok sorry.”

“So that algebra was killer huh?” She was refering to last night’s homework.

“Oh shit, I forgot all about that.”

“I thought you said you did it?”

“I did my other homework, but I totally spaced on that.”

“Diego you’re killing me!”

He knew he didn’t have a lot of time left, so he had to just blurt it out. “So Mia, Valentine’s Dance is coming up. You got plans?”

“Uh I dunno, I might have to work at my mom’s store. How about you come over for study tonight and we’ll see.

The bell rang, he thankfully popped the question just in time. “Hmm, I gotta do something after school I’ll text you though.

Immediately after school Diego headed to the gym. With his car out of commission he had to take a bus right after school. Once inside, his demeanour was different than it has usually been. He and Johnny exchanged looks, but nothing was spoken. He pushed hard on his drills, hitting the bag, lifting waits, rolling on the mat doing jujitsu sparring. Everyone, including the trainer Tony, noticed a difference. Before leaving Tony called him into his office.

“So how you been doing?” Tony asked.

“I’m good.”

“You been coming here a lot lately, you doing alright in school?”

“I’m doing ok?” His eyes avoided his trainer as he answered.

“How many girls you hittin up these days?’ Tony said with a smirk.

“Ah just one.” Diego felt more relaxed as he answered. “This really nice girl in my Algebra class. We might be going to the Valentines dance.” Here Diego actually was telling the truth, as she hadn’t really said yes yet.

“Sweet.” Tony nodded. “Listen I gotta talk to you about something. Ever see the movie Fight Club?”

“First rule of Fight Club?” Diego answered, quoting the movie.

“RIght,” Tony smiled. “It was a bit before your time so I didn’t know if you were familiar. Anyway, people watch that and they get the idea to start their own fight club. This shit pops up every few years. Word is there’s a new one in town. I told all my guys, and I’m telling you, especially because your a minor, I don’t want to hear about you getting caught up in that shit alright?”

“Yeah sure.” Diego zeroed in on “I don’t want to hear about…”

“Alright.” Tony said. “Now go on home.”

Tony wouldn’t hear about it, Diego thought to himself a week later as he received the text. Morea hooked him up with Kennedy’s number. The text message just had one thing, an address. Soon Diego found himself in an elevator at an apartment complex. Having the elevator to himself, he put his grandpa’s Lucha mask on. He made sure it fit tight around his head, so it wouldn’t move and obstruct his vision. Minors weren’t allowed to fight, but Diego was big for his age, and he figured with this mask, the crowd would be none the wiser. He was instructed to go to the roof, where a crowd of people were gathered around watching two people fight. “You’re late!” Kennedy, said.

“Traffic was killer, am I still on?”

“Yeah, next.”

Soon enough, as soon as the current fight was over, eyes were on him. “Introducing out newest fighter!” Kennedy boasted to the crowd. “The Flying Fox!” Diego posed as he got in the fighters circle. He didn’t even really hear the next fighter being announced, but his eyes were locked on him. He felt a pit in his stomach, it was Johnny from the gym.

Johnny smirked as he saw his opponents mask, and came out swinging. Diego dodged a few head shots but took a body blow, almost knocking him down. Johnny wasn’t fooled by the mask, and threw his opponent toward the brick wall near the edge of the roof. Diego sprung back to his feat as Johnny cautiously approached. Diego managed to dodge another punch and pull him foreward, precariously near the edge. “Back up guys, away from the edge.” Kennedy ordered. Kennedy looked out to the crowd, and was dissapointed Morea couldn’t make it.

“I got the stuff man.” Morea said, meeting his new clients in a back alley.

“Brave little man.” Vinney said, eying Morea’s open suit case filled with assorted drugs. “Takes a lot of balls dealing on your own outside Kombat.” He then opened his own suitcase filled with cash.

Back on the roof top, Johnny made the mistake of looking out over the edge. He was up so high, the city down below him, that his head began to spin. He looked back and felt disoriented. He tried to lock his eyes on his opponent, but he was met with a few stiff jabs that rocked him even more. He know swung in desperation, but the punch was easily dodged and answered with a kick to the ribs. The crowd cheered as Diego began to play to the audience more. Knowing he had Johnny on the ropes, he landed a few more punches knocking him back into the audience.

A few audience members were sitting, but jumped out of their seats as Johnny’s body came careening toward him. Adding a finishing touch, Diego leapt up on the chair, then sprung off it to deliver a spectacular spinning kick that sent the crowd into a frenzy.

“Ladies and Gentlemen,” Kennedy proclaimed, “Winning his first bout ever, The Flying Fox!” Adrenaline rushed through his body as he showboated to the crowd. Later he got an envelope stuffed with money, and he thought to himself that now he could get his car fixed, and he and Mia would go to the dance.

Sirens blared in the back alley as Morea ran off. He managed to escape the cop car, but his ears didn’t escape the sound of that angry voice. “You fucked this up boy, you’re gonna pay for this!” Vinney shouted as he was hauled away. Morea thought he could strike out on his own, but he may have been in over his head now.

Not much to report this week. As always I hope you are safe. We’re already at the end of our third month in this project. Tune in next week for our popular Ghost City, followed by Jaguar, Lights of Mirigan, and the return of Flying Fox.

The images ran through his mind like a dream. Fred was a boy again playing with Richard in the Blue Mountains. Those caves ran so deep, it was unreal. Had he dreamt it? He was too young to think of it then, but Richard’s grandmother was so spry, leaping over the rocks and the crevasses. She was in better shape than people today. People today were soft, weak. Fred remembered his dad, he was strong. It was pathetic what happened to his country, that’s why he joined Alexander’s group. They were gonna make their country strong again. 

But my god those caves. They were huge. he remembered one time, he got seperated. How did that happen? Who knows, maybe he went one way and Rich and his grandmother went another, but through a narrow crevasse he entered a gigantic chamber. He never found it again. He looked a million times, but he and his childhood friend never could retrace his lost steps. Maybe he was better off, given what he saw down there, way down in the cavern. I mean, it couldn’t really have been a, not, it couldn’t have been, could it?

The images shifted to a hanger. Fred didn’t know where he was now. It was someplace he had never been before, at least he was pretty sure he hadn’t been there before. It was a hanger. There were a few guards about. But what was in this hanger, Jesus, it looked like something out of one of his outer space movies he loved as a kid. It wasn’t that big, looked like it could fit on a flatbed. Maybe it could be flown by just one man, or, maybe not a man, one, one thing. My god was this real. Maybe he was thinking of Area 51 in America, but no. He could hear the guard’s accents, they were Aussies. This craft, wherever it came from, was in his own country. It was right outside of Melbourne. How did he know that. It was one of those things about dreams, he just knew.

“Rise and shine sleepy head.” Fred was awakened by the sound of Richard’s voice. Richard was an adult now, not his friend anymore. “Gees mate you alright?” He asked.

Seeing Richard was in uniform, he knew this wasn’t a social visit. “What do you want copper?”

“What do I want?” Richard asked. “Bloody hell, looked like someone wanted something a lot more than I did by the looks of you.” Looking at his chart he continued “Luckily no broken ribs. Got a bump on your head but no stitches. Got some bruises on your face.” Richard put down the chart and quipped, “Probably an improvement.”

Fred didn’t bother laughing at the officer’s jest. His former friend then asked ‘Want to tell me what happened last night?”

“I dont’ know officer.” Fred said formally. “Someone knocked me from behind, and next thing I knew I was here.” Fred wondered, even if they had still been friends, would he have told him the truth?

“Well you weren’t the only one attacked?” The officer said. “We found another body about twenty feet from you. His chest was caved in. It looked like Superman smacked him with a sledgehammer. Then there was the body we found by you.”

“What do you mean.”

“Guy we found laying next to you was electrocuted. Of the three, you’re the only one alive. Want to tell us what happened?” Fred remembered the rushing sensation he felt when the man swung down at him with the tire iron. Even if he wanted to tell the Officer, he would probably get locked up with his mom in the looney bin.

Officer Eades expected no answer. “Oh, just one more thing.” He said before he left the hospital room. “Alexander, you know, the leader of your little clubhouse,” Fred couldn’t hide from his former friend that he was now a little startled. “Is he in contact with any Russians?”

Fred simply turned away and stared out the window. The cars flew down Flemington road. Across the street was a Thailand restaurant. He smiled as he saw its front window was smashed in. One of Alexander’s cells had this area assigned to them that night. Officer Eades wasn’t expecting an answer and walked out. Fred smiled at his minor victory, these douchebags didn’t have a prayer.  

Harry liked the Holden reserve. Growing up in Sunbury, just outside of Melbourne, he’d ran around here a lot as a kid. Whole summers playing hide and seek out here, messing around in Jackson’s Creek, he’d missed it since coming to Melbourne. 

Walking under the trees with Alexander, he wondered why he called a meeting out here. “We’re expanding our operations. “Alexander said. “Our previous operation was a success, despite a few setbacks.” Harry kept his cool as he knew what Alexander was talking about. Thanks to his undercover work, a few hoodlums got busted vandalizing ethnic business around Melbourne. But, thanks to our comrads, we know where our weak links are.

Comrades? At the station they were briefed on the rumors. Russian gangsters making connections with local radical political groups,trying to stir divisions in the country, like he heard had happened in America. 

Harry knew he was done when Alexander pulled a folder out of his pocket. It had Russian and English writing on the cover, and but the contents inside sealed his fate. It was photos and documents about Harry’s real identity. 

Two men came out of the woods and grabbed Harry from behind. He almost had no time to react as they shoved his head in the creek. The cold water rushed over his face, as a current of images floated by of memories of playing here as a kid. These were the last things he would think of before his life was snuffed out.

Alexander then made a phone call. He only had one thing to say. “Comrade,” he said, “the weak link has broken, ready for phase two.”

Thanks for reading the latest chapter of the lights of Mirigan. It feels great to be able to get out and about again as business are re-opening. I had an opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. yesterday. I was able to see the peaceful protests at Black Lives Matter Plaza. The AFL-CIO had a huge Black Lives banner displayed on their building. There wasn’t a large crowd when I was there, but there were many signs in the area, people speaking, performing music, etc. When witnessing people practicing their constitutional right to free speech and assembly, we are reminded that our freedoms and our society hang in delicate balance, a balance that requires us to raise our voices in times of injustice. 

Tune in next week as Diego makes his fighting debut in Flying Fox #3

In two weeks our most popular tale return in Ghost City #3

After that Jaguar returns for more action.Will she finally get her revenge?

The Lights of Mirigan returns in 30. Hope you can join us for more paranormal action from the land down under!

Jaguar #3

Posted: June 10, 2020 in Blogverse, Jaguar
Tags: ,

Mamoketsi still felt the pain in her gut as she looked at the picture of Sifiso on the monitor in front of her. This strange man with a Portugusese accent seemed to be asking her to help find him.

“Why should I help you find, my husband and I have done business with him for years.”

“Well that business made you a lot of enemies.” Looking at the bandage on her side he continued “We can keep you safe, for now. And if you help us find your friend” The man used air quotes when he said “friend” we can even get you a pardon.”

“Who are your people.” 

“Think of us as your real friends,” The man said, leaving a file on a table near her bed, before walking away.

Mamoketsi, though handcuffed to the bed,was able to reach the file near her. It was a file on Sifiso. A photograph of him was papercipped to several documents concerning his activities and latest whereabouts. From a quick glance it was evident that he did go into business with the Russians. “I hope it was worth it” she thought to herself, remembering how he betrayed her late husband. 

She didn’t notice at first, but suddenly the room was quiet. She looked around and realized it was empty. There were several monitors around the room, one had icons on an Australian map where Melbourne is, another window next to it showed video footage of some weird light in the sky. Another moniter had a map of Los Angeles and a video of two women brawling. A third showed a city that was eerily empty in what appeared to be China. 

Jaguar immediately used the paper clip to pick the locks of her handcuffs. She leapt out of bed and looked out the window to the door near her. She peering out into the hallway, there was only one gaurd waiting, a small man in a suit. Using the handcuffs as brass knuckles she knocked the man to the floor then grabbed his head and smacked it against the wall. His suit seemed to fit her, and she also put on his trousers and fled down the hallway. 

Going through another door Jaguar found herself in a winding staircase. As quick as she could she went down a few flights. Turing the corner to the next set of steps, she was met with a familiar face. After a moment of hesitation she felt a sharp pain from the tranquiler dart that struck her neck.

Mamoketsi woke in a cell. She could tell she wasn’t in the same prison, it had a comfortable cot and the walls had a fresh coat of paint. Before her again was that familiar face. It was the new girl from prison, she knew there was something suspicious about her. 

“You know we had a set of keys hidden in the pillow?” The woman said with a smile. “The boss and I had a bet over whether you would find them or use the paper clip. I got a beer thanks to you.”

“Who are you people?” 

“Aren’t you going to ask about the gaurd? He’s fine by the way. The boss always likes to put the new guys through some initiation.” 

“I won’t be anyone’s pawn.” Jaguar hissed.

“We’re all players on the board of life honey. Besides, are you really telling me you don’t want a shot at Sifiso?”

“How did you know.”

“Pretty obvious isn’t it? Here’s the deal, we put the word out that you escaped” she like her boss used air quotes, “and that your looking to do business again. You’re going to meet him face to face, but remember, we’re looking for justice, not revenge. We get what we want and you can have a life again.”

Soon Mamoketsi’s wound healed and she felt fresh air on her face again. Her benefactors fitted her with a nice dress, and she found herself in a high end night club. Euro-techno music blared as Johanasburg’s most well to do danced in their fancy clothes. Jaguars eyes scanned the club as soon two large men approached her. “You, this way?” One of them ordered.

“Mamoketsi my god!” Sifiso said with what seemed a genuine pleasure as he greeted her. “I never dreamed I would see you again.” She wished she could have snuck a knife in so she could disembowel him right then and there. Had she done that she would not have made it out of the room alive, but she didn’t care. 

“You never came to visit me.” she coldly replied.

Sifiso then sat at his desk as he said “Ah I have so many plates spinning. You know, it was a burden to me, but I maintained Thabo’s, shall we say, operations. I think it’s what he would have wanted.”

Looking around at his office she said “Doesn’t look like it’s such a burden.”

Her skin crawled as he responed “You know I do wish he was still with us, but the truth is he was only interested in playing the small game.”

“The small game?”

“It’s not too late for you to play this round.” Sifiso said, lighting up a cigar. “The Czar is coming soon. You can meet him personally, I can get you a seat at the table,” he took a puff before finishing, “with me.”

She didn’t know who he meant by the “Czar,” but she answered, “You know we never had any interest playing with the Russians. We were loyal only to ourselves”

“Loyalty?” Sifiso laughed, thinking back to the women Thabo “employed.” His eyes know lustfully looked over Mamoketsi, her dress accentuating the curves of her body, “You know it pains me to say it, but you should know, Thabo was known for sampling the ah, the product.”

Jaguar said with no hint of surprise “My love and I both knew the game we were playing, we knew the rules.”

“Oh, and what were those rules.”

“Don’t stab your partner in the back.” She then rose up and in one movement knocked the gaurd beside her down, grabbed his gun, and aimed. She knew she wouldn’t make it out of this room alive, as long as she could get one good shot.

Looks like Jaguar is in a tight spot now. Tune in next month to see if she makes it out of her enemies den! As always I hope everyone is keeping safe. Things where I am are supposed to open up more next week. Hopefully soon we’ll be back to some semblence of normalcy. Of course the way things have been going this year who knows? At this point I doubt it would be a surprise if the aliens invaded next, or we got a visit from the Stay Puff Marshmellow man! Who knows, maybe BOTH will happen.

Tune in next week to go back to the land down under in Lights of Mirigan #3.

In two weeks the Flying Fox will make his debut in the world of underground fighting!

Next month is round four of the blog verse, be sure to be back for more thrills and chills from everyone’s favorite Ghost City! See you then, and in the meantime, take care and be safe.

It was Saturday night and Jennifer was finally getting out. It had been a long week at her new school, though the adjustment didn’t seem too hard in retrospect. She reflected back as she looked out the taxi window to the empty streets. It was dark already, yet hardly any lights shined from the surrounding buildings as they were mostly empty. 

Kelly impressed her as she spoke Chinese, giving the driver directions to their destination. On a dimly lit but wide street they exited their taxi. Jennifer wondered where Kelly was taking her to as she was led towards a large ominous concrete building. Some of the windows on the first floor were smashed and covered with rotting plywood. “This is pretty typical.” Kelly said while she opened the door.. “Places look super shady on the outside but once you get in it’s really nice.”

Jennifer said nothing as some broken glass crunched below her feet. Inside, the only light in the coridoor was a dim red glow from the elevator light directly ahead. From what she could see the walls were a plain dirty white, occasionally tagged by graffiti. The ding of the elevator echoed though the hallway as the steel doors slid open. The girls stepped inside and Jennifer could see a blood stain on the grimy elevator floor. 

As the elevator ascended Jennifer could hear music blaring. “There’s a KTV here too. We’ll probably hit that later.” Kelly suggested.

“KTV?” 

“Oh sorry. Like Karekoke.” Kelly explained. 

“Oh, I see. Is that what they call it in Asia?”

“Well in China they call it KTV. When I was in Korea they called it Norea-bong.”

As soon as the doors opened  it was like stepping into another world. Spanish music was playing in the bar/restaurant. The walls were painted red and decorated with paintings both Chinese and Western. Inside were a small number of Chinese patrons, but the rest of the crowd seemed a mix of nationalities. Kelly walked her new friend to the bar and introduced her to the owner. “Hello,” the Chinese man said, “My English name is Ken. Welcome to Sky bar.” 

“Nice to meet you.” Jennifer smiled as she noticed an entrance to a balcony. 

“Yeah it’s too cold to go out there now,” Kelly explained, “but in the summer we have cookouts, Ken is a master on the grill!”

“Oh thank you!” Ken said excidedly. 

After they got some drinks Jennifer heard a familiar voice. “Oh, Jenny you made it!” She turned to see her co-worker Steve playing chess with a short man who, to her, looked Pakinstani. “Welcome welcome.” Steve said raising his Sprite. “This is my friend Sadik.” 

“Nice to meet you.” Sadik said, also raising his Sprite.

Across the restaurant Jennifer noticed a tall slender man among a crowd of foreigners.  Moving over to the group, Kelly introduced the man as Alex. “And where are you from?” Jennifer asked.

“I’m from planet Earth.” he said in earnest.

Kelly rolled her eyes as she’d heard this answer a million times, but Jennifer played along.

“Oh wow, and what is it like on planet Earth!”  

“It’s great!” Alex said matter of factly. “You should come see it sometime.”

“I’d like that.” 

Then they heard some cheering behind them. A few guys were watching something on a tablet. It looked like a garage, but there was a crowd of people gathered around in a circle. Through the tablet’s speakers they could hear cheering, as in the middle of the circle two women were fighting.

One man in glasses, whom Jennifer presumed was the owner of the tablet, said “I heard at this spot they have a South African bloke fighting.”

“Cool.” A man sitting next to him said. Then they noticed the two girls standing in front of them, one of them was a new face.

Kelly smirked as the two local casa novas rose to their feet.

“Forgive our manners girls,” the man with the glasses said.”welcome, have some pizza.”

The girls sat down in front of two large pizza pies. “My name’s Manie.” The man said as he gave Jennifer a plate with a slice on top. “Here you go Kelly.” The other man said as he handed her a plate. “And I’m Refi.”  his friend who was sitting next to him waved. 

Also at the table was a woman whose leather jacket matched the black of her hair. She smiled mischieviously as she’d seem this game played out many nights before. “Don’t mind these guys they’re harmless.” The woman said, before introducing herself as Nadia.

“Oh I’m sure they are.” Jennifer said as she looked back at the man from Earth. Then she looked back at the guys an observed, “I noticed your accents, I’m going to guess South African?”

“That’s right?” Manie smiled and nodded as Refi continued watching the fight on the tablet.

Another man approached. Like Nadia he had jet black hair, but it was long, went well past his shoulders. In fact his hair was nicer than that of any woman’s in the bar, something his friends often kiided him about. He took Jennifer’s hand and kissed it like an 18th century prince. He said in what she recognized as a Costa Rican accent. “And I am Fredrico, a pleasure to meet you.” The girls laughed and the boys hooted and hollered. Alex, finally with a bit of sarcasm in his voice, said “Wow Fredrico, you’re a real gentleman.”

Fredrico winked at him and said with a devilish smile, “Well my friend, the night is still young.”

The group ate and made small talk as another foreigner approached. “Oh so your Jennifer.” Kelly looked at her new friend with concern as Jennifer answered yes.

“Wow your hair is so pretty. Is that your natural color?”

Jennifer was at a rare loss for words. 

Undetered the man said “So you’re the new teacher at Hollwood English. What’s your degree in?”

“I just got my Bachelor’s in English education.” Jennifer immediately answered,

“Oh great. I have  Master’s in Education.” The man said dismissively.

“Good for you bud.” Alex said after finishing his beer. “Hey man can you get me another Harbin?” 

“Sure.” The man gave Jennifer a look of disdain as he walked away. 

“Pay Jerold no mind.” Refi said. “He just misses his buddy.”

“Doesn’t look like he misses him too much!” Fredrico laughed, observing Jerold talking to a Chinese man at the bar. Alex soon left to get his own drink.

The group talked a while longer, and later on Nadia asked  “So Manie, how do you like your new place?”

“Oh it’s great.” Manie said. I got lots more space and I got a nice balcony. Once I get settled in I’ll have everyone over.”

“A lot better than your last place right?” Refi said.

“Fuckin right.”

“What was wrong with your last place?” Jennifer asked.

The song playing over the speaker had ended, and for just a second it grew eerily quiet. Manie looked at her, not saying anything at first, but then he himself asked a question. “So, Jennifer,” he said, “have you seen any ghosts yet?”

She was startled at the question, and could only answer “What?”

“Well you know they call this a Ghost City right?” said Manie..

“Yeah.”

“It’s not just because the city is half empty.” Refi chimed in.

“What do you mean?”

Kelly nodded her head as she remembered the story Manie was about to tell. “One night,” Mani began. “I came home from Sky really drunk.”

“Imagine that!” Nadia slapped his arm cackling. Then the whole group followed in laughter and high fived their Russian friend.”

Manie had to cover his face he was laughing so much, but he soon resumed his story. “Anyway, one night, haha, one particular night I was really drunk. I stumbled into my place, the flat I used to have.”

“Manie struck out that night.” Rafi chimed in.

Pointing at Fredrico “You stole that Belarusian chic from me, I had her in the bag.” Manie protested while everyone laughed. 

Fredrico innocently shrugged his shoulders and said “Hey man, all is fair in love and war.”

Waving his had dismmisvely Manie continued “Anyway, anyway, I get to my place, my old place. I head straight to the toilet. I get there and I about pissed myself.”

“What happened?” Jennifer asked. 

“There was this big Chinese dude sitting in my bathtub! My school got me one of those old shitty apartments that still had the bathtubs instead of a shower, and this fat Chinese guy was sitting there like this.”  Manie dropped his arms flat to his sides and looked straight up in the air with an expressionless face. 

“You were probrably smoking some of that stuff Vlad got you.” Nadia said half joking. “I told you stay way from that character.”

“No, I wasn’t.” Manie answered. “Anyway, swear to god,” Manie looked back at Jennifer to continue his tale.” Swear to god, there was this big Chinese guy right there in my place!”

“Oh, what apartment is this again where you found a naked guy in your tub?” Jerold returned to the group. He was now wearing his coat, suggesting he would leave soon.

“Yeah I knew you would fucking like it.” Manie said shaking his hand. “Good night man.”

“Good night.” Jerold shook most everyone’s hand before leaving. “Nice to meet you.” He waved to Jennifer as he left with the man he’d drank at the bar with.

Looking back at his new friend Mani continued. “Anyway, anyway, this guy scared the shit out of me.” Motioning with his hands he explained “I literally fell down on the ground I was so shocked. I looked away for a moment, and when I looked back, poof he was gone.”

“That’s really weird.” Jennifer said. It certainly was a creepy story, but she kept her skepticism to herself. She reasoned that excess alcohol can make you hallucinate. She remembered her brother, he drank so much. The summer before he passed she remembered getting him home one night. It was awful. He was so drunk he thought he was seeing spaceships in the sky. He was babbling about, shouting something about Mira-go or something like that.

Jennifer had been lost in thought that she hadn’t notice Mani wasn’t finished telling his story.

“It was the chic from that music school.” Mani said, defiantly pointing at Fredrico. “I got you back that night you bastard!” Everyone laughed as he continued. “So anyway I get her as far as my door, and she starts freaking fuck out. She would not go in my place.”

“Maybe your reputation proceeds you!” Nadia kidded.

“Well luckily she lived in the same building.” Manie said. “So we went to her place.”

“That is some good luck my man!” Alex said.

“Anyway the point is, the next day she tells me. The last tenant before me, he killed himself in that apartment. It was a big Chinese guy, and he drowned himself in my fucking bathtub.”

For a moment it grew quiet again, as even those who had heard the story before still found it unsettling. Manie then looked at Jennifer with curiostiy. “So have you seen any ghosts?”

Hope everyone has enjoyed this newest chapter in what is now the third month of this project. Things have been slowly opening up more but we still have a long road ahead of us. Wherever you are and whatever you do, I hope you are keeping safe. I remember when I was a kid the Rodney King riots happening. Los Angeles was in flames, and it was a time to have dialogue about serious things like race relations and prejudice. Perhaps, in our youthful naiveness, some of us hoped that in 30 years we would have all this stuff figured out. Well, thirty years later, we are still dealing with police brutality, racism, bigotry, and basically all the same mess we’d been dealing with 30 years ago. I don’t have any answers, but I just want to wish you the reader well, and ask that we all take care of each other during what seems to be a difficult year for the whole world. 

Be sure to come back next week as Jaguar finally gets out in the field in Jaguar issue #3.

In two weeks, where are Fred’s strange abilities coming from and how do they connect to the strange lights of Melbourne. Find out in Lights of Mirgian issue #3.

The month of June will end with the Flying Fox #3. Diego fanangles a way to enter the secret world of underground fighting. Will he succeed, and if so at what price? Find out in the newest entries of the blog-verse. 

Maria didn’t like working late. She was grateful that her son was so helpful when she was out, but she didn’t like missing time with him. “WIsh criminals only operated in the daytime.” She joked as she just arrived at the station.

“Yeah maybe the City Council should pass a law about that?” Another officer joked.

Think they’d listen to it?” Maria asked.

“Doubt it”

Then she saw Chief Higgins “How’s your kid doing officer Santos?” The Chief asked. 

“He’s great. He’s a handful sometimes but he’s really good with my dad.”

“You’d think having a cop AND a mom all rolled up into one would keep that knuckle head out of trouble.” He jested.

“You’d think that wouldn’t you.” They both laughed. 

“Yeah, my kid is the same way.” The Chief related. “Alright everyone let’s have quick meeting.

Back at the auto garage money was being passed around. “Hey man you want to make a bet?” asked Morea.

“No I’m good man.” Diego looked around at all the money in the room. He didn’t have a lot, but he didn’t want to lose what he had.

“Come on man, I’ll cut you a break. Since when are you shy?” Morea teased him as he motioned with his hand to pass some cash.

“Gambling’s for suckers man come on.” Diego said, pushing his hand away. 

“Don’t say that too loud or they’ll throw you in there.”

Holding his head up high “Let them try.”

“Alright compadries,” Diego didn’t see too many ladies as Kennedy announced to the crowd. We got to sexy ladies fighting tonight. Diego and everyone else were excited as he saw a blonde muscular woman enter the circle in a green leotard. “Straight outta merry old England, Cammy!” The crowd cheered as Cammy raised her fists in a fighting position.

“And her opponent.” Kennedy continued, “From right here in the city of Angels, Sonya!” Another blonde girl raised her fists as the crowd cheered even louder. “Ladies and gentlemen, let the fists fly!”

The two fighters circled around each other, bobbing and weaving. They both threw a few missed punches while sizing each other up. Cammy then knelt to the ground and threw a spinning kick, attempting to knock Sonya off her feet, but Sonya leapt in the air to dodge it. Coming back to her feet, Sonya immediately leapt back to her feet to attempt a jumping kick. Cammy rolled on the ground doding the midair attack. As Sonya landed Cammy wrapped her arms around Sonya’s waist and suplexed her to the hard ground. 

“Suplex City! Diego taunted as both fighters got back to their feet. Sonya immediately threw missed punches to create some distance between them. In an unorthodoxed moved, Sonya planted her hands on the ground, lifted her legs in the air and wrapped her feet around Cammy’s neck. Thrusting her body back she flipped Cammy over, crashing hard onto the ground. Accustomed to straight brawling and wrestling, the crowd cheered wildly at what they just witnessed.

Cammy was hurt, but she knew she had to get back to her feet. Sonya was some distance from her now, but began to charge. Cammy in turn, again took to her feet. With perfect precision she aimed both feet directly at her opponents head. Sonya was knocked down by the powerful strike, the back of her head hitting the ground hard. It was over. 

“Winner! “ Kennedy declaired to the croar of the crowd. 

“Man that was one of the craziest fights I’ve ever seen!” Morea boasted.

Back at the police station, the Chief finished up his meeting. “For the most part, no news is good news.” He said. “As you know things with the gangs have simmered down a lot since last year. We know Kombat is still around, the Furies too. I can’t believe they’ve managed to keep a truce since last years bloodbath, but no news is good news right.” His officers nodded in agreement. “But there has been some buzzing lately, a little friction is startnig to brew. So keep your eyes and ears open. We don’t want this city lighting up again.”

Later Maria was driving her patrol car when her partner Susan asked “How is your son?”

“He’s good, how is your cousin Mary.” Maria asked.

“Holding up as good as she can. Until the Chief said something I’d forgotten it’s been a year already.”

“I know, to lose a son that young.” Maria knew that fear. It had been a year since a night of widespread gang violence gripped the city. Among the many victims was the son of their mutual friend. “How is her daughter Jennifer doing?” Maria asked.

“She’s ok I think.“

Ahead they could both see the sun going down behind the skyline as Marie asked, “She graduated college just last semester right?”

“Yes she did. She took off the semester once her brother got killed, but she finished up and graduated in December.”

“That’s great, what’s she doing now?”

“She just went off to China.”

“China!” 

“Yeah, she went to teach English.”

Watching the city pass by in their car Marie said “That’s great. She’s seeing the world.”

Susan kidded her partner “Just think your son could be seeing the world pretty soon.”

“We’ll see.” Maria said. “We’ll see.”

Back at the garage, Diego was surprised to see a familiar face. Johnny, the guy he was hassling at the gym, was in the pit with his hands up ready to fight, as Kenney introduced his opponent. “Hailing from South Africa, ladies and gentlemen, Zazie.” This fighter danced around throwing his fists, his long dreadlocks flew through the air as he played to the crowd.

This fight was more what the crowd was used to seeing. Both fighters landed fast and hard punches as the crowd oohd and awwwed. Diego cheered on when his gym mate landed shots as well as received them. Johnny had a laser like focus on his opponent, while the South Africana danced with his feet, it was obvious he enjoyed the audience.

His dancing didn’t last long as Johnny landed a thunderous uppercut sending his opponent the floor. Even then the victor didn’t lose focus. As audience members patted on the back he made a bee line to Diego. “You wanna be cocky now!?!” He said as he got nose to nose with the young kid. Diego didn’t back down, and met his gaze face to face. “Let’s go!” Johnny said with a shove, the crowd cheered again as it seemed they were about to get a fight for free. 

“Hold up hold up!” Kennedy shouted as he separated the two. Flanked by his bouncers he ordered “No kids fighting, I don’t need that shit. You two get out of here!” The bouncers escorted the two out of the building while Kennedy looked at Morea. “You, in my office.”  

Once he got in his car Diego looked at his phone while waiting for Diego. “How was algebra?” Dam, Diego realized as he read the text message he hadn’t done his homework yet. “It was rough” he texted back, “how about you.”

“I think I got it?” The message came back.

“So what are you doing?” his fingers typed out.

“About to go to bed. You?”

“Alright let’s go!” Morea said as he hopped in the car. “Come on man let’s get out of here!” He said as he anxiously closed the door. Diego tucked his phone away and pulled out of the parking lot.

Once they got out on the freeway Morea pulled out a big wad of cash. “Pay DAAAY!” he boasted holding his prize. 

Diego looked in shock. “How did you get all that!” 

“Eyes on the road holmes.” Putting the money away Morea said “Besides, you saw me hustling in there. People don’t like to just watch the fights you know.”

“Gambling huh?” Diego said.

“You comprendo! Haha” Morea slapped him on the shoulder laughing.  Hey I know a place we can get some beer. You in?”

Looking at the road Diego said “Ah man, I better not when I’m driving.”

“No worries man, way to be responsible.” Morea noticed the phone sticking out of his friends pocket. “So how many girls you texting these days?”

“Oh I don’t know man.”

“Don’t hold out on me man I saw you working your phone game.”

Diego couldn’t hide his blush as he answered. “I was just talking to Mia.”

“Oooh,” Morea said with a big smile. “Chinese, eh? She’s pretty cute.”

“Yeah she is.” Diego said with a big smile. “She is.”

“Si senor, my amigos in enamoroda!” Morea cracked up laughing. 

“Enamora-DO fool!” Diego couldn’t help but laugh himself.

“So you gonna ask her out or what?”

“Oh I don’t know man.”

Oh come on.” Morea never knew his friend not to have bravado. “Valentine’s dance coming up soon. Don’t want to be staggin it right?”

“Yeah I know man, I-”

Diego was cut off mid-sentence by a popping sound. “Ah shit!” Diego said in disappointment. 

Morea immediately ducked and covered his head “What was that! What was that!”

Diego pulled over to the side of the road. “Relax man it’s just my car.” Morea raised his head to see smoke coming out of the engine. “I’ll call for help.” Diego said as he pulled out his phone.”

Hello again everybody. I hope you all have been keeping safe. The weather is getting nice and warm. About time to have some swimming and barbecues. Although current events have certainly stifled summer plans I hope we can all do out best to enjoy this first summer of the new decade. As always thanks for reading this and be sure to check back next month for the latest issue of the Flying Fox.

Round three of the Blog-verse begins next week with the return of our most popular story, Ghost City! Jennifer meets other foreigners in her new home. What insight do they have in the strange goings on in the city?

In two weeks the Jaguar is back. Finally out in the field, will she complete her mission, or will she go her own way?”

The Lights of Mirigan return in 3. What are the strange abilities Fred is developing, and how are they connected to the strange lights over Melbourne? All that and more await in the latest chapters of the blogverse. 

Richard’s grandmother was surprisingly agile as she climbed over the stones. She had led Richard and his young friend Fred deep under the earth. Fred was beginning to wish he had brought a jacket as his mother suggested before he left, as the crisp subterrenean air nipped at his skin. As many times as Richard explored these caves, he was still amazed as he turned off his flashlight to find himself not in total blackness, but in the green glow of phosphorescence emmenating from the rocky walls. 

Fred watched his friend anxiously run down one of the cavern pathways while he followed his friend’s grandmother down another. Soon they found themselves in an immense cavern, too big be believed. It was filled with an underground lake, the water shimmering in the phosphorence.

Fred touched his fingers in the cold water, and when he turned around he saw the old woman standing before him. It was an image like out of a dream, she stood before him in a shroud of mist, the green light now turned white, shining behind her. “You have the light of Mirigan.” She said. Young Fred was confused at what she meant. “You have a power that comes from the stars.” He did not see her lips moving as his mind registered her words. Then, as though she could hear his internal confusion, she continued. “You will learn in time. Know now you’re current allies will betray you. Rekindle your lost friendship, and your mind will be at ease.” What was she talking about? He had been friends with Richard for a few years now, ever since fifth grade math class.

In his apartment off Batman street, Fred awoke to the sound of pounding on his door.  Now surrounded by darkness he asked “Who is it?” 

“It’s me Fred, open up.” He thought the voice sounded familiar, and when he cracked the door open he saw a familiar dark skinned man waiting for him.

“G’day Fred.” Officer Eades said. “May I come in.”

“Do you got a warrant?”

“Come on man let me in. I just want to talk.”

“Not without a warrant.” Fred attempted to shut the door but the officer’s foot was blocking it.

“Bunch of stores were vandalized last night.” Officer Eades explained. “All “ethnic” as you would say. You wouldn’t know anything about that would you?” 

“Wasn’t me.”

Eades could see the poster for the group on the wall. “Funny,” he said, they all belonged to the local fitness group. I guess that’s just a coincidence eh?” 

“Must be.”

“So what’s next, you gonna get a Swastika and be the next Fuhrer, or maybe you should get a white robe like the yanks.”

“What’s it to you? 

“Come on man we both know what this is about.” The officer was both agitated and disappointed. “You’re not the only one that lost your pop! My dad died too you know!”

“Are you done?”

The policeman pointed his finger sternly as if Fred were a child. “If you get caught doing this shit, I can’t help you.”

Removing his foot from the door he walked down the walkway. Fred kept the door open and watched the policeman leave. “Funny,” the cop said as he continued walking. “I had a dream about grandma last night. Never dream of her you know. We were kids, back when he would take us hiking through the blue mountains.” He stopped to turn around, “Remember that?”

Fred was at a loss for words, but nodded his head.

“Just don’t do anything too stupid alright?” Fred’s former friend pleaed. “Take care of yourself.”

“You too Richard.”

Richard stopped in at the bagel shop before going to work. “What happened last night!” Was the first thing he heard walking in. David was real pissed off.

“Somebody snitched on us!” Another guy said. 

“Keep it down we got customers coming in.” Alexander ordered from behind the counter. 

 “Never mind that.” Zane said sitting at his seat. Did you hear about Luna Park?” 

“What about it?” David asked. 

“People saw lights in the sky. They’re back, and they’re watching us.”

“What are you talking about?” Fred asked. 

“I saw on the news,” Zane explained. “NASA found Ultima and Thule in the Kuiper Belt. Some say that’s where we descended” He looked at Fred and said “You know, they were here 15 years ago. Now they’re back.”

“Man shut the fuck up with that shit!” Fred lashed out. “Come on David we gotta get to work. I’m parked outside.”

Soon the crew that followed Alexander left, Alex asked an employee to man the cash register while he went in his small office. 

Closing the door behind him, he saw the blank image on the screen, his benefactor never revealed his face. “How is the land down under?” The seemingly disembodied voice said. 

“We had a few new recruits, but there was a bust last night, we lost a few.”

“You weeded out those that were week.” The voice said mysteriously. “I’ve been watching. You are ready for the next phase. Our representative will meet you soon.”

Fred didn’t talk to David much during their shift at the Warehouse. Usually there wasn’t much time to socialize anyway. David didn’t usually ride with him, and on the way was asking him a lot about last night. Fred was confused himself. The police seemed to be right there, and how did he get on that roof. Fred almost felt like the whole thing was a dream. Could he ran up a fire escape and blacked out? His mind couldn’t pathom the events he had just experienced.

After his shift he waited in the parking lot for David. The weather was starting to cool, summer was almost over. He looked up at the stars and remembered his father. He hadn’t thought of his father for a while, but there he was, remembering his father flying through these very skies. “What was that asshole talking about?” He thought to himself, remembering the older guy at the bagel shop. He was always going on about UFO’s and the like. He’d had enough of that shit.

Suddenly he felt a clubbing blow to the back of his head. He fell to the ground and was met with a series of kicks to the body. “You snitched on us you asshole!” David shouted while kicking him. There was another man with him, he didn’t know who he was but he held a tire iron that now dripped with his blood.

Fred knew he didn’t have a lot of time. The blows continued when Fred felt a rushing sensation throughout his body, like a strong current of electricity was running through it. Instinctively he raished his hand toward David, desperately trying to shove him away. All three were shocked as David’s body flew through the air at an impossible length. The tire iron again was swung down toward him. Now on his knees, Fred gripped it with his other hand. The man immediately began convulsing, his hair stood on end as if he were being electrocuted.  Only when Fred released his grip did the convulsing stop and the man crumbled to the ground. Fred himself went back down to the ground, Between the blow to his head, and the shock of recent events, he knew he was about to pass out. His last thought before his eyes closed was, “What’s happening to me?”

Warehouse, out in parking lot, hit with a lead piple. Fell to the ground, you snitch I know it was you, hit, his head was throbbing, but it slowly subsisded, he felt a buzzing sound and an uncanny sensation in his head, as if  his wound was closing. The man rushed, he raised his had up to stop and the man flew through the air. Shocks the other rone to death. 

I hope everyone has been keeping safe. The weather is getting much nicer and things are slowly beginning to open up again. Hope you have enjoyed this story. Come back in 30 for more tales of uncanny lights and conspiracy tales.

Next week is round two for the Flying Fox! Be here for tales of the world of underground fightning.  

In two weeks our most popular tale returns. Jennifer meets other foriegners in her knew home. What insights will they have in this mysterious Ghost City?

Jaguar number three will come in three weeks. Finally out in the field, will Jaguar partake in her mission, or will she strike out on her own? Stay tuned for the latest tales of the Blogverse!

Jaguar #2

Posted: May 13, 2020 in Blogverse, Jaguar
Tags: , ,

How long ago was it since she’d slept in that King sized bed. Her prized possession, a stuffed Jaguar she killed herself, rested in the corner of her room. She gazed at its sharp teeth and mighty claws as she lie there in her husband’s arms.  “Thabo, my love,” Mamoketsi said, “Are you at peace with Sifiso? I’d never seen you disagree with him before.”  

She felt her husband’s chest shake as he laughed. “Sifiso is a snake in the grass. Better to have the snake in your own garden where you can keep an eye on him.”

“But he has been our friend for years?”

Thabo looked around the room at the ornate paintings and sculptures that decorated the room. “Money paid for all this, not friendship.”

“But the Russians have money too,” Mamketsi said, recalling a secret deal that Thabo turned down. “And they have influence everywhere.”

Holding her close, Thabo said “We play a dirty game Mamoketsi, make no mistake of that. But it is our game to play, in our own yard. If we play on a board too big, eventually, all our pieces will be knocked away.”

At that Mamoketsi heard a sound, it was the sound of something smashing, like one of her plant pots outside hitting the ground. “What was that?” she asked.

“Shhh,” Thabo held his finger to his lips. His eyes gazed out the window as his ears strained to hear outside. Another sound shot through the night air, “prat prat prat”, they both knew it was the sound of gunfire.

Mamoketsi immediately sprung from the bed. Just as quickly Thabo slipped on a pair of trousers. His wife moved towards the closet when he said “Wait” Through the curtains at the window, they both could see the shadow of a man on their balcony. Mamoketsi got down on her hands and knees, continuing to crawl toward the closet. Glancing back at her husband he saw the shadow fall to the ground and let out a gasp in pain.

Thabo instantly opened the door to find Vincent, his security chief, bleeding from the gut. The sounds of gunfire crackled louder through the open door. “Vincent!” Thabo cried out to his life-long friend. Vincent looked up at him, “Board filled, too many pieces.” Thabo cradled him in his arms, he cried for just a moment before grabbing his fallen friend’s machine gun. Raising up to peer over the balcony, he looked back at his bride, now dressed in a robe, herself armed with an AK-47. He was always so proud of her. She was like her prized Jaguar, fast and deadly, a true warrior spirit, but he could not bear the thought of losing her the same night he lost his friend. “Stay here!” He pleaded, before leaping off the second story balcony onto the terrace below.

Thabo must have known his Jaguar would not stay put. Only a moment later she heard gunfire from the first floor. She cracked her bedroom door open to find two men coming up the stairwell. Immediately they were struck down by her gunfire.

Jaguar could hear her husband firing outside. The garden they both planted was now filled with the screams of the fallen enemy.  Approaching her stairwell a wave of gunfire swept above her as she rolled out of the way. Finding her way to the starwell another intruder awaited below. He looked up to see Mamoketsi, her robe partially opened during the action. She smiled as he stopped in his tracks to give an admiring glance, before shooting him in the head. 

Outside, bodies were everywhere. Across the garden she could see Thabo crouched down behind a marble horse statue. He fired a few shots off in the distance. Then, she saw him. Sifiso fired a few shots off into the air. She was relieved as he rushed to his aid. She always knew him to be honest, he was a rook to his King, perhaps now, she reasoned, Thabo could see the error in judgement. 

Instead, Thabo was met with a bullet. Mamoketsi would cry out, shocked at the betrayal of the long time friend who fired the fatal shot, but her body made no such sound as a bullet struck her in the gut. Somewhere off in the distance, an unknown assailant had tagged her. She crumpled to the ground, her eyes leerily looking up at the home that they built, now filled with bullet holes and broken glass. The blood of Vincent dripping still dripping from the balcony was her last sight before blacking out. 

Her gut wound still hurt as she lay in the gurney. In this secret location, whereever it was, a television monitor hung close to her. On that screen was an image that made her recoil, it was the man she knew took her love away from her. “Who are you people?” she asked. The last thing she remembered she was laying in the prison shower. She wasn’t able to deduce where she was, but she knew she was no longer behind bars. 

Wherever she was, she was surrounded by people working at computers, others walked around carrying briefcases and files. Finally, someone answered. Mamoketsi, your reputation proceeds you. He spoke english, sounded Portugeues. He had dark skin, but not black like hers. Maybe he was Brazillian. “I hope that bed is more comfortable than  the ones they have in prison.” 

“What do you want.” 

Pointing to her the man said “I got that silk blanket straight from India.” 

“What do you want?”

“I see you know Sifiso.” The mystery man said pointing to the screen. “How would you like to help bring him to justice.”

Hope everyone has been keeping safe. Here in the states some places are re-opening but we’re not out of the woods yet. In the meantime thanks for checking this story out. Come back in 30 for issue #3. Jaguar gets out in the field, will she follow orders, or will she seek her own justice?

Next week is the Lights of Mirigan #2. What are the strange lights over Melbourne, and how do they connect with the local extremist group?

The Flying Fox returns in two weeks. Diego has stumbled in the world of Underground Fighting, will he survive to tell the tale?

In three weeks, the blogverse most popular tale returns in Ghost City #3.  Jennifer meets some of the other foreigners in her new home. What insight will they ad to the mysterious goings on? 

In the meantime, take care and be safe.

Jennifer smiled as she looked up from her journals as several elementary students came rushing into the office. “Candy, Candy!” they yelled.

“Oh look at these wonderful students.” said Steve, another foriegn teacher. Sitting at his desk, he put his hand up to his chin and mused. “They must want something. I wonder what it could be?”

“Candy candy!” They excitedly declared.  

“Candy! Oh my gosh, well let me see if I have any.” He opened up his bottom desk draw and the kids cheered as they saw a big bag of chocolates.

After the students ran out of the room with their prize Steve pointed to them pretending to be stern. “Now you behave in class now!”

Kelly entered the office carrying her books as the kids were leaving. Half laughing she said “You know the kids aren’t supposed to be in our office right?”

“It’s ok, it’s ok, because I am super-teacher!”  He said, proudly giving himself a thumbs up.

“Ha ha of course you are Sam.” Turning to Jennifer, Kelly asked “How has your first week going so far?”

“Pretty good.” Jennifer answered as she went through her students journals. “My ninth graders are pretty good. I’ve been going through their writing. It’s not too bad.”

“Yeah they are a good group. The Chinese teachers like them a lot too. Hey what are you doing after school the next few days?”

“Well I just have one more class then I want to finish cleaning this desk out. I’ll probably stay in tonight, I want to Skype with my family. Why?”

“That’s fine, well tomorrow night some of the foreigners that work at other schools are going out.” 

“That sounds great, I can do that.” 

“Would you like to come, Steve?” Kelly asked.

“Oh I would love to but my baby is sick so I have to stay home with my wife.”

“Oh I’m sorry to hear that.”

“That’s ok Kelly. Will you go to KTV?”   

“You know it.”

“Ah, I am so sorry I cannot go. Next time yes, because you know I am the best singer!”

“Just like you’re the best teacher!”

“You got it.”Sam said pointing back at Kelly while playfully winking at her.

 Later, back in the classroom, a question was asked. “Teacher, do you own a gun?” 

Jennifer was perturbed by this question. “No Leo, I don’t own a gun.”

“Why teacher? I thought Americans had gun.”

“No Leo, we don’t all own guns. I don’t like guns.”

“Why teacher, I like guns!” He formed his hand into a pistol. “I want gun!”

She had to bite her tongue in this moment.“Ok let’s move on with our lesson.” As she passed the student notebooks out Farrah came in, smiling from ear to ear.”

“Linda, you’re are late.”     

Gesturing playfully with her hand “I was in Brad’s office.” Jennifer then continued her lesson. Occasionally she had to correct Farrah for being on her phone or not paying attention, but for the most part the class went well. She did notice Deborah, who was missing the first day she taught them, was really quiet. After class Jennifer approached her desk, Deborah sat looking down at her phone. Jennifer noticed the picture on the phone’s screen. She didn’t recognize the girl at first, but it was Deborah, with a big smile on her face. Next to her was another young Chinese girl whom Jennifer did not recognize. 

“Are you ok Deborah.” The student gave no answer as she quicky put her phone away while giving the teacher a look, saddness mixed with a dash of anger. 

“Sorry teacher” Meera said as she gave Deborah a friendly pat on the shoulder. Meera said soemthing to her in Chinese and they both left the room.

Back in the teachers office Jennifer was now cleaning out her desk. The last teacher left a lot of papers and knick knacks behind. While throwing out some papers she noticed a small envelope with a note inside. Curiosity got the better of her and she decided to read it.

“I know you say we cannot be together, but we need to be together. You are my star. You are my star and we must be together. I dream of going to Hollywood with you. Let us go to America and we will both be star, We must my love, we must. Meet me at secret place and I tell you why we must be together.” 

It read like a students writing, and from the pensmenship she suspected it was a girls writing. The note gave Jennifer an uneasy feeling, and she decided to talk to her supervisor.

Brad looked very sad as he sat at the desk reading the note. “I am sorry you found this.”

“What is it?” Jennifer asked, sitting down in his office. 

“Well you see, Sam was a good teacher, the students miss him.” Brad explaind. “But he had a, ina-, how to say, he had a relationship with a student that, it wasn’t proper.”

Jennifer’s stomach turned as she immediately got the implication. “With one of my students?” She asked, her disgust simmering beneath the surface.

 “Well, she’s, she’s not hear anymore.” 

“Did she go to another school?”

He folded up the letter. Thank you for showing this to me. Please don’t speak of this, the students will be really upset.” Jennifer nodded as she pondered the situation. Brad then stood up and said”We should close the office now. Have a good evening.”

Walking back to her apartment, she didn’t see anyone as she looked down the hallway this time. Coming in, she was relieved that her landlord finally got her a working modem. Since she arrived she had to use the school’s computers to email her family, but those computers were old and slow and the internet service wasn’t the best. She turned her laptop on and finally saw the icon lit up, indicating that she was at last online.

“It’s so good to see you honey. Are you doing ok?” Her mom appeared on the small box on her screen.

“Yes I am how are you?”

“Oh we’re all fine here. Dad is working a lot. You’re Uncle Johnny was asking about you. He was worried you were getting brainwashed.”

“No mom it’s fine. They treat us ok here.”

“Are you learning Chinese?”

“I was referred to a tutor so I’ll be starting soon.”

“Sounds interest.” She could tell her mom’s eyes were scanning what she could see of the apartment. “Well your apartment is lovely, it looks brand new!”

“Well it’s a few years old, but actually I am the first person that lived here.”

“That’s amazing. The ladies at work can’t believe how there’s no people where you live. We thought you’d be stuffed like sardines.”

“How is your friend Linda doing?”

“She is great. Looks like her daughter is going to the  Valentine’s Day dance”

“Oh really? She has a boyfriend?” Jennifer remembered when Linda was just a little girl.

“Well I don’t know if it’s a boyfriend yet but she’s been talking about maybe going with some boy.”

“Aww that’s cute. I do miss them.”

“So you don’t miss us huh?” Her mom said sarcastically.

“Oh mom of course I do.”

“I know honey. Listen I know you did what you had to do. We don’t want you to feel guilty about leaving after Reggie passed. We all have to carry on in our own way. You just have a good time over there and be safe.”

“Thanks mom.” 

“Sure honey. We love you.” Then her head turned, as if she was trying to peer over Jennifer’s shoulder. “What is that?” she asked.

“What is what?” Jennifer turned around to see nothing unusual behind her.

“I don’t know I thought I saw something for a moment. Oh well, must be getting old!” She jested.

“Must be.” Then Jennifer’s doorbell rang. “Oh that’s probably my dinner. I’m getting something delivered. I’ll be right back.”

Jennifer went to the door and it was a delivery person from the Muslim restaurant down the street. Steve recommended it to her and she took an immediate liking to it. In fact this was the third meal from them she had since he’d been there. After she payed for her food she closed the door and heard her mom shouting through the computer. 

“Mom what’s wrong?” when she ran back to her laptop she saw the screen flicker for a moment.

“Who is in your room?” Her mom asked.

“What?” Jennifer asked as she sat down.

“Do you have a student there?”

“What are you talking about?” Jennifer asked as she looked around her empty apartment.

“There’s a girl in there!” Her mom insisted. “She looked right at me. Her face was so pale it scared the hell out of me!”

“Mom there’s no one in here.”

“I’m teling you there was a girl in your room. She had a red dress on and her face was as white as a ghost. She looked pretty young so I assumed it was a student. The image on my screen flickered out for a moment, and then her face was really big on my screen, like she was looking right at me, Then the screen flickered out again and she was gone.”

“I don’t know mom, the internet here isn’t the best,” Jennifer attempted to rationalize., “maybe something went haywire with the connection.

“Honey I’m just telling you what I saw. It scared the hell out of me.”

Unpacking her dinner Jennifer said “Ok well I have to eat, I’ll chat with you later ok.”

“Ok well have a good day.”

“I already had a good day.” Jennifer laughed. “It’s evening time here.”

“Oh that’s right!” Her mom clapped her hands together laughing. “Well good night. I feel so weird saying that now.” Then they hung up.

Immediately Jennifer sprang to her feet and looked around her small apartment. There weren’t many places to hide. She felt anxious but also embarrassed as she looked in her closets and out on the balcony. This brought back memories of when she thought as a child that there were monsters under her bed. Even at that age her little brother wasn’t scared of anything. He would eagerly look under her bed and in her closet with his toy sword, excitedly hoping to find some monster he could fight. Her anxiety dropped into grief as she remembered that even at that age he was so fearless. He would have been disappointed here as well, as her apartment was empty except for her. 

Hope everyone has been safe through these trying times. Hopefully better days are ahead! Thanks for supporting this story, and tune in next month for issue three of the blogvere’s most popular tale, Ghost City!

Next week, the return of Jaguar! What do Jaguar’s benefactors want, and will she accept their help?

In two weeks the Lights of Mirigan are back on. What are the mysterious lights over Melbourne, and what is their connection to the local extremist group?

Was that something about a Valentines dance I heard in this issue? Will Diego have a hot date, or will he be caught up in this newly discovered word of underground fighting? Find out in the next issue of Flying Fox, coming in three weeks. The blogverse is on a roll!