Archive for the ‘Blogverse’ Category

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!

Diego put his book bag in the locker room as the men around him taped up their fists. The smell of sweat and dirty clothes beat the smog Los Angeles was renowned for. Once he changed into his workout clothes Diego went out to the gym and hit the heavy bag. Once he noticed all the female trainees his footwork became more dance like as he landed several good combinations on the bag.

“Yeah check out this footwork!” Diego boasted while giving a wink to the girl hitting the bag next to him. She paid him no mind, and soon the image of her fit body in her sports bra and shorts was replaced by a large male torso. The man gave one swift bunch which sent the bag flying, his message firmly delivered.

Unable to back down Diego responded “Oh yeah but I got the speed, check this out.” Diego again danced around his back quickly landing light punches. Neither the man nor his girlfriend were impressed. Diego’s playful temperment changed once he felt something hit his ankle causing him to fall back. He yelled out loud and hit the ground hard, causing the couple, and most everyone else who saw it, to laugh out loud.

Immediately, he sprung back up to his feet with his hands up. Tony, one of the trainers at the gym, was almost doubled over in laughter. It was he who tripped the young student as a rib. “I didn’t teach you that kind of footwork. Real smooth.” he jested.

“Oh you got jokes!” Diego playfully jabbed at his mentor. 

“Let’s go in the ring, I’ll teach you some real moves.”

The pair climbed through the ropes of an empty ring. Diego had taken his gloves off, as wrestling was more Tony’s style. They practiced a few holds and did light some light sparring. The gym echoed in the sounds of bodies hitting mats, fists hitting bags, and the metal clanging of weights. At one point during sparring they were both on their feet, and Diego managed to hook one of Tony’s legs causing him to fall to the ground. “Oh that’s what’s up!” Diego shouted. “Now watch this!” he said as he hopped to the top turn buckle. In a spit second he leapt off the top rope, his body twisted and turned through the air like an aerial ballerenia. He planned to end the move with a body splash on his trainer, what he didn’t expect was Tony leaping back to his feet and catching him in mid air. Tony immediately turned around and slammed his opponent onto the canvas, knocking the wind out of his student.

“Dammit Diego!” Tony shouted as he shot back to his feet. “I told you about that Lucha shit. You do that out in the street and they’ll stab your Mexican ass!” The whole gym now had their eyes on Tony, as most of them rarely saw him lose his cool. “Now 50 pushups and get your ass outta here!”

Tony did the 50 along with his student. Afterwards Diego was ordered to get some water for the two of them. After taking a sip Tony asked “How is your grandpa doing?” 

“He’s ok.” Diego answered, while taking a drink.

“You doing well in school? You doing your homework and stuff?”

“Yeah sure.” Diego said, taking another sip.

“You better be.  Now go on hit the showers, I got a jujitsu class coming in.”

Later as he came out of the shower, Diego felt a wet sting in his lower back. Turning around, he saw the man he hassled before had struck him with a wet towel.  “Not so cocky now are you!” He said.

“You like hitting underage boys in the ass?” Diego immediately fired back.

The sound of “Ooooh!” filled the locker room in response to his comeback.

The man pointed his finger at the boy and said “You ever want real fight I know just the place.” and walked out.

While getting into his car Diego turned his phone on, which immediately started blowing up. Pulling out of the parking lot he called his friend Morea back. As soon as Morea picked up he asked quickly “Hey man, what are you doing tonight?”

“Well right now I’m just leaving the gym.”

“Not supposed to be driving while you’re on the phone amigo.”

“In this traffic I think I’m alright.” Diego laughed. “What’s up?”

“Hey man can you give me a lift tonight?


“Where?”

“Somewhere real cool, I’ll tell you about it when you pick me up.”  

Now Diego felt confused. “Can’t you drive somewhere real cool yourself?”

“Cars in the shop amigo. Please man help a brother out!”

“Well I can get you later, first I gotta check on my grandpa.”

“He’ll be fine man, just come get me.”  

“I’ll call you once I leave the house.”

“Ok,” Morea finally let up. “Just don’t beep the horn my mom doesn’t like that, just park down the street I’ll come out.”

It smelled like Enchiladas when Diego came home. He knew it wasn’t his mom’s cooking as she was working tonight. When he saw his grandfather working over the stove he said “Grandpa I could have made these.” 

“You don’t make them right.” He answered in spanish. “Always add too much chipotle.” 

“If you say so.”Diego laughed as they sat down to eat and continued their conversation in Spanish.   

“Lesnar’s gonna be on Raw tonight. What do you think will happen?” His grandfather asked. 

“I don’t know.” He answered, taking a bite of his Enchilada. “You’ll have to tell me tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow! You’re not gonna watch it with me?”

“I’m hanging out with Morea tonight.”

“That little bandit! I told you he was trouble!” His old wrinkled finger pointed at his grandson.

“Ah, he’s alright.” He knew his grandfather’s assessment wasn’t entirely wrong and gave no further protest. After eating he got up and washed the dishes in the sink, then helped his grandfather get back to his room. As the elderly man was taking his medicine, Diego looked around at all the pictures of old friends. Some of the photographs were even in black and white. 

“Do you think back in your prime you could have taken Lesnar?” 

His Grandfather laughed. “Maybe, if the booker agreed to it!”

“Haha I guess you’re right.” Diego noticed one of the drawers on his dresser was open. Looking up at him was grandpa’s old lucha mask, something no man had worn in a long time.

“Do you ever miss the old days grandpa?”

“Not at all.” The old man said as he slammed the door shut. “That business is filled with liars and thieves, and that’s why I don’t want you having any part of it.” 

Diego nodded in understanding as his grandfather embraced him and said “Alright now you have a good time and be safe.”

As he pulled up to Morea’s house he spotted his car in the driveway. As he slowed down he saw Morea jump out his bedroom window on the side of the house. He quickly pulled his hoodie up and sprinted towards Diego’s car.

“Thanks man” he said hopping in.

“I thought your car was in the shop”

“It was man, it was, I got grounded again.”

“So now I’m an accomplice?”

“Save the cop stuff for your mom.” Morea said as they rolled out of their neighborhood. 

“Alright man just where we’re going?” 

Soon they pulled into an auto body garage. “You’re idea of a good time?” Diego joked. It seemed strange that the parking lot was full when it was after hours.


“Trust me man.” his friend reassured him.

Once they got out of the car and approached the door they could hear the crowd inside. Kennedy, Morea’s cousin, stood at the door with a huge guy that looked like he could be Kennedy’s body-gaurd. “You’re late.” Kennedy scowled. “Next time I get a new bookie.”

“Sorry man, traffic was killer.” Diego considered Morea a good friend, but he knew he was a bullshiter. He attempted to follow Morea in when he was stopped by the large black hand of Kennedy’s body-gaurd. Noticing Diego wasn’t behind him Morea turned around and explained “Come on man he’s with me.”

Finally getting inside Diego noticed the smell of motor oil mixed with the smell of blood and sweat, as if the auto shop he was in was mixed with the smells of the gym he was in earlier. He’d never seen this many people in a garage before. “Weird place to have a party.” he thought. The people inside formed a big circle and were yelling and cheering some with drinks in their hands. It was then he saw another familiar sight, inside the circle were two bare knuckle brawlers throwing punches at each other. Diego couldn’t believe it. He’d seen stuff like this in the movies and in video games, but never dreamt he’d see something like this in person. 

The crowd roared in unison as one fighter landed an incredible roundhouse punch to his opponent, knocking him to the concrete floor. Diego just stared in disbelief. His friend wrapped his arm around him and excitedly boasted, “Just like Fight Club, but this shit is for real!”

Thank you all for the support of the blogverse this past month. This is the last new tale of this fantastic project. Next week, our most popular entry returns. Ghost City #2. What further eerieness awaits Jennifer at her new school, and how is it connected to her strange neighbor.

In two weeks, the return of Jaguar! Who is the mysterious benefactor, what do they want, and will she even help?

The Lights of Mirigan return in three weeks. What are the mysterious lights over Melbourne, and how do they connect with a young man caught up in a local extremist group?

Come back in 30 for the Flying Fox #2. Diego is enamored by his new discovery, will he take part in this deadly hobby, and if so, what price will he pay. Tune in next month for the next chapters of the blogverse!

Note: I have changed the name of this story from Arrokoth to Light of Mirigan.

Fred never flew in his life, but there he was sitting with his dad in the cockpit. Looking down his youthful eyes could see the lights from the rides at Luna Park, and soon those sights were replaced by the blue of the the ocean. Often he dreamed that his dad would take him to Tasmania, they always talked about going there sometime. Now the sun was setting, and looking out into the black void below, Fred could sense that something was off.

“Mission control I got a craft following me. It’s getting pretty close to my tail.” His father said over the radio.

“There’s no identified craft in your area.” The radio crackled back.

“Don’t bullshit me.” His father barked back. “I see four lights behind me, looks like landing lights.” 

“Captain I don’t know what you’re seeing but it’s not one of ours.” 

Before Fred could see it, he could hear it, this incredible screeching sound, as if the atmosphere itself was screaming. Then he could see it, it was like the X-wing straight out of Star Wars, and it flew over them. 

“It looks like this thing is toying with me!” The Captain said in frustration as the screeching sound hit again and the unknown craft darted to the east. 

“Shoot em down dad!” Fred said excitedly.

“Captain, you are probably seeing lights from some atmospheric phenomenon.” the voice said dismissively over the radio.”

“Don’t tell me it’s fucking Venus!” His father said angrily as the craft now orbited his plane. “I can see it’s got a metallic surface and there’s some kind of green light on it.”

“Dad!” Fred screamed as their engine began to sputter. The plane shook hard in the air as smoke bellowed from it’s engine.   

“Can you identify the aircraft?”  The voice on the radio asked. 

His father grew eerily quiet. Fred could see the beads of sweat forming on his foreheard. Never in his young life had Fred had seen his father scared. Then, in a quiet trembling voice his father answered, “It’s not an aircraft.”

Green light bathed the cockpit as his father froze. Fred couldn’t bring himself to say anything, and he realized that he himself couldn’t move. His vision locked on the image of his father, a coffee cup he kept near his seat floated in the air as if it were in zero gravity. For a moment there was no sound, but then he heard it, metallic scraping sounds all over the aircraft. 

Fred now was plunging toward the black sea, he could feel the moisture from the salt water rushing up to his face. An image of his mother floated before him, looking up from outside their home, calling out his name in tears. 

Fred’s whole body shook on the mattress when he awoke. He hadn’t dreamt of his father in a while. Fred was only 13 when his dad disappeared, it was quite the news story for a while. He had been flying off the shores of Melbourne when his plane disappeared. Most people figured he had simply crashed into the sea, but his plane was never recovered. Then there were the UFO nuts, people that said he was abducted by aliens. There was one part of his dream Fred knew to be true. His family was allowed to hear the recording from the flight that night, and there was that last thing his father said, the last thing he would ever hear him say. “It’s not an aircraft.”

A morning jog through the city was probably the best thing to clear his mind. Today he was meeting with the Melbourne chapter of Australia First Fitness; a local fitness group. The usual crowd was there, his friends Dennis and David. Zane came today, he was the oldest of the group and didn’t always come. 

“How is your mom doing?” Alexander, the head of the local chapter asked. 

“She’s ok I guess, thanks.” Fred answered as they jogged by Fitzroy Gardens. The giant branches of the trees reached out over the trail, providing some shade from the summer sun.

“She still in the hospital?”

“Yeah, the Dr. says she’s stable, nothing serious lately.”

“I’m glad to hear that Fred.” Looking back at a young couple, who were two new members of their group. “You think they’ll last?” 

Alexander laughed when Fred answered “Doubt it.” Fred laughed to, as he understood what the group leader was getting at. As Fred himself looked back at the pack, he noticed Harry running along. He was also a new member who’d been coming the last few weeks. “Harry is here.” Fred observed.

“Yes we are definitely happy to have him.” Alexander said with a smile. “He is going to fit in just fine.” As they were running they drew closer the Melbourne Cricket Center, commonly known as the MCG. Looking at the large grey circular structure, Alexander noted. “In fact I hear he’s a hell of a cricket player.” 

Fred kept looking back at Harry, who on the surface he seemed like an ideal member, but Fred couldn’t shake this uncanny feeling that something was off.

As Fred was laughing he knew the new couple wouldn’t last long. The eyes of the dark skinned girl widened in revulsion back at the bagel shop. The group always stopped there after the jog, as it was owned by Alexander. Her and her boyfriend quietly went out the door once Alexander told his joke. 

“Don’t come back now ya here.”Fred jested as everyone else laughed. Alexander nodded at Fred in approval. “PC shit was destroying their nation.” Fred thought to himself. 

“Alright now that that’s out of the way let’s get down to business.” Alexander said, and he proceeded to hand out several envelopes to the remaining group.

The young aborigional youth stared defiantly at the policeman’s finger as it pointed to him accusingly. “If I catch you tagging buildings again I’m gonna send you off to juvi, you understand!”

“Police always want to put my people in jail.” 

At first the child’s mother was mortified at her son’s attitude, but she couldn’t help but laugh a little as she saw the look on his face when he heard his native tongue spoken by the policeman. “I promise you,” officer Eades said in the language of the Gundungurra people, “no one at this station wants to see you be anything but a strong and good man.”  Then in English he finished with, “Now go on go home.”

“Thank you officer. And don’t worry, Derek here will be under house arrest with me.” The mother said as she took her child out of the station. 

Officer Eades sat down at his desk as he saw Harry enter the station in his street clothes. “How was the Hitler marathon?” Eades asked. “Doesn’t look like you broke a sweat.”

Jokingly pointing to the gut of his superior officer, Harry answered “I ran it faster than you ever will.”

“You got that right!” Officer Eades leaned back in his chair laughing. “So what do you got for me?”

“Nothing big.” Harry handed an envelope across the desk. “Just some petty shit going down night.” 

Looking through the contents he then heard Harry say. “You know I could understand teenagers doing shit like this, but grown adults?”

“Oh I hear you.” Officer Eades reflected. “When I was thirteen I once got caught graffiting.”

“Really?” Harry was surprised. “An upstanding Aborigional citizen like you?”

“Yeah, I didn’t know it was the Police museum.”

“Bullshit!” 

Eades raised his hand as if taking an oath. “Swear to your god hahaha.”

“Holy shit man!” Harry laughed, slapping his knee. “Let me guess you wrote fuck da police?”

“No, man,” Eades answered, pointing to a piece of aborgional art on his desk. “I was trying to make a dreamtime picture, but to the police it was all the same.” Both men were now laughing out loud, drawing the attention of everyone else at the station. 

The expression on Eades’s face then changed as he looked at a note Harry included. It was a list of people at the meeting, mostly first names. He grew quiet for a moment as Harry continued laughing, then Eades smacked the paper on his desk exclaiming “Ah shit!”

“What?”

Eades’s index finger pointed to one name on the paper, Eades asked “This bloke, Fred, you didn’t catch his last name?”

“No sir.” Harry said,

“How old do you think he was?”

“Bout the same as us I suppose, why?”

Brushing the paper away and looking away Officer Eades concluded, “Ahh, never mind, good work officer, that’ll be all.”

This was an important mission, one where he and his friends were going to take back their country. They would be regarded as heroes, saviors of their civilization. This is what Fred thought to himself as spray painted “Go Home” over the sign at the Middle Eastern Restaurant. He and Dennis had been assigned Elizabeth street, where, well past midnight, they would wreak havoc in the name of spreading their message. That afternoon Fred’s group had been put into pairs by Alexander and each assigned an area of the city to hit, and a message would be sent to who the country belonged to.

Officer Eades rode in his cruiser toward downtown, fearing the worst regarding the activities that were to go down tonight. “Officer Eades,” he heard over his radio. 

“I’m on my way to my position.” Eades answered.

“We’ve been getting a few calls about some weird lights down by Saint Kilda beach.”

“Can’t someone else cover that?” The officer said. 

“You’re the closest available, it’s probably nothing just go check it out.”

“Look at this shite!” Fred heard Dennis yell. “Bunch of shapes and colors in a big mess. They call this garbage art.” Dennis was standing at the window of an Aborigional art gallery looking in at the paintings. Fred had to stop himself, as in the past he would have immediately  explained the picture. In his youth his best friend was Anatjari, whose dad would take them camping in the Outback. His friend and his dad were artists and he learned some of the symbolism of Gundungurra people. These memories were quickly shattered by the sound of breaking glass as Dennis threw a trash can through the gallery window.

“It’s not an airplane.” A late night beach goer told the officer as he pointed to the green lights in the sky. Officer Eades walked slowly on the beach watching the object. In the moonlight he could barely make out what looked like a metallic object, but it had four green lights shining from it. It hovered still in the sky as the ocean waves slowly crashed near their feet. 

“Why do you think it’s not an aircraft?”

“Officer, I’m telling you, I saw this thing zipping around the sky,” the man explained, frantically moving his finger throughout the air. “No aircraft can do what thing was doing.” 

“Doesn’t look like it’s doing much now.”

Looking at the shattered glass Fred cracked up laughing “We’re gonna wake up the whole neighborhood!”

“Good!” Dennis boasted recklessly as he hopped through the window and knocked the indigineous paintings down. Fred followed behind and snickered at the destruction. A western style painting was spared from the wrath of Dennis, something else made childhood memories return to Fred’s mind. It was a scenic image of the Blue Mountains from New South Wales. The image again reminded him of his excursions to the outback. The rocky formations formed cylindrical like shapes that erected out from the greenery of the trees. The sun shining through the sky giving the mountains a tint of blue. Then the blue began to flash in intensity, and then became mixed with flashes of red. Fred could sense danger was near.

Back at the beach Officer continued to observe the unknown object in the sky. It remained still, but then, as impossible as it seemed, it expanded in size. Could it have possibly been moving this fast. The civilian fell back in the sand as he feared the object was coming straight towards him. Officer Eades reached for his radio, but then, before he could say anything, the object disappeared from sight. 

“Jesus Christ Fred how did you get over there that fast!” Fred now saw his partner from a distance as his chest heaved heavily. He didn’t remember bolting across Elizabeth street, and looking down the empty street he felt as confused as Dennis

The street was not empty for long as a patrol car raced towards Dennis with lights blaring, then another from the opposite direction. “Fuck man!” Dennis yelled. Fred immediately ran away as he heard from behind “Get down on your knees!”

Another set of flashing lights approached as he ran through a parking lot. He turned back to see he was being pursued as he made a right on Therry street. “Stop right there!” Fred heard over a bullhorn as he turned into a street that ran behind the Victoria market. The red and blue lights reflected off the concrete buildings around him and he could hear the engine of the patrol car drawing closer. 

It wasn’t until officer Eades got in his cruiser that he realized, whatever he saw, it never made a sound. After radioing in what he just witnessed he slowly cruised down Cavell street. The lights at Luna Park were off, but a few kids were still loitering about. “Doing just the usual stuff” he thought to himself, smoking, getting high. His presence caught the eye of some of the kids. Most of them just stood in their tracks, a few slowly crept away. Turning right on Carlisle street he saw a familiar face. It was Derek. He was sure his mother didn’t go easy on him, but there he was, standing in the street. The kid showed no fear either, as he recognized the officer slowly riding by. He simply nodded his head, giving him that cocky grin that Eades seemed to see on all kids these days.

In the alley the police car stopped and two officers got out. “Hold it right there!” One of them shouted. Fred found himself at a dead end in the back of the alley. Then he felt it, it was like his dream, but opposite in a way. He felt the night air brushing against his face when he realized there was nothing below his feet. It felt like he was falling, no, not falling, more like he was, no, not that, it couldn’t be true. Next thing he knew he felt something solid below his feet. He was baffled as to what took place, but way below him he heard the voices.

“Where did he go?”  

“I don’t know, but we got enough of them, let’s go.”

It was only then he realized where he was. Looking down at the dead end where the cops were standing, he couldn’t believe it. Only one thought came to mind.

“How the hell did I get on the roof?”

Next week comes the final new entry of the blogverse. In Los Angeles, the grandson of a Mexican wrestler stumbles into the world of underground fighting. 

In two weeks, the fan favorite Ghost City returns with all new thrills and mysteries.

Jaquar returns in three weeks. Who is the mysterious benefactor and what do they want?

And of course come back in thiry days for issue #2 of the Lights of Mirigan. What are the mysterious lights over Melbourne, and is Fred’s group merely a bunch of hoodlums, or are they up to something more deadly. Find out in 30!

It felt like laying on a stone, this small pillow wasn’t helping her sleep. These blankets weren’t any better, smelly and itchy on her skin. She missed her old King sized bed. After a hard days work she would sink into her mattress, back then she took for granted that feeling, like she was floating on a cloud. Her old carpet was also gone, her feet hit the cold concrete floor as she lined up for count.

She could hear the boots coming down the hallway as the guard counted each person in their cell. “You better straighten fix that bunk or that’s a shot!” The guard shouted, eying Mamoketsi’s unkept bed. She’d slept late again and lined up just in time for the count. 

“Yes Ma’am.” Mamoketsi said as she turned back to fix her bunk. As she straightened her sheets she looked at the picture of her husband. What would he think if he could see her living in a place like this? Needless to say her cell mate’s bed was fine. Watching with a smile as her cellmate fixed her bed she quipped, “Ah Miss Jaguar, haha, my how the mighty have fallen.”

“I’m not supposed to give you an apple.” The inmate behind the foot counter meekly said. 

“Prerposterous. You girls were done starving me out.” 

“Sorry,” the girl said, almost at a whisper. “I gotta do what the boss said.”

“Bitch you’re gonna give her that apple or I’m gonna come over there and shove it up your ass!” Monique towered over Mamoketsi, the girl behind the counter, the counter itself, just about everything.” Her outburst drew the eyes of a few guards and inmates. 

“You know I’ll get in trouble” The girl pleaded.

“Well then give me two!” Monique commanded, slightly lowering her voice. Mamoketsi moved down the line and the girl quickly put two apples on Monique’s tray.

Once the two sat down,  Monique put the second apple on Mamokesti’s tray, who quickly stuffed it in her uniform. “What are you doing, you don’t need to keep it secret?”

“Did you question your boss on the outside?” Mamoketsi asked. “Poor girl was just following orders. No need to get her in trouble.” 

She also knew that poor girl wasn’t one of the girls that “worked” for her and her husband. A lot of the other girls were, and were happy to see at least some shrivel of justice in their former pimp “Jaquar” being locked up with them. They made it really hard on her in the early going. She got jumped more than once, and for a while some of the girls made sure she didn’t eat. Starving her out they called it. Sometimes when she did get good it would have a loogie in it, or sometimes worse.

They did seem to be laying off her recently. Partly because of her new “friend” Monique. The Jaquar herself still had a few connections, and Monique could find something extra in her commissary for helping out Mamoketsi. 

“Don’t tell me the Jaguar’s getting soft in her old age?”

“We can go out in the field to see how soft I am.” Jaguar said, biting into her sandwich.

“Ahh there’s my girl.” Monique raised her fist with a smile. Her boss reluctantly met her with a fist bump. “So we got some new fish last night.” Monique added, nodding her head to the table behind Mamoketsi.

Jaquar briefly looked back to see a young girl, pretty blonde hair, she could tell, even through the baggy prison outfit that she was pretty fit. “Some of these girls are chomping at the bit to get a taste of her.” Monique said, licking her lips.

“She’s not from around here?” Mamoketsi observed.

“Honey you know there’s a big ole world outside of Johannasburg right?”

Still focusing on the new fish she replied, “No, there’s something about that her, something’s not right.”

“I’ll tell you what’s not right, you causing trouble in the line.” One of the guards said as he approached their table.

“Trouble?” Monique said. “The only trouble is my girl is getting starved out again.” 

“Yeah well we found something in your cell too. You’re coming with us.” Two gaurds came immediately behind Monique and picked her up by the arms.

“What, get your hands off me, I didn’t do nothing!” she protested as they drug her away. “What did you find in my cell? You didn’t find shit in my cell! Man this is bullshit?” But it was all in vain. Some of the inmates laughed and mocked Monique as she was drug away by the gaurds.

As they dragged her away, Jaquar noticed Rosina had eyes on her. On the outside she was just a low level pimp outside, and was one of the girls who gave her a lot of shit when she was first locked up. Once Monique was taken away, Rosina gave Mamokesti a smile before picking up her tray and going back to the cell.

The water was always freezing, even showers weren’t pleasurable in prison. Mamoketsi didn’t have time to worry about that as she thought back on her day. What could Monique have been busted for? She was no angel obviously, being in prison and all, but she was one of the only people she knew that didn’t do drugs, so that was out. She could certainly hold her own in a fight and usually didn’t need a shank or any kind of weapon. The guards were on her case about what happened in the food line, but they ignored much worse than a little outburst.

There was no more time to ponder this as the shower curtain slid open. Jaquar turned around to see the new girl, Rosina, and two other girls standing before her. “No one’s got your back now bitch!” Rosina shouted as two of the girls rushed her. 

Knowing she had to keep her back against the wall in this enclosed space, she grabbed her bar of soap and thrust it in one of the girls eyes, then immediately dropped the bar and with both hands grabbed the other girl by the hair, bouncing her head off the tile wall then off the head of the other girl who was now partially blinded. Still with a handful of hair she shoved her attacker out of the stall toward Rosina and the new girl. 

The blinded girl was now on her knees, desperately reaching out to her opponent. Jaquar raised her leg and smashed her knee into the side of the girl’s head. The force of the blow made her head bounce off the wet wall. 

As the Jaquar placed this strike the new girl took a towel by two hands and managed to quickly wrap it around Jaquar’s leg. With one swift yank Jaquar fell on her side and was drug out of the stall. The new girl managed to hop around and get behind her. Instantly she wrapped her legs around Jaguar’s waist. Mamoketsi tucked her chin in as felt her opponent’s arm coming around her head attempting a rear naked choke. Mamoketsi realized this girl really knew what she was doing as she punched the girl’s calf, trying to keep her feet from locking which would make it extremely difficult for her to escape. She then elbowed the girl’s gut as hard as she could, which allowed her to wiggle her wet body out of the hold. 

It was too late though, as soon as she rose to her feet she felt a sharp pain in her side. Rosario shanked her. Falling to the ground screaming she saw Rosario holding the knife to her face proclaiming “This is my yard bitch!” 

“Wait.” The new girl said. Mamoketsi could see her white arm raised to brace Rosario. “She’s had enough.”

Rosario was stunned as she turned to her new accomplis, “I say when she’s had enough!” She turned back to meet the jaws of the Jaguar. The shower was filled with the sound of bones crunching as jaws clamped down on Rosario’s  nose. Blood splattered into her mouth and mixed with the water below. Rosario’s fist squeezed, then released, dropping the shank to the floor. She pushed Rosario on top of the new girl and managed to get to her feet. 

“Help!” she screamed. She expected a crowd of spectators, but the showers were empty. She held her side as she struggled to get out of the showers. There in the hallway waited a female guard. “Help!” she cried again. “I was jumped.”

The guard looked at her, unsurprised. Spotting her wound she pulled out her nightstick. Mamoketsi looked back to see if her assaulters were behind her, but they weren’t. 

“My daughter was one of the girls you pulled off the street.” She said almost at a whisper before she knocked Mamoketsi in the head.

Her head felt like it was floating on a cloud. That was the first thing she noticed. Next she noticed the sensation of the blanket, so smooth around her body. Only when she turned did the sharp pain in her gut return.

“A lot more comfortable than prison beds eh?”

Mamoketsi realized she was now strapped to a bed, but not in the prison hospital. She knew all too well what that place looked like. This as cleaner, and it wasn’t a hospital. She spotted a few people walking around in suits, seemingly from various nationalities. In front of her was a large TV monitor. She gasped when she saw the image on it. “Who are your people?”

“Lets just say someone that managed to get you out of that hell hole.” said the same voice. “We have a certain, job for you. I take it you know the man on the screen. We want you to help bring him to justice.”

Looking at the image, she knew if she ever saw that man again, she wouldn’t be sending him to prison, she’d send him straight to hell.

I thank your for the success of last week’s debut of this new writing project, and hope you have enjoyed this story as well. Tune in next week for the first issue of Azzorath, a tale of Nazis and UFOs from the land down under!

In two weeks come the last new installment, The Flying Fox. A teenager in Los Angeles, and grandson of a famed Mexican Wrestler stumbles into the world of underground fighting.

Ghost City returns in three weeks. Who is the mysterious girl Jennifer sees in her apartment building, and how are they tied to her new school?

And of course come back in one month for issue two of Jaguar. Who are these mysterious benefactors, and will Jaguar accept their help? Find out in 3

Greetings. This is a new experiment I am trying. Each Wednesday I will add a chapter to a short story, there will be four short stories over all. The stories that people like I will continue, stories that are not as successful will be replaced. Enjoy!

“Are you Russian?” he asked.

“No, why would you think I’m Russian.”  

Looking at her pretty blonde hair in the rear view mirror, the taxi driver smiled and said “You look Russian, haha. Where are you from?” 

“America.”

“Ahhh, America.” he said.

The sun was setting over the city, the yellow ball was dwarfed by the large concrete apartment buildings that went speeding past in a blur of gray and brown color. Conscious of the speed they were travelling Jennifer soon realized the highway was almost empty, which the taxi driver could tell surprised her.  “I know.” he said. “You were expecting a lot of people.”

She remembered how packed and stuffy the Beijing Airport was when she arrived there, and the thick smog that was visible through the windows. The Ordos Ejin Horo airport that she just arrived at appeared so modern and new, and surprisingly, was almost empty. “Yeah I thought China had a billion people?” She said as she looked out into the clear sky.

“Over a billion.” he answered. “Cities like Beijing, Shanghai, very big, too big, haha. But this is a new city. So, I have to ask you something. Do you believe in Ghosts?”

“What?”

“This is a Ghost City.”

“What do you mean?”

“We have a few of them in China. Government built some new cities, but not many people moved into them.” The sun was set now, and the city was a vast stretch of blackness peppered with a few extremely bright balls of light. They rode past large concrete apartment buildings with only a few scattered lights visible from the outside. “I see.” Jennifer said. “It looks like hardly anyone lives here.”

“There used to be even less people, haha. We have amusement parks, concert halls, many wonderful things in Ordos, but not enough people to enjoy them. I hope you can enjoy them while you stay here.”

“I hope so too.”  

The taxi pulled off of the highway, passing a shopping mall the driver explained. “My cousin has a toy store in that shopping mall. Five story mall, but hardly any customers. You should go there sometime.” 

“I will.” she humored him.

“So are there any ghosts in the ghost city?” She playfully asked.

“Why, you want to see ghosts?” 

“Haha well I don’t know.” She said as she looked at the near empty downtown area.

“My mother always said, how do I say, don’t ask for something unless, unless, uh, my father said dont ask for something unless you really want it?”

“He sounded like a smart man.” she observed.

Soon they pulled up to one of the dark apartment buildings. There was a moving truck that obscured the view of the address on the building. The driver rolled down the window, a blast of winter air hit as he asked the truck driver in Chinese if this was the correct building. After affirming that it was the driver said “Here we are. I will go to the office and get the landlord” The driver ran inside. Jennifer got out of the car and looked up at the building towering over her in the darkness. Only a few sparse lights shown from above. She didn’t hear any traffic, pedestrian or otherwise. What she did here, was the sound of a woman crying. By the truck she noticed a middle aged woman standing on the sidewalk. Her hands covered her face desperately trying to hold back tears. Jennifer wanted to say something, but she knew next to no Chinese. 

She felt a hand on her arm before she heard the voice. “Come on, it’s ok come on.””the driver said as he opened the trunk and took out her heavy luggage. As she grabbed a smaller bag herself she saw a young girl in a school uniform walk out of the apartment and console the woman, though he looked like she was upset as well. 

Approaching the entrance, the driver stopped and pointed to a building across the street. Jennifer could see the neon glow piercing the night sky. “See that over there?” he said. “That’s Hollywood English. That’s where you will go tomorrow.”

“Ok thank you.” She couldn’t help but laugh a bit at the gaudy nature of the sign, it looked like the old movie theaters where the actresses names were up in lights.

Moving inside, the driver helped carry her luggage to the elevator and to her new apartment. “We could have taken the stairs.” She observed as he pushed button #2.” 

“It’s ok. If no one uses this elevator,” he jested with an exageratted expression, “It might die! Haha.”

“Oh no I don’t want it to die!” She joked back as the bell rang to the second floor.

Back home she would have hated living in a place like this, because every room would have been packed with people blasting their music, watching TV too loud, yelling, arguing, fighting, doing meth and whatever else. Here it was eerily quiet, Coming off the elevator, the usually grave silent hallway was now filled with the echoes of footsteps and the rolling sound of the luggage wheels. It was dark except for the light from the drivers phone, which he used to find her apartment. “Well this is your place.” The driver said.

“Thank you very much.” She said in relief as she paid him his fare.

“Thank you.” He took the money and added “Nice to meet you.”

‘Nice to meet you too.” The hallway was again black as the driver put his phone in his pocket and walked away.

Opening her apartment door she hit the lights. Her first impression of the place was that it was small, but it looked brand new. For all she knew she may have been the first person living here. It didn’t sound like she had neighbors on either side, but as she brought her stuff in she heard a sound. Back in the hallway a light now glowed from the very end of the dead hallway. A man came out of one of the rooms carrying a box. She watched as he turned around, and before closing the door the he just stared into the room. For a moment she thought maybe he was talking to somebody, but it was again eerily silent. The man stood there in the gloomy hallway, bathed by the light coming from the open door. His posture was slumped, his head facing down solomley. The picture before her looked like an image from theater. The man then reached his arm back into the room, and presumably flipped a switch as the light now extinguished. 

She gasped as the silence was broken from the sound of the door shutting. Footsteps again flooded the hallway as she could see the black silloutte of the man approaching her with his box. He again came into the light  as he drew near her apartment. He appeared a similar age to the woman outside, and himself wore a forelourgn expression. No eye contact was made as he passed, and she felt no inclination to say anything. 

As he passed she looked back down the hallway, at the end of which was a large window. Through what little light shown through she could see another shape looking back. She could tell it was a girl as it appeared to be wearing a dress. It seemed she had a neighbor after all. She smirked to herself for a moment, as he observed the deep shadow like silloute wore a head of long straight hair. Her brother would have got a kick out of this, as it looked like something straight out of those Japanese ghost movies he liked. “Ni Hao.” she said. 

Then the footsteps stopped, she turned around to see the man stopped near the stairwell. He remained silent, but looked at her for a moment, his expression unchanged,  before descending down the steps. 

When she looked back the girl had vanished. Assuming she went back inside, Jennifer closed the door and soon went to bed.

Late into the afternoon the following day she met her Chinese boss. “Hello, welcome to Hollywood English! “He said in the school office. “This is an after school program. Students come here after school to get extra study. You can call me Brad. Like Brad Pitt!” he said, triumphantly raising his fist. 

“Uh sure.”

“So do you speak any Chinese?”

“No sorry?” she said sheepishly.

“It’s ok. If you want to learn some Chinese, I can reccomend a tutor. For now don’t worry,  our student’s English level is very good. Their a; how to say, weak point is writing. Can you help them with that?”

“Well that was my major, so I sure hope so.”

“Ah very good,” Brad said. “Come this way, I will show you to your teacher’s office.”

Jennifer never expected to have an office. Teacher’s didn’t have offices in America, but here she she would go to the different students classrooms instead of them coming to her. Entering the office she saw another head of blonde hair. “This is Kelly.” Brad introduced the two as they exchanged pleasntries before Brad led her to her desk. “This is your desk.” He explained. “We only have a few foreign teachers, and you will all share this office. We are a small school, but we hope to expand our operation this year.” 

“Sounds good.” She said, noticing a stack of books and other items.  “So this is my stuff.”

“Yes, this was Sam’s desk. Sam had to uh, had to leave our school, so this is yours now. You will teach grade nine.” Brad then proceeded to go over the curriculum materials, and before she knew it she was in front of a group of ninth graders.

“You will teach grade nine. They are very good students. You will like them very much.” He proceeded to show her the curriculum they would be using, the students books, other materials, and before she knew it she stood in front of a group of 14 year olds.  

“Oh you are so pretty!”

“Oh so beautiful!” Another girl said.

“You are very handsome!” A boy said.

“Teacher is a girl.” a student she would come to know a Meera scolded. “You say she is beautiful, not handsome.”

“It’s ok.” Jennifer laughed. “Well I am teacher Jennifer, it is nice to meet you. I am from America, and I will be your new English teacher.”

“Where are you from in America?” Another student excitedly asked.

“I’m from Los Angeles California.”

A student named Denny asked “Do you like the LA Lakers.”

“Yes I do actually! I went to their games many times.”

“Oh wow you must be rich!” Denny said in awe.

“Haha no I am not rich.”

“I like the Golden State Warriors.” Denny proudly proclaimed. “Do you like them?”

“I sure do!” Jenny gave a thumbs up, humoring him. Now let me take the roll. The students had English names which she read aloud. Farrah was the first name she called that wasn’t present.

“She die!” Jerry joked.

“She died, oh no!” Jenny playfully over reacted.” to which the students laughed. Later she came to Deborah.

“She die!” Jerry said, laughing again.

“Don’t say that!” Meera scolded. “Teacher, Deborah won’t be here today. Also Linda student won’t be hear anymore.” Jerry wore a devilish smile but didn’t say anything.

“How helpful, thank you Jenny. She finished taking toll when she noticed a hand was up.

“Yes?” She aksed.

“Do you have any brothers or sisters?” another student inquired.

Jenny grew quiet for a moment, but she figured this would come up eventually. “Um, well, I had a brother.

“Did he die!” Jerry asked with eager anticpiation.

“Yes he did actually.”

“Jerry!” Meera scolded.

“Oh, I’m sorry teacher.” Jerry said in genuine regret.

“It’s ok, Jerry. Let’s just move on. Who wants to learn English!”

Jennifer always heard how good Asian kids were. It appeared to be true, at least here anyway. Her first day on the job was fairly pleasant, but she was still tired. Kelly invited her out for some drinks but she declined. She just wanted to sleep.

She was used to being wary of dark places. Back in her apartment building she found herself hurrying up the stairwell to get to her place. The sound of her footsteps thundered through the stairwell. Rushing to her apartment door she found herself laughing at her predicament. Reaching for her key she looked down the hallway. The sun had long set as it was near midnight. Near the window at the end of the cooridor, through a sliver of moonlight she could again see the form of a girl peering back at her. 

“Hello.” Jennifer said, opening her door. “I guess we’re neighbors huh?”

The black form remained noiseless, it’s shadowy long hair flowed to the sides. Jennifer looked away and removed her key from the door. When she looked back, the shape was gone.

“How rude.” She thought to herself. It was then she felt a deathly chill behind her. She turned to see the visage of a young girl. It’s unearthly black eyes contrasted to the pale whiteness of its skin. The moved toward her and Jennifer let out a loud shriek that could be heard through the entire complex. 

She rushed inside and slammed the door behind her. Sitting down at the inside of the door, she took a moment to catch her breath. “This is ridiculous.” She thought to herself. “What did that kid think she was doing?” Her legs trembled as she forced herself to rise back up to her feet. Sweat formed at her brow as she slowly drew closer to the key hole. Placing her eye against the door, she at first could only see darkness outside. The blackness grew even deeper as it was surrounded by a circle of white, dead white flesh. It was the eye of the girl looking back at her, as if it could see Jennifer as clear as day. 

Jennifer screamed again as she jumped back and fell to the foor. She watched the door rattle and shake as she could hear the child attempting to turn the knob. 

“What do you want!” She pleaded.

The shaking stopped, and the last thing she heard was a pair of footsteps running back down the hallway.

Tune in next week for hard hidding action in Jaguar. A South African woman faces hard times in prison for crimes against her nation. But one day she gets help from a mysterious source. Who are they and what do they want?

In two weeks comes Azzaroth, a tale of Nazis and UFO’s from the land down under!

Landing three weeks from now is the Flying Fox. The grandson of a Fabled Mexican Wrestler, a Los Angeles teenager stumbles into the world of underground fighting.

Come back in 30 days for Ghost City part two! Who is the strange girl Jennifer has seen, and what is her connection to her new school and the other foreigners she meets?