Archive for the ‘Blogverse’ Category

Fred didn’t know where he was anymore. He didn’t understand what Alexander wanted from him, and why he was dealing with the people he was dealing with.

“No I don’t have my pilots licence anymore.” Fred answered.

“Well that’s a bugger?” Alexander said, disappointed.

“You want to tell me what’s going on?”

“What do you mean mate?”

“What’s the deal with those guys.?” Fred was refering to the two middle eastern guys they’d just.

“Oh I go way back with Sadik and Omar. They taught me everything I know.”

“Um, ok.”

“Sorry, I forgot you weren’t here when they came in last year for the holidays. They came in and we had a get together at the shop. I guess you weren’t around yet then.”

Fred was in shock, he struggled to find something to say as he watched Alex getting into the car.”Look man.” Alexander said. “You gotta lighten up a bit. Look at the bigger picture.” Turning on the engine, he said “I’ll text you some directions. No worries, I’ll put you on secondary ops. It’s gonna be a blast!” He then laughed maniacally as he drove away.

Fred was left alone, and took a walk downtown to collect his thoughts. After not long, he once again saw a police car pull up close to him, again, it was his old childhood friend Richard.

“Hey Fred.” his old friend said walking toward him.

“Did I do anything officer?” 

“I don’t know Fred did you?” Fred kept walking by.

“Oh come on man,” Richard said in frustration. “Why can’t you just talk to me!”

“Nothing to say.” Fred didn’t miss a step.

“What,” The officer pointed to his dark skin “cause I got Aboriginal skin you can’t talk to me. Come on man you know that’s bullshit!” 

Fred said nothing but did stop walking.

“Listen, I always tried to look after you. I know some kind of shit is going down, and you know it to. You know it, and you know it’s not right. Now help me out so nobody gets hurt!”

“You think you can stop people from getting hurt.” Fred almost laughed, then he walked away.

A few days later Fred sat alone in his apartment. Only him and a six ack of beer. He was drinking a lot the last few days, he sat on his couch watching TV, coming in and out of consciousness. He felt the phone vibrating, shaking him out of unconsciousness. He looked at the phone in his hand, it was a message from Alexander, directions to go downtown tonight. The message was about to be forwarded. Did he hit forward in his sleep? He recognized the number, it was Richard’s. He still had it from when his mother first got put in the hospital. He stared at it for a moment, and he thought about Alexander and his crew, they didn’t believe the shit they were preaching, none of them did. He was had, bamboozled. “Fuck it.” he thought, as his thump angrily pressed the ‘send’ button. Dam if he didn’t just become a snitch. 

He became something more once he pushed the button on his phone. He was bathed in a blue light, and soon his vision was that of the stars. He felt his body shake as he was falling through zero gravity, the galaxies and star clusters were but playthings in his hands. He looked down at his body to see it was made of the comets and planets, as well as the nothingness of space.

Now he could see himself up in the cosmos, his body outlined by stars like a constellation, the constellation made a walking motion, like those cheap cartoons he watched when he was a kid. His star body looked up, and an immense light came out of his head.

He awakened to find himself on the roof of a building. It was the same building he’d found himself on that night, that night when he escaped the police. He was laying on his back facing the still daylit sky. A small aeroplane, like the kind his father used to fly, went straight across his field of vision. Fred leapt to his feet as he saw the plane go by, he could simultaneously see inside the plane. He could see inside the plane, where the small glider sat, and he could see the explosives inside, this was the package that Alexander paid for. He saw the pilot flying the plane, one of the members of Alexander’s group. Fred could then see behind the pilot’s eyes, he would bail out before crashing the plane into downtown. There was her mother, downtown, the hospital staff were taking some of the patients out for the day. He had to get to her. his feet moved, he ran toward the edge of the roof, he tried to warn them. Fred didn’t even look as he ran straight to the edge of the roof, he fell fast, the wind rushed at his face as the building below him got smaller, and the plane ahead of him got bigger. 

He was flying! Was he dreaming? He looked down at the city rushing past him below. When a few bugs flew into his mouth and his skin got cold in the high alititute he knew he wasn’t dreaming, and he knew what he had to do. 

Like the heroes in the comic book he read as a child he aimed his fist toward the plane and his body increased its velocity. Too bad he was in plain clothes, he thought to himself. When he imagined flying as a kid he pictured himself in a cool outfit. That wasn’t important now, as the plane got closer to downtown. His hands pressed against the steel. Fred hoped super strength was included in his new set of strange abilities. Sure enough the plane pushed upwards, up safe away from his target. Fred let out a yell as he pushed the plane into the atmosphere. Suddenly his powers gave out on him, he began descending in altitude, pulled by gravity, then pushed by the explosion of the plane overhead. He managed to turn his body around, he was falling away from the city into the ocean. As the water approached the water, he thought about what he had done in his life. Perhaps this supernatural act was the only good thing he ever did. In his gut he always knew he’d let down his mother, and if his father was still around, he might not be so proud either. It didn’t matter now, he hit the blue water and darkness descended.

He saw a black face looking at him. “Nice swimsuit man.” The kid said as he watched Fred wash up on the beach. Fred struggled to his feet and coughed up a bit of water. 

“What’s the matter, your broke ass can’t afford the laundry mat!” An aborigional woman, presumably the child’s mother, joked with him.

Fred could only shake his head and laugh as the woman ordered. “Child get him our towel this man needs to dry off.”

“Thanks.”

“You can keep it.” She then turned to her son. “Come on we gotta go see Officer Richard for dinner today.” The mom walked away with her son while Fred dried himself off.

Deep in another solar system, on a lonely space cruiser, a humanoid hand presses a button on a glass screen. It activates a transmission. The being’s two eyes don’t believe what they saw. A human displaying the power, a human pushing up a plane into the air, saving the city. The creature remembered flying planes like that when he stayed on that planet. He missed that world very much. Now he had to go back, he had to go back to help his son. 

This is the end of the Light’s of Mirgan. Tune in next week for the Flying Fox!

“This was just too much to believe.” Jennifer thought to herself as she rode through what was nicknamed a ghost city, the taxi easily crossed downtown in the dark since there were hardly any other cars on the highway. “A Nu Gui? A ghost that was abused?” Every time Jennifer saw that girl she wore a red dress, like the ghost her teacher described, and she looked just like the girl in the photographs she found in the empty apartment.

The phone she found in that empty apartment was charging in her own room sincesince she’d left. Picking it up she turned it back on, the light on the screen glowed indicating the device had been resurrected from its former dead battery. She opened the photo album and saw more pictures of Linda with her former classmates, Jennfier’s current students. There was one photo with Deborah that had pink English words written over it. It warmed the teacher’s heart to see the words  ”Best Friends” written over the photo. 

Jennifer checked the text messages but of course they were all in Chinese. She had an app in her own phone that translated Chinese text. It was a rough translation, but she could read a series of exchanges, something about keepng a secret, and her asking for money. Then she saw two English words in the original text that made her skin crawl. The app translated the whole sentence, which she read.

“You are not Brad Pitt. You are bad man. I will tell. I will tell everyone.”

Jennifer dropped both phones and screamed as the Nu Gui stood before her. It remained still as Jennifer stepped back “What do you want.” 

The spectre now moved toward her. It floated, it didn’t walk, it didn’t run, it floated toward her with inhuman power, it’s ghostly white hand extended towards her in accusation, and from it’s black lips came a terrible hissing sound. 

Jennifer madly opened the door to her balcony and slammed it behind her. As the wraith approached she knew the glass would not stop her. Looking down from her second story apartment, she knew it wasn’t that far of a drop. If she landed just right on the park bench she would be fine. Once again she put her old gymnastic skills to use. Once she landed she dared not turn around, but ran as hard as she could to the gate. 

Only after she exited the complex did she stop and take a breath. Looking across the street, she could see the lights to Hollywood English were on. She wondered aloud who would be in there now on a Sunday evening, but in her gut she knew.

She slowly went up the steps and entered the private school. It seemed empty, all the classrooms were dark, but there was a glow of light coming from somewhere, it was near the teacher’s office. Then she heard the sound of laughter, it was a girl’s laugh, a laugh she heard before. The light on the administrator’s office was on. She crept toward the door and she could hear some conversation, her Chinese wasn’t good enough yet to really make out what they were saying. 

Her student Linda screamed as she saw her teacher peering through the door. Linda jumped up and buttoned her shirt as there sitting at the desk he sat, Mr. playboy himself who liked to call himself Brad Pitt. Jennifers boss looked in horror as his teacher had already snapped a few photos on her phone, and gave her a look of disgust before running out the door.

“Wait wait!” Jennifer heard behind her in English, let’s talk about this. Jennifer kept running. It mad sense to her now. Her former colleague probably figured out what the boss was doing and fired him. The locals probably didn’t care to listen to him on account of being a foreigner, and gay on top of that. He probably didn’t speak the language well enough either. She found herself running back to her room. She ‘d forgotten all about the supernatural encounter she’d just had and ran toward the gate of her property. Her boss yelled something behind her she couldn’t understand, but the gaurd at the gate desperately stood near the entrance to try to stop her, he didn’t have a chance.

Running into the building she ran up the stairwell with her boss closely behind. “You son of a bitch!”She turned around to shout at him, and when she turned around, her emotions turned from fear to awe. There on the stairwell, between herself and her boss, the Nu Gui stood with a look of vengeance.

It is too unbelievable to describe what she saw next, and too horrible for her to recount, but the surveilence footage showed her boss running up the steps, and apparently dieing of a heart a attack. For a brief moment there was a glitch in the footage, where his body appeared to float in the air. “You should invest in some good Samsung cameras!” The policemen told the landlord. A heart attack also didn’t explain the sheer look of terror on the man’s face, nor the tiny scratch marks he had on his neck. Jennifer didn’t care for explanations. She had enough excitement for one day. She made her statement the police that her boss chased her up the steps then collapsed. It was a good enough explanation, and finally Jennifer went home and went to sleep.

Soon Jennifer heard that familiar sound of a basketball bouncing on the court, a sound she hadn’t heard in a while. Passing through a thick fog, she could see her brother shooting hoops by himself on a basketball court.

“Hey sis” he said as he rebounded the ball.

“Oh my god.”

“How you doing? I’m real proud of you, you made it across the world!”

Jennifer then saw that familiar girl in her red dress standing on the side of the court. Jennifer didn’t feel frightened now. The girl gave a weak smile and a timid wave.

“Was talking to her.” Her brother said. “She says she’s sorry her English isn’t that good. She wants to thank you for what you did though.”

“Ok,” she waved to her. The spirit then turned around and slowly walked away, disappearing into a fog. 

“Anyway sis, I wanted to tell you I’m sorry. Tell mom I’m sorry too.”

“Sorry.” His sister was confused. 

“Man you know I was going down the wrong road. How many times did you try to warn me? Honestly I was lucky for a while, but one day my luck ran out.” 

She didn’t know what to say, but her brother continued. “I love ya sis.” 

“I love you too.” She hugged him tight and closed her eyes, wishing this moment would never end

And then she no longer felt his embrace. She opened her eyes to see him take a three point shot. The ball sailed through the misty air and sank perfectly through the hoops making that classic swishing sound through the metal chains. 

“Oh yeah all day!” He gloated as he ran toward the hoop to retrieve his ball. He looked back at his sister and smiled, his hand giving the peace sign as the fog rolled in around him, soon enveloping him from her sight. She woke up in her bed and smiled, now she was fine.

I’m gonna end Ghost City here. Thanks to everyone who supported this story. Hope you enjoyed it. Tune in next week for the Lights of Mirigan, followed by the Flying Fox.

Diego felt like a million bucks walking into school. He high fived his friends as he walked past the big sign for the Valentines dance. Then he saw her, there at her locker getting her books. Mia always looked good, but in his eyes she was extra radiant today, especially when she smiled at him.

“Bad news Diego.” Mia was not smiling now.

“What I’m too handsome?”

“You wish!” She playfully pushed him. “ I’m sorry my family is insisting I stay across town this weekend.”

“Why what’s up?”

“My Uncle’s store got trashed last night. Gangs acting up again.”

“What?”

“Yeah my parents are really freaking out. They’re worried being targeted. I’m sorry.”

Diego put on his bravado as he said “No don’t worry about it.” As long as you are safe?”

“Ok, thanks for understanding.” She then gave him a kiss on the cheek. “Gotta get to class.”

After school that day Diego ate with his mom and Grandpa. His mom had to eat in a hurry as she had to go into work. She kissed her son on the cheek before she left. Diego then helped his grandpa get into bed. He often took a short nap after dinner, Once he fell asleep, he stood watch over him. He wondered about all the adventures his grandfather must have had, what stories there were that he would never hear. He quietly slid his dresser drawer open. There, just where he left it after last time, was the Flying Fox lucha mask. As Diego walked out of the room, he heard his grandfather’s voice speaking in Spanish. He figured he was talking in his sleep again, until he heard what he said. 

“Don’t start what you can’t finish.”

Diego felt like Batman looking out over the rooftops of Chinatown. Down the street was the shop that Mia’s family owned. He was sure at school everyone was wondering why he wasn’t at the dance, but someone was messing with his Mia, or at least with her family, and he couldn’t have that.

He put an app on his phone that picked up police signals. Was unusually quiet tonight, but soon enough, he saw it. Two guys running out of the store with masks over their heads. He could tell they were amateur punks as they were laughing and hollering as the ran down the street. Luckily they were running right toward them. He thought later he wished he’d had a camera on him as he did an acrobatic leap off a nearby store and landed on one of the hoodlums. The criminal accomplise froze as the Flying Fox rebounded off the ground, and with a minauture wooden bat he carried, struck the other criminal in the head. A few people across the street laughed and cheered while they got their phones out. Diego pulled out a few zip ties and tied the crooks to a nearby street sign, then took the stolen bag of money and gave it back to the store. “Courtesy of your amigo, the Flying Fox!’ He told the cashier with a wink before running off into the night.

Kennedy hugged his cousin Morea as they met at their favorite Indian restaurant. They made small talk over curry before Kennedy got to the point. “You know your my family right?”

“Yeah man.”

“But you’re not my only family. I got a big family, all over this city, and I gotta watch out for all of them.”

“Yeah I know man.” Morea nervously answered. 

“Loyalty!” Kennedy pointed his finger, “that’s what’s important.”

Morea nodded.

“You’ve been dealing outside the system.”

“Oh come on man.”

“Are you really gonna try to deny it. I could have stopped you right away, but I wanted to see if you’d go through with it.” Now Morea was silent. “I could whack you right here, and I should, but #1, you’re my family, and #2, it was you that came up with the idea to settle the peace between the gangs. This fighting thing that is such a big part of our business now. So we’re gonna put your solution to good use. You are gonna fight, fight for your honor, maybe even your life.”

Hope everyone is doing well. It sure has been hot the last few days. I’ll be taking a break next week, luckily this month has been merciful by having an extra Wednesday haha. Tune in next month for the conclusion of the Flying Fox and other blogverse tales.

To the Doctors it was a small miracle. Fred’s wounds, though never incredibly serious, healed almost overnight. The police couldn’t hold him for anything, though there was no explanation as to how his attacker electrocuted himself, so Fred was free to go. After his strange dreams he decided to visit his mother.

Mental hospitals are never like you see in the movies. As Fred walked down the main cooridoor, the patients were calm and smiling. A few of them were helping clean, mopping the floor and talking the garbage out.

Well today there was one exception, a handfull of orderlies rushed into one room as a man was screaming. When Fred walked by the room he saw what looked like a Chinese man being restrained in his bed. He couldn’t help but laugh as the man was yelling incoherently. As he passed he could still hear him, and was able to make out one phrase in English, “Ghost City!” the patient screamed. “Ghost City!”

Fred found his mother lying in her bed. He was surprised she wasnt up and about, he remembered her always being active. She still did her painting, a few pictures of her creation were taped on the wall. There were pictures of constelations and things in outerspace. He never knew her to be a science fiction fan, but there were even pictures of strange alien landscapes.  One more familiar picture was of the Blue Mountains he rememebered exploring as a kid.

“Freddy you came to see me!” Her face lit up as she turned to see him. He hadn’t realized how long it had been since he’d been here. Immeditately she noticed a scratch on her face that for some reason hadn’t healed. “Oh what happened to you! You weren’t fighting again were you?”

“I’m fine mom. Are you keeping well?”

“They treat me good here.” she said. How is Richie?”

“I don’t talk to him anymore mom. He’s a cop now.”

She grew sad as she remembered, “You used to be such good friends. I remember when you two used to go to the Blue Mountains. Your dad loved that place too.”

“That was a long time ago mom.” He didn’t want to talk about this.

“That one time Rich’s grandma told me they found you in that cave in the mountains, just staring off into God knows what haha. You were always out in outer space.” A tear floated down her cheek as she finished the memory. “Just like your father.”

“You don’t talk about dad much anymore.”

Perhaps not clearly hearing what he said she answered “Oh I talk to him all the time. It’s like that Celine Dion song, ‘Every night in my dreams.'” she cackled. I know you’re a big fan of Celine.

Not in the mood for banter he said “You never did talk about him much after he was gone. You never even told me how you met!”

Her eyes looked with wonder as she remembered something she couldn’t bring herself to share. “Oh if I told you that you’d never believe me. You’d put me in the looney bin!”

“You are in the looney bin mom.”

“Looking at her pictures of far away galaxies she answered. “Yes,…I guess I am. I woudn’t trade it for anything. Your father, he was, he was out of this world.” Her face went blank, he called to her a few times, but nobody was home. This was why he hardly visited anymore.   She would be ok to talk to for a while, but then she would just drift off into space.

It was just as well, Alexander called him as soon as he got to his car. “You alright mate?” The leader of the movement asked.

“Yeah I’m good. What’s up.”

“Big meeting tonight. I’ll text you the location.”

Officer Eades had never been to the Holden reserve. Seemed like a nice place to have a picnic with your family. Not today though, Harry, his fellow officer and informant, was face down in a lake.

“What do you think happened sir?” Another officer asked.

Richard didn’t have an answer, but back at the station, there was a file Harry helped him fill with information about Russian activity in Melbourne. Something big was going down, and he would be dammed if he didn’t find out what it is.

The sun was setting as Fred saw Alexander in front of an old Warehouse. He greeted him with a big smile. “Wow mate, glad you made it out in one piece. What happened?”

“I don’t really remember honestly.” That wasn’t too much of a lie.

“I’m so sorry mate, I told those guys I would take care of it. I knew you weren’t the snitch. Don’t worry about that by the way, I got our leak plugged.”

“So what are we doing out here?”

Alexander didn’t have to answer. Just then  two headlights shined on them as the van approached. The engine shut off, and Fred’s fist clenched as two dark skinned men got out. What was this, some kind of ambush?

Fred almost charged them right there, but Alexander held his hand up to Fred’s chest as he spoke, something. It wasn’t in English, Fred didn’t understand. He never knew Alexander to speak anything but the native tongue. The stranger answered back, and the two embraced like long lost friends.

Finally speaking English Alexander said “Good to see you guys again. This is Fred, one of my newest, and more honest recruits.”

Fred felt repulsed as the two men went to shake his hand and greeted him like he was an old friend.

“The Czar sends his best.” The other man said. “He will soon be here to oversea things.”

“Sounds great.” Alexander said as he exchanged what was a stack of money for a small but heavy box. “Looks like phase two is a go.” Then looking at Fred he asked “So Fred, you still know how to fly?”

Fred was still puzzled about the whole situation. What was going on?

Tune in next week for the Flying Fox #4. The week after that I’ll be taking a break. Gotta rest my brain after spinning all these yarns. Be sure to come back in August for our most popular tale, Ghost City, and more from the blogverse.

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.