Hellsing and the Choir - Part II

As I sipped at my whiskey I glared suspiciously at the angel. I never was a fan of the whole Christian mythos thing, much preferred the vagueness and uncaring approach of apatheism. Of course, I knew it was all true, most of the major faiths are, but that doesn't mean I had to abject myself to some supreme being who couldn't even oust his competitors. "Right, what's the case, and what's the pay?"

That perfect smile wavered for a moment at the mention of the word 'pay'. "Surely you would not charge the Lord for your services?"

I thought for a moment, it could be dangerous to anger certain divine beings, but the rent still needed to be paid. "It's one fifty a day, plus expenses, minimum. More if you're going to expect me to shift to other planes. Cash. Up front. From anyone else, I'd take a cheque. I'm not interested in divine grace or forgiveness or any of that."

The smile faded, the angel's voice growing less perfect and heavenly. "You take gold?"

I nodded, taking another swig of whiskey. Angels always give me a headache, same as demons. I much prefer working with beings which are at least mostly human. The angel promised that the gold would be delivered by the morning, then started to talk about the case.

About half-way through his talking I decided I needed a new bottle of whiskey, preferably to smash over the smug little creature's head. Since that would most likely only annoy him, I settled for drinking most of it as he talked.

Hellsing and the Choir - Part I

I've decided to experiment with something new, so I'm working on a somewhat longer story than usual which will be delivered in parts. Mostly its pulp detective, but I always have a tendency to include supernatural or surrealism whether I want to or not so I decided I'd just go all out on this one.

Michael Gabby Hellsing, for obvious reasons usually I go by my profession, Detective Hacker. Tonight though I wasn't meant to be working. Tonight was my night off. The office was locked up, and I'd spent the last four hours in the bar. This made the light shining out from my office window on the third floor somewhat concerning as I walked past. I had my head tilted back at the time, checking if the clouds were clearing and the rain might stop, otherwise I might not have noticed. This could be a problem. My partner wouldn't be in the office after hours, which only left a few options. It could be a very enthusiastic client, the police, or the mob. Either way with the state my head was in right then, none of the three would be good.

I muttered a few choice curses about the rain, pulled my hat lower over my eyes for what little protection it was offered, took out my cigarette case and tapped it on my hand a few times while I waited for thoughts to adventure across the drunken haze that filled my head. I was paid up with the pigs, so they should've at least done me the decency of a phone call or something first. Sure I hadn't been in the office for four hours but they all knew my favourite haunt, and Detective Gregori had a list of all the places I could be found on any day. The list wasn't very long, consisting of the bar which went by the label of Sanctuary, my office, or my bed. That ruled out the legal option. I hadn't done anything to annoy the mob recently, not taken out any of their boys or anything, in fact all I'd done recently was sit for the last two months glaring at the phone, commanding it to ring. I had almost considered going back to my old agency and asking for a job, but that was never gonna happen.

That left a client, a very enthusiastic client. Somehow that didn't seem particularly likely. I grunted and lit a cigarette, crossing the street and leaning back against a wall so I could watch the office from the shadows. I don't know how long it took, I usually don't wear a watch and the clouds were hiding any daylight, but after I'd nearly finished what was left of my cigarettes I got bored and started walking towards the office again. As I walked I reached under my coat, lovely thing it was, long ankle-length leather lined with supple, light chain-mail, and pulled free Bertha. I didn't usually wear Bertha but whenever business gets quiet I get paranoid, so Betsy, my usual gun, was locked up in the office safe and Bertha was keeping me company.

I held the heavy revolver left handed as I tried the building door. Unlocked. Great. Maybe it was just some crook ransacking my offices along with everyone else's. Somehow I didn't think it was likely. I stepped inside, hit the call button for the elevator as I headed to the stairs and started to climb them. By the time I reached the third floor I was out of breath and ready to just let whoever it was have whatever they wanted. I checked Bertha was loaded, all eight chambers filled with a nasty suprise for whoever was in my office, and slipped quietly along the corridor. I could see the light glowing through the glass in my door, and the door slightly ajar. Inside I could hear the noise of someone moving around, a smashing sound as they knocked something over and a very gentlemanly 'Bother this'.

I stepped to the door and pushed it slowly open, my lovely lady Bertha ready for almost anything.

Apparently though, not for absolutely anything. I blasphemed quietly to myself as the tall, white-winged, haloed figure turned around and smiled a beatific smile upon me. "Mr Hellsing, I do believe we may have a case for you."

I lowered my gun, walked over to my desk and grabbed the whiskey sitting there. It was going to be a long night.

Work in Progress

There are a couple of projects I'm currently working on, but at the moment things are just a little hectic. The stories will be up to make up lost time shortly after Christmas when I have some breathing space.

Red Riding Hood

An old story, of a sort. This is a re-interpretation of mine of one of the supposed original tales of Red Riding Hood.

Red Riding Hood was a young woman in a small village of woodsmen. She was a mischevious, disobedient girl who was constantly being told that her ways would get her into trouble. Her grandmother was an old lady, and thus lived in a small cottage deep in the woods. Some folk of the village even muttered that her grandmother was a witch.

It happened that Red Riding Hood's grandmother fell ill and was bedridden. No one knew of this until a small sparrow came to Red Riding Hood and told her. Red Riding Hood of course knew better than any small bird, and brushed away the sparrow. She was busy being the centre of attention of a group of young village men.

And so the bird flew off, and flew to Red Riding Hood's mother and told her. Furious with her daughter Red Riding Hood's mother packed a basket of food and set out in search of her daughter. She found her under a bridge, kissing one of the villaage boys, with her hooded cape on the ground beneath them.

She drew out the slim willow branch (in those days all mothers of disobedient children would carry one) and struck her daughter across her legs. "Filthy disobedient pig!" she said to her daughter. "Your grandmother lies ill, go to her at once before I beat you black and blue."

Sniffing, Red Riding Hood put on her cape and took up the basket before walking into the forest towards her grandmother's house.

In the forest also lived an evil beast, the wolf, who loved nothing more than destruction and corruption. He had been watching Red Riding Hood for some time, and now saw his chance. As she entered the forest he stood before her, smiling at her.

"Well hello there. And where is a beautiful girl like you off to today?" he asked.

Red Riding Hood blushed as bright as her cape and said to the wolf (completely forgetting all the warnings she had been given about not talking to the wolf) "I am going to take this food to my grandmother. See, some bread and cheese, all we can spare."

Hearing this the wolf laughed inside, for he knew the way to the grandmother's house well. "Look at those flowers" he said "I'm sure your grandmother would love a bunch of those."

"Alright," said Red Riding Hood, rather grumpily as she didn't want to waste time, "I'll pick her some."

The wolf licked his lips as he watched her young form bend to pick the flowers. Then, quick as a flash, he ran off through the woods to the grandmother's house.

The sparrow had been watching this and followed the wolf, sure he must be up to evil. It was right in thinking so, for when the wolf got to the grandmother's house he called out in Red Riding Hood's voice "Oh grandmother, I have brought a basket of food for you. Please let me in."

The grandmother called back in her old, croaky voice "Come in my dear grandaughter. Warm yourself by the fire. The door is unbarred."

Quick as lightning the wolf burst through the door and killed the old woman. Then he cut out her thigh and carved it, leaving the cuts of meat on the side like ham. An empty bottle was lying on the side, and he filled it with her blood, then ate the rest of her himself before throwing her bones onto the fire. He took her clothes, blew out the candle by the side of the bed, dressed himself in her clothes and climbed into the bed. No sooner had he finished than Red Riding Hood knocked at the door.

"Come in my dear grandaughter" called the wolf in the grandmother's voice, "and warm yourself by the fire."

In came Red Riding Hood in her red cape, a bunch of flowers in one hand and the basket of food in the other, her clothes muddy and dirty from picking the flowers. The wolf stared at her as she came in, but with only the dim light from the fireplace Red Riding Hood could only just make out her grandmother's clothes and not see the wolf inside them.

"I've brought you some food grandmother." said Red Riding Hood.

"Thank you dear, but I've just eaten. There's some ham left there. You must be hungry. Have some." said the wolf in the old woman's voice.

Red Riding Hood was hungry from her walk, so she sat at the table in the cottage and sliced some bread before putting on it a slice of cheese and some of the meat the wolf had offered. As she was about to take her first bite the sparrow, unable to bear any more without saying anything, burst out "Filthy girl, eating the meat of your grandmother, shame on you!"

But Red Riding Hood was very hungry, and considered the sparrow a foolish little bird, and she bit deeply into the bread, cheese and meat, and finished off the platter with the sparrow crying out its warning outside the cottage.

"You must be thirsty my dear," said the wolf, "have some of the wine that's left in that bottle."

Red Riding Hood took the bottle and poured herself a glass of wine. As she lifted it to take the first sip the sparrow cried out again "Depraved child, don't you see what you're doing? Drinking the life-blood of your family!"

And now the meat and wine had made Red Riding Hood sleepy, and she yawned. The wolf grinned an evil grin as it said its next words, and its impression of the grandmother slipped a little as it spoke. "My dear, you sound tired. Why don't you climb into bed with me?"

Red Riding Hood nodded, yawning again, and started to move over to the bed.

"Oh my dear girl, you can't climb into bed in those filthy clothes. Take off that muddy cape of those or you'll make the bed dirty." said the wolf.

Red Riding hood unfastened her cape and let it drop on the floor. "Where shall I put it?" she asked the wolf.

"Throw it on the fire my dear" said the wolf, and she took the cape and threw it onto the fire where it burned away.

"You should take off your shoes dear." said the wolf.

She slipped off her shoes and looked around for somewhere to put them. The wolf's voice was slipping a lot now, almost back to its smooth growl. "Throw them onto the fire dear, you won't need them again."

The shoes followed the cape onto the fire, burning away in the hot, greedy flames.

"Now your dress dear." said the wolf, entirely in its own voice now "Throw that on the fire too, you won't need it again."

Outside the sparrow wept as it watched Red Riding Hood strip off her dress and stand naked and shivering while her red dress burned away on the fire.

"Now you can get into bed, my dear" said the wolf "and warm yourself up next to me, and sleep."

So Red Riding Hood climbed into bed with the wolf, and curled up next to its thick fur, and lay with the wolf.

Nowhere Man

Here we go, today's one is fairly short since I'm now zipping off for a suit fitting. At least its early in the day for once.

It could have been days, weeks, centuries. It would be impossible to tell. Time tended to be rather meaningless in the mists that surrounded and filled Limbo. What he did know was that he had been there a long time, and that he had been betrayed by being left there. Betrayed by someone he had loved and trusted, in a way betrayed by himself. If only he could remember his name.

The mists started to clear ahead of him and his memories began to crawl back. Memories of his conception at His own hands, violent and brutal actions that destroyed the trust between a loving couple. He could no longer remember why He had thought it would be a good idea to bring Himself into the world, but assumed He must have had a good reason.

Memories of a life filled with little but hardship and pain, a futile struggle against the hatred and darkness spanning the Earth, ending with His son's, and His own death at the hands of His enemies.

He started to remember more, ever more, His mind filling, bursting with memories, yet still they flooded into Him until he did remember.

The mists clear around Him now he sank to his knees and looked up at the grey infinite plain of limbo. He reached out with His mind and touched the Earth. He felt the chaos of life there, the manic unthinking hatred, the violence done in His name and His mind recoiled. Then He remembered why.

Jehovah stood, turned, and fled once more into the forgetful mists.

Proactive Karma Enforcer

Just felt like posting a second one up today, so here you go. Hope you enjoy.
No matter what you may hear people say life is actually fair, we're the ones who make sure. Called angels and demons once, we're not quite what you think. We're not too sides constantly at war, in fact we're all the same. Not that we all look identical or anything stupid like that, I just mean we're all employed by the same company.

Yep, we've gone corporate. We are actually all human, just recruited by PKE Inc to help keep the cosmic balance of fairness, possibly one of the greatest conspiracies in existence.

The company has massive resources, and has been running for the last two thousand years. Technically I suppose its the oldest company in existence, but really its kind of odd how the setup went. You've all heard about the son of God and all of that, right? He's our CEO. Has been for the last two thousand years. Whether or not all of the crap that the various religions say about him is true is something he refuses to reveal, just smiles an odd little smile.

I was gonna discuss the type of thing we do, so here goes. The other day I was out on assignment. Used to be we had to try and monitor everyone manually, so thank god for CCTV cameras and modern technology. With satellite stuff we rarely miss a sin or a good deed any more, although occasionally we do, that's when life does seem unfair to people. Sorry about that, we do our best.

And to be fair our best is bloody good, better than any of you could do I'm sure. The other day for example, when I was out on this assignment, it was because of some punk kid who had keyed someone's car. Now keying a car's only a minor thing, so I had to weigh things up, come up with a suitable balancing event, and then arrange it. I figured tripping up would be fair, so had to arrange things just right that he'd fall over at a mildly embarassing time.

One of our biodegradable trip-loops (tm) did it. Just walked ahead of him, dropped the loop, and waited for him to put his foot in it. Splat. There are times I love this job.


Was thinking about this one earlier in the week when I was getting ready to fly, seemed appropriate after nearly missing my flight due to being overlooked while asleep in the departures lounge.

"I'm sorry sir, but we don't have you listed in our records."

"Well look again, look, I've told you my card number, name, everything else. I'm holding the credit card in front of me. I must be listed."

"I'm sorry sir, I'm afraid there's no one with those details in our database."

I hung up. It'd been like this all day, hell, it'd been like this most of my life. I seemed to be complete forgettable to everyone. Except that it'd never happened with machinery before.

My parents even, they no longer knew I existed. They'd forgotten on my fifteenth birthday. It'd taken half an hour for me to convince them I wasn't a stranger in their house, but was actually their son. Gradually it got worse, until eventually it was easier just to avoid them than it was to talk to them. It wasn't like they ever noticed me, and if they did I just needed to step out of sight for a minute for them to forget.

Same at school, eventually I just stopped going. My name was on the register, I checked a few times, but the teacher just skipped straight past it.

Of course, its had advantages at times. I can grab something from a shop and walk out, and no one even realises once I'm out of sight of the pursuit. Lucky too, because its fucking impossible to get a job like this. But this is still the first time machinery's screwed up and forgotten me as well.

I walk through the town, looking around. Of course no one returns my gaze, no one sees me even, just automatically steps around me. I try just shoving someone, out of curiousity, but they don't even seem to notice. They stumble and fall, but that's it, they look around, stand back up and gather their things together.

I'm starting to panic again. I search my pockets for the one thing that reminds me I exist, stupid though it may seem. A passport, mine, from seventeen years ago when I was twelve and went to France with my parents.

There it is, in my pocket as always. I take it out, relieved, and look at it before I realise something I've never realised before.

I can't read the name on it, my eyes just skip past it.