2.35 - Rythe: From Death

When I checked the morgue after Ci-Ci killed Jonah, he had broken out of his metal cabinet. Somehow, he’s still out there kicking. Since then I’ve been taking self-defense classes and practicing my magic. Next time that monster and I come face to face, I’ll be ready. Sometimes I miss fairy dust, but I don’t need it. Coping mechanisms and controlling my emotions, has been a big help. Learning to control my magic for the first time is probably beneficial as well.

He’ll be back next year, or maybe sooner. Zodiac is probably the only killer that just stopped killing, or Jack The Ripper. Most go back to killing, it’s in their nature. Ci-Ci won’t be here to save me, so I’ll burn his ass into dust if he comes for me.

I finished my story, but I never sent it out to be published anywhere. Decided to publish it on the site I had the kid build for me. I realized there’s a market out there that doesn’t really have news like they should. The supernatural world. I published it there instead. I’ve decided I’m going to report on the supernatural world. The people who read will know what they need to know, or they’ll think it’s some really detailed online fiction. I’m fine with that, the majority of people will just think I’m really into magic and Chicago, but some people will be helped.

That’s my new thing, finding ways to help people, which is really just to help myself. I’ve been fighting internally for a long time but I think I’ve finally found a way to be at peace with myself. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, people felt inspired by my story in Narcotics Anonymous. I’ve been studying, I plan to start my own group, maybe not like NA. Something similar, something with less praying for help and more helping yourself, or getting help for others.

I make my way into the kitchen and fill a bowl of ice cream. I haven’t had a good binge in a while. I head over to the cabinet, to grab some iced oatmeal cookies. There aren’t any, I always keep some. Who could have taken my cookies? Tituba. I can hear her laughing now, I told her where the cookies were when she was here. That old lady owes me some cookies.

2.34 - Ci-CI: Till Death

 Until death do you part, those are the words everyone agrees to at their wedding. I agreed to them, but if last month had showed me anything, it was that you should stick to those words. I spent the last few years waiting for a man to come back from the grave for me and it made life terrible. Why the hell was I working at the TSA? No offense to anyone else, but I’m way better than that. I fight monsters, I hide under their beds, and scare them at night. It wasn’t for me.

Justin, I’m sorry. I wasn’t there for you. You didn’t die because of me, but you died despite my trying. If I had been on top of my game, Jonah would have never had a chance. I’m sorry I killed your brother. I don’t think I’m going to keep your last name. I’ve deified you, and you were flawed. Your feet stank, you never did the dishes, you always picked the job with the highest pay even if we weren’t qualified. Despite all that you didn’t deserve to die.

I don’t deserve to have my life dictated by you either. I have to step away, do my own thing. Take some trips, maybe meet a new guy. It isn’t really living if you’re a slave to the past. You were my first love, not my life, and nobody said you had to be my only love. My train of thought is broken by my cell phone ringing.

“Hey Erica,” I answer the phone.

“You down for a job,” she asks.

“What you got?”

“Something easy to start you off with. Werebear.”


“Yeah, he’s been fucking up the countryside and taking over land. Someone has to put him down.”

“I’ve never seen a werebear. I can’t miss this one.”

I don’t know if I want to be a hunter forever, but for now I need to get back to it. My body hurt like hell after tangling with Jonah. But I missed it, the bruises, the pain. I heal pretty fast, something with the blood magic. I miss the rush, putting my life on the line, I’m an adrenaline junky. Still, I don’t think this is the career for me. The one thing I need right now, is to help people. I’ve been selfish, I still never apologized to Rythe or even Tituba for destroying her home. That’s the real reason I’m working, I need to get her home fixed, she’s been staying with me and I can’t take much more voodoo.

Tituba suggested I try teaching if I want to help people. She said there’s a school in Indianapolis. Hidden, something about traversing catacombs to a magic portal to get in. It all sounds so ridiculous, like they went to extreme lengths to hide the school. She’s never been so it might not be as crazy as she makes it sound. Me as a teacher, doesn’t sound so bad.

2.33 - Rythe: Fire and Shadows

I look over just in time to see Ci-Ci dive in front of Jonah, one of his hands piercing through her side as he drove her into the ground. Shit, I guess that means she’s out of the game. I rush the last few people out hoping he doesn’t see me and I can leave with them.

“Hey,” Jonah calls out, almost growling. “You hear me,” he keeps calling. A gust of wind makes me stumble.

“Are you talking to me?”

“You’re next. I already killed your girlfriend.”

“She’s not my girlfriend. You’re more my type. At least before you started looking like waling death,” witty banter, please save me.

“That’s good to hear, should make this easy. I’ve never killed a dark elf before,” He forces his face into a smile, almost as if the bones had to lock into place. “Don’t fight back, just let it happen.”

I throw my hands in front of my face and close my eyes as he rushes towards me. Fighting has never been a strength of mine. I keep expecting an impact, but I feel nothing. I open my eyes to darkness, more darkness than I’ve ever seen before. I can’t see anything at all. No, there’s a light. I make my way towards it. It’s a long walk before it gets big enough or me to check out. Just a hole, big enough for me to step through. Am I dead? Did he kill me that fast?

I step through the doorway and watch as Jonah crashes through the side of a food stand. I’m back where I was a few minutes ago, at least I think I am. I moved somehow, away from the danger. I make my move to check on Ci-Ci while Jonah is out of the way. Hopefully she’s alive.

It seems like a thin red film has covered her. Most likely blood, but she doesn’t respond to me. I don’t think she’s dead, she seems mostly alive at least. But she’s in no condition to fight Jonah, and I’m not a fighter. Jonah is climbing from his wreckage and it seems like I don’t have much of a choice.

I try to run and hide but he’s too fast. I don’t even feel the impact, but it becomes hard to breathe as he wraps his hands around my neck. The world goes black again. I can breathe again. Another pinhole, I follow it and walk through just like the last time. This time I’m behind Jonah as he stares at his hands in confusion. I use the moment to sneak away and hide in another food stand.

I know what’s going on here. Sometimes people are just born with too much magic. It happens to all different species. Children shooting lightning bolts. Teenage boys burning holes through prostitutes and barbecuing their abusive family members. All kinds of things happen. For these people it important that they learn to control their emotions from an early age. I was all messed up, so my magic didn’t show up like it normally would. Showed up during an emotional moment.

I did learn to use it when I was in college, but it was just too much to control. Flushing the decades’ worth of drugs out of my system probably brought it back. I’ve been moving through the shadows. I never learned that trick, has to be some kind of defense mechanism. I guess I have to fight back now, since that’s what my body wants. I remove my jacket, and fold it neatly. I’d just burn through it.

“Get out here and fight me you coward,” Jonah yells.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. I hear you,” I step in front of him.

“There you are. I’ve had enough with your tricks.”

“Do you have a cigarette?”


“Cigarette, I could use a smoke.”

“I don’t smoke,” I can’t tell if he’s annoyed or amused.

“That sucks, your sister flushed all of mine.”

“I’m not going to play your games.”

“Alright, let’s get this over with then. Do you want the chest or the head?”


“Chest or the head.”

“I’m going to kill you,” Jonah starts to rush at me.

“I guess it’s the head then.”

I fling a left-handed fire ball at his head he dodges. I throw one with the right at his legs. Party trick, I earned a few beers in my dad with my aim. As few stick him, but he rubs them off. Maybe I’m just not hot enough. I make a run for it, zig zagging, making him work for it. Really would love if that shadow thing would kick in right about now.

I feel one of his bony elbows slam into my back and send me tumbling. For the best, I couldn’t have run much longer anyway. I throw my hands in front of me, and shoot a steady flame. He tries to walk through but it’s too hot. The more fear inside me, the hotter it burns. All of my emotions do it. That’s why I stay high, or at least had been. The flames are starting to toy with turning blue, it’s hot. It’s keeping him back. I can see he’s being burned. But he isn’t stopping. And I’m tired. I’m so tired.

I’m tired of always fighting. I’ve been fighting just to keep living for a long time. Unfortunately, it seems like my body has finally given out. The last of my fire burns out and I stare into the eyes of a burned and pissed off Jonah. Entire pieces of flesh have been burned from his torso and face, yet he still stands and inches towards me.

I just close my eyes, and accept it. I don’t have any energy to fight back at this point. Lore from my homeland says when you die your soul wanders Earth, unable to interact with anyone or anything until you have atoned for your sins. Eventually you’re able to ascend into the great desert and commune with all others. I wonder how long I’ll walk for. I’m not sure if I’ve been a good man or what qualifies being a good man. I really wish I had cigarette.

A hot and thick liquid lands on my face, bringing up some sensual memories. Not sur why that’s where my brain goes in death. A soft thud causes me to open my eyes. Ci-Ci stands before me, holding her side, a blade on her arm and Jonah’s decapitated body lies before me.

“I’m sorry, we’re even now,” Ci-Ci utters before collapsing next to him.