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TheGreySentinel
August 25th, 2010, 03:04 AM
Another day. Another cold morning. Another cup of three-dollar-a-cup, badly-ground store-bought coffee. Another dead girl. Swimming in a pool of her own blood in the middle of another painted pentacle. Occult? Kids playing a sick joke? Some nutjob getting his jollies? Who cares? The man standing in the center of the room, over the corpse, was the compelling issue. Staring down at her blankly, no expression in the dulled blue eyes.

Moving over the corpse of the girl and through the room, he headed outside, dropping his coffee cup onto the sidewalk as he went. The dark liquid slowly curled into the slush at his feet, not much different from the way the blood had pooled under the girl in the apartment behind him. The man stooped to get into the mid-grade, run-down, five- year-old sedan out front. A police officer in blue pounded on his window just as his car started, gloved fingers making a dull thud against the glass. Rolling down the window, he looked upwards at the man peering down at him, the officer put on a fake smile. "Get everything you needed Bishop?"

"Got any smokes?"

"Fresh out," the officer replied. It figures. “Goin' home?”

“Yeah. Gonna sleep on this one.”

“You comin' in tomorrow?”

Bishop turned to look at the icy road in front of him, not bothering to answer. The beat cop patted the roof of the car and the kid headed off to the herd of other officers on the scene of the homicide. "Homicide." That was what his badge read: detective Bishop Baber, burnt-out narc on loan to the homicide department. Throwing his car into drive, Bishop headed back to his shack of an apartment in Jamaica Planes.

Sitting out front with car still running, he reached under the seat for the bottle of Schnapps there. Calloused fingers twisted the cap and he took a long swig before looking at his face in the mirror. Dark five-'o-clock shadow set below messy ear-length hair. A young face with old eyes. “Lowlife.”

Waking with a start, the empty bottle on his chest, Bishop sighed and sat up, his back stiff from how he'd lain in the car. Disorientation. What time as it? The low-burning haze of the street lights above him gave him the answer: late. He turned the key, shutting off his engine, and then exited the car, pulling the length of his duster behind him. His building was right on the tracks, the dilapidated fence behind the overgrown yard all that separated him from the trains. His apartment was upstairs, rifled by the rumbles of T every hour or so, making everything on the walls shiver and rattle. Closing the car door, Bishop headed toward the building, hands thrust deep in pockets.

"Unf." He turned a bit from the impact, his hand immediately going to pat his pocket. Wallet check. Bishop was streewise, for sure. Be a cop in Boston long enough and you picked it up. A girl had walked into him, though not all that hard. Wasn't enough of her to walk hard into anyone, or so Bishop thought as he looked down at her. She gazed back at him, stammering an apology and pulling out her cigarette pack to offer him one. A detective's mind at work. He noted all the little details about her from when she'd walked into him, filing them away: the hard punch of a gun at her hip, (he knew the shape through the cloth of her jacket), smelled like copper, like blood. She was dressed like a street punk. Smelled like rain. Or was that just the wind? Never knew in Boston, the weather changed faster than a punk could swipe your wallet.

A long breath drew in through his nose as he turned his gaze to the girl that had bumped into him. Her apology was far too suspicious. Though why should he care? He was off duty. Taking the clove cigarette she'd offered him, Bishop pulled the Zippo from his pocket quick enough that one might have thought it was always in his hand. Old trick. He'd used to impress the ladies with it back when he'd been playing the field. Back before he'd married Celia. She'd always liked that trick, always wanted to know how to do it. He'd kept telling her that he'd teach her later. Later had never come. The memory made him smile anyway.

Flicking gleaming silver piece with the Catholic stamped cross on it, he fired up the kretek and drew from it into his lungs, holding it in deeply before releasing through his nose. The cross. A novelty piece and nothing more. Keep faith close, the man behind the counter had told him, these are dark times. Glancing to those friendly sapphires, Bishop grunted. "Should be more careful kid, wouldn't want that piece going off every time you ram it into someone's leg." He headed for the door that lead to the enclosed staircase up to his apartment, but paused. Turning back, he added "Might wanna catch a shower too. Smell like trouble, kid. Cops gonna think you're part of some brawl. Or worse."

Bishop almost smiled as she turned her head to scowl at him. Could've been thirteen or thirty - he couldn't tell. Maybe it was the light. Or that hat she had pulled down over her eyes that did it. He didn't know. "Yeah, well a girl's gotta have some kinda protection 'round here, y'know? All sorts of bastards 'round these days." He let her brush past him. Eyes slid down to the sleeve of his shirt, the wetness left behind. He knew that stain. That smell. The way it clung to his skin. Blood.

The dark blue eyes watched her leave. Just for a second he thought he saw something. Something impossible. Wings. What the bloody fuck? Pointed ears pushed through the short blue hair. The kind of blue that was impossible. Only saw it in movies when aliens got stabbed. Or in the sky in winter. Too blue. So blue it hurt. The image faded as she hunched and pulled her hat down, sleeve sliding up her arm. He caught more red on her forearm. Definitely blood.

He turned away from his consideration of the girl, kicking open the downstairs door, fucking thing always stuck in the winter. Fell off the hinges in the summer. What-thefuck-ever. Making his way slowly up the stairs, he fumbled with his keys for a few moments longer than necessary before unlocking his door and heading into his apartment.

Scootching out an old metal chair (one of a matching set with vomit-green plastic covered with yellow sunflower patterns), he sat at his kitchen table. Bishop set down a sketch pad and pencil before removing his shirt and stuffing it into a garbage bag carelessly.

The detective closed his eyes for a moment, his mind compiling, reforming, freezeframing. There she is, solid as if he was looking at her this very moment. Bishop sketched out a nearly perfect recreation of his new friend's face. And then another sketch of her back, with pointed ears and wings. That one was more for himself. The profile and shirt would be taken into the precinct tomorrow. For tonight, sleep in the springy recliner. He pushed the chair out and stood, leaving the trash bag and sketch on the table as he turned to pad into the living room, flopping down into his recliner. It had been a gift from Celia for his birthday a few years back. His eyes flicked to the locked door that led to the bedroom. Her bedroom. Gaze was torn away again and he lifted the remote from where it rested on the little table next to the chair.

"...Just set it and forget it!" Click. "...To sit on my throne, as the prince of Bel-air!" Click. "...Mulder, there is no way this is a real alien." Click. "...Apply directly to the forehead!" Clickclickclick. Shuffling through channels again. Why is there never anything on? Switching it to the news, Bishop tossed his remote aside and cracked open the cold beer he'd grabbed as he sat back. They were talking about the murder today. Ah, fuck! More snow this week.

Bish got less than halfway through his beer before sleep swallowed him. The faces... they came. The new girl hid with them, watching Bishop from afar. Those eyes wide, staring blankly up at him, almost as blankly as he'd been staring back down at her. He groaned, turning in his chair. The beer bottle hit the floor, slowly disgorging its contents into the carpet with a hollow glug, glug, glug.

"F-fuck!" Bishop sat up, eyes wide, sweat-soaked hair in his face, .45 in hand, pointing at the wall. Another fucking dream, another fucking day. After a long breath, he dropped back into his chair.

Left hand lifted to run his fingers through his raven-dark hair before he dropped his eyes to his firearm. His gaze lingered a moment on the weapon. It had a tendency to do that. Bishop turned the gun in his hand to look headlong into the barrel, thumb on the trigger. Eyes gazing downward trying to see the bullet inside. His thumb squeezing softly. Triggering slowly curling back. Harder Bishop. Look harder. You can see that hollow-point down in there, can't you? Down the steel and chrome polishing, past the rifled grooves and the chamber breach. Almost, asshole. Look harder.

As his right eye slowly closed, he tried to peer down the barrel with the left. Tick-SNAP. The hammer dropped, striking the firing pin that slammed into... nothing. Fuck. Forgot to chamber the fucker. Salvation lay within the magazine, not the gun. Dipshit. Bishop reached to set the handgun on the radiator beside him with a metallic clang, and stared at the window until the sun again crept over the skyline. "Fuck."

Bishop stood outside of his apartment, dressed in his “Sunday best”: combat boots, black jeans, black t-shirt with a hooded sweatshirt over it that had a small logo on the front of a fist holding screwdriver, on the back it boasted the number "202", ankle length black jean duster over it all. Hell, he even remembered to wear his earring today. Four simple silver chain links dangling lazily. Celia had always liked him like this. Said it gave him an edge. She'd also said that it made him look like some sort of vampire hunter or something. Crazy girl. Celia, her nickname had been “Silly.” Silly for a reason. She'd always made him laugh.

Starting the car, the detective headed to the station, garbage bag and folded piece of sketch pad paper on the seat beside him. Passing life on his way, Bishop found himself hating it. All of it. Kids on their way to school, commuters heading into the Dunkin' Donuts. Cellphones as far as the eye could seem jammed deep into the ears of yaking businessmen. How important they were.

Pulling up to the 28th precinct, Bishop gathered up his things and headed inside. He made his way to the farthest back-ass corner to sit at a tiny little desk. Bishop dropped the paper and bag onto the surface, not really caring that the papers there rumpled under the pressure of the plastic-clad cotton. He lowered himself into the creaky old chair with the torn arm. Stuffing spilled out of it and into the air, like the innards of a corpse. Leaning back for a moment, Bishop watched the ceiling as if maybe it had the answers. Eventually, however, the tiles won the staring contest and, defeated, Detective Baber sat forward again, elbows on his desk as he flipped open the file that held the sketch of the girl.

Setting down the picture of the girl from the evening past, Bishop moved across the back room. Reaching the rickety old table off to the side, the cop poured himself a lukewarm cup of the murky remains of what was had once been fresh pot of coffee. Maybe he'd be able to find something in the floating dregs at the bottom. He'd heard once that gypsies could tell your fortune in tea leaves. Maybe he could do the same with the grounds of coffee. Taking a sip of the black and bitter stuff, he wrinkled his nose.

As he returned to sit down, he paused, noticing a piece of tape with the letter "Y" over his name plaque on the desk, the name now reading "Det. Bishop BabY" Wow. Good one guys. That's staggering. He tore the tape off and stuck it on the front of his desk. “Y?” it was a good question. Why indeed? Moving around to take up the garbage bag and the portrait, Bishop took them across to the stone staircase with the railing that hung half off the wall. They kept saying they'd fix the damn thing but no one bothered.

Downstairs into the archives, Bishop went, feet stamping on the stairs as he descended from light and life into the shadows. Down the narrow hall he strode and into through door with the old "fallout shelter" logo on it, into the room behind. Bishop made the motions to take the proper steps in cutting out a swatch of cloth with the blood on it. Process, package, label, send for analysis.

Bishop would take it down to processing himself later, after he had a look through the archives, see if there was any data on his new best friend with her short blue hair and laughing blue eyes. Setting up the scanner, Bishop entered the portrait he had sketched into the system. He flopped down into the chair, nearly tipping over backwards as he forgot that it only had half the wheels it should and if you didn't arrange yourself just so. Balancing himself finally, he took a sip of his thick, bitter, cool coffee while the computer ran a search on similarities.

Another day, Bishop. Another search, another miss. Watch and see. It always comes up blank. Leaning back in the old computer chair, his eyes slid closed.

For once, there were a number of matches, none of them were the girl. There was a Rebecca Eve Taylor, Elizabeth St. Jones, Thoma- A guy? How did that get in there? Man, what a fag. No records, no wanted posters, nothing. No results. Maybe she'd shown up at the wrong place at the wrong time? Maybe she was an EMT or something? Maybe there was a good reason. He hoped there was, rather desperately because it was so rare he found a pair of smiling blue eyes that didn't have dark secrets. Celia's had been like that. All soft and sweet and open, no shadows. Maybe that's why he cared about the kid. Looked like Celia. Had her eyes.

He clicked again, scrolling through the results. No real hits. What a shock. Pushing up from the squeaky office chair with the missing wheel, Bishop grabbed his sketch and evidence bag with the swatch of bloodied shirt and headed out. Sans-coffee. He was almost legendary for forgetting or dropping the stuff. Funnier still was that he never seemed to notice.

Up the cold stone stairs, through the back room filled with boxes and old, dented, scuffed lockers, into the back room with the old wooden desk and the creaky chair. Home sweet hovel. He was technically still on loan from the narcotics unit, so he didn't get a real office. Not even a desk with other cops out front, though he'd been here for almost two years now, languishing in the back with the left-overs when they'd renovated the front-side offices. Slipping the jean duster onto himself, Bishop made his way out through the front doors, down onto the snow and slush ridden sidewalk.

Standing before the old, run down stone shack of Precinct 28, he turned his gaze right next door to Precinct 28 proper. The brand new lavish monstrosity of brick, stone, steel, and glass, bright and shining and looking fucking immaculate in the gleam of the snow and Sun. Ah, the new police building. Where all the "real" cops worked. Making his way in, the usual glares and stares were offered by the others behind nice, non-rocking new desks, their chairs had all the wheels and were upholstered in leather.

The entire basement section was for processing. Fuckers even had their own CSI department and related subsidiaries. Bishop made his way through to the lab, ignoring how the techs made snide comments to each other behind his back. Jager was working today, had to love him, he was the sole redeeming factor in the whole precinct. Hell, in the whole damn city.

Punk rock blaring on the stereo, the goofy-looking kid with long blond hair (tied back of course) peered, one-eyed, through a microscope at some random what-have-you. "Didn't Grey tell you not to have the music so damn loud down here, Jags?" Bishop bellowed over the din to the shorter, man.

Jager lifted his head, winking an eye to cause his glasses to slide down from his brow and back onto his nose. "Hey, Bish! How goes bro? Naw, Greyskull ain't in today. Fuck that old goat anyway, huh?" The two men came together for a strictly male half-embrace that was more of a thunderous series of pounded hands on their backs. Jager nodded "Heard you got another fucked up black death. Got some of your evidence back, bro. Might have somethin' for ya. Toxicology pulled on that last one, the guy in that Tremont street business?"

Bishop tossed the evidence envelope onto the table, "Well get it.. and merry fucking Christmas, got some presents here for ya. When you can, have a typing and trace on the blood on this. Have a suspicion about a girl I saw last night."

Laughing, Jager headed across the room to pluck up the evidence from the previous day's murder. "You and the girls, Bish! They just run you, don't they?"

"This from the worlds studliest virgin."

"Hey man, I done told you 'bout that... I'm savin' myself."

"What? Yer mom too busy?"

"She says hi, by the way."

Bishop just rolled his eyes and plucked the clear baggy with the matchbook inside from Jag's fingers. "Perhaps I'll go lookin' for a woman after all..." Turning, he headed away towards the dirty end of town. Porno rings and strip joints.

There wasn't so much to go on, just that damn matchbook with the picture of the pink cat ears and the chintzy glittering text: “The Kat's Meow.” There didn't ever seem to be enough evidence lately with all of these damn "occult" murders. Photographs of half a bootprint in the blood., residue of talc on the victim.. The killer wore gloves. Toxicology, victim history, stomach contents, forensics about body position in relation to the walls and the ceiling and the furniture and the....all the usual bullshit to go along with the mountains of paperwork.

The matchbook on the other hand was compelling. According to interviews, the victim didn't frequent the...the Meow? Oh for the love of... Why are these places always named some pathetic name that usually references some part or other of the female anatomy? Sure it was a smut hole but... try a little tact. On his way there, Bishop watched the neon glow of the city. Signs and street lights, headlights and halos. Bishop continued the slow drive to the “Meow.” And here we are. The Kat's Meow. Lovely. They had better sell smokes.

Bishop trudged toward the large sign with the scantily-clad anthro-feline girl standing with her back to him,glancing back over her shoulder suggestively. Classy. Real classy. Turning aside, Bishop slipped open the door and headed down the slim brick hallway made to hide those coming in from stealing free views from the door.

After only a minute's pause a large, burley man with a huge white beard spotted Bishop and made his way over. One couldn't help but recognize his resemblance to Santa Claus, save for the black leather vest and stained white t-shirt that read "I fucked your girlfriend".

Rummaging through a pocket or three, Bishop finally located his wallet and paid the entry fee, then headed to the bar. "One drink minimum," Santa told him, only to be followed by the bartender's "..Getcha?".

"Scotch, neat, and a pack of smokes."

"Brand?"

"Cheap." Bishop returned before paying for the vices. Turning to move and sit at a small round table in the far back corner, Bishop regarded the patrons and the place, a dark, dingy little hole in the wall. Why would anyone be way back here with the main event on stage? Thus empty seats in the nosebleeds. With a shake of his head, Bishop shooed away the "bombshell" with the swaying arm fat and the gut hanging over her spandex and her offer for a lap dance. "Only five bucks honey" Well shit. He almost paid her ten to go away.

Reaching to pull the string from his cigarettes and tear the cellophane from the top, Bish swatted the box against his hand to pack the tobacco before drawing a cigarette and resting it to his lips. He pulled his cross-bearing Zippo once more to light up once again and took a nice long drag. Doc told him he needed to stop, but in all honesty, Bishop had been smoking since the age of 12, and hadn't so much as coughed. Lungs had never seemed affected by it. Not by the cigars, the cigarettes, the cloves or even the six months of crack smoking while undercover in the Narc unit. Detox. What a rush.

Taking a sip of his scotch first, Bishop swallowed it down and then finally releases the smoke from his lungs as he looked, finally, up to his little friend strutting and splaying along the stage. Blue hair, small enough not to run hard into anybody. And there she was, shaking her ass for the gawkers. Fuckin' kid. Couldn't have been an EMT, could she? Bishop was far more interested in that face of hers than he was in the pert little breasts and the things he had thought he had seen the night of running into her. Of course... sure there was a half nude girl writhing on the stage in front of him, but who gave a fuck?

Her set finished. Reaching his hands up to about stomach level, Bishop clapped once, slowly. Again. And a third time before taking another drag of his smoke. The rest of the crowd howled, he simply gave her the tribute earned and left it at that. Another drink of his scotch, he made a face. It tasted like piss. If they put any more water in it, they might as well have slapped an Evian sticker on it and stopped lying to the poor half-drunken losers here. Lowering his eyes to the men gathered around, Bishop nodded once as though as confirming something. "Lowlife" he whispered to himself, disdain in his voice. He looked like he fit in all too well here. Perhaps he could have a talk with her. Maybe she'd tell him that it was all okay, that she'd just been in a fight. That one of her co-workers was doing something strange. That... A sigh gusted out between Bishop's lips and he shook his head, the ear-length hair moving as he did so. She slid off the stage and into the back. Emerging a few moments later, she was dressed more normally. Or, more appropriately, she was dressed. He watched her as she moved towards the bar. Talked to the bartender. Took a shot of whiskey and then ordered a screwdriver. He knew because he watched the man mix the drink.

The girl tossed back the screwdriver and set the empty glass on the counter, then she stood up, "Night, Ethan. Hope you get some ass later." Her voice was the same as it had been the night before when she'd walked into him. Feminine. Friendly. A grin on her lips that Bishop could see through like it was glass, she turned away from the bar and headed towards the door, her hat on her head and her coat drawn tight over her shoulders, Bishop watched stuff her hands in her pockets.

"Hey, honey. You got some sugar for me?" The voice had her turning as some big construction-worker dope leered down at her from his six feet of drunken splendor. He could tell she wasn't impressed. "I've got a lollipop for you to suck on."

The detective nearly stood as she pulled out the gun in her belt and jabbed it into his guts, "Fuck off. Touch me and I'll remove your shriveled little balls for you." The snub-nose revolver went back into her pants and she turned, leaving him gaping like a fish after her. Her feet hit the pavement as she stormed out into the parking lot, probably trying to get out of there before more of those assholes showed up and it became one big party.

Bishop downed the last of his piss-flavored drink before moving to his feet to follow her out. Some of the guys watched, he knew he had "Santa Claus'" eye as he did. Following him to the door, the large older male watched Bish walking through the gravel and dirt parking lot, about ten feet behind Creed. "Hey..." his voice rang through the air, trying to get her attention. "Hey, can I talk with you for a sec?"

She turned, glaring at him, another 'fan'? He could see the look in her eyes. Unimpressed. "Look, pal, I don't do private shows. I'm a stripper, not a whore," she hissed. Hand slid beneath her jacket for the gun he knew was there.

Lifting his hands, Bishop stopped several feet back "Woah, woah, kid, wheres that shining hospitality from the other night, hm?" He kept his fingers splayed, staying still, trying not to scare her.

Oh. Him. He could see the recognition in her eyes as she looked at him, assessing him. "Sorry. I get jumpy when I leave work." She didn't relax, but her hand slid away from the gun and she refrained from running or shooting him. He almost cursed her for it. "What's up?" Her breath misted in the air in front of her, "Make it quick if you can, I've got to get to my apartment site before my roommate locks me out."

“Thought you might be willing get a drink with me. Don't have too many friends in town and it isn't everyday that you run into the same person twice over in such a short time. If crashing is the problem... I've got a place. Nothing intended but sleep. You can have the bedroom to yourself. I don't go in there anyway. Shit, I'll sleep in my car if you prefer."

The vicious blue eyes narrowed, "I'll get a drink with you but I'm sorry, I don't sleep at random dudes' houses. Never know who the hell they are or if you might wake up dead." Didn't she know it. "Where you lookin' to go?" she pulled out a clove and lit it, the end flaring into life as she drew the thick, aromatic smoke into her lungs, "Got a name?"

"Bishop," he stated coldly "By name, not reputation. And I couldn't care less. Pick a spot." Turning to walk off toward his car, he continued to talk as the bottom of his duster blew out behind him from a cold, cheek reddening burst of wind that insisted itself upon them "I getcha about the apartment kid. But no sense sleeping in the cold. I'll give ya a few bucks for a room somewhere. Shit, I'll even drop ya off. All I want is a drink. Somewhere nice and public, within screaming distance of people, hm?" He continued to do his best to seem disarming. Friendly. Not as if he was staking her out. Trying to get her to talk. Come on, girl, give me something I can use.

Her head bobbed in a nod, "S'alright. I'm Creed, by the way." She rubbed her fingers together, trying to dispel the chill, "There's a bar about two blocks from here. Decent place. They make killer drinks." It wasn't ritzy but it wasn't a dive like Mathers'. Bishop knew the place. "What do you wanna talk about? I'm not much of a conversationalist." She tugged the ratty trenchcoat closer as the wind picked up, whipping around them with the chill teeth that only the New England winter posessed. Or maybe Alaska. Bishop had always wanted to go Alaska. Walking near him, but out of arm's length, she watched him. He could feel her eyes on him as he stared straight ahead.

"Creed?" he asked "...your parents big Scott Stapp fans or something?" Bishop opened the rear passenger door to his car, then offered a wink and wave to the exiting patrons of the "Meow" who gawked at him openly for leaving with the prized piece of ass. Being only two blocks away, he would just as soon walk, but.... fuck all that. Far too cold. Another night,another cold wind - claws ripping at flesh, another girl in his car. Well, ok maybe not that last one. Bishop started the short drive, letting her ride in the back that she could feel safer being further away from him. Shit, he couldn't blame her anyway. He wasn't the greatest catch. Onward to the bar. He guided the sedan through the slush-ridden streets, careful not to take a turn too quick lest the car slide across the icy pavement.

A bitter little laugh, "Wouldn't know. Never met 'em." She slid into the seat and leaned on the back of the seat in front of her. "Nah, got called Creed because when I was younger I used to stop the big kids from picking on the scrawny ones. It sort of stuck." Creed as in code, not as in the band, apparently.

A short drive and they pulled into the parking lot of "Dutch's" bar, the car is thrown into park. A moment's hesitation before he turned, leaning his arm on the back of the drivers seat, watching her eyes "...And I ain't gonna hurt'cha kid. Ain't nothin' left in me that would want anything you got to offer." Those dead eyes of his confirmed the statement. Turning away from her, Bishop opened the door and stepped out, closing it behind him. Reaching into his pocket for his smokes and lighter, Bishop fired up his vice once more. A long, slow drag taken with closed eyes. His lungs burned for that fix. Ahh, burning release.

"Yeah, well I've heard those words from bigger, scarier men 'n you. And they tried. You aren't going to hurt me because if you try I'll put a bullet through your head faster'n you can blink." Threatening a cop? Good thing she didn't know he was a cop. He figured that his profession was enough to have a girl like her running the other direction. Probably would've been smart, kid. She got out of the car behind him, he heard the door close.

Bishop finally opened his as her footsteps approached. Glancing her way, he nodded slowly at her comment about heads and bullets. "Fair enough," he considered reaching for a feel to have her make good on her claim. Drawing a deep breath from his smoke once more, he began to walk toward the bar, leaving her behind to move at her own pace.

He let her walk behind him, the detective listening to her as he made his way up to the entrance. Reaching to take hold of the doors long, gold tipped, bar that was bolted onto the frame, Bishop stepped aside and held the door open for her. Snow. About as useful as rain. Made things wet, made things cold. Another winter. Why did he keep seeing so damn many? Wouldn't it ever be spring? "Order what you want," he informed her as she entered, then followed behind, allowing her to pick the seats.

The bar was crowded, but only at one end. The end near the TV where some sports game was going on. Probably football. The Patriots were doing well this season, not that Bishop gave a shit. Not a sports fan. Perhaps someday he'd give a damn, but right now he just wasn't all that interested in men in spandex hurling a ball across some god-forsaken field somewhere.

"Don't you ever smile?" Probably a weird question. She slid into a corner seat, away from the other patrons who were yelling at the TV. "Whiskey. Straight." Something to chase out the chill in her bones, he guessed.

"Scotch. Neat" He ordered, and the cute little waitress swayed off to the bar. Not even a glance was offered by Bishop as her tight little rear swayed on her way up. His eyes remained to the dimly lit yellow candle on the table. "Don't remember." was all he said in response to her question. His fingers scratched idly at a small groove notched in the top of the table as he looked over her way. "Been dancing long?" As he spoke, the scruffy man leaned forth to rest his arms on the table.

Leaning back, Creed put her spine against the vinyl seat and stretched her legs out, turning her eyes turning to look at him as he spoke. Her eyes caught movement as his coat slid aside, he saw them move. The holster, the gun - she nodded, as though to herself. Big deal. Made two of 'em with guns, though his was a good deal bigger than her measly little .38 revolver. He'd seen it when she'd pulled it on that fuck in the club. Both did their job. The question had her shrugging, "Long enough to know what assholes people are. Men, women, it's all the same. You have a body, they want you to hold it against 'em and wiggle. Same everywhere." Long enough. "It beats the other jobs my resume has on it, so why the hell not? Bishop... sounds familiar. You a cop?" her eyes narrowed as she scrutinized him.

Bishop was meticulous about keeping his name from the papers and his face off the tv. If she heard his name in the past, she either had a direct relation to something he'd done or to someone who has had similar relation. Either way, the question was interrupted as the drinks arrived. Lifting his, Bishop had downed the glass and ordered a second before the waitress had a chance to even turn away. The warmth in his belly had just started to grow from the liquor as he looked to his companion once again "...I look like a fuckin' cop?" he asked coldly, accusingly. Those expressionless eyes of his made his thoughts very hard to read.

His question had her laughing, "Do I look like a fuckin' stripper?" her response as bitter and laden with implication as his. "Looks mean jack-shit. I know that. You know that. Don't play the game." She drank the whiskey a little slower than he had his, but it was fast enough. Creed wasn't easy to read either, even if she had life in her where he had an absence thereof, but long years of study and practice had him seeing through the facade.

His eyes finally looked her over in detail, scanning down her smaller body to take in the sights for a moment before finding her eyes once again, lifting his brow to responded "Yeah, you do." What an asshole. Maybe he wanted her to shoot him. Or slap him. Or something. The second drink arrived. Thank God. Taking it up, he sipped it this time, eying Creed from across the table "And if I was a cop? You'd shoot me, yes?"

Creed rolled her eyes, "No. I don't shoot cops. I'd rather not be seen with one though. Dangerous for my health. And yours." She finished her whiskey, "Oh thanks, prince Charming." What a name, huh? What a lie. She cracked her neck, "You wouldn't have asked me out if you didn't want to talk about something. I know your type. Only talk when you have something to say. Say it."

Shaking his head, he downed the last of his scotch before glancing to the clock, not answering her challenge. 1:45am. Bar was going to close soon anyway "Its late, kid. Lets find you a place to stay, hm?" reaching for his wallet, Bishop leafed through the receipts and odd ends to get the necessary green for the drink.

"I can find somewhere. I always do." She failed to say whether it was a good place to stay or not. "Stop calling me 'kid'. I'm not a baby, Bishop. I'm probably older than you think I am." She sighed, "Thanks for the drink."

"C'mon. I promised I'd pay for a room. Let me at least get you somewhere warm, hm?" Stubborn bastard. Maybe chivalry wasn't dead. Maybe he did give a damn. Maybe he just wanted to know where she was. Moving to his feet, Bishop headed up to pay for the drinks, then he glanced over his shoulder over towards her, waiting for her to follow toward the door. "Shit. Head out to the car. It's open. I forgot to leave a tip." Bishop turned and headed back to the table, making sure she was heading for the door as he did so, keeping an eye on her while he moved.

A nod was given and she slid out the door. Bishop turned back from their table. Sure enough, after he moved she would see a five on the table. where he'd dropped it. Well... he paid his tip, didn't he? Glancing to the TV as he headed for the door, Bishop adjusted his coat, shoving his hands into his pockets. He remembered football, there had a time he watched, screaming and sitting on the edge of his chair like the other idiots. Seemed so much less than worthwhile now.

Heading outside, Bishop paused at his car door, lifting his hands from his pockets to draw and light another cheap, tasteless cigarette. Closing his eyes, he drew that wonderful first drag into his lungs. Always seemed to enjoy those death sticks far too much. Looking into his car, Bishop nodded. As he'd figured - she wasn't in there waiting. Speaking lowly, a combination of smoke and steam left his mouth "Keep warm kid," he muttered under his breath. The door closed behind him after he got in in, the engine started.

The detective headed home for the night. Kicking the door open and moving up those old wooden stairs and into the apartment where he dropped himself into a one of those cheap, plastic covered chairs once more. Sunflowers. Lovely, lovely Sunflowers. Somewhere, sometime, someone thought these chairs an elegant and lovely idea for a kitchen decor. What an idiot that person had been. The goddamn flowers laughed at him now. What an idiot he was for buying them. But... then again, Celia had liked them. Silly. He'd always called her "Silly." She'd thought the sunflowers were "eclectic" or some shit and he, the dutiful husband, had obeyed. Maybe it wasn't the sunflowers he hated after all.

Still in his duster, Bishop found himself staring at the wall for a few long minutes. The sun would be up in a few hours. Try to sleep or not? Glancing down, he forced himself to his feet and carefully removed his coat, resting it on the table. He then slid a pen from his pocket and reached to open the large outer pocket to the coat. The pen dipped inside, and slowly backed out.

A still-moist whiskey glass hanging from the tip of the pen, her DNA still on the rim. The prints where her lips were, were still imprinted on the glass. A smile. Oh yeah. Bishop smirked to himself. Mission accomplished, kid. Moving to drop the glass into an oversized ziplock bag, he set it down on the counter and he then wandered into the living room.

The remote lifted in his fingers to surf the channels once again. Another night. Still nothing on. Weary beyond belief, Bishop closed his eyes. Sleep well, wherever you are kid.


This is (c) E. Harvey and J. Felt, 2009, this is a teaser of a larger, unfinished work.

The Backward OX
August 25th, 2010, 12:49 PM
Based on what I’ve observed in the time I’ve been a member here, I’d say you’re wasting your time if you’re expecting to receive comments on your entire post, word-by-word. Of course, if your agenda is simply to demonstrate your ability, that’s a different thing. But I say that as you can obviously write, what you should do is firstly find yourself two or three dedicated real life readers who’ll read your entire MS and help you sort out the errors and then secondly start querying agents. Or maybe the first thing might be to delete your post pronto, before too many see it, so that hopefully you haven’t abnegated your rights.

garza
August 25th, 2010, 02:20 PM
TheGreySentinel - There's a hard, cold, realism here that I like very much. You're characters are not lovable, but they are believable. The situations are not comfortable but they are understandable.

I'll not attempt a line-by-line exegetical analysis of what I think you mean or don't mean, or a word by word parsing of your grammar and usage. That's for the professional fiction writers, of which I'm not one. What I see as a reader is the start of a story that has my interest aroused. I'd like to read more of the same.

RecoverylessRecovery
August 25th, 2010, 08:48 PM
I gotta say, you made my day,
that really was a pleaser.
despite the lack of breasts, I'd say,
it still made a great teaser!

TheGreySentinel
August 25th, 2010, 09:02 PM
Thank you everyone for your feedback. I'm not looking for a line-by-line critique and this segment of the novel has been up on Deviantart for over a year and it's a VERY preliminary version and won't be even remotely the same in the original other than including the characters and the basic scenario. However, it will be intensely different. I'm an editor for a publishing company and my publisher actually knows about this segment of my novel being up and has no issues with it since the actual novel will be written quite differently. My writing style has changed some since then. ;)

This is more just a sharing of a segment than anything else. I know there are grammatical errors and probably spelling errors as well, but this isn't an entirely completed product.

garza
August 25th, 2010, 09:25 PM
As a publisher you have editors. Editors are paid to catch spelling and grammatical errors. In my day, in the heat of battle, literally, I've been known to send in copy with the splinters from an infinitive scattered around, a participle or two hanging by their fingernails, and with the occasional bit of creative spelling. I caught what I could and let the fellow sitting thousands of miles away from the firefight handle the rest. I've cleaned up my act considerably over the past 25 years as I've gone from frontline reporting to preparing projects for governments and NGOs. I've always known the rules, but there've been times when stopping to proof copy before it hit the wire just was not an option.

Anyroad, this teaser is a solid piece of writing, and if the final product is an improvement it must be damned good indeed. I'm happy you shared it.

TheGreySentinel
August 26th, 2010, 06:40 PM
Thank you, I appreciate that. I absolutely will be having it edited professionally before it goes anywhere, that's pretty much a given. This is actually an excerpt from my second book, I'm about 1/3 of the way through the first one at the moment. I'm not going to spill the beans about what it's about yet, though. Once I have the back cover blurb written up I'll probably share that, but until then it's being kept under my hat. :D