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Stuyvesant

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So Huard didn't burst into flames when the sun's rays gently caressed his back? While good news for Huard himself, I find this somewhat regrettable, preferring to see my vampires with obvious weaknesses that are easily exploited (you know the kind, the vampires that live in sprawling Gothic castles, filled with miscellaneous objects that can quickly be fashioned into makeshift crosses, holding rickety wooden furniture that can be turned into stakes and tall windows covered with thick drapes - that can be pulled down easily at a strategic moment to flood the room with sunlight. You know, traditional, proper vampiring. ;)).

I think the last paragraph concerns Sebastion. His 'I know you... I've tasted you before...' suggests he sensed Huard while the latter was out hunting and realized that his former prey was still alive - it's logical that his adversary Selene would be responsible for that, since it would take a vampire to save Huard after he had been drained.

One tiny niggle, coz1, shouldn't that be 'For Hell's entire mighty wrath'? :)
 

TheExecuter

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Very creepy. My brain was playing a nice guttural bass voice vowing revenge...with just a little bit of synthesizer distortion thrown in.

Interesting look at our young Vampire feeding and learning. I'm intrigued to know where this is going and how it is possibly connected to the modern time story...so, in lieu of a long analysis, I'm just going to enjoy the ride for a bit and start analyzing again when we have more data.

TheExecuter
 

coz1

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Fb-fb:

Btw, why would the sun even affect vampires? :confused:
Surely his pigment can't have mutated that swiftly. :p
I have some theories on that which I hope to expand upon in the work itself. The way I am considering it, sunlight does have an effect...it sort of provides the yin to the Vampire blood's yang, in a way (or better, the vampire's energy represented in a way by their blood.) Or consider it somewhat like the moon's effect on the tides. Something like that. However, it has a slightly different effect on Huard and I will not say what at present. That needs to remain a mystery. :D

Hmm, that last bit was odd. I am not sure what to make of it. No doubt it will be explained in the coming chapters. So does that mean that Huard is not a proper vampire? Or are you dispelling popular myth? :D
I admit I am using vampire myth that best suits the story. There will be very few changes so that moment should have been very odd for anyone that has ever learned the various myths. Huard is indeed a vampire, but there is something else. And on that, I must remain silent for now.

Where do you get those pictures, they unnerve me to the core *shakes*.

It's nice to see Abe feed to make sure he is full. The last thing we need is for Abe to look temptingly at Temple when his stomach rumbles :D
It takes a long time to find these shots that help evoke the mood I want. I was probably on page 40 or something in google images before I found the above, but it was perfect.

And indeed, I had to make sure Huard fed. It plays into the whole sun/energy/etc playbook and will be explained further, I promise.

Thatt ending really put the freaky cap on the whole update, nice job! :D
Thanks! :D

So Huard didn't burst into flames when the sun's rays gently caressed his back? While good news for Huard himself, I find this somewhat regrettable, preferring to see my vampires with obvious weaknesses that are easily exploited (you know the kind, the vampires that live in sprawling Gothic castles, filled with miscellaneous objects that can quickly be fashioned into makeshift crosses, holding rickety wooden furniture that can be turned into stakes and tall windows covered with thick drapes - that can be pulled down easily at a strategic moment to flood the room with sunlight. You know, traditional, proper vampiring. ;)).

I think the last paragraph concerns Sebastion. His 'I know you... I've tasted you before...' suggests he sensed Huard while the latter was out hunting and realized that his former prey was still alive - it's logical that his adversary Selene would be responsible for that, since it would take a vampire to save Huard after he had been drained.

One tiny niggle, coz1, shouldn't that be 'For Hell's entire mighty wrath'? :)
First - damn, I really need an editor. :eek:o Director, where are you??

Second, allow me this moment of breaking vampire tradition as I hope to make it pay off. Rest assured that your traditional and proper vampiring has not left us here. While I am not sure sunlight should necessarily cause a vampire to burst into flames and then a pile of dust, it should be a major irritant and cause massive weakness to a vampire (as well as a burning effect.) That it did not happen here...or seem to at least (;)) should give you pause.

Excellent catch at the end. I wanted to make that subtle, but yes...in his search for Selene, he has sensed another. Shame it took him so long or he might have caught Huard before when he got Selene out of there. Maybe Sebastion is just tired. And it is close to morning. :D

Especially nice ending. Very mysterious. Not entirely sure who's talking about Selene, but my guess is it's Sebastion.
Very good guess as you'd be right. I struggled how to write that portion because I didn't feel like just another brooding vampire scene. This was close, but perhaps a little more creative. Hope so, at least.

Very creepy. My brain was playing a nice guttural bass voice vowing revenge...with just a little bit of synthesizer distortion thrown in.

Interesting look at our young Vampire feeding and learning. I'm intrigued to know where this is going and how it is possibly connected to the modern time story...so, in lieu of a long analysis, I'm just going to enjoy the ride for a bit and start analyzing again when we have more data.

TheExecuter
Excellent. That would be just about right, Executer. And I promise to connect them. It was the first thing I considered when I started writing this. It may not be apparent yet, but it will be. There should be a reveal soon that helps connect some (and in fact, there was a tiny clue recently that did the same.) Of course, the notebook and the Eye itself are certainly connections. Keep reading. I promise to make it work. If only I could work a little faster myself. :rolleyes:


To all - the next update is written but I need to do some spit and polish on it. Hopefully tonight, but I won't promise anything yet. Still have to find the right picture too, especially because it's a fairly long update. Thanks for the great comments, folks. I really appreciate it. :)
 

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* * *

New York City, 1938

Minnie Brighton popped her head into Sam’s office as the clock struck five in the afternoon. She watched him for a moment before she spoke. He seemed to be having some trouble with a folder…the clasps wouldn’t work for him and in his disinterest in patience; he had nearly destroyed the thing.

“Let me get that,” she finally said through a laugh as she walked to his desk and took the mangled folder.

“Thanks, doll,” Sam replied, easily letting go of the infernal project. He reached out and shook a cigarette from a crumpled pack on his desk and tapped it a few times on his lighter. He lit it as he watched Min carefully undo the damage and clasp the pages into the folder as if it were the most natural thing in the world. She smiled at him and gave an extra wink as she carefully placed it on the edge of the filing cabinet and away from the boss.

“Good idea,” he laughed as he inhaled on the cigarette and blew a long stream of smoke from his nose. “Don’t know why you insist on me keeping these damn files.”

“Because I’m usually the one that has to decipher the various crumpled notes you keep in your pocket. Makes it easier on me, remember?”

“Sure doll…sure. I couldn’t last a day without you.” He stood and turned to look out the window and she moved to straighten some items on his desk.

He watched the traffic pick up outside and thought about the time. She’d be there soon. It was already getting dark and even if the snow had ceased for a day, it would return. For now, the steam drifted from the middle of the street and clouded around ankles briskly finding their way down a busy sidewalk. The city was like a shark…it had to keep moving to survive. And the steady force of that nature somehow gave him solace. It helped him focus. And he needed that focus right now.

From behind his back, Minnie spoke up again, “I guess it’s about that time, boss. You want me to stick around?”

He did not turn at first, letting the smoke slowly exhale from his nose. He watched a young woman cross the street below in a hurry, nearly tripping when she reached the other side. She steadied herself on the curb never once letting the wrap over her head slip. He finally turned when Min gave a louder nudge.

“Sorry, Min. I’m just stumped on the case.”

He turned to see her facing him with her hands on her hips. “Is that really what’s on your mind? Or something else?”

There was a hint of something there in her voice, but Sam couldn’t quite pick it out. He chose to ignore it. “No…just the case. I can’t get it straight. It's like I'm the damn puppet and somebody else got the strings."

Minnie wrinkled her mouth into a smile as she turned her back on Sam and walked from the room. “Tell me when something new happens, Sam. I’m going home.”

He waved at her to say a half-hearted goodbye but she was soon out of the office and he alone. He turned back to the window and watched as Min passed from the door below and out into the night. She walked with purpose and had a swagger that he’d noticed before. He liked it. Maybe that was what she had in mind…always trying to get him to go out for a drink after work…maybe she had a little thing for him. He couldn’t see it right away, but that’s because she was like a sister…a very organized sister that made sure he took care of the little things. He truly couldn’t live without her.

He was reminded of that very fact when he turned back to the desk and saw a note written in Min’s neat handwriting -

CALL JASPER WHITE
Oy. The idea itself was abhorrent. He’d been able to lose the reporter late last night and had enjoyed most of the day in peaceful solitude without one instance of someone second guessing or questioning his methods. That was worth more money than he had access to and Sam was fairly certain he’d try and go the whole day without following that directive. Min might get on him in the morning, but there wasn’t anything Jasper could do until he spoke to Miss Sullivan. He had more to find out and Jasper would just be in the way.


He was lucky when the same Miss Sullivan saved him the question. He looked up only to find her standing darkly shrouded in the doorway, the light of his desk lamp not quite enough to illuminate her. Her arms were held close to her body and a dark veil covered her face. She waited to be spoken to and Sam finally obliged after cooling himself off in his mind, “Miss Sullivan…how nice of you to come.”

“Please, Mr. Finch. I think we both know that you have ulterior motives for inviting me down here.” As she moved into the room, the sound of her dress tightly caressing her body could easily be heard and he had to marvel at the frame it provided. She gracefully sat without word and looked up at Sam through the lace veil. “You suggested there was information…I am keen to know what you have found.”

He was struck silent at her entrance and the only thought in his mind was a drink to calm his nerves. Then a niggling feeling that his lust might be showing through…and he needed a drink to stay loose. In the end, he just needed a damn drink and bent to pull the bottle from the bottom desk drawer. She might have smiled under the veil had he been able to see clearly. But she smartly kept herself covered. After finally placing the bottle and a glass onto the desk, he began to lift another for her, “Drink?”

“Mr. Finch…if you have something to tell me, I strongly suggest you offer it now and quit wasting my time. You are being paid handsomely, I recall, and there should be better things for you to do at present than trying to pick me up.”

No nonsense. He liked that too. “I was just being polite, Miss Sullivan.” Sam left the glass in the drawer and poured himself a drink, all the sudden a bit more relaxed. He allowed it to pour slowly and finally placed the cap back on the bottle. When a sigh finally escaped Miss Sullivan’s lips, he spoke. “I do happen to have some information…and I’ll share it with you. But as I said on the phone last night…I’m gonna need you to be open with me here…I need to know everything you know. Trying to guess at things makes my job that much harder.”

“I’ve told you all you need, Mr. Finch. I’ve given you what papers I have about Professor West and I’ve told you all I know about the circumstances surrounding his disappearance. I would like for you to tell me that you know where he is.”

Sam took a drink slowly as he surveyed what little of her face he could see. He placed the glass back down on the desk as he pulled a piece of paper from his pocket. “I got this address from the Professor’s place. I went down there and took a look around.”

“Is this where you saw the German gentlemen you mentioned?” she coolly asked as she took a cigarette from that same ornate wooden case and brought it to her lips just under the veil.

She allowed Sam to move and light it and waited for him to answer. Sam turned after putting the lighter back and moved to drape his arm over the filing cabinet against the wall. “Not exactly,” he carefully answered. “They come up a bit earlier.”

“Then I am clearly as confused as you, Mr. Finch.”

“You’re telling me,” he answered as he moved back to the desk and poured another drink. “These fellas came up on me pretty quick. Did a number on me too.”

“You don’t look so awful...” she surveyed him with dark eyes, “perhaps a tad…wrinkled.”

“Hey…the wounds are on the inside,” he answered tapping at his chest. “I got better things to do than get beat up by a couple of bruisers when I don’t know why. If I’m gonna get hit, I better damn well start it.”

“And I’ve no doubt you have…plenty of times, Mr. Finch. You strike me as a man who does not shy away from a fight.”

“You’re damned straight!” Sam answered more forcefully than he intended and began to question exactly what they were arguing.

“Then why should this episode be any less likely?” she answered to save him more than anything else.

“That’s exactly what I’d like you to tell me, lady.” Sam’s pride in his answer was evident by the way he threw his feet up on the desk and caused Miss Sullivan to laugh only slightly.

“I know no more than I have offered, Mr. Finch. And your constant questioning of the fact is time better spent searching for what I am paying you to find. Professor West may not have much time and his welfare is of great importance to…me.”

There was a slight hesitance and Sam noted it immediately. He dropped his feet to the floor and moved his chair closer to the desk. “Then tell me more about this book. What about that?”

Miss Sullivan simply stared at Sam, unwilling to break the silence. She appeared exasperated and Sam began to wonder if he was taking the right track with her. Maybe she didn’t really know any more than she had said. But that was never the case. They always knew more. He just couldn’t figure out how to pry it from her lovely fingers.

“Perhaps you should begin by simply giving me what you have found, Mr. Finch?” she finally questioned and Sam knew he wouldn’t get anywhere else with her tonight. Her mouth was shut tight, not a word escaping that she didn’t mean. And he had found out nothing new.

He scratched at his chin as he eyed the bottle before him, but sat back in his chair and folded his arms across his chest instead. “Ok, Miss Sullivan…here it is…we found a book of some type at the Professor’s apartment and got beat up pretty bad as a result. Your mysterious German guys I mentioned…” he eyed her as he laid it out, “They come by here later and take the book and I got no idea where they took it.”

“So we now have two things missing instead of one. That would seem the opposite of what I am paying you for, Mr. Finch.”

He ignored her point and continued, “So I then head out to this address I found in the Professor’s apartment and that’s where things get a little…”

“Yes?” Miss Sullivan asked without a beat.

Before he could answer, the phone rang. He held up a finger as he picked up the line and answered, “Yeah?”

There was a silence as he listened to the voice on the other end. Miss Sullivan sat patiently waiting and the look on Sam’s face grew large, his chin dropping sharply. He tried to question a few times, but each found answer from the other end of the line and he finally nodded his head and replied, “O.K. Sorry to send you out there on a wild goose chase, Frank.”

When he placed the ear piece back into the cradle, he immediately moved to pour another drink.

“Sure you won’t have one?” he asked without pausing.

When she did not answer, he took the drink down and struggled to say a word himself.

“Who was it?” she finally asked.

“A buddy of mine down at the station…like I said, we went down to this house last night and came across some pretty weird sh…er, stuff. Like I’ve never seen before…”

“Like what, Mr. Finch?” Miss Sullivan seemed genuinely curious.

“Just…” he stopped again, still unable to believe what Frank had said. “It’s gone.”

“What is gone?”

“There’s nothing there. That’s what I’m trying to tell you…they didn’t find anything there. It’s just an empty house…no signs of life at all.”

As he moved to take another sip of his drink, Miss Sullivan finally moved forward in her chair, “What did you see, Mr. Finch?”

He thought about it for a few seconds before finally blurting out, “Nothing.”

She stood, such was her curiosity, and placed a hand on Sam’s desk, “What?”

Sam jumped from his chair and turned the corner of his desk quickly. He took liberties by slipping an arm around her waist and helped to escort her from the office. She briefly struggled to react but allowed him to push her along. Sam deposited her at the front door of the suite and looked around to make sure she hadn’t left a coat in the waiting room.

“I’m sorry to drag you down here, Miss Sullivan,” he said sharply.

“I beg your pardon?” she asked with force as she tried to stand her ground.

“I told you what I know…and I’m still working on it. Give me another couple of days…I’m sure I can locate your Professor by then.”

He seemed completely taken by an idea and she had little choice. Miss Sullivan pulled the door to the office open and walked from the room. She crossed the floor quickly and stood by the elevator. Pressing the button, only then she turned back to look at Sam, “You will find much more than you imagine if you but look, Mr. Finch. And you would do well to tell me once you have.”

The elevator door opened immediately and she walked out of his sight, leaving him to his frenzy. And frenzy it was. How had the man disappeared from the house? There was no trace? Nothing to even suggest an inhabitant for months? Years? It just wasn’t possible.

Before even thinking about it, Sam walked back into his office and closed the door. He picked up the phone and called for a number without a beat. He sat with a thud into his leather chair and pressed the receiver to his ear waiting for the call to be answered. It rang once…twice…three times…and then a voice answered, “Hello?”

Sam let out a long held breath and started to pour himself another drink. “Jasper…you need to come down here.”
 

comagoosie

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Haha we have broken Sam's will not to communicate with Jasper! Anyways, Miss Sullivan knows more than she is telling...especially with an Irish name like hers :p

It's quite disturbing that it's gone. But I wouldn't say it was a suprise. The Germans have some mighty resources.
 

unmerged(81979)

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Quite right, coma, Irish are good at keeping secrets.... unless.... A stiff drink is in order then! Anyone for a Guinness? :rofl::rofl::rofl:

Another smashing update, coz! :)
 

Brandenburg III

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Okay coz1, with regular updates you’ve convinced me to come back. I probably won’t comment again until I’ve caught up again but with your writing that shouldn’t take long.

On another note, I’d ask you to reconsider removing this AAR from the ACAs. Without it, I don’t have a EU3 narrative spot to fill. :(
 

Lord E

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It really is something strange going on here… wonderful scene Coz, it really felt like scene from a typical detective novel. Very nice work, I wonder what will happen when Jasper arrives
 

Enewald

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Poor Sam, thither and whither his mind is running.
And the more he tries to figure everything out, the more he realises what be unknown to him.

Someone help that fellah.
 

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Ah, the noir cliches: the good girl Friday the hero ignores, while falling headfirst for the dangerous femme fatale. Well-written, even if it's a bit formulaic. ;)

“You will find much more than you imagine if you but look, Mr. Finch. And you would do well to tell me once you have.”
This, more than anything, shows that Ms. Sullivan knows a good deal more than she lets on.

The way Ms. Sullivan and Sam were circling each other, looking for a weakness, was well done. In the end, I think it was Sullivan who cracked - ever so slightly - with her comment that I quoted above.

So Sam realizes he needs Jasper. That's quite a shocker, given his stated antipathy. :)
 

TheExecuter

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Nice 'hard-boiled' scene. One minor nitpick...the conversation between Sam and Ms. Sullivan sounded like a conversation between two men. Far too logical and short for a woman being in the conversation.

TheExecuter
 

coz1

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Fb-fb:

Haha we have broken Sam's will not to communicate with Jasper! Anyways, Miss Sullivan knows more than she is telling...especially with an Irish name like hers :p

It's quite disturbing that it's gone. But I wouldn't say it was a suprise. The Germans have some mighty resources.
It would have to be a real big thing to make Sam contact Jasper. This must count. :D

Quite right, coma, Irish are good at keeping secrets.... unless.... A stiff drink is in order then! Anyone for a Guinness? :rofl::rofl::rofl:

Another smashing update, coz! :)
Yeah, but Miss Sullivan never will take that offered drink. ;)

Okay coz1, with regular updates you’ve convinced me to come back. I probably won’t comment again until I’ve caught up again but with your writing that shouldn’t take long.

On another note, I’d ask you to reconsider removing this AAR from the ACAs. Without it, I don’t have a EU3 narrative spot to fill. :(
Good to see you back, BIII. Hope the second episode works as well as the first. As for the ACAs, that's just silly. ;) There are plenty of other eligible and worthy AARs. Just look. :D

So the object has moved itself, and Otto, and left not a trace. Hmm, so careful; sounds like Sebastion...
It could be...but what if it isn't? ;)

It really is something strange going on here… wonderful scene Coz, it really felt like scene from a typical detective novel. Very nice work, I wonder what will happen when Jasper arrives
Glad you liked that, Lord E. I enjoy writing the 1938 sections quite a lot. It's fun to "feel" the period but a little difficult not to overdue the "trappings" of the time. As for Jasper, we'll see.

Poor Sam, thither and whither his mind is running.
And the more he tries to figure everything out, the more he realises what be unknown to him.

Someone help that fellah.
Maybe it will be Jasper. :rofl: Somehow, I doubt that too. But I have some ideas of some others that might lend a hand, one of which will come around very soon. Stay tuned.

Ah, the noir cliches: the good girl Friday the hero ignores, while falling headfirst for the dangerous femme fatale. Well-written, even if it's a bit formulaic. ;)

This, more than anything, shows that Ms. Sullivan knows a good deal more than she lets on.

The way Ms. Sullivan and Sam were circling each other, looking for a weakness, was well done. In the end, I think it was Sullivan who cracked - ever so slightly - with her comment that I quoted above.

So Sam realizes he needs Jasper. That's quite a shocker, given his stated antipathy. :)
Indeed, as mentioned above, I try to not be too formulaic, but certain parts of the story need to be there for the reader shorthand. If I can mix them up a bit, I'll be happy. For now, Min remains his girl Friday - exactly. And so Sullivan must be the femme fatale. I'm gonna gloss Minnie up a bit soon though, so wait for it.

I'm glad you liked the back and forth. At first, I felt that I could have shortened the scene by half, perhaps. But as I kept reading it, the lengthy back and forth seemed exactly necessary to show the probing. If only Sam were a little brighter, he might get what he needed more quickly. :p But she does have him a bit flummoxed.

And indeed, it was something really big that made him make that call. If anything, Jasper is the only other person that saw what he saw.

Nice 'hard-boiled' scene. One minor nitpick...the conversation between Sam and Ms. Sullivan sounded like a conversation between two men. Far too logical and short for a woman being in the conversation.

TheExecuter
I wrote her that way on purpose. At least, I wanted to change her action a bit from the first scene, especially since we'd already had an office scene between the two of them. I did not consider so much manly as forceful - not interested in beating around the bush while showing she was perhaps more intelligent that Sam. Biting too. Plus, we must consider what type of woman Sullivan is? Dare I wonder if she is even human? It is always dark when we see her. ;) Now I've said too much again. :p:D


To all - the week has caught up with me again which means no update until the weekend probably. I hope to get some writing in finally so we'll see how it goes. Thanks for the comments and keep them coming. :)
 

coz1

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* * *

New York City, 1792

Temple Franklin walked down the busy New York street, dodging vendors and people buying their wares. The city was already bustling, even this early in the morning. Although it was cold outside, Franklin felt hot as his mind turned quickly…over and over he thought about what he witnessed in Abraham Huard and now he had to tell someone else about it - someone who might believe him. As he stopped in front of a large building, he looked up and saw a poorly made sign adorning the bricks outside – UNITED STATES OF AMERICA WAR OFFICE.

While not the official building, this was where Henry Knox spent his time in New York and this was where Temple Franklin hoped his friend might be on this cold morning. He walked up the front steps and gently opened the door onto a long hall with well furnished rooms on either side. A small desk blocked his movement further into the building and at it sat a small elderly woman busy writing notes to herself. When Temple coughed, she looked up and smiled, “Good morning, sir. How may I help you?”

“Secretary Knox, madam…”

She stood immediately and ushered Franklin into one of the side rooms, depositing him on a comfortable couch. “He’s just arrived, sir. Whom shall I say is calling on him?”

“Temple Franklin, if you please.”

“Very good, Mr. Franklin. Please wait here for just a few moments.” She tottered off down the hall without much speed but certain urgency. Franklin was left to rub at his knees, trying to dry his palms. He was nervous. What if Knox did not believe him? His answer would come quickly as Henry Knox waddled into the room, his heavy frame spilling onto a couch opposite Temple.

“Good Temple…how pleasant it is to see you again. How is our friend Huard?” He turned his lips into a large grin drawing attention to his pink and puffy cheeks.

Temple swallowed hard before he spoke and found he had little saliva in his mouth. In a dry voice, he answered Knox, “Not well, it would seem. Mr. Secretary…I fear something horrid has occurred. I know not what, but Mr. Huard is afflicted by some…thing.”

“Afflicted, you say?” Knox struggled to sit up straighter and leaned his elbows on his knees as he listened. The smile dropped from his face.

“Yes, Mr. Secretary…he is not himself. Something dreadful has come over him.”

“This sounds rather serious, Mr. Franklin. Where is our friend at present?” Knox used the arm of the couch to lift himself and waved for Temple to follow him. “We must be off to see him at once.”

Temple did not waste time and hurried after the large man directing him. Knox lifted a hand to his elderly secretary as he pulled his cloak and hat from the wall. The two sped down the front steps of the building and were soon mulling in the crowded streets outside. Knox’s large frame caused the crowd to split before him and Temple stepped in his wake as the two made their way towards Franklin’s hotel. It was a long walk but Knox made sure to get as much information as he could on the way, turning occasionally to ask another question, “You say he lunged for you?”

“No sir…not lunge…but he seemed…avaricious. This was not the man I know…not the Huard I’ve spoken with before.”

Dodging a vending cart, Temple sped up to keep pace with the surprisingly quick Knox. “He begged me to leave him and tell no one. But I had to come to you. I knew only you could assist him.”

“You were wise, Mr. Franklin,” Knox called over his shoulder as the two turned a corner. “If the situation is as dire as you say, our friend is in great need. I only hope I can help the man.”

“It’s just up ahead,” Temple soon called out with urgency. Knox slowed his pace and the two men stopped finally just outside the hotel. Temple pointed up and looked to Knox with a worried face, “Mr. Huard is up there, sir. I told the staff to leave the room alone. I imagine he must be asleep…”

“Perhaps,” Knox answered more to himself than to Temple.

The corpulent Secretary of War took a gingerly step forward and both men entered the hotel. Knox allowed Temple to lead the way, stopping only slightly as he struggled to climb the stairs. Soon they stood outside the door to the room and Temple turned to Knox. Motioning with his head, he spoke softly. “He is in there.”

Knox surveyed the door for a moment and cautiously turned the handle. It opened easily enough, someone forgetting to lock it behind them. He struggled to see as the curtains were drawn. The room was nearly black as night and no where could he make out the form of Huard. The Secretary stepped foot in the room finally, followed by an apprehensive Franklin.

“Good morning…” Knox spoke softly and not sure towards whom.

When no answer arrived, he waved Temple to shut the door behind them and open a curtain. “We must have light, sir.”

When Temple pushed a heavy green curtain to one side, the sun spilled into the room showing the dust hanging lazily in the air. Knox was forced to squint his eyes at first but soon found his vision. Yet he could still see no sign of Huard. Where was the man? Instead of his eyes, it would be his ears that finally located Abraham Huard. As the sunlight continued to fill the room, a low moan was soon heard coming from under the wooden bed. Knox was cautious as he took a step or two closer and turned to look at Temple with question.



Temple, for his part, could only shrug his shoulders. He could not explain much else about that morning and so it was entirely plausible that Huard might be under there…or something else. Both men made gesture but neither seemed willing to look. Finally, Knox bent his heavy frame and dropped to one knee. He held his weight against the bed with his arm and slowly dropped his head to see what lay beneath. When he could still see nothing, he reached out his other arm and slowly began feeling under the bed…and then Knox froze in his place.

“What is it, Mr. Secretary?” Temple called out.

Knox slowly turned his head to show Temple his shock, “My dear God…this man is dead!”

And when he withdrew his beefy arm from under the bed, it was covered in blood…
 
Last edited:

comagoosie

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oh no...not Huard :eek:

Hopefully it is a deer that he caught...or something. Since Mr. Knox felt with his hands, we aren't 100% sure it was human. Though if it was an animal, he would have felt fur... Hmm...who did Huard kill?
 

Deamon

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Maybe it's Huard sleeping in a corpse-like state?