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[personal profile] froodle
Algernon the Invincible, all six foot eight inches and three hundred pounds of him, glistened beneath the hot white glare of the spotlights. His exposed skin was slick with baby oil and he stood tall and proud in his costume of gold and purple lycra. Around him, the screams of the crowd faded to a dull roar. Old Scratch slumped limply against the ropes, his horns askew, his face streaked with black and red where his makeup had run. Behind him, a rectangle of pulsing light hung in the air, the heat haze coming from within it making the image swim and buckle.

Algernon rushed forward, seizing the labouring devil with both hands. The other-worldly portal grew brighter, the temperature rising to almost unbearable levels as Algernon pushed forward, straining against his opponents' infernal strength. Behind the incandescent glow, something moved, dark and amorphous, and for a moment Algernon believed he could hear more than just the noise from the audience. He frowned, the motion pulling his gloriously waxed moustache down, and shook his head to dispel the troubling thought.

He lifted the King of Hell, his knees bending under a burden that seemed at odds with the Adversary's slight build, and pitched him through the shrieking gateway. The light snapped off, and Algernon was alone in the ring, illuminated only by the pale blue-green glow of the emergency lighting.

Satan was gone. The entrance to the Netherworld had been closed. The fans cheered and whistled and stamped their feet, while home-made placards waved madly in the murky, smoke-filled air.

"That was so fake," said Syndi Teller, pausing by the front door. She gave the television an incredulous look, shaking her head at the two boys who still knelt in front of it.

"Shows what you know," Marshall shot back.

Read the rest of the Teller Family History here )

Read the rest of the Trusted Associates verse here )
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[personal profile] froodle
(takes place directly after "Hangover")

"Hold up, Simon," Marshall called, balancing awkwardly on one leg. "I think I've got something in my shoe." He tugged at the white and gold laces of his Sky Monsters "Slammin' Summer" limited edition tennis shoes, which were already frayed to breaking point despite only being three weeks old.

While Simon waited, Marshall pulled the offending trainer loose and upended it, unleashing a torrent of sand, shale, and the occasional limpet shell that should not have been able to fit in there.

"I guess Harley's still mad about the sandcastle competition," he said. Simon winced, reaching for the thick white bandage that swathed much of his right arm, but managed to stop himself before he actually touched the wound.

"Looks like it," he agreed. "Although I'd be less worried about him filling your sneakers with gravel and more about the fact that he chewed a giant hole through the heel."

Marshall tilted the Sky Monster to get a better look at the ragged-edged gash torn through the electric-blue sole.

"Nah," he said. "That's just wear and tear. And mudsnakes, but mostly it's just from walking around and riding my bike and stuff."

"Maybe you should try another brand," said Simon.

Read the rest of the Trusted Associates verse here )

Read the rest of the Holmes Brothers series here )
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[personal profile] froodle
Light flared behind the tall stained glass windows and for a moment the night outside was brilliant with refracted reds and blues and golds. Across the street, Marshall Teller stood on the white-washed boundary wall around a municipal flower bed and craned his neck trying to see inside.

“It could just be faulty fluorescents,” said Simon, who knew no amount of rock climbing would make him tall enough to peer in through an attic window. In reality, balancing tip-toe on a barrier encircling a mound of occultly-significant bedding plants wasn’t going to help Marshall much either, but Simon wasn’t about to waste his breath pointing that out. He spooned a mouthful of gritty, too-sweet vanilla ice-cream into his mouth using the little plastic spade that had come with the tub, and waited.

“Get real, Simon,” said Marshall, taking off his jacket and using it to boost himself an utterly pointless few millimetres. “It’s a tiny provincial theatre in the heart of downtown Eerie, and it’s been shuttered all summer. All of a sudden there’s lights and weird noises and stage doors left open and banging in the midnight winds, and you think it’s just a flickering bulb?”

Simon looked at the tiny, overpriced tub of ice-cream in his hands. ‘Locally produced!’ screamed the label, as if that would somehow make up for how bad it was. He supposed that for some people it might.

“There’s a poster outside advertising a new play,” he said. “It opens in three days. The concession stand is fully stocked, and manned, and corporeal enough to trick me into wasting three dollars on some really horrible ice-cream less than an hour ago.”

Marshall hopped down off the wall.

“This is worse than I imagined,” he said. “The ghosts must be working with Dash.”

Simon sighed.

Read the rest of the Trusted Associates verse here )
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[personal profile] froodle
The honeysuckle in Deadwood Park was in full bloom, the sweet, heady scent of the blossoms hanging in the warm evening air. Fat black and yellow bees danced a slow buzzing waltz around the white flowers, their flight paths spelling out sigils of arcane power dedicated to the Hive. White-shrouded beekeepers stood by with notebooks open, pens gripped clumsily in heavy gloves, awaiting their orders.

From his protective shelter deep inside a clump of ornamental grass, Marshall Teller also watched and took notes. His gaze skimmed across what he’d already written and he rolled his eyes.

“Chimpbee: the Animated Series.”

Read the rest of the Trusted Associates verse here )

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Eerie Indiana

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