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May 3, 2007

Dave: The Morning After the Night Before

Bad things happen when you're really, really tired.

I woke up late, having hit the sack a bit after 3. 

It turned out that I hadn't turned off the sink I was going to wash dishes in.  Fortunately the heating ducts had drained some of it out of the kitchen.

I hadn't put the dog into the back, either.  Well, at least the flooding water had dealt with the mess on the carpet.

I also hadn't closed the front door behind me.  But that had let the rest of the water drain, discouraging anyone from robbing the place.

Perhaps it had worked out okay.

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May 4, 2007

Dave: The Dead Past

"Goddammit, I hate these things!" Roger said, swinging the fire axe.  It cut through the zombie shoulder to ribs before getting stuck. 

"Remember Prague, '45?" Arbuthnot asked.  His saber cut cleanly through the neck of the next creature, and the two zombie bodies tangled together for a few precious moments, giving the men a chance to catch a breath.

"Yeah," Roger replied.  "But those were mad scientist Frankenstein-style zombies.  These are more voodoo rising-from-the-grave zombies."

"No, you're thinking of that abbey in Montenegro."

Roger blinked.  "Damn, you're right."  He yanked the axe free, and they went back at it.

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May 7, 2007

Dave: Speed of Thought

This isn't happening.

I mean, really.  It only happens on TV.  I can't believe I'm out of control, the car's not stopping, the car in front of me is --

You see it in movies, you know?  Or video games.  But not real life.  Not really.  Inertia's a bitch.  Bodies in motion --

If it was on TV, I'd swerve successfully, like a tire commercial.  What would Bo Duke do?

Was I speeding?  Or did I take a half-second too long getting that CD into the player?  Thank God I wasn't on the cell phone -- Sarah would never let me hear the end of it.

Sarah --

This isn't happening.

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May 8, 2007

Dave: A Drink on the Deal

Roger took the proferred drink, drained it. 

"Mister," the man in the black suit said, "you got moxie."

Roger frowned a bit.  "I think it was actually a Coca-Cola."  He made a face.  "Not my cuppa, as a friend used to say."

"No, I mean you got spunk.  Spirit.  I can use someone like you."

A shrug.  "Twenty-five a day, plus expenses.  Forty-five if I have to call in my partner."

"Is he any good?"

"It's a she, and she's better than me."  He pushed the glass back at Simmons.  "But for God's sake, don't offer her any of that crap."

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May 9, 2007

Dave: Crazy after All These Years

"Get out!  Get the hell out!" Roger shouted.  He pounded on his desk where he'd broken the glass.  Shards slammed into his flesh.  Pain helped. 

"You've hurt yourself," she purred.  "Let me --"

"Out!'  He slammed his bloody hand down again, shook his violently head like a horse dislodging a fly, then pulled out his automatic, pointing it at her unsteadily.  "You heard me!"

"Foolish mortal.  You don't want to do that."  Her voice was musk and honey and iron.

"No, but if you don't back out of this office right now, Ishtar, I'll do this."  He put the barrel of the gun to his temple.

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May 10, 2007

Dave: In His Cups

He tried to move as quietly, carefully as he could through the house, though -- things -- kept getting in his way.  He was still sober enough to realize that he'd broken promises again, to Helen and to himself. 

"You drink the first glass," he muttered, repeating an old Spanish saying he'd once read.  "The first glass drinks the second glass.  The third glass drinks you."  Nothing in there about fourth or fifth glasses, though.

He wondered why what seemed a good idea at the time inevitably turned out to be a rotten idea so soon after.

That's when Helen turned on the hall light.

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May 14, 2007

Dave: Where There's Smoke

Roger didn't like fire.  An bad night in Dresden in '45 had left him with nasty scars and underlying tension whenever open flame appeared.  He avoided fireplaces and bonfires.  He did control the fear enough to keep from running screaming into the night when Chrys set a candlelight dinner. He'd politely light people's cigarettes with matches, and he'd even sometimes use a small flame cantrip that big sergeant from Kentucky had taught him -- all stuff he could control.

Upside, of course, he'd quit smoking -- one thing to light a ciggie for a pretty girl, quite another to have smoldering flame inches away from his baby blues.

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May 15, 2007

Dave: A Body Could Cut Himself

The armored figure swung the sword in a wide, whistling arc.  "I bear in my hand the blade Exsanguinous, forged by Roman mystics seven centuries ago, honed by fell spirits to so keen an edge that you will lay in pieces ere you realize you've been cut.  Surrender."

Roger shrugged and pulled a shorter weapon from his pocket.  "All I got's an M1911A1 Colt .45, liberated from Uncle Sam in '46.  It won't cut anything, but it'll blow a hole through the back of your head the size of a baseball."  He smiled, aimed.  "You want to drop it, or should we play this out?"

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May 17, 2007

Dave: A Good Night's Work

"What is it?"

"I'm scared." Sniff.

Sigh.  "Of what?"

"The dark."

"There's light from the hallway.  And I'm not going to turn on 'Lampy.'"

"There's a monster in the closet.  It's dark in there."

"There's nothing in the closet but clothes and a big mess on the floor.  Like outside the closet, too."

"Can you look?"

Growl.  "I will look.  Then I will leave.  And you will go to sleep.  Now."

Softly.  "Okay."

He rolled his eyes, slid open the door.

A short yelp, followed by the sound of grinding rocks and crunching bones.

The little girl in bed gave her new friend a big thumbs up.

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May 18, 2007

Dave: Giving Notice

"They'll never let you go," Rudy said on the phone. 

I continued down the front steps of the Department's headquarters.  "They don't have any choice."

"Nobody at our level just quits.  Too risky.  You might fall into the Other Side's hands. Hell, you might fall into some of the wrong hands on Our Side."

"They leave me alone, I'll leave them alone."

"Hold on."  Rudy returned in a second.  "The Director put out the word.  Extreme prejudice."

"Hell. I really liked that old building. Bye, Rudy."


I hung up, and dialed another number.  Even across the street, the explosion threw me off my feet.

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