Donne & Donne Archives
March 20, 2007
Dave: A Simple Procedure
“Now hold very still, Mr. Donne. This won’t hurt at all.”
“Good to know. You’re gonna use ether or something?”
“No. It’s just that, when I am done, you will feel no pain whatsoever.”
Roger paused. The ropes had been given a bit of juice and held him tightly. “Maybe I should struggle a bit anyway.”
“If you do, I’ll have to rescind my promise about it not hurting.”
“Feeling no pain, no matter how you slice it, is gonna hurt.”
“Not if you’re ordered not to worry about it.”
A snort. “I don’t take well to orders.”
March 21, 2007
Dave: A Very Lost Art
“So what’s in there?” Roger asked. Wen Chi stiffened, then slowly set the violet-hued ceramic bell jar down on the table, carefully before turning.
“It is a secret,” he hissed. “A very large, very dark, very terrible secret.”
“You’d just as soon not let it out, I assume,” Roger replied. His voice remained calm, the automatic unwavering.
“It would be horrible,” Wen Chi said, “It would destroy many lives.”
Roger nodded. The automatic roared. The jar shattered.
The secret spread its wings to either wall. Wen Chi screamed just once as it consumed him.
"Guess so," Roger said, backing away.
March 26, 2007
Dave: What's in a name?
Lightning crackled around Ms. Ina’s fingers. “And now,” she said, childish voice thrumming like a hundred bumblebees, “you die, Roger Donne.”
Donne looked up from his newspaper. Chrys had done some research on this one, and he was lucky Chrys knew English better than he did. “23 Across – Against ending official state church.”
“Big word – 28 letters.” He gestured as casually as he could. “Crossword puzzle?”
She laughed. “Simple dolt. ‘Antidisestablishmentarianism.’”
With a mint-scented howl, she vanished.
He folded the paper. He hated crosswords. And fairies with reverse-name tricks. “Maybe simple, but who’s the dolt?” he asked empty air.
March 28, 2007
Dave: All the time in the world
Folks talk about “faster than a speeding bullet.” Bullets do move pretty fast, and the lag time between the hammer hitting the back of the cartridge and the impact of the slug in a body three feet away is exceedingly small.
But it still exists. A blink of an eye – but not faster than, say, the reaction time of faeries. Or angels. Or a prepared warding. Or certain technologies not on the market in 1950, but still available to those who had enough money (or a soul) to spare.
In that interval, something can happen.
And, that afternoon, it did.
March 30, 2007
Dave: A Working Relationship
“Sweety,” Chrys said, suddenly frozen. “If I said there was an enchanted Yao Ren scorpion on your shoulder, what would you say?”
“Um –” Roger was still. “I’d hope it was a punchline to an old family joke?”
“Don’t – move –” Her left hand slowly dipped into a slacks pocket. The scorpion twitched.
“Bad angle,” Chrys muttered, then her hand snapped forward. The thrown blade took the scorpion dead-center. It vanished in a green flash and a whiff of copper.
Roger exhaled in a slow shudder. “I love you, honey.”
She smiled, thinly, a gleam in her eyes. “You better.”
April 4, 2007
Dave: It works both ways
"Gods," the large, burly gent in a toga intoned thick-tongued, swaying slightly, "do not drink alcohol while pregnant."
"So no problem for you," Roger said, conversationally.
"You'd be surprised." The deity belched, profoundly. "Nothin' much beyond our powers."
The bronze krator smashed into the laurel-crowned back of his head. The deity toppled over and crashed to the floor, out like a light.
"What took you?" Roger asked.
Chrys snorted. "Finally figured out he’s the kiddie murderer. Jerk's so plastered, he didn't even get the saying right. It's 'Gods shouldn't kill babies while drunk.'"
Roger shuddered, and started dialing the cops.
April 13, 2007
The spirit trembled, wavered. "What is it?" Roger asked.
"The sunrise," she whispered. "Day returns. Darkness ends."
"We're in the basement. The ceiling light's still on, no windows, so nothing's changed. Wonders of the Atomic Age and all that."
The spirit shook her head, voice receding like mist from the valleys. "Day comes. That is the wonder. Once, your people understood, lived or died by when it happened, prayed and sang hymns for the dawn. Now -- your electricity, your cities -- none of you still understand what it truly represents."
Roger recalled of a sunrise he'd seen -- barely -- in Romania, in '44. "Some of us do."
April 16, 2007
Roger paced slowly up the front walk, bricks matted with leaves. He could still see his mom at the doorway as he headed off to Basic. He could still see Tommy Pierson on what had been a tire swing of the big oak in front, a decade before that.
His eyes flickered across landmarks and years. Over there had been the old barn, burned down a few winters back. Over there was where he'd buried those beer bottles. Over there was the Hamilton place. Over there was where he'd first kissed Sally Coe.
And over there was where he'd found his first body.
April 19, 2007
Dave: Family Ties
The figure stood in the doorway, menacing without actually moving. Roger could feel a chill roiling through the air, a smell of earth and jasmine. The traffic sounds from the street faded out.
"I am come for your wife, Mr. Donne."
"Not here tonight. Something I can do?"
"I seek her heart."
"Sorry, she gave it to me and I'm pretty stingy with it." He eyed the door, and regretted once again the lack of fire escape in the office.
"I will have vengeance."
"Any particular reason?"
"I know ... her father."
"I know him, too. He's an asshole. You have my sympathies."
April 23, 2007
Dave: Domestic Quarrel
She stared at him. "You got -- a cat?"
Roger stroked the tabby. "Yeah."
"I like cats. They're clean. They're pretty. They're independent. They make a nice noise."
"That's what you have me for," Chrys said, scowling.
"Cats are sneaky, sinister, and often hosts of dark spirits. A dog --"
He chuckled. "Dogs bark too much, with our clientele. Cats --"
The front door of the office jingled. The cat abruptly turned into a small, furry cloud of teeth and claws, buzzsawing out of Roger's lap to dash behind the file cabinets.
Chrys raised an eyebrow, politely silent. Roger reached for the drawer with the iodine.