Donne & Donne Archives

May 13, 2009

Dave: The Loophole

“So, Mr. Donne.”

“So, Herr Doktor.”

“You came alone?”

“As we agreed. No other people. Just you and me.”

“As to that.” He clapped. A very large figure stepped from the shadows.

“Oath-breaking, Doc? The White Dragon’ll never deal with you now.”

“Strictly speaking, this is not a person.” Volkart smiled. “I built it myself.”

I could see now it was some sort of construct, cobbled together from a dozen different corpses. A galvanized, mindless bodyguard. Swell.

He clapped again. It advanced on me. “If you were a better sorcerer, Mr. Donne, you would have made your own backup, too.”

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May 15, 2009

Dave: Perchance to Dream

“Then go to sleep,” I said. I knew it wouldn’t be that simple. It never was.

“When I sleep, nightmares come.”

I shrugged. “We all saw a lot of stuff in the service. It sticks with you.”

“No, I don’t mean I have nightmares. I mean nightmares come here. They come to life.”

I cocked my head. Shell shock. Maybe. Probably.

“I don’t have a wife any more.”

Not surprising. “She left you?”

“No, don’t you understand? They took her. The nightmares. They stole my wife.”

His next words finally gave me a chill. “And I have a daughter –"

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May 18, 2009

Dave: Identity Crisis

“This isn’t gonna work,” I said.

“We’ll see soon enough, monster.”

“I’m not a goddamned vampire!”

“So you say.” He took a deep breath, looked off to the east across the rooftops. The sun would rise over the Oakland Hills soon enough.

I twisted against the cross-festooned ropes. He hadn’t taken any chances on the knots. “You’re gonna look pretty silly when I don’t burst into flames.”

Bixby turned. “You’ve defied the crosses. You may well know how to defy the purifying sun.” He held up a wooden stake and a hammer. “We’ll see if you pass the third test.”

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May 19, 2009

Dave: Silence

A lot of things changed in the war. Some of that was okay. Some of it made me lonely, nostalgia for a past that was not only gone, but couldn’t even be visited any more.

Music was one thing. I used to love Glenn Miller, listening to him on the radio whenever I knew he’d be playing or leading a band. Some folks, they like Goodman better, but Miller was the guy for me.

He died in the war. Plane went down into the Channel flying back from a concert for the troops. I never listened to “Chatanooga Choo-Choo” again.

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June 1, 2009

Dave: Epilog

How do you celebrate saving the world? Especially when almost nobody knows you’ve done it, and most of the ones remaining who do aren’t exactly jumping for joy?

For Chrys and me, it meant a drink at Buttons, in a small booth towards the back. Doubles, no less. Canadian for me, something green for Chrys.

Chrys smiled, raised a toast before sipping. “Well, you did it.”

“We did it,” I corrected. “We’re in this together. That’s what it says on the door.”

“To us, then.”

“Who’s like us? Damned few, and they’re all dead,” I quoted.

“But we still live.”

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May 10, 2010

Dave: "They Always Come Back"

Donne had never seen a full-blown resurrection before. Lab-animated corpses, Abwehr revenants, Chinese "singing ghosts," Haitian zombies, reborn avatars, sure. But the original life spirit slipped cleanly into a restored and revivified body? That was remarkable. In this case, it was terrifying.

"How'd you do it?" he asked Friedl. "Last guy I heard of pulled off that trick, they made an annual holiday about it."

Friedl smiled. "What the mind of God can conceive, Man can imitate. Technology, with certain esoteric arts ..."

Donne's .45 roared. The top of Hitler's skull blew off in a fine spray. Again. "God makes thunderbolts, too."

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May 11, 2010

Dave: Some Assembly Required

"Honey, what do you make of this?"

Chrys peered down into the crawlspace. "Oh. Yuck."

Roger grunted. He'd seen more body parts during the war, but it was never pleasant.

"They look fresh," she said.

"Preserved. You can smell the chemicals."

"That's more than one ... person down there."

"More like three or four. I count four, five left feet. Not sure if they're, um, all complete sets or just ... pieces."

"I'll let you go down and check."

"Thanks, honey. One more thing -- look there. Some of these pieces have been stitched together."

She nodded slowly. "Volkart's building something."

"Or someone."

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May 12, 2010

Dave: A Family Affair

"I hate this monkey suit."

Chrys adjusted his tie. "You look very dashing."

"Great. Your family already doesn't like me."

"They do so. Well, some, perhaps. But Uncle Long is very fond of you, which is why we were invited to his birthday."

"Crap, we didn't buy him a gift! What the hell do you get the dragon who has everything?"

Chris chuckled. "Uncle Long's not like your Western dragons. He seeks only respect, not worldly wealth." She looked at him sideways. "You did memorize that list of titles and honorifics, didn't you?"

Roger dropped onto the bed. "I'm doomed."

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May 13, 2010

Dave: Conversations

"The Earth, you know, is not round," Uncle Long said.

Roger cleared his throat. "I've actually been around it, sir. It's ... round."

"It is, in fact, the shell of a great turtle, swimming the cosmos, snatching up spirits from the aether."

"Um, people have reached the South Pole. The Earth has a bottom, not an edge."

Uncle Long gazed at me. "I've met him, you know."


"The turtle. Terrible conversationalist." His narrowed eyes glowed with cold green fire. "Insists on correcting his elders."

"Roger, darling," Chrys interrupted, pulling me away with casual ease. "Come try some of these canapes."

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May 14, 2010

Dave: The Final Component

"This better work," Roger said. "I just spent the last three weeks gathering this stuff."

Weld examined the collection on his desk. The Unwashed Athame from the British Museum's secret Minoan collection. A black diamond from the charred heart of that SS officer in Luxor. Dust from Drake's real tomb.

"Right, this should be fine for the spell, Donne. All I need is a little water."

Roger rolled his eyes. "What, water from the headwaters of the Alph? Holy water from the Black Pope's private chapel?"

"Was thinking of the the tap, old boy. Wouldn't do to drink my whisky straight up."

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