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I recently acquired the legal status of "Laird" by purchasing two (small) plots of land in Scotland. By the old German rules I can now claim the name "Michael Irwin Schimmel von Locaber und Glencoe". 

That in your faces, Adels!

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Lieutenant Fraser and Sergeant Jager came into the Chesterfield late, both of them in thoroughly foul moods.  Four days rooting around in city sewers will do that to a man.  It didn’t help that a change of clothes and a thorough shower in both their cases hadn’t totally removed a certain, well, air they had acquired while doing so.  The alacrity with which the crowd parted before them, and the thought of what their wives would say when they reluctantly came home didn’t help matters, no, not one bit.

They didn’t have to worry about privacy when they reached their habitual booth. The M.E. had a similar air about him.  Winslow and the Doc didn’t, which was totally unfair. It was Winslow who was responsible for their sewer slog, in their view, and he should have been along and not holed up in a nice, clean, ozone-smelling computer cubicle.  They didn’t hesitate to say so.

“Hey”, said a hurt Winslow, “It’s White Lightning who’s responsible for your being there.  She put the bodies there, not me!  I just picked up the lead from Indianapolis and a couple of other towns we know she’s been in. Without that, we’d still be wondering what she did with the bodies of those gangsters.”

“There’s worse things than wondering” groused Fraser.  “My wife threatened me with a wire brush and sandpaper last night if I couldn’t get the smell out. As it was, I had to sleep on the couch on a plastic tarp.”

“This morning my wife was asking me where she could get about forty gallons of mule disinfectant!” said Jager.  If they start comparing notes I’m gonna have to leave town till the outer layer of skin wears off!”

“I thought my family was used to the smells I brought home”, said the M.E. glumly.  “I was wrong.  I’ve got a wife and two daughters demanding I shave my hair off—all over.  They say that’s what’s trapping the odors.  I may have to join you.”

Lamentations along this line continued through the meal.  Full bellies and a few pitchers of beer relaxed them, however, and they were finally ready to get down to business.

“To summarize” said the M.E. “our sewer search has so far recovered fourteen human skulls and enough bones to account for at least that many people. We seem to have some extra bones which might bring the toll up to sixteen or so when the sewer search is completed. I’m told that’ll be sometime next week. Stop groaning Jager, I’m down there too, remember!”

”To continue, twelve of the fourteen are male, two female. We have so far identified five of them. Four are known gangsters of the gangs involved in the recent street war.  Surviving bits of clothing and pocket junk suggest the majority of the remainder—perhaps all the males—are also gangsters. The identified female is (drum roll please) the long-lost and unlamented Mama Goldfanger!”

There wasn’t quite a round of applause to this announcement, but faces lit up all around the table.  The dead woman was a sex trade recruiter and trafficker of notable viciousness who had successfully dodged the Vice Squad for years. “I don’t recall any of the skulls having gold teeth” commented Fraser. “Lot of missing teeth though. Could our girl be trading in gold teeth? Maybe a word to Pawnshop is in order, have them ask around the gold buyers.”

“I was going to suggest that. Mama clearly had her gold teeth wrenched out of her head postmortem, and one of our other skulls had a gold filling that’s missing along with the tooth.  Our girl seems to believe in ‘waste not, want not’.”

“Or else she likes to keep souvenirs. I remember my dad telling me about Marines in the Pacific who collected Japanese gold teeth. He was never sure whether they were greedy or just a bit crazy or what.”

“Since she lives by hunting maybe it’s just a gruesome type of practicality.  I agree, we might get a trace on her by looking for sales of gold teeth and filling, as well as personal jewelry.  Men’s jewelry, since they’re the majority of her victims.”

“You’re assuming she’s still in town” said Winslow.  “I think I may have a trace on her back in Indianapolis. Maybe we should be asking them to be checking for gold teeth.”

This little bombshell caused a bit of a stir, mostly along the lines of “why didn’t you say this sooner?”  Winslow’s answer was, of course, “I couldn’t get a word in edgewise—you were all blaming me for sending you into the sewers!  Are you ready to listen now?”

They were ready to listen.  They were not ready to hear what he told them.

“There was an incident in Indianapolis about three weeks ago. It didn’t go out to other departments because it was strictly local interest, or so they thought.  I picked it up while doing some digging into their files hoping to pick up some more behavioral clues from her time there. Instead, I found this relatively current item that looks very suspicious based on what we know of White Lightning.”

“Officially, some chick overdosed on meth, or cocaine or whatever, and went on a rampage.  She appeared out of nowhere downtown, about ten P.M. running  and jumping around madly.  One witness says she was whooping “Cofffeee” at the top of her lungs.  She got into two fistfights within ten minutes, both with male drifters a lot bigger than her, and won both of them.  She apparently didn’t like the way they looked at her.  Then—this is the killer—she actually ran up to a motorcycle cop, challenged him to a race—and won!  She outran him the length of two blocks, to an intersection where he had to stop because of traffic. She dodged through the traffic, then, to add insult to injury, she pulled up her shirt, pulled off her bra and flashed him!  She threw the bra over the phone lines and ran off. The cop swore that in dodging traffic at the intersection she jumped over a car.  She was spotted in a number of other places for the next half hour, sans shirt, which got her some attention, then ran into the high-rise area of downtown which is pretty deserted at night, and they lost her.  She’s described as five foot or so, black hair and white skin, long-legged for her height, generally athletic build. No sightings since.”

Stunned silence greeted this report, followed by snickers and one guffaw from certain sources. After a bit more silence, Jager said “the physical description is right, but it just doesn’t sound like her. She keeps her profile low, adopts other persona when interacting with other people, definitely doesn’t go on public rampages.  Maybe it was a normal chick on drugs.” “God knows we see enough of them, though this little spree does sound kind of extreme, even by our standards” said Fraser. “I don’t know what to think.”

“I can think of a couple of things, right off the bat” said Doc. We know her metabolism isn’t entirely human because she isn’t entirely human>” “We do?”, someone whispered. “Yes, we do! She can’t have a normal human metabolism and body chemistry and do the things she does!  Given that, the scream of ‘coffee’ is awfully indicative of something. It could simply be that her revved-up metabolism reacts disproportionally to caffeine, or maybe caffeine and other things in coffee.”

“Or”, said Fraser, “maybe she indulged in meth and/or coke like ordinary chicks and it really got to her. And it wasn’t ‘coffee’ it was ‘cofffeee!’ “

“Given that yell, I’d go with the caffeine theory” said Winslow.  “It would indicate she knows what gets her high, and it’d be easy enough for her to get exposed accidentally to the stuff even if she doesn’t go on binges. Hell, you find caffeine in antihistamines for heaven’s sake, and there’s bottled water with the stuff added.”

This, of course, led to a good deal of discussion. The general consensus was that it was probably caffeine, and that they had now identified a weakness in their prey—maybe. As Jaeger commented “deadly as she is sober, I wonder what we’d have to face if we got her high!”

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Quietly the huntress approached the chain link fence.  A final swift look around and, with a short run she made an unbelievable jump that cleared the fence and its’ barbed-wire top with nearly a foot to spare.

Well, it was unbelievable for a human being. It had taken Melody awhile to realize she could really do such things, and longer before she was comfortable with it, but now it came easily.  Learning to judge distance and height had been the hard parts. She still had uncomfortable memories of one bad misjudgment that had left her tangled in a barbed-wire “Y” top on a similar fence. Oooh that had hurt!  Nowadays, though, such accidents were just bad memories.

Once over the fence, she moved quickly to the barred barrier that held the cattle in their stockyard pen.  She could have easily slipped between the bars, but chose to go over the top. The night watchman wasn’t anywhere near, which made things easier, though she could have done her business right under his nose if she absolutely had to. She generally preferred not to do so—taking chances like that could lead to messy results when things went wrong.  Also, JoAnne was holding the car for her nearby, and she didn’t want to make a ruckus that led to attention being paid to the car.  That”s the downside to having a partner, she thought. If you care about the partner, you have to be more careful.

Her arrival caused an increase in mooing in the corral. She slipped farther into the assembled cattle, trying not to provoke or frighten them.  Having done so, she got to business, fastening herself onto one bovine throat after another, gorging herself on beef blood.  The anesthetic effect of her fangs worked even on such large creatures, so there was no disturbance. She fed from several of the creatures, so as not to cause them to collapse.

Not that it mattered that much. The cattle would die tomorrow anyway.  Not for the first time, she contemplated the irony—she was called a monster for drinking blood by creatures which built slaughterhouses running with the stuff to provide themselves with not-really-necessary food.  Maybe would be vampire hunters should tour such a facility to get a perspective on the matter.  At least she didn’t pen up and torture the creatures she fed on—though for all she knew, other vampires might be master sadists.  If there were other vampires.  Don’t think about that now. That way lies loneliness and madness.

As usual, she gorged herself. Like any wild beast that has the opportunity to feed. Got to carry myself as long as possible between feedings.  She positively sloshed when she was done.

Going back was considerably harder.  Approaching the fence she froze in place and used her heightened senses to make sure there were no humans in the area. She was more vulnerable after a feeding like this, and wanted nothing more than a good sleep as she digested (processed?) her meal. It was too easy to make mistakes in such a state. Once she had walked right into a watchman after such a feed. He had lived, but she had had to leave that town the next night.  That was one of many lessons learned. She wondered sometimes how many like her (if there are more like me) had been slow in learning, and fed the Vampire Legend as a result.

Weighted down and sloshing she had to judge her leap more carefully, and came closer to the wire top than she liked. She staggered when she landed.  

She jogged (slosh, slosh) about a block to her pick-up point.  JoAnne came by about ten minutes later and they were off and away.

“How’d it go?”, the blond beauty asked. “No trouble” Melody answered. “I think the watchman here is either a drunk or spends his nights sleeping. I could have rustled half the herd if I’d wanted to.”

“ Now that’s a thought!  A hundred cows and their byproducts crammed into the apartment! Maybe we could fence them at Louie’s Pawnshop.  By the way, take your shoes off before you go indoors. I just vacuumed.”

Melody looked at her sneakers and decided not to argue the point.

“I take it you’re loaded for another five-day stretch? That blender and juicer we got seem to get a lot less use than I thought they would.”

“Be glad of them. Like I said before, my being able to digest other liquid foods saves us both a lot of angst. The way I feel, between this feed and a bit of liquified meat and veggie I should be able to go till next Full Moon.”

“But tonight, you go to sleep early.”

“Right. You’re learning the drill, as the soldiers say. More than that, really.  I can’t believe that I, of all people, never thought about liquifying food.  That’s been a real lifesaver”, and she winced internally as she said that. It was true on a
couple of levels. The longer she could go between human feedings, the more lives, literally, would be saved.

“Maybe you were too close to the problem. And of course, in your early days you certainly couldn’t afford or carry around a blender.  From what you say, you were living like a hobo initially.  But when I found you could eat broth and some soups it looked obvious to me. Liquify foods and see what you could tolerate.  It worked pretty well too, except for the coffee bean ice cream!”

“Hooo, yeah!  I can’t believe I never told you the effect coffee has on me!  Did I really drag-race a motorcycle cop on foot down Maple? And flash him afterwards?”

“Oooh, you did more than that!  I didn’t mention the bra you threw over the phone lines on Chestnut, which is still there by the way!  Or jumping into some poor guys open car window and shoving your bare tits in his face!” “I didn’t!”  “Oh yes you did!  I didn’t say anything because I was trying to catch you up on the bare-knuckle fistfights and the more serious stuff!  AND I had to explain the speeding ticket I got while trying to catch up to you in the car!  Thank God you burned out and came down when you did!  Two more minutes and you’d have been halfway up the Stavros Building, bare tits and all!”

“And what’s wrong with my bare tits?”  “Oh,absolutely nothing, darling. I thought I’d made that very clear! But they don’t belong halfway, or all the way, up the side of a skyscraper!  They’re for closer, more personal viewing, and NOT by some random Harry in a car!”

“Oh, do I detect a bit of jealousy here?”  “No, you detect a bit of frustration.  If you’d applied some of that energy toward me, instead of charging out and making me chase you all over town, think of the fun we’d have had!  That guy in the car didn’t deserve you! Oh, and tonight you’re going to flake out early.”

Actually, she didn’t flake out that early at all.  If she tried, she could draw a lot of energy from beef blood, and that night she had a lot of incentive to do so.


No journal entries yet.


Michael Schimmel
United States
Born 8-31-1945 at an Army Air Base in La Junta CO. Brought to the Bay Area by my parents who were returning home.
First 5 years in Berkeley and Oakland CA, then grew up in Walnut Creek (east of Berkeley). Graduated Del Valle HS in '63, got my B.S. at St. Mary's College in '67, and, some unkind souls say, been BS'ing ever since!. Went back to school in '69 at U.C. Berkeley, became a student leader, fought on the side of the Committee Against Tuition (and lost, but it was a good fight), graduated with a Master's in Library Science. Went to work at Fresno County Free Library in'71, put in 29 years as a Reference Librarian and Local History and Genealogy Librarian. In April of 1980 married Jane Elizabeth Walker. We have one son, Aaron, who is also on DeviantArt (as an artist, not a kibitzer). Retired early in 2000, largely due to a chronic pituitary-adrenal problem that has only been recently diagnosed. I discovered DeviantArt only recently, but it has become one of my favorite online sites.

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Joe-Maccer Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2015
Rr Emote1 by Joe-Maccer  Dancy Dude by Joe-Maccer  
IAmGoingSlightlyMad Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the fav!
WillWorks Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014   General Artist
Thanks for the :+fav:
Genkkis Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014  Professional Digital Artist

thank you for the favourite on my Honoverse's map :)

Have a nice day and a happy new year
claudio51 Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks a lot for the fav!
Ayiano Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Dad, I think you should favorite this artist:

He is a long-time professional comic book artist and has done work for comics like Batgirl and Wonder Woman, among others.
white31 Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014
I did, independently a couple of months ago.
KRYPT06 Featured By Owner May 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thanks for fav ;)
xhrono Featured By Owner May 22, 2013
Thanks for the fav :thumbsup::meow:
davidsu330 Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for the fav! Much appreciated!

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