Exquisite Corpse 2019-1: The Discussion (part 2)


Welcome back to my first post in some time! I'm hunkered down to work on my novel, but I can't say no to some collaboration!

This exquisite corpse is being hosted by @gardengnomepubs. We started this with @blockurator here. In his intro it appears there is a man investigating a large male and a smaller female who turns out to have some pretty wicked intentions and also appears to not be human.

Our protaganist has just witnessed...something? Perhaps a murder. And the "girl" has metamorphosed into something...unpleasent.

Err well you should read his entry for more detail, here we go!

The wall to the right of the big man exploded, sending him sprawling; tossed like straw in a hurricane that you find jammed into a tree the morning afterward and you're like, "Whoa, some storm!" but then your cousin Gary's like, "I heard that's an urban myth" and you're like, "Fuck you, Gary. I got eyes don't I?" Except of course without Gary who's an asshole anyway so it's probably for the best.

I pulled back out of the room, falling back onto my ass in the process. Two dark shapes had tumbled out of the bedroom and were battering at each other back and forth around the room, one a hulking wolf-beast and the other man sized but quicker, both with claws flashing, teeth bared. I sat, frozen, watching their...fight? Dance? Mating ritual? It was all three.

The big man burst in between them, his eyes empty, flailing wildly toward the creatures as if he were a puppet on a string. Regaining enough composure to move I pulled myself up and began running down the hallway. Behind me, the door splintered outwards. One of the creatures was straining against it, pulling itself through to come after me. Like a fool I looked back and saw a flash of the creature that had come from the remains of the nameless girl. Slamming into a far wall (watch where you're going while running from eldritch horrors kids) I glanced off and sprinted for the front door.

As I ran the non-girl behind sang. It had a beautiful voice. It sang of the sea, and the end, the dripping precipice of reality. The shores of perception, beneath vast unending skies of naked reality. Truth that could shatter. Truth that would shatter. Swirling and swelling and turning and no no, and yes anadda whynaotanaohnopleasegodno.

Then I was out the front door and back to the taxi. The cabbie started to ask me something, probably gonna needle me about the running fare, when he musta seen something in my eyes that made him shut up and drive. I didn't have a place for him to go. I just need a moment to think. A moment for my brain to re-ravel. Dis...unravel? Put itself back together.

"You really stepped in it, bub." The taxi driver sounded familiar. Less like himself though. Hadn't he had an accent? A different one, I mean. Something was wrong. "You were meant to be the conduit, friend. You think you can just run away from that? " The Cabbie's head bobbed to music only he could hear. Independent of the rhythm of his words. "You aren't going anywhere. You can't. We know where you are Quetz. We know who you are. You can't hide in that meat sack forever. You can't make yourself forget. That is not the deal. I will have what I am owed!" My head swam, no, baked. Flame pressed up against my eyeballs from the inside. I felt like I was boiling. I grabbed at the Cabbie and he turned around, confused as I tried to reach the wheel. He shrieked, once again with his original accent then slammed on the breaks. I was slammed forward into the seat in front of me. The cabbie opened the door and ran for it, yelling in some kinda foreign talk. I couldn't blame him. I didn't wanna be anywhere near me either.

Stumbling out of the cab I held my hands to my head. Discord echoed through me. It felt as if sirens were going off everywhere.

Wait. People were running. Other people, not just the cabbie. There really were sirens.

The world snapped back into focus, the pressure lifting from in my skull. Military vehicles were streaming down the narrow roads, headed toward the creatures. If anyone was going to be able to deal with them...

A hummer slammed into the cab, the bodies of soldiers ejected in a death pirouette. Somehow nothing touched me.

Turning back I saw the nameless girl, the big man, and the two creatures approaching down the road behind me. The creatures walked like the big man now, pulled upwards like marionettes, their eyes alight. The girl was a girl again, the redness of her lips curled up into a snarl, eyes locked with his.

"Hey Toots."

I broke eye contact and ran. Slipping down a nearby alleyway I passed a bum propped up against a dumpster.

"Q?! You're back! How long have we been in here? Why do I look like this? Nobody will even look at me, it's like I'm invisible." I stepped backwards and he must have seen the lack of recognition in my eyes. "Yeah, I know. It looks nothing like me. It's me, Fromage. You have to get me out of here. I don't even remember how we got here? Weren't we supposed to be walking into hell or somesuch?" His words rung in my head. They shook bits loose. Cihurissa? Clarhua? He had to find her. Them?

The bum screamed at something behind me. I didn't have to look. Scrambling down the alley I broke through a doorway onto a rooftop garden. Wait. The sounds of sirens and the heat of the city streamed through the open door behind. The roof was cold, snow piled high on the city below. The pressure in his head returned.

The bum stumbled through the door as well, slamming it shut behind them. "What are you just standing there for, damn it! Keep...mov..." He'd finally seen it. "What the..." The door behind him thumpd then rattled. "Shit, we gotta go."

I looked around for any other way out. Beneath the snow was easily two feet deep, but they were three stories up. This was gonna hurt. I snapped at the bum and waved him over behind the door back to the city. "This way, pal." Coming around the corner I ran into a man dressed as an old timey cop, caring a high powered rifle. The rifle went flying, skittering across the rooftop.

"I say! What's all this then!? Oh, fuck it. You're clearly not part of the game. Where am I? None of this is period appropriate!"

The door burst open at last and a young woman in a petticoat rolled through, taking a knee and pointing a revolver at them. "Inspector Posthaste, I should have known."

A smile crept onto the cop's face and he dove for the rifle. The woman fired. Falling to the ground the man flashed red as he crawled slowly around. "Medic! Medic!"

The woman stood and walked over to the rifle, kicking it off the roof. "This is for Lizzy." A second shot rang out and the cop was silent. The woman looked around, barely registering me or the bum. "Huh. Ok then. Level two." Finally she saw us. "Oh, sorry about all that, I'm not a violent person by nature but that scum was a TKer. Anyway, Pugnacia Arabesque." She made a small cursty and held out a hand. "Charmed, I'm sure."

My head swam. This was all too much. Too much. Stumbling to the edge of the roof I sat and rubbed my eyes. "Fuck it." Tipping back I launched myself backwards off the roof.

When they realized what I was doing the bum ran toward me. The woman just looked confused. As I fell she yelled after me, "Honestly, so dramatic. One could have just taken the stairs."

Ok, that's it for part 2! This was a fun challenge for me, hopefully this will give @felt.buzz some fertile ground to continue things!

If you're confused or intrigued about the characters I tossed in here you may want to check out the previous exquisite corpses The Glockenspiel Experiment, Get Off My Farm, Punk!, and A Perfect Day For a Murder.

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