The Blake Chronicles

Locked up
Unknown enemy
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Its 3:00 A.M. in the morning and I am back in my one room apartment here on the second floor. I just got out of jail. The silence is killing me. I want to go out with Benny and do some drinking because of the stories that the gang told me.

While I was in jail… well first let me start how I got there. It all started with meeting this reporter yesterday. He wanted to investigate some disappearances of women in the area. One thing lead to another and we became friends, acquaintances really. At any rate, we agreed to meet at our friend the policeman’s place in the morning for coffee to discuss the disappearances and if the supernatural had anything to do with it. Not that I would like a reporter in on this but Knighten (that’s the reporter’s name) is also invited. Now I usually try to keep the paps out of this because they can really mess things up (then again I try to keep the cops out but I have one for a pal). At any rate, we get together to discuss what we are going to do and we decide to let Kristoff (that’s the cop) do what he does so well and check with neighboring precincts. He knew a guy (I cousin of his I think) who possibly knew what was going on because it was in the middle of the ‘Reds’ territory. Well story goes that about 14 virgins (I still could not imagine that there was that many in Chicago) had turned up missing but not on the paps (not popular enough eh). Well we got impulsive and while our dear friend was looking into it the legal way we decided to do a little looking of our own; bad idea.

We go looking for disappearances and got a small list of names of people that had lived in the area and go knocking on doors like a bunch of mormons (you know the guys with the suits). Stupid us we bring the annoying fox, Kyle, along for the ride. While we are attempting to be serious he uses his magic er, what ever to manipulate my looks so that a kilt wearing guy like myself appears like a woman. It works, there’s the three of us humans (and the fox worn around Benny’s neck like grandma’s shawl). This old geezer answers the door and looks at us. Of course I introduce us and because the fox’s trick the guy freaks out and then the fox speaks and the man passes out. I wanted no part of it but Knighton ask me to help him back into the house and Benny starts looking for clues as to why this old guy’s daughter disappeared. Yea, we found nothing. The guy comes too and calls the cops.

Now we didn’t know this but it complicates out lives even more because again, we are not in Kristoff’s turf but in fact his cousins and as I heard he was making nice with the police chief of the area. Well the cops show and the fox will no shut up. Naturally someone has to explain the supernatural and the next thing I know I am taking one for the team and claiming that I am a ventriloquist and an ass.

So I go quietly but the fox (who I took with me) will not shut his hole and keeps talking). The cop who thinks that its me asks politely to keep quiet and the fox continues and I finally have to shut him up myself because the cop is quite upset (as am I). Well we got book and arrested and I spent some time in the clink while the fox went to the locker.

I heard that while the fox and I was in the lock up that our friend the cop returned and he was quite upset with what we had done and cussed about his efforts to keep the peace with the other cops and told them that he planned to meet with family to discuss the case (I really wished it had turned out for him; I explain later). The arrangements were made and the two were going to meet at Rigley’s Field. Kristoff had worked out with Benny and Knighton (whom I refer as Baby Face affectionately; he does, he has a cute face. I almost punched it once. I’ll tell you the story some time).

Well when they went down to the meeting, Benny and Baby Face followed Kristoff to the field and they were supposed to watch from outside and stand watch if there was any monkey business. They came to nothing but an empty car with a corpse inside; yup, the cousin. More dead then a bag of hammer and with his throat ripped clean out. No blood just a dead guy. The shock shook the cop to the core and the hunt started to find out what the missing girls and dead cop had in common and what was really going on; who knows. We need to get to the bottom of this and fast because people are going to die fast if we do not get this figured out.

Now I know that you are a vampire and are still friendly to me. Repulsive but entertaining so brother, I hope that I am to you; I remain yours.


Goon Squad
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It had only been a few weeks on Earth, but it seemed like an eternity. Will I ever get back home? I have no choice. I cannot give up. I will not be like my other fallen brethren. I’ve lost too many friends and have seen them in the battlefield before. Their hatred slowly corrupts them as each day passes. If they lose out on their spots in paradise, why should the humans be any different? Well I lost out on my chance on paradise, but I don’t want others to suffer my same fate. Maybe this is why I have retained some shred of my being. Maybe I haven’t truly been exiled. Maybe this is a chance for me to prove myself in His eyes. All I know is I won’t give up.

I have made several friends since I have been here. One which truly understands me is the pastor of the local protestant church, Pastor Robins. Up until recently he had been questioning his faith. Is God real? What happens after death? He was getting ready to give it all up. It was thanks to my new friend, Krzysztof, who brought me into the church with me wearing only the coat off his back. The pastor was shocked. We sat in his office for hours that night as I told him my story. He sat in complete silence taking in each word. It was later that I learned of the pistol and bottle of scotch that were scheduled to have a meeting with him if our meeting had not occurred.

As time passed Pastor Robins was immersed deeper into our world. The demons and angels of his faith more than just that. They are real creatures that bump and bump back in the night and I was here to help tip the scales in heaven’s favor. It turns out this may be my only way back. This was how I met Kyle. It was supposed to be a hunt for a possible demon trouble maker, a lower one. That is another story leading to a dead end however.

This lead me to the events of recent. I was told that this lead would be much more fruitful. I heard rumors that Nicodemus may be in town. This would be some real bad news. We are talking the opposite of Michael, the archangel. So I set off to find Krys but with no luck. I left a message with his mom and headed to find what I could. As I arrived at the lounge I was greeted by an interesting sight. It turns out my friend Henry has a gig at the joint. Could mean two things either one there is a high amount of vampire activities, or his band manager is a terrible organizer when it comes to dangerous places. Well might as well enjoy the show. That was until I saw the kid walk in. He looked like he was straight out of prep-school. This kid stood out like a sore thumb and I wasn’t the only one who noticed. A red court hopped on him like he was the last drop of blood in the joint. I approached the fool and told him to scram. If it weren’t for the owner backing me up I would have broken treaty and so would he. The kid has no clue what just happened and I don’t expect him to. I decided I should buy him dinner before I send him on his way. Maybe a vamp that hungry would leave and go off somewhere else. After sitting and talking with the kid I find out why he is really here. It turns out its the same cultish lead I am after. At this point Kyle joins us accompanied by some lady who the kid claims is with her. The broad is beautiful, but I don’t have time for this, eternity awaits me. So we sit and have a talk till Henry gets done with work. As he finally gets off who other than Krys shows up. After all our lovely friends have decided to join us we talk about the situation at hand. The kid seems eager to join us on these dangers. I give him a stipulation, give Henry a shiner if he can or go home and never look back. Henry agrees like I knew he would. Krys and I place bets on the spectacle unraveling before our eyes. After bets are placed, we had a slight hope in our mind that the kid would actually win. Maybe it was us trying to get that innocent nature back that we lost when we decided to be the ones that fight back. None the less after one punch the kid joined our squad. Now we rest and see what tomorrow brings. Let’s hope the kid can handle it.

The Dark Side of Town
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Although organized crime is on the rise, and politicians are becoming ever and evermore corrupt, there is still a darker side to this city; a side that like the far side of the moon, will always be hidden to the world.

This dark world is here among us. Conventional borders and territorial boundary lines do not keep us away from this side. There are no train tracks to cross, no fences to climb or rivers to traverse. Each of these would normally reveal that you have left the comforts of your home neighborhood and entered into the shadier part of town. No, this world is all around…and most don’t even know it!

This shrouded side is neither a politically-imposed refuge like our shantytowns home of the lost and confounded, nor a gated-community like Hyde Park where the Bagpiping Barons and Wealth-inherited Weasels live. Yet, this dark side is there, too. It is a hidden world all around.

Last night I had the misfortune of crossing that ethereal boundary and boy was I under-prepared.

I was following a reliable lead on the mysterious disappearances of several young women from various neighborhoods. I had heard of something dark behind the story, but did not know the details at the time. My lead led me to a quaint joint that was across town. It was a social venue, but not very lively. There was a band playing. I asked the bartender for a drink. He pointed to a sign saying that he was legit, “No Alcohol Served Here.” I took him on his word. I asked him if he knew anything about the missing girls. No answer. I asked if he knew if anything strange had been happening lately. No answer, but a cocky-sounding grunt. Man, I was getting no where with this guy. No drink and no answers…which panned out to no good night and no story.

I found my way to a corner both to enjoy the music and survey the joint of anyone that might give me some leads. The music was a bit light for my taste. I could tell that the clarinetist seemed to agree with that. He appeared a bit restless with the choice of song sets as. He seemed to be playing just a little louder than the band director wanted. They kept giving each other the evil-eye.

As soon as I sat down at the table, a tall dark bloak sat down next to me. I could immediately feel something not right about him. Yet, I gave my hand out in friendship. Maybe knew something.

“Knighten Foraine’s the name.”

He simply eyed me up and down, and said, “Interesting. Can I buy you a drink?” Apparently, he couldn’t read the sign.

This invitation was clearly unsolicited. That may fly in France among the Absinthe houses populated by the Parisian Art community; but not in America! Fortunately, a fellow gentleman put a broad hand on the unwelcome flagrant and told him to go bite the curb. It seemed as if things were about to escalate, when the establishment’s owner slammed down an empty mug that he had been cleaning. Both men looked back at him. The owner’s eyes were like daggers on the unwanted stranger. To my relief he sulked away. The more friendly stranger sat down. He introduced himself as Benny. He order us both a meal. He told me that I had just tangoed with a real life Vampire! My blood ran cold…at least for the rest of my night I would be less desirable to any more of these foul fiends.

Since Benny seemed to know somewhat of this dark world that I was trying to learn more about, I asked him if he knew anything about the missing girls. He shrugged me off and said I should be talking about any of this. I tried to get me to “run on home”. Knighten Foraine never backs down from a story, though. He knew something and that meant that I wasn’t going anywhere until I found out. I was going to stick to him like soot on a chimney-sweeps underpants.

When the band ended their song, I turned to clap and acknowledge their performance. As I turned back around we had been joined by a fox. Yes, you read that right…a forestland frolicking furry fox. And if that was not out of the ordinary enough, he SPOKE…in an Irish accent!! Readers, if you are having trouble at this point whether you should continue on or put down that paper—-I know how you are feeling. I urge you to continue. Why? Because this is all true. I stake my reputation and value as a citizen of America, that I am telling it just how it happened.

Returning now to the fox. Please, follow me on this. It actually was a talking fox. He said his name was Kyle (yes, foxes can have names, too); he was a kitsune from legends (well actually half-kitsune…which meant only one parent was kitsune, the other was, well…you know…one of us.) Okay, now if this is too much for you, put the paper down just long enough to take a long drag of your tobacco pipe to calm your nerves because you don’t want to miss what is about to happen. I asked him if he knew anything. He did know something, unfortunately it was nothing of importance something about the moors just South of Dublin and something about buried faerie treasure, yoddy, yoddy, yoddy.

The kitsune’s long monologue was interrupted when a member of the band, the unorthodox clarinetist, slammed himself down on the booth seat. Immediately, I could tell that he was a pistol ready to fire. I made a mental note not to get on this guy’s bad side. The clarinetist began swearing up a storm about how the band director was the worst person on Earth. I must admit that most of what came out of his mouth would not be appropriate for this newspaper, or was simply unrecognizable as words. His accent was thicker than the kit fox. He must have just got off the boat. Once he calmed down a bit, I was able to ask if he knew anything. Again, not much luck. He said his name was Henry. He did know about some strange activity regarding the Vampires. He apparently moonlighted (or daylighted, since his band gigs where at night) as Vampire Hunter.

But, he knew for sure that if some Vampires were responsible for missing girls he would be the first to know about it. I don’t know his connections in the Vampire community, but they seemed quite solid. With that, he was back on the bandstand playing another set.

My friend Celena Glistine (I call her CG for short) walked in unexpectedly. I don’t even know how she knew about this place. CG and I go back quite a ways, but it is too complicated to explain in this article. Just know that I was very surprised to see her, yet she did bring a bit of comforting light to such a darkening place. Somehow, Kyle knew my friend, but she was not liking his vibe at all. By the way, Kyle if you are reading this column (I just assume that if you can talk you can read, too) the name is Knighten, K-N-I-G-H-T-E-N. Knighten Foraine. It is not Knight. It is not Knightly. It is not Knight of the Round! It is Knighten!

Anyway, the last member of this party showed up. A cop from the Southside. He introduced himself as Krzysztof He had just got off his beat. He looked a bit tired. I asked him that same questions. He wasn’t very hospitable. I felt that he was a hard-jawed officer that kept things close to the chest. He looked at me like I was just some kid.

After I was about to give up on these guys, and go looking for answers on my own, Benny sized me up and said, “Look kid, there are things out there that you could only dream of in your worst nightmares. You don’t got what it takes. Go home before you get hurt!”

“I can take what ever is dished out to me. I might have been born with a slightly tarnished silver spoon in my mouth, but I have been able to swallow whole pieces of chopped liver for breakfast. You dish, I’ll take it.”

“Really? You’re foolin’ yourself kid.”

“I’m not a kid!”

“Prove it. You take a hit on this guy. One black eye, and we will back you up. We will tell you everything you need to know. Heck! We’ll even take you to the bowels of Hell if you ask.” The ornery clarinetist had just returned and was standing at the end of Benny’s pointed finger. He looked more disgruntled than ever.

“You’re on!”

Krzysztoff stepped into the mix. “Wait! You can’t do this…”

“Step out of the way, I can do this.” I said.

“Possibly you might, but we haven’t place bets yet. I got $10 bucks that Henry lays him flat!”

Benny took him up on the bet, “He looks like he has some Spirit. I will see your $10.”

It felt like an auction at the Stock Yards. What was I getting into? Once the bets were made, Henry spit on a cloth from his pocket and rubbed it on the side of his chin. “I’ll give you one free hit right here.”

The place had cleared out and our party were the only ones left. Half of us were cheering for Henry the other half for me. I thought, one free shot, Knighten you better give him everything you got. I could tell he was a bit over-cocky and if I egged him on he might move just enough off balance. From the way that he moved, it didn’t seem that he was much of a weakness to anything. I didn’t let that stop me though. I knew from my college days that I had brought down many opponents to the mat. They didn’t call me the Knightcap for nothing. I had made many an opponent drift off to sleep with one punch; this guy would be no different. I squared him up, feinted forward and saw him reflex the intended blow. I then released an astounding cross-over stepping in with all my weight. HitIt was like punching right into a bag of flour. I took only a half step back. With all my force, I had not even phased him. In fact, I just enraged him. His face went as red as his trademark hair. I could see Death in his eyes. He was about ready to send me to my Maker just from looking at me, when I suddenly thrust out my hand to make peace and bow out. To my relief he took me up on it. He squeezed my hand like uncle Marvel used to do. He left it throbbing on releasing my hand.

“A bet is a bet.” Krzysztof said to me. He held out the $10.

“What do you mean? I lost. He clearly doesn’t have a black-eye.”

“Listen kid. My father always told me, ‘You don’t question when a man makes the Tatras move JUST an inch.’ Here’s your $10. A bet’s a bet.”

“I don’t need the money. You keep it, give it to someone widow in your neighborhood. Goodness knows she needs it more than I do in these trying times.”

“You’re all right, kid.” He said affirmatively. “Fellas, the kids in.” The rest of the group instinctively knew what he meant.

I had done it! With a bit of luck and one sore hand, they were going to help me get this story. Readers, if this is the last column I write it is not that I do not have anything more to write. It will be because I am going into the treacherous dark, where I might not return. If this dark world takes me know this, you can bet that I am biting on to this story like a British Bulldog and I won’t let it go until it squeals out the truth like a whorish hog.

Knighten signature
Knighten P. Foraine,
Field Reporter for the Ripley Register


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