Sunday, 15th July 2018

Yup. It’s a perfectly normal Sunday afternoon in Boston.

Okay, maybe not perfectly normal, because after all, it’s that time again, and it’s only a matter of when shit will hit the fan.

For the moment, though, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, there’s the faint sound of an ice cream truck playing “Pop Goes The Weasel” coming from somewhere down the street, children are laughing and playing and running screaming from a gang of little green gremliny looking thing with gnarly horns and even gnarlier teeth. It’s official, summer is in full swing.

Okay, wait, hold up. Gremliny looking thing? She stops dead in her tracks just halfway through the donut shop door, an iced coffee and bag of confections in one hand, an apple fritter hanging out of her mouth, and just stares down the street at whatever the hell is going on, until both the kid and the weird little creature disappear from view completely.

The fritter falls from her mouth and breaks apart on the cement beneath her feet, and she reaches up and rubs at her eyes with the back of her free hand. She blinks hard, shakes her head, and squints down the street, as if she’s trying to will herself to see more.

“The fuck was that?”

The random twenty-something hipster she screeched to a halt in front of opens his mouth as if he’s about to say something, but she cuts him off with a finger pressed against his lips. “Shh…” She shakes her head and clucks her tongue, still watching the empty street. “No one asked you, sweetie. Go home and look up the definition of rhetorical.” Instead of giving him a chance to respond, she blindly pats his cheek (or maybe it was his face in general, it felt like she might’ve poked him in the eyeball…) and wanders away in the direction the kid and his pet demon went.

Now, the thing is that sure, she’s basically a pro when it comes to tracking down ne’re-do-wells, ruffians, and all variety of not-awesome people, but this… Well, this is different. She’s not good at kids or demons for that matter, and she’s not entirely certain that there’s really all that big of a difference between the two, anyway. Plus, she’s usually better prepared than this. So really, all she’s doing at this point is wandering through the streets, asking random strangers if they’ve seen a kid and a little green man, and getting some pretty weird looks, and rude comments. It’s only after one woman tells her she needs Jesus that she finally huffs loudly and pulls another donut from the bag in her hand, deciding it’s really time to buckle down.

“Here demon demon demon…” That’s how you called a dog, right? It had to work on some hellspawn… and the gremlin-goblin-demon thing that was following him. (God, Dogpool would be so offended right about now.) She holds the donut out in front of her, waggling it as an offering, but then raises it to her mouth. “One for me…” She takes a bite and goes back to dangling the pastry in front of her.

It’s like some fucked up game of hide and seek. All a mess of teleporting random distances, swerving down streets and ducking into alleys, coming out with pursed lips, some scratches from a nursing street cat she accidentally disturbed, and no more idea than she had a handful of moments ago. To make matters worse, she’s somehow gotten herself lost throughout this whole process, and wound up somewhere in an old warehouse area down by the waterfront.

It’s nearly one in the afternoon by the time she finally comes to terms with the fact that all of this is just a wild goose chase, and calls it quits, flopping down on a makeshift curb made from an old railroad tie.

Well that was a giant waste of time, one of the voices groans, and she rolls her eyes.

Because we had something better to do today? Sure, the other voice is usually the more reasonable of the two, but she really doesn’t feel like listening to either one of them today.

“Here’s an idea…” Her voice trails off as she pops a piece of donut into her mouth, then washes it down with a gulp of her coffee. “You could both shut the fuck up and I’d be perfectly happy.” Of course, it was like asking a tiger to change it’s stripes, because the voices never really shut up at all, she’d just gotten better at ignoring them as the months had passed.

Just then, there’s a clatter from somewhere down the way that piques her interest, that weird metallic clanging, like someone had accidentally knocked a trashcan over. She turns, looking over her shoulder in the direction the sound came from, her brows stitched together. “Is that you, kitty?” Her lips weigh down in a thoughtful looking frown as she pushes herself up off of the railroad tie and wanders in the direction of the noise. “I didn’t mean to piss you off, I swear… I just wasn’t paying attention to where I was going.”

Except she knows better, knows the noise probably isn’t some mangey alley cat with a vendetta. She’s just about to go investigate when she feels something tugging at her left hand, and turns to see what it is.

Small, green, gnarly horns and even gnarlier teeth… and it’s yanking the donut right out of her hand.

“Excuse you!” She pulls her arm back, but it’s too late, it’s got her donut, and it’s staring at her, sniffing at the pastry curiously. “Give that back!” She lunges forward to grab at it, but the thing is faster than she’d anticipated (she wasn’t actually sure what to expect out of a little green man who she was fairly certain was actually from some nightmare hellscape,) and managed to slip right past her, sending her falling to the ground with a loud thud. “Goddamnit.”
 It takes a half a second for her to clamber back to her feet, and glare at the thing. “It’s not nice to steal from people,” she says, her lips pulling into a tight line. The demon looks back and forth between her and the donut, then carefully raises the pastry to it’s mouth, and takes a bite.

“Rude!” The coffee is the nearest thing in reach, so she grabs the cup and launches it at the thing’s head. It hits, right upside, and gets stuck to one of the horns. The demon-gremlin-goblin-thing shakes it’s head, disoriented, as iced coffee spills down it’s face and into it’s eyes. “And here I thought we could have been friends.”

Somewhere, buried deep down in the back of her mind, something about this seems familiar. It’s certainly not the weirdest thing she’s ever seen, and there’s a good chance she’ll see weirder as time goes on. Still, for the time being, this is definitely one of the weirder things to date, and she’s willing to wager there’s more than just the ones she’s seen so far today. The thing is hissing now, growling, making all sorts of noises as it paws at it’s own face, trying to get the coffee off. It blindly moves toward her, slashing at her with it’s claws, and she springs back with ease, then watches as it stumbles over the railroad tie and falls flat on it’s face.

It’s not moving. She pokes at it with the toe of her boot. Once, twice, then a third time for good measure, only to have it sink it’s teeth into her ankle. She can’t help screaming, because it fucking hurt. And she kicks her foot out, hard, sending the thing flying a good twenty feet, and into a wall.

“You little bastard…” There’s a tone in her voice, something mixed with anger and annoyance, as she hobbles, bloody leg and all, toward the heap of green and teeth. “First you steal my donut, then you bite me? I know I’m sweet and all, but that’s taking it to an extreme.”

The little green thing is starting to pick itself up off the floor, and she’s digging around in her too-large purse for something. It takes a few seconds of throwing out the bag of donuts, a mason jar filled with buttons, a stuffed dinosaur, a tiny, Casio keyboard, before she finally finds what she’s looking for, and pulls out a single katana that probably shouldn’t have fit in there in the first place, but somehow managed. She drops the purse to the ground and unsheathes the sword, dropping the scabbard to the ground.

Despite taking a trip into a wall, the little dude still has a coffee cup stuck to the end of his horn when he finally manages to get up and shake off what just happened. “You got a little something…” She motions to the area over her head, making a face, but the thing just growls and takes another shot at her. This time, she’s ready, and dodges out of the way with ease, and slashes out with the sword. It’s one quick, fine, calculated motion, and the demon’s head slips right off it’s body, sending a fountain of disgusting, discolored ichor into the air and showering down on everything within a five foot radius... including her.

Unfazed by any of it, she wipes the blade of the bloody sword off on her jeans before slipping it back into the discarded scabbard, then stuffs it back into her bag before gathering the rest of her things. The last thing she does is pick up the head by a horn, then plucks the empty coffee cup from it’s perch, and tosses it into the dumpster as she’s walking away, toward the water. “You know,” she sighs, making a face. “This is going to take forever to get out of my hair…” She’s talking to the dismembered head now, as if it's a completely normal thing to do. It wasn't the first time she'd done it. It makes her miss Headpool, even. Another heavy sigh falls from her lips as she comes to a stop toward the edge of a dock. “So thanks for that, buddy. I’ll never forget you.” With that, she tosses the head into the air, and kicks it into the bay, then disappears with a poof!