December: God Damn You Winter

Ah December.  You have once again brought forth the fury of winter in all its unholy power.  Not only have you decided that it is best to slowly climb to the absolute zero point but you decide to dump a metric fuck-tonne of snow in a day.  And still you were not satisfied, for you also took it upon yourself to decide that this was the perfect time to have me laid off.  Well fuck you.  January has already proven to be a better month by having a new job for me that is better than the one I had before.

In all seriousness this month has been a roller coaster.  Started off with the promise of being awesome, as I had my annual review and got a raise.  But a week later I find out I’m laid off.  If those last two sentences seem to contradict each other than you aren’t the only one.  So my month has been a series of un-comedic events as I searched for a job and applied basically anywhere where I could actually stand the work.  And all during that time, I was growing a beard.

My girlfriend and I have this understanding.  She doesn’t like the facial hair as its scratchy and what not, and I hate shaving because… well I’m lazy.  Somehow it has become a little game between us.  Her making bets that I will shave because the beard gets itchy, and me betting that I won’t because it annoys her.  And usually I say I’m not going to shave and end up doing so five minutes after texting her.  Because my will is weak.  But without a job at the end of the month and no real prospects at the time, I decided to hell with looking professional.  I’m growing a damn beard to give winter and December itself the finger.  To hell with both of you, the rest of me may be cold but my face won’t be.

And it worked.  For three weeks my beard grew out, becoming more and more beard like and less like something that would appear on To Catch a Predator.  It was becoming magnificent, and each hair was becoming a trusted friend as they kept winter’s wrath from freezing half my face.  And then I learned of an interview two days ago.  I was conflicted.  I loved my beard, but I needed a job.  Could I betray my new found friends so easily?  Turns out the answer was yes and at 5:30pm on December 22nd, 2009 the beard was given its last rights.  We had a brief moment where we both accepted the hand fate had dealt us and said our goodbyes, knowing that perhaps in the future we would be united once more. Never forget.

Back from the Dead

I find it marginally amusing that it has taken me this long to find a moment to write here.  Things have happened and much needs to be elaborated on.  And here and now is the explanations shall begin.

Probably the most obvious and easily guessed reason for my absence has been two games: Dragon Age and Modern Warfare 2.  Dragon Age was as I had expected and filled that RPG void that had been eating away at me since I finished Fallout 3.  Modern Warfare on the other hand is more of a love/ hate relationship.  I enjoy the multiplayer for the most part but there are things that fill me with ire and pure, unbridled hatred.  God damn akimbo Model 1887 shotguns.  That and the matchmaking needs to be fixed, I am tired of having party members getting dropped when trying to find a new lobby.

However, as alluded to in my last post, there was a Cthulhu adventure.  Unfortunately I had lost the character sheets of Doctor Junior Jones and Dana Scully so we had to create a new band of rag tag investigators.  This time round we have Arnold the body builder, Newman the mail man, and Doctor Nick Riviera, as well as a generic private investigator that I can’t remember his name.  It was Halloween, or more precisely October 26th when this started up.

News of a gruesome murder came to Dr. Nick on the morning of the 26th.  A man had been killed in his home, all doors and windows locked.  The body was nothing more than chucks of meat, bone and blood.  A trail of blood had slid down the wall near the entrance to the home.  Being that he had a fondness for peculiar happenings and that he was in need of managing his morphine addiction, Nick called in the investigators to check in with the police.

They arrived on the scene to find the police questioning the wife of the deceased.  She hadn’t seen or heard anything that night and was visibly distraught with her husbands demise.  Newman tried to seduce her, and was forced to leave along with Arnold.  The remaining two talked to one of the man’s children, who then told a strange tale of a monstrous hand reaching out from the wall and pulling his father through as bits and pieces of him fell off.  Upon learning of this later Arnold demanded that they head back and look behind the wall, but the wife refused.

The next night held the same fate for another man.  The crime scene was eerily similar to the previous.  However, this man had died within his bedroom, his screams having woken his neighbors who called the police.  No one saw anyone enter or leave the house in the time it took the police to arrive.  This time they checked behind the wall but did not find anything of note.

The day the group went to the library to perform some research.  Their efforts produced a newspaper clipping from 1865 regarding murders that appeared to be exactly the same.  According to the clipping there were going to be another three murders leading up to Halloween.  Another clipping told of something worse happening on All Hallows Eve… three children were murdered on that night.

The group had brought this information to the attention of the police and two officers took it to heart.  Over the next few days they attempted to save the remaining men, as they noticed that the locations of the murders were forming an inverted pentagram.  They managed to save the fifth man, but one of the officers was killed as a hand reached out through the wall and dragged him screaming to his bloody death.

With five deaths and Halloween looming they group went in search of the boys to save.  They found an old but well-kept two-story house directly in the middle of the pentagram.  Inside they found four boys.  When attempting to flee the group suddenly realized that the exits of the house were blocked, some force having locked them within.  The group attempted to find a way out, with Arnold heading off on his own.  To his surprise a hand reached out of a mirror on the second floor landing.  With nothing but the sheer luck of a man who should have played the lottery, he managed to overpower the arm and hold onto the edge of the landing for dear life until Newman managed to save him.

The other two fared no better in their search of the bottom floor.  The dining room proved to be dangerous through the flying silverware.  One child ran passed them into the dining room and they followed.  Newman took a child with him only to be confronted by some sort of demon that demanded the child.  Newman, being the courageous and valorous man that he is, turned the child over to the demon and watched in horror as it dragged him through the floor boards into the basement.

Arnold and Newman eventually followed, though noting that the other officer was now missing.  In the basement they found a cellar door leading to the outside but it was chained and barred by some ethereal force.  Some roots, probably controlled magically, attempted to pull Newman to his grave but through Arnold’s help and the surprise visit of a ghostly child they were able to free him.  The ghost, unable to speak, showed them a vision of one child before it disappeared.

Meanwhile, the private investigator and Dr. Nick were in search of one of the children that had run away up to the second floor.  They found him in the master bedroom.  When they attempted to rescue him the furniture began to be flung at them.  Through a game of rock, paper, scissors the private investigator was picked to go in.  He took a dresser drawer to the face but managed to get the child out of there.  On their way down the stairs the walls began to bleed and a ghostly child appeared to show them an image of one of the other two children in the house, different from the first one show to Newman and Arnold.

The group got back together and traded information.  Upon learning of the ghost’s visions Newman promptly blew away the child he wasn’t shown.  The group looked on in horror more determined than ever to escape.  In the basement they continued to press their way out the cellar door and tried to get a child through.  To their surprise and displeasure the demon possessed the other child and through the private investigator across the room.  The others turned and attempted to kill the demon but merely left the child’s body riddled with bullets.  Powered by the demon, the body refused to drop.

The private investigator, dazed and bloodied saw the last child muttering something to himself.  Realizing that it was a spell he called out to Dr. Nick to shoot the other child (who was the one the original ghost had shown Newman and Arnold).  But before he could the child got off a spell, and Dr. Nick found his lungs filled with liquid and unable to breath.  Luckily Arnold noticed the events that were transpiring and with his elephant gun killed the warlock.

The demon then appeared, and explained that it was grateful for finally being rid of its now dead master.  According to this creature the child was ancient, over several hundred years old, and through the ritual killing of the five men and the three children he was able to add the years they would have lived to his own, as well as their youth.  It then promptly disappeared, having no real need or want to be among the living any longer.  The group, having realized that they murdered children they could have saved, and that there was a missing officer they could blame promptly began planning their story that would be told if the authorities came for them.

Several fast talks and persuades later this band of misanthropic specimens of Arkham walked free, though less sane than they had once been.  Arnold now sees a shadowy figure out of the corner of his eyes.  Its red eyes watching him all the time.

And thus ended the Halloween adventure.  I have another in the works for a Christmas themed Cthulhu one shot.  From what it sounds like there will be more people taking part this time.  Hopefully I can figure out a way to get the group to distrust each other and have some arguments about their courses of action.