The Bell Tolls - Addendum to Dreams, A ghost in the graveyard

Description: A butterfly flaps its wings and a hurricane forms someplace else. An act of violence makes a small change to the world and an old ghost is roused. The Red Witch had not been seen or heard from for some time, but perhaps the absence of Jezebel is louder than her presence was. Loud enough even to awaken Naerose from whatever rock she was hiding under.

I'll do my crying in the rain. It wasn't the actual name of the song, and the words she spoke to go with it were not the lyrics. Still, stirred from some great slumber or out from under some rock by a sudden absence, here she was, as though she'd never left. Unchanged unscarred. In her ears the song plays and on her lips are the words she says,

"We've done a lot of things that we'll never regret
The good ones or the bad ones, moments never to forget. It's hard for me to be cheer, while feeling so blue
By accepting the fact that my life's not the same without you. "

Despite the morose poem she rides along on the bike, a vespa scooter to a location that she just felt like going to, randomly? She doesn't know, it never even occurs to her to wonder.

Elsewhere. . .

Fingers of blood red light tickled the sky as dawn shown the first signs in the morning haze. Darkness still blanketed Boothill cemetery, broken now with headlines, flashlights and the crackling of radio static. Any random onlooker might be forgiven for mistaking this early morning activity as that of police, in fact it would not be long before the call would be made to the real authorities, but for now it was a mere fa├žade. Get too close and these men in black would turn menacing very quickly. One jogger already learned the hard way that he had best take a different route this morning. Still, the men and women were gloomy as they swept the area, perhaps the graveyard infected them with its own melancholy.

The crunch of gravel and the steaks of light announced yet another team sweeping deep amongst the stones. The woman in the lead paused as her radio chirped to life.

"Done searching ma'am. The bus is clean, no sign of the gas or the target."
"Damn, and the blood?"
"Dead end ma'am, there are tire tracks, but they stop once they hit the main road. The lab will try trace the owner, but that will take a few hours."

"Okay, keep searching. We have about a half hour before we have to pull out." The woman in charge grits her teeth, but looks otherwise no different from her many underlings, all tasked with different things either sweeping the cemetery or holding perimeter.
"Blue team, come in," she hissed into her radio.
"Blue team here ma'am."
"Get the bus back to base, have forensics give it another sweep there."
Her black dress suit was doing nothing for the chill nor her mood. She cursed and spat. "It shouldn't be this freaking cold." No one responded, for all their talkative nature her underlings might have well have been the gravestones. The four accompanying her shared glances but then looked back at her for direction.

"Don't just stand there, spread out! We need to recover that damned canister."

They scattered and resumed searching, but she couldn't help but feel it was pointless. The
cemetery was large, and the canister was no bigger than a thermos.

*chzzt* "Ma'am, red team reporting activity."
"Go ahead."

"We have a woman coming up the drive on a vespa scooter, looks like she just got out of a Halloween party. Red dress, red hat, black sunglasses, it's amazing she can see where she's going. Kind of looks like a cheap witch."

The woman in charge froze, "Don't take your eyes off of her, if she gets any closer get rid of her somehow. She could be super powered for all we know. " And god did she know. Seems every other day a new kind of freak is discovered. Not that she wasn't a trained martial artist herself, she couldn't belch fireballs. Guns would have to suffice for her people.

*chzzt* "Ma'am, red team reporting. The intruder seems to have left."

"Goo- "

"No wait, her scooter is still here. She must be on foot."

"Are you fucking kidding me?" barked the woman.

"Everyone, this is a priority, we may have someone on the grounds, stop whatever you'd doing and find her."

She broke into a run toward Red team's zone, knowing full well that they would kill if they had to. It wasn't that there was a problem with killing, they were working for Shadaloo after all, but better not to draw more attention to themselves then necessary and when you lose a canister of Sarin gas, the heat is already on. She was just rounding a corner when someone shouted, "There she is!"

Sure enough not fifty years away was the woman in red and the sight of her caused all five of them to stop dead in their tracks. "What the hell is that?" one of them uttered while guns were drawn. She was exactly as described. Red dress with long voluptuous sleeves that weren't actually attached to the dress. Buckles in front and boots that went to the knee. She had a hat that fit a witch and black circular shades, it was dawning but still too damned dark for shades. Also she had a broom stick, but that wasn't what brought the C.O. to a halt. It was the damned thermos in her hand.

"I got a shot on her ma'am, I'm going to- "

"Don't shoot you idiot, if you hit the canister we could all be dead." The C.O. hissed, then raised her voice toward the freak in a Halloween getup. "This is the police! Put the canister down slowly and your hands up!"

Her underlings eyed each other nervously. No one gave a damn about impersonating the authorities, but they were sure uneasy about her dropping the Sarin gas, now that it was pointed out the danger they were all in.

Fortunately, the bluff had just the effect. The woman in red looked up with a start and a panicked expression of a child caught red handed with all of the cookies. Unfortunately the woman in red did not follow instructions and instead made a run for it.

"Goddamnit, after her, but do not shoot, we have to get the canister from her, then you can shoot." The C.O. barked, already giving chase. The woman was surprisingly fast for being dressed so idiotically and the C.O. more then suspected that she was one of those powered nuisances. "Everyone surround her, even if she is powered we should be more than enough. "

"Ma'am," someone from red team shouted, "She's running away from her scooter, she's cornering herself!"

"Finally some good damned luck," the C.O. barked as they ran around a mausoleum to where the woman would surely find herself corned only to find nothing.

"Fuck!" cursed the C.O., she didn't believe in ghosts, but the woman in red seemed to vanish into thin air.

"Someone call it in, we're looking for a woman in red who apparently stole the canister. Also call the police, claim to have spotted some blood on a morning jog or something."

Not far a woman in red, a face not seen on the scene for quite some time hops on her scooter after a short broom flight and guns it, escaping at a blistering 35 miles per hour with a thermos shoved in her red witches hat.

Humming the rest of the tune, the woman in red finishes the words that totally don't belong to the song.

"You've been with me, through ups and downs
You'd been willing to feed me all over town. Just to help me get through, my hunger all along And now I guess I'll have to be strong."

It wasn't a very good poem, she decided. Whatever she saw there, she wasn't sure what to make of it, but she probably did believe in ghosts and maybe some actions result in weird outcomes. Maybe those outcomes included her. She was hungry, but not yet hungry enough to try whatever was in the weird thermos yet.

Log created on 20:13:30 10/23/2018 by Naerose, and last modified on 22:12:14 10/23/2018.