Disclaimer: see Tale of a Librarian.
Grimoire: When I woke up this morning in the stranger's arms I didn't panic. My borrowed kimono was half opened but I did not panic, I kind of lay there and marveled at my own pale breast, then her bruised face next to mine. I remember the burger stand, the kisses at the library, the fight with those wierdos, the bath, the touching. We talked all night about books and drank fruit smoothies. I told her about Nat, and she told me of some of her past lovers. She was pleasantly shocked that I had only been with Nat. She's going to treat me like a virgin I know. "sigh" It has been a long time. And last night I wanted to be with her so bad.
I snoozed off again, it was about five in the a.m., she got up and went out for breakfast. I couldn't sleep though after she left, so I explored. Then there was this knock at the door. I was naked except for my robe and I timidly called "hello". Who ever it was slid a book of matches under the door. It was red, the book, but on the inside flap someone had scribbled out an address. I copied it on a scrap of paper, something about a warehouse, someplace way past downtown.
She came back before I had time to really think. She picked up the book of matches like it was nothing. We ate. We kissed. But I had to open the library so it was very brief. I thought about her all day, my stranger. She says she has to work tonight and we know what that means. Right now it is 9:00 p.m. and I'm at home wondering what one wears to a bloodsport match.
Just past down town was a small labyrinth of one way streets and abandoned warehouses. When goods were hauled by train the area had thrived, modest businesses manufactured things and the tracks took them out into the world of consumers.
Then the trucking industry took over, the businesses grew and left town for bigger lots and the opportunity to really mass produce. The warehouses were left not desirable to even criminals. Abandoned except for bloodsport.
Brynn had decided on black stretch pants and fur lined boots from her mother's hippy days, a low cut black t-shirt and a double breasted coat that belted around the waist finished the outfit. She slicked her hair back behind her ears and picked up some sun glasses from a convenience store.
There were a few cars outside the appointed warehouse and Brynn was sure she could not hide from Hart. Still her curiosity egged her on.
It was past midnight and the temperature had dipped. As she walked to the building from her Rabbit she flipped up the collar of her jacket.
There was a great metal door which she tried to open, it groaned but did not move an inch. Brynn pressed her ear against the cool, rough with rusty door The clank of a bolt sent her back into an upright position. A perfect square shaft of light shone for a few seconds before being eclipsed by the silhouette of a pointy bald hear, tiny ears and a thick neck.
"Who you?" the silhouette asked.
She tried to look cool and impudent, she had practiced for fifteen minutes back at home.
"Here to see the match," she answered.
The man on the other side of the door laughed. "Go home lady."
The shaft disappeared, and she realized it was one of those cloak and dagger little sliding peeking doors.
Brynn gave the door a kick. "Let me in," she shouted, then; "Yo."
The little door slid back open.
"Yo," the man said, "You got money?"
"Yeah," she answered, that was partly true she had about fifteen dollars in her coat pocket.
"Name," the man demanded.
"Dobhale," she said, "Brynn Dobhale."
The sliding, peeking, door closed, the big door groaned some more and opened.
"Never get your type in here," he eyed her, and she him, her was slimmer than she had imagined but not by much, "You look like a Dobhale."
"Well that's cause I am," she said kind of waltzing in.
"Never knew your people was into·sports," he said.
"Oh yeah," she answered having no idea what the man was saying, just glad to be "in."
The place was packed, there were Goth teens, and men in business suits, women in barely anything at all, even people who looked like transients. They bunched in crowds around pairs of fighters. Brynn stood a minute in awe, then realized she was toeing a puddle of blood.
"Eww," she muttered and stepped back quickly.
Like a visitor to some museum where the exhibits were alive, and beating the tar out of each other, Brynn began to explore soberly.
In one ring of people a woman with a mohawk of five inch high razor blades, a rack of crescent shaped horns and a leather tail of spikes was slithering around a puny, sickly looking little man. She whipped at him playfully with her tail as he stood shivering in his thick framed black Woody Allen glasses.
Brynn forced herself to look away at the maddened faces of the spectators. She did not want to see what damage the woman would do to the little man.
There was a scream and Brynn's eyes rolled back to the sight, the little man had a wild look on his face, he had hold of the woman's tail and was slapping at her legs, and ass. The nerd howled with delight, and his eyes glowed like an animals in the dim lights of the warehouse.
Brynn moved on to the next ring where grotesquely overweight and naked man moved with a cat-like quickness, his flab shimmered like liquid flash, landing meaty blows to a woman who looked to be seven feet tall and took the punches as if they were mosquito bites.
Then she saw Hart, her black hair pulled back into a ballerina's knob, her face just as poised. She made a graceful swagger around a woman with a broad back knotted with muscles, and her arms as well, all four of them. Hart's opponent looked oriental, but her eyes glowed green, and she had flaming red hair.
Hart fended off two fists, and sidestepped the other two. She shouted something at her opponent and grinned a bloody grin. She was obviously enjoying herself, even more than with the hulking man the night before.
Hart was caught by a fist and could not dodge another, or even a third as well as the fourth, she kind of stumbled back, but regained her footing, by then she was head butted and tripped.
"You want in on this?" someone asked, "Five Hundred on the medium?"
Brynn ignored the offer, Hart was not getting up.
"Looks like the end for you, medium," the multi-armed triumphed, she stooped a bit before Hart, grabbed a fistful of her hair lifting her head, neck and torso.
Brynn tried to push through the crowd, but they were gathered tight and calling for death. The librarian fell to her hands and knees, she crawled through legs and emerged in the center just as the creature was cocking a fist to put an end to Hart.
"Stop," she screamed, she ran, jumped and latched on to the wrist.
The woman grunted, as if catching a spider scurrying up her arm, and flung her behind Hart.
Brynn scrambled to her feet, "You stay away from her. You-"
Before she could say more a blue light filled the room, Brynn squinted her eyes finding herself close to the source; Hart.
The light was a pair of wings, ethereal ones that did more than glow, they flapped lazily taking Hart into the air, then disappearing, but leaving her aloft.
"Bring it," she told the woman.
A roar then filled the room as the four armed woman flexed her back and grew at least five more feet, her legs extended and bent like a goat's.
She stalked quickly towards Hart, who flew right at her. When they collided, Hart's feet in the beast woman's chest the whole warehouse seemed to shake. Hart landed and turned to Brynn.
"Damned you gatita," she said.
"Sorry," Brynn said.
"Hmm," Hart said as if she were not so sure, "You look hot, but you'd better get back."
The opponent was shaking off her blow, she had fallen on her ass. Hart flew at her and hooked an arm around her neck, locked her legs between a pair of the arms.
The opponent let out a choked cry and tried to shake Hart off, slamming her back into a concrete beam, then to the concrete floor wallowing.
Brynn watched not sure if Hart had been crushed as the creature's movements became more pained, and one fist slammed into the floor three times.
"She gave," someone called.
The beast woman rolled over and there was Hart, laying quite still.
Brynn ran to her, falling on top of her.
"Are you ok?" she asked.
"Get back," Hart rasped.
"UNFAIR," the opponent howled back to her "normal" height, "Cheating bitch."
She bowled into Brynn sending her flying. The librarian landed among the spectators, hitting her head on the stained concrete floor.
Dazed she looked up and saw a woman in nothing but gray smiling at her.
"Some fall, love," she said, "Let me help you. Name's Lucinda."
"There you are," Hart said as Brynn opened her eyes, "I've been looking for you for hours."
Brynn moaned a little. "What happened?"
"You got freight-trained by a fucking shifter," Hart said helping her to her feet, "You're not as fragile as you look."
"You were hurt·" Brynn said, she looked around, they were in a strange alley, she shivered hearing the chatter of rats.
"I know gatita," Hart hugged her close, "This is not the place for you. Neither is bloodsport."
They walked a few blocks, back to the warehouse and Brynn's Rabbit.
Hart drove, back to her place she said few words, just a little grumbling, something like being a laughing stock but nothing more.
"What the hell did you think you were doing?" she asked once they were safe in her loft, back in the tub.
"I just wanted to see what it is you do," Brynn said.
"I told you. I fight."
"You do more than that. You go into some kind of trance," the librarian said, "They were calling you medium."
"You're just too damned smart for your own good," Hart shook her head, "You could have been hurt or killed, that place is not a fucking tea room. Bad spirits hang out there."
"I noticed," Brynn said.
"Then you run into the ring and do your Pocahontas thing," Hart laughed. "Gods, I'll never be able to show my face there again."
"Maybe you shouldn't," the librarian said.
"Oh no, that is not fair. What if I didn't want you to be a librarian anymore?" she asked, "It's too early for us to be trying to change each other. If you don't like what I do then you can just walk out right now."
Brynn said nothing in return.
"We have a good time, huh Gatita? Look at you. It's been such a long time since a woman has looked at me the way you're looking at me now. I'm lucky to have you in my corner Dobhale."
"So what should I do? Wait around until you're killed?" Brynn asked.
"I've been doing this a long time. I know what I'm doing, don't be so over dramatic·." Hart sighed, "Come on you're not going to walk away from me·"
"No," Brynn said, "Tell me how does it all work?"
Hart sighed, she shifted the water, "He's called Itzcoatl, he's an Aztec warrior, he's a spirit I'm in touch with, I channel him into my body and we fight together. That's what blood sport is all about, you have to be in shape physically but there is a metaphysical self that also has to be in shape."
She was looking away from the librarian, ashamed, afraid of what she might think, but when she met Brynn's gaze she was grinning, and there was a different look in her eyes and Hart was unsettled. It was lust of course.
"That's sexy," the librarian said, she glided around the tub and did not stop until Hart was in her arms. They kissed a different kiss from the night before, there was more gravity to Brynn's hold than the submissive clutch. Her tongue was a hot, swaying, darting thing, and she nipped at Hart's shoulder and neck enough to bring the blood and break the damn of skin that kept it from flowing.
She nuzzled the librarian awake. "You'll be late."
A stretch. A moan and a grin. "Who cares?"
Hart laughed, "C'mon get up."
"Not going," Brynn rolled over and continued to snooze.
Hart grinned at her. They had made love most of the night, the librarian bold and erotic, almost impatient. Her new lover had been a bit overwhelmed, even disheartened, but was sure things would calm down for future love-making sessions.
"Brynn. My little hill, wake up," Hart said.
The librarian gave a little roar. "I refuse to trudge out in the cold and go to that frightfully boring place. I'll never go back."
Hart sat up, because Brynn was serious.
Brynn rolled over, those close-set green eyes sparkled.
"You don't expect me to go back? After what I saw last night?"
"But you love the library," Hart said frowning, "You're a guide."
Brynn laughed, not her usual tinkle, but something wicked, "I'll not spend another second among a bunch of books for the rest of this life."
" ÎSuch conduct , furthermore, guarantees, impunity'," Hart quoted watching her slip out of bed, and walked away, she called after her, " ÎAnd is not impunity the most piquant ailment to debauchery?' "
"What are you talking about?" Brynn returned to find Hart out of bed, staring at her coldly.
"What is it love?" she asked.
"Who are you?" Hart asked.
Brynn put on a pout. "You're spoiling the game."
The librarian dashed across the loft, snatching things and throwing them over her shoulder at Hart.
"Bitch," Hart leapt over the sofa and caught a handful of blond hair, she received a stout slap/scratch.
They wrestled to the floor, Brynn wailing and hissing. They were both still naked, and Hart could not help but be just a tad turned on.
She got Brynn on her stomach, pressed her to the floor, got one arm behind her back and twisted.
"Who are you?" she insisted at the squirming librarian.
"Fuck off," ÎBrynn' bleated.
"Where's my gatita?" Hart asked.
"Oh she's having a wonderful time," ÎBrynn' replied, "Just a teensy bit appalled at what we did last night. You should thank me, there's no way you'd get a good lay out of her."
Hart could have strangled her, instead she hefted her to her feet. Lots of spirits haunted bloodsport, many were like her Aztec Warrior, disembodied, looking for a medium. It meant living, even though that fraction of life was through fighting.
The singer-songwriter Lilith James was found dead in her hotel room downtown this morning. No details have been released but homicide is strongly suspected. Lilith was to make a surprise performance at Club-
Hart turned off the radio and continued speeding out of town. She looked over at Brynn possessed by the god's only knew what kind of psycho ghost, and now her new love's favorite singer was dead, and there were about two hours Brynn had been missing.
The ghost knew details about Brynn's life, where she worked, who she was, perhaps even who her favorite singer was.
"That's going to drive a rift between you," ÎBrynn' said she had been ranting the whole hour, "She wasn't quite ready to give it up to you·kind of frightened of you·now you've gone and taken advantage of her when she was weakest."
"Shut the fuck up, you goddamned whore," she finally snapped, "I'll bite your throat out."
"Hart?" Brynn asked, "What's going on? Where are we? Why am I tied up?"
Hart stopped the car, swerved on the shoulder.
"Oh sweetie," she grabbed Brynn's face, "Are you ok?"
"I'm scared," the librarian said, "I should be at work."
Hart laughed a little.
"I-" Brynn began, her neck jerked and she had several of Hart's fingers in her mouth.
"Awwff," Hart slapped her and quickly pulled away, saw the damage she had done.
ÎBrynn's' nose was bleeding, "She knows when you are sleeping. She knows when you're awake·" she sang.
Hart shivered, Brynn was still there, deep down and she was seeing everything that was being done to her.
"Where we off too love?" ÎBrynn' asked.
"Home," Hart said.
Martin Gonzalez looked up from the Ducati motor bike he was repairing and grinned wolfishly at the VW Rabbit coasting into the drive in front of his double-wide.
"Another satisfied customer?" he asked no one.
His wife Rayna stuck her head out of the window, "It's Hart," she grinned, "My darling Hart with a guest."
Martin grumbled, anytime his eldest daughter showed up there was guaranteed trouble. She's gone off fifteen years before to the goddamned Unfinished City (of course there was a different name for it back then) for some big adventure. As if the nice little town he'd brought her up in was no good anymore.
"Hart," Vulcan, his son loped from around the side of the house. Where like Martin, Hart was dark haired, his son had taken after his mother and was all red; his head his face, his neck, the boy was covered in red hair. That particular trait had not come with Rayna's gene package, but later when he too ventured into the city can came back with some Lancanthropy business.
Martin watched him as he shifted from foot to foot, and gave a hard shiver of excitement.
"Hart," he barked at the car as it coasted to a stop, "Hart. Hart."
"Calm down," Martin shouted.
"Hart," Vulcan continued then whined with impatience rolling his eyes at his father and his stern look.
Martin watched as his daughter went around to the passenger side of the Rabbit and lifted a little woman over her shoulder, kicking and screaming.
"Whacha got?" Vulcan took off and danced circles around his sister as she carried the woman towards the trailer, "Whachagot wachagot wachagot?"
"You'll see," Hart smiled.
"I know damned well, its trouble," Martin scratched his graying goatee.
"Just enough to keep you alive old man," she said not looking him in the eye, she trotted right past him where Rayna waited with the door open, a look of concern on her face.
"So you've taken to kidnapping then?" Martin called, "The cops are already snooping around my crop. You trying to ruin me girl."
They all went in, Vulcan too, the door shut firmly behind them.
"I had to marry a gringa bruja," Martin shook his head.
Lilith is dead. Murdered. There is a good chance that I could be her killer. Parasitic spirits feed off the most inner subconscious, they act strictly on impulse. I could have done anything while possessed by Lucinda.
Of course I will always remember what happened at bloodsport, I saw Hart fight and she was as graceful and erotic as a dancer. Then I got conked on the had and a spirit by the name of Lucinda possessed me. She was a nut job from a couple of centuries before, married off early, never quite got over the incestuous love affair with her father, and scraped out the fetus of her unborn child. She was locked away in an asylum where she was shocked and tortured. She broke loose and murdered seventeen orderlies and over the course of six months twenty patients. So I am sure in my body she killed Lilith. I should have just minded my own damned business and stayed away from bloodsport.
Oh and she had sex with Hart. I had sex with Hart, and she is so ashamed and sad. This is all my fault, I feel as if I have ruined things between us.
Her dear mother Rayna exorcised me. She's a witch,(very hippie/Stevie Nicks(but with red hair) ) she looks nothing like Hart who took after her father Martin. The two of them are funny to see Hart and her father, so cool and gruff. He's angry with her because she did not go into the family business. Selling and growing magic mushrooms. He calls them magic and with what I have seen so far I do not know if I should take the magic part literally. Her younger brother Vulcan is a werewolf, and not a moon changing one, this guy is wolfy twenty-four seven. They are very sweet but weird. Hart was a little embarrassed it was cute. Meanwhile Lilith is dead, stabbed to death by any numerous crazy mother fuckers, probably myself. Her music was an inspiration, my only friend many a night after Nat died. Even with Hart around being so kind I still feel so lonely.
Hart was on the case. Being a medium there were certain facts she could find out about Lilith's murder that the local police force would never know. The hardest part was getting into the Heights Hotel, one of the oldest enterprises downtown. The place had become a vigil point for all of Lilith's cult, all her fans turned out, the wackiest to the cute quiet ones like Brynn.
Hart had her ways.
She got further than the press to the presidential suite where the singer had met her end. The suite was wrapped in police tape. Hart sighed when she came upon a blood stained rug at the entrance. She didn't need to be a medium or a character from one of those CSI shows to know what happened. Lilith had opened the door, or maybe someone had forced themselves in and she had been knifed quite neatly, there were no spatters on the walls or anything.
There was a piano in there, probably hauled in by the management when they knew Lilith was coming. There were drugs on the coffee table, and sheet music.
Hart tried to gather some mental impressions, but the place was clean, someone had deliberately wiped away at the years of impressions left at that foyer.
"Clever," Hart said, "Nothing Lucinda would be capable of."
She was glad, she could convince Brynn that she was innocent and life would go on as normal. But first she would have to repair that awful rift brought on by Lucinda's lust.
The park is over a hundred acres of land near downtown of the Unfinished city. There are jogger trails and bike trails that trim cuts of bayous with brown water, and lots of trees and bush.
Brynn walked the edge of a trail to stay out of the way of the serious exercisers. She had her walkman on listening to the latest Lilith CD Golgi Apparatus. It was cold out but nice to be out. Hart had gone from being her unflappably cool, stoic love interest to a smothering wife in just a few days.
And Lilith was dead.
Beneath a tree that showered tiny pink blossoms like confetti, Brynn spotted a bench. Close by a woman was chatting with one of the less scarier looking bums that haunted the park.
The librarian sat and wished for her old boring life back, she slid her earphones off and sighed.
"-And of course I said fuck off," the woman told the bum who shifted from foot to foot anxiously, "I can't believe you don't know who I am·pick up a magazine sometime, dude."
Brynn squinted at the couple because she knew exactly who the woman was, and let out a little squeak.
The woman looked away from the bum and beamed. "See, a fan. One of my fans."
She fluttered over, red hair piled on top of her head, she wore tight black jeans that flared at the leg and a tunic-top, red with flared sleeves.
"Hey," she said to Brynn who only stood staring.
"You," the librarian said, "You're dead."
"Never believe that national media," she rolled her eyes, "They'd sell their own mother for a story."
"Lilith," Brynn managed.
"You're cute," the Îdead' singer/songwriter said.
I'm just going to try my damnedest to prove to you that you don't have to validate yourself by this mystic fight-club thing."
"You don't know the half of it gatita,"
"Then tell me."
"Let's get naked first."
Grimoir- According to Hart a city has many names, and these names are always changing. In her circle the city where I grew up and still live is currently titled the Unfinished City, because of all the construction, the new stadiums, the new skyscrapers being erected in an attempt to remerge from this dusty cocoon as Gulf Coast New York. I never noticed but its like the city was torn down and is being rebuilt. It truly is unfinished. I am seeing the city with through new eyes, the city of blood sport, and little gay Frankenstein's, ghosts
Brynn jumped, "You scared me,"
Hart smiled, "You shouldn't be afraid of the shadows anymore, from now on I'm the worst that will be hiding in them."