Monday, December 31, 2012

Into the Jungle - Author Bell

Into the Jungle

Official Journal: File #---3. Part 1 V.2

   Lights flared across the rooms of the apartment in a burst of life. A few construction workers gave a dim cheer as Ivan shielded his eyes from the light. He preferred existence in the dark, but any civilized business or firm had to have proper lighting fixtures.

    Between his fingers, Ivan peered at the workers who slowly moved from place to place, carrying boards, wires, tools, and other pieces of equipment necessary for the final renovations of the apartment. The workers moved too slowly for Ivan's taste, but neither he nor Mark were paying for their services. Deinsport City was paying a skeptical amount of money to Mark and Ivan for their detective work, so Mark lobbied for some workers to come out and make an appropriate living space for them to work as part of the contract. Neither of them realized that the city had placed them in a trashed building, so the bargain paid off well.

    Ivan turned to the steps and walked downstairs, dodging a half-asleep working slowly stuffing a stale sandwich into his mouth. He opened the door, and was relieved that the thick storm clouds prevented light from abusing his sight. David, looked up from the trunk of the van still parked out front, and he gave a quick salute before returning to the vehicle. Ivan approached quietly, observing as Mark threw the occasional file into a trashcan pulled alongside the van.

    "Reorganizing?" Ivan asked blandly, leaning against the nearby light pole. Mark looked up, surprised that Ivan showed any interest.

    "Well, sort of." Mark peeked into another folder in his hands, then nonchalantly threw it into the trash can. "Most of these files are old cases that we will never finish. The rest is stuff I should really shred." Ivan nodded. It only made Mark uncomfortable. He turned towards the boxes of files still left in the van and sighed. "Its a new start for us here. I want to get rid of the past." Ivan did not respond in anyway, but David knew that he agreed with him. 

    The past was filled with some pretty nasty run-ins and turns for the worst. Working purely as a private investigator for the public resulted in some interested clients. Anyone who was not entirely insane usually accused them of running a fraudulent business that preyed on desperate families looking for answers. Though Mark and Ivan usually found answers to the mysteries of previous cases, people would only believe them if they had a living and breathing criminal in custody to prove it. People never believed the paranormal explanations that usually came up. Because of the disbelief, police usually came knocking on or knocking down doors to run the two out of town. This would leave David and Ivan homeless until they could find a town to set up shop. Then the accusations would start the whole process again.

    But Deinsport was different. The government had specifically requested them and signed a contract. Even if people accused them of fraud, it wouldn't matter for two years. And now they also had a base of operation where they could really organize into a proper detective firm. It was a chance for their big break.

    A worker emerged from the alley beside their apartment building. "Hey, uh, Mr. Davidson?" Mark shook himself out of a blank stare into the ground and turned to the worker.

    "Yeah? What's up?"

    "Well, I got the internet box hooked up. Here is your internet IP address along with the preset password. I'll get the manual and package from our truck." He seemed rather pleased with himself over finishing the task.

    "Good work. Thanks." Mark took the information without much attention to the worker. He turned to Ivan, who was still leaning on the light pole. "Hey Ivan, I'll check our mail real quick to see if we have any updates from the city. Go check upstairs to make sure the construction is going okay." Ivan breathed in slowly, not desiring the bright lights that awaited inside. But he could deal with it. He stood and entered the build as Mark booted up his computer for the first time since getting to the city.


    Ivan stepped over debris as he made his way down the hallway. The construction crew was finishing up the living quarters, evident by the sawdust and raw sound spewing out of one of the last rooms at the end of the hall. Looking from side to side, Ivan peered into the first two rooms which would become offices for Mark and himself. Nameplate holders were freshly screwed into place beside the doors, but the rooms were almost identical and unclaimed. Reaching over, Ivan peered into the first room. It was small and cramped without any light besides the single bulb in the ceiling. It was a perfect habitat for Ivan. Yet, with a single moment of hesitation, he backed out the door and decided to try the second room. Looking in, a cold light peered into the room from a large window spanning the wall. Yet the light reflected off the floor and prevailed in a low blue tone, soaking the walls in a visual ink. Ivan, intrigued by the rich character that such a bland room had to offer, approached the window and observed the outside world. The window offered a dull but pleasant sight over the nearby road and sidewalk. Across the road were rundown townhouses and kids splashing through puddles. Ivan pushed closer to the window and looked down, noticing Mark closing up his laptop and hopping out of the passenger seat. Relaxing into a blank stare, Ivan considered the safety of being in such a room with a literal wide window for attack. Yet, the eerie darkness felled Ivan into a state of comfort.

    The lights blasted on, and Ivan shuddered, spinning around quickly to meet the perpetrator. Mark, startled by Ivan's sudden movement, lost some footing and grabbed onto the door frame for support.

    "Turn the light off," Ivan hummed, lurching towards Mark aggressively. Two seconds passed as Mark processed Ivan's command between the shock and fear. He flipped the switch, and the inky room returned to its lush color. Ivan also returned to his straight posture and asked "Yes, what is it?"

    "Um, I, uh, have some news." Mark stuttered. Ivan turned slightly to hear Mark's further explanation. "We, uh, got a green light from the government to start working anytime we see fit. The governor's secretary sent me some road maps, city history, contacts for additional information, and even promised some badges for us to carry." Mark brightened at the exciting news.

    "Hmph." Ivan responded and returned to his window.

    Mark, hesitant at first, slowly approached the window. "What... what are you looking at?"

    Ivan stared unresponsive to Mark's question. Then stated without warning, "Just... reflecting on time, Mark."

    Mark's eyes darted away, somewhat confused. "Come again?"

    Ivan sighed, slightly annoyed by Mark at this point. "Just reflecting on the past and anticipating the future. I thought I would hate this old apartment in the past, yet the present moment has given me a gift of enjoyment for once. Time will reveal the mistakes in our assumptions. We then correct our mistakes and make do with what we have in the present."

    Mark nodded. "Sure, that makes sense. Kinda makes you wish that you could see into the future so that we wouldn't have to make mistakes, right? That would have been so handy for our business."

    "No." Ivan stated sternly.


    "No." Ivan confirmed again. "If we were to see the future, then we would only desire to know what we needed, and not gain intellect."

    Mark stood awkwardly behind Ivan, feeling as if he had just been scolded by a teacher. After a moment, Mark opened up again, "Hey, speaking of gaining intellect, we're going to need to do some exploration."

    Ivan snapped out of his world again. "I thought you said you had maps of the area?"

    "We do," Mark gladly replied, finally having information that Ivan did not already know about. "But the government needs us to do some exploration on our own to become familiar with the community."

    "And we can pick up on spiritual signals." Ivan added.

    Mark smiled. "Bingo. Besides, we should grab a bite to eat somewhere. I can show you some of the maps and charts once we get a table."

    "Sounds good to me. Lets move." Ivan stood and followed Mark to the door. "Hey Mark," Mark stopped in the hallways and turned to Ivan. "I'm taking this room."

    Mark smiled again. "Whatever suits you mate." Ivan and Mark walked outside, where it began to rain. Since the van was currently stuck between two utility trucks, the duo grabbed their raincoats from the hangers in the van and set off to find nourishment. 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Beginning

The Beginning

Personal Documentation: File #---1 V.2

   The door jarred open as a hand forcefully pressed on the rusting handle. Wood shards scattered on the floor as the door creaked open. A cold blast from damp concrete and rotting wood flooded Mark's senses. The constant rain and Deinsport's surprisingly cold climate certainly did a number on the buildings in the projects. Opening the door with a long creak, Mark reached inside and wiped his hand down the soggy wall to search for a light switch. A small plastic knob nudged his palm, and he wiped back upward to engage the lightbulb hanging above him. The wires warmed to emit a weak light, but enough to make the upward steps visible.

    "The wiring's bad." Mark spoke over his shoulder. 

    "Well that's surprising." A low, sarcastic voice responded from inside the van parked outside. A dark figure clad in a black suit slid out the back and stood. His face was concealed from the shadow of the trunk door and the brim of his hat, but his black shoes and tie shown clearly and neatly in the dreary weather. "Did you think the skeptical council was going to hand us a shiny apartment for us to stay in?"

    "Shut it Ivan, its fine." Mark rolled his eyes. "Bring in the toolkit first; it looks like this place might need a few adjustments before its comfortable" Mark shouted, making his way up the stairs.

    Ivan let out an amused "humph". "Adjustments, or a facelift?" Ivan released under his breath.

    "What's that? Ow- ah hell." Mark asked, stumbling up the steps and scuffing his only pair of dress shoes.

    Mark reached the top of the stairs and eyed the moldy abode that would be their home and headquarters for a while. Weeks prior to their arrival, Ivan had received several reports requesting investigation of criminal and paranormal activity in the city of Deinsport. The city was on a coastal bay that seemed to suffer from poor weather and lingering illness. It could be the coastal wind or the haunting presence of abnormalities, but nevertheless, the climate could only be described as "cold and miserable".

   After consideration, Mark decided to give a pitch to the city council, offering their unique detective services. Ivan and Mark were both professional investigators specializing weapons training, forensics, and psychology. Other members of the team were outcasts that specialized in other talents and areas. Yet every member had a very specific ability; sensing the paranormal. Unlike other investigators, Mark and Ivan had the ability to sense spirits, detect ill intentions, and other insights that most would only dream of finding.

   Ivan joined Mark at the top of the stairs, dropping the toolkit on the ground. He inhaled slowly, then coughed gently. "Smells awful. What is that, rotting cardboard?"

   Mark nodded. "Yeah, and a hint of cigarette smoke too. I don't think we're going to get that smell out." While impossible to see Ivan's face, Mark felt that he probably was not happy about the situation. He turned and started to climb down the steps to retrieve another box from the loaded van

   It would take a few days to get the place well equipped for living and working, but Mark had an itch that this city held dark secrets that were waiting for him to uncover.