Keep eyes open!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Novel Update

To update those on the Parallel, Chicago Blues is now in the editing process.  The book is being edited by the very talented Gretchen Hoffman.  Next step, a new agent!



Saturday, September 11, 2010

Billy Boy

I was on a case one night. A hard, brutal case on a hard, brutal night. The wind in Chicago could strip the skin from a man, but that night it carried with it the soul of the dead hooker before me. The crime scene team snapped photos, the flash blinding me until the girl was eerily spotted over by black dots as if she'd died of bubonic plague. She was pretty, young, probably hadn't been in the business for long. I guess it just wasn't her lucky night. A particularly naughty gust of wind blew her skirt up to reveal silky red panties and trim thighs. I turned away, flicking the ashes from a half-smoked cigarette.


Turning, I noticed the photographer frantically brushing the ashes from the hooker's black stilettos. "You're getting shit all over her!"

Raising my hands in surrender with the guilty cigarette burning on in my right hand, I stepped back beyond the yellow police line. "Sorry," I told him.

Reaching into my breast pocket for another cigarette, I realized they'd run out. I'd miscounted and didn't have another pack on me. At the end of the dark, close alley was the bright lights of a convenience store. Briefly, I wondered if the hooker had tried to run towards that light. Maybe that's how she'd ended up in an alley in the middle of the night instead of a well lit street corner. Running for help, I thought. Waving my hand at the nearest sergeant, I walked down the alley, flashlight in hand toward the convenience store.

I really needed a smoke. Chain smoking had become a helluva habit since the finalization of the divorce months before. Fifteen years with the woman I loved had ended with no kids, a mediocre apartment, and bitter bickering over my retirement. In the end, she took my pride and half of my damn retirement!

A bell rang as I walked through the large, glass double doors. The noise lifted the head of the kid behind the counter, who idly flipped pages of a People magazine. "Hey," he said, his voice average with nothing overly noticeable involved. Nothing in his appearance was average in my opinion, though perhaps it was average for the typical punk kids of the times. He had longish black and purple hair, deathly pale skin and silver studs sparkling at his eyebrows, ears and nose. One of those Goth kids, I remember thinking. "Need help," he asked politely with a friendly, average smile. Very white teeth, straight with good hygiene. I smiled back.

"Just get me a pack of Marlboro Lights, there, Billy Boy." The Goth kid's name tag said 'Billy'. Nice, all-American name and it really didn't fit the wannabe punk rocker behind the counter.

"Say 'please', Grandpa," he grinned jokingly.

I couldn't help myself. The kid gave me good vibes and a well needed joke, so I let it slide and played along.

"Please, Billy Boy," I said.

He gave me my cigarettes and I paid. A bowl of matchbooks sat on a counter and I grabbed one, just in case my lighter ran out of fluid. Before I left, Billy stopped me. "What's up out there, man? Criminal on the loose?" He pointed to the reflection of blue and red lights on the store window.

"Dead girl," I responded.

"Really," he asked, looking appropriately worried. "Right there in the alley?"


"Damn," he muttered, studying the counter top.

"Yep," I said again. "See anything strange tonight, Billy Boy?"

"No," he said, dark eyes meeting mine. "Nothing out of the ordinary at all." And I believed him.

"See ya around, Billy Boy."

"See ya later, Detective."

I should have thought that was strange, how he knew I was a detective and all. It should have stood out in my mind, but it didn't. It just didn't.

Missing persons said that Anna Jenkins, eighteen years old, had been reported missing by her parents several months earlier from a nearby suburb. I guess Anna was looking for fortune or something. She'd started out stripping in an East End titty bar, but found she made more money turning tricks on the side. Autopsy and blood tests showed levels of cocaine, THC and alcohol in her blood. Her BAC was well over the legal limit at .12, and that was only able to be tested from blood still left in the chambers of her heart. Anna was nearly drained of blood. Cause of death, severe blood loss through two puncture marks to the carotid artery. I read the report over and over again. Reviewed photos of the crime scene, the body, the alley. No blood. No blood spatter, drops, not even on her clothing. How the hell was that possible? I looked again at the close ups of the marks in her neck. Two neat, deep red holes surrounded by harsh purple bruising. What I was thinking wasn't possible! There weren't boogeyman out there, not really. People were killed by other people and that was that. Good humans, bad humans, all fucking human! Then more murders were committed. Same area, same MO. All the same insanity.

The papers tore the story up, terrifying the entire city. Gossip columns were splashing 'Vampires in Chicago' all over the tabloids, blaming the city police for the lack of evidence to catch the monster. Some leak had spilled pictures of the dead girls and my department came under serious and very public scrutiny. And what could we possibly have said. "Don't worry, Mr. John Q. Public! There's no such thing as vampires." But we couldn't say that in all honesty, because even we were suspicious, afraid. The third body had full grown, seasoned beat cops nearly pissing their tighty-whiteys. Something was really wrong in the heart of my city.

Once again, I found myself on the corner lit by the convenience store. I stopped in for smokes and something sweet to snack on. Billy Boy with the black and purple hair stood behind the counter, learning forward with his chin in hand. There was a smooth, close lipped grin on his pale, artful face. "You and your lights are back again, I see, Detective."

"Yeah, Billy Boy. Another girl down the street there."

"Disturbing. Isn't that the third one," he asked, passing the Marlboro Lights across the counter. I added a snickers bar to the pot and slid a twenty back to him before answering.

"Yeah, third one. You seen the papers?"

Billy nodded toward a stack of papers in a neat metal stand by the door. "Can't bloody avoid the things," he answered.

"I don't remember you having an accent, Billy Boy. Not from around here?"

"No, actually. I'm from London, Detective."

"You work here all night?"

"All night, nearly every night."

He gave me my change. The private smile gracing his face remained. "Notice anything different around here lately?"

Once again those bottomless eyes stared into my own and I saw reflected there all that I was now. The job, always the job. And with it came paranoia, stress, obsession. All those things reflected, read back to me like the horrific bold print of the accusing newspaper headlines. "No, Detective. Nothing at all."

I believed him. But the girls kept dying.

The Vampire Serial Killer was the hottest topic since Bundy and Dahmer. Every channel shared my obsession with the case and I couldn't hide from it. I had to solve it, stop the headlines, stop the news broadcasts. God, please bring this shit to an end! Bring us normalcy, I prayed.

I sat in my apartment, midnight ticking away, CNN in the background while I poured over the latest report. Something in the report caught my attention. In the seventh victim's pocket, amongst wrinkled pieces of foil gum wrappers and used tissues, was an object I recognized. A pack of Marlboros, opened, half empty, with a matchbook in the pack. I'd seen the exact matchbooks in a glass dish on the convenience store counter. The one Billy Boy leaned on while flipping through the pages of People magazine. Billy with the black and purple hair. Billy with the many piercings. Billy of the soul reflecting eyes.

I needed cigarettes.

Stupidly, I remember taking my old Buick Towncar, old and ugly, but paid for, all the way across town to the convenience store. Billy Boy was there, behind the counter in all his Billyness.

Why did I know this kid? Why did I think of him so often when my head should have been full of case files and profiles? When I thought of the girls, I thought of Billy. Why? Why? When I thought of the girls... when I thought of them, I thought about...

"What, Detective? Have you made a deduction? Have an epiphany just now?"

"Yeah, I did."

"Oh, how liberating that must be! Me? I'm too old for surprises, I fear. But you! Oh, you do make me feel young again."

"It's impossible, Billy Boy," I said, slowly, thickly. My tongue felt too big in my mouth. It was hard to breath, as if my tongue closed off the airway.

"Is it, now?"

I shook my head, trying to clear the fog of Billy in my mind. How long had he been in my head? Since the first body? No, before that. As if the first body was just a lure, to get the city's attention, my attention.

"Why? Why did you kill those girls?"

"Because, I'm a monster. Nothing personal. It's just what monsters do."

"Just what Vampires do?"

"If you like," Billy said, pulling his lips into a full, fangy smile.

"Damn," I muttered.

"Indeed," Billy replied.

The fog took me completely after that and when I woke I as no longer myself. There was no more Billy with black and purple hair, no more fog. Only the dark and dreadful knowledge that Billy had made me a monster to.

But I'm different than Billy Boy. I'm the detective, the good guy. Billy, that little shit, he's the bad guy. He's the monster. I probably would have gone mad and put a gun to my head someday. Or smoked myself into an early, cancer-riddled grave. But not now. Now, I'll be around for a while, hunting the night like Billy Boy. No, not quite like him. More like I'll be there, whenever he is, wherever he is hunting. I'll be hunting the night for Billy Boy. Because the obsession is there, and those cases await a closing. I'm the good guy. I'm the Detective.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


A short story
By Krys Powers

"Time for school, Caylee."

The little girl glanced up at the young man that was her teacher. She tossed the dolls down to scatter across the floor and rushed to the door.

"Greg," she said, grasping his big hand in her tiny one. He looked down at her big, gray eyes and brown ringlets.

"What is it?"

"How come I go to school at night and go to sleep in the day? I saw some kids on TV and they do it the opposite, like go to school in the day and sleep at night."

"Well," Greg said, leading his student down the hall. "We go to a special school because the things we learn about mostly come out at night."

"You mean the monsters?"

"Yes, the monsters mostly come out at night."

Other children were steadily making their way to their perspective classrooms. Caylee was six and it was the first year of her real training, having spent the last two years learning to read and write several languages. Some of those languages the public didn't even know existed.

"It would be nice to try it their way sometime, Greg. Don't you think?"

"I used to say the same thing when I was your age."

"Really," Caylee asked, pulling the taller man to a stop in the middle of the hall. Children passed around them. A few shot Greg sympathetic glances as they caught parts of the pair's conversation.

"Of course, Caylee. We all have felt that way at one point or another. Longing for normalcy is normal. But we're different."

"Too different to be normal?"

Greg sighed and patted little Caylee's head. "Yes, too different to be normal."

They walked the rest of the way in silence, each deep in their own thoughts. Caylee always knew she was special. Her school was full of special children with skills that Greg said society needed to be safe from the monsters.

Caylee's classroom was much like the ones she saw on TV except there were no sunlit windows, no sounds of the outdoors, because they were hundreds of feet below ground. But the plain, white painted walls of the room were covered in bright art projects, educational posters and a large dry erase board taking up one whole wall. They didn't get blackboards and chalk because the dust could damage the precious ventilation system they all relied on to survive. Low shelving lined two walls. They were also painted white, only about four feet tall, and eighteen inches deep. The shelves were full of workbooks and class materials. On top of the cases were tanks of fish, hamsters, and a few plants growing under sunlamps.

Caylee loved her classroom. It felt cheerful, lived in, and well used. She cared deeply for her classmates. They were all fellow orphans like herself and talented in their very special ways. Everyone now gathered in the classroom's desks would someday be part of a very elite team of monster slayers. Every textbook on the shelves and filling their desks were brimming with information on every form of monster Caylee and her crew would ever come up against; vampires, werewolves, mutants, and aliens and anything else above the humans on the food chain were targets of the slayers. Caylee and the others were being trained to protect the human race from becoming food and slaves to those stronger than mere mortals. She accepted it because there was really no other option for her future. Fate was a reality and hers was to become a master monster slayer!

Greg took his place at the front of the class. At sixteen, he had a number of slayings under his belt. But the organization recognized Greg's natural talent with the younger children. The administrators gave him a classroom and put him in charge of educating and preparing the youngest ones in the lifestyle they were going to take on. His patience seemed never ending when it came to the constant flow of questions the children had. His genius always had an answer, which he gave in the simplest, most understandable terms the children's absorbent brains soaked up like liquid into a sponge. Greg was the perfect teacher.

"Class," he said, gathering his student's attention to the front of the room. "What is a monster?"

Jimmy, a boy only slightly older than Caylee, raised his hand and answered, "Monster is the term we use for anything non human."

"Good," Greg said, smiling at the children. "What are some examples of monsters?"

Children's voices filled the air, saying, "Werewolves, demons, nightwalkers, zombies..." Greg held up his hand for silence.

"Excellent examples, class! But, how do you know a monster when you see one?"

Caylee raised her hand and answered, "Their appearances are usually obviously nonhuman, ugly, and often followed by a bad odor. Even shape shifters have an evil, nonhuman aura they can't hide."

"That was a very good answer, Caylee. You even included the shape shifter's auras," her teacher grinned.

Caylee grinned back, feeling very pleased. But then Greg asked a question she didn't know the answer to.

"What if you can't tell someone's a monster?"

The class went silent, like every class the first time the question was posed. Small faces appeared confused, glancing at each other with eyebrows raised. There were a few shrugs before one brave boy said, "But, there's always a way to tell, sir."


So many little heads bobbed while they nodded their agreements.

"Come with me, kids. We're taking a little field trip."

Excited chatter filled the class as they lined up single file to exit the room. Greg led them to the large elevator at the end of the hall, the one no one was allowed to use without adult supervision. Inside the large steel cage, Greg punched in a code on a digital screen. The screen asked which floor he wanted and he punched the number three. The elevator vibrated to a start and a few of the children giggled as their little tummies tickled. Caylee smiled up at Greg, her big eyes filled with innocence and curiosity. For a quick moment, Greg allowed himself to feel guilt and remorse for killing the innocence in these kids. But only for a moment, because he knew this was all for the greater good of humanity. Besides, Greg had gone through the same thing when he was their age, and he was more than prepared to help then through this transition from child to slayer.

He led the neat line of children down a dimly lit hallway to a large observation chamber. This floor of the compound was lovingly termed 'the zoo'. There was an intersection at the end of the long hallway where all the walls became reinforced, shatterproof, Plexiglas cubicles. Each cubicle held an exotic creature that would strike pure terror within the easily panicked hearts of society. The common human was simply unprepared to handle the horrors of the containment units, but these children had been raised in these halls. They learned languages spoken by demons and master vampires. Instead of dissecting frogs, Greg would supervise the dissection of sprites and fauna fairies.

Very little shocked, appalled, or even surprised these kids. Except, Greg thought, maybe the creature they'd see tonight may have a surprise or two up its sleeve. The creature that resided in the cave-like darkness of an unlit, glass cubicle was something no one deserved to experience.

Though the students gathered close to the glass, they didn't get within arm's reach. Hungry monsters tended to strike at the barrier when tempted by a large grouping of food and the children were well aware of the risks of getting too close to provoke a beast.

"Now, pay attention," Greg said, commanding the crowd in a soft voice. "I asked what if you couldn't tell if someone was a monster." Greg flipped a switch on the wall and the room lit up.

At first the children only noticed a small, child-sized bed against the steel wall. A wooden box of toys stood at the foot of the bed. In the center of the cell lay a bright, multicolored floor rug. It was circular and patterned with geometric shapes. In the center of that rug sat a child. Her brown hair fell in smooth ringlets. When she turned to face the window, clear, gray eyes stared at them, unblinking.

Caylee clasped a small hand to her mouth, trying to keep from gasping aloud. There was a stir amongst the children as they all began to look back and forth between Caylee and the little girl in the room. They were identical except for their clothing. Caylee wore jeans and a red T-shirt. The girl behind the glass wore a short sleeved, white tunic that hung to her ankles.

"Why," Caylee asked. "Why does she look like me?"

"It, Caylee. We don't know if it's male or female, so it's an it. Three weeks ago, when it arrived in 'the zoo', it had taken the shape of its last meal."

"I hope you mean a cow," one little girl said.

"Wish I did. No, it's using the form of four year old Michael Anthony."

A little boy turned from the window to pin Greg with his intelligent gaze. "I saw that kid in the news, Greg. They were blaming his murder on some sex offender just outta prison."

"True, Jared. But that's not what happened at all. You see, the FBI called us in to inspect the bodies of five children, all badly mutilated with body parts missing like an arm or a leg. When our experts arrived, they set out to capture this thing," he said, pointing at the Caylee Doppelganger, "which was in the process of consuming Michael."

"But, why does it look like me, Greg! It didn't eat me," Caylee said, her breath rushing erratically. The creature grinned at her, as if it could sense her rising panic.

"Obviously, my dear. Slow your breathing and I'll explain," Greg answered, gently patting Caylee's head. "Now, I wasn't here when we processed it into the system, but apparently the thing started to lose Michael's form within hours. It needed a new disguise, and since it feeds on children, it always disguises itself as a child. But that's not all its capable of. This thing is very psychic. It is telepathic and has shape shifting qualities."

As Greg spoke, he noticed the children edging closer to the glass. He knew they were being fooled by the innocent sweetness of the smiling monster.

"The day I came to view it, Caylee, we'd just finished our discussion on your history report. So, you were on my mind. This thing read my mind and took your form, right in front of my eyes!"

"It can do that," Caylee asked.

"Can it do me, too," Tommy asked.

"It can turn itself into anyone that comes near it. And, do you notice anything else?"

"It has no aura," Caylee whispered, placing her palm fully against the glass.

Greg watched nervously as the creature came and began inspecting the children with hunger in its eyes.

"Correct. It doesn't have a detectable aura, for reasons we're still not sure of. This live specimen will hopefully help teach us what there is to know. Until then, we can only speculate as to what classification of monster this little child-eater belongs to, and how to prevent more from roaming amongst humanity."

The children crowded around Caylee, some of them adding their own hands to the glass. The creature became overwhelmed by the plethora of food choices only a few inches of thick plexi away. As it watched them all, its eyes began to dart from side to side, then quiver as if made of half formed Jell-O. Those eyes moved, widened, and bled black. It reminded Greg of the black, dead eyes of a great white shark just before an attack.

"Get away from the glass, now!"

He pulled at a few students and the rest backed away quickly. Caylee dropped her hand, but stayed where she stood. The deteriorating Caylee-creature's skin bubbled and shifted, moving as if a thousand worms crawled beneath its skin. The lips drew back on rows of sharp teeth as the mouth stretched impossibly wide. Wide enough to swallow a six year old leg or arm quite easily, wide enough to leave a very large bite radius on those toddler's little bodies.

"Tod," Greg yelled down the hall to a young man that worked on 'the zoo' floor. "Throw something in there!"

The man named Tod darted down the hall to a metal door and disappeared through it. Moments later a small food trap opened across the cell and a human hand pushed a small puppy, squirming and whining pitifully, into the space. The creature salivated. Thick drool ran down its lips and chin to puddle on the floor. They puppy's movements caught its attention and it turned away from the students to stalk the puppy.

The children complained about the treatment of the dog. Some became angry, some cried for the animal and from fear. This thing was different than the monsters they'd studied, and none of them had seen a monster feed before. They watched in horror as the Caylee-creature fell upon the defenseless dog and folded its grotesque lips, teeth and all, around the puppy's neck, its head disappearing into the cavity. It bit down, blood pouring from its mouth. The puppy hung limp. No one moved for a long moment before Greg began moving the children away from the observation window. He wanted to get them away while the creature was busy feeding. Looking back, he noticed Caylee hadn't moved.

"Caylee," he called out softly. "Come on."

"Is that the last thing those kids saw, Greg? Just a mouth full of teeth," she asked, never taking her eyes from the room.

Now the creature was on hands and knees, eagerly licking leftovers from the floor. It even slurped up the urine and feces the dog released in its last moments of life. Finally, Caylee turned from the glass and walked toward Greg and the elevator.

They all filed into the elevator, the children quiet except for a few sniffles. Greg felt the guilt build at the terror he had to put these small minds through. It's necessary, he thought over and over again. They have to see, have to know what humanity was up against in this fantastical world. Caylee tugged at his hand.


She looked up at him with huge, gray eyes that would have reminded him of the creature but for all life-light shinning in those orbs. The thing's eyes were flat and lifeless, like a mask.

It was Caylee who asked the important question, the one with which the answer would take this group of six year olds and turn them into strong, ruthless hunters of monsters. She asked, "So, Greg, what do you do if you can't tell someone's a monster?"

"When you have the answer to that question, you'll no longer be a student. You'll be a slayer."

The sniffles stopped by the time the elevator reached the classroom's floor. Each child dealt with the horror of the night in their own way, but Greg knew Caylee was a leader. Any other child would have been more than a little disturbed to see herself as a monster. Especially one that eats the most defenseless of humans, feeding on the flesh of babies in pure gluttonous fashion. Not Caylee. No, she stayed, watched, and even made contact. At the end, she walked away, turning her back on terror, displaying her intelligence and courage. She'd support her teammates. Even now, as they took their seats in class, their eyes were turned toward her. Greg saw respect there, respect and acceptance.

Greg smiled at the class. "Now, everyone turn to page six in your workbooks. It's time to get to work."

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mission Statement

The definition of paranormal is something beyond normal explanation or not scientifically explained.

Nearly every person one has met in life has had some kind of paranormal experience. Most are willing to at least share their experiences.

They share for different reasons, though with specific intent. Some people share their paranormal experiences with the intention of finding a logical explanation for what they’ve seen, heard, or felt. Some are searching for sympathy from others who’ve had similar experiences. Some are looking for solid proof of an afterlife, while others desire publicity, recognition, or even fame.

As for myself, I have yet to experience any paranormal phenomena personally. But I wait with open eyes and a believer’s heart to gain the ability to share.

For now, I listen to others tell their stories and offer any explanation I can in hopes that I may relieve their fears or stress. I, like some, wish to find hard evidence of something beyond this world when we die. And through the stories of others broadcasted on this blog, perhaps I hope to gain a little recognition, if not for myself, then for the people who experience and share.

I am Krys Powers and this is my purpose; to create a space where people may come with open minds to share and learn. I encourage others to come forward with emails or messages of their stories or questions to be posted here for public view. In exchange, I offer advice, explanations, or information, or maybe someday a story of my own.

To contact me, please use my email KrysPowers@gmail.com or message my Facebook page. For those submitting personal experiences, please specify if you’d like your name changed to protect your privacy. Otherwise, all submissions for shared experiences, articles, questions or comments will be published with names and contact email addresses.

If you would like more information on me, visit my Facebook page or the attached bio here on the Paranormal Parallel.

Thank you most sincerely,
Krys Powers
Freelance writer and Paranormal researcher