Chapter 5: Slum Lord

Johnny sat in the subway car, trying not to make eye contact with anyone, his long hoodie drawn over his head. A phone sat in one hand, though it was still showing the lock screen. He’d stolen it when he’d been leaving the crime scene. A spasm of paranoia struck him. Could they track the phone with its GPS coordinates? He considered, for the third time that hour, throwing the thing under the rails the next time he got off the train. But his reasoning had been sound. The phone made him look normal. People didn’t question who you were when you were staring at a phone on the subway. They just assumed you were another self-absorbed prick.

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Chapter 14: I Am Not Dead Yet

“Let’s just change her, now,” Donny said, hissing, his eyes narrowed. “Bitch is tricky. Just bite her, change her-” He dropped silent as Chaac turned her warm brown eyes on him, his back straightening. “Just saying. Just saying we should do this fast, before she has time to pull any shit. Don’t want her pulling any tricky shit like the last time-”

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Chapter 8: An Unexpected Guest

“I never wanted it to end up like this,” said Fang Fen, as she sat back on the hood of her car. It was still hot, providing a warm place to sit for a few minutes before the bitter cold of the night filled it, like it was filling everything else. “The two of us on opposite sides, fighting over whether someone will live or die. You saved my ass once.” I was silent. “And we both know that I can’t repay you for it here. There are a lot of things I’d do for you, Atina, but I will not betray justice for you.”

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Case Files 1: Vampires, Ghouls, and Ghosts

Vampires

Being a Vampire is, broadly, like being ‘white’ or ‘black’. That is, it’s a huge umbrella term for a very large and diverse group of individuals, and almost uselessly vague. The only thing that identifies one of the undead as a vampire is feeding on blood. Kumiho, Vampyrs, Draugr, Strix, Were-Mosquitos, Leech-Men, Camazotz, there are a shocking variety of myths about creatures that feed on blood, usually risen corpses. So, where the hell does the generic vampire with its daylight allergy, superhuman strength and speed, and hypnotic mien come from? How did those start getting made?

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Interim 2: Catfished

Hell’s Kitchen Sink will resume on September 24th, with Delectable Corpse, a continuation of the character introduced in Small Folks Court, which you can read again here. There’ll be another short story, The Wind Cries, on September 17th, which will be a short story showing some of the history of Ariel from A Serpent in Zion, and leading into a future novel which will feature Ariel, and two others, as the primary protagonists.

In the next seven days, you can send questions to me; Either asks on tumblr, e-mails to mgexaminers@gmail.com, or comments on Hell’s Kitchen Sink, about Catfished, characters, lingering uncertainties, and so forth. Anything that I don’t think will specifically be spoilers for the story in the future, I’ll answer, and post on Hell’s Kitchen Sink on the 20th.

I’ll be running two polls, this time. First, the character polls! Same rules as before, you can choose up to 5 characters that you want to see more of.

http://www.strawpoll.me/11191946

The last poll had some fascinating results. Nash had first place at 22 votes, with Pearl just behind at 20, and Bella at 17. Ariel was at 16, Gene at 14, and Heather at 14- Giving the Sisters and Bella a handy lead. Megara comes in at 9 votes, with Harry, Irayama, and Dio all holding a respectable place with 7 votes. Susan and Isabelle managed to get 5 votes despite barely being in the story at all, with Dean and Officer Crupky each getting 3.  Wendy and Kintaro each had a single vote each, and poor Megan Smith came in with a round 0.

Overall, we can see that people definitely had the most interest and fondness for Nash and those closest to him. An interesting result, and one I’m glad for.

And for our second poll, I’ve got something a little more esoteric. Who do you think would have been a better protector: Betty, or Randall?

http://www.strawpoll.me/11191968