BLOODGHOST

---------- Illustration and Animation by Alex ilitchev. --------- Requests considered, commissions always welcome
Naturally being cooped up in a hospital won’t stop any detective worth his weight in salt. On the second day of my convalescence I slumbered, and therein I sought out the Medium in the Mist. I walked below the tumultuous city-sky upon a field of clouds. There within the bustling inverted streets is where my father died. Sometimes I think that perhaps I know this ever-expanding urban mesosphere better than I know the dirty and hard streets of the real world. But only perhaps. When I finally came upon her, as I always do, she was seated before her fuliginous crystal ball, waiting for me. Then again, she’s always waiting. The Medium chooses to remain as inscrutable as her divinations.“Ah, Rubus, you’re back!” she said, feigning surprise. Her lies were almost as bad as her prognostications were good. Alright I need to stop with these ridiculous redundant analogies. No more analogies. Analogies are officially banned from this story. Just kidding I could never stay mad at you, analogies. Come here. You’re like the snarky drunken uncle I never had.Anyway, there I stood, far below the peaks of the skyscrapers, in the ever-thickening mist. She motioned me to sit, and I did. Never refuse an invitation to sit. It’s only polite.“You have come to me with a new case, yes?” she noted. You see it was a rhetorical question. “A most important case. A young woman, perhaps?”“My god, it’s like you have pierced the very veil of truth itself and peered into the unspeakable face of the divine!” I exclaimed. I was not falling for these vague antics. I knew she had pay dirt to deliver and I was rarely in the mood for her absurd obfuscations.“Fine, fine, alright. I’ll make it snappy,” she groaned. “You really are a brat, Wineberry. Alright, this case is a big one; I can see it leading to great changes in your life. Great danger as well. And none of that bogus danger like stumbling before a trolley or falling down a flight of stairs; real, terrible, gut-wrenching danger! The kind your mother would call you about if she saw it on the news!”“No! It couldn’t be!” I gasped. The Medium appreciated my interjections, no matter how forced. Sometimes I wondered if perhaps she was even incapable of perceiving the difference.“I see that got your attention.” See, totally oblivious. “But don’t worry, should you complete your task you will be rewarded with a prize beyond anything you could imagine. One might even call it… the Ultimate Prize.” If I didn’t know any better I could have sworn she capitalized that.“Yes, yes, that’s all well and good, brilliant motivation and whatnot,” I said. I could tell that I needed to cut her off now, or she would really get going. “But what about the man I seek? Who is he? Where can I find him?”The Medium of the Mist smiled.“Aha,” she said, “Very well. Allow me to pave your first steps. His name is Okra. He is a stage actor, though what stage he ‘acts’ upon may surprise you!” She burst out laughing; a hideous, gurgling laugh from deep within her. Although honestly it wasn’t that unexpected from an enormous hippopotamus. As she continued to chortle I suddenly noticed the fog had settle around us in a swath of inky blackness. Her crystal had ceased its luminescence.“Time for my payment, I suppose.”“Yes. Mr. Wineberry. Time for your payment.” 

Naturally being cooped up in a hospital won’t stop any detective worth his weight in salt. On the second day of my convalescence I slumbered, and therein I sought out the Medium in the Mist. I walked below the tumultuous city-sky upon a field of clouds. There within the bustling inverted streets is where my father died. Sometimes I think that perhaps I know this ever-expanding urban mesosphere better than I know the dirty and hard streets of the real world. But only perhaps. When I finally came upon her, as I always do, she was seated before her fuliginous crystal ball, waiting for me. Then again, she’s always waiting. The Medium chooses to remain as inscrutable as her divinations.

“Ah, Rubus, you’re back!” she said, feigning surprise. Her lies were almost as bad as her prognostications were good. Alright I need to stop with these ridiculous redundant analogies. No more analogies. Analogies are officially banned from this story. Just kidding I could never stay mad at you, analogies. Come here. You’re like the snarky drunken uncle I never had.

Anyway, there I stood, far below the peaks of the skyscrapers, in the ever-thickening mist. She motioned me to sit, and I did. Never refuse an invitation to sit. It’s only polite.

“You have come to me with a new case, yes?” she noted. You see it was a rhetorical question. “A most important case. A young woman, perhaps?”

“My god, it’s like you have pierced the very veil of truth itself and peered into the unspeakable face of the divine!” I exclaimed. I was not falling for these vague antics. I knew she had pay dirt to deliver and I was rarely in the mood for her absurd obfuscations.

“Fine, fine, alright. I’ll make it snappy,” she groaned. “You really are a brat, Wineberry. Alright, this case is a big one; I can see it leading to great changes in your life. Great danger as well. And none of that bogus danger like stumbling before a trolley or falling down a flight of stairs; real, terrible, gut-wrenching danger! The kind your mother would call you about if she saw it on the news!”

“No! It couldn’t be!” I gasped. The Medium appreciated my interjections, no matter how forced. Sometimes I wondered if perhaps she was even incapable of perceiving the difference.

“I see that got your attention.” See, totally oblivious. “But don’t worry, should you complete your task you will be rewarded with a prize beyond anything you could imagine. One might even call it… the Ultimate Prize.” If I didn’t know any better I could have sworn she capitalized that.

“Yes, yes, that’s all well and good, brilliant motivation and whatnot,” I said. I could tell that I needed to cut her off now, or she would really get going. “But what about the man I seek? Who is he? Where can I find him?”

The Medium of the Mist smiled.

“Aha,” she said, “Very well. Allow me to pave your first steps. His name is Okra. He is a stage actor, though what stage he ‘acts’ upon may surprise you!” She burst out laughing; a hideous, gurgling laugh from deep within her. Although honestly it wasn’t that unexpected from an enormous hippopotamus. As she continued to chortle I suddenly noticed the fog had settle around us in a swath of inky blackness. Her crystal had ceased its luminescence.

“Time for my payment, I suppose.”

“Yes. Mr. Wineberry. Time for your payment.” 

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