glowinthedark: (Frank Taylor)
I don’t believe in reincarnation. Actually, that’s the wrong expression to use...I know reincarnation isn’t real. At least I know in an ‘on a scale of one to ten, give it an eight’ capacity. No one knows anything for sure, but considering I deal with the dead on a pretty routine basis? I can safely say I’ve never encountered a single incident of reincarnation.

Souls come to me...I help them...they move on. I don’t see them again.

I have, however, been dead personally, so if you want to talk about reincarnation? There is a somewhat oddball version I can ascribe to...that movie Chris Rock made, the knockoff of Heaven Can Wait. He dies too soon, but when his body’s destroyed, he gets another one...the body of a man who died so recently that he can claim it for his own before anyone’s the wiser. I can deal with that idea of reincarnation. I’ve had the out of body experience, I’ve seen the path to the other side. Hell, I brought a piece of it home with me.

Okay...if you want a good reincarnation story? I can give you one. Down the street from the Blackhawk there’s this new age bookstore. I’ve frequented it often enough over the years that I’m on a first name basis with the owner, girl named Shelley. Anyway, she offered to read my aura, so I let her. *She* claims in a past life, I was a knight...you heard me right, a knight, medieval style. Chivalry, swearing fealty to my lord, the whole bit. She recommended a past life regression specialist to me...hypnotherapy or something.

After my previous experiences with being forcibly rendered unconscious, I declined. Knowing my luck, Simon would choose that exact time to stop in and start walking around in my bones for a while, and frankly? That’s the *last* thing I need.

Muse: Frank Taylor
Fandom: HAUNTED
Words: 315
glowinthedark: (Frank Mercy)
Simon,

Given the fact that I can’t seem to shake you no matter *what* I do, I know you can probably read this letter...and that’s okay You can’t interrupt me if I’m writing, and knowing your inability to keep your nose out of anything, I know you’re probably curious as hell as to why I feel the need to sit here and do this.

I’m sick of your shit.

You’ve been trying to break me for years, and I’m still here. You won’t rest until I’m six feet underground rotting right alongside you, but I’m still breathing. You tried to hurt my family, and I stopped you.

I’ve heard of being stubborn, but this is getting a little ridiculous.

The bottom line is, I don’t care anymore. Whatever you do or say, in the end none of it matters. I know who you are, I know *what* you are...but above all else, I’ve long since realized the truth about who and what *I* am.

I’m gifted. I’m here to help others, and I’m here to keep scumbags like you from hurting innocent people.

My purpose is still to protect and serve...and the dead are still my specialty.

Difference is, with these powers, at least I can still do some good even after it’s too late.

And no matter how you try, you’ll never be able to change that...and you’ll never be able to take that away from me.

So stop trying.

-Frank

Muse: Frank Taylor
Fandom: HAUNTED
Words: 246
glowinthedark: (Frank/Julia Hold Me)
I need to get laid.

I know it sounds pretty crude, but it’s the God’s honest truth...I haven’t been with a woman in a while. Not in...God, three years, and that instance...it was complicated. Girl named Melissa...we were institutionalized together when we met. I mean...she was in there, I was there for a case I was working on. Anyway, long story short she was being kept when she didn’t need to be treated anymore...one of the patients was impersonating a shrink and kept her there.

We hit it off...sort of. I mean, I wasn’t completely interested at the time, but she was pretty cute. Few months later, we ran into each other again and...we were together. It was one of the strangest encounters I ever had, though...mainly because it was so satisfying. Not because it was any great romance or deep, spiritual connection...but because we were both lonely and sad and...together, we were okay for a while.

I think that’s one of the rare blessings of sex...it’s a way to be happy. Keep the darkness at bay for a while. I mean, I’m not big on casual sex, but this wasn’t casual. It was just...right. Melissa and I, we took a night and we enjoyed ourselves. I took her upstairs, we did it a few times...fell asleep in each other’s arms, took a stab at making breakfast the next morning. When she finally left, it was with a smile. We both felt lighter...warmer, less alone.

It’s doubtful it’ll ever happen again...but Melissa made me feel alive for the first time in a while, and that’s what sex is, I think. It’s a reminder we’re alive...that no matter how bad things are, there’s one thing left that’s good. It’s a connection...a tie that binds us all together.

And when all you do is talk to the dead...sometimes that little reminder that you’re still among the living is especially important.

Muse: Frank Taylor
Fandom: Haunted
Words: 335
glowinthedark: (Frank So Alone)
Now that’s kind of a trick question...I mean, I’m a private detective. It’s not exactly an illustrious profession...infamous is a much better word, if you ask me. The jobs I take...the things I do...they’re not always exactly decent, y’know? I mean...I’ve taken my fair share of missing persons cases, murders and kidnappings...they *do* happen. But? A fair amount of my paying business is unfaithful spouses, insurance fraud...stuff like that.

So in the workplace? I have few to NO scruples when it comes to getting what I want.

In my personal life? Well...that’s another story. My ex wife...when I divorced her, I still loved her, but I did it because it was better for her...maybe for both of us, I still don’t really know. Thing is, though...I wanted her. I really did...but I couldn’t keep her. I *chose* not to keep her.

There are those times, though...like that day I woke up in a hotel room I’d never seen before...my first experience with possession. I didn’t stop ‘til I had answers...until I knew for sure what the hell was happening to me. It helped, though, that I was being suspected of attempted murder, y’know? Even if the IA rat on my ass was the real attacker...it lit a fire under me.

There are things in my personal life I hesitate about...work’s never a question. I want it...I own it. But I guess that’s always been part of my problem: my job has always been my life.

Now? It still is...but in a far more literal sense.

So it begs the question...what am I willing to do to get what I want?

You’ll have to be a little more specific.

Muse: Frank Taylor
Fandom: Haunted
Words: 296
glowinthedark: (Frank/Julia Hold Me)
I live over a bar...The Blackhawk...so it’s a pretty sure bet that I spend a good deal of my evenings at home downstairs with a beer, watching the game, or the races...whatever’s on. That said, I’d have to say my biggest pet peeve is the type of guy I call the Happy Hour Cassanova. It’s the kind of guy that thinks that by going into a place like The Blackhawk, getting drunk, and spotting a pretty girl gives him free license to be a prick.

You see it in bars all the time...guy gets plastered and tries to feel up a waitress or some other woman. You want to step in, and sometimes you do...at least you do if you got any balls. Not much more than harmless morons with a few to many Jacks in them. Bouncer can handle them pretty easy, especially if they don’t just get gropy, but loud.

However, there’s more dangerous types than the shitfaced obnoxious Happy Hour Cassanova...there’s also the ones who are perfectly civil. You never spot them ‘cause women welcome them to their table. They share a few drinks, some nice conversation...but then they cross the line. Somehow, some way...they do something inappropriate, and the woman they’ve chosen gets spooked and walks out on ‘em.

Sounds harmless enough, doesn’t it?

There was a guy like that at The Blackhawk a few years ago. He was one of those types...and he killed a woman named Julia Caufield about a year before I met him. He killed her because she rejected him...he hurt her and he dumped her body on the street.

I fell for Julia a year after she died...I caught her killer, and I helped her find peace so her spirit could move on.

Ever since that night? If I see a girl getting hassled, I do something about it.

And when I know she’s safe...I go home.

Muse: Frank Taylor
Fandom: Haunted
Words: 327
glowinthedark: (Frank So Alone)
[locked to all those who are unaware of the existence of the supernatural]

Given the chance, I’d tell Jess and Marcus about me...what really happened when I came back from the dead. I’d explain every single solitary crazy thing I’ve said or done in the last few years so that my best friend and my ex-wife, the woman I *still* love, wouldn’t have to worry anymore. They could stop thinking I was a nut and realize the kind of work I’ve been doing.

I’d tell Marcus the truth about the Delacour family...about Abby’s vengeful ghost, and why the woman he loved really died. I’d tell him how she killed her family under Abby’s influence, tell him everything he needed to know until he realized that he couldn’t have saved her...that he did everything humanly possible. I’d let him know that the brief time he had with Rachel was the most, and the best he could have done for her.

I’d tell Jess why the man she was dating tried to kill her. I’d tell her about Simon Dean, how he took away the once chance either one of us might have had at getting any answers about Kevin...any closure. Maybe one day she and Nick would get back together...maybe she’d be less afraid to find someone. I’d tell her about Julia...how she changed me, how much she still means to me.

But above all else? I’d enjoy the freedom...the weight that would come off my shoulders, the fact that nothing would be hidden. I know it’s a little selfish, but it’s not easy to hide who you are...and I’ve grown to accept this part of myself. Simon’s a small example of the downside of what I am...but it’s *really* small when you look at everything else. I’ve done a lot of good, and I’m proud of that.

Still...if I could tell them...I’d almost be normal again. No secrets, no monsters in the closet. And I’d give the world for that.

[/locked]


Muse: Frank Taylor
Fandom: Haunted
Words: 326
glowinthedark: (Frank Taylor)
Religion’s kind of a tricky question for me, given my unique situation. I was raised in a Catholic home, but when I got older my faith in anything...it came and went, it’s not unusual. I had a relationship with God that most people have, I would assume: when I talked, He listened.

Now...seeing the things that I see, knowing what I do about what comes after, it makes me wonder. I know the Church doesn’t support pagan stuff, or the arcane...but I can’t help what I see, what I know to be true. When I first got this ability to see ghosts? I was uncomfortable with it, not to mention the numerous visits I found myself paying to new age and occult bookstores. It felt...wrong, somehow. Over time, though, it got easier...shed my upbringing, as it were.

I don’t believe in the afterlife, I *know* it’s real. Life doesn’t end when we die. But what I believe...I believe that curses and black magick? They can be just as real. I’ve seen it firsthand in a ghost that cursed her own child with her dying breath and haunted an entire family for generations, wiping every last one of them out.

But God and the Devil? All the things that make up religion? I don’t really know if I buy into it...the only thing I know for sure is that belief is a powerful tool...it *makes* things real, viable, tangible.

I think for now I’ll stick to what I can see. After all...I know it sounds corny, but I *do* see dead people.

Muse: Frank Taylor
Fandom: Haunted
Words: 269
glowinthedark: (Frank So Alone)
I have a few habits I’ve never really kicked...biting my nails is one of them. I mean, I don’t gnaw away at my fingers the way I used to when I was a kid, but when I get particularly absorbed in something, I tend to chew on my nails...when the biting *does* start, I know I’m working too hard.

My weirdest habit, though? Comes from my grandfather. He was a blue collar kinda guy from the South Bronx. Cop, just like my dad...but the one thing he always prided himself on was being a gentleman. He always used to tell me that anyone with money could ‘put on airs.’ He saw the delicacy and manners they had as something artificial...used to say that a true gentleman had patched holes in the elbows of his jacket when he lay it across a puddle so a lady didn’t have to step in the mud.

He *did* stuff like that, too...never saw him do the puddle thing, but he lit cigarettes for women, always had a handkerchief in his pocket “just in case,” never let a woman pay when he took her to dinner...he may have been a working stiff, but he was never anything less than a class act.

When he passed away, everyone in my family was heartbroken...he was just that kind of guy. His funeral had one of the biggest turnouts I’d ever seen. It was kind of like a tribute when I started carrying a handkerchief in my own pocket...never had much need to use it, but every time I pulled it out, or even felt it there in my pocket, I thought of Grandad.

It’s been nearly a decade since he passed on, but I still keep that handkerchief on me...it’s just gotten to where I don’t feel right without it. It’s gotten to be where carrying it isn’t just a way of remembering, but a force of habit.

And somehow? I think that wherever my grandfather is...he’d be proud of that fact.

Muse: Frank Taylor
Fandom: Haunted
Words: 343
glowinthedark: (Frank So Alone)
You’ve gotta be kidding me, right?

Suffice to say...yeah, I believe in ghosts. They’re my stock in trade...they’re who I am. I deal with ghosts every single day, no matter what form they might take. I track them through the shadows, I lay them to rest, I see, hear, and *feel* them.

Then, of course, there’s also the dead people I see everywhere I go.

Talking about the horror-movie ghosts is easy. They’re almost what you expect, but not quite. When they take physical form, yes, they’re pale. Sometimes they bear the wounds that killed them. They’re cryptic...mysterious...they flicker in and out. They move things without being visible. They come on a chill breeze that makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

More often than not, though, the ghosts I deal with are tied so deeply to the *other* kind of ghost that it’s hard to tell where one ends and another begins. You find a spirit with a secret, and soon you find another, and another...the ghosts of the past, present, and future swarm you like bees, droning so loud you can’t hear, can’t see through the thick shadow they cast.

I’ve never seen him on *this* side of the veil...the one between here and *there*, I mean..but Kevin is my ghost. And I don’t think I’ll ever be able to shake how badly I failed him.

I’m a private detective. Ghosts of memory, ghosts of the past...they’re my stock in trade, not to mention my poison of choice.

But the dead? I guess you could say that the dead are my specialty.

Muse: Frank Taylor
Fandom: Haunted
Words: 276
glowinthedark: (Frank Sleep)
To me, family is everything. It’s always been a big part of my life, keeping family close to me...though I admit, for a long time a family of my own wasn’t really something I was after. Don’t get me wrong, I was never against the idea, but...the force was my life. I wasn’t too keen on asking any girl to play second fiddle to what I *knew* I wanted.

Then Jessica came into my life.

I knew everything the moment I realized I was in love with her. I wanted it all...marriage, house, kids and a family dog. I wanted more than a career, I wanted a life and I wanted it with her.

When Kevin was born...I realized what family was really all about. In her hospital room, holding that little tiny creature we made together...watching him nurse, and later at home, looking into his crib with Jess beside me...I knew I could kill for it. To preserve them, us...the way I felt when we were all together...

I know it sounds a little messed up, but my family was the first thing in my life that ever really belonged to me...but the same way my arms and legs are mine, the way my fingerprints are mine and absolutely no one else’s.

But in the end, that’s the problem with something that close to you...when you lose an arm or a leg, it’s difficult to learn to live without it.

Me...I’m not sure I ever will.

Muse: Frank Taylor
Fandom: Haunted
Words: 252
glowinthedark: (Frank Ouch)
My First Time.... )

Muse: Frank Taylor
Fandom: Haunted
Words: 501
glowinthedark: (Frank Sleep)
Hi...guess I ought to introduce myself, huh?

Let’s see...well, the basics are simple. My name’s Frank Taylor, I’m a private investigator working in LA. I used to be a cop...it isn’t exactly an upgrade, I know, but it’s a living. I’m also divorced...and I used to have a son. Unfortunately, it’s all tied together.

Back in 2000, my little boy, Kevin, was abducted from our home. He was only four...just a baby when it happened. To make a long story short...everything fell apart after that. My wife, Jess, divorced me...I lost my job...

...then I lost my life.

Look, it’s crazy. I know it. And I don’t make it a matter of public record because of that fact, but...well, this group looks sort of custom-made for this kind of stuff.

About four years ago I was working a missing persons case when I got stabbed by a man named Simon Dean. He was a suspected pedophile...but I got my shots in before I went down for the count. Threw him off the roof we were on...he broke his neck and I bled to death. Literally.

I died on the table, but they brought me back...along with something else.

Now I can see the dead...and the dead can see me. I don’t just see random spirits, on their end I stand out. One of them once told me that I glow...guess you could say that ghosts like me. A little more than I’d like, actually...let’s see, since I developed this gift I’ve been possessed, blinded, beaten, nearly drowned, fallen in love, institutionalized (okay, so that was voluntary, but a ghost led me to the sanitarium), kidnapped, and had more attempts on my life than I can count.

Anyway, it’s all given my line of work an interesting new twist. When taking clients, I no longer discriminate based on status life. It’s the living clients that pay my bills...but the ghosts that have become the people that I protect and serve these days.

Most of them, anyway.

I ought to warn you that there’s one spirit in particular that’s stuck around. You see, ghosts are souls that can’t rest...unfinished business and all that. When they’ve resolved things, they move on to...wherever we go when we die.

Simon Dean’s one of those restless souls...but he won’t rest until he finishes what he started.

So as long as I’m alive, he’s always going to be here...and he won’t stop until he sees me dead. Or worse.

At any rate, this has been my life for about four years now. It’s not much...but it *is* a living.

For the most part.
glowinthedark: (Frank So Alone)
Okay, so I have one hour to live? Fine...I’d find Marcus and Jess and take them out to lunch. Spend my final hour with the people I love...and get one last decent meal in my stomach. I’ve seen too many people die alone and unhappy...I’ve felt the suffering of too many spirits who ended their lives unseen and unknown. I don’t want that for myself.

There’s more to it, though...most folks might try to earn a few last brownie points, but not me. I know what’s going to happen when I die. I know *exactly* where I’m going.

Nowhere.

I’m pretty sure by now that my son is dead...if I die, I’ll find out for sure. But I need to know the how and why...and I need justice for my baby boy. I refuse to rest until I know the truth...all of it. I will not go quietly on into...whatever’s waiting, until I know the ones who hurt Kevin pay for what they did.

I have a lot to look forward to by letting go of this world, I know. I could possibly see Kevin again...I *will* see Julia again. I’m sure of it. But it’s not who I am...I didn’t become a cop just to catch bad guys, I did it to protect and serve. It’s all I’ve ever known, all I really know how to do.

So...when my time comes? I’m staying right here.

And praying to God that I’m not the only person out there with this curse of a gift.

Muse: Frank Taylor
Fandom: Haunted
Words: 263
glowinthedark: (Default)
THE RISING
Bruce Springsteen


* * * * *

Sixteen year old girl...a runaway. Her parents were looking for her, and an hour later she was standing in front of my desk with a bullet hole in her head.

I did the work...I found the guy...I gave her peace.

I brought her mother and father the charm bracelet she was wearing...all they have left of their baby.

Now I’m as far from the office as I could get...Griffith Park. We planned to take a trip up here when Kevin was older...Jess and I. He loved the glow-in-the-dark stars we put on his bedroom ceiling...we figured he’d like the Observatory.

I find myself a nice grassy patch of ground and I nearly collapse onto it. I’m heavy...weighted down by anything and everything. I’m tired...drained, completely wiped out. Around the park, there’s not a lot of light...gives you a better view of the stars. I want the dark...I want this glow in me to be hidden for a while. I don’t want anyone, living or dead to see me.

I want to rest...just for a little while, I want to rest and think and *be.*

It’s an improvement over the last few years...at least I’d rather be than be dead.

It’s not much comfort, but I *have* gotten better. I guess in a way...I’ve started to accept what I am, what I’ve become. I’ve been doing this for four years, and I stopped looking for an escape about two years ago. Now all I look for is shelter...sanctuary. Best part is...I *can* find it, if I look hard enough.

I lay there for a while, just looking up at the stars...it’s hard to believe, living in the city, that when you get to places like this the sky gets so *full*...an endless gleaming universe of stars, big and small, bright and twinkling, trying to crowd each other out to see who can shine more brightly. From the window of my office...the sky always looks so empty. It’s an emptiness you can get lost in...not here. Here, there’s no way you could get lost...you can’t be alone or afraid because there’s so much like and so much beauty...

I shut my eyes finally, irrationally wishing I could drink in the bright light of the stars, soak it right into my skin. I can still see them behind my eyelids...I can almost feel them shining down.

And in the void, in the quiet surrounding me...I can feel *them*, too. The ties that pull me back into the city. Marcus...Jess...and even Simon. By now, I think he knows he’s fighting a losing battle...because as hard as he tries to take me down, there’s people with me, fighting him, even if they don’t know it. Even if they’ll never know it.

And then there’s Kevin.

I miss my little boy. I grieve for him every day, I ache for him each and every moment.

Reaching into my back pocket, I withdraw my wallet and open it to Kevin’s picture, just staring for a moment.

My anchor.

Simon can’t hurt me and he can’t kill me, because I have to live for Kevin. Above all else, I need to be worthy of him.

I want my son to be proud of me.

Muse: Frank Taylor
Fandom: Haunted
Words: 559
glowinthedark: (Default)
What is one thing you have learned from your past?

If there’s anything I’ve learned from the past, it’s a man’s capacity to take things for granted...*my* capacity to take things for granted.

I was a blue collar man stuck in a blue collar job...a working stiff. I played hell paying my bills, I didn’t get much sleep most nights, and life wasn’t exactly easy...but I had to lose everything before I finally realized just how good I had it. A beautiful wife I was madly in love with, a gorgeous son I adored...a job I was passionate about, a great partner...Jesus, I even liked my mother-in-law.

Right now, I’d give anything to have Jess at home to complain about the bills...I’d sell my soul to endure one more sleepless night holding Kevin when he had a nightmare. I want more time, another chance to appreciate what I had.

I’m still helping to catch bad guys. I’ve saved lives...I have a roof over my head and I just manage to make ends meet. I also, however, talk to the dead, haven’t gotten a full night’s sleep in well over a year, and half the people in my life think I’m crazy.

But...there’s still people in my life that I care about...who care about me...and some of those spirits have made my life better, in their own way. I’ve done some good, and I’d like to think that I’ve paid for some of my past sins.

Life’s not so bad...but it was better, once.

And sometimes I have to wonder if it can ever be that good again.

* * * * *

Describe a dream that you've had. How did the dream make you feel?

Frank heaved a deep sigh and shut his eyes, throwing an arm across his face to blot out the light. He didn’t have enough strength left to shut the lights off, or even close a window.

Sleep would come anyway...now that Simon wasn’t here to stave it off.

* * * * *

In his dream, he was back in the corridor, only now he was alone there, Kevin standing at the far end. His hand was outstretched, beckoning to Frank as a sunny smile graced his perfect, slightly pudgy little features.

Frank could only stand there, tears forming a lump in his throat that made it difficult to breathe. Light streamed down from the ceiling, forming a circle around the small boy, casting him in shadow as it had in the hospital when Frank had died.

Kevin waved to him again, taking a step forward this time...closer to the edge of the circle, heading out of the light.

“Kevin, no!”

The words tore from his throat in a hoarse cry that stopped the little boy in his tracks. Frank understood now...and the pain of his revelation was more than he could bear.

He was never going to see Kevin again.

* * * * *

With a start, Frank awoke, gaze darting around in the hazy confusion of one rising from the depths of a dream. His breath came in harsh, ragged gasps, calming slowly as he flopped back down on the couch again.

Frank covered his eyes, shoulders shaking as the silent tears of truth came.

Kevin had gone into the light...and that’s where he had to stay, safe and protected, and hopefully happy.

But Frank knew, really *felt* the truth in his bones for the first time.

His baby boy was dead.
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