The Demon Seeds
The Demon Seeds
A Black Bed Sheet/Diverse Media Book
Copyright © 2017 by Derek Muk
All rights reserved.
Cover art/design by Nicholas Grabowsky
Copyright © 2017 Black Bed Sheet Books
The selections in this book are works of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the author.
Library of Congress Control Number: 2017952482
The Demon Seeds
A Black Bed Sheet/Diverse Media Book
I'd like to thank Nicholas Grabowsky for editing the book. -DM
The Demon Seeds
They sat in the spacious confines of the 1974 Ford station wagon, huddled around his smart phone, the bright glow of the graphics on the screen illuminating their rather eager faces in a garish yellow.
Jan looked at him. “Any word yet?”
Taylor shook his head without taking his eyes off the screen.
Jan suddenly smiled, her cheeks bright and rosy, tucking her shoulder-length red hair back behind her ears with her hands. “Carol said there’s a big party tonight after her shift ends. It sounds really fun. Can we go?”
“Hate to disappoint you kid, but probably not, ’cause we’ll have to hit the road if we want to make it to Vegas in time.”
She frowned, but then her face lit up again in no time. Good old bubbly Jan, always with the quick, hopeful rebound. She nodded her head at his phone. “What if there’s no message?”
“There will be,” he replied, a bit over-confidently.
She looked at him, not liking the tone of his voice, like a child who didn’t get its way, who didn’t get that piece of candy or that toy, dreading the moment when his phone pinged with that message. At times, her naïveté and constant effervescence was annoying, while in other situations it proved to be an uplifting and positive remedy. He recalled being in the car with her during a long, dull road trip smack dab in the middle of nowhere, where he was literally on the verge of falling asleep behind the wheel. Felt like there were stones on his eyelids. He had Jan’s gullibility to thank for keeping him awake.
She sat Indian-style on the passenger seat next to him, took out her phone, and began texting. And at that exact moment in time, she was the perfect archetype of a graduate student, a teaching assistant, in his eyes. Forever young, forever idealistic, eternally curious and inquisitive. Always full of questions. With her red hair parted down the middle of her head, her eyes narrowed in concentration as her fingers flew all over the keyboard, dressed in a light purple polo shirt, gray corduroy pants, and Nike tennis shoes. No matter where she would be in ten years, he’d always see her as this young college student.
The familiar sound of his phone’s ping brought him back to the present and he looked down at the screen, frowning.
She stopped texting, seeing the expression on his face. “What’s wrong?”
He didn’t look at her, eyes still on the screen. “The bubog isn’t in Vegas, according to my informant on the street. At least not yet.”
“So what do we do now?” Before he could supply an answer, she grinned with sparkly eyes and asked: “Can we go to the party now?”
Taylor shook his head with a sigh. This kid’s never gonna learn. Business before pleasure…always the motto of a good monster hunter. She still had a lot to learn, including the little things such as etiquette, patience, persistence, and staying positive, and Taylor himself was patient with her as he taught and instilled these things into her. It was gonna take time. And they had plenty of it, so there was no need to fret.
And right before he could provide her with a more detailed response to her question, he was saved by the bell…or, rather, the ping sound from Jan’s phone proclaiming a new text message.
She looked at the screen, and a frown festooned on her face. “Huh?” She quickly shot back a reply using the keyboard. And waited. Moments later, her phone sounded off again and she quickly read the message. “I think Carol’s in trouble, professor.”
“What makes you think that?”
“We never break off in the middle of text messaging without saying goodbye to one another. There’s always a salutation of some sort. I just asked her a question and my text bounced back saying it was undeliverable. That’s never happened before, swear to God. I texted her three times. No answer.” Jan looked at him with a quiet, concerned look.
“No need to panic. Probably just a technical glitch. It happens. Just wait.”
And wait they did, in the silence of the station wagon, but her phone didn’t emit any further noises. And that’s when Jan’s anxiety bloomed again.
“Oh, professor! It’s really uncharacteristic of her. She always says ‘bye.’” Jan’s forehead knotted into a field of furrows. “Can we at least swing by her apartment and make sure she’s okay? Please?”
Taylor regarded her for a moment. “Sure, no problem.”
Carol didn’t live that far away but the drive to her place took over an hour, no thanks to the congested roads and freeways of Los Angeles, especially Interstate 10 which led them all the way to the trendy and popular communities of Santa Monica, Hollywood, and Beverly Hills. The sweltering heat wave enveloping this region was starting to wear them down, not to mention the pungent exhaust fumes coming from the other vehicles, wafting in through the open windows of the station wagon. And in the arid yellow hills in the distance, bridging the valley to neighboring San Bernardino County, tensions were high over concerns of brushfire. The overcast skies above were tinted a pale brown, rust-colored. The legendary Los Angeles smog was immediately recognizable no matter who you asked.
They rolled up the windows and he turned on the air conditioning.
“I miss L.A. but I don’t miss this,” she said, nodding her head at the traffic.
“Things are equally bad in the Bay Area,” he quipped.
“It’s worse here, Teach.” Her little nickname for him. “Trust me, I grew up here and it hasn’t gotten any better.”
“How are your parents, by the way?”
“Good. One thing’s for sure…I can always count on my cozy bed at my parents’ house whenever I come down south.” She smiled. “Priceless. No worries about lodging. You should’ve accepted their invitation of sleeping in their guest bedroom. Why waste money on a motel room?”
“I truly appreciate the offer but feel awkward staying at your folks’ house for some reason.” He made a right turn on Pico.
She looked at him, eyes widening. “What’s awkward about it, Teach?? You’re a friend. Is that really bizarre to fathom?”
“No, it’s not.” He turned and grinned at her. “I like motels. I always get a lot of work done in them and you always meet interesting people.”
Jan shot him a look. “You’re weird.”
He winked at her. “I know. It’s what keeps me intriguing.”
They drove for a few miles before arriving at Cherry Street, where she told him to make a left, and then several apartment buildings down the road they finally arrived at Carol’s building. It was a four-story stucco, painted a dark tan. It looked pre-1980s, with its dusty balconies and cheesy sign out front that read:
They got out of the car.
She pointed up at a balcony on the far left corner of the building, on the very top floor, where a curtain flapped gently against the screen door, blown by the warm breeze.
“That’s her unit,” Jan said.
“Looks very comfy.”
They walked up to the building’s front door and she rang Carol’s buzzer. Taylor looked at the resident directory, one of those old school black cloth boards where white plastic letters were clipped onto it.
“You and Carol met in high school?”
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Taylor and Jan have an edgy, exhilarating and dangerous occupation: they’re monster hunters. While they’ve endured many strange adventures in their Southern California/Los Angeles area turf, their latest is as harrowing as it gets….for they are about to encounter the nefarious bubog, the demonic offspring of the cult leader Bubog, an entity carrying the seed of the Dark Prince himself, and he is trying to impregnate as many human women he could lay his hands on. While the intrepid monster hunters track the bubog down in an attempt to put an end to their evil scourge, Jan learns that her best friend, Carol, has been initiated into their cult and the two must save her before she too gives birth to one of these abominations. But can they save her? And can they rid our world forever of these diabolical Demon Seeds before it’s too late?