Who can make the sunrise?

Hello Out There in Internet Land

A few job opportunities came my way. A possible transfer, maybe, sort of, don't hold my breath in Space City. More than likely we will have to do much in the way of job hunting there. Oh, well. the way of the world. No one wants to talk to you until you are there. At least not at this pay rate. I’m glad Kay still has her job as [redacted] for the time being. It pays pretty good for the crap she has to go through, and it’s a vast amount of crap. On the other hand, her hours are strange and the commute sucks but in any other town it would be great gig. Ok, not every other town. We had to leave San Niebla for a reason. Even Ashland was far too expensive. We are told Augustin and Space City can be just as bad. We will see.

I am still at my job where people ask for death. There is talks of layoffs. I have a larger rant but i'm going to save it. Don't need that kind of negativity here.

Anyway, I should probably address the recent elephant in the room: the abductions. I mean every major news station is still covering it, and at least three blogs I read are plastering feeds about it. Sure, they still talk about the election (I won’t get into it until it gets really bad…which it might…I’ve never seen a suspected supervillain run for office before. At least, not one so blatant about it.) And then, there is the announcement about Lord Quantum and Chevron having talks with some government leader (I forget which). These are things I will tackle soon, you know, before they destroy us. If you want to hear about it now, let me know. I can always make a “Special Edition” post about it. And I love to hear from the people who read this. (Besides you, Bobbi. Yes, I get your emails. Thanks, I appreciate the leads.) Also to answer her question, I do have several words to say about the Situation of Lord Quantum, at least concerning the things I have been able to piece together. I’ll answer her issue on Friday, is that fair? Assuming I can get the writing time in...

So yeah, I have been noticing more and more stories on the news about missing girls in Bridgeton, as well as Ducklyn. This didn’t surprise me as Ducklyn has been the center for all sorts of sex trafficking in recent years and apparently for some time. (This little factoid shocked me when I first heard it. Ducklyn? Ducklyn?! A town that sent three police officers to investigate someone crapping in someone else’s lawn? Out in the burbs, Ducklyn? Really?) And it doesn’t even have much of what I would call anyplace “seedy.” Poor places for sure and tons of trailer parks but not like the barely civilized Ashland California where I hung my hat for seven years. In comparison, Ducklyn looks like it was pulled off a 1960’s sitcom universe and dump unceremoniously onto a former wetland. (Where all the ducks used to flock, thus, Ducklyn.) However, these missing person reports are getting more and more prominent. I find it worrisome, mostly for things that it reminded us of in San Niebla, but came here to avoid. I have entire rants about the vanguard we ended up becoming for this town but that will wait. Instead, there are a few possible issues that this may be the result of.

Let’s get back to the biggest issue. According to statistics, most missing persons cases are runaways, familiar abductions, or other fairly mundane explanations. I don’t immediately assume it’s all Alien Abductions or anything like that. I’m looking at you, Dr. Spyrox!

(Legal: I am not looking at you Dr. Spyrox. Your conflicts with Captain Mongo and Cosmic Girl, not to mention that attempt by the Bex to invade the world are well documented and readily available to anyone paying even the slightest attention. I am well aware of your genetic ability based on Bex technology which can create cloned bodies of various people to act as an army on your behalf. I formally acknowledge that you do not need all these abductions to fuel your flesh vats. That is all rumor and supposition that no court in the world could convict you of. If they could find you and somehow take away your diplomatic immunity as a non-native of earth without starting a war with a star fareing species of body jumpers. You have my full respect. Please, no funny business.)

However, one other solution to this issue came to mind the other day. According to reports, many of the missing persons were girls between the ages of 12 and 15, generally white or pale skinned, considered ‘beautiful’ by all those interviewed (the word was very specific), and none were seen alone, though the person they were last seen with is usually a gaggle of other girls. The abductions took place all around the city from the shopping center to the school yard. It should be noted Ducklyn has a huge number of school yards, even a massive catholic school complex that can probably be seen from space and a gifted arts and mechanics school. Then there is the other bit, the one I know they are not telling people frequently. Where ever an abduction was reported, they found candy wrappers. The only reason I know this is a reporter friend of mine was told to not make a big deal of it. He was told to edit out any references to the candy whatsoever. It’s quite possible that my idea is based on the paranoia developed living in Ashland for FAR too long where people went missing every day and no one batted an eye. It’s possible I’m reading too much into the situation. It might be nothing, it might be something terrifying.

The Candy Man has come to town.

For me, it’s the only answer. I know it’s gotten more popular for San Niebla folks to come this way for a variety of reasons, but then it’s possible that with the recent legalizations, the gang fighting that has come up, and lack of bounty hunting laws here, crime has decided to turn its eye this way. And with that crime comes the other type.

I never encountered him before. I know many heroes haven’t or haven’t been able to prove that it’s this monster. Most of us pray we never will. He was the reason many kids I knew got cell phones from the age of 5. Parents always wanted a tether to know where they were at all times. It was like the 80’s stranger danger panics brought up to eleven, and for good reason. It’s one of the few reasons I’m glad we don’t have children, particularly girls.

When I took classes to become a counselor, one of my classmates came from a psyche ward where they specialized in two fields, drug addiction and sexual victimization. She told me, they might as well have called it the “Candy Man ward.” Some were still craving his power candies for years afterwards. Some other worshiped him like they worshiped the Boogeyman or Slenderman. Some tried suicide, body carving, or eating disorders to deal. She lasted six weeks and had to leave after a swarm of them propositioned her, then attacked her when they smelled peppermint on her breath. Thankfully the guards pulled them off before anything happened.

Even his victims are scary.

OK, I know I’m talking around the point rather than at it. Hell, I’m scared of this bastard and only a handful of people have ever encountered him and remained sane. Most of the time his Candy Crushers do most of the work, these addicted kids, loaded on his chemicals, each given a specific super power for a short period of time, attacking whatever he asked for. Most of the time, it was more chemicals or funds. Sometimes, like the first encounter we have on record, it was for revenge after his job was taken away from him in blackmail. There is a written statement about this, I’m told. Each little girl turned into a hardend killer, each with a tune on her lips, and each willing to die for him. Often they do.

At least I am thankful his nests have been routed out before, quite often in fact, but he has never been taken in. Somehow he continues to walk the city streets, offering his candy to any willing soul. And until he is captured, he will continue to scare the living daylights out of us.

So this is all fear and supposition, right? We have nothing to fear for the moment right? I’m right there with you. We know most of our friends and families are safe. We don’t fit the profile of what he looks for most of the time. Still, in a town as small as this, he becomes much bigger fish and a very small pond. Soon, he will come up from the depths. I can only hope the police and other forces can deal with him then. And with the massive homeless population around here, many of which have substance abuse issues already, as well as the masses teaming for the next blissful buzz, he might have a captive audience to experiment and prosper while he collects his children.

How do I know? I hate to bring this up, but people are going to hear about it one way or another. A few days ago, on a train I was taking to my job, I saw a guy, disheveled, bobbing his head like a rabbi in prayer but eyes wide open and hardly solemn. He looked like he hadn’t showered in months, face covered in tattoos. Nothing to uncommon between our homeless and our large number of parolees making a new start of it here. But when I passed him to get to the doors, I heard him muttering. I had my headset on so I pray I didn’t hear it right. It could have just been a trick of sound or a combination of other noises mixed into a jumble that my mind misinterpreted. It might. Then again, I might have heard him as I passed the man who smelled like twenty day old socks and cinnamon. What did he say?

“Who can take the sunrise… sprinkle it with dew…”

The Candy Man Can.

Brace yourself people.

Keep Dreaming.

Daniel

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