Outside of the Norm
Outside of the Norm
An Emma Carmichael Story
By: Sam Curtin
“Well it’s good to see that you can actually make a friend Em,” Ethan laughed as they sat outside at the festival.
“Oh shut up Ethan…” Emma laughed, “Don’t listen to him Chris… ignore him altogether if you have too…”
“You guys make me laugh… completely different from the fake people I hung out with at my old school… you guys are real…”
“Thanks,” she smiled, “I mean I try to be a real as possible…”
“So Chris what do you think of the bands so far?” Ethan asked.
“Pretty good, I mean of course not as good as the original…” he said.
“Well Em looks like you picked a good friend to hang out with,” he smiled.
“Wow Chris looks like you met Ethan Carmichael’s approval; you’re moving up in the world, how does that make you feel?”
“Good I guess,” he laughed.
They then spent the next hour talking and listening to the rest of bands while sitting on that blanket on the ground. Emma knew that she was going to really get along with this guy; she knew it as soon as he had walked into that classroom. She had this gut feeling that they were meant to be friends. She just prayed to the gods that he didn’t find out their secret otherwise he would think she was a freak just like everyone else.
The last hour of the festival though went a little less smoothly than the rest of the festival. Halfway through one the band’s sets there was a blood-curdling scream that echoed through the park. Ethan instinctively reached for the gun that was in his jacket and Emma went for the knife in her boot. Chris was too busy looking around to notice them doing this.
“What the heck?” he said.
“You two stay here, I’m gonna go check it out,” Ethan said reaching into his jacket as he got up and headed towards the woods where the heard the scream.
“Why the hell is he going?” Chris asked.
“Ethan has a hero complex,” Emma said as she discreetly took the knife out of her boot and slid it up her sleeve.
“I mean shouldn’t we call the police or something?” he asked but his question was sort of answered, as out of the woods charged this crazy looking beast.
“For now let’s just move!” she exclaimed as the beast, which she had never seen before charged towards the crowd of people and started to attack, “Chris do me a favor and go to the car!”
“What? What the hell is that thing…” he said in disbelief as she watched the beast tear into a woman.
“Shit… just stay here then,” she said as Ethan came running out of the woods and Emma ran towards the woman and pulled the beast off of her.
She drove her knife into the beast over and over again as she felt it’s warm blood pour all over her hands. This only made the beast madder and it turned and sliced into Emma’s neck with its claws. Now her own blood trickled down her neck as Ethan then fired close to five rounds into the beast. The beast crumpled and Emma got up from under it covered now in both her own and the beast’s blood.
She winced in pain as Ethan helped her up as the people around were still running away, a few though were looking at the two of them standing next to the now dead Beast. Chris stood there looking both terrified and confused at the same time as he looked at the two of them. Emma looked at him and gave him an apologetic look as she turned to Ethan.
“Ethan we shouldn’t hang around here, we don’t want to have too many people questioning what just happened,” she said.
“Even I’m questioning it… what the hell was that thing?” he asked.
“I’ll look to see if I can find it later in one of our books…” she said, “But like I said we need to get out of here now… god Chris is going to be so freaked out… there goes another friend…”
They then just headed back to where Chris was standing and Emma placed a hand on his arm for him to follow them as he continued to stare at the dead beast, “Come on Chris we need to go…”
“What… what was that thing?” he asked as he then followed them back to the car.
“That’s a good question… maybe a wild dog or something?” Emma said.
“Yeah right it looked like something out of a horror movie… like a beast from hell or something…” he said as Ethan shot a look to Emma.
“Well it doesn’t matter anyway… it’s dead now…” Emma said as she winced a bit from her neck wound.
“And you two… reacted so fast! If not for you that woman would be dead… and look at you,” Chris gestured to her neck, “You’re hurt… and you don’t even seem to care… who are you people?”
“Um…” Emma said, “It’s kind of a long story… but why don’t I tell you later… we’ll just take you home okay?”
“Don’t you need to go to the hospital or something? I mean what if you turn into whatever that thing was… maybe it was a werewolf or something? I thought that if you were touched by them that you turned into them… it almost looked like a werewolf from those movies you know…” he said talking fast, trying to rationalize what he had seen.
“Wasn’t a werewolf,” she said as they got into the car, both Chris and Emma in the backseat, “Werewolves are just people that get a little hairy have bulging eyes, teeth, claws the whole bit… and you have to get bitten by a werewolf… no that was something I’ve never seen before…”
“Emma…” Ethan said warningly.
“What? I’m just telling him the facts… no use him thinking something that’s completely wrong…”
“How do you know so much… and how can you two be so freaking calm about this?” Chris said coming down from being freaked out to being confused.
“Well we’re kind of good at dealing with the weird, those things that can’t be explained…” she said even know Ethan was shooting looks at her from the rearview mirror, “But that’s a different story for another time… now we’re just going to get you home…”
“I need an explanation… I can’t just see something like that and not know what was going on… I want to find out what that thing was!”
Emma sighed, “Fine… we’ll swing by our place and pick up some things that will help and then we’ll go somewhere okay?”
“Some things that will help?”
“Just trust me Chris… I’ll answer all your questions that I can…” she sighed thinking about how she hated pulling people into these messes.
* * *
“So you weren’t kidding when you said you were into the whole mythology and occult stuff,” Chris said as they sat in the library of the state university since her books didn’t have any of the information they were looking for.
“You have no idea… been doing this my whole life,” she said as she leaned back against the bookshelf looking through a book on mythological beasts, “I mean I gave you the gist on what I do… but it’s an incredibly long story how we got here…”
“Seems like you have a lot of long stories…” he smiled.
“Such is my awesome life,” she said sarcastically.
“And there’s your trademark sarcasm…” he said laughing.
“Sorry… you know what I’m wondering,” she said looking at him.
“What’s that?” he asked looking up from the book that he was looking at.
“Why are you still hanging around? I mean you find out that I kill monsters and demons and spirits and what not… and yet you’re still here with me… I mean you saw that monster first hand and you don’t want to get as far away from me as possible? I mean is it all about your closure?”
“No,” he smiled, “When I first started talking to you as we walked down the hallway I knew that we were going to be friends… nothing is going to change that… I’m not very easily scared away… I mean that thing scared the living crap out of me and I have no immediate need to see anything else like that ever again really… but knowing that you’re out there saving the world from shit like I saw tonight makes me feel better. Yeah I need closure on this one cause I saw it with my own eyes, but for now on blissful ignorance is fine with me…”
“You surprise me Chris Davis… the last person that I knew that found out what Ethan and I do went running in the other direction… I mean now you know how much of a freak I really am and you still want to hang out with me?”
“You know what I think?” he smiled, “I think you like to use this as your excuse to drive people away… that you like being a ‘freak’ as you say… like not having to open up to people… and I’m not going to let you drive me away… I know your secret now Emma Carmichael but you can’t get rid of me…”
“You know it takes a lot of balls for someone to say something like that to me,” she said frowning, “You barely know me and you’re delving into my mind?”
“I’m sorry… I didn’t mean… I’m just saying that you can’t drive me away; I want to be friends with you. I know with you around I will never be bored…”
“I know… but you know you’re lucky cause not many people can tell me things like that and get away with it,” she smiled, “I must really like you or something…”
“Hey,” he said suddenly, “I think it’s our beasty…”
He then handed her the book that he was looking at, “The Leszy… a Slavic forest spirit who can change its shape into any type of plant of animal. Usually a peaceful spirit if its woodlands are being threatened it will attack and kill…” she read, “Huh… interesting… but this is a Slavic spirit, why the hell is it in the Mid-West?”
“Beats me… but my questions are answered so let’s go get some food…”
“I mean obviously those woods were the Leszy’s so he got pissed off and took the form of the scariest thing he knew of… so it wasn’t a monster at all… just a pissed off spirit… well former pissed off spirit. Luckily for us it says here that once in animal or plant form it is vulnerable and can be killed. When it’s in its human-like form that he is invincible… then why the hell would he bother changing?”
“I’m guessing scary dog/wolf monster is a lot scarier than just some backwoods looking guy…”
“True, I guess… still seems weird to me, but whatever I guess. We killed it, it’s all over with so we move on…” she sighed, “Though you unfortunately now know about the things that go bump in the night…”
“Well no, so far I know you kill them… but other than this Leszy guy I know nothing about the ‘them.’ Except for the little bit you told me about werewolves… but anyways… I’m done with this scary talk… you want to get dinner?”
“A man after my own heart… searches for monsters with me than wants to go eat,” she smiled, “Something tells me we’re going to get along just fine Chris Davis.”
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Vampire Blood Tomato Soup with Muenster Sammies
from Food Network
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 fennel bulb, chopped, about 2 1/2 cups
1/2 large onion, chopped, about 1 cup
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
1 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
2 cups homemade vegetable broth or low-sodium canned
2 cups tomato juice
6 basil leaves, torn
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Muenster Sammies, recipe follows
Heat olive oil in a medium sauce pot over medium-high heat. Add fennel, onion, garlic, salt, fennel seed and crushed pepper, if using, and cook until vegetables soften and brown slightly, about 5 minutes. Drain and reserve juice from the tomatoes, then crush tomatoes gently with your hands. Add the tomatoes, increase heat to high, and cook until they begin to brown slightly, about 5 minutes.
Add the reserved tomato juice, vegetable broth, tomato juice, and basil leaves. Bring to a boil, stir, reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook until vegetables are cooked through and soup reduces and thickens, about 30 minutes.
Remove pot from stove and puree the soup in batches, with an immersion, regular blender, or food processor. Stir in lemon juice and season with pepper to taste. Serve.
Muenster Sammies with Apple Jelly:
16 (3 1/2-inch square) slices Westphalian Pumpernickel, or other thin black bread
1/2 cup apple jelly
8 slices muenster cheese, about 3 ounces
8 slices yellow cheddar cheese, about 3 ounces
Dill pickle rounds
Spanish olives with pimentos
Special equipment: Cookie cutters (pumpkins, ghosts, black cat, bats and witches), optional
Toast bread in toaster or toaster oven until slightly crisp, about 5 minutes (or less if using a toaster.) Spread one side of each slice of bread with apple jelly. Layer the cheese over the apple jelly, top with remaining slice of bread. Cut out as desired. Garnish as desired.
Yield: 8 sandwiches
Monday's Crafty Idea!
Total Time 2 To 3 Hours
Ages: All Ages
This is one egg that trick-or-treaters will scramble to get away from: an orb of hatching spiders hanging from an entryway ceiling or a door frame.
What you'll need
White glue (we used a 7 5/8-ounce bottle)
Balloon (we used an 11-inch size)
Cheesecloth cut into 12 or so 3- by 18-inch strips (could also use rolled gauze)
Clear fishing line
How to make it
Empty the glue bottle into a bowl. Then fill the bottle halfway with water, shake it to dilute any remaining glue, and add the contents to the bowl. Stir the mixture well.
Inflate the balloon to about 9 inches tall and set it aside in another bowl.
Individually dip the cheesecloth/gauze strips into the glue, gently squeeze out the excess fluid, and spread the strips flat on the balloon. Cover the balloon this way, leaving 3 or 4 small gaps (as shown) and a 1 1/2-inch opening around the knot for tying on the spiders later. Let the glue dry, rotating the balloon occasionally to speed the drying process.
Pop the balloon with a pin and remove it.
Tie a loop for hanging the egg at one end of a long piece of fishing line. Near the top of the egg, insert the other end of the line through the cheesecloth, then reach inside and pull it out through a nearby gap and tie a spider to it. Gently pull the line back until the spider comes to rest against the inside of the egg, thereby securing the line.
Use more fishing line to create strings of spiders. To tie them to the egg, thread one end of the line through the cheesecloth and out a gap, knot the line, and pull the knot back inside the egg. Attach more spiders directly to the egg simply by poking 2 or 3 legs through the cheesecloth.
And the Winner Is!
The winner for October 18th of Pixie's Mystery Giveaway is: Iesadora
The winner for Friday October 19th of Eliora's BOS Page keepers is: nekosensei
The winner for Saturday October 20th of Sosanna's DreamCatcher is Sammi
Please make sure to email us your shipping information and we'll get your prizes out to you within 5 business days.
*Note: all winners are selected through random number generation. Be sure you enter each time separately so you can make the most of it.
Also, don't forget that each entry qualifies you for our Grand Prize Giveaway at the end of the celebration!
As chosen by our own Siren DJ Kestril Trueseeker
Voltaire breaks the image of the dour Goth too mopey to enjoy a good laugh. You may have heard one of his songs if you are a Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy fan (Brains!). But if you haven’t heard him at all, go and give him a listen, he’s a funny guy. I’m starting off this next section of music for the kid’s with Voltaire’s cute lullaby, Goodnight Demon Slayer.
Have a GREAT Monday and See you tomorrow!!