Into The Mystic Issue #2
Page 1: A gigantic one page spread. Jimmy is butting a policeman who has come into the house with the end of his shotgun. This should be from a frontal perspective, with the cop’s back to us and we’re looking at Jimmy. Lyle and Chuck are in the back, hiding behind a table, barely visible and still connected by a chain. The smash to the cop’s face should be tangible; a little bit of blood, but not too much.
Narrative Box(top right): Throughout my life, I’ve always done my best to avoid saying, “This can’t possibly get any worse”, because if there’s one thing I’ve learned from television, movies and comic books, it’s that, along with “What’s the worst that could happen?”, there is no greater signifier that the speaker is both a jinx AND dumb as shit, not to mention that it can always, always, ALWAYS get worse …
Narrative Box: (bottom left):…but I’m going to swing for the fences and say that this can’t possibly get any worse.
At Bottom: HOUSE PARTY-PART 2
Page 2, Panel 1: Partygoers are running for the back of the house, screaming; some are ducking for cover, some are just frozen in fear. This should surround Lyle and Chuck, who are still hiding under the table. Jimmy has smashed a cop into what remains of the television.
Lyle: I hate you.
Chuck: Don’t hate me, hate whoever fucked you up so bad when you were a kid.
Lyle: Excuse me?
Panel 2: From a frontal view, we see Chuck turning to look at Lyle from his perspective, so we just see the front of Chuck’s face and whatever’s going on behind her. Right behind her we see a police officer being kicked in the chest by Jimmy. Bullets are whizzing by him at this point.
Chuck: Lyle, almost everyone has something like Doctor Jimmy living inside of them, but you usually have to dig really, really deep to find it. Sometimes it takes days. I spent maybe three minutes digging around your soul and then…this guy just ambushed me. He got out of you before I even had a chance to-
Panel 3: A cop has been sent flying into the table, from the side opposite Lyle and Chuck. The table isn’t quite broken, but there’s a big, obvious crack caused by the cop’s landing. Lyle is grabbing Chuck by the wrist and overtly yelling to be heard.
Lyle: Hold that thought, huh?
Panel 4: The two of them are in mid-dive towards the kitchen counter. Lyle is kind of swinging around to the other side of the counter, and Chuck is being dragged along, trying to keep up. In the background, Jimmy is holding two policemen aloft by their necks, while being shot in the chest at the same time by a cop behind him.
Panel 5: Lyle and Chuck are leaning up against the counter, silhouetted, in profile. Off to the left of them we can see Jimmy headbutting an officer. There should be a slight liquid spray, in silhouette, coming from the cop. The chain between Jimmy and Lyle is also made a little bit more obvious in this shot than in others.
Lyle: *whew*…So what’s your point?
Chuck: My point is that things like Doctor Jimmy are usually buried so deep in a person’s soul that they can’t even crawl to the front of the heart, much less take physical form and attack somebody. For Jimmy to be able to beat the shit out of a squad of police-
Panel 6: Close-up on Lyle, looking kind of flustered and maybe a little sad, with the side of Chuck’s face visible ever so slightly.
Lyle: There must be something really, really wrong with me.
Chuck: Yeah, pretty much.
Page 3, Panel 1: Doctor Jimmy is leaning over the counter, leering at the two of them. He’s startled them with his appearance. He’s wearing a bloodied cop badge in his hat.
Doc Jimmy: Time to go, children.
Chuck: Alright, yeah. Let’s get out of here.
Panel 2: Jimmy smashes down the back door with his foot. Wood splinters about.
Panel 3: Lyle and Chuck are dashing out the door while Jimmy holds it open for them. He’s firing his shotgun out at the police. The shot should be in three-quarters view.
Lyle: Oh Christ, please don’t kill anyone.
Jimmy: Die, pigs!
Panel 4: The three of them are crashing through a neighbors backyard, desperate and exerting themselves with the exception of Jimmy, who’s keeping a decent pace in front of them.
Lyle: What are we going to do, Chuck? Where the fuck are we going to go?
Chuck: We’ll have a few minutes before those cops wake up and call for backup. We should be able to cloak our presence in a McDonalds.
Chuck: If there’s one modern institution that’s big on black magic, it’s Mickey D’s. We’ll be safe there.
Lyle: And now I have to eat at McDonalds. This day just gets-*pant*-worse and worse.
Chuck: More running, less smartass remarks. I’m not hauling your out-of-shape butt into a burger joint, especially not McDonalds.
Page 4, Panel 1: From a three-quarters aerial view, the three are eating around a table. Lyle is picking at his fries, Chuck is having a salad and Doctor Jimmy is biting into a huge burger.
Box: 20 Minutes Later
Lyle: So…that was weird.
Doctor Jimmy: I’ve been through weirder.
Panel 2: Lyle is getting irritated with Doctor Jimmy, with Chuck doing her best to kind of tune out and eat her food.
Lyle: Yeah, I bet you have, but I haven’t. I don’t have a condo in the 9th Circle of Hell, alright? I’m not comfortable with this shit yet.
Jimmy: You’ll get used to it.
Lyle: No, I won’t, because I don’t want anything to do with-
Panel 3: Just kind of a close-up on Lyle’s face, introspective and looking as though he’s had an epiphany.
Lyle: Come to think of it, what have I got to lose?
Panel 4: Chuck has looked up from her salad at this, and is giving Lyle a cynical look. Doctor Jimmy is sucking down his large soda while they’re talking.
Chuck: Come again?
Lyle: Well…I dunno, what else am I going to do with my life? I’ve got no formal education, my girl is cheating on me, my only real skill is being snarky…I think I could get used to the magic stuff, if you gave me some time.
Chuck: You’re assuming that I’ll want to be around you all the time.
Lyle: You won’t have to. Just hang out with me long enough for me to adjust to the magical life style, and-
Chuck: Lyle, listen to me.
Panel 5: A close-up shot of Chuck. She’s pointing her fork at Lyle as a way of adding to the point she’s trying to make. The outside of the city is visible through the window behind her, cold and dark. She’s facing away from the reader at a three-quarters view.
Chuck: You’re a sweet kid. If you could shut your yap for more than twenty seconds at a time, you might even be a little bit attractive. But your problem is that you think that you’re deep and cool and mysterious, and you’re not. I can read you like a book, and so can everyone else. Even if you had the focus and personality for magic, which you don’t, that trait alone-your transparency-would keep you from being anything more than an okay magic user.
Panel 6: Lyle is looking at her desperately, leaning across the table with both hands. Doctor Jimmy is taking a nap. Chuck is looking both exasperated and a little bit sad, like trying to explain to a kid that his dog died.
Lyle: “ONLY” an okay magic user? Knowing any magic at all would be the best thing that ever happened to me! If you’d just tutor me for a couple of days-
Chuck: Okay, then how about this…
Panel 7: Another close-up shot of Chuck, looking a little bit sadder and more weary, and a smaller panel than before.
Chuck: I have no feelings for you, and I don’t want to be your girlfriend. We’re not going to go off and have adventures. We’re not going to meet pirates, ninjas, zombies or Chuck Norris because that’s just not how it works. The minute you turn your back on me, you’re never going to see me again.
Page 5, Panel 1: Lyle is looking at Chuck, from a frontal view, crushed and looking completely dejected. Doctor Jimmy is still taking a nap next to him. No words; it’s just now sinking in for Lyle what Chuck just said.
Panel 2: Lyle is getting up from the table and putting five dollars down on the table. Chuck looks a little bit guilty, smiling wryly, and Doctor Jimmy is rubbing his temples, looking like he’s waking up.
Lyle: Fine. Dinner is on me.
Chuck: It was a fun night, if nothing else.
Panel 3: Small. Close-up of Chuck, looking melancholy, guiltier still.
Panel 4: Lyle is walking out the door, when he gets stopped suddenly, coming to a halt from a yank on the chain. Profile view, nobody but Lyle is visible in the shot.
Lyle: The hell? What’s wrong with-?
Panel 5: Lyle turns around to his side and sees that Doctor Jimmy is holding the chain in the hand that isn’t attached to the chain. He’s still sitting down, leaning over to drink his soda. Chuck is holding her head in her hands.
Doctor Jimmy: Not letting you out of here without the chick, kid.
Page 6, Panel 1: Lyle’s back at the table now, looking at Doctor Jimmy, irritated. Jimmy is putting his burger into his mouth, and Chuck looks kind of concerned for the both of them.
Lyle: I’m sorry, what?
Doctor Jimmy: You heard me. You two were made for each other. No way in hell am I going to let you two out of here unless it’s together, holding hands.
Lyle: “Holding hands”? Are you like 90 years old or something? Let’s get out of here, she obviously doesn’t care about what happens to you or me.
Chuck: It’s not that-
Doc Jim: I’m not above beating the shit out of you to get what I want, kiddo.
Panel 2: Lyle is rolling up his sleeves, ready to fight, but still looking kind of scared. Doctor Jimmy is looking at him like he’s psychotic, soda still in hand, and Chuck is more exasperated than ever.
Lyle: That a fact? Well, let me tell you something, asswipe-
Chuck: Christ on a bike-
Lyle: YOU came out of ME. YOU don’t get to tell ME to do SHIT. I’ll bet you anything I can take you down without thinking twice about it.
Doctor Jimmy: You really think that.
Lyle: I know it.
Doc Jim: Alright then.
Panel 3: Jimmy throws a punch at Lyle’s head. It contacts directly with Lyle’s face, but his knuckles break and he has a look of shocked pain from the impact, like he had just hit a brick wall instead of a person’s face. Lyle is smiling with a look of enormous self confidence. He doesn’t have a mark on him.
Page 7, Panel 1: Lyle is standing over them, still smiling brashly. Chuck looks surprised, but not completely shocked, and Jimmy is nursing his hand, bleeding and broken.
Jimmy: How in the fuck?!-
Chuck: Okay, so…I’m impressed, I’ll admit. I wouldn’t have guessed that it would work out like that.
Panel 2: Lyle is pleading his case to Chuck. He looks fairly assertive of his views but still seems like he’s nervous about what Chuck’s answer might be.
Lyle: Can I please, PLEASE get some lessons from you? You saw it, I have an instinct for this kind of thing. Please.
Panel 3: Lyle is looking down at Chuck now, with a much softer, pleading look on his face. Chuck is looking up at him, smiling ever so slightly.
Chuck: Alright, but…no dating. Okay?
Lyle: Deal. So, now that we’re all done with our food, where should we go?
Panel 4: A close-up of Chuck once again, looking grave.
Chuck: Well, I know a guy who’d let us stay for a couple of hours while the heat dies down, but he’s one dangerous son of a bitch. Brace yourself or you might not live through the night.
Page 8, Panel 1: From a view that’s behind Lyle and Chuck, so that they can see into the door. The guy is taller than Lyle, but not by much. We can’t see either of the protagonists faces.
Laramie: Chuck! It’s…nice, to see you again, I guess. Who’s this guy?
Lyle: This is the “dangerous son of a bitch” you were talking about?
Laramie: Hey, hey! Language! Little kids in the building!
Lyle: …Sorry. Can we come in?
Laramie: If you have to.
Panel 4: They’re all walking through the apartment, with both Lyle and Chuck looking like they’re going to burst out laughing at any point. The wee children are still running around and being rambunctious.
Chuck: So…uh…what’s with the kids, Laramie?
Laramie: My sisters are off in Arizona, and they wanted to dump their kids on me for…a week, I think. It’s been four days since the little buggers have moved in, so-Joseph, you are NOT Tarzan! Get OFF of the chandelier this instant!
Lyle: I’m going to start crying. I swear to God, this is too funny.
Panel 5: They’re all in the kitchen now. A small child is running from one end of the table to the other, whom Laramie has grabbed and is holding aloft. Lyle is taking a seat and Chuck is pawing through the refrigerator. A window at the end of the room is letting in some light.
Laramie: Wait ‘til you have kids of your own, you arrogant little sh…noz.
Kid: Whassa schnoz?!
Laramie: It means nose. Now go play with Devon.
Kid: Devon has coooootieeeesss!
Laramie: So do I. Now scoot.
Lyle: So, if you don’t mind my asking, Laramie, why did you think that Chuck wanted me to talk to you? Because so far you seem sort of…normal.
Laramie: Depends. Recount the last 12 hours or so to me.
Chuck: Okay, well…
Page 8, Panel 1: Chuck is munching on a chocolate bar, with Lyle and Laramie sitting and listening intently.
Box: 20 Minutes Later…
Laramie: Seems like a fairly standard magical escapade.
Chuck: Well, it sort of was, I guess, until we left McDonalds. Y’see…
Panel 2: Chuck, Lyle and Doctor Jimmy are all walking down the street. It’s about 4 in the morning at this point.
Box: About 5 hours ago
Lyle: So what’s so special about this guy we’re going to go see, anyways?
Chuck: Well, he’s-
Panel 3: Doctor Jimmy throws a punch at Lyle, who just barely dodges it.
Lyle: Hey, what in the hell?!
Doctor Jimmy: Stand still, asshole!
Panel 4: Lyle flicks his arm backwards fiercely, sending Jimmy flying back into the top of Lyle’s arm. Imagine a tick burrowing under the skin and that’s the sort of image I want. Doctor Jimmy is being stretched weirdly to fit under Lyle’s skin. Lyle has an open-mouthed expression of shock on his face.
Doctor Jimmy: WHAAAAAAAAAA-!
Panel 5: Lyle and Chuck gape at each other. Small panel.
Page 9, Panel 1: We’re back at the kitchen. From slightly behind and to the side of Lyle’s head, we see him turned towards Laramie. Chuck is also looking at him quizzically, still chewing on her chocolate bar.
Chuck: So I guess what we both want to know is-
Lyle: How the fuck did I know how to do that?
Laramie: Whoa, wait, you said this happened at about 4 in the morning? Why did it take you until 9 to get here?
Lyle: You live across town and Chuck doesn’t have pockets for bus money.
Laramie: Huh. That is pretty weird( the fight part, not the bus money thing). Well…alright, you sent this kid to Hell, right Chuck?
Laramie: Well, I’d imagine that it’s a little bit like going to Nepal. You know what I mean?
Lyle and Chuck(shared balloon):…
Panel 2: Close-up on Laramie’s face. His head is positioned so that we can see out the window. Put something interesting out there, like maybe a woman doing her laundry or a bird or somesuch.
Laramie: Okay, well, somewhere like Nepal…it’s a place with a lot of steps, right? A lot of mountains to climb up and stuff, right.
Lyle(off panel): I’ve never been to Nepal.
Laramie: Well, it does. And when you go somewhere like Nepal, with all the steps and crap, it seems like a lot of steps to climb. And it is. But when you get back to the U.S, it seems like, in comparison to like, fuckin’ Mount Kilimanjaro-
Chuck(off panel): Kilimanjaro is in Africa.
Laramie: Look, just…the point I’m trying to make is that the world where we live, right now, has certain rules to it. And if you’re somewhere where those rules don’t apply-like, for instance, Hell-if you’re in a place like that for even a short period of time, it’s easier to forget standard rules that places like Earth has because, subconsciously, you still think you’re playing by Hell’s rules, where you could, say, if you had some kind of crazy magic chain, pull whatever is on the other end of that chain into your skin. And I think that’s sort of how magic works. It’s just forgetting the rules and having the means to break them.
Panel 3: Lyle is getting up from his seat. Chuck has closed her eyes and is down to the last little bit of her chocolate bar. Laramie’s head is resting on his fists, looking pensive.
Chuck: Huh. That’s interesting.
Lyle: Man, I’ve gotta go call my dad and tell him I’m not going to be back home for a while.
Laramie: There’s better reception in the hall.
Page 10, Panel 1: Lyle is outside, in the hall, with his back to the door. He’s looking somewhat irritated at the room behind him, with his cellphone taken out and dialing.
Lyle: Must’ve stepped on a Tonka depot worth of toy trucks back there…
Phone: We’re sorry, *Hank Morris*, could not be reached. Please leave a message at the beep.
Panel 2: From behind Lyle’s head, we see him leaning over to try and take a peak around the hall, where he hears voices coming from. He has his cellphone against his ear.
Lyle: Hey dad, it’s Lyle. I’m sorry for not calling earlier; it’s impossible to find a bus home right now. I’ll call you back as soon as I-
Voice 1: I don’t know how these fucks think they can hide. Goddamn ARROGANCE, that’s the one thing these magical pussies have in common.
Voice 2: No shit, man. I remember there was this one dude, made a salamander grow to like, 8 feet. Sort of useless, but y’know, still illegal. So I tell him to get into the wagon, and he starts giving me shit about how he’s this big fuckin’…wizard, or something, and y’know what I do?
Voice 1: You bust his fuckin’ head open?
Voice 2: Shyeah! Damn straight I bust his fuckin’ head open. Which room are we going to, by the way? 302?
Voice 1: Sounds right.
Panel 3: Lyle whirls around and sees that the room he’s emerged from is room 302, utterly panicked.
Lyle: Oh, man.
Panel 4: Lyle has slammed the door open, from a front view. The little kids are, varying from child to child, horrified to delighted. Lyle is holding the side of the wall, running forward and trying not to trip on a toy fire truck that he’s stepping on.
Lyle: YOU GUYS! WE’VE GOTTA GET OUT OF HERE!
Panel 5: Lyle has thrown open the kitchen door, to see a whirling black hole where the kitchen table had been. Chuck looks like she was just about to jump in before Lyle came in. I think this shot should be from inside the kitchen, from the ground next to Chuck. Lyle looks a mixed of panicked and maybe somewhat embarrassed.
Chuck: Yeah, no shit. We knew a couple of minutes before you did, probably.
Lyle: …Why’s there a black hole where the kitchen table used to be?
Chuck: I think it would be better for everyone if you just stopped asking questions about this stuff.
Panel 6: From the other side of the hole, Lyle is stepping in with his body leaned forward and Chuck coming in head first, but not in a tripping, awkward sort of way. Lyle looks stunned, and Chuck just looks like she’s trying to get through the hole. A warm light is apparent in their surroundings.
Lyle: So do we not screw with Laramie because he works for this place?
Chuck: No, we don’t screw with Laramie because he OWNS this place.
Pages 11 and 12: Picture a mix of Gringotts bank from Harry Potter and the Temple of Zeus in Athens with creatures from a Bosch painting roaming around and you’ll get the general idea for what I want from this spread. Make columns, and maybe some weird-ass glass paintings of various monstrosities over the teller booths/cubicles/whatever. This place is definitely a bank, or similar place of business, but it has a sense of splendor and mystery that only weird, crazy monsters can give it. Lyle and Chuck are barely visible, looking on from the top of a long, winding staircase off to the side of the picture.
Lyle(in a very, very tiny word balloon):…Gosh.
Page 13: I’d like this page to be divided into six panels that show the two of them walking down the winding staircase. It should all be one picture, framed into six smaller pictures. I’d like it to be in a fixed view for the majority of the time, from profile and switching directions on the winding staircase, except in the case of the first panel, which is more at three quarters view and directly facing the viewer.
Panel 1: They’re at the top of the stairs. In this panel, they should be starting to walk down, with a toad-like abomination of sorts raising a single hand in a holy manner to lead them down the stairs. Lyle is looking at it with awe, while Chuck seems to accept this as business as usual.
Frog: Welcome back to Town Hall, Chuk-Yi Kwan, and to your friend…I don’t believe we’ve had the pleasure of meeting. You are…?
Lyle: Christ. It’s like something from an Iron Maiden song, except without Bruce Dickinson howling at you.
Chuck: First of all, Iron Maiden rules, and more importantly, now he thinks that’s your name.
Frog: Welcome to Town Hall, Christit’slikesomethingfromanIronMaidensongexceptwithoutBruceDickinsonhowlingatyou. My! That’s a long title, for one so young.
Frog: Jesus for short? Indeed. Welcome to Town Hall, Jesus.
Frog: Do you wish to be addressed as Jesus or Shit, young sir?
Chuck: Just call him Shit, Frog. C’mon, we’ve gotta get going.
Frog: Indeed. Peace be with you, Shit!
Panel 2: They’ve begun their descent down the stairs. A man-sized bat carrying a file in one hand and drinking from a coffee mug in the other flies to their side, so that he’s seen but not on the same level our protagonists are. On the floor, an ogre mops up the floors, making it slippery enough for a creature carrying a stack of papers to slip, and looks as though he’s about to skid into the ogre. They’re still high up, so there should be some glass paintings of various abominations(use your imagination).
Lyle: So, I’m wondering how I’m safer down here in The Rabbit Hole from Hell than I would be above ground.
Chuck: You know what I’m wondering? I’m wondering how you’re taking all this with such stride. The first time I came to Town Hall I just about started sobbing right where I stood.
Lyle: I don’t know. This all feels normal to me, somehow.
Panel 3: They’re still walking down the same direction. In this panel, lower than the staircase we have something that looks distinctly like a blue, four armed phallus carrying a mystical-looking rocket launcher on his back and loping through the halls. A gorilla dressed as a Franciscan monk waves to the weird penis-creature. Lyle and Chuck have both turned their heads away from the reader to look over the side of the staircase at this thing.
Chuck: Really. A blue dick with a rocket launcher just…loping down the halls is normal to you.
Lyle: Well, no, I mean…obviously I have my limits. It’s mostly the ambience of this place I’m talking about, y’know? Not like I’ve been her before, but like I’ve seen it in a brochure or something.
Gorilla Monk: Mornin’, Brother Jebediah.
Phallus: Back at you, Father.
Panel 4: The stairs wind and change direction. Chuck is in front of Lyle and looking back at him. A small wooden boat is rowing itself through the sky in front of our protagonists. Behind them, a glass painting of another Franciscan gorilla holding the cross and under the picture reads “Our Father” in latin(I’ll find out the translation later). There’s a legged old-style rotary telephone receiver tromping down the rail, forcing Chuck to lift up her hand in order for him to pass.
Lyle: Alright, so really, where are we? I feel like I’m sauntering through the crevices of Jim Morrison’s brain.
Chuck: You’re not far off, actually. Where we are is…pretty much, it’s where everywhere that doesn’t make sense gets banished to. Like-oh, Dale! I’m sorry, I didn’t see you there.
Phone(Dale): Not a problem, Chuck. You have a nice day, now.
Chuck: Sweet little appliance, that guy. Anyways, no, this is essentially a small city that exists somewhere between here and there that our friend Laramie made as a sanctuary for all of the world’s crazy shit to just come and, I dunno, be safe, I guess.
Lyle: So I’m where Jim Morrison would have pitched his crappy ideas.
Chuck: That’s kind of harsh, but yeah, I guess.
Panel 5: They make way for a group child-sized mice in camo-gear and army-issue weaponry rushing up the stairs, pressing themselves up against the side of the stairway. Something between a mix of a rubber-chicken and a ferret fly’s overhead, dropping an old, black clock down into Chuck’s open hands. A mouse in the middle of the group has turned his head up to talk to Chuck.
Chuck: Hey, whoa, guys. Where you headed to?
Mouse: ‘Mergency, ma’am. ‘Parantely there are young children Up Top that are being threatened by the Counter-Mage Institute. We’re heading up to insure the young ones are safe.
Mouse at the head: GET A MOVE ON, ROOKIE!
Mouse earlier: SIR, YES SIR!!
Lyle: Counter-Mage Institute? Is that who you were talking about earlier? The same guys who were going to nail us for summoning Jimmy?
Chuck: The very same. I’m guessing that I know who the kids are, also.
Lyle: Oh, shit. You don’t think it’s Laramie’s brood, is it?
Chuck: Probably. (Nice drop-off, Dwayne).
Lyle: What’s that for?
Chuck: Personal stuff. We’d better get down to the bottom.
Panel 6: Laramie is waiting on the bottom floor, sitting on a disgruntled-looking chair. He himself doesn’t seem terribly worried. Lyle and Chuck rush down the stairs to see him sitting there.
Laramie: Yeah, I heard. Frankly I’m not too concerned.
Laramie: Because the CMI is full of shit, that’s why.
(Note: The crazy nonsense I listed are only things I’d sorta like to see. Feel free to make tweaks and add in whatever crazy shit you feel is appropriate for the scene.)
Page 14, Panel 1: Lyle and Chuck are walking behind Laramie, facing towards the reader. Laramie walks down the hall with a sort of bravado, while Lyle has a look of cock-eyed cynicism on his face.
Lyle: Yeah, it must be comforting to think that your kids aren’t in trouble, but I overheard them in the hall, and they’re looking to bust some heads.
Laramie: No they aren’t. They’re looking to get themselves into a situation where they can create an anecdote about busting heads and tell it to their friends.
Chuck: Essentially, they’re mall cops. They never see any real action-and if they did they wouldn’t be prepared for it-but they like to think that they do and talk to their friends about how hard they are. They’re like those stupid rich kids at school who wear baggy pants and a chain and think they’re the most ghetto motherfuckers who ever walked the earth.
Lyle: Got it. But…so why are we running from them to begin with?
Panel 2: From a profile view, Laramie unlocks a door to a room that reads SECURITY. A massive walkingstick passes between Lyle and Chuck.
Laramie: Because, like mall cops, they can still get you in trouble with the law, even if they themselves can’t do much of anything. The thing is-
Walkingstick: Did you hear about the CMI, sir?! They’re up in your apartment!
Laramie: I heard. Carry on; I’ve got this under control.
Panel 3: Laramie opens the door for the two protagonists, holding it open for them to walk through. We can see inside that there are a few computer screens and a weird rune shape on the ground. Lyle and Chuck’s backs are to the reader.
Laramie: Anyhow, the thing with the CMI is that not a lot of people know how useless they are. They’re figureheads, essentially. They’re taught to act tough but not to be tough. Step in here, I think you can learn something from what you’re about to see.
Panel 4: A very tiny panel: Laramie’s hand clicks a remote control. All we see is the hand hitting the button.
Panel 5: The walls and the rest of the room peel away to reveal that the entire room is essentially a cylindrical mass of moss. There is one opening in the wall with a screen. The three are standing on the rune shape, the only visible solid surface to stand on. Chuck and Lyle both look amazed.
Lyle: You know, I guess compared with everything else I’ve seen today this shouldn’t be that weird, but holy crap, everything’s made of moss!
Chuck: Yeah, what gives? I always thought that this room was one place in the entire Town Hall that could be described as state-of-the-art.
Laramie: Well, budget cuts, laziness and bored swamp creatures all sort of combined to make a security center that wasn’t exactly what we would call…functioning, at the time. It’s been fixed since then, but I had a spell that makes everything look all chrome-y used on this room when it’s not in use.
Chuck: Because everything’s made of moss.
Page 15, Panel 1: We’re looking up at the screen with Laramie, Lyle and Chuck. The scowling face of one of the CMI Agents is filling up the screen.
Agent: We know you’re housing users, Laramie! Let us have them and your kids won’t get hur-what the fuck’s up with the moss?
Laramie: Why can’t anyone get over the Goddamn moss?
Lyle: Well, it’s silly. Who has a security room made of moss?
Agent: Holy Christ, this is your SECURITY room? What the fuck is your lobby made out of, bark?
Laramie: Look, it’s not…I’m not handing them over to you.
Panel 2: From a three-quarters view, we can see that one of them behind the Agent who was just talking is holding up a child with a knife to his throat. Chuck has her hands over her mouth, and Lyle is doing his best to look threatening. Laramie is as impassive as ever.
Agent: I don’t have to tell you the House of Morrow’s policy on magic. We’re authorized to use any means necessary to get you to hand them over. We WILL murder this child if you don’t hand them over within the next five minutes.
Kid: UNCLE LARYMIE!
Lyle: Laramie, we can turn ourselves in. It’s not worth one of these kids getting killed over.
Laramie: First of all, the House of Morrow can suck my nuts. I have immunity. And secondly, no, you’re not going to kill these kids.
Agent: What’s to stop me from gutting the little prick right now?
Laramie: Because you’re a poser, and a pussy. You’re a posing pussy. You don’t have it in you. And now just because you frightened me a little with the idea, I’m going to have to make an example of you.
Panel 3: From profile view. Laramie’s arms grow enormous, as big as his body. Lyle looks over at Laramie, stunned and frightened.
Lyle: Agh! What the fuck-
Panel 4: From a front view, Laramie is holding Lyle up and about to throw him like a shot-put player. Lyle is immensely panicked.
Lyle: Holy shit holy shit holy shit-
Panel 5: From a side view, and from far away, Lyle is sent soaring through the air, towards the screen.
Panel 6: Lyle smashes through the TV in Laramie’s apartment, much to the amazement of the Agents and the children. Doctor Jimmy has been knocked separately from Lyle in the impact, leaning up against the leg of a chair situated somewhere behind the television. Lyle is unconscious, lying at the foot of a reclining chair. Jimmy is shaking the glass and various debris out of his clothes.
Doctor Jimmy: Okay…
Page 16: A one-page splash. Doctor Jimmy is enraged, standing up, with his shotgun clenched between his hands. We should be able to feel the fury streaming out of Jimmy in this shot.
Doctor Jimmy: WHICH OF YOU FUCKS IS GONNA BE THE FIRST TO DIE?!
Page 17, Panel 1: An Agent runs at Doctor Jimmy with a knife. Profile view.
Panel 2: Jimmy smashes the agent’s face with his shotgun before he can reach him. Blood erupts from the agent’s face, and the blade goes flying elsewhere.
Panel 3: Jimmy delivers a roundhouse kick to an agent in front of him, while shooting one behind him in the stomach with his gun.
SFX(for the kick): SLAM!
SFX(for the blast): BOOM!
Panel 4: Jimmy swings from a cheap chandelier hanging over the living room, smashing another two agents in the face with his boots.
Panel 5: One last agent, the one beaten with the knife from before, tries to sneak up behind him and gets another shotgun barrel to the face.
Panel 6: There’s another agent, standing at the door, with his knees shaking and a gun drawn, but he’s obviously in no emotional state to fire it. Jimmy looks at him and points. The shot should be from over Doctor Jimmy’s shoulder.
Doctor Jimmy: You tell those shitheads back at the House what you saw here today, and you tell them that Doctor Jimmy will fuck them up if they so much as think about trying to bust my balls again. You got that?
Doctor Jimmy: YOU GOT THAT?!
Panel 7: From a frontal view, so that we see Jimmy’s face while he’s doing this, Jimmy blasts out the Agent’s kneecaps with his shotgun.
Jimmy: Damn straight you got that.
Page 18, Panel 1: It’s a somber change from the last page. We have Lyle still on the floor but rousting himself, Laramie leaning up against the T.V and Chuck just stepping out of the screen. Jimmy stands in front of the man who’s legs he just shot out, looking down at him, while we can see the various scattered unconscious, beat up and in one case, blown apart bodies littering the apartment.
Man Whose Knees Were Shot: Aaaahhh…aaah…
Panel 2: Lyle is at the foreground of the picture, waking up totally and holding his head. Laramie and Chuck are in the background, with Chuck just recently getting herself fully through the other side of the T.V screen.
Lyle: Christ Almighty, I feel like I was hit by the cross-town bus.
Laramie: Well, I guarantee you’re in better shape than these poor sons of bitches. Most inner demons aren’t so effective at beatdowns.
Chuck: Yeah, you should really think about what that might signify.
Panel 3: All the little kids are huddled in the hall that leads to the bathroom and bedroom. They’re mixes of mortified and jaw-hanging-open stunned. This should be from over Lyle’s shoulder, but in a way so that we can still see the side of his face.
Lyle: …Oh man, you guys. The kids.
Panel 4: Chuck has raced over to be with the small children, down on her knees with them. Lyle looks around the room uncomfortably, while Doctor Jimmy leans up against the wall and smokes a cigarette. Laramie surveys the damage with sorrow.
Lyle: This is really…this is messed up, Chuck.
Laramie: They were threatening to cut up children, Lyle. What else could I have done?
Lyle: I don’t know, but I don’t think we had to call out Jimmy. We could have done this some other way.
Doctor Jimmy: Fuck you, man.
Panel 5: Lyle is approaching Doctor Jimmy in a menacing manner. Chuck is shuffling the kids out of the room. Laramie is leaning back with his hand on his face in exasperation.
Lyle: The FUCK did you just say to me?
Doctor Jimmy: Fuck. You. You count yourself lucky I didn’t smack up the little bastards while I was at it.
Chuck: Hey…kids, let’s go out in the hall, huh?
Page 19, Panel 1: Lyle and Doctor Jimmy are facing each other, with Laramie pushing the two of them away from each other.
Lyle: If you even raise a hand to one of those kids, part of me or not I swear to God you’re gonna find yourself face down in the gutter.
Jimmy: Try it, asshole.
Laramie: Okay, guys. Stop your fighting. There is a simple way to solve our differences.
Panel 2: Laramie yanks on the chain and sends Jimmy flying up through Lyle’s arm.
Laramie: In ya go!
Panel 3: Laramie has turned to face Lyle now. We can only see the back of Laramie’s head, from a three quarters view we see Lyle, looking like he’s trying to comprehend what Laramie’s saying, maybe with an eyebrow thing.
Laramie: Not so much fucking fun, is it?
Lyle: What do you mean?
Panel 4: A shot of just Laramie. We’re looking up at him from the ground, with an intensity we haven’t seen with this character yet.
Laramie: The magical life. Do you get that it’s not just buckets of fun? It’s just as hard for a magic user as an average person to get through the day, harder so if you’re in defiance of something. Because you know what? I have a story worked out to make this look like a home invasion, but it’s not going to work unless more of these guys have bullets in them. So do you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to shoot these guys in as many places, and as many times as I need to, until my story sounds logical.
Panel 5: We’re just close-up on Laramie’s face now. Lyle is reflected with a sort of fright in his glasses. We’re looking over the top of Laramie’s glasses, looking into his raging, passionate eyes.
Laramie: THIS is what we spend most of our time doing, Lyle. For every action, there is an equal or opposite reaction. Every time you use magic-however benign-you take out a piece of the jigsaw puzzle, and you have to carve a new one to make the picture whole again. Do you get what I’m saying?
Panel 6: Lyle looks like a defeated dog. Laramie is pointing a gun dripping with blood at the ground, at an unseen target.
Laramie: Well, actions speak louder than words, I suppose.
Page 20, Panel 1: Laramie blasts a couple of the thugs.
SFX: BOOM BOOM
Panel 2: Another set of thugs get shot in the arm, the leg and the gut. The wood splinters and some blood pops out of them.
SFX: BOOM BOOM BANG
Thug 2: Urrrr…oh God…
Panel 3: Laramie turns to Lyle, but from a perspective as though he’s looking directly at the reader. This should be by far the largest panel, taking up a good 60% of the page.
Laramie: You still want to be a part of this world, Lyle?
Panel 4: A small panel. Lyle is looking down at the floor next to him, almost in a hangdog sort of way.
Panel 5: Lyle is standing the same way, except now he’s facing the reader, also.
Lyle: What choice do I have?
Page 21, Panel 1: Laramie is clapping Lyle on the back, using the hand he hasn’t been holding the gun in. Lyle looks ragged, but he’s smiling weakly.
Laramie: Good answer, boyo. Now let’s make this look like a normal crime scene, huh?
Panel 2: Laramie is on his cell-phone, with just his head for this shot.
Laramie: Father Silver? Yeah, it’s the Mayor. I’m going to need a finger-print remover of some kind and several thousand somethings that look like American currency. Can I have that up here in five minutes?…Fantastic.
Panel 3: There are police all across the room, examining the crime scene. Lyle is sitting down with a cup of water, watching Laramie give his explanation for what happened.
Box: 20 minutes later.
Laramie:…So I guess these guys must have heard from somewhere that I have, you know, a LOT of money in this apartment, and from what I can tell there must’ve been some kind of fight over who would get what cut of the cash. I was out at the time, but my kids…they saw the whole thing, poor little guys.
Narrative Box: I can’t believe he’s going to get away with this.
Panel 4: The police are leaning over a group of children who are trying to act out what they were told to the police.
Kid 1: And then the one guy said, “I wants my money!” And then he took out a gun and shot the other guy.
Kid 2: Nuh-uh, the other guy shot first!
N.B: Of course, Laramie managed to make a story for each of these guys to tell. I don’t know whether to be repulsed or impressed, but this guy’s obviously an expert on covering his ass. (I still don’t know what happened to that little group of mice, though)
Panel 5: Laramie glances over at Lyle. An ominous shot.
Lyle: I’ll have to keep my eyes open.
Page 22, Panel 1: Lyle, from a three quarters view, from the ground on the area his dad is standing, is in a heated, almost violent looking verbal exchange with his dad. The house looks as crappy as ever.
Lyle(Narrative Box): So after Laramie offered up his story, the cops sent me home, and my dad…I don’t really wanna talk about it, actually.
Panel 2: Lyle is in his room, reading Crime and Punishment with some large headphones over his ears. It’s a rare moment of serenity for Lyle.
Lyle: My room is still my favorite place.
Panel 3: Lyle is trudging through the halls of his school, carrying a back-pack that’s too big and with a look of bitterness about him.
Lyle: I decided that I should start going back to school. As it turns out I’m an okay student, but I’m still wondering if it was worth it.
Panel 4: Lyle is sitting with one leg arched up on the bus-stop. He has his chin cupped in his hand, looking pensively off into the distance.
Lyle: I haven’t heard from Chuck or Laramie in almost five weeks. Life is boring.
Page 23, Panel 1: From down the street, Chuck comes rushing towards Lyle. Lyle looks far more pleased than he probably should.
Lyle: Chuck! Hey!
Panel 2: They hug. Profile view. Lyle looks a little bit red in the face, not from embarrassment, but from happiness(if that’s unclear, talk to me).
Chuck: Mmmm! How have you been?
Lyle: Erm...Not great. I forgot how dull school can make a guy. Heh.
Panel 3: Chuck is grabbing Lyle’s hand and pulling him away to the side of a nearby building. Lyle looks confused, but not displeased. Chuck is grinning brightly.
Chuck: Ha! I hear that. Hey, c’mere I have something to show you.
Panel 4: From profile view. Chuck is holding her hands out cupped so that we can’t see what’s in them. A black light radiates from her hands and straight up into the sky. Lyle stares up at the light in amazement, while Chuck just smiles at him.
Chuck: Hey, Lyle…
Page 24: A one page splash. We see a picture of Chuck smiling, holding in her hands a brightly glowing black rose. There’s a bizarre looking ivy growing out of the side of her coat and draping across her sleeves. Other plants that look to be alive are coming out of her pockets, including one that looks like an anaconda made out of moss opening its gaping jaws at the reader.
Chuck: Have I ever told you about my garden?
Bottom Right Corner: NEXT: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK ROSE!
Art in the very next post, so you can see all of it at once!