Author: EuphoricAnarchist PM
Violence is in for a few tricks and a big treat this time around. He is rung out from all the cases he has been working and is unaware of what day of the week it is. There is no money to be made on this case, but something's are more important than worldly possessions.Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy/Horror - Words: 5,781 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 1 - Published: 08-31-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3054606
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The doorbell rang, piercing the silence of my tiny apartment, and stirring me from my brief nap. I had all of the lights off. The only brilliance shone through my blinds from the yellow porch light outside. It was nearly dark out, but the moon above gently illuminated the street. Annoyingly, the bell rang once more echoing through my tiny apartment. Begrudgingly I pulled myself from the couch, and grabbed my sword that rested on one of the arms. In my line of work you didn't just answer your door without precaution.
The name's Violence, the few friends I had called me V. I was a sword for hire, and accumulated more enemies than a boxer did bruises. Quickly I moved across the tiny room in silence, staying in the shadows and out of the stripped, yellow lights through the blinds. I pulled the door open with my left hand, the other tightly gripped around the hilt of my sword in clear view of whoever would ring my bell at such an ungodly hour.
Three small children dressed in Halloween costumes looked up at me in horror, tiny renditions of a princess, a skeleton, and a priest. The chaperone stared daggers at me, although they were dulled by the ridiculous clown makeup on her face and comical green afro atop her head. I tossed the sword into the shadows and offered them as warm a smile that I could muster. The kids were still frozen in terror. I imagined that when an unknown man in a mask swung a door open with a snarl, sword in hand, it could be quite terrifying. With business keeping me out for days at a time I had forgotten about Halloween. If I knew my birthday, I was sure to forget that as well.
"Sorry kids, no candy here." I said exhausted. "Although they do say trick or treat, so you have a trick to go with all of those teeth rotting goodies."
"Turn your porch light off if you are not giving out candy jerk!" Bimbo the clown said. She gathered up the children and stalked off down the sidewalk, baggy pants swooshing with each ungainly step.
I slammed the door, feeling like a total jerk. It had been a rough couple of weeks and it showed no signs of slowing down. Before I received anymore visitors, I turned the porch light off, and flicked on the overhead light of my living room. The fan whirled with a drunken laziness.
The room made up most of the apartment. There was a black carpet that stopped at the kitchen where black and white ceramic tiles covered the floor. The island that was placed between the living room and refrigerator was covered in papers and several boxes of cereal. Across the door on the far side of the room, I had a decent sized entertainment stand stacked with movies, a Super Nintendo and a dozen different games. My television was an old tube model, connected to a DVD player and my subwoofer speakers. A CD player sat atop the stand beside several dozen discs in their own rack, alphabetized.
I flopped onto the giant purple couch, and closed my eyes. When I awoke several hours later, I felt better and less cranky. My stomach rumbled, the first sign of an appetite I had in three days. Whenever you are ankle deep in blood and bile, it tended to apprehend one's appetite. I pulled myself from the comfy couch; I rightfully named Grimace, and made my way to the fridge. A bowl of off brand cheerios and some apple slices served as my first dish in four days. I ate in silence, because talking to yourself was reserved for dinner and occasional brunches. After a balanced breakfast I wanted some candy. I searched the countertop for my Spider-man Pez dispenser, but could not find it. The thought that I lost it upset me, because I always kept it beside the Cookie Crisps.
I headed into the door beside my fridge which led to my bedroom, allowing the anger to subside for a time. The frame was broken and I hadn't got around to repairing it yet. I dabbled more in destruction than repairs anyway and I could careless that the door didn't close all the way. A tiny bathroom was tucked into the far corner across from my bed. I gathered up some clothes from the dresser and took a quick shower. When I entered the living room once more, the sun arose and I had a guest sitting on my couch.
Simon Spencer usually appeared unannounced with money making offers. He was the go-between myself and a dozen clients. Most customers didn't want to meet face-to-face with a demon slaying sellsword, so insert positively annoying middle man Simon Spencer. I didn't care for Simon, but he helped make me money, so I tolerated his personality flaws.
"No need to dress up on my account," Simon said with his own lazy sarcasm. His sea green eyes looked at me with their usual intolerance. "I see you still have not taken any of my interior decorating tips."
"I see you continue to barge in unannounced," I said, grabbing a bottle of water from the fridge. "That is a good way to end up dead."
He lightly chuckled. "You know if you killed me, I would only haunt you from the grave. Don't you have enough to worry about aside from vengeance seeking ghosts?" He stood up from my couch. Simon was dressed in an expensive black suit, Italian I presumed with a matching fedora. The middle man ran his slender hands over the rumples in his jacket and smiled with those thin lips that resembled anorexic worms if nothing else. "Why of course you do, that is why I am here after all." He answered his own question as he usually did, the bastard.
"Well instead of prattling on and on, why don't you just tell me what it is that is after me?" I asked with mild annoyance in my tone.
"That is not how business is done. I am sure, even a simpleton such as you could figure that out."
"What do you want?" I did not hold back the frustration in my voice.
"I want you to look the other way when the A.D.A. holds another rally in town." He ran his white gloves across my coffee table and rubbed the dust he gathered between forefinger and thumb. "Could you manage that?"
The A.D.A was the Anti Demon Alliance. It was a group of people who hated anything that they could not understand, not just demons. Demons did exist; most of them were cold blooded killers who preyed upon the weak. I hunted them for money and to contribute to make my corner of the world a better place. That being said, not all demons were monsters. The A.D.A prosecuted anything that was not human, most times innocent beings who only wanted to live their lives. We had your typical hate, hate relationship.
"Fuck no." I snarled.
Simon's face twisted. "Very well then, I shall take my leave." He turned to face my door, grabbing his umbrella on the way out. "I am saddened that we shall not be working together any longer, goodbye Violence." He opened my door and gently closed it behind him.
I finished my water and tossed the empty bottle into the trash can. It was too early for me to keep any more food down, so I decided to head out for one of my morning patrols. The City of Steel was cold in early November and I knew to dress accordingly. I threw on some thermal underwear beneath my black denims and an additional pair of socks as well. A black hooded sweatshirt went over top of my Number of the Beast t-shirt and a pair of insulated leather gloves went on my hands. I wrapped my face up in the traditional black cloth to cover the horrible scars that marred the entire left side of my face. The belt I wore made Batman's look like a fashion accessory, I slung the chain attached to the pommel of my sword through the side and headed out into the brisk morning.
I lived in the heart of the city. It allowed for me to respond to any problems quickly and made ordering pizza possible up until three in the morning. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't a do-gooder, but I did try my best to help the helpless and all of that sappy crap. After all I did except payments to slay and rob, so I wasn't exactly an upright citizen. Technically, I was not even a citizen at all.
The sun shone brilliantly in the sky, a golden beacon atop the sprawling urban streets of black and gray sullenness. A few clouds slowly drifted along the horizon. I walked along the sidewalk; a fit, middle aged woman stared at me with suspicion. Even though I had been back in the city for three years, some people ignored me. She continued her brisk pace, but I could tell she was startled by my appearance. Most people knew me around town, but there were still a few sheltered individuals. They were the ones who thought that the things that went bump in the night were not horrible monsters. Ignorance was bliss, and if given the chance I may have chosen to not know of the whole supernatural world.
The streets were still filled with Halloween decorations. Dozens of homes still had jack-o-lanterns setting on their front stoops. Most of the homes on my block had tiny patches of grass that served as a front yard. A few houses even had a tree on their lawn. I walked by one of those very homes. The leaves had died weeks ago and cluttered around the base of the tree. A few of them blew passed me as I rounded the bend which would take me to the rivers.
A strange feeling overcame me, two parts dizziness and one part nausea. I stumbled, and would have fallen if it were not for the tree in the sparse yard several steps ahead of me. My mouth filled with a bitter taste as the world seemed to spin around uncontrollably. A sharp pain stabbed into my brain, the sensation warning me of something. I fell to one knee, closing my eyes and hoping that everything would return to normal.
"Well if it isn't the demon loving masked man." A familiar voice pierced through the discomfort. "Looks like he isn't feeling too good sis," the man said with gruff delight.
"You can say that again," Another voice spoke this one a woman. "Looks like he is in for a bad day," She declared with mirth.
The voices belonged to the brother and sister duo known as the Brick Layers. I know the name is idiotic, but they came up with it themselves. Barry Brickman was once a construction worker who fell on hard times. His sister Brianna was secretary to a wealthy socialite named Albert Weston, who had a problem with me and how I conducted business. Weston gave Barry a serum which allowed the schmuck the ability to manipulate the earth and control it for prolonged amounts of time. His sister, Brianna, also wanted in on the action, so Weston juiced her up as well. She was capable of charging inanimate objects with explosive energy and maintaining flight for short amounts of time. The duo heavily supported the A.D.A, although they were shunned by the close minded terrorist group all the same. Often times they served as my punching bags, but today it appeared they were going to have my number.
I pulled myself from the lawn, the dizziness slightly subsiding. My mouth was still thick with a bitter taste and my head ached. Brickfist, as Barry went by in his red and black spandex suit stood several paces before me, at least six and a half feet tall. His hair was combed in its traditional bristly, red flattop. Lady Brick his sister and faithful ally, was stacked like, for lack of a better term, a brick house. She stood beside him a foot or so shorter with flowing reddish orange hair. Stupid grins were plastered on their faces.
The black asphalt fractured beneath Barry's red booties, as his curvaceous sister began to gather energy of her own. I had no problem getting my ass kicked; in fact it was something that occurred frequently. My problem was getting my ass kicked by two deluded losers who called themselves the Brick Layers.
A chunk of earth the size of my head smashed into the tree trunk and exploded a pumpkin that sat upon my neighbor's stoop. I barely dodged the attack and my legs were still uneasy. If I would have been a second slower, it would have been my gourd splattered all over the lawn. The tree swayed for a moment in the autumn breeze and then fell into the street with a rustling crash. The two were distracted and I used it to my advantage.
I leapt onto the awning of the two story house, grabbing a chunk of exploded pumpkin on the way. Before the too noticed me, I flung the orange projectile and hit Lady Brick right in the face. The pumpkin bomb exploded on impact and brought a shriek of outrage to the silent city street. Tiny bits of pumpkin clung to her ginger, Dee Snider wannabe hairdo.
Brickfist flung several more stones at me, pelting the front of my unfortunate neighbor's house. One shattered the window as it whizzed by my face. I dodged the rocks with ease, my footing growing surer with each ungainly fling of earth and tar. Lady Brick wiped goop from her eyes as her brother continued the earthen onslaught. I circled around the duo, causing quite a bit of damage to several cars along the side of the street. Car alarms blared as the buffoon continued his ridiculous battle cry.
With the dexterity returning to my limbs, my tongue regained its archetypal adroitness. "You are trying to miss me, right?" I egged him on. "I mean, even you can't be this bad."
"Shut up worm!" He hollered in anger. His sister was done with grooming herself and she began charging the rocks he pelted at me with glittering red energy. It looked pretty, but it would leave me pretty dead if I was even grazed my one of the projectiles "We're gonna getcha once and for all!"
Three rocks soared passed my head. They detonated as they smashed into the abandoned apartment building on the opposite side of my street. "That's it Prickfist, stay positive!" I shouted as I closed the gap between myself and the wonder twins.
"Stop calling me that! The name is Brickfist!" He shouted over the car alarms. Overly frustrated he sent a wave of asphalt the size of a minibus at the wailing vehicles and submerged them in tar and rock. The alarms were muffled beneath the rolling earth. Content with himself, he set out to attacking me again.
I ducked under two more glowing rocks with a roll and unsheathed my sword. The two were a bunch of idiots, but I wasn't going to kill them. Not while they provided me with so much entertainment. Before Brickfist could launch another volley, I slammed the pommel of my sword into the breadbasket of Brianna. Her face blanched as she froze for a moment. She crumpled to the ground like a deflated blowup doll and promptly vomited on her brother's booties. Before he could complain, I stood up from my crouched position and drove the top of my head into his overly square jaw. I heard a crunch as he toppled back and fell on his ass. Blood ran from his mouth where he bit his tongue.
"You know, you two never cease to amaze me?" I asked rhetorically. "Do you enjoy getting your faces kicked in?"
Lady Brick had stopped dry heaving and managed a groan. Brickfist was knocked out, sitting on his butt like an oversized baby. "Hey, whenever he wakes up, tell him that I was proud of how well he did today?" With those last words, I took off down the street.
Once I rounded the block, my legs buckled and the dizziness washed over me once more. I wasn't gifted in magic, but I knew when somebody was working a hex on me. The suspect pool was large, but I knew who would have some answers. I should not have let Simon smugly waltz out of my home. He was probably headed to his office, and I had a V.I.P pass to his place of business. Well, not really, but I could break in all the same.
I rested for fifteen minutes on a bench, face buried in my shaking hands. Several people passed by and mumbled, but I was too concerned with keeping my Fruity Pebbles down. I jokingly imagined that I was going through Pez withdraw. After I regrouped a bit, I headed west along the rivers toward his offices.
The thick door exploded inward and cracked the oversized goon guarding it in the nose; he sprawled on the floor unconscious. Two more thugs rushed at me. I caught the first one in the throat with a chop, and dealt with the second one with a hard kick to the inside of his left knee. His leg buckled and bone tore through flesh with a wet snap. He cried in pain as his co-worker tried to suck in air. Simon sat behind his desk with that same smug smile on his face.
"Who is after me Simon?" I hollered, a wave of nausea slowing creeping upon me. The broken legged guard continued to cry out in pain.
He chuckled, his blonde hair appearing red in the chintzy lights. "Do we have a deal?"
"I told you, fuck no." Blood ran from my nose and down my lips. "I have a new deal, I don't kill you and you tell me who is stupid enough to mess with me."
Simon laughed once more. "You know that you are nothing more than a mid-carder in the grand scheme of things. The thing that is after you is in the big leagues, boy. I can't just give you a name without something in return."
I pulled a small knife from my belt and casually tossed it at Simon. It buried into his leather chair, right beside one of his beady eyes. "I am already having a bad day. I bet you are the one who took my Pez dispenser anyway and nothing comes between me and my scrumptious sucrose. I promise you, Simon, I won't miss next time." I twirled another throwing knife in my left hand.
Simon stammered, "You run a hard bargain. I…I…I'll tell you dammit. Just don't kill me." He stood up from his chair and walked over to the liquor cabinet. With shaking hands he poured himself a drink. Simon swallowed the scotch in one long pull and sat back down at his desk. "The one you are looking for is…"
Before Simon could speak, a jet of blood rushed from his parted lips, silencing him once and for all. A thick stench of ruptured bowels and blood filled the room. Simon slouched in his chair as blood slowly wept from his eyes, ears, and nose. His body went still as a statue. I disliked Simon, but nobody deserved to go out like that.
I approached the last conscious guard and asked, "Do you know what he was talking about?"
He grabbed his leg and growled through clinched teeth, "Go fuck yourself!"
I stepped on his broken leg and twisted my boot on the exposed bone. He cried out in pain. "Now that isn't very nice."
"I heard him say something about a thing named, Harvest." The guard then passed out from the pain.
I had heard of Harvest somewhere before, but I couldn't quite recall. There wasn't much I was going to do in the tiny office, and I had tapped all the information out of the thugs. I eyed Simon one last time, and headed back to my house.
When I got home it was a little before noon. I stopped and picked up a few things that would help in gathering more information on Harvest. My specialty was melee, up close combat at a fast pace. I couldn't cast a moderately powerful spell if my life depended on it, and it appeared that it was coming down to it. There were a few friends I had who could tell me everything about Harvest, all the way down to his likes and dislikes. However, they were not readily available. That was why I had to send out a message and hope that I didn't screw it up too much.
There were hundreds of thousands of realms. We just happened to live in one of the more peaceful ones. I had ventured to dozens of these far off worlds and gathered more foes than friends along the way. However, the friends I did make were decent people. Some of them weren't people at all, but decent nonetheless. I intended to send out a message to some of my key contacts and hope that they would have some information for me.
I turned out all of the lights and closed the blinds. The living room was covered in a dreary brown haze. After moving the coffee table to clear out some space, I set out a black cloth so that I would not ruin the carpet. Carefully I placed seven candles along the edges of the drop cloth and lit them counterclockwise. I reached into my pant's pocket and pulled out a handful of powder. The powder was comprised of ground dragon's bone and purified salt, mostly the latter. Before I went any further, I placed a small chunk of stone in front of my crossed legs. The stone was from a mythical tablet which aided in transmitting from one realm to the next. I formed the powder in a circle around me and focused my thoughts on casting the spell. I hoped that I wouldn't kill myself…
It took me three hours to open a link between myself and my friend Kym. Even the lowliest of practitioners could open a link in fifteen minutes; this only proved the fact that I was horrible at spells. Kym appeared before me semi-transparent and flickering in and out of my reality. She looked the same as she had several years ago, tall and lean with long black hair that fell passed her calves. The transmission was blurry and she faded in and out like a television afflicted with static. Even so, the beauty of the Mystic could not me muted by my inadequate spell casting.
"Well look who decides to call me up. You must be in real trouble." Kym said with a sly smile. She had my number there. I wasn't one to spend a quarter of a day just to say hello. "Are you still having issues with such a simple spell?"
I had to keep my focus or the transmission would end, so I couldn't reply with my normal smartassery. "I am sorry for not being in touch, but it isn't as if you couldn't call me up without hours of preparation."
She laughed at that, the link crackled and popped as I let my concentration slip. "It took you hours?"
I grumbled under my breath. "Could you wait for another time to make light of me?" I asked, a bead of sweat rolling down my brow and over my lips.
"Who knows when I will hear from you again? What has it been, nearly three years since you returned home? You don't even write us." Kym said as she waggled her finger back and forth at me. "For shame."
My legs were falling asleep from sitting still for so long; my back ached and grew stiff. "Look, I am sorry. If I live through today, I promise I will even stop by and visit, as long as you are the one who handles the travel arrangements." I couldn't keep a two way communication link open without giving myself an aneurysm, there was no way I was going to try and teleport through dimensions.
"Well why didn't you say this was a matter of life and death? What do you need?" Kym said, her image flickering more and more as exhaustion reared its ugly head.
"Anything you can tell me about Harvest would be great." I said my head pounding, sweat rolling down my face. My nose began to bleed and I felt nauseas for the first time since leaving Simon's office.
Kym filled me in on everything she knew. We ended the transmission, because I was certain that my brain was going to ooze out of my skull if we talked any longer. Apparently Harvest was an ancient being from our world. He would appear every thirty years or so and Harvest the organs of the most significant people at the time. For example he would take the brain of a scholar or the heart of a great warrior. I was fairly certain that he wanted my heart, not to say that I was stupid.
Harvest would appear around Halloween and the several days surrounding it. In theory it made since, it was a time when farmers would harvest their crops. However, instead of harvesting corn and potatoes, he was taking hearts and lungs.
Thankfully, Kym left me with a quick and easy recipe that would prevent the fits of dizziness and nausea. All of which were side effects of the ancient being selecting me as his prey. I had all the supplies readily available and set out on making the potion before preparing to face off with the harvester of organs.
The sun was setting by the time I finished preparing for Harvest's arrival. I finished off the last of the potion and tried not to left my nerves get the best of me. In truth, I had fought things just as scary hundreds of times. However, it didn't make it any less frightening. Very few people wanted to die, and I don't think anyone wanted their death to be brutal and cruel.
I had time to pass before he arrived, which Kym said he would challenge me outright. That relaxed me a little; it wasn't as if Harvest would sneak up on me and just tear my heart out. It was a ritual for him, and it gave me the fighting chance I needed. My heart pounded in my chest as I took a whetstone to my blade. The blade was as sharp as it was going to get, but I had nothing else to pass the time.
A cold sensation crept up my spine and rattled around in my head. My tongue became thick with the same bitter taste as earlier. I stood up from my couch as the door slammed inward and revealed my foe.
Harvest stood at least two feet taller than my five foot eleven frame. His mass was hard to determine since he was enswathed in a flowing black robe. Two spindly arms tore through the tatters of his sleeves, their color a pale, sickly green. Black veins ran through his arms like rivers of tar. His fingers were slender and tipped with dirty jagged nails the length of my forefinger. He smelled of blood and cold. I caught a glimpse of his face beneath the cowl; it was vaguely human with cold blue eyes.
Harvest spoke with a raspy whisper, "I have come for what is mine." He ducked into my home, tattered cloak whirling in an unseen wind. "Do not resist me and I shall make it quick."
I spoke with half-hearted bravado, "You must not have done your research beanpole. I am not the type to roll over and di…"
Before I could finish the sentence he had me by the throat. He smashed me through the island in the kitchen and slammed me onto the stove. "I like it when they fight." Harvest spoke with cold delight.
Harvest took the liberty to smash me onto the stove three or four times. The steel yielding beneath my weight and the unrelenting force he used. Stars flashed before my eyes with every bone rattling slam. He made a disgusting noise, which could only have been his laughter and tossed me back into the living room. I bounced off the couch and slammed through the coffee table.
"Is that the best you can do?" I asked through my bloody lips. My left eye was covered in blood as a wound on the top of my head busted open. I wiped the blood away with my left hand and taunted him with my right.
Harvest dashed at me. He was fast, but I seen the attack coming. I stepped to the side and sliced across the back of my slender foe. He wailed in pain, but still had enough to back hand me across the room. I smashed into my entertainment stand where I was rewarded with more stars and a Nintendo cartridge trying to have its way with me. Harvest was quick on my trail. If I had been a moment slower he would have split me in half with his downward swipe. Unfortunately for the Mario brothers they were unable to escape and died in action.
I sliced across his thigh as I rolled underneath another vicious strike. He screamed in pain as brown blood rushed from the wound. His pale green skin shifted and healed the wound over in several second. A smile fell upon his gaunt face, the teeth silver and wickedly sharp.
Before he could strike again, I flung myself across the room to where he entered minutes before. A thick scent was in the air and made me dizzy. I listened closely and could hear a tiny whisper. The gas line to the stove had been busted and was filling the house up with noxious fumes.
Harvest lunged at me and tore through my jacket. Red blood spattered to the black carpet and disappeared in the dimness. I ducked under three more attacks and struck the monster right in the nose. He shrugged off the blow and continued to swing wildly at me with those spindly arms.
I had to get the creature outside where I could maneuver better. It would be short work for Harvest if we stayed in doors. He would eventually get a hold of me and have my heart for dinner, literally. I leapt for the door, but he grabbed me by the cuff of my pants. Harvest slammed me onto the ground and bashed me off of my ceiling fan, swinging me up and down several more times. I urged my body to stand, but it wasn't taking any orders at the moment.
"Your heart will taste delicious, I can tell by your spirit." He whispered cold lips pressed against my ear. His breath smelled like dead flowers. I kneed him in his manhood and slithered away from his grasp.
"I hope you like it well done." I said with a laugh reaching into my pocket. I found my trusty Zippo, the one with Ash from the Evil Dead movies on it. My thumb rolled along the thumbwheel and the wick set ablaze. I pitched it toward the kitchen. "Buckle up bone head. 'Cause your goin' for a ride!"
As you noticed early I sucked at spells. However, I was very skilled at harnessing my very energy into a solid mass. It was known as the Shoto Ka (no I do not know what it meant.) The lighter slowly tumbled through the air. I focused my will and brought up a semitransparent dome of sparkling crimson energy around me. The lighter caught the gas and violently exploded.
"Hail to the king baby." I said to the flailing creature, a crooked smile upon my face. Harvest let out a shrill scream as he burst into flames. His pale green skin shriveled and went black as the flames engulfed him. Those cold blue eyes splattered across the solid matter of my shield and slid into the fire that ate away my carpet.
It may make me a bit dense, but it took me until that moment to realize I blew up my house. The eminent doom that Harvest presented made me act on instinct alone. It was kind of terrifying that my instincts were to blow things up.
It took the fire department fifteen minutes to arrive. I had dozens of spells laid over my place; most were set up to prevent people from even knowing I lived there. With as many enemies as I had you didn't want to leave them the ability to look you up by an address. The place was under the name of an elderly Jewish woman, Judith Kreindel. I wasn't going to be able to find a place as sweet as that again. No way would I be able to set those protective wards up either.
I watched from the rooftop of the abandoned warehouse across the street as the firemen ousted the flames. Everything I owned was in that place. All of the money I had saved up was stuffed under my mattress. I was broke, homeless and completely unprotected from the hundreds of enemies who wanted me dead. Happy Halloween, I thought glumly. My Spider-man pez dispenser fell out of my jacket pocket and onto the ledge of the roof.
"At least I have you." I said drearily, popping several pieces of candy into my mouth.
I greatly appreciate your time to go through my story. Please feel free to review it and be honest with what you think. I will graciously read or review any stories you throw my way as well. Thank you again!