Chapter 10 - Ryth: World Wide Web


 “Hey are you Ryan,” the man asks as I answer the door.

“Yeah, that’s me. Come on in,” I invite him inside.

I can tell he’s been initiated into the world beyond what most humans can see, but he’s afraid to say it. He’s awkward, not just about me being a Dark Elf, but he’s just an awkward human in general. He wants to be polite, and complete the job at hand. Build a website for me, upload some old articles I had written that were never published. Unfortunately, I’ve got other plans for him today, nothing heinous, but more than what he planned.  

“Have a seat, I’ll grab us some drinks and snacks,” I offer him a seat on the couch.

“Thank you,” he turns his head just a little trying to see if my ears are pointed.

When I return, he’s already setting his laptop up and asking for the Wi-Fi password. I’m not sure if he’s a diligent worker or if he’s a little afraid. I suppose neither would be bad. I offer some cheese and crackers, some salami, and vegetables. He declines the offer for beer, no drinking on the job, I respect it. But he’s excited when I offer Dr. Pepper.

“I got your email; you’re looking for a newspaper style site. Something where you can share news across the web and have it look professional. I’ve got a few different samples set up to show you. If you don’t like any of them. We can mix and match parts or build something from the ground up. It’s your call.”

“I just need something simple, I just need to write, and collect some ad revenue,” I explain without glancing.

“Well, if that’s what you’re after we should start here, and make some edits,” he pulls up a template similar to the one every news site seems to use.

The kid is into his work, I do what I can to stay out of his way while he’s working. Every now and then I send him one of my articles to post, the ones that I like. I can understand why some of these aren’t published. Potential serial killers hunting the midwest, missing blood donations, cult that views themselves as lycanthropes. Well, that last one turned out to be true, I made a stop to check in and was surprised. They welcomed me, not so much a cult but a group that lives together and supports each other. I couldn’t be mad at it. He assures me the weird stuff I write about has a niche, especially since my work is high quality with sources and evidence. Now that I’ve got him talking, he doesn’t want to stop. It turns out he’s interested in all of it. Vampires, werewolves, trolls and so on. He still won’t acknowledge the Dark Elf thing. I suppose he was just awkward.

“Well, I think that wraps it up here. I had no idea how similar an investigative journalist was to a private detective. The job is almost the same, except you do it for the public,” he prepares to close his laptop but I stop him.

“Actually, I’ve got something else you can help me with,” he seems afraid. “Don’t worry, I’m not going to eat you. That was a myth spread by the High Elves,” I laugh to lighten the mood, he isn’t so sure.

“What is it you need?”

“I need you to break into some social media accounts of a man named Michael Pulson.”

“I think that may be illegal.”

“I think he’s a serial killer and that may be a lot more illegal.”

He stuffs a piece of cracker topped with cheese and salami into his mouth pretending he can’t answer me. I just roll my eyes. He’ll do it, kids like this just want to be involved. I was like that once; I was doing anything I could just to have a friend. Someone to care about, and be cared for in return. I can tell he’s got the same thing in him. The same need for acceptance and it may be wrong to prey on it, but I’ll do it anyway for the greater good.

“Only a peak,” he says.

“That’s all we need.”

Looking into Pulson’s social media activity there isn’t anything that would make a him a killer. Instead I learned that he has a small, very unappealing penis with more foreskin than length. It isn’t strange, almost a daily activity for Puslon to send an unsolicited picture to random women on the internet. In all the conversations we saw he didn’t get a single positive response.

“Well, did you find what you were looking for,” the young man asks.

“No, but I did see a top five ugly penis. So thanks for that I suppose.”

“You’ve got a list? Must see a lot of penises,” he smiles jokingly.

“You trying to get ranked on the list,” I ask.

“I, well,” he stumbles over his words never giving a yes or no, slightly embarrassed.

“Don’t worry, I think you’re a little young for me.”

“I’ll send you an invoice,” he says packing up his computer.

“Going somewhere?”

“I have a date with destiny,” he says proudly.

“Are you planning to go kill some vampires on a suicide mission,” I laugh.

“No, Destiny is my girlfriend’s name. Well, we aren’t official yet,” he tosses his backpack over his shoulder.

“So I guess you aren’t showing me your penis today. Well there’s always another day,” I laugh, he doesn’t but he blushes slightly more. “I’m joking, you aren’t my type. But thanks for all the work you did today, and looking at ugly dick pics with me. A lot of people wouldn’t do that.”

“You’re welcome. Thanks for feeding me, most people don’t offer food or drinks when you work for them. Don’t hesitate to call me if you’ve got more stuff you need done. Computer stuff,” he quickly adds.


“Will do.”

I’m officially crossing Micahel Pulson off my list. He’s a pervert, a creep and a whole list of other things. But, he’s more likely to turn into a rapist before a serial killer. He’s weak, can’t contain his impulses and is on the verge of being a dullard. Unless he was working with a partner there was no way he could do it, and I don’t think anyone around is willing to take him under their sleeve. Time to look into Plan B.

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