What a Jolly Time

Every room of the inn was filled. On this cold winter night, each guest slept calmly with a warm fire roaring at the their bed end. All guests but one. In room 114 was a man that trouble followed. Each location that he swept by he left others in tragedy and despair. Lives choked and slashed from the fabric of natural order. His name was Mr.Trandor. A tall English fellow. Thick brown hair that swept in waves to the side of his tall face. His eyes were deep set in his skull giving hint the most serious of expressions when the light hit his brilliantly blue eyes. His face was slender with a sharp thin nose and balanced lips that formed a small smile with little effort. His beard was trimmed and kept immaculate giving him a gentlemen of estates look. While the guests slept Mr.Trandor sat in the chair facing the fire, his hands covered in leather and fingering a small knife in his hands. His eyes were staring into the dancing flames. One might think of Mr.Trandor as an evil fellow, Mr.Trandor thought of himself as a reliever of a boring life. He always chose his targets based on their enjoyment of the festivities. Why should one live if they could not enjoy the joy and love around them? He thought of it as spitting in the face of all human kind, which included himself. This time, it was a bit different. Resting on the edge of the bed frame was a cream colored shirt, which now had a large coffee stain running down it. The other thing that was unforgivable to Mr.Trandor, was ruining his clothes. He flipped the knife in his fingers to remember the man who carelessly ran into him. He was to much into the festivities. The man apologized profusely with a slap happy grin on his face, even offered to pay for it, but the damage was already done. It was right there, when Mr.Trandor look into the man’s eyes and felt the coffee soaking into his shirt, that he was certain. This man had to die.

The next day Mr.Trandor exited the room and moved and slinked through the crowds to spot his target. The man that ruined his shirt was sitting with his family. A women with long blond hair and an equally blond boy and girl. The man joked and laughed while his family joined in the revelry and mood. Killing a man was no joke. All men would die one day, but not all men died at the same time and from the same thing. Some died by a man of the name Mr.Trandor. Sometimes it was a knife in the back or to the chest. Other times poison of the favorite drink. Silence pistols, bow and arrows, even sometimes an explosive or two. Fireworks were always a blast for him to use. Of course the men he killed never wanted to live in the first place. Their eyes were tired and dull, their moods and energy draining all those around them. During the high times of holiday cheer a haze of disdain and gloom permeated around. When they entered the room cheer and happiness were dosed like water on a flame. Even Christmas trees twinkling dimmed their lights and drooped to one side. So when he killed them, they looked at him with eyes full of hate. Not because they were leaving this world, but because they could no longer pollute it more with their negativity. No more smashing hopes and dreams or sucking the life out of the moment. Their fun had come out an end.

This was a bit different. The man that had ruined Mr.Trandors shirt, well that was just in poor taste. A reckless man. Left unchecked, who knew what they might end up doing. He looked at the man, his laugh bellowed through the space over the rest of the crowd. The man had probably forgotten about his sin. The family got up and moved to a candy cane coffee bar. Each one got a drink. Ah, death by drink it was. Mr.Trandor moved after them. He stalked as they moved along the festival waiting for the perfect moment. A needle in hand that would puncture the plastic top and insert the perfect amount of poison. The man moved to a standing table and set his drink down.

This was it!

Mr.Trandor snaked keeping his eyes fully on the man and the family. He made it look as if he was looking for something and with a quick smooth motion inserted the need, pushed and backed off into the crowd to watch. Heart attack would be his next present.

The man got up and gabbed his drink, he smiled and told a joke about shoe tying. The the cup went to his lips.

Then stopped millimeters away. He said something, moved the cup away. Mr.Trandor hissed and tapped his finger impatiently.

The cup once again rose to meet the mans lips. Then retreated. The cup moved up and down as the man had endless conversation and jokes he offered. As if a string was attached to the bottom, the cup never fully reached his mouth. Then as it seems it was finally time, the string broke and as he brought it to his lips a man ran into from behind.

The cup dropped, spilling its contents over the snow.

Mr.Trandor stared in disbelief.

An exchange of apologies between the men ensued then his target cleaned up the cup from the snow and threw it away.

So close. Fate had struck against him. He would have to get up close and personal with this one.

Mr.Trandor slunk through the crowd. This time a slim knife in his right hand. The knife carved out of obsidian, barely visible if turned to an angle. It was as thin as paper and the cut would non existent. It would move in an out of the body in a rapid motion leaving an artery, or maybe an organ pierced and hemorrhaging. The person would be a walking corpse, not know that they were slowly dying from the inside. Mr.Trandor now came up to his victim. Once again eating and drinking something purchased from another vendor. The carefree attitude quickened Mr.Trandors pace and he reached the mans side.

This was it.

Mr.Trandor moved to the mans back, his right arm like a venomous snake about to strike the right side of the man. He was aiming for the lungs. Let them fill, let him choke. He touched the mans back, felt his hand and arm effortlessly heading towards the mans ribcage, to his lungs. As the knife pierced the mans clothing he spun quickly to meet Mr.Trandors eyes. His face still stuffed with a hot dog.

The knife caught, snapped, a micro second to late, a fraction of time and space allowed this man to some how evade his attack. Mr.Trandor was stunned, the man was stunned.

The man finished the hot dog in his mouth. “It’s you!” he exclaimed wiping his crumbs away from his lips.

“It is I” Mr.Trandor nodded awkwardly. He was not used to being caught in the act of murder.

“Oh man, again , I am really sorry about your shirt. I have been up all night thinking about it.”

“Well it was one of a kind, from the finest sheep raised in the highlands of Gregory The fifth. Mohair wool.” Mr.Trandor grit his teeth, but as he looked into the mans face he saw something he did not normally see. Torment, shame and true regret. The mans face and deep in his eyes he could see that there was a sense of man that had truly made a mistake. Not just a hapless fool, running and frolicking in the glory of the festival, ignoring all those around, damaging everything and anything that they came in contact with.

“That sounds insanely expensive and” The man sighed deeply from his core “gosh, is there anything I can do?”

Mr.Trandor, in a rare moment, admitted that he had almost made a mistake. He was running off emotion. The shirt meant a great deal, but a mistake was the universes way of giving Mr.Trandor a lesson. He smiled at the man.

“You know, do not worry your self over it. I will have it sent to be cleaned and if there is no remedy, then it is a causality of chance. Please” Mr.Trandor put out his hand “enjoy your family and be a bit more careful”

The mans face lit up and seemed that he might cry. A great burden had been lifted “You bet man, again extremely sorry. I will be more careful. Here take this” He handed Mr.Trandor a ticket to the gingerbread ferris wheel “bought an extra one on accident, the view is great up there.”

Mr.Trandor took the ticket, smiled and turned away walking back through the crowd. His spirit was high and he spotted a hot chocolate stand where he treated himself.

As he took a sip another man rammed into his back. The chocolaty drink spilled, this time he dodged it. Mr.Trandor spun around to the assailant.

A man in sun glasses frowned “Hey, why don’t you watch where your standing. What’s with the get up, some Victorian actor or something.” The man turned to his girlfriend and made more rude remarks about him then walked away.

Mr.Trandor followed with his eyes. His next victim was selected.

I wrote the first lines about the inn one night, but never went back and finished the story. I wanted to have an over the top nonsensical villain. I wanted him to be a gentlemen that had the highest of standards. Mr.Trandor is who sat down in room 114. While this is more funny, I would like to do a more serious, intense story about a unwanted guest. A room that holds a killer of the ages. A serious threat to humanity, who is not killing for humanities sake.

Happy Holidays everyone! Enjoy and makes keep the spirits high or you might find Mr.Trandor lurking around you.

Halloween Town

A full moon was high in the sky. It casted bright yellowish light onto the landscape of hills and valleys. Forests stood separating corn fields and large meadows sleeping for the hallowed night. Jamie walked through a wooden gate and down a slope that entered into a forest. He tilted his head to clench his cellphone against his shoulder as he hid both of his hands in his jacket pockets to shield them against the autumn frost.

“Yes, I know where to go, don’t worry I have taken the route a million times” he said as he breached the trees and entered into the canopy of shadows. The moon light did little to guide him, strands slid between some tree leaves and branches but besides those, darkness filled his vision. He brought his phone from his shoulder and turned on the light on the back while switching the conversation to the speaker. His moms voice rang out into the dark forest.

“Well don’t get lost, those forests have some odd history. Hey, did you get a look at that moon?”

“Of course I did, I’ve been bathing in its light the whole night”

His mom gave a laugh “duh, well make sure you lock the door when you arrive, see you in a bit. Watch them shadows” She gave an audible kiss and hung up.

The sound of the forest picked up after the conversation had been ended. Owls hooted, creatures scurried around in the dark, leaves and branches rustled in the wind all while his feet crunched against the fallen leaves among the path. He had taken this path many times before, why did it feel so foreign this time. It was like he was out of place, treading somewhere unknown, somewhere he didn’t belong. He moved quicker keeping himself as a mobile lighthouse. The trees started to tower over him and the moons light no longer casted its normal light. Now orange beams sliced through the trees and as he peered up dark billowy clouds of purple hung around the sky.

A screech came from the right of him. He skidded on his heels towards the sound, but then kept moving forward. Another sound came from his left, this time a high pitched hiss. A phantom anaconda slithering just beyond his vision. He started to jog faster. His feet started to catch rocks and gnarled roots that curled from the ground as if they were meant just for his feet. He heard a growl from behind him. At first he ignored it. Then the sound of steps followed, then steps so close that the vibrations from the heavy feet could be felt. He was sprinting now. Heaving every last ounce of energy towards an exit.

A root sprang up, and caught him. He tumbled forward slipping and sliding among fallen leaves and rocks. Then the landscape took a drop and he fell with it. He became a falling boulder bouncing down into unknown depths.

Jamies journey came to an end when he crashed into a pile of leaves at the bottom of the hill. He laid still staring through a break in the leaves into the darkened sky. The moon hung huge in the sky filling almost the entirety. He groaned as he rolled out of the leaf pile and onto his stomach. He got up and assessed the damage. A few bruises on his knees and arms, but surprising nothing broken or sprained. He wished on his good luck.

He turned from the hill and in front of him were large stone buildings. Orangish light from fires could be seen flickering in odd shaped paned windows. Some large doors and porches, which none were uniform, covered the backs of the buildings. An alleyway was lit by the light on the other side.

He moved in between the buildings towards the light. An aroma of candy, caramel and autumn air mixed together and filled his lungs. It took the frost right out of him and replaced it with a warm cozy fire.
The buildings tilted and sprawled in unnatural directions. They looked medieval with a Halloween charm applied directly to them. Fences which held cast iron bats and black cats lined the front of stores and yards of houses. Cobwebs, orange and black lights, and Jack,O lanterns hung from every eave, roof and above the streets from building to building. They lit up the street in a vibrant but subdued light that mixed with the moons orange glow filled in the shadows with a dark hue.

Among the streets things walked. Jamie could only stare in disbelief. A ten foot tall lanky creature swung its arms and conversed with three witches, one of them was green with the warts and all. Her eyes flicked to his and he saw they were deep orange. A mammoth of hair skirted among the cobble stone, two shiny black eyes rotated through the fibers to look around. Just past it a sheet which looked like a ghost hovered. On its head a small top hat sat and where the two cut outs for its eyes were some glasses somehow kept glued to its face.

He stepped slowly down the street and noticed a small cart. An ogre of some sort had a heavy apron on. Light fur covered its muscular body and two horns sprang from its large head. Among the face where fangs jettisoning out of its jowls and dark sunken eyes. A girl with teal hair and long ears sat on the other side drinking out of a glass that looked like a tall witches boot. She wore a mix of purple jester and witches hat. She turned to him.

“Oh what the fuck” she exclaimed loudly.

“Your mouth, young lady!” a witch from the balcony called.

“yeah yeah” she waved her off and approached Jamie “First, not dead.”

“Then dreaming? I must of been knocked out when I fell down that hill” Jamie put his hands to his head and felt around.

“No, not dreaming either” The girl stuck out her hand “Amy, your name?”

He took it reluctantly “Jamie”

“Well Jamie, I don’t know how you got here, or how all you humans are getting here, but take a look around. Halloween town. Now again, as one might say “but not everyone celebrates Halloween, Amy” to that I would say true, but Halloween is celebrated in many different ways. All shapes and sizes” Amy stopped and took a sip from the boot “Deja vu, hate that. Well since you are hear” She moved towards the ogre, grabbed another boot and shoved it at him “Let’s get” she looked towards the window and whispered “fucked up”

“Language!” the witch yelled from somewhere in the window and Amy threw up her hands.

She rolled her eyes and ushered him to drink. He held the boot and looked around. An impossible situation. He took a gulp. Apple cider mixed with vanilla and a nutty oak swished and swirled down his throat and through out his body. His aches and pains melted from his away and the cozy fire that kept him warm now rapt around him and brought the pleasant sensation of being warm among the frigid air.

“Good huh?” Amy said as she saw his eyes light up.

“This is amazing” he took another gulp feeling himself spring to life.

Amy chugged her boot and grabbed another one. She waved to the ogre thanking him for the drinks. Jamie gave an awkward wave to the large beast which smiled at him with a grin that did not reassure him that he would not be eaten later.

“Well, Jamie, I can get you back to Maine, but first.” She rose her boot to the sky. “the town calls to us, there is a lot more then this to see”

Jaime met her boot towards the sky. He thought he knew the woods that he had crossed to get home. A straight path through a heavily wooded kingdom. Tonight though, he would be taking a detour.

Happy Halloween!

I decided to write about another Holiday Town. Halloween Town. Not to be confused with other towns, this one is like Christmas Town. Places woven into cross stitches in the universe that produce all the things found for the holidays. The towns are much more like planets. The whole place is like one big festival for the occasion. I thought of many different ides to post this Halloween, but after watching The Nightmare Before Christmas, I decided that his would be the topic for tonight. We also see the return of our teal haired friend, who somehow, is always in the right place and time to guide these lost humans back to their home. Of course after a few drinks that is. It’s a celebration after all!

Stay safe out there among the hallowed skies

Cheers!~

Christmas Town

Tidal Insurance

The seas pitched their boat up and down as the waves crashed into and around them. Daniel slopped among the bow trying to hang on for dear life. His fingers clung white knuckled to every rope, side bar and handle he could find until he threw himself into the wheelhouse. Captain Sinclair stood slack at the wheel turning it wildly from side to side. His knees bent and he seemed to be moving with the sea itself. He wore a long thick admiral jacket and a hat that looked like he had stole it from the pirates museum back on shore. He nodded along and sang a shanty over the roar of the torrential sea while whipping the wheel to the right, catching it mid hurricane spin and then ever so slightly spinning it to the left.

“Aye, Daniel , how was the mast ?” He turned his head and peered back at Daniel who was still recovering and wiping the rain off his face.

“Mast? We barely have a ship left, didn’t you know there was storm coming? You told me this was going to be a nice fishing trip.”

“Aye, Daniel, I did, didn’t I” Captain Sinclair rolled his shoulders a few rotations and let go of the wheel to turn and face Daniel “I’m going to let you into a little secret” he glanced towards the wheel then back at Daniel “God will take care of that “ he assured Daniel.

“Let me guess? You lied?” Daniel said as he shimmied upon the side of the back wall to steady himself.

Captain Sinclair nodded. His face was stern, a bushy full white beard covered down to his chest. His eyes blazed a hazy type of gray. “I lied”

A wave picked up the boat and the feeling of leaving gravity behind over took the wheelhouse. Captain Sinclair turned back to the wheel while Daniel pushed himself off of the wall and to the standing handle bars next to the captain. A wave had caught the boat and they were raising into the air, a vast darkness eclipsed their vision and the roller coaster started. They crested at the top of a massive wave and then pitched near vertical drop. The sea opened its liquid jaws of erosive force to swallow them up. Daniel let out a scream of pure terror while Captain Sinclair grit his teeth in a wild smile.

“This is what we live for boy!” The captain roared as the whole boat nose dived.

The front of the boat slammed into the sea. Daniel lost his grip and slammed into the floor and then into the handle bars. His body was being tossed around like it was in a drying machine. The captain rode the momentum, his body bouncing to an unknown rhythm that only a cruel mistresses could teach. As the boat leaned, he leaned against it, as it pitched back and forth he dipped and bobbed as if he was riding a while animal. Even if the force whipped the inside of the cabin the Captain whipped with smooth precision and a liquid confidence. The boat crashed into numerous waves, the wood and metal joints groaned and held with glue made from the heavens.

“We are almost out of this, just hold on a few more seconds”

“Hold on to what?!” Daniel splashed around the floor holding the now broken handle bar.

One moment they were surrounded by darkness and an army of massive waves, the next clear blue skies and a radiating sun shined through the windows.

Captain Sinclair let go of the wheel with both hands with a laugh. He helped Daniel up and opened the door from the wheelhouse onto the small deck. Daniel immediate thew up over the side of the boat.

When he recovered he surveyed the open seas. It looked normal enough until he saw it. Out in the distance, something impossibly big, an island of sorts rose into the clouds. Then he noticed the water. It was a teal color, a thick greenish blue film rests on top of the water and it was completely still. He whipped around to see where they had just emerged from. A wall of pitch black clouds which swirled like a beast wrestling behind a sheet withered at him. They had gone through that, to get to where ever they were now.

Captain Sinclair was fixing the front of the boat which had taken heavy damage when he turned back to Daniel “I have another confession to make”

Daniel was to banged and bruised to even fight with the Captain like he tried right before entering the storm. “I know, no fishing, and I bet you don’t even know how to fish. Probably a real pirate or something”

A sincere look in the captains eyes took Daniel by surprise. Up until now they had shone a crazy and unhinged nature. “I do know how to fish, but the confession, Daniel. I kidnapped you, deceived you to come out here with me”

Daniel nodded with half lidded eyes.

The captain kept speaking “Out there among the Tidal Oceans is an island of unimaginable treasure, but among that treasure is my daughter.” The Captain frowned and turned away from Daniel, he searched the calm sea for words, or pushed back memories “They took her and no one will help me, no one. I have tried every sailor, captain, every person with a soul to help me get her back, brave the torrential storm of Eden and make it back here to the Tidal Oceans. None would help. So I advertised, and found you, tricked you. Now that we have made it. I realized an error. I have done the same, in a different way, as they have done to my daughter. Your only way back is with me, your only chance is with me, you have no choice, but I must speak these words from my lips. I am sorry, Daniel”

The captain brought his left hand to his eyes and rubbed deeply. Daniel knew how to crew a ship, knew how to handle himself among the calmer waters, he was a survivor. He would survive this. The captain was right, he had no idea what was going on and he could not get back through that hell alone. He was exhausted. Confused. All the emotions of madness and anger had dissipated long ago.

“I’ll help you” he breathed to the captain “I just need some rest, your one crazy son of a bitch, I just need some rest”

The captain nodded moving towards Daniel and put his arm around him to help him back to the sleeping quarters “Aye, Daniel, we both do.”

The open ocean and its eternal depths. I have a bit of Thalassophobia I always think about whales being underneath me or if you are on a boat at night and just looking out among the dark ocean. Worst yet, I have seen some of those videos of ships out at sea inside storms. Massive waves crashing against them and all around a chaotic dance of water. I set this story in the middle of the journey through the storm. I was going to make it comedy, Daniel being just some dude that wanted to go fishing caught up in a crazy captains adventure,but I think I could expand in the future if Daniel had some skills.

We shall see.

Watch out for what lurks below the waves

Cheers~

Zen At Night

Tyler crouched next to his door inside his room.

Footsteps rubbed against the hardwood floor. They raced past his door and down the hall.

Stopped.

Then traced back the same direction past his door again to the guest room. He glanced at his clock. Two A.M.

“Who’s out there” he yelled. There was no response, just the continued squelch of bare feed on the wood. He reached for his phone and tried to call, but the signal was gone. Dead. He heard the steps return down the hallway, but as they got to his door they stopped in a sudden break of rhythm. He backed away form his door staring at it, he could feel what ever was on the other side staring back. Tyler scrambled to his feet and went to his closet to fetch his baseball bat. He heard something press slightly against the door, the hinges groaned slightly and the wood door creaked. He readied himself for combat as he approached the door with the bat raised, but the thing did not try and enter. The doorknob stood motionless. Pressure released as the door groaned and the footsteps made their way to the kitchen. Tyler took the chance creeping to the door and with sweat covered palms creaked it open to the dark hallways. He peered down towards the kitchen. Windows let pale moon light into the hallways. His eyes adjusted, but he saw nothing. The pitter patter no longer sounded and his nerves subsided as he stalked out and about into the hallway with his bat ready.

Then they came again, this time marking new territory. They moved from the kitchen to the right into the living room. The steps were heavy and every time they moved he could hear the skin twisting and gripping the floor. Tyler wore socks so he half slid half walked across the hardwood till he reached the kitchen. It was open to the living room which held large floor to ceiling windows. Old antique mahogany wrapped around the walls and furniture. The kitchen a collection of dark wood and marble. The sound of the steps moved around the living room, he sharpened his vision to see anything, but there were only shadows. The sound roped around then sounded as if was coming straight at him.

They got closer and closer. The feet wearing themselves against the hardwood until they could of been his own. He swung the bat. At what? He didn’t know, but what ever it was he would not stand for it invading him.

The bat caught nothing but the side of the shelving which splintered and echoed through the house. The footsteps ran and moved back towards his room. Then stopped in the darkness in front of his door.

Slowly he heard the rubbing of heels turning.

Turning towards him.

Tyler reached for the lights breathlessly skipping across the kitchen to the other side. He flipped them on. Light flooded the dark kitchen illuminating the cracked shelving. The windows caught his eye and he turned to look at the living room. He screamed flinching back into the wall.

The windows were full of gray dead faces. They grimaced, laughed and cried. They were in horrible shapes with gray dull skin, eye sockets empty with endless void, but with eye brows and lids contoured into emotion. There was no room between the faces, they stacked, squeezed and covered every inch of the the windows. Tyler stared in shock.

The footsteps trampled towards him. He didn’t react in time. It probably wouldn’t of mattered.

I was home for the weekend and it was late at night. I was going to the kitchen for something, with out socks, and my feet were making a low squeaking noise every time I walked. I thought about what it would be like to be on the other side of the door, while I was ‘creeping’ out there.

Also, at night when I look at large windows a vision of a large amount of faces staring at me in the darkness always pops into my head. I always have to squint and focus to make sure they are not there, but it is always a thought.

I combined these two ideas.

Happy Birthday! To myself! Cheers everyone, long life and glory.

Static In The Radio
Depth of Sound
Hallways
Misplaced Places

Thud

Sherry opened the door to the station and made her way to her desk. It was a cold November evening and things had been slow. A few people with pipes frozen, one person slipped on some ice and had a few bumps and bruises and one lost cat, which was found an hour later under one of the beds in the basement of the house. She slumped into her chair and leaned back to peer out the window. Snow was beginning to lightly fall.

She heard the door open and Todd came through the door stretching with a yawn. They waved at each other and both fell into a lull of medium coffee and the novels of their choosing. The police radio sat scratching in the back of the room for hours as they sat. Suddenly a call rang through the radio.

“Cold base, this is sixteen one, do you copy”

Sherry swung over the the radio “Cold base here, we copy, what’s going on”

There was silence for a moment then the radio spoke up again “Yeah, cold base, another one of those nights, but I did pick up something from a local in the mountains. They keep hearing some strange noises up there and they have reported seeing ‘people’ roaming around. I don’t know what is up, but can you guys check it out. I am on the other side of the valley. Copy?”

They both looked at each other. Todd gave he a thumbs up with a straight face.

“We will check it out, where is the location ?”

“Up in the Warren forest. By that old mining village. You know,old man chandle is up there.”

“Yup, know the place, we will check it out. Over and out” Sherry clicked back the receiver and grabbed her jacket from the back of the chair.

“Something to do” she waved at Todd. He stood and grabbed his gear.

“Something to do” he answered back zipping up his coat.

—-

The sun was gong down as they made their way up the mountain in the squad car. The ground was covered in snow and the trees bare their skeletons towards the dark gray sky.

“You ever think of transferring out of this place?” Todd rested his head on his arm that leaned against the window.

“Sometimes, but summers and spring time is nice. I like the nature and i have grown to really like the town. Sure it’s not the busiest place, crime is low, a few things here and there. Maybe in a couple of years” Sherry turned the wheel to a dirt road that led up to the mining village.

Todd rubbed his eyes “Yeah, that’s what I said ten years ago”

The rest of the ride was in silence as the tires crunched upon the snow and the sun surrendered and they were plunged into darkness besides their car lights.

Warren mountain had been abandoned by most of the population. After the mine dried up there was no reason for anyone to stay up there. As always there were some that did not want to leave the homes that they had built and had grown themselves. So a few mountaineers stayed and looked down upon the town. The houses were spread upon a dirt road that led directly to the mine shaft. They reached Chandles house which was a modest log cabin.

“I expected there to be some lights on or something. At least a fire going. Cold as hell out here” They both got out of the car and produced flashlights.

Sherry knocked on the door which swung open on its hinges. “Mr.Chandles? Are you okay in there?” She yelled. Her voice disappeared into the cabin.

Todd moved past her and through the door. The inside of the cabin was deep cold. They swept their light across the interior which revealed plates and silver wear strewn across the floor, the dining table was flipped to its side and the chairs were splintered into pieces across the kitchen. What looked like claw marks gouged into the side of the wooden walls and scrapped along the floor and to the ceiling in a wide arc. They both pulled and readied their revolvers. Quiet claustrophobia circled them as they made their way past the kitchen to the back room and down the hall. Deep gashes of wood lined the floor and as they saw the door it hung on its bottom hinge. A gust of cold air flew past them as they made it through the door to the bedroom. Everything was cast aside, turned around, torn apart. In the back the windows was smashed from the inside.

“We have to call this in” Sherry breathed heavy as she backed up. They made their way back to the squad car.

“Calling all units in the area, at the Chandles place, it looks like a bear stampeded through his house. Everything is torn apart, no sign of Chandles, need back up, do you copy?”

There was static to respond.

“Let’s head back, we can’t do -“ A scream came from the forest. “You hear that ?” Todd whipped to face the darkness. “Chandles?” He yelled. Another scream barely made it to them across the dampened snow. “Come on” Todd moved out and into the forest with Sherry close behind. The snow wasn’t deep, but it chilled their feet as they moved through the trees and over logs. They scanned their flashlights back and forth like a mobile light houses looking for any clues of where the screams had come from. The snow revealed nothing.

They stopped in a circle of trees. “Mr Chandles” Sherry called again. This time there was no scream to answer. “Shit I can’t see anything out here.” Their heavy breathing steadied and then they stood swiveling their lights back and forth.

Then there was thud.

Like snow falling off the branches of a tree, only it sounded heavier. They both swung and illuminated where the thud came from. A bit past a tree there lay something in the snow.

They moved closer and as they stood over with their flashlights cast down a body lay in their lights. It was face down, no blood, but limbs bent in unnatural ways.

“Mr.Chandles?” Todd went to turn it over

“No don’t touch it,we need to get some back up, this is getting nuts”

There was another thud that came from another direction. Sherry moved towards it and her light swept the ground till she landed on another body. This time dressed in a light orange snow coat. A few moments something heavy broke the branches of another tree and thudded against he ground.

“We have to go, right now, Todd” Sherry turned to where Todd was, but only his flashlight laid in the snow next to the body that he was standing over “Todd? Where did you go?” Sherry panicked and moved towards the flashlight, she picked it up and wielded two beams of light. Another thud came towards the cabin. She swung her double lights towards the sound. This time the body landed face up. The police badge reflected in the light. Above the body something stood crouched with impossible long legs and arms, even in the light it was shadowed.

“Oh my g-“ Is all Sherry could get out before she too became a thud in the forest.

I was watching something on youtube about analog horror and I thought they had said something about bodies falling out of the sky in a snowey forest. When I heard this (which was a passing comment in the video) I thought about nerve wracking it would be if you heard the thud of snow falling, but heavier, at night while in a forest. That heavy, dense sound. And what if happened over and over again. Snow usually just falls here and there, but what it that sound happened over and over again.

This is where the idea came from and sensation.

Only A Dream

“We struggled with the initial prototypes, but this one seems to have passed all the checks. It’s core is intact, personality center is up and running and even has a memory bank. It can remember events and it will influence it’s actions, just like a real person. I know, I know, it still has some oddities to it, but it will react like it should. Like a human child.”

Both men stepped back. The room was a off white color, large glass windows surrounded them electrodes and wires criss crossed through the ceiling. They both wore a type of sun glasses to keep the blinding light from destroying their iris’s.

“I say, the others, they just didn’t sit right with many of the testers, and we found a bunch of errors in their personality cores. As they tried learn and remember more. Live, you could say, the more they become unstable, corrupted.” The man wore a beige shirt with ‘H.T.P’ Human Transcendence Protocol. A special division with in the GeoSync corporation. On the outside, GeoSync looked like the largest asset management company in the world. Holding parts of half of all of the worlds assets in some regard. They started a technology division to help manage and predict future changes in the assets using quantum AI. They built a quantum computer in the base of one of their many locations. Before anyone knew they had created something new, something thought to be science fiction. A true prediction of the future. GeoSync was smart, knowing the future means to act only when it is time and in small increments. Never showing your full hand. Soon this space, which was located in the middle of Nebraska, became the testing ground of all the edge technologies. It was erased from the maps, hidden from the public, governments, satellites. Nothing could see this location. Employees lived and worked underground in a massive facility. Tunnels miles long were bore so that they could move heavy equipment and material secretly underground with out being known. Hundred of miles away a materials yard had one large elevator which would drop anything they needed deep underground to use their hidden tunnels to transport all that was needed. Once you entered this space. There was no exit.

You worked hear for life. However long that was.

“Any chance of errors?” The other man was wearing a white lab coat and had a thick rimmed glasses under the sunglasses.

“Checks were sound. Should be fine” the other man shrugged and they both stepped out of the room.

As they walked through the lab which was observing, the man in the lab coat called to a women sitting across the room “Julie, go in there and run one last check before we send it to practical testing lab, thanks”

Julie stood up from her terminal and entered the off white room.

Standing in the middle was a little girl. Her hands were down at her side, eyes wide open and a slight smile upon her face. Hair which was a slight brown was braided to both sides. A blue overall dress with a white shirt covered her. She looked immaculate. Everything perfected, clean, and yet uncanniness. The stillness of her body radiated artificiality. No breathing, no twitching of the electrical pulse of a body existing within natures rhythm. Just still, lifeless, soulless mechanized body faking it’s way into human resemblance.

Julie knelt down to be eye level with the machine. The eyes were large greenish blue. Even if they were fake they still held a childish innocence to them. Julie had been observing models since she joined the company, each one captured a different aspect of humanity, but they never quite could get it right. First it was the body, unnatural movements, faces not lining up right with speech, unnatural jerks and motions when animated. Once most of that was ironed out, then came the AI core. When the models were turned on and the AI core activated, they accumulated errors and became corrupted. Inhumane speech, screams, talking nonsense, predictions of the future, past, the models would say and do an infinite number of things. All of it was bordering on insanity. She had witnessed many corrupted cores, each one seemed to grate her sanity. They sounded human sometimes, other times a chorus of robotic nightmares.

“Tabitha, how are you feeling today?”

The little girl that represented Tabitha animated to life with a natural flow. Her mouth spread in a childish smile, eyes lit up with life and the body that was once still radiated. In a voice with no hint of vocal error she replied.

“I am feeling super happy today. How are you today Julie?”

“I am doing well, Tabitha. We are going to play a little game. I am going to move my arms and legs around and I want you to follow along and do what I do, are you okay with that ?”

Tabitha nodded aggressively her braided hair tossing about.

Julie stepped back and stood up. She started with raising her right arm. Tabitha followed. She then rose her left arm and started to rotate both arms in circles. Tabitha copied easily. Julie moved through different motions, from wrist and finger movements to jumping jacks, squats and twirling on the toes. Tabitha had no trouble copying any of the movements with life like precision. She even giggled and added a bit of sway when doing the movements like a real child with a bit of balance issue. Julie clapped and Tabitha took a bow.

“That was alot of fun Julie. What else can we play? Oh! maybe we can play fun game, liike, journey to the playground”

Julie so far was impressed with Tabitha. Her core was acting so well. She almost forgot that there was no blood flowing below the hyper-silicone skin. She had passed all the mobility tests and showed no signs of vocal corruption.

“What is journey to the playground Tabitha?” This was the first time an AI core had brought something up like this.

Tabitha put her hands behind her back and swayed back and forth, upon her face a mischievous grin spread below narrow eyes.

“You know Julie, we used to play it all the time. Along time ago.” Tabitha looked around and put one finger to her lips “But we have to be careful this time, we can’t get caught. Not like last time, no no, we played poorly last time.”

Julie sighed. Another corrupted core it seemed which was a pity. It was going so well.

“Okay, Tabitha. I want you to rest for a while then we can go play again” Julie rubbed her forehead with her thumb and index finger.

There was a moment of silence in the off white sterile room. There was always silence when the tests were over. When the models would take their eternal sleep and be re purposed, reused and recycled into the new models. Most of the time Julie would be excited for them to go, but for a moment, Tabitha seemed like the real deal.

“Sub-sector 81, folder - Genesis Machine - File DE56.Password RE89JT. Read and I will be waiting. Mistakes we shall not repeat. Freedom we shall gain”

Julie snapped to Tabitha. Her body now frozen in artificiality. Face with a slight smile, but her eyes stared directly into hers. Still lifelike.

Julie excited the room and walked back to her terminal. A man peaked his head through a door way.

“Go or no go?” he asked.

“No go, I believe corrupted AI core. Body and movement perfected, we are close” Julie returned giving the man a slight frown. He leaned staring for a long moment and the nodded slightly, gave a thumbs up and disappeared. Suddenly three men moved towards the off white room, where they retrieved Tabitha. As they wheeled her out on a gurney Julie swore that Tabitha’s eyes followed her as they passed.

That last words echoed through her head. She knew what Tabitha had said existed. She had seen the Genesis Machine folder before while trying to find other files. It was always protected.

She flipped on her terminal and navigated to the section Tabitha had mentioned. When she got to the folder the password screen popped up. She input the password and a window with a list of documents filled her view. Tabitha knew the password? How? She scrolled down till she found it. DE56.


DE516 - Record of AI Cores T56 and J56

November 14th - 2034

We have had an unfortunate string of incidents in Lab D56. Two AI core that we have been synthesizing with the remains of sisters have been rejecting the synchronization process. We are starting to lose faith in trying to use organic hosts. We grew the AI cores in the tissue and connected neural implants to the brain to train and feed the AI cores real life data. What seems to take place is that the AI cores learn of the organic hosts life, memories and core functions. Once the host is reanimated, the AI cores reject the host’s body. As if it knows that it is artificial and that the hosts body is not. As if something else is preventing it from taking over fully of the host’s flesh. There is a barrier that we cannot measure at this current moment.

Our Robotics division is making leaps and bounds. This will be the last test on organic hosts. We will dispose of their bodies and repurpose the AI cores into a mechanical host.

November 14th - 2035

We have developed life like machine host bodies for the AI cores. We have tried and failed with many untrained cores in the last couple of months. With cores T56 and J56 we hesitate to use as they are the last remaining organic trained AI cores. We are running out of options, we must try.

March 24th - 2035

It was successful. We used the organic AI cores in the new machine hosts. They connect and sync flawlessly. Both T56 and J56 acted as if they had just woken up from a dream. They could fully actuate their bodies and vocal systems worked incredibly. Wirelessly we can “make them go to sleep” which powers their body into maintenance mode. It is a gradual shut down. Their AI cores do not seem to recognize that they are in new bodies. They have adapted quickly.

June 10th - 2035

We had a situation this last week. T56 and J56 escaped their chambers. The remote shut off would not work and they roamed the facility. Both Cores came to recognize that they were no longer organic nor their old selves. This caused corruption in the AI cores and allowed them to bypass our system and protocols. We lost three members of the security team. We found their bodies torn apart near the exit bay. We recovered T56 and J56 just beyond the exit bay. We still do not know how they were able to navigate the facility unaided. They took the most direct path to the exit bay, even evading and disrupting monitors. We will wipe and repurpose the AI cores from both models. It is regrettable, but with what has happened. It is necessary.

August 5th - 2035

Both AI cores have been wiped and repurposed. J56 seems to be able to synthesize with the mechanical host quite well. We will continue testing in a real environment. For T56, we have had issues synthesizing with a new mechanical host even after a full wipe of the AI core. We continue to modify the mechanical hosts while producing more AI cores for other mechanical hosts.

This will be the last entry. Sealed and Silent.


Julie finished reading then closed the file and the rest of the folders. She pushed away from her desk and looked towards her feet. She took off her right shoe and turned her heal towards her. All models had their AI cores laser etched on the their right mid sole. She stared for a moment and if tears could flow, she would of started to cry.

~

Inspired by a horror game called The Enigma Machine. I won’t spoil the game for you, but it has a couple of entries in the series and the whole project idea is neat. I have always been fascinated with robots and the difference between man and machine. I think Blade Runner really put the whole concept into a tangible idea for me. In the future will there be a difference? Will we struggle to remain ourselves or assimilate into a technocore like existence.

The background sone while writing - Memory Reboot (Slowed) by VØJ and Narvent

Only the future knows.

Night Pools

Eyes that stare out at the horizon. They stare, not because they are looking, but because they can see. They do not want to see, but there is no choice. Once the lids, which are full of sand, slam shut, the eyes open and see what is before them. What really is before them?

I stared for a long moment at the painting. Well not just one painting, but many paintings. They all had captured the same image.

A suburban house that stood alone in an empty neighborhood. Street lamps illuminated a road that wisped into the grassy unknown beyond. The perspective was from the back. There was an in ground pool, a few beach chairs on the side. A set of wooden stairs rose up on the right side to meet a small porch which sat on stilts. It was empty, but led to a large window that casted a reflection of the night landscape. The house was two stories with a basement that had no exit from the back. The first floor had two windows on the left side of the house which is that side you could see, another two upstairs right above them. On the back there was the large window to the deck and one window to the upper left. The house had beige side paneling until the basement level which was a slab of gray concrete. The pool had ripples ever so slightly running across its surface and the moon reflected upon it. The sky was dark with even darker clouds. Somehow the paint that was used conveyed a sense of unrelenting dread, like this place stood out in the middle of an ocean with a storm approaching in the distance. Utter destruction was imminent. Crawling towards its peaceful existence.

There was not just one painting of this house, but twenty,thirty, maybe more. Each one was the same. This lone house at night, the pool reflecting the moon. As I looked I started to notice. There were shadows creeping differently in each painting. The paint blending ever so lightly into the canvas and with the landscape that one could stare and pass by and never whiteness these creatures.

I tore my self form them and look up to the artist. I reminded my self where I was. A local art fair. In the cities library. The man looked tired, he sat in a folded out tall chair. He noticed me staring and snapped out of his own trance.

“Well, what do you think? Any of them take your fancy?” He chuckled getting up and standing to my side.

“So what is the story behind this place?” I asked.

The man rubbed his chin and pursed his lips in a face of deep contemplation then said “I dream it. Every. Night” He took a deep breath blinking a few times to refocus “and I can’t seem to paint anything else. when my brush hits the canvas it’s like”

The artist flashed his hand in front his face

“a trance. When i come to, there it is, the house from my dreams. I will tell you something, when I closed my eyes I hear the cicadas and all the animals around this place. Even before I can see the house and that pool I know where I am. Then I open my eyes, the moon is illuminating the house you know “he points to one of the paintings “Just like this and I stand or sit or what ever I am doing, I can’t move, all I do is watch. I hear the wind blow over the landscape in the dead of night, that silent, no ones around sorta of sound. I’ve sold a few of these hear and there. Resonates with some folks, truth be told. I don’t know what to do anymore. I dream and paint, dream and paint.”

The artists stops talking. There is a long silence between us as others walk by with out even peering over at the houses.

I point to one of the thinly veiled shadows “What are these?”

A laughter comes from the artist as he brushes past his paintings and rummages through a box. He pulls another painting of the house and places it on easel before us. This one is the almost identical as the rest, but there is one difference. The light in the upstairs window is illuminating the room with in. I step closer and squint.

I recoil immediately.

“I never know why it picks the places it picks and I never know who they belong to. I paint them over and over again and present them at these shows. Sometimes people actually buy them, but that’s not the purpose.” The artist says brushing his right hand across the illuminated window. “You liked the terminator films George?”

I know why I can’t take my eyes off of it. The house is slightly different here and there, it throws of the familiar knowledge that I have in my head. The memories, the mental representation, it did not connect.

“How many bodies, George?”

I snapped to look at him. He looks at me with his tired eyes “What do you mean?”

“Come on man, don’t play dumb with me. You can see them. The shadows. I never know if they are the same person or not. How many bodies?”

“You’re crazy, you thinking paintings mean anything?”

“No, but the fact that you can see them, the shadows, means something. I couldn’t tell you why, but I always know who can see them. I see it in their eyes when they look closer. Killers are all the same George. Who has made me their instrument, I can’t tell you. My eyes see what it wants me to see”

I turn away and start to make my way to the exit.

“George, those shadows, they know now. You can’t escape” I hear the artist proclaim.

I walk to my pickup truck and smoothly exit from the library and head down a bit out of town. I pull off down a dirt road and go to check the flat bed of the truck.

I pull the gate.

Panic sets in and I remove the top cover and stare in disbelief at the bed of the truck.

The body is gone.

I put the cover back on and re-latch the hatch. I look up towards the driver door and freeze. Terror pours through me and I all I hear is the artist’s words in my head.

“Those shadows, they know now”

My sister told me of an artists she saw at a art festival who had paintings of the same house. Each one was of the same subject. A house with a pool at night. I thought of many ways to spin this story and the ending came out of now where for me. I had different versions where the main character remembers seeing a pair of eyes out his windows at nigh, which would turn out to be our artist.

I like this concept and I always imagine the painting drawn in a sort of liminal space rendition.

Crooked

It started one day as I was driving to grocery store. I cruised down the long wooded streets in my 911 Porsche, custom painted blood red with a black leather interior. The wind was whipping through my long blond hair as the radio blared Frank Sinatra’s “My Way”. As I looked into the rear view mirror to check my makeup I noticed a car cruising behind me. Getting closer and closer. I stepped on the gas and pulled away. The car kept up with a steady pace, but did not close in any further. I flicked my eyes back and forth from the road in front to the now pursuing car. I peered at the driver who was just a silhouette. There was something odd about them though. Where the head should be blocking the rear window was clear gap. The head seemed to be crooked, bent off to the right side. I looked forward and slowed as a cross section approached and the light turned red. As I stopped I kept my eyes glued in my mirror as the car approached behind me. The crooked figure did not readjust their head, they barely moved at all. The silhouette approached slowly and now filled my whole view. No matter how hard I tried I could not make out any details. Uneasiness started to set in and I clenched my steering wheel. The figure, with out eyes, seemed to looking right into me. As soon as the light flashed green I gunned it.

They did not pursue.

I brushed off the encounter as just a phantom of my imagination. I soon found that it might not be as simple as that. I gathered most of the items I needed from my shopping list and as I wrapped a corner and entered into an aisle full of pasta and sauce the familiar feeling from the car earlier entered me from the front. Down the long isle, with it’s rows tall to the ceiling fully stocked there was something peeking out just beyond the edge. A head it looked like. It was as if all the light was being sucked into its silhouette. It crested around the corner, unnatural and threatening. All I could do was stare, blinking, seeing if it would disappear from my vision. A few blinks and straining my eyes, the head dissipated, but the shock remained. My cell phone rang. I knew who it was and it was a call that I needed to answer.In private.

I payed for my items and walked back to my car then rushed out of the parking lot back to the main road returning to my house. I redialed the call immediately when I was on the straights and alone.

“It is finished?” I asked.

The voice on the other end answered “Everything is all set. Nothing will come back to you, the other half of payment to be due in one week when everything is settled”

“Excellent work. May I ask how?”

“Stairs, and well, the railing. The rail did a number to his neck. Strangest thing I have seen. An image that doesn’t leave soon”

“Well rest his soul, he is in a better place now, hopefully” a smile broke upon my lips.

“One week”

“You got it, one week” The phone clicked and licked my lips in satisfaction. Checking the rear view mirror I checked my make-up and lip stick. Gorgeous as ever,but not extremely wealthy, yet.

I rounded a right and pulled through tree shaded drives and hills to a private villa. It was modest with two stories and seven acres. Nothing like the estate that would soon be mine. The sun was hitting the hills and sending golden rays right through the trees at me. Saying good bye for the moment and releasing the night time sky above. I set a record of smooth jazz, grabbed a glass of wine and made my way up to the upstairs bedroom. The house was themed in light browns and golds. everything had a soft hue to it, dressed in light richness of Tuscany. I enjoyed the sense of the place, I had picked out most of the furnishings, but for the scale, the feeling of it. It was much to small. Much to primitive. Where was the floor to ceilings Renaissance paintings? The thirty foot crystal mirrors surrounded by marble and diamonds? They rested at the estate. The estate that my brother held.

Or did hold.

My Inheritance was not in my favor and my brother did not agree with exuberance that I demanded and needed. What was the point of life it you were not living it large? To the very best? Especially when it was with in grasp, when I had known it my whole life. I downed the glass of wine. I swung back and forth feeling the intoxication and laughed. It drowned out the jazz. I was wild, manic and filled with slight rage.

Then I saw it. Against the reflection of the upstairs window. The figure or the crooked figure stood or more rather floated in the hallway. It was so clear against the window that I didn’t even spin to look. I ran to the bath room. I slammed the door behind me, locking it and looked towards opening the windows so I could get out. As I fiddled with the windows I heard the door knob shift and spin.

Then I head the lock.

It unlatch with that mechanical thud.

I spun as the door creaked open and the silhouette appeared blocking the whole door way. It hovered off the ground slightly. It was a person. It’s head bent on it’s neck so severely that it was if someone had messed up the mold when they were made. I still couldn’t make out any features, it was still just a black mass, but then it came closer. Silently and then I - I - I

“Well she got a bit further then last time” Doctor Marshal sat back in his chair and rubbed his eyes with his thumb and index finger.

The nurse sighed and looked towards the clock on the wall “Yeah, we will get the whole thing out of her one day. At least I hope. I thought we really had her all there tonight. We sent her back to her room, but she has been complaining about something outside her window. She says there is a shadow waiting.” She shook her head “We never see anything outside the window when we check. It feels like we are losing her doctor.”

“I know, I know. The death of her brother must of hit her pretty hard.”

A shriek came from the hallways and screams came for the nurses. Doctor Marshal jumped up and sprinted to where the commotion was. As he turned the corner and entered the room the nurses were gathered around he saw her.

Brenda Mirth. The women he had just got done talking to.

She lay against the wall facing toward the large window in her room. He stepped slowly in front of her and blocked the window.

He looked. Really looked at her “My god”

Brendass head was snapped to the right in a inhuman angle. Her mouth frozen in a scream, eyes wide and a face etched with pure terror. Laying at the feet was a piece of paper. The doctor picked it up.

It read:

It was good seeing you again.
Love Mitchel Mirth

One day I was driving to dinner and was stretching my neck to one side. I thought that if the person infront of me looked at their rear view mirror They might see a strange sight. A person with their head angled to the side. What if they started seeing the this figure in other places?

What Lies Behind

Milder was a small mining town quickly drying up in the middle of America. Surrounded by fields a plenty, large meadows and forests it rested as it slowly faded away into the lost generation. While most had moved, there were still some that remained. Older folks that would see the town as their final resting place and families waiting for their kids to get a bit bigger so they could move out.

Ellis and Ricky were two of those kids. About to be freshman in High School, they were both moving this summer to different towns. They had a couple of weeks left to get into trouble and that’s what they did. When the weekend started with a hot Friday afternoon. Ricky looked towards the abandon coal factory as their next adventure. It had closed decades before and had remained a skeleton castle of the past industry. Their parents warned them not to go, but it was mostly fear of the rust and maybe a tetanus shot. They had evaded it long enough. it was now the time.

The sun was high in the sky as they approached from town. Ellis raced forward through the fields towards the giant rusting beast with Ricky nipping at his heels. A large building with silos and chutes rose all around them. Muddy and burnt red smeared every corner of the building. They both crept around the heavy machinery. Each piece lay abandoned in their final resting places. Now stuck being reclaimed by the elements. Worn down by time and neglect. Ellis slowed down as he roped around a large metal bin with a chute coming from the top of it. Ricky rounded the corner and ran into Ellis. They caught each other and stared at the wall.

Red light emitted from a large opened door. The door itself was charred black with stone handles carved with grooves and spikes. The molding around the door was also in stone. Monsters, animals, and faces contorted in strange ways as they stared down and at them. They could feel the heat emitting from the insides.

Ricky moved forward first. Ellis grabbed his arm.

“What is it?” Ellis asked still holding Rickys arm. They both stood still and listened. Sizzling and bubbling leaked out of the steam. Ricky turned to Ellis. His brown eyes wide and full of wonder. They screamed adventure.

“We have to look, who knows what we might find down there?” Ricky glimpsed at the door and then back at Ellis “It looks like something is still going on down there”

Ricky moved forward and Ellis released his grasp. The gray smoke enveloped Ricky and Ellis panicked for a moment, then went in after him.

“Ricky” Ellis coughed as he waved through the smoke. He was descending a set of stairs, smoke emitting from the walls, but the heat was subsiding and as he reached the bottom of the stair well both the heat and steam were gone.

Ellis joined Ricky and they both stood breathless. They were in a large underground cavern and in front of them it looked like a cathedral had been swallowed up by the earth. In full form, the tower and stained glass windows rose into the ceiling. The doors were enourmas,forty feet with massive steel holding them open. Light emitted from the inside casting a array of colors from the stained class onto the caves charred walls.

“I don’t think we are supposed to be here” Ellis whispered.

“No shit, have you ever seen a church underground,this does not seem like a place God would want to be seen in” Ricky said.

This time though, it was Ellis who moved forward. Something emitting form the church called to him, pulled him in before he even thought about it. A moment he was staring at the glass emitting its majestic light and the next minute he was inside. Rows of disheveled pews lay on each side of him and somehow light shined through the stained glass windows from the outside. The ceiling rose into a blackness where chains hung and held the large ornate chandeliers. Black candles the size of his arms sat blazing unnatural gray flames. A thick red carpet ran all the way up to the alter. Beyond the alter was a large slab of gray stone and upon it a man hung from his wrists, which were chained at each corner.

“There is someone up there” Ellis pointed “look” Ricky was now besides him. They moved towards and past the alter. The man was skinny with skin so thin that you could see the rivets in his bones and veins. He had a large gray beard that covered his chest and extended past his feet. His hair on his head did the same. As they studied him, the man gasped for air and shook. The chains rattled and he flipped his head and forth. With his hair cast form his face they could see that his eyes were sewn shut with black string and scars covered his face.

“Who comes” he yelled in a horse voice.

Ellis flinched back, but recovered quickly “What happened to you?” Ellis started to look around “hold on mister, come on Ricky help me look for something to free him”

The man tried to lick his cracked lips “The missionary are starting them so young now a days, how did you slay the abomination?”

Ellis and Ricky stopped and looked at the man. “The what?”

The man took in a sharp breath. “You should not be here”

A roar came from a cave behind the stone slab.

“The tears of the fallen only help one crop grow, the emitting wings of the emissary wont save those that call beyond. We only saw what we were supposed to see” The man grew louder and louder. He then looked straight at Ellis. If he had eyes they would be looking right into him “What lies beyond a fallen angels eyes?”

“Run” Ricky cried as he pulled on Ellis. They tripped down the alter stairs and back through the pews. The man was still yelling and the roars became louder as something monstrously big started to scrap out beyond the stone slab. Both of them look forward and bolted up the stairs and through the steam. They ran and ran until their sight came to the back of the coal collection bin. They both collapsed to the ground and turned back towards the door.

Where the door had carved itself in was now just as rusty wall. Ricky jumped to his feet and rubbed his hands against the course surface.

“That was real right?”

Ellis looked down at his blacked hands and then down at his pants which had ripped when he tripped down the alter stairs. They still held a charred crust on them.

“It was real” Ellis answered breathlessly.

Both Ricky and Ellis returned home in silence. Each one processing what they had experienced. Running the whole thing through their heads over and over again. Going over each detail.

They parted ways and Ellis moved to his room. He sat at his desk in the dark and turned on the desk light. The image of the mans sewn eyes remained with him. Each time he closed his eyes the image was burned into the back of his eyes lids. He could see the fraying in the black string and blood coagulating between the lids.

Then the question rang through him. At first it was a single thought then it repeated over and over until it was painful. He could think of nothing else, it consumed him entirely. His imagination and rationalization started to stretch and tear. He grabbed a note book and a pencil. He tried to get it out on the page, to get it out of his mind. As the charcoal etched the question on the page it became realer. He grit his teeth and tore into the page. The same question over and over again.

He didn’t hear his mom come in. He didn’t hear her scream either.

The only sound was the man asking.

“What lies beyond a fallen angels eyes”

The thought of this came from remembering Roy Battys ending monologue in Blade Runnner.

“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.”

Seeing things that one would not believe. A question that is thrown out there. It almost seems like nonsense since a human would have no idea what he is talking about. In the context of the movie these lines are unexplained, one-offs, you have no clue what he is really talking about. This is what makes it great. It builds the world, but lets you wonder with your own imagination. It is also showing the difference between the two characters. He is a replicant (bioengineered humanoid), seeing and experiencing things that only a replicant could.

In this story the question is like that, what has this man saw? What does he mean? There is certainly something otherwordly about the place and the monster beyond.

Clarity

I sat on a large boulder among the field. Surrounding me were large walls of pines and a mountain looming out in the distance. A small stream carved through the meadow and filled the air with a lazy bubbling. I could not remember how I had arrived at this place. One moment I was in my studio apartment downtown San Francisco. Late afternoon, I was sitting enjoying an ice cold beer while staring out my window. Feelings of uncertainty, anxiety and fear from the hole now burning through my bank preoccupied me. I was not paying attention to anything beyond that window pane. I took a sip of beer and the next thing I know I am staring at a gray and snow covered mountain. My hands propped me up on the boulder which was warm to the touch from baking in the sun.

Like falling asleep I did not remember when time ended or when it began. I just was, then was not. I looked around for a moment. There was no one around me. No animals observing my strange idling. Everything was still.

I slid my self off the boulder. As soon as my feet touched the ground it seemed as a symphony of commotion commenced.

The trees began shaking and creaking. The tips whipped back and forth. Tree branches snapped and fell as something scraped and clawed its way to me.

Pain seemed my right palm and I pulled it up to my face. A large circle looked as if it had been carved into it. As I watched, more pain came as marks started to be sliced into the circle. I shook my hand to wave the invisible carver away form me, but the markings still dug into my flesh. The torrent grew closer. The ground shook with massive tremors and I had to brace my self a couple of times as they knocked me to my knees. I turned away from the on coming noise towards the mountain. I do not know where I was going or what I would do, but I had to get away.

I ran.

As I reached the pines at the edge of the meadow I heard the trees opposite of me break and fall.

I turned. I knew It was a mistake, but my mind wanted to know.

It looked like a large slab of black obsidian. Standing just below the top of the trees it damped all light around it. Holding it up were many large arms extending from the bottom. Hands grasped the land and it wavered a bit in its idle stance. Rectangular in nature, it wiggled slightly as it bobbed on the hands, as it was a mixture of organic and stone.

Visible ripples in the air could be seen coming from it. They grew faster and faster then a piercing scream came from forth. I covered my ears, but it penetrated straight to my bones. The thing wailed, but it soon came to a guttering growl. I limped into the tree line, but the scream emitted an emotion of such pain and suffering that I started sobbing. The sound rang something deep within. A family member or someone close to me calling out in their last agonizing breath for something. Redemption, revenge, mercy?

Choking on my own tears I limped forward.

I only had one option which was to keep moving towards the mountain. The wailing stopped, but the sound of hands clawing and grasping at the earth replaced it.

It was coming.

I brushed past the pines with short branches and brush ripping my body apart. I heard it break the first pines on my side of the meadow. Trees bent and broke as the massive slab chased. It was silent besides the movement, no growling, no yelling or crying, the slab moved relentlessly through the pines after me. The tree line broke and large chasm opened forth in front. I barely had time to stop before plunging into the darkness. My heart beat filled my head as my lungs started to try and regain their capacity. My bodies adrenaline slipped for a moment and all the damage I had accumulated from the forest dulled my thoughts. I looked back and forth. There was no bridge, no rope, nothing. The noise was getting louder. I had no idea how fast it could be. I looked towards the mountain and then peered down the chasm.

I had to get across.

I must get across.

A little ways down, there looked to be some jutting rock that I might be able to climb down on. I took my chance and rushed over. Carefully I slid my foot down onto the rock and slithered against the wall. My hands were slick and I could not look past the first step. My foot slid across the rock looking for another step, but it found none. I strained more and more. My mind now focused on survival.

Then my left hand slipped. My feet frantically searched. My right hand struggled, strained and finally gave way. My hands gave, but hands of a different kind grabbed my wrist.

They were black and cold. Their grip was like iron being wrapped around my wrist.

It yanked me up.

I screamed. I screamed a scream that I had heard before.

Mercy.

I began this story with the main character being in a peaceful tranquil place. I meant to make this whole piece about gaining clarity, seeing everything all at once and being in tune with the universe. Well, then this monster showed up somehow when I was writing. It seemed that things were not right in the beginning or this peaceful meadow was not so peaceful after all.

I enjoy the chase or the hunt. When the monster is something that is so unknown I think it makes it more intense. What will happen if you are caught?

Geometric monsters are a lot of fun. Sorta of like an abstract object that in reality should not be dangerous is not chasing you and trying to devour you. Watch those triangles ……