Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A PLACE OF REMOTE ISOLATED TERROR ... 2/16/16

The venerable, uber vampire, known as 'Papa' has quite a repertoire. Whether these things are magic, or some sort of extremely well developed, focused brain 'energy' is not known. Doctor Franklin wanted to run tests, but 'Papa' wouldn't even look at him. Jonathon thinks it's magic. With his religious faith, that's not a big deal. Edith says faith is a gift. God gives it to you, or he doesn't. Annie says she's gonna shop lift it. Edith tells her she's just plain evil. Annie says she ain't 'plain' anything.

Nobody's gone in the room yet, only 'Papa.' They heard Conrad whimper, then nothing. Annie whispered - I wanna go see. Conrad's mine and I gotta go see.... But Jonathon held her back. He whispered - Be still. Remember what 'Papa' did to you?.... She did. Floating free, just above the crests of the highest waves roiling over the surface of the sun tends to stay with you. She saw Hell, in a manner of speaking and didn't like it. Still dreams about it too. Why that didn't kill her, being vampire and all is a mystery. That's why Jonathon thinks it's all a grand illusion. 'Reality' is a relative thing. A feather brushed against the skin in the dark becomes a spider. Shadows become ghosts and small scratching rodents, deep within the walls double as coded messages from the dead. Believe me, either way, real or illusion, Conrad would see quite a show.

And this is what happened.....

He heard a voice, a still, low voice. It said - Arise and atone for your sins.... He obeyed, got up and walked, all alone, across a vast dark grey plain that was smooth and vaguely ceramic under his bare feet. The nighttime sky was bright with stars.. so bright they scared him. City people never see sights like that. So he looked down and walked... No breeze, nothing but still, cold air. At first he tried to count his footsteps. After eleven thousand and forty five  he lost track, but his mind filled with other things. He saw the victims...He saw their families... He felt the pain and the loss... Then after an indeterminate length of time he saw a hill, a small rise in the surface. When he got closer there was an opening... a round mouth as dark as coal. Conrad tried to pull back, but his feet stepped in just the same. Soon he was lost in blackness... no horizon... no stars... nothing. He was afraid to make any sound at all, as he continued down an endless, gradual slope.

But then it stopped. The surface disappeared. He slipped off the edge and tumbled into the void, spinning and falling like a leaf... There was no sensation of time. There was no 'now,' no 'then.' Was this eternity? He didn't know. But he could still think. Sometimes he ran through detailed, precise, recollections of his childhood... his Rock 'em, Sock 'em Robots... vacations in Wildwood, New Jersey... when his Uncle Jack and Aunt Fritzie got married... the squeaky, orange, vinyl sofa in the basement... his mom's scalloped potatoes... how worried his dad was when he broke his arm...

Then he landed...

He came down, softly on what seemed to be another ceramic-like surface. That, in itself, was a different, welcome sensation. Then he counted his inhalations and exhalations. After eight hundred and fifty two, the voice came back.... It said - You are in a hollow world. A huge egg shell in space. You've spanned three hundred thousand miles and here you will stay till you've learned.

Then silence...

Till the knowledge of the four innocent victims returned.... Alone in the dark... on the edge of creation... How long would it last?

Back at the townhouse, 'Papa' left Conrad's bedroom. He passed the others, each frozen in place, afraid to look at him and went down to his club chair in the den....A few heartbeats later, Jonathon and the rest ran after to see what, if anything they could learn.

But little Annie didn't go down....

She quietly opened the door... and entered the dark, silent room....

<more next time>

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