Time for my Terror Tuesday. Ed is returning to the Pond. What will happen now?
THE MISTS OF PAPOOSE POND
Chapter Thirty Five
Shaking his head back and forth, the monster desperately attempts to speak, but his words do not come easily. I watch in horror as the creature’s reptilian skin cracks down his backside and an almost human like being forces its way out, the black eyes of the serpent still remaining, but now they show much intelligence. Wings break out from its back, and after the spasmodic reactions to the transformation are finished, he is now able to speak.
“I must find and battle Satan in my Angelic form. He tricked me. I can not forgive Him for that. Win or lose, I must do battle with the bastard.”
Nodding, I say, “I understand, and I also realize how much you still hate me for doing what I was forced to do. Reaching into your mind, it’s obvious I’m not on your short list for revenge, but if you do come after me, I will fight you with every tool at my disposal.”
There is hatred in his eyes, but within his mind, he also respects me for who and what I am.
“Understood, human. Understood.”
He flies off, the wind created from his powerful wings seeming to possess every bit as much power as that which resides in those of the Dark One. I long to be able to see the great duel between the two of them, but I have work of my own to do here.
His children, which I had expected to become smaller versions of dark Angels themselves, remain in serpentine form. The good thing? They are on our side and will become a part of my army.
The reluctance of my webbed friends to accept my decision as an intelligent one has changed. I am no longer viewed as a moron gone over the abyss separating sanity from insanity. They actually think I’m normal once more. Okay: as normal as I ever get.
The snakes bring a whole new element to our offense. They actually eat the attacking Zombies, seemingly gaining size with each one consumed. Snake upon snake shed their old skins in favor of larger ones that will accommodate their greater sizes, but this creates a time of vulnerability for them, as the zombies could attack them in their weakened state during the molting. But, their brethren know when the moment has arrived when their kin need protection and watch out for them, the process repeated over and over again, and the transformed take care of those who protected them before. A marvelous constancy is established in this interplay of the species.
Damn! The serpents eat the zombies, but once more it is merely a momentary stopping of their attack. Shit pours out of the snakes and recombines to become fecal Zombies. This is worse than battling the zombies and snakes in the multiverse of the flowing sewers.
Our antagonists are now living, breathing, biting, pieces of shit! This battle ground has become a huge organic cesspool of devastation. Enough is enough! By helping us, the snakes have had us sink to new lows.
The demons who were once chained to the walls stomp down on the attacking refuse, but that merely kicks the bastards up higher, creating an opportunity for them to attack from all levels.
“Cut that out!” I holler. “We need to keep the shit zombies down low.”
Running around from demon to demon, I pull at the attacking defecation and toss it into the volcanic chasm. Blood pours from them and me, but there is no way I can allow this to continue. I’m sickened by the battle: the wounds, stench, and seeming inevitability that we can not possibly win this damn war all pull at me.
“Damn, Ed! You look like shit!”
Turning, I see Louise standing to my right, herself covered in the same fashion as me, but still maintaining a smile.
“Thanks, sweetie,” I say, bolstered by her sense of humor which kicks me back to normal. “You aren’t exactly a poster child for hygienic turpitude yourself.”
Interesting choice of words. Want a hug?”
“From you, any time. Let’s make it quick, though, so we can get back to shit removal.”
She leans over, plants a kiss on my lips once she has cleaned both of our mouths off, and gives me a hug.
“Thanks, Doctor Lover Lady! Back to the fray now.”
She winks at me, and we resume our assault on the Zombies, slicing and dicing, and moving the slime-balls towards the edge of the chasm where we shove them to the lava waiting below. The sizzle coming up is comforting to my ears and warms my other senses. We’re back in the saddle again.
“Tom!” I shout. “Herd the zombies towards the snakes. I have an idea.”
He stares at me, wondering what I’m up to but doing as I ask. The entire area around the serpents is soon filled with food for my slithering friends.
My plan is to confine the snakes to their own little patch of paradise. Pulling my human warriors in around the perimeter of the slaughter, I have them stand ready with their Molotov cocktails in case things get out of hand and the refuse slimers get too close.
The ferocity of the battle escalates. My army of snakes continues gobbling the Zombies up and exponentially increasing in size. Our other warriors fight the other Zombies, trying to force them over the edge of the precipice. We lose troops, but inroads are made into the forces of evil.
Our Angels swoop in and force the Dark ones to the lip of the eternal flames created by God, the heat increasing the closer the damned get. The fires of resolution are being stoked.
An enormous shout splits the air as the largest of the snakes rears up and bellows out as its father did earlier. Its skin splitting down the back, an Angel emerges, shaking from the pain of the transformation, but welcoming the new existence, the new power, affording it now. Once it’s wings have fully evolved and the metamorphosis is complete, it rises into the air and attacks from above, no longer forced to slither on its belly.
It takes about an hour for all the snakes to become what they were intended to be before Satan’s act of deceit. Once they have all been reborn, they group together and fly off amass.
“Where are they going, Ed?” Tom asks.
“They’re off to join their father and do battle with Satan, Tom. That should keep Mr. Lucifer off our backs for awhile.”
Molotov cocktails fly through the air and the shit Zombies are burned to nothing, their souls rising up from the devastation, confused, not certain of their next move.
New recruits join our cause as my Zombie ghosts move in and convert them. Not all of the spirits come over to fight with us, but that is to be expected. Perhaps in time they will.
The battle takes a decided turn, with our army taking a huge advantage. Something is going on: I feel it; but the Zombies fighting us don’t have any answers. They are mere pawns in this war. The less they know the better. You can’t spill the beans if you don’t know what the beans are.
Knowing I have to make sense of this on my own, I analyze the different scenarios as I fight. Everything leads to the inescapable fact that where we are battling now is a diversion to keep us away from the focus of Satan’s master plan. What? Where? The entire planet is a battle zone. World domination is the goal.
One of my webbed buddies looks at me and our thoughts mingle. Damn me! Why have I not seen the truth before? All this time it’s been here, staring me in the face, and I have not had an inkling.
“Yes, my friend,” I say to him through my thoughts. “I understand now. It all makes perfect sense.”
Louise stares at me, wondering what’s going on, waiting for an answer. She can tell from my face that something big is to happen.
She is so right. Everything else to this point will pale in comparison.
“George! Howard!” I shout. “Take over here. You guys are my generals. When you are finished here, return to Papoose Pond. The big guys will lead you back.”
“But you lead us away from there,” George says.
“I know, but I was tricked. Satan is a clever bastard. That’s for sure. The key to everything is Papoose Pond.”
“We’ll take care of these bastards. You guys go to Papoose Pond and we’ll meet you there.”
I nod. “Great. We’ll be expecting you.”
Louise, Tom, some of my webbed buddies, and my loyal demons march off to Papoose Pond with me. We have a date with destiny.
“Damn it, Ed!” Tom shouts. “What gives? Why aren’t we going to the big metropolitan areas to do battle like we had planned?”
“That’s what Satan wants us to do, Tom. Papoose Pond is special. Very special. All the answers to Heaven and Hell, to good and evil, reside there.”
“Are we going to be the answer men and woman?” Louise asks.
“Yes, sweetie. That’s us.”
“Damn it!” Tom shouts. “This is another one of your hair brained schemes. I know it is.”
“Save your griping for the battle to come, Tom. That negative energy can be put to good use real soon.”
“That’s what you always say.”
“For good reason, my friend.”
He mutters under his breath, but he knows it’s no use to argue with me. After all, I’m the king of stubborn. “Tell me, Tom, what do you know about Papoose Pond?”
“What do you mean?”
“Not the obvious things. I already know that. What I want to know is about the history of the Pond and the area around it.”
Tom scratches his head and thinks for a while before saying, “That’s the strange thing, Ed: there is no history at all. There are no Native American legends or anything of the sort. Nothing.”
“It’s like no one is supposed to know anything about the area then.”
“That’s what I thought, Tom. Everything is falling into place. The logic, seemingly unhinged, is crystal clear now.”
“Do you mind letting me in on this?”
“You would so totally think I’m out of it. Seeing is believing. In no time at all, everything will be crystal clear.”
“Great. I just hope I stay alive long enough to see all of this.”
Laughing, I say, “That would be an added bonus.”
We travel through the day and arrive at the Pond at dusk. All is calm. The beauty of the Pond and its surroundings is awe-inspiring. The mists roll across the placid waters creating images of enduring beauty. Ballerinas from my first night are joined by the shapes of Angels and joyous children, and from the center of the pond come the captivating forms of my beloved webbed friends, their usually expressionless faces framed in enormous smiles.
I drop to my knees on the sandy beach, ready to embrace the glory of what is to come. Louise joins me, and I know at this moment that she has received the gift.
She knows . . .
Tom is awestruck, not knowing what to do or say. Looking around, he is shocked when he suddenly realizes that the camp, the lodge, and the buildings are all gone. Everything is in a pristine state . . .a state that existed many years ago.
“Oh my God, Ed!” he says. “What happened? The devastation, the signs of battle: everything is gone.”
I rise from my knees, Louise’s hand in mine. “I told you this place was special, Tom; more special than you can imagine.”
A strong wind blows from the direction of the forests, reaching us on the beach, but stopping when it hits the water line.
“Damn it, Mr. Ed! You figured it out, didn’t you? How you arrive at the answers to questions that were never asked is beyond me, but that’s okay. Most of your troops are away from here. This pitiful assemblage you brought here can not stop me.”
“Ah, but you’re wrong, Satan!” I shout. “There are more warriors on the way. Many more. It is your days that are numbered.”
“You insolent bastard! You will not live to see them come! I will strike you down where you stand.”
“Not on the beach, you won’t.”
He is infuriated, knowing I speak the truth. “Come out here and fight like a man, damn it!”
Laughing like a maniacal escapee from an insane asylum, I walk away from the beach, sword in hand, motioning for the others to stay behind.
“It is my pleasure, prick! Taste the sweet revenge of my sword.”
Lightning flashes in the sky, showing my antagonist in all His horrifying splendor. Evil as He is, there is still majesty in His presence. His countenance, though visibly affected by my show of defiance, is without a flaw, and His powerful muscles ripple in anticipation of the battle to come.
Dodging His advance, knocked to the ground by the force of the winds coming from the tremendous strokes exerted by his coal-black wings, I force myself back up. I refuse to buckle down to Him. Somehow, He managed to escape the wrath of the serpentine Angel. That will not happen with me.
“You’re just a big bag of wind, Lucifer! Taste my sword!”
Angered again, He lunges at me, converting to an entity twice His previous size. Dodging to side, I swing my sword and slice deep into His knee, watching in glee as He stumbles to the ground. Stroke after stroke, I deliver to him as He lies defenseless before me.
However, He is immortal . . .
Healing so fast I cannot believe it, He reaches up and tosses me to the side, and as I roll around, trying to get away from his grasp, He rises and stands over me.
Another huge bolt of electricity rips through the evening air, allowing me to see Him clearly above, spittle coming from the corners of His mouth in anticipation of finishing me off. Taking His huge sword into both of His powerful hands, He raises it high and drives it towards my waiting chest.
I have stepped over the line . . .