This is my Terror Tuesday for this week. Is Robert's turmoil real or imaginary? Either way: it's a horror!
GHOST NO MORE
The creatures are demons of the highest order with only one thing on their minds: to do the bidding of their Master. Satan has determined that John is a menace, an obstacle in his path, one that must be removed. Slow moving as they might be, and lacking proper mobility because of their deformities and inability to pull themselves up to the height of my agent, they reach him while he is in a paralyzed state and bring him down to their level.
Sharp, irregular teeth cut into John like a saw with missing pieces. Jagged chunks of his flesh fall to the ground, and blood spurts out everywhere, including on the beasts themselves, coating their scaly bodies with a layer of crimson. The one with no legs or arms wriggles through the blood as if it’s an eel in water and wraps itself around John’s body while the other two systematically tear off piece after piece of my nemesis until there is nothing left but a mere skeleton.
Within a few minutes, John, as I know him, has been annihilated.
The trio of horror are barely recognizable for what they are any longer, but once they start licking the debris of human refuse that was once John off of each other, the gore dripping down from their tongues and mouths, the shallow, sunken eyes, non-existent ears, and flat noses on their sloped, hairless heads become evident. Their green bodies shine in the dim light of the room.
The demons look at me only to acknowledge that their job is done. Then they go towards the rift and re-enter it, dragging John’s skeleton with them. Once they are through, it closes, leaving the room as it was. Yeah, right. With blood all over everything, this room is anything but the same. Now what? Do I call the police? What would I tell them? I’m sure they would go for the demon eating story. The best I can do is leave. I left no prints: I’m certain of it.
I should be worried about my own safety, but I’m not. Shit! This is my novel: it’s coming alive before my eyes. I have written of these demons. It’s like . . . it’s like they’re here to do my work. I summoned them without summoning them.
I was wrong with one thing, though: when I wrote the story, I pictured myself as the protagonist. It appears as if I’m on the other side. The good side would have never allowed this scenario to play out. I feel like I could have stopped the mayhem whenever I had wished, but I chose not to. But then, is this not what has to be done? I played the good guy and it got me nowhere. Jack, John, and Penguin were about to steal everything that is mine. John won’t have a hand in it now, will he?
This kind of changes the playing field a bit.
Using a Kleenex, I open the door and leave, keeping it open. This way, someone will spot the carnage in here rather quickly: part of the next phase of my plan. Even if I’m on the security camera, I doubt that anyone would connect me to this. I look at the camera in the hallway and watch as it melts before my eyes, pieces of molten metal hitting the carpet. I was right: no one will connect me to this.
Camera after camera do their melting thing. One even goes pfft and vanishes. Cool. This new-found power of mine will come in very handy. The why’s and how’s are a huge mystery, but does it matter? Maybe I’ll reason it out later. For now, I’ll just distance myself from this place.
I get into my Jeep and drive back to the loft. After what just happened, I need to rethink my plans. There is some scary shit happening here and I need to get a handle on it.
Unlike bozo John, I place my folder in a specially designed safe within a safe when I return to my loft. Two locks are needed to get past before anyone can get in there. And there is a special alarm system which is set off if the first lock is breached. All the angles are covered. For further security, I will transfer the files to a safety deposit box when the bank opens tomorrow.
I need a beer to settle my mind, to relax me so I can think straight. My entire body is tingling. I’m literally on edge with my emotions. Not the bad “on edge”, but the good “on edge.” Yes, I suppose some would say I’m a raving lunatic, waiting to unleash some sort of hocus-pocus out into the world. Ah, but it’s not hocus-pocus, is it? John was converted to my way of thinking. Unfortunately for him, it came a bit late. Recognition achieved at a very high price.
Popping the top off a longneck, I sit in my Lazy Boy, staring at the night before me. My guests think it's strange that I have the chair pointed towards the window, but I love to watch the night unfold: lights flicking on and off, traffic patterns shifting constantly, and the occasional act of violence unfolding below. I'm on the fifth floor and see it all. I've called 911 many times from my perch.
The skies are darkening now. There is more than just a change in the weather occurring. The entire fabric of life, at least what most people conceive it to be, is about to be revealed. My guess? No one will accept the novel as truth. That’s okay. I will show it to them. That is my job.
For so long, I have been tottering on the brink of insanity, trying to piece together fragments bombarding my brain. Some things made no sense at all, but as soon as I started to write the words, the magic leaped from my pen onto the pages, word after word, bringing every aspect of the story to fruition. At times, I was amazed at what I was writing. Most times, my tales of horror came from deep within my soul, expunging past horrors, making an effort to un-burden my tormented mind. But this, this story of demons, witches, black magic, and the Dark Lord himself, pit against the forces of good, was nothing from my past. At first, I was amazed with my writing skills, conjuring up this magical tale, and my story is indeed well written, but it is not entirely mine. The basic premise is truth. Weird; yes, but the truth nonetheless.
Jack is next on my list. After what happened to John, it should be a lot easier now to convince him to drop out from accepting the undeserved fame from this novel. Of course, even though he has written some decent novels- albeit nothing of the caliber of the tales I wrote for him- Jack is a rather dull-minded sort of guy. I'm sure that with his other novels he had some major help from the editors at Penguin. So many writers feel it takes a major miracle or a superb talent to write a novel. Bull shit! Jack is living proof that a hack can do it.
Word should spread pretty fast. John's office is a busy one. Jack will get the news in a hurry.
A delicious thought crosses my mind: my share of the pie will be larger. There will be no agent fees. And when Jack backs out, as he will, an even larger chunk for me. As for Penguin, they will have to revise the whole deal. I have the proper verification and all. If they don't listen to the voice of reason, there will be the devil to pay.
Heh, heh. The devil indeed.
The most difficult thing for me is to figure out how to leverage the after book extravaganza. It's not like I'm selling my soul to the Devil or anything, but it does appear that help is forth-coming from that side of the table. What is his stake in all of this, I wonder. I haven't asked for anything, but I am receiving some very unexpected assistance.
The other side of the table: God; the good and all that goes with it. Why does it appear that the Devil wants me to write this novel? I still don't see the significance. If He wants me to write it, wouldn't God wish the same thing? There were many moments as I was writing it that I felt divine help; moments of joy and love; not at all like the darker parts of the tome.
Oh, shit! I'm caught in the cross-hairs of a huge battle. Both sides helped me with this. Does this mean that God is going to help me as well? Or am I beholden to the side of darkness? I felt as if I had the power to do whatever I wanted to at John's office, but the only power I wanted to listen to was the power of evil. Nothing spoke to me from the realm of light.
Francis Bacon said that knowledge is power. I have the knowledge; I have the power. Now what?
The whole thing in a nutshell: this planet doesn't have to worry about Armaggedon; well not in the usual pre-conceived notions of it anyway. The battles will be fought; there will be casualties on both sides; but the devastation will not occur here. There is another plane of existence where the battle is being waged, and, yes, it's being waged now. The parallel universe boys have it so right. That episode in John's office is just the tip of the iceberg. What I witnessed was a rift, a portal into this other plane of existence.
I get up out of my chair and stand next to the window and watch as the storm attacks the city, seemingly from out of nowhere, mother nature unleashing its fury on mankind. But there is a much more sinister scenario being played out, not only here, but in the battleground arena. For a thousand years now, the battles have been waging, no side able to claim significant victory. Back and forth, a win here, a loss there. This is the story for both sides. At first, it appeared that God would have an easy path ahead of Him. Such was not the case. Cagey bastard that he is, Satan came up with an idea: recruit for his side from the planet we live on; our plane of existence. Planet Earth: a breeding ground for warriors.
Satan tapped into the most depraved sector of humanity. Warriors notorious for their fierceness and their disregard for humanity were brought through the rift and became a part of his army. It was never a wholesale disappearance of these people from battlefields or other sources. Satan hand picked everyone and took from here and there a few at a time so that humanity would not be the wiser. In certain instances, the souls of his warriors to be were swapped with other humans and brought to him. Insertion of an evil soul into someone else’s body became standard practice when a large number of warriors were needed. Bodies left behind appeared to have died from other causes.
The Black Plague, that infestation of rats carrying disease infecting fleas, was just one of his subterfuges. Whole communities at his beck and call, ready to fight for his cause.
Who would have suspected?
And when it came to generals to wage these battles, there was no shortage of vicious, unconscionable recruits. Lost in a bunker? No, Hitler had other more deranged battles to oversee. Stalin, too. Genghis Khan and his hordes, Prince John, Lenin, Himmler, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, and Papa Doc Duvalier, were just a few of many.
God gave Satan a head start with this, but he also started recruiting. Eisenhower, Gandhi, Ronald Reagan, and Teddy Roosevelt all make good soldiers for the just cause.
And, of course, there are the special people: those who possess special powers. Both sides want them. To bring them into their camps early and give them the proper training is tantamount to success. Who are these special people? Most people would freak out if they knew the power within some savants and so-called autistic people. They see the world with a whole different perspective, a sort of four dimensional look where vectors and coordinates rule with Euclidian space, metric, and norm. Virtually, they see all sides and the interiors of objects. While it seems they are incapable of performing simple tasks, nothing could be farther from the truth. They don't wish to do these things. To them, they are abstract and have no meaning. When they learn they have to conform with some societal norms, they do so. But, it is only so they can survive.
As much as Satan wants these people and goes after them, they are smart enough to see through the subterfuge. Their powers are strong and their minds control all aspects of the environs around them. Without exception, they rally to God's side. They come into the light and work for the good.
The good. Is there really any good going to come of all this? What was that song in Sunday School? Oh, yeah: Onward Christian soldiers. The battles; the wars; good vs bad. Everybody thinks they're on the right side. Satan's pissed off at God for kicking him out of heaven. God's pissed off at Satan for trying to usurp his power. If God created Angels with free will, why be surprised when they piss you off and don't behave? If Satan misbehaved, shouldn't he expect some kind of retribution?
Yes, the horrors of what Satan does are so much more discernible than a spanking by God, but how about sacrificing your Son on the cross to appease a bunch of moronic, undeserving humans? Or maybe killing the temple Priests if the sacrifices were not deemed pure enough? And poor Job. What about him? Is there a gray area here that I'm not seeing?
I go to the fridge to grab another beer. It’s a mind relaxer, the magic elixir, the joy of the longneck soon to assuage my weary, battled mind. Sure, I know what's going to happen, but that doesn't make it any easier, does it?
The storm's intensity picks up viciously, sending torrents of rain against my windows, but the fury does nothing to erase the images attacking me from every available space on them: monsters of every description; human, demonic, dead or alive. They press against the glass, shattering it. My body is dragged towards the edge of the floor to ceiling space that was once my visual aperture to the city around me.
My equilibrium is completely gone. I can’t tell where I’m at in the room I know so well. Up or down is all the same to me.
Cold, clammy hands with sharp nails grab on to my legs, forcefully dragging me to where the storm is entering my loft. The more I resist, the deeper the nails dig in. Blood oozes out of me, surrounding me, its dampness putting the rain to shame.
I am pulled to the edge of the broken glass, the shards digging into my flesh, compounding the pain I’m absorbing at the hands of my antagonist. My neck is slashed deeply. Gasping for air, and finding none, I’m dragged the remainder of the way and tossed from the loft to the streets below.
Breathing my last breath, I don’t know when my body and the sidewalk meet . . .