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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Listening For That Sweet Tune-Chapter 25: The Flaming Locust On the Red Sea Pt. 1


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I looked around for Captain Grey around the docks and he was at the very end of the pier. Looking at him now I could only feel distrust in him because my suspicions of his son being one of them, I tried to make sense of it in my head. The man who was being beaten, I never saw the man’s face, maybe it was not the Captains son but someone else that came in contact with my story. I stepped up to the boat and looked toward the Captain as he had his back towards me. 

'Did you find him? My son, did you find him?' He asked. 

'You never told me he was one of them.' The captain raised his head from whatever he was doing and turned around to me. 

'He’s not one of them! He's either dead or alive, which is it?' I thought for a moment and figured that maybe it was Odious and the body of Odysseus. Odysseus's lively hood must have been sucked into a wretched to make Odious and he took Odysseus's form but why was the covered man still screaming? I stood in confusion for a while as Captain Grey looked at me furiously. 

'He's dead.' I said and lifted the photograph up to his level. 

'Where did you get this?' Yelled the Captain while snatching the photograph from my hand. I didn't know what to say. Where I was, was someplace that was summoned by Odious. Maybe it was his plane of darkness, every Wretched had their own places to live but I couldn't tell Captain Grey that. 

'It was on him.' I lied. 

'Then the sacrifice did work.' He whispered. 

'Excuse me? Sacrifice? You mean you killed him?' He looked up to me with tears in his eyes and began to cry. 

'We thought a sacrifice would push the daemons away, to appease them but it was interrupted by one of those monsters. I stabbed my son hoping that the madness will stop but he was sucked up then he announced himself as Odious. He took the soul of my son and is using his image as his own. The Wretched seem less hostile when they take human form.' I thought of Anathema and then the strange man inside the house—maybe they were the same. 'I’m sorry I lied to you but if I had told you the truth you would have called me crazy.' I thought of this whole situation and everything seemed crazy to me. Maybe I should have told him that his son still had some life in him but it would only make him mourn more. 

'Are we ready to go?' I asked and he nodded. 

'Take a seat it's going to be a long journey.' I closed my eyes after we set off and I could hear the crashing of waves up against the boat and ropes being untied for the sails. I was sleepy but I knew better than to fall asleep. At times—because I stayed awake—the Captain asked me to pilot the boat for him as he slept. 'Go that direction.' He told me while pointing forward. I couldn't see much at night not only because of the darkness but because of the fog that still lingered over the sea. 

I thought of Serenity as the lonely nights passed, one night then four nights. I felt so lost without her but then again I was only with her for a short period of time. 'Could she have gone this way?' I would ask myself. 'Did she find a boat for herself? Who gave her a ride? A tingling sensation pulsed through my fingers and for some reason I knew that she was waiting for me, sitting in some dark room waiting for my light to enter and she would run to me with such happiness. Could she have known about my condition? It would only make sense since she watched me as I slept, making sure I was safe. She might as well been perfect in my eyes, she never did anything wrong, she never meant to leave me. 

The Captain offered me food in his dining hall under the deck but I couldn't eat anymore—not since I ate a part of that one man. I feared in my heart on how much I indulged over the action of eating another man. It was sweet and all the good things that people want in their food. It sickened me to think that it was better than any food I had ever eaten but it was true and I couldn't hide it. At times when the Captain was sleeping I would stand over him as he smiled through his tender dreams. 'Nobody would know? What are you so scared of?' I would ask myself. It was as if I was in some form of trance but I had to rush back to the wheel hoping that the boat didn't turn around. 

One day the wind stopped blowing and we were stalled to a halt but there was nothing we could do. From what I learned from casual conversation was that the man was about sixty-four years old. Long white beard and nearly balding he never let anything get in his way. He lived most of his life as a Bishop to the local church and many people looked up to him before 'The Event' happened—which has always been something vague when he talked about it. Just one day while he was preaching his sermons a dark fog went over the world and blocked out the sun for days.

'Sometimes the fog would vanish in thin air for minutes to hours at a time and we never really understood why but then again we never even figured out why it came in the first place. Monsters came out of the fog and it seemed like he'll itself but we soon found out it was The Wretched that we were praying to the whole time.'

'How do you mess something up like that?' I asked. 

'We never knew who they were till they actually showed up. We thought we were praying to gods who left their artifacts and buildings behind. Forgiving gods, gentle gods, gods who understood us. Now, we don't even know if there is a god, there's no proof of one just these things that crawl out of the ground and fall from the sky. They wanted to hurt us, murder us even! We didn't know what to do so we hid, something we always could do easily.'

'What do you mean?'

'Us. The people that live throughout Belle's Dawn. If we don't want to be seen we can disappear from sight. Something that everyone can do.' This explained why whenever I got near someone, they vanished. 

'Some things are starting to make sense.' I said. 'So that obelisk—'

'Made by The Wretched.' He interrupted.

'And you said they made full buildings?' 

'Yes. None here though there were a few in the neighboring city and some in the wilderness but I've never been in one.' I thought of the two swirling buildings before I met Moony. 

'Do you know of a light that shines that has to do with The Wretched?' I asked

'I remember a bright light when they took my son from me. The only time light comes out of The Wretched it has to deal with taking ones soul.' I thought of all the times the light shined on me. 

'What if they touch you?' I asked worryingly. 

'They are an infection. Everything they touch becomes one with them. You didn't touch one did you?'

'No' I lied. 'But they came close. 

'Then they desire your soul my boy.' Behind Captain Grey I saw a large black silhouette in the distance. I pointed out towards it and the Captain turned around. 'Its a ship!' He yelled. Starting to jump up and down screaming 'Help! Help!' It was a large shipping freighter that stood hundreds of feet above the water. It was moving slowly towards us while we were moving slowly towards it—the engine was off. When our boat got close enough Captain Grey took a piece of rope and tied it to the rope latter that was dangling down the boat. 'We're saved.' He whispered to me but as I looked up to the old rusty boat I could only feel that I saw this in a dream. 

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Listening For That Sweet Tune-Chapter 24: Linchpin Collapse Pt. 3


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'Here.' Pointing at the window. 'What do you see?' I gazed out the window and all I could see was fog.

'Nothing really.' I responded

'Look harder.' I looked out into the fog hoping to see darker grey shapes but everything swirled away within seconds. I listened to the air but all I could hear was a slight breeze causing a draft within the room. I smelt the air and only the reeking of blood came to me. 'Look, the fog is clearing up.'

I looked out in the distance and the colour green began to show in the distance. The sky was a light blue and hills began to form before my very eyes. It was a field that was before me and before I knew it the building we were standing in disappeared as well. Hills were to my left and right as a big clearing was in front of me. A few boulders littered the path as a large tree sat on the ridge to my left. I looked around for Odious but he disappeared leaving no trace behind. Music began to play in the distance from an old phonograph, it wasn't close but I could tell where it was coming from. A few miles ahead in front of me and I could tell that there was an old wooden house at the end of the clearing right before a large forest. This was where I was to go, this is where Odious wants me to be.

Where could have Serenity gone? There's no sign of her even going into this city. I could only hope that I am just a few steps behind her. Maybe she left to cross the sea as well or maybe she's looking for the man who knows what's going on? I imagined her walking into a room with an old man sitting on a pillow on the other side of the room and confronting him with her problems, I could only think that they were the same as mine. The old man tells her to wait for me and that's exactly what she does. She has to be waiting for me. Continuing forward I could only contemplate how infinite was the cobblestone road was that I was walking on. I thought of astronauts going into space, pushing forward just to see how far they could go. Eventually there would be an end, wouldn't it? Something like that couldn't be infinite, there would have to be an end. I continued to think of the astronauts moving forward till they couldn't anymore, what would they encounter? I amused myself with the thought and walked in thought for a moment longer. What could they find?

I thought of an astronaut leaving the shuttle heading towards the black, planets and stars behind him but in front, nothing, just vast black nothingness. He continued to float forward till he hit it; just some black wall except it grew! Inches from seconds it moved backwards away from the astronauts. The astronaut outside commands the shuttle to shoot whatever weapon it's equipped with towards the wall and the wall begins to scuff like a thick window that has been painted over. Eventually, there would be no more paint and you can see to the other side. It would be white. What first looks like nothing soon appears to be another world. Heaven? I can only help but think that at the end we will find god and where it lives it would sit on the other side looking at us and the astronaut would only think why it would allow this and before he knew it he finds himself on the other side. Just whisked away from the others knowing he couldn't turn around because now, now he is dead like everyone else.

I soon came to a bridge that went over a small creek that traced around the base of all the hills. Looking past the bridge I could see the small house no more than a mile away, smoke rising from the chimney. The music continued to other old timey songs that I've never heard of periodically skipping twice to four times. Seemed to sound like old folk music that had a religious tone in the lyrics but everything was at a slower beat with piano and acoustic guitars. Sometimes I heard gospel choirs singing 'praise the lord' and 'hallelujah'. The sound was obviously coming from the old house because it grew louder as I got closer to it but in no way was it possible for it to sound this loud and travel this far. I stopped thinking the last mile and listened to the music it was calming and I felt that I could rest easily if I really wanted to but as I grew closer to the house the sound became so loud that it was beginning to hurt my ears. I plugged my ears with my fingers as I continued further towards the house but even with my ears plugged it began to hurt.

I was now only a few feet away from the door and the sound became unbearable. I tried to distract my pain by thinking of something else but it only dulled the pain to a lower point of extreme. If the man in the small room was Odious then who was the colossal giant? I'm sure if I had asked him he would have told me but for now I guess I had to wait. I reached for the doorknob with my right hand and a death-defying headache rushed through my brain because of the pain of the unprotected sound. I began to feel something warm flow down my neck and there was no doubt that it was blood but as soon as I opened the door all the noise stopped. This seemed to be a common theme that I have encountered frequently but there was no doubt in my mind that as soon as my journey ended all pain will melt from my skin and fall like shackles on the ground.

The house in its entirety was just one room with the exception of a few walls. Immediately to my left was a toilet in the corner of the house that was partitioned off from the rest of the room with a wall and something that resembled a folding closet door. On the other side of the wall was a coutch and in the corner that followed was an old television with two antennas that poked out from the top. The antennas didn't help at all because on the television was solid static. A table with an old phonograph sat inbetween the television and the coutch. An old wooden ricking chair sat next to the table and a few feet away from the television. Immediately to my right in the corner was a kitchenette that was in a shape of an L that sat directly against the walls. Within this kitchenette was a sink in the corner and to the left of that was the oven and stovetop connected within each other; everything else was cabinets. This continued against the far right wall till midway against the wall. Another small wall partition came out about the length of a queen-sized bed to make a closet in the far right corner. Inside the closet looked like a typical walk in closet with hangers and clothes dangling down from long bars that lined the inside of the closet except for the queen sized bed that was crudely made on the floor.

Covering all the walls that were holding the roof up were old black and white photographs mostly with two people in every photo. Never was the same person in two photographs, which was odd. In a closer inspection to some of the photographs I noticed that in a few of them were people that I have met. Mooney and an older woman sat in one as the strange man in the lighthouse and a woman stood in another. Looking at each one carefully I noticed that the background was exactly the same as the latter one. 'They were all in one place' I said aloud. Looking at others that lined the wall I saw Serenity with another woman and in another was the old man that I met at the docks with what I could only assume was his son.

I picked the photo off the wall and took the photo from out of its frame then hanged the frame back up. Looking at the back of the photo it read 'Captain Grey and his son, Odysseus.' I couldn’t help but find a resemblance between Odysseus and Odious. I looked at the photo trying to remember what Odious looked like and I couldn't help but feel that they might in fact be the same person. I folded the photo and put it in my back pants pocket hoping that I would find answers when I met up with the Captain again. I began to walk towards the front door and as I put my hand on the handle I heard Odious speak.

'Have you ever inquired what was on the other side of a mirror Ben?' It grew quiet as I looked around on the ceiling wondering if he would phase through it. I then looked towards the mirror that hung on the wall that was directly on the other side of the room. 'Since the genesis of the seasons common people have always excogitated the interpretation of vivacity as an actuality and found themselves inquisitive for the interpretation. Where would it be? Who knows for an assurity? In this pursuit the common people detached from the original hypothesis and ventured to new cogitations like, how can I live forever? What is god? Why am I here? That's an easy inquiry Ben. All the answers are in the palms of your hands if you could only just understand.' I was now standing in front of the mirror looking at my reflection and it dawned to me that never before have I seen my face. From what I could tell I had a crooked face atop of my crooked head and a muffed up gaze towards myself. I'm sure I looked fairly normal but everything seemed so distorted in this mirror.

'Maybe there is another parallel universe in which our duplicates watch us through our reflections and mimic our every move just for the sole fact of keeping us safe. We are not supposed to know what is on the other side of the mirror because our feeble little minds cannot handle the truth. Think about it Ben. They gaze at us whenever we drift our backs and snicker with one another because we are ignoramus. Mangy little pieces of dirt that doesn't know any better than to think that everything is refined. We need to perform an undertaking Ben. We must find the one true looking glass in all the province and saunter through to the other side. It's imperative Ben, imperative for our survival.' I examined the oval mirror and all the silver furnishings that revolved around it forming leaves and flowers. I then looked at myself again and noticed that my reflection was smiling. I reached out to touch the mirror and my reflection did the same, I rubbed my head in thought and my reflection did the same. The headache I had was rushing through my skull piercing everything it touched and I grew angry to the thought of it. I punched the mirror shattering it into tiny pieces and gazed at my now broken reflection. I saw it take a few steps back away from me then turned out of sight.

'Leave now Ben and do what I have asked of you.' I turned to face the door and walked towards it while thinking of what just happened I put my hand on the door knob and breathed in deeply hoping that home was on the other side but it came to my attention that what was on the other side was far away from home. 'I don't think I have a home left.' I said aloud. I was now in the midst of the docks. Photograph in hand; I was now ready to leave.

End of Act I

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