Nigh Cries, Part Eight

StranglingBy

Timotei

Erik did not consider himself to be overly brave.  In the normal flow of events, bravery was another emotion to be discarded like any other.  It was an alien concept anyway since, until today anyway, it was not necessary.  Cold World did not have any crime.  The more society divested itself of emotion, the less likely strife and turmoil arose.  People didn’t steal, kill or destroy one another.  The people of Cold World were simply too involved in the pursuit of knowledge.  All other occupations were a waste of valuable time.  Erik could not even remember if he had ever had a fight, an argument, or anything with anyone.  Just the thought made him feel lost and confused.  Having never raised his hand in anger toward any other living being, how was he supposed to confront the nightmare waiting for him in Professor Voguebuk’s lab?

Erik tried asserting his rational mind over the question.  Whatever had shredded the professor was probably done.  It stopped with the professor when it could just as easily have ended his life.  But it hadn’t and he was still alive; therefore, he wasn’t the target and could proceed to investigate further.

Erik stepped cautiously towards the professor’s lab, careful to step over the pool of blood that was spreading slowly around one half of the professor’s body.

The door to the lab was not locked and gave way easily to Erik’s gentle push.  The lights inside flicked to life in starts and bursts of pale green and yellow until a soft white light filled the open space of the lab.  The lab wasn’t very big Erik thought.  His own study hall was far larger not to mention his experimental space.  Somehow Erik expected more but with a shrug he moved towards one of the work benches that lined the eastern side of the lab.  There spread out on the bench surface was a large but deep saucer type plate with trailing wires that ran through the liquid in the plate.  The liquid itself was not quite sheer enough to see the bottom of the plate but seemed to shimmer as tiny waves crossed its surface.  It was then that Erik noticed a dull hum that lingered about his ears without any apparent direction.  Erik wasn’t sure exactly where the humming was coming from but it did appear to be strongest just over the plate of liquid.

The wires leading out of the liquid were connected to patch panels that fed a row of circuit cards that pulsed with translucent green and yellow lights.  Small LEDs pulsed in rhythm to the tiny waves dancing across the surface of the liquid.  Erik centered himself in front of the work bench and slowly peered into the liquid.  The liquid had a metallic appearance and Erik could almost see his image on the surface.  He wasn’t sure exactly what he was seeing but the liquid seemed to react to his presence.  The tiny waves that had been gently racing across the surface of the liquid froze then proceeded to move in a directly way as though orchestrated and on cue.  A small image appeared to Erik on the surface of the liquid.  It was a planet but it wasn’t one Erik had ever seen.  It was dark and menacing.  This was the dark realm Erik reasoned.  The professor had discovered a gateway of some kind to the dark realm and Erik was looking right at it.  How had he done this Erik queried?  This was stretching his imagination to believe that the professor had achieved something like this without his knowledge.  Erik put the selfish thought aside for the moment and peered again into the face of the liquid.  A new shape began to take shape and when Erik realized what he was seeing; her hand had full possession of his throat as her arm stretched out from the center of the plate.  Erik tried to jerk away from her terrible grasp but her grip was like steel.  The liquid in the plate was splashing all over the bench surface and some of the trailing wires came out of the liquid altogether.

Erik could not even scream.  He knew that he had only a few moments before he passed out.  His air supply was completely cut off and his vision was starting to blur.  He had never encountered another physical force so powerful.  He felt helpless, stuck like a fly in maw of a Venus fly trap.  Just as Erik was about to pass out, he tried one more time to dislodge her hand from his throat.  He failed and as he felt himself starting to slide to the lab floor his flailing hand disconnected the wires from the plate and with a blood cuddling scream she let him go.  Her hand paused briefly, her arm extended above the liquid’s surface to the elbow.  Her palm was facing Erik like a cobra preparing to strike and then she curled her hand into a fist and started trembling in rage as the arm started sinking back into the plate of liquid.  In an instant, the hand was gone and what liquid remained in the plate was unmoving and clear.

Erik gathered his thoughts and on wobbling knees he backed away from the bench.  In the space of a few minutes, Erik almost died but he also discovered what Dr. Voguebuk was trying to tell him.  There was a way to bridge the distance between Cold World and the dark realm.  There was something in the dark realm that wanted him dead and Erik thought he knew why.  Erik was one of two individuals that could understand what adhesion breakage was and how to stop it.  With the professor dead, he alone held the key to stopping this cataclysmic event and someone or something in the dark realm knew this.

Night Cries…Part 4

Blood Screams 5Night Cries Part 4

By

Timotei

She hovered, unmoving yet shimmering like the heat waves off a summer baked street.  The boy’s blond hair briefly obscured his vision but he didn’t move a muscle.  She drew in a deep breath and opened her mouth ever so slightly.  There was no sound, but the stench filled the room with the acrid odor of dry rotting garbage.  Erik cringed but she remained unmoving, her eyes blank now, devoid of the thunderous rage he had experienced on Cold World.  Then she lifted one long pointy finger at Erik and he heard her in his mind.

“You are ready to die?” The question was tinged with anticipation and hope and…confirmation.  It was as if she was…answering herself.  In his mind, her voice sounded alien, hurtful and filled with bitterness.  The notes in her sound carried hints of betrayal and pain.  Erik could not control his body any longer and he trembled uncontrollably.

“At last, we may begin”, she murmured.

Erik wheezed, “Noooo”, his voice receding inside his small frail body.  “Don’t do this, please”, he said.

She shuddered and recoiled from his weak plea.  She steadied herself and repeated, “You are ready to die?”

Then Erik’s calculating mind regained some of its’ composure and the boy uttered, “How did you get here?”

Blood Screams 6She paused, staring at the boy through wounded, hollow eyes.  “You know”, she rasped.  Her body began to quiver again as if on key.  Her translucent body was shimmering and she appeared to be moving from side to side like a panther stalking its prey.  Erik noticed that her body was appearing in and out of phase with the night’s light.  He could briefly see right through her in between her shimmers.  Then it occurred to Erik that tonight was not going to be his end.

“I will ask you again”, his voice now more confident.  “How did you get here and who let you cross the bridge?”

At that she started convulsing within the small space she occupied.  Her clawed feet started swinging back and forth, her toes curling as though she sought to grip the lush carpet below her.  Her body arched, her bowed legs extended as far as possible just missing the floor.  Her twisted face was tilted upwards.  She looked like a toddler trying to ease his way down to the floor from a high perch, one foot at a time, reaching, extending, and carefully testing the gap, fearful of missing his footing.  She seemed to be stuck at one fixed point in the air.  She started spinning around, her eerie, translucent gown flowed out from her and the Erik could see her mangled torso torn rib cage to pelvis.  Then she stopped spinning and glared at Erik, murder again in her eyes.

“I will not be denied boy”, she howled and Erik felt the room shake with her hatred.  “I will have my time with you boy and you will say my name.  Nothing will keep me from taking you.  I will have you she shrieked!!”

Before Erik could let out a breath in response, the room exploded in a shower of bluish, crystalline light.  She was gone.  From the spot where she hovered, darkness reverberated and began to coalesce like oil flowing into a floor drain.  Slowly, the darkness receded and condensed until it was no bigger than a baseball.  The blackness spun slowly and with a sickening, wet popping sound it vanished.  All that remained was the fragrance of rotting garbage and spoiled fruit.  It hug thick in the air and Erik felt his insides convulse.

Erik moved slowly from his bed and stalked over to the place where she had just been.  There was a slight sensation of heat as he got closer, then that too ceased.  Erik looked around his room.  His bed was wet from his sweat.  His brother, Fran, lie as still as a church mouse, breathing ever so quietly, unshaken by the brief visitation.  It had worked Erik thought.  It actually worked.  He should not have doubted himself.  Now all he had to do was get back to Cold World and begin phase two.

His step now more confident and sure, Erik moved to the bathroom in the hall.  He needed to change his clothes.  His earth mom would be so furious if he didn’t.  Erik walked into the hall and noticed his mom’s bedroom door slightly ajar.  He heard gargled moans from within.  Tinges of fear started caressing the back of his neck.  It almost sounded like someone was pouring water on his mother’s carpet, then it slowed to nothing…and the gargling stopped.  Erik called out to his mom.  No answer.  He walked silently to his mother’s door and slowly swung it open.  He could see nothing.  The curtains were open and the starlight should have illuminated the room, but he saw absolutely nothing, no shapes, no sense of anything in the room.  He reached for the light switch, too afraid to venture into the darkness and flicked it on.

Blood Screams 7

Erik cried out in horror.  His mother was sprawled across her bed, her head hanging down over the edge of the bed.  Her throat was ripped open.  Her eyes were frozen open in terror and confusion.  The last vestiges of blood were seeping from her neck, oozing down her cheeks, filling her gray head with streaks of crimson.  On the wall directly over her bed, written in scrawling lines of blood were the words, “I will not be denied boy.”

Erik collapsed.  His eight year old body could not withstand the pain and anguished look on his earth mother’s face.  His head was spinning with pain.  Erik closed his eyes and gave in to the overwhelming weight of exhaustion and fear that pressed in on him.  He felt himself slip into unconsciousness and he embraced it.

Night Cries….Part 3

Screaming 4

Night Cries Part 3

By

Timotei

Time seemed to stop for Erik.  Before him stood a visage of death, poised to end his very existence.  Erik’s mind and body was moving in slow motion.  Everything grew still and it looked to Erik that even she stood frozen in a block of cold, poisoned silence.  Despite all his efforts and safeguards, she remained, she existed, she was here…and she was intent on ending him.  She was a mistake.

Of all the technological achievements and modern marvels that flourished on Cold World, no one really understood. No one foresaw what such extreme emotional isolation was doing to the souls of men.  With so many emotional connections severed and with society fully engaged in the practice of Divestiture, no one was paying attention to the after effects.  She was an after effect.  She was a malignant reflection of the darkest aspects of Erik’s soul.  She represented all the demented and savage lusts of Eriks heart and soul unbounded and unchecked.  With no emotional anchor or cage, she was set free from the inner most sanctums of Erik’s soul.  She was a birth defect of his soul.

She first manifested in Erik’s dreams, dreams that grew steadily more macabre, darker and vivid.  Erik, so exhausted from his daily ruminations and rituals, never gave the dreams a second thought.  They were unimportant to him since they added nothing to the discoveries he sought in advanced theories about Cold World and the planets above.  But one night, the dreams stopped.  The nightmares became blank echoes in his mind.  He ceased dreaming.  He could not even recall the slightest remembrance or piece of his night thoughts from the night.

Erik was not too troubled by this.  After all, his inventions waited.  He had more than enough preoccupations to busy himself with.  He brushed it off.  But then it happened.  Erik cried.  Tears rushed down his cheeks like a ravenous beast starved far too long.  In the middle of his laboratory, Erik found himself balling like a baby, his face blank in confusion but his heart singing out with pain like none he had ever experienced before.  What was happening to him?  What was the meaning of these tears?  How was this even possible his thoughts exploded?

Erik rushed to his bathroom and stared in the mirror.  The tears were real.  His head was starting to spin and he staggered out of the bathroom seeking a place to sit, no, lie down.  The cold of the lab floor embraced him and Erik lie there staring up at the ceiling.  His mind was awash with questions.  This was his saving grace.  His mind.  He would focus his genius on discovering the nature of this event.  He doubted the divestiture failed.  He was beyond committed.  So what just happened?  As his mind searched for answers his pulse calmed and he started feeling more like himself. Erik rose from the floor and walked over to his lab bench.  A reflection in the tech screen caught his eye.  It wasn’t the look on his face that he noticed as he stared into the screen.  It was the murderous eyes that blinked back at him that sent chills up his spine.  They weren’t his eyes.  They were the eyes of a woman, a woman insane with rage and hatred.  Today was a first for Erik.  Today was the first time in his life he felt what he would later describe as fear.

Erik stepped away from the screen and sought a quiet corner in his lab.  He needed to gather his thoughts and assess the situation.  Erik looked around the room and then found the screen again.  She was gone.  Had he just imagined it all?  Maybe he was overworked he thought to himself.  Perhaps a brief walk in the midday sun would help him gain clarity and clear his mind.  Erik headed to the sky walk and waved his hand over the floor direction indicator.  Once inside the doors closed silently and with a low hum the sky walk began its descent.  Inside the sky walk the lights flickered briefly and the front door panels shimmered and almost bowed upon themselves.  The doors glimmered with the visage of a woman silently screaming bloody rage and intent at Erik.  There was no sound but Erik could feel her rage.  In a fit of panic Erik started screaming and the doors of the skywalk swung open.  The ground level had been reached and a crowd stood outside in the campus sunlight staring blankly at Erik’s sweat drenched hair and face.  Erik choked and coughed roughly in an attempt to gather his wits and step outside.  His pulse was racing and pounding in his ears.

Julia stepped quickly to Erik’s side and asked, “Are you ok Erik”?

Erik was shaking like a leaf in the autumn wind and replied with a small weak voice, “I…I don’t know”.

“We heard screaming from inside the skywalk”, Julia offered.  She peered inside the skywalk’s travel box to see if anyone else was inside.  There was no one.  Other people started conversing and re-engaging in conversation with their voice printers having been interrupted by Erik’s screaming.  No one save Julia seemed the least bit curious by all the screaming and went about their tasks as though nothing had happened.

“Julia”, Erik rasped.  “Something is happening that…that…,” Erik paused, “I can’t explain”.  The words were so alien to his ears.

Julia responded with a look of mild curiosity.  “There was screaming coming from the skywalk Erik.  Was that you?”

“I believe so Julia”, Erik said.  “But I don’t really understand why I was screaming” he lied.  “I think I need to just get some rest.  It will become clear to me later why my body did that.  Please don’t concern yourself with it.”

“I was not concerning myself Erik.  I simply wanted to know why there was screaming coming from the skywalk and why you looked so, so…afraid or something.  It was very odd and completely out of character.  Were you experimenting with the void bugs again?  You know what kind of hallucinogenic effect they can have on the nervous system”, Julia said flatly.

Erik hesitated before saying, “No, it wasn’t that.  I use full precautions now.  I never leave things to chance.  I just think my mental state was, uhh, I failed to achieve synchronicity with my divestiture programming”, Erik stammered.  “I will have it all in order soon so don’t worry about me.”

Julia looked puzzled.  “What do you mean worry Erik?  I don’t think that’s possible.  Don’t you recall, I’m at 45% divestiture now?  Worrying is a vague concept to me now.  My curiosity was merely peaked by the unusual sounds you were making.”

Erik just stared at her.

“Ok, so you will regain synchronicity and explain the source of the noise you were making later”, Julia asked.

“Yes, yes, of course Julia.  I have got to go now, but I will be in touch”.

With that Erik turned and walked off, not looking back, not wanting to see what might have been reflecting on the doors of the skywalk.  His palms were wet with perspiration.  His legs felt like rubber.  He needed to sit down or he was going to collapse in the street.  He needed answers and the thought occurred to him that there might be one place, one person who might be able to provide some.

To be continued…

Night Cries…Continued

Cold World-Nightmare 2

Night Cries – Part 2

by

Timotei

There is no movement.  The boy lies completely still, the ripples of budding terror caressing his pale skin.  He wasn’t expecting this right now.  It’s too soon.  He’s unprepared in almost every way.  Huddled motionless in his bed, Erik’s mind races back to the beginning of this long, twisted road that is about to culminate in his massacre.

Cold World.  His life on Cold World was simple.  He had purpose, almost divine purpose at that.  He had his place in the techno world and understood what his path.  Erik was further along in the divestiture than many of his people.  He had cut off his emotions so completely and thoroughly that he became the envy of his cohort space.  He had worked harder than any other to devolve his feelings and isolate them.  He was so successful that by the time he was fifteen most stones on the Absolusion Bay shore displayed more emotion than he.  He often marveled at how so many people seemed to struggle cutting the last vestiges of emotion from their lives.  For Erik, cutting emotional ties to life brought increased benefit and vitality.

Cold World

For the people of Cold World, a life devoid of emotion meant increased clarity and freedom to pursue increasingly advanced technology.  The tech machines of Cold World were the fuel of the people.  Each and every Cold World denizen lived to build and develop ever more advanced technology applications.  People were judged by the sophistication of their inventions and its benefit to the greater good of society.  In this Erik reigned supreme.

 Erik’s inventions created life sustaining innovations, new carbon free energy generation techniques, and travel methods that allowed the people of Cold World to explore the nearest solar system.  Because of Erik’s genius there was no more need for war.  People did not need to compete for living space or for food resources.  Capitalism did not exist in Cold World and neither did crime.

Cold World 4

Long ago, before anyone can really remember, the Elders of Cold World theorized that if people had no emotion or lived outside the confines of it, life would be better for all people.  The Elders taught that war, famine, crime, greed and all kinds of avarice and depravity was precipitated by emotional outbursts and stirrings of the heart.  The Elders taught that despite the good that came from being connected emotionally to other people or places, this good was far outpaced by the damage such emotions caused.  And so the Elders initiated what became known as the Great Divestiture.  The Great Divestiture became canon and scripture for every man, woman and child.  It was drilled into the people from cradle to grave.

The Great Divestiture guided people in the daily process of living without emotion or feeling.  The Great Divestiture moved the people of Cold World to cut ties with family and friends as soon as possible.  Relationships were shunned and people that developed emotional ties to other people, places, or things were ostracized and subject to exhile.  Over the eons, the Elders were proved right in a great many respects.  Wars began to cease.  Divorce rates fell and more than anything else, crime disappeared like fog on a bright desert morning.  Competition between people simply ceased.

Cold World 5Erik learned early on how to implement the Great Divestiture in his life.  He became so good at it that to those around him Erik seemed like a man born of a virgin.  He just was.  From age five he cut his parents off.  At age eight he had no friends and was completely focused on his tech studies.  He was distant and aloof.  He didn’t need anyone and spent all his waking moments in his cubicle pouring over volumes of Elder knowledge and teachings.  He was an emotionless prodigy and his knowledge grew rapidly.  By the time he was 18, Erik had 100 inventions that replaced 55% of Cold World’s life sustaining activities.  By age 25, Erik was completely divested.  The majority of people on Cold World did not reach full divestiture until age 175.

For all his techno ability and knowledge, Erik was about to die.  His mind was in a state of panic.  He had planned so well, documented his steps, run his pilot studies, had his theories proved a multitude of times and yet here he was as death’s door.  His calculations had been flawless…even elegant one might say if he still had a soul that could create beautiful things.  Beauty is an emotional term however and Erik had no emotion left or so he thought.  But, he was lying in bed…afraid.  Terror held him like a steel vice.  He could not move.  He could not even scream for help.

To be continued…

Night Cries

Terror at Night 4Night Cries

by

Timotei

It’s midnight.  The moon is doing its thing high in the sky.  The streets are silent except for the mewing and cry of beasts seeking purchase upon one another.  There is a nervousness about the night, a kind of unsettling mood that wraps around the street lights like a damp blanket, cold and insensitive.  No one is aware of this moment, this break in time that captures the purity of waking nightmares.  All eyes are closed and breaths draw deeply in the warm embrace of blankets and comforters.  From house to house no one sees, no one is alert.  She creeps from yard to yard, leaping fences, gardens and alarms and no one is aware.  She tests doors, gently turning handles, testing for movement and the slightest stirrings from within.

One by one she is met by resistance at the door so she moves on, methodically, silently drifting from home to home, door to door.  One door welcomes her entreaty.  The light of the still silent night pierces the inner sanctum of the doorway as she glides through the threshold.  She pauses, listening, her blood dancing with anticipation and hunger.  She need not adjust to the darkness inside.  Darkness is her lover and she is home within its soft embrace.

She tests the air inhaling deeply the stories of a home at rest but unaware.  The smell of the day’s activities lights her imagination and stirs her animal passions.  She is alive and eager to begin the nights’ grim tasks.  She is not swayed by the thought of failure.  These hold no value or meaning for her.  She is on target and ready to do what she was created to do.

Terror at Night 2

Gliding, she moves without further hesitation to the stairwell, heart racing and juices flowing now with ever increasing fever.  Is it really happening she thinks to herself?  Is tonight the night at long last?  After so many eons of trial and error, failure after failure, one disappointment after another, can this be the night she becomes whole again?  The thought is almost unbearable.  She shudders in anticipation.

With one shaking hand she grips the banister, feeling her way, caressing the grooves and ripples of the crayon scarred wall as she makes her way to the top of the stairwell.  The moon’s light is her chorus now, breaking through the windows of the upper landing, painting a sheer but soft glow upon the juice stained carpet below her mishapened hooves.  The moon light flows over the fire truck and baby dolls left on the floor by little hands.  The abandoned toys seem to come to life in the moon’s eerie glow, shaking in fear as she approaches.  Oblivious to the approaching danger, the halls before her remain silent to her passing.  She is so close now, so very close.

Terror at Night 3

The door before her lithe form is ajar, beckoning silently, urgently…persistently.  The little bodies inside are huddled and cuddle close to one another.  Little arms and legs hang carefree in every direction, poking out from powder blue blankets and pink rose colored sheets.  The scent of innocence is stifling.  She pauses taken back by the sheer power of the moment.  Her eyes are fixed on the little blond boy.  His heart wants her.  She’s sure of it.  Her tools are unsheathed and gleam silver in the rooms soft night glow.  She paid dearly for these weapons of mayhem and despair.  She will test their full value this night.

She moves toward the bed, heart dancing and beating without restraint.  Little breaths escape from little mouths.  None is aware.  None sees.  She reaches for him.  His eyes open and …

To be continued…