Night Cries, Part Seven

Lab 5

Erik’s earth mother came running up the stairs in a panic. Little Fran was standing at the bathroom door with a look of fright upon his face. The bathroom door shuddered violently but ceased as Erik’s earth mother approached.

“Erik”, his earth mother called cautiously. “Are you alright? What’s going on in there?”

On the wet floor of the bathroom, Erik stirred. His eyes opened weakly and he stared about the room in a haze. She was gone. The tub was filled with water and looked as if a bomb had exploded inside of it. Grimy hand prints were draped around the tub’s edges. The finger scrawl on the medicine cabinet mirror was still there but she was gone.

Erik stood to his feet and began wiping the grime from the tub. He then proceeded to wipe the mirrors removing any trace of her presence. His earth mother began rapping harder at the door, calling out his name and demanding a response.

After a quick inspection around the bathroom room, Erik opened the door. His mother and Fran stood there staring at him in confusion. Erik quickly gathered his thoughts and began to explain.

“I’m sorry for all the noise and the mess on the floor. I got water on the floor and lost my balance”, Erik explained.

“Erik”, his mother sounded unconvinced. “All that banging up here, it sounded like you were wrestling in here or a party was going on.”

Erik looked up at his earth mother with sheepish eyes and said, “I’m sorry. I was slipping all over the place. I’ll clean all this up.”

Erik could not meet his mother’s eyes. He wanted to reach out to her and collapse in her arms but he dared not. He didn’t want to chance exposing her to the very emotions that may have created the thing that stalked him in his dreams and in the present reality. The whole thing just made no sense to him. He shouldn’t even be experiencing these emotions towards his earth mother. But he was and they were strong. He even felt attached to Fran his little earth brother. Just the thought that his wayward nightmare could have hurt him last night sent shivers down his spine.

“I have to use the bathroom Erik”, Fran exclaimed. I have to go really bad and you wouldn’t let me in.”

The little boy stood in the doorway, knees locked, shaking and fidgeting anxiously.

Erik’s earth mother looked at him with a very stern look of disapproval. 

“I’m all done Fran and I’m sorry. Are the pancakes ready yet mommy”, responded Erik as he moved out of the bathroom? He was glad to be out of that bathroom. He was glad to be out of that space but he was more relieved that no one had been hurt. He needed to get ahead of this phenomenon and figure out how she, this apparition of ghostly hate and rage, made it across the sky bridge. Time was running out for his home world and if he didn’t act faster, earth itself could be doomed to the same fate.

“Erik, I don’t know what’s gotten into you lately. I want this mess cleaned up and I want to see you and your brother seated downstairs in twenty minutes for breakfast. Your father will be up shortly if he isn’t already so get going, hurry up, no dawdling”, his mother said patiently.

Fran darted into the bathroom and slipped on the wet floor. His head bounced off the plaster coated floor and he started crying and wetting himself. Erik’s earth mother moved to his side and cradled the little boy carefully in her arms. She spoke softly to him, soothing him and reassuring him as she began removing his wet clothes. Erik stared at the two of them and started recalling his own childhood on Cold World. How different the two realities were.

On Cold World, the familiar bonds of family just didn’t exist. The Great Divestiture was so efficient and so complete that the children of Cold World ceased addressing their parents as mother and father. They were birth constructs and that was all. They had one responsibility and that was to provide initial shelter, food, clothing and access to the archives of knowledge. Mothers didn’t breastfeed anymore. Fathers did not await the arrival of their new born infants. Families did not celebrate the coming of new souls into the world. There were no lovers. There were no friendships. There were only detachment and a singular focus on technological development and growth at all costs.

Lab 2

Outside of the pursuit of knowledge, Erik had no other passions. He was truly an island unto himself. He preferred it this way too. He was his best teacher and disciple. There really hadn’t been anyone more gifted, more possessed of an innate ability to think in four dimensions. His was a lonely brilliance and the absence of emotional bonds made that existence more than bearable. He didn’t even register the concept of companionship. He didn’t need it or anyone.

As Erik started sorting through his things in his bedroom, his mind continued to retrace the steps that brought him to earth. He had done this countless times leading up to the events of last night. He thought through what he believed was every possible derivation, every possible algorithm, and all the possible probabilities and yet he must have missed something. She was here. She had crossed the Sky Bridge. His formulae had been wrong. It just didn’t make logical sense to his calculating mind.

Going back to the beginning, Erik laid out the facts as he knew them. Something from the Dark Realm had crossed over to Cold World which in and of itself shouldn’t have been possible. This thing which resembled a female had first appeared to him in his lab and she was angry on a berserker level. He didn’t recognize anything about her except for the sense that she had been hurt or wronged in some way and that he was the object of her hate. On Cold World she started appearing in an irregular form, half in and half out of sync with time. While she didn’t appear to have a real material presence to anyone other than Erik she was very real and had an extremely disturbing effect on Erik. Erik was afraid of her. This fear was palpable and registered an alien emotion within Erik. His encounters with her always left him on the brink of stark raving terror. He was sure that this had to be due to the fact that he was dealing with emotions he knew nothing about intellectually. He couldn’t explain the feelings he was having but he did feel them. They were not mental projections or some faded part of his imagination. He was experiencing emotion. Then the thought hit him…the more he felt, the stronger her presence seemed.

Lab 1

 

Erik thought back to that day he entered Professor Voguebuk’s lab after the professor had been slain before his eyes. Even this had unsettled him when it shouldn’t have. He remembered his thoughts as he watched the lifeless form of Professor Voguebuk sprawled in a bloody heap, half his body shredded and missing. It was a grisly scene but it shouldn’t have bothered Erik and yet it did.

Erik could remember the lab and all the lights and sirens that rang throughout the complex. He remembered the last words of the professor who urged him to find the solution to the pending disaster approaching Cold World. Erik was confident he could, given time. He just didn’t know how much time he had. He remembered walking towards the lab door and opening it to a sight that would alter all his plans and that of the future of Cold World.

 

 

A New Work

Night Cries

I am so happy and proud to announce that Timoteo’s blog short story “Night Cries” is going to be published by Leanpub.  Please take a moment to congratulate him and wish him well on this journey!

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…