Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Stories’ Category

By Dave Doc Rogers
© 20091125

She shivered a bit. It was late. It was dark. It was cold. She was told this was the place to be. She was scared. She had never just gone with a guy she didn’t really know, and now she was. The car pulled up. It was late model, the current trend car. Someone had money, she thought. She stepped into the illumination of the street light. She saw him lean over and pushed the door open.

“Awesome! Get in! You’ve got to be cold.”

She nodded as she adjusted her cowl and cape against the weather. She stepped carefully over the wet sidewalk onto the road. She could see him better now. He smiled showing his fangs. She smiled back as she pulled open the car door.

“This is going to be an awesome party. I am glad you decided to come.”

She looked back at him clicking her seatbelt in place. “Thank you for inviting me.” He was dressed in black and charcoal with hints of blood purple for accents. His hair was jet black except for a streak of white and purple mixed. His make-up gave him a smoky ash hue. He looked hot, she decided. Maybe this won’t be such a risk after all. She let her mind wander a bit, imagining, as he shifted the car into gear and pressed the accelerator.

It descended through the trees all the while locking its eyes on the female attempting to hide near hedges. She had her back to the building as if to make herself shadow. But to this predator she stood out vibrant and hot. Anticipation was building. A car pulled up. The one in the car was dark. It only gave off a faint glow. This one had the ‘taint’ about it. Better to wait and watch, it decided. The car door opened slightly. The female rewrapped her cloak about her and walked into the street. She stepped around the car and got in. In just a moment the car sped away down the street. Curiosity overcame hunger and it followed the car.

The music could easily be heard from the street. Aleister quickly ran around the car and opened the door for Leticia. Her black and crimson cloak suited her well. Her pallor and death stair excited him. She had not been boasting when he was teasing her at the coffee shop. She was really into this. They would be such the epitome of the Dark. This was leading up to being a great evening out. They had even timed it right for a midnight entrance. 

The vibration of the music started to penetrate them as they walked up the flights of stairs. The sixth floor was chosen for it significance as well as it was a large empty former office space. They said that a murder was committed here when it was an office. Someone had stressed out and went postal killing one, wounding others, before turning the gun on himself. They were hoping to tap into that energy and ‘edge’ through the night.

It had floated along after the car, driven by curiosity more than anything else. It passed by others feeding but did not stop. The thrill of the unknown had supplanted other more natural desires. For the moment. In the distance, it could hear the sounds of deep electronic drumming to an aerobic beat. The car was headed to where it was strongest. The car it had been following came to a stop among other cars. Some were warmer than others. Others showed the cool blues of having been here too long. The dark one got out of the car and opened the door for the female. She was still radiant. It fluttered down close and followed them to the building.

The female shuttered slightly as it stepped in close to her. Noiselessly it followed them up the six flights of steps. The pounding of the bass drum sent echoes through its being. The rhythm became its own intoxicant. Soon it was drawn to the spots on the floor. Bits of splatter remained. A slight taint of life remained where several were shot. A bigger spot was found where one of the victims had expired while first aid was being attempted. A shiver went through the creature. There was a faint shimmer of life still in the spot where the shooter committed suicide. As the people moved out of the way, it was able to see the glimmer of the man. His shade. His ghost still standing there. Still holding a gun. Still trying to end it all. As it reached out to touch it, to taste its pain, it felt a shimmer of a drain run through it.

The creature stopped to sense the air to see what had happened. It slowly turned, scanning the crowd around. It locked eyes with the female it had followed earlier. Her black and crimson cloak had opened and her cowl rested on her shoulders. The green eyes stared at it in hunger. The crimson-auburn hair hinted at the life flowing through the veins. The pale skin gave off an aroma of purity. The dress was gauzy thin. The heat of the female was maddening. It lunged for her.

The young man stepped in the way. It circled around the male when a strong hand grasped it and held it in place. It was shoved into the male’s space. The female drove them both back to a wall. She fell on the male’s neck but pierced the skin of the creature. It could feel the life force draining out of it. The male shuddered in his excitement. The female held them both there until she was finished.

The male smiled down at her. She really did know how to hunt wampyr and would let him taste death. His soul became darker. His taste for death just became an addiction.

She smiled back. She knew the lust in the young man. She wanted him now and badly. He was dark but not dark enough. He needed more death seasoning.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Uncle John

By Dave Doc Rogers
© 20090131
For the “Support our Support” contest at Writers Café
He sat on his couch, surrounded by loved ones, showing a turkey shoot trophy for first place. He was an older man reliving the vigor of youth. I sat there watching as a young man, ignorant of the importances of life. Here was my uncle; my mother’s sister’s husband. I suppose proximity and familiarity diluted the strength of this man. I did not realize until much later the value of the man who sat there excitedly retelling how an “old man” like himself out shot all of those “younger” guys. My dad, no longer a young man himself, shared in that laughter. Knowing eyes did not divulge much more than laughter.
It was the thing all young men did. They kissed their wives or their girlfriends, waved good-bye to their moms, boarded a bus, and went to basic training. For those living in rural, depression-era Georgia during the 1930s and early 1940s, a money earner for the family just got on that bus. They would have to do with even less now. Some may have argued that very point. Others said nothing because it was the right thing to do. In middle Europe at the same time, no one had an option. They were engaged in a war.
My Uncle John arrived at boot camp, received the haircut, was issued new clothes, was told where to go. He distinguished himself as a country boy who could shoot. They transferred him to one motorized division to another one for special infantry. After training, he went to England. After England, he spent considerable time in France. He was with the boys that survived when they landed at Normandy. He was with them when his division was honored for holding a key city until relieved. I was told his tank was hit. He went one way. His best friend went the other. They didn’t see each other again for many years. Grown men bawling like babes on a downtown street.
The honored sergeant returned home. There were no outward signs of damage. It was a different era. They didn’t talk about combat fatigue or battle stress. They just dealt with ‘their’ issues. Those that served in the Pacific or in Europe understood what it was like. The horror stories these men could not share because the eyes staring back at them would disbelieve. For an infantry soldier, warfare gets very close and personal. Uncle John was no exception. My mother related a story after my uncle’s return from war where his mind returned to war while his body was in central Georgia. It involved shoving his oldest boy against the wall, shouting interrogating words in German, and a loving family trying to get their dad back. When he came back to his mind, he left for three days. He loved his family much.
There were no other tales told of my Uncle John beyond here is a man who helped raise ten kids, loved his wife, worked really hard, loved to fish, loved to hunt, and loved his extended family as his own. He and his brother-in-law helped create a legacy of sorts. Because of their honored service to their country in extremely difficult times, many of the children of the extended family proved themselves also in military service; even in times when the military effort was disliked. I, too, served.
A movie came out about saving a private which lead to a mini-series about a parachute infantry regiment. My Uncle John was one of those that shouted Currahee! He was one of the fortunate few that returned home. Having watched the mini-series several times and knowing what I know of war from books, film, interviews, and marginal experience, I gained a better measure of the man who sat upon his couch surrounded by loved ones talking about a turkey shoot trophy. I never heard him make a big deal of his time in Europe. I heard him make a big deal about his family and living life. His sons and daughters spoke more of their father’s time in Europe than he did. He was one of the fortunate few that returned to live life among people, to face the challenges of normalcy, to hope to never send their sons and daughters to go do what he did.
My Uncle John spent the remainder of his days a father, a grandfather, and a great grandfather. He had the misfortune to bury his wife at younger age than should have been. A man of goodly physical strength waned to old age and disease. He was laid to rest, a hero; not of war but of life. War shaped his passion for living. Life tasted all the more sweeter. Those things taken as common and unappreciated became of high value, because of whom and what he left behind in Europe during the 1940s.
My Uncle John rests with his wife now. He lived a full life; fuller than most, perhaps less than others. He gave of himself willingly for God and country and for a people he did not know. He returned and worked and lived. No one knew the horrors he saw except for a few, a band of brothers. Greatness is not always born out of doing well in great events. Most of the time it is born out of doing the most commonplace things to the best of your ability over the balance of your life and hoping it was enough to impact another’s life.
My Uncle John’s legacy continues on through his children, me, my writing, and through the living that hear the retelling of his life.
In loving memory:
John Lee Eubanks
December 23, 1920 to April 27, 1997
506e PIR, 101st Infantry Division, USA
“Easy Company”

http://www.506infantry.org/images2/wwii/e2506pirlg.jpg

John Eubanks_WWII 506PIREasyco01

Read Full Post »

An Interesting Evening in August

(An Hogwart’s Invitation)

By Dave Doc Rogers

©20090123

[For the ‘Welcome To Hogwart’s’ contest at Writers Café]

 

 

* * *

 

“Archie!” A pause. “Archie!!” Another pause. “Where is that daft little boy this time?”

 

Shutting the door behind her, Emelia walked further into the garden. “Archie, you h’best not be playing your games again.” Her eyes cast about their small yard. She did not see him. She scowled looking one last time round before marching back to the house.

 

“Where is Archie?” Mrs. Dunmore asked without turning from the sink. “It is time to wash up for dinner.”

 

“I couldn’t find him, Mum.”

 

“Did you look?” Pause. “Did you really look?” Another pause. Mrs. Dunmore turned from the sink wiping her hands on her apron. “Really,” she said slightly exasperated. “You are a third year; about to start your fourth, mind you. I would have hoped your mind would have been on more than studies and prefects.”

 

Mrs. Dunmore looked at her daughter. She had honey-blonde hair and brown eyes. Not at all like her father. More like herself, she thought. She was nearly as tall and nearly as sharp tongued, which Mrs. Dunmore noted, Emelia currently held in check. Good. She is getting smarter about things, she thought to herself. Without taking her eyes off of her daughter she called out, “Mrs. McGonagall.” In walked a tabby cat, purring and rubbing against Mrs. Dunmore’s legs. “Please go fetch Archie. He seems to have hidden himself from his sister.” There was a slight pause, “Again.”

 

The cat looked up, mewed once, and exited the pet hatch set in the kitchen door leading to their garden.

 

“Emelia, do wash up. Then set the table. Thank you, dear.” Mrs. Dunmore turned back to cleaning and peeling the vegetables in the sink. She began humming to herself. This signaled to Emelia the conversation was over and she should be about her tasks.

 

* * *

 

He wanted to laugh but he knew the slightest sound would give away his position. He held his breath and counted. She never looks longer than 60. Tonight was to be no exception. He knew it was time for dinner. He could see his mum’s shadow from the light pouring out of their kitchen window. Emelia called from the door. He didn’t answer. She walked into their family garden; a little patch of greenery that his mum would fuss over. More than once he would receive a scolding for playing where he should not. He didn’t much care for the scolding but playing in the garden was fun. And hiding was always great fun. Especially from his sister Emelia. As she went back inside, he knew it was only a matter of moments before Mrs. McGonagall, the family pet, would come looking for him. He enjoyed his last few moments as he looked over what little bit of his home town he could see.

 

The roundabout at the end of his street was there. Not very far at all. An easy walk from the front door. It always seemed further from the top of the tree. The Downs stretched off to Eastwick Close. He knew this because he was told never to there on his own. Ladies Mile Estate stretched away south to other streets, houses, and little backyard gardens like his own. He was told not to go there alone either. North of him the constant rush of cars and lorries of various sizes and speeds would run down the expressway. The A27 ran on like a dark ribbon east and west. He always fancied that he might be able to see his father pulling off the A27 onto Carden Avenue. He never did, but he looked anyway. It was getting dark. The lights of the cars and various lorries blended into a stream if you squinted. Yellows and whites one way, reds the other.

 

A meow nearby broke his thoughts. Archie looked down. It was Mrs. McGonagall. How she got up here without being seen he was not sure. “Is it time, Mrs. McGonagall?” The cat meowed in reply. “Okay.” And together they began climbing down the tree.

 

***

 

“Archie, we are expecting guests tomorrow. They will be flying in from all over. Your mother and I expect you to n… to be available.” Mr. Dunmore looked over the top of his newspaper at his son. The images on the front of the paper also looked at him. One winked and smiled. It was an uncle of his.

 

“Are we not having the party then? For my birthday?” Archie replied with growing concern in his voice.

 

“Yes, we are having your friends over for cake and ice cream. And you can run around in the garden as well.” Mr. Dunmore looked to his wife. She didn’t seem pleased at that last bit of information. “We will be having over additional guests later.” He looked at his son with an air of expectation. “It isn’t everyday a young man turns eleven.” Mr. Dunmore smiled happily.

 

Archie didn’t understand what his father was hinting at, but if it meant he was actually getting two birthday parties then he was very pleased with that idea. His mind drifted off to the possibilities of gifts and running around the garden playing games with his friends. Tomorrow was going to be a special day indeed.

 

***

 

Archie awoke energetically. He was eleven. “I am eleven,” he said to no one in particular. The white painted ceiling of his room remained white. He looked to his dresser. It was just as he left it the night before. Nothing had changed.

 

“I’m eleven years old now,” he said looking about his bedroom. His shoes, socks, and pants lay exactly where he left them as he changed into his pajamas last night. He slid out of bed. Put his foot into each one of his slippers and stood up. Nothing had changed.

 

He walked over to the window and stared out into the garden. He saw a garden gnome meander along the wall heading toward the far end of the yard. Beyond the downs was the expressway. The morning sun was casting long shadows with everything. “Humph.” Nothing had changed.

 

He went about his routine of getting dressed. He left his pajamas and slippers on the floor wherever they landed. He picked up the brush from his dresser and ran it through his hair a few strokes. He looked at his reflection in the mirror. His hair was only slightly tamed by the brush. Nothing had changed. He shrugged at himself in the mirror then turned to his door and left his room for downstairs.

 

He walked through the kitchen. It seemed everyone was still asleep. It was still summer and waking early for school was still a long way off. Why didn’t he just sleep in until his mum woke him up? He couldn’t possibly answer such big questions while being so hungry. He began rummaging through the cupboards and shelves of the pantry. He was not sure what it was he wanted but he knew he would know what it was once he saw it. He continued his search through the pantry for a few minutes more before deciding on the refrigerator. There were several interesting things in there. Some of them he knew would get him into trouble if he had them for breakfast. After standing in front of the refrigerator just staring at all of the containers, bowls, plates, and bottles of miscellaneous this or that, he decided on a jar raspberry jam.

 

Archie set himself some bread and butter to spread. He set them beside the jam on the kitchen table. He had turned to pour himself some milk when he heard a tapping on glass. He looked about. He did not see anyone. He began pouring again. Again there was tapping on glass. He set his glass on the table and closed the refrigerator. His eyes wandered around the small kitchen. He did not see the source of the tapping. He continued making his breakfast.  As he was spreading butter across his bread, he heard the tapping on the kitchen door. He pushed his chair back and went to investigate.

 

Peering out the window, Archie did not see anything. In fact everything looked as it always had. Nothing was unusual or had seemed to change. Archie unbolted the door and opened it to take a better look outside. As he opened the door an owl flew up. Being caught off guard, Archie fell backwards into the kitchen. The bird flew in, flapped around, and then settled on the kitchen table where it seemed to notice the bit of breakfast still there.

 

Archie cautiously got to his feet. The owl was large and carried an envelope in its beak. The owl seemed to be waiting for something. It just stood on the table staring at Archie. They just stared back at each other a moment when Archie noticed there was writing on the envelope. He read the address.

 

Archibald Dunmore

Number 231 Mackie Avenue

Patcham West Sussex

“In the kitchen”

 

“Hey, that’s me!” Archie exclaimed.

 

Before Archie had a chance to react, the owl dropped the envelope and flew at him. Archie dropped to the floor again as the owl shot out into the garden, swooped past a garden gnome nearly getting him, and flew out of sight.

 

“How odd,” Archie said out loud.

 

“What’s odd, dear?” Mrs. Dunmore asked sleepily as she made her way to the sink to pour water to boil.

 

Archie shut the door and walked back to the table. He picked up the envelope and stared at it a moment. “Something was pecking at the windows,” he started. “I opened up the back door to see what it was. And in flew an owl with this envelope. As soon as I said who I was it flew out again and was gone.”

 

“An owl gave you an envelope!” Mrs. Dunmore clapped her hands together. She no longer sounded sleepy but very excited. “Quickly! Who is it from?” Archie had never seen her in such a state.

 

“It says it’s from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and it is addressed to the kitchen. How would they know that, Mum?”

 

“They just do, Archie,” she said offhandedly. Mrs. Dunmore stared intently at the envelope. “Well, open it up, Archie. What does it say?”

Archie looked from his mother to the envelope. Yes, what does it say? He thought. He opened the envelope and pulled out the card. Mrs. Dunmore had moved in close to read over his shoulder.

 

Hogwarts School

of

Witchcraft and Wizardry

 

Dear Mr. Dunmore,

            We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.

            Term begins on September 3. We await your owl by no later than August 5.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Minerva McGonagall

Headmistress

 

“You’ve been accepted, Archie!” Mrs. Dunmore wrapped up Archie in her arms and kissed him soundly on his cheeks. She set him back down then ran up the stair waking everyone in the house.

 

***

 

The rest of the day was a blur of activity. Visitors started coming by with odd presents. Musty old books, pens, quills, and miscellany that did not seem to fit school needs. But Mrs. Dunmore would thank them, say that would save on shopping in Dagon’s Alley, and checked another item off of the list that came with the letter from Hogwarts. Some people arrived by the fireplace. Archie had not seen anyone do that before. Which explains, Archie thought, why some relatives would come to call without having a car parked outside. Most came walking up from the Downs. Very few drove a car.

 

It was all a bit much for the young Archie. He much preferred playing football with his friends taking turns as keeper and midfielders. The roundabout had always served as their playing field. Today was no exception. They played until lunch. Then there was cake and ice cream. After that party games and presents. Before he realized how much time had passed he was being called in to get cleaned up for dinner. Reluctantly, Archie said good-bye to his friends.

 

Archie came down after getting cleaned up. Their comfortable house was full of people. Some he remembered as being relatives. Others, he had never seen before. They were all dressed oddly for August along the coast of Sussex. They were dressed in capes and pointed caps. Some wore hooded capes and they would drop their hood as they came out of the fireplace or through the front door. They were excited to see Archie as he descended the stair.

 

“Another Dunmore to attend Hogwarts!” Cried out an elderly gentleman in a loud voice. Everyone cheered along with him. The man kept drinking from a glass goblet that filled itself up with wine whenever he took a drink. He was starting to sway dangerously.

 

“The Second Party,” as Archie would later refer to it, finally came to an end. There was a modest collection of needed school supplies and gifts that would be specifically for the train ride to school. And promised companions as he went shopping for the rest of his list. Archie didn’t quite understand it all, but there were several knowing looks which told him he was in for some surprises.

 

As the well wishes wound down and people started leaving through the fireplace or walking out into the garden to jump on a broom and shoot away into the night, Archie realized something had changed. Although he really didn’t feel any different, in less than a month everything will have changed. His life as a normal boy, a ‘muggle’ as he learned, was over. Starting next term he will be attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  The day had become every long. Archie had gone up to his room amidst all of his new and new to him school supplies, he watched out of the window as the elder Dunmore had mounted his broom and took off. Several others followed after him. He kept laughing and casting odd lights over the house tops. At first he could hear the complaints, but as they moved further and further northeast he lost them, except for the lights that slowly disappeared beyond the A27.

 

Archie said to himself. “I guess a lot of things did change today after all.”

© 2009 Dave Doc Rogers

Read Full Post »

Lucifer’s Folly – The Garden
By Dave Doc Rogers
20090102

Something stirred within him. In his world of darkness, pain, and despair, he felt movement on the inside. A spark stirred within him, a taste of life. The others surrounding him could sense his nervousness. They became afraid, fearing another one of his sudden outbursts and the pain they would suffer for it. But he did not strike out at them. He sat motionless, savoring the feeling.

“LIGHT BE”

There was a brilliant flare that filled his awareness. Where there had been constant darkness there was now brilliant light. His eyes were pained by the intensity of it. After existing within the dark for so long, to see light again was overwhelming. But this was not the same light as before. This light radiated. It was not alive. He could feel it striking his skin. It was warm. There was heat. For the first time he noticed there had been an absence of heat. A deep chill had taken his heart. At first there was elation at the discovery, then sadness for what was missed, then hatred for where he found himself now. It was gone. He cried and wailed in a loud voice. Those nearest him climbed over the others to get away from his reach lest he stretch out his hand toward them and they suffer at his touch.

Eventually the despair and wonder of the ‘light’ passed. He looked around him. He was surrounded on all sides by cowering distortions of those who were once brilliant powers like himself. Not like himself exactly, he admitted. He was the greatest among them. He was the Light Bearer! The moment filled him and passed. He gritted his teeth to fight back the anger that boiled within him. They failed me, he thought. He could see them now. He gave in to the temptation, the idea that brewed in his heart.

They were unable to escape his reach. They ran. They tried to hide, to make themselves small and unnoticed. He found each one and tormented them until he was spent. His anger and wrath was sated, if only for a moment. He looked down at the mass of strewn and twisted forms. Everywhere his hand moved under the light there was shadow. He was amazed at this phenomenon. He moved his hand this way and that. He reached out. Those fearing his touch again even ran from his shadow. He began laughing in maniacal mirth. Those around him watched in continued fear. Then quite suddenly, all went dark. His laughter stopped immediately as a voice spoke.

“NIGHT’

All was quiet except for the murmuring and whimpering. A fear and dread had come upon all again. They were back in the darkness without a sense of presence or awareness. All that existed was the pallor of fear and despair. Periodically the sounds of fighting would break out. Shrill cries of pain, the resounding crack of things that should not be broken, the tearing of cloth and sinew. And he who once led all barely took notice. He was lost in his own pains and despair.

The brilliant flair of Light returned. He shielded eyes for a moment then began to look around. Things were nearly the same. Some looked worse. He did not care. He could feel the power and the fear of that power. He took note of who was victor and who was victim. He savored the emotions of these surrounding him.

Looking around he noted there was a new type of movement occurring. The air around him seemed to swirl and ebb of its own. It began to coalesce. He followed it. They followed after him, at a safe distance. In the midst of his world, there formed a firmament. He studied it. What was happening, he did not know. He saw this firmament forming and went to be nearest it. And those with him followed after him. As they approached the firmament a separation formed above them. They heard a voice speak.

“HEAVEN”

Then it was dark. They dreaded the dark. The Great One would roam around venting his wrath where he willed. Those that had been victors in the last darkness he drew closer to himself. He caused them to make war on the victims, to punish and torment them for their weaknesses. He railed words upon them, accusing them for his current state. He would buffet them with words, spirit, and hand; extending torment even to his tormentors.

The Light reappeared. Once again the Night had its effect. There were more around him with that same look of gloating power. The victors had enjoyed their spoils. The victims cowered in fear of reproach. As he was watching and savoring his Night’s work, the firmament upon which he stood began to move. All around him were tossed and upset as though they mattered little at all. The firmament changed again. Some were trapped within and some were trapped without. A ball was formed under the Heaven. Upon it there was soft flowing and hard not flowing. The flowing portions moved around the hard portions and settled together. And the voice spoke again.

“EARTH”

The Night returned. Darkness covered the Earth. They found it easier to hide from the Great Tormentor. They hid in various places around Earth. They hid from the tormentor and his allies. The shrieking and wailing could be heard throughout the Night as one by one each was found and punished for their disservice to the Great Tormentor.

The Light returned. He was spent. He rested from his efforts. Those around him looked cautiously on. Even as tired as he was he was more terrible than they. As he rested, he felt The Presence once more. Each time he heard the voice speak, he felt The Presence before it. He looked around to see what would happen. What thing would the Voice name? He saw things come up out of the Earth. All manner of things came up out of the Earth. Even as he moved around in observance, he would watch things start breaking the surface to increase in size until it became full and then it would drop portions of itself that would be swallowed up to make new ones. He watched all of this occur with deep fascination. Everywhere he went the cycle continued. Then it was dark.

When the Light had returned, the Great Tormentor finished his Night’s labors by dropping behind him a hapless victim of his punishments. Those with him took the wrecked being and threw him far from their master. He felt The Presence again but it was not nearby. He looked up and saw the Light separating. He saw a great orb form then a lesser orb that was closer to the Earth, and then greater orbs but at great distances from the Earth. He studied them all during that Light until the Night came. He observed the distant orbs were very visible during the Night. He studied their movements and positions, fascinated by their brilliance and persistent movement even at such great distance. So fascinated by the lesser lights, the Great Tormentor did not torment at all during this Night.

He saw the Greater Light coming before it fully arrived. He could feel the first touches upon his skin. He watched with amazement as the lesser lights of the Night gave way to the great light of the Light. Soon the orb was in full view. The brilliance reminded him of where he once stood. A rage lifted up in him that he could not bear. He began seeking all that were with him and rending them in any which way that seemed good to him. His assault continued throughout the Light, into the Night, and throughout the next Light. He railed on them with words and blows. Their wailing and shrieking only seemed to feed his anger at them for their failures to him. He was drunk with the siphoning of their emotions, their fears, their hatreds, their loathing of him. He reveled in it all and was strengthened by it.

He was about to lift his hand once again to assail yet another victim when his hand was stayed. He felt The Presence, again. This time more intensely than he had previously. He could sense It was focused nearby. He flew to it as quickly as he could.

It was there. It was intensity like he knew once before. He could taste of the life and the light that was living. Great remorse shook him for what he once had and now knew. There was life itself and he knew not how to get it. He tried to get closer but was halted at a distance and could not go any closer. He tried all his strength at The Presence and did not prevail. Yet he continued his struggle. He perceived a heightening intensity of The Presence. He felt a rush of air pass by him. He could see someone standing in the midst of The Presence. He saw other things walking up to the Other who would stretch out his hand then it would move on for the next to do the same. He could hear words being uttered over each thing. Then The Presence and the Other began walking around. The Other would tend to all things around him. Everywhere the Other went so did The Presence. He could not get close to the Other. Then he heard words he wished he had not.

“BE FRUITFUL AND MULTIPLY, AND FILL THE EARTH, AND SUBDUE IT; AND RULE OVER THE FISH OF THE SEA AND OVER THE BIRDS OF THE SKY, AND OVER EVERY LIVING THING THAT MOVES ON THE EARTH.”

The words shook him to his core. He felt them settling over him like a weight. He could clearly see this Other now. In form, he was different than the others but looking closely on him revealed he was just like the One who sent him here. On the inside, the Other had no depth or width or height that he could measure. He feared this more than anything. Until the arrival of this Other and the words spoken, there was no thing that had dominion over him. He feared this Other greatly and began to plan instantly how he could remove these words placed upon him.

The Great Tormentor forsook his victors and victims. He stood over this Other and watched him as closely as he could. Wherever the Other went, The Presence went also. How could he separate them, he thought to himself. The Other spent his days walking this way and that caring for every little thing around him, both the great in stature and the smallest of the small. All things he oversaw and cared for them. And ever was The Presence with the Other.

The Other stopped before what the Tormentor learned was called a Tree; for whatever the Other called a thing that is what The Presence also called it. Then The Presence spoke to the Other.

“FROM ANY TREE IN THE GARDEN YOU MAY EAT FREELY; BUT FROM THE TREE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL YOU SHALL NOT EAT, FOR THE DAY THAT YOU EAT FROM IT YOU SHALL SURELY DIE.”

Elation jumped within the heart of the Tormentor. I shall make the Other eat of this tree and he shall die. I shall be freed of this thing, this Other, and the words of The Presence. He felt the focus of The Presence upon himself and grew greatly afraid and hid himself from The Presence.

The Great Tormentor studied the Night lights, the greater Light, and the lesser Light; their movements, their comings and goings. He tormented those around him making them his servants. Making them to worship him. And ever present in his thoughts were the plans made and remade for causing the death of this Other. He had an idea but needed to watch the Other to see if it would work. He returned to the place where The Presence moved with the Other. Great fear mixed with elation at what he was about to do. He watched as the Other tended every living thing; even the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. He waited and watched. The Other is alone, like me. I will destroy him. His thoughts reached to the Other who looked around and did not see one like himself.

A great sleep came upon the Other. He could not see what it was The Presence did. When he could see again the Other, there were two of Them. He fled from the sight of Them. A pain grew greatly in his heart. TWO OF THEM, he cried out in his heart. The fear of his coming caused those that followed him to scatter and hide. It availed them nothing. He spent his fear and wrath upon them until he was spent.

After a time, he returned to Them. He saw the new Other nearest the Tree. A serpent drew near. He took it as his own and commanded it to the Tree. Being wary of The Presence and the first Other, he approached the new Other.

“Indeed. Has The Presence said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT EAT FROM ANY TREE OF THE GARDEN?’”

“From the fruit of the trees of the Garden we may eat.” She paused in thought, “But from the fruit of the Tree which is in the middle of the Garden GOD has said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT EAT FROM IT OR TOUCH IT, LEST YOU DIE.’”

The serpent replied to her, “Surely, you shall not die!”

He had seen the first Other touch the Tree many times tending it. He knew this Other would not die. What could he say? They were made like The Presence, he thought hard to answer this Other.

“Ahh, but GOD knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be wholly like GOD, knowing good and evil.”

He stared at this Other imploring her with the sweetness of his words. She looked to the Tree. She saw that its fruit looked good for food, that it was pleasing to her eye. And she thought to herself the Tree was good to make one wise like GOD. She touched the tree. She did not die. The first Other came to her side and began tending the Tree also. She plucked a pleasing bit of fruit from the Tree. The first Other looked at her but continued tending the Tree. She looked to the Fruit in her hand. She had not died. It was pleasing to look upon. She could smell the aroma of it. She held it closer to her nose and inhaled deeply. I could be wise like GOD, she thought. She bit into the Fruit. It was fruit. She had not died. She turned to the first Other who was staring at her in amazement. “See it is fruit. I have not died.” She handed him the piece of Fruit and he also ate of it. He did not die. Neither of them died.

The First looked to the Second and said, “We are without covering!”

The Second looked down at the both of them and cried out in alarm. Quickly they found a fig tree in full bloom and made coverings for themselves. They looked to each other and were ashamed. Fear came upon them. The Presence was moving through the Garden toward them. They hid themselves.

“ADAM! WHERE ARE YOU!?!” The Words rippled through the hearts of them.

Showing himself partially from where he hid, “I heard the sound of THEE in the Garden, and I was afraid because I was without covering. So I hid myself.”

“WHO TOLD YOU THAT YOU WERE WITHOUT COVERING? HAVE YOU EATEN FROM THE TREE THAT I COMMANDED NOT TO EAT!?!”

“The Woman whom THOU gave to be with me, she gave me from the Tree, and I ate.”

The Presence focused HIS attention to the Woman, “WHAT IS THIS YOU HAVE DONE?”

“The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

The Presence turned to the serpent, “BECAUSE YOU HAVE DONE THIS, CURSED ARE YOU MORE THAN ALL CATTLE, AND MORE THAN EVERY BEAST OF THE FIELD. ON YOUR BELLY SHALL YOU GO. AND DUST SHALL YOU EAT ALL THE DAYS OF YOUR LIFE. AND I WILL PUT ENMITY BETWEEN YOU AND THE WOMAN, AND BETWEEN YOUR SEED AND HER SEED; HE SHALL BRUISE YOU ON THE HEAD AND YOU SHALL BRUISE HIM ON THE HEEL.

The Presence, Whom the Woman called GOD, turned to the Woman, “I WILL GREATLY MULTIPLY YOU PAIN IN CHILDBIRTH. IN PAIN YOU SHALL BRING FORTH CHILDREN; YET YOUR DESIRE SHALL BE FOR YOUR HUSBAND. AND HE SHALL HAVE RULE OVER YOU.”

The Presence, Whom the Others call GOD, turned to the One He called Adam, “BECAUSE YOU HAVE LISTENED TO THE VOICE OF YOU WIFE, AND HAVE EATEN FROM THE TREE ABOUT WHICH I COMMANDED THEE SAYING ‘YOU SHALL NOT EAT FROM IT,’ CURSED IS THE GROUND BECAUSE OF YOU! IN TOIL YOU SHALL EAT OF IT ALL THE DAYS OF YOUR LIFE. BOTH THORNS AND THISTLES IT SHALL GROW FOR YOU; AND YOU SHALL EAT THE PLANTS OF THE FIELD; BY THE SWEAT OF YOUR FACE YOU SHALL EAT BREAD, TILL YOU RETURN TO THE GROUND, BECAUSE FROM IT YOU WERE TAKEN. FOR YOU ARE DUST AND TO DUST YOU SHALL RETURN.”

As the words of The Presence washed over them, the legs of the serpent in which the Tormenter was disappeared. The Words of The Presence settled deep within the heart of the Tormentor and he could not forget them. The One called Adam and the One he called Eve were driven out of the Garden in the direction of the coming up of the greater Light. The Tormentor went his way pondering both the Words that were spoken and the Others who yet lived even though they ate the fruit as he had hoped they would do and die. Yet they did not die. The Words spoken by The Presence and his failed plan plagued the Tormentor and he went his way in thought.

*

©2009 Dave Doc Rogers

Read Full Post »

Lucifer’s Folly

By Dave Doc Rogers

20090101

 

His eyes surveyed all in front of him. He inhaled deeply of the power that was all around him. “This is mine,” he thought.

 

Stretching in front of him was a multitude of people. They seemed to ebb and flow like a great sea. Some would gather together and crest like a great tidal surge. All of them sang in intricate, multi-choral voices. The volume of the voices would roll like thundering waves toward where he stood. He would receive their praise unto himself and hold it. It was beyond thrilling to the touch. It was nearly intoxicating.

 

The number of them seemed incalculable, yet he knew exactly there number, name, and where they were. He had performed this service so long and so often he could not recount the number of times. He would get lost in the moment of the revelry and lose awareness of time, space, and anything else except the flow and ebb of their praise. All he could see was the ebb and flow of these beings of immense power projecting their love, adoration, praise, and inner selves toward him.

 

He inhaled deeply. “This is mine,” he thought.

 

*

 

“I tell you truly!” he shouted in a voice that thundered as a deep rumble through those assembled before him. “I feel your power … I feel your praise … I worship you for your giving yourselves unselfishly to me …”

 

A roar sounded deep within the massed press and slowly swelled overcoming the deep rumble of the first speaker. In a flash of a moment the sound crested and there stood before them all a being of magnificent fury and strength. All fell back from him, save one. The eyes of this interloper burned fiercely in the direction of the first speaker. When he spoke it was as if the firmament itself moved at the sounding. “Lucifer, Light Bearer, what is it that you do this day, this very hour? Do you not realize what it is you say?”

 

Lucifer fell back just a moment under the onslaught of the voice and pure power of the one before him. Straightening himself up to his fullest stature, Lucifer took a step toward the one whose voice shook even the firmament.

 

“Me’kael!?! Who is like EL? Do you set yourself up to be like HIM? Are you, whose voice sounds as thunder to shake even the heavens, now, sitting in judgment over us all? Who are you to confront me? Am I not the one who has received even your praise, Almighty One?”

 

At this there was a stirring, a murmur within the gathering multitude.

 

“Ware your next words, Light Bearer!” the voice shouted. The nearest at the center of the discussion of these two great beings were thrown back by the intensity of Me’kael’s warning.

 

Lucifer felt it coming. He after uncounted eons knew the most subtle of emotions and had steadied himself for the blast. Focusing intently, he turned inward and touched that which he had stored for such a day as this. What had grown as a thought seed had matured into a force unto itself. He touched that now and drew it forth out of his being.

 

A burst of power and pent up energy sprang forth out of the Light Bearer. All but the most stout were thrown back, disarmed by the intensity now emanating from this being. It was a light, an energy that poured and radiated out of him.

 

“I WILL BE LIKE THE MOST HIGH!”

 

There was a deafening roar. The firmament upon which they stood shook violently. Those who had been standing a side watching the interplay between these two great beings quickly chose sides. Fully one third of those attending stood with the Light Bearer whose energy only seemed to intensify as they gathered closer and closer around him.

 

“I WILL ASCEND THE MOUNTAIN OF THE NORTH AND I WILL SET MY THRONE IN THE MIDST OF THE MOUNT OF ASSEMBLY!!”

 

In mass, they encircled the Light Bearer and began to move as one body toward the Mount of Assembly. Lucifer’s eyes were on the Throne of Meeting. He said in his heart he would attain it. He could feel the life in those around him. He began to feed off of them and his intensity grew.

 

Me’kael and just a few stood between those that were with Lucifer and the Throne of Meeting. Me’kael withdrew the Great Sword that was entrusted to him and struck repeated into those in front of him. Lucifer’s intensity grew at the chaos of battle and the intensity of the emotions around him. He sucked into himself in the same manner he had carried praise in the past. He was becoming intoxicated, drunk with the power. He tossed all aside as he approached them. A surge of his allies stood against Me’kael, the Great Sword, and those with him. Lucifer was able to easily walk around the warring thunders and flashings of lightning.

 

The firmament shook violently with the efforts of so many in opposition, one against another. The Light Bearer smiled. He was drunk, full on the wine of their emotions and … hatred. This was new to him. He breathed it in. He took a step on to the base that was the mount of meeting. His intensity heightened again as he neared his goal. A roar below him told him that Me’kael saw his failure was eminent. Just a few steps more and …

 

Glare. Intensity all around Lucifer. A brilliance he had never experienced surrounded him and went through him, and then a fear like he had never known before gripped him. He knew he had reached the apex of the Mount of Assembly. Before him should have been the Throne of meeting. Instead he felt the intensity of a being far greater than his imagining. He could not see a distance to measure the height or depth of this being.

 

‘I AM THAT I AM’

 

The words echoed through the center of the Light Bearer and tore at all of his deceptions.

 

“YOU SHALL HAVE NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME!”

 

Great fear fell upon the Light Bearer and a grip whose strength had no measure surrounded him. He heard the wails of those below as he was lifted up. He had a sensation of speed beyond him imagining.

 

The sudden stop was beyond sensation he could comprehend. A part of him was missing. A despair greater than his pain assailed him. He began to wail, mournfully wracking his self. He was stripped of his light. He was in utter darkness. He reached out to what he once knew and there was a gulf he could not cross. His soul darkened to match his surroundings.

 

Time passed without measure. There was no sight. There was no sound. There was only pain and despair as companions. They weighed constantly against him. Then he heard a faint sound that did not come from him. In a flash he was at it. He felt for it. Touched it. It was one of the multitude that had followed him.

 

“WHY DID YOU FAIL ME!!!? I WAS YOUR LORD! IWAS YOUR GOD! COULD YOU NOT STAND UP TO HIM ON MY BEHALF!”

 

He continued to beat the being until he was spent. With the last of his strength, he threw as far as he could away from him. As his anger waned, pain and despair returned to companion him … until he heard a sound …

 

He began to number those he punished for failing him. They began to follow him at a safe distance. At any moment he would turn and vent his wrath upon them until he was spent. He would suck out any hope they might have and leave them with pain and despair at their failure. He was not to be faulted. They failed him, the mighty one in whom they held their hope.

 

*

 

©2009 Dave Doc Rogers

Read Full Post »

Here’s Your Breakfast, Mr. Poe
By Dave Doc Rogers
Wordcount: 3583

Lightning flashed and thunder tore through the roar of the waves crashing, crashing against the base of the cliff. The angry storm spent its wrath against the lone castle overlooking the boulder strewn base of the cliffs. Pale yellow light shone weakly from the windows of the upper hall. Rain drenched and miserable a horse team was driven hard as it pulled a coach through the thickening mud of the track leading to the remote and forlorn castle. The passengers within were jostled and slid with each malformation in the poorly maintained cart track. The hooded young lady tried incessantly to comport herself without goodly success. The rake of a merchant’s son could not help his poor breeding and often laughed to her ridicule. The attending matron bore all with dignity and distaste. At every outburst of laughter from the young man a look of contempt was thinly veiled. The magistrate took it all in and digested it. With increasing contempt he snorted his displeasure at the absurdity and inconvenience of having to make this yet additional trip to this remote, frontier keep.
Jostled without respite, the coach persisted in its journey. A brilliant flash followed immediately by a hair tingling crack filled the air within the coach. The young lady screamed in her fright. The matron quickly clutched the young woman to her breast. A vacant look of laughter mixed with fright washed across the face of the young merchant. The magistrate only jumped and pulled his valise closer to himself. The coach lurched from side to the side as the horsemen worked to control the team. Moments of terror added to the inconvenience of their travels together. The soaked horsemen managed to regain their charges and slow the team to retake the track. Looming ever closer the castle seems to watch their approach.
The drivers brought the team to a halt in front of the gatehouse. In painful and aching movements, the older of the drivers dismounted the coach and sloshed his way toward a door in the side of the gatehouse. He slapped the door with his open hand several times. There was no answer from within. The other driver still on the coach shouts down to look for a bell rope. The older man cast about looking for anything that may appear to be such. At last in a corner to one side of the gatehouse he spies a rope. In just a few splashing steps he was near it and pulled. In the distance an iron bell sounds. The old driver pulled again. The bell sounded again in the distance. He looked to the coach. The other driver waved him back. The rain continued its onslaught as the older driver took his seat.
Several minutes pass. The rain continued unabatedly. The four passengers within the coach looked to one another in awkward silence. The chill of the air and the constant weather have put a strain upon them all. Barely heard above the storm voices are raised in conversation. The coach unexpectedly lurched forward. The young merchant nearly slid from his rearward facing seat to the floor of the coach. The magistrate’s valise did fall to the floor spilling its contents. The older man quickly fell forward and begins collecting the loose papers. The muddied and wet floor did not overly spoil the documents but the look of dissatisfaction was clearly evident upon the face of the magistrate. The young lady is nervously fearful. The older matron seemed unconcerned. And the young merchant poorly hid his smile finding the magistrate’s situation amusing.
The rain abated momentarily as the coach passed through the gatehouse into the bailey. The incessant drumming of rain drops on the roof of the coach returned. The young lady found herself looking to the roof as the sound of the rain made its way across the top of the coach. A momentary distraction as the coach bounced evenly and slightly across the cobbled way leading through the outer bailey. It seemed only moments had passed before they are under the cover of the inner gatehouse. There was movement from outside as the drivers dismounted from the coach. A door to the coach swung outward and the face of the younger driver peers in.
“Begging your pardons, Messigneurs et Mesdames. There is no cover against this rain in front of the main entrance. His lordship has requested you depart here for your convenience. His man will show you the way out of the weather.
“Herbert and I will bring your effects along directly.”
The driver spoke directly but the expression on his face asked permission. The magistrate answered for them all, “That will be fine. Aid me,” he commanded holding out his hand.
One by one the driver assisted his passengers from his lordship’s coach. The wind and the weather continued to splatter everyone in attempts to get them wetter than they already were. They turned in unison as a side door opened in the gatehouse and an elderly man peered out. He held a lantern out in front of him. He looked at them through squinting eyes.
“His lordship has been expecting you,” he croaked with an old voice. “He trusts your journey was not too uncomfortable.” The old man turned without waiting for an answer and began walking into the interior of the gatehouse.
The interior of the gatehouse was drab. The old man did not wait for them to fully take in their surroundings. Walking quickly, he began to disappear down a long hallway. The young lady looked nervously to the matron for assurance.
“Let us go quickly, Lady Marguerite. We need to get you to warmth soon,” the matron gently pushed the young lady in the direction the old man took.
The magistrate pushed passed both women and followed quickly after the old man with the lantern. The young merchant followed nervously after the women, not wanting to be left behind. He continuously looked around afraid of every shadow.

***

“He is a curious subject. He is constantly in a state of delusional schizophrenia.”

“Do you have a history on him, Doctor?”

“Sadly, it is insufficient, Doctor.”

***

They sat in the main hall in various chairs along the walls. No one sat at the main table. Their host had not yet arrived and there was no food laid out as yet. They simply waited. The young merchant tried to strike up conversations with young lady and her matron. They only politely answered his queries. He was unaware of his station and they were being too polite to point it out to him. After having no success, the young merchant attempted conversation with the magistrate. The surly, disapproving looks made it certain to the young merchant that he was not interested in conversation. The young merchant took to inspecting anything else that might be interesting. He walked along the walls closely examining portraits of relatives long since dead, suits of out dated armors, and heirlooms of no real intrinsic value. It occupied his time.
The magistrate returned to fussing over his papers, inspecting seals, and rereading drafts. He ensured he looked rather important and too busy to be bossed with the others.
The young lady sat pleasantly bored counting and recounting everything in the room. It was an exercise in managing boredom on the inside while appearing pleasantly amused on the outside. The matron just watched her and politely reminding her of her station whenever she forgot herself only slightly.
“Is there a bell rope or something?” asked the young merchant in exasperation. “Where is our host and might we have some wine or some other refreshment?”
Three sets of eyes turned to him. Three sets of eyes looked upon him with disdain at his outburst. Three sets of eyes agreed with him but said nothing.
The storm that had raged for so long during their travels seemed to have finally spent itself. The crashing roar of waves hurling themselves at the base of the cliffs died down to a mere crashing as the tide turned to the sea. The rain filled clouds gave way to breaks in the clouds. The young merchant having grown weary of art and armor took to watching the clouds for breaks to catch glimpses of stars or the moon.
A door opened. No one entered. The young merchant looked to the others. Their faces showed only questions. The young merchant strode over to the door and peered through. There was no one there. As he turned to inform the others of his findings, a flicker of light caught his eye.
“You there! You with the light! Hold one moment!”
The flickering light retreated further from view. The young merchant stepped into the hallway and proceeded after the retreating light source. The remaining three in the great hall stared at one another unsure of what next to do.

***

“Who should I see about his file?”
“Go back to the nurses’ station. Mattie will be able to help you.”
“Thank you, Doctor. I will do that now.”
The orderly followed the younger doctor to the door and led him down the hallway to the nurses’ station. The older doctor took out his pen and made additional notes on the papers he shuffled in his hands.

***

“Ah, Monsigneur Martin. It is good to see you finally.”
The young man froze in mid step. He had become so focused on following the retreating light that he did not take note of his host standing so near.
“Ah, uh, um,… your lordship, I … uh…”
“All is well, Monsigneur Martin?” The look on the younger man’s face showed he was clearly startled. “If you would be so kind as to follow me.”
The Viscount was not exactly what he was expecting or had heard from his father. The man before him did not appear demented nor fragile. On the contrary, he was tall, well built, and intense in carriage. The dark reddish brown hair was shoulder length and well maintained. His house cloak was well maintained. No, his lordship did not look weak or fragile. He lord turned quickly and began to walk away.
“Monsigneur Martin, I wish to settle accounts with your father and your family’s dealings with me.” He spoke without turning around or looking back. “Please follow me that I might address them appropriately.” The young merchant looked around him. The only light in the passageway was from the lamp carried by the Viscount. He had no choice but to follow. They came to a tapestry that the Viscount pulled back exposing another passageway. He turned to the young man and smiled indicating he should go through, into the passage. As he stepped through the Viscount followed then quickly took the lead again. The new passageway intermittently would turn into a stairway that would spiral in upon itself. At the base of the stair, they came to a seating area upon a decorative carpet. There were two chairs, a decanted wine, and two glasses. The Viscount offered a chair to the young merchant. He then sat opposite him and poured them both wine.
“To debts paid, Monsigneur Martin.” He lifted his glass and sipped.
“To debts paid, m’lord,” he echoed nervously and followed suit.
The young merchant became aware that his head hurt painfully. It was as if he had been struck or had too much wine. He did not know where he was. He could not see. His eyes were open. He blinked several times. It was very dark. He tried to bring his hand up to touch his head. His arms and legs had been restrained. He struggled until exhausted. Sweat ran from him in rivulets. As he began t calm his breathing he could hear footsteps coming nearer. He tried turning his head toward the footfalls.
“Ah, Monsigneur Martin. I see you are awake now. Good.”
The Viscount’s voice drifted to him from somewhere behind him but continued to draw closer. As he came into view he was hold two candles. One he sat on a small table underneath a rope. The hemp began to blacken immediately. The young merchant looked back to the Viscount. A smile slowly formed across the face of the lord.
“Your father’s debts to me are … were exorbitant. In a little while those indiscretions will be absolved. I shall return to see how you like my negotiating skills.”
As the Viscount slowly retreated from view, the young merchant’s eyes went back to the only light left in the room. The candle. It slowly starting burning a hemp rope. With the little light available, the young merchant tried to follow the rope until he lost it in the darkness.

***

A large, older nurse came into the ward followed by a young woman dressed a nurse. The apron of the younger woman was striped vertically with red stripes. She looked nervous and stayed close to the older nurse.
“Matty, did the new resident find you?”
“Yes, Doctor. He went to the lounge to review file.”
“Excellent.” As an after thought, “And who is this, Matty? Is she qualified to be in here?”
“Yes she is, Doctor. This is Margaret. She will be interning with me this semester.”
“Very well. Keep an eye on her.”
“I haven’t lost one yet, Doctor.” She smiled to the doctor.
“Good, good. I’m going for a coffee. I’ll return in another hour to check on Mr. … our patient.”

***

The three remaining in the great hall continued to look to one another nervously. The young merchant had left and did not return. They did not know what to think. As they sat pondering motion at the still open door caught their attention. The older man from earlier was standing their holding the same lantern in his hand.
“His lordship will see you, Magistrate. If you will follow me.”
The old man turned and walked away. The magistrate quickly collected his papers and notes and followed after the old man. He nodded politely as he passed the too women still seated as earlier. Once to the door he looked down the hallway to a light fading at the end of the stair. The magistrate made the best haste his large form could make. He always seemed to be just at the edge of catching up to the old man. The light would always fade around the next corner. Exasperated, the magistrate thought he had lost him. There was no light in the passageway. Slowly he made his way along the direction he thought he should go. He was lost, he was certain of it. As he walked slowly along he noted a dim light coming from a side chamber. Peering in he saw a candle on a table. There were two chairs, two glasses, a decanter of wine, and cleared space. He looked in and saw no one. Stepping further in he allowed himself the luxury of taking a seat at the table. A few moments had passed. Looking around after his moment respite, he poured himself a glass of the wine. He checked the nose of the wine. He fancied himself a connoisseur of the grape. It had an unusual aroma. He took a sip and let it play around his mouth.
“I took the liberty of letting you retain your letters, Magistrate. I do not recognize your authority within my county. Your accusations shall remain with you.”
The black fog that had been his world was slowly lifting. Groggily he blinked his eyes several times. He tried to bring his arms down but they were tied to sconces on either side of a small storage room. As his eyes came into focus he could see before him a low wall being built. He looked up a bit more. His eyes met the smiling face of the Viscount.
“I have been advised to reinforce my outer walls. These minor store rooms really do not provide real value.” He laid another brick into the wall and tapped into place. “I need to let these settle first. I will be back to finish the work.”
The magistrate opened his mouth to yell for help. There was a hoarse rasping sound but nothing more.
“An interesting side effect of that particular varietal mixed with certain apothecaries is the stealing of the voice. Do not worry. It will come back in a few hours. The wall will be up by then. It will be well.” The Viscount smiled slowly and viciously. He stood up from his work, dusted himself off slightly, and then walked away. The darkness slowly surrounded the magistrate as the only light source left with the Viscount.

***

“Okay,” she said passing the tray into the hands of her new intern,” you have to get his attention. Once you have that, then you can feed him. He is harmless.” She looked into the face of this young, naïve little student. Will she be able to pull this off, she thought.
“Okay,” she said nodding, not exactly sure of herself.
The young intern turned to the table where the patient sat. He appeared to be transition from typing to doing odd motions with his arms, as if he was doing something completely different.
“Ahemm…. Robert…” No response. “Robert, it’s time to eat.” No response.
“Try they name he answers to,” suggested Matty.
“Edgar… ahem… Edgar…”
The fragile man in the sterile white jumper looked at the young nurse’s intern.

***

The old man and the lantern retuned to the open door of the great hall. “Madame, his lordship would have a word with you regarding the dietary needs of m’lady.”
The matron stood slowly. She turned toward the young lady and curtsied with a slight nodding of her head. The young lady remained seated but nodded in return. The matron stepped back a few paces then turned to meet the old man at the door but he had already progressed into the hallway. She followed.

***

“Mr. Poe?” He nodded slowly. “Here’s your breakfast, Mr. Poe.”

***

Servants came into the great hall. They offered the young lady hors d’ouvres of various spiced meats, fruits, and nuts. She daintily sampled the dishes offered. She observed the table being set with only two place settings. She kept quiet about her observations. After a flurry of comings and goings the four servants had set the table with several covered dishes and a largish one which was brought in last. This one was set to the center between the two place settings.

***

The candle’s flame had burned slowly through the rope. Quickly the final strand was burning through. In horror of the unknown result, the young merchant stared as the final strand gave way to the weight of its burden and the candles flame. The rope flew away into the air. A loud click was heard to come from somewhere above him. A flash of something metallic whisked by overhead. Click. Whatever it was flashed past again. Click. The clicking continued several times. The poor light of the candle’s flame did not aid the young merchant’s vision well. Click. Whoosh. He saw it. Click. Whoosh. A large curved blade. Click. Whoosh. Over his middle. Click. Whoosh. Closer still. Click…

***

“Mr. Poe? Your breakfast?”
The man stopped typing. He stopped doing the odd little things with his arms. He stared down at the covered dish in front of him.

***

She stared down at all of the covered dishes. The little hors d’ouvres were nice treats but she was famished. She had not eaten anything of significance all day. She longingly looked at the dishes on the table before her.
“I am truly sorry, my dearest lady Marguerite.”
She jumped slightly at the voice. She turned and curtsied to her host. She lowered her eyes, which she was taught was protocol.
“Arise, my dearest lady. You are my honored guest. This night I have addressed three grievances long held. It was a most productive evening. …”
He swooped into the room with flourish. His one sided conversation continued as he showed his young guest to her chair, taking the privilege of seating her himself. He sat at the head of his table. He talked excitedly of false accusations that have finally been closed up to be forgotten shortly. A mere memory. And of business dealings where they thought to cheat him but he out smarted them all. He promised her that he would slowly cut to the heart of the matter. He smiled as if carrying a secret. She became nervous. Where was her guardian?
He spoke excitedly of his great nemesis who kept him from his dearest of prizes. The thought of such efforts to thwart him would eat at him, he said. Now, it was his turn to turn the table … so to speak. Then he started laughing. The young lady began to fear something terrible could occur.
He rang a bell at his table. The servants appeared and began uncovering dishes and began serving portions. The last was a roasted pig, splayed before her. Her eyes traveled to the head. She dropped her fork and screamed.

***

He could hear the thumping all over again. The eye that stared at him. The thumping that would not stop. His head darted quickly to the window. A large black bird rested there. It tapped upon the window with its beak.

“Mr. Poe? Your breakfast?”

© 2008 Dave Doc Rogers

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts

%d bloggers like this: