Tag Archives: highSIX

Spectrum City is Haunted part 5

REAP

“They’re going to rape you,” said the girl right before she touched Mark Chambers’ forehead. “Whether you run or give yourself in, either way, you can’t stop them.”

Mark Chambers was at Full Spectrum Diner with his family and pretended like he didn’t spill coffee down his chin when she interrupted them. His wife asked, “What?” and he didn’t acknowledge her as he asked the strange girl the same question.

“You don’t remember and that’s not all your fault, but at one point you had a choice and you didn’t make the right one. So you’re going to be raped and it will hurt you a lot. Not just your body, but your brain. You’re never going to be the same again.”

Mark Chambers didn’t know how to respond to the girl. By his estimation, she was no older than ten, but then again, her wrinkled face and slight graying of hair almost led him to believe otherwise.

“I don’t feel bad for you,” she said. Her face was stern and Mark felt strange, as though he were being scolded for something he couldn’t remember. “I feel bad for your family. They’re all going to have it bad, but at least better. At least not as worse as they would have with you around.”

“Who are you?” asked Mark. It came out low and confused sounding. And he himself didn’t really know what he was asking.

She turned to his wife, Mrs. Chambers, pointing her index finger which stuck out from the cut-off yellow gloves she wore. Around her wrists were bracelets that stretched halfway up her forearms. “You’re going to stop being so dumb,” she said, her bracelets jangling as she shook her finger with conviction. “When they tell you, believe them. They aren’t lying. He really is that bad. Protect your children and never let anything like him happen again.”

“You need to leave,” spoke Mark Chambers sternly.

The girl lowered her arm and took a step forward. “No,” she said. Her dirty blonde hair was accented just slightly with gray, but she was still not even five feet tall. She was a girl, but somehow so much older. “You’re the one that’s going to leave.”

Mark’s mouth was open to respond when he was stabbed in the head by the girl’s pinky finger.

When they finally got his eyes open, the girl long gone, all he wanted to do was go to the police department.

*                            *                            *                            *                            *

Detective Roe wasn’t a detective today. Just Roe. Not that he didn’t like his first name, just that he thought it was useless. What could a name matter if everyone shared the same name? Nicknames were even worse. No, Roe was it. After his ex-wife changed her last name to her new husband’s, he liked his last name even more than ever before.

Roe was on vacation. Well, a day-cation as he overhead it being called by the dreadlocked coffee shop barista when he told him he took the day off. He sat in the corner of The Mound, far away as possible from everyone, drinking black coffee. “Just the regular kind,” is what he always told them. Flavors meant nothing to him. It was nice just to drink something hot without sugar that made being alive feel okay. Something that could make him forget how much he hated everything.

After coffee, he caught the first showing of the day for Widow, the new movie from director Chance Baphom. He liked everything Baphom made, even if sometimes they pandered to teenagers with a PG-13 rating. There was something about the way the camera moved, utilizing slow motion at just the right points and keeping everything so cleanly in frame. It was as if Baphom were the conductor of an orchestra and everything on his moving canvas existed intentionally.

Widow was strange, but still nice. Visually amazing, but not really the action picture he expected. Manson Feverjean was surprisingly impressive as the lead character and Miss Need, while tiringly self-aware, still did a manageable job of fitting into the atmosphere of the movie. Even afterward, he struggled to understand the director’s point. Sure, it was about sacrifice and a Satan worshipping secret society within the government and media that was going to enslave all of humanity. But why? What was he really trying to say? It was almost as if that was really the message of the film. Give in and let the masters do their job. Even stranger that Manson Feverjean died during filming the movie. And in basically the same way his character died in the film.

Life is strange, thought Roe. But not like it’s ever not been.

Roe didn’t see the girl until after he was eating his banana, almond and Kit-Kat ice cream in a waffle cone, wiping his face even though he hadn’t made a mess of himself at all.

“You have to stop him,” said the girl, her yellow fingerless gloves were dirty and her bracelets jangled.

Roe’s right eyebrow raised as his left sunk low. He continued to eat his ice cream as the girl sighed and sat down across from him.

“You don’t want to do anything,” she said. “You’re lazy and you think you can just forget all the bad things you know are going to keep happening. You push them out of your mind and pretend like they aren’t there. But they are and they’re going to get worse unless you do something.”

Roe crunched into a piece of Kit-Kat and looked away. Her face bothered him. He didn’t recognize it. It looked too old for her short and thin frame, and her clothes only led him to believe she was homeless.

“You have to do what I am about to tell you to because if you don’t it will hurt a lot of people. I don’t like when people die. You don’t either. My Mother told me so. She picked you because it’s not my place to stop Him and he who He’s infected. The cycle will continue. The man who left his face. The man with the nomed face. The man you shot in the face. They were all infected by an evil that is going to become worse. The next one is the fourth. Four is His number. He is worse now that He is a He. He will do much worse now. I could not stop the first or the third. The second was already done, but Mother has grace for children. She lives in black water now and she doesn’t want to get out. Not yet. She can do more there through me and now through you.”

Roe had absolutely nothing to say, but he couldn’t pretend like he was ignoring her anymore.

“Sometimes we don’t have a choice. Sometimes we do. The choice wouldn’t matter if you knew because the choice would be easy. You still get a choice, though. Mother wants you to choose. She already knows.”

With Roe’s focus now completely on the girl, noticing now how dark brown her eyes were, not completely black, but very close, the atmosphere turned to mud and he found himself slow to move as everyone around him disappeared from his peripheral vision. He was in a tunnel and the only end was the dynamically brown eyes of the girl.

“When I touch your forehead, you will know Mother’s will,” she said, everything else so distant and only her existing. “Stop me now if stagnant waters are where your soul will lie.”

Detective Michael Roe was still. There was electricity in his lungs. There were bugs in his muscles. There was mud inside his veins. He couldn’t breathe and then he realized he didn’t need to.

The pinky finger touched his forehead and the color yellow became all the world entirely.

CURSE the FOG 091-092

The CurseThe Fog

The following is a short story that preludes a series of novels entitled HIGHSIX:

The boy didn’t really feel the realness of his lover’s death until she sank below the coagula and they took her under Still Lake, bobbing back to the surface once she’d passed, rocking to and fro until they gained equilibrium and matched their fellow organism’s fitting mass. A tear ran into his eye and blinded him on the right until he wiped it away realizing it was sweat from his brow. The sky was grey, two afternoon, and the opaque clouds above cast their spell of translucent fog in front of the funeral audience. The audience watched through the haze as Marciia Bent, the former Sixth Wife of Dr. Skarpo Bent, sunk beneath the coagula. No one cried, not even Skarpo and not the Bent children, staring at her young 14 year old body as if she were just one of them, like them, never coming back.

The boy knew Marciia before she was a Bent. Before she’d reached maturity they had played in that same lake. The Still Lake was a playground on the coast for brave children. While there were beach houses around its coast, the rich inhabited them but never used the coagula infested waters.

Coagula floated on top of The Still Lake, covering the whole thing, but smaller and more compact where the water met the shore. Marciia and the boy met on that coast as children, first throwing rocks that bounced and flew out of view off the coagula, but eventually stepping out on to them.

The talk was that if you fell under you could never come back up. Once the coagula engulfed you, you were theirs and there was no survival post-immersion. For months they tested this with steps onto their rocking surface. They never went far out at first. Each trip was a dare to the other, the boy taking further steps out and then Marciia matching him so he’d have to up the standard, two steps further out than before each time.

But Marciia was dead and when the canoe paddled back to the coast through Still Lake’s coagula covered surface the boy grit his teeth hard until they hurt and then bit harder.

Dr. Skarpo Bent stepped off the ceremonial canoe onto the rocky beach and helped Elder Best of The God of Ears onto the uneven earth. Everyone was tired in the eyes and no one wanted the ceremony, but for keeping up with duty after the death of Ethaum. The boy was glad the 22 days of mourning were passed, but for his childhood love, his best friend for years, to die on the 23rd and be buried now on the 24th at the age of 14, older than the boy had yet to turn even, it infuriated his senses and he knew deep down inside she was unrightfully dead.

The boy hated Dr. Skarpo Bent from the moment he first saw him. The man was too confident, holding his chin above everyone’s gaze though his height made it completely unnecessary, even awkward, for those of shorter build. He was tall and skinny and wore always a long stained overcoat that barely missed the ground, exposing his thin ankles just like the sleeves which left his long vein raised hands exposed higher than the wrist.

Skarpo walked with his neck loose and his hands hidden within each other’s sleeves. Elder Best began the traditional recitation, but Skarpo kept walking. His face hung to the ground and none in attendance made move to address him. Elder Best continued as if Skarpo were not of issue, but there was no food served after and everyone in attendance made their way home.

The boy watched them leave. He sat on the pebble covered beach until the canoe was carried off, loaded onto the traditional cart followers of The Second God used in these ceremonies.

The boy spat just thinking about it. He took minutes to fume until the clouds had darkened the evening sky and the fog was closer, all around him.

“Curse The God of Ears,” said the boy. It was under his breath at first, but he felt strength in isolation, strength in the fog that promised him privacy. “Curse you Ethaum. Curse The Second God. Curse The Blue God. Curses to all that align themselves to You. I renounce you!” yelled the boy and when he did he was taken back with the shock of his own excitement.

Since birth he was taught to praise The God of Ears. He was born under the “great” reign of Ethaum, the embodiment of the most powerful God of The HIGH Six of his generation. Ethaum was good, he was told, and if you wanted to be good too you would do as Ethaum would.

But the boy never found faith in Ethaum. There was something inside him that combated the God even though he’d seen him in person. The God was more of an old handicapped man who did nothing but lay in his cart as The Church of the Eternal Drum paraded him through the streets of Sattofer City. When he died, it was all over the streets printed in bold: OUR GOD DEAD. The newspapers sold well, but no one kept them and by afternoon the streets were full of discarded headlines.

The next day, the mourning began. Twenty two days with boarded stores, grieving masses and streets filled with slumming sorrow.

Skarpo had this planned, thought the boy. Marciia was his fifth? No, sixth wife. He knew he could get away with another death so close to Ethaum’s demise. He killed her just like the other’s and now I’m going to kill him, thought the boy.

Dr. Skarpo Bent did not kill them like the others. It was true that Marciia was his sixth wife and that she had died from a seeming suicide, wash basin filled to the brim with her sunk under and thighs slit with a straight razor on each side over and over until she found the right artery to end it, turning the water she passed in to a deep and nearly opaque red.

The boy didn’t believe it for a second and so he stood from the stony beach and walked to where the rocks met the cement and made all the right turns to arrive at the infamous stoop of Dr. Skarpo Bent.

Above the door, attached to the frame was a sign that read: BENT- Adjustive Surgical Extraordinaire. He turned the door handle, but it remained firm as he expected. The boy stepped back to check the windows, but there was no candle light from within and the clouds were just losing their claim to the shed of darkness as the sun slid below the horizon.

He knocked hard with an authority that he only imagined he had. Surprisingly, the door opened right away. It was a face he feared, the face he didn’t want to see, but had came there to anyway.

There was a pause where the boy swallowed and Skarpo glared at him, towering over the boy from behind the open door frame.

“Yes?” asked Skarpo.

“You klled her,” said the boy.

“So?” asked Skarpo.

The boy had no answer.

The door slammed and the boy stayed there until there was no more light. Just dim stars.

The God of Eyes 077-083

 The Null of Eyes

“Not everyone gets the epiphany.”

 The Two of Eyes

“Just so you know, you’re being lied to. The Land of The SIX is not what it seems.”

 The Three of Eyes

“The Council of Skol runs Center CIty and the majority of SIX. They do this through minerals, monetizing the very land you sleep on .The same land that was here long before you and will be right there, for as long as the world is, after you.”

 The Four of Eyes

“Everything you see is controlled. There are curses worked in to every message you get from the world around you. Pretty soon, SIX will all be waste. Our planet’s small circle of land is habitable only temporarily.”

The Five of Eyes

“There is no way to stop the Council of Skol because they control everything. Like puppets on strings, everything you see becomes clearer of sense when you take a step back. That is what Only Mountain is like. A drawing framed in close that allows you only a fraction of the information necessary to discern it. With each zoom out of the frame, a new epiphany is made.”

The Six of Eyes

“If you think you know the history of SIX than you are wrong. No one can know the unknowable. All that is available to the historian is a collection of accounts it must trust. Without trust for history’s authors, one has no use for ‘fact’ driven education. The truth is, facts simply can’t exist. People are just not meant to really know because we are built fallible, victims to our own perceptions.”

The Soul of Eyes

“Perception is just like a ghost, unreliable and intangible.”