Tag Archives: jokkol

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.

VOID the STORM 101-END

The VoidThe Storm

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

The sun was coming up and Master Grabe had yet to sleep. He’d replaced the candles once and they were already melted through. He moved to the window, thankful for the new light, and sat on the sill to continue reading.

‘By this time, I lost my ability to control my tongue so I stopped using it. My mates eventually let me be, though I’d hear them talking. It mattered none. I could see the logical conclusion to this curse and knew that biting my tongue was only biding my time. Soon, I will be found out for what I have chosen. Each day that passes I can feel the growth of anxiety looming over me ever more. It is all I think about. I know it will come and it will be terrible, but I will laugh through all of it. One can not be caught if they do not allow themselves to fall. The terror that comes from doubt is absolutely necessary. Terror is hilarious. SEVILLIVES, SEVILLIVES, SEVILLIVES, SEVILLIVES.’

Master Grabe didn’t hear the knock on his door, the sound of it creaking open and shut or the sound of his name being called. His eyes rose from the page only once out of his peripheral vision he noticed his page standing there.

He whipped his neck and was surprised at the bitterness in his voice. “What?”

“Are you ill?” asked Bo.

The kid looked hurt. “No, no, I’m sorry, I’m just…studying. What is it?”

“The bells have rung. Your robes are ready.”

Master Grabe looked out the window. The sun was not coming up, but had already come. It was free of the trees of The Hanging Jungle and well passed the point of his usual waking.

“You seem ill. Do you need tea? I can bring you breakfast if you wish.”

“No,” said Master Grabe. “I mean…no tea, but yes. I am ill. Leave me for the day, but bring me lunch after you eat. Cancel my classes.”

“But Master, it’s the seventh day. You are due to speak at-”

“Ill,” said Master Grabe. “Tell them. Go.”

Bo bowed and left him to his scroll. The paper was so long and he had been careless in rerolling it as he read. The top hung from his fingers and was snaked along the floor. He blinked his eyes to return them to focus and continued reading.

‘Our world is a lie. The histories teach the character of my blessed Fourth God as chaotic and evil, but in truth, Jokkol is the only consistent God of The High SIX. Realism is not evil no matter how harsh that reality may be. What separates The God of Teeth from the others is His or Her indifference to self. Each of the other is selfish and it is due to this distinction that they have shunned Jokkol. They refuse to recognize truth outside of what supports them as most deserving and just to hold the first place of birth order and power. They refuse to acknowledge their inconsistencies, refuse to respond to or acknowledge any question that would challenge their supremacy. It is not possible to worship all of The High SIX and any combination of the gods is equally impossible. It is taught that if you do not give yourself to a God than you are sent to The Void for all eternity to exist in nothing, becoming nothing yourself. If this is your only concern in this world then you are just as selfish as any of the other five gods. Those that give themselves to Jokkol are promised nothing in life after this. Is not that the most selfless way to live? To abandon your hopes of salvation and instead embrace the ambiguous? I have found my savior and I have rejected the silly presumptions of gods that can’t back what they promise. Sarora is a slut. Ethaum is a coward. Nithya is a prude, Mamoth is a tyrant and Xzicxy is the worst of all. The God of Tongue is a liar. I have never felt Xzicxy’s presence. I have been forced to worship the silly Green God my entire life and it was not until I learned of the great Orange God that I felt my spirit was touched. I know I will be excommunicated, but I have no fear. I laugh at fear. Fear is hilarious. I know I will be tortured. Torture too is hilarious and each act of revolt will bring me closer to my God. With every attempt to return me to Xzicxy, with every lash or beat or bruise, with every undue injury and refused kindness, I will worship Jokkol, my God of Teeth, my Orange God, The Fourth God, the Only God, and I will close my eyes and imagine Him, imagine Her, smiling, grinning their beautiful teeth. I will revel in their laughter. I will be saved! SEVILLIVES, SEVILLIVES, SEVILLIVES, SEVILLIVES.’

Master Grabe looked out over The Hanging Jungle after he read the signature at the end of the scroll.

The word ‘Vonx’ looped in his mind and he couldn’t remember his ex-student’s actual name. He watched the sun rise until he could see it no longer and then fell asleep on the window sill not realizing he hadn’t prayed to The God of Tongue in days.

 *      *      *      *      *      *

On the southwest side of SIX where the Desert of Nails ends and the Orange Lands begin, Vonx awoke because the backs of his hands were throbbing. He opened his eyes to see the earth moving below him and was confused. Instead of sand, it was dirt. He moved his hands from sliding against the ground to see their backs black with dirt and scabbed blood, but he forgot about them once he saw the live bed of scales he laid on.

“Are you afraid?” he heard and looked up to see a black silhouette floating ahead, moving backward as if leading the bobbing head of the giant desert lizard.

Vonx tried to move his mouth, but it was so dry that the skin of his lips tore away.

“You are afraid,” said the shadowy figure.

It was light out, but there was shade. Above the clouds covered the sun and a crack of lightning answered for him. Rain fell and stung his raw back.

“I have saved you. Go back to sleep. You will be treated soon.”

Vonx tried to open his mouth again, but the fatigue from his raised neck was too much and so he let his head fall back to the scales.

He came to inside a hut with the heat now burning his front instead of back. Thunder rumbled and rain clashed above him.

“Sevil lives,” he heard and noticed then that he was suspended in a net, lying on his chest with his arms dangling. Smoke entered his lungs and the voice continued the chant. “Sevil lives, Sevil lives, Sevil lives, Sevil lives.”

Below him, a circle of orange skinned men and women kneeled, naked except for the animal bones and teeth that hung from them. Together, they all took up the chant.

“SEVIL LIVES, SEVIL LIVES, SEVIL LIVES, SEVIL LIVES!”

The smoke became thick and suffocating. His torso became hot and with the swaying of the net he turned his neck to see a fire burning below him.

“Sevil lives,” said the first voice. He turned his neck to see the Master of Teeth. The man too was covered completely with the traditional orange pollen of the virral flower, but unlike the others, his face was covered with a mask composed all of teeth. There were hundreds of them that connected into a rotting mosaic of yellow, brown and black.

“SEVIL LIVES, SEVIL LIVES, SEVIL LIVES, SEVIL LIVES!”

The net lowered and Vonx’s body jolted toward the flame, stopping hardly above the reaching tip. “No! No!” he yelled and laughter filled the hut.

“NO, NO, NO, NO!” the Orange people chanted before falling back in to laughter.

The Master of Teeth silenced them by waving his skull mounted staff over the fire beneath Vonx who recognized the skull and noticed then the bloody lizard skin to the side. Below him in a circle around the fire, the Orange people held up their dripping meat.

Vonx’s heart beat furiously. “No!” he screamed again. The fire burned intensely and he tried to move his arms, but his body didn’t respond. He tried his legs and then his back and shoulders, but nothing happened. His fingers and toes,  hands and feet, all played dead. He rolled his neck around desperately.

“No scream,” said The Master of Teeth. “Laugh.”

The God of Teeth 084-090

The Soul of Teeth

“The God of Teeth is the only god within the HIGHSIX that acts how he believes. If something is funny, you laugh. Any problem is to be met with a grin. If you are never serious, how can anyone else be taken seriously?”

The Six of Teeth

“The Fourth God is a liar. Those loyal to him cannot be trusted. Those that have gone to the Orange Land come back with lies or don’t come back at all. I am the only exception. I have been to the SouthWest of SIX and know it first hand. Listen so that you might be saved.”

The Five of Teeth

“There is a castle once you pass the ghost towns that the Orange people destroyed. They call them that for the pollen of the virral flower they cover their bodies with. The castle is made of bones and the rode to it is made of teeth. There is no sense in how this came to be, but sense holds little ground among followers of The God of Teeth. All that matters when you meet the true Orangies is whether or not you can make them laugh.”

The Four of Teeth

“I entered their castle a prisoner until I was put before the holder of the Orange Throne. He was a man, toothless, covered in that orange pollen and I had heard the legend, but didn’t believe until I saw it. The Orange Throne was not as I’d imagined it to be. It was far worse.”

The Three of Teeth

“Limbs made up the structure of the seat that the Orange Man sat on. JOKKOL was long dead and it was clear that this rugged man, skin orange, teeth gone, hair in long dreads and fingernails that touched the floor, was only sitting in his god’s stead. When he spoke, it was with fierce nonsense and I knew then what was necessary of me.”

The Two of Teeth

“I took out my dagger and held it above my head as I yelled the name of their god and then bowed as I placed the tip to the root of my gums. I used my palm as a hammer, ridding my mind and instincts of second thoughts.”

The Null of Teeth

“I have no teeth, but I have life, and now I know what true laughter really is: sustenance.”