Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Alone - part 3

By the time Mason got outside to see what had set off his parent's car alarm he became full aware that it wasn't just his car going off but every car that had an alarm in the street was blaring. He dashed out onto the road to look up and down the street and as he did became aware of another noise. A screaming. An almost constant scream that seemed to echo all around him. Maybe his ears had just gotten so used to hearing nothing but the wind blow for three months that he wasn't used to all this. He shook his head a bit to wake up and try to focus. As he zeroed in on the scream it sounded less like the frightened shrieks he thought it was. This scream was just someone trying to get someone's attention, or at least that's how it sounded. He continued out onto the road and glanced both directions and sure enough, about a half mile up the road, there was the frantic figure of a man running the other way.
Mason's jaw dropped slightly as he watched the man, yelling at the top of his voice and smashing down on every car he passed with a large chunk of wood.
It didn't sound like he was saying any words, just making as much noise as possible.
Mason tried to reciprocate and yelled out "HEY!" as loud as he could but it was no use.
The poor bastard was making so much noise trying to attract attention to himself that he wasn't able to hear anything other than his own screaming and the wave of car alarms that followed him.
Still Mason tried to call out until his voice was hoarse and the lonely screamer was long gone.
Mason let out a tear, then angrily pounded his fist against the now-silent car.
"Fuck!"
Why couldn't the stupid fuck just shut up long enough to hear him?
Why didn't he realize he didn't need to make that much noise to be noticed in this abysmally silent and baron shell of an Earth?
"Fuck it all!"
He pounded on the car some more.
He didn't even know why he was so angry.

Mason didn't even like people that much, at least not anyone that he wasn't close to but three months alone, totally alone, makes you want nothing more than to have just someone. Anyone. Someone to talk to for God's sakes.

It all seemed so stupid, really, but the simple act of conversation seemed to keep people sane. Mason had realized this somewhat accidentally as he started to talk out loud everywhere he went.
It started out just saying what he was thinking because, who cares, right? No-one's around. No-one's going to care if your jabbering away to yourself. So he found himself idly saying what he was doing.
"Going to the store"
"Turning on the T.V." (The T.V. was playing nothing but static but Mason still enjoyed 'tuning in' daily)
"Stealing a gun from the store to blow windows out of people's bathrooms."
But before too long he was having conversations, some pleasant, some heated, some boring, all with himself.
"I wish I'd lose my mind like that fucking Tom Hanks movie and just befriend a Basketball.", he found himself wishing one day.
He hadn't even seen the movie but the idea of being able to befriend anything seemed like it would be a worthwhile effort at this point.

But now, he sighed. Slumped down next to his car clutching his bleeding fist he stared off into the distance that the stranger had vanished.
"Stupid bastard.", he grumbled
But as he did he realized that if the stranger like him had been on his own three months then maybe this screaming charge he was doing started out as his way to try and get someone's attention but had just become his daily routine. Maybe this is just what he did now.
Mason stood on his porch and stared into the dark.
Stranger runs through the streets pounding on cars and screaming for all eternity.
Just the routine he had chosen now that he assumed he was utterly alone.
"Poor bastard's probably been running every day for three months. Probably made it all the way from fucking Toronto."
On this thought, Mason doubted the stranger would run back his way. He was pretty sure this guy was just running for the rest of his days.
"Still... I might as well put something out, just in case."

Mason got to work, the first task he'd found the energy to set himself to in at least a month besides eating and drinking himself into a stupor.
Within an hour or so he had set up his dining room table on the road, fully set with plates and cutlery and fancily folded napkins in the shape of little boats that he used to do at his waiting job and a bottle of wine he had stolen from the local grocery store plopped in the middle.
"Why am I doing this? What's all this for?"
"It looks inviting."
"It looks fucking weird..."
"Doesn't matter. Weird. Fucked. Strange. If anyone is around they're going to take interest."
"I think the paint was enough..."
Sprawled out in 10 feet high letters in paint he found in the neighbor's shed Mason had painted the, not as inviting, but simple words.
"I HEARD YOU."
"They're going to think you're a fucking lunatic."
"I am a fucking lunatic and have every right to be"

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Alone - part 2


Mason shivered as he stood on his front porch. Staring out into the darkness of night.
Not particularly looking for anything at this point. It had been three full months since Mason had seen or heard any other living thing.
Without warning or explanation the world had just left Mason here on this Earth alone.
One normal evening he had gone to sleep and everything was there and the next morning everyone was gone without a trace.
Yet he continued to stare into the dark without emotion, without hope. He hadn't even cried about it in about two weeks. He used to be sure that the tears would come flooding in as he remebered everything that was and slowly crumbled knowing that he had know way of knowing why he was alone let alone whether anyone would ever come back.
This faithful night, however, Mason heard a noise.
A shuffle.
He blinked repeatedly, shaking himself out of a waking dream and turned to look over at the neighbours house where the shuffle had come from.
There was nothing for what seemed like the longest time and then another shuffle.
Or maybe a scuff?
It was definitely the scuff of a boot. Mason instinctively wanted to scream out but some other primal sway inside him told him that somehow something was wrong, that this was not a good idea.
And yet another scuff, this one much quicker to come than the last.
And another.
And a crash of a potted plant hitting the ground and smashing. Mason could see the smashed pot but not the thing that knocked it down. He eased forward on one foot cautiously to try and get a better look when around the corner came the figure of a man in what looked like a torn up suit.
Mason let out a meek, "Hey?" into the night and in the silence the man heard him and turned.
It was Leonard, Mason's neighbour but there was something strange about him, he looked pale and his eyes were deep and dark so much that they even seemed to be shaded in the black of night.
Mason's primal urges again warned him of the danger and this time he obeyed but as he turned to run the opposite direction there was another shuffle of feet only this time the figure making the noise was much closer.
It was a woman Mason didn't recognise but she was standing on the opposite end of Mason's front porch and was lightly illuminated by the candle Mason had beside him on the desk.
Most of her lower jaw was visible and her skin was covered with several deep scratches and what looked like bite marks. She was lumbering towards Mason with clear malicious intent. Mason acted quickly and ran back inside the house. He grabbed whatever furtiture he could to barricade the doors and armed himself with a baseball bat as he ran back to the door he came in he realized it sounded like there were more than just the two ghastly figures outside.
In what seemed like seconds Mason could see figures outside just about every window he glanced out, and many more scratching at the door and pawing against every wall in the house.
In a frightened panic he ran upstairs and threw down his sister's bed, followed by tables, chairs and mattresses to make as much of a barricade as he could in case the door didn't hold these monsters.
He sat down shaking with fear and adernalyn, trying to breath but not being able to get his mind away from the sudden mob of groaning, clawing undead all around him when suddenly there was a horendous beeping sound, over and over, like a siren or... a car horn... or...
an alarm clock.
Mason nearly fell out of bed as he fumbled for his alarm clock which had clearly interupted a very intense dream.
An intense dream about the end of the world.
An intense dream about being surrounded by the undead.
A dream, at least, where he wasn't alone.
All at once Mason felt both relief from being free of a nightmare but sorrow that this empty Earth was more terrible than it.
Plagues of zombies would at least be something to run from. Something to see and hear.
All he could hear now was that alarm.
Why had he set his alarm, anyway? He must have done it in his sleep. He continued to slam around his bedside table to try and smack down onto the snooze button at least but to no avail.
Then he hit the snooze, and again, and again until he pounded down so hard the clock fell off the table and smashed and yet the beeping continued.
And it wasn't his alarm
He sat up sharply and rubbed his eyes and got up to the window.
It was a car alarm, and it had been set off somehow.
This was no dream.
And Mason knew now, that he wasn't alone.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Crawl

And crawling on the planet's face
Some insects called "The Human Race"
Lost in time
Lost in space
And in meaning...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Alone

Hopelessly

As Mason stumbled through the rain sodden streets of Amityville gulping down his last few drops of whiskey he squinted into the distance. Car headlights? He laughed out loud.

"Not today!", he yelled.

He stopped almost dead, listening to the echo of his screaming down the streets and his voice became a whisper.

"Not to-fucking-day...".

He lobbed his almost empty bottle halfheartedly into the road and watched it smash through the window of a parked car across the street. The alarm went of and took over Mason's scuffled footsteps and occasional screams as the only noise in the now-silent town of Amityville. He let out a sigh of relief at the alarm and fell back to lean on a shop window ledge to listen to the car's alarm until it's battery died. He never quite made it as the liquor he had been drinking since the sun rose the previous morning caught up on him quickly and he fell back and all but passed out.

Half awake and squinting at the stars far above his head he felt more alone than any human being had ever felt.

He had felt the fear of being abandoned before. By friends, lovers, family. Feelings both real and imagined when, just as anyone else does growing up, he felt that the entire world had turned it's back on him and left him to fend for himself with no support. Time when he had literally just been away from his closest and been at too great a distance to speak to a familiar voice. That feeling of cold dread he knows all too well when a loved one died and he couldn't imagine anyone ever filling the vast void they had left in his world.

There are all feelings that Mason, and many others like him, are sadly all too familiar with in this life but today was very different.

For just 48 hours previously, almost to the minute, Mason had awoken as normal in his family's Amityville home to find that everyone, it seemed, had completely vanished from the Earth, leaving behind only their possessions but leaving no trace of themselves behind.

No family in his home.

No people in the relatively busy central street of Amityville.

No television or radio broadcasts from anywhere, local or national.

And absolutely no sign or clue as to what happened to everyone. Everyone in the entire world.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Bloodline - Chapter 7 - "Darkness"

Wake up, Seth.”

There is a crash.

A sort of thumping noise like hard boots on solid wooden floors. Coming closer. Or further. At this distance it’s hard to tell. But what distance? All at once it sounds like the thumping is right by me but I can’t tell.

And where am I? All around me there is darkness. Nothing but darkness. Something inside me tells me this is normal. That this is what my world is. I realize from that seemingly deep gut area that the world is this darkness. But it is normal to me, for I cannot see. I struggle and strain to open my eyes but it’s no good, it feels as though I am putting forth a tremendous effort to do such a remedial task and yet, I am falling just short. If only I could find the energy to open my eyes, but I cannot.

I am weak. So weak. And much like my attempts at sight my attempts at remembering anything about me, or why I’m here, or why I’m weak, is tragically just out of reach.

All at once I hear the thumping again. This time it’s clearer, more rhythmic than before and it’s very close but I still can’t work out what it is. I try to reach out but find that too is an effort that is beyond my capabilities. I lay here, for I assume I am in a prone position but cannot tell, knowing yet nothing of my condition or who indeed I am.

I cannot feel, I cannot see, I cannot hear. All I can do, it seems, is think and as far as I can recall it seems that is something which has only recently happened. As if I was in a great slumber.

Or dead.

I was dead.

Or still am.

Something doesn’t fit but the thumping noise is getting louder and louder like it is almost upon me.
Then suddenly it stops and there is a great sense of pain and anguish for a moment coming from somewhere above me it feels like, but that too is short lived, then comes a feeling so familiar. Something good yet horrid. Something… I can…  taste.

There is a moistness on my lips, a warm rich wetness that seems to set my soul ablaze for a moment at it’s all too distant memory. Slowly it awakens my other docile senses and I begin to hear. Voices.

Two voices.

Illegible.

It’s as though I haven’t heard anyone speak in centuries.

As my memory returns I realize it has been. The taste on my lips is blood. Sweet blood, the giver of life and almost as if my sense had to realize all this to awaken, I can see again. At first everything is a blur but I quickly begin to see shapes form into figures.
I try to look at my hands but what I see are two skeletal remains of hands.
I have been dead for centuries.
More blood comes flowing from whatever source and I can begin to see what’s around me. Two people stand over me, watching. One is holding a fresh dead body and has a knife in it’s throat. Evidently this is the source of the blood as I begin to see and feel the world around me more clearly I realize these two are like me: Vampires. We feast on blood and live forever.
But who am I? Evidently I was dead. Slain and left in this… cave. But these two have managed to perform some sort of ritual to bring me back, albeit merely to this semi-skeletal state. Why?
As I ask memories come inching back into the back of my mind.
Memories of times spent ruling lands. Living in a sizable castle. Many vampires even answering to my call. I was a prince.

Even more so.

Somehow I know that when I was at full strength and alive (as alive as vampires are) that I was the prince.
I was the Vampire.
All answered to me and that is why these two have gone to such efforts, centuries after my death, to restore me.
The knowledge brings power and I finally find the strength to stand, shakily, on my worn legs. Looking down at my body and arms is disgusting but I can see even in this short time, pieces of flesh beginning to form between my empty ribs and tiny pieces of muscle beginning to make their way across my arm.
I feel my strength restoring and I take the lifeless body from my savior and drink the rest of the blood.
It feels like the strength of a thousand men is beginning to burn back inside me.
I am restored.

‘Welcome back, Sire Seth.”. my savior says, as he and his companion take one knee in prayer.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Bloodline - Chapter 6 - "Ladislav"

Ladislav

Ladislav’s library is exactly what one might expect from an ancient vampiric history-keeper. Ornate, huge, domineering. Huge ceilings, thousands upon thousands of books, decor that would make the Pope blush but of course, no windows. From the outside, rather comically considering the mega-Cathedral look of the interior, the place looks like nothing more than an old shabby warehouse.
Funny.

And so here we are in this magnificent place finally having found the right reference book to tell us about The Cross of Caine.

On the ride over Opie explained it all to me:
Put basically The Cross Of Caine is supposedly capable of entrapping the souls (And therefore the power and strength) of a vampire or vampires and releasing them given the right ritualistic circumstances. The legend goes that Seth, that legendary uber-vamp, gathered some of the most powerful vampires together when the Spanish Inquisition got too uppity and sealed their spirits in the Cross to be released at a time when vampires were more conspicuous again. The legend is a little fuzzy about how exactly the power would be released again, legends are funny that way, but from the bits and pieces we’re looking at in this over-glorified fairy tale book it looks like the souls of those concealed in the cross will be transferred to the recently deceased. A fresh dead body maybe? Or a newly sired vampire? Who knows. Not important really, we’re just here to retrieve the damn thing, if it even exists and lug it back to Scotland where we’ll find it a nice little spot on the mantel between the Sword of Agnarth (Supposed to give the bearer the strength of ten men, in reality - just an unwieldy piece of rusting trash) and the Chalice of Ill Fate (One sip of blood kept in the chalice was meant to kill your future nemesis - to be fair we can’t really prove that didn’t work, I suppose).

All that’s important to me is where the damn thing is and even that doesn’t matter that much. I’m more here for the journey, for the sake of doing something.

As I’ve mentioned before - I don’t believe in all this Ancient Vampiric Power horse-shit.
 Please.
Every civilization, vampires being no exception, look at their grandiose past as if the present is a mere pile of excrement that’s been left over from a glorious world long gone. More idiotic than that - they all try and convince you that not only has this glorious world gone by but it will happen again! Fancy that! We all just happen to be born in the piss filled “in between glory” times when everything sucks and everyone just wishes we were someplace else… Well, put that way it does have a certain narcissistic appeal to it but that doesn’t make it any more believable. The Ancient Vampiric Power, Seth, Caine and the silly cross that’s meant to ‘restore’ us is all just Heaven, Hell, God, Satan shit. The same old crap. Lies built on lies built on lies to try and make us believe in something a little more important than ourselves, to keep us going nuts or something? I don’t know.

Well anyway, there I go into another little thought tangent while Opie is trying to tell me something about Romania.

“What?”

“Romania,”, Opie repeats “The book seems to imply that the Cross was in Romania when Seth sealed the souls in it but it was moved.”

“Moved where?”

“Not sure…”, he says while scanning through the pages of a much smaller book he must have acquired while I was daydreaming. “Paris. It looks like. At some point the Inquisition seemed to move a lot of stuff to a fortified location in Paris but… yes. I remember.”

He closes the book, he’s obviously relying on that internal photographic fucking memory of his.

“If memory serves me a large number of items were removed from Paris by The Toridi Clan.”

The Toridi were a group of vampires from London who emphasized the elegance and majesty of vampirism. They rarely spoke and dressed as though it was the 17th century.

“So the Cross is probably in London?”, I ask

“Most likely, but I doubt the Toridi know they have it or we’d have heard something”

So, another plane ride towards home will actually take us closer to our goal. What a tremendous waste of time this little trip to Eastern Europe was…

Somehow though, I feel like there is something here. Someone watching us. Someone that’s been following us since we got here…

But it must just be the creep factor of the old dusty looking building.

“Right, off to London!”, I pipe up