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Thread: Bright

  1. #1

    6 Bright

    This is the Beginning of a Science Fiction story that looks as though it may be Horror for awhile, but comes back to Straight SF.

    Probably won't post anymore until it's done.....

    Should I decide to continue.....

    Does it grab y'all?


    When I was in High School many years ago they gave us the SAT Test. My friend Murray had the second highest score in the whole school. It kinda surprised everyone, because just about all Murray ever thought about was Wrestling.

    O yeah, he went out for Cross-Country every year, but he was no long distance runner. He just ran for Wrestling…

    And curiously, for someone so dedicated, Murray didn’t have any plans to continue his Wrestling in College or to try to go to the Olympics.

    I could see why he had no interest in Freestyle Wrestling. Real Wrestling takes place down on the mat. The Freestyle rules turn the Matches into Takedown Tournaments…

    But be all that as it may.

    I never ran into Murray again after High School Graduation, but I heard gossip.

    He got into grade trouble his first year of College and was dropped. He spent a couple years laying bricks with his father’s construction crew, and then he tried College again. This time everything clicked for him.

    Murray decided to major in Electrical Engineering for some reason. He had to take enough Math classes anyway, that he decided with a little adjustment, he could get a Dual degree in Mathematics and Electrical Engineering…

    And you know, while Engineers need to know plenty Math, many of the core subjects that a Mathematician needs to know, have little or no relevance to any sort of Engineering.

    Anyway, Murray graduated with two degrees—both with Honors—one in Electrical Engineering and another in Mathematics. Then he went on to get a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering.

    I didn’t see his reasoning there, because it’s my understanding that in today’s World, most Master’s Degrees are almost meaningless mileposts on the way to an eventual PHD.

    But I never asked him. It wasn’t any of my business anyway.

    Next I heard that Murray was the Vice-President of a rather large manufacturing company—meaning that he was the local CEO, since the President was at the National Headquarters.

    He married a statuesque red haired lady who was a local model and twenty years younger than him. He lived for a while in a mansion outside of town. The place had a Lake, a Swimming Pool and its own Tennis Court. They say that it had cost him over two million dollars to build it.

    Then he went into politics and moved to Indianapolis to be close to the Governor.

    Yes wellah, Murray was a good Dude and I don’t begrudge him a bit of his success. He deserved everything that he got…

    But you know, if there was any justice in the World—do you know who had the Highest SAT Score in the whole school?

    Yeah, that’s right. I did.

    I would have bet that my lifetime earnings were less than what Murray made his first five years out of College.

    Then over forty years after Graduation there came a knock on my door, and guess who had come to see me? That’s right, it was Murray.

    He was all dressed in black, carrying a black briefcase and wearing dark glasses. He had a very large black woman with him. I later learned that she was six foot three inches and weighed just over two hundred and forty pounds. Trust me, she carried her weight very well. She wasn’t really fat—just very big-boned and imposing. And she was wearing a Gun in a Shoulder Holster.

    “Well, if it isn’t the Men in Black. To what do I owe this honor?” I quipped.

    “Can we come in? I need your help with something, “ Murray said.

    “Entre’,” I said with a sweeping gesture.

    I never could hold a job very long, but I was an inveterate tinkerer. I’d managed to get enough money together to buy fifteen acres in Kentucky. I had a rather large pole-building put up.

    The building was my home, my workshop, my gym, my library, my laboratory and my garage.

    The one luxury that I’d long craved, was a fair sized indoor pool. I’d broken through the Concrete foundation and built the pool myself. It took me over three years to finish the pool, though I rarely stick with anything terribly diligently.

    A one hundred foot by fifty foot pole-building, all open inside, with only a couple exceptions, with a twenty foot by ninety foot pool running the length of the place. I’m sure that it made a rather whimsical impression…

    Particularly since Murray had routed me out of bed, and I was barefoot and wearing only black sweat pants, a black tee shirt, and a black silk scarf on my head.

    What the hell!?! If people are going to drop by uninvited, they’re going to have to take me as I am.

    “Friend, this is Laura, She is a State Trooper on special assignment at the moment. Laura, this is Friend,” Murray introduced us.

    She got that silly look like my father used to get. He’d claim that he hadn’t heard—but he’d heard just fine. His problem was crediting what he’d just plainly heard.

    “What is your name?” She asked as she shook my hand.

    “Friend, my name is ‘Friend’,” I told her rather acerbically.

    I half glared at Murray.

    “Didn’t you tell her my name on the way here?” I asked.

    “No, she has no idea why I’m here. This briefing will be news for both of you. Friend, I really, really need your help—but before I show either of you this, I need both of your words not to spread it around, “ Murray Said.

    Laura agreed immediately. I was more cautious.

    “I will pretty much keep the info secret—barring outrageous profit or provocation,” I equivocated.

    “I’ll have to accept that,” Murray said. “Do you have a DVD Player and a Television?”

    “Big Screen dude. I may live like a Barbarian, but I like my Television maxed out,” I said.

    Murray played a recording of a very frazzled and harried looking woman, who smoked each cigarette down and lit another from the butt before crushing the last one out.

    “This woman is an inmate in a top security facility for the criminally insane, “ Murray said.

    “I’m surprised that they allow smoking in a State run facility,” I said.

    “They don’t. But it calms her somewhat and it was very important to get her statement before she lapses into catatonia,” Murray said.

    She began her dialog.

    “It was raining hard that day. He came to my door. He was wearing a long black raincoat and a broad brimmed hat…

    “He asked to come in. Then he took my chin in my hand and asked me if I was ready for a very delicious wickedness.

    “Just the way he said it caused me to be extremely aroused. I felt like my crotch was on fire—like I might wet my pants—only that would be okay too—because it would be wet and warm and devious.”

    The woman paused in her account, and I looked at Murray in puzzlement.

    “It gets better,” He said. “That is, more engaging—nothing ‘good’ about it.”

    “He said that we should take my little baby, my darling Erika, and fix a multi-course gourmet meal with roast infant as the centerpiece.

    “I can’t believe it, but it sounded so sexy and wicked that I agreed.”

    “She ate her Baby?” I asked in astonishment.

    Murray nodded.

    The woman continued her tale. Sometimes she’d show remorse. She’d weep and tear her hair.

    “How could I have done it?” She’d wail and pull her hair.

    Then she’d writhe like a lap dancer, and her voice would deepen, and she’d spout,

    “O how I wish that I could do it again!”--Right in the middle of her grief.

    “We’ve got her hooked up to multiple monitors. When she writhes like that, she’s having astonishingly powerful multiple orgasms,” Murray said.

    “She lapsed into a nonresponsive catatonia shortly after this was filmed. These are the only descriptions that the police artist could get from her,” Murray said.

    There were several depictions of a man in a long flowing coat, with a broad brimmed hat pulled low—and while he had eyes, he had no mouth or nose or ears. And somehow, even in the artist’s conceptions, an aura of evil seemed to come through.

    “Did she indeed kill her baby and eat it?” I asked once more.

    “Yeah, tried to serve some of what wasn’t already eaten to her husband when he come home from work. By that time the Dark Man had eaten his fill and left—if he was ever actually there.”

    “Murray, I’ll give you my considered opinion for free. That Woman is absolutely one hundred and nineteen percent Whako!” I said.

    “That isn’t in dispute. My problem is that we’ve had thirteen cases almost identical to this one in Indiana, five in Kentucky and even one in Tennessee. We’ve been trying to keep it quiet. The only difference is that most of the women don’t stay coherent long enough to make any sort of statement,” Murray Said.

    “I’m not a Law Murray. I don’t know much about criminal investigations. I never even got a College degree. I failed out of College three times,” I said.

    “I failed out of College once myself, “ Murray said. “We have all sorts of investigators on this. Hell, the FBI even has profilers on it. If one of them can solve this case, then protein for them—protein for all of us.

    “But I know you. You are dogged beyond easy belief and you approach things around corners.

    “What it means is that if you agree to work on this case, I’ll give you a five thousand dollar bonus up front, a top Law officer’s salary while you’re investigating and a ten thousand dollar completion bonus.

    “And the Governor will put you down for a thirty year Police pension starting the day this investigation is closed. It’s all above board and legal. The Governor is allowed to enter a handful of folks for the various pensions each year. I can show you the statute that authorizes him.

    “People know that the Governor enters five or six folks a year—mostly witness protection folks—and usually for a minimal twenty year pension.

    “But though they know that the Governor adds folks to the rolls, once it’s done, no one can tell if it’s genuine or not—at least not on paper. And not even the Governor can take it back,” Murray said.

    “I have to solve this case to get the Pension?” I asked.

    “No, just give it your best while it’s still under investigation,” Murray said.

    “I’ll expect all those promises in a written, double notarized contract,” I said.

    “Why am I here?” Laura asked.

    “When he agrees, you’re going to be his liaison, bodyguard and assistant,” Murray said.

    “About Guns?” I began.

    “You’ll have a badge and genuine Police ID. Carry whatever you want,” Murray said.

    “Can I carry whatever I want, should I accept this assignment?” Laura asked.

    “You’ll accept, because you already have one promotion and you’ll get another at the completion of this investigation. Besides, you just don’t have the personal and political skills to really shine in standard law enforcement work—but as a member of the Governor’s special task force…

    “And yes, carry whatever you’d like,” Murray said.

    “Dude, it’s like—I’m going to need everything that you have on these women, their husbands, co-workers, family, friends, church—whatever. I want their medical records as well as the babies’ medical records.

    “I need crime scene photos, baby pictures, I need to know what side-dishes were served, how the baby was slain, cooked, carved and what spices were used.

    “As soon as you get a new case, I’d like a chance to meet her in person. Ask your FBI Consultants to recommend the top five or six books on criminal profiling—if there are such books—and get them all to me ASAP!

    “Pond and Honour man! All I know about Police Procedure is what I saw on CSI and NCIS.

    “Caveat Emptor Dude, Quite frankly I’m not sure I’ll be an asset,” I said.

    “I’m not sure that you’ll be a help either Friend—but if I didn’t put you on the case, respecting your mental powers the way that I do, how could I live with myself knowing that I’d left a stone unturned?”


    “Friend, the eleventh infanticide—that little boy was my nephew. If you get this bastard, if he’s real…

    “And you actually physically arrest him—Promise me that you’ll make him suffer.”

    “Alright, “ I said.

    Sometimes you just know that you’re getting in over your head—but then there is Honour—not the shallow Honor that people give you—Honour can only come from within…

    And Honour can be a hard taskmaster.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Interesting; wierd; dark; different.
    Please continue.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    State WA
    No way will I read this then if this is all we get for a long time. Would be to hard to wait lol. Good luck with the writing.

  4. #4
    good stuff, but that wasn't fair, to give us this great start and say there will be no more

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    west central Illinois
    Very interesting.Chasing a demon or the devil himself?Would like to see more but your choice.Thanks for sharing your talent either way.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Yes it grabs. Very different type of story. You really need to keep giving us more and not hold it back until your done. You can't just start to feed us and then take our food away. Please give us MOAR!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Dallas, Texas
    Not sure if I can read this. It's a tad dark for me.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Yep Nancy, it could be on the dark side.
    Got to have some variety though, go for it.
    How many miles to Galt's Gulch?

  9. #9


    Chapter Two

    Laura turned up at my doorstep at six am the following morning and per my instruction, she was dressed in jeans and good walking or running shoes. She also had an ample shoulder bag over her left shoulder.

    “What you got in there?” I asked her.

    She showed me two three inch model 13 Smith and Wesson .357 Magnums—one angled for a right cross draw, the other for a strong side left hand draw. The holsters were sewn into the leather purse.

    “I don’t like the idea of the purse carry. If someone snatches your purse right at the outset of hostilities, then you’re like kinda skewed,” I observed.

    “That’s why this is my main weapon,” She said, while pulling out a big N Frame Smith and Wesson Model 28 with a custom five inch Mag-Na-Ported Barrel from a shoulder holster.

    “And what is that under your right armpit?” I asked.

    She smiled and whipped out a Cold Steel Natchez Bowie with the ten-inch blade.

    “YeeHaw!” I said. “I hope you have a more discrete blade for utilitarian chores. No wonder Murray saddled me with you. You’re one of those freakin’ weapon fanatics.”

    I shook my head glumly.

    “So what do you carry?” she asked.

    “Well, I ain’t a Gun nut like you done been,” I responded.

    “I have this.”

    It was a genuine Colt 70 series Government Model 1911A1 .45 Automatic.

    “Notice that it has a Bright Nickeled finish and Stag grips. There should be a name for Gun-Like objects, that just miss being a Gun by having a subdued finish or synthetic grips,” I said.

    “What about ‘Guns’ with Polymer Frames?” She asked.

    “They don’t ‘just miss’ being a Gun. They are clean out of the ball park,” I replied.

    “Anyway, I back up the Colt with this,” I showed her my Stag Handled four-inch Ruger Redhawk. “It’s .45 Colt, loaded up to .44 Magnum Pressures and the cylinder has been altered to take .45 Auto ammo in full-moon clips, in a pinch.”

    I had a double shoulder rig, Colt under my right arm, Ruger under my left. I meant to draw either with a twisting cavalry draw—not doctrinaire—but then I’m not very orthodox.

    “Got this,” I said as I showed her my tiny Smith and Wesson J-Frame .32. “Never go into danger without a .32. And I have these.”

    I showed her a pair of Mother-of-Pearl Gripped .25 Beretta Jetfires.

    “Gotta have some kinda Pearl gripped Pistol, just for luck.”

    “You know what Patton said about Pearl Grips, “ She said.

    “Patton was a chucklehead. Anyway, weapons make me fearful. Lets not talk about them any more.”

    ********************************************* *******************************

    First stop was to get some of the drugs that had been earmarked to pay off snitches. I walked out with two ounces of the purest cocaine that I ever hoped to see, and a great big pill bottle cram-jammed full of four milligram Dilaudids.

    At first the Law in charge was going to give me a hard time, but a quick call to Murray set him straight.

    “You’d best make that last you awhile,” He said. “That’s a spritz-load of dope.”

    I never much cared for sanctimonious Laws—now I are one.

    “Dude, it is like: if I come back tomorrow, and ask for everything that you have left, you will smile and give it to me—and hold the door for me on my way out. I got the beat!”

    *********************************************** **************************

    An hour later I was out on the street. I spotted a dealer that I used to know. He went by the handle “Oranges”. Fifteen minutes later I had him under arrest and in the back of my van.

    “I don’t want to arrest anyone. Fact is, I ain’t gonna arrest anyone—but I’m looking for info. You got some place that I can set up, off the street?” I asked him.

    A few minutes later, we were let into an apartment on one side of a Duplex.

    The tenant of the apartment was a dried-up shrew of a woman.

    “Y’all had better not be five-O,” She hissed venomously at me.

    I drew my .45, and put it up under her chin, while grasping her tightly with my other hand.

    “I am the blessed law. Now what are you going to do about it? Go on, give me an excuse,” I growled. “Show her your badge Laura.”

    I pushed her down forcefully into one of her kitchen chairs. I counted out five one hundred dollar bills.

    “We are going to rent your kitchen for the next two or three hours. You are going to sit right here at the table with us, and keep your mouth shut,” I told her.

    I’d planned ahead. I placed a pint of Evan Williams Whisky, a carton of menthol cigarettes, a jumbo bag of Fritos and a big handful of snacks and candy onto the table. The hateful old crone should be reasonably happy to sit there with us, until we’d finished.

    I sent Oranges out again and again. I wanted crack-whores, pimps, dealers, drag queens—anyone who might know something about a fellow who liked the rough trade—someone scary, and cruel, and dangerous.

    We’d been there maybe four hours, maybe five, when Oranges dragged in an anorexic looking whore with a perpetual shiver and many tiny scabs all up and down her arms. She was white.

    “I heard that you and the girlfriend are looking for some special trade,” She said.

    All the while she was sizing Laura and me up, wondering if she dared deal with us—and pondering how much that she could make off of us.

    I showed her my brand-new badge and ID.

    “Yeah, we want something really kinky. We want knowledge,” I said.

    “I haven’t done anything chargeable,” she said.

    “What’s your name? Athena? Well listen up Athena. I’m on the governor’s special task force. It is like I have Diplomatic Immunity. I could beat you up. I could arrest you as a suspected terrorist and have you held indefinitely without bail. I could shoot your scabby little bass—and all I have to say was that you made me feel intimidated.

    “But you know, I always hated the idea of that strong-arm fascist bull-spritz. Here is what I want you to do—first of all, I want you to eat one of these roast beef sandwiches, some fries, and drink a beer,” I said.

    I was afraid that if she didn’t get some nourishment into her body that she might not endure the questioning that I had planned.

    I’d sent Oranges out earlier for a big bag of Arby’s roast beef sandwiches, soft drinks for Laura and me, Beer for whomever and ice for my big cooler.

    I lay a fifty-dollar bill on the table.

    “Its worth fifty dollars to me, to watch you eat, “ I told her.

    She wasn’t truly anorexic. She ate it all down reasonably quickly, finished her beer and asked for another. I poured her a double shot of Whisky, which she promptly threw back, and then I started in.

    After a few minutes, I asked her, “Do you like to get high?”

    I might as well have asked, “Do you breathe air?”

    I handed her a single four-milligram dilaudid—one of the yellow ones—and a small baggy of cocaine. She surprised me by grinding the dilaudid up very finely, mixing it with the coke, and snorting half up each nostril.

    I waited until she was really feeling good. Then I showed her four more dilaudids and a very fat gram bag of coke and I kicked in a one hundred dollar bill. I was devoting a lot of time to this informant, but something told me that she’d be the one.

    I started asking her about weird, sadistic or just scary tricks—about strange folks hanging around—about any sinister rumors.

    “About two months ago, a john in a big black Lincoln picked me up. I don’t know what he turned me onto—but I woke up lying in an alley the next morning. I’d been beaten up pretty bad.

    “Funny thing is, I couldn’t remember his face for the life of me. I always remember a john’s face—for future reference, don’t you know. It’s a survival skill.”

    Yeah, I did know. I can do a pretty good police artist type sketch. Lo and behold, when Athena really wracked her brain, the best she could come up with was a man in black, perhaps with an eye-holed mask over his face.

    She gave me the names of a couple other hookers and a pimp that had experienced weird phenomena. I paid her off with five times as many pills as we’d agreed upon. I urged her to be safe, but to keep her ears open for us.

    ************************************************** * ********************

    “What was the point of all that?” Laura asked me as I drove back to my place, where we’d left her truck.

    “Possibly nothing. But assume our client has some sort of heap-big juju. He’d probably want to try it out here in the projects—where folks can get by with a great deal—before taking it onto the road into Normalville.

    “He might also need an occasional release fast, without the time for his regular meticulous planning.”

    “I think those women are simply nuts,” Laura opined.

    “Maybe, but then it’s a hell of a coincidence that so many are going nuts precisely the same way,” I said.

    “Do you dislike me for some reason?” Laura asked.

    “I don’t know you. If you want to warm the cockles of my heart though: Cowboy Boots, Red Lipstick and blue eye shadow,” I deadpanned.

    “You are as cracked as those women!” she exploded.

    Prob…lee; Prob…lee.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    East Central WI
    oh...... I <like> this one RVM!

    It has just enough 'dark' to make the dish spicy...

    .... Some one is always the first to say it, so I guess this time I'll be the first...

    Moar! (pretty please?)

  11. #11


    I managed chapter one yesterday, despite a Doctor's appointment at 4:00.

    Then I finished the second chapter after my sister went to bed--it's her computer, and when home and awake, she's generally online.

    Anyway, it is almost unprecedented for me to write twice in one day. This story is going strong--but then I've been plotting it for perhaps twenty years.

    It won't give anything away, to mention that this is a kinda spin-off of several stories I had planned about a villian who is only known by the title: "The One True Light"; and who has Beaucoup fanatical followers in all walks of life.

    I used that title for Bucky in "Darkness"; but this is a different Dude.

    It comes from a line in the "Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam":

    Whether The One True Light
    Kindle Me to Love
    Or Wrath Consume Me Quite
    Better a Glimpse within the Tavern Caught;
    Than in The Temple Lost Outright.

    Anyway, I have another Doctor's appointment today--this one at 1:30!

    Doctors, Doctors, Drugs and Dotage!

    Why can't I just be well!?!

    Won't be another chapter today--unless I really feel inspired, and my Sister calls it a night and heads to bed early again--I won't get any more serious work done on this till tomorrow.....


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    State WA
    Okay wonderful on getting more chapters thank you. Be safe out there.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Thank you for another chapter.

  14. #14

    6 Chapter Three

    Chapter Three

    “Where are we going today?” Laura asked me.

    “To see an expert on the occult,” I replied.

    “Okay. I’ve been thinking about something…”

    “Coach always said, ‘Don’t think! It hurts the team’,” I interjected.

    “I’ve been thinking,” She continued doggedly. “We interviewed a few street people from Evansville. There are more than twenty good sized cities in Indiana and Kentucky—not to mention Illinois and Tennessee.”

    “Yeah, I know some street folk in Terre Haute, Valparaiso and Merrillville. We may get to them eventually, if I don’t find anything helpful in the meantime. Going into one of the big cities like Gary, Indianapolis or Louisville will be kinda problematic, since I don’t have any contacts in any of those cities…

    “I suppose that I could get Oranges, or someone like him, to round us up a guide or two for each city we want to check out. The kinda drugs and money we’ve been throwing around should make us very popular folks to work for,” I said.

    Then I just kinda ran down. The idea that some street hooker or dealer would finger this ghost of a criminal seemed incredibly remote.

    ***************************************** **********************************

    “Come in! It’s not locked!” Vincent shouted.

    “Vincent, this is my partner Laura,” I told my old friend as I sat down.

    “I see that you’ve went over to the Darkside,” Vincent said.

    Vincent didn’t “see” anything. He lost his eyes in Vietnam. They managed to put the rest of his face together pretty well—though with multiple scars. Of course they couldn’t replace his eyes.

    How he knew that Laura was a Law, and technically, so was I…

    Well, I just don’t know. Vincent seems to pick up on lots of things with minimal means. He preaches and teaches Tae Kwon Do and Judo, and several of the boxers that he coached as young amateurs have gone on to be contenders.

    I told him everything that I knew and let him hear the interviews with the women who’d postponed catatonia long enough to be interviewed on camera.

    “This isn’t the work of any mainline occultists. They wouldn’t want the heat that this would bring down upon them—but maybe some of the upstart, the self-styled…

    “There is evil here, sure enough—extreme evil—but it just doesn’t feel Demonic to me. Though I could be wrong,” Vincent said.

    “Did you know that Indiana has been a center of occult activity going back at least three hundred years?” Vincent asked us.

    I did know, but Laura didn’t. That’s something that only dedicated scholars like Vincent are aware of—or folks like me, who have listened to folks like Vincent expound on the topic.

    “Have you ever heard of the ‘Shakryte’?” Vincent continued. “It’s a book—an old book. Scholars have verified that parts of the ‘Shakryte’ were written at least three thousand years ago. Other parts are as recent as the fifteen hundreds.

    “There are several competing versions, but they all agree on the essentials. There is no prohibition on translating the ‘Shakryte’. There are English versions around.

    “There are some other prohibitions though. The book must be copied by hand, onto parchment and bound in leather made from human skin…

    “O hell yes, there are printed copies today—but they aren’t ‘Kosher’,” Vincent said.

    “Anyway, there are almost a dozen groups that use the ‘Shakryte’ as their—well, not their canon, because it really isn’t a canonical manual. It’s more of a grab bag of myths, legends, old stories and lists of spells and magic charms.

    “I’ll arrange for you to meet some of the people of the ‘Shakryte’,” Vincent concluded.

    “I never heard of the ‘Shakryte’,” Laura said.

    “Well, it’s a pretty obscure book,” Vincent said.

    “How did you come to hear of it?” Laura persisted.

    “My mother was a full-blooded Apache Indian. She was also a full-fledge Witch. She was not a WICCAN, though that would have been bad enough. She had power and she used it largely to do evil, and wage war on other evil magicians of her acquaintance.

    “She loved me though and she was determined that I would not follow in her footsteps. She made me read and memorize large portions of both the ‘Shakryte’ and the King James Bible from the time that I was five years old. She made me go to the little Mission Baptist Church for both meetings on Sunday and prayer meetings on Wednesday.

    “She would spank me with a Razor strap if I fell behind in the studies she set for me. Once she caught me trying one of the spells in one of her books. She beat me half to death, and then made me fast for five days.”

    Vincent was lost in his reveries. I’d heard the story before—many times, sometimes with far more detail than he was laying on Laura.

    “She wouldn’t set foot in a church herself. She said that if God didn’t strike her dead for her presumption, then Satan certainly would.

    “You see, she believed that she’d sold her soul to the Devil, and that there was no way out.”

    “Why do you say that she only thought that she’d sold her soul?” Laura asked.

    “It says in the Bible: All souls belong to God. Any attempt to sell one’s soul to anyone, would be null and void. You can’t sell what you don’t own…

    “Though if you can be convinced that you have sold it irrevocably, it will halt most any attempt at redemption, right in the bud.

    “My mother died in terror and agony. She claimed that she could see the Demons waiting by her bedside—impatiently waiting for her last breath, so they could haul her off to eternal torment in Hell.

    “Now you want me to put you in touch with people just as lost, and many far more vindictive than my mother ever dared to be. I see the necessity, but do be careful.”

    *********************************************** **************************

    Our first contact was a Mainline Satanist. Charmingly, he insisted on meeting us on a stretch of deserted road, so far out in the boonies, that the hoot owls raped the chickens.

    “Is that true, about the Shakryte?” Laura asked.

    “ There is a book known as the ‘Shakryte’. Vincent has two copies and another partial. They are both multi-volume works—like an encyclopedia. They’re big—like maybe twenty inches by perhaps thirty.

    “Vincent’s copies, at least, are bound in human skin,” I said.

    “How could you tell?” Laura interrupted me.

    “I know cow skin, horse hide, goat skin, pig skin, rabbit hide—a dozen different furs. I’ve even examined kangaroo, ostrich and emu skin. And not to mention multiple snake and reptile skins.

    “Trust me, I know tanned human skin when I see it.”

    “ But is the book true? That’s what I’m trying to find out,” Laura insisted.

    “First of all, I’ve never read the book. There is nothing good that could come of reading it. The book is the product of Satan. He is not only a liar; he is the father of all lies.

    “I have no doubt that at least parts of the book are true. It is it logically impossible to make a long statement that is a lie, and consist solely of smaller lies—you end up with double negatives resulting in the truth—at least in part.

    “Besides, the more truth that you can braid into your lie, the more veracious it seems.

    “But the book exists to deceive. I’m not perfect, but I have no desire to be deceived.”

    Just then I saw a black Rolls Royce pulled over onto a widened shoulder of the road. I pulled in behind the Rolls. A man dressed in black, with a clerical collar, a thick gold chain supporting some sort of large medallion and red-lensed glasses stepped out of the passenger seat of the car.

    A black clad chauffer scrambled out of the driver’s seat and scurried frantically. I believe that the quick disembarkation of his passenger had both taken him by surprise and discombobulated him.

    The chauffer was close to seven feet tall. He had those huge supra orbital ridges and troll features that many giants and semi-giants have. And his arms and shoulders seemed unbelievably muscled and his arms unnaturally long.

    I have pronounced supra orbital ridges myself, though I’m just six foot tall. And my arms and shoulders have always been impressive.

    As irrational as it may have been, I felt my muscles swell as if I’d just completed a long pumping workout at the gym. My jaws clenched. I opened and closed my hands…

    And I wanted to fight that chauffer so badly…

    Somewhere, way down in the reptile brain perhaps, I was taking his size and physique as a challenge.

    “I don’t trust this dude,” Laura said. “Maybe he just lured us out into the hinterlands to kill us and then hide our bodies.”

    Laura had her special .357 shoulder bag, but she was also carrying a small OD Green bag like a quiver, over her right shoulder.

    “I have one of those thirteen inch Remington 870 Witness Protection 12 Gauge Shotguns here. I hope you have something extra,” She continued.

    “Pond and Honour! I have to run around partnered with a heroine from a ‘shoot-em-up!’ movie. Have you ever listened to yourself?

    “To answer your question, I have a .45 Caliber Mac 10 in my sissy shoulder bag,” I replied.

    Once we climbed out of my van, the cleric approached us.

    “I’m Father Duncan,” he said with studied elegance and courtesy.

    He extended his hand to shake, but I ignored his proffered hand. After an awkward moment, Laura started an abortive reach for Father Duncan’s hand. I swatted her hand to one side in some irritation.

    I had no reason to trust the Satanist. He had a curious ring on his middle finger. It could have had a reservoir of neurotoxin—or something—and a tiny stinger. Maybe he’d coated his hand—first with some sort of skin barrier, then secondly with some hallucinogen. Anyway, Jeff Cooper once said to never give a potential enemy the perhaps fatal advantage of a good strong grip on your right hand.

    Father Kobbadah-The-Knobadah never batted a lined eyebrow.

    He assured us that Lurch-on-Steroids would guard my van, and he took us on a walk in the woods.

    “What do you know of us?” He began.

    I was there to get intelligence, not to chat. I ignored the question.

    “We belong to a society that was very old when Abraham left Ur. At one time, we practiced human sacrifice, but we stopped that over one thousand years ago. We didn’t become more squeamish or kinder. We are dedicated to evil…

    “It’s simply that the time had come for a new dispensation. Even today there are a few rather backward groups who haven’t yet accepted the new dispensation. They still use the old ‘Shakryte”. It’s similar to folks who don’t accept the New Testament of your Christian Bible.

    “There are a few of the Archea around here, but this isn’t their work either. They wouldn’t go about it that way,” Father Duncan said.

    We’d come to a clearing and in the center of that clearing was a stone altar, just like in I-don’t-know-how-many late-night horror shows.

    There were also three stone pillars—perhaps fifteen feet apart and five foot high. The leftmost pillar supported a great polished granite sphere.

    “We come here to make sacrifice at appointed times of the year—but a half-grown black pig works just as well as an infant and is much easier to come by than a woman, all kicking and screaming. And if a knuckle joint of our pig should happen to be picked up by a local hound, it won’t engender a full-scale homicide investigation.”

    The Satanic Priest turned his red shrouded eyes full upon me.

    “I have lived a score of human lifetimes. I have seen things that would reduce you to quivering insanity. I have walked hand in hand with my loving master. I am as full of wisdom as a nut is with meat…

    “But you don’t care to learn from me. All you care about is the vulgar and the spectacular—something your tiny trivial mind can comprehend,” He ranted.

    I could tell that he was getting hissed.

    “Something like this!” He shouted.

    And then he picked up that big granite ball, with no apparent strain—or even effort—and he carried it over to the middle pillar where he set lightly down.

    “Can your God let you do that?”

    He’d seriously honked Laura off. That was no surprise. The man was a superb manipulator.

    Laura handed her bagged shotgun to me and then she attacked the granite sphere. She finally managed to knock it off its pillar onto the ground.

    “That stone weighs two hundred and fifty pounds,” The Satanist gloated.

    I’d seen Strongman Balls on the Internet. I even had a few—though nothing over thirty pounds. It’s an odd thing about spherical objects—if it weighs close to what you weigh, or more—then you can’t lift it, no matter how strong you are. The combined center of gravity of you and the stone will be too far forward.

    I don’t know how much the demented cleric weighed. I doubt that he was much over two hundred and twenty pounds, unless his bones were filled with lead—but he’d had the advantage of being able to start pretty much under the stone, lifting it from a stone pillar maybe five foot high—or a bit less—and being about a foot in diameter.

    I weigh well over two fifty though. My Doctor is constantly telling me that I’m getting old. My Strongman days lie behind me and I need to reduce.

    I have too. On a good day, when I’ve been following my diet, I may get as low as three hundred and eleven pounds.

    I felt my eyes turn bloodshot. They can do that almost instantly as the adrenaline causes my blood pressure to soar into wild uncharted regions. I bent over and seized the rock. Something was going to give.

    This time it was the weight that gave. I picked up the granite sphere almost knee-high. I rolled it until it was chest high, then I half jerked it overhead. I slammed it down onto the third granite pylon—the one on the extreme right.

    I looked around and Father Sunshine had disappeared into thin air while Laura stood with her OD Green Shotgun Quiver in her hands.

    “Run away dude, if you’re afraid—but if you touch my van—I will hunt you down with Dingo Dogs and make you dine on your own testicles,” I bellowed.

    I don’t know what gets into me sometimes. I’ve never even seen a Dingo Dog in the flesh.

    I found a battering ram sized log and knocked over each of the three granite pillars. Then I asked Laura to turn away, climbed atop the Satanist Altar and urinated.

    You know, in retrospect, urinating on their altar may not have been altogether a bad thing in the Devil worshipper’s eyes.

    Perhaps I lost my temper. I’ve never responded well to challenges—and challenge had been piled upon challenge; starting with the insistence that we meet somewhere in Narnia or some such nonsense. Then there was the jolly green chauffeur…

    I mean like: the granite stone and Laura’s near despair at not being able to lift it…

    Well, that had simply been the finishing touch.

    Spent over an hour checking the van over, to make sure that it hadn’t been booby trapped, rigged or bugged somehow. Then I felt like bed.


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Really enjoying this story! Thank you for the chapter.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Thanks for a great story. Can't wait for the next chapter.
    "Southern Gentlemen are not always Gentlemen by nature. They are 'Exposed' to proper behavior and manners early in life, and are smart enough to remember, and to refine them, through a constant practice".

    My good friend, Shelby Foote

  17. #17

    6 Chapter Four

    Chapter Four

    Laura and I were just East of Bloomington on State Road 46, headed toward a Rendezvous with a Macabrest who lived near Belmont—Which so far as I could determine, was a wide spot in the Road. We were passing through one of the small nondescript towns when I spotted flashing lights in my rearview mirror.

    “What now?” I expostulated to Laura as I pulled over.

    I got my badge out, drew my .45 and stuck it under my right leg—not because I was expecting any trouble—but because as a Law, I could get away with it.

    “Let me see your license and registration!” He barked.

    “I’ll show you this,” I told him, as I flashed my badge.

    He squinted at it a moment.

    “Governor’s Special Task Force, what would you be doing in this part of the country?”

    “None of your business,” I told him.

    “Get out of the van!” He demanded.

    I shrugged, and placed the badge wallet on my dash. As I started to exit the door, I saw him reaching for his pistol. I shoved the door hard into him—why he hadn’t wit enough to stand clear, I can’t tell you.

    I seized my Colt .45 Automatic, and as soon as I hit the ground I brought the butt down hard on the top of his head. Pistol-whipping people is generally bad business for the Pistol and the mark of a chucklehead, but you’re supposed to slam the magazine into the butt. In the US Army they taught us to always slap the base of the magazine twice upon insertion—just to make absolutely sure that it was fully seated.

    The way he got all slack, I knew that I really didn’t have to hit him again—but like with the potato chip, it’s hard to stop at just one. Besides, I was really anxious to assure that my magazine was fully seated…

    This time I made it a point to strike him in the face, to give a nice facial scar…

    And wouldn’t you know it, he had a partner who’d been sitting in the Law Car the whole while—which was also Hiss-Poor Law practice from what I’ve heard…

    But it did put him in a perfect position to call for back up.

    I dropped the bloody Law to the ground and took the time to handcuff him with his own cuffs. Then I grabbed my Saiga .308, the wooden stocked version, of course. A couple rounds through the windshield on the driver’s side convinced him that I had the penetration and that he did not.

    I had him lying facedown and handcuffed, on the asphalt, next to his bleeding partner by the time his back up arrived—two more city Law Cars carrying two Laws each.

    By this time, I had Laura armed with my Marlin Lever Action .30-30. She’d have preferred more firepower—but then she should have brought her own Long Gun. The .30-30 had plenty of penetration for car doors and such.

    She’d gotten on the radio and tried to explain the situation—so they didn’t get out shooting—pity.

    They pulled to a stop twenty yards away and addressed me with a Bullhorn.

    “This is all a misunderstanding. If you will lay down your arms and surrender, I’m sure that we can work this out peacefully,” One of them shouted.

    By then they were climbing out of their cars and taking cover behind the doors.

    I’d picked up the Bullhorn out of the first Law’s car. Note to self: Get a Bullhorn.

    “Peace is over-rated. You drop your Weapons, and we’ll talk,” I shouted back.

    “We’ve got you outnumbered, “ The Law pointed out.

    “I got you out-Gunned. Anyway, cowards always theorize with the idea of staying alive firmly in mind,” I replied.

    “I’m not joking around here. The doors of my van are reinforced. Are the doors you’re hiding behind reinforced against full-powered rifle fire?”

    Then to emphasize my point, I sent a round through the driver’s side jacklight on each vehicle.

    One Law lost his nerve, raised his hands, and stood clear of the car door. In a moment’s time, they were all standing with their hands up. I quickly handcuffed and frisked each one of them, while Laura covered me.

    “Cowards!” I said scornfully to them.

    I’d seen enough products for sale, with surreptitious handcuff keys, that I really didn’t trust them much. Gun belts, trouser belts, all pocket contents and wristwatches were left on the road. I could have taken them into the van—but I kinda hoped that someone would steal them.

    I dropped each of their pants down around their ankles to further hinder any escape attempts, and then I loaded them into my van.

    “First of all, get Murray on the line. Tell him that we have six Laws under arrest. We’re heading for State Police Headquarters in Indianapolis—Don’t want to concede any home-court advantage to the locals,” I told Laura. “ Then keep any eye on these devious Lopslickers—and I mean a sharp eye. If any of them even looks to be trying to Houdini out of the cuffs—shoot him.”

    We had quite a convoy of Laws by the time that we got to Indianapolis. But Murray had contacted the Governor, and word had passed all the way down the Law Enforcement Scrotum Pole to the local level, that Laura and I were “Cowboys” and not “Indians”.

    ************************************************ **********************

    “What in the Hell was that about!?” Murray demanded.

    “I had to put up with spritz like that before. It wasn’t right, but I gritted my teeth and bore it…

    “But I don’t have to put up with being rousted by red-necked Laws with no real cause anymore,” I replied.

    “Send the word out not to mess with the Governor’s Special Task Force,” I said.

    “Right now, the ‘Governor’s Special Task Force’ consists of you and Laura. You don’t know how close the Governor came to closing the whole department today. But it’s bad medicine for politicians to admit they made an error and I managed to persuade him…” Murray trailed off.

    Right then, I saw the half-dozen Laws that I’d arrested start down the stairs.

    “ Are you just going to let these Shabnasticators go scot-free?” I demanded.

    “I wanted them charged!” I raged.

    “With what?” Murray asked.

    “Interfering with a Law investigation. Pointing Firearms at Laws. Threatening Laws—throw the book at them!”

    “First of all, the charges would never stick.”

    “I know, but it sure would cause them Beaucoup grief in the meantime,” I said.

    “It would also cause the Governor untold grief,” Murray said.

    “Skew the Governor!”

    “Do you even know who the Governor is?” Murray asked.

    “Sure I do, he used to sign my check for me, when I worked for the Board of Health. Governor Orr,” I stated confidently.

    “When was this?”

    “1986,” I said.

    “Orr ain’t the Governor anymore Friend,”


    “Try to raise a little less Hell,” Murray said. “Be a bit discrete.”

    Then he leaned close and lowered his voice.

    “But if you can’t, the Governor has a certain amount of political clout invested in you. It’ll be even more damning to back down the next time…

    “But stop acting like you have diplomatic immunity.”

    “Can you get me and Laura diplomatic immunity Murray?”

    Murray sighed and shook his head.

    ************************************************* ********************

    “You are insane!” Laura said as we climbed into my van. “We could have been killed!”

    “Are you afraid to die? It is always a good day to die. Maybe you should ask Murray to take you off this case,” I said.

    “No. I saw the look in some of those poor women’s eyes, and their husband’s faces in the taped interviews. Whoever is doing this is Pure-Dee Evil. I want him. I want him bad…”

    “And it will probably take someone wanting to stir up spritz at every opportunity, to find this fiend…

    “Besides, I’m having too much fun.”

    “Let’s stay in a motel tonight—no sense in driving all the way to Kentucky, and then have to drive back.

    “There’s a Demon worshipper that we still haven’t interviewed yet,” I said. “After all, Governor Orr won’t have to pay for it.”


    “He used to be the Governor. Now we got a different one—or so Murray tells me. So if he ain’t Governor anymore, he won’t have to pay for our rooms tonight,” I said.

    “You are astonishing!” Laura said—precisely, which of my attributes that she was complementing, I can’t tell you.


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    I am WAY enjoying this story. Maybe even a little too much. Thank you, and please keep it coming.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Very good chapter. Was pictureing the whole scene, but when he dropped all of their pants I think I saw 'a little to much'. Thanks and I'm waiting for more.

  20. #20


    Actually, combat expert Colonel Rex Applegate, in his rather influential book (in its time) "Kill or Be Killed" showed this technique for further hindering rapid movement by prisoners, when you have one man guarding many.

    It may have been a little over the top; but it didn't come out of my devious imagination.

    I penned that whole chapter on the fly, trying to break up the monotonousness of several interviews all in a row.

    I started with the simple idea of Friend butting heads with a local Law, when pulled over at a speed trap, and went from there.


    PS: Friend didn't drop their underwear--that would have just been perverse.

  21. #21


    Chapter Five

    Whereas Father Duncan, the Satanist, had been tall and lean and elegant, The Macabrest James looked like a five-foot four-inch replica of Wolverine, right out of the Comic Book—bulging muscles, mutton chop sideburns—the whole trip.

    Not that I’d knock anyone for having Mutton Chops, I’ve had what has come to be called “Wolverine Sideburns” long before the first Wolverine Comic ever hit the stands.

    James was almost deliriously happy and cheerful and friendly. It wasn’t catching though. He’d put my nerves on edge when he’d offered us some homemade wine and cookies. I’m too cautious to eat or drink anything offered to me by an occultist—or indeed—anyone of dubious goodwill. But the wine smelled good, and the cookies looked very appetizing. I was hissed that I couldn’t freely partake.

    “So, have you heard the tale of Feyderon?”

    I had, but I wanted to get his take on his sect, so I nodded negatively—besides, Laura needed to catch up.

    “You have doubtless heard and read the Biblical account of how Satan was cast out of Heaven for rebelling against God. Well, the Biblical account leaves out many details.”

    That much was true. The Bible leaves out a lot of details. Otherwise, like John said, the Earth couldn’t contain all the volumes. It does however; tell us everything we really need to know—however we might wish for more detail here and there.

    “The ‘Shakryte’ has a much more complete account of the incident.”

    That is also true. The ‘Shakryte’ does have a much more detailed account.

    Now whether a single word of all that extra detail one finds in the ‘Shakryte’ is true—that’s where folks will differ.

    I’ll let James present his story without further objections, since we’re examining his belief system, not mine.

    “Lucifer, Gabriel and Michael were the Archangels and each one commanded one third of the Angels in Heaven. Lucifer rebelled.

    “Lucifer had three under-lieutenants, and one of them was Feyderon. Feyderon was very far away, with all his subordinates, on some sort of mission incomprehensible to mere humans.

    “He didn’t know about the rebellion. When he returned and tried to enter Heaven, he was prevented.

    “Only those who answered God’s call to arms may enter here,” The Guardian told him.

    “Had I been here, I would have been on God’s side,” Feyderon protested.

    “I know that is true, “ The Guardian told Feyderon.

    For one Angel could not deceive another.

    “But you were not here. You did not answer the call and you are exiled,” The Guardian said.

    “This is hardly fair,” Feyderon said. “Let us go into the presence of God and hear his ruling.”

    “There is no need to bother God about this. His instructions were very specific.”

    Feyderon tried to force his way past The Guardian. But though Feyderon was much more powerful and higher ranking than The Guardian, while filling his post, The Guardian was invincible—or at least powerful enough to thwart Feyderon.

    Feyderon was very angry.

    “Aha!” He said to himself. “This is all Satan’s fault. I will kick him out of Hell and take it for my Kingdom.”

    Feyderon was too angry to remember that he was only precisely one-third as powerful as Satan. But his anger and the justice of his cause strengthened him. For a while, it looked like he would prevail, but in the end, he lost.

    Now many Christians believe that Hell is all a Lake of Fire—but the Lake is only a part of Hell. Satan cast Feyderon into the Fiery Pit thinking that he would be utterly destroyed.

    But an Under-Archangel is too powerful a being to ever be destroyed, even by the Fiery Lake. Feyderon spent untold eons in the Bottomless Pit, but eventually he escaped—again, by means incomprehensible to humans.

    And to head off your next question—all possible escape routes will be closed after the last judgment—but they weren’t in those incomparably long ages ago when Feyderon languished there.

    Feyderon was mad for a good long while. When the cosmos was created, he stole some matter, and created himself his own World in what we’d call an alternate dimension today.

    Eventually he pilfered enough plants and animals to start an ecosystem—for he could not create life. Then he placed some captured humans there. At first he let them multiply, but he had only one purpose for them.

    He slaughtered them by the millions—all for their skin. And on pages of human skin he wrote out the Twelve times Twelve times Ten Thousand books expressing his rage. Some of the books have many hundred volumes—being immortal and with a mind far greater than any human’s, there was no need to be brief.

    But his rage cooled when he finished the Books of Feyderon. On Feyderon’s World there is a huge library containing the Books of Feyderon. It is a high honor to be appointed a caretaker of the Great Library.

    “Let me get this straight,” Laura asked.

    I wouldn’t have bothered arguing, but Laura was younger and had less practice dealing with the obsessed.

    “You’ve read ‘The Revelation of John’, last chapter of the Bible. Satan loses. He is a Big Loser. Now this Feyderon y’all worship, he is by your own admission an Even Bigger Loser. You say that he’s only precisely one-third as powerful as Satan—but y’all worship him?”

    “We don’t worship Feyderon. We simply collaborate with him,” James explained.

    “For what?” Laura asked.

    “Money, Power—both over men and over matter, long life and vibrant good health. Legend has it that one day Feyderon will be reconciled with God and he will remember his friends.”

    “Feyderon can’t get you into Heaven,” Laura said. “Only Jesus can do that.”

    James acted genuinely wounded.

    “Nothing about our Order would rule out one being a Christian,” James stated with conviction.

    Yeah. The Nazis claimed that one could serve two masters and so did the Communists. It’s a very old scam Even Lot fell for it way back before Sodom was destroyed.

    I’d had to share some of my data with the occultists, to have any hope of getting any useful info back.

    “This isn’t our doing. Even in the ‘Shakryte’ it says that we’ve never offered any sort of sacrifice—much less a blood sacrifice. But I hear things—though I know next to nothing about this.

    “You know about the ‘Golden Dawn’?” James asked.

    “Crowley, Levay—folks of their ilk?” I said.

    “Yes, they do the Devil’s work, but without any sort of true intimacy. They’re posers but most of them have enough caution not to get into sacrifice—at least not human sacrifice…

    “But they’ve spawned all sorts of crack-brain wanna-be imitators. Some of them aren’t anywhere near sane.

    “The followers of Hurr don’t practice sacrifice—but rumor has gotten to me that they know something about the fellow you’re seeking. I’ll put you in touch with them.”

    ************************************************** **************************

    “Who is Her?” Laura asked me once we were settled into the van once again.

    “Hurr—‘H’ ‘U’ ‘R’ ‘R’; Hurr the Blind God. It’s a sect that grew up in parts of Italy during the seventeen hundreds. I don’t think that they ever had more than two or three hundred members at one time.

    “The sect has died out in Italy, but there are sixty or seventy members left here in Indiana.

    “The Satanists are very afraid of them—which explains why Father Duncan never mentioned them—assuming that he both knew, and wanted our quest to succeed,” I explained.

    “Why are the Satanists afraid of them?” Laura asked. “Are they very powerful?”

    “No, I can’t say they’re powerful. From what I hear, Hurr has no desire for followers and offers absolutely no incentives for anyone to follow him.

    “The Satanists fear them, because they fear anyone or anything weirder than they are.”

    “Do you think that any of that stuff about Feyderon is true?”

    “I sincerely doubt it. In the end, what difference does it make? Make a straight path for your feet. Let Feyderon and his followers look after themselves—assuming that Feyderon actually exists.”

    “But if it was true, it hardly seems fair,” She persisted.

    “Shall a man judge God? Lotta things seem unfair. Read how God favored a sissy stay-at-home mama’s boy like Jacob, over a real man’s man like Esau…”

    “Esau sold his birthright,” Laura interrupted me.

    “Sure, but he didn’t sell his Blessing. The birthright meant that he inherited two-thirds of the livestock and material goods, while Jacob only got a third.

    “The Blessing was an entirely different matter.

    “Anyway, in one of the Epistles it says that God favored Jacob over Esau while both twins were still in the womb.

    “Also, look how God treated Rachel and Leah. Jacob loved Rachael and despised Leah. Surely Jacob had a right to his favorites—especially considering how Jacob was duped into marrying Leah.

    “At any rate, it wasn’t Rachael’s fault how Jacob treated her sister—but God shut up her womb nonetheless.

    “Thing is, if you’re looking to get hung up over something, it will blow your mind. Just accept that even when being unfair, God has perfect reasons.

    “Forget about Feyderon. The whole set-up is one more snare.

    “Anyway, tomorrow we go to see Hurr.”


  22. #22
    thanks for the new chapter

  23. #23
    Just accept that even when being unfair, God has perfect reasons.
    Wow. Very well phrased.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    I'm liking this story more and more. You seem to really know your Bible facts. I like how you are telling this story of evil and giving God's perfect reasons for the things he does. Need more please and thank you.

  25. #25

    6 Chapter Six

    Chapter Six

    “This is Hurr,” The Monk said.

    He didn’t look much like anyone’s conception of a Monk. He was dressed in a three-piece suit and looked like a thin elegant lawyer or banker. He seemed to sense my thoughts.

    “We tend to be aesthetic, but not out of any desire to renounce anything. We renounce nothing of value and cleave to that which we find good.

    “You will notice that most of the Monks wear sweat pants and tee-shirts. They are loose fitting and comfortable. In winter we add sweatshirts and long underwear—some choose the hooded sweatshirts.

    “Sweat pants are noticeably cheaper than trousers. We have no ranks and we don’t stress conformity or uniformity. One chooses what colors that he will. But we have more formal wear, for certain situations, like meeting you,” He explained.

    “At any rate, this is Hurr. You’re thinking of Paul’s dictum that Idols are only dolls made of whatever material came to hand, with no consciousness or awareness.

    “This is not an Idol. It is Hurr himself—in the flesh, so to speak,” The Monk said.

    There was a statue, just a wee-bit larger than life—either that, or Hurr was an uncommonly large fellow. It seemed to have been carved very skillfully and wit great detail, from the very whitest of marble, with a skill that put any other sculptor’s work into the category of a very distant second best.

    Hurr had no eyes, nor was there ant depression where eyes should have went.

    I felt compelled to touch it, to see if it was as incredibly polished as it appeared.

    “It is indestructible,” The Monk—He’d never bothered to give me a name—said. “Shoot him. Hit him with a sledgehammer, if you desire. Pour acid upon him. Nothing can mar his form in the slightest degree.”

    A bullet bouncing off the marble statue might have ricocheted perilously around the room. Anyway, it was too fine a work of art to want to do the iconoclast thingy.

    Then I sensed it.

    When I was a small boy—in fifth or sixth grade—I went to an overnight activity at the YMCA. It was in the dead of Summer and this was before air conditioning became almost universal.

    They took us down into the sub-basement where the pool was for a midnight swim. Even at midnight, the temperatures must have been in the nineties. It was very humid—especially in the poolroom.

    And when they got us down into the poolroom, they kept us sitting at the side of the pool for fifteen or twenty minutes for some unguessable reason. In retrospect, I think they were waiting for a couple more adult supervisors to join them.

    Anyway, as I sat at the side of that underground pool—the air was hot and thick like soup. There was a vent high on the right and high on the left was one of those very large old pulley-driven exhaust fans that used to be common.

    The air was blowing strongly enough to keep my back desert dry even in the heat. I could feel the warm air flow across my back like a dry goose-pimpled massage—it felt almost strong enough to raise static discharges. The “Gallump! Gallump! Gallumppp!!!” Sound of the exhaust fan contributed to the mood.

    And strangely, I wasn’t inclined to fall asleep, despite my extreme relaxation.

    Then they gave the signal to jump in the pool. You have to realize that as a boy, swimming was a transcendental experience. All life’s other pleasures were on one side of the ledger and swimming was so much better than any of the other good things that it wasn’t even worth comparing them.

    But I would have willingly foregone swimming that night, at least for awhile, to sit and feel that gentle sensation across my back and the altered state I’d somehow drifted into.

    First of all, I didn’t want to look like a moron, sitting beside the pool while everyone else swam.

    Second, I was not at all sure that I’d be allowed to simply sit.

    Thirdly, I very much liked to swim, but finally, I knew that they’d call us out of the pool several times for “Buddy-Checks” to make sure that no one had drown.

    I don’t know why buddy-checks were so time consuming. The pool was filled with clear water. Once all the swimmers had climbed up onto the sides, it would be glaringly obvious if someone was drowning or drowned.

    Also, everyone held his Buddy’s hand up high to be counted. If anyone’s Buddy had drown, or been abducted by little green men, for that matter, it would have been immediately obvious.

    But Buddy-Checks commonly took ten to fifteen minutes and sometimes stretched to a half hour.

    I consoled myself that I’d be able to experience that wondrous sensation again—several times—before the swim was over.

    But my back was wet. Perhaps if they’d let us sit long enough to totally dry out…

    And so many children splashing and floundering around had put more chlorine and moisture into the air. I was wide awake now and looking for that experience.

    Rarely have I been so disappointed.

    But I never experienced that mental state, in all its fullness, ever again. I never forgot though. Many years later, when I needed to calm myself or to lower my blood pressure, I’d try very hard to imagine myself at the side of that pool again—and it worked for me.

    Being in the presence of Hurr brought back that state of mind to me—a hundredfold.

    We tend to think of Time as a very thin and evanescent fluid or ether that permeates all of space and has an unstoppable movement to it—always into the future.

    Hurr perceived time more like very clear Karo Syrup or Glycerin—not the least bit sweet or sticky or organic, but very very slow and viscous—hardly flowing at all. And somehow in his presence, I grasped his very indifferent and emotionless mood.

    Then it ended, and I hastened to leave the small auditorium—that’s not the right word---“drawing room”, perhaps “meditation nook” that housed Hurr.

    “You felt it, didn’t you? Yet you won’t return, will you? Why?” The Monk asked me calmly.

    “The Koran says that there are beings—Djin and Afrit, Spirits—somewhere in between men and angels, so far as power and wisdom and longevity. They are free moral agents, some good, and some evil—and like men, they’ll be judged by their deeds at the last judgment.

    “Can’t you accept that? Can’t you accept Hurr as a sort of Afrit?” The Monk said with a slight passion—as much as I ever saw any of Hurr’s followers display," The Monk continued.

    “Well, if your Djin and Afrit are anything like people and they’re judged according to their deeds, they’ll be hurtin’ for certain come judgment," I said.

    “No man could pass muster, were his deeds weighed. Only those who get a free pass from Jesus can enter Paradise. That idea of a scale and balance is a snare of Satan.

    “I don’t know that your in-between spirits exist. I do know that unclean spirits—demons—are as thick as flies, though largely unseen and unfelt—at least consciously—everywhere one goes.

    “Folks don’t return from the grave—not until resurrection day—with the exception of the Prophet Samuel, maybe one or two others—though I don’t think so—and possibly the Two Witnesses described in “Revalations”.

    “Those spirits are very old and very wise though. They watched your father, and your grandfather and his grandfather—and tried to snare them, in their turn.

    “They can supply infinite detail to convince you that you’re in touch with your departed loved ones, or the Earth Mother, or Odin or Allah. Hell, they could guide you to the Lost Dutchman’s Mine, if it suited their purpose…

    “But they come only to Steal, Kill and Destroy—and Deceive and Spread Grief among men—particularly God’s people.

    “Eschew looking for transcendental sources of enlightenment—or comfort—and you give them very little to work wit,” I said.

    “Can you honestly say that you know Hurr to be one of those unclean spirits?” He asked.

    “I can’t prove that he is not. Anyway, judge his effect on y’all by its fruits. What are y’all doing to advance God’s Kingdom? Nothing. Y’all sit around and vegetate.”

    “Have it your way. About your killer, We sense a presence. We can’t clearly perceive it—it is shrouded with many layers of obscurity. We can sense it’s passing though. The water may be too cloudy to see, but something that big can’t pass without stirring up the current.

    “You are looking for ‘The One True Light’—or so he styles himself,” The Monk told me.

    Laura had been silent all through our long exchange, but she seemed to become enraged for some reason and sprang upon me like an attacking lioness.

    I hit the ground hard and banged the back of my head hard enough to cut a tree-inch gash in my scalp and cause me to see all sorts of “stars” and flashing lights. I wasn’t too knocked out to hear a high-powered rifle shot and to see the deep gash in the stone column that had been behind me.

    Laura had her .357s and her Witness Protection Shotgun, but I had my 1911A1 .45 Auto. I had three magazines in speed pouches and a six-pack of .45 magazines in a flapped pouch.

    My first thought was to saturate the area the shot came from with twenty-nine rounds of .45 ACP—as fast as I could reload and pull the trigger—pretty fast in my case. Then when my more accessible Automatic reloads were expended, to charge the area, .45 Colt Ruger Redhawk in hand, hoping that Laura could watch my back with her slower firing Revolver.

    I still think that under the circumstances it would have been a superior tactic—but Jeff Cooper always said to never fire unless you can clearly identify your target—not even at a presumably hostile muzzle-flash.

    Live if you can. Die if you must. Always cheat. Committing gaucherie is too high a price to pay for survival.

    I would die if it came to that, rather than violate the Good Colonel’s teaching.

    That was a good thing—a virtuous thing that I did, in peril of my life. I only wish that I could always be so aware of Jesus’ teaching that I’d die before violating the tiniest precept…

    Not that I didn’t violate the good, but Earthly Colonel’s teachings fairly often as well.

    A few hand signals and Laura went one way and I went the other.

    Three steps right, turn at a sharp angle, take two fast steps and dive forward. Roll. Stay down momentarily. Get up. Run three steps left, turn, and two more steps—dive.

    Laura was running some sort of evasive pattern of her own, in the other half of the man’s field of fire.

    He’d shot from within perhaps a hundred and fifty yards—from just inside the tree-line.

    I’d almost made it to the tree-line and cover, when I felt that a drunken mule had kicked me right in my chest. It knocked the wind right out of me, knocked me flat on my back for a moment.

    I thought that I was dying. I hadn’t the wind to sing a death song, but I felt one running through my mind.

    Fragments of lyrics sometimes mean something different to me-something entirely different that the song as a whole means.

    Have you heard the song “Free” by Natalia Kills?

    It’s a song about a young woman who blows all her money on clothing and fashion accessories—mindless narcissistic indulgence.

    They use the word “Free” as a synonym for “Broke”, and they use the words "“Rock It” to mean “Buy It”…

    But there is a line that goes:

    “…Tell him I’m Free—Done spent all my money;

    “But I Rock That like it Don’t Cost a Thing;

    “No, It Don’t Cost a Thing…”

    Sometimes Freedom—Honour--Cost everything that you have. It can cost you all your friends, your reputation, all your material possessions, your life.

    When that happens, you have to “Rock It Like It Don’t Cost a Thing”, like the song says—and not to begrudge the purchase even a little. In fact, you should be Ecstatic, Joyous; because you have just made one Hell of a Bargain.

    I felt that way when I felt that I was dying. I’d run my course and lived my life with Honour. I hadn’t fired at the muzzle blast—though it would probably have saved my life.

    A warrior doesn’t just lie down quietly to die though.

    As Myomoto Musashi said, “It is false to die with a Weapon undrawn.”

    With no need to dodge anymore, I sprinted the last twenty yards. I saw the Sniper trying frantically to reload his bolt action Rifle. I drew my Colt Government Model with my right hand and my .45 Colt Ruger Redhawk with my left.

    I was a Gunman more than I was anything else on this Earth. It was good that my last act was to shoot my favorite Guns.

    I don’t generally practice shooting two Guns at once. I play, but I don’t expect to use it in serious social engineering.

    Six rounds of 255 Grain SWC Keith type bullets loaded to 1200 FPS hit the Sniper in his torso, while seven 230 Grain Lead Truncated Cone .45 ACP bullets loaded to 1000 FPS poured from my Colt. I saved the last .45 ACP bullet for a headshot.

    You’re not supposed to shoot a 1911A1 dry. Reload while one is still up the spout. I’ve never been sure why that’s considered such a Gaucherie. It certainly isn’t that much trouble to hit the slide release…

    But surely the Good Colonel would forgive me a single Gaucherie while dying.

    {Actually, it’s two to the torso, then one to the head, so I had committed two Faux Pas…}

    ************************************************ *************************

    Of course I didn’t die—else how could I tell the tale.

    Laura told me that the best they can tell, the 198 Grained Boat Tailed .308 bullet just hit a twig, right at the tree-line. It was already tumbling when it hit me. I’d been wearing a IIA vest since I started the investigation.

    It had a ten by five or six inch steel trauma plate. I didn’t often include it, it was more than a bit uncomfortable. I don’t remember including it that day—so I can’t tell you whether it was whim or premonition.

    The IIA vest wouldn’t stop even a tumbling .308 and it didn’t hit full on the trauma plate—it just clipped it enough to really start the bullet disintegrating.

    I had an irregular piece of lead and cupro-nickel jacket penetrate my right lung and lodge against my far chest wall—instead of fully penetrating and letting my rose water fluids flow from an entrance and an exit wound.

    Everything had conspired to stripped enough energy off of the projectile that it acted more like a Handgun bullet than a high-powered Rifle bullet while plowing through my lung.

    I had three broken ribs, my lung was damaged and they’d had to operate to remove the bullet—but I should fully recover.

    ************************************************ *********************

    Shortly after I revived, a local Law came to talk to me about the shooting.

    “I have to say that not only was that some fine shooting, but some really brutal Knife work. It looked like a Slaughterhouse in that Sniper’s nest,” He said as he prepared to leave.

    Laura saw my puzzled look. After the Law left, she explained to me.

    “The shooter had two accomplices. One of them drew a small .38 Revolver. You drew your Bowie (a Western Bowie W-49, I might add…). You chopped his Gun hand off at the wrist, then pretty much spilled his bowels. The second went to pick up the downed man’s Rifle.

    “You caught him from behind. Stabbed close to the spine, then sliced out though the kidney. Then you cut his throat, and than reached around and slashed his abdomen not once, but several times.

    “All that Left-Handed. I saw it all.

    “You don’t remember?” Laura asked as she concluded.

    “No, not at all. I always use a Knife Left-Handed: Gun Hand/Knife Hand (not that one plans to wield Knife and Gun at one time, except as rarest fluke).

    “What Now?” She asked.

    “I will need time to recover. I’ll do some heavy reading and some Internet research in the meantime—if we’re still on the case.

    “How did you know someone was preparing to shoot?” I asked her.

    “I saw a flash like off a scope or binoculars,” She replied.

    “Friend, why is Hurr eyeless? He seems so perfect otherwise,” She asked, almost like she half expected to be scolded.

    That caused me to laugh. Let me state for the record that laughing soon after thoracic surgery, particularly with three broken ribs, is no sort of plan.

    Pain then coughing, then laughing at my own foolishness and then more pain—it was a vicious cycle.

    “Silly-Arse Cultists, “ I finally managed to gasp. “ ‘Hurr the Blind God’! Hurr isn’t Blind. He’s simply closed his eyes momentarily on his timescale. Perhaps it’s a mere blink.”

    “And you know this because?”

    “He told me. That’s why I was in such a hurry to leave the room. Maybe he isn’t evil. I wish him well. But nothing good can come from communing with beings like Hurr.”

    Last edited by RVM45; 07-23-2012 at 01:48 PM.

  26. #26
    thanks for the chapter

  27. #27



    I've never attempted a story quite like this one--and at several points I've been anxious, lest I had lost the Narrative Thread.

    Everyone except .223shootersc has been so silent on this Forum, since my last chapter that I wonder.

    No Chapter today--sorry.

    Couldn't sleep last night. Didn't get up this morning till 12:30 PM.

    Behind on my chores...


  28. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    East Central WI
    ... Oh, I'm still reading it, as I sneak a break or two in from work...

    I like it, trying to figure out where you are heading next with this...

  29. #29
    I'm really fascinated with this story. And your style fits your characters SO well. I can't wait to read more.

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Still reading. Keep it going.

  31. #31
    don't worry, I've been reading this from day 1 and thoroughly enjoying it.


  32. #32
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    keep it going there. I can't claim to have this one figured out yet, but I'm along for the duration to see where we go!
    How many miles to Galt's Gulch?

  33. #33
    I am really enjoying this, thank you!

  34. #34

    6 Chapter Seven

    Chapter Seven

    “Why did you ask me to bring a bathing suit?” Laura asked.

    “As you can see, I have a pool. I thought that you might want to swim,” I said.

    “Are you going to swim with me?”

    “No. I’m almost sixty years old. Some of my musculature is gone along with some of the fat that used to support the muscle. I have big flaps of skin hanging and although I was a very hairy young man, decreased circulation has made me as hairless as an eel—body wise.

    “That’s why I wanted an indoor pool. No one will gape at my old body,” I said.

    “That’s silly!”

    “Maybe, but it isn’t open for debate. I wish to hear no more about it.”

    After a moment, she was examining some of my gear.

    “What is all this stuff?”

    I had many packages of “Magnetics”. Some of them I’d super-glued permanently together—particularly in the shapes of the five Platonic Solids: Tetrahedron, Rhomboid, Cube, Dodecahedron and Icosahedron. I also had several Stellated Polyhedra.

    I Had “Bucky Cubes” and the more recent “Bucky Balls”—small magnets to build things. I had several sets of the old wooden “Tinker Toys” and many kits worth of “Legos”—some built into robots or small vehicles.

    There were several Artist’s Mannequins, a plastic skull, a couple real human skulls—those are, but they’re very dear. Since they’re harvested in some third World countries, from people who die of natural causes…

    Most come from old people and most have few teeth. They didn’t charge me anymore for one with a fairly complete set of teeth—but I had him back-ordered for a good long while.

    Several animal skulls were also sitting around.

    No, I’m neither a Physical Anthropologist nor a Naturalist. I’m not a Ghoul either—least I like to think not.

    I am an aspiring Artist—I guess it’s a bit late to aspire too much in one’s fifties.

    There were Swords, Knives Children’s Toys and Curiously Shaped Bottles—all bang-up stuff for still lives.

    I had a good stereoscopic microscope—about $2000 worth, an Airbrush and Airbrush gear all laid out and several Carving Knives and Chisels.

    “How old are you?” Laura asked. “Nine or ten?”

    I was only mildly piqued, when she went on.

    “This is great! No wonder Murray thought that you were a Genius.”

    “I’m no Genius. If you only knew how long it took me to finally master Calculus,” I said sadly.

    I like Blackboards. Blackboards have gotten pretty high lately, but there is a paint that will create a chalk friendly surface when dry. I had a rather large nook with “Blackboards” along three of the walls, along with a couple rolling Blackboards.

    There are other Blackboards all over my space, but that twenty-five foot area was what I called my “Blackboard Jungle”.

    When developing an idea—sometimes I want to imagine solely it in my mind, sometimes I want to sketch on paper, sometimes on the computer or one of the several “Etch’a’Sketchs” that I have lying around…

    Sometimes though, the Chalkboard calls.

    Sometimes you feel like a nut—sometimes you don’t.

    Laura had picked up one of my “Etch’a’Sketch” games, and was playing with it.

    “Bring that along and come over here,” I told her.

    “Do you read the Bible much Laura?”

    “Not since Sunday School as a little girl,” She said.

    “Well, we’re encountering all kinds of groups who like to twist scriptures to their own ends.

    “I’m not going to order you to read the Bible—but I wish you would, while we’re hanging around here waiting for my ribs to knit.

    “Look here, it is a good thing to read it from front to back with understanding. It’s all good. But fact is, some of it is a lot more important in matters of doctrine than other parts.

    “Start in three places. Read Genesis. Take two or three days to read it, if necessary—don’t read it more than once in a day, in any case. Read it through five times,”

    I started writing my recommendations on a corner Chalkboard with red chalk.

    “Then start working your way through the Old Testament, reading the rest of the books in order. Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy have some good stories and lessons—but they’re also chock-full of long genealogies and Old Jewish Regulations…

    “Anyway, our church recommends that whenever someone feels called to be a Minister, that he form the habit of reading five Psalms a day. That’s a good habit to get into—but many of the Psalms are meaningless to me without further exposition.

    “I have a Three Volume work here by Spugeon. It’s yours now. Read five Psalms and Spurgeon’s commentary on those five daily. There are one hundred and fifty Psalms—a month’s worth. When you finish the Psalms, start over, put omit Spurgeon the next few times…

    “Instead, read Proverbs and this book. Repeat Proverbs twice more without the commentary. Read Ecclesiastes five times, and Song of Solomon three times…

    “Then start another Psalms and Spurgeon again.

    “When you finish The Psalms with Spurgeon, continue to read five daily Psalms indefinitely. Read Proverbs twice more, without the commentary, Ecclesiastes five more and Song of Solomon three more, continue on through the Old Testament.

    “Joel and Zechariah are each worthy of five readings your first time through.”

    “In the New Testament, read The Gospel of John five times, Revelations five times…

    “Then start at the beginning: Read Matthew, then read John. Read Mark, then read John, then Luke, then John again.

    “Until you’ve read the whole New Testament.

    “I’d advise that when you come to a list: Jacob’s Sons, the Plagues of Egypt—whatever—that you make a note, and memorize it.

    “You do understand, I want you to start simultaneously at three different places?” I paused to ask.

    “When your Old Testament gets to Psalms, you can drop that third.

    “The Major Prophets: Ezekiel, Daniel, Jeremiah and Daniel all deserve more emphasis sometime—along with all the Minor Prophets—Nonetheless, by the time you have finished what I assigned you, you should have an excellent grasp of the Bible.”

    “But that’s only my suggestion. Those are your books now. Read them or not. Throw them into the pool, for all I care.”

    I did care though, the books would eventually clog my pool filter—but I did have a net on a long pole.

    ******************************************** *******************************

    The first couple weeks, Laura swam, lifted my weights and we both shot daily on my outdoor range. Then she would play with an Etch’a’ Sketch or doodle with Magnetics or Bucky Balls, Draw on my Chalkboard or play Chess with one of my Chess Machines…

    When she wasn’t pursuing the reading assignment that I’d given her.

    The sixth Sunday rolled around, since I’d been shot.

    “We’re going to Church this Sunday,” I announced to Laura.

    “Why-come?” She asked.

    “Well for me it will be for Spiritual Sustenance. For you…

    “Well at the very least it will mean getting to meet some of the People of The Book,” I said.

    ************************************** *************************************

    We got there pretty early. As the saints wandered in, Laura leaned over to whisper to me:

    “They’re all Black People,” She said in wonderment.

    “Really? I’ll have to speak to the Pastor about that,” I said, mimicking being spiffed.

    Hate that word “Pastor”.

    The Bible says to shun all appearance of Evil.

    To me, good Country folk say, “Preacher”, While high-fallutin’ City Slickers say, “Pastor”.

    Isn’t it at least an “Appearance of Evil” to start adopting a sophisticated manner of speaking?

    But in our church, almost everyone is a “Preacher”. Some Preachers go on to become Ministers. Most Ministers eventually become Elders…

    And when a Church needs a Head Dude, either the Bishop appoints one of the Elders in his district, or the Church elects one…

    And they call the Head Dude “The Pastor”.

    At any rate, we had Sunday School—they dissected the story of Mary and Martha.

    Then we had Church. There was singing. A few folks felt called upon to dance and shout. They asked me to Preach, being that I hadn’t been there in a good long while…

    Then there was more singing and dancing.

    Then the Pastor preached a sermon.

    Sunday School started at 10:00 am. Church got out about 4:30pm.

    A young lady waited patiently to speak to Laura and me alone.

    “Elvira is my aunt,” She began. “She said that she saw you on the street. She said that you’re a Law now, or working for them—investigating several homicides.”

    I’m pretty sure that Aunt Elvira didn’t say, “Homicides”—though it’s possible. But the thirteen-year-old girl is a Mensa member with an IQ of 197.

    “Aunt Elvira says she has some data for you.”

    “Tell her to come by my house Dean. You know where I live, don’t you?”

    Ordinarily I wouldn’t want streetwalkers coming by my home…

    I still didn’t feel quite myself, to be stalking the wild asparagus on the knobby asphalt…

    And Elvira was a fellow Church member. She might have backslid to the point of selling her body for rocks of Cocaine. She’d undoubtedly try to steal someone’s eyes if there was a profit to be made from doing so.

    But not only would she be reluctant to alienate her Church—too much potential for support there someday—when she really needed it, if she didn’t poison the well; She also know that I would be a very poor person to have mad at one—even before a Governor—who was not Governor Orr—got to feeling good enough on something, to give me a badge and Wide-Ranging Authority.

    ************************************************** *** *********************

    “Why do the people at your church get up and dance?” Laura asked.

    “They’re happy and/or the Holy Ghost moves them. I’m not the sort to dance for joy—not consciously—no matter how good that I felt. I’ve been waiting for a long time, for the Holy Ghost to grab me and yank me around like a rag doll, but it hasn’t happened.

    “Don’t folks dance in your Church?” I asked.

    “I should say not! If the Holy Spirit caused such indecorous behavior, he wouldn’t be welcome!”

    “The Bible uses both the terms ‘Holy Ghost’ and ‘Holy Spirit’. ‘Holy Ghost’ is to be preferred. It sounds less sophisticate—less educated.”

    “What about Speaking in Tongues’?” She asked.

    “Well, most hold that during the singing and praise is an appropriate time for Utterances in Tongues. Our Pastor doesn’t agree. He’s afraid of Freakin’ the Squares too much at the outset.

    “I don’t agree. Squares will never round off, if something doesn’t Freak them, Tweak them and cause them to want to reform.

    “Still, he’s the one God put in charge of that Church.”

    “How do you know that?” Laura asked.

    “Because God will take him from that post when he doesn’t want him there anymore.”

    Just then any further Theological discussions had to be postponed, because Elvira the Whore had come to talk to us.


  35. #35
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    This is going to be a long investigation if it takes her as long as it takes me to read a couple of those books of the bible.

    Keep it going.
    How many miles to Galt's Gulch?

  36. #36
    thanks for the chapter, good stuff

  37. #37
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Thank you. Please keep it coming. Very interesting story, and you haven't lost your focus from the beginning. I want more. !!!

  38. #38


    I felt the need a couple of times, to show something besides an interminable series of interviews with odd people.

    The head-butting with the local laws was one such diversion, The chapter about Hurr was about half and half, then the chapter while Friend recuperates.

    I usually take 50 mg of Elavil nightly, to help me sleep.

    Ran out.

    My Doctors and the Pharamacist are doing some sort of cluster-bump getting my prescription renewed.

    Had a couple sleepless nights. Took one of my sister's sleeping pills night before last and it worked. Took one last night--woke up moments ago, with the cable man beating the door down to repossess Cables Magic Box--can't afford anymore.....

    And right now I feel like I'm both tranked and hung-over--minus any pain.

    Maybe my brain will loosen up after my morning coffee and I can write.


  39. #39
    hope you feel better, need more of Friend

  40. #40

    6 Chapter Eight

    Chapter Eight

    A cab had dropped Elvira off at my doorstep. She hadn’t had the money to pay, of course and the tariff was mighty steep for running her so far out into the sticks.

    She wore very thick lenses and still seemed to grope her way around uncertainly nonetheless.

    “I’m going blind Friend!”

    Those were the first words out of Elvira’s mouth once we were inside, and I’d gotten her seated. Then she started crying. I’d cry too.

    Billy Graham himself said it. My own Pastor admits it, though he says that it is a dangerous teaching—at least for his flock—to proclaim it loudly and diligently…

    But the Bible doesn’t demand total abstinence. I very seldom take a drink, but right before I dropped out of the street life, I’d formed a taste for Scotch. Since years sometimes go by between drinks, I can afford the very best.

    I fetched a bottle of Glenlivit 12-year-old Single Malt. I poured Elvira about four ounces, four ounces for myself and after a moment’s deliberation I poured Laura a glass.

    “Drink, don’t spill. That stuff is like liquid gold,” I said.

    “How and why are you going blind,” I asked Elvira.

    “I have cataracts bad. Those could be fixed, if I had the money. But I also have Macular Degeneration—the rapid advancing kind—and I’m HIV Positive,” she said.

    There are things as bad as blindness, but I can’t think of much worse.

    Of course, blind folks can learn to do all sorts of things. They can Wrestle quite well. Some can learn to ride a bike in light traffic. I’ve seen them skiing on TV.

    There are blind lawyers, mathematicians and probably preachers. It’s just that to me, without the stimulation of visual input, why even bother to do any of those things? What possible satisfaction could it bring?

    Of course, everyone isn’t me. Thing is, feeling like I do—if I ever went blind and someone managed to change my mind, to persuade me to find a purpose for my life in spite of my handicap…

    It would be the biggest defeat of my life. One doesn’t let others persuade one—about anything—much less something so fundamental.

    “Elvira, you don’t have many days left to see the World. Let’s get rid of those cataracts so you can make the most of them,” I said.

    “I don’t have the money. I have no insurance. I never worked at a regular job.”

    “Skew money. I have money coming out my wazoo. I have influence too. When you leave here, we’ll take you to the best eye surgeon in the Nation of Indiana.

    “But tell me what you come to tell me,” I urged.

    She glanced toward Laura—not, I think—that she could see Laura clearly.

    “Never mind Laura, she’s Kin.”

    Kin—the way the old Scots-Irish Hillbillies meant it. The closest sort of bond—usually, but not always of blood.

    I’ve spent much of my life surrounded by black people. I’m not suffering from any sort of identity crisis. I have absolutely no desire to be black…

    But I saw my loose-knit clan dissolve into dissociate nuclear family units when the old folks died, one-by-one.

    Many black families still operate as clans. The street people certainly operate as Fictive-Kin clans—dysfunctional clans perhaps, but clans nonetheless.

    “Fictive Kin” is an Anthropological term. It doesn’t denigrate the strength or legitimacy of the bond. Adoption is one of the few, if not the only form of “Fictive Kin” that our legal system recognizes.

    Try telling a loving mother that her adopted infant is “Only Fictive Kin”. Leave out the “Only” qualification though…

    Like the term or not—that is what adoption is.

    “Oranges and some of the others said that you were looking for some sort of rich freak—especially someone into rough stuff…

    “A john got me into his car. The car was big and black. It smelled like new leather inside.

    “All at once…it was so bright, so colorful, so pretty—I thought that I was in the presence of an Angel. I thought that maybe he’d come to heal me.

    “But after what seemed a very long time, the john got angry, and made me get out of the car. I couldn’t see any better than I could when I climbed in. Actually, my eyes were dazzled for a couple hours, and I couldn’t even navigate.

    “You know Jim-Bob though?” She asked.

    “Well anyway, Jim-Bob said that he saw Sheila get in just after I got out. Hope the fellow was looking for a she-male. Anyway, Sheila later claimed to have no memory of getting into big black Lincoln with a spooky john.”

    Jim-Bob was a crippled hillbilly who dealt drugs from a wheelchair. He played up the hillbilly angle for market recognition—always wearing bib overalls and a frazzled straw hat—and sprinkling his speech with “You’ns” and “We’uns”.

    Jim-Bob got away with much, partly because of pity, and partly because he snitched judiciously. He wasn’t the sort who’d rat out his own grandma—but if you were looking for a rapist—especially a child molester—someone who’d beat down his girlfriend— a strong-arm mugger—or big-timers trying to run the small-scale local dealers out of business, then Jim-Bob would not only sing, he’d write you a full-length novel.

    After both Laura and I had milked Elvira’s scant recollection as much as possible, I made some calls. Then I drove Elvira to IUPUI and checked her in for cataract surgery and lens replacements, as well consultation on her Macular Degeneration and the complications—visual and otherwise—that would come from her being HIV Positive.

    At one point, the admitting clerk got kinda shirty.

    “And who is going to pay for all this?” He sniffed.

    I shoved the tip of my Bowie in his right nostril and penned him to the wall. Then I showed him my badge.

    “This is my Kinswoman. Where the money to take care of her will come from, is none of your concern.

    “What is your concern, from now on, is to make sure that she finds staying here a five-star experience. If she so much as tells me that her coffee was cold, her eggs were runny, her pillow was lumpy or her Television Remote didn’t work…

    “Then I will look you up, and cause you all sorts of pain and trauma.

    “She is going to be able—truthfully—to tell me that you looked in upon her each and every day, whether you were on duty or not. That you checked on her every morning, every noontime and the last thing before you went home every night…

    “That you used every ounce of your charm and influence to eliminate any causes that she may have had for concern.

    “And you’re going to call me daily, to check in, to let me know of any problems and just generally keep me informed.

    “Now do you understand?”

    He seemed too seized with emotion to speak. I guess that I finally got through to him that Elvira was special to someone, and he was ashamed of his earlier churlishness.

    He did nod very vigorously though, once I removed the tip of the Bowie from his nostril.

    Most folks will respond to simple kindness, just like the effeminate admittance clerk, if you’ll be patient and take the time to explain things.

    “What if he turns you in?” Laura asked.

    “I didn’t witness any threatening behavior. Did either of you?”

    I asked Elvira and Laura.

    ******************************************* *****************************

    “What is the deal with Elvira?” Laura asked.

    “Thirty years ago, when Elvira was a teenaged hooker, I’d blown all my rent money on Cocaine. I was homeless. I hadn’t bathed or changed clothes in over a week. I hadn’t eaten in almost four days.

    “Elvira took me home. She fed me. She washed and dried my only set of clothes while I shaved, bathed and then brushed my teeth. I guess that I sat for over an hour wrapped in a blanket, waiting for my clothes to dry.

    “Then she got me a job tearing down old houses and garages. One of her cousins had a small demolition company.

    “I took the lesson to heart. I never let myself get anywhere near that down-and out again. But I never forgot.

    “If Elvira needs my life, all she has to do, is ask.

    “No sissy, yuppie punk is gonna sniff at her,” I finished my rant.

    “So when did you last see her?”

    “Five, six years ago…it doesn’t pay to hang around addicts when you’re living right. She knew though, that if she needed real help that I was always there.

    “Not help buying a eight-ball, or a ride across town to make it to a trick—real help.

    “Not that she ever tried to con me.”

    ************************************************* **************************

    Jim-Bob was a trip. He was naturally observant. When he come to realize that having a handle on stuff that went down in his neighborhood was a big factor in his staying out of Gaol, he went proactive—big time.

    He always had a good set of small binoculars on him. He made no secret of it. He said that he was looking for any of his customers come to the hood with dope money to spend.

    He also had a real nice big pair that he used sometimes too.

    He took beaucoup pictures surreptitiously. He had his own homemade bugs and tiny closed circuit TV Cameras all over the place—that and beaucoup voice activated recorders.

    He cultivated sources of information without ever letting the paranoid drug people know that they were being interrogated—not that most of them were any good at shutting up.

    ******************************************* ***************************

    We’d gone to Jim-Bob’s room, to talk in private. I hadn’t realized what an electronics expert he was, till I spied some of his handy-work scattered around his apartment.

    “Friend, this dude is like weird,” Jim-Bob said. “Hookers go in, they come out two or thee hours later—and they don’t remember.

    “I got plates numbers for you. I got some rather grainy photos. I got tapes—fragmentary, but suggestive…”

    “Let me see it,” I said.

    “Not so fast. I have two nephews in Tennessee. They’ve been sentenced to life in Federal Court, for Marijuana Cultivation—and I have a son in the Juvee Home.

    “Can you spread some love?”

    “I’ll see what can be done. I doubt that I can get your nephews released outright, but perhaps a reduction in sentence, better conditions, transfer to a better prison…”

    “Just see. I appreciate it.”

    ************************************************ **************************

    Murray had some wheels turning slowly, when I got a call from Dean’s mother.

    A big uniformed Law tried to prevent me from entering. I cold-cocked him, and then kicked him twice in the ribs as viciously as I could. As his partners ran up with drawn weapons, I flashed both my badge and my .45 Colt Automatic simultaneously.

    Laura was backing me up with my Mac 10.

    “He was just doing his job,” one of the other Laws said.

    “I know that. Do you think that I’d have gotten so angry, if I thought it was personal? I might have overlooked deliberate malice.”

    ********************************************** *************************

    Inside, both Dale—the little girl with the 197 IQ, and my Kinswoman Elvira—who’d once played the Good Samaritan for me…

    They were both lying in a pool of blood. Both had been shot multiple times. Both had had their tongues removed.

    I threw back my head and screamed with rage. I screamed again and again, until I was too hoarse to scream anymore.

    “This is my fault,” I whispered hoarsely to Shannon, Dean’s mother and Elvira’s sister.

    “Nonsense. Whoever did this is at fault. Elvira stayed with me for two weeks, after coming out of the Hospital. She could see again those last two weeks. She was clean those last two weeks.

    “I had my sister back for two weeks. She went to church with me. She was saved. I’ll see her again in Heaven, along with my daughter some day.

    “She told me how you got her the best Doctor and the best care, and paid for it like it was nothing.

    “Because of you, got to be with my sister once more.”

    I could hear the Song again,

    “I’m Free.
    Done Spent All My Money…
    But I Rock That Like it Don’t Cost a Thing…
    No, It Don’t Cost a Thing…
    Don’t Cost a Thing…”

    “Friend, it may not be very Christian…

    “But hunt down whoever did this and make them suffer,” Shannon said.

    *********************************************** *************************

    I had Jim-Bob in protective custody within the half-hour.

    “Murray, I ain’t askin’ anymore. Now I’m dictating. Jim-Bob’s nephews will be released from Gaol within the next forty-eight hours, with a full pardon of all offences. I want them here at my place ASAP,” I shouted into the telephone.

    “I want Jim-Bob’s son here with a clean record as well. While you’re at it, clear everything out of Jim-Bob’s file. I mean clean.

    “Laura has given me a list of six Laws that she’s worked with and trusts. I want them permanently assigned to the Governor’s Special Task Force, and sent here immediately.

    “We be needing Guards.

    “I’ll also need badges and ID for Jim-Bob’s nephews, Jim-Bob too…”

    “What?! Yeah, the nephews are experienced bootleggers and marijuana growers. I’m sure that they know which end of a Gun to load.”

    Jim-Bob stared at me as I slammed down the receiver, as if I’d lost my mind.

    “Damned Nation! I wish that I wasn’t out of a Dog right now,” I said.

    “How do you feel about Bloodhounds? I know a fellow has seven—they’re littermates, and they’re eight months old. He was gonna train them before he sold them, but he got a job offer overseas,” Jim-Bob said.

    “Find out what he wants for the lot,” I said. “Then offer him twice that, with a five hundred dollar bonus, if he can have them here by tomorrow morning.”

    That many noses and ears running around, even on half-grown Dogs should make it darned hard to sneak up on my homestead.

    “What are you planning?” Laura asked me.

    “Once I’ve made sure that Jim-Bob and family are safe here, I’m going to figure out who this dirty Lopslicking Shabnasticator is…

    “I’m going to hunt him down like I would a rabid Dog—only I’m not going to put him down painless, like I would a poor rabid Dog…

    “Then if anyone out there cares, there will be sad-singing and flower-bringing,” I vowed.



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