strange journeys and apparitions
wrestlers serving lasagna unnecessarily.
ripped greg in a speedo asking about torn magazine subscription code.
crazy mother in law who floats when full of chocolate-
and so do I
I was in the backyard of my mom’s house. My brother was teaching me a game, he was very serious about it. I looked up and saw a long ribbon high in the sky overhead. I told him to look up, but he was too intent on the game. As the ribbon floated through the sky, it expanded and became like a huge rainbow-colored kite-cloud. I kept telling him to look up, but just as he did, a huge figure came crashing through the yard, dressed in an American style space-suit, gleaming white with a black faceplate set in a spherical helmet. It was very much like an astronaut version of a Big Daddy from BioShock. It continued past us, and we followed it to the hideout of a biker gang- they seemed like good guys, and it turned out they were guardians of a sort of garden full of eggs. As we approached, one of the eggs hatched and a giant butterfly emerged. The gang leader explained that this was the garden where all the world’s ghosts and cryptids had come to hibernate as the world of humans squeezed them out of their natural habitats. But now they had decided to join the modern world.
Working in the shipping department somewhere, maybe a pharmaceutical warehouse. My partner is an ex-Navy SEAL. We are training 3 newbies today; a young black man, a young Vietnamese woman, and a middle aged Caucasian man. At some point during the training, the white guy snaps and takes the other two hostage, threatening them with a box cutter. We try to save them, but he slashes both of their throats like they are paper cutouts. The black man does not survive, but the woman does, and shows up a month later with a friend, an angry red scar across her neck. We embrace, and she says she doesn’t know what to do with her life now. I tell her she’s welcome back here if she wants, then suggest she get some counseling. She seems to think about it.
Three friends and I are exploring a mansion that has been submerged up to the top floor by an earthquake and resulting flood. We are all experience divers. While down there, I see movement out of the corner of my eye, and turn toward it to see a figure walking past an open doorway- a figure not wearing any underwater apparatus. Definitely not one of us. Rushing to the doorway, I find the hall empty. Via radio, my companions tell me I should take a brake topside; obviously fatigue and stress are getting to me. I agree and make my way to our staging area in the attic, the only part of the building above the waterline.
Not fifteen minutes later, the radio crackles with a series of screams and shouts. I try to ascertain what’s going on, but get nothing but incoherent noise.. Then two of my partners surface and begin frantically packing our gear, ignoring my questions and replying only that we need to leave RIGHT NOW. I keep demanding to know where our other friend is. The two of them exchange an unreadable look and mutter “She’s gone, man. We’ve got to get out of here.”
Unwilling to accept this, I start picking solo gear from out supplies and stacking it aside- making it clear that they can leave if they want, but I’m going back to find out friend no matter how long it takes.
Two hours later, I have found nothing; and knowing the limits of the oxygen she was carrying, am quietly preparing to give up. As I break the surface I am startled by bright lights and several figures bustling around the attic. Hands grab my arms and lift me out. It seems our two companions who fled have returned with long term exploration and rescue gear- a portable generator, lights, spearguns, and a small submersible vehicle. We spend half an hour going over our plans and consolidating data, and then head back under.
Days later, the four of us are back at headquarters, having rescued our friend from the network of caverns beneath the mansion, and the Lovecraftian cult of Deep Ones and their aquatic zombie servants. We also found a watertight box containing an ancient scroll and a curiously angled red stone.
The stone proves unidentifiable by our geologist contact, and the scroll nearly untranslatable to our linguist friend. But by comparing it to script from various wall reliefs we snapped shots of, and some musty old tomes from the forgotten basement of the university library, it slowly becomes clearer.
The scroll seems to contain instructions for preventing the opening of an astral gateway that will occur this very solstice- not six days hence- over Chicago, to admit Shai’tan, the ancient Adversary, into the mortal plane. As we desperately try to translate the instructions and prepare to carry them out, I can’t help but wonder aloud if we’re missing something.
“Is it just me, or do these sound more like opening instructions than closing ones?”
I mean, if I were a member of a cult, why would I keep instructions for stopping my boss around my temple?
What? I’m just sayin’.