Posts Tagged ‘Strangeness’

The Key Pt. 3

September 1, 2014

(Click for Part 1 and Part 2)

Shadows. Chaos. Danger. Remember these words.

When Robin awoke or came to or whatever, she was sitting opposite the strange beetle man thing. She instantly shrank back against the seat and tried not to look in his eyes again. She felt still, so terrifically still like she would never move again. Not that she could not but she would not move even if she really wanted to. There was a profound difference between the two that she would have difficulty explaining to somebody.

On the edge of memory there was something she was supposed to remember. Maybe it was more than one thing. Maybe three? Her head throbbed with the pain of what felt like a hell of a migraine. Out of the corner of her eye she aw a bottle of whiskey which was only half full. She could taste it on her tongue and there was a glass nearby with her lipstick on it. The evidence was mounting in support of a hell of a hangover tomorrow. Robin remembered none of it. It hadn’t been her lips that touched that cup, had it?

The beetle thing stared at her. She could feel his gaze on her skin and it repulsed her. Where was her purse with her tazer. The mace probably wouldn’t work. At least, that’s what she thought when she pictured those beetle eyes.

“Are you ready to begin now?” It asked.

Its eyes blinked audibly and just for a moment Robin looked at it and then looked away. She had seen herself in shiny surface of its eyes. She looked around and saw only an empty bar around them. Her heart started to beat hard and fast again. She tingled all over. She guessed it was from all the quick deep breaths.

“Where is everybody? What did you do?” She asked.

“Oh. It is you again. She said it would have to be you. The bar is closed. I have done nothing. We have simply talked until the bar closed. It closed twenty of your minutes ago.”

“Oh God.” The thought hit her like a shock of cold water. Had she been gone so long?

It cocked its head to the side and stared hard at her. She realized her gaze had been drawn back to look at him almost against her will. “We do not have much time. The spell must activate. The die has been cast.”

“Who’s coming? Wait. Who is she? Who am I when I’m not me?” She could feel hot tears on her cheeks. She spent so much time trying to ignore the blackouts that doctors could not explain but now she was close to figuring it out. She was so close to the answers inside this beetle man’s skull. She had not realized how much she wanted to know the truth. It was like a fire in her chest. Though, maybe that was something else. The fire was too hot. She trembled with the force of it.

“There is no time. She has activated the spell already. Give me your arm.” It said in a forceful tone as it reached for her. Robin was so overcome and startled that she did not even flinch. As he touched her, the fire within felt like it was expanding toward her skin. It felt like it was fighting to come out of her.

She looked down as a tattoo crept across her skin. The pain was like a thousand paper cuts being slowly coated with iodine. Her eyes watered but she was sure the tattoo was of a great dane. The Mark of the Hound he had called it. As it walked off of her skin and onto its hand, she could feel the fire and the searing pain subside. She slumped back into her seat as she watched the hound crawl up into the sleeve of its trench coat.

Suddenly a sickly smell filled the air. It smelled almost like the mix between vinegar and rot and something else she could not identify. A fine black mist started to stream from the beetle man’s pores and then its eyes and mouth and nose. At first she thought the beetle man was screaming but the screams were coming from the mist itself.

The beetle man was smiling and it looked so at peace. If she wasn’t so confused and afraid she might have been happy for him. It was a him now and not an it. His brown eyes opened and he was human. His gray mottled skin gave way to a rich brown, revealing what looked like somebody of Indian descent but it was hard to be sure.

The screaming mist floated up into the air for a moment and then streamed toward the ceiling with purpose. It slipped out of sight and Robin decided this was a problem for a future time. For now her body shook with exertion and there was a strange man with a magic tattoo somewhere on him sitting there. To say the least, this was the strangest night she had ever experienced.

“Where am I?” He asked, rubbing his eyes and looking around. He had no accent and then she felt embarrassed that she was surprised by this.

“Anne’s Eyes Pub on Bond Street. Don’t you know?

“Lady, I have no idea what’s going on. I just know that it’s time to go home. My head hurts and I have no memory of how I got here or anything else for a bit. I probably drank too much. I’ll get out of your hair and grab a cab home. You should probably do the same.”

“No wait. Don’t go. You have to explain what’s going on.”

“What’s going on? I just told you that I don’t know what’s going on. The bar is closed and it’s time to go home. That’s all I know. You’re freaking me out the way you’re looking at me. I’m out of here.” He stood up so fast that even Robin was dizzy. He was halfway to the door before she could even open her mouth again.

“Please. I need you to tell me who I am.”

He turned only slightly, looking over his shoulder. His trench coat swung slight with the motion. “Lady, I’ve never met you before.”

He slammed through the door and left only a jingling bell and Robin with her head in her hands.

The Key Pt. 2

July 27, 2014

(For Part One Click Here)

“The what?” Robin asked.  She was suddenly and extremely unnerved by the man which felt like a thousand insects marching over her skin.  His movements seemed perhaps too jerky and definitely too unnatural.  It  was kind of like a full-size puppet with shiny black beetle eyes.  His imploring look was too eager as if he would not survive without this mark that he asked for.

“The Mark of the Hound, girl!” The thing that was kind of a man asked for again. “The one thing that can make me whole.”  His head tilted sideways slowly and awkwardly as he replied.  His accent was impossible to place, at least for Robin.  All she was getting was that he was foreign.  Highly foreign.

She took a deep breath. “How about we start you off with something to drink?”  She gave her best smile like an honest-to-God professional waitress.  She fought the urge to run away and maybe even hit the door at the back of the kitchen and keep running.  Fear ran through her like a million volts and it was nearly unberable.  She swallowed and bore it because it was her job and she wasn’t just some dazed, tatooed nutcase.  Wasn’t she?

The man opened his mouth and Robin thought he would request that mark again.   Instead he closed his mouth and those beetle eyes unfocused for a moment before settling back on her.  There were two clicking sounds that came from his skull and Robin could swear that flames lit up in his eyes and there was flickering movement on the surface of his eyes.  She looked away, somehow feeling it was too private to look at.

“Black coffee?  I what believe preffered is that would have this I.” It finally responded.  Robin had ceased to think of it as a him at some point because it was too disturbing to be human.
“What did you say?!”  She asked, wondering if she just heard him wrong or he had actually mispoken so much.

“Black Coffee.  I believe that this is what I would have preferred.  Yes.” It responded.  If it realized what it had done, it did not show it.  Of course, reading its facial expressions was already problematic at best.  It was doing its best impression of a human but that only meant that it failed spectacularly instead of utterly.

Robin did not wait for more commentary, she nodded and scurried off to the coffee station.   Her hands shook as she poured the coffee and wondered if they had been shaking earlier or not.  She took three deep breaths and then put the coffee down on its table without breaking stride.  She hung a u-turn and ducked  through the double doors and into the kitchen.   She glanced at the back door but somehow managed to decide against escaping.  She was unclear on why it was such a good idea to stick around but there she was.

She stood in front of the sink and splashed water on her face and looked at herself in the mirror.  She could feel the dishwasher’s eye on her but ignored Felipe for the moment.  Why was she so scared of the thing out in the booth?  It seemed harmless enough but so strange.  She had had strange customers before but this thing made her heart beat faster.  It beat too fast.  She felt hot all over but she wasn’t sweating.  She was tingling.  She found it hard to focus her eyes.  This must be what an episode feels like, she thought.

Perhaps if she waited right there at the sink, the thing with the coffee would eventually wander away to terrorize some other unfortunate soul.  Of course, by then Robin would be fired for not serving a customer and did she really want that?  The job wasn’t much to lose but it was hers and she was proud and needed the paycheck.  She could feel pressure welling up inside of her and at some point she became dimly aware that she was screaming.  This was the point where she must have passed out.

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