The Dark DeliriumThe ancient stain of darkness undulated and rolled across the vast reaches of space, looking for a world to take, a haven for it’s cold purpose. Driven by the forces of shadow and utterly despairing passions it found the earth and the town of Curious Wine. The distance between where it had come from and where it now lay was incalculable, it had traveled the farthest reaches of the universe looking for the perfect host to consolidate it’s wont. Curious Wine was the perfect starting point.
Pray Stitch saw the blood of ash and sunshine in the arrival of his girlfriend and the book. She stood poised near the front entrance of the apartment, pressing the entry buzzer and shifting the aged book between her hands. Pray Buzzed her in as he opened the front door. The sound of children playing and loud music filled the apartment complex hall. Pray walked away from the door and to the small all weather radio he had perched on the living room coffee table. Turning it up a bit he heard a loud static voice, “…the rain will be here at around 10 P.M. this evening…possible hail and severe weather are forecast for the town of Curious Wine!” He clicked the radio off and went back to the door where his girlfriend stood.
“Hey Baby.” Cattail Morning said as she greeted him.
“Hello sweetheart, I see you got the book.” he said as he took it from her.
“Yeah and it wasn’t easy, I had to hide it under my shirt. Tom Claner was staring at me the whole time.” Tom was the Wine’s Librarian.
“Well you got it and that’s all that counts.” Pray said excitedly. Cattail brushed her hair to one side and blew Pray a kiss.
“Jus for you honey.” The book was ancient and stained with the elements of a time passed. “Are you gonna try the spell tonight Pray?” she asked nodding at the book in his hands.
“Yes…it’s the perfect time, the dark spot was visible to the naked eye last night Cattail!” he said referring to the large anomaly that had appeared in last nights sky. Cattail went to pray and took the book from him.
“First things first Pray.” she said as she kissed him on the lips.
He chuckled and said, “Is that the only thing on your mind Cattail?”
“That’s not the only thing on my mind Pray but it’s better than that damn old book!”
As the hour of 10 P.M. approached the darkness gathered it’s strength in the delirium of what might be called inspiration. It seeped across the landscape in unearthly tendrils of darkness, cold unwonted and forbidden to the world. It slid across curious Wine touching everything in it’s path with a mind numbing delirium, a kind of group knowledge that sees and hears what it wants. It spread it’s dark tentacles into the sleeping and waking minds of Curious Wines denizens, bringing forth an understanding of whispers and mirage and unbidden secret dreams. The delirium spread to everything and people started acting strange in response.
At 9:38 P.M. Mazy Hoper was sitting down to a bowl of chicken noodle soup, he always had the soup before bed, it helped him sleep and lately he had been having bad dreams, the soup helped. Dark spider webs of thought filled his mind as he took a sip of the chicken soup. What was this he thought as he slammed the bowl into the wall, “What the hell is this?” he screamed as he flapped his arms wildly and started stabbing himself in the eye with the spoon. Blood poured from the empty eye socket in his left eye as he continued to dig at the opening. “WHAT THE HELL IS THIIIIIIIISSSSSSSSSS?” he screamed again as the blackness poured into his body overwhelming him with delirium.
At 9:43 P.M. Art Tisklen was feeding the horses in his stable, they hadn’t eaten all day, he’d had things to do. He noticed that the horses were a bit nervous and something else, everything was off kilter. He had realized something was wrong in Curious Wine earlier today. Rob slickstrum the feed store owner said it was the coming storm, the bad weather they would have later in the evening. “Sometimes animals pick up on that kinda thing!” he had said, he knew that Art’s chickens had climbed the willows in the front yard and the roosters were crowing from the tops of the trees.
“Yeah I guess so.” Art had replied with a bit of doubt, “Mebe it’s the coming storm!” Art stood outside the stable staring at the willows and the approaching darkness that was worming it’s way into the farm. The roosters were throwing themselves out of the Willows and were hitting the ground with angry thuds. The seed of an idea black and thickly viscous filled Art’s mind for a moment as he went to one of the Willows and began climbing it. He reached the top moments later and the tendrils of ice said “Jump, Art jump!” in soft soothing whispers.
By 10:00 P.M. the darkness, cosmic and ethereal filled the town of Curious Wine with it’s will, it’s power and it found purchase knowing that the entire world would belong to the ancients, the shadow in wait. If it could’ve smiled it would have but it’s demeanor was cold and alien not allowing for human sentiment. It stole the consciousness of the denizens with the oppressive stain of dark delirium and all over town things happened, insane things. The cold logic grew and flourished as the incidents occurred and time nearly stood still for Curious Wine.
At 10:05 P.M. it was hailing golf ball sized hail and dark sleet like rain in the Wine. Pray Stitch and Cattail Morning were in the confines of Prays Mustang GTO. The hail was threatening to break the windows of the car as it smashed into the glass in great cascades. Pray started the car and Cattail screamed as the book they had brought with them began to glow with a bright candent aura. “What is it?” she yelled over the torrent of sound.
“I’m not sure…but it’s black and it wants everything, everything Cattail, you and me and everyone!” he shouted back at her.
“Let’s get out of here Pray!” she pleaded with him as he eased the car forward to the two lane blacktop highway leading out of town.
The book fell open to a picture of a dark cloud with thousands of tentacles reaching away from it, the caption read “The Darkness of Delirium!” “Do you think this is it?” she said pointing to the picture in the book.
“I’m not sure, does it tell how to stop it?” he asked.
“No…it just says the avatar of the universe will take it’s resting place.”
Pray said, “The town is gone Cattail, we can never come back!” they were to the outskirts of Curious Wine where the hail had stopped. He said, “Look at that Cattail!” They were looking at the sign near the side of the road that read Curious Wine, they were just beyond it. At the edge of the sign an inky blackness with what looked like tentacles waved around the sign and the hail continued on that side of the sign.
Pray and Cattail would always remember the sign and the darkness that threatened to swallow them whole, for now Curious Wine was the dark Delirium’s and the books magic yet unknown to the couple.