Unto The Night

Unto The Night
Amazon.com/ron koppelberger

Monday, June 25, 2012

Demon Jape

Ron Koppelberger
Demon Jape
A bounding sun and caravans in portrait done by the conjecture of sand and hot desert wind, these were the things that foretold of the impending doom the small band of travelers were destined to fulfill. They traveled along dressed in black leather and suede a mixture of modern amenities and old western drama. There weren’t many of them left, in fact they were the last, the last living humans on earth. The sun was 120 degrees in the open and just a touch cooler by the shade of several giant outcroppings of red stone. They had decided that the Demon Jape would leave the desert to it’s own, the killer of mankind, the purveyor of the end; they had been wrong, the Jape had followed them by the heat of the burning sun and by the cold of dark nights.
Crystal Wild and Nod Soul had watched the Jape devour the entire town of South Wash as if it were nothing; 3500 people had died in that town and hundreds of thousands in the more populated areas of New Mexico. Hell, Nod thought to himself, millions have died, billions even! The jape came in a thick black cloak and it settled in on a town like a demon, killing everything that it touched, mothers, babies and old folks as well. They had survived, their tribe had kept ahead of the storm. It had been close in the South Wash but they had gotten out of there the evening before the Jape. They had watched from twenty miles away as the cloud had settled in on the distant horizon, enveloping the Wash with death. Crystal had seen something in the sky over the town, winged like an angel, only it wasn’t an angel it was the Demon Jape, fluttering like a bird in the sky above the civic arena. It was then that they knew and knowing they gathered their courage and headed out into the desert heat.
Soul thought about it for a moment and wondered if it was the devil coming to claim his own. He wasn’t sure, the elders in their group told of a laboratory somewhere in Arizona where they had set this thing free, they said the scientists had found a way to travel through time, but what time had they traveled to? Bob Nesterman had been a research assistant for the Echo Labs Facility and he said that the entire complex disappeared when they opened the portal. He had been on his way in to work when he saw the Demon Jape, it just hovered in the sky above the complex. “What the hell is that?” he had said aloud to himself as it swooped down toward the complex. He had stayed at a comfortable distance knowing that they had unleashed something terrible. The black cloud had followed the Jape and when it dissipated the entire complex was gone. Bob described the Jape this way, “It was all fire engine red with giant wings, it’s hair, if it could be called hair was a long silken tress the length of a kite string and it made a sound, a high pitched scream when it swooped down to the lab, “YYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAA!” then it disappeared, the Demon Jape, the creature they had loosed on the world.
Nod looked at the small caravan and their band of survivors, the Jape hadn’t appeared yet but he knew it would. They ate potato chips and Drank Soda Pop for lunch all the while keeping their eyes to the sky. They had to keep moving, keep ahead of it for as long as they could but the New Mexico desert was unforgiving and hot. Crystal grabbed Nods hand and squeezed it, “We’ll keep ahead of it Nod!” she said with a touch of fear in her voice.
“I hope so honey, I hope so.” he replied as he adjusted his suede jacket. “We’ve gotta go, tell the others we have to head West tonight, maybe there’s something left on the West coast Crystal.” he said hopefully.
The horizon stole the day to twilight and the pink and orange spears of light illuminated the dry desert plains with an ethereal light. They crept along in horse drawn wagons, hoping for the next town, hoping for something different. They moved through the night and shadow quietly praying for an end to their nightmare, humankind’s nightmare.
The night air was cold and filled with the echoes of coyotes, maybe they knew; Nod thought that they were following them across the desert, they had seen the Coyotes in the distance and the buzzards, by the thousands. Maybe they knew, it was probably their extinction as well. The Demon Jape, the Demon Jape, up on us with that big ass mistake he sang to himself in an exhausted singsong that boarded on delirium. He had been awake for nearly three days waiting for the Jape and it was catching up with him. They rested somewhere near four A.M. and Nod fell asleep immediately, and he dreamed of the Jape.
He was alone in the middle of the desert, the wind was howling in a giant arcane darkness as black as ash. The jape stood directly in front of him, it’s long corn silk hair billowing out behind it with a gravity defying ease. The sand was tearing at his skin and the Jape was chuckling in a slightly masculine tone, low and steady like a bear only higher pitched. He realized it was neither female or male it just was what it’s purpose intended and that didn’t include sex, or love or desire or passion only a steady, slow determination; it called each town, each human with a fierce intensity and it left little to bargain with except the inevitable, the final moment of extinction. Nod wondered for a moment, had the dinosaurs gone out like this, he supposed it was possible, insane but possible. This thing, this Demon Jape represented the moment of extinction for man and everything that had vanished before it, the Dinosaurs the great beasts that had come after the dinosaurs, what made them different, why had they survived. The Jape spoke to him in a low hum.
“I will noooooot Commme fer yer spiritssssssssss Nod Soul! The Jape Hissed as he waved away the cloud of darkness around them. A pack of coyotes stood behind Nod and above several dozen buzzards circled, waiting, waiting for the Jape’s decision. The air around the Jape glowed a bright gray and it’s eyes were cast in amber ovals of light. The wings were leathery and veined from the length of it’s arms to it’s mid section; it was a bright phosphorescent red almost painfully bright in substance. The long tresses that trailed out behind it were flaxen and feathery and Nod thought insanely that The Jape would be a perfect Vidal Sassoon commercial.
The Jape continued, “Youuuuuu will be theeeeeeee nexxxxxxttttt generatiooooooon, myyyyyy time isssssss doooonnneee hereee Nod Soul….you willlll beginning againnnnnn andddd thee great cloud shalllll be lifted for yourrrrr generation to prove itselfffffffff Nodddd. Perhapppsss I shall neverrrrrr returnnnnnn!” it said as it’s eyes glowed a bright orange amber hue.
Nod awoke to the sound of coyotes howling in the distance, Crystal was sleeping soundly next to him. He hadn’t smoked in ten years but he grabbed one of Crystals cigarettes from the pack lying next to her and lit it. The cool menthol burn was good and he relaxed for the first time in a year, it had been a year since they had started running, it was strange it seemed much longer, like decades. Maybe they had opened some kind of portal at the Echo labs and maybe they had been in this godforsaken desert for what seemed like an eternity. He would keep them moving to the west, to the ocean; they could live there and start over again, they were the new generation the Demon Jape had said, the new beginning. Nod inhaled and leaned down to crystal, she turned in her sleep and Nod blew a puff of smoke between her lips. She awoke and smiled at him as she exhaled his smoke. He laughed and said, “We’re safe now Crystal.”
“I know I had a dream about the Jape Nod, the new generation!” and they all knew as they moved west to the ocean and a new beginning.

The Veil of Sleep

Ron Koppelberger
The Veil Of Sleep
Agile Sin slept in quiet comfort, it was a dark and lonesome sleep she was accustomed to. As the hour of eleven P.M. approached she began to dream in rapid sequences of light, fire and shades of darkness. She was a vampire to the breath that allowed her to continue living, crimson and scarlet in color, the penance of blood stole her sunshine and today left her with demons in the form of a nightmare.
She was by the edge of a great glassy pond, partially dressed and bathing her fatigued body with the fresh spring water, her reflection cried to the gods in shadow light, to be of the caste, the vampire laden unto the task of feeding, sleeping and even bathing. She sang a lullaby as she bathed, something her mortal mother had taught her,
“Clean about little one
The day will come little one
When the seams and stitch
Of a forgotten dream will
Bring you all that it seems
All in all clean.”
She was dressing in the dream when from the corner of her vision the silhouette of a creature appeared. Startled she dressed and stood away from the edge of the pond. “What is this…..?” she spoke aloud. The sky sang songs of evening tide dread in that silhouette, in that great goblin of a beast that had found her in a moment of weakness. She prepared herself for the fight that would ensue when the great beast came to her. It was fire red and smelled strongly of brimstone. It’s horns were great appendages growing from it’s forehead and it’s teeth were pointed and dripping saliva. She watched as it plodded closer to her whispering, whispering.
“Sin, I come to collect what is mine by the right of those who feed on vampire and wolf, by the right of we who have the steadfast hold on dreams and nightmares, we who hold the key to your salvation as well as your damnation. I come for you Sin, in this dream of dreams as a messenger and the spirit that will take you to the test.” he whispered with a lashing tongue and fangs that sang the song of everlasting pain.
“But you are no vampire beast and I shall not succumb to your whim or your test!” she said with a touch of rage in her voice.
“By seasons of betrothed calm and lessons of rapture you will come to me Sin, for the blood, the blood of the condemned and the taste that lies within you. By my eyes and yours!” he commanded as he moved closer to Sin. She stepped back a few paces and drew her dagger, the pass between them filled with a dank fog and sin coughed at the stench of rotting flesh.
“You are dead beast, if you are to test me then how will you do it, you’re not a living thing, how will you do it?” she yelled at the roiling mist around her. His voice echoed in the fog and smoke.
“I will test you in accord with the vampires of old, the vampires of old my dear…to the blood of a lamb and the innocence of a babe!” his voice said closer to her now. The sky filled with the light of a thousand suns in her dream and the trees looked as if they were in flames. The beast glowed a bright crimson and maroon as he loomed closer to the edge of the pond. She could hear him breathing, he was panting now and the heat he was generating filled the space between them. “You will be mine!” he spoke into her ear, “You will be mine Sin!” She drew the silver dagger she had near her hip and thrust blindly into the glowing smoke. The sun blazed and the beast screamed in mortal agony as the blade penetrated it’s flesh. Shadows and silhouettes filled the smokey flames around them and the beast fell to the ground defeated by the one action that Sin had guaranteed him. “You will die now!” Sin said in the dream as the beast faded to nothing and the night horizon returned with inky blue velvet and the twinkle of a thousand stars.
Sin fell to her knees and prayed to the elders, the vampires of her youth and in that dream of praying she found respite with the truth of who she was, what she was and where she belonged. She knew she would never be anything but a vampire, Agile Sin the wash of a thousand dreams and the wish of a lonely vampire, and she dreamed until she awoke, and when she awoke she found a few sprigs of dandelion weed clutched in her palm smelling green and new. Like the fresh cut flowers of a new day and a new beginning.
The flowers stained her fingertips and she tasted the bloom, it was in patches close to her. The stain of crimson drizzled gray and black on the grass as a remembrance of her dream, had it been real? What of the test? She tasted blood and the sensation revived her and made her ready for the evening hunt, except for dreams and nightmares she had no care in the world except to fulfill her destiny as her caste demanded.
The night sky lay like a blanket across the landscape as Sin made her way to the village common and her food, the sweet taste of warm blood would cradle her in it’s ecstasy and give her a reason to move from today into the promise of tomorrow. She sang again,
“Patient vapors hold the
Ceaseless plumage of a raven in
Designs of ancient taboo
And shadows alive unto the twilight of a new evening
Dream and the way of wandering hearts given the
Will of the night and the taste of a tear in silence and blood.”

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Dark Delerium

Ron Koppelberger
The Dark Delirium
The 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.

The Horizon"s Shadow

Ron Koppelberger
The Horizon’s Shadow
At the edge of twilight lay a dark aura, encompassing the distance and the future of the small township. The residents of Needle Wise slept and in their sleeping complacency never saw the approach of the Crystalline Caste. The heards of cattle at the south end of Wise raised their heads and grunted, moaned at the approaching darkness and in the early hours of morning all but three of the cows were dead, slaughtered in the most profound and violent fashion.
Reverend Hollow said a prayer for the cattle farmers, “…let this terrible incident be the end of it, all in all lord give us peace in this a dark hour!” he spoke in a commanding voice near the corpses of several of the cattle. By the condition of the cows he knew it was just beginning. The cattle were being attended to with heavy equipment and the local veterinarian Locus Flame was examining one of the animals.
“Looks crystalline…..” he said noting the clear mottling on the cows flank.
“What coulda done that doc?” said Ben Listed the unfortunate owner of the cattle.
“I dunno, maybe some kind of chemical, I’m not sure.” he said as he moved one of the torn folds of flesh.
“Did you notice their eyes Doc, all missing. Do you think it was kids or some kind of aliens or something Doc?” Ben asked.
“I don’t think it was aliens Ben, but maybe a cult or something. I’m not sure if any animal or sane human would’ve done this.” Locus explained.
The reverend looked at Locus and said, “God help us, god help us if this thing gets to our loved ones. It’s something dark, unbidden, from the edge of twilight Locus. In all of my years as a reverend I’ve never seen anything like it.” he whispered more to himself then Locus.
Later that evening near midnight tide a dark cloud formed over the Wise. The air became chill and damp as if expecting something cold and ancient, dark and forbidding. Most of the township were sleeping by then with the exception of Locus who was analyzing some of the crystallized blood from one of the cattle.
Locus scratched his head and rubbed his eyes, he must be imagining it. He had placed a sample of the blood under the microscope and adjusted the focus. He was seeing it but it didn’t make sense. The blood cells were dark and clotted near the center, they formed a design almost a star in shape. Locus rubbed his eyes again and yawned. What could have done this, he knew it wasn’t any compound he’d ever seen. Just as he was about to give in for the night the Wise’s tornado sirens began blaring and somewhere near the south end of town there was a giant rush of wind, not exactly a tornado but fast and inky in substance.
Locus watched as the lights blinked on and off for a moment, then went dark. There was a low hum coming from outside and it seemed to be building to a crescendo. Locus locked the lab door and went to the window. A cool dank air was rushing in under the door frame and the smell of moss filled the air. Something ancient had come to Needle Wise, something from the darkest realms of the abyss. Locus pushed a chair in front of the door and waited.
On the North end of town Reverend Hollow was praying, he knew it was the end, he knew something had finally come for mankind, something that they would have little hope against. Crosses across the copse, spittle and holy smoke across the dust laden path didn’t dissuade the wrath of distant elders, distant vistas in crimson and scarlet woe. He had naively believed he could stop it on his own. The book, he had only read two words aloud from that damn book “CRYSTALINE CASTE!” and he had known the mistake when his nose had begun bleeding uncontrollably onto the incantation. He was a man of god and it was his job to secure such things, and he hadn’t known it’s power, it’s wont and passion for the soul of man. He had prayed and searched the heaven’s for an answer and when none had come he cried knowing an ancient evil would steal the Wise.
The Caste came in rushes of wild wind and dark smoke filling the landscape and denizens of Needle Wise with an inescapable fear. The sirens blared their warning to no avail as the town was absorbed by the great Crystalline Caste.
Ben stared at the bottle of whiskey in his hand and unscrewed the lid. Taking a swallow he grunted as the warm Scotch rolled down his throat. Tilting the bottle back again he gulped the liquid with a relish abandon. If he were drunk it’d be better he thought. “To tha land of nod my friends, to the land of nod!” he yelled at the noise as it approached the farmhouse.
The house shook as something huge slammed up against it and Ben screamed as a grayish fog rolled under the door. He gulped the whiskey down and stood bracing himself as the thick viscous smoke roiled around his ankles. The pain was immediate and his flesh became solid crystalline from his ankles spreading upward toward his face. “ARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAA, HEEEELLLLLLLLPPPPPPPPP MMMMMMMEEEEEEEEEE!” he yelled as the smoke overwhelmed him. In the end the smoke, the terror didn’t spare him his eyes only leaving two empty staring sockets where they had been.
In waves the creeping anomaly moved across the Wise stealing what it needed to gain control, to break the barrier between here and there, feeding on the living and taking the eyes of everything it touched.
Reverend Hollow looked at the book, he knew the Caste was coming, the Crystalline Caste, a great beast and it’s torrent of death. He knew he would have to close the gate, the gate to what he thought? To hell, was it the gate to hell and damnation? He read from the book. It said the eyes of the chosen one will repeal the beast and it’s warrant otherwise all will be lost if the Crystalline Caste is loosed. The eyes of the chosen one, who was the chosen one? He prayed and waited, if he were the chosen one he’d have to stop the terrible conclusion, the end of time and the world…he had to stop the Crystalline Caste, it had been his blood on the book and he had brought it forth, it was up to him to stop it.
Reverend Hollow waited and in the end the great beast accepted his vision, the vision of a holy man caste by god seeing the light, what it needed, what it desired in great passionate waves of wont. In the end the reverend was blinded, his life spared and the remainder of the wise left to wonder at the carnage that had come to their little town.
Years later the reverend would think back to that moment in awe and shock, what had he seen when the Caste had touched him, a vision of hell, utter darkness and the shade of blackness that waits just beyond the horizon. He knew the Caste would return someday, but for now he kept the book hidden and safe from those who would have them return to conquer the world.

Halloween Messenger (Long Version)

Ron Koppelberger
Halloween Messenger
The satisfaction of ripe apples and tasty Carmel popcorn balls wrapped in plastic allied the distant whisper of “Trick or Treat!” and screams that echoed the joy of candy and ghostly reflections of bounding youth. The night called out for the sticky smiles of young adventurer and maybe for the souls of those who are lost without the Halloween spirit to guide them.
He jogged in his designer sweats and costly sneakers. His Rolex kept perfect time with his rhythm sounding every 10 minuets with a tiny beeping sound. The park was splendidly vacant and the cobbled path was unwinding in a perfectly enduring climate of chill October air and crunching amber and orange oak leaves. The sky shone a dark evanescence and a wild aroma of wood smoke filled the cool air.
He was a slave to his method and the message came to an irritating supposition, a burden of arduous agency. The shadows were deep between the rows of maple and oak trees. A misty sensation crept across his face, Damp, cool in rivulets of adoring moisture. The black clad figure surprised him by stepping into his path. He stumbled, nearly falling into the flowing black robe. What was this he thought disturbed by the interruption of his even footfalls. The tranquility of the park was ceaseless except for the distant revelry of Halloween and the black clad specter.
He stood panting before the truth of the moment. The figure held out his hand and whispered, “Holler muffin, bewilderin stuffin, bits and pieces of silk. I warn ye aware of the wash with the flow of harmful ilk! A genuine custom you think not to yer death ye might or might not find the perfect spot, but ye shall see the notion of my fee if ye hesitate in row of the seeds that are sown by the hands of fate, now I leave ye now for I can not be late.” the figure receded into the line of trees and disappeared. Pausing, he traced the faint outline of the path before him. “M.I.S.S.I.S.I.P.P.I. for Christ if I try.” He thought as he reclaimed the path and sped onward carelessly ignoring the apparition.
Rambling in measures of adrenalin and reminders of imagined horizon and in the remainder of the wild fly jaunt a rumbling roar of tribute to the stars and creeds of a runner blessed. He crossed the rise of a gentle slope and tramped across Cervantes Boulevard. A tangle of trick or treaters milled near the corner. “Trick or treat!” they screamed with a delicious glee and warm hearts of fire and bounding youth. They grabbed at the sweet sugars of a dream and moved on calling and crying out, “Trick or treat, smell my feet all the way across the street!” as they moved to the next brownstone apartment complex and the next bargain of sweet surprise for the lessoned distraction of soap, wax and bags full of flaming dog poop. Onward to the next conquest with tiny hands in father’s clutch while brothers much too old stood along the sidewalk waiting for the young to return from the front doors of neighbors and perhaps a few strangers alike.
“Bounds and bone yard minds in point lay behind!” he whispered in panting breath. Western lights filled the skyline as he moved closer to the city and the bump in the path, the hard spot in the way of passage. “Taunt, ledges and tall hedges along the way, wayfarer evidence of the fray!” He embraced the night and the Halloween mists as tendrils of fog roiled around his ankles as he ran to the edge of the world and ever closer to the Halloween mists, to the next year and the next Halloween night, by days that shine the light of next years run and the secret what spirits unveil to the chosen few. The path continued to unfold before him and he ran and ran and ran. To what end he thought, to what end? Perhaps to the end of the world, the end of life, love and precious breath. I must move forward to the edge of what is and what has to be he thought as his feet began to complain in aches and throbbing measure. He ran and ran and ran, to what cause, to what division of here and there, to what distant drama unfurling beyond the veil and the realm of life? He heard the black clad figure again speaking in whispers of what had to come to pass and what fate the runner would guarantee. “Disquiet and plights of resolve, to this we revolve away and beyond motionless and married tender beyond!” He ran far and long with the sounds of crickets and children and honking cars behind his ears and the orange glow of a bloated pumpkin moon far ahead beckoning to the soul of men and women alike on the vast testimony to Halloween night. His feet left earth and his soul took leave, to the unbidden realm of sleep and dreams until next Halloween run, I take my leave until next Halloween run. He fell in silent testimony to the turn that fate had handed him as if by force and with little will to turn back. The jogger lay broken near a bend in the path, hidden forces abated and children yelled trick or treat to the vast night cloak, to the mystery of another bidden tomorrow and yesterday in destiny of next years run. “To the land of creepy crawlers and monsters that grin, to the land of apples and Carmel popcorn balls that begin, the day of shadow and delight on this wondrous and magical Halloween night.” the specter repeated to the sky and the moon and the whole of them all in the silence of the night and the promise of next years Run. To the promise of Halloween again.