Unto The Night

Unto The Night
Amazon.com/ron koppelberger

Tuesday, November 27, 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 Breach At Shadetree Orchard

Ron Koppelberger
The Breach at Shade Tree Orchard
They were breaching the boundaries of Riverside Common. They had flittered about the edges of the Common for the past several days, finally venturing close to the heart of the tiny township. A few of the more courageous had gone to explore the far edges of Riverside, never returning. The rest held up in their homes while listening to the faint echoing howls and screeching exclamations near town’s edge.
The twilight presented the bloated pumpkin sun setting slowly into the frayed forest edge and a great glaring moon, full, wan and amber hued, haloed by harvest seasons and a cloudless indigo fringe.
Star Friday, Cadence Cross and Glenn Costa stood near the double glass doors of Sunder Feed and Farm Supply. They had bolted the doors and turned the bright sodium lights off in the parking lot. The expanse of cement stretched to the edge of the road and the woods behind the feed. Stars Camero was parked out front near the body of Paul Shirker. He had volunteered to get help and now he lay cold, bloody with his car keys still in hand near the front sidewalk next to the topsoil display.
A barking howl filled the dampened spaces between the isles of feed, filtering in from outside in easy currents of terrifying utterance. Star looked at Cadence and whispered, “There gonna try to get in at some point Cadence.” Cadence ran her fingers through the braided corn silk tresses that framed her face and said in shaking fear,
“They probably killed everyone in town jus like Paul.”
“They couldn’t have gotten everyone Cadence, we got away, some of the others had to of escaped as well.” Star said in her bravest voice. Glenn walked to the back of the feed. There was a tall pole barn shaped in a half circle attached to the back of the store. The corrugated metal ran from floor to ceiling like a tunnel and bales of hay, cat food, dog food, sow and pig feed, and horse feed lined the walls in the barn. A set of plastic swinging doors separated the front of the store where the shelves were lined with hardware and insecticides of all types, from the tin can that formed the feed area.
Glenn looked through the feed isles hoping for a weapon of some sort. Star stepped into the back of the store and said, “ How about these Glenn?” she held up the long blade of a machete for Glenn to inspect.
“I’d prefer my Winchester but that’ll do us jus fine.” Star handed Glenn one of the three machetes she had found in the hardware and tool isle.
Cadence took her machete reluctantly. “ I hate weapons Star, but I guess I don’t have any choice.” she said looking at the silver blade.
“Not really,” Glenn said matter of factly, “You can wait until those things break in and end up like Paul!”
“No thanks.” she said “I prefer the machete.”
Outside it became darker, the sun finally disappearing into the edge of the earth’s shadow. A maelstrom of silhouettes tall, wolf like and fast flittered near Paul’s body. They tore and ate and feasted. When Star looked out of the double glass doors she saw the sharp deadly maw of one of the creatures. Covered in scarlet, raving human flesh, the creature was part wolf, long snout and pointed incisors, part human with perfectly formed fingers. She watched as the creature slid it’s delicate hands across the glass smearing Paul’s lifeblood in great red smears. The creatures head tilted back and it screamed as if in pain, it was then that Star noticed the black painted fingernails and the shredded remnants of bobby socks on the wolf-thing.
Cadence stepped up behind Star and asked, “What the hell is it?” Glenn moved between Star and the glass doors with a large sheet of neon colored poster board.
“If they see us they’ll try to get in.” he said as he blocked their view with the cardboard sheet. “ Hand me that roll of tape!” he pointed to the roll of clear packing tape next to the cash register. Cadence handed the roll of tape to Glenn and stepped back as he fixed several pieces of the colored cardboard across the windows. When he finished he said, “ Help me move this desk in front of the door!” they all got behind the heavy oaken desk that served as the front counter and slid it to the front of the door. Outside something brushed up against the glass. They moved further into the store as screams and wild piercing howls filled the parking lot, the space between them and the door and the nocturnal terror. Cadence looked at Glenn and asked again, “What are they?”
Glenn thought for a moment before responding. “Last week I saw a caravan of military trucks and transports heading toward the old Shade Tree farm.” the Orchard had been in disrepair for as long as he could remember. The Orchard was full of dead orange trees, gray spears and gnarled dead citrus branches, trees by the hundreds filled the acres of Shade Tree Orchard. “They did something, they let something loose, a virus, some kind of curse that only the military guys know about! They’ve been up there for a week now doing god knows what.” he emphasized with a clenched fist. “We might be the only ones who aren’t infected by this thing Cadence!” Glenn said in shaky realization.
“Don’t say that Glenn!” Star said hoping for the best. “There have to be others like us, people hiding from these things.”
Cadence looked at both of them, “Did you see, it was part human, or it used to be human, there might be hundreds of them, maybe thousands.” Riverside’s population was a little over five thousand. Glenn clenched his jaw, “Dammit, they should’ve know better, they should have, the friggin army, they should’ve known!”
“Maybe it wasn’t the army.” Cadence offered “Maybe this is a punishment, with war and mankind’s hatred for each other, maybe it’s god’s punishment.”
“I don’t believe that Cadence, it has to be simpler than that.” Glenn said.
The delicate passing of seconds repeated the breath of silent serpents and tigers in wait; a pause, the howling screams had stopped for a brief moment.
“Do you hear that?” Star asked, “ I mean it’s quiet.” The temptation to look outside was overwhelming and Cadence ran to the glass doors and peeked behind the orange sheets of poster board. Her screams pierced the silence of the moment as she staggered away from the door. It had been a flash of convergent horror; the street light illuminated the deluge of wind washed horror. One of the creatures stood in a cascade of blood; it rained from above, from the sky, but only on her or it, like a shower. The wolf like snout dripped red gore, liquid crimson and the wind, blowing at the bobby socked wolf thing from the side, a small tempest, localized in the space where she stood; bright sprays of blood spattered in an ethereal mist, a cloudy haze to the creatures side. It was a scene from hell ; her eyes, wild ebony orbs filled with lusting hunger and madness. Cadence said hysterically, “ We’re gonna die, we’re never gonna get out of here!” Glenn grabbed her and pulled her close,
“We’ll get out of here Cadence, they can’t get to us here hon. Someone will find us.” Glenn said attempting to console her. Cadence cried, her tear streaked checks pressed against Glenn’s bosom. Her tears were warm, wet giving him a sense of communion. They had to make it he thought. They couldn’t die like Paul had, they couldn’t.
It was close to 10 P.M., Glenn found an all weather radio on one of the shelves. As he tore open the box he wondered, how far had it gone and how many were there? They had some kind of ethereal power, a magic or a darkness from hell. He still wondered how they had done it, the army, had they opened the door to hell? What was the breach and where had it come from? He took the twist tie off the cord to the radio and plugged it in. For a moment he thought all he’d find was the staticy hum of nothingness, then finally a voice, careful, controlled and fatherly. They gathered themselves, Cadence seeing a glimmer of hope with the radio and Star hesitantly expectant.
“ ……….find shelter immediately! Do not approach the infected, do not approach the creatures, do not approach the area of Shade Tree Orchard West to Riverside! This is just a temporary quarantine, we’ll have this under control by dawn.” the man on the radio promised.
Glenn turned off the radio and said, “They’ve quarantined Riverside.”
“I know, I heard him Glenn.” Star said a note of trepidation in her voice.
“Will they get here at dawn, will they really Glenn?” Cadence said angrily. “How are they gonna get past those things?”
“I don’t know Cadence, let’s jus wait it out and see what happens hon.” Glenn said reassuring her.
Outside the creatures raged and it rained blood in frothy mist and dark magic, the showers centering on each individual beast in the form of an ethereal tempest. The wind blew around them and great smears of the scarlet essence flittered and twirled around their fanged grins. They explored the boundaries of the feed, screaming, howling in torn cloths like ragged flags of terror, in wolf like grimaces, hunger, desire and ebony eyed passion fulfilled their need.
On the North end of Riverside Vern Pursey was battling mosquitoes. The new bug light he had bought was sizzling and popping as mosquitoes and other various flying insect life flittered across the blue neon light and the 120 volt wire. He was fascinated with the new light starring at it and watching the tiny sparks light up the night. Vern paused for a moment, his reverie disturbed. It had begun to rain. “Dammit, he said under his breath. Glancing down at his hands, he noticed the rain had streaked them in dark rivulets and beaded tendrils. “Whas this…………” he questioned as he rubbed the back of his hand. “Looks like blood.” he said to himself as he turned to look behind into the face of silent gaping madness. The creature howled and Vern staggered back in surprise. In the space of a breath he took in the creatures appearance; he saw a large, obese body clothed in a raggedy three piece suit and it was drenched in blood, dripping soggy, surreal in the blue black light of the bug zapper. Vern didn’t react as the sharp fanged mouth bit into his neck and tackled him to the ground. Several others appeared screaming in tempest clouds of blood.
As they devoured him, he took a moment to contemplate the creature in the suit. Slavering over the top of Vern it’s necktie dripped crimson into his eyes. The last thing he noticed was the city seal stitched into the bloody cloth. As his life ended he realized the creature was wearing Mayor Braggs cloths.
Closer to the southern end of Riverside Mel’s Truck stop was a giant conflagration as black oily smoke poured from the ruins of the gas pumps and convenience mart. One of the big trucks snorted and spit exhaust as it barreled into the flames. Inside the driver screamed and howled, blood obscuring his view as the truck crashed. It was raining blood inside the cab and as the creature crawled through the flames there was a great hiss as the front tires melted and blood mixed with the burning gasoline.
The Eastern line of town was a scattering of orange tree orchards and sorghum fields. Shade Tree Orchard was at the outer edge of the Commons. The old farmhouse and weedy lot was scattered with empty jeeps and the remnants of a bio hazard containment convoy. Inside, the farmhouse buzzed with the sound of high tension wires. From the front of the house bright crimson light poured in waves from the broken window panes. Someone had placed a “No Trespassing” sign on the heavy oaken front door and the body of a camo clad soldier lay draped across the front porch steps.
The interior of the house was a scattering of equipment, gages and a giant gold colored metronome and two or three dozen cages , big enough for a human being. The house smelled of garlic and roses and a thick roiling mist poured upward from the cellar. Deep within the confines of the cellar Sgt. Negee lay bleeding near the reflective panel that had been designed to allow the breach, the gateway between here and there. They had been fast, furious and hungry as well as contagious. Negee remembered they had come through screaming and howling. His checks were still moist with the blood that had poured from the breach, thick, viscous giving birth to monsters and demon wilds. Negee inhaled deeply, coughed and began crawling toward the basement steps.
West from Shade Tree Orchard Glenn, Star and Cadence sat near the back wall of the feed listening to the creatures pound on the corrugated metal walls in the back of the store. Hollow, thumping and shrieking gasps of frustration echoed hollowly throughout the feed. Suddenly, there was the sound of glass shattering near the front of the store and cadence screamed, “They’re coming through the front door Glenn!” Glenn grabbed a bale of hay and put it in front of the plastic double doors separating the front of the store from the back.
“Come on, help Cadence!” Star yelled as she threw a bale of hay toward Glenn. Glenn stacked the hay in front of the door as fast as he could. In the front they heard the sound of shelves being overturned and growls of determinant possession, the sound of spattering rain and wild tempests howling in delirious search.
They had the hay stacked to the top of the door when one of the creatures attempted to gain entrance. Furious hands and rivers of blood, dripping through the hay bales, amber and scarlet hued glistening, descrying an inhuman magic, an ethereal enemy fated by wombs of crazy breach.
A slender arm, bruised, once delicate, slick scarlet and purple, reached inward between the hay bales. The creature screamed and tore at the hay knocking down one of the bales to reveal a ghoulish grimace, wolf-like, all teeth and grinning a bloody need.
The wind and red rain poured through the opening and Glenn stumbled falling to the floor just as the hay pile tumbled down around him. The mystery of life and the probability that they would all die ran through Glenn’s mind as the creature climbed on top of him. He could hear Cadence screaming and……..what? Gunfire? A sharp report of automatic fire ……Pop, pop…….pop! The creature lay still, silent atop his bosom, the crimson shower and the wind abated as a camo clad figure pushed away the piles of hay and the body of the wolf-thing. “Come on!” he said to the three of them. “I don’t know how long I can hold them off.” Glenn stood on shaky legs, dripping the blood of a thousand nightmares. He read the name patch on the soldiers breast, it said “NEGGY”.
Neggy ushered them through and around the desk and broken glass doors into the waiting hummer. He gunned the engine and headed West Toward Rapid Zaine the next closest town.
He had stopped the gold metronome, it’s rhythm still, quietly waiting. The breach had closed but maybe it was too late. Negee looked to the open fields of sorghum before them, here and there were rain showers of blood, some distant some directly to the left and right of the two lane blacktop.
They followed the road to Rapid Zaine and in a haloed harvest moon, a breach in the dark shadows the future beckoned the wants of the survivors and the desires of the determined few, in hope and the need of a fated dream.

Solo Coffee

Ron Koppelberger
Solo Coffee
Curb Idle sat at the kitchen table drinking his coffee; it was hot, bitter and satisfying. The news was blaring in the living room and Curb listened with a distracted interest. “…….at risk of contracting the anthrax virus. The affected containers are Lot# 245987 and Lot# 34891 Fire Roast blend by Solo Coffee. Curb knew the name, he had been the spokesperson for Solo Coffee almost twenty years now. “Best coffee in town!“ he had said with a gentle fatherly voice. He had moved to the top of the commercial ladder. He had stared in “Joe Stern M.D.” almost thirty years ago and to his amazement people still remembered the cockey young doctor. He had been much younger then and attractive, the ladies had swarmed to him from every direction.
He had attended wild parties and the best people in the business had all watched as Dr. Joe Stern M.D. rose to the top with a flare and a finesse rarely seen. The ladies kept coming and eventually Curb had responded in a head over heels fall.
He had settled on Eleanor Biscun. She had been tall auburn and great in bed. He grimaced for a moment, and she had taken most of his money in the divorce. Eleanor, Eleanor if only I knew you he thought reflectively. Eleanor had been the end of his career as well. The publicity had all been bad and in the end they had accused him of spousal abuse. He thought again for a moment. He had been on the move, the fast track to stardom. He knew he had done the right thing in the end, after all she had taken that from him. No one had noticed her disappearance, her family knew she was fickle and prone to leave on extended trips to Morocco and St.Croix. They had never questioned it. The News blared insistently as the announcer mentioned the tainted lot numbers for the coffee. Standing he went to the living room and got a pencil. “……..Lot# 254987 and Lot# 34891 Fire Roast Solo Brand.” Curb wrote the two numbers down and returned to the kitchen. Finding the jar of Solo he looked warily at the label. The lot number was missing, the label was torn near the seem where he had removed a $1.00 coupon, he was a frugal shopper.
He put the jar on the table and stared at it, he had just opened it and the steaming cup was nearly empty. “Anthrax!” he said aloud to himself, “laced with Anthrax.” He ran to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. Sticking his tongue out he noted the brownish hue the coffee had left on his tongue. “Great, “ he said to his reflection, “I’ll be doing the two step with death! Come on doc think, what to do.” He turned the faucet on the cold water and began scooping handfuls of water into his mouth. When he was finished he moved over to the toilet and took a deep inhalation, he could smell the cherry air freshener he had bought for the bathroom. He took another deep breath and stuck his finger down his throat making himself vomit, forget the Syrup of Ipecac his finger would do.
The toilet bowl swam a dark brown as the coffee came up. After he had finished he hit the plunger on the toilet three or four times and watched the tempest go down the drain. “Anthrax…..I could have Anthrax!” he said as panic welled up from within him. He wiped his mouth with a piece of tissue and went to the sink again, the water was still running and a cold steam had formed on the mirror near the bottom. He rinsed his mouth again and coughed as water went up his nose. The liquid burned as it poured back through his nostrils and he sneezed into his hand. Blood, was that blood he thought looking at the crimson smear on his palm. He ran to the tissue dispenser and grabbed a wad of the white paper. Holding it to his nose he thought about all of the news reports he had heard about Anthrax, envelopes and packages laced with the deadly toxin, never Coffee.
Curb stumbled out of the bathroom with the toilet paper to his bleeding nose, along the way he tripped over the bathroom rug and fell headfirst into the doorframe. Thump and he saw stars, he sat there for a minute waiting for his head to clear as a dull throb pounded in his bruised head. Touching the surface of his scalp carefully he noted the goose egg that had formed there. “Dammit!” he cursed aloud as blood dripped from his nose onto the tile floor.
Standing on wobbly legs he went back into the kitchen to get the jar of coffee. He grabbed it off from the counter and heaved it with all of his might. The glass jar sailed through the kitchen window with a loud crash and splintering of glass. Something popped in his arm and he screamed. He had pulled a tendon in his arm and the pain was a piercing ache. He groaned and dropped the toilet paper wad as he rubbed his shoulder. “I’ve got to get to the hospital!” he yelled at the broken window, “A friggin hospital,…….before I DIEEEEEEEEEEE!” The doctor had taken a vacation, Dr. Joe Stern was definitely not in control. His voice was a cloud in dark panic as it echoed against the nothingness of enlarging vortexes. There was a hissing sound coming from the kitchen window and Curb smelled the odor of garlic. He went to the window and looked out into the shady back yard. The coffee jar had hit the small tubing that fed into the gas pig and somehow it had come loose. Curb ran into the living room and looked around furiously for the portable phone. It was nowhere to be seen.
The television set was exclaiming the wonders of Sunder Lawn and Garden as he began to moan in great heaving gasps. The doorbell rang a second later and he leaped at the door to answer it. It was his neighbor Favor Lug.
He swung the door open and collapsed into Lug. Lug said, “What the hell is wrong Curb, what happened?” He had looked at curbs blood covered face and his dismayed appearance in scolding wonder. “ The AnTHRAAAAAAAAAXXXXXXXXXX!” Curb moaned.
“What the hell is……….” Favor trailed off as the house exploded with a loud booming burst of flame.
Both men flew into the air nearly to the center of the front yard and as miracles happen they were uninjured except for a few cuts and bruises.
The fire trucks were there for five hours before Curb awoke on Lugs living room sofa. He had dreamed and the dream was full of dark shadows cameras, stage lights, and blood.
“Lights, Camera, Action!” Someone shouted from the end of a long dark tunnel. Curb looked at himself, he was wearing a knee length lab coat with the name Dr. Joe Stern stitched into the left breast. “DR COFFEE., DR. COFFEE COME FILL MY CUP. I’M SO THIRSTY DR. COFFEE.” He saw the 10 Carrot diamond ring on his left hand and grinned. It sparkled and glowed with an evanescent light. Smoke swirled about his feet as he listened.
In the dream Eleanor had been calling him, “Dr, Dr. Joe Stern the anthrax is going to kill us all and…THAT WILL BE FRIGGEN EXPENSIVE BONE HEAD!” she screamed from across a set strewn with broken stage lights and great puddles of blood. She walked toward him in a cloud of gray smoke and sparks. The sparks were electrical cords connected to several stationary cameras and they were coiling and uncoiling. Eleanor moved closer her mouth moving and no sound coming from between her sure pouty lips. Suddenly the air caught fire and she slipped in the pool of spreading blood. She landed with a loud thump as her head split open and the cloud swallowed her up.
She screamed from behind the veil as the pool of blood became ankle deep. “YOU FRIGGEN BONE HEAD LOOK WHAT I’VE DONE!” she poked her head through the cloud and the split in her skull clearly showed the gray matter that resided there. “I”VE HURT MYSELF DR. JOE, I’VE HURT MYSELF, WE ARE ALL GONNA DIE FROM THE BUG TUG, THE BUG TUG, THE BUG TUGGGGGGGGGG!” He stood there and a flock of sparrows swooped across the dimly lit stage filling his vision with flittering black birds. The blood became waist deep and Eleanor was in the distance surrounded by a cloud of smoke, she was doing the backstroke and singing, “DR JOE, DR.JOE HOW WE DANCE WITH THE STARS AND THE GREAT BIG FRIGGEN CARS AND THE RINGS THAT MAKE US SING WITH PARTIES AND TRUFFLES AND CAVIAR JUST LIKE THAT GREAT BIG GOLD BAR…DR JOE YOU”LL REALLY GO FAR!” A vine sprouted from her head and wrapped around the edge of one of the cameras. She screamed, “SMILE FOR THE CAMERA JOE, SMILE FOR THE CAMERA DR. JOE!” the vine had elongated and was lifting the camera toward him in wavering ripples of ease. The blood rushed at his neck as it threatened to swallow him. “THE ANTHRAX SWEETIE, REMEMBER THE ANTHRAX FOR YOU AND ME TO SEE THE END OF THE WORLD IN TOW DR. JOE!”
Eleanor continued to swim in the rising tide as he struggled to breath the water nearly to his nose, something was holding him down. He reached down and grabbed at a thick knot around his ankle, the vine had wrapped around his leg and was pulling him under. Just before he went under he saw Eleanor dangling from the vine by the top of her head above the lake of blood, she was grinning viciously as the vine swayed back and forth, “WE ARE ALL GONNA DIE DOC, ALL GONNA DIE…” As he drown he felt himself pulled back, back, back.
He awoke to the sound of fire trucks and men yelling. His house, suddenly he remembered his house and the explosion. Deep down inside the actor in him was telling him everything was going to be alright, Dr. Joe says everything is going to be OK. He flashed back to the day he had met Eleanor, her bright red hair and the way she had smelled, like Lilacs in the summer, she had tasted good as he had his first kiss with her. You can never go home something called to him from the back of his mind, you can never go home. He cried for a few seconds and took a deep breath remembering acting 101 he focused and found his motivation. Got to move ahead he thought, got to move ahead.
The evening news was on and suddenly he remembered the coffee. “The Anthrax.” he whispered to himself. Lug was next-door at his house with the fire trucks and sweating firemen. Curb listened as the story came on again.
“The Anthrax scare that we reported on earlier has been called off. To the drinkers of Solo Coffee, The coffee was found to be untainted and the initial reports were false…….we are working in earnest to find the source of the rumor and reports that were given earlier this afternoon. Solo coffee is offering a free jar of Joe to every customer who had the Lot Numbers #254987 and #34891. In other news………”
Curb closed his eyes for a moment and sighed, remembering the dream. He had always been one to panic, thinking of his house and the disaster that had occurred he realized that he was lucky anyway. He could have died in the explosion. Curb sighed again and prayed briefly. He could use a cup of coffee, shaking his head and ignoring that notion he decided on tea instead.