Unto The Night

Unto The Night
Amazon.com/ron koppelberger

Friday, June 21, 2013

Underground Goblin

Underground Goblin
Ron Koppelberger
He was libel for the hopelessness of the situation. The trespass, the screw up, the jerk in the machinery. Sky Rent scratched his lower lip, there was a gold stud in the corner of his mouth and it had become infected, leaking blood and itching like crazy. Sky wore black grease paint beneath both eyes and he was shaved in a Mohawk, his cloths were torn and dirty, he hadn’t changed in a month and he knew he probably smelled like a dead skunk. The underground passage had been closed off for nearly a month now and he had explored the confines from top to bottom. He had nearly starved to death but the rats made his hunger abate just a little bit, enough to keep him alive and away from the Goblin.
His drinking water was the runoff from the local storm sewers and his bed was concrete, drain pipe concrete. His new friends had said the best underground club is tough to get to but it will be worth it. He had followed their directions after tieing on a terrific drunk. He had stumbled into the storm pipe thinking he was on the way to Caste Galley the new club in town. After wandering around for a few hours he had gotten tired, exhausted consigned and near the protests of societies mainstream. He lay down in the cool dark pipe and slept. Two days passed and when he awoke he was lost. The only way out was the main storm drain and that’s where the goblin was.
He made his way to the goblin and paused for a moment, the Goblin lay in a rotting heap in the center of the trickling storm water. He cringed and shielded his eyes. The body smelled awful, the Goblin in the underground, the monster in the dark soft squishy and horrific. He couldn’t bring himself to walk past it, his eyes had adjusted to the dark early on and he could see the glow from a manhole cover about three or four hundred yards down the pipe.
He coughed and screamed, something had moved near the Goblin, he jumped back and nearly slipped on the curving edge of the pipe. “What the hell is that? “ he yelled to the empty tunnel. His voice echoed around him repeating his question.
He supposed he would have to bypass the goblin at some point and finally he did make up his mind to escape. He had eaten sewer rats and drank storm water for nearly a month now and if he didn’t get out soon he’d die here he thought as he neared the Goblin. He stood close to the Goblin and held his breath. The smell was overwhelming, the body had lain in the storm water and remained viscous and leaking even after a month. Feeling his way past the lump in the center of the floor he slipped and fell directly on top of the Goblin. Screaming he flailed his arms and choked as a puff of noxious gas sprayed from the Goblin. “YIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” he screamed again as his hand slid across the rotting flesh of the Goblin. He got to his knees and crawled across the body as it groaned with decay. Once past the Goblin he sat against the edge of the tunnel and cried for a moment. His black grease paint smeared and covering his checks. The rest was a blur from that point forward. He made it to the outside after fumbling around for a couple of hours. It had been dark outside and no one had seen him climb out of the drain pipe. He staggered the rest of the way back to his apartment. He found the apartment door locked, they probably figured he was dead, there was crime scene tape across the front door. He tore the tape off and broke the lock. It looked the same. He went to the small bathroom and slipped off his cloths as he climbed into the shower. He thought about the Goblin for a moment as he washed the grime from his body. In the light of the bathroom he could see his ribs sticking out, he had lost a lot of weight. After showering he found some Coco Puffs in the cupboard and ate the entire box.
He prayed for the first time in years and it gave him some comfort to know that he had survived the Goblin and the advent of darkness. He would never forget that month in the storm drain and the fear that he had felt surviving in the darkness of an underground Goblins secret sleep.

Monster In View

Monster In View
Ron Koppelberger
In retrospect the returning drama came to the absolute bondage of the beholder and his father’s creation. The counterpart to the monster seized the moment with his teeth, in anger and pounding rage. He tottered near the edge of the stage, flesh melding with flesh and a thousand eyes of polished glass. The observer continued to rage, “Kill the beast, damnit kill this abomination!” The monster paused for a moment staring at the small man dancing in the isle, screaming fervently. The creator’s son said a prayer as he watched the pair. My father he thought from the wings, god how can it be father, how?
The monster opened it’s jagged sharp toothed maw and screamed at the heckling stranger……”ARRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHHH!” a spray of spittle flew from it’s mouth hitting the stomping man in the face. The stage lights brightened for a moment and the angry spectator drew closer to the beast, the creation of loose chromosomes and blood, the blood of a dead man. The beast gathered it’s visceral substances and reached out to the man. The man recoiled and screamed as he fell to the floor, his bowls loosening and unconsciousness overwhelming him.
His father appeared from the far side of the stage and with gentle care escorted his creation back to it’s confinement. Two men in white lab coats came and removed the unconscious man.
He thought about his father and the monster for a moment and he realized they were both defined by the wont of the man who had collapsed, the human response, the recoiling terror of humanity in the face of the unknown.
The lights dimmed and he left the auditorium for the safety of the city streets and the familiar shadows that lurked there. The sky shone indigo and the evening said carry on young man the monsters are in abeyance to the whims of your presence, without your witness they are not.

Breaking The Boarders

Breaking The Boarders
Ron Koppelberger
The glass separated the doctors and technicians from the test subject. The barrier was a precaution that Shehoff had insisted on. He figured that the odds of the subject getting loose were thin and none, nevertheless he felt more comfortable with the barrier in place. The test subject milled back and forth behind the glass, peering out at the lab coat wearing techs and nurses from time to time. The partition was smeared with blood and a sickly yellow ooze that had leaked from his hands. His brain was still functioning at a lower level of understanding, almost an animal instinct, a knowledge borne of captivity.
Shehoff had been a member of the Vine tech facility for three long years. He had his pension coming and after this particular subject concluded he would hopefully retire. Shehoff looked at the glass separating the subject from the controllers observation deck. The man, if you could still consider him that at this point, was leaning against the glass partition. He had a tired look on what was left of his face, loose skin and pustules covered the surface of his features as well as most of his body. Shehoff felt sad for just a moment, the briefest of instants. He had been human after all, now he was just animate flesh and contractions, mechanical momentum brought on by the drug, Hester 874.3, the H as they called it had the curious effect of reanimating the dead.
They had thought it to be impossible when the Vine’s lead supervisor defined the project for them. They had discovered a toxin that reacted with the basic requirements of animation, centering in the mid-brain at a lower level of function and Bernie was their first test. He had been given the drug and had responded in significant measure, reanimating, almost seeming alive at times. That hadn’t told the researchers that he would smile and cry and laugh as he had when he had been alive, Shehoff had convinced himself that those were ghost moments, the absence of real emotion, just a mechanical response to the H.
Bernie had worked one of the bed rails loose from its iron bolted frame and was swinging it wildly at the glass. Shehoff was startled by the expression of rage in his face, he almost seemed angry.
“Get someone in there to calm him down!” he yelled to one of the techs. They stood there and looked at him as if he were out of his mind.
“We can’t risk infection Shehoff, you know the toxin acts as a virus to the living.” Shehoff knew the end result of infection was death and reanimation.
Bernie screamed and Shehoff looked scared for a moment.
“AAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRROOOOOOOOTTTTTTTTTT………..OOOOUUUUUUUUUUTTTTTTT!” he sounded as if he were speaking to them for a moment. One of the lab techs said,
“We’re used to it. Lately he’s been screaming like that. It’s like he knows, almost sounds like he’s yelling to get out.” Shehoff shivered and sat down in one of the leather office chairs that were situated behind the partition. Just then the glass splintered and broke. Bernie fell forward halfway through the glass with the momentum of his swing. The glass gouged deep rents in his flesh but he didn’t bleed or act as if he was in pain he just laughed and crawled into the control booth.
Bernie’s laughter was the last thing Shehoff heard as he panicked and fell unconscious.
The day passed and the sun rose and fell as night approached the New Mexico desert facility with tendrils of something ethereal and unbidden. Shehoff awoke to find the techs all dead, torn to bits and partially eaten. Shehoff looked out of the observation room into the hall. The emergency lights were flashing and there were screams coming from the other side of the facility. The Vine had really done it this time. The dead would walk, he knew the virus, the toxin would spread rapidly through the population once contact was made with the outside world. Bernie sat in a chair opposite Shehoff and he knew in that moment he would never live to see that end result.
Bernie was chewing his finger and moaning at Shehoff. He had dressed himself in one of the white lab coats, it was smeared with the blood of the technicians. There was a gob of crimson near Bernie’s smiling mouth, he had been hungry and the techs had been there for the taking. Shehoff realized that they hadn’t had a chance. The H gave the subject superhuman strength, and there was no sense of pain, he knew there was no really effective way of stopping him. Shehoff knew he would only have one chance at this thing, he lit the match and threw it to the floor. There was a small puddle of gasoline from the portable centrifuge near the center of the floor. The gasoline ignited and Shehoff prayed that the facility and Bernie and all of the test subjects would burn to ash. He stood to leave when Bernie hit him. Shehoff fell to the floor and didn’t move. The sirens screamed and Bernie somehow made his way to the front gate. It had been torn loose from it’s hinges.
Bernie stood outside the burning facility, he had some sense of warmth from the flames and his eyes dilated with the brightness of the fire. Cool air rushed in from the desert feeding the flames and causing the night sky to reflect an eerie orange light. The facility was fenced in by a ten foot razor barbed barrier, the techs who escaped and some of those who had been reanimated, had left the gate open. Bernie wandered through the gate and headed toward the bright glow that came from the distant town of Halo. Bernie laughed for a moment, smiled and moved forward toward the city. The night wouldn’t reveal her secret until the dawn.