I am starting a new writing group, if anyone is interested, called “Live By the Sword, and Die By The Pen.”
“I’ve got an appointment on Monday to apply for a federal grant, for computer classes at Cyberstealth Industries,” I looked over at him, and smiled.
Richard leaned over in his chair, and grinned at me. “I’ve got faith in you.”
“Thank you,” I blushed.
I watched as he worked on the plans for Neversoft Office version of Windscreen 10. I wanted to tell him, how I felt about him, but I was too shy. He had his shirt off, and I could not help myself from looking at him. I memorized the locations of his tattoos.
“Are you, O.K.? I mean you were looking at me like-”
I blushed. Had I been giving him the eyes?! Damn, he looked good for his age.
“I should go.”
I bolted toward the door, embarrassed.
He looked at me with confusion, and then intrigue.
Before, I could reach the door, I felt his hand brush up against my back. It was not the pat on the back of a stranger; it felt like an intimate caress. I became aroused. I looked up at him, wordlessly, and then headed for the door. We exchanged pleasantries, and then I left.
My stomach was in knots, as I waited for the bus. It had been years since I worked, or even taken classes. As I entered the first bus, I was overcome by a sense of adventure. I got to the transit station, exhausted, and quite anxious. I pulled out my laptop, and jotted down some random thoughts about my neighbor, as I gulped down my latte.
I felt panic stricken as I entered the next bus. My hands began to tremble as I studied the route map. I wasn’t quite sure where I was going. My heart sank as I realized that I had gotten off at the wrong stop.
I knew I had to get there. I’d missed out on too many opportunities for stupid reasons.
I panted, and wiped the sweat from my brow, as I climbed the steep hill, looking for addresses. I tripped over the rocks, and my feet ached. I was ready to give up, when I looked down at the pavement, and saw an old dragon wind chime. I thought of Richard, and smiled. I closed my eyes, as I sprinted across the busy street.
“Sorry, I’m late,” I panted. “I got off at the wrong stop, and I had to walk a mile up Sanitarium Road. ”
“No problem. You’re fine. You’re not late. I’m Danny. I care about my students. I’m not here to judge you, or make fun of you. I’ll teach you everything you want to know on the computer. Welcome to StealthTech Industries.”
I couldn’t help but notice the man was giggling the whole time. I may have just been exhausted, but I had a feeling he was looking down my shirt, during the testing. After the test was over, and he recorded my scores, Danny took me on a tour of the facility. “We handle classified material here, so you can never mention what you see.”
“When am I going to know if I qualify?” I inquired.
Danny nodded toward another female. “Step into my office.”
I was scheduled to start the following week. “Welcome, aboard.” Danny grinned.
As I was gathering my belongings, I heard Danny repeat my name, over, and over. I felt uneasy.
“Did that just happen?” I wondered. to myself, as I waited for the bus. “I seems awful strange that they offer me classes, and a job on the same day.”
I received a strange E-mail. from an unknown source, titled “Recruitment Phase.” It included a video of three hooded figures, wearing white masks, covered in blood. “Welcome to the Recruitment Phase,” a disembodied voice hissed through my computer. It sounded like a combination of music, and otherworldly chanting. The only words I could make out were, “You will be tested on poetry, philosophy, art, and music.”
I took the test. When it was confirmed that I passed, everything went haywire. The last thing I remember, is seeing a message displayed on the computer, “Something’s not right.”
Then everything went black.
I awoke that morning to an unusual E-mail. “Your first assignment will be located on 556 Walters Road. You are to report at 1900 hours.”
I thought the message was a little strange, but I was in need of a job. I followed the address on the E-mail, to an abandoned military base. I tried the door. The place seemed to be in operation. The walls were surrounded by people sitting in front of computers. On the bulletin board was a sign that read:” Armageddon Communications Network.” I noticed a huge satellite on top of the building. I felt uneasy.
“Welcome,” Mike said, “We’ve got a couple different positions open.” He motioned me toward the row of computers. “This is the data input station. This is where we key important information into the computer database. You can never discuss anything you see, because it’s classified.” Mike grinned, and raised an eyebrow. “Got it?”
I nodded. I couldn’t help noticing that he kept staring at my chest, and wouldn’t look me in the face. He kept muttering under his breath, “I’m such a big dummy.”
Mike led me into a tiny office. An older man in military fatigues, was relaying a message by short wave radio. He appeared to be using a string of numbers, letters, and music. “Alpha, Bravo, Delta, Niner, Niner…”
I looked at him, puzzled.
“Oh, yes,” Mike said, “This is a number station. Sure, it’s considered cold war technology, but we use these coded messages, and ciphers for covert operations (to communicate with spies from other countries, and disaster-relief protocol.)
I chose the data entry position. One evening, when I was keying data into the computer, I came across a strange file. It refused to open. A message appeared. “Security clearance required.”
I typed in the only thing that came into my mind, “Cicada 3301.”
After reading the contents within the file, I became sick. My stomach was in knots, and I couldn’t breathe. Apparently, the government was using a form of mind control, through the number stations, to get the population to conform. Those who are immune to this technique, are thrown into FEMA camps. The project was known as HK-Ultra.
“I miss you,” Richard said from the other end of the phone line. My heart skipped a beat. My throat closed up. The only reply I could get out was, “O.K.”
It hadn’t even been two weeks, and he longed to see me. He had been on my mind frequently, but I was too shy to verbalize this. His brother had recently been killed in a motorcycle accident, and he needed time to grieve.
I approached the parking lot of Dollar Mania, when I saw him honking frantically, and waving his arms, out the window. “Come in.”
Richard reached for me, and pulled me close to him. He ran his fingers through my hair. “You smell so good.”
His fingertips brushed against my face, and he gazed into my eyes. “Want to come over?”
He led me into the bedroom. He tasted my lips, and explored the rest of my body with his tongue. I groped his penis, as I felt it stiffen against my leg. He gasped in excitement. Richard moaned as I glided my tongue against the shaft of his member. I ran my hands through his hair, and stroked his goatee, as he laid his head in my lap. I noticed that he seemed distant. “What’s wrong, honey?”
“Oh,” replied, “I don’t have the part for your computer.”
“That’s O.K.,” I said, tackling him playfully. I kissed each of his tattoos. “What do you want to watch next?”
“How about Digital Lust?” he replied.
I returned from the passage in the castle. The first time I was too terrified to speak; when I saw the decayed body of my karate teacher, wailing over me, because of what I’d done to myself. Five supernatural (Black Dogs) appeared; each smelling of sewage.
“I’ll spit in your face. This is just an illusion.”
I was in a mental hospital, and the authorities were there.
There was a dead phone in the clinic, with a closed circuit TV, that use to belong to the A.A. members. It rang.
I picked it up, so doped up, that I thought it was a colored pencil. “Rick! I mean Jim Cross.”
The line was dead.
“You’re in the matrix, man,” an older patient that resembled Jim Morrison, from the Doors, said.
Suddenly, she broke out in Jim Cross’s speech pattern, followed by what I can only describe as a guttural hiss. “I thought that you loved me. What, my family isn’t good enough for you?”
I stumbled over to her like a drunk soldier.
“This isn’t the Civil War,” she replied in a southern drawl. “Spirits go home!”
Her thick ebony arms grabbed the coatrack from my arms. “What do you think this is, a musket?”
It took two attendants to pin me down, and sedate me.
I grew less fearful every day, even at the threat of a lobotomy. “At least I’ll still have my soul.”
The spirit of my roommate still haunts the tower. She was a paranoid schizophrenic , who died just 3 days after her lobotomy.
These kind of procedures were practiced in our culture, because the truth is; mental illness therapy is still trial, and error.
I became famous at the mental institution after I confronted the doctor about the death of my roomate. Her condition was guarded, and then she was dead.
I probably wan’t being too smart, when I plagiarized my thesis, in order to time-travel to Poveglia. A mad scientist kidnapped our group, and took us to the Peel Castle. It must have been an entrance to the underworld.
Countless spirits recited in ghostly voices, “Poveglia knows where you are! This place will chill your bones! We allow spirits to enter, but never leave.”
I leapt over the guardrail, hoping to jump into the sea. I opened my medicine bag full of lions claws, and serpent’s tails. I had run away, hoping to catch mind-numbing, excruciating pain, rather than losing my thought processes. I fliched as I saw the mad professor shake the drill at me. “You’ll be thrown to the wolves! You’re only as good as that snake-headed goddess anyway!”
I watched the mindless ones (escapees) race toward each other; some in a maddening three-legged sprint. They bred in the caves, closest to the sea. Their children were deformed, having three heads, in the manner of cavemen. Eventually, the scientist leapt to his own death, and the passageways of the castle were sealed; never to be used again.
I can only hope that I reach Jim Cross in time. The distance will take four years by sea. All I can say is, it’s a matter of endurance, will, and my biological clock. The time machine is hidden underwater in the Bermuda Triangle area. I unsheathe my knife, tuck it between my teeth, and begin to swim. You do not seem to understand that one slight miscalculation, will cause Jim Cross’s suicide!
Her life was never the same after the attempted lobotomy. Her husband, Kevin kept her brain alive in a jar high above the bookshelf. He had it designed to perform simple commands.
Kevin joined a freak show shortly after the incident, in hopes of earning enough money to perform the procedure, and finding a suitable body (for his wife.)
The surgeon at the Trans Alleghany Lunatic Asylum had suffered a nervous breakdown, a few days before her (Renee’s) operation. There were some unusual occurences going on, as well as reports of poltergeist.
Patients on the upper floor complained that their light fixtures wouldn’t work, and rapping noises kept them up most of the night.
The night attendants were disturbed by the fact that all their phones would go off at the same time, between 2 and 3 a.m. every night. Sometimes, they even heard bird noises.
One evening, a nurse fled the building, and never returned, after witnessing an alarm clock that wasn’t plugged in, nor did it have batteries in it, turn on by itself, and blast music.
Lenny, the surgeon, shoved an icepick into his eye, after failing Renee’s surgery. Although her brain was able to be kept alive, her body quickly perished.
The residents had their own quarters separate from the patients. There had been a mutiny about a week ago. The residents refused to use the staff bathroom.
“OK., who flooded the toilet this bad? It’s been overflowing for over an hour. You must have done it on purpose. I’ve never seen a group of adults so afraid to use a bathroom!” Dr. Bernstein shouted.
“Why don’t you just see for yourself,” one of the residents chimed in. “Spend the night in our quarters.”
The doctor was jerked awake, by a loud booming voice coming from the lavalory. “I am the Bathroom Ghost!”
The staff did some research, and discovered that a marine had hung himself in that bathroom, because of his girlfriend. His last words to her were: “That wasn’t a very nice thing to say to me.” Apparently, he uttered these words before his neck snapped.
Dr. Foley (of the freak show) had Renee doing psychic readings through a system that resembled a cross between, morse code. and a lie detector test.
“I need to consult an oracle,” Kevin said, “Honey, when you were on that bridge, they tried do an exorcism on you. You were confused, and depressed. That’s how you ended up in the looney bin. You even began to forget who you are!”
Kevin, who was also a shaman, had her soul kept safe within her totem animal, the wolf.
People were fascinated by Renee’s ability as a spiritual psychic. She was able to make contact with ravens, and hawks; even changing their flight formations. Sometimes she could even make them talk like parrots.
Renee had learned some advanced metaphysical techniques from the town gypsy. She came up with a new act. The crowd seemed to love it.
She would find a random audience member, and astral project into that person. The “surprized” person would be in a hypnotized state, and she would have that person dance, sing, bark like a dog, or whatever suited her.
A couple months later, a teenage participant became irate from this particular act. She told off Renee, and insulted her. Renee was so devastated that she didn’t talk for three weeks, after the girl made a nasty remark about her being a disembodied freak.
Kevin finally snapped, and kidnapped the girl, the next time she showed up for the performance. He had more than enough saved up for the procedure, and he had just fallen in love with carnie life.
Renee quickly recuperated. No one ever saw the couple again. Some say that they’re living in the wildernessm while others say that they’re holed up in an underground bunker.
“You lost fool, you’re the demon!” Lori shouted, as she stood up on both legs. She pushed me against the wall, pinning me. “Don’t you see what you’ve done to this man.” She took the charred picture of my karate teacher, and handed it to me. His eyes glowed red.
“I-I thought that you were dead,” I stammered, slipping on the blood.
“Yes,” all but a few perished in the fire at the battered women’s shelter.
“I cringed as I saw Jim Cross’s picture melt. “How do you know about him? What have I done?!!!”
“The demon dog told me.”
I almost vomited from the slobber on Lori’s charred body. “Join me friends. This is the Radio Station For the Dead. This is the Day of Judgement!”
I tried to run, but I couldn’t budge. I was chained to the floor. Metal spikes shot out through the dog’s eyeballs, and nostrils, holding me in place. “Jim Cross has aged significantly, because of your suicide attempts, and he has lost his mind!”
Mary, and Stephanie entered. “Do I need to bring in one of your old neighbors to convince you. Here’s Debbie Garman.”
“Cute,” I said with sarcasm, “No freakin’ way.”
“Choose your passion,” the dog growled.
“W-what do you mean?!!! I inquired.
“How do you wish to lose your SANITY?”
“Can I choose death?”
“No, but you can spin the wheel.”
I was forced to strip naked in front of everyone, and spin a wheel full of sticky glass.
“I’m a good news/bad news kind of monster,” the dog replied.
The arrow on the spinner landed on aggressive masturbation in public. I blushed, and then cried.
“No way,” I screamed.
I was led into the dungeon with such ferocity, that my foot got caught in a skull, and I had to wrestle it out.
I was forced to follow two prison guards, who seemed to be eyeing my flesh, with forks. “Welcome to HM Manchester, Strangeways Prison.”
I was taken to a cell block, that resembled a piss-poor shantytown. If it wasn’t for the deformed dwarves, it wouldn’t have been so bad. We spent most days playing a makeshift flute to the Cactus Cats, to keep their drunken howls at bay, all night.
During the evening, we played poker for rat’s eyes, the currency in this little known sector.
Every day is more exhausting than the next, when you have no idea what’s going on, nor what to expect.
I got so tired, that I threw myself face first into a mud puddle; breaking my glasses. I punched wildly at nothing.
I knew that disturbing the old house where the women had died, would upset the spirits. I didn’t realize that was the last bad decision I’d make. I was dared by a group of my friends, to steal some of their ashes, during a solar eclipse.
A green wolf floated overhead. “I’m Fenris.” He took a bite out of the old moon. “I’m the last thing you’ll ever see.” He shot fiery arrows out of his eyes.
Little did I realize that I was biting my husband’s toes.
“Honey, what are you doing? You’re sick. I’ll get my revenge.” His freckled arms started to tickle me.
It was all a dream!
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