Novelist and more.
Robert Wilcox, after hasty explanations, has convinced his kidnapped victim; Sam Brady, to find the nearest elementary school to show him…something. Robert is vague on what. Sam has decided to play along hoping their rapport is strengthening. After all, when a magical homicidal madman who can make you fall asleep with just a few words says he needs to go somewhere and you’re going…you hope for the best.
They parked at the nearest elementary school just as parents were arriving to pick up their children and school buses lined up to take children home.
Robert turned off the engine and turned sideways to speak, “Okay, Sam, before school lets out, I have to give you some rules. You’re about to see what I call Riders and their horses. Riders are the evil parts, horses are the humans, and I know it sounds weird but you’ll see what I mean.” He shrugged, “But here are some very important rules: One: if you see them but they don’t see you, you can ignore them or challenge them and fight. I would not recommend you do that. Two: If they see you, they have less power if you ignore them unless they’re on our plane of reality. That’ll make sense eventually. Three: if you’re outnumbered or overwhelmed, call for help from the divine, more on them later. Four: If you have to fight them, attack the rider first, many of the horse’s actions are because of them. Finally, Five: Trust your gut; it’s your unconscious telling you what you’re missing. Right now this may not make sense but it will, please, please, please, don’t look them in the eye. You’re not ready to fight them and I wouldn’t be able at this time to take on so many at once. Understand?”
Sam nodded, realizing he had no idea what Robert meant, but agreed anyway. You have to agree with the insane so they don’t become violent after all.
Robert grinned, “Now, here’s the good part, you’re also going to be able to see the protectors. You can call them Angels, earth spirits, Devi’s, guardians, whatever. Just as the forces of evil will be here you’ll be able to see the forces of good.” He pumped his fist in the air, “My boys, my team! Go team go!”
Sam kept a straight face, “And how am I supposed to see these things?”
Robert gave that angelic expression once more, “Trust me.”
“Trust you? I hardly know you, you’ve kidnapped me.”
Robert slowly shook his head, “You’ve got a good heart Samuel Brady, I saw that when I read you. Even if it is a little cynical, you have the ability to trust, also you’re a good judge of character, and I saw that too. So, trust me?” He gave a Cheshire-like grin.
Sam closed his eyes and rubbed his face, “The madmen are running the asylum. Alright, just this once, what do you want me to do?”
“Madmen running…that’s good, Sam.” Robert nodded appreciatively, “All right, here’s all you have to do. First: trust me. I mean…just look at my face.” Sam rolled his eyes, “Second: believe there are things unseen by the human eye, beyond the veil of human perception. Third: truly desire to see those things for a short time. I won’t subject you to constant sight like I have. You won’t be able to hear anything because I have to do something else so all the noise I’ve learned to siphon through over the years won‘t drive you crazy. Lastly: close your eyes until I tell you to open them.”
Sam sighed, shook his head in defeat, and then slowly closed his eyes.
“No peeking now.”
He placed his fingers over Sam’s eyelids.
Robert mumbled a prayer or mantra or incantation, Sam gave up trying to think of a name for what Robert said when he did the things he did. He wondered again why he trusted this man. He had seen the horrible mess of the Scaletti family in pictures. He had read his file. He had read the doctors’ mental examinations. Even with that knowledge, deep inside, Sam knew this man wasn’t a bad man, or a murderous one.
He trusted his gut.
Sam knew Wilcox truly believed what he said; that he believed what he was describing was real. Robert finished speaking but continued to cover Sam’s eyes.
“Alright, I’m going to take my fingers away. Open your eyes slowly, there’s going to be a much brighter light then before and a collage of colors. You’ll be freaked out for a few minutes as you adjust but remember it’s only temporary.”
Sam nodded as he let go.
Carefully, Sam opened his eyes.
At first, it seemed a million flashbulbs from a million cameras flashed inches from his face and then he began to see brilliant colors, every color of the rainbow and variations of those colors. He glanced around the car and jerked away from Robert. Robert Wilcox smiled back at the bewildered man shimmering with iridescent lights. Sam knew of auras before and now he believed he was actually seeing one. Perplexed, he noticed an amber and golden glow pulsated from Robert’s left breast, not where his heart is but a glow the size of his palm near his heart.
“What is that?” he pointed.
Robert smiled, patted the glow and said; “Baby steps, Sam I am, baby steps. You’re not ready for it yet.” He tipped his chin toward the school, “Look around.”
Vehicles pulled in front of the school. Light covered everything, multicolored hues streamed from the windows of the school, over nearby houses streaks of lights hovered alongside dark ones. Then he looked higher and found a rolling storm cloud where there hadn’t been a cloud in the sky before. In the fast shifted morass of darkness, blood red blobs sent lightning bolts down toward the ground. Just as often blue, green and white blobs sent bright streaks toward the earth.
Sam whispered, “What’s that storm?” as a bolt of red flashed into the school but didn’t damage the roof at all.
Robert checked the Ford’s dashboard clock, “We’ve got a few more minutes till the bell rings, so I’ve got a little time to explain.” He leaned forward with Sam toward the windshield, “What you see is what I’ve taken to calling an ethereal storm. I know…big word. Imagine human beings are lightning rods. Positive energy collects positive bolts, negative collects negative. The red is the negative; the others are positive.” He flapped his hands in the air as he spoke.
“What about all those lights zipping in and out of buildings?”
Robert watched some strike various locations, “Pretty much the same thing. The dark are…seeking darkness. The bright seek the light. So many names for what you’re seeing, and trust me if you could hear it too, you would think there was a war going on. Then, come to think of it, that’s exactly what is going on, an ongoing war of positive and negative, yin and yang, Heaven and Hell.”
Sam was so shocked, trying to understand what he was witnessing, “You see and hear this stuff all the time?”
“Yep, although over the years it’s begun to sound like white noise, so I’ve been able to zone most of it out.” He shrugged.
The school bell rang as two adults opened the front doors. Buses finished lining up to the left of the school, their right side aimed toward the schools side doors, and two adults opened those doors to the buses.
Robert placed his hand on Sam’s shoulder, “Remember my rules. Prepare yourself.”
Children ran and walked out of the school as parents left their cars to meet them. Sam first noticed the bright fireflies around many of the children’s heads, some had many, and some had few or none.
Robert noticed what he was staring at, “I’ll give you a running commentary, so you don’t have to ask. The lightning bugs are personal guardians. The ones who don’t have any can always get them so don’t think they’re unprotected.”
An adult walked up to one of the children with many firefly guardians and the adults fireflies danced with the child’s. Other parent’s guardians had much the same reaction. A skinny man stepped out of his car in front of where they parked. Both of them recoiled in disgust.
“Rules, Sam, Rules.” Robert warned.
The skinny man appeared to have two heads, one on top of the other. Eerily, the top head turned around a hundred and eighty degrees to look back at them as they glanced casually away. The face of the thing shocked Sam before he looked away. It had the face of an infant but adult sized; it completed its heads rotation as the man shut the door behind him. His back looked like a huge greenish-brown tumor with black veins pumping through it. When he stepped onto the sidewalk three barbed tentacles, eight feet long on either side of the creature began to whip in the air. The demon, as Sam began to realize, made the skinny man look like a hunchback as if carrying two hundred pounds on his back. Sam wrinkled his nose due to undulating down the demon’s back two-barbed phallus shoved through the man’s rectum. The man turned sideways to lock his door; the demons head searched the faces of the passing children. It hung on like a backpack strap over the man’s torso. Two elongated arms stretched down toward the man’s groin ending in claws, tightly gripping the man’s genitalia. Another set of shorter arms protruded out of the longer set of arms biceps. As the skinny man approached children, the tentacles whipped wildly in the air.
“Dear merciful heaven.” Sam whispered.
Robert clicked his tongue, “Wrong direction, Sammy. You’re seeing beyond the veil now. You’ve just seen your first rider on its horse, sadly, one of the more numerous types. I call them ‘Pedos’ short for pedophile riders. The poor children this man knows know evil.”
Sam sat back, “Can’t we do something? Kill it? Exorcise it? We can’t just let that thing…that man…loose on innocent children.”
Robert’s expression melted into sadness, “Now you see the conundrum. ‘Officer, arrest him! He has a pedophile demon on his back. Officer, take those children away from him because of the demon riding him!’” He shook his head, “Remember, no one can see them. Unless someone catches the horse in the act, or reports unusual behavior or the children he’s molesting turn him in, nothing can stop him. Even then, sometimes the Pedos get away with it, or find other victims.”
Three more Pedos exited their cars and waited, one rode a woman. Sam observed the skinny man approaching the children. The Pedos tentacle barbs reached for passing children but the lightning bugs frantically swarmed, attacking the barbs as they neared the children in their care. Like killer bees, the guardians stung at the demons reach, forcing it to move on. Leaving the school, three young boys, one older and taller, the others shorter and younger, came out together. Riding on the oldest boy’s back was a Pedo with three barbs stuck in each adjacent boy. The two other boys were crawling with barbed larvae all about their bodies.
Robert nodded, “The Pedos don’t care about sex or age; the worms on those two over there are the young riders’ larvae. I’m sure you’ve heard the words: the cycle of abuse continues.”
A little girl walked out of the school with her head down crawling with larvae, immediately, the skinny man’s Pedo whipped its barbs into her. When the skinny man knelt down to pick her up, the girl cringed. The heads of the older Pedo and the younger Pedos smiled at each other, whispering something both infant heads laughed as the man nodded to the boys and returned to his car.
Sam grew agitated the closer they came, “So there’s nothing we can do for her?”
Robert placed a light restraining hand on his arm, “Not really, we could battle the Pedos, but we would look like madmen. The good thing is the little girl’s larvae have not imbedded themselves in her body. Look back at the two boys. The younger ones have a few larvae wiggling into their skins. She doesn’t. At least not yet. That means she hasn’t given up hope. She still hopes to get away from this monster. More than likely, she’s never been taught any goodness. Most Pedos try to isolate their victims from other good-natured people. Who knows? Eventually, she might ask for higher help from her creator. Trust me, if she asks for an army of angels to help her, she’ll get them. Or whatever form of guardians she understands.”
“So why doesn’t… why hasn’t someone done it.”
Robert scratched his forehead, “It’s all about faith, all about believing in something you can’t see and having faith in it. She’s probably been beaten down so much she doesn’t have faith right now in anything.”
Sam’s attention moved toward the buses.
“What is that thing?”
Robert looked where he pointed, trying to avoid the Pedos gaze as its horse let the sad little girl in the passenger side.
Sam indicated one of the adults walking with a child toward the buses. The rider on her back was pale with red veins running throughout its form. It had a vaguely human face but drooping. Jowls hung loosely on either side, and even though its eyes were red and half closed, like a sleepy person, it was wide-awake. Where the jowls draped on either side of the woman’s head, tubes inserted in her neck. Its slack, clawed arms hung loosely about her neck. She smiled and helped the little boy onto the bus turning back toward the school. The thin emaciated rear of the rider came into view. Two thin membranes hung limply down the woman’s back. Yellowish with a sloshing pale fluid in each causing the two sacks to swing back and forth as she walked.
Robert harrumphed, “That’s an Alco, short for alcoholic, which makes her one. The rider siphons its nourishment out of her neck as she drinks, which makes the two sacks on its back fill up. When they get empty, she needs more alcohol. The rider gets bigger and heavier as the alcoholism grows. It also has larvae, but it’s more like a juice it sprays on children or friends.”
“So all pedophiles and alcoholics have these riders?” Sam asked in disgust.
Robert shook his head, “No, they don’t, and there’s the sad part. Free will. Some choose to be pedophiles, alcoholics, or abusers. Others? The riders see a free ride and take it.”
Sam continued to investigate the surroundings, “Abusers? What do they look like?”
They turned back toward the front of the school as the Pedos and his child drove off. A dark-skinned, long-haired girl and an older brother exited the building. Floating ghostlike behind them, with four arms, swords in each hand, tinged in blue, were two androgynous beings. They glared at the young Pedos and the young boys milling about the front door as other children passed. Flames flickered from their eyes as the young boys made comments. The two children made their way to a van and hopped in with the ghost creatures floated through the walls of the van after them.
Robert answered Sam’s confused look, “Devas. The family isn’t Christians; it’s their form of angels. The creator gave many forms to his creations protectors. They might have been Hindu. I’m not very knowledgeable on some of their forms.”
“They were beautiful. But they looked angry.”
Robert smiled, “Wouldn’t you be if you were in a land where there was so much to protect children from. Heck, if you thought the children’s guards were intimidating, just imagine what the parents guardians look like.”
Sam noticed a man walking across the street; a hairy monster superimposed itself around him. It didn’t so much as ride him as walk with him. It slobbered and snarled walking by parents and other adult. Its clawed, muscular arms swung at the guardians of the children and parents as they passed. It tried to smash several of the firefly guardians between its massive claws, but they moved too quickly. It was like watching a cartoon bear snap at bees as the bear tried to get honey.
“Is that an abuser?”
Robert frowned, “No, I call it a Bestial. They despise anything good and wholesome. They’re always angry and mean spirited. They do abuse, but they’re more into destruction. Chaos is what they promote.”
Another little girl came walking out of the school. Sam noticed she was more mature looking then the other children and attractive. The oldest Pedos ride said something to her, which she ignored and he grabbed her by the arm.
Instantly, a pearl-white glow encased her as a seven-foot tall man with his wings fully extended and a drawn blade swung at the approaching barbs coming at her from the Pedos. The little girl turned and stared at the older boy as the Pedos bucked on the boys to move away. The boy released the girl backing away with a confused expression.
“Was that-?” Sam asked.
Robert’s eyes widened, “Wow! Yeah, it’s a Christian Angel, one of the higher ones. She’s got a higher Angel protecting her.”
“Is that significant?” the angel escorted the girl to her parent’s car. As it did, the guardians of others dipped in response to its passing.
“That, my friend, is a little girl to watch in the future. The Great Spirit has plans for her and she has tremendous faith. To have a personal angel of a higher hierarchy as your personal guardian…wow. But then I’m partial to the Christian Angels, if I was born in another country it would be a guardian of their beliefs. It’s all relative.”
Robert sighed, “Didn’t you ever go to Sunday school? There’s a hierarchy in Heaven the same as Hell or other versions however the different faiths want to call it. Archangels, Seraphim, Cherubs, Guardian Angels, angels controlling the planets, the weather, the sun, nature, what have you. There’s an Angel for nearly every action the creator has created an action for.”
Sam held up his hands, “Wait, wait, wait, angels control the planets? The sun? What are you talking about?”
“Sure, angels are infinite. Or whatever a religion decides to call them. The creator gives dominion over certain things that are certain angel’s responsibility. You didn’t just think they all just sat around on clouds throughout eternity did you?”
“Well…yeah.” He shrugged.
“Sam, Sam, Sam. I have many baby steps to walk you through. Look, over there is another abuser.” he pointed.
A teenage girl jumped out of her car, roughly grabbing a child similar to her features, talking angrily to the little boy as she dragged him to the car.
The rider on her back was a yellow toad looking creature; it had two sets of arms wrapped around her chest, a pair of spiked feet pounding into her lower back and another set of clawed hands slapped either side of her head. The thing hissed at the little boy, spitting vile liquid soaking his body in a yellowish film.
Robert frowned, “That’s just one type of abuser. I call them Pounders. They never seem to quit pounding their horses. More than likely that’s her little brother, and more than likely she is a hellion to deal with at home.”
The colors began to fade; the demons and guardians began to dissolve.
Sam rubbed his eyes, “What’s happening? Everything is going away?”
“Take it easy, that’s just the sight wearing off, remember it was only temporary. So now, do you believe I’m not insane? Or do you think I’ve just infected you with my psychosis?” he crossed his eyes and let his tongue droop from the side of his mouth.
Sam couldn’t deny what he was seeing, he wanted to, but he couldn’t.
“Oh, I believe, I believe.”
He relaxed his features, “You mean you’re crazy now…like me…or you believe me?”
Sam rolled his eyes at his antics, “I believe you. Are you saying you see and hear these things all the time?”
“Yes, Sammy, yes, constantly, endlessly, daily, nightly, and even on weekends.”
“How can it not drive you mad?”
He smirked, “Where did you find me?”
Sam’s eyebrow rose, “Oh, right.”
“A looney bin, a nut house, now you know why I wanted isolation and no television or newspaper, ‘cause I can see them in photographs too. It’s a cacophony of the most hellish noise and beautiful music you could imagine, but I’m able to turn down the volume. The thing that attacked the Scaletti’s surprised me and was so vicious I froze or blacked out or just lost my sanity,” He glanced sideways at Sam, “Momentarily.” That’s why I was a raving lunatic when the cops found me.”
“Now that thing is on the loose, killing more people.”
“Exactly. I put most of my powers into those writings on the wall in the asylum until I could sort things out. Spread it thin so I wouldn’t use it unwisely. Usually the things beyond the veil can’t physically hurt anyone, and when I mean hurt, I mean kill. Except and unless the person who can see them, challenges them, which technically opens a doorway to our side. The Scaletti family I believe found something like an evil Djinn in a bottle.”
“Djinn?” Sam’s brow furrowed.
“Genie, not the ‘I dream of Jeannie’ type but the 1001 Arabian Nights type and an evil one, so I’ve got to go find some help on how to get it back into its bottle or replace its bottle and force it back in. Or destroy it, whichever is better.”
“Is that where we’re going?”
He grinned happily, “Yep, going to New Orleans, to visit my Grandpa, I need to tell him some things to tell my dad.”
Sam thought a moment, “Wait a minute, didn’t you say back at the Sanitarium your father died? Wasn’t he really old?”
“Yep, sure did.” He turned on the SUV and started to pull out.
“But if he’s dead, how’s that possible?”
“Oh, no, Sam I am. My grandpa and my father died but that doesn’t mean I can’t still talk to them.”
“You’re not making sense.”
“We’re a secretive family. It all depends on where you are when you talk to my family. Baby steps, baby steps. Sit back enjoy the ride, you think this little burg we’re in has its share of scary things? Wait until we hit New Orleans, it was there before American was even a country, lots of supernatural stuff, oh yes, lots of stuff.”
Robert began whistling as Sam leaned back trying to absorb all the things he learned and witnessed in the last few moments. Questioning once again why he believed this man and how he could believe his own eyes with the horrors he just observed.
To be continued…