Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Chapter 3 from my completed novella, 'Out of Nowhere'

Chapter Three

Nick awoke early the next morning with sweat dripping off his body. Big stains blemished his nice button-down shirt on the front and back. He sat up and rubbed his eyes with his hands trying to force himself awake. Still shaken from his horrible nightmare the night before it had felt so real but it wasn't. Or was it? 

He sat up and leaned back on the headboard and turned on the lamp. As if a light could chase away the demons that thrived in the darkness. Running his hands up and down his face trying to regain his composure he told himself it was all a dream. A bit scary and realistic but nevertheless a bad dream. That’s all it was. The sensation he experienced by those flashing of images was hard to forget.

There came a knock at his front door. Who could be bothering me at this early an hour? He asked himself. Oh what the hell, I am already awake. He changed into a clean shirt and pulled on a pair of jogging pants. 
"Be right there," he yelled in the direction of the knocking.
He reached the door and stopped giving himself a moment to clear his head. And upon opening the door to, he saw a tall figure of a man in his mid-forties, a bit stocky and posture a tad casual. His eyes were bright and in them you could see the honesty and tell he was an open book. 

"Hello, sir," Nick began trying to be civil. 

"Morning, Mr. Jones, I am John Elgore the new caretaker of the cabins this side of the lake," the tall quiet man replied. 

"Oh, you must be replacing Mr. Thomason," Nick said. 

"Yes, may god rest his soul," Mr. Elgore said remorsefully. 

"So, do you need me for anything?" Nick asked.

"Oh, no, just wanted to know when you'd need me to send Ms. Judy on by to clean up," Mr. Elgore answered.

"Hmm…today is good. I am going out for a jog," Nick replied.

"Good, good, I will send her over after you leave," Mr. Elgore said smiling.

The other turned and began to walk away but stopped as Nick started to close the door behind him. He seemed to be about to say something but didn't. Nick closed the door.
Nick was dressed for the occasion and that was jogging. Quite a nice day for doing such an activity as the sun was high in the sky bathing the countryside in its golden showers. Warmth burnt off the chill of the past night. The wind blew ever so softly and brushed against his skin as if caressing his face. It was soothing.

Birds winged overhead and sang their songs and clouds what few there were moved across the endless expanse of sky going to and fro like ships traveling from one harbor to another with their jobs that never ended. A few people passed him on the trails. Probably other out-of-towners like him. Although he himself wasn't a true out-of-towner not in the true sense of the word.

He had moved away from New Lake a couple of months before leaving for Rhode Island and entering Brown University or Brown U as he'd fondly refer to his alma mater. Ah, Brown U, he remembered fondly. His first true taste of freedom from the linear life's journey his father had plotted for him. If it hadn't been for his youthful rebellious nature he might have fallen in line and be in Big Lake leading his dead dad's Saw Mill. But he was anything but predictable.

Maybe that was what had attracted some of the fine young women at his alma mater. But sadly he was on the outside looking in and felt as if he was the odd man out there. It wasn't because he was socially inept or anything similar. No, he was when it was needed quite the social butterfly. It was just that he had his own modus operandi-way of doing things. Nicholas Jones was a man of practiced patience and a set of rules that bore no tolerance for change and as such caused his alienation from the opposite sex. Women didn't like a man to be too controlling of such things that left them without much say so. This was the 21st century after all. The fairer sex, bah! What was that? Women wanted to be equal to men in all matters. Then hell, let them have their equality.

The wind had changed its direction and blew rather harder than before and a limb cracked as it snapped clean and fell to the trail below just inches in front of him. He didn't hear the crack of the limb stopping only when I noticed the fallen branch. It unnerved him enough to pull the ear buds out of his ears. Music could be heard blaring from those buds.

It was The Beatles Blackbird-His favorite band. Something else he held in common with his father. Then the wind grew wilder and sent leaves flying and they began to whirl taking on the appearance of a small fan. In the fan past the blades of which the leaves represented there was a small puff of smoke black as coal forming and deeper within that smoke was a bright light. Unsure of what he was seeing least of all if it was real he crept closer but not too close. 

As he drew closer the lighter shone brighter still and when it was so bight that he could almost not stand it anymore it died out and in its place was a face.The face was distorted and barely resembled anything passable as human. No form that was distinguishable or color other than the black smoke that surround it. Its eyes were white depressions as were the mouth. Wispy strands of blond hair covered what he presumed the head.
Both he and the manifestation stood still and a cold disturbing silence began to crystallize about them freezing that spot in time. As if someone had taken a picture. No one else came down the path at this time and no birds could be heard chirping or other animals for that matter.

The next thing he knew the creature or whatever it was-was on top of him. He had fallen onto his back and was breathing heavily. His heart beat rapidly in his chest, thump, thump, and thump. Louder and louder the sound became till it felt as if it was going to burst right out of his chest. What perspiration that had formed was now chilled forming tiny ice crystals along his cheeks and on his sweatshirt.

The warmth of the day had faded. Only the cold remained. And a foul odor lingered.
Now, only mere inches apart he could see the creature in more detail. The more he saw of the creature the less he wanted to be there but he couldn't break apart. The connection was established. Connection…what kind of connection? Mental as in telepathy-was even such a thing possible? Well, there was no way of proving it was. 

Then it spoke to him. Or more correctly it sent him images of its thoughts. The images were misshapen at first and jumbled and distorted. But soon they began to take on shape and form a lucid picture. At that point it became clear. Whatever this creature was it wanted to contact someone and it had. But its purpose was still a mystery.

Almost as sudden as it had happened it ended. The creature lost form and the leaves ceased to move about in then they all fell down. Everything went back the way it had been. He continued to lie upon his back out of breath and frightened. There was nothing more he could but catch his breath and calm his jittery nerves.

It was early evening by the time he had made it back to the cabin. He found a note left by the cleaner; Ms. Judy taped to the front door.

Mr. Jones, 

Hope you don't mind I let myself in and cleaned up the place. You can settle up the bill upon leaving. 


Ms. Judy 

"No, I don't mind. I knew you were coming after all," he spoke aloud the words aloud. He opened the door and went inside.




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