Sunday, February 02, 2014

Featured Creature: Reunion at the Merrimon Library Part IV, From Beyond the Gate

Reunion at the 
Merrimon Library:
Part IV, From Beyond the Gate

Alan put his hands under Tim's arms and dragged him away from the circle as quickly as possible.  With the only light coming from the windows now, the corner had become an abyss of pitch.  Through the windows, Alan could see that the buildings across the street were dark as well.  Only passing car headlights and the darkening grey sky offered any illumination.

"Get up Tim!  C'mon Timothy, You've got to get on your feet!  We've got to get out of here!"  Tim managed to get his feet beneath him and he and Alan rushed towards the table.  Nonetheless, Alan kept hold of one arm to support him.

Alan had begun sweating profusely.  He knew that this was only the beginning and if he could not get he and Tim back to his house and within the arcane protections surrounding it, they were both in mortal danger.  First, though, they had to get out of the building.  

As they reached the table, Alan made sure Tim could stand on his own and grabbed his backpack.  He directed Tim to his own jacket and kept his eye on the dark passage to the restrooms for any sign of movement.  From the pack, he procured the book Tim had been reading earlier, Die Tür Des Bösen.  He hoped he could find some indication of what Tim had been exposed to that could lead him to devising some form of defense.

Suddenly a light flashed from the corridor leading to the main desk and exit.  Alan pushed Tim behind him and prepared one of the few lethal incantations he knew.  A flashlight bobbed into view.  Relieved, Alan let out the breath he had been holding with an audible "Pah".

"Sir is everything okay?  Apparently, there was a car accident nearby and it has knocked out the electricity.  We're asking everyone to collect their things and exit the building."  The young librarian looked at him with apologetic concern.  Car lights flashed across the space briefly, giving the shelves stark menacing shadows.

"We were just getting our things together.  We'll be right along."

"We?  Is there someone else with you?"

"I - " Alan turned around.  Tim was gone.  Alan's stomach sank.  "He - uh - must have gone to the bathroom.  I'll fetch him and we'll be right up front!"  He smiled nervously glanced back towards the restroom.

"Is there anyone else back here besides you and your friend?"  She aimed her flashlight towards the restroom.

"NO!"  Alan nearly yelled.  "I'll - check when I go to the bathroom to get him."

"Thanks."  she gave him a dour look, "Can you get to the main exit from here by yourself?  Just straight up this corridor and to the left."

"Yes, Yes.  There is plenty of light from the windows."  He feined looking down the corridor.  "We'll be right along."

"Okay, " She said. "Please be quick."  Lights from the street flashed across the room again as she turned to go.

"We will."  As the librarian disappeared back up the corridor, Alan turned to face the darkness.  As the car lights faded, he watched the space near the restrooms and listened intently.


Alan paused for a long while before moving forward.  He couldn't hear anything but ticking at the windows.  The snow had turned to sleet.  He returned his pack to the table and took slow tentative steps towards the restrooms.


He wasn't sure but it seemed a faint glow was just beyond the bookshelves.  It had a quality like when light shines up from a swimming pool at night.  The light vibrated in a way that made his eyes hurt.  It peeked faintly through the bookshelves.  Alan heard something shifting in the darkness. There was a loud thump and he heard several books hit the floor.  There was a sudden intake of breath like someone trying to cough.  Alan rushed forward.


Tim was struggling with something that looked very much like a jellyfish.  It was floating in mid air and emitting the glow Alan had seen. The light vibrated much like the dying fluorescent had.  Tim was desperately entangled in its tentacles.  He was struggling for his life.  Alan rushed to help but the thing lashed out with a tentacle and struck his hand as he approached.  His hand felt as if it were on fire.  His skin immediately became swollen and he could no longer close his fingers into a fist.  Every time he moved forward, the creature flared its tentacles menacingly.

Tim had braced himself against a nearby shelf.  Its entire contents went flying as he fought.  He was making a horrid clicking noise followed by a whistling intake of breath.  "Nyeeee.  Nyeeee.  Nyeee."  His eyes and face were beginning to swell unpleasantly where the creature had stung him repeatedly.  He reached into the body of the thing to try and attack it in his last moments, grabbing at the heart of it.  He made a long wheezing choking noise and died.  Another of the beasts emerged near the first and was floating in the air between Alan and Tim.  Several smaller creatures dotted the air further down the aisle.  Alan backed away, shocked and sobbing.

~ Continued in Part V ~

{8x5.33,  created in Adobe Photoshop}


Eddie said...

Great atmosphere with the choice of winter weather. Particularly effective at this time of year, but I'm guessing you knew that :>

Man, what a horrid way to for Tim to die. Stung to death and suffocating. That's almost as bad as drowning. Meurrgh.

Looking forward to the finale!

Jesse Campbell said...

Yes on the winter weather. That's my SAD in play. I've always associated heavy winter weather with a certain level of dimensional evil.

Tim's death was difficult to write, but I try to include a gut punch in every story. A bit of Synchronicity with that scene - I had drawn the image of Tim struggling with the Jellyfish creature several weeks ago, but before I wrote that scene I watched the movie, Paperboy. There is a scene where Zac Efron accidentally swims into a school of Jellyfish and gets stung badly. I was amused and creeped out. :-)

I'm still working on the finale. We've got a huge winter storm coming down the pipe as I type this. Two days of snow and sleet. That will give me some time to finish things off. Me and the computer, lots of coffee, and maybe some soup. :-) Apropos weather to finish off a dreadful finale. :-O mwa ha ha ha ha...just no interdimensional jellyfish for me thanks.

Eddie said...

Coffee, soup and typing up a good story sounds super comfy! I hope the writing went/is going well. And I hope the storm wasn't too much of a pain in the ass. We're finally getting some good warm-enough temps to melt a bunch of snow here. Nice to have clear streets finally!

Jesse Campbell said...

Sadly my writing did not go as planned. I had some personal issues during the snow that kept me from spending the time I wanted on the story. At this point it may be the end of the month before I can finish it. :-( I HATE that it has taken this long.

We were snowed in for two days-ish. There was a state wide emergency called here in SC due to power outages and impassable roads, but in my area we had mostly just bad roads. Today, our snow is finally melting as well. It never lasts long here in the south. :-)

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