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CHAPTER 1

Three heads are better than one

 

Joan stopped in the middle of the living room, her neck wet with sweat. She felt dizzy, stumbled to the recliner and sat.

“I can’t leave you guys alone for two minutes and look what you do.” She said to no one in particular. “That’s it, wake-up time boys.”

She stood, a little too fast, steadied herself and moved towards them. First she tried waking Cary, grabbing his shoulder and shaking it rapidly until his head rolled on his neck like a rag doll, “Wake-up!”

He didn’t. He lay there lifeless, or so it would have seemed to anyone looking through the window, a passer-by perhaps.

Call 911!” The onlooker would say.

No that’s ok he’s in another dimension,” Joan would reply “He’ll be back soon, so will John. They’re having a ball, don’t you worry about them.”

She moved quickly to John, holding his large face in her hands. “Can you hear me? John, please, wake-up!” But the results were the same.

They must be having a real ball,” the onlooker would say.

She went back to her chair and sat, giving way to the weight of her eyelids. Quickly she opened them again. “What am I doing, I have to stay awake. I’ll just sit here and wait, what else can I do?”

Staring at the two of them, she wondered how such an innocent evening turned into this strange and distorted night. She remembered the message from Cary on her phone.

“Hi guys, I’ve got a little mystery for you to unravel. Come by as soon as you hear this. Oh, it’s Cary.”

They arrived at Cary’s apartment with a large pizza, two big bottles of Merlot and to add just a little atmosphere, a small bag of weed.

John opened the main door and crossed the lobby with the pizza in his left hand and knocked on Cary’s apartment door with his right in his usual rat-tat-tat manner. Joan followed carrying the wine. 

A clicking of the latch revealed a serious looking Cary.

“Lighten up buddy, it can’t be all that bad,” John said as he slapped him on the shoulder.

Moving to the kitchen, they sat at the table, the still steaming pizza box between them. Joan opened the cupboard and took out three plates and three glasses and set one of each down in front of them.

“First we eat some pizza and then we hear all about your mystery,” she said as she set down the last plate.

Cary’s eyes met hers. She noticed and sat beside him.

“Forget the pizza, have some wine” she said.

John pulled out the bag of weed and some rolling papers.

“I’m ok,” said Cary. “It’s just so weird what’s been happening”

John finished rolling the joint and lit it up. “Here big guy, you need this more than I do,” he said and handed the smoking joint to Cary, who waved it away.

“Not right now, thanks.”

“Ok! Waste-not want-not” John said and drew in a long toke.

Joan poured some wine for herself and the other two, sipping it as she stared at Cary. Cary looked at them both and said, “my dreams are taking me over”.

John started choking on his toke. “What?”

“Listen man, I’m not making this up. You guys like this kind of stuff, that’s why I called you.”

“Hold it buddy,” John said. “Let’s go back to the beginning.”

“Okay, but what I said about my dreams taking me over; well that’s not quite right.”

“Oh yeah, get me all messed up and then change the story.” Said John.

“No, what I mean is that I lay there awake, my eyes open but I could see these kind of movies in my mind. I couldn’t look away like I was in a trance or something. I mean I was totally immersed in what I was seeing. It was like a dream. I can’t actually remember much of what happened, you know like a real dream, but I was there.

The second time it happened I think I fell asleep but it was so real. I could feel things and see colors, so vivid. Hell, I could even smell the air. I remember it smelt kind of burnt.”

“Ha! Maybe that was your neurons burning man! He-he-he.” John managed to choke out after taking another long toke.

“It’s just so amazing,” Joan said. “I mean, I believe you, you’re not making this up right?”

“No,” was all Cary replied.

John went on to tell some of his experiences with the unknown while Joan filled in the details. Most of it went by Cary like background music. He’d heard some of it before and still wasn’t sure if he believed half of it. Anyway, he sat through it until enough time passed that he’d earned the right to their attention again.

“So, what do you think about my dreams?”

“I think someone is channeling through you like a ghost or something,” said John.

“You mean an entity.” Joan interjected.

“Yeah, or maybe it’s totally accidental,” John continued. “Chances are it will happen tonight right? So let’s wait here and catch it live.”

“Ok,” Cary replied, then got up and went to the bathroom where he rinsed his face with water and stared into the mirror trying to remember more of the vision. When he returned to the kitchen it was empty.

“In here!” Joan yelled from the living room.

Cary walked back.

“We thought you fell asleep in there,” she said.

“Really?” Cary said, puzzled.

“Speaking of sleeping.” Joan gestured to John slumped on the couch.

“Let’s go back to the kitchen and leave ‘Sleeping Beauty’ to himself, I think I’m getting hungry,” said Cary.

CHAPTER 2

Sisters of Soaria

 

While food drew Joan and Cary towards the kitchen, a mystery was forming around the elderly tenants of the apartment upstairs.

Miranda paced slowly back and forth in front of the bedroom window, her old legs causing her path to form an arc as she walked, one leg moving slower than the other. She was deep in thought as her sister Grace entered the room. Stopping and looking up at the interruption, Miranda began to speak.

“There’s a thickness between us and it’s not the first time it’s happened. Someone is entering our Offworld and I’m being forced out before I reach the boundary. I can feel the presence of an intruder gaining access. We must go now and try to enter. If we can’t…”

There was no need for her to finish the sentence, Grace knew what would happen if they did not return to the Offworld soon; their bodies would fade into the nothing from which they came. For them to remain in corporeal form, a slice of their own dimension must be created around them; an “Offworld”. This would rejuvenate their bodies and allow them to exist within the Human reality. Without their time in the Offworld they would become adrift, shapeless, and lost.

They decided to try and get into their Offworld right away and so took their usual positions. Grace lay on the bed while Miranda sat in the Queen Anne chair beside her. Both relaxed and gradually entered into a deep trance. A few minutes passed and Miranda’s breathe thickened as though a deep chill had entered the room. Rolling off of her lips like fog, it swirled through the air towards Grace. Gradually finding its way, the smoky substance twirled and looped across the patchwork quilt and encircled Grace’s body. Inhaling the vapor, she gently rested back into her pillow.

As she exhaled, Miranda once again inhaled, holding it in while Grace waited her turn, and so the vapor was tugged back and forth between them. Turning rope-like it created finger-like shards that dangled and waved as it moved between them.

Miranda’s arm slipped from the chair and she sat there limp. Her mind however was not limp at all. The misty twine continued within her thoughts. Arms outstretched, she pursued the sparkling rope like a mermaid in an enchanted sea. Spiraling downward, she continued until the rope gradually became transparent and she turned herself to stop. As she settled, she viewed the landscape and was horrified to see that her once tranquil paradise had been turned into an unrecognizable mess. The air was foul like a putrid swamp. Winding roads and rolling hills produced by the twins’ early memories of English countryside, were now baron and lifeless, uninviting and cold.

Grace lay in a trance awaiting the pull from her sister, at her mercy, for if not pulled through soon, Miranda would be left in the Offworld and Grace would lie there, trapped. Both would be lost, Grace in a comatose state and Miranda, although seemingly so as well, would dwell in an unfamiliar world alone, or at least until the invader arrived.

Instinctively, Miranda knew she hadn’t the power to pull her sister through, but she also knew that time in this world passed much more slowly than in the waking world. This might be her last chance to gather information and so she decided to continue on with caution. She turned and walked along the slanted road towards a dim street light in the distance. As she approached, she heard a buzzing noise coming from the light. The sound steadily increased until it was so loud that her body trembled uncontrollably. Light from the bulb intensified, heating the ground where she stood. She tried to run but the sound beat her back like a shield. Cowering down on the road she squeezed her eyes shut. “Grace! Grace!” she screamed.

Grace rolled onto her side quickly and the misty rope was broken. At that instant the street light exploded, sending shards of glass like daggers, raining down over Miranda but before they could pierce her skin, she awoke.

Grace sat up and stared ahead, a tear dripping from her chin. The taste of decay like tooth rot coated the inside of her mouth. She turned quickly, expecting to see a corpse in the chair beside her but saw her sister alive and awake. Their eyes met and in a moment a hundred unsaid words passed between them. Grasping for each other they stood and hugged.

Moments later, Miranda held her sister

Impressum

Verlag: BookRix GmbH & Co. KG

Texte: Nigel Five
Bildmaterialien: Pinna-Brelstaff Illusion
Lektorat/Korrektorat: Nigel Five
Tag der Veröffentlichung: 29.11.2018
ISBN: 978-3-7487-0202-3

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