Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Intermission: An Unwanted Guest

Dust moved across the barren desert landscape, pressed by a hot wind, settling against the windshield of the parked Ford Ranger that sat far removed from the main road. Miles and miles of sand stretched in every direction of the truck, which looked more like the displaced victim of a aberrant desert whirlwind, with a single occupant inside studying a large map. Several places on the map had been circled and labeled with a red ink pen and connected to one another with a black marker. The face behind the map grew more intensely with its stare. A garbled voice came over the radio informing him of new likely "hot spots" that he then marked on his map.
     "Are you sure about the new locations?"
     "The coordinates are direct from the Vatican."

The man folded the map and stored it in the console. He then reached for the Laptop in the passenger seat, opening it. The screen slowly woke from its hibernation revealing a digital version of the man, which he inserted the new coordinates into, and then waited for the data to refresh.

     "Do you see it?" The crackled voice asked.

He then removed all of the legend, leaving only those markers he had been tracking, and rubbed his chin quizzically.

     "Do you see it, Father Writhe?"

Father John Writhe leaned back in his seat, eying the young man staring back at him with his five o'clock shadowed smile. Ignoring the voice on the radio for the moment, his thoughts were more on what could be unfolding around him. The event he was sent to investigate and quash as wide spread panic by civil rumor that likely went viral via modern technologies. As it stood now, this would not be the report the Vatican was expecting. If the new data was accurate, as it had been on previous predictions, something wicked was happening and there was nothing he, nor the Vatican, could do about it. The voice called to him again, asking the same question it had before. He finally swallowed the uncertainty down and answered.

     "Yes, Bishop Verrelli. May God watch over us all."

The screen now showed only the markings on the white grid. Time would tell the tale, if the predictions were correct.

The world was changing. Father Writhe had visited the places on his map, finding only those which the local authorities had already archived. The Predictions could only give potential "event" coordinates and he could not be in all places at once at all times, which meant he would need Luck on his side if he were to find the Motel as the event unraveled in real time. His faith was being tested, he knew this much. Finding the Motel was like searching for a needle in a murky pool without goggles. He stepped out from the truck and took a few paces. 

     "You know I cannot do this alone. I have spent the past four years documenting the events that have taken place across this wasteland, and not one ever spawned anything more than some sick sadistic demon appeasing the will of the Archangel. But this," He said pointing all around him. "This is different, isn't it?" 

     "Surely, the signs He provided throughout the years would have given cause to alarm, John." A deep calm voice said from behind him.  

Father Writhe did not turn. One never looked into the eyes of his Guardian, considered a high offense and insult when confronted by Man. He had not heard the voice of Grigori in some time, years it must have been, since the last major quakes that killed four thousand people when it was all said and done. Grigori only appeared to him when things were already beyond the threshold. It was never for just pleasantries. 

     "I thought the whole point of good versus evil was to have balance in the world. There is no balance to all this Grigori."

     "He truly works in mysterious ways Father. You know this better than anyone."

     "The world is beginning to dwarf that of the Great Flood. Chaos is rampant and fueled further by the aggressions of man. The ground trembles, the air swirls and the waters rise just as it was foretold they would; but the Motel what purpose does its serve in prophecy?"

There was a silence shared among them. Then as a warm wind picked up from the north, an answer followed. 

     "There is only one way to find out my friend. Find the next event." 

With this the voice was gone with the wind. Father John Writhe stood alone in the desert. His thoughts only on the objective given to him by his Lord. He nodded and turned for the truck. Its tires spun in the hot sand, pushing the truck forward hastily in a direction chosen in random, for there was nothing else he could go on but his own blind faith.  


  1. I feel like I've been tricked.

    There is no "To be continued..." at the end of this passage.

    But it feels like there should be one.

    Sneaky, sneaky, Scott, but at least no one died.

  2. I have no doubt there will be more of this story. There are at least three more empty rooms. I now have a firm picture of John Hurt as Father Writhe. Or possibly Patrick Bauchau. I will have to admit, this story line is leading us a merry chase! Love it!