Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Alpha Room: Light

Long ago someone cracked the code to the cosmic safe that allowed Infinity to share its secrets. The method will always be lost inside the mind of the all powerful being who discovered its complexity and mastered its make up in how all things are and always will be. It is said that The Supreme Being is not understood, meaning it does not have to be in order to know it is there. Organics for example (the living and the known lifeforms both discovered and yet to be discovered) must have one, if not all, of its sense in working order, for the body to live and accept life, whereas The Supreme Being's only focus is on creation. The elements, those that needed to blend in just the right way to create life, stirred in the cauldron of space and brought with it Existence. Pleased by this, the Supreme Being continued to create. It is as though The Supreme Being mothered life, made sure it hatched, gave it plenty of food and water, taught it to survive through instincts and pushed it from its cosmic nest. The important part then has been foretold already and tested time and time again-Its name is life.

It is not known why life is or the purpose for such a wonderful gift, but there have been numerous people who have studied just this, and there are equally as many who have tracked just the opposite-Death. The Supreme Being gave life, this much was understood; however, why was death just as important a process? So many questions with so few answers, why, one could spent a lifetime trying to work out the reason for just one tiny fact. Why Am I? Then there is the question of is there an afterlife? Death has become an easy study. You live and then you die. This fact over time changed, perhaps due to its gloomy ending or Matter-of-Fact abrasiveness, but, nonetheless, nowadays the question has become what is life like after life. And that is where the Motel comes in.

Father John Writhe has spent the better of three decades in pursuit of knowledge. A faith based knowledge has provided some answers to him, but nothing concrete. Not even the knowledge of Grigori and other Angels whom have visited him in the past few years ever satisfied the thirst for truth in all of the lies he has uncovered over time. This is partially due to all Angels creed to the father, which states "He who desecrates the Oath of the Lord, shall fall from his grace." and the Oath has never been disclosed to Father Writhe. Even if Grigori were to share this with him, the language would fall on deaf ears. Other than the Oath, it is the hatred that all Angels share with Organics. Not the same hatred humans so often display towards one another, but a kind of jealous hatred that is a double edged sword. On one side, there is the love He has for the Organics, and the other that is their freedom of choice. Angels, though powerful, are as all things prior to The Supreme Being a thought. They are created, just as the Organics, but without Free Will.
They must serve Him. They do so knowing Him and having godlike abilities, where humans only know of Him  and strive to be like Him.

The road to the next destination, the Motel was supposed to appear, was a long one. He would not arrive for another nine hours, this after driving already for much of the night. His eyes had grown heavy, feeling like tiny anvils had been hung from his eyelids. Coffee no longer had any effect on the extreme tiredness in his body that was felt down to the bone. Not knowing when the event would happen, he desperately searched for a means to continue down the empty highway; but, he could no longer drive safely. He was just about to pull over to the side of the road, when he passed a sign that promised food and rest within three miles. Father Writhe opened his laptop. The cab of the truck lit with a blue hue. He pressed a button and the screen changed to one that displayed a symbol.
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He then moved the cursor over the symbol and clicked on it.
The screen then faded to black. A thin green line moved across the center of the screen.
     "Hello John."
     "I have gone as far as I can, anything beyond this would be foolish and harmful. I am going to sleep for a few hours and then continue before sunset."
     "You are human, John. We do not expect you to place yourself in harms way."
     "I expressed my concern to the Bishop. I hope he passed it along."
     "The sentiment is noted. The Lord Be with you."
     "And also with you." He replied dryly.
The green line thinned and the symbol returned. Father Writhe now had anger pressing him onward to the Motel where a much earned pillow waited.

Room 20 
Clearly, it all was a dream. There were reasons this assumption was accurate. First, the players performing their roles to perfection were dead, had been for ten years now. Martha Jenkins, his mother to those not familiar with the name, was sitting at a dinning room table, filled with an assortment of foods, his father Daren sat next to her and across from him was DelainaDelaina to him.

The next clue was the scene itself. It was Thanksgiving and the last time he ever saw either of his loved ones alive. The event that forever altered his destiny, losing those he loved most, which took him to Vatican City and given an audience with the Pope, his advisers and an unknown figure who took to the shadows like A Cockroach exposed to the light. Part of him wanted to focus on the dark figure, but the sequence of the dream would not allow it. Whisked back to the dinner table, he listened to the words that had haunted him for more than a decade now.

     "So-" Martha was saying, "-Have you set a date yet?"
Theirs eyes met with a smile drawn across each of their faces.
     "I was thinking June." Delaina replied.
     "Oh? Daren and I married in June, you know."
     "Yes mom. In fact, we were thinking the 16th."
The table fell silent. There was a sudden rush of excitement. Martha beamed and smiled ear to ear. June the 16th, the same day she married her husband of 35 years. There could not have been better news for her.
     "There is something else."
     "Yes. We...John and I are going to be parents."
Martha blushed heavily at the news. Her only child had blessed her with her first grandchild. And just when she thought things could not get any better.
     "Well done, John." His father said standing and raising his glass. "To my son John and his beautiful fiancee Delaina!"
They all raised their glasses and toast to one another. "Na zdrowie!"

John then heard the sounds of a baby crying in the distance. He opened his eyes and found himself on the couch inside a hospital room. He rose from the couch and noticed a woman, flooded in hot white light from a nearby window, tending to a baby inside its crib. He felt cold. He could see his breath steam from the end of his nose like he had awoke inside a large freezer rather than a hospital room. He stood and carefully approached the woman who held the same stature as Delaina. Her hair hung down her back and held a magnificent sheen just as he remembered. He reached for her and was about to speak when another deep growling voice called out to him from behind.
   
     "Hello, Father."
He turned to the demon perched atop the end of a chair, his tail curling around the back of the chair like a viper in search of prey. His mighty wings covered his arms and chest, hugging him securely as he rest on the chair as though he were a bird on a wire. Beautiful horns protruded from the top of his head and curved at the ends into fine points, and he held a curious marking on the side of his face. He knew exactly who this was and it frightened him to his core.
     "Baphomet! You cannot harm me demon, and I banish you in the name of-"
     "Spare me with the jargon Father. Your words and their meaning have no effect on me here."
     "My dreams are my own!"
     "Indeed. However, I was not speaking of your dreams meat puppet."
Father Writhe considered this. It would explain the alteration of events. It also explained how the demon was able to tempt him in the unconscious state, which meant...He was not where he thought he was.
     "I stopped at a motel along my way. There is no way that...no, that is not possible."
     "Why fight it? Look at her John. LOOK AT HER!"
Baphomet's words pierced through him like jagged spear tips. He turned and faced his fiancee, her face mauled and disfigured in ways that brought him to his knees, vomiting as he controlled the pain from rising up from his stomach.
     "I could have saved her. You could have saved her...and your...Daughter."
     "Shut up! She was only 8 weeks pregnant when..."
     "Does it matter? Look who the informant is, John. I do not need fancy technology to know the results ahead of time." Baphomet smiled at this.
The flashes had begun to work there way back. Quick shots of rain soaked roads, poor vision, too much alcohol and celebration...the...discussion that took place during this. There was nothing he could have done. It was, after all, an accident.
     "You think you can break my will demon. You have tried before, and you failed. Just as you fail now."
Baphomet leaped from his perch. He walked over to the woman and ran a sharp claw under her chin, licking it clean.
     "Do you remember that night? When you sat trapped inside that car, Delaina unresponsive to your calls, smelling gasoline charge up into your nostrils. Do you remember the smell of it, John? How it caught flame and  threw the tail end of the car into a ball of gorgeous fury that engulfed both you, your wife and that lovely unborn child."
Father Writhe charged after Baphomet, who held out a hand and stopped him dead in his tracks without ever touching him.
     "DID IT HURT FATHER? I RECALL GUT-WRENCHING HOWLS FOR YOUR GOD AND HIS MERCY. TO SPARE YOUR LOVELY LITTLE WHORE AND CHILD FROM THE PERILS OF DEATH AND TAKE YOU INSTEAD!" Baphomet took a deep breath. His growl rattled through Father Writhe and sent the charred Delaina to her knees in fear. The child's cries grew louder now. Each sob echoing off the walls in the room.
     "I can still give it all back to you. I can take away the pain and give you back those lost years, remove you from the services of the Creed and that godforsaken city. It will burn, John. You know this deep inside. There is nothing to stop the approaching tide. You have seen it. You are living it now. Just ask, and I will give back what you desire most in life." Baphomet reached for John's hand.
He eyed the scaly hand before him and looked to Delaina, begging him to accept the offer and free her from the dread, the pain of her wounds, the constant screams of their unborn child tearing at her insides even now.
That was the thing about Baphomet, his promises were ironclad. He could do exactly as promised. He could give him back Delaina and their unborn child. He could bend time and space and place him back into that dinner table as if it were the first time...and it would happen all over again. Not even God could undo what time carved out in the cosmic blueprint of life. This knowledge, given to him by Grigori many years back, before the flames burned away the last remaining life in him was key to Baphomet's delusions of grandeur. It was the only element of God that John actually understood. The Alpha (life) and Omega (death) were one in the same but separate in function. Once gone, there was no coming back. There was just the next step in his cosmic plan.
     "Go to hell Baphomet!"
Delaina screeched like a banshee, lunging for him with nails like spikes and teeth sharp as tacks. Father Writhe jumped back and started to run, but there was no place to go. It was just as Baphomet said. The Motel was uncommon ground. Anything was possible. So, instead of running, he simply placed his hands together and started to pray.

The bitterness in the room faded, replaced with a warm gentle glow that rained down over Father Writhe, Baphomet and the tortured soul of Delaina. Although it all happened within the blink of an eye, Father Writhe could see the events unfold one by one. Delaina instantly stopped her pursuit, the moment her charred skin felt the light, her face showing the hurt and the anger and the forgiveness that she never had the chance to give. Baphomet could only watch, unable to interfere, powerless with his malcontent and helpless in recovering what had been stolen from him. There were rules within rules. The Motel was impartial to good and evil, which Baphomet took advantage of. The trap had been set and the Rabbit caught. It was clear, with the interference of the Angel, there was much more to the priest than even he had thought.

     "Regardless of your protection, priest, you can not avoid the inevitable darkness that looms on the horizon. You cannot fight sin with sin. Even you know this." Baphomet spat onto the floor. The spittle changed into a handful of worms that bored into the floor.

Baphomet spun into a cloud of darkness and, like his plans, dwindled away into obscurity. Father Writhe unshielded his eyes and looked into the face of Delaina. Her face was no longer a reflection of death, but the vibrant beauty he remembered from long ago.

     "Delaina."

She smiled. It was all that he required from her. Had she have spoken it would only been regretful tears. This would be permanent for them both. The singed face of death had been removed, replaced by the face he had loved. The crying child had been lost to the radiance of her presence. He knew then that her tortured soul had finally been released. As she blended into the aura flooding them, he knew he would see her again...someday. Father Writhe then woke from his sleep, the sheets saturated with his sweat, and cupped his face into his hands. He tried to fight it, but lost the battle and wept.

     "I'm sorry you had to go through that." The voice of Grigori said.
The Angel sat on the side of the bed. His eyes looked eternities away from being in the room. They did not sparkle as much as they gleamed with a constant sadness about them. His words were heavy and his heart an anvil of responsibility.
     "You told me she was not suffering."
     "Yes. I did. And I can only ask for your forgiveness in lying to you. It was...necessary."
     "Seems the Lord works in deception, while working in his mysterious ways."
     "If that were so, He would not be the only one."
Father Writhe looked to the angel: "What do you mean by that?"
     "Baphomet mentioned fighting sin with sin. What did he mean by that?"
Father Writhe pushed off the covers and rolled out from the bed. He stepped into the bathroom to shield his face, knowing Grigori already knew more than he was supposed too, trying to look at the man in the mirror as he explained.
     "Baphomet made a bargain with me, prior to you arriving. I was desperate to save her, to save our child...I...have something he wants and was about to return it to him, but then you appeared."

Grigori rubbed his chin thoughtfully. He then said: "And this...something you speak of is important enough to bring a Doppelganger to the surface. What are you not telling me, John?"

Father Writhe grabbed his backpack from the floor and turned for the door. Upon leaving, he turned to the Angel with a stern gaze. His words crisp and laced with spite that Grigori was not clear on who the spite was meant for.
     "The Clergy too work in mysterious ways, my friend."

Father Writhe slammed the door of the truck and sat fuming behind the wheel. He unpacked his laptop from the backpack and opened it. When the emblem faded and the green line crawled across the screen, he spoke: "According to my data, I am at the location of the event. The troubling part of this is that I do not remember getting here. Last night, after my communication to you, I pulled off at a Motel nearly a hundred miles from the coordinates you gave. According to my readings this morning, I am not where I thought I had been. What in the hell is going on?"

He waited for nearly two minutes under the hot morning sun for an answer.

     "Were you able to log the event?"
This was not the response he had expected. He spoke before he had a chance to edit himself: "I was the damn event!"
     "Then...you can confirm the existence of the Motel?"
Father Writhe looked up from the screen and noticed that the Motel he had just emerged from was no longer there. Gone within a blink of an eye, leaving no trace of its being behind, no imprints in the ground as far as he could tell, the Motel never was. If he had not seen it and experienced it for himself, he would have denied it ever being there just as he did several times before.
     "John. The Motel, is it there?"
     "Not anymore."
He clicked off the screen and raised the next set of coordinates. Once his path was marked, he turned on the truck and sped back onto the road in a cloud of dust. There was nothing but road in the rear view mirror, and the faint dust cloud where tire found pavement. As the truck hurried along the highway, a thought came to mind. He recalled an old conversation between himself and the Angel, Grigori had mentioned "The Supreme Being mothered life, made sure it hatched, gave it plenty of food and water, taught it to survive through instincts" that he did not quite understand until now. Instincts. Like faith, instincts was raw and driven solely by emotions and impulses. Considering this, he slammed his foot on the brake and sent the truck into a wild spin that took it off the road nearly upended it inside a trench. There were two more events remaining, each one two hundred miles from the other. He had been running to each one in order, never at random and always at the order of his superiors. He closed his eyes and there she was, Delaina, smiling happily. Within this moment of peace, a choice was made. The truck pulled out onto the road and barreled in the opposite direction. For the first time, John Writhe was acting on instinct alone.

Far from the events of the desert plains, a voice spoke from the darkness: "That cursed Angel reared his blessed head again! I recall something about "guaranteed" success the last time we spoke, Bishop Verrelli."
The Bishop dropped to his knees. He eyed the partial hooves jutting out from the shadows, swallowing his fear and, ironically, praying this would not be his last moments.
     "I can only offer my apologies, My Lord. We did everything we could to mask his presence from the Guardian."
     "If you are to make Archbishop, you might give more attention to detail." The voice said, "The knife remains with him, and now his bitch has been released from her rotting bed of purgatory. His faith no doubt rockets off the charts. See to it that this high of his does not impede upon our main goal. In a month, my son will walk among them all, and chaos will spread throughout like prolonged napalm. The world will burn and not one goddamn soul will see the light at the end of the tunnel...do you understand me?"
     "I will see to Father Writhe, personally."
Bishop Verrelli felt the intense heat against his face, a reminder of things to come if he were to fail again. Behind him a bald man stood silently, dressed in brown robes holding a briefcase in one hand. There were words tattooed on both sides of his neck. On one side, "In Hoc" and on the other, "Signo Vinces" Words that have shaped the world for thousands of years.
     "Father Writhe has become a thorn in the side of progress. See to it that you surgically remove it."
The man nodded slowly, and then promptly left the room.
Bishop Verrelli looked out the large oval window that gave way to the statue of Saint Andrew and the grottoes. Everything he knew would soon change. It would change for the ware, and all who did not serve the Dark Prince would forever burn. He knew firsthand the power of Lucifer and his doppelgangers. Unlike God, he had been visited by several incarnations of the Fallen Angel. And like Adam and Eve, he had become tempted by his presence and his promise. It was hard to deny that which stood before you, and harder to ignore its wishes.  He took his rosary and wrapped them around his hand, kissing the crucifix on the end. Even in the darkest of times, he still found himself clinging to old habits.

10 comments:

  1. Sooo, can I get orange juice with my continental breakfast? I'm not big on grapefruit juice. Also, I'd like a 7am wake up call. Thanks.

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  2. These churchmen are corrupt! And hypocrites! Siding with Lucifer while holding onto a rosary. And they're going to kill the nice Father.

    And once again I feel as if I've been tricked: like there really IS a to be continued sign at the bottom, you just didn't write it.

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  3. One could make such an argument, but these are short short stories of a larger plot that will likely be a kindle offering in the future.

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  4. I can't wait for the movie to come out. Or maybe it should be a series. I would watch it over and over again....

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  5. I remember about a year ago when the networks were looking for another show that would have the same interest and intrigue as Lost. Something like your motel stories here would have fit the bill.

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  6. Bryan- I think I would have to muster more interest in them than 3 people.

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  7. So? Find out who is on the group researching new shows. Use a third party ID and send a link to one of them saying "Hey! Check this out!" It might work. And I'm sure you could use the extra dough, right?

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  8. Rev-That sounds a lot more difficult than writing it. How would you find out who searches storyboards and even if you knew, how would you make yourself stand out among all the others? I sent something a long time ago to a newspaper, who printed a small portion of my email and make a column of interest a "quote of the day".

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  9. I'll see f I can find out and get back to you on that.

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