Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Lesson

My Friends,

Well, I finally made it back again. I saw Charles has a Halloween flash fiction thing going aroudn and thought I'd post something to contribute. Not sure if I'll make anymore since I'm so busy with everything right now, but I'll try. And, as always, thank you for reading!

The Lesson
By Lucas Pederson

Humans say they see flying saucers, lights in the sky. They claim they have been abducted and probed. Most of these people are mad, some only confused. It is true we have ships, but they are nothing but machines designed for research and observation. And we have yet to abduct anyone, although we do need a sacrifice from time to time.
We travel to Earth, of course, but not in spaceships, for there is no need. Not when we can teleport by our will alone. Not when we hold magic, as it were, within us.
Witches. This is a word used by so many of you. And in their minds this is the truest of words, but not what we are exactly. We are…we are above mortal understanding let me say. Beyond what you are able to except and allow growing in your brain. But that is okay. There’s no need for you to understand or ponder.
Still, I stray from my point.
Through the centuries we have tried to co-exist with you. But you hanged us up on Gallows Hill. You hunted us down, you burned us alive. You beat us, tortured us, raped us, and we took it and moved on. We moved on, turning a blind eye to your demented actions.
Well…no more. Not after how we see your planet destroying itself. And no matter how much we sometimes consider you as our brothers and sisters we will not allow this to go on.
We would rather see you all turned to toads than continue on as you are. So we regretfully inform you that we have decided to take immediate action. And so we must.
Regretfully yours,
The United

I wrote the letter on regular notebook paper and transported it myself, with my power, to the President of the United States. There’s a joke. They call themselves united. Funny. Now I could feel the President’s shock at finding a document suddenly appear on his desk. Now I felt his eyes warily gliding over my superior script. I felt him shudder. Oh this should be great fun, indeed.
What I wrote had been true for the most part. Although it is not really The United’s plan to destroy humanity. It is not even my plan. But a few others and I are tired of this war begotten planet. The people have forgotten themselves and their true place in the universe. Which is small and actually unimportant, to be blunt. Save for a few individuals, earth is virtually worthless. Well, I have chosen to change that.
My own planet, Terrace, has yet to have a war. A duel here and there springs up from time to time, sure, but never a war. Wars accomplish nothing. And it is not a war I hope to inflict on humanity but fear. Their forgotten fears. I want to make them realize that they are not alone here, and are being watched carefully by forces they can not fathom. If a few die along the way, well, call it regrettable losses.
I slipped into my black duster, conjured an identity spell to hide my true appearance and left my little house in the Iowa country to begin our plan.
Humans are smart creatures, and perhaps they would get this message loud and clear. If not, well then it won’t end for them. Trick…or treat? We shall see. Yes we shall.
The air this Halloween night chilled me to the bone, yet it gave me a sense of refreshment. A wondrous, lovely feeling. The streets were alive and jumping madly.
Ghosts and ghouls, Spider-men, and yes, even witches zipped and zoomed from door to door. All bellowing cheerily:
“Trick or Treeet!” I could not help the smile that lifted on my unreal face. Cute.
But it’s the young ones we must drill the fear into before their parents, unfortunately. The children always get the message, and if caught at the right moment they will remember it forever.
A little boy dressed in a Superman costume, Shane his name was, sprinted passed me, giggling. I giggled back and with a twitch of my right finger his plastic pumpkin, nearly brimming with candy and sweets, jerked out of his hand and flew off as if it were alive. It swooshed passed me and then rocketed into the glittering night sky. I turned to look at the boy with his red cape and blue spandex and saw him standing there, gaping, eyes wide, mouth open in a perfect “O” of surprise.
I chuckled and continued down the first street on the north side of town.
I was soon joined by two others, my closest companions no less. Together we conjured a real spirit, or ghost for want of a better word, and sent it floating and bellowing to every child on the street. Shrill screams exploded through the air, and my companions and I laughed.
Mickili, the voodoo specialist of the three of us, reanimated two dead bodies from their graves. Not bodies buried in a graveyard, but two teenagers who had been murdered some ten years ago and thrown in shallow graves in a slightly wooded area near the town’s park. Mickili sent them to wander and groan up and down this street.
More screams erupted; some were adults I might add. And so it had begun…
The dead walked, spirits drifted and haunted, boogiemen hid under porches, in trash cans, mail boxes, the shadows. Reaching out for whatever wandered into their territory. Reaching out and grabbing with charred black claws.
Panic blew through the town like a deadly wind.
“The world is at an end! Repent! Repent your sins brothers and sisters!” A short chubby preacher bawled.
Sick of his loud screechy voice, I turned him into a bat and sent him to flutter over hysterical humans, those still out on the streets. Most had already sought shelter in their homes. Little did they know what grotesque horrors awaited them in their own houses.
Sparks sputtered from my lips as I ran my tongue out and licked them. Yes. This was delicious. Simply yummy. Human fear, it is unbeatable, a constant.
A little girl, Mary was her name, seven years old, ran into me, screaming for help. I grinned down at her, blinked and suddenly she was cart-wheeling in the air above my head. Then I set her to rest at the top of the town’s courthouse. There, no harm done. No harm. And as far as I could tell there was no harm being done to anybody. A few scrapes and bruises so far, and that was their own doing. Panic is a madness, you see, one that consumes all rational thought. But, oh, they were learning now weren’t they? Yes, yep, sure. All over the world they were learning.
“Now.” I whispered to myself.
“Let them see a real witch.”
I spoke a single word in my native tongue…and my human disguise melted away. I have never known what I look like, for if I gaze into a mirror I become trapped inside, where magic will not free me. A draw back to being what we are. But according to the people in the street, I must be absolutely hideous indeed. They saw me, each and every one, and oh how the shrieked in horror.
I thrust an index finger at a man on his stoop and pointing a shotgun at me. The gun immediately slithered to life like a serpent and then twisted itself around the man’s wrist. He bellowed. I laughed and continued on.
Candy littered every street I visited. Here a fun size Snickers bar, there a packet of Skittles. Everywhere! Humans darted every which way. Some simply gaping at the freakishness of me and my fellowship, most being chased by either zombies or ghosts or being dive bombed by large bats. All the Halloween tricks, by the stars.
Something painful struck my back and I whirled to see a stout man with short gray hair throwing stones.
“Go back to hell, Devil!” He cried and hurled another rock at me.
I held up one hand or claw as humans see it, and the stone froze in mid air about a foot from my face. My eyes moved from it to the man named Greg. I grinned and he flinched. I blinked and the stone reversed itself back to Greg…and smashed in his face with such a force I heard the collision, a flat thock! sound, clearly through all the mayhem and screaming and gunshots.
Greg toppled to the pavement and laid still, blood pooling around his head and ruined face.
I glanced at my fellowship and they glared back in stark disapproval. I could only shrug. The man had meant to kill me with those crude stones. And besides, he called me the Devil of all things. Of course I had never thought that they might conceive me as their devil, for what I was doing and what I looked like, until much later.
A car, red, sporty, skidded around a corner up ahead, slued and aimed itself right at us.
“No harm.” Spoke Velim, one of our Druid specialists.
“No harm.” I repeated. And I meant it. Greg had been a spur of the moment mistake.
I clapped my hands together once and all four tires exploded. The speeding car skidded, lost control and before it made oatmeal out of five children clustered and terrified near a shrub, I snapped my fingers. The car stalled and sparked to a sideways halt only a couple feet from the cowering children. Leaving them untouched.
“No harm.” I said yet again.
I felt more than saw my companions nodding in approval.
And so the night went on, without further casualties I might add. We terrified, horrified, and taught them the lesson of their lives.
The next day I sat in my house in the country, watching the morning news. The man on the television looked frazzled, eyes wary and blood shot, his hair a disarray. His face stood tainted by grime before the cameras.
“Last night all over the world something happened.” This frightened man said, his face grim, but very alert, watchful.
“Something unexplainable and frightening for all of us.” The newsman continued.
“This brings a new meaning to Halloween here in the United States…as well as the entire world. We all know now that ghosts exist, that the dead can walk, that monsters are real…that we are not alone here.”
And there it was. I smiled and let go a long sigh of relief. It was a start. Now they all know they are not alone in this world. Now they know what true fear is, now they are awake to things that go bump in the night. We are here and here we will stay…forever.

The End


Charles Gramlich said...

Cool! There's a very interesting idea at the core of this. Glad to see you back.

laughingwolf said...

nicely done, lucas... hope you do some close editing though ;)

Miladysa said...

Well I always knew there was something to it all :D

Donnetta Lee said...

Nice and creepy, Lucas. So good to see you out and about. Sorry you have been so busy. Would like to hear more from you. D

L.A. Mitchell said...

Hi Lucas,
I enjoyed your story...terror with it's own set of ethics :)

Lucas Pederson said...

Charles, thanks! And I'm glad to be back. My time here will be sporadic, but I will jump in from time to time.

Laughingwolf, thanks! Oh yeah,the editing will come, this was a spur of the moment thing and I didn't have time to go through it before posting. Glad you enjoyed it.

Miladysa, HA! There's always something...always something beyond our grasps. Thanks!

Donnetta, thanks! I'm trying to get back into this blogging thing,t hat is, I'm trying to fit it in to my day to day rutine. So far it hasn't been working, but we'll see. I'll be around though.

L.A., thanks! Glad you enjoyed it! Ah yes, that makes it a tad scarier, don't you think? A monster with ethics can do anything, solve world hunger, cure AIDS, have morals and good humor, while at the same time it rips your throat out. Hmmm. Anyway, thanks for reading!

***I'll be making my rounds shortly to read some of all your works, friends. Time, time, time...there's never enough for me now days. Lol.

Christina said...

You have such an interesting look on horror. It's always fun to read what you post.

How is everything? You disappear for such long periods of time.

Lucas Pederson said...

Thanks Christina! Yeah, I'm trying to get back into this blog thing. I know my absences have been great and I'm trying to work the blog back into my time table. It's tough with my job and family and writing. But you'll probably be seeing more of me from now on.