THE SECOND SIGHT EPISODE 32
® 20+ SNVL
A VERY STRANGE EXPERIENCE
I was aware that Nicole was screaming out my name, but I was back in another world, another sphere of existence where danger was a living entity, and where death was as normal as sunshine and rain.
It was still raining hard, and now the sky had darkened even further.
A series of deafening thunder blasted through the air. Lightning flashed blindly, intimately close to me. I knew it was not a natural phenomenon that was going on; I knew it was evil at play, ready to devour, mad that its intentions had been foiled.
And I knew that a miscalculated step or a misplaced faith could be the end of me.
I slammed through the trees, whipping the branches from my face as I raced after the eyes. It jumped from tree to tree sluggishly, almost slowly, and I began to gain on it.
I jumped over a fallen branch, stepped into an ice-cold pool of water, and suddenly the trees petered out.
I found myself in a marshland; I was surrounded by tall green grass, and my feet squelched in ankle-deep mud.
It spread all around me…a sea of green grass, swaying wildly in the wind, bending and rising under the fierce shower of the rain.
And here I found the host that had housed those evil demons.
It was a duck!
A fat, ugly white duck!
No wonder it had seemed so sluggish, so slow!
Now it was bogged down in the mud, caught hard and unable to fly up.
It flapped its wings wildly, almost defiantly, as I approached. Its small eyes were a flaming red, just like a raw wound. Its neck was elongated, pointed straight at me like a weapon.
I wondered how a host of evil things could cram themselves into such a small duck, and I wondered why its flight seemed to be impeded; I had assumed that the evil presence in it could have carried it into the skies without any bother.
Why was it trapped then? Maybe, that same old good spirit of God that had been throwing freebies my way all through my tortuous journey was still at work, now giving me a chance to face my most bitter nemesis.
I smiled at that duck … that thing!
That despicable horde of demons called The Legion!
I was so elated that I barely felt stings of the rain on my skin, drenching me to the core. I was barely aware that the sky had suddenly turned crimson, as red as blood.
Thunder blasted incessantly, and the lightning were so violent that they seemed to split the very ground on which I was walking on.
I knew…way deep down I knew…that if I had not been favoured by divine powers I would have been sliced into two by those lightning blasts, or fried black on my feet.
I could see the evil spewing out of that duck, and I could feel its tangible latent poison all around me, but I bore down on it, spurred on by a power as alien as it was raw. The finesse had gone out of my heart, and in its place was only the singular urge to destroy.
That group of evil somehow sensed the fury boiling in me because the duck began to flap helplessly in the mud, and the eyes were now changing rapidly again, as if those terrible forces in there wanted to flee from me, none of them ready to stare at me.
I spoke through clenched teeth.
(in a fierce whisper)
Got you at last, you piece of dung!”
I was about ten paces from it, and I raised my right hand and pointed.
And then Nicole’s cry rang out behind me was strained, scared, seeking.
Yaaaawww! Yaaaaw! Where are you, please? Yaaaaaaaww! Please answer me, please!!
I whirled round and saw Nicole tottering on the edge of the clearing, hugging herself against the slashing rain and screaming wind.
I knew, even as I hesitated, that I was losing ground, that somehow the Legion was gathering pace, preparing to counter my threat.
I felt a terrible rush behind me, and even as I began to turn I saw a white crow soaring forward from the trees, moving above Nicole’s head, squawking in a strident voice.
It was cry of despair from my very depths.
As the crow passed over my head, almost in slow motion, I saw the Legion leaving the duck…and that sound was the terrible rush I had heard.
They left in a great horde, a never-ending stream of swift evil that slammed into the crow again and again. They moved too swiftly for my eyes to follow, and as another thunder crashed they all entered the crow, and it sailed into the sky, looking down at me with those red eyes once again filled with deep anger and evil intent.
The bitterness was a living poison in my mouth.
My head ached, and my heart hammered so severely that for a moment I felt suddenly dizzy. I trembled with the purest of rage as I looked up at that thing, getting farther and farther from me.
No, you don’t!
I screamed into the rain, and then I raised my hand and leapt at it.
For a moment I was sure I had gone stark crazy bonkers, because suddenly I found myself soaring into the sky at dazzling speed.
I felt no rain, no wind, no sensation!
I just saw that crow growing nearer and nearer…not because it was coming toward me, but because, somehow, I was flying toward it!
I saw the crow flapping wildly, screeching in terror now, weaving drunkenly from side to side as it tried to get away from me, but a followed it relentlessly, like a guided missile!
Its ugly head kept turning round, a full circle, like an owl, watching me getting nearer, and the eyes kept changing, all of them filled with terror…and all the while I kept up with it, getting nearer and nearer as crazy lightning flashed and mad thunder boomed in an incessant cacophony of sound and light.
But I was flying.
I was in the goddamn air!
It couldn’t be!
That was not even remotely possible!
The rage disappeared, and so did the confidence. I brought up my hands into my field of vision and saw… nothing!
I looked down at my body and saw…nothing!
I was formless!
I was aware that I was soaring, but there was no sensation, no feeling, no solidity!
I was transparent, so not me!
Panic gripped me with sudden intensity, and my eyes traveled down…and then I saw it.
Way, way down, I saw my body lying in the grass, inert, evidently lifeless.
The woman was kneeling in the mud, her head bent over my body, and then she straightened and brought her clasped hands unto my chest and started pumping.
A moment later her head dropped, and her lips covered mine.
Mouth to mouth resuscitation!
She thought me obviously dead … or dying!
She was evidently screaming in distress as she put her lips to that of my body and blew air into it.
And finally I understood.
Somehow, without knowing how I had done it, my great rage and my wish to get that host of demons had lent me a very unbelievable ability.
My soul, or whatever really gave me life, that thing that was inside the body, had left it.
It was as if I had been emptied out. I could see my body way down in that marshland, devoid of all feelings, apparently dead…and yet I was soaring upward, as aware as ever, but without that solid body down there that made it me.
I freaked out, understandably.
What had happened?
Could I ever inhabit my body again?
Would I be like this forever, wandering around like a ghost?
What the heck had happened to me?
I tried to scream, but no sound came. I was within touching distance of the agitated crow now, but in my great fear there was nothing I could do to it. I forced myself to halt and go back down!
I was aware of the crow flapping away, its squawks of terror changing to defiant daring.
I found myself going back down at terrible speed, more afraid than I had ever been in my whole life.
It was the most terrible sensation seeing my body down there in that muddy grass, being bawled over by that beautiful girl.
Suddenly the only important thing in life was to get back into that body. I wanted to see my feet, my hands, and feel the ground under my feet…to feel them squelching in that mud!
What was happening to me?
What were they doing to me?
I seemed to flow over the girl, through her…and then, somewhat surprisingly, I settled into that body gently, and not with the bang I had expected.
There was no bump, no shattering earth-shaking explosion!
One moment I was hovering, and in another moment I was sitting up, pushing away from Nicole, coughing slightly.
I just saw her mouth forming my name, but I heard nothing.
Her eyes were large and wide, and in their beautiful depths, as the rain ran off her face and across her lips…there was fear.
I th-thought y-you were d-dead, Yaw!
I got to my feet and when I reached down for her hand she almost shied away, but then she put a trembling hand in mine and I pulled her to her feet.
Her eyes roamed my face frantically, feverishly.
I was convinced you were dead! I felt your pulse, and there was none!
I held her shoulders and brushed a lock of wet hair from her forehead.
I’m okay now, Nicole. Come, lady. We have to get out of here!
I spoke in a tired voice, striving hard to keep the panic from my voice.
Still she stared at me, her lips trembling slightly. There were questions in her eyes, and a trace of that fear still lingered.
You had no pulse! None, whatsoever!
Come, Nicole. In time you will know everything. Just trust me.
Still she fidgeted.
She did not look at me as she stepped past me. Her breathing was somewhat erratic, and as she brushed her wet hair from her face I could see that she was trying hard just to remain calm.
She began to walk past me, and just then the duck gave a confused squawk.
We both turned and looked at it.
It was well bogged down now, right to its white wings.
It was weak, and its dark eyes stared at us through the rain, dull and filled with confusion.
Nicole walked toward the duck, her movements mechanical and uncoordinated. She pulled it out of the mud, and it flapped violently, covering her face and hair with wet mud, giving her a look that might have looked really comical under other circumstances.
As it were, the last thing I felt like doing was laughing.
She held out the duck and began to clean it with the rain water, and for a brief moment her eyes finally met mine.
Her incomprehension was fast giving way to something close to anger, or even resentment.
She walked past me into the trees, still cleaning the duck, and after a short delay I followed.
I moved my car to the other side of the road.
Luckily no one had appeared on the scene yet.
It would’ve been a little awkward explaining why we had come out of the marshland covered with mud whilst our car was parked behind a smashed Ford with a decapitated body in it.
We changed in the car.
Nicole first, whilst I waited outside in the rain. It had reduced in intensity just after I repossessed my body, and the lightning flashes had stopped.
It had become a steady drizzle, and as she waited in the front seat I had climbed into the back and changed.
She was quiet and subdued all along, and had not uttered more than a few sentences.
We could have driven away, but it never crossed my mind to, and I knew Nicole would’ve considered me a monster if I had even breathed about it to her.
I used my cell phone to call Guy Grant, and I explained everything to him.
The moment I mentioned Ray Mensah, Guy made a sudden hissing sound.
Don’t tell me! He’s dead, isn’t he?
I hesitated a moment.
Again I hesitated.
He was quiet for a long time, and soft static had ensued over the line. Finally he exhaled audibly.
I’ll call the cops then. And Yaw?
Whatever your powers are, please let remain good.
I had nothing to do with it, Guy, trust me.
Yeah, I trust you, bro. Dude had it coming to him. As sad as it is, I think I’m sort of relieved, y’know, for the sake of his wife and kids. He was a complete a****le. Hold on, bro. I’m gonna inform the cops.
The cops arrived thirty minutes later.
Two sedans arrived with an ambulance, and a surly sergeant and a soft-faced rookie trying to act like Clint Eastwood took our statements.
By the time the police towing truck arrived the rain had all but stopped.
They took taken our numbers and told us we could leave.
Nicole, of course, had insisted they took the duck along, and give it a good home.
They exchanged looks, but they politely took the duck and put it in an empty beer box in the boot.
She made sure they punched holes in the carton to aerate the box before she climbed into the car beside me.
Our conversation from then was perfunctory.
Questions lurked in her eyes, and her looks truly told me that she mistrusted me.
Twice I began to tell her about all that had happened to me, but on each occasion I held back, somehow feeling that the time was not ripe yet.
I could not tell her anything until I had spoken to her father.
That strained wall slowly but steadily rose up between us, and by the time we got to the beautiful city of Portville we were almost complete strangers again.
It was one of those places you described as ‘clean’.
Bob had once told me that Portville probably had no vices, that it was a city where even the whores were likely to quote a Bible verse or two to you before they got down to business.
He had tried to establish a drug market in Portville once, and had totally regretted it; his whole consignment had been burnt to ashes, and he always wondered who had known where he was keeping his stash and decided to turn it to zit.
It had one of the lowest crime rates in the country, due mainly to the fact that its police took great pride in the town’s reputation, and worked as a well-knit unit that clamped down on crime with the force of a hurricane.
It had once been rumored that most of the cops posted to Portville were known to be dedicated Christians.
One politician had even adopted it as a model town, and had sung its praises so long and so high that even the citizens had taken a measured pride in maintaining its squeaky-clean reputation.
Skyscrapers rose majestically into the sky. The streets were clean and the road signs looked as if they were freshened up each day. The buildings were mostly glass, the grounds mostly grass.
Hotels, schools, restaurants, amusement spots, churches…everything in its proper place, and nothing odd anywhere.
The street cops I saw had nice sedans and uniforms.
The streets glinted, and were smooth and neat. Most of the buildings that faced the streets had a lot of glass. It was as if somebody had drawn his fantasy town and then cut it out and pasted it here.
I didn’t like it.
It was just like the Airport Residential Area of Beach County, all nice and saintly, showing none of its rotten core, the home of the rich and famous who, inadvertently, consisted of some of the sickest and loneliest personalities I had ever known.
Lonely men like me father who had been forced to endure years of sheer horror.
I spoke as we cruised along, following her directions.
She paused briefly with her hand outstretched; she had been showing me some of the nice sights.
Sorry, what did you say?
Your town. It looks fragile, as if a sneeze could knock it down flat.
She looked at me, startled.
You don’t like it, do you?
No, I don’t.
She said nothing.
She dropped her hand and regarded me thoughtfully, and then she nodded unperceptively as if she had come to a secret confirmation.
What did you expect to see? Huge casinos, prostitutes baring their bare breasts, maybe cops beating up a drug adduct mercilessly on the curb?
There wasn’t any trace of sarcasm in her voice.
If anything she sounded sincerely baffled, but her words triggered off a primitive reaction within me.
Your opinion of me, I think, diminishes with every passing second, right? You probably grew up in this town, and it is understandable that you feel good about it. I don’t like it, simple.
She shook her head slowly, and she leaned forward a bit to peer at my face.
I’ve never met a man who exudes so much confidence and shows so much vulnerability at the same time like you. What’s this anger that you’ve kept bottled up in you? Yaw, I’m not fighting you. I want to know you, I guess.
I looked at her, horrified by the sudden emotions of exasperation I felt toward her. Suddenly she had lost that magic she had over me.
Suddenly I felt tensed-up and worried inside, my spirit not quite right.
I felt the town – sensed it – pressing in around me. It was waiting, huffing with a tangible malice, and I knew that this was where it was all going to end.
It was a total realization, an unimpeachable fact that settled on my heart, and the sheer weight of it dragged my heart down so that a sudden and complete depression settled over me, and I gripped the steering-wheel tightly.
I was aware that I had lost my sense of reality, that my ears were filled with a terrible silence and that my eyes were now sharp protrusions that could look beyond the glitter around me, and settle on the other world that lay beyond.
This was it.
For me and the Legion.
One of us would perish.
Right here in this town.
This was the final battlefield.
It was as simple as that. In this town death was stalking me with sharp fangs and a secret sinister smile. The Stand was here … and the end was near.
Yaw, please watch out!
Her voice was a sudden whiplash that cut through the fog, dissipating the terrible webs of madness that had woven themselves into my brain.
I was aware of the car bearing down on a shiny Volkswagen Beetle, and I eased back on the accelerator and stomped down on the brake.
The car lurch forward and came to a shuddering halt. The engine went off, but the ignition stayed on, and a low burr came from the hood.
Her seat belt had prevented her from being thrown hard against the dashboard.
I turned to her, but I did not find fear and anger on her face as I had expected. Her angelic face was only filled with concern.
A pretty little arm adorned with shiny bracelets shot out of the driver’s window of the Beetle, and a delicately nice middle finger shot into the air.
I was being given the bird, and somehow that little gesture of unhealthy defiance set my soul at ease and cooled down the embers of the great distress boiling in my breast.
It was a symbol of sanity in a world gone totally mad, and suddenly Portville began to seem more like a town than the cemetery I had envisaged it to be.
Slowly I exhaled, and let some of the tension creep out of my bones.
Nicole was leaning forward and shaking my arm quite insistently.
What happened? You seemed to blank out! Are you okay?
Behind me a car blew its horn, and I looked into the rear-view mirror.
A little traffic was piling up behind us.
I’m okay. I’m fine.
I started up again, and she directed me once more as we cruised through the golden streets of Portville.
Soon we left the commercial face of the town behind and entered a quieter neighborhood. The houses were mostly flat here, and were well-spaced. Beautiful streets, green and lush grass, well-trimmed hedges and neat fencing were all around.
To be continued…
© – Agyeman
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