Sunday, June 5, 2011

They Hunted Till Darkness Came On

Carol's sleeping now. I'm going to let her. I don't want her telling what happened last night. I know she doesn't want to remember it, but she will write it down just so it's written. So I will write it, so she doesn't have to.

I packed the gun and several flashlights and we headed off to the Land of Make Believe. I don't know why I thought it would be better to go there at night -- we had been there during the day twice and nothing had happened, but for some reason, I was just feeling like something bad was brewing and felt we had to be there after it all went down.

We were a little early.

When we arrived, the gates had already been broken open. Carol looked at me with that questioning eye and I took out the gun. We walked steadily through the amusement park, which in the dark of the night had become so much more sinister and unnerving.

Then, suddenly, we saw it: a Door in the middle of the path. A Door to the Looking-Glass. We ran off the side, behind the wooden horses of a Merri-Go-Round, as the Door opened and three men walked out.

"Don't do that ever again, Sleight," one of them said. "I don't want to be there."

"It was just a quick jaunt," the one whom I presumed was Sleight said. "If we didn't use it, we would have been too late."

The third one, who was tall and stout and looked very much like he could kill you with one punch, said nothing, but it clear he didn't like Sleight either.

We watched as they walked down the path and the Door vanished.

And then, just to make matters worse, several dozen more people ran down the path. They must have arrived as soon as the Door appeared. Men with guns and wicked grins. Following whatever orders they had gleefully.

And behind them, a man in a suit. Leisurely strolling after them. He turned and, unlike the others, saw us hiding. He gave a little wave and then continued walking. I knew then that he must have been Steward.

I don't know how long we stayed there. Hours, minutes, seconds. We heard an unholy scream and then suddenly there was a hush as all the air stopped. I held onto Carol's hand as we waited. Then, as suddenly as it descended, the silence went away and I could hear her. Carol. She was whispering.

"One, two. One, two. And through and through.
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack."

It was supposed to calm her. She only said it when she was about to panic. I held onto her hands and we listened as the sound of gunshots faded away.

And we waiting for the morning.

 -- Frank Bellman

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