Post by ER Of Clan Sci-Fi on Aug 23, 2017 18:06:32 GMT -5
Check last reply all the way down....
When a young couple in search of a short cut takes an exit off the main road, they find themselves right in the middle of one of the country’s most bizarre mysteries.With time against them, can they figure it all before it costs them everything?
Post by ER Of Clan Sci-Fi on Aug 23, 2017 18:07:45 GMT -5
We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival
- Winston Churchill
Chapter 1: Mistakes On The Road
On a partly-cloudy day, along a semi-busy highway, a young couple makes their way north on I-95 in the middle of Georgia.
“Traffic is really good considering…” Becks says with an overall feeling of content.
Squinting his eyes into tiny slits, The Mate scans ahead as far as he can see, “I’m afraid my love that you just jinxed us.”
It was true, ¼ mile up the road, a sea of red lights was starting to form up. Their rented 2018 Honda CRV was already starting to slow from its previous cruising speed of 70 mph.
Realizing what The Mate has just seen, she adds, “Traffic is slowing up too fast for it to be regular congestion, it’s got to be an accident.
“Why don’t you look at that fancy app of yours and see if anyone is sharing news of an accident up ahead.” The Mate says.
Without bothering to respond, Becks activates her Waze app confirming what her husband has suggested… according to fellow motorists, it was indeed an accident up ahead.
“The app is stating if we take the next exit coming up, it will take us right past the accident site.” Becks says.
“You sure about this?” The Mate asks with considerable concern. “We are 100 miles from the next major city. Who knows how these little towns are about…”
“...mixed-race couples?” Becks finishes. “This isn’t the 60’s babe!”
The Mate sighs, “But this is still the south… and from what you’ve described, there are still things that folks down here can’t get over.”
“We are making really good time babe and I don’t really feel like sitting in traffic.”
“Okay, okay …“ The Mate relents. “We’ll take your little short cut.”
Exit #183 delivers the couple down a steep embankment, leading to a heavily wooded area that’s somehow … darker than the highway above. They get to the bottom of the first intersection and feel as though something’s not right.
“You feel that?” The Mate asks.
“I was thinking it was just me… the town is lower. So perhaps it's just the drop in elevation.” Becks responds.
“Let’s just get through this before we start feeling other weird @#$@%.”
They begin to travel through the intersection when Becks sees “it” coming out the corner of her eye.
“BABE! LOOK OUT!!!”
But her warning comes too late as their CRV travels through the intersection and T-Bones an older model Ford.
Post by ER Of Clan Sci-Fi on Aug 23, 2017 18:14:27 GMT -5
Chapter 2: We Are Not In Georgia Anymore
“Oh my @#$%!” The Mate screams.
The impact sends the old Ford spiraling through a wooden fence before it collides with a tree.
“Call the Police!” Becks yells before she jumps from the car and is inches from darting over towards the crashed Ford before The Mate stops her.
From the same direction a police car comes flying over a small hill, lights flashing but no siren.
“Wow!” Becks says incredulously. “What are the chances?”
As the police car speeds past them, stopping right at the point where the old Ford burst through the fence, The Mate can’t help but notice the make and model of the police car.
“It’s an old Ford Crown Victoria… with the 5.0 Interceptor engine. This department must have an enthusiast because they stop making those cars 20 years ago.”
The couple walks over to the officer who has already stepped out of his vehicle.
“Officer… “ Becks pleads defensively, “We’re sorry… the car came out of nowhere! We didn’t…”
The Officer raises his right up in the air, removing his silver rimmed, mirrored shades off with his left hand.
“Mam… slow down for a minute please.” The Officer says coldly. “ I saw the vehicle in question speeding...hence why I am here. I can see from the point of impact what happened here. So please… return to your vehicle.”
“How about the occupant of the car?” The Mate asks.
“Leave that to me son. Right now, he’s in trouble for both evading and causing an accident. Now please… return to your vehicle, I’ll come see you in a moment.”
As Becks and The Mate walk back towards their car, Becks keeps a side-eye on the officer.
The officer gets to about 10 feet from the vehicle, before he withdraws his gun. Before Becks can see what the cop does, another cop car comes over the hill. The vehicle seems to stop almost directly between them and the officer inspecting the crash.
The cop steps from the vehicle, tilting the brim of his hat and smiles.
“Sir… mam… Good Afternoon. The name’s Officer Morkim. That fine gentlemen over there is Officer Eddie. We’re sorry for what just happened here.”
He looks over at the CRV, inspecting the damage with a shake to his head. “Wow… that’s some serious damage you’ve got there guys.”
The Mate jumps in the car… and turns it back over.
“Well… it’s drivable,” he says, leaning out the window.
The officer leans down to the ground onto one knee. “Looks like a leaking radiator. You won’t make it more than half a mile.”
“@$#@%^!” Exclaims Becks, better call the rental company so they can get out us out a replacement.”
The Mate powers the car down and pulls out his cell phone. Before he can look up the number, his face becomes immediately despondent.
“Hun...I’m not getting a signal.”
“Seriously?” Becks says with a tinge of anger. “What else can go wrong here?”
She pulls out her cell phone, confirming she too doesn’t have a signal.
“Officer?” Becks says to the Officer. “Do you have bad reception in this town, or is it just our cell phone?”
“Cell phone?” Officer Morkim says as he scrunches in his face.
“Yes cell phone… everybody has a cell phone. Do you guys have a problem with coverage in this town… possibly because of the town’s elevation?”
A light comes over the officer’s face, “Yes… it’s the town’s elevation.”
The way the officer finishes off the statement triggers something in Becks, but she just stores it away for now.
“Okay, tell you what… the mechanic isn’t open until the morning. Let us escort you into town. There’s a diner where you can grab a lunch. A few blocks from that, my brother owns a Bed and Breakfast.”
Becks and The Mate look at one another. Becks nods her head away from the Officer so the two can talk in private.
“What do you think?” she asks.”
“We don’t exactly have a lot of choices here, hun. We crash into the morning and then be out of here by the afternoon, late afternoon by the latest.”
Becks and The Mate return to Officer Morkim, reluctantly climbing into the back seat of his patrol car.
Post by ER Of Clan Sci-Fi on Aug 23, 2017 18:18:03 GMT -5
Chapter 3: Welcome to Tempora, Georgia
Becks and The Mate walk through the door of Modo’s Diner and the first thing they notice is… it’s empty.
“Must not be the only place in town to be this empty.” The Mate says within earshot of Becks only.
A man in his late 30 walks from around the counter with a Chef’s hat.
“Welcome to Modo’s Diner… I’m Modo. This is the only diner in town, so, please… make yourselves at home.”
Becks and The Mate take their seats upon stools that grown loudly from their presence. Once they are situational. Modo shakes both their hands with the vigor of long lost relatives.
“What will you have?” Modo asks.
“You guys have any chicken wings?” Becks asks.
“We’ve got burgers!” Modo answers quickly.
“How about hoagies?” The Mate asks.
“Cold cuts??? Nope! We’ve got Burgers!”
Becks and The Mate look at one another.
“I guess we’ll have burgers,” The Mate says to Becks and Modo at the same time.
Becks looks around the diner, taking in the surroundings. Everything in the diner was old. Which isn't uncommon in any part of the country she thought to herself. The whole point of the diner experience was to take a step back into the past.
“Burgers up in two minutes guys… what would you have to drink?’ Modo asks.
“Water for me,” replies The Mate.
“I’ll have some ginger ale,” adds Becks.
“Young folks like yourselves... Surely you wouldn’t mind having something a little bit … stronger. I’ve got some nicer “ale” imported from Charlotte.”
“That’s okay… we’ll pass,” smiles Becks.
They slowly consume their meal as they continually try to get a signal on their cell phone.
The Mate raises his voice so that it carries into the grill area, “Excuse me, Modo. You think we could use your phone?”
Modo’s head pops in between the small window separating the grill and the dining section, “Sorry… phone’s been out for a week. Got a guy from Bell coming to check it on in the morning.”
The name of the company doesn’t stand out to The Mate, but it does to Becks. Something again, that she files away for later.
“We do have a pay phone across the street,” Modo adds.
“A pay phone?” Becks silently mouths to The Mate.
“Hun… it’s an old town. There are still have pay phones where I’m from. I think its pretty cool.”
“How much we owe you?” Becks asks.
Modo steps around the counter, rubbing the eraser end of his pencil against his temple.”
“Let’s see... Burgers… two drinks...”
The Mate digs deep, only to come up cursing over the realization of where his money is at. “Hun… I left my cash in the cup holder for the tolls.”
He then pulls out his credit card. “Debit?”
Modo stares at the card, his face now scowled, a stark juxtaposition of his earlier demeanor.
“You want to use a department store charge card… to pay for a meal here?”
Becks tries to quickly diffuse the tension, “No Modo… this is just our bank card.”
When she see’s nothing about his demeanor changes, she becomes annoyed. She then reaches into her pocket, withdrawing a $5 bill and slams it on the table.
“Keep the change!” she says angrily.
As they make their way across the street to the pay phone, The Mate has to increase his pace to catch up to his wife.
“Did you see his face? There’s something wrong with him.”
“Small town, hun… that’s all. It makes sense that they are a little behind.”
“I can see if we were in the middle of nowhere. But we are one exit off one of the country's biggest highways??? It’s not making sense babe.”
The two stop at the same time stunned at what they see in front of them. Assuming Modo was sending them to a pay phone, they thought they were going to see a pole out of the ground, with a telephone on it. Instead what they found themselves several feet from, one as an actual phone booth.
“I think I got inside one of these ONCE… as a child.” The Mate says.
Inside the phone booth is telephone book attached to a long chain. The telephone book is dated from 1982.
“So much for looking up anything useful with this thing.” The Mate says, allowing the book to flop back against the sides of the booth..
“I’ll call my dad… tell him where are.”
Instinctively, Becks retrieves a quarter out of her pocket, only to find it meet resistance at the pay phone’s coin slot.
“Hun? It’s only a dime.”
10 cents later, Becks makes her call.
[“I'M SORRY… OPERATORS ARE BUSY AT THIS TIME, PLEASE TRY YOUR CALL AGAIN”]
After two more unsuccessful attempts, Becks turns back to The Mate, “Get me out of this town before I seriously hurt somebody!”
“Hun, let’s head over to the B & B, get some rest and wish this strangeness will be all over in the morning.
Post by ER Of Clan Sci-Fi on Aug 23, 2017 18:23:04 GMT -5
Chapter 4: The People of Tempora
As Becks begins to to make her way down the street, she notices this town seems almost completely devoid of people. What people she does see, either on their side of the street or across… aren’t hiding the fact that they are staring at them.
The Mate, as if reading her mind over this new attention, “We are strangers hun, they probably don’t get many around here.”
Five minutes later, they find themselves walking up wooden steps of Ron’s Place: The Best Bed and Breakfast in Tempora.
They open the door slowly, a bell above the door alerting the establishment that they have guests.
Two steps in they are warmly greeted by a man in his mid-50’s with a grey gotee. The man eagerly shakes both of their hands, before moving in closer to hug Becks. Beck’s retreats backwards from his attempt, before turning towards The Mate in mild disbelief.
“Welcome! You guys must me be Becks and The Mate, my brother told me to expect you.”
“Thank you for your warm [Beck’s puts extra emphasis on the word] hospitality. Is our room ready, we’ve had a tiresome day so far. We just want to retire for the day.”
“Your room?” Ron says, putting his right index finger against his cheek and looking away. “We are getting it ready this very minute. It should only be a few more minutes.
“You don’t have ANY rooms that aren’t ready for immediate occupation?” Becks asks, looking over at the key hooks to the various rooms… all full.
A smile returns back to Ron’s face. “Ma'am...ALL of our rooms are indeed available. We just need to tidy them up, get some fresh linens and towels…. It will be ready in no time.
Becks and The Mate make their way into the open lobby area and sit down on the sofa that nearly sinks to the floor. Beck’s give The Mate the same look as before, which leads him to say, “They are in obvious need of an upgrade... I get it. Let’s just hope our room is in better condition than this guest couch.”
“I don’t care if our bed is made of spikes and there’s piranha swimming in the bathtub. I just want some separation from these people, even if it’s just a door.”
Becks looks over at the magazine’s spread out across the table. Various Issues of Life, Cosmo, Esquire, Time Magazine… with a cover of Ronald Reagan… Man Of The Year.
Beck’s show’s the cover to The Mate.
The Mate looks down on the cover and gives his wife a placating smile. “The town doesn't like anything new, that’s becoming abundantly clear hun. I mean no cell service, no wifi… I’m pretty sure our room won’t have cable tv.”
Before Becks could reply, the front door to the B & B opens, revealing two men in their mid-20’s who immediately scan the inside of the establishment before turning to Ron.
Beck’s notices the tiniest of head nods Ron gives to the men before they make their way towards with the urgency of carrying important news.
“Good Afternoon,” Both men say in unison.
The men just stand there staring at them. Becks stares back, then looked at The Mate and then back at the men.
“Can we help you?” The Mate asks.
His question seemed to break them out of their fixation.
“Oh, pardon our manners. My name in Jindred… this is my cousin Juggs. Our apartment a few blocks over just sprung a leak, so we figured we’d crash here for a few nights. “
“Sprung a leak?” Becks repeated speculatively. “It’s not even raining.”
“It rained heavily last night,” Juggs says.
The two came closer, shaking hands with both The Mate and Becks. When Juggs got to Becks hands, he took his left hand and brought it over top of hers.
The Mate picked up on this and while he wasn’t angered, he felt he had to at least acknowledge it.
“You guys sure are… friendly in this town.”
“Everyone in here cares for one another,” Jindred says. “We look out for one another here in Tempora.”
“I see,” Becks says.
The two men join them in the extra available setting that surrounds the book table. Juggs looks down at his watch, before nervously rubbing both his down the top of his pants.
”So, where you from?” Juggs asks.
“I’m from England, my wife is from Seattle. We were visiting some of her family in Florida. We were heading up to Charleston to see this new food spot featured on Diner, Dives and Drive-Ins.”
“Really?” Juggs states with an awkward forced smile. “Never saw that movie.”
“It’s not a movie!” Becks snaps back, not hiding the tiniest bit of angst in her voice.
Juggs picks up on that, which causes him to return to rubbing his hands onto his pants.
“Why are you so nervous?” Becks asks Juggs.
Before Juggs can answer the bell to the front door chimes again. A physical relief washes over Juggs as if he was just released from prison.
“OMG! Look who’s here!” Juggs says as he rushes to his feet.
Becks and The Mate turn their attention to another young couple who enter that Bed and Breakfast. This couple is younger than them.
“Enigmar… Lo…. it’s good to see you guys.” Jindred says excitingly. “Please come join us!”
“Jindred and Juggs!” Enigmar screams out in joy.
“She then storms over to them both, planting long, passionate kisses on both of them men’s lips.”
Becks and The Mate look around the trio to decipher what Lo thinks about this outward affection. But if he has a problem with it, he’s hiding it very well.
Lo walks up to the men, and while he doesn’t kiss them, he openly embraces each one, in the warmest of bro-hugs.
“Please!” Jindred says, as extends an open palm in the direction of where they are sitting.
Enigmar walks over and cannot hide her joy as she walks over to them. The Mate extends his hand, only to have it bypassed as Enigmar moves in closer for a peck on his cheek.
When Beck’s assumes Enigmar is coming in for the same sort of affectionate greeting to her, she ready’s herself to block it. But she’s so fixated on Enigmar, Lo sweeps in from the other side ...
“You must be Becks!” a wet kiss is planted on her left cheek before she sees it coming.
The Mate, seeing his wife grow more uncomfortable with these strangers, turns his attention back to the proprietor of this establishment.
“Ron… how’s about that Room?”
“Five minutes sir!” Ron answered.
The Mate turns his attention back to Enigmar and Lo, who both just sit there beaming at his wife. Enigmar was actually sitting on the edge of her seat, her fingers crossed.
The phone rang behind Ron at the desk. Whoever he was speaking too, made his day that much brighter.
“Looks like we’ve got some more guests coming to this way folks,” Ron says.
Enigmar began to visibly bounce up and down on the edge of her seat, even clapping before she noticed The Mate and Becks staring at her.
“Not a lot happens around here … does it? The Mate asks their new friends.
Ignoring the question altogether, Lo changes the subject… slightly. “You guys just don’t realize. Today is an important day. And with you here… it's’ like a Godsend.”
“What do you mean by that?” Becks asks, leans forward in the poorly supported coach, her face intense.”
Lo just smiles, shaking his head ever so subtly, “... a godsend.”
The mounting tension in the room is broken by the bell chime, signaling that once again Ron’s Place has visitors.
They turn focus in on the new guests while Ron breaks his back to greet the new visitors.
In walks in a young Hispanic couple, in their mid to late twenties.
Becks can tell by the face’s of her newest “friends” that these new guests are not locals. While their faces lack the recognition of when Enimar came in, she notices that their excitement level has risen tenfold, if such a thing was even possible from her earlier jubilant stance.
Despite sitting next to his wife, was not focusing in on the same thing. He strained his ears to the fullest, to pick up the conversation Ron was having with the new people.
[Ron] Welcome friends, Officer Morkim told me to be expecting you….
The words slapped The Mate in the face, sending chills down his spine. “WTH is going on here?” he thought to himself.
“Babe?” Becks asks, picking up on the sudden change in demeanor of her husband.
“Hun, we’ve got to -”
The Mate can never finish his words because of the sudden hoopla of those around them, as the new couple is brought over. He and Becks stare in awkward silence as the new couple is given the same over-friendly greeting. Enigmar places a kiss on both cheeks of the couple. The warm greeters then retreat back to Ron, as a series of hushed voices began to carry back and forth.
As the couple sits with them, they are not surprised to see the couple is just as uncomfortable as they are given their circumstances.
With all the eyes on the new couple, Becks jumps in before the locals get a chance to start prying. “My name is Becks, this is my husband, The Mate. I take it you guys are from the highway?”
The woman looks over everyone cautiously before answering, “Yes… yes… My name is Kimber. This is my friend DaRaider. We were heading up to see the eclipse better from Jacksonville when we hit the traffic.”
“That’s when I pulled out my Waze app.” DaRaider jumped in. “It told us we could circumvent it by cutting through this -”
“WOULD YOU CARE FOR ANYTHING TO DRINK?” Ron suddenly bursts in.
“We already ate!” Becks shoots back at Ron.
“No thank you,” Kimber says. “We aren’t hungry.”
“We did the same thing,” The Mate responds. “We got into a fender bender as soon as we got into town, so our car is in the shop till morning. What happened to you guys?”
“After getting off of 95, we passed through the first intersection… and the next thing we knew, our tires were going flat a block later. A police officer came out of nowhere, an Officer - “
“Eddie?” Becks finished.
“Yes!” Kimber finishes. “Not the nicest cop in the world, but him and another officer did help us out. The second one at least seemed nice."
Mimicking a southern tongue, DaRaider repeated what the Officer Morkim said, “There was a bad accident up here earlier, car windows all broken out on impact.”
A nauseating feeling almost becomes overwhelming in Beck’s gut. Something was going on here and she didn’t like where it was going.
“We were that car!” The Mate replies anxiously. “But there was no glass from our car… or the vehicle we struct.”
“Even if it were you…” Kimber responds. “I immediately asked the officer why the class wasn’t cleaned up.”
DaRaider cuts in, “His response [mimicking tongue] I got a guy already on his way….”
“He didn’t say anything about it after that. Just told us the repair place will be open in the morning and we can crash here overnight.”
“Listen to me… “ Becks says, lowering her voice, leaning in so her words didn’t carry outside of the quartet. “There is something wrong here and for whatever reason, these appear to be overly-fascinated with us. After hearing what happened to you, I’m starting to think none of us are here by accident.”
“What do you want to do?” Kimber asks. “We can’t just walk out of town.”
“Why can’t we?” The Mate interjected. “We should just walk over to the next town. Anywhere has to be better than here.”
They all agree and begin to gather their things.
The Mate looks over his shoulder, seeing how Jindred and the others are eyeing them like an exhausted working staring at a clock that reads 4:59 PM.
“Wait!” The Mate says cautiously. “We should leave our things… that way, it just looks like we are going for a walk. You know, not raising suspicion.”
“Good idea babe!” replies Becks
The Mate winks, “Told you I’m not just all good looks.”
The four begin their way to the door, startling Ron and the rest of the locals as they draw near.
“What are you doing?” Ron asks, sounding less like a question and more like a question of an issue.
“We are going for a walk,” Becks says. “Just to get a good look at the town.”
“Well, you CAN’T do that!” Ron replies heatedly. On cue Jindred, Juggs, Lo and Enigmar slowly position themselves in front of the door.
Becks notices that the once open and gentle nature of Ron and the others have all of a sudden been replaced with anger on the very of uncontrollable fury.
DaRaider steps forward, his stance aggressive, “Nobody is going to tell ME what I can’t or can not do!”
“I second that!” Kimber adds.
Becks and The Mate also step forward.
His anger deflating by the second, Ron tries once more to prevent them from leaving.
“Your rooms… they are ready.”
“What great timing!” Becks said. “Then they’ll be just as ready for when we get back.”
The others part their ways from in front of the door, as the new visitors slowly depart Ron’s Place. As they make it down the creaky steps, they can all hear the heavy commotion going on from the other side of the door.
The Mate turns to the others, “Now let's get out of here!”
Post by ER Of Clan Sci-Fi on Aug 23, 2017 18:37:06 GMT -5
Chapter 5: Eyes Wide Open
“Which way do we go?” Kimber asks.
The Mate looks skyward. “Well...we know I-95 is towards the west, so since the sun is starting to set, we at least know where that direction is. So let’s try east.”
The quartet walks for ten minutes, catching the elongated stares of everyone they pass… until they find that continuing in this direction is no longer going to be an option.”
“A quarry!” DaRaider says. “What are the chances?”
“So far the chances have been stacked against us,” Becks says. “Let’s try north.”
They continue on, taking down side streets, so they can get a better idea of the town. DaRaider and Kimber pick up on, what Becks and The Mate discovered long ago. Almost everything in this down is dated. One one side of the street will be 1977 Chrysler New Yorker. Directly across the street will be a 1984 Ford Thunderbird.
There were no light poles, which told the group that being out here at night would be a frightening ordeal. The town had a central water tower, that Becks swore was made of wood. There didn’t seem to be any sort of sewer drainage system, it was if the town of Tempora wasn’t built, but just dropped off here.
During their entire trek to discover a way out, DaRaider’s head has been on a swivel. In his mind, just around the corner was some sort of danger, ready to close in on them. So when he thought he saw something out the corner of his eyes, he didn’t he keep it to himself.
“To steal a colloquialism from Bugs Bunny… you ever have the feeling of being watched?”
“Every block we step onto,” replied The Mate.
“COME OVER HERE IF YOU WANT TO LIVE!” a brazen voice echoes from behind them coming from a small alleyway between two homes.
The hairs on the back of Beck’s neck immediately stand up as they all turned to face the individual in the shadows.
“Who are you?” Kimber demanded.
“A friend… the only one in this he||hole of the town we’ve found ourselves in.”
“Then let us see your face… friend.” The Mate added.
From out of the silhouette of the building, a large black man, thin in muscular frame, limped his way into view.
Kimber gasped as the man’s facial injuries became somewhat visibly apparent in the dying light.
“It looks worst than I feel,” the man said. “My name is EagleRob, I’m an investigator from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. And before you ask what I’m doing all the way down here, just say I can across some historic documents of a rumored town whose entire inhabitants… are from the occult.”
“Okay… you’ve got our attention. But what does that have to do with you all lumped up and why do they seem so interested in us?” Becks asks.
“I followed up, only to discover that this town….doesn’t officially exist,” EagleRob stated, which gives everyone pause.
“What do you mean, it doesn’t exist?” asks The Mate, gesturing outwardly with his hands to everywhere around him.”
“The town shouldn’t be here man!” EagleRob replies, slowly shaking his head at the end. “I came down here in person two years ago and there wasn’t even an exit. The next town over… Ellijay, didn’t even know what I was talking about. Only thing west was the old abandoned quarry.”
“We saw the quarry ourselves back there.” says The Mate.
“I know, I’ve been watching you since you left the Ron’s. So anyway, before I left Ellijay, I scrounged through the old tax maps from the 1800’s and what did I see at the very bottom of the very last map of the set. A cartographic arrow pointing west to the town of … Tempora. So it left me scratching my head. This was the second source of proof, however minuscule that this town existed. So why wasn’t anything here?”
“Some sort of disaster? An explosion happened to the old town?” Kimber suggests.
“WE ARE STANDING IN THAT OLD TOWN!!!” EagleRob replies quickly to Kimber. “I came back here three months later… nothing. Six months later… nothing. But when I came back nine months later… or nine months ago, I found this.”
“So the town just reappeared out of thin air,” Becks asks skeptically.
“Ah, I’ll get to that in a moment. So I entered the town, happy as a gay man in an all boys…”
EagleRob stopped his joke, acknowledging openly that this wasn’t a time to joke.
“People in this town were overwhelmingly friendly to me… at first. Everyone was fine with sharing with me. As a stickler to details, I absorbed it all their personal stories easily and effortlessly. Everything was fine, until I started talking about the town’s history. That’s when they all clammed up. Everytime I tried to dig, they’d change the subject. Next thing I knew an Officer Eddie was greeting me just inside the doorway. He roughly ushered me into the backseat of his car. Before throwing me into a cell, he nearly beat me within an inch of my life. He never mentioned why he beat me, just that hinted that I didn’t have long to live.”
EagleRob takes a moment, sighing over the nightmare of his ordeal.
“He’d come in the jail, from time to time, gloating… bragging about what he did to me. So I used that bravado to do some digging. Since according to him, I was a dead man anyway. Oooooohhhhhh the arrogance as he went on and on. Back in the early 1900’s, the town of Tempora shared the town with a dwindling number of Native American Indians. The town’s mayor, Mayor Pruss I believe. Instead of waiting for this last generation for the Indians to possibly die off, he decided to kill them outright, on some sort of trumped up charge of rape of one of the town folks. You’ve heard those stories before in this country’s past. One by one the Indians were being slaughtered, till only their shaman survived. As they entered his tent on the outskirts of town, a storm began to form over the city.
EagleRob pauses as they hear car tire screeching in the distance, they all move closer to him and they all slide into the narrow alleyway.
“When the first bullet hit the shaman he laughed. They took their time in killing him. He cursed the town… informing them that their souls will know no peace until they sacrificed the total number of people in the town at that time. It was a penance for killing all of his tribe. They continued to laugh as they tortured him, all the while he used his dying breath to tell them what was in store for them.”
“He went on to tell them their town would disappear, only reappear for one week out of the year, for the next hundred years. Every blood that touched the soil, would go against the number owed to the curse. But until that number was reached, the town would continue to disappear. If that goal wasn’t met in one hundred years, that town would be gone forever. No one can leave Tempora, when the town disappeared the first time, a group of residents figured all they had to do is leave. They left… into non-existence as soon they stepped out of town. So they had no choice but to begin sacrificing their own. If you weren’t important… you were basically put on the chopping block. All the way down to the last dozen or so folks who were town royalty. Officer Eddie personally killed Mayor Pruss, blaming him for getting them in this mess in the first place. Every time they’d vanish and come back, they felt more desperate. According to Officer Eddie when the time vanishes, they are in this void, absent of body, but fully aware of the passage of time. They can’t even communicate with one another, they just float there, disembodied. They took the shaman’s words verbatim, assessing that any blood spill counted against the total. Even if it was from outside the town. So although they can’t leave… nothing’s stopping others from coming in.”
“They had this one kid come in… just looking for a place to pee. He told them he worked for Google. And after he spent the next hour explaining to them what Google was. He felt like the town had the greatest and most kindest people he’s ever met. So he created the Waze app, which would bring people to the town… and they repaid him by the sixth to last sacrifice. I’m five… figure the rest out in relation to yourselves.”
The Mate started to let the wheels churning in his head. “Oh…. oooooooooooooohhhhhhh. We are the final four… so to speak.”
“So wait… how did you escape?” DaRaider asks.
“Like I said, there weren’t a lot of people in this town, only Eddie and Morkim as cops. They couldn’t watch me 24-7. And instead of killing outright, they had to have a ceremony and all that. Some sort of big feast at Ron’s. They only checked me for weapons. They never felt for my multi-tool. The jail cell is from the mid-1800’s. Left alone, I could have picked it with a piece of chewing gum. I stole Officer Morkim’s personal car. That was me you T-boned this morning as I was trying to get out of here.”
“Which is why you need to lay low until I can find us a car,” EagleRob added.
“Come with us!” Becks pleads. “We have a stronger chance sticking together.
“Two’s company… five’s a crowd. We would stick out. Stick to the alleyways like me, just remember… trust no one! One last thing… tonight's their LAST night before the town vanishes… forever! So they will be extra-vigilant to wrap everything up”
EagleRob slowly steps backward, disappearing into the alley like a ninja. Five minutes later, the group followed in his footsteps.
“Why don’t we just kick in the door of some…”
“HEY!” voice booms from a megaphone behind them.
The slowly turn around, realizing his demeanor, that they’ve just been spotted by Officer Eddie.
“There you guys go! You’ve had me worried something fierce looking for ya!”
“We…. we got lost… turned around. Your town is like a maze Officer.” explained Becks.
“Well, I reckon I am pleased to have found you before somebody else did. We have an escaped black prisoner on the loose here. He somehow picked our jail cell lock and stole a car… you know how his kind are. The car you guys struck this morning… that was him, trying to steal to sell out of town. He killed an old lady for that car, ya know.”
He said this so effortlessly, so uncompassionately… the rest knew he was lying.
“So anyway… “ Officer Eddie continued, “Why don’t you hop into the back of my car, I hear Ron has some nice rooms for ya.”
Kimber smiles, “That’s quite okay Officer Eddie, we are making our way on foot. It's great to get some fresh air, since - “
The calm and patience Officer Eddie once had in his voice disappear, in its place is something more menacing...something more sinister.
He withdraws a revolver from his holster, pulling the hammer back with his thumb. He looks to them, eyes cold and distant, “Perhaps ... there’s been some sort of misunderstanding… miscommunication.”
Officer Eddie begins lightly tapping his revolver on the side of his car door, “Ya see… just because it appears as though I asked you to get in my car… doesn’t mean I was giving you a choice.”
Becks and crew look upon one another, realizing they don’t have much choice and reluctantly squeeze into the back of the patrol car.
Post by ER Of Clan Sci-Fi on Aug 23, 2017 18:44:44 GMT -5
Chapter 6 : Now or Never
The crowded ride back to Ron’s was not a pleasant ordeal. The twenty-five year old Crown Victoria did not handle bumps the same efficient way it did when it first rolled off the assembly line.
As they slowed their approach to the outside of Ron’s, Becks looked outside to see all whom were awaiting them. Jindred, Juggs, Ron, Enimgar, Lo, Officer, Morkim, some strangers as well as Ron himself were anxiously awaiting their arrival. That’s when EagleRob’s words echoe inside her head, causing her to feel slightly ill. She knew if they entered Ron’s Place, there was a good chance they’d never see the sun rise on the next day.
“Ready yourselves guys!” Becks orders, taking The Mate by the hand. “Cause no matter what happens… I’m NOT coming back inside that building.
Officer Eddie had the vehicle come to a complete stop, looking into the backseat through the rearview, he locked eyes with The Mate and give a sinister grin.
Becks might not have seen his eyes directly, but she felt what The Mate felt. Pure hatred. All pleasantries of hiding what was about to happen were gone. There was no reason for any of them to hide it anymore.
Officer Eddie got out the car, strutting him way over to the rear passenger side door. Kimber tried in failed desperation to open the driver’s side rear door but like most cop cars… the inside door latches were disabled.
“Ready yourselves!” The Mate says, reiterating the sentiment of Becks, as he charges himself up to make his move as soon as Officer Eddie opens up the door.
Just as Officer Eddie pulls on the handle, the sound of a roaring engine echoes about the tops of every building on the entire street. Officer Eddie looks up, wasting precious moments to release a swear before he yells to everyone, “MOVE!”
At the same time, Becks and company see what Officer Eddie sees, a large Lincoln Continental from the late 70’s barreling down the street adjacent to their position. At the wheel is EagleRob, spouting a crazed look and mouthing who knows what from the top of his lungs.
“Grab on to something!” DaRaider yells.
Just when it looks like EagleRob is going to directly t-bone the Crown Vic, possibly killing / crippling everyone in the crowded back seat, he angles the wheel to the left at the last moment.
In doing so, he clips the left front fender of the Crown Vic at 82 miles per hour. Back in the day, the 1977 Lincoln Continental was nicknamed the “A Coffin on wheels” because of its shape. But at this moment, EagleRob gave it a new designation… “Bringer of Death!”
Because of Officer Eddie’s instruction, those outside Ron’s Bed and Breakfast turned and made a break for it. The smart ones who were lucky… made for the steps. The ones that weren’t so lucky, were the ones who ran parallel with the front of the Crown Vic.
Enigmar screamed out in horror as the simple equation of F = MA [Force = Mass * Acceleration ] played critical parts in the death of her friends. EagleRob’s Lincoln connected with the front of the Crown Vic at such a high rate of speed, it magnified the weight of the front of the vehicle. The roughly 1000 pounds of weight, plus the speed in which it lept the curb made it a destructive force human bones and sinew could not defend against.
Jindred, Juggs and Lo never had a chance. The front of the Crown Vic literally made their bodies becomes something that was… unrecognizable. When the Crown Vic came to rest on the second step of Ron’s Place, only an amalgamation of bloody gore lay between the vehicle and the sidewalk.
With the right, rear door ajar from Officer Eddie’s attempt to open the door, Becks, The Mate, Kimber and DaRaider tumble from the Crown Vic. They are shaken, but not seriously injured.
EagleRob backed up the severely damaged front end of the Lincoln. The car’s flip up lights are destroyed, the huge front grill is in ruins… but the car still runs.
He backs all the way till he’s next to the quartet, “they don’t make them how they used to, now get in before the gods mock me for pointing this out.”
No words are said, as they all jump in the car and pull away.
If they thought they were going to make a quick and easy get away, they were wrong.
A seething Office Eddie ran over to Officer Morkim’s squad car, “KEYS!!!”
Officer Eddie jumps in the car, with Officer Morkim as back up. Seconds later … 400 horses of force make the rear wheels of the 1992 Crown Victoria scream to life. The vehicle is down the street and in hot pursuit of EegleRob in seconds.
Kimber looks over her shoulder, “We’ve got company… go faster!”
“I’m pretty sure I’ve done so much damage to this poor car, it will be a push to make it to edge of town.”
The impact of the Crown Vic’s front sends shockwaves throughout the entire car. If that wasn’t bad enough, the rear window explodes in a hail of gunshots.
“Keep down, if two us die… the curse is lifted and they’ll be able to chase us outside of Tempora as well. Officer Eddie would just kill us for GP at this point.”
“There’s the ramp to I-95 up ahead, we are going to make it!” Kimber announces.
“No… we are not!” EagleRob shouts defeatedly. “I’ve got my foot to the floor and we are continuing to slow. The transmission is shot. There’s only one thing we can do now. Brace!”
Anyone who hadn’t put on their seatbelts had quickly done so. EagleRob jammed on the breaks, causing the pursuing Crown Vic to rear end them at over 60 miles per hour. The impact completely disables both vehicles.
EagleRob jumps out of the car, pointing up the hill. “Run!”
DaRaider, who was riding shotgun, sarcastically shouting back at him, “Oh, I’m glad you pointed that out, cause I was going to check on the officer's well-being.”
Gunshots continued to whiz over their shoulder until EagleRob heard someone scream out in pain. He turns around and see’s DaRaider on one knee, clutching his right hamstring.
“STOP!” a panting Officer Eddie calls out. “Stop or I’ll put a bullet in his got-damned head!!!”
Kimber had already made her way back to DaRaider’s side.
Officer Morkim had begun to laugh in his celebration of their capture. “Oh boy… you guys sure made us earn this!”
A far less jovial Officer Eddie left DaRaider’s side, only to approach EagleRob. He placed the barrel of his revolver right on his forehead.
“You killed three of my closest friends back there you black son of a @#$&#@!! You will be the first to die, then the Mexican so this mystical bull@#$ will finally be over. Then we’ll take your women back to the town… use your imagination!”
“And you!” referring to The Mate. “We’ll have some fun with you too as well since you should've known better.”
Becks looked at the top of the hill. She could actually hear cars and trucks whizzing by. To be so close...
EagleRob calmly brushed Officer Eddie’s revolver to the side. “Did I ever tell you as a historian, I am a stickler when it comes to details. Like how many shots a revolver from your era has?”
“Assuming you were both fully loaded, that last bullet was put into my pal here…”
“Oh really?” Officer Eddie returned the gun EagleRob’s head and pulled the trigger. The only sound heard was the hammer hitting an empty chamber.
“Oops!” EagleRob said mockingly before hammering Officer Eddie to the side of his jaw.
Officer Morkim tried to execute the kneeling DaRaider, but he too found out that EagleRob was correct.
Officer Eddie spiked his gun into the ground, putting up his arms in fighting positions.
The Mate turned to Becks, “You and Kimber get DaRaider out of here, we’ll take care of these guys.”
Becks and Kimberly, both took an arm and began to slowly make their ascent up the ramp that lead to I-95.
The Mate looked over their foes. Despite him and EagleRob having height on the officers, they lacked the overall bulk of both men. Both Officer Morkim and Eddie looked like they could be starting Fullbacks in the NFL.
“Tell me boy...as a historian.. can you fight?” Officer Eddie taunted, before delivering a right hand to the left cheek of EagleRob sending him sprawling backward to the ground. “I guess that answer would be no!”
The Mate, momentarily distracted by EagleRob’s fall, became a victim himself as Officer Morkim went on the attack. A three-hit combo later, The Mate joined EagleRob on the ground, the entire right side of his face caked with fine gravel.
“These baztards are incredibly strong!” The Mate assessed.
Spitting a mouthful of blood onto the ground, EagleRob nodded his head, “Ya think?.”
As EagleRob rose up onto one knee, he withdrew his multi-tool on his left hip which was shielded from view of Officer Eddie. It just wasn’t shielded from Officer Morkim who made his move.
“No!” Officer Morkim yelled as he lunged at EagleRob. The two men tumbled several times along the ground. When they stopped, Officer Morkim had one of the many attachments of the multi-tool embedded deep into his neck. His first instinct was to pull it out, which sprayed the entire ground with a fountain of his own blood. Officer Morkim looked up at Officer Eddie, a mixture of fear and sadness in his eyes. Then the officer collapsed face forward to the blood stained ground.
As once dark sky was begging to turn a dark blue, the sun wasn’t far from rising on the town of Tempora. Officer Eddie looked to the sky and then to EagleRob and The Mate who were flanking him. He knew he had no shot of killing either of these men in the next couple of minutes. So he figured he had one more card to play.
Falling down to both of his knees, he pleaded, “Please… there’s only 1 more death needed. Kill me so that my town can live! This is our last and only chance!”
The Mate felt sorry for the Officer Eddie… but only for a second. “Becuase of what you’ve done and how you were going to fix things by using us… your town doesn’t deserve to live.”
With that, The Mate gives Officer Eddie a front kick that sends him backward over his own knees.
He turns around and sees EagleRob running up the hill to catch up with the others.
Confused, The Mate blurts out, “What?-”
“I have no idea what will happen if you are in the town when it vanishes. Do you want to find out the hard way?” EagleRob says.
The two catch up to the others, Becks embracing her husband when he gets near.
“Babe... you should have ducked… I saw those punches coming from here back here.”
They turn around, watching the last moments of a town they almost lost their lives in. Officer Eddie gets to his feet and begins to run up the hill at a full gate. As the sun breaks over the heavens, tickling the left side of their faces, the town of Tempora starts to disappear in transitions… like the advancement of a fancy power point presentation. Just as the outstretched arms of Officer Eddie is within ten feet of them, he too vanishes.
Minutes later, when the police and ambulance show up, they all stagger their way onto the transport. Sirens blaring, the last thing mentioned before they pull off is…” With no proof who will believe what happened to us here?”
By the time they reach the hospital, the overall consensus was that living through an ordeal takes executive precedence over trying to explain said ordeal. No one learned this lesson better than the remaining residents of Tempora, who are somewhere out there fully aware of their predicament as they can do nothing but float…
Post by ER Of Clan Sci-Fi on Aug 28, 2017 9:33:05 GMT -5
In writing quickly, I skipped too many steps. I sent this to a friend, who basically said, "You are better than this." So I promise you guys a DOVER once I make story-wide corrections. You guys are too kind to me to say, EagleRob... this story has plot holes the size of space shuttle.
No more rush short stories! I'll take my time and give you quality.
So say we all!
When you are accustomed to privilege, equality feels like discrimination.