Larry Summerson was not a rich man.
Some would consider him wealthy, others just well-provided, but he wasn’t rich. He had a small but distinguished house,
which stood alone in the centre of an almost three miles square area. Outside his house rested, or rusted, his old car. He
preferred to walk. He had enough good reasons to stay away from those... things,
as he called them.
Larry was walking the road back home
with nothing but the moonlight to guide him. He’d postponed his going home during the entire day. He wasn’t afraid
of what he was about to do, nor afraid of doing it at night, because, strangely as it seemed – mostly for him, anyway
– he felt, not knew, felt, that it was safer for him to do what he intended to the light of the day was gone.
The sun had set almost four hours ago
and what had been a relative warm day, turned to a cold, almost shivering night. This night he could feel the demons about
to be summoned – demons of his own past and others from a more ancient one. Demons born of his memories and demons from
evil, evil that he knew to be also related to him.
A car drove by Larry and the driver
signaled him with the headlights. Larry waved to him in response and continued on his way as nothing had happened. If someone’s
ask him later if he recalled seeing anyone during that day or, more specifically, during that night, he’d probably say
no – a somewhat unsure no, but a no,
nevertheless. Tonight, his thoughts were definitely elsewhere.
An hour later he got home, took off
his now dried coat and throw it on the couch. The promising morning storm had only lasted about two or so hours, the rest
of the day had been mild and relatively warm. But Larry – who’s spent the past sixteen hours roaming around, thinking
and rethinking on what to do, better yet, on how to do it – couldn’t care less about the weather. All he cared
about was... how?
do it? He wondered to himself. Nothing else mattered to him at the moment.
A growl from his stomach woke him up
from his daily dream.
Well, he thought,
whatever I do, I better not do it with an empty stomach.
feed the monster. That was something his father used to say. He never understood what it meant and before he had
the chance to ask it, he was boarding the plane that brought him to Europe. However, he understood the basic idea of that bizarre expression and, at the time,
it applied to him one hundred per cent.
He went to the kitchen and made some
tea and toasts. It would be his second meal since he woke up the past dawn, almost twenty hours ago, to mourn his family’s
death anniversary. And then, there he was again. He fought against it but it was useless.
The entire room began to vibrate, the
frame of reality torn like it was being subjected to some kind of outside manipulation. Objects started to disappear and years
of accumulated dust were instantly gone. Larry knew that this would happen sooner or later. It was exactly like every other
year. Other people remembered things; some had the luck – yes, that’s the word – of being able to forget.
Larry was not like that, not like that at all. He didn’t need his memory to recall past events; if he wanted to (and
even if he didn’t), he would go back in spirit and re-experience everything once more, this time as a mere watcher.
at the scene, same space, twenty years in the past, and watched as his younger self interrupted his three hours wait to go
answer the phone.
His voice was shaky. He hadn’t meant for it to sound like a question.
the observer knew he could not change the upcoming events, but he could hope so. If only he could stop his younger self from
listening. Unfortunately, it was too late. He was there only as a guest – a forced guest, but a guest nonetheless –
a simple observer to the play.
May I ask who’s calling?”
on the other side spoke almost mechanically. It was a human voice yes, but it seemed to have lost something. What, he wasn’t
sure. “I’m sorry to call you at such a late hour but... It’s about your family.”
noticed the pause – impossible not to – a long badly hidden breath from the other side and he knew. He knew what
had happened before it was even said. To say the truth, due to his gifts, he knew what had happened even before it had actually
happened. He had ignored the visions, prayed for them to never become real. Well, there he was, about to be told otherwise.
He knew what, but had no idea how or why. No, that was not entirely true. Some of the why
derived from his own lack of action. He had no reason to take the vision seriously, except that this wasn’t the first
time he saw the future unfolding before his eyes. Maybe he just didn’t want to believe. That had been his choice and
now, no matter how painfully it could get, he had to deal with the consequences of it.
been surprised about the question? Probably. At least to Harry he sounded like it.
did they die?”
did you know that?”
been waiting for them to come home for almost four hours, its’ the Devil’s storm out there and by the way you
made that pause, it was easier to tell that you’re not about to tell me something good. So, if not for this, what possible
reason could you have for calling me at this time of night?”
hadn’t thought of it that way.”
you don’t mind...”
course. They were involved in a car accident.”
saying that, the voice on the other side, more human than before, proceeded to relate the events as they had happened; exactly
as Larry had envisioned them. Told him about their instant deaths, how they didn’t feel anything. Told him where the
bodies were. Larry wrote down the address. He would go as soon as the call ended.
were luckier than the other driver.” The voice on the other side said. “He’s gonna be a vegetable for the
rest of his life. If you want my opinion, I think it’s better like this.”
never got to knew who that voice belonged to. Maybe it had been just his imagination. About half an hour or so later, when
he got to the hospital to see the bodies, everyone was surprised to see him there. That only strengthened the hope that what
had happened had been all but a dream. If he turned around and returned home, he would be welcomed by his wife and son. He
was almost inclined to believe that, but when a doctor approached him and called him by his name, he realized it was real.
the doctor from a coffee-shop he used to go to. He was an acquaintance, a drinking buddy; he was not his friend, but he was
the closest to that right now. They shook hands.
I’m very sorry...”
you, I appreciate it.” He was trying, but couldn’t remember what the doctor’s name was. Probably, he was
never told. Someone makes a comment about a match, the next thing you know, you’re drinking beers with him. And you
don’t even know who the guy is.
did you get here? I mean, how did you know?”
called to tell me.”
can’t be. They only got here twenty minutes ago.”
not interested in knowing when, I want to know where they are.”
don’t think that’s a good idea. They are–”
don’t care how they look. I want to see my family.”
took a long breath and nodded. “Alright, Larry. Follow me, please.”
across the white corridors, all the way to the Morgue. As they entered the “Archive Section”, they were acknowledged
by another doctor on his way out. The doctors nodded to one another – it seemed like the only type of greeting they
could have on a place like this, at least in the presence of an outsider.
looked around. The room was cold and smelled of loss; not death, not antiseptic, not ether, just... loss. He saw the two bodies
disposed on the autopsy-tables, waiting to be filed. They covered by a white
sheet from head to toe; their soles badly burned. He couldn’t see their faces, but he could feel their spirits. They
were troubled, as if trying to warn him of something. But Larry wasn’t paying attention. He was too shaken to do that.
the doctor walking to the bigger body, placing his hand at the edge of the cold metal table. He looked into his eyes, Larry’s
eyes, a brief pause before asking: “Are you sure you want me to do this?”
nodded. And he swallowed. Hard.
the doctor pulled the sheet down. Once the head was visible, Larry’s face paled and he had a hard time suppressing his
vomit. His beautiful wife had been reduced to something beyond recognition, something beyond visual tolerance. The doctor
pulled the sheet back on, went to Larry and placed a friendly – at least condescending – hand on his shoulder.
sorry.” He said.
didn’t hear him. He was looking at himself in the mirrored ceiling: going older by the second. The walls around began
to shine. A light so intense and so dazzling he had to cover his eyes. The ground
started to shake and he felt himself falling into a deep hole. There was nothing he could hold on to.
This is it. Larry thought.
he stopped – he was back on solid ground. For a while, he just stood there, afraid to look, afraid to see what would
be standing before him. Again he heard the Voices, like so many other times before, again he ignored them. Then, having nothing
else to do, he opened up his eyes and realized that he was back where he had started: his kitchen, face to face with a cup
This year’s remembrance was over.
After twenty years remembering it,
it never went any easier. The questions he had had when he received that phone call, the how
and the why were seemingly answered. He knew the how, but not the why; at least, not all of it – he knew, felt,
that some of the why had been because of him. Maybe, just maybe, the rest of the
answer could be in those scrolls. He knew they held some answers. Maybe that could be one of them. It was somewhat farfetched,
but it was worth the try, wasn’t it? Larry thought so, to a certain extent he even believed it and, as he ate his meal,
all he could think off was the future. Something big was about to happen. That he knew. What he didn’t know was what
or when. At least, not yet.
When he finished eating, he put the
dishes in the sink and went back to the living-room. He sat on the couch, adjusted the cushions and closed his eyes for a
few seconds. When he reopened them, everything was still the same. Why wouldn’t it be?
He checked his watch. 2 minutes to
midnight. Time to summon the demons. In a matter of speaking. Or was it? He opened the inside pocket of his coat and produced
the two scrolls discovered on the beach the past morning.
He unrolled the first of them and began
to read the words carefully. Most of the text had been erased by way of time or water but Larry, unbeknownst to all, could
see what others could not. In his mind he could see the images, he could hear the Voices, as the archaic characters strode
by before his eyes, like musicians on a parade.
During the following hours, there was
nothing. Nothing except the words. Even his own thoughts had been ordered to stay put, and that they did. When he finished
his reading he was, some would say perplexed, others pensive, but yet, surprisingly calm. He focused on one of the passages,
the one he considered to be the most important.
When at the night the demons lure, The Centre shall rise
Evil place born of greed and lust for power
Perpetrated by generations, shall breed his own demise
From the ancient past to the distant future
What once was shall again be
The Chosen will be found by way of blood
And then all secrets shall be revealed
On will be known as the Shifter, the man with no past
A boy named Jarod
He shall be born at seventh day of the tenth month
Firstborn to woman with fiery hair
Brother to the Seeker and the Traveler
Eight shall be his number – the key to upright infinity
The other one, the Hunter, will be the broken half of an all
She will become a nemesis and a helper to the Shifter
She will be known by no name, but she shall have her past on her face and the secrets in her mind
One of her brothers, her other half, shall be known as the Challenger and he shall fight for this power alone
As a result of that, the Challenger shall be killed by the Deceiver, the dead man
Her other brother will live in the confines of evil, a man lost in himself known as the Insider
Both the Shifter and the Hunter will share a bond, forged by the divine, unbreakable by man.
They also be linked through way of blood, a common brother known as the Messenger
Once they find him questions shall be answered
Take faith in the Shifter and in the Hunter: they will bring peace
These are the words of power which only the Chosen ones and their helpers can endure.
From this day forth, hope shall rest upon their future.
Larry rolled up the scrolls and put
them back on the inside pocket of his coat. He recalled the name mentioned: Jarod. It was all related to him, to him and to
the woman with no name.
It was time to make a journey. His
future quest was about to take him to the place in the world that still caused him nightmares. Back to the land where he had
been born, the same land where evil now lured – evil that could consume the entire world unless he did something about
it. He promised himself this time he would. One thing he knew for sure: it all depended on the Chosen
Larry closed his eyes. Time took his
advantage on him and he fell asleep almost immediately. Surprisingly as it may seem, his summoning didn’t woke any demons,
they remained quietly asleep. Perhaps he would meet them on his dreams. Perhaps. He wasn’t afraid. Tonight, since a
long, long time, he had the feeling he would rule supreme.