Wow. Partially from getting an early start, and partially from cloud cover, this morning’s run was DARK. Black. Dark side of the moon black. The road down to the peninsula and the lake, is off the main road and under the cover of big oak trees, the kind of dark that you see things in. But the need to sleep makes you go forward. It was like Chariots of Fire meets Blair Witch.
But the road to running leads to, not only less gut, but inspiration. I had thoughts for two short stories. One I jotted down in notes. The other I just wrote out now. Well, not a full story really, just an idea about a character, or more specifically, what it would be like to sense what this character senses during his work…
Neil hunted ghosts. But he never did it without his MP3 player. He set the volume to full, music pounding, as he crept along the boards that, up until now, creaked. Loud obnoxious music, he listened to young, obnoxious music. Well…he was young and obnoxious…but he knew he’d be listening to this music long after he was young. The music should be irreverent and audacious on an errand like this. He set his thermal goggles to power, and the dingy walls disappeared to cool blues and greens, punctuated by warm reds and oranges. He crept through the house, looking for the things creeping after him.
“How can you do that,” a colleague once asked, “shut off your senses when you know there is something after you?”
A wraith hunter who relied on his senses was fucked. The things between the walls, under the beds, and from Hell used your senses against you. That’s not how you found them.
Music and thermal spectrums dulled the horror.
Somehow, the sound of baby screams choked in clotted blood seemed less horrific, when drowned out by the relentless urging of Led Zeppelin and “Kashmir.” He knew they were making those sounds now, horrible squeals, dins, and whippoorwill wails, just out of the reach of his earphones.
Somehow, the sight of an old man hanging from a noose of barbed wire, while swallowing his own intestines, failed to tear away one’s sanity, when they were just indecipherable blotches of color – ancient video games. Neil knew they were making those grotesque visions and manifestations now, as he saw several blotches and shapes dancing around him.
The mad, jabbering things hungered for sensation. They wanted to taste blood, bathe in vital fluids, feel naked organs between their toes. They wanted to drink fear…but Neil deafened and blinded himself to all their chthonic tools.
He liked to imagine how frustrated this made the spirits of sin and hate.
Neil had to wait. Wait until their frustration drove them to action, made them mad enough to come out of the walls and take those sensations from his flesh directly.