Chapter Seventeen, "Things that go bump in the Night," my new Sherlock Holmes Baker Street Adventures novel is now posted.
Things that go bump in the Night
by John Pirillo
When you think of abuse, you think of an old car being driven too hard; perhaps a small child being spanked once too often; maybe an old woman neglected by her loved ones; or even someone who is torturing their husband or bride; the worst being a serial killer who destroys his victims in a merciless spree of terror. But of all those kinds of abuses, the one that we least suspect; the one that we oftentimes overlook because it is staring us right in the face...is what we do to ourselves.
True, there are degrees of abuse. One degree might be where we neglect to allow ourselves the right food to eat, not sleeping as much as we should, denying ourselves the comfort of rest when we need it most, working harder and harder with no let up. Those kinds of abuses are generally easy enough to stop once we become aware of them, but how do we stop a catastrophic abuse. One that is so emphatically horrible to our spiritual well being, to our individual soul that there is no turning back short of death. That abuse then, must be final.
All those ideas and thoughts fluttered through his wavering consciousness as he recovered from the dreadful being he had summoned from the pits of hell. In hindsight he wasn't so sure that it had been from hell, as there were many other creatures on this earth that were equally as merciless, squalid and terrible to behold.
No, he had succumbed to the age old phenomena called self pride. He had believed because he had caused the Old Hag to suffer, because he had caused dreadful rashes on some of her helpers and even some of the boys who suffered along side of him, yet he hadn't truly been as powerful or as Satanic as he had thought of himself. It's hard to imagine someone more powerful than yourself until you are held mercilessly in their grip, unable to move to the left or right, to get free, to taste freedom again.
"You young wretched fool!" Were the first words that flooded back into his consciousness, etching a path of terror through the wasteland of his emotions and his sense of helplessness. First he had been raped and now he would be pillaged.
Water struck his face and he sat up too quickly, sputtering and coughing.
He lay on a stretcher on the grounds outside the orphanage. Firemen and adults were churning about, milling through each other, bringing medical gear, blankets, water and food to dozens of children like himself who were recovering from vast amounts of dangerous smoke inhalation. But what he had breathed in could never be expelled so easily as the others were capable of. For it had trespassed his very soul and clung to it like a vile and horrid disease, malignant and dark, waiting to be born again, to rise from his body and strike out, even as it had the school, which it had cast into flames.
"It's truly a miracle." Inspector Blackstone said to a man standing nearby. The man had a medical bag. He was tall, willowy and with sandy blonde hair. He looked like something out of the old novels he used to sneak reads of in the attic, but with a kinder face. The man felt his attention and glanced his way. He closed his eyes. He didn't want any attention, but he got it anyway.
"Don't you shut me out, you insolent wretch. I know you started all of this."
He opened his eyes and the Old Hag had his head in her lap. Not to comfort him, but to hide the vitriole she was casting his direction from every pore of her body.
"You saw him, didn't you?" She demanded, her voice cutting through his body like a knife.
He didn't say anything. It wouldn't have changed anything. He saw what was in her eyes.
"You saw him, admit it!" She accused this time, a bit louder.
The Doctor and the other man looked back his way again, a nervous glance between them.
"I will shred every ounce of skin from your body, flay you until you bleed from every pore..."
Suddenly, she stopped and clutched at her throat, as if she couldn't breathe.
She hadn't seen me curl my right finger, nor heard me mutter. "Yes. I have."
She fell away from me, clutching at her throat, gagging, striving to gain air through a passage that had been crushed like an eggshell.
"Inspector!" Another man cried out and he ran over, then signaled the Doctor to come over.
"Her throat!" The Inspector said. "It's been crushed as if by a gigantic hand!"
"Papa!" His son's call came from the right.
The Inspector got from his knees and stopped his son from coming closer. "Don't!" He wanred him.
Then the Old Hag could breathe again. Her eyes rolled over towards me and she said four words. "You've seen the Master!"
No one heard his reply. No one.
Then she gasped so loudly that men everywhere turned to look what happened, and she gagged so hard that dozens of slimy little creatures flew from her crushed throat and began crawling away.
The Inspector backed off, but not before crushing everyone of them with his shoes.
The Doctor stayed his grounds, but one of the creatures landed on his right hand and bit him. He grimaced in pain, then crushed it with his other hand and flung it away. He closed the Old Hag's eyes, then made the sign of the cross. "Rest in peace." He told her.
"Rest in hell." Were the words that came to the young man's lips.
Inspector Blackstone turned to look at him. "What did you say?"
"Rest well." He had replied. And so had begun his liberation from the school of horrors he and the other children had escaped through her death, though he doubted the next school they would enter would be any better. He no longer believed in miracles or good fortune.
He rose slowly, shakily to his feet and began walking away from the smoking rubble that had been his old orphanage home. "The Restful Wee Ones" was gone forever.
He stopped only long enough to accept a sandwich and drink, then he vanished forever from that horrid zone of torture and pain. Escaped from that place of terror to begin his own life. One that would never again bow to the weakness of human frailty or desire. For he was no longer the child he had been, but something greater, far more powerful. He was...