Hourglass of Sanity

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Hourglass of Sanity

Post by thief of dreams » Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:28 pm

The "Hourglass of Sanity" Shorts were an attempt to fuel the muse with little tid bits in the hopes of opening a floodgate to writing again... It didn't work...



Hourglass of Sanity IV

A shotgun blast is a hell of a wake up call. As the thunderous roar died out I lifted my head with one eye open and called to Dillon, “What time is it?”
Walking through the bedroom door while reloading the 12 gauge Dillon smiled, “Wake up thirty, sweety.”
“Oh God.” I grumbled as I let my head fall back to the pillow. If there was one thing you could compare a zombie infested world to it was like having kids. You never, ever got a full nights sleep. Only zombies were never cute, not even really dead ones…

“How are the kids?” I asked as I pulled on a tshirt. In this day and age you always make sure to sleep with pants and boots on. Well I suppose you could kick them off but really, if you have to vacate the premises in the middle of the night, you don’t ever want to go bare assed or barefoot.
Dillon propped the shotgun against the dresser before sitting on the end of the mattress, “They’re fine, hard to keep those two down for long.”
Deciding to check for myself I grabbed the shotgun and walked into the living to find our kids both on the couch.. Tippie didn’t bother to raise her head from the cushion but her eyes lifted up and her tail thumped a few times to let me know she was happy to see me. Tank on the other hand just yawned and closed his eyes as if to say he was bored and going back to sleep. I like to imagine that if he had a tail he would have wagged it a few times but in my heart I knew better. Tank was probably the laziest Rottweiler to have ever walked this earth. Ah the life of a dog.
I scratched Tippie on top of her head as I made my way to the kitchen in the hopes of seeing coffee in the coffee pot and not just a taunting ring of brown at the bottom of the glass.
Finding a freshly brewed pot I sighed in relief and grabbed a mug off the sink. As I sipped my delicious and precious cup of joe I walked the perimeter, glancing out from between the wooden slats that covered the windows and checking to make sure the doors were secured. Every door and some windows had Blow Holes drilled into them so we could shoot without exposing ourselves. Around the back of the house I found the zombie that had caused me to be woken up. Three other zombies were busy tearing it apart on the back stoop and feasting like it was a gift from whatever twisted Zombie Thanksgiving God might have left it there. They weren’t interested in the house at the moment though so I just sipped my coffee and nodded in approval.

Zombies were very strange things. Not just because they were the walking dead but because when you first encounter them they are beyond stupid. They might walk into a door or wall ten times before realizing they can’t get through it. But given enough time they start to remember or maybe learn what it is and how it works. Dillon and I sometimes give them names just for tracking purposes. One such zombie was One Eyed Oren. He came around one night and tried to swat the door down with a very sluggish open handed slap for about six hours, then he started hitting the door with a closed fist. They don’t have much strength though so it was more annoying than anything else. Like having a Avon salesperson from hell on your front porch.
After three days he found the window beside the front door and two days later figured out the wooden slats and started to try to pry them loose. Needless to say One Eyed Oren the Zombie wasn’t long for this afterlife and we had to put him down. It was an interesting experience though and taught us quite a bit about the intellect of a zombie.

Tippie finally yawned, stretched and then padded up beside me. Tank sighed like an annoyed seventy year old as his cushions shifted with the absence of her weight. I reached down and scratched Tippie behind her ears which was her go to place and she just closed her eyes as if to say, please don’t stop.
As we made our way to the kitchen so I could refill my mug I glanced at the calendar to see if Dillon had marked off today, of course he hadn’t. Two hundred and Eighteen days since hell broke loose on Earth.
Picking up the marker I said to Tippie, “Two hundred and nineteen.”
"Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings - always darker, emptier and simpler."
Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: Hourglass of Sanity IV

Post by heinzs » Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:18 pm

Gotta find the rest of these...
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Re: Hourglass of Sanity IV

Post by thief of dreams » Fri Jun 17, 2011 11:37 pm

Part I

I spent an hour scared to death that they some how knew I was huddled in this drainage tunnel out in the desert. You want to think they have only the most basic of instinctual minds, like predators in the animal kingdom, but some of them seem to have evolved into something more, something different. I swear to God sometimes it is like they just know where you are.

Without an escape route to fall back on I am left trying like crazy to see into the dark of the tunnel. It seemed like a good idea at the time, a safe place to duck out of sight and get my wits back but my nerves are so frayed after what I saw today that the only thing I can do is tighten my grip on the shotgun to try and steady my shaking hands.

I still can not fully believe what happened. It all seemed too much like a dream. Almost like what I imagine an out of body experience would be like. I don't really know though since I haven't ever had one. Maybe I did today. Did you hear that? Wait!

Nothing there, Jesus I really need to calm down. I'm safe for now, the wind was blowing Southwest which is why I came out this way to begin with. I don't think fallout can move upwind, can it?

Oh God the bombs. I don't even want to think about it. We didn't know what was going on. The power was out all over town; even places with generators couldn't get anything on the televisions or radios. I remember hearing air raid sirens for about twenty seconds early in the day before we started to see them. Even those seemed to be cut short. Now I guess maybe the Army or whoever already knew and they just didn't want us to know. That doesn't make any sense though. I mean, we could have tried to do something.

Them, they... What are they? Not zombies, they don't walk around with outstretched arms moaning. Someone said they were dead though, like ghosts come back to life or something. I think he was slightly crazy to begin with but I just don't know. I know they kill though. Like wolves or mountain lions, they tear and bite, tearing people apart. I think I'm going to be sick.

Sorry, ok I know what you're thinking. Surely I am crazy and locked away in an asylum somewhere but I swear to you I'm not. I saw them. We all did. Everyone was trying to flee and it was like being caught in a tide in the ocean. One block would be running for their lives and turn a corner to crash into another group either trying to flee the other way or a sea of looters who didn't know yet what was coming and why people were breaking into buildings and offices.

We made it to the edge of town in Chris' jeep by keeping off the actual roads and were headed for the mountains when the first bomb went off. I can not even begin to explain how bright it was. The brightest thing you can imagine is like a shadow compared to this. We felt the heat from the light itself. I know that sounds impossible but I swear it to be true. It was over by the coast though, no where near us but we knew we had to do something...

I really wish Chris and Sabrina were here right now. I can't believe they're gone...

Shut up! I heard something!

"Just be quiet..."

Do you see that? Down there, are those?

"Oh God no, eyes, I can see the eyes!"
"Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings - always darker, emptier and simpler."
Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: Hourglass of Sanity IV

Post by thief of dreams » Fri Jun 17, 2011 11:40 pm

Part II

You may not remember when the sky was blue, but I do.

I remember looking up at that endless vastness of cerulean canvas and seeing clouds of pure white slowly march across Gods own masterpiece. I remember watching in awe as birds soared freely through the air, stopping only momentarily to rest upon a tree branch or search through the grass for something to eat.

I remember what it was like before the skies turned pitch black and rained blood, before the nightmare that haunted us all as kids decided to follow us out of sleep and into our own world.

I remember a time before the dead rose from the grave to feast on the living.

Before the demons descended upon us with eyes like obsidian that reflected every consequence of sin and turned the most strong willed of men completely insane in the time it took to exhale your last breath.

I remember, I remember when it all began...
"Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings - always darker, emptier and simpler."
Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: Hourglass of Sanity IV

Post by thief of dreams » Fri Jun 17, 2011 11:41 pm

Hourglass of Sanity III (Fall Begins)

You ask anyone who was there that day and they will tell you the same thing. The end of the world started with a breath, a breeze and then the birds.

I was just a twenty seven year old unemployed rig hand from the oil fields. I was by no means a saint and by loose definitions a sinner, although I had made it through my life so far without committing any serious sins.That was all about to change...



That morning was a little different from most other mornings. I woke up around nine instead of my normal rousing period of around noon. Finding nothing of interest on any of my favorite channels I stumbled across something a little peculiar on a cable news network."Greg Mandrake with the NASA Observatory is here to give us his take of today's spectacular events. Dr. Mandrake, what can we expect to see today?""Well Jean thank you for having me. Today is a very rare day indeed. The Sun will align perfectly with both the Milky Way as well as the Galactic Equinox which only happens once every 28,500 years."The news anchor was quick to cut to the chase, "Isn't it true that many people predict this will be the event that wipes out the Earth?""Well I suppose that has a lot to do with today being the last day of the Mayan 'Long Count' or Calendar, but you have to remember that Earth has been around for 4.5 Billion years and has witnessed this event more than 150,000 times without its destruction. So I would guess we are all pretty safe." He stifles a chuckle and waits for the news anchor to fire some more doomsday questions his way.

The microwave dings to signal either the beginnings of the Apocalypse or the fact that my Pizza Rolls are done and I hop off the couch without worry to collect my meal.

After burning my fingertips on the hot plate and grabbing a cold can of soda to soothe the pain I get a call from Sam.As I answer I hear slow deep breaths and check the caller ID real quick to verify who it is."Sam, I told you no phone sex until after you buy me dinner and a movie.""Luke... I am your father." Replies Sam in what has to be the world's worst Darth Vader imitation."Then I need allowance and a new Camaro.""You suck. Hey what are you doing today?"Juggling a hot plate of Pizza Rolls I say, "Nothing, world is supposed to end and all that, so I am pretty free for anything. Want to go looting and pillaging the town while zombies hunt us?""Actually I was thinking since I have Collin we could swing by Alison's house since she is in Vegas and raid and pillage her fridge. I might even be inclined to leave you alone in her bedroom to sniff her unmentionables.""Sam, her 'unmentionables' have been memories of quite a few people.""Well even strippers have to pay bills you know?""Yea, yea, what time you picking me up?""We are on our way!" Sam says as he disconnects.



I have known Sam since we both discovered the outside world at age 5. We grew up living across the street from one another and as fate or distance would have it, became best friends. Collin was Sam's four year old son who he had had with Alison after a drunken night of 'Uh oh' good times. They were no longer together but we had all managed to stay close friends.

After having searched for the least dirty pair of jeans I could find and a shirt that may or may not have been washed lately I hopped in the passenger seat of Sam's jeep and whirled around to high five my favorite nephew."Uncle Chris, did you know my dad used to be a Navy Seal?"I raise my eyebrows at Sam as I ask, "Again, you say he's only four years old?"Sam smiles, "My boy has genius unparrabaled.""Unparalleled anyway." Turning back to Collin I inform him that the closest his father ever got to being a Navy Seal was probably talking to a Navy recruiter in high school. I don't think he quite understood but he got the jest of it."My dad could beat up a Navy Seal." Collin informs me as he tucks his chin in a huff and stares passed me."Touché." I reply."Don't say that." Warns Collin who thinks touché is a dirty word ranked up there with ass and knickers.



The sun sat hazed in the sky, like something had been draped over it. The few clouds that we could see were stretched across the heavens; they seemed to have been pulled up and away from the earth. It had a very Dali like feel to it but down on the surface of the planet all was running at normal. Cars honked, people spat gum on the sidewalk, and the suits all wore smirks of contempt.We spent the day lounging at Alison's. Feeding ourselves on hot dogs and marveling at some of the things Collin chose to put on his. I finally had to ask, "Maple syrup?"Collin just shook his head in defeat, "You wouldn't understand."Sam piped up from the arm chair, "Four years old!"Collin was faster than I, "Don't worry dad, Uncle Chris will grow up some day."I damn near choked on sauerkraut.



At around five o'clock is when it all began. The sun should have set a little after four but it still held itself just above the horizon. A reddish orange glow spread across the sky and clouds streaked in from the west in such thickness that it almost seemed like smoke.The red glow that came through the windows finally caught our attention and the three of us curiously stepped outside to see if the town was on fire."Dad, I don't like this."Sam grabbed Collin and held him in his left arm. "It's okay C, it's kind of like an eclipse.""What's that?" Asked Collin.As Sam explained to Collin what an eclipse was, it occurred to me that the clouds that were now dark black seemed to shimmer at the edges as if they were shaking from some unknown turbulence."Hey Sam, those clouds seem a little off to you?"Sam looked up as did Collin and that is when I realized that the clouds were not clouds but millions and millions of birds. They were so high up and so close together that they looked like giant pods of sea foam."This whole thing looks a little off to me." Replied Sam."Those are birds!"Sam looked at me with a raised eyebrow to question my sanity, "Birds can't fly that high."Somewhere high up in the sky a strange thunder gave way that sounded almost like a sigh. The wind picked up out of nowhere ruffling leaves and whirled the loose bits of trash in the street. A plastic bag got caught in it and danced through the air like a blind gymnast.Collin pointed at it, "It's like a ghost, dad.""Maybe we better go back inside." I said.



A voice boomed out over the land with such distinction and clarity that goosebumps ran up my arms to my scalp and every hair on my body stood on end. It sounded every bit as powerful and loud as you would expect God's voice to sound but I had my doubts about it being His when it said, "BEASTS!"



The clouds rumbled and started turning chaotically in the sky. Huge vortexes of birds streamed towards the earth in giant black columns. It looked like tornado fingers reaching down to touch the ground and like tornados, nothing good would come of where they chose to go.

We quickly retreated into the house and I locked the door. Collin was shaking with sobs as Sam tried to comfort him.

"What the fuck was that?" I asked no one in particular.As Sam ignored me to try to quiet Collin I took to throwing everything I could find towards the windows in the hopes of making some kind of barrier. I didn't know if the birds would try to get in but I also realized that whatever just happened meant one thing and one thing alone. We didn't know shit.



Sam talked Collin into watching one of his cartoons and went to put it on for him. When he turned on the TV we both caught the Emergency Broadcast Beacon but because Collin was also staring at it, Sam quickly set it to the DVD setting as we both glanced at each other.

I stepped into the hallway and motioned for Sam to come over so we could try to figure out what was going on or just beat our heads into the wall together. He nodded, glanced out the window blinds real quick then headed my way."Dad, where are you going?" Asked Collin when he saw Sam walking away."Just over here to talk about grown up things little man, you can still see us."Collin looked every bit as terrified as I felt but he nodded bravely and turned back to his cartoons.

Sam and I both just stared at each other for a couple seconds unable to even begin to comprehend what was going on or what to say. Finally I broke the silence and said, "Okay, so uh, did you hear what I heard or was that just some flashback from some long lost acid trip?""I heard either 'beasts' or 'beats'.""'Beasts' is what I hard as well. Alright then so we are either both bat shit crazy, Alison's neighbor is a prankster with a megaphone or some serious otherworldly shit is going on. Do you remember anything like this from any whack-job Alien abduction story you heard or anything?" I ask.Sam cracked a small smile, "I'm hoping for the megaphone thing but no, I haven't ever heard of anything that talks like God except from bible thumpers and the likes. I don't think that was God though. Call me a pessimist, but yea."

Sam stepped into the master bedroom, grabbed the remote and turned the TV on while lowering the volume so it wouldn't be heard by Collin in the living room. All we got was the Emergency Broadcast Beacon and a pre recorded voice saying that due to unexpected and extreme weather conditions people were being advised not to travel in our county. He flipped through the channels but it was the same thing on all of them but one, which was showing a infomercial.

I grabbed the cordless phone and got no dial tone. "Phones are out."Sam checked his cellular phone and showed me the No Service display.

From the living room Collin said, "Someone's outside!"

Blood curdling Sam and I both ran into the living room. I stared at the doorknob, half expecting it to turn and a zombie to walk in with a severed head in one hand a ray gun in the other. Sam peeked through the blinds on the window and whispered, "Birds."I moved up next to him and dragged a blind down with one finger. Outside black birds were streaming every which way. They seemed to be controlled by something other than themselves as some smashed into parked cars, fences, even trees while others zipped around them with what seemed like impossible speed and agility.



Looking up into the sky I could still see the black columns reaching down as well, though they seemed to move much like tornados, none were very close to our location. I could faintly hear someone screaming but had no idea where it was coming. I glanced at Collin to see if he had heard it as well.

A couple gunshots crashed through the neighborhood, they sounded close."Dad?" Collin started to come over to us but Sam quickly stepped away from the window and told him it was just birds and probably someone shooting at them."No need to worry though little man, we're okay here." Sam said"Wish we had a gun." Collin said as he plopped back down in front of the TV.I raised a eyebrow at Sam but he shook his head and said, "Alison never liked guns. There is a baseball bat in the closet though."Sam went to the closet as I went to the kitchen in search of some sort of weapon. I was tossing aside garlic presses and wooden spoons and holding a rolling pin when Sam and Collin came into the kitchen. Collin looked up at Sam and said, "Everything is gonna be okay dad, Uncle Chris is making biscuits!"



Sam and Collin were both laughing so hard I thought they might collapse and finally I had to laugh as well. I grabbed a medal colander and put it on Collins head like a helmet and handed him a broom. Touching him on each shoulder with the mop handle I said, "I dub thee, Sir Collin of California. You are hereby a knight in the Royal Guard of Sarcasm.""Cool." Collin grinned.

Something banged on the outside wall of the house and we all turned to look towards the back door. Two more thuds were heard before I was able to look out and see the dead birds on the back porch. More were scattered around the back yard where they had hit the tree and cement walls, a couple floated in the swimming pool."Not cool." Responded Collin who had managed to squeeze between Sam and I and peek out as well.The front window exploded behind us and we whirled around to face off with a single bird that was lying on the carpet. One wing was folded under it but the other flared out as if to take flight. It issued no sound although it must have been either dying or in extreme pain from colliding with the window.

Sam pushed Collin behind him as we crossed the room and stood, staring at the bird unsure of what to do with it. "Find something to barricade that window." I told Sam as I went to the kitchen.Returning with the dust pan, I took the broom from Collin and awkwardly maneuvered the bird onto the dust pan. I flung it outside along with the dust pan as Sam upended the coffee table on the sofa and leaned it against the broken window. "This isn't going to work, we need to think." Sam said.

Looking out the window I said, "The tornado things are gone but there are still a lot of birds out there. What do you think about making a run for the jeep?""And go where?" Asked Sam. "I don't want to take Collin out there with those things. We keep calling them birds, but birds don't act like that man, something else is going on and we need to figure out what it is.""Well none of us have a clue and we aren't going to be able to get any answers here bro. We need to try and make a run for it. Maybe head up to the mountains or I don't know, just get out of the city."Collin tugged my shirt, "There are birds in the mountains and other stuff too.""What about the police station or something?" I ask."Bound to know more than we do there, but we need provisions." Sam said as he headed to the kitchen.



We threw a bunch of canned goods and bottled water into pillow cases and wrapped Collin up in blankets to protect him I carried Collin as Sam held onto the baseball bat and groceries."Ready?" Asked Sam when we got to the front door."Go!" I said and we plunged outside ready to be bombarded by birds. We made it to the jeep without any attack from above and strapped ourselves in as Sam fired up the engine and backed out of the driveway.

Dead birds littered the roadway and Sam turned on the CD player in the jeep so we wouldn't have to hear the crunch of them under the tires. We could still feel them though and Collin made a noise of disgust from the back seat.

There were people running around outside as well as people in cars hell bent on their destination and not paying any attention to street lights, stop signs or common sense. The birds seemed to thin out as we got closer to downtown though there were enough of them to still be dangerous.

Some people were starting to loot stores and we saw people throwing rocks and kicking in department store windows. Sam looked back at Collin and told him to keep his head down."Hey stop for a second!" I said."Stop? For what?" Asked Sam.

I pointed across the street to where two guys had just used their truck to rip the steel bar barricade off the front of a gun store.Sam pulled to a stop in the middle of the road and I said, "Keep it running, lock the doors and if anyone comes at you just take off and pick me up two blocks up on Seventh." I glanced back at Collin and winked, "Be right back."

As I raced into the gun store the two guys swung around and stared at me. "Just here for some guns, I'm not the owner!" I say. They both shrugged and I stepped up to the counter to see what they had available.

Back outside Sam unlocked the doors as I tossed two canvas green bags into the back along with two shotguns and a rifle. Jumping in the passenger seat I let the third canvas bag fall to the floor between my legs as Sam rolled forward."You did get bullets right?" Sam asked."Yep. I also got two twelve gauges, a 30.06 rifle and these babies." I said as I removed two pistols from the bag."A rifle? You got a rifle to shoot birds with? I should have sent Collin."Collin leaned forward between the front seats and asked me, "Do I get one?""Sorry squirt, they didn't have any water guns." I say as I open a box of ammunition and start loading the clips for the pistols. I load the .40 Smith and Wesson and hand it to Sam along with a shoulder holster."This is the right size, right?" He asks."Hope so, didn't really have time to check."

He pulls to a stop just long enough to figure out the straps and shrug into the holster as I finish loading the 9mm Browning and go to work figuring out my own shoulder holster. "Police station probably isn't the best choice of places to go now." He says as he pulls back onto the road.

I start to reply when something that I could never in a million years mistake for a dog streaks out from between two parked cars, stops in the middle of the street, turns towards us and snarls with a full set of razor sharp teeth and red eyes that seem to glow all their own in the dim twilight that is quickly enveloping the city.



As it snarled at us I could see the elongated jaws with endless rows of teeth stretch and then snap. Only two of the eyes glowed red but there seemed to be a lot more spread across its head. It moved on all four legs much like some kind of lion/wolf hybrid only bigger. It was as long as one of the cars parked at the curb and the tail seemed to sway with menace as if just waiting to slash out and attack something on its own. The skin was a pale grey and looked as if it was some kind of hardened plate scale that shimmered and moved freely as if it were only hair or fur.

Someone started to scream like a frightened school girl and I turned back towards Collin to tell him not to do that when I realized it was me. I swallowed my shame quickly enough and whipped back around to see the creature start to stalk towards us in the street. It held its head low to the ground but never took its eyes off of us as the tail flicked back and forth behind it almost daring you to take your eyes of the creature and look at the tail.



Sam was yelling something repeatedly while he threw the Jeep into reverse and drove his foot down hard on the accelerator. "Shoot it, shoot it, shoot it, shoot it!"



Realizing this, I pulled my pistol and leaned out of the window to squeeze off a shot with shaking hands. Click! I ducked back inside the Jeep and now Collin was chanting, "Safety, safety, safety." I checked the safety on the pistol and said to everyone, "It's not on safety!" I leaned back out and tried again to shoot but was met with the maddening sound of mechanical parts moving and doing what they are meant to do but not firing the round in the chamber.



We were putting a little distance between us and the creature and Sam said, "Bad ammo, next round please!" So I pulled the slide back to eject the current bullet and chamber a new round and held the gun out of the window as I squeezed the trigger. Click! "FUCK!" I roared and not even Collin bothered to tell me not to curse this time.



The creature realized its prey was gaining distance and as Sam whipped the steering wheel to the right to turn us around it abandoned its stalk and started to run towards us, picking up speed and gaining distance fast.



Collin held out a shotgun from the back and I quickly grabbed it and chambered a round I had previously loaded into it. I pointed it out my window as the creature howled and came right at me. I couldn't miss at this distance and pulled the trigger bracing myself for the recoil. Click! I thought for sure I was a dead man as the creature launched itself into the air right at me.



Sam slammed the Jeep into gear and stomped on the gas and the creature missed my window and slammed into the right rear of the Jeep as we tore ass out of there. The impact was enough to sway the vehicle and I felt my heart drop when I thought it might be able to roll the Jeep onto its side.

The Jeep stayed upright however and no tires came off the asphalt as we headed away quickly, leaving the creature roaring in frustration in the middle of the road.

"Dad, your phone!" Collin was saying as I was deathgripping the armrest and trying not to burst into hysterics. Sam dug in his pocket without taking his foot of the gas and looked down at the screen before handing the phone to me.

I tried to regain some composure as I looked at the display to see Alison's name and number come up. I flipped open the phone and was able to exhale a shaky hello."Chris?! Where's Sam? Is Collin okay? Where is my son?! Say something!"I cleared my throat, "We are all here and okay, Sam is driving, Collin is right here." I handed the phone to Collin and he snatched it like it was his favorite flavor ice cream. We could hear Alison's voice but not what she was saying. Collin was trying to calm her down and explain about the birds and what he called the Tiger with an amazing amount of calm that I was ashamed to say I didn't possess.

After saying his goodbyes he handed me the phone back, by now I had calmed down enough to talk and asked what was going on in Vegas.

"We are not completely sure, we are in our room and the hotel security said to stay put. We head people talking about Demons running around outside and some even coming inside and killing people but I don't know what to believe. The TV's don't work and the power keeps flickering. You guys almost got attacked by a Tiger? Where are you the fucking zoo? Why would you take my son-"I cut in before she completely lost it and said, "It wasn't a tiger like that but I guess it kind of looked like a tiger in a way." I explained as to the best of my abilities what we saw and that we were now safely away from it. I tried to get some more details from her about what she might have heard. "Even rumors are more than we have now.""This couple next door said they saw one in the lobby and that it looked almost human but with horns and claws and blue skin. They said it walked like a man and had yellow eyes and spoke some weird language to itself as it moved." I could hear some commotion on her end of the line and she told me to hang on.

I glanced at Sam and he was looking at me with eyes that were screaming, "What is she saying?!" and I replied with the annoying finger held up which means calm down and give me a minute.

Alison came back on the phone and I could hear people around her talking excitedly. "Gargoyles! We can see Gargoyles on the rooftops from the window here. They are moving back and forth on the ledges. Wings and shit flapping to keep balance! Oh my god! How is this happening?"

I talked to her for a couple more minutes before we disconnected and then relayed her side of the conversation to Sam and Collin as I leaned forward and searched rooftops for Gargoyles. I didn't see any, yet."We need to figure out some place to go." Sam saidCollin piped up from the back seat as I was going back over the guns and trying to figure out what I was doing wrong, "We could go to Uncle Brian's.""Genius!" Sam replied and put us on a course to Brian's house.



Brian Garret was a friend of ours whom had inherited a bunch of money from his parents and moved out into the suburbs to escape the gritty neighborhood we all had grown up in. Unlike most people who come into a bunch of money he actually used his to go to college and get a degree. He now worked for a Insurance company and usually paid for and hosted all our little get-togethers for boxing matches and MMA fights on Pay Per View. Where Sam and I were like brothers, Brian was like the cousin we could count on to be there if and when we needed him.



I had unloaded and stripped down my pistol somehow without really knowing what I was doing. Everything seemed to be in order to the untrained eye. Sam kept glancing over at me as he drove and finally said, "What did you do with the firing pin?""Come again?""The firing pin, did you remove it?""Uhm, I don't think so, unless it jumped out of the window." I replied."There is no firing pin. They must take them out of the guns so people can't walk in with their own ammo and immediately have a loaded and able weapon.""Well yea, that makes sense. So where do we get firing pins?" I asked without much hope."We don't." Replied Sam.

Collin sighed from the backseat and we all felt the same way.



As we turned into Brian's driveway we saw his Chevy Truck and an old station wagon that we didn't recognize. The sun had set and without light we couldn't be sure what might be circling overhead but we didn't waste any time in getting to the front door. Usually we would walk right in but with the way things had been going Sam knocked and then announced who it was.



Some old guy opened the door and Sam and I exchanged curious looks before we heard Brian call out from somewhere in the house, "Don't just open the fucking door Bob!""Unkie!" Collin shouted and ran towards Brian as he came into view. Brian's face grew into a huge grin as he caught a jumping Collin and spun him around in a bear hug. "Damn am I glad to see you guys!" he said as we made our way inside."Sam, Chris, this is my uncle Bob. Uncle Bob, Chris and Sam and this little guy here is Collin." Brian put Collin down and we all exchanged hugs. "Come equipped for hunting I see." He motioned to the guns we carried."Not likely unless you wanna go clubbing baby seals or something." I said and explained about the firing pins. Brian laughed and we all gathered in the living room to catch up on what we knew or had heard.



We told Brian and Bob about our adventures so far. Brian didn't have much to offer in the way of news but he explained that while the cell phone towers seemed to work from time to time they were pretty choppy and he didn't know why. The same went for his internet connection. Hearing this we all stood up but he said it had been down for a couple hours now.

Bob had his own take on things and while part of me wanted to think he was certifiably insane we listened anyway."It is the end times as described in the bible!" Bob said with shaking jawls. He looked like a out of shape john Goodman, if Goodman had been a balding and broke televangelist that is.I looked up at him, "You mean like 'Pale horse cometh' type of thing?""Exactly, according to Revelations there are seven seals, seven angels, seven trumpets as well as seven churches and seven candle sticks." Bob opened a worn bible and began searching for something. "According to John-"Sam cut him off and said, "What the hell does this have to do with us?""Everything! God is cleansing the earth of all evil and putting the Beast back into the abyss. We have nothing to fear from this!""Yea well that thing that came after us didn't exactly look like a welcoming party handing out invitations to Heaven." I mentioned.Bob was undeterred, "Four Beasts about the Throne of God. The first beast was that of a lion!" Don't you see? What you saw was a creature of God! It is a part of the Holy Spirit, a part of the cleansing! Before the Angels come down it is the four Beasts which are described in Revelation!"Sam stood up, "I don't care what you think you know from reading something thousands of years old but what we saw had absolutely nothing to do with God!"

Bob tried to go on but we all had heard enough. Maybe it was the fact that what he was saying might indeed be true and none of us really wanted to believe that could be a possibility, even if it felt a little right in our own hearts.

We talked instead about what we should do but we didn't get anywhere with that either. A loud boom shook the night outside and although the rest of us held our breaths in fear, Brian let release a huge shit eating grin and said he had an idea.

"Dwight lives a couple houses down. I don't know how I forgot about him but he is a gun nut and I think we just heard some of his handiwork. If anyone can fix your guns it is him."I cautiously said, "Assuming he didn't just blow himself up.""Worth a shot anyway." Sam said and we all stood up as Collin ran off down the hall to one of the spare rooms which Brian kept stocked with things he had bought for Collin which hadn't made their way to Sam or Alison's houses yet.He came back out wearing a life vest that Brian had bought him a few months ago when we all spent the day at the lake. We looked at him a little funny and he said, "What? If there is going to be another flood, I don't want to drown!"I let out a nervous laugh and said, "This better not be one of your 'genius' moments."



I expected Dwight's house to be caged in barbed wire with steel bars across the windows from the way Brian had described him. What we found instead when we got there were perfectly manicured lawns and a very warm and welcoming front yard.Brian knocked and we waited for about an hour while God knows how many locks were disengaged and the door slowly swung open. Inside stood a man somewhere in his late forties with a receding hairline and a smile that made you feel like you just came home for Christmas vacation. "Mr. Garret, how good of you to come over. I didn't scare you with that small explosion earlier did I?"

Brian smiled as we all shuffled inside, "Not at all, actually it inspired us and we need some help which you may be able to provide."

Dwight was a very gracious and polite host and as we all gathered inside he asked us all if we would like something to drink and offered his help in any way possible. Brian explained about the firing pin problem and he said he could probably help with that but was curious why we hadn't brought the guns with us. We explained that we thought it might be impolite to bring arm loads of guns when knocking on someone's front door on a night like this.



I volunteered to go get them and headed back towards Brian's house on foot. Without anyone to talk to I realized just how eerily quiet the night was. With all the commotion from earlier today I half expected people to be running around screaming, houses burning in the night, birds picking at dead bodies in the street, or something, anything. Instead the night was as calm as could be. No crickets chirped, no frogs called out into the night, nothing seemed to be alive at all. The hair was standing up on my arms by the time I got to Brian's front door and something caused me to quickly enter the house and slam the door behind me.



I took a moment to shake the Willy's off of me and started slinging weapons over my shoulder when Bob came downstairs."Chris was it?" He asked. I nodded and he continued, "I know I probably sound like some crazy preacher or something but I'm not. I had a lot of problems and have come a long way into sobriety because of this book here." He held up the bible, "I really don't think we have anything to fear from this. We are all sinners but we can all be forgiven for ours sins and saved by God."I didn't really know what to say so as I made my way back to the front door with the guns I just told him I hoped he was right but that I would rather be prepared for the worst.

This time I decided to run instead of walk.



When I got back, Dwight took a look at the guns real quick then told us all to follow him. We made our way down into the basement, the first thing I thought of when I saw all the strange equipment was that Dwight might be some kind of torturer for the government.Dwight gave us quick explanations of some of the equipment and explained that as a hobby he had taken up gunsmith studies years ago. "I don't keep many guns myself but I have fallen in love with the art itself and since it is a dying trade I find it strangely satisfying."He might not have had many guns but he had all kinds of gun parts as well as loading equipment for making and reloading his own ammunition. The easiest ones he said were the shotguns and he quickly had those apart and on a workbench. As he went to work on our guns we all spread out and looked around at his invitation to do so. "Just try not to move anything around too much or I lose track of what I have down here.""Hey dad is that a paint ball gun?" Collin pointed at a gun that hung on a pegboard."Dwight looked up real quick then let his eyes drop back to his work, "Nope, that my little friend is a Heckler and Koch G3 Assault Rifle. I redid the bluing for a friend of mine and made him some ammunition for it that would feel more comfortable to him. It is a very beautiful gun and I must say I don't rightfully know why the US doesn't give our service men and women a proper rifle like this one. I suppose because it is German made and they prefer to only use Colt but in my opinion the Germans make a superior weapon than we do these days."Sam whistled quietly and we all appreciated the weapon Collin had pointed out.



I turned to watch as Dwight placed one of the shotgun barrels in the jaws of some sort of equipment that was foreign to me. He quickly cut it down and went to work filing and sanding the bore smooth before reassembling the shotgun and going to work on the second one."Those barrels aren't very effective for self defense unless you're trying to shoot something that has already assaulted you and is across the street running away when you fire. I went ahead and cut them down to eighteen and a half inches so that they are still legal but a little less cumbersome."

I looked at Sam to see if we should mention how we got the guns and he shook his head.

Dwight had finished with the second shotgun and one of the pistols and we were all starting to feel safe and secure again. We laughed easily and swapped stories, even Collin seemed to brighten and become his old cheery self again. He was halfway through a story about me using him to pick up women at the local mall when something crashed through the house upstairs and a shadow cast itself down the basement steps.

A hurried whisper came down to us as we all held our breaths trying to be quiet. The language was nothing I had ever heard before but the phone call with Alison came flooding back into my mind as Sam and I both reached out to pull Collin behind us. The shadow moved as something started to slowly descend the basement steps.
"Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings - always darker, emptier and simpler."
Friedrich Nietzsche

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Re: Hourglass of Sanity IV

Post by thief of dreams » Fri Jun 17, 2011 11:50 pm

Hourglass of Sanity V

I miss the fog.

I miss the cold dark mornings when the world was nothing but a wall of gray and the sounds of commerce. When the railing was wet, the ground trembled under foot and you were absolutely alone while still being surrounded by urgency and living. I miss the certainty of it all and the weight lifting sigh of having made that final decision.

I miss it something terrible and that gives me hope as well as nightmares.

What the fuck is wrong with me?

I want to stand up and shout, "Hey mother fucker, I'm this god damned close to it and I want help!" At the same time terrified of anyone knowing for fear they will think it is just a stunt for attention. I don't want to be that person who after they are gone someone stands up and wonders why they never said anything. I also don't want to be the drama whore.

Some day they will stand together wondering why, some day my ashes will be encased in some cheap piece of metal. Some day, but not today...
"Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings - always darker, emptier and simpler."
Friedrich Nietzsche

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