Studying Time: 22 minutes
*PART 1 // PART 2 // PART three // PART 5 // PART 6 // PART 7*
It’s been about an hour since my final publish.
We haven’t had any clients but, and if the fuel station weren’t an lively crime scene I may need requested considered one of the different staff to squeegee the giant pool of blood into the drains by the cooler.
For these of you out of the loop, chances are you’ll need to catch up by studying my earlier posts by way of the hyperlinks above.
I don’t know what Arnold’s private grooming routine seems to be like, and I’ve to imagine he spends a minimum of twenty minutes a day in mustache prep, however even factoring that in, he ought to have made it to the fuel station by now.
I referred to as him a couple of minutes in the past to ensure he hadn’t gone again to mattress, and to ensure I hadn’t imagined the telephone name in the first place. The dialog went one thing like this:
“Hey, Arnold? You on your way?”
“Sit tight, we had a little emergency.”
“The road between town and you is blocked off.”
“Okay… Which one?”
“All of them. Even the service roads. It must have been a freak storm. I’ve never seen anything like it. All the roads are covered in trees. But they aren’t, you know, fallen. The trees are growing in the middle of the street. I’ve been trying to find a way around all morning, but I’ve given up. I’m about to head through on foot. Just to be clear, you said you heard from Spencer Middleton last night? Has he made any other contact?”
“Well, actually, he’s here. He came in and some stuff happened; now he’s dead.”
“What!? You’re telling me there’s a dead body at the gas station?”
I already informed him all of this. Man, I actually miss Tom.
“Did you not realize that?”
“I’m sorry,” he answered, “When the phone rang earlier I had just woken up from this beautiful weird dream of a… dark god… calling me into his eternal grace, taking me by the hand and guiding me into blessed oblivion, freeing me from all the pain and suffering of this mortal prison. Nurturing me like a child and inviting the world into a realm of higher existence, allowing me the privilege to devote myself to his glorious servitude.”
“Okay,” I stated. “I guess I’ll see you when you get here.”
I ended the name and checked the cost on the telephone. The battery was sitting near fifty %.
“What’s the deal?” requested Benjamin.
“Arnold is on his way here on foot. But we might have another problem.”
“Holy shit, you guys see that?” Carlos requested, stating the window. I couldn’t fairly make it out from the place I used to be seated behind the counter, and I didn’t really feel like hobbling over a corpse only for a glance.
“What is it?” I requested.
“There’s a bunch of naked people out on the road walking this way.” Carlos answered.
“The hell you say?” stated Marlboro, who had all of the sudden taken curiosity. He pressed his face towards the window for a greater look. “Those aren’t just any people. I know them. That’s Marla! And Tyler! And there goes Fred! At least, those were the names I gave them.”
Benjamin crossed to the frozen drink machine, throwing over his shoulder a fast “They friends of yours?”
“Family, actually. Well, they were anyway, before they disappeared. But I don’t remember them looking like that.”
“Like what?” I requested, beginning to get an uneasy feeling.
“Like…” He took a second to seek out the phrases, however all he got here up with was “They look funny.”
They continued strolling nearer to the fuel station. Shut sufficient by now that I might see them. No less than a dozen individuals, stark bare. The nearer they acquired, the extra particulars I might make out, and the extra I want I couldn’t. Their eyes have been milky and pale, maggots crawling out of infested crevices throughout their our bodies. Their pores and skin soiled and coated in lesions and bruises. Marlboro was definitely not fallacious, they seemed humorous.
I’m positive you recognize the Hollywood-style Zombie stroll. The shuffle of an undead physique with impaired motor expertise. The scariest a part of these “people” approaching the entrance doorways of the fuel station was that they have been strolling a hundred percent completely usually. Only a bunch of decaying nudists out for a stroll.
There was a loud crash that snapped us out of our probably-rude staring. All of us turned to see that Benjamin had pulled the frozen drink machine to the floor, and was trying to tug it over Spencer in the direction of the entrance doorways, the sticky syrup concoction spilled out throughout the floor, mixing with the congealed blood and coating the flooring in a pink, brown, and purple viscous soup. There’s no approach we gained’t have an insect drawback after this.
Marlboro and Carlos didn’t need to ask what was happening. They immediately knew the plan and commenced yanking down no matter fixtures weren’t bolted in place and piling them up in a barricade towards the glass doorways.
I might have helped if it weren’t for this damaged leg. In addition to, it seems to be like they’ve obtained this beneath management.
“You boys think you can stay alive long enough for help to arrive?” Benjamin requested.
“We’ve got almost ninety years experience staying alive between the three of us,” Carlos joked.
Benjamin directed his subsequent query to me. “You got any weapons in this place?”
I advised him no. The one factor I’ve is a half-empty canister of gasoline in the provide closet and a few actually arduous jerky, however he was welcome to no matter he might discover. That’s when he began Macgyvering some spears out of chair legs and damaged glass from the drink case.
About ten minutes in the past, the fuel station misplaced energy. Now actually can be a good time to have an enormous pet glow-in-the-dark butterfly.
It’s been fairly quiet, save for the moist guttural whispering coming from these “people” outdoors. Benjamin continues to be looking for weapons whereas Carlos finds issues to push towards the entrance door, and (assuming he hasn’t fallen asleep) Marlboro has taken the again door. I used to be feeling fairly ineffective after Benjamin confiscated my crutches, so I figured I might take this chance to sort up the account of what occurred, simply in case Arnold will get right here too late. And in the spirit of preparedness, I ought to say a number of issues to whoever finds this message (or is it “whomever”? I by no means might get that proper.)
First, to the house owners, I’m sorry about the mess.
Second, to her, I’m sorry we didn’t run into one another one final time.
Third, to whomever retains dumping tar into the ditch outdoors of the fuel station, I hate you.
I assume that’s all I’ve to say. It’s been a bizarre, loopy experience. That is Jack from the fuel station, signing off one final time…
I didn’t die!
Sorry it’s been so lengthy since the final replace, I simply acquired my laptop computer again from the police. I do know you guys are in all probability questioning what occurred. Properly, final week I met a darkish god…
We have been in that fuel station with out energy for hours. It’s chilly this time of yr, so we huddled collectively round a plate of scented candles and ate pork rinds and canned beans. Marlboro virtually dozed off a pair occasions earlier than Carlos determined to loot the power drugs behind the counter. He handed them out and all of us took a couple of, washing them down with chilly espresso and telling ourselves it was for “alertness,” however all they did for me was create a heartbeat arrhythmia. That positive can be humorous, if these issues lastly broke in right here simply to seek out the 4 of us lifeless from coronary heart assaults.
Nicely, not “funny.” However, you understand.
Carlos tried to strike up a dialog with Benjamin a few occasions, however the bearded man wasn’t very social.
“I knew a guy. He was a ranger in the Army. You remind me of him.”
“Those things out there, any idea what we’re dealing with? You ever see anything like that before?”
“You got any family?”
I checked Spencer’s telephone all through the day, nevertheless it wasn’t getting any service anymore. I attempted 911 a couple of occasions, however even that wouldn’t undergo. When the battery acquired to 5 %, I turned it off. We’d want it later for an emergency name.
Ultimately, the adrenaline and drugs began to put on off and I remembered that my leg was nonetheless therapeutic from a posh fracture and that perhaps I shouldn’t have agreed to return again to work so quickly. I limped again to the entrance desk to seize my meds. Whereas I used to be there, I noticed the still-unopened gift-wrapped package deal on the shelf beneath the register. I made a decision to disregard it and as an alternative grabbed the worker whiskey bottle that was behind it. We informed ourselves it was for our “nerves” however all it did for me was give me a good worse heartbeat arrhythmia.
A number of extra hours handed. After we killed the first bottle we opened one other, then Marlboro obtained into the power drinks as a result of we would have liked mixers. Sooner or later the former cultist pulled out his stash and lit a joint and (with out asking, I’d add) turned the entire station right into a hotbox. I couldn’t keep in mind if I’d taken my ache meds but, so I went forward and took them.
As the solar began to set, I had two ideas competing for first place in my thoughts. First, it positive is getting darkish early today. And second, I feel we could be getting a bit of too fucked as much as deal with what’s about to occur.
Time turned much more illusory than regular as soon as the laptop computer died and we had no method of figuring out how lengthy we’d been ready. We began measuring the time in candles. Our snack meals and morale raced one another to depletion.
Sooner or later, Carlos obtained me away from the others to ask what I considered Benjamin. I advised him he was the nicest man that had pointed a gun in my face all week. However Carlos advised me that he had a bizarre feeling about him. I reminded Carlos that he had killed Kieffer a pair occasions and perhaps he ought to get off his excessive horse.
“Hey!” Benjamin yelled at us from throughout the room. “What are you two talking about?”
“Anime.” I lied. I feel he purchased it.
“Get back over here. I don’t need any more dead bodies piling up tonight.”
Benjamin was in the nook, warming his palms over the candle plate. It was the solely supply of sunshine in the constructing, and was casting shadows that would perhaps be described as “spooky” if I weren’t in such a critical life-or-death state of affairs. A few of these shadows appeared like faces, smiling, laughing at us idiots. One or two seemed like historic figures. One among them requested me what time it was, and holy crap I used to be tripping!
“You okay, man?” Carlos requested, pulling me again to earth.
“I honestly have no idea.”
Did you ever work out who positioned that bomb? requested Spencer Middleton in a gurgle.
“What do you mean? I thought you did it?”
Not me. Bombs aren’t my fashion. Who have you learnt that may construct a bomb?
“Hey, where’s Marlboro?!” I requested.
Benjamin picked up his spear – previously my crutch that he had paracorded his knife to – and requested, “Who the hell is ‘Marlboro?’ Is there someone else here?”
“Marlboro. The other employee.” I checked out Carlos, who simply shrugged and stated, “I don’t know no Marlboro. How many of them pills did you take?”
Had I imagined Marlboro this complete time? I attempted to take a seat down on the tarp, however it became me mendacity on my again whereas the room spun. I might really feel the human particles squish beneath the tarp material as I rested my head. How a lot of any of this was actual, anyway?
You’re dropping it, you understand.
All these years in the past, the first physician tried to organize me for all times with my situation. There weren’t that many different instances earlier than me, in order that they didn’t know precisely how every part would play out. However each case had a number of of the similar negative effects. In fact there can be weight reduction, fatigue, complications, all of the indicators of a traditional bodily sickness early on.
As the situation developed, there can be extra “interesting” unwanted effects. Hallucinations, reminiscence loss, the works.
And naturally, I can’t be correctly anesthetized. They tried in different instances to induce medical comas, however that simply messed issues up additional. I’m all the time conscious and midway lucid throughout surgical procedure. If you wish to know what that’s like, I’ll inform you the fact. It’s boring.
You already know what? Often once I harm somebody dangerous sufficient, they cross out from the ache.
They gave me a pair years, tops. I haven’t been preserving monitor of time.
Proper then, Marlboro walked into the room, zipping up his fly. Presumably, he had simply come from the rest room, however who actually is aware of? I pointed at him and yelled, “That guy! You see him, right?! It’s Marlboro!”
Carlos seemed the place I used to be pointing, then again at me. “What, you mean Jerry?”
Oh. That’s proper. He has an actual identify.
“I hate it when he calls me Marlboro.”
Benjamin set the improvised spear down and turned his consideration again to the hearth. “You better get him under control.”
You need to open your package deal. Stated Spencer.
“Hey wait a sec, aren’t you supposed to be dead?”
Properly, aren’t you imagined to be lifeless? he stated again.
“Who are you talking to?” requested Carlos.
“Spencer,” I answered.
“Well stop that. It’s freaking us out.”
Two candles burned from begin to end earlier than Benjamin determined that assist wasn’t on the means and our greatest probability of survival was to struggle it out with the issues outdoors.
I disagreed, however Benjamin knowledgeable me in his personal well mannered approach that it wasn’t up for vote.
He peeled again the layers of the barricade simply sufficient to get a view of the outdoors. As soon as we knew what we have been coping with, we might provide you with a greater recreation plan. Solely, he couldn’t truly get a great look as a result of one thing was blocking the view. One thing simply on the different aspect of the glass doorways.
Benjamin yanked the remainder of the barricade down and took a number of steps again to marvel at it.
“Well, you don’t see that every day,” stated Jerry.
Nope, I can’t do it. I’m sorry. His identify is Marlboro.
We have been trapped there, inside the fuel station. On the different aspect of the doorways, a community of timber had grown collectively, twisted into knots, and pressed towards the glass. They have been so densely pressed right into a single wall of tree trunks that not even mild might get by way of. For all we knew, it might have been daytime outdoors.
“We have to get out of here,” stated Benjamin.
We checked the again door, nevertheless it was the similar factor. I typically questioned how lengthy an individual might survive inside the fuel station with none new provides coming in. I had run the state of affairs in my head one million occasions. On boring nights, what else is there to do? I had run the thought experiment for numerous totally different contexts. How lengthy might I survive if the fuel station have been transported again in time? To a different planet? If there have been a zombie apocalypse? And so on.
What I had deduced was that, underneath very best circumstances, I might stay off of the provides available for 4 years if I might discover a supply of water. Six weeks if not.
These weren’t very best circumstances.
We had already smashed up, weaponized, or eaten virtually all of our provides. If we have been trapped right here, it wouldn’t take lengthy for us to go all Donner social gathering on one another.
Whereas I used to be pondering this in the hallway by the cooler, we heard the sound of glass shattering from the essential room. Benjamin raised his spear and led the approach again.
The wall of timber was nonetheless there on the different aspect of the doorways. Our mess was nonetheless there. Every part was as we left it with one exception. The tarp was pulled again, and Spencer’s physique was gone. A collection of footprints coagulated in the blood main from the place he ought to have been to the shattered glass of the entrance door. Like he had simply gotten up, walked over, and was absorbed into the timber.
“I need you boys to think real hard,” Benjamin stated. “Is there any other way out of this place?”
“Well,” Marlboro began. I shot him a glance and shook my head, however I assume he couldn’t see it in the dim candlelight. Or perhaps he was simply too dense to know. “There is that hole.”
“Hole? What hole?”
“The hole in the secret room back here past the cooler.”
“Yeah, right over here.”
Marlboro pointed at the clean area on the wall the place the door was. The house owners had determined that the smartest factor they might do once they came upon about the secret room was take away the door, construct a good-old original wall, and overlook all about it, however that solely works if everybody agrees to overlook all about it, Marlboro!
“You’re telling me there’s a secret room behind there? And a hole in that room that we can maybe fit inside and escape? Why didn’t you boys tell me this earlier?”
He didn’t look forward to a solution. Benjamin went straight to the wall and began smashing it to items together with his spear after which, after he received it down a bit, his naked arms. After a minute, the wall was as soon as once more a door.
Whereas Benjamin lit and positioned a couple of candles round the big gap in the flooring, I grabbed Carlos and pulled him apart.
“Hey,” I stated, “I should tell you something. I opened that package. The one that looked like a present.”
“Yeah?” He stated.
“Yeah.” I stated.
I’m unsure at what level I’d lastly cracked and opened it, however I had been carrying round the content material of the field in my pocket for a minimum of one candle. Identical to the final package deal, there was a observe with this one. It learn:
“I didn’t expect you to use my letter as part of the story, but thanks lol. I didn’t mind you using it , that was very neat! I liked it. I was very surprised. Thank you. I enjoyed your stories and I knew it would be really great from the beginning. That’s why I wrote what I did. I was surprised, but in a good way, that you used my letter lol. Thank you. I’m honored, really honored.”
Beneath that letter was a small handgun. I knew sufficient about pistols from enjoying video video games to know how you can examine the clip and positive sufficient, it was loaded.
I confirmed the gun to Carlos, who stated “That’s a Ruger 380!”
“Is that good?”
“Well it’s a gun, so it’ll probably have more stopping power than a chair leg. Why didn’t you give it to him?” Carlos gestured at our fearless chief.
“I don’t know or trust him.”
“Here,” I stated making an attempt handy it over, “I’m not a gun guy.”
“No way man. You keep it. I got both legs, you need it more than me.”
Benjamin yelled to us from the secret room, “Ya’ll ready or what? Time to see what’s down here.” Then he jumped in.
I’ll have uncared for to say that it was a ten foot drop to the cave flooring under. I additionally might have taken a bit pleasure in the sound of him crash touchdown and the ache moan that adopted. For the remainder of us, we rolled up a tarp and put some knots into it like a poorman’s rope ladder, and I’ve to provide credit score to tarps. These issues are extremely helpful.
We had spent hours above floor in a room with a lifeless physique, unrefrigerated meals, and Benjamin’s physique odor. We have been all consuming canned beans and I feel any person in all probability threw up in the rubbish can. My level is that this: we have been all smelling fairly dangerous, to the level the place I used to be doubting that I nonetheless had a way of odor. However as soon as we went into that gap, I knew for a incontrovertible fact that I had. The odor down there made our fuel station funk look like cologne. The very worst putrid odors from the storm drains round the station have been nothing in comparison with this. Is it attainable for a odor to be heavy? As a result of that’s the greatest phrase I can consider for it. Not thick. Simply, heavy.
Carlos and Marlboro took turns barfing. Once they have been executed, Benjamin handed out the torches he had made from gasoline soaked rags and chair legs. I don’t know what that man’s deal is however he positive is artful.
The cave was a straight tunnel beginning beneath the fuel station and heading away from city. It was a lot tall sufficient for all of us to face comfortably, and there was a slight incline, taking us downhill as we walked additional into the gap.
“What the hell is this?” Benjamin requested after about twenty ft. He waved his torch at the wall and I noticed that any person had spray-painted a message on the cave wall in pink. It stated in shaky handwriting: “Rita the Raccoon Ate the Caccoon!”
I stated it a couple of occasions in my head and was pissed off at simply how shut it got here to rhyming however didn’t. The handwriting was eerily acquainted, particularly that capital “R,” however I couldn’t keep in mind why.
There was one other garden gnome on the floor beneath it.
We continued additional into the cave, Benjamin approach forward of us, me mentioning the tail, hobbling alongside the greatest I might with only a single crutch. The deeper we went, the narrower the cave, the stronger the odor. Nothing about being down right here away from the fuel station felt like an enchancment from our earlier state of affairs. Nevertheless it wasn’t till we made it to the tree that I actually determined that we had tousled.
I don’t understand how lengthy we had been strolling down there. Perhaps a half-mile or so. Crutch-miles really feel so much longer than regular miles. However we ultimately came across an unlimited black tree taking over the width of the cave. It seemed like a type of thousand yr previous sequoias, large enough to place a two-lane street via.
“Ho. Lee. She. It.” enunciated Benjamin. I used to be the final to see what everybody else was wide-eyed and gawking at. The tree, along with being monumental, had some traits that you simply wouldn’t anticipate a tree to have. Particularly, human physique elements. A couple of legs and arms poking out at random spots. And proper at eye degree, a human face.
“Hey,” stated Marlboro, “I know that guy. It’s Patrick.” He touched Patrick’s face and it peeled off and plopped to the floor like a moist Halloween masks.
“I don’t think he’s going to make it,” Benjamin stated as he pulled one thing out of his jacket pocket and caught it to the tree.
“What is that?” I requested.
Surprisingly, it was Marlboro who answered. “That looks like C4 plastic explosives to me.”
Benjamin chuckled, “Wow, you win the prize for that one, Rain Man. Yeah, it’s the last of my explosives. I’ve been trying to kill this thing one piece at a time for the last week, but it just keeps growing back. I have to kill the root system, blow it up and kill the brain so the rest of the network will die.”
“That was you that put that bomb in the gas station,” I stated.
“Yeah, well, back then I thought the building was the epicenter of this whole thing.”
“Hey,” interrupted Carlos, “Jack was still in the building when you planted that.”
“Um, guys?” Marlboro tried to get their consideration, nevertheless it wasn’t working.
“You knew? He would have died if that thing went off.”
“Look assholes, this is war. And in war, there are always casualties. You can’t make peanut butter without smashing a few nuts.”
“What?!” screamed Benjamin. “I’m a little busy.”
Marlboro pointed again the approach we got here. All of us turned to see Spencer standing in the center of the path, a depraved smile on his face.
“Hi. Miss me?”
Carlos screamed at me, “Jack! The gun!”
I pulled the weapon out of my pocket and chucked it as arduous as I might. It smacked Spencer proper in the face and he fell over. I used to be very proud for the two seconds it took me to understand what I had finished improper.
What got here subsequent virtually occurred too shortly for me to grasp. One thing burst out of the wall subsequent to us. An unlimited object, the measurement of a automotive and principally hand-shaped. It wrapped its big fingers round the different three and pulled them into the wall. After which, I used to be falling. The earth had opened up under me and I used to be sliding by way of a darkish tunnel. No, I used to be being pulled. Extra like swallowed, actually. It went for some time, dust filling my nostril and ears and mouth after which no matter it was spat me out right into a pitch black room onto a rocky moist piece of floor. I landed on my dangerous leg and doubtless broke it once more.
Properly, I assumed, at the least this time I managed to hit Spencer. So far as final moments on earth go, this one was a slight enchancment over final week.
The room I used to be in was cool, not chilly. And cavernous. I might hear my breath echoing off the partitions. I might additionally hear one thing else respiration. All of sudden I turned conscious of one other presence down there. An entity in the room with me. It’s onerous to elucidate, in the similar method I keep in mind it being arduous to elucidate a dream proper after you get up. It’s one thing it’s a must to expertise to know, however the feeling was one thing like being plugged right into a shared consciousness with one other intelligence that was placing ideas instantly into my head.
In fact, it may need simply been all the medicine.
“Welcome to my home,” got here a loud voice from someplace in the pitch black room. “I’m sorry it’s taken this long for us to meet face-to-face.”
“I can’t see anything.”
“Yeah, what part of ‘Dark God’ don’t you understand?”
Oh shit. I’m in the throne room of a darkish god, and he seems like an web troll. I assume that is sensible. May as properly get this over with.
“Do you think you could maybe turn on some lights so I can actually see who I’m talking to?”
He let loose a really human sounding sigh and exclaimed, “Fiiine.”
Out of nowhere, the whole room was an intense, livid shiny white. All I might see was pure mild. I coated my eyes, however even then I might see the bones of my palms by way of my eyelids. Even with the meds, that shit harm.
“Too bright! Too bright!” I yelled, “Split the difference!”
“Wow,” responded the voice, “I didn’t realize that you were going to be such a big baby.”
After which, simply as instantly, the brightness relented. After a second, my pupils adjusted and I might see what I had been speaking to.
“Behold!” it exclaimed, “and tremble before the dark god!”
He (if it was a “he,” I’m simply going off of the sound of his voice) was about the measurement of an elephant, swollen and spherical with a tanned yellow disguise. One of the best animal I might consider to match him to can be an unlimited tick, with six rows of stubby arms on both aspect, six rows of sagging breasts, and a human-sized head on the prime. The top contained a considerably human face and no neck. The physique related to the earth at the widest level of its abdomen, prefer it was half buried. And, to prime the entire factor off, he had a purple mohawk.
He smiled at me.
“Eh? What do you think?”
“My hair! Isn’t it amazing?” He seemed up at his mohawk.
“You guess? Do you have any idea how much effort I put into doing my hair like this? You know what, it’s fine. I shouldn’t have wasted my time trying to impress you. That’s on me.”
“Okay,” I stated, trying to push myself to my ft solely to keep in mind that my leg was fairly damaged. I used to be immobilized, underground, excessive, and with none weapons. There actually was no probability of escape. “If you’re going to kill me, do you mind just getting it over with?”
“What is it with you people? SO UNTRUSTING. So prejudiced. Why is it that ANYTIME you see something you don’t understand, you think it’s kill-or-be-killed? I’m not the monster here. You are. I can see into your soul. I’ve seen your sins. Remember that time when you were fifteen and you keyed the principal’s car?”
“Really? Maybe that wasn’t you. Humans all look a lot alike.”
“Why am I here? Why did you drag me underground?”
“Because, Jack, I can’t find any other way of talking to you, and I wanted to tell you to stop killing my children! You’ve burned up so many of us, and what did we ever do to you, huh?”
“The Kieffer plants?”
“Yeah, just backups because that idiot is so clumsy. They’re harmless though. I’ve been trying to put some people in office so I can get a little political influence in this awful town.”
“To take over the world?” I requested, despite the fact that I used to be beginning to see the place this dialog was going.
“No! I want to pressure the city council to cut back on logging. I’m trying to save the world. But you and your awful friends keep killing us and trying to blow me up.”
“But Spencer, he beat the shit out of me. That guy is awful, and he’s following your orders!”
“Well excuse me for thinking that people have the potential to be rehabilitated! I hired Spencer because I needed someone to protect Kieffer. And I gave him very specific orders not to kill anyone, which he agreed to.”
“But you’ve killed tons of people! The cultists! Their entire compound!”
“Yeah, actually no. I hate to be the one to say this, but those guys killed themselves. Yeah, it was a really sad mass suicide. But if you listened to them, I think it was pretty obvious. You guys should have seen it coming from a mile away. I mean, consequentialism mixed with a moral obligation to end suffering?”
He waved certainly one of his six arms in a jerk-off movement earlier than persevering with, “I didn’t want to let all those perfectly good fully-formed adult bodies go to waste. Do you even know how hard it is to make one of those from scratch? It’s not easy.”
“But you sent those things after us at the gas station.”
“Again with the self-centered hero complex. It was never about you. I sent my children to bring Spencer’s body back here. I was hoping I could get him home in time to rebuild him without any permanent brain damage. I think next time you see him, you should apologize for what happened. I swear, ever since Romero made zombies cool, people see a dead man come back to life and instantly they get this urge to kill, kill, kill. What ever happened to calling this a miracle? Nobody freaked out when Jesus came back.”
“Are you saying that Jesus was like those Mathmetists? Just a reanimated corpse?”
“Is this really what you want to talk about, Jack?”
“But doesn’t ‘dark god’ mean, like, evil?”
“The last time I was awake, dark god had a completely different connotation. But you can’t use my branding as your excuse for burning up Kieffer. You ask me, you deserved the ass-whooping you got.”
“But…” I searched my thoughts for any proof that the darkish god was the monster I knew him to be. However the solely factor I might provide you with was a tragic icy-cold realization. “We’re the monsters?”
“I’m afraid so.”
“Good. That’s a start.”
“So this is it? You’re the reason for all the weird stuff going on out here at the gas station?”
He laughed once more and wiggled his head, which I took for his model of shaking “no.”
“Nope. I’ll be honest with you, I have no clue what half of these things are. Your gas station is weird, and even I do not know why. The hand plants and Kieffers were me. The smell, I’ll fess up. That’s me too. But all that other stuff, man, it gives me the heeby jeebies. You know that weird glowing worm-bug thing? That was pretty weird, huh?”
“So… What do we do now?”
“Now, I send you and your friends back home, and you quit killing me. That’s my deal. Can we agree to that?”
“Um, yeah, I think so.”
“Should we shake on it or-”
At that second an unlimited hand burst out of the wall and wrapped its fingers tightly round me. The subsequent factor I knew, I used to be coughing up dust, down on all fours in the road outdoors of the fuel station.
It was morning.
“Oh good,” stated Benjamin, “You made it out too.”
I appeared over and noticed the different three standing there, coated in black filth. I used to be again the place it began. The timber have been all gone, leaving no signal that they have been ever even there in the first place. The fuel station was a wreck, the entrance doorways have been smashed out and the raccoons have been excitedly operating a loot practice for no matter edibles they might carry from the entrance to their nest behind again.
“What happened, man?” requested Carlos.
“I’m not really sure,” I answered, digging the clumps of dust out of my nostril and ears.
“Well, you’re lucky. Your friends made me wait a few minutes to give you a chance to get out.”
I checked out my arms, they have been almost black from all the layers of filth coating them.
“Wait for what?” I requested.
“For this,” Benjamin answered as he pressed the button on his distant detonator.
Someplace deep in the woods got here an explosion that rocked the earth and despatched birds flying into the sky. Carlos’s automotive alarm went off and the pavement cracked. A black cloud slowly began to fill the skyline and I felt one thing inside my thoughts scream and die.
“Whelp,” stated Benjamin. “My work here is done. If you don’t mind, I’m going to get lost before the police show up.” Then he walked off into the forest, hopefully by no means to be seen once more.
And that’s what occurred. For those who can consider it, I’m again at the fuel station, working once more. Arnold is on private depart from the police pressure and I didn’t care to ask for particulars, so we’ve got a brand new deputy babysitting us. I’ll inform you all about her one other time, perhaps. The police investigated the incident, and finally concluded that we have been victims of hysteria introduced on by a fuel leak, and as soon as once more, there was nothing supernatural to be reported.
I don’t know if that is the finish for the darkish god, however I do know that I haven’t felt any compulsions to proceed digging ever since Benjamin blew up that underground tree.
Issues are settling again into our model of regular. I nonetheless work means an excessive amount of. I’m nonetheless protecting a journal. And bizarre issues nonetheless occur at the shitty fuel station at the fringe of city. The truth is, simply yesterday, individuals began reporting that that they had seen one thing in the woods that seemed like an unlimited raccoon with bat wings, stealing small animals earlier than flying off into the forest. They even stated this winged raccoon monster glows in the darkish.
Marlboro simply got here as much as me and requested, “You know there’s a guy in the bathroom dressed like a cowboy?”
I assured him that I didn’t know that.
This can be the final replace for some time. It’s going to be a number of work placing this place again collectively, and I’ve obtained an entire new crew of part-timers to coach, so, till subsequent time…
CREDIT: Jack Townsend
Click on HERE to pre-order Jack Townsend’s newest ebook, Tales from the Gas Station: Quantity One, a set of each previous and new tales revolving round everybody’s favourite fuel station clerk
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