Chapter Twelve: The Next Day
The next day there was some commotion in Sanctuary Hill, the cops had found Detective Moss's abandoned squad car at my boyhood home but there was no sign of his body or any of the grisly horrors I had seen the night before. They just listed him as missing, though they did question me for I was last to be seen with Moss. I lied and said he dropped me off at Paul's the night before but that was the last I had seen of him. I could sense they wanted to take me in, but I guessed technically, they had nothing but their suspicions about me. So they left.
I left in the afternoon and drove to my garage, maybe I should have run then like Paul had done the night before and left this fucked up town behind me, but I didn't feel the inclination to run. I just wanted to work in my shop and wait for what ever was going to happen, and besides, I couldn't leave Lizbeth. I couldn't save those I had loved most from this horror, but I would save her. That is what I thought about as I worked on the big block engine.
Then later I heard the gentle sobs of a woman and looked up to see Lizbeth walking up to me and crying, she had a black eye. I looked at her, concerned, also angry because I could guess who gave her the shiner.
I asked, "Carl do that?"
She nodded. "We had a fight last night because of what happened when you came to our house, I tried to defend you, and Carl suddenly hit me, he has never hit me once in my life."
I squeezed the wrench in my hand, I then said, "it is my fault, sorry if I caused you this distress. I'll leave you alone from now on."
She pleaded, "Luther, I believed what you said, I want to leave town with you right now, before Carl gets home from work."
My jaw was agape. "What do you mean?"
She asked, "would you leave with me today."
I looked down at the floor. "Is this because of what I told you, or because that pig fucker Carl hit you. Sorry, but I'm going to go hit that bastard in the head."
She explained, "Luther, I believe you because you've never lied to me, so I'll believe you now. Everyone said you where mad like your mother, but I know you better then any of them, you are not crazy. We,"
I interrupted, "Liz, you haven't known me for a long time, but I love you as much as the day I left, I tried to deny it, but I can't, that is why I can't leave town with you."
She protested, "Luther, come with me. Why stay?"
I told her, "Liz, something very bad is loose in this town, I won't go into it, but I have to find a way to stop it. God, every fiber of my being is urging me to go with you, but I can't even though I want it more then anything I've ever wanted in my life. If I don't stop it, more people are going to get hurt."
Then she adamantly said, "then I'll stay and help you do what ever it is you have to do."
I shook my head, not wanting her to stay in harm's away, and told her, "please, I don't want to see you get hurt, not you. Just get your kid and get out."
"No," she said, "I'll have my mother drive my child into Ottawa to stay with my sister, I'll stay and help you."
"Did you know detective Moss?"
She nodded. "Yeah, he is a good man. Known to be a little eccentric."
"Yeah," I replied, "I saw him killed last night, and it almost got me as well."
"Luther, you are scaring me."
"I'm scared, I'm scared OK. What me and Paul saw last night is to messed up to exist, and I don't want you to see it."
"Luther, I don't need you to protect me, and I don't want you to tell me what to do here. I'm staying, like it or not."
I knew her well enough to know she was one of the people who could be more strong headed then myself when she made her mind up, so I knew it was futile to change her mind on the matter.
I asked, "OK, but Liz, be god damn careful, I couldn't live with myself if I got you hurt."
She asked, "what about after?"
"What do you mean?"
She composed herself a little. "What about us?"
"Liz, us ended over a decade ago. I want to be with you, I just now I'm not the kind of guy you deserve, you deserve better then me or Carl, if we got back together I know I would only loose you again."
"Did it ever end Luther? A few weeks ago, I was just living my life as I had ever since you left, then suddenly you are back, and despite all that is happening, I'm happy your back."
"You are married to another man, who is a complete shit bag, but you are going to leave everything for me because of old feelings."
"Do you still love me Luther?"
"I never stopped, I just forgot till I came back, but isn't love when you love someone more then you love yourself, so I know I can't be the kind of guy I wish I could have been for you, and I have to let you go after this is all done."
"Luther, ask me if I still love you."
I looked at her, I could feel my eyes water, and I asked, "do you still love me Liz?"
"Yes," she said, "and I want to be with you."
I said, "OK, then we will leave tomorrow together, and we'll leave this town behind."
She smiled and seemed pleased. "OK, I'll leave now and start packing my things, you do the same. I'll pick you up at Paul's tomorrow morning."
"OK. You better go, someone around here sees you here with me, they might tell Carl and he might hit you again."
"I love you."
"I love you Liz, now get out of here."
She left. I couldn't believe what had transpired there, Lizbeth was going away with me and I was happy for that for I wanted nothing more, though I doubted she would stay with me long. But I was going to be thankful for what time providence gave me with her.
So I continued working in my garage.
An hour so later, I still feeling a burning sensation in my mouth and nostrils, just like when Ashley had blown that powder in my face, and suddenly all my muscles constricted violently. I fell to the ground, paralyzed, and then I watched a woman walking towards me; it was my departed mother. She looked exactly like I had seen her the last time I saw her in the asylum.
I muttered, "it can't be."
"Luther," she said, "please come home."
Then she was gone.
Then I was pulled into the nightmarish dream scape, and I was gazing out into a vast field of stars when a booming, inhuman voice thundered all around me.
"Join us, it is death to resist."
I yelled, "no!"
It said, "soon I come to your world and I bring desolation with me. Fight me and die, serve me and live. There is nowhere you can hide, no one you can save, only yourself and your obedience will save you."
"No! I won't!"
It mockingly asked, "and you haven't been serving my will already Luther, thank you for bringing us that man last night, his intrusiveness might have been a problem. I'm sure by now Edna has digested him, and we have you to thank."
I tried to deny what it was saying, I screamed, "No, it is not me!"
"Yes it is, it has always been you, only you Luther."
Then I was ripped out of the dream scape and I was again on the floor of the garage, still paralyzed, but now there was a man who was kneeling over me. He pulled out a pouch and emptied its contents on my face, a powder that felt cool, then suddenly the burning in my mouth faded and I was able to move again.
The man asked, "are you OK?"
It took me a moment to realize it was Jason Raven, and I said, "yeah."
"Don't worry," Jason stated, "you where put under the influence of a hallucinogenic, I just cured it. You should stop having the visions for awhile."
I asked, "I've been hallucinating?"
"Yes and no," he told me, "some things you have seen are real, some others weren't, but the grave threat which you have learned of is indeed real. Be sure of that."
"What do you know?"
"Enough. I will leave you, but tonight, come to my home and I will give you the explanation you seek."
He gave me directions then he vanished as mysteriously as he appeared. I was alone for the rest of the day, I just leaned against my work bench and thought about what was happening.
I was glad that I was going to be leaving tomorrow, but still, an answer intrigued me, and I guessed Jason just might be the man to give it.
I couldn't have guessed how high the price of such answers where going to be, and I couldn't guess of what was to come, no one of seemingly rational mind could imagine such horrors but now I was going to attempt to flee with the woman I loved, the only woman I had ever loved. But fate can indeed be a cruel mistress, and I did not know that my invitation to this deranged party could not be refused.
Chapter Thirteen: The Dark Tribe
Jason Raven, the native American who with his cryptic words about what evil hung over that town offered answers finally, so I followed his directions which led me to a large log cabin not far outside Sanctuary Hill. I parked my truck, got out, then walked up to the house and nervously knocked on the door. Night was beginning to fall.
The door swung open and there was tall Jason, looking at me with piercing eyes and a grimly serious expression on his face. He said, "so you came?"
I nodded. "I want to know what is going on finally. You said you would know that."
"Please come inside."
He led me into his home, which was furnish with native art and was devoid of modern contraptions, and we came to stand before a roaring fireplace. He sat in a wicker chair then said, "please have a seat."
I sat in another chair and asked, "so, what is going on Jason?"
Jason explained, "long ago, a great evil was imprisoned deep beneath this very ground we stand on, and it's malignancy still infests these lands. And soon I fear, it may escape its prison made for it so long ago."
I asked, "I'm through fucking around, what is going on?"
Jason leaned back in his chair and seemed submerged in thought then he said, "you have to go back thousands of years, long before Europeans came to these lands, back to when a small tribe of natives inhabited this very land, whose name was long ago forgotten. Once they where decent and honest, but then the cursed one came."
"A new medicine man came to the tribe, and he spoke of a god, a dark god who if they worshiped, it would give them unnatural powers and eternal life. At first the tribe resisted the insidious temptations of the medicine man, but eventually they relented and the set about to win the favor of this vile god."
I asked, "what dark god?"
"The medicine man called him the Devourer, and he said to win the favor of this thing, they would have to carve gigantic stone idol to receive the power they craved. So, it took decades, but they built this hideous idol. But still more was required to gain the favor of this evil god."
"Blood," Jason grimly said, "the shedding of innocent blood, which they did gleefully, for now their corruption was almost complete in mind. The medicine man was the first to be tainted by the unnatural power granted to him by his vile god, for he lived unnatural long, centuries it is said, and his form grew more and more grotesque with each passing year. Then this tribe began to prey upon the peaceful tribes in surrounding areas, captured them, sacrificed them, and began to consume their flesh. Constructed altars and shrines from human bones, all meant to harness the power of the Devourer."
"Jesus, like Edna. She has made something like it, I saw it right before detective Moss was killed."
Jason looked into the burning fire, orange light bathed his face, and he said, "yes, she is just one terrible manifestation of a greater evil, and worse may yet be to come."
"Go on Jason."
"Well soon the other great tribes of this land and beyond grew to fear the medicine man might succeed at bringing the Devourer into our realm of existence, so they put there feuds aside and agreed to work together to fight this great evil. They amassed a great army, yet one stood before them, the greatest hunter and warrior they had said he would go alone to face the evil. If he did not return, then the newly assembled army would seek vengeance."
"So the warrior journeyed alone to the camp of the dark tribe, and what he beheld terrified him. Now the tribe had been so corrupted by the evil they worshiped, they where twisted in both body and mind; more demons then the men they had once been. And the foul medicine man still led them, and the warrior watched as they sacrificed men and women to their god. The warrior escaped unobserved and returned to tell the tail of what he had seen with his own eyes. He told the shamans of what he saw, and they devised a plan."
"The shamans new that the enemy they faced had been so consumed by the evil that they could never truly die, so they set about to imprison them in the very earth beneath them. Let's see, what you would call it magic, it was still known to my people in those days and they knew it was the weapon adequate to fight the enemy they faced. Knowledge of the arcane arts is lost forever, but once it was great."
"So the armies of the allied tribes banded together and fell upon their deformed enemies, and though many died on both sides, the enemy was slaughtered or at least momentarily stopped. The shamans hurried to use their most powerful magic to create a gigantic burial pit hundreds of feet deep. Then every trace of the dark tribe was cast down into the pit, the bodies, the stone idol, the altars and the bones, and the pit was filled with earth. The shamans created a magical seal over the burial pit which would contain the evil. There it was to remain for the rest of time."
"But the evil contained beneath this very ground is still able to influence certain individuals on the surface, and in the most extreme circumstances, it can even create unnatural children, children who are born during certain planetary alignments, such was the case with Edna."
"OK, can she be stopped Jason?"
"Yes, but there is some risk in doing so, and I fear she may not be the greater threat, for I fear the evil the dwells beneath us might soon find away to escape. If they do, then they might be able to finally succeed in bringing the Devourer to our world."
I asked, "Jason, you know why I'm involved, but why are you getting into this?"
Jason replied, "you see thousands of years ago, the bloodline of the great warrior was chosen to watch over these lands and prepare for when the evil might escape. My bloodline, for you see, it is my destiny to fight this threat."
"If that is so, why have you let Edna get away with it for so long?"
"Because, as I said there is some risk involved, the rite which must be enacted to free the dark tribe involves the shedding of blood, after so many lives taken, it must be ended with a final act, the shedding of unnatural blood, like the blood of Edna. If she is killed, there is a possibility that it might release the evil which we face."
"Jason, yesterday I went to face Edna with another guy, and got him killed. Listen, I'm just going to get as far as I fucking can from this place tomorrow."
"No you are not."
"Because," he said, "in your vision today, did you hear the Devourer speak to you?"
"How did you know that?"
"Because, I know it told you to serve it, see Luther, you are going to be given a choice, and it is one you can't refuse, so you must decide. Will you stand against the Devourer and his dark minions, or join him?"
"Why can't I just leave tomorrow?"
"Because, if the Devourer breaks through to our world, then there is nowhere to hide for he will destroy the world of men and force everyone into submission. You must make a stand here Luther, either for good or for evil, but you must choose finally."
"Jason, I'm not a brave man, never have been, and I can't face Edna, the Devourer, what ever the hell it is, I can't. And you seem like a nice guy, you should run to."
Jason seemed upset with this. "My family has waited for this for several millenniums, it has fallen to me to stop it, I will not shame myself as well as my family."
"How can you fight this thing, Detective Moss tried and he was killed in a instant."
Jason stood up and said, "it can be defeated with the right weapons, here, let me show you."
Jason went to the wall behind him, on it several Native American artifacts where placed on the wall, as well as a large tomahawk. He pulled the tomahawk off the wall and turned towards me. He raised it and with blinding speed his threw it near me and it buried it's blade into the wall beside me. I fell of my chair and looked up at him.
"What the fuck are you doing," I demanded.
He said, "watch."
Then he made a hand motion then shockingly the tomahawk pulled itself from the wall and flew through the air and now was in his hand again.
I mumbled, "Jesus, what the hell is that?"
"My bloodline has preserved some weapons of ages past, they alone can hurt and end the enemy we face. But I fear this might not be enough, weapons as powerful as these help, but it is the courage of men to wield them and stand before evil."
"That is courage I don't have, I thought I did, but I don't. I'm leaving tomorrow, and I won't be coming back."
"Do any who you love dwell in this town?"
"No," I said as I thought of Lizbeth, "the only person here I care for is coming with me tomorrow."
Jason told me, "like I said, if the Devourer comes to our world, this town is only the beginning, you can't hide from it. Either we stop it right now, or we sign the death warrant of our entire world."
"You don't need me, I'm no warrior. I'm a mechanic, worst evil I ever face is a clogged gasket or crack in a engine block; I can't help you."
Jason looked away. "OK, I won't prevent you from leaving, but I tell you, you can't escape fate."
"Thank you for your hospitality and helping me out today, and for telling me about it all, but I'm leaving. But I wish you luck, and do me a favor, send Edna back to her fucked up maker. Good bye."
Jason frowned. "You know the way out. Good bye Mr. Redstone."
I left a jumped into my truck and drove back to the garage. I didn't know how much worse it was about to get.