the edge of forever

the edge of forever

Status: In Progress

Genre: Thrillers

Details

Status: In Progress

Genre: Thrillers

Summary

after tragedy strikes, a man has trouble determining what is truly real, what is not, and where the line draws itself.

Summary

after tragedy strikes, a man has trouble determining what is truly real, what is not, and where the line draws itself.

Content

Submitted: March 15, 2016

A A A | A A A

Content

Submitted: March 15, 2016

A A A

A A A


1.

 

 

“Ron?” Dr. Jacobson asked into the receiver.

 

“I’m still here.” Ron Anderson replied.

 

“Sleep on it tonight. Think about what’s right for your son and yourself. Come in tomorrow; we’ll figure it out.”

 

“Thanks, Jacobson. I’ll see you then, Tuesday.”

 

“You mean Saturday; Ron, tomorrow’s Saturday.”

 

Ron laughed lightly, “Right… Losing track of the days… I’ll make sure to take the pills.”

 

“Good –and listen, what you’re feeling, I’ve been there; what happened isn’t your fault, you need to know that.”

 

“I know, but no matter what happens, I’ll have to contend with the decision for the rest of my life.”

 

“No, you don’t”-

 

“But that’s alright, Jacobson, I don’t ever want to forget.”

 

-Click-

 

“You won’t, Ron; you’ll never forget.” Dr. Jacobson rested the phone back in its cradle and crumpled into his chair.

 

2.

 

Ron’s eyes burned as he stared absently into the night sky from the thirteenth floor balcony of his hotel room. Six days ago, he had held his wife and son. He had kissed them both before they stepped onto a jet that would fly them to this city in South Florida, where a flatbed truck would run them down.

He swallowed a handful of the sleeping-pills given to him by Jacobson. They slowly crawled their way down his throat; uncomfortable… but compared to recent events, the feeling was necessary. The pills would help him get at least a night’s sleep.

He stepped back into the cool and dark room, leaving the sliding door to the balcony open.

Ron collapsed into the bed; the comforter was cool against his sweaty and worn body. The gentle clicking of the balcony blinds colliding with each other as the breeze found its way inside the room lulled him into a mellow mood.

Alas, his thoughts still brought him to what most distressed him, and for a while, he lay there quietly crying. He could never have possibly imagined this happening to his family.

This wasn’t supposed to happen, not to them; not to me, Ron desperately and selfishly thought to himself.

He thought about Grace –his wife- and her beautiful, loving face –her smile- destroyed like a shattered mirror. Her blonde hair had been matted in blood; fractured bits of skull had infiltrated her lovely mind, destroying it; her last moments were a concoction of confusion and horrific pain, Ron wasn’t sure of this, he had seen her face –not her face, not my Grace-. He could make out that horrible image in any shadow, and this room was abundant in those. Ron squeezed his eyes shut.

 

He thought of his 12 year old son, Aaron; his body badly beaten by 20 tons of steel. Many gashes spread across his broken body, held shut by futile stitches. Tubes pumped fluids to and from his motionless and broken body.

She isn’t coming back and Aaron might as well be dead -and me? He shook his head in disgust. I was nowhere while she bled out on that damned street.

He’d give anything for them to be safe by his side, but there was nothing he could do. Ain’t nothing I did either, I’m here now, and I can’t even save my own god-damned son.

Eventually, exasperated from the stress, the crying, and the subtle impact of the powerful sleep-aid, he fell into a state that teetered between the depths of sleep and the conscious world. He wiped away his tears, and suddenly found himself staring in tremendous fear as the cracks of the ceiling spurt a blackness upon the walls of the room, flowing along the walls and into the air; it spread about, quickly consuming the room. Ron tried to move, he tried to get to the balcony, but he found his limbs numb and immovable. The black liquid creeped slowly over his bed, slowly swallowing his frozen body inch by inch. He trembled as the liquid gave him a warm tingling sensation; He tried to scream, but the blackness poured itself into his mouth, all that came out was a muffled gurgle as his lungs filled with the warm oily fluid. It passed over his eyes, blinding him.

 

Ron squeezed his eyes shut, “My God,” He cried.

“No,” A voice called.

 

He opened his eyes, finding himself in his son’s hospital room, slouched in a seat beside Aaron’s bed. Ron reached out and touched his son’s hand.

“No, not God, I’m afraid….”

 

Ron sat up, he looked across Aaron’s bed to find an old man standing beside his Son’s still body, the Stranger’s attention drawn absently to the small boy. The Man’s flesh was pale, nearly white. A small crop of hair lay atop his head that had no color, the pigments long gone. All that contained his pale body was a black coat and slacks.

“Who… What is this?”

The man chuckled, “You folks with your Gods…”  “Well, I’m not your Devil, and this,” He gestured to the motionless body in-between them, “Is your son… Is he not?” The old man looked up to Ron and their eyes met. A smirk grew upon his pale face

.

Ron shook his head, “No –I mean yes, he’s my son- but this…” He pondered, “No, this isn’t real; I was in my room, at the hotel.” Ron rubbed his temples, “This is impossible.”

 

“Sure, yes, impossible…” The Stranger allowed that word drag along, “Yet, here you are, sitting right there in that chair.”

 

“I’m sorry, I’m just confused –this doesn’t make sense.”

“I’m sure you’ll un-confuse yourself in due time, and I can help. I can help all of this… this strangeness, make a little more sense. I just need your help.”

 

“Help you?” Ron asked.

 

Silence.

 

“How can I?”

 

“A door, Ron Anderson.”

 

“You?”-

 

“I’d like for you to open a door for me.”

 

“A door.” Ron stated.

 

“Simple, I know,” He gestured to Aaron, “But he’ll recover.”

 

“If I open a door?”

“A door?,” the stranger shook his head, chuckling, “Not a door, The Door.” The Old Man rested his hand on Ron’s son’s chest, smiling benignly.

 

“Am… am I dreaming?”

 

The Old Man smiled, “Now doesn’t that make sense?”

 

Ron stared at the man.

 

“So, what say you? Will you turn the handle?”

 

Confused, Ron asked with trepidation, “To… ‘The’ door?”

The old man pointed to the only door in the room, “That door.”

 

Ron turned, facing the door; an exit sign on top of its frame glowed a blood red.

“Yes, I believe I can.” He glanced back to the old man.

 

The Old Man folded his arms across his chest, “So, then?”

 

Ron slowly walked to the closed door. His eyes turned to the handle and he allowed his fingers to delicately wrap themselves around the cool steel.

He turned the handle, click; Nothing, so he gently pulled the door open.

Beyond the exit, Ron could only see blackness peppered small and not so distant lights flickered obscurely inside the darkness. He turned to the old man, only to find that he was now standing at his back.

“What-”

 

The old man gave Ron a gentle push causing him to teeter over the threshold, balancing between light and the unknown space.

He grabbed Ron’s shirt and steadied him still. Ron screamed as he hung over the ledge, completely at the mercy of the old man.

“My apologies, but first you should know, it isn’t over, it’s just a dream or something like that…”

 

“Jesus Christ, man! Pull me back!” He screamed.

 

“Sadly, not in the cards.” The Old Man let go of Ron’s shirt and pressed his palm against his spine. Ron lurched and tumbled into the darkness.

 

His body spun head over heels, cartwheeling through the blackness as he fell through nothing. The opening from whence he fell grew smaller and smaller until finally, it disappeared from sight as the tiny silhouette of the stranger stood at the threshold, blocking out the light. Ron screamed for the duration of his descent into this unknown realm.

Eventually, he stopped spinning and could no longer tell whether he was stagnant, or still continuing his fall. With this thought, his panic began to subside. The small lights had grown in size as he had neared them. He focused on them, and they focused on him. Out of the midst of the light, one grew increasingly in size, and it drew itself closer to Ron.

Ron’s body froze in fear as the light grew into an empty white sun, consuming his field of vision.

“Not God, not Devil.” was all that came out of Ron’s mouth as he stared in awe. The lights unraveled before him; revealing their mesmerizing and frightening nature. Black tendrils, spilled out of the whiteness, flaying about until they latched onto Ron. The White Sun slowly pulled him toward its center, slowly consuming him.

 

The stranger peered into the darkness where Ron had fallen from sight.

“Your son will be fine,” He said to the darkness. He turned back to Aaron, leaving the door ajar.

 

3.

Dr. Jacobson anxiously paced the hallway outside Aaron’s hospital room. Ron was not picking up his phone and had not shown up yet, so there was no way to inform him his son had miraculously recovered. As he paced back and forth, he accidently bumped a passer-by, knocking away their newspaper.

Dr. Jacobson immediately reached down to pick the paper up for the stranger. “Apologies, it’s been a long day.”

 

“Oh, that’s quite alright, sir.” The stranger smiled.

 

Jacobson picked the newspaper up for the old man, “Well, thanks… It’s been a day here. Got a kid here in ICU, I’ve been trying to get ahold of the father all day...”

Jacobson trailed as he noticed a black and white photo of Ron smiling on the front page of the paper.

 

 

Saturday, 14

Ron Anderson, who had recently received news that his wife was killed in an accident and his son severely injured, was found dead outside of the Sun Hotel where he had been staying. He had fallen from the thirteenth floor. Though the facts surrounding his death are unclear, some are claiming this to be suicide. Sadly, his son, Aaron, was reported to have made a full recovery early this morning.

 

Jacobson gasped, “Christ… Ron.”

 

“Ahem.” The old man caught Jacobson’s attention.

 

“I’m sorry, it’s just… He was a friend.” Jacobson had trouble holding his tears.

 

“Oh… It’s understandable, a terrible thing really, what happened. Though, I don’t believe it was suicide, he didn’t really seem that way.”

 

Jacobson’s craned his balding head toward his shoulder, as if to drain his confusion from his left ear, “How could you know…”

 

“You could say he was a friend.”

 

“If you know something, sir”-

 

“My manners,” The stranger laughed aloud at his rudeness, “How is his son?” He bypassed Jacobson and peered into the open doorway, “Excellent, I presume? Perfect, well then, I suppose that’s it then, isn’t it?”

Jacobson looked as well, into Aaron’s room; he lay on his left side absently staring at an empty chair.

When Jacobson turned back, the stranger was gone.


 

To be continued...

 


© Copyright 2017 Lee Chapman. All rights reserved.

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