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Captain Spin-Dry and the Heavy Metal Centurion

Null was a guinea pig; part of a research study. Null turned over in bed. Somewhere, out beyond the water, were the Chupa. Up the hill, the command center was a lazy, prefab concrete dinosauroid, stretching over the flat expanse of volcanic landscape.

Steps led upward to the glass door mouth. Right now, he was bait for the Chupas. Captain Centrifugo (Spin-Dry?) was somewhere wandering the concrete and linoleum hallways up there, his pock-marked complexion eerily yellow in the perpetual glare of the fluorescent lights.

1. Latin American UFO Abductions

“Señor, what is it you are seeking here?”

He supposed he could have answered, like Roy Neary, and said, “An answer. Is that so crazy.” Instead, all he was seeking right now was sleep. He rolled over in bed, surprised at the cool cleanliness of the sheets, the air-conditioned room. The subtropical temperatures couldn’t touch him here, and he wouldn’t sweat in bed. Outside, he could gaze through the window, imagine the milling throngs of ghosts left over from the mysterious natural disaster that had devastated this island chain nearly ten years ago.
***

He had seen a video earlier of a tour by an American heavy metal band.

Blastica, or something along those lines. They were huge, enormous, and they had set a gig on the remote island to show they could play ANYWHERE and attract 160,000 fans.

And do you know what?
***

Their bass player, Mipps Frenzy, who had died in a skiing tragedy in Aspen, was there, wearing an old-fashioned leather coat with a fringe hanging from the sleeves. Or maybe it was just a look-alike. The camera panned across the stage to the place, somewhere in back and to the left, the supporting act (an ancient hard rock ensemble who had eschewed their customary makeup and theatrics and decided to go with their actual faces in front of the audience–which left many wishing for the old days of the makeup again) rehearsed, drunkenly, badly. They knew they were playing second fiddle to a band that had come along long after they had, but, alas! That’s rock n’ roll, right?

The singer/guitarist, Big Jim Wetmore, came to the mic, and was joined by a member of yet another band, a band that dressed in styrofoam costumes and makeup to make themselves look like comic book monsters.

Their shtick was shooting stage blood, as well as other substances, at their audience.

This particular band member looked a little like a Roman centurion. He came to the mic, mouthed something that rumbled across the landscape, looked out over the almost unbelievable sea of faces assembled at the edge of the stage, stepped back, and slowly began to burst into flames from within. The self-immolation gimmick was great for the crowd; how he managed to accomplish it is anyone’s guess.

Big Jim sprouted a curious look on his bearded face as the Heavy Metal Centurion collapsed to the stage, a pile of reeking, blackened bones.

“Was that f—— supposed to happen?” he rumbled over the PA, quite unintentionally. The PA was the loudest that had ever been in use since the harnessing of electrical power over a century ago.

A mighty quivering went out about the land. The seas foamed and shook, the ground began to crack open, a massive tidal wave loomed overhead…the screams of hundreds of thousands blotted out the soundcheck.

Gunnar Gustafson, the drummer for Blastika, murmured, “Oh sh-t. I guess this means no deli tray.”

Thousands were buried under the shifting tons of wet water and sand, arms grasping upward in terror and horror as the maelstrom swept overhead. Big Jim looked up at heaven with a beatific smile.

“Lord, I know I don’t deserve it, but…”

Suddenly, the chop-chop of a chopper came chopping skyward, the band’s manager Lupe Garu, hanging out the side with a rope ladder in one hand and a fistful of dollars in the other. “It’s okay boys, I got paid just before the big one hit. Come on up!” Lupe said this through a megaphone, which he was juggling around with the stack of bills, and the edge of the ladder.

“Oh, thank you Jesus,” murmured Big Jim. He ran up to the rope ladder, thinking, mysteriously, about how much Lupe looked like Bob Hoskins in Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” movie, and grabbed it in two powerful, guitar-picking hands.

Hanging there, he was not surprised when Gunnar raced up and grabbed his ankles–it wasn’t the first time that had happened.

Beneath Gunnar, Dave Davey was hanging on to Miggles Martinez, all of Blastika were airborne, and pulled slowly inside the rescue helicopter by hydraulic crane.

Below them, 160,000 fans were swept away into oblivion.

“Easiest gas money I ever made,” said Big Jim.

2. The Chupa are Everywhere

Null rolled around in his bunk. Outside, he fancied the stars were growing bright hot, orange. Had he been dreaming? It was something about the disaster that had struck these islands years ago, rendering a huge section of the population ghosts.

it was all fading now. Outside, the bright orange spots (there were no crime lights in this country) seemed to loom larger and larger; he suddenly realized he was bait, bait for the Chupa, bait for the flying, box-like vampires that sucked the blood of native and ate the eyes, testicles, and other soft organs of farm animals, drained them dry, but left most of their meat and fat mysteriously to rot.

He felt the first few tendrils of fear lick his scalp. It made him feel dizzy. My, but those were bright, bright lights. They floated over yonder hill (really a small mountain) casting their glow upon the dense jungle below.

“Could be anything,” he said to himself. “Could be I’m still asleep and dreaming.”

He got up from bed on wobbly legs, backed away from the window, went out into the short corridor. Here, he was alone. Up the stone steps (which were flanked, on either side, by beautiful flower beds, giving the prefab headquarters above the feel of a sacred temple to those ascending), he pattered, going through the headquarters doors, and looking around for signs of life.

Just as he suspected, it was curiously lax here, as far as security. One soldier sat at a computer terminal, playing solitaire. He hardly acknowledged Null as he came in, a comic little figure still dressed in his pajamas, bare feet slipping on the linoleum.

“What you want?”

Null was silent for a moment, In truth, he wasn’t sure.

“Captain Centrifugo. I want to see Captain Centrifugo.”

The soldier leaned back, stretched, yawned.

He considered Null, who looked like a midget or child without shoes. Like a village boy.

“Okay. I’ll page him. He likes to work late, as you know. Way past your bedtime, amigo.”
***

It was moments later they were standing on the steps, looking out over the low sleeping-quarters nestled, like a laboratory womb, at the bottom of the hill.

“This place in a dip. So is easy to see over the next ridge, senor.” Captain Spin-Dry (Centrifugo, whatever) stood on the steps, looking expectantly at the mountain beyond. The orange, flare-like lights still hovered there, menacingly, bobbing slightly, as if suspended by wires. Silent, they brooded over the edge of the compound.

“There is a chemical plant out there. Could be the lights from the plant.” Captain Spin-Dry had a heavy accent, a heavy black moustache, a complexion a little like Manuel Noriega, who he faintly resembled.

“I-I am not convinced. Yet.” he sounded intrigued, though. Null didn’t ant to go back to his bedroom; he felt like a dead duck there.

The soft, warm breeze rustled through the palms.

“There is a chemical plant out there…”

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A Clever Ape and a Foolish Wolf

Originally posted on Passages:

[Revised]

Once, in the long ago times, a tricky, mischievous Ape was making sport of the noble Lion. He was imitating the Lion’s every move, as Apes are wont to do, and the Lion, looking up at the Ape gamboling and chattering about in the trees, was not a bit happy about it.

“Stop that, you insolent thing!” roared the King of the Jungle. “Stop that this instant, or I’ll make a meal out of you!”

The Ape was not a bit frightened by this prospect, and said, “Hah! What can you do against me, Mr. Lion? I’m way up here in the trees, and you’re way down there on the ground. You can’t climb, and I won’t come down. So, there!”

And the silly Ape continued to make sport of the Lion.

Unluckily for him, though, just then the tree branch he was prancing on gave way, breaking in…

View original 402 more words

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Books, Fiction, Humor, Short Stories, Young Adult

A Clever Ape and a Foolish Wolf

[Revised]

Once, in the long ago times, a tricky, mischievous Ape was making sport of the noble Lion. He was imitating the Lion’s every move, as Apes are wont to do, and the Lion, looking up at the Ape gamboling and chattering about in the trees, was not a bit happy about it.

“Stop that, you insolent thing!” roared the King of the Jungle. “Stop that this instant, or I’ll make a meal out of you!”

The Ape was not a bit frightened by this prospect, and said, “Hah! What can you do against me, Mr. Lion? I’m way up here in the trees, and you’re way down there on the ground. You can’t climb, and I won’t come down. So, there!”

And the silly Ape continued to make sport of the Lion.

Unluckily for him, though, just then the tree branch he was prancing on gave way, breaking in two and sending the clownish, prankish old Ape sailing downward. He fell between the Lion’s eager paws.

“Hah! He who laughs last, laughs loudest!” roared the Lion. “Now, I’ll teach you to make fun of me, Mr. Ape! I’m going to eat you up! Yes, indeed, that is exactly what I’m going to do! First though, I’ll go and get a friend to help me enjoy this triumphal feast!”

And with that, the Lion took the Ape by the scruff of his neck, and hoisting him so, carried him to the mouth of a nearby cave, and imprisoned him there behind a rock.

The Ape was frantic with fear, and said to himself, “Oh heavens, whatever shall I do now?” Luckily for him, his bad fortune suddenly turned, and trotting along came the Wolf, who was renowned as a bit of a fool.

Hearing Mr. Ape inside the cave, Mr. Wolf put his snout to the opening and asked, “Mr. Ape, why are you carrying on so?”

Mr. Ape was very shrewd, and, sensing his chance to save his life, said, “Oh, I’m not crying, I’m just delighting in all of this food I have hidden here. You see, I’m waiting for Mr. Rabbit to come back with his kin, and we are going to fall to feasting again. We’ve already eaten twice as much as we need, and there’s still plenty left! Oh, Mr. Wolf, I wish you could come back here in this cave and help us enjoy all of this good food!”

Well, Mr. Wolf was a notorious glutton, and so, his jaws slavering and dripping, he rolled back the stone, expecting to see a huge, bountiful feast laid out before him.

He got the surprise of his life though, for, instead, Mr. Ape popped out of the dark hole, ran between the legs of Mr. Wolf, shoved him inside the cave, and rolled the stone back. That way, he managed to trap Mr. Wolf in the cave.

Then he ran away, cackling to himself. He took to the trees, exulting in his own cleverness.

Well, when Mr. Lion and his friend returned, he was quite upset to find not Mr. Monkey, but Mr. Wolf, cowering behind the stone.

“Bah! We’ve been cheated somehow. Ah well, I suppose if we can’t eat the Ape, we’ll just have to eat Mr. Wolf here.”

And so they did.

(Source: African fable.)

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Books, Fiction, Fortean, Ghosts, Hauntings, Monsters, Short Stories, Vampires, Weird, Young Adult

Abhartach, the Vampire-King

Once, long ago, the people were plagued by the rule of an evil king named Abhartach. Abhartach was a wizard of much renown, and, when he died, he swore that he would rise from his own grave, and continue his evil reign even after death.

The people did not wish to wait for him to die of natural causes. Broken by his wicked rule, they petitioned the great chieftan Cathan to rise up against Abhartach, and slay him.

Cathairn, a mighty wariior, did this easily, meeting and besting Abhartach in the field of battle.

The people were overjoyed to finally be free of the ion yoke of Abhartach’s oppression. To take extra cautiona against his evil spells, though, they took extra special care as to how they buried him.

In fact, they buried him standing up, an ancient superstitious precaution against the spirit or ghost of Abhartach returning to seek revenge.

How shocked could the people have been then, when, the day after the burial of the hated Wizard-King, the reanimated body was seen by one and all to rise from its own grave, and walk about as if it had never died!

“You fools think you had defeated me, eh! Well, as you can see, I STILL LIVE! Now, if you do not wish me to wreak terrible evil and destruction against you, you must come forward, open your veins, and let me drink of your fresh blood!”

And so the cowed, terrified people came forward, and opened the veins of their wrists, and bled into a massive bowl. This the terrible revenant grasped in his shaking hands, and gulped it down like a thirsty man, wetting his beard with the blood as his eyes rolled up into his head and his tongue lolle din his mouth, in ecstasy.

“Oh Great Chieftain, you must help us! Abhartach has risen from the grave,and is more terrible and wicked than ever!” the people begged Cathairn come to their aid. The Chieftain considered what bad magic was at work here, but in the end decided he must do the Lord’s work. He marched forward bravely, sword in hand, and once more slew the terrible Abhartach.

“Surely, the terrible fiend has been done a death-blow now!” said Cathairn to himself, wiping the blood from his hands. It was not long, however, before the people began to see Abhartach wandering around the woodland roads, a horrible mutilated body that refused to stay dead.

“But what can possibly be done?” asked Cathairn of John, a holy man. John considered carefully,and then said, “There is only one remedy for this. He must be slain with a sword made of yew wood, and his body buried upside-down beneath a heavy stone. This must be surrounded on all sides by a bush of thorns, and, finally, the ground should be sown with salt and sprinkled with the blood of an ox. Then, and only then, could they be assured Abhartach would rest in his much-deserved grave.

“But, beware! Abhartach has become neamh-mhairbh, the walking-dead, and furthermore, he is a blood-drinker! he cannot be killed, but can be kept forever imprisoned in the ground.”

Thus Cathairn marched forward, and met the hideous revenant on the road in the forest. After a tremendous struggle, he finally, once again, managed to slay the terrible Abhartach, and, before he coul arise again, buried him upside-down, beneath a heavy stone, and all the rest, just as the holy man John had instructed.

And the people were, finally, free of the terrible rule of the Vampire-King.

(Source: Irish folktale.)

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Books, Fiction, Humor, Short Stories, Young Adult

The Foolish Monkeys

Once at Benares, the King had a beautiful garden, which was the delight of all who enterd it. In this garden lived a family of monkeys, who were likewise the delight of all who entered the garden, but who were pests to the gardener.

One day, when the gardener was very busy, he thought to himself, “I’ll finally get some use out of those pesky monkeys! I’ll set them to perform a task even they cannot possibly foul up!”

And so the gardener, who was much too busy to water the trees (what on else would a gardener have to do? one wonders) went to the Monkey King and asked him politely  if he and his family could be entrusted to the task.

“Oh, certainly!” said Papa Monkey, taking a bucket of water and passing it down to his wife and sons. “You can certainly rely on us!”
And so the gardener left them to their work. At first, all went smoothly, but then Papa Monkey had a bright idea.

“We must pull up all the trees!” he said. “And we must then examine the roots. For, trees with long roots need much water, while trees with short roots should need hardly any at all!”

And so the monkeys stopped their watering, and pulled up all the trees to examine the roots.

So of course, all the trees then died.

It is not good to trust ANYTHING to a pack of fools.

(Source: Indian Fable.)

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Books, Fiction, Short Stories, Urban Legends, Young Adult

The Owls and the Crows

Once, there lived a family of owls next to a family of crows. Now, the owls did not care for the crows, and neither did the Crows care for the owls. They were constantly scheming as to how to get the best of eachother when one day a very wise old crow came to his fellows and said, “I have a plan to finally get rid of those awful owls. First though, you must fall upon me, and pluck a few of my feathers, and poke and prod me as if you wanted to attack and kill me. Then, leave me for dead. I will do the rest.”

And so the crows all fell upon their brother, and poked him, and plucked his feathers, and bloodied him, and battered him about, and left him for dead. And, soon, curious as to what was going on outside their own nest, the so-curious owls cam flying over to examine the poor, battered crow.

“Oh, thank heavens!” exclaimed the Crow. “My people have cast me out, and I have no where else to turn! could you not find it in your hearts to allow a poor, beaten, defenseless crow such as myself to warm himself and heal in your nest? After all, I am no longer cared for by my own kind.”

The owls all had a special meeting, and decided that this would be a good thing to do. So they allowed the crow to move himself into their nest, and recuperate, and grow the feathers he had lost back, slowly but surely.

Soon, the icy winds of winter began to blow across the forest, and Mr. Crow could be seen gathering kindling around the nest of the owls. The owls asked him, “Mr. Crow, why are you doing that?”

To which he replied, “Eh? Oh, well, I am simply gathering wood to make a barrier between ourselves and the cold, cold wind.”

Mr. Crow’s feathers had healed well enough for him to take flight. As soon as he could do so, he went and stole a firebrand from some peasant’s fireplace, and, returning to the nest of the owls, set fire to the wooden barrier he had himself erected.

The owls were smothered by the heavy black smoke, and all of them died.

And the moral of this story is: NEVER TRUST A RENEGADE.

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Ultraterrestrials, Books, New Age, Sightings, Mystic, Spiritism, Contactees, Ghosts, Weird, Cults, Holographic Universe, Urban Legends, Young Adult

Swedenborg’s Death

Can a man know when he is going to die? Apparently, visionary Emmanuel Swedenborg, who began his career as a scientist and ended it as a medium for spirits, did, in fact know.

To understand this, one must understand that Swedenborg began his career as a hard scientist, seeking knowledge of the physical world for seven years, before being caught up in mystic fervor. He had out-of-the-body travels to distant planets, and conversed with “angels” and other spirits who informed him of wisdom and cosmic workings.

Swedenborg was apparently so well-informed about the workings of the invisible world that he knew the date of his own death.

When minister John Wesley wrote to Swedenborg requesting a visit, the seer announced to him that, were he to come at the time he suggested, it would be far too late, for he himself was scheduled to die on the 29th of March, 1772.

And do you know what? He certainly did.

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