"..De un momento a otro las sombras abrieron sus bocas transmitiéndome un mensaje triste, a la vez que aterrador. Podía escuchar sus gritos de dolor que rebotaban sin piedad en mi cabeza..." Fernando Edmundo Sobenes Buitrón
All rights reserved. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,
SAFE CREATIVE 1104229042854, April 22, 2011
NOT TO BE COPIED IN WHOLE OR PART BY
ANY MEANS WITHOUT PERMISSION FROM THE AUTHOR
*** All names of
characters and places are fictitious; any resemblance to reality is purely
the two most important people in my life: my beloved wife Islet and my son; my
dearest Fabricio, who are my inspiration and strength”
dearly and missed mother. Wherever you are; may you find the happiness and
understanding that you never had in this life.”
my beloved wife for her love; her invaluable support and understanding to allow
me to be able to complete this work.
Is there life after death? Do God and the
Devil exist? Nobody knows for sure. We all want to believe that this life is a
step towards something else, toward some other dimension that brings a better
existence than the current one. All of this is based on faith, for there is no
scientific proof either way.
All religions (or many of them) deal with
the topic of life after death: reincarnation, good and evil. They use these
concepts and adapt them conveniently for their purposes. The figure of a
vengeful God is present in the Bible and Christian doctrine affirms it,
summoning a radical Manichaeism: God or the devil, heaven or the underworld;
adapt to our rules or you'll burn in the fires of hell.Threats and blackmail, rewards and
punishments, where if we do not embrace the former, we fall without recourse,
in the claws of the latter, condemning us to an eternal existence, frightening,
in the never ending pit of purgatory paying for our sins and being the object
of a merciless God that sentences us to a brutal and ruthless punishment for
If we become
aware of the horrible acts that have occurred on our planet since before any of
our memories such as epidemics, wars, bloody dictatorships, genocides,
accidents, catastrophes, natural disasters, abuse and abandonment of children,
people born handicapped, deformed, various diseases, and finally, an unending wave
of plagues, we ask ourselves:Why does
God permit all this?Does He really want
us to suffer?Should we be condemned to
pay for the sins of "our first parents" who committed the
If you ask a priest the cause of all these
miseries, his answer is that the ways of the Lord are mysterious and that
mankind has free will.That is, we
remain the same, without an adequate or convincing explanation about God that
reveals his existence and behavior.
On the other
hand, it would appear that the Devil is winning the battle against good.Man has suffered and committed indescribable
outrages against his fellows since the beginning of time; innocent blood has
been shed many times for no reason at all.Many absurd accidents occur in which people perish indiscriminately
without even having had the opportunity to enjoy life, and others fall in the
claws of drug addiction and alcoholism.The victims of wars, child exploitation, terrorism and drug trafficking,
kidnappings, imprisonment and suffering of the innocent, religious fanaticism
that does so much damage to humanity, and executions due to hate or sexual or
racial nature, make one think that there is a supernatural force behind all of
the evil of humankind.
Society's moral values are in these times,
lower than ever.The marvels of the
modern world that have contributed enormously to the advancement of humanity
are also its disgrace, such as in the case of the inappropriate use of the
Internet, where children are the main victims of the evil that is easily
transmitted and messages of hate, racism, violence, and darkness cannot be
controlled.Iniquity, depravity, and
negativity are two clicks away.Globalization is, for some, a blessing, while for others, a curse; it
all depends on how it is used.
As for me, I believe that something
exists; a superior or greater being that has created all good and evil and it
is up to us to make a difference:Loving
others, causing no harm, and treating others as we would want to be treated. I
believe in therein lies the good and evil.Doing well is the work of God. Doing evil is the work of the Devil. It
is that simple.
14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I
have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up
and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that
thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have
filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will
cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O
covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty;
thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to
the ground; I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.
18 Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude
of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring
forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring
thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.
19 All they that know thee among the people shall be
astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of
the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the
13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend
into heaven; I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also
upon the mount of the congregation. In the sides of the north:
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I
will be like the most High.
15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides
of the pit.
16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee,
and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that
did shake kingdoms;
17 That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed
the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?
18 All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie
in glory, everyone in his own house.
19 But thou art cast out of thy grave like an
abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through
with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcass trodden under
20 Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial,
because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people: the seed of
evildoers shall never be renowned.
21 Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity
of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the
face of the world with cities. (Isaiah 14, Old Testament
He could never get that terrible day out
of his mind when something happened that froze his heart and changed his life
forever. It was the month of February 1991; Peter Donovan Lieutenant of the
United States Army, 2nd Infantry Division was in charge of a group of forty
soldiers in the Persian Gulf who had to get to the Ar Rumaylah oil field in northern Kuwait; where Iraqi troops had
put explosive charges in the oil wells with the intention of exploding them
when coalition forces arrived; following the orders of Saddam "Butcher of
Baghdad" Hussein, turning them into "fiery graves" creating
chaos and destruction. Their mission consisted of deactivating the explosives
and clearing the area before the Iraqi dictator accomplished his goal.
The target was 10 miles away, and they
were on foot; since there was still some resistance from the Iraqi Republican
Guard; and it was necessary to neutralize the enemy troops that they found in
their way.They could depend on air support
if this proved necessary.
The march through the middle of the desert
was difficult due to the amount of men and equipment traveling.The sky was filled with stars and the sound
of aircraft flying through Iraqi airspace could be heard.The cold was harsh, but in spite of this,
they moved quickly.
Their night goggles allowed them to see
the enemies hiding under the cloak of darkness:sporadic gunfire; a human silhouette in the sights. The sounds of
missiles and automatic weapons; the flash of tracers and the target fell.Resistance was indeed minimal.
The roar of explosions in the distance
made the ground under their boots shake.The sky lit up with the flashes of the bombs and missiles that fell from
the planes.From far off, the tongues of
fire from some wells that were already burning gave off clouds of black smoke
that made the night even darker. The smell of burned fuel filled the air and
made it almost unbearable.
—Sergeant Wilkins!— said the Lieutenant — order your men to put
on their masks; there are still three miles before we arrive at the target.
—Yes, sir — responded the sergeant — Men,
put on your masks!
In silence, soldiers continued, advancing,
braving the cold with the wind whipping the desert sand against their bodies;
while approaching nearer and nearer to their destination. Anxiety was growing;
they did not know what they would come across; if there would be an ambush.
Suddenly a whistle and then an explosion were felt in the rear, instantly
killing three soldiers and injuring two more. Donovan fell on the sand
propelled by the shock wave of a mortar projectile. He could not hear anything
but an intense piercing sound. He could see the flashes of guns resembling
fireflies in the middle of the night. Then in the distance, he heard the sound
of gunfire and the rattle of machine—gun fire.
—Mortars! Mortars, under cover! Take
cover! — One of the soldiers shouted.
From a trench two hundred yards away they
could see the flashes of tracer rounds from AK—47 rifles fired continuously
toward them, while the explosions would not stop.
Ordered Donovan —: check the status of the men. Split up into two groups to
surround ... Wilkins!
He turned to look at the sergeant, just to
see him lying on the sand a few feet away writhing in pain; his left leg was
completely gone, and the arm on the same side only holding onto a shred of
—Corporal Torres! — Ordered Donovan —
request immediate air support.
—Yes sir! — Said the corporal, making use
of the radio: Fox 2! Fox, 2! Sleuth 3, here, requesting immediate air support;
coordinates 0—5—7. We are under mortar fire. We have six casualties!
—Copy, Sleuth 3! Air support on its way! —
Said the voice on the radio.
Donovan and his men defended themselves,
repelling the attack. They were cornered, unable to move. Then, they heard a
hopeful sound of a Comanche helicopter firing Hellfire missiles into the enemy
nest of enemy mortars position, eliminating the attackers.
The air raid lasted no more than a couple
of minutes, until the sound of gunfire ceased. Another medical rescue
helicopter appeared. It descended to assist the wounded and to collect the
bodies, while the Comanche swam ashore to protect personnel and verify that the
coast was clear.
Donovan and his
men entered the trench to see if there were enemy survivors. Peter was shocked
to see what remained of the enemy; the sight was dantesque.
Dismembered corpses, charred bodies,
organs scattered everywhere, burned bodies thrown against the walls of the
trench, and others in various grotesque positions, products of the shock waves
that made them seem like puppets. Every part of the trench had turned purple,
as if a giant hand had been immersed in a pool of blood and had shaken at the
site. The smell of death reigned in the area.
Some Iraqi soldiers were writhing in pain,
men without arms, legs. One of them, with only one arm remaining, was trying to
crawl unsuccessfully. The cries of pain and wails of the wounded were
—Lieutenant! What do we do with the Iraqi
wounded? —Corporal Ferris asked, who arrived in the medical aircraft.
—Is there room in the helicopter? — Asked
—No sir, we are full with casualties! I
have the order...
—Yes, yes! I know! No prisoners. — Donovan
—Arrange to verify whether if there is any
information! Look up and down all over! Destroy any weapon you find!
Like a slow motion movie, soldiers
approached the wounded soldiers, pointing their guns at the enemies’ heads to
make them explode with the impact of bullets.
—Here, motherfucker, damn you!
—Hussein piece of shit! Eat lead!
Shots sounded while some of the wounded
were begging for their lives, imploring not to be killed. There were others who
even managed to get on their knees, but still, they were assassinated.Revenge was on holiday. The anger over the
attack made soldiers showed no mercy to the fallen. Some soldiers used their
bayonets and enjoyed the time when cutting their enemies’ throats; others burst
the heads of the wounded by hitting them with the butt. The orgy of horror
seemed to be endless.
Peter Donovan was unable to stop the
killing, even though he felt bad for the atrocities committed by the soldiers,
he remembered how the enemy ambushed them, and how his men had fallen destroyed
by enemy fire.
—Screw them! – He thought — these bastards
deserve it! ...
—Sir, — Ferris said — Cathedral radioed
and ordered to suspend operations, and ordered all men to return to base.
—Okay! — Donovan said — Corporal Torres!
We are leaving. This mission has been canceled. Order the men to retreat, and
go back to the base!
The helicopter with the wounded began to
take off, while its blades raised desert sand creating a cloud of dust.
Soldiers began to retrace their steps while Donovan stared at the infernal
spectacle of the mutilated bodies in the trenches. The memory of the pleas of
Iraqi soldiers, their voices and moans were still piercing his head.
—Life sucks! — He thought.
He turned and started walking. Suddenly,
he ran into his left boot with something that made him stumble. He looked down
and thought he saw something shining, but it was only for a moment. He bent
down and picked it up. It was a small flat figure about four inches long and
about half an inch thick. It was made of black stone, with a carved feline
head, goat's horns on the forehead and a fierce, defiant face, staring ahead
denoting cruelty, and open jaws showing its fang with a savage gesture. The figure
had a hole in its jaws, like a large coin going through, and the fang sticking
out of it.
—It must be some kind of charm. — He said
to himself — and put it in the pocket of his uniform pants.
His men were already about twenty feet
away when he heard a murmur, which it was not clearly distinguished. He turned
to see what it was, but could not see anything, and thought it was the wind of
the desert, so he prepared to walk away, when he heard it clearly. It was a
He returned to the place where the bodies
of the soldiers were, and he heard the heartbreaking crying even harder, sharp,
crying for help. It came from the bottom of the trench that was about three
—Who's there? — He shouted — raising his
rifle, and pointing in the direction from where the sound came.
The crying grew louder and Peter kept
moving among the bodies, but could not distinguish very well in the trench. The
infrared light started flashing. He removed it and turned it out. He switched
on his flashlight, and there it was, hidden in the background, the entrance to
a small cave, where the crying was coming. He leaned over and lit the inside,
but could see nothing. He had to lie on the floor and begin to crawl to enter
the small hole in the sand that looked like the lair of an animal. He began to
feel a smell, there was something stale, decomposed, it was clear that there
was something dead in there.
The sobs became louder.
—I'm coming to help you, just wait! ...
The stench got worse as he moved forward.
He put the gas mask back, in spite of this he could hardly bear the retches,
but managed to enter by crawling down through the hole, to finally be able to
rise. He had come to a kind of large chamber. He lit up around the walls with the
lantern, and saw some drawings and letters that he could not understand but
assumed they were ancient characters. Gradually he figured out that they were
some type of box covered by sheets. Those were shrouds, and some of them were
half—buried. He was in a grave. Skulls and bones could be seen on the walls and
floor of the enclosure, the roof was about twelve feet in height.
The crying continued. It was a terrible,
a painful lament coming from the grave. He shone the light in the direction of
the sob and saw a strange figure, the back covered with a black mantle; it was
leaning over one of the mummies and it was muttering something strange,
incomprehensible. At that time the flashlight was turned off and the murmur of
"that" ended. Donovan could not turn it on again, it did not work...
—Peter, Peter! ... — He could hear his
name in the gloom.
He heard several voices, terrible
screaming of women and men whispering to him.
—We were waiting for you.
His blood ran cold when he heard those voices,
and he was overcome with panic.
—Join us! ... — said those horrific
—Peter, Peter, join us!
Darkness was absolute, his bones were
cold, but the terror he felt reached to his soul.
He put the night vision equipment back
immediately, and what he saw made all the hair on his body stand on end. The
mummies in the tomb were in motion. They had come to life! The
"being", crouching just moments ago, was now standing in front of
Peter, and he was very tall. Peter could see those eyes through the night
viewer, and that filled him with horror.
—Peter, join us! Come to us! — Said the
"being" with a booming voice.
Peter raised his gun and started shooting
at "that", in front of him, until he emptied the magazine of his gun,
while the "being" laughed out loud. Peter Donovan knew that if he did
not escape from there he was going to meet death face to face. Once again the
infrared light started flashing, remaining in darkness.
threw himself on the ground, and began to crawl through where he came as fast
as he could.
—Peter, PEEEETEEEER! ...
The screams were deafening and he could
hear the voices getting closer.
—PETER, JOIN, JOIN US!
Crawling swiftly he went, terrified by
what was behind. He could see nothing. He only listened to these frightening
voices and laments. Suddenly he felt someone grab his boots and pulled him to
make him go back. Amid laughter and screaming, "something" prevented
him from advancing and kept returning him back to the tomb.
—HELP! HELP ME! HELP! ...FOR GOD’S SAKE, SOMEONE HELP ME! — He began
The voices behind him said:
—GOD IS NOT HERE, HE FORGOT ABOUT YOU, BUT
WE DID NOT. COME HERE, JOIN US, PETER!
His strength was sapped from him. Whoever
was previously holding his boots, held his calves this time, burning his skin
with an intense pain. These "beings" were dragging him along back to
the tomb, as Peter was unable to get away.
felt a pair of hands holding him tightly by his arms and pulling him forward,
to release him from the small tunnel. It was his battalion who made a human
chain to get him out. At that moment, Donovan lost consciousness.
When he regained consciousness he was in
the rescue helicopter, with bandaged legs. He could feel the burning pain of
burns, with the shock of horror at the experience in the tomb.
—Are you OK, Lieutenant? What happened
down there? — Asked Ferris.
—I do not know; — said Donovan— I do not
know. Then, the helicopter moved away leaving behind the hideous orgy of blood,
terror and death.
THE SHADOW OF
I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee
out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other
gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness
of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that
is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor
serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of
the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that
hate me (Ex 20, 2—5). It is written: You shall worship the lord, your God, and
serve him only (Mt 4, 10).
“Lago Feliz” was a small lovely town
located ninety minutes from the city, where some families had decided to move
to get away from the noise, traffic and the stress of big cities.
It was a halcyon place in the woods, only
linked to the outside world by an access road connected with a highway, twenty
miles away. Surrounded by trees and mountains, it had a huge forest and a
beautiful lake, which gave the village its name, where people enjoyed swimming
and sunbathing during the summer, and the cold and snow in the winter. Fishing
was plentiful and they had deer hunting as well. The town was also famous for
its entertainment: clubs, restaurants, a small amusement park and a roller
coaster that attracted those who wanted to leave the city on the weekends and
take a ride to the town to relax and get entertainment.
"Lago Feliz" was founded twenty
years ago by some entrepreneurs who had the idea to create an exclusive
community which would feature all the comforts of the big city and the
tranquility that nature provides in the countryside. Hence its development had
been according to their needs. They had a fire station, church, municipality,
police station, shopping center, several motels, a library, a small hospital,
school, cemetery, and everything they needed to not have to go to the city. It
had a five—block street of restaurants, cafes, cinemas and the like, to allow
locals and none—locals alike to be entertained. Modern, spacious and
comfortable houses made of this town a dream place for almost fifteen hundred
souls who inhabited this community.
Dawn came as usual for Peter Donovan. He
started his day with a lazy morning and wanting to stay in bed and not have to
go to work; with an instant arousal revealing his desire to make love, which
was already habitual. The friction of the sheet between his legs, and then
moving a little bit to get close to her; to feel her soft skin and begin to
caress his wife’s body, expecting the desired response. Jennifer would come to
her husband to feel his erection and then, as usual, they would make a drowsy
love at first until they fully wake up with a frenzied sex that left them at
ease, with the feeling of bodily rest; leisurely, relaxed. Staying close
together, embracing, wet with passion and trying to catch a few more winks, to
continue thus avoiding getting up, getting ready, caring for their child,
making breakfast and continuing with the routine they had had, since they got
married several years ago.
He had been the sheriff of Lago Feliz for
fifteen years. After he returned from the Gulf War he decided not to stay in
the Army and immediately turned in his retirement papers. He decided to leave
in the past the terrible moments he lived through. The builders of the village
contacted Peter and offered him the Sheriff’s post, with a very good salary,
room and board, which he accepted immediately and moved in. Once there, he met
Jennifer Petersen, daughter of the owner of one of the main chain restaurants
in the country, who resolved to settle in the village to start her own
business. And now she owned the best restaurant in town, "The Golden
Dinner" which many people of the city frequented. Jenny (as she was
called) had dark brown hair, brown eyes, full lips, oval face, thin hands and
slender fingers with beautiful legs, wide hips, beautiful feet very impeccable,
not very tall, with small breasts. She was certainly a beautiful woman who
attracted the stares of men. For his part, Peter was six feet tall, tan skin,
brown eyes, thin face, athletic build and friendly voice. Immediately, they
fell in love, they married a year after, and had their son, George, after five
years of marriage. Donovan's family was very happy in the small town.
Peter went out with George in the morning
to take him to school, which was ten minutes from home. Driving the police van
he watched as people left early for work. Vehicles with parents who also picked
other children up; little Luke riding his bike to deliver the paper, throwing
it house to house carelessly, and waving to the neighbors who woke up sleepy to
clean their yards, or just to pick up the paper, or the ones who went out
jogging and exercising.
—Good morning, Mrs. Kerry!
—Good morning, Mr. James!
—Hello Luke! — Answered the neighbors.
Peter watched the tranquility of the
place and looked at his son in the back seat who was still sleepy and trying to
go back to sleep.
—It's good to be here! —He thought. He
turned on the car and began driving toward George’s school.
After dropping his son off at school, he
went downtown to his office. The old police station had been growing as the
town did. Initially, when Peter came, there were five men and they had only one
vehicle. After fifteen years of being in charge, he turned it into a police
department with twenty—five men under his command and eight vehicles, earning
the respect and affection of the villagers. At first the work was not very
hard: traffic problems, speeding down the road when "tourists" were
in the city, or those who drank heavily in nightclubs and caused a disturbance.
Then, as the town became more popular and more people began to visit it, work
became more arduous.
—Good morning chief!—His assistant, Jeff
Douglas greeted him as Peter entered—, the weekend's almost here!
—Hi Jeff! —said Peter — Yes, I'm afraid
so. Have you posted the staff on the roads and restaurant areas?
—Did anybody go to investigate Mrs.
Mitchell's broken fence?Remember she
called several times.
—Did you remind the men about the new
plan? Keep in mind that in the tourist area of the lake...
—Yes, Peter, — sympathetic, his assistant
interrupted him — I've done it several times. Why are you so nervous?
—Peter remained thoughtful for a few
seconds — I have a strange feeling that something is about to happen.
—Did something happen, Peter? Is there any
—No, it's nothing, Jeff, thank you! —
Let’s see what we have here.
And they began to check the documents and
the routine work of the office.
Jeff Douglas had worked with Peter for
twelve years and they had become good friends. Besides work, they had something
else in common; both of them fought in the Gulf War. Jeff belonged to the
Marine Corps and he was in an M1 Abrams tank which participated in the Kuwait
City liberation, and he retired with the rank of sergeant. Mary Rock had been
married to Jeff for three years and they had a nine month old baby named
Thomas, and they lived happily in the village. The remaining men had been
recruited by Peter in the big city; some of them were members of other police
offices, and some came from different security forces and were attracted by the
good pay, stability and tranquility of the place, and decided to move to “Lago
Feliz”, which offered a better prospective life.
That Friday, as the day progressed,
tourists were arriving from the city, joining the villagers who had their jobs
or businesses in the city, and commuted the fifty minutes that separated the
two places. That was Will’s case, a lawyer and Peter’s neighbor with whom he
use to take turns every weekend to meet among friends, have a beer and get
But that Friday was not inviting, due to
the threatening gray clouds in the sky that forecasted a storm and discouraged
regular visitors from taking the road to the village. Late at night, it was
evident that the storm was ready to burst at any time and the streets were half
empty, and due to the storm forecast, business had a low influx of people and
they had to wait for better conditions to encouraged people to go to the town.
This time, friends agreed to meet at the
house of Will and Anna Perrys, who had two children: six year old Francis and
Louise, three years old. They had a playroom in the first floor, with all the
necessary equipment and toys to have fun. Anna's mom, Susan, who lived with
them, loved to play with her grandchildren, to watch them run and to look after
Clouds were getting blacker over the skies
of Lago Feliz. Friends started to gather: Charles Mercy and his wife, Dolores,
with their children Dennis and Michael, five and seven years old, respectively;
Josh Miller, the village priest with a PhD in Philosophy; Jeff, Mary and little
Thomas, who felt asleep in his stroller, with his pacifier hanging from a red
bow around his neck; then came Jennifer and George.
The kids ran up, followed by Susan,
—Children, children! No running! You can
get hurt... — said Susan — trying to catch them.
—Charles said — Smells great, I'm
starving! Is the meat ready?
—Almost! — Answered Will – Jennifer, where
—He’s coming; he is bringing the beer —
said Jennifer –
Peter was watching from his house the
thick darkness of night and the black clouds announcing the gathering storm.
—This will be a violent storm, hopefully
nobody will think of coming here with this weather.—Peter thought.
Using a portable radio, Peter contacted
his men on duty, to ensure they were in position and that everything was going
without problems. He left his room and went downstairs to the kitchen.
—Hey, Peter! — It was Will’s voice from
the other house – we're waiting for you! The game is about to start, and we are
—Okay! I'll get the beers, I'm coming ...
— Peter replied —. He went down to the basement to find a case of beer. He
tried to turn on the light but it didn’t work.
—Damn! The light bulb burned out — he said
Peter groped for the second switch in the
basement, being careful not to bump into things that were there. Suddenly he
noticed something shining in the dark. He didn’t know what it was, so he got
closer to the mantelpiece where the object was. He moved forward toward it, and
when he was close enough he noticed it was that strange shaped stone animal
head he found in the desert, the one he had tried to erase from his mind. Peter
was terrified, and began to sweat. Those fierce eyes were watching him
intently. It was an evil, wicked look, and its jaws opened even more, like
trying to burst out laughing. Peter was paralyzed by fear. The memories of that
night of horror, blood and fright, turned back to his mind. Peter tried to calm
down and overcome the feeling, when suddenly the first thunder sounded, and
started to rain.
Unexpectedly the light came on. Peter saw
the small rock he had found in the deserts of Iraq, and understood that nothing
bad was happening… — it’s just my imagination — he said to himself.
He grabbed the case of beer, two bottles
of whiskey and went upstairs. He crossed the garden and entered the house of
his neighbor and friend.
—Finally! —exclaimed some of his friends.
—Peter! Did you see a ghost? You are pale
— Will asked him.
—No, it was nothing. The thunder took me
by surprise that was it — said Peter.
—Ha, ha, ha, — everyone laughed.
approached her husband with a kiss on the cheek and asked him.
—My love, is everything okay?
—Yes, sweetie, everything is fine...
The evening was very lively. They enjoyed
the baseball game that they'd been looking forward to. Dinner was very
animated. The children ran around the table and they wanted to go back to the
Peter was still thinking about what took
place that night. Although he had tried to forget what happened all those years
ago, memories came to his mind, as ghosts bringing the memories when his
comrades died. Sergeant Wilkins torn apart by a mortar shell; the wounded men,
the executions of Iraqi soldiers, the crying child and entering to that
infernal tomb, where he was a victim of unimaginable terror; events that he
never experienced in his life.
He kept watching his friends, talking,
drinking beer. The children were upstairs with Grandma. Peter was looking all
this, but he was not listening. In his mind he repeated, PETER, JOIN US, PETER!
—Peter, Peter, join us, what planet are
you on? You have been distracted all night — said father Josh.
—Must have been the thunder – Said Anna
—I was thinking of the men on duty in this
weather, I hope they are doing well ... — answered Peter.
—You know, if they have not called, it is
because everything is all quiet, relax — replied Jeff.
—Yes, you're right. No reason to worry —
The night progressed, it was early morning
when the rain became a storm, and the lights in town started to flicker.
—The storm must have affected the
transformers, — said Will.
—Yes — said Dolores —, the rain has become
Water flowed like a small river by Main
—Please, Jeff, get in contact with the
men, check that everything is fine.
Using the walkie—talkie, Jeff began to
—All units: please report to Command 2. —
—Is the radio working, Jeff? — Asked
—Yes, — said Jeff — the battery is at full
load. There is something causing interference and it won't let us communicate.
Let me try again:
—It could be some static because of the
storm — said Jeff.
—Well; duty calls— said Peter, standing up
follow by Jeff — let's see how everything is going. We'll back in a couple of
—Yes, Peter, let's go—said Jeff—.
—Watch out, boys — said Jennifer.
—Don't worry, we'll be back as quickly as
we can —her husband answered.
The gathering continued. Father Josh was
telling about something that had happened.
—It was terrible what happened to that
girl, the video has been uploaded to the Internet.
—Yes I saw it, they captured just as she
was dying — said Charles.
—What did happen? –asked Susan, walking
downstairs and whispering because the children were asleep.
—A young woman was killed in Iran during a
protest. You can see the moment when she was wheeled away. Then she lost
consciousness, and started bleeding from her nose and mouth, I think they shot
her in the chest — said Charles.
—Oh, my Goodness, how horrible! — Said
Anna— what a misfortune. I don’t know what the world’s coming to.
—Only God knows, — said father Josh—. Only
—Okay, Okay—said Will — let's not talk
about sad things, we are here to have fun, isn’t it? How about if we play
—Card games — said Anna.
—NOOOOO! — Jokingly, all chanted.
—Well, — said Anna laughing — what do you
want to play?
—I bought something special in the city,
wait a second — Will said. — He got up and went to his studio to get something
on the desktop.
He returned with a plastic bag, he opened
it and pulled out a box placing it on the table. It was a rectangular tablet of
yellow wood, and antique look. In the upper left corner it had the image of the
sun with a smiling face and the word "YES" on it. On the opposite
side, it was the moon on crescent with a star, and a face of woman looking to
the first one, preceding the word "NO". Below, forming and arc,
capital letters were arranged in two rows: the first one from letter "A to
M" and the second one, from "N to Z". Under the letters were the
numbers from 1 to 0, and immediately at the end, the word "GOODBYE".
At the bottom corners two figures of witches stood, watching up at the sun and
the moon respectively. It was an Ouija board.
—Good! —said Charles— we will close the
evening with ghosts. Everyone started laughing.
—I have not played with the
"board" since college — said Mary — I remember it was a little scary.
—It is not good to play with things we
don't understand — said Susan — I think it can be dangerous.
—Come on, Susan — encouraged her son—in—law
— what could happen? Let's have some fun until Peter and Jeff return.
—Cheer up, Susan – seconded Jennifer —it’s
only a game.
—Come on, Mom, then you can go to see the
children, — said Ann.
—Yes, that’s it. —said Dolores — In that
case, we can ask the expert. What do you think, Josh?
Father Josh watched them amused and
curious. He smiled nervously, wondering what his fellow priests would think if
they saw him playing with the Ouija board invoking spirits, beings from beyond.
The first commandment "love God above all things" came into his mind,
remembering the Catechism of the Catholic Church, especially the part about prediction
and magic *. But to tell the truth he was a little drunk and he wanted
to continue the fun.
—Josh, Your Eminence: Did a "spirit”
turn you dumb? — asked Will sarcastically — and everyone started laughing.
—I do not think our Lord will be offended
over some fun — he said smiling — let's play. Who cares! If it's just a game — he
—Very good —said Will— well done Josh, His
Eminence spoke and we are determined, I will bring some candles.
—And I will get pencil and paper — said
—What do we use as a pointer? — Asked Anna
— should we use a cup?
—No, I have something much better, which
is just for the occasion. — Jennifer said — and she went home, to look for that
rare "thing" in the basement, the "souvenir" that Peter
brought from the time he was in the Gulf War.
—This will be rather a long night —
—I have some candles to make it more
exciting, — said Susan.
—What a mess I got myself into? — Josh
thought – making a frown.
—Come on, cheer up, Josh —Ann assured him,
realizing his discomfort. — It doesn’t hurt, it's only a game. Nobody will get
—I hope so —said Josh— I hope so...
* Prediction and
Magic (Catechism of the Catholic Church)
2116 All forms of
prediction are to be rejected: the recourse to Satan or to demons, conjuring up
the dead or other practices falsely supposed to 'unveil' the future (cf. Dt 18,
10, Jr 29, 8). Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of
omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, the use of 'mediums' conceal a
desire for power over time, history and, finally, men, the well as a wish to
conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor and respect, and loving
fear that we have only to God.
practices of magic or sorcery, by which seeks to tame occult powers to bring
them to their service and have a supernatural power over others — even to seek
health — are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are
even more reprehensible when accompanied by an intention to harm another, with
or without the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible.
Spiritualism often implies prediction or magical practices. That is why the
Church warns the faithful to be saved from it. The uses of traditional
medicines do not legitimate the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation
of another's credulity.
Peter and Jeff got to the Sheriff's
Office, as the rain began to subside. The streets were deserted; the tourists
for the weekend (the few who dared to go into town in that weather) were in the
clubs and restaurants. No one ventured out to get wet yet.
Jeff spoke to the officer on duty:
—Jack, what’s new?
—Nothing sir, everything is calm.
—Is the radio working? — Asked Peter.
—Yes, chief — said Jack — a few moments
ago the signal was interrupted, but now it works.
—Communicate with all positions to report
—Yes, sir: — Lightning, Central here,
report situation –
Through the radio, the officers on duty
began to report that, despite the rain, everything was quiet, except for the
checkpoint number 2, which had not been reported since the storm started.
—Chief! Lightning 2 is not responding.
—When was the last time you contacted
—About three hours ago.
—Okay, Jeff, let's see how our men are
doing. Jack, keep us informed if you manage to communicate with them.
Peter and Jeff left again in the police
vehicle, a rustic van with four—wheel drive with high and wide tires, great to
navigate any terrain, they had no problem crossing the small streams that had
formed by this strange storm that had not lasted long.
The checkpoint Lightning 2 was 25 minutes
from town, at the southern end of the lake, a place chosen by young people to
dance, drink, and have fun outdoors. Most of the time they installed a platform
there, for weekend events where they had rock bands or other kinds of music.
Also at night, it was a favorite place for young people to escape with their
partners to make love. The more adventurous swam in the lake at night, when the
weather was favorable. Police were always hanging around the area to prevent
scandals or intoxicated persons involved in a fight. Otherwise, a night like this,
the situation must be calm. It was difficult for some madman would think of
going that far and the danger that the vehicle was damaged in the middle of the
road to wait for someone to get help, or to be located by the police car
rounding in the area.
—Who is on duty in Lightning 2? — Peter
asked to Jeff.
—Franklin and Michael — Jeff said– it's
odd that they haven't called.
—That's what worries me — said Peter —
neither the patrol radios nor cell phones are working. I hope everything is
—I insist, Peter, I think it is only the
—Well, let's see how they are doing.
They continued to drive along the road
parallel to the lake, and began to penetrate the pine—covered road in the
middle of the night. The storm subsided and bound away to the city, the track
was still wet, but the sky was clearing, revealing the light of the moon that
looked great with a sky full of stars.
— said Will — we already have everything ready:paper, pencils, and candles, let's organize everything.
Dolores and Ann began the distribution of
candles while Josh and Charles arranged the chairs. Susan and Mary went to the
playroom and found that the children were sleeping, Mary saw her little Thomas
who was fast asleep with her pacifier in his mouth. There, carefully and
quietly to not wake them up, they returned to the living room.
Jennifer came down to the basement to
find the amulet and realized that the face of the beast now looked wild, his
fierce gesture more terrible than before. She felt a little afraid to pick it
up, but then she smiled, thinking that her thought was silly; that was the
perfect object for the game they were about to start. She never thought how
this action would change her life and the others’ forever.
She went back to the neighbor’s house and
was surprised to see the lights off and the candles arranged around the table,
illuminating the faces of her friends who were now drinking coffee and talking,
waiting for her to join and start the game, creating a magical and ghostly
—Ah ... Finally, there you are, Jenny.
What did you bring us? – Asked her Will.
—I brought a piece that will serve as a
pointer. — Said Jennifer — putting the amulet on the table.
—How interesting! — Charles said —
watching and carefully lifting it up— it seems like an animal, like a cat with
horns or something.
—Does it have magical powers? — Mary
interjected — everyone laughed
—Hey, “his Eminence!” What do you think of
it, — Will asked to Josh.
—I've never seen anything like it! — Said
Josh – It's a strange carving. Where did you get it? —he asked Jennifer.
—It's a souvenir that brought Peter from
Iraq — said Jennifer.
—Good enough, let's get started — said
Will grabbed the makeshift
"pointer" and placed it on the table.
—Now everyone put their finger on the
pointer — said Will — doing the same.
Jennifer, Anna, Susan, Charles, Dolores,
Mary, and finally Josh joined Will.
—Now everyone let your mind go blank, try
not to think about anything — continued Will — breathe deeply, let's calm down
and forget what is around us, do not think anything, close your eyes and let
yourself be seduced by my voice, please.
Everyone got silent, trying to
concentrate. The candlelight lit up the room when suddenly they heard two very
loud knocks on the floor. All eyes were opened. Anna saw Jennifer get
frightened, while Charles and Dolores raised their hands off from the pointer
instinctively. Josh watched them without saying anything. Once again they heard
the two beats, then Susan started laughing and they realized that it was she,
who with her feet was knocking the floor to scare them. She couldn't contain
—Oh, Mama! You don’t change. — Ann told
—Sorry, — said Susan — I could not help
it; you should´ve seen Josh’s face.
The priest blushed with shame.
—Well, well, no more laughter, let’s start
for real. Will said; remember that you must not lift your fingers until game is
over, right? It is very important.
you seen how the sky is clearing, the storm was very fast, don’t you think,
Peter? How strange this is — commented Jeff.
—Yes, indeed, the moon is very bright. We
should be getting to where the men are— said Peter.
They continued along the road and the
lake could not been seen anymore because the trees covered the road doing it a
little more narrow. Abruptly from the bushes, a deer came running swiftly
crossing the road. The reflection of the lights from the patrol make her eyes
bright red for a second; hardly the vehicle slammed on the brakes and it was
stopped. The animal continued his race at full speed and crashed headfirst into
—Damn! Did you see that Jeff? — exclaimed
Peter—it seemed he wanted to rush against us. What the hell happened to that
They got out of the car and headed to the
place where the animal was.
Although the moon was now clear, it was
impossible to distinguish very well the conditions of the deer. They walked
toward it which was about fifty feet and Jeff lit the lantern.
—God! — Exclaimed Peter.
One of the animal's antlers had broken
when it hit the tree; the other was run through the cortex. His legs shook in a
spasm. The head, the side that lacked part of the antlers, was bleeding,
glowing with the reflection of moonlight and part of the brain was emerging.
Blood gushed from his nose and foam: uncontrollable shaking dominated his body,
making a horrible roar of pain. His suffering was terrible.
—We can´t help him, Peter. — Jeff said.
—You are right Jeff, there is nothing to
—Do you want me to...?—Asked Jeff,
pointing to his gun.
—No thanks Jeff, I'll do it.
Peter drew his pistol from the holster
and approached the deer which kept bleeding with his eyes wide open and the
brain mass hanging over the side of the head. The roar grew louder, now was not
the same feeling of suffering— they could feel it — it could be feel his anger,
his rage. The animal was trying desperately to get rid of the tree.
The Sheriff pointed the gun to the head of
—Sorry, buddy, this is so you won't suffer
The bellow was mixed with the shot that
echoed through the night. The bullet pierced the deer's head sideways smashing
what was left of his brain. But the animal did not fall. Still struggling to
escape, his eyes were now more open and bloodshot, his look gave off hatred.
Both were surprised:
—How could he not fall? — Peter thought —
did I miss?
He threw light on the spot where the
animal was shot. The bloody hole in and out gave the answer.
He aimed the gun again at the head of the
animal, to give the coup de grace, when suddenly a huge shadow flew over, just
for a moment, but everything went dark for a couple of seconds.
—What was that
Peter? Did you see anything? — Jeff asked.
—I could not see
anything. What could have been that? — Peter replied.
The deer was frantically trying to
escape, and once again, pointing now to the base of the head, Peter fired.
The animal stood still for a moment
after receiving the second shot, but started moving again, still desperately
trying to break free. Peter and Jeff stepped back surprised. They did not
understand what was happening; all at once the deer managed to escape, leaving
his horn stuck in the tree, then he turned to where both men were, giving them
a blank stare, all covered in blood, took two steps and fell thunderstruck.
They looked confused and surprised at the
same time. There was the animal lying on the ground. Both men were stunned.
—Do you hear that? — Asked Peter.
—No, I don't hear anything — said Jeff.
—That’s what I mean, there is no noise,
and everything is quiet.
It was true. Not only was everything
quiet, the strange thing was they did not hear anything, nor the sound of
crickets, or the movement of the leaves of the trees to be shaken by the wind,
nothing. There was no noise at all. It was as if everything had been paralyzed.
As in a picture, everything was still and did not hear a single soul.
Both of them were puzzled, surprised by
this situation, when their radios sounded and startled them.
—Chief Donovan, Chief Donovan, Central
—Go ahead, Central, use the codes — said
—Sorry Tornado – it was Jack’s voice —. We
still have no contact with Lightning 2. The other Lightning has not reported
—OK, Central — said Peter — keep trying to
communicate with them; we're getting to the area.
—Understood, Tornado, over and out.
The police returned to their vehicle in
silence, meditating on the moment they had just experienced. The moon was down
to half the sky and looked red.
—Do you think something bad happened to
the guys? — asked Jeff —. It is strange they have been cut off.
—We will see what has happened, we are
only a few miles from them. — Peter answered.
They continued to drive for a few minutes
down the road, in the middle of pine trees and came to a straight path where it
could be seen the lake again.
—What an awful smell! — Said Peter.
—Yes, it's like a skunk or something —
—What the hell?! — Exclaimed Peter.
In the distance we could see some bumps
on the road at both sides of the highway. They moved closer with the vehicle
and finally, they could see what it was. Several dead deer lying on the
pavement, with their eyes and snout wide open and expressing terror, not less
than thirty were arranged along the path that way.
They got out of the vehicle and turned on
the lights, with shotguns in one hand and covering their noses and mouths with
the other. Approaching the body of the first animal, the stench of rotting
flesh made them gag. Flies buzzed around the body, producing an infernal
buzzing, and the animal's belly was open and everything inside was strewn on
the ground; it seemed to have exploded. All the bodies were infested by maggots
There were no signs of struggle, no trace
of any other animal. Also found no traces of vehicles or anything that
indicated that the animals had been killed elsewhere and taken there; the
bodies had been rotting for at least twenty four hours.
Jeff, trying not to vomit, touched one of
—Peter, it’s still warm.
—What? — Peter asked — what do you mean?
—This carcass is still warm.
—That's not possible, — said
Peter — also touching it —. Shit, you're right, it's warm, let's see the others.
They approached the other carcasses and
verified that all of them retained their body heat as if they were alive.
—This can't be possible! — Peter exclaimed
—. For the level of decomposition they should be dead for at least few hours;
plus the storm, the rain should have cooled them and because of this, the
organs should be scattered, blood....
—But, what about if they were struck by
lightning? — Jeff interrupted.
Peter looked at him and said:
—I do not think so; there is no trace of burns,
or in their bodies, or in the vegetation, not even on the asphalt. Let's look
for the boys.
It was impossible to continue in their
vehicle; the bodies were blocking the road, so they had to continue on foot.
The headlights of the truck's shining from behind as they went by road through
the bodies of animals, both policemen cast their shadows over the trees and
made them look like two giants, but as they came to the other side, their
shadows became shorter.
At that time, they heard a shot, then
another and another; they felt the unmistakable sound of bullets flying over
—On the ground, somebody is shooting at
us! — Shouted Peter.
They threw themselves to the ground, while
the shooting continued, but no longer in the direction where the policemen
—Do you see anything? — Asked Peter.
—No, nothing — said, Jeff.
Once again they heard the shots now follow
by cries of despair.
—NO! DAMN IT! NO! HELP, HELP ME!
—That's Franklin’s voice! — Said Jeff.
—Let’s go help him, — Peter ordered.
Shots continued and finally they saw
Franklin running from behind the bushes, firing toward the trees.
—Franklin, Franklin! What’s the matter?
Who are you shooting at? — Asked Peter.
The policeman was pale, trembling from
fright, wide—eyed, and though he had run out of bullets, he tried in vain to
Peter and Jeff raised their rifles
pointing toward the trees and came to Franklin.
—What is in there? What it was attacking
you? Where is Michael? — Asked Jeff.
—Here they come, here they come! — Said
Franklin sweating and trembling —. There they are!
First they heard squealing like pigs, and
then this sound was multiplied becoming people screaming and wailing. Then
clear voices of men and women, pleading for help and mocking. It was the sound
of a crowd of people. The screams were heartbreaking, hair—raising and was it
coming from there, from the place where moments ago, the police had been
The bushes began to move and then, out of
nowhere, a herd of animals came, black, hairy, huge, full—bodied wild boar,
tusks, and human faces with eyes of fire that caught them by surprise, jumping
on them, snarling and laughing.
Peter and Jeff shot their guns without
success. The beasts threw them to the ground while the policemen tried to
protect themselves by covering their heads with their arms. The animals began
to bite them everywhere; the cries of pain were heard echoing through the
forest while the beasts laughed and snarled. Finally the creatures ran to the
lake and disappeared into the water.
Jeff and Peter got up from the ground
shocked by what had happened, their heads were exploding with pain and they
felt dizzy. Franklin was still on the ground, vomiting. Gradually they came to
their senses and started running towards the vehicle which was far away with
the lights on.
They came to the place where the deer were
dead. The three policemen were out of breath, they were still shocked by what
—What was that? What the fuck was that? —
asked Jeff — breathless.
—They were chasing us! They wanted to kill
us! — said Franklin.
Regaining his breath and sitting up,
Peter looked at his men and began to touch his body, realizing that he had no
type of injury; only his clothes were dirty, filthy, having rolled in the
vegetation. He was covered with mud, animal hoof prints were all over his
clothes, same like Jeff and Franklin, but they were not injured.
—Let's calm down — said Peter.
—What was it happened? — asked Jeff —.
What the hell was that?
—Franklin was still in shock and uttered
—Franklin, what happened? — Peter asked.
The policeman did not answer and kept
looking back in terror. Peter grabbed him by the shoulders shaking vigorously.
—Franklin, what happened back there?
Answer me, snap out of it.
Franklin looked at Peter, then to Jeff and
started to babble.
—We ... We, Michael and I were going to
the lake, checking if anyone was swimming and to warn them of the storm.
Peter realized that they had forgotten
—Where's Michael? Where did you leave him?
— Asked Jeff.
—I do not know, — said Franklin — we were
running together and we got separated when getting on the road. I do not know
where he is.
—We have to look for him. — Peter said — we
have to find him.
—NO! — cried Franklin — I don't want to go
—Chief, he’s right; we cannot do anything,
at least not alone. To go back there would be a suicide mission.—said Jeff.
Peter remained silent in thought.
—You are right, Jeff, call reinforcements.
Wake up all the staff that is sleeping, leave only two positions covering the
town and the entrance; send the rest here immediately. — ordered Peter.
—Yes, chief. — Jeff said — and he
contacted the station. The stench and insects flutter around the carcasses of
—Now let's place our index fingers on the
pointer and concentrate solely on my voice — said Will.
Everybody put their fingers touching the
amulet that moved the pointer. When touched, they felt a kind of chill that was
transmitted from the tip of their fingers to their heels. The stone was cold
and everybody, this time for real, concentrated on Will’s voice.
—Is there anybody there? — Will asked.
—Does anyone wish to contact us?
Suddenly, the pointer began to move
slowly to make circles on the table, all fingers on top of these. It wasn't
heading anywhere specific, just moving in circles.
someone was moving the pointer, so he decided to follow suit.
—We want to talk with whoever is there —
Will said aloud – EXPRESS YOURSELF!
This time, the
pointer started to move a little faster.
Dolores began to write. H... E.... L....
—Very well, we have a guest — said Will.
—What is your name?
The fingers on the pointer were moving
more quickly now.
—Rose — Dolores wrote and then read aloud.
—Where were you born Rose?
—Where are you? — Ann asked.
—When did you die? — Will continued.
—Disease ... heart.
—Well, well, to play a joke that’s it. —
Said Charles — who is moving the pointer?
—Why did not you ask a question that only
you know the answer? — Jennifer asked him
—Okay, let's see — said Charles.
—What color is my underwear?
—None, you forgot to wear It.—it was the
—Ha, ha, ha, ha. —All the laughter burst
—As Charles looked bewildered at his wife. Dolores looked at him shaking her
head, indicating that she didn’t do it.
Josh was convinced that the response had
been from Dolores; as she was still shaking his head and gesturing with her
mouth — not me—
They all looked at each other, skeptical
and nervous — Ann asked —:
—Are you happy where you are?
—I'm calm – was the answer.
—Who are you with? Will asked.
—With my parents.
—Did you love somebody on earth?
—Is he there?
—Yes. He is here with me...
—Are you scared?
—Will you come back to earth?
—I do not know.
—What's it like being dead?
—Could you be more specific?
—You will know at its moment.
—What do you mean? Would you tell us
—No. Everyone will experience it. Everyone
gets there, it is inevitable...
—Have you seen God?
The pointer didn’t move.
—Is there a hell?
The pointer wasn’t moving, until it
started to spin again.
—Do you want to give a message?
—Who is at risk?
—All of you.
—What do you mean?
—All of you are in danger.
—Yes, but what do you mean? — Josh asked
now — confused.
—Why do you say that our souls are in
—You have opened a door. I have to go,
Fingers got frozen on the pointer;
everybody looked at it suspicious, thinking about what "Rose" had
told them, when there again it began to spin, moving by a strange power,
supernatural. Josh's doubts were dissipated yet, thinking it was a joke played
by Will for them to believe in the game, so Josh decided to play along.
—Is there anybody here? — Will asked
There was no response; the fingers were
making erratic movements.
—Is there anyone who wants to express
Now the pointer began to move over the
letters. Dolores went to take notes.
—What is your name?
—Where were you born Michael?
—In the United States.
—How did you die?
Now the pointer was moving faster.
—I was killed.
—Who killed you?
—I was forced to.
—Who made you do it?
—Who are they?
—They have my soul.
Josh spoke now with a startled.
—Who took your life?
—What do you mean by "evil"?
—What is evil?
—They got me.
—Who got you?
—The evil´s forces.
At this point, everyone was scared. Ann
and Susan tried to lift up their fingers from the board, but it was impossible,
their fingers were as heavy as a ton of lead. Their fingers now moved quickly
instead, making it difficult for Dolores to continue the writing.
—Lion, goat, they devour me...
—What are you saying? Did a lion eat you?
—It has a lion’s head and goat’s horns.
An atmosphere of fear invaded the room;
everyone felt apprehension about what "Michael" was saying.
—When did you die?
—How did you die? — Asked Charles.
—They forced me…, they forced me to do it—
he repeated. And you are next.
Will’s voice began to tremble. He was
nervous for sure.
—What do you mean we are next? What danger
are you talking about?
—They have my soul, help me.
—Who has your soul? How can we help you? —
—Where did you die? — Josh intervened.
—LAGO FELIZ!—was the terrible answer.
Everyone was shocked; they look at each
other terrified. The lights of the candles began to lose intensity and a chill
wind entered the place where they were gathering, making their skin to get
goose bumps; they were frightened to death. Their fingers moved frenzied across
the board without any logical order, and they could not leave the table, making
their wrists ache.
Susan lost consciousness at the table,
banging her forehead and getting a small wound which began trickle blood. Ann
and Jennifer tried to help her, but could not take their fingers off the
pointer. Susan’s blood trickled down on the table and at that moment they began
to hear a whisper that gradually became a shrill laugh, sarcastic, macabre. It
started at the window, and then they realized it was coming from the injured
—Michael is with us, now he belongs to us.
— Said the voice coming from Susan.
They all looked scared how Susan's face
was rising slowly, with an atmosphere turning into terror. Her forehead and
part of her face were bathed in blood. Her face sprouted knots under the skin,
and seem to try to let them out without success. Her eyes, normally green, were
now black and moved completely out of control. Her skin was so completely
transparent that was possible to see her blood circulating through the veins.
Her heart was clearly seen in spite of her dress and a pair of hands with black
nails like a lion’s claws stained red with Susan's blood, wrapped around her
neck and started to tear her chest and belly.
She opened her mouth and let out a yellow
vapor, offensive, which let them see two fangs like a snake with yellow and
brown teeth in an advanced state of decomposition.
—HE BELONGS TO US! — Said the voices
coming from her mouth – AND SO THIS OLD WHORE!
The voice began to laugh out loud, while
everyone looked on shocked, full of dread, struggling to let go of the Ouija
board without success, Dolores wet herself, scared, while Jennifer and Ann
cried desperate, seized with a nervous breakdown. At that moment, the pointer
stopped and left their hands forcefully projected, giving them the relief they
craved. The table flew through the air and the charm was thrown out the window
breaking the glass. Everyone fell over and the candlelight went out, leaving
the room dark.
Everything was silent, only the sobs of
Ann and Jennifer were listening.
—Quiet, shut up! — Will shouted — ...
In the midst of darkness, they listened
to a hiss; it was the sound of something moving, like a snake crawling on
different sides of the room, with a strange voice moaning at the same time.
That thing was moving quickly, hissing and getting closer to the people in the
room, while laughing hysterically.
—Please, turn on the lights, whoever can
do it, turn on the lights now. — Ann said sobbing.
Charles, who was closer to the switch, got
the light on, so they saw her.
Susan was crawling on the ceiling with her
arms perpendicular to torso and her legs moving together like a snake. Her
black eyes were injected with the blood vessels on the verge of bursting; her
body was covered in blood and from her mouth went a dark forked tongue in and
out nonstop between its fangs. She began to spit at all of them as she moved
through the ceiling down the walls and climb again. The figure was hellish.
All those present were paralyzed by the
horror they were witnessing, while Susan was on the ceiling laughing and
—SO, FAGGOT PRIEST, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO
—THIS OLD BITCH IS MINE! AND THE FAGGOT
COP TOO! NOW, I'M GOING TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR BASTARDS.
Having said this, she collapsed on the
table and her shadow stayed on the ceiling for an instant, while opening her
jaws and looking at them with those bright, scary, evil eyes. Then, she
Jennifer and Ann rushed to help her while
Josh did not hide his amazement, he was petrified. Charles and Dolores
approached with caution, looking at Susan who lay on her back over the table.
Suddenly, they heard screams coming from the nursery.
—MOM, DAD: HELP! – They shouted – and an
appalling noise was heard.
—THE KIDS! — Will cried— IT IS UPSTAIRS
WITH THE KIDS!
They ran upstairs to rescue the children,
while Josh stood downstairs gazing at the dying woman on the table, badly
wounded and covered in blood. He approached her, and still with the terror of
what had happen he overcame and grabbed her hand.
—Susan, Susan, can you hear me, Susan?
Her eyes were half open, with an absent
gaze when she saw Josh, and tried to say something. Two streams of blood gushed
from her mouth, attempting to talk.
—Wait, Susan, I will ask for help – Josh
told her –
Using her last strength, Susan raised her
hand and grabbed him by the arm, beginning to tremble.
Josh put his ear to her mouth who said to
—I have seen evil — whispered the moribund
—Embrace God, embrace the real God. — Her right eye let a tear out...
She stretched her arm a little, and
weakly she clutched the crucifix that hung from the priest’s neck:
—This is not what HE wants; it doesn’t
stand for him...
Josh began to mourn, as blood dripped
from mouth and nose of the dying woman, who cried with one last breath:
—Forgive me, Lord! — And she breathed her
last breath, with her eyes open, as if she was looking at the priest – She was
—Now you will tell me exactly what
happened. What happened to Michael? Focus, Franklin — Peter spoke harshly to
Franklin — while this one was still pale, but recovering a little from the race
the three of them had made to escape from those "beasts".
—Michael and I were on patrol on the lake,
by the jetty. Everything was quiet, we had not seen anything when the storm
began — told Franklin — the rain was so strong that we decided to stay parked
and to come into the hut at the entrance of the dock. We got off, starting to
smoke and play cards waiting for the storm to be over.
—Did you try to communicate with Central?
– Jeff asked.
—We were all the time trying to talk to
Central, but it was useless. Radios seemed to be dead — said the policeman.
—Continue — Peter ordered.
—Clap of thunder began and lightning was
seen in the lake. Then we looked through the window and saw how this kind of
small clouds were forming, in white color and gleaming; and they were
approaching to the cabin. One of them came in with an infernal whistle. We were
very frightened; suddenly it exploded with a small noise.
—Yes, — said Peter —I've seen that before,
they are called: ball lightning or sparks *** 2
—The storm lasted a few minutes. We found
it odd that it had ended very soon, but we were still nervous about what we
saw. These objects were very strange, they kept floating still and then exploded,
— Franklin continued.
—What the hell are you talking about,
Franklin? — Jeff asked.
—That's real, — Peter
confirmed—. These rays are natural phenomena that occur sometimes in storms
like the one we had today.
*** 2 Ball lightning, also
known as spark, lightning or spherical object, is a natural phenomenon
associated with thunderstorms. It takes the form of a bright floating object
that, unlike the short common lightning discharge, this is persistent. It can
move slowly or quickly, or remain almost stationary. It can make whistling
sounds, crackle or no noise at all. Globular lightning discharges are extremely
rare and the details from the witnesses can vary widely. Many of the observed
properties of ball lightning reports are incompatible with each other, and it
is very possible that several different phenomena are being incorrectly grouped
under one name.
to float or glide in the air and gave the appearance of spheroid. The shape can
be spherical, ovoid, teardrop—shaped or a cane, with no dimension much larger
than the others. The larger dimension measured between 0.1 to 0.4 meters. Many
have a reddish—yellow color. Sometimes the discharge appears to be attracted by
an object, while occasionally it moves randomly. After several seconds the
discharge will go away, be scattered, absorbed by something or, in rare cases,
it vanishes with a bang. (Information taken from Wikipedia)
—Are you saying that all what is
happening, the deer, the..., the ... the "things", those which
attacked to us, came with the storm? Are you kidding me, Peter? Here's
something strange, very strange, we almost got killed. What the hell does the
storm have to do with it? You saw those things with human faces, animal bodies,
and the screams; something else is going on here.
—No, I didn’t say that the cause is the
storm, I really do not know. — Peter answered— what I know is that you have to
calm down; this should have a logical explanation. One thing is sure: those
lightning that Michael and Franklin saw, are not ghosts or anything
supernatural, it is just a natural phenomenon, that's all.
The three policemen were lying in Peter’s
truck, Jeff pulled out a pack of cigarettes. He offered one to Peter, who did
not accept it, and then to Franklin, who lit it up and swallowed a deep puff,
trying to pluck up courage.
—Continue, Franklin — Peter said.
—The storm ended and the clouds began to
move into the city. Michael and I left the cabin, still frightened by those
rays and we decided to return to the fork in the road to the lake, to continue
our rounds. We got into the patrol car and set out. We moved a few yards along
the shore and then it happened...
—What happened? – Jeff asked.
—We heard those laughs, some women
—Was someone swimming in the lake after
the storm? — Jeff asked incredulously.
—Well, I really would not be surprise if
some couples had escaped to the lake and waited until the storm was over.
Remember that today is a Friday and many people come to have fun, especially
those who want to get away and have fun with their partners — Peter said
—True — Jeff nodded.
—We though the same, chief, so we stopped
the car and we got to see what was the matter.
—So? — Asked Jeff.
—In the distance we heard the laughter of
women, playing, you could hear the splash of water, but we did not distinguish
very well what was going on. I shone my flashlight to the place where the
laughter came from and we saw two women, very pale, bathing naked, laughing,
and jumping. We note that there was something between them; they held something
in their hands. They were flinging it up to the air and then sank it into the
water. They passed it between their legs, breasts and they laughed ... and
laughed. We got closer and could see what they were sinking, and then biting.
We could not believe it, it was A BABY! Can you believe it? It was a baby ...
and he began to cry.
Peter and Jeff got goose bumps. In the
distance they could see the lights of the other police cars that came in
support. The red and white lights were flashing in the distance.
—Then — Franklin continued — the two women
looked at us and we saw that they had torn part of the chest to the creature;
you could see a hole through which blood flowed abundant. Both of them had red
eyes, they fixed us with a stony gaze and dropped the child, who disappeared in
the water. Then they began to leave the lake and we drew our weapons. At that
time they rose from the water and they pounce on us; Michael and I shot them
but could not stop them. One of them knocked Michael down, while the other
tried to grab me. I started to run and I heard the awful laugh again. I stopped
and saw that Michael had gotten up and ran to the hut. Suddenly those
"things" became that... those animals that we saw and began to chase
us. I kept shooting and running until you found me.
The lights indicated that the patrols were
very close. Jeff told Peter.
—Chief, we’d be better off telling
nothing, they would not believe it. They would think we're crazy, drunk or
Peter stayed thoughtful for a moment.
—You are right, we will not say anything
about what happened to us; are we all agree? Franklin, I want to know if you
—Yes, chief — he said – wiping his tears
away and pulling himself together.
Then, Peter spoke to Jeff.
—We organize a search for Michael. Get the
men together and let’s go to the hut first.
—Chief Donovan; guys, are you okay? —
David Fuller asked; he was one of the policemen who came to the rescue.
—Yes, David.—answered Donovan.
When Fuller saw the dead deer and felt
the stench of the carcasses, he began to gag and could not help vomiting. Three
more vehicles arrived with six men, so there were nine men, and Jeff began to
—Listen, we have a situation — Jeff said —
Officer Michael Hudson is lost, we will organize a search in the vicinity of
the lake. Take out all your shotguns and flashlights. We are going all
together; I don’t want anybody to separate from the group, not even for a
moment. Is that clear?
me, Jeff — Dean Beacon, one of the newcomers, replied —, we should separate off
by pairs to cover more ground and thus faster to find Michael. We can buy time,
especially if he is injured.
—No. — Peter said – We are going all
together with lanterns and prepared for any eventuality. Is that clear?
—Yes, chief — his men responded.
—Chief Donovan, what happened to these
deer? How were they killed? That’s why we need to stay together? — Asked Fuller.
—We’ll see it afterwards — Peter said— to
find Michael that’s all that matters. Do not separate and stay alert.
With the lights of the vehicles on,
behind them, they went into the woods, shining their flashlights, going
forward, until they spotted Michael and Franklin’s patrol, which was still with
the police lights and headlights on. They went to the jetty illuminating the
lake, but they found nothing. There was no sign of Michael, just a reflection
of the moon on the water, moving gently with the breeze.
—Let’s check the cabin – Peter said.
They realized that there was no electricity
supply in the jetty, surely because of the storm. Peter and David came to the
door, anguish reflected in their faces. Peter tried to open it, but he
couldn’t, it was locked.
—See if you can see something through the
windows — said Peter.
Mark Kowalski, one of the policemen,
tried to lean in the window and turning on his flashlight he saw the legs of a
person. The police uniform was unmistakable.
—There he is, chief, he is sitting on the
—Break the door down, — ordered Peter.
Three policemen began to push hard on the
door until it gave way. Jeff lit the kerosene lamp that was hung at the
entrance, and came into the cabin. There he was, Michael Hudson sitting on the
floor, his back against the wall. He was still holding his pistol with the
right hand and the other lay inert hanging from his body. His head against the
wall with his eyes open staring at the ceiling. The bullet entered under his
chin and exited through the skull. The exit hole was huge, parts of the scalp,
teeth and brains were left stuck to the ceiling, and his body lay in a pool of
—God! What happened here? — David
—Do not move anything —the sheriff
ordered. Secure the area! Jeff, contact the city police and report what it has
happened. They will take charge.
—You heard the chief! Secure the area. Do
not touch anything.
Peter and Jeff stayed looking at Michael’s
—What do you think is going on, Peter? I
had never seen anything like this, tonight has been terrible, there is
something very bad, something supernatural among us. It must have been
something hideous so Michael committed suicide. He was a veteran of the Gulf
War as us, and we know he was not a coward – Jeff said —.
—I do not know what to do, Jeff. I do not
know how to fight something that lacks any logic, or who to ask. Those things
we saw, that attacked us. I do not understand — replied Peter.
—Peter, I did not believe in witchcraft or
spirits or anything of those ghost stories, but now I'm changing my mind, and
to be honest, I am afraid of what might happen — Jeff said.
Peter listened to Jeff talking,
meditating on the ghost stories and witchcraft. He had not told anybody about
what he experienced that night at the tomb of the Iraqi desert, not even to his
beloved Jennifer. He even made himself to the idea that it was a nightmare
product of the blast that threw him to the ground and left him stunned. Long
since he had those dreams, but he said to himself: "That was not real, it
was only a nightmare." He attributed those scars on his legs from burns,
to the explosion of a mortar, refusing to recognize that something really
happened, that he faced something strange in that place, something unknown,
supernatural, where he felt a terror ever experienced until now, when he relive
the horror, the terrible experience to feel the nearness of death, fear of the
supernatural and having no way to defend themselves or to know how. He looked
at Michael and felt a shiver to see him there, sitting on the floor. What could
be so awful to make him commit suicide? Was it so terrible that instead of
escaping, he decided to take his life?
—I am also afraid, Jeff — Peter replied.
There must be an explanation for this. There has to be something logical. We
will find the solution. Do not show the rest of them your fear, all right? We
must lead by example. Let's see if we get something before the homicide
department of the city gets here. Check in the hut I am going to check his
—Okay chief, you're right — Jeff agreed.
Josh remained contemplating Susan while
the others ran up the stairs when the children scream of panic, asking for
help, crying, calling their parents. When they reached the hall, the walls and
the ceiling were on fire, they could see human faces in pain coming from the
flames. Faces of men, women and children who tried to speak, but nothing came
out of their mouths of flame.
They saw the door of the playroom opened;
from there they could see as the lights were on and off. Toys, dolls, ornaments
and everything was flying in circles at breakneck speed. The children were
huddled on the opposite wall of the door unable to stand up due to the moving
objects that fly uncontrollably and could beat them and hurt them. The
computer, the little train, the plastic horse and all the furniture revolved by
the heads of the terrified crying children asking to be rescued.
The shadow that had left Susan’s body a
moment ago was now on the ceiling of the playroom, roaring with laughing.
—HA, HA, HA, NOW THIS LITTLE BASTARD IS
OURS! HE IS OURS...
The fire in the hall prevented them from
reaching the room. The faces in the flames that look in pain before were now
laughing with a horrible, shrill sound. Go through the hall in fire was
At that moment, Jennifer heard George's
—Mommy, Mommy, please help me. HELP ME!
—I'm coming, sweetie, I'm coming. —
Jennifer screamed – LEAVE HIM ALONE, SON OF A BITCH! LEAVE MY CHILD ALONE! ...
She ran through the hall in flames. As she
headed toward the playroom the corridor began to lengthen, stretching in a way
that she did not reach the door. As she walked through the flames, she could
feel how the beings of fire bit her, licking her and holding her with arms of
fire, burning her on the way. Jennifer felt the excruciating pain on her skin
consumed by the fire, and the smell of charred flesh, HER FLESH! It was spread
throughout the house. She was ablaze, writhing in pain, but still kept running
towards the playroom.
Been unable to stand the pain, overwhelmed
with tears, she implored.
—God of heaven, help me to save my son...!
She jumped to get to the playroom and
immediately the flames extinguished, the door was closed and everything fell
Jennifer was lying on the floor against
the door, trembling and crying. She looked at her hands, arms, legs, and she
found that nothing had happened to her; she has no burns, no injuries.
Everybody else stood paralyzed with
terror, they thought Jennifer was burned to death and when they saw her
kneeling at the entrance, they approached her in silence. Ann and Dolores were
—I can hear nothing — said Will.
—Let's go inside, I think the men should
go first — Charles said.
—But what if "that thing" is
still there — said Will — we could....
Jennifer stood over, walked between the
two men and opened the door slowly. The whole room was a mess; it seemed that a
hurricane had passed through, toys, ornaments, furniture, everything was upside
—And the children? — Ann asked — where are
The children were nowhere to be found.
—SEARCH EVERYWHERE! UNDER THE FURNITURE!
MOVE EVERYTHING, THEY HAVE TO BE HERE! — Cried Will.
—Holy Moses! “It” took them! “It” took the
kids! — Said Dolores — crying in distress.
—It can’t be true, they have to be
somewhere — Charles said — and he continued looking for them frantically.
DENNIS, MICHAEL, ANSWER, PLEASE! ... WHERE ARE YOU?
Josh ran upstairs and found everybody
looking for the children everywhere; calling them, crying, screaming in pain
—Josh, Josh, our children are gone; they
are nowhere to be found, Josh. They are not here, please help us. — Ann
—What has happened to them, damn? Where
are they? — Will said, crying inconsolable.
The priest was shocked, moved by the
grief of his friends, terrified by what he had seen. First, Susan's death, and
now the children disappear. What had happened? He loved God with all his heart.
When he left the seminary and he was ordained a priest, his blind faith
prevented him from seeing beyond what he had learned. The Bible was for him
"holy word", no doubt about it, something that could not be
questioned. He became a more critical person over time. He still loved God but
was also aware of how Catholicism used manipulation to keep the faithful, with
a doctrine of blackmail, most of the time, and threats that he did not share.
He realized that the congregation where he belonged was controlled by human
beings with ambitions, envy, errors, defects and unlimited desire for power. He
had seen with much sadness how over the years, his congregation was losing
followers. The so absurd banning in the use of condoms, by the Catholic Church,
seemed really wrong to him. The policy to hide the sins of pedophile priests or
the ones who committed other crimes, and to make it public only when it was
inevitable and already a public scandal, it was unacceptable to him. For him,
evil, devil or whoever was evil personified was on the earth, in evil deeds,
when do badly to others and not to help fellow men. Devil was just a fable,
stories that "enriched" to Catholicism, a way to sell the doctrine
and win followers. Cases of demonic possession were merely mental problems in
nature; God was everywhere, in the love felt by parents for their children, in
the marriage vows, in helping others, in protecting helpless people, in saving
a life even of a stranger, in a work of art, in sacrificing ones’ life for
others. Josh could see God's work every day, but that night, his faith and
beliefs collapsed when he realized the presence of evil. Surely, the author of
all that horror was a dark and evil force, and he didn’t see God anywhere.
Will, Ann and Jennifer were still in the
frantic search for the children while Charles was attending Dolores, who lied
unconscious on the floor. Instinctively, Josh went downstairs to the living
room; he looked at the corpse and went out. He got to his car, entered by the
passenger side, opened the glove compartment and pulled out a black leather
case; he thought for a moment and then returned to his friend’s house.
He passed by the deceased again and said:
—Dead people can wait.
He went upstairs and found Will talking on
his cell phone with the police, while the others were sitting on the playroom
floor. Desperation and despair seized the room.
Father Josh Miller opened the black
leather case from which he got a very small brown glass bottle, with a gold
cross, containing a transparent liquid, and a metal swab with wooden base. He
placed it on a small table next to the door, then he took a green clerical
stole out, he kissed it and placed it over his neck so that the ends descended
on both sides of the chest as if he was going to celebrate a mass. Then he
pulled a small black book, with a cover where it reads in gilt letters “The
Standing in the middle of the room, while
the others were left in their despair, he made the sign of the cross, and with
clear, firm voice he said:
—IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, THE SON, AND
THE HOLY SPIRIT, AMEN.
—Lord, you who can see everything and have
mercy on your people, we pray for the children of these families, for the
innocent children who are paying for a sin they have not committed, Oh, Lord! I
implore you to enlighten this place to find the whereabouts of Francis, Luisa,
George, Dennis, Michael and Thomas. Please do not let these innocent creatures
suffer, dear Lord. —He knelt down touched by the pain of the parents, making a
plea from the bottom of his heart and he raised his arms—: LORD, I IMPLORE YOU
TO FORGIVE MY SINS. PLEASE, SAVE THESE CHILDREN. IF SOMEONE HAS TO PAY FOR ANY
OFFENSE, LET ME BE THE ONE, NOT THEM!
In the midst of her suffering Jennifer
turned to see Josh and instinctively knelt down, so did the others, except Ann,
who turned red with anger began to shout at the priest.
—WHERE IS THAT GOD WHO HAS ALLOWED
SOMEBODY TO TAKE MY MOTHER AND MY CHILDREN? WHERE IS THE SON OF A BITCH WE PRAY
TO EVERY DAY? AND I ALWAYS GO TO MASS. WHERE IS THAT GOD WHO HAS TOLERATED
“THAT THING” TO RUIN MY LIFE? WHERE? WHERE?
Josh paid no attention to the screams of
Ann; he took the swab and began to agitate it against the corners of the room
by spraying water everywhere.
—Oh, Lord, Our Father which art in heaven!
... Give us your indulgence and save these children. Bless this home and
deliver us from evil.
He went on for a while and nothing
happened, while everybody else wept disconsolately. Josh was desperate not
knowing what to do. Around him there was sadness, despair and pain. With all
his strength Josh threw the bottle at the wall and broke it into several
pieces, then he threw the swab and finally the bible; some pages came away when
banging the surface and then stayed on the floor while Josh screamed with his
face flushed with anger:
—WHERE ARE YOU, GOD! SHOW YOUR POWER AND
MERCY! DO NOT LET EVIL WIN! HELP THESE FAMILIES! ... LISTEN TO YOUR PEOPLE! LISTEN
TO YOUR CHILDREN!
Suddenly the house started to shake. Jenny
and the others looked terrified, screaming while Josh went completely out of
—DO SOMETHING! DO NOT ABANDON US! DO NOT
LET EVIL TRIUMPH! DO NOT REMAIN IMPASSIVE WHILE THESE CREATURES ARE IN DESPAIR!
The whole house was moving, the furniture
in living room, the kitchen utensils; the ceiling lamps trembled
Next, Josh addressed the evil event that
wiped the children out.
—YOU, DAMNABLE ABOMINATION! LET THE
CHILDREN FREE! EVIL FREAK, REMAIN OF THE UNIVERSE! RELEASE THEM! MISERABLE
MONSTER, GET BACK TO WHERE YOU CAME FROM! ...
The walls began to crack as pieces of
paintings felt from the ceilings, making them fear that they were to come down.
Without warning, one of the windows exploded like a giant vacuum cleaner,
absorbing what it was around. It seemed that something very big, a huge body
had gone unseen by. The shaking stopped, and everybody remained very quiet and
they were amazed.
—Are you all right? — Asked Charles.
—Quiet — Josh said — listen.
They stayed quiet, trying to hear
something. A few seconds passed.
—There's nothing, said Will. What did you
At that moment they heard the children
crying and calling to their parents.
—Mom, Dad, here we are, here we are. —
They were the voices of the kids –
Everyone stood up immediately, but they
didn’t know where the voices were coming from.
—Search again — said Josh.
Will went to the closet and there he found
Francis and Luisa, who were sitting and crying, very frightened.
—Dad, we are here, Dad...
Will hugged and called Ann. The four of
them came together in a big hug, filling their children with kisses and tears
—Mommy, Mommy — it was George who came out
from under a chair that was overturned on the bed — Hi Mommy.
Jennifer ran and hugged her son, saying,
thank you, God, thank you, God.
—Dad, Mom, — There were Dennis and Michael
who were in the little toy tent. Charles and Dolores could not control their
emotions and went to hug their children.
—Thomas, Thomas, where are you my love?
Thomas, repeated Mary, Thomas...
Josh started looking around the room
—Will, Charles, look all over the house,
we have to find Thomas. — Josh said.
—Yes, — said Will – let’s go, Charles.
—Listen to me, Mary, we will look
everywhere for Thomas. We will find him, all right? — Josh said.
—Yes, let's go to look for him... said
They were about to leave the room when
—There, under the blanket! There’s
Mary and Josh were running to the blue
blanket that covered the playpen. Everybody checked it several times before the
children appeared. Josh uncovered all at once. Thomas was there.
Wide—eyed, blue pants, red shirt and
stockings with comics, he was semi—sitting with arms at his sides, face and
tongue out bruised. The neck secured by the ribbon in the pacifier that had
been entangled in the corner of the playpen, choking him to death.
—NOOOO! — Shouted Mary — grabbing Thomas and
removing the neck loop, No, Thomas, wake up, Thomas, my love, you're with
Mommy, let’s go, wake up, sweetie, wake up.
She hugged and kissed him tenderly as her
tears felt on Thomas’ face.
—Thomas, baby, wake up, sweetheart;
please, wake up.
Jennifer came to Mary, hugging her.
—Mary, he is gone, he is gone.
—No — said Mary – with Thomas’ little body
in her arms. Don’t you realize he is asleep? He will wake up at any time, won’t
he, Josh. Father Josh?
she was begging Josh, as if he had the power to raise the baby
—Tell me that Thomas is going to wake up,
please, make him wake up, Josh.
The priest moved closer and sore, he had
a feeling of immense sadness and grief, he was overwhelmed by seeing the
suffering of Mary. He approached her, hugged her, and with a lump in his
throat, he said,
—Thomas is gone, dear Mary, he is gone.
Mary kept hugging Thomas, crying silently,
rocking and cuddling him as if he was asleep...
Chief Donovan, you have a call from
Central, they say it's an emergency. — Dean said.
—Why they didn’t call my cell phone? — said
—It seems that this area has no coverage
or you have it turned off.
Donovan found that his cell phone had
indeed no signal. He turned to Jeff.
—Take over, I will contact central from
—Is the radio in Lightning 2 working? –
Peter asked to Dean.
—Yes, chief, it does now. But portables do
not reach here that well.
Peter walked to the patrol and reported by
—Go ahead, Central, Tornado here.
—Tornado, you need to return home as soon
—What is the matter, Central?
—We have an emergency situation.
Peter felt his legs trembling.
—What's the problem, Central?
—It's not clear what happened; apparently
there was an accident at your neighbor’s house — Will Perrys. We suspect there
are injuries. I've already sent an ambulance and firefighters are on their way.
Peter felt short of breath.
—Chief, Chief! Are you still there?
—Yes, central, we are in our way, keep me
—Something has happened at Will’s; it
seems there was an accident. I don't have a complete report. Leave Fuller in
Peter and Jeff ran back down the road
passing between the dead deer and they brought Franklin with them. They got
into the van and drove back home at full speed.
—What did Central tell you? — Asked Jeff –
—Apparently, there was an accident, we'll
find out when we get there — Peter replied.
The three policemen remained silent in
the vehicle, going through the road in the middle of the night. Peter feared
the worst, that Jennifer and her son George were wounded. Same as Jeff, Peter
wanted to arrive as soon as possible. Franklin was still shaking remembering
what he had experienced.
The officers who remained in the cabin
began to cordon it off placing yellow plastic tape with the inscription:
"NO TRESPASSING – LAGO FELIZ POLICE"
Beacon and Fuller finished putting the
ribbon, when Kowalski, who was searching the lake's edge, came up by the dock
—Hey! Guys! Come see this! — Said Mark.
—David and Dean approached and Mark
pointed at something:
—Look down there.
Numerous shells of bullets were scattered
on the ground, it seemed as if some sort of confrontation took place.
—What happened here? — Asked Dean —
someone was shooting into the lake.
Dean reached down, picked up a sleeve,
looked at it and then sniffed it.
—It's a nine millimeter, it should be
Michael’s, and it shows that it was shot recently; the smell of burnt gunpowder
—Yes, Michael and Franklin were at this
position. This is very strange — David said.
—The shells come from the shore and reach
the edge of the woods, there are some heading to the cottage. — said Mark.
Suddenly everything turned completely
dark, it seemed like an eclipse was happening and an icy wind made them
shudder. They felt overwhelmed with fear but that sensation lasted a few
seconds, then everything returned to normal.
—Shit, did you feel that? — asked Mark.
—Yes, — said Dean — I felt a sort of cold
hand touching my neck. Really, I don’t know what happened.
—I felt the same and also I couldn't
breathe — said David.
—How long do we have to stay here? I have
a strange feeling as if something bad is going to happen. There is something
strange; I can feel it in the air — said Dean.
—Come on, come on. Do you think a ghost is
going to come? — Mark said mocking — and started laughing.
Dean and David forced a smile, trying to
pluck up courage, but the three officers were afraid for real, really afraid,
it was clear...
When Peter and Jeff arrived, they saw a
hearse, an ambulance and the patrol they left in the village, right in front of
Will’s house, with the emergency lights on. At that moment they were lifting a
black bag up on a gurney, while somebody was bringing out a smaller bag from
the house. Mary wept uncontrollably as Josh was holding her by her arm
preventing her to fainting. Will and Ann hugged their children, so did Charles
Jeff jumped from the car still running and
ran towards his wife.
—Mary, Mary, Where is Thomas? Where is
—Oh, Jeff, Thomas is gone; he’s gone —
replied Mary – crying at the same time.
—Mary, for God’s sake! Where is Thomas?
Where is my son?
The Douglas’ were destroyed. Peter got
down and hugged his family, he turned to see his friend and it was
excruciatingly painful. Apart from them, Ann hugged her husband and her
children, looking with sorrow as they carried the remains of her mother.