THE DORLEY CYCLE
Behind the police line its dark, an infinity seeping out of a black hole,somewhere in the back of my head; it’s stretched to all sides but ahead, where the projectors illuminate the sand and the camera flashlights blink two at a time. And I am standing in that infinite darkness, body cold, but mind ablaze, insides burning up as an infection spreads and consumes me into blindness far thicker than the night, and so much wider than the sky; I dwell in it, floating without mass as only dead fish do. Raging is the memory. Painful is the comeback.
And I have comeback to Dorley, my universe, my anchor.
My eyes are pools which drown the image of the two deformed corpses laid side by side. I recognize a pattern, a similarity in the atmosphere. Can they not see it?
I pulled aside from the bystanders peeping for a look at the macabre scene making my way through police officers pushing watchers and reporters away. I had seen enough.
“Can I get you something?”
The bartender dragged his rusty voice over my ears and it felt like razors twisting inside my brain. I flinched and closed my eyes letting the mental attack pass away before pulling a ten dollar bill and passing it to him.
“Scotch, single, whichever brand.”
He nodded and took the money, shooting me a suspicious glance. Bartenders always do that, especially when they have a guy looking like me sitting at their bar. I felt his eyes glide over the scars on my forehead and smirked to myself for having grown a thick beard to somewhat conceal the ones on my cheeks.
My flaming senses began to calm and I relaxed my shoulders, breathing out the built up tension. I was succumbed to my thoughts, sunken to my past, and then again, I was back in Dorley. I was excused for having any mental breakdowns. I felt a void like a draft come inside me, blowing away my confidence to specks of dust. After two years of nothing and growing fond on the idea of it all being big bullshit, here it was again, the unmistakable sign that Dorley was a whirlpool spitting out monsters.
The glass was put in front of me and I took a sip. Even if the majority of the town was changed to fit the seaside resort criteria, the Old Side had kept the same shitty charm it used to have before, only now having the society in a tighter circle made it twice worst to be around. The absurdity of the place now collided with the surrealism of it.
I took in my surroundings not really remembering being inside this bar. The people clinging like moths to light, sat with their beers and their card games, heads bobbing up and down, dirty nails scratching sun-kissed faces. Sailers, fisherman, laborers, the lot of them. It seemed to me, having a classy hotel and a Ferris wheel pier made no difference to them. It didn’t work for me either, only set a slight unease; I knew there were winged and fishtailed humanoid skeletons lying at the bottom of the sea. So much for vacating safely. But they didn’t know.
There were times I wished the construct of my thoughts couldn’t reach past a barricade of the deepest ignorance. I was initiated by the revelations forced on me into something I didn’t and still don’t fully understand.
But thedead boy and girl, those two strange carcasses were my new enigma; they were pieces of my puzzle and they fitted in perfectly. They welcomed me back to my mythos. Whatever had done that to them was speaking to me and I would be rude to not respond back. I would slaughter again.
I emptied the glass, grabbing my jacket.
“What’s with the sirens outside?”
I looked up half thinking the bartender had gone all soft on me, but it was a middle-aged man dressed city-like taking the sit next to mine. A man in a checked red shirt, shuffling a deck of cards had called him up.
“Someone died I hear.” He said as he took his drink and untwisted the beer bottle’s cap.
I eased on my sit, pulling out another tenner and gestured to the bartender.
“Can’t say. They won’t say. Would be in the papers though. It’s down by the old fisherman’s cabins.”
The checked shirt man nodded and went back to his game.
“Though what I hear is, two kids got overdosed on something.”
“You reckon some junkies?”
I eyed the guy.
“What else would it be?”
“Murder.”, I filled in.
The city man said nothing, only took a large gulp from his beer, but I could feel the fat card player’s eyes on my back.
“There haven’t been a murder this side of town since 86’ boy.”
I spun on my chair giving my full attention to the checked shirt man.
“What happened in 86’?”
“Well”, he mashed up the deck of cards once more, “some local youngsters fooled around with upstate teenagers on a camping trip here. They were suspected of, what they call it…yeah, ritualistic murder, but they were never convicted. Some poor gal went missing, but I don’t think they ever found her too, only some weird markings on the beach. So that’s that. But Dorley is a good town with good people. There are no murderers here.”
The door of the bar slammed behind me. What a pleasantly fucked up seaside town Dorley is. I left here, fleeing in fear and anger, and I returned terrified of what I might find instead of closure. And oh, I need closure.
They took a wrong turn, they all did, including me and they deposited into this scheme bones and blood. Years and years the defense of their isolation had kept the eyes of the world from their deeds. The people of Dorley. Could I believe they didn’t know?