The Dorley Cycle X

TO START THE CYCLE :  Part I ; Part II ; Part III ; Part IV


Part V ;  Part VI ; Part VII ; Part VIII ; Part IX

AND FOR A LITTLE TREAT:  The Dorley Cycle in one comic strip




Paulie made small whimpering noises while I searched the car for my gun. I punched the glove compartment and it fell off, still bearing two bullets inside.

“Get up.”

He looked at me pathetically, blinking blood off his eyes. His face was beginning to swell.

I pulled him up, the barrel pressed to his gut and pushed him to walk in front of me. He tripped and fell, crawled on all fours, stumbled back to his feet, and limped down the dirt road like a drunk, struggling to find his feet and not cry, and I didn’t move a muscle to help him. He lied. He deceived me. I found a piece of Dorley that was sane and innocent enough to balance all the bullshit accumulating around me. He even fuckin’ saved my life! So, what was I supposed to believe in now?

I licked my dry lips. There was only one thing left in that black pit inside me that I could trust – the cleansing I came back for. Correcting the wrong that has corrupted Dorley. Draining the whirlpool.

I grabbed him by his jacket and knocked him off stance, pulling his body towards mine, shoving the gun in his cheek. His hands went to mine, trying to push the gun away. I moved my free hand to wrap it around his throat.

“Who is the reason for it all Paulie?”

He screamed when the steel pushed deeper into his cuts, reopening the steaming wounds. I loosened the grip on his wind pipe. His voice trembled.

“I tell you, you shoot me right away.”

I was glad I couldn’t really see his face right now. The words bubbled up in his mouth more than before and I could imagine spits of saliva sliding over his chin, dripping like slimy tears all over his front.

“You don’t I do it either way.”

I grabbed hold of his hair and jerked his head backwards, sliding the gun inside his mouth. He bit the steel and cried out again. I whispered in his ear.

“I will be quick if you tell me where to go.”

He mumbled something and gagged. I slid out the gun and shoved him off of me. The look on his face told it all: he wasn’t going to spill. I was to follow. Fuck to this. I had him at aim.

Paulie pointed at the gun in my hand.

“You ain’t got enough bullets to shoot a whole town.”

In the distance behind him, Dorley shinned like a black pearl, swimming in a black sea of waves curving like the intestines of a giant beast. It was calm, but secretly dangerous. I feared what it would be when awake. Him, Paulie, he made no difference alive or dead. He was a speck that irritated my eye right now.

“I will win.”

“You won’t. It’s not about winning or losing. It’s about survival, Jackson. You can’t adapt. Your mind refuses to accept Dorley as it is and that’s slowly killing you. You drifted away from yourself. Who were you before this? I don’t think you know anymore. You’re not a survivor.”

I laughed.

“What makes you so fucking sure?”

“The way I see it, difference between you and me is that I want to live. I want to continue to exist, and you don’t. You’d bury yourself along with Dorley. You push me down the road aiming a gun you know you won’t fire, because you know death awaits at the end and you don’t give two shits about it. You just want it over with. “

He spoke fast and confident, not scared, not alerted.

I lowered the gun, staring at him. It would be easier, won’t it?

“It was never about the others. It was about you meeting an end fit for your story, am I right Jackson? I am taking you there, friend. I will help you finish this. Everything that’s been tormenting you for the past two years will go away.”

The gun rested in my hand.

He is taking me to die. He will help me accept there is no rescue, only in death, only when the eyes are closed and the heart is beating no longer. I will hum her song no more, nor dream of the blood in her hair. I will forget their tormented faces, and her, the sacrificial lamb. I will be free.

“I am not fit.”

“I was going to tell you when we got back in town. You didn’t need to do this. But don’t worry, you’ll get rewarded nonetheless.”


The semi-darkness turned to ash, the morning near. We were back in Dorley, back on the streets of ignorance and Paulie was leading me, I no longer the assailant.

He carried his lame body along the pier, quickening his step, his boots hitting hard on the wood. He sighed with relief.

“Here we are, Jackson.”

I looked up.

There was a soft click-clacking noise and one by one the Ferris wheel’s light bulbs buzzed with green, drawing back into life the frame of the wheel. It casted ghoulish highlights on me and Paulie.

The music rolled into its repetitive rhythm, but it was low and it was just a playful background on which the most cheerful laugh I’ve ever heard sounded.

“I told you you’d come back later.”


Chapter XI


14 thoughts on “The Dorley Cycle X

  1. “You ain’t got enough bullets to shoot a whole town.”

    This line alone implies much, it seems that everyone but himself is in on the secret.

    I thought the reference about him not caring about dying, just wanting it to be over, may be close to the truth too, closure at any cost, an end to suffering and uncertainty.

    I have really enjoyed this series Cindy, I am curious to know though, when you started out did you intend for it to develop into this length, or did the idea take on a life of its own as stories are wont to do?

    • I wrote this chapter late last night and was surprised when suddenly Jackson began to fail, to surender from under my fingers, slipping away. It was such a drastic change I thought about it a lot before posting.

      It was partially scary for me too that Jackson would give up, and that what Paulie fed him as doubts were actual truths. It’s a feeling more human than any other Jackson has felt to this moment.

      As for the series, as many other things I write more into, it was never thought of as a long term project. Jackson was never truly intended to grow as a character, which I believe he now finally did in some ways.

      I wanted to write about this very moody guy, stuck in a crappy little fisherman’s town, whose life collides with the unbeliavable and he destroyes it. And that was all I wanted the story to be – a dominating human, terrified by the abnormal, by the obvious fact that he is not superior in this world, that there are things beyond him that are scary, and ancient and possibly very dangerous.

      But it felt so good, I carried on, pushing Jackson to the limit and expanding Dorley as a true town of myths and horror, because the story unfolded in my head, forward and forward and it persisted to be more than just a singular flash. It drove me mad at times, but I loved it.

      Even when this cycle is finished I think I may revisit Dorley once or twice in different time frames. It’s great fun and I’m glad the story took a life of its own. I may have left it at the first ever chapter too if the responses weren’t what they were.

      I hope that answers your question, Steve. I’m very thankful for your support, not only for this series, but for the whole blog. Thank you!

      • Yes, thank you Cindy. The Dorley story has come a long way from the confrontation with the mermaid, bringing more characters, and more twists and turns along the way. The pregnant horror of last week is still yet to show its true intentions, I hope you have fun wrestling with that one too. When the series reaches its conclusion I shall sit and read the whole story in one go, as week by week details sometimes slip my mind.

        A big thank you to you too Cindy, for the enjoyment of your writing, the entertainment, the unpredictable characters, and of course… the icky, nasty, shuddery bits. 🙂

        And, just as an afterthought…

        Dorley is a nice place for your sanity to visit, but you wouldn’t want it to live there. LOL. 😀

      • My absolute pleasure, Steve!

        Just a note: I’ll be putting the whole series together when it’s done and formatting it for kindle, etc., and will put it up somewhere for downloading, so you’ll be able to read it in a clean format.

        As for the pregnant horror…spoilers. Soon!

        To live in Dorley would be masochism for sure. And as for sanity, it could be a little shaken if you linger longer heh. 😀

  2. So, he’s coming back full circle to a harsh reality. Like the others, I find this story captivating as Jackson has to face himself, face the truth of what he wants to know and find. As always, your descriptions are vivid, and I enjoy being carried away into your world. Well done.

Likes and comments are always appreciated!

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