TO START THE CYCLE :
It’s only a siren’s song baby
Hey there Mr. Cthulhu
Got some toxic truth?
THE DORLEY CYCLE
An ambulance, led by a police car, no siren, only lights drove past us. I kept myself to myself, head hanging low, arm tight around Eli, and thought they’d finally found him, the Chief, or some other body with peculiar discoloration, a hollow stomach and a rotting pit for a mouth. When the silent convoy was away I quickened my pace, looking around, finding faces where there were none.
The old coast had turned into a memorial and people made lines carrying flowers, pictures, cards, teddy bears, placing them in a circle near the spot where the bodies were found. I heard sobs, remembering there were mothers in Dorley, and whereas the fathers were stern, the harshness had spared the mothers and they wept.
He finally escaped my grasp, jolting me aside.
“I just want to talk, Eli. All I’m asking for is five minutes and then if you don’t understand or don’t care about what I’ve said, I’ll go away.”
Eli looked anywhere but me. My eyes found a female officer standing guard to the grieving ceremony. He looked at her too.
“I don’t trust you.”
I grabbed his arm thinking he’d make a run for it, screaming murderer for the whole of Dorley to hear.
“Let go of me!”
“I was here when no one else cared about you, not your mother, not your father, no one in this family. I stood next to you when your daddy got put in the ground. I was going to take you with me, back to Boston if it weren’t for the things that happened. I’m trying hard to get to you kid, but you’re not helping. Be angry, fine, be doubtful. But give me a chance to say what I gotta say.”
He stopped fighting me and I let go of him.
“I got a room nearby. It’d be best if we talked there.”
After a long pause Eli nodded.
The building seemed empty and I pictured the landlord dozed off again in his dungeon of a room. The front door was locked and I fumbled my pockets for the key. Maybe Paulie was here waiting for me, sitting at the foot of the stairs or breathing in the boiled sea stench that escaped into my cold and lonely room. Maybe I’d fight him there and show Eli what hid inside his mouth. Maybe he’d try to talk to me and convince me again how good it was to die and be over with it. One way ticket away from Dorley. I glanced back feeling goose bumps.
There were eyes on us, motionless figures with carved grey faces, boring their glimmering black orbs into me and Eli. The men from the pub stood across the street, a procession of their own, carrying a decorated wooden cross. I smiled to them, letting them know I knew. The man with the checked red shirt was there. He offered me a salute. I was to know I was surrounded. Good.
The door opened with a creak.
There was a note attached to a piece of paper pushed under my door. If it was convenient I was to fill in the form, put down my name and period of stay. It was signed with a scribble more than a name. I tossed it aside. Eli sat on my bed and I grabbed the only chair in the room and sat facing him.
“Why were you at the police station, Eli?”
He looked at the floor then at me.
“I was called in for questioning.”
I leaned in.
“Did they ask about me?”
The two officers dealing with me were clueless to whom I was, but I had the feeling Eli met with the black suited gentleman instead. My heart thumped in my ears.
“Did you tell them I was here?”
It was a matter of time before they found me and locked me, this time for good.
“What else did they ask?”
“If you murdered those two kids.”
“And what did you tell them?”
“I said I didn’t know.”
Eli rubbed his palms against his jeans.
I looked at him, and he wasn’t asking angrily, he wasn’t judging. He was frightened of the truth.
“No. I tried to tell you before there are things in Dorley that are scary and deadly.”
“One of the detectives showed me a picture of a girl from twenty years ago, then he made me look at the close-ups of those two kids. I don’t understand how they can look like that.”
It was a genuine confusion.
“They’re very old, he told me, venomous creatures that had once roamed seas. Now they’re here, making a king. They killed the Chief of police, they killed those two kids and they will kill more. I don’t know how far the FBI will dig into this before they get harmed too, but I know I can make it stop. This thing is still weak and I can kill it.”
“You are talking about monsters again Jackson. And they aren’t real.”
“You saw those photos. You saw the marks, those sucker marks. Your daddy taught you the marine world didn’t he?”
“Giant squids.”, he muttered.
“Something like that, yeah.”
He kept on babbling.
“He said he saw one of those when he was little. He said it was bigger than a house. He said many crazy things while he was dying.”
“These aren’t stories. These are real Eli and they are here in Dorley.”
He began to cry, uncontrollable sobs mixed with snot. I sat back in my chair. The boy wasn’t arguing my sanity. He was fighting back denial, refusing to believe he knew some truth. Then he began talking.
“We were fooling around, Kieran and I. We got drunk and smoked, and went on his motorcycle up the hill to the trailer park. He told me we could fuck around with the retards make them say stupid shit and I went with him. Only they weren’t like he said. There was something coming out of this woman, coming out down from her. And it wasn’t just her. There were more and all these things came out of them and burned in the fire. I don’t understand, Jackson, I don’t understand.”
I grabbed him, steadying his shakings.
They sacrificed the weak to make room for the strong. Only there weren’t strong ones being born.
I stood up, excitement washing over me. The bottomless hole stirred, a clearing creeping in, smearing the blackness away.
“I’m going to kill them all. Will you help me, Eli?”