The Dorley Cycle XXI

TO START THE CYCLE :

First segment

It’s only a siren’s song baby

 Part I ; Part II ; Part III ; Part IV

Prelude

Second segment:

Hey there Mr. Cthulhu

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

Third segment:

Got some toxic truth?

Part XIPart XIIPart XIII

Fourth segment:

Squid Kings and Greek Fires

Part XIV ; Part XV ; Part XVI ; Part XVII ; Part XVIII ; Part XIX ; Part XX

AND FOR A LITTLE COMIC STYLE TREAT: Homecoming & Hey There Mr. Cthulhu

 THE DORLEY CYCLE 

squidkingsandgreekfires9

XXI

 I caught the clingy smell of burnt and received the touch of a shiver, running from him to me. The light left my peripheral vision and fell to the stone floor with a clink!, rocking back and forth creating a shadow twin of the creature and imprinting it twice the size.

I was frozen on my own, not heavy enough to swing back, not fast enough to run. But then he spoke.

“What the hell is that?”

Eli gave the question to the whole of the cave, walking around me, like I wasn’t really there in that moment. His voice was croaky, like he’d drunk too much of the sea, and it was still sour inside his nose and down his throat. I knew how that felt, how it made you bitter and angry, but I also knew how after a while when it had lingered enough it made your spits greenish and the taste on your lips, the one your harsh tongue scrapes,  the only one you’ve ever had. You were what you were.

He almost reached like me inside the break of light to touch the creature, but withdrew his hand in the instant.

“Is it alive?”

I almost reached for his shoulder to comfort him, or hell to  just grab and hold onto.

“Eli..”

“Is it alive, Jackson?”

“In a way.”

We both turned, me kicking the flashlight Eli had put down, till it stopped at the feet of Guy.

Guy picked up the light and steadily pointed it at the colossal squid, gliding it up and down its body.

His striped vest was gone and his face was dirty and bruised where the explosion had caught it. He aimed the light at Eli.

“When I came out of sleep inside that blue hole and came here, the first real contact I made with Guy was in this very cave. I brought him of all with me, this kid with a monstrous sparkle in his eye and emptied him entirely, admiring now I remember, everything about his being. Funny, I had seen your kind before, but they stared from afar with fascination I think, and gave me names. This was different, more thrilling. I induced him for days before putting a part of me inside, my soul, my brain, my own being, removing all that was Guy, because hiding in this cave with this boy who came and went made me realize the need of exploration, of knowledge.”

He swiveled the light from Eli to me.

“Then after sometime I wanted to go back to the sea, but found I couldn’t. My body had decayed, left neglected and lifeless. I wanted to somehow return to my birth form and tried desperately at first, but then in time it seemed pointless. Why would I return to empty seas when there’s much more on land? When I can adapt and survive and have much, much more? I can live, unlike those of my kind that died with the warring tribes of mermaids and sirens. What if I stayed like this and made it possible to co-exist, to find a way to sustain myself inside this new host, like a parasite that inflames its entire system; to grown me back out of him? Then one day perhaps many more would carry a piece of me and of the sea; in a way I would re-create what I lost. A legacy, you know? And perhaps one day the seas will rise up and cover the cities like in the time before. Then who do you suppose would survive, Jackson? Surely, I won’t be alone.”

Guy moved the flashlight under his chin and grinned his perfect white smile, like he had just told a scary story.

“Why are you telling me this?”

He chuckled.

“Isn’t this what you wanted to know, secretly? How things are the way they are? I bet you asked yourself the same question since the day you bashed that pretty little mermaids head with a rock. You wasted a whole town selfishly.”

I guess in a way it was my scary story too, always has been.

“Hear now how our beloved Dorley burns, how it sizzles in the flames your hatred inspired. Listen.”

But what I heard where thunders, growing waves flooding the upper parts of the cave in their attempts to consume us all and send us where we belonged.

“There’s a storm coming, Guy. And you’re all alone. Dorley has burned down. Everyone is dead. Time to go back at the bottom of the sea.”

I waited for Guy to wipe the tears I could see in his eyes; I waited to hear the cry he suppressed biting his lip; I waited for him to fall to his knees and beg. Instead his pupils widened and he showed me, showed us how the light can be scarier than the dark.

“Mr. Jackson, I am never alone.”

Behind him one by one appeared trembling circles of light that expanded to full shapes held tight in a yellow beam. I could half-see their faces, but their numbers where enough for me to recognize the group of people I had followed down the beach.

“I will have my legacy.”

And he did, proving me wrong at my brief success. The cave danced with half-lights and shadows as the town’s people stripped their bodies from their clothes and clawed at Guy to have him naked among them. His limbs bulged at his throat and inside his belly, protesting against the constraints of his disfigured body. He opened his mouth and released thick and black tentacles. The corners of his smile dripped with blood at the stretch where the dried skin pulled with struggle. Those whiplashed upon his followers, who reached for it and he planted hungry suckers across their breasts and held it tight around their gaunt bodies until impatient they too moaned and screamed and hurt, pulling out their inner monster to appear perhaps for the first time. Dozens of wriggling limbs bit with suction cups into his skin and drew blood, and Guy gathered close to him the bodies, like he wanted to be consumed by them, to be fused with them into one being. But they tore at him, puncturing wholes with sharp ends inside him, making way for something greater to be created, to exist, allowing space for it to grow. A fucking squid king. My fucking nightmare. Instead of three hearts it beat with fifty.

Eli dug his fingers in my arm and pulled at me.

“Jackson we have to get out of here!”

I shook my head, gesturing towards the wall of limbs and tentacles and beyond it the only way in or out of this cave, now bashed by angry waves.

“No! “

He screamed in my ear and pointed where the arc lamps were brightest. The wall was a kaleidoscope of bluish-green, mimicking vibrations from bellow. A reflection.

We both ran, and I felt at my slowest, tripping in the dark, but Eli had me by the hand and led me to what was a deep pool.

I held my breath and jumped, the heart clenching water brushing past my ears as I swam after Eli down the freezing cold tunnel. But the cave still close above rattled, a new weight moving through it; a weight that splashed inside the pool, creating torpedoes underwater.

Chapter XXII

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13 thoughts on “The Dorley Cycle XXI

  1. Another chilling episode Cindy, richly descriptive. For some reason I find myself feeling a little sorry for Guy and his fellow creatures, they only wish to survive, as any animal would, regardless of the role they play in nature.

    • Thank you for commenting, Steve!

      He is in fact very ancient and very determined to have some promised land of his, where cities will run with water and his race, although different in vision, will be reborn. But he is a maniac and pity for him collides with this projected into the near future genocide and substitution of humans with squid-like men and women and children. Very disturbing. His survival is selfish. The same way Jackson’s survival is selfish. From the very beginning he wanted to destroy all unnatural to him, all abnormal and belonging to the stories of his childhood. He had an unhealthy grasp with humanity. Wonder where will that end…

  2. Can they hold their breath long enough to find air once again… and if they do, then what? I wonder if Jackson and Eli will figure out a way to destroy them for good.

  3. I hope they can! And also swim fast, because the monstrosity that’s after them is a natural born swimmer… What then you ask…well, a battle of course! And whoever wins… Thanks for commenting, Larry and thanks for comming back around to visit Dorley.

  4. Oh Guy is so awful, so gross, and this episode’s 29th paragraph, well, you musta slowed down for it ‘cause it’s brill, I have every pixel of that image ingrained in my brain and it’s too late to blink it all away. Guy sacrificing his life maybe like the “somewhat alive” colossal squid was used for by Guy et al, maybe, I dunno, but it reminded me of certain huge mushrooms in New England that great, fat slugs drill into and inhabit and eat from the inside out until you can see them all exposed and gorging themselves… Ack! Anyway, torpedoes aside, Jackson and Eli just have to kill every last one of those parasitic slime-things before all this is over!

    • Those huge mushrooms sound right up my street! If I ever want to write some fungi horror story I know what to think about. Glad paragraph 29 gave you chills and ack’s and uck’s, cause’ that’s its purpose! You weren’t moved by Guy’s story of strugle and survival than huh? Good, good. He’s not sacrificing much himself, rather all those people. We’ll see if two men are enough to bring down an army. Thanks for the comment, Miss A! Always appriciate it dearly!

  5. Usually I think of Stephen King with these, but this episode makes me think of the classic Twilight Zone, and of my favourite Willaim Burroughs quote (paraphrasing): “America is an evil place. Long before the Europeans came, long before the Native Americans came, the evil was there.”

    Looking forward to the battle, though it doesn’t seem like it can possibly be a fair fight!

    • Oh, oh, oh, that’s wonderful! I do agree with Mr. Burroughs, there’s something in the soil and in the air, and in respectively in the water that is evil, and he has said it well, paraphrased or not, doesn’t matter. Truth is, I went precisely that way with this story in the first part, about the little fishing town all muddy and ill and old and rotten. Wonderful feeling of horror and despair. I’m a mess.

      And you’re right, wouldn’t be a fair fight, and it wouldn’t be a short one either. But it will be shattering.

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