Donald Harry Roberts
Twas Madnight. I attended a Halloween party at Jazzy Blues and packed away enough booze to make the walk across the street to my office a zig-zag extravaganza that took ten minutes.
I planned to camp out on the couch in my private office and sleep off the celebration of ghosts, goblins and ghouls. But as I opened the door, whack, a pain crashed through my scull and the lights went out. When I woke I was in hell.
I could feel pain and blood trickled down the back of my neck.
I woke in a place that was like the dead of night only broken by a red glow. I realized I was in a tunnel...... and could see the end of it....an opening through which I could see dancing flames and I could hear voices, horrible wails of agony and lament.
I staggered toward it on the verge of collapsing and retching out my innards. But worst of all a voice, sweet, sickening, inviting and threatening pried into my thoughts. Soft yet harsh. Whispering and loud. It was maddening.
I wanted to scream but I had no voice. Logic instructed me to turn back but when I tried I was still moving toward the flickering opening that never seemed to get closer.
My legs began burning with fatigue. My ears were ringing and my heart banged in my chest like the bass drum of a rock band’s Neanderthal drummer.
Then suddenly I staggered through the opening into a narrow long room that stretched 40 feet left and right, but only 20 directly ahead and there perched on a throne of gold, silver, gems and flame was, dare I say....The Devil, but not he nor she, or maybe the beast was both.
Beside it were two hounds....wolves, Hell beasts with claws of fire and coats as black as a starless night sky.
I tried to turn and run but the opening had closed behind me. And at that second a voice touched my ears, my brain, my heart....even my soul. It was one voice and many...coarse....soft...sweet and acrid.
”Welcome QJ. Rouge to my private lair. I have been waiting long for this day.”
“Nightmare!!!!!!!” Flashed in my head. “Wake up!!”
I did not. The Devil persisted and let out a hideous laugh.
“ I would keep you here as my toy QJ, but I need you for something more important.You are going to kill some one for me because that is what you do.IS’NT IT....KILL...........”
“No. Only.” I tried to answer, but my voice came out in a growl and the beast ordered silence.
“Return to the world of humans, not human but a frothing, mad cur. A Lycanthrope and feast on flesh of your own kind.”
Again I turned to run and this time I escaped, or thought I had but when I found myself loping along the street toward my office I realized I was half man., half beast with fangs like ivory daggers and claws of black steel. And there came to my gut a desire...a horrible wrenching thing that lusted for meat...raw....and warm...fresh....and sweet.
I looked up. A howl came to my throat when I spied the silver disc of the moon hard against the night sky. Yes. This I remember. Long ago....the hunt...the rage and frenzy of the kill....the hunger quenched.
The wide busy street.
No beasts with pirates faces, pigs, donkeys, goblins. A unicorn.
In a madness, trying to drive out the madness I rushed upon a man\fox. Of course its Halloween resounded in my mind but when I tried to rip off the fox mask I heard the beast scream. My face! My face! I am bleeding! You tore my face!”
A dozen other beasts thrashed toward me crying out in anger. Attacking with fists and sticks, kicking feet and clawing hands.
I turned to run but I took only one step when a fist the size of a boxing glove slammed me in the face...
It should have K/Oed me but all it did was bring out a rage that would have scared the hell out of the Devil or should I say the Devil out of Hell.
I turned and ran wildly into a deep dark alley way and straight back into the Devil’s Chamber...
“What? No body. You were suppose to kill. That’s what you do isn’t it. Go back. I want you stinking of death!!?
I found my voice. “NO!!!!!!!!...I am not a killer. I do not lust for death and blood.”
You have blood on your hands. Look QJ...you are a killer. How many has their been. The blood of many is on your hands.” Wailed the devil.
“So what if I do..” I began to say but I stopped cold when the devil took on a new face. A judge. The judge. The one who thought I was worse than any creep I had put in the morgue.
“Then suffer this QJ Rouge. My hell Hounds will gut you like a fresh kill.” Yelled the devil judge angrily.
The hell hounds at the Devil’s side prowled toward me, baring their teeth and snarling viciously. And in that moment I heard my own voice, the voice of my youth rise from the depths of my memory. I spoke to the hell hounds firmly. “I am Alpha. Get behind me.” My voice came in barks and snarls.
And they came to my side and sat quietly. The Devil wails and the fires of hell rose around me in a skin searing blaze. I cried out in pain but held my ground. “You have no power over me . You are like any other vile creep.”
Then I collapsed. When I woke I was laying on the street out side my office with my two black labrahounds licking my face. I was shivering., not from cold but from the inside.
Some one came walking toward me from the direction of Jazzy Blues. The two hounds took a protective stance. I tried to get to my feet but I was too weak.
Then I could see a face, a clownish thing with a smile. but one I recognized.
“Red what’s with you....”
“Only my friends call me Red.” I snarled.
“QJ. Snap out of it!”
“Bushwhacked.” I replied weakly. “Hell. I was in hell.”
Gil Langstaff knelt beside me and gently examined the gash in my head. “Gotta get you to the hospital.”
“The dogs. Put the dogs in the run.”
“What dogs . There are no dogs here.”
My vision faded then.....darkness. I woke hours later with Gil and my secretary Gerty at my side.
“What....where am I?”
“In the hospital Boss.” Gerty answered.
“It seems your assailants gave you a dose of LSD...strong stuff...They even left a note.” Gil added...All it says is “Happy Halloween...have a nice trip........