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William A Pusey

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· Song Of The Succubus

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· Night Journey(Chapter 5)

· Night Journey(Chapter 4)

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Books by William A Pusey
Night Journey (chapter 2)
By William A Pusey
Posted: Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Last edited: Wednesday, December 15, 2004
This short story is rated "R" by the Author.
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Recent stories by William A Pusey
· Night Journey(Chapter 5)
· Night Journey(Chapter 4)
· Night Journey(Chapter 3)
· Night Journey(Chapter 1)
           >> View all 5
This is the second chapter of a novel-in-progress about a man who is forced into a deal with the devil.

 

       December 13, 1983


The blue Plymouth Duster

pulled into the Greentree 

Shopping Center and drove 

towards the parking lot of the

Taco Hut. As Charlie Jobson

parked the car off to the side

of the restaurant, he saw the

harbingers of Big Brother had

struck the Taco Hut. Spray-

painted on the wall in giant

blue paint was the phrase:

BIG BRO SEZ HAVE A HAPPY 1984

WAR IS PEACE

Written beneath that in red 

paint somone, obviously a

David Bowie fan, added;

BEWARE THE SAVAGE LURE

   The person or persons who

called themselves Big Bro had

begun their campaign of spray-

painting Orwellian phrases on

buildings on Halloween at the

Clarkston High School and have

been at it ever since. No one

had a clue who was doing it.

Charlie thought it was 

probably guys from the

univeristy in nearby Newark. 

He doubted anyone around here

would be clever enough to 

think of such a thing.

   Charlie looked across the

parking lot at the Burger Boy

on the other side of the 

shopping center. Charlie 

hoped that Buger Boy was next

on Big Bro's hit parade, 

maybe even burn the damn place

down as far as he was

concerned. The thought, maybe

with them in it, briefly passed

through his mind but he quickly

regretted it.

   Charlie entered the Taco

Hut. The restaurant was empty

except for the employees 

working behind the counter and 

one employee mopping the

floor in the dining area. He

was the only customer in the

place. Charlie looked up at the

digital clock behind the

counter and saw it was twenty

minutes after Eight.

   Charlie walked up to the

counter and placed his order

for two Chicken 'N' Cheese

tacos and an orange soda. As

the girl behind the counter

filled out the order Charlie

felt a cold chill go down his

spine. Charlie turned around 

and saw the employee with the

mop staring at him. The

employee gave Charlie a smile 

and went back to mopping.

   "That will be six-fifty, 

sir."

    Charlie said, "What?" He

looked back at the girl and

said, "Oh, the food." He

took out his wallet. As he

handed a ten dollar bill to

the girl he looked back at the

employee mopping. The

employee's back was to him but

Charlie still felt like he was

being watched.

   "Sir, your change."

   Charlie turned back around

and took his change. The girl

looked at the employee and then

back at Charlie. She said in a

low voice, "Kyle was looking at

you, wasn't he? You have that

creeped-out look on your face.

I've seen that look on a couple

girls who used to work here.

They quit because of Kyle."

   "You mean he hit on them?"

   "No. He hardly says a word

and he keeps to himself. It's

his eyes. There's something to

them. He gives off a creepy

vibe. You can tell, can't you?"

She turned and picked up

Charlie's food order. She 

handed the tray of food to 

him. Charlie walked over to 

the nearest booth, all the

while looking at Kyle's back.

Yeah, Charlie could feel the

creepy vibe the girl was

talking about. Charlie sat down

and he began to eat. The creepy

feeling began to fade as 

Charlie began to think about 

the events of earlier in the

evening. He didn't understand

how Evelyn could stand him up 

like that. They had the date 

set up for over a week and 

when he went over to pick her

up her mom tells him that 

she's out with Stuart Dane, 

that fuckhead. She's probably

only going out with him 

because Dane's an assistant

manager at the supermarket 

where they worked and Charlie

was just a bag boy.No wonder 

the other guys at work called

her "Easy Ev".

   Charlie thought, but isn't

that why you wanted to go out

with her in the first

place? You knew  about her

reputation from the other guys.

Face it, you're nothing but a

fucking loser. You probably

could give a hooker a headache.

Just finish your food, go

back home, and jerk it to your

porn mags. This weekend's shot.

Friday th 13th indeed. Every

day is Friday the 13th for you.

And of course this wouldn't be

the first time you lost out to

a manager fucking his employees

now, is it?

   Charlie said out loud, "Shut

the fuck up."

   "Talking to ourselves, eh?

That's a sure sign of insanity.

Believe me, I know of such

things. Your mother talks to

herself a lot. You know she

never recovered from your

father leaving the both of

you."

   Charlie looked up and saw

Kyle sitting across from him

in the booth. Up close Charlie

could feel the insanity coming

off of Kyle like radiation.

Looking into Kyle's dark eyes

was like looking into two open

graves. Charlie thought, and

what about that giant zit on

his right cheek? The thing's

throbing like it's almost alive

or something.

   "Excuse me but I don't think

I invited you over here."

   "Not consciously but I knew

you were seeking me out. Maybe

not me personally but I know

you've been looking for answers

to the questions that have

plagued you. The main question

being how come you can't catch

a break in life. You're twenty-

three years old and still at

your high school job of bagging

groceries and not going 

anywhere with it and you're

stuck in your mom's basement 

and you can't get a girl to

like you and woe is poor 

Charlie."

  "You seem to know a lot 

about me but I know so little

about you. All I know is 

you're name is Kyle and you 

freak out everyone you meet."

  "Yes, the being that I am

talking to you through is named

Kyle and he's one of my special

souls. In a few years he'll be

quite famous, more famous than

you're ever destined to be. But

destiny can be changed. The

future is not set in stone,

despite what my Opposite

thinks. My intention here is to

prove my Opposite wrong."

   "I don't have a clue what

you're talking about. I just

want to eat and go home. If you

don't get away from me I'm

going to talk to your boss."

   "Go right ahead."

   Charlie got up from the

booth and turned towards the

counter. He saw that the people

working behind the counter were

standing still as if they were

frozen in time. The digital

clock showed all zeros. Kyle

said, "Sit down, Charlie. I can

only stop time for so long. We

have much to talk about and a

limited time to do it in."

   Charlie sat down and asked,

"Who are you? How did you do

that?"

  "So many questions. Let me 

start by asking you one. You 

were a good Catholic boy at one

time. Do you still believe in

all that you were taught back

then about Heaven and Hell and

all that good stuff?"

   "I don't know."

   "There is no time for lies,

Charlie, either to me or 

yourself. We both know that you

had lost your faith a long time

ago."

   "So you're saying everything

in the Bible is true ."

   "It was written by humans so

it does contain their biases

and it does have some

fallaices but there is some

truth to it."

   "Does this mean you're God

or something?"

   Kyle laughed. "Who do you

think I'm referring to when I

talk about 'my Opposite'." 

   "So I guess that makes  

you...."

   "What's the matter, can't

say my name?"

   "I just never believed you

were real."

   "Well I am. Go on, finish

your food. Then we can talk."

   Charlie picked up his taco.

He was about to take a bite

when he saw the pimple on

Kyle's cheek burst opened and

maggots crawled out from

beneath the skin. Charlie

dropped the taco.

   Kyle smiled and asked, "Lose

your appetite?" He pointed at

the taco and asked, "May I?"

   Charlie nodded. Kyle picked

up the taco and ate it in three

big bites. As he was chewing

the last remnants of the taco

he reached up to his cheek.

Charlie saw Kyle's fingers were

covered in maggots. Kyle put

his fingers in his mouth.

Charlie looked away from Kyle

and tried to keep what he ate

from coming back up. Kyle got

up from the booth and said, "I

need some nachos. I'll be

back."

   Charlie closed his eyes and

thought, this isn't happening.

It's just a dream.

   "It's not a dream, Charlie.

Now quit fucking around and

open your eyes."

   Charlie opened his eyes and

saw that Kyle had sat back down

in the booth. Kyle had a large

pile of nachos on a tray on the

table in front of him. Kyle

began to eat. In between bites,

Kyle said, "These are good. You

should have gotten some."

   "If I knew I was going to be

having dinner with the Prince

Of Darkness I might have."

   Kyle laughed, "You have a

glib remark for every occasion.

I've always liked that about

you, Charlie. Too bad you never

got more of a chance to show

off that wit."

   "What's that supposed to

mean?"

   "I'll explain in due time."

   "Okay, start by telling me

why you're here and what you

want from me."

   "You've seen the movies and

read the books. You should know

what I want."

   "You mean this is one of

those deals where you offer me

the world for my soul? How

cliche. I'm almost disappointed

that you even bothered with me,

Mister Devil."

   "You should be used to

disappointment. Your whole

life has been one big  

disappointment. And I know that

it bothers you, no matter how

much it bothers you. Beneath

that cynical facade is a sad

little boy. Your life doesn't

have to be a disappointment

any more if you don't want it

to be. Plus you'll be getting

revenge on my Opposite. He is

the one who gave you this life

and I know how much you hate

Him for it."

   "And what if I tell you to

fuck off?"

   "Why would you want to do

that?"

   "Well if I don't have any

love for God why should I have

any love for you?"

  "Because unlike my Opposite I

actually pay attention to you

mortals and your petty little

problems. I know what it is

that you want and I shall give

it to you."

   "Like what?"

   "I can give you whatever it

that you want. You have a

creative mind. You just need to

do something with it. You're

not doing anything with that

creative mind now but I could

help you with that if you allow

me. With all the money and fame

you shall have plenty of women

who will do anything to please

you. Take my offer and you'll

meet women who will make you

forget about the one you long

for."

   "Shit, you mean Evelyn. Fuck

that slut. She don't mean squat

to me."

   "I'm not talking about her.

You know who is is that I'm

referring to. I could tell you

what she's doing right now this

minute with Mr. Buger Boy, as

you refer to him. It's a dagger

in your heart, isn't it? Me

personally I never knew what

you saw in her but I rarely

understand the thinking of

humans."

   "Of course you wouldn't

understand. You didn't know her

most of your life. I did."

   "And that is what bothers

you the most about the

situation. You two grew up

together. You knew her much

longer than he did so you feel

like you have more of a claim

to her than he does. This I can

understand, petty selfishness."

   "It's not selfishness."

   "It isn't?"

   "Fuck you. I wouldn't expect

you or anyone to understand."

   "Then explain to me your

silly feelings for her. Tell me

what's so special about

Andrea?"

   "How can I explain things to

a creature who admits he

doesn't understand human

emotion?"

   "Yes, how can you explain,

especially when you don't 

understand your own emotions

yourself? I don't know why my

Opposite gave you humans all 

these emotions, probably as a

joke though He didn't show 

much of a sense of humor when 

I was around Him. That's okay

with me since human emotion 

can be easily manipulated to 

my advantage. I bet you wish 

you didn't have as much 

emotion right now. Am I 

right?" When Charlie didn't 

say anything, Kyle asked, 

"What, no sarcastic comeback

this time? Did I hit upon

something?"

   Charlie couldn't speak. He

wondered if Kyle, or whatever

it was, had a point. Maybe 

Charlie didn't fully 

understand what he was feeling

and why and maybe the bastard 

was right when he said Charlie

was acting selfishly. Charlie

had wondered sometimes when 

did things begin to take the

turn they did and if there 

was a way to have prevented

it.

   Like Charlie told Kyle, he

had known Andrea for most of

his life. Charlie's best 

friend when he was a kid was 

Mike Conrad who lived next 

door to Charlie and his mom.

When Charlie was younger he 

would spend time after school

over at the Conrads while his

mom was working at one of her

two jobs. Charlie sometimes 

felt more a part of the 

Conrad family than with his 

own mother. Charlie and Mike

would attend each other's 

birthdays. On Mike's birthday,

his Uncle Ken and Aunt Ruth 

would come to visit with 

their daughter Andrea, who 

would often tag along with 

Mike and Charlie. She was two

years younger than the boys. 

At first they didn't like the

idea of a girl tagging along

with them but Andrea won them

over with her charm. She

qiuckly became like a little

sister to the boys.

   When Andrea was twelve, 

Ken and Ruth were killed in a

car accident. Since the 

Conrads were the only 

family she had, she went to

live with them. Time went by

and Charlie and Andrea became

close. She once said to him,

"I feel comfortable around. I

feel I can tell you things that

I can't tell my family." Andrea

had also begun to blossom into

an attractive young woman even

though the only one who didn't

seem to notice this was Andrea

herself. Charlie grew more fond

of Andrea and was confused by

his feelings. This was someone

who he had seen grow up. He was

afraid to say anything about it

to her because it might cross

some sort of line so he kept

his feelings to himself.

   One spring evening over

three years ago Charlie and

Andrea were sitting on the back

patio of the Conrad house. Mike

was out with his friends. Mike

and Charlie had begun drifting

apart after graduation when

Mike went off to the University

of Delaware and Charlie began

working at the supermarket.

With Mike off at college

Charlie found himself hanging

out more and more with just

Andrea. Andrea was telling

Charlie about the upcoming

senior prom. "I'm not sure if

I'm going to go. It seems like

a big hassle. Plus no guy's

asked me out yet."

   "The guys would be dumb if

they don't ask you to the prom.

If you were in my senior class

when I was in high school I'd

ask you out."

   "I remember you telling me

at the time that you thought

proms were nothing but, I

believe the term you used was,

'conformist bullshit'."

   "I was such a punk back

then."

   Andrea said in a bad British

accent, "You were a regular

Charlie Bloody Rotten."

   Charlie said in an equally

bad accent, "And you're a real

Andi Blooming Vicious."

   Andrea yelled, "Anarchy for

the U.S.A.!" They both laughed.

   Andrea said in her regular

voice, "I'm glad you didn't do

anything goofy during that time

like get a Mohawk or stick

safety pins in your face."

   "That was just fashion. That

was as much conformist bullshit

as the middle-class suburban

bullshit the punks were

supposed to have been against."

   So that's why you didn't go

to your prom, because it was

the punk thing to do?"

   "I guess so."

   "I have an idea. How about

you take me to the prom?"

   "You want to go with me?"

   "Sure. You're only young

once. You missed out on your

prom so why not make up for

it?"

   "Well it's not like I'm

sitting around regretting

missing out on my prom. He

added in his British accent,

"I'm Charlie Bloody Rotten,

remember? Proms are bloody

boring."

   "That's why I want you to

come. The prom might not be so

bloody boring with you. We can

make fun of the suburban

conformist."

   "When you put it like that

how can I refuse."

   "So it's settled. Just don't

get any ideas about getting any

action after the prom."

   Charlie's face turned red.

"I wasn't thinking anything

like that."

   Andrea laughed, "I know. I

was just messing with you.

You're so cute when you get

flustered like that."

   Up until the night of the

prom Charlie wanted to act like

it was no big deal. It was just

a friend thing. But on the

night of the prom as he was

standing in the front hall of

the Conrad house and watching

the stunning young woman

comming down the stairs

wondering if this was the same

little kid that used to follow

him and Mike around that he

knew that she had his heart.

After Mr. Conrad had taken

pictures of the two of them

they left the house and got in

Charlie's Duster. The prom went

by like a blur for Charlie. All

he could think of was how

beautiful Andrea was and that

she was with him. When Charlie

dropped Andrea off in front of

her house, Andrea asked,

"Tonight was great. Did you

have a good time, Mr. Rotten?"

   Charlie said, "Yeah." There

was a pause as they looked at

each other.Charlie wondered if

he should kiss her.

   Andrea said, "I got to go. I

start work tomorrow at Burger

Boy. I'll talk to you later."

   Charlie said, "Okay."

   Andrea got out of the car.

Charlie cursed himself for

chickening out as he drove

home.

   Charlie was there for  

Andrea's graduation but after

that he didn't see much of her

with her new job and all.

Sometimes he would see her be

picked up from her house or

being dropped off by Taylor

Casey, one of the managers at

Burger Boy. It was one summer

evening when Charlie came home

from work and he saw Taylor's

car parked in front of the

Conrad house. Charlie wasn't

sure what it was that made him

get out of his car after he

parked in front of his

house and walk towards the car

that was parked in front of 

the Conrad house. Charlie 

looked through the back window

of the car. He saw Andrea and

Taylor kissing in the front 

seat. Charlie turned and ran

into his house.

   Kyle snapped his fingers in

front of Charlie's face. 

"Flashback time's over, 

Charlie. Time to face reality.

We have a decision to make and

time's a-wasting."

   "Okay, I understand your 

offer but like I said before,

what if I tell you to shove

your deal?

   "You have every right to 

turn me down. If that's your

choice I will take my leave of

you and you'll forget I even

bothered you but there is

something you must know before

you make your decision. Follow

me."

   Kyle got up from the booth

and walked over to the nearest

window. Charlie followed Kyle

and looked outside. He saw a

man wearing a long trenchcoat

pacing back and forth on the

sidewalk in front of the

entrance of the restaurant. It

looked to Charlie that the man

was having an heated arguement

with himself. The man's right

arm was cluctched to his side

as if he was holding something

under his coat. Kyle said,

"That's Donald. The poor guy

brought back a couple things

with him from 'Nam. The first

is a tumor in his brain that he

got from exposure to Agent

Orange that has caused his

erratic behavior for the past

couple years. The second thing

is a fully-functional M-16.

That's what he's holding under

his coat. In a few minutes he

will come into Taco Hut and

jump up on the counter. He'll

take out his rifle and start

shooting at the employees.

You'll be so deep in your

thoughts about how bad your

life is that you'll won't

notice him until the shooting

starts. You'll be hit in the

back of the head by a ricochet

bullet. There will be only one

survivor of the shootings. My

friend Kyle here. Crazy can

spot crazy so he'll duck

under a booth when he sees

Donald come in. When Donald

finishes his shooting spree

he will leave the

restaurant just as a couple

cops pull up looking for

something to eat. Instead they

find a crazy man with an

automatic rifle. They gun down

Donald and that's that." He

looked over at Charlie and

said, "You don't looks so well.

Maybe we should sit back down."

   They walked back to the

booth. Charlie looked at Kyle.

"You're telling me I'm going to

die?"

   "That's my Opposite's 'great

plan' for you, to be taken out

by some nutcase. And do you

want to know Kyle's destiny?

Next year Kyle gets a job as a

janitor at an elementary

school. Being surrounded by the

beauty and innocence of the

little boys and girls drives

him mad so he decides take one.

And then another. He kills

quite a few children before he

is finally caught. Now tell me

if that's fair. You and the

rest of the employees will die

and a sick pervert like Kyle

shall live to commit sin after

sin for many years until he

dies of old age on death row.

Think about that the next time

you hear one of these Christian

sheep go on about 'God's will'.

Oh, that's right, you won't be

alive for much longer to hear

that anymore. Not unless you

take my offer." He held out

his hand. "What do you say,

deal?"

   Charlie looked at Kyle's

hand and then back to the front

door of the restaurant. Kyle

said, "That's right, Charlie.

Donald's coming through that

door at any second. Tick-tock.

Time's running out. Tick-tock.

What's it going to be? You

know, it should have been you,

Charlie, not Burger Boy. It

should have been you."

   Charlie yelled, "Fuck it!"

He grabbed Kyle's hand. There

was a burning in Charlie's

hand. He saw smoke rising from

the joined hands. Charlie tried

to pull free of Kyle's grip but

Kyle was too strong. When Kyle

finally let go, Charlie looked

at his hand to see how badly he

was burned. He was shocked to

see that his hand was unmarked

except the hourglass-shaped

mark in the palm of his hand.

The top half of the mark was

completely black.

   Kyle said, "That is a

reminder of our deal. Once the

bottom half is all black then

you'll know that time's up. I

have marked you. Do you

remember from the book of

Revelation how it was said that

my followers would wear my

mark? That in your hand is the

true mark of the beast."

   "What happens now?"

   Kyle reached down inside his

right boot and took out a Bowie

knife. "Right now I suggest

that you duck down because our

friend Donald should be coming

in at five..four..three..."

   Charlie got under the table.

When Kyle got down to one the

front doors flew open and

Charlie saw the man from

outside enter the restaurant.

The man jumped up on the

counter and opened up his coat.

Out came the rifle and he began

shooting.

   As the man was shooting at

the employees Kyle calmly stood

up and walked towards the man

with the knife in his hand down

by his side. Kyle yelled, "Hey

fuckhead!"

   As the man turned to face

him, Kyle raised his arm up and

threw the knife. The man fired

the last rounds in the M-16

clip as the knife blade buried

itself in his throat. Both Kyle

and the man fell to the floor.

   Charlie crawled out from

under the table and got up to

his feet. He walked over to

where Kyle laid on the floor.

The last shots had hit Kyle in

the chest and he was bleeding

badly. Kyle looked up at

Charlie and whispered, "You

better get out of here before

the cops show up. Enjoy your

borrowed time but never forget

that you now belong to me. See

you in a few decades, Charlie

boy." Kyle began to laugh until

the blood came pouring out of

his mouth. Charlie could still

hear the laughter as he ran out

of Taco Hut and got into his

car.

 

Reader Reviews for "Night Journey (chapter 2)"


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Reviewed by Nickolaus Pacione 11/18/2006
I can actually see Wes Craven writing and directing the screenplay of this novel when it is done. You need to find a home in print when the novel is completed. You got a vibe that does what you say you do, bring back old school horror fiction. Coming from a writer who lives by this too -- you did a damn good job of this here.
     This one calls to mind some of the old 1950's horror novels. So for me to say this you really reach into the psyche of the reader to scare the living crap out of them.

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