Tuesday, May 4, 2010

FFF #30 A Psych Ward Story

"I know what I saw and years of anti-psychotics and group therapies couldn't convince me otherwise."


"Is it me, or does this coffee taste weird?"

“Would you just quit trying to change the subject?” I asked throwing my hands up in the air.

“Why do you insist on telling me this wild story?” Kayla shot back.

“It’s not wild, Kayla, it’s the truth.” Frustration was showing on my face.

“Well I think it’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. Giants with wings… you’re losing it, you really are!”

“I’ll take you there and show you, prove it to you!” I exclaimed.

“I’m sure you will Jenna, I’m sure you will.” Her lack of belief bothered me and I knew that until she saw them in person she would never believe me.

She finally agreed to go with me on the horseback ride, claiming that she didn’t think I was “stable” enough to be okay on my own. I packed enough provisions to last us a few days and waited for Kayla to finish saddling her horse.

***

“How far did you say this place was?”

“God, you’re like a little kid Kayla, ‘are we there yet, are we there yet’ I mean seriously, I told you it’s a ways. Just enjoy the ride.”

“Look, there’s some flagging tape, I wonder who’s been putting flagging tape up this time of year…”

“It’s mine you dork, so I could find my way back to see the giants.”

“Giants… Did you fall Jenna while you were riding?”

“No.”

***

We trailed through the trees following the markers that I had put into place, stopping only twice to rest the horses and to eat. Dusk was quickly approaching and I knew we didn’t have far to go. We were now hugged up against a large rock wall that featured petroglyphs from our ancient Indian friends.

“Kayla, let’s stop and build camp here, tomorrow morning I’ll show you the creatures.” She was about twenty feet behind me and I felt like I had to yell just to be heard.

“Sure you don’t want to ride a little further Jenna? Not like we’ve been riding all day!”

I rolled my eyes at her response and began looking for a small alcove or sheltered area we could build a fire and be somewhat protected from the elements. It wasn’t long before we found an outcrop and began unsaddling our horses.

“Man I haven’t felt this sore in a long time.” Kayla complained.

“Well if you would come with me more often, then you wouldn’t be so sore… would you?” I asked matching her sarcasm from earlier.

“I’m going to tell you now Jenna, if you DON’T have anything interesting to show me tomorrow, I swear, I’ll never go on another horse ride with you again.”

Stirring the fire, I thought about what I had seen a few days before. I began telling Kayla my story, hoping that she would believe it if I told her the whole thing. “I had stumbled upon it by accident, the cavern. Indian artifacts and ancient dwellings lined the entrance next to the same rock wall we were huddled up to for the night. More petroglyphs and dwellings, broken pottery, and torn baskets lead the way deeper and deeper into the rock. Pulling out my flashlight I was shocked to find that I had wondered into a large open room where more ancient furnishings were laying. Flint knives lined the ground in one area, spears next to them. Old leather blankets and rotting furs were strewn everywhere. On the far side of the room I saw another tunnel leading downward. The petroglyphs on the wall depicted winged giants towering above normal people. Curiously I touched the wall, and at the top of the tunnel noticed large X’s and the winged people next to each other.”

“You’ve been practicing your ghost stories again, haven’t you?” Kayla tried to suppress a giggle.

Ignoring her, I continued. “I wasn’t sure what type of creatures could have gone below, definitely didn’t want to run into a bear or mountain lion so I grabbed a spear that was leaning against the wall and a handmade flint knife that still had an edge on it sharp enough to cut through an animal’s hide. I began my descent which became steeper and steeper until finally it turned into stairs, like someone had hand carved stairs in the stone. A chain was connected to one wall like a guard rail. I know I can’t be the only one to have ever seen the creatures, because there were so many man made things, like the chain for example. Someone had to put it there!” I rubbed my eyes and took a drink of water to try to calm my racing heart. “I reached the bottom of the tunnel and it leveled out, shining my flash light about, I saw bars, like cells cut into the rock, you know like the ones you only see in movies?”

Kayla nodded her head.

“Well it was like that, but I couldn’t see anything in them, just hear flapping, like bats. I shined my light on the ceiling, but didn’t see any bats. There were no petroglyphs here, nothing on the walls. My flash light reflected off of something, and when I put it back, noticed it was a pair of eyes coming from the cell to my left. I walked closer, hesitant at first but then thinking I was protected by the bars and peered in. I heard chains moving and watched the eyes blink. They began to move, then there it was in my light a magnificent yet unbelievable creature. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say they were angels, but angels don’t exist, they can’t.”

“You must have been without oxygen too long and your brain started making you think you were seeing things.”

"I know what I saw! I just don’t know how else to explain them to you. They were huge, massive, and stood at least twice my size and they had wings, huge wings that they opened and shut, and then they cried, cried the saddest song.”

I turned to Kayla, who was already dozing in her sleeping bag and knew without a doubt that she would believe me in the morning. I laid in my bag thinking about the beauty of them, their pure white skin, luminescent wings that shimmered in the light, perfectly blue eyes that reflected if the light was held just right. I allowed their beautiful song—much like I think a siren’s song would be—draw me into sleep.

***

We woke just before the sun had lit up the sky entirely and quickly made breakfast and prepared to leave. Kayla seemed to take her time as I wolfed mine down and waited impatiently for her to finish.

I had both of our horses saddled and repacked by the time she had finished her coffee. We rode about another two hours before we finally reached the entrance. I could see Kayla fingering and taking in everything that I had tried to tell her about the previous evening. She began putting pottery pieces and basket pieces along with arrowheads in her pockets.

“What are you doing?! You can’t take those, its illegal!”

"If no one knows, it’s not going to hurt them or us.” Kayla hissed.

I found the spear and the knife just where I had left them next to the entrance leading downward and looked at Kayla with her flashlight taking in the pictures above the doorway. “I wonder why they would draw such interesting pictures. I haven’t ever seen petroglyphs like this before.”

Her eyes about popped out of her head when she saw the cells that lined both sides of the cavern at the bottom of the tunnel. Shining our lights, she screamed and dropped hers when her light touched on a pair of large eyes. Picking up her light and helping her to her feet I told her to look closer at them. Together we walked to the edge of the bars and I heard Kayla’s breath quicken at the sight of the beautiful beings. Standing close to twelve feet tall with massive white feather wings that trailed the ground we were both in awe.

Chains started to rattle and soon, the winged giants that appeared to be angels sat pacing the length of their cell in front of the bars. It was when the angel in the far back corner began to sing that all seemed to quiet down and stand still. Kayla went to him. She knelt down just outside of its cell. I noticed too late what I should have seen before. In front of the last cell was a pile of skeletons, each one with an arm reaching through the bars.

“Who are you?” She whispered.

“Orpheus is my earthly name.” It answered the voice of music echoing in our heads even though we heard nothing with our ears.

“And what are you… Orpheus?” she asked.

“I am one of the fallen angels of God, otherwise known in Heaven as Kokabiel.” With the shocked look on Kayla’s face, he quickly snapped out grabbing her hand and pulling himself to her. He stood to his full height and picking Kayla up by her shirt and holding her arm, before I could even blink, his wings shot out and sent a blinding light every which way. The smell of burnt flesh filled my nose as I looked and tried to see what was left of my friend. Finding nothing but a charred corpse, I fled from the cavern as quickly as possible afraid of what my happen otherwise.

I rode my horse and Kayla’s horse all the way back home. The authorities still cannot find the cavern that I’ve talked about. No one knows it exists, other than me. And the only way I can prove that I was there is with Kayla’s disappearance, and also for the rare artifacts that Kayla had carted back out to her horse pack.
..................

“Do you think you are crazy Jenna?” The newly assigned shrink asked me.

"I know what I saw and years of anti-psychotics and group therapies couldn't convince me otherwise."

8 comments:

  1. I enjoyed it. There's a palpable sense of Jenna wanting to be believed. Nicely done.

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  2. Who knew that angels were such big fans of property rights.

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  3. Nicole:

    Very, very nice! A different sort of genre than I typically read. It is in my mind, a sort of fantasy/psychological thriller. It makes me see a blurred aspect between "reality" and "fantasy".

    Thank you!

    PipeTobacco
    http://frumpyprofessor.blogspot.com

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  4. This was very good. I enjoy really creepy stories and this one has such a eerie quality about it. I sure didn't see the ending coming either. Great job.

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  5. Wow, Nicole!

    Makes you wonder if the so-called 'clincally insane' just have a deeper grasp on reality....!

    Nice one!

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  6. You know, I actually HATE this piece, I wrote it and felt like it was forced almost the whole way. there were only a few paragraphs that really flowed well (at least in my eyes) and so I will go back probably this weekend and gut this piece...

    But thank you for your wonderful comments, its much appreciated!

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  7. I actually really enjoyed this story Nicole. You shouldn't be so hard on yourself about it, although I get like that about some of mine from time to time. Keep it up. ;-)

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