The Light

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The Light Empty The Light

Post by bungobaggins Sat Apr 18, 2015 5:52 am

Atlanta Georgia: July, 1964

The last few nights had been hot, real hot. Thermometers bulged as mercury levels rose all across the state of Georgia. Ninety-eight, ninety-nine, one hundred degrees Fahrenheit. No but’s about it, it was hot Goddammit, and the local meteorological prognosticators declared the end nowhere in sight. But really, what could anyone expect from mid-July in the heart of Dixie; although the television soothsayers had declared it “The Second Burning of Atlanta,” much to the chagrin of the locals. Yes, it was hot.

The mid-day sun beat down mercilessly against the newly laid asphalt on Cogdon Lane as the streets tenants attempted to adjust to the noxious fumes that would pester them over the next couple of days. The midnight moon provided no relief, from the heat or the smell. Both wafted into James Arrington’s second-story apartment bedroom and roused him from a rather strange dream. James didn’t understand why he had been riding a horse into battle alongside General Lee while wearing a life preserver and brandishing a rolled up newspaper, but now was not the time to ask questions. Something had to be done about that smell. But what to do? Shut the window and roast like Thanksgiving’s sacrificial turkey? The day hell froze over, surely, but not today. He would try that blasted air conditioner one last time.

Everyone and his dog had to have one of these things, and James, who certainly was worth more than everyone’s dog, needed one too. But the damn contraption turned out to be much more of a hassle than a convenience, and the quickest way James found to get it back up and running after it had stopped was to give it a good hard thwack on the top. Three times today it had failed him, three times; so much for the expected third charmed effect. There really was no need to think about it any further, if it worked it worked, if it didn’t hell would freeze over and James would find himself on the Thanksgiving table of some unearthly monstrosity. James raised his arm, made a fist, and let it fall hard.

The metal box roared to life, chortled, then continued with a content hum. James smiled; looks like the Thanksgiving feast would have to wait. A cool blast of arctic air filled the room and a smile spread across his face. He slammed the window shut and noticed something rather peculiar: the street light right outside his window was out. Well, good riddance, James thought. It’s not like that thing ever made it easier to sleep, casting strange shadows and being a general nuisance.

Now, with the drone of the air conditioner continuing uninterrupted, and the death of the unwanted nightlight, James lowered his Venetian blinds, and returned to bed. His bed faced the wall, the only direction it could if light was streaming in every night. Well, that is to say the only direction it could face if you wanted to get any sleep.

James crawled into bed, pulled the soaked covers over his already sweaty torso, realized what a silly idea this was and threw them off and onto the floor. He looked up and noticed a faint pulsating glow on the wall opposite his bed. At first he thought nothing of it, what could anyone expect when your closest neighbor was a street li...

But wait, wasn’t it…? The wheels began to turn, James half awake brain was beginning to shake off thoughts of General Lee and rolled up newspapers. He reached up to adjust his blinds, but they wouldn’t budge. “That damn light’s back on.” He thought aloud and he sprang out of bed, opened the blinds, and saw the bulb, still dead, staring back at him.

----------

To be continued.

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Post by halfwise Sat Apr 18, 2015 12:25 pm

Huh, what? A new contributor to the fiction section? Huzzah! cheers

Very nicely written too, I must add. Nod

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Post by azriel Sat Apr 18, 2015 12:51 pm

cheers Yay ! great start ! I love a story Very Happy

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Post by Orwell Sat Apr 18, 2015 3:06 pm

Mmmm... Suspect tell us more... Nod

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Post by Mrs Figg Sat Apr 18, 2015 6:54 pm

cheers huzzah a story! tell us more bounce Very Happy
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Post by Orwell Sat Apr 18, 2015 11:46 pm

I went to bed last night and now have come back - at least ten hours later I might add and just did! So, Bungolad - where is the next bit, pray tell? Suspect

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Post by Eldorion Sun Apr 19, 2015 3:05 am

I don't have enough energy right now to give a long impression or make any meaningful suggestions, but I enjoyed this and would be interested to see where you take it if you feel up to continuing. I'm glad you shared this here, bungo!
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The Light Empty Re: The Light

Post by bungobaggins Sun Apr 19, 2015 4:14 am

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

----------

James turned to face the wall, raised his left hand in an attempt to block the source of the light from entering through the window. The faint glow persisted. It was pale white, about the size of a hearty grapefruit, and was less visible the more James stared at it. Yet it was as clear as day in his peripheral vision. A closer inspection of the anomaly revealed little more than he had already gathered: the source of the light was not coming from outside, it was not shining in on the wall. It was either one of two possibilities: the pulsing glow existed on the surface of his bedroom wall, or was emanating from behind it.

Both wild and terrifying hypotheses, but that’s what this situation was, wild and terrifying.

“Or it could just be the heat,” James thought aloud. Yes, that was definitely an option, too. In the midst of a nightmare it was never wise to rule out the most rational of thought: you were simply dreaming. What was that saying about the simplest solution being the correct one? Occam’s Razor? Yeah, James was pretty sure that was it, but that smart aleck Occam never had a ghost light mysteriously projected onto, or from inside, his bedroom wall. Plus, James’ mother had always warned him from a young age not to play with anything sharp, his father’s razors included. How could he fully trust the logic of a man running around with a razor?

“I don’t have time fer this. It’ll be gone in the mornin’. It jus' has ta be.” James grabbed the posts of his bed and yanked until the head of the bed faced the window. Problem solved. Air conditioner fixed, and unexplainable phenomenon avoided, for now. Tomorrow was Saturday, or it already was Saturday depending on how you looked at it. He could laze around, do a bit of reading, cool off with some homemade iced tea, run a few errands, maybe catch a double feature after dinner if he was feeling bold...but all of that would have to wait for the moment, there were more pressing matters at hand…

“Climb on up, sonny, there’s work yet needs doin’! We’ve got a long road ahead!”

“Yes, sir, General!” James acknowledged enthusiastically as he mounted his steed, lit his rolled up newspaper with the help of the sun’s blazing rays, set fire to Atlanta, and watched it burn.

----------

To be continued.


Last edited by bungobaggins on Sun Apr 19, 2015 4:21 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by bungobaggins Sun Apr 19, 2015 4:16 am

The Light B7e

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Post by Orwell Sun Apr 19, 2015 9:19 am

My gawd - I thought this was impressive so far already - but now as I see who's writing it -- well, you're a very smart pooch, Bungo - perhaps the smartest pooch ever! Shocked But you've started now, and so I'll give you no let up, however cute you are - more --- MORE! Turn your sail to the wind., Bungo. Ride on, I say. Ride on! ... Nod

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Post by azriel Sun Apr 19, 2015 12:17 pm

bungobaggins wrote:The Light B7e

That looks familiar Very Happy should be the mantra of Forumshire.

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Post by Mrs Figg Sun Apr 19, 2015 6:50 pm

bounce I like this cheers
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Post by Bluebottle Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:04 pm

Innarestin' Nod

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Post by bungobaggins Sun Apr 19, 2015 11:01 pm

I'm glad you guys are liking it so far. I just started it on a whim Friday night, wasn't really sure what direction I wanted to go in, but I have a better idea now.

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Post by Orwell Mon Apr 20, 2015 1:40 am

Enough of talk, we require action. Mad

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Post by bungobaggins Mon Apr 20, 2015 4:05 am

Lux æterna luceat eis, Domine,
cum sanctis tuis in æternum,
quia pius es.


-----------

The sun’s rays seeped through the Venetian blinds into James Arrington’s bedroom. It was 9:17 AM, and, judging by the activity outside on Cogdon Lane, Saturday had officially started. Shoppers went off to the grocery store empty handed, and returned with paper bags piled high with fruit and vegetables, all the while balancing a precariously stacked carton of eggs on top. Children played kick-the-can, marbles, and tried to find wet spots in the drying asphalt. The neighborhood ice cream cart began making its daily rounds; the kids swarmed. Ice cream sandwiches, italian ice, shaved ice, novelty cones, and fudgesicles for breakfast; only on a day like today.

The heat was still here, of course, the residents knew this, and this was mostly the reason why the street was so busy already. Things had to get done before the sun reached it’s highest point and mid-day. Only the truly brave would venture out then to see if it was really possible to fry an egg on the sidewalk. Yes, if you had something to do now was the time to do it.

All the hustle and bustle continued while an oblivious James who snoozed until 11:23 AM, by which time the temperature had spiked from a tolerable 85 degrees to an unbearable 94 degrees Fahrenheit, and it was only going to get hotter.

James leaped from his bed, looked at his clock, then out the window, and then at his clock again. “Dammit! Why’d I sleep so late?” Then it returned to him like the second round of an intense headache. That damn light! That must have sucked two or three hours out of his night. He looked over at the wall to see if it was still there, but how could anyone tell if the bedroom was flooded with light from the mid-day sun? Well, nothing could be done about it at the moment; James didn’t have much time, he had to get ready and out the door before noon at the latest. He locked the door to his apartment and trotted down the hallway at a brisk pace at 11:49 AM. He may fry, but at least he would be productive today.

“Oh, James! Hey James!” called a familiar voice, his next door neighbor Gerald Richardson, Dickey to his friends.

“Not now, Dickey. I’ve got lots to do today, and I can’t afford to waste a minute of it.” James said as he began to descend the stairs. Gerald followed him.

“But James, if you go out there you’re gonna fry! It’s all over the raydyuh. Exhaustion, heat stroke! Why, you wise guy, you’re liable to shrivel up like a raisin!”

They reached the main entrance of the tenant building; James saw two young boys on the sidewalk across the street with a carton of eggs, cracking them against the curb. James frowned. Productivity bites the dust, or fried the egg, whichever you prefer.

“Uh, James…”

James made an audible sigh, “What is it?”

“My fancy window machine ain’t workin’.”

“Come on, Dickey, let’s go.”

They climbed the stairs back up to the second floor and entered James’ apartment. It was nice and cool in here; maybe having Gerald over for the afternoon wouldn’t be so bad. Having some company may help pass the time, James thought, then once things begin to cool off it’s out the door with lots to do, and very little time to do it.

Gerald burst into James’ bedroom. “Now, Dickey, I don’ make it a point to barge inna your bedroom when I’m o’er visitin’ you!”

“But it’s so hot, an’ mine ain’t workin’!” Dickey pleaded. He closed the blinds and knelt before the air conditioner, arms outstretched; the true god of the 20th century, for sure.

Clouds passed over the sun and James’ room became dark. James, standing in the doorway with a glass of iced tea, stared at Dickey and then rolled his eyes. What a goof, but one could be stuck with completely insufferable neighbors; Dickey wasn’t a bad guy, he meant well.

Dickey turned to face James, “Gee thanks fer invitin’ me over. Yer a real pal, James.” Dickey wasn’t entirely sure, but he thought he caught something out of the corner of his eye, something on the wall. A pale glow. He looked again; yes, he had seen it. He raised his hand, pointed at the wall. “J-J-James…” his voice trailed.

James entered the room, saw the ghost light on, or inside, the wall of the darkened room. The glass of tea shattered on the floor.

----------

To be continued.

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Post by halfwise Mon Apr 20, 2015 2:44 pm

daylight too?

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Post by bungobaggins Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:01 pm

Hmm, very faint in daylight which is why James didn't see it when he woke up. When the cloud passes over the sun and darkens the room it becomes more apparent.

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Post by Mrs Figg Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:25 pm

Razz more please
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Post by Amarië Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:33 pm

I'm really enjoying this! I have no idea what to expect and I love that!

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Post by Orwell Tue Apr 21, 2015 2:33 am

I don't have a clue either: ask anyone. But onward, soldier (of the Light???) Very Happy

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Post by azriel Tue Apr 21, 2015 2:03 pm

I like it, it feels eerie

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Post by bungobaggins Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:39 pm

"Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce another runner in the night."

----------

The clouds receded and bright sunlight penetrated into James’ bedroom. The light faded back into the wall, and was barely noticeable now. Dickey starred in awesome wonder, mouth agape, sweat dripping from the tip of his nose. Dickey turned all his attention from the air conditioner to the wall. Moses descended mount Sinai, the tablets shattered at his feet; the golden calf would be done away with. The window unit was abandoned for this luminescent deity.

James’ heart sunk and the realization of what happened, what could happen (what will happen) began to sink in. Last night wasn’t a dream, nor was it a hallucination; this was real, and he was going to have to deal with it.

“I din’t want this…” James whispered.

“Did ya see that!?” Dickey blurted out. “How on earth could that be? Lawdy!” Dickey rose and tromped over to the wall. With both arms outstretched and fingers spread, he ran his hands over the area where the light had been. It had grown in size, and would be best compared to a basketball at this point. “It was here, I saw it, but where’d it go?” Dickey inspected further, looked at the wall and concentrated hard, then turned his head to the side. Dickey laughed, “James I c’n still see it out the corner of my eye.”

Another cloud passed overhead.

Darkness.

The Light.

Dickey stepped back. “James you see it don’t ya?”

“Ye-p,” his voice cracked.

“Well, what’d ya think it is?”

James left the room. “I, uh, I don’t know. I mean, it’s obviously a light, but--”

“Where’s it comin’ from?” Dickey completed his thought.

“Last night I thought it could either be from--”

“You mean t’tell me you saw it last night?”

“Yes.” James recounted his tale to Dickey, even including the strange dream that bookended the previous night.

“So you think it’s either on the wall or comin’ through the wall?” Dickey clarified.
“That’s all I can think of, but what do any of us know fer sure. I mean, there is a light in my bedroom, on my wall for Chrissakes, that exists in a way that just doesn't make sense.” James sounded defeated.

“Well, you could always jus’ sleep in the livin’ room if it bothers you at night.” Dickey could give Ockam a run for his money.

“But how are we gonna find out what it is, Dickey?”

“Maybe we ain’t s’possed to. I don’t know what that thing is in there, but I know when I first saw it I felt small, but I felt ’nspired, if that makes any sense to ya.” Dickey plastered a hopeful smile on his face, as if all the problems in the world could be solved, not all at once and not perfectly, but that there could be peace.

“I’m not sure. When I look at it I feel sick t’my stomach.”

“Are ya gonna tell anybody about it?”

James was glad that Dickey gave him the choice. Anyone else would have already blabbed about it all down the hallway and gotten half building crowded into James’ bedroom.

“I’d rather not, but I think I should, but it has to be the right person. Maybe a scientist or professor at Georgia State downtown. Someone with a lot more book smarts than you or me.” James gave Dickey a quick and friendly wink.

Dickey smiled and shrugged his shoulders, "It is on your wall, after all, neighbor.”

“It’d have to wait till Monday, but it’s gonna be a long shot to see if we can get anyone to come out here. Mos’ likely I get laughed off campus.” James laughed at himself, at this situation. It was unlike anything he had ever experienced, but he wasn't going to let it change him. At least not yet.

"In the mean time why don't we..." James began.

The thought was interrupted. There were three sudden, sharp knocks at the door...

----------

To be continued.

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Post by halfwise Fri Apr 24, 2015 2:00 am

I don't remember the X-Files having this many commercial breaks. Mad

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Post by bungobaggins Fri Apr 24, 2015 2:36 am

Very Happy

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