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The Well House III: The Redemption

Author M. S. Matassa

The specks floated in the sky, drifting in circles as if caught in a small whirlwind. The black Escalade, traveling on Highway 85 below, appeared from the south, speeding by emerald-colored fields of corn. It was a beautiful day in Colorado; warm and breezy with high blue skies and wispy clouds forming over the front range of the Rocky Mountains. The Escalade pulled into the driveway of the old farmhouse and a man in a blue denim work shirt, faded jeans, and black lizard cowboy boots got out of the passenger’s side of the vehicle. As the Escalade headed back to the highway, the man walked up the stairs and sat on the front porch swing. The weather was unusually warm for the last week in February. The man sat in the swing, moving back and forth, enjoying the clear, blue skies.

And then suddenly, he felt himself being pulled off the porch, through the air, toward the little white house with the red roof. He thrashed his arms and twisted his body as he floated, trying to get control. Finally, he turned his body over, back to the ground, face to the sky. It was like floating on water. He searched the sky and saw the white specks above him, moving gently like a cloud in the winter sky. This had happened before—when, he couldn’t remember. Then, without warning, he stopped gliding through the air and fell to the dusty ground. He saw the old farmhouse across the field. To the right, the black marble mausoleum sat at the edge of the cemetery, an ebony sanctuary, calling him to come for a visit. He moved his hand to the left and felt rough, peeling wood. It was the outside wall of the well house.

He looked up again at the sky and saw that the specks had now converged into a churning white cloud, drifting in a controlled, gliding free-fall. The mass of white specks was circling and floating in the air, searching for something. The man lay motionless on the ground, observing the approaching cloud. As the cloud drew closer, he saw the shapes of the individual specks: white wings flapping in a uniform rhythmic motion, glistening feathers covering the wings. What were the—birds, flying reptiles, or something else? Something so sinister his chest tightened with fear.

One creature broke from the main group and dove toward him. The man sat up and pressed his back against the rough, peeling wall of the well house, petrified, unable to move. He watched the body of the creature grow large, then small, pulsing in rhythm with its beating heart. And then he recognized this horrible thing. It was an angel. He heard a distant chanting, uplifting to some, terrifying to him.

The man ran to the door of the well house, but it was locked. He thought of running to the mausoleum, but it was too far away. He looked back at the sky and the angel was now ten feet above him, followed by seven more, all hovering, waiting for something.

A melodious voice split the silence, and the man stood still, not knowing what might happen next. Was this the end, the final battle? He looked around, searching. Where was Michael, his brother and chief nemesis? Was God seated somewhere near, watching with glee?

Then the first angel told him to open his hand. The angel descended to the ground, then glided toward him. The man held out his right hand, and the angel placed a shining object in the open palm. It was a small stone in the shape of a dark-green rectangle, with strange etchings on the surface that sparkled with the fury of green fire. The next angel approached and placed in his hand a small white stone in the shape of an animal’s eyetooth, followed by the third angel bearing a long green and blue stone in the shape of a curved tube. Two more angels handed him an eight-sided red stone that glittered brightly, and a twelve-sided blue stone.

The stones in the palm of his hand transfixed the man. Another stone dropped into his palm. This one was a pale-green tiger’s-eye. Two more angels approached one with a black stone in the shape of an animal’s eyetooth and one carrying a stone that looked like a small glass bottle containing an orange liquid. Once the last stone had been placed in his hand, the stones started to vibrate and the magnetic force created by the vibrations drew his fingers into a fist, clutching the stones, sending waves of pain through his body. He screamed, and the angels vanished, leaving him alone in the field. The only sound was the breeze blowing through the pine trees in the cemetery.

The man stood for a moment, staring at his fist. From behind, he heard the well house door open. Three men came out of the door. The first was an old black man with cropped gray hair; the next was a young priest wearing  Roman collar and carrying an old, leather-bound book. The last man looked…familiar. It was Ben Carson. The man with the black lizard boots turned and ran toward the marble mausoleum, but his boots slipped on loose dirt and his legs buckled. The man put his left hand down to break the fall, and the gravel tore into the palm, leaving small craters of glistening blood oozing out of the cuts. As he stood up, a sharp pain traveled across the top of his head. His hand went up for protection, touching the warm, sticky fluid matting his hair. As he turned around, a large black blur struck him in the chest, knocking him to the ground. Tears filled his eyes as pain shot through his neck into his head. The man lay still, waiting for his mind to clear. He heard a ruffling of feathers to his right. A large, scaly, winged creature stood there, staring into his eyes, a hideous grin on the parched beak. The black eyes of this hellish thing reflected the image of the three men coming toward him. This black, scaly creature grew to human size, picked the man off the ground, and pinned his arms behind his back.

The young priest slapped the man across the face with the leather book and then read prayers in Latin from the dusty pages. The old black man pulled a bottle of liquid out of his pocket and poured it into something Ben Carson was holding. Ben swung the object toward the man. It was a blur of wood and gold. The liquid flew toward the man’s clenched right hand and exploded in a multitude of colors as it seeped through the fingers and mingled with the stones. The man screamed in pain and lifted his right hand to the sky. There was nothing there. The arm disappeared up to the elbow, then over his shoulder and down his side. He was disintegrating. And then there was nothing but darkness.

Jack St. Louis heard a voice.

“Wake up.”

He opened his eyes and saw Vinny standing over his bed.

“What’s wrong, Jack? Are you okay?” Vinny asked as he helped Jack sit up on the side of the bed.

“No, I’m not okay. I’m in danger. I saw it in a dream. It’s Ben Carson. He’s coming for me and has reinforcements. I need to get on top of this before it’s too late. Call every boss in the organization and set up a meeting. Set up security around the clock” Jack said.

“Are you sure?” Vinny said. “We haven’t heard from Ben Carson or that wizard or anybody in months. I think they have given up. You’ve got Taylor in control and Ben prayed to you for help two months ago. Don’t overreact. You have the orb. No one can defeat you. You got revenge on Ben and now you are ready to set up your kingdom. Stay calm and think about this. Don’t let the guys in the organization think you’re scared. We have plenty of security on our own.”

“Maybe you’re right, Vinny. The dream was so real. It scared me, and I didn’t like the feeling. Don’t make the call yet. But one thing I want you to check on. I think there is a traitor in our midst. There was a black, scaly creature in the dream, working with Ben. I believe it is one of our ravens and I’m concerned. Keep an eye open for suspicious activity from any of the men. Now, cook something good. I’m starved.”

After breakfast, Jack walked over to the mausoleum and climbed on top.

He looked around and surveyed his new home. “I will not give up this life. No one will defeat me and I will kill anyone that gets in my way.”

He pointed up to the heavens and said, “And that includes You.”