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Night Manger Scene #1
Metro Park Transit Center, Woodbridge, New Jersey, 3:15 AM, Monday, November 11
The air was cool, but not yet cruel. How he feared the coming winter; how he dreaded braving the dawn of the coming age with nothing but his frail frame, slightly padded as it was. Mother had always worried about him going to school on a winter day. But this was barely autumn, the chill merely resting on his tear-streaked cheeks as he recalled His Fall from Grace, his loss of position, his final disgrace yet again. He was…alone, alone in the hollow night, locked out of the closed train station, recalling the ticket agent’s admonishment to “be on Track 4 before four.”
His hand took cold from the metal bar of the locked glass door. He could see the comfortable accommodation which might have been his if he could have afforded the noon train at $187. But his peasant purse had dictated the 4 AM train for $98. So he would take his journey locked out of the train station, just as he had begun it locked out of his profession, exiled from his lifelong aspiration over a blurted flight of fancy, a brief fit of theorizing before an uncaring…
“Never mind,” he thought, or had he muttered it?
Was he losing his mind, losing the one distinction that had set him above and apart?
A crash sounded from afar, metallic and harsh.
A dumpster?
He saw the stair going up and recalled that he was to cross the tracks from below, through a tunnel. How inviting the stair looked, ascending in the very geometry of hope—yet it remained empty.
Behind the glass-walled, metal-framed station he found it, a broad, white tunnel lit with curious purple light, blinking in a cadence he wished to mistake for an invitation. But every step he took brought a shiver of nihilistic surrender, as if he walked to the edge of his own personal night.
Were they right?
Or was he right, with his vision of a 51-candled night?
Did it matter—could it even.
A strong stride sounded next to him and he looked up and over his spare little shoulder into the grey eyes of a strong, bearded man, an alpha male—or worse—whatever was worse than that—suited in something beyond the means of most, no hat on his heavily-lined head, thatched with black hair over a hard eastern European face, bearded with a neat mat of beard, as if some cologne company had repackaged a Rus warlord of Old Muscovy as a fashion model to sell health spa memberships to corporate CPAs, as if some suburban bug man has aspired to play King Kong in some stage play.
He thought of saying, “Good morning,” as the man looked down in passing, for he was not yet dirty, not yet filthy, but rather still clung to an image of social respectability, his few clothes packed into a brief case so he would not appear to be what he in fact was.
And his knee gave under him, that old hitch that had forever prevented him from playing ball as a boy without becoming the laughing stock, which had inevitably propelled him to rare success and ultimately to this, hitting a cold concrete floor, painted white except for the tiny smear of red left where his knee tore through his slacks.
They had reached the end of the hallway where it turned left and right on the other side of the tracks to rise as stairs to the platform above. He looked up into the hard, masculine lines of the handsome face, thinking that a healing hand would be nice, that a pat on the pack and a bare affirmation of his humanity might make the coming day more bearable.
But the stranger simply looked down without even a frown, just appraising the fallen figure with coldly indicting eyes before turning away and marching stentorian-like up the rising way…
Terminal Angle #1
The platform was empty save for two figures. A powerfully built, neatly suited and bearded man, six-feet four inches in height, bearing no luggage and wearing an open overcoat of the same gray-blue fabric as his slacks and suit, yet wearing what appeared to be surplus, U.S. Military, Vietnam Era jungle boots, stands with his back to the shelter glass, waiting with a studied patience.
In the close foreground sits a slight, even frail looking man, pale hands on his lap, his head and shoulders denied by the viewing angle which appears to be above and to the right of his position seated on the bench. His slacks have a tear in the left knee and his soft loafers suggest the academic rather than the business traveler.
Upon the yellow safety strip of the platform a candle of black wax appears.
The feet of the seated figure recoil in startled fright.
The standing figure, psychopathically it would seem, simply realizes, breaths more deeply and flexes his hands in a kind of automotive anticipation reflex.
The black candle appears to cry at an accelerated rate rather than burn, the flame purple, the wax black, the tears deep crimson.
The figure on the bench curls his legs into a semi-fetal position, lacing pale hands over frail ankles, exposing golden knit socks.
The masculine figure puts on a pair of sunglasses drawn from an outer coat pocket, apparently trying to stave off visual distortion.
The candle sheds rapidly and spreads into a great inky stain on the platform, forming a jagged but definitive pentacle within which the man in the suit and coat now crouches in a right lead, an inward-hooking blade held in his right hand as he circles within the pentacle, dodging, lunging, ducking, even skipping over some imaginary swipe at his ankles before grabbing some imaginary foe and ripping savagely with the inwardly curved blade.
The frantic, deluded man in the coat then seemed to be unable to move his blade hand, was straining as if his knife were stuck in some entangled mass and then as if his left hand had been grabbed by some bigger, stronger even taloned hand, for his left wrist began to stream blood. With a snarl—a vicious, silent scream of rage and desperation—the bearded man, caught up in some delusional frenzy of action, opened his mouth wide, and bit sideward, as if plunging his incisors into the neck of some unseen person taller than he, jumped up with both feet and wrapped his legs around some imaginary thing and spun like a top off the platform. The man hovered for three full seconds in a rotational attitude with no part of his body touching anything but the gray-lit air above the suddenly unstained concrete.
The frail figure on the bench was rocking backward as if cringing away from that which he was afraid to flee or see.
[seven seconds elapse]
A broad-shouldered figure of a man climbs easily and serenely up onto the platform. The height and shoulder width of the man are not distinguishable from that of the crazed shadow-fighter who had just plunged over the platform in a lonely, hanging pirouette.
The head was hung with a mass of blood-clotted hair, dangling down his back in a tangle of sodden dreadlocks.
Beneath the man’s hair was a harry, ragged cloak, seemingly filthy and soot-stained in the extreme. Dirty, non-descript rags clothed his legs to his knees where they terminated in a sharp bangle of cat-like claws hemming the pants. Below, jade-green sandals were strapped with ochre-stained straps of soft material.
The face was bearded, but with a tightly curled hair darker in shade and fuller than the apparently cropped beard of the man who had fallen so queerly from the platform. The nose was straight where that of the fallen man had been wider and bent. The eyes were unblinking and black as they regarded the frail form huddled and shivering on the bench.
The blood-drenched figure then looked up and made an impossible leap of perhaps ten vertical feet, grabbed the roof rim above the platform, and swung upward beyond the video frame.
Arcana Notes
Agents on the ground have searched for, and have failed to locate, the camera which provided the terminal angle recovered from the location feed, which was routed through the ATM camera over fifty yards and two stories from the scene...which is not possible.
The figure on the bench has been identified and is being sought for questioning.
RetroGenesis: And Morning Came: The Thanatos Trajectory
Dream Flower: Five Dark Tales
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yusef of the dusk
of the sunset world
the fighting edge
the lesser angels of our nature

Add a new comment below:
Ruben ChandlerNovember 18, 2019 5:45 PM UTC

likewise laddie
Ruben ChandlerNovember 18, 2019 2:31 AM UTC

F^^king sweet writing bro! We like it.
responds:November 18, 2019 4:27 AM UTC