to Nowhere Land
Elizabeth Woods and Edward Alderson had met in Nowhere
Land, in another dimension located on the other side of a one-way door in the
back of Count Marcovici’s store in New York City. What did Marcovici sell? For
a fee, he would help those in trouble of any kind “disappear.” Marcovici sold
Now, in the late afternoon, after having just discussed how
they were going to have to come up with more food after their supplies ran out,
Elizabeth and Edward found themselves behind “Door Number Two,” and about to
discover that meeting Marcovici was going to lead them to the most exciting
“Thanks for cutting me down,” said Edward, from on the
ground under the snare that had caught him.
“Yeah, well I felt kinda bad about pushing you through the
door first,” replied Elizabeth.
“Hey, no problemo. If you had gone through first, it would
have been me cutting you down,
“Maybe, but I’d like to think I’d have been more careful.
Anyhow, this vine used as rope for the trap is plenty strong,” said Elizabeth,
holding up the length of vine to Edward. “They might have been expecting one of
those giant woolly beasts. I think this stuff would even hold one of them.”
“Do ya think we should move on, or stay here and see who or
what comes to check on the trap?” asked Edward.
“I’m for scoping out the immediate area to see what we’ve
stumbled into, and then hiding near the trap to see who set it,” said
Elizabeth. “There may be food in this land, but whoever got here first might
not want to share.”
Keeping their pistols drawn, Elizabeth and Edward walked in
ever-widening circles around the door until they were about fifty feet from
it. They found trees with fruit something like apples. Always the risk
taker, Edward bit into one and declared it delicious.
“I think we’ve gone far enough for now. Let’s head back to
the snare and get hunkered down,” said Elizabeth.
“Want a bite? These things are great,” said Edward, holding
out fruit to Elizabeth. She shook her head.
“I think I’ll wait an hour or so and see if you fall down
writhing and clutching at your throat, with blood gushing from all orifices,”
“Man, what a vibe killer,” said Edward, tossing the fruit
over his shoulder. “It’s not like there’s going to be a McDonalds every couple
of blocks; there aren’t even any frickin’ blocks.”
“Shhh! Somebody or something’s coming,” whispered
Elizabeth. “Don’t make a sound, stay right where you are, and don’t shoot until
I say so. Got it?”
“Got it, Commander,”
Edward whispered back.
It was one of the big hairy beasts. It shambled over
to the door, picked up the vine Elizabeth had cut, looked at it curiously at
different angles, and then sniffed the air.
Elizabeth stepped out of her hiding place with her pistol
pointed at the beast. “On the outside chance you can understand me, put your
hands over your head and don’t move,” she said.
The beast put its hands in the air. Then its command went
directly into Elizabeth’s mind. Put that weapon on the ground and kneel
Elizabeth found she had no choice but to obey. She tried to
resist, but could do nothing other than what the beast had told her to do. She
tried to yell to Edward, but her voice was completely paralyzed. With all of
her might, she willed Edward to shoot, knowing it was probably in vain.
Edward stepped out of his place of concealment and fired
three quick shots into the beast’s chest. He was immediately thrown back into
the brush by an unseen force and pain like he had never experienced shot
through his temples.
The beast roared, then whimpered, and then went quiet.
Edward got up slowly and walked over to the still kneeling
Elizabeth. “Damn, Elizabeth, what the hell just happened here?”
“Give me a minute, Edward,” said Elizabeth. “My brain is
still scrambled…but, hey, good work there. I’m glad you didn’t wait for my okay
to fire away.”
“But I did wait. When you knelt down in front of that
thing, you said ‘shoot, shoot, shoot,’ and that’s when I shot.”
“What is going on here?” said Elizabeth. “That
thing used some sort of mental telepathy to force me to its will. I tried to
tell you to shoot, but my voice was frozen. I could feel my mind becoming
captive as well as my body, but did manage to think ‘shoot’ as hard as I could
before I blacked out.”
“Somehow I picked up that thought,” said Edward.
“What am I thinking right now, Elizabeth?”
“You’re thinking that you sure hope I can’t read your
thoughts from here on out or I’ll probably be cuffing you around your ears
every ten minutes.”
“Damn, that’s pretty close,” said Edward, looking a
“I was just messing with you, Edward; I can’t read
your thoughts. Can you read mine? I think being in close proximity to this
beast allowed us to be telepathic—while it was alive. Kind of a hive mentality
sort of thing. But now that it’s dead, we don’t have it anymore.”
“I wonder if it planned to take you captive or kill you.”
“I’m thinking it was going to make me a captive…at least
until it figured me out. That first one that visited me and put these scratches
on my leg could just as easily have killed me. Remember I said it sort of
seemed disgusted with me for kicking at it. Maybe we shared a little bit of
telepathy then for it to have given me that impression.”
“So, now what?” asked Edward. “Do we continue on or go
back? This door seems to be in place here and didn’t disappear after we came
through it like the one at Marcovici’s.”
“That trap and this beast have me a little concerned,” said
Elizabeth. “Whoever set the trap may have wanted to catch whatever came through
the door to see what kind of being they were.”
“You mean it might have been some kind of test?”
“Yeah, and I think we might have failed,” said Elizabeth.
“There’re a lot of violent people who come through the original Marcovici door.
Whoever set the trap just inside the door may have wanted to see if they wanted
them on this side…to see if they would be an asset or a liability.”
Edward looked down at the beast. “Well, the interview
didn’t go very well, did it?”
Actually, you two passed the initial interview with flying
colors. You may resort to violence a little too quickly, but you acted in what
you thought was self-defense.
Both Elizabeth and Edward clapped their hands over their
ears in an attempt to keep the voice from taking over their minds. Seeing that
was of no use, they drew their guns and scanned the area for the beast who was
talking to them now.
Oh, I’m not going to give you a shot at me. I’ll miss
Sandor, but he was always too loosey-goosey about checking the traps.
Elizabeth, your leg could probably use a rest; if you both will just sit down
where you are, we can talk.
Edward couldn’t see that they had any choice but to obey.
They could try to run back through the door, but the beast could certainly
lasso their minds and hold them if it wanted to. That it was not doing so was a
good sign. They sat down.
I am Abubakar. Sandor was from the other side of the
doorway. He was a trustee. Those from the other side are not our equals;
they’re more brutish, and most are fit only for hard labor. Some may be taught
to be servants—
“Now that has a familiar ring to it,” said Edward.
You see yourself choosing their side if a rebellion could
be organized. But you two do not have to be slaves to do our manual labor. You
could choose to be trustees, servants to us who rule. Come, let us walk to
New Cairo. The paths are quite easy to negotiate, Elizabeth, but if your leg
bothers you, I will carry you.
In Elizabeth’s mind came a picture of her being carried
under Abubakar’s arm like a sack of potatoes. “No, I don’t think that will be
necessary,” she said with a shudder.
As they walked the paths through the trees, they could
sometimes see the tops of what resembled pyramids in the distance. When the
path suddenly ended, they were at the edge of a hundred-foot drop, overlooking
a valley with a dozen pyramids in various stages of construction. At the center
of these pyramids was a Sphinx, looking very much like it had been dropped here
from Egypt, except that the creature had been fashioned to look like one of the
beasts of this land.
“Will you look at that, Edward?” said Elizabeth, sounding
like she was in a trance. “Quite impressive, isn’t it… Edward? Where is he?”
He’s left us. He used a combination of skepticism and fascination
to cover his true feelings, which allowed him to step off the path unbeknownst
to me. He could be very valuable to us…
From behind them,
swinging on a vine from out of one of the final trees before the drop-off came
Edward, always the hero. The vine was the correct length, and he plowed
unerringly into Abubakar, sending him over the precipice and into the valley
“Edward! What have you done?” shouted Elizabeth.
“He almost had you, Elizabeth,” said Edward. “He almost had
Edward pointed at the valley below them. There, instead of
beautifully formed pyramids, was a mining operation. Hundreds of yeti-like
beings and dozens of humans were toiling, overseen by a few beings that looked
like Abubakar. It was dusty and dirty, and those who fell behind received the
“Abubakar took over our minds and put pictures of our
dimension into them to get us to go with it,” said Elizabeth. “How did you
break away, Edward?”
“While it was talking, my mind started to wander…as usual.”
“Looks like your chronic inability to stay focused saved
us,” said Elizabeth. “The suns are starting to set; we should probably find a
place to sleep or at least get some rest.”
“Yeah, but tomorrow we better get as far from this place as
“I think I can help you with that,” said a voice from the
heavy brush behind them. “There is another door very close to us that will take
you to a place where you won’t have to be in constant fear for your lives.
Elizabeth and Edward whirled around, guns drawn, and
prepared for fight or flight.
“Excellent!” said the voice. “Exactly what we are looking
“Marcovici said: ‘Don’t trust anybody.’ Why should we
listen to you?” asked Elizabeth.
“Come out where we can see you,” said Edward. “We won’t
shoot you unless you force us to.”
A young woman dressed in an expensive business suit came
out from behind the greenery with her hands raised. “I’m Rose,” she said.
“We’ve been monitoring your behavior since you came through the first door at
“Who’s we?” said Elizabeth, keeping her gun leveled at
“You probably wouldn’t believe me if I told you,” answered
“Try us,” said Elizabeth.
“I and a dozen others work with people whose ancestors
originally came from another galaxy to Earth six million years ago—”
“You were right; we don’t believe you,” said Elizabeth.
“Come on, Edward, we need to put some distance between us and that mining
“How about if I show you?” said Rose. She took out what
appeared to be a cell phone and did some keying. Three feet from her, a large
door appeared out of nowhere.
“Okay,” said Edward, “so now I’m hearing that weird
background music that’s in horror movies just before something really bad
“That is pretty much what Janna said,” laughed Rose. “You’ll
make a great team.”
“All right, you’ve got our attention,” said Elizabeth.
“Who’s this Janna and why us?”
“Janna was chosen for a mission after being vetted by our
people,” said Rose. “She’s intelligent, honest, kind, adventuresome, and, most
importantly, has a blood type that is perfect for our needs.”
“The music’s getting louder and more insistent, Elizabeth,”
said Edward. “That need for a certain blood type business almost always gets
good people dead.”
“Please,” said Rose, “let me lay it out for you, and then
you can decide if what we’re asking for is evil, or whatever.”
“We’re listening,” said Elizabeth. “Make us believe.”
More to Come
Dorman, firstname.lastname@example.org, who wrote BP #84’s “Goodbye to Nowhere
Land” and “Nobody Should Be at 1610 Maple St.” (+ BP #83’s “Door #2”; BP #82’s
“A Nowhere Friend” & “Foundling”; BP #81’s “Nowhere Man in Nowhere Land”
& “The Box with Pearl Inlay”; BP #80’s “Andrew’s War” & “Down at the
Hardware Store”; BP #79’s “Cellmates” & “Get Some Shelter,” BP #78’s “All
Is as It Should Be,” BP #77’s “Essence of Andrew,” BP #76’s “Flirting with the
Alley,” BP #75’s “The Enemy of My Enemy…” BP #74’s “Doesn’t Play Well with
Others,” BP #73’s “A Journey Starts with a Flower,” BP #72’s “The Beach House,”
BP #71’s “The Big Apple Bites,” BP #70’s “Borrowing Some Love” and BP #69’s
“Back in Town” and “Finding Good Help…”), is retired from the University of
Wisconsin-Madison Benefits Office and has been a voracious reader for 60
years. At the prompting of an old high school friend, himself a retired
English teacher, Roy is now a voracious writer. He has had poetry and
flash fiction published in Apocrypha and
Abstractions, Birds Piled Loosely,
Burningword Literary Journal, Cease Cows, Cheapjack
Pulp, Crack The
Spine, Drunk Monkeys, Every Day Fiction, Flash Fiction Magazine, Flash Fiction Press, Gap-Toothed Madness, Gravel, Lake City Lights, Near
Knuckle, Shotgun Honey, The Creativity
Webzine, Theme of Absence, The Screech
Owl, The Story
Shack, & Yellow Mama.