Black Petals Issue #95 Spring, 2021

The Wrong Place
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95_bp_thewrongplace_wjsavage.jpeg
Art by W. Jack Savage 2021

THE WRONG PLACE

by Ante Caleta

  

I have seen those who had entered the Gates of Hell, the brave men and women, undertaking an unprecedented mission to save our threatened world – threatened by an unholy, dreadful, and unfathomable evil. To this day I remember how dangerous and tough they had all pretended to be, the black-uniformed fully-armed and equipped commandos, and yet how frightened they were, how their knees trembled, how stirred their ranks stood, how far their prayers resounded, how fiercely their hands squeezed the specially modified assault rifles, how they kept their eyes peeled from under the ballistic glasses observing the Conjurer’s summoning ritual – oh yes! I have laid my eyes upon one of them as well, the great and mysterious Conjurer, gifted with the unremarkable psychic powers, dividing the ground of the football field opposite to my bedroom window – opening the gates of Hell…one of many.

     You ask me, Alfred, my dearest friend, what it was like, what it felt like – psst, the waitress…Now gulp your drink, you’re gonna need it, and listen to me, listen very carefully. It was nothing like what you’ve seen on TV or in the newspaper, my young boy, when the first news about demons and ghosts oppressing mankind flashed on every channel after they have revealed themselves to the world. You remember what came thereafter, how the governments of the world had united and established the special task force to combat the supernatural threat – to combat the demons, ghosts, and all the abominable creatures – and began to wage a war against the ancient and unseen threat that got tired of lurking in the dark and was fed up with haunting farmers, old decaying houses, and little girls and boys.

     What I have seen, was much worse, friend, much much worse even than those specially trained Holy Warriors – Conjurers – that discovered how to fight back, how to see the unseen, and finally, that had found the way into the enemy’s lair with the help of rituals performed across the entire planet, on specific energy – or should I say evil and rotten – spots. Never had they stopped and thought about that previously unknown dark knowledge and about the way it can backfire…no, the desire to cleanse the world from evil was stronger.

     Anyway, this time I was sitting in the first row, staring at the portal to Hell being open across the very road I had traversed each and every morning for the past thirty years, carrying groceries, greeting neighbours, strolling under the sunshine. Now, come closer boy, because what I’m about to tell you I haven’t even resolved with my own sane mind. It wasn’t that blazing, spitting fire from the portal, raging as if it was the mighty volcano, nor it was looking at that Holy Warrior Conjurer leading the commandos into the Gates of Hell to do one last evil-cleansing operation that had frozen my old bones – it was what had happened a split second before the portal had closed.

     Come closer, boy, I need to whisper this. God forbid anyone hears me they would kick me out of my favourite pub. Now come and listen. Something…has emerged from the Hole, right after it swallowed the Conjurer and the commandos. It was Him, Alfred, Him, with His – God protect me as I speak these words – scaly burning body as if He was made by the pure fire, eyes, Alfred, eyes were that of the shiniest yellow diabolical shine, and the grin – my God – the grin drawn across that abominable horned head…it was a mocking grin, it stared right at my window, but the worst of all – it carried a promise. You wonder, Alfred, what promise. But It did not speak. It just vanished in a blink of my wide-opened eyes and in between my shivering breaths, all whilst I stood on the carpet soaked with my own piss.

     Then He had spoken to me, Alfred. He had entrusted me with an instruction to spread the word, to pass it on to mankind and the entire world – come closer, boy – I felt Him, in my head, in my heart, We were one. The message was: You fools have sent your best soldiers down there to exterminate us, but you were stupidly and ignorantly unaware that by doing so you have opened the centuries-sealed door and let Me out – allowing My full presence to wreck your pathetic and greed-filled world, which now lays…unprotected.

     Yes Alfred, that very look you have now I had…before We merged. And by now I assume your pants are soaked as mine were. Here, take my drink, and calm down. Enjoy it. After all, it’s your last drink ever. Cherish it, not everyone gets to buy the Devil a drink. And before you freak out, dash away, or collapse in your crippling fear and shock – know this: your downfall didn’t begin after my children revealed their presence to the open world – that was but an intro. It began after your world had stupidly sent your bravest soldiers into my Kingdom and opened the gates. It began when I have entered the body of this friend of yours, the body of that curious unfortunate old man who by sheer luck caught a glimpse of my true form – to have someone so weak insult me with their frightened eyes – blasphemy. It also begins now…into this worm-infested hole you call pub, one of the first places I will turn to ash, and it ends after each and the last one of you are crushed or enslaved. Judging by how naughty and morbid you all got since the old days when I have roamed the surface…It will be a piece of cake.

     Now smile boy, because the party is about to start, and like a polite host, I have to address the other bar guests. Excuse me, ladies and gentlemen. I have an announcement to make about humanity’s great offense on Hell, at the face of great evil…you people, always looking for monstrosities somewhere outside or deep underground. Well let me enlighten you…You are searching in the wrong place!

 

THE END

 

Ante is a thirty-year-old fledgling writer from Croatia, currently living in a town of Kinross in central Scotland. He started writing in September last year, and "The Wrong Place" is his first published work. At the moment, he’s working from dawn to dusk on a dark fantasy novel for which he already has sequel, prequel, and spin-off ideas. He also entertains the possibility of adapting it to a TV show. But, all in due time.

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