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Authors: R.J. Harker

An Infinite Sorrow

BOOK: An Infinite Sorrow
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An Infinite Sorrow

By R.J. Harker

Desolation Falls, 2010

  Sharon Wilson was watching TV, as she often did in the hours after school.  Her day had gone pretty well so far.  She'd made an A- on a trig test, a rare academic achievement for sure.  Her boyfriend Terry was coming over to hang out.  Her parents were working late again.  She was busy trying to decide if she was going to make popcorn or mini pizza rolls and worrying about the junior prom. Typical 17 year-old girl stuff. 

  There was a horrible movie on TV about a social worker that was sent to the home of a young girl that was possessed.  She was spewing green slime and cursing; typical horror movie crap.  Terry was really into the stuff.  It stressed Sharon out.  She noticed the sun was setting, and began to lock up the house. 

  Her cell phone went off.  It was him.  "Hey babe, I'm running a tad late.  I'll be there in about ten minutes." 

  "Ugh, you're always running late.  Just get here ok?"

The girl was now levitating off the bed, screaming profanities.  "Good grief, who watches this crap?  I can't believe Terry talked me into this."

  Sharon checked on the pizza rolls again.  Still weren't done.  She had a habit of checking things too many times when she got nervous.  Her parents were out at one of their usual business meetings.  Being real estate agents had been their dream, and they were great at it.  It was very demanding on their time, though. 

  The girl on TV seemed to look right at Sharon.  "You're all going to die tonight.  HAAAAAAA!!"

The screen clicked to black as she turned off the television.  "Too much…"

  Her phone rang again.  "Hello?"

  "Hey, it's Terry.  Which house is yours again?"

  "You're kidding, right?  Just get here!"

  Sharon found herself staring at the TV.  "He's just going to pout.  He's just going to pout and complain if we don't watch it.  She clicked the TV back on. 

  "INFERIS!!!!!"

  One of the characters’ bodies was tossed right at the screen.  Sharon suppressed a little scream, and went back to checking on the rolls.  Once the house was locked up for the evening, she put the pizza rolls on the counter.  Behind her, something moved.

  She had only seen it for a split second.  Something encased in white passing over the porch, but not making any noise.              

  Sharon
picked up a steak knife.  "Hello?  Who's there?" 

  "AAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!"

  Terry, wearing a white sheet with some holes cut into it, threw himself up against the kitchen window.  Sharon screamed and dropped the knife.  Her boyfriend could not stop laughing. 

  "That wasn't funny, jackass!  You could have gotten hurt."

    "Yeah, you’re right.  Your screaming is very dangerous.  You are going to let me in, aren’t you?"

  "No!  You're being a jerk."

  "Come on, let me in.  I brought flowers..."

  It was very sweet that he had brought her flowers.  Terry usually never thought to do anything like that.  She did already have the food cooking.  "Ok..."

  In the background, the girl from the movie was now trying to scratch out her doctor’s eyes.  Her mother was screaming and screaming.  "Wow!  It's
Rage of the Demon 2
.  Awesome."

  Sharon took out the rolls.  "Can't we turn it off?  You know that crap upsets me."

  "Sure.  I know what we can do instead..."

  "Come on Terry, you know I'm not like..." 

  He gripped her around the throat with impossible strength, and began to squeeze.  "Men who fear demons see demons everywhere.  I have seen my inner demons, and they are me!!"

  Sharon struggled for a few moments, knocking everything off the counter while trying to grab something to defend herself.  It was no use.  A final, sharp, cracking sound and she was dead. 

  Terry sat on the floor of the kitchen, alone with what he had done.  He sat there for what seemed like a long time, until the police kicked the front door in and surrounded him.  He was slammed down on his stomach and handcuffed immediately. The lead officer leaned in close, stinking of cigarette smoke, and asked Terry, "Why did you do it?"

  "None of this is real.  Don't you understand?  None of it is real, and it just goes on and on."  

  No one has figured out what really happened, until today.  

Chapter 1: Now

  "You have got to be kidding me."

  Rich had just exited the bus to his new school.  It was ok that it was a low income school.  His family was from a bad part of Chicago, so he was used to it.  But Desolation Falls High School looked like an abandoned asylum.  It was very run down, with bars over the windows.  The lawn had been dead for a long time.  The autumn cold chilled him as he walked toward the front door.  Dead grass and a rainbow-colored assortment of leaves crunched under his feet.   

  He was a shy young man, but he had managed to make a few friends since his family had moved to the little town.  His friend Liz ran up behind him and slammed her hand down on his shoulder.  "BOOOO!!  Scared you, Richie."

  Richie was a nick name he had been stuck with for the last two weeks.  Liz was the most overly happy person he had ever met.  Literally, her happy mood energy spilled over into everything around her.

  "HEY, RICHIE-RICH!!  HOW’S IT GOING, LOSER?"

  The really tall, really heavyset guy that had just passed him was Eric Spooner: Professional Bully.  Literally, Spooner made an Olympic sport out of picking on others.  School for him, up to this point, had been like training for prison.  People scattered around him like prey as he entered the school. 

  "Richard, where are you supposed to be?"

  It was Principal Drake.  Liz and Rich's faces both sunk.  Drake was a hard case.  He had grown up locally and was always talking about doing things for the good of the community, and how conduct reflected reputation.  Blah, blah, blah…..  Yack, yack, yack…. 

  "I asked you a question, Richard," the principal said, his cold, grey eyes bearing down on them.  Red face and tight skin only served to increase the tension he gave off. 

  "I just dropped him off, Mr. Drake.  You do realize that he just moved here?  Why don't you remind him where his first class is?"

  Alice Pickman stood there with her hands on her hips.  She was pretty cool, not that he would tell her that.  Now it was Drake's face that sunk.  Once the hands went on the hips, it was all over.  There was no escape.  She was the daughter of the local police chief, and top of the class at the high school.   

  "Transferring to a new school can be very difficult, Ms. Pickman.  Make sure you're not late to first bell."  He headed back into the school.  It seemed to swallow him. 

  "So, what's the deal with Drake?  Why is he such a hard case all the time?"

  Alice shrugged.  "The usual reasons.  I hear he has problems with his wife.  He got turned down for superintendent a few times.  He has a phobia of cats, etc.  HA!  All stupid rumors, but with just enough truth to them to explain why he is such a spaz."

  "That's sad.  Hey Liz, you like this school?"

  "Yep, but I'm told I'm a weirdo so..."

  "You seem ok to me."

  "You're nice, Richie.  I like the school just fine, but there's something about it that creeps me out.  Creeps everyone here out.  Doesn't it, Alice?"

  "Won't catch me here after dark…"

  Rich took a long look at the school’s ancient frame, wondering what he was doing here.  Worrying about his dad….

  "I thought Stan would be here, seeing as how it's my first day and all."

  Alice pointed to a little trailer outside the main building.  "He's in a special study group on Mondays.  You'll see him later."

  "Fine. Well, I guess we have to go in then."  

*****

  Principal Drake entered the school, an extreme feeling of anxiety overwhelming him.  All of these new students, not to mention the strangers hanging around town; he hated it.  He hated every second of these disruptions to his neat, orderly schedule.  Drake suddenly became aware that he was blocking the entrance to the main office.  A few teachers patiently stood behind him, none brave enough to snap him out of his deep thoughts.  He finally, grudgingly stood aside. 

  His hands twitched at his sides, anything to relieve the feeling that he had to keep moving.  He could feel eyes on him, invisible eyes that had no business being there.  He was starting to get a splitting headache, and the feeling that the room was closing in on him threatened to overwhelm his senses. 

  "Principal Drake, are you..."

  "I'M FINE!  I'll be in my office."

  "Oh..ok."

  He retreated into the small room, slamming the door behind him.  He could hear the murmur of students and teachers; conversations leaking through the walls.  The walls...

  Drake exhaled and had a seat at his desk.  Temporary relief flooded into him from the seclusion of the room.  He decided to rest his eyes for a moment, and just like that, he was out.  Luckily, none of the staff heard his snoring. 

  "Principal Drake?  Are you ok?"

  Drake awoke with a start, completely disoriented.  His secretary had decided to check on him.  Without saying anything, he brushed himself off and walked out of the room clumsily. 

  "Princip..."

  "SHUT UP!!  STOP LOOKING AT ME!!!" 

  One of the other ladies in the office jumped a little and dropped what she was doing.  Drake practically launched himself out of the room, into the hallway.  The eyes were on him again, watching him, tearing into his soul.  He walked slowly into the darkness of the school, letting it consume him.           

***** 

  Rich and Liz followed Alice to the front door.  Liz took his hand as they walked into the main hall.  He liked Liz just fine; maybe more than liked.  But with everything he was going through, moving, losing all his friends, trouble with his parents, he couldn't handle one more thing right now.  "What are you doing?"   

  "I don't like this part.  I always get a bad feeling here."

  The inside of the school was dark, which was strange.  It had a lot of windows, plenty of lighting.  But there seemed to be this darkness, this shadowiness that clung to everything once you were in the building.  Sometimes Rich imagined that the shadowiness clung to his clothes when he left school. 

  Sometimes he dreamt about it.

  "How do you get used to it, Liz?  This place is disgusting.  It's weird, I'll go nuts before we ever graduate." 

  "You're not going to go nuts.  Just hang with me and everything will be fine." 

  A security guard paused before going into the main office.  "Your room is down this hall on the left.  Room 237.  Should you happen to need to leave, be careful not to wander around the school unattended.  It's old, and things could get unsafe.  That's the only reminder you'll get." 

  The two students followed the directions they were given, and walked into room 237.  Liz frowned.  "Look at how small it is.  What's with that smell?"

  Rich could smell it too.  It was very faint, like bad tuna fish had been stored in the room a long time ago.  Ms. Care was handing out a worksheet and quieting the class down.  "Come on students, we have limited space.  Have a seat and start your trigonometry review, we also have limited time." 

  Rich hated math.  All those perfect lines and rules….  People thought they knew everything.  He liked to make up his own geometry.  “Weird Geometry” he called it.  "Ms. Care, haven't you read
Possible Bubbles of Space/Time Curvature in the South Pacific
by Howard Johansen?"

  Ms. Care frowned.  "You made that up, Richard.  And this worksheet is completely wrong. You just filled in the answers as quick as you could.  Would you like to stay with me after school tomorrow?"

  "I don't know.  Who's going to bring the food?"  He batted his eyes at her.  Ms. Care blushed.  The rest of the class made an, "OOOOO," sound and laughed, especially the girls. 

"YEAH RICHIE!  You going to make her call mommy?  Why don't you just pick your nose and eat it, mommy's boy?  HEHEHE!!"

  Now it was Ms. Care turning red.  "Spooner, how many more years am I going to have to put up with you?  If you spent as much energy on your studies as you do causing trouble, you'd be head of the class.  You can come in for detention this Saturday."

  Spooner locked eyes with Rich.  "You...are...DEAD!!"

  Rich shrugged.  "If you're feeling strong, Spooner, feel free to bring it.  Anytime you want to go for it.  I'm here every day."   

  The room seemed colder than the rest of the school, and Rich could swear that it had just gotten even colder.  Probably just stress, he told himself.  Liz was busy sticking her tongue out at Spooner. 

  "Elizabeth Sara Miller!  How old are you?"  Now Ms. Care was really annoyed. 

  "I'm seventeen.  I turned seventeen last month."

  "Act like it.  Don't lower yourself to poor behavior just because others choose to."

BOOK: An Infinite Sorrow
11.23Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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