THE NORTHLAND CHRONICLES
Tales from Above The Mist
Joey’s Night Out
Joey walked with trepidation towards the tall black door, hung with small golden charms and decorations that blew in the cold dank wind. The door was slightly open and a gust of the foul air from the west made it shift slightly. Beyond the door darkness hung as a piece of black cloth suspended in the air. A chill ran through Joey’s body and his skin prickled until it was covered with minute bumps. This was the place alright. Julie.
Julie ran down the pathway, something snapping at her heels, it’s fur spiked upwards on its heavy set body, its sharp curved teeth covered in glistening blue black saliva. Julie ran west until her breath disappeared. Over the small stone bridge covering Main Street West, her footsteps echoing into the tunnel below, Julie ran through the glades, past trees, through bushes, until her face was cut and torn… Julie ran until her lungs ached and her calves burnt… Julie ran until she saw the door. Tall and black, hung with small golden tassels, wind chimes and charms. She put out her hand and turned the handle, stepping into the darkness beyond. Behind her she heard a whistle… a gust of wind blew the door shut. Joey.
Joey was 15. They were the same age. He had been walking down Lilly Road, hoping to see Julie. Julie had been rather absent minded of late and had seemed to have forgotten their first kiss just last week. She had been wrapped up in a black plastic pointed hat that barely covered her short cropped golden silk hair, spiders hanging from fishing gut strings tied to her elbows and knees, a broomstick clutched in her innocent hand, her other hand wrapped around his neck the small pink glazed fingernails digging into his skin. Julie tended to head down to the small park to the west where she could smoke cigarettes and sometimes thin tightly wound joints to warm her thin skin.
Joey took the walk step by step, west along Lilly Road until he crossed into Southern Greenway, the new spring grass crunching under his feet like tiny icicles. A soft wind blew along the path that day, bringing fresh air from the lake to the south. Joey walked with his head down, whistling a senseless tune, his eyes scanning the horizon for Julie. Joey walked with his head down until he saw the tall black door, hung with golden tassels and chimes. It closed. He stopped and stared. Julie.
A terrible screaming fills the cracked and broken room. Deep in the depths the sound echoes. Joey fell to pieces in the dark, his guts crumbling into dust. A self fulfilling prophecy. Somewhere water drips slowly onto rotting wood and a black plastic pointed hat. Click… click… click... Outside a few passers-by stop on the small concrete path and glance, puzzled, at the large piece of stone into which Joey has stepped, as water leaks from a crack deep within onto to the freshly cut grass.
Julie had first seen the door in the rock when she was just 12. She had followed Joey there on a cold September day, amidst the mist and the perpetual fog that hung over the small town of Northland during the winter months. It never quite snowed, the sky just wept shards of glistening ice. Julie knew where the door led.
The door swings open and a soft, strange hum fills the air. The hum fills Joey to the core… He feels the vibrations traveling from deep within his spine upwards into his brain, blurring his vision as he reaches out and pushes the door open, it’s golden tassels and glittering stars of crystal shimmering in the dawning of a September morning. He steps through into the darkness, the skin on his face taut as he strains to see. He hears the soft sound of the breath of a sleeping child behind him. The door swings closed behind him.
Click… click… click… her fingers snapped as he twisted at them in the dark. A soft moan escaped her lips… lips that were cracked, torn, dried out and covered in a thick coating of blood. Her curved teeth glinted softly in the cold morning light.
Near them lay a small black plastic hat, wet and soiled with blood and sperm. I'm dying she screams in a hoarse whisper.
“It’s all over now”… Joey heard himself say as he ground his knuckles between his teeth… “it’s all over, Julie”.