There are many things that have happened to me on this planet that have shaken me deep to my core, but I’ve never experienced anything like what happened earlier today.
The day started off fine; woke up to a light snow, made my special hangover omelet with eight eggs and washed it down with a lil’ hair of the dog.
I knew it was going to be an odd day as soon as I sat down in my writing chair, but I never expected to be thrust into the unexplainable rabbit hole I currently find myself falling through.
While hovering over my computer keyboard, the jumbled mess of dialogue for the scene I was trying to paint muddled around my head.
It’s what we in the biz like to call writer’s block and, being in the industry for well over 10 years now, I knew exactly how to get past it.
Five tequila shots later and I was blasting through page after page of my new Horror-Comedy script centered around Zombie Teletubbies, promptly titled ZombieTubbies.
It was all sweet and dandy until the words stopped coming to me again. At that point I’d been writing for nearly two hours, so I decided to take a snack break and hit up my kitchen for some well-deserved nourishment.
These days I usually try to write two to three hours per day, instead of stressing myself out every time of the hour in order to meet a certain word goal; much like what my writing partner, Ben, used to have us do during our sessions.
Speaking of Ben, none of this would be happening to me right now if it weren’t for his occult interests.
For my snack in the kitchen, I decided to make myself a sandwich filled with various leftovers from takeout orders throughout the past week. Upon biting into my ramen-burger-carnitas sammie, I couldn’t help but feel a cold shiver run down my spine.
Was it a sign of things to come? Or was it just another damn good sandwich made by the best former sandwich artist that ever hailed from the South Side of Chicago?
As soon as I finished my edible masterpiece, it was time to get back into my written one. I knew if ZombieTubbies was ever going to be a viably acceptable production it would need to have less potty humor and a stronger central theme.
So, I decided to combine my different edits and make the central theme revolve around one long-winded fart joke.
While I was in the thick of editing, I received a call from Ben. I decided to pick up.
“Let’s get schwifty tonight, ya old fiend!”
I could’ve just declined.
I should’ve just declined.
Next thing I know, I’m seven long islands deep huddled next to Ben in the corner of a packed bar thinking how appreciative I was of the fact that the bartenders didn’t use the long island mix for my drinks.
And then he hit me with the question.
He looked me in the eyes and talked just loud enough so I could hear him over Post Malone crooning over the speakers about being a Rasta or whatever.
“I have to go somewhere soon for a meeting. Would you like to come with?”
I tried asking him what the meeting was for, but 21 Savage cut me off as I was speaking.
He signed his check and grabbed my shoulder before saying, “I think this could help you. You should tag along.”
I followed Ben into a cab and then out of the cab, and then up the stairs leading to a rustic apartment. He rang the doorbell, and we were greeted by a strange woman wearing a black veil over her face.
She led us into a room surrounded by others, all of them watching us like hungry jackals as we passed them by.
The veiled woman walked us to an empty corner of the room and gestured us to stand there. Then she walked away into the shadow of the other room.
At this point I was tapping on Ben’s shoulder like a little kid begging for more tide pods, trying to ask him if I was going to potentially die in that room.
His only response to my relentless nudging was a sideways glare and an index finger pressed against his lips.
Then I heard a low buzzing noise coming from the other side of the room. It wasn’t until Ben later joined in, that I realized the group of people huddled around me were all humming together with their mouths closed.
This time Ben nudged me, and I instantly broke into a tone-deaf hum trying to hide in the pool of noise with the others.
Then it happened.
With everyone in the room continuing their chants, the ceiling began to swirl around above us as if we had all taken some Orange Sunshine earlier and were collectively beginning our trips at the same time.
As the ceiling continued to swirl, I noticed certain colors and textures that I can’t even find the words to describe poking out from the center.
While everyone was looking at the crazy show going on above, I peeked around the room to see if the same phenomenon was occurring elsewhere.
Then I saw it.
For a brief moment, a mere flash, I saw the image of two dark eyes and a reddish nose staring back at me from across the room.
I jumped back in shock, which evidently correlated with the stopping of the psychedelic ceiling show. Everyone looked over at me with disgruntled reactions.
But then something plopped down from the ceiling and into the middle of the room.
The veiled woman held her hands up to stop any curious guests from getting too close as she got too close to the fallen item.
She picked up the item and, upon further inspection, it appeared to be a tiny wooden lockbox with various symbols unevenly etched around every inch of its exterior.
The veiled woman held the lockbox to her ear and then made her way over to me. She gestured for me to extend my hand and placed the lockbox in my open palm, moving my fingers to firmly grasp the lockbox with conviction.
At that moment, I realized everyone else in the room had left besides Ben, the veiled woman & myself.
I tried to ask her what it all meant but she just turned around and disappeared into the surrounding shadows.
Ben walked me home refusing to explain anything to me, except for the fact that I needed to protect the lockbox as if my life depended on it.
So now I’m sitting here trying to process all this stuff through journaling. Sounds crazier than I actually remember.
And the flashed image of that…face. I swear I can still see it if I close my eyes long enough.
It almost feels like an afterimage that keeps coming back to me, as if I’m stuck in some sort of dreadful cycle.
Simply put, I fear the future days to come.