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Mirror in the Desert: Discernment (Part 5)

May 18, 2020

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

I’m not proud of it, but I hid.  I didn’t know what was going on, still don’t entirely.  Not sure if I want to.  While I was pretty sure the chubby suburban commando squad were bad, that didn’t necessarily make the face painter cult the good guys.

So I sat there and I waited and watched.  Like I said, I’m not a praying man, but I was praying then.  Quietly, like a mantra, I won’t repeat what I said, not sure I can remember it completely other than I made a lot of promises.  Which I feel that I will certainly have to account for someday.

I tried to focus my eyes and ears more, I would like to say there was a preternatural hush to everything, but the fact is my heart was pounding and my breath came out in ragged gasps, as much as I tried to calm myself down.  It’s strange that something you normally don’t notice, becomes something that takes up so much of your attention in circumstances where you are worried.

Then I heard the sound of several people coming up the trail.  There wasn’t any talking, but I could hear them stomping around.   As they got closer, the sound of ragged breathing became more noticeable.  I felt my body scrunching down of its own volition.

Several people came into view, including the guy with the doll.  Up close that unsettling feeling became even stronger.  There was something about the way they moved that didn’t look right.  Like their movements weren’t quite normal, the body jerking just a little bit.  Almost like they were getting some kind of resistance as they moved like from the wind blowing into them.  But there was no wind.  The misty rain fell straight down.  Not even a gentle breeze touched me.

Doll man stopped suddenly less than a hundred feet from me on the trial. Granted its not a very imaginative name, but I wasn’t really in creative mood when I saw him.  He stood absolutely still.  Then he looked left, away from me but in the direction where I had been perched on the ledge.  Here was the weird thing, he didn’t turn his head in that direction, he pivoted his whole body.  Then after a moment, he swiveled in my direction.  It was like there was a rod going from the base of his skull through his entire spine.  It was a fluid movement almost like he was on some kind of turntable that rotated him around.

I wanted to hold my breath, but couldn’t.  His eyes were shadowed in the darkness, but I saw the glint of the dolls eyes reflecting back to me some peculiar light that had caught in them.  The other middle aged men and women stopped moving and waited.  Not a word passed between them.  They just stopped in unison by some hidden signal between them.

I swear they knew I was there.  I had that feeling like you get sometimes when you’re in a crowded room and someone is looking at you for whatever reason.  There have been a few times in my life when I met someone and instantly disliked them, and knew they didn’t like me either.  Could just see it.  That recognition, like I had met them in a past life and we had been enemies then and would be enemies again if we spent any time around each other.

That’s the feeling I got.  That and an almost irresistible urge to run.  Something told me if I did, I wouldn’t get very far.

Then after an interminable amount of time, the guy turned away and they all started moving down the trial again.

I did not breath a sigh of relief.  My leg was bouncing up and down in a fast nervous pattern where is sat.  It was like the effort to stay completely still had finally rebelled against me in my legs.

I waited.  Feeling that vibration in my leg jittering.

I listened until I couldn’t see them or hear them anymore.

Then I waited a little longer.  My need for caution conflicting with the very real need to get out of there and fast.

When I thought I had waited long enough I slowly crept toward the trail, looking both ways as I took a step.

Step.  Listen.  Look.

The again. Step. Listen. Look.

I was almost at the trail when I heard a high pitched sound.




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