George

When I was ten, a boy my age moved into the house next door at the beginning of summer. The day he moved in, I was playing tennis on my own in our back yard. The tall wall that separated my yard from his (George) back yard had a big hole in it. I was hitting the ball at the wall of my kitchen and felt a pat on my shoulder – it was George, who had clambered through the hole in the wall. Now I had someone to play tennis with!

Our Mums became friends that day and over the next weeks we had many barbeques and George and I clambered back and forth through the wall playing ball games and cowboys and so on. George had an amazing cowboy outfit and my Mum bought me one (not quite as good) so we could play guns into the depths of the night. A couple of years later I would get Playstation with Tekken and all this type of playing outside would end forever. George would be dead. Or at least gone.

At the end of August, after three months of great fun playing together, George and I were walking back past the abandoned nunnery that looked like a mansion out of a comic book. We had ice cream and stopped at the derelict bus stop absent mindedly looking through the tall, thick metal fence at the decaying building. Even though it only had two floors, it looked way taller than my house. Our expressions became puzzled then we were both startled out our wits when behind us came a low cackle

“Ghagkakakaghaakgh.”

We spun round and I dropped my cone but had no time to be angry as stood metres away was a dusty old nun with hips the size of the rear of a car. I could tell she was a nun because of her black and white outfit with visible cross, although something about the outfit was different from what you see in movies, it reminded me of an ancient photo from the 1800s. Anyway, she raised a bent finger that pointed precisely nowhere and her eyes were of up most emotion like all her energy flowed out of them into our bones. She said

“I wouldn’t think of going into the cellar of that old building. I once lived upstairs there and underneath the foundations is a chamber over fifteen thousand years old storing a device that can negate gravity and give the world almost unlimited power. It is still there, and its power is not even nearly waning. Maybe it will take million, A BILLION years. Then I shall be free. FREE! FREE I TELL YOU! Yes, this device cannot be approached by the normal, that is why most of the nuns went mad and perished. Some even ended up on Pluto. It was built by aliens who helped build the worlds pyramids back then, way before so called scientists decided they were built to incredible accuracy with puny copper tools and without pulleys which hadn’t even been invented yet. The aliens taught the ancient men and women of the simple secrets of reality – spirals and triangles and gravity. The device is a perfect vector equilibrium made up of triangles and taps into the infinite space between all things. Did you know space makes up 99.9999999999 to the power ten percent of an atom? And that it links all things? And that we have this infinity within us, linking us all together within our dreams … and our nightmares? No? Well you do now GAKAGHAK. So don’t go there. Don’t do it! You know the worst night spent in panic madness after too much sugar and exercise? Seeing into the black abysses of time? No, you are just little children, you wouldn’t. But I say again: don’t do it … unless you are brave of course! GHAGHKAKAGHAAAGHK … Can I have that ice cream? I am ver’ ver’ hungry.”

George stepped forward bravely handed over his cone and the massive ball of woman in black hobbled away licking noisily.

That very night we told our Mum’s that we were going to explore the common as someone said there is a ghost. We lived in a nice area with no proper scallies and we were getting to the age where we were starting to be allowed out on our own, last week we had gone down to the arcade and pumped some coins into the machines all evening (our first real foray into video games) so our Mums let us go.

We arrived at the fence and the moon was bright above us. We put our hands on the fence and looked at each other. The fence rattled metallically. We began climbing the very tall fence that luckily had no barbed wire on it. On the other side we jumped eagerly down. Why were we not scared at all? It was because of the chemistry between us, like we were cousins or something. We skirted the building and after missing it the first circuit, found the decaying old trapdoor that must lead to the cellar in the shade of some dark trees. George had brought some strong wire cutters but he put them down on the deck and instead gave the trapdoor a solid kick. It made a noise like it was giving way and I stamped on it myself and after a second kick a panel fell away that left a gap big enough for a ten year old child to squeeze through quite easily. So we did…

The ground was made of wet red bricks and we switched on our puny torches and advanced. I was getting a bit nervous but still in a fun way and I think George was as well. The tunnel went on for quite a long way, we must almost be at the other side of the house and the bricks had stopped a while ago; the floor was just damp mud. The air this far down was almost icy and it was dusty and almost still in the torchlight. We reached a crossroads. In front of us the damp tunnel floor continued to a dead end containing a barrel that was falling apart and contained something decayed that we did not bother touching. We went back to the crossroads and shone our torches into the other, wider tunnel. The floor in that tunnel was flooded with still water and there were squarish stones strewn there which we could use to step on. Shining my small torch into the gloom I could see that the tunnel veered right some meters ahead. Would we go down there? Before I could muster up the guts to make the first step, something incredibly odd happened. A flash of green light came from round the bend of the flooded tunnel and I realised in a flash (as George surely did) that I had dreamed this light and this tunnel and the wave on the water that came creeping at us some recent night. Indeed it seemed as if I had always been dreaming it coming out of the future in a worm hole in my mind. A smaller light came round the corner into our view. I stared at it, right into it like a star and I began sweating as my mind unlocked and I realised that time does not exist in any way that I could understand and that somehow I had been here before a trillion times, that I was ALWAYS here. My palms were wet as if my fingers were moving of their own free will over and in and out each other as if in a black hole, I dropped my torch. The light was ahead of us. It was green but became white and was motionless now in the tunnel. There was only dark and then only the light. We were hypnotised and knew that time did not exist. There is no past and no future, never had been. It was all a façade. Forgotten bones in dirty bins around the back of expensive restaurants and all pathetic human events. None of that was ultimately real. The point of light is all there is … after what seemed like an eon George started towards it! He stepped onto a stone and the light became brighter! I gasped and the light became alive. Out of nothingness it was infinity. It had infinite sides like water and WE WERE THEM!

But in the light is also the pit. From the pit is also the almost mindless ultimate nightmare. I heard it first and in my minds eye an image. I cannot remember exactly, it was a moment of pure unrefined terror from the depths of pre existence. An impression of claws sweeping away George. I saw in my minds eye fangs the likes of which would slay any cloven devil. A multitude of eyes looking this way and that in ceaseless torment, it was made up of green machinery like the placenta of an egg. It made me smell things from when I was a toddler when I would look into terrible dimensions in my mind. It filled my belly with bile and sickening misery. The horror was overwhelming to the point of vertigo and I was powerless as I crumpled to my knees making some gibberish, screaming noise. It was the ultimation of all humanities childhood nightmares … and it had George! The light was fading and I knew I must get out of there. George was gone, I knew it. I picked up my torch and swept its beam into the tunnel determined not to abandon him as I mustered some strength to escape. There was only black and the water on the ground.

“GEORGE!” I screamed more in exclamation. But there was only my heavy breathing to be heard in reply and nothing to be seen. I heard a rumbling from the end of the flooded corridor and hating myself even though I knew him gone I wept and sprinted back up the tunnel towards the trapdoor. I looked back a couple of times and as I reached the brick flooring part of the tunnel there came behind me an echoing cackle “GHWAHAHAHAKGHAKKAGHAAA.” I was running on pure emotion, the looking back had heightened this. My face was strewn with tears as I dived head first through the gap in the trapdoor landing hands first on the ground. I got to my feet and ran to the fence, scrambling up it.

As I walked back towards home past the park I became strangely serene and I looked up into the beautiful madness of the starry sky. Where was George now? With my mouth closed in a slight frown I knew we were in a place we had never been before, that time marches on.

THE END

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