“I don’t know who you are referring to, sir. I don’t understand what you mean by dimensional vortex. Now, I’m obviously not the company you seek, so –“
“Shut up. You will stay. You will witness. Come here.”
It then stretched out its muscular arms as if to grab me forward, though several feet did lie between us. I found myself holding onto the tree for dear life, for my legs failed to set my feet to path! Still, although it could not physically touch me, I somehow felt its claws wrap around my throat, one finger at a time and yank me from the safety of the tree!
Now Sister; please do not discard this letter thinking the tale I am sharing is a falsehood, or one of my odious pranks. What I share with you is the truth: down to the last letter! I beg you to keep reading.
“Ask yourself this, you mortal womb creature. Do you truly think His will flows in only one direction?”
I pulled at the invisible hand around my throat; tried to loosen its grip.
“What do you mean?” I asked, wishing that I had not.
“Time! Time! Can you not measure? Can you not comprehend? Are you so ignorant to think you learn new information with each new day? You animal. You artless beast. You…minuscule soul! You are but a derivative collection of timeless information, yet you think you so unique. Bah! The entropic destiny that your kind fear is but a gift that I pray could be granted to me. Yet, you things take everything given to you for granted. Even death. Stupid, stupid animal.”
Oh, dear Sister! These words it spoke! Their meaning, their wording; it is all a mystery to me. But, I cannot forget them or put them away, for they are somehow burned into my memory, as if they were words spoken by me! I must go on. I must tell you. Everything I record is what was spoken and heard. As witness, I must share with you every detail, lest I go insane.
“Man has not the proper concept of existence,” it continued, as if it were a master of such things, “Nor…of time. Third of October. 1865. What you would think of as three minutes prior, I was a young Mexican rebel being led to our execution, captured by Maximilian’s men. A fine death for him, for his only thoughts were on his young daughter and how she was safe at his coastal village with money he extracted from the dictator’s house of governance. A miserable death for me, for I wanted his heart to feel the bullet sink deep into his bloody ventricles!”
“How,” I was foolish to ask; “How could you have been in 1865? It has yet to exist.”
Dear Sister, you must forgive the rawness of what it said next. You know I am a man of standards, and that it is against every fiber in my body to relate such foul language in the company of women, in the company of those whom I love. Yet, forgive me, for it comes forth as if my hand cannot stop at my will. Dispose of this letter and do what you must, but read what I detail so that you know what evil can say! It continued:
“Upon being told of the bombing over Pearl Harbor, she poisoned the commander in charge of her village. I loved the turmoil. I fed off of her evil. I credited her for her insidious murder, if mostly for her delicious timing: during the act of sex! Yet, my inebriation was soon lost when I felt her reach for the bottle of poison and drip its last drops onto the tip of her tongue. I cursed her for her act; seethed in her selfless yet wretched attempt to preserve her honor, her bloodline, her village!”
He picked me up by the hand I could not see and pushed me against the tree.
“Where are you now?” I dared to ask, for it pounded me against the tree with such force that I heard my joints crack! “What are you now and who are you now?” Anything to keep its attention off of me. “If I am to be a witness, then I must know.”
And it is then, my dear Sister, when it let go of my throat and released its grip on me. I fell to the ground, took in the sulfur of its breath and its tremendous odium; its exhaust seemed to carve deep grooves into my lungs as if made of shards of glass.
“I am just a few months into the beyond. I am battling a cold fever. I am…osage.” It looked to the dark canopy of skeleton maple trees that rose above the thickets. “Indiana. 1828. I am a woman. Tired. Bleeding. Lovely that I bleed.”
It lay back down, and I watched its claws dig deep into the soft dirt. I looked back to see where I could run, for I had forgotten where I was in my delirium. “What do you see? What do you hear?” I gasped, wishing this nightmare would end.
“I hear a frozen, windblown corn husk scrape against the glass of the window. It’s delightful in its dry scratch. It reminds me of a tortured death.”
On my knees, I backed around the tree, ever so slowly. “What is happening to the woman?” I asked, to keep the thing motivated in his torment as I planned my escape.
“We have spent hours looking out the window from her bed; the yellowed meadow grass…snow covers the swamp mud. The wind…it whips back and forth in the winter gusts, and the sky…rushing clouds, yet openings of deep blue sky. I hate the blue. I desire the ice. I want the death that the ice can offer. Not blue. I want to kill her, too; to be released. I am her fever. Her cold fever.”
My stomach turned. I nearly lost the breakfast I had just eaten. “Can you not escape?” I tried to appease it as I held my stomach. “Can you not leave her at your will?”
“Fool. He keeps me here…locked under her pure skin…as a witness to her pure faith. I want to die! I want to kill her! And I will kill her! I am the fever! Yet…I am forced to stare at streaks of blue while my fever drenches her in the cool…the wet, cold…cooling blanket of sweat.”
It turned his ugly head --its torturing eyes piercing mine -- and declared, “She is not long on this earth!”
I trembled at the thought that it knew I was sick from fear. “You mentioned the direction of time. Can you not simply travel somewhere else? In time?” I thought I was clever, my dear, but it only annoyed the creature further!
“I am kept here! Listen, you fool! She now turns to her side, and so must I! She now stares towards the adjoining room, and so must I! But, OH. What is this? What does she wish to see? What is it, sick woman, that drives your eyes …onto that closed door? Curious. A curious thing.”
It then suddenly laughed, and deeply so; its wide grin cracked into a display of canine-like teeth! I readied by left foot, thinking I could jump away and take flight if I could not run –the evil thing frightened me so! I then felt a heavy hand pressing down on my head as if I were a peg in a game board.
“What is so funny?” I asked. “Why do you laugh?” I tried to pry the ghostly hand away.
“She thinks her newborn child lies in the room, asleep! Ha! I relish the thought! Hours have passed, you know, since she held her child. Too rested did her child seem! Too quiet was her child’s cry!” It reared that ugly head towards the forest canopy as if mocking God Himself. “She will find nothing in the cradle waiting for her!”
It laughed again, but more hideously, gleefully in what terrible news it shared. I then felt its grasp release, and so I quickly pulled myself up against tree and held onto the trunk for dear life! “What has happened to her child?” I asked, looking up the tree with the dumb notion to climb it and then jump to the branch of another like a squirrel!
“It is dead, you wretched thing!” It nearly stood on its knees from its bed of osage and slammed its stone-like fists into the ground. “It is dead and now part of His majestic, tiresome dominion! Can you not comprehend the obvious? Why are you things so stupid? Such ignorant, dumb beasts you are! Stupid, stupid man. You –“
“What is the poor woman doing to you now?” I asked, shivered by that thing’s hideous tone. It seemed instantly confused by my question, but soon curled its claws and laid back down on the bed of osage, one arm under its head almost leisurely.
“We have stumbled to the floor. Her husband finds her…calls for her...picks us up and puts her back to bed. God must help my child she whispers, but he says nothing. She now draws with her finger a cross on the bed next to her bloodied waist. Her husband kisses her forehead. He sits. He waits. He sits while she, by degrees, fades away.”
It then clutched its forehead with both hands almost as if it was about to weep, or throw a tantrum!