Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Bard: Track 3 (Preview)

Behold, the third chapter in the five part preview for The Bard!

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Track 3: The Hallowed Halls
The doorway has been breached
His scared ground
His foremost fears
Bleeding out from underneath the door



“Why’s everyone waiting around?” Edison beckoned the mob.


The crowed ignored the officer’s inquiry, too caught up in their own anxiety to acknowledge his existence. Chills spread to each of Ed’s vertebra as his skin paled and became bumpy. Fear frosted the blood in blonde man’s veins, and his heart clamored wildly in an attempt to defrost the sanguine stagnation. The darkness emanating from the apartment complex felt so palpable, Edison could practically see drops of pure evil condensing on the front door.


BANG!”


The cop fired his handgun up at arctic sky, triggering a chorus of scattered screams. Once the initial panic dissipated, the crowd was all ears.
“Now that I have your attention, someone tell me what the HELL is going on,” Ed commanded.


“All the doors are locked,” wailed a stubby old lady. “My little puppykins Mr. Feffernoose needs his mumsy-wumsy. I’m sure the poor dear is crying his sweet eyes out right now.”

“We can’t get a hold of anyone inside,” explained tearful woman with auburn curls. “I’m worried about my husband. His office called me. This m-morning he… never showed.”

“I’ll bust that door down, myself,” offered a gangly student. “Somebody steals my laptop and I’m legit done. I’ve got eighteen hours to finish my research paper and I—”

The policeman heard enough. He approached the ominous barrier and cocked his gun.


“NYPD, OPEN UP,” Ed roared as he ferociously knocked on the locked door. Not a single sound could be heard. Even the crowd didn’t make a noise.

“This is your LAST warning,” the detective shouted, pointing his gun at the slab of rusty steel barring him passage. “You have five seconds to open this door or I WILL bust it down.”
The man’s request remained denied by ghostly silence.


“TIME’S UP!”


The tenants pulled back and covered their ears. One shot from Ed’s Double Action SIG Sauer P226 sent the uppermost hinge flying. After two more shots and a kick from Locard’s boot the steel door came down. Immediately, the vile fragrance of freshly spilt blood slithered up Ed’s nostrils, causing him to gag.



“Don’t even THINK about taking another step,” Captain Takahashi ordered. “We may be dealing with armed assailants with hostages here. You and I by no means make an ample substitute for a SWAT team. We are to control the situation outside and secure the perimeter until back-up arrives. Are we clear?”

Deafened by the beats of his cardiac turmoil, Ami’s words bounced right off of Locard’s eardrums. Edison broke the chain of command and proceeded beyond the gates of hell, tearing Schrödinger’s box wide open. Inside, Ed confirmed the cat’s death. Gobs of scarlet were smeared horrifically across the pale yellow wall, serving as a grim treasure map to a butchered corpse.


“What the hell?” Ami said furiously, standing right outside the doorway. “Are you seriously going to outright ignore an order from a superior?”

“It’s an order I cannot follow,” Ed replied in a heavy voice. “This is no hostage situation. I’ve found a body… my doorman, Ted. The tip I gave him this morning is still hanging out of his pocket.”

Edison dry heaved, nauseated by both the brutality of the elderly man’s slaying and the depth of his killer’s malice.

Whoever did this sliced Ted’s larynx to silence him,” Ed described, his voice shaking with disgust. “The killer made the cut just shallow of a fatality. The bastard carved out Ted’s eyes as the poor man remained alive and mute. Savage gashes made all about his body… Ted bled to death silently, unable to see or scream. How could someone even do this? No one deserves a death like this. Especially not a gentle soul like Ted.”

Edison clutched his head, haunted by the mental image of his wife’s beauty being horrifically mutilated. The thought of Christie suffering the same gruesome fate as the doorman caused him intense physical pain throughout his entire body.

“Eddie, please, it’s too dangerous to go alone,” Ami pleaded, terrified by Ed’s description of the carnage. 

The crowd outside stirred, sensing something had gone dreadfully amiss.

“The force we’re dealing with is inhumanly cruel,” panted Ed, his face whitened to match the hue of the bleak winter sky. “A monster that equates the value of human life with that of an insect.”

“All the more reason to stay,” Ami insisted. “We’re not in some stupid TV cop drama. Barge in alone and clouded by your emotions, and you WILL die, Locard. Waiting for reinforcements is imperative.”

“You want me to stand here and let them die?” Ed yelled. “By the time SWAT arrives there will be NO ONE left to save.”

Upon hearing Edison’s grim assessment, the crowd’s panic progressed into pandemonium. Ami could no longer argue with Locard. It was up to her to control the crowd.

“If you insist on going in regardless of my orders,” said Ami as she pushed a sobbing woman away from the door. “Just swear to me you’ll come of this out alive. The NYPD can’t afford to lose a mind like yours. I can’t afford to lose a friend.”

“Goodbye, Ami,” Edison bid his friend distantly, turning back around. “I can afford to lose Christie even less. She’s my everything, Ami… my world. Her death is my Armageddon.” 

Edison stepped off the fallen door and into a pool of blood.






A greeting of silence disturbed the detective far worse than a welcome of gory shrieks. Life made noise. Death was silent. The usual creaks made by tenants’ feet pressing upon the flimsy floorboards were absent. The noisy chorus of washers and dryers, the buzz of faulty lighting and the loud threats of the landlord collecting rent… all MIA. The building itself had been murdered.

Edison flicked the lights switch repeatedly in hopes of illuminating the forebodingly dark hallway lined with doors. His efforts proved fruitless, as it would seem the invaders had already cut the power. The only thing preventing the complex from succumbing to complete darkness was the scarlet glow of setting sunlight oozing out from the cracks between the doors and the floor. The red lighting did little for Ed’s nerves, bathing the hollow halls in a hellish hue. The cop kicked one of the cracked doors open and barged in with his gun raised.

“NYPD! HANDS, NOW,” Ed yelled as he busted in.

The room’s occupant lacked the ability to comply, having perished in the same grim manner as the doorman.


Each room Ed explored housed identical carnage.  A part of Edison died with each horrific discovery, barely able to stomach seeing the tormented, eyeless expressions of his extended family. Finding Madelyn Higgs, Ed’s personal supplier of roses, hurt him most of all. Along with his flowers, the plucky Presbyterian florist had given Locard indispensable love advice. Beyond aiding his courtship, Madelyn introduced the grown orphan to the very concept of love. When Ed let it slip that he’d lived without ever consuming a single home cooked meal, the woman made it her mission to compensate. Since neither Ed nor Christie had mothers, Madelyn Higgs planned the Locard’s wedding day free of charge.

Three forlorn roses laid beside the eyeless corpse of the woman that walked the detective down the aisle. The tips of each rosa galbinus’ innocent yellow petals were dripping with blood.


“This isn’t real,” Ed panted. “None of this can actually be happening…”

The detective slammed his fist through the nearest wall, trying to break free of the nightmare.  The impact shattered several bones in his hand. Agony surged up Ed’s arm and into his parietal lobe, prying the man out from his denial.

Christie…”

Edison stomped up the rickety stairwell like greased lightning. He panted atop the steps, discovering yet another locked door. Using the hand he hadn’t injured, Ed punched a hole through the decaying wooden door and unlocked it. He popped a fresh magazine into his gun in preparation, then turned the handle.


Five sausage-like fingers clasped the man’s shoulder tightly and pulled him back.


“Hand me the gun,” a familiar voice calmly ordered.

Let go of me,” Ed snapped, his tone acidic from anger.

“You’ll find my command much hawdah to bweak than Takahashi’s,” the vested police chief warned.

Nearly eclipsed by the behemoth chief of detectives, Ami glowered at Ed with a mixture of irritation and sympathy.

“You keep me here and you doom her to die,” Ed protested desperately. “Do want that, Chief? Do you want her death on your hands?”

“That’s a lie told by your emotions,” the Chief replied. “You’wah compwised, Locawd. Stopping you is my puwpose foh being hewah. If I let you go now, you’wah both dead. Stand down and let the SWAT team do what they awah twained to do.”   

“The b-blood hasn’t d-dried,” Edison stuttered, scarcely able to breathe. “He’s here… She’s here. I need to save Christie…”

Saltwater scalded the detective’s cheek. Ed collapsed onto his knees and watched helplessly as the SWAT team marched past him.

Save hew? Eddy, you saw the cawnage down below. The chance that she would—” 

Captain Ami Takahashi took off her bulletproof vest and threw it to Detective Locard. She placed her hand on Delveccio’s shoulder, made eye contact with the Chief and shook her head. Harold reluctantly released the distraught detective.

Within seconds of being freed Detective Locard sprung forth, donning the Kevlar jacket during his mad dash to the door. Ed glimpsed the SWAT team busting into a room in his peripherals. With his vision blurred by panic, Edison charged into his ajar apartment door. Hyperventilating, the blonde cop blindly pulled out his gun and prepared to shoot at any voice that wasn’t his wife’s.

“CHRISTIE!”


No reply. Zilch. Nothing. Absolute nothingness. The red rays of the setting sun were the only thing that entered the quaint suite Ed shared with his wife. Edison detected only one change to the room since he’d left it in the morning: a note pinned to the refrigerator.   



Sorry honey! I’m going to be home super late tonight. The head writer demanded an emergency script revision, so now everybody’s gotta familiarize themselves with the “new” material. The whole thing is totally unnecessary, but that’s what happens when you work with artsy-fartsy types. Let’s go out for dinner tonight. The baby and I want something fancy and French. That’s two votes against one so no complaints…

 Love you and sorry again!

 - Christie


“She’s… she’s alright,” Ed sighed with tremendous sense of relief. “Big guy, I owe you a gazillion. Consider my next paycheck donated to the church.”


With Christie’s safety ensured, Ed’s focus became finding the force behind the unbelievably brutal mass slaying. The rest of Edison’s extended family did not share his wife’s fortune; he refused to leave their deaths unavenged. Detective Locard peered out his window. Not too far down below, an army of policemen fought to control the unsettled masses left bereft by the atrocity. The crowd of tenants had been fattened considerably by the addition of curious onlookers and the press. Despite the chaos, Ed spotted the one pair of eyes he’d always recognize.

Christie’s platinum tresses flowed like a shimmering spring of Celtic splendor— her glorious twin beacons of emerald looking even greener juxtaposed against the stale pink winter eve. Compassionate as always, Christina Locard tossed aside her own trepidations and choose to become a force of comfort for her fellow teary-eyed tenants. A faint smile made its way to Edison’s face. Fair-skinned and oh so selfless, Ed likened his wife to a princess of old tending to her subjects— an inner beauty so noble that it permeated the skin and imbued her body in utter loveliness.



“BANG.”



Bedlam broke loose. The crowd dispersed, trampling off every which way. Edison’s fists hammered against the window pane. The stampede cleared out, leaving the actress to stand alone. Edison watched his wife feel a tiny red whole in her chest. Seeing the blood on her fingers, Christie patted her stomach apologetically. Her strength abandoned her and she fell back into the slush. The surrounding snow turned red. The smile that once held so much warmth became a still, frozen frown. That morning, Detective Locard begged his wife to keep her eyes open when they kissed goodbye just as he’d done countless times. Ed told his wife he wished she never had to close them. The detective’s desire came to grim fruition. The woman’s breathtaking green eyes would never close again…


… until they met with the coroner’s fingers.




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