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World of Darkness: Glimpses of Darkness - Foreshadows

Ira Sagebrush

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One night Romeo had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the slime-strewn terrace of a monolithic edifice of unimaginable proportions and unthinkable geometry. A shadow loomed overhead, quivering in the sickly-pale moonlight and flickering in the periphery of his vision.

Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. Or perhaps not his life. It was hard to tell what was real and what was not, what were his memories and what were someone else's. Clarity of any sort was elusive. In many of the scenes he saw two sets of footprints: one belonging to him, and the other oddly irregular, suggesting a stagger or limp and hinting at feet of inhuman shape and number.

When the last scene of his life (or someone else's) flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the slime. He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints. The slow, steady, eternal lapping of the black water across the slimy balcony had smeared them beyond recognition, so he was uncertain whether they were his or not.

He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life.

This really bothered him and he turned to the shadowy presence looming over him, crawling around him, and occasionally caressing him with its chilling tendrils his spine.

"The fell tome through which I learned to beckon you into my presence promised that once I decided to follow you, you'd walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why when I needed you most you would leave me."

The shadow replied in a guttural, throbbing, and oddly shrill cadence that only peripherally aped human speech. The crushing bass in the voice, if it could be called a voice, turned his stomach. The incessant piping stabbed at that part of the brain just behind his eyes, as if he had just compounded a migraine with a stroke, while being struck from behind with broken two-by-four. He fell to his knees, scrabbling in the sand and mud and slime. He understood rather than heard the answer, as the shadow communicated at some blasphemous, eldritch level far below the conscious mind:

"Human, mortal, insect. . . . I did not even notice your presence until just now. I move through your world at my leisure, bound by neither time nor space nor physical law. If you were more significant in the cosmos, you would be merely insignificant. That you moved in my shadow during your life, indeed that you served me slavishly through hideous rituals of unspeakable horror, does not stir my interest. Where you see two sets of footprints, those are the times in your life when you trailed me at a distance, begging my attention. Where you see but one, those are the times I walked alone, for you had been spirited off to the stars to sate the never-ending hunger of my interstellar progeny with your psychic energies and your blood."

Romeo twitched and gibbered, pissed himself, and stared longingly into the darkness.

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  • 2 weeks later...


Romeo woke with a start, shifting to a sitting position as if he were spring loaded. His heart raced and he was panting like he'd just ran a 5k. He turned back towards the pillow, giving it a spaced off look of accusation as his brain attempted to process the events of dreamland.

Snapping out of his daze, he ripped aside the sweat and urine soaked sheets and padded softly across his hotel room to the bathroom. Romeo flipped the switch to illuminate the small room in sterile fluorescent light as he stared himself down in the mirror.

What in thee fuck was that...You are not crazy, that was just a dream. It wasn't real. Not this time.

Rotating the knob of the overpriced fixture, he doused his face with handfuls of cold water until it was running down his pasty skin, soaking into his already moist underwear and socks. He grabbed a towel as he moved back into the main room and grabbed his black-rimmed glasses from the nightstand where they rested on his laptop. Blinking a couple times, he started throwing his bags from the dry side over to the now ruined one as he shimmied out of his underwear and pried off his socks with his feet in an unfortunately practiced motion.

A quick glance at the clock told him it was still far too early to think about beginning his job, so he grabbed a change of clothing and headed back to the bathroom, stopping briefly to pick up a prescription bottle from amongst a multitude and toss it in the trash.

Those obviously didn't work.

Freshly showered, and much calmer, he grabbed a beaten up spiral notebook from his bag as he laid back down, flipping on the small lamp that hovered like a sconce over the nightstand. Romeo took a moment to trace a finger over something that had long ago been written on the cover; Rom 12:2.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world...Sure is working.

He pulled out the cheap pen from the spiral and clicked it incessantly as he flipped the notebook open to where the large rubber band was marking his page. He focused on his task at hand, but as was his habit by ritual, he read the previous entry before beginning the new.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sep 24

Late one night, my old friend Gunnar and I were driving down a dark back road not a mile from my home. We were just cruising around in Gunnar's old, beat up, faded gold car when I noticed headlights coming up behind us. I looked back and saw that it was a police car. Since we were going way under the speed limit, I was worried we might be pulled over. But just in the nick of time, someone tore out of the factory parking lot in front of us, screeching his tires. The cop passed us up immediately and went after the perpetrator. At that point, I thought we were in the clear. However, this was hardly the case. We pulled off the road and turned off the lights so we would not be seen if the cop decided to return for us later. After a while, we exited the car to stretch our legs and have a look around. A short distance away, we noticed an old dilapidated red barn with a large R.V. parked along its side. There was a big white farmhouse adjacent the barn. Suddenly, as if on cue, we heard a woman scream from inside the house. I looked at Gunnar and saw right away that we were on the same wavelength. "Let's get the hell out of here!" I shouted. This being a dream, neither one of us thought it odd that our transportation was now a small motorized scooter. Problem was, when we tried to start it up, the gas tank blew off. It didn't hurt us, but it did leave us stranded. Dawn was now upon us and the cab of the R.V. became visible. There were two people inside - a man in the driver's seat, and a woman on the passenger side. Something was wrong though. Their eyes were rolled back into their heads and they seemed to be convulsing uncontrollably. Needless to say, this was further motivation for us to leave as quickly as possible. We ran inside the barn to try and find something that might replace the gas tank on the scooter (why we thought the barn might contain a gas tank for a motorized scooter is anyone's guess). Once inside, we bumped into an old man who was restoring an old railroad train car. Straightaway, he suggested we join the party going on in the backyard. I really wanted to leave, but Gunnar was a party animal and begged me to at least check it out. I agreed and we entered the backyard. There was some kind of a celebration going on, but I wasn't sure what the occasion was. We observed the activity for a few minutes before becoming bored. Gunnar looked at me and said, "This is lame. Want to go into the house?" I said yes and, as we proceeded to make our way toward the house, I happened to glance up at the sky. It was cloudy and lightning flashed overhead, revealing a foreboding transparent face hovering within the curves of the clouds. I turned to ask Gunnar if he had seen the face, but he was walking ahead of me and had just entered the house through a side door. I followed, but when I got inside, he was gone. I instantly determined there was something wrong. I also experienced déjà vu. I seemed to recall that the last time I was here, it was a place of goodness. This time however, the goodness was shrouded with an aura of evil. I walked from room to room, searching for Gunnar and an alternative way out of the house. Strangely, each room I visited was eerily similar to the one before it. The rooms all contained a different beautiful woman - each woman imprisoned in her respective area by a distinct method of confinement - rope, chains, handcuffs, etc. And each would say the same thing, over and over, as if in a trance, when I entered - "What would you do with this?" I think they were trying to entice me, but it turned me off as I found their words incredibly disturbing. Continuing my search for Gunnar, I entered the next room, expecting another stunning beauty. But to my surprise, this room held a terribly disfigured woman. Her waist was only about two inches wide and her face looked like it was covered by some kind of green goo. Her eyes were significantly distorted in size, and, as I stared at her in disgust, she stated sarcastically (in an artificial sounding man's voice), "What would you do with THIS?" Not answering, I exited without hesitation and moved down the hallway. I began to walk faster and faster, as if this would in some way help to hide the fear I now felt. When I got to the next room, I saw a gigantic wooden marionette dressed like a farmer. The unusually large puppet stood up and approached me. At the same time, the deformed woman, along with all of the other women I had just seen, appeared in the room. I ran like hell and the deformed woman silently gestured to one of the beautiful women to follow me. I leaped over couches and dashed down halls. I was proud of my performance under pressure. It seemed I had lost the wooden farmer, but the good-looking chick was on my ass like white on rice. As I ran even faster, I noticed some large gold coins strewn about the floors throughout the house. I don't know why, but I felt I just had to have some of these coins and picked up as many as I could without slowing down. When I finally made it to the door leading outside on the far side of the house, I discovered a very large coin just waiting to be possessed. Trying to stop, I found myself sliding passed the soon-to-be-mine treasure by about three feet. Although the pursuing beauty was coming up fast, I figured I could grab the coin and still get out of the door to freedom cleanly. I turned around to grab the 'brass ring,' and, just as I plucked it up off of the floor, I was overcome by the gorgeous marauder following me! She grabbed me by my arms and I tried unsuccessfully to wrestle free of her remarkably strong grip. She then pulled me toward her face and, in a forceful tone of voice, demanded that I kiss her. I realized that my energy levels were exhausted from all of the running and was too weak to break free of her clutches. So, as a last resort, I decided to try and trick her into letting me go by pretending to submit to her demand. I thought, "What's the worst that could happen? I make out with a beautiful girl?" Anyway, I moved closer, like I was preparing to kiss her, and just as I did, her arms slipped around me, squeezing me in a vice-like embrace. With all of my remaining strength, I made my move and tried to jerk myself free of her - but she held me as tightly as if I were encased in a cast of concrete. There was absolutely no movement. It was like putting your back to a brick wall and pushing another brick wall in the other direction. She didn't budge an inch! I was hopelessly trapped!

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