Saturday, August 8, 2009


Mathis had apparently been sleeping for awhile when he woke up with a start, on the floor of his apartment, in the dark, surrounded by mess. The glasses were still on his face. He made no attempt to remove them. It didn't even cross his mind.

His head ached, his eyes burned, and all he could do was to let out a pained groan. This, while memories of his father, recently obtained memories, his father's own memories, horrible memories, came flooding back to him.

He had seen his father's end, the way in which his life was cut short in a dockside knife fight with a two-bit thug. And he had seen something else. His heart began to race just thinking about. He had seen something he couldn't even hope to understand.

Mathis, lying on the floor, lolled his head this way and that, trying to clear his mind of the images his father had seen. Then he stopped. He blinked. He thought back to the old man, and wondered what he had seen in the lenses that was so horrible. The old man had called him the devil, and forbade Mathis from ever doing business with him again. It had to be something pretty bad.

Abruptly blinded by an intense white light, Mathis' entire body again convulsed, his fingers wildly clawing at the carpet once more. Strange images coming into focus. Another's memories. A holiday dinner, surrounded by little kids and laughing adults. Flash. Shady business conducted by the dark light of old storm lanterns from behind iron bars. Flash. Mathis, himself, setting the glasses down on a stone counter. Flash. The old man trying on the glasses, witnessing the bloody hatchet murder of his wife. Flash. Blood, so much blood. Flash. Arms, legs, head being removed with a circular saw. Flash. Flash. Flash.