There is a door in the mountain. There is a door, and someone has left it open.

The light from it shines in my window, keeping me awake. I get up to close the curtains. That’s when I see it. It’s a white door. Old, indescribably old, but still white. New coat of paint, I suppose. New coat of paint to cover the blood. Someone should close it. No telling what might get in.

And that’s how I find myself padding through the Opa Lodge in the dark. A low, screeching squeal escapes the kitchen, though whatever makes it does not. The sound seeps in at the edge of my hearing, sneaks up on me in the dark. I’m not sure that I’m really hearing it, then I am. I stop, staring long and hard at the kitchen door, wanting to go in, not daring to go in, wondering what manner of thing could be making that horrible noise, wondering if I’ve already eaten it. Slowly, it subsides, trailing off in a terrible croak before fading away completely, and I’m left staring at a door that suddenly is just a door.

But it’s the wrong door. The door in the mountain is still open. I can’t see it, but I can feel its light pouring out into my head, and it seems more imperative now that I close it. So out. Out the front door into the cold Pannawau night. And there it is again, standing out stark white on the mountain, indecent in its exposure, embarrassing and uncomfortable. I feel a swelling in my head as I look at it, so far away and so high. So high up on the mountain.

How will I reach it? The face of Mount Pannawau is hoary and perilous, and I am small and weak. Helplessness washes over me, and panic, and the light. Always the light. My head pounds with the pressure of it, each heartbeat echoing painfully through my brain, and the phone is ringing. The phone is ringing. The phone is ringing.

It’s the Sheriff, telling me that the Melmoth family has received a ransom demand for the return of Alexandra, and asking me to meet him at Melmoth House asap. I put down the receiver, and pray to wake in time.


About Mark Brett

Shaved Yeti. Alien. Writer of stuff. Read my fiction at https://reportsfromthefieldblog.wordpress.com/. Read my thoughts on comic books and other dork culture ephemera at http://dorkforty.wordpress.com/. View all posts by Mark Brett

5 responses to “**subjectnotdefined**

  • Mark Brett

    X-23, this is Denise, responding to an emergency red alert.

    The above post just… appeared on the intra-blog, no sign-in, no key-logger activity, no nothing. Such an incursion shouldn’t be possible, and indicates an unprecedented level of mission compromise, should it prove not to have somehow originated with you. It does seem to be yours, so we haven’t sent in the Cleaners yet. But we’re going to need confirmation from you, on the double.

    I’ve alerted the Chief, and he’s mobilizing an Ultra-Violet squad to read the post and determine if it’s toxic. Not sure why. I’ve read it, after all, and my brain hasn’t started leaking out my ears yet.

    This one’s got him on edge, X-23. He’s tense, and a little snippy. Which means he’s scared. And if that man’s scared, with everything he’s seen and everything he’s done… I’m terrified.

    Be careful out there, Clint. And please, phone home. We need to know you’re alright.

    But let’s just cancel those weekend plans at the romantic Opa Lodge, shall we? I’ll settle for dinner.

    Denise, signing off.

  • Mark Brett

    Denise, stop planning your social calendar on company time! And when all this is over, we’ll also need to have a talk about your opinions of your superior officers, and when it’s appropriate to share them with an agent in the field.

    Clint, this is the Chief.

    The Ultra-Violet boys have declared the post clean. “Clean, but weird,” they actually said. Hard to impress that bunch. So congratufuckinglations. Now let us know what’s going on out there! I’ve got Cleaners standing by, but I don’t want to use them. Erasing whole communities weighs heavy on my conscience, and doesn’t get us any closer to understanding.

    Chief Bill Roberts, signing off.

  • Mark Brett

    Chief, this is X-23. I was just awakened by a phone call from Sheriff Patton. It seems that the Melmoths have received a ransom demand for the safe return of Alexandra. A most unexpected development.

    More unexpected, however, was signing on here to find that information already recorded, along with the rather disturbing dream I was having when he called. I can’t explain the post’s appearance, sir, but would request that you cancel the Cleaners. The situation is mysterious, but would appear harmless. Or at least, non-toxic. And I am still fit for duty.

    Please advise at your soonest opportunity. If I must prepare for Cleaner drop, I’ll need to get started.

    Agent X-23, signing off.

  • Mark Brett

    Cleaners canceled, Clint. The case is still yours. If you’re able to type, you’re able to work.

    Chief Bill Roberts, signing off.

  • Mark Brett

    Glad you’re alright, X-23.

    And see what I mean about the Chief? He actually cursed!

    Up. Tight.

    Denise, signing off.

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