Those of you who Understand what that giant rearing stallion in front of the Denver Airport symbolizes know this world has no future. Preston Nichols used to say a time traveler from here could travel only so far into the future before he would come to a place desolate of life that’s only geographical feature was a giant statue of a rearing stallion. Now you Free Masons, you Jesuits, you Illuminati and various homespun Magi may tell us that you know there’s a future because there has been a book written about it: Library Genesis (libgen.rs). You are not reading our words carefully enough. There is no future in this place but there are many worlds as you have already discovered with the science of Hugh Everett III, and what little you do know about National Socialism. First you will have to find the doorway out of here and so far, we have little inclination to show it to you… – Jack.
Excerpted From Those Who Would Arouse Leviathan:
הוד / Majesty
Nietzsche once said “if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.” I don’t recall gazing into any abyss. I hadn’t even read a book since high school let alone anything by the master philosopher. Never the less there was an abyss dead ahead, a yawning black hole with a singularity at the center that would rend to pieces every notion by which man desperately clings to his contrived perception of reality.
It was in the tail end of June, one of those endless summer days that make life worth living. I pulled my big flatbed truck onto Sunrise Highway and slipped it into high gear. In back of me the sun was dropping like a great red fireball into an ethereal sea streaked with pastel pinks and ominous purples. I lit up a cigar sized joint and felt the air whipping through the trucks open windows. My flesh tingled with its cool caress. I had been working outside all day with my shirt off turning my complexion glowing crimson bronze with a hint of a stinging sensation. I could feel the muscles rippling beneath my skin. They were still pumped from the day’s exertion. It was a confirmation of my own virility every time they strained against the black fishnet shirt I was wearing. I was heading east to Kenny’s new house he had rented with his wife Patty, his five year old son, and his recently born baby. I got off the highway at Carlton Avenue in East Islip heading south and made a left before the rail road tracks turning into an enclave with streets named after long dead presidents. The houses were worn and run down, not as bad as Mastic and Shirley but they had long since lost their suburban charm. I made a right and another left around a sump onto a road that ran parallel to the railroad tracks and I rumbled past Kenny’s house. The lights were on and I saw Joey Baranek’s car in the driveway along with a beat up white van I didn’t recognize. It was a two family home and Kenny had the portion toward the street and the train tracks. I went about a half a block down to the cul-de-sac and made a U-turn in its aborted circle. I looked over my right shoulder at a vacant lot that stretched about the length of a football field before turning into woods and thickly tangled underbrush. The woods fish hooked from the tracks around the lot and continued through the backyards of the houses terminating at the corner with the fenced in thirty foot deep sump. Stagnant water submerged the bottom. The lot itself looked as if it was being used as an improvised dump by the Long Island Railroad. There were four and five foot high mounds of dirt, covered by weeds, and piled at impossibly steep angles as if they were built by some subterranean insect engineer. Towards the center there were charred debris strewn about in a haphazard fashion as if somebody had been burning something and then tried to put the fire out. Minus the burnt wood the overall effect was like a miniaturized version of an abandoned Mesoamerican city reclaimed by encroaching jungle.
I parked the truck in front of Kenny’s house and leapt the three feet from its cab to the street. I walked around the front of the truck and up the entrance to the two car driveway towards the house. Pausing I took one long hit from the last of the joint and flicked it into the street watching its burning embers scatter into the evening breeze. I studied the van trying to figure out who it belonged to and I noticed through the closed windows that the front of its cab was partitioned from the back by a jet black curtain. The borders of the curtain seemed to emit a faint glow that was illuminating the cab but I couldn’t be sure because of the overhead street light that had just come on. The glow seemed to flicker as if someone was burning a candle in the back. The van was motionless which was kind of creepy because I was sure it was occupied. I cleared my lungs of the pot and inhaled deeply seeking the reassurance of tasting the sweet summer air. There was nothing, no fragrant lilies and fresh cut grass, no sounds of children laughing and playing on the edge of evening. I listened more intently and noticed there were no chirping crickets or sounds of anything else except the far off forlorn whistle of a train. It was as if I had stepped into some coterminous world where what I was seeing didn’t really exist but was only the residual impression of the world I had left behind. I was startled by the long whistle of a train thundering by on the tracks not fifty feet away. I had never heard it coming.
Regaining my composure I barged through the unlocked front door without knocking. Kenny had been my best friend since we were thrown out of Catholic school together. I was the only one, including his brother and sisters that was allowed in his closet at his parents’ house when he wasn’t home. I remember opening that door and having bags of Quaaludes swallow me up in a pharmaceutical avalanche. Joey and Kenny were seated on the couch at the far side of the room. In front of them was a table supporting a small mountain of coke. Kenny immediately began cutting me a line and Joey said “where have you been? I haven’t seen you in Mo’s Place for a while.” I answered him like it was a chore “Steve and I got a divorce and I’m tired of you people trying to get me to get you coke at all hours of the night. As a matter of fact I just gave Dawn a bag of coke to sell in the bar. But I guess you haven’t seen her or you wouldn’t be here.” I looked at Kenny grinning and said “woops there goes another ounce. You told me to give it to her.” “I know” he said. “She’s my problem. She’s my sister. I want her to make money but then she doesn’t give me mine. She’s about to get cut off.” I replied “you better not do that. I ain’t acting as a drug liaison anymore, I’m a landscaper, besides” I gestured at Joey “these junkies are mainlining it in Al’s van in the parking lot of Mo’s.” Joey denied it of course but everyone knew.
Joey started to fidget on the couch. His slightly goofy face was accessorized by string straight platinum blond hair and buck teeth, all supported on a pear shaped body. The goofy face contorted to a look of confusion as he glanced at his watch. “Ten O’clock” he said. “How is it Ten O’clock? I got here at about eight thirty. It doesn’t even feel like I have been here a half hour. That stuff must be even better than I thought it was.” I was incredulous. I asked him “What time did you say it was?” I didn’t wait for an answer. I was probably already up on the running board of my truck by the time he gave it. I turned on the lights and looked at the dashboard clock; sure enough it was Ten O’clock. It was just getting dark when I got there. I was at Kenny’s no more than two or three minutes by my calculations. I walked back in and as I passed the van I saw it was now rocking rhythmically back and forth. When I came back in I wasn’t saying anything about the time. I looked at Kenny still seated on the couch and said “what’s with that van in the driveway it looks like someone’s going at it in there?” He flashed me that knowing white smile emphasized by his twinkling green eyes and said “my new neighbor the dyke and her girlfriend. They’re not allowed to do it in the house so they do it out there almost every night.” I said “you think they would mind if I watch?” He laughed and said “you don’t want no part of that. They’re both fat disgusting pigs. That is one strange family. The mother seems like she’s their prisoner and the family’s run by the sixteen year old son who looks like he just crawled out from underneath a rock and smells like it too. They all call him Chief. Never heard them call him anything else. Then there’s the little one he’s the weirdest one of them all. He’s supposedly a deaf mute and you only see him at night. I don’t think he even lives there. Every night the fat dyke goes out and picks him up. He must live close by. She’s never gone more than five or ten minutes. Funny I never see her leaving to drop him off. He’s only about twelve years old. I don’t know what a kid that age is even doing out that late.”
A grin crossed my face. I figured he had to be putting me on, sure when we were little he used to like to set things on fire and watch them burn but he never told lies nor did he exaggerate. I said “what the fuck are you trying to tell me you are sharing a house with the Adams family?” He told me “you ain’t even heard half of it yet. The kids in this neighborhood are like a cult or something, like we used to set fire to things when we were kids these kids crawl through the walls of these houses and watch the people inside them. And that Chief character next door seems to be their leader.” This sounded like a case of cocaine paranoia but Kenny was practically immune to cocaine. He could do a huge line eat a ham sandwich and go to bed five minutes later. Besides Kenny didn’t do all that much coke, not every day, not even every week. Like I have already said Kenny was good at dealing drugs. “That’s crazy” I scowled at him. He answered indignantly “I’ve seen it myself and all the people in this neighborhood know about it. A few days after we moved in I was walking my dog down at the lot on the end and this guy comes out and starts talking to me. He said that burnt wood over there is from when these kids burned down their own clubhouse while they were inside it. One of them got third degree burns all over his legs. That’s the kid that lives next door to me; Billy. The fire department had to pull him out of there. Then he tells me that a couple of days ago he’s sitting there watching TV in his living room when the ceiling caves in and three kids come raining down between him and the TV. They just got up and walked out. When he called the cops the cops told him there was nothing they could do about it, since he couldn’t identify who the kids were.” He was starting to get my attention when I asked “He didn’t know them?” As if he knew what he was implying he took a deep breath and said “He said it was a couple of boys and a girl but it was like the police didn’t want to know about it.” “The kids must have come through the attic.” I said. “You can’t crawl through a ceiling, unless you happen to be rodent or something.” “No.” He said. “I asked him that too. He said it was in the living room on the first floor. He can’t figure it out either.”
I didn’t know what to make of what he was saying and I really didn’t believe much of it. It was second hand information. I would have just told him to cut me another line but at that moment I was plunging into the abyss. Kenny, Joey, and I, all looked at the ceiling above the couch where they were sitting simultaneously. Kenny stood up triumphantly and Joey terrified. I was already standing. I will not sit on a couch with its back to the window and that was the only other couch in the room. Across the ceiling a dragging sound began from the wall by the stairs. The sound was heading toward the far side of the house, the windowless side facing the railroad tracks. It was distinct, halting, and deliberate, no auditory hallucination, besides we all heard it. “The bastards been listening to us.” Kenny said. “I knew it! The other day he was watching Patty take a bath. I heard him behind the medicine cabinet.” I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and hearing. Joey said he had to go now. His pasty white complexion was a vivid red. The noise continued slowly, inexorably, across the ceiling towards the windowless wall adjacent to the train tracks. Against that wall Kenny had his seven foot tall entertainment system. On top of the entertainment system, out of reach of little Kenny is where he kept his coke. I waited till I heard Joey’s car pull away. I looked up at the ceiling and said “alright you little fuck. Are you testing to see if this is a game? Well your about to find out right now.” I went back out to the truck. By then the van had stopped rocking. I returned with my Gerber Guardian II knife. The thing had about a ten inch double edged blade that was sharp enough to shave with. I could whip it overhand like a Nolan Ryan fastball and stick an insect fifteen feet away. I said “this will go right through that plasterboard ceiling. Now what are you going to do?” The noise continued moving toward the wall and the cocaine. I looked at Kenny and said “alright you have joists running about every sixteen inch’s off center across that whole ceiling. They support the floor above and this ceiling is just the facing for them. Nothing could crawl that way. Maybe a rat that has gnawed holes through about a dozen two inch thick joists. But that’s no rat. It’s too loud and too deliberate to be any kind of an animal.” Kenny and I both agreed that Chief had to have made some alterations on the joists prior to Kenny moving in and was somehow pushing and dragging things through the holes he had made from his own side of the house, or somewhere outside, or both.
At about that time Patty came down from little Kenny’s room upstairs right above us. As her name implied she was very Irish looking. With blond hair and piercing blue eyes she was a bit heavy set but had a good sturdy body. I had always thought Kenny could have done better but Kenny wasn’t drawn to the kind of woman I was. Kenny asked her if she had heard anything upstairs. She said she hadn’t and little Kenny was asleep. “What are you doing with that knife?” She asked me. She had never liked me. I think Rick had been her friend originally. Kenny told her what was going on and she looked at us both disbelievingly. The noise which was now between the far end of the couch and the entertainment center suddenly bolted to its right parallel to the joists and right towards the bay window. It made something like a whooshing sound silencing abruptly when it got to the wall. Patty heard it and she became insistent on moving the coke to their bedroom upstairs. When she came back down she was skeptical about the whole thing again.
Kenny and I were not. I tucked the knife into the sheath in my pants and we went outside. There was about an eight foot overhang above a single step wooden porch shared for the entrances of both residents. Kenny’s side of the overhang ended about where his bay window began. The overhang had a sloped roof like the rest of the house and there was clearance for people inside it along its whole length, which was about twenty feet. Kenny went over to between his door and the neighbors and looked up at the hole where the light fixture for the front entrance should have been. “There was a light on here yesterday.” He said. “I know it was on all night.” I went over and looked up at the hole. The porch was dark and the hole was darker. I said “Chief are you up there? You think this is funny Chief? It would be really funny if I had a nail gun in the truck. What kind of chief are you? Are you an Indian chief? Do you have other little Indians up there with you? Do you have any idea what kind of insects are up there with you in the dark; wasps, hornets, spiders, who the fuck knows what else. No wonder you smell like shit.” When we went back inside Patty was upstairs.
Probably for the first time in my life I was intrigued by one of its events. This was the phantasm that had stalked me from my crib, the unnamed darkness that lurked on the periphery of my dreams. This was not just a fleeting glimpse or a random shadow that would quickly become a faded memory. This was an event that was being witnessed by others, an event that could be scrutinized. This was my raison d’être, my reason for existence, the part in me that I had by now thoroughly convinced myself didn’t exist. What had happened at Kenny’s that night could not be explained with rationalizations. But artificial me, the disguise that I was so comfortable wearing for both the rest of the world and for myself, could never admit that, at least not yet and never publically until now.
I had put Kenny to work investigating everybody in the neighborhood. In school we had called Kenny the Mayor because he was friends with everybody. That’s how he had made his current Columbian connection. The guy had gone to Copiague High school with both of us. I remembered him, vaguely. The guy was just some no English speaking immigrant that hid in the corner afraid of both the Black kids and the White kids. His only memory now of high school was Kenny was his only friend. And Kenny was cleaning up on that memory. The guy wouldn’t sell to anybody else on Long Island.
It was the first really hot spell of the year when I pulled in front of Kenny’s about a week later. I had just finished my first big job of the season but even with a pocket full of cash the Maria Regina job seemed like a thousand years ago. My landscaping business was slow again and whatever I had Jim could handle even if he had drunk two quarts of Wild Turkey the night before. I immediately got out and walked over to the soffit on the overhang by Kenny’s bay window. I climbed up on the railing around the porch and pushed against the soffit. It was secured solidly and the cedar shingles adjacent to it above the window looked like they had never been moved. I jumped down onto the porch to take a look at the hole for the light fixture. Before I did I looked across the lawn at the neighboring house. Sprawled out on an easy chair in the brilliant light of noon was a young girl basking in the sun. She was wearing a bikini and looked to be about sixteen years old. She could have been the coal miner’s daughter splayed out as the sacrificial virgin in some titillating Hollywood B movie. She was a real cracker beauty and it just didn’t seem right that she could lay there like that on her back with her legs spread in such an inviting fashion. Her crotch pointed right at me.
When I went through the door Kenny was on the couch in his usual place by the entrance to the kitchen. I said “Who’s the girl?” He gave me his little sly smile and said “that’s Kim Jackson. She’s the people next doors daughter. Would you believe she is only twelve years old?” I deadpanned “no.” He continued “She also has really bad asthma and isn’t allowed out of the house. Since I have been here the ambulances have been here at least three times for her. She could just get an attack and die at any moment. That’s the first time I have ever seen her hanging out outside.” Jokingly I said “maybe she knew I was coming.” He wrinkled his nose a little and said “naw. That’s jailbait” like I didn’t know that already. Suddenly remembering I said “I forgot to look at the Chiefs peek hole.” He said “go out there. You’re going to freak out.” When I went outside the light fixture was back in place. Kenny came outside and said “the next day it was just back on there, like it was nobody’s business. I even asked the little creep next door. He says the landlord was fucking with it.” We both looked over at the girl. She seemed like she was oblivious to us. Her head was thrown back and her eyes were closed. But she was only about forty feet away and almost naked in a very sexually suggestive pose. I kind of doubted that she was unaware of our presence. I looked at where the bikini bottom pulled taught against her crotch. I could see the area around it was wet.
We went back inside and I thought I heard Kim’s mother over the background noise of the TV screaming for her to get inside. I asked Kenny if he had found out anything new. He said “plenty and you got to hear what happened the other day.” I was already hooked. I had to know what was going on there. “What?” I asked him. He paused and took a deep breath. “It was about four o’clock in the morning and me and Patty were sleeping when all of a sudden this screeching starts from over in the woods. It sounded like a monkey or some kind of giant parrot. It was loud enough to wake the dead. It must have been up in a tree somewhere back there.” He pointed between the lot and his house and continued talking. “The cops got here fast and they were all over the place. People were all out in their backyards in their pajamas and bathrobes. The cops cordoned off the area from here down to the lot and told everybody there was a dangerous animal loose in the woods and everybody had to get in their houses. I saw these other guys through the kitchen window. They looked like fireman. They were carrying ladders through the yards. They must of went up in the tree and got it because it shut up pretty abruptly. Then everybody just picked up their barricades and left. No one said a word about what it was.” I said “your fathers the bay constable you can’t find out?” He said “I asked him. He said the cops don’t know what it was either. Some kind of federal animal control agency came in and got it. “That would be Plumb Island.” I said. “It’s off of Montauk. That’s where the government does its Dr Frankenstein routine on animals for the whole country. That’s about sixty miles and a short boat ride away. Kind of out of their jurisdiction weren’t they?” He just looked at me and said “It didn’t take them that long to get here, seemed like they were just right around the corner.”
I asked him if he had talked to any of the neighbors. He said “yea all of them. Their all really scared but their all insisting that’s it’s just these kids. Apparently Chief over there” he gestured to the ceiling above him “is the leader of his own little satanic cult. Kim’s father next door caught him leaving all the shades on his window across from Kim’s wide open in the middle of the night while he did this weird little naked dance around candles.” I found myself wondering about the whole neighborhoods apathetic reaction to being surreptitiously cast in a real life version of Children of the Corn and said “and he didn’t kill the kid or at least call the police?” “He went over there.” Kenny said. “He spoke with the mother and she said she would make him stop. He says it hasn’t happened again. He’s watching.” I was smirking when I said “yea I see he’s got it all under control” referring to his almost naked daughter posed like a thanksgiving turkey right outside the front door. Kenny continued. “I been talking to the kid next door on the other side; Billy, the kid that burned his legs. He’s about fourteen. He’s already told me that this kid Chief,” he again gestured to Chiefs now customary place in the ceiling, “worships the devil and so do his sister and brother, that all the kids in the neighborhood were afraid of them. Because Chief did bad things to people, and he hinted that Chief was responsible for his legs.” I asked “What do you mean?” He answered “well when he said that shit he looked down at his leg real coyly. But the kids a little con man. I trust him about as far as I can throw him. He wants me to take him fishing at Heckscher State Park next week. I’ll get more out of him then.” “We can take him shark fishing.” I said “Or how about I just get Phil and John down here to give them a little parental guidance. I don’t care what these kids are doing. It doesn’t sound like those federal people pulled no kid out of that tree.”
We went outside to look around the neighborhood. The first thing I noticed was a wire extending from Chiefs room upstairs over the roof and down around the other side of the house running into the basement. It looked like the wire for a TV. Around the back many of the people had recently installed fences. Some were still in the process of building them. Kenny now had a six foot stockade separating his yard from the woods. It was connected with the fences of the neighbors on each side. I asked him “who put that up?” He said. “I did yesterday. My lats are killing me from digging holes all day. I don’t know how you guys do it every day.” I sarcastically said “well its Chief’s backyard too. Why didn’t he help you? Isn’t he afraid the beast of East Islip will return?”
I looked across at Kim’s window. She was no longer outside. But her father was and he was looking up there too. Raked across the aluminum siding directly under her window were what looked to be claw marks. They were also on the siding beside the window but were much less pronounced. The spread between the gashes were about a half a foot each but they were made in uniform groupings of four like a giant hand or paw had been clawing underneath Kim’s second floor window. Kenny also saw them and followed by me walked over to Kim’s father saying “what the hell? How long have those been there?” The father said “I don’t know. I just saw them. He must be trying to climb through her window with a ladder. I better call the police” He looked to me like he was more than just a little spooked. I couldn’t resist chiming in. “Kenny and I used to do work for Joe Alteri. That’s the guy who does all the guarantee painting work for Al-Can and All-Site on Long Island. They do all the aluminum siding on the East Coast. We ran six man ladder crews spraying sometimes two houses a day every day for a year. Those marks weren’t made by no ladder. Those look like claw marks to me. Maybe a twenty foot grizzly bear” I said smirking. The guy just looked at me, turned around and walked inside. He looked like he was going to throw up.
We went around the other side of the house to examine Chief’s wiring job. As we came around the far side the wire started jumping in two foot leaps and slapping against the house as if someone on the other side of the roof was whipping it back and forth. When we ran around to Chiefs window the wire was motionless running straight out his window and over the house. The same way it had been before. When we went around to the side where the wire ran into the basement it started to jump around again. It could not have been being moved from the basement since someone had drilled a hole right through the foundation, run the wire through, and sealed it with tar. We must have tried three or four times but we could not catch Chief moving the wire from the window of his room. That wire looked like it never had budged from the place where we had first seen it drawn taunt out the window and over the roof. I looked at Kenny and said “come on now Kenny he’s playing with us, got us chasing around his little wire like cats after a ball of string. This kids going to have to get dealt with.” Kenny said “oh yea real good idea. With all the shit I got laying around the house.” Resignedly I said “Well lets go inside and do some lines and drink a few beers. It’s too hot out here maybe we can catch him later when its dark.” Kenny agreed and said “let me just show you this before the garbage men get here.” We went out by the garbage pales in the street and he pointed triumphantly. There was a clear plastic bag with assorted nastiness in it along with what looked to be about a half dozen empty cans of Raid wasp spray. I said “I guess he never thought of that before. I need a line.”
Patty had taken the kids to the pool at Heckscher State Park. Sometime during the day I had taken some Xanax and fell asleep on the couch. When I awoke the baby was crying and Patty was banging pots and pans around in the kitchen. Kenny was upstairs with the baby which was probably why it was crying. It was almost dark. There was a knock at the door and when I answered Chucky, Dawn, and a couple of girls I didn’t know were out there. Chucky, along with our friend Tommy, had been the Copiague high school heart throb. He had moved to Mount Sinai and nobody had seen him since. Dawn pushed passed me snickering “what the fuck did you do to that faggot Joey? He says he will never come here again. He thinks the place is haunted. What a little bitch. Now I have to come here all the time? I don’t even have a car.” She screamed up the stairs “Kenny you have to get me a car!” I told Chucky and the other girls to come in and went back to the couch. Kenny came down and sat next to me telling Patty to go upstairs and take care of the kids. Dawn flopped into the loveseat by the window with her white high heeled marsh mellow shoes on the upholstery. There was no other seats left so Chucky and the other girls stood. We made small talk about Chuckey’s new life in Mount Sinai which is where the other two girls were from. Eventually Chucky asked Kenny for a quantity of coke which Kenny dutifully pulled down from the top of the entertainment center. He had put it back up there after deciding Chief wasn’t after his coke. Kenny and Dawn went outside to have a few words and the girls sat down in Dawns now unoccupied loveseat. Chucky continued to stand making small talk with me when the dragging sound started again right above his head. Chucky was astonished as were the girls who were with him. They got up and huddled close to him as he stared up in amazement at the ceiling. I went to the door and told Kenny he better come in. We went through the whole story with Chucky. All the while Dawn was telling her brother he should get Patty and the kids out of there and let me start blasting the ceiling. During that time the dragging sound continued off and on. Chucky looked like he wanted to stay and help us investigate the mystery but Kenny had given Dawn some coke to sell and she kept saying she had to get out of there.
We all went out into the darkness together walking Chucky to his car. He kept saying “nobody could crawl through that ceiling. That’s what I do in Mount Sinai. I build houses. What the fuck was that?” Dawn screamed loud enough for the whole neighborhood to hear her “don’t worry they’ll figure it out. They figure everything out. That’s why they’re the only guys with any money from Copiague. The little faggots in this neighborhood are in a lot of trouble!” As Chucky walked out in the street to get in his car two bottles came flying from out of nowhere. They just missed his head and smashed in the street. I broke into a run yelling over my shoulder “I think they came from over the tracks!” The three of us clambered over the embankment. When we got to the other side we heard the sound of running footsteps on pavement but we couldn’t see anybody even though the view up and down the street was unimpeded. A voice came from the direction of the footsteps saying we will get so and so on them “He’s in the army.” And another voice answered him as it faded into the darkness with the footsteps “yea we’ll get the army. The army’s on our side.” Chucky left. After that I never saw him again. Even as she was getting in the car Dawn kept telling me I should go and get John and Phil. I was beginning to think she was right but I kept telling myself these are kids.
As Kenny and I walked back to the house together I said to him “they must have ditched behind one of those houses on the other side of the tracks, some of them must live over there. We gotta figure out which house it is.” He looked at me disbelievingly and with little enthusiasm said “yea.” Exasperated I said “what the fuck do you think its ghosts. There ain’t no such thing as ghosts. Those were flesh and blood kids that just threw flesh and blood bottles at Chucky.” He said “what the fuck were they talking about, the army?” I didn’t answer him. I had no answer. As I took the step back up to the porch I looked at Kenny’s front door. Somebody had splashed a can of used coffee grinds all over it. It looked like it was piled four inches thick on the welcome mat but then I quickly realized the whole mass was a writhing colony of ants. The ants had already covered Kenny’s door. Not wanting any of them to get in the house we went around to the back door. It was covered with ants in the same manner as the front door. I said “the little fuck emptied some of those ant colony’s you can grow in a fish tank on your doors while we were chasing the other ones over the tracks.” He didn’t say anything as he jumped gingerly over the ants to get in the house. I took my car up to the store and purchased two cans of Raid. When I came back I put an end to the ant plague. Patty swept up shovels full of dead ants for what seemed like hours complaining all the while “you didn’t have to kill them they would have went away on their own.”
Later on that night Hal came over in his Ferrari. Hal was a mid twenty’s rich Jew from Dix hills whose father owned a chain of jewelry stores. I liked Hal so I ended up leaving with him and picking up three girls driving around Copiague at six o’clock in the morning. Even more luckily these girls were in their own car because the Ferrari only had two seats. We made plans with them to go back to Hals pool house. I figured I would need a deluxe bag of coke for the occasion so I called Kenny from a pay phone. He didn’t answer even though I kept it ringing for a long time. Kenny always answered his phone. We had to go back to East Islip to pick up my car anyway so we had the girls follow us back there. When we arrived I banged on all his doors and windows with a great deal of persistence and for an extended length of time. I disappointedly came to the conclusion that the day’s events really had frightened him and he had taken Patty and the kids to a motel. I wasn’t doing another twenty-four hours in any pool house with these girls unless I was really high so I ended up going to Jims and crashing out there Hal was on his own.
When I woke up I called Kenny again. There was no ring or any other kind of a preliminary. There was a dial tone and as soon as I dialed his number I could hear the familiar sounds of Patty banging pots and pans around in the kitchen with the water running. I listened for a while and I heard a distant baby crying but no one talking. I wasn’t more than fifteen minutes away so I went to his house. When I got there Kenny was outside with little Kenny and Patty was in the kitchen. I checked the phone in the kitchen and it was firmly on the hook. I asked if the baby had been downstairs, if little Kenny had been inside, or if Patty had been using the phone. She said “no.” Kenny said “I’ve been home for two days and nobodies been calling me.” He couldn’t understand why he couldn’t hear me banging on the doors and under his bedroom window. He said “the baby’s up by six, every morning.” I said “I just called your phone and listened to everything that was going on in your house while it was still on the hook.” “What do you mean?” He asked. I explained to him what had happened. I said “I think you’re under some kind of surveillance Kenny. Sounds to me like it’s some kind of technology that hasn’t made the TV yet, probably never will. I guess I accidentally tapped into it when I dialed your number.”
Kenny took it real serious. Instinctually Kenny was one of the smartest guys I have ever met, maybe the smartest. He stopped dealing coke and took a vacation in Atlantic City with his Columbian connection. He was gone for about a week and he left Patty with his stash. I went over there one day to see how she was doing and she told me she had pulled a bag off the top of the entertainment system and dumped it all over. She said all she could get back out of the carpet was about an ounce of rock and she might as well do it. She and I took a ride over her friend’s house; the kids were over her parents. Patty and her girlfriend started dropping rocks in ammonia turning it into a nasty tasting form of free base. They made me smoke it with them probably to insure that I didn’t tell Kenny because she wasn’t allowed to base. Two girls practically forcing me to smoke cocaine with them was sexually titillating so I went along with it. It was just a mind game at the time. Nothing happened. It was my best friend’s wife. It was the first time I had ever tried base and I ended up being convinced that it was a waste of perfectly good coke.
When Kenny got back from Atlantic City his father confirmed my suspicions. Kenny was on law enforcements radar. He closed shop and started making arrangements to move the family to Florida when he was done living out his security in East Islip. Kenny and I started doing a lot more coke. He had a lot left and my season was really slow that year. The both of us became obsessed with finding out exactly what was going on in East Islip. By then John was, for the first and only time in his life, happily married. I got him to come over Kenny’s by promising him a bag of coke that he could take home and do with Meryl. When he did come over, wearing his ostrich skin boots just for the occasion, nothing happened. John went on and on lecturing me that night. “See. You should know much more than I do. You have a way higher IQ than I do. You like to read books and I hate to read books. But I read a lot of books when I was in jail and I took them home for you to read. You have never even looked at them. They’re still sitting up in a box in my old room at my mothers. You can’t see the nose in front of your face. You’re like some stupid Guiney gangster in a bar.” I don’t remember much else about that night except John left early with his bag of coke and I consented to take a look at the books.
He came over my mother’s house a few days later with the box full of hardcover books, some quite old. He got my attention immediately when he said “you better read these. Your right there is something going on over there. When I left Kenny’s I stopped at that big club over on the corner. I don’t even know why I stopped. I have never been in there before. When I walked through the door there was a guy standing there with these two big muscle bound dudes who were afraid to even ask me for the cover. I go to push past them and this guy starts talking to me like he knows me calling me by my first name. “Hey John. John I been waiting for you.” He hung out with me all night. Turns out he was the owner and he kept giving me free drinks. He was talking about some really crazy shit. Saying he was with the Mafia and the CIA, that they were the same thing and that they had been watching me for a real long time now and they wanted me to work with them. I don’t know anything about anybody crawling through walls but this guy was clearly waiting for me at the door and he knew all about me.” I just looked at him and wondered whether he had consented to work with them or not. But as I have intimated before in this story there is a formality between me and John that should not exist between two guys who have known each other as long as we both had. I observed protocol and started looking through the books.
There was this huge blue book; The Golden Dawn by Israel Regardie. It was full of symbols and rituals. There was Practical Magick by Aleister Crowley containing the same symbols and rituals and two volumes by Godfrey Higgins about Masonic lore. There was a thin white book called The Holy Books by Aleister Crowley that John said was the most important. He snatched it from my grasp and started reading passages like some Jurassic Age Shakespearean actor having an orgasm during recital. From what I could gather from the obscure symbolism that I did not understand yet Crowley was saying that he had killed the old God, or at least he was going too and that he would be the new one. There were also other books including two more by Israel Regardie; The Middle Pillar and the Garden of Pomegranates. John explained to me that Regardie was the only man that wrote books about him that ever really knew Crowley, having been his personnel secretary. The Garden of Pomegranates would be the first book I would end up reading but not yet. I already believed in demigods. In fact I was already fully convinced that John and I were just such entities but praeterhuman intelligences had thus far been beyond my range of experiences. My father hadn’t taught me much about philosophy and religion but he had taught me to believe nothing of what I heard and only half of what I had seen. I was going with that for now. I still do.
A reconnaissanceof the area Kenny had moved to revealed that beyond the vacant lot and burned out fort, about a quarter mile down the tracks, was the Great River Train Station, a major hub for the Long Island Rail Road’s south shore line. East of the train station was Heckscher State Park and miles of virgin woodland. There was nothing unusual about the area geographically except that it was a bit more rural than the majority of Long Island’s South Shore. Carlton Avenue had some clubs and some bars and a lot of dilapidated stores. The area Kenny’s house was in was between Montauk Highway and Sunrise Highway. It was strictly White working class.
I took a look at Chief and his menagerie of a family. Chief himself skulked about. You would see him coming and going, sometimes with his family, sometimes alone, but never laughing or joking. He looked like a young version of Charles Manson without the beard but the same long dark hair and wild staring eyes. Sometimes I would pass him on the porch. When I glowered at him he would look down to avert my eyes. He always smelled like rotten eggs and the scent would linger long after he had passed. One of the neighbors had told Kenny that they had seen him climbing out of a man hole of the neighborhoods partially constructed sewers. The sister was a fat dyke just as Kenny had said. She was about eighteen. She had dark hair, a bad complexion, and the IQ of a door knob. The little brother as predicted only appeared after dark. He was an undersized twelve, skinny and frail, pale white with closely cropped dark hair. He either could not or would not talk. Billy had told us that when he played with the other kids he would communicate by whistling to them. You could hear whistling outside at all hours of the night. When questioned about the kid’s nocturnal habits Billy was evasive saying something about his father, whom the kid lived with, working at night. The mother didn’t look like anyone in her family she was bleach blond, well kept, and about mid forty’s.
Billy lived in the single family house next door on the side towards the lot. He was about fourteen years old and shared the house with his mother. He was as disingenuous as anyone that age could be. He spent all day practicing in his backyard with a bow and arrow. He would seek me or Kenny out and talk to us for hours. Somehow you knew he wasn’t really saying anything. Whenever he was questioned about the strange goings on in the neighborhood he would always intimate that it was Chief without coming right out and saying so. Flanking the other side towards the sump was the single family home that was the residence of Kim and her family. I rarely, if ever, talked to Kim. Her father looked like he was about to have a nervous breakdown. I figured seeing her speaking to me would push him right over the edge.
One day Kenny and I were over by the sump with the dog and I spotted a two foot long greenish brown snake in the sand by the fence. As I have said I have had a lifelong love affair with herpetology so knowing there are no venomous snakes on Long Island I immediately grabbed my prize to examine it. I was a little surprised when it spread a cobra like hood and hissed at me. It was a Hog Nosed Snake, the only one I have ever seen on Long Island. Although they are harmless they do a perfect imitation of a cobra, hood and all, to scare away predators. If that doesn’t work they will keel over and play dead excreting a noxious foul smelling fluid all over themselves. I was going to keep it and put it in a fish tank at home but when I saw the fat dyke’s window was open on the van I couldn’t resist. Grinning like an idiot I threw it in the van. The next day when Billy saw me he couldn’t wait to tell me that the girls had found it and had nearly had apoplexy. They had to get Chief to remove it from the van for them. Billy assured me Chief said ‘that was a really good one.’
I needed to turn up the heat a little which I did by inserting Phil into the situation. Phil came up with the same solution he did for everything. He told a mortified Kenny that he would make Chief disappear. Kenny said “you can’t do things like that around here. First of all I don’t do shit like that. Second of all the police are watching this place. And third of all these are just kids.” Phil started hanging around the house. He told us “you guys are just doing too much coke. Nobody could walk around inside walls and even if they could nobody would be stupid enough to play around over here. Give me a few ounces of coke and there will be no kids left in this neighborhood. I have to see this to believe it.” Patty said “I already told them that.” Pointing to me she continued “nothing ever happens when he’s not here. The few things I have seen seem to all revolve around him. It’s as if he is the source of everything.” Kenny chimed in “he hasn’t been over for the past couple of days and the knick-knackson the entertainment center have been moving around. I marked where they are and I have been watching them. They are moving around!” Phil said “you’re probably just playing your stereo to loud. Or it’s the vibrations of the trains going by. What do you think its ghosts? There are no ghosts or believe me I would have seen a few by now. Do you think Chief can make himself invisible? I can’t believe somebody like you is even saying shit like this. Eric already went over this whole house and he said none of the shit you’re talking about is possible. The guys a master carpenter. He builds high-rises in the city!” Phil was right. I had brought Eric over to check out the house and he had checked the attic and the basement, to Patty’s incessant objections. Eric had pronounced the house secret passage free. But he told me something else on the side that I never have told anybody. “Watch Patty. Whatever is going on there she’s involved.” Kenny had a native intelligence that he couldn’t articulate with his limited command of language but Eric had something else. Eric was half animal. The biting incidents, the over sized tendons and blood veins coiling around his arms were not the only manifestations of that fact. He was as sentient as any cat or dog. If Eric said something was going to happen it almost always did. Everybody knew this about him.
That day we watched the knick-knacks for hours. A glass figurine slowly but surely moved about six inch’s during the course of the day. Its movements were so slow they were beyond the realm of human perception, only about an inch an hour, but after six hours the figurine had moved six inches. Phil insisted it was the rumbling of the trains passing by every hour or so that moved them but he was being obstinate. The figurine was steadily moving which Kenny proved to him by placing another knick-knack next to it. In an hour the figurines had about an inch clearance between them even though no trains had come, no music was playing, and the entertainment center was perfectly level. Patty kept coming in the room and saying to me “it’s you. It’s you.” But she would not explain herself. It had rained torrentially during the course of the day and outside a brick chimney stack ran from the basement to about three feet above the ledge of the roof. Around dusk, very loud and very clearly, a suction sound could be heard coming from the stack as if something was scaling it outside making its way to the roof using suction cups. When we went outside there was nothing. Phil quipped “it must be Batman. Good I always wanted to kick his ass.” Looking at me he said “you take Robin.”
It was after dark when we again heard the suction sound coming from the chimney stack outside. We all ran outside at the same time practically getting jammed in the doorway together. The sound of running footsteps were coming from over by the sump and Kenny and Phil took off in hot pursuit. I ran around the side of the house to see if anybody was by the chimney. I didn’t see anybody so I started toward the street to catch up with Kenny and Phil. I had the overwhelming sensation of being watched and I hadn’t checked the roof anyway so when I got out into the street where I would have a clear view of it I stopped running and turned around. There on the roof with its long legs spread for balance and one arm extended to brace itself against the top of the chimney was the essence of my nightmares. It was not human. That was plain enough. It was at least seven feet tall with membranous bat wings semi folded into its back. It had no head only two dinner plate sized glowing red eyes that seemed to grow right out of its shoulders. Its eyes did not stare but rather burned themselves right into me and for a long time afterwards I would see them in reflections at night and in my dreams. Years later I would read John Keels descriptions of what was called the Mothman but at the time I had never even imagined that something like that could exist, at least in my waking hours. After what seemed like forever suspended in time with our gazes locked in what could only have been an ephemeral embrace I broke free and took off down the block after Kenny and Phil. When I got to the corner Phil was climbing over the fence out of the sump saying “there’s no one down there unless you think their hiding underwater.” Kenny looked at me and said “did you see anything around the house?” Staring into space I said “no.”
I had never had a hallucination before even though I had taken massive dosages of hallucinogenics trying to induce one in myself. I had always figured if I could just have a hallucination the mysteries of my childhood would be solved. Sometimes it had appeared as if the patterns on walls, rocks, and plants, were some kind of ancient and universal written language but there is a big difference between a delusion and an illusion. Once I took about twenty hits of John’s mescaline and stared all night into the water from the docks at the Venice. After a few hours the reflections of lights from the surrounding buildings seemed to dance like burning cities on the waves of the bay. But as far as seeing pink elephants or even spontaneously seeing visions I had never come close. What I had seen was real and it wasn’t something any ‘sane’ person would see so I kept my mouth shut. When we got back to the house Patty was waiting for us in the doorway. I was silent the rest of the night and we sat in the living room doing lines. Patty kept asking me “did you see something outside?” Phil said “there’s nothing out there but a couple of kids fucking around. Believe me.” But Patty was mocking and insistent “no. Look at him. He’s all white. He looks like he’s seen a ghost. You kept looking out there. What did you think you were going to do if you ever actually found what you were looking for? Turns out all you could do is run away from it. Why bother looking for something if you’re just going to run away when you find it?” I didn’t answer her but Kenny angrily did “what the fuck are you talking about Patty? I think you’re doing too much shit lately. There ain’t nothing but a few ounces left and I’m selling the rest to Bates tomorrow for whatever I can get for it. That’s it! Party’s over for everyone!”
There was a ringing in my ears all that night and the impression of children’s laughter right beyond the threshold of perception. When I went in the kitchen for a beer Patty had hung a wicker basket of burnished glass stones over the kitchen counter. Two of them were red like giant ruby’s and caught the stove light reflecting like a pair of eyes in the rain splattered window over the sink. They seemed to be reminding me that I would never be alone again. I had listened to the song Easy Ride by the Doors since John had dragged me out of the water now I knew. Eyes like burning glass. “The mask”, the veneer of the lie, had been ripped from the face of the liar. I could see him clearly now, as clearly as he could see me.
We kept shoveling coke up our noses and we kept hearing footsteps running around outside the windows. Every time we heard a noise Phil would respond by bursting out the doors in a futile attempt to catch the noises source. Around daybreak Kenny, Phil, and I snuck out the front door and made a mad dash to the railroad track embankment slipping and sliding over its rocky gradient. On the other side of the tracks we waited. As the first rays of daylight lifted the veil of darkness from Kenny’s house we watched in amazement. Billy was running around the house in circles pausing occasionally under the windows. His body was hunched over as he ran like a marathon runner almost out of gas. Phil looked at us victoriously saying “should I go slap the shit out of the ghost now?” We crossed the tracks and stood watching as the kid darted first one way then another around the house. Although we were less than a hundred feet away, standing right there in the open, it was as if he could not see us. After no less than a dozen laps he ran around the back and didn’t come back. When we looked he was nowhere to be found. He had pitched a tent in the fenced enclosure of his backyard. We watched the tent for a while waiting for him to come out. Finally Kenny said “you guys better go home. That kids fourteen years old. I’ll handle it.”
I saw Kenny a few days later but I already knew all I would ever need to know. Kenny said “I caught up to him a few hours later. He says he was looking for Chief they were camping out and playing tag. He seemed to be shocked that I had seen him. He didn’t know what to say. Then when I seen Chief he said he doesn’t know what the kid is talking about. He used to hang out with Billy but they don’t even talk to each other anymore. All I know is I never seen him hanging out with Billy and their both too old to be playing tag.” I said “well Kenny there’s a lot of things you haven’t seen, you and everybody else in this world.” He asked me again if I had seen something that night and again I told him “no.”
I told myself that it must have been one of the kids wearing a costume. That Patty was in on it with them and they all must have been pilfering Kenny’s coke all along. That would explain their strange behavior. The noises in the ceiling continued and by the time Kenny left for Florida they had spread to the rest of the house. I kept trying to set traps for Patty by getting her out of the house and telling Kenny to look here and look there. He never found anything and I never outright told him that I suspected his wife of anything. One morning right before they left I went over there with Eric’s shotgun and told her to bring the kids to her parents I was going to settle it that day. She had a screaming fit telling me “everything that is happening here is all because of you. I really don’t think you should even be around my kids. You have no idea what you are. Thank God we are moving to Florida.”
Around midnight Kenny and I took a ride to the seven eleven over on Connetquot Ave by Heckscher State Park. As we pulled back onto the side roads we saw three young girls walking and noticed one of them was Kim. I pulled up to them and Kenny said “what are you doing out this late?” She laughed at him and looked at me and said “there’s been some changes. I decided to take you up on your offer.” She showed me the back of her hand and on it was carved a bloody cross. I said “what the fuck are you talking about? I never made you any offer. This is the first time I have ever even talked to you. Are you high on something?” She laughed again and said “I drunk some wine.” Then she said “oh yes you did. And I like it.” We pulled away as she continued to laugh and I said to Kenny “what the fuck was that about?” He said “I have no idea. And as far as I know she’s not even allowed out of the house, let alone this late and this far.”
About a month or two later Kenny called me from Florida and told me to read the paper. The big story in Newsday that day was a fourteen year old boy had been arrested in East Islip and charged with over forty counts of sexual assault. Turns out innocent little Billy had been sodomizing all the other little boys and girls in the neighborhood. A neighbor had called Kenny in Florida. The neighbor had also told Kenny that the reason Chief had tried to burn Billy alive in the clubhouse was to put a stop to his reign of terror. By now I believed none of it. Plato wrote that men were hairless apes who sit frozen in place in a cave with their back to a fire and watch shadows on the wall cast by the procession of reality that pass’s between their backs and the fire. If one of the apes was ever dragged from the cave and forced to watch the spectacle from a hole in the ceiling above they could never go back to sit with the other apes and endure their bestial chatter.
Below are two links where you can purchase Those Who Would Arouse Leviathan. I would suggest you buy it in hardcopy, not because I make more, I actually make the most from Amazon E books, but because you will avoid giving Amazon any money. Frankly you should be shooting Amazon employees in the street, Google too.