Thursday, April 21, 2011

Harvester of Eyes: Take Me Away (Conclusion, 3 of 3))

“How many times have we talked about this?” Waymon pleads.

“No, how many times have you listened quietly? What don’t you want to tell me?”
Waymon now reveals to Kaylisha why she'd been spared during the Harvester's first manifestation. “I did not want you to have to deal with it. I’ll tell you, but I can’t take it back.” He pauses for a moment.

“You, too, were possessed by the Harvester of Eyes that first night. I thought the spell I used would banish the creature. Remember the image of great fire, before the warehouse went up like a tinderbox?

Only you, Kaylisha, remained, and for almost three months we did not see anything.”
“Why didn’t your spell put it away forever?”
“You know I’ve tried again. I’m not sure what else to do. I won’t stop trying.”

Waymon had been racking his brain for a new banishment spell ever since they realized the Harvester was running wild, only three days before. They had not slept since!

The plane begins approach once more. For the longest three minutes, they wait. Her stomach drops. Harvester laughs, his eyes now visibly around her. The fusilage begins to rip off the top! Standing atop the ripped open plane, his eyes squirm as though they will drift out of the ghostly baby hands.

“I’ve been sight-seeing like you wouldn’t believe?” says the Harvester of Eyes. “Big city madness! Some concert promoter found me and begged me to come on stage for a heavy metal concert. I had live TV on my eyes, baby! I was a star in the wild! A reality celebrity more outrageous than any ever seen by mortal eyes!”

The wheels begin to scrape the tarmac.
“But I haven’t shown them the REAL goods yet! No. And already, they’ll never know what I’ve taken from them as they watched. It’s been a wonderful vacation, your world.”

“I’m not afraid of you!” Kaylisha screams hoarsely.
“And why would you be?” asks the Harvester, in multiple voices speaking as one. Then he turns to Waymon. From his stretcher, Buddy raises his head, and begins to murmur

Kaylisha begins to batter the Harvester’s body with her fists repeatedly. It turns its back to her.
“Oh, I’ve HAD you!”

He then takes Waymon’s struggling body up by the head, and possesses him. Now Waymon’s head flows with serpentine strands of tiny baby hands. His eyes, depraved and orange, grow wide over a joyless grin, filling with sharpened teeth. “I always wanted a head for poetry!”

“To hell with you, you son of a bitch!” swears Buddy, still strapped to the gurney. The Harvester merely gazes at the end of his new body’s fingers, while Kaylisha’s tears flow, at his feet. Then, the space above their heads seems to fill with a bizarre claxon sound. The creature reaches for her chin, as she fights with all of her strength, hair tearing in other hand and falling as a tangled tuft on the floor of the plane. “I can’t see what you’re afraid of,” says the Harvester.

Then, the unbearable siren culminates in a blue hologram of a head above them all, as the plane slows to a stop. A cold, hard, weary visage drifts above them. The eyes begin to fire a concentrated red beam towards the head, which cloaks itself in a flashing yellow band.

“Finally, I have answered the call, with my own call,” speaks the echoing voice. “I long to war no more. Curse your kind, that I must fight on for your sakes.”

A strange, watery blueness begins to open, a cone receding beyond sight, as the creature turns again towards Kaylisha. Its orange eyes harden, as its grip around her throat tightens, her cries, choking pitifully. The blue wateriness begins to surround the Waymon/Harvester and Kaylisha, and then from within the cone flies an orange and yellow machine man, with green eyes. In place of its right arm, drifts a yellow beam, wavy, snaking out to surround the creature, who roars angrily, and then, closing all its eyes a moment, says, “yes, then, my home, at last.” Before the startled woman, now so over-stimulated as to be expressionless, the enveloping glow becomes a blob, and as the Harvester of Eyes resolves into billions of tiny red lines, the robotic visitor begins to shrink into the center point of the receding blueness. Only the head from before floats above.

“W-Waymon!” she screams. “What have you done with Waymon?” The impassive head does not answer, but fades, also. She slumps to the ground amidst the smell of ozone.
Behind his bandages, Buddy weeps.

A long, impossible moment passes as the plane comes to a halt. In her mind’s eye, the blue face now drifts above, resolving into an albino man with a black leather body suit, and a tarnished, scarred belt. She hears his voice. “There was no other way. I am a veteran of so many psychic battles as to know nothing to say of the innocents in their wake. Your friend may find his way to you again one day. His sacrifice was willing. I doubt the possession of any other body would’ve resulted in your death.” Kaylisha hears blasts of winds, as his voice distorts and grows in volume.

“I have taken from his mind the poems he loves, and words the same will remain with you until your age dims all memory. He will fade like the outcasts of the tide upon the beach. You alone will remember his words and the love for those words, and the words for those loves.” The figure vanishes like a dream upon wakening.

Detective Bloom oversees the emergency call to the airport. He interviews the pilot whose approach was delayed before the horrible truth was discovered in the control room. The plane seems whole, in one piece. The paramedics take Buddy away, and decide to take Kaylisha Nichols, as well, as she is apparently exhausted.

Detective Bloom stamps out his cigarette, frustrated. The other documented passenger, Waymon Jarrell, is lost without account. No questions put to Buddy elicit more than memories of some years before. No questions to Kaylisha provide her previous connection to Buddy, whose eyes begin to heal after surgery. An Ithaca, NY woman named Pearl Sands, 57, had been waiting in terminal D for her flight to Santa Fe, New Mexico, when she lost track of an hour, completely, only to be found outside the landed Medivac.

The fate of the air traffic controllers, found with eyes gouged out, leaves only a baffling, gruesome mystery, with the only person in any way connected known to be aboard the plane bringing in a similar trauma victim to two (with criminal records) in Long Island.

Somewhere, a poem remembered by heart spreads across a barrista’s lips.
Somewhere, Vera Gemini laughs cruelly.

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