Previously on Ghoul….
Sam relived a powerful argument with Ghoul that changed his life forever. His hipster guards, one of which was this Darren we heard of last issue, first thought his spontaneous verbal outbursts of scattered rhetoric was hip, even fresh. But a quick misunderstanding of who-loved-who-first between the hipsters sparked a challenge.
In Sam’s mind, he witnessed a battle that would rival biblical end-times and he surely felt the end was nigh.
Everything turned out just fine, though.
Ghoul was there, still, chilling out. He’s going to clear it all up, along with his claim of finding an exit to this hellish mistake of a vacation but first, this happened….
Ghoul marched through the woods with a pace too purposeful and I lagged, suffering through tedious ranting about that which not mattered in the slightest.
“I’ll tell you this, young Samuel: I will not be kind in my review. Old Yelp there, whoever he is, is too generous, too forgiving with his lazy synopsis of everything. He—it could be a she, but I don’t think any father would scar their daughters with such a name—lacks transparency, honesty. You know what I mean, right?”
The caustic waves of madness receded from my mind’s coasts. It was refreshing to have control once more. I understood the gist of what Ghoul was getting at: none of the hipsters could see him, and whenever he tried to enter Moose Lodge an invisible force shoved him away. He then wandered around, surveying the vastness of empty cabins and campsites and R.V.s—all left as is—without a trace of life to be found.
“Do you know what else got to me: that Darren—you know, the one who smashed the other hipster’s skull in with that rock (their battle was much different in the eyes of a madman)—was muttering something about the Pods and how the will bring fires to the earth like a false sun rising in the west. Who is Maureen, anyhow? He sure has the hots for her. Remember that I told like five times now that I have no idea if where we are going is the right way or not. Going on a hunch.”
Ghoul’s voice trailed off, then became faint like harsh whispers. The fog thinned to nothing. Hints of color, that sweet reminder of life so taken for granted blended with the grey hue of this place. The beauty, I thought. How I have missed you. I careened my head to the sky, praising the return of green and blue and brown and white to my eyes.
The woods to my left and right were crowded with what I confidently knew as maples and pines and young birch. In front was a stretch of empty forest and robust undergrowth. A head popped out of the haze twenty-feet ahead. “You coming or what?” asked Ghoul, who stayed as he was, floating corpse-head in the middle of the air and I was apparently sprinting towards him. How I wanted to be free of this dismal place and those abhorrent hipsters with obvious agendas that I hope to never understand. And that wish hung on the lips of my genie, milliseconds from being granted but those magical words vanished back into that golden lamp without so much as a goodbye.
I smashed into the haze, crumpling to the earth.
“Oh man,” Ghoul’s arms and torso emerged from the other side of that damned haze. “You hit that so awkwardly and Jesus Christ look at those fingers!”
“That’s not needed,” I knew why my right hand shook in agony. “They’re broken, I can feel it. Shit. Oh shit oh shit oh shit that hurts. Come and help me up.”
He was complete again, where I, was busted. Ghoul hooked under my arms and started hoisting me off some sort of ivy. I slipped twice, then he dropped me; told me to figure it out on my own. I managed to roll on my good side, then to my knees where I rocked into a precarious crouch.
“Invisible walls are the reason why you don’t run like you’re trying to karate chop the world, Sam. You need to pay better attention.”
My pinkie and ring-finger were contorted in a reptilian way. Made me think of Maureen, except her claws had fire blasting out the fingertips and all I had was exposed bones.
“Well, I don’t know what to do,” Ghoul longed for our world that was so close, yet so far away. “I really feel like taking off for a bit, maybe go get something to snack on and see a movie. Would you be upset if I just left you here?”
“Yes Ghoul, yes I would be,” I said.
“Okay. Consider this my apology then. I’ll stop at the car on the way back and get some of our stuff. See you later!”
He stepped back into the haze, waving of all things, until he faded away.
© Copyright John Potts Jr 2016-2017. All rights reserved.