Sorry for the absence, but me and my wife celebrated our ten year anniversary by going to Savannah, Georgia. Check my Facebook for my reaction to that place. Anyway, here we go again:
Annie Baker was your average girl. Plain of face and hair, you’d never look twice passing her on the street. She’d grown up in a small Midwestern town, gone to a state college, and now was one of the countless thousands of office drones winding their way out of the Metra station in downtown Chicago. She was statistically average across the board.
The kidnapping took her by surprise. She walked down the same alley five days a week,no break in the routine, except once when she’d caught two men pleasuring each other on a Tuesday morning. She’d just chalked it up to living in a major city and left the men to it. It was this chance encounter that put her where she was now, cuffed and hooded in the back of the van.
The men who took her,their names aren’t important. What’s important is the man they call Willow. Some men have snickered at that name, but they aren’t with us anymore. Willow sat in front, his tight cropped hair and tight cropped face a mask as always.
The van halted inside a warehouse, Annie being politely but forcefully led to a small office. Annie was worried, but more than that, bewildered. This was obviously a mistaken identity problem. She wondered who they thought she was. She was seated in a chair in the office, her hood removed. Annie gaped at the man, recognizing him from the alley. Annie began to shake, feeling real fear since the first day she moved into her Wicker Park flat four years ago.
Willow smiled at her, his face making it into a rictus. It did nothing to set her at ease. Willow handed over a tray with Oreo s and milk, Annie’s favorite snack. Willow gestured for her to eat, then sat down at the desk in front of her. He then began to speak:
“Miss Baker, we’re sorry for the interruption in your life and the rough handling. Frankly, I’m a man who’s running out of time, and you are what I need.” When Annie blanched, Willow smiled again, this one even more hideous.
“Please, do not worry, Annie. No one’s going to harm you. But I would like to ask you a small favor. All it requires is a walk with me.” Willow stood, opened the door, and motioned Annie to walk outside. Willow and his men led Annie down several winding staircases to a small door.
Once inside, the smell made Annie gag. Then she looked down, horror freezing her where she stood. The cavern below was filled with an indescribable mass, all smile, tentacles and mouths. She looked back at Willow, uncomprehending.
“It’s been here for millennium. We keep it in place with symbols and the spells of King Solomon. But those are starting to crack. Have been, ever since my ex-boyfriend L. Ron and his boy toy Parsons went and had sex magic on a ley line in Paloma. We don’t know what it is , but it appears to be a mass of pure Chaos.”
“We racked our brains for years, trying to figure out how to kill it. Nukes, biologicals, chemicals, none of it worked. By the way, don’t touch the walls here.” Willow gestured to a nearby symbol covered surface, which hissed and steamed.
“It took an LSD smoking writer to figure out how to kill this thing. He called it Zero point. A person so statistically average as to defy all means and errors. In other words, you.”
Annie stepped forward, looking over the railing at the thing. The acrid smell forced her back. She looked at Willow. “What do I have to do?”
Willow grabbed her by the collar and threw her over the railing. “Die.”
Annie screamed as she went down, her body begin assaulted in every pore by the sensation of the thing. IT absorbed her and rejected her, their voices raised in a scream, until there was a flash, and she was gone.
Willow looked over the rail, his face unmoving. His men started hosing everything with flame throwers, playing seek and destroy with the bits left over of the creature. Willow almost felt sorry for Annie, but she’d never really lived, so he just put her out of her misery.
Willow thought for a second, checking his messages. His son had just gotten a “C” on his midterm. His reward form Willow would be sever and swift. His team were busy cleaning up average, and his son would never be that, if he could help it. He lit up a cigar, wondering if Rocco, his current flame was home. Killing always made him frisky.