Copyright © 2013

Victor Darnell Hadnot & Amanda Travis


"What really matters is how God perceives your Faith in Him." The Hollow Pride

They sat under a tree. Regan and Shandun had managed to find sometime for themselves, and they decided to spend it, having a nice quiet picnic. Everything was going well until they looked across the field and witnessed a strange woman materializing from what seemed to be out of nowhere.

As they were just chatting, Shandun spoke. "Do you see that?"

Regan looked around and her eyes fixed on the event. "What in the hell is that? Did you just see that?"

"Yeah. Where did she come from?" questioned Shandun.

They both watched the woman, who was butt naked, as she seemed to walk through what appeared to the couple, as light and energy, opaque light. Regan spoke, "We must be tripping or something. What was in that food that we just ate?"

Then, as the couple watched on, the naked woman, walked over to them. "Where am I?" asked the woman.

The young couple both looked at each other, then, back at the woman. "You are in Valley Town. Where did you just come from?" asked Regan.

The naked woman looked about, as if she did not recognize anything. "I'm not sure. I mean, I know I live in Valley Town. I have a husband and little daughter. But, I don't know how I got here." It was at that point, that she seemed to realize that she was naked, and was shocked.

Regan and Shandun sat across from the Zebra Woman. As if there wasn't enough freaks in the small town, here sat some strange woman, from God knows where. She actually looked like she had real zebra stripes, but, who really knew, with all of the gene splicing and such going ons.

The Zebra Woman gazed upon the couple. "What are you in for?"

Regan cleared her throat. "We are not in for anything. We just saw something really weird..." Then Regan realized that she was actually talking to someone who was really weird. "No offense meant."

"None taken." said the Zebra Woman. "So, what did you see?"

Shandun interjected. "We both saw a bright light, then suddenly, a naked woman materialized out of nowhere. I mean, she just came through nothing, into the field where we were having a picnic."

"Hmm. Seems strange indeed." voiced the Zebra Woman.

Regan asked, "Are you really spliced that way?"

The Zebra Woman smiled. "Yes. Do you like it?"

Shandun spoke. "It looks cool. Did it hurt to have it done?"

The Zebra Woman nodded. "Yeah. But just think of it like getting a tattoo. You know, it all hurts at the beginning. But, then, you get into the pain and it feels so good."

The young couple looked at each other. "I see. So, why are you here?"

The Zebra Woman spoke, "I guess it is illegal to go down the street, without cloths, even if you are covered in zebra stripes. So, here I am."

Shandun pronounced. "But, you are not really naked. I mean, you are covered in stripes?"

The Zebra Woman responded. "One would think? Perhaps the cops are prejudice?"

Regan and Scarletta squared off. They both sat across from one another in the small area, the young woman was looking for answers, while the mature woman, tried to evade them, as best as possible.

"So. You are a witch?" asked Regan.

"I don't consider myself to be a witch. I'm spiritual in nature." answered Scarletta.

"But, you do know something about all these strange things that are going on in town?" put forth Regan.

Scarletta glanced off. "There are things that people like yourself are not ready to accept."

"What do you mean by that?" came Regan.

"You know. All the little things that go bump in the night. Those secrets that nobody wants to talk about, in fear that if they do, then bad things will happen to them. The deep down inner feelings of hopelessness, fear of being put out, onto the streets, with no where to go. The evils of homelessness, despair. The what ifs that don't have easy answers." Scarletta told her.

"I know that weird things are happening to the people of this town. Some people come up missing, and then, they are discovered, wandering. I've seen this with my own two eyes." Regan stated.

Scarletta laughed slightly. "You are the other fools in this little town, what do you know? There have been strange things going on for longer than you are old, Regan. There have been things going on in little towns all over the world. It is the time of Eontimeoc. The time has come for the events to happen."

"Events? Okay. What events? What is going to happen? No! What has been happening?" Regan questioned.

Scarletta voiced. "The despair when no one reads your work. You labor vanity."

The chapel was almost empty. Just a few people in it, most were lighting candles and praying for deliverance. Father Paul and Regan sat in the front and for a long while, they both just looked up at the cross, the sunlight from outside, dancing through the stain glass. It was very pretty and spiritual in a way, as it touched the cross which hung over the alter.

Father recanted. "When I was young, before I became a priest, my father took me and my two sisters on a trip. He said that God told him to take us away from the security from whence we were at. The journey was long and filled with danger, but, at the end of the thing, we arrived no worst for wear. Oh there was mishaps, run in with people along the way, but, the Good Lord delivered us, wholly."

Regan tossed her long hair and looked at the priest. "What happened? Did you all make it?"

Father Paul continued. "Funny thing. After all that we went through, and it was considerable, specially for my dad, we finally arrived at our destination, only to fall into calamity, we were facing eviction from the place that we had just arrived. It was a very frightening time. Because homelessness is an evil that too many people throughout the world have to face. Imagine, having gone through all of this, our faith tested along the way, only to arrive, and find that we could not stay?"

Regan shrugged. "What did your dad do?"

The priest smiled as he looked up at the illuminated cross, the light from the stain glass, caressing the surface of the cross. "He turned to God, being a man of deep faith. Oh, my dad wasn't perfect..."

Regan spoke. "Who is? Except Christ Jesus."

Father Paul concluded. "My dad kept insisting that God told him to come there."

The mountain was lit up at night. Smoke surrounded it, and lightning and thunder seemed to engulf it. The towns people all gathered around the mountain, drawn to it, for reasons that few seemed to comprehend. They all saw strange goings on, all about the mountain. The light so bright, that at certain times, it almost seemed like day time, but, it was not. Shandun and Regan were among those who had come to the edge of the mountain. To their right, were those who believed in God, and some of them called on the Lord, because of the strange things that they were witnessing. To their left, where those who did not believe in God, they believed in science, or magic, or other worldly things. It seemed almost surreal at times. At one point, they all witnessed strange flying objects, perhaps some kind of crafts, as they darted in and out of the thick smoke, which was engulfing the top of the mountain. Then, they all heard a deep low sound, of a trumpet, but, it was like a voice, as it came from the mountain.

The trumpet said. "Make way the paths of righteousness. For Christ is coming, having been, and now to return. All those who fear and love the Lord God, the Father of Jesus Christ, get ready, for God is coming back. God is near at hand. But, yet, for a little while, get ready..."

Then, as suddenly and all of that came, it just disappeared. It was all gone and what was left was night and the sky filled with stars. The people that were around the mountain, all seemed to hear a message, but for the wicked, the message was evil unto their ears. And for the faithful, the message to true and like a healing ointment, to the hearts and souls.

Regan voiced. "What just happened?"

Shandun shook his head. "I'm not sure. Seems like we all witnessed something. Something wonderful. But, if you look around, it seems like we all witnessed different things."

Regan retorted. "How can that be? How can we all be looking at the same mountain, but see something very different. Yet, all agree that something happened?"


"Make you, no mistake, Satan is real. And so is Jesus Christ." Some Old Broken Pastor

The desert was for no man. Regan and Shandun roamed throughout the wilderness. In the distance, there were three moons, which could been seen in their various stages, called the Three Sisters. After roaming for a good time, they came across a little desert tavern. They went inside where they found it half way occupied, with all sorts of subtle, but alien strangers. The young couple found a booth and took a seat. Finally, a robot waitress came over to them.

"What will it be?" The robot asked.

Shandun responded. "Two very big glasses of cool water."

The robot looked at them for a moment. "Out here, water is very expensive. The only water we get on this planet, is imported."

Regan decided to field the conversation. "Look. We've been roaming out there in this God forsaken desert for hours. We can pay..."

Someone from over the bar said. "Make them pay first."

The robot looked back at them. "I'm sorry. You'll have to pay first."

Shandun reached into his pocket and pulled out a hundred dollars, in gold coins, the only universal currency. "Is this enough?"

The robot nodded its head as it took the money. "I'll be right back with your fresh cool water."

Regan voiced concern. "We still have some ways to go. Drink it slow..."

Scarletta sealed the book with a spell, then she put it back in an obscure spot, on one of the many bookshelves in her occult shop. As she went about doing her daily routine in her shop which was filled with all sorts of magic and spell charms and items, a priest came into her store.

Father Paul gazed over the room to her, while there were a few customers mingling about. Scarletta stopped what she was doing and went to him.

Scarletta voiced. "Well, I never thought I'd see you in here. Have a sudden change of religious point of view?"

The priest looked at her strangely for a moment. "You are aware that you have a familiar spirit?"

Scarletta smiled. "His name is Henry. He lived a thousand years ago. So, what can I do for you?"

Father Paul retorted. "We are having a town meeting. Some of the folks are worried, because strange things have been happening."

"What type of strange things. Because strange things have been happening to this small town for a great many years?" Scarletta responded.

"You know what I am talking about. Weird stuff. People missing, and then they come back, but they re not the same. They seem different some how. And they can't explain where they have been." voiced Father Paul.

"Oh hell, priest. Some people just go out and get high and they do not want their love ones to know what they have been doing. You know, not everything is about aliens?" stated Scarletta.

Father Paul seemed frustrated. "You know, not everything is about you. The whole town seems on edge lately. And you shouldn't take missing people, so lightly. Something is wrong."

The airbus came by its designated location. It was over thirty minutes late, and frankly, Regan and her friend Tammy were just a little bit pissed. But, they got onboard and found two seats next to each other. As they settled in, there were two women talking. They listened in for a while as the two women spoke about their prior drug and alcohol addictions. The women got into the details of their nightmare with drugs and alcohol, even to the point of talking about rehab and throwing up in private, because they felts, that doing so, was a personal thing and at some level, their female pride seemed to exert itself.

One of the women gazed over at Regan, then the woman said, "I used to be just like you. Young and pretty. Then, I got all involved with Monkey Juice and then came the Crocodile. You have to be vigilant."

Tammy took offense. "You are just a dime hooker. What do you know about it?"

Regan tried to smooth things out. "Look. I'm sure you have good intentions here. But with all due respect. You don't know what you are talking about."

The other two women laughed, then the other spoke. "That is exactly what we thought when we were young. That everyone else was full of shit. And that we were the only ones who knew what was the real deal. Baby, the real deal leads you to this. You'll bang whomever to get your next fix. You'll mainline fuel. Smoke Jackhammer. You think that because you come from a middle class family, that things like this can't happen to you, but you are wrong."

"Addicts are for poor people, like you. And you smell really bad.." Tammy retorted.

The two women looked at the other, then one of them voiced. "This is you five years from now, if you don't stop using drugs. They will kill all of your dreams and hopes and desires. All you will care about, is your next fix. Your standards in men will drop to nothing."

Tammy pronounced. "You mean like you, the two of you are not just friends."

The robot was tall. Regan and Shandun looked up at it, as it seemed to gaze about at them, but they could not be sure, because of the way it was made. It wasn't a humanoid robot, like many of them are, though, Regan often wondered why robot companies like Ford and Toyota, and others, made robots that were humanoid. Perhaps so that people wouldn't be frightened of them?

"State your purpose." voiced the machine.

Shandun answered. "We are here to play."

The robot moved somewhat. "Only people of a certain age and economic background can enter to play."

Regan didn't like her boyfriend's passive attitude. "Look, you stupid piece of a machine! Let us in. You just let in those people before us, and obviously, they were not of age."

The robot, being advanced A.I., also had artificial emotions. "Having attitude will not get you in. And those other people were of a higher social economic class than the two of you. The two of you look homeless..."

Regan was taken aback. "Seriously? You are going to discriminate against us because of money? To hell with money! Money is a false god! The anti-Christ in one of his many forms."

The robot through them out, physically. They landed on their butts on the street. They were not the only ones that the robot throughout, so Regan and Shandun comforted themselves that they were in good company, and that all those who were allowed into the forbidden club, were the losers. But, though Regan announced those feelings, Shandun really didn't feel that way. He wanted to get into the club to buy some more drug-tech. But then, as they were trying to figure out how to get inside, the building exploded. Perhaps a gas leak or something, thought Shandun, as he attempted to shield Regan from the falling debris. "The Lord does indeed move in a mysterious way. If we'd been in there, we'd be dead right now." he uttered.

Regan and Shandun were at the airbus and airtrain station. It wasn't very big, but it had a tall ceiling, kind of ornate and hollow. When you talked, there was a pronounced echo, so if there was anyone else seated across or about, more than likely, you could hear their conversation, even if they whispered. The couple sat next to each other.

Regan voiced. "I really don't want to go."

Shandun frowned. "Then, why are we here? I mean, if you don't want to go, then, don't go. We can just turn around and you can stay."

Regan shrugged. "Ah. But I have to go. I don't have a choice."

Shandun looked off. "Regan, we all have choices. Sometimes, the choices are not very good. But, there are always choices. That is what life is, freewill is nothing but multiple choices in life. You really don't have anything else..."

"So, freewill isn't really freewill. It is just multiple choice." spoke Regan.

"Well, yes, I guess so. If you actually look at it like that. Freewill is like we are all living in some kind of a cosmic test. Where God is judging us according to our choices. If we pick good choices, then we are rewarded. If we pick bad choices, then we are damned." said Shandun.

Regan tossed her flowing hair. "Doesn't seem fair, if you ask me."

"What doesn't seem fair?" questioned Shandun.

"You know. Us being tested, when most of us aren't even aware of the questions." pronounced Regan.

"Yeah, I know. It doesn't, but, that is the way that life is. You go down one path and you are rich and powerful. You go down another route, and you are poor and discriminated against. Because homelessness is a real problem, in that the people it affects, are just people like you and me, society looks down on the homeless, the poor, the needy. It is against Christ Jesus."


"Never saw a fool or a sucker I couldn't con. Then, I looked in the mirror and discovered the fool was me." Manny The Panhandler

Regan was a typical seventeen year old girl, looking forward to her last half of the twelfth grade in high school. She sat in her room, lights low, incense burning. She was busy tweeting her thoughts and philosophy. Off to the side next to the window, was a canister of synthetic marijuana. A half smoked glass bong that looked like it was a relic of the old hippie days. The music playing in the background, was relic too, Hendrix electrifying his guitar to the tune of Voodoo Chile. On her wall, reflecting her eclectic taste in music, was a Michael Jackson poster, which read: The God of Pop. Several smaller posters of Korean K-Pop bands, Henry was her favorite, but, in a few months, she'd had moved on to someone else. Regan was starting to get into the C-Pop scene, having transition from J-Pop some time ago.

A special tune began to sound on her smart phone and the image of her boyfriend shown. She quickly stopped doing the things she was doing, and switched the device over to him. "Hi..." she had a young sounding voice, for being the age she was.

Though she liked the effeminateness of the K-Pop bands, her boyfriend was just a typical mixed race American boy. They were both in the same grade and shared about half their classes.

"Got your tweet. Want to hang?" asked Shandun.

"What about your band. I thought you had practice?" came Regan.

Shandun nodded. "Yeah. I do. Wanna come?"

Scarletta was in her mid thirties. Long black hair, just slightly overweight.. She was self employed as a trance medium. She had a little office area in her house, around the side, that she used for clients. The room was dark, across from her sat a young woman, one of the many locals that Scarletta served, by providing services, divining. It was a fact, that people wanted to know things, about the past, that had been covered up, or the future. Routine request, that she charged a modest fee, to divine for them an answer, or on occasion, a question. However, this time, it would prove to be anything but routine. As Scarletta sent herself into an occult trance, the reality of her surroundings melted away, as it always did, but, she went to a very dark place. It took her a few moments to realize, that this experience had little if any, to do with her client, seated across the table from her. The darkness was almost to the point, that she could touch it. She was in a room, or a small place, she was not sure. This trance was different, because instead of having an out of body experience, she was having an inner body experience, it had to do with her, she finally began to realize. Then, she noticed that she was not alone. There was some one or something, rather, in the room with her. As she struggled to see, a faint piece of light from above shown, but the being in the room with her, was afraid of the light, it cowered in the corner, away from the light. Scarletta moved closer to the trembling creature. "Who are you?" Scarletta questioned. The being didn't speak, but, to her surprise, there was another being in the room with them. A rather tall thin being, that seemed to stand over the other being, off to the side, away from Scarletta.

The tall being answered. "It is afraid of the light. The light frightens it."

Scarletta turned her attention to the tall being. "Where am I. Why am I here?"

The tall being's eyes shown deep red, oscillating from within, as if lightning danced about. "The past is the future and the future is the past." Was the only answer given.

Regan and Shandun met after class. On their way home. They lived in a small town, not a great deal happening most of the time. Occasionally, a B-rated rock band would play through, headed for a bigger venue, just to pick up a few bucks. But, other than that, it was the same old same old.

Shandun voiced. "I got something I want to show you."

Regan glanced at him. "If this is what I think it is, I've seen yours and you've seen mine."

They stopped for a moment and kissed. Someone passing by in a car yelled: "Get a room!" This caused them to continue on. "No it's not that. Though tonight, it would be cool if we did it." came Shandun.

Regan nodded. "I'd like that."

Shandun turned off and headed towards the side, down a strange pathway. "Follow me."

Regan uttered after following for a moment or two. "Where are we going?"

Shandun looked back with a grin on his face. "You've got to see this." The young couple went on for a good while, and then, finally came upon a strange clearing in the woods. At the center of the clearing, was something that passed as a crop circle, but without the crops, in this case, the forest was reconfigured into strange maze-like patterns. Right at the center of the forest maze, was a weird object, which obviously was sticking up, coming from very deep underground..

Regan stopped and looked about. "What in the hell is that?"

Shandun shrugged. "I haven't a clue. But it is cool, isn't it?" He went closer as if to touch it.

Regan reacted. "Don't touch it!"

"What? Why? I just want to see what it feels like." But, in all his insistence, he fell short of touching the weird object, sticking out if the ground.

Regan and Shandun went and got their local priest. Father Paul stood at the foot of the weird artifact, that obviously went deep into the ground. "How long have you known about this thing?"

Regan spoke. "I just found out about it. My boyfriend, here, showed me."

"We didn't know what to do or who to talk to. So, we came to you. Showed you the photo on our phone and well, here we are." said Shandun.

"What is it?" asked Regan.

Before Father Paul could reply, a voice responded from in back of them. "It's a Chidax." answered Scarletta, she stood near the forest.

"You? I should have known that you'd have something to do with this. What is this? More of your magic?" Father Paul expounded.

Scarletta wagged her head. "I have nothing to do with this, Father Paul." She approached them. "For as much as you and I do not see eye to eye. This is not my doing."

Regan voiced. "But, you know what this thing is?"

Father Paul interjected. "It is evil, Regan. If she is here, then you can count on it."

Scarletta studied the object up close. "It's an entrance..."

Shandun questioned. "An entrance to where?"

Scarletta looked back at them. "My guess? The Underworld. This is a portal of sorts. I experienced it in a trance vision and it led me here. Actually I was surprised to find the three of you here."

Father Paul replied. "Why? Because it is a God forsaken abomination?"

The object started to do weird things, as Regan pronounced. "Look at what it is doing."

Scarletta retorted. "It knows that we are here. Beware..."

The people all went to the church. Word had gotten out fast, as bad news often does. Father Paul went to the pulpit. He looked at his congregation. Then in a somber tone he spoke to them. "We all know there is a thing out in the woods. Some alien artifact perhaps, I don't rightly know. What we do know is that it goes deep underground. Experts say that, there is evidence, that these beings as you were, are capturing and then, creating duplicate people, making them from the mud of the earth." The congregation reacted to this news. "Calm down now. This means, that some of us may not be actually human. Some of our neighbors, might be these mud people, that the aliens are creating, to replace the human race. But, the problem runs deeper than this. Those of us that they have not replaced, our young people, are being tempted with a drug, called Crocodile. This new drug, is actually created by this evil alien race, which lives under the earth. They are in every major city, on every continent, in all parts of the world. People have discovered these entrances, to the netherworld."

Father Paul walked about the platform for a moment. "This drug which enslaves our young people, is pure evil. It is made of fuel and codeine, along with some other stuff, which is very harmful to your body and soul. Most people die in three years after becoming addicted. So, if the aliens who are making mud people don't get you, they have been working on addicting the world, and mixing things up in league with the world politicians. The aliens control government, by controlling our leaders. The aliens, live completely underground, that is why we most always, never have seen them. But, from time to time, we have seen their spacecrafts, and when we do, the government calls us crazy. Why? Why are they so eager to dismiss our empirical evidence, even when these aliens, are seen over major cities? In diverse places around the world. God warned us about such things, happening in diverse places, in the Book of Revelations. " Afterwards, it started to rain, Scarletta ran for cover, careful not to get her mud body wet.