Abducted to Hell, story by David C Russell at Spillwords.com
Artificial Artist

Abducted to Hell

Abducted to Hell

written by: David C Russell

 

The church bells chimed this October Sabbath as they had in the town of Middleroad for the past forty years. One could hear them chime on the hour between seven a.m. and seven p.m., six days a week. This town offered a sense of contentment, sameness, status quo, usual, tranquility and order. Retirees found the ambivalent, irresolute, unequivocal, reticent quality to their liking. This sector had tolerated change in life since childhood. Apathy dominated and relax the existing rules had momentum.
The biggest change to occur recently in Middleroad was the renovation of a former hardware store into an establishment called the Cozy Cove Inn. Its owner was a middle-aged, single, medium-built, 6 feet 2 inches tall man whose name was Art Craft. The town council, chamber of commerce, and other business officials liked him as he presented an air of competence, purpose, organized, clever, and persuasive. Even Elder Luke Warmton from the Community Church liked Art and would frequent The Cove as it was called for coffee and a snack or BLT sandwich. Bagels, BLTs, scones, sandwiches, and assorted coffees were standard fare at the Cove which was open Sunday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

By the second month of operation, Art Craft was establishing himself within the town of Middleroad as civic-minded. He attended the Community Church overseeing its various projects, and was liked by many in the congregation and its minister, Reverend Ramble. The Autumn coat drive was a yearly event. The coats were donated to the Salvation Army Distribution Center in a nearby community.

Over the first two quarters of the new calendar year, the Middleroad Council implemented small lifestyle changes at a steady pace. The town curfew lifted, the speed limit increased from 45 to 55 MPH. People started spending Sundays at the Cozy Cove. Entertainment offered simple pleasures: TV sports, snacks, beer and wine; additionally, construction of a game room with card tables and game cues were provided. Church attendance began to decline. It decreased about 20 percent by summer’s beginning.
Yet the status quo, apathy, sameness prevailed within the town’s persona.

In early May, a conference was held at the Middleroad High School. The attendees numbered about 4 hundred… They were known as the Eternal Perpetrators. They were quite recognizable with bright red garments from head to toe, flashing light beacons they wore on their head, and a glowing-red, almost fire-like countenance displayed as facial expression.
However, demeanor generally exhibited courtesy and charm to those who came in contact with most group members.
The conference length was one day. The chairman was Mr. Joe Botch.
He inquired of Art Craft, “How are we proceeding with the total plan?”
“Right on schedule Joe.
– People have taken to The Cove,
– town rules are being relaxed.
– Church attendance is in decline.
– apathy reigns supreme.”

Another perpetrator, questioned from near the back of the room, “Will this town be abducted by Halloween this year? Do we need atmospheric occurrences?”
The focused-on-destruction general overseer proclaimed, “I will finish what I have started. All is in place and on October 31 all within Middleroad will begin life in hell.”
A resonant, vociferous cheer went up from the group, and members slapped each other on the back or hissed in jubilant revelry!

On what was formerly Flag Day in the U.S., June 14, the afternoon skies were showing signs of stormy activity. The National Weather Service at about 5 PM released a tornado warning, “All must take shelter as soon as possible.”
“Look dad, the sky is really turning color and the wind is …..” Just then 10-year-old Buffie was swept up by a 175-mile-an-hour wind and carried off to a holding pattern. Her dad looked on in disbelief, horror and shock at his daughter’s sudden supernatural disappearance.
The Community Church was hosting an afternoon tea, which was abruptly ended when wind gust uprooted shingles and caused resultant roof damage. The sense of chaos was immediate and prevalent. A cross affixed to the front exterior of the church building was forcibly detached. This church facility was declared history, done, destruction monumental. For nearly a week, The Cove offered catered meals to those in need, and Art was awarded a key to the town by Mayor Ardor during the annual July Festival that ran from July 1st through 4th.

The carnival had a great attendance this July, and on its final day, July 4th, the fireworks display would be the concluding event. People had spent the afternoon with picnic baskets, family, friends, beverage coolers, and in general festivities enjoyed. One woman in the crowd though did raise minor suspicion. She was casually dressed, frequently checked her carry-all bag every few minutes. She was somewhat introverted, and other than having hotdogs with the Aver family who exuded confidence and competence, kept to herself. She looked to be in her early 20s and another peer, Paul Prolix found her attractive. They occasionally exchanged glances over the 3 or 4 hours they were at the festival before meeting. Lucie wanted to take someone down, anyone down, everyone down, as she had lost her job and a boyfriend of 3 years on June 30th.
“Would you like to sit with me during the fireworks display,” Paul asked.
“Hell yeh, why not. My name is Lucie,” she said.
Paul, rather verbal, launched into a discourse of his own on the festival and life in general as they spread out a blanket on the grounds of the festival. The evening was warm, conditions mild, and the sky above nearly clear as a stream.
“I have been coming to this thing every July since I was 5 years old. They used to serve the best ice-cream sandwiches and fried twinkies. Now it’s all just ordinary.” Lucie gave him a brief nod, but could care less as her fun was soon to commence. The midway closed early to accommodate those attending the display and providing ample room for seating.

Pop, pop, bang, wush, pop, pop, oooos and ahhhhhs from the audience as a myriad of colors filled the night sky.
“I am seeing something lighten up in your bag. It’s getting brighter and brighter with every passing minute,” Paul observed to Lucie.
“Feeling anything else honey,” Lucie asked as she put her arm around Paul’s shoulder.
“Umm, my buttock is getting warmer,” he said with half a smile.
Then, as a flurry of fireworks and colors erupted so did the contents in Lucie’s bag. There was a loud boom. Debris started to fly around. People were hit with very finely trimmed coals and sustained minor burns once all was said and done. Paul went into shock and was immediately addressed by emergency aid and transported to the burn center at University Hospital. Lucie was killed by the blast.

In August, two minor league baseball teams came to Middleroad to play a game at the high school stadium. The event was anticipated to draw interest and over 10,000 patrons.
The game was tied up at 4 to 4 in the 8th inning. All of a sudden a flock, rather, a hoard of ravens and vultures descended on the stadium irksome to many, and grabbed at food people had purchased from vendors. The game was obviously called and neither team declared winner.

In October, The Cozy Cove started promoting the Halloween to end all Halloweens. Come one, come all. We will have a party like none other in Middleroad. Halloween was on a Friday that year, so it would not interfere with the Sabbath day at all. It would encroach on the start of the Sabbath though but by then only a minority were interested in that weekly observance. The condition of apathy reached significance, and those who adhered to faith practice were seen bordering fractious.

As the shadows lengthened late Friday afternoon, October 31st, doors to the Cove opened after school, and the youngsters came first after 5 PM to receive small bags of candy treats. Parents then joined in with their youngsters and had hot dogs grilled by Art and his temporary staff. Wine and beer were served and flowing to all who wanted it regardless of age.

At 9 PM supernatural phenomena happened. The doors to The Cove were slammed shut and locked. Fifteen minutes later the lights flickered, flashed and then darkened. An hour later the temperature started to gradually increase from a comfortable 65 to 73 to 78, to 84, to 94, then to 104, and finally 107. People did not pass out but steadily became parched and thirsty.

A slow thunder-like rumble was heard by attendees. This slowly- oh so slowly increased in intensity, pitch and volume. Eventually it was an ongoing moan, wailing, crying, shrieking, grinding of teeth, cursing, yelling, sobbing. This was unlike anything uttered by a collective in history.
The crowned overseer, father of lies, lord of the flies, known as the devil himself, stepped up to the microphone and proclaimed, “You have been abducted to hell. This is your new abode so get used to it you imps.” He then laughed for 5 minutes straight.
“Art Craft helped you find your way here. He is clever, sly, foxy, certain, winsome, cunning, and you liked him.” Just then a deafening hiss could be heard from the eternal perpetrators in a surround sound type fashion.
The crowned figure continued, “Your apathy, bleak, dull, dreary, gloomy, somber nature got you right where you are now at and will be for- ever.”
“We are the eternal perpetrators who are deceitful, dicey, destructive, incalculable, crafty, murderous, and using the lingua franca, vernacular of your apathetic existence, successfully but ever so astutely lured Middleroad to the place of destruction.” Then some tried to skedaddle, some young women began to shriek, and music at its utmost atonality began to blast as the band of evildoers began to dance and hiss with glee.
All of a sudden a flame shot across the confines and all were singed. Women continued crying, children screaming, men cursing, many beating their chest, and the sound of Middleroad in hell, was its transformed cove of its own making. Hours and days passed; weeks, months dragged on. In fact, until well beyond the 12th of never! A helloween that will never be forgotten or extinguished.

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