The devil on the fiery porch. He was back again that year,
the same as he had been for five years running, keeping the majority of Trick or Treaters
behind an imaginary line of uneasiness drawn at the edge of the curb with his Hell-red
grin and burning cauldrons. It was a scene from Faust, only this was no play; this was my
It wasnt just kids who lingered apprehensively in the
street, but parents as well. In a place where the definition of Halloween was more like
cardboard skeletons and plastic jack-o-lanterns, a guy with a penchant for fire and
pitchforks could be extraordinarily scary. Really young children were hurried past the
residence altogether via lawns on the opposite side of the street, hopefully distracted by
candy long enough to save them from the psyche-scarring nightmares certain to result from
even the smallest glimpse of him. This left only the few - the brave - to make the journey
and collect one of the candy bars given out by the devil basking in the red glow of the
Trick or Treating in the 1970s wasnt the flirt
with death that it can be today. At that time, in most suburban settings, people lived in
the same house for years and made the effort to get to know their neighbors and their
neighbors children. It was a safe haven from the malicious world beyond; a
stronghold of sterile thoughts and selective ideals. That is why it was more alarming when
the occasional anti-Cleaver odd balls, like the Warren family, managed to infiltrate the
peaceful utopia and upset the balance of neatly trimmed lawns and Tupperware parties.
Especially when at Halloween their oldest son Wayne Warren painted himself red, donned
horns, and sat on a throne between two flaming cauldrons on their sunken porch.
My first encounter with him was when my father volunteered to
secure one of Satans fat candy bars on my behalf. I watched wide-eyed at the curb
while my mother yakked up the other neighborhood mothers about the sick nature of the
affair. Later that night, as I spread my bounty out upon the living room floor, she
snatched the King Size Snickers that the devil had given and tossed it into the trash.
Only later did I understand the action, although to my knowledge no one had ever reported
any ill-effects from his confectionery treats.
The greasepaint devil quickly became a milestone of bravery
for the youth of our neighborhood. As we got older, our worth was measured upon whether we
had Trick or Treated his house on our own. For most of the neighborhood kids, it was a
confrontation with their own childhood fears; a rite of passage. But my own eventual
encounter with him reckoned with more than mere cultural demonspeak. For me it was not a
conquest, but a beginning; a passageway to a haunted life well beyond the October ritual.
And after what it indirectly wrought upon my life and the life of my childhood friend, Dan
Rutgers, I came to realize that I had more in common with Wayne Warren than anyone would
I was old enough to Trick or Treat on my own. I had been for
a few years - having entered the seventh grade - but had thus far chosen to skip the
devils house despite my Samhain freedom. And as the candy collectors stood entwined
in trepidation at the end of his lawn that night, I looked on, ready to cast away silly
childhood fears. In the recessed front porch of the tan-stone house, the devil sat on a
black throne, pitchfork in hand and grinning like a madman. On either side of him a
cauldron belched hot flames, which illuminated the entire alcove with a yellow-red glow
that brought a little piece of Hell right there to our suburban street. Dark music,
probably borrowed from the Omen soundtrack, boomed from somewhere on the porch like a
theme for a black mass, while Sounds of the Haunted House crept out of the
homes dark windows. They were opened just enough to let in some of the autumn air,
which was uncharacteristically cool for Texas even in late October. Every once in a while,
the devil would bark out something to the effect of "come on up kids" or just
let out a string of vein-chilling laughs that echoed off of the houses and faded into the
night air like a horde of goblins. As a fan of the horror film classics, somewhere inside
I had begun to admire his mastery of Halloween, but the fear of something I did not fully
understand still outweighed this association. The man behind the red face was something
real, and thats what made him scary to me, even if some people simply wrote him off
as a self-aggrandizing jerk.
"Are we going up there?" Dan asked me as I stood at
the curb siphoning the last bits of courage from my body.
Dan was a few years older and several inches taller, but we
were two boys made from the same mold. We had been best friends for six years now, both
possessing a fever for Hot Wheels, Big Jims, and superheroes. I could see his own
reservation just under the green skin of his Incredible Hulk face. His mother was an
inferno preaching Baptist and though I could not understand at the time, he grappled with
issues far deeper than my own regarding the fiendish display.
"Yeah," I answered, although I had yet to top off
my courage tank.
Our mutual friend, Bob, spoke from behind his Planet of the
Apes mask. "Yall can go if ya want, but I aint. My brother says that
guys a goon and he dont wanna have ta kick his butt when he finds a razor
blade in my candy bar."
"I aint gonna eat the candy," I
replied, stating what I thought was obvious.
The music boomed forth with a new strain and I looked hard at
the real fire, the past prime teenager in the red makeup, and the iron gates which stood
open at the porchs arc.
"Well, he aint gonna kill us or anything.
Hes been doing this ever since I can remember and lots of kids have gone up
there." I nudged my head toward two older kids who had just been up to Satan.
"They just went. And if they did then Im going. Dan, you coming?"
Getting a yes from Dan, I put my foot onto the devils
brown lawn and began the approach. I tried to imagine what I saw across the street the
other three-hundred sixty-four days out of the year. A stony looking house with a dark
porch and some skinny druggie guy coming and going in his beat up Camero. Sometimes
kissing or beating his girlfriend a little, but always giving me a chin-up nod as if to
say I was cool. It was just Wayne Warren
not the devil.
Telling myself this made it a little better, but on Halloween
this guy was just plain different. Just plain scary. And as I neared I tried the customary
cool nod, but Wayne didnt nod back. Instead he grinned like a mental patient and let
out a laugh that resonated in the sunken porch as if it sunk all the way down to Hell.
Dan, in an attempt at proper All Hallows etiquette, moved up
beside me, held out his bag, and muttered "trick or treat" which sounded
ridiculous under the circumstances.
"Heh, heh, heh," Wayne cackled and threw a Chunky
bar into his bag.
Then he focused on me and my spirit-gummed wolfman face.
"Something special for you my friend!" he said, reaching down beside his seat.
He pulled out something, gazed at it a moment and then threw it into the sack I held open
in front me as if it were my empty soul waiting for him to fill. I didnt get a good
look at it, but I didnt care. Id have a better look as soon as Dan and I got
out of the yard.
Without any more explanation, Wayne stoked one of the
cauldron fires, spit, and turned his attention to a group of approaching teenagers. Dan
and I hurried back to the curb where Bob waited.
"Lets go next door and check out whatever it was
he gave me," I said.
Squatting down under a street lamp, Dan and I pulled out our
"Just a regular candy bar, but maybe theres a
razor blade in it?" he said ripping into the package and breaking the Chunky into
several pieces finding nothing but chocolate inside.
Bob removed his Cornelius mask. "Whatd you
I pulled out the weird item Wayne had thrown into my bag and
held it up in the bath of white street light. "It looks like a tooth or maybe a
horn," I said, not having seen anything like it before.
The thing was about three inches in length, jagged at one end
and tapering into a curved point at the other. But instead of bone or enamel, it was made
from a semi-transparent material with what looked like microscopic electronic components
"Let me check it out," Dan said grabbing it from
me. "That stuff in there looks like this computer board that my dad showed me."
I took it back and looked again beyond its translucent
surface. "Computers are a lot bigger than this," I said authoritatively.
Bob squinted at it. "Thats weird. I bet my brother
knows what it is."
"Maybe we should ask him?" I suggested.
Bobs brother Ronnie rolled the horn-thing between his
fingers as he looked at it under the desk lamp.
"Looks like it came from a robot or something.
Yall are a bunch of goons." He tossed it back at me. "Maybe it come from
that alien that crashed over in Motor Valley," he added making a spooky whoooo
"Huh?" all three of us replied.
Ronnie laughed. "I guess yall were still in
diapers. A few years ago, the cops and everybody went out there when something crashed in
the woods between Motor Valley Road and Screaming Bridge. Supposedly, they found a blown
up flying saucer, but never found any aliens. When that idiot Wayne Warren was still going
to school, I heard a rumor about how he and a friend of his were out there drinking one
night and found some flying saucer parts. I think that was about the time he started
dressing up like Satan on Halloween. Maybe hes givin out those UFO parts
instead of candy; cheap ass. I think its all bullshit."
With that Ronnie left Bobs room.
We all looked again at the thing.
"Pretty cool story, man. We oughta go out there and
check it out. Maybe this did come from a space ship," I suggested.
Dan nodded. "I aint never seen anything like
"Yall are crazy," Bob said, looking
suspiciously at us both.
Anything good was usually off limits. Its the tradeoff
for having parents that give a shit about you. I wasnt allowed in the creek, not
allowed to attend spin-the-bottle parties, not allowed in the yard of the kid who talked
like a sailor with a belly full of gin, not allowed to ride my bike to Dairy Queen, and
basically not allowed to venture beyond the small quadrant of my neighborhood. Motor
Valley was definitely off my childhood map. As a result, I spent half my youth in the
creek or making bike runs out of the quadrant and the other half making up plausible
excuses for why I was late. So a trip to Motor Valley with my usual accomplice, Dan, was
nothing too exceptional. But the possibility of dead alien creatures was, and thats
why this mission was going to happen regardless of any potential consequences. Bob,
however couldnt go. He was grounded for getting caught with a pack of his dads
cigarettes. Looking back, I cant blame him for finding a way out.
Motor Valley got its name from the motocross track that was
built on the west end of its expanse. Except for a few ill-repaired roads that cut through
it, the valley was mostly brushy Texas woods and low lying flat land which collected water
to create the closest thing to a bog Central Texas could have. If something did crash in
there, it was no wonder that collecting all the pieces was difficult. But since the time
of the crash, which I later dated at September 30, 1972 by searching old newspapers, much
of the water had been irrigated out to subsidize a local cattle feed farm making it
possible to get around in the area without sinking in muck.
Dan and I biked down the road past the old junior high school
and out across Highway 10 where a few industrial buildings and a bar called The Firehose
stood like holdouts against the concept of renovation. These were the last few constructs
of civilization before Motor Valley took over.
As we reached the end of the industrial stretch, we right
turned onto Motor Valley Road, which sloped down a gradual incline until it eventually
curved south and cut right through the center of the valley itself. Few cars ever came
this way unless they were there to dump something or to take a short cut to Highway 10 and
Dan and I pedaled down the center of the curbless macadam as if we owned it. Off to the
side, either in the gullies or along the occasional dirt paths that spidered away from the
road, we saw discarded relics of prosperity littering the land like pock marks. Old
washing machines, tread-bare tires, skeletal couches, and limbless dolls, in their
abandoned afterlife, serving as shelters for the dark crawling creatures which hid
We stopped pedaling to coast the hill.
"Did you remember the horn thing?" Dan huffed.
"Youre gonna be grounded forever if your mom finds
out about this."
I nodded dramatically. "What did you tell your mom we
"Going to Dairy Queen and the arcade."
"I hope your mom and my mom dont talk for some
reason before we get back. You know how my mom is always calling to find out where I am. I
told her I was just going to the arcade. She doesnt want me going over to the Dairy
Queen. She heard a story on the news where this guy went into a Dairy Queen in Lubbock and
whipped out his pecker and got thrown in jail!"
Dan laughed. "Sounds like what Jimmys cousin did
at his birthday party."
"Didnt some girl kick him in the nads when he
"Yeah. He had to stay in bed for two weeks."
We made the curve and headed onto the long stretch of Motor
Valley Road. After more than a half mile, we made it to the narrow side road which led
down to Screaming Bridge. Im sure that wasnt its original name, but that was
the name it went by. One of those tragic lover suicide stories went along with it. We had
heard plenty about it, but had yet to make the trip out. I guess it took potential dead
aliens to make it worthwhile.
Turning left, we pedaled up the side road whose name was a
mystery since it had no street sign. As we crunched along its crumbling blacktop, the
trees began to grow thicker, leaning over the road to form a canopy. They cast a shadow
across the road like a dark tunnel. Bony branches were beginning to emerge from the
clusters of leaves, which were falling away with each cool gust of autumn wind. For a
moment I thought of the forest in Oz, but such a pleasant thought quickly faded. I was
positive that any beasts lurking in these thorn-ridden groves would not be singing or
dancing. In fact, they were not even chirping or growling. It was oddly silent, which was
even more disturbing.
As we neared Screaming Bridge, the asphalt turned to sandy
loam making it difficult for our bicycles despite the fact that they were the rugged Huffy
models with plastic gas tanks screwed to the crossbar to emulate motorcycles. We decided
to park them out of sight and go the rest of the way on foot.
The bridge was nothing, really. A dirt road that ended in a
huge drop filled with sun-faded beer cans and other less identifiable trash. After taking
a piss off of its edge, we headed south in the direction Ronnie had told us the UFO had
supposedly crashed. I checked my pocket for the lockblade knife I had bought with my
allowance prior to my last hunting trip with my father. I was no stranger to the country,
having been brought along on numerous deer hunts since I was old enough to walk. But in
spite of my self-proclaimed exploration expertise and my determination to expose the
mystery locked away in Motor Valley, my heart beat hard against my ribs. There was
something about the place that seemed deceptive, maybe even evil, which I had not
encountered in any of my previous rural expeditions.
Crisscrossing the area, we began to look for any signs
well, whatever signs there might be of a flying saucer crash. But the undergrowth
was thick and I soon realized that there would be little hope of finding anything without
knowledge of the exact impact location. We wandered on though, scanning for burnt trees or
any other peculiar markings.
After about thirty minutes, Dan signaled me over to a dense
clump of trees where he had spotted something.
"Check this out," he said, directing my vision past
the branches to a dilapidated shack standing in a clearing twenty-five yards away. It
wasnt a UFO, but at least it was something other than trees and rocks. Dan looked
openly disturbed by the possibility of who - or what - might be making it a home.
"I wonder if anyone lives there? I dont see any
cars," I remarked.
"I thought I saw something move by that window,"
Dan said solemnly.
I looked at the filmy window. "I dont know how you
could have, look how dirty it is."
"Yeah, maybe I was seeing things. I think we better get
out of here. Search back over closer to the bridge."
"Lets not worry about it," I retorted, trying
to look at the situation logically. "If anybody does live there, theyll
probably be real old and we could always outrun em."
Dan nodded, but I could tell he wasnt wholeheartedly
backing me on the decision.
"Lets go this
" I began as I heard the
sound of a stick crack behind us. I spun around.
Just feet from us stood a man. He looked old, but his unkempt
appearance made an accurate guess at his age impossible. His hair was a brownish gray and
poked out from his head like wild grass, framing a dirty unshaven face. A demented smile
revealed several missing teeth from the brown rotted mess inside his mouth. He was
scratching himself through a convenient hole in his ratty overalls with a handful of long,
curling nails as he leered at us.
We started to bolt.
"Hold on youngins! You boys caint just come pokin round
out here without talkin to ol Licky."
The man made a scrunching gesture with his face, which looked
like the epileptic wink of a madman. We halted our retreat.
I fished for something good to say. "My dads
looking for some firewood right back there," I said, pointing in no particular
direction. "We were just looking around."
"You caint fool ol Licky. I knows yer out here by
yerselves. If yer dad was around ya wooden look sa scared," he said, this time fully
protruding his tongue and circling it around his lips in a nervous motion.
" Dan began.
But the old man cut him off. "My feelins might get hurt
if ya keep lyin boy."
"Were sorry, but we have to get back home
soon," I added as if I were quoting from the repertoire of Wally Cleaver.
"Not bafore ya come on in and have a drink with Licky. I
wanna show ya somethin."
He began to walk towards us.
Now to this day I cant tell you why we went into that
weirdos shack, but I guess we feared more what would happen if we didnt follow
his wishes than what would happen if we did. Maybe I had more faith in my knife than I
should have. Regardless, I kept my eyes on the old man as he led us into the leaning gray
"You boys like co-colas?" he asked as we followed
"Uh, yeah," I said, knowing full well that Dan was
a strict 7-Up drinker, but under the circumstances figuring it wouldnt matter.
The first thing that struck us sour about the inside of the
shack was the smell. Worse than the smell of Licky himself, it was like the musty smell of
an old house exponentially worsened until it reached near organic putrefaction. A snail of
nausea slinked across my gut as the first thick waft of stench rolled into my lungs.
The cramped single room of the shanty was as rotted on the
inside as it was on the outside. The exposed boards of the ceiling were completely gray
and covered with cobwebs. An old rickety cot was shoved into one corner, a brownish stain
covering its sagging middle. Over at the opposite end was a broken-down stove, resembling
a leper with its rust-eaten porcelain finish. A tattered beige couch sat rotting against
the long wall, almost hidden by countless piles of old water-stained magazines. They
looked mostly like Playboys and Hustlers as far as I could tell. To our right sat a dusty
old wooden crate. It looked to me like a coffin used back in the 1800s. A fat rat
sniffed around its base.
But the most shocking aspect of the shack was the wallpaper.
Old pin-up style nudie pictures had been cut from countless magazines and stuck to every
visible inch of wall. Superimposed on top of this layer were random pictures of goats and
other wild beasts, taken from magazines I was not familiar with. They were all faded by
the damp and rotting conditions. I had seen plenty of naked pictures in my
grandfathers garage so I wasnt too shocked. But Dans religious
background didnt seem to be mixing well with the mass of nude women and goats.
"You boys wouldnt be lookin fer a UFO would
ya?" Licky asked as he began digging in a dirty box near the stove.
I peeled my eyes from a cherry-nippled blonde. "Why
would you think that?" I asked.
"Ive caught plenty a curious peoples diggin round
here like moles. They think theys gonna find some kinda alien body."
"Why would they think that?" I asked dumbly.
"A smart boy like you sure ta know about the UFO crash
over here." Licky said pulling out two dusty bottles from the box. "Why else ya
be out here nosin round?"
"Well, weve heard about it I guess, but I
didnt know about alien bodies."
"These are good co-colas," he said popping the caps
off the dirty Coke bottles with his teeth and handing one each to Dan and I as he made
another 360 around his chops with his tongue.
I discreetly knocked a dirt daubers nest off the side
of my bottle and took a drink. Actually, I let the liquid touch my lips making it appear
that I had taken a drink, not letting any of it slip into my mouth. Dan did the same.
"Howdoya like ol Lickys place? You boys got
"Uh, Jim," I said making one up.
Dan delivered one too. "And Horace."
Under any other circumstance, I would have busted out
laughing. But the unsettling atmosphere suppressed any such reactions.
"I used ta have a granddaddy name Horace. Loved him to
death that ol bugger. Silly as a whistle though. Cut his own arm off one night thinkin it
was rattler." The old man laughed loudly and moved his arm around like it was a
I glanced back at the door. I felt better knowing that we
stood closer to the door than Licky. I noticed Dan still staring queasily at the exotic
wallpaper with a clash of curiosity and horror as if he were looking at a car wreck.
"Did you see the UFO crash?" I asked, trying to
conceal my nervousness.
"Well not exactly. I come here after that."
"Youre looking for the UFO too?"
"No, them rangers hauled that off. Is waitin for
somethin. A horn."
With that my heart went flatline. The thing in my pocket was
in some way connected to the old man. I began to realize that maybe what Wayne Warren had
said about finding some flying saucer parts may have been true.
"You aint happen ta see a horn out there have
ya?" he said moving to the wooden crate.
"Was it a real UFO from outer space?" Dan finally
"Yep. From a planet so far away that them stupid
scientists aint seen it yet."
"You never answered bout that horn," his twang
suddenly growing menacing.
Our faces began to flush.
"You little clever dickins know somethin, dont
ya?" He ran his hand across the crate like he was caressing the skin of a lover.
"Fess up boy. If you got the horn, ya caint resist
it. I knows cuz I found the other one when I worked fer the sheriffs office and we
was out here cleanin up after the crash. I found somethin else too that the rest of em
Fear finally slapped my common sense. I pulled the clear horn
thing out of my pocket. "I got this trick or treating," I said as I threw it to
the floor behind Licky and bolted for the door. Dan turned to follow, but a deep bark
stopped us mid-way. A large dog stood growling outside. We looked back at Licky fully
expecting him to move in for the kill right then.
"Colossus! Simmer down!" he yelled gruffly.
"Hes just a tad grumpy if ya know what I mean? Ya dont gotta be scared of
him or ol Licky. I like you boys," he said picking up the horn.
"What do you want from us?!" I demanded.
"Now youngin dont get all upset. You brung me this
here horn that I been looking for."
"Does that have something to do with the UFO?" I
asked, trying to calm down.
"Whered ya get it?"
"From some guy dressed up like the devil on
"Heh heh! I knew it!" he said with a lick. "I
knew itd find its way back here one way or another. Dressed like the
He seemed excited by the fact that Wayne had been dressed
like Satan. I wasnt sure what the connection was between him and this old man, or if
there even was one, but somehow we had been transporting something very important.
"Does that belong to an alien?" Dan asked.
"Some folks might call him an alien," he
began, "but it really belongs to the devil. Ive been keepin his body here since
his space craft wrecked waitin for this other horn to turn up. Sometimes it takes the
dickins for things to work out. But they always do! Now I can get the rewards I
"The devil?" I asked skeptically.
Licky patted the wooden crate. "Yes sir, hes in
We were speechless.
"I bet you boys would like to see him, wouldnt
I shook my head slowly as tears began to well in my eyes. Dan
just stood frozen as if he were looking down upon Virgils nine rings of hell.
"Well here he is!" Licky yelled as he flung open
the crates lid. Its old hinges screeched like dying animal.
Inside lay the body of a creature. It was a brownish red and
shriveled like the corpse of a mummy. It had arms and legs and a human-shaped torso, but
they were thin and wiry. Its pointed chin and bulbous forehead made it appear like a
reddish version of the little gray aliens that people always claim to see. A set of
pointed teeth were thrust forward from the retracted lips, opposing the huge sunken
sockets in whose valleys rested closed eyes. I could smell the acrid odor of age filling
the room as if the beast were centuries old, having soaked up the stench of death and
decay for an eternity. We were repulsed, though neither Dan nor I could take our eyes from
the entombed thing.
"Just like in the storybooks. Cept he dont
come from no Hell, hes from up there," Licky said pointing to the sky.
"Been coming here longer en you and I can figure!" he exclaimed.
"Dont cha like em?!"
Thats when I noticed the horn. The creature had one
horn identical to the one I had been given. A jagged hole at the other side of his head
made it apparent that he had once possessed two.
"At last, I can raise him again! Ill be made a
prince of the sky when he sees what ol Lickys done fer em!" the old man said,
drooling a line of spit onto the creatures chest as he began to fit the missing horn
back in place.
The dog outside barked and we remained trapped between two
rapidly off balancing evils.
Licky laughed as the component finally clicked into place. A
faint whir became audible from the coffin as he pulled back.
"Look close boys, ya brung back ol Nick!"
The thing began to move, not mechanically like a robot as I
would have thought, but more like an organic being that had been sleeping for a long time.
It sat upright as the eyes began to open. Their dark menisci looked like black mirrors as
they focused on our white faces. Its skin became more supple and its lips rolled back down
over his teeth. The thing smiled a grin that was beyond pure evil, that seemed to crawl
through my eyes, down my throat, and squeeze the bloody pulp of my heart like a
constrictor. But I resisted and so did Dan. Breaking our gaze, we ran for the door as the
beast jumped from the crate.
I had been used somehow to bring the horn back to the
creature. It seemed to explain my complete lack of good judgment when we followed Licky
into the shack. I had been possessed by something much the way Wayne Warren had been,
dressing up like the devil, probably unknowingly waiting for some adventurous kid to take
the horn from him like the wind carries a seed to its final destination, where it could
root and produce seed of its own.
"Aint you a beaut!" Licky cried.
The devil responded with a snap of his clawed hand. Blood
splattered the nude-papered wall as the old man chortled and fell to the ground, callously
beheaded despite his service.
"Shit!" I screamed as Dan and I burst through the
door and tripped over the dog. We both hit the ground, along with the dog, in a whirlwind
of confusion and gnashing teeth. I felt a few bites hit my arms, but when the devil
crashed through the door the dog yelped and darted into the trees.
The creature smiled again and looked at us. It was one of
those split seconds between reactions when the mind and body are trying to get into sync,
when the true perspective of time is lost. For a few endless seconds the foul beast stood
above us and before we could pull ourselves up to run, he turned and headed into the
woods. He spun his neck around to look at us one more time as he blended into the
countryside and disappeared.
Dan and I ran in the opposite direction, back toward our
bikes. We said nothing as we careened through the branches and undergrowth gouging at us
with fingery thorns as if it were reluctant to let us leave. It wasnt until we had
pedaled all the way back to Motor Valley Road that I finally broke the silence and
confronted the reality of what had taken place.
"Do you think it was the devil?!"
Dan, terror etched into his face, shook his head. "If it
was an alien and theres more of them
He began to cry.
I could feel my hands trembling on the handle grips. The
reality of aliens and devils or something that was both was too much for my young mind.
"We cant tell anyone," I said.
"I dont ever want to talk about it again."
"Never," was the last clear word I heard before he
fell into a repetitive mumble.
If it was the devil, alien or otherwise, and we were
responsible for bringing him to life
I grappled with the thought. The thought
that has slowly wrested the life from me over the years like a patient serpent subduing
its prey. The same thought that was responsible for the phone call I just received.
I gently sat the telephone receiver back into the cradle. It
had been Dans sister on the line. He was found dead in his car that morning. He had
been missing for weeks. She asked me if I had any idea why he would have driven out to a
remote spot in Motor Valley and put a gun to his head.
I told her I didnt know.
© Robert Lyle