Sorry its been so long but lots of exciting things going on in the Waking Dream. I had originally said I would write an article on how to know one is a sleeper, but Laertes said people might take offense finding out that they are a sleeper, so I’m going to leave it at that.
So today I am kicking off a new series of blog posts, Tales From The Weird. Each of these short stories are about actual events Laertes and other Dreamers have compiled over the last few hundred years. Many of them we’ve been able to find on the interwebs because Dreamers are becoming more vocal now about their abilities. Good thing and bad thing. It raises awareness of the coming Transformation. But it also exposes Dreamers to more aggressive Sleepers.
So today I give you, “The Master of Puppets”
A dark, shadow hugged the walls of the mortuary, avoiding the puddles of moonlight that might expose him. He had to get a new body that cold November night before they put it in the ground.
His name was Aleister Carter, and he was a mortician. He owned his own mortuary in Wildwood, New Jersey many years before, but after allegations of missing bodies, his license was revoked and his business shut down. But this did not deter him from his work.
Shivering in the biting Pennsylvania cold, he sneaked around to the back of the building, and with trembling hands used his lock-pick set to gain access. He researched the building for weeks, he had to be careful never to hit the same mortuary twice. This would be his thirty-fourth body.
As he opened the back door to the building, the familiar scent of decay and formaldehyde filled his nostrils, intoxicating him. He seldom did his own embalming, unless there was an urgent need. One does not often come across unclaimed bodies.
As he stepped into the main embalming area, and started to talk towards the refrigerator to purloin one John Edwards II, a silky, dark voice called from the shadow, “Why, hello there, Mr. Carter.”
Aleister whirled in the direction of the voice, but all he could see were two amber eyes glistening in the moonlight coming through the windows. He immediately reached into his pocket and pulled out his .22 revolver — which he always carried, just in case.
He raised the gun at his unseen stalker, but something knocked it from his hand so fast he did not know what it was.
“You won’t be needing that,” the voice said. “If I wanted you dead, you would be already.”
“Who are you?” he asked in an emotionless, fearless tone.
“Who I am is unimportant for now,” the voice from the shadows said almost purring. “What is important now is that I am about to give you the opportunity of a lifetime.”
“And what would that be?” Aleister squinted, peering into the darkness, but could not make out anything other than the penetrating amber eyes.
“Why, to work for me, of course,” the voice laced with feigned benevolence. “I’m sure it would be lucrative for both of us. And I’ve only ever met one other successful necromancer before in all of my existence.”
Aleister raised an eyebrow, trepidation creeping into his chest, threatening his resolve, but stayed his ground, anchored by intrigue. Aleister was indeed a successful necromancer. The bodies he collected became his puppets, through ritual and his own inherent Weirdness. He had made 33 to date, the perfect mindless servants. He had much larger aspirations. He wanted an army.
“I have been extremely successful,” Aleister retorted with arrogance. “Why would I need you?”
The voice chuckled darkly, “I have resources beyond your comprehension. Not to mention an endless supply of bodies. I own several research facilities. And fortunate for you, many of my subjects do not complete the experiments.”
Aleister pondered this, yet something inside him told him that the figure in the shadows could not be trusted. But, neither could Aleister.
“And what do you want out of the deal?” he asked, still calm and emotionless.
“You’re unwavering fealty to me and,” a large pearly white toothy grin appeared from the shadows. “you’ll of course build me an army. Imparting your wisdom on me, as I will impart mine unto you.”
“Fealty?” Aleister asked in a mocking tone. “Can anyone ever truly give fealty to anyone? Especially with the dark times approaching.”
“Fealty will ensure that you survive the dark times,” the voice retorted with derision. “Your little puppets will not save you from the storm. You need many, many more to survive. And time is not on your side, friend.”
“Let’s say I agree,” Aleister said, choosing his words carefully. “Will I retain control over them or will I be expected to relinquish control?”
“You will teach me to create my own, and you will retain control over the ones you’ve created.”
“Can I think on this?”
“Yes,” the voice replied in a dark tone. “You have sixty-seconds.”
“And if I say no?”
“I’ll kill you where you stand,” the voice replied flatly. “I can’t have rogue necromancers interfering with my own plans, and time is short.”
“So I don’t have a choice, really?” Aleister said, planning his escape, legs tensing, heart pounding.
“Of course you do. It’s either accept my offer, or return to the Spaces Between. Clearly a choice, my friend,” the voice said with amusement. “Oh, and don’t bother with trying to escape. Remember the gun. The next thing you’ll lose will be your head.”
Aleister stood there for another twenty seconds, pondering his choices. He had come to far to end it all now, and starting from scratch could take decades, and they both new neither of them had that much time to prepare.
“Fine,” Aleister said succinctly. “I would rather continue my work and not have to start all over again, in another shell, another time.”
“Excellent,” the voice responded. “Continue your work here tonight. Someone will come fetch you tomorrow evening at your home. Oh yes, I know everything about you, but timing is everything.”
“Aren’t you going to tell me who you are?”
“I said it was not important right at the moment. Do not ask again.” And with that final word, the eyes and the voice vanished from the room.
Aleister knew his new “master” had left, he felt as if a weight had been lifted from his chest, like being suffocated. Clearly, the disembodied voice was a very power individual.
He shook off the feeling and quickly went to the refrigerator to fetch his newest acquisition. He had tarried too long, and he would not have time to do the binding ritual at the mortuary as he had intended.
He pulled a small vial with bluish liquid, iridescent in the moonlight and walked to the refrigerator. On a gurney lay his freshly embalmed prize. As much as he wished to stay and admire the workmanship, one of his other puppets, standing guard in the copse of trees outside, alerted him to a potential threat. A police cruiser was sitting in the parking lot, presumably using a radar gun.
After the binding ritual, he was able to see through the eyes of any of his puppets, as well as direct them with his mind, his Weirdness. He could not only command them individually, but as a unit. He had them stationed all over the small town. They appeared as homeless people to everyone else, immune to hunger, loneliness and the elements. But tomorrow he would gather them together, for he knew that he would be leaving Pennsylvania the next night.
Aleister opened the corpses mouth and poured the contents of the vial within. It was only a few seconds before it’s eyes opened, and it sat bolt upright, looking at Aleister blankly.
“Come,” Aleister commanded, the residual intelligence of the Dreamer that had resided in the corpse previously, allowed it to understand.
The corpse followed Aleister to the back door, stumbling a few times, but quickly becoming accustom to its new state of existence. A hollow shell which would be filled with Aleister’s will.
As they stepped out into the moonlight, Aleister beckoned the other puppet to follow and the three vanished into the woods behind the mortuary. He would return to his home, perform the ritual, and be reunited with his new, dark master. The end.
Well! I hope you enjoyed this first installment in the Tales from the Weird! We have so many weird tales to tell over the next few months.
Until next time