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posted on Oct, 29 2014 @ 02:30 PM

Joshua let out an exasperated sigh. His eyes darting back and forth between the stack of papers on the desk in front of him , and the lawyer sitting across the desk, impatiently drumming his fingers and pinching up his face in mock disgust of the documents contents.
" Why me?" Joshua whined, as if he was a small boy again, trying to get out of trouble.The larger man across from him, loudly cleared his throat, and reshuffled the papers.
" Your grandfather was, shall we say, specific?"
Joshua shifted in his chair, as if he changed positions physically it would change the outcome of this meeting.
" Suppose I refuse to do it?" He blurted, staring directly into the lawyer's eyes. " What becomes of all of it then?"
The solicitor gave the briefest of smiles, then inhaled long and loud before speaking,
" Should you refuse to comply with the will, his estate shall be divided evenly among his chosen charity-and myself."
"You!"Joshua was up out of the chair now, almost tipping it over as he stood. " YOU and CHARITY? And I will receive nothing? "
The lawyer shook his head. " Nothing".
Considering his sad state of economic affairs, Joshua was left with no choice. " FINE!" He agreed through clenched teeth.
The lawyer opened a small top drawer in his desk and pulled out a manila envelope.He threw the contents across the desk at the young hot head,snorting his contempt.
"I'll be in touch." Joshua spoke flatly as he grabbed the keys and made for the door. Grumbling to himself as he passed the receptionist, and lost in thought as he walked out into the street, the chilly autumn wind that hit him matched his mood.As did the cold October raindrops as they began to fall.
Luckily he hadn't parked far away from the office, and before the sky opened up a torrential down pour, he was safely inside his car. Furious still, he smashed his fist on the dashboard...cursing his luck, cursing the lawyer, and cursing his grandfather.He hadn't planned to be here more than a day. An inheritance, he was told, of some monetary value. "Great!"He spoke aloud. "Drive across the country, pick up a cheque, good to go! NOPE. The conniving old bastard. Leave a mess for me to clean up, or I get nothing. NOTHING!" He punched the dashboard again, this time a bit too hard.The pain of his frustration splintered across his palm and tingled like hot needles up his wrist.
Starting the engine, he pulled out into traffic,and mulled over his assigned task as he drove.
His grandfather had been an eccentric man. Not necessarily disliked, but not much liked either.Although he had lived his entire life in the same town, not many could say they knew him well. Not many in fact, could say much about him at all. He was not one to socialize, nor even speak much.One would wonder how he ever thrived as a small business owner without so much as a friendly greeting to his customers.Suppose it was simply because he preferred the written word to the spoken, and those who frequented his book shop either accepted his eccentricities and did not engage him, or simply didn't return. If anyone thought him rude, surely he had no care.
Joshua had grown up far away from this small town and it's judgements.His grandmother left his grandfather and raised his mother, and eventually himself,clear across the country from this place. It was as if she needed to put as much space, as much land, as much time and distance between them as she possibly could.Why- Joshua never knew. It wasn't spoken of.Nor did he really care.Yet obviously his grandfather somehow knew of them, their whereabouts, enough to will everything to him upon his death.With his grandmother gone, and his mother passing at an age too young,he was the only one left to deal with this " mess" his grandfather left behind.
Double checking the address on the envelope given to him at the office,he parked his car in front of an old delapidated building.
Glancing out his window through the pouring rain, he could see the broken bricks on the sidewalk, and the spaces on the wall where they once were whole.The faded peeling paint gave away the age of the store to appear much older than it was supposed to be. Joshua doubted if the exterior had ever been renovated or maintained in the last 50 years. The display window grinned at him with a half moon crack from frame to frame that had been hastily taped over by god knew whom, and the heavy dust covering the inside only gave him the appearance of a silhouette of a display beyond the broken glass.
"Why me..." He whispered again.
Fumbling in his pocket for the keys, he chuckled at the thought of the door being locked in the first place.Surely nothing left in here is valuable enough to steal. He frowned then, as mentally a couple of zeros disappeared from his perceived inheritance.
As he opened the door,a cloud of dust filled the air,and the scent of mildew and old books filled his nostrils to a level of nausea.Surprisingly, aside from the dust, the store was neat. Very neat and very organized. Even more shocking was that each aisle was specifically categorized, not just by genre,but alphabetically, like a library.Likely so that customers could easily find what they were looking for without asking for help. The lawyer's words earlier played again in his mind.
" The books and contents of the store and apartment are to be sorted, boxed, and liquidated by YOU and YOU ALONE.The building is in need of repair, but it may have historical value due to it's age. I can only assume this was your grandfather's way of you getting to know him,because you were never given the chance."
" I never wanted the chance." Joshua spoke as if his grandfather were still there in the store with him. sitting behind the cash register and awaiting him to make a purchase.
He took a walk to the back of the store and into the office. It's appearance just as neat and organized, with everything placed neatly like a painting from some by gone year, and the artist wanting to capture it all in it's state of perfection. Such a contradiction he thought, to keep everything so tidy in a building that is crumbling around it.
Pulling the keys from his pocket again,he reached for the lock of a door in the back corner. It swung open with a loud groan and gave way to a long staircase leading to the upper floor, where his grandfather had spent his years living alone till the end. The smell of old wood and lemon polish was a pleasant switch from the dank musty smell of the shop. Odd that he seemed to keep the upstairs cleaner, he mused.Perhaps in his advanced age, the upkeep was just too much.
A sliver of sunlight broke through the heavy drapes in the apartment, and Joshua realized the rain had stopped, and that perked up his mood somewhat. Something about a grey rainy day just makes a task more heavy, and sunlight seem to lift the weight.
The small rooms were sparsely furnished,and as everything had been downstairs, carefully placed, so it was here as well.If nothing else, nobody could accuse his grandfather of being slovenly, or disorderly.This at least, would make Joshua's task easier.
He scanned the rooms at the decor. the sun faded drapes and the aged plaster walls.The lack of art, or photographs struck him. Hung on the walls in frames, in place of beloved family photos or brilliant landscapes, were book covers, and torn pages with highlighted passages.
(Continued Next Post)

posted on Oct, 29 2014 @ 02:33 PM
It was clear now, where the passion had been in this man for the better of his 75 years, and it was no wonder his wife left him to it.He obviously found more solace in his words and his books than he ever found in her.He remembered his grandmother as being very talkative, and social, and wondered how she and his grandfather had ever managed a proper courtship, let alone a marriage.Likely it crumbled quickly,as did this building holding it within.
After his brief survey, he concluded that unless there was antique value in anything here, monetarily it was worth next to nothing.What was the point to all this then? Box up this worthless junk in the hopes of gaining back at least what he spent to travel here, and perhaps be able to sell the property before it falls down?For a moment he contemplated walking away. Let the lawyer have it, deal with it.He ran his fingers through his hair, and sighed deeply. He needed a drink. there had to be a bar in this town and he was going to find it.

Turning to leave the apartment, he noticed a small shelf above the door, upon which sat a glass case with a small book inside. He reached up and carefully lifted it off it's resting place.The glass was as clean as new, and the book inside appeared to be leather bound and gold embossed.The title was " Darker Skies", yet there was no author mentioned on the cover.Perhaps this little gem was worth something. Tucking it under his arm,he left and locked the door behind him.He walked down the long lemon scented staircase and back through the dusty store.The sidewalk had a large puddle that reflected the sun now shining above, as he turned and re-locked the the door to the store.Not noticing as he did so, that the "CLOSED" sign snapped it's chain and fell to the floor.
Lifting the glass box to the sunlight, he more carefully examined it's contents.The book appeared flawless, as if it had never been read; the covers never opened,the pages never dog-eared to save one's place. Perhaps it was a rare first edition? he thought. Carefully placing it on the passenger seat, he drove around looking for a bar, and a motel.

The Skyline Motel was aptly named- in that it offered a view of the sky (through a dirty window and faded curtains) and that it's 10 rooms were all in a line adjacent to the street. Nothing more could be said. Being that it was the only motel within a 30 mile radius, Joshua cared not for it's lack of luxury. He staggered in the door clumsily as the sun was setting,the alcohol level in his bloodstream taking precedence over his coordination.The bedspread was stained in a few places, but the bed was comfortable enough, and the combination of whiskey and the days events soon overcame him.
He knew not how long he had slept, but it was still dark when he opened his eyes. The digital clock on the night table flashed 12:00, over and over. He rolled over, hoping to drift off again, but he needed to pee, and his mouth was dry and pasty. He roused, used the washroom and peered out the window at the street. He needed a drink, non-alcoholic. Likely everything in town was closed at this hour and he didn't remember seeing any vending machines. Remembering the bottle of water stashed under the seat in his car,he strode out of the lighted room and into the dark night.
The wind was picking up again, and the lack of visible stars made it seem twice as dark, despite the full moon. Luckily there was one street light shining overhead.As he grabbed the water bottle, he spotted the glass case still resting perfectly where he had placed it. He reached over and grabbed that as well, carrying both inside and placing the water on the night table, the case on the bed, respectively.
He opened the bottle, drank it's entire contents with barely a breath between swallows. Then he turned his attention to the book.
It barely moved inside it's glass shell as he flipped it over and over, searching for an opening. The case being a perfect fit for even such a small book. It's size reminded him of the first small bible his grandmother had given him, that fit easily inside his jacket pocket every Sunday. Not much more than the length of his hand at the time...
Admittedly, he knew nothing of books, or why one would be encased as such. But his curiosity was definitely piqued at the prospect that this may be worth something. Truthfully,he was anxious to know what it was about and who wrote it. Perhaps it was written by an already famous author, and worth a fortune. The glass was sealed all around, and no visible way to open it, that he could see. He stared at it for awhile, thinking...
Perhaps it was the remaining alcohol in his body that corrupted his common sense. Or maybe it truly was a case of mere curiosity...
Jumping off the bed he made for the door, only stopping at the entrance as he stepped outside onto the pavement. Lifting the case high over his head,he let it fall- blinking only once in that fraction of a second as the street light glinted off it's corner and made the gold embossed title luminescent before it hit the ground at his feet and shards scattered everywhere.Joshua carefully lifted the book free of it's broken glass tomb, and carried it back inside his room.
Outside, the moon disappeared behind a shroud of dark clouds. Thunder rumbled in the distance, and the street light, flickered, buzzed and died.
"Ouch!" Joshua gasped as a long shard of glass punctured his fingertip,and a drop of blood dripped onto the spine of the book. " Damn it! " He swore.
He rushed into the washroom, grabbing tissue to clean up both his finger and the book. A flash of lightening startled him from the window, and it rattled as a howling wind brought in a new storm.
Joshua shivered. He knew not why, but suddenly he felt a chill. So much so that goosebumps appeared on his arms.Did this dingy old motel have a draft he hadn't noticed till the wind picked up? Lovely. He walked across the room and cranked up the thermostat.
Sitting back on the bed,he ran his fingers over the book's cover, over the letters of the title, and slowly, carefully...he opened it.
Though the cover was flawless and pristine, the pages inside seemed much older. They were yellowed and discolored, stained even. The first three pages were blank, but the fourth contained a handwritten message.

A Dire Warning-
To whomever holds this book unbound,
and yields it's pages to open air,
and reads of it's passages under darkness.
Ye shall find yourself bound to it, as others before you,
between it's covers, your essense turned to words to tempt others.
Nothing of ye shall remain.

Joshua chuckled to himself. Somebody's idea of a joke to keep others from reading it? Was it a diary perhaps? But whose? Someone named Mysteria?
As he subsequently turned the page, there was an index. A list, of 15 different titles. So it was not a diary, but a book of short stories. The printing was quite small, but Joshua could read it.
The List went on:

(Continued Next Post)

posted on Oct, 29 2014 @ 02:34 PM
Another flash of lightning and rumble of thunder overhead, but he paid no attention to the rattling window. His eyes were glued to the book. The words flowed across the page,mesmerizing him by the old world script, directing his brain to open his mouth and use his voice to whisper the titles aloud. They were all numbered, but there was one number , 16, with no title beside it. It was blank.
Must have been a typo he thought, as he flipped to the back of the book, through stories 13-15, and settled on the last page of writing he could find. Beyond it were at least a dozen blank pages.Perhaps a story that was meant to be there, but omitted. Maybe that was what made the book valuable. A serious misprint!
Although as unique as that may make this book, he was still stumped at the glass case. Perhaps it was only to keep it from damage, but didn't people use plastic for that? Not a specially designed glass case that can never be opened? His grandfather's love of books was evident, but why have a book in your possession that you could never read or enjoy?
Joshua's mind was boggled. In the daylight he would have to make some phone calls. In this day of EReaders, he doubted highly this book was worth much. He didn't feel bad at all about breaking the glass, but he was definitely starting to feel annoyed again at having to go through all his grandfather's belongings for what appeared to be a meager inheritance at best.
Flicking through the pages, he settled on reading story number 7. Perhaps it would make him sleepy again, despite the brewing storm outside. He propped himself up on the pillows, and began to read:
Running again.So tired,so out of breath. They are coming.In the moonlight he can see figures,behind the branches,just in the corner of his eye.He turns fully around,and sees nothing.Just trees,branches scraping against one another,leaves falling all around from the chilly autumn wind.He knows they are there.Watching him.Waiting.He wants to move,but fear is a paralyzing force.Where to go...? He looks around.No lights,no signs of civilization.Just dense forest...and them, wherever they are.Dark shadows stalking him like prey.
Heart pounding,chest heaving with every breath,it takes all his willpower to make his legs move, to anywhere,away,where they cannot get him.
But it starts again.The whispers,the voices like dialing through radio stations,barely audible at first,so many of them garbled inside his head.He covers his ears in a feeble attempt to block them out,even though he knows it did not work before,and it will not work now.
"LEAVE ME ALONE!" he screams in vain at the phantoms. "What do you want from me? PLEASE, JUST LEAVE ME ALONE!"
Running again, he stumbles and falls.Pain shooting through his wrist.The voices are louder now...too loud...screaming inside his head....

Joshua's eyes are wide as he continues reading the first page.Fully enraptured by the words as he barely breathes at some parts of the story, and wildly exhales catching his breath at others....
Before he is aware of any time passing at all, he is at story number 13...and his eyes are beginning to get heavy. The weight of exhaustion presses on his chest, and his arms are numb from holding the book. Just a few more paragraphs, he promises himself...and I will put the book down:
The bedroom began to glow, the walls, the ceiling, the floor, the furniture. It spread across from the
window to the bed, where Ruben's eyelids began to flicker, and his breathing became somewhat erratic.
His eyes opened, and he coughed. As he did so, his cellphone on the nightstand began to ring.
He weakly reached over to answer it. Coughing more, and trying to take in enough air, he answered
a gasping "Hello.."
"I love you baby.."
"You take my breath away.'.
"I love you baby"...
"You take my breath away.."
Ruben felt his throat closing, no air getting to his lungs at all, and soon his eyes closed to the final blackness.

Joshua's eyes closed as well, as he drifted off to sleep, and the book slid out of his open hand to the floor, wide open to a blank page after story number 15.
Outside the Skyline hotel,the wind blew up the leaves in a tornado , swirling them into the corner of the parking lot, empty but for Joshua's car.The thunder no longer rumbled low in the distance, but cracked overhead with the flashes of lightning brighter than midday. The street was barren of anyone, or anything...
Inside the motel room, Joshua snored quietly. His foot twitched. Then the other. A soft moan escaped his lips, then a scream, as his legs began to move his feet to run, even though he was still horizontal on the bed, with his eyes closed. He was asleep, yet hysterically running, running to get away...screaming for his life.
The wind blew open the door to his room, and the swirling leaves surrounded his bed, and the pages of the book flipped madly , back and forth from one story to another.
He was still flailing on the bed, still in the midst of the nightmare, when he knocked the telephone off the night table. The dial tone beeped 13 times, and then the operator in her monotone voice said... " I love you baby, you take my breath away. I love you baby, You take my breath away."
Joshua began to choke instead of scream. His eyes were still closed, his body still thrashing on the bed, even more so now as he gasped for air.
The storm raged outside, blowing her hair as she glided across the ground towards the motel. It had been such a long time for her, and she had such fury to unleash. The storm filled her with passion and in turn it would also give her release.
As she entered the room, Joshua had stopped thrashing. He was still, in a fetal position, eyes wide open, staring at her. She barely took two steps before she was hovering over him. Her scent filled his nostrils. It was earth, and mold and paper and dust. It was wood and decaying flesh. It was a thousand rotting carcasses left out in the sun. He could not move. He could not breathe. He could only stare wide eyed as she lowered herself down to his face till her mouth brushed up against his lips...
" MINE TO TAKE" she said...

*** To the reader: The excerpts of stories all quoted in red, are stories I myself wrote and posted here on ATS as well as my blog, The Darker Skies. To read the stories please follow the links.
Darkness Hold Me
When The Sun Goes Down
Mine To Take

posted on Oct, 29 2014 @ 09:46 PM
I don't know how you do it every halloween !!!

That was like you wrote your own experience, and changed it to a guy! Did your grandpa leave you a spooky book!

posted on Oct, 29 2014 @ 10:46 PM
a reply to: AccessDenied

Loved it!

posted on Oct, 30 2014 @ 12:44 AM
a reply to: AccessDenied
Good story - Well written - Scenery, mood, movement

So - what - did the Grandpa hate the Grandson?

Why would he do that?

Trying to get at the Daughter (and posthumously - his Ex-Wife)?

Seemed that this might/would have been in The Days of EBay...
...That 'unknown book-- fit & set --in a glass case'...might have pulled an excellent Bid.

Seems apparent that the Grandpa intended for the Grandson to...choose.
Did the Grandpa consider the possible reward...of choosing wisely (as the Grandpa must have)...?
Or was this an intentional, will & his character & nature?

Again - Good story!
Leaves me wondering at many possibilities...

edit on 10/30/2014 by WanDash because: expansion

posted on Oct, 30 2014 @ 05:08 AM

originally posted by: zazzafrazz
I don't know how you do it every halloween !!!

That was like you wrote your own experience, and changed it to a guy! Did your grandpa leave you a spooky book!

This was an idea that had been pitched to me by my better half,as a way of using all my stories to create one storyline. Unique in my mind,and I like coming up with something new every year. My grandpa, was himself an avid reader and from the time I could read his gifts to me were readers digest subscriptions every year. I devoured them,and still do. Thanks for the opportunity to get the creative juices flowing again.

posted on Oct, 30 2014 @ 05:10 AM

originally posted by: Jennyfrenzy
a reply to: AccessDenied

Loved it!

Thank you Jenny!

posted on Oct, 30 2014 @ 05:13 AM
a reply to: WanDash

Most definitely the story was written more as a judgement of Joshua's character,than his grandfather. It might be easy to read into the grandfathers intentions as nefarious,but in the end it was Joshua's choice that was his own undoing. Curiosity killed the cat...

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