Hi everyone, waiting for Ex-hurricane Ophelia to hit at the moment. I’m expecting everything to be fine but just wanted to write a quick note in case we lose power or something like that for a prolonged period. I should be back on Wednesday with another short story, but if I’m not it’s because of Ophelia and should be back on Friday at the very latest.
Hope everyone is safe!
Jacob kept his head down and walked past the Surveyors, most people did the same. Even now after all these years the pitted scarred tissue where their eyes should be made him uncomfortable. They didn’t smile as he passed, but none of them made a move to stop him and really that was the best he could hope for. The Church of the Divine Sight was still considered a fringe religion despite the steadily growing popularity Jacob himself hadn’t been to any of their services yet but as more time passed he felt the need to go. Not for any religious reasons but because he could see the fervour with which people believed and it frightened him. People were dissapearing from the streets, unbelievers mostly and usually they had last been seen with some of the priests. People would dismiss the rumours almost as soon as you brought them up, their eyes darting around the room quickly to be sure that there was no one else listening. The priests wore long black robes and had shaved heads, though he knew little about them he assumed they had taken some kind of vow against pleasures of the world. All of the priests bore shaved heads, men and women alike for there was no distinction made between the two, and all had gaunt faces, he suspected that underneath the robe their bodies would just be skin and bones. Jacob jumped as he felt a firm hand on his shoulder, “Excuse me sir, can you come with me for a moment?” He recognised the harsh raspy voice that all the priests seemed to have, he turned slowly, already the crowd was parting around them, everyone was looking away. “I’m sorry, I’m in a bit of a rush at the moment.”
The priest smiled, “Don’t worry, we won’t keep you long.” The priests grip tightened on his shoulder, it was just on the edge of painful.
“I’m really sorry but I’m afraid I can’t.”
The grip tightened again, “I insist.” Two priests emerged from the crowd and stood either side of him, both grabbed his upper arms, their fingers squeezing into his flesh, Jacob knew he would have severe bruises their tomorrow, if he lived to see tomorrow.
The priests had practically dragged him from the street and into an office building of all things. They brought him through a pair of large double doors, past a row of empty reception desks and into an elevator. As the doors closed Jacob found his voice and outrage, “You can’t do this to me! I didn’t do anything wrong or illegal, this is kidnapping! This is illegal!” He ripped himself free from their grip and started pressing buttons on the panel but they didn’t seem to work. He turned around and faced the priests, they didn’t say anything, their faces were passive. “Let me out of here right now. I swear to god if you don’t I’ll hurt you.” he took a step forward, raising his fists, one of the priest’s hands darted out and caught him in the jaw. Jacob stumbled backwards, bright pain blossoming along his chin, he felt a little disorientated and already his jaw was starting to swell, “You can’t do this!” The elevator stopped and the doors opened behind him, one of the priests, the same one that hit him, shoved him backwards and through the elevator doors. Jacob stumbled and fell to the ground, as he watched the elevator doors closed and the priests disappeared from view. As he stood up two men entered the small waiting room. The room itself had wall to wall white carpeting, the walls were painted white with large strange symbols painted across them in black. These men weren’t priests, they wore dark suits and had matching haircuts, they looked like FBI agents from a movie. The men stood a few feet from him, their hands clasped in front of them. “We are sorry for the way you were brought here. You have been chosen.”
Jacob rubbed at his jaw, “I was kidnapped off the streets and assaulted and you expect me to go along with what ever bullshit you’re selling? No, you’re letting me out of here right now.”
“I’m afraid we cannot do that. You have been chosen.”
“I don’t care, let me out of here right now, this is illegal, you can’t do this.”
One of the men smiled slightly, “You can cooperate or not, though it will be easier for you if you do.”
The other of the men reached into his suit jacket and pulled out a syringe, he uncapped it.
“What are you going to do to me?”
“We’re going to show you the truth. The ultimate truth.”
Jacob took a step back, “I don’t want to see it.”
“You don’t have a choice.”
The man holding the syringe nodded, the other man tackled him before he could react. He felt the sharp sting of the needle then a second later everything went black.
When Jacob woke he was strapped into a chair and unable to move, the men were standing either side of him, just at the edge of his vision. On of the men stepped forward and pressed buttons on a panel to the left of him, he couldn’t quite see what was happening. He heard the sound of gears and then a helmet was being lowered over his head. A bright light appeared, sudden and blinding, Jacob yelled and closed his eyes, the light got bright and brighter, his eyelids doing nothing to protect his eyes. Colours started appearing in the white, large swirls, his screams grew louder and the lights started to shift. Blood ran from beneath the helmet and coated his cheeks like tears. Jacobs body shook and jerked in the chair as he screamed. After a few minutes the helmet began to rise, Jacobs face was gaunt and pale, there was scarred, twisted flesh where his eyes had been, his hair fell about him on the ground. One of the men checked his pulse while the other unstrapped him. “Welcome Brother Jacob.”
Jacob looked around the room, he could see everything clearly, the two men beside him weren’t men at all, they hulked and towered over him, crouching to fit in the room. He nodded at them both, then spoke, his voice raspy and hoarse, “Thank you for opening my eyes.”