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THE CHOSEN Part Two: IN THE PADDED BELLY OF A CONCRETE WHALE Chapter 24

“What should we do about everybody else?” Brian asked.

Dave ran a hand through his long hair, scratched at his beard. “Gimme a sec,” he said. He walked out into the hallway, checked the nurses and Archie for himself.

“See,” Brian said. “Sound asleep.”

“Not just asleep,” Dave replied. “They’re entranced.”

“Huh?” Brian said. “You mean that thing that attacked me, it put everybody into a trance?”

“Tell me,” Dave said. “Between the attack and waking up in the snow, do you remember anything else? Anything at all?”

“Well, there was this weird light.”

Dave looked at him.

“I thought it was that light everybody sees. You know, when you die? Like I said, I thought I was worm food.”

Dave hurried to Brian’s room, stopping in the doorway.

“Ho-lee shit!” he said.

“So whatever attacked me put everybody to sleep?” Brian asked again.

“No,” Dave said. “I suspect that you did.”

“Me? How?”

“How’d you make it snow indoors? You tell me.”

“You think I caused the snow?” Brian said.

“And put everybody in a trance,” Dave said. “Except me.”

“I did not!”

“Not on purpose, maybe,” Dave said. “My guess is, it was a side-effect of whatever you did to save yourself.”

“But I didn’t do anything,” Brian said.

“You must have,” Dave said.

“That thing did it,” Brian said.

Dave stepped back from the room, rubbing his arms. “Cold in here.”

“Dave,” Brian said. “It had to be that thing, right?”

“Can Beelzebub cast out demons in Beelzebub’s name?” Dave asked. “That’s from the New Testament. Paraphrased.”

“What do you mean?”

“What I mean,” Dave said. “Is that negative spiritual energy—evil, if you will—doesn’t create positive results.”

“This is positive?”

“More than that,” Dave said. “Cleansing.”

“But everybody’s asleep,” Brian said.

“Did you ever notice that big tracheotomy scar that Archie had?” Dave asked.

“Huh? Oh, yeah, I think so. Why?”

“Because he doesn’t have it anymore.”

“What?”

“Look for yourself,” Dave said.

“Dave, you’re starting to freak me out.”

Dave took a long breath. “Okay, here’s what I’m thinking. For starters, I still say we need to get you out of here. You’re still in danger, or at least you will be. And you’ll be a fish swimming in a bucket in this place.”

“But what about everybody else?” Brian said.

Dave shrugged. “My guess is they’ll wake up, sooner or later. Probably sooner.”

“They’ll be okay?”

“Oh, yeah. Positive energy brings positive results, right?”

“But why would I…?” Brian stopped, began again. “If I did, why did I…? I mean, how?”

“Well,” Dave said. “You were able to wake me up when you couldn’t wake up anybody else. And you’ve made it pretty easy for the two of us to just waltz out of here. I guess we’ll just have to chalk it up to your subconscious.”

“Dave,” Brian said. “This is too much. I can’t deal with it, not what you’re saying.”

“But your subconscious can, it seems,” Dave said, smiling. “Now let’s make like a couple of atoms and split.”

By TheCheezman

WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS, specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced, and directed (and occasionally acted in) over two dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and True Crime genres. He obtained a doctorate in Occult Studies from Miskatonic University and is an active paranormal investigator. Is frequently told he resembles Anton Lavey. And Ming the Merciless.

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