Egg Rock Isle

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: May 21, 2019

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Submitted: May 21, 2019

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Plutarch’s brow furrowed over a spineless, tattered book.  Its yellowing pages had yielded no new information the sun’s whole day.  This was one of dusty thousands on shelves taking up the entire wall opposite him.  He had carefully and patiently analyzed these and other texts for the past ten years.  He was close.

His desk was littered with pieces of parchment, open-faced books he was using for reference, a flickering candle, a half-burnt sage stick in a metal bowl and a few mugs empty save for the wet tea bags at the bottom.  Plutarch placed his thumb and forefinger under his glasses and rubbed the bridge of his nose. 

Nearby, the clock tower struck seven. The bells were out of tune.

Outside the window he could see the blue limbo of dusk and dark clouds rolling in. In the distance a rumble tore the silence and died away slowly.  He could hear footsteps on the stairs leading up to his office, boots on the wood.

You’re exactly how I left you,” Winston acknowledged, striding in.

Plutarch said nothing and continued reading. Plutarch had leonine features, sunken eyes, long dark hair he wore tied back and an ease of movement that belied his cold expression. He had the eyes of a man who had seen more than spoken.

You need a drink my glued friend,” Winston declared, setting down on the desk two short, chilled tumblers and uncorking a bottle of whiskey it seemed he had already started in on. “Working on what should be a day off is a human quality I’ll never understand,” he continued, raising his drink and nonchalantly placing the other between Plutarch’s face and the book.

Plutarch was finally forced to lift his gaze from the parchment and took the drink. Their glasses met with a clink. Winston took his drink in one tip as Plutarch poured the whiskey into one of the empty mugs and put the cool glass to his temple. Something Winston said didn’t quite sit right.  

They heard a light staccato on the stairs. His research assistant, Clara, walked in and placed a couple of journals on his desk, her scarf catching fire on the candle at the edge of the desk.

I found you a Crowley and a Blavatsky ,” she said simply.

You’d think he’d be sick of the past after having written so much about it,” Winston said.

Plutarch finally broke his silence. “I’ve learned much from the past,” he said. His face did not betray the fact that his heart was beating faster at the prospect of new, and pertinent information.

Info-monger,” Winston blurted. Plutarch was used to his colorful choice of words and ignored him. “Not everyone does,” he continued, whipping off Clara’s scarf  to the floor and stamping out the fire.  It now had two scorch-marks.  He returned it to her and went back to the books.  He worked wearing an air of controlled urgency.

They’ve grounded all flights. They’re calling this electrical storm the first of its kind,” announced Clara.

Novelty and buzz,” countered Winston as he took Plutarch’s mug and downed the untouched whiskey tea.  His raised eyebrows showed their delight in this new beverage. He poured another drink into the same mug and began dipping the teabag.

Plutarch’s eyes darted left to right, over and over, each time lower and lower, then to the next page, and on and on. He consumed Crowley’s journal in an hour and moved on to Blavatsky’s. He found what he was looking for.  A mouthful of a rare event.

It’s the Super Blue Blood Moon. I have to be brief,” he said in a tone of controlled urgency.

The common version of history,” he began, “says Nicola Tesla died alone and in debt in a hotel at age 86.  I believe he loved a pigeon, I believe he had revelatory visions, but I do not believe he died until much later.”

“During my research into fringe physicists and inventors, I serendipitously came across two journals. It’s naked luck that these two physicists kept a journal and that both would end up at the same bar, on separate occasions, and meet the same strange character. Both referred to the fact that he had a foreign accent, was extremely and intimidatingly knowledgeable, and drunkenly confessed his love for… a pigeon.  These journals were dated after Tesla’s “death”.

I turned the world inside out and racked up quite a few frequent flyer miles until I finally came across Tesla’s journal in an antiques shop in Cicero, Illinois, in the States.  My excitement at recognizing his handwriting quickly turned into disappointment.  I would have to wait to know its contents.

You’d be close to the truth in calling me a cryptographer. I became a very competent albeit green one over the course of a year’s study. Tesla certainly and secretively was one, though you won’t find that in any biography. The whole journal was written in code. I spent months deciphering it. I learned that he was more of an occultist than he let on. Something happened a few days before his “death” at 86. This event left him literally rejuvenated and set him on a path of deep research and work.  Realizing few would recognize him as his younger self, he faked his own death.  He was inspired to continue his work on an old theory.

He paused and closed his eyes.

Here is where I started to question Tesla’s sanity and, by extension, my own. He believed he found part of the true book of Thoth and learned to understand the mind of the gods. He claimed to have learned the ability to use his body as a generator to create electrical energy not from mechanical energy but out of thin air.That the fundamental forces all have a unifying and underlying quality that we cannot directly detect.  He was right.  This underlying, fundamental “grid” is what Tesla was tapping into.  This was not the end but the means.

In some circles Tesla was known as an Atlantean reincarnation. He was secretly obsessed with whatever bits of information he could find about the famed metropolis.

Info-monger,” Winston blurted into the mug with a tenth helping of whiskey-tea, just before tipping it, pinky raised, into his mouth. The fact that the alcohol was not affecting him was lost on Plutarch and Clara. 

But he found more than he could have ever fathomed.  The Energy was the means. The Egg of Creation, a key to an inter-dimensional gate, the end.  He died at 96 still searching for it. He wasn’t the only one interested in the Egg.

Blavatsky has now told us the Egg of Creation can only be used every Super Blue Blood Moon. The next one is tomorrow morning. We need to figure out where the Egg and the gate are and hope we have enough time to get to it.

There is an old myth about an island where rocks float midair,” Clara began. It’s rumored the rocks are ferromagnetic.  I’m sure you’ve heard of it.”

Egg Rock Isle,” they all said simultaneously.

We leave now,” declared Plutarch.

There was a loud slam.  Plutarch and Clara were shocked to see a lifeless pile of clothes where Winston had been sitting. They heard the swift, unexpected thud of heavy hooves on the wood of the stairs. Looking out the window, they could see a dark, tall, hairy mass sprinting towards the marina.

 

******

Plutarch and Clara raced to the marina and saw that his boat, the Ithaka, was out of the question. A large gash to the side of it was letting water in by the bucket.

This one,” Plutarch quickly decided, striding up the ramp on the boat adjacent his and unmooring it.

The Slow and Steady?” Clara asked, raising one eyebrow and pointing at the boat’s lettering.

Wins the race,” he replied calmly.

******

What happened to Winston?” Clara asked, wiping the wet hair out of her face as lightning lit it up.

In his research Tesla found that he wasn’t the only one looking for the Egg. There was an inter-dimensional entity after it. His last entry was written in shaky handwriting and its content leads me to believe that it was this entity that killed him. That is not Winston.”

Then what is it?”

******

They had been cutting swiftly through the water for hours and could see a blurry shape breaking the horizon in the distance. Waves lapped the sides of the boat and made them feel, for a split second, as though this was simply a weekend getaway and there were edible eggs, baked beans, grilled tomatoes, fried toast and hot tea waiting for them on the island. 

Their reverie was short.

A gigantic black mass suddenly broke the surface of the water and emitted a loud screech that sounded like pistons fighting rust. Plutarch glanced at the harpoon gun mounted on the gunwale.

Lighting flashed and, for a brief moment, they saw the terrible monster’s scaly black wings and small white eyes. Looking more closely they could see it did not have scales. It was made of green scarabs the size of Clara’s head scurrying over and under each other. Thick hoses came out of his joints and wrapped around his imposing mass. Gripping a metal cleat with a talon, the creature flapped its enormous wings; it was trying to capsize the boat.

Plutarch took the harpoon gun off the mount. With a loud squelch, the harpoon pierced one of its eyes and sprayed Clara with blood and a thick yellow liquid. The pistons stopped fighting and the great thing fell apart and the scarabs sank back into the dark water.  Clara looked at him in an unlikely mixture of disbelief and relief. “Better its blood on you than yours.”

Plutarch kept his gaze on the water.  Floating on it was a lifesaver from what must've been the other boat. He remembered that, as he was taking aim, he had noticed one of the scarabs was injured.

******

Egg Rock Isle was no bigger in area than an American football field. It really didn’t look like the kind of island that harbors the end of the universe or the beginning of the next one, but the lone egg-shaped stone in the center betrayed that it was.  As they approached, the wind started to pick up and the waters to stir.

They had gotten there first. They hurriedly jumped out of the boat.

As soon as Plutarch set foot on land, rocks on the isle began to float midair and the skies turned black and the weather suddenly hostile.

We’ll reach peak stage in about a minute, it’s going to be close!” he yelled over the deafening thunder as they ran up the beach. There was loud, wet violence all around them. Salty spray whipped their faces and the sea roared in tortured heights.  Earth had swallowed most of the Sun’s light so that the Moon now shone a rust red-orange.

When the lightning strikes, I will redirect it to the Egg and after, lose consciousness. On the back of the stone there is a recessed reset button. Yes, like on modern day electronics,” he added, sensing disbelief.  “Push the reset button and when you see it blinking green, you have 30 seconds to turn the egg 45 degrees clockwise. The gate will open. Drag me into the gate with you. Trust me.”

Plutarch had been searching for this ten long, arduous years.  His sweaty, furrowed brow gave away concern but the rest of him was pure focus.  He had his hands out in front of him with his palms in and a thumb and forefinger almost touching in each hand. Clara thought he looked comical, like he was holding a paper in front of him.  Her opinion quickly changed as she saw electrical discharges on the tip of his fingers.

Step back!” he yelled in a strangely controlled manner. Clara’s eyes widened in shocked understanding as she stepped back.

Out of the darkness slowly walked the entity. He wore no clothes, had powerful, sinewy legs thicker than Plutarch’s torso, immense boulder-like shoulders that leveraged bone-crushing arms as thick as Clara.  He had an over-sized nose and a square jaw and three sharp horns crowning his head.  His long tongue hung out dripping frothy spit and he pulled back his upper lip to bare black fangs. He took two long strides toward Plutarch.

At that moment, a thick vein of lightning crashed down into Plutarch.  A luminous energy enveloped his body and he began to vibrate and blur. He pointed one palm at the Egg and the other at the entity. The entity's eyes turned white and he collapsed into a point of light which expanded before fading into oblivion.

With his last ounce of will-power, he directed the last of the energy into the Egg then collapsed to the ground. Clara took out the bobby pin in her hair, unbent it and stuck it into the reset cavity.  It began to blink green and she turned it forty five degrees clockwise. An opening revealed itself on the ground where the Egg used to be. She slung one of Plutarch’s arms around her shoulder. Clara took one last look at the stars and the ocean, not sure when or if she would see them again. The hole closed up after them.

 


© Copyright 2019 Javier Almanza. All rights reserved.

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