Sunday, September 27, 2009
Haunted By The Ghost Of Carrie Nation
There was no respite; the vivid, violent dreams that ruthlessly tormented her slumber had now relentlessly stretched the abyss, to envelop her during her day. At first it was only night sweats and feverish dreams that left her with a lingering unease. Then came the hatchet, damn that awful thing. She started having a stiff belt before bed but that only made it worse. The dreams were more violent with men running and screaming against the sound of breaking glass.
The doctor prescribed some sleeping pills, but even their morphine-like stupor couldn't shut out the phantom of the old woman with a bible in one hand and that damned hatchet in the other. Oh God, and the never ending screams of unholy vengeance that filled her head all of the time!
After fighting it for so long with the endless torments and sufferings, she gave in and threw herself at madness. It welcomed her with open arms. It's cold, black hands surrounded her neck and pulled it's mouth close to her ear.
It reached it's peak on her way home from work on Friday. The air suddenly became hot and humid with the obligatory sweat bath. The pavement had an odd way of shifting beneath her feet. She felt woozy and suspected sunstroke, so she stopped for a drink at the first place she came to.
The sign said The Wulfshead, but she couldn't remember passing it before, even if it was within two blocks of her house. The patrons were varied and many in number, to the point she had to turn sideways and pick her way to the bar. She grabbed the bar maid by the front of her apron and shouted above the din that she needed two banana daiquiris and six beers right now! The bar maid nodded an understanding yes and hurried off.
Because the floor wouldn't quit shifting beneath her feet, she leaned a little harder on the bar to steady herself. That is when she noticed the old woman at her elbow. She stood out a bit, as she was wearing a long black dress with a high collar, a bonnet, and she glowed with an unearthly light; not to mention the hatchet she was brandishing.
"Judas Priest, it's about time you got here," she muttered to the spectre.
"Yes," she said with a voice like the wind through the trees, "I have been trying to speak with you for some time, but you have been unreceptive."
"Well you've got my attention now! Spill it! What the fuck do you want?" the girl said.
"Your destiny is to carry on my work. Men are nicotine soaked, beer besmirched, whiskey greased, red-eyed devils and you need to save a few souls tonight."
"So, just because my name is Carrie Nation and your's is too, I need to do what you did?" the girl asked.
As the spectre was about to speak, a young man elbowed his way in and leaned over and shouted above the pounding music, "Hey, can I buy you a drink?"
The girl said no as the bar maid set down her order. "But," she replied, "I'll buy you one."
"Thanks," he smiled, "Here's to a wonderful evening," and clinked his glass with her's.
The girl held her left hand behind his back in a gesture of comraderie and gave Mrs. Nation the finger in the process.
From that moment on, The abyss could barely stifle it's yawn.
There was no respite.