The Ghost Dimension
(Sea Gate(formerly Coney Island Point), NY Bay, and Staten Island – Photo by Joe)
The silvery light of the moon and stars filtered through a veil of clouds moving over Coney Island from the Atlantic. Our way was clearly lit along the white sand beach on the Gravesend Bay side of the peninsula. The bay was soon behind us, and we trudged alongside a broad inlet that separated Coney from the town of Gravesend.
The tranquil surroundings were violated by Gabe the gorilla, who swung his spiked bludgeon often, as he fell small trees and ripped through shrubs.
After walking about one half mile, the beach began to gradually give way to herbs and grasses that grew both in the sand and water. We were making our way into a salt marsh. One quarter mile in the distance we could see higher ground, which was long and flat. It was the connecting shell road from Gravesend.
I frowned, watching Gabe swing at the thin air. “You must calm down,” I said, angry that I had listened to him and confronted Chuck A. Luck. I feared that since “the gambler” knew our identities, he might withhold information that could be crucial to our understanding of what was truly happening in Coney.
“I don’t think Mr. Luck was much with the gun,” I said. “He was far too practiced and worked hard with his eyes to fool us. Plus no gunfighter with half-a-brain turns his back on strangers. He’s no gunfighter. He’s a humbug.”
Top hat firmly in place, Gabe whipped his big head around. “Why didn’t you say this before?”
I tightened my gaze on the marshes, thinking I saw movement through a patch of high grass. “You would have bashed his brains, and we need him. He’s not our enemy. But I doubt he’s a gambler, probably not even lucky. I would bet that Mr. Luck killed the owner and took his place.”
“He’s not much of a killer, I know them,” Gabe said.
A dog came out of the high grass and looked at us. The animal seemed to contemplate an approach. I yelled and took a few quick steps. The dog stepped sideways, but didn’t turn away.
Gabe started for the dog. The bludgeon was over his shoulders as if he was trying to hide it.
“If you swing at the dog, I’m going to shoot you,” I said.
“Leave the dog, or I’ll shoot you.”
“Are you crazy?”
The dog came closer. It was mangy and thin.
“I’m not going to let you get me killed,” I said.
“It’s a stupid dog.”
I pulled my gun from the holster. “If you want to live, you listen to me. I’m not going to die tonight, nor tomorrow, or any night thereafter.”
“You are crazy.”
“You either start listening to me or you won’t live very long. Jack can easily replace you. Do you understand?”
The gorilla dropped the head of the bludgeon down into the sand. His near 6’5″ frame seemed to heave a sigh of relief. “Ok,” he said. “Never thought I needed someone to look out for me, but this demon hunting work is different.”
“Good,” I said and fired the gun at him. He jumped aside, his top hat falling, and went splashing into the water. The dog darted off.
“I should rip your head off for that!” Gabe cried.
We both turned. A massive water snake seemed to undulate through the water and onto the land, through the high grass, heading toward us. I was surprised when I didn’t see some sort of figure come out of the grass, though appearing in that area were twinkling bits of dusts. I moved forward and reached out. I blinked and lost sight of the scintillating dust, but felt something otherworldly was near.
“Don’t say a word,” I said.
There was no notable sound or movement. The marsh was perfectly still. But my other senses told me something different: there was a symphony of sounds in the air and figures moved freely about the marsh…
Some part of me could see bodies in motion, but they were seemingly hidden behind the tangible objects of the real world. I thought what I couldn’t see was set in the world of dreams. No sooner had I had the thought, then a figure emerged from a disparate place.
The head and torso of a bare-chested, darkly tanned man rose out of the water. He looked at us with both disdain and curiosity, and I knew he was an Indian.
I can’t say what came over me, but I charged at him. He rose up and danced upon the surface of the water. He came at me, raising his right-hand that seemed to be made of iron. I was knee deep in the water when we clashed, feeling a deep penetrating blow to my chest. I had expected to fall and fight hand-to-hand. But he moved straight through me as only a ghost can.
The gorilla came splashing behind me and swung his spiked bludgeon. He cut straight through the Indian. Only the brave remained unharmed; he even put his hands on his hips and chortled. His laugh was a most damning thing.
“Poor white men,” the Indian said in a rich tone full of mockery. “You are all so stupid. You see a world full of dreams, while my people embrace the Truth of Creation. You will never understand what you are.”
Here are all the posts in this series: Episode Forty
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