The Pilgrim

by unslinky [Reviews - 7]

  • Teen
  • None
  • Standalone

Author's Notes:
Well, I got a shock this evening when I had a look to see when my next uni assignment was due in and found it had to be submitted by midnight today and I'd not started yet. Oops. This is the very rushed result. Inspired by the idea of the Silence, but it's not the Silence and wasn't written as Dr. Who, but a tweak of the last few paragraphs and it slots quite nicely into the Who Universe, or I think it does anyway. Might be wrong. Now, back to TD.

“In the corner of your eye, shivering up your spine, infecting your darkest forgotten nightmares, and waltzing on your grave it is there. It is always there and you don’t even know it.  You can’t know it and you will not know it, not until it is far, far too late.

“It is impossible is it not? It defies your understanding of reality.  It exists outside the realms of fact and faith. How can you possibly explain the imaginations you refuse to hold. You disregard it, you are forever silent, and you forget; because you must forget. No one would believe the things you’re convinced you’ve never seen. But you have seen it. I am telling you now. You have seen it. Every living soul has seen it.

“The time is upon us and you must be wary. Turn to the shadows, peer into their murky depths, and decipher the grey. Capture the sunbeams and dance in the dappled light on the forest floor. Seek out the faces of the moon and plot the diamond stars. Know what it is you have seen, find it, remember it, and turn complacent familiarity into the truest detailed frame, for this is where it lurks, and from here it will rise.

“Where it came from is a mystery to all, but it has always been here, moulding itself and establishing itself, submerging itself into everything since before the Cryptic Hadean. When our Earth was merely an accreting mass of space debris coalescing in the gravity storms of a new sun it was already waiting: it is good at waiting, waiting in ambush. It is playing the longest of games.

“It sparked the emergence of life from primordial gloop, cultivating those first single cells, and guiding their evolutionary pathways. Weaving its web of wondrous diversity to its own end where no corner of its globe is barren. It populated every shore, changed its mind about dinosaurs, and patiently manipulated its way from monkey to man.

“We are its prize.  Its goal and the ultimate gain for its 4.6 billion year wait, but then ending of its game is not for our benefit.  It is not some benevolent force creating humanity and reflected in religious creation mythology. It is our corruptible deniability it has lingered for. It has lurked from stone to bronze to steam and iron, to great silicon valleys and nuclear technologies capable of devastating destruction. The powers created by man are also created by it.

“We believe ourselves to be so supreme. To lord and have dominion over the other creatures who share our planet. The source of our superior intelligence is our Achilles heel. Our minds. Minds capable of advanced problem solving, of language, and of imagining. Minds capable of dishonesty. We can lie to ourselves. Minds so advanced that our glimpses of it are plausibly denied as impossibilities. 

“We are not dogs barking at nothing, or flocks of roosting birds taking startled flight for no reason, nor are we the beaching whales and dolphins in unexplained suicides. We deny its existence and that is what it wants. It wants to remain invisible and unseen and free to surround and manipulate us.  It does not want to be remembered.

“Oh, there have been glimpses of it.  It has been captured in the heart of every mythical creature, every monster, and in the wardrobe and under the bed of every child waking in terror to be dismissed by every safely, contradicting, blind parent as a bad dream. Every imagined horror belongs to it.

“It is painted in the most ancient of caves and hides in fables and tales and folklore. Rare ancient peoples bore witness to it, and saw it, and realised it, probably by some freak of their narrow tribal gene pools, but with freak genetics it was bared from the shadows. 

“The Inca.  They saw it.  They feared it and pointed it out with great lines carved in the earth, diligently marking out a warning to those that would follow on the Nazcan Plains. The Nazca lines remain as much a mystery as the fall of the Inca peoples. It was responsible.

“What about the Mayan? They saw it and built great pyramids to warn it off. Their pyramids did not work. And have you heard about the Egyptian pyramids? Not the ones in Egypt, but they are the same. I am talking about the ones in the Grand Canyon? No? That is because of it. 

“Why was Stone Henge built high on the Salisbury Plains? We don’t know why do we? Why build a monument to mark the solstice, why do it there, why with that rock, how did they do it? We don’t know. We will never know. Not while it remains hidden. Hidden in the sunbeams. The sunbeams that are strongest at solstice. Do you see now? It is real and it is everywhere.

“It does not want to be remembered or known. Those peoples got too close to it, and there are more too. The Sarmat, the Phoenicians, the Scythians? They remembered it, but do we remember them?

“From time to time an individual will see it. They will see more of it than the movement in the corner of the eye or the unshakable feeling of being watched.  They will see it and know it and remember it. You label its victims. Some are darkened by it and are labelled. Some hear it and are labelled. Bipolar, schizophrenia, psychosis, even psychopathic. If you have seen truth there is no need for a defined causality or conscience, there is no meaning left but in it.

“Then, as age wearies the imagination and the corner of the eye becomes clouded and honest, more fall to it, and comes the frequency of dementia. It is on the rise because it is down to it, and it is becoming more active. It is all of it.  Affecting the flawed minds it created to hide in.

“And those suicides? The ones where the relatives and friends of the victim don’t know how it could have happened. They protest any suicidal ideation in their always seemed so happy son, daughter, husband, wife, mother, or father. They couldn’t have killed themselves. He or she just wouldn’t do that. They didn’t see it coming? Too right they didn’t see it coming.  They literally didn’t see it, but their suicidally dead loved one did and the realisation of it? It is too much to bear and they took their own life.

“Oh, and happy Mondays? Why do you think anyone doesn’t like Mondays? Or Tuesdays? Or whatever day of the week they decide to go rampaging on? It is so full of malice and hatred that if it is seen? Some people just aren’t able to contain the rage or deal with it.  The realisation that it can’t be denied any longer, that it no longer only exists in the fog of their imagination and the knowledge they have been lying to themselves all their lives and that every single one of their nightmares are true and are it? If they aren’t strong enough. If they give in to it?  They are lost in madness, in death, or in explicable rage. That is what it does. 

“That is why it doesn’t want to be remembered and why we need to forget, because we understand what it is when we can see it and it is not ready yet.  Its time is coming. It is coming. It is coming very soon, but not today.

“You must be wondering how I know all of this.  You see there are some of us who have seen it.  Who have seen it and who are stronger than it and we are the pilgrims and we have to speak out against it.  We have to make sure that everyone is ready.  If you acknowledge it and know it and remember it then it loses and it can’t be forgotten.

“You have to be ready for it.  For the day when it rises and soars brightly out of the shadows.  For the day when the trees bow in a windless sky and the faces in the moon weep, and the rain turns crimson.  For on that day it is rising.  The day is coming. It is coming.  It is done with its manipulation and creation. Its pawns have completed their task and it will destroy this entire planet it guided into existence just to return to the silent realm where it came from, until it gets bored and starts again.

“It doesn’t want me to tell you this.  I am a threat to it.  That is why it is manipulating you.  It has climbed into your soul one crooked claw over another to sit in your heart and you are doing its bidding.  You don’t even know it.  You deny it.  You can’t bring yourself to even contemplate it can you? It does not fit with what you think are the rules, but it knows no rules.  You are nothing but its puppet. The entire human race is its puppets playing its game on a stage it has submerged itself in since before the solar system existed.

“You are its plaything. This cell? This straitjacket? This is all its doing.  It is making you do this to me.  It is trying to shut me up.  It knows that I know.  It knows I have seen it.  It knows I am stronger than it.  It is making you do this to me because the whole world is oblivious to it, but I can see it and I can scare it because I am not mad. I am not mad!

“It is going to rise. One day you are going to see it. You are going to look into it and realise it and you are going to scream and then you are going to die, because it is here. It is here! It is coming! It is rising! It is! It is! It is! It… no… no… ow don’t… its com…”

“There you go, love, you sleep now. Get some rest.” The stereotypical bespectacled man with the bald head and the white coat sighed as he injected a sedative into the arm of his patient.

“How much did you give her?” The man assisting asked. He had only joined the hospital team the day before. A Doctor John Smith, apparently his credentials were impeccable, though his style seemed somewhat less than orthodox as he bounced from patient to patient. Only now he’d come across young Allie Matthews he’d fallen more subdued as they had listened to her raving. Unlike many before, he had not silenced her, but he’d sat on the bed beside her and listened. He’d not interrupted, but he’d nodded understandingly.

“4mls, it is enough to keep her out for a few hours. She is exhausted and is completely deluded. It is so deep rooted in her psyche. I admit I am at a loss as to how to bring her out of it.  I am going to consult with Professor Nottage at Cambridge. I believe he’s published a report regarding several similar cases.”

“Has she said anything about her parents yet?”

“No, nothing, I don’t think she even realises she is the only one who survived the attack. It is still a mystery about why her life was spared. Worst case I have ever been involved in. What ever possesses a fifteen year old to take a shotgun to his family? I don’t know, it is beyond…” The psychologist hesitated as he looked over his shoulder, peering at the reflection in the observation panel.

“Are you okay?” Dr. Smith checked.

“Yeah, sorry, I thought I saw something,” he chuckled nervously and shook his head. There was no one sitting on the other side while they were attempting to assess and interview their nineteen year old patient. She had been found cowering on the floor of her bedroom in her family home after her younger brother had slain her parents and her younger brother and sister, and then shot himself

“What? What did you see?”

“Nah, it was nothing,” he suggested as he helped his colleague to lie the broken nineteen year old on her side, leaving her uncovered, on the plain white slab in the padded room. He watched as the newest member of their team leant down to Allie and whispered in her ear as she was sedated into a dull oblivion.

“It’s okay, I am sorry, very sorry, but I am a pilgrim too, and I will ensure no harm comes to anyone else. I promise,” Dr. Smith whispered and smoothed the teenagers tattered hair. “There is nothing you can do for her,” he concluded. “But take care of her.” He offered and untied the straitjacket they’d been forced to apply. He didn’t follow procedure and call the general nurse in to redress the self inflicted gouges and bite marks to her forearms that if regarded from the right angle spelt: ‘IT’S HERE’. He tenderly bathed them himself.

“This is not going to happen, ever again,” Dr. Smith stated with such a cold fury as he bandaged Allie’s forearm that the psychologist actually believed him. Dr. Smith did not turn up for work the following day, but as far as the psychologist knew, there was no further cases quite like Allie’s.