“…and the next thing I remember, I woke up here with you and a couple of paramedics standing over me.”
Mister Williamson wordlessly scribbles in his notepad for a few moments. Scotty takes another drink of that beautiful filtered water, then chews on the straw for a few moments to keep himself occupied. However, the doctor just keeps on writing, and Scotty starts to feel very uncomfortable.
“So… what do you think, Mister Williamson?”
Hilter’s eyes dart up from his notepad, then fall back down. He picks up the pace a bit, striking his symbols with pen strokes so rapid his temples begin to sweat. Then, he calmly clicks his pen and sets it down with his pad on the end table beside his chair.
“What do I think… well, why don’t we start with what you think happened, Scotty? Please, give me a summary.”
“Well…” Scotty says, pushing the chewed end of the straw away. “I think it was all real. I remember finding the incense stuff in a full dumpster behind one of the factories in the industrial park when I was out foraging for food. Something told me not to take it, but I took it anyway, and when I lit the first stick at my shack, I met the incense djinn. He said he’d grant me a wish, anything I desired. So, I wished to be saved. I was in real bad shape, Hilter; I know I’m pretty skinny now, but you should have seen me before the Great Old One healed my body and made my teeth grow back. I was lying at the foot of death’s door, and I was knocking. Then… well, everything else happened. I sent out all the incense supplies, just like the incense djinn told me to, and it eventually brought me to you.” Scotty chuckles, then, “I think I was saved. I don’t think it worked out exactly the way the incense djinn and the Great Old One wanted it to, though.”
“No. I think I was supposed to die. I think it was all a trick. I think the Great Old One was hungry after he was freed, I think he was going to eat my soul after I died. But I didn’t die, because you saved me, Hilter Williamson. You pulled me from the waters.”
Hilter Williamson smiles. “That I did, and I must say, what an incredible coincidence it was that I was out on my new boat that morning. Did you know I just recently acquired this house? It was the last one on Fricker Drive that I didn’t own, and now I own it. Now I own them all. The deal actually went through the day you robbed The Keeper’s Finds, and the man who lived here was kind enough to include the boat with the house. He said he hadn’t used it much ever since he met his current girlfriend, but… what was I saying? Ah yes: if all these events didn’t conveniently coincide with each other, if even one thing went askew, then…” He shakes his head. “Well, I suppose that’s not important. May I now offer my take?”
Scotty nods his head.
“Well,” as Hilter pushes the glasses up his nose, “I think you said it yourself – you had approached death’s door, and you were knocking. Scotty, the place you were living was a terrible, putrid environment; you had no reliable access to good food, no access to clean drinking water, you had only dirty clothing to wear, and I don’t even want to think about the bed you slept on. I think when you burned those incense sticks in your already ratty shack, it may have… well, the smoke may have messed with your brain, and you may have experienced some vivid, lifelike hallucinations. Of course I’m talking about the djinns and this Great Old One. Those things… well, I cannot say for sure that they don’t exist, as I firmly believe there are many lifeforms out there which exist higher on the consciousness spectrum, so to speak, than we humans do. Hell, I believe that some humans are higher on that spectrum than others are, that is to say, that some humans operate on a higher level of awareness, that some may be able to perceive things that others cannot. So… perhaps the djinns of the incense were real, perhaps this Great Old One really did heal your body before he convinced you to attempt suicide. Or, maybe you walked yourself down a very dark path, maybe your brain had you experience some things that weren’t necessarily there in order to break down any mental barriers you set up to prevent yourself from committing suicide. You were living a terrible life Scotty, a difficult life of a very low quality, and though you didn’t necessarily want to commit suicide, somewhere in your mind you recognized that death would be a sort of salvation for you. The light at the end of the tunnel, if you’ll excuse the pun.
“But most importantly, I don’t believe what really happened necessarily matters too much at this point. You survived, Scotty. You’re here, and you’re safe now – like I said before you gave me your story, you can consider this house yours for as long as you need. Indefinitely, even; I have much more than enough resources to support you, and after what you’ve been through, Scotty, I’d be much more than just willing to do it – and you’re not living in that shack in the industrial park anymore. Regardless of what brought you here, it’s safe to say you went through a trial, and that trial is now over. Does that sound reasonable?”
Scotty, with a smile on his face, nods his head. “It does. Thank you, Do–… thank you, Hilter. I won’t be a burden, I promise. I’m a hard worker. I’ll get myself standing on my own two feet real soon.”
Hilter smiles back. “I’m sure you will. You can take all the time you need, Scotty.” He picks up his pen, pockets it, then stands up from the chair and takes his notepad under his arm. “Are you all right here by yourself for now? I have my office set up in one of the houses up the road, and the sooner I can transcribe the notes from today, the better.”
“Yeah, I think I’ll be okay. I’m probably just going to sleep all day, if that’s all right.”
“At this point, I think that’s preferential.” Hilter walks over and ruffles Scotty’s full head of black hair. “If you need anything, just press the two button on the phone, then the pound key. It’ll call my cell phone directly.”
“Thank you, Mister Williamson.”
“My pleasure. Be well, Scotty Mells.”
Mister Williamson leaves the first house on Fricker Drive and starts his walk back up the road. Moments after he leaves, Scotty falls into a deep, restful sleep, and he dreams. Not of the djinns, not of the Great Old One, but about an old wooden shack set back deep in the woods of Stonetown. It’s not Scotty’s old shack, and it’s not Scotty who lives inside it – the man is much, much bigger than Scotty, and his face is covered by a ski mask, Scotty would never wear a ski mask – nor is all the junk strewn about inside the ratty shack anything Scotty would ever own. But one piece catches Scotty’s eye – it’s placed on top of what appears to be a sawn log stood up in the center of the room, almost like some sort of altar. It’s the only thing on the altar aside from the red cloth covering it, and it’s shiny in a cloudy way, just like the jadeite smoking pipe. It’s not a cloudy green though, and it’s much larger than the jadeite smoking pipe, it… it’s a white rock.
No, not a rock; a crystal.
Hello Commons, this has been the fourth subchapter of the eleventh story from Convenient Incidents, an anthology of fifteen interconnected short stories which revolve around a man by the name of Hilter Odolf Williamson.
Convenient Incidents is part of the Third Spiral, an anthology of sorts called The Here and Now which is comprised of stories told from the various planes of Existence.
Convenient Incidents is available to read for free in its entirety on my website. Click here to check it out.
I’ve written a few other books, too. Click here to see the list.
If you like Convenient Incidents and would like to help support my work, click here and buy an autographed copy of the book (or anything else!) from my store. Alternatively, you can snag a cheaper (and unsigned) copy from Amazon by clicking here OR you can buy the ebook for even cheaper here.
If you’re there, hypothetical reader, thank you for being there. Be well Commons~