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The Depths of Curiosity

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He was taking a walk at the fall of dusk, trying to fathom all of what had just taken place at the corner of Hollowfield and 6th. His family was gruesomely beheaded, one by one, in an old, abandoned insurance building. He had no clue as to how or even why it all happened. The only thing he did seem to recall was the deep, booming voice that assured him life would not be the same after this night…

The man’s name was Charlie Higgins. He was a bookkeeper in the suburban city of Katy, Texas, who found a very particular interest in the art of Tanktarah. Tanktarah was the spiritual practice of meditating in order to obtain a mental and physical state of equilibrium. Charlie hadn't been quite the modernized depiction of the average person, actually substantially contrary, Higgins was unusually accustomed to what the past withheld. He had a questioningly high focus level on the secrets which the world had to offer from the pastimes before him, and eventually he came to realize how much danger he could be caught up in if he kept digging…

It was 7:34 PM when he found it. Charlie came across the missing piece to what he presumed to be the solution to all of his curiosities. A small, ruby-colored amulet that fit ever-so-perfectly in the round hole in which took its place in the complex contraption he had put together throughout the past few months. He had previously researched clues that lead to what appeared to be the other lost pieces of what was labeled as the Omega Stone.

The Omega Stone was said to give its discoverer a total feeling of pure bliss, and that’s precisely what Charlie was in search of. He wasn’t too fond of his boring social life, for he craved something beyond this dimension. A place where he can run off to in situations of unbearable living circumstances. What better place than within his own dream realm? He figured that if he could escape to a corner inside of his own mind, he could finally reveal what he was truly thinking. Unfortunately, Charlie didn't even consider what kind of nightmares may have dwelled about…

Once the Omega Stone was all put together he sensed an overwhelming, powerful glow emit from it. His entire library around him felt to increasingly get smaller.

Suddenly, books began to fly off the shelves, lamps all around shattered abruptly, and the windows were forced open with unimaginable impact. Then, out of what seemed to be the thin air right in front of him, a dark, shadowy figure appeared directly ahead, staring right into Charlie’s unbound soul. He had no idea what was in store for him, but at this point he was afraid for his life. At this moment he actually missed his boring lifestyle; giving Intel about various books and selling them for profit. But it was too late.

“Why have you assembled the forbidden Omega Stone?” The apparition demanded in an incredulous, gut-wrenching tone, waiting for the mere human to respond respectively. “I-I just wanted to free myself,” the confused and scared Charlie said feebly, “From this life I have been provided.” “You’ve made a great mistake,” bellowed the grand being, immediately vanishing after he spoke the frightening words.

Once the presence had disappeared, Charlie broke out in an all-out panic. He began rushing around, in search of a solution to this monstrous mess he had gotten himself into. He didn’t know what was to come of it all, but he wasn’t taking any chances. All of a sudden, he obtained this strange feeling. A feeling of internal dissatisfaction. His stomach began to grumble in pain and he grabbed at it, hugging himself hard enough to make him hurl. He puked all over the place, drenching the still glowing Omega Stone in his filthy bowels.

Following this strange occurrence, Charlie attempted to get rid of the cursed object. After throwing it far from sight out of the nearest window, he began to feel somewhat of an ease to his stomach. He then continued on to gather his sandals and raincoat with the only thought on his mind to get away from all of this madness.

Yearning for a feeling of comfort, Charlie did as any typical person would do in this situation: he visited his family. It was late at night and it was a business holiday, so the buses had not been running at the time. Although reluctant, Charlie decided to walk to his parents’ house.

Almost immediately regretting his decision, the feeling in the pit of Charlie’s stomach had returned, ten times worse than before. The excruciating pain distracted him, and suddenly voices began entering his mind. “I warned you, Charlie.” It was the low-pitched groan of the creature he had encountered not forty-five minutes before. “It has begun.” The tone trailed off and the words started to echo throughout Charlie’s head. What had begun he wondered more afraid than ever before.  

The feeling still lurked about his system, but he caught a glimpse of a shimmering light that seemed to be sticking out of the ground only ten feet ahead of him. As he approached it a treacherous laugh crawled its way inside Charlie’s conscious. His heart skipped a beat as the Omega Stone crept into his vision. He was right outside his mom and dad’s house, so he took it as a sign. He knew that something bad had happened to them or might happen to them soon. He proceeded ahead in a full-on sprint to the east side of the city, as far away from the stone as possible.

As he was running, Charlie looked back to see if he was being followed. Suddenly, he tripped over a pothole in the middle of the street. His conscious started to gradually fade out of sight, but before it was completely gone, the dark figure stood above him, laughing a stone-cold laugh.

When Charlie grasped a hold of his senses, he noticed he wasn't in the streets anymore.

In fact, the dim-lit place he was in didn't seem to be anywhere he had been before. He heard what sounded like a faint scream coming from a room next to him, and a flood of horrid thoughts began to pour into his mind. Where am I, he wondered. How did I get here? He heard a door open nearby, and that’s when he realized he was strapped down to a solid, metal table. “Where am I,” he yelled. “Why am I here?” “Calm down Charlie, it’ll all be over eventually,” the malicious sound of the beast pounded into his aching head. “I don’t belong here,” insisted Charlie, “I promise I’ll put all of the pieces back, just let me go, please!” “I’m afraid it’s too late for that my young treasure.”

The lights flashed on, blinding all sense of sight. Charlie was inclined so that he could see a large screen that hung in front of his chair of doom.

Pictures began to form on the screen, showing what seemed to be depictions of his very own dreams. Confused he continued to watch as the images took turns showing themselves. One by one, he saw glimpses of himself floating in outer space. Thinking about it Charlie could recall dreams where he would imagine himself in the dark, emptiness of space. It was a feeling of pure bliss. More images formed among the massive cover, but none of which seemed to stick as much as the space trip. Charlie felt sort of happy at that moment. You know what they say though: All good things come to an end…

The lights went out, and the monster’s laugh returned, louder than ever before. After a few minutes of beckoning silence, a dim light began to glow at the far end of the room. Visions of horror flashed into sight and Charlie was deathly afraid of what was formulating in his mind. He couldn’t pick out what was real and what was fantasy. After the hazy introduction to what was unknown to him at first, Charlie finally saw that his parents were laying on separate metal beds only inches apart from one another. Surrounding both sides of them was an array of torture devices. From miniature probes to elongated scythes, an assortment of tools appeared to be on display to them. Then, the tall figure showed himself, creeping out of the darkness. His face was distorted and misshapen. It was the ugliest thing Charlie had ever seen.

The stranger began eyeing the equipment with a marveled expression and a sinister smile. “I wouldn’t mind using any of these wonderful creations,” snickered the devious-looking monster, “So I’ll let you choose how they will die”. Charlie felt his insides begin to tremble. He was quivering with fear. How could he make the dishonoring decision of how his parents will meet their death? “C’mon now Charlie, we haven’t got all day,” said the beast tauntingly, “What will it be? Shall I remove each and every one of their doomed ligaments until they decease, or should I slice off their heads to spare your evening? I sure wouldn’t want you to go a whole night without a peaceful dream.”

Charlie was speechless. He didn’t know what to do in this surreal predicament. “So be it,” bellowed the towering spirit, “I’ll lend you the best of my generosity and I’ll just cut their heads off, however I will have a little fun with this task.” Charlie felt the sweat drip down the side of his face and tried as much as he could to contain his sanity, although at this point every drop would be almost completely drained from his sickened body. “Here we go,” the torturer said with a smile on his face stretching from ear to ear, holding up a small, sharp scalpel, “I’ll use this beautiful mechanism.” Charlie watched in dazed horror as the marauder sliced into his father’s neck, making a deep, gut-wrenching incision. He gagged, trying to keep his insides within him. “NOOO,” cried Charlie, “Why is this happening?!”

The villainous creature paused for a moment, putting down the blood-covered blade. It approached Charlie with a gruesome smile. “You broke the silence,” the fierce offender exclaimed, “You see, the Omega Stone is the key to the Other World, a world in which contains all of the secrets history has to offer. Once this key is activated—done so by putting it together–all of those secrets are released to the bearer of it. So now my dear, hopeless bearer, you are doomed to witnessing all of the dreams and nightmares the world has ever encountered, starting with your very own.”  

Charlie didn't know what to say. All that was happening was such a big blur to him. None of it was adding up in his endlessly puzzled mind.

The only thing he could think about was the life ahead of him. What would he do? Where would he go? Of course none of it mattered anyway, because he was now in the hands of his unknown master. This ugly being will make him dance, pulling each of his strings like a puppet, with such grimness. Charlie will get what he wanted, but he’s bound to get way more than what he bargained for. Sometimes curiosity takes us to dangerous places, and for Charlie, that place happened to be located in his very own mind…

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