The swirling winds parted and vanished around Glyph. As if awakening from a dream, he opened his eyes. The alley was dark, and Glyph was grateful. He dropped down to his belly and began to survey the area. Spotting the light above the small porch, Glyph oriented himself. Keeping his direction straight in the midst of fighting for his life was never easy, but always imperative. Glyph tried to remember where he blinked out, so he would have a better idea of where he was when he returned.
The cars and wreckage had been removed from the alleyway. He could make out police tape strewn about across the back door and over various places on the street. As Glyph slowly stood up, he noticed there was a big red “X” painted on the ground beneath where he had reappeared. He quickly jumped to one side, staring at it. ‘How in the hell…?’ he thought. He shuddered to think that someone else may have witnessed the whole thing. Could someone have seen him disappear? Glyph squinted in the dark light of the alleyway. The moon was full, but its light didn’t quite penetrate to the street pavement. He got down closer to the “X” and discovered what might be blood. ‘The police must have tracked me to this spot,’ at least he hoped so. For all he knew, the small dark stains he saw there could have been oil drops. ‘Maybe it was nothing.’ Glyph straightened up and looked around once more to make sure no one was there. ‘Still’, he thought, ‘It was important enough to someone to paint this giant mark on the ground.’ He didn’t need the Police figuring it out and then ambushing him the moment he appeared on Earth.
Creeping up the alley toward the far end, Glyph realized there was no more time to re-consider the act of killing here on Earth; he could only hope that it would in part serve the greater good even though Ishea’s words were weighing heavily upon his mind. He scanned the street, then stepped out cautiously and began to walk quickly down the sidewalk. ‘This is what I have’, he thought. ‘It’s what I’ve been given to this point. I have to do what I have to do. Someday I may bear the consequence of these actions, but that day is not this day or this hour’.
Glyph stopped suddenly and sniffed the air, then turned towards a side alley. Running into the dark alley, blind, he let the strange scent guide him. He slid to a halt next to a large cardboard box leaning against the wall, and kicked the front of it off in one fell swoop of his leg. A drunken homeless guy inside was startled awake as he rolled out at Glyph’s feet, screaming like a little girl. Glyph pounced onto his chest, wrapped his arm around the man’s neck and grabbed his chin. Pulling him up close, Glyph shifted his weight and uncoiled his arm. With a loud crack, the man’s screams were silenced, his limp body lying perpendicular to the stretched, malformed neck and head.
Glyph felt the surge of power as he jumped to his feet and ran back out onto the main sidewalk. ‘At this rate I’ll not kill enough people. I have to find some crowds’ he decided. Glyph glanced up as a taxi turned toward him from a side street on the next block. He waved frantically. Initially the cab slowed, but then began to speed up. Pulling his Glock, Glyph aimed at the oncoming car, and fired one round at the driver through the passenger side window as it came parallel. The car sped past and swerved violently, side-swiping several parked cars before coming to a halt. Glyph immediately gave chase.
Pulling open the passenger door, Glyph reached in to grab the driver. He was an elderly Indian man with white hair, now streaked with blood. The whole front of his forehead was crushed into his brain from the impact with the steering wheel. Blood gushed from the side of the driver’s head, as Glyph hauled the body across the front seat, and dumped it on the curb.
Glyph crawled in, slid across the blood-soaked seat, and restarted the stalled cab. Sticking it in drive, he squealed wheels, banking a U-turn and sped down the street. ‘There must be some place around here with people.’ He thought. A couple of times he swerved to hit a pedestrian but never made contact. He checked his watch; fourteen minutes had passed and he had only killed two people.
As he rounded the corner, Glyph spied a group of people standing outside, lined up the sidewalk waiting to get into a nightclub. Glyph drove by, scoping out the door to the place and made note of the bouncers.
At the end of the street Glyph banked another U-turn and sped up towards the back of the line. At sixty, he swerved up onto the sidewalk and within seconds heard the crushing impact of the people in line as he mowed into them like a lawn tractor. A sea of bodies covered the windshield as Glyph locked his arms and stomped the gas pedal to the floor. The screams of people being crushed to death filled the air as the cab fish-tailed and turned sideways, pushing the bodies of people before him like a plow. As the car slid to a stop pointing toward the cement steps that led up to the front door, Glyph could see the bouncers above him on the stoop, pushing towards his cab through a press of partiers who were scrambling up the stairs to escape into the club. Swinging the Mac forward, Glyph slipped his hand firmly around the grip, placed it against the windshield of the car, and pulled the trigger.
Glyph screamed like a banshee as the hail of bullets blasted through the windshield in a spray of hot lead and popcorn glass. Both bouncers’ blood splattered the entrance as their bullet-ridden bodies slumped to the ground. Others fell dead behind them, some of their carcasses dropping in the entrance, keeping the doors from fully closing.
He tried to push the car door open, but could not budge the corpses piled up just outside. He shifted over to the passenger seat, opened the door, and stood up to take a quick body count. Some of the victims were still moving! Glyph pulled his Glock and shot anyone that moved in the head, as he walked around the front of the car and up the steps to the front door.
The door opened and a young guy stumbled out, shouting obscenities. Glyph swung the Glock around and capped him. He could hear screams erupting inside even over the loud pumping music.
Pushing the door wide open, he holstered the Glock and brought the MAC back up, unleashing another storm of bullets into the main corridor. People were dropping like flies left and right as Glyph realized everything was shrouded with a red haze. He found he could somewhat control the action and method of killing as long as he wanted to do the act; if he fought it, he would just lose more control over himself.
A few shots rang out from the left as he entered a large dance floor with tables and booths lining the perimeter. Glyph laid down suppressing fire. There were hundreds of people swarming towards the back of the dance floor. Unhooking a grenade, he pulled the pin with his teeth and let it fly deep into the crowd.
Glyph stepped behind a wall partition toward the bar area for cover. The shots from the left corner ceased as he turned and began to mow down anyone that moved. The Grenade exploded, shaking the walls and flinging hunks of wet flesh and bone randomly in all directions. The music suddenly stopped playing, amplifying the sounds of his gunshots.
Glyph ejected the spent magazine and flipped the MAC onto his shoulder. He pulled the Glock with his other hand, and popped off the last several rounds into a group of several customers who were crouched under a booth table. He shoved the pistol in his waistband, and slid the AK down his arm as he ducked back around the wall to survey the damage. Glyph flicked the safety off, and began firing at anyone who was still standing. Stunned, wounded people dropped like flies as they attempted to flee out the back door. The full-metal jacketed slugs passed through several people at each shot, causing the remaining victims to, in their panic, pack in even tighter at the door. The immense rush of power made him feel giddy and Glyph started to laugh as the last of them collapsed dead into a heap of bloody bodies on the floor.
Nothing but moans and the occasional scream filled the air now. Dust hung thick in the air. Glyph placed the AK back over his shoulder, pulled his Glock and placed a fresh magazine in it, then pulled his other Glock with his free hand.
Beginning a methodical search, Glyph began to summarily execute anyone who was wounded or hiding, plastering the walls and floor with blood and brain. A young woman bleeding profusely from her thighs and abdomen begged for her life. There was no hesitation in him as he pulled the pistol up and blasted a hole through the top of her skull. Glyph realized he was starting to enjoy the feeling of power he had; this wasn’t right, but there was nothing he could do to stop it.
Walking up to the bar, he plucked up a bottle of Jim Beam laying sideways on the counter. He unscrewed the cap and took a gulp, then slammed the bottle down.
“Damn!” Glyph grimaced, “I hate whiskey!” He then proceeded to take another slug from the bottle before he turned and shot a guy who had snuck out of the bathroom and was making his way to the front door.
“I can’t live like this!” Glyph screamed as he walked the length of the bar. He saw a trembling woman underneath a table. Jumping forward, he kicked the edge of the table, turning it onto its side beside her kneeling frame. While she whimpered, Glyph checked his watch, twenty-six minutes.
Glyph shot another girl trying to crawl behind the bar, then spun his attention back to the woman on her knees. The place was silent now; blood covered everything, including Glyph. Sirens could be heard pulling up in front of the building, as he holstered one of the Glocks and swung the Mac down off his shoulder. He ejected the taped back-to-back mags, turned them upside down, and loaded the other side in.
Locking eyes with the kneeling woman, he stepped up to her, grabbed her face, forced her mouth open, and jammed the nozzle of the Glock between her lips. Grabbing her by the hair, he dragged her that way over behind the bar, where he had a good view of the front door, and the back kitchen entrance off to his left.
He sniffed the air, and turned his head.
“Everybody in the bathrooms who wants to live, come out now!” Glyph screamed, “Come out or I’ll toss a grenade in there!”
The men’s room door slowly opened.
“NOW!” Glyph shouted.
Three men came out hurriedly, and a guy and three girls from the women’s room.
“Line up against that wall!”
“Please don’t kill us!” the guy all the way to the left pleaded.
“Shut up!” Glyph yelled at him. “Is that everyone?” Glyph demanded from the group. They all nodded ‘yes’.
Swinging the MAC around he pulled the trigger; one by one they slumped back against the wall and dropped to the ground as the barrage of bullets ripped through their bodies.
His hostage began a muffled wail as the splatter of the blood misted in a small cloud above their dead bodies.
“Stay quiet or you’re next! Understand?” Glyph hissed in her ear, and shoved her to the ground by the walk-in cooler. Putting the Mac down on the bar, he pulled off the AK-47 and popped in a fresh mag of ammo.
“This is the police! Put down your weapon and come out peaceably!” A bullhorn suddenly rang out from the street.
“Here we go.” Glyph said between clenched teeth. Keeping his gun trained on the front door he grabbed a dishtowel off the sink behind the bar. Twirling it cattycorner until it formed a long roll, he looped it around the girl’s left wrist and tied her hands together behind her back.
He brought the AK up in front of him, dragged the girl to her feet by her hair, and shoved her towards the kitchen door. As he got closer they had to step over the dead and dying people, then they had to walk on them. As he neared the door, he lost his footing and fell into the mass of bleeding corpses. Bracing his foot against a skull, he pushed himself up, grabbed the girl and forced her through the doorway.
Half crawling over the bodies blocking the door, Glyph thought to move some of them out of the way to close the door, but realized it was hopeless; too many bodies, not enough time. The pile of dead ended abruptly several feet into the kitchen, and the girl began to wretch at the sight of it. Bullet-holes riddled the walls, and trails of red ooze and guts led out the back door.
Glyph was half covered in the red blood of a dozen different people, as he prodded the girl forward with the barrel of his rifle. He expected the teargas or smoke canisters to fly through the windows in the other room any second; He didn’t like the idea of having to take on so many cops; too much chance of getting killed.
As he reached the open back door he caught a quick glimpse of a SWAT guy ducking behind a large dumpster. He quickly pulled the door shut and locked it.
“Shit!” Glyph said. “Guess we do this the hard way.”
He pushed the girl over to a service door that opened up behind the far end of the bar. By this time the phone had begun to ring steadily. Throwing the girl to the ground, Glyph grabbed the phone off the top of the bar, and plopped down beside the micro-fridge. He wiped the sweat off his forehead onto his sleeve, and forced a smile.
Glyph slowly plucked the receiver off and put it to his ear to listen. At first there was silence, and then “Hello? Hello? Is anybody there?”
“You’re gonna have to speak up! My ears are still ringing!” Glyph yelled into the phone as he realized the explosion from the grenade and weapons fire had affected his hearing.
“I’m detective Bogg. Who am I talking to?” The voice asked much louder.
“That’s not important, what is important is that you keep your guys out of here! Back off or the hostages die!”
Glyph hung up the phone, and winked at the girl as she stared at him with her panic-stricken eyes. He casually checked his watch; thirty-six minutes, time flies when you’re having fun.
‘If I can just keep this guy talking long enough …’ he thought.
The phone suddenly rang, making the woman jump. Glyph picked it up again. “Yeah?”
“Look we’ve pulled back, but we need some assurances that you really do have a hostage.”
Glyph looked at the woman “Are you a hostage?” He asked her loudly waving the gun at her.
“Yes!” she said
“There’s one of your hostages.” Glyph said into the phone “Now back off! Those guys out back by the dumpster too!”
“Look, stay cool buddy. I’m giving that order now, they’re backing off. Okay?”
Glyph rolled his eyes, and stayed silent.
“You still there?” the detective questioned.
“Yeah, I’m here.”
“Look I’ve told you my name, what should I call you?”
“Name’s not important, just keep your distance and the girl lives. Understand?”
“Yes, I understand.” there was a long pause, “Are you Glyph Young?” Bogg blurted out.
Glyphs eyes went wide. ‘How could this guy think it was me, why did he think it was me?’
“What did you say?” Glyph said.
“Is your name Glyph?”
“On what?” Bogg asked.
“On who gives a rat’s ass.”
“Look, some of us think, I think, you’re the same Glyph Young that escaped a state-of-the-art facility for the criminally insane. I also think you were responsible for the bloodbath down on fifty-seventh street last night.”
Before Glyph could respond the detective went on.
“Why you killing all these people, man?”
Glyph felt the anger rising inside him. It was bad enough he had to hear about this from Ishea, but now this guy too? It was all he could do to keep himself from ripping the woman’s throat out as he sat there looking at her. By continually picturing different ways to kill her, he hoped to stave off the actual deed. Somehow the same thoughts kept him from running out the front door uncontrollably, guns a-blazing. It did seem to help when they had moved off a bit.
“You think I like to kill people? You think I want to do this? You don’t know anything!” Glyph said.
“It’s cool! It’s cool, alright? Let’s just calm down a little. Look, I just want to talk to you man, that’s all.” He paused for a moment. “All I’m saying is, there must be a reason right? Why else would you be doing this, right?”
“I don’t want to kill these people, I have to kill these people.”
“What do you mean, you have to kill these people?”
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”
“Look I’m here to help you, okay? I got a hunch now, that if you’re the person I think you are, maybe there’s something different going on.” Detective Bogg paused again “Maybe there’s something going on with you, that doesn’t happen to everybody else.”
Shifting up onto his knees, Glyph was starting to wonder about this guy, but remained silent.
“Look, Glyph, I just need to know what your plans are here, I mean, do you have any demands, or –.”
“All I want is for your guys to keep their distance!” Glyph shouted. He found that their scent became more pungent the closer they came to the building. “Keep your distance and the hostages will be fine, just back off!”
“I’d like to believe you, but there’s like thirty people dead out here and apparently a lot more inside. We need you to settle down, and give up, so there’s no more killing. You don’t want to kill anymore, so don’t. Just lay down your weapons and give yourself up.” The detective implored.
“I tell you what, you let me think that one over and I’ll be in touch.” Glyph responded dryly, and hung up the phone.
He grabbed another rag off the bar and stuffed it in the girl’s mouth, to try and stifle the incessant sobbing and begging; it was giving him a headache. Glyph instinctually checked his watch; forty-four minutes. ‘Damn, I’ve got to hole up in here for sixteen minutes. As long as I can keep them from storming the place, I’ll be gone, and I won’t have to worry about it’.
Glyph cautiously poked his head up over the bar and peered around. He didn’t want anybody sneaking up on him. Luckily the front windows were far away from the bar and heavily curtained. He quickly took an inventory of his weapons and ammunition. After reloading his guns with the last of what he had on him, he crawled to the service door and peeked at the back door. Still locked.
Shuffling back towards the girl, he began to hum the theme song to “I Dream of Genie”. He poked his head up over the bar and checked the front again. All clear, he thought and as he turned to sit back down, the phone rang again. ‘Bum ba dum, bum-bum ba-da-dum…’
Smiling at his prisoner, Glyph picked up the phone.
“Look, Glyph, buddy, we really need to talk this thing out okay, can we do that? Just talk to me a little.” Bogg said.
‘Keep him talking Glyph, just keep him talking.’ Glyph thought to himself quickly. “Alright. What do you want to talk about?”
“Well I was hoping maybe you’d tell me why you were killing all these innocent people. You said you didn’t want to kill them, that somebody was making you do it, so what’s going on man, are you in over your head? You owe somebody money? What’s the story?”
Glyph stayed silent.
“What’s the reason Glyph? What’s going on? Talk to me. You said I wouldn’t believe you, so try me out. I’ll listen to whatever you have to say.” Bogg said.
Shaking his head, Glyph responded, “You really want to know?”
“Yeah. I want to know man; I want to know everything. You tell me your story, I’ll listen.”
“Where would you like me to start?” Glyph asked, chuckling to himself.
“Well, one thing I’m itching to know is how you pulled off that magic act at the penitentiary the other night? I mean those guys are well-trained and you just walked out of there like it was a 7-11. You just disappeared.”
Glyph nods, “Yeah, I do that, that’s what I do. I’m here, and then I’m gone.”
“So did you just not like it there? What do you got going on? You feeling Okay? Do you need some medication?”
“I don’t need any fucking medication! I’m not crazy! You just don’t understand what you don’t know!”
“Then tell me, tell me. I want to know.” Bogg said.
“Fine, you want to know what’s going on, I’ll tell you, and I’ll even prove it to you. But we do it face to face.” Glyph said staring down at his watch, fifty minutes.
“What do you mean face to face? What are you suggesting?”
“I’m saying I want you to come in here.”
“I don’t know about that, I would have to have some assurances, maybe you could give me a little something first.”
“No. You, and you alone will come inside here with me, or I start killing hostages, you got it? Your assurances are that I won’t kill you, or the hostages, as long as you do what I say understand?”
“Okay! Okay! I understand—“
Glyph cut him off. “Knock three times, come alone. You have five minutes.” And then slammed down the phone.
He smiled at the girl; this was going well. ‘They’ll be forced to throw all their psychobabble at me before resorting to violent means, and I’ll be gone in ten minutes.’ He thought.
Reaching up onto the bar, Glyph grabbed a pack of cigarettes off the counter, and popped one into his mouth. Spying a pack of matches over by the cash register, he crawled over and grabbed them. Quickly sliding back into position, Glyph stretched his legs out before him, and lit up. He leaned back against the fridge and tried to relax; his heart was racing.
As Glyph finished his smoke, the phone rang. He looked at his watch; it had been four minutes.
“Glyph? Glyph?” Bogg was saying when Glyph picked up the phone.
“What’s up?” Glyph said.
“Look, why don’t you just tell me over the phone–.”
“You have one minute.” Glyph said forcefully, cutting off the detective. “Better hurry!” Then Glyph hung up the phone.
‘That was his last ditch effort before giving in to my demand. They probably aren’t supposed to do it this way’. Glyph fingered a grenade clipped to his vest. “I just hope you don’t do anything stupid.” He said, thinking about detective Bogg.
Glyph checked his watch, lit up another cancer stick, and pushed the pack into his pants pocket.
Knock! Knock! Knock!
Glyph momentarily locked eyes with the girl. “Showtime.” he whispered to her, and grinned wildly. Spinning around onto his knees, Glyph poked his head up above the bar, then brought the AK to bear on the front door.
“Come on in!” Glyph yelled. He could make out a figure silhouetted in the doorway now. “Walk slowly, hands on your head.”
“We had a deal Glyph, I’m here, okay? Don’t do anything we might regret.” Bogg said as he made his way down onto the dance floor, slowly glancing around at the carnage. An “oh shit” escaped Bogg’s mouth.
“Save the comments. We still have a deal. Take a seat right here in front of me.” Glyph said indicating the only bar stool still standing about ten feet down the bar.
Bogg walked over and cautiously sat on the stool. He could see the girl tied up behind the bar from where he was seated.
“Would you like something to drink?” Glyph offered.
“No thanks. Let’s just get on with it.” Bogg said.
“Okay, well here’s my story, are you ready?”
“I’m traveling between two dimensions, I only have an hour here on Earth.”
“Okay.” Bogg said.
“The rest of my day is spent in another world fighting demons.”
“So, why’d you break out of prison?”
“Well, that’s a long story, and I don’t think we have that kind of time.” Glyph said as he spit his cigarette butt onto the floor.
“Oh, right, because your only here for an hour. You know this didn’t hold water at your trial. They didn’t believe you then, what makes you think I will now?” Bogg accused.
Glyph glanced at his watch, less than a minute left. He could feel it coming. “Here’s all the proof you will ever need.” Glyph said, and started to laugh.
The air became eerily still, and on his next breath the winds came. Glyph swung and aimed in an instant on the girl. Everything slowed down as the last of the air was pulled out from around him. He squeezed the trigger in slow motion. Click! …Bang! The Rifle fired, and the bullet moved out of the barrel like a slow turtle as time squeezed in around him. Glyph saw Detective Bogg’s eyes bulging out of his skull as his jaw slacked open in astonishment at Glyph’s fading away into nothingness. He watched as Bogg dropped to one knee, and slowly pulled a snub-nosed pistol from an ankle holster. He tried to look back to see if he had hit his target but it was too late, everything had turned to darkness and in one brilliant flash of light, Glyph was gone.