All Is Black

She found gus looking threw old films and putting some in a box while growing down at a new box of dvds. " not enjoying the thought of new age things in the store?" she asled as she walked to him and rapped her amrs about his waist resting her chin on his shoulder.

Gus smiled and laid his hands on hers. "It feels like a betrayal, Vargas never switched to DVD and Blu-Rays. He didn't even have Netflix. Hated it, called it the death of modern video as we know it." He chuckled at that. "But I'll be okay. The money will soothe my conscience." Gus joked. "What's up?"

"freddy is looking for you. " she infromed him.

"What's he need?" Gus asked as he turned to face Carson, on a lark he planted a kiss on her forehead.

After Carson told him the situation he nodded and went out to the front. Gus saw the woman he was with and knew Freddy had, once again, gotten himself into trouble. However he gave both Freddy and the woman a friendly smile.

"Hey there," he said as he went up to them. "So you need my help with something?"

Freddy nodded. "Care to look at some files, see what you think of them?"

"You're asking a video store clerk about my missing brother? What is he? A psychic? Don't tell me you believe in that bullshit!" Jessica scoffed.

"Sometimes I need a different set of eyes is all, and Gus has some unique way of seeing things." Freddy told her. "Let's just say his brain is wired differently."

"He doesn't look like an idiot savant." Jessica said.

"I'll take that as a compliment," Gus smirked as he took the file from Freddy and looked it over. In the front was a picture of the missing man, Douglas Nelson. Surprisingly enough, when Gus looked at it the man in the photograph blinked and then looked directly at Gus.

"Holy crap, it worked!" The picture of Douglas exclaimed. "This is so weird I can't believe it."

"You and me both, buster." Gus said, certain that no one else was actually hearing him speak. "Look, you know why you're here. You wanted to talk to me."

"Yeah, tell my sister to get the fuck out of that crazy town of yours, pronto!"

"What's gonna happen?" Gus asked.

"Nothing good. Please, you gotta get her out of there."

"She looks like the kind of person who won't just leave when asked. Got something for me to convince her? Maybe your body?"

"My body is... unavailable. Let's just put it that way."

"You know I don't appreciate your vagueness, dude." Gus said, annoyed.

"I'm not being vague, I don't know what's going on aside from the fact that a ghost killed me."

"A ghost killed you?" Gus frowned.

"Yeah, fucker cut my rope while I was spelunking in this mine."

"Which mine?" Gus asked.

Suddenly Gus was transported to the desert. It was night and...

The Morton Mine was an abandoned silver mine that originally opened in 1863 when Matthew Morton, a spoiled rich kid from Boston, attempted to get into the big silver rush coming out of Nevada. Sadly no silver was ever found, and numerous workers ended up being killed in a series of bizarre accidents and not-so-bizarre cave-ins. Morton, in a fit of depression upon blowing the last of his family fortune, threw himself into the mine. It had remained abandoned ever since.

The entrance was a dusty hole in the side of a large hill held open by ancient beams of wood. Even as the group got out to finish their grizzly deed the wood creaked ominously. The first task was to back the car into the mine. Then, Vargas and Hoffman awkwardly carried the body of Leather Jacket and stuffed him into the car. Finally, Vargas and Hoffman pushed the car further into the mine until it began to roll back on its own, further into the dark catacombs.

They quickly ran back outside for fear of the whole mine caving in on them. They listened as the car crashed into something, no doubt some old elevator leading to a deep shaft, which caused a cave-in that echoed through the main chamber before fading into the night. A puff of dust erupted from the cave as a final climax to the whole affair.

Gus watched the whole thing. That fateful night. Then Vargas, Rayne, and Hoffman turned to look at him.

"It was us, dude." Vargas said.

"We did this." Hoffman said.

"It was our fault." All said in unison.

"What was?" Gus asked.

"It resided, undisturbed, locked away, now it's free. " Vargas said. He sounded like he was in a trance.

"What is free?" Gus shouted. "Tell me!"

A jolt. He was in the mine now. Douglas was clambering down a rope. Gus stayed up top and saw a shadow in the form of a man walk up and cut the rope.

Then it lunged at Gus, seized him by the throat with icy cold tendrils in the shape of fingers. It started to squeeze the life out of him.

I WANT WHAT'S MINE The words seared into his brain.

I WANT WHAT'S MINE

I WANT WHAT'S MINE

Gus was choking and as the shadow continued to squeeze the life out of him Gus could see the background shifting across various locations. The desert, the mine, the town, and then a building he recognized. It was the Jackalope Crossing town hall.

THIS TOWN WILL BURN

Gus's vision started to blur.

THIS TOWN WILL BURN

Darkness crept into the corners of his vision.

THIS TOWN WILL BURN

Everything was going black...

THIS TOWN WILL BURN

Gus sputtered and tried to speak. "Carson..."

THIS TOWN WILL BURN!!!

From The Other Side, Gus has collapsed onto a heap on the floor. Freddy went to Gus's side and checked his pulse, shocked to see he had gone cold.

"Carson???" Freddy looked to her. "Somethin's up!"

"Carson..." Gus managed to say, his voice barely a whisper. "...help..."

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