SAGA OF DARKNESS VISION OF LIGHT
Chapter Eleven - Dr. Sheolman's Gambit
by Dennis R. Cook
Headlight beams caught me full in the face.
were accompanied by the low guttural sound of a
gearing down to pull itself up a steep grade.
"That's Harold Yazzie," Old Blackgoat whispered.
better hurry back to the camp to see what he
"We'll stay here and wait for you," Steven said.
Steven and I crouched down low and waited.
Pensiveness deepened with the inquisitive looks we
one another, both pondering the question of
Yazzie's visit. I could still hear his engine
idling. I assumed that meant he would complete his
business in short order and be on his way. I
disappointed. Soon, the deep laboring whir of his
in first gear brought his truck lumbering back
us. Brakes squeaked as Harold passed us and
slowed, preparing to meet the highway. Seconds
Old Blackgoat reappeared.
"He brought us a sheep dog," Old Blackgoat said. "Harold told me he'd heard reports of a bear sighting
"Can't be too careful," I whispered.
"Shh, hush," Steven said. "Did you hear that?
He wasn't imagining things. I heard it too.
telltale sound of a hydraulic system in operation
beneath our feet.
As I anticipated, a section of the old mountain
which lay only yards from our covering,
shuddered, then gave way, revealing a slow rising
hatchway wide enough to receive any vehicle up to
including the size of Mr. Yazzie's cattle truck.
I focused my sense of hearing, as though hearing
see, half expecting the sound of a fast
approaching auto to explain the opening of the
underground garage. But instead, caught the faint
wheezing from Blackgoat's weathered nostrils.
A shoulder nudge from Steven brought my attention
to the passageway opening. A hooded figure with head
down was coming into view. I could see that an
was draped across the eyes to give the appearance
someone in tears. Then I heard her sobs.
Long, pain filled sighs raised and lowered
woman's breasts as she parted the hatchway.
was little hesitation in her gate, at first.
headed straight for the highway. But her
determination melted in the face of her grief. She
crumpled to the ground well short of her goal.
Minutes passed as we remained observant of the
When it appeared no one from the passageway
coming to her aid, Steven, Old Blackgoat and I,
cautiously made our way through the pine rich forest
where she lay, taking care not to be caught in the
radiating outward from the hidden entranceway.
"We are sheep herders," Old Blackgoat called in
soothing whisper. "How can we help you?"
Though continuing to sob, hearing Old
Blackgoat's tender voice brought the young woman's
around toward us. "Help me, oh help me,
please, oh God," she sobbed.
Blackgoat gently, but firmly lifted the young
to her feet. She was Navajo.
"I can't help you," Blackgoat said, "unless
turn off those tears and tell me how I might."
"There," the woman pointed, doing her best to
her breath between sobs.
"In there, my husband," the woman gasped,
pulling away from Old Blackgoat to lead the way.
"We must hurry," the woman urged with renewed
Gaining composure, she hurried down the incline
Steven and I quickened our pace. Not wanting to
frighten the woman, we had trailed behind.
Down the ramp we raced, not daring to think we
being led into a trap, or of what might await us
ahead. Through the dining room doors which had oft
repasts for Satanists and gruesome beasts from
we sped, meeting no resistance.
Ahead loomed the split level pleasure palace
the clank of cocktail glasses filled with blood
saluted the demise of aged witches and heralded,
doubt, a wedding between worlds forever forbidden
design, cursed into nothingness at the entrance of
Word..., that gives light...
Never would I be eager to bound downward on the
to the unhallowed hall. Even the woman slowed
noticeably as we began our descent. I could see
"My husband," the grieving Navajo maid said,
choking somewhat on her words, as though unable to
the knowledge of her husband's fate. "My
husband is bleeding to death on the altar in the next
she sobbed, sinking to the base of the double
that blocked our path. "I couldn't free him,"
cried, as Steven pushed beyond her into the hall.
"Please free my husband," the woman pleaded, grabbing
sleeve as I sped past her, casting a raw longing
hope into my eyes I will never forget.
I called to Steven. "Wait a minute!" I said.
need to pray before we go in there.
Old Blackgoat lifted his holy hand into the air.
Lord," he said, "in the blessed and mighty
of Jesus, be a banner over us, a shield of
protection around us, the power within us. Amen!"
Entering the hell-spawned hall I surveyed every
to ensure our safety, taking care to
investigate every shadow. As Steven and Old
approached the altar, I turned my attention there.
woman had spoken the truth. A man was indeed
to it, and he was a bloody mess. I shuddered
moment before gaining control.
As I moved to catch up with Steven and Old
Blackgoat, my eyes caught sight of something
peculiar. A circle, emitting a vortex of
vibrating pastels, rotated high above the young man's
"Nonsense," I told myself, arriving at the
"He's still alive," I heard Old Blackgoat
whisper to Steven.
"Yes, but he won't be for long," Steven said.
don't get these wounds dressed and stop the bleeding.
you look at the blood he's lost!"
The altar indeed was a mess! Someone or something
through a great deal of trouble to relieve the proud
of skin on his left leg and arm, severing a
of capillaries, and perhaps a few veins.
apparent the only reason the lad was still
hinged on the fact arteries had been spared.
Steven caught me as my knees buckled and I began to
consciousness. "Nothing can be more
traumatizing, than the unexpected sight of someone
bleeding profusely," Steven said, pulling me
to my feet. "Hang in there, Joseph, we're going
need your help getting this guy some badly needed
Refocused, I thanked God the brave Navajo was
breathing, though out cold, and prayed his
condition wasn't nearly as terrible as it looked.
Old Blackgoat pulled out a pocket knife and
through the ropes holding the young man tight
altar. As we lowered the young man to the
his beloved joined us, kneeling to cup the
Navajo's head in her hands while we
contemplated our next move.
"We have to apply pressure to these wounds to
the bleeding," Old Blackgoat said, "before
move him anywhere."
"I'll see what I can find," Steven said, leaving
the living quarters of the palatial dwelling.
I tried to get the young lady to give us any
information she could about what had happened, even
on the inside I knew she couldn't. She had to
shock. No doubt it would be some time before
would be able to speak of the incident.
I turned my attention to the rotating pastel
colored vortex and determined to climb upon the altar
a better look at it. I took care to avoid the
pressure plate. I could see that the same
honey glow emitted by Steven's bootblack can of
faith was present, and as I continued to gaze
the slowly rotating aura of light and color, a
tremendous calm came over me.
I drew as close to the aperture as I could,
standing on my toes, straining to see...then it was
late...it was a trap...I was lost. My torso
upward. First my arms, then my head, soon my
being was engulfed inside God only knew what.
tunnel? Yes, I was inside a tunnel filled with
flowing multi-colored bits of light.
I marveled as my body hovered inside the
entranceway of the vortex, then floated onward,
defying known physical restraints, i.e., gravity,
time,...space, but I felt no fear. The
with thought. It seemed to caress my mind with
instructions enabling me to at once become one with
new environment. I perceived I could escape if I
but will it. But, finding my resolve was not
Panic swept over me as I searched for
key. Speak, speak, speak, speak, I told myself.
flailed my arms groping for something, anything to
onto. Finding nothing, I grabbed my ankles, and
against my arms with every ounce of might I
muster, until the pressure on my abdomen became
excruciating, and the spirit voice of my belly came
bursting from my lungs with a great cry. "STOP!",
demanded, sending a reverberating shockwave of power
echoing throughout the passageway.
I felt my heart thumping like a piston. My
had revitalized me. The peace that had been
pronounced at the outset of my journey through
passageway, void, vortex, whatever, began to
return. I hovered, surveying my surroundings
contemplating my next move.
Revelations caressed my mind, each a gentle wave
precious understanding, refreshing, calming,
reassuring. That I could control by merely willing
reassured me. I perceived that with concentration
thought I could navigate within this passageway,
dimension, this other world,...,whatever.
I should walk, I imagined, envisioning a golden
pathway on which to tread. And there it was!
righted myself in mid-air, extended my legs downward,
finding true support, proceeded toward what I
to be the direction from which I had come.
Everything will work out, I reasoned. I
continue my journey with a full measure of control.
have a self will, then I must be connected to my
spirit, and if connected to my own spirit, then I
be connected to the Spirit of God. If the Spirit
is directing my spirit, then because I am
connected to my spirit, my spirit is guiding me, and
perceptions are true. Therefore, I now understand
operate in this realm. Faculties of the
spirit/Spirit operate here. Faith works here.
Imagination works here. Words become reality here.
Perceptions are correct here. I can control
envision, believe for, or say, right now! The
physical realm cannot limit my spirituality in this
realm. Oh, I see, this is the realm of the spirit!
I was excited, but I had other things to
consider. I needed to understand the "why" of my
predicament, blessing, whatever. Perhaps Dr.
Sheolman had worked a spell making trans-dimensional
possible. Or worse yet, perhaps Dr. Sheolman
worked the same spell concocted by the
Babylonians of Tower of Babel fame, the same spell
brought the confusion of languages on humanity,
But what about Dr. Sheolman? If this spell was
doing, where was he? I surmised that after
bringing the tunnel into contact with the physical
either Sheolman had disappeared into it, or
something had gone wrong, causing him to abandon both
tunnel and the Navajo couple, but I couldn't
surmise what. Was the inter-dimensional tunnel a
Steven, Old Blackgoat, and me? I didn't perceive
Sheolman's presence anywhere, not in my spirit,
the spirit realm. He had disappeared.
It was time to get out of the tunnel. Getting
would be a snap, just will it by envisioning
at the mouth of the vortex, and "Walla!� I'm
I did it!
I flopped hard on the cold, golden altar.
I turned myself, and sat up. Steven was
returning with water and cloth. Blackgoat was
kneeling by the wounded Navajo warrior. No time
elapsed during my journey, or at the very least, only
minutes. I didn't think anyone had noticed my
disappearance, but I sensed within my stint in
timelessness was far longer than the time passed in
physical reality of the altar.
Old Blackgoat had noticed me impact the altar.
Startling noises in a place like that tend to get
attention if you know what I mean. He saw I was
alright and renewed his ministering to the young
Steven, on the other hand, had the entire scene in
Handing medical supplies to Old Blackgoat,
came over to help me get off the altar.
"What in the world is going on?", Steven
in awe of what he had just witnessed.
"Sure, I'm alright," I said. "Listen," I
"we've got enough to deal with. Just
about what you saw for now. I'll tell you all
"Are you sure you are alright?" Steven asked
"I'm sure," I said, and smiled.
Old Blackgoat was the first to notice the young
was responding to the effects of the cool,
"I think he's coming around," Old Blackgoat said.
Steven and I moved closer.
"See if you can get a little water down him",
The young fellow surprised us all by gulping
the whole cup. "I'm O.K.", the young buck
lifting himself up out of his wife�s cupped
to a full sitting position.
"Take it easy," Old Blackgoat said. "We
want to start those wounds bleeding again."
"Why don't you go get my 4X4,� Steven said to Old
Blackgoat, handing him his keys. "The sooner we
some real medical attention, the better."
Blackgoat didn't respond. He didn't need to.
knew there was high probability infection
if it hadn't already, set in on the kind of
inflicted on the young buck. The sooner we got
the doctor, the better.
As Old Blackgoat headed for the double doors,
and I helped the young buck to his feet, taking
not to disturb the wrappings on arm and leg now
secured by strips of cloth we had ripped from an
We introduced ourselves, not intending
force any unnecessary conversation on the couple,
the young man, whose name we learned was Torre,
to talk, and we listened.
"I'm sure you know," Torre said, "that
Arlena, my wife, and I are not old enough to be
married. We are only seventeen. We quit high
last month when we learned Arlena was pregnant."
"Arlena...,Arlena...?" I thought to myself..
have I heard that name before?"
Torre continued. "I was lucky enough to find a
working for a local food store, but still we have
been able to afford a car. Arlena sometimes shops
I work, and then waits for me to walk her home
my shift is over."
"It is several miles to our small
trailer. Sometimes someone stops and gives us a
That is what happened this evening. I was
we would be fine because I knew the man who
us up. He used to be our school principal."
"Do you mean Dr. Sheolman?" I
"Yes," Arlena said. "He told us he had been
concerned about us and wanted to hear how we were
doing. He asked us if we would mind riding a short
distance with him on north of our trailer. He said
would drop us off on his way back. Torre and I
both so happy to ride with Dr. Sheolman. It was
honor to us that he cared.
"When he pulled off the road and
for the gorge," the young Navajo woman
continued, "he told us he was checking on a story
Satanism and asked us if we would like to look
the gorge with him for clues."
"I said sure," Torre interrupted. "I thought
everything would be O.K., but when we came to a hole
bottom of the cliff, he pulled a gun and
us into it. We walked a short way to an
elevator which brought us up here. Once here, he
both to the altar, then put on a white robe. Then
untied Arlena, and made her put on a robe, too.
told her if she didn't say and do exactly what he
her to, he would kill the baby in her womb."
"He gave me a page from a book," Arlena sobbed,
told me to read it aloud over and over and not
stop reading no matter what I heard. He told me
stopped he would kill us both instantly. So
when Torre began screaming I kept reading. I
until I was so hoarse I lost my voice. I
expected to die instantly, but when the bullet didn't
I looked up. Dr. Sheolman had disappeared. I
to untie Torre, but I couldn't. I tried
elevator, but it didn't work. I ran to every
looking for a way out. When I finally found the
exit, that's when you found me."
"What do you think happened to Dr. Sheolman?"
"Any number of things," Steven said, not
willing to traumatize the young couple further with
needless worry based on ungrounded speculation.
I picked up the paper Arlena had been reading
as we escorted the distraught couple through the
doors. There would be time to examine it
later. Perhaps it explained the mystical origin of
vortex or the reality of Sheolman�s spell. I
parchment and stuffed it in my hip pocket.
"Arlena?" I thought, once more. "Where have..,
now I remember! She must have been the girl in
back seat of the six wheeler that saved me from
trouble up atop Old Furry. That explains why
Sheolman chose her....to get even...."
We left hell central the way we found it, lights
doors open. It was time for show and tell. I
sure, as an educator, Dr. Sheolman would
appreciate our method. After all, we wanted to do
best job possible educating the public. I was
Dr. Sheolman would understand ...