Ninth Floor, for Halloween, teen CC completeOct30, 09

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ken_r
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Ninth Floor, for Halloween, teen CC completeOct30, 09

Post by ken_r » Sat Sep 19, 2009 8:37 am

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Ninth Floor
Title: ninth Floor
Author: ken_r, ken242, Kenneth Renouard
Genera: Alternate Universe with no aliens
Couples: Conventional
Rating: Teen
Author’s note: I can only hope that this story will give visions that would haunt readers in their minds.

Disclaimber: H.P. Lovecraft is arguably one of the greatest early horror writers. I borrowed him as a character. He always alluded to a mysterious book that contained information about his stories. I borrowed that also. Of course, I only borrowed the Roswell characters. I endeavored to keep their characters intact, at least in the way I see them.
http://www.dagonbytes.com/thelibrary/lovecraft/

Itunes is selling the series of movies, “Earth without people.” I used this to set my feeling of the earth Max and Maria experienced, in the future. At the University of New Mexico, from 1960 to 1965, I spent a lot of time in the Zimmerman Library. At that time, the new section was just opening. What I choose to call the old section was a tower of nine stories. There were several stairwells and, I believe, two elevators to travel between the floors. The elevators were old and creaked and groaned as they operated. On the ninth floor were books on parapsychology and religion. I spent a lot of time there because very few students ever found their way into those subjects. The carrels, the cubicles that grad students were allowed to check out, were seldom occupied on that floor. Now the library is spread across campus. There are libraries for different subjects built near to their departments. In my story, I have only one elevator in the old building and I narrowed the stairwell for my own pleasure.

Summary: Liz unknowingly is the nexus of terrible events which not only will take her life, but maybe, even destroy the world. Max, is agnostic as far as his feelings go to paranormal events. It takes the knowledge of his college mentor along with Michael and Alex to decipher the events. Max, with the aid and faith of Maria, will try to prevent the death of Liz along with worldwide destruction. This all takes place on the ninth floor of the old tower, of the University of New Mexico Zimmerman Library.


Ninth Floor

Max glanced at his watch. It was almost 11:30 PM. Liz would be ready to come home in about 15 minutes. Max worried about her late hours in the library. Liz always laughed and called him an old lady. She did, though, allow him to walk her back to their apartment. Secretly, she delighted in the truth that he cared that much for her safety. As he jogged across the campus, Max thought about why they were together.

Max had just graduated, with a master’s degree in Anthropology, from the Northern University of Arizona at Flagstaff. He had worked hard and had received invitations to work on his doctorate from several Universities. Max chose the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, which was a surprise to many of his colleagues. With his honors and credentials, he could have chosen from many prestigious schools back east. They asked why he would choose a good, but never the less, a state university whose location some felt was an intellectual wilderness? There was no surprise when you looked at the faculty of the University of New Mexico. Doctor Raymond Fitzpatrick had transferred to be head of the Archeology department. Doctor Fitzpatrick had been Max’s undergraduate advisor in Arizona. Their student/faculty relationship had developed into a close personal friendship. Max looked forward to, again, studying with and under his mentor.

This was almost coincident with Elizabeth Parker arriving as an instructor of freshman English. Maria DeLuca, the waif, whose daddy had left her when she was six, brought about that situation. Raised by a fiercely independent single mother, she had gone on to New Mexico Eastern University. This had been one of the smallest universities in the state. She entered the music program. At first, Maria only wanted to perform on stage. As she matured and the university opened knowledge of the pressures on the lives of performers, Maria decided that she wanted more stability. Amy, her mother, had worked hard to raise Maria. Most of her life was just getting by. As she matured in the university, Maria asked her self, “Do I want the chancy life of a performer?” Maria found that there were many things she could do, that had more security than a performing career. The small university had been good to Maria and she got her master’s in Music Education. That had led to her being hired at the University of New Mexico to teach Music Appreciation to freshmen. Someone, maybe, had seen in her the caring that this freshman class would need. Unlike Max, Maria was not sure she wanted to go for a higher degree. Her life was filled with theater, occasional pop music shows and the ever-present obligation to show jocks and geeks how to understand the crap they listened to on their Ipods. Teaching freshmen was a challenge. Making Music Appreciation live and be exciting was still her goal.

The daughter of Jeff Parker had been Maria’s life long friend. In high school, she was determined to succeed in biology. She did achieve the status of valedictorian the year of her high school graduation. Elizabeth Parker briefly dated Max their senior year. She found his shyness intriguing. Liz was given a scholarship back east. She and Max had a tearful night just before they both left for school. If Max hadn’t been so shy, they probably would have ended up in bed somewhere. As it was, the next day they found themselves on planes going in different directions and they lost track of each other.

People change when they enter college. Liz’s interest in biology turned to a passion for literature. Liz never left her interest in biology. It was as if some force was directing her as she studied the literature of mankind. She also studied the structure of writing. Eventually, the desire to write even overpowered the original interests in research. She minored in biology and also, took a lot of technical writing courses. At the time she intended to write better textbooks. Most of the text books she had to study from, were terrible, boring and confusing. Liz just couldn’t see why that was necessary. Her dream to write textbooks, later, matured into writing a novel. Liz was feeling a compelling need to express herself in a medium that would have permanence. She, also, immersed herself in the study of literature.

Liz had kept track of her friend Maria. Sometimes it was almost like they were sisters. A phone call on the eve of her obtaining her masters, “Maria, I think I want to return home.”

“To Roswell?” asked her friend.

“Not necessarily Roswell, but to someplace in the southwest. I miss the Hispanic culture, the food and the pace of life in general,” Liz informed Maria.

“Chica, I have a position teaching Music appreciation at the University of New Mexico. It is a bigger place than anything you can find in Roswell and Still I can return home if I feel the urge,” Maria stated. “Why don’t you apply for a instructor position here and we can be room mates like we never were able in college,” Maria continued.

They both gushed with the idea that they could get an apartment together and it would be just like old times. Max had Maria to thank for bringing Liz back to New Mexico. It hadn’t been perfectly smooth sailing, but now Max and Liz were back together.

Max walked past the Student Union Building, which was meeting halls, auditoriums, and food service for the many people on the campus. He went down the slight hill to the main entrance to the library. The courtyard was dark. The two lights at the entrance gave out their cones of light, illuminating the entrance and the immediate pathway leading to it. Liz would be in the old section, but they closed that entrance at 7:00 PM. That side of the building was already shrouded in shadow. Except for the tower, which housed the older book collections, most of the old building was empty. The special collections were now securely behind barred doors to be opened only in the light of day and the under the watchful eyes of the administrators who cared for them.

Max walked through the large glass doors of the main entrance. He passed through the metal and book detectors. They were set, more to catch someone illegally taking books out of the library, than to protect the students from bringing something dangerous into the place. Each book had an implanted device to register on the detectors. This device would trigger an alarm and the embarrassment of having all your bags checked did a lot to protect the library’s holdings, considering what else the administrators found in the students back packs.

As he walked across the large check out area, Max smiled at the flirtation of the girl who boringly manned the desk. Max Evans was a slender young man in his mid-twenties. Many students consider their college time as the last fling before they join the ranks of working adults. There are fraternities, parties and orgies if students want to look for them. To many, these were all looked at as being part of the experience of becoming an adult. Not so, Max Evans.

Max Evans was an intelligent young man, but he had always worked hard. Just being smart was not enough for Max. He wanted to be the best. Max always knew that there were people smarter than he was. This was just a challenge that he had to accept if he was to excel. Not many were as driven as he.

Many women would say that Max was good-looking. His dark hair and soulful light brown eyes attracted many glances and flirtations. When you were up at six o’clock in the morning and you studied until the library closed at midnight, you just did not have the opportunity or stamina to enjoy those implied dalliances.

Max didn’t see the disappointment as he hurried past the desk. Yes, the young lady had seen him walking out with the young English instructor, but in college, relationships were supposed to be in states of flux. She could hope, couldn’t she, to find a place in line when Max was again free?

Times before, that is her first semester as instructor, Liz had been willing to take a study carrel in the more public areas of a library. Study carrels were those small cubicles where students could keep their books and find secluded places to study. They were assigned to graduate students and professors only. Of course, other students always felt free to make use of them when no one else was there. Since she was now an instructor, Liz had responsibilities to her students. As a freshman English instructor, Liz would be besieged with typical freshmen’s question when they found her. Liz felt she should always be on call to answer them. This didn’t mean that she didn’t desire time of her own. This late nighttime was her time. This year, Liz was working on an important paper. It was not for the university. Liz was working on her novel.

Almost no one ever went to the ninth floor of the old part of the library. Some students even felt it was haunted. It was also the repository for books on paranormal studies. That kept many of the more grounded students away. This was where Liz sequestered herself to write her version of the all around American novel.

Max was a little early. He would take the elevator up to the ninth floor and meet Liz. The library was built in two parts. The new part was totally modern. There were copy machines at every corner and it was well lit with the large florescent lights. There was a sweeping staircase, which led up two stories to books and periodicals as well led down to the basement where they kept their microfiche and microfilm. It was also joined to the old building that was still opened. The old tower, built at the first of the twentieth century still was the home to many of their older collections. Here, you found the rare book collection and many volumes collected over the more than one hundred years of the university’s existence. You knew when you stepped into the older part of the building. The bright florescent lighting gave way to the old bulb lights, which were always in need of replacement. The floor tile was of the old Spanish style and the walls were thick, either being made of adobe or made to look like that they were.

There were two ways to get to the higher reaches of the ancient building. You could take the narrow stairs. These stairs led up a passage way so narrow that if traffic was going up and down at the same time, the students had to take turns. No one could pass on those stairs. More rotund individuals felt both sides of the walls as they made their way up or down. It definitely wasn’t the place for the claustrophobic.

Then there was the elevator. It was an ancient device, which told of its age with creeks and groans as the elevator car rose or descended. It gave a lot of credence to the haunted theory.

Max entered the elevator and pushed button number nine. With a shudder and bump, the car ascended. The car traveled slowly. You couldn’t expect speed out of such an ancient vehicle. Somewhere just past the eighth floor, Max felt a chill. It was as if someone had just stepped on his grave. Max tried to laugh. The reputation of the old building was playing on his nerves. The old car came to a halt, bouncing as if it was supported on a bungee cord. There were several seconds as the car stabilized its self and then, the doors opened. Max was confronted with the most terrifying sight of his life. The door opened into another world and not a nice one, either.
Last edited by ken_r on Fri Oct 30, 2009 9:05 am, edited 10 times in total.
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-

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ken_r
Obsessed Roswellian
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Location: New Mexico

Re: Ninth Floor, for halloween, teen CC Sept 19,09

Post by ken_r » Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:16 am

Janitfl
begonia 9508
L-J-L 76
mary mary

Chapter 2

Max had been up to the ninth floor many times with Liz. A couple times he had appropriated a carrel and leafed through some of the volumes. There had been a book on the trials and punishments of Joan of Arc. It was detailed in both her testimony as well as the pleasure of the authorities as they ended her life. He also saw there shelves of arcane volumes about sorcery and witchcraft.

Now before him, Max only saw destruction. “All” the windows of the floor had been broken out. There was a strong wind blowing through the room. The noise it made gave him shivers. Max had entered the library at nearly midnight. Looking through the windows, Max could see the gray sky. It must be sometime in the afternoon. As Max walked into the eerie room, he felt like he was walking through mud. Max looked at his feet. He was ankle deep in a thick dust. There were books strewn everywhere. Not just books on the floor, but books decomposing all around. The thick dust was their remains.

As Max entered the room he stirred a dust cloud, which rose and was taken away in the wind. Strangely, the thick dust on the floor remained untouched by the wind. It was disturbed only by his footprints. The smell was thick with waste and decay. Max remembered a tomb he had entered long ago, while digging in the southwest. There had been that same smell and feel of death and decay. Max walked along the rows of fallen books looking at the carrels as he passed them. The collections that he had browsed were no longer existent. Liz had her workstation just around the next corner. When Max approached the carrel, which he knew as Liz’s, he was hit with both a chill and nausea. There, lying crumpled against the wall, was a skeleton. From all that he could see, the skeleton was that of Liz. There was a laptop, or what remained of a laptop, on the desk. The screen was dark and broken. The laptop’s broken screen showing its age, a black puddle was at the bottom of the screen where the previous electrolyte had settled.

The laptop was the same make and model as the one Liz used. Sitting on the desk, against the wall, was a backpack. At first, it had a slight resemblance to the one Liz used. Max reached out to touch it and it crumpled. The backpack was now just dust piled on the small desk. Max reached out to touch the skeleton. It had a locket still hanging about its neck. Carefully, he removed the locket. Even with all this care, he caused some of the bones to fall, clattering in dust. Max could only wonder how its fall made that noise. He guessed the dust didn’t do much to cushion the fall. Max gave a cry. He felt a sharp pain and a consuming guilt. It was like he was hurting her when the bones fell to the floor. Max, with trembling hands, opened the locket. It was made of gold and had not corroded. Inside, it looked almost new. There was a faint dust of a picture on one side. Max could not make out who was in the picture. On the other side clearly seen, was an engraving. “Max and Liz forever,” it read.

Max’s heart was in his throat. He placed the locket on the desk and then he examined the skeleton further. He sobbed when he saw one arm lying on the floor. Something had torn it from the rest of the skeleton. The clothes had long since been blown away. This gave Max a feeling of shame, as if somehow, he hadn’t been there to protect her from exposure. There were remnants of shoes. Max looked closely. They were Nikes, although badly decomposed, they were the type Liz had usually worn. Max, with a cry stood and backed away. The door to the elevator hung on a worn and broken track. He wasn’t about to try that elevator again. He asked himself did the room even still have any power? So Max made his way to the narrow stairwell. Max had always pledged himself to protect Liz. How had he failed? Max only made it to the eighth floor. He stumbled into the room and as the door clanged shut, he looked around. It was the library, the same library Max had studied in since he had been working at the university. He saw a couple students who gave him strained looks as they left the floor. Max could hear the creaking of the elevator as it plied its way up and down. The students were leaving. The university library would soon close for the night.

Shuffling over to the now perfectly working door, Max pushed the down button. There was a creak as the elevator car stopped on its way down. When the car opened, standing there, looking at him was a woman, her rich golden skin glistening and her brown eyes smiling. “Max, are you here to meet me?” Liz asked.

Max almost fell over in his surprise. He stepped into the car with an unsteady movement and, as the door closed he couldn’t help but reach out to touch her face. Max reached for her locket, the one he had given her after their reunion arranged by Maria. He opened it. On one side there was the picture of a couple, Max and Liz their faces tightly pressed together. On the other was the engraving, “Max and Liz forever.”

Max remembered that time. Yes, Max had dated. What young man, at that age, was ready to become a hermit? These dates, occasionally, ended up in bed somewhere. The trouble was that the next few days afterward, Max had to work double hard it make up for the time lost. His friends always complained that Max did nothing, except schoolwork. He did not avail himself of the rich social life that was offered to him.

Max didn’t care. He wanted to be the best. For him, this meant he had to work hard. The honors he was given at his bachelor’s degree and also his second graduation when they handed him his master’s degree in Anthropology, he felt were his true rewards.

His friend/mentor/advisor, Raymond Fitzpatrick was not there to see this final act at Northern Arizona. Professor Fitzpatrick, by this time, had moved on to head his new department in New Mexico. Max sent out the applications and received the invitations. Almost all were favorable in accepting him. His standing at his university, assured him of that. The invitation signed by Raymond Fitzpatrick himself, stood out in Max’s mind. He could think of nothing better than being a fellow instructor with his old mentor. So, the University of New Mexico it was. Another thing in his favor was that he was now only about four hours away from his home in Roswell, New Mexico.

Max found an apartment near-by the university. It was within walking distance of the institution. The price was reasonable, but what Max didn’t realize was that though most of the students living in this area were hard working people, along with the intellectual atmosphere, there had followed an element of sleaze. This, also, brought to him, the danger of the neighborhoods. Almost from the beginning Max was looking for a new place to live.

There was a party given by the president of the university to allow the future educators to meet the already established faculty and also, to meet each other.

It was a Sunday afternoon and Max dressed in slacks and polo shirt, attire unlikely for an anthropology student, who was more likely to be found dressed in beat up Levis and run down boots. Max found himself standing on the Presidential lawn, holding a cup of badly brewed punch, watching more people than he was used to, wander around each other. He heard a familiar voice, “Max, what a surprise!”

Max turned around and saw Maria DeLuca. Maria came running and if Max was trying to have any dignity, Maria was equally determined to strip it from him. Maria had always enjoyed teasing Max. Max was one of those who blushed easily. Maria threw her arms around him, kissing his lips and spilling the drink of punch Max had been holding. Maria had just solved his problem of trying to figure a way to get rid of it. Maria stepped back and was rewarded by the sight of a blood red Max. He was so embarrassed that his ears were twitching. “Oh, Max, you do not know how good it is to see someone from home!” she said.

Max was slowly getting his blood pressure back down to normal. He smiled and said to her, “Maria, how have you been?”

Maria was holding his arm and, as usual, bubbling over with enthusiasm. “Max, what are you doing here? How were your college years? Are you still single or have you teamed up with someone, finally? Do you ever hear anything from the old gang from Roswell? Are you busy this Wednesday night?” That was Maria. She had so many questions that you usually forgot most of them as you tried to find answers.

That last question hit him finally. “Why, what is Wednesday night?” Max asked.

“Oh, my roommate and I are having several people over to celebrate our new apartment. Unless you have other plans, we would love to have you stop by.” Maria did not leave much room to refuse without being rude.

Most of her other questions were forgotten. That suited Max fine. Yes, he would stop by and bring some kind of apartment warming gift. Max had met most of the professors he would work with so after the meeting with Maria, Max sneaked off to go home.

Maria was looking for her roommate. She found Liz on the far lawn surrounded by young professors and instructors. As usual, they were arguing over some fine point of literature or maybe it was biology. Maria had no care for fine points of anything. She burst through the crowd, “Chica,” she said, ignoring most of the men surrounding Liz. “We are going to throw an apartment warming party this Wednesday.”

Immediately, many of those crowded around Liz took out note pads. Maria gave them her address saying, “We are two girls from Roswell who want to meet the world. You are all invited.” Maria did have another plan in mind. She wasn’t sure it would work.

Max was thinking about this. It almost derailed his fear at what he had seen on the floor above. “Liz, you are alive!” he exclaimed.

Liz leaned over and kissed him. “Of course I am, silly. What are you talking about?” Max leaned over and pushed the stop button on the elevator. The car shuttered to a stop and Max pushed the ninth floor button with a great deal of fear. The elevator car rose and when it finally stopped, Max did not have to leave the car. He saw the familiar sight of the empty floor, it lights glowing and the windows that he could see looking out to a black outdoors. Looking at the rows of books neatly placed on the shelves disarmed his previous fear. Without a word, Max pushed the first floor button and they rode the car in silence.

Liz kept looking at Max. She thought, maybe, he was getting sick. His skin color was that of parchment, maybe almost a sickly gray. She saw how unsteady his hands were. His voice was horse and broken. Liz knew that something was wrong, but she also knew the stubbornness of Max. He wouldn’t tell her the problem until he was ready.

That night when they went to bed, Max held her tighter than ever. Liz had to grunt at him as he was squeezing her. Max relaxed slightly and slowly drifted off to sleep. Liz was sure she felt him sobbing. She said nothing the next morning. She didn’t want to embarrass him? Max had always put her welfare first ever since they moved in together. She remembered that day. Liz had been in the dumps ever since she arrived at Albuquerque. It seemed that she did not know anyone at this university. With Maria so bubbly, Liz tried to not spoil things for her. That damned party. Who ever heard of a apartment warming party and the way Maria just passed out their address to everyone standing around.
-------------------------
I will try not to let this story slow the other two stories down.
genes of the King is a story about discovering the power and danger of their heritage.
Summer to Remember an action adventure story
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-

User avatar
ken_r
Obsessed Roswellian
Posts: 860
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 11:34 pm
Location: New Mexico

Re: Ninth Floor, for halloween, teen CC ch 2 Sept 21,09

Post by ken_r » Mon Sep 28, 2009 9:28 am

begonia9508
mary mary
keepsmiling7

Chapter 3

Max remembered the first time he saw Liz after many years. Maria had invited him to the apartment warming party. Max had never heard of such a thing either, but he knew that Maria would invent something if it allowed her to have a party.

Max arrived with trepidation. He was coming to this thing because Maria had asked him. When he arrived at the apartment, he found that the party had spilled out into the courtyard. Max pushed his way through, looking for Maria. He would give her the present and shake a few hands and disappear. She would never know when he left. Maria had just as much enthusiasm as she had before. Her embrace and kiss were awarded with almost as deep a blush as she had gotten at the faculty party. Max presented her with the little package. He knew that Maria was always into aromas. Max had purchased a ceramic pueblo replica, which had different positions for incense to be burnt. It was a collection of aromas of the southwest. That earned him another kiss and, of course, another blush.
Max had been there a few minutes trying to follow the different conversations, when Maria caught his sleeve. “Max, could you go to the garage and bring in another cooler of beer?” She pointed at a door that Max presumed led to the garage.

When Max entered, he saw a figure bent over trying to wrestle a much too large cooler. Max must have approached her silently because when he spoke, she jumped and turned in fright. “Max,” she exclaimed. “Where did you come from?”

“Liz, I didn’t expect to ever see you again. Maria invited me to the party. I met her at the faculty mixer the other day,” Max informed her.

Liz was still trying to catch her breath. She sat down on the cooler and Max sat beside her.

That had been the start of their reunion.

Roswell had been a fairly progressive town. There had been many students leaving high school and entering the college life. Max’s sister, Isabel had gone to New York to study graphics and design. She was every bit as smart as Max, but she didn’t see why he pushed himself so much. On graduation, she entered the hectic field of fashion design, but soon found a stronger interest in industrial design. Now she was working for a large corporation, which was based at a government run research and development location better known as Sandia Corporation in Albuquerque. The pace wasn’t as hectic and the money was sure. She hadn’t corresponded that much with Max, so it was a surprise when her parents told her that her brother was also in the same city.

Alex Whitman, had been a true geek in high school. He had been one of those who were badly treated by fellow students. Now, they were former associates who were employed by him. Alex’s mother and father had been a military family. At first his father had been stationed at the air base in Roswell. When it closed, the now, Mr. Whitman, no longer with the military, qbecame a consultant to industries looking for government contracts. He married a local girl, much younger than himself and after a time Alex was born.

Alex had always had an infatuation with the diva of fashion in high school, Isabel Evans. He even took her to the senior prom. This was much to the disgust of many of the jocks and studs at school. Many had waited the four years, salivating at the thought of having Isabel at the dance and perhaps, in a motel room afterwards. Isabel liked to flirt, but she didn’t see any advantage of being trophy for anyone at the end of her senior year. She knew that Alex had always liked her. She made her decision and it was Alex who held her in his arms that night. Isabel had even decided that if he asked, she would go with him to a room. She had decided that if they made love, Alex would treat her as a treasure and not a trophy. Poor Alex was so delighted that he had Isabel as a date, that, to have pushed his luck further did not enter his mind. He had no idea that she was willing to give him her virginity that night. He had no idea that she was a virgin. Most of the boys in high school assumed that she had slept with someone who just wasn’t bragging.

You could say that Alex lived in the entire state of New Mexico. He traveled between Los Alamos, the atomic city, to Las Cruces the home of the second largest university in the state. Alex headquartered in Albuquerque because it was central to most of the state. He hadn’t seen Isabel since high school. That is not exactly correct. Alex had seen, danced and even made love to Isabel, many nights, in his dreams. When they were thrown together in their work, Alex found that Isabel had missed him also.

Michael Guerin, the orphan, had been kicked about by almost everyone until Mr. Jeff Parker hired him to work at his restaurant. Jeff parker remembered his own youth. He had been settled down by the love of a good woman. Giving Michael a chance was Jeff’s way of paying back to society for his chance at a good life. Michael showed a slight promise in art, in high school. That was about the only class for which his attendance was regular. Michael tried all the media. It wasn’t until someone stuck a camera in his hands that he found his calling. His final achievement was at the crowning of the Homecoming Queen where Michael was faced with three candidates. He sat the aging school Nikon to rapid multiple shots and picking one of the candidates, the minute the Activities Director opened the envelope, Michael took a continuous stream of pictures. He chose right. Michael preserved for all time, every expression, the newly announced queen had as she learned of her fortune. Carefully choosing the perfect shot in the dark room, earned Michael a scholarship in photography at New York City College of the Arts. Michael had worked his way back to the southwest by photographing christenings, baptisms, bar mitzvahs, weddings and babies.

Michael had a fairly well paying career, but what he really wanted to photograph was the strange plays of light that gave subjects an unearthly appearance in the southwest. That was what brought him back and what now, kept Michael here.

Michael and Maria had developed a tumultuous relationship in high school. They parted in a storm of name-calling and accusations of infidelity from both sides. Since neither were technically going with the other, these accusations were moot. Maria met Michael for the second time when she arranged a photographer for a drama that her music class was performing. Maria just called a phone number that she had been given. She did not even recognize the voice. Michael almost refused the gig when he heard her voice. You see, Michael did recognize Maria’s voice. Perhaps he had placed more value on her than either of them thought. Things were slow and Michael needed the money so he just showed up. Maria was lost in worry about her production and it wasn’t until the photography session was over that she recognized Michael.

They found that maturity had benefited both of them. Liz was renewing her love for Max so when she expressed a desire to quit as Maria’s roommate, the first time that Michael complained about the price of his lodgings, Maria found an excuse to invite him to move in.

Max had been looking for a new apartment. He wasn’t happy at the location of the one he first had found. With Liz, he was offered a new place to live, but also, the girl he should have had, the night just before leaving for college.

Max was still working hard, but he was slowly surrounding himself with friends. Friends that he did not have time for in high school. As Max got up the next morning, he touched Liz several times to assure himself that she was real. He was about to relegate the vision of last night to the realm of hallucination. He just couldn’t find a reason for his mind to behave that way.

Max got up, showered and had breakfast on the stove by the time Liz came into the kitchen/living room/den area of their small apartment. Max was teaching anthropology 101. It was an introductory class. Some might consider teaching an introductory class a punishment, but the department head, citing Ellis, Hibben, Bock and Hill, told his instructors, that from this class came the future anthro majors. The aforementioned professors were known for their individual and unique ways of making Anthropology interesting to young students. Today’s lecture was world religions and their view of the afterlife.

Max shuddered. What if his vision, last night, was a preview of a time to come? Not a distant apocalypse, but the time in the near future that at least Liz was to die in. That thought haunted Max as he traced the variations of heavens and hells the different religions saw in the final days.

Chapter 4

That evening when Liz was ready to return to the Library, Max accompanied her. He still hadn’t told her about last night’s vision. They walked into the lobby and Max smiled at the girl at the desk. Liz pushed the button for the ninth floor and was a little surprised that Max entered the elevator with her. Max knew that she wanted seclusion to work in, but he wanted to inspect the floor before she settled down.

The door of the elevator slowly opened and to Max’s surprise he saw a perfectly functioning library floor. Yes, some of the students studying paranormal psychology were a little strange, but nothing that couldn’t be explained. Max kissed Liz and he returned by elevator to the anthropology section to prepare for his next lecture.

Max was surrounded by books on idols, divine reincarnations and gods who had no form, as he developed what he would say in two days. He did look carefully at prophecies. The closest he came to his experience was that of St. John in the King James, version of the Bible. The book of Revelations was all allegory and symbolism. Most prophecies, Max saw, were best interpreted in hind site. Going back to the prophecy after something happened made it much easier to see references. What Max saw was very clear. It clearly hadn’t happened yet. It as just so real that Max had trouble thinking of it as a vision. Somehow, he had been allowed into a room where the future had already happened. True, he had been so traumatized that he hadn’t been thinking very straight, but he did not perceive any symbols in what he saw last night.

Max finally, closed and returned the books he had taken from the shelves. He folded his notes and replaced them in his backpack. It was almost without intention that he drifted over to the elevator in the old part of the library. He pushed the ninth floor button and again, the aged elevator made one more trip. Max experienced the shiver as he passed the eighth floor and when the door opened, Max was faced with the devastation he had seen last night.

Max entered the floor. He looked down and saw no footprints, but the dust was so fine it had probably filled in the minute he left. Last night, Max was sure that all the windowpanes had been knocked out. This time, he saw that he had been wrong. There were a few panes still in place. The broken windows gave an eerie sound to the wind. It was very different from what Max remembered from last night. Last night, there was a general wind sound. Now, the individual panes of glass made a whistling sound that changed from time to time, with the different windows making up a chorus of sounds. These sounds made the floor even more frightening than the night before.

The view outside was still the afternoon giving lie to the fact that Max was sure it was after 10: 00 that night. The deterioration of the books wasn’t quite as complete as Max remembered from last night. He guessed his fright had made him less observant. Max’s objective attitude lasted until he reached the carrel where he would find the remains of Liz.

Max approached the skeleton with sadness. Even though Max expected, maybe hoped, that when he got off this floor, he would again face his love. Still, if this was something in time to come, Max could only mourn that such a terrible end had befallen, Liz. Last night, he had seen the remnants of the shoes some distance from the rest of the bones. Tonight, the foot bones were still sticking out of the shoes. It was clear that they were Nikes, the same color that Liz habitually wore. Why didn’t Max remember that fact from the other night? Max shook his head. He had made a lot of mistakes last night in his grief. Then, Max saw that the arm bones, which much to his grief, that had been ripped from the body of the skeleton, were, now, still loosely attached to the other bones. The parts of the skeleton, which had fallen apart from his intrusion in obtaining the locket, were now again intact. That was too much. Was there someone who had come in and rearranged everything? The feeling that someone was defiling her remains, again brought anger and sadness to him. Max carefully looked to see if there was any indication that someone else had been there. The first time he had been in shock and may have not noticed many things, but there were just too many things different to have escaped his noticed. He asked again, “Had someone else been here? If so, they had also replaced a few panes in the windows.” Max was very perplexed. Max thought about taking the locket. He did not know why, but something kept him from disturbing it that much. It was now back around the neck and not on the desk where Max had left it. As he backed away Max’s backpack got caught on the arm bones and turning he cast them some distance from the rest of the skeleton. Again, it pained Max, just as if he had actually hurt the Liz he loved. Max, let out a cry as he fled the floor.

Max, carefully, made his way down to the ground floor. He took up a chair and waited for midnight. Just before the clock struck the time for a warning buzzer to go off and tell all students that the library would be closing, Liz appeared from the elevator and, hand in hand, they left for their apartment.

For the next few days, Max waited for Liz at the elevator door on the ground floor. Max almost forgot his lectures. He was concentrating on prophesy. Max was reading about religious prophecies and how they were interpreted. Everything Max could find required an interpretation. No writings mentioned anything as clear as what Max had seen. One night, Max accompanied Liz to the ninth floor where he researched relatively unknown religions. He found nothing like what he had experienced.

Max talked to his mentor, Doctor Fitzpatrick. He explained the two times he had been alone on the ninth floor. “Doc, it was out of a bad SciFi movie. Like one of those where everything is destroyed. Not only destroyed, but decaying for a long time. This is something that happen a long time before I entered the room,” Max explained.

“Max, have you been taking any hallucinogenic drugs?” Doctor Fitzpatrick asked.

Max knew that some anthropology students get so caught up in their studies that they attempt dangerous duplications of some of the rituals and sacraments that they learned from other societies.

Max shook his head. “I have never believed in any paranormal things before. I attributed many religious manifestations to mass paranoia or suggestion. My feeling on sacraments of narcotics or hallucinogens was that they were just releasing the individual’s subconscious thoughts and therefore, they were just part of the person taking them, nothing new,” Max explained.

“Have you ever tried taking someone else with you?” Fitzpatrick asked.

“Only Liz, and when we entered, the floor was normal as it always is,” Max stated.

“Liz is part of the vision. She may, in some way, be an anchor to reality. That would not allow the vision to come through,” Fitzpatrick stated. “Max,” he continued, “You need to keep trying to approach these visions. There does not seem to be any danger so far to you. You need to keep better notes of what you see. I am not sure, but I may see something. Let me think on it and you bring back what you learn.” Max nodded but he was troubled that Fitz was considering these things to just be visions. Max had considered that at first, but the reality of what he experienced was too personal, too strong, to be just a vision.

That night in his dreams, Max saw a disembodied face. It was contorted like the masks they show at operas, but you could almost see through it. The mouth was moving and the face was screaming, although what Max heard was barely above a whisperor like a scream a long ways away. “Who are you? Why are you here? She and all that there is, are mine!” the mask cried.

Max was not a man to entertain nightmares. Most of his bad dreams were the usual for an instructor, that is, forgetting his lecture, suddenly appearing before his class naked or being caught in an embarrassing situation by his department head. These were the things, experienced at night in dreams, were quickly forgotten the next day. That screaming face, those sightless eyes, they just wouldn’t go away.

Even before his shower, Max grabbed a note pad and jotted down everything he could remember from the dream. He was surprised that later in the day, the memories were still vivid in his mind. Unlike most bac dreams these hadn’t faded.

In class that day, they were still discussing religious experiences. Max folded his notes and put them in his pocket, “Has anyone here experienced any moment which might foretell the future?” he asked.

There was a mummer running through the class. Finally, a hand went up. “I had a nightmare, which caused me to wake up the next morning filled with dread and depression. Later that day, we learned that my brotherwho was in the army, had been killed.”

Normally, Max would have dismissed that statement as just an ever present worry which grew when the event they were dreading finally happened. Now, Max wasn’t quite so sure.

One jock, probably a lineman on the football team, raised his hand. “I had a wet dream one night and the next day I met this oh, so luscious babe,” he said. The class roared. Now that was an useful premonition. A few more tales were told. Then, they degenerated into tales of aunts, grandmothers and friends. Max took out his notes and wove this discussion into a lecture about prophesies. None of the tales came close to matching the experience Max was having.

A few nights later, Max again accompanied Liz to the ninth floor. When she opened the door, the floor was as it should be. Max descended to the anthropology section and waited, but he couldn’t keep his mind on his researches. Finally, he closed his books and hoisting his backpack on his shoulders, Max, again, entered the creaking elevator going to the ninth floor.

As he passed the eighth floor he had that now familiar chill, again. This hadn’t happened a few hours ago when he ascended with Liz. Entering the floor, he saw that it was in better condition. There were fewer windows broken than before. Fitz had insisted that Max take notes. This time, Max counted the unbroken panes. Then, he walked to one of the windows and looked outside. Max could see across the campus. He saw the hills where a dilapidated building was crumbling. This was where the Student Union Building had been. Could that ruin be the building in this time? Max saw, not normal over growth, but rather, alien looking gray shrubbery covering the ground. Looking further, Max saw on the skyline buildings in various states of corruption. The whole campus, as far as he could see, was a massive ruin. The sky, as far as Max could tell, was featureless gray. There were not even any patterns to the clouds if that is what they were.

Max walked down the aisle and with his pen, he poked several books. Some of them seem to not be completely falling apart. Max saw that the dust wasn’t as deep on the floor as he remembered it. Once again, Max saw no footprints from the few nights before. The skeleton, which he presumed was the remains of his love, was even more disturbing. It now had scraps of clothing attached to it. This increased his feeling that it was more than a thing. This was all that was left of the girl Max had loved so much. It brought on an even deeper grief, if this was to be the fate of his love. There was a part of his mind, which declared that Liz was not dead. What was before Max was only the possibility of what might come. Could Max only hope that the future was not fixed? What he was being allowed to see, might happen? Maybe, to warn him so that he could prevent it. Max, like Ebenezer Scrooge, in Charles Dickens’s “Christmas Carol,” was seeing events, which might come to pass. Ebenezer did not have the chance to touch the people in those events. Ebenezer was just allowed to watch, in the company of the Ghost of Christmas yet to come. Max had no such company to comfort him, if that would be possible. Max was alone. Was he viewing a tragic event, which he yet didn’t have the knowledge to prevent? It appeared that Max was seeing the results of the many years that her body had remained here, desecrated by time, uncared for, un-mourned and tragically alone.

Max found a carrel that was reasonably intact. He tested the chair and then, assuring himself that it wouldn’t fall apart immediately, he sat down.

There was still a breeze running through the room. The whistling through the broken windows was the only sound that Max could hear. As Max sat and developed his notes, he saw brief shadows appear in the air and then disappear. Try as he could, Max couldn’t make any form out of the shadows. Max picked one shelf and counted the books that were sanding on the shelf. He recorded this, only because Fitz had suggested he do details like that. Fitz had said that Max needed exact observations for Fitz to make any opinion of this. As Max walked towards the stairway, the shadows he had briefly noticed swarmed around him. They tried to guide him to the elevator. Max, stubbornly, kept his direction to the stairs. The elevator, which had bravely brought him to the ninth floor, now was dreaded. It did not have the appearance of the one Max arrived in just a few minutes ago. Max couldn’t rid himself of the feeling that now it was an ancient untrustworthy device. When had it transformed into what it now was?

The door from this side to the stairs was battered and scared. Max hadn’t taken notice of that before. The paint had almost all pealed off leaving a reddish brown patina. Max entered and again he descended to the eighth floor. The second that the door closed, the stairwell took on a much less forbidden atmosphere.

When Max was at the eighth floor, moving among the many students going about their studies, he again entered the elevator and descended to the ground floor to wait for Liz. She soon returned only showing concern for what might be obviously bothering Max.

The next afternoon, Max was again in the office of his old friend. “Doc, here are the notes I took. I also tried to copy as much as I could about the other times I was there. See what you can make of it?” Max asked him.

Doctor Fitzpatrick carefully scanned the notes. He was, obviously, looking for something. When he finished, he turned to Max and said, “Max, the vision is running backwards. I thought so the other day when you were telling me about it. Now, I am sure! The first time you were years in the future. Every time you enter that floor time, comes closer to the present. Look, the skeleton becomes less ravaged every time you observe it, fewer windowpanes are broken each time, and the bookshelves are more intact. Whatever is happening, you are getting closer and closer to some catastrophic event. We have no idea how fast this reverse time is moving. I can’t help but believe, that this speed might be important.” Doctor Fitzpatrick put down Max’s notes and took a cloth from his desk. He took off his glasses and polished the lenses. Holding his glasses in his hand, he looked up at the ceiling, as if looking for divine support. “Max, whatever happened or rather will happen, might have a chance of being stopped. In real life, you are rushing towards something terrible that is going to happen, but when you are on the ninth floor alone, you are rushing backwards to when it did happen.” Fitz sat there in thought. Max was being given a chance to do more than just save his love. Looking out the windows, Max had seen that the devastation had gone much further than just the library. With a nervous laugh, Fitz stated, “Max, you may have a chance to save the world along with your love.”
----------------------------
genes of the King is a story about discovering the power and danger of their heritage.
Summer to Remember an action adventure story
Last edited by ken_r on Sun Oct 04, 2009 10:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-

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ken_r
Obsessed Roswellian
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Re: Ninth Floor, for halloween, teen CC ch 4 Sept 28,09

Post by ken_r » Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:56 am

keepsmiling7 When we are trying to do good isn't that always about saving the world?
begonia9508 A film going backwards is exactly what they are seeing.

Chapter 5

Max left the professor’s office very perplexed. Max was having a harder and harder time keeping up with his lectures. Maybe, he would have to ask for a leave of absence. How would that work? He wasn’t going to live off Liz’s salary and if he took leave of absence, that is all they would have.

Max received a phone call that afternoon. “Max, mom and dad said you were in town. Why didn’t you try to contact me?” that was the voice over the phone of his sister.

“Izzy, I really didn’t have any idea that you had left the fashion world of the east. I don’t keep up much with mom and dad, so if they told me where you were, I had forgotten it,” Max replied.

“Max, you were always too wrapped up in your studies. There is a whole world out here and it has many people who love you. Try to break away and visit us. We don’t even have any idea about what you are doing,” Isabel said.

Isabel had been a good sister and Max, many times, felt that he had let her down in his duties as a brother. Thinking about Isabel, Max had no idea what she was up to, either. The last thing he knew was that Isabel was working for a dress designer. Had she branched out on her own, if so why in Albuquerque and not back east? Maybe she had left fashion design all together. If so, what was she doing? Max needed a break from his problem. “Isabel, I am sorry. I would like to see you. I have no idea about your life, either. I have been so busy that I haven’t had a chance to think about my responsibilities to family.” Max was trying to explain his feelings.

“Max, I want you to arrange a time when you can see us. I am with Alex now. Do you remember him? He was my date for the prom, so long ago,” Isabel said with a laugh. “We would love for you to come to dinner Saturday night. Max, did you ever hook up with anyone? Is there some significant other in your life?”

Max thought, Isabel now had a boyfriend or maybe he was more than that. Now, Max had been living with Liz. There were so many things they had to catch up on. “Izzy, Liz Parker is with me now. She is an instructor at the University as am I. I would like to bring her with me if she can come and it is all right with you,” Max explained.

Liz, Maria and Alex had been close friends from grade school on. They started drifting apart in the last years of high school as each took a different path. Liz remembered how happy Alex had been prom night when he told her that he was taking Isabel to the prom. Maria and Liz both had cheered him on. They had lost track of him with the pressures of college. It was amazing that Liz and Maria had kept in contact. That was mainly due to the perseverance of Maria. Liz was like her sister. Maria did not have that many people close to her.

Max and Liz gladly put everything on hold Saturday night. Liz felt that she needed a break from her writing and she knew that something was bothering Max. He wouldn’t confide in her, so maybe his sister could drag it out of him some way.

Liz had known Isabel, but they had always been in different social circles. About the closest they had ever been, was the night she went to the prom with Alex. Now, Alex showed almost as much enthusiasm for Liz as Maria had when she first saw Max. The first part of the evening was taken over by tales of their histories since high school. Liz was delighted in the change she saw in Alex. Whether it was his success in business or the love of Isabel, Alex was a much more confident young man. Isabel was so happy to see Max with someone. She knew that he loved Liz, but in high school there had just not been enough time. Isabel was hoping that they would develop something at the end of their senior year. Both young people then, had been so wrapped up in school nothing had happened.

Dinner gave a break in the evening. Afterwards as Liz and Isabel retired to the kitchen to catch up on girl talk, Max found himself in the living room with Alex. “Alex, you are a student of physics and mathematics, aren’t you?” Max asked.

Alex leaned back, “Yes, Max, I have studied both of these subjects, but I would hardly call myself an expert in either.”

“What do you know about the future?” Max asked.

“Max, there are dozens of theories about the future. Some say that it is foreordained, fixed and unchangeable. Others say the variables are infinite, you are presented with an uncountable number of choices. I have no idea what the future is. You would be better to ask a science fiction buff than a physicist or mathematician,” Alex explained.

Max related to Alex his story. He also told of the theories of Doctor Fitzpatrick. When he was through, Alex asked, “Why haven’t you talked this over with Liz?”

Max shook his head. “There is something bad happening. I want to try to stop it. If Liz knew what I was seeing, I couldn’t predict her actions. She might do something to hasten it,” Max explained.

“Then, I guess you think this is real and not just a vision?” Alex inquired.

“Alex, if you could only see what I see. It is just so real. I feel the bones and see the dust of the books. Looking out the windows I see the destruction something has brought to the world. I don’t have a choice. I have to believe it is real,” Max related to Alex.

“Do you think you could take me there to see it?” Alex asked.

“I don’t know. If I am with Liz, nothing happens. Fitz says that Liz anchors me to reality. So far, it is only when I am alone that I see these things. I don’t know if another person could view what I do or not,” Max mused.

“Next Tuesday, you and Liz do what you always do. I will meet you on the first floor of the library and you can take me up. We will see if an independent observer can see these things,” Alex stated.

Isabel and Liz returned from the kitchen. Isabel was sure that something had transpired between Max and Alex. She was, also, sure that Max didn’t want to discuss it in front of Liz. Liz felt that she was missing something, but recently, Max had been very closed down when she tried to talk to him. The conversation went to Maria and then, trailed off to what Isabel was designing. There was no secret, Isabel was designing office furniture that made more comfortable work stations.

It was late when they bid each other good night and Max and Liz returned home. “Max, is something bothering you?” Liz asked as she was separating her clothes for the laundry.

Max enjoyed seeing her walking around in just her panties. He let his mind travel to how much he cared for her. Thoughts that all of this could be taken away were so troubling. Fitz had said that if Liz knew about the visions. she might do something unintentionally, to hasten the apocalypse. Max forced a smile, “Liz, it is just that I am having trouble with my lectures. Fitz is helping me and it is something that I have to straighten out.”

Liz was not satisfied, but that seemed all she could get at the moment. She snuggled against Max. She could feel how much he cared for her. That did not seem to be the problem. She would just have to support him and maybe, if things got worse, she would meet with Doctor Fitzpatrick. Maybe, he could explain.

That night when Max finally fell asleep, the nightmares returned. The hollow faces, their empty eyes and mouths that you could see through flitted around Max. Their screams, again, were just whispers. “Your days are numbered. Make the best use of them and do not interfere with us. She is already ours. We will take her and you can’t stop us. We need to consume the energy of your world. We will not be stopped by your so-called learned men. Bring them with you all you want. They will learn nothing.” The faces just faded away. Max woke up in a sweat. He got up and got a glass of water. Taking his note pad, Max quickly wrote down everything he had heard. Looking at the notes, Max was sure he remembered almost everything of the dream.

When they got up, Liz saw that Max was looking haggard in his appearance. Max studied his notes for Monday’s class, but they spent the rest of the weekend just holding each other and making love. Max made it through Monday, but Tuesday he was set to meet Alex.

Chapter 6

Tuesday night, Max entered the elevator with Liz. She noticed that he did this a lot lately. He would ride the elevator with her and before he allowed her to leave the elevator, Max would inspect the floor and who was there. Once his inspection was over, Max would remain in the elevator, give her a very passionate kiss and return to his own studies. This time was no different, except Max was more preoccupied than usual.

Max met Alex on the ground floor. “I usually wait about an hour,” he said.

Alex nodded and picked up a newspaper and began reading. Max took out his notes and after a difficult time trying to concentrate, he said, “Okay, Alex, let’s give it a try.”

As usual, they entered the elevator and Max pushed the ninth floor button. There was no shudder as they passed the eighth floor. When the elevator came to its shuddering stop and the door opened, nothing. The door opened to a dimly lit ninth floor. The shelves lined with books and the windows were all intact, without any breeze blowing throughout the floor. Max started to get out of the elevator, but Alex pulled him back. “We would probably be seen by Liz and that would lead to confusion as to what we were doing here. I have another idea,” Alex told him.

Max returned to the elevator and they pushed the ground floor button. Max had seen one thing different, though. University students form many different sub-societies. They usually had similar interest and many times dressed alike. Over in the corner in the ninth floor, Max noticed that there were gathered several students. Max wasn’t sure how to describe them. Maybe gothic would serve. Max had known many students like these in anthropology. They, many times, were the ones who took up the religions studied by the class and many times they enjoyed any chemical enhancement of these religions. Like children, they played with witchcraft and magic without knowing any thing about dangers connected with them. These students were not unknown on the ninth floor; just usually there were not that many of them together.

When they reached the ground floor, Alex pushed Max back in the car. “Max, I will wait for you. Go back and take notes about what you see.” With that, Alex went back to his newspaper.

Max pushed the ninth floor button again. The car briefly stopped at eh fourth floor and a student entered. Max wondered if this person would effect his mission. The student nodded at Max. Max was trying to remember if he was in any of his classes. The car shuddered to a stop at the eighth floor and the student departed. When the elevator car continued, the chill was almost immediate as they approached the final floor.

The door opened and the breeze blew through the elevator car swirling and then, exiting somewhere that Max did not know. The grey sky was showing through the dirty windows. Several were broken, but now Max was recording those broken, rather than those intact. Max walked past the shelves with their many books, some of the books looked very worn but there were fewer of them on the floor and there wasn’t as much dust. Max walked over to the window. He looked out and saw tiny tendrils of smoke rising in the distance. That was the first time he had seen any feature, on the otherwise drab sky. Max made note of what he saw. He saw the alien appearance of the gray foliage. There were a few traces of green over growth that the gray stuff was overtaking. He proceeded to Liz’s workstation. There he approached as a mourner to a gravesite. Every time, he came the skeleton became more personal as the remains of his love. This time Max noticed she was wearing the remnants of a denim skirt that, although she hadn’t worn it this evening, Max knew that Liz often wore this, to the library. He no longer could call the skeleton it. This was the remains of the girl who he lived with, the one he held so close at night.

For the first time after he retreated from his memories of Liz, Max looked around at the other side of the Library. To his surprise, he saw several skeletons piled in a corner. Careful observation showed the remains of nose rings fallen from the skulls. Max, also, saw several lip and ear rings littering the floor. These were the remains of the gothic group he had observed earlier.

Taking all his notes, Max turned toward the stairs. This time, he felt weak tugs at his person as something tried to force him to the elevator. What ever was pulling at him was not very strong. Max pulled away, noticing the whispered screams of his nightmare before. Max made his way to the stairs. As he opened the door to the stair well, he heard a terrible wailing increase. As soon as he was in the narrow corridor, the noise stopped. Max, as usual, entered the eighth floor and took the elevator to the ground floor.

Alex was waiting for Max. He eagerly went over Max’s notes. They sat talking when Alex glanced up. It was almost midnight. Liz would be returning soon. “You still are determined to not tell her?” Alex asked.

Max shook his head. “Fitz thinks it might make it impossible to stop what is coming and that if she knows, she would do something which could accidentally hasten it before we are ready.” Max, at this time, was agreeing with Doctor Fitzpatrick.

Liz found Max sitting near the elevator and saw him stuffing some notes in his backpack. She wondered if he had spent the whole evening waiting here. Max was getting very paranoid about her studying on the ninth floor.

After his lectures, Max returned to the office of Doctor Fitzpatrick. Max handed him the notes and waited as he studied them. “Max, there are several new elements in your notes. First, there are the smoke trails. That means the world is still burning and not dead as it was when you first looked out the window. The second and the one I am most interested in, is the group of students. What were they doing? Could you see if they had any organization or not? What did the group of bones look like when you observed them?

Max was taken back because he couldn’t answer his mentor’s questions. “What do you think the students mean?” he asked.

It was several minutes before Doctor Fitzpatrick said anything to his former student. “Max, what do you know about demons?” he asked.

Max recoiled at this question. Fitz knew that he had little belief in anything except what he experienced. “Demons, Fitz, I am not into fantasy!” Max replied.

“Yes, Max, and I am not into library floors giving visions unless there is reason. Max you already lost reality, long ago. Probably, the first time you entered the ninth floor alone. Max, just for a minute, what would you say if aliens landed? What if they looked very different from us and did not recognize us as sentient beings? What would you call them if they started a rampage across the earth?” Fitzpatrick asked.

Max shook his head. His logic was blocking what Fitz was telling him.

“Maybe, you would call them demons, demons who might want to change earth for their own reasons.” Fitzpatrick went on, “Max, what if that crazy bunch of students was doing something like that? What if someway an alien could arrive, not with a spaceship, but rather a portal opened up into our world? History is full of people who claim they can summon spirits from other places. We study many folk people who have rituals to summon aid from a nether world. What if, some way, they were really calling an alien?”

This was still too much for Max to digest. Fitzpatrick took another direction. “You say that when Alex was with you, nothing happened. But, when you were alone you saw the vision again. Maybe, Alex is too logical. He is too well grounded. From what I have heard about him, Alex Whitman is a shrewd businessman. You are very skeptical, but you are very close to Liz. You want more than anything to stop her death. The rest of the world is just incidental. Do you know anyone else who is close to Liz and, also, not so logical that they wouldn’t believe what they saw?”

Max, immediately, thought of Maria. He remembered that Maria and her mother had both played around with a Ouija board once in high school. Maria believed in many mystical things. She might be the prefect candidate to help him. Did he want to expose her to what ever this was?

The afternoon found Max in the music department. “Maria, I have something to discuss with you. Do you have a couple hours to listen?” Max asked.

Maria was startled, imagining things going wrong with Max and Liz’s relationship. “Of course Max, let me put this music away and I am all yours,” she answered.

It was about 15 minutes walk to the Student Union Building. Max walked Maria to the serving room and over a diet coke for her and black coffee for him he started relating his tale. They were secluded in the corner and Max was talking very low. They could be seen with their heads close together.

When Max finished his tale, he leaned back a little. Maria was still shaking her head. “Max, this is incredible. Are you sure of everything you have seen?” she asked.

Max nodded.

“And when Alex was with you, you saw nothing?” she asked again.

Once again, Max nodded.

“I find Doctor Fitzpatrick’s interpretation on this interesting. What help do you need from me?” she asked.

“Maria, it is dangerous,” Max said. “I am being haunted by something that tries to keep me from saving Liz. That same thing could find you, if you agree to help me.”

Maria thought a minute, “But, if what you see is true, then I am doomed with everyone else, if we do nothing.”

Max nodded again. Maria was a gutsy woman. There had always been more to her than was evident when they were in high school.

“Max, count me in. Give me a couple days to prepare. Then, it is you and me babe against the demons of the other world! Max, we will beat them. We may have to kick some butt with those stupid students who are playing with what they do not understand. I agree that we should not tell Liz. If we fail, then her fate is sealed. There is no reason she should worry before hand.” That was quite a statement for the little singer.
----------------------
genes of the King is a story about discovering the power and danger of their heritage.
Summer to Remember an action adventure story
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-

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ken_r
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Re: Ninth Floor, for Halloween, teen CC pg2 ch 6 Oct 4 ,09

Post by ken_r » Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:35 am

Begonia9508
L-J-L 76
keepsmilling7

Chapter 7

Liz was bothered. She had cut through the Student Union the other day after classes. She saw Max and Maria in a dark corner with their heads together. She didn’t really believe that Maria would betray her friendship. Besides Maria had Michael. In high school, the times they were together, Maria had always said she wanted nothing else. Of course a few days later, Maria would be seen drawing pictures of Michael on a gallows or with his head on a chopping block. Liz knew that Maria liked to tease Max. She had seen Maria kiss Max passionately just to see him blush.

Besides, Liz saw that Max had been even more attentive to her, recently. He didn’t seem to be a fellow who would cheat. Liz wished Max would explain, but she was going to allow him to do this without her interference. Liz was worried but she still believed in her man. The rest of the week, Max escorted Liz to the library, but he did not enter the elevator.

It was Tuesday of the next week when Max next rode up the elevator with Liz. As usual, Max kissed her at the door and she went to her carrel. Liz did notice the group of students gathered at the far end of the floor. She couldn’t see what they were doing, but they were reasonably quiet and she had her own business to care for.

Max returned to the ground floor. Maria was waiting for him. She was dressed in denim jeans, her shoes were high top hiking boots; for a top she was wearing a tight-fitting silk pullover. Over that, she had a denim shirt, but what got Max’s notice was around her neck. She had a large silver chain. Hanging from this was a cross. It was decorated in turquoise. The very fine inletting must be from the Zuni Pueblo if Max remembered right. Around her waist was a ancient rosary. It was made of silver and the beads looked like ivory. Max was sure that the ivory was genuine. No one would have gone to that much trouble to make something like that out of plastic.

Max was looking at Maria. “Look, Max, don’t give me any grief. You are going to introduce me to the personification of evil from another world. I am just bringing what I believe to be symbols of good from the world I live in. It doesn’t matter what you believe in. It is what I believe in, what I have faith in. This is to protect me,” Maria had spoken. The cross was a sacred item that Maria’s grandmother had obtained. It was very old and had been worn to countless masses.

Maria remembered the day she faced Father Harris at the Aquinas Newman Center, the Catholic center for students on the University. Maria had made her confession. “Forgive me father for I have sinned,” she intoned.

“For what sins do you seek forgiveness, my child,” the priest asked.

“I live with my boyfriend, without benefit of the sacrament of Marriage,” she replied. “I have given in to envy for the life I hope to have. I have given in to anger at my lover, unfairly. I have given into doubts as to the power of my faith,” she finalized.

The priest thought, there was nothing here that was out of the ordinary, for a college student. “My child, a deeper study of your faith will help ease your doubts. Your anger, you must control or you will loose your lover and make the sacrament of marriage not be obtainable. Is there more you wish to confess?”

Maria was quiet for several minutes. “Father, I must face the greatest trial of my faith and of my existence. Father I must face this demon to save the life and soul of my best friend. Father it may even be the saving of the world as we know it,” Maria told him.

Father Harris had thought, she is taking on something that she doesn’t know if she can face or not. He looked at her necklace. It was a fine crucifix, Pueblo work if he could recognize it. It was heavy, much too heavy to be worn as a normal accessory. It also must be very old. “My child, if you feel you must face this burden then may I offer you the loan of my rosary. It has been to Rome many times. It has been carried and helped many priest in saying their blessings. Please care for it but add it to your cross as more protection.” He saw great strength in Maria.

Max shrugged. He didn’t believe in what was happening all around himself. He wasn’t going to bring any doubt to what Maria held close.

They entered the elevator and as they passed the eighth floor, Max felt the chill. Maria clutched his arm as she had felt it, also. When the door opened, he heard a gasp from Maria. No description from Max did justice to the horror of what they saw. Max saw how much better things looked from last time. Maria though, thought she was seeing truly Armageddon at the end of the world. As they walked down the aisle, Maria reached out and touched one of the crumbling books. She gave a gasp of fright when the book just crumbled at her touch. Max led her over to the window looking out on the gray day. Max was sure that there were several more trails of smoke today. There was definitely more green seen as the foreign vegetation attacked it. It seemed funny to say ‘day’ when outside the floor, it was getting near midnight.

Max held Maria tightly as they approached Liz’s workstation. It took Maria several seconds for it all to sink in. She saw the locket that Max had given Liz long ago. She saw the remnants of the denim skirt that Maria herself had given Liz this summer. Maria was thinking in terms of days, weeks and months, while before her she saw evidence of months, maybe years, of devastation. Then it settled in, as to what she was looking at. Maria turned her face and buried it in Max’s chest. She was looking at the remains of her best friend. “Max how do you face this?” she asked. Maria had yet to face any funerals of anyone very close. Here, the girl, with whom she had grown up, was only a decaying object. Maria was filled with dread.

“Maria, remember this is what might happen. It is our job to stop this from ever being,” Max answered. They backed away, Maria never raising her face from its hiding against Max. Finally, she peeked out and they were beyond the skeleton. Maria now looked up and saw the pile of skeletons that Max had told her were the group of students.

Maria was much more objective here than she had been at Liz’s workstation. Max saw Maria stir through the personal rings on the floor. Maria had squirmed when Liz talked her into getting her ears pierced. She wasn’t into any other piercings. She didn’t know any of he students. She would ask Max to take her back sometime when the students were alive. There were several of her musicians who were a little strange, but there was not enough evidence to recognize anyone.

As they prepared to leave, tthe air became agitated and icy cold. Those faces from Max’s dreams were circling around them. They could both hear the soft screaming. “Whore of Babylon, what are you doing here?” was said to Maria.

This did get Maria’s dander up right smartly. “Don’t call me a whore, you misbegotten piece of alien ectoplasm,” she screamed. Now Maria’s scream was not a whisper.

The faces were swirling around Maria’s head. She, suddenly, raised her cross and one of the faces ran right into it. The face sparked and sputtered. Then like a dried leaf, it fluttered gently to the floor. Once there, it dissolved away.

The other faces retreated quickly. Max thought out loud, “They don’t like someone fighting back. They are not used to that.”

Max saw that as they progressed to the stairwell, the faces stayed away from Maria. One darted at Max, but when Maria nailed it with a stare, it scurried away. Again, they walked to the eighth floor and then taking the elevator, they went to the ground floor. As they descended, Maria was crying on Max’s shoulder. “Why did that creature call me the ‘Whore of Babylon?’”

“Maria, I will ask Fitz, but remember that to the creature, something about you scares it. It used that phrase in some way to attempt to put you down,” Max tried to explain. Doctor Fitzpatrick would know more about this. Max would ask him as soon as he could.

They had forgotten their timing. The elevator door opened to a frightened Liz waiting. Max did not know what to say, but Maria, without any drop in poise, walked over to Liz. Hugging Liz in an expression of real fright, Maria said, “Oh Chica, Max found me up stairs and came with me down that horrible elevator. You know how frightened I am of that creaky monster.”

As they were walking home, Liz could smell Maria’s perfume on Max’s shirt. Liz didn’t think that much perfume would rub off from just helping Maria down the elevator. She trusted Max and she believed in Maria. She just wished they both made it easier to keep this belief and trust.

Max was talking to Doctor Fitzpatrick. He had just told him all the things that he and Maria had learned.

Max and Maria were sitting in Doctor Fitzpatrick’s office. “Only you can access the future floor. No one can accompany you unless they have a strong tie to Liz, and most likely, a mind, which can accept what it sees. Every time you enter the floor in the future, it will get closer to the present. Whatever is there has a fear of strong symbols of our world. I would say that the cross and the rosary both stand for what Maria believes. Whatever creature is there, doesn’t like people with a strong belief system,” Doctor Fitzpatrick mused.

“It doesn’t fear skeptics like me, hunh doc?” Max asked.

“It would seem that someone has found a way to call something across the barrier that divides our world from the other one. When the divide is down, everyone will die. Sorry Max, I am afraid that your lack of beliefs doesn’t frighten it at all. I find the reference to the ‘Whore of Babylon,’ very interesting. That reference was used many times in the late renaissance to describe religious groups, which did not agree with you and your group. Babylon is a reference to ancient times and the ‘whore of Babylon’ being something that pays allegiance to those times. Makes me think that maybe this entity has had dealings with humans before,” Doctor Fitzpatrick explained.

Doctor Fitzpatrick was proud of the detail of Max’s notes. Max was writing almost as a diary of some place he had been. Doctor Fitzpatrick was also worried about the clarity of what Maria told. She had seen everything as Max described. Fitz, called so, only by his friends, believed that Max was facing a challenge of Armageddon. More and more, Fitz was seeing that the true power would be in Maria. Her own faith and her ability to see things that were not logical, to people of science, were her strong points. Would the little singer be the Orpheus to tame the beast of the ninth floor? Would Maria be the one to close the doorway, if it became open.

Fitz looked at Max. “You are not religious, are you?” he asked.

Max just shook his head.

“Well, you might think about finding something that you can believe in. This would be an excellent time to see the light,” Fitz admonished. Max had never thought about good and evil. To him, they were just adjectives to explain the variances of fortune. Fitz and Maria were showing him that there was a difference.

Isabel knew that Alex had been talking to Max about something. Isabel didn’t usually meddle into Alex’s business, but if Max was involved in something, she wanted to know about it. Isabel dropped hint after hint, but Alex did not rise to any of them. Finally, Isabel sat down across from Alex and asked, “Hun,’ what is Max into? He was acting strangely the other night.”

“Look, Izzy, if you are worried about Max. You are correct. He is in trouble. I just don’t know what we or anyone else can do to help him,” Alex explained.

Alex was sitting in his reading chair. Isabel came over and sat on the arm of the chair. She leaned over and was caressing his hair. “What trouble has my brother gotten himself into?” she asked.

Alex thought long and hard about this question. Liz had to be protected from this knowledge. He agreed that if she, in any way, changed her pattern of living, it might make it impossible for Max to ever do anything to stop it. Isabel was a brilliant woman. She saw many things differently than did Alex. She wasn’t held back by Alex’s logic and beliefs. Izzy could indulge in flights of fancy and that might be just what they needed. Max was already trusting in Maria. Maybe, Isabel could bring to Alex insights that would help him solve the problem.

“Izzy, are you religious?” Alex asked her.

Isabel was taken back, “Alex, I didn’t have much religious training as a child, but I have embraced your beliefs. Why do you ask that?”

Alex began again, “Isabel, do you believe in good and evil?”

Isabel sat up, “Alex, of course, I believe that some things are good and some are bad. I still don’t get your point.”

“Izzy, this can never be told to Liz. Everything on Earth depends on that. Max has become embroiled in a struggle between good and evil. He sees it as a struggle for Liz’s life. If he loses the evil may spread to other things in Earth.” Alex thought as he was explaining to her. How much was really at stake. Max’s main concern was for Liz’s life. Everything pointed to something spreading from the ninth floor of the library and consuming everything on Earth.

Isabel leaned back over and kissed Alex. “My wonderful computer nerd. Of course, you realize you don’t make a lick of sense. What does religion and good and evil have to do with my brother?” she asked.

Alex sighed, “Everything, Isabel, Max has stumbled onto the end of the world. It is like a vision, but more so. Max can actually see and feel what has happened. The end of the world is someway connected to Liz. He doesn’t know how yet. Maria is the only one who can verify what Max has seen. I tried, but my logical mind shuts me out.” Alex, then, began to explain what Max had told him. Then, Alex filled in what Max had said about Doctor Fitzpatrick, followed with what he had learned from Maria. When he finished, Isabel was no longer sitting on the arm of his chair, but rather she had pulled up a chair of her own and was sitting with her head in her hands, with a look between incredibility and fear.

“Does Max feel he can save Liz and stop whatever it is?” she asked.

“Doctor Fitzpatrick does. That is what is driving Max. When Max and Maria were on the ninth floor, they were actually attacked by something. Maria ran it off. According to what Doctor Fitzpatrick said, it is all a matter of timing. Max has to time him being in the room when whatever it is tries to attack Liz and someway, Max has to fight it off and destroy it,” Alex explained.

“Max is no Saint George. He can’t slay any dragons. How can he stop something powerful enough to destroy the world?” Isabel asked.

“No, but Fitz thinks that, maybe, Maria is. He thinks that perhaps Maria has enough power to stop the entity from entering the world,” Alex related. He continued, “Maria has a lot of faith. She really believes in good against evil. According to Max, she has already slain one creature when it attacked them on the ninth floor.”

Chapter 8



“How and why does this thing occur on the ninth floor of the university library?” Isabel inquired.

Alex grimaced. “As far as Max can tell, there are some students who have formed what they call a coven. They found a bunch of spells in some old books and are playing around with them. One of the spells turns out to not be a fable. In some way, it opens a portal to something, not of this world. That something is very evil, at least in their intentions towards us. For some reason, maybe, because of his strong feelings for Liz, Max has been chosen to discover this happening. What he sees is running backwards. When he gets to the point that what he sees and what is real are the same thing, Liz will die and the end of the world will occur. There is something about Liz that is needed to finally bring these things through the portal. I am sure she wouldn’t do it willingly.”

It was morning and Maria was having questions in her own household. “You got in pretty late last night, didn’t you babe,” Michael said.

She turned to him and tried to make her expression neutral. “Michael I told you that I had a project to work on. It just went very late. I still have a lot more to do on it,” Maria answered.

Michael kept looking at her. Maria’s face was still pasty and far from her natural color. “Babe, I could almost swear that you were crying last night,” he said.

Maria, with that, broke down. “Michael, it was just awful. Liz and Max are involved in something terrible. Liz must not know about this, but she may be the turning point of the end of the world. Max found something that lets him see the result of this end and the devastation that follows. Michael, last night, he took me, to see it with him. I saw the remains of Liz. Michael, it wasn’t like a vision. I touched Liz’s skeleton. She was my best friend and I touched her years after she had died.” Maria was now in his arms sobbing.

The thought of being that close to Liz’s remains and the vivid nature of the experience had badly distressed Maria. Max had shared something with her because he couldn’t carry all of this on his own shoulders. He had tried to involve Alex, but Alex had mind sets that would not let him break through whatever was separating the present from whatever Max had seen. Maria had concern for Liz and she had an open mind as far as reality was concerned.

Max hadn’t realized and, maybe, didn’t yet see that Maria brought something else. Maria brought a faith in the “good” of her world. She brought what she thought of as religious symbols, but they were also symbols of humanity in the sense that, humanity meant the ability to sacrifice and love. Maria herself was an example of this. She was terrified, but she had promised Max that she would accompany him again. Maria would conquer her fear. She knew that Liz must be saved and what ever was to happen must be prevented.

Holding Maria, Michael was able to get the disjointed story, between sobs and fits of terror. One part of Michael wanted to forbid Maria from going again with Max. Why would Max place her in such danger? He answered his own question. If what Maria had seen was true, her not going would just increase the chance that this catastrophe would come and all would be lost anyhow. Maria was just asked to be in the forefront of the battle.

Michael rocked her like a baby. “Is there anything I can do to help?” he asked.

“Oh Michael, we already have found out that here are two things that allow anyone to enter this portal. First, it takes a strong connection to Liz. For some strange reason, she becomes the turning point of everything. Then, it takes a mind which can see past the laws of physics which we structure our world.” Maria gave a hysterical laugh. “Who would have thought, me flunking freshman General Science, would lead to me fighting to save the world. Alex has as strong a feeling toward Liz as I do. But, his knowledge of the science, with which we rule our world, would not allow Max to take him to that place. Alex could not believe in anyplace not ruled by the laws of Newton, Einstein and the later leaders of physics.” Whether or not this was one hundred percent correct, this was the way Maria saw the situation.

“How did Max get involved? He is not much of dreamer?” Michael asked.

“Max is an anthropologist. They have to be open to many different human views. I am sure that his feelings for Liz are so strong that whatever governs our universe is using him to be the first line of defense.

That night Maria and Michael lay in bed. It was one of those desert nights, when there wasn’t a breath of wind anywhere. The warmth of the night caused both Michael and Maria to toss off the covers. The oppressive heat had caused them to not cuddle as normal, but they were facing each other holding hands as they waited for the blessing of sleep. Michael had had a hard day. He had been hired to not only take the class book pictures of a first grade class, but he was also asked to formulate a picture story of what a day in the first grade was like. As far as Michael could tell, it was oppressive and possibly dangerous, as the teacher ran from one situation to the next.

“Johnny, don’t hit little Susie. She is sorry she tripped you. Evie, give Carlos back his crayons. I don’t care that you don’t have a green one. You have to ask to borrow someone else’s things.” Michael wondered how any of them ever got to the sixth grade. He took candid shots, a few quickly posed before the children tired of the experience and went off to find some mischief to entertain themselves. This had all tried Michael’s patience. Michael knew that Maria was still shaking from what she saw with Max.

Just as their mutual grip on each other began to relax, a sharp wind blew in their apartment. Michael thought he had not heard any wind outside but in Albuquerque there were many changes in the wind blowing against the nearby mountains. Michael felt Maria stiffen. He completely opened his eyes and now, he heard a sighing of the wind as it blew around the room. The wind took on a glow. Then Michael saw that it wasn’t a wind, but something else. He had no idea what. Michael stood up and turned on the light. The mysterious entity was becoming very agitated. Michael could hear a whispering. He couldn’t make it out, but one glance at Maria told him she was terrified. What ever it was seemed to be now centering on Maria. Michael walked to her side of the bed. Michael extended his hand and lifted her to stand beside himself. The whispering became louder. Michael made out, “… time with your lover … just leave … alone.” As Michael pulled her closer, the swirling things had trouble avoiding him. Their pattern was distorted as they avoided colliding with Michael.

Maria suddenly screamed, “No, no, a thousand times no. She is my friend as is her lover. I will not abandon them. I will not abandon the world in which I live just for you either. We will defeat you.”

Michael had no idea what Maria meant. He knew she was angry and he just held her tighter. Just as suddenly as they had appeared, the things vanished. Michael was left standing, holding Maria listening to absolute silence. There were not even any car noises to disturb the night.

They sat on the edge of the bed. Maria was sobbing both from fright and also, anger. Michael could feel her shaking in his arms. Maria, finally, explained what had occurred. “Michael, they want me to quit Liz and Max. They offered me anything I want. I don’t see how they can give me anything. They intend to destroy the world. They even said that I could have both you and Max. They only need Liz to come through, whatever that means. They also acted funny about you, Michael. I think they are afraid of you for some reason.” Maria had a lot to say. She wasn’t going to betray those she loved.

“You know, babe, I think I might just investigate the ninth floor myself. Yes, you told me that only with Max can I enter that strange world, but what if there is something on this side that tells of a strange incident about to happened. I might find a way to better pin-point the exact time for you and Max.” Michael didn’t explain further, but he was thinking about some things he had read about photography and things not normally seen. Tomorrow night, Michael would wait until Liz was safely studying and Max was probing the other world and he would take his cameras. On second thought, Michael would call Liz and ride up with her. He would tell her that he was working on a photo opportunity about the study habits of students in the library. He was starting at the top of the library and working down.

-----------------------
genes of the King is a story about discovering the power and danger of their heritage.
Summer to Remember an action adventure story

Coming soon, "Divorce." Who was at fault? Is the single dating life what they both really want?
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-

User avatar
ken_r
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Re: Ninth Floor, for Halloween, teen CC pg2 ch 8 Oct 12 ,09

Post by ken_r » Thu Oct 15, 2009 12:54 pm

begonia9508
Janetfl
keepsmiling
Natalie36

Chapter 9

That night, Max also had a dream. The only disturbance it did to Liz was that she noticed his uneasy sleep. Unusual for him, he was tossing and turning. There was some mumbling in his sleep. Liz thought he was trying to say, “no” over and over again.

Max was sure he was having a dream. The vividness of the Ninth floor was absent. The faces were swarming around the room, but they did not address him. Out of the abyss of that swirl of faces, a figure began to appear. She was a regal women dressed in a white gown. Max would later have trouble with a description of the woman because she was continually morphing into something else. At first it, was her gown. The white material, possibly silk, broke in erotic ways to give tantalizing glimpses of an almost perfect body. All the while, Max felt something prodding in his groin to stimulate him to something. Every time arousal occurred, Max thought of the monster who had killed Liz. Maybe, it would be better said was going to kill Liz.

Then not only did the clothes morph back and forth, the gown giving way to a loincloth and a top which was quickly whisked away in the wind, but the face it self changed, also. It went from a blonde curls to auburn tresses, along with the face taking on the appearance of everything a human should call beautiful. A bed appeared and the figure reclined upon it. A hand came from the smoke and tried to lead Max to the edge of the bed and then, upon it. The figure stripped of its clothes, was beckoning Max to join her. As he refused to come, the figure changed into Maria. Maria, with that same smile that she teased Max with, so many times, caught both of his hands. Maria was pulling Max to her bed. Max had never seen Maria in an intimate setting and he felt violated to be forced to view her now. Suddenly the figure changed into Liz. Max was presented with the dark brunette hair flowing over a pillow as she pulled at him to come to her bed. Max looked, the face was right, but the body was pale. It had none of the imperfections that Max had come to know in Liz.

Max pulled back and immediately, the figure changed into the empty face that had accosted Max so many times. “I need her. I will give you anything else. I will give you anyone else. Release the woman and do not defend her.” As it spoke, the face of Maria was conjured again. “Don’t bring the whore again. You cannot defeat us.” The dream quit so fast that in Max’s mind, there was a pop.

Max sat up in a sweat. Liz was also, awakened by his mumbling and tossing. Liz put her arms around him and he felt like he had just left the shower without drying off. Max was dripping wet. Liz felt the sheets and they were soaking also. She turned on the lights and saw Max sitting there a glassy eyed appearance staring at the far wall. As Liz sat beside him holding him, Max appeared to be in a trance. He was mumbling, “Fitz was right. Maria is the one to defeat them. They are terrified of her. I must make sure she is protected. She may be the only chance Liz has.”

It was as if Max was in a trance. Liz sat there holding him as he mumbled. Finally, Max blinked and looked at Liz. He grabed her, soaking her sleeping top with his wet embrace. Suddenly, Max noticed he was dripping wet and had gotten her wet as well. Without a word Max stood up, went to the linens and brought fresh sheets for their bed. Liz stripped off the wet ones and handing them to Max, she began to remake the bed. After they had changed sleeping clothes, they were back in bed. “Max, what do you mean that Maria is the one to defeat them?” Liz asked.

“I can’t tell you, Liz,” Max said simply.

“Well, what about ‘I must make sure she I protected,’” Liz asked again.

“The same thing Liz. I would tell you if I could. It is too dangerous for you to know at this time,” he explained.

Liz shook her head in frustration. “Max, a relationship depends of trust. Don’t you trust me?” she asked.

“Liz, this is not a matter of trust. It is about your safety,” he explained.

“Don’t you think I am the best judge of what concerns my safety?” Liz asked. She turned over presenting her back to him. Max knew that she was angry.

Chapter 10

Liz was slightly mollified later that day when Michael called her. “Hey, Liz, I am working on a photo spread about the study habits in the university library. Could I ride up to where you study and start the session with you?” he asked.

Liz was still angry with Max and probably Maria, also. She wanted a time to talk to Michael. This might give her a chance. Later that evening, it was almost with pleasure that Liz announced, “Michael is doing a photo shoot in the library. He is coming by to pick me up, so you are on your own tonight.”

Max nodded, he had talked to Maria that afternoon and she told him all about her dream and the fact that Michael wanted to try some photographic techniques. He would be on the side of time with Liz while Max was again confronting the “whatever it was,” on his side. Max didn’t completely believe in what Michael was trying to do, but then, what of this whole experience, could Max believe in. The only thing Max was assured of was, that he wanted to save Liz.

Liz was perplexed at the calmness of Max when she left with Michael. Either Max had a lot more trust than she was able to muster or something was going on and he didn’t care. As they were walking across the campus Liz said to Michael, “Have you seen something strange about Maria lately, Michael?”

Michael was walking beside Liz. He was carrying on his back a pack with several cameras, one old Nikon was even a film camera. “Liz, Maria is working on a difficult project. She even has asked Max to help her. She is worrying over the project,” he stated.

“Michael, do you trust Maria?” Liz asked.

“Of course, I do, Liz. Maria has the choice of walking out any time she chooses and this will be true even after we, eventually, get married. It is up to me to always make her want to stay. If I fail, I will just have to live with the consequences,” Michael explained.

Liz was blunt with her next question. “Michael, do you ever think that Maria could have an affair with Max?” she asked.

Michael hugged Liz close. “Liz, Maria is your friend. I have never known her to have any duplicity in what she did. She and Max are working on some project. I might even be something they are not ready to announce. I do not believe that they are having any affair. Maria wouldn’t ever do that to you. Don’t you remember, she was the one who set you and Max up with each other when you first got here? Max and Maria maybe doing something they are not ready to talk about, but I don’t think you have to worry about anything romantic going on between them,” Michael assured her.

When they reached the ninth floor, Michael took out one of his Canon cameras. He was using available light because Michael was looking for something already there. He did not want to bring anything, such as a flash, to create what was not a mystery. At first, Michael spent time photographing Liz. He made a few posed shots and then, he moved as far as he could get and just sat.

From time to time, Michael would take a picture of Liz as she was preparing to write. This was disconcerting to her, but soon she tired of being aware of Michael and her mind lost itself in the novel. She never knew when he drifted away and was taking pictures of empty carrels and the stacks where the books were shelved. Michael used different filters and then, he went back and did the whole thing over using his film camera. The group of girls smiled and even waved at Michael as he passed them. Michael took a lot of photos on campus. Most of the students were used to him. Here they were concentrating on a book, so they soon lost interest in Michael and went back to their activities.

Michael thought, little do the fools know that they are about to bring down the entire world. They are just children playing with matches in a fireworks factory. They had no idea what they were doing.

Max had waited until Liz and Michael had been on the ninth floor for some time. None of them really knew how this portal thing worked. He and Michael had decided that Max would enter the future room and stir things around. If there were creatures there, Max would try to confront them. They hadn’t said a word about this to Doctor Fitzpatrick. Max imagined that what he was going to do would probably be more dangerous than anything before. Michael was convinced that they needed some sort of indication in the real world of movement in the future one. Max had a question that he needed to discuss with Doctor Fitzpatrick. The things that attacked Maria and him, were they from the future or had they migrated from real time to protect what they considered their future? They seemed to be able to enter the real time, witness the attacks both he and Maria had suffered both in dreams and in physical confrontations.

When Max entered, there was a definite odor of death. It was definite, but faint. When Max approached Liz’s remains, many of the mask -like creatures were flitting around her. It wasn’t that they were copies of the operatic masks, but the contorted faces brought this to mind. They didn’t seem to have any eyes. As they flew by, Max could look through empty eye sockets.

Max took his hand and shooed them away from the remains of Liz. They fell back from his hand movement, but one darting around passed through Max’s hand without any damage to either of them. Maybe, Max should have borrowed Maria’s cross. At least, that seemed to destroy them. Max shook his head. Symbols only had power if those using them believed and had faith in them. Max was sure that if it were he holding the cross, it would have had no effect at all.

Chasing the things away from the remains of Liz, left Max with ever more remorse. The skeleton was becoming more fleshed out. The smell of death was all through the ninth floor, but it was strongest around Liz. Her clothes were becoming more discernable. The denim skirt, Maria had recognized, the Nikes, now were the ones she always wore when she was working. The finish on the computer cover now, definitely showed that it was the one, which Liz used. It had been a gift from her father for graduation. Max hated to leave Liz when the creatures were around. He knew that he couldn’t stand guard on her remains forever, so he moved on.

Max couldn’t help thinking of the creatures as butterflies. He remembered an obscure Hispanic legend of butterflies swarming people and when the swarm left, they had eaten some part of the person’s body. Max had always questioned the story. It had been related to him once while giving first aid to a child when Max was studying farming cultures in northern Mexico. The old lady might have been just funning the gringo for reasons known only to her. Here, the creatures were swarming Liz and Max was sure that when he returned tomorrow Liz’s body would be more complete.

Max moved on to the students. The smell was even stronger here because of the large group. Max poked among the remains and found a book. It was badly worn, but hadn’t yet started to fall apart. This caused Max to look back at the shelves. There were more books on them than before and the books were in better shape. Max thought, he had not seen the book before when he examined the remains of the students. Removing it, probably wouldn’t effect the time line that they were already on. The book might tell something of what the students had been doing. As he lifted the book, Max felt a shudder. Max was sure that was only in his imagination. He did see the creatures retreat somewhere quickly. Maybe, they were afraid of he book.

Carrying the book with him, Max went over to look out the windows. The ruins looked worse each time as their former condition was showing through the overgrowth and their form was easier seen for what it once was. There were, each time more places where the natural green growth was making last stands against the gray intruders. Seeing time backwards, Max knew that no matter how hard the natural growth tried, it would ultimately fail. Max had already seen the end result.

Max could see even more trails of smoke and in the dim gray light, he thought he saw the sights of flames at the base of some of the smoke trails. Max was getting nearer each time to when the disaster started. Max kept looking for some signs of life. Never in the times, had he seen anything animated except for the creatures he found on the ninth floor. Whatever had happened to the world that he could see did not include any habitation, as far as he could tell.

Max was still clutching the book as he made his way to the stairway. The creatures collected at the doorway. They were doing all in their power to force Max to the elevator. They couldn’t exert force, but they flew at his face and he, involuntarily ducked each time. As he reached for the door to the stairway, they by force of numbers tried to prohibit him from leaving. They were mainly darting at the book trying to make him drop it. They all fluttered against the door as if to keep him from opening it. When he was in the stair well, they all disappeared.

As he went down he was careful to hide the book in his backpack. This old volume would have delighted Liz. Too bad he couldn’t let her see it until the disaster or what ever was over. Once on the ground floor Max was about to commit the greatest crime in a library. He was going to steal a book.

Max waited until Michael arrived. There would be about a half hour until Liz was ready to leave. Michael didn’t say much. That would be for later. Max handed Michael a small reference book, which Michael placed in his camera bag. They walked out of the library together. Max waved at the bored girl who had for so longed hoped for some sign that he recognized her. His smile and the one she returned gained her full attention. When Michael and Max walked through the alarm at the door, of course, it went off. Max continued through while Michael returned to the desk and apologized profusely for his mistake. The girl at the desk searched his camera bag. Finding the offending book, she gave Michael a stern look and repeated her discourse about being more careful about putting books his camera bag. With more sincere apologies, Michael met Max outside the library and took the ancient book Max had in his backpack. While Max waited for Liz, in the lobby.

Michael would now go home and tend to his photographs. He would let Maria look at the book, Tomorrow, Max would carry it to Doctor Fitzpatrick.
--------------------
genes of the King is a story about discovering the power and danger of their heritage.
Summer to Remember an action adventure story
Coming soon, "Divorce." Who was at fault? Is the single dating life what they both really want?
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-

User avatar
ken_r
Obsessed Roswellian
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Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 11:34 pm
Location: New Mexico

Re: Ninth Floor, for Halloween, teen CC pg3 ch 10 Oct 15 ,09

Post by ken_r » Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:03 pm

keepsmiling7
begonia9508
natalie36
mary mary

Chapter 11

That night when Max was sleeping with his arm around Liz, the dream came. It was in the form of the beautiful woman dressed in white. It was when she spoke that Max noticed that her tongue had been split. She had, this time, a distinctive lisp. “You have stolen the book from the future. It makes no matter. The children have already opened the portal and Liz has helped us through. Why do you continue to bother us? You cannot succeed. Just take what we offer and be done. We will even promise to spare you,” she stated.

It was hard for Max to concentrate on her speech, because as she talked the two tips of her tongue twitched and curled. She had already shown that this wasn’t her real shape. Last time, she had taken on several shapes even to impersonating Liz. “Liz would never invite the likes of you into this world,” Max told her.

“Ah, but the woman, Liz, has many weaknesses. It is but to exploit these weaknesses and she will, willingly, help in her own destruction as well as the destruction of the rest of the world. Why don’t you just give into us? We can promise you riches in your life beyond your imagination. We already have promised a simulation of the woman, Liz. You can have anything you want. You can’t stop us. Why do you continue to try? Just accept and take what we have to offer.” As she spoke, a familiar form came from the darkness behind her.

It was the figure of Liz, but Max had never known a Liz like this. She was bare-footed and her only clothes were white silk scarves. They were hung about her body and as she walked they tantalizingly swayed displaying her charms from time to time. She walked up to Max and pushed him back. As Max lay reclining the dream Liz crawled on top of him. The scarves now hung down. Max could see her nakedness beneath the scarves. The dream Liz forced the end of one of the scarves into his mouth then she pulled back. The scarf was pulled from however it had been attached to her body. She did this again and again. Her upper body was now exposed. She crawled further up Max reclining body and pushed his face into her groin. Again Max was plucking the scarves from her. Max couldn’t see how she did it but some way she bent to kiss him. As his lips met hers he could feel his tongue entwined by the two parts of hers.

Max with all of his might, threw her from himself. She went flying back into the darkness. Max heard, “Oh foolish human. Why let one physical abnormality deter you from the greatest pleasure you could have experienced?” the lady in white was remonstrating him.

Max sat up. The dream was now gone. He felt a wetness on the bed. Max hadn’t experienced a wet dream since he was in high school. Never had he experienced the vividness that he felt here. He heard a moan from Liz as she rolled over towards him. “What is the matter, Max?” she asked.

“Nothing, Liz, just a bad dream. Go back to sleep. We can talk in the morning,” he answered.

Liz rolled back over and as sleep over took her again, she thought. “Max is having a lot of those lately.”

That night Maria wasn’t doing a whole lot better. As she lay curled up against Michael, she felt herself floating in air. Maria was floating horizontally, clad only in her nightclothes. She had worn a knee length nightgown. As she lay in mid-air she felt a breeze blowing up through the gown. It excited her body. She lay with her hands on her chest holding the cross she had worn before when she was with Max. A man walked up to her. He was more than handsome. He was beautiful. He was clad only in a kilt that hung from a belt at his waist. He seemed to be climbing up thin air, but he was now poised at her feet on his hands and knees. As he approached her, a stronger breeze blew her gown up above her now, bare breasts. He crawled between her legs, his face slowly morphing into that of Michael. Her legs now spread wide apart, almost to the point of pain, she felt his knees against her thighs. He leaned over, and with one hand, he took the cross. He bent over and, with his forked tongue he laved her bare breast. The sensation of this forked tongue frightened Maria so much that with all her strength she pushed away from him with one hand as she grabbed the cross with the other.

Maria was now lying in her bed beside the still sleeping Michael. The dream man, dressed in the kilt approached her. “Maria, named for the saints of your faith, you have nothing to fear from me. I showed you that I can be anything you want. Release the symbol of faith and leave the portal to us. Your world is doomed. Max and his trivial actions will not be able to stop it. Liz will welcome us to your world even as her body turns to dust on her bones. We offer you a life, eternal, if that is what you choose. You rejected our similation so we also will even offer he who sleeps beside you the same. The two of you can live together forever.” As he spoke, Maria noticed that Michael’s body took on a glow.

Maria screamed, “No, no, I don’t believe you.” With that, she woke up as well as waking Michael, also. Maria looked at herself. Her gown was now down about her thighs, the crucifix which she had carefully placed on the nightstand when she prepared for bed was clutched in her hands. Michael sat up and leaned over her. As his arms engulfed her, she threw her arms around his neck. She was still holding the cross with all her might. As Michael tried to kiss her, she forced her tongue into his mouth. She found there a completely human tongue meeting hers. Maria, now, sat down the cross and gripped Michael harder than she had ever done before. She sat up and with one motion she pulled off her gown. She threw her naked body on top of Michael. As they made love late in the night, or was it early in the morning, Michael had no idea what had happened, but he did everything in his power to calm her.

Liz, Max and Maria were all at their instructor post, that morning. Michael was in his dark room. He had some film results, as well as his digital findings, that he wanted to look at this morning.

Michael had deliberately taken pictures of Liz in focus and out of focus all the way to infinity. It was those almost focused to infinity that gave the most interesting results. Liz, herself, was just a blur, but all around her was something fluttering with rapid movement. Michael’s camera had not been able to get a clear shot.

The pictures taken at random of the stacks of books yielded many indistinct forms that Michael had not seen with his own eyes. The pictures of the group of students were not at all as he remembered. The pictures were clouded with shapes that changed with every picture. In the middle of their huddle, there was something glowing. Michael couldn’t be sure, but he thought it might be a book, the earlier version of the one Max stolen last night. Max had picked up the book this morning before class and invited both Michael and Maria to a meeting with Doctor Fitzpatrick, that afternoon. Max called Alex and Isabel. Max felt bad, but the only one excluded was Liz, herself.

Liz was passing the Anthropology Building. She saw Maria coming to meet her. “Sorry, Liz, I am late. I will see you later and maybe, we can talk.” Maria was almost blunt. Liz could easily understand if Maria had prior commitments, although what they could be in the Anthropology building, she didn’t know. Liz was working on trying not to feel slighted by the brush off she felt from Maria. She was succeeding when in the distance she saw Alex and Isabel entering the back door of the building. What could they be doing on campus, much less in the Anthropology Building?

At the meeting in Doctor Fitzpatrick’s office, they started immediately with the introduction of an elderly lady who the good doctor referred to as Madam Louise DeCastro. Max looked at the lady and saw that her age was indeterminate. She was elderly, that was not in question, but exactly how old, Max couldn’t tell. The first thing the lady did was face Maria. Maria had taken to wearing the crucifix whenever she was out. “My dear, where did you get that beautiful necklace,” the old woman asked.

Maria was hesitant but she replied, “My grandmother is supposed to have gotten it from somewhere in northern Mexico. She willed it to me and said it would offer me protection someday. I have just recently taken it out to wear regularly.”

Madam Louise chuckled. “Protect it will my dear. If you are mixed up in these things written in the book, you will need protection. Remember, dear, it will only protect you as long as you keep faith.”

Maria sat back in her chair clutching the ancient cross. Madam Louise next turned to Max. “I am told that you are the discoverer of this book. May I ask where has it been all this time?”

Max cleared his throat. “It now resides in the library somewhere on the ninth floor. I stole it from the future.” Max quickly looked at Fitz to see if what he said would be accepted.

Madam nodded her head. “Then, we can safely say that its destruction would not effect events which are now set in motion.”

Doctor Fitzpatrick looked at Max. “Max, please relate your story to Louise.”

Max started from meeting Liz when he came to the university. He noticed that Madam Louise’s eyes narrowed as he got to what he saw on the ninth floor. When he got to the part where Maria was with him, the madam turned to Maria. “My dear, we had wondered what had happened to the crucifix. Fate has been wise in sending it to you. Wear it well during theses times,” she declared.

When Max was finished, Madam Louise started. “There was a man a long time ago. He was a writer. Like all writers he had blocks in his muse. That made him seek ideas ffrom other places, to continue his stories. His name was Howard Philip Lovecraft. He secretly came to New Orleans to listen to the old folk tell legends. There was a book that, strangely enough, had been translated into English. No one knew what happened to it, but a few years after Howard had left the elders asked for an accounting of the book and it could not be found. There were whispers that Howard bribed someone to gain possession of that book. Howard never returned to New Orleans and we all heard he was a fairly successful writer. He wrote stories about what you might call the Macabré. It was decided that making a complaint against him would only lead to giving credence to the book. Howard was a writer of fiction and that is all anyone believed. The elders saw some of his stories. They only alluded to what he learned from us, so no more was ever said. That is until Raymond,” she nodded to Doctor Fitzpatrick, “called me early this morning. I took the first flight to New Mexico. You know that even in these enlightened times, this is a hard place to get to?”

Doctor Fitzpatrick was leaning back. “I had been thinking of Louise when Max first told me about his story. It wasn’t until I saw the book and remembered when I was writing papers on folk tales of the Cajun people, that the existence of this book meant anything. Now that she has seen it, she is sure it is the book.” Fitz turned to Max, “Remember my lectures that many folk tales are covers for or remnants of earlier truths?”

“Aw, come on, doc. Those folk tales are just expressions of their culture, that people want to pass down to their children,” Max stated.

“Max, you were always a good anthropologist. Your papers were always fair, non-judgmental and factual. But, you, yourself, never seemed to believe in anything. In this case, I think we must all agree that there is something in this volume that is causing the things that you see on the ninth floor.” Doctor Fitzpatrick was gently reprimanding his former student.

“Howard Lovecraft was always looking for something he called the other side. My grandmother once said that if he really believed that book he stole, he might find that other side and we all would be in trouble. How that volume got to your university library, I am afraid would be a difficult tale to discover.” Louise looked down at her hands in her lap. “To really be fair to Howard, he never believed he had stolen the book. It had been left in trust with a great uncle of mine. He probably sold it to Howard to gain money for his gambling habit. My family is a mixture of those who believe the old ways and those, like this young man,” she pointed to Max, “who just think they are tales to frighten children at night.”

Doctor Fitzpatrick turned to Michael, “I believe you called me this morning to say that you had some new information.”

Michael drew out a shelf of photographs. As he passed them around, he narrated what he had learned. “When I was up on the ninth floor with Liz, everything seemed normal. I just took pictures at random in focus and out of focus. I used film and electronic data. The film I used covered many different spectrums of light, from the far infrared to the ultraviolet. Here are samples of the results.”

Madam Louise held one of the pictures of Liz, very out of focus. “Here is something that is not close enough to us to make an image. It is obviously a long distance from the lady, Liz. A much greater distance than you could get in a library room.” She picked up the picture of the students waving at Michael. “See, here are some of the same things, but they are closer. They are swarming this group.” Louise looked closer at the picture. “If I am not mistaken, they are surrounding the book we now possess.”

Maria took the picture. “Max, I know this student. She is in my music appreciation class. She is a very smart and likeable girl. Maybe, I can gently approach her and learn about what they are doing,” Maria stated.

Louise turned to Max. “Tell me about the woman, Liz. I don’t see her with the students. What can she be doing to be the center of this happening?” Louise inquired.

Max explained about his relationship with Liz in high school when they were both hard working students. Then, he pointed to Maria who filled in what little she knew about Liz in Harvard. Maria giggled as she ended her tale about how she arranged for Max and Liz to get back together that day, the first of the semester.

Louise shook her head. “There is too much coincidence here. Max something is directing your path. Why did Fitz choose to come to UNM? Why did you decide to follow him? Why did Maria get a position here and why did she help her friend, Liz to find one, also? Why did Liz take up writing? She had intended to be a biologist from your story. It is almost as if two forces were coming together for some Armageddon fight. Like it or not, some of you are going to be in the front lines.”

Max looked up. “What about Liz? Is she destined to die for this event?” he asked.

Louise leaned forward and patted him on the knee. “Max, Liz is the target for those in the other world. Somehow, she is the instrument to bring them across. She is also the target to bring you to the fight. Destiny is a strange word. I don’t think you would have been privileged to have seen so much of the future, unless there was someway that you could be an instrument of change.” Louise then turned to Maria. “Max lacks any faith strong enough to protect him. It may be you who goes with him. It may be your faith that finally ends the event for our side.”

Michael frowned. He did not like the fact that someone wanted to send his Maria into a battle. It seemed to be a battle that he had no chance of joining. Louise saw his frown. “Liz must be kept from learning about her place in this drama. Michael you probably can’t be with Max and Maria on the other side when it happens, but you can be with Liz and help her when her part becomes clear.”

When the discussions were over, Alex and Isabel saw that, so far, they were just here for consul. Neither of them had anything, at this time, to contribute. Isabel was terribly frightened that her brother was in so much danger. In his life growing up, she always felt free to comment. Now, what he was doing she could just barely understand. Alex loved both Liz and Maria. Not like he loved Isabel, but more as sisters. Many times, in the contemplative years before he was again with Isabel, Alex had analyzed his feelings for these three women in his life. He felt romance toward Liz and Maria, but it was not physical. Liz had gone so far away that he lost touch with her except for what Maria said. There had been times when he visited Maria at New Mexico Eastern University and they had gone out. Yes, he had spent time with Maria tucked under his arm and her head resting against his chest. But he never felt the stirring, in his groin, that a single wet dream about Isabel would create. Alex was careful to not ask what Maria thought about it. For him, they were good friends who dated, but they hadn’t fallen into any carnal feelings for each other.

Now after this discussion, Alex felt his protective emotions arise concerning the welfare of Liz and Maria. As he held Isabel that night, Alex wondered how he could offer protection to the other two women in his life.

Chapter 12

That evening, Liz felt snappish. She had asked Max about his day and she felt he wasn’t telling her everything. Liz knew that something was bothering Max and she felt she should be allowed to share his woes, as well as his triumphs.

Liz had talked to Maria and she felt that Maria had been considerably less than open with her. Max and Maria were covering up something. Liz finally resorted to calling Alex. “Liz, Max is having a hard time. It isn’t something he feels comfortable sharing with you. What is going on between him and Maria? Liz, I am not sure. Yes, of course Liz, if things get too tense between you and Max, you would be welcome to our guest room. Liz, there is one proviso. Don’t commit to anything permanent between the two of you. Wait until this time is over before you make any final decisions. When will it be over, you ask? Liz, I don’t know when, but I think things will resolve themselves soon.”

Well, Liz, now had an out. She agreed that she shouldn’t make any hard decisions for a while. If Max’s behavior kept getting worse, she would get out and go to Alex and Isabel’s place, rather than get in some fight that she couldn’t straighten later.

That night, Max tossed and turned. Liz kept hearing him mumble, “No, I won’t give her up. You can’t have her. We will win and she will be with me forever.”

Max awoke at 6:00AM as usual, but he was exhausted. Liz could barely drag herself out of bed because she hadn’t been able to sleep either. At breakfast, Liz sat down and taking Max’s hands, she said, “Max, I am moving out for a while. I don’t know what it is that you do not want to share with me. I can barely make my class. Look, there are rumors in the college that Fitz is looking for a substitute for you. Whatever you and Maria have going, I wish you well. When it is over, come back and we will talk.

Max said nothing as she picked up her bag and left. What could he say? If she knew the truth of what was happening, then there were so many ways she could precipitate it earlier, before they were ready. Max was fighting for her life. Maria was fighting to protect Max and the rest of them were fighting to save the world. Later, when Fitz called him and told him to take a couple weeks off, Max agreed. “Fitz, she left me this morning,” Max informed the doctor.

“That is just raw Max, but maybe, for the best. Your sister and her friend know Liz must be protected. They will care for her and they won’t bad-mouth you. That is important. Max, when we win, we must be able to get things back together.” Fitz was seeing something was coming soon in the event. He had long consulted with Louise about what might be in the book.

Louise was not too strong on the idea of Fitz reading the book himself. “Raymond, the fewer people who read that thing, the better. I think I should take the book back to the place where it was cared for. I think the family might like to have a hard talk to that uncle of mine who was put in charge of it. He might have to dance to the tune of a few pins in his effigy to make up for what he did.”

That afternoon after class, Maria called to one of her students as she was leaving through the door. “Emma, can you wait a minute, please?”

The girl was dressed in a long black skirt. Peeking beneath the skirt, she had braided sandals. The long peasant blouse left little of her figure to be seen. Her black make up identified her to the rest of the student body. Maria found her an intelligent, but socially shy girl. Maria took out the picture Michael had taken that night. “Emma, what are you girls doing on the ninth floor of the library? She asked.

“Oh, Miss DeLuca, we are just roll playing. Someone found this old book up there in the stacks. We are careful not to disturb that lady from the English department who works so hard every evening. We all do like to see her boyfriend, the anthropologist, who walks her home every evening. You know, sometimes he comes up to the ninth floor with her. They must be very much in love,” Emma explained.

“They are, Emma, but right now they are going through a bad time. Tell me more about this book,” Maria requested.

“Oh, no one knows much about it, Miss DeLuca. It is just a book full of stories and so-called spells. You know how creepy that old building is at night. We just get a thrill pretending that it is real and reciting the spells to each other. Sometimes, this real good-looking blond guy comes up. Not every time and we don’t know how he gets there. He must know a lot about the book. He explains things to us and makes it even more interesting. He doesn’t need to do that; he could just stand there and let us look at him. That would be enough. He has a body to die for,” Emma continued her explanation.

Maria just nodded, “Just be careful of strangers, Emma. And, be careful what you all are doing. You know that roll playing can get out of hand. Don’t forget it is just a game.” With that Maria saw Emma leave with a strange look on her face.

It would now be the second night that Max had to look forward to without Liz curled up beside him in bed. When Max felt himself single, he had become a pretty good cook. Now without Liz, he just opened a cold can of corned beef hash and sat there eating with a spoon. His mental facilities were so low that the shapes didn’t wait for him to go to bed. “She left you Max,” the lady in white said. “Now you have no reason to stop us. Why not take a reward and not give us any grief? We are going to win. There is nothing you can do to stop us. Take that symbol away from the lady with you the other night. We can make her love you in ways that Liz never could accomplish. She is a lot more sensual than Liz and, with our help, you can spend the rest of your days in heaven.”

“No, I wouldn’t believe you. You are going to loose. No matter whether Liz is with me or not, I am not going to let you kill her. I am not going to let her help you enter this world. Maria has a man to love. She loves him of her own choice. She, also, has a strong faith in a goodness of the world.” The creatures were swirling about Max. He couldn’t feel them, but he could feel a breath from their passage. Max did feel the cool hands of the woman in white as she came up behind him and, putting her hands on his shoulders, she worked her way down. He felt her bend over him and he felt his belt and pants loosen. The fingers were working their way down to a point where he would have to give in or face a terrible moment of anxiety. Max stood up and pushed her back. “Go back to your demon. Tell him that he will not succeed.” Max felt an anger, but all the apparitions disappeared. That night, Max slept the sleep of the exhausted with no dreams and hardly a movement. There was a moment of sadness when he awoke. The soft form of Liz was absent from his bed. That made him worry.

Things were not that easy for Maria. The minute she fell asleep, the creatures came to her. The handsome man clad only in a white kilt took her by the hand. Somewhere in her soul, there screamed a no, but it wasn’t strong enough to deter her from following him. They entered a vast room. Along the side of the room, she saw men and women playing together laughing and talking. There was music here and Maria felt a happiness fall upon her. The handsome man released her. She wandered for a time. In the distance across the room, she saw her student with her group. They were chanting, but of course Maria was too far to hear. She saw in the center of the room a pole. It was some distance, but she was sure that she saw her crucifix hanging from the pole. As she approached the pole, Maria felt an oppression. The closer she got, the worse it was bothering her. The handsome man appeared. “Maria leave that thing alone. It will only bring you sadness. Join the others and have fun. We never know how many days we have left,” he declared.

Maria turned and looked. The people at the edge of the room were all joyful. They were the kind of people Maria wanted to be with. Why did she care for some old piece of jewelry? Then, Maria looked back at the pole. There, standing beside the pole, was Michael. Michael was glowing to distinguish him from the rest in the room. He took down the crucifix and made a gesture to hand it to her. Maria ran to him and put on the necklace. The dream cleared and there was no one else in the room. Soon, Maria returned to a soft restful sleep.

----------------------------
genes of the King is a story about discovering the power and danger of their heritage.
Summer to Remember an action adventure story

Coming soon, "Divorce." Who was at fault? Is the single dating life what they both really want?
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-

User avatar
ken_r
Obsessed Roswellian
Posts: 860
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 11:34 pm
Location: New Mexico

Re: Ninth Floor, for Halloween, teen CC pg3 ch 12 Oct 18 ,09

Post by ken_r » Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:58 am

Naralie36
mary mary
keepsmiling7
Janetfl
begonia9508

Chapter 13

The upcoming day, Liz held her classes. Of Max, she had seen nothing. She went by the lecture hall in the anthropology building, but she heard another graduate instructor telling of strange rites carried out in certain tribes in India.

Liz couldn’t find Maria, but at lunchtime she ran into Michael. “Michael are you all right with Max spending so much time with Maria?” she asked.

“No, Liz, I am not all right with it, but they are working on a project and I respect Maria enough to put up with it,” he answered.

“Well, things were going so good and then one night, Max looks like he has seen a ghost. Since that time, he has been jumpy, his teaching is suffering to the point that the department head has assigned a substitute and every time I ask him about the problem, he either lies or is evasive,” Liz moaned.

“Liz, I hear that it will only be a few more weeks. Just hang in there and don’t do anything that you might be sorry for later,” Michael advised.

“Michael, I moved out. I am living at Alex and Isabel’s home. I was afraid that if I stayed around Max any longer, I would do something that both of us would regret later,” She explained.

“Maybe, that is wise, Liz. Just don’t forget that Max really loves you and anything that is done, he doesn’t mean to hurt you. By the way, I have more work to do at the library so if I walk you to there and back to Alex’s place it might take some of the pressure off Max,” Michael stated.

Michael,I am not a baby. I don’t need someone to walk me to the library and back every night. I put up with that because it made Max feel better,” Liz said.

“That is what I mean, Liz. It will make Max feel better now if he sees that someone is watching over you. Liz, Max is under a lot of strain. Anything I can do for you will ease his stress. When the project is over, Max will explain everything,” Michael explained.

“What about Maria? Won’t she object to you spending time with me instead of her?” Liz asked.

“Maria is probably working with Max. If they are spending their time together, then why can’t we?” Michael laughed.

Michael’s laugh was infectious. Liz grinned also. “All right, Michael, come by tonight and I will walk with you. I still wish I knew what was happening.” Liz had given in, but she was still unhappy about it.

That night, Michael walked Liz to the library and as soon as they had gone up to the ninth floor, Max entered. The girl at the checkout was ecstatic. First Miss Parker had entered with that photographer guy and then, later, Mr. Evans had entered alone. It had been rumored that Mr. Evans was having trouble with his lectures and had taken a week off. Well now was the time to get in line. To any one who was observant, it could be seen that she dressed up for her shift just a bit better and made an extra effort to smile and speak to Mr. Evans when he came in. Since Doctor Fitzpatrick had arranged for Max to have a week or so off, Max went right to the elevator. Again as he passed the eighth floor the shiver was felt. When Max entered the ninth floor, he saw that there were only a few windows broken. There were some books on the floor that had been torn but there didn’t seem to be any complete degeneration. Max walked to the window and he could see the building on the small hill just outside the library. It was clearly the Student Union Building. The grass, trees and ivy were all eroding the walks and buildings. In the distance, Max saw bright fires as something was burning. The further Max got in the room, the stronger was the smell of death.

When Max rounded the corner and was approaching the carrel where Liz’s had been studying. He almost threw up. It was only by shear will that he held down his gorge. The putrefying flesh was hanging from her bones. Her face was held in the death’s grin as the flesh was drawn back into that hideous pseudo grin. Her hands were still on the keyboard of the computer, which no longer had a cracked screen. Draped over the whole were her clothes. They were no longer rent but for the most part whole. The creatures surrounding her relentlessly flapped against Max’s face. They had little substance, but the reflex of dodging their forms as they flew against his face and breeze of their passage made Max continually dart back and forth as he tried to avoid even their ephemeral shapes. The screaming, which Max could perceive only as a whisper was taking on desperation, that spoke of an immediate concern. Max thought, “I will need Maria with me from now on.” His thoughts continuing on that he was subjecting Maria to a terrible strain to have to face the remains of Liz as they became closer to her time of death.

As Max moved away from the remains of Liz, tears streaming down his ace, the shapes became even more insistent. That was a change. Usually the shapes had defended only prescribed territory. Now, the consensus was that they all wanted Max to leave and not return. “We are getting close,” Max thought.

As he approached the students, the stench was more pronounced. Max, seeing between the flapping creatures, saw the students all in similar condition as was Liz. Hanging from rotting flesh, Max could now see the rings hanging from the bodies. The macabre scene was made worse as his mind remembered what was to come. Of course in the middle of them, Max saw the book. He was careful not to touch it. Fitz had warned him not to change anything that he had observed before. This backward time thing was truly confusing.

Max turned to leave. The creatures multiplied as they left a clear path to the doomed elevator, but it was almost like pushing snowflakes aside for Max to go past the elevator and find the door to the stairs. When Max arrived at the stairway, the door could not be seen. The creatures were so thick that Max had to reach through them and, only by feel, could he find the handle and open the stairway. Once in the stairwell, the creatures disappeared, but their screaming whispers were still ringing in his ears. Max stumbled on to the eighth floor, almost as exhausted as he had been that first time. The regular students on that floor had become used to seeing the young instructor entering as if he was fleeing from something. They remarked to themselves that Mr. Evans was loosing his mind, someway. Max rested several minutes. The screaming was no longer heard. Max resumed his travel down in the elevator and left the building. He did not want to run into Liz.

Michael was walking Liz back to Alex’s home. He thought facing a mugger would be child’s play compared to what they were preparing to face. Liz was very quiet. Michael knew that she was very worried about Max. “Michael, don’t you in anyway fear that Maria is drifting away from you?” she asked.

“No, Liz, Max was my friend back in high school and Maria was yours. I don’t think they would betray us. They have a project to accomplish and until that project is finished, I will attempt to be patient,” he answered.

Liz thought to her self, “Michael is stronger than I am. I only wish I had his faith.” Then, Liz thought, “Michael knows more than I do about this project. Why am I being excluded?”

Chapter 14

“I will tell you doc, the time is growing close,” Max told doctor Fitzpatrick. Max had had a troubled night after he returned from the library. The lady in white had worried him with every inducement she could make, except the one that might have tempted Max. She could not release the person of Elizabeth Parker. For some reason, that was the one person who they tenaciously held on to. Her promises of a slavishly willing Maria, or of the simulative of Liz, without any flaws again slavishly willing to do anything Max wanted did not sway him. Her speeches to Max put him off because of that forked tongue which could be seen between her teeth. Remembering the twin embrace of his own appendage when she attempted to French kiss him, repelled Max every time.

She had resorted to threats, showing Max what the end would entail. Max saw the crack open in the middle of the ninth floor. From this crack, he saw the creature emerge. The slightly humanoid appearance of the creature made it even more hideous as the thousands of tentacles springing from all parts of its body. The cephalopodical nature of the creature was shown as the tentacles grasped everything in its path. Max saw that the creature must be emerging near the cubicle where Liz studied. The lady in white had deliberately blurred that part of the vision. Max was not permitted to see what Liz did. He was not allowed to understand why Liz was so important to them.

“Last night was particularly bad, Fitz,” Max stated. That white bitch tried every way she could to sway me away from what I intend to do. She used bribery, threats and intellectual persuasion. She just couldn’t understand or maybe wouldn’t understand that my concern was still for Liz,” Max explained.

“Max, you still don’t open yourself to forces of good in the universe do you?” Doctor Fitzpatrick asked.

“Doc, I am beginning to believe in forces of evil. Every time I face that white woman, I only sense evil intentions to all she touches. Forces of good, I don’t clearly see, yet,” Max said.

“Max, why do you think Liz was allowed to be chosen by the evil in the other world?” the doctor asked.

“Fitz, that is my point. Why was Liz chosen? It had to be something just random. Liz is essentially a very good person. There is no reason that she should be put through this trial. Things just happen, Fitz,” Max explained.

“Just happened, Max? Look at your life. You have prepared your entire intellectual life to be an anthropologist, a man who studies his fellow men and their culture. You are a man who is open to different ideas and not bound by any preconceived boundaries. Maybe, even your agnosticism allowed you to see and accept things that others couldn’t. Alex, we do not know what he believes as religion, but we do know that he has a strong faith in his physics. He believes in the real world that he sees. He was not permitted to enter the realm of the ninth floor. Maria is a woman of strong faith, but she willingly followed you wherever you led her. Max, when you clearly think, you have to admit that there is something on this side who is directing the battle. Look at the persons chosen to stop the horror that the other world promises. How many men would have the love strong enough to resist all the wiles of the woman in white? Do you think it was just an accident that Maria is Liz’s best and oldest friend? Look how much time you are spending with Maria and yet your friend, Michael, is still willing to help Liz and has the faith that neither you nor Maria would betray him. Max we don’t know what is going on, on the other side. But, this side is choosing up to win.” Fitzpatrick was sure that everything was falling into place. Unfortunately, he also knew that they would have to fight to win. Even with God on your side, you must be strong.

“As I said Fitz, it is going to happen soon. I would say in the next day or so. Time on the ninth floor from the other side is going much faster than it is here.” With that, Max left the anthropology building to go home to rest.

It was about noon when Doctor Fitzpatrick heard a soft knock on his open door post. It was that photographer friend of Max’s. “What was his name?” Fitz thought. Ah, it was Michael. “Come in Michael. What do you have for me?” he said indicating a stiff envelop Michael was holding.

Michael sat down. “I don’t know if Max told you, but Liz left him,” Michael said.

The doctor frowned. Is this irrevocable or will they be able to patch things up later?” he asked.

“Liz says that she left him so she wouldn’t say something that she would be sorry for later. She is angry because she feels left out of all that is going on,” Michael explained.

The doctor nodded. If there were no real incriminations then things would work out. Fitz was unsure what would happen after they won. Would any of them remember what had happened in these last few weeks or would the slate be wiped clean when the portal was closed.? Doctor Fitzpatrick did not allow himself to think about failure. If they failed, the world and all that was in it would be destroyed. In that case, nothing would matter. “And, you Michael, how are you holding up?” Fitz asked.

Michael shrugged, “I don’t like Maria taking chances, but at least she is fighting and the alternative would be all of our destruction. Max and I used to be good friends so any dalliance or appearance of the same will be over looked. I am trying to care for Liz in the meantime. She thinks I am on assignment which, maybe I am. I am taking pictures of the UNM library.” Michael opened the envelope. “Here are some examples from last night. Max really pulled the tail of the tiger, last night.”

“Yes, he was by earlier. He had a bad night both in the library and afterward. Whatever it is on the other side, it is getting ready to cross. Michael, if you are with Liz, keep close watch on her. I still can’t figure what she must do to help the entity. I am sure that whatever it is,```` she won’t do something evil or help something evil if she understands what is happening,” Doctor Fitzpatrick explained.

Michael handed the doctor the pictures he held from the envelop. “Here we see the infinity focused pictures of Liz, she is surrounded by some sort of forms. They can’t be seen, except for the unfocused pictures.” Michael handed the doctor another picture. “Here are some shots I took of the girls with their book. Now look at this one, which is also out of focus. Look at what is crowding all around them. Look in the middle of the picture, that bright object must be their book.” As Michael explained the pictures, he laid them out on the doctor’s desk.

Doctor Fitzpatrick looked at Michael. “Max thinks that it is within a day or two.” Fitz saw the worried look on Michael’s face. “Will you be ready to defend Liz?” the doctor asked.

Michael sat, holding his head. “That is soon. We have to be ready. It doesn’t give us much time, does it? Not only do I have to protect Liz, but also, I have to be ready to release any holds on Maria. Yes, doc. I will be ready.” Michael leaving the pictures on Doctor Fitzpatrick’s desk left.

When Maria returned to her apartment, she found Michael waiting for her. Without a word, he began to kiss her. Maria had no idea what had happened, but she didn’t object. Slowly as he kissed her, Michael began to remove her clothes. When he had her down to her underwear, he picked her up in his arms and took her to their bedroom. He placed her on the bed and as she watched, Michael removed all of his clothing. When he crawled upon the bed with her, Maria quickly sat up and undid her bra, that was followed by her pushing down her panties and then, kicking them free to fall on the floor somewhere. They lay in bed making love until just a few minutes before Michael had to leave to pick up Liz. They jumped up and showered together quickly. Then, Michael, grabbing a snack to hold him for the evening, left for Alex’s place. Maria had received a call from Max so she prepared herself to leave when he arrived. She dressed much as she had last time.

The priest has asked how were her trials going. Maria told him that she was facing great danger and his loan of the rosary was a help to her. He nodded, said a blessing over her and privately wondered what would a woman that age be facing. He had noted her crucifix. Yes, it was of an older time. He knew enough about the southwest to also agree that the work was probably from the Zuni pueblo. He had no idea of its travels to New Orleans and then, someway, back to the southwest by way of Mexico, to Maria’s grandmother. Maria had been warned by Max to eat light. Max told her that he had been to the local mortuary and they had told him that a piece of cotton with a bit of menthol would deaden the smell. Max also warned her that they were very close to the time of Liz’s death. He had no further instructions. They both would be flying blind on this one.

When Max and Maria arrived at the ninth floor the door seemed reluctant to open. It wasn’t until, Maria pulled on it, that it slowly allowed them to enter. Once inside Max handed Maria the two pieces of cotton and she stuffed them in her nose, but not before she understood what he meant about the smell. When the menthol hit her sinuses, it immediately drained them. Maria felt a stab of pain as air hit the cavities without warning. Just as one bit of down floating in the air would not offer any resistance and a ton of down might bring travel to a halt, the creatures multiplied so many times were a chore to move through. They stopped at the window. All the panes had been replaced. Looking out there was something like a cloud that was surrounding the ruined building. Now, the building was not in ruins, but there were even lights seen inside. Except for the attempts at screaming of the creatures, there was no sound. Max tapped Maria’s shoulder. She jumped in surprise. Max put his hand on her shoulder to calm her. “Maria we have to look carefully through the stacks for Michael’s body. If we can’t find it, that will be the first sign that we have a chance of winning.

Instead of walking directly to Liz’s carrel, they zigzagged up and down the aisles. Continually brushing aside the creatures, which were doing everything in their power to hinder their progress, Max and Maria found no more bodies. The only bodies were the single one of Liz in her carrel and the group of bodies where the girls had been casting spells.

Liz was even more saddening. Her skin was drawn tightly against her bone structure. Yes, this was the denim skirt that Maria had given her last summer. Her normally tanned skin was gray in color. Her eyes were shut and her hands were on the keyboard. Max could feel Maria sob. He was shedding tears also. This was worse than a funeral. It was something that he had not, in another time, been able to stop. What if time was ordained? That would be a cruel joke. To make them all go through their trails and then, just allow them to fail. Max was determined to break time if necessary. Max was not going to let the white lady win. They proceeded to the group of girls. Maria saw her student, Emma. The same black skirt, the same peasant blouse and as she had fallen against the others, they could see her feet clad in the braided sandals. Max reached over and touched the book. It was very warm. It had been use recently. Max thought, “Used like a machine to do something. Something probably maniacal.”

From the corner of his eye, he saw Maria say a silent prayer and after making the sign of the cross, she kissed her crucifix. This action caused a strong rebellion in the creatures surrounding them. Max had noticed that anything that stood for the good things of his world, greatly bothered those creatures. Since they were from elsewhere, Max imagined that these things and actions infuriated something there. That gave some belief to what Fitz had said about the battle between good and evil. Max reached and pulled Maria close to him. She was a weapon. Her very faith was a weapon against whatever was trying to crossover. Maria could wield weapons that Max, with his general disbelief, could not. This might turn into Maria in the forefront and Max protecting her the best he could. That didn’t matter. For Max, it was first save Liz and then, next save the world that they could live in.

Leaving the group of students, Max and Maria now proceeded to a carrel that had the least damage. In this time, that wasn’t too hard. Damage was not as bad. “We need to stay until we are sure that Liz has left for the night. This time thing is difficult to keep up with. We know that the end cannot come except when Liz is on the ninth floor on the other side,” Max said.

Maria was holding onto her crucifix and as long as she did so, the fluttering things kept their distance. “How do we know when we can go?” she asked.

Max looked at his watch. It was very indistinct. It was a Seiko that had both analog time along with a digital read out. The hands were spinning out of control and the digits were changing almost at random. He had never looked at the watch before so he had no way to measure how time passed. There are two types of time. There is the measured time, using a mechanical device or observing something like the sun or stars and there is relative time, which you measure in your mind. The last was what they were left with. How long was long enough? Time when you might be with your lover was so different from time when you were waiting for the dentist. They just sat in the carrel holding hands as they watched the fluttering about them.

Finally, Max gave into a growing urgency to look for a bathroom. Maybe there was a physical clock within his body. All the restrooms were on the first floor. He stood and taking Maria’s hand, they proceeded to the stairwell. Of course, the creatures did all they could to detour them back to the dilapidated elevator. Max thought, they were not too far from the time that the world was destroyed. The elevator might not be as bad as it was before. The thought of the power being unsure and the vehicle being caught between floors made him fight harder. In the stairwell, they found relief from the constant flapping. They opened the eighth floor door and it was dark. They had stayed beyond the time of the library closing. They walked over to the elevator, but it had been shut down for the night. It was a long seven more flights of stairs to the ground. Immediately on the ground floor, Max headed to the restroom. He noticed that Maria did likewise.

When he came out, he found that Maria was waiting for him. There was also a night security officer, waiting. “You young folks know better than to not come down when the buzzer sounds. We give you plenty of time to get out before we lock up,” the old man said.

Max looked apologetic. “Sir, we were working on a project up in the stacks, I guess we just fell asleep. We didn’t hear the alarm,” he explained.

The old man shook his head. “Look, if you are getting something in the stacks, I say more power to you. It is a rule that everyone has to be out of the library before we lock up. You young professors, I know, are busy. It is a trial to be teaching all these freshmen. I know you hardly have a place or the money for a room to catch a little nookie, but I am going to have to write you up.”

Max looked as abashed as he could, “Please, we won’t let it happen again. Can you spare us the embarrassment? We both have roommates and I guess we just got carried away.”

The old man just shook his head. Yes, he was young once and he had been caught with the university president’s daughter under the bleachers. These young instructors weren’t doing anymore than many other students, or faculty for that matter. “Aw, go on with you,” the guard said as he unlocked the front door. Max and Maria left quickly.

Max went home to a cold, empty apartment. When she entered, Maria heard a sleepy voice, from her bedroom call out. “A bit late isn’t it babe?” Michael droned.

“Yes, we waited until we were sure that you and Liz were out of the library. There is no way to tell time in that portal. Watches don’t work and we stayed too long. In fact, the guard had to let us out. He thinks that we were making out in the stacks and lost track of time.”

“Sounds reasonable babe. How is Max in the love department?” Michael asked.

Maria hit him with the bra in her hand. “Don’t you start that, Michael! This is serious. Max thinks that tomorrow is the day. We have to be ready. Be sure and watch to see if Liz wears that denim skirt I gave her.”

Michael pulled her down and together, they curled up for as much sleep as they could get.

-----------------------------------
genes of the King is a story about discovering the power and danger of their heritage.
Summer to Remember an action adventure story
Ninth Floor a story for Halloween

Coming soon, "Divorce." Who was at fault? Is the single dating life what they both really want?
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-

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ken_r
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Re: Ninth Floor, for Halloween, teen CC pg4 ch 14 Oct 22 ,09

Post by ken_r » Mon Oct 26, 2009 7:59 am

Natalie36
mary mary
begonia9508

Chapter 15

Max, again, had a troubled sleep. The lady in white with her forked tongue was with him. “What is one woman, whom you have only been with a few of your months?” As she talked she bent close to Max. He could feel the caresses of her tongue. They were erotic now that the shock was over. The serpent construction of this appendage was long and it caused Max to feel arousal. “See what I can do when you leave the woman out of your mind?” she asked.

As Max looked at her, her dress became more gossamer. It was like a drama on Broadway. The translucence of the dress was the director, holding his attention to parts of her body, which, if she were completely naked, Max might not even have noticed or been too embarrassed to gaze on. The translucence of her clothes was changing so Max’s mind was quickly seeing without detail. His mind was filling in the blanks. Max felt his body stirring. “See, Max, you can appreciate me if you only try. We need Liz. For us, she is unique. You on the other hand, can have whom ever you want. I can be your lover, or I can bring anyone else to your bed. All you have to do is not interfere in something you cannot stop anyway.”

Max vigorously shook his head. “No, you would destroy my world and start by taking the woman I love. I will do anything I can to stop you.”

The Lady in white, smiled. “Max, I really do admire you. There are many in your world who would sell out the inheritance of their future for a lot less than I have offered.” She reach forward and with a velvety hand. She caressed his face. “I hope your love for the lady is not misplaced. She has already left you. She might not come back. You may be risking a battle for someone who no longer loves you. Max, we will soon meet in battle as enemies. Let us depart now as friends. Embrace me with a kiss. That is the way of your people. Enemies may fight each other, but they still can respect each other.”

With that statement, the lady in white moved to bend over Max and her arms were outstretched. Max looked at her ruby lips and he couldn’t help it, they became the most desirable thing in his mind. They slowly parted as tiny flicks of her forked tongue peaked forth in a tantalizing way.

Suddenly, Max threw himself out of bed. He rolled on the floor as he propelled himself away from the creature. Max screamed. “No, I will fight you and destroy you. You have no honor. You stand against every thing I believe in.” Max was beating the floor with his fists so angry was his passion.

The lady in white grew in size. Her face was now filling the room.
it changed to the warped image of the mask that Max had seen so many time. It was screaming, but though her voice was clearly heard before, now, the scream was a whisper. Just like the masks had done before. It flew at Max and he went through the open mouth. As she passed, there was silence. Max had passed the test. Would it be the final one? He didn’t know.

When Maria curled up against Michael, he felt the necklace, which held the crucifix. As his hand traveled down her front, across her soft breast and down to her waist, he felt the rosary. Maria was serious in her feeling that the end was near. Michael hadn’t had much religious training as a child, either. Where Max learned not to scorn anyone’s belief system Michael was fed the tyrannical and inconsistent, rantings of whomever was his foster parent.

Religion, paranormals, supernatural all fit, to Michael, into some category associated with punishment and recriminations. He knew that Maria was a strong believer. That was one of the things he loved about her. Maria had a strong faith and she knew of his doubts. Maria just expanded her beliefs to make up for his faults. The minute that Maria neither got angry nor paid much attention to his teasing about making love to Max, Michael knew that she was serious, that there was something very big coming. Maria was very tired and she never knew of the explorations he was making of her body. As Michael pulled her closer, he felt the cold of the silver crucifix. He, also, felt the beads against his groin of the rosary. Michael mentally shrugged. Lying in bed as he was, he couldn’t perform that actually. Maybe the faith of Maria would rub off on him. If Maria was to support Max on one side, Michael would be standing with Liz on the other. What would he do? Michael hadn’t the foggiest idea.

Michael opened his eyes. According to the illumination of the clock by their bed, there was only about an hour before they had to get up. For several minutes, Michael couldn’t figure what had awakened him. Maria’s breathing was a steady hiss, telling him that she was still fast asleep. In the distance, (how far could anything be in the small bedroom?) Michael saw a luminance cloud. Michael’s senses told him that the cloud was far away. As he watched, the cloud became bigger and more distinct. Both Max and Maria had told him about the masks. That is what the cloud was, thousands of masks all grinning or crying and coming closer all the time. Their voices were a moan that was only a whisper, but a whisper that was multiplied thousands of times.

Maria moved, then sat up. Michael pulled her closer to himself. Was he doing this to offer her protection or to obtain protection for himself? Maria was holding her crucifix. The faces began darting about the couple, but they did not get near Maria’s faith. Her faith was also protecting Michael. He did feel calls for him to give up his vigil with Liz and to pay attention to Maria, who was after all, his declared love. “The other woman is ours. Tend to what you have and do not risk it meddling into affairs that do not concern you,” the cry was heard.

Michael wondered if the call was for him alone, but Maria spoke up. “Michael, do not listen to them. If we fail, all is lost to everyone.” Maria pushed herself back into a tighter hold given by Michael. The mask darted and flapped at both of them. But when Maria raised her crucifix the masks fell back. The creatures had been harmed the first time, by Maria and her faith. They did not want to repeat that same mistake.

Michael did see visions of the charred bodies of Max and Maria lying on the library floor. Both Max and Maria had repeatedly stated that the only bodies on the ninth floor in the aftermath were those of Liz at her carrel and the students with their book of magic against the far wall. Michael wasn’t an expert, but he imagined that Armageddon would come the way Max and Maria had described it or it wouldn’t come at all. The insistence of the creatures that they had to have Liz gave belief in that.

It was the reality of the buzzing of the alarm that dispersed the apparition. Michael took his shower without incident, as did Maria. As they were eating breakfast, Michael turned to Maria, “Babe, as soon as your last class is finished come home. I will be waiting for you. If this is to be our last day, then let’s make it worthwhile.

Chapter 16

Max was still on leave. Maria hurried to work as did Liz. Michael was left to his own devices. For a long time, he just sat and thought of what he now knew or at least, what he thought he knew. What Michael was sure of, was that he needed quality time with Maria before he faced tonight. What about Max? Because Max couldn’t, or in her eyes wouldn’t, explain what was going on, Liz was refusing to talk to Max. Max would need all the strength that he could muster tonight. It was a little after noon when Michael went to the university. He went to the English department and waited out side Liz’s door until she had dismissed her class.

When Liz’s afternoon class was over, she found Michael waiting outside her door. “What’s up Michael?” she asked in surprise.

“Liz, I need you to do something. Max is home this afternoon. Go to him and ask him to make love with you. Don’t ask him any questions. Don’t let him even answer any questions. Just tell him that you trust him and want to make love, there and now.” Michael stated.

“Michael,” Liz exclaimed. “What is this, a charade that Max has thought up to make me come back to him?”

“This is me talking, Liz. I don’t play games and neither does Max; you might someday learn to believe this. I implore you to go to Max. Do not ask any questions and do not answer any. Just tell him that you want to make love right now. Then, show him all the intensity you can. He needs this badly.” Michael looked at Liz. He was sure he was scaring her a little, but he had decided that his request was so important that he didn’t care.

“But, Michael I am not sure I do trust him. He has been so mysterious this last few weeks. If I am to trust him, he needs to tell me what is bothering him,” Liz explained.

“Liz, you are what’s bothering him. Your welfare, your future and your protection are weighing heavily on all of us. Liz, Max must face a strong challenge. I can’t say any more about that. Don’t ask me, because if I tell you too much, we will all be in trouble. I ask you to trust me and I ask you, even more, to trust Max. Liz, Max is not a man of faith. Now, my Maria is. She has a lot of faith in Max, in me and, also, in you. She has faith that there are good things in the world. She believes that the good will win over the evil. Liz, this sounds corny coming from me. You can ask, ‘What do I believe in?’ I believe in Max. Right now, he needs to understand that you believe in him, also. Please go to him and I will pick you up at the Whitman’s, when you are ready to go to the library tonight.” After all that speech Michael quickly left to make it home to see Maria.

Maria had just dismissed her class. She was picking up her notes and books. If she hurried, she would soon be at the apartment where Michael waited for her. She felt a presence and, looking up, she saw Emma and another girl. “Ms. DeLuca, can we talk to you?” the shy girl said.

“What is it Emma? I don’t have much time this afternoon,” Maria replied.

Emma sat down in one of the front row chairs. “I, or rather we, just want to tell you what is going on in the library,” Emma stated rather hesitantly.

Maria frowned. If Emma really had something to say, then it might be worth the time to listen to her. Maria, her things all collected also sat looking at the two girls. “Well, what is it you want to tell me?” she asked.

Emma was playing with her hands in the desk. She almost had an infantile manner about her. Maria wondered who the other girl was and what really, did Emma want. “Ms. DeLuca, didn’t you ever want to be part of something? Something much bigger than you had ever participated in before in your life?” the girls asked.

“Yes, but what do you want to talk to me about?” Maria again asked of the girl.

“Ms. DeLuca, don’t try to stop us. They told me that if you will not go to the library tonight, you would be safe.” Emma stated.

Maria frowned. This was a direct confrontation with something. “What is going to happen tonight Emma?” Maria inquired.

“He is so beautiful. He promised us that we all would receive love. He promised that he would correct what is wrong with the world. We would no longer be plain, dowdy girls, but rather we would all be seen as beauties, that everyone would love,” the girl replied.

“Emma, I have been there. You are all just a large pile of bones. If this ‘he’ you talk about promised anything, then remember that he is a liar. Why did you come to me this afternoon, Emma?” Maria asked.

“Because I like you, Ms. DeLuca. He said I could try to save you. If I succeed, I would be given a place in his kingdom,” she stated with almost reverence.

Maria scowled. “Emma, I have an appointment. I am late now. This ‘he’ you speak of is not what you think. Emma, in the next world you will die. Don’t listen to him.” Maria got up to usher the girls out of the room.

Emma was pleading with her. “No, Ms. DeLuca. Please stay and talk to me more. Tell me more about what you know.” She was holding onto Maria’s arm.

Maria was very sharp when she said, “Emma, if you don’t want to hear what I say, then there is nothing I can do for you. I have my own appointment so both of you are going to have to go.” Maria reached for the other girl. She was going to have use force to get the girls to leave. To Maria’s surprise, the other girl could not be touched. As Emma started crying, the girl with her seemed to get larger. Her face now filled the room. She came at Maria who reached in her blouse for the crucifix. Maria tightly held the crucifix and the other woman just vanished. Emma took one look at Maria standing there with the necklace in her hand. With a scream, Emma fled the room. Maria quickly grabbed her things and hurried to the apartment she shared with Michael. As she ran, she wondered at Emma’s crying. Was she crying genuinely because of her relationship with Maria, her teacher, or because she had failed at her task of discouraging Maria from interfering.

Michael found Maria already at their apartment. She was in tears as she described the incident with Emma and her friend. “Michael, that girl was trying to get me to step aside and let Max and Liz both die. Then, when I refused and even more than refused, I explained what was going to happen to all of them, the girl with Emma turned into one of those things that fly at you. When I drew out my crucifix, she just disappeared. That is when Emma ran off crying.”

Michael held Maria tightly. Then without another word, he led her into their bedroom. They had several hours before they either faced the battle of their lives or certain oblivion if they lost the battle. Michael wanted to make the most of it either way.

For Liz, things were not quit that easy. She was in a quandary. Part of her mind said that Max was acting strangely and he clearly didn’t trust her. Michael and Maria were just as bad. They were all up to something and she was left out. The other logical part of her mind said that Maria had been her friend forever. Maria wouldn’t do anything to hurt her friend, Liz. Michael was always loyal to both Max and Maria. Hadn’t he stepped up when she left Max to make sure she was safe? That bothered Liz. It was always Max who insisted that she needed an escort returning from the library late at night. Somehow, Michael had so smoothly stepped into Max’s place. He escorted her and sometimes, he spent time taking pictures in the library. None of that made much sense.

Michael had been so serious when he told Liz to return to Max and act like nothing had happened. He even told her to be more passionate than she had ever been before. That crack that Liz had made about this being some charade of Max’s. She had never known of Max being devious in his relationship before. She did know that Max didn’t play games either. Max was a relatively straight forward person.

Before returning to the apartment she had shared with Max, Liz wanted to talk to Alex. She would go his apartment after class and then, if she made up her mind, she would return to Max. Liz called Alex and asked if he could take time off work and talk to her.

Alex was sure something was about to happen. He called Isabel and she also, would hurry home to be with him when he talked to Liz. Alex and Isabel both knew that Max and Liz had suffered from issues of trust. Liz had said little when she asked to stay with them for awhile. Both of them knew that Max had experienced some strange experiences. They also knew that Maria was standing beside Max. When confronted by Liz, now, Alex and Izzy were very careful to not say what they had learned from the meeting with Doctor Fitzpatrick.

“Michael says I should return to max. He says I should return without any questions. That seems that I am making my needs to be opened with Max, trivialized. Michael kept saying that I should just blindly trust for a while. He seems to think that Max needs me badly. I am not sure I want to give in that easily. I want to be equal with Max. I want the trust to run two ways. How can I return without saying that my needs are no longer important?” Liz asked.

“Liz, I know my brother. He tends to become obsessive about things. You are one of the things that he obsesses about. His reasoning, now, is that he has to face something along with Maria. He would never bring another person, like Maria, into danger unless he thought it was necessary. For his own reasons, Michael also agrees with what she is doing. Michael feels that since Max is distracted, he needs to offer you protection. If Michael feels that you should go to Max, unconditionally, then you should go. Liz, this might be one of those times when you cast equality to the wind and embrace one who, at least thinks he is protecting you.” Isabel appreciated equality in a relationship. She also knew that Max was in serious trouble. If he failed, the whole world was on his shoulders. She had began to think that she and Alex would go to the library later tonight. If Max succeeded, then they would be there to support him. If he failed, well, what did it matter where they were.

It was Alex who taking Liz’s hands and saying, “Liz, Max needs you. If he is wrong, don’t give up on him. After this is all over, kick his butt. Make him grovel for a specified time. But, be there for him, now, if he needs you.”

Liz left the apartment. She was still not sure what she was to do. It was almost without thinking that she found herself in front of her old apartment, the one she had shared with Max. Liz still had her key. She entered. The shades were all pulled and no lights were on. Max was sitting in the semi darkness. He had hardly noticed when he heard the door rattling as Liz unlocked it. He looked up as Liz spoke. “Max, make love to me.” The command was short and simple.

Max stood and opened his arms. He was so weary from his confrontations with the woman in white. The woman in white had poisoned his mind that he would never see Liz alive, again. This was not a time to make apologies, promises or to even speak. What Max was called on to do was to protect his love, if he could. The saving of the rest of the world was incidental. When Liz felt his arms around her, she could feel him quiver. She looked up and he was crying. Liz just wished whatever it had been between them had never happened. Liz was thinking back. All this started the night when Max met her on the eighth floor in the elevator. She, then, had thought he looked like he had seen a ghost. That business of exclaiming, “Liz, you are alive!” had stayed with Liz. The returning back to the ninth floor, the fondling of the locket at her neck and his unhealthy pallor had all started what, now, was between them. Correction, what had been, between them. Michael had said that she should ask nothing and simply tell Max, in a physical way, how she felt about him. Michael had been so sure that this was important.

Chapter 17

Liz had returned to the Whitman’s apartment. Max just lay there thinking. Soon, he would meet Maria and whatever was to happen, would. There is something about a couple lying together naked. It is something that is never achieved by the teenagers in the back seat of a car, in the woods or in the back row of a drive in. Max wondered. What had happened to all the drive-in movies anyway? They were disappearing as Max attended high school, maybe, to be replaced by the eraser room. The eraser room again, only to the very bold who would completely disrobe, would only offer the physical part of sex and never establish the trust that two people would find in the privacy of a locked home, with no chance of disturbance. That was what Liz offered as she dropped her jeans, removed her blouse and climbed onto their bed waiting for him to remove first his clothes and then, assist her in the final freedom from her underwear.

The act of love was part, but not all, of the love she shared with him. The closeness of their bodies spoke volumes of what they both wanted to say. In Max’s mind, the lady in white tried and tried to intrude. Her incorporeal form could not compare to the real, non-changing warmth, that Liz gave him.

The lady in white had made promises and she had offered her charms, but now, with Liz there were no promises to be evaluated or any doubts as to what Liz was. She was a solid, warm loving person with a soul and she was telling Max that she was his, unconditionally. She was also intimating that Max must consider that he also belonged, unconditionally, to Liz. Right now, Liz wasn’t making any demands, but it was clear that soon Max would have to be forthcoming, if he was to retain the trust, she was making, now.

Finally, Liz stood up and retrieved her clothes. She, unabashedly, stood in front of Max dressing. Liz knew that Max thrilled at watching her dress. Sometimes, she had turned this into a sort of erotic dance. This time, Liz just accomplished her task, being careful to not hide any part of her body from Max’s gaze as she did. Finally, kissing him, Liz left to return to the Whitman’s, as said.

Max showered and dressed. He didn’t want to be seen by either Liz or Michael, but Maria had insisted that they not leave them too long in the library without backup in the future. Maria had been sure that this was the night.

Maria would soon be ready herself. She would give a Michael head start. Then, she would hook up with Max. When Maria had arrived at the apartment she had a wait until Michael returned. Maria had no idea of Michael’s talk to Liz. Her own experience with Emma and the strange other creature occupied Maria’s entire thoughts.

As Maria had finished her tearful story and they found themselves in their bedroom, Maria had felt Michael start to undo her blouse. With every movement, Michael was kissing Maria. She made no attempt to help him. One of the most erotic things that Michael could feel was not a submission from Maria, but rather, a compliance that allowed him to disrobe her. Michael was aiding Maria in preparing for love. When he had her down to just her panties, Michael stood up and removed all of his clothes. Maria lay down and Michael crawled in with her. As she lay there, Maria couldn’t help but to touch Michael. His arousal then was not only apparent, but also, was pulsating. She raised her hips so he could remove the last vestments she wore. Soon, they were in each other’s arms enthralled in the physical acts of love. Afterward as they had lain in bed, the stickiness and the cold spot between them, both ignored as they pulled the other closer. Michael would stand in front of Liz if this was the night, but his heart would always be with Maria. His faith was always in Maria. Her belief in the essential goodness of the world, something with which, he had trouble, would cover both of them. Maybe with luck, it would cover all four of them.

Maria finally rolled over and Michael had sat up. He had to leave firs,t so he showered and got dressed. As Maria returned from her turn at the shower she said, “Remember, Michael, call me if Liz isn’t wearing her denim skirt and the Nike shoes. If she doesn’t wear them tonight, our timing might be completely off.” Michael nodded and prepared to leave. With a final enduring kiss, he was out the door.

Now, Maria finished dressing. Jeans, blouse with her hiking boots made up her wardrobe tonight. Just like it had the first time she had faced the future. Almost reverently,` she placed her necklace around her neck, the crucifix resting between her breasts. Maria, also, carefully wrapped the borrowed rosary about her waist. Max would soon be by to pick her up.

“Hey, Maria,” the voice in the cell phone whispered, “we may have a false alarm tonight. Liz is wearing jeans.” Michael had called her and now, she had to face the fact that she might be wrong. Maybe, tonight wasn’t the night for the demon to come through.

When Max arrived, Maria was sitting on the coach. “Relax Max, it looks like this will just be like every other night. Liz isn’t wearing the denim skirt that she is supposed to die in. We should go there, but I guess there isn’t any hurry.” Maria had just been so sure. She wasn’t taking her mistake very well.

Max was tired. It had been so long since he had had a full night’s sleep. He sat on the couch and closed his eyes. As he dosed, the white lady was in the background. She was trying to come forth, but the naked body of Liz lying on top of Max, in his dreams, prevented her approach. It seemed that the importance of Liz was such that no one would be allowed to touch her even if she was in someone else’s dream.

Maria’s cell phone sounded. “Maria, change of plans. Liz just dropped a carton of milk and it spilled all over her jeans. Just before she slammed the door to her room, I saw her take that skirt from the closet.” Michael’s message changed everything. Maria could sense a hurried intenseness in his voice. This last bit of knowledge assured Michael that all their fears were eminent. Maria shook Max. “Max wake up, we have to hurry. Michael and Liz just left for the library and she had to change to the denim skirt.”

Max shook the cobwebs out of his mind. He had to be alert. Things were all falling into place. They proceeded to the library and waited back in the trees a ways until they saw Michael and Liz enter. Max looked around. The students all seemed to be dressed up in some strange way. Some of them were wearing masks.

Maria touched Max’s shoulder, “Do you know what to night is?” she asked.

Max looked at her. He was so wound up that he was annoyed that she wanted to play games. Max shook his head.

“Max, it is October 31st. Max, this is Halloween,” she stated.

As an anthropologist, Max knew that Halloween was one of the most manufactured holidays ever. The exact date, October 31 was set by convention. It had been a pagan holiday in Europe. The Popes, Gregory third and fourth had assigned November first as all saints day. That left the ‘een’ or evening before as a day to counter the saints goodness. Through time, the evening became a time of spooks and spirits and evil creatures. From the south in Mexico, they had “Dia do los Muertos.” That became November first when they honored the fallen children, “Dia do los inocentes,” and November second which they officially call the “Dia do los Muertos,” to honor all the dead.

All of these people held this time as time to remember the dead, sometimes it was to remember the good things and sometimes the bad. Was it a coincidence that the night before was the time that the demon had chosen to come forth?

Max gave a shudder as they entered and the girl at the desk who always waved was dressed as a witch. He also wondered if this night had any influence on the students crowded around the book of spells. This night, Max and Maria stood out because their dress was the ordinary dress of a day, or night. Yes, Max was in costume. He was a hero going forth to save the world. He didn’t look like a hero. Enough said. He was disguised.

Max and Maria entered the elevator. They again as usual, experienced the chill as they passed the eighth floor. When they opened the ninth floor door, they were presented with a strong smell of death. Maria grabbed Max’s arm and led him to the stairwell. They hurried so quickly that whatever creatures, which were already there, did not notice their entrance or exit. When inside the stairwell, the smell disappeared. Maria fairly flew down the stairs. “Max, we have to hurry, Liz has been dead only a few days now,” she told him. It was obvious that now the two times lines were fixing to collide. The natural progression of time toward the end of the world would soon be the same as whatever had allowed Max and now, Maria to travel first ahead in time by entering the ninth floor by way of the elevator, then, progressively backwards closer to the disaster. Every time they enter this floor time moved backwards.

Again on the eighth floor entered the elevator. Again as they passed the top of the floor, the chill was felt. Both Max and Maria felt an oppression, It was as if, a tremendous weight was pushing down upon them. When they entered the floor the death smell was less, but they were met by the creatures. This time, the creatures had substance. Max and Maria had to fight their way to the stair. Max saw past the creatures and through the window, flames rising from the outside world. No matter how much they were buffeted, Maria did not loose her grip on his hand. The creatures were pilled against the stairwell door. Maria refused to let go of Max, but they each grabbed the handle of the door and yanked with all their might. The creatures followed them into the stairwell, but as soon as Maria pulled the door closed, the creatures all disappeared. Now, the sense of doom was with them. Soon, they would enter not some time in the distant future, but the real time of their own lives.

Again, they repeated their travels. This time when they opened the elevator door they were met with screams. There were flames at the far side of the library where the girls had gathered. Their bodies were writhing in flames. Max started to pull away from Maria and head to the place where Liz would be found. “Max, no,” Maria shouted over the screams. “She is already dead. We have to make one more trip.”

The creatures were many more and their substance was stronger. For a minute, Max felt a panic as he felt Maria’s grasp slip away from him. Max, now, could only fight his way toward the door. When he reached the door, he grasped it. There were too many creatures holding it back. He and Maria, together, could barely open it last time. Max could only fight. The creatures now had substance, so they also could be destroyed. Max cast one creature after another to the floor, stamping each when it fell. The creatures also were screaming, some in anger and others in pain, as Max destroyed them.

Suddenly, Max saw a flame moving toward him. The flame was surrounded by screams of pain. Maria appeared out of the myriad of creatures. Maria, with both of her hands badly burned, was holding high her crucifix. The flames were the creatures dying before the symbol of her faith. Max grabbed her wrist and she screamed in pain. He then, caught her arm and led her to the door and this time, he was able to open it. Once inside, Maria’s whimpers were all the sounds he heard. Max felt terrible. How could he protect Liz who was still in another time, when he couldn’t protect Maria right beside him? Max knew that if he took the crucifix, it would have no effect. The effect was not in the item, but rather in the soul of the person holding it. Max was wearing a pull-over shirt. He took it off and wrapped the cross in the shirt so Maria could hold it in her burned hands without being further harmed. Once again, they ran to the eighth floor and took the elevator back to the ninth. The barrier of freezing cold was absent. They were in the present.
-----------------------------------------------

genes of the King is a story about discovering the power and danger of their heritage.
Summer to Remember an action adventure story
Ninth Floor It is almost Halloween!!!

Coming soon, "Divorce." Who was at fault? Is the single dating life what they both really want?
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-

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ken_r
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Re: Ninth Floor, for Halloween, teen CC pg4 ch 17 Oct 24, 09

Post by ken_r » Fri Oct 30, 2009 9:02 am

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Author's note: I think I answer all the questions at the end of this story. If not feel free to ask and I will better explain.

Chapter 18

It was all Maria could do to not drop the crucifix. Her faith had not faultered, by witness that the creatures, could not win against its power. Max, now shirtless, was exposing his body to all the harm the creatures could do. They were now in the world where the creatures were no longer phantoms, but now, they were as real as they could be. When the elevator had crossed that barrier between the eighth and ninth floor, no longer did they feel a chill. Whatever was on the other side of the door was happening in the present. Max knew that when he opened the door, Liz would be in the process of being murdered. Michael would be fighting to protect her, but Michael wasn’t that much better than Max in the faith department. Max thought, Liz had a similar faith as Maria. Max knew that Liz, being the nexus of the demon’s entrance, somehow her faith would be subverted to appear that, in helping the demon, she was doing good. Michael was the factor that did not fit into any of the scenarios.

There had been no evidence of Michael in the future world, just as Max and Maria had not died in the original event. For the demon to get through, the three of them had to be removed without any evidence being left. The door was right in front of them. Max reached to open it. He held Maria’s arm lightly, because of the burns she had suffered the time before. Max could feel Maria trembling, both from the pain of her burns and the knowledge of what she would next face.

This whole day had seemed queer to Liz. She was still suffering from leaving Max. Why, oh why, couldn’t he just trust her and tell her what was going on? Was he the same Max she remembered that short time she dated him in high school? Look at herself, the total dedication to academics that ruled her life for so long, now, living with Max, her studies were only second place in her life.

Liz was stubbornly clinging to the belief that Maria would never betray her. Both Maria and Michael knew something they were unwilling to share with her. That included Isabel and Alex. Was everyone engaged in a conspiracy against Liz?

Going to Max, that afternoon, had been good. It reaffirmed why she moved in with him so quickly after their reunion. Michael, being so serious that she do so. still bothered Liz. Even the way Alex and Isabel had acted increased her unease. The business of Max having trouble with his lectures was nonsense. Even Doctor Fitzpatrick was involved in this.

It had been so aggravating when picking up that carton of milk that it just slipped out of her hands. The milk had almost exploded when it hit the floor. Not only did she have a mess to clean up, but she also had to change her clothes. To make it worse most of her clothes were still in the washing machine. She hadn’t taken them to the dryer yet. They would have to be run through the washer again because they would now smell sour. The summer skirt that Maria had given her was the only comfortable thing she had to wear. She hoped it wouldn’t be too cold this late October evening.

Liz cleaned up, with Michael’s help, and he patiently waited for her to change. Usually, Michael was a pleasant companion. If she didn’t ask anything about Max or Maria, he was a good conversationalist. Liz noticed he only carried one camera, instead of his usual complete bag. When they entered the library, Liz got her first hint that it was a holiday. Now, she remembered that it was October 31st, Halloween. The girls at the desk were all wearing costumes, as were many of the students who filed in and out of the place. Liz looked up at Michael and he growled, “Tell them we are ghost hunters, Liz, and these are our working clothes.”

Liz giggled, Ghost hunters indeed! Well some people had told her that the top floor was haunted. It had been a good place to write. Liz was well into her novel.

Tonight, Liz noticed that Michael didn’t go roaming as he did sometimes. He snapped a few pictures of the girls at far end of the room. They were surely making a lot more noise than usual. Liz might have to put on her professor face and ask them to quiet down. For now, she was content to open up her laptop and review the last chapter she had written in her novel. She looked up and saw that Michael was very intent on the group of girls. Liz was finished reading up to where she had last typed. She pulled on her locket to activate her muse and looked up, thinking what would be the next line. A story must follow what had already been told and then, continue toward its objective.

Liz saw a flickering light. The girls had lit a candle. A flame, no matter how small in these old volumes and even older building was disaster just waiting. Liz stood up and the flame grew brighter. Had the fools already started a fire? Liz struggled to remember where she had seen the fire extinguisher. There was a thunderclap and a bright light split the air where the girls were sitting. All the girls were on the floor whimpering. From where Liz was sitting, they appeared blind. She could see their clothing start to smolder. Michael stood up and as Liz started to advance toward the light, he restrained her with a firm grip on her arm. Michael could only hope that Max and Maria would arrive at this time soon. There was no way that Michael could battle what was coming alone. He was even having a problem holding Liz.

The bright light was opening like a sliding doorway. On the opposite side, Liz saw a scene like the scenes she remembered from churches of hell. There were creatures moving around in the flames. Liz saw what appeared to be little boy. His arm hung loose as if it had been broken. He already had burned marks on his face. The little boy was what Liz remembered from grade school. It was an image of Max. The little boy was crying. His cries were mixed with the mews of the girls crawling at the foot of the flames. It could be seen that the girl’s clothing was now in flames. They must be in terrible pain. The little boy raised his good arm. It was starting to smolder. “Liz, please help me,” the child cried. It was the voice she remembered so long ago. It was the voice of little Max who was involved in their junior high science project. The voice, which was calling her was now, needing help in his pain.

The child was reaching through the opening for a hand to cross. Liz prepared to help him. Michael stood up and stopped her. “Liz, it may not be as you see,” Michael stated. Michael thought, “Where in the hell…? No, that wasn’t right. Hell was here already. So, where in time were Max and Maria?

“Michael, it is Max, Max as a child. He only wants help to get out of that terrible room,” Liz declared.

“Liz, believe me, it is not Max. It is something else and it wants you to help it enter our world.” Just as Michael uttered those words, things fluttered at his face cutting him. Liz could see his flesh bleeding. What ever the things were, they were only attacking Michael. The child was still pleading for Liz to help him.

Liz moved past Michael, leaning to dodge the things attacking him. It was no matter, as the flying things had no interest in her. Liz leaned forward. The heat was horrific. She reached into the oven on the other side of the door and felt a firm grasp of the child as he was using her to pull himself into the room. Michael was yelling for her to stop, the girls were crying in pain, as was the child. It was hard for Liz to think straightly. Liz always helped people. It had become a habit. That was why she moved to the ninth floor, to have time alone. If any student would ask her, she would have given that student all of her time and the novel would never get written.

The part of the child that was entering the ninth floor seemed bigger than the part still in the other place. As the child got closer to her, it looked less and less like a young Max. Back in her mind, Liz had noted the sound of the elevator. Someone was coming. Maybe, they could help her. Liz heard the elevator creak to its normal stop. She heard the springing sound as it settled in its cables. The door was always loud and she knew that someone new was on the floor. Michael could only hope that it was Max and Maria, finally entering the time of present reality.

Max led the way with Maria crowding close behind him. The creatures crowded about Max’s bare torso and he could feel their bites as they tried to devour his flesh. Maria was still spared their attack as she tightly held the crucifix. She could be heard mumbling rosaries as she entered. Somehow, the recitations of her church brought her peace. Peace was what she needed as the pain of the burns was growing.

Max was fighting his way to where he knew that Liz had her carrel. The many times he had entered and seen her remains led him to where she would be. Max was almost blinded as he felt the study desk. He sensed that Liz was not there. He heard a shout from Michael, “Max, Maria, she is over there! She is about to lead the demon into our world.”

With Maria behind him guiding him along, Max fought the fluttering things. He was almost blind, himself as they were attacking his face. He heard Maria gasp, “No, Liz, don’t do it!”

Max renewed his effort. He finally made out Liz. She was standing beside the apparition of the other world. In her hand and wrapped around her wrist was a creature totally consumed in flame. Max could smell her flesh burning, but Liz did not seem to notice. The creature had its burning hand, one burning foot and half its torso through the opening. The inhumaniod appearance of the creature was ghastly. Liz still saw the little boy, the Max she had known in grade school who was crying for help. Max now saw the tentacles that squirmed from the inhuman head. There was a red eye watching Max. Even as Max screamed to stop, Liz was assisting the creature. In seconds it would enter their world. Everything only had seconds to remain. They were going to loose. All that work to arrive at the proper time of the present would be for nothing.

Chapter 19

Maria burst from behind Max. She was clutching her crucifix. Maria was screaming, “No, no, you will not be allowed to enter here!”

The creature gave pause. The fluttering things increased their attacks on Max and Michael. Both of them were covered in blood. With a final scream, Maria cast her grandmother’s crucifix through the opening at the creature. There was another thunder-clap and the opening started to close. The flaming creature was still trying to get Liz to pull it through what was left of the rapidly shrinking opening. Everyone but Liz could see the squirming appendages, beating against the air trying to get a purchase so it could enter even without Liz’s help. Max threw himself against Liz. While she was being held by the creature, she felt no pain, but as Max pulled her away from it she screamed. The anesthesia given by the demon for its own ends now was gone. His real damage was now felt.

The creature was caught like a tube of tooth paste as the opening closed about it. It was still trying to crawl through when Maria stepped between the creature and the others. Maria had removed the rosary from her waist and wound it about her hand. The creature swept at her arm and Maria winced with the added pain. The ivory smoldered with the flame, but Maria stood fast. She could hear Michael behind her stamping the flapping creatures as they fell to the floor.

Now, Max could see that, faced by Maria, the flaming creature was starting to cool. In the distance, Max could hear sirens. He hoped they would be fire and medical rescue. There was not much the police could do about the trespassing demon. That demanded a culprit and Max was hoping that with the cooling, the creature would go back to the place from ‘whence it came.’ They already could hear the tromping of people coming up the stairs.

Liz wanted to embrace Max as did Michael want to hold Maria. They were all burned and bitten so badly that they couldn’t stand the touch of anyone. There could be heard the whimpering of the girls, hurt so badly, when the spell they had been casting turned upon them. Max looked at the desk in the distance. The book, which should have been in the middle, was now just a pile of ashes. That was all right since there still had been one volume from the future being held by Madam Louise. The very fact that the copy the girls were using had been destroyed, was proof that what ever was on the other side had failed.

The girls of the coven, Max, Michael, Maria and Liz were all in the hospital. They had all suffered severe burns. Max and Michael had suffered severe animal bites of some kind. Max was in the worst condition because he had given Maria his shirt. His whole body had suffered the attacks of the creatures. The authorities were deciding that someway there had been an electrical fire. They had not figured out a reason for the bites on Max and Michael. Both Maria and Liz had suffered burns to their hands and arms. All parties were heavily sedated when the authorities finally came to the conclusion that there had been an electrical fire, which in someway, Maria and Liz had tried to extinguish. It was decided that Michael and Max had been bitten by bats. They must have been disturbed in the hidden reaches of the old tower. The fire must have scared them out. Of course, that meant that Max and Michael had to suffer the terrible rabies shots. The girls must have been nearest to the breakout of the electrical fire. That is why they were hurt the most. They would all live but none of the girls ever admitted remembering what had happened.

Max and Michael were sitting in the hospital room occupied by their girls. Both would love to hold the objects of their affections, but mutual pains made this impossible. Both men were wearing pajama bottoms but the tops they had on were very light and loose fitting. There was one bright spot. The shots in the chest that doctors used to give, were gone. They had to endure only shots in the many bite sites and in the arm. The many fears that Max and Michael had faced were calmed. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ann-medlo ... 03700.html

The authorities were coming to terms with what had happened. The electrical fire, the bat bites were embraced as a plausible answer. Doctor Fitzpatrick informed Max that when they were out of the hospital, they would get together and find real answers.

It was now three weeks after the incident. Max, Liz and Maria had all been on sick leave from their teaching assignments. Next week, they all intended to resume. Max would have to spend the next weekend making new lectures. His substitute had skipped the section on world religions. He had continued the curriculum leaving Max to complete what he had started. Maria’s curriculum was more open and her substitute had continued the history and appreciation of music. Liz’s course of study was more structured, being the introduction of English literature. She would just pick up where her substitute left off.

When they all collected in Doctor Fitzpatrick’s office, the difference was that Liz was included. Alex and Isabel were there. Alex, was mainly to represent the mathematical and physical world. Alex had explained that he was an engineer, neither a mathematician nor physicist. Sitting beside Fitz was Louise DeCastro. Maria gave a gasp as she saw on Doctor Fitzpatrick’s desk a badly smoke-blackened crucifix. Someone had rescued it from the shambles of the ninth floor.

Louise saw Maria start at the sight of the crucifix. “My dear, you should take it back. You used it successfully to close the portal and expel the demon,” she stated.

Max shook his head. “What was that thing? Max asked. “We all used the word demon, but I need a better idea of what it was we faced,”

“Religions have long used the word demon to describe something that opposes this world,” Fitz started. “Max, maybe, for your mind, you might think of an alien who wanted to conqueror all this world’s resources.” Fitz turned to Alex, “Mr. Whitman, isn’t it agreed that the possibilities exist for multiple universities?”

Alex nodded, “Many theorists have proposed that this is so,” he stated.

“Well, let’s look at this as an attempted invasion. The method of invasion is unimportant. Looking at the temptations that were offered to Max and Liz, I think that the creatures had experiences with us before or with something like us,” Doctor Fitzpatrick instructed.

“Doc,” Max asked as he pointed to the crucifix, “am I supposed to believe that the magic of that symbol, is what kept whatever you call this thing out of our universe?”

“No, Max,” Fitzpatrick stated, “the magic was in Maria. Maria believed in the goodness of the world and she was not about to let it be taken by anyone. The crucifix and rosary just focused her beliefs. Beliefs like she has usually come from everything experienced in life. They can’t be just picked up. They have to be tried and held dear. The crucifix is very old. Louise has said that it was known in her family years ago. Maybe, its creation was unimportant. It had been cared for by several generations of the faithful. The rosary, the priest claimed had been viewed by the highest orders of his church. Maria holding them, just allowed them to be a symbols of her own faith. It was Maria’s faith that conquered Liz’s invitation. Max, your openness of mind is admired as an anthropologist, but on the personal level, you might need to start believing in something. If you and Liz are still an item, you both need to come to some understanding,” Doctor Fitzpatrick explained.

This gave Liz a chance to speak up. “If Max had just told me what he was doing, then we never would have had a misunderstanding,” Liz stated with a little bitterness.

Fitz turned to Liz. “My dear, that is probably my fault. The more I studied Max’s notes, the more I became convinced that you were the turning point of the invasion. Why you were chosen for that honor, we will never know. We will never know why Max was allowed to enter the future ninth floor, either. We can assume that something to do with his connection to you was involved. Max’s disbelief might not let him see things, but none of you were alone in this battle. Maybe, you were allowed to be chosen by our side because of your closeness to Max. Maybe, the years you both were separated was purposeful. That let you hide what you and Max had together. Let’s use the word demon, for lack of anything better. Maybe, the demon had already set you up before it ever knew of how strong your connection was. There was just something else which allowed this.”

Liz had another question. “Why didn’t the demon just use the other girls to help it through the portal? It used them to make the portal in the first place.”

Louise answered this one. “The book told the girls how to open the portal. There are folk tales that say, ‘evil must be invited into a domicile.’ The girls were all on the fringes of society. The demon needed someone who represented our world. What better person is there than a teacher? This brings up the fact that you didn’t start out to be a teacher. If I remember what Fitz said, you originally wanted to be in biological research. Liz, Max no matter what you either believe there is some thing on our side looking out for us.”

The next question was from Maria. “With all this talk about spells, the book and magic, doesn’t this negate, God and religions?”

Louise smiled, “No, my dear, I am probably as devout as you are. I just understand that there are things that our normal religion doesn’t answer for us. Neither does science,” Louise said as she nodded to Alex. When we must deal with these forces we do not forsake either science or religion. We must just broaden our understanding of both of them.”

Alex spoke up. “Why couldn’t Michael or myself approach the ninth floor with Max?”

With a slight grimace toward Michael, Louise spoke. “Michael is not sure enough of himself. His desire to photograph subjects in strange lights shows that he thinks there is something more than just what is seen. He proved that to himself with the numerous photographs of the library, which showed something happening just beyond infinity. At the time he tried, Michael didn’t have a strong enough attraction to Liz. Toward the end, he might have been able to cross over with Max.” Then, Louise turned to Alex. “You, on the other hand, have too much faith in your science. You are an engineer. They are the most practical people existing. You, along with Isabel, had faith in Max and Liz to support them. Alex you might have stepped onto the ninth floor with Max and neither of you, would have seen any of the destruction around you.”

Max frowned. This wasn’t a subject he felt comfortable with. Max had argued with himself about bringing Maria into this. She just seemed to be his only choice. He couldn’t do it alone. “Why was it so easy for Maria to enter with me?”

Louise looked at Max carefully. “You were fearful of letting Maria enter harm’s way, weren’t you?”

Max nodded.

Louise continued. “At first, her connection to Liz helped her through. The other side discounted Maria. The other side saw the religious symbols, but underestimated that Maria’s strength is not in symbols. I told you there was something else on your side. Maria brought Liz back to New Mexico. Maria brought you and Liz back together. Maria was always involved on this side. Even she didn’t realize that. When Maria was young, her mother believed in many magical and strange things. That all helped Maria enter with Max.” Then, Louise turned to Doctor Fitzpatrick. “Fitz, what brought you to New Mexico? I am sure there were many larger universities that would have accepted you.”

Doctor Fitzpatrick stretched his arms. “Doctor Philip K. Bock was a colleague of mine long ago. I wanted to study some of his papers. He retired many years ago from this university.”

Louise spread her hands. “See, everything was set in place to happen just like it did,” she said.

Max looked up. “On the ninth floor, Liz died at her desk. When we entered, she was at the portal and the demon was trying to get her to pull him through.”

Louise looked up and said, “It was Michael.”

Maria looked at Louise and said, “Why Michael?”

“When you were in high school, you and Michael couldn’t get along. When you met him recently, he shortly moved in. Michael was hiding from the future. Even if the demon had been able to place your connection to Liz and see how strong it was, the enemy had no knowledge of Michael. The minute he entered the library with you, Liz, the downfall of the demon was started. Instead of a handsome man asking Liz, if he could come in through the portal, the demon had to get past Michael. Liz, the demon had to have you physically, get him past Michael. This was where ‘time’ changed.” Louise turned to Doctor Fitzpatrick. “Are there any questions you have, Fitz?”

The doctor shook his head and they all got to leave except for Louise. Fitz had been a handsome young man when he was studying in New Orleans. To Louise, he was still just as handsome. Maybe, a little better seasoned.

The next weekend after services the priest of the Aquinas Newman Center, standing at the entrance to his chapel, saw the lady who had borrowed his rosary standing patiently at the back of the crowd holding onto the arm of a handsome young man. She waited until all the worshipers had left before she approached the priest. “Father, I wish to return the rosary,” she said.

It was with apology that she handed him the item. As he grasped it, he felt that it had been through hell itself. “My dear, did it protect you?” he asked.

“Yes father it did,” she said. Then she continued, “With its help, I was able to quench the flames of hell.”

The priest looked closely at the couple. The woman still showed evidence of burns on her arms and hands. Around her neck was the crucifix, but it had been badly burned and the silver in places was deformed. The young man’s arms and face bore evidence of many wounds. Whatever they had suffered they both would have many reminders both real and in their minds of the venture. No matter how much pride, which was a sin of itself, the priest had in the possession of the rosary and its history, he could only look at its present condition and surmise that, once again, it had been witness to a great faith. Where ever these young people had taken it, their faith had stayed strong and they had prevailed.

As they lay in bed together, Max said, “I don’t know if I can ever have faith like you and Maria. Something chose you to block the entrance of whatever the alien was. To me, that says that there are powers in the universe that I do not understand.” Then pulling Liz close to him, Max whispered. “Liz I will have faith in you. Lead me through that part of life where I do not have understanding.”

“Max, remember that in someway you were chosen also. Without your studies, you would not have been allowed through the future of the ninth floor. I only saw the demon that brief time after you broke the connection he had with me. Up to that time, all I saw was little Max who I always had affection for, wounded and asking for help. I saw him for what he was after you knocked me free of his hold. You and Maria saw the results of the demon through a time far in the future. When you finally arrived at the present, you saw him for what he was.” All the things that had happened to her were finally coming to reality. If she had known then what she knew now, there was no way that Liz could have functioned. That she had been chosen to let the demon into the world was something that Liz couldn’t rationalize. Then, it hit her, she might have been chosen to let the demon into the world, but she was also, the nexus of those who defeated him. Liz could never be seen as the traitor who destroyed the world. She and those who surrounded her were those who saved it.
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genes of the King is a story about discovering the power and danger of their heritage. Will Liz and Max come to terms??
Summer to Remember Liz must face one last and most dangerous trial.
Ninth Floor Is now finished, as promised on or near Halloween. Happy holiday.

Coming soon, "Divorce." Who was at fault? Is the single dating life what they both really want?
Good teachers are born that way, not made. No! Good human beings, are born that way. Some of them become teachers.

Of course, life is not fair. You shouldn't expect it to be fair, but you should expect it to be ironic.
JKR 1981-2001
History is made of wars, recovering from wars and preparing for the next war.
JJR 1975-

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