Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Striking Mines

“You’re recording this? Oh God, oh Jesus –.”

“It’s all right, Charles. No one is blaming you. We’re just trying to understand what happened.”
“Her name was Dana – Dana Something. I don’t mean her last name was Something, I just can’t remember it. She had a CSIS badge, said she worked for Border Patrol. I didn’t know CSIS did that, but she had a badge and she was like a doctor.”

“A doctor?”

“I mean a priest. I mean, she had this aura of authority? So I opened up the main entrance even though we’d closed the tour of the old mine for the season, but Frank heard the door opening and came out of his office in the back of the store. We run – ran – he –. Shit.”

“Take your time, Mr. Beale.”

“He – Frank – came out and said it was the last day of the tourist season, everything was closed up and health and safety meant we couldn’t let them go down and she showed him her ID and he demanded to know why on earth CSIS wanted to be in a mine where we showed tourists old pictures of miners, had statues of bigfoot and things in it. You know, the usual traps.

“The man with her said it was important.”

“The man?”

“Oh. I guess I forgot about him. He looked ordinary. I mean, really ordinary, but his voice. His voice wasn’t something you could not listen to. It was like something out of a movie, the way Frank went blank and agreed it was important that he and Dana were let into the mine. At the time it seemed normal. He seemed normal, even with that, and they went down..”

“And then?”

“You saw the cameras –.”

“And then?”

“Jesus. And then Frank got this look on his face, shook his head like someone waking from a dream, and he sealed the entrance. It had that old door from when it had been used as a bomb shelter during the war. I told him he couldn’t do that: the door was old, and they’d never get back out, and he said it served them right, and he was so angry. Frank was always angry, but never like that. I would swear I could feel his anger radiating out of him, and he said if they could deal with It, they could open the door. We’d been having problems: stuff shutting down, people being scared, but I’d figured we’d look into it in the off-season and find out what stuff was shorting out.

“When he said It, it sounded like a person. The man and Dana came back to the door less than five minutes later and the door, it just wasn’t there anymore, as if it had never been they at all, and they both walked right out of themind. Frank didn’t seem shocked at all and began screaming about rights and some kind of treaty and the woman turned to him.

“I’d already shat myself by this point. Everything else came out to at the look on her face. It was cold. She was so cold. Imagine a volcano spewing ice? It was like that. She said: ‘You kept It in a cage for children to poke at with sticks,’ and Frank fell back at that, began going on about how he didn’t know why she’d even cared and ‘your kind have never cared before’.”

“The cameras stopped working at that point, Mr. Beale. Your cooperation is required.”

“Frank exploded. Steam came out of his head and he exploded and it wasn’t like a movie effect at all. And the man looked at the woman and said. ‘You couldn’t open the door and you were strong enough to do that?’ calmly, as if he saw people explode every day, but I don’t think the calm was real. The woman just shook her head, looking tired and worn out. ‘She violated both the latter and spirit of the law,’ she said, as if Frank was a woman, and they walked away. They looked tired. The door didn’t appear again.”

“And that was all, Mr. Beale?”

“I called the police, and I guess they called you? You’re CSIS, but not like her?”

“We’re not like her at all, no. Was there anything else?”

“The man, he paused and looked at me before they left the parking lot and I didn’t smell. I mean, I’d shat myself, but I was cleaned up in a moment, as if he’d waved a magic brush over me. He smiled almost kindly and I heard his voice as if he was standing beside me, saying: ‘I’m sorry. We are a bit pressed for time. Other people might come and ask you questions, official people. Tell them that if they have any sense at all, they will leave Dana well enough alone.’ Because she was hunting monsters, and no one in their right mind should hunt someone who does that. That’s what the words felt like. Then he told me where some jobs were I could apply for. I mean, Frank had exploded and he was calmly giving me job advice and then left. I didn’t know what to make of that at all. I still don’t. He had a nice smile.”

“Thank you. That will be all.”

“But what are you going to –.”

“This interview is over, Mr. Beale. You are not to speak to anyone about either of these individuals again.”

“But –. Oh, God. Oh, God, your eyes!”

“If you want to keep yours, you will tell no one about them. They are a matter of national security now.”

“I –.”

“Be quiet and go home. This is not a request.”

“But – ah! Ah!”

“There you are. Don’t you feel better, not having to think all those confusing thoughts?”


“Yes, yes, so much better. Someone come clean up Mr. Beale. Perhaps we can find him a job at a complaints department somewhere now. And convene a meeting in Room C. We apparently have a magician and fae to deal with; those who wish to avoid it may resign from the Border Patrol now with the revolvers provided. Your families will be compensated for your loss.”

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