Mists Of Papoose Pond is one of those weird tales that flits around in my mind, demanding to be told. And so, I allowed my story people to whisper in my ear, telling me which keys to punch, and what words to write. This is how I write. I hope you enjoy my styling method.
Where will it begin?
On a mountaintop?
At the bottom of the sea?
In a spaceship?
Or perhaps in a cabin by a pond enveloped by mysterious mists.
Mysterious mists that secrete forces of nature…
And good and evil.
Ed Hageman wants nothing more than to relax at Papoose Pond, but that's not to be. As the ultimate battle between good and evil shapes up around him, creatures are not what they seem. Many twists of fate, and many shocks await not only Ed and his companions, but those of you who read his story.
Prophets of yore were not all-seeing after all. Gods and devils are not how holy books described them.
Blaze McRob spins the tale.
Blaze McRob untangles the legend.
Blaze McRob finds the meaning in the Mists of Papoose Pond.
Here is the first chapter:
I can't sleep. My bedroom is stifling, even though it's usually cool in the early morning hours in this part of Maine.
"Shit!" I mutter to myself. "I might as well grab a smoke and go outside where it's cooler."
Slipping into my boxers, I grab my Camels and my lighter and hightail it outdoors where I do enjoy a little more refreshing air. I slide up to the railing of the porch and sit, watching the mists roll across the pond.
Pond: that's a misnomer for you. Nothing in Maine is the same as any place else. Anywhere else, this would be a lake. It's three miles long by a mile or more wide. In New Jersey where I come from, that's a damned lake. What difference does it make? They call it Papoose Pond, so Papoose Pond it is.
My family has been coming up here for years. At least until my grandfather stopped bringing us. All at once, for no apparent reason, he decided he no longer wanted to spend a week in the rustic cabins in southwestern Maine. Being the tight-lipped German he was, no one was about to get any information out of him. Stubborn was his middle name.
What difference does it matter? My siblings and I have long since split apart, my parents and grandparents are dead, my wife is now my ex, and I just want some me time for a change. Fuck everyone else. This is the perfect place for it: the getaway; my retreat into relaxation before I throw my life back together.
My grandfather told the owners of the pond many years ago that they should fix things up a bit, modernize, get with the times. They did to a point but still manage to keep the rustic look and feel of the place. And the fishing? Still fantastic! Crappie and White Perch still hover around twenty inches long and have deep, thick bodies. As for the Bass fishing, just try plying a surface plug through the waters at night and see how far it goes before some Largemouth or Bronzeback plasters the living hell out of it.
I caught my share of fish hours ago, keeping only enough for some fish stew later in the day, but the sounds floating around, catching my ears, are not the ones associated with fish frolicking and chasing their smaller counterparts before closing in on them for the kill. These sounds are different. I have heard them before, even from my bed. This morning they are closer because I am outside.
The smoke from my Camel curls up into the air, dancing about, trying to mimic the mists rolling in from out on the pond. They're coming in from the north end where the lily pads sit thick at the edge of a deep water drop off. This is the best place on the pond to catch the giant White Perch and Crappies. It is adjacent to the Crooked River access, and springs are in abundance there.
Something else also resides there. I have always felt it, not knowing what it is, but feeling it play along my skin, teasing me, and creating goosebumps before vanishing into nothingness.
From something to nothing in a matter of minutes. Not one time but many. Could this be what caused my grandfather to stop coming here? Did the fear finally get to him? Maybe he found out what it was and wanted no part of it. I'll never know. Dead men don't talk.
Or do they?
What about the day we had a giant stringer of huge fish attached to the oarlocks of the rowboat? Somehow the stringer managed to come free from its attachments and the fish slowly sank towards the deepest part of the lily pad area. My grandfather had plenty of time to snag the stringer with the oar in his hand, but he froze, unable to move, and the stringer and the fish vanished from sight. I started to ask him why he made no effort, but I stopped, knowing the kind of answer I would get: or wouldn't get.
The mists come closer and closer to the cabin, and even though it sits some fifty yards from the pond's edge, the dancing droplets of condensation seemingly pirouette their way across the beach to where I'm sitting, first ankle high, then reaching mid-way up my chest. The cigarette smoke joins with the swirling fog and they cavort as one, creating a calming feeling massaging my unsettled mind.
Peaceful shapes dance all around me. I smile at ballerinas performing their amazing tiptoe jumps and landings, the mists opening and closing to accentuate their delicate, precise movements. I put my cigarette out, thinking I can go back to sleep, contentment putting me in the mood.
A sudden chill hits me before I can get to my feet. Bone-chilling cold, causing my hands to turn blue instantly. The ballerinas' faces vanish, replaced by monstrous, billowing towers of inhuman shapes.
Substance comes from the distortion of the mists! Flesh and bone hovering over me, smiling at me. No, not smiling - leering at me!
Brownish-yellow teeth, sharp and pointed, force their way into prominence when the creatures open their mouths, tongues lapping at miniscule lips, telling me where their next meal is coming from. Me! They want me!
I run to the door of the cabin, hoping to get inside and lock it behind me so they can't get inside. Sure, as if the door will pose a problem for these monsters!
A huge, scaly leg reaches out and trips me, sending me to the floor of the porch. Gigantic webbed hands reach out to me, the sharpened, elongated nails threatening to tear me apart. Water drips off these creatures combining with a slime from their powerful chests and finds its way into my eyes. I scream in pain as blindness overcomes me!
It's just as well. I don't want to see what's going to happen next. Let it be over! Let it be over!
The pressure of the air coming down on me, forced by the behemoths' closeness, intensifies. They are almost on me!
This novel is loaded with horror, non-stop action, and monsters. Lots of monsters.