Alan had the only one like it in the world—he would bet his life on it. And he was, wasn’t he? Betting his life by keeping it? But he couldn’t let it get into other hands. He had to protect the ignorant from whatever lurked inside, or whatever might be conjured by, the weird device concealed in his closet.
He shut the closet door. It was dormant. All seemed safe for the moment. He went to the kitchen, fixed a drink, and then made his way to his den. Lion’s den… dark and comfortable like a lair, he ate there and slept there too, when he wasn’t making use of his high dollar video equipment. He had a Hi-Def TV, Blue-Ray player, and DVDs by the score. It helped to have a brain adept at mathematics. He’d solved a few simple equations for the government and they’d replied with an electronic transfer, the figurative equivalent of wheelbarrows full of money. It financed his jones for the fantasy world. Make-believe outshone reality by half. He didn’t neeed no stinkin’ reality.
Sighing, Alan flopped down in his black leather recliner and settled into the familiar indentation. He picked up the remote, switched on the tube, and began to surf. There was nothing on. Zip. Nada. He heaved himself up from the chair, slopping rum and coke on his hand as he did so. Absently licking alcohol-tinged sweetness from his fingers; he perused the titles on his DVD cases. What did he hunger for… that was the question. His gaze lit on From Beyond, the Lovecraftian Horror flick. Laughter rose from his gut. Seemed apropos to watch a movie where they used some kind of resonator to open a portal to another dimension. The device he’d found vibrated, all right. The first time he held it in his grip, it had pulsed with warmth, feeling somehow alive like flesh under a lover’s touch.
He pushed a button and the DVD player opened its maw. Another push and it swallowed the disc. Previews ran first, as always, then eerie music accompanied the menu. Alan clamored back into his recliner, pushed “play.” There was a slight screee as the lens (eyes… we have many eyes) found its mark. The movie began.
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