Charles Pendelton
      © 2008 Marty Langdon
Chapter 24

                            Demons wail in the chapel of Hell

I stood on the tracks exasperated and unable to move. 
Though a decision had to be made, I refused to budge.
Only a train could move me now, I thought,
and it was now or never.

As I vacillated between standing firm in my decision, and that of moving on, I heard
John calling out to me from a distance. Reluctantly, I found myself advancing toward
him; disregarding the signal from my brain, which was telling me to stop.

Louder and louder it became. This woeful sound which completely blew my head, and that
sound was music. It wasn't olde tyme music with a carnival atmosphere or a barbershop
quartet performing wayside. No longer would I hear such melodies, thrilling my heart and
filling my soul with passion. That ticket was taken from me, for the age had long since passed
and the present had descended upon me like a plague. The 1890's were diminishing
at an
incredible rate. And like an exploding star in the firmament of Heaven, it was gone.

I felt miserable and I felt cheated, for I was now the locust born out of season.
The writer with no hands.

As I wracked my brain to try and make that soul-searing music stop, I soon realized it
was a futile attempt. With each step I took, I grew more disparaged. Like being
off the highest of high boards where no water could be seen below, there
was no escape.
As the music became audible to my ears, I was now able to hear
some of the words,
which were being communicated unto me from the foul fiend holding the boombox.

“I'm going off the rails on a crazy train.”

Why is it that of all the songs in creation,
this would be the one to haunt me?

I was more than angry. In fact, I was pissed off, for this
was more than just a coincidence. Now, it was personal.


It seemed to venture beyond the realm of reason, for I didn't understand it,
but I realized it had something to do with the chain of events that would
Indeed, fact may be stranger than fiction.

My mind was now full of bitterness and loathing. The evil had set in, and the devil
worshipers were out in droves whilst I, just wanted to get past this station intact.

How many of them were there,
and what was going to happen next?

Were they going to pelt us with bottles?
Shout names at us?
Spit on us?
Jump down and begin hitting us?

I honestly did not know what to expect. As we slowly drifted pass the
Annadale station, it seemed I had created the whole scenario in my mind.

I was anticipating a scene like the Turnbull AC's packing the station
with pipes in hand like in “The Warriors,” ready to shatter our imagination
wide open, but instead, it turned out to be quite different.

                                                                               Pg 114

There was an old man standing next to a raggy teenager who was rather demure in stature.

What a relief, I thought as I approached the station where the straggly-haired teen held the
massive boombox. Roughly five feet away stood the old gent, and judging by his personal
appearance, he looked like he might have been a retired plumber. I watched as he inhaled
that cigarette. The way his face crinkled as the smoke singed his eyes made it look like
he had just snorted Cocaine. There was less than a puff left, but this old fellow smoked that
cigarette right down to the cough. It appeared to me as though he were trying
invoke lung cancer as he sucked on that crackling filter which emitted those crude toxins
that made his eyes all runny. God, I thought that must be like smoking insulation.

I was relieved in a sense that we weren't going to get jumped and clubbed to death like three
defenseless seals, but yet, there was still a part of me wading in despair. I saw the metal sign
bearing the name of the stations stop and noticed it had been defaced by vandals, using black
Sanford markers. The sign read in close approximating letters, “BANANNADALE,” and to be
quite honest, it looked like a legitimate sign posted by Staten Island Rapid Transit. For the life
of me, I could not differentiate between the two. I presume that was the street artist’s intention.

It seems you can’t escape the degradation of a certain town,
for it is within its own infrastructure that it is the way it is.

I then cast my mind back to moments earlier and wondered if I was still back in happy-
time mode. Had my train not been derailed by Ozzy Ozbourne and the orchestra from
I may have been still beaming and filled with good cheer. Where the words on
the signpost could have
been interpreted a lot differently, but who's to say now.

Welcome to BannanaDale. . .

Like Andy Warhol’s cartoon universe filled with inspiration, it would have
been refreshing to hear Nico’s sultry voice emanating from that banana album.

But now, all was ruined with no way of it ever returning,
for everything pure of heart and perfect that I had been
feeling deep within my spirit was suddenly ransacked.

In a clear perceptive mind, I had actually begun to see myself as a turn of the century
gentleman, walking down the tracks like I had just been spun from a black and white
Twilight Zone episode. With an air of distinction, I projected myself in thought until I
began to feel and experience those very emotions as though they were somehow relevant.

In that moment of my disillusionment, those feelings were thought to be the very
backbone of life itself, and if all had gone well, the rest of the night would have
as jam. I smiled to myself lightly and disregarded the whole mess, for I truly
believe in the confines of my saddened heart that it was an unforeseeable disaster. 

As we walked further past the station,
the music soon diminished and was gone.

Pete wanted no part of anyone or anything as he continued to walk thirty feet
ahead of us as if he were encased in his own world. Moving ever forward in
a tenaciously diligent manner, that stark figure looked as though he would
consume the night. Looking back only to study our advancement, he switched
to an even faster pace, while grimacing in the periphery of his discontent.

Happiness for sadness Peter would not barter, and so
he fed the fires of fury with a glowing red shovel of angst
and a cantankerous spirit that irked with grief.

“Ay Pete,” John called out. “See Charles, Pete don't care about us.”

“Just ignore him,” I said bluntly.

Peter's blatant lack of decorum was no shock to my senses. He was traveling with us,
therefore, he needed to be high with us too. It really didn't take a genius to figure out.
As we continued on, John was becoming exceedingly loquacious, and all this commotion
was beginning to gnaw at me. He was now putting his hand on my shoulder, slowing me
down. So languid was I in this state of continual agitation that I bellowed aloud!

                                                                               Pg 115

It felt as though we were walking on a treadmill, and the anxiety I was currently
experiencing was very similar to that of being in a nightmare. A delusion where
instead of going forward, I was being pulled slowly in reverse. No matter how
focused I was or how optimistic I became, it just felt like I wasn't getting anywhere.
At this point in time, my mind and body have become effete, as if
every ounce of
energy had been drained from me, like a form of partial
paralysis, attempting to
wear down my over-accelerated metabolism.
I was so hot, and now, oh, so weak.

To me, it felt as though I had not eaten in almost a year, and within my stomach lay
a starving child. I knew then how it felt to be hungry, where the
tormented cries
become a yearning that no one nor nothing can satisfy. To be so
withdrawn and
exhausted from stress that anything offered could not placate my
needs nor pacify
my insatiable groans. How we can take advantage of something
as dire as a piece
of bread or a grain of rice was now astounding to me; where
one child starves to
death crying, another throws food in the garbage, unconcerned

I thought of all this as I continued moving forward, toward an unknown destination.

I was beginning to feel very much like that plasticine head in my doctor's office. The

pictorial mind with the emotions unfurled, a spherical map of the brain. In dotted
coordinance, one can trace the path of emotion to fear and to the point where pain and
pleasure meet. I also found these drawings to be quite fascinating as well. Drawings
stated in Ferrier's experiments of 1876, or anything outlined by Dr. Alesha Sivartha.

Right about now, all these little areas in my brain must have been flashing around like
police sirens. I was so tired of listening to other people, their ideas, and what they
deemed right for me. Everything was school, but school was a prison of the infirmed.

No, the erudite wisdom of fools would not be imputed unto me. Turn your head
when I need a hand and teach me what I cannot learn, spit upon me when I fail,
and then cast me in the river. I'll take my chances with the nomads and the dogs.

                    Billy Nicholls - London Social Degree

In the beginning, I had more than anyone. I never took it for granted,
and I always gave thanks for it. After losing everything, I hardened
my heart to the world. In fact, I became quite bitter.

No longer would I demonstrate a propensity to excel at anything, and
no matter how hard I tried, when I actually felt like trying, I couldn't
concentrate on things I put my mind to. It was almost as if I was
drifting off into space, even in pleasant conversation.

When I tried to study on my own like I had done in the past, I found
there were too many distractions, and by then, I had developed a
compulsive disorder. If I had to look one word up in the dictionary,
then I was in it for hours learning and studying new words. I only
went to school because it was required of me and because I needed
to obtain a high school diploma. In my family, not having one was
simply insupportable, for it was the epitome of a loser. In the mind
of a parent, and within the mind of a learned youth, it was merely
the personification of wealth.

                                                                               Pg 116

So here I am once again, analyzing the winds of time in a bad dream while
trying to gain a higher understanding of a world I am unsure of. I needed to
get in touch with my emotions to find out what it was, that I was, so I hopped
on the roller coaster with no rails and began my descent into oblivion.

What was I trying to learn, and what was I expecting to gain from it?
Perhaps, it was just a puzzle that only I would be able to figure out.

Why is it that not only I but the rest of today's society refuses to
comprehend the deleterious effect a drug can have on them until

they're halfway in the blender? Then it becomes a desperate struggle
not to lose what we so carelessly and haphazardly threw into the wind.

It's funny how you don't think of it until it's too late, and by that time,
you're plummeting hopelessly toward the ground. Then the only one
who can save you is the one who seems to exist solely on paper, and
even then, we can't make time for him on a Sunday. Why do you put
up with us, oh Lord? I thought to myself silently, as I tarried the long
endless stretch of horizontal ladder without any reason for being at all.

I took that road because I yearned for a little adventure. I had a desire to animate my
surroundings and dive in, leaving this troubled world behind. Life was getting a wee
bit drab in this humdrum world of ‘ever the same’ but now it's gone ahead of itself,
and I am left to play the game alone. How could doing anything like this help me to
become anything at all? I was playing Russian roulette with my emotions, and every
minute that went by seemed to be plunging me deeper and deeper in despair.

I felt like I was at a very critical stage in my consciousness that every decision
made would not only impact this world, but the world that comes after. Indeed, I
had come to a turning point. I knew that I needed to make certain changes, but also,
I needed to apply them to my world. Again, I was thinking of how foolish I was for
chancing everything and the punishment I would surely receive from God should
something go wrong tonight. There are no more excuses which can be made, for
they will not be heard. And now, I am despairing over that quandary.

These conflicting emotions and that terrible burden
all spiraling
into a chasm of certain doom.

I thought of the mind-bending music I listen to everyday and began to think of
myself as an advocate of drug use. “I am no advocate of anything,”
I screamed
at my deranged brain as though it were attempting to betray me in front of the
creator himself. “You are the great betrayer, not I.” I commenced while
my finger at
that contemptuous
wall of thought. You should be trying to make
me feel better,
not condemning me to Hell, you immoral monstrosity.

I just enjoy the peacefulness of the music.” I retorted. This silent battle I was
in my head was beginning to widen in scope.

“You do enjoy the music” said the beast
stepping forth from the shadows,
“But at the expense of how many innocent lives?”

                                                                               Pg 117

God, I am a terrible person, I thought, as I turned my back on him, giving me just enough
time to do that (which needed to be done.) I swiftly unsheathed my sword and swung it with
fervor to sever the evil beast’s head. The bloody helmet fell to the ground leaving a trickle
of blood spatter, but not before the arterial spray covered my face and chest. Was I wearing
no clothes? I should think that hardly mattered from where I stood. Victorious in triumph.

For the Lord God! I screamed aloud in my head, like a gladiator, while gripping tightly
severed head by its filthy knotted hair. Just then, that black moldy wall was cranked
down into the earth, and the meadow came alive with lovely green grass and flowers.

Damn it! I forgot to get rid of the head.
Just then, it exploded, and I found myself walking.

I was not a terrible person. . . I was merely a victim of the changing times.

Think positive, said the raspberry leprechaun in the chapel of Hell,
where demons wail. Think positive and we shall get through this
together. Suddenly, the rails seemed to shimmer strangely in the light of
the moon, and I could almost feel a strange vibration reverberating down
the tracks behind me. I turned around to see a white light shining in my
direction. It was moving frame by frame like that of a projector when its
plug is abruptly pulled. As the train came to rest at the station's platform,
I could see it was taking its time. Like a bull waiting to charge, I knew what
it was doing as it watched me from afar. Then without warning, it began to
move, gaining momentum by rolling on its iron wheels toward me.

The light seemed to have more composition to it now than it did before
and even began to resemble a rather large, glaring eye peering through
the distance at me. We left the tracks to go down a wooded incline where
we waited with eyes closed tight for that transmundane serpent to pass.

The size of a mouse, it may have very well been, but it wouldn't be that small
for long. The closer it came, the louder it got, until it was almost upon us.
Then like a massive mechanical monster, it roared by and seemed to be
infuriated by our presence here. “Boy is that thing pissed,” I said, to the
beast in passing. No one heard me, for the sound it made was deafening.

It moved like a steel snake with a stiff neck, that had awoken on a very

bad day. I dared not think about where it was going, for that was too
creepy. I then watched it slither away into the ever-brooding darkness.

It was truly man's goodwill to create all these contraptions to take one
hitherto, but he inadvertently forgot one thing whilst on his way to glory.

And that is if you make life a little too easy,
it then becomes more complicated for those who have to live it,
and thus, the very first problem began.

So now, we're all stuck in somebody else's problem,
and we can't dwell upon it because we're too high.

                                                                               Pg 118


Reviews for chapter 24

Kenneth Norowitz - Magnificent!

Paola Morales - You have a very vivid imagination!



                                                          This review was posted on Dec/3/22


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