HINDRANCE: The Horror of Us (Rated PG 13)

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HINDRANCE: The Horror of Us (Rated PG 13)

Post  darkriddle1 on Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:51 am

Hindrance

This story revolves around a controversial social experiment in a small town. Between the dates of October 1st and November 1st of 1955, the federal government mandates its “Night & Day Initiative” in the small town of Alton, Illinois. There is only one rule: “Those dedicated to sin live by the night, those to righteousness, live by the day."





HINDRANCE: The Horror Of Us

WISHFUL THINKING

"Had I known what they were going to do to us, I would have run - - run so far that no one would ever find me. As it is, I'm not me, how could I be? How could any of us be after what they did to us. Children aren't children anymore, neither men and women. We're the same in the flesh, but our spirits are hurt, wounded, tainted. I saw the beauty of our town give way to dirt and grime, I saw it grow dirty. I saw them all grow dirty. What a sickening irony for us to fall. Now we walk around with blank faces, staring into the past, running from haunting memories, trying hard to keep the screaming inside of us tied down. And it all started with that broadcast."
-- Mina Brock



“Alton Illinois has been selected for a very special purpose this month. It will be subjected to a test of sorts, a test that will determine the will of the average American. Is our upbringing strong enough to uphold our moral standards without the aid of law? Are we really a good and proud people?” The cigarette smoking journalist asked. “Well, folks we’re about to find out. As of this morning the Night & Day Initiative has taken effect. This means that the region of Alton will be placed under quarantine. Now, I know that bugs most of us Alton-eers, but we’re getting a pretty fair deal for participating in this research. That includes new homes, better income, and the expansion of Alton itself. The trial for our town is a simple one. All we have to do is act on one single question. That is, if you want to sin, then live by night?"



The savvy broadcaster paused to ponder the circumstance.

"So how does this work? It operates as follows; every night this month all laws will be completely nullified after 9: PM. You might ask yourself, what does that really mean? It means just that - ALL laws will be ineffective after 9: PM. That gives any person in town the right to do whatever they want during the night hours regardless of the crime and without any consequences from state and federal authorities."



He paused once more.

"Now, mind you, this doesn’t cover one rule. An entourage of National Guardsmen will be posted outside every home as soon as the night arrives to ensure that no personal or property damage comes to those who choose to stay in at night. However, our police force and any other community services will be utterly suspended during the initiative’s full duration. This will define an obvious border between the good people of our community and the bad...that border will be the night itself. But more so, we can prove to the whole country that we, the average American, can be the most humble, daring, and innovative of people. I’ll tell you this; when this whole thing blows over, we’ll be the talk of the world.” – Bruce Henderson, Alton Regional Broadcaster.



THE SLIGHTEST CONCERN

Lauren Brock turned to her husband with a small sense of fear on her face. She held the newspaper, while the Zenith television emanated reports about the change their town was about to endure. She stood outside her white-picketed house and gestured for her husband to draw closer.

“I’m a bit afraid, Mark. Could they really try something like this in our town, our very homes?”

“It’s only for a short while, Lauren. I doubt anything will come of it. It’s these damned socialist psychologists up in Washington. They try stunts like this all the time. They want to know if us Americans will fall into some kind of fascist regime without their governmental regulations.”

“But I never heard of anything so extreme before, not like this.” Lauren pressed. “I even heard that the Smiths left town for the month.”

“The Smiths are typical paranoid neighbors. There are good people here, Lauren. Nothing bad will come of this. I’m sure it’s just another government program disguised to feed the Democrats our tax dollars.” Mark shrugged.




As he walked with his wife along their neatly trimmed lawn, their two children, Mina and Jamie, skipped toward them happily.

“What’s going on mom? Reverend Gates is in a real uproar today. He’s actually preaching in the street.” Their sixteen-year-old daughter noted.

The hefty white man stood alongside of the curb, holding the morning paper in his hands and belting out warnings. Unbeknown to him, these warnings of grim acts and heinous crimes would come true in the most grisly manners imaginable.

“Hell is coming to our town, neighbors. There will be thievery, there will be rape, there will be murder, and there will be sorrow, my friends. …Such sordid sorrow!”



One Month Later

AFTER THE LONG HALLOWEEN




“Mina, why is mommy dead?” That was the question Jamie Brock asked his older sister as he looked down at the mangled and nude corpse of his mother. “…And she’s missing a lot of teeth.”

The bright eleven-year-old was small for his age and he stifled tears from his eyes with the long sleeves of his sweater. The autumn air brought in many smells of the season, but this year, it brought in much more. He glanced back at Mina, who was shaking against a dirty wall, half naked and missing two toes on her left foot. She wore only a long gray T-shirt and dark gooey blood still dripped from her privates. She pulled down her shirt, just enough to cover her pubic hairs and grabbed her little brother by the hand. Her grip was weak and jittery.



Still, she practically dragged Jamie from the pillaged body of their mother and began to trot barefooted to the outskirts of a dilapidated historical site of the old Confederate Prison. Their town had once housed a Civil War Era prison that was inactive for years; it was just a curiosity for spook-hungry tourists.



But now it was in shambles, falling to pieces in dirt, grime, and filth. It, like the other pre-century building of Enos Sanitarium, harbored more than just physical filth. Ever since the government had mandated the Night & Day Initiative on their quaint town, all sanity had disappeared from their world.



The beginning of October was quite serene, but soon gangs of rebel-rousers began to form. They were initially protesters against the government’s interference in their community, daring to go out at night – every night. Thus, they called themselves Night-Folks. Yet something inside of them began to change. Without law, many of them got their first taste of delinquency, and that delinquency began to grow quickly.



So quickly, that near the end of the month, the seduction of primal pleasures had completely sucked them in. Like an ever-growing black hole, mischief and sadism, first consumed their minds, and finally their souls. For those that cherished the daylight, there was only one rule, don’t get caught outside, not after dark!

“Come on,” let’s get going. We have to make it out of here before dark!” Mina repeated for the fifth time.

She stumbled about, still wrestling with the pain from her severed toes and trying to set a regularly paced gait to their harrowing venture.



“…But what about daddy?” Jamie scoffed. “We got to go back and get daddy!”

“Daddy is dead – he’s dead, there’s nothing we can do for him now!” Mina growled in sorrow.

“He might still be alive. If we --”

“He’s dead! What don’t you understand, boy? I saw him fall. The Night-Folks got him, they done got him bad. Bad. Bad. Bad.”

She repeated the words a few times, shaking her head, before slipping on the slick blood that flowed from her insides. When she fell on her back, Jamie could get a better look at the injuries that plagued her although it was most certain that he didn’t understand how they occurred. Several deep cuts on her legs, bruises in the shape of fingers adorned her back-side and thighs, and her face was swollen from its left cheek downward.



She smelled sour as well, with a quarter of her T-shirt stained in urine and dried semen scabs pasted across her lower back. Jamie turned his face from her. He couldn’t bear to see her this way, crazed, baffled, and so very hurt.

“We got to get away from these damn buildings; they’re homes to a lot of them Night-Folks.” Mina babbled on.

“Wait, can’t we just look for the soldiers again?” He asked.

“I told you already; they won’t help us. They can’t, they helped start all of…this.” She snarled.

“Why can’t we just go home, Mina?”

“Because night is coming soon and we spent almost the whole day trying to get out of that abandoned prison. I hid you, I hid you well, remember?”





“Yeah, no one saw me, but they got you and mommy last night. It will get dark, but the moon will give us light. I mean why can’t we stay out in the dark anymore?”

“Jamie, it’s evil here. We can’t ever get caught in the night again, not ever! Do you understand me?!”

Jamie still looked puzzled.

“I don’t understand. Why did the people turn bad? Couldn’t they have stayed good, like us?”

“There’s a kind of…hindrance here.” She explained while gripping Jamie’s shoulders tightly and doing her best to calm herself.




Mina faced him and shoved her long, black hair away from her face. For most of the afternoon, Jamie could only see one side of her face, but now with her hair brushed past, he noticed the red blood clots that stained her once beautiful blue eyes. He also noticed the black and blue bruise that stretched all around her neck.

“Mina, what happened to you last night?” He reluctantly inquired. “Couldn’t daddy protect you?”



With those questions asked, she suddenly stopped in her tracks and slowly backed away from her brother, hitting a dirt-ridden Coca-Cola sign in her clumsiness. Mina was angry, wondering why her parents risked leaving the town, knowing they could not make it past the soldiers. Still, they tried, taking the whole family under the cover of night to make the effort. This was their grand mistake, and it cost them dearly.




She gazed around the town, getting a long panoramic view of the place. The 1950’s style gas stations of the decade they lived in were no longer clean or shiny. Instead, grimy filth and debris covered the whole town. It was as if one month had completely destroyed their homes and almost everyone in it. Mina glanced back at little Jamie, as he stood there, still expectant of an answer. And that’s when it hit her. It hit her hard. It was the overwhelming truth of one night’s heinous actions when caught after dark. She knew then that it would haunt her forever.

“I - I - don’t know what happened, Jamie. They were every where. Some were girls – girls, just like me,” She answered with her pupils dilated in shock. “How could girls do stuff like that? I expected it from the men - those monsters, but them, too?!”




Jamie saw tears rolling down Mina’s cheeks, clearing a clean path on her dirty face. Her visage and body tightened up and with a soul piercing cry, she screamed. She screamed so loud and with so much emotion, that it resonated through Jamie’s body. It echoed through the fading light of the wrecked streets and it stood there. Though her primal scream stopped, it would always stay there, festering like some arcane infection. Mina fell to the floor in desperation and bewilderment.





“I’m sorry,” Jamie told her. “I’m so sorry; I didn’t mean to make you cry.”

The two of them sat on the floor in the middle of the polluted street. They hugged each other as the evening wind swept through the township that had become a sweltering abomination of sin. Yet someone approached from behind. Jamie shook Mina, trying to warn her.

“There’s a man coming. He’s going to rip us!” He cried.

Mina slowly turned to view the oncoming stranger. Oddly, she no longer cared what would become of them, for she had fully sunk into the gloom of anguish. But this man brought light instead of darkness, hope, instead of despair.

“Let’s go. They’ll let us leave now. The soldiers won’t keep us in anymore.” The man heeded. “Look, it’s all over. I can take you kids out of here, but we have to go right now!”



The bronze-skinned stranger held out a newspaper from an adjacent town, which ironically blew in from the incoming storm-front. The heading read: Martial Law Experiment is over; Night & Day Initiative ends tonight!!!

“We – we - don’t have anything to offer you. I have…nothing.” Mina stuttered incoherently.

“It doesn’t matter, girl. It’s over now. But I wouldn’t stay here if I were you.” The man suggested. “Our home is gone. Do you understand? It’s there physically speaking, but – well, it’s gone…gone forever.”




Mina and Jamie joined Reggie Ortiz and drove directly out of the town in their new friend’s Cadillac. As they left the boundaries of their home, they saw the soldiers coming in to return things to normal. Mina knew this could never be done. Even so, as they left their old home and ventured into the wide open country, they smelled the air around them. It was fresh, clean, and tinged with a wholesome scent from some nearby rain storm. It was only then that she dared to smile. The car kept racing forward. It drove further and further away from Alton. None of them looked back.



EPILOGUE

Debriefing Statement of Richard Braun

“You were the American director of the Night & Day Initiative, correct?” Agent Raines, a senior officer from the World Health Organization asked.

“I was.” Braun said flatly.

“Is the Night & Day Initiative an official cover-up now, or is there going to be a public apology and reprimands for the families destroyed by that much-awry experiment?” The agent audaciously asked.





Richard Braun craned his head and gave a bold answer to the elder officer.

“I was given clearance to initiate the most effective method to root out all and any persons that might become potential communists. The townsfolk had many of its residents identified on the Black List. It is no surprise to me that some of them, and most of their children, resorted to heinous crimes once given the opportunity. Put simply, good and bad are as different as night and day, you just have to know how to separate them.”

The W.H.O officer snickered in defiance.





“I doubt that it’s as simple as that. And I doubt being on a Black List of communist lackeys was the basis for their crimes. Torture, rape, necrophilia, murder, and some other acts of atrocity that defy classification occurred in Alton while hundreds of soldiers stood by, blindly ordered to do nothing. Was this your intent?"

“Our intent was to divide the criminally predisposed from good Americans. The best way to discover bad apples is to let them rot!” Braun barked.

“Really, does that explain the rape and murder of women and children in McPikes Mansion or the Eno Sanitarium? – I didn’t think so. Either way, was that your official statement?”

Richard laughed and leaned closer to the interrogating officer.





“No, it’s not, Agent Raines. My official statement is this: when people are given the choice to please themselves over the displeasure of those around them, most often they do so. …Evidently, this is the human way and it makes our development as civilized beings sort of a hindrance.”




Somewhere Far Away

"I saw a boy in angel wings, he was the same boy from my dreams. He was motionless, covering his face, anxious to bring back the wonder of innocence. I hope he succeeds. ...We need it."
-- Mina Brock.



Story and special effects by Jesus Morales/Dark Riddle
With photo by Deviant Art photographers (Identified by jpeg titles)

Big thanks to all the great talent of the featured photographers!


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Re: HINDRANCE: The Horror of Us (Rated PG 13)

Post  H.B.I.C. on Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:32 pm

I think this needed a little heavier rating, from PG to R. I know there was no nudity or description of the actual murders or rapes, but some of the details were gruesome enough, especially the more "adult" descriptions. But with that being said, I thought this was an excellent story! I think you did a good job of showing how quickly depravity can overcome a person, if they are given total free will. I mean, probably not everybody, otherwise we never could've evolved to get where we are today. But I think if we look back into our distant past we can understand that primitive man lived a fairly brutal, animalistic lifestyle, although even then I think they had intelligence to create rules amongst themselves. Although, it was fair game when making war against their neighbors. We don't even have to look into the past to see the same atrocities happening right now in war torn countries. Just look at the news.

Very interesting and well written story. Great job!
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Re: HINDRANCE: The Horror of Us (Rated PG 13)

Post  darkriddle1 on Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:35 pm

Yeah, I agree; I was just about to place the "Rated R" flag on it, but I didn't use any nudity or go deep into details of the illicit crimes - though they are heavily inferred here.

The story was inspired by a myriad of real life incidents, mainly the crazed carnage and genocide of Rwanda, to which I wrote many articles about.

In relation, there is a background stigma here of the 1950's paranoia and the reflection of the types of social experiments (which the government had done regularly) during the 1930's, 1940's and 50's era. Including extended experimentation in Eugenics, as well as social, political hysteria.

The morals of the story are affixed to "Choice" a theme I revisit many times in my stories in many different ways. People have choices to make when certain living situations are altered.

This is seen most prevalently in catastrophe scenarios when the law has become impotent. --Think Hurricane Katrina, or the more recent uprisings in Syria.


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Re: HINDRANCE: The Horror of Us (Rated PG 13)

Post  H.B.I.C. on Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:38 pm

Yes, I was thinking specifically of Rwanda, and you make an excellent point with Katrina. The events that took place in the convention center and the Superdome were real, despite the gov't controlled media's attempt at playing it down as most stories being "fabricated".
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