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This is the continuation from Book One: PANDORA'S BOX, of Short stories Volumes One and Two. In Volume Two: Purgatory, is the short stories of...1. SAND CASTLESWhat if you were stranded on a new world and come to find castles stood high on a desert floor. Is this a place of Paradise or a planet of terror? 2. ASTRAL–PSYCHOCome with Missy and get a membership into the best Sorority House on Campus. No big deal if the gateway might lead to Hell itself.3. IN-BETWEENPeople have disappeared and Annaber is afraid it might be the Rapture that was spoken would happen, according to the New Testament Bible. She further investigates by finding a Bible which are now outlawed. But despite her roommate's advice to never read it, the truth plunges both girls into a nightmare world of the supernatural kind.4. THE LAST DAYSAn expedition journeys to the center of earth. Two people must find why the world has cracked in two. One side will have no hope.
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(A continuation from PANDORA'S BOX Volume One)
© Copyright Sciantel Crista 2017
Published by Guiding Light Publications
Artwork painted by Sciantel Crista
You may find these stories very suspenseful. You may not be able to put the book down. Your heart might start to pound, when it gets harder to breathe because your SO SCARED! It is suggested that you do not read this book ALONE. Beware because this book may give you nightmares. After reading this book you may find you are acting with BIZARRE behavior such as this: 1. You may start going to church more often. 2. You might start to sleep with all the lights turned on. So read this at your own DISCRETION!
All Rights Reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including storage and retrieval systems without permission from Sciantel Crista.
My copyright registration Number:
Printed in the United States of America.
To my Father God in Heaven I dedicate this book to.
What if you were stranded on a new world and come to find castles stood high on a desert floor. Is this a place of Paradise or a planet of terror?
To my Dad. Here's a scary one for you!
MAN DOES NOT LIVE ALONE. FOR THERE ARE THINGS WITHIN THE HEAVENS AND ON THE EARTH THAT MAN CANNOT COMPREHEND. CREEPING, CRAWLING THINGS THAT SLITHER UNDERGOUND.
JESUS HIMSELF HAS SAID: "LET IT NOT CONCERN YOU WHAT CAN HAPPEN TO THE BODY, BUT BY THE ONE, YOUR SOUL CAN BE DESTROYED, BOTH SPIRIT AND YOUR FLESH, WHERE THE WORM NEVER DIES." Matthew 10:28 and Mark 9: 43-44
Ugene now came upon the wreckage. He gasps. Took him by surprise. "Oh my! Sweet Jesus, what is that?" he said in a silent prayer. Before him for miles across the desert's sandy hills were bits and pieces of other ships. A universal freighter, the Universal Alliant, was what it partly read on the side but looked like the 'ANT' part was chewed on or something. What seemed to be a huge tooth, or large tooth looking thing was embed into one of the 'Ls' in Alliant.
Ugene saw other freighters and a few fighter ships but nothing much was left of them. Ugene has piloted a few before so he could tell enough to know what they were. This place seemed a graveyard for metal. "Oh, Holy Lord," he prayed more. He sure didn't want to meet up with the thing who once possessed that tooth. Of course, his instruments read no life forms to have survived. Only various animal platyhelminth, which means WORM-like. He just wanted out of here! It didn't feel right about this place.
His engine than began to putter. The light which now came on indicated he was low on oil. Was caused no doubt when he went flying too low, looking at all the wreckage, and hit a boulder, tearing a hole in his fuel tank. He sure didn't want to have to land HERE but the light now flashing, indicating he'd better or be in for a rough landing.
So, he went searching for an easy place to land his ship. Wasn’t very big. He drove a cruiser now. He cursed after he landed, to find his spare oil container had spilled all over the floor after falling over and the lid not being tightly screwed on, had popped off.
He felt remorse. He knew he had a bad mouth. Casualty from having a short temper. Ugene was very religious and didn’t like taking the Lord's Name in vain. He didn’t like hearing anybody else do it either for that matter. Still every now and then he found himself doing the exact thing when his temper got the better of him. He knew that Jesus understood he was doing the best he could in this crisis.
He was thinking on this when he felt a tremor. He felt it again. Was stronger this time. More like a vibration from the ground. He was sure some of these ships must contain fuel. Enough for his ship. He went inside one of the wrecks. Nothing. Just bits and pieces of torn ship inside. He decided to enter into the Universal Alliant. Out of all the wrecks, this ship had most of its parts intact. Surely, he'd get lucky finding oil here.
Big mistake! At first, he didn’t see it because his eyes were adjusting on a panel torn open. Inside was oil cans. He began to praise the Lord for this blessing. He begun to humm on an old hymn, WHEN THE SAINTS GO MARCHING IN.
"Oh, I want to be in that number, when the Saints go marching in," he began just a singing out loud. He wasn’t in key. He didn’t care. Only wrecked ships were his audience.
He sang away, then turned to leave when he saw him then. A fat man with half of his body torn off. Dead eyes looking up at him in sheer terror!
From where Ugene stood looking at where the man sat, he could see various organs exposed. A surprised, shock look upon the dead man's face to indicate he hadn’t much time to scream.
Ugene tried to master one from his vocal cords himself now but only a squeak penetrated forth from his throat. He staggered to the door. So that was where the rancid smell had come from.
He upchucked outside on the sand. He then felt a real strong tremor. Boom, boOM, BOOM! Like a giant walking. Fear struck him then. His mind was imagining all sorts of things. He raced to his ship.
'Don't look back! Keep going forward,' kept repeating in his mind. But he couldn’t help himself, he looked behind him. Saw in the far distance a heap rising up from the sand. It then went down.
"Oh sh----!" he blasted out trailing off the, it. He ran so fast it was as if his legs were unattached. He felt them just a pumping and pumping but he felt his mind a blank. "Got to get to my ship, got to get to my ship," he said and said. He gazed back. Didn’t see any heap rising.
Seemed like an eternity before he finally reached his ship. He dropped the oil cans. He had to retrace his steps a little to retrieve them. His hands were shaking. He saw another rise, closer.
"000000H!" he said racing to his ship, then climbing up into it whamming the door down and latching it in place. The latch didn't catch. "Confounded!" he bellowed in frustration. He finally got it. He tried starting up the engine, for he had forgotten all about the oil. It wouldn’t start. "Come on!" he hooted.
"Drat IT!!" he hollered further, then remembered. He hurriedly grabbed the cans, tore open the tops with the opener and poured both in, spilling most on his hands. Now he smelt like a tar pit.
He raced back to the front and began to try to start the engine back up. The vibrations were really bad now. A glass of water on the dashboard shook. It fell off the ledge and shattered on the floor. He felt hysterical laughter about to invade out his mouth.
He sure hoped the leak wasn’t so bad he couldn't get out of this planet's atmosphere. He needed just enough to make orbit then he'd put on his space suit and go out into space to seal the leak. He hated going out into that dark, cold void but it was better than being down here awaiting a chunk bitten out of him just like poor fat Larry and his freighter ship. He couldn’t get the memory of him out of his mind. The exposed organs he saw. The dopey look on Larry's face. Those dead eyes.
He wondered, did those eyes see an eternal rest with God or damnation in Hell?
Ugene gagged. He had to stop thinking about Larry's intestines spilled out all over the floor. He got off the ground. There is a God!
With relief, he looked out the back window of his shuttle and saw it, up from a hole it had just made in the sand. It nearly had him! Was close, so close! Was a horrid looking thing! Ugene screamed. Was some sort of long worm looking creature? He saw it land on the sand and slither around. "I ain’t gonna be your dinner!" he yammered to it. He saw a huge head that was all teeth. He then saw another one spring up from the sand. It was bigger. Had a huge mouth with row after row of razor sharp teeth. He knew right then and there it was coming to eat him. His entire ship and all.
This planet was to be colonized. A branch off from the Earth. Another man, before Ugene had been sent to investigate this world, had been sent. They never heard back and Ugene was the unlucky one chosen to go down to try to find out what happened to him. Of course, he found the other guy's shuttle, in bits and pieces below.
At first when Ugene was chosen to come down to the planet's surface, he thought, OH BOY! But now the glamor was gone.
Ugene wondered if Barcelona's remains were in bits and pieces somewhere down there like Larry. Oh no, was he ever not intending on finding out! All he wanted was away from HERE!
Yucky planet. Larry and Barcelona could keep it, all he cared. They could sit across from one another staring their dead eyes at one another for all of eternity.
Ugene felt he wasn’t ever going to see blue and green planet Earth again. This planet was an ugly brown color. Was mostly desert. Some green but mainly brown.
'Loving arms, your loving arms, your sweet, sweet loving arms,' kept singing on his mind. A song he had heard on the radio. He knew he couldn't get high enough away from the huge thing.
'Into, into, your loving arms, your loving arms, your sweet, sweet loving arms.'
Ugene then felt the weight of a huge mouth crushing, chomping onto the ship as it dove up upon it from the sand below. He screamed and tried to move to a corner of the shuttle, trying to get away from it, but knew at the same time, no hope. He felt the pressure as the thing swallowed.
His ship fell into a long, like a shaft of flesh. The lights outside his shuttle were all he now had to see with. Everything else was gone. All power on the inside. The outside lights were powered by a battery, the worm hadn't chomped on enough to completely destroy yet.
He saw red, snake-type skin up and down from every angle. A story from the Bible then came across his mind. Jonah and the whale that swallowed him. His whole body, and he hadn’t a space shuttle to protect him.
Only Ugene was pretty sure unlike Jonah, Ugene wasn’t getting out of this alive. "Swallowed by a huge worm. What a great saying to be put on my gravestone," he muttered, starting to laugh, then he began to cry some. Ugene screamed then when acid began to eat through the ship. Oh, and boy what a stench!
He screamed and screamed, on and on as it reached his flesh, eating through to the bone, penetrating into the brain until he no longer had a brain to think with. He went home to the loving arms of Jesus of course, away from the worm, never to know that pain again.
"Ship's received minimal damage sir. We've lost all contact with Tempel," Ensign Bradly Parker now reported to the Commander.
"So, we must make an emergency landing for repairs, regardless if the planet is safe for colonization," Tysen replied to make sure he heard right.
"Yes sir," Parker complied.
"And your report?" Tysen now added. Parker looked like he was now twilight zone material with his daydreaming. He then came to attention. "Well, all we have on this planet is it's livable with an atmosphere. That's all Barcelona reported back to Earth; and Ugene Tempel, we lost contact shortly after he went down into the atmosphere. We fear there is some sort of temporal distortion jamming the transmission," Bradly told him. Tysen scratched his chin.
"Sir, another thing Ugene reported before we lost contact, was that this planet is mostly desert, with strange formations upon it's floor. I believe Ugene used the word, castles," the botanist, Becky Long now said. She was in charge of the new planet's flower and plant life.
"Hummm," the Commander spoke in thought. "Well, take her down then," he ordered.
"Yes sir. I bet Barcelona and Tempel are both below awaiting us in a wienie roast," Parker said.
"Well, for now this will be our home. Maybe permanently," Tysen replied.
The ship was huge. Held over 200 people. Was called, THE PATHFINDER. The Earth was overpopulated and people now colonized various new worlds. The Pathfinder had been damaged in a meteor shower. It was in need of repair to be able to further out into space, if this planet below was not suitable.
The ship landed in a green meadow. Becky was the first to step off. "Oh, it's gorgeous out here!" she proclaimed. She was so tired of being cooped up on a ship in space with an artificial forest. Was too fake for her liking. The trees were real but the grass was a plastic simulation. She sure enjoyed the change. She was going to soak up this sun. She ran toward the lake nearby and took a plunge.
"Hey Becky, I'd be careful if I were you. Could be a sea serpent or something down there," Parker teased. They were both young in their 20s. She had a crush on him but would never let on. She acted like she was annoyed with him. He kind of liked her too. She could tell by the way he would on occasion, flirt with her. She'd answer back with her usual, you annoy me, attitude.
She had pretty, curly long, strawberry colored hair, blue eyes. A babe, Parker had commented to Tysen the first day she was assigned to the ship. He went over closer to her at the lake and she splashed him.
"Oh, you’re going to get it now!" he boomed. He splashed back at her and went to throw mud mucks in at her when he lost his footing and fell in. Becky laughed and laughed.
He went over and pushed her head under. When she came back up he kissed her. He couldn’t help it. Was long overdue. At first, she kind of objected but then the rest was voluntary. Tysen cleared his throat then seeing them just a smooching. They walked out from the lake. Becky, a little red in the face.
"Composure, composure," Tysen said.
As they walked on he chuckled. Those two were so funny. He saw this coming a mile away. Had ever since day one.
That night they all had various camps set up in a meadow clearing, near by the lake and the ship. Fires were burning. Marshmallows were cooking over them. A regular camp-down do-dah.
One group of people, Christian, were singing camp songs and religious ones. This group had gotten together a couple of months ago on board the ship. Was for anyone believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, and for people of any creed searching for God.
"Just look at them, at it again. Don't they ever get dismayed?" the Commander said sipping on his wine cup.
"Well, you know what they say about people happy in the Lord, happy and content are we," Parker spoke.
"You believe in God, Brad? Jesus, I mean," Tysen then asked.
"Yeah, I do" he replied. No one had ever really asked him before if he did. He was happy to find he really did, enough to speak out-loud about it.
"Becky?" Tysen now asked looking over at her.
"Yes, I do. He's gotten me out of a few jams," she replied.
"Any of you ever experience a genuine miracle?" Tysen then asked.
"No, not like in the Biblical times. What about you sir?" Parker asked. He took a sip of his coffee.
"Well, you know a strange occurrence did happen to me once but I mostly took it for a hallucination. It was during the Gulf wars. I was stationed out at camp Riley and a virus broke out. It was a bad one. Was actually a secret weapon that was hush-hush. A lot of my men caught it including myself. A few even died. Was a sort of germ warfare. I had a near death experience," Tysen said as Becky perked up now. This was getting interesting.
Parker was so caught up in it that he overcooked his marshmallow. Becky giggled. It was on fire and now that he put it out it was as black as charcoal. He popped it into his mouth. He liked them this way but had to admit, it tasted a little too burned for his liking. Becky made a face.
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