Thursday, October 11, 2012

THE NIGHT BLOGGER: The Graveyard Game And Other Cemetery Plots part seven 'The House Of Gorgo'

October 7th: I should mention that the same text file that gave me the addresses of the three temples also included a way to properly ‘defile’ them.

Apparently splashing shrines with good old fashioned Holy Water or smashing statues isn’t good enough anymore.

Thankfully I knew a guy that knew a guy that spent a lot of time on Craigslist so I was able to find some pages of the Apocryphal Book Of Tobit....

The Graveyard Game
And Other Cemetery Plots
part seven
The House Of Gorgo
Al Bruno III

...the Catskill Game Farm was the closest thing Albany had to a zoo. It wasn’t a big place and certainly couldn’t compete with what they had downstate but it had a certain rustic charm. It wasn’t quite a wildlife refuge and wasn’t quite a farm but when I was growing up I had really loved visiting the place.

In 2006 due to mounting financial pressures the Catskill Game Farm had shut down. The elephants, ostriches and lizards were sold off at auction, even the merry go round went to the highest bidder.

The buildings are still standing. They’re surrounded by a ten foot chain link fence and marked with large signs of the ‘NO TRESPASSING’ variety, but things like that aren’t going to stop curious kids, diabolical cultists and idiots like me.

Shortly after sunset I climbed the fence, only tearing my shirt twice in the process. Once I was in I took a moment to snap a few pictures with my iPhone.

Click: Abandoned buildings, farmhouses mostly, empty livestock pens and concession stands that have begun to lean with age and neglect. Every doorway and window has been boarded up.

How long had it been since I was last here? At least a decade. That and the pitch blackness left me wandering around for almost half an hour but finally I found what I was looking for.

Click: The domed Reptile House, designed to look like a turtle shell. The entranceway isn’t blocked off and strange graffiti surrounds it.

“Right.” I fished the penlight out of my carry all bag. Now I would find out if the information I’d gotten was true or if I’d gotten roofied by the Devil for nothing.

The darkness closed in around me. With every step into the reptile house my pen light became more and more useless. Then it went out. A rational person might blame the penlight’s failure on a bad battery but my world had stopped being rational the day my mother had died.

Thankfully I had brought a lighter as well, I flicked it on and kept walking. The floor sloped downwards. There were empty glass cages on either side of me. The odor of reptiles still lingered faintly in the air.

When I turned the corner I saw the altar of Gorgo. Some enterprising cultist had turned the information kiosk into a chapel. There was a statue on the stand’s counter. I wasn’t sure how it would come out but I tried to get a picture of it. The idol was about eighteen inches tall, it represented a woman with her arms spread wide. A halo of serpent-like shapes radiated out from her head.

Hello Gorgo.

I started for the kiosk when I felt something soft underfoot. My skin began to crawl, I swung my lighter around to see what I was walking through.

It was snakes. The entire altar of Gorgo was surrounded by snakes.

Once I had finished running and gotten the incoherent blubbering out of my system I forced myself to go back there.

Sara was counting on me.

The carpet of snakes around the kiosk was about three feet wide and ankle deep. It was also perfectly still and silent, not a wriggle or a hiss anywhere.

Closer and careful examination revealed that these snakes were all dead, dead and crudely taxidermied. Their bellies had been stuffed with sawdust and sewn shut with fishing line, mismatched buttons had been fastened over the empty eye sockets.
It looked to me like the worshippers of Gorgo sure had a lot of free time on their hands. I kicked my way through the dead reptiles until I reached the altar. I tried to take another picture of the thing but I still wasn’t too sure about the lighting.

Then I got to work.

I had a page from the Apocryphal Book Of Tobit in my jacket pocket. It was an old piece of parchment, a copy of a copy of a copy but still over 500 years old, still old enough to do the trick. I picked up the statue of Gorgo, it was cool to the touch, then set it back down on top of the parchment. I crossed my fingers and set the page from the Apocryphal Book Of Tobit on fire. 

It burned easily, giving off a foul-smelling smoke. I watched the statue carefully wondering what might happen. Would it bleed? Would it burst into flames?  Would it melt like wax? I started fiddling with my iPhone again wondering if I could get this on video.

There was a rustling sound behind me. Something soft brushed across my foot.

The snakes were moving, all of them.

I said, “Oh fuck.”

Vaulting over the counter I landed with an undignified thump. Thankfully there were no snakes back there. The hollow hissing of the things grew louder and louder as the statue of Gorgo began to shrivel...


...once the idol was gone the zombie snakes were still. Once my knees had stopped quivering I got up and got the Hell out of there.

Back at my apartment Sara was waiting up for me. She didn’t ask how things had gone, she was just happy I had returned at all. We put on some trash TV, sat together and didn’t talk.

One down, two to go. Hopefully the worst was behind me.


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