Jason had heard the stories about the Man with the White Face ever since he was eight years old. All the kids in the neighborhood warned him about the guy. Jason was twelve now, old enough to know what an Urban Legend was and old enough to know that kids make up things. Even still, every time he pedaled his bike down Burt Drive he’d ride just a little faster. Burt Drive was a suburban plan, housing development two streets over from where Jason lived…. It was also the stalking grounds of the Man with the White Face.
Jason who had been known as Jay to his friends was exceedingly bright, he got all A’s and B’s on his report card even though he hardly ever opened a book. He loved Math, which had been a subject that had always come naturally. Part of the reason that he didn’t believe in the urban legend was his above average intelligence. Jay was smart enough to understand that if a killer had been on the loose in his neighborhood the police would patrol the area more often. He also occasionally watched the news and had never heard of a murder or a body showing up in his neighborhood. Come to think of it, would his parents even allow him to ride his bike around if there really had been a sicko snatching up children?
The story was the same one that is probably told in every neighborhood. Heck, the parents most likely spread the rumor so that their kids wouldn’t be out causing havoc after dark. As far as Jay knew the rumor had been around since his dad was a kid way back in the seventies. In fact, Jay’s dad used to tell the story around the campfire when his family would go camping at Cape Cod every summer. He’d always start saying, you might not be able to sleep after you hear this. Jay knew it was his Dad’s job to frighten them and he’d pop out shining the flashlight in his own face and laugh like an evil psychopath “MWAHHAHAHAHA.” Jay and his sister would scream and then they would all laugh for what seemed like hours, it was fun.
The real story, or at least what Jay had heard the real story was started in the summer of nineteen seventy six. Supposedly some guy had been thrown in Long Lane Asylum for the Criminally Insane for murdering two kids who trespassed on his lawn. During a huge thunderstorm a tornado or some really strong winds hit the town. The power went out at the Asylum and somehow all the cells opened, the guards spent the night rounding up the inmates and re-locking the electric doors. The next morning though, one patient was missing, he had jumped the fence when the electricity was out. The fence had always been a zapper, but because of the storm it wasn’t. Rumor has it that the man cut his face off on the razor wire on the top of the fence. Supposedly the guards found his nose and portions of his skin attached to the teeth of the razor wire. They followed the blood trail, but it led into a river and they wrote him off as dead.
Later that year two children went missing, one early in the summer, one just before school started. It’s usually only two and they are never heard from again. The cops must think that the children are simply runaways, but it seems that every year two children from the same neighborhood go missing or that’s what Jay’s friends told him. The most common theory amongst kids is that the guy had to put some kind of balm on his face to treat the painful scar tissue, or that he paints his face white to hide the scars. They also have supposedly heard stories that the wacko takes the two children and eats their hearts, it keeps him young, but he needs two hearts per year and they have to be from children. It’s some kind of witchcraft or sorcery. Another theory is that the man actually died in the River that night and that it’s his ghost that comes back every summer to take kids as revenge. Jay never believed that one, he didn’t believe in ghosts.
So as he rode his bike along his eyes moved up and down the rows of houses, checking between them, behind them and in the vacant lots that bordered them. Then he saw it. At the end of the block was a station wagon, it was a 1970’s style family cruiser with imitation wood paneling and lime colored, high gloss, painted corner rockers. Rust had eaten its way through the wheel wells and the tires looked bald. He stopped and put his feet on the ground. Jay felt like his heart was in the back of his throat. Sitting behind the wheel of the station wagon was a man wearing a black wool hat. His eyes were also black, not just the irises but his entire eyes. His face was stark white, like a blank piece of printer paper. Jay couldn’t see a mouth, but he imagined that if it was there it would be smiling. He turned the handle bars on his bike and started pedaling as fast as he could in the opposite direction. He heard the car engine start and the screech of tires. He knew the man was behind him, gaining with every second, but he didn’t dare look back. Jay could feel the car, he could feel the air being parted as it drew closer. He could feel the heat of the engine. Jay pedaled his BMX till the veins in his legs felt like they were full of lava. He was spent, but he had to keep going, the engine was revving and it sounded so close like Jay had been sitting on the hood.
Jay didn’t know what to do, if he stopped and confronted the man he’d be taken for sure, but if he kept riding the man would run him down. He could feel the bumper nudge his back tire, so he swerved to the bike lane and slowed. The man in the car slowed too, Jay could smell the fumes from the engine. He pulled to the side of the road and just let the bike glide slowly. The man stopped the car and sat idling in the street with the engine revving. He didn’t know if he should make a run for the woods. Jay was fast, but perhaps the idiot would be faster.
Jay heard the car door open, the stranger got out and stood holding the door.
“What do you want from me?” Jay asked terrified and afraid to look at the man’s face
“I want your heart.” The man growled.
“Oh god” Jay said fighting back the tears. “I need to call my mom”
“That won’t be necessary” The man said in a gravelly voice. “Your mom will know soon enough” Jay thought he recognized the voice, but he couldn’t be sure.
“Are you going to hurt me?” Jay asked timidly.
“Not yet, first we’re gonna go on a little ride.”
“I’m not supposed to take rides from strangers.” Jay said emphatically.
“You don’t have a choice.” The man said calmly, pulling the largest hunting knife Jay had ever saw, from his black coat. The blade reflected brightly in the sunlight.
Jay started to cry, he had been choking back the tears the whole time. “Okay, Okay.” Jay wept. “Just don’t hurt me.”
“Get in the back seat!” The man said harshly, as he threw Jay’s bike in the way back of the station wagon.
The brown pleather interior was worn and Jay could see what looked like scratch marks along the seat. The interior door handles had been removed, making escape nearly impossible. Fast food bags were crumpled on the dingy floor. They drove down Burt Drive and continued on to Maiden Lane, Jay lived on Maiden Lane and for a second he thought that maybe his mother would be out front trimming her Begonias. If she was he could try and signal her.
“Where are you taking me?” Jay asked hoping to distract the man with conversation.
“You’ll see soon enough” He replied.
“I have to use the bathroom.” Jay said.
“I feel for you” The man with the white face responded looking in the rear view mirror with his pitch black eyes.
The jackoff didn’t do anything, he just kept driving at a leisurely pace as if he had nothing to fear. Jay could see his house coming up on the left. He slid over on the seat pressing his face to the window. No one was outside and as the car passed Jay could see his mother’s Volvo parked in the driveway. His heart sank as his chance slipped away. They kept driving and soon they were past the center of town heading south. Just past the town line the station wagon slowed and turned down a long dirt road. The road was rutted with dried mud and each time the tires skipped out of the rut the car bounced almost high enough for Jay to hit his head on the roof. The dirt road seemed to go on forever, winding its way through the woods up a small mountain. Jay tried to think about where he was, his Boy Scout troop used to hike in this vicinity. Soon the answer came to him, he was on the backside of Mt. Pisgah.
The station wagon soon stopped at a swinging chain link gate that had been tethered together with a chain and padlock. The man with the white face got out of the car and walked over to the fence. Jay was able to get a good look at the man for the first time. He was dressed entirely in black from head to toe. Jay wondered why no one had found the fact that the man was wearing a black wool hat in early June suspicious. Then again how many people had actually noticed the man waiting in his car on Burt Drive? The man unlocked the padlock and hobbled back to the car, Jay noticed the dickhead had a hitch in his stride, not quite a limp, more like a stutter in his step. He returned to the car and continued on without saying a word.
The car sped, bumping along the dirt road for what felt like another mile or so. Jay looked over the seat out the front windshield when they came to their destination. There sat a square gray concrete building with an antenna that reminded Jay of pictures he had seen of the Eiffel tower. Attached to the steel tower were radar dishes, they looked old and tarnished, but they were definitely radar dishes. The rectangular concrete windows of the building were barred with thick rusted rebar. It looked like a cross between a military prison and a cell phone tower. The entrance was a big square opening like a single car garage without the overhead door.
The man with the white face walked around to Jay’s side, opened it and tried to grab him, but Jay slid away on the seat to the opposite side of the car.
“Don’t make this anymore painful for you than it has to be.” He said in the gruff voice.
“Are you going to torture me?” Jay asked. He was terrified.
“You don’t know what torture is” The man snapped.
“Yeah, I do” Jay said hoping for a moment to slip the man’s grasp. “In my Call of Duty game the bad guys tie my character to a chair and punch me till I tell them where my unit is hiding.”
“You don’t know what it’s like to have four White Coats hold you down and cut and cut until the knife is so dull it couldn’t slice butter. You don’t know what it’s like to have the nerves severed so you can’t see or smell or feel.” He grabbed Jay by the throat and dragged him out of the backseat of the Station wagon. Jay struggled he could feel the man’s grubby fingernails dig into his neck. The sun was shining, but he could feel the world getting dark, so dark. Then within an instant the world snapped back into focus. Jay was dizzy he swung out with his hand, but the punch went right by the man’s face grazing the tip of his white nose. Jay looked down at his knuckles they were stained white. He had slipped away and wanted to run, but run where. The whole radar station or whatever it turned out to be was encompassed by a fence.
Jay couldn’t think of anything else to do so he just sat down on the ground crying. He felt like a chump, he wanted to be the hero, but there was no way around the man. The white faced asshole bent down and picked up Jay like he was made of paper. He carried jay under one arm towards the concrete mausoleum; it looked like an evil face with a toothless gaping square mouth. In his free hand he had the gigantic hunting knife, it appeared to be sharp, like even the slightest touch would draw blood. Jay screamed as loud as his vocal cords would allow, it felt so loud it hurt his own ears. He hoped that there would be someone out there a hiker, or somebody walking their dog.
The man only pulled harder, he tore Jay through the opening of the building kicking and screaming. Jay stuck his hand out and grabbed for the side, but only scraped his nails achingly on the concrete. The man pulled him into the structure and tossed him viciously to the corner like a rag doll, Jay hit the dirt floor and whimpered. The room was mostly dark and it stunk like when the farmers fertilize the fields with cow shit in May. In the center of the room was a stack of old televisions. The bottom of the pile was filled with huge square paneled models and they got smaller from their all the way up to the ceiling, where a handheld sat completing the pyramid. Jay thought there had to be a hundred old TV’s neatly stacked there like an art exhibit. The man started turning on plastic lamps on hooks, the kind you’d see mechanics use under the hood while fixing a car.
The tall white faced douchebag picked up a chain that looked like it was made by weaving plastic zip ties. He cinched Jay’s hands behind his back and attached the other end to an eyebolt in the concrete wall. With the lights on Jay could see that there were things written on the wall in Black spray paint. Most of the words and phrases didn’t make a whole lot of sense. From where Jay was sitting he could read “Brain-fry” and “The Third Gender.” On the wall behind the man the spray paint was in huge lettering it read “Communication Station.” Jay was petrified, there were scuff marks all over the dirt, and he knew he wasn’t the only kid that had been in this position.
“What are you going to do, don’t hurt me please.” Jay yelled
“You’ll find out soon, I’m going to get one of your little friends.” The man smiled; his yellow teeth stood out like lemon flavored Chiclets against his pasty face. Then He chuckled “At least you won’t be alone when the time comes.” The white faced stranger trudged to the entrance and slid a massive piece of particle board in front of the opening. Then he slipped out between the sides, only looking back with that same sadistic smile. Jay was alone in the worst place he could imagine. His thoughts raced, he had never been so scared of anything before. He pulled at the thick plastic chain, but it wouldn’t budge, he was trapped and wouldn’t be able to get out on his own.
Jay didn’t know what to do, he was frightened and alone in the dingy, darkened. Concrete radar station. The plastic chain wouldn’t let him move more than five or six feet in any direction. He scanned the room again looking for anything he could use to cut the chain. There was a workbench covered with electronic components and a soldering iron that was still plugged in, but it was across the room. He was in a small stall facing the televisions, there was nothing on the floor except dirt. Jay stared at the pyramid of televisions, it reminded him of a shrine like he had seen in church except the shrine in church had been made from white candles. The T.V’s were plugged into a series of power strips that led away towards the back of the room. He could tell from the glowing red lights that the power strips were on. He wondered where the heck the power was coming from way up here in the middle of nowhere. The teen also had no idea how long the man would be gone or when he’d be back.
Jay sat down, he was exhausted and his fingers stung from the abrasions caused by the concrete wall. He put his fingers in his mouth and sucked at the stinging scrapes. Suddenly the televisions flickered on to a blue screen. Jay looked around wondering how they had turned on by themselves. He pulled at the zip tie chain as hard as he could again hoping to break free, but it still wouldn’t budge. The only thing he could think to do was to chew through the plastic. The teen put the thick braid that connected his two hands together into his mouth and worked the plastic back and forth against his front teeth. After working at the plastic for a minute or two Jay pulled it out of his mouth to check his progress. He had barely dented the hard plastic and his teeth had started to hurt, like when he was in first grade and he was dying to lose a tooth. He had tried to wiggle them to impress his classmates, but none of the teeth had been ready to come out.
The buzz of the televisions had started to give Jay a dull headache. Part of him wished that something would come on to change the monotonous noise. He walked all the way to the right to increase the angle of the chain and pulled again, but it hadn’t made any difference. The teen leaned against the wall and slid down until he was sitting. The sound coming from the televisions started to change. A rhythmic beep came from the speakers followed by a man speaking in a foreign language. Jay couldn’t understand the words, but it sounded like names.
“Natasha, Mikhail…Anna, Ivan.” The voice was followed by static and a man speaking some kind of hard, eastern European gibberish. The tone sounded like the emergency broadcast thingy that always interrupted Jay’s cartoons. The scared teen stared at the televisions, but there was no change in the picture. It was still the same blue glow like a DVD player that hasn’t been given a movie to play. The blue screen remained for twenty minutes, before it changed to fuzzy, static and snow. All the screens were the same, the sound was still set to the man talking, but the picture was just fuzz. Jay closed his eyes and prayed he’d fall asleep, but every time he started to drift off the tone would blare and startle him awake. He began to panic again.
“Help me somebody help me!” He screamed, standing and pulling at the chain wildly. The teen felt like he couldn’t breathe he needed to get out of the foul smelling, musty room. The whole place smelled like rotten eggs, he need to get out, his mouth tasted coppery and he thought he might pass out. The teenager took some deep breaths, in through his nose out through his mouth. Slowly he calmed himself back down and sat against the wall again.
The picture finally changed now it was a black and white image of an old man stepping up on a brown wooden chair. The man was looking at the camera, he reached up out of the frame and pulled something down from above him. It was a yellow synthetic looking rope, which had been tied in a hasty looking knot, the yellow cord formed an open circle like a noose. The sound was the same…
“Beep, Yuri, Vladimir…. Beep.” The shaking teen watched in terror as the man on the screen smiled and placed the noose over his head. Jay had never saw a smile like that, it was as if the man had just been told a sick joke by evil itself. His teeth were brown and snaggled, at least they appeared brown on the black and white T.V. The old man moved in jerks and stops like he was being filmed with a strobing effect, taking his time enjoying the moment, enjoying the act, and enjoying the distress he was causing the viewer. Jay started talking to the screen, talking to himself.
“Don’t please don’t, I don’t want to see this.” Jay closed his eyes, but the image inside his head seemed worse than the image on the screen. He also had a strange fascination like he needed to see what was coming next. The elderly man tightened the knot around his neck. His white hair was skewed in curly puffs at the side of his head, He licked his hands and matted down his hair making sure the gray, part in the front was divided perfectly. He smiled again into the camera, Jay knew he would never forget that smile, never erase it from his mind. It was like the smile had been branded with a hot iron deep inside him.
The old guy took his time and then pointed at the camera, pointed at Jay. Then he stepped forward off the front on the chair. The rope held tight and the man swung back knocking the chair over. The man was like a pendulum on Jay’s grandmother’s old clock swinging back and forth struggling and gyrating against the rope. The old man’s face turned dark, Jay could only imagine that it was deep red or purple. The senior citizens eyes bulged out, like they would pop from his skull. After a few seconds of the old man kicking and fighting Jay watched as his body went limp. The camera focused in on the man’s pants and Jay could see a dark spot spread over his zipper and down one leg as the old man emptied his bladder. The camera pulled back showing the entire scene in full view. The man was dead, hanging like a slab of meat in a slaughter house. The picture went back to the static snow and then changed again to the blue screen. The sound never switched up, the same tone and static followed by the deep voiced man.
“Alexie, Galina, Vitally…..Beep.”
Jay tried to close his eyes and sleep again, but the combination of the tone and the image of the old man’s face caused some kind of sensory overload jarring him awake every few moments. Jay felt like the fuses inside his brain were blowing, some electrical signal in his synapses had accepted too much stimuli. After a few minutes the strange feeling decreased to a diluted hum.
Just as his head had begun to feel normal the static returned to the television screens. Jay begged for the sound to change to anything other than the foreign names, but it hadn’t. The picture came into focus, but this time it was in color. On the screen was a large woman with a bizarre contraption on her head. Jay could tell it was a woman, because she had gigantic, fat breasts. She was wearing a flowered dress and covering her face was a mechanical device that looked like a silver metal box with heavy clamps attached to screws on the sides. The clamps were connected to jumper cables which ran down the sides of her arms and out of the picture. Another rubber cable came out of a circle in the front and led down to a black remote control with a big, round, red button in the center. The woman held the remote control in her hands which was lying in her lap. The room behind her was stark white, it resembled a doctor’s office sterile and bright. She was sitting in some kind of black leather dentist’s chair which had foot rests at the bottom that were connected by rusted metallic bars. Her feet were covered in tied burlap sacks that seemed badly out of place and much too big; they didn’t fit with her pink, yellow and blue flowered dress. Hanging on the wall behind the woman was a lighted box with X-rays of a skull lit up in fluorescent green. Beside her were counters which looked like they were full of medical utensils, an assortment of scissors and tweezers.
Jay watched in dread as the woman raised one hand, balled it into a fist and then pointed one finger down toward the red button. The woman started to move in jerks and stops just like the old man in the first video had. She slowly moved her pointed finger downward directly in line with the button. Every few seconds she would move her finger down a couple inches. Again every movement was clipping and strobing almost in perfect timing to the man on the speakers. For Jay it was excruciating, it was like being tortured slowly by some Chinese water method that he had read about in one of his war books. The Chinese would drip water on a man’s forehead slowly at one minute intervals for days on end, by the second day each drop of water would feel like a sledge hammer slamming down. That’s what the teen felt like now, he thought he might go crazy if this didn’t stop. He closed his eyes again trying to block out the image, the problem was he didn’t know what would happen when the woman’s finger hit the button. He could assume and imagine, but what whatever he envisioned seemed far worse than the reality on the screen. Curiosity won out and jay opened his eyes, the woman’s finger was only a few inches above the button.
The woman’s hand had begun to shake and slowly in jerky hitches she pushed the button. Her body tensed up as an obvious electrical current raced through her body. Her legs thrashed wildly splashing water out of the burlap sacks tied around her feet. Thick blackish red blood flowed down her neck from under the contraption. Her body was frozen in some tightly shaking seizure. Then as quickly as it had started it all stopped, the lady’s body went slack and for a moment nothing happened in the picture. The camera was still and continued to be focused on the woman’s body when the intense charge raced through the woman again. This time a yellowish smoke drifted up from under the mechanical device and what looked like gallons of blood poured down from the mask staining the bib of her dress crimson. The woman had tensed up again, but then like a light switch flipped off it all ended. The picture was just the woman sitting in that chair covered in blood. A pool of pink water that had mixed with puddles of blood had formed on the floor beneath the black leather foot rest. The picture on the television stayed that way for what felt like hours all the while the tone and strange speaking continued in the background.
Jay turned his head and stared at the wall, he found himself reading the bizarre graffiti out loud.
“Conn-Fusion” he said “Mix-Rix, Government, Hubble telescope, Megahertz, Mega-hurts.” Nothing made sense, Jay turned his head and looked at the far wall, and this wall was covered with crazy quotes that were painted in rows like a mad-man would stencil a border on the wallpaper in his bathroom. Jay read the quotes out loud, it kept his mind off the picture of the bloody woman on the screen.
“If your hate could be turned into electricity, it would light up the whole world.” Jay said then looked to the next. “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” Reading the quotes actually seemed to ease the corroded feeling within Jay’s mind. As he read the television switched back to static, which was followed by the familiar blue screen. The teenager ignored it. Jay could hear movement and screaming outside. The Man with the White Face must have returned with Jay’s “Company.” The heavy particle board door slid back allowing a full view of the white faced gluebag. The bright sunlight from outside hurt Jay’s eyes forcing him to squint. The white faced man was carrying a kid under each arm, like two sacks of wheat. The kid’s looked so scared, Jay knew the feeling well. The man hauled them in kicking and screaming just like he had carried Jay in.
Jay was confused, the story had always said that the Man with the White face only took two victims per summer…
Something was wrong inside Jason’s head it was like a poisonous earwig had crawled in through his ear and its acid bite had burned a hole deep into his brain. He couldn’t think straight… Visions of the senseless suicides he had witnessed wove their way through his memories on a loop. The voice on the television speakers was still speaking, but the man with the white face must have turned down the sound because Jay barely even noticed it anymore. Across the room the two new kidnapped kids sat on the dirt floor whimpering. One was a boy who looked about the same age as Jay, the other was a girl who looked a little older. The boy was begging for his mother and kept clinging onto the girl’s shoulder. They were bound to the wall by the same string of connected zip ties.
The man with the white face sat down at his workbench and started fiddling with the components soldering a circuit board or some other silver piece with small wiring. Jay could smell the solder melting, the metallic scent actually improved the smell in the concrete prison. Jason began to mumble to himself, the combination of the beep and the foreigner’s voice coupled with the whining kids coalesced together to make a symphony of sickness. It was like listening to a series of dark and terrifying nine-one-one calls where the kid calls up and say that their parent is choking or dead. Jay was starting to lose some crucial connection to reality, the thin wafting smoke coming from the hot iron and the sounds and smells played together inducing a psychotic dream state.
The man got up from his seat at the workbench and picked up two long black swatches of cloth. He walked over to the two kids and tied blindfolds over their eyes. The girl tried to roll away and when the Man grabbed her roughly she attempted to bite him, but he was too strong for her and held her against the ground while he put the blindfold on her. The man walked back over toward Jay, stared at him and then flipped a switch on a steel pole next to the workbench. The television screens lit up all together.
Jason dreaded what he was going to see next. On the screen the picture began to come into focus from the static, there was a man lying on a table, the man’s hands and feet were bound. The table was silver and shiny, with wheels on the bottom. The room he was in was grimy, with off white tile, a large circular drain was on the floor below the table. The prisoner on the table was looking around with wide eyes searching for something. A second man walked into the room, he was wearing an all yellow rain suit like the Gorton’s fisherman. The man in the yellow walked over to the table and placed his hand on the prisoner’s forehead empathetically. The prisoner looked up at the man with the rain suit and smiled softly, thankfully.
Jay didn’t want to see what would happen next, his heart was racing and his thoughts weren’t his own, for the first time Jay felt like someone else was inside his head. It was like his thoughts were being invaded and Jay knew who the intruder was, it was the foreigner on the radio. The voice inside his head had a hard accent and said “kill for me, kill for us, and kill for the battery.” Jay didn’t know who the battery was and he didn’t want to, but the stranger had left his impression, Jay suddenly had the urge to kill. The thought had been implanted like a lit firecracker waiting to explode.
He looked back at the television screens, the man with the rain suit walked out of the shot and then returned a few seconds later with a gas can. It was red like the ones Jay’s dad had used for their lawnmower at home. The man in the yellow plastic suit raised the can and started dumping its contents all over the prisoner. The prisoner appeared to be enjoying it which surprised Jay, he looked like he was receiving a holy baptism of gasoline and he was accepting his savior. The man in the rain suit dumped the whole can of the bronze liquid on the man and then set the jug out of the scene. He returned and tilted his head slightly at the man on the table and then nodded. The prisoner looked into the camera and tilted his head the same way and then smiled. It was the same smile that Jay had remembered from the senior citizen in the first video.
The guy in the yellow rain suit walked out of the shot and a couple of seconds later what looked like a rag on fire flew through the air and hit the prisoner on the stomach. In a blinding flash that whited out the camera a burst of flame encompassed the man. The fire burned high, with orange and white flame that had blue outlines. The bound prisoner’s silhouette could be seen at the base of the flame, he was turning brown and charring slowly. Just when Jay thought it was all over for the prisoner he lifted his head. The fire slowly burned down and the man ceased all movement. About a minute passed of the charred human shape smoldering. The camera watched unflinching as the smoking corpse remained on the table. Then the one in the rain suit came back into the picture and started spraying the body with a white mist from a fire extinguisher. The fire was completely out leaving the steaming prisoner on the table. His blackened skin had started to peel away revealing the organs and muscle underneath. The camera zoomed in to the man’s face which had really just become a black skull out line.
The television screen changed back to static and then to the blue screen, but the foreigner never stopped talking through the speakers. It seemed to be the same thing again and again, but when the voice spoke in Jay’s head it was different. It was in English and it was convincing him to do awful things, evil things. The voice was telling him how to believe and more importantly who to believe. It was speaking about illusion and reality that nothing was what it appeared and that words are power.
The man with the White Face slid his stool over to Jay and sat in front of him looking into his eyes. Jay could see the deep scars running along the side of the man’s face, they were covered in thick white paint, but the risen skin was clearly visible up close. Finally the man spoke. “Jason are you ready.” He said in that same gruff, familiar voice. Jay hadn’t remembered giving the man his name, but at that point it didn’t matter Jay was struggling to hold onto his voice to stay in reality.
“Ready for what?” Jay answered slowly his own voice sounded slow and garbled like a record player set on low RPM’s.
“You know who I am don’t you Jason.” The man with the white face said never unlocking his gaze from Jay’s eyes.
“Yes, I know who you are.” Jay responded “You’re the man with the white face.”
“No Jason, I mean you know who I really am.” Jay knew the voice, it sounded like… like his father’s except lower, rougher.
“You sound like my father.” Jay said in that slow warped voice. The man with the White Face laughed.
“I guess it does run in the family… No Jason, I’m not your father. I’m your uncle Bob.” The man with the white face smiled warmly. “Your grandfather was one of the first of our kind, he’s transcended now. He started this all in Russia many years ago. He turned me when I was your age and now I’m going to turn you. You’re going to take over our work, you’re going to inherit the family business.”
“What’s it all for.” Jay said dazed and groggily.
“You know it will take a year of hard work the way we’ve done today to turn you fully. You need to believe, believe in the power of the words, believe that this life is an illusion, all we are is radio waves. We’re the signal Jay, we need to keep the signal fresh with the blood of children, sacrifices to the signal. Sacrifices on the shrine of communication, it’s our lifeblood Jay. It’s all about the power of suggestion, we’re proving its true, and we’re proving how far the human animal will go based on suggestion. There’s hundreds of us Jay. You’re the lucky one nephew, because you were born to carry out the tradition. It all started when the great lord Tesla recorded the words. The Words are the power, the power delivered on the signal. We’re living on in digital Jay.”
Jason heard and for a moment he thought he understood, but it was like trash spaghetti, stringy and smelled sour. Nothing was making sense anymore.
“I understand” Jay said, but he didn’t really. He just wanted the sound to stop; he wanted the voice out of his head, he felt violated. He wanted to go home, this place was wrong, all wrong. The man slid his stool back over to the workbench and picked up a white metallic box. The box was about the size of a lunch pail and the man carried it on his lap as he scooted his stool back over to Jay.
“The first thing we need to start with is your face… It’s all wrong for the job.” The Man with the White face opened the box. Jay could see inside, the box was full of knives, scalpels and exacto blades. On a shelf inside Jay could see a roll of brown thread and a curved needle, the kind doctors used for suturing. The man pulled out a scalpel at least it looked like a scalpel except the blade was serrated like a steak knife. “We’ll cut a little today, then a little tomorrow, before you know it you’ll be ready. This part is just tradition, but tradition is just as important as family.”
The man grabbed Jay by the hair and brought the knife up next to his cheekbone. Jay hated the look of that knife it was like a crocodile with too many teeth. Instinctively he threw up his arms and spun around. The man was caught off guard and the plastic chain wrapped around his wrist. Jay saw this and with all his might he ran in the opposite direct toward the man’s workbench. The chain synched tight and hard driving the jagged blade into the man’s neck. Jay pulled it as tight as he could falling against the chain, digging the knife deeper into his uncle’s neck. Blood shot from the wound like an uncapped fire-hydrant. The entire blade was inside the man’s throat. He coughed and spit as the knife dug deeper into his larynx. More blood, gobs of blood flowed from his mouth and nose. The Man with The White face collapsed to the floor kicking out, bucking as the last throes of life escaped.
Jay took a deep breath and kicked the man to be certain that he was dead, but the man’s black eyes and the lake of blood on the floor told him he was. The teenager uncoiled the plastic chain and grabbed a fresh knife from the white case. There was also a small round plastic can in the box, Jay hastily took the can and shoved it into his pocket. He quickly cut through the plastic bands holding his wrists. He was free, he couldn’t believe it, and he was free. Jay ran over to the two kids and cut their plastic binds as well, the girl hugged him and the three of them walked outside of the radar station. It was a beautiful day, the birds were singing somewhere in the trees. The blue sky was like an ocean, gorgeous and wide. Jay felt like the whole world was ahead of them, he was so glad to be alive. Still he felt like there was something he needed to do. He stopped, the other two kids were running toward the gate, when the girl saw that Jay had stopped she turned to him.
“Aren’t you coming? We’ve got to get out of here and call the cops!” She yelled back.
Jay pulled the small can from his pocket and opened the top. Inside the can was the white face paint. Jay reached into the can with two fingers and started to smear the paint on his face.
“I can’t abandon the family business!” Jay shouted back “We’re the signal, its tradition.”
The girl began to scream. Jay simply smiled, a smile that he’d seen before, after all it was on TV.