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Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Horror/Scary · #2315328
The Dark Obelisk allows you to live out your dreams .. or your worst nightmares!
Larry and Harry (Harriet) Nettleton were just starting on their second-honeymoon Down Under. Larry had been born in abject poverty in one of the poorest areas of Harlem. Descended from slaves he prided himself on having made a success of himself in the white man's world.

On exiting the Pan Am flight from L.A. he was horrified:

"Where are all the black people?" he demanded upon arriving at the service area of Melbourne Airport at Tullamarine.

"There's Patricia," said the blonde desk attendant, pointing to a tall stewardess of obvious Jamaican ancestry.

"No, no, I mean the Aborigines," demanded Larry.

"Only three point four percent of Australians are indigenous, sir."

"What the Hell does that even mean?" demanded Larry.

"She means that most Australians are white or Asian," explained Harry.

"Well, that ain't right! You oughta import more Aborigines to make the balance more even!"

"Sir, the Aborigines came to this continent around eighty thousand years ago. Even if we knew for certain where they came from, after that amount of time they would have evolved differently to the way Australian Aborigines have evolved."

"That's just an excuse. I didn't rise up from just another nigger in a woodpile to a major sales rep in one of the biggest corporations in LA by being an idiot."

"Honey, you came from Harlem, not a woodpile," corrected Harry.

"Sir, would you like to talk to my supervisor?"

"No we don't..." began Harry before being interrupted by Larry:

"Damn straight I would!"

Three minutes later her supervisor, a tall white man with grey hair asked:

"May I help you, sir?"

"Damn straight. Why aren't there more Aborigines working at Tullamarine?"

"If you mean Melbourne Airport, it's because most Indigenous Australians live up North in Queensland or the Northern Territory. The ones in Victoria mainly work for the government in the Department of Aboriginal Affairs." He was tempted to add: 'Which does not have an office at Melbourne Airport,' but then wisely thought better of it.

"Come on, Larry," pleaded Harry, pulling at his sweater: "We still have a nine-hour train trip to get to Glen Hartwell in the countryside."

"Damn straight," said Larry, reluctantly following after his embarrassed wife.

'I'm so sorry,' she mouthed to the desk staff behind her husband's back.

At the Yellow House in Merridale, in the Victorian Countryside, they were just settling down to tea. The Yellow House, owned by Deidre Morton was so named because it was painted yellow inside and out and most of the furnishings were yellow. Although Deidre insisted that they were lemon - refusing to admit that lemon was just a shade of yellow.

"So how're Don, Jessie, and Stanlee doing?" asked Deidre Morton as she piled the dining table high with delicacies

Donald Esk, Jessie Baker, and Stanlee Dempsey were all local sergeants off ill. Stanlee with flu-like symptoms; Jessie and Donald with serious radiation poisoning from a recent police investigation.

"Fortunately Stanlee only has a serious cold," said Terri Scott. A beautiful thirty-five-year-old ash blonde, who was Senior Sergeant and therefore top cop of the entire Glen Hartwell to Willamby area.

"That's good news," said Natasha Lipzing. A tall thin, grey-haired lady, who at seventy had spent half of her life at the boarding house.

"The bad news," said Sheila Bennett. A tall, muscular Goth chick with orange-and-black-striped hair, who as Chief Constable was Terri's immediate deputy, and second-top cop of the area: "Don and Jessie have serious radiation poisoning and will be in Melbourne Hospital for a month or three."

"Oh, dear," said Deidre. A short dumpy sixty-something brunette, who could give most Michelin Star chefs lessons in cooking.

"On the plus side, Don's gorgeous girlfriend Lisa Williams has gone up to Melbourne to live in a hospice so that she can help look after him," said Colin Klein. At forty-eight he had recently retired from his job as a top London crime reporter, to take up a position with the Glen Hartwell Police. And was sharing a room at the boarding house with Terri -- to the chagrin of Deidre Morton, who believed they should have got married before doing 'that kind of thing'.

"Ho-ho, lucky bastard!" said Tommy Turner. A short, blond retiree with a belly almost as big as his appetite for smut and alcohol: "Those were the days when we were young enough to have a gorgeous blonde girlfriend."

"You don't expect us to believe that you were ever able to get yourself a gorgeous blonde girlfriend?" asked Freddy Kingston. Also a recent retiree, tall and a little podgy, bald except for a Larry Fine-style ruff of curly black hair around the back and sides of his head.

"It's easy to be cynical!"

"Around you, it is," agreed Sheila.

"Now children," teased Deidre, clapping her hands together to get their attention: "Stop fighting and enjoy your duck a L'orange."

"Thanks for making it again, Mrs. M., it's my favourite," said Sheila.

"One piece of good news is that Paul Bell's holidays finish today, so he'll be back at the Glen tomorrow," said Terri.

"That's good news for us, but I bet he ain't ecstatic!" said Sheila.

"Ah don't worry, he'll get an easy start back, with our latest and wackiest case now finished with," said Colin Klein.

Unaware of just how wildly wrong he was!

The next morning after leaving the gaudy dark-blue-and-yellow lobby of the Dorset Hotel in LePage, Larry and Harry Nettleton set out into the sweet-smelling pine and eucalyptus forest outside the hotel. They took with them their mobile phones, a compass and a map of the local area (despite Larry's insistence that one tree looks just the same as any other tree), as well as a picnic basket and a large blanket in the Baltimore Ravens Football Teams Colours: black, purple, and metallic gold. Although he had never been to Baltimore in his life, Larry liked the team's selection of black as one of its team colours. He also supported New Zealand's national rugby team, the All Blacks, although he had also never been to New Zealand.

"U.S.A.! U.S.A.!" chanted Larry as they walked along. Finally, to the relief of Harry, changing to the Ravens' football theme:

'The Baltimore Fight Song':

"Baltimore Ravens Lets go

"And put that ball across the line

"So fly on with talons spread wide

"Go in and strike with Ravens pride


"Ravens' dark wings take to flight

"Dive in and show them your might

"For Baltimore and Maryland

"You will fly on to vic ... tor ... ee!"

"Oy vay!" said Harry under her breath, hoping Larry hadn't heard!

He was still singing the fight song when in a small clearing in the forest, they noticed a dark obelisk. Shining and seemingly made entirely from black marble.

"Holy," said Harry, not knowing how to finish the sentence: "It must be as big as the Washington Monument. A good six hundred feet, at least."

"Yeah, except this one is more like it," said Larry, walking across to admire the jet-black sheen. "This is no honky white monument. This is a black pride monument. They should have made the Washington Monument like this."

"The Washington Monument is a tribute to George Washington a great American, who happened to be white!"

"Then why ain't there an Obama Monument as well?" demanded Larry. "Obama didn't own no slaves like Washington did!"

"No, dear," said Harry. Knowing from experience that there was no point arguing with him on black rights issues.

Dropping the picnic basket, only keeping his beloved Baltimore Ravens blanket, Larry Nettleton started walking slowly around the black obelisk, admiring its perfect night black finish.

"Now this is what I call a monument," he said, just before finding the large marble doorway open on one side of the monument: "A doorway?"

"What, dear?" asked Harry, starting around the obelisk. Only to find no sign of her husband.

She walked around the monument twice, before accepting, that somehow her husband of twenty years had vanished.

Larry had barely stepped inside the marble doorway, thinking: Just like the Washington Monument, it's a building! When the marble door slid silently closed behind him.

For a moment he was in pitch blackness. Then a light came on, and he found himself standing in a cotton field. The cotton bols had all spread open and a gathering of poorly dressed black workers were picking the cotton, while white horsemen rode around watching them.

"Whatcha got there, Boy?" asked a dark-haired man riding across to Larry.

"Don't call me Boy!" snapped Larry. The workers and foremen in hearing range stopped to stare at him in shock.

"Don't talk back to me, boy!" said the rider, cracking a short whip across Larry's back. Ripping open his Baltimore Ravens shirt and his back at the same time! "Won't take no backchat from no uppity nigger!"

So saying, the white man started to lash Larry's back repeatedly, until screaming aloud as much in rage as agony, Larry caught the whip in both hands. Ignoring the pain in his hands, he tugged with all his might, pulling the foreman off his horse. Then, reversing the whip, Larry began whipping the white man saying:

"Nobody calls me a nigger! And nobody gets away with whipping me!"

Six, eight, a dozen times Larry whipped the man. Until suddenly the whip was caught behind him and ripped out of his hands.

Looking around, Larry saw eight or nine furious white men, all with whips, circling him.

"Now we gots to kill you, nigger!" said one of the men, as a tall fat black woman helped the whipped foreman out of the way.

Then one after the other the eight men started whipping Larry Nettleton in rotation.

"We ain't gonna take no lip from no uppity nigger," said one of them as the whipping went on and on.

Larry did his best to protect his face and head with his hands, but soon they had whipped all the strength out of him. Till the American tourist realised that just like his slave ancestors, he was going to be whipped to death.

Grateful for the map of the forest now, Harriet Nettleton raced back to the Dorset Hotel. Running into the garish West Coast Eagles Blue and Yellow painted reception area, she almost collided with the Landlady, Annette Mulberry, a tall, shapely forty-something redhead.

"Mrs. Nettleton? Is something wrong?" asked the redhead.

"My husband ... has vanished," said Harry between pants, as much from anxiety as from exhaustion.

"What do you mean he vanished?" asked George Mulberry, Annette's husband. A tall, burly man, proprietor of the Dorset.

"He was walking around the obelisk when somehow he seemed to just vanish."

"What's an obelisk?" asked George.

"A sort of squarish, phallic-shaped monument," explained Annette.

"How can it be both squarish and phallic-shaped?"

"Never mind, honey," said Annette. Then to Harry: "What obelisk?"

"The huge black obelisk about a mile or so into the forest!"

Annette and George exchanged perplexed looks.

"You must know of it, it's six hundred feet tall if it's an inch," said Harry, only confusing them with her old-fashioned imperial measures.

"No," said Annette: "But wait till I get the first aid kit, then you can lead us there."

Half an hour later they were where Annette claimed the black obelisk had been. There was no sign of the monument now. But they did find the corpse of Larry Nettleton, bloody and whipped to death.

"Jesus!" said Annette, not believing her eyes.

"Larrrrrrrrry!" shrieked Harriet charging toward the flayed remains of her husband.

"Hold her, while I check if he's alive," said Annette, striding across to the fallen American. She checked Larry over carefully, then shook her head toward her husband.

Making Harriet Nettleton shriek and then faint.

Reaching for her mobile phone, Annette rang triple-zero and reported the strange death to Alice Walker, a pro-rata policewoman, currently on duty, due to the illnesses of Donald Esk, Jessie Baker, and Stanlee Dempsey.

"Mitchell Street Police Station, Alice Walker speaking?"

"We need two ambulances and police sent to the location of my phone," said Annette, going on to explain what had happened. To the extent that she could explain it.

Twenty minutes later two ambulances arrived at the site, complete with doctors and nurses: Jesus (pronounced Hee-Zeus) Costello, a tall powerfully built man, chief surgeon and head administrator of the hospital; Tilly Lombstrom, a tall shapely fifty-something brunette who was a top surgeon at the Glen Hartwell and Daley Community Hospital. Topaz Moseley a senior nurse was a gorgeous platinum blonde in her early thirties; Annie Colfax, head nurse at the hospital, was a thirty-nine-year-old ash blonde.

"Oh my God," said Tilly, seeing the corpse of the American tourist: "What the Hell happened to him?"

"We don't know we just found him like that," said Annette Mulberry. She then went on to relate what Harriet Nettleton had told she and her husband.

"A huge black obelisk?" repeated Topaz looking all around herself.

"Well, it's gone now, of course," insisted Harry, as though it was understandable that a 600-foot tall obelisk could just leave: "Obviously it's not here anymore! You can see it's not...!"

Topaz injected her with a strong sedative and then helped Harriet to the back of the first ambulance.

"Better strap her in," Topaz instructed the paramedics, Derek Armstrong, and Cheryl Pritchard.

Derek was a powerful man of Zaire ancestry, who, like Cheryl spent his Saturdays at the Muscle Up Gym in Glen Hartwell, often in the company of Sheila Bennett, a close friend of both of them. Cheryl, at sixty-three, was the most experienced paramedic in the Glen Hartwell to Willamby area and hoped to keep working past the usual retirement age of sixty-seven.

"You'll be okay," said Cheryl to Harry, as she strapped her down.

"Do you want to go back in the first ambulance, Tils?" asked Jesus.

"Yeah, okay," said Tilly, going over to board the ambulance before Derek and Cheryl closed up the ramp.

As it was departing, a police-blue Lexus arrived, with Sheila Bennett driving; Colin Klein in the front passenger seat, and Terri Scott, Greta Godard, and Hilly Hindmarsh in the rear.

Greta and Hilly were pro rata policewomen called to duty due to the three sick policemen in the area: Hilly (Hildegarde) Hindmarsh: A tall, buxom, blonde, aged fifty-six. Greta Goddard: a tall, shapely silver-blonde. Aged sixty-nine in 2024, Greta was still fit and worked pro rata when needed.

"So what's going down in Groove Town?" asked Sheila as the five alighted and approached the corpse of Larry Nettleton.

Annette re-iterated what Harry had told them earlier.

"A six hundred feet tall, shiny black obelisk?" asked Terri to no one in particular, as she looked around the forest.

"That's about one hundred and eighty metres by my calculations," said Colin Klein.

"In which case we should be able to see it," pointed out Sheila. She walked across to where the paramedics were placing Larry on a stretcher, then past them to look deeper into the forest.

As they were boarding the second ambulance, Terri called to Jesus: "Could you check out the widow for hallucinogens in her system? In case she freaked out and somehow did this herself."

"Will do," assured Jesus before boarding the ambulance which soon took off.

"A one hundred and eighty metres tall shiny black obelisk," repeated Colin, as the five police officers started looking around the forest, while the Mulberrys returned to the Dorset Hotel a kilometre and a half away.

"Which seems to have mysteriously vanished again," said Hilly Hindmarsh.

They spent more than two hours searching the forest without sighting any kind of monument, big or small. By that time they had heard back from Jesus that there was no sign of any drugs in Harriet Nettleton's system.

"Curiouser and curiouser said Alice," said Colin Klein as the five police officers headed back to the blue Lexus.

Old Mother McCready, as most people called her, claimed to have 'The Power'. Also to be a Wiccan - a fancy name for a white witch.

She was busy in her small house at 1/21 Calhoun Street, Glen Hartwell (the right-hand half of a sub-divided yellow weatherboard house. It contained a lounge room, a small bedroom, a kitchen, and a small shower room-cum-toilet cubicle) that afternoon, mixing up a healing tonic.

"Damn it!" she cried as she found she was out of some vital ingredients.

Putting the brew she had mixed so far into the fridge the old lady, dressed in a thick woollen grey skirt, despite it being early March, set out through the back door of her house to look through the forest outside Glen Hartwell. She knew a spot where she had seen herbs growing a while back and hoped to find them again soon.

Getting turned around, despite often claiming to have an infallible sense of direction, it took the old woman nearly ninety minutes to locate the small patch of wild herbs.

"Yes!" she cried as she located one of the two herbs she needed.

Turning round as she straightened up again, she stared in amazement at the vast black marble obelisk that had not been there a few weeks ago.

"How the hell did they...?" she said to no one in particular, as she stood staring at the shining black monument.

After a moment's hesitation, she walked across the dried pine needles and gum leaves of the forest floor to examine the obelisk up close. At the base, it was about twenty metres wide and easily one hundred and eighty metres tall. The outside at least was black marble honed and polished to a bright lustre.

She had heard of the Washington Monument and other famous monuments and knew that they were usually buildings which you could enter and scale the steps of if you were fit enough. Despite her nickname, Old Mother McCready was only sixty-seven and a lot fitter than she looked. So she was up to climbing a few flights stairs ... if not all the way to the top. However, as she started around the monument, it seemed to have no doors, and no windows either.

"How's a body s'posed to get inside then?" she asked aloud.

Determined not to give up, she walked around the obelisk a second time. This time, as she reached the third side, a large doorway suddenly slid outwards, allowing her access.

For a moment she hesitated to enter, then a light came on, showing a broad iron, spiral staircase. No longer hesitant, she walked inside, not even noticing when the marble door slid closed behind her.

She walked toward the base of the grey iron stairway and tried to peer up into the darkness. Then with a click, a light came on halfway up to the next landing. Followed by another light upon the next landing.

After a second, she took hold of the cold metal stair rail and started up the steps, walking slowly and cautiously. Not wanting to fall, or to step into any kind of trap. When she reached the first landing she saw an iron door with a metal handle. Grabbing the handle, she tried to turn it, then cursed as she hurt her left hand when the handle would not budge.

She stopped, wondering what to do next when two more lights went on. One halfway to the second-storey landing. One on the second-floor landing.

Sighing from frustration, she turned and started up the steps again, this time relieved to find that the handle to the second-storey opened. Inside she found herself in what looked like the town square of some kind of re-enactment Puritan village from the fifteen or sixteen hundreds. Although she couldn't be sure what country she was in.

This can't be Glen Hartwell, can it? she wondered: But how could I be anywhere else? But there were no Puritan villages in Australia. Modern Australia didn't start until 1788. By which time Puritanism had ended!

As she watched, she noticed a crowd of people almost marching away from the town square to somewhere else.

When almost everyone else in the village had started she joined the procession and marched beside two young girls, and a scrofulous old woman who looked like their grandmother, but might have been their mother.

"Where we goin'?" asked Old Mother McCready, trying to sound as though she were from that period. Although not sure whether she had somehow travelled back in time, was hallucinating, or was at some kind of pageant or festival.

"To see the witch dunkin' course," said a little girl, looking no older than five or six. Smiling broadly at the thought of the entertainment.

It must be a pageant! thought the old woman: How could I be back in such barbarous days?

They marched for nearly a kilometre, before coming to a large slimy pond, looking as though it were coated in blue-green algae.

If they are planning a dunking, they couldn't have picked a worse spot! thought the old lady.

At one side of the pond was a large wooden object, which looked a little like a catapult. But instead of throwing things through the air, it was designed for dunking people in the noxious green water.

Once the crowd had gathered around the dunking stool, three men appeared, two of them dressed in overalls and dragging a redheaded woman in a torn and muddy dress. The third man was clearly a preacher, dressed in traditional black robes and cap. Carrying a bible in his left hand.

"Let me go! I'm noda witch!" cried the redhead.

"Blasphemer against all things that are holy, fornicator with demons!" cried the priest: "Copulater with the Evil One Himself!"

"I ain't never fornicated with no one. I'm still a virgin!"

"That's true," said the local doctor pushing his way through the crowd to risk his own live by defending the young woman.

"Blasphemy! She remains a virgin after having sex with Satan! Who but a witch could do that?"

"No one!" shouted the crowd of people. Except for the doctor and Old Mother McCready.

"I'm noda witch!" repeated the frantic redhead.

"All redheaded women are witches!"

"Yes!" cried the crowd. Although a few redheads pulled their caps down so that no one could see the colour of their hair.

"Dunk her!" commanded the priest.

"Dunk her! Dunk her! Dunk her!" chanted the crowd as the two burly men dragged her across to tie the redhead to the dunking stool.

Surely they won't really dunk the poor cow? thought the old woman. But as she watched the priest shouted:

"Dunk the accursed witch!"

Grinning imbecilically the two men worked the dunking stool to lower the redhead headfirst into the foul green water. To the delight of the crowd.

"Let her up!" commanded the priest after a minute or so.

Reluctantly the two men did as instructed, to groans of disappointment from the crowd.

"Now confess your sins, evil witch!"

"I'm noda witch!" repeated the sodden redhead.

"Dunk the foul witch!"

Grinning again the men did as instructed, this time leaving the redhead under water for nearly two minutes.

"Let her up!"

Again the crowd groaned their disappointment as the 'witch' was pulled up from the slimy water again.

"Now confess your sins, evil harlot of Satan!"

"I'm noda witch!" insisted the half-drowned woman.

"Dunk the foul wench! Teller of lies! Fornicator with Satan himself!"

"I ain't never forn..." began the redhead, caught off guard as she was dunked before she had a chance to suck in a mouthful of air.

"No, stop, you idiots!" cried Old Mother McCready, pushing herself through the crowd: "You didn't give her a chance to breathe in. You'll really drown her this time!"

The old woman raced across to wrestle with the two men. Desperately trying to raise the dunking stool. After a moment, the doctor also raced across to try to help her. However, the priest held back the old woman, while one of the men held onto the doctor!

"Witches! Two more witches!" cried the priest.

"Witches! Witches! Witches!" chanted the crowd.

After more than five minutes the priest gave the command and the redhead, now long dead, was finally raised.

"Dunk the male witch first!" commanded the priest.

"Dunk the witch! Dunk the witch! Dunk the witch!" chanted the crowd.

The redhead's corpse was removed from the dunking stool and thrown into the murky green water. Then the doctor was tied to the contraption and the process was repeated until the man's corpse was finally removed from the device and thrown into the green slimy water.

"Now the old witch!" ordered the priest, pointing at Old Mother McCready.

"Dunk the old witch! Dunk the old witch! Dunk the old witch!" chanted the crowd. As the old woman was dragged across to be tied to the dunking stool.

It was two days later when a local jogger, Hanz Friedrick, found the drowned corpses of Old Mother McCready, the twenty-something redhead, and the fifty-something doctor. He did his best to revive them, despite almost throwing up when foul-smelling green water poured from their rubbery dead lips.

Finally giving up, he reached for his mobile phone to dial 000.

Twenty minutes or so later Terri Scott and co, plus three ambulances arrived at the scene.

After interviewing Hanz and taking his statement, they led him across to sit in the back of the police-blue Lexus. Then went across to talk to Jesus Costello, Tilly Lombstrom, and Elvis Green. The local coroner, Elvis got his nickname due to his worship of the late King of Rock and Roll.

"So what's the verdict, Docs?" asked Sheila Bennett.

"They all drowned," said Jesus.

"It's a fair way from the Yannan River," pointed out Terri Scott.

"Also, as polluted as it is," said Elvis: "The Yannan doesn't have any blue-green algae. So wherever they drowned it wasn't there."

"So where were they drowned?" asked Colin Klein.

"Ah, now there you've got us," said Tilly: "But it looks as though they were murdered since there are rope burns on their arms from where they were recently tied up."

"So someone tied them up and drowned them?" said Terri, thinking aloud.

"Yup," agreed Jesus. Standing, he said to the paramedics: "Okay you can take them away."

"Straight to the hospital morgue," instructed Elvis as the paramedics started lifting the corpses onto stretchers.

"So what do we do now?" asked Sheila.

"We keep hunting for a giant black obelisk," said Terri: "As well as a local watering hole polluted with blue-green algae.

"Simple," said Colin as they returned to the Lexus.

They drove Hanz into Glen Hartwell first, before organising a search for the elusive obelisk and the unknown water sauce.

After three days they had found no sign of the dark obelisk, or of any blue-green algae.

Neither of which concerned Gerard Longley, president of the BeauLarkin Socialist Party. He was walking through the forest just outside the Beau as the locals called it, on a sunny afternoon, reading the party's latest newsletter, when he crashed into the black obelisk, half a kilometre or so outside town.

"What the Hell?" said Gerard looking up in wonder at the upper reaches of the dark structure: "Looks like black marble, must have cost a fortune to build. But how the Hell did they build it just outside town, without anybody noticing? They must have made quite a racket building it!"

As he spoke, he had been slowly walking around the dark obelisk. Until he reached an open door which had slid outwards to allow entrance.

He peered into the darkness for a moment, then with a click an overhead light went on, leading him over to the staircase. Again lights came on, this time leading him all the way up to the third storey.

Opening the door, he entered to find himself in America, with streams of classic cars driving on the right side of the road. Or the wrong side as Gerard preferred to think. He guessed in the early 1950s.

"Hey, watch where you're going buddy," complained a street cop, as an entranced Gerard crashed into him.

"Sorry, I was distracted..."

"What by?" asked the cop.

"I thought I saw Marilyn Monroe."


This must be the very early fifties, thought Gerard: If the Divine Miss M. isn't known yet!

"Hey what's that you're readin'?" asked the cop, spotting the copy of the BeauLarkin Socialists' Gazette that Gerard carried.

"This...?" asked Gerard, making the mistake of showing him the front cover.

"Oh my God, a Carmie!" shouted the cop, making the crowd of passersby stop to stare in horror.

"He's caught a Carmie," whispered an attractive strawberry blonde. Covering her mouth as though she had just said something obscene.

Before Gerard knew what was happening the cop had blown his whistle to attract a police car, had bundled him inside, then taken him to the nearest F.B.I. H.Q.

"So you're a Carmie?" asked Special Agent Killmore, glaring at him across a small yellowing teak-covered desk in a white-walled interrogation room.

"No, I'm a socialist," said Gerard: "They are completely unrelated. Socialism is a utopian state, where everyone is treated fairly, and..."

"Tell that to the six million kikes, Hitler killed in World War Two?"

"The Nazis were fascists, not socialists!"

"They were National Socialists!" insisted Killmore. Like all low-intelligence bigots convinced that 'he knew what he knew', no matter how wildly far of the truth his ideas were.

"National Socialist was a polite euphemism for fascist," explained Gerard: "Traditionally Germany had always been a socialist country. So if the Nazis had called themselves the National Fascists no one would ever have supported them. Despite the plight of Germany after the wildly unfair, treaty of Marseilles which humiliated and bankrupted Germany in 1919, so that the Great Depression started a decade earlier in Germany than anywhere else."

"You sure know a lot about Nazi Germany, Carmie!"

"I am not a Carmie ... er, Commie. I'm a socialist! Besides Communism is not and never has been illegal in the United States."

"For someone who's not a Carmie, you sure know a Hell'va lot about it."

So saying, he slapped Gerard across the face, making an ape-like agent standing near the door giggle like a schoolgirl.

"Now tell us where your cell is located?"

"Cell?" asked Gerard, genuinely not understanding.

"Your Carmie cell, pinko," said Killmore slapping him again: "We know you reds don't work alone. Now where are the others in your cell?"

"I don't have a cell, I'm an Australian!"

"An Austrian!" said the baboon near the door: "Wasn't Hitler an Austrian?"

"Damn right!" said Killmore.

He began to punch Gerard in the face with a closed fist this time.

"Please stop," muttered Gerard, unable to speak at more than a whisper, due to the damage done to him.

Soon the baboon joined in, and before they knew it, the two F.B.I. men had beaten Gerard Longley to death.

"He's dead, I think," said the baboon.

"No loss, one less Carmie in the world," said the aptly named Killmore.

Then the world began to shimmer, depositing Gerard's corpse on the forest floor outside BeauLarkin. With no sign of the Dark Obelisk ever having been there.

It was a day or two later before the body of Gerard Longley was discovered by an elderly couple going for an evening's walk in the forest around BeauLarkin.

Ninety minutes later Terri, and Co. plus Leo Laxman (a tall forty-something Jamaican-born male nurse), Annie Colfax, Jesus Costello and Elvis Green stood amongst the pine and gum forest. All of them were puzzled by the state of the bloody corpse, the face virtually beaten to mush.

"Why would anyone do this to poor, Gerard?" asked Leo.

"Commie bashers?" suggested Greta Goddard.

"But he wasn't a bird-brained commie, he was a humanitarian socialist," pointed out Colin Klein: "The two things are totally unrelated. Commies are insane world dominators, like American and British-style fascists. Socialists believe in a Utopian state where everyone is equal regardless of colour, gender, occupation, sexuality, age, or any other factors. Everyone earns the same amount per hour, so there are no obscenely wealthy nabobs, and no unemployed or street people. Everyone has enough. No one has too much."

"Yes," said Tilly examining Gerard Longley's corpse: "But you're forgetting the moron factor. Ninety percent of people worldwide are morons, who are still fooled by the Nazis and the Soviet Union calling themselves socialist. Since Germany had always been a healthy socialist society, the Nazis would never have got anywhere calling themselves National Fascists. So despite hating socialists, they used the polite euphemism 'National Socialist'. Ninety years later most people are too stupid to have worked out the Nazis were actually Donald Smuck-style fascists. Likewise, most people are too dumb to have worked out that the Soviet Socialist Republic was actually a communist state."

After a moment she stood and said to the two paramedics: "Okay you can take him to the morgue at the Glen Hartwell Hospital. Let's see what Jesus can make of him in the morning."

Waving goodbye, she squeezed into the ambulance along with Leo, Annie and the paramedics.

"So now we've got five mysterious deaths on our plate," said Terri Scott: "An American tourist whipped to death using old fashioned 1800s style whips that were never sold in Australia. Three people drowned amid blue-green algae from a source we cannot detect. And one of the most popular men in BeauLarkin literally punched to death?"

"Maybe...?" started Sheila. She stopped as she noticed the huge black-marble obelisk standing right behind Greta, Terri, and Colin: "Where the Hell did that come from?"

Turning to stare, they all said: "The Dark Obelisk!"

"So what do we do now?" asked Colin Klein.

"We check it out," said Sheila striding across the pine needle and gum leaf-covered forest floor toward the huge monument: "The Yanks won't like it ... I think it's even bigger than the Washington Monument!"

"Hold on!" called Terri: "Let's all stick together!"

"Right," agreed Colin: "So one of us doesn't mysteriously vanish as Larry Nettleton did from his wife."

Together they walked around the twenty-metre-wide sides of the obelisk twice, before finally a door slid out to allow them entrance.

"Well ... here we go," said Colin. Taking out his military-style torch he stared into the darkness, only to have a light click on near the staircase.

"No, you don't," said Terri, as the door tried to close, blocking them out. She, Sheila, and Greta Goddard managed to squeeze in through the doorway, despite the door's best effort to lock them out.

"I thought I was on my own for a moment there," said Colin.

"So did we," said Sheila.

"So what now?" asked Terri.

As though by way of answer, further lights went on at various stages up the long, spiral-iron staircase.

"Looks like we go up," said Colin as he started upward, followed by the three policewomen.

They tried the handle on the door at the first, second, and third storeys without success. Then on the fourth floor, the handle turned and they stepped inside, into what looked like the setting of a television Western.

"Unless I miss my guess this is Tombstone Arizona in the Old West!" said Greta Goddard.

"How the Hell could you know that?" demanded Sheila.

"My hubby is a Western fan. So I either watch them with him or spend my evenings alone reading in another room."

"Personally I'd read in another room," said Sheila.

"Quiet Sheils," said Terri: "Greta's Western knowledge could save our lives."

Then as four men, dressed as caricatures of Western heroes approached, Colin asked: "Who the Hell are these?"

"Well, the one with the walking stick looks remarkably like Doc Holliday, which means the other three are probably Virgil, Morgan, and Wyatt Earp," said Greta. "I think we're Ike and Billy Clanton and Tom and Frank McLaury."

She pointed to a small corral with a wooden sign saying 'OK CORRAL', and said: "And I think we have to shoot for our lives against the Earps and Holliday."

"You mean we're going to have to fight the Gunfight at the OK Corral?" asked Terri, taking out her police revolver.

"We're all good shots, so we can hold them off for as long as possible," insisted Sheila Bennett.

"The gunfight only lasted one minute," explained Greta: "During which time three people were killed and three more injured. The three killed, the two Billys and Frank McLaury. were all on our side."

"I'm starting to be less pleased about your knowledge of Westerns, Greta," teased Terri.

"Well, if that's the OK Corral," said Sheila, pointing at it: "Shouldn't we get over there?"

"No, three of us get killed over there," reminded Greta: "We're better off staying here and hiding behind these horse troughs, using them for cover."

"Good thinking," agreed Terri and Colin, as the four of them ducked down behind the wooden troughs.

"Come on out ya yellow-bellied cowards," called Virgil Earp, the leader of the Earp clan.

"No thanks, we're happy as we are," called back Terri.

The Earps exchanged puzzled looks then Doc Holliday did a chicken clucking noise to humiliate them.

"I did not know they did that in the old West," admitted Greta.

"Your mother sucks eggs!" shouted Sheila, then to the others: "I bet that's one they've never heard before."

The puzzled looks the Earps and Holliday shared suggested that she was right.

"All right, stay there," shouted Vigil. Then at his signal he and his brothers started firing their handguns at the horse troughs; Doc Holliday, held out his walking cane, pulled a lever and it fired a cartridge at them.

"Shit, I forgot about Holliday's famous walking stick rifle," said Greta.

"Just start shooting back at them!" ordered Terri, starting to fire her own handgun.

With all four police marksmen firing, as history stated the gunfight was over in one minute. With Virgil and Morgan Earp dead, and Wyatt and Doc Holliday badly wounded.

Standing up slowly, Terri said: "I think we won."

"Anyone hurt?" asked Colin.

"No," said Sheila and Greta.

Standing up they saw a smartly dressed man with a cane and derby hat approaching them.

"Who are you?" asked Sheila.

"The name's Masterson, Bat Masterson. I am a friend of the Earps but couldn't help them, because they were breaking the law."

With that, he turned and walked across to help Wyatt and Holliday.

"So it's true that Bat Masterson was at the...?" began Sheila as everything began to fade away.

They found themselves back in Glen Hartwell. With no sign of the Dark Obelisk, which was never seen in the area again. Although reports of a black obelisk in other parts of the world surfaced sometimes down the years.

"So, did we really kill Virgil and Morgan Earp?" asked Sheila when they were back at Mitchell Street Police Station.

"Only one way to find out," said Colin. He switched on the PC and then did a Google search for OK Corral.

For just a second it said that Virgil and Morgan Earp had died at the OK Corral. But before any of them had time to say, "Uh-oh!" the computer flickered and then told them that Virgil and Morgan Earp had been injured but had both survived the gunfight.

"Wow, what a relief," said Terri.

"What're you mean," protested Sheila: "I'm the one who shot Virgil. Now I can't claim him as an official kill!"

"You can't please everyone," said Colin Klein, making them all laugh.

© Copyright 2024 Philip Roberts
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
© Copyright 2024 Mayron57 (philroberts at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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