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The Light Bulb
The Light Bulb

The Light Bulb


'The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown'. H. P. Lovecraft

There are countless insoluble mysteries instantiated, from which man is taught to fear or to explore with such hesitance, as if man had been prone to satisfy his impending curiosity, with an instinctive passion innate. Fear is embedded in every man born, regardless of his background or disposition within his status. He is inclined to seek beyond the realm of the mere simplicity of life and resolve the darkest of all surreptitious secrets that have not been answered until now, with such clarity. What must be told of this incredible story that I will relate with a candid admission, is one that is complete with the sudden whims of intrigue and lingering terror. For it is the unknown that we often fear the most than the rare appearance of a hideous monster of which, we create from our own unsettling minds. The worse of all implacable monsters are exactly those from which we cannot escape nor silence their perturbing voices engaged. Especially, when those unusual voices haunt and daunt the minds of fragile and susceptible ones of our neglected society like phantoms. The story that I present in this unique tale is fraught, with such immeasurable suspense that only the mind of a sane man could ever dare to fathom its unthinkable relevance and parenthetical veracity. Thus, let it be then stated that I had acknowledged this verisimilitude beforehand. All the concurrent facts that will be revealed in this story will be disclosed, with the pertinence of all information that was seemingly demonstrative.

I will begin the memorable account by mentioning the name of the place that this horrible incident of irrationality had occurred, the year and the presence of the infandous one that tormented a lone man, during the dreadful duration of a whole night that would seem never-ending to him indubitably. It all had started in a cold wintry night in the vast metropolitan city of Baltimore, upon the year of 1955 to be precise. His name was Robert Burke, a convicted prisoner that had fallen on hard misfortunes and harsh debts in his troubling life. He had lost everything he ever treasured, due to the extreme activities of his illicit gambling and the impulsive whims of his untamed ego. All the good fortunes that he ever accumulated had no longer accompanied him and the result of this predictable vicissitude was one infaust quandary after another that terminated in his imprisonment. His protracted ordeal was enough to take him on an inimaginable odyssey embarked and to be forgotten in the written pages of time, or into the descent of the dissipation of his mental faculties disrupted, by a psychagogic hallucination conceived.

Mr. Burke had recently escaped from prison and had broken into, a small lone apartment abandoned, within an empty lot that was adjacent to his location. It was a particular Autumn, and the inclement weather was raining outside, as he had been roaming and pondering for an hour, the uncertainty of his immediate future and the possibility of being discovered, by the authorities that were searching for him. The unpredictability of the dire predicament had not facilitated any propitious recourse to him, nor was there any other alternatives allocated to him to muse. Time was of the extreme essence for him, for he realized that remaining in the area much was more of a disadvantage than a plus. He had no way of contacting any fellow comrades nor members of family, since there was no telephone, nor could he dare to take that looming risk. He was stuck in a difficult dilemma to overcome so easily. The sun had already set, and the evening was approaching, when he had noticed something peculiar transpiring. Little would he know that it would be the inadvertent precursor to his indescribable encounter, with the mystifying preternatural thing from the outer limits.

He had experienced before in his challenging life, certain episodes of confrontations with death that he had eluded effectively, but none would ever be to the heightened degree of this implausibility and scaevity. Who could ever fathom the idea of encountering something alienigenous and sui generis that was tangible with sight, but intangible in the consideration of its existence? You see, what happened to him on this fatal night, is inexplicable to be truly understood and correlated, as a genuine narrative. The fascinating notion of deciphering things that cannot be totally determined is not just dependent on the veritable preponderance of evidence and credibility alone, but on the contingent factors of consciousness, not the equivocation of enhanced fiction. Perhaps, it would be wiser for one to believe that at times, what we perceive to be real, is nothing more than a fanciful imagination or a disturbed mind. This, I will let the reader conclude autexousiously, if Mr. Burke was mad or not, with a studious analysis and surmisal opined.

From the incontrovertible establishment of the inception of the world that we know is our proven reality, unknown phenomena have occurred at random, without much of an elaborated explanation, such as unidentified flying objects from the inner recesses of space, to the invented notion of teterrrimous alien beings existing in the evolving universe or usurping human beings unfamiliar to us all; yet the reasonable thought of exactly encountering, something from the supernatural was simply unrealistic. Especially, confronting an ultra being that would traverse from the portal of time, onto our exact world so patently. The convergence of that portal of time would have to be demonstrated in composite elements that were of significant equipollence and a variable juxtaposition. To espouse such likelihood, it would mean that time travel would be propounded, as a consequential illation and putation. Was it to be construed, as a monothetic principle of an implex consectary adduced from components of a metempirical nature?

Mr. Burke had been nervously pacing, when he heard a strange sound coming from the basement below. His mind previously was distracted with the constant thought of what was his next step that he was impervious at first, to the uncanny sound. He was resolute to not being seized nor arrested by the police again. He was very adamant against that unwanted development. It was when the sound was accompanied, by a refulgent light that had blinded him for an instance that he sensed, the presence of some extraneous occurrence. The sound had captured his immediate attention with a celeritous inquisitiveness. What he did not suspect at that time was that it was more of an unnatural phenomenon of fortuity that was not analogous to any relevance initiated before, as a presumed predecessor to this abnormality. What Mr. Burke did not imagine was the fact that he had entered into the illimitable realm of the quoddamodotative alterity, where the adopted laws of nature were defied by the inherent logic of time and its multivalence.

The aforementioned radiance of light began to shine even more from the drab basement, causing him to investigate the source of the sound and light. As he did gradually, the light had shone a powerful illumination that flickered from time to time unsteadily. Once he climbed down the staircase and had reached the opaque basement, his instinct had compelled him to explore the damp and dreary surroundings that were cloaked in the immense shroud of an enigma. A stray cat had unannouncedly appeared from behind a trash can, catching him off guard, as it had dashed away. When he was able to recompose himself from the momentary reaction, he had resumed his search of urgent intrigue. It was then that he saw the light bulb above him. The light emitted from it was flashing at intermittent intervals, then it had continued, with a specific pattern of reflection that was transparent in its ultimate relevancy, not its amorphism.

In the beginning, it was nothing more than a strange flickering light transmitting with innocuity, but it quickly began to increase in intensity and stark luminescence from the adumbration. The bright light had baffled Mr. Burke, yet his curiosity persisted with a keen perspicuity and resolution to uncover the mysterious illumination. His mind had previously been occupied on avoiding the dreaded authorities that were searching for his whereabouts. His thoughts fully attached to the exigent situation that had required his pensive foresight were, then distracted with the extensive glow of the light bulb. As he grew nearer to the source of the light, he began to see slowly, the imperceptible glimpse of an undefined image shaping itself into an ashen whitish hue of a guise that did not gleam with phosphorescence, instead, some form of an unexplainable fluorescence of orbs. The image had started to become clearer and defined in its ultimate composition. The immediate question was how was it able to materialize interchangeably, with the emission of heat and the coldness of the darkness? Was it possible that time and light were interfaced? Did some indescribable phenomenon cause the visible materialization of this eventuality? Was it of a temporal extent of a protean form? What was its real involvement? Was there an ulterior purpose for this unestablished occurrence? What was obvious was the fact that something had enabled the image to be evident; even if that was disturbing and may have been approximated in thought, it did not negate the unique actuality of extant beings exposed to the human eye unknowingly.

Mr. Burke incognizant of what he was witnessing in its magnitude and implication had remained cautious and hesitant, but he was not reluctant in his determination to discover the answer to the uninvited presence of the stranger behind the impenetrable stare. Was it a peculiar phantom that was seen or merely an abstract image that had appeared to take form, as a corporeal being of kinetic energy? The only thing that could be surmised by Mr. Burke was the evidence that was presented to him, by way of the actual manifestation. Whatever it was in its totality, it had exhibited a lingering restlessness and apprehension afterwards. Mr. Burke was still puzzled about what he was experiencing in person. Was there even a rational explanation to be concluded or had it just eluded the acceptance of his logical comprehension? Had he simply encountered an exallotriote being that encroached beyond the natural boundaries of his world that was not incompossible? Was the stranger an unsolicited intruder or a visitor that was transpicuous in nature? Had he entered into the undiscovered realm of explicit surreality that was compatible to his reality? Was his mind playing tricks on him and he was unaware of its severity?

Judging from his startling reaction, he was more than curious to know the outcome of the incident presented. Thus, he began to walk towards the light bulb, as the light had induced him into a mesmerizing fixation that was simply overpowering his keen senses and functions. The intensification of the radiance had transmitted a sharp transference of an unrecognizable and deafening sound in sequence, with the luminosity projected. It was enough to make Mr. Burke halt in his eager approach for a brief time, but it did not dissuade him in his persistence. It was still impossible to determine what or who was the shadowy figure transformed by the light bulb. Its identity and origin were too vague and metaphysical to be understood by the obvious limitations of the human mind and nescience. As he had attempted to decipher the sublety of the crux of the mystery, the visitor's reflection was cast upon the dilapidated walls of the solitary basement.

Perhaps, others in his direful situation would have just scurried out of the basement, never questioning what had been visibly palpable to Mr. Burke in appearance, but he was resolute and too intrigued to walk away. Whatever had manifested to him was of no mortal comparison of any nature. It was simply, beyond the scope of human apperception and apodicticity. A perplexing conundrum that only could be measured, by the finality of the unfolding sequence of events unpredictable. Whatever could supersede that chilling thought was simply aligned to confounding circumstances that had quadrated to the unexplanatory concept of reality. The important question was this just a rare and random abnormality of an indeterminate origin unprecedented? Could the intricate development that was transparent be embedded, in the intrinsic nature of science or was this a terrestrial animation from a latent spectrum? The rationality of that feasibility was odd in its ad rem contrast and recursivity.

The other practical link of succession was the unfamiliar revelation of an unearthly existence of some unnatural form of a being, yet fully developed or shaped to be perceived. Whatever conception or origin the stranger could be explicated, the only inference that could be induced was the fact that it was not human in its composition nor corporeality. It was simply, not a concept to our limited sublunary minds, and to that regard, the best that could be deduced was that it was not tellurian, but Orphic. If this being was a creation of a forinsecal world or an aberration, it did not appear to be from our material world. The flashing light had transcended the opacity of the basement and had increased its blinding reflection. Its radiation had also incremented in its effect and range. Within minutes, the light was so intense that Mr. Burke covered his eyes, as the stranger approached him more, with a riveting stare and imposition that was compelling him to be immovable. The impenetrable hold on him was enough to becloud his convincing discernment. He could feel the immense heat from the alien grasping his neck with great strength, as if it was suffocating his gasping breath tautly. It was then that Mr. Burke screamed out loud at the top of his lungs. The disturbing noise had caused one of the neighbors to call the local police, thinking there was an intruder inside the abandoned home.

After twenty minutes had elapsed, the police had discovered Mr. Burke huddled in a small ball, like a frightened child without his dear mother. The light of the flashlights and the sound of the voices of persons had awakened him from his momentary stupor. He was so unnerved by the startling presence of the police that he failed to heed their unintelligible words and questions, at first. Once he came to his rational senses, he became incoherent and mumbled incomprehensible words to the officers that had discovered him in a non-plussed condition. His dilated pupils and movement were erratic and noticeably disturbing. He kept on repeating the presence of the stranger emitted from the flashing light bulb to make certain that what he had seen was witnessed also, by the officers in the basement. By the time of the arrival of the officers the potent light had ceased to exist and waned into a fading spark consequently. Apparently, the stranger had vanished into the thin air of the night, without any plausible trace of recognition. The officers had realized then that he was an escaped convict, and he was afterwards taken to the station to be booked and questioned, but Mr. Burke had insisted on speaking to the main officer in charge of the precinct. When he had inquired about the reason, he simply reiterated his need to tell his account, about the stranger in the basement that had been haunting him.

After he was booked and processed, he was giving his allocated time to speak to the main officer in charge, a certain Sgt. Rooney, who was more eager to know, how he had escaped from the prison than his otherworldly concoction of a tale. The following confession is strictly from the mouth of Mr. Burke himself. A testimony that only he could attempt to explain within the simplicity of words, yet it was not accredited by its verification. Thus, the accuracy of his account is merely of his volition and interpretation. I will let the reader determine, whether or not this account is viable or unfeasible fiction elaborated from a demented mind.

Sgt. Rooney, ''Will you state your full name please?''

''Joseph Burke''.

''Mr. Burke, you are quite the criminal. You have a rap sheet that extends for many years. You have been arrested for burglary and racketeering, among other noticeable petty crimes.''

Mr. Burke was hysterical, and his eyes were bulging with the urgent need to relay his disturbing account with the unidentified stranger that he had encountered, ''Look, what I have to tell you is beyond any wild story you have heard before. I tell you that what I saw in that basement down there in that old building was not even human in nature.''

''What are you talking about Mr. Burke?''

''Sarge, I tell you that it was not from this world.''

''What are you saying Mr. Burke? Then, where did it come from?'' The sergeant examined him with an obvious incredulity.

''From the flashing light of the light bulb in the basement.''

''Do you expect me to believe this ridiculous story you have created? Come on, tell me the real story of how you escaped and who helped you. It would be better for your sake, not mine".

''No one helped me escape. I know it might sound crazy, but I tell you that I saw it with my own eyes in person. You got to believe me!''

Mr. Burke's comportment was appearing to the sergeant even more delirious and incredulous by the minute, "All right, just to continue with the argument, you still have not answered my question, where did this alien force come from?" He had defied Mr. Burke with an austere expression in his mien.

"From the flashing light I have told you this before, yet you and nobody here believes me, when I say this. What more do I have to say to make you believe me?"

"Can you prove this without a shadow of a doubt? Because up to now, the only thing I have heard coming directly from your mouth, is baseless hysteria."

"Once again, I know it sounds crazy what I am telling you sarge, but it is the god honest truth. I maybe a criminal and a petty thug to the world, but I am not lying. What I saw with my very own eyes was real as can be'.

Mr. Burke had paused then uttered, "Real as you and me".

'You know what I think Mr. Burke, you are not really crazy as I thought you were, just a terrible actor. You saw what you wanted to see, and you have a wild imagination, but where you're going buddy, you'll have all the time to tell your far-fetched stories to your fellow prisoners in the cold slammer. I'm sure you'll have no problem entertaining them all. Once you make it to Hollywood, send me an autograph with your signature. That's if you don't end up in the loony bin first. I heard of people that never recover, and pass their days trying to escape their nightmares. I hope that is not the case with you, Mr. Burke."

Just as the interview was about to finalize and Mr. Burke was going to be escorted to his prison cell, he reiterated his unbelievable claim of descrying the odd figure of an alien being from another world, but to no avail. He was taken to his cell to await his transfer to the state prison, where he had escaped originally. He was scheduled to be returned to that prescribed prison in the morning, but an active storm would delay his planned return. Once at his dark and drear cell, Mr. Burke did nothing, except contemplate what had occurred and the fact that he was going to return to the same prison he had recently escaped from, as he paced alone in the confinements of his imprisonment. He was reluctant to accept his fate, although, the more time that elapsed, the less possibility was afforded to him, to plot his next course of action. The immediate thought of escape was no longer a feasible option it seemed, since this time, he was under strict supervision of the police officers that were present at the police station. He was informed that he would be transferred from the local county jail to the maximum state prison, where he had originally absconded the police before.

Little did Mr. Burke realized that his disturbing nightmare with the supernatural being from the light bulb had not truly abated. As he finally began to succumb to the eventuality of his brooding fate, he sat down for a brief pause in his constant pacing. It was then that once more, he had encountered the unnatural flashing orbs of radiant light, coming directly from the light bulb that was hanging in his lone jail cell above him, where he was standing at that precise moment. Mr. Burke could never imagine beyond his wildest dreams that he would experience the horripilation of dread that he had confronted in the basement of that abandoned building he was hiding previously at. As with the prior encounter, the flashing rays from the light bulb were faint in the beginning, until they then incremented in strength and brightness. Naturally, Mr. Burke's reaction was to be expected, he gradually rose to his feet to examine the penetrating light that had captivated his intrigue even more. This time he was not hesitant nor reticent about his thoughts or emotions. He knew without a shadow of a doubt that the terrifying being from the light bulb was coming for him, or so, this was his inexorable assumption and sensation. The being had started to form into the unbelievable menace again, as he advanced towards Mr. Burke. Sheer terror and desperation had entered Mr. Burke, as his body began to stiffen and convulse slowly. He had summoned the guards to come at once, while he stood incredulous to the jeopardy he was in. The guards it had seemed were occupied with other tasks at hand that they tarried in their arrival. They were not prompt in the matter, but they did arrive in the end to be stunned with what they had descried. Unfortunately for them and for poor Mr. Burke, it was too late. The last thing that was heard uttered from a distance by the hysterical Mr. Burke were the emphatic words of "No...No...come quick, before he comes to take me away!"

There was a dumbfounded expression or stare seen visibly in the eyes of the guards, when they had reached the cell. They were able to see a strange manifestation of something shining that was returning back to the light bulb, where it had originated from in the first place. Suddenly, the flashing orbs had subsided and the bright refulgence had dissipated. Mr. Burke had miraculously disappeared into thin air, or so it was witnessed and presumed to be the case. They looked at each other, and queried, what had exactly taken place before their amazement. The irony of the story was Mr. Burke was indeed correct, the stranger that haunted him from the basement had returned to take him away, but the question was, take him away to where? Mr. Burke's case was never resolved, nor was the occurrence that unfolded on that dreadful night in the year of 1955. His file was destroyed and he was recorded as dead, although it could not be meticulously collaborated nor confirmed, that was the irrefutable case. All that could be surmised was the fact that he was never discovered nor found alive, nor was there any tangible evidence that he had escaped into the world that we know commonly as reality. Perhaps, he was in another vast dimension that was outside of our limited comprehension and from another set of reality yet revealed as parallel, or he had drifted into the abyss of a listless nullibicity.

Mankind has established the perimeters of this world, with their morality and idiosyncrasy, but does not control nor dominate the realm of the infinite cosmos. There deep within that mysterious place beyond our mundanity, the undisclosed incompossibility remains aloof to the sphere of our brains and is congruent at variance, with the familiar ensemble and quantum of what we denote as indelible reality. Whether or not it is proven that reality is much more than that of what we understand can only be at best, a presumed conjecture or posited theory opined with tacit consent. Science attempts to bring us closer to the relevance of this engrossing anonymity and reconcilie its validity, yet it fails to uncover every aspect of the enigmas of the universe and their unexplored tracts of existence, with an irrefragable affirmation. Whatever had transpired to Mr. Burke was left to the suspicion of two equidistant worlds existential and operating within the nexus of time itself and the tacenda. If man was bold enough to attempt to reach the speed of light, then man was bold enough to venture beyond the speed limit of time and transcend the doors to oblivion. Who should say, where the door of reality meets with the door of surreality? And are the surrealities of life, the extramundane paradoxes thereof proscribed?

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26 Jun, 2022
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