Scene 11

“This place looks less like a park and more where the Earth goes to vomit.”

“Not one of your classier moments, Bernie,” Lonnie told him.

“But pretty spot on, right?”

Lonnie nodded. While there were marked trails in the more woodsy parts of Kelly Butte, strewn between the trees and the surrounding foliage were abandoned tents, old mattresses, and other assorted garbage. “I can see why this isn't in the Hike Portland guidebook.”

“It doesn't seem like it would make the “Best spots for being Homeless in Portland” guidebook, either,” Melody mused. “Seems like everyone's cleared out.”

“Well, this is supposed to be one of Portland's Spooky spots,” Bernie said. “It's supposed to produce eerie feelings and nausea.”

Lonnie stared at him. “Like haunted?”

Bernie shook his head. “Like a vortex, or something. Where are we supposed to be looking?” He kicked an old bottle out of his way and then immediately regretted it. The bottle wasn't completely empty and some of the fluid sprayed onto his pant leg as it spun from its once static position. “Well,” he said. “I'm going to worry about that all day now.”

“I have no idea,” Melody said. “The coordinates simply pointed to Kelly Butte. So here. They don't get incredibly specific. I'm not even sure what we're looking for so hopefully we'll know when we see it.”

“Said every dead hiker ever.”

“Wasn't there supposed to be an old bomb shelter up here?”

“Yeah, it was built back in the fifties, and was later used for the 911 offices for a while,” Bernie said, not taking his eyes from his pant leg. “It got everyone sick for some reason. I don't know why you would build a bomb shelter on a hill, anyway. Isn't that just closer to the bombs?”

“What do you mean, sick?”

“I don't know.” He bent down, and attempted to lift his leg closer to his nose. “Can someone smell this? I'm afraid of what it is.”

“It's just rain water, Bernie,” Lonnie told him. “Come back to us.”

“The article I read just said people got disoriented and nauseated. They attributed it to possible mold spores, but I'm kind of getting the same kind of feeling right now out in the open.”

Lonnie stopped, and took a deep breath. “Yeah, me too, actually. Sort of heady and out of sorts. What happened to the place?”

“I think they just buried it, actually.”

Melody stepped into a clearing just ahead of them. While there were blackberries and the occasional fern growing about, there were no trees for approximately one hundred meters in any direction. Out of the corner of her eye she caught sight of a cement object poking through a mound. “Like right here, maybe?”

“What is it?”

Melody kicked the dirt away. “Looks like an old air shaft.”

“Can we get in there?”

“Do we want to get in there?”

“Maybe? Maybe this is the key to the entire thing?”

Melody snorted. “Well, it's locked. Also, I doubt I just uncovered this shaft by accident.

“Melody,” Lonnie said. “What's the beeping?”

“The place is probably inhabited by this point.”


The girl jumped. “What?” She suddenly looked down to a harsh sound coming from her purse. “What's that beeping?” she said.

“That's exactly what I've been trying to ask you.”

Bernie smiled. “Is your hot pocket done?”

The girl said, “dummy” under her breath, and carefully pulled back the flap of her bag. “Oh my,” she said. “It's that phone. It looks like it's active.”

Her stupefied parents crowded around her, and discovered that not only was the screen lit up with a picture of a spiral galaxy, but it was now apparently fully charged, and displaying a pulsating circle on the bottom of the screen.

“Um,” she said, holding the phone as though it were the scorpion they had been afraid of. “What do I do.”

“Push the pulsating button,” was Bernie's reply.

“I, erm...”

Lonnie snatched the phone away. “I don't know what everyone's so afraid of,” she said. “It just a phone.” She pushed the button and nothing happened. Screwing up her face, she pushed it again, and then tried various other places on the screen. She handed it back to her daughter. “Well, either it's...”

Melody pushed the pulsating button just in the act of accepting the device from her mother, and the screen graphic was replaced with another. “Or,” she said, “it only likes me.”

The phone had unlocked, and was currently now showing some application with a map. Under this was the text,

Ley line triangulation point

“Kelly Butte” natural reserve

UTM: 10T 534680 5038531

Conduit 45 meters

Above the map was a compass graphic pointing north, which actually moved as Melody spun around.

“Conduit? Ley lines? Does this all have to do with electrical?”

Bernie smiled. “Ley lines are part of the magnetic power system which are spread out all over the globe. They're what the Egyptians tapped into with the pyramid which provided power to the entire city of Giza.”

Melody and Lonnie both stared at him, blankly.

“Don't look at me like that. I learned all about this stuff on Creepy radio.” Creepy radio was what Bernie referred to all the many late night radio broadcasts which dealt with UFOs, ghosts and other mysterious phenomena. “Hey,” he said. “This is my area.”

“So this is an app that pinpoints weird conspiracy crap?”

“No,” Bernie said, narrowing his gaze. “It's obviously one proving that Ley lines actually exist.”

Lonnie laughed. “You have a very open view of the term 'proof', sir.”

“Well, let's walk the 45 meters to the north and find that conduit and then we'll see.”

Lonnie shrugged her shoulders and followed behind him. “You know I wasn't laughing at you, so much as I was just taken aback by your seriousness.”

“Uh huh.”

“It's not really something you do, a lot.”

“I'm more comic relief, then.”


“Melody?” Bernie called back to his daughter.


“Kind of need you and that phone thingy that only likes you.”

Melody jumped in front of them, and stopped. “Okay,” she said. “This is it?”

In front of them was a gnarled tree which looked as though it had struggled for the last hundred years or so to stay alive.

“This thing looks like it's in pain.”

“I think it's dead, now, finally.”

“Well, what is it?”

Melody shrugged. “I don't know, cedar?”

“I mean, why did we stop? Is this the conduit?”

“Yeah. According to the phone thingy that only likes me, at least.”

“Hereafter called the Phothitholm for convenience sake,” Lonnie said.

“Say, that is convenient,” Bernie agreed.

Melody continued, ignoring the two of them. “Although, it's not the tree. It's probably something buried here which caused the tree to wither away like this.”

“If we're supposed to start digging, I didn't bring a shovel.”

“I don't think we were meant to dig it up. I think this is just a energy point on the Earth, similar to what's probably found on Mt. Shasta, Crater Lake, Eight Dollar Mountain and wherever ol' smudgy is pointing to.”

“If I only implied it before,” Lonnie said. “I'll say incontrovertibly that ol' smudgy is pointing to our old friend across the street.”

Although the comment elicited some general groans, and “here we go agains” from the audience, there was a new voice that appeared from behind the trio.

“I'll take that bet.”

It Happened on Lafayette Street

Season One: Episode One

Melody Jackson

vs. The Message from Space

by BMB Johnson

Scene 8

<= scene two Scene four =>

Please support our efforts

Support the author -- buy him a coffee to keep him awake and writing

Read Bark, the first of the Bill Swagger stories, free on our site.

Tales of Fastlegreive

Our new ongoing series of stories in the Fastlegrieve realm.

Read the "Tales of Fastlegrieve" for free on our site.