PRAYER OF THE NIGHT CHAPTER 1
PRAYER OF THE NIGHT
Somewhere in the Amazons of Brazil in South America, a biologist named Michael Pierce witnessed a fight between two insects, a spider and a praying mantis. When that spider made a critical move of letting its defense down. The praying mantis then jumped up on top of the spider and made it’s kill. While he sat, Michael watched the mantis devour it’s prey. He wondered if with the assistance of his sick mind and nature, could he force the mantis to produce venom, one that was poisonous? A venom that would kill a human being? He continued with his current project, which at the time was the studies and research of the rain forest damage in that area. After a while of walking and taking notes, he decided to take a break and had his lunch. As he admired the tranquil surroundings of the beautiful colored birds and the sound of a nearby water fall, he could not stop thinking about the deadly praying mantis. After further and further thought, he decided to put his research on hold and take on this new endeavor.
He first opened tiny holes on the jar caps he was using to keep his root and bark samples. Michael immediately set about collecting as many insects as he could find. Michael then started to make his way back to Sao Pablo, the small village where he was staying. A few days later, he would return home to New York. As
he peered in thought through the small airplane window, staring blankly into the sky, he found himself thinking about his parents’ tragic death. They were celebrating their fifth anniversary by spending the weekend at their upstate home near Lake George where Michael now resides. While they were driving northbound on highway 87 going over the Tappanzee Bridge, their brakes suddenly failed. They couldn’t stop and they crashed into the back of a truck. Immediately they were hit in the rear by another vehicle. Michael, still very young, had been left in the care of his parents’ friend in Jamaica Estates, Queens for the weekend. Michael, an only child, was unfortunate to have been left a three‑year‑old orphan by the sudden and tragic death of his parents resulting from this accident. Having no other blood relatives, Michael was placed by the State in several foster homes. Growing up in foster homes was very painful for Michael. Although he usually ended up with cruel and extremely demanding foster parents, he muddled through it all. He went to school, graduated, then got a job and moved to live on his own. Throughout his childhood he was abused. He never received the care, love, and understanding he once had gotten from his parents. His suffering seemed to be an ongoing process since he was moved from foster home to foster home so often. He managed to obtain a master’s degree in biology but unfortunately, as the time went by, Michael grew up developing a complex about his life. Michael was so lost and deeply hurt thinking about his past, when he suddenly realized that the flight attendant was already announcing the landing instructions.
ATTENDANT: “Fasten your seat belts please; we will be landing in fifteen minutes.”
As Michael was waiting on the line to customs when someone grabbed his arm and said.
EDWARD: ” You are under arrest for possession and smuggling drugs into the country.”
Michael became very nervous. As he turned around, he saw that it was just one of his old friends, a co-worker he had not seen in four years.
MICHAEL: ” Well, well if it isn’t you, Mr. Edward Floyd! How the hell are you? ”
EDWARD: ” Very good Mike, I have not seen you in a long time. ”
MICHAEL: ” Yes, I know. ”
EDWARD: ” Things have certainly changed with me. I’m not the crazy person you once worked with. Do you remember what happened? ”
MICHAEL: ” Yes I do. I remember it all too well. Just as if it was yesterday. What happened to you afterwards? ”
EDWARD: ” Well, after my breakdown I realized my life was going nowhere, and I decided to sign into an alcohol and drugs’ rehabilitation center. I guess people in my situation become so uncontrollable that I ended up in a straight jacket for the first few days. Man, I could not believe how messed up I was. You know, toward the end, as part of the treatment they showed me a video of myself when I first entered the center.
Boy, was I horrible! I could not believe that was actually me. Well enough about me. What is going on with you? What are you up to now, Mike? ”
MICHAEL: " Well, I just got back from the Amazons and I’ll be working in my new project. ”
EDWARD: ” What kind of project is that Mike? ”
MICHAEL: ” It involves insects, oh! That reminds me, I have to go and pick them up. So, what are you doing at the airport anyway? ”
EDWARD: ” I was just dropping off a friend. Where are you going after this Michael? ”
MICHAEL: ” I’ll be going north to my house in Lake George, and you are invited to come anytime you like. The house is right by the lake and it has a beautiful view. I also have a boat and we can go fishing or just cruising around the lake. The village is only three miles away from the house. It is very picturesque, especially during the fall, which by the way is not too far away.
You should see the different colors of the tree leaves that change every day. Besides, the people there are extremely friendly. I’ll be up there until I have finished my experiment.”
EDWARD: " Are you sure you would not change your mind if I do decide to visit you Michael? ”
MICHAEL: ” On the contrary, maybe you could help me out with the experiment. You are still a biologist aren’t you? ”
EDWARD: ” Of course I’m still a biologist! Let’s exchange our phone numbers and when I get ready to go. I’ll give you a call. How is that Mike? ”
MICHAEL: ” Absolutely; (Michael took a piece of paper out of his wallet and wrote his phone number). Now, don’t you forget, because I will look for you and kick your ass if you don’t call.”
( He said that laughing. Edward, who seemed in a rush looked down at his watch.)
EDWARD: ” I ’ll call you in a week. I have to go now. I don’t want to pay extra in the parking lot.
OK.”MICHAEL: ” I’ll be expecting your call. I’ll see you later
Edward was a very strange fellow. He was mentally abused by his parents all through his childhood. His natural mother had died while giving birth to Edward, and since then his father felt no love or sympathy toward the newborn. Later, his father remarried. At the beginning the stepmother was very nice to Edward, but later she had a daughter and then cast the kid aside. Edward never got along with his father and stepmother. He grew up confused and eventually developed a complex, hating his parents. Who later on threw Edward out of the house. His father never gave him the opportunity to speak his mind. Nor did he believe him even when Edward was speaking the truth, instead he would get a beating. Edward and Michael became friends while attending high school. Then, Edward used to tell Michael the story of his life, when he was punished and beaten by his parents usually without any logical reasons.
The times he was left in darkrooms,when he was sent to sleep without any meals. Edward also told Michael about the time his father almost drowned him in the bathtub when he was five years old. Although, a different experience from that of, Edward also managed to survive that stage of his life. Yet still somewhere in the back of his mind, it bothered him what he had gone through. Edward became a very tall and muscular guy. He always let his brown curly hair grow very long. Edward usually had a very suspicious look almost as if he were guilty of something. Michael on the other hand, was a skinny fellow, tall, and had straight short black hair. He was a very simple guy and always looked smart behind his black eyes. Michael finally got through customs and after signing the proper documents, he retrieved his collection of insects. He then walked toward the parking lot of John F. Kennedy Airport. There he had left his four wheel drive truck since he had gone to the Amazons and took off to the place he called: “Paradise of the Fall.” It was about 8:30 P.M. and while driving on highway 87 north around the Catskill area and Michael started to feel hungry. He decided to stop at a dinner to get something to eat, and when he finished his meal he asked the waitress for a doggy bag.
He remembered that his insects were starving also and took the extra food to the truck to feed the mantis. As he was feeding them, he assured them that in a few more hours they would be home free. He got back on the highway again and started thinking how he was going to make a success out of the experiment he had already started.
Michael thought about what kind of venom he needed, and how he was going to get it into the system of the praying mantis.
Michael said to himself; I will figure it out when I get home as he pushed a tape of Pink Floyd in the cassette player and started singing along with it;
MICHAEL: ” Hello, hello is there anybody in there . . . .
" He finally made it home. He pulled the truck into the garage and took the insects inside the laboratory he had down in the basement, where he did all his research and studies. Once the insects were settled in. He went into the livingroom sat on the sofa and started again to wonder about the kind of venom to use. After a few moments he was sound asleep.
The next morning while having breakfast, Michael had a great idea. Right away he jumped out of the seat and went straight to the bookshelf and grabbed the encyclopedia to look up RATTLESNAKES. As he was reading he found out exactly what he was looking for. Then he did some research on the effects of the deadly venom of the rattlesnake.
He liked this idea because the venom attacked the respiratory and nervous systems of the victim. Causing much suffering before finally dying. Afterwards, he made the decision of obtaining the rattlesnake from a friend, whom he remembered had a pet shop in the village located right on Canada Street. Late that afternoon he drove to the pet shop,parked his truck a few blocks away from the store and walked in. Referring to an employee, who was attending the cash register he asked:
MICHAEL: ” Hi, I am looking for Tony, is he in? ”
CASHIER: ” Yes, he is in the back (as he shouted to the rear of the store).
Tony, someone’s here looking for you! ”
TONY: ” Send him over.”
MICHAEL: ” Hi Tony! How are you doing? ”
TONY: ” Fine thanks, where the hell have you been? ”
MICHAEL: ” You know me, here and there, always researching nature. I was in the Amazons in Brazil for three months. There is an association from the university I graduated from who hired me to do research on the damage of the rain forest in the Amazons. ”
TONY: ” Is that right? That sounds very interesting.” (As he kept feeding a beautiful cockatoo he was holding on his hand). ” So Michael, what brings you to the store?”
MICHAEL: ” I need a rattlesnake. ”
TONY: ” Where the hell am I going to get you a rattlesnake? ”
MICHAEL: ” Couldn’t you call your supplier and ask him? ”
TONY: ” I can give it a shot tomorrow, not today. ”
MICHAEL: ” It doesn’t matter. I need it for my next project. When can I get it? ”
TONY: " Well, let me call a few other people that I know. It would probably come from California, so it’s going to cost you a lot of money because it has to be flown in, Ok ? ”
MICHAEL: ” Money is not a problem, just try to get it for me. ”
TONY: ” I’ll call you when I get it, but it will take a few days. ”
Michael went back home and realized he had to feed the insects. So he went scouting his yard for other type of insects to feed them with. He studied the mantis day and night. Between study periods, he was preparing his report on the rain forest from all the information he had collected in the Amazons.
A few days passed. One day in the morning, the telephone rang. It startled him as he was drinking his morning coffee. He answered the phone and was surprised to hear from his old friend;
EDWARD: ” Hi Michael, this is Edward, how are you? ”
MICHAEL: ” O.K., what’s up Edward? ”
EDWARD: ” I just wanted to let you know that I am taking you up on your offer of helping you with your next project.
I will be leaving from here in about one hour. Is that O.K. with you? ”
MICHAEL: ” Sure. ”
EDWARD: ” No problem, I’ll see you later then. ” (Just as he hung up, the phone started ringing again).
MICHAEL: ” Hello Mr. Pierce speaking.”
TONY: ” Hello Michael, this is Tony. I got the snake for you and it looks like a mean bitch. ”
MICHAEL: ” Oh! Hi Tony, I’m sure glad you called me. I haven’t been able to get the snake out of my mind. I’ve been thinking about it quite often. ”
TONY: ” Well, you could come to pick it up when you’re ready O.K.”
MICHAEL: " Yes, I will pick it up later today, right now I’m going fishing. It is such a warm and sunny day. I won’t give up fishing for anything. We don’t get many days like this in mid-October you know! ”
(He hung up and thought about going fishing. The curiosity to see the snake was bigger and he decided to take a drive over to the pet shop instead.)
He was lucky enough to find a parking space right in front of the store, he got off his truck and walked in:
MICHAEL: ” O.K. Tony where is my snake? ”
TONY: ” Boy, I am glad to see you! Your stupid snake is in the back. What happened? I though you were going fishing? ”
MICHAEL: ” I changed my mind, I decided to see the snake. ”
TONY: " I hope you brought the truck Michael, because the tank she is in, is
( As both men carried the tank out to the truck, Tony tells Michael to be careful.) They closed the truck and went back inside the shop, then Michael asked:
MICHAEL: " How much do I owe you Tony? ”
TONY: " $400 dollars Michael. ”
They said their goodbyes and Michael started back on the way to his home. He pulled the truck into the garage, placed the snake in the lab and went fishing afterwards.
The lake looked so beautiful with the sun shining over the trees. The far away mountains getting ready to be dressed in the colors of the leaves as the fall was slowly approaching. Michael was very relaxed enjoying the view when suddenly, he felt a strike of a fish on the fishing pole he was holding. It seemed a tremendous fish since it had Michael moving all over the boat.
After a while of intense fighting with it, he finally got it in the boat. He was excited over the experience of catching a big mouth bass of about eight pounds. Michael sat down and admired the creature he had just pulled out of the lake. He couldn’t believe it, as he talked to himself:
MICHAEL: “In all the years that I have been fishing, I have never come across anything like it. Boy, it must be my lucky day! (as Michael sees the time by accident.) Oh shit! I’ve got to get back. It is almost five o’clock. Edward must be at the door by now.”
( Michael picked up his fishing gear and sat at the wheel and headed home in a hupry. By the time he got back to the house, he was right, Edward was on the dock waiting for him.)
EDWARD: " Did you catch anything? ”
MICHAEL: " Oh yes! I got a beauty. Look at it! ”
EDWARD: ” Boy! You’re right. It is big!”
MICHAEL: ” Let’s go inside, Edward. After I change my clothes, we will go out to eat. ”
EDWARD: ” OK, but first let me take my stuff out of the car.”
While Edward was taking his luggage out of his car, he remembered he had left a couple of joints in the glove compartment. Which he had purchased from a friend in Queens. He was going to take them out, but decided to get them later. He took his luggage to one of the four bedrooms. Michael’s house was very big. It had three big rooms, not counting the laboratory. The basement was connected to the garage by a door, it had a bathroom, and another room that was in use as a laboratory. The street floor had a big kitchen. The living room floor was a step higher with a nice bar in one corner and a fire place on the other. Every room had gray carpeting except the kitchen which had marble blocks. Both men were ready to go when Edward asked:
EDWARD: " Where are we going Michael? ”
MICHAEL: ” I’m going to take you to George’s restaurant. ”
EDWARD: ” Where is that? ”
MICHAEL: ” On the other side of the lake by the marina. It is a very cozy place. I’m sure you’ll like it. We’ve got so much to talk about, but first, let’s go down to the basement. I want to show you something. (as Michael and Edward walked down the stairs to the basement)
EDWARD: ” I like what you have done to the place, but where is your lab Mike? ”
MICHAEL: ” Oh! It is way in the back. ”
EDWARD: ” You could hardly tell there is a lab here. Oh shit! What are you doing with that beauty? ” (Referring to the rattlesnake).
MICHAEL: ” That is part of our experiment. ”
EDWARD: ” I like it already, Michael. What else do you have in here? ”
MICHAEL: ” Praying mantis. Come on, let’s go eat. I’ll tell you all about it on the way there.”
EDWARD: ” Yes, but Michael aren’t mantis illegal to be killed? ”
MICHAEL: " Who is killing them? Don’t worry about it, let’s go and I’ll tell all about it. ”
They walked back upstairs straight to the garage and toward the truck. As they are driving on a small road that leads them into Canada Street Michael says:
MICHAEL: " Do you remember when you saw me at the airport? ”
EDWARD: ” Yes, I do. ”
MICHAEL: " Well that day I brought the insects from South America.”
EDWARD: ” So anyway, tell me more about the experiment? ”
( After a few minutes of driving and talking about the experiment, they finally got to the restaurant. They walked inside and were taken to their table right away, and after they sat down by a window, Edward asked:)
EDWARD: ” What are you having Michael? ”
MICHAEL: " A combination platter of shrimp and steak. ”
EDWARD: " Hey, that sounds very good Mike, I think I’ll have the same. Why don’t we order something to drink too, I feel like a beer, how about you Michael? ”
MICHAEL: ” I guess I’ll have a beer too. You know Edward, this experiment is going to take a long time to see success, and I hope you’ll stay till the end. Just don’t say anything to anybody. ”
EDWARD: ” Don’t worry Michael, I promise to stay till the end, I’m unemployed anyway so there is nothing to stand in my way. ”
Once Michael filled Edward in about the experiment, Edward was very interested. He thought it was an excellent idea, and as Michael was taking his drink, he said:
MICHAEL: " Do you know how to milk a rattlesnake? ”
EDWARD: ” Yeah! I saw it done a couple of times on the Discovery Channel. This brings back memories of early experiments! Do you remember? ”
MICHAEL: ” Of course I do, until you decided to play surgeon Edward Floyd and killed the rabbit. ”
EDWARD: ” The rabbit had it coming anyway. Don’t get sentimental now. Besides, that was ten years ago. We were only twenty - one then. ”
MICHAEL: " That’s right Edward; we were working in the lab on a Saturday at the university we graduated from, don’t you remember? ”
EDWARD: ” Yes, I remember very well Mike. ”
They continued to reminisce and once they finished their drinks they headed back home.
At around eleven o’clock, they walked down to the basement toward the lab to study the snake for a while. They decided to tranquilize the snake through its food.
MICHAEL: ” Well, let me have one of the mice and I will spike it with the tranquilizer and give it to the snake; I’m sure that when the snake will digest it, it will be sedated.”
They set up what was needed to milk the venom out of the reptile, and separated the mantis into groups of four then called it a night. They continued the following day after they came back from the food shopping that they needed, as one of them said:
MICHAEL: ” O.K. Mr. Floyd, it’s time to go to work, are you ready to go down in the book of history? ”
EDWARD: ” You bet I’m.” (He said it with a smile on his face).
It was late in the afternoon by the time they started working on the snake. As Edward took the snake out of the glass tank and while holding it by the head with one hand, he injected more of the soothing syrup to make sure the snake will not wake up in the middle of the procedure (extraction of venom).
Edward begun to explain to Michael how the extraction of the venom will be performed:
EDWARD: " You know, this kind of snake has two fangs in the upper side of its mouth, one in each side. The fangs are normally grooved, but in this type they are closed over forming a hollow tube. (As Edward opened the animal’s mouth to show Michael the muscle that surrounds the venom gland). When the snake bites, the muscle presses the gland forcing the venom into the fangs and out of its tips into the victim. ”
Right away both men began to extract the poison out of the snake. Edward took the glass jar and wrapped it with plastic wrap held on by a rubberband. He asked Michael to hold the jar steady against the table, and then Edward pushed the fangs through the plastic and immediately, the liquid started to come out.
EDWARD: ” I think we have enough to start. ”
MICHAEL: ” I think so too. ”
Once this process was over, Edward returned the snake to the cage and asked:
EDWARD: ” Why were you so nervous during the extraction? ”
MICHAEL: ” Because this is the first time I have ever worked in this kind of experiment. ”
EDWARD: ” Calm down Mike. It was a piece of cake. Don’t be such a fag. You’d better get your shit together because it is going to get worse, and you know it, or else those bloody mantis are going to bite your ass. ”
MICHAEL: " I know, I’m just a little rusty. It’s been such a long time, but I’ll be ready for the next one. ”
Time went by, and Michael took some green leaves.
He put a drop of venom on each leave and fed them to the mantis. They went on with the same treatment for a few days and increased it to two drops and waited for the results. The mantises showed resistan to the venom and were a little moreaggressive among themselves.
Meanwhile, Michael was going over the final touches on the report about the rainforest of the Amazons. The following day when Michael and Edward were having breakfast, Michael stated:
MICHAEL: ” I have to go to the city to bring the report to the university. ”
EDWARD: ” Couldn’t you mail it? ”
MICHAEL: ” No, I must speak with them because I haven’t quite finished the research and I need to go back.
Maybe on my next trip, you’ll like to come along. ”
EDWARD: " Super! , That sounds very good. ”
MICHAEL: ” I’m sure you’ll like it. We’ll work together.
They paid me enough for both of us to survive, and besides we’ll stay in the same small village I did the last time. It was very interesting. ”
EDWARD: ” So, when are you going into the city? ”
MICHAEL: ” This Monday coming up, and I’ll return in three days. ”
EDWARD: ” Don’t worry, I’ll take care of every
Monday came and Michael was getting ready to go, but before he did, he went down to the laboratory to check the insects. After a while he went back upstairs and had a small conversation with Edward:
MICHAEL: ” Don’t forget to feed the mantis, Edward? ”
EDWARD: ” Don’t worry about it, just go. ”
MICHAEL: ” Don’t show the insects to anybody, and don’t you go on with the test. Wait for me. I want to see the results as much as you do or else I’ll test those bloody insects on your ass. ”
EDWARD: ” Would you shut up and go. Get out of here! You’re going to hit traffic.” (He said that with a smile on his face).
MICHAEL: " What traffic? ”
EDWARD: " Never mind, just go. ”
Later, Edward checked on the insects, fed them, then he drove to the village to hang around for a while. He stopped at a bar for a few beers, and spent most of the night watching a game on TV. He met a few other people from the city and some local ones. The time moved on and so did the beers. Edward got pretty drunk. One of the guys he had met from the city approached him and said:
STRANGER: ” Hey, do you want to do some lines with me man? ”
(Edward didn’t even think about it. Right away he gave positive answer.)
EDWARD: ” I think that is exactly what I need. ”
He got home very late that evening. The next day he got up in the afternoon and the first thing he remembered were the joints he had in the glove compartment of his car. He went to take them out and noticed he still had a few hours of sunlight and decided to take the boat out for a ride around the lake. He lighted up his joint and suddenly started feeling extremely high. It was the end of October and a bright glorious day. The leaves of the trees were endowed with beauty. The autumn colors with which they dressed made the lake look wonderfully dazzling as the wind was blowing, announcing the fall was about to come. Far away through the mountain, the sun began to fade away as Edward headed back home.
When Edward got home, he checked on the insects and fed them. However, before feeding them, he decided to increase the amount of venom on the leaves. He increased it from two to four drops. He noticed that the mantis were more aggressive and deduced that the creatures had already built up resistance to the poison.
He walked to his room, got dressed and drove to the village
Again. He stopped at the bar he had hung around at the night before. As he sat in front of the counter he asked the young Bartender:
EDWARD: ” Hi, Can I have a beer please? ”
BARTENDER: ” Sure, One beer coming up.”
( A few minutes went by while Edward nursed his beer, and then he noticed that nobody was drinking at the counter but himself. Edward then asked the bartender: )
EDWARD: ” Can I ask you something? Do you know anybody that I could get some drugs from? ”
BARTENDER: ” Hey, You came to the right place. My friend can probably help you out. He will be here shortly, in just a few minutes. Here, have an other beer on the house while you wait for him.”
EDWARD: ” Are you sure that he will be stopping in here today? ”
( He sounded too impatient.)
BARTENDER: ” Yes, He will be here today. Just be cool and wait for him to show up. You, won’t be disappointed. He has great stuff.”
Edward settled into a comfortable spot and as he waited he watched T.V., which was placed up in the corner of the bar. After a while, a well‑dressed man walked into the bar. After he talked with the bartender awhile, he turned to Edward and introduced himself to him.
FRANK: ” Hello there. My name is Frank. How ya doing? ”
EDWARD: ” OK, Nice to meet you. I’m Edward.”
FRANK: ” The bartender tells me you’re interested in obtaining some
EDWARD: ” What ya got for sale? ”
FRANK: ” Well, right now all I’ve got is a few lousy ounces of so‑so coke. You’re welcome to it if you’ve got the cash.”
EDWARD: ” Okay, I’ll buy. What’s your price? ”
FRANK:" Cool man, But follow me into my office, the men’s room. We’ll talk my business there in private.”
(Frank led the way and Edward followed him into the bathroom. Both men used the urinals until the other two people in the room left. They then walked to the last stall in the bathroom. Here they concluded their business.)
FRANK: ” Well, next time your in need my friend you know where to reach me, Okay ?”
EDWARD: ” Yeah, Thanks man. Don’t worry with quality like this you’ll hear from me again soon.”
Later that night after Edward returned home, he went into the kitchen took out a beer from the refrigerator and then went into the den to watch some television. He took some more coke out and continued snorting it falling asleep on the couch after awhile. The following morning Edward awoke to the frantic ringing of the telephone that apparently had been ringing for quite sometime.
EDWARD: ” Hello, Hello?”
MICHAEL: ” Hi, Edward This is Michael. How’s it going man? I’ve been trying all day yesterday to reach you. But you were never home. Where, The hell were you? ”
EDWARD: ” I’ve been in the village all day. How did it go with your job report?”
MICHAEL: ” Good, I got an extension. But never mind that did you take good care of my mantis? ”
EDWARD: " The insects are fine, I think the bugs will be ready for a test very soon. When are you coming back? ”
MICHAEL: ” I’ll be coming home Saturday morning. Keep your eyes on the mantis for me OK? I’ll see you later. I’ve got to go now. Bye -bye.”
After Edward finished talking to Michael. He spent most of the day, getting high and drunk till Saturday. That day, Michael arrived to find Edward sleeping on the sofa. There were many empty beer cans lying around on the floor. The stereo was still playing some heavy metal rock n’ roll and on the coffee table there was a test tube from the lab. Michael grabbed it and smelled it, and later wondered what had been in it. He thought of the chances that Edward was back to his old drug problems. He immediately ran down to the basement laboratory to check on the insects. Michael returned to the living room and began to clean up the mess that he had found there.
Later he tried to wake Edward to talk to him but Edward was completely out of it. Michael finished his cleaning up and went upstairs to his room carrying his luggage and small brief case. He laid down on the bed for a while falling asleep after a few thoughts crossed his mind.
Michael got up later in the afternoon and got himself something to eat. He took the food back to his room and on his way upstairs looked in on Edward. But Edward was still fast asleep. Michael spent the rest of the day on his bed resting and watching television. The following morning, Michael got up very early was making breakfast when he shouted to Edward:
MICHAEL: ” Get up you fucking drunk, Come on let’s go. Get up. ”
EDWARD: ” OK, Ok, Stop screaming, I heard you already. ”
Michael looked through the kitchen window and saw the sun shining over the trees. As the wind began to blow down the leaves from the trees announcing that Fall would very soon be at it’s peak at his doorstep. Just then Edward poked his head into the kitchen and said good morning as he sat down at the table.
EDWARD: ” Good morning, Michael. What time did you come in yesterday? ”
MICHAEL: ” I got here at 9:30 a.m.. You were comatose on the sofa.
You must have had some party here on Friday. ”
EDWARD: ” Why do you say that? ”
MICHAEL: ” Because it was a mess in the living room. It looked like a cheap, low class bar in there. Anyway, It looks like a nice day out and I’m taking a ride to White Face
mountain. Would you like to come along? ”
EDWARD: ” Yeah, Sure that sounds like a good idea. But, why there and not Lake Placid? ”
MICHAEL: ” That place holds special memories for me. I’ve been going there since I was a teenager.”
After both men had finished eating breakfast they got into Michael’s truck and took off. But before they left, Michael went down to the laboratory and dropped a few green leaves to the praying mantis. They were on the highway awhile when Edward broke the silence that had been growing between them.
EDWARD: ” Did you see any change in the insects, Mike? ”
MICHAEL: ” Yes, I did. They look much bigger and nastier. Did you increase the dosage of venom on their food while I was gone? ”
EDWARD: ” I won’t lie to you. Yes I did. I increased it to four drops. I want to rush the experiment and I think they are ready for it. What do you think? ”
Edward kept insisting on putting the insects on a test as soon as possible, but Michael was a little hesitant after listening to Edward.)
MICHAEL: ” I don’t know yet, let me think about it. ”
They went on for a while in silence until Michael got up enough courage to ask him about the possibility that Edward was doing drugs again.
MICHAEL: ” Did you do any drugs in my absence? ”
EDWARD:" What makes you say that? ”
MICHAEL: ” Well, after I found the house a mess and beer cans all over. I wondered if your past might be coming back to haunt you. You know one thing can lead to another. ”
EDWARD: ” Don’t worry about it. Because I’m not doing anything. I just got a little bored and got drunk. Ok? ”
( Meanwhile Edward didn’t want his friend to know that he really was back into his old habits and soon to be hooked again. )
The time went by and both men kept talking, when they finally
approached the entrance to White Face mountain. Michael paid the entrance fee to the young girl in the booth and said to Edward:
MICHAEL: ” You know, We picked a very nice day to come here. It is clear and not too windy or cold. I think we’ll be able to really appreciate the view much better.”
They rode to the top of the mountain, stopping at every point that they could get a view and took pictures of the beautiful scenery, which both admired.
They finally got to the parking lot. Walking through the dark tunnel, which led to the elevator that rode up to the top of the mountain when Edward replied:
EDWARD: ” Your right, It’s one of the most beautiful scenic views I have ever seen. I never thought N.Y. State had anything like this, Michael. It’s very beautiful.
It was a little cold, but with the sun out it was comfortable. As they sat down on the rocks, Michael pointed out the town of Plattesburg to Edward and then the historic town of Lake Placid. Then Edward asked:
EDWARD: ” So, what do you think about the experiment Michael? When are we going to have a little test to see if your ideas really work or not? ”
MICHAEL: ” I have been thinking about it and I have decided that your opinion is a good one. We will put the praying mantis to the test the first minute we have an opportunity. ”
Both men kept talking and making plans. After awhile they walked down to the parking lot into the souvenir store there. Michael bought a tee shirt and suggested a stop at the village on the way back to have a drink of celebration. Right away he got a positive answer from Edward, who said:
EDWARD: ” You are talking my language now. ”
MICHAEL:” I thought it might sound good to you, you fucking drunk.” (As a smile crossed his face.)
They were driving back, down the mountain and as Michael was busy driving on the dangerous curves of the road. Edward light up one of the Marijuana cigarettes he had gotten from his car and offered some to Michael.
EDWARD: ” Hey Michael, do you want a hit? ”
MICHAEL: ” Where the hell did you get that shit from? Didn’t you learn your lesson from the past experience? ”
EDWARD: ” Don’t worry about it, I’ve got it under control. Besides it’s only one that I had in my car for a long time. ”
MICHAEL: ” Are you sure? Is that the only thing you’re into? ”
EDWARD: " Yes, Stop worrying about it. Ok? ”
( Michael’s doubts about his friend became bigger. But he said no more about it and just kept it in the back of his mind, as he said:)
MICHAEL: " Ah, what the hell, let me have some. I haven’t smoked pot for such a long time it won’t hurt to have a little.”
Both men took turns dragging from the cigarette as Michael continued to drive for miles back to the village. When they got there, Michael parked the truck across from the ferry’s pier and they walked toward Canada Street. They wound up inside the bar that Edward had spent such a long time in before. The temperature had dropped and it became very windy. When they walked into the tavern, the music was playing very loud in the back where the pinball machines were. The clouds of smoke were very thick as they leaned against the counter and asked for a drink.
MICHAEL: ” May we have two beers, please? ”
BARTENDER: ” Two beers coming up.”
(The Bartender recognized Edward from the previous time before and as he put the two beers and glasses on the counter said:)
BARTENDER: ” How ya doing man? ”
EDWARD: ” Not bad. I would like you to meet my friend Michael.”
BARTENDER: ” Nice to meet you Michael. I’ll be right back, Ok? I have other customers to take care of. Call me if you need something else. ”
EDWARD: ” Ok, man thanks. I met him last time I came in here for a drink.”
MICHAEL: ” That’s nice. The guy looks like he’s a real hard worker.”
The time went by, Michael and Edward had a few more beers. Then Edward had to use the bathroom.
EDWARD: ” I’ll be right back. I’ve got to take a leak, Ok? ”
MICHAEL: ” You’ve got to go, ya gota go. No problem. I’ll still be right here. ”
Edward walked to the back of the bar where the bathrooms were. He locked himself into the last stall and took out of his pocket, the small glass test tube he had been carrying.
Edward went to open the tube and pour a small line of the coke that was in it onto the back of his hand. Edward then proceeded to sniff the white powder up through his nose. After about five minutes he went back to the front of the bar, a pleasant sensation starting to race through his head. When he got back to where he had left Michael, he found him talking with a very cute Spanish girl.
She was about 23 years old, had nice long black hair, black eyes and her height was about 5 ft - 7". When Edward approached the pair, he placed his hand friendly like on Michael’s shoulder and introduced himself to the young woman:
EDWARD: " Hello, My name’s Edward. I’m Michael’s friend.”
LUCY: " OH, Hello. I’m Lucy Yuzman. Nice to meet you.”
EDWARD: " What’s a pretty woman like you doing here all by herself? ”
LUCY: " Well, to be honest. I came here with my two girlfriends and their boyfriends. And right now their fooling around back at our rooms. My boy friend couldn’t come.
” MICHAEL: ” Why, Is He not here too? ”
LUCY: ” Oh, He has a test coming up on Monday and has to study for it so he decided not to come.”
When Lucy meet Edward she didn’t like him that much due to Edward’s strong character and the weird look of his suspicious face. Besides he was already showing the effects of the alcohol and the coke that he had just sniffed in the bathroom. But Michael kept insisting that she have a drink with them because he liked her. After Michael insisted for the third time she relented and accepted his offer.
The night went by and after a few margaritas Lucy started to feel more comfortable with Edward around. They kept talking about collage and work. After awhile there was a moment of silence between them all and then Michael remembered Edward’s delay in the bathroom and questioned him about it:
Michael: ” How come every time you go to take a leak you take so long in the bathroom? ”
EDWARD: ” Because every time I go back there I end up playing a round of pinball on the machine that’s why. ”
Around 1:00 a.m., Edward suggested that it was time to go home. Lucy had gotten very drunk and it took both men to hold her up while they left the bar. At the time he first met her that evening Edward thought to himself that Lucy would make a fine specimen to test Michael’s experiment on at her expense. After they walked outside, Edward said:
EDWARD: ” I’ll go get the truck while you wait here, Ok? ”
After a few minutes Edward pulled up in front of the bar and helped Michael get Lucy into the backseat of the truck.
They drove through the village to get to the dark road leading toward the house. When they got home, Michael got out to open the garage door. Edward had only the parking lights on so it took a while for Michael to open the garage door.
Michael had a hard time seeing what he was doing as it was very dark that night. Edward pulled into the garage and carried the girl out of the truck. He walked through the hallway that connected the garage to the basement and placed the girl on the bed in the room down there. Taking her clothing off later leaving only her underwear on as she mumbled some words:
LUCY: ” It’s cold in here.”
Edward didn’t hear what she was saying and continued with what he was doing, until Michael came in with a glass container
in his hand and said:
MICHAEL: ” I think I’m going to change my mind and call the test off.”
( Michael had begun to feel mixed emotions toward using Lucy as their guinea Pig for the mantis. Just then Edward turned around and said:)
EDWARD: " What the fuck are you talking about? Don’t chicken out on me now, give me the mantis! ”
( Michael became very nervous after he answered NO to Edward, and began to tell Edward the mistake it would be to experiment on a human being. All of a sudden Edward got so upset that he shouted:)
EDWARD: " Give me the fucking insects now. ”
( As Edward was yelling he moved around the bed and moved closer to were Michael was standing. Edward tried to take away the container of insects from Michael. Michael in turn raised up the container over his head trying to keep Edward from getting control of it.)
MICHAEL: " No, we’re not going to do it. No more! ”
Edward has gotten really angry now and takes a swing at Michael, striking him in the mouth very hard, knocking him down. At this point, while Michael is down on the floor the container has flown from his hands onto the bed and the cover has come off. As the insects come out, they start to crawl over Lucy’s body. Meanwhile Michael hit the side of his head on the night table by the side of the bed, while he was going down and had begun to bleed profusely. Edward was shocked for a few seconds by the large pool of blood that appeared by the side of Michael’s head. It took him a few seconds to decide to either look at what the insects were doing to Lucy or see what happened to Michael. He had to make a choice to help Michael out instead of watching what the praying mantis were doing to Lucy. He took a towel and wrapped it around Michael’s head to stop the flow of blood coming from the head wound. While he was preoccupied with tending to Michael, Edward failed to notice what two of the praying mantises were doing to Lucy. They had started to slowly climb up her legs and when he pulled the pillow from behind her head, faintly stirring her, she awakened a little.
Lucy felt a tickling sensation on her legs and moved to scratch them off. When the two mantis who were furthest up her torso bite her in her wrist in defense to her actions, she lifted her hand and turned her body over onto her right side. Landing on top of two of the other mantis which had been walking up left, squashing them. While doing this she again was bitten by the other two as she moved. These bites caused her to move her body form side to side. As she did this, the two remaining mantises continued to bit her legs repeatedly. When Edward was finished aiding Michael, who lay on the floor unconscious. He stood up and saw Lucy’s body twitching from the bites of the mantis and the starting effects of the venom. He then noticed that the two remaining mantises were moving away to a corner of the room. He took the container that Michael had been carrying them in and grabbed them up into it calmly as if he had been catching a lightning bug. He went and returned the mantis to the laboratory, then went back to room and carried Michael into the garage and into the truck. He then drove off leaving the body of Lucy behind in the basement room. Edward drove to the nearest hospital which was Glenn Falls, about eight miles away. Michael all the while remained unconscious and still bleeding profusely all the while. During the drive to the hospital Edward repeatedly banged his hands on the steering wheel, Saying to himself
“Why did you change your mind you idiot.“,and getting increasingly upset about it. He finally got to the hospital, Pulling into the emergency room entrance. Michael was taken in immediately. When it was time to say what had happened to him, Edward told a story of how Michael had slipped walking upstairs to his bedroom and fallen down. He then went on to walk to the waiting room. He sat and waited for a couple hours, until a doctor looking for him wandered into the room and said:
DOCTOR: ” Hello, are you the person who brought in Michael Pierce?”
( Doctor Kersley, the 46 year old physician in charge of Micahael’s care was a very cheerful person. He stood about 6 Feet- 8 inches tall and had dark skin with short thinning hair and a very pronounced beard. Edward, who happened to be the only one there at the time and woke up when the doctor called replied:)
EDWARD: ” Excuse me? ”
DOCTOR: ” Are you a relative of Mr. Pierce? ”
EDWARD: " No, I’m just a friend. How is he doing, doctor? ”
DOCTOR: ” I’m Dr. Robert Kersley. Michael has had a loss of alot of blood. We’ve had to connect him to life support because he suffered a severe hematoma, which is very serious. He has slipped into a comma it could cause death if not properly looked after. Do you know any next of kin? ”
EDWARD: ” No, I think he has no one that is very close to him.”
(Edward is very shaken up by the turn of events, as he hears the news about his friend. And he doesn’t reply to any further questions from the doctor.)
Dr. Kersley: " Tomorrow, I will do an ASCAM on his head to try and learn more about his condition. It Hill provide a more reliable picture of what the damage is. If it is necessary, we will follow that up with an Encephalogram depending on what we get from the first test. We cannot do any of these tests right now because the technician is not available. I suggest that you get some sleep and come back tomorrow. We will take very good care of Michael.
We will be able to tell you more information tomorrow after the tests.”
Edward: ” Ok, Dr Kersley. I’ll come back Tomorrow. Thank you a lot for what you’ve already done for Michael.”
After Edward talked with the doctor, he left to return to Michael’s home. He walked out of the hospital very downcast and sad but deep down inside, He knew that he had to carry on.
Edward left the hospital and drove home. When he arrived there, he walked straight to the basement to check on the girl.
As Edward walked on the dried floor of blood, he noticed that the experiment had been a success after all. Edward tried to get a pulse from her and checked to see if she were breathing, but nothing confirmed positive. He then said to himself:
EDWARD: ” Shit, it worked and I missed the whole event. But not the next one.”
It was the early hours of dawn about daybreak at 4:30 a.m., when Edward decided to dispose of the body of Lucy. He went to the kitchen upstairs and looked for some large plastic bags and didn’t find any. Then he remembered the bags he had seen in the basement, he then walked down to the basement to get them. He wrapped the body of the girl with the long plastic bags. He tightened both ends of the bag and made small holes in it to let the air out. He carried the body out of the boat and started it taking off afterwards. After a few miles going north of the house. He stopped and left the engine on. He looked around to see for other boats in the area and after he saw there were none. Edward picked up the body very roughly and dumped it into the cold water of the lake leaving the scene right away.
Upon reaching the dock back at Michael’s home, Edward went inside and placed the motorboat’s keys on the coffee table. He sat there awhile and just lost himself in thought. Soon after he fell asleep on the couch.
When he got up a few hours later Edgard went to the hospital. After he arrived at the hospital, Edward stopped at the information desk to ask directions for where Michael’s room was. Edward then took the elevator to the intensive care unit on the seventh floor and stopped by the nursing desk there to ask if he could see his friend. He then went to room number 750 where his friend was, only to find him hooked up to a very confusing array of machines. These machines were the only things keeping Michael alive. Edward felt very sad and upset as he neared Michael’s bedside. At this point he got as close as he could and said:
EDWARD: ” Damnit you idiot why did you have to go against it, Why, Why? ”
He stayed in the room for quite some time until it started to get dark. It was then that Edward decided to go and look for Dr. Kersley and ask him what Michael’s general condition was. He was unable to locate him until a nurse at the intensive care station told him that the doctor was on his way up from down in the lobby. Edward rushed down to the elevator intending to met him on the way up, when the elevator door opened and the doctor stepped out of the elevator car.
EDWARD: " Hello, Dr. Kersley. How are you? ”
DR.KERSLEY: “Hello, Mr.Floyd. I was just going to look in on our patient.
EDWARD: " How is Michael doing? Is he going to be all right? ”
DR.KERSLEY: ” I saw him before noon this morning, about 11:30 a.m..
He had a CATSCAN done on him and we checked out his neurological responses. He is not responding as well as we had hoped. There is a small deposit of coagulated blood around the lumbar region of the brain that must be cleared up either by surgery or intravenous drugs. If all goes well he should recover.
How soon and what damage there is if any it’s too early to tell. We will re-run the electro- encephagram test tomorrow as we couldn’t register his brain wave pattern.It should provide us with some more information. ”
Both men continued the conversation about Michael’s condition for a few more minutes until Dr.Kresley was paged over the intercom and had to leave to see other patients in the emergency room. They said goodbye and the doctor promised that they would call him if anything occurred that he should know about. Edward left the hospital and walked to the truck very disturbed. He was even more confused than before he had arrived at the hospital. He had no idea about his friends condition and took off to drive back to the house. As he was driving back along Lake Shore Road Edward thought some more about the experiment. And he thought of making the laboratory hidden, with it’s own secret entrance.
Because he was afraid that Michael might be forever changed by the traumatic coma he was in, Edward thought what if he decides not to pursue this experiment? How will I be able to continue? He came to the conclusion that this was the best course of action to take. If Michael was all right, he could always change it back again once he was sure Michael wouldn’t object. He wasn’t about to give up that easy for the chance he had been waiting for, not when he was so close to succeeding.
Edward arrived back at the house and parked the truck in the garage. He went inside to the lab and fed the remaining mantis. Then he set about drawing a plan for the new entrance to the laboratory. Once that was done he scavenged the garage