The story behind Phantom Cathedral by BCK
No one knows where they came from or who they are, all we know is that one day the circus was standing there on the field outside my hometown.
On the outside, an ordinary circus with animals, a company of performers and clowns. All the children cheered and went with their families. Finally something extraordinary happened in Big River but the river would turn black at night.
With a population of 2793, Big River is a quiet and small town with an elementary school, a library and a grocery store where people meet and where those everyday stories are told.
The major part worked in the local mine, this is 1960 and the children are playing in the street that is full of life and the kites are flying high in the sky.
This is also the year when young boy Bynes turns 5, he dreams of being a fireman when he gets old and wishes for a firefighter´s helmet on his birthday. A red letter day he will never forget.
He seemed like a friendly person, the circus director with his big black hat. But there was something creepy about his smile when he gave all the children balloons.
He said his name is Ben, -but you can call me Uncle Ben, he leaned over me and blinked with his eye. Ben was the only one who spoke among all at the circus which felt a bit strange.
My mind was already inside the tent where the crowd was filling the seats and the acrobats were waiting, when instead I should´ve looked up at the darkening sky. The birds had stopped singing.
By morning, the circus had left the town and the grass, the bushes and all the trees had died overnight where uncle ben and his companions had stayed. Afterwards, none of the children were the same and some were locked away in a mental institution. Others were diagnosed schizophrenia and some even saw suicide as a solution. The local gypsy said the devil had been here to take the childrens souls.
I didnt open up and kept the demons inside of me, I learned to live with the dark side by side which gave me the strength to feel no fear. I gave that other self a name, I called him Lucas Black.
War is an ugly thing, still I´m a hero in the eyes of my nation. To media, Operation Condor was a success but there is a much darker side, the medal is so heavy on my chest.
A patriot and a soldier, honored with the purple heart, I stood up for the alliance no matter the cost. The nightmares keep haunting me and the watchman of the hour is calling out for me.
I´m holding on from day to day, I know my place and it´s time to go, I´m going home. This time I wasn´t alone, Maria gave me powers to feel goodness again. But it was just another reason for evil to cross my path again.
When I wanted to get away from it all and be on my own, I used to go to this abandoned house on the field outside Big River where the yards are overgrown all around with broken glass on the ground.
This is where I kept writing my diary and still do, this very year of 1977 when I´m about to turn 22. It´s been two years since the war and I feel Hugh Cornwell was right when he sang Whatever happened to the heroes, I need to be someone and stop hiding.
I lost my innocence years ago so it´s time to face the horror and for a moment I fell asleep and thought I heard my mother Efva´s voice talk to me. She said -Bynes, Wake up, they are here now.
So cold, so cold, did I have the fever? but I didn´t feel sick or had the temperature drastically fallen below zero? Then I heard the music, it sounded so familiar and suddenly all the lights were out.
It was past midnight and Maria wondered if it was a blackout, she looked out the window and saw lights coming from the field outside the town, -it sounds like a circus, she said.
I knew we didn´t have much time and needed to leave in a hurry, all I cared about was putting her to safety but I wasn´t thinking straight. I told her to go out and start the car while I packed the most important stuff. There was already someone waiting in the backseat of the car.
Maria was gone but the car was still there with the engine running and then I heard a siren from a police car. They stopped at my house and out came two police officers and the short one started talking, - You´re under arrest for the murder of Lee and Efva Hunteera, you have the right to remain silent blah blah blah.
I couldn´t believe it, shocked over my parents death and they accused me....and above all, Maria was missing. Everything became a blur and I felt like it was the end when I noticed a shadow behind my car. Only evil leaves a shadow on the ground and I knew that shape from before, it was Charlie the clown.
My mind was transported back to the war in Chile and I remember how the smoke cleared on the battleground at noon, for a moment the soldier becomes a child with his red balloon.
I closed my eyes and thought for myself, -Lucas, it´s time!
There I was behind bars, the Sheriff looked at me with his stupid smile and thought he was cool when he said -Aren´t we cozy here with all the candles burning? We are waiting for the power to get back on. He continued, - You´re silent soldier boy or shall I call you Bynes, the lost hero?
I turned around, looked down and answered -The name is Lucas and you´re just like that cockroach in the corner, helpless if I step on it, but he´s got an advantage. The cockroach can disappear and you can´t. (I turned around) -You fools, I´m the only one who can save you and yet, you keep me locked inside in here. I don´t fear what´s coming through that door anytime now but you should be.
Then the wind opened the door and it went pitch black, the last thing the sheriff would hear was his own scream. Charlie was here.
I knew that stench from when I was a child but the sound of sharp teeth against steel bars was new to me. I guess anyone would´ve felt a creepin´ chill to the bone but I only had time for closure in my head.
Everyone that would stand in the way between me and them would have to pay with their lives, now they had come to collect the last soul they had been missing from the first time Uncle Ben and his phantoms came to our town.
I closed my eyes and put the hands up in the air, I felt enormous strength coming through my body and with a holy force, the cell door was torn off and bent around Charlie like the sign of a cross. I looked him in the eyes and whispered -You don´t belong here. Then I put a rope around his neck and dragged him on my way to the circus.
I have a job to do.
The morning came, the sun was rising over the forest and silence ruled but it was a peaceful calm. Life had returned to Big River and the light shone brighter than ever. Bynes was down by the lake and was waiting for the beach to be filled with children´s playful voices.
Bynes washed his hands and was glad the town had slept through the epic death just a few hours earlier.
In the black night, Lucas showed no mercy and did a massacre on all the fallen angels at the circus but no sight of Uncle Ben, so he went outside to set the Phantom Cathedral on fire and watch Charlie burn up in flames. There Ben was with Maria lying on the ground and said to Lucas, -You can save her, just let me go or finish me off and I will take her with me.
Maria looked at Lucas and nodded, a tear fell from Lucas eye and he said, -I love you Maria.
The next second, lightning hit Uncle Ben who took Maria with him to the other side. While the circus burned down to the ground, Bynes was back and walked away from the fire but stopped when he saw the headlines on the morning news paper. It said "Ban religion, says the leaders of the world" "First child baptized with a number instead of a name".
Bynes thought to himself, -I better hide my diary, someone might need it someday.