The following is an excerpt from an ongoing transmedia project currently in the works. This is just a taste of what's to come. However, I wanted to take a moment to point out the inspiration for this segment.
The story portion below is inspired by Henry Darger who wrote Into the Realms of the Unreal, a 15, 145 page book. The majority of the book involves a story entitled The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion. The tale of Henry Darger and the Vivian Girls is an engrossing, heartbreaking saga in and of itself, and I whole heartedly encourage you to take a little time to glance at the links below as well as do your own research.
As I said, the story here inspired by this work is only a segment of a much larger narrative, so stay tuned to find out how it all unfolds.
For more on Henry Darger, start your own investigation here:
Henry Darger - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
henry darger - Bing
IN MITCH'S HOLE THE RATS ARE AT WAR
Last night Mitch put his eye to the hole in the wall. He noticed it the day he moved into the apartment, but paid it little mind. The previous tenant probably caused it any of a hundred different ways, and though he noticed it every day for six months, Mitch found ignoring the hole much easier than fixing it. Then one midnight, on his way to the bathroom, Mitch thought he saw a light coming from the hole.
He shook off the sight as a mistake. Probably some light from the street outside, or maybe just a bit of dream hanging in his eye. Either way, the light vanished in a blink. He might not’ve given the matter a second thought except another night, not two later, he saw the light again. This time there could be no denying the shimmering column streaming out of the hole.
Cautiously, Mitch waved a hand across the shaft, a kaleidoscopic array of shapes cast into his palm. He could even feel the patterns moving across his hand, an iridescent mandala of playing card patterns, aces chasing spades followed by diamonds and hearts. He shook his head. Didn’t his buddy Gene once tell him some drugs stay in a person’s system – Mitch felt certain he’d heard as much from someone who could be considered a legitimate opinion – of course, some of the acid he did back in college probably hid out in his bones, and cracking his neck earlier released a flood of dormant LSD-25 into his system. After all, nothing except a vacant lot existed behind this wall.
Mitch moved to glance inside, but the light hit him in the eye like a fierce wind full of icy specs. Flinching away from the view he turned back to find nothing there. Nothing save for the hole.
Three weeks went by. Some nights he saw the light, others just inky darkness. During the day he tried examining the hole, yet it seemed to be merely a crooked circle crudely cut into the wall. Shining a flashlight inside revealed wood, wiring, and one or two pipes, everything ordinary, everything Mitch expected.
The first few times the light resurfaced Mitch didn’t know what to do. He tried to ignore it, but couldn’t. In fact, the more he tried not to see it the more it seemed to shine, brighter and more frequently, faint noises accompanying it almost seeming to call to him. Then last night, Mitch's curiosity became so intense he pulled on an old scuba mask he had, and peered into the hole.
He could feel the light pushing against the viewing glass. Again like a strong wind, though now he could stare into the column. Mitch’s heart skipped a beat.
Through the hole he saw a legion of bipedal rats riding cats across a purple prairie towards an advancing army of skeletal rabbits. The Leporids advanced behind a line of badgers carrying halberds, while the rats appeared to be taking orders from a group of flightless birds. A rain of arrows fell from the sky, showers sent by both sides. The gun metal grey dawn soon tinted red as the sun rose, briefly matching the ground now littered with bodies. Animal cries of agony. A cold wind frosted the edge of the scuba mask, ice licking at Mitch’s ears as he stared dumbfounded.
The battle raged for what seemed to be hours. He didn’t know which side to root for, but stood rapt. When it finally ended, the rabbits victorious, Mitch watched a pair of squirrels wheel out a guillotine. The defeated rats got lined up. A hooded frog operated the guillotine, and beheaded the remaining rats one by one.
The light faded out. Mitch went to bed, though he didn’t sleep. Instead he stared at the ceiling trying to make sense of what he’d seen.
The next day at work he counted the hours till he went home. He told no one, and canceled dinner plans with friends in order to sit by the hole. Night arrived. Midnight. The hole glowed to life. Licking his lips, Mitch put on the scuba mask, and dove into the sight.
An elderly rabbit sat on a time-discolored stone throne. The high crown on its head, made of woven branches, jewels fastened with metal threads, suggested the old rabbit must be royalty. Two crows stood before the throne offering a small chest containing an assortment of silver jewelry in ornate Celtic patterns. The rabbit royal shook its head. The crows tried to run, but spears in the hands of squirrels soon brought them down. The royal rabbit chuckled. The light faded away.
That evening Mitch spent the rest of the night writing down what he’d just seen as well as what he could remember from the previous viewing.
The Crows retaliated against the rabbits, dropping flaming bundles on the Leporid city. Women and children burned in the streets. Prince of Hares cut the old royal’s throat then went to a high tower to offer the head as a sign of peace. Though the crows took the head, they gave no peace in return. The city soon drowned in blood. The crows left the city in ash and ruin as a warning to all. But several rabbits still lived in the rubble.
Mitch found the longer he stared into the hole the longer the visions lasted. Soon he needed to take time off work in order to keep witnessing events. Another problem emerged. Whenever the view blinked out it took longer and longer to return. A give and take as it were; however, time obviously didn’t move the same for Mitch as it did within the hole. Whole decades passed as he waited for another chance to peer into this other world. Mitch did his best to piece together a patchwork history from what little he saw, but some facts would always remain obscure.
Still, he saw the rise of Crows before having to assume their decline into decadence. The rats returned alongside the rabbits, any animosity a thing of the past. Another war raged. This time the frogs and squirrels vied for power, for themselves or at the behest of others Mitch couldn’t say. He saw buildings one might call churches full of whispering prayer animals. In a dark alley a mouse gave birth to a small baby, snuck the swaddled infant out of the city to a fox, who spirited the child away to a life Mitch never saw unfold.
Mitch watched it all, and more, and never told a soul. He suspected no one would believe him – fair enough. He went to work during the day, and at night waited for the hole to light. If it didn’t by midnight he went to bed where he dreamed of previous visions. When the light did shine, though, he spent the whole night staring into it, even went so far as to keep a small tub nearby so he could pee without walking away; built himself a kind of high chair so he could sit and stare. Mitch watched it all for decades of his own life, centuries inside the hole.
When he died from a heart attack, somewhere around 69, Mitch lived alone. People in the apartment building didn’t really know what to think as no one really knew the man. Having no friends or family, Mitch’s landlord took possession of his few belongings. Among them the landlord found a series of binders full of pages upon pages of writing along with illustrations, the drawings rough at first but improving considerably in later volumes. The landlord flipped through nearly fifteen thousand pages, casually reading a line or two here and there.
Chuckling, she said to herself, “Mister, you had one hell of imagination.”
She set the volumes in a corner of her own apartment. The next day she made arrangements to have the hole sealed in Mitch’s apartment.