How I hate the letter ‘D.’ What you have before you is probably the third or fourth attempt at a story on this topic, and I unfortunately broke the two rules I put before me on this project. 1) No supernatural and 2) One week to write it. The first story was done in a week, possibly even the second, but they were so unworthy of having my name attached to them, I couldn’t even admit ownership. It was at that point that I decided I’d sacrifice the two rules for the sake of the integrity of the project. The result is the story you have before you, and while it may not be the best example of my writing, it is light years ahead of the shit that came before it.
Daylight Saving Time
Many people see Daylight Saving Time as nothing more than a nuisance, requiring you to change your clocks twice a year. Few people know of the many stories that revolve around this significant time change. However, the people of Tampa Bay, Florida will always remember the “Daylight Death Dealer,” a serial killer who killed two people a year, one on the spring occurrence of DST, and another on the fall occurrence for six years. He or she was never captured, however, during the seventh year of DST when the people of Tampa Bay were waiting for the grim affair, nothing happened. His methods of electrocution, and fatal car accidents were attributed to a pro and con of DST, unfortunately his reasons remain a mystery to this day.
Another instance was the Savior Son, a child destined to be born on the 25 hour day, and bring forth an enlightened age of men if he wasn’t sacrificed on the 23 hour day, by those who feared his potential. His name is whispered in underground religious circles, and preordained to return on another 25 hour day, his protectors will be ready next time.
But not all instances need be so morbid or grandiose as the first two. There was also a pair of lovers, Cory and Leslie Bell, whose love was so intertwined with this time of year, they may never have gotten married if it weren’t for Daylight Saving Time. I know that sparked you’re curiosity. Leslie, a beautiful young woman, fell in love with Cory, a luckless dope, who had died on the first Sunday of DST. They spent the following eight months together falling more in love everyday. Unfortunately on the last day of DST in October, the curse of their love was realized, the man who died that fateful hour in March, returned to the dead. Then again in the following March, on the anniversary of his death, Cory came home to her, who never gave up hope on him. And so the curse went, during DST he was as corporal as you, but in October he once again walked the Earth as an apparition waiting to touch his love again. They lived this way for many years, and even had several kids during their marriage until Leslie passed away of natural causes. What happened to him his kids never knew, but after their mother died he never returned.
But alas, this isn’t a tale of an enduring love that was so strong it defied death itself, but another man whose life and death revolved around Daylight Saving Time. Charles Beck can’t explain it but ever since his father passed away he felt different inside, and not in the way as when his mother died, or in any way he thinks is normal. For most of last year he felt weaker, if only slightly, but weaker. Also, which he’s scared to say aloud, he feels older, and again not in the normal sense an otherwise healthy 35 year old would. Then, inexplicably one day he woke up feeling great, almost youthful. His wife, who hadn’t noticed his ‘weaker’ or ‘older’ state, had noticed her husband reinvigorated and rejuvenated. Every night that week they had better sex then either of them ever had, and it seemed to just get better.
But as sure as DST ends, it begins again and this year Charles had noticed his decline in health, which was greater than last year, seemed to be correlated more to Daylight Saving Time, than the passing of his father. All doctors he saw said that this was just a coping mechanism his mind was using for dealing with the passing of his father. Even Charles’ private physician, who had noticed a change in Charles, agreed with the other doctors, saying that this change was his mind’s way of forcing him to deal with these pent up feelings that he was hiding or ignoring.
Always having been a man of faith Charles turned to the church, which unfortunately, even devastatingly, had no answers that appeased Charles. Seeing no solution or at least an answer to what ales him, Charles was at the end of his rope. Then one Sunday morning in October he woke up feeling like a new man. Newly formed wrinkles vanished from his face, he had an extra hop in his step, and again he connected this change to DST. Unfortunately, this joyous realization was accompanied with the realization that come March chances were he would revert to his weaker state.
And sure enough when Daylight Saving Time began again he seemed to age almost five years, in actuality it was six, but Charles wouldn’t figure the pattern out until later, until it was too late. His wife, who had the patience that only few females possessed, stayed by his side through it all. On his 38th birthday, although at his point in June he looked to be in his 50’s, Teresa took him to a fortune teller, unrealistically thinking this may be able to help her Chuck, with whatever was cursing him. But as much as Charles and Teresa doubted it, MadaM ZadaZ noticed something was wrong with him the moment he sat down at her table. “I see you are stressed, you were right in seeking my assistance.”
“Oh my God Chuck! She can tell something’s wrong, maybe she’ll know how to help.”
“Calm down Teresa, if there was nothing wrong I wouldn’t be here, isn’t that right MadaM ZadaZ?”
In a better ‘Mrs. Cleo’ accent than even Mrs. Cleo has, which is surprising for a white girl from California, MadaM ZadaZ asks Charles, “So you do not believe in the abilities of MadaM ZadaZ?”
“No, I don’t believe in the abilities of someone who has to say their own name so often. You say I’m stressed, big surprise, tell me something you don’t say to every other person who walks in that door.”
MadaM ZadaZ begins laughing, and not just a chuckle but a full belly roar, that frightens Teresa, but angers Charles. So much so, without another word he gets up out of his seat, grabs Teresa’s arm and strides towards the door.
“You’re younger than you look.” MadaM says as Charles is reaching for the doorknob. Stopping in his tracks MadaM continues. “And that’s not something you were used to hearing until this year. Is that the kind of thing you wanted to hear Mr. Beck?”
Shocked Teresa asks, “How did you know? How do you know our last name we never told you.”
Again MadaM laughs explaining, “It was on the credit card you paid with, what wasn’t on the card, is that you, Mr. Beck, are only in you’re mid thirties. MadaM ZadaZ believes you are cursed.”
Slowly beginning to have faith in the MadaM, Charles inquires further, “Cursed? How could I have become cursed? Why am I cursed?”
“Usually when people are cursed and they can’t recall being cursed they inherited the curse from a loved one that just passed away. Have you recently lost someone?”
“Yes! My father died shortly before I began having these weak phases, but they would end when… and I know this sounds dumb (but so do fortunetellers)… they would end at the end of Daylight Saving Time in October. And then, then they would start again in March after Daylight Saving Time would start. Does that make sense at all?”
“It’s not uncommon for curses to be anchored to something else; objects, places, people, or in your case times. But I am sorry my knowledge and abilities are in fortunes not curses, I can give you a contact of mine who may be able to help.”
Feeling relieved for the first time since this whole ordeal started, Charles thanks MadaM ZadaZ, and apologizes for doubting her, before he goes on his way with Teresa to the MadaM’s friend. Little does he know that MadaM was right in thinking that this was out of her league, but grossly wrong in thinking this was a curse.
“Wait a second, Mister Moloft, what do you mean this is worse than a curse?”
With clear frustration in his voice, “MASTER, Master Molloph, and this is worse because, curses have cures, there is no cure for you. You are possessed.”
“I’m possessed? Like as in the devil is in my body?”
“Yes and no. You are possessed but it’s not by the devil, nothing that powerful, probably not even a demon, but take this not lightly you are possessed. You share your body with an apparition who’s using you as a vessel, trying to expel you from, well, you.”
“But what does this have to do with Daylight Saving Time and me?”
“This apparition must have a close link to Daylight Saving Time making it more powerful during this time.”
“Oh my God! My dad, my dad died around that time. I’m possessed by my father. Is that possible?”
“Not only is it possible, it sounds likely. You’re father probably doesn’t even know it. He was most likely on his way to the afterlife, but the dead are most powerful in the days after their death, while simultaneously you were at your weakest state when mourning your father.”
“So what you’re telling me is that reason, if you can call it that, dictates that my father’s spirit accidentally possessed me after he died, while I was morning him, and now he’s forcing me out of my own body.” Unable to comprehend what he himself just said, Charles rises from his chair and begins pacing the room.
Uncomfortable with the silence, Teresa has to ask the obvious question, “What are we going to do? You said there’s no cure, nothing we can do. My husband is going to continually age every year during Daylight Saving Time, until his father finally wins and kicks him out of his own body?”
As calm as ever, as if this were an everyday occurrence Master Molloph states, “True I said there was no cure but there are several things we can do. For instance the logical step would be to have a séance, to try and communicate with your father, Charles, letting him know of the situation. In cases of accidental possession this usually works, however, if this does not work we could try an exorcism…”
“Excuse me? Did you just say ‘we could try an exorcism.’ What are you a rebel priest curing curses on the side? Because correct me if I’m wrong but I was under the impression that only priests can perform exorcisms. I get sent here because you’re partner thought I was cursed, but it turns out worse than that, yet you can still help. What the hell is going on here. And if you could exorcize me, what happens to my father, I don’t want his eternal soul banished to hell, or snuffed out of existence, or whatever happens to exorcised spirits. He may be dead but he’s still my father, and how do we know he won’t just ‘accidentally’ possess someone else?”
“Chuck breath!” Teresa has to cut her husband’s rant short. All these questions were beginning to make her feel sick. “I’m sure Master was prepared to answer those questions already. Right Master Molloph?”
“Absolutely dear Teresa.” Molloph answers in his signature calm swagger. “You are right, a priest can only perform exorcisms on demons, but as I said earlier this isn’t a demon. Of course now you are wondering, ‘How does he know it’s not a demon?’ And rightfully so, but the answer is simple, my meager abilities wouldn’t be able to detect a demon. As for what will happen if we do the exorcism, let us wait to see if it is even necessary, as I said with most accidental possessions the séance will work.” Molloph pauses to allow the information to sink into Charles’ mind, and give him time to calm down. After several minutes Charles’ breathing begins to return to normal and he takes his seat once again. Molloph now continues with some bad news, “However, séance of this caliber are quite taxing on me and need preparation, and how shall I say this, resources.”
Disgusted at the implications Charles responds coldheartedly, “I have money to pay for this but you won’t see one cent until I return to normal.”
“Very well, I meant no harm, but simply put this is my chosen career and a career which needs revenues. I apologize and beg your forgiveness. Unfortunately, by ‘preparations’ I meant two nights meditation. Return in three night’s time and all shall be prepared.”
Charles and Teresa left Master Molloph’s ‘place of business’ with very few words. In actuality they spoke very few words for the next three days. Neither felt particularly happy or sad. They had reason to be upset for simply being in the situation, but as any optimist would point out they also had reason to be happy for this conflict was about to meet it’s end. But how wrong they were. If they knew of the incredible depths of shit they were about to step in they would never be happy again, truth be told one of them may never have the chance to be happy again.
Charles and Teresa returned to Master Molloph’s gaudy trailer home as scheduled, anxious to get this awful ordeal over with. After the customary pleasantries, Molloph and Charles sit across from one another with a picture of Charles’ father placed between the two. Molloph began the séance by lighting several ceremonial candles, chanting non-English gibberish, and igniting earthly aromatic incense creating an atmosphere that Charles hasn’t experienced since his college hippie days. Trying to clear his head of such thoughts, Molloph instructs to do just such a thing. “Okay Charles, I want you to clear your mind of all thoughts save your father. Concentrate on the picture before you and think of a specific time with your father, preferably a happy one. Let the aroma take over, let the lights calm you, and think. Go to that particular moment with your father… Are you there? Just nod don’t speak… Good, now I want you to think of what you would tell your father at this very moment. Would you warn him of his death, would you tell him you love him, or would you simply relive the time you had with him? Do you have it? Do you know what you would say? Good, now take my hands. Okay, now I want you to envision your father to be here in the room with us, picture him just as he is in your memory. You see him? Good, now tell him those words you have with you now in your heart. Tell him out loud, all the emotions you have within you. Don’t mind my incantations, just continue talking.”
“Dad you remember when I was just a little kid, here in this very park and you taught me how to throw a football? I never did learn too well, but I always loved the fact that you tried. You always tried no matter what the task was, you always tried. Even when mom died and me and Jill started to slip away, you held us together. You said we’re a family always, and that brothers and sisters don’t give up when one parent dies, or even when both. You said that’s when we need to be even stronger. And you were right, even to this day me and Jill talk everyday, we’re closer than ever because of you. Because you never gave up, you always tried. Even when the odds were impossible, so why did you do it? Why did you kill yourself? You had me and Jill we were there for…”
Charles is cut off by Teresa’s gasp. Finally the spirit that was possessing her husband came out. “Charles look! It’s… it’s not your father?”
Fully snapping out of the daze the candles put him in, Charles realizes she’s right. There’s some ghost or something in the room but it’s not his father, he doesn’t even look older than Charles, or what Charles should look like. Molloph, too weak from the séance slumps over barely conscious. Charles and Teresa begin slowly moving for the door backwards, keeping an eye on the ghost in the room, that seems to pay them no mind. Teresa turns to Charles to ask him what they should do, but notices that he looks young again. It’s only the middle of June and he looks young again. “It worked!” Teresa yells, and instantly realizes the folly of her actions.
The ghost turns to her and floats directly towards her. Both her and Charles too scared and in shock to move allow the ghost to come close enough to touch her. It’s touch is so cold, she instantly goes numb. Realizing his wife is in peril, snaps Charles out of shock, sending him in a fury of punches that pathetically pass though their intended target every time. Understanding he can’t do anything offensively to the ghost, Charles resorts to defense, by grabbing Teresa by the arm and forcing her out. The ghost begins to float towards them stumbling, crawling on the floor but stops abruptly. This clever ghost nonchalantly returns to the trailer, leaving the couple in peace.
Once in the trailer again the ghost finds exactly what he was looking, Master Molloph, a human with a spiritually weakened body. The ghost enters this new vessel and finds the struggle-free home he’s been looking for. A nameless, formless, ghost no more, he is now Mister Molloph, and happy to have a home.
And who am I you may be wondering? Well I’m quite disappointed you haven’t figured it out. I’m Cory Bell, the luckless dope that was cursed by love. See, after my wife died, the bond that kept me on earth remained but wasn’t strong enough to keep bringing my body back with it, so I became a wraith. That’s right a wraith possessing people, but still with a curse based on Daylight Saving Time. I mean you should have seen it coming. Guy in love, with a weird curse around DST, Cory Bell: Charles Beck; CB and CB. Honestly I picked the guy for his name alone, little did I know his wife would remind me so much of my own, Leslie. Her unfailing love, her fortune to fall for a dimwit like me, sorry like Charles, spending 6 years in a guy does things to your mind you don’t want to know.
After Charles was free of me, he and Teresa went on to have a happy life in Tampa Bay. Oh I didn’t tell you? Yes, they lived in Tampa Bay as well, just like me and Leslie. That’s right so did the Daylight Death Dealer, although I never liked the name, I figured I’d live up to the name, of course that was until I found good ole Charles Beck who was kind enough to give me a few year ride.
Well time to find out what this fat gypsy slob can do. Ta ta for now.
What? Why are you still here? Oh you want to know how the Savior Son ties into all this. Well you shouldn’t believe everything you hear, right?