Progression #48

[Chapter Thirteen- “Charlotte’s Dream” — Part One of Three]

progression number forty-eight

{To be continued…}

[Original writing & photography by J. E. Lattimer]

© 2012 J. E. Lattimer all rights reserved

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***[For my subscribers who do not read English]***

1)

Somewhere [in the back of her mind] Charlotte knew that she was asleep and dreaming- But she also understood that it was necessary for her brain to shut down for awhile and process everything that had happened.
It had been a pretty typical day: The usual long, grueling shift at the factory. The drive out of the city to visit Jack’s grave. Returning home, prepared for a quiet dinner and an evening alone.
But Jack had been sitting on the couch staring at her when she

2)

walked through the door. Which was simply impossible. Jack was dead-She had remained next to his lifeless body for hours, had watched the casket being lowered into the cold, hard ground.
The scene was replayed once again in her dream, only this time there were two Jacks, both sitting side by side with one of his old journals held between them. Both faces were blacked out for some reason. Strange, repeating images were cast across the darkened areas where the faces should have been. It reminded her of an old

3)

movie projected onto a screen.
This time around she didn’t collapse in the doorway, but instead tried to walk toward the couch. It was like she was on a gigantic treadmill, though. No matter how quickly she moved her feet in that direction she seemed to remain frozen in place. Her vision blurred and then she fell down.
Two years of crying and praying for him to be returned to me and this is how I react when it finally happens? I faint and hide from him within a dream?

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Progression #47

[Chapter Twelve- “The Journal” [V.II] — Part Six of Six]

progression number forty-seven

{To be continued…}

[Original writing & photography by J. E. Lattimer]

© 2012 J. E. Lattimer all rights reserved

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***[For my subscribers who do not read English]***

1)

June 4th –
Nearly three full days have passed since I have written anything in this journal –
I have been completely isolated in the studio for almost seventy hours now – No contact with the outside world (Other than Charlotte), no television, no telephone calls, no internet – Just work.
Not much time left to prepare for the big show – Pulling out all the stops. Just losing myself within the creativity like I used to back in the good old days.
Guess some things never change.

2)

Art supplies are scattered everywhere and the neighbors must be pissed off by now about the constant loud music blasting out of the stereo – But so far no official complaints, no cops knocking upon the door.
Each shape blends into another, each line of detail only leads to the next, deeper and deeper – More intensity, please – Move the light source closer. Closer.
Last night – A bit out of control. Two bottles of spiced rum from Barbados. Painting while burning up with intoxication. Sweat was

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dripping from my face and mixing in with the paint. The situation intensified until I had worked myself into a feverish frenzy. Nothing seemed to help until my constant lover led me into a darkened room and shared a secret embrace.
The room was spinning while my fingertips traced out new patterns of expression upon the contours of her flesh.
All I want to do is take a week off, a month off, a year. But I have gone too far and there’s no turning back. I’ll sleep when I’m dead.

Progression #46

[Chapter Twelve- “The Journal” [V.II] — Part Five of Six]

progression number forty-six

{To be continued…}

[Original writing & photography by J. E. Lattimer]

© 2012 J. E. Lattimer all rights reserved

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***[For my subscribers who do not read English]***

1)

June 1st (Continued) –
I left the gallery and walked in the direction of the parking garage where I had abandoned the car.
So, Hellfire Global was a real secret society – I had dropped the name to see what Aosoth would say and she had confirmed it. My instincts were rarely wrong, but this was getting serious.
Charlotte’s warnings about my plan to infiltrate and expose these people resurfaced in my mind and I thought of the ex-senator’s words again: “Just walk away from this one, Jack.”

2)

I did not encounter any protesters, which means that they must have increased the medication in the water again. That, or they had all been arrested and detained.
A wealthy friend of mine had shown us the necessary steps to filter our water years ago, but it was only a matter of time until someone noticed that we were not in the trance like everyone else.
The elevator took me up eight floors to the top of the garage. I stood by the edge and looked out over the city before getting into the car.

3)

It did not have to be this way. All of the fear and torture and surveillance was such a waste of time and energy.
Who were these forces that were hiding in the shadows and destroying freedom? Why were they so intimidated by love and compassion? Would humanity just remain blissfully unaware of their sacrificial role, or would a great awaking finally occur?
I pulled out a cigarette and put a flame to it while watching the traffic crawling down below.
Be strong and courageous.

Progression #45

[Chapter Twelve- “The Journal” [V.II] — Part Four of Six]

progression number forty-five

{To be continued…}

[Original writing & photography by J. E. Lattimer]

© 2012 J. E. Lattimer all rights reserved

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***[For my subscribers who do not read English]***

1)

June 1st (Continued) –
I walked the short distance from the courthouse to Aosoth’s gallery downtown. I went inside and moved quietly down the main hallway. Someone had left the door to her office open.
Time to get this show on the road.
Natasha was sitting upon a chair near the middle of the room with her eyes closed. If she had heard me coming she showed no indication of it.
I was puzzled by the fact that sunlight was pouring in through two windows and yet everything

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within the room was obscured by darkness.
“What can I do for you, Mr. Altomare?” Natasha said. She still had not opened her eyes.
“I- I just wanted to let you know that we have a deal. Under one condition -”
“Oh? And what would that be?”
“I will only do the show if I am able to speak directly to a member of Hellfire Global.”
I watched her response – First the side of her face twitched, then the corners of her mouth twisted up to form something like a smile.

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“I am impressed.” She said. “And don’t worry, if you create the type of pieces I requested in the email they will want to speak to you.”
A chill ran up my spine. “Very well.” I said. “I will be returning to my studio now.”
I was walking out of the room when I paused to look at a piece of “art” on the wall next to the door – Three skulls from an animal that I could not identify were displayed within a transparent box. This is art to these people? Why was it always about death and depravity instead of beauty and majesty?

Progression #44

[Chapter Twelve- “The Journal [V.II] — Part Three of Six]

progression number forty-four

{To be continued…}

[Original writing & photography by J. E. Lattimer]

© 2012 J. E. Lattimer all rights reserved

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***[For my subscribers who do not read English]***

1)

June 1st-
My investigation into the woman who calls herself Natasha Aosoth continues – She has contacted me again by email. She wants more of my artwork for an upcoming show at one of her elite galleries.
Preliminary research into her past and her circle of strange friends and financiers has only produced a new list of questions and concerns. 

Back in the day (When I was just out of school) I spent a few years doing research for the government and a major news network.

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Yesterday I contacted a former senator who still owed me a favor for some research I did for him. I told him about how I was running into too many dead ends with Aosoth’s past – That I was calling in the favor and needed some new leads.
He told me to meet him above the jury room in the courthouse down town at noon, that he would swing by and give me some documents. I had been waited over an hour for him to show when he called my cell.
“Hello.”
“Is this Jack?” He said.

3)

“Yes, sir.”
“Listen, I’m not going to be able to make it down there today. I looked into this woman and her galleries for you. This is not something you want to get involved in, my friend.”
“I – I don’t understand -” I said.
“She’s part of a group called ‘Hellfire Global.’ These people are bad news. Just walk away from this one, Jack.”
He disconnected the call.
I closed the phone and grumbled under my breath while walking back to the elevator.

Progression #43

[Chapter Twelve- “The Journal” [V.II] — Part Two of Six]

progression number forty-three

{To be continued…}

[Original writing & photography by J. E. Lattimer]

© 2012 J. E. Lattimer all rights reserved

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***[For my subscribers who do not read English]***

1)

May 28th-
I journeyed downtown this morning to pick up a few art supplies. Did not encounter any protesters today, but I saw a number of homeless roaming the streets. Some were begging for money while others were just sitting around- Silent, patiently waiting for the world to change.
No one passing by really seemed to care- Just lost in their daily quest to consume. Minds focused on material gain, faces illuminated by the eerie glow from the screens of the latest cell phones.

2)

More talk of layoffs on the news- Another empty storefront over there on that side of the street, another “going out of business” sign over here. There’s a line in front of the soup kitchen that snakes halfway around the block. A record number of people have simply stopped looking for work.

Vicious, totalitarian psychopaths have seized control of the economy. They are money junkies that never seem to get their fix. Cold blooded reptilian brains curling up, preparing to strike the next target, the next victim.

3)

I walked around a corner at one point and happened upon a very strange scene- A few people were kneeling down upon the sidewalk. They were arguing and cussing at each other while frantically clawing at the concrete below. As I moved past them I realized that some joker had glued a dollar bill to the sidewalk.
The group was desperately trying to pry it loose. The lady on the right had blood dripping from her raw fingernails! All of this for a symbolic piece of paper that was quickly loosing its value.

Progression #42

[Chapter Twelve- “The Journal” [V.II] — Part One of Six]

progression number forty-two

{To be continued…}

[Original writing & photography by J. E. Lattimer]

© 2012 J. E. Lattimer all rights reserved

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***[For my subscribers who do not read English]***

1)

May 26th-
I had a break from the creativity today. Slept in, then cooked an elaborate breakfast for Charlotte. We sat on the porch drinking expensive coffee and talking about the state of the world for at least an hour before deciding to go out on a walk.
Ended up at the entrance to a trail on the other side of town that winds through five square miles of preserved wilderness.
“How many years has it been since we’ve been out here?” Charlotte said.

2)

I shrugged. “Probably close to a decade. It would have been two years before we moved out to the mountains, maybe longer.”
We paused halfway across a narrow bridge and watched the shallow river flowing past below.
“The water’s low.”
“Yeah. The drought continues.”
“Oh, I ran into Bill and Mary yesterday.”
“How are they doing?”
“Good, I think. He said they’re stockpiling tons of food and supplies- You know, just in case.”
I nodded. “Seems like a lot of

3)

people are doing that. Might be a big waste of time and money. What if you’re faced with an emergency where you can’t remain in your home? You can’t take that much with you on the road.”
“Good point.”
We finished crossing the bridge and had traveled about a quarter mile when Charlotte suddenly stopped walking.
“Hey,” She said. “Go stand over there by that massive tree. I want to take a picture of you.” She reached into her purse and pulled out the camera.

Progression #41

[Chapter Eleven- “The Reunion” — Part Six of Six]

progression number forty-one

{To be continued…}

[Original writing & photography by J. E. Lattimer]

© 2012 J. E. Lattimer all rights reserved

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***[For my subscribers who do not read English]***

1)

He could not imagine what a shock it must have been for Charlotte to walk in through the door and see him staring back at her. Jack looked down at her face- Silently submerged in unconscious peace. He longed to wake her to experience the conversation that would follow.
But I don’t want to freak her out again, He thought. I’ll wait for her to wake on her own.
He reclaimed the old journal from the living room and walked back to the bedroom with it. As he crossed into the room Charlotte

2)

turned over onto her side and mumbled something unintelligible.
Jack propped the pillows up against the headboard on his side of the bed. He stretched out there beneath the wan light cast by the paper lantern that was suspended from the ceiling.
Maybe I should just flip to the last page and see what the final entry was about. He thought. But that would be cheating- Like buying a new novel and reading the last chapter immediately. Plus, there could be vital clues to what his life and death had been like

3)

scattered throughout the volume.
He had just located where he had left off when his thoughts turned to the strange hum in the forest that had initiated the journey to this alternate world.
If I have crossed over and ended Charlotte’s loneliness and suffering over here, then what about the other version of her in that world? Have I now died there and the same pattern is unfurling once again? Is that how it works?
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory, are being transformed into the same image