The Synergetic Novel – episode 10

I’m going to start posting the episodes from the Synergetic Novel on this blog, too, though I recommend checking the site once in a while, since it will have clues that you can’t find elsewhere.  If you’ve never heard of the Synergetic Novel, see What is the Synergetic Novel.  If you need to catch up, you can read the rest of the episodes on the website.

If you don’t feel like reading the episode, just click the Listen button, and I’ll read it to you!

I’ve added a new element to the site, too.  While anyone can adopt a character and decide what choices that character will make, I have reserved the main character for everyone to have a little input on.  There’s now a little poll at the bottom of the page with choices for everyone to vote for.  The highest vote will be the choice Matt makes.  No email, sign in, or anything required, though I believe it will only allow you to vote once.  The poll does end after Tuesday, however, so I’ll have time to write the next episode based on the choices suggested.

Anyway, here’s episode 10!



“Where is what? Who are you?!” Matt said, trying to hide the shock and fear in his voice.

As Matt stood to face him, he realized that the man was at least nine inches taller than Matt, who was nearly six feet tall himself. He also had a very large frame, giving him a very intimidating presence. How on earth had the man gotten in the room? There had been no one a few moments before.

“Don’t play games with me, fool! You have too much to lose. Tell me where it is or it will mean the end of your people!”

Matt had no idea what he was talking about. He had been preparing to fight the man or run away, but from the way the man spoke, it sounded as if there were others in danger. Was there a group somewhere being held hostage by this man? Was he some kind of psychopath? Did he really think Matt had something that he wanted? And wanted badly enough to threaten lives?

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Matt said firmly. Matt spoke slowly, worried that if someone was in danger, he might make it worse if he said something wrong. “I don’t have anything. What is it you’re looking for?” Matt could only assume that the man was making a mistake and had confronted the wrong person. He did, however, plan to call the police the moment he had the opportunity.

If the man could sense the fear in Matt’s voice, he seemed surprised by it. He stared at Matt. Matt made a mental note of the man’s appearance so he would be able to offer a description to the police. He was tall and well-built, with dark curly hair and a short beard. His skin was white though heavily tanned. He wore a strange leather robe that hung loose on his limbs, though Matt wouldn’t have described it as baggy. It looked like an ancient costume, well-worn and soiled.

“Look,” Matt said, noticing the puzzlement in the mans eyes, though the fury in his face was obvious, “I don’t know who you are, or what you are doing here, but this is my house, and I’ll call the police if I need to.”

The man looked skeptical. “You say you don’t know who I am. Do you swear it? Do you swear that you are not an Ion?”

“I don’t even know what you mean by –”

“DO YOU SWARE?!” He shouted, and then calmed, “By the… by the Beast, then? By the Beast, you do not know what an Ion is?”

“I have no idea what an Ion is. Unless you mean eon as in the time-frame. Who are you? What is it you’re looking for?”

The man eyed Matt for a few moments, apparently confused and frustrated. But he said nothing. Matt couldn’t tell if it was curiosity, fear, or insanity that he could see in his expression. Without any explanation, the man reached his hand toward Matt’s neck, as if about to strangle him. Instinctively, Matt fell back to avoid his hand. The man pulled his hand back and continued to stare at Matt

Then Matt watched, his whole body feeling like ice, as the man turned and walked away, right through the wall.

It took him a while to get his wits back. Seeing the man pass through the wall like nothing was there had completely terrorized Matt. A ghost. Matt had actually seen – talked to, a ghost. A rather large, loud ghost, too.

He decided it wouldn’t do any good to call the police. They would just think he’s crazy. He only hoped he wasn’t. The house was quite old. At least three generations of his family had lived in it, but he knew the ghost hadn’t been one of his own ancestors. The man looked nothing like anyone in his family, but his clothes had looked old enough to belong to a ghost.

He felt ridiculous thinking about such things, but the man had been so real – so vivid. Aside from his attire, the man had looked absolutely normal, albeit large.

Finally, Matt decided he didn’t want to be alone in the house. He began leaving the room but returned briefly to grab one of the burgundy leather books and a few of the oddly named volumes off the shelf. He took them downstairs and found a backpack to carry them in. A trip to the library would give him an excuse to be around other people while examining the books further. Anything to get his mind off the large intruder.

He called for Phil. He hadn’t seen the dog since they first started searching for clues in the back yard. But not feeling like searching all the creepy corners of the house, he left without him.

The library was only a block from his house, so he walked, looking repeatedly over his shoulder for… well, for anything: hooded people, ghosts, and Phil. It occurred to Matt that the intruders the night before may have also been ghosts. That would explain their strange disappearance, but could ghosts dig holes in the ground? He decided that while he was at the library, he would look for a history of his neighborhood. Maybe there were stories of haunted houses. He had never taken ghost stories very seriously, but he had never had a reason to believe them like he did now.

He stepped into the library. It was quiet, but seeing real tangible people took the edge of fear from his thoughts. He walked to the information desk. A young woman sat at a computer, deeply involved in study. It was clear that she was the library attendant, though he had never seen her before. She must have been new, or was just volunteering today. He would have cleared his throat to get her attention, but felt suddenly shy when he realized that she was probably only a year or two younger than him. Her dark shoulder-length hair curled under her chin and partially covered her eyes, so she hadn’t yet noticed him.

He fidgeted for a few moments, and then started to remove his backpack, hoping the movement would get her attention. It did. She looked up at him, and with a bright expression, said, “Oh, hey! I’m glad you didn’t wait for tomorrow to come back. I found some of the information you were looking for.”

He looked over his shoulder, thinking she may have been addressing someone else, but apparently she took the motion as a sign that he didn’t want anyone else to hear their conversation, because she leaned closer and said in an hushed but excited voice, “You wouldn’t believe some of the strange stories about the origins of this old town. It’s really fascinating!”

“But,” Matt stammered, “how did you know I…”

“Are you kidding? Between the Internet and an old library like this, you can learn just about anything!”

Poll ends after Tuesday

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