Ray & Gen & The Box of Hope™
The Journey Begins
By Chris Gurnick
As Mr. Jones arrived back into his own body satisfied that he had found the
location of the brother and sister, the electrical vibration running through his
nervous system stabilized and the radio navigation and auto-pilot systems on the
737 came back online. He was ready for the last leg of his fateful journey. Ever
since he was a child, his mother told him that he was to do great things for the
world and that he’d better make her proud.
The Society had been their only real family. After he finished physically
and emotionally abusing his children and wife, Jones’ father left his family
penniless to chase more booze and women, The Society called. They literally
called Mrs. Jones and told her to come to their meeting the next Saturday
evening. Mr. Jones remembered his mom hanging up and saying aloud, “What kind of
church group meets Saturday nights?” His mom went, and left him alone to care
for his two brothers.
Mrs. Jones, never one to fuss about her appearance, wore her finest dress
and made up her face for The Society’s meeting. It was the first time that Mr.
Jones had really paid attention to the fact that some people might think his
mother pretty. Off she went, leaving home just in time for the 11:30PM worship
service. While Mr. Jones watched television with his two younger brothers, his
mother signed over her soul, and was initiated into The Society.
His mother never told him the exact details of the ordeal, but when she
came home that night at 1:00AM, Mr. Jones quickly figured out, that his mother
was no longer the same woman that had stepped out the family’s door just two
hours before. After arriving home she sat on the edge of her bed and removed her
heels. She had a dreamy look about her, “They said they’d take care of us.
They’ll give us everything we need; The Society will help us, son. You will go
to your own initiation next Saturday. You’ll see, then you’ll understand,” and
she drifted off to sleep on the broken down bed. Mr. Jones covered his mother
with her clean, torn comforter and turned off her lamp and went to his own room
next door. She spent half the night screaming in pain, and when he went to check
on her, she looked up at him with glowing red eyes, and hissed, “Don’t touch me!
Don’t you dare touch me. My soul is theirs now.” He returned to his bedroom,
shaking with fear. Who was that woman? What happened to his mother? The stunned
teenage boy buried his head in his stained foam pillow and cried on and off
through the night. Each day, her personality continued to change. She spent most
of her days secluded in her room and left Mr. Jones to cook, clean and watch
over his two younger brothers.
Saturday arrived and Mrs. Jones reminded her son that it was his turn to
become a Society member. He remembered his mother’s glowing red eyes and how she
had returned home a tormented, possessed woman; he was scared to death that he
too would be changed forever.
He went with his mother the following Saturday night to The Society’s
11:30PM weekly meeting. As he entered the room, everything seemed fairly normal,
until he turned around, and saw a table covered with very old-looking long, thin
knives, laid out in a circle around an old stone bowl. He had the sudden urge to
Just when he was about to bolt, his mother grabbed him by the elbow, and
led him to a man who wore a black, hooded cape that covered most of his face,
“James, I want you to meet my son, Richard,” she said sweetly.
“Hello my son. I’m happy to finally meet you. Your mother has told me many
great things about you, and said that you are ready for the initiation,” James
“What is this initiation all about, sir?” Richard Jones asked nervously.
“Well, how would you describe it Edward?” James asked a man standing
suddenly next to him and the Jones’. Edwards wandering gaze locked right onto
Richard’s eyes; he was trying to read Richard’s soul and take his breath away;
the young man grabbed at his throat; he couldn’t breath. Mrs. Jones laughed and
patted her son on his back. Edward looked away from Richard and the teenager
regained his ability to breath. None of the adults seemed to notice or care
about the effect that Edward’s glare had on Richard.
James continued as if nothing had occurred, “There is no greater gift than
to be part of this group. You and your family will never want for anything ever
again, Richard. All you owe us is a promise of devotion and service. That’s all
son,” James said; he wore a fake smile.
Mrs. Jones and James led Richard by both elbows to a table in the back of
the dark rectangular-shaped room. The only light in the room came from
flickering candles, held in sconces on the old stone walls. Long, slow drumming
music played quietly in the background. Richard felt electricity pinging through
his body. His mother sat down and motioned for him to sit beside her. James
walked back to the front of the room. Richard and his mother looked forward and
listened to James speak to the group, “I am obliged to be speaking to you all
this fine evening. Tonight, we are blessed with yet another new member to The
Society’s family. Thank you, Darkness, for this wandering soul that decided to
accept peace into his heart. Let us begin,” he said as he and all the others in
the room bowed their heads, except for Richard.
Richard stared at James from the back of the room and he felt his mother
moving back and forth beside him. She was making the same sounds now that she’d
been making in her nightmares a week ago; Richard was scared to death. He
looked around for the nearest exit and started to run for the door. In the blink
of an eye, James was at his side and dragged Richard towards the table covered
with the scary-looking knives. Richard tried to pull away, but he was losing
consciousness. He managed to stay with it and noticed that his mother was at his
side, along with many others. Darkness threatened to overtake him; each of the
people standing near him lifted the sleeves of their robes and chanted in
All Richard remembered were people cutting their wrists and letting the
blood into the old, stone basin; it had ancient carvings written upon the inside
of the bowl. He swayed with dizziness and nausea. His mother took his hand,
pushed his head down towards the bowl, and with her other hand, cupped up some
of the blood, and pushed it against Richard’s mouth. He tried to resist, but his
mother’s hand was strong enough to force open his mouth and he automatically
swallowed the thick, viscous blood. Richard forcefully vomited the first
mouthful and sprayed it all over the people standing around him. He was about to
pass out and his mother once again cupped a handful of blood. James pulled him
by the hair; tilted Jones’ backwards while another person pried open his mouth.
His mother poured about a quarter-cup of fresh human blood down her son’s
throat. This time, Richard couldn’t help himself but to swallow.
His next memories involved darkness, pain, terror and feeling total
indifference to all people, and all things. He didn’t care about anything, not
even his brothers or mother. He would often wander aimlessly through the woods
around his house, trying to find things to kill. His mother also gave up caring;
Richard’s younger brothers now ran wild, getting into trouble; they had no one
left to care for or about them. Many people in the town believed that Richard
and his mother were alcoholics. Only those from The Society knew differently.
It wasn’t until the indifference became mundane, common, and a few more
Society meetings, that Richard was finally given his first writings from The
Society members. Mildred Hatchins, an older woman that Richard had always
thought a witch, handed him a small, ripped black-covered book, and said to him
one Saturday night, “I believe that you are ready for this now,” and walked
away. At the next Saturday’s meeting, James handed Richard another black
leather-bound book, thicker than the one from Mrs. Hatchins, and said, “Finish
hers first, then read this one. When you’ve finished, I want to talk with you
about the book and what you are to do next Richard.”
Richard did as he was told, and began reading his books. Every now and then,
his mother peeked through cubby holes in his room wall, making sure that her
eldest son, a distant relative of the four-thousand year old Egyptian Zosar, was
indeed doing his homework.