Phantom Nitsua“You can’t do that!” a man shouted as a curious child approached the edge of a 300 foot hole. “Where are your parents?” He questioned the child.
“They sent me to get them some beer at the bottom of this hole.”
“What! They must be mad. My name’s Austin, let me take you to your home and we can chat with Mommy and Daddy, okay?”
“But my home is down there, you go first.” The child suggested.
“I find that hard to believe. That hole was placed there decades ago to dispose of unwanted evidence. What is your name child?”
“The same as yours, except backwards.” He responded.
“Alright Nitsua, I’m taking you to the local police station, let’s go, everything will be alright.”
“No! I’m not your responsibility! Build your own child if you want to boss one around!” Nitsua shouted in anger.
“Wow, I’ve never received such lip from someone of your age before. Just how old are you, Nitsua?”
“That depends, how old are you?” Questioned Nitsua.
“What? My age is irrelevant to how old you are. No matter my age, yours doesn’t change!” Austin shouted, clearly frustrated.
Nitsua responded quickly “False. If you were five years older, would I not be five years older, also?"
Austin couldn’t deal with the child’s wit and decided to use his dominant physical size to turn the tables around. He attempted, but couldn’t even make it budge.
“This table is heavier than expected, and you sitting on it doesn’t help.”
“I don’t think a six year old child makes much difference in the weight of a table. Especially one built from a 4 inch slab of slate.” Nitsua stared Austin down as he said it.
“Aha! You just accidentally revealed your age to me. I believe I get two points for that” Claimed Austin.
Nitsua replied with certainty “The point system has long since expired. Besides, just cause I said it doesn’t make it true."
“That is true.”
“How do you know?”
“Alright Nitsua, now you’re going overboard. I don’t need this. My wife just left me, I suffered a 50% pay cut, the point system was taken away from me, and now I’m stuck with a six year old monster that gobbles at my sanity. Why do you torture me Nitsua? Why!?”
“First off, Austin, no one’s forcing you to attend my presence, nor is anyone demanding you to wear shoes. Your life has been chosen by you and only you.” Then Nitsua presented Austin with the age old question “Understand now, which came first, God, or God’s creator?"
Austin pondered this for all too long as he twiddled his thumbs. He rose to a conclusion and started to speak but quickly quieted and continued to think even longer. Then he stood up and said “What’s wrong with wearing shoes?”
Nitsua then reached into his pocket and began struggling to pull an item out. He was having so much difficulty that he reached in his other pocket, pulled out a pair of scissors and cut the trapped item free from his pocket. It was a slip of paper, and as he unfolded it, an assortment of wild birds flew from the creases. "That’s strange, I didn’t expect that” said Nitsua confused.
Austin spoke up at all these strange happenings “Just what the hell is going on here kid?”
Nitsua handed him the unfolded paper with a smirk on his face. Austin stared at him for a moment, then turned his attention to the paper and began to read the passage.
What is happening here is all so clear, but your mind is fogged, so you must cleanse it before you can further assert yourself in your quest to achieve maximum recognition as the country’s leading forecaster. And don’t refer to me as ‘kid’
“How’d you know about my lifelong dream?” Austin calmly asked with pure amazement in his face.
“Well, you’ve had it you whole life, that provides me with ample time to wander your mind.”
Austin was now beginning to feel a bit nauseated and sat down at the slate table with head in hands. The young child performed a dance as Austin sat at the table pondering. Every time Austin thought of a new idea, Nitsua incorporated a clap into his dance.
“Alright Nitsua, I’ve concluded this is either a dream or I am seriously having ridiculous hallucinations. You must be within my own mind.”
“BINGO!” Nitsua shouted and paused just long enough to to see Austin smile as if he solved the worlds toughest puzzle. “Actually, I’m just messing with you. I am as real as it gets, and I exist with or without you. And now I am going to provide you assistance in your dream.” Here, Nitsua shouted towards the sky louder than anything Austin has ever heard before “SHURAPZEE!!!!!!”
Austin was so frantic at the sound that he was entertaining to Nitsua. “I’ve lost my hearing! I can’t hear anything. Oh dear me, what am I going to tell my wife? No, no, NO! This isn’t fair!”
Throughout Austins wails, A beautiful hawk-like bird dove down from the sky and landed on Nitsua’s extended arm. “At your service, master.” The bird spoke aloud to Nitsua.
“Hello, Shurapzee.” Nitsua said as he smiled at the bird. “You are going to assist Austin in becoming the worlds best meteorologist. He may call upon you as he wishes and you are to descend at his location.” Nitsua directed his attention towards Austin. “Austin, this bird’s name is Shurapzee. He is a very loyal bird who flies through time. He will gladly report all future weather conditions to you at your request. You will make your own reports from this information and file them with leading broadcasters. Your results will be so exact that you will be the WORLD’S leading forecaster.”
“This is a lot to take in at once. Do I have to learn how to call Shurapzee like you did, and how far into the future can he really travel?” Austin questioned.
“Shurapzee can listen to your mind and will come to your call whether it is verbal or not. As far as his traveling, he can go about 100 years into the future. Imagine your reputation when you forecast the world’s entire weather exactly for the next 100 years. You will put all other forecasters out of business!”
Marcus Shiles walked into Starbucks and ordered a grande cup of joe. A young girl prepared his coffee and handed it over to Marcus. “Careful, it’s hot.”
“Thank you.” Marcus said as he received his coffee. Immediately, he removed the lid and poured the steaming hot coffee atop his head “Sure is hot! Goddamn!!” Marcus shouted.
He left the coffee house and jumped into his ‘95 Corolla. “Alright Austin. What is your secret?” He asked to no one in particular. Marcus made his way throughout the city streets until he pulled aside and killed the engine. Marcus’s curiosity of Austin Canwell was aroused when he accurately forecasted the entire months weather.
Marcus turned on the radio and started reading the morning paper. On the front page was an article about Austin.
35 Days and Counting
Austin Canwell emerged out of nowhere just over a month ago.
Since then, he has astounded all groups of people with his
incredible ability to forecast weather. Canwell has provided us
with an entire years worth of weather, and he has yet to be
incorrect with his predictions for the first 35 days. We questioned
Canwell on how its all possible.
“I just have a knack for this kind of thing.”
Well he certainly does. Many others have their own theories,
Scientist Steve Roberts had this to say,
“When you factor in all the Earths orbit and rotation, anything
can be calculated. This is nothing new. I believe he simply
pieced these calculations together and made his report. It’s truly
Weather analyst Pete Frost believes otherwise.
“This is abnormal. There is seriously something wrong with
Canwell. He needs to be checked into a nut house, and thoroughly
evaluated. All of his predictions are a result of simple luck. It’s
getting to his head.”
Marcus closed the paper and stated “I will soon know.” Watching through binoculars towards Austins apartment, he soon noticed Mr. Canwell ascending the apartment stairwell. “This is getting interesting.” Austin then emerged atop the building and was greeted by a freaking bird. “What in Sam’s hell? Thought this was gonna get good. Son of a…!”
Marcus started his car and left frustrated.
It had just turned midnight on an early fall day. The rain was coming down harder than a carpenter hits a nail. Mitchell Grate decided this was the perfect time to take his dog, Moonshine on a walk. Moonshine hates the rain, but Mitchell’s theory is; a dog that has no job and sleeps most of the day has to suffer somehow. He stepped outside and pulled Moonshine out with all his strength into the pelting rain.
“How’s that Moonshine? How ya like that?” He asked his dog in a mocking tone.
They walked through the streets of his quiet, quaint town. However, with the rain and strong winds, it was not too quiet. Moonshine is a big dog, not scared of anything except a little water. Suddenly, he began running as hard as he could, jerking Mitchell as he darted. It took all of Mitchell’s strength to hold Moonshine back. Then, like the snap of thunder, Moonshine’s chain snapped and the dog bolted down the dark street. Mitchell began chasing after him and calling his name, but soon realized it was futile. Moonshine was gone.
Mitchell stood there, soaking wet from the beating rain. He whispered “I love you Moonshine.” Then he got a sudden chill down his spine and the feeling he was not alone. Mitchell quickly spun around, but no one was there. When he turned back, a man stood before him, in a black cloak. A hood draped over his head, which stood a good foot above Mitchell’s. This was a tall man, and his cloak seemed unusually still in the windy night. He stood like a statue before Mitchell.
“Excuse me, um…sir, I lost my dog. You haven’t seen him, have you?”
“Your dog is dead.” The man calmly replied. “You are Mitchell Grate?”
It was a question, yet Mitchell got the eerie feeling this man already knew his identity. Mitchell began to respond, uncertain what to say, but the mysterious man quickly quieted him.
“No need. My name is Jeb Judd. This will be the first and last time we will ever talk. I have been summoned to send you a message. The message is this; ‘Tomorrow, at 12:02 pm, there will be an earthquake of tremendous magnitude. Your means for survival is to mention this to no one, and to lay face down directly on the center of the basketball court at Central Park. Be in position prior to 12:02, or be dead.’” With that said, the tall man who named himself Jeb Judd disappeared into the shadows of the night.
Mitchell awoke to the sound of his alarm clock. That is how everyday begins for Mitchell. Even though he is currently unemployed, the alarm clock gives him a feeling of purpose. It is his only tie to society. Plus, it’s the only thing that talks to him, as obnoxious as it is. That and Moonshine.
“Moonshine!” He exclaimed as he jumped out of bed, recalling the previous night’s events.
Moonshine was lying at the foot of the bed, and also jumped out of bed with Mitchell.
“Moonshine! You’re alive!” Mitchell cried with joy. “How’d you get inside?” He paused a second and Moonshine barked. “Come to think of it, how did I get inside?”
Mitchell sat at his table and tried to remember what took place after his conversation with Jeb Judd in the pouring rain. He couldn’t recall anything beyond the instructions Judd had provided. “Face down, centered on the basketball court prior to 12:02.”
“Was it all a dream?” He questioned aloud. He looked around his apartment. Everything seemed normal. He opened the blinds and looked outside. “A beautiful sunny day.” He grabbed his cell phone off the night stand and looked at the display.
“No new messages, no missed calls. I’m a real winner. Why do I even need a phone?” He looked at the time on his cell phone. “10:37. Judd said there’d be a tremendous earthquake at 12:02. Moonshine is definitely not dead. Judd said he was. I must have dreamt it. Or hallucinated the whole thing. It just seemed so real.”
Mitchell thought to himself for a minute before he took action. “Moonshine! Let’s go. We’re going on a walk.”
Mitchell did not live far from Central Park. It was one mile away from his apartment. One mile exactly, to the inch. Mitchell pays close attention to detail, and close attention to women. Usually women in magazines.
Still, one mile away can take plenty of time with a dog that likes to stop at every street post. The streets had plenty of people on them. Probably on their way to work or to lunch. Mitchell doesn’t do well in social situations, and thus avoided eye contact. One lady paused and spoke towards Mitchell, “That’s a big dog! Do you mind if I pet him?”
“Fine! Make it quick!” Mitchell snapped at her.
“Nevermind!” The woman responded, and walked off loudly.
“Ugh…I’m such an idiot.” Mitchell looked at Moonshine, who nodded in agreement.
He took a quieter route the rest of the way towards Central Park. Luckily, there weren’t anymore interactions with people. He saw the entrance to Central Park, and the basketball court just inside. He glanced at his cell phone. “11:40. And of course a basketball game is in progress.”
Mitchell made his way towards the sidelines with Moonshine. He stood there for a moment and watched the game before he spoke. “Excuse me?” No response. “Excuse me!!! Sorry to interrupt!”
The players paused their game to see what Mitchell had to say. “What’s the deal old man? Can’t you see we’re in the middle of a game here?” One of the players spoke up.
Mitchell fumbled his phone and checked the time. It read 11:56. “I need you all to clear the court. Just for five minutes.”
“Not gonna happen old timer. Game on!” “Game on!” The others chimed in, then checked the ball back into play.
Mitchell was not one to take risks, but, between dying in an earthquake and upsetting a few young basketball players, the choice was easy.
He calmly walked onto the court and made his way to the middle, ignoring the protesting shouts from the players. Moonshine followed Mitchell. He reached the center of the court and layed face down. He heard an array of confused voices and demands, telling him to get off the court. Then, everything went black.