Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The BEKs - Episode 2

I've been carrying this story in my back pocket for years now. Although its kind of nice to dust it off and share it, there's a part of me that feels like it "belongs" to my little circle of friends who heard the story from Brian. Ridiculous, I know. 

There is so much to discuss about the case - its archetypes, the crazy stories that have erupted, the theories.

Jason Offutt, an author, teacher and blogger has probably delved into the subject more than anyone. Once upon a time there was a series of lectures of his on BEKs up on You Tube. Sadly, they have been removed. Some of what he has to say can be found on his blog
 From The Shadows .

On the podcast I mention the many retellings of Brian's original story and how nothing really compares to his original version. In result, the story I recount was as much Brian's as possible - I tried to utilize as many of his words as I could so, I cannot really take credit for "writing" much of this episode. Here is the story in Brian's own words:

don't really know what I'd call this story if I was submitting it
for publication in Fate or something of its ilk. "Brian vs. the Evil,
Black-eyed, Possibly Vampiric or Demonic But At Least Not Bloody
Normal Kids" doesn't have much of a ring to it. (Shrug.) :)

But that's at least an accurate title.

As so many things do, it all started out innocently.

My Internet Service Provider used to have offices in a shopping center
before they moved to their (comparatively) lush accommodations
elsewhere. There was a drop box at that original location. The monthly
bill was due, and thus, there but for the Grace of the Net I went.

It was about 9:30 p.m. when I left. From my relatively isolated
apartments, it's about 10-15 minutes or so to downtown (Abilene has a
population of about 110,000).

Right next to Camalott Communications' old location is a $1.50 movie
theater. At the time, the place was featuring that masterwork of
modern film, Mortal Kombat. I drove by the theater on the way into the
center proper and pulled into an empty parking space.

Using the glow of the marquee to write out my check, I was startled to
hear a knock on the driver's-side window of my car.

I looked over and saw two children staring at me from street. I need
to describe them, with the one feature (you can guess what it was)
that I didn't realize until about half-way through the conversation
cleverly omitted.

Both appeared to be in that semi-mystical stage of life children get
into where you can't exactly tell their age. Both were boys, and my
initial impression is that they were somewhere between 10-14.

Boy No. 1 was the spokesman. Boy No. 2 didn't speak during the entire
conversation -- at least not in words.

Boy No. 1 was slightly taller than his companion, wearing a pull-over,
hooded shirt with a sort of gray checked pattern and jeans. I couldn't
see his shoes. His skin was olive-colored and had curly, medium-length
brown hair. He exuded an air of quiet confidence.

Boy No. 2 had pale skin with a trace of freckles. His primary
characteristic seemed to be looking around nervously. He was dressed
in a similar manner to his companion, but his pull-over was a light
green color. His hair was a sort of pale orange.

They didn't appear to be related, at least directly.

"Oh, great," I thought. "They're gonna hit me up for money." And then
the air changed.

Right before I experience something strange, there's a change in
perception that comes about which I describe in the above manner. It's
basically enough time to know it's too late. ;)

So, there I was, filling out a check in my car (which was still
running) and in a sudden panic over the appearance of two little boys.
I was confused, but an overwhelming sense of fear and unearthliness
rushed in nonetheless.

The spokesman smiled, and the sight for some inexplicable reason
chilled my blood. I could feel fight-or-flight responses kicking in.
Something, I knew instinctually, was not right, but I didn't know what
it could possibly be.

I rolled down the window very, very slightly and asked "Yes?"

The spokesman smiled again, broader this time. His teeth were very, very white.

"Hey, mister, what's up? We have a problem," he said. His voice was
that of a young man, but his diction, quiet calm and ... something I
still couldn't put my finger on ... made my desire to flee even
greater. "You see, my friend and I want to see the films, but we
forgot our money," he continued. "We need to go to our house to get
it. Want to help us out?"

Okay. Journalists are required to talk to lots of people, and that
includes children. I've seen and spoken to lots of them. Here's how
that usually goes:

"Uh ... M ... M ... Mister? Can I see that camera? I ... I won't break
it or anything. I promise. My dad has a camera, and he lets me hold it
sometimes, I guess, and I took a picture of my dog -- it wasn's very
good, 'cause I got my finger in the way and ..."

Add in some feet shuffling and/or body swaying and you've got a
typical kid talking to a stranger.

In short, they're usually apologetic. People generally teach children
that when they talk to adults, they're usually bothering them for one
reason or another and they should at least be polite.

This kid was in no way fitting the mold. His command of language was
incredible and he showed no signs of fear. He spoke as if my help was
a foregone conclusion. When he grinned, it was as if he was trying to
say, "I know something ... and you're NOT gonna like it. But the only
way you're going to find out what it is will be to do what I say ..."

"Uh, well ..." was the best reply I could offer.

Now here's where it starts to get strange.

The quiet companion looked at the spokesman with a mixture of
confusion and guilt on his face. He seemed in some ways shocked, not
with his friend's brusque manner but that I didn't just immediately
open the door.

He eyed me nervously.

The spokesman seemed a bit perturbed, too. I still was registering
something wrong with both.

"C'mon, mister," the spokesman said again, smooth as silk. Car
salesmen could learn something from this kid. "Now, we just want to go
to our house. And we're just two little boys."

That really scared me. Something in the tone and diction again sent
off alarm bells. My mind was frantically trying to process what it was
perceiving about the two figures that was "wrong."

"Eh. Um ...." was all I could manage. I felt myself digging my
fingernails into the steering wheel.

"What movie were you going to see?" I asked finally.

"Mortal Kombat, of course," the spokesman said. The silent one nodded
in affirmation, standing a few paces behind.

"Oh," I said. I stole a quick glance at the marquee and at the clock
in my car. Mortal Kombat had been playing for an hour, the last
showing of the evening.

The silent one looked increasingly nervous. I think he saw my glances
and suspected that I might be detecting something was not above-board.

"C'mon, mister. Let us in. We can't get in your car until you do, you
know," the spokesman said soothingly. "Just let us in, and we'll be
gone before you know it. We'll go to our mother's house."

We locked eyes.

To my horror, I realized my hand had strayed toward the door lock
(which was engaged) and was in the process of opening it. I pulled it
away, probably a bit too violently. But it did force me to look away
from the children.

I turned back. "Er ... Um ...," I offered weakly and then my mind
snapped into sharp focus.

For the first time, I noticed their eyes.

They were coal black. No pupil. No iris. Just two staring orbs
reflecting the red and white light of the marquee.

At that point, I know my expression betrayed me. The silent one had a
look of horror on his face in a combination that seemed to indicate:
A) The impossible had just happened and B) "We've been found out!"

The spokesman, on the other hand, wore a mask of anger. His eyes
glittered brightly in the half-light.

"Cmon, mister," he said. "We won't hurt you. You have to LET US IN. We
don't have a gun ..."

That last statement scared the living hell out of me, because at that
point by his tone he was plainly saying, "We don't NEED a gun."

He noticed my hand shooting down toward the gear shift. The
spokesman's final words contained an anger that was complete and
whole, and yet contained in some respects a tone of panic:


I ripped the car into reverse (thank goodness no one was coming up
behind me) and tore out of the parking lot. I noticed the boys in my
peripheral vision, and I stole a quick glance back.

They were gone. The sidewalk by the theater was deserted.

I drove home in a heightened state of panic. Had anyone attempted to
stop me, I would have run on through and faced the consequences later.

I bolted into my house, scanning all around -- including the sky.

What did I see? Maybe nothing more than some kids looking for a ride.

And some really funky contacts. Yeah, right.

A friend suggested they were vampires, what with the old "let us in"
bit and my compelled response to open the door. That and the "we'll go
see our mother" thing.

I'm still not sure what they were, but here's an epilogue I find chilling:

I talk about Chad a lot. He's still my best friend, my best
ghost-hunting companion and an all-around cool guy. He recently moved
to Amarillo, but at the time this happened was still living in San
Angelo of Ram Page fame.

I called him and talked to him briefly. He had two female friends with
him at the time, both professing some type of psychic ability.

I started telling him the story, leaving out the part about the black
eyes for the kicker. One of the women (we were on a speakerphone)
stopped me.

"These children had black eyes, right?" she asked. "I mean, all-black eyes?"

"Er ... Yes." I said. I was a bit taken aback.

"Hmmm," she said. "One night last week, I had a dream about children
with black eyes. They were outside my house, wanting to be let in, but
there was something wrong with them. It took me a while to realize it
was the eyes."

I hadn't even gotten as far as them wanting to come in.

What did you do?" I asked.

"I kept the doors and windows locked," she said. "I knew if they came
in, they would kill me."

She paused.

"And they would have killed you, too, if you had let them into your car."

So, from this extra-long post, we have three unanswered questions:

A) What did I see?

B) What would have happened if I opened my car door?

C) Why does Chad always get the cool psychic chicks? ;)

Susperia provided by: 
Bauhaus - Bela Lugosi's Dead
Peeping Owen - Michael Giaccino
David Bowie - Scary Monsters (Super Creeps)

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