Jordan sat on the veranda facing out into the dim chaos.
She sipped tea, smoked a cigarette and listened to the sea of voices, whispering, moaning, begging and, she imagined, telling her to do horrible, terrible things. They were known for telling people to do horrible, terrible things. She had often heard them back when she lived in the World: the “real” world, the fake world, the Other Side. They had told her to do things. Some she had. Some others had. And that led to the shitstorm that had left her back covered in scars and ripped her out of her life, the world itself, ending up in this outpost on the edge of reality affectionately called The Monastery.
You could almost reach out and touch the fog. It was very close. It took very little effort to leap off the railing into it. Many did. The Monastery had a high rate of burn out, of deterioration and mental instability.
There had been a well run order of monks, or nuns or some type of military/religious group for a very long time. This is what was left.
The building itself was some grand, lavish, old world estate type of thing. Architecture was not Jordan’s strong point, she couldn’t tell you what period it represented or where, but it was definitely modeled on old Europe. She had no idea the type of building it had replaced, probably a castle or something and before that who knew. It was older than most current civilizations. Maybe this wasn’t even the original location. Maybe there had been others. Maybe there were others still. That would be a great relief, the idea that there were a few other Monasteries still kicking. Maybe in better shape than here. Maybe this wasn’t the only one and if and when this fell they’d still stand strong.
As it was, the “estate” was in pretty shitty shape. Some parts looked like an old German Expressionist Cinema version of the House Of Usher, others like an old lady’s dusty, victorian bed and breakfast, and other bits like a crackhouse.
Jordan stretched her legs, putting her black boots up on the railing. She sucked the drag of her cigarette and lit the next one. Cigarettes were currently well stock due to a successful Summoning Crazy Henry had recently made with the “real” world. The availability of drugs went up and down as did the type of alcohol stocked. Once the Monastery had had caverns of wine, but nowadays most of that enormous stock was gone.
Rumor was a big heroin spike had swept through here back in the 1930s and the whole thing had almost fallen completely apart. Fortunately it had been salvaged and certain drugs were after that generally frowned upon, although they still appeared from time to time. Jordan had a weed stash herself, a sample of which she currently had in her jacket. She was waiting until tonight. That new guy had been around long enough to stop being so skittish. He was finally chilling out after whatever trauma had brought and dumped him here and Jordan wanted to be the one to try him out in bed for the first time. Tonight. Hobbies had to be found where they could.
Most took their task relatively seriously depending on their degree of mental stability. Whatever remnants of the Ancient Order still around had preserved the art of Prayer Creation, the one Art that absolutely, positively could never be lost or abandoned. People with different language bases studied and specialized in whichever branch of the language tree that could. Others kept contact with the “real” world in order to keep supplies coming in and disseminate new prayers. There were all sort of mystics and religions who beleived they were contacted all manner of beings and spiritual spheres when indeed they were just contacting The Monastery and the Summoners were either getting them to send whatever was most needed or, in many cases, putting a whole manner of bullshit over on them for a laugh.
Things came through here of course. Things from the other side of the fog. And sometimes people climbed up on the veranda and jumped off into it, the mad and the curious, unable to resist its call any longer. A few years ago Jordan had watched Rumi shoot that new agey girl, what was her name… in the head just as she jumped. It was a mercy. Probably.
Jordan fantasized about jumping off armed with some big fucking action movie kind of guns and just heading into the Other Side blazing. It was a favorite image her brain liked to toy with. It was stupid of course, bullets were extremely ineffective against the Things that flew in and out of there. A blowtorch was probably better, although even that was just being dumb. You’d die just as easily, or…
the rumors of Mother.
Jordan shuddered. She ashed the cigarette, stood and went back inside.