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  • Excerpt Monday: Paranormal Portals: A Rescue in Time / The 13th Floor

    Paranormal Portals
    by Lawrence Johnson Sr. and Lauren A. Johnson

    Paranormal Portals are short stories written by the father/daughter team of Lawrence Johnson Sr. and Lauren A. Johnson.

    The stories included in the Paranormal Portals are:
    A Rescue in Time
    Lost in Translation
    Saturday the Fourteenth
    Time Trap
    Dimensions in Time
    A Matter of Time
    The Visitor
    Rain of the Slimax
    The Thirteenth Floor
    Paralyzed by the Nightmare Spirit
    The South Philly Secret
    Murder in the Wings


    A Rescue in Time

    “What’s up Kenny? I haven’t seen you for a while.” As Chris moved closer he noticed that Kenny looked different, older. He wore a pair of old faded jeans and a blue plaid shirt. The guy he grew up with would have never been caught dead wearing something so common.

    Kenny waved for Chris to follow him deeper into the little street that dead ended into a ten foot brick wall. “Come over here Chris, I just wanna talk to you.”

    Chris stopped when he saw Kenny’s gray hair. “Hey man, aren’t you supposed to be in Holmesburg? I heard they got you on a double homicide.”

    Kenny shook his head, “That’s a long story, dude. Look, Tony told me that you were coming down here today. I need a favor from you.”

    Chris kept staring at the old man who stood before him, not knowing what to make of Kenny’s appearance he decided to let him talk. When Kenny reached for the brown paper shopping bag on the sidewalk Chris took a step back and waived him off. “Look Kenny, you know I’m not into that shady stuff and besides my wife’s having a baby. I can’t afford to go to jail, especially now.”

    Kenny smiled, “Yeah, I know. Look Chris, I know that you are not going to believe this but I came here from the future, thirty years in the future to be exact.”

    Chris laughed in Kenny’s face. “Those drugs finally got to you, huh?”

    Kenny ignored the wise crack and continued. “I got a kid, a son. He’s nothing like me, he’s a good kid. His name is Antonino. In a way he sort of reminds me of you. He’s getting married; well at least he was going to before the explosion.” Kenny could see that Chris was not buying his story but that didn’t stop him. “He went to the caterers store on South Street a few days before the weeding. According to the Fire Marshall there was some kind of rupture and the whole place just blew up. They said it was something about a faulty gas line.”

     Chris was losing patience, “Look man; I don’t know what the hell you are going on about. Don’t forget,” Chris pointed a finger at Kenny, “I know you. You have always been a prankster. I still remember when we were in the seventh grade and you switched Mr. Harrison’s chocolate candy with a laxative.”

    Kenny laughed, “Yeah man that was great.” His expression turned serious again. “That was then, come on Chris, he pointed to his head, look at my grey hair, look at this beard. Look at the wrinkles on my face. He reached inside the brown paper bag and pulled out a beautiful purple and white crystal the size of a golf ball. I got this from some guy. That’s how I was able to come back. I need you to go back in time to stop the explosion in the future. I can’t do it now, I tried. It’s a catering shop on South Street. They think I’m crazy.”

    Chris shook his head, “They’re not the only ones."

    The Thirteenth Floor
    Mr. Franklin, the marketing assistant to Mr. Dumont finally found his voice. “That’s impossible.” He managed to spit out. “Didn’t you walk down?” He said looking at Mr. Dumont.
    “Of course I walked down.” Mr. Dumont shot back unbuttoning the top button of his white shirt. “I walked down and then I ended up on the other side of this floor instead of the lobby.” Mr. Dumont took a seat since he was out of breath.
    “Well we’ll try the elevator then.” Mr. Franklin said to his supervisor as he pushed the button on the elevator.
    “Wait, that’s not going to work.” Sarah shouted.
    “Sara’s right.” Mark the Human Resources Director said, he grabbed at his curly brown hair while he thought. “If Mr. Dumont can’t leave through the east stairwell what makes you think the elevator is better? Or if it’s even working properly?”
    Everyone nodded and murmured to each other in agreement. But Mr. Franklin wasn’t very popular at the hospital, unlike Mark, whom everyone liked. Mr. Franklin did whatever he could to make Mark look bad. Sarah figured it might have been a basic fight to be the alpha male, but she didn’t care who won, as long as someone got her out of this strange situation. Mr. Franklin argued with Mark until both of the elevator doors opened simultaneously.
    The unit clerk, Jeffery Davis joked from behind, “Mr. Franklin, are you going to get into the left or the right elevator?” Mr. Franklin ignored Davis and got into the right elevator. Sarah was uneasy about standing there and waiting, but she didn’t have any better ideas. A moment passed while no one spoke. Suddenly the left elevator made a dinging sound.

    Mr. Franklin emerged from his elevator ride in the opposite car like some kind of magic trick. The fearful employees were hoping that his solution would be the proper one. Franklin spoke calmly. “Well, that was a stupid idea you all had.”
    Davis took issue shouting, “Us? It was you who…” but he stopped in mid-sentence when Mr. Franklin reached for his chest. Sarah and the others saw that a large amount of blood was seeping through Franklin’s left side. His white shirt quickly became saturated with blood he unbuttoned his shirt to find a gaping hole. He looked up to the crowed in horror collapsed to the floor and died.
    The dozen or so employees screamed at the sight of his collapse. Doctor Iris Banks already knew Franklin was dead but he still checked for a pulse that wasn’t there. Two nurses rushed over to Mr. Franklin while Sarah turned to look at Mr. Dumont, who had been sitting in a chair facing away from her, since his return from the east stairs.
    Sarah’s heart raced as she wondered to herself, ‘Why is he so quiet? He’s so still!’ “Mr. Dumont.” She wheeled him around and he also had a pool of blood pouring from the left side of his chest. “They’re both dead!” Sarah shouted as loud as she could she could no longer keep her cool. Within a matter of moments both of her coworkers had dropped dead without any kind of a reason that could be easily explained.
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