The Mustache Man

Chapter Twenty Five


And this craziness Chance hears from a woman disguised as a man, a transvestite, who was a principal of a middle school as a woman during the day and rehearsed with the boys choir at night in the arts center underneath Red Rocks Theater.

“And the blood on the boys’ shirts in your locker.”

“I explained that. The boys had tripped and fallen during a break and I had repaired a cut. But given the discovery that I was a transvestite no one believed me.”

That was the bones of what Chance heard on the tape. There was static again, more music and then Marlston’s voice continued.

“The previous day the boys had wandered off during a break and come back with this tale that they had wandered into a cavern underneath the rehearsal room. And in that cavern they had seen….something that looked like a light beckoning them…A door…that opened into what looked like a whirlwind of darkness. And they got scared and came back and told the story. I didn’t believe them of course. Then during a break the next day I left my two assistants in charge of the choir. I followed them. They had found a stone that opened, an ancient stone with some kind of mechanism that responded to a touch. There was a cavern and a light and a door and a whirlwind of darkness swirling beyond the light. And I recalled that verse from Job and the Old Testament: “And God came out of the whirlwind.”  I believe you understand literally in the scriptures. This music I create with the boys is a call to a God we have long forgotten.

Chance heard Shul tell Marlston he didn’t give a damn about his f’n beliefs. Just get on with it.”

“I called them and the boys went through the door and beckoned me and I didn’t have the courage to follow them.

Chance heard Carlton’s voice asking a question.

“What door, sir? The door to this cavern say exists below Red Rocks which no one has ever been able to find or some other door…below?”

“Who are you? “Detective Carlton Jamis. And if it’s any solace to you George…”

“Marlston. Since I don’t know who I am most of the time, male or female call me Marlston.”

“I believe you.”

Chance was sure she heard a break in Marlston’s voice when he replied.

“Thank you. I know your partner here, Shul thinks I’m full of crap, right Detective Schulman.”

“That’s right.”

“Just continue sir. My partner has reasons to be bitter and cynical. God has disappeared from this world for most of us and we though we sing to him in the churches or the mosques or the buddist temples he or she or it rarely manifests himself.”

“That’s enough Carlton” Chance heard Shul say.

“Sorry, sir.”

“Is that it, Marlston?”

“Except that in my dreams the boys return all covered with after birth as if they had been reborn.”

“I’ve heard enough,” said Shul. There were sounds of movement as Shul began to prepare for a hurried exit from the cement cell. More static. Then Shul must have paused at the door before he exited.

“Aside from the blood on the shirts discovered in your locker, aside from the testimony of your assistants  that you would sometimes touch the boys in ways that were inappropriate, what screws you Marlston is not only your questionable gender but  that you are a fundamentalist Christian who believes in hell and damnation the whole sickening bit. A cavern? A door opening to this cavern?  Another door down below where there is a mist I suppose and angels singing and god in the whirlwind, a cloud of darkness and the boys disappear through that door? Give me a break.”

Chance heard the sound of a door closing heavily with Shul’s anger and disgust resonating behind them. She heard Carlton packing up and then there was a silence she couldn’t explain and more static and the tape appeared to end.

Then there was Marlston’s voice returning, obviously talking to Carlton who was listening intently.

“Tell Shul I’m sorry about his daughter. Some people don’t make it through the door. They get vomited back into this world and they’re not the same. They’re changed.”

“How would you know that, sir?

“I’m one of them. That’s why it doesn’t matter whether I die tomorrow. I’ve already disappeared.”

“I don’t understand,” Carlton had said.

“My body is here but my soul is nothing but a shell.”

“Why didn’t you ask for a better lawyer? The evidence was so…”

“Circumstantial. I know. When those boys when went through that door the soul of my choir went with them.”

More static. Sounds of Carlton going to the door but she obviously cannot leave. The static continues interrupted by the sounds of the music playing from the choir.


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