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The Heavy Man

the heavy man
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Estimated reading time — 11 minutes

I had first heard about the Heavy Man during an unpleasant encounter with a deranged lunatic. Of all nights to visit Sal’s pub, I happened to go while HE was there. That madman probably would have painted a clearer picture of what was to come, had I actually taken him seriously. I suppose it’s lucky the whole thing worked out the way it did. Otherwise there’s a good chance that I’d be dead right now, but I digress.

Going to said pub could likely be attributed to a recent series of life-altering developments. I had just moved to this quiet mid-western town and was in the final stages of closing on my first home. Additionally, I finally started my new brutally mundane “nine to five” job that paid decently. Despite how wonderful everything sounds, not all was well.

My growing lack of self-fulfillment seemed to give way to a need for “extracurricular activities”. Perhaps it was stress, but I felt something strange begin to stir beneath my regular thought patterns. I figured that an outlet was due…

It was a group of coworkers who offered to meet up at Sal’s for drinks. Allegedly, it was the best hole-in-the-wall spot that locals frequent, where anything good or bad could happen at any time. Most importantly, it was the last place you’d expect to find any damned tourists, they said. It sounded like the sort of place that you’d be wise to keep your head on straight.

The time was just a bit after eight, so I had at least an hour until any of my colleagues were due to arrive. Craft beer in hand, I chose a table off-center from the open area, near the wall. I took a sip of the foamy beverage and observed my surroundings.

The place’s poorly lit interior had a cracked and peeling mustard yellow wallpaper, with countless splotched stains distributed down its length. Near the entrance sat a jukebox that looked ready to be hauled off to a junkyard. By the front window, a worn-out pool table.

At this time of night, Sal’s contained only a small handful of patrons. The bartender was a short, plump middle aged woman who seemed irritated for some unknown reason. Across the way was a lively table of four who looked well on their way to inebriation. In the far corner, I noticed an especially odd scene. There sat a gruff old man reading a newspaper to himself, silently mouthing out each of the words.

The bizarre fellow had a long, disheveled silver beard and wore a red skull cap along with a faded camo jacket. His beady eyes were sunken and tired. He must have sensed someone studying him, because he glanced up and shot an immediate scowl my way. Clearly there was something off about the guy, I mused, as I watched him lower the paper to his table.

Perhaps I shouldn’t have looked, because the old man then began to rise up from his seat, staring at me. “Well then…” I thought to myself, “it’ll be interesting to see the looks on my coworker’s faces when I explain why I wasn’t here to meet them – being either in jail or the E.R.”

The old man carried a slight limp, but strode swiftly towards me with a look of contempt on his face. I held my breath and gripped the edge of the table, tensing up. One of us may end up in the E.R. but it sure as hell wasn’t about to be me!

“Figured you were ready to hear what it is that I have to tell you, friend.” he spoke in a raspy croak of a voice.

“Uhh not really?” I replied before he plopped down on the stool across from me, unperturbed. His creased eyes sparkled an almost unnatural blue.

He paused for a moment and with a grin uttered, “Don’t think you realize the gravity of this whole situation. That one watching you.. that Heavy Man sees all.” He gestured broadly with his hands and chuckled.

“Look…” I started “…heavy man?”

“The Heavy Man!” The stranger exclaimed, grinning widely and showing off twisted yellow teeth. He slammed his fists down to the table, nearly knocking over my drink. “It wanders these streets, mostly biding its time… But also searching. I was almost chosen, but it wanted a goddamn favor first.” He started laughing.

I reached for my beer, prepared to abandon this nonsensical interaction. A gnarled hand shot out and held the drink in place just a split second before I had it. The old man leaned over the table, beady eyes bulging, his expression stern.

“Listen to me you dumb son of a bitch, I’m trying to tell you something… Every one of these rats in this town knows, but no one dares speak of it… Yeah it wanted me to find you first, the Heavy Man did.”

Forget the beer, it was time to go. I stood up from my stool.

“Are you absolutely sure you want to do that this very moment, Nathan?” he sneered. I was officially creeped out. What were the odds that this random psycho guessed my name? I leaned down towards him, my face close to his.

“How do you know my name?” I asked, speaking the words slowly, calmly.

His voice was nearly a whisper. “It knew you’d be here and told me to deliver a message. But I have a better one for you: Get the fuck out of my town… now.”

I took a deep breath. “Why do you keep calling this person an it?” I probed, my eyes narrowing.

“THE HEAVY MAN!!” He started laughing again, much louder this time, a booming cackle in the now silent pub. That was enough for me and I moved for the exit. “YOU’LL KNOW IT WHEN YOU SEE IT NATHAN, BUT WE DEFINITELY WILL BE SEEING YOU FIRST!” he bellowed after me before continuing his fit of hysterical laughter.

I caught a glimpse of the table of drinking comrades as I exited the establishment. They were all staring, wide-eyed, with genuine looks of concern on their faces.

Two weeks had passed since that night. I had done well to discard the memories of the mentally unstable old man and his ramblings. I was in town again on a warm, pleasant Sunday afternoon. There was not a soul nearby, as far as I could tell. Having just finished some business at the local bank, I was headed towards my vehicle. The red Toyota was within sight as I crossed the parking lot. I was maybe thirty yards away when I began to feel an odd dizziness.

My vision abruptly blurred and distorted, as if I had just polished off a fifth of vodka. It also seemed to rapidly become way darker outside. Just what in God’s name was going on here? I gripped the sides of my head, as the dizziness increased to a nauseating degree. To my dismay, I also started to hear a distinct buzzing sound, though I wasn’t sure if I was imagining it. I squatted down and squeezed my eyes shut, praying that the awful feeling would pass.

It was at that moment I found myself thinking of the pub incident. Particularly that old man’s shouting, “The Heavy Man!!” echoing over and over and over again in my mind.

Another minute passed and the buzzing and dizziness subsided enough for me to at last open my eyes. I was unnerved to see that the darkness remained. It was as if I were now in the eye of some kind of obscure mental storm. Perhaps experiencing the effects of a previously unidentified brain tumor or something?

I felt a sudden pressure, almost like a gale force wind, except no air was being blown around me. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of something especially unsettling happening, off in the distance.

The dim lighting seemed to bend and distort around what could only be described as a tall, shadowy, humanoid figure, concealed beneath a long black coat and pants. There was something unnatural about the way it moved, and I found myself unable to maintain focus. Shuddering, there was not much else I could do besides stand there, dumbfounded.

Looking back, I cannot accurately say what the thing wore. Nor am I able to recall many other specific details about its physical appearance. What I describe is what my mind seems to want to remember. And really, my inability to retain those fine details only adds a fraction of peculiarity to the memory.

Much like your everyday instinct tells you to look away from the sun, my eyes would not obey as I tried my best to view this otherworldly presence make its way down the street. It reached the closest point to where I stood along its trajectory and paused. I remained frozen in place, unsure of how to physically react. My limbs felt more like solid lead as its gaze fell upon me. It seemed to be processing an invisible action.

Something deep in my thoughts was starting to fester. For a fleeting moment I swore I knew what it felt like to be completely engulfed in pure unadulterated insanity. I felt my consciousness sinking into that state, like a stone falling into a vast pool of black water…

A distant vehicle’s wailing emergency siren brought me back to reality. I had to rapidly blink several times before everything started to feel normal again. Almost instantaneously, the darkened environment had faded back into sunshine and with it vanished the demonic entity.

I pondered what I had experienced later that evening, while leaning on the railing of my porch with a glass of bourbon. I stared at the black asphalt street for long moments. Was it possible that I had witnessed some kind of apparition from the afterlife? I couldn’t seriously tell anyone about it, lest I’d be labeled crazy or a liar.

I was snapped out of my thoughts by the crash of a window shattering, followed by a light thud from the back of the inside of my house. A jolt of panic surged up my spine and into the base of my skull. Now what the hell was going on? I flew down to my front lawn and darted around towards the backyard.

As I approached, I noticed a hooded man lurching towards a large hole cut into the back fence. That was precisely when I was rocked by an explosion, followed by a blast of hot air. To my shock, the house was quickly becoming engulfed in flames. I didn’t even have a chance to consider pulling out my phone to dial 9-1-1 before I realized the arsonist had turned and was headed in my direction.

For a second, I saw the spectre from that afternoon marching towards me. The blaze continued to illuminate the scene, however, and I quickly realized that it was the maniac from the pub. A chill came over me as I watched him unsheath a shining steel blade from beneath his jacket as he approached.

“You dumb son of a bitch, it was supposed to be me!! Why couldn’t you just burn!?” he snarled as he charged forward, the knife pointed at my chest. I spun around and dashed back past the inferno that I had called home.

I could see the lights turning on in several of my neighbor’s houses. Somehow, the limping old bastard was not far behind me. Breathing hard, I started towards the street before my legs suddenly locked up and I saw the lawn flying towards my face. I had tripped on the fucking garden hose that was left out.

The old man stood at my feet, pausing to savor the moment, his blue eyes twinkling with excitement. “Now hold on a minute, Nathan. No point in running, just let me have this.” He reset his grip on the knife, preparing to spring forward and end me. I cursed, my eyes frantically scanning for anything that could be used against the assailant.

Fortune had not yet completely abandoned me, as I recalled that I was planning on doing yard work tomorrow. Several lawn care tools had been leaned up against the frame of the porch earlier in the day. I snatched the nearest one within arm’s reach – a flimsy rake.

Twisting, I violently swiped the end of my weapon at the old man’s face just as he made his move. Somehow, one of the plastic teeth managed to lodge into his left eye socket. He screamed in pain and swatted the rake to the side. “When I cut your goddamn head off, it will have no choice but to choose me!” he roared. I kicked my legs, pushing backwards on the grass, prepared to react quickly to a life threatening stab attempt. The attack never came.

That buzzing in my ears had returned, only at an order of magnitude more intense than earlier. I immediately felt like my head would explode.

The old man screamed in agony and frustration. “Fuck!… Fuck! It’s too late!!” he cried out before turning the blade towards himself with both hands. He plunged it upwards, directly into his chest cavity. Between the shock of what I had just witnessed, and the unbearable sensation in my skull, I turned away, rolling onto my hands and knees. I could barely make out the words, “Heavy Man…” from beneath the sound of gurgling blood in the back of his throat.

Just like earlier in the day when this cerebral torment had taken place, the pain abruptly dissipated. I then felt that same terrifying presence as before. I glanced up, and had to immediately look back down. That thing was very much standing just a couple dozen yards away. Although it didn’t make much sense, I knew that this must have been the “Heavy Man”.

I tried again to hold my head up and once more had to unwillingly look elsewhere. As my line of sight drifted back down, I caught a glimpse of its feet. The thing seemed to take floating steps towards me, as if its legs moved not to propel it forward, but simply to match what one would expect to see. I looked towards the houses of my neighbors. They all seemed to crowd the inside of their windows, staring right at me, suspended in place.

I then found myself standing on my feet. I could not remember getting up. The fire in my house must have already been extinguished because it was much darker outside. In fact, it was so dark that I could not see anything else aside from a blinding white light approaching, reminiscent of a train barreling down a tunnel in my direction.

I started to turn my head towards it, but time seemed to freeze. And then the Heavy Man was just a few feet in front of me, completely silent. In slow motion, it reached out and grabbed me by the throat, effortlessly lifting my feet off the ground with one arm. I could not feel it make contact with skin, rather, my neck just had a similar tingling sensation to what you’d feel when your foot falls asleep. Curiously, my breathing remained unobstructed. However those peculiar details were quickly made insignificant, as at last I saw its face. This time I was not allowed to look away.

The thing’s eyes were two bright and spiraling galaxies. A cluster of stars displayed a shimmering set of teeth, like some unknown hellish constellation. The rest of its face was as black and empty as outer space itself. I tried to scream, but no sound would escape my throat. I could feel its sense of vision boring into my thoughts, tunneling a path straight into the core of my soul.

The Heavy Man was able to see every aspect of my existence… my thoughts, my dreams, past and future versions of myself, hell, even the genetic makeup of my cells. After a pause, it “spoke” to me. Not with words, but through a form of communication I can only recall as a stream of implanted visions in my mind.

I still have a hard time comprehending it all, but harbor no doubts regarding the validity of those visions. I felt their absolution spreading throughout the crevices of my brain, as sure as I see the light of day. Also, that festering feeling was finally able to take a firm hold…

The Heavy Man represents everything yet to be. It has been biding its time for the opportunity to replace all that we know today. It does not truly exist in our world, but a neighboring dimension, vastly unique from all that humanity is aware of. The ancient Greeks included it within several well known mythologies. They regarded this being a titan – Atlas.

The Heavy Man’s actual form consists of the framework for an entire universe, just unfathomably compressed. As a result, it carries a weight so immense that pressure is applied to entire neighboring realities, including our own. Here on Earth, it chooses to augment excess pressure into the form of that humanoid shadow. Doing so bestows some semblance of logic into the perception of any beholders.

One must never be allowed to speak to or view the Heavy Man without it willingly permitting so first. If it were to lose focus on containing its incomprehensible mass, even for an instant, there would be annihilation of an unquantifiable number of realms.

Many eons into the future, after the last star has fizzled out and all remaining matter consumed by black holes, the Heavy Man shall achieve its ultimate goal. As those dwindling forces merge into some unseen singularity, it will consume what remains of our universe. This very act creates an opening for it to transfer its full celestial bulk into the great void left behind. A brand new universe will be established and from that point on, everything shall unfold as it was meant to.

There was, however, one final piece of information that the Heavy Man imparted upon me that night. You will really enjoy this, as I saved the best for last. The message that the old man had failed to deliver: I was the last that would ever be chosen.

Since everything that has happened, my life has been granted new meaning and I possess a profound level of awareness. The Heavy Man has grown tired of humanity and our endless shortcomings. Its aspect here would rather pass the time in solitude on this interesting little planet. But it is severely limited with what directly can be done in our dimension. This is why it seeks only those who are worthy enough to be “enlightened”. And to me it has assigned a task of utmost necessity: Kill as many other humans as possible, until there are none left.

You may be thinking that I’m only one person, how much damage could possibly be done? I am here to tell you that I was never even close to being alone. It has chosen millions of worthy followers, over a span of many years. We have all been imbued with a small fraction of its godlike power. And tonight we begin our ultimate extinction mission. For the Heavy Man.

Credit : Michael Benedetto

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