Thursday, December 26, 2013

When The Lights Go Out, Get A Light...

Who is Nic Sils and why does no one want to remember him? What did he do and why has no one moved into his room on 711 by the river after he died?

If you walk this way, you will see building 711. We will not go over there, though.

Why?

A faded blue sign reads SILS in a faded white writing above a door wide enough to drive a car through. It is a dark wooden door, possibly a forest green with a blue hint. Maybe it's navy. The building is brick and connected to a row of buildings, either businesses, or maybe residences. It is a faded bleached white brick, almost sandblasted, but not quite.

Who lived there?

No one anymore. That was the home of Nic Sils, a man so horrible, no one wants to remember him. He would do bloody rituals in the dark. People would say, "When the lights go out, get a light."

What does that mean?

It means you did not want to be in the dark. That was when he would do his rituals. It was a processional, in dimly lit rooms, they would get a calf and a cow, both black, walk them down to the altar, followed by a processional of people in black robes with candles. Children would watch and their mothers would try to hide them from seeing the horrors associated with Nic Sils.

But what did he do? Did he kill people?

No one knows exactly what happened. Just that you couldn't escape the feeling of terror or forget the screams. The screams of the children, crying, and their mothers clutching on to them for dear life.

He said no more. I stared at the building more, looking at the brown river behind it, cargo boats moving as slowly as the current. I walked around to the other side of the lifeless building to find another door, this time open.

People were inside, faceless strangers, in the Sils building. "What are you doing in here?" I asked. The people were arranging random chairs, in the room, but it was larger, much like a theater. Rows of chairs, golden filigree, red velvet and wood. The people walked out of the Sils building down the brick paved road, surrounded on either side by whitewashed buildings no different than the Sils building. They walked around me as if I did not exist to continue whatever it was they were sworn to do. I walked after them, curiously, to what appeared to be a church.

Across the street from the church was a small cafe where college students were having lunch and laughing. No one cared about what was going on.

This can't be happening. Go inside.

I walk inside the church and see it looks just like the inside of the Sils building not too far away. Masses are gathering, although it is fairly empty. No one comes here much anymore. A woman sits with her children, all between the ages of 2 and 6. I sit by her. Everyone settles down and then the doors open for the processional.

They turn around and someone says, "When the lights go out, get a light" and walks down with a candle. Another man holds a candle down the second aisle. A girl walks down to the altar with a portrait and places it on the altar. Someone looks over and shrieks, "NO! They can't be doing this!"

What's going on? What are they doing?

The people in the processional start chanting as a calf and a cow walk down the aisle, both black. The lights in the church dim.

"DON'T LET THEM DO THIS!" someone shouts. "THEY HAVE TO STOP!"

Everyone is upset, but nothing is being done to stop anything. We are all terrified.

The processional walks down the aisle. The mother next to me grabs on to her children except for one boy. He's too far from her. I hold on to him and try to tell him it will be OK. I look over at her and she just shakes her head and is crying.

What's going on?

"Don't look at him," she says to me. I'm staring at the portrait of an older man with grey hair, cold hazel eyes, a stern brown, scowl, and squared jaw. I look at her again and she acts as if my seeing this portrait has somehow made me evil.

Her son is still hiding in my arms from the processional and wiggling around.

The room sits in horror, filled with screams, crying, and darkness with a few candles as shadows run up and down the aisles, but we can all clearly see the portrait. That has to be Nic Sils. But why?

The lights come back on. The doors open. The processional leaves with the leaders of the aisles in their black robes and the rest in their street clothes. Everyone sighs and exits relieved with the same feeling of joy to be alive after getting off a roller coaster.

I leave, but feel terrified. I don't feel the joy to be alive that the rest of the people feel. I feel as if something horrible happened but I don't know what. I still want to know what Nic Sils did to everyone to make him so feared and why I'm now perplexed by his existence.

When the lights go out, get a light. Do not follow them into the night. You'll see a calf and a cow and procession of robed men in black. The screams, the screams, that's all you'll remember are the screams. Do not remember Nic Sils. Do not remember him. Do not let them remember him. Stay away from 711.

Who is Nic Sils? What did he do? 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Jumping The Gun

It seems like people are so eager to get things done quickly now days, they compromise quality and completely bypass common sense. I feel as though I deal with this situation on a daily basis where information must get out right away, but in attempts to do so, details may be missing. That is not to say that the fault lies on the people who are creating the content or putting it out there, but that they are pressed with such a high demand from outsiders to receive information, that sometimes, it isn't perfect and requires several revisions.

As I said before, I deal with situations that compromise quality due to urgency. Yesterday, however, was the first time I had dealt with a situation that personally affected me because someone was so eager to jump the gun, they completely bypassed common sense. I had been shopping around recently for different insurance quotes to see if we could get a deal on our multiple coverage policy of home/auto insurance. I had contacted two companies. One called constantly and after calling them, I wasn't very impressed with their quote. The other I had said I was interested in their policy but would need to look into it more and that I would get back with them, giving them a date to call me of December 6th, not realizing that was a day I was going out of town. So December 6th rolls around and I had told the agent I completely forgot I was going to Savannah that day and to call me back in a week as I was interested, but needed to discuss this more with my husband. Key word here is interested.

Flash forward to December 16th: we get a letter in the mail from our lender notifying us that they have received our "intent to transfer" notice and that they will need proof of our new coverage along and that if we do not do so, they will provide an insurer for us, etc. etc. That the notice came in on December 10th.

New coverage?

Of course after taking care of some urgent work matters, I contact the company who quoted us and told them that we had decided that we were not going to use them, now in this part because they had taken it upon themselves to create a policy for us which we did not sign off on. Due to the fact they decided that me saying I was interested (not authorizing, interested and needing to discuss with my husband), they assumed that meant a green light. I'm pretty sure when you have a policy that is a joint account, you need both parties to authorize this. I could be wrong, but either way, even if I said, "Sure, let's do this," they would still need my signature to authorize the policy. So now, because of their anticipation, I had to spend the time to call my lender, my insurance agency, and them and say, "DO NOT MAKE ANY CHANGES TO MY ACCOUNT. LEAVE IT AS IS." Additionally, I have to send a letter of cancellation to prevent me getting billed to this "new" policy all because someone jumped the gun.

Moral of the story: Yes, sometimes life gets hectic and information needs to get out ASAP. Yes, sometimes mistakes are made. We are all human. However, there will never be a situation where something is so urgent, taking one second to apply a little common sense and ask yourself, "Is this right?" unless it pertains to life or death. When in doubt, check the facts. Nothing is worth compromising the satisfaction of clients, users, public, and so forth by bypassing common sense and jumping the gun just for the sake of getting something done. Sometimes, it's perfectly acceptable to delay.