In this episode, Sam and Frank make a daring journey into the sewer to find a strange flower hidden deep under the city in the hopes of making some fast cash.
The Most Amazing Story Ever is a tale about the birth of a modern God. This action-packed, emotional, whirlwind of a story takes the listener through a dramatic and dark process as Sam seeks out the light and attempts to claim the title of God Almighty. But his path out of the darkness is filled with peril as he confronts his inner demon, Malice. This beast consumes Sam’s soul and takes control of his body in an effort to bring death and destruction to the world.
Don’t miss out on this high powered tale of sorrow, struggle, and redemption. The Most Amazing Story Ever will remind you of what dwells within us all and show you the true power of the human heart.
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Several hours later Sam faced the point of no return. Frank said to meet at 8:30 pm. It was thirty minutes after his shift started at the restaurant. It was eight o’clock. If he owned a phone, it would start blowing up any minute now with an asshole on the other end screaming at him and threatening his job. He needed to get his mind in the right place. One big payday. Twenty grand in a single evening. Fuck his boss. Fuck being broke. “Let’s do this!” he thought to himself.
A half hour later, he was at the spot where Frank said to meet him. It was a surprisingly public place, the courtyard of a major shopping pavilion. There were tons of lights and people walking around. It was Friday night. Things were in full tilt. This spot was always busy. It was right in the heart of the city. Sam kept reminding himself to keep cool. He was constantly looking over his shoulder at the two cops hired as security at this courtyard. They were unaware of why he was here. He was also overly concerned about seeing a fellow co-worker. He felt as though he were going to get into some serious trouble for ditching work. Then he realized that anyone that would recognize him was at work, probably trying to cover for him not being there. When it all came down to it, Sam had yet to commit a crime that he was aware of, but that did not stop him from feeling as if he was seconds away from being busted.
Only a few minutes had passed before Frank showed up. He crept up behind Sam without him noticing, nudged him in the shoulder and with a very authoritative voice said, “What are you doing here son!”
Sam flinched hard and spun around to see his accuser, heart pounding and full of adrenaline already. A wave of relief came over him as though he just got a shot of morphine when he saw that there was no threat and that it was in fact just his money-obsessed, retard of a best friend.
Frank laughed aloud and pointed at Sam, “You were scared out of your mind! That was the funniest shit I’ve seen all day!”
Sam shoved Frank slightly with the charge of “Asshole!”
Frank did not appear dressed for a caper. He was dressed in the same gear he was wearing earlier today, red shorts and a long white T-shirt, except a backpack that looked almost empty. He was dressed the complete opposite of how Sam dressed. He was wearing black shorts and shoes, a white T-shirt and a black long sleeve shirt tied around his waist. He was wearing a backpack as well, but it was full of gloves, a ski mask, a bit of rope, some pliers and wire cutters. When questioned by Frank about what was in the backpack, he was a bit reluctant to say. He informed Frank that he didn’t know what he needed to bring…so he came prepared. He packed the type of stuff you see thieves wearing in the movies. He even brought a pair of black pants in there in case his shorts showed off too much of his identity. Once again, Frank chuckled in his normal fashion and called Sam a fool.
“Ain’t nobody gonna see us where we’re going,” Frank said to Sam as they walked.
Turning into an alley next to the pavilion, Frank asked to see Sam’s bag. Sam, of course, forked it over, and Frank threw it into a dumpster.
“You don’t need all that; we’ll pick it up on the way back.” Sam stopped for a moment as if he was ready to say something but then just sighed and followed suit with Frank.
After a few blocks of turns and alleys, they came to a manhole cover. There was nothing special about this manhole cover. It was just there in the middle of the alley. The words “City Sewer” were stamped into the metal. Nothing more. There was nothing special about the alley either. No banks close by and no art museums. In fact, there wasn’t even a greenhouse within a few miles of this alley. Frank reached into his backpack, pulled out a tiny little crowbar, and proceeded to pop the manhole cover from the top of the manhole.
Moments later, they managed to remove the cover from the hole. The smell that wafted out of the black hole was putrid. It smelled like a combination of shit and week-old raw hamburger that was left in the car on a summer day, with just a twinge of sulfur to add some flavor. Sam and Frank gagged for a second.
“We’ve got to go down there?” Sam questioned. “God, it smells so bad!”
“It smells like money to me,” Frank replied, “let’s get going.”
With an “ugh” and a single shake of the head, Sam followed Frank down the hole. It was a narrow fit. Just barely enough for his shoulders to get through. The trip down seemed cramped as well. All of the comic books and movies got it wrong. There was no massive substructure below the city streets. No long large tunnels with pristine walkways on either side of the crystal clean water. Instead, it was a very dark claustrophobic space, at least here it was.
The most you could do was crouch in the knee-deep water. Moreover, the water was anything but clean. It smelled horrible and felt even worse. As soon as Sam set foot into the ghastly sludge running through the pipes, he could swear he felt a turd brush against his leg. In this dark, dank tunnel it could have been any number of things.
To top it all off, Frank handed Sam a flashlight. The instant he flipped the switch he saw that the walls were crawling with roaches. Roaches by the thousands. They didn’t seem to scatter like roaches in his apartment. The chances are that these roaches have never seen a human and were completely unbothered by their presence.
“What the FUCK! Dude, we gotta move man!” Sam shouted to Frank.
They began to push forward through the ever so cramped space, wading and swatting the fallen roaches from their neck and hair as they trekked through the long maze of tunnels.
After what felt like an eternity in this dark Hell of a rank, roach-infested nothingness Sam shouted, “HOW MUCH FURTHER?!”
Frank replied, “Should only be about fifty or sixty more feet and it’ll open up, we’ll check the map there.”
Frank was right on the money. After about fifty feet the treacherous tube of crawling walls and soupy sludge opened up into a cross pipe. One with much more space but just as gross. Sam continued to brush the roaches from his body, and as he shined the flashlight down on himself, he became even more disgusted.
It appeared as though half the stuff in the sewer they just waded through was still clinging to his clothes. Dozens of unidentifiable stains were dripping and oozing down his shorts and onto his legs. A mysterious slimy substance made its way into his shoe causing his toes to slip and slide against each other inside of his overly saturated sock. It was far worse than he predicted the night would be.
“How much further does it say on the map?” Sam asked.
“About a quarter mile that way down this pipe and we will come to a door. What we are looking for will be on the other side.”
Frank placed the laminated map back into his pack and slung it over his shoulder. He could see the frustration on Sam’s face.
He smiled and said “Easy money, man. After this, you can take a long shower and tomorrow when we get paid, we can go shopping. All of this will just be a memory, and you’ll be a lot wealthier.”
Frank’s reassurances were weak at best. Sam was completely grossed out. If there were not such a large payday on the line, he would have turned back by now. However, a small part of him was enjoying the adventure. Even as a little kid he would look down into storm drains and wonder what lay hidden below the streets. This was much worse than anything he ever dreamed about but still slightly intriguing to the kid in him. With one final flinch and a rapid brush of a roach crawling up his arm, they carried on.
The final part of the journey was far less difficult than the first part. The water was only ankle deep; there seemed to be a lot less crap in it. There was still just as many roaches and bugs, but since the tunnel was twice the height of Frank and Sam and wide enough to get two cars through, they did not seem to bother the duo. As they approached the end of the tunnel, the sound of rushing water filled the air.
“Must be a drop off up ahead,” Frank said in a slightly louder voice. He raised his voice to compete with the waterfall’s overpowering sound.
“Boy, that rope sure would’ve come in real handy right about now huh…?” Frank could almost taste the sarcasm coming from Sam.
They got to the edge of the pipe and stopped to look at what lay beyond the end of the pipe. Their flashlights could barely illuminate the cavernous room that was before them. One thing was apparent, though, it was about twenty feet down to the bottom of the waterfall, and there was no way to tell how deep the water was.
“What now?” Sam asked.
Frank’s only reply was a grin. He took his pack from his back and reached inside. He pulled out several plastic sticks, each about a foot long.
He handed his pack to Sam and said, “Hold this.”
He cracked and shook each of the sticks one by one, and they began to glow in a range of colors. Some were blue, some were yellow, and the others were green. He drew back and tossed them out into the huge cavernous space. All but one. It was only a few seconds before the light revealed a large part of the room to them. It was a truly massive space. From what they could see, it was the size of a football stadium. The water seemed to cover most of it; but on the opposite side, there was a large set of boulders sitting on top of a space not submerged by the water. Each boulder was as big as a car or bigger. This room was completely out of place. Rooms of this size did not belong in the sewer.
Frank grabbed one of the pipes that were running along the wall for support and leaned out over the waterfall. He dropped his remaining glow stick over the edge so that it fell into the pool of water below. It sunk further and further. It almost went out of sight. Only a small glow remained by the time it settled to the bottom of the pool.
“Looks deep enough to me,” Frank said as he looked back at Sam.
With the shit-eating grin, Frank was so famous for, he let go of the pipe that was supporting his weight and leaped from the edge of the waterfall. On the way down he shouted, “Hope you can swim!” and then plunged into the pool head first.
Sam held his breath, anxiously waiting for him to resurface. It only took about five seconds for him to come up for air. Those five seconds might as well have been five minutes in Sam’s book.
“Come on down; it’s plenty deep. You’ll be okay!”
Sam could barely hear Frank over the rush of the waterfall and the crash of the water hitting the pool. Suddenly he realized he was in the same position as earlier today on the roof. Here was this massive jump sitting before him. He was too far in to back out, and now his pride was on the line (not to mention a massive payday.) His best friend already took the plunge and now it was his turn.
“I can’t bitch out on this one,” he told himself.
He quit his job for this adventure, committed himself to crawl through the muck and bug infested pipes. He even sacrificed his morals. What was a little jump? He backed up about ten feet, slung Franks bag on his back and assumed a runner’s stance.
“SHIT! SHIT! SHIT! AAARRRRRRGGGHHHHH!!!” he screamed as he bolted out in a dead sprint for the edge of the tunnel and jumped out into almost pure darkness.
The glow sticks offered little illumination from this height. He couldn’t tell how long it would take to hit the water or how deep it was. What if he hit a hidden pipe or something that Frank missed? Oh well, too late to worry about that now. Funny thing about flying through the dark, you always hit after you think you should. With a thunderous splash, Sam crashed into the pool below. Nose pinched, and feet pointed. As he shot under the water, something strange happened. Time rather slowed down a bit, at least for Sam it did. He felt a strange warmth and calmness flow over his body. It was as if he was supposed to be there. He was not afraid of what may be hidden under the water or what was going to happen next. He just calmed down.
Amid all the calmness, he heard a voice from deep inside. It was his voice, but it was not him talking.
The voice said “It’s OK. Just let it happen and it will all be OK. You are here for a reason.”
Even the voice was soothing. There was absolutely no reason to doubt the voice in his head. It was not his voice, but it was offering words of encouragement. He never felt so confident about his current situation. He wasn’t worried about the sludge that covered him. The bugs that were still crawling around in his shirt didn’t seem to worry him. His heart was racing but not from fear. He was just confident and peaceful. It was the best he felt in years.
As he calmly came up and broke the surface of the water, he took in a deep breath and wiped the water from his eyes, he looked around the dimly lit room. He surveyed across the top of the water looking for Frank, but Frank was nowhere to be found. Suddenly he noticed the glow from the stick that was at the bottom of the pool was growing brighter and closer. Seconds later Frank Surfaced with the glow stick in his hand and said, “Couldn’t leave this behind.”
In his newly calmed state, Sam said, “Thanks, man. That was epic. I needed that.”
“Of course man, I needed a homie on this with me,” Frank said in the most macho way possible considering the two were treading water in a sewer while sharing a bro moment.
As many men trying to be macho often do, he followed up with “Now stop being such a fag and let’s get out of this nasty water.”
The pair swam across the massive room to the only spot that did not have water. It was a small landing about the size of a city intersection. There was very little detail. The walls seemed to be formed concrete with very little texture to them at all. On the far side of this landing was the pile of large boulders that they saw earlier. Now they could get a better sense of the layout. The boulders were randomly stacked on either side of a massive door. At least, they assumed it was a door.
It was about twenty feet high and split from top to bottom down the center. A giant slab of concrete crossed the door horizontally. The entire structure was concrete, but it did not look like the formed concrete from the surrounding walls. This concrete appeared to be much older. It was gritty and dark; there was a moldy mossy substance growing out from the center crack between the two doors. Scrolled across the barricade were symbols that Sam and Frank couldn’t identify.
They looked like runes, but neither of them knew what runes looked like exactly, so it was just shy of an educated guess. Frank raised the glow stick above his head to get a better look.
“What do you think that shit says?” he asked.
“Just a guess…Stay the fuck out,” Sam answered in a very monotone manner that could have been witty if he were not so serious about what he said.
He then asked, “Is this the door you were talking about?”
“Yep…I don’t see any other doors…do you?” Frank replied.
“What about that one?” Sam pointed to a barely visible door stashed away behind the boulders.
It was a small black door with no handle, only hinges. There was no way of telling what was on the other side of this door. The light did not even shine from underneath it. Frank walked over to the door with a glow stick in hand. He surveyed it for only a moment and then turned and walked back to the massively ominous door made of concrete.
“Nope…Boss said it was the big door.”
“Did he mention how to get in this big ass door?” Sam questioned again.
“Yep…Let me see that pack.”
Frank grabbed the bag from Sam’s hand and started rummaging through it. Sam turned around and stepped a few feet away while pulling his pack of thoroughly drenched smokes from his shorts pocket. Not even one survived. Still he pulled one out. He then started trying to get his lighter to work. It took some blowing and quite a few strikes, but he finally got it going.
He became so relaxed at this point that there was no stress about his cigarette being wet. He simply lit the lighter and started rotating the smoke over it to dry it out. A couple of minutes passed and he felt confident that it would light.
Sam placed the butt between his lips and set fire to the tip. It was a pathetic struggle, but the fire-dried cigarette took a spark and rushed the nicotine fix to his lungs. It tasted like complete shit, but it did the trick. Sam noticed that Frank was humming a tune in the background. It was more like a failed attempt at beatboxing the ‘Mission Impossible’ theme, but considering the situation, it seemed appropriate.
He had paid no attention to his partner in crime for the past several minutes. He was so focused on lighting his cigarette that Frank’s doings now were of no real concern to him. Still, he wondered what was going on.
Frank spoke up “Yo, lemme see that lighter.”
Sam turned to hand the lighter to Frank and was caught totally off guard by what he saw. Frank managed to tape three sticks of dynamite to the door. Sam had never seen real dynamite before, but the black stencil on the side of the sticks that said “DYNAMITE” was a dead giveaway. Though unprepared for this, he remained eerily calm. Since his dip in the pool, nothing seemed to faze him.
“That is totally gonna wake up the neighbors, man,” He said. “Where the fuck did you get dynamite?”
“My boss is the shit. He said we were going to need it.”
Frank’s face was lit up like a Christmas tree. He dreamed of a moment like this all his life. It’s not every day that a kid from the city gets to blow stuff up with dynamite in the sewers of a major metropolis. He flicked the still damp lighter a couple of times until it caught flame. With absolutely no hesitation, he lit the fuse attached to the dynamite. By movie standards, the fuse was quite long, about eight inches. However, this wasn’t a movie, and the sparkling fuse rushed towards the stick way faster than he anticipated. Both of them scrambled as fast as they could and just barely made it behind one of the boulders before the explosion.
What an explosion it was. Rubble and debris went flying everywhere. The sound reverberated off the walls of the underground enclosure. The fuse burned so fast there was no time to cover their ears before the blast. They could hear pieces of rock landing in the water faintly over the piercing ring that echoed in their eardrums. As they stood up to survey the damage, nothing was even visible. The smoke that filled the air was thick and the glow from Frank’s stick didn’t offer adequate light to pierce through it. Sam waved his hand in front of his face and coughed slightly.
He looked down and saw his cigarette still lit on the ground, “Dope,” he said as he reached over and picked it up and took a draw.
Frank wasted no time. He darted around the protection of the boulder back towards the door eager to see the fruits of his explosive labor. Upon reaching the door, nothing but disappointment came from his lips.
“Man… damn!” He said, “This should have made a way bigger hole than this!”
The dynamite managed to blow a small wedge out of the door. It was about three feet high, and the base of the wedge was about two and a half feet across. Sam placed his hand on the door.
As he leaned into the newly formed hole just a bit, he said, “Well, at least, we can get in.”
Without hesitation, he crouched down and wormed his way through the small space. The door must have been at least two feet thick and was completely solid. The hole blown in it was slightly smaller on the other side. Once he crawled through Sam stood up into the vastly dark room. He could smell the burnt gunpowder and dust from the concrete. At first, the odors seemed to overpower his nose. As he walked further into the black, he could smell fresh air like he was in a forest. There was a musk to it, a completely different smell than the sewer he was just standing in. The air was about ten degrees cooler and not as humid.
Frank made his way into the room with a glow stick in hand and brought with him light. The room was a giant dome. The walls appeared made of solid rock. Not jagged or rough, but rather polished. In fact, it was smooth as glass. The roof was about fifty feet high at its apex. The room itself was half of a perfect sphere, occupied by nothing more than a box made of the same polished stone in the very center.
As the two of them began to move towards the box, they noticed the moss underfoot. As they got even closer to it, they could see that vines were growing out from around the box. Sam found this to be very strange because there was no water and no sunlight in this room. Except for the box, the moss, and the vines, there was nothing else in the room.
“Strange place to keep a flower, Frank,” Sam said in a very low tone.
His head was on a swivel trying to take it all in. Frank said nothing. His head was on a similar swivel. They were both in awe of where they were. As they approached the box, they could see similar writing to that which was on the giant door. It might as well have been written in Chinese. Neither Frank nor Sam had a clue what it said.
“What do you think this says?” Frank questioned.
“I know what it says…Don’t open this fucking box,” Sam replied as he continued to look around
The one thing Frank could identify was the handprint on the box’s lid. He pulled the glow stick ever so close to it. The handprint appeared remarkably detailed. It was as if someone spent a great deal of time carving each line of his or her hand into the well-polished rock lid. The handprint was devoid of any dust or dirt, and there were no markings except a single black dot in the center of the palm.
Frank placed his hand into the impression, but it was a poor fit. His hand was just a bit too large, and his fingers were too long. There was a very bizarre sensation to it. With the room being so cool, Frank fully expected the stone to feel the same; yet, it was strangely warm. It felt like touching another person’s hand. It was creepy, to say the least.
“What the…hey man, check this shit out,” he called out.
Sam walked over the box and stood beside Frank.
“Look at that detail. It’s amazing,” Sam said as he leaned in closer to get a better look.
“It feels so freaky, put your hand in there. It’s warm.” Frank said.
Sam placed his hand into the print and surprisingly, it felt like his own. Everything lined up perfectly. Every line, every crease, and fold were an exact match. Strangely, it was an exact match to his handprint.
“Weird,” he said in as calm a voice as possible.
He could feel the warmth that Frank was talking about. There was a slight tingle, similar to the feel of tiger balm, only a bit more intense. Then the print began to glow beneath his hand. He quickly snatched his hand away. He felt almost blinded by the bright white-hot light that came from the handprint. They both put their hands in front of their eyes trying to shield themselves from the shocking white light.
As quickly as it began, it ended.
“What the FUCK did you do Sam?” Wiping his eyes as though he just stepped out of the dark and into the sunlight.
Frank staggered a bit, “I can’t see shit!”
Suddenly the box began to make a grinding noise. Sam managed to get just enough of his sight back to see that the lid was sliding off the top of the box. Completely bewildered, he continued to wipe his eyes just a bit, hoping to clear up his vision and get readjusted to the dark. As the box opened further and further, he noticed a slight glow coming from down inside. The lid made a thud as it dropped off the edge of the box and one side landed on the ground. Sam and Frank both peered into the box and saw something truly beautiful and utterly unique. Inside of this box was a solid white glowing flower.
It stood about a foot tall with twelve triangular shaped petals on it. The center was large and round like a DVD, only bulbous instead of flat. The stem was bleached white, with no leaves. The roots at the base were visible above the surface, but only just. The pair stood in awe for a moment. They were trying to get a handle on what they just experienced. Strange writing and glowing handprints in stone boxes? Self-moving heavy lids? A glowing flower growing in the middle of a dark underground dome? It all seemed a bit surreal, like a fantasy novel; but, it was all too real.
Frank even questioned it aloud to make sure, “Are we dreaming? I mean…Are we seeing this? We aren’t in the matrix or no shit like that, are we?”
“Nope…That’s a real glowing flower in that box. Now I get why we are making so much money on this.”
Sam never even blinked. Both he and Frank kept their eyes on the flower the whole time.
“So… How do we get this thing out of here without killing it?” Sam asked.
He knew nothing about flowers, but he did know enough to know that they were fragile and delicate.
“Boss said to grab it at the base and pull it out of the ground,” Frank said, still staring at it.
“Just pull it out? Just like that?” Sam asked.
“Yup. Just pull it out.”
“Okay, Captain Cat Burglar…get to pulling,” Sam broke his attention away from the flower long enough to give Frank a bit of hell.
Frank gave Sam the finger and leaned into the box. He was slightly hesitant on wrapping his hand around the base of the flower due to its mystical appearance. He closed his eyes, squinted and snapped his hand onto the flower’s stalk. He gave the flower a solid tug to pull it from the ground. Nothing happened.
“Damn…this thing is in there pretty solid,” he said.
Again, he gave it a solid tug using twice the force he did before. Nothing happened. Frank then wrapped both hands onto the base and pulled with all of his might. He let out a mighty scream in an attempt to get every bit of strength he could, and still, nothing happened. The flower did not budge. In fact, it did not shake, wiggle, or move even the slightest bit. It was as though the flower were made of stone as well.
“I swear to God! To be such a badass, you sure are a pussy,” Sam said making fun of Frank.
“You think it’s so easy…you do it,” Frank quickly replied in a very “kiss-my-ass” tone.
Sam kicked his head back slightly in agreement and leaned into the box. Before he could get his hand on the base of the flower, they heard a small noise and a voice in the large room they just came through to get here. They looked at each other, and their hearts began to race. Was it a security guard? Maybe it was just city workers checking out the sound from the explosion? Could it be the cops way down here?
“We’ve got to get out of here,” Frank whispered to Sam.
“How? There are no other doors,” Sam replied.
“We gotta go out the way we came,” said Frank.
“Oh, that’s smart! Go toward the voices that could be cops! Brilliant!” Sam rattled.
They began to see faint traces of flashlights searching around. From the number of beams, there were several people on the other side of that gigantic concrete door.
“I got an idea,” Frank whispered, “I still have a stick of dynamite left…”
Sam shot a what the fuck look at Frank. The kind of look that questioned his mode of thinking for saving a stick of dynamite.
“So, I like to blow shit up, get over it! We could light it, throw it out the door, wait till it blows and make a run for it unless you got a better idea,” Frank said.
Sam pondered his options for all of about a quarter of a second.
“Shit,” he said as he dropped his head a bit. He looked back up at Frank and asked: “What about the flower?”
“We’ll grab it and take it with us. If we make it, at least, we’ll get paid.”
It sounded like a pretty solid idea to Sam. He wasted no time reaching in and grabbing the flower at the base. He gave it the slightest tug, and it slipped right out of the ground. Sam held the flower in front of him and looked at it trying to figure why Frank was not able to pull it out of the ground. Given the situation, he quickly dismissed it as Frank playing a joke on him. While he was holding it, the glow slowly began to fade from it. It only took it a few seconds until the glow was all but gone.
He looked up, and Frank had already began moving towards the door. Sam snapped to his feet and scrambled to catch up with him. Taking a position beside the hole they created earlier, Frank reached into the backpack and pulled out the last stick of dynamite. He held his hand out to Sam and began flipping his fingers in a request for Sam’s lighter once again.
“The instant this thing blows, we make a run for it. Don’t hesitate. Got me?” Frank snapped the order to Sam in the quietest voice possible.
Sam simply nodded his head and hoped that this would work. He was not looking forward to this plan. But, there was no other choice. At least, this line of thought gave them a chance to escape, which was more than they had if they stayed in this room.
Frank lit the fuse and waited for it to get close to the stick before tossing it. Once it flew out the door, the duo covered their ears and leaned away from the hole. It was only a split second later that the explosion came. Sam and Frank scrambled out the door fully expecting everyone out there to be disoriented; however, it was quite the opposite. Where they expected four or five people, there were thirty heavily armed soldiers in full tactical gear. They anticipated the dynamite would, at least, create a distraction; the soldiers were well protected behind the safety of a wall of riot shields.
They stopped dead in their tracks. Frank dropped his bag and raised his hands to the sky. Sam attempted to drop the flower, but he could not get his hand to let go of it. He raised his hands and said to Frank “we are so fucked.”