In The Shadow Of His Nemesis
Chapter Sixty Five
BY AL BRUNO III
Friday, December 3rd 1996
“Johnny?” Angie’s voice was ragged, “Hey Johnny...”
The room was still dark but Sig had done his best to clean the sick from Angie’s body and the mattress. The broken furniture and the holes in the walls had taken care of themselves while he made his farewells to Isobel and the others. The room looked as though nothing had ever happened. Sig had brought a pitcher of water and some crackers in case Angie needed them but he only had to look at her to know she wouldn’t be able to hold anything down.
“There was someone in the room Johnny,” she said.
“That was Isobel. She’s going to get us medicine.” Sig ran his cool hand along her feverish skin.
“No not her, I heard her but I was too tired to talk. There was someone here when you were gone,” she said, “like a ghost but not like Magwier.”
“I don’t understand.”
Could she have glimpsed the thralls of house? If she had...
No! Sig refused to consider such a thing. Not when he’d sacrificed so much to save her from a living damnation. He had thought Laurel House would be just a stop on their journey, a place to recover from their disastrous visit to Hampton Beach but they had gotten comfortable. Well, she had gotten comfortable and that was enough for him.
Sig could never be at ease in a place like this, he wasn't meant to live like a tick on the back of a great and terrible beast.
“I feel so sick,” Angie said, “like there's knives in me...”
“Don't worry,” he said, “get some rest and everything will be all right soon.”
How long would it take them to get back? Isobel was only human and she would slow the others down but Sig knew she was the only one he could rely on. She was a pure spirit, a human spirit. That wasn't always enough in this world but what other choice did he have? Everyone else here was either too selfish, too insane or too damned to be relied on. Roxanne carried treachery in her blood, Bodivar had left his sanity in the ruins or Woldercan, Magwier was never to be trusted and Zeth was his lapdog. Jack and Hao were good enough company but they had both been responsible for dozens of deaths; how else could they have come to serve Laurel House. And as for Galen? Sig bore him no grudge but how could one turncoat trust another?
Sig didn’t even dare pray to blessed Phalen, not when he’d mortgaged his soul twice and again over the years.
Poor Isobel! She didn't know how alone she truly was in all this; even her own brother carried the mark of something terrible within him, of something waiting to be born.
“Something's wrong Johnny...can't you feel it?”
“I'm not going to let anything happen to you,” he said but the words left him feeling like a liar.
Angie said, “Something's wrong...” before dropping off to sleep again.