The Cold Inside (a serial novel) Chapter Thirty part one
The Cold Inside
By AL BRUNO III
Thursday January 12, 1995
It was another gloomy day, full of heavy clouds and cold rain. On days like this the library was always a little cooler than the rest of the building, it made the staff tetchy and the students eager to get out of there and be on their way to other things. No one paid much attention to Tristam as he sat at one of the tables near the science fiction books and pretended to read. He let his eyes close and surrendered to exhaustion.
He'd been catching little catnaps all day but he was still groggy. That's what he got for tangling with Phil and torturing Kenny all in the same night.
But it was worth it.
Besides now that he and Phil had redefined their relationship things were only going to get easier. Yes, he was still going to help Phil, but only after he coughed up a few of his more spectacular tricks in payment. Half awake and half asleep he felt a little thrill of anticipation at the thought of giving Bobby a never ending stream of nightmares or rooting through Brie's memories and subtly altering them one by one until she was changed forever. The possibilities were endless.
Assuming Phil can be trusted.
That thought was sobering enough to wake Tristam. He could only hope he'd either won the old man's respect, or his fear.
“I heard about Kenny Wurman.”
Tristam looked up to see Greg standing before him, “Aren't you supposed to be in art class?”
Greg glanced from the busy librarians to the students, “I'm supposed to be in the nurse’s office.”
“Naughty naughty.” Tristam watched him sit down at the table, “Now what is this about Kenny?”
“Kenny's parents have him locked up. He is undergoing a psychiatric evaluation,” Greg said. “He flipped out.”
Tristam chuckled, “And you know this how?”
“The whole school knows about it.”
“I'm not a big fan of the school rumor mill. You can't believe everything you hear.”
Greg leaned forward, “This has to stop.”
“I thought you didn’t believe I was doing anything.” Tristam said.
“Fred Trager is in the hospital, Linda Kaspary was humiliated and now Kenny is in a nuthatch.” Greg fought hard to control his voice, “How far are you going to take this?”
“How far did they take it Greg? Did they stop when they broke the spine of your study bible? Did they stop when they made Drew into a whore? Did they stop when they put one of our friends in the hospital?”
“Tristam this isn't-”
“I can do things to them they couldn't even imagine and I am not going to stop.”
Greg's voice turned cool, “Then I'll stop you.”
“First. I'm not the bad guy here. Second. You can’t stop me because no one would believe you. If you go talking about one of your friends having magic powers you'll end up in the nuthouse with Kenny.” Tristam stood, now he was tired and angry, “I can't believe you'd take their side over mine. They made fun of the fact you almost died - you think they should be forgiven for that 'Graveyard Greg'?”
He crossed his arms, his expression was more disappointed than anything else, “Why not? I forgave you didn't I?”