The Cold Inside (a serial novel) Chapter Thirty-Five part one
The Cold Inside
By AL BRUNO III
Wednesday January 25, 1995
“Who are you and what have you done with my child?” Carol Bloom poked her head into her son’s room.
“Pardon me?” He looked up at her from getting dressed.
“I heard you taking your shower.” She explained. Where was the smile she’d seen returning to his features a few days ago? “You woke me up for a change. Usually you’d sleep the whole day away if I let you.”
“I have had quite enough sleep Mother.” He said coolly.
“Mother? Who put a stick up your ass today?”
His glare was enough to send her cringing from his room. What’s up with him now? Carol wondered. There was just enough hot water for her to take a quick shower. He’s so moody. Maybe I should talk to Dr. Butterfield. Or should I just get him another pet? Something less fragile, like a cat.
When she was finished Carol wrapped her hair in a towel and her body in her ratty blue robe and headed back to her room. She spied her son standing at the counter eating toast with jam. There was something about his posture that brought to mind memories of his father.
Maybe I should call Gawain. He needs to take more interest in his son. A boy needs a man he can butt heads with. I don’t know what I’m doing with him. Carol dressed quickly, hoping that breakfast and the drive in would give them a chance to talk.
Once she was ready for work she headed back out to the parlor to see him standing in front of the television and watching the morning news with a strange expression on his face. “You still want me to drive you in? We can get breakfast on the way.”
He switched off the television, “Where is your daughter?”
“You mean your sister?”
“Her bed has not been slept in.”
“She spent the night at Ronnie’s. I’m sorry I ever let that nonsense get started. If you’re old enough for that you’re old enough to get your own place.” Carol made her lunch, ham was all they had left so she made a sandwich.
“How charming.” He walked into the kitchen. “Tell me, when was the last time you conversed with Gawain Wight?”
“Why are you talking like that? It’s not funny, it’s annoying.”
“Do you believe he truly knew you? Do you believe he truly loved you?” He opened the door to the dishwasher and began rooting around. “Does it hurt too much to consider that you might have been a means to an end? An end that perhaps even he did not truly understand he was striving towards?”
“What are you talking about?”
“I surmise that somehow he sensed the power you work so hard to conceal from the world,” He pulled a carving knife from the dishwasher and advanced on her, “and most especially yourself.”
Fear drained the strength from Carol’s limbs “Oh my God, Tristam…”
“I would think it would be patently obvious that I am most certainly not your son.” He jabbed forward with the knife, the blade slipping between the hands Carol had raised up in defense. The blade sank in her chest to the hilt. “If you will indulge me in your final moments, allow me to explain that you did nothing to deserve this but your demise will throw the son of Lionel Wight off balance. He will suspect young Tristam has run rogue, he won’t understand the truth of things until it is far too late.”
He pulled the knife free. Carol Bloom slumped to the floor, blood soaking her blouse and pooling at her feet. She tried to speak but her voice was lost to her.
“Furthermore I will need all my strength for what is to come and as I said before, you my dear woman have more power than you ever suspected. Power I would be a fool to allow to go to waste.” The boy knelt down in the blood and devoured her spirit.