Monday, February 10, 2014

The Cold Inside (a serial novel) Chapter Thirty-Five part three

The Cold Inside
Chapter Thirty-Five
part three

Wednesday January 25, 1995

Phil had no idea how long he had been lying on the floor of the storage building. He couldn’t move the right side of his body and he could barely breathe. This is what Zara went through. Phil thought, This is what she went through every day.

The door to the storage building swung open, “Ah there you are.”

The sunlight dazzled Phil. All he could see in the doorway was a familiar silhouette with an alien bearing. When he spoke his voice was slurred and raspy, “Tristam?”

“I am afraid not old friend.”

“No.” Phil rocked helplessly on his back, like an overturned beetle.

“Oh my poor misguided apprentice, you must have appreciated on some level of your blunted intellect that you could never truly overcome or hinder me.”

“I’ll kill you. I don’t care what it takes I’ll kill you.”

“I imagine you might try, were you not so enfeebled,” a smile cut through the boy’s features. He closed the door to the storage room behind him, “All that remains to you now is so much bluster.”

“How did you do this?”

“It was simplicity personified. Young Tristam was woefully ill-equipped to encounter me.” The boy bent and retrieved the bag of black rubies, he shuffled them in his fingers for a moment before stowing them in the school backpack he was carrying. “I will say on his behalf that he was more powerful than I anticipated, much more. Say what you will about Gawain Wight’s stewardship of Project Pharos, I must admit that the man’s breeding instincts are faultless.”

“What did you do to him?”

“What did I do?” The boy said, “I devoured him, just like I devoured the boy’s mother, just like I devoured Zara.”

Phil sobbed, “You got us all, all but John. I’ll tell you where he is if you just-”

“John? John Sig? Let me tell you something, you never understood Sig, you never understood his loyalty or his heart.”

“What are you talking about?”

“I gave John the chance to escape this. All he had to do was abandon you.”

“And then what did you do to him?”

“I absolved him, he deserved nothing less. I doubt he squandered so much as a second thought on either you or Zara once he had what he needed.” The boy paced the room, scuffing the protective runes with his footsteps; occasionally he would pause and rummage through on old box, or pick through a stack of mementos. Some of the things he found he would place in the backpack, the rest he would toss causally aside. “This boy Phil, this boy has such power. Not just his soul you understand, energy permeates every cell of this glorious new body I wear. A shame he was so poorly trained. It might have saved you, it might have saved her.”

“Just kill me and get this over with.”

“Kill you?” One of the boxes was full of leather-bound handwritten journals; the boy flipped through them, his eyes gleaming with nostalgia. He picked a few choice volumes and stuffed them into the backpack, the rest he tore to shreds and tossed over his shoulder. “Oh no, not yet but soon enough.”

1 comment:

  1. Strong characters, and taut writing, but too much of a jump from the last entry for me. I can't really follow what's happening or who the peeps are.