Tuesday, April 27, 2010

In The Shadow Of His Nemesis chapter sixty one

In The Shadow Of His Nemesis

Chapter Sixty One


Friday November 30th 1996

There was a spread of tarot cards on Jack’s bed, Roxanne studied them for a time before returning them to the deck and reshuffling. The cards were handmade, a skill taught to all the Lunt women, they were circular and elegantly illustrated. Those illustrations seemed to almost dance by the lamplight. She was naked, her skin and she bedsheets were still damp. She asked, “Are you going to do it?”

“Do what?” Jack grunted. He was exercising at the other end of his room; his sweaty hair hung loose around his face obscuring his expression.

“Let Galen kill Magwier.”

“From what I hear Magwier's been killed before.”

“Really? One of those is he?”

“I still might let him try,” Jack said, “we all know he’s up to no good.”

She smiled when he took off his shirt, “He’ll have to get past Magwier’s bodyguard.”

“Zeth? I doubt he’d be a real problem. Besides maybe Sig and Galen can team up, divide and conquer,” his expression soured as he spoke. Laurel House was supposed to be a place of refuge and love but things like this always happened- blood and treachery were built into its foundations.

She fanned the cards out again and laid them in a complex pattern, “The Hanged Man keeps showing up, so do the Lovers.”

“The Lovers?” Jack stretched, twisting this way, bending that way. He didn't need to exercise to stay fit but he liked the sensation himself, it reminded him of the old days, of leaping from rooftop to rooftop and terrorizing all the pretty girls. Even now they still told tales of old Spring-Heeled Jack but he was dismissed as an urban legend, as a prank taken too far. He lowered himself to the floor and began doing pushups, “You mean us?”

“Oh please,” she said, “you and I both know who it means. Hao and her pet.”

“He's not a pet, she's serious about him.”

“I pity her then, she might as well marry a mayfly.”

“That’s not very nice.”

“For my money I think she’s in love with the idea of mourning him,” Roxanne said, “you can see it in his eyes. She wants an excuse to kill herself. Here's hoping that when her self-inflicted grief makes her commit suicide that she has the decorum to do it somewhere past the treeline.”

“Roxanne...” Jack tried to sound like he was chiding her but he felt himself starting to get irritated. How could she so cold? Sometimes he wondered what his relationship with her would have been like if she hadn't been such a demon in the sheets. If she hadn’t known just what he liked. Maybe he would have stayed Castellan, maybe her body would be rotting somewhere out past the tree-line. He changed the subject, “What else do you see?”

“The Tower,” she replied, “I keep seeing the Tower.”

“Not good,” Jack stopped his push ups and sat on the floor, looking up at the woman who shared his bed but not his heart. She was an oracle so why didn’t he just come out and ask? It was at moments like this when he longed to return to his home and to the rooftops to know the feel of something soft, helpless and ripe squirming in his arms. After a long pause he spoke, “What do I do?”

“Kill them,” Roxanne said, “kill them both.”

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