Monday, March 25, 2013

~~STONE GATE: Chapter Thirteen--Uncontrollable~~

Well, looks like I was alone.
It didn’t take me very long to find Liandros—with the power of the Source, it never takes much effort to do anything.
I lift him in my arms, calling upon the Source, falling under its thrall in return for strength, carrying him in my arms. The Source whispers to me, calls to me, and I answer.
I fall into its insanity.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
There is a hole of weeks in my life.
I do not remember a single thing from that time. I have searched my memories to the best of my abilities, but there is nothing in my mind that knows what happened during those few weeks.
So I might as well start with when I finally wake….
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I’m lying in a four-poster bed beneath the sheets. I shove the sheets aside, eye my body. I’m wrapped in bandages. I peel a few of them back, and almost vomit at the stench of rot. Infections. Very bad infections.
I wind the bandages closed again, swallowing hard.
I force away the pain, and shove myself to my feet. I have to get out of here—there’s no way I’m safe.
Taurion walks into my room just as I am about to leave it, and nods at me calmly. “Hello, Kelree.”
I don’t speak. I halt in my tracks—there’s no way I’ll be able to get past him. So I don’t even bother trying.
He steps forward, and I step back; he places a hand on my shoulder, and I flinch from his touch.
He pulls me into a hug, and I don’t fight him.
Larind slips into the room as well, resting a hand on my back. Members of the crew of the Soaring Keel, men I haven’t seen a long time, slip inside as well. They whisper and murmur, touch me comfortingly, gently, hands and fingertips upon my shoulders and back. I’m pulled into hugs, cajoled into eating, pushed gently back onto the bed. Friends and Sourcerors whisper soothing words, but refuse to answer my questions, refuse to meet my gaze. They don’t react when I mention Liandros’ name. They don’t react to my pleas to see him.
Across the room, Taurion begs me with his eyes to let Liandros go, but I refuse. Larind tries to convince me to drink wine, coffee, anything that could erase my pain, but I refuse him.
Days pass.
I stop speaking.
Soon after, I stop eating.
I had lost Nalika.
I had lost Ari.
And Liandros?
He was gone again. Worse off than before.
Perhaps we’re all insane…?
There’s no reason as to why this should have happened.
No reason at all as to why Ari should have done anything to attempt to save Liandros. No reason as to why Nalika would have helped either of us.
The only world where any of this makes sense is the world of madness, and it’s a world know only to Sourcerors.
I listen to the Source, hear it’s sweet murmur, it’s tempting call. I agree with it now: The world would be better if it was over.
The madness rises within me again, and I let it take me.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I wake up to the sound of a voice I never thought I would hear again.
Liandros leaned over me, his voice soft, his eyes weary and wary. “Kelree…?” he murmurs, “Please be okay….”
I shudder at the brush of his hand on my cheek. He shifts back, raising his hands. “You know I’m not okay.” I tell him, “And you also know I don’t want your help.”
“But you need my help,” Liandros replies, not looking at me, “There’s a lot of things you need to be told.”
“Then tell me.”
“No. I can’t trust you while you’re wearing that…that…..”
I raise my hand, and eye the bracelet. “This? You mean the Key?”
Liandros fidgets, “So that’s what they’re called….You learn something new every day.”
There’s silence.
We don’t meet each other’s eyes.
We don’t move.
We barely breathe.
Just as I open my mouth to speak the words that need to be sad, there’s a knock at the door, and it opens to allow Taurion in. “Hello, you two,” he says peaceably, “Liandros, I know you have so very much you want to say to him, but could you please let me make sure he understands all of this first…?”
Liandros nods, murmurs, “Of course….”
And leaves the room.
Taurion sits in front of me, rests a hand on my shoulder. “You’re listening to the Source. You’re believing that the world should end. You’re losing your mind. Just like all of us.”
This gets me to meet his gaze—he shocked me enough to snap me out of my frightened distance from him. “What…?” I say, my mouth open.
“You know. Ari was trained to control the Source, to control himself, for years before he was given the Key. I was trained for years to use it. I got it myself, a few days ago.” He raises his hand, eyeing the bracelet now wrapped about his wrist. He sighs, before continuing on, “You, however, weren’t. We saw from your sister how uncontrollable Sourcerors are. So please understand me, Kelree, when I tell you that you will very soon wake to your final day on this planet.”
I look at him.
What else can I do?
Beg for my life? He won’t listen.
Attack? I might be able to kill him, but I won’t kill the others.
I slowly shake my head, before I throw it back, and laugh. Just laugh.
Honestly, what else can I do?
I’m doomed to die.
It’s not like any of this matters anymore, when you’re already dead.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Liandros comes back in soon after. He falls onto the bed at my feet, curls up, grinning just a bit. “So you’re dead meat, huh?” he asks.
I blink, and nod.
Liandros shrugs, pulls out a cigar. “Want a puff?” he offers, lighting it.
“No smoking in bed….” I quietly admonish him, trying to smile.
He laughs, and winks flirtatiously, “Of course, we could always do other things in bed….”
“Such as sleep…?” I reply, raising my eyebrows, not sure if I liked where this was going or not.
Liandros laughs again, leaping to his feet. He plods over to the door, opens it, and disappears. A few seconds after, he walks back in, bearing many bottles of wine. “Sleep, and drink….” Liandros grins. “And, hopefully, smoke….You know you want to!” He waggles his eyebrows at me playfully, plopping himself onto the bed beside me.
I take the cigar from his hand, puff on it quickly just to appease him, and pass it back. He grins, pulling the smoke into his lungs, savoring it. “Liandros, you know I love you, right?”
He snorts, and taps me on the nose with a finger, “No, no, no! Now is NOT the time to be serious, my young soon-to-be-dead elven friend. Now is the time to drink, and drink, and drink, and smoke, and smoke, and smoke until we collapse.” I jokingly attempt to bite his finger, and he laughs affectionately. “Now that’s more like it!”
I pop open the first bottle of wine with a tap from my finger and the merest twitch of my power. He grabs one for himself, and sets the tone again by chugging from it, shaking off the way it burns. I follow his lead, feeling a bit better already. We drink, smoke, talk, and laugh. Every time I try to be serious, Liandros cuts me off, bopping me on the nose or forehead with a finger and making me laugh.
We drink for hours, only stopping when we’re out of wine, and neither of us are in control of ourselves enough to go get more (like the other times we ran out….)
Eventually, though, Liandros just falls onto the bed, unconscious. I blink wearily, think Why not?, and lie down beside him.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The next day is hell. In every way possible. Liandros and I wake grouchy and angry at the world. And in a heck of a lot of pain. The light stabs our eyes, we screech and shout, unable to control ourselves. We’re uncontrollable, and happy to not be controlled. We start fights with each other, run around outside, staggering and collapsing on the grass. Blows are traded. We’re getting our anger out, and using each other as targets. We don’t care anymore.
We’re both dead meat.
There’s no way that Liandros will not be going back to the grave. No way that I will not die. No way that we will be saved. And there’s no way of telling when the end comes. So what do we do? We live. We pick fights. We scream, holler, shout. We drink the nights away. We don’t think. We don’t feel.
We’re both dead meat.
So nothing matters anymore.

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