Thursday, April 17, 2008

Round Robin XVI

Last part here.

Samuel ran to the room. The door stood open, the detritus of medical intervention pushed to the side…crash carts and trays with adrenalin shots testimony to tragedy. A lone nurse scribbled the last note on a chart then whisked past on her whisper quite clogs. The silence was astounding. Machines that pinged a pulse, breathed breath into lungs and forced blood through veins bracketed Blake’s bed like pallbearers unable to carry him further.

Guilt crashed down about his shoulders. They must have paged him. Wrapped up with Ken, focused only on that life he’d forgotten about Blake. Abandoned him. Now, eyes that seethed passion stared blindly at a cold ceiling. Accusing him in their vacant glare as he stepped to the side of the bed and swept Blake’s hair from his stone cold forehead.

Rage welled up in his chest, grabbing his heart with claws and squeezing. A bitter snarl of frustration and grief burst unbidden from deep within. Samuel slammed the wall with his fist. The growl turned into a sob that robbed him of breath.

“Tears for the dead, from the dead.” Samuel spun at the sound of a voice. “How quaint.” Deep, rich full of the tones of unturned earth welled up from a shadow in the corner. Sinuous and deadly, the shadow moved coalescing into the shape of a man.

“Who are you?” Samuel hissed. “How did you get in here?”

Deep cinnamon eyes set in a face of burnished brass considered Samuel. His hair, waves of dark almost curls fell to frame a perfect face. “Names, names.” Bright white teeth flashed in a predator’s smile. “You asked my servant that earlier. Although, it did serve you some purpose.” Moving to the bed, the man pushed the corpse of Blake to the side and sat on edge of the bed. “Abalam, Abbadon, Merihem, many things have men called me. You might call me Absolom Shedim.” The heat of a summer sun over the sand pressed through the room as he spoke. “Men now must but have two names, or no one knows who they are.”

The only defense, until he knew what he was dealing with, was scorn. “In my time common men were called after their trade or their fathers.” Often immortal beings were cursed with a pride inverse to their power.

As though it were beneath him to rise to the taunt, Absolom shrugged. “Davidson, does not carry the same ring.”

“You had a father?” That gave Samuel something to seize on. “So you once were mortal?”

“Perhaps, maybe.” Absolom stretched out, forming his body to Blake’s like a beau catching his lover in sleep. Samuel shuddered. “Or I am legend to life.”

“Everything that once was mortal has a weakness.”

“I don’t like low hanging trees much.” The grin flashed again.

“Why did he die?” Even as he said it, Samuel knew he wouldn’t get that answer. “He shouldn’t have died. You did it.” Samuel spat the accusation.

Again, not even a flicker of remorse. “Of course. He served his use.”

“You used him and threw him out.” Even the immortal who lived off the life of others had morals. Not a mortals morals, but morals all the same. “Like yesterdays trash.”

Like a cat, he moved and curled and uncurled until he stood by Samuel’s side. A mesmerizing undulation that Samuel couldn’t even process until it was done. “And how many have you betrayed,” His voice bore the roar of the Sahara winds, “by your love?” Absolom licked his full, brown lips. “You know it, and yet you continue. Selfish. Because you cannot stand to see them die, you condemn them all call it salvation.” Rich laughter bubbled up burning Samuel with its touch. “And oh how you cry when they leave you. Betrayed by those you betrayed. Abandoned without hope as you stole it from others.”

“How dare you…”

“And yet you dare. You tinker with the life of the one you say you love now. Taunting him with tastes of your blood. Every hit an addiction layered into his soul. Twining it with sex and lust…the potions of your poison so that he begs you not to let him be without.”

“But if I left him like that he’d die.” Samuel sputtered.
“And if you bring him over, you betray him. So you string him along with tastes.” The wind turned to the hiss of serpents. “You cannot bear to see him wither and yet you know you will loathe him for your own failing if you cave. Oh what would Damocles do if he knew you had his sword?”

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

You're brilliant, James. All kinds of intriguing stuff in this part.
Thanks for letting Samuel and Absolom finally meet. Now I know what Absolom is like, but there's still the burning question of why Absolom has been tormenting Sam.

Aglaeca said...

I started reading round robin a few days ago when I stumbled across this blog. It's really good. I can't wait to read the next chapter. Keep it goin this is really good.

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