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27. Endless Treachery

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27 - ch27

I was still hanging out, wiping down tables, when Rev showed up. Saint and Damien got bored of my company and let themselves out shortly before he showed up. It was getting late, but business was slow since the funeral. Things were just shaken up. Syn was like a neighborhood icon. Not adored or anything, but she was respected in some way. Her loss was big – it took a chunk out of all of our lives. And Pike’s disappearance, that was unsettling as well. He just picked up and left. He supposedly loved her. Yeah. Oh well. I don’t know. It just seems highly suspicious to me.

Rev shows up at the bar, sauntering in like he belongs. I looked up from the table I was wiping down as he collapsed into a chair. He looks exhausted, worn out. Like he’d been running for days and didn’t even know what he was running from. He was looking into the tabletop, trying to assess how bad he really looked. He was a train wreck, but I wasn’t about to tell him that. I kept going, trying not to seem overly concerned. When he wouldn’t talk, I sat down and stared at him. Eventually things got underway.

I zoned out in the midst of the conversation. What he wanted, I couldn’t give. He wanted the story. He wanted my life, my pain, the collection kept in black and white. Many a day I’ve considered burning it, but I never actually did. I can’t come up with a valid reason as to why. I don’t know why I didn’t get rid of it. Lucid doesn’t even know that I have it. It’s a secret that I keep in my soul, buried away, far and deep from the world. I killed my former self. The madness. I had a kid. I have a family. I couldn’t let it survive. I had to let go, move on – grow up. But I kept it. The actual words. Somewhere hidden away. My former self. My former life. My youth. No. It was gone and over. Over. Over.

He leaves and I’m still sitting there, hoping it wasn’t real. He knows that I kept it somewhere. He knows that it exists. But he’s just a brat. He’s a street demon, what use is it to him? None. It holds nothing…except the truth of what happened to his father. It has the truth in it to everything. Absolutely everything. But why now? Why at this hour of the night is it so important that he get it? It just didn’t add up. I sat on the table, pondering for a while, trying to figure out the details. But I couldn’t. I gave up and locked the door. I was all set to trudge upstairs and collapse, when I decided to take a walk. Just in case. To make sure all was right in the world. To try and catch what kind of no good Rev was up to.

I had my coat held close against my body. There was an unusual air in the street. There was a sort of unsettling fog that seemed to float in the air. I moved towards it, venturing deeper into the mist. It didn’t make sense, its presence. I couldn’t make it work out in my mind but I would try like hell anyway. I kept going until I got to where the Dragon stood.

Where it used to stand.

 

The entire place was burned to ashes. There was nothing of purpose left inside. It was gone, everything, the entire place, burned to pieces. There was…just memories. The pictures, the designs – everything. Gone. I could only think of Maven, of Rev, of Lucid’s warning. I thought of Angyl. I searched the entire place over and could find nothing, not one remnant of what was. It was all ash and soot. There was nothing else to know. I looked around the place in vain, stepping away from it. This was real. This was now. This was a reality. I could feel the cold tears slipping down my face, even though inwardly, I felt no pain. I didn’t hurt yet I could feel the scream slipping through from my heart. From my soul.

This is now. This is real.

This is real.

Not a dream. Not a delusion. I had to stand in the midst of oblivion just to be sure. I was covered in ash and dust that seemed to float in place. It was just in the air, waiting to be scooped up. I felt like I could take all the ashes and reassemble the place like new. But I knew better. I walked away, turning into the alley, searching for something to sit down on. But I found blood instead. Fresh, painting the walls. It was all over. It was everywhere. And I couldn’t make it go away. It too was real. This was now. This was now. This was always.

This was the end of forever. The death of legends. The end of martyrs. There would be nothing more that would go on for always. This was the end of Endless.

I curled up in the alley, letting my eyes follow the trail of blood. I let my eyes wander all the way to the end of the alley, where the wall should have been. Instead there were two bodies. They were hanging from some impossible location. Both of them were hanging from their necks, arms outspread, as if they’d been crucified. I got up, creeping closer slowly.

It was Payge and Set Drake. The owners of the Black Dragon tattoo shop.

And they were hung there on purpose, in that fashion.

Because they were Endless. They were seen as saints and martyrs.

And hence, they were displayed as such in death.

And on top of that, this was an extravagant way of exclaiming triumph. That the ghosts were gone. That the demons were beaten. The Endless were human after all and this was a scream at the top of the murderer’s lungs. This was showing the world the truth. For a moment, the name “Damien” rang in my ears. Who else would set up such a garish display? But the boys left for home, there wasn’t enough time…I stopped trying to make sense of how he managed it. I knew he did it, and that was enough. I couldn’t tell you how or when. The bodies had been here longer than the building had been burned down. But he’d done it somehow. I turned away, trying to block the scene out. I needed to go home. I needed to sleep. I needed this to just…stop. But it wouldn’t. I got to the end of the alley when I found Lucid waiting for me. His head was down, a smoke in his hand and arm down at his side.

“Hey.”

He looked up at me. “Hey.”

“I…”

“Don’t. It’s fine.”

 

“Is it really?” I whispered. I felt…scared. Scared that if we spoke too loud, we’d wake them. The spirits of the lost. All the dead that had passed through this one alley. I had my back to the scene as Lucid glanced back there. His eyes were vacant. He reached out his arms and pulled me close into him. He smelt like smoke. He smelt like…pain and memories. I wanted to get lost in that embrace forever. He held me close, the cigarette in his mouth. He kissed me on the forehead and we both turned away from the scene. I was still buried in him, desperate to hold on. Hold on to what? Anything.

He had known something was up. He could have stopped this. And the guilt weighed heavily on his conscience. How he knew to come here, to find me, I didn’t know. I didn’t know if he knew before he came or not. But somehow, he was where I needed him, when I needed him. And that’s all that matters. He was here, now. I was with him. And we could go home now. And I could curl up and cry as much as I wanted to. And I wanted to desperately. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t. And I pulled away from him, kissing him as I did.

“Where are you going?”

“To Drown.”

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