Day 15 – Chapter 10 – Marin – 10

            “That’s what I’m afraid of, y’know?”  He swallowed hard, fingers fidgety, flexing and unflexing, curling and uncurling around each other.  “That somehow, I’ll stop being in control of myself.  I see what having those visions does to you and Thom.  It’s like you’re not even here for a few minutes.  I don’t want that to happen to me.”
            “Oh, Jay,” I sighed.  I slid an arm around his shoulders and squeezed him tightly.  He took a shuddering breath and shook his head.
            “I didn’t ask for this, Mar.  I didn’t ask for this.  Why now?  Why did they…why did I…”  He set his jaw, a muscle at the corner twitching as his nostrils flared with a deep breath.  “I thought we were going to die, the three of us, when those things got us surrounded.  They were about the ugliest motherfuckers I’ve ever seen.  I just held onto Care and prayed with every fiber of my being that it wasn’t the end for us.”
            A shudder ran through him and I held on tighter.  He glanced at me, expression tight.  “I’d been seeing misty shadows all afternoon that day.  I thought the light and my eyes were playing tricks on me, but I was wrong.  I think I was starting to see them a few hours before I realized what it was I was seeing.”  His expression softened for a moment.  “They were the dead, and they came to protect us from those things that were ready to rip us apart.  One of them talked to me.”
            My stomach felt hollowed out, left cold and empty by the pain and fear in his voice.  Oh, J.T.  I’m so sorry.  “Who was it?”  I whispered.
            “Constance.  Someone from the theatre.  Nice girl, good friend, good actress.”  His eyes misted and a shiver went through him.  “Why can I see them, Mar?  Why me?”
            “I don’t know.  Why any of us?  It’s just…how it is.  It’s what’s happening, and we can’t do anything to change that.”  I wrapped my free hand around one of his and squeezed.  “It’s a gift, Jay, even if it feels like a curse.”
            “Is it?” he rasped, closing his eyes.  “Thom doesn’t seem to think it is.”
            “Well, we’re both agreed that Thom’s kind of stupid about this stuff.”  I managed to smile and squeezed him again.  He let out a weak, bitter laugh, then nodded.
            “Yeah,” he murmured.  “I guess so.  But that doesn’t stop me from sharing his doubts about whether or not this is a gift.  I’m scared, Mar, and you know I don’t admit to that very often.”
            “I know,” I said softly.  “I know you don’t.  And I’m pretty sure it’s okay to be scared.  I’d be scared.”  I shook my head a little.  “Jay, you have to realize that for Kel and I and some of the others…we’ve had time to get used to seeing and feeling and being, and we can help you get used to it, too, but the only person who can master your fear…that’s you.  We’re all scared sometimes.  I know I am.  I just don’t let it control me, and that’s probably key for you, too.  You can control this.  I don’t know how, but I know that you can, because you’re stronger than your fear.  You always have been.”
            He sighed deeply, glancing up toward the trees again, then nodded.  “Yeah,” he finally said, voice quiet.  “You’re right.  I know you’re right.”
            “Doesn’t make it any less scary, though, right?”
            He laughed.  “Right.”  He took a deep breath and exhaled it slowly.  “…the dead saved our lives, Mar.  When those things were chasing us.  What the hell were they, anyway?”
            I shook my head.  “I don’t know.  I don’t think any of us know, just that they’re bad.  Thom…Thom once told me he’d seen them before he ever met me, but that was before he started denying everything.  It was that night when he and Drew and I went hiking in the ravines a few years ago.”  I could still remember that night vividly.  I’d lost a pendant, a Celtic knot pendant, which my grandmother had given me when I was still very small.  It’d been important to me—but it also stopped one of those things from getting its claws into the three of us.  I’d seen it, in snatches and glimpses, and Drew had felt it.  Thom had gotten the full effect, seeing it clear as day.  We’d tried not to talk about it after that night, and it only came up occasionally.
            I’d never found the pendant again, even though I’d looked for it, and finally gave up on it as lost, a sacrifice that I was convinced had probably saved our lives.
            “If I ever see one of them again, it’ll be too soon.”
            I shuddered, nodding.  “Yeah.  Me too.”
            He looked at me, expression grim.  “I think we’re going to see them again, though.  A lot.  I think they’re gunning for us.”
            I took a deep breath and exhaled it slowly.  Yeah.  Me too.  I just squeezed him again and stared at the trees.  The storm in my stomach wouldn’t let me answer him.
            I think he knew I agreed with him all the same. 


First • Previous • Next • Latest

Liked it? Take a second to support Erin on Patreon!
This entry was posted in Chapter 10, Day 15. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Day 15 – Chapter 10 – Marin – 10

  1. And that wraps up the Marin and J.T. sequence I was so looking forward to, which (maybe) foreshadows some things to come.

    Friday is a Thom/Marin scene (because when have we ever known Marin to be all that good at keeping her mouth shut about some things) and Monday launches Chapter 11, in which exciting things happen.

    No, really. Exciting things do happen.

    This weekend, I’ll be in costume running a booth at the Grand Valley Renaissance Festival, so if you’ve got nothing better to do with your life, head up to Allendale, MI and check out the only free, student-run and organized renaissance festival in the country! It’s also one of the few with sidewalks (anyone who’s been to these things knows exactly how wonderful sidewalks really are).

    Two more days until it’s Happy Friday! Until then, Happy Wednesday and happy reading.

  2. Peter says:

    Oooh! A *scene*!

    Have you figured out a way for Marin to smack Thom upside the head several times without hurting herself? Fighting demons is hard enough without a bunch of sprained muscles in one’s arm, you know. 🙂

Got thoughts?