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Fiction Relay – Part 52

30 December, 2013

We are thundering towards an ending now, I don’t think it is too many chapters away. Sadly Dawn has had to pull out of Relaying due to that pesky “real life” thing that stands in the way of many of us writers. Thanks Dawn for all your work in this project, you will be missed.

So, if you want to read a summary of the story so far, click here for the short version. Or here to go the the homepage where you will find links to all chapters so far including the most recent 49 by Joanne, 50 by KC and 51 by Dawn. Right, all up to speed? Time for…

 

Part 52

But whatever was beneath the floor, whatever was behind the trapdoor, it would have to wait. The monster that once was Raj needed to be stopped. If he wasn’t then that box was irrelevant, if she lost Sam then she lost her Sammy, she lost everything.

Defiantly, she stepped forward, barged in between Sam and the coyote. Sam grabbed her arm, but without breaking gaze with those piercing yellow eyes, Meagan shook him off. In his mind he formed pleas for her to keep out of the way, to let him take care of this, but the words never reached his mouth. He knew they would be ignored.

Meagan’s eyes penetrated deeper into those of the coyote. She looked behind the canine form, searched for the human inside. And Raj was there. He was angry, he was defiant, but he was human. She looked still deeper, and behind Raj was a quiet, innocent, childlike presence. Behind Raj was Khalid, their childhood friend. She closed her eyes now, placed a hand on the drooling, snarling muzzle before her. She searched again, this time with her telepathic self. And again she found Khalid, quiet, scared.

Silently, she appealed to the boy behind the man behind the coyote. No words were used, just emotions as she remembered their childhoods, the happier times before there were any accidents, any experiments, and she allowed the feeling of innocence and peace to flow from her. The child Khalid received these emotions, recalled and returned that happiness, and Meagan knew that, from him at least, the danger was over. Her eyes opened just as the yellow eyes lost their angry glow, and the coyote lowered itself to the ground.

Melissa stepped forward from the door, and Meagan turned to her with kind eyes. She dropped her hands to her sides, defenceless. “For everything I have done to you Melissa,” she said quietly, “for all the times I have hurt you, I’m sorry.” She reached her hands out in front of her, inviting her sister, the only person who ever came close to meaning as much to her as Sammy, to take them. “Will you forgive me?”

Melissa stopped, looked from Meagan’s face to her hands to her face again. For the briefest sliver of a single second, when her sister had said the word ‘forgive’, she had felt she may have the strength within her to overcome the influence that the coyote, the mountain spirit, Sanderson, all held over her. She glimpsed that deepest-hidden connection she still felt for her sister, her twin.

“What are you doing Meagan?” Sam called from behind her, “if anyone needs to be begging for forgiveness it’s her.” This last word was spat with vile distaste. Meagan felt his glare behind her but she didn’t turn. She kept her eyes on Melissa.

“She’s my sister, my Mellie,” she said, “I don’t care what she’s done anymore, that will never change. But I want her back, and if I have to beg I will.” She raised her hands, repeating her invitation for her twin to take hold of them, to join with her, to reunite with her. Melissa was still.

Quietly, slowly, Ephraim came to, and through blurred eyes he saw his own blood on the floor, on his hands, on the table. The blood he had seen before. He gasped, winced, as he felt the surge of déjà vu, recognising the vision he had felt in the car with Sam. He looked around the room, saw that Sam and Meagan were both still standing, were shaken but unharmed, and felt relief. And as his eyes continued to focus, he realised the table had been moved, and beneath it lay a trapdoor, barely larger than his hand. He reached forward to the tiny brass hook keeping it closed.

 

“Remember those good times Mellie?” Meagan smiled, “the five of us together? Before any of this started?” Melissa’s eyes misted as she recalled happier days.

“You don’t want to live like this,” Meagan continued, “I can see that. I can see how much you are hurting.”

Sam watched as Melissa’s stance softened, her shoulders dropped, her rebellion, her anger, lessened.

“Remember when we are all friends forever. Daniel, Garrett, Khalid, you, me… all together. We all needed each other. And we need each other now.”

 

The trapdoor opened silently, the metallic hinges rusted but still working perfectly. Ephraim reached inside, and felt a small wooden box. He lifted it and placed it on his palm. There was gold inlaid into the wood, weaving through it, accentuating the grain. There was no lid, no clasp, no hinge, no means of opening it. This was the box that Sanderson had sent them to find. He pushed himself up against the wall, raised himself to his knees. “What we all need,” he announced, “is to unite against the man who divided us, the man who wants this box.”

Four pairs of eyes turned to Ephraim, and then to the box.

“Is that…” Sam began but was cut off by Melissa. “and we have to lure Sanderson away from the mountain,” she said.

“What?” Sam asked. Clearly everyone else was a few steps ahead of him.

“We have to lure Sanderson away from the mountain,” Melissa repeated, “he gets his strength here.”

Sam stared at her. A few minutes ago she had been threatening them all and now she was offering advice. He was not convinced, he was not won over. “So you say,” he sneered.

“She’s right,” Meagan said, taking her sister’s hand, “you’ve seen how Jose had to protect himself in here, this is where Sanderson is strongest.”

“So we take this box somewhere else,” Ephraim said, his strength returning, “and lure him away and then…” but he had no further ideas.

“And then… what?” Meagan asked.

The door behind Melissa crashed open suddenly. Blue stood in the doorway in battle stance, Spencer alongside her, equally combat-ready.

“Then we destroy his fucking scrawny ass,” Blue announced.

Meagan’s eyes filled with instant tears as she recognised her daughter, the girl she had handed over so many years ago. “Sammy,” she managed to whisper as she rushed forward, “my baby!”

Blue flashed her a quick smile, allowed Meagan a brief embrace, but continued her surveillance of the room over her shoulder.

“Hi Mom,” she said quickly, efficiently, “we can play happy families later. We have shit to do.” She broke the embrace, gently eased her mother away from her as she finished scanning the room. She saw Melissa. “What’s that bitch doing here?”

Melissa glared at Blue, but Meagan stepped between them before her sister could react. “Its okay Sammy,” she said, “she’s with us now.”

Blue gave a derisive laugh. She looked down to the grey-furred creature at her feet. “What’s with her pooch?” Blue asked.

“He’s with us too,” Meagan said, reassuring her daughter who considered this for a moment before accepting it. “And what about that loser she was hanging around with?” Blue asked, “You know, the dead guy?” Melissa gestured to the coyote on the floor. Blue turned to Meagan who gave a shallow nod of confirmation. Blue bent down, looks into the coyote’s eyes, studied him.

“Ok,” she said, her inspection complete, “I guess they’re on Team Us. For now. But I still don’t trust them. I have this thing about coyotes.”

“But you trust ME don’t you Sammy?” Meagan asked, “and I say they’re okay.”

Blue gave an unconvinced nod and hmmmm and said nothing more.

“So where do we take the box?” Sam asked, breaking the silence, “where do we meet with Sanderson?”

“Jose already told us,” Meagan said.

“He just said away from here,” Ephraim said.

“That’s true,” Meagan conceded, “but he said he wanted to be the first to meet me when I reached Albuquerque, so he met me at the Lowe’s store. I say that’s where we all go.”

“All five of us,” Sam nodded.

“All six of us you mean,” Meagan corrected him, smiling to her daughter.

Blue corrected again “Erm seven actually,” she said, “By the way, Mom this is Spencer, Spencer this is my Mom.”

“And I’m her Dad,” Sam added.

“Yeah right,” Blue sniffed.

The group took each other’s hands to form a semi-circle, ending with Melissa taking Raj’s paw. Ephraim looked at the coyote on the ground and decided against completing the circle. There was still blood on his hands, his own blood, and he was not yet ready to trust Raj. Besides, he told himself, he had to carry the box.

A blue glow began to pulse in the centre of the room, growing stronger with each oscillation. It reached a peak, flashed brightly and then disappeared leaving the room dark and empty.

 

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4 Comments
  1. Yippee-skippy! That was fun! Team Meagan FTW!! 😉 Yeah, we’re definitely on the slippery slope to an ending. Luckily, we’ve got our ski’s under us still…but I predict not for long. After this long, I’d hate for this story to end in anything less than utter chaos. ;p

    Love y’all!
    KC

    PS: *hugs* Bye for now, Dawn. Thanks for helping me rein in my chaos, ocassionally.

  2. Ooh! It’s all coming together! I like how you kept dissension in the characters’ feelings: how Blue and Ephraim are still leery of Melissa and Raj. You’re always so good with the emotional tension, TRG. 🙂

    • The pieces are coming into place for the big Final Battle (if that’s what happens!) and I can’t wait to see how it all turns out. I have a theory on how it might end but that’s not up to me…
      I’m glad you liked this one Dawn. Thanks for reading 🙂

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