The Dash-All Chronicles: How I Met Seth (or The Ingenious Plot to Create Mayhem-Initiation) Part Two


“Fuck!” the stranger exclaimed as the backdoor of the Motel closed with a loud thud behind us. “This is bad. This is bad all around. I should’ve listened to her and now I’ll never hear the end of it, you know?”

Only I really didn’t know.

He let go of my hand and stopped. The long, white stone wall of the Motel was stretching out to our right, to our left was the wooded area mostly used for picnics by the local families in the summer and sneak-away make-out-sessions by the local teens year-round.

I took a few steps back and leaned against the rough wall, resting my arms along my sides before pressing my palms against the grainy, uneven surface of the stone, pressing into it because I was feeling drowsy and I wanted to come out of it. I was experiencing something – finally – something possibly life altering, and I was missing it completely.

The stranger knelt down, placing the heavy thing on the asphalt with a reverence that took me off-guard, and then he flipped back the edges of the red cloth containing it. The heavy thing wasn’t an axe, but looked more like a wooden sword.

I raised my eyebrows.

“What the devil is that?” I muttered.

It had a carved grip made out of a red-tinted wood,  the cross-guard was what I had mistaken for the blades of the axe as it was wide and triangular on either side of the wooden blade. The cross-guard was ornamented with strange symbols and they continued down half the blade before the point smoothed out into something that didn’t look like it could harm a fly.

The whole thing was polished to perfection, the lighter wood of the pommel having been used as the inlay of the symbols and the darker wood of the cross-guard stretching down into the blade until the red wood of the grip was reflected toward the point of the weapon. It was a beautiful piece of craftsmanship, but I couldn’t for the life of me understand why the stranger would look as though he was about to bow down and touch his forehead to the ground because of it.

“I repeat: what the devil is that?” I said, a little louder this time.

The stranger covered the artifact once more before he picked it up and rose to face me.

“It’s why Gustaf was shooting arrows at me and why more are coming that might try to do much worse than that,” the stranger replied. “If they come, I want you to tell them nothing. Don’t say anything about what you’ve seen tonight and especially not what you just saw now. This is the key,” he said, almost shaking the covered up sword at me, but it was with sudden enthusiasm, almost triumph. “They want it back, but they won’t get it. Not now. I swear it.”

I believed him.

“Who are you?” I asked, amazed at this small persons conviction.

“I was born Sebastian Marcus Rymer,” he answered me. “But I’m known as Seth.”

He reached out his hand and I accepted it into mine as I said:

“Ainsley Christine Ames. Known as Leigh.”

He smiled such a brief smile I wasn’t sure I hadn’t imagined it and I felt his hold on my hand tighten ever so slightly.

“I hope you will forgive me, Ainsley, but I need to heal my wounds.”

With that he stepped into me, his face burying itself against the side of my throat and before I even had time to voice a protest – not that I had enough time to react in order for one to form – I felt a sharp sting which crept through the skin of my neck and quickly spread down my spine. It didn’t hurt at first, but then the intensity built in wave after slow wave of something rapidly becoming agony. My spine felt as though it was splitting between each vertebrae, the sensation sending ripples of needle pricks into my fingertips and down my legs into my toes. I was about to swear I could feel the ends of every single strand of hair on my head crackle with its weird electricity when suddenly it switched.

The change was so sudden, so unbidden, so out of the blue that I gasped. The pain was gone and instead there was a surge of satisfaction, like tasting a glass of wine you’ve been longing for or lowering your aching feet into a hot tub of water, that feeling of complete relaxation, of wanting to close your eyes and sink into the moment. It was as though the pain was the sacrifice asked of me to reach this point when my body accepted what was happening to it, when it began to welcome it, even to revel in it.

My blood was draining, mouthfuls were being suckled from my neck, and I wasn’t even aware of it.

Seth could have killed me right there and I would never have put up a moment’s fight for my life, not a single thought would have been directed toward all the things I still wanted to do and experience (the first of them being getting a first-class ticket to the Maldives) or what it would do to my parents if their only child was suddenly found dead in the dark behind her workplace.

I just wanted to stay in that moment of pure bliss, of utter contentment, for ever.

Seth didn’t kill me, however. In fact, he didn’t drink all that much of my blood as it was and after only a few minutes he released me, propping me up against the wall and having a look at me. He seemed to approve of what he saw because he took a step back and watched as I slowly slid down to sit on the asphalt, my legs pulled up towards my chest and flickering lights exploding in front of my eyes.

I heard his voice as clearly as the first time he had spoken to me, though; as though it was inside my head, as though it had always been there, hidden away in some corner of it, waiting for the time it would be needed.

“Listen. You will be fine in ten minutes or so. There will be no mess inside for you to clean up, that’s been taken care of by now. Understand? You go back to work and go back to your life and soon this will all feel like something out of a dream. If they come asking for me, know that they are bad men who want bad things for good people. They want to shake the balance. We can’t let them. Promise me you will tell them nothing.”

His face was somewhere behind the lights. My eyelids were growing heavy.

“Promise me.”

The voice echoed through my head like a thousand reprimands and I snapped my head up, my eyes widening as I promised him.

And then he was gone.

TBC with As Far As Normal Goes

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~ by mescribe on February 19, 2011.

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