thisfatefulhour: (And the powers of darkness)
[personal profile] thisfatefulhour
October 20

The first thing Charles sees on stepping into his room -- the most important thing, as far as he's concerned -- is the fire roaring in the fireplace, and the armchair pulled up near it. As his good Samaritan leaves, shutting the door, he collapses into the chair to soak up the warmth. Part of him wonders if he'll ever stop shivering.

(Remember the ocean? whispers memory. They blew you into an ice age.

He tries not to listen, because then he was with Gaudior, and Gaudior brought him home, and Gaudior isn't here, and he doesn't want to think about the implications of that thought.)

It's not any quieter up here than down in the bar, or outside, but then, he wasn't expecting it to be. Without another person to focus on, the dull roar of minds and feelings weighs heavier on the barriers he's reconstructed. They're shaky, tenuous.

How do you rebuild something you've taken for granted all your life?

He dozes.

***


His sleep is fitful. People walk past his door, and their closeness makes them loud enough to wake him -- or else he starts to dream of blackness blotting out the stars and jerks awake.

After one of these dreams, he sits up straighter and gazes into the fire. He can look at this logically. He has to.

He was attacked by an ecthros, for the first time in three years. This time, he could tesser by himself. They blew him off course, through the Black Thing and out into space.

They were expecting him, or they reacted quickly enough to keep him from landing safely. In either case, they know he can tesser now.

"I don't want to think like this," he whispers to the fire. "I'm not cut out for intrigue."

Sighing, he rakes his hands through his hair. "I can't tesser to save my life right now, anyway."

That hurts to admit, but he knows his mind is too unstable right now to consider the possibility of tessering home. And that is as frightening as the idea of the ecthroi hunting him. Even when he was small and the bigger boys picked on him -- even when his own body was rebelling from mitochondritis -- he could rely on his mind. Always.

(Not always. Another memory -- a pulsing, sickly glow -- and another -- the world spinning too fast, threatening to throw him Chuck him off.)

With a groan, he presses his hands against his eyes, and the dazzles are like fireflies fading into the night.

"Let this cup pass from me . . ."

Exhausted, he falls asleep as the illusory sun of Milliways rises.
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thisfatefulhour: (Default)
Charles Wallace Murry

September 2009

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