April 9, 2015

The Last Ones: Chapter 9

 not mine

Chapter 9

Charlie grabbed Iris’ arm as she ran past him and whirled her around to face him.

“You knew him. How?”

She pulled her arm away, suddenly furious.

“I don’t know. I can’t even remember if he was from a dream or-“

Charlie ran his hands through his hair, panic and confusion on his face. He was angry, but more than that, he was scared. Jet, feeding some fish Charlie had snagged to Tubes, looked up at Nate with questions in his eyes.

But what was he supposed to do?

He had no answers.

He had only this dead feeling in his gut, like a tumor eating the life out of him.

Charlie suddenly whirled on her, and though he grabbed her shoulders tenderly, he was a storm.

“You knew it was the Watcher. We had him right there. We could’ve ended this nightmare, and you said to wait?” Charlie’s voice cracked.

“It didn’t feel like him. You wanted us to possibly kill an innocent person because of our assumptions?”

“Maybe! I don’t know. Wouldn’t it be worth it if we could’ve saved who knows how many more lives?”

“Okay! You guys are both idiots! We get it.” Jet shouted, fists tightened.

Charlie began to breathe again, and he nodded as he sat next to the pipe.

“Jet’s right. We’re just wasting time by fighting.” He muttered, trying to catch her eyes.

She refused to look at him.

Nate watched the muscles twitch in Charlie's face, and he looked out past the pipe towards the control cabin.

“Okay. Fine. You missed killing him once, but he’s still on the boat. If you really think it’s the Watcher, you can still finish him here.” He muttered

Iris stopped pacing, the color slowly returning to her face.

“It’s not that simple, Nate. We could just as easily walk into a trap and end every hope of getting you to the mainland.”

Nate’s head jerked towards her, and a laugh burned in his throat.

“The mainland.”

He stood up, fists clenched with excitement more than anger.

“We have to be close by now, right? Close enough to the shore to get there ourselves, at least.”

Iris nodded, feeling his ideas begin to surge and quiver. She could feeling them growing, even now.

“Who’s to say we don’t get off this blasted ship right now?”

Charlie rolled his eyes, but there was a grin on his face.

“I would rather be shot through the head than admit this to anyone, but mush-brain is right. If we’re going to make it, we need to get off now.”

Jet pulled a growling Tubes into his arms.

“What do we need to do?”

“There are some small lifeboats down on the lower deck. We could lower it down tonight, and we’d be miles away before anyone noticed.” Iris was smiling too, now.

They felt strong. Alive.

And you always feel alive before the storm breaks.

---

Captain Abram was dreaming of the sea when he died.

It was flowing all around him, and under him, and through him. Yet, he was not afraid. He had never been. Then into the dream came a soft humming, that drove him mad.

He never knew what happened.

Only that the sea kept flowing, endless and onwards.

He could even make out the gleam of day on the horizon, like a faint memory he had forgotten to hold onto.

And then everything slowly grew dark.

Even the sea.

---

The assistant was dreaming of home.

On the porch his mother stood, her tall beautiful outline framed against the red sky. She was yelling something about coming back. He yelled something to her about not being able to stay away. She waved then.

She waved silky smooth, her hand black in a bloody sky.

She was wearing a red dress.

He could see it even now.

And then her sweet words turned to humming, a burning in his mind.

He actually woke up when it happened. He looked up into the strange face that was somehow familiar, and he felt the hole in his chest. Then came the smell of burning.

It was over pretty quickly after that.

The last thing he knew was blood.

He was drenched in it.

And all he knew was that it was his.

He cried. The man in the red uniform.

He cried because he would never get home again.

---

Iris tied her backpack to the boat and looked up at the control cabin.

The lights were dark, and there was no noise except for the pull of the engines at the waves. Nate and Jet were going to look for extra fuel for the small boat, Tubes was nestled in a corner, and Charlie was securing their bags at the other end.

She ran her hand through her hair, down to the roots and back to the ends.

“This isn’t going to work.” She said, so quietly she worried he wouldn’t hear her.

He did.

He snorted, familiar green eyes laughing in the light of one of the oddly lit portholes.

“Doesn’t mean we can’t try.”

She leaned back slowly, hearing the ropes securing the little boat creak.

She wasn’t worried though.

She knew they would hold.

“I’m the one who got us into this mess. If you had just followed your gut and killed him, we would be sleeping next to that awful smoke-stack with no worries.”

“Probably. But it’s not like I had a choice once I heard your voice screaming in my head.” He grinned.

Iris turned.

“You can still hear my voice after all this time?”

Charlie stopped tying and looked at her evenly.

“Always.”

The boat creaked quietly as he turned back to the bags, and the hurried footsteps of Jet and Nate echoed across the gloom. Nate rushed in first, laughing as he swung loosely down into the boat. He was about to make a snarky comment, but Iris’ face stopped him.

She was staring wide-eyed into the night with tears running tenderly down her neck.

“You okay?” He asked quickly, eyes flashing to Charlie.

The boy was adjusting a strap for the hundredth time, and the muscles in his arms flinched as if he was tying it for all he was worth.

“Perfect. Did you find fuel?” Her voice was crystal clear, and with one motion she wiped away all memories of tears.

Perfect, she said.

Perfectly broken.

Jet triumphantly jumped into the boat, small container of black liquid in his hands. While the others watched, he poured it carefully into the rusted spout, hands shaking softly.

When he was done, he flashed a white smile that split the sky.

“Alright, Nate, you take one rope and I’ll take the other. We’ll need to go slowly-“

Charlie’s sentence was finished quietly by a humming ripping through the night. A light flashed down from the steps, and voices rang out clearly.

The boys flattened themselves against the bottom of the boat, Jet snatching Tubes, who growled menacingly, and Iris listened. Somewhere in the ship, a scream rang out. And then another, and then the ringing of bells somewhere up on the higher decks.

“The Captain is dead.” She whispered.

The lights passed, with the rumble of feet and the wailing of women.

And then a voice.

“Yes. But he died peacefully. Even you, lovely girl, should know that I’m always quick.”

The blue eyes came over the edge of the ship, demon-like under the black cloak. He looked small here, not at all like the figure down the alley. Was it because he had a face now?

Was it because he had a face just like every other person?

Before he had been just a black shadow, and it had been simpler.

But he had talked.

With that slow, gentle voice.

And now it was worse. So much worse, in ways none of them could quite figure out.

Charlie was staring at Jet, as if he was trying to see through him, and Nate was clenching his fists, staring with blank fury at the bottom of the boat.

“You know I hate you, right?” Iris called up, trying to find her balance as she stood.

“I know.” He whispered.

The humming intensified, and he slung a huge machine glowing red in its heart over the side. It churned and screamed, engines running black and dark.

“So, I’m not going to make this difficult, love. Where did William put the Book?”

Nate blinked, looking at Iris. Her face was white. She opened her mouth. Once. Twice. No words came out.

And before his eyes, she collapsed.

Charlie suddenly shouted, and Jet reached into his pockets. Pulling out the old bullets, he threw them with all of his strength at the blue eyes, and Charlie flung up a hand.

In explosions of burning powder, the bullets burst. A spew of curses came from the deck, and the eyes vanished. He had somehow fired a shot, but it went high and clipped the edge of the hull.

Sparks lit up the night as the old wood caught fire.

“Alright, change of plans!” Charlie was swinging his knife before Nate could even think, and the sound of snapping ropes filled his ears.

He would never forget the sight of those ropes.

The ends breaking and fraying suddenly, one thousand years of decay happening before his eyes.

And suddenly, there was nothing but cold, sea air. The ropes were gone, and gravity slowly pulled them all down towards her heart.

The boat lurched.

Hurtling into a blackness they could not see or feel.

The slap of water was the last thing Nate felt, and the panicked yell of Jet lulled him into sleep.


xoxo

p.s. woo! so, how is the story going so far? feedback, tips, or suggestions would be fab.


4 comments:

  1. “I don’t know. I can’t even remember if he was from a dream or-“ Shivers all around at this line. :)

    xoxo Morning

    ReplyDelete
  2. i absolutely LOVE the part about the captain and the assistant. so so much shivers. plus, i read it at night haha. this has to become a movie! i would totally watch it. i could literally see everything happening. keep up the vivid descriptions. instead of telling the reader what happens, you show them, and i think that's why i enjoy it so much.

    and your plot is amazing. i can never get mind to make sense hahah. love it! xxx.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay! Sounds faaaabulous.

      Thank you so much for just...reading and caring about this story. That means the world. ♥

      xoxo

      Delete

be kind.

xx