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Thread: Absolution Black: Book 3
03-23-2011, 08:31 AM #1
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Absolution Black: Book 3
Book 3, Part 1.
(It is best to read Book 1, 2 and then both interludes before this book, to understand it better!)
It was almost three hours since Black had left them in the safe-house, the bolt-hole that he ran to when his main residence was compromised. And it had certainly been compromised, the Guild still performing a ‘clean up’ operation after the earlier incident.
Lydia sat back in the tall chair, letting her hands rest on the arms to prevent her from rubbing them together nervously. She watched as Abernathy just seemed to go about his business as if nothing was different. I guess he’s seen this kind of thing all before, she thought, and chided herself for feeling so skittish.
She had begun to feel a chill since Black had left, as if an unearthly presence had enveloped her in it’s grasp, yet she couldn’t determine what this meant. She smiled at Abernathy as he walked past, folding a large travelling cloak and placing it into the battered case lying on the small bed. The candle flickered in a breeze that came from nowhere, and then the pain started.
Lydia doubled over and fell to the floor. At once Abernathy was at her side, rolling her over so he could see her face. She couldn’t focus on him at all, her vision hazy and the candle light blinding. She threw her head back hard and screamed, yet no sound escaped her lips. She could feel Abernathy’s hands on her as he sought to loosen the tunic about her throat, her breathing coming hard and shallow. Her sight clouded over once more and she drifted into unconsciousness, and into a nightmare she knew all too well.
She came to with a start, her lungs pulling in air with a drawn out gasp. She sat upright clutching her chest, sweat making her clothes cling to her skin. Abernathy was there, concern etched on his face. She tried her best to smile and must have managed it, as Abernathy gave her a weak smile back.
“How long was I out?”. She coughed as her lungs drew in air too fast.
“Only a few seconds ma’am, though you certainly put the frighteners on this old man!”.
She grasped his offered hand as she pulled herself to her feet, her legs still a little groggy. Recollection of her vision came flooding back to her then and she buttoned up her tunic, grabbing a cloak from the chair. She pushed the blade Black had given her into the waistband of her breeches. Abernathy moved to block her path as she strode towards the door.
“I can’t let you go ma’am” he apologised, “Black said to wait for his return, no matter what”.
She pushed the older man aside and opened the door, pausing only to explain.
“If I don’t go now, he won’t be coming back at all”.
And with a slam of the door she was gone.
She reached the bridge just as the coach began to cross it, swerving madly. She saw the footman fall from the top and then get crushed beneath the wheels, causing the carriage to lurch dangerously. To her horror, she saw and heard the yokes and harnesses snap loose from the coach. As if in slow motion, the carriage flipped over onto its roof and crashed through the low wall, tumbling over out of sight.
She ran hard, her lungs almost bursting, until she stood at the broken barrier. She looked down into the roiling waters below, the coach having sunk out of sight. She glanced around, noticing the horses further down the cobbled road. It was happening exactly like in her dreams. Only this time she knew what to do.
Closing her eyes she outstretched her arms and concentrated hard, visualising the coach. With that image in her mind she began to draw it to her, wishing the coach to be back on the bridge, needing it to be. The strain began to show on her face as droplets of sweat formed and then trickled into her eyes. Lydia didn’t notice the horses crashing to the ground, their skin and muscles withering from their bones, blowing like flakes of black snow in the breeze. She didn’t hear the birds falling from the sky, a mass of bleached bones and feathers peppering the cobbles.
She didn’t notice the unfortunate couple taking a romantic stroll along the bridge, never saw them turn to face each other in horror as they watched their faces shrivel and then fall from their silently screaming skulls, before they collapsed to the ground in a plume of dust.
Then the coach was beside her on the cobbles, water pouring from the broken doors, splashing to the ground around her feet. She made her way slowly towards the dark holes, unsure of what she might find within. Taking a deep breath she looked inside the cabin, recoiling slightly as she saw the bodies of her dead husband and his brother. Yet of Black there was no sign.
Black came around slowly, coughing and spluttering, retching the cold water from his lungs. It was dark and he had no idea where he was. He could feel wet earth beneath his hands, cold wet earth. He reached up and his fingers hit solid rock. No, not rock, it was too smooth. He realised it was piping as it had a curved shape and he cursed. He was in a storm drain somewhere near the river bank.
He remembered banging his head whilst trying to escape the falling coach and then hitting the icy water. The impact had stolen the breath from his lungs, and then he was swallowed into the water’s deathly embrace. He recalled struggling to free his leg from under the wooden seat, flailing madly as the lack of air in his lungs made them burn, fit to burst.
Somehow he must have got free and washed up on the banks of the river. He could be anywhere now, though he was confident he was still within the confines of the city, due to the wll built drain he found himself in. His hearing had been deadened, probably due to pressure from holding his breath for so long, and it disturbed him to be so disoriented.
He felt a cool breeze from in front of him and reasoned the river must be that direction. He began to feel his way forward, tracing his fingers along the edge of the tunnel. He heard a scraping noise from behind him and a sickly voice broke the silence.
“Uh-uh, my friend. You’re not getting away from me. My master will pay good money for a specimen like you”.
And then he felt the needle plunge into his leg, and instantly the cold numbness spread throughout his body as he slumped to the floor. The last thing he felt before slipping into unconsciousness was his body being dragged along the cold, wet earth.
Last edited by Absolution Black; 03-24-2011 at 06:28 AM.
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