Beyond The Holders
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[A chapter of The Holder of Deliverance.]
Author: J. Quincy
What’s the hardest part about finding those Holders? It’s the power the Objects hold. They give its Holder the power to alter reality. Inside their worlds, they are like gods. If you don’t do exactly the right things at the right place, you can’t even get in. Holders are some of the most terrifying beings that exist.
However, Holders are not nearly as frightening as Seekers. The Holders protect the Objects; if you don’t bother them, they won’t hurt you. But, the Seekers are willing to do anything in order to get the Objects. There is no honor among thieves.
The streets of Manhattan seem different now. Darker and colder. Faces are shrouded in veils of shadow, their cold eyes staring out from within. As I walk down the road, pedestrians give me a wide berth.
I climb the stairs to my apartment slowly, plodding up the steps. Silence falls on the other sides of doors, only lifting after I’ve passed. Even my apartment looks different now, alien. The TV I got from my parents, or the couch I bought on my first day here don’t look familiar anymore.
Is this what I wanted? Is this the answer I’ve been looking for? I shot myself… in the head. How could I still be standing here? I don’t even remember the exact moment it happened.
I pour myself a glass of orange juice from the fridge and drink it quickly. It soothes my dry throat, but it tastes bland and dull, like my sense of taste has been pulled completely away from me. For some reason, I fail to be surprised.
When I look down into the street from my window, I jump and blink; for a moment, I see a black shadow hanging over the spot where Snow White had once stood.
The glass of orange juice slips from my hand and shatters on the floor, and I swear loudly in shock. I look back out the window, but the shadow isn’t there anymore. This kind of thing had been happening a lot since I returned… Everywhere I look, shadows lurk in the periphery of my vision, in hidden corners as I pass them, in the faces of people that walk past me.
It is only after I’ve finished picking up the glass and disposing of it that I notice a cut on my finger. A dribble of blood runs down the length of my finger, and I can’t even feel it. No taste, no touch, no smell.
Someone in the street is walking by, and looks up and sees me. When our eyes meet, they blanch and hurry away as if they had seen a ghost. As if on cue, the snow begins to fall as well. This snow is not beautiful, but bitter and cold.
The minutes tick by quickly, and the day wears on, and I remain standing by the window, staring down at the cement below. Even though I’ve only just returned from the Holder of Change, my face shows no emotion whatsoever.
That night, lying in my bed, I stare at the bedside table, where the empty bullet casing lay. It glitters innocently, holding my attention for hours as I try to fall asleep. Just before I drift away, I hear the soft whisper drift through the air, barely audible.
My dream is of all-encompassing darkness, and black water is rushing over my feet. Its icy chill crawls over my skin and my muscles, making its way up my body. Like roving tendrils, the chill digs into my body, to get at my soul. It’s just like before, in the mental institution, when that deathly voice whispered in my ear.
All of a sudden, there’s an irresistible force on my back, which forces me to my knees. My hands splash down into the water, and I feel something slick clinging to my fingers. When I draw it out, my fingers are covered with something shiny and black.
At 5:38 in the morning, before the sun has bothered to welcome Manhattan, I sit upright and scream at the top of my lungs. The oil on my hands have left black handprints on the sheets, which I hurriedly tear from the bed.
Howling like a beast, I pull my nightstand from the wall and throw it as hard as I can across the room. It smashes into my mirror with a deafening crash and splinters to the ground. I pay no heed to it and begin to wreak havoc on everything I own.
My bed, my TV, my computer, everything. I wish I didn’t know, I wish I didn’t know! Why do I have to know?! Blood is dripping from my hands as I throw my hand through my window, and I don’t even feel the cold breeze on my open wounds. So, I keep punching, raining glass down on the sidewalk.
Why do I have to know?!
It’s 6:00 now, and I’m grabbing my coat. Now only one thought hangs in my mind: the Librarian. Now that I know, I have to keep going.
I am out of New York well before sunrise, and by the time I’m out of the state, I notice that I’m well exceeding the speed limit, and that I’ve been breezing past cars for several hours. Why haven’t I been pulled over? Of course, people have been avoiding me since I left the mental institution, so perhaps it was paying off now.
It isn’t over yet. One answer led to even more questions. I would never forget what the Holder of Change had told me, but it wouldn’t keep me from finding out about Snow White, the Pendulum, and the message on the wall.
It’s a lonely drive, yet I’m not alone. The voice keeps me company as I drive. I can’t always understand what it says to me, but when it whispers softly into my ear, I can’t help but feel calm and relax my tight grip on the wheel.
Time flies by as I focus on the road ahead of me, and before I know it, I’ve entered the city limits of Boston. Before I went to that mental institution, I had remembered to print out a map to the Librarian’s address, and it’s crumpled in my hand. When I see his house spring up beside me on the street, I slam on my brakes and pull over.
I ring the doorbell and wait anxiously. After several impatient minutes, the door cracks open, and a face appears. The Librarian looks at me through round spectacles. He’s clearly younger than me; not what I was expecting at all. He looks me over with an odd smile, a twinkle in his eye.
“Are you the Librarian?” I ask with a hoarse voice. “I’m here about the Pendulum.”
He smiles knowingly at me.
“I was wondering when you would show up.” He stands back and holds the door open for me.
|Last modified on 2009-12-18 19:27:58Viewed 5296 times|