Beyond The Holders
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Blood and Oil
[A chapter of The Holder of Deliverance.]
Author: J. Quincy
This is my final entry. I’ve been doing nothing but researching the Objects for a year now, and have been trying to keep the Objects themselves away from me as much as possible. Yet, no matter how hard I tried, it’s just impossible. I can’t remain an outside observer. You can’t know about this world and not be affected. It was inevitable.
I got my first object half a year ago. It was a Pendulum. When I got back from retrieving it from its Holder, I thought I was on the verge of insanity. I had an emotional breakdown every other day from the stress. As time went on, it got better, but it never totally went away. Yet, somehow, I never regretted it. It’s because of the Object. I was already attached.
One day, I had to give it up, though. Because I was being followed by its Holder. I’ve never heard of anything like this happening before, but I’ve said it before. It doesn’t always follow the formula.
I did regret giving it away. It’s plagued me to this day. The other Seekers call me a coward, a wannabe Seeker, who’s too afraid of the Objects to really commit. Even for Seekers—the most disreputable people on Earth—I’m the lowest of the low.
Then, today, a boy came to my house. He was looking for the Pendulum. He wanted it, even if Snow White wanted it more. He wouldn’t take no for an answer. When he left, he left an Object behind. The empty bullet casing, from the Holder of Change. I recognized it instantly. I touched it, felt its curves. It reminded me of how the Pendulum felt in my hands.
I knew then that I had to get it back. I had to redeem myself. I had to prove that I was at least on the same level of scum as my peers. No matter who I had to get through, no matter who I must gun down, I will get that Object back.
My name is Jules Quincy, and this is my last entry. From today on, I’m a true Seeker. Goodbye.
I don’t feel any pain. I vaguely sense that a bullet has lodged itself in my chest, and look down to see the blood running down my shirt, but I don’t feel any pain. Though my mind is in a haze, my understanding of the situation is quite clear. This isn’t like the test before. I’m not going to wake up, totally unharmed.
I look up and try to understand why the Librarian shot me, but I can’t see his face quite clearly now. When I try to take a step forward, the ground rushes up to meet me, and now all I can see is white.
My breathing is labored, and blood is dribbling out of my mouth. I manage to raise my head to look at the man standing under the tree, and I try my best to focus on his expression. His face comes slightly into focus, and he’s shaking his head as if I’m a child who stuck his hand in the cookie jar one too many times.
Snow White is standing there with what can be loosely described as shock. The Pendulum is hanging from a branch high above. I can still hear it whispering, and I try to call out to it with my thoughts. I don’t know if it can hear me, but I try as hard as I can.
Pendulum, I understand now. It was you that left the message on the wall. You wanted her to save you, even if it meant turning her back into a Holder. If she didn’t, you would be in such pain. If you let me, I can save you instead. We can protect each other, forever and ever.
Have I finally come to understand everything? Or, do I still not know? What was it the Holder of Change had told me? What did I come here for? What are the Objects? What…
I’m slipping. An odd warm feeling is filling my chest, and I only manage to realize I’m becoming delirious for a few seconds. Then, the warm feeling washes over my entire body, and I’m struck with tranquility. Carry me away, sweet water, to a far shore. I’m happy now.
The Pendulum speaks back to me. She has heard me. Finally, I am loved back. Finally, I am good for something.
I smile as I drift away.
Snow White stood and started walking forward.
“Stay back!” Jules Quincy shouted, pointing the gun at her, and she stopped.
“Look at that blood all over you. You’re just an awful mess. It would be a shame to stain that pretty robe anymore.”
His eyes were wide and wild, and his glasses were skewed. He knew this feeling. It was the feeling he had when he was clinging to his first and only Object. A longing; no, a craze! He was crazed for the love that the Pendulum once gave him. Infinitely strong, unconditional love. He just needed everyone out of his way, first.
He looked down at Eric’s still form and had to stifle a crazed laugh. The idiot thought he could just walk up and convince Snow White to hand the pendulum over?!
“You can’t stop me,” said the white woman, clutching her arm. But, Jules simply laughed.
“I beg to differ.” The sound of the gunshot bathed the garden. The white woman’s eyes widened and she looked down to her stomach, where a blotch of blood was quickly spreading from the bullet hole. With a quiet curse under her breath, she fell backwards into the snow, cradling her wound.
“That was too easy!” laughed Jules. Dropping the gun, he whipped around to face the tree, and began to pull himself up onto the lower limbs. The Pendulum was thirty feet above him, but he could get to it in no time.
No one would be able to call him a coward now. He took down the fool, and he took down the fearsome Snow White with two shots. The Pendulum was so close, almost back into his grasp. He was sick and tired. Tired of being called a coward, a hermit, or someone who doesn’t have the guts to be a Seeker! He took out the Holder herself! How dare they speak to him this way?! It would all change soon. He would be revered.
Suddenly, his hand slipped on a branch, and he nearly fell. When he finally caught a hold of the branch, it was slick under his fingers. The branch in his other hand had also inexplicably become slippery. What was going on?
Snow White was back on her feet, cradling the hole in her stomach. It had knocked her down, but the pain was already fading away. If she didn’t hurry, the Librarian would get to the Pendulum, if it wasn’t already too late.
When she looked up, though, she saw him slip. The tree was covered in something black. At the same time, it looked as if a shadow was falling over the garden. The lamppost nearby flickered.
Jules shrieked when he saw the oil on his fingertips, and began to panic. As quickly as he could manage, he grasped two more branches as firmly as he could, and he was within arm’s reach of the Object. A sudden wind blew by, and the Pendulum swung and glittered above him.
Then, the lights went out.
The lamppost flickered off, as well as all of the lights in the apartment complex. For a few brief seconds, they were bathed in utter darkness. The moment lasted for merely a minute, and then the lights were back. The oil had disappeared. Everything seemed back to normal, except that the Pendulum no longer dangled from the tree branch. Jules was frozen, grasping at empty air. He looked down below him, aghast, only to see a Snow White staring up at him, and a bloodstained depression in the snow where Eric’s body had been.
Snow White looked on, appearing passive, but inside, she had to hold back the terror that rushed upon her. Her voice was gone. For the first time in her memory, she stood alone in the snow. The Pendulum’s voice no longer cried out, “Save me!” She knew what the boy had done. She knew where he and the Pendulum had gone. She just didn’t understand why. She loved more deeply for the Pendulum than any human could have understood, and they had protected each other. Why did they have to disappear together?
She stared down at the depression where the fool had once been, lost for words and lost for thoughts. She did not feel sympathy, or gratefulness, just a sudden anxiety and terror. The boy’s life was over, and the Object that she had protected for so long had left her for good, completely cut off from her.
She looked up and scanned her surroundings, as if taking it in for the first time. Above her, the cowardly Librarian whimpered in the tree, too afraid to come down from his perch. Snow White looked up at him, and the anger in her face returned. She would not take revenge for the boy, or for Her, but for her own self. She would fully expose Jules Quincy’s cowardice. She walked toward the base of the tree. Jules whimpered again.
|Last modified on 2010-01-01 19:47:04Viewed 5384 times|