Skip to content

Chapter 20: The Price

April 24, 2013

Ian had never been so freaked out in his entire life.
Was this some weird, horrible nightmare? Had somebody put something in his drink? – acid or LSD or whatever they were calling it these days.

He was at the bottom of a well.
There was a woman made of multi-coloured light.
Daisy’s boyfriend was with some other girl – how did a spotty nerd like him get girls anyway? Two of them! (Ian never had, when he’d been the spotty nerd.)

The light-woman-thing opened its mouth.
THIS. IS. NOT. HELEN. it said. More boomed, than said. And it sounded like a chorus of voices, like a bad multi-track from the eighties. Slightly uncoordinated.

“What are you?” said that – man – that woman – that – Hazel.
THIS IS. HER. BODY. IN A MANNER. BUT WE. ARE NOT.

“What’s happening?” said the girl with Fred. She sounded terrified.
WE HAVE COME. FOR. THE PRICE.

“The price?” said Lena. “What price? What do you mean? What have you done with Helen?”
THERE IS ALWAYS. A PRICE.
“What for?”
YOU CALLED! It was shrieking now. DID YOU THINK WE WOULD NOT COME?

“I didn’t call,” said the knitting one. Karen. She was frightened. They all were.
Ian was pretty sure that he hadn’t called this thing either.

“The spell,” said Fatima quietly. “It was the spell.”
“Real magic,” said Hazel. “We called the spirits.”
“I didn’t even think it was real,” said Fatima.

Ian had no idea what they were talking about. What was this price? Was it – blood? Everything he had ever seen on TV would suggest it. A blood-price, profound, serious. He wondered how much they would need to give. And whose blood.

“What have you done with Helen?” shouted Lena.
SHE KNEW THE PRICE.
“What sodding price?” Lena was standing now, facing down this creature. A part of her was silhouetted against the glow and Ian could see that she was shaking. “What have you done to her?”

The light-thing grew in size, towering above them.
YOU CALLED! DID YOU THINK THERE WOULD. NOT BE. CONSEQUENCES?

Hazel had not been able to stand – the ground (if that’s what you could call it) too unsteady. She was kneeling next to Lena and put her arms around her waist, pulling her away from the fight.
“Tell us the price,” she said to the thing.

“It eats souls,” said a small voice. A child’s voice. Ian recognised it.
“Falcon?” When did he wake up?

“I had a dream where it eats souls. Mum said.”
“What do you mean?” asked Pip.
“Are you alright?” asked Fatima, at the same time.
“What’s a soul?” said Falcon.
“I don’t know,” Ian said. “I’m not sure if they’re even real.”
“It eats your soul and there’s this light that comes out of you,” said Falcon, bleakly. “It was in my dream. Mum said it was your soul that comes out.”

SILENCE!
“Do you eat souls?” asked Ian.
EAT, EAT. The thing sounded contemptuous. WE DO NOT. EAT SOULS.
“What then?” said Hazel.
WE ARE SOULS, it said. WE ARE SOUL.
“And have you – taken – Helen’s soul?”
WE DO NOT TAKE, it said.
“She gave it to you,” said Lena. “She knew the price. She gave it to you.”

Ian began to think he was following. It still didn’t believe it was actually happening, but he was starting to put two and two together.
“You’ve come for our souls now?” he asked.
“But what does it mean?” said Fatima. “You have Helen’s soul. What does that mean?”

THE EARTH IS AWAKE.
THE WATER IS AFLOAT.
THE FIRE IS ABLAZE.
THE AIR IS ADRIFT.
WE ARE UNQUIET. WE ARE IN. NEED OF. APPEASEMENT.

Hazel finally managed to stand up.
She took a step toward the creature, placed herself between it and Lena.
“Have mine,” said Hazel. “I will give it to you freely. If you let the others go.”
Lena sobbed – “No!”

WE DO NOT TAKE, repeated the thing.
“But – ?”
WE ARE SOUL. ARE YOU?
“Yes,” said Hazel. “I am soul. Let the others go.”
WE ONLY WANT. TO SEE.
“How?”

The thing held out its hand towards her.
WE WILL SHOW YOU, it said. COME.

Its fingertips caressed Hazel’s cheek and rested on her temple. Then it placed a palm on top of her head, and took her shoulder with its other hand.
Hazel gasped, there was a sort of dull sighing sound like an implosion, and Ian felt his ears pop. The light-woman-thing had somehow combined with Hazel, and the Helen-figure had gone. Instead, Hazel herself began to glow. She sank to her knees. Lena rushed to her, embraced her.

“What’s happening?” she sobbed.
Hazel gently pushed Lena away. She touched her cheek.
“What’s happening?” repeated Lena.

WE ARE. SOUL. ARE YOU?

Advertisements
4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 24, 2013 11:13 pm

    Wordcount – 801
    Prompt – Wake up (SundayScribblings)

    Please suggest prompts for Chapter 21 and beyond in the comments!
    (Check the sidebar for a link to more info about this interactive project!)

  2. brendaalicante permalink
    April 25, 2013 7:53 am

    I want to know what comes next so chapter must be successfu

    You still want prompts so here goes in no particular order – Sirens; solid ground; nightmares; group meeting; nice hot bath/shower; nearly finished.

    Good luck

  3. Anonymous permalink
    April 26, 2013 11:14 am

    muddy socks 🙂

  4. cath permalink
    April 26, 2013 10:32 pm

    muddy socks prompt is mine but i forgot to fill the detail boxes in then sean hijacked me!

Comments very welcome!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: