Book II - Chapter 58

Chapter 58

 

It floated there, distant in his sight despite the fact his eyes were closed. Something he should not see, yet something he could.

 

[Status: Afflicted]

[Vengeance of The Mountain]

 

The boy couldn't remember when these had appeared, only that they had never gone away. For some reason, the boy felt the message mocked him. As if, by its very presence, the words were viciously waiting for something horrible.

As if they were only revealing themselves, because they took joy in his suffering.

It was a strange dream.

Floating words...

Terrible heat...

Distant voices...

Among the last, there were times he could even hear his father.

Often, this was shouting, but the boy had heard his father's voice when it was but a whisper, as well. Caught in prayer, reciting words... The longer the dream stretched on, the more difficult it was for the words to mean anything. Still, the boy had listened. Listened, and tried to remember.

Still, of all the things which might be known, or could be known, of all the things forgotten in the haze of heat and exhaustion: all that remained now were the floating words.

 

[Status: Afflicted]

[Vengeance of The Mountain]

 

They dominated his thoughts for every waking second. Giving him no respite, for the exception of brief moments when different voices from his father's own would hover over him, and his body would take on a chill.

Not cold, not comfortable, but close...

As if a cool breeze, beneath his skin, moving through him. Each time the chill came, it brough with it, a fleeting sense of clarity.

Just moments ago, another had tried.

The chanting... the hymns... the fading away. The coolness of this lingered, but it was always the same. The chill would leave him behind, but filled with a craving. Worse than a hunger, much like a thirst- but neither. It left him with a wanting for what he could not have, but more than anything: the boy wished not to be alone.

Alone with the dream.

Alone with the message.

 

[Status: Afflicted]

[Vengeance of The Mountain]

 

Alone.

Tired... he was tired... and so warm... so horribly warm...

He was-

Cold.

 

Hey, kid.

 

There was no chanting, there were no hymns, but in his mind: there was a voice.

Colder than anything he'd felt before. Slowly, it was wrapping about his thoughts.

 

I don't know if you can hear me, but I want you to know: you did good.

 

The sensation was so strong now, it burned.

As if ice set aflame, it scorched him, through every painful beat within the ribs of the boy’s chest.

Higher, and higher: it built.

 

[Status: Afflicted] - [Resisting]

[Vengeance of The Mountain]

 

The message flared, as if in anger.

The boy could feel it, howling in silence.

 

[Status: Afflicted] - [Resisting] [!]

[Vengeance of The Mountain]

 

I’ll get you all patched up, eating appals in no time.

 

[Status: Afflicted] - [Resisting] [!]

[Vengeance of The Mountain]

 

If something goes wrong, though- if I start acting weird.

Weirder...?

If that happens, I’m going to need you to repeat something.

Just in case, I want you to repeat after me:

 

 

[Status: Afflicted] - [Resisting] [!] [!] [!]

[Venge-