Upon the granite slab frozen to the skin, cold as death;

The necromancer hovers above chanting an ancient tongue

Alchemy and old lace, I cringe at the suffusion of energy, wilt at the

Spirals of light, this time the ceremony will complete. An unknowing vessel

Succumbed and relegated to subservience, my will stronger, my will

Determined to make the plunge. How it pains to squeeze within the

Portal, within the skin of another, wearing the husk like a coat,

his scream my scream

But this is how it must be to free my lady. 


ch03sec1In the antiseptic hospital washroom, Roger contemplated his situation; white on white was the perfect backdrop. Terrasea was gone; he had lost his window to try to get her back. His career was in the toilet; right where he was sitting. He had to face facts; stop wallowing in self-pity about his fall from his if I should fall from the face of god former heights. In the glow of his phone, he stared at the album he had created, the grainy pictures of Cazz Diamond that would put him on the cover once again, in the limelight, but at what price? His personal ethics, his sense of decency, all screamed for him to push the delete button, but he was torn. In this crushing economic depression, the magazine was his only source of income; and, if this was his new vocation shouldn’t he strive to be the very best? Fear stayed his thumb; despite the self-loathing, his job would be over, if he didn’t deliver the photos. But all that was moot, it was inevitable that he would be caught where no doctor can relieve me he was trapped like a rat in a trap.

Roger’s mind drifted back to the old man, how he had lifted Roger with such tremendous strength, and when he had said there is a will within you; Roger recalled a seemingly electric charge surge up his spine. He had read about the third eye in that Castaneda series and it did feel as if that eye had opened up; it had gotten him this far. He had to rely on his instincts and, if he saw and opening, his confidence to push through the façade. He did feel confident; he would have to wait it out and see what hand fate would deal him.

The pounding migraine he encountered speaking with Ms Diamond brought back the nausea and, as fate intervened, he happened to be hovering over the toilet when the nurse came in to check on the girl. Noting the time, he determined the nurses physically checked about every 45 minutes, so had set his alarm on vibrate to be prepared. He snuck back into the room and sat with the girl for a while; her breathing remained shallow and steady, but she did not wake. Instinctively, Roger took her hand in his, a human gesture built into our dna to comfort those under duress, and his mind drifted to the question of where her parents might be, downstairs pacing the waiting room, dancing on the Riviera; and where her close friends may be; from the video that went viral, Roger knew that no boyfriend would be barging in to see her. He felt a pang of empathy for the girl, if I’m buried ‘neath the sod could she be as alone as all that? Once again he toyed with the delete button; a terrible debate ensued, put food on the table or do the right thing. Roger put it off for the time being, concentrated his attention on the girl. When the police inevitably came, perhaps he could use the photos as a bargaining tool, let me go or I send this out viral his smile reflected hers, as she appeared to be having a sweet my prince dream.

At five, Roger received a little hope. The night nurse had changed, wearing make-up; her voice now carried a lilt, like the waitress in the shop as she chatted up Ms Diamond, mentioning what a hunk the cop was. She got off at six and was going to see if he wanted to slip away for coffee. Roger peeked through the crack, the nurse’s complexion had changed entirely; was this the old man’s doing? she whistled an Irish tune as she fluffed the pillows around Cassandra’s head. Perhaps, there was a chance of escape. He rushed to the door, even as the lock clicked behind her, eavesdropping on the conversation that came in muddied snatches through the double windows and closed door.

“Little miss princess is resting quietly,” he heard in that are you available tone of voice, “you’ve been at it all night, perhaps a break would do you good.”

“I’m sorry ma’am,” the voice shy, uncertain, “but I’m still on duty.”

“She’s not going anywhere,” the voice conspiratory, “and besides, I think it’s every citizen’s duty to do something for our men in blue,” the chair creaked, “Don’t you think?”

“Ma’am, I’m on duty. I’m not supposed to leave my post,” Roger’s hope dashed.

“We could get it at the nurse’s station,” she giggled, “it wouldn’t take a minute.”

“Well, I guess a minute won’t hurt.”

Roger’s hand was on the doorknob, silently turning even as the chair scraped the floor, signaling the officer had risen. Roger heard the two exchange a laugh; it was now or never. He counted three Mississippi then slowly cracked the door; no police officers in sight. He glanced back once to the gauze encased diva; still torn as to what to do with those photos.

As inconspicuously as humanly possible, Roger slipped out the door, grabbed the IV pole and quickly assumed the patient shuffle. He shambled down the hall, head down and back scrunched over until he laboriously stick to the shadows made his way back to the storage closet. Luck was with him again, as the closet was empty and his clothes were still where he had hidden them. Roger dumped the gown, dressed himself and slipped out of the closet, but the angels won’t receive me before he afforded himself a heavy sigh of relief.

Passing the nurse’s station, he saw the nurse and cop sitting together fairly closely and don’t tempt fate couldn’t resist the urge to brush past.

“And her mother’s in Monte Carlo or some damn place and doesn’t have the time of day for that poor girl.”

“Maybe that’s why she turned into a freakozoid in the first place; it’s always the mommy dearest.”

“Well, from what I heard she really is a mommy dearest too,” the nurse stroked his leg conspiratorially, “at least if you can believe what you read in SCAB! Magazine.”