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    Saturday, June 21, 2008

    Wizard Part XiX



    Part XIX

    I woke in a nice cool pool of my spit. The Old Man was cutting logs in the crook of my arm. I lifted my head a little to ease the hangover in. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Em in the breakfast nook shimmering out of phase in the morning light.

    What are you doing Aubrey?

    I was trying to talk to the skull in the bowling ball.

    Em laughed as I pushed myself up off the ground. The Old Man hissed and trotted off.

    Now I know you've lost it.

    No, I heard it say something last night.

    Where am I?

    I looked over at Em who broke out laughing. I just shook my head. I couldn't get angry this time, I'd deserved every bit of it.

    I laughed a bit myself at the thought of talking to that damn skull. I don't know what I was after. Maybe I was grasping at straws, as the old saying went.

    I'm sorry about last night EM.

    I know Aubrey. That is why I came back. My reaction was a little questionable as well. When I got here though I found that I could not stop staring at you staring at that skull. I found myself riveted. I was hypnotized by the rhythm of you drinking and staring, for hours on end.

    I get it Em, I looked like an ass and you enjoyed it.

    Yes I did.

    A few minutes later I had a cup of coffee in my hand and a wad of cotton in my head.

    I'm not wrong though about the skull. There's something about it.

    Em hesitated.

    It's a nexus point Aubrey.

    I almost dropped my coffee. The water under the house wasn't running. I walked quickly and quietly to the banister and flipped the switch. The pump kicked in. Back in the kitchen I looked through the window into the yard. It was nearly impossible to see, but out of the corner of my eyes I could see movement.

    Back in the living room I threw the map of the Island back on the table, lit the candles, rolled the bones, mumbled under my breath and then waited for the death runners to form in the smoke.

    I could feel EM in the room.

    Sorry to lock you in EM.

    You don't have to worry Aubrey, The nexus point has a fail safe distance, otherwise they'd have already entered the house. It is like a signal fire right now, it attracts them, but they don't know why.

    I'd never seen anything like it. Usually on the Island I'd see five death runners at the most, but now, on the map, encircling my house there had to be forty or fifty.

    They'll keep coming Aubrey. Before long the Island is going be the most most haunted place in the world.

    I thought you Death Runners didn't cause mischief.

    Most don't, it would be like striking a bright flare for the Reapers to see. But this many in one place and they'll be here soon enough anyway. The Island will become a battle ground, that much energy being released and even the blindest person will be able to see what is happening.

    Then I have to move the Nexus, keeping it moving so they don't congregate. How the hell did I turn it on? It was in my van, and it didn't do anything.

    Was it covered?

    It was in a drawer.

    That was it, it was like anything that broadcast a signal. All signals could be blocked. There must have been something in the lining of the drawer. My Uncle would have known what it was.

    I grabbed the towel from the base of the bowling ball and used it to wrap it up. I went for the door that led from the kitchen to the deck. This thing was going back into the van.

    As I opened the door I could feel the air in the yard was older than it should have been. It was full on summer, and I could see my breath. Instead of condensation forming from the humidity, my deck was starting to ice over.

    I almost slipped on decking. I didn't think any of the death runners would try and stop me, and wasn't even sure they could if they wanted to. I made it the van with little incident and slid the door open. I'd never noticed it before, but my Uncle had even lined the inside of the van with a run of salt lick.

    As I dropped the bowling ball back into the drawer and shut it, I felt what could only be the wave of psychic confusion that was now emanating from the gathered death runners as they all realized they had no idea where they were. I could almost feel panic in some of them who had never been this close to the fatal pull of a river the size of the Tennessee.

    Getting back to the house proved a little more complicated. I now had to deal with a yard full of confused and angry death runners, all of whom probably now knew that I had something to do with why they were no longer where they used to be. They also realized that gathered in a crowd like this it would only be a matter of time before the Reapers got wind of it.

    I'd barely climbed two of the steps leading to the deck before they started to close in. The temperature dropped so fast that the next breath I took almost crystalized in my lungs.

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