Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Day Seven-Thirty-Two: Give up

Jeffrey nearly got us killed today.

Despite Jeffrey's overall despondance, Grylock's illness and a shortage of food for all three of us, we've managed to move at a decent clip. The Nothing continues to stalk in our general direction, true, but we've remained consistently ahead of it. I haven't spotted it once since I became the group's official scout, and the rumbling of its feet has always sounded distant.

Imagine our surprise when, after a night spent in a mansion - one we've occupied before, yes, of course we've somehow gone around in a circle - the Nothing crashed through the building next door and woke us all up.

I blame myself. I was on watch. I fell asleep. I don't trust Jeffrey to keep watch anymore, and Grylock snoozes whenever Grylock feels liking snoozing. I take virtually every watch. It's exhausting. I didn't notice its subtle thumping down the road, and I only woke up because the Nothing basically tripped through a wall. Its clumsiness probably saved us.

Eyes flying open, I took a quick look outside. The Nothing was sprawled on the road, its huge legs flailing and ripping apart several more buildings. Innumerable shrieks whined out of its body, and I spotted a mass of tendrils shooting out of its 'face', each one pushing it back into a standing position. That was information enough for me.

"RUN!" I screamed, pounding down from my vigil on the second floor to the main floor. I stank of urine. "GET YOUR SHIT! WE GOTTA GO!"

"DUH!" Grylock yelled back, wobbling to his feet. He looked more alert than he had in days; I guess the threat of being stamped can put life back into the dying. "WORK ON HIM!"

I followed his finger. Jeffrey was huddled in a corner, cradling his head and rocking back and forth. He was saying something, though I couldn't hear what over the whine of the tendrils until I got close enough to feel the heat of his breath.

"Leave me," he moaned, crying. "Leave me, leave me, just leave me alone."


I tried to pull him to his feet, intending to slap him in the face. Jeffrey resisted. He pushed me away, yelling something else I couldn't hear as one of the Nothing's feet smashed the road outside. It was almost back up.

"JEFFREY!" I kicked him in the side, pointing to Grylock. "HE CAN MOVE, YOU CAN FUCKING MOVE! GET UP!"

Jeffrey shook his head. Then he smacked it, hard, against the wall. More mumbling, more self-loathing.

Jeffrey and I have been through a lot, and not just in the past year. The guy was my king. I was, through fear, loyal to his service. I swore an oath to serve him. Yes, he might've fucked us all over by unearthing the Non, but he was still an important part of my life - and his lordship over me has since been replaced by a fairly steady friendship. Yes, I'll admit, Jeffrey's my friend. At this point he's one of my best friends. 

That bond between us is all that prevented me from abandoning him. I sat down at his side.

"WHAT IN THE HELLS ARE YOU DOING?!" Grylock screamed behind us.

I ignored him. "Jeffrey," I said, right into Jeffrey's ear.

He turned to look at me, eyes red and confused. "Wh... what are you..."

"Remember the observation deck. Remember what you said." I took a breath. "I'm gonna do the same if you don't fucking move."

Another pounding thud of a foot hitting home. The Nothing was on its feet. The mansion rumbled, and part of the second floor crashed down. Debris rained around us.

Jeffrey shivered. "You can't do that. You can't."

I remained sitting. Jeffrey had to pull me to my feet.

Jeffrey has the look in his eye. The look he had when we started on this trip. He wants to die. I do not. And I'm not sure if I can bluff him out of suicide a second time.


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