Tales Of A Shifter (P1) - The Meeting

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Chapter 45 - Flame

Alone I blanketed the Darkness, and Alone I held it at bay

-Unknown

Brandon sat still for a long time after he left. His body, his mind felt colder without another soul in the room to interact with.

And he let himself fall into a sitting unconscious for an untold amount of time.

The fatigue carried away everything even the feeling of Ezekiels earlier presence. He felt hollow and by god he loved it. The silence gave him peace and it helped him gather back his crumbling will.

He soon managed to stop shaking long enough to realize something.
IT.
It was finally coming back.

It was growing inside.

This was the longest he had ever managed to evade them and block the power, but he could feel the flow racing across his insides.

Filling up that hollow place inside, taking hold of his soul once more.

Like a flame or a flower it blossomed inside of him, it took away his pain, and his fatigue until all that he could feel anymore was the buzz of the power.

An energy that was him and had always been a part of him....it was a beacon that betrayed his presence at every turn. The thing growing inside..... Always brought the hounds of hell down on him, but he was far too weak to just pick up and run this time.

He needed time to rest. Time to figure out his next move.

He had to delay the light inside for just a little while longer.

And Brandon knew that the only way to slow down its gradual return...was to increase the pain until the power was burn out.

***

Quickly Brandon threw of his robe and unhitched the towel from around his hips. Swallowing as the cold air blew threw his slim frame. With a small whimper as his stitches pulled he slipped on the baggy sweats that Glen had left him for the night leaving off the shirt she had also left him to sleep in.

“Shit! It’s really coming back....” he said to himself. “I can feel it growing, healing me. This cut will be closed up by tomorrow if I don’t do something and there’s no way I’ll be able to explain that.”

Brandon looked down at his side and groaned already he could see the hot red inflammation around the stiches fading away as if by magic.

Brandon bit his lip then, realizing that he couldn’t afford to hesitate. This wasn’t something that the Shifters would ignore or understand. It wasn’t something anyone ever needed to see again.

Brandon leaned to the side, and reached over to the bedside table. Straining slightly he picked up the tray of food, spilling the contest of the bowl over onto the bread. Taking a deep breath he lifted himself up and disappeared into the bathroom once more.

Sitting the tray on the edge of the counter Brandon leaned over and snatched the new tooth brush Glen had left him out of the cup. He quickly put the handle of the toothbrush into his mouth and bit down on it to hold it there. The glimpses of himself that Brandon caught in the mirror disturbed him. His movements were more than erratic, he looked terrified.

What can I do?

Brandon thought to himself, even as he began to hatch an idea of exactly what he was going to have to do to keep the power at bay for a few more days.

He shivered as more and more of the power unfurled within him, he could feel it spilling over inside of his soul, leaking out of him into the air around his skin.

He could feel the pressure of it all around him now, the air nearly crackled with the unseen. He tried to hold it back, smother it inside of himself, but he had never had control before and Brandon knew that he would have even less after sustaining the injuries that he had.

In fact the only thing he had ever been able to do was put up wall inside of himself. Barriers around the energy that was within, but he had neither the mental stability nor the strength to pull off that kind of thing just then. He was pathetic. He was weak.

And if he didn’t do something soon he was going to be caught.

“Jesus, think......Ok..... I can’t block it right now...!” He said around the stick in his mouth to himself. “But....if choke the power with something.....maybe divert it back towards my internal organs and keep it busy....”

Refusing to acknowledge what he was thinking or even what he was about to do to himself. Brandon snatched up the knife and ignoring the food beside him all together. He raised the blade sat it to his skin and pressed the handle of the blade into his side until he couldn’t push it into himself any harder. He hesitated, closed his eyes and slammed the knife across his side as hard and as deep as he could.

Wet meaty thunks followed as he beat the stiches and his guts all about from the outside.

Sharp pangs registered as the handle split his stitches even further. Brandon bit down on the tooth brush so hard that it nearly snapped, but somehow through it all he managed to keep his agonized screams down to a pathetic whimper or two and then it was done.

Panting in suppressed agony Brandon forced himself to stand. He held the knife close so that his sweat pants could catch the blood that dripped lazily from the knifes hilt.

His knees felt like jelly and his head spun forcing Brandon to stand still and try to fight the fog of pain trying to take him away. After a moment Brandon knew that he had to move or pass out on the floor. He tossed the knife into the sink, ignoring the clatter it made as they struck the sides of the white bowl, staining and smearing it red. Opening his aching jaws he let the broken tooth brush fall in beside it.

Swallowing Brandon turned on the hot water and let it run. He put his blood covered gloves beneath the water and let the flow clean them, until steam filled the area above the white bowl washing away his blood and fogging the window.

Brandon took up one of the clean white towels beside the toilet seat and pressed it to his gut, as he felt the blood drenching his thigh. This time he didn’t even try to keep down his short shout of distress as he pressed the towel into the raw wound. He was glad for the running water that helped to muffle his voice. He was also glad for the steam. He didn’t care much to look at his own image just then.

But he could feel the power around him dimming. He could feel his insides growing hollow once more. The flame in his soul faded away, washed under by the pain and his fatigue. Diverted towards the damage he had done for now. Soon the energy, the power, that thing inside of him would return, but at least he was safe for a little while longer.

***

After Brandon cleaned up himself and the bathroom, he had little to no energy left for anything but holding a wash cloth to his bleeding side.

Wrapping a fresh robe around himself. Then turning off the bedside lamps he climbed into the bed. He didn’t have anything to change into and he didn’t want to ruin the shirt that Ezekiels mother had left for him so he left it at the foot of the bed next to the robe. Brandon knew that the hip of his pants were drenched in blood, but there was nothing he could do about it and he figured that it would make his lie more believable tomorrow morning when he told Ezekiel that his stitches had popped all on their own.

Brandon struggled to get comfortable as his fever returned with a vengeance, he shivered uncontrollably and the more he moved it only served to put a deeper strain on the few stitches that he hadn’t managed to break already.

The sleep that he eventually managed to get was little and disturbed. Unlike the quiet nights that he had managed to enjoy the last few days, his mind was soon dragged into a terrifying dream. It was of course a familiar dream, that like the power within him, he was powerless to control. It was a dream that he had, had in a recurring fashion since he was twelve years old.

It haunted him, and carried him away at least once a week; Coming over him with no warning and no escape.

For all that the dreams hurt him they were simple dreams.

Brandon would have even gone so far as to describe moments in the dream as being beautiful. But there was so much more too it then the beauty.

The dreams often began the same. With Brandon. Or at least Brandon had come to believe the figure that he saw in his mind, was him. In some place....in some time, in his twisted imagination, the figure in his dream was him.

Brandon would awaken to see himself, watch himself, standing at the precipice of a mountain. Dark earth, open sky, and patches of colorful vegetation dotted all of the lands before him. He was just there, staring out over a foggy depthless, expanse of crags and pillars in the earth. Basking in the light from a pale sunrise that could have made GOD himself cry.

Brandon didn’t just think that this dream was about him, he knew it was because the man standing on that mountain looked like Brandon’s identical twin. Everything about the man in his dream mirrored himself. From the man’s mint green eyes, and height to his weight and facial expressions. He resembled Brandon so much so that he had come to associate the man with himself. And yet there were differences between them that Brandon had been able to pick out, but only after years and years of dreaming this same dream.

The man that he dreamed of seemed stronger then him, more seasoned. There was an edge to his stance and a darkness in his eyes that Brandon felt he would be silly to try and imitate.

For all he felt connected to the man in his dreams he was also alien to Brandon but still Brandon felt kin to him and yet it all also seemed like nothing more than a dream.

A dream that always played out the same.

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