Metanoia

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Chapter Thirty-Two

“Augustine,” A voice echoed in the distance. “Augustine!”

Slowly I awakened to see Sarah standing over me.

“How are you feeling?” she asked.

“Rotten,” I murmured.

“That is one of the symptoms of being stabbed,” Sarah jested. “I took the motor from the rusher and adapted it to the boat. It will allow us to move faster.”

“Great.” I grunted, attempting to stand up.

“You need to stay down, or you’ll re-open your wound!”

“I’m fine.” I responded. My assessment of my situation was obviously overconfident as I immediately collapsed on the floor, in sharp, burning pain.

“Don’t be stubborn, just lay down,” Sarah helped me against the pillar.

“And let us get slaughtered, I say not!”

“It will take them a while to dig under the wall and march all the way here,” she countered.

I halted for a moment, as a lump formed in my throat. “I- I’m sorry.”

“For what?”

“For hiding the dagger from you.”

“I know what it is,”

I lifted my gaze towards her.

“My father researched it; he was utterly obsessed with the dagger. So, I am familiar with it.” Sarah answered, giving me another injection of morphine.

“I just, didn’t know how to explain-“

Sarah looked my direction not quite making eye contact and interrupted. “You know, all I ever wanted was to get away from this barren wasteland. I have dreamed of it all my life and as long as I get of this blasted island, I could care less.”

Sarah smiled and gazed at my wound. I felt slightly warmer, as if for a split-second, the weight on my chest was lifted.

“Well, I’m glad to have helped.”

“You nearly got us killed; don’t think you’re off the hook,” Sarah answered.

“I’ll make it up to you,” I playfully uttered. “I promise.”

“You promise?” Sarah played along.

“I promise,” I said as I clenched my fist and stuck my thumb out.

“Deal,” Sarah squeezed and twisted it, causing me to recoil in pain.

“As if I wasn’t in enough pain already!”

“That was payback number one, more is to come.” Sarah stood and patted Fitz on the head. “You take care of him, and I’ll go make sure the motor works fine.”

Fitz whined and moved closer to me.

As Sarah left the shed, I gazed to my right and spotted a firm wooden stick. Stretching out my arm to take it, Fitz growled and stared at down at me with seriousness in his crimson eyes.

“Mind if I take this feeble stick?” I uttered to Fitz.

Fitz squinted his eyes, and then turned his gaze away from me.

“Thank you, kind sir.” I sarcastically remarked whilst cautiously leaning to the right to lay hold of the stick.

When at last I was able to take hold of the stick, I used it to slowly stand up.

Not wanting me to get up Fitz took hold of my pant leg with his teeth and pulled, trying to get me to remain where I was

“Fitz, let go! I’m fine, just let me stretch my legs for a bit.”

I shrugged Fitz off, and making my way to where my shirt was hanging, I put it on, carefully fastening the first few buttons.

The storm seemed to have ceased, leaving the sweet scent of rain behind. The blue morning tint enveloped the small abandoned town, and its silence was truly peaceful.

With the aid of the stick, I carefully walked out of the room and approached Sarah.

“I need some help.” I uttered.

Sarah head jerked up, as if startled. Seeing me she sighed in relief.

“Go back inside and rest, in a couple of minutes we will be able to leave.”

“Did you get my coat?” I inquired, sitting down on a large rock.

“I got your frock.” Sarah handed me my frock from the trunk.

“Where’s Fitz?” Sarah asked, whilst slowly putting the frock over my shoulders.

“He was in the shed a while ag-“

Fitz’s barking interrupted me, as I bolted up from the rock. Convulsing in pain I sat down once again feeling suddenly nauseous.

“You stay still, I’ll go check.“ Sarah uttered

“No, Sarah-“

“Stay put, I’ll go get him,” she commanded whilst loading her shotgun.

In dread, I took ahold of a cutlass, which was laying in the boat.

As Sarah cautiously crept forward in the direction of Fitz’ whimpers she at last saw his body fly across, slamming into the house on the left.

Sarah hastily rushed to his aid as the banished ones came running towards us, hopping over the roofs, and surrounding us on every side.

“GET IN THE BOAT!” Sarah ordered as she scooped Fitz up and ran towards me.

Quickly I limped into the boat and attempted to start the engine .

As Sarah was approaching the deck, one of the creatures grabbed her by the waist, pulling her back, causing Fitz to slip from her arms and crash onto the deck. Fitz slowly rolled over and got up on trembling legs.

Fitz and I both looked toward Sarah with horror and helpless to come to her aid as Velkagon’s presence loomed above her.

Fitz rallied and barely rushed toward Sarah in an effort to come to her aid, only to be stopped by one of the banished ones latching onto his neck, shaking him and tossing him down.

Fitz’s squeals pierced my ears, and I bolted forward, slashing at the banished one and pulling Fitz back onto the deck.

I stood there, gazing at Sarah as the banished ones held her by the neck. Sarah stared down at the muddy ground with eyes widened and gasping for air.

Velkagon stretched his hand towards the creature who was holding Sarah, causing the creature halt in his steps.

In utter dread I watched as Velkagon, as I held Fitz’s mangled body, his blood dripping upon the sodden deck.

Heavy darkness prevailed and engulfed me. My mind was frantically searching for some way of rescue and escape. Switching my gaze from Velkagon to Sarah’s pale face I slowly advanced backward as the creatures moved forward.

“Augustine,” an eerie whisper called out. “Give it to me.”

“What?” I stammered searching around me for the source of the voice.

I felt a cold, sense of dread as the chilling breath caressed the back of my neck.

“You can be freed of your burden.”

I stayed silent and continued to cautiously move backwards in retreat, pointing my blade at the creatures that were closing in.

Whilst strolling back, I felt my leg touch the hull of the boat. I looked over at Sarah. She lay motionless on the ground where the creature had dropped her. Fear rose up within me causing my throat to constrict and tears began to form in the corners of my eyes. Just then she slowly lifted her head and shuddered in fear.

Slowly lifting her gaze towards me, her eyes at last, locked with mine.

My heart skipped a beat as she maintained eye contact. Slowly she clenched her fist and with a shiver, faintly stuck her thumb out.

“Go…” Sarah mouthed.

My breaths shortened and with hesitation I turned my back, boarding the boat, just as a creature jumped behind me. I turned swiftly, stabbing it and pushing it into the waters.

Hastily I switched the lever, starting the motor as Fitz nabbed at one of the creatures which was desperately climbing abord. With a groan, a vigorously plunged my blade into its head, tossing it into the sea.

Bitterly sobbing, I gazed back at Sarah, as she closed her eyes, resting her trembling fist.

Velkagon motioned his hand towards her, and a creature advanced slicing her throat open, and dropping her still form on the cold ground.

Her eyes became lifeless and without a soul. All that had made Sarah who she was vanished as her skin whitened, ultimately being colored by the sodden dirt ground.

I screamed out and groaned in pain, sliding down, and curling up in a ball on the sodden hull of the boat. Fitz persistently whimpered, pacing back and forth. The roar in my head grew so that it drowned all other sounds around me, abruptly being muffled by silence. My ears rang with all the pain being replaced by a cold and hollow void. My skin became numb and my head ached, as if being pulled down by fishhooks. Teeth chipped with uncontrollable shivers whilst taring at my skin with nails. All that sored my mind was that image, a cold pale corpse, bleeding out on the sodden black ground.

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