Three Word Wednesday: Abrasive, Loss, and Handful
“This way! Come on! Jack pulled Libbie’s arm with one hand as he shoved the window open with the other.
“Hope the fire escape is…aww man.” Libbie looked down and saw what Jack already knew.
“We’re going to have to jump aren’t we…I Hate it when we have to jump!” Libbie turned away from the window. “They’re coming!”
Jack pulled Libbie through the window. “Ouch, my head!” Libbie held the top of her head.
“No, but not much choice is there?” The ladder that used to be part of the fire escape in the abandoned apartment building was gone. At least they were only on the second floor. The alley below was full of trash and Libbie hoped they landed on something soft.
“Tuck and roll, right? Jack kind of chuckled and then leapt.
“Oh crap.” Libbie followed and hit with a thud. Not soft enough….there was blood dripping from her forehead where she hit the edge of the window sash and she rubbed her ankle as she stood, testing it. She grabbed Jack’s hand and they ran. Jack held his other arm close to his side but there was no time to worry about that now. The wraiths were coming. They needed a place to hide. They ran to the street lights and people and wove through the crowd.
“Down there!” Libbie pointed at another alley across the street. She could feel the wraith searching on the edge of her thoughts. They were close. She pushed Jack into a doorway. There was only a handful of seconds before the wraith would be right on top of them.
She stood in front of him, holding the darkness around them. She willed him to be still, hoping that they would pass by. They would have made it too, if she hadn’t already been weakened from running. They passed so close she could smell them and just as they cleared the alley entrance one of them stopped and turned. She felt it’s slimy mind probing, like nasty abrasive fingers sliding through her brain. She tried to stay silent, to keep herself closed off but it broke through and it felt like knives stabbing her head. She raised her hands to her head as she dropped to her knees.
The blast of magic must have lit up the sky for miles. That was her last thought before it all went dark.
Libby woke up. There was nothing but pain and darkness. She half sat and felt around in the dark. Her hand touched a lump covered in fabric.
“Jack? Jack are you okay?”
The lump groaned. He was alive. Libby flopped back down, relieved. She took mental inventory. Every inch of her felt bruised and her head was pounding, but she was all there. Wherever there was.
Jacks hand moved against her side. She reached down and held it. He squeezed and she squeezed back.
“Ya, me too. We have to figure out where we are.”
“I know. Do you remember anything?” Jack started to sit up and grabbed his head, laying back down.
“After I was mind raped? Not really. We’re still alive though, so they must have something more planned than just getting rid of us. Can you move?” The headache was receding a little. Libby started stretching and flexing her muscles.
“I think so.” Jack rolled over on his side. “They’re waiting for the full moon. I don’t think we can count on a five star meal or anything. I wish I could see. It’s dark as hell in here.”
Libby held her hand up and even though it made her head feel worse, she concentrated. A small ball of light appeared in her hand. They were in some kind of cellar. The only window was blocked by something from the outside. The walls were damp and moldy looking which accounted for the horrendous smell. A couple of mildewed cardboard boxes sat in the corner and there was plenty of evidence that the main inhabitants were spiders. They were on the floor at the bottom of a rickety looking staircase. The bruises she was starting to feel were probably the result of being “helped” down the steps. There was a gallon jug of what looked like water next to them.
“Guess they don’t want us to dehydrate…”
The lightball crackled and went out.
“Better rest for a bit. I don’t think we’ll miss viewing the decor.” Jack reached out in the dark for Libbie’s hand and folded her fingers closed.
“Well my powers didn’t help us much in that alley, did they?” Libbie slapped her other hand on the floor, frustrated.
“But we know something we didn’t know before.”
Libbie turned to his voice. “What the hell do you mean? That they can beat us up and toss us into a basement? How does that help?”
“We know they are physical. If we had just been warped here or whatever you want to call it, we wouldn’t be all banged up now.” Jack sounded a little smug.
“I am still at a loss as to how knowing they can kick our asses all the way to a basement can be helpful.” Libbie was tired, sore, and getting a little tired of Jack being so obtuse.
“You may have the magic but I sure would like to see what happens when human fist connects with the face of whatever…what are these guys?”
“Wraiths…I hadn’t thought of that. I always thought they were more like ghosts or something. It’s not going to do much good if they can shut down our minds, though.”
Jack sighed. “My brain wasn’t shut down. I watched you go out of it just as one of those ghouls slammed me and next thing I knew I was slung over what I think was a shoulder and tossed down here. You on the other hand…Jeez Lib, you scared the hell outa me. You held your head and screamed and I swear I watched your eyes roll up in your head. You were muttering some kind of gibberish and then you just went limp.”
I tried to remember and couldn’t. There was something right on the tip of my…
“I do remember something! Just before everything went dark. I could feel them in my head. I was concentrating on us staying hidden from their sight when I should have waited and shielded. That’s what the book meant about learning to shield! I have to keep them out of my head”
Jack squeezed my hand in the dark again. He must have heard the fear and disgust in my voice. “You can do this. If you can keep them out, we might have a chance. Rest a bit and I and then we’ll check out those boxes on the other side of the basement. There has to be something we can use as weapons. I really want to kick some ghoul ass”
Libbie held her hand up again. “Better go look now. They could come back any time.” She lit up the basement and scooted over to get a little cover in the stairwell.
In the glow of the light ball, Jack crawled to the boxes and dragged them over to where Libbie sat. They opened them and found mostly dishes and jars. Jack kept digging around and pulled out an old wooden box. He opened the box and whistled, smiling at Libbie. “Silver….”