The Fallowing – The Second, Part V

by Steppen Sawicki

This was a write-to-get-out-of-writer’s-block session, so meh.

Novel: Occult adventure

We changed inns that day. Nothing more or less fancy than Ravens, as we couldn’t afford more and less would have been filled with fodder for what we were hunting. We couldn’t afford to be spotted.

I brooded over my beer, frowning at Sam. “So are you going to tell me why we gave away a perfectly good knife and watch?”

“We were there,” Sam answered. “In his belongings.”

“The garbage?”

“The owner of the garbage. He considers every one of his followers his. I want him to know we were there, messing with what’s his.”

He gazed into the fire halfway across the room. Again, we were in the dark and the shadows. The corners. “We need to take his things from him.”

“Oh, I already started on that.” I picked up my pack from the floor and rifled through it as Sam blinked at me. Finally I found and pulled out the little music box, all angles and oddity and some gross colors of green and yellow. Corpse colors.

“Why did you take that?” Sam asked in disgust.

“It’s like one I used to have,” I said. “Or it might have used to be like that. I don’t know. I wanted it.”

“So you stole it,” he accused, taking it from my hands.

“Does it matter, considering the source?”

“No, but…” He opened the music box. “Have you played it?”

“Of course not.”

“Good choice.” He became still, peering down into the box, so that I thought there must be something inside it, though I knew there wasn’t. “Although…” He closed the box and turned the knob, priming it.

“Why would you do that?” I asked, a little horrified. I don’t think I had ever planned to listen to it.

He wasn’t looking at me. He was looking off into the fire, thinking. “What’s something you can own, but not hold in your hand?”

“We’re doing riddles now?”

He set the music box on the table, and indicated it with a hand. “Silas is obsessed with the things he can’t hold. He collects enough of what he can own, can’t get enough things. But the intangible drives him nuts. He can change it but he can’t feel it in his hands. Fire, air, smell, sound…”

“Music,” I finished.

He grinned, slowly, and then laughed. He covered his mouth as he did, trying to hide it. It was the first time I had seen him smile. “He would be so pissed if he found you took this,” he whispered conspiratorially.

I smiled back at him. “We can use that.”

He nodded, his laughter already gone. “How are you with music?”

“I play bass. And have been known to sing.”

He looked surprised. He tried not to show it, but he was.

“I had to sell my instrument when I started on this whole hunting thing,” I continued, “but I was pretty damned good.”

“Yes,” he said. “We can use that.”