The Fallowing – The Second, Part VII

by Steppen Sawicki

Novel: Occult adventure

I climbed the front steps with caution, aware that each one was possibly leading to my doom. I turned the knob and pushed the door open with one hand, my other hand itching to take out my pistol but my mind fully aware that that would do no good. The monster would simply take it from me.

The front room was empty – of people anyway. The yellow light was coming from the next room, the kitchen area. I went forward, well aware of the noise every step I took made in the trash on the floor. In the dim light, the place felt more claustrophobic than ever. The boxes and magazines and broken furniture lining the walls felt like they were closing in on me the further I entered the house.

I reached the doorway and stepped though, into the light of six candles dotted around the room. He – it – was there, seated on the only functional chair in the place, an old dilapidated dining chair that looked as if it should have collapsed when he first sat in it. He was slouching arrogantly, hand propping his head, one elbow on the table, where he had cleared a space of trash but couldn’t clear a space of dirt and grime. His hair didn’t shine in the candlelight; it seemed to absorb the flickering illumination, drink it in. The angles on his face were darker for it. He was clearly very angry.

Good, I thought.

“Do you often visit the homes of people you’ve fucked over?” I said aloud.

“Where is he?” he growled.

I crossed my arms. “We don’t do everything together. I’m here to take you down myself.”

His eyes narrowed, regarding me. Then he laughed short and deep. “With what? That rifle? Or…” He leaned forward. “Do you have the knife?”

“You didn’t answer my question.”

He grinned, but there was no humor in it, only a sneer. “Were I to visit all the men that are mine, I would spend all my days wading through garbage.” He indicated the room with a sweep of his hand. “No, there is no point in visiting. Nothing of interest in these places. They come to me when they have something for me.”

“Yet here you are.”

He stood. “Yet here I am. I got his message. He was here. He took over what was mine. I don’t take such a slight lightly.”

“What’s yours. You mean Marx.”

“Yes, I mean Marx. He’s mine.”

“He’s a human being. You can’t own him.”

He snickered again. “How old are you? Twenty-two, I’d say.”

He was right, but I didn’t say so.

“You have no concept of how old I am.” He began to walk around the table, slowly, towards me. “I have seen the stages where the lesser races were auctioned from. I have lived among the laws dictating that a woman submit to her husband or a man be owned by the man he wronged. I have seen the greatest men be reduced to slaves. This is how it has always been, how it still is. You just have to look in the right places.”

“That doesn’t make it right.”

“Who said anything about right? There is no right or wrong. There is only reality. There is only how things are.”

I shifted my weight from one foot to the other to avoid backing away from him. “Well, seems like how things are is we came in here, talked to what was yours, gave him an order to pass along a message. So what’s wrong with that?”

He was very close to me now. “He is mine. I do not allow my things to be taken from me.”

“Hmm, that’s not entirely true. I mean, people lose things all the time. Other people find them. Pick them up. Then they own them. That’s just how things are.”

His face was inches from mine. His eyes were narrowed, his mouth set in a thin line. “What do you have?”