Smeared Black Ink

Sawicki's Early Drafts and Other Stuff

Black Heart – Chapter VIII Part IV

Novel: Horror

He went to the roof, thinking he needed fresh air. But when he opened the door and the sunlight fell on him he felt his eyes and his skin would catch fire. He slammed the door shut and held down a scream. Whatever. It was cool and dark in the stairwell. It was becoming his hideout.

Were the others looking for him? They had said he wasn’t getting out of the party. But he had. He had to. They were still pretending he wasn’t all that different. But he was. A slight touch on his shoulder had made him want to rip apart a crowd.

What had happened to him blanking out for hours? He would welcome it right now. But his thoughts had been a jumble since…

Since he last talked to the gamma.

Could it still effect him even if he didn’t possess with it?

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Black Heart – Chapter VIII Part III

Novel: Horror

The plan had been put into rapid effect the world over: every city with a gate had at least four chosen volunteers and the explosives. They would all enter on the night of the 17th. All on the same night, so it would be a surprise attack. The times the gates opened would be staggered, as always, but without lines of communication the Eternals would have no way of knowing what was happening across the countries.

Get in, get over, detonate.

There were cities that they wouldn’t be able to get to, in Somalia, Nigeria, Columbia. The demon populations there were just too dense. That was to be taken care of the next night. Agents had already found the gate locations, flying over the areas in daylight while the demons were sluggish or hiding from the sun. Far more agents were needed for this plan; they would have to protect the group as a whole from waves of demons once the sun went down, at least until the gate opened and hopefully until the sun rose again. But nobody had much hope for the latter.

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Be aware this one involves cutting.

Drabble: I don’t know why do I write these

She set the flat of the blade against her skin, expecting to feel it cool and smooth and ready. She felt nothing, but that wasn’t too surprising. She felt nothing at all today. Isn’t that what this was for?

She turned it until the edge caught the light and the tip cut into her flesh, hoping to see the blood well in droplets turning to rivers. Nothing came out. That wasn’t surprising either.

She dropped the knife and reached into the mark it had made. She pulled out the wires, slick with oil. That wasn’t surprising. Nothing was surprising anymore.

Black Heart – Chapter VIII Part II

Novel: Horror

He announced it in a shaking voice in the classroom, two hours before sunset: four volunteers needed to ferry explosives across the gate to the other Earth.  They would not be returning, but they would likely save humanity.  The other gate cities were being advised to do the same.

Four people per gate.

Thirty-six gates in the world.

One hundred forty-four people.

Less than would die tonight in Chicago alone from demons.  But it still hurt.  He said so to Harper when they both were back in his tiny office.

“People are more likely to sympathize with other people of similar social standing,” she said.

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Black Heart – Chapter VIII Part I

Novel: Horror

Cantrell was berating a nurse when Bryan entered his room.  The agent who had placed the call to Bryan was standing by the window, clearly exasperated.  He breathed a sigh of relief at the sight of Bryan.

“Ivers,” Cantrell exclaimed.  “Tell this med school dropout I don’t need any fluids.  I should be back at the office, not tied to some hospital bed.”

“You’re not tied to anything,” Bryan said.  “But you sure as hell aren’t going anywhere.”

The nurse went to Bryan and spoke to him as if he were Cantrell’s friend or family.  “Try to convince him.  He keeps pulling his lines out.”  Then she left, and the agent by the window saw his chance to escape and scurried out after her, leaving Bryan alone with Cantrell.

“I’m not deaf,” Cantrell shouted after the nurse.  “I don’t need any of this sorry excuse for treatment.  I need to take care of your mess, Ivers.”

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Black Heart – Chapter VII Part XII

End of this chapter.

Novel: Horror

There was no one watching his cards, no one watching the gamma, no one watching anyone’s totems.  They had twenty-one Possesseds left and they all needed to be out capturing during the night and recuperating during the day.  Quarantine was simply a lower priority; considering the world was ending, it didn’t matter if by some small chance a totem broke and a Possessed here and there went mad.  It was a very small chance anyway.

Keep telling yourself that, Bryan thought as he passed empty rooms, each with a pile of totems on them.  Laity’s, still in the hospital, and Rudd’s, on psychiatric leave, and Demasi’s, who had a complete meltdown last month, all unguarded.

And his cards.  And his card.

He walked up to it and stared it down.  The demon in it was watching him, looking him over calmly.  Bryan felt a pull in him towards it, towards its warmth and vivacity, the things he no longer had.  And it was pulled towards him.

We’ve already come close.

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Black Heart – Chapter VII Part XI

Novel: Horror

At the office they set him up in an inner room, one with no windows.  Bryan liked it; it was dark.  It had only the desk, deskchair, and a couch.  The people guarding him set up right outside the door.  He collapsed into the chair and fell asleep, and only woke when Harper returned with a pizza.  As expected, he didn’t dream and he felt worse than before he had fallen asleep.

“Shit,” he mumbled, swiping the screensaver off his – Hussein’s – laptop and checking the time.  “I can’t believe I slept for…an hour?”

“You were exhausted,” Harper said, setting down the pizza.

“It didn’t help.  And the group’s capturing.  I should be…tracking them or something.  I don’t even know.”

“Eat first.”

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Black Heart – Chapter VII Part X

Novel: Horror

He screwed his eyes shut and cursed himself.  A couple of Possesseds gave up and quit the containment, as if they might run, and with his eyes closed Bryan could feel the containment flicker and falter.  He opened his eyes and stepped forward to the edge of it and spoke, desperately hoping it wouldn’t work.

The gate opened immediately.

The pull of it produced a wind that whistled through the broken windows of the synagogue, but other than that there was dead silence until Connors shouted “Back to the plan!  Drop wide containment!  Start capturing!”

Bryan hadn’t expected it to take so much out of him.  He could only hold it open for half a minute.  When he let it go he fell to the ground, blacking out for a second.  The demons did as they were supposed to, and shot out from the synagogue.

But no one breathed a sigh of relief.  No one helped Bryan up.  When he looked around every Possessed was staring at him.  Even Harper, whose usually so blank expression held accusation.

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Black Heart – Chapter VII Part IX

I’ve taken to using the word “aeon” to indicate a lifeglow, as differing from an aura.

Novel: Horror

“Doctor Rollins, chemistry,” the woman said, holding out her hand.

Bryan frowned at it.  “You never realize how many people want to shake hands until you don’t want to do it yourself.”

She held up the hand.  “Say no more.”

“Fuck.  I mean sorry.  That was rude.”

“You’re not the first Possessed I’ve held a conversation with.”  She crossed her arms.  “Is Agent Hussein running late?”

“Hussein was killed last night by a type of Possessed that can travel through the gates with the demons.”

Rollins’s hand went to her throat.  “God.  I’m so sorry.”

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Black Heart – Chapter VII Part VIII

Andrade going full Counselor Troi here.

Novel: Horror

Bryan didn’t react.  He wasn’t sure how to react.  “That’s impossible,” he said, not sure whether it was impossible.

“We were unloading them,” Connors went on, “and I noticed they were particularly light.  So I unscrewed the lid off one and… no body parts.  No blood.  Completely clean.”

“Are you sure those are the right containers?”

“I saw them packed myself, like I could forget.  And we labeled them.  They’re the same ones.”

“Was anyone watching them in quarantine?” Harper asked.

Bryan and Connors looked at her blankly.

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