Serial Saturday: Road Trip, Part 23

Israel weakly raised a hand as Laurent came out of the doorway into the rain, moving at a fast clip. Laurent swung the shotgun as he went by, and the barrel caught him in the head. Israel fell sideways and Laurent tossed the shotgun aside like he wasn’t even interested in it anymore. The flute had disappeared somewhere as well, something that JT was distantly grateful for even as Laurent grabbed her shirt with both hands.

“Who are you?” he asked, dragging her halfway to her feet. He looked like a fucking scarecrow, but he was strong enough, maybe because he had an Old One in him. The whole world was pitching around crazily, and she struggled to get a hand on the tomahawk under her work shirt. Then her arm was wrenched up and she fell back into the mud as the the whole work shirt came off in Laurent’s hands.

He seemed momentarily confused, looking down at the shirt for a moment before his gaze locked on that tattoos on her arms. “I assume one of those is a blue candle,” he said. She reached for the tomahawk where it hung under her arm again, and the motion caught his eye. His hand shot out, grasping the weapon at the same time she did. She was lifted off the ground again as he yanked at the tomahawk. For a few seconds they struggled for the it, then Laurent’s left hand connected with the side of her head. She saw a flash of light and sat heavily in the mud, and when her vision cleared Laurent was standing several feet away holding Aya’Ilana.

“Look at this,” he said. “Israel told the truth for once.”

JT fought to focus on Laurent. It should have hurt him to touch the weapon, if the Old Ones had really had their hooks in him. Either he was telling the truth about being in control, or he was just fucking crazy.

“Do you know what this is?” Laurent asked.

“Got a pretty good idea,” JT rasped. There was a distant rumble of thunder. The rain had pretty much stopped, but every time a breeze kicked up more water would patter down into the mud from the tree branches overhead.

“Do you know who it is?” Laurent asked. “Do you know who you’ve had slung under your armpit, getting soaked in your disgusting sweat?”

JT wished everything would just hold still for a second. Come to that, she wished everything would just stop so she could think, but she would have settled for the world not swaying back and forth, making her feel like she was about to throw up.

Laurent was examining the tomahawk closely. “This is a fine example of the form,” he said. “Noble souls went into making it. And now the likes of you is allowed to hold it. At least I’ve corrected that much, even if I have to start over again on my other plan, with Bryce no use to me.”

The sight of Laurent holding Aya’Ilana was creating a buzzing in JT’s ears, and making her vision narrow. Or maybe that was just more effects from the flute. She rolled to one side with an effort, shifting her legs around, squelching in the mud until she’d managed to get onto her knees.

“The funny thing is, Israel seems to have thought that it would be handy to have help from someone wielding an Old Weapon,” Laurent said. “He might as well have hired a common thug off the street.” He stepped closer, holding up the weapon. “It just shows how little he understands, if he thinks that there was anything here vulnerable to this.” He took another step closer and held the flat of the tomahawk blade against his cheek. “Old Weapons can’t hurt me,” he said.

JT lunged to her feet, making the landscape tilt sickeningly, whipping Chikgradha from behind her back. She staggered, making the slash wild, but it still sliced across Laurent’s chest before she fell back a step. Laurent also fell back, left hand going to the wound as his mouth fell open.

“I don’t know,” she said as she stood, swaying slightly. “That looked like it hurt.”

Copyright © 2011 SM Williams

~ by smwilliams on September 10, 2011.