Sunday, April 29, 2012

Quicksand - Part 7

The heatwaves made the still grass appear to dance. Everything was too hot and too dry. It seemed that any second the whole world would burst into flames.

Minty never looked as if she was effected by the heat. She stood on the hot earth with bare feet and regarded the scene disinterestedly.

Craven Lorne shifted uncomfortably. They had been standing together in the field for over a minute, now, just staring at each other. He considered killing her right then, but he couldn't bring himself to do it; her torture was nowhere near complete.

Minty cocked her head to the side – an action which Craven Lorne was becoming all too familiar with – and continued to stare. In her hollow, echoing voice, she asked, “Why?”

Craven Lorne did not jump back, although it was his first impulse. He held his ground, appeared amused and asked, “Why what?”

A few seconds passed before Minty answered. “You are always in the field. You always find me in the field. Why?”

 Craven thought about it. She was right; every time they'd met, every time he had made himself known to her, they had been in that spot, in that field at that time of day. It wasn't an accident, not really; he looked for her there. “I don't know,” he told her. “Does it matter?”

“No,” Minty said, tilting her head to the other side. “There are never any humans here.”

“No,” he agreed. “They don't tend to come this way.”

She straightened her head. “Is that why?”

“Maybe,” Craven conceded. “I tend to avoid humans when I can. They tend to get in the way of things.”

“They are useless.”

“On the other hand,” Craven said, trying to sound ominous, “maybe we're just destined to meet here.”

“Yes,” Minty said, hollowly. “I believe it is destiny. We shall meet in the field, where no humans venture. Yes.”

Craven Lorne was surprised to find he was not exasperated, but rather uncomfortable. There was something eerie about Minty, beyond her horror-show appearance. Her complete lack of concern for his intentions, the way that, from her side, their conversation held no pretence, it was disconcerting at best.

He was curious to hear what she would say next, how she would answer his questions or respond to his threats, but the growing unease which her robotic stare occasioned prevented him from staying any longer. He reached up and touched the brim of his hat. “It's been a nice talk. I'll kill you later.”

 If you enjoyed reading this, stop by next week for another instalment. You may also like my published novel, Aigaion Girl ... a story of the end of days, available here.

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