This post is part of the August 2011 Blog Chain at Absolute Write. This month’s challenge is “The Continuing Story of a Song” and is best read in order:
Part 1 (orion_mk3)
Part 2 (orion_mk3)
Part 3 (BigWords)
Part 4 (AbielleRose)
Part 5 (Ralph Pines)
Part 6 (hillaryjacques)
Part 7 (Darkshore)
Part 8 (pyrosama)
Part 9 (Diana_Rajchel)
Part 10 (Inkstrokes)
Part 11 (soullesshuman)
Part 12 (Alyzna)
Part 13 (Cath)
Part 14 (dolores haze)
Part 15 (Alpha Echo)
Part 16 (pezie)
Part 17 (orion_mk3)
Part 18 (orion_mk3)
You are here.

Song: “Alice’s Theme” by Danny Elfman

The lead man, dressed in tatterdemalion rags, watched helplessly as his mate—his son—ran a cutlass through the thick of his chest. The laughter stopped only when then men fell to carousing, and another murder or two provoked the darkness to swallow their leader, give him action and agency.

All would be consumed.

“Well, it seems you gave us all quite a scare.”

Greg’s eyes fluttered open with a start. He recognized the plain white walls of the resort infirmary from dragging unruly and punch-drunk revelers there time and again.

Eddie Willow stood grinning over him, flashing those uncanny white teeth of his.

“Aren’t you dead?” It was what Greg had been thinking, but it wasn’t his voice. He glanced over and saw Chris, alive if very much worse for the wear, in the sickbed beside him.

“Dead? That’s a good one, isn’t it?” Willow called over his shoulder, where Spanky was visible, leaning in the door. “No, Greg, the world hasn’t yet cooked up anything to take me down for good, though that kid sure laid me out for a long while.”

“…what?” Greg said.

“Forget about it,” Willow said, waving his hand dismissively. “Suffice it to say that Spanky and I have been around a good long while, and that we’re glad to see you two on the mend after what happened.”

“Oh God,” Chris gasped as images came flooding back to him. The bodies, the waves, the overpowering feeling of death and stench of urine…

“Focus, son.” Willow snapped his fingers in front of Chris’s face. He’d been around many years, and taken many forms, but whether a manager on a tropical island or a lingerie model in Firenze, explanations never ceased to be tiresome. “It’s going to be all right. We had a bit of a scare there, when the lady managed to confuse you into doing her bidding, but you did right by us. Both of you.”

The girls send their best,” Spanky added. They too, had seen many years and many forms.

“Willow, you’ve always been a cryptic son-of-a-bitch,” Greg said. “But are you honestly going to tell me that bullet-borne fever dream meant anything?”

“No, it meant everything,” Willow said. “The life force of the old one, the seafarer…he was weak, and could barely manage to lure people here to feed him with sorrow. But I shudder to think of what the deep essence could have accomplished with the vainglorious and driven life force of that woman at its heart.”

It’s all the same to us who it is, but we wont abide the destruction of the only place we have to hang our hat,” said Spanky.

“Clairssa,” Chris said. “I saw her, down there, at the end.”

“I think we both did,” Greg added.

“Yes, I think so,” said Willow. “A very clever move on her mother’s—her real mother’s—part, that. I hope you know that there’s no getting the young one back, not from where she’s gone. It was all we could do to pull you two and your young homicidal friend back from the brink of the other side.

Spanky nodded. “Consider it a thank-you from those who always honor their debts.” He and Willow both turned to leave.

“I don’t understand,” Chris said, with a twinge of despair. “Where has she gone?”

“You heard your friend back there: to rule the seas beyond by the dictates of her heart,” said Willow over his shoulder. “A young, pure, innocent heart like that, one touched equally by love and tragedy? I think we’ll do all right, you two.”

He paused in the doorway as Chris and Greg watched.

“It’ll be an interesting time, but I think we’ll do all right.”