"I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with the nonhuman world and somehow survives...Paradox and bedrock."-Edward Abbey

24 September 2013

Epilogue; The Education of the Serpent

After the incident with the Wolffe brothers; witnessing a murder, being kidnapped, having her arm broken, and almost being raped in her sleep, Sydney found it odd that she didn’t have nightmares. In fact, the nightmares which had plagued her for years no longer haunted her sleep. She found herself feeling strangely...freed. Still, this newfound freedom troubled her.

At first, she didn’t talk about it, speculating the trauma of the incident hadn’t truly hit her yet. Then, as the weeks turned into a couple of months, she started mentioning what she noticed. It was Bast, during a breakfast at Ira Milligan’s CafĂ©, who offered a possible answer.

“You saw a demon out there, near the Dragon’s Teeth,” she said. “One from your past. One of whom was far more frightening than the monsters who held you.”

***

The facility was outside Denver. It was a gentle autumn day. Looking back toward the mountains, there were the first dustings of snow upon the very highest peaks.

Sydney sat anxiously in her chair, unable to read the magazine she had taken from the table. Her eyes went to Lankin, who stood staring out the window, his eyes riveted to the mountains. Finally, she stood up and walked up to him.

“I want to thank you again for coming with me, Lazarus,” she said, placing a hand on his shoulder.

“This is as far as I go, Just Sydney,” his voice was just above a whisper. “I once told you this is something from which I cannot rescue you. This is something you must face on your own.”

“I know,” she said softly, placing a light kiss on his cheek. “Thank you for coming with me this far. Thank you for waiting for me to come back."

“Miss Pollack?” The man in a white coat appeared as if on cue. “We’re ready for you now.”

***

She sat in a chair, bound at her wrists and ankles, swaying side to side slowly. Her amber eyes, while still reptilian, seemed duller than Sydney remembered. She realized it was drugs. The woman in front of her was surely almost always in some state of sedation.

“Darcy…?”

“Jackrabbit?” Her voice had a slight slur to it, confirming Sydney's supposition. “What are you doing here?”

“I came to see you,” Sydney replied simply.

“Why?” Darcy hissed, leaning forward. “To gloat? I’m going to get out of here soon. Then I’ll finish what I started with you.”

“No, you won’t,” Sydney said flatly. “That has been seen to.”

Darcy sat back, letting out a disgusted hiss. The jackrabbit was no longer frightened of her, and that was frustrating. Insulting. This made her feel powerless; not the drugs that dulled her senses, not the restraints which held her to the chair.

“Then why are you here?” The hate in her voice was a tangible venom.

“You hurt me, Darcy,” Sydney replied coolly. “You frightened me. You tried to take everything away from me. Tried to break me. Make me a victim. You wanted to kill me.”

“But I failed…”

“You did,” Sydney Said. “What you did to me taught me not to be victim. Not to be scared.” She leaned forward, meeting the reptilian amber eyes that used to stalk her dreams “You’re the most hateful, angry, evil person I’ve ever met, Darcy, but I owe you something.” She then pressed her lips to Darcy’s brow. “I owe you my thanks; thank you for teaching me to be strong.”

Sydney pulled away and walked out of the room with a sense of purpose and confidence that radiated around her. Darcy watched in disbelief, finding herself feeling that she was somehow now in the debt of the jackrabbit.

6 comments:

  1. I love the progression of the characters from when you first started writing them. Will this be a book someday?

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    1. I've contemplated compiling my short stories into a book, but have yet to commit. Almost ten years ago, I self-published, and discovered, when put on the spot, it was mortifying. i could never be a rock and/or roll star...

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  2. Oh, good one, Just Sydney!!

    Another excellent chapter in the ongoing saga...

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    1. Survival, living, is the best vengeance ;).

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  3. I agree with you. Living life IS the best revenge. I remember when my ex was stalking me, he would call me to let me know what he'd seen, and I finally said, "Did you like that? Just wait 'til you see what I do next!"

    Good ending.

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    1. Thank you. Unfortunately, I have some experience in this area as well. Learning to not be in the thrall of fear is difficult.

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