THE ARCHETYPE ASSOCIATION
What went wrong?
That was the one thought that kept spinning through his head
as he groped his way through the darkness. He dragged himself
along the ground, making his way towards the sound of the
water dripping into the pool of the cave.
He couldn't see himself, which was a blessing. His skin was
charred, and most of his clothing had been incinerated by
the attack. The plastic that he had been carrying had melted,
and the metal had seared whatever tissue it was closest to.
He slowly felt his way along until his hand splashed into
the spring, then pulled himself into the water. He floated
for a few seconds, then sank beneath the surface, curling
up into a fetal position.
What went wrong?
Something must have gone wrong, he thought
to himself through the pain. What was the point of it all
if it was going to end this quickly?
A few seconds, or maybe hours, later, he suddenly jumped
"What do you mean, you made a mistake?" he rasped
into the shadows.
After a moment, he nodded. "All right, I can accept
that. How soon until I'm ready to go back?"
"No, I am not going to bide my time until he's
weaker! The others are there right now, and he'll kill them
without thinking twice about it! Then he'll be confident enough
to start attacking again! I have to stop him now, when
he's expecting me to be licking my wounds. You've got to send
me back there!"
The only reply that could be heard was the howling of the
"I don't care what it does to me! They've all
done too much, come too far, for you, or me, to abandon them.
They were willing to fight for you on my word alone! Damn
it, I led them there!
"I won't let any of them get hurt because of my actions!
You do whatever you have to. Just make me strong enough to
stop the bastard and get them back!" His voice took on
a harder tone. "You do it, or so help me, I will never
do what's required! You can all go to Hell for all I care!
I'll let him win, I swear it!"
He nodded again. "I'm glad we cleared that up."
A moment later, he heard the rumble of thunder beyond the
cliffs. He slowly lowered himself back into the pool, allowing
only his face to break the surface.
"Of course it's going to hurt," he muttered to
himself. "It always does."
Paidric Casey usually didn't take the shore road to get home,
but he'd worked late, and the storm that was brewing looked
threatening enough to be a problem. The time that he'd save
would be worth missing his usual hour at the pub, and he had
a bottle of whiskey in his cabinet that would help warm him
He cursed suddenly and hit his brakes, startled by a noise.
He looked around, but couldn't see anything out of the ordinary.
The only thing in the area was Riley's place, over by the
fairy mound, and the lights there were out.
Paidric listened for a moment longer, then started driving
again. A sudden rumble of thunder urged him to increase his
speed. A moment later, the sky was filled with flashes of
lightning. He muttered a short prayer, then dismissed the
whole thing as being part of his imagination. The wind was
just getting worse, he thought to himself.
After all, why in the hell would someone be screaming?
Continued in Chapter
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