Vayland Rd. [8] — The Fall

~ The Fall ~

One of the real people walked up to him. He was limping, and had a


gun in his off-hand.  There was a big stick in the other.

”It’s time to go home, Dad,” the young man said.

Steven looked up at his face, with its hurt eyes, and frowned.

”I think that he will stay here.” Churkk’s voice was the same as always.

The real person glared. “His choice, not yours.”

Churrk grinned. “Or yours.”

The man scowled at this, but nodded. Steven could feel Churkk’s surprise that he


understood that much; that he –


Steven looked up.

”I’m here.”

is he?

”Can we go?”

Do you dare?

Steven shook his head; a tiny movement that seemed to pull the strength out of the younger man.

Churkk chuckled into the silence. It sounded like someone with a collapsed lung. “Seems ‘e might stay with me.”

The man glared again, his hand squeezing knuckle-white on the club. “He can do what he likes, but I’ll still cave your fucking head in.”

“The end result‘s the same,” Churkk wheezed. “What d’you think, Stevn?”

Churkk was doing more than asking. Steven could feel the needles pulling.

But the man, the real person, reacted to it too, stepping forward and starting to lift the club. ”You let him –”

“Sean.” His voice sounded

like Churrk

tired. Unused.

The man jumped. “Dad?  Are you–”

”Give me that stick.” Steven’s head was very heavy. The weight of the needles pulled at him.


“Give it to me.”

Sean did. Steven accepted it, and let it hang at his side, dragging in the dirt. One of the other people behind Sean make a noise… not even a word.

It was Churkk that finally spoke. “He understands, Sean.” There was a dry rasping sound as it licked its lips. “You’ll understand too, someday, I think. Heh.”

”Damned if I will.” Sean said flatly.

Steven’s head came up.

Damned if I will.

Steven swung as he turned, hard as he could.

Sean almost killed a cow with this goddamned stick one time, when he was fifteen; s’why he only got to use it around the bulls after that.

He only swung once.

After that, everything was quiet.