As Mute rummaged through his wet clothes, he suddenly felt something in one of the pants pockets. He put his hand in and retrieved a wallet.
What on earth is this doing here?
And then he remembered...
He opened the wallet and saw a driver' license.
* * *
The wheels of Mute's mind slowly turned as he saw the license. Abel told me about you... he thought to himself. In fact, Abel told me quite a lot about this little town... He walked to the door and put his hand on the knob. Pausing, he wondered what he was about to do and whether or not it would even work. Looking up, he shoved the license into his pocket along with his "talking book" and opened the door slowly as he hooked up his ipod. "The Final Countdown" flooded his ears as he ran down the hallway and out of the Lodge.
* * *
Adrian awoke from a light nap he had taken in one of the chairs in the Lodge's parlour. What awoke him was a high-pitched shriek and then the dull patter of dampened feet as Mrs. Cain appeared at the stairway once again, this time much more frazzled and breathing much more heavily. "Where is he?!" she cried.
"Where is who?" Adrian asked as he mentally began to question her sanity.
"The boy! Mute!" she cried at the top of her lungs.
"He's gone?!" Adrian replied, getting out of the chair.
* * *
Mute crashed into St. Mark’s full-speed, causing the sound to echo around the large alcove. He took out his writing book and ran to the confused Lebanon, who still had a marked Bible in his hand. Mute began writing frantically. “My name is Mute. I can’t speak so I use this book to communicate,” he began. Lebanon still looked dazed, but nodded his assent. “Do you know this girl?” Mute continued, pulling out the license from his pocket.
Lebanon nodded and pointed in the general direction of the cemetery. “She lives over that way,” he said, voice wavering a bit. Mute took off at full-speed out of the church and past the cemetery, leaving Lebanon in mid-sentence.
A few moments later, two more visitors appeared in the entrance of the church, breathing heavily just as Mute had. Lebanon recognized one as Lucinda Cain, but her young male companion was unknown to him. "Mr. Lebanon!” Cain called from the back of the church. “Have you seen a boy named Mute?!”
Lebanon looked up at heaven and whispered “Lord help me.”
* * *
Ishod slipped on his sleek trench coat, and as he put on his beanie-cap he looked out at the pouring rain. He didn't really want to drudge through that, but he had to, he had some business in town. As he opened the doors, rain began to fall on him. Ishod was then flooded with a memory of the day he shipped out to war, it was a rainy day just like this. He closed his eyes, and shook his head, as the pain drenched his heart much like the rain was drenching him. He lifted his head, and walked down the small street.
Soon he was in town, and walking down the road past several buildings. As he past a dark alley, he heard a noise, something was in there. Ishod walked into the darkness of the alley, and heard it again, it was a scraping noise.
"Whose in there?" Ishod asked, walking slowly into the darkness, one hand resting on his black Smith & Wesson handgun.
An eerie cackle resounded past the bricks, then a hoarse whispering noise.
"None of that!" Ishod said, "Tell me who you are?"
The whisper persisted, and so did the rain.
He listened closely and heard the words "watch out."
"What are you some crack head trying to mess with me?" Ishod asked, tension rising in his voice. "Watch out for what?"
Suddenly a loud crash was heard, and Ishod reacted with pulling his weapon. He then walked into the darkness, holding his weapon ahead of himself. As he got to the end, he saw scratched on the back wall several times, "Waverly Watch your back, beware of the attack."
Ishod lowered his gun, looking at the writing, trying to figure out what was going on. Suddenly he heard the cackle again. Ishod looked up to see the silhouette of a figure standing high above, looking down on him.
The figured cackled, "There is nothing you can do, you can not save the girl, Ishod, you know this too be true."
"How do you know my name!" Ishod yelled.
The figure rocked back and forth as it hummed.
Ishod pulled up his gun, and fired a warning shot, but it artfully jumped away as the bullet hit the wall with a spray of concrete. He could hear it cackle as it ran off.
Ishod put away his gun, then looked at the writing. Waverly, where have I heard that name? Then it hit him, The girl at the hotel!
Ishod took off running, He wasn't sure what was going on, he wasn't sure why he was reacting so, but he was sure of where he was headed.
* * *
by The Scrivener
Azzy glanced around his room, surveying every inch of it with his eyes, becoming acquainted with it like a new friend.
"Nice enough," he finally said, and dropped his bag by the door. He stood by the bed and crossed his arms and he dismally took note of its proximity to the window.
"That'll never do," he chided the room designer. He couldn't sleep that close to the window; he always liked the window open while he slept, but if the bed was to close, the draft would keep him awake.
"Well, only one way to fix it," He said cheerfully, rubbing his hands together as if in preparation of hard work, and then he leaned against the headboard and pushed with his full weight. It didn't budge at first, but finally it gave way across the wood floor, and he was able to slide it along the wall away from the window. As he did, however, the frame of the bed rubbed along the wall, tearing off a segment of old wallpaper.
"Oh dear Lord, Azariah, what've you done?" He said, involuntarily mimicking his adoptive Mother's commonly used phrase. As he thought about how to fix it, however, he suddenly noticed some strange etchings on the wall beneath the wallpaper.
"What is this?" He crouched beside the wall and gently tore away some more wallpaper, his curiosity overcoming any sense of guilt about his actions of vandalism. Finally, the writing was fully visible, stained in red:
"IT HAPPENED HERE... ABEL"
"Who the blue blazes is Abel?" Azzy breathed, overcome by the mystery of it all. Then suddenly an idea struck him. Could it have anything to do with... No, his name was Thomas; and besides, the likelihood of this one room bearing any connection to him was very slight, even if he had been to this town years ago.
"Still, I'd like to know more about this," Azzy whispered. He left his room and walked out into the hall, just in time to hear Lucinda yell,
"Where is he? The boy, Mute!" Azzy saw her dash outside with a young man.
"What could that be about?" He wondered, and quickly followed.
* * *
IN THE CEMETERY
Emilia Carson was sitting under an oak tree in the midst of the cemetery. She had an expressionless face as gazed out into space at the cemetery around her. Was she crazy, she thought. Doubt it. Mad? Yes...perhaps a bit mad...but certainly not walking down Queer Street. Emilia, after a flicker in her eyes, stood up and walked in a straight line. The wrath of God was here, she thought...the sins of the brother were going to be punished.
* * *
Lebanon Stansted ran out of St. Mark's, nearly tripping clumsily into the cemetery-gate. Lucinda Cain was just ahead of him...but she was frozen to the ground, or so it seemed. Her eyes were watery as they were transfixed on the cross in front of her. Lebanon come to her side. He was panting.
"Lucinda, what is happening? What is the meaning of all this?"
Lucinda did not respond but said in a mechanical voice that sounded all but natural. In some ways, it made Lebanon's flesh creep...
"Here lies Abel, the brother of Cain..." Lebanon looked at Lucinda's face. Was she in some kind of fit?
"What did you say, Lucinda?" he quickly inquired. Lucinda turned paler and her lips quivered.
"Here lies Abel, the brother of Cain..." Lebanon, fearing what he may discover, slowly rotated his head to see what she was looking at.
"DEAR GOD....have mercy on us!" At that precise moment, Lucinda seemed to snap out of her trance.
"Lebanon---I-I-I can't believe it..." She began to sob hysterically.
"Me neither--Its incomprehensible!" The way he emphasized those words made Lucinda yelp and grab him by the arms.
"My sins have found me out! Oh Lebanon, they have found me out! But I won't let them! No, I still have my innocence--I won't let them take that!"
Lebanon's mouth fell open at that declaration.
"Why oh why? Why this grave?" she screamed out.
Lebanon held her and attempted to control himself.
"Lucinda--I don't know why you are afraid of that grave--but I'm afraid of it as well!"
"Oh--it's just not--"
"LUCINDA! I'M AFRAID OF THAT GRAVE BECAUSE THERE IS A GRAVE HERE--" he pointed to the cross "THAT IS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE HERE!"
"Dear God, there wasn't a grave here yesterday! I swear upon that on my honor as a gentleman!" Lebanon looked at the ground that the cross was upon.
It was newly dug.
He felt like screaming.