chapter viiiMature

Graeme was feeling more than a little overwhelmed and under-prepared.  His seventh cup of coffee had gone cold in his hand, and his developed response to the dwindling temperature of his coffee was to chug it and get a fresh cup.  It allowed him to not go longer than half an hour without caffeine in his system, and while he had begun to develop a few theories about what was happening to him, he had no solutions except to maintain control as long as possible.  The only problem was that the loss of his awareness was around every corner, lurking in every split-second it took to blink, waiting for him to stumble just once.

The hardest truth of the situation was that he was in way over his head.  He'd seen the evidence with his own eyes, he knew the effects - most of the bruises still lingered and now and then he still tasted blood, yet he found himself fighting the understanding.  Demonic possession was on his list of implausible truths, and even if it were real, how had it happened to him?  What had he done to bring such a terrifying fate unto himself?  When had it happened?

It did not go unnoticed that Graeme’s first black-out was with Daisy, when he'd found her screwing that slack-jawed piss-ant in his own bed. 

More in-depth research was required for demonic possessions, and most of what he could find online seemed hoax-y and illegitimate.  As reluctant as he was to believe it, he wasn't stupid enough to let himself ingest false information.  Whether he was ready to admit it or not, he needed more to go on.  Quickly, he did a search for nearby occult book stores, and scribbled the address down on a scrap of paper.  The digital numbers on his watched ticked his life away.

04:26:13.

Speeding was the least of his concerns once he hit the highway and he didn't even try to reign himself in.  If the cops wanted a piece of him they were welcome to try.  The peg on his speedometer hovered in the 100s all the way to the bookshop.  Normally, he might have turned on the radio to catch the last quarter of the football game or to hear the traffic report.  Normally, he wouldn't have been flying between the other cars to get ahead of them. 

The sign on the door of the shop said they were closing in twenty minutes.  Graeme breezed through the door and did a cursory lap before he found the section he wanted.  Most of the books on the shelf seemed new-age and more wiccan than satanic.  While he knew very little about what he was looking for, his gut told him black magic would be more informative in the way of demons.  When a voice came over the loud speaker to warn the customers of the impending hour, he snatched up all three books he'd been leafing through and shuffled to the register.

How it must have looked to the poor blonde peering at him from behind her register.  He hadn't bothered to gauge his appearance before he left his condo.  Blood stains and bruises had been the last things on his mind, but they were rapidly moving to the forefront as she stared at him and his collection of satanic reading material.  With a polite thank you and a hundred dollar bill abandoned on the counter, he took his books and fled from the store.

A few buildings over in the plaza he caught sight of an electronics store and was struck with a rather genius idea.

Inside, he found a number of GPS tracking devices; everything from button-sized tabs meant to be hidden inside clothing, to vehicle trackers, to sub-dermal implants.  He chose two, grabbed an extra sub-dermal for good measure, and snatched up an audio wire on his way to the register.  He left the plaza a few hundred dollars lighter, and with at least a few people wondering what to make of him, but with a sense of assurance he hadn't had an hour before.

For once, when he told himself he would figure sh*t out, he thought he had a chance.  He parked the TransAm in the parking garage and went looking for someone he hadn't sought out in over two years.  Trevor had been kicked out of his life when Daisy found a bag of heroine in his bedside drawer a few weeks after they had been dating.

It was not a surprise that with her gone he would return to Trevor.

The End

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