The Man Who Wasn’t There – Part 45

the man who wasnt thereBrian goes into an hypnotic trance before settling in a dream. He looks for, and meets, his ancestor, Luminous Cayce. He claims that Mr. D. somehow possesed him and made him do evil things.

The dream world grew dim. Brian couldn’t sustain his presence there much longer. Luminous reached for him, grasping his hand.

“Find my ring,” he called as Brian faded. “Ask your grandmother—about my ring!” Luminous faded from view. His voice echoed in Brian’s mind as they parted. “My ring!”

Brian woke, groggy and disoriented. Jordan sat beside him on the bed, leaning over him with her hands on his chest. Dr. Meru sat on the end of the bed and Claude held his wrist as he watched the monitors. Brian sat up.

“My ring!” he gasped. “My ring!”

“Brian?” Jordan touched his face.

“Yeah.” His voice sounded strange, so he cleared his throat. “Yeah. How long was I out?”

“An hour,” Claude said, glancing at his watch.

“It felt like five minutes,” Brian said. “I saw Luminous. He said that the Evil possessed him. Somehow, he shook it off, but not until he’d killed someone.” He shuddered, suddenly cold. “Did he do all those things? Was it really his fault?”

“If he was possessed, it wasn’t his fault,” Dr. Meru replied. “But when things go wrong, when people we love die, we will blame ourselves. Because we are men, that is what we do. We swear in our hearts to protect the ones we love. When we fail….” He shook his head slowly.

“When we fail, we don’t see it straight,” Claude replied. “And we will take blame where none exists.”

“He seemed pretty adamant,” Brian said.

“He, would, of course, feel responsible. Imagine if something possessed you. You’d feel as if you were to blame.”

Brian, who know a little bit about being overcome by uncharacteristic urges, nodded. He’d felt the same way after practically mauling Jordan.

“You said something about a ring,” Jordan said. “You repeated it several times.”

“Luminous said something about asking my grandmother for his ring. I have no idea what he’s talking about. I can’t call her in the middle of the night.”

“Ask her in the morning,” Claude suggested.

“He also said we have to replace Cliff as Guardian and he suggested Cynthia.”

“We’ll ask her tomorrow, too,” Jordan said. “Meanwhile….”

“Meanwhile, I need to sleep.”

“I’ll stay with you,” Jordan suggested.

The men exchanged a look. Jordan didn’t see it, but Brian did.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” he said, touching her face gently. “It’s one thing having you in here with Claude and Meru, but not alone.”

“Why not? It’s not a big deal, Brian.”

“Because,” Meru said softly. “It is a very big deal and a distraction neither of you needs just now.”

“Oh, if you think you’re getting lucky, Brian, you’re mistaken!”

He kissed her passionately. The Rider on his shoulder and the experience he’d just had in his dreams had him jazzed on adrenaline. He could feel the heat of her through their clothing and he wanted nothing more than to make love to her. He didn’t care if it was his parents’ house, he wanted her in ways he’d never imagined.

If Claude’s deep blush was any indication, he knew exactly what Brian was thinking. He was a telepath, but he was also a man. “Another time, I would encourage it, Jordan. But I fear that tonight he must decline. I’ll keep an eye on him. I promise to call you if it’s necessary.”

“Go, please,” Brian begged.

“Why are you forcing me to go? I want to stay and take care of you.”

Brian pushed her abruptly away. She nearly toppled off the bed. Standing, he walked to the other side of the room, body rigid, muscles taut. “Because, if you stay, it won’t matter who else is in the room. I’ll take you in a manly fashion whether you want me to or not. And I’d like our first time to be fun, not frightening, and without an audience. So please, go. Just—just go.”

Wiping away angry tears, Jordan left. She slammed the door. Elise started crying. Brian heard her go into the baby’s room, checking on her.

“That went well.” Brian frowned, pacing his room.

“You were honest with her,” Claude said. “Never lose the honesty. One day, she will understand. Perhaps not today.” He winked. “Time for you to sleep, young son,” he told Brian. “I want to keep you connected, please. I would like to compare these readings to those I cataloged before. I’d also like to compare them to your tests from childhood.”

“Fine. But if either of you snore, I’m throwing you out.”

Claude laughed. “I’ll be awake. Meru, do you snore?”

“I have never been told that I do.”

“We’re set,” Brian replied as he turned off the light.

Meru settled once more in his recliner. Claude watched the monitors in the dim light of the room.

Brian woke to the barking of Janus and Zofia. For some reason, they were in the house, creating a terrible din. His head ached, his throat was dry and sore. Dr. Meru was no longer in the recliner and Claude’s instruments were gone, though Brian still wore the stickers and had goo in his hair.

Sitting up hurt. He ached all over as if he’d been in a fight. Groaning, he struggled to the bathroom. He peeled off the stickers and ran his hands through his hair.

“Ech. It’s like snot—or ectoplasm,” he complained.

Four shampoos later, he felt less contaminated, but he was sure some vestiges remained. He stumbled to his room, glad he’d worn his towel, because Jordan sat on the end of his bed, glaring at him.

“What the hell, Jordan?” He backed into his bathroom. “Can you please leave? I want to get dressed.”

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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