Child of Darkness chapter 11
I open my mouth to speak but then close it again. I have nothing to say. How do I respond to whatever this guy is asking and saying? Maybe I will tell him the truth, which is that I don’t know who he is. But he probably knows that I do not know him or else he wouldn’t be spitting out such things trying to lie to me. I open my mouth again still not knowing what to say so my words surprised me as much as him.
“The guard does not serve the queen. He’s a deserter.” That’s all I have to say? I have no protestations, explanations, or accusations? I am disappointed but it is too late.
Tom nods uncommitaly, “hm, what about the rest of them?” he jerks his head in the direction of my unconscious friends.
“What about the rest of them?”
“Are they with the queen Will?” He snaps at me. Then his expression softens. “Sorry, I don’t mean to be so aggravated, everything’s just so, so odd.”
I shake my head slowly, “No, they aren’t. The girl with black hair is against the queen and so is the guard. The blonde girl and her companion aren’t for the queen but they aren’t against her either. They really couldn’t care less about this country in general.”
As I talk to Tom I look at them. They each are not awake and their heads hang to their chests. “How did you make them unconscious?” I ask. I do not think it is likely that two people overpowered four people one of whom is a guard highly trained in combat.
He looks at me, his eyes filled with something, “Don’t you know? We have special training. How can you even ask? Will? What kind of act are you playing right now? Peter is dead William and you don’t even blink. And now you ask how I managed to make them unconscious?” As he speaks, Danielle awakes behind him. First she moves her head from side to side and then slowly lifts it. Her eyes keenly take in everything that is happening in in a moment.
“Natty, are you ok?” Tom turns sharply to face her.
“So, you’re awake, I thought you were with the queen so I-” He stops speaking to look more intently into her face. “Do I know you?”
“If you do, I don’t know you.” She answers without batting an eye. Then she addresses me again, repeating her question.
“I’m the same that I’ve been since day one.” I say bitterly.
“Do you know what’s going on?” she asks, “Do you know who he is or why he attacked us? I don’t know about you, but I’m kind of tired of getting attacked like this.”
“It’s only happened once before, and we’re fugitives, it is likely to happen more often.” I say without thinking.
Tom begins to pace, for a while, nobody speaks, we just watch him go back and forth back and forth. Annie awakens but she does not speak either; she just looks around and then watches Tom as we all do. Several minutes pass no one but Tom makes a single sound as his feet crunch in the snow. Finally, he stops and speaks. “Fugitive’s eh? Will, I hate to do this to you, but until you stop acting like a complete idiot, I’ll have to treat you like an enemy. I’ll have to take you, and all your friends to the W-I’ll take you somewhere with me.” He strides to a pack that has been lying on the ground and takes out a loop of rope. Then he comes over and ties me to the tree I have been leaning against. “I have to go get a little help. Don’t worry; I shouldn’t be gone long in the slightest.” He walks briskly away.
When Tom is out of sight, I turn to Danielle. She speaks before I get a chance.
“I actually think I may know him. Natty, did he say his name was Thomas?”
“He called himself Tom.”
She bites her lip, “Great, why it that my biggest worries always come to pass? Nathaniel, if I don’t get time to tell you anything else, do not trust this fellow.” Her voice holds warning then she speaks almost to herself. “He must have somehow found out that you have no memory and is trying to convince you that he’s your friend so that he can use you. I repeat Natty, do not trust this Tom.” I nod slowly, trying to take this all in. So Tom is a liar like I had thought. We have no more time for discussion. Tom walks back into our presence, when he said that he would be gone but shortly, he was right.
“They should be here shortly. I’ll have to put all of you under. I was hesitant to put the ladies under as severely as I did the men but I see no help for it. There’s a much kinder method that I can use now that all of you are already subdued.” In his hand he holds a canteen. First, he gives me some foul tasting liquid that makes the world go slowly more and more unfocused until all I see is white and all I hear is a pleasant musical buzz then, suddenly, like a candle being snuffed out, there is silence and there is blackness, then nothing, not even a glimmer of thought.
I just want to tell you,
I thought you'd like to know
That I care about you my dear friend
Although your face I hardly know “So, I guess you’re confused right about now.”
“I’ve been in a state of confusion for a very long time” For some reason, instead of the empty expanse in which I have spoken with what calls itself my memory in the past, I am on a boat in the middle of what looks, smells, and sounds like and ocean.
“Always, but I think I shall wait to ask them.”
“It seems that you are finally not being as stupid as usual. So, I want to hear your theories.”
“Thanks I suppose. And I have no theories. This Tom fellow comes out of nowhere and acts like he’s my friend. He’s obviously lying which is affirmed by Danielle. I see no need to speculate about anything.”
“So you just blindly believe Danielle? What if she’s the one lying?”
“Don’t be ridiculous. You, yourself showed me a scene with her as my sister.”
“Just don’t rule out the possibility that this guy is telling the truth. Ok? For all you know you could have been living two lives before you got hit on the head.”
“Who is lying?” I ask. I hope that I have chosen my one question well.
For once, I feel, warm and comfortable. Warm water laps at my chin and my limbs do not ache, my head is wrapped in something damp and the same temperature as the water I lay in. I do not want to open my eyes. Suddenly, my dream comes rushing back to me and I no longer feel so content. I certainly did not receive close to the answer I expected and wanted. Why on earth would what calls itself my memory say Isaias of all people was lying? And what was he lying about? Also, it said that Danielle might be lying to me. Was it just tampering with my mind or was it telling me that she actually was lying. Then again-
“I think it’s time to take him out. Else, he’ll be on large wrinkle for his meeting with Luke.” A man’s voice cuts through my thoughts. Just before hands lift me and I am wrapped in soft cloth. I open my eyes and see two men. One is vigorously drying me while another leaves the tent and comes back with a pile of clothing.
“So, you’re awake finally? I think Tom accidently gave you a much larger dose than he was supposed to.” The man drying me says with a good natured laugh, “But don’t worry. You’ve come to just in the nick of time. We’re getting you all ready for a meeting with the camp’s favorite Luke and he’s gonna see what he can do to figure everything out. That’ll be nice won’t it?” I nod stupidly.
The man drying me finishes his task and the other steps in dressing me quickly. “Apparently we’re supposed to act like we’ve never met you before and you’re just another prisoner. That’s why we are and will continue until further notice acting strangely to you. You’re probably wondering. To think, that I of all people have to act like a complete stranger to you. It’s ridiculous. But, I’m under orders.”
The first cuts in, “Orders that he is disobeying I might add. But I know what he’s getting at. We really are just consumed to know why such orders have been given.”
Finally, I answer. This is all too strange and I hate being so very confused. “Stop it. Go ahead and act like strangers because, I don’t know you. And yes, I am here against my will.” The two stare at me with shock and silently finish dressing me and combing my hair. Then, they bind my wrists and escort me out of the tent and I see a huge camp before me.
The second grimly says, “Time to talk to Luke.” And we start walking