The Charm – Chapter 25


The girls creep along the creek bank on high alert, looking over their shoulders with every few steps. They haven’t heard any more insane screams for the last few minutes. This fact only increases their fears.

Traci can’t shut up, although she does remember to whisper.

“Maybe we could talk to them. You know, say sorry or something.”

“I burned their drugs and stole their car. They don’t want to talk to us, they want to hurt us, now shut up.”

“Oh yeah…they seemed so nice but…I sure Mark wouldn’t hurt me.”

“Look, if you really believe that why doncha turn around and go back. Good luck, you dopey bitch!”

“Jeez. You don’t have to get narky…”

“I just wish we could find someone with a car to get us out…”

Jemma interrupts herself off with a loud gasp. A freezing cold sensation burned against her chest. She jams on hand up her shirt and the other stretches the collar away from her neck. The Charm is frozen to her damp skin. Using her fingernails to dig underneath she tears it away. A layer of skin painfully came with it. Jemma jerks the disc out, holding it at the limit of the leather thong. She rubs at the sore spot ruefully. Frost pours from the shining surface, drifting away into the warm night breeze. Traci is watching in wonder.

“Wow. That’s so strange. Every time I see that thing my thoughts get murky. I don’t like it.”

Jemma encloses the cold metal in her fist hoping it might muffle the things hearing. She steps closer to Traci, whispering urgently.

“It’s doing something big. Keep your eyes open and don’t say anything to make it angry.”

Traci raised both eyebrows, preparing a smart remark. Jemma cut her off.

“I know how that sounds Traci, but every time something weird happens, this…this thing starts calling inside my head with…a signal…a weird music. It’s like a…a mood ring, it senses danger, to me, sort of.”

“Could be one of those new iPods.”

“It’s not an iPod, stupid. It’s ancient. I think it has…power,” she finished lamely, deliberately not saying ‘magic’. The whole situation is already far enough into the Twilight Zone without bringing that word up.

“A power mood ring that plays music. Riiiigght. You got whacked on the head when we crashed, did you?”

Jemma reasons with her one last time.

“Traci, you just said it messes with your memory. You know…”

Traci doesn’t want logic, she wants normality.

“I KNOW two blokes want to kill us. I KNOW we’re stuck out here, in the bush, with no food and no car. I KNOW I want to go home. I DON’T want to hear about some fucking mystical medallion that’s screwing with our minds.”

Jemma retreats a few steps with her palms out.

“OK, calm down. Not so loud. We’re going to get out of this. I’m going to get us out of this. You don’t want to hear it, but, the fact is, this thing IS screwing with our minds. It changes things, makes us forget stuff. It’s doing it right now. You feel it don’t you?”

Traci gives her a short, scared nod.

“For some reason it’s weak, Trace. We have to use that to our advantage. Think of it as a big, dangerous kid who wants to play and doesn’t care who gets hurt. We just have to keep it distracted.”

Traci nods again, close to tears. Jemma gives her hand a reassuring squeeze then moves on.

A few hundred metres further they stop short again. A gleam of brilliant white breaks through the gently rustling shrubs. They hunker down to study the unmistakably straight man made lines.

“It’s a car,” Jemma said.

“Maybe God is real. Go and ask them to get us out of here.”

“What? Why should I go? What if they’re sicko’s too?”

“There’s no way our luck’s that bad. It’s beyond the possibility matrix to get more bad luck now.”

“You don’t have any idea what you’re talking about do you?”

“Not really.”

(Chapter 26)

Published in: on Wednesday, 10 December, 2008 at 3:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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