The Charm – Chapter 30


The bull-bar mangles the entire front end of the van, compressing everything into the front seats. The van slams deeper into the washout, crushing the fuel tank. Mark’s surprised face recedes as he smashes through the vans shattered windscreen. He hits the seat backs and is thrown forward again coming to rest across the dash terribly damaged. Terry fares no better. He flies past Jemma’s window and hits the ground like a ragdoll over ten metres away.

Jemma is only slightly shaken by the sudden stop. Their vehicle is hardly damaged at all. She reverses a few metres, tearing the vehicles apart. Only one of the headlights is still working. She switches the engine off with shaking fingers and rests her head on the steering wheel. Shock quenches her terror with an icy calm.

The nightmare is over.

The click and pop of the cooling motor are the only sounds for a few seconds until Traci realises they’re still alive. She wails about her bruised shoulder. Jemma’s shoulder hurts too. An abrasion weeps a small amount of blood where the seatbelt cut in. Her head hurts.

The sharp scent of fuel from the vans ruptured tank rises around them. The girls get out unsteadily, looking down into the deep rut between the wheels.

“Wow. How’d you do that, Jemma?”

Jemma isn’t sure either. Before she can answer Terry twitches and she stiffens, ready to run. Terry isn’t able to threaten them anymore. He gives one last rattling gasp and dies. The Charm glows as one last breathe fades out of him.

“What’s happening,” Traci says, looking down at her chest.

It isn’t over.

The disc rises, defying gravity, floating on its tether and tugging at Traci’s neck in the direction of the body. A searchlight glow shoots from the Charm towards Terry revealing a wispy material smoking from Terry’s chest.

“That’s not good. It’s taking something from him.”

The Charm draws the white substance into itself then extinguishes the light and drops abruptly to Traci chest.

Jemma has an idea. She cautiously side steps away from Traci towards Mark’s bleeding body. He is alive, jammed amongst the steel and glass of the van’s mangled front. Glittering eyes watch her approach. Jemma queasily decides he doesn’t have much time to live with all those bones sticking out of his arms and legs. She hops over the deep crack between the two vehicles, careful to shield her thoughts.

“Traci. Come over here.”
In a dream state of shock Traci obeys her. Jemma takes her by the arm. Mark moves his head uncomprehending of their motives. The movement causes him to slip further down the sloping dash, head first. He looks very uncomfortable with the weight of his body kinking his neck sideways. Blood oozes from multiple injuries in a slow river down the vans compacted front. It pools at their feet and runs into the dark crevasse.

H”Touch him with the Charm.”

Mark moans. The coldness in Jemma’s voice registers that this would be a bad thing for him. He tries to move away.

“I’ll kill you…,” he mutters, unconvincingly.

Traci mind is full of confusion.

“He’s broken. He can’t move. We have to help him.”

“Think of the other women he’s drugged and raped, that’s what he does. He never cared about you, he overdosed us and would have left us out her. We could have died. Even before that Charm got to him he was a scumbag. He and that cursed thing deserve each other.”

Jemma makes the judgement flatly.

“No, you’re lying, he wouldn’t do that. And he can’t have my Charm.”

Traci is frightened by the hard expression Jemma turns on her. Jemma knows they don’t have time to discuss it. She grips Traci hard by the back of the neck and squeezes painfully while bearing down on her. Traci sobs in terror and falls forward over Mark chest. She struggles, squeamishly pushing the heels of her hands against Marks blood-soaked body to get away. Jemma is stronger.

“It will kill your baby and it will kill you! Make it touch him! We’ll be rid of it.”

The Charm swings like a pendulum. Jemma shoves Traci down further and it strikes Mark’s shoulder. He groans deeply as the disc flashes a bright transference spark. Traci feels the beast recoil as it hangs between hosts. It is too late to prevent the cords separation and falls to the hollow of Mark’s throat. Jemma pulls her friend back. If she touches the Charm again it may kill her. They watch the cord wriggling its way behind Mark’s head to rejoin itself.

The beast takes over Marks mind. It uses his mouth to make guttural pleas in a strange language they can’t understand. Jemma puts a protective arm around Traci until he stops. Then they both hear the familiar ancient voice in their heads.

This body is dying. The mind is broken. It is unworthy. Touch me again. I will give you riches. I will give you power.

“You give nothing but death and pain. Die here, alone.” Jemma says, all her hatred showing.

You interfere again, pure one. I warned you. I have the New Life’s thread. I will unravel it and repair this damaged one. I will consume you.”

The Charm emits a light so bright it shines through closed eyelids. A low resonating tone builds until Jemma’s fillings vibrate. Traci screams in high pitched agony, folding double and falling to the ground, clutching her stomach. Mark shudders and bucks as the necklace tightens around his neck, claiming him. Through slitted eyes Jemma sees his bones retracting into the flesh they poked through. Hideous wounds close. He smiles through the pain of regeneration.

Jemma shakes with fear.

(Chapter 31)

Published in: on Friday, 19 December, 2008 at 12:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
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