The Man Who Wasn’t There – Part 54

the man who wasnt thereDr. Meru takes action against Opal, doing his best to destroy her crypt. The others help him. Once her attention is off the parents, they join the battle. Opal leaves Jordan’s body and Brian is able to attack her directly.

Brian jumped off the roof, curling into a ball as he struck the ground. The air left his lungs with a loud oof. Once he was out of the way, Meru advanced on Opal. She bled from half a dozen wounds, her mouth and nose were sealed. Her skin glowed from within with thousands of flickering colored lights. Meru squeezed his hand into a tight fist. The bonds around her tightened. Opal tried to scream, but couldn’t. Writhing against the vines, her screams turned to moans.

Meru slammed his fists together. Opal groaned, shuddering as she staggered. Yanking his fists apart, Meru tore her body in half. It fell in tiny, black pieces, scattering like ashes. A whirlwind formed, whipping the bits of Opal into a tight cloud. It swooped up, whirled and slammed into the top of the mausoleum. The building shook as the earth rumbled.

“Get down,” Brian commanded, controlling the mini-tornado with his left hand.

Meru flung himself off the top. The others fell to the ground. The earth groaned and growled, vibrating hard and fast. Seismic waves undulated the ground, shaking the mausoleum to dust. With an acrid puff of dust, it collapsed to nothing but a cloud of dust and debris. Bright flames burst from Brian’s hands, catching every mote of dust from the accursed building. Within seconds, it was consumed. Only a blackened pit was left.

Brian collapsed. Jordan crawled to his side. He was breathing, but his pulse was thready. Picking himself up out of the churned dirt, Claude stumbled to where Brian lay.

“Is he all right? Is he hurt?” Miles asked.

“Just exhausted, I think. Let’s get him in the house. Is anyone badly hurt?” Claude called.

A short triage showed that no one was seriously injured. There were a few cuts, bumps and bruises, but nothing more severe. Together, the men carried Brian into the house and put him on the kitchen table once more. The women scrambled around searching for ingredients in Dora’s well stocked cupboards. Jackie brewed a restorative tea while the others cleaned his many wounds with herbs steeped in holy water.

Brian came around a few minutes later, sitting up slowly as he looked around the kitchen. “Where is she?” he asked slowly. “Where’s Opal?”

“She’s gone,” Jordan said. “You and Dr. Meru totally destroyed that evil bitch!”

Brian hung his head. “So, it’s happened again. Once more, I murdered my wife.” Cradling his head in his right hand, he burst into tears.

They stared at him in stunned silence. Only the wind outside and the clock ticking on the wall made any sound. Jordan’s mouth dropped open, her eyes filling with tears. Her hand crept over the table, fingers twining with his. He raised his face, tears creating clean spots in the dirt and blood.

“Brian?”

“Nay, lass. Luminous. Brian is no longer here. I can’t feel him.”

“Where is he? Where did he go?”

“Opal took him. Brian dwells with her now.”

Jordan’s eyes grew wide. She clutched Luminous by the shirt, yanking him over to her. “You’d better have a way to get him back!” she yelled. “You bring him back! Bring him back!”

Luminous pulled her close, kissing her passionately. Jordan hit him with her fists, pushing him away.

“Don’t you dare touch me! How could you let her take him?”

Luminous grinned, blue eyes twinkling. He started laughing.

Jordan screamed, shoving at him. “That’s obscene, laughing at me with his voice. Kissing me with his mouth. I want him back!” She hit him again, landing a punch squarely in his gut.

Luminous laughed louder. “Y’all help me before Jordan flat out kills me. Babe, it’s me. It’s really me, I swear. Luminous is gone. They’re both gone.”

“Oh, you bastard!” She reached for the knife rack, intent on grabbing one, but Chase stopped her.

“Please don’t, those are Mama’s favorite knives. She’ll have your hide and mine if you kill Brian with one.”

Brian slid off the table, approaching Jordan warily. He took her hands. “Forgive me. When I first opened my eyes, I could feel him. It took a little bit for me to shake him off. I swear, I’m the one who kissed you. I promise.”

Jordan flung her arms around him, holding him tightly. “Don’t ever tease me like that again! I thought I’d lost you!” Weeping, she clung to him. “How could I get you back if they took you?”

The others drifted into the living room, giving them a few minutes of privacy. Claude checked Meru to be sure he hadn’t been injured. He was tired, but hale and hardy. They talked quietly about everything except what they had just experienced. None of them wanted to relive the horror of the last hour. Brian and Jordan joined them a few minutes later, arms around one another.

“I’m starving,” Brian said. “I’d kill for a feta and pineapple pizza.”

“Pepperoni for me,” Sweet said. “Double meat.”

Talking about pizza orders gave them a good way to bypass the subject they knew they needed to discuss, but were in no frame of mind to do. Still talking about pizza orders, they compiled a list and phoned it in. Chase, Marissa and Dwight volunteered to go pick it up. The others went to Brian’s house, since it was the closest.

Filthy and exhausted, they dropped on the furniture and floor of Brian’s home. His grandmother served beverages, waiting for an explanation.

“It went well?” she asked repeatedly.

© 2017 Dellani Oakes 

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