Free Read Friday: Covenant Part V


Some promises can not be broken.

Authors note:
We are nearing the end of this one, and I would like to apologize again for vanishing for nearly two months. Keep in mind this is a first draft, editing is at best very minimal, this is how I write. After the story is done and has had time to stew, as it were, I'll go back over it to adjust the narrative. 

If you've been enjoying what you've read why don't you stop by my one of my Author Pages listed below to check out my other work. 

Read this story from the beginning to this point HERE!

Without further adieu I give you part 5 of Covenant .

But the harsh reality of what he’d experienced was right there on his hand. Maybe he’d cut it in the phone booth while he was dreaming, after all it had to be a dream, it wasn’t possible for that murky bar to be in his basement. At this he pushed open the door and leaned out to gaze at the familiar surroundings of his basement.

It was a dream, nothing more, the stress of caring for Patricia was taking its toll. The time for his decision about her future was drawing closer with every breath he took.

“Promise me!” the memory of their argument that day in the cemetery surfaced in his mind. He took a step back, just as he had that day, the ferocity of her desire threatening to overwhelm him.

What could he do?

“Archie,” her voice shrieked from the baby monitor in his hand and he looked at it as he glanced again at the watch on his wrist. This time he had been gone for nearly six hours. His heart sank at the thought that she had been left alone for so long.

“You promised,” She cried out, the baby monitor vibrating in time with her voice. 

He raced from the basement, taking the stairs at a dead run, becoming winded before he reached the top, but he pushed on as his heart trip hammered in his chest. Nearly staggering down the hallway he came to her door where he stopped with his hand on the knob as he struggled to catch his breath and compose himself.

When he pushed into the room he found her sitting up in her bed, watching him with the same mischievous expression he’d fallen in love with. Though her face was lined with age, and her hair had been bleached by the passing of the years, she looked more alive than she ever had since the onset of her disease.

“It’s about time,” she said in a perfectly normal voice as he nearly dropped to his knees at her bedside.

“You do recall what we talked about?”

He could only nod silently, his heart filled with joy and sadness in equal measures. She had come back to him, it was a miracle, and then he stopped. Or was it just an extension of the dream he’d been living in the basement.

“You understand what you have to do?”

“I can’t,” he answered honestly.

“But you must.” She slid across the bed and swung her legs over the side, planting her feet firmly on the floor in front of him, then she was kneeling next to him, her small hand hot and tender on his back as she leaned in close. He could smell her, the scent of Ivory soap strong on her flesh, masking the sour stench of her approaching death.

“Don’t let me suffer anymore, I’ve grown weary with this life, this disease has robbed me of my memories, it has taken my past. Please don’t let it win.”

A shadow passed over the day at the mention of her disease and he looked up at the window. The day that had once been bright and cheery had grown dark and overcast, with gray clouds drifting low to the ground, mimicking his sorrow. He felt first one, then another tear as they traced twin paths down his cheeks.

“I can’t,” he said, snuffling into the sleeve of his shirt, “how can you ask me to hurt the one I love.”

“Is it love to keep me like this, to let the shadows take all that I had been?”

“I can’t,” he shouted as he pushed himself to his feet, “you can’t ask me to do this.” He stepped back from her bed where she was sleeping peacefully, a serene expression on her face, the dwindling light of evening retreating from the shadows that were growing long and thick in the corners of the room.

It had just been another dream, her kneeling beside him, talking to him in that lost voice. As he watched her sleep he noticed that her eyes were moving rapidly back and forth beneath her closed eyelids. From outside came the rumble of thunder and the darkness deepened as gray clouds obscured the face of the dropping sun. From the shadowy corners of her room came low growls that grew from the night.

He turned away from her sleeping figure to find himself in that bar once again. She was standing at the other end of the shadowy room, that vibrant blue dress faded somewhat, her red hair had lost some of its luster, lying flat against her skull. Her face was gaunt, withdrawn, her cheekbones more prominent than before, her once sparkling eyes were now dull and lifeless orbs resting in shadowy basins.

“You made a promise,” she said, lifting her withered arm to point one crooked finger at him. The patrons at the bar on his left roiled and growled as she shouted. Outside a flash of lightning whipped across the sky followed by a tremendous crack that split the night sky open and sent a tremor through his soul.

The roof of the bar was ripped away, exposing the dark clouds that churned in a maelstrom above their heads.

“You promised,” she shouted over the rising voice of the wind, her rage whispering across the sky, a thick bolt of lightning that danced upon the canvas of  agitated clouds. Branching out, dividing again and again until they surrounded them in a prison of bars that caressed the ground and filled the air with the heavy scent of ozone.

“I can’t,” he replied, cringing from the dancing streaks of lightning that were now trapped in the moment of their creation.

To be continued 

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