Blood Song (Chapter 5, page 1 of 16)


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Chapter 5

Mark

It was impossible for me to pinpoint exactly when it was that the audible thudding of my heartbeat transformed into the visceral sensation of impulses conducted through muscle. I could never tell how long it was that I sat there, hearing at first, and then feeling the thumping. It was as if time had slowed and thickened.

Eventually I started to sense the coruscation of electricity flowing across the cells of my heart, the way some people can see sound as colours. It was beautiful, the way those twinkling, crackling sparks danced across the thick muscular walls, generating each individual contraction. Over and over and over. Endlessly.

Then I remember the intense irritation when I sensed the presence of another in my vicinity. Interruption, intrusive and unwelcome. I felt another heartbeat, faster than my own, and weaker somehow. Annoyance turned to delight when I realised I could feel the electricity coursing through their heart as well as my own. I reached out and touched the sparks, and saw them flicker at the contact, and pause, then resume as I withdrew. Fascinated, I reached out again, stroking the current and watching as it flowed towards my touch. I barely registered the heart stop as the life giving electrical impulse was diverted my way. I absorbed those electrons as if they were a gift. And then there were no more.

Instead there were angry shouts, urgent and dissonant. I opened my eyes, and waited as they adjusted to the dim light in the room. Late afternoon light. The kind you get in a Scottish winter - grey and dull. I noticed a few peculiarities then, one by one, as if in slow motion.

First, there were people in the room. Anne was there, looking mildly annoyed. Snake Eyes too, but he looked worried. Two other men I'd not seen before were hefting something between them. It was the body of Snake Eyes' partner in crime. His fellow goon. I recognised his face just as I saw the open staring eyes of a dead man within it.

Second. My hands no longer hurt. The nails appeared to have fallen to the floor - the top halves of them, anyway. When I lifted my hands from the wooden armrests, tearing the leather straps in the process, I saw the rest of the nails still buried in the wood. My hands were covered in blood, but it had dried, and the wounds had become thick puckered scars.

Third. Snake Eyes looming over me, his fists clenched, accusation in his eyes. I gazed at him in confusion for a few seconds before I realised that he thought I'd killed his friend. A few seconds after that, I realised that he was right.

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