Dust in the Wind - Part Seven
For the moment Buba found he was free of the indescribable terror that had just taken place. Lost in the unnatural sleep-state brought on by Adara's magical touch where nothing from reality could enter into his dreams. It was brief but the vacation from the horror would forever be cherished once he returned to the land of the living and realization had finally set in.
As he started to awaken, soft voices tickled at his ears. Their words didn't bring much meaning but his mind was still hazy. Soon all would be clear and nothing would ever be the same again.
"What are you going to do for him?"
"What would you have me do, Lisya?"
"I know you have ways. You could always-"
"That is not an option. Neither you nor I have any right."
"Something has to be done, dammit. Don't you realize what this will do to him?"
"I know what it'll do to him. I think it's your fear you need to work on, though. You fear he will change and fall from his path and you should fear such an occurrence because it is highly probable that will happen."
"Yet you'll do nothing. You'll sit there and watch while the most pure-hearted loving man to ever walk the face of life becomes tortured by something he had absolutely no control over. What's the matter with you? Are you such a monster that you won't help? This is because of your stupid prophecies, isn't it? You damn well knew what was going to happen out there, you knew he was going to be the vessel and still you did nothing to prevent it."
Buba stirred, his mind waking up to the madness of only a short while ago. At first it started to come to him like a nightmare that would soon vanish. But sure enough, it became clearer and more real by the second. His mind played through the incident in slow motion as if he were watching a movie that he couldn't turn off.
Startled, Buba shot up and let out of a scream of horror. His stomach knotted up, his heart pounding so hard and fast in his chest there was some doubt that it would remain held within its confines. His entire face throbbed with overwhelming pain from the massive damage Brand had done, but it seemed like little pain compared to the pain of grief filling him to the bone. A wave of nausea overwhelmed him and he jerked to the side, puking all over the dusty dirt floor.
As he sat back up, his head swimming with chaos, Lisya was there at his side. Her loving, warm hand slowly stroked his back in shoulders in large circles but Buba was lost in his pain, unwilling to accept what he was seeing.
"Look at him damn you! His heart must be beating a million times a minute. He'll die! Do something!" Lisya yelled.
How could his own body betray him? His own hands and feet lashing out against the woman he'd cared so deeply about. The woman he'd watched as she grew from a troubled teen to a mature and loving person.
Then he remembered the violation. A powerful force, pushing him back into the background, had attacked his mind. He had screamed out in fear as his body rebelled against his own thoughts and he was forced to watch this sick madness play out before his own horrified eyes. He could feel the pure sickening pleasure that had filled his body as it killed Megan with no regard.
Again Buba jerked over the bed and threw up. Again Lisya said something, louder and more urgent but the words never fully registered in his head.
It didn't matter. Even if his mind had been taken over, even if his body had betrayed him, it didn't matter. Nobody else around here was getting possessed and forced to do things against their natural will. That much he knew and that told him more than enough. This happened because he was stupid. Like he'd heard his entire life. He was too dumb to get through school proper. He was too stupid to deal with the world and he should have been locked away where he couldn't hurt anyone or himself. His mind was violated simply because it was too stupid to fight off the invading force. Brand would have never let his mind become a pawn in some madman's disgusting game of kill-the-pregnant-woman. No, nobody would have. Nobody but he himself was stupid enough to let that happen. This was his own fault and he knew it. Despite being forced against his will, he was responsible for Megan's death because he was too dumb to stop it from happening.
Buba just sat there, staring off into space. Lisya's gentle, caring hand brought little comfort to him. Long ago he fought to prove he wasn't as stupid as everyone had told him and long ago he thought he'd done just that. It was kind of funny to him, in a non-humorous way, that they'd all been right after all.
Adara came and rested her hands soothingly on his face. Warmness seemed to flow from her hands, filling his face with an equal warmness that spread quickly. He felt as if he'd just stepped out under a hot sun and looked up while the heat of the sun beat down upon him. The physical pain melted away and Adara seemed to do the same. His face was free, but he felt worse than ever before. He deserved that pain. Brand had every right to do that. He should have killed Buba right then and there. That would have been proper justice. No, that would have been too easy. It was a good thing Brand hadn't killed him. He has to live with it now. He has to wake up every morning and remember that he killed Megan with his bare hands. And it all happened because he was too stupid. How could he have ever thought otherwise?
He was aware of Lisya and Adara. Still Lisya tried to comfort him but he didn't deserve it. He reached out and pushed her hand away. She didn't fight him, but she frowned sharply as she stepped away from the cot.
"This wasn't your fault, Ben."
Buba said nothing his gaze was as hollow as his heart.
"She's right," Adara said softly. "Chrava has extremely powerful mind power. She could have-"
A guard rushed into the tent at that moment, cutting Adara off. "You are needed at once Adara! Something truly wonderful has occurred!"
Lisya's sharp glare sent the guard retreating to the outside of the tent. Adara, however, simply lowered her head and murmured, "Not as great as you might think. I shall go."
Before Lisya could stop her, Adara was out of the tent. Lisya turned to Buba, her eyes swimming with uncertainty. "Ben, please believe me when I tell you there was nothing you could have done to stop this."
Of course there wasn't. With a mind as worthless as his, there was never any hope from the beginning. He merely shook his head at Lisya, unable to bring words to his lips. Not that he even had anything worth saying. He was about as useful as his ignorant mind and until now he'd been able to fool himself to that fact.
There was a time when he would have lost all control if someone called him stupid. That time had just passed. Never again would he be able to believe he wasn't as stupid as people had told him. They were right and he was just too dumb to see that. Not anymore.
Chrava rushed into Zadara's room so fast she didn't see the deep black robe on the floor and stumbled over it. As she regained her footing, she froze and her eyes flew open wider than a whore's legs on silk sheets. She could only stare with horror as Zadara looked toward her with annoyance, her naked body mounted on the stained maroon-colored skin of her chief guard. His multi-colored hair seemed to shimmer unnaturally in the candlelight and the amused expression that crossed his face was more than a little rage producing.
"What are you doing!" Chrava finally managed to find her voice. A mixed feeling of betrayal and confusion fluttered through her.
"Don't be so coy, little girl." Oh how Chrava hated it when Zadara was called her that. "I'm fairly certain you can assess the situation for yourself. The better question would be, what are you doing?"
This was all wrong. Still Chrava had a hard time fully grasping what she was witnessing. Just last night she had been with Zadara as it had been since she first came to Zadara. What was Zadara doing with him? How could she do such a thing?
"Any day now," Zadara said. "As you can see, I am a bit busy. So do spit it out, whatever it is, and leave."
"I was going..." Chrava stammered. "How could you? I thought we were... after everything and you..."
"Please. I knew you were naive, but really. Nobody can be that naive."
Chrava had come here to warn Zadara that Brand had just become the next Wielder but that left her mind the second her eyes fell upon this monstrosity. Now she was at such a loss she had absolutely no idea why she'd come here in the first place. Her stomach had filled with led and felt like it had sank to her feet.
"You... bitch," Chrava muttered. "You lying bitch."
Zadara looked down at the man she sat upon and smirked. "Not very bright, is she?" She looked back at Chrava. Surely those eyes had been beautiful to Chrava at one point, but now all she could see in them was coldness. "You'd do well to remember what I saved you from, little girl. You were doomed to live the rest of your life with Adara and her gang of do-gooders. Look where it's gotten them. Now, if you don't have anything to tell me, please do leave. Or you can stay and watch, whatever suits you."
"She could join us too," the guard said. This brought a hideously disgusting laugh from Zadara that made Chrava want to kill her. She would have too, unfortunately she was powerless against Zadara and her sister.
Instead, Chrava just turned and walked away. As she slowly walked down the stone walled corridor, a mixture of laughter and squeaking bedsprings made her sick to her stomach. After all she'd done for Zadara and this was how she was treated? Betrayed by someone she thought she loved. Well, Zadara was about to discover that this little girl was much more powerful than Chrava had let on.To be continued...