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Wizards’ World War (s.2) Dispatch 20: Bargains


Tweet of the Day: Would Your Story Benefit From A Distant Narrator?

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Season 1 Dispatch (s.2) 1Dispatch 19Dispatch 21

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2356 Firs Link, Formby, Merseyside, UK,  2 august, 06:39 hrs GMT

I woke up in a dazed. My eyes blurry from last night tears. Half remembered dreams swam through my head.

Sleeping in a strange bed never helps. When was the last time I slept in my own bed?

I headed for the bathroom to get a shower but Owen had beaten me to it. He brushed his teeth with nothing but a thick towel around his waist.

“Oh sorry!” I said.

He looked at me. A cold current of despair dripped into me. I did not know if it was a his own or a reflection of mine. Then I felt nothing. His attempt to control his emotions sucked up mine as well. He stood rooted in place, unwilling or unable to turn away. He could read my emotions but his thoughts were lay in some distant shore.

He spat out the toothpaste, “I’ll be out in a minute.”

Owen plunged his hands underneath the faucet. He rubbed them over and over again. This time the emotions flowed free; anger, fear, revulsion, pain, and….

“I-”

“Don’t-”

“-love-”

“-say-”

“-you.”

“-it!”

His words smashed into mine.

Why did I just say that? Did I say it or was it him? Or maybe I’m still dreaming.

His shoulders slumped, “I thought I lost you. When I heard the shot, I mean. I killed them. I kept going,” he rubbed his hands faster under cold water, “and going and going. More and more, I wanted more blood, more death, more everything…more you.” Tears ran down his cheeks in long silver streaks. “I’m a dammed monster, a selfish brat, an unclean beast…I hurt you and I though I lost you and…” His chest heaved.

I wrapped my arms around his head.

“Shhh, it’s okay. We all make mistakes.” I kissed him just above the ear, “It’s okay.” The emotional void where he pushed down all his emotions threatened to swallow me whole. I felt myself dragged into him, into nothingness. “Come back to me Owen, please. I got you into this mess. I’m sorry. I used you-”

He buried his head in my chest, “I owed you, for what I did, I owed you. I hurt you and I can’t fix you. I can’t fix anything,” he said. It was a plea for help. Our emotions roiled together at the edge of the abyss.

Too much,

too fast,

too soon,

too real.

“I hurt because I love you, it hurts because you love me. Gwen, the miserable bitch!” I said.

I moved so fast his towel almost dropped. He placed one hand on my cheek, soft yet firm, “Don’t you ever say that, you hear me, Gwendolyn Mac Lir. You are the best thing that ever happened to me, to anyone. You saved millions,” he gasped for air, “you fought monsters for all of us. Even for….”

“You, yes….”

We stayed there  in a half embrace for who knows how long. We could not get any closer but did not dare draw apart. We kissed a few times, short, haunted, wet kisses. I taste of what we wanted, we needed. We craved a little bit of solace and a lot of forgiveness. I wanted forgive myself for manipulating his guilt.  He wanted forgiveness for an act of youthful desperation.

Neither of us could forgive ourselves.

The tide receded. We let go. He left me alone in that tiny bathroom. Alone with my thoughts and my body. As each piece of clothing hit the floor, the scars of a dozen battles came to view in the mirror, some white and well healed, others still red and painful. I stood under the hot water. It poured over every pore of my skin. The drops pushed back the dreams, the pain, back to the deep well they belonged. Owen has his pit and I had a well. The difference was that he buried his emotions less they swamp him and everybody around him. I kept mine deep, to be summon at will whether I needed it anger, hatred or fear.

But how many times can I go back to that well before it runs dry?

The droplets didn’t have the answer.

Owen waited for me just outside the door encased in an emotional block of ice. He handed me a prepaid mobile.

“We  verified the information and are ready to meet under per-approved protocols,” said the voice on the other side of the line.

“Understood,” I said. I switched the phone off. “Toss it. We gotta another meet,” I said to Owen.

He handed me Excalibur with a nod.

Back to work.

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