Thursday, October 22, 2015

ANNE'S OGRE -- Excerpt #7

Su-Ma and then Jennifer and Connie all reported over the next couple of days, when they turned in their trucks and SUVs to be serviced, that George was more restless than usual. Vincent wasn't surprised. He had been distracted more than he liked since the Porters visited, revisiting the past he shared with Josh and George. During the day he kept busy with chores, training the girls in self-defense, conferring with Carter on security needs at the various missions and outreach centers and shelters they were involved in. Working and reading his Bible helped keep the memories at bay. At night, he couldn't fight the dreams. Twice he woke up in a sweat, with fragments of his past life slicing through his dreams. For a few seconds as he rose from sleeping to waking, he thought he was Javelin again, trying to find Snow, Shadow, Midas and Daedalus. Or was he trying not to be found by them? Whatever he was going through, knowing what was happening in his mind, it had to be ten times worse for George.

He had done this to George -- he and Josh, just fearful enough they needed to know what remained of the cold-hearted, soulless man he had been. Needed to test him, if seeing the two of them together would awaken memories and evil.

Monday morning, he went to the industrial park to check on George himself, and went early enough he expected to find the other man still in bed. Since his drastic injuries, George had a tendency to rise with the sun, so in the winter he slept longer. Vincent found George awake, sitting on the bare, cold cement floor, staring at the partially assembled snowmobiles. As far as Vincent could tell, he hadn't made any progress on his pet project since the night of Josh's visit.

"I'm sorry," he whispered, and went down on one knee to rest a hand on George's shoulder. The other man's skin felt too warm, especially since he was sitting on the cold floor without a jacket. "Hey, how about we go back to your place and get some coffee, okay?"

"Got bad dreams." George blinked rapidly, as if he was still trying to wake up. "I see bad things." His voice cracked. "I hear children… crying. I think I'm--"

"No." Vincent cut that off before George made the confession that he always did when Snow tried to break through. "Not you. George is a good man who loves God and is loved by everyone he meets."

"What if I'm not George?"

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