Friday, June 3, 2011

Disperse (Friday Fiction [part 3])

This week's Friday Fiction is hosted by the wonderfully talented Rick Higginson over at his blog, Pod Tales and Ponderings. Click here to read and share more great fiction!

Author's Ramblings: I almost didn't get to post this today--things have been ridiculously busy and a recent lack of dependable internet has given me a new headache. But, I've made it, just barely, and hopefully this post will go through. I've had some fun with these new characters and I hope the story is not too crazy to follow. To find the first two installments of this summer serial, please click on the tag "Disperse Serial"  :) Thanks for dropping by! Enjoy the read and happy weekend.

RECAP: Ebony is a teenage girl with elemental powers who accidentally swallowed a clear white cube belonging to a man dressed in white by the name of Othello and his herbalist friend, Brin. Currently, the cube is an object of interest and Othello and Brin will do anything to get it out of Ebony's stomach...regardless of whether she'll agree or not. 

“That was absolutely disgusting.” Ebony shuddered. “What was in that?” 

“I agree.” Brin sighed. “I guess we’ll have to try a different option.” There was a knock on the room door and Othello stuck his head in.

“Did it work?”

“No.” The pale eyebrows seemed to darken a few shades.

Ebony blinked to be sure she wasn’t seeing things. It didn’t help. “I could’ve told you that.” She began to rub her stomach in light, circular motions. “Look, whatever it was that you had on there, I’m really, really sorry, but you’re not going to get it back. When things go in my stomach, they don’t usually come out and there really isn’t-”

“Stomach pump?” Othello suggested.

Brin shrugged. “If you like. What I have on hand right now would most likely kill her.”

The man in white grimaced. “That’s no good. It would take forever to get rid of a body in this town and we’d never get out of here with it.” He looked over Brin’s shoulder. “You know anyone around here?”

“I could make a few calls.”

“Make as many as you need. I want that cube.”

“Hell-o?” Ebony rolled her eyes. “I can hear you, you know.”

“Be quiet.” Both men chorused.

The teen stared at them and then her dark eyes narrowed to half-slits. “We’re not getting my stomach pumped.” She said, flatly. “Try another stupid option.”

“We?” Brin’s scowl matched Othello’s.

“Okay, I.” Ebony slid off the bed, testing her weight on her feet. “I am not having my stomach pumped and you can’t make me, so there.” She wobbled, faintly, one hand going to her head, eyes squinting again. “Ugh…seriously…what did you make me drink?”

Brin sighed. “I’ll make the calls. We’ll need to clear out of here though. We can move her across the state border, I’ll cover that, but nothing beyond it.”

“Border?” Ebony weakly sat on the edge of the bed. The room seemed to be spinning no matter how many times she closed and opened her eyes. It was a kind of dizziness that clung to her in layers, stubbornly refusing to be peeled away and cast aside. “You—can’t—take me anywhere.”

“You know, you really should be more careful of strangers.” Brin said, smoothly. “and you might want to lie down now.”

Her answer was a cross between a moan and a groan, before she fainted in a heap at the foot of the bed.


Ebony drew heavily on her inner strength and mental energies to coax herself into a barely conscious state, maintaining reduced sensory perception and calming her mind to focus on the use of her powers. Her elemental powers flared and hummed to life as she drew on the thread of water.

She was aware when her body was moved and placed in a corner somewhere of a moving vehicle. She counted the passage of time as morning turning to night and then to morning again. Her mind kicked into gear and she used the gift of water to isolate the foreign particles in tiny, microscopic bubbles, willing her body to sweat it out.

The men kept the vehicle fairly cool, so the chilled air eased some of the discomfort and Ebony began to alter her energy cycle with bouts of her air elemental energy. She would convert the water to air and reject it from her body, pulling fresh air in from the air vents to counter and replace it.

Control and relief circulated through her as the strange tea Brin had given her was masterfully removed from her system, her mental and motor faculties returning to her in full as she felt the vehicle roll to a stop. It took a bit more concentration to heighten her level of awareness and Ebony soon figured they were riding in a car.

A two-door sports car belonging to Othello, who was arguing with Brin about negotiating with the buyers for the information cube.

Ebony tucked that information away for later thought and began to sift through the flashes and bursts of sensory information she’d gathered while in her purification state. She was able to piece together the majority of her journey from leaving the hotel, to the car and then to their current position. Brin had been the one to carry her and he had graciously put in a vote not to pump her stomach.
However, his suggestion wasn’t any more appealing than Othello’s and Ebony wondered what exactly the mysterious duo was supposed to be. She could give a few guesses as to their professions and quite frankly, didn’t want any of them to be correct. Sleep tugged at her body, begging for acknowledgement due to the use of her powers for such a meticulously controlled process.

Dividing her consciousness once more, Ebony allowed the faintest tendrils of weariness to overtake her, drifting into a strange, sea-like state of awareness.

“You’re too soft, Brin.” Othello growled, yanking open the car door and shoving the seat forward. “It’s just unnecessary. Besides, it wasn’t in the contract to begin with and I see no reason for this to become more than it needs to be.”

“So you’re just going to sell her out? Just like that?”

“I have nothing to do with her and we mean absolutely nothing to each other.” He glared at the other man. “It is nothing.”

“Nothing. Of course.” Brin sighed. “As you say.”

“It’s just business.” Othello reached in, lifting out the limp body and handing it over to his friend’s capable hands. “Why are you so concerned, anyway?”

“No reason.” Brin accepted the armful, shifting to hold her carefully. “But she is interesting, isn’t she?”

“In what way?” The car door slammed as the trunk popped open and Othello retrieved his laptop bag. “She’s the most annoying little brat I’ve had to-”

“Your cellphone is ringing again.” Brin said, helpfully. “Can you manage all of that?”

“Shut up!”


In the quietness of the hotel room, the two men busied themselves. Othello pacing the length of the window on the far wall while Brin tucked the sheets carefully around the sleeping girl's neck, his expression neutral as he checked her pulse and temperature. “I’m impressed.” He muttered. “She has a pretty strong stomach.” 

“And your point is?” Othello had stopped pacing and was now repacking his laptop again.

Out of the corner of his eye, Brin watched the repetitive, calming motions. His friend seemed to be thinking in the usual way that required his hands to be busy doing something with his everpresent computer. “That was a fairly strong poison I gave her, one to-”

“I know. I saw the measurements…what were you thinking? If you kill her-”

“I’ve never lost a patient in my life.” Brin interrupted. “And you’ve already mentioned the difficulties in regards to a body, so can we please move past that. We can’t keep making excuses forever.”

“Correction, I’m not making excuses forever. If they come for her, they can have her. My end of the bargain will be complete and we can take the next commission.”

“You aren’t serious, El.”

“I’m not?”

“She’s just a girl!”

“Precisely why it isn’t an issue.” Othello sighed. “I’m going out. We’ll leave her here and whatever happens, happens.” He started for the door and paused. “You are coming?”

A faint flicker of jade fire seemed to flare in the other man’s eyes before he turned his head to the side. “I’ll catch up with you later.”

“She brought it on herself.”

“And if she didn’t know?”

“Who is stupid enough these days to swallow something they pick up on the street without trying to sell it first? No matter which way you look at it, she's not as innocent as she may seem and even if she is, she’s old enough to be responsible.” The door clicked shut behind him.

Brin cast a last glance at the seemingly sleeping girl. “I hope you heard that.” He said, softly. “Because I can’t help you even if I want to.” Crossing to stand in front of the window, he waited until he saw Othello exit the hotel and climb into the red sports car. He watched as his friend drove out of the parking lot and onto the road, until he couldn’t see the car any more.

Then he opened the window and climbed up to brace on the frame, poised to jump. A smirk registered as he turned for one last look at the mysterious girl. He didn’t even know her name. How curious.

He jumped.

© Sara Harricharan


Tim George said...

Great writing as always. Keep up the good work! From one Faith Writer to another - the writing road has a lot of twists and turns but you learn so much along the way.