Devil Cares: Chapter Five

May 9, 2008 at 5:00 pm (Devil Cares) ()

Well, that’s it for this week, folks. Tune in next week, MWF at 5:00 pm Mountain Time for the continuing story of our intrepid heroes.

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It was almost ten o’clock when Barrett wandered down the stairs Wednesday morning. Bill had learned about the broken windows so he’d insisted on bringing some tarp to tack up over it for the time being. After that he’d gotten out the mop and cleaned up the water that came in from the storm. Then, he’d helped Kimber haul in his stuff from the car. By the time Bill rattled back down the dirt path and the brothers had climbed into bed, almost another hour had gone by.
Barrett told Kimber his old room was still the same as it had been, that their mom had cleaned it up on Saturday like she did every other room. Kimber had only nodded and gone right on in.
As Barrett stepped off the last stair, he noticed something stuck to his feet. He reached down to pull off a flower petal. He stared at it for a few seconds before recognizing it as belonging to a rose. Glancing around, he noticed that there was a semicircle of the pale red petals surrounding the tarp previously known as their window. On the coffee table in front of the TV, a lighted white candle was floating in a clear bowl of water with something green floating on top. Rose petals also surrounded the bowl, and there was also a line of the petals in front of the door.
Bewildered, Barrett padded into the kitchen to see Kimber at the sink. He was dressed in black jeans and a pale blue button down that came down just over his belt. It wasn’t even long enough to be tucked in, yet it fit him perfectly. The shirt was rolled up to his elbows.
“What’s all this? And what are you doing?” Barrett asked.
Without missing a beat or turning from the sink, Kimber replied, “Rose petals, mistletoe scented candle, basil water, and washing your dishes.”
Barrett had nothing to say but, “Why? You didn’t have to, I was going to do them.”
“The flowers are there because Mom liked flowers, and as for your dishes the current evidence suggests otherwise.” Very calmly, Kimber put the latest plate in the drain.
Sighing, Barrett said, “I was going to get around to it.”
“Barrett, there was five days worth of growth on here,” Kimber said as he rinsed off a glass. “Any longer and we’d have had black mold contamination.”
Turning around for the first time, Kimber gestured to some papers on the bar. Barrett noticed he hadn’t spilled a single drop of water on himself.
“Oh, Bill brought those over this morning.” Kimber said. “They’re yield reports and other things like that, nothing so important as to warrant immediate attention. Except for that one on top, it’s the waiver for the repairs. You need to sign off on them so the hands don’t have to pay for the damage or lose their contracts or whatever.”
“Why didn’t you just sign it?” Barrett asked as he scanned the waiver.
“I don’t live here anymore, Barrett. I have no authority to sign such documents.” Putting the last dish in the drain, Kimber reached down to release the water from the sink.
His eyes had widened at his brother’s declaration, but Barrett didn’t say anything about it.
“You got a pen?” He asked instead.
“There’s a black one in one of those magnetic pen holders on the fridge.” Kimber toweled his hands dry as his brother got up to get the pen.
Kimber waited until Barrett was done signing in the necessary fields before he asked, “Do you have any major plans for today?”
A careless shrug. “Not really, why?”
“I was thinking about the wight,” Kimber said. “They form when a nature spirit is corrupted by a negative influence. Now, some kind of violent human death usually does the trick, but on the whole the deaths often have some kind of infernal force or dark magic behind them. I find it difficult to believe that our parents’ car crash drummed up a sufficient amount of negativity as to so thoroughly corrupt a child of Nature. On its own, anyway.”
There was a heaviness in Barrett’s eyes. “I thought so, too, but I examined their bodies and there was no otherworldly energy detected.”
“Did you examine their car?” Kimber asked.
Barrett blinked. “No.”
“How about the scene itself?”
“…No.”
“I see,” Kimber sighed. “Barrett, there are a thousand different ways a demon or something similar could manipulate a car crash without leaving a trace on the bodies.”
A bit defensively, Barrett shot back, “Well, I’m sorry I’m not as cold as you are. My parents just died and I wasn’t thinking clearly!”
There was silence in the kitchen.
“God, Kimber, I’m sorry.” Barrett ground the heel of his palm against his temple. “I didn’t mean that.”
Kimber gave a clipped nod, his gray eyes cool. “You did mean it, but we’ll deal with it later. Right now we have work to do. Go get dressed, we’re going to visit the crash site.”
Barrett got up from the bar and headed that way.
“Oh, and Barrett,” Kimber said, “before you ever accuse me of being cold again, just stop and think exactly why I moved to Chicago.”
Guiltily, Barrett began, “Kimber—”
Kimber sailed right by him on his way out of the kitchen.
“There are some things I need from the greenhouse,” he said coolly, “I’ll meet you back here in a few minutes.”
There was no slam of the door as Kimber left the house, but then, Barrett thought, he hadn’t really expected there to be. Slamming a door just wasn’t his brother’s style; he was too…classy for that.
With a sigh so deep it seemed to rattle his bones, Barrett headed up the stairs. He took off his pajamas, put on his deodorant, and dressed in simple jeans with a long sleeved blue shirt his mother had given him. He laced up his boots and headed back downstairs.
At the bar, Kimber was waiting with a canvas attaché. He noticed there was another glass bowl on the kitchen counter. It too was filled with water, and there was a pale blue flower floating in it.
“What’s that?” Barrett asked.
“An Egyptian Water Lily,” Kimber said. “They were Mom’s favorite flower.”
“Where did you find one of those?” Barrett was genuinely curious.
“The greenhouse, of course.”
Barrett nodded, “I don’t know how she grew some of that stuff in there.”
“She was good,” Kimber replied, throwing the bag’s shoulder strap over his head. “Let’s go, we’re burning daylight.”


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6 Comments

  1. Zappaz said,

    Ooh. Drama between brothers. Delicious!

    My bet is that once they inspect the car and the scene, they’ll wind up with more questions than answers. (But would it be any fun if they didn’t?)

    Wonderful as always!

  2. Yahrlan said,

    …I iz bad Yahr…first time I’ve taken more than like 15 to get to an update after it actually went up.

    Anyway, I see now why my suggestion on our LJ when you were stuck on the chapter pic wouldn’t work (besides the whole ‘can’t draw’ thing)

    DC Playlist
    (iz bad and lazy today…-_-)

  3. jekloneo said,

    Another interesting chapter. And Kimber is classy, I wouldn’t doubt that.

    Seth – is it alright for me to call you this? – if you couldn’t draw, you probably wouldn’t be posting the chapter pictures.

  4. Seth Gray said,

    @Zap: Glad you thought this chapter was so fun, I was kinda worried it was boring.

    @Yahr: Yeah, there’s nothing really iconic about this chapter

    @jekloneo: I really can’t draw. All the pictures I’ve posted up so far I have made entirely with photoshop. That’s all I can manage.

    Oh, and if I hadn’t wanted people to call me by name I wouldn’t have put it in a big bold box at the top. ~_^

  5. yinyang said,

    “Bill had learned about the broken windows so he’d insisted on bringing some tarp to tack up over it for the time being.” –> “Bill had learned about the broken window, so he’d insisted on bringing some tarp to tack up over it for the time being.” There was only one window, right?

    “Then he’d helped Kimber haul in his stuff from the car.” –> “Then, he’d helped Kimber haul in his stuff from the car.”

    “By the time Bill rattled back down the dirt path and the brothers had climbed into bed almost another hour had gone by.” –> “By the time Bill rattled back down the dirt path and the brothers had climbed into bed, almost another hour had gone by.”

    “He’d told Kimber his old room was still the same as it had been, that their mom had cleaned it up on Saturday like she did every other room.” Bill told Kimber, or Barrett? It’s probably Barrett, but I think it could be more clear – “Barrett told Kimber…”

    “As Barrett stepped off the last step he noticed something stuck to his feet.” –> “As Barrett stepped off the last stair, he noticed something stuck to his feet.” Somewhat repetitive with stepped/step; feel free to ignore.

    “Rose petals also surrounded the bowl. There was also a line of the petals in front of the door.” –> “Rose petals also surrounded the bowl, and there was a line of petals in front of the door.” Just one way to eliminate the repetition of “also.”

    “He was dressed in black jeans and a pale blue button down that just came down over his belt.” –> “He was dressed in black jeans and a pale blue buttondown that came down just over his belt.” I moved the “just” because it sounded better, but maybe where it was is because of Barrett’s written voice. There’s also the repetition of “down,” but I didn’t really know how to change it.

    “‘What’s all this? And what are you doing?’ he asked.” –> “‘What’s all this? And what are you doing?’ Barrett asked.”

    “Without missing a beat or turning from the dishes he was washing, Kimber replied, ‘Rose petals, mistletoe scented candle, basil water, and washing your dishes.'” –> “Without missing a beat or turning around, Kimber replied, ‘Rose petals, mistletoe scented candle, basil water, and washing your dishes.'” I think that makes the sentence more interesting (and it gets rid of the repetition :P).

    “‘Barrett, there were five days worth of growth on here,’ Kimber said as he rinsed off a glass.” –> “‘Barrett, there was five days worth of growth on here,’ Kimber said as he rinsed off a glass.” I usually hesitate to change dialogue, because maybe the fact that it’s grammatically incorrect is something the character doesn’t know, but I just thought I’d point it out anyway.

    “‘You need to sign off on them so the hands don’t have to pay for the damage or loose their contracts or whatever.'” –> “‘You need to sign off on them so the hands don’t have to pay for the damage or lose their contracts or whatever.'”

    “‘I don’t live here anymore, Barrett. I have no authority to sign such documents,’ Putting the last dish in the drain, Kimber reached down to release the water from the sink.” –> “‘I don’t live here anymore, Barrett. I have no authority to sign such documents.‘ Putting the last dish in the drain, Kimber reached down to release the water from the sink.”

    “His eyes had widened at his brother’s declaration, but Barrett didn’t say anything about it.

    “‘You got a pen?’ He asked, instead.”

    –>

    “His eyes had widened at his brother’s declaration, but Barrett didn’t say anything about it. ‘You got a pen?’ he asked instead.” This may be the first time I took away a comma, instead of adding one.

    “‘I was thinking about the wight,’ Kimber said, ‘they form when a nature spirit is corrupted by a negative influence.'” –> “‘I was thinking about the wight,’ Kimber said.They form when a nature spirit is corrupted by a negative influence.'” Something about the original punctuation is really awkward, and doesn’t flow well. I think it’s because if you took out “Kimber said,” the sentence that’s left isn’t punctuated well.

    “‘Do you examine their car?’ Kimber asked.” –> “‘Did you examine their car?’ Kimber asked.” Now, unlike before, I know Kimber has better grammar skills than that. 🙂

    “‘There are some things I need from the greenhouse,’ he said coolly, ‘I’ll meet you back here in a few minutes.'” –> “‘There are some things I need from the greenhouse,’ he said coolly. ‘I’ll meet you back here in a few minutes.'”

    “Slamming a door just wasn’t his brother’s style, he was too…classy for that.” –> “Slamming a door just wasn’t his brother’s style. He was too… classy for that.”

    “‘An Egyptian Water Lily,’ Kimber said, ‘they were Mom’s favorite flower.'” –> “‘An Egyptian Water Lily,’ Kimber said.They were Mom’s favorite flower.'”

  6. Seth Gray said,

    *grins* Welcome back yinyang.

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