Devil Cares: Chapter Seventeen

June 6, 2008 at 4:58 pm (Devil Cares) ()


“We’re lucky you came along, Marc,” Barrett was saying.
With a self-deprecating smile, Marc said, “We’re just lucky I was on my way out to your house. I wouldn’t have been on that road otherwise.”
Marc Jones was the Jim Byrne man who’d been sent to take measurements for their windows, Kimber had learned.
“That’s why I’m late,” he went on, “we had to wait for the cops and everything.”
Smiling, Barrett clasped his shoulder. “I’m not about to get on your case for being late when you just saved my brother’s life, man.”
Kimber noticed that Marc was even a bit taller than Barrett, the tallest of the brothers.
Those green eyes of his rested uneasily on Kimber for a moment. “You know, it might not be a bad idea to see a grief counselor or something—”
“I did not try to kill myself, Marc,” Kimber snapped.
Wesson broke in. “The windows are this way.”
He gestured, totally unnecessarily as from where they were all standing by the bar the blue tarp covering broken floor-length windows was readily visible. Marc took the opening, however, and followed Wes over to get started.
Gesturing with his head, Barrett led his brother deeper into the kitchen. “While we’re on the subject, what did happen.”
Raising his fingers to rub the bump of his icon beneath his shirt, Kimber replied, “I don’t really know. One second everything was fine, and then next the car was going crazy. The radio was full of static, the lights wouldn’t work, and the steering wheel and brakes wouldn’t respond.”
Thoughtfully, Kimber went on, “It was almost like ectoplasmal interference, but my icon had no effect on it.”
He arched a brow in his brother’s direction. “Still think I’m not onto something?”
Barrett only shook his head. “I’m glad you’re okay. Is that shoebox the stuff from the bank?”
“No,” Kimber said, “I got it from Paul Shores. Supposedly it’s the ritual Elaine used to conjure her demon. I rescheduled the bank meeting for Monday.”
He let out a breath. “You know, it’s kind of funny, this whole car thing.”
Arching his brow in a manner that almost made Kimber proud, Barrett said, “I don’t think my brother almost driving off a cliff is very funny.”
“I meant about Marc,” Kimber clarified. “He used to pick on me in high school, I never would have imagined he’d save my life one day.”
“Marc did spend most of his time while he was younger being a general fucktard,” Barrett said, “but he’s a good guy now. You should give him a chance.”
Kimber gave his brother a cool look. “A chance for what?”
“For starters, you could go over there and actually thank him for saving your life.” Barrett shrugged. “Just a thought.”
Sighing, Kimber said, “Yes, I suppose.”
Leaving the kitchen, he made his way over to where Marc Jones was measuring the window frame.
Wesson and Marc had been chatting but they stopped as Kimber approached.
Awkwardly, Kimber said, “Thank you, Marc. For saving my life.”
God, Kimber thought, there is no way to make that sound better.
Marking down his latest measurement on a sheet of paper he’d brought, Marc said, “Don’t worry about it. I’m sure anyone would have done it.”
“But it wasn’t anyone, it was you,” Kimber returned, “so, thank you.”
“Well, you’re welcome,” Marc said.
His eyes moving slowly between the two, Wes was grinned. “It’s not everyday you get play hero, huh Marc?”
Marc shook his head, “Not a hero, just right place, right time.”
Wes shrugged. “Maybe that’s what a hero is.”
Chuckling, Marc folded up his tape measure and stood up. “I repair windows, Wes. I don’t think there’s any way to make that heroic.”
Kimber broke in, “If we get to take this ugly tarp down because of you, that’s pretty heroic to me.”
“There, see what I mean?” Wes said.
Barrett came ambling over. “These two aren’t giving you a bad time are they?”
His face a little red, Marc replied, “Nah.”
Wes beamed. “Would we do that?”
“Never,” Barrett drawled.
Rolling his shoulders, Kimber said, “I’m going to head upstairs, I think I’m feeling some whiplash. Thanks again, Marc. If you talk to your sister, tell her hi from me.”
With that, he headed upstairs.
When he was gone, Marc turned to Barrett. “Well, now that I’ve got the measurements it shouldn’t be too long before we can get this fixed up. I’ll whip up the new frames in the shop on Monday, and we should be able to get the glass cut on Tuesday or Wednesday. Either way, it’ll be all done by the weekend at the absolute latest.”
“That’ll be great,” Barrett said.
Upstairs, Kimber sat gingerly on his bed and set the shoebox down, taking off the lid. Inside, the papers were brittle and yellow with age, the text on them almost illegible. As the middle Mossberg carefully read through the papers, his brows furrowed and his frown deepened. Symbols, Latin script, lists of herbs, diagrams of the seals and magic circles needed, even some of Elaine Shores’ own notes, the pages went on and on. The ritual was intense, complex, and not something a beginner should whip out on her first try.
“Elaine, where did you get this?” he wondered out loud.
Dropping the papers he put his head in his hands and sighed deeply. He’d have to go through the ritual bit by bit. The Latin would have to be translated, as well. The language used during ritual didn’t matter, so he’d like to know what Elaine was actually saying when she’d summoned up her demon.
Some of the papers were nearly illegible. Absently, he made a mental note to ask Wes if he could scan them and make them easier to read. If anyone would know, Wes would.
Then there was the matter of what had happened to his car. There was a very real possibility that he could have died tonight, and Kimber was more shaken by that than he would like to admit. He had no idea what happened, and he didn’t like that. Nothing could be done until his car had been pulled from the ravine, so he’d have to wait to find out exactly what happened.
Placing the box beneath his bed, Kimber got up and fished some pain killer out of his stuff. His neck and back were beginning to throb, so he was hoping to head it off before it got too bad. Kimber made another mental note to call a chiropractor before they were all closed tomorrow.
Once he had his plan of attack he began gathering back up the papers to put them in the box. That done, thought it was only about three o’clock, he fished out his pajamas and went to take a shower. Maybe the hot water would sooth his pain away.



  1. Zappaz said,

    Interesting, very interesting… I really like the ironic little fact that Marc used to pick on Kimber, and then wound up saving his life. ^_^

    On another note, I found a typo:

    “…and we should be able to get the class cut on Tuesday or Wednesday…” Glass, I’m sure.

  2. Yahrlan said,

    Hmm, I wonder what he’s going to tell the rental company? If it’s like his parents’ then the brakes won’t show sign of failure or anything…
    Uh-oh. One more typo: “Wesson and Marc had been chatted chatting?

  3. jekloneo said,

    Ectoplasmal interference… What’s that?

    Tiny typo error:
    His eyes MOVINGLY slowly between the two…
    Moving, I should think?

  4. Seth Gray said,

    Ectoplasm: the overlapping area between the physical and the spiritual during a spectral manifestation.

    I know a lot of the throw away lines the boys randomly give will be a bit confusing, but they know what they’re talking about so it wouldn’t be realistic to describe every little thing in the text. Believe me when I say that if a certain term is something that you need to know or will be important later, it will eventually be expanded upon. So until then, just absorb and move on with the story.

  5. jekloneo said,

    It wouldn’t be realistic to describe every little thing in the text, I agree with that.
    Don’t answer if you don’t want to, but how do you know these things?

  6. Seth Gray said,

    Sometimes I take things from mythology/folklore, sometimes urban legends, and sometimes I just make stuff up.

    Ectoplasm is a pretty common term in pseudoscience and popular culture based on it (ever seen ghostbusters?), but I have a different view of how it works in this little world of mine.

  7. jekloneo said,

    I haven’t delved into pseudoscience much till you brought up ectoplasm. I’ve seen ghostbusters, though I’ll have to refresh my memory for that.

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