The Cloak of Nothing: Chapter 30

by Mark Figueroa | Featured Art by A Forgotten Pen at @theforgottenpen


Chapter 30: It’s Dummy, right? 

My footsteps are inaudible when I finally reach the stone, basement floor.  Eliza really spared no expense making this place. Too bad it looks like a dump from the outside. I plop my duffel bags next to the large, red and chrome washer and dryer set. 

FLA-THUUUUMMM! DRRRRRMMMM! DRRRRMMMM!

Thank god for second sight, I had a feeling the storm door was going to get all crazy with all the wind outside.  Being a Cloak Bearer’s pretty cool. I don’t feel cold. Wonder if I can get sick… 

“Hey Kanti, how’d you walk through the doors?” I ask while separating my clothes.

“By willing it.”

“Hmm… So, that ghost… What do I need to do?”

 “Ah, well, Young Emery, you do what you need to do.”

“Stop being cryptic.” I slam the washer shut after stuffing my dark clothes in and setting it to rinse. “I need to hunt this target of mine, right?”

“Yes, and, if you can, exorcize it. Or at the very least defeat it.”

“Exorcise it? Defeat it, like kill it? Won’t devouring things’ souls make my resonance go down, me evil, and the cloak poof off of my body? Why would I do that?” I lean on the washer and stare at Kanti, who despite appearing out of nowhere is quite calm. 

“This is a controlled test of your problem-solving abilities and your ethereal energy competency. And, to observe the profound darkness existing within you. Most creatures cannot fathom matricide nor do they feel an incessant need to feel the bone of their kin grinding between their teeth, Young Emery.”

“Observe the darkness in me? You mean Aemon?” Can Kanti hear the other voice? I grab a disgusting pile of soaked clothes from the bag. The sound makes me gag.

“I hear all. You are not the first human to ever exist. Not all requires intense contemplation or discussion,” Kanti says stoically. “However, I perceive those malevolent thoughts in your voice, and have yet to identify the malevolence as a byproduct of Aemon or something else entirely. Observation is, therefore, the best course of action. You, as I, understand that there is a chance that this darkness may drive you to devour another entity.  Despite your efforts to deny and conceal what you are capable of from yourself, I know that you are not ignorant of this possibility. You fear it, loathe it, and suppress it, along with yourself to a certain degree.” Kanti’s left eye is bright blue. The other… Red. “As you can see, it took me a moment to comprehend that in order to hear the darkness, I needed to resonate at all levels I am capable of.”

Fuck! Just keep pouring it on! What’s next? I’m dead too? “So, what do I do? What do I focus on?” 

“What you can control. The rest is merely noise, Young Emery. As I said, not all requires intense contemplation or discussion. We both know there is nothing that can or should be done about it. It is enough to not allow it to surprise us. The rest, cloak bearer, depends on you.”

“Good point. It’s just a lot to take in. The past few days haven’t been filled with laughs and smiles, you know?”

“Well, if one such as yourself were to use your abilities for this task you are so abhorrently doing—”

“The laundry?” There’s no way I can focus on each individual item of clothing and will them clean. That isn’t happening. It’s more painful than the time I’m spending piling them into the washer. “I’m sure you heard my thoughts… I’m not doing that. Not now. Or, at least not with the laundry.”

“What is beyond your grasp will always lie beyond your grasp if you do not put forth the effort to obtain it.” 

I shrug. “That’s fine. When does my training start?”

Kanti vanishes. “Now. Catch the ethereal entity and will it from whence it came. You must place your benevolently-willed palm over the center of its forehead, and let the cloak do the rest.”

“Ok. Last question, I promise… Didn’t you just say to ignore it before? Why do I get the feeling I need to chase it now?”

“I did indeed. Young Emery, your responsibility as a cloak bearer is to hunt. What better way to hunt than subtle acknowledgement and cautious tracking?”

“I have no idea what the hell that means.” I cross my arms.

“If your target believes that it has not been acknowledged and identified, even though it knows you are present, it will most certainly let its guard down, thus granting you the upper hand.” 

A goofy grin spreads across my face. “Understood, Senpai!” 

I hear the smile behind Kanti’s reply, “Focus and move!”

“Alright, alright.” I walk upstairs, relaxing my body and closing my eyes. The double vision from my eyes and mind’s eye is a little hard to get used to. I should start slow for now. I see, feel and hear everything in Eliza’s house.  My energy creates a light blue screen over my vision, but I can perfectly make out the faint, light orange or white aura tracing every nonliving thing. Eliza is the only other person here; I can’t sense Kanti or the thing I’m tracking. 

I wonder if this is just the universe’s way of trolling me. What if I’m in a straightjacket rocking back and forth against a padded room, slinging feces at the wall and talking in tongues.  Shadow people, a dog god, freakin’ Aemon… what kind of name is that anyway. “Aye mon,” I say to myself in a Jamaican accent, chuckling. Maybe Aiven going to Mordis is my way of rationalizing that he’s in Hell or something. Sigh. But, then again, Eliza being my mother is the last reality I’d create. This is real. It has to be. 

I walk past the kitchen taking in the tiny sensations. The steaks are seasoned and seared to perfection. Their white aura makes them a little more appetizing. I wonder how long I can keep my focus?

“Food’s almost ready, why don’t you go upstairs and get yourself situated,” Eliza interrupts. 

Ugh. “Ok…” I guess I couldn’t keep it up for long. I open my eyes and look at the steaks. “Oh crap!” my charger!

“Emery?” Eliza asks curiously. 

“My charger!” I yell sprinting to the basement door, heavy-footing my way down. Luckily, I didn’t toss the zip-lock bag in to the wash. I grab the charger and my video games. 

A transparent turquoise figure rises from the ground. It’s humanoid with no features.  I see what Kanti meant; the entity feels like him. It must be his energy.

“Kanti… is that you?” I ask out loud. The ghost hovers toward me. 

“No. I was born of the divine entity Kanti,” the entity says in an emotionless, omnipotent voice. 

“I am resonating beyond your spectrum, Young Emery. I will answer your questions, but I shan’t provide advice. I will observe your actions, but I will not impede. Is that clear?”

“Crystal.” I nod.

“It begins,” interjects the entity. “I exist to defeat you. My name is…”

Snow dummy? What could his name possibly be? How could have a name when Kanti didn’t give him one?

The snow dummy gawky at me, then at Kanti. Its blank expression fades as it stares at its hands. “I am Mymud,” it mutters. The snow golem prepares itself to attack me.


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