The Cloak of Nothing: Chapter 50

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


Chapter 50: Nine out of ten times, this is probably how it would go down.

Shit! I’m a physical being! I shake Asia by her shoulders. “Are you okay?!” I ask frantically, gagging in between. “Wheez! Gasp! Cough! Hugh—” Blood?

A black handle sticks out at an angle below my ribs.   

 “Ooh mah geehd!” Aysia tries to shriek, struggling to speak. She yanks me toward her, resting my head on her lap. Aysia’s tears hit my face. 

“Relax,” Kanti says. “You can die, or you can relax.” 

Right. Ow! I inhale, slowly pulling the knife out. Blood rapidly spreads through the cloak’s fibers. I close my eyes, trying not to panic. “It’s going to take a lot more than this to kill me,” I assure myself, breathing rhythmically. 

“Yew gew’t? Yeoh?” Aysia mumbles. She’s so high she can barely cling to me, let alone talk.

Phew! Blood oozes back into the wound. 

Aysia smiles sloppily, gagging spontaneously. 

“Come on.” I instinctively roll away and support her up.

Vomit seeps out of her closed mouth, oozing down her chin and onto her clothes. “Ergh…Y’n uh angel eh? Neh?” 

God! Her mouth! She smells like hamburger soup, pot and whiskey. “Something like that…” I hold her silky brown hair back. 

Chunks of Aysia’s evening erupt into the toilet: it’s a stream of mushy meat, chewed candy bits, specks of ash and little pieces of glass.

Kanti indifferently watches from the doorway.

Aysia passes out clutching the toilet.

“She’s dying,” Kanti says.

“Nothing?”

“Poison. Too many toxins.”

“Is there anything we can do?”

“Her soul is already fragmented. She’s barely alive as it is.”

“We can’t… I can’t, let someone else die. If you’re not going to help me for her sake, at least do it for her parents!”

Aysia convulses. An ungodly amount of bile sprays wherever she turns her head. 

“It is done. A Nothing has attached itself to her. This human’s weak constitution renders the act of saving her life inconsequential. She will not change her ways.”

Aysia gasps erratically, opening her eyes in disbelief. “Wha’da fuck! Am I de’d? Holy shit! I’m de’d, unh? Why the fuck is you like that? Yo mah du’e, you a angel o’ so’in like th’t?”

I look at Kanti. We did the right thing. “Something like that. No, you’re not dead, Aysia.”

“Asia? Like th’ country?” Aysia laughs. “Yo you stupit’! It’s Ah-ee-sha!” She snaps, tilting her head. “Well, I ain’t dead, so wha’chu doin’ ‘ere? ‘Unh? Mah d’at sent you ta’ watch me? D’n’t ‘ee?”

“Nope.” Damn, I saved your life. Who cares why? 

Aysia squirms out of my embrace. Her eyes open wide, “M-m-momma?”

I help her up. 

Aysia silently washes her pale face. “Look, I’m havin’ a hard time believin’ all this. Where Chris?”

I sigh, vanishing and materialize in the doorway. “You don’t need to believe anything, just quit being depressed. Maybe change your social circle too. If I hadn’t shown up, your dad might’ve found you slumped over in a pool of vomit with your forearm cut open. Is that really how you want to go?” Hopefully this is a wakeup call for her. Be different. Do something different. 

“Don’t judge me foo’! You ‘on’t even know me!” Aysia screams. “My d’ad the reason I’m like this. I ‘on’t give a shit if you d’id sa’e mah ass. You jus’ ma’e shit worse. I woulda’ been happy d’ed! It’s betta’ than livin’ in this hell!” Aysia gets up and pushes me out of her way, slamming the door to her room.

Better off dead? I can do more than that! I walk down the hall, fling her bedroom door open. “You want to die?” 

“Emery?” Kanti asks puzzled.

Aysia scrambles on the ground. 

She deserves this. Do it. Do it! “Stop!” I grab my head and shut the shrill voice out. 

“Some guy here. In mah house! Hurry!” Aysia screams into her cellphone. “Mhm. Cops comin’ fa’ yo’ ass! I ‘unno who the fuck you think you is, but you goin’a jail!”

I stare at Kanti in disbelief. This can’t be happening!

Kanti’s stares indifferently. “I am more curious how your physical body was able to warp, than this creature’s incessant rambling. What matter of control can human authority possess over you, Young Emery? Relax. Simply transcend into an astral being. We must find the Nothing radiating from all around us.” 

Without a second thought, I warp downstairs. This kitchen reeks. “I’m too angry to go astral. Quick! Do your stare thing!”

The doorbell is followed by heavy knocks. “Police!” A man shouts. “Hello! Chris! Aysia? It’s me. Officer Dobbins!”

Kanti appears in front of me, and Aysia’s footsteps thump and thud with the front door. 

I inhale and go astral.

“We don’ received a call,” Officer Dobbins says casually with a thick, mid-western accent. He’s chubby, with sleazy look on his blemished face. He has straight, dark brown hair. Freckles spot his round, pale face. “You gon’ let me in, Sweetie?” He gasps excited. “Ya’ know, I can just come in, right?”

Oh my god… Sigh.

Aysia steps aside. “Whateva’. Damn!” She searches the house with Officer Dobbins.

“We didn’t check upstae’s, Aysia,” Dobbins says eagerly. He places his hand over his his pistol’s grip. “Wouldn’t waun’t em’ to run past us, and accident’ly shoo’ ch’ya, would we?”

Aysia sighs. 

“I’ll make it werth’ ya while. I am Chicago’s finest, after all.” Dobbins pulls a bag with blue rocks from his pocket.  

“Come on!” Aysia says anxiously yanking Dobbins upstairs. “Either way you’ killin’ me.”

Dobbins laughs. “Betta’the devil ya’ do than the one you don’t!” 

I did this.


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