The Cloak of Nothing: Chapter 62

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

Chapter 62: Batman. 

“Conyo, Emery,” Eliza sighs. I run over to help with the bags, but she shrugs me away.

“What? What’d I do?”

Eliza exhales and rubs her forehead after putting her bags down. “Really?” She sighs again. “If you want to make some fucked up soap snowman, you could’ve done it in the backyard. It’s frozen and now I’ll have to wait till it melts.”

I stare blankly and take the bags into the kitchen.

“Sorry. I saw it on YouTube and thought it’d be funny.”

“Egh. Help me bring in the rest of the groceries.” Eliza smiles. She grabs bags filled with bottles; they clank and sway in her small hands.

“Need help?”

“Grab the stuff from the car.” 

She places the bags in front of a tall iron-framed wine rack in the kitchen with a heavy sigh. 

“Just set everything on the table and I’ll take care of it,” Eliza says after I bring the groceries inside. “Cara de culo, go enjoy yourself or play some video games till everyone shows up,” Eliza says. “You could plug your PlayStation in to the projector in your room. Saves que I would’ve done it, pero I wasn’t entirely sure si los dos eran compatible, since it’s an older projector.”

“They are. My PS4 has an optical display port,” I respond. “I’ll go and do that. Are you sure you don’t want me to do anything else?”

Eliza nods and starts placing the bottles in the wine rack’s circular slots. “Just go decompress and get ready, I’m having, like, twenty people over. I don’t want you being antisocial. I don’t want you scaring anyone away,” Eliza smiles and winks. “If my party’s a bust, I won’t be trusted to host it next year. I’d be all alone.”

“I would be here with you.”

“That’s so sweet, but we can’t exchange stories, blunts and drinks. I need a little more holiday cheer than the love of a child.”

“Fair enough,” I say, laughing as I walk away. Not that I didn’t figure it out before, but her admission helps clarify things. My PS4 materializes in my hands. 

“Your playstati—”

“—Already got it,” I yell from the hall.

“Como?!” Eliza’s heels rapidly click on the ground as she catches up to me. “Ok, stop!”

I freeze on the second step. 

“You were… I swear this morning, I saw you… You fell from the ceiling. I know you didn’t grab anything. I was watching you!” She yells, passionately pointing her fingers. “I just saw it plugged in over there! You didn’t touch it, grab it, move it, or anything!” Eliza yells. “So, no me hables mentiras!” She examines me. “Turn around and look at me Emery!”

Blue eye shadow makes her wide eyes look like searchlights. Her fists are balled up and digging into the side of her hips. 

“You’d be more menacing if you weren’t wearing an apron over business casual clothing. If I start running, you can’t catch me in those heels anyway.” Hopefully, I calm her down… Dammit. She looks even more concerned.

“Look, if you’re involved in something… Something supernatural… please, please just tell me. Certain things might sound fun, appealing and even liberating, but there’s a price for using that stuff.”

I nod. “I know. I’m not involved in anything demonic. Trust me. I just grabbed my PS4 really fast. You were putting the wine away, so you wouldn’t’ve seen me anyway.”

“Stop lying! I have a clear view into the living room. The damn thing just vanished when I looked up. You were already down the hall.” Eliza grabs the bottom of my jacket, startling me. 

“Woah!” My PS4 fumbles out of my hands, but I suspend it before it hits the stairs. Without a second thought I warp it back into my palms.

Eliza shrieks and stumbles backward, falling over herself. Her lips quiver and her fear-filled eyes glisten in the light. “You are! Oh, my god! Mo—” Eliza stops mid-sentence.

“Be more cautious,” Kanti says from behind me, his eyes flash purple. 

“Weird, I feel like I just had deja-vu, except something was different. I was mad or scared of you. Oh, well.” She smiles and shrugs it off. “Just keep on with what you’re doing,” Eliza says.

“What’s that?” I ask, trying not raise suspicion. 

“What the hell do you mean, ‘What’? Grabbing and plugging in your PlayStation upstairs, makes things easier for me. Are you sure, you’re not smoking pot in my house?” 

“Pot?” What the hell is she talking about? Did she not see what just happened? “Uh, yeah. Sure, tia. Just glad to help. I’ll be upstairs playing.” What the hell just happened? Did Kanti do something? 

“Well, coooool! Great, I’m going to get all the finger food ready. I’m hosting so all the freeloaders coming are bringing the food. Don’t worry it’ll be good!”

I pause at the top step and look at Eliza before she walks off.

“Are you alright, Em?”

“Ye—eh hmm—Yeah.” I clear my throat and walk to my room. “I’m good. Just text me if you need me to do something. I play with headphones.”

“Ok!” Eliza’s heels happily tap their way down the hall.

“Kanti, what was that? What did you do?” Where is he, now? “Kanti?” Of course, he disappeared.

I follow his energy and warp to my room at my house. 

“I needed to compose myself. I apologize,” Kanti says softly. What’s wrong with him?

“I don’t care. I just want to know what you did to Eliza.” I place my PS4 on my bed. “If that was so draining, why’d you warp here? Wouldn’t that take even more energy?”  

“I warped just after I altered Eliza’s perception. In that moment, we shared the same resonance. She would have been able to see me,” Kanti responds. He looks exhausted. I almost feel bad for him. “Warping and manipulating inorganic matter is equivalent to walking or short sprints; in contrast, the manipulation of the mind and soul, the fabrication of reality and completely altering a person’s spirit, requires a vast expenditure of one’s essence. It is quite taxing,” Kanti sighs. “Eliza is one with a strong will who would stop at nothing to achieve what she wishes. Given the circumstance, fabricating her memories was the only option.”

“Why?” That seems excessive. I get the feeling there’s something Kanti doesn’t want me to know. What if this is somehow related to Monad? “You didn’t stop Eliza from saying something, did you?” 

Kanti looks down in shame.

“You said we need to communicate! Why are you hiding shit from me, Kanti?!” Are you serious? How the hell can I trust him if he pulls shit like this? He’s a liar! “Why are you lying to me, Kanti?!” I charge at him.

“Relax young Emery,” Kanti says, suspending me in the air.

You’re hiding something! Let me go! I heard her back there! She almost called me Monad! Who is—Agh! Let me go! I can’t breathe!” 

Kanti locks eyes with me. 

There’s too much pressure around me; I can’t move.

“I am sorry. I am simply not ready to talk about the man who killed my soulmate,” Kanti says passively. “I understand that you may not trust what I say regarding Monad, but it is in your best interest, and mine, that you let the matter rest, for now.”

I quit struggling, and Kanti loosens his hold on me. “Fine, but, it’s really hard to trust you if you can’t explain shit to me. You’re the one who said we need to communicate, and that involves keeping me informed, right? What if there was something I could’ve done?”

Kanti looks up at me. The blue gloss in his irises is gone. “There was nothing you could have done.” Kanti sighs. 

I sigh. “Whatever. How can I trust you? I don’t know who Monad is aside from him and Th’Rut were best buds.”

Kanti stares at me in disbelief. “Absolutely not,” He whimpers. “Though I wish to avoid the subject, I suppose you have a valid point, Young Emery. In addition, out of respect for Monad, I will tell you who he was. I will tell you of the Forsaken one.”

Thank you for reading. Stay tuned for the next chapter!

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