The Cloak of Nothing: Chapter 75

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


Chapter 75: Business and pleasure.

The door opens and Someone’s parents stand at the door. A little underdressed for being at Eliza’s Christmas party; the mother’s wearing a white dress, black pantyhose and white high heels. Her black hair curls just below her ears. Hands down, she’s the hottest woman at the party. God, who’s mom is that?!

On the other hand, the dad next to her looks like a cut from one of my mom’s hospital brochures. Or, like a man from a 50s commercial where they announce the characters with tacky, overly-white names like, “Stewart every dad.” I bet he looked like a “Billy every teen,” when he was younger.  

“Saria, time to go honey,” the woman says to Saria. The coarseness in her voice suggests a life of cigarettes and coffee. I wonder if she played a role in the Nothing possessing her daughter… for that matter, I wonder if what Kanti’s doing is keeping this place any safer…

“Alright mom,” Saria says. “I’ll meet you downstairs.”

Saria’s dad smiles. “Alrighty, don’t take too long sweetheart. We’re opening presents with your cousins early.”  He closes the door slowly. 

Roslyn inserts her hand in mine and gives Saria a dirty look.   

Meanwhile, Arsen’s eyes follow Saria like a lost pup. He dashes to her side when she walks toward the dresser and grabs her hot pink purse. Arsen says something and Saria’s lips move in response. 

Saria points at me and Arsen looks down. 

His lips inaudibly motion, “she’s into you!” He tracing an hourglass shape in the air and then slaps it.

Of course…

Saria opens the door and winks at me.

“What a weirdo…” Roslyn says. “I can’t believe she would ramble on about a game in real life like that. Girls don’t do that… she sounds like a freak.”  Her jealousy makes me feel strange; I feel something dark radiate from her.

I glance over at Arsen who’s standing by the light switch.  Could Saria have attached herself to him too? 

“Hell yeah!” Arsen shouts, lost in his phone as he shuts the light off.  

“Do you hear yourself?” I say to Roslyn.

“What do you mean?” She says anxiously.

“If Saria’s so strange, such a weirdo, such a freak, then why would you feel the need to say something bad about her? She’s already weird enough to be noticed as a weirdo.” I can’t use my powers to hunt Saria down and fight her so I’ll have to settle with talking Roslyn away from being another victim of any nothing. Even if it isn’t with me, when her soul crosses into The Meta, I want it to be from old age.

“I… I don’t….” Roslyn grips my hand. “I’ don’t know why I thought like that.  I feel bad for her… I’m sorry.”

“Don’t… Don’t regret what you said… just know what you said… Don’t feel guilty over your thoughts and words, even if you are wrong. Realize you were wrong and accept that you said something wrong, and just… just be better than that… you lose yourself when you dwell on negativity.”

Roslyn looks down.  

Arsen hits the lights before sitting back down, spreading his right arm over Monica and his left arm over Crystal.  

Monica 2’s still sitting on the floor, but at least she seems to be enjoying the movie. 

Andrew and the girl whose name I never got have their cell phones out. Probably texting since the surround is really loud. 

With any luck, that’ll be Roslyn and me.  

Roslyn hugs me. Her eyes twinkle like stars in the distance, except she’s, without a doubt, within my reach. 

My heart feels like it’s going to jump out of my mouth as Roslyn leans her face close to mine. Light begins to surround me. If this keeps up, I’m going to end up going astral.

“Emery!” Kanti shouts. “Let go of her!”

The noise from the speakers, light from the TV, and the feeling Roslyn’s arms around my neck and shoulders fade slowly. 

Darkness gradually eats away at my sight, but before everything goes black, Roslyn lets go of me in a trance-like state. 

Part of me is angry at the thought of him manipulating her like a puppet, but the alternative would have been worse.  

Kanti’s glowing eyes look at me. “Think what you have to say to me!” He roars.

“What was that?” I think.

“It—” 

“I have to go to the restroom,” Roslyn interrupts, embarrassed by her sudden clumsiness.

“Down the hall,” I say, walking out of the room with her. “This place is big, so it can get a little creepy, I’ll wait for you here.” Good thing my eyes don’t need to adjust when going from light to dark. I get to admire her walk without any interruptions.

Kanti appears in front of me. “It was Aemon,” he says.

“How is that possible? He’s still asleep… Isn’t he?” I ask in my mind.

“I believe the human, Roslyn, draws out your energy because she has trace amounts of Aemon inside of her.  It’s only speculation. But I believe the attraction that exists between your souls is because Aemon’s energy is interacting with itself.  The exchange of energy is strong enough allow you to traverse the rift… and may also bring the fragment of Aemon within you closer to awakening.” 

Great…

“Again, it is only speculation.  But, I surmise that the Nothing Aemon absorbed before you obtained the cloak, and the energy Roslyn drew out of you at school may have given Aemon enough energy to take you into The Void so th—”

“I get it… he brought me there so he could feed on them.”

Kanti nods. “Perhaps… at any rate, that girl’s soul is a conduit for your power because there are particles of Aemon on it.”

“Are you saying Roslyn and I are soulmates?” I ask in my head, clenching my fists from the excitement. Creepy but hot Saria aside, this is the best day of my life… or it can be.

“Focus!” Kanti says condescendingly. “Even if she is your soulmate, she bears some of Aemon’s energy. You cannot interact.”

And, clearly, it’s not the best day ever. I sigh, stuck on the soulmates idea. “Well, who is my soulmate? Do I even have one?”

“Are you listening to me?” Kanti says sternly.

“I am, but it’s been an enjoyable night… we can get into all the depressing stuff later… C’mon Kanti… tell me!” I shout in my mind.

Kanti sighs. “Young Emery, you may live hundreds of years, or more. Does it matter if you have a soulmate or whether or not you find love?” 

Roslyn walks out of the bathroom, fumbling with her cell. 

“It matters to me,” pours out of my mouth.

Roslyn freezes. Her green-eyed gaze makes my chest spasm. 

Soulmates or not, I know this it. I know she’s it.

Roslyn’s eyes penetrate my soul.  “What matters?” She asks blushing as she looks down and rubs her right elbow with her left hand. 

“Everything.” I gently pull her in from her waist. The urge to grab her ass is unbearable, but I fight it. 

“Let her go,” Kanti says looking down. “Aemon is using her soul to nourish himself. I can feel it from here…”

Roslyn and I lock eyes and lean closer to each other’s faces.

Aemon breathes with me. But I don’t care.

“Stop this Emery,” Kanti says. “Or I will.” 

I hold my breath and press my lips against Roslyn’s. 

A tear rolls down Roslyn’s cheek. “I love you,” she says. “I have always loved you Emery.” She removes my hands from her waist.

My back bumps the door to my room when I take a step back.

“I dreamt of this… In my dream… We’d stand like this… under a star-filled sky.  You walk up to me and stroke my face. Then a star falls when you say you love me. I-I…” Roslyn’s voice cracks with my heart, “I say that I love you too, and wish to be with you forever…” 

My vision gets watery, and my heart drowns in the deepening river of Roslyn’s words. I know she’s trying to let me down easy. Just say it.  Friend zone me! That’s what I’d do if I were Kanti. Force her to say it!

“I don’t want to hurt you. I never want to hurt you,” Roslyn says. 

My eyes avoid hers in an attempt to brace my chipping heart. Here we go…   

“I’m so happy. I’m so happy you finally kissed me.”

I choke on her words and stare at Kanti in disbelief; he didn’t do anything?

Aemon stirs inside my chest like heartburn, stinging my esophagus. Why wasn’t it like this before?  I sat next to her for such a long time… I feel like garbage with all these thoughts buzzing around my head. My body—it’s numb; pins and needles prick me from every direction when I try to move. 

Bright mist twirls gracefully around Roslyn’s body. Her emerald eyes embrace me, waiting for me to return her affection.

A breeze soothes my skin and the tingling stops. I inhale. With a soft exhale, I’m relaxed.

Roslyn reaches for me and I realize the mist around her body is her soul; it’s being sucked into the center of my chest like a vacuum slowly sucking smoke. 

“Young Emery, the fragment of Aemon will devour her soul,” Kanti says mournfully.

I quietly take a step back while facing Roslyn. 

When she’s just out of arms reach, her soul becomes brighter and recedes before vanishing. 

Roslyn takes a step toward me. Her eyes demand a response, and her heart slowly crumbles in my hand. She wants me to tell her I love her.

I turn my back. I—I can’t let Roslyn see my tears. 

Roslyn grabs my wrist to keep me from walking away. 

I want to tell her…

I want to tell her everything.

But…

I don’t want to kill her. 

“Emery, please,” She says gently caressing my hand. “Look at me—Are you going to say something?” She sighs. “Anything…”

“Roslyn-I-you-I will- I am-I’m in love with Saria,” I blurt out. “There. I said it.”


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Silence sneaks in like a cat in the night. It taps over the concrete, swiping at corners and shiny objects. The black cat of darkness is a silent soliloquy of sadness. When it speaks the veil of the world exhales its wisdom. Lost on our ears, we suppress the knowledge of the ancients through unnecessary … Continue reading Headlines


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