VIII. Philotherianism [2]

VIII. Philotherianism [2]

A Chapter by Writer #00

Great, I thought, looking around the tall grasses and forest for Sasha, where’d he go?

            The shock of Henry’s “denial” had distracted me, giving the boy enough time to get out of my sight, and I couldn’t let him get to far from the cabin and go back to where that music had come from.  I hadn’t picked up Kami’s meal, but it wasn’t as if I was going to not give her her dinner�"I was--, just after I got Sasha out of potential harm’s way.  Felix had reluctantly and, to be honest, quite worriedly, let me go after him.  He knew I hadn’t been affected by the most immediate dangers of the island, so he figured it would be better for him to stay with Ali and Henry who were prone to it, and gave me his phone, telling me to call Ali if anything went wrong.

              I jogged down the trail to the baseball diamond, remembering when I’d seen him come back up that way during one of our lunch breaks.  If he was doing what he did after every meal, then he’d probably take the same path to do it…whatever ‘it’ was.

            I couldn’t bear the thought of having Sasha walk right into hearing range of the song that wasn’t ‘To Plataniko Nero’…there would be no one around and he was liable to end up like…  It’s red face festering with boils, bruises, and blisters began to show itself in my mind’s eye.  It was making me listen to the sound of Mill’s death again, over and over.

            “Why didn’t you catch him, Harrison?” it asked in its gravelly voice, wrapping an arm around my mind, “Why didn’t you stop it from happening?”

            Its voice was growing louder, and its form was so large now that it blocked my field of vision.  All I could hear was the sound of bats smashing on the heads of all those people who were now missing.  I had to stop, leaning forward onto the sturdy trunk of a conifer for support. 

            “And the same thing’s going to happen again with Sasha because you’re�"“

            “SHUT UP!” I shouted, slamming my fist into the conifer, its red splinters drawing pricks of red blood from my hand, “…be quiet.”

            I dropped down to the dirt of the path, the light thinning out as darker evening approached and was dimmed by the silhouettes of the grand forest.  My hoarse voice echoed throughout the woods, bounding from limb to limb of the evergreens as I began to cry.  I knew it wasn’t my fault.  I knew there was nothing I could have done, but even still…even still I had a sinking�"sickening�"feeling that my being Trogon…that it was the cause of the music.  That whatever had created it only sang in hopes that I would have died.  For all I knew, it could have been the ghost of the angler’s wife making another move.  Perhaps that beautiful, light-as-air soprano that had mesmerized everyone at the beach was the voice of a vindictive phantom.

            I knelt there, in front of the evergreen, hidden by the forest and exposed by the trail, letting my tears fall down my face and weave their way through my fledgling forest of facial hair.  La fille aux cheveux de lin.

            Chad could read people like books.  He could tell what you were feeling just as well as he could tell when his two german shepherds were hungry or happy or ready to play.  It was like you were made of opal and your emotions were each a certain temperature that changed the color of your heart in correspondence with their hue. 

            Once, on the way to Chad’s house for my lessons, I remember being angry with my Mom about something�"I think it had to do with a thing Weston’d done…broken a bottle of perfume, perhaps--I don’t recall exactly what it was.  But whatever Weston’d done my Mom didn’t believe�"and it wasn’t one of those cases when your older brother actually tried to frame a younger sibling, he’d admitted to it the moment she started accusing me, but Mom just wouldn’t believe him.  I suppose she thought Weston was too, I dunno, mature?  perfect?  to do something so ridiculous, so she insisted that it was I who had broken her perfume bottle.  What was worse was that it’d happened a few minutes before Mom’d returned home (she was next door at a book club, okay, she didn’t go far) and I’d started helping West clean up the mess.  When the doorbell rang, West had to answer it because, and I quote, “Letting people into where you live isn’t a task just anyone can fulfill, you have to be older and wiser” and I was not yet older nor wiser (in hindsight, I wonder why she never used her key to get in).  So, when she came into the bathroom where the accident had been committed, she saw a little me squatting near many shards of broken bottle and spilled, 80$ perfume.  Yeah, I know, incriminating, right?  But that’s not the point of this flashback.

            As I was saying, I was angry with Mom (now you know why, makes sense, doesn’t it?) and I wouldn’t talk to her.  She hadn’t punished me or anything, she’d just been worried I’d gotten stabbed by glass, but it was the fact that she hadn’t believed me�"or West, for that matter�"that clawed at my insides. 

            When I’d started my lesson with Chad, I’d instantly began to smile, trying to put my anger at my Mom aside so that I could enjoy one of my favourite parts of the week.  He started off by seeing how much I’d improved on the last song he’d given me to learn, Claire de lune.  He never started me on a song by giving me both parts, maybe because of my age, so I’d only had the right hand to practice, which contained most of the melody.  I played a few measures, Chad sitting on the bench with me, accompanying my right hand with the longer-noted part of his left; then, he stopped us. 

            “What’s the matter?” he asked, the reverberation of the two harmonic thirds we’d last played echoing throughout the room.

            “Nothing,” I lied, waiting for him to let me continue the piece.

            “Usually I can sync with you when we play together,” Chad explained, even though I hadn’t noticed anything different “but I could not this time.  You’re playing is different, I have never heard your notes sound so full of rage.”

            He managed to get me to tell him what had happened with my mom, then he played La fille aux cheveux de lin and his wife made some hot chocolate for me and warmed up a churro (it wasn’t winter, but her hot chocolate was so good I’d drink it any season).  I thanked him, and when we played the song again I swear I could hear a difference.

            “See,” Chad whispered kindly, “your notes sound calmer now.”

            The sound of feet crunching on the path snapped me out of my reverie, my brief moment of sadness having subsided now.  I stood up, looking about the darkening forest for the source, but saw nothing.  Cautiously, I continued forward in search of Sasha, wondering where he could’ve gotten to.  When I arrived at the baseball diamond, the many woodchips snapping beneath the soles of my worn tennis shoes, I saw that the bike shed was still open just as I’d left it on the way to South Icthyes Beach (though, now that I think about it, I should’ve closed it when I left…oh well), but there was something askew�"a puddle…red?  I remembered seeing some tools (like there would be in any shed, I suppose), and I think I may have seen a surplus of paint cans piled lazily behind the box of helmets, as well…but the red, it might still be…

            I neared the puddle, beginning to feel uneasy as the smell of paint wafted into my nostrils.  The cans I’d noticed earlier in the day had tipped over, the red one cracking open and spilling out of the shed and onto the ground.  It reminded me of when Salem’d made me paint her dollhouse a few years back--I think it was the same cherry red, too�"and I’d accidentally dropped a bottle of paint all over the roof, which she’d made clear she would have preferred a navy blue. 

            I shook my head at the thought, smiling as I wondered how my little sister and the rest of the family were.  Had the police contacted our parents so they’d know what was going on?  Were they worrying?  At this thought,  I felt a pressing sense of urgency.  Felix’d said they’d arrive in about three hours…I think that was nearly two hours ago, which meant I didn’t have much time to find Sasha.  I entered the shed, figuring it would be more expedient if I searched for the philotherian via bicycle, hoping Sasha hadn’t had the same idea.  I didn’t bother with a helmet--I was rushing, okay?...and I didn’t know how to put those things on properly, anyway--and as I was about to roll a bike out, I stopped, the sound of heavy, laborious breathing whispering from somewhere deeper in the shed.

            I tensed, cursing myself as I realized I’d soon be out in the dark with no light and nothing to protect me.  Slowly, frozenly, I creaked my head around, squinting into the blackness for a shape, but my eyes were only met with sound.  I peered longer, waiting for my eyes to adjust, then I remembered Felix’s phone.  Shakily, I dug the device out of my pocket and used the illumination from its screen to reveal the source of the gasping breath.

            At first, I saw nothing, but as I swept the back of the shed and warily moved forward, I saw a fluid dripping down the plywood of the back wall.  Whatever it was seemed to span the entire length of the wall, still fresh, so I slowly ran the light of Felix’s cell from left to right:

ςαέσηΘ ο ςωπό ετσίε αΝ

            Greek.  Words that frightened me if only because they were written in red.  I tried to translate it, pronounce it phonetically, but I only got gibberish:

saesiTh the sopo so if

            The breathing had slowed now, almost to nothing, but I still saw no sign of life.  I sucked up any fear I had and moved the cellular light lower, to the base of the wall, and that’s when I saw what made me dial Ali’s number: slumped against the bottom of the wall, a smear of blood trailing above it and red head down, was a naked,  eviscerated body, entrails splayed out like sanguinary tentacles. 

            “J…J…” I whispered in horror, my breath catching in my throat.

            Sloppily painted in a warm, wet red at his feet was something written in English, something that increased the terror of what was inducing such paralyzing fear within me:

listeN tO The sonG Of the siRens


© 2013 Writer #00

Author's Note

Writer #00
I finally finished part two of Chapter 8 and it is now posted, as you can see... Anyway, hope you enjoyed! Was Henry's change in character believable or, at least, understandable...or did it seem completely random? Please point out any tips for revision and such, or just tell me what you think. Or read it and say nothing, which is also fine. : ) Thanks to all who read/review/view/etc. : )

A note:
The title-->you may notice it isn't applicable to anything in this chapter, or so it seems, but it is actually giving a hint to the next chapter.

My Review

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Oh it's getting really creepy and I love it! The voice in the head is scary and unsettling, the very ending of the chapter was gold, I felt a shiver go down my spine. More questions arise, Harri's behavior is much more believeable than in the last chapter. Nice work with this chapter, Writer # 00. I really caught that fantasy-mystery-horror tune.

Sorry that the review was so scrawny, I'll try better next time ;-) Just feed me some fish, I can't wait for those.

Posted 10 Years Ago

Writer #00

10 Years Ago

Haha, scrawny reviews are always fine, I'm just glad you read this at all : ) Yay, I guess I was go.. read more

10 Years Ago

Fantasy-mystery-horror is great.
Aauugghhh! You put us at the cliff! Ah well can't say I don't do the same but I love how you used some gruesome imagery here. Very suspenseful. Either the blood is just a hallucination or its real and its on! Wow why did I not know you wrote another chapter. Besides your rate is better than mine.

The relationship with Chad gets interesting even though he appears once in a while. I love your story so far, after I came back from vacation! Its a great chapter to read after coming back!

Posted 10 Years Ago

This comment has been deleted by the poster.
Writer #00

10 Years Ago

Haha, yep, but I just posted the first part of chapter 9, so it's not so much a cliff-hanger anymore.. read more

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2 Reviews
Added on July 22, 2013
Last Updated on July 24, 2013
Tags: song, of, the, sirens, SOS, fantasy, retrest


Writer #00
Writer #00


I'm participating in the Summer Writing Project through, an online serial website, those entering had to submit a novella on The finalists will be decided by the number of +V.. more..

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