Saturday, September 29, 2007

172.1 Treat your mind like a bad neighborhood - don't go there alone. Anonymous/RotM

How many times would he be forced to endure it?

Luka moaned in his sleep as the dream began to unfold, the imagery growing somehow darker each time he was forced to relive it. Shifting restlessly, he pushed the comforter aside, hearing Joe's cries through the door as Curtis Ames followed him out of the apartment. What if he never saw Joe again? What if his last words to Abby were ones he had spoken in anger? He should know what happened next, he'd already experienced this, but somehow, he was left wondering, the answers dangling in the mist, just out of his reach.

The fear rose steadily as his memories of the night unraveled, from the conversation in Ames' car which had ended in anger with the man slamming his pistol against Luka's jaw. The pain so real, that he was unable to stop himself from crying out in his sleep, his hand cradling his face as if he expected to find it once again bloody and bruised.

Oh, God, his breathing grew shaky as they neared the house, he knew something terrible was coming, if only he could remember what it was. They climbed the steps of the porch, and forced the door open only to be hit with a waft of stale air which reeked of mold and disuse. Luka began to fight against it in his sleep, his moans loud enough that they would have woke Abby had she been there beside him.

Time seemed to slow to a crawl and he no longer heard the words that Curtis Ames spoke, and then it was time. Oh, God, he didn't want to do it...the fear, so strong he could taste it now, the gunshot so loud and he had no choice but to comply. The cold metal against his hand, tighter and tighter...

His scream pierced the darkness of the bedroom and suddenly Abby was there, pulling him close, easing him somehow to consciousness as he cradled the hand that in his mind was newly crushed. His tears dampened her shirt as she held him, whispering words meant to soothe and reassure, words that she hoped would one day allow him to forget. If only he could...

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