Greetings and salutations, faithful reader! Here we are once more with another heaping helping of Left Of Midnight! I’m Timothy Scott Purvis, as you are well aware, and I’m pleased to bring you the next few selections of my newest novel. Sure, it’s a large one and will take some time to get into, and I’m hoping you’ll be willing to read through it all and offer up your own opinions of how the work in question is coming along. Eventually, it will be made available for purchase on my author site on Amazon and we’ll see where we go from there.
So sit back, grab a beer, and prepare yourself for the next installment of Left of Midnight! And see you all again soon!
THERE IS NO HATE,
BUT THE HATE YOU MAKE
SCREAMS ECHOED OUT into the night and Avery leapt up off the ground. He turned to see the Japanese pilot rushing him, his eyes blank but his rage palpable. The man slammed into him as he struggled to get his bearings. Fortunately, the man was smaller than himself. Unfortunately, he was as much of a firecracker as one in his position was expected to be. The both of them fell to the ground writhing in a tangle of angry flesh.
Avery fell down as they rolled across the campsite and into the wet grasses surrounding the edge of the stony shoreline. Avery did his best to hold the man at bay, but his fists found their marks on his jaw, his ribs, and his groin. He tried not to buckle forward as he struggled to get ahold of the man’s flailing arms.
“Alright, man, alright! Get ahold of yourself!” Avery screamed but the pilot didn’t seem to hear him.
In fact, he didn’t seem to be awake at all. His eyes gleamed in their hate for him, he noted only briefly as the pilot got onto his chest and started pounding his face. Avery brought his arms up and began blocking and trying to deflect the blows. He twisted his hips with every punch, pushing himself along his back with every attack until he was certain he could pin the pilot’s arms down.
“You did this! You did this to us!” the pilot screamed and Avery had only a moment to take this in before rolling over on top of the man and pinning his arms with his elbows and his legs with his thighs.
“What? What was that!? Did you just speak English!?” Avery screamed staring down at the pilot.
But his eyes were glaring up at the sky above and they almost had a blue tinge within the irises. He paused with a horror on his visage and then the pilot began his incomprehensible prattle once more and there was nothing more he could get out of the man. He waited until he tired himself out. And, just as if nothing had happened at all, the pilot was in a deep, soundless sleep. His lips moving angrily. His eyes closed. Even so, Avery could see his eyelids fluttering violently as the eyeballs underneath did a deathly spiral. He placed his hand on the pilot’s forehead and pulled it back nearly immediately. It was a raging inferno. He could almost see the waves of heat pouring off the man’s head.
Avery panicked and picked the pilot up. Then raced towards the lake. The moon was nearing the western edge of the sunken gorge’s valley peaks. He raced into the water, felt how cold it was at the hour (maybe one in the morning, but likely between two and three) and then knelt down to submerge the pilot into the water and splashed water into the man’s face.
“Come on… stay with me!” Avery gritted his teeth, and he figured he looked like a madman just that second but who was around to give a damn?
He kept splashing. All the while, the pilot twisted and turned and brought his hands forward in a weak bid to ward him off. Something gave after nearly ten minutes. The rage filled look washed away from the man’s visage. He whipped his head side to side, though, seeming to grumble and cry. Avery felt his head again. Noted it was cooler than before and easier on the touch. But the fever wasn’t gone. So he remained for another half hour washing the cooling water across the pilot’s forehead, praying to god that the fever would break and the pilot get better.
After awhile, Avery felt his forehead again. And was relieved to note it was significantly cooler. And the man’s incessant movements had ceased. His eyes returned to a normal, calm rest. He leaned back onto his haunches, the pilot floating across his lap, and braced his head back on his neck to look towards the skies above.
“Fuck. Why the hell am I doing this again?” Avery tried not to smile, but his relief caused a semi-grin to crease his lips nonetheless. “Jesus, Janus. The pickles you get me into.”
He laughed and it echoed across the valley. Several animals cawed in return and ruffled their feathers and/or fur in response. This only made him laugh harder. The Japanese pilot only resumed his only slightly fitful sleep unencumbered.
THE DAYS FLEW by as Avery spent nearly every waking moment trying to care for the frustrating man. He was as uncooperative as anyone he’d ever known, refusing to take food and curling up into the fetal position.
“You can’t do this forever!” Avery yelled trying to pull the man’s face from his knees where he was balled up.
Despite how sick the pilot was, he was still strong enough to resist which gave some encouragement to Avery. But not a lot. It had already been a day since the last meal the man had allowed him to feed him (which amounted to little more than boiled jerky and some leftover fish).
“You’re going to give me a complex here soon, buddy,” Avery grunted pulling one arm free. The man shoved his face into the ground. “I’m getting the feeling you… don’t like my cooking!”
At last, he managed to work his chin up and started pouring some soupy mix into his mouth. The man spit it back up in the next instance. Avery stood up and tossed the makeshift bowl and its contents to the side after the man rolled back over and into a ball.
“Fine! Starve to death, you little shit!” Avery rubbed his face and walked across the campsite to stare off into the woods beyond. “I don’t even know what in the Christ I’m doing this for! Didn’t I want to kill you earlier? It’s not too late for that, you know!?”
He glanced back at the Japanese pilot who was now bouncing in a slight roll. Hardly moving at all, but shimmying like a lunatic gripping himself so tight he might come out of his own back. Avery shook his head and started walking. No where in particular. Just around for a few dozen feet and then circled back to cast his glance back at the man. He was at his wits end.
What to do about this… I can’t force him to eat, obviously. The little cuss is stronger than he looks… He shook his head as he grumbled and flopped his arms to his sides and tightened his fists. He walked hard and let his military issue boots clomp into the soil as fiercely as he could. Oh, Ave, you really should just finish that asshole off!
And then what?
He stopped and stared off into the woods once more, his fists loosening. It was his brother’s voice again and he was beginning to get really sick of hearing it.
“You know what, Janus? I don’t want to hear your shit about it either!” He grimaced and stared up at the sky. The sun was once more crossing over their little slice of the island and hurrying towards the western edge as if it had business elsewhere rather than warming their sorry hides up any. The temperatures had been steadily growing hotter and Avery had noted that both he and the Japanese pilot seemed to be losing it just a little bit more every day. “Are you losing it though? Of course you are, numbnuts. You’re talking to yourself in your brother’s voice and replying in a rather affirmative manner. That can’t be healthy.”
A splash came from behind him and Avery turned to see that the Japanese pilot had raced into the lake and was now thrashing about as if an alligator had got ahold of him. Avery growled a sigh and raced towards the man flailing about.
“Goddamn, man! What are you trying to do now!?”
The pilot screamed up into the air, his arms held upwards and out in a fit of rage. His fists balled up into hammer heads. He screamed and howled and then dived into the water attempting to swim out into the lake’s center and not achieving much in the process. Avery waded out towards him and wrapped his arms around the man’s chest to pull him back towards the shoreline. The Japanese pilot flailed wildly all the wild.
“So, what do you like to do for fun? Flail about like a madman? Me too. When I get the chance,” he grunted and managed to get the man back to the campsite. By the time they’d arrived, the man was too tired to put up much resistance and was panting heavily as he uttered little angry exasperations in a manner that suggested Avery was really putting upon him.
“Yeah, well, join the club.”
Avery stumbled over to his small stone seat and flopped down, ignoring the pain of stone digging into his back as he fell back. Exhaustion ate away at his body and he sighed deeply watching the pilot fall back onto his tattered belongings and falling instantly asleep.
Avery shook his head, “You’re welcome.”
THE BLACK BEAST loomed large over the landscape. Its horned head was held high and its blue gaze affixed on something Shōtō couldn’t see. He only knew that it kept to him constantly now. That thing off in the far distance. Rising high above the mountainous terrain. Only occasionally did it train its sights on him. Mostly, the beast just spoke as if to know one but secretly he knew it was too himself. And he desperately wanted to tune those words out. Never hear them again. He didn’t want to talk to the beast in the night. He didn’t want to go to sleep and wake up only to still see the monster forcing its rotted offerings down his throat. Feeding him its darkness. Telling him to eat of his flesh and drink of his blood.
He didn’t want it.
But he was afraid. Afraid that if he continued to say no, it would take him down into the deepest regions of the earth and turn him into one of its minions. Followers of some deep void that knew nothing but the propagation of the dark. Would become some soulless vessel carry the beast as far and as wide as He commanded.
‘And still he suffers. Still he strives. Still he holds tight to that fallacy of Aurite…’ the beast was saying, staring as He was wont to do into the skies. ‘And how long do you imagine that those who would be my messenger shall hold out? How long indeed, for the enemy is at the gates and the warriors must come from far and from wide to face the threat. For if we do nothing, we shall vanish into the aether. Oh, not to be destroyed. For isn’t it true that they say energy cannot be destroyed? Nor can the Infinities. For they are the greatest energy. And we their greatest acolytes.’
Shōtō screamed and raised his hands to his forehead. He screamed as he’d never screamed before and felt his body roasting under the feverish heat of hell’s fire.
“No! No! I won’t listen! Leave me be! Go away, monster! Go away”
Yet, Shōtō’s voice was growing tinnier by the night. Above him, the heavens turned into an infinite void full of all the nights and colors of the cosmos. Galaxies swirled, nebulas expanded, quasars flashed. And though he knew what none of these things were, he could see them springing into existence for an eternity and he continued to scream even though he was in his little alcove, upon the shoreline of a lake, and firmly rooted on the earth staring up at the beast towering over the horizon line, his form little more than a shadow. Deep and dark and infinite. Lit only by His eyes. Cobalt blue. Shining brightly. His silhouette outlined by a wide halo making him stand out against this cosmos. And the beast threw its head back and its great gapping maw, even blacker than the void, uttered forth a booming laugh that quaked the land and rattled his soul to the point of breaking.
And we’ve come to the end of yet another offering of Left Of Midnight. Come back next week for the next sections to see where the tale continues! Thanks for reading and I look forward to reading to you again soon!
~Timothy S Purvis
While I have you here, why not check out one of my other works currently available at my author site on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Timothy-Purvis/e/B085Q62XRP?ref=sxts_sxwds-bia-wc-drs1_0&qid=1603107921&sr=1-1-f6b8d51f-2c55-4dc3-89ad-0c3639671b2d