William Doonan

I write books and stories.

The Mummies of Blogspace9: Chapter Thirty-Four

with 2 comments

July 22, 2011
Seville, Spain
Hanson       http://www.historyismine.blogspace9.ex

Sacromonte warned me not to go alone.  In fact, he forbade it.  But in the end I snuck out, which turned out to be a very bad idea.

It was a grey morning in Seville.  Though the chance of summer rains here is nearly nil, the sky was filled with dark clouds, and as I walked toward the cathedral, I felt as if they were following me. 

My best friend in college was a guy named Martin Fletcher who played pool every day.  I haven’t seen him in awhile.  We were supposed to go visit him last Christmas, Laney and I, but his mom passed away so we postponed.  Martin lives in Columbus, Ohio.  So I understood Laney’s reference.  I was on my way to the cathedral to meet her at Christopher Columbus’s tomb.

Rounding the corner, passing my old stomping ground – the Archive of the Indies, I glanced up at Giralda Tower, the twelfth-century minaret that crowns the cathedral, and I nearly fainted.  There was something up there, something very dark, and it was staring right at me.  I can’t tell you how I know this, but it felt like half of hell was perched up at the top of that tower.

I took a moment to calm myself.  I bought a coffee, and then another for a vagrant who asked me to.  A small kindness, I told myself.  He was a miserable wretch of a man, nearly toothless, smelling like damp earth, weighing a hundred pounds if his pockets had been full, which they presumably were not.

I was early for my meeting with Laney, and I didn’t want to spend any more time than I had to near that tower, so I wandered through the alleys of old Seville.  Looking back, alarm bells should have rung when I noticed the vagrant following me, sipping his coffee as he stumbled to keep up.

I don’t know how exactly it happened, those alleys wind back on themselves, but one moment I noticed he was no longer following me, and a moment later he was standing in front of me.  “You think he can’t see you right now,” he said, “but he can.  From that tower, he can see the whole world, even as far away at the sun as it spins around us.”

I felt a spike of fear.  I threw my coffee at him and turned to run, but I didn’t even get a step in.  He was on me faster than I would have thought possible, and his grip was unlike anything I have ever felt.  I thought my arm would break in two.

“It is nearly unbearable,” he began, once he had me up against a door, his hand on my throat.  His breath was fouler than I care to describe.  “Nearly unbearable, the praise he would lavish upon me if I gave you to him.  My soul cries for that kind of praise.  Perhaps I would even be forgiven.”

“Who are you?”  I could barely get the words out, so choked with fear. 

“Do you think he might forgive me?”  He shook nervously.  “Might I enjoy his holy forgiveness?  He is, after all, a priest, as am I.  How many Hail Marys do you think for my penance, young Bruce?  How many?  Can you answer me that?”

“You’re Cuellar,” I managed to gasp before his grip tightened.

“Shhhh!” He looked around in fear.  “Do you think he can’t hear you?”

“What do you want?”

“How many Hail Marys do you think, for my penance?”

“All of them.” 

He shook his head, then he let me go.  “You’re right, of course.  There is no forgiveness.  There is nothing for me.  He took it all.  I was damned long ago.”

“Why did you follow me?”

“To protect you maybe, to help you.  To save you, to capture you perhaps, even to eat you.  I had not made up my mind.  Choices are difficult for me.  Picking which socks to wear can take me upwards of an hour’s time.  And I have only the one pair.”

“How did you find me?”

He rubbed his hands and stared nervously as a young woman walked past us carrying a bottle of wine.  “So tender,” he said, admiringly.  “I wander the streets.  I’ve been watching you for some time.  You should be quite thankful for my help.  Not five nights ago a policeman followed you back to your apartment.  I killed him as he took out his telephone, presumably to make his report.”

“Why are you following me?”

“Because you’re in danger.  You would go now to the cathedral, I might guess.  You’re to meet your girl there but they won’t let you leave.  They won’t ever let you leave.  They’re gathered there now.”

“Who is gathered there?  How do they know where I’m headed.”

“All the minions of hell, that’s who.  Sopay would have you within the hour.”

“How do they know where I’ll be?”

He looked me in the eyes.  “You know how they know.  You’ve known for some time now.”

I nodded. 

“She was always his.  I’ve told you this before.”

I nodded.  “But I still need to see her.”


Written by williamdoonan

July 9, 2012 at 3:32 am

2 Responses

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  1. Love the locale, the brooding skies. Love the tension, the cold fear. Thank you, Bill, for this tapa.

    marta chausée

    July 9, 2012 at 4:14 pm

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