Don’t Give In Yet

 Here’s a sneak peak at the end of Gabe and Sable’s journey from Gabe’s point of view.

My thanks to all of you being so patient while I work on this book.

*If you’re the soundtrack type like me, read this while listening to these songs, these were what I wrote this scene to: 

The Grey by Icon For Hire

War by Icon For Hire

You’re Not Alone by Lacey Sturm

                The nightmare churned in him until he could not tell if he was laying down on his back or his side or curled up into a ball. He longed to wake up.

His eyes were half lidded, fluttering as the darkness swirled angrily about him. Why couldn’t he move? Why was his body frozen, yet it was boiling inside? Sweat dripped from his brow. His lungs were so tight, he couldn’t even cough. All he had was this hazy vision of black and black and…

But what was that?

A single thread of light danced in the distance like a seam where the darkness met together, yet could not overcome.

And there was a faint shape of someone within.

He told himself he was imagining it. Only a trick of his mind, it couldn’t be a person, no one would save him. His eyes slipped shut as a violent shutter took hold of his body.

                Wake up, wake up. He commanded in vain.

There was a hostile weight that pressed down on his chest as if seeking to break his collarbone, and crush him into dust.

He didn’t want to fight anymore. This heaviness a constant companion he’d shared his life with for as long as he could remember, why bother to keep denying it’s demand for his heart if that very organ was giving up on him too?

But even that thought frightened him and he begged silently in his mind. Wake up, please. End this nightmare, I can’t keep fighting for long!

How strange it was to desire death but also fear giving into it.

His eyes fluttered again, letting him search for that thread inside his twisting shadows. He was convinced he’d imagined it, and would prove it to himself. Then he could find his peace. Then he would give in; when there was only darkness with him.

The pressure increased, and he welcomed it, splintering into the bone to spider cracks out towards each arm.

Why couldn’t it just destroy him? End this pain, this tiresome existence, this never-ending sadness that suffocated him for years. How had he even managed to survive all this time when he could never breathe around that ball of pain?

Maybe the prolonged torment was some kind of punishment, he mused. How many people had he destroyed over the years? His mind games were deadly enough, he never had to lay a hand on anyone. He hated violence.

Yet he was the most violent predator he’d ever known. The irony was not lost on him as the spinning black pressed in like a lover responding to his thoughts. It sliced into his skin, drawing blood into the cyclone.

                Yes, take it. Just have it all. Bleed me dry. Let me die…

Ah, but there it is. Right on time. That light in the seam where the darkness met yet could not overcome, no matter how desperately it tried. His lips almost twitched as if they would smile. Inside of it, that shadow walked, yet it was not the same black of his darkness. It was as if the light shone from beneath the flesh of the being coming to him.

Ah yes, it would appear that he knew the woman coming to him in the light, and tears pricked the corners of his eyes as she neared.

There was that smile she wore that he could just barely see at that distance, but would always recognize from miles off. The smile that lit his heart ablaze and terrified him with its overwhelmingly pure form of love. Not for him, no not a romantic sort but rather an innocent and unconditional, raw acceptance. It was something entirely different that seeped out from the pores in her skin and thrummed in the air about her like a beautiful song. How could a single person be so filled with such powerful, infectious love that it could pour out and touch every soul nearby?

And she was coming to spill that nearly eternal peace into him, whether he was ready for it or not.

                But the darkness will tear her apart!

His mind screamed, thrashing against his paralyzed body as though he could protect her from his own self designed nightmare. He was helpless though, and he would watch her die any moment.

She seemed oblivious to the black gale twisting about him, grating against his flesh.

He had to warn her! How could he live with himself if he brought harm down to the only person he knew that could bleed golden peace with each smile lit up from that strange place deep inside?

Such beauty. Such strength.

And she was too close, her arms out as if she would embrace him when she arrived.

                But the darkness will have her first! Stop… please don’t come any closer.

                He pushed with his mind, forcing out a strength he did not truly have. She had to be warned, though, even if his psychic power would rip apart his brain in order to release him. He would save her.

But oh, how still his body was. Despite the sticky blood and the sweat and the periodic convulsions he had no control over.

Inside, he was screaming. His ears rang and the earth vibrated with the rumbling ache in his chest.

A wretched howl ripped free from deep inside him.

                Wake up, wake up, wake up. Save her!

“Ssssss…”

Her name on the tip of his tongue, so close to coming out, but why wouldn’t his mouth move? Didn’t it know his urgency? Or perhaps it did and was laughing at him, mocking his efforts.

Daring him to fight.

                That’s one thing I’m good at, you realize. He mused, feeling that twitch to his lips like they would let out a laugh.

“Ssssss…”

Just say her name. Stop her. Don’t let her come over here.

White hot terror shook him to his core, cooling his blood until it solidified to ice. Don’t let her reach this blackness!

“Ssssss…”

So close to speaking it, to saving her. Yet there she was, near enough he could see the orange fire of her large eyes, piercing through his darkness as if she were staring directly at him.

Impossible, the cyclone was too wild. Too thick. Yet his own blue and brown eyes locked with hers and he knew the truth so clearly, it was like glass had shattered in his mind.

She would die for him.

… But why?…

His tears streamed hot to the reddened earth as his struggling intensified to the point that his head felt it was being squeezed.

                Not for me!

She was so near, her dark curls whipped across her face. That serene face so full with a love so powerful, it could not be understood by any living mind but the one it directly spilled from. How was she not afraid?

He couldn’t bare to watch.

He closed his eyes, weeping.

                Release me, oh please, don’t make me go through this. Don’t make me watch. Wake me. Wake up!

The storm paused.

No. Oh no…

And hands pressed against his shoulders, pulling him up and moving to bring arms securely about him. Soft, silken curls tickled his face. His body released its spell. He moved.

Gabe let out a strangled cry like a dying animal as he clung to Sable for dear life. It was as if the world had fallen from beneath him and he would fall away with it if he let her go.

“Make it stop,” he pleaded shakily, his mouth thick with his anguish. “Release me with this light of yours. I know you can. I’ve seen too much now to believe otherwise. Destroy this darkness. Take the pain away. Strangle the sadness. I can’t take living like this anymore. I won’t survive it.”

Her hand slowly traced his spine downward, guiding his breath in with the movement. His exhale followed her palm tracing back upwards. And she whispered, “I can’t. Only my master has that kind of power. But He loves you, Gabe. Ask Him, and He will set you free.”

Gabe let out an ugly laugh that was distorted by his raw throat as he let his head fall back, looking up at the heavens. No blue sky greeted him, it was blotted out by his blackened soul erupting about him.

His lips pulled up, and with a hardly audible whisper, he begged, “Lord, find compassion for my suffering and save me!”

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