[ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]
.But then she'd grabbed the baby from him and gone screaming, crying round the room, pumping its little body, kissing it on the bed.But it wouldn't wake up.He'd been right.God had heard it, like he'd heard the humble Jew instead of the Pharisee.His dad had yanked him by the hair, slapped him, hit him so hard he'd been senseless.The next thing he knew he was in the back room of Arnold Morris's, Dad's friend, the one who'd done all Dad's tattoos.The numbers had both scratched and tickled as they'd eaten the skin on his forehead.He didn't understand his father's anger, didn't understand God and knew now that God would never understand him either.He'd been kicked out, then, abandoned.Put in care and dumped in twenty homes round the country.He didn't really mind the moving on.With the Beast's own numbers on his forehead, it could only be a matter of time before Evil entered him.The numbers would invite it to him, haul it to him.He realised now why the darkness had been so quick to befriend him.It had known, all along, the way things would be.It had finally happened at the seaside, on the northeast coast when he was fourteen.He'd gone into a cave, dank and smelly and dark.He'd trodden in a pool of rank sea water, looked down and believed he'd seen crystals there, bright and shiny.He'd felt shadowy angels pulling at his hair, at the skin of his shoulders, then all around him like vampire bats.He couldn't see them but he could feel them, clustering and feeding.He'd known who had sent the things to get him, and screamed.It was perhaps the faint echo of that first scream in the darkness he could hear now.No, there was something more.A voice, speaking to him, saying his name over and over.It was Dr Roley's voice, wasn't it? It had to be.Dr Roley telling him to wake up.So why was he still down here so deep? Why couldn't he wake?He knew that things that liked the dark could see things through it with ease.Knew that the bubble was just black resin, holding him there for scrutiny.Knew that, despite all the burning and cutting and scraping, the mark he'd been given still remained.Even here, when he was asleep.And it was still just as inviting.He'd been getting better, and they wouldn't have liked that, not at all.The voice became clearer, and he realised it was Watson's, just as it stopped.'Captain Watson?' Russell whispered.'Are you there?'He got a horrible glimpse of something fat and slug-like writhing in the blackness ahead of him.Shutting his eyes, he struggled to breathe slowly and shallowly, to befriend the darkness, to let it protect him.Russell wondered how long it would be before someone unlocked him from the dark.5.2Azoth threw his head back, trembling.'Memory.Signal.Memory.'Tarr cast furtive glances at him.'Are you all right, Azoth?'Azoth clearly wasn't, his limbs jerking spasmodically as if electric current were running through them.'West,' he droned.'We are near.' His fingers were spasming, the early-afternoon sunlight reflecting off them.'So near.''Near the house?' Tarr wondered.'Near the answers I seek.'***Sam was practically a dead weight in Fltz's arms by the time they reached Roley's front door.He rang on the bell.A maid he recognised, the not-bad-looking one, came to the door.'Cynthia, isn't it?' he said.'Samantha!' the girl cried, looking in concern at Sam.'Funny, I could've sworn it was Cynthia,' said Fitz, helping her guide Sam into the hall and into a chair.'I'd better tell the Doctor,' Cynthia announced.'Wait,' said Fitz.'Before you do, is my mum OK? Has anything weird been going on here?'Cynthia looked at him for a moment, then started giggling.Soon she was shaking with hysterical laughter.'I didn't think the name gag was that funny,' Fitz said.***Maria dabbed at her puffy eyes with a hanky.What was she getting in such a state about? She was ashamed of herself.It was shock, had to be.She'd never be acting so daft otherwise.Charles's dreams were falling around his ears, and she'd allowed his pain and anger to drive her away from him, when it was clear he needed her by his side now more than ever.She looked at herself in the mirror.She'd do.She'd go downstairs and carry on as normal.God knew what normal meant, today.***Cynthia had meant to go to fetch the Doctor straight away, but her own room was on the way, and she'd had the urge just to pop inside for a moment.Her old bear was on the bed, an eye missing, one arm hanging by a thread, well worn with love and the years.She walked slowly over to the bed and plonked herself down on to it, lifting the bear to her chest for comfort.This place used to be fun.When old Mr Roley had been about he'd made it all cosy and colourful.Had an eye for the ladies, of course, but he was never nasty with it.She reckoned this Roley liked boys.Boys or wet fish.Things hadn't been the same since old Bullface had come on the scene, wanting things all done her way.And since the nutters had moved in.No more staff, no, let her manage, her and poor Annie in the kitchen.She'd have to leave [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]