Winter Rain, part 4

The scent of the den welcomes me as we enter, an intoxicating mix of oak, leather, wood smoke, and old memories. Sunshine pours in through the leaded glass, and for an instant, I see Father’s shape silhouetted against it.

But it’s only a trick of the light.

Faolan is on the phone. His back is to the us, and he doesn’t turn. He just raises a finger over his shoulder and slowly—deliberately—points to a chair in the corner. His hand clenches into a fist as it drops back down.

Cormac shoves me toward the chair.

“This is not what we agreed, Rian!” Faolan growls into the receiver. “There were to be three jobs, not four, and you have yet to pay us for the last one!”

The familiar, worn leather of the chair does its best to put me at ease, but I can’t afford to be taken in. I sit down on the hard front edge and wait. I glance over to Cormac, then around the room. In a way, everything is exactly as it has always been. The chairs, the rug, the desk and tables, the lamps, the books—they have always seemed so much more permanent than anything else in my life. But, lately, more and more, I can’t help notice how tired they all look. It’s as if they are turning to dust, right in front of me.

Maybe that’s what happens when you try to stop time. You freeze everything in its place, but you only think it’s staying the same. In reality, it’s slowly falling apart from the inside out, and one day, you brush past it lightly and the whole thing just crumbles.

Is that what we’ve been doing? Is that what is happening to us?

“Fine!” Faolan yells into the phone, then turns and slams it down onto the cradle on the desk.

“Can you believe these fuckers?” he snarls to Cormac. “They give us bad information, bicker amongst themselves for weeks, and now are blaming us that Sullivan got away! And now they want us to do another job, instead. For the same money!”

I glance over to Cormac, but he stands silent. Definitely the smart choice.

“Sons of bitches!” Faolan yells and slams his fist into the desk. I flinch away from the force of it, and slide a little closer to the door side of the chair. I don’t stand a chance of getting past Cormac, but that doesn’t mean I won’t try.

“And you.

No doubt who that is directed to. I look back to Faolan.

“Tiergan, Tiergan . . . what am I going to do with you?” he says, his eyes narrowing sharply.

My heart rate jumps again, under his glare; but I’m caught, and there’s no changing it.

I drop my gaze to the floor and offer the only thing I’ve got.

“I did what you asked. She won’t be wanting to see me again.”

7 Responses to “Winter Rain, part 4”

  1. Hi all.  Well, I can’t say I’m happy with either this or the last part.  Can’t seem to get the writing to work.  Still, this project is about writing without all my usual angst, so, it’s posted. 

    On a technical note, I’m writing in Pages, and it is using smart quotes, which then get cut/pasted into WordPress.  Shows up fine on my Mac, but please do let me know if there are mangled characters showing up in your browser.  Thanks.

  2. srsuleski says:

    I like it.

    And I’m not just being easy to please.

    I read tons of webnovels (as you know) and I’m finding this genuinely interesting.

  3. Sara says:

    I like this, and the last one.  I especially liked his thoughts on stopping time, turning to dust . . . ‘is this what’s happening to us?’  So I’m looking forward to the next episode.

  4. It’s funny — if I was letting myself change stuff after I’ve posted (I’m not), I’d have cut that line.  It feels to me a bit like I’m beating a dead horse with it, after those two long paragraphs.  However, perhaps it’s a good thing I’m not changing stuff, eh?  :-)

  5. lethe says:

    Well, you have a genuine talent for gripping dialogue . . . the scenes remind me of swift-moving thriller . . . 

  6. Ian says:

    You’re beginning to lose me here. I don’t know anything about any of these characters – what they look like, where they come from -  and consequently I don’t give a damn about what happens to any of them. They are just words on paper.

  7. Hey Ian,

    Thanks for letting me know — I’ve noticed a lot of people don’t make it to part 8.  This is probably one of the reasons.  That said, I lose a lot of people in part 8, when the fantasy kicks in, so I’m not sure changing anything here will really matter.

    In any event, Winter Rain is sort of my answer to web comics.  My policy is I don’t go back and rewrite once something is posted — it’s more important for me to get the next episode written.  Some people really like the story, others just don’t.  I’m okay with both — for me, it is what it is.  When it’s done, I’ll see if it might be worth making it into something more.

    Again, thanks for commenting.  I appreciate it.  :-)


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