Mortal Kiss: Fool's Silver *Capítulo 25*
Joe and Mercy led Faye into one of Silver Cross’s most decrepit buildings. It had double swing doors, like the ones in the old Westerns Faye’s dad had loved to watch with her when she was little. Sure enough, inside was an old saloon. Faye half expected to see cowboys in Stetsons propping up the bar, but just like everything else, the place was empty.
Joe dropped into one of the old chairs and rested his elbows on the table. Mercy sat beside him, and they both waited for Faye to sit down.
‘I . . . I don’t think I can,’ she said. ‘I don’t know how. Won’t I just . . . slide through?’
‘Don’t worry,’ Joe told her. ‘I know, it’s strange at first. Just concentrate. See yourself sitting on the chair. And you will.’
Faye followed Joe’s instructions and shut her eyes. She visualized herself putting her hand on the back of the chair and pulling it out before sitting down, just as she would if she were real.
‘There,’ said Mercy’s voice. ‘It’s not that difficult, really, is it?’
Faye opened her eyes to find herself sitting down on the chair she had been standing beside. She looked around, surprised. ‘I . . . I didn’t feel myself move,’ she said.
Joe smiled. ‘It takes some getting used to. It’s because you have no physical body. You are a spirit – a reflection of yourself as you once were. It’s the same for everyone here.’
Faye frowned. ‘Everyone? What do you mean? There’s no one here, in Silver Cross. No one but us.’
‘You’re wrong,’ said Mercy softly. ‘Haven’t you heard them?’
Faye thought back to when she had first awoken, after she’d gone into Koskay’s chamber. ‘The whispers? They – they weren’t just the wind?’
Joe shook his head. ‘Look around,’ he said, ‘and concentrate. Look for the flutter at the corner of your eye – the thing you can’t quite see . . .’
Faye did as she was told, turning her head slowly to look around the empty saloon. At first she could see nothing. But then she shut her eyes for a moment, trying to collect her thoughts. When she opened them again, she gasped.
There were people everywhere. No – not people . . . reflections, as Joe had described them. They sat at the tables, staring listlessly into space, or shuffled through the room as if they did not know what they were looking for, where they were going. There were men and women and children, their faces gaunt and tired, robbed of any happiness their lives might once have held. And without needing to be told, Faye knew: here were the spirits of the people of Silver Cross, the owners of the wasted bodies being used by Koskay in the mine.
‘How could he do this?’ she asked, outraged. ‘So many people . . . How can he get away with this?’
‘There are always people that others don’t notice,’ Mercy told her. ‘The dispossessed, the lonely. They disappear every day, and no one cares enough to realize it has happened. This town has been dying for hundreds of years. Everyone outside expected it to become a ghost town, and so no one even noticed when it really did.’
Faye stood up, full of anger and disgust. ‘Koskay can’t get away with this. I can’t . . . I can’t let him have Finn and Lucas. He can’t do the same to them – or to anyone else. Joe, tell me what I can do. Tell me how I can stop Koskay!’
Joe stood up, holding out a hand to calm her. ‘Faye, you’ve seen for yourself – you can’t interact with the physical world. You’re in it, but as a shade, a shadow.’
‘There must be something I can do!’
‘Only with your mind,’ Mercy told her. ‘That’s what we need you to do.’
Faye frowned. ‘What do you mean?’
‘The people you are closest to – the people you love the most – you may still have a mental connection with them,’ Joe explained. ‘You can’t talk to them, but you can . . . suggest things to them. In their dreams, or when they are not expecting it. You can send a sort of message. But it’s difficult to predict how the message will arrive in their minds, or whether they will understand what they are seeing. They have to be receptive to what you are telling them. Otherwise they may just dismiss it completely.’
‘But I tried,’ Faye said. ‘I went to Finn. He couldn’t hear me. He couldn’t . . .’
Joe shook his head. ‘It’s his grief. It’s clouding everything for him. You have to try again. You have to forget your voice. Reach out with you mind.’
‘It’s what we were trying to do with the dreams,’ Mercy told her. ‘The wolf . . .’
Faye stared into her blue, blue eyes. ‘That . . . that was you? In my head?’
‘Yes, it was me. We knew you were coming, Faye, you and Finn. We’ve been trying to warn you both for some time, but you are so determined to shut out all traces of the wolf . . . You didn’t understand. None of you did – we tried with Finn, and Lucas too.’
Faye covered her mouth with her hand. ‘You told me to listen. I’m sorry. I didn’t . . . I didn’t know.’
Mercy smiled. ‘It just means that we have to try a different way now, and quickly. We’re running out of time. You have to try. Because, Faye . . . you were the most receptive. We got further with you than with either of the boys. That’s why I’m hopeful that you might be able to contact them.’
‘But how?’ Faye cried desperately. ‘Show me how!’
Joe nodded. ‘The same way you did with the chair,’ he told her. ‘Concentrate. Concentrate hard. You already know how to get there. But don’t try to speak to them. You’re not physical any more. Remember that . . .’
Faye looked away, staring into an empty corner of the saloon. She thought of Finn’s face, his dark eyes and strong mouth. She thought of his hair, which was always unruly no matter what he did to it. She remembered how it felt when he put his arms around her, how he smelled – of leather and soap, and something else that was entirely Finn . . .
Something happened. It was different this time, as if she was so much more aware of what was around her, what she herself was. Faye felt the edges of her vision begin to go fuzzy, as if she were about to pass out. Her mind was suddenly jumbled as a whirr of images rushed through it. She felt as if she were falling from a very great height . . . All around her, she could sense Finn . . . his presence, surrounding her, enveloping her . . .
Faye felt something beside her, and realized it was Mercy. The woman’s hand was on her shoulder, resting there gently. ‘Keep going, Faye,’ she whispered. ‘Don’t let go, keep going . . .’
Faye forced herself to stay in the moment, despite the dizzy whirl of sensations rotating in her mind. For a second she was ready to give up – it seemed hopeless, an impossible skill that she would never be able to master.
But then . . . there she was, kneeling in front of Finn. He looked up suddenly, right into her eyes, and she jumped at the fire she saw there. Could he see her? Could he feel that she was there?
‘Finn,’ she said, forgetting what Joe and Mercy had said about reaching out with her mind. ‘Finn – it’s me. It’s Faye. Can you hear me? Are you OK?’
Finn’s eyes grew unfocused again, clouding over with renewed pain. He dropped his head back onto his knees.
‘Finn . . .’ Faye reached out, wanting to touch him, to comfort him. But her hand passed straight through his knee as if she weren’t there.
She blinked in shock, and in that second she found herself back in the saloon.
‘They’re still there,’ she said shakily. ‘I didn’t do it right. He couldn’t hear me. What am I going to do if I can’t touch anything?’
‘You have to keep trying,’ Joe said. ‘He’ll hear you, I know he will. But we need to find someone else too. Someone alive, on the outside. Someone we can contact.’
‘Who?’ Faye asked. ‘Everyone here is dead, or might as well be! The zombie people won’t help.’
Mercy shifted uncomfortably, folding her perfect hands together. ‘Actually,’ she said, ‘there might be someone.’
Joe frowned. ‘What do you mean? Who?’
She sighed. ‘Joe, I wasn’t sure how you would react, but there’s a man here. The mine foreman – I’ve seen him. It must be how Koskay found Lucas.’
‘Why?’ Joe frowned, not understanding. ‘Who is he?’
‘His name is Jeff . . .’ Mercy faltered.
‘Jeff?’ Faye repeated. ‘We – we met him. He was married to you, wasn’t he?’
Mercy looked at her sharply. ‘How did you know that?’
‘We met him when we first arrived. And then Koskay told us. But I’m not sure he’ll be capable of helping us. He . . . looks like he’s been through a lot,’ Faye said, meeting Mercy’s gaze boldly.
Mercy nodded sadly. ‘Yes, I know. But there’s something else. Something you don’t know – something even he doesn’t know.’ She took a deep breath. ‘He’s Lucas’s father. I never told either of them. But it’s true.’
Faye stared at her, shocked. ‘And he doesn’t know? About Lucas? How? How could you not tell him?’
The woman shook her head, the misery clear in her eyes. ‘Believe me, Faye, when I look back now, I ask myself the same question.’
‘If he knew . . .’ Joe said. ‘Mercy, if this man knew that Koskay had his son, do you think he would help us?’
Mercy smiled thinly. ‘He was always a good man. He might. If I can get through to him—’
Faye interrupted her. ‘I think I’ve got a better idea.’
‘Oh?’ said Joe.
‘The person I trust most in the world – the person I know best. Liz Wilson.’
‘That young friend of yours?’ Joe asked. ‘She’s a plucky one, I know, but— Faye, she’s too far away. We can’t wait for her to get here.’
‘Her dad’s a police sergeant,’ Faye insisted. ‘She’ll tell him. She’ll make him understand somehow. He’ll know what to do.’
Joe nodded. ‘Well, I don’t think we have any better ideas right now. Go ahead, Faye. See if you can reach her.’
Faye shut her eyes, imagining Liz’s pretty face, her curly hair, her silly, infectious giggle. She knew her friend’s features so well that it was like looking at a photograph. The whirl rose in Faye’s mind as Joe and Mercy faded away . . .
She gasped, opening her eyes with a jolt.
‘She’s here!’ she said. ‘Liz is here, in Silver Cross – with the Black Dogs!’
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