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Little Book 6

Hello and thanks for stopping in again.

I was on Twitter the other day and stumbled onto the following.

Jenny Stiles (@cocospitteler)
I’m raising funds for my uninsured costs of my 2nd kidney transplant with @HelpHOPELiveorg please RT and donate to ow.ly/ptbDA

I decided to visit the site HelpHOPELive and I have to say I am impressed. You can think of this like a kick starter for helping people with medical bills. In many cases, this could be a difference between life and death, not just quality of life. I hope everyone will take the time to check this out and help if they can. This seems like a pretty good cause.

Also, if you get the chance, you should spread the word on this. Every little bit helps and this is a direct way to help someone.

Now back to the story.

L. E. White

Little Book 6

Joey opened his eyes and stared at the ceiling, trying to remember where he was. He could feel his pulse in his head and the steady thumping reminded him of a marching band in a parade.

His head hurt. The pain rolled down over his body with each beat and he felt his stomach roll. He forced his body to move, twisting and turning so that his head hung off the bed and was stopped mid-breath as he wretched. The burning, putrid sludge in his gut burned his throat and sinuses on the way out but there wasn’t enough time to wipe his mouth before the next convulsion hit him.

Joey tried to calm himself. He tried to clench his jaw and take deep breaths but the pain that flowed from inside his head pushed his stomach up and out, forcing it to try and empty again.

And again.

And again.

A pair of small, hot hands rested on his shoulders. After a dozen dry heaves he tried to look back at the person sitting on his bed but he didn’t make it. Another glob of green and yellow muck dropped out of his mouth and onto the floor.

“It will pass if you let it,” Claire’s said. “Don’t fight it, but let your body do what it wants to.”

“Ow.”

“I have seen this before. It will pass.”

Joey wretched again before he became aware of Claire’s hand rubbing circles on his back. The heat from her touch felt good as his body began to tremble and chill as it reacted to the violence of his sickness.

There was only a small spot of light in the center of Joey’s vision. The rest of what he saw looked like a spiraling tube of light and dark grey, as if someone had flushed smoke down a toilet. He drew shallow, ragged breaths until he finally felt he was done vomiting. He tilted his head up, and a glass of water with a straw was in front of him without a word.

“You can just spit the water out on the floor. The towels I put down will absorb it.”

After a few more minutes, Joey was able to take a breath without gagging on the taste of his own juices. “What the fuck?”

“It is a reaction to offering the full book. There is a cost to the transaction for the one who delivers the payment and this is that cost.”

“How the fucking hell did Morrin survive this?”

Claire’s hands began to squeeze and knead the muscles in Joey’s back. She rubbed small circles on either side of his spine as she spoke. “He suffered as you do the first few times, then he tried to get others to pay the tribute for him.”

“How?”

“The act of giving the ledger is what causes the transaction to occur. He would arrange it so that one of his men would deliver the ledger to her. The person who makes the payment is the one who presents her with the book.”

Joey rolled over onto his back and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. He squeezed his eyes shut, trying to block out the light and force the room to stop spinning. “I understand why.”

He felt the bed shift and after a minute he realized how warm he was. It was like he had a heating blanket spread over his lap and Joey wiped his face with one hand.

“Do you still feel like you will vomit?”

“No,” he answered. “It’s just that I am really hot. Did you turn up the heat or something?” He wiped his face twice more with his hands before he realized that there was weight on his lap. Joey peeked out of one eye and then both of them shot open. Claire was the source of the heat. She was on his lap, sitting straddle of him where he lay in the bed in his boxers. The shape shifter looked like she did as a human except that she was naked.

He looked at her with a mixture of fear and confused lust. Joey knew what she was, that she could be anything or anyone he wanted and he had made a simple decision not to take her up on the offer of sex. It had been part of her job with Morrin, but Joey didn’t want anything to do with that.

Now, with her sitting on his lap, naked, feminine and perfect, it was much more difficult to keep from thinking of her that way. “Why are you in bed with me?”

“She told me to come here and comfort you.”

“I told you that I didn’t want to do that with you.”

The creature looked at him curiously. “Then don’t. I will not force you unless you tell me to.”

Joey opened his mouth to smart off and answer but stopped. He looked at her, thought about it and then closed his eyes again. “No,” he said while shaking his head. “Please get off of me.” He felt the slight weight leave him and then the heat stopped. The loss of that heat made his chest and groin ache. “Claire, is this what I can expect every time I settle up my account?”

“Yes, although if you settle up more often, then you will not feel such extreme discomfort.”

“Is there any way to avoid this?”

“Whoever has the book is the boss. Whoever gives the book the book to the lady settles the account.”

Joey turned to look at Claire. She was sitting cross legged, naked and fantastic beside him. He let out a deep breath and turned his eyes to the ceiling. “So why did the lady have the book when I was sent to kill her?”

“Morrin mailed it to her in an attempt to have the delivery man pay the tab.”

“It didn’t work because he didn’t know what he was doing.”

Claire nodded. “You are correct. One must know what they are doing when the ledger is presented. It is a decision, a conscious act.”

“Why did he send me to kill her?”

“He was hoping that you would succeed or that by getting the book and then giving it to him, your decision to give it back would count as the acceptance of payment.”

“Didn’t he realize that the lady would tell me what was happening?”

Claire chuckled, a deep, rumbling that seemed far too low for the body that produced it. “Morrin was not an intelligent man. I doubt he thought that far ahead. The idea of having the letter carrier deliver the ledger was proof of that.”

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Categories: Flash Fiction, Horror, Links, serial
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