xxxiv. Wood Energies Were Surging
“We have to get on the roof,” Seven explained to Eva. “Above the trees, where She loses strength. We may be safe there. It’s our only chance. There’s no way out but up. We must now just climb.”
At the apex of the house—where the iron gargoyle weather-vane perched, forever carving out the four winds with its wicked wings—Faye’s powers first started to cut out. At uppermost edges of wood’s mystical field, Silverskin soon weakened.
Only during severely inclement weather, when wood energies were surging beyond their limits―had Seven ever seen Forest phenomena materialize up that high. There was a limit to French’s Forest’s magic—a crest to power.
He had spent much of his boyhood on the roof—in retreat from the Silverskin and Forest life. On clear nights, he would write under the full moon undisturbed—just him—the horizon—and that rusty old weather-vane. It was a trusted sanctuary.
When they reached the first landing, Eva spun Seven about—looking him square in the eyes―with tears streaming down her face. She was beside herself.
“You promised me that you would never lie!” she hissed. “We had a deal!”
“Eva―we did―we definitely did.”
“No time …” Olin interjected.
“’All history on the table’,” she recounted. “What happened to that? I thought ‘honesty was our best policy’ … You fucking bastard! You lied to me!”
“It was—I know …” Seven bumbled.
Silver water swirled up the stairwell.
Olin signaled to Godwin, Marietta and Aly to continue climbing up the stairs. Godwin nodded gravely―swiftly leading Marietta and Aly on to the next landing.
Seven and Eva went on arguing.
“Eva … Please, let’s go. We must.
“We have to keep moving,” Seven said, lightly touching her elbow to urge her up onward. Every delay was danger.
She pulled away, glaring at him.
“Let’s go, you two … Don’t be stupid,” Olin hissed, waving for them to follow him up to safety. Time was short.
Eva wiped her tears, sobs breaking into laughter. “What an idiot I’ve been, all this time spent thinking that you were somehow different from the rest of them.”
“But I am Eva … I never meant to hurt you. I swear we are all that matter. I swear you are my one and only love.”
“No, you are just another cheating, lying bastard. I see it in your eyes, Seven. You’ve been hiding this from me all along, haven’t you? I’ve listened to you in your sleep, Seven … I’ve heard you say Her name countless times before …
“You don’t think I saw the look in your eyes last night when Olin mentioned Her? God damn it, Seven … I KNOW!!!
“God damn you, Seven. I know …”
(Author’s Note: If you are enjoying The Silverskin, you can buy the full 400 page Revised & Expanded 10th Anniversary edition paperback here. Forever Yours In French’s Forest, Rian Torr)