Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Chapter 33: Visitors

Leaving Clark at bottom of the stairs, Lex waved him into the library and walked down the hall toward the kitchen. After a moment, Clark’s rustling announced that he had settled in.

“Clark? Feel like something to eat?”

As he finished the question, the rustling immediately stopped and Lex thought he heard a noncommittal grunt.

Well, that certainly doesn’t preclude me from setting up a light fruit and cheese platter.

“Feel like the stravecchio, some citrus, and possibly some salmon?” Lex asked trying to tempt Clark’s appetite. After several seconds, when Clark still didn’t answer, Lex set down the orange he had been peeling and stepped out of the kitchen down the hall.

Just inside the library doorway, Clark was on his knees, clutching the doorframe as he swayed unevenly back and forth. Lex ran down the hall just in time to barely catch Clark as he pitched forward. Lifting him back to his feet, Lex tried to help his friend stagger back toward a couch, but Clark tried to push him away strangling, “No, Lex,...”

Before he could finish his warning, Clark surprised Lex by pulling him down and forward, forcing Lex to double over. Just before he fell into the couch, Lex felt the force of something swing over his shoulders— only narrowly missing the back of his skull—but striking Clark full force and dropping him right on top of Lex.

As Lex struggled to scramble out from under Clark’s chest, he heard someone yell from behind him, “You idiot, grab him, get him up, and hold his head back.”

As ordered, rough hands grabbed Lex’s shoulders and arms, pulled him up, forced his head back and gripped his forehead and chin pulling his mouth open. Over the sound of his struggling to free himself, Lex could hear water being poured into a glass followed by the sharp sound of metal ringing against glass as it stirred. His struggle to break free was futile though: within seconds, practiced hands pinched his nose shut and poured a thin watery solution directly into his throat triggering his gag reflex as the first gush of solution hit the back of his throat. Filling his throat and mouth, the solution blocked his breathing until his reflexes took over and forced him to gulp for the deprived air—swallowing as he did. Enraged by their success, Lex struggled against his captors, breaking free long enough to spit out the little bit remaining in his mouth and find Clark on the couch.

His first sight of Clark, after breaking away, was frightening: Clark lay unnaturally still just as he had fallen and the force of a blow left a swiftly bleeding cut across his temple. His face was ash gray and nearby veins throbbed rapidly to supply the wound. Looking at the size, depth, and location of the cut, Lex had a very real concern that Clark could suffer permanent damage from the blow. But, before he could grab something to staunch the blood flow, Lex felt his legs drop out from under him and his strength quickly ebb. In moments, they were literally stepping over him to carry Clark out. As his vision and hearing started to fade, Lex heard brief snatches of their conversations.

“What about this one?” Someone’s toe nudged him.

“Leave him, it’s Kal … baggage”.

“You’ve … crazy… him … ransom or caveman’s”

“Caymans … idiot …account… in… islands.”

“Doesn’t matter, just let’s…” Whatever else might have been said, Lex didn’t hear as the solution took complete control of his senses and shut them down.


Anonymous ender said...

oh GOD; my former thank you is now being taken back (I posted it at the wrong place anyway :D)) more, more, mooooooooooooooooooooooooore.......

6:48 AM  

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