Fearless One-Part 2
Read Part 1
“One, two, three, four.” After counting to seven, Talbort stopped. “Gotta do something,” he uttered in a raspy tone. Evan cringed at the sound of his voice, watching him storm down to the basement. He heard the woman wailing for help as Talbort drug her to the top of the stairs. As they reached the door, Claire cried out in agony. Her hands clung to the side of the door frame to prevent Talbort from taking her outside. She escaped from his grasp, but the chains on her ankles followed, holding her back. Evan wanted to help, but like Claire, he was a prisoner.
“You’re coming with me,” Talbort told the woman, slinging her over his shoulders like a burlap sack.
“Papa! Please don’t!” Evan ran after him, but there wasn’t any stopping Talbort. Although he didn’t want to believe it, he had a gut feeling Claire wasn’t coming back. None of Talbort’s victims did. Her screams became silent through the fog, obscuring his vision.
Several hours passed, and those familiar sounds came. Evan had a feeling he was outback doing the deed again. He ran to a room and slid a wooded board to one side in the closet, removing a six-foot-long spear with a narrow sharpness, and pointed head. Having forged the spear himself, he had hidden it there ever since.
The only way Evan knew how to conquer the demon, was by confronting it. He knew what Talbort would do if he caught him with it. Preparation was better than none this time. Evan tiptoed up the flight of stairs and held on to the spear with sweaty palms, trying not to lose grip. He stepped toward the front door. The rattling of the doorknob scattered him in the kitchen, and he placed the spear next to the refrigerator in the corner.
Evan stood like a soldier against the wall awaiting orders, surprised that Talbort returned with Claire, who was unconscious. This was unusual. Had he not been able to go through with his devious plan? Evan stared off into the distance, trying not to panic that he had no time to hide the spear.
“Evan boy, where r’ ya?” He asked, unfastening his coat.
“I’m right here, papa.”
“Gimm’e a beer from over yonder.”
Evan opened the fridge, searching from one shelf to another for a fresh bottle of beer. Talbort’s fist pummeled hard into the wall, leaving a massive hole in the center. The crumbs of sheetrock on his fingers sent Evan tumbling into the corner of the wall. Claire had awakened from the noises.
“Where’s ma’ beer, boy?”
Evan held it up. “Here it is. I’m sorry to have kept you waiting, papa.”
He had gotten distracted by the key he discovered laying on the countertop-the key to his freedom. Talbort snatched the beer from his hand. “Give it here,” he said, and started for the refrigerator, grabbing a couple more beers. He sat down in the recliner again, and Evan felt relieved that the spear wasn’t seen.
Evan waited until after Talbort flipped through a few channels and had drunkenly fallen asleep to retrieve the key. He struggled to free himself from the restraints put on his legs after Talbort feared he couldn’t trust him to roam free around the house. His hands ran down his bare legs as he fingered the bruises where the chains had once been.
The feeling of freedom was beyond description. Then, in a sudden act of aggression, Evan thrust the spear into him while he slept until he was knocked back. Blood seeped through Talbort’s shirt and into the crevices of the floorboards.
“Aaahh! What do you think you’re doing?” The pain sent Talbort sprawling to the ground in pain. A cold icy predatory gaze fixed upon Evan.
“I’m setting myself free.”
Talbort willed himself to stand and seized Evan by his arm. He then raised his hand to the ceiling to strike him when Evan thought fast and bit Talbort.
“Over here!” Claire shouted.
Despite being jittery and nervous, Evan made his way over to her. His shaky hands made it difficult, but the key eventually slipped into the lock. They made a break for the front door while Talbort was still screaming in pain. Evan stopped dead in his tracks and turned around. Claire ran until she saw him stop.
“What are you waiting for,” Claire called out. “Let’s get out of here!”
Evan observed Talbort bleeding profusely on the floor. “You go on. I’ll catch up.”
“What are you going to do?”
He went back inside and grabbed the spear by the recliner. “I’m going to put an end to this.”
Talbort’s screaming stopped. Using the spear again, Evan pierced his heart. Even though it hurt to do what he did, the subsequent growth was the result of his pain.
Claire pulled him back. “We have to go now,” she whispered. Talbort lay on the floor with sightless pearl black eyes-eyes that stared off into vacancy.
They stood together at the bottom of the steps with tears clouding their vision. As if spring were near, birds chirped a cheerful song. Mother Nature’s bounty surrounded them. Each naked tree had taken on the form of golden chestnut. It never felt this good to feel the endless stream of fresh winds at their cheekbones behind freedom.
A cement grey walkway led away from the house. Only tall trees with knobby roots lashed against one another. Upon inhaling fresh air and smelling damp, rotten wood, human instinct took over.
She smiled and nodded. “Thank you for everything. You’re a brave boy.”
Their arms wrapped around one another.
“You don’t have to thank me.”
After a moment of contemplation, Claire unsnapped the hook from the golden locket. “This was once my mother’s.” She handed it to Evan. “It was to remind me that I control my destiny. It’s yours now.”
“Thank you.” The smoothness of the locket captivated his fingers. On the back engraved the words, fearless.
Evan purred into her chest like a lost kitten that had found its mother. To feel such warmth, like he could trust again, meant everything. His legs shifted forward, pumping fresh rivers of adrenaline into his veins. It had been awful, living in a house of what felt like imprisonment.
Evan’s bare feet sank into the earth. The faded leaves crunched between his toes as he ran towards the sounds of barking. He ran so fast that Claire fell behind. Cadaver dogs sniffed around the woods as an officer spotted him.
“Over here!” Evan waved both hands. “We need help!” He ran as fast as his legs would allow and rustled into the officer’s embrace.
“You’re safe now, son,” said the officer.
Evan cried tears he had never shed before. It took courage for him to do things he thought he would never be able to do. True imprisonment happened when Evan lived in fear.