The White King Enters
Start Chapter 6:
Once or twice Rebecca had proved, at least to Elizabeth, that she was trustworthy enough to be given a key to the apartment. Therefore she was already sitting in the front room with her crappy cheap laptop settled neatly on a box, stealing wireless from a neighbour, when Elizabeth and Michael returned. Rebecca pulled off her ratty, second-hand converse and collapsed backwards onto a pile of boxes, lifting her hands away from the computer in exhaustion. Elizabeth raised an eyebrow and busied herself making dinner for Michael, who was beginning to complain about being hungry. "This 'The Author' dude, he updated again while you were out. There's something creepy as f*ck about this White King thing. Something to do with chess. And these commenters... people, they seem to know something. I'm going to read through the blogs of the people following this guy, try and figure out what's going on from that. How was your day?"
Elizabeth sighed, pulling her hair back, "Fine..." She lied, like she always did when she didn't want to face the truth, "Michael can stay up and watch something tonight, or read. Or something."
Rebecca gave Elizabeth a pointed look from her spot on the floor, "I read about what you did today on the blog, you know. I know about Michael's... song-thing. Why'd that freak you out so much?"
"I don't want to talk about it, okay?" Elizabeth said, as calmly and icily as possible, all the while thinking about the implications of the song, of the fears she had about her son's education, about her fears of not being a good enough mother, the fears that her son would go the way of his father, her fears of the lost children, the murders, the deaths. She was terrified, but she didn't want to say it, didn't want to think it. So she pushed away the only woman who was willing to help her, all because she feared her own past. She didn't even understand how foolish it was to do so.
Rebecca began to click through blogs, reading slowly. The stupid babysitter was semi-illiterate, not intelligent to be able to read more than a few sentences a minute. She would never be able to understand Elizabeth, not properly, not like... other people could. No, Rebecca wasn't good enough for Elizabeth, not that either of them could tell. Michael began to bug Rebecca to use her Netflix account, and they were settling down to watch cartoons just as Elizabeth ran out the door, late for work.
As she jogged to work as quickly as her legs could take her, she thought about The mysterious Author. Who was he, or she, and what did he want with her? Why did he care about her? He seemed like some disgusting stalker, a creep jerking off in the bushes outside a naive but attractive young girl's window. But there was something more to it all, making it weird, bizarre, creepy. Though his descriptions of her were fetishistic, sometimes he seemed to, well, care about her. He was writing about her life, and exposing her to the world, but, and she hated herself for thinking it, she felt like she was freer the fewer secrets she had, the more she was exposed. But what did it mean? Was it simple narration? Was it a warning? Or was he directing her life, like puppets and strings? Was he watching her through her windows? How did he know what she was doing all the time, how did he know her thoughts? She didn't understand, but her thoughts buoyed her to her workplace.
"You're late," her manager said. He was a porkish, fat, southern man who sweated profusely and chewed tobacco. He left stains in every carpet and on every wall he touched, and his hands were greasy enough to mark cash with a thin layer of fat and salt. He glared at her through tiny, beady eyes, "The police came round today. Said you were being stalked. Said they had to talk to the staff. Said that there might be a problem."
Elizabeth cursed inwardly, but forced herself to smile. "There won't be any problems, sir, no trouble, I promise. I'll tell them not to bother you again."
"You see to that."
Elizabeth sighed heavily, wondering if her life could get any worse; ironic, considering what was to come.
Her shift that night was mostly regular, apart from the church preachers who came in at 10 o'clock. There were two men and two women, and they seemed almost inhumanly normal, proportioned and ratio-ed to be as average as possible. They stood at the center of the "Greasy Fork," whose patrons ignored them, and began to preach. They spoke for what seemed like hours, trying to convert people, or at least convince them to come to church. They talked about the end times, about their Lord and their Saviour, their sacrifices, their love and devotion; they talked about the fear, and the release from fear; they talked about the church's lofty morals, and it's use beyond even religious applications.
"Repent," they said, "And make your way to our church, for to serve his open, wavering arms. Repent, and grin, and become one with him, become one with the light, the White Lord, our King."
Elizabeth dropped a platter, and cursing, ran into the back room. She could still hear them.
"Repent, believe, and follow him. For the end is coming, oh so very soon; in fact, it's already hear. Follow him and simply die, for if you do not, you will suffer eternity unto yourself. Bleed and die, bleed and die, but he will save us all. Follow him, follow the light, follow the white, follow the bright. Follow the Aura, the Aula Permanere."
It was at that point that the bouncer stepped in, asking the churchfolk to leave as they were making people uncomfortable. He slowly pushed them out of the cafe, as all the while the group kept talking, kept preaching, kept wailing and repenting, praying for the souls of the drunks. Elizabeth didn't want to watch them leave. She felt sick, like her whole world was out of her control once more. She caught her manager glaring at her, and looked away, afraid. She was on thin ice at work, her home life was a mess, and her entire life had simply been one failure after another. She didn't know what to do other than sob, but she couldn't even do that.
There were people to serve.
End of Chapter Six
The White King Exits.