Drake

Drake by Peter McLean Read Free Book Online

Book: Drake by Peter McLean Read Free Book Online
Authors: Peter McLean
she said.
    â€œOh,” I said. “Oh well, fair enough.”
    â€œYou don’t need my number. You’ll be seeing me again, Don, I promise. I’ll let myself out.”
    I let her go on her own. I shouldn’t have, what with the Burned Man in the next room, but she went out the right door and I heard her footsteps going down the stairs. I lay back on the bed and groaned. My head was starting to pound now, my dick was sticky and my back hurt like buggery. White knights in stories never have these problems when they rescue the damsel in distress , I thought, but then I was no one’s idea of a white knight. Not by a long way I wasn’t.
    â€œFucking hell,” I groaned.
    What had I been thinking? I didn’t deserve a good time, not tonight of all nights. Maybe not ever again, after what had happened. I really hadn’t been in my right mind. I let my eyes close, and saw it again.
    My screamers had found Vincent in the kitchen. He’d been cooking dinner, spaghetti bolognaise. There were three bowls out on the counter top, and if I’d still been watching properly, maybe I’d have noticed that in time for it to mean something, but I hadn’t been. I had been thinking about Debbie, and arguing with the Burned Man about her, and barely watching the scrying glass at all by then. After all, as the Burned Man had told me enough times before, the demons knew their business.
    They slaughtered Vincent before he even knew they were there. Danny put up more of a fight. She had to. She was in the sitting room watching telly while Vincent did their dinner. Dinner for three, I knew now. How the hell was I supposed to know they were grandparents? They were only in their early fifties after all. Danny had the boy on her lap when my screamers smashed the door to splinters. Wormwood had never mentioned a child, but then he wouldn’t, would he? He didn’t care.
    I have to hand it to Danny. She might have been a recreational necromancer and an all round evil bitch, but she fought like a cornered bear for that child. By the time I really took in what was happening in the scrying glass one of the screamers was on fire and a second was maimed beyond saving.
    â€œStop them!” I had shouted at the Burned Man.
    â€œNo chance,” it said. “It’s too late. There’s no stopping screamers once they’ve got their blood up.”
    When Danny finally went down I tried anyway. I plunged my Will through the scrying glass and into the mind of the last screamer. My world had washed red at once in a bloody haze of animal sensations, killing frenzy and madness.
    Stop it you fucker! I thought at the screamer, but you can’t talk to screamers. They’re not rational – they’re barely sentient in fact. A screamer is an insane killing machine, not something you can reason with, but I had to try. I knew it was hopeless but I had to try anyway.
    You got them both, you’re done, I thought, desperately trying to calm the blood-maddened beast that was even then trying to force me back out of its head. Leave it! Just leave it and go home!
    I fought it for control. I fought it for that child’s life. I saw the little boy cowering beside the fireplace, blubbering in terror. All the screamer saw was something else to kill. The room whirled crazily around me, tilting and lurching as the screamer sprang forwards. There was television glare and child wail and the stink of blood and shit and death.
    I fought it for control, and I lost.
    I felt the killing howl building in my chest and then the screamer threw me out with a shriek of fury and I stumbled back across my workroom with hot blood pouring from my nose and mouth, and that was that.
    I knew right then that I was never going to do this again. Never. I collapsed to my knees and vomited horribly in a corner of the workroom while the Burned Man laughed at me.
    â€œI should have been in control,” I gagged. “I

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