Carl: “Wagner liked them.”
Frank: “thought...........'RATZ, now I must come out of hiding....'
The caves are no longer safe.....He MUST get the ring from the Gypsies ....... under the cover of darkness, Frank (Tom) moves out.....m-16 in hand......one target in mind....”
Gypsies, gypsies what in the hell had he been thinking of, trusting the ring to his cousins, now he was going to be tramping all over half of the state of West Virginia looking for that bunch of knuckleheads…and that’s if they did what he told them to. He thought about Ms CGS, would he make it in time to save her, and was it even worth the trouble to try to. He’d had his suspicions about her as soon as he spoke to her over the phone. She’d know too much about the ring when they’d spoken, it was almost as if …as if, she’d used the ring herself sometime, somewhere in the past. He hit a pothole, and heard the rifle bang against the back of the trucks cab, where he’d stored it behind the seat. Damn it, he hoped it stayed zeroed. He should have just left it in the gun case until he got there. The problem was, that if he did run into Moelusteian unexpectedly, a gun in a case wasn’t going to do him a whole lot of good.
Let him try his Swedish, paranoid, heresy here and see how much good it did him with an M-16 going off, up his butt. First things first though, he had to find Willie and the Glimmer twins to get the ring back.
Ms CGS: "The intensity of the moments, her breathlessness,the karst's vast silence and unbending blackness; was she going mad? This ring, simply a band of gold was only a token; others had been driven mad by the same in the name of marriage or felicity of another sort. Could she sacrifice another's life, lest her own, just to preserve the lovely unending line, at this point the only true constant in her life. But this ring is for the ages, stretching far beyond the moment. Moist, cool air enveloped the two. Occasional water drips, growing ancient formations, are heard at close range, then...yes, farther away another lake was filling with steady, deliberate drops of water, the lifeblood of this subterrannean hiding place. This would be Hades to the ancients, but to the Seekers of Tom it was becoming a heaven, the darkness a balm. Were they dying? No...too close to the legacy's unfolding. Ah, breathe, smell the saturated rock, give in and embrace the dark, sleep maybe, yes, just rest a little, dream. Deep sleep is jarred by a gentle sound, not of water, not even footsteps, but distant music, like earthen chimes...is this her heaven? And where is he?"
He sat silently, listening, straining his ears to hear the slightest ruffle, a sniff, a breath, the faint zip of cloth on flesh, as she moved. He drew the air in deeply and slowly through his nose to avoid any sound. He smelled a woman’s scent, the faint waft of this morning’s perfume, mixed with the smell of the coffee, that she’d thrown all over him. He raised his hands to his face and gently let his fingertips explore the damage. Already there were fluid filled blisters around his eyes. He didn’t know how well he could see, it didn’t really matter here anyway. The Tom that they called Frank had written of the olcooedootdso dome, as if that were enough to deceive him, he could decipher that with or without the ring. It was the “code to loose” the demons of hope on all mankind. Hope…hope the most virulent of all curses. And it was this one the one he hunted now that was the key to that hope. He’d seen it in her eyes when he had grabbed her to stab her. She’d never even seen the knife, she’d lashed out, not in anger, not in rage, not even in the paranoia that was engulfing the entire world now, but with hope. The hope that she could escape. The hope that she could survive this to see her husband again, to raise their children. It had burned him to the core of his soul.
She was nearby, the answer was to wait, the first one to move loses.