CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and FIFTY-TWO
Tuesday night — 11:02 p.m.
The truth was that Nelson was drunk when he got in bed.
Jeraine had the night off and Nelson, Blane, and Tres had started playing pool on their new-to-them pool table. Right out of the gate, Tres had beaten all of them. After a few games, Jeraine wandered over to the piano and began to play honky-tonk. Tres, Nelson, and Blane became just Tres and Nelson when Blane got sick of losing and went to bed. Jeraine headed off soon after. With the addicts in bed, Tres brought out the whiskey, and they started playing pool for shots.
Even drunk, Tres Sierra could play pool.
Swearing to avenge his loss, Nelson made his way to bed. He stripped off his clothing at the door and fell in bed.
Since his return from Templar-hell, every time he fell asleep drunk, he had horrible nightmares. Tonight, Nelson had nightmares about the Templars, war, and the horrors he’d experienced in the seven long years of being trapped in the world of Jacque de Molay.
He knew better.
He still fell asleep drunk.
His mind fell into a world of war.
In this dream, he was walking through what had been a wheat field. The trampled wheat was now littered with the broken and bleeding bodies of men. Nelson held his sword — the one his father had made for him — in his hand. The knife of de Molay was tucked in his waist band. He wore the heavy metal armor of the period. The blood of the dead and dying was so thick that it oozed through the gaps in his leather sandals. The day was warm, not too hot, with the promise of afternoon showers.
With his nose full of the metallic smell of blood, his ears began to pick up the sound of people screaming and the clang of metal.
Ahead of him, the battle continued.
Exhausted and depressed, Nelson dropped to his knees in the muck. He prayed to any god that would listen to him.
Thank you for the gift of my life. Please use your power to end this death and destruction.
Still on his knees, he picked up the smell of freshly lit fire. A woman screeched with rage.
“Burning witches,” he said to the open eyed corpse lying next to where he knelt.
He dragged himself to his feet and fell forward. His feet shuffled up a natural rise near the bottom of the field. Just below the rise, there was a quiet, flowing river with impossibly clear water. In the wheat field beyond, the Templars had tied three women to stakes and were in the process of lighting the wood surrounding them. The fire was beginning to catch.
He felt so impotent. Out of his own time, he was unable to do anything to stop this madness. He couldn’t fight or kill. He could only defend himself.
He wished that he were dead.
Like the fire surrounding the screaming women, his rage lit with fierce power.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow...
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