Glitches Free Online Serial Novel


Chapter 25

There were whispers that Leif was coming back tonight. That he would finish what he started. That “it ended now.”

And so I hid away in my room and asked for privacy, which was very hard to come by here I was realizing. I was able to spend most of the afternoon reading my father’s book just losing myself in the words and rhythm of it all, hearing his voice reading the words he had read and reread time after time. T.S. Eliot the wise-poet was my mentor and my guide for a few hours as I tried my best to run from the fear that was always just behind me. I spent the most time in Eliot’s poem The Wasteland. Specifically, the Fire Sermon. Which I looped through over and over again.

“The river’s tent is broken: the last fingers of leaf
Clutch and sink into the wet bank. The wind
Crosses the brown land, unheard. The nymphs are departed
Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.

But at my back in a cold blast I hear
The rattle of the bones, and chuckle spread from ear to ear.”

I was pondering that chuckle spread from ear to ear, lost in thought, when my door slammed open as Sumner, Cat, Bea and DJ exploded into the room. They all started yelling at once, one on top of the other. “Hold it. Stop. Hold it!” I yelled trying to get back some sense of order here.
DJ stepped up and grabbed my shoulders and said “The council members are coming.”

“Coming? Going where?” I asked.

“Not going, coming.” DJ answered. “And they have made some determination about the proceedings.”
Bea tried to expound, “There are rumors that they may extend the interviews. That they are unsure of the recommendation to make, and would like to see more.” This made me mad all of a sudden, but I just clinched my teeth and smiled a sly smile. “What?” she asked in response.

“Well, I think I’m done dancing. Let them come.” And then I rolled over and opened my book back up. I was mad and I knew I was basically pitching a fit.

Bea leaned down and whispered into my ear, “You have them confused. They don’t know what to do with you. Consider it from their perspective for a minute.” She basically won the argument the moment she began whispering in my ear.

I rolled back over and looked over at Cat. “Hey, Cat… what are you seeing about tonight? Anything?” Cat’s eyes didn’t move, but I could tell she was already looking forward. She wasn’t seeing me anymore. And then she started shaking. Sumner pulled a blanket from the closet and wrapped it around her.

“I see blood,” she said. And then she stopped talking.

“Who’s?” I said impatiently. Then Bea put her hand over my mouth trying to get me to be quiet.
Eventually, she shook her head, and then tried to smile. And I was doing my very best not to say anything now.

“Tonight is still being decided. There are too many variables. Its all blood, chaos and grayness. I just don’t know. I’m sorry.” And then her little frame shook again and I wondered what else she wasn’t saying.


Everyone told me it would be respectful for me to go to them. But right now I wasn’t feeling a whole lot of respect oozing through my frame. And so I made them come to me. Which in the long run probably was the dumbest thing I did throughout the entire interview process. But I didn’t understand that. Not then anyway.

In the end, Bea stayed as support, but everyone else ran for it. I definitely don’t blame them. Why talk to the council members at all when they aren’t looking for you? Bea rested her hand on my leg and gently gave it a squeeze as they walked in. I smiled at that. The simple things.

Yolanda was the first member through the door. And she was all smiles and posturing. And then she said to Bea, “Dear, could I have a moment alone with the interviewee? It will take but a second.”
“I’d rather she stay.” I said firmly. I was in no mood for this.

“Actually you don’t wish for her to hear this. If you knew what it is that I was about to say… her staying would be the last thing on your mind.” Ok. Now I was intrigued. I wasn’t expecting this return volley. Maybe a power play from her new position maybe. But not this. I looked over at Bea completely unsure. She sensed my reservation and decided to make the decision for me.
As she slid out the door, I mouthed the words, ‘I’m sorry.’

Yolanda was exultant when I turned my attention back her direction again. “The rest of the council is almost here – so we only have a moment. But you are in serious danger. They’ve already decided their what to do with you…”

I interrupted at this, “Great. Can’t wait to hear it. Good to know I won’t have to perform again tonight.”

“You never were a very good listener,” she said with a laugh. “I said, do with you. We still haven’t ruled on the verdict. You could still die here and now. I think that verdict is still fifty/fifty. But the Elders have heard of your fantastic events of the last few days and weeks.”
“I’m sorry. Who is this Elders thing you are referring to? You are the Elders.” I was clearly baffled.

“I weep for my poor Bentley. You are so completely in over your head in this new world. You are marvelously powerful, but you are so ignorant of the most obvious things. Has no one ever mentioned the Elders to you?” She asked this assuming that I would answer. And she waited for me to.
“Uh, not that I recall. I obviously thought you were on the leadership board for this underworld craziness.”

“I’d play twenty questions but we don’t have time for me to play with my ball of yarn like I would prefer to.” She sat down exactly where Bea had just been, and dropped her arm on my lap, exactly where Bea’s was. She was something.

“I am merely a Council Member. Our Council covers the front range of Colorado, Wyoming. The Mountains basically. Ok? The Cranial world extends globally. We are everywhere. Did you possibly think this was just a Boulder anomaly?

“I hadn’t really thought…”

“Surprising, you not thinking.” And at this she cackled. “Ooh. They’re coming. Right. So, here’s the thing. The Elders are interested in our handing you over to them. You have two options here Bentley, and pay very close attention, because they aren’t going to sound very different to your thick skull.” At this she moved her arm from my lap and put it around my shoulders. “You can fight tonight, and IF you actually beat Leif this time, the Council will hold their verdict and send you in an escort – read under duress, my thick pretty – up to the Elders. The Elders will possibly treat you like a science experiment… and neuter you in order to remain safe themselves. Or they may breed you. We thought of that.”

My eyes went wide with shock at that. “Why wouldn’t we? Can you imagine sentinels with your powers? Our Council would quickly expand and our territories would become much more powerful.”

“What’ my alternative Yo. Spit it out. I get it. A is bad. What is glory that is B? And do please avoid all the erroneous superlatives.”

“You know me so well. Plan B is our going together. We will go on our own. And we will visit them without the duress of the inquisition, but as a power couple deserving our due. An up and coming Council Member. And her powerful partner.”

“Yo, did you not get the memo? We are not a thing. I don’t even know if we ever were, now that I know what I know. I’m guessing our entire relationship was some other lie.”

“Oh, sure, the Council asked me to woo you. But I honestly fell in love with you along the way. Yes, I was a witch to you – but that was what I thought would keep you were you were. I think you’ve seen that I’m not that woman.”

“Oh you are definitely not that woman alright. You are ‘this’ woman…” I raised my eyebrows at that.
She definitely didn’t take this as the insult I’d intended it to be, “I know, fantastic, isn’t? You are absolutely too adorable even to think of.” And she shuttered and shook at the possibilities of it all. “Bentley, the Elders have not ordered the Council to ship you, yet. But they will soon. Its obvious. Well, to me anyway. Come with me and we will be regaled with balls, and parties the likes of which you have never even imagined.”

“Bea,” she snapped her hand to my lips at this.

“Please. Bea will be here waiting for you when we get back. It’s not like that anymore Ben. My ask here is a partnership of power and politics. Not a partnership of the heart or the emotions. Let’s be grownups Ben.” She eyed me as she waited for an answer. “Well, they are here. I want answer tonight before the night is out. Ok? And then my offer is rescinded.” She kissed me deeply at this. I hadn’t seen it coming. It was less a kiss than a dog marking her territory. I was instantly repulsed.

Trill was the first of the Council members through the door. She was holding Bea’s hands as they walked in together. Trill looked as if we hadn’t even fought last night, she looked perfectly fine. Bea eyed me up and down as she came in and I could tell she was unsure now. Blade was next, followed closely by Kage. I was doing my best to wipe the smear of lipstick off my face and wasn’t even giving them my attention.

Kage stepped up to the front of the three and acknowledged Yolanda and then began. “I assume Yolanda has brought you the good news that the Elders would like us to tour the capital city with you? They are asking to meet you and would love to host you there.” I raised an eyebrow at this to Yo. Well this was an entirely different take on option A. “Our Council has decided that we will cast our verdict tonight after your rematch with Leif. I don’t know about you, but I’m quite interested to see how the two of you get on after your last match.”

Trill spoke next, “Congratulations on your interest from the Elders. I personally have never heard of their involvement in local affairs before. It just isn’t done. But they obviously think you might be interesting to meet. The capital city is truly fantastic. They have time shifters that keep the era of the city locked various time periods. Step onto the city’s grounds and you may find yourself standing back in the turn of the century. You just never know. I was blown away the first time I saw it.” My mind reeled at that. They have that kind of excess power to move an entire city backwards in time? It seemed so blatant and wasteful. I was dumbfounded.

“So, first Leif? Then depending on the outcome there, a tour of the capital city?” The three council members nodded in unison. Yolanda was noticeably absent in her agreement to this.

“We are excited for you and your possibilities Ben.” Trill obviously wasn’t holding any grudges from last night. Blade and Kage nodded their agreement with Trill then they began heading back out the door to my room.

Then Yolanda stood up to go. And as she went, all she said was, “Midnight” and then she was gone.
“Well, that was fascinating” said Bea in a mock excited tone. “What did Yolanda want?” She asked this innocently enough, but I wondered what her play on this whole thing might be. I was beginning to hate the layer of politics that dropped on top of everything. The absolute stickiness of it all.
“Nothing. I don’t know why she was making such a big deal earlier. She basically said what the others just said. That I would be able to go to the capital city.”

“I’m not stupid Benjamin. You are totally trying to make the conversation go away. That is what you are doing. That is what this is.”

“Never.” I said as I kissed her chin and chuckled.