Clays Ark | Chapter 29 of 51

Author: Octavia E. Butler | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 6443 Views | Add a Review

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ZERIAM MADE IT.

He almost failed, almost survived. He had done a thorough job on his neck, but it was half-healed when Meda found him dead. The front of his throat was gaping, but the sides were merely bloody and scarred.

Meda brought Eli to him. When Eli was able to think past shock, past sadness, past the terrible knowledge that Zeriam would eventually have to be replaced, he examined the man’s neck.

“I wouldn’t have made it,” he said.

“Made what?” Meda asked.

“I wouldn’t have died—even if I had managed to cut my throat. I’d heal all the way.”

“From a cut throat without a doctor? I don’t believe you.”

“I was in a couple of dominance fights aboard ship.” He paused, remembering, shuddered inwardly. “The first time, I was stabbed through the heart twice. I healed. The second time, I was beaten literally to a pulp with a chunk of metal. I healed. Barely a scar. It takes a lot to kill us.”

She helped him clean up the blood. It was she who found the letters. They were sealed in envelopes and marked “To Lorene” and “To my son.”

Meda stared at them for several seconds, then looked toward the bedrooms. “I’m going to wake Lorene,” she said.

He caught her shoulder. “I’ll do it.”

She looked down and away from Zeriam. He felt her tremble and knew she was crying. She never liked him to see her when she cried. She thought it made her look ugly and weak. He thought it made her look humanly vulnerable. She reminded him that they were still humanly vulnerable in some ways.

For once, she let him hold her, comfort her. He took her out of the kitchen, back to their room and stayed with her for a few minutes.

“Go,” she said finally. “Talk to Lorene. God, how is she going to stand this a second time?”

He did not know, did not really want to find out, but he got up to go.

“Eli?”

He looked back at her, almost went back to her; she looked so uncharacteristically childlike, so frightened. He did not understand why she was afraid.

“No, go,” she said. “But … take care of yourself. I mean … no matter how strong you think this thing has made you, no matter what’s happened to you … before, don’t do anything careless or dumb. Don’t …”

Don’t die, she meant. She rubbed her stomach, looked at him. Don’t die.

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Alice
Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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