So much for my “no more visitors” rule. I’m being far too fucking reasonable. Ronan’s here, so I thought nothing of his son coming by. Then it turns out his son is staying with Elaine, so she comes by to drop him off and then Emily wanted to come, so how could I say no to that adorable little creature?
At any rate, that’s how we all came to be sitting in the dining room eating a tossed-together but no less delicious dinner. I don’t think anyone has eaten in that dining room in several decades and, of course, the first time someone did, something went wrong. I was just about to dig into a slice of pizza when the phone rang and Emily tottered out to answer it.
She came in a few seconds later in tears and ran straight to me for comfort. I stroked her hair to try and calm her and asked her what was wrong. After a couple of seconds, she sobbed it out.
“The man said he’s going to kill me.”
I gave her a kiss on the forehead and sent her over to Elaine while I went to get the phone. I hit the record button just before I lifted it up to talk to Arkham.
“You’re a sick little creep, Arkham.”
“Hahahahaha, I was just having a little fun with the child, Benjamin. And it’s not like I lied.”
“Tell me, you crazy little twerp, if you think life is some sort of gladiator arena with the Tree Walker in the emperor’s seat, why don’t you kill yourself and escape?”
“Why, Benjamin, I’m surprised! I would have thought that a man of your intellect could have figured that out on your own. The Huntington’s must be getting to you, old boy. Probably why that little idea I planted in your skull is distressing you so much.”
“Listen, you fucked up litt-”
“No, no, no, no,you listen, rich boy. You don’t ask a question and then interrupt the answer. I know you’re losing your mind, but there’s no need to be so rude. Now, are you ready to listen? Good. To answer your question, Benny, since I’m the only one who has managed to figure out this little ontological conundrum in which we find ourselves, it’s my solemn duty to liberate as many other people from their prison as I can before I myself fall. Who else is going to do it?”
“Right, like we have a shortage of psychotic killers.”
“Tsk, tsk, tsk, Benjamin. You really need to rein in that temper if you want to get anywhere in this world. I’ll be in touch again soon. Try and be a little calmer next time. Say hi to Emily for me.”
The tone was grating.