“Tell me where the goddamn journals are.” Edward McWrither grunts, punching Solace twice after every word. After an hour of this its no surprise Solace looks like a dropped pizza strapped to a chair.

“Eat me.” he spits blood at the ashtray of joints sitting next to him. There are boxes of torn books piled in the corner of the spacious tent, clearly they found what they were looking. But for some reason, maybe stupidity, they seemed to think he had more they haven’t found yet.

“Look cock sucker, if you don’t tell me I’ll have Billy here give you a few wallops. And let me tell you, you wont be so mouthy after them.”

“So, what you’re telling me is if I don’t talk you’ll make sure I don’t talk? What a dip shit.” Solace says with a bloody smile.

Edward looses his temper and throws punch after punch at his defenseless prisoner. Solace laughs nearly as loud at Edward grunts, making the eldest McWrither more furious and vicious. A bottle to the head quites the laughter.

“Can I have another?” he sputters.

“Billy! Knock his head off.”

“Yes, Ed.” Billy says waddling in front of Solace. He looks down at him clearly not comfortable with the situation. “Can we untie him? Papa said never to-”

“I don’t care what your old man said Billy. I’m telling you to hurt this freak.”

“Sorry,” Billy says with his fist held ready.

Its funny how quite it gets you get hit by a dump truck. Solace can feel his face shatter but not a crunch is heard. It takes him a long minute to focus his eyes before uttering, “again.”

“Hit him!”

“Again.”

“Harder Billy!”

“Augh-in.”

“HARDER!”

“I’m Tryin’ Ed.”

“Doob it augh-in.”

The force of this last punch is so tremendous, the chair falls apart. Solace sits up with out meaning to, looks around the tent floor and asks, “W’er dib my Haut goo?”

“I think we broke our toy, brother.” Thomas says from the open flap.

“Hey, Ib’s the Smarp one.” The swelling in Solace’s face, apart from impeding his speech, has given him a permanent smile.

“Tom, didn’t I tell you to help Carl with the bus?”

“You did, but really how may people does it take to change a tire?” the question was answered with a loud crash and curses ringing though the air. “That could be anything.”

“Ib reaby coug be.”

“You shut up.” Edward yells, flicking his cigarette at Solace.

“I though you wanted him to talk, Ed”

“You shut up to, Billy.”

Thomas makes his way towards Solace, “why not let me have a go at him. We know I have many ways to make people talk.”

“Magic ain’t going to do a goddamn thing Tom.” Edward says. Billy looks at his brothers with a mixture of confusion and fear.

“Well then, I guess there is no harm in trying. Any way if little Billy keeps this up he’ll be out before dinner.”

“Tom, get out side. I need a word with you.” The two walk out of the tent and close the flap, leaving Solace alone with an uncomfortable looking Billy.

“Hey Bil, mind getting me some water?” Solace says with a smile. Billy smiles back and ambles over to the small table next to the entrance to pour a glass. Solace takes advantage and slides the loose rope off his wrists and ankles, wit his last few seconds he palms a shard of the broken bottle.

“Here you go.” Billy hands him a glass of ice water.

“Fuck are you doing Billy?” Edward knocks the glass out of Solace’s hand and reprimands his brother.

Had Thomas not walked in after him, Solace would have taken this chance to attack. Thomas takes one look at him and the glass on the ground and informs his brother.

“I’d be care full with him.”

Edward pulls his revolver out and points it at Solace’s heart. “Why, What did he do?”

“He’s got a bit of glass,” He winks. Glaring, Solace tosses the shard back on the ground.

“You son of a bitch, thought you could cut me?” he looks on the verge of pulling the trigger, but stops himself and nods at Thomas.

“Whab is gobin on?”

“Please Solace, this is a tent not a sound proof room. Speak normally.” Thomas says walking closer to him.

“What are you planning to do with me, Thomas? I think I remember Ed talking about magic, or is my head still scrambled?”

“Oh you heard correctly. Mind you this isn’t magic. Merely appears like it to small minds. You on the other hand can fully appreciate it. I will be using a synthetic chemical to control your mind. The original came from a man with a peculiar abnormality. His sweat would crystallize the moment it touch the air. More surprisingly was what happened when it would get reabsorbed. Some thought he was a government experiment. I like to think he was more out of this world than that.”

“Don’t come near me.”

“I wont.” In the blink of an eye, Thomas throws a white powder at Solace who closes his eyes in time, but foolhardily takes a breath with the intention of holding it. “Soon you will be telling me all of your little secrets.”

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