Once Upon A Weekend 19
     The ray of sun found its way into Sam's eyes and he opened them.  He was lying in a bed in a bright rustic room, in a queen-sized oak four poster bed with thick comforters covering him.  For some reason his head was throbbing as he slowly sat up and blinked to clear his eyes.  He glanced around at the rustic walls of the room and realized the bed he slept in was the the same bed he'd slept in the first night at the lodge.  He was, he realized with confusion, still at the lodge.  Everything was still in place, nothing destroyed, the windows intact.  he sung his legs out from under the comforter.  He was dressed in his sleeping shorts.  There was no noise save for the birds singing outside the window. 
     He stood up and cautiously made his way to the bathroom.  It was neat and bright in the morning sun.  The towels were hung neatly over the rail by the shower, the way he'd remembered leaving them before.  He used the facilities, then went out into the hall and to the room that had been Ken's.  He pushed open the door and peeked in.  Ken was in his bed, curled on one side, sleeping peacefully.
     Next he went to the room where Brian had stayed, but Brian wasn't there and Sam realized he wasn't waking up from a dream, as he'd hoped.  Glen slept in that bed now.  If Glen was there, then they had returned to the lodge, and if they'd returned, it had to be for the reason they'd come, but the last he remembered, the world had exploded---or had it?  Had that all been an illusion?  Had it all been an illusion?
     He went to the next room and found Kim sound asleep.  The shaft of sunlight streaming through her window created a soft golden glow on her peaceful features.  She had been the shield for all of them.  She had been the bane to the creature that had haunted them and nearly destroyed them.  He would never forget that and had a new respect for her.
     He went to Ricky's room, but the bed there was empty.  He felt his stomach cinch, but then he noticed the bed had been slept in, which meant Ricky was somewhere in the lodge.  He hurried downstairs to the main hall and breathed a sigh of relief.  Ricky sat on the floor in front of the widescreen television quietly playing a video game.  He was dressed in sleeping shorts and a tee shirt, his hair sleep tousled, his feet bare as he concentrated on the animae images on the screen. 
     Careful not to make any sudden noise, Sam sat down on the couch.  Ricky looked over his shoulder at him and smiled, the innocent eyes still intact, the skin of his face smooth and unblemished.
     "Winning?" Sam asked.
     Ricky shook his head, still watching the game.  He stuck his tongue out of the side of his mouth in concentration as he tried to outsmart the computerized characters.  He never was very good at those games, Sam thought in amusement.
     "Did you sleep alright?" Sam asked.
     Defeated by the game, Ricky frowned and set the controller down.  He turned to face his big brother.
     "I slept okay," he said.
     His voice was normal, but there was still that little boy in his eyes.  Ricky smiled as he curled up on the couch close to Sam's side.  Sam put his arm around his shoulder and held him.
     "I'm okay," Ricky told him.  "Nearly.  When I woke up this morning, I was in bed and I couldn't remember how I got there.  Then I realized where I was.  It scared me at first, but then I knew I was okay.  The lodge was just a lodge.  I don't know what happened here.  I know it was terrible, but it's alright now.  We're alright now.  I got up and started looking for everyone.  You were all still asleep so I came down here.  I felt---feel 'weird', like a child in a man's body, but my mind is clearing."
     Sam noted that Ricky's voice was hoarse, probably from all the screaming, but the drugged look was gone.  Still, he wasn't all the way back. 
     "I feel like I've been drugged," Ricky said.  "I think it'll go away."
     Sam nodded and hugged him.
     "I want you to know, little brother," he said, "and this is just between us, that no matter how much i may boss you around or order you around or seem to treat you indifferently, you mean a lot to me.  You're my baby brother.  I love you.  Okay?"
     Ricky smiled and nodded, not seeming to mind the unfamiliar sentiment.  He pulled away and stood up, tottering a little until he found his balance.
     "I'm hungry," he said.
     "Me, too," Sam agreed, and led the way to the kitchen.
     After they were seated at the table with bowls of steaming oatmeal, Sam looked over at his brother.
     "Why only you and Ken?  I've never figured that out.  And why especially attack you like that?"
     "You weren't afraid of her," Ricky said.  "Brian ran away back to Australia.  And me because you made her angry.  She didn't like it because you didn't let her scare you.  You told her to leave."
     He looked hard at his big brother.
     "And I think she was afraid of you," he said.  "I think she knew you would find a way to get rid of her once and for all if she didn't stop you.  That's why she went after me."
     "That's nonsense," Sam said.  "Why would she think that?"
     Ricky raised his eyebrows in amusement.
     "Well, you did, didn't you?" he asked.
     "Actually, no, I didn't," Sam said.  "In the end it wasn't me, but Kim, a woman, who got rid of her."
     Ricky shook his head.  "No.  It was you.  You're the one who went to Glen and found out who she was and what she wanted.  You're the one who decided we had to come back here to get free of her.  It was your plan.  Glen didn't want to come.  Neither did Ken---and if I'd had a say, I wouldn't have either.  But you got us here.  That Kim was with us wasn't planned but was a bonus."
     "How do you know all of that?" Sam asked.  "You were unconscious for most of it."
     "I could hear," Ricky said.  "It was like a dream, but I heard and saw everything."
     "Did you feel anything?" Sam asked, worried that Ricky might have suffered pain after the scratch.
     Ricky stared at him knowingly.  He knew what Sam meant. 
     "I know it happened," he said, "but it was like a dream and I could see it happening to me, but at a distance, like I wasn't really there.  Do you understand?"
     Inwardly breathing a sigh of relief, Sam nodded. 
     "If you're done eating," he said, "you still have two tablets left."
     "I don't need them," Ricky said.
     "I think you do," Sam said.  "Just to make sure."
     He took him upstairs to his room, let him brush his teeth and use the bathroom, then tucked him back into bed.  He gave him one of the pills and a glass of water, then sat with him until he was sleeping soundly.  Going back downstairs, he picked up the controls of the video game and sat down on the couch.  It was time to start enjoying the weekend.

kt6550   kt6550 wrote
on 5/16/2009 7:35:30 PM
Good ending.

Novel / Novella
writing shwangltd
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