• Jeff South

Blogtober, Day 22: Sycophant


Jane came to. Slowly, at first. Groggy. Once she was reminded of her circumstances, she scrambled to her feet and faced Susan.

“What did you do to me?” Jane screamed. “What is happening?” Jane’s voice dissolved into a quiet sob and Nathan pulled her close.


Susan walked past Jane and Nathan toward the tree line and regarded the long yard that stretched to Nathan's house. She looked serene and peaceful and spoke in a gentle, matter-of-fact manner. Her long blond hair was ruffled by the wind.


“I want you to come with them,” Susan said to Nathan and Jane. “Come with the grays. I went with them fifteen years ago. I didn’t want to at first, of course. Who would?”


“DId they force you?” Nathan asked.


“Were you abducted?” Jane asked.


“I can’t explain the peace I felt in their presence,” Susan said. “My fear went away. I wanted to go with them. They wanted to protect me.”


“So, what?” Jane said. “Are you some sycophant of theirs?”


Susan turned and smiled at Jane. “I love the way you like to use those new words, Jane.”


Nathan held Jane tighter. Nausea crept into his stomach and his mouth lost all moisture. He told Susan about Jane’s desire to grow her vocabulary. An innocent comment that now felt like a betrayal. He glanced behind them. The grays had advanced even closer, their expressionless faces staring at them.


“Please don’t hurt her,” he said. “Take me. I’ll go.”


“They don’t want you,” Susan said. “It has to be Jane.”


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