The smoke curled around his head as if it were caressing him with a lover’s touch, but he didn’t notice. The cot held him as tightly as a mother hugging her child, but he didn’t notice. The beautiful pipe-girl gazed at him with a curiously caring look in her eyes, but he didn’t notice. Dr Beck had breathed deep and long from the pipe currently dangling precariously from his listless fingers and his glazed eyes now saw a world far removed from the dark, hidden depths of the opium den his body remained in.
The endless whiteness was all consuming. It burned into him, flooding into his eyes and filling his mind until he thought he could take no more and that it would burst out of him. And it was all his fault.
In their flight from the navy, they had been driven further north and west than their small trawler was ever meant to journey until, in desperation they had pushed on with only one hope, find the northwest passage and circle over hostile Canada to the free lands of America. It was his plan. He had convinced them to try it, to push on into the endless whiteness, to search for freedom. And god help him they listened.
He thought the snow and ice terrible, mile after mile of white wastelands burning into him, searing into his eyes until he feared he’d go blind with it. He thought it worse even than the cold and the hunger, but he was wrong.
The endless whiteness. Perfect in every way save for two small, black stains on its surface. As the ship cracked its way through the ice, journeying ever forward into the unknown, the coal-black smears grew smaller and smaller until the the Arctic wastes swallowed them and his world once more was the searing endless whiteness forever frozen in his tears.
Outside the den, as the scent of burning catnip rose from a burning warehouse, an ancient evil stalked the streets in search of a terrible harvest…
To be continued…
Links to other blogs and stories:
1) All my “Mutations” posts can be read on my blog here.
2) All my “Steal Head” posts can be read on my blog here and on the Steelhead Ning here.
3) A “Steal Head” Story So Far recap can be found here.
4) More details on the burning catnip warehouse can be found in Alana Steamweaver’s Ning post here.