The Books of Magic: Fever of Death, Epilogue: Through Clear Lenses

by CSyphrett and Martin Maenza

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Abby Cable’s eyelids fluttered as she tried to wake from her deep slumber. For days, she had been consumed by the deadly spores’ virus, afflicted more than any of the other infected individuals. Slowly, her vision cleared, and she found herself in the infirmary on Grimoire Island, the place that had been her home for the past couple of months. And there, standing by the window, was Gareth Gallowglass, his gaze focused on the serene stillness outside.

Summoning all the strength she had left, Abby propped herself up on the bed and croaked, “I thought you didn’t care.”

Her voice cracked and rasped, the result of countless hours of screams and howls that had escaped her throat. She swallowed painfully, attempting to alleviate the strain on her vocal cords.

Gallowglass turned slightly, the black crystal in his left eye socket hidden in shadow as the light streamed through the window, accentuating the fiery brilliance of his right blue eye. “I don’t,” he replied curtly.

A wry smile played on Abby’s lips as she retorted, “You don’t lie very convincingly either, do you?”

She noticed Gallowglass approaching her, a cup of water in his hand. “You care much more than you let on,” she continued, her voice growing stronger. “I couldn’t see it before because you shielded yourself from any form of empathic connection. But while I was unconscious, I could feel you watching over me, Josh, and Patsy. Even in your absence, your presence was undeniable.”

Gallowglass handed her the water to soothe her throat. As he watched her swallow the cup’s contents, he said, “You think you have me figured out, do you?”

“I don’t know how you got to be the way you are, but I do know you care, even when you say you don’t,” insisted Abby. “Especially when you say you don’t.”

Gallowglass remained silent, turning back to the window. He stared out into the distance, lost in his thoughts. After what felt like an eternity, he finally broke the silence. “You could be wrong,” he said calmly.

A determined look crossed Abby’s face. “But I’m not,” she replied firmly.

“I spoke with Belmont upon my return,” said Gallowglass. “He told me you had left for a brief visit, but I could see that your belongings were gone. I take it you were planning to leave for good?”

“I was,” Abby admitted, her voice softened with remorse. “Maybe it was the early stages of the fever clouding my judgment, but on the day I left I was so angry with you. Every action and event that occurred on this island since I first arrived seemed distorted and tainted. But I was completely misguided.” She shook her head and added, “I’m sorry that I accused you of murder and lies. I didn’t realize how warped my thoughts had become until now. And please, don’t be angry with Belmont. He only helped because I begged him to send me home.”

Gallowglass remained composed but stern. “The matter of Simon Belmont will be addressed in due course,” he stated. “But for now, let us focus on you. Disgruntled staff members breed discontent among the students. Once you have regained your strength, you will have to make some difficult decisions regarding your future here.”

Abby sighed, recognizing the gravity of Gallowglass’ words. “I suppose,” she relented, her fatigue overcoming her once more. With a heavy heart, she closed her eyes and drifted back into a peaceful slumber, hoping that clarity and resolution awaited her when she awoke.

Continued in The Books of Magic: Changeling Unmasked

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