Spectrum, Part Three

Lewis was feeling a sense of accomplishment tied into a sense of deep existential dread. He now knew his place in this made-up world of Spectrum. He was the only person who was supposed to have seen and believed in Owen, and his almost proving Owen’s existence to the man at the pier had forced Owen to right things.

Lewis spent a day resting, his shoulder wound slowly scabbing over. He didn’t want to wait around too long. He needed to go and finish what he had started with the death of those two priests.

“Lewis, you’re not back to full health, you must rest another day at least,” one of the doctors said. Lewis pounded his fist on the ground, but he knew being the hero would not be easy. If he was to take on a possibly supernatural creator, he would need all of his strength.

His resting period eventually finished, and as soon as the doctor pronounced him ready, Lewis was up. He tapped his foot patiently, waiting for the Victoria to hit land. A few hours later it did. Lewis ran off the boat and led one of the horses off with him. He hopped on. It was then he noticed how hot the mainland was; being at sea made everything appear cooler. He grabbed the hem of his shirt and lifted it over his head.

Then he spurred the horse forward. It was time to visit Mount Alpentine.

He felt like he couldn’t get there fast enough. The horse was galloping, but he knew the horse would eventually tire, so he didn’t spur his companion to go any faster. While he crossed the landscape, whizzing past the cheering faces of those who believed in his cause, his mind raced.

He thought back to one of the many proclamations No-Face had made to him. “You know as well as I do that you’re in love with him.” The him being Owen. Lewis knew this was correct, something he dreaded. He thought back to his childhood. His devotion to the Creator as a child was unrivaled. Every morning he had prayed to Owen, and he was always telling his parents about what he was going to do when he and Owen inevitably met.

He remembered the exact moment when his devotion reached a fever pitch. A traveling choir, originally from Heartland, had stopped by the little farming town where he grew up. The choir was immaculate, dressed much better than the dirt-stained farmers who inhabited the place.

The choir sang through a few devotional hymns, but it wasn’t until they started singing Psalm 21 that Owen began to feel something. The song was pure and beautiful, as though heaven itself had created it. And during the climactic moment of the song, Lewis was sure he had seen a shadowy figure, three times as tall as the choir, appear right behind it. The figure didn’t really have a face or anything defining, but it did have a violin. Lewis nearly screamed but contained himself. The shadowy image disappeared after a few seconds.

Lewis had told his parents what he saw, but neither they nor anyone else had seen what could have only been Owen.

Lewis was now nearing Mount Alpentine. He knew the end was coming. He felt a searing pain in his hand and saw that it was bleeding. He had been holding the reins so tightly that the skin had split. Taking a deep breath, Lewis held onto the reins with one hand and tore a piece of fabric from his shirt (which lay behind him on the horse) carefully, to use as a gauze for his hand. Dying of blood loss would be a pathetic way to go.

When he reached the base of Mount Alpentine, he knew this journey would have to be made alone. He began a slow trek up the mountain, taking the path to avoid any excess energy spent. Eventually, he passed by the garden formerly occupied by Imelda. He stopped for a second in her garden, taking in the impossibility of it all, before he climbed higher. He passed by No-Face’s lair. He couldn’t see the monstrous bird anywhere- he hoped the thing was dead.

As he walked up, he could hear the faint sound of the violin again. As he climbed higher and higher, the sound became more and more pronounced. He soon reached the summit’s path. Unable to contain his energy, he began to run, only to trip and fall.

“Clumsy, clumsy,” he muttered to himself. “I can’t even keep my shoes tied.” Taking extra care to prevent them from tripping him up again, he made his way higher up. Finally, he reached the top.

He looked around, seeing nothing. He was confused. The violin was now almost booming it was so loud, but he could not find the origin of it. Then a whooshing sound made its way through the air, and from a distance Lewis could see a big shadowy figure start to materialize. It was exactly how he remembered it looking when he saw it as a boy. Then the violin appeared too.

Lewis stood for a moment, completely mesmerized. The shadowy figure, who could only be Owen, was deep into whatever song he was playing. His shadowy head held the violin close to him while his bow arm wailed on the strings. Lewis didn’t know what to do. How could he kill him?

Then Owen stopped playing, and his shadowy form shifted. He materialized again in front of Lewis, this time appearing as an ordinary human. Owen didn’t say anything. He only looked Lewis straight in the eyes.

Lewis’ hand was shaking. He knew what he had to do, but his heart was pounding in his chest and Owen knew it. Owen was betting on the chance that Lewis was too soft. Lewis had  had no problem maiming No-Face, killing the priests, slaughtering soldiers who had crossed him. But when it came to facing the object of his affection, all things melted away.

No, he thought to himself. I have to do this. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out his weapon of choice. An iron spike.

Owen still didn’t move.

Lewis gripped the spike tighter than he had the reins of his horse. He gulped. “Your light is spent!” he cried, as he drove the iron spike into Owen’s eye. Owen didn’t even make a sound as he stumbled backward and fell of the side of the cliff.

Lewis’ heart was beating faster than ever as he looked over the side, watching  Owen’s body sailing ever downward. Eventually, he saw the vultures swoop down. Lewis waited for something cataclysmic to happen. He had just killed the Creator. The author had been removed.

He was sure Spectrum would start to disintegrate along with him and everybody else. Owen had created him, so surely his death would un-create him, no? Lewis waited and waited, but nothing happened. He was alive, and everybody else seemed to be alive as well.

He quickly made his way back down the mountain and went over to where Owen’s body lay. The vultures seemed to elect not to peck too much at him, as though even they too were in awe of their creator.

Lewis sat down next to Owen’s body. He drew with his finger over one of Owen’s shoulders and noted his tattoos. This was the man who had created Spectrum. He was a man like anyone else.

Tiring of this, Lewis got up and began to walk back to his home. No need for a horse. He walked and began to notice Spectrum’s scenery up close, as though everything had gotten more vivid. He walked by a marble statue that had weathered with age and covered with moss. He looked up at the sun, holding his arms wide. He held out a thought, hoping there was someone higher than Owen who might now pick up Lewis’ dropped strings of destiny.

I am a good man. I am yours.

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