This happens before the storyline of Addergoole; for reference, see this chapter
He died like he had in his dreams, bloody and violently. They pulled him apart, the mob, and, although the details were different, the pain was the same. The shouting was the same. The blood splattering everywhere, his blood, his entrails, his life.
“Why?” he managed, before the farmer hit him in the throat with the pitchfork. He knew why, deep in his cold heart. Monster, they’d screamed. Monster, beast, demon. Demon, they shouted, as the pitchfork pierced his heart.
That wouldn’t be enough to kill him, not on its own, but they had come prepared. They doused him in oil, pinned him to the crossroads with wooden stakes, his heart still pumping blood out of his body, his lungs still trying to push air. They lit him on fire and then, by some luck, then, as his pants began to burn, he lost consciousness.
Robert woke screaming, not for the first time, rolled over and stifled the scream in his pillow before anyone could hear him. He could still feel the fire licking over his skin, although a quick, surreptitious pat-down told him that no, he wasn’t on fire. He wasn’t dying. Not this time, not right now.
He wouldn’t be able to get back to sleep tonight. He slipped on a shirt over his sweats, checked to make sure he hadn’t woken anyone, and headed out for a walk.
The dreams weren’t always the same, but they always ended badly, in blood and fire; they always ended with or near death. And they’d been getting worse. They’d been getting more and more vibrant, lately, seeming to take over even when he was awake.
His ankle twisted, snapped, seemed to stretch out of shape, and he grunted, swallowing another scream. Now even the pain was following him into the waking hours. Was he never going to have a moment of peace, a moment – thought and complaint were cut off by a feeling like his skin splitting, as if everything inside was too big to be contained anymore.
A woman screamed, loud and terrified. “A monster!” Mrs. Colburn, from down the street. She sat behind them in church. “A monster!” she repeated, “a demon from hell! Kill it, KILL IT!”
He woke in a field, in pain and stinking of smoke, with no memory of how he’d gotten there, no memory of what it was like to not be in pain… no memory, he realized, at all.
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