Swallowing Darkness – Chapter 45: And That’s Why You Always Make Sure the Killer is Dead

Chapter 45 begins with Merry, Holly, and Ash reappearing in the field back on earth. They’re fully dressed again, thankfully. The Red Caps around them are still all dying, so apparently either time stood still the entire time they were gone, or the men left there just stood around doing fuck all while Merry got her jollies.

Oh it’s fine, though, because Merry knows what needs to be done to heal them all! Special Goddess knowledge, or special sex knowledge, or whatever. There was nothing in the past few chapters that would hint that Merry learned some special way to heal all the goblins dying from a bomb blast, but who cares about that! Merry can heal them!

I held Holly and Ash’s hands upward in mine. I called out. “The hand of blood!” and Holly stepped forth, his hand held high, his skin and hair and eyes shining with the healing that we had done.
“The hand of flesh!” and Ash stepped away from me, glowing with magic, and smiling.
I held my hands up to the sky and said, “I hold the hands of flesh and blood, and now I can make whole what is torn apart.”

Again, absolutely nothing in the past few chapters that mentioned Merry gaining new healing insight. This is just thrust upon us like one of LKH’s sex scenes.

The Red Caps, who just a few paragraphs ago where lying out in the field too weak and near death to move, now just suddenly are able to surround Merry and the men, so that’s cool. Merry touches Jonty and the red cap he wears starts pouring fresh blood down his face. Fresh blood = freshly healed, I suppose. Anyway, surprise, they’re all fine now.

Holly seems surprised that he now holds a hand of power, and starts touching all the Red Caps he can to make their blood flow stronger. He’s like a kid in a candy store, just touching everything to make it bleed. Poor Ash, though, can’t touch anything otherwise he’d turn it inside-fucking-out.

Doyle comes over to Merry with a look on his face that she’d never seen before. With how often she thinks that, I wonder if Merry has spent the past however many years she’s been alive blind. Anyway, turns out faerie granted Merry yet another crown: this one woven with spiderwebs and silver.

“Oh, my God,” I whispered.
“It is the Crown of Moonlight and Shadows,” he said.
I stared at him. “But that’s the crown of the Unseelie Court.”
“Yes,” he said.
“And it’s mine!” Cel screamed, from the edge of the field. He held a spear in his hand. The runes glowed across the field, and I knew it was the spear known only as Shrieker. The queen had indeed opened the weapons vault to her son. Shrieker had once been able to slay armies, not with its blade, but with the screaming it made in the air when it was thrown.

Cel pulls back to throw the spear, and just as he’s about to let loose, the great white stag that is Frost leaps out from wherever it had been, and the spear lodges itself in the stag’s side. The chapter ends with Merry and the rest of her men and the Red Caps running toward Cel and the stag. Jonty scoops Merry into his arms and runs her over to the stag so that Merry can be there for what they assume will be Frost’s last breath.

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