Santino led Bray down a long hallway at a slogging pace. He attempted to joke with the cryptic man, to bring a smile to the beard, but it was all for naught. Wyatt followed the joker in silence, exchanging passing glances with the people that passed by.
The golden pair.
The British pair, one caramel, one pale.
They all eyed the eater of worlds with caution, and Santino kept talking. It wasn’t fear: just weary understanding. Bray Wyatt was crazy. Bray Wyatt was a monster. Bray Wyatt was always on the verge of beating someone senseless.
Only he wasn’t. He was calculating: his ramblings and supposed incoherencies were part of a grand scheme even he wasn’t completely informed of. He grinned and remembered a line from The Dark Knight.
“See I’m not a monster. I’m just ahead of the curve.”
Santino came to a stop in front of a simple door. There was nothing special about it: the paint was a bit chipped, one of the three numbers marking it was gone, and the doorknob was a bit warped, but otherwise there was nothing of significance about the door. Marella knocked on the door – to show more friendly behavior, not to attract attention – and began to slowly back away under a slew of one-liners and false bravado. Bray was amused again. Santino was back into rare country.
As the man was now gone, Wyatt had plenty of time to stand before the door and lament yet again. He thought about the chair and how important it was in the grand scheme of things. The warmth, the memories; he meant to keep a part of it with him. Maybe he could have whittled it down to a key or something, wear it like a keychain, but hindsight was 20/20, and he was already a bit hard of seeing. After speaking to whoever wanted to meet him, he would go back. He’d gather what he could, refashion it into something. That was level headed thinking.
And with one word the level headedness was gone. The voice of Mr. Ambrose, the latest and hopefully still successful convert to Bray’s cause, rang in his ears as the lunatic fringe jumped both past him and into him. Dean Ambrose put his arm around the would-be prophet and gave him a friendly pat on the stomach.
“What’s up, Bray? Having a good day? I hope you are because I’m two seconds away from kicking your ass.”
“You must have me mistaken with someone else, Dean. I’m the last person you should even consider doing harm to.”
“Oh cry me a river, tubby. Whatcha doin?”
“That really isn’t any of your business.”
“But it is, Bray, oh but it is. You know who’s behind this door, right?”
Bray didn’t have the heart to tell Dean to shut up, nor did he have the passion to assert that Dean was just as in the dark as anyone else. Who could have been behind the door? Dean couldn’t have known, could he?
“You don’t know!” Dean said, eyes widening, laughter loud. “You cryptic son of a bitch, that’s something else!”
“Leave, Dean,” Bray said, clenching his fist. Sister Abigail told him to keep his hands calm in the face of anger. She never could have envisioned that Bray would be face to face with the man that stole her last connection to this world from him. Such an act awakened that dormant demon in Bray, the only one he actively sought to suppress.
Just be patient. His time is coming. Stay the course.
Bray patted Dean on the shoulder and said, “Before this month is done, before the year reaches its conclusion, I promise you, Dean, I will hurt you. I will put you through the pain you have put me through. Sister Abigail taught me—”
“Yeah, sorry, don’t care,” Dean said. “You’re boring me. You’re boring. I’m leaving.” He gave Bray a friendly pat on the butt. The baseball maneuver unnerved Bray but at least Dean was on his merry way. No one infuriated Bray like Dean Ambrose, but he had a chance to bury that in the near future.
Just be patient…
Bray turned his focus to the door again and exhaled through his nose. He grasped the knob and opened the door, walking in and shivering. It was freezing cold, down to the point that a layer of mist made it impossible to see the floor.
His time is coming…
Bray walked forward, half enjoying the new dark room that was similar to his last one. It was bigger though, far bigger. There might have been a light on the far side of the room but it was impossible to tell. The sheer ambiance in the room was the stuff of theater or even Broadway. Wyatt was struck with a sense of dread and wanted to depart, but Abigail’s voice rang through.
Stay the course.
“I will,” he mumbled. He continued to walk, comfortable in the darkness, uncomfortable in what he didn’t know. His feet carried him forward, backward and side to side for what seemed like twenty minutes. He didn’t wear a watch but something told him it had been even longer than that. Bray looked around the darkness only to determine that he was as blind as a bat. There was nothing to see, it was pitch.
What the hell could Santino have meant? Bray shut his eyes (for all the good it would do him) and thought back to Abigail. He began to hum the tune she sang to him to give him comfort.
“I’ve got the whole world in my hands,” he whispered, his eyes still shut. “I’ve got the whole world… in my hands… I’ve got the…”
He came to a slow end and felt the air change. It was no longer cold: it was warm, and Bray’s heart began to race. He opened his eyes quickly, and it was still dark, but in the corner of his eye he could see the faint traces of light. With a spin he shifted around and saw the same kind of light that was in his old room, and under it was a rocking chair.
Bray approached and touched the wood, gasping. A rocking chair. THE rocking chair. Not repaired, but reborn. The same notches, the same grooves, this was the chair that Dean had destroyed, the chair that when destroyed caused Bray such pain that his violence was at a fever pitch.
And now, as if it never happened, he was calm. He sat down and rocked back and forth a bit as he shut his eyes and recalled the sweet woman’s sweeter embrace. It was so comforting that he completely forgot that he still didn’t know who he was dealing with.
“We’ve much to discuss…”
The voice was deep and intense. Bray felt the hairs on the back of his neck (and everywhere else) stand up. His rocking came to an instant stop as he looked forward to see another chair. It was no rocking chair: it was a folding chair, and the lightning made sure that Bray could only see the man’s legs. Almost immediately Bray knew who he was dealing with and he was ready to speak.
The figure put one hand on his knee, revealing a gloved hand, and then his other hand came forward. In that hand was something that nearly made the man shiver in delight.
That significant little trinket.
Bray looked at the still concealed legend and smiled to hide his fearful respect. Now he only had to listen. That’s what a good student did. Bray put his hands in his lap and straightened his back as the Phenom repeated himself, never changing his dusty tone.
“We have much to discuss.”