Read For Heaven's Eyes Only Online

Authors: Simon R. Green

For Heaven's Eyes Only

BOOK: For Heaven's Eyes Only
Table of Contents
The Man with the Golden Torc
Daemons Are Forever
The Spy Who Haunted Me
From Hell with Love
Twilight of the Empire
Deathstalker Rebellion
Deathstalker War
Deathstalker Honor
Deathstalker Destiny
Deathstalker Legacy
Deathstalker Return
Deathstalker Coda
Swords of Haven
Guards of Haven
Blue Moon Rising
Beyond the Blue Moon
Blood and Honor
Down Among the Dead Men
Shadows Fall
Drinking Midnight Wine
Something from the Nightside
Agents of Light and Darkness
Nightingale’s Lament
Hex and the City
Paths Not Taken
Sharper Than a Serpent’s Tooth
Hell to Pay
The Unnatural Inquirer
Just Another Judgement Day
The Good, the Bad, and the Uncanny
A Hard Day’s Night
Ghost of a Chance
Published by New American Library,
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Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices:
80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
First published by Roc, an imprint of New American Library,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
First Printing, June 2011
Copyright © Simon R. Green, 2011
All rights reserved
Green, Simon R., 1955 –
For heaven’s eyes only: a secret histories novel/Simon R. Green. p. cm.—(Secret histories; bk. 5)
eISBN : 978-1-101-51547-1
1. Drood, Eddie (Fictitious character)—Fiction. I. Title.
PR6107.R44F67 2011
823’.92—dc22 2011003174
Set in ITC New Baskerville
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
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The Prisoner
t was half past November, but I couldn’t sleep.
I wasn’t sure how long I’d been sleeping, but it felt like a long time. As though I’d been hibernating through the winter, wrapped up safe and warm, sleeping soundly and deeply through the dark and the cold. But something wouldn’t let me rest and so here I was, up and about, walking down a long, empty corridor in a silent, empty house.
There was no transition: One moment I was fast asleep; the next I was wandering aimlessly down a cosy-looking corridor with rich carpeting, wood-panelled walls, and great wide windows. I sort of recognised where I was, but I couldn’t put a name to it. Couldn’t even put a name to myself. I had no idea who I was, but strangely it didn’t seem to bother me. I had no memories and no plans. No needs, no worries. Just me walking in an empty place. The setting was familiar, and a slow curiosity led me to study the painted portraits hanging on the walls I passed. The faces were familiar, too, but I couldn’t put a name to any of them. They seemed friendly, supportive, like . . . family. I couldn’t decide whether I felt vaguely comfortable in the silent and empty setting, or obscurely threatened. Or both.
Who was I? What was my name? I stopped and concentrated, scowling till my forehead ached, and eventually something came to me. Drood . . . What was that? Was it even a name? What the hell was a Drood when it was at home? I started forward again, and soon came to the end of the corridor. I turned right, and another long corridor stretched before me. I kept walking. It was something to do while I tried to get my thoughts in order. Was this whole place empty except for me? A standing suit of medieval armour loomed up before me, and, moved by some obscure impulse, I stopped before it. The solid steel was well polished, but it bore all the dents and scrapes and hard knocks of a long working life. Someone had worn this armour in the past, used the gleaming sword and shield that stood propped up beside it, in some long-forgotten conflict. I frowned again. The suit of armour . . . meant something to me. Something special. I leaned in to study it more closely, and only then realised that the whole suit was covered in thick whorls of hoarfrost. I reached out to touch the heavy steel breastplate with a single fingertip, but I couldn’t feel the metal or the ice.
I stepped back and looked around me. The floor, the walls and the ceiling were all covered with layers of frost and crusted ice. Even the huge windows were coated with heavy, fern-patterned hoarfrost. So why didn’t I feel cold? I looked down at myself. I was wearing a plain white T-shirt and generic blue jeans. My arms were bare, but I didn’t even have gooseflesh from the cold. I moved over to the nearest window and rubbed away the frost with my bare forearm. I didn’t feel a thing. I looked out the window, and winter was everywhere. For as far as I could see, great sweeping waves of snow covered the grounds, smooth and untouched by any mark of man or beast. A great billowing ocean of white, stretching off for as far as I could see. No snow fell, though a light grey mist curled and heaved around the base of the house.
Here and there in the rising and falling of the snow were distinct shapes that might have been snow sculptures. Winged horses, gryphons, and a really massive dragon. Very detailed, but utterly still. Scattered across the snowscape like watchful guardians. There was a massive hedge maze, too, all its complicated runs and turns one big pattern when seen from above. White lines and dark shadows. And then I saw something moving inside the maze, something that raged up and down the narrow ways, striking out at the snowy hedgerows with savage strength. It swept this way and that, moving too quickly for me to identify, except to know for a fact that it wasn’t in any way human. There was something bad, something wrong, something horribly monstrous about it, but even as it struck out at the endless white hedgerows around it, it wasn’t able to damage or disturb them. For all its obvious strength and power, it was clearly trapped inside the maze. I watched it prowl up and down and back and forth, never stopping, never able to find an exit. I wondered what it was, and why I was so scared of what would happen if it should ever find a way out.
I looked up at the open sky. A huge moon, full and blue, hung alone in a dark, dark sky with no stars. No stars at all. I backed away from the window, and the blue moonlight fell through the glass, illuminating some of the corridor. For the first time I realised the blue moon was the only light there was. Blue moonlight, shimmering ice and dark shadows filled the corridor, and not a sign of life anywhere. I moved quickly down the corridor, checking each window, but I always saw the same thing. The exact same view, from the exact same angle, never changing no matter how far I walked . . . Which should have been impossible.
I turned and looked back the way I’d come. Although the rich carpeting was crusted with a thick layer of hoarfrost, I hadn’t left a single footprint behind me. No mark, nothing, to show I’d passed this way. I stamped my foot hard, but it didn’t disturb the frost beneath me, and the sound was oddly flat, strangely muffled.
Was I a ghost, haunting this place? Or was this place haunting me? It seemed . . . dead. And why did the only cold I was feeling seem to come from within me, rather than from without?
I called out, “Hello! Anybody there? Anybody?��� No answer. The silence seemed heavier and more oppressive than ever. I shivered abruptly, and not from the cold. It occurred to me that my voice had sounded strangely flat, and I realised it was because my voice hadn’t echoed at all. It should have. One more impossible thing in an impossible place. I breathed heavily, but my breath didn’t steam on the air before me.
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