A Soul of Stone
Peyroux has been looking for escape from his childhood, but not even the darkness of his attic can afford him the respite from the voices in his head. But has he finally stumbled upon a savior? As Sebastian enters his life, Peyroux is filled with a new bravery to face the outside world again and to fight the voices. But as Peyroux fails to handle the stresses of life on the streets, it seems as if Sebastian alone cannot help him stem the tide and once again the overwhelming volume of the internal chattering brings Peyroux to his knees. From the confines of his hospital bed he goes in search of further help by scanning the skyline of Rouen for inspiration from the purity and strength from the Gargoyles that adorn the city’s Cathedral.
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Peyroux stared at the whimpering old man on his knees before him. Peyroux watched the drops of rain explode upon the quivering man’s skin, flattening the greying hairs on his arms. The tiny droplets attacked the man’s fragile skin, just like the knives and shards of glass had done to Peyroux’s very own face. Glaring through the downpour, he felt no pity for the kneeling man before him, even though Peyroux could see and understand the man’s discomfort, the rope cutting harshly into his wrists. He could sense that the old man’s legs were crying out to run, but the decay that time had inflicted, along with fear, had left them weak.
Peyroux turned his back to the man and looked out over Rouen and the domineering sight of the city’s Cathedral, his eyes falling on the staring stone orbs of La Gargouille, sat in its stony silence on the majestic building’s exterior. With shadows being cast over the Gargoyle’s eyes, they were dark, silent caveats to evil spirits.
They had always been there, the voices. Always they had been screaming their thoughts, indirectly and vehemently at Peyroux. Even sitting in solitude, Peyroux had never been alone, for then he could still hear the voices talking at him. However, sequestered away in the dark crawl space in his attic, the voices were at least more sedate. There it was quieter than being out on the streets, the voices less audible for not having to compete for his attention over the din of the outside world. Up in the attic the voices were just a calm chatter, the dark helping to give Peyroux some respite. It offered a chance for sleep to come, along with rare opportunities to listen to snatches of his own thoughts. The more he tried to consciously quiet the masses though, the more a single voice had started to stand out.