'Oh, you are so going down!' Jack grinned spreading his stance and wiping sweat off his forehead. Mac grinned back. His grey shirt was soaked through.
Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord (vv. Psalm 42: Praise Him, my Savior and my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember You (vv. 42:11; 43:5, NIV). Psalm 46: God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed. 'My gashes cry for help.' 'I think our country sinks beneath the yoke; It weeps, it bleeds. 'Our castle's strength Will laugh a siege to scorn.' Apo, aside; strepho, I turn) is a figure in which a person or thing is addressed. The speaker 'turns aside' from his main theme to address some.
'No way, old man.' Mac jumped in he grabbed Jack around the waist and tackled him to the ground. Jack pivoted in midair and landed on top of Mac knocking the wind out of the kid. Jack grinned down and ground his elbow into Mac's sternum, not enough to hurt him, just enough to annoy him. Mac's face was red and he glared at Jack.
'Not on your best day, kiddo.' Jack growled as he stood up. Despite what he said, he hurt everywhere. His knees cracked as he stood up and wobbled over to his towel. He expected Mac to tease him. When there was no needling, he half turned to see Mac sprawled on the mat taking deep breaths. Jack laughed.
'One for age and one for victory!' Jack called. He looked up as Bozer, Cage and Riley crossed from their own mat to Mac and Jack's. Bozer was hobbling holding his back.
'Jack, can you believe this? They picked on me!' Bozer grumbled. Jack laughed.
'It's called training.' Jack joined the other three. Riley paused and looked at Mac who hadn't moved.
'What's up with him?'
'I took him to school. He's still learning to breath, isn't that right, Mac.' Mac waved a hand. Jack laughed and followed the others into the locker room.
Cry For Fear Macbeth
Mac listened to them leave and felt panic. Something was wrong, really wrong. When Jack had landed on him, he felt a stabbing pain in his neck. He tried to tell Jack but couldn't move. He'd finally managed a wave trying to let Jack know he was in trouble. Mac closed his eyes. His whole body had gone numb. He moaned feeling pins and needles everywhere.
Another minute, it passed. Mac sat up gratefully. He shook his head. Must have been stunned. Mac sighed and went into the locker room. He rubbed his neck. It was swollen and sore. Must have landed wrong. Mac rolled his shoulders and braced himself. Whatever pain he felt was nothing compared to the I-told-you-so's and victory crowing Jack is going to do over dinner. The others got an early start as Mac walked into the locker room. He shook his head and accepted it as gracefully as he could.
The others left to check in with Matty before they went to dinner. Mac showered, dressed and walked across the gym as fast as he could. Being late would only fuel the fire. He'd reached the middle of the room when his right leg went numb and he fell. What the hell? Mac ran his hands up and down his muscles. He rolled up his pant leg and frowned. It looked the same as it normally did. Mac began to panic when he couldn't move his toes. Mac pulled out his phone, his hands shaking..he'd just hit speed dial when he felt pins and needles. By the time Jack answered his leg felt normal and he could move it again.
'Hey, kid, you coming? Or are you hanging your head in shame at getting beat by your older and wiser partner.' Mac closed his eyes and held the phone to his forehead. He cleared his throat.
'You got that half right.' He managed. He should have known he couldn't fool his brother.
'Mac, what's going on? Are you ok?' Mac closed his eyes and rubbed his face. He had a blinding headache.
'I..I'm not going to make it to supper. I got sick.' He could feel Jack's tension mounting by the tightening of his voice.
'Are you ok? Do you need me? No bullshitting me now.' Mac chuckled.
'It's just a headache and I think I got a bit overheated. I'll be fine. I'm just gonna go home and relax.'
'We can bring supper…'
'No, Jack! I said relax!' Mac was relieved to hear most of the worry leave his partner's voice.
'Alright, but we'll be home to check on you later.'
' Ok.' Mac breathed out in relief then stared at his phone. If he was honest with himself he was more than a little freaked out-no downright scared. He needed Jack, but he wasn't going to worry the older man until he knew what was going on. Mac bit his lip. He could run up to medical, but then everyone would know what happened. Mac didn't want Matty to bench him for no reason. Mac sighed. That left one option. He braced himself and climbed to his feet. He hoped ER was fast tonight.
Mac had no memory of his drive home. He felt wooden as he mentally replayed what the doctor had said. He pulled into his driveway and sat staring out the windshield. The others weren't home yet. Mac frowned until his brain sluggishly remembered that tonight was the night they were going to see a movie. He glanced at his watch surprised. Either they were at the longest movie in history or ER had moved a lot faster than it had felt. He frowned his shoulders slumping with exhaustion. He had an appointment for some tests tomorrow. He decided that he would tell everybody after everything had been ruled out; his heart thumped loud, or confirmed.
Mac went into the house and stopped by the bathroom. Before he realized it he was on his knees puking. After, Mac washed his face and leaned on the sink. He felt wobbly and sore. He staggered to his bedroom. Slid off his clothes then climbed into bed. Mac knew there would be no way he'd be able to sleep. That was his last thought before exhaustion swept him away.
'I'm telling you it's just not possible.' Jack argued as he drove up the hill to Mac's house.
'Look online they studied it and made the costume to fit…'
'C'mon man, Boze she was sleeping with a fish! There ain't no way they are going to have baby fish sticks.' Bozer rolled his eyes. Luckily the argument ended when they pulled up to the house. They both sat quietly a minute. Jack undid his seat belt the same time Bozer climbed out of the car. They had a good time, but both men had a niggling fear in the back of their minds. Mac never got sick, and this had come on all of a sudden. Cage pointed out that would explain how Jack beat the younger man. Jack argued back all during the movie. Cage drove Riley home and Jack drove Bozer. No one was surprised.
Jack opened the door to Mac's room. He and Bozer peeked in. They could see a tuft of Mac's hair sticking out of his usual cocoon of blankets. He was snoring deeply. Both men grinned at each other and left the kid to sleep.
'It's probably just a cold or something.' Bozer said. Jack nodded his agreement, but he still felt as if something was wrong. He yawned and waved at Bozer as he went to his car. He'd see Mac in the morning.
Matty greeted Jack with her arms crossed and an angry cloud hanging over her.
'Now look, boss, I know what you're going to say and ok I woke up late but to be fair I was awake until…' Matty huffed in frustration. Jack closed his eyes and frowned. Bozer, Riley and Cage all stared at him expecting something from him.
'What's going on?' He asked. He felt adrenalin jolting through his system as well as a sick weight of confirmation in his gut. Mac wasn't there. Something was seriously wrong, 'Matty, where's Mac?' He didn't like the surprised looks he got or the gasps of worry. He turned to Bozer.
'Where's Mac?' He growled.
'I thought you drove him in, he was gone when I woke up.' Jack's eyes widened and he spun toward the door.
'Jack…' Jack didn't know who yelled after him nor did he care what they wanted. At that second, if someone got in his way, Jack was pretty sure he'd be going to prison for bodily harm on person or persons unknown or known or whatever..Jack just knew, KNEW something wasn't right. Jack's brain began to re-run every nightmare he'd ever had about what could happen to Mac.
Jack had a second of relief. Mac's Jeep was parked in his normal spot. His relief evaporated. Mac's door was open. Jack's heart sunk. He pulled out his Baretta and slid into the room. It was quiet, too quiet. Jack swiftly and silently cleared every room. He pushed his weapon then paused before heading out to the deck. His gut flip-flopped. Please don't be Murdoc, please don't be… Jack breathed out an explosion of relief. Mac stood leaning against the railing staring out at the morning cityline that seemed to have a low lying blanket of blackness hanging over it. Air warnings had been issued today from the smoke sinking into the hot cup that held LA. It was hot, sticky and the smell of nearby fires left a thick taint on the back of his tongue.
'Hey, bud. Why aren't you at work?' Jack's tones were clipped and he cut through the bullshit. Mac didn't turn. Jack's worry-meter hit red, 'Mac? What's going on?' Mac's shoulders were hunched and he held his forehead in his right palm as if in pain. Jack crossed to him and put a hand on his shoulder. Mac jumped and turned surprised. Jack took a step back more than a little surprised himself.
Mac was ghastly pale and his eyes were reddened. Jack could see wetness on his cheeks.
'Mac?' He asked gently about to wrap the kid in a big hug. Mac cleared his throat and turned away wiping his face as if Jack couldn't see he'd been crying.
'Jack..wh..what are you doing here?' Jack narrowed his eyes. Mac moved stiffly, not at all with the coltish grace he normally had. Was he that sick? Jack crossed to his brother and led Mac to the closest deck chair. His worry-meter redlined when Mac allowed him to. Mac sat on the side of the chair and seemed to slump into a limp question mark. He leaned forward and rubbed his forehead. Jack crouched in front of him. He bit his tongue to keep the belly full of panic from coming out in a frantic interrogation. Mac didn't look up, but reached out and grabbed Jack's T-shirt. Jack frowned. Mac was trembling. The kid was terrified. Jack's eyes automatically surveyed their surroundings looking for any kind of threat. He didn't see anything. He turned back to Mac.
'Ma…?' Jack broke off as he found his arms filled with a clinging blond genius. Jack's worry-meter exploded. He automatically pulled the kid closer. Mac didn't heave with sobs or cry or say anything, just hung onto Jack like he was a life raft in the middle of a Category 5 superstorm
Jack rubbed Mac's back and waited. Mac pushed away and cleared his throat. He looked to the side and sniffed widening his eyes so he wouldn't give in to tears.
'Uh..sorry..sorry, Jack. I didn't want to worry you.' Mac managed his voice soft and taut.
'A little late for that, what the hell is going on?' Worry made his voice harsher than he intended. Mac rubbed his face then turned to Jack and put a hand on the older man's jacket. Jack didn't know if it was to hold Mac up or keep Jack from exploding. It didn't work.
'Uh..I sort..sort of collapsed last night…'
'COLLAPSED? What the hell, man? Why didn't you tell me?' Jack stood up shaking Mac's arm loose. Mac slumped forward his elbow on his knee. He ran a hand through his hair and waited. Jack paced back and forth like a pissed off leopard. After a long minute, he stopped and rubbed his face. He braced himself and sat on the deck in front of Mac.
'Ok, ok. So what happened?' Mac rubbed his eyes. Jack could see the tenseness. He realized Mac didn't want to upset him. Jack took a steadying breath. 'Ok, brother, talk to me. What happened?' His voice was gentle and concerned. Mac slowly met his eyes and licked his lips.
'After we wrestled..I..I couldn't move, everything was numb.' Jack forced his butt to stay stapled to the wood of the deck. Had he done this? He reached out a hand and put it on Mac's shoulder. He didn't trust himself to say anything so he kept his mouth shut.
'Then it was fine..I took a shower came out and my leg went numb.'
'Could you move it?' Mac shook his head then winced reaching for his neck. Jack was up in a shot. He leaned Mac forward and studied the kid's neck. He frowned as he gently ran his fingers along the base of his brother's skull. It was warm and swollen. Jack squatted beside Mac.
'Yeah..I didn't know…' Mac broke off and looked away. Jack could see the kid trying to hold back a tidal wave of emotion. Jack sat beside Mac and put an arm around the kid's shoulders. Mac stared at his hands as he played with the strap of his watch. He took a breath then spoke fast trying to get everything out before he lost the nerve.
'Today, I went to a neurosurgeon I have to have surgery.' Jack stiffened. He could feel blood drain from his face. He shook his head. It didn't compute, but one look at Mac's eyes studying him told him the kid was more worried about him than the surgery. Jack swallowed forcing down a tornado of emotions. Just the word neurosurgeon sent ripples of physical pain through his heart. The face that Mac had gone voluntarily, alone only added to the tumult inside Jack. He took a deep breath more to keep from passing out than to calm down.
'I take it that's not good?' Mac gave him a ghost of a smile.
'Well, depends on your definition of good.' Mac's voice had taken that light sarcastic tone it did when Mac was making light of something terrifying.
'Mac, don't mess around. I am legitimately freaking out right now.' Mac looked down at his hands and nodded.
'I know, I'm sorry. When I was at MIT my friends and I would play around with explosives.'
'Well, one time I made up…' Mac looked at Jack. Jack could see him self-editing. Jack had no doubt his partner was going to tell Jack exactly what chemicals and combinations he'd used. Jack was grateful Mac left that bit out, '..something much more powerful than I thought and I got caught in the back wash.'
'Ok.' Not bad so far. Jack focused on keeping his body breathing.
'Well, I didn't know it at the time, but I had a piece of shrapnel lodged in my neck. I pulled it out when I started to feel it…' Jack's world became a narrow tunnel of greys. He opened his mouth but was unable to produce sound. Mac rubbed his face drying tears that hadn't fallen.
'What did the doc say?' Jack managed after a long minute.
'A piece of that shrapnel broke off and is lodged close to my spinal cord.'
'They can fix this, right?' Mac laughed. It was a bitter sound Jack hoped never to hear again.
'Well, they could do surgery and I would have a 50/ 50 shot of it severing my spine.'
'Ok, that's not cool. What else can they do?' Mac looked at Jack with wet eyes.
'Or they could do nothing, and I have a 50/50 shot of it severing my spine.'
***Ok confession time, this is based on a prompt (again I'm sorry but I don't remember who), but has sort of evolved into me working out my own stuff. Sorry about that although I did warn you my brain-tumor was going to be used as research for a story! :) Hope you enjoyed it so far.
Act 1, scene 2
And fortune, on his damnèd quarrel smiling,Showed like a rebel’s whore. (1.2.14–15)
This is an allusion to Lady Fortuna, the Roman goddess of fortune, who the Captain references as behaving like Madonwald’s “whore” on the battlefield.
Except they meant to bathe in reeking wounds,Or memorize another Golgotha,I cannot tell—But I am faint, my gashes cry for help. (1.2.39–42)
This is an allusion to Golgotha, the place where Christ was crucified.
Assisted by that most disloyal traitor,The thane of Cawdor, began a dismal conflict,Till that Bellona’s bridegroom, lapped in proof,Confronted him with self-comparisons[.] (1.2.52–55)
This is an allusion to Bellona, the Roman goddess of war.
Act 1, scene 7
Besides, this DuncanHath borne his faculties so meek, hath beenSo clear in his great office, that his virtuesWill plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, againstThe deep damnation of his taking-off;And pity, like a naked newborn babe,Striding the blast, or heaven’s cherubim, horsed[.] (1.7.16–22)
The term “heaven’s cherubim” is an allusion to an angel of heaven.
Wouldst thou have thatWhich thou esteem’st the ornament of life,And live a coward in thine own esteem,Letting “I dare not” wait upon “I would,”Like the poor cat i’ th’ adage? (1.7.41–45)
This is an allusion to an adage about a cat that likes fish but not wetting her paws.
Act 2, scene 1
Witchcraft celebratesPale Hecate’s offerings[.] (2.1.51–52)
This is an allusion to Hecate, the Greek goddess of magic, witchcraft, ghosts, necromancy, and the night and moon.
[A]nd withered murder,Alarumed by his sentinel, the wolf,Whose howl’s his watch, thus with his stealthy pace,With Tarquin’s ravishing strides, towards his designMoves like a ghost. (2.1.52–56)
This is an allusion to Tarquin, a Roman prince who raped Lucretia, a Roman wife, in her bed at night.
Act 2, scene 2
Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this bloodClean from my hand? (2.2.60–61)
This is an allusion to Neptune, the Roman god of the sea.
This is a biblical allusion to Pontius Pilate publicly washing his hands to absolve himself of any guilt for Christ’s crucifixion.
Act 2, scene 3
Knock, knock, knock! Who’s there, i’ th’ name ofBeelzebub? (2.3.2)
This is an allusion to Satan, also called Beelzebub, or one of the seven princes of Hell.
Faith, here’s an equivocator that could swear in both thescales against either scale[.] (2.3.3–4)
This is an allusion to the Gunpowder Plot against King James I.
Approach the chamber, and destroy your sightWith a new Gorgon. (2.3.45–46)
This is an allusion to Medusa, a Greek monster with snakes for hair who could turn men to stone.
Up, up, and seeThe great doom’s image! Malcolm! Banquo! (2.3.52–53)
The phrase “[t]he great doom” is an allusion to doomsday, or the end of times as described in Abrahamic religions.
Act 3, scene 1
There is none but heWhose being I do fear, and under himMy genius is rebuked, as it is saidMark Antony’s was by Caesar. (3.1.56–59)
This is an allusion to Mark Antony and Julius Caesar, two famous Roman politicians and leaders of the Roman Republic, as well as a reference to Shakespeare’s play Antony and Cleopatra, in which a soothsayer predicts Antony’s fortunes would be lesser than Caesar’s.
[A]nd mine eternal jewelGiven to the common enemy of man[.] (3.1.70–71)
Cry For Fear Machine
This is an allusion to Macbeth giving his soul, or “mine eternal jewel,” to Satan, the “common enemy of man.”
Act 3, scene 2
Ere the bat hath flownHis cloistered flight, ere to black Hecate’s summons[.] (3.2.42–43)
This is an allusion to Hecate, the Greek goddess of magic, witchcraft, ghosts, necromancy, and the night and moon.
Act 3, scene 5
Get you gone,And at the pit of AcheronMeet me i’ th’ morning. (3.5.14–16)
This is an allusion to Acheron, a river in Hades in Greek and Roman mythology.
Act 4, scene 1
This is an allusion to the harpies, the half-human, half-bird monsters in Greek mythology who tormented people.
What, will the line stretch out to th’ crack of doom? (4.1.122)
This is an allusion to doomsday, or the end of times as described in Abrahamic religions.
Act 4, scene 3
To offer up a weak, poor, innocent lambT’ appease an angry god. (4.3.16–17)
This an allusion to Christ, the “lamb of God.” Touch monitor for mac.
Angels are bright still, though the brightest fell. (4.2.23)
Cry Of Fear For Mac
This is an allusion to Satan, heaven’s “brightest” angel who was banished and “fell” to Hell.
Act 5, scene 8
Why should I play the Roman fool and dieOn mine own sword? (5.8.1–2)
This is an allusion to an old folktale about a Roman soldier on the losing side of a battle who kills himself to avoid being killed by his enemies.
Cry For Fear Mac And Cheese
This is an allusion to Cerberus, a three-headed hound from Hell in Greek mythology.