“Wait!” Rachel shouted.
Michael paused again. “Why?” he asked.
“You said you would answer my questions,” Rachel hastily told him. “There’s still stuff that I don’t understand!”
“Oh!” Michael exclaimed. He lowered the dagger. “Well, we can’t have that. I find that souls are far more helpful if they understand what’s expected of them.” He smiled. “What are you having trouble with?”
“Um.” These restraints, Rachel thought. But what she said was: “You want to rip out my soul and turn it into some sort of magical battery?”
“Yes,” Michael said. He sounded a little annoyed. “You seem to have a good enough grasp on that,” he commented.
“Oh,” Rachel said. “Yeah, that’s not what I’m confused about.” She scrambled to come up with something to say — something to keep him talking. Maybe I can get him to identify with me as a person. Or at least reveal some aspect of his psychosis that I can use against him?
“Then what is?” Michael asked flatly. “That’s really all there is to it. I mean: It’s not that complicated, Rachel.”
“It’s just, well…” Nothing was coming to mind. Rachel didn’t know what to say and she was more than a little scared: and the absurdity of the situation…
Actually, it was making her angry. Mostly at herself. She’d tried listening to her feelings when they told her that Ean was a good guy, and gotten stood up twice. She’d tried not listening to her feelings about Michael, and now he was going to kill her because of ‘magic.’
And it wasn’t like she had any hope that anyone was going to come and rescue her.
Rachel’s voice sharpened. Her fear fell away. “Well,” she said, “if you needed a magic battery so badly, couldn’t you have just asked Santa Claus for one, instead of killing me?“