|The Watchtower Chronicles
Author: ShadesofBlue19 PM
When Emma McLean turns 18, strange things begin to happen to her. What she doesn't know is she is about to reenter a world far larger, and darker than she could ever have imagined, that becomes a race to save her life & the lives of others. REVISED - Chapter 5 up! R/R please!Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Fantasy - Chapters: 5 - Words: 10,909 - Reviews: 16 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 12-25-12 - Published: 11-04-11 - id: 2967456
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I awoke to the trilling sound of my phone receiving a text message the morning after the swim meet, several hours earlier than I would have liked. Grumpily wishing death upon whoever would disturb me at such an early hour, I fumbled with the contents of my nightstand for a minute before finally finding my phone. I open the text to discover it was completely blank, though someone had pressed the enter button many times and had ended the empty space with just three words.
It is time.
Frowning, I scroll up to see who had sent it and found the number to be blocked.
"There has to be a way to find out who sent this," I mumble to myself, and spend the next ten minutes trying any way I can think of to recover the blocked number. Finally, I throw my phone back onto my bed and concede defeat. Wondering if my mother is awake and making breakfast, I get out of bed and make my way downstairs.
I know something is wrong as I draw close to the kitchen and I don't smell anything. Normally on Sunday mornings, my mom cooks chocolate chip pancakes and bacon for my dad and I, but today all seems quiet. Sure enough, as I turn the corner the kitchen is spotless and empty, just the way we left it last night. I turn on my heel and head to my parents room down the hall. I see the door is ajar and push it in. To my surprise, they aren't there; the bed is made and my dad's laundry is put away, but they are nowhere to be found. Starting to worry, I hurry back to the kitchen to see if my mom had left me a note of some sort. I finally see a small square of paper sitting on the kitchen island and I grab it. I read aloud, even though I know nobody else is listening.
Demons, Beats & Other Myths" page 546. Only ask for Mr. Werner's help in finding it. Do not let anyone see this note.
I stare blankly at the words, turning the paper over and over to try and make more sense of them. As if a lightbulb turns on in my brain, I know what I must do. I run back upstairs and grab my phone, dialing the number as I hurry to get dressed.
"Emma Grace McLean, you better have a good reason for waking me up at this ungodly hour," Tyler's voice answered, heavy with sleep after only two rings. I put him on speaker phone so I can get dressed more easily.
"I'm sorry Ty, but you know I wouldn't call you unless it was important," I say. I hear a slight shuffling sound and know he is getting out of bed.
"Alright Em, what's up?" he asked.
"I need a ride to the library as soon as possible. You know how I can't drive for the next two weeks because of my injury," I tell him, grabbing a brush and running it through my hair quickly.
"What about your parents? Your mom's normally up by now isn't she?" Tyler asks, but I hear him moving around his room and I know he is getting ready.
"I don't know where they are right now actually; they probably went out somewhere together and just forgot to leave a note," I say, even though the words sound funny on my tongue.
"Well, alright, give me ten," Tyler says. I thank him and we hang up. I run into the bathroom to finish getting dressed so I wouldn't have to wait another moment when Tyler got to my house.
Ten minutes later, I'm in Tyler's car and on our way to the local Public Library. I spend most of the ride gazing out at the fall countryside. The ever changing seasons are one of my favorite things about where I live; the fall leaves of orange, red and yellow glimmered in the crisp sunlight. It is a picturesque place, and if I hadn't been so preoccupied with what had happened back at the meet, I would have just walked to the library.
Next to me in the driver's seat, Tyler remains silent for most of the short drive, but as we near the road the library is on, he finally speaks.
"So, you going to tell me what is going on here Em or what?" I remain silent for a minute. I had debated telling Tyler what I had seen, but I didn't want him to think I was crazy.
"I just...I had a very vivid and strange dream the other night and there was something in it that I wanted to research," I say evasively. It wasn't as if I am really telling a lie anyway; the woman had been in my dreams. I just wasn't ready to tell him that I believed I had seen her in the pool. Thankfully, Tyler seems to take this excuse as complete truth, and drops the subject. He pulls into the library parking lot and finds a space near the front entrance.
"Alright, do you want my help looking?" he asks, and I shake my head.
"No, I concentrate better solo, remember?" I say, then grin, hoping he won't take too much offense to this. Tyler just shrugs and puts the car in park. I get out of the car and hurry up the steps to the library.
"I'll be in the history section," Tyler calls as I make a bee-line for the front desk. I can't help but smile; Tyler is such a history nut, especially when it came to the European Renaissance. I suppose it makes sense with his obsession for fashion and European culture, but I never understood the pull. Then again, I can't explain the pull to find what exactly is on page 546 of this mythology book.
I step up to the front desk, where I recognize Mr. Werner from his many years of service at the library.
"Excuse me, Mr. Werner?" I call out timidly. The old man turns around and shuffles towards me.
"How may I help you young lady?" he asks. Not really knowing how to explain, I wordlessly hand him the note that had been left for me back at my house. He reads it twice, then looks sharply at me.
"Who gave you this note?" he asks sharply. I shake my head and shrug my shoulders.
"I don't know sir, it was on my kitchen counter this morning after I woke up," I tell him. He merely grunts, then makes a motion to follow him. As I fall in step, I hear him mumbling under his breath, though am only able to catch bits and pieces of it.
"Don't fathom why she wants this book...nasty business that's all it is, nasty business...what kids read these days is beyond me." His ramblings make me nervous; what exactly was I about to discover?
I follow him back to one of the much older parts of the library, one Tyler had told me was part of the original pre-War building. The architecture had been so well done and grandoise that the town had decided to build many expansions rather than tear it down and build it brand new. Secretly, I was glad they didn't tear it down; the carefully painted mural on the ceiling was breathtaking to look at.
We stop at a section on the left side, and he points to a book in a row second from the top. Without another word, he walks back towards the front desk. It is a large volume, old and heavy; I have trouble getting it down from its' high perch. When I do, I lug it over to the closest armchair and open it up. Coughing from the dust stirred up, I slowly turn the pages, reading about the different demons until finally I get to what I am looking for: page 546, which is titled "Water Demons."
"Mermaids would sing their sweet songs to sailors to distract them from their work, causing them to fall overboard or the ship to wreck," I read aloud under my breath. Turning the page, I find my breath taken away. It was an exact paining of the woman I had envisioned in my dream, then saw again in the pool; the black fierce eyes, the wild black hair, and the look of furious hatred etched upon her horrible face. I read the caption under the photo.
"This particularly fearsome woman is what modern mythology calls a Daughter of Darkness, or as more religious figures put it, Daughter of Lucifer himself. Nerine, pictured above, sought to rule the sea, and was in a constant struggle with a Son of Light called Arlen."
I pause at the name, recognizing it immediately. Arlen, it sounds so similar to a name I feel like I've heard in a dream. I flip the page to see if there is a picture of him and to my surprise, I see a painting of a man so painstakingly similar to Coach Alden that I would have believed it to be really him, if this book hadn't been almost 150 years old. I notice an asterisk near the bottom of the description of Arlen, whom the book called a 'Son of Light' and read the small print.
"See Watchtowers, mythological figures, page 610." Feeling a sense of anticipation, I eagerly flip the pages, receiving a paper cut in the process. Sucking on my forefinger, I read the passage.
"Watchtowers were powerful beings who could control one of the elements; Earth, Air, Fire & Water. They are known to help form a circle of protection from enemies such as the Daughters of Darkness and other mythological beasts."
"What on earth is a Watchtower?" I think to myself. Closing the book with a thud, I carry it under my arm over to the computers. Setting it down gently next to me, I type 'watchtower' into the internet word search bar and click go. When the search results come up I click through to the first result and begin to read.
"Watchtower - type of fortification used in many parts of the world, usually for military zones." I know that this was a logical explanation, but how did that relate to keeping out demons? I figure that the book was referencing a different type of watchtower; I highly doubt that even in mythology a simple building would be able to keep out something so powerful. I backtrack and scroll down a little, frowning slightly. Then suddenly I see it; Watchtower (magic), the exact sort of information I am looking for. Smiling in triumph, I click the page and lean in, eager to learn more.
"Watchtowers were the abodes of spirit guardians, or Watchers, that symbolized the four cardinal points of ceremonial magic in ancient times. Each watchtower symbolized the four elements: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. "
The sensation in her gut that she always felt when she entered the pool was tugging around her middle, and Kristen tried not to blink, scanning the screen hungrily as she read on.
"Each watchtower spirit could control one of the elements, and when combined together could stop even the most evil of creatures. The Watchers also have their own guardians, who are assigned to protect them during their duties in the Watchtowers. In most biblical based legends, each tower is assigned an archangel as their guardian. The North Watchtower, or Earth's Tower, is Uriel, the East or Air Tower is Raphael, the South or Fire Tower is Michael and finally, the West and Water Tower is Gabriel. In more modern versions, the arch angels are replaced by Admon, Anil, Azar and Arlen respectively. These guardians would guide them in the right direction, and when the time came, they would gather the four Watchers together to thwart evil."
I sit back in thought, my lips pursing slightly. The woman at the bottom of the pool could very well be that type of water demon I saw pictured in the book. She had also called me Aquaria; I didn't need to have a doctorate to realize that it meant water in another language, probably Latin. Could it be possible that I was in fact one of these "watchers" that legend wrote about?
But this is madness, absolute crazy talk I think to myself. I shake my head and draw my hands to my face, rubbing my temples slowly. I was allowing my imagination to take over reality, a silly legend taking over my thought process. There's no such thing as Watchtowers, at least in the sense of guardians, or magic. The woman I had seen must have been a recurring hallucination from lack of sleep due to the nightmares. I don't have a guardian named Gabriel or Arlen, just Tyler and my parents. Sometimes Coach act fatherly towards me, though I imagine it was just because I'm an excellent swimmer.
"Find everything you were looking for?" Tyler's voice makes me jump. I look over at him and give a weary smile.
"I-I did actually," I say, patting the book in front of me. Tyler looks at the cover, then back at me quizzically.
"What's that-" he begins, but I interrupt.
"Look at the time, it's getting late, I should get back to my house before my parents begin worry that I passed out in a ditch from my concussion or something," I joke. Tyler hesitates.
"You know you can tell me anything Em, I won't you know, make fun of you or anything," he says. I squeeze his arm gently.
"If there's something to tell, you will be the first one," I assure him, then add "I just want to get all the facts straight. first, that's all,"
Seemingly satisfied for now, Tyler drops the conversation, but I have a hunch that this conversation would come up in the near future. I check out the book and Tyler drives me back to my house. I can see my parents cars parked in the driveway, which means they had returned from wherever it is they were. Wondering how long they'd been back, I walk up the front steps and push open the door.
My parents were waiting for my in the living room. My father jumps up from the couch and hurries over to me. Like Coach the other day, he begins to check my vitals and my head for any visible signs of more injury.
"Dad I feel fine," I insist, but it fell upon deaf ear. He's was a surgeon at the nearby Hospital's emergency room, and considers himself an expert on internal and external injuries. He seems to think that I had not suffered any extreme damage, and sits back down next to my mother.
"We were worried about you, you crash headlong into the pool wall after stalling for 30 seconds, then this morning we're gone for twenty minutes and you disappear to God knows where!" my mother scolded. I hang my head. I know I should not have worried my parents like this, perhaps left a note, but after the vision and the adrenaline surrounding the weekend, it was something I had to do.
"I'm sorry for worrying you," I mumble. My parents exchange quick looks.
"Well...don't do it again," my father says, getting up and leaving the room. I'm surprised I had gotten away with this so easily; usually my father would have grounded me for a weekend or two for worrying them so. Why were they taking it so easy on me? I can't take the suspense anymore.
"What did you see yesterday in the pool?" I ask, and I am greeted by dead silence from them; a pin could drop at the next door neighbors house and she would have heard it.
"I...I don't know what you mean Em," my mother begins. I see my father slowly edge his way back into the room. They share a worried look with each other again, and I point at them accusingly.
"See? You know exactly what I'm talking about!" I shout. My father began to speak, but I cut him off.
"No, you saw what I saw in the bottom of the pool didn't you? You saw the woman," I cry, beginning to shake from the wave of emotions washing over me.
"Please...Emma, you don't understand...you're not ready," my mother pleads. She seemed to realize instantly that she had said the wrong thing, for she clamps her hands over her mouth in fright.
"Not ready? Not ready for what? Tell me!" I demand My mother bursts into tears, and my father goes over to put his arm around her.
"Emma, this isn't the time or the place for this right now," he says. I feel the rage coursing through my body, and the pitcher of water situated next to my mother shatters. She shrieks and I look on, shocked at what I had just done. Without another word, I run from the room, keeping the book I had borrowed from the library under my arm and lock myself in her room. I close my eyes and take several deep breaths to stop the painfully fast pounding in my chest. So they had seen what I had believed to be a hallucination; it isn't all in I head. I glance down at the cover of the book again. Watchtowers, water demons, was it possible that they really did exist?
One thing was for certain; Mrs. Edmonton would be getting a lengthy pre class visit on Monday. I had more questions now that bits and pieces of this story were coming out, and I needed the answers now more than ever.
Chapter 5 revised and updated! Please read & review :)