Lyon whined and lapped at Angus' face. When the young Scot didn't move, the dog tried barking. The Lab nudged Angus' chin but that didn't work either. All of the teens had slept heavily for several hours, with the dog keeping watch. But so far, Lyon had got no response from any of them.
Charlene lay on the floor. Viktor had collapsed against the table and Angus had fallen unconscious against the door.
Lyon whined and lapped at Angus' face. The teen jumped, his eyes snapped open. Lyon jumped back in surprise.
Slowly, the Scot sat up. Every bone in his body ached, and every one of his muscles felt like they were on fire. The Lab in front of him barked and he frowned at it.
"Lyon?" he asked. The dog barked in reply, wagging its tail as Angus' held out a hand to stroke his head. Dust swirled on a slight breeze and he sneezed, none too gently.
Charlene woke with a start and tried to sit up on her arms. They gave way beneath her and Angus grabbed her before she could hit the ground.
"What happened?" she asked, slightly dazed.
"Magic," Angus answered, looking at the door handle above him. He rubbed his nose and stood on shaky legs, pulling her with him. "Very powerful magic."
Her memory came back to her at the sound of his voice and she shoved away from him. He steadied her when she almost tripped and helped her to the table.
"Lyon?" she asked, once she was sure that the blinding pain trying to split her skull open had subsided. The dog gave a short bark and jumped up, placing his paws on her lap. He barked again and she smiled at him warily, "A little quieter please."
Angus shook Viktor but the dark-skinned teen didn't wake. Angus let his friend drop and the teen's skull cracked against the floor. The Scot winced and tried again, but couldn't wake the black teen. He sighed and rubbed the back of his head, where he was convinced a large lump had formed. Charlene looked out the window beside her.
"Still dark," she commented, then frowned and stood. Swaying slightly, she opened the door and stared up at the star studded night. The moon hung, not quite full yet in the sky over the town.
"Give me a hand." Angus said from behind her. She turned and saw him trying to support Viktor. One of Viktor's arms was slung around Angus' shoulders but the Scot was exhausted and almost about to fall himself. She grabbed Viktor's other arm and between them, they half carried, half dragged the unconscious teen outside. Lyon trotted at Angus' side.
The station looked like it had when Angus and Viktor had left, just a pile of rubble. A once large and proud building reduced to a decrepit wreck.
"Come on." Angus said, leaping down to the tracks.
"Are we still in the station?" Charlene asked him. Angus didn't answer her.
Viktor's eyes opened slowly and he raised his head to stare at the remains of the station around them. "Don't you see them?" he asked softly.
Charlene frowned at him, "See who?"
"The ghosts." Came the hoarse reply.
Angus scavenged around for the staff amongst the rubble lying on the tracks while he listened to his friends' words.
"The ghosts, all around us. They're… waiting, I think." Viktor coughed out.
Angus found the staff and held it up. A small stone set into the head glinted in the moonlight and rays of pale light spread out from it. And standing, hanging, even sitting in that light, were the ghosts.
On the opposite platform, was Andrew. He was sitting with his legs dangling over the side like the little kid he was. He smiled at the teenagers. Lyon wagged his tail.
"Thank you." He said, Angus was startled by the voice and spun round, staff in hand. "The Station Master has been destroyed. The spirits of the dead he kept here for so long are now free."
Before he could say anymore, he'd faded, but not without a long look, and a smile, at his sister. There was a moment of silence before Lyon jumped down from the office platform and up onto the other. There was a body lying amongst the rubble. Angus helped Charlene and Viktor down to the ground and then up onto the other side.
It was Charlene's grandmother.
Charlene dropped to her knees and tried to move some of the beams that had fallen on her grandmother. She Knew the old woman was beyond help. Even if they did manage to get her out of…
"Listen to me, child." Her grandmother's tired voice invaded her worried thoughts and the old woman reached out with a burned hand to grasp her grand-daughter's arm. "Listen closely. I destroyed the ghost, but the evil . . . the evil is still here. The . . . potential for evil is still here. You must burn it. Finish what was started many years ago. And burn me with it."
Tears came to Charlene's eyes and she shook her head. "I can't."
"You must." The old woman answered before her grip loosened and fell from Charlene's arm.
"She's gone." Angus said. Charlene closed her eyes, willing herself not to cry. Tears slipped down her cheeks and she felt a hand on her shoulder. She turned and looked up at Viktor, who smiled back.
"Not quite," the black boy said, and glanced up.
Charlene turned to look up at her grandmother's spirit. The old woman had a stern look on her face and Charlene hastily wiped away her tears.
"In order to eliminate the evil that will spread through the land if the station – the source – is not destroyed, you will need to kill it now. If you do not . . . then what will come will be much more powerful than just one power hungry ghost."
She then looked over Charlene's shoulder, at Angus and said something to him in what Charlene assumed was Gaelic. The Scot answered the old woman harshly and she smiled. He stormed off, with Lyon tailing behind and Viktor turned to the old woman.
"What did you say to him?" he asked.
She smiled at him as she faded from sight, "That is between Angus, and his ghosts."
The sun peeked over the horizon as the last of the station fell to the ground. The three teenagers had watched it burn through the night, making sure that the flames kept to the station and hadn't spread. Finally, Angus stood and kicked out the last piece of burning ash, scattering it to the wind.
"No sirens," he said, looking around. "No one knows."
"Surely they would have noticed that a piece of their history has just been burned down by a few teenagers." Charlene said. The three of them had sat on the wall all night. They were cold, tired, and hungry.
"Don't worry." Viktor told her. "Cops round here aren't as bad as people think. They're pretty lenient."
Angus frowned and turned to them. "What happened to McQueen?"
Viktor shrugged. "Don't know. He must've wandered off home." He turned to Charlene. "Or he's trapped in your time."
"If he was then he's long dead by now." Charlene answered. She leapt over the wall and started walking down.
"Hey, what do you mean?" Viktor called to her and followed, pestering her with questions. "How far back did we go? How did you know we would be there? Why did you help us?"
Angus stood for a moment, the wind ruffled his hair and he looked up at the sky. Lyon sat patiently by his side. A figure appeared midst the rising ash from the station. He reached up to his hat and tilted it. Angus replied by kissing the tips of his index and middle finger and brushing them over his forehead. He smiled as the ghost disappeared and smiled down at Lyon.
"Come on, boy," he said, ruffling the dog's fur. "Let's get going."
"Hey!" Viktor called to him from the gate. "What's wrong?!"
"Nothing." He called back and made his way down. Charlene and Viktor were discussing the differences of their town to her village.
"It's so big. Do you really think I'll fit in?" Charlene asked, worry making her voice shake.
Viktor smiled at her. "I'm sure you will."
Angus rolled his eyes and strode ahead of the two. He was starting to think that maybe Viktor had a crush on the girl.
"Hey, Road Runner. Do you think there's many more ghosts out there?" Viktor called ahead to Angus.
"About as many as the stars in the sky." Angus stopped and looked up at the skies ahead of them. The stars had faded from view and the moon hung over the hills behind them.
"How do you know that?" Viktor asked as him and Charlene caught up with the Scot. "C'mon, there can't be that many. Can there?"
Angus smirked and started to walk off. Lyon grabbed his arm and pulled him back. The teen cried out as pain flared in his arm where he'd been wounded the previous night.
"What's wrong?" Charlene asked as Angus gritted his teeth and wrapped a hand around his arm. Viktor struggled to loosen his friend's grip and finally managed to pull Angus' hand away. Viktor pulled up Angus' shirt and Charlene took a step back when she saw the wound on his arm.
"That needs to be stitched," she said, and tore a strip of cloth from her shirt.
"Why isn't it healed?" Viktor asked.
"When the Station Master was destroyed, his magic was undone." Angus answered, wincing as Charlene pulled out the few bits of rock that had lodged under his skin. She wrapped the cloth around his arm and tied it off.
Angus flexed his fingers to make sure they were all working and pulled his sleeve down.
"Come on, we need to get back before anyone realises we were gone. We could still get the blame for burning the station." He said, and stalked ahead of the other two.
"What's wrong with him?" Charlene asked.
"Dunno." Viktor replied, watching Lyon trot after his friend. "Now," he said, turning back to Charlene. "We need to find a place for you to stay."
Angus knew that Lyon was following without turning to look back. He headed down to his house and jumped over the back wall. Silently, he picked Lyon up and held the dog under one arm as he climbed up the trellis to his open bedroom window.
Lyon leapt onto the floor as Angus held the window open and climbed in himself. He glanced at his clock. It was six o'clock in the morning and he was tired, cold and hungry. And he smelled worse than the time when he was a kid and he fell into a mudhole while walking Lyon in the woods.
He could hear his parents snoring in their room, sound asleep. His arm hurt when he pulled his shirt over his head, and he frowned at it. It didn't hurt as much as before. He looked at it and saw that blood had leaked through and crusted on the cloth. Carefully, he pulled the fabric away, revealing web like scars where his flesh had knit back together.
Angus frowned and looked at the cloth. The . . . potential for evil is still here.
And the magic had to go somewhere. He thought, as he felt it crackle underneath his skin. He looked down at Lyon, and sighed, "It's not over yet, boy."
AN—Okay, it's over, and this was only supposed to be about 800 words long. I think my English teacher is going to be a bit surprised. Or I can just give her the other one, the… er… much shorter one. Thanks to anyone who reviewed this, by the way. And if you're reading, and want to point out any flaws, there should be plenty since no one's proofread this for me, then by all means feel free to. I could do with some criticism.