"Scythe!" I shrieked, half-giggling. I tried to shove him back but he was too strong. Strong for an eight year old. At least, that's what I always thought."Scythe!"

"Fucks sake stop squealing. You sound like a pig."

"He thinks," said Rayth, leaning into his seat a bit, "he thinks that swearing makes him look cool."

We ignored him. I stuck out my tongue. "Better sounding like a pig than looking like one."

Scythe stilled for a moment, seemingly contemplating what I just said. It took a few moments for it to register but, when it did, he pounced.


"I'm gonna eat you, my little Angel. I'm going to eat your bones and suck your blood and bite-off-your-nose."

He had me backed against the car window and I squirmed a bit, met his gaze, look defiant. "You can just take it. It's not like I like it, anyways."

"Wrong answer, Angel."

He pounced.

I screamed.

Rayth sighed.

The car grunted, and the driver pulled at something. It stopped with a jolt. We all silenced and Rayth asked ––since he was the mature, older one –– "Why'd the car stop?"

"Yeah," threw in Scythe, voice slightly gruff. "Why the fuck did it stop?" I hit him and he frowned a bit, then shoved me against the window again. My back rammed against the side, probably a bit harsher than intended, and I glared in retaliation. Of course, even if it had been unintentional, he wouldn't admit it now. Scythe quirked an eyebrow, challengingly.

I jumped on him, like some sort of animal, and wrestled him onto the seat. But, being the stronger one, he managed to grab my hands and twist them about a bit, then shift so that he was on top, pinning me down.

Scythe smirked down at me. I sighed. "Always the predator…"

"And always the prey, my little Angel." We both laughed and he got off me. I brushed myself off and listened to Rayth talk to the driver –– I could tell that they were talking about something important.

"–– so we might be here an hour or so," finished the driver, voice a bit wary, for what reason I couldn't tell.

"Daddy," bit out Scythe, deadly casual, "doesn't pay you to break down his cars, Mr Summers."

"It doesn't matter," Rayth interposed, shooting him a glare. He ignored it and turned his gaze to me, smirking a little. I let out a light smile, just so that he would know his smirk had been acknowledged, and Rayth continued, "While you're sorting out the car, we can explore a bit; right, Angela?"

I was the guest, so obviously the question was put to me. I nodded, vigorously, desperate to please, and, before any further word could be said on the subject, Scythe shoved open the door and jumped out, grabbing my wrist and pulling me out with him.

It was cold and I shivered, instantly, wrapping my arms over my form. Trees surrounded us, tall, dark and shadowed with thick branches that cut through air and caught wind which beat against their faces, sent tears of dew streaming down smouldering bark. A few leaves fell and I watched them swivel in a whirlpool of green, then settle to the ground.

"Come on, Angel," he tugged at my wrist, look a bit annoyed. "I wanna go explore."

I jerked my head in the direction of the car where Rayth was saying a few last words to the driver. "We have to wait for Rayth."

"Fuck Rayth."

My eyes widened in shock. "Don't be so dirty, Scythe." How could he suggest such a …such a gross thing? I wrenched my hand from his grip and folded my arms, gaze hard.

Scythe let out a sigh, a bit agitated, and tried to grab my wrist again. I didn't let him. "I didn't mean it literally."

"But you still said it," I replied, outraged.

"Said what?" Rayth inquired, joining us. He smiled down at me a little and I blushed, furiously.

"Angel's on fire," cooed Scythe, rolling his 'rs' for effect. I could feel my ears heat, tinge pink, and Rayth watched us, obviously confused.

"Ange ––"

"Shut-up," I hissed and he silenced at once. "You and him ––" I pointed an accusatory finger at first Scythe, then Rayth, "–– you're always embarrassing me. And you're always so mean to me."

"I'm not ––"

"Shut-up!" My voice echoed through the forest, rebounded and left a dull silence in its wake. Scythe was regarding me in awe, obviously not used to this kind of outburst. Unable to stand it anymore, I bolted and their voices shouted after, telling me to stop.

I didn't listen but kept running until I was far away, deeper in the forest, where I couldn't see them. I arrived on the bank of a river. It swam beneath me, gurgled with sun-light that sent streaks of white crackling across its surface. The river wasn't what caught my attention, though. Across it there ran a bridge and, at the end of that bridge, there was a big building –– it resembled a tunnel. Constructed of red bricks that sweltered under summer's hot rays it stood alone, a torpid edifice of shattered crimson and age old dust. The entrance, from where I stood, looked like a big black hole and it instantly made me think of monsters and ghosts.

About to turn away, I stopped myself, considered a bit. If I went back now, Scythe would, somehow, find out and make fun of me –– say I was a wimp. It never crossed my mind that I could lie, because lying was wrong and only bad people lied intentionally.

I wasn't a bad person, so I wasn't going to lie.

The bridge was quite firm but as I walked across it, I felt as if it would give way at any moment. Only a few days ago, Scythe and I had gone through his parents' DVD collection and watched a horror film; in the film, the bridge had given way and the little girl had fallen to sharks. I looked over, just to be sure. The water was still and white gleamed.

It wanted to eat me.

Quickly, I averted my gaze and met the entrance of the tunnel. It didn't seem as dark as it had looked on first glance. Sun-light washed the interior a faint brown, so it wasn't impossible to see. Curiosity overwhelmed me and I entered, though still a bit wary.

A few flies buzzed past me as I walked through and I swatted the air a bit to stop them from landing on me. They were dirty and I didn't want their germs. As I went deeper, a sound suddenly met my ears. It made me stop, dead in my tracks, then I heard it again.

I craned my ears, trying to make out what it was. A piano. At the end of the tunnel was a door and, as I reached it, the sound grew louder. They sounded like chords, the sort that Scythe's mommy usually played in the foyer. Only, unlike what Scythe's mommy played, they weren't just chords –– there was some sort of tune on top.

Overwhelmed by its prettiness, I slid open the door and was met with a large hall. Random chairs and broken tables were stacked haphazardly, all over the place, and the floor was grimy as if no one had cleaned it for years. Its dirtiness only caught my attention for a few moments, though, because, immediately, I looked for the source of the pretty music.

And found it.

A piano was heaped in the corner and sat at it was a little boy, probably no older than me,with thick wisps of dusty blonde hair that fell into his eyes. He was bent over the piano, deep in concentration, his fingers running over it smoothly like dripping water.

I watched, mesmerized, and he continued. The tune echoed through the hall, rebounded, and it felt as if angels circled in the air and caught light at every note. I watched them dance, twirl each other around in circles and jump from the tables, racing after one another, their dresses following in waves of threaded gold.

I let out a light laugh and, instantly, they vanished, as did the music. Silence.

The boy spoke, suddenly noticing me. "What are you doing here?"

"Why did you stop playing?" I stepped forward a bit, watching the piano. "It was really pretty."

"I asked you a question." The sharpness of his tone made me flinch a bit, then meet his gaze, quickly. An ice-hot blue met me, almost pierced flesh.

"I…" I wavered a bit, "…our car broke down," I explained. "So I went exploring and I heard the pretty music, and I ––"

"Okay," he said, seeming a bit relieved. "That's okay."

"And what about you?" I proffered, suddenly curious. After all, it didn't escape my notice that he was only my age and on his own. Why would an eight year old be on his own, in the middle of no where?

"I'm waiting for my Dad," he answered shortly, then elaborated a bit, "They're going to take the piano away, probably to a scrap yard or something, so I thought, while I was waiting for him, I'd play."

"You play really-really well," I beamed, taking a step closer. "Scythe's mommy only plays with one hand and her stuff sounds really angry. Yours is just pretty."

The boy reddened a little. "Thank-you," he said, voice a bit quiet.

"What about your mommy?" I put out, bluntly, "Is your mommy coming to get you, too?"

"My mom's in hell."

I winced. "That's not a nice thing to say."

"But she's dead," he argued. "And dead people go to hell."

"No they don't," I argued back. "My mommy says that they all go to heaven with the angels ––"

"–– but my dad," he interjected, voice firm, "says differently. And my dad's always right."

Unaware as to how I could retort, I changed the subject, desperate not to get into an argument. "Where do you live?"

"You ask loads of questions."

I frowned a bit. "I'm sorry."

"In the main town," he replied, smiling a bit. "By the sea."

Again, I beamed. "I live there too!"

He nodded, only half listening, and began to fiddle with the keys of the piano. After a few minutes, he spoke up. "You've been here a long time. Your friends'll be missing you."

He was right, and I had almost forgotten about them. "They will," I agreed, "but…" I paused. "What's your name?"

The boy's attention snapped to me, immediately, stare hard; discomfort arose and I shifted my feet a little. "You can call me…" He hesitated a bit, thought about his next few words, then added, voice hard. "Cancer."

"Cancer?" I repeated, tone incredulous. That wasn't a normal name, I was sure.

The boy smirked a little. "Yeah," he agreed, obviously quite proud of himself. "Cancer. 'cause I'm a disease." The last word was hissed out and it made me shudder. "And what about you?" he added as an afterthought.

"Angela," I spoke meekly.

"Angela," he repeated, then nodded a bit, satisfied. "You better leave now, Angela, before you catch me." A smirk. "I'm a disease," he explained, "and diseases spread."

The words chilled me and I, being the complacent little girl I was, turned to the entrance, then left. The laughter that followed didn't leave me alone for weeks after.

weeee. a new fic. uhm, updates may be slow since i'm doing both this & her ashes. but i'll try not to be too slow. this is probably going to be all complicated like cath, though i'm not quite sure yet.