My computer's back up! I'm very happy! Hopefully it won't be such a long wait for chapter 21.
Scene of the Crime
A city bus came to a stop in front of an old medium sized one story brick building at the heart of down town. The building was the old court house turned museum. It was at this stop that a pair of twins and their green eyed friend got off.
"So this is the place", Rei said putting emphasis on 'the', "It's not intimidating."
Lucy would have said other wise, if she wasn't so busy with keeping herself calm. She pulled her coat around her like a child would a security blanket. Lucy then took a few deep breaths and said, "Let's get this over with."
Rai watched her head toward the museum with a pained look.
"It was your idea to come, so you better not ditch", his brother told him jokingly.
"Sorry", he replied, "I just hate seeing Lucy like this."
"It'll be worth it if we find any clues to break the curse. Lucy has to think so too or she wouldn't have come", Rei said in a comforting manner. With that said the twins hurried to catch up to Lucy, which wasn't hard because of their height advantage.
Inside was filled with artifacts from about three hundred years ago, accounts of the 'trails' in a glass cases being the main focus. An elder woman sat in the receptionist desk, her hair was silver and eyes grey. She had a kind grandmotherly expression. They were the only visitors at that time.
"Good afternoon", she greeted, "Look around all you want, and if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask me." She paused for a second to take a good look at Lucy, "You're pale as a sheet, are you feeling well?"
"I'll be okay", Lucy forced a smile. The receptionist nodded, but decided to keep an eye on the girl.
The twins made their way around the small museum, looking at and reading all the accounts. Rai came across the documentation of Isabel's trail and quickly read though it frowning. Seeing his brother's expression, Rei came over to the glass case and also read it.
"Hey", Rei called the receptionist, "It's missing a page."
"You must be reading about the curse", the receptionist slowly walked over to them, "The original museum committee was very superstitious, so they locked away the page that held the curse's words. Not that it matters. What Isabel said has been passed down orally. 'Because of your betrayal, out of those of your blood none shall have sanctuary, not even in the depths of the mind. All shall die a thousand times over, never to find the peace desperately sought.' "
"We've heard it before", Rei said grimly. He glanced at where Lucy was looking at something that was apparently very interesting, though he had the feeling she was just trying to tone out their conversation.
"What happened to the family that was cursed?" Rai asked, even though he technically already knew.
"After Isabel's death, many freak accidents plagued them. It's said they were always looking over their shoulder as though they knew something was coming. After the death of their first born, they moved away. There's no telling were they ended up."
"Do you believe in the curse?" Rei asked genuinely curious.
"I didn't", the woman answered.
"Didn't?" Rai repeated, "As in you do now?"
"I probably shouldn't talk too much about this", she drew out, "But since last November, strange this have been happening in the court yard where the convicted were hanged. People are saying its Isabel."
"November…" The twins glanced at each other worriedly; both were thinking that that's when Lucy had moved to town. They then glanced to where Lucy was, only she wasn't there anymore.
"Where'd she-" The sound of a heavy door shutting cut Rai off.
"That was the court yard door", the receptionist informed them, "I could have sworn I locked it already."
Without a second thought both rushed to the hall and around the corner, the receptionist stood there completely confused. They made it to the thick door that was ajar. Rei pushed it all the way open and they went out in the court yard.
The court yard was large with yellow grass and patches of dirt. In the middle was the rebuilt gallows for the museum. Lucy stood transfixed in front of them.
"Lucy?" Rai called unsure. She made no reply, no movement.
The woman made it to the door way and started to ask, "Is everything o- Oh my!"
The brunette's knees buckled and she fell to the ground unconscious.
Where am I?, Lucy asked herself.
The room was dark and foggy. The walls around her were mirrors that seemed to form some kind of labyrinth.
With nothing else to do she walked in a direction, her many reflections in sync with her movements. Her steps made no sound.
The fog all but cleared suddenly and one of Lucy's reflections was replaced by a young man in clothes that looked hundreds of years old. Lucy's stayed glued to the mirror in horror as she watched the man's rather gory death of being attacked by an angry mountain lion.
The mirror shattered and sprayed Lucy in glass shards. The mirror beside the now broken one flashed to a child who froze to death while lost in the woods during winter. Once again the mirror shattered.
The process repeated over and over until Lucy was covered in cuts and scratches. As it went some of the people became recognizable to her. She knew her grandfather from pictures who died due to a freak factory accident; an aunt who died during a bank robbery.
Lucy felt like she was going to throw up; she had not and did not want to see any of this. She slumped to the ground the red tinted glass digging into her legs.
There was only one mirror left whole. The woman in the mirror could easily be an older Lucy, only with near waist length dirty blond hair. The woman's emerald eyes were empty and as broken as the glass that littered the ground.
"Stop it! Please stop!" Lucy cried to the higher powers. She attempted to close her eyes, but they stayed open like someone had taped them back.
Pleading was in vain as Lucy was forced to watch her mother take her own life. The shattering glass shards felt like they were burning her skin.
"A satisfying revenge, don't you think?" A cold voice asked out of the dark and fog.
"W-why?" Lucy asked her voice shaky. She had a good idea of who the voice belonged to.
"You know", the voice replied sharply, "And you know my revenge isn't complete."
"I don't want anyone else to die."
"And here I thought you were a bit smarter than the others", the voice sounded weary, "It's not a matter of death, but suffering. How long will it take you to slip up? How long will it take you to break? Those questions haunt every second of your existence-"
"Driving me to the brink of insanity, right?" Lucy finished knowingly and harshly, "I live it."
The voice lowered to a soft and sweet tone, "And it would be so easy to end it, to end the pain. All you need is a piece of glass."
As if the words spoken controlled whatever god forsaken place she was in, she felt her hand pass over a jagged shard that was already stained red. For a brief moment Lucy was tempted to just that, but the image of her heartbroken dad and friends came to mind.
"I want you out of my head!"
"Who says we're in you're head?"
"Just leave me alone!"
The voice laughed, "It won't take much longer."
The broken mirrors and what little fog was left faded to pitch black.
The girl heard the call, and came to the realization that she was being held; she opened her eyes slightly to see both Rai and Rei's faces covered in worry. Lucy tried to sit up, but her body protested.
"How did you get so cut up?" Rei asked as his brother picked her up and started to carry her inside.
Lucy gasped and had to push back the want to curl up and cry, "I almost… Isabel…"
"Let's just get you bandaged up."
"I think the receptionist lady rushed off to call the ambulance…" Rei said after realizing the woman had disappeared.
"Have I ever mentioned how much I hate hospitals and ambulances?" Lucy asked stubbornly before wincing because of a particularly deep cut.
"Why is that?" Rei sarcastically questioned as he let Rai and Lucy through the door first.
Lucy opened her mouth to make a remark, but all that came out was, "I feel dizzy…"
The twins glanced at her anxiously as she drifted back into unconsciousness.
The brunette woke again about an hour later. The ambulance had bandaged her up, but since none of the cuts were life threatening and she hadn't lost a dangerous amount of blood they just left her at the museum to rest.
"Good to see you awake", Rei smiled as Lucy sat up.
"Good to be awake", Lucy winced again. She was still sore, and knew she would be for a while.
The illusionist then pulled out a soda and candy bar, "They said you should eat something once you were up to help with the blood loss."
She took the snack gratefully before asking, "Where's Rai?"
"He went to call-"
Just then Rai walked back into the room saying, "Obâsan said she'd- Lucy, your awake."
"Obviously", Rei replied, "Now what were you saying."
Rai glared at his brother but repeated, "Obâsan said she'd pick us up and take Lucy home, but we have some time before she gets here."
There was an awkward silence before Rai asked Lucy, "So what happened?"
"I… I, well, I talked to Isabel", she struggled not wanted to remember what she saw, "She's still bitter…but…"
"But what?" Rei asked when it didn't seem like she would continue.
"I think she sounded tired… like she really wants to end this."
"Then maybe she can be talked into releasing the curse", Rei said hopefully.
"I doubt it'll be that simple", Rai decided to be the pessimistic one.
"Who said talking her into it would be easy? Plus how else is there to release a grudge that's lasted three hundred years?"
"Guys", Lucy intervened, "There's something else."
"What?" Both asked.
"I have a feeling that her spirit isn't tied to earth here, but somewhere else."
Next Chapter: March 17th
It's the twins birthday, and naturally chaos breaks lose.
And remember, reviewing is a very good thing!