Sorry this took so long. Various school and family issues took up my time. Anyway, here's chapter 3!
Camellia slammed the door as she walked into her home. Making a beeline for the bathroom she immediately began cleaning a long but shallow cut across her right arm.
"You should get a first aid kit for your car", the silver haired ghost sat elegantly on the bathtub causing her alter-ego to jump.
"Don't do that!" Camellia snapped.
"I'm only doing what you would do", her subconscious stated. Camellia grunted in reply as she wrapped the wound. "What I wanted to say was that I think you were followed."
"If I was, the locket would glow."
"Not if the Shadow stayed far enough away." As soon as those words were uttered, the locket began to beat against Camellia's neck.
"Why didn't you mention this sooner?" She exclaimed as she jumped up and rushed out.
A scream echoed through the apartments as she made it outside to see her father crumpled at the bottom of the stairs. The Shadow that had escaped her earlier stood not far from her.
She changed into Pandora and pulled a dagger out of nowhere. The black eyed Shadow had no chance as the crying girl tackled him. He faded into the locket as Camellia ran down the stairs to help her father.
Camellia and Sam sat in the classroom which was also used for yearbook headquarters. A sandwich lay in front of Sam and soup for Camellia.
"Explain away", Sam requested.
The redhead did, "The Shadows are beings of tremendous power. They're like demigods or small cosmic horrors trapped in a human like shell. And they want to perform the cliché of genocide."
"If they're so powerful, then why don't they melt Antarctica or something? That'd kill most of us."
"Probably would, but when they first escaped I made a barrier around the city. The barrier will only break at my death."
It didn't take long for the implications to sink in. "So they're trying to kill you."
"When they're not trying to hide from me", Camellia stated in complete seriousness, "The ones left have been getting desperate. A little over a week ago one nearly killed my father in an attempt to get to me. Then two days ago-"
Sam finished her sentence, "One came here and ended up attacking me."
The door creaked open causing the two to quickly drop their conversation. The broad shouldered boy that walked in had golden blonde hair and wore faded jeans and a red t-shirt.
"Hey, Gavin", Sam greeted a second before he realized just how this would look in the eyes of someone who didn't know about Camellia's magical girl status, especially when that someone was the girl's ex-boyfriend.
At the sight of her former better half Camellia averted her eyes to stare at the very interesting blank wall. Gavin nodded his head though his eyes where narrowed slightly. "I forgot my book."
After retrieving said book, he quietly left. Sam beat his head against the desk.
"What's your problem?"
"He'll…Nevermind." If she didn't get it, then Sam wanted to drop it. Hazel eyes then went wide, "You broke up with Gavin so he won't be targeted."
"Obviously", she snapped. Her tone then softened, "He can't even dissect a frog without getting sick. He couldn't deal with Shadows."
"He's a lot less tough than he looks", Sam agreed.
"Are you implying you're tougher than you look? Because that's not saying much."
"Hey! I saved your life yesterday!" Sam exclaimed defensively feeling that his manliness was being mocked.
"I've saved you twice."
Knowing he was beat, he huffed out, "Only because you can break the laws of physics."
"Who says I'm doing that?" Camellia questioned with a smirk.
"You pull knives out of thin air."
The redhead glanced at the clock. "Lunch is almost over, and I've barely touched my soup."
"Don't change the subject."
Camellia replied by swallowing a mouthful of soup.
The red haired girl seemed to be talking to the boy beside her. A moment later she started to walk the opposite way down the parking lot.
The child who was watching the two returned her attention to the brown haired boy nearing his own car. She smiled brightly, "This is what I've been waiting for."
Sam was about to unlock his car door when something tugged on his shirt. He turned around to see an eight or nine year old with blonde pigtails and tearful pinkish eyes.
"Mister", the child fiddled with a hem of her dress nervously, "I can't find my mommy."
Sympathy for the adorable child welled up inside him, and there was no way his conscious would allow him to leave a child in the middle of downtown especially near dusk. "Do you want me to take you to the police station down the road?"
The little girl nodded her head, "Thank you, mister."
Sam gave her a comforting smile as he went to open the door, and then everything went black.
Camellia walked up the stairs to her and her father's apartment. She stopped short when she saw a strawberry blonde haired woman with the same eyes as herself.
"Mom?" The redhead asked, "What are you doing here?"
The woman brushed off her business suit with disinterest. "I was near by so I decided to check on your father. It's a miracle he was able to get out of the hospital so soon."
"Yeah, it was a nasty fall." To avoid the coming awkward silence, Camellia questioned, "So, how's everything going?"
A slight smirk appeared on the woman's face. "Well enough. Work has been difficult these past few weeks."
Camellia's mother then patted her on the shoulder. "I've got to go. See you this weekend."
"See you", she called after. Turning back up the stairs, Camellia was about to go into her home when her cell phone rang.
Noticing the number she answered, "Sam?"
"Nope!" A childish voice sang making Camellia's blood run cold.
"Where's Sam?" Camellia demanded voice quivering with anger.
"He's sleeping", the child's voice answered, "It's rather boring, maybe I should-"
"Where is he?" She demanded again in a harsh tone.
"You're no fun", the little girl sighed, "But if you want him back so bad, maybe we can work something out."
Camellia was silent for a moment as she closed her eyes. "What do you want?"
"To talk", she simply replied the immaturity from her voice falling away.
"That's it?" The redhead asked in disbelief.
"I want nothing more or less than to talk with you."
Suspicion was etched across Camellia's features but for her friend's sake she had no choice but to agree. "Fine. Where do we meet?"
Sam's head pounded in retaliation as he opened his eyes to bright light. He glanced around seeing he was in a grey and grimy warehouse which made it odd that he was on a white and expensive looking sofa. A small mahogany table with a china tea set on top was in front of him.
"You're finally awake", the childish Shadow commented. She sat in a chair that matched the sofa off to the side. A yellowed book with the title Discourse on the Method lay opened in her lap. "I was getting bored."
"What's going on?" Sam groggily questioned.
The blonde smiled at him, "I'm using you as bait for little Pandora."
The hazel eyed boy groaned, "I really should have seen this coming… But why aren't I tied up or anything?"
"I have been known as Eos, Aurora, Amaterasu, Sekhmet, and Sol." The small child informed him, "There's no way a human such as yourself could escape me."
Knowing just enough about mythology to get her point Sam gulped and filed away the information. However, determination to understand more grew inside him. "Why do you and the other Shadows want-"
Her pink eyes burned as she pushed him down. Then with the snap of her fingers a flame dangerously licked heat against Sam's skin. Immediately his breathing harshly increased, and his eyes become unfocused with sheer terror.
Smirking in satisfaction the shadow let the flame fade away. "You aren't in the position nor do you have any right to ask me that. However, I guess it ultimately doesn't matter. She'll be here soon."
Sam slowly regained his composure, pushing down his fear. The child stared at him with a blank face before sighing, "Forgive my harshness. I hate humans but it seems there's a possibility I'll have to rely on one. Please keep that in your heart."
Sam nodded unsure of what she meant while the pink eyed shadow returned to her chair and book with no farther comment.
Minutes later the door to the building was all but blown off its hinges, causing Sam to jump in surprise and the shadow to calmly put her book down. Pandora stormed into the room with her golden eyes glowing in barely controlled fury.
"You okay Sam?" She asked while keeping her attention on the kidnapper.
"The only thing hurt is my pride", he admitted with as much humor as he could.
"I kept my end of the bargain. Now you'll keep yours", the child-like shadow requested. Pandora nodded her head though her facial expression revealed great displeasure at it. Seeing she would at least be heard out the shadow began, "You have limited understanding of what is going on. As of right now you're nothing more than a puppet of human greed and foolishness."
"All I need to understand is that you Shadows are killing innocent people", Pandora growled.
She replied with a childish laugh, "It's true that we, Shadows as you call us, have fallen from our former power and that we are taking revenge on humanity for it. However, you would do the same, and you still haven't answered what you think about being someone's puppet? Surely you don't think that what we were sealed in would by coincidence fall into the hand's of someone who could release us?"
Confusion and uncertainty danced across the white haired heroine's face of a moment before determination replaced it. "Is that all you have to say?"
For the first time the child's lips fell into a frown. "They really have brainwashed you. I guess at this point it would be fruitless to try to sway you."
"You're right", Pandora replied in a tone that said she didn't care.
The shadow sighed, "Then all I can do is leave you with this warning: Don't trust those who seek power they can't fathom."
"I'll be sure to stay paranoid then", she replied sarcastically as she once again pulled a knife out of thin air.
Sam, who had been watching the scene in uneasy silence, shouted, "What are you doing?"
Unfortunately he was ignored as the two engaged in a stare off. "Did you think I'd let you get away with threatening my friend?"
"I was hoping so. But it seems you have inherited humanity's lack of foresight, my sister", the shadow glanced at Sam for a second her pink eyes filled with a sense of failure and acceptance. She stood completely still as Pandora lunged at her. The knife dug into her heart turning her into a literal shadow. She was then absorbed into the locket, which was now almost pitch black.
Sam immediately got up and angrily confronted Pandora. "What was that about? She kept her terms! You didn't have to do that!"
Light surrounded her as she changed back into red haired Camellia. She then answered simply, "You say that because she looked like a child."
"Maybe that's part of it", he retaliated coldly, "But it also feels wrong for you to dismiss what she said and attack her. Even if she did kidnap me."
"This is a war. It's either us or them." Silence drifted between them until Camellia spoke again, "We should go."
Sam watched her walk toward the door then glanced back at the book the shadow had been reading. He closed his eyes to think before grabbing the book and following Camellia out.