Chapter 11: Dead Man
After a few hours of walking we had all given up and decided to put up camp. We all attempted to get into Veronica's and Claire's rooms but the doors were locked shut and wouldn't open. I went to sit in my bedroom. It never felt dark to me but for some reason it felt dark and never-ending. I curled into a ball on my bed and pulled my legs against my chest. My black, satin bed cover gave me little warmth as I lay on it. My chest felt tight and I felt like the world was caving in on me. I squeezed my eyes shut and tried to ignore the pain. These feelings were new to me and I didn't like the experience. What was this feeling? Longing, depression, loneliness?
When I thought I had already passed out a hand lightly held my shoulder. My eyes flung open just in time to see Luca stepping out of the room. The feeling in my chest floated away. "Luca, Please stay" I whispered into my bed cover. I gripped the bed cover as the pain swept over me again, I felt like screaming. I opened my mouth to scream when a hand clasped my mouth and the other pulled me closer towards the person. I looked up and saw Luca's worried face looking down on me. I pulled his shirt material I wanted to be closer to him. I breathed him in. He was cold but I didn't care. I thought nothing could go wrong but I was wrong. The room around us began to burn and fire flashed everywhere. The ground below us disappeared and Luca fell further and further into the abyss and there was nothing I could do. I slowly realised that when I thought I had passed out I did. The dream shifted and Claire was standing in front of me.
"Iris, Iris are you hurt?" she cried as she ran towards me. As she ran two hands grabbed her and pulled her away. I saw the image of her being bitten the life drained from her eyes. She hung there limply until she vanished. She reappeared out of the darkness to my left, a red tinge in her eyes as she walked over to me elegantly and yanked my hair back. Her fangs slide out of their sheaths and I fought the urge to scream. She bent closer to me when a something large and hairy knocked her out of the way. I couldn't help it I screamed at the top of my lungs. The hairy thing that had tackled Claire was in fact a werewolf. It slowly shifted forms and changed into Krystal. She stood there and beared her claws at Claire, Claire regained her footing and beared her teeth at Krystal. My two best friends were fighting and all I could do was sit and watch. I put my head between my knees and shut my eyes. I thought of Manadium. The vast flying field the day I had met Claire. She had been so little back then and so bad tempered. I remembered the first time Krystal had snuck into my room as a cat. Waking up and finding her next to me was quite a shock. Soon I heard nothing and I looked up the black had swallowed everything. I shook my head violently, a light beamed ahead of me. I ran as fast as my legs would allow. I leaped for the light and jumped into reality.
I jumped off my bed and ran into the living room gasping for air. On my way out I shoved Krystal against the wall. I let out another shrill cry and Krystal arms outstretched around me. She sat me down on the couch and went into the kitchen. She came out with a steamy cup of hot cocoa. She forced it into my hands and I spilt some on my lap from the heat. I sat there and stared into space as she wiped the drink off me. I felt like vomiting but I kept drinking the cocoa. Krystal sat next to me and made the couch lift up and then down. There was a sound outside and Krystal stood up.
"Iris I'll be right back" she said as she walked out the door. She never returned.
When I arrived back at my tree house everything was the same. Except cobwebs had formed in the corners of the room and a thin layer of dust covered the floor. I sank to my knees and put my head in my hands. How could I be so foolish? Someone obviously planned this? The room smelled musty and I had walk out to avoid sneezing. I jumped back down the tree and landed with a thud. I closed my eyes and took in my surroundings, I expected to see darkness behind my eyelids but an image crept in. A sharp dagger was flying through the air straight towards me. I opened my eyes confused by what I had just seen. I looked in the direction the dagger had flown from. My eyes went wide as something shown in the sunlight coming straight at me. I did a back flip and manage to escape a dagger in my head. Immediately my ribbons were in my hands and I decided I needed high ground. Another three daggers hit the tree as I climbed up. When I reached the top I could more trees in every direction and the narrow path that we had been following for days. The scene was beautiful and I suddenly had a longing to be living here again. A dagger flying past my shoulder snapped me back into reality. I leaped across the trees my ribbons flowing behind me. I can hear them now their close, whatever they are. I swiftly jumped high and spun to face the enemy. My ribbons latched around his legs and he feel out of the tree. I didn't realise he was so heavy and I couldn't hold him up.
I was pulled down to the ground with him. I managed to slow my fall by catching a few stray branches on my way down but my attacker wasn't so lucky. He hit his head on a rock and a pool of blood surrounded him. The way his body was so lifeless I knew he was gone. My mother was a doctor and by looking at the pool of nobody could lose that much blood and live. That's when my attacker sat up. My eyes went wide and my mouth hung open. The attacker cracked his neck and smiled at my face. Now that a good look at him I know what has happened. His fangs glistened in the moonlight and his pale skin reminded me of porcelain. I quickly snatched my ribbons out from under him and ran I knew I wouldn't be able to out run them but in about an hour the sun should come up. I darted into the forest running at top speed, nothing was going to stop me from running. The branches whipped my face and the leaves tangled into my hair. At one stage my shirt got caught on a branch and I began to weep this was the end. I couldn't run anymore and I had no strength left pull my shirt free of the tree. From behind a tree the vampire walked out a smug look on his face.
"Thought you could out run me, foolish girl. But I must say you were doing pretty good until you got yourself stuck on that branch there" His voice was smooth like most vampires I had encounted.
"Now what to do with you?" he asked teasingly. He walked up to me elegantly and a whiff of smoke clogged up my nose. At first I thought it was the vampire but then I realised someone was making a fire nearby. There was a rustle in the branches behind and I opened my mouth to tell whoever it might be to run until I saw the man and the girl he was holding. The man had bronze hair and his eyes were tinged red. Over and over my brain told me but I couldn't move. Run! Run! He's the leader, look at him! RUN! I took a step backwards and nearly stumbled but was caught by the other vampire. He stood me up straight and pushed me down so I was kneeling.
"Leave" The leader made a quick hand move and ushered the other vampire away. The other vampire walked away reluctantly mumbling something like "She was mine, I found her". After the other vampire left I quickly stood up and got my very first good look at the girl in the vampires arms. Her hair was as orange as ever but her skin was paler a lot paler. I feared the worst until her head moved slightly. I let out a sigh of relief. The man saw me staring and said "I shall let you go just because you are dear to her, and I know she has lost many people dear to her. I could not bear to take one as well. Not from her" This caught me off guard. He sounded like he generally cared.
"RUN!" he ordered more firmly. I sprinted from the way I had come, I turned back just in time to see Claire's eyes flicker then close again.
The thump from outside startled me. "Iris, I'll be right back" I said slowly as I walked for the door. My eyes widen as I saw Veronica sprawled on the floor, cuts and bruises all over her body. "Oh my god" I let out with a gasp. "What happened?" I asked urgently.
"Was running... from vampires...got Claire" was all she managed until she passed out. "Luca!" I called back into the house. In the blink of an eye Luca was kneeling next to me, scooping Veronica up into his arms. I rushed forward through the door before Luca and went to Veronica's room. I opened the door as Luca carried her in and lay her onto the bed. As Luca left he shut the door behind him. I lay a wet face washer on her forehead and tucked her into the bed. "Krystal..." she murmured. "Shhh" I whispered. Her skin was ice cold in places and burni and her face pale. Her fever was burning up. So I left her in peace.
Outside Luca and Iris were crowded round a table a map in their hands. I caught parts of their conversations. "Where did you get this?" Iris asked curiously.
"When you know death gods, you can pick up items found with the dead" he answered with a shrug. "What's that?" I asked peering over their shoulders.
"It's a map to the Fountain Of Youth" he announced. I stood wide eyed at the paper.
"So we are here?" I asked pointing at the never ending trail we'd been following for the past few weeks.
"Yes" he replied "and we need to get here" He pointed at a small fountain at the side of Mount Misha.
"That's a month's trip away!" I announced with outrage.
"We have three years" Iris stated, rolling her eyes. My eyes followed the trail of the map. So many dangerous places to cross through, would we really make it.
Down the side of the map was scrawl that looked familiar. It read,
"It is said that the Fountain Of Youth was destroyed by the Fairies many years ago as a way for the fairies to show they had power. But many believe it was a hoax so that the fairies may live forever. It is said the Fountain was made by the Angels of Heaven and that Half-Angels were created by young women coming to the Fountain and falling in love with the angels that guarded it, these women then sired the angels children and created Half-Angels. Angels are still believed to visit Earth and sire children but it is very rare. Angels no longer guard the Fountain as it is to well hidden. I was given this map by James Summers, an angel that saved me from my death"
I gasped at this name but continued.
"I am searching for the Fountain of Youth but not for myself but for my wife. She is dying of an unknown disease and she is bearing our unborn child. I cannot bear to lose her and my child."
As my eyes scrolled to the corner of the page I read,
"2/3/1974 If you are reading this my friend has completed his task. This is meant to be returned to the daughter of James, Claire Summers. And yes Krystal you must get her back"
This caught me completely off guard and I stifled a scream.
"Relax the three of you. I have seen the future and I know what has happened. You must find Claire and the rest of you chosen ones before you enter the Fountain Of Youth. And Luca did you really think that a Death God was just going to hand over a dead man's belongings, he was specifically ordered to do so when the time came. Now this map is magical just like me and when all eight of you are discovered this map with uncover the secret to the location of The Fountain. Good Luck and Good bye,
Yours Sincerely Christian Arving."
My brain went into overload, this man he must be related to the headmaster, that's why he can tell the future. But to be so accurate about a time that was more than 20 years ahead, he must have been a skilful mutant.
In a confident voice Iris announced "Well, that settles it. Firstly we are going to get Claire back from those filthy vampires, Secondly we are going to find the rest of the Chosen Ones and Thirdly we are going to save the Tree of Life!"
Nobody argued with this, we just sat at the table letting our thoughts take over the silence.
A/N: (: Another Chapter. Enjoy! And thanks to all of you who have reviewed and favourited my story. (: Love you all, The Outcast Angel.