A/N: Wow. Sorry everyone! I am continuing this, without a doubt in my mind. I just can't work on it as much as I'd please (obviously). I'm so sorry to everyone who actually reads this. Like I just said, I am continuing it, just not as often as promised. I still write more every day, and brainstorm daily. My boyfriend and I watched Dante's Inferno last night and that gave me a LOT of inspiration and ideas to continue this. There are so many things I learned from it and forgot to mention yet. River Stix? "Bosses"? I'm going to be plotting this out with much more thought now, so don't worry if you find it kind of boring.
Without further ado, chapter three of Destiny.
Do NOT Think You're the Only One
I sat silently in the tiny room. Alex stayed with me… still, for some reason I don't know. All we'd repeatedly heard were the same, unorthodox, traumatizing screams. Could it be that Satan was finally doing what he said before… when he kidnapped us to begin with? Building his so-called "army"?
From what I knew, there were only about twelve people here overall. Well… twelve, not including Satan or any of the other demons lurking around, acting as his servants. Wrapping my hands around my knees, I felt how tender my nose and eyes were from my relentless tears. After Alex had repeatedly told me how water was a rarity and crying would do nothing but waste the little remaining hydration I had, that it was pretty much a death wish, I used up almost all of my exhausted effort and eventually ceased my tears to a whimper, and now I was beat.
"Hey, Kumani?" Alex spontaneously spoke up. I turned my gaze to him, still not comfortable seeing his now fluorescent orange irises.
He played with the hem of his battered jeans, quiet for a moment as he mulled over his next words. "Is there anything different about me? I mean… physically. From what I saw, Anthony… his eyes are... they're a neon, yellow-ish green color, and he's a bit more buff than he was. He's even slightly taller. What about me..?" I blinked a few times, attempting to register the things he'd informed me about my brother. I opened my mouth to speak, but closed it again momentarily. He didn't know? He was unaware of his once warm, brown eyes now being that shocking orange? That he too had grown slightly taller? My mind started to wander amongst the thoughts on whether or not I, along with the other girls, would end up having to endure the same process. What if? Would we survive? My unsure mind deepened me in thought. Most likely too deep.
"Kumani?" Alex's soft voice brought me back. I jumped a bit when he started, but relaxed almost instantly.
"Sorry, uh... yeah, you do look different." I confirmed, wondering if it would bother him to know.
"How? How do I look different?" His voice seemed to hurry as I looked him over.
"Well... your eyes aren't brown. They're.. a bright orange. Neon-ish." Said eyes widened and he stood, walking over to the cracked mirror. I gritted my teeth and awaited a reaction from him.
"Whoa! Aha, that's pretty awesome!"
He was, to my amazement, pleasantly surprised. I grinned a small bit. I guess I was happy that he didn't hate his reflection.
"They're not as cool as Anthony's, but I'll take what I've been given!" At that moment, my heart sunk.
I still hadn't seen Anthony.
Alex looked over at me and seemed to have realized that it finally hit me. An apologetic look was in those foreign eyes, and he came back to sit next to me.
"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have opened my damned mouth."
I grimaced and realized I couldn't hold it in again.
"I just… want to see him..." I went to wrap my arms around my knees and bury my face in them, but suddenly, I felt a pair of unusually muscular arms wrap themselves around me. I bit my bottom lip as he held me, and I gradually returned the hug.
"It's okay… he'll be back soon, I swear." I knew that he only meant well with his words, but he was so easy to see through. Even he wasn't sure if what he was saying was true.
A sigh rolled over my lips and I released the grip he had me in. Once out of his arms, I looked back up to his eyes and gave his calloused hand an effortless squeeze. One that told him that was scared, but also told him that I could tell he was, too. I mean, we were in Hell. I know it's been pointed out numerous times before, but I honestly don't think you'll ever understand just how terrifying and heart-stopping this entire experience was.
Have you ever been surrounded by creatures, with no real place to call 'home'? Had to worry about the few friends or family you had left? Not to mention go through some pretty traumatizing, painful things?
I don't know… maybe you have.
I think, in the end, we've all experienced a little hell.
We'd been ignoring the sounds of tearing flesh the best we possibly could, but it was almost impossible. My heart sank at the thought of having now known three people I'd lost- and literally watching one get slaughtered.
Once again, I felt that all too familiar bile creep up my throat. The cavern smelt like burnt flesh and I couldn't look back at Orion. Or… what used to be Orion. There was nothing left but a human skull stained with red, as well as shreds of skin and tissue still attached. His (I think) brain was still inside.
He was only fourteen…
"Earth to Anthony!" I heard momentarily. I shook my head a bit before looking at the owner of the voice.
"S-sorry?" I swallowed hard and blinked a few times, forcefully looking away from Orion's remains. "Can we just... get out of here… to a cell or something? Anything to get away from…" I trailed off, not even needing to finish my sentence. Trent nodded in understanding, helping me up. We'd made it almost halfway to his cell before either of us spoke again. I still felt like throwing up, yet he didn't seem to have any problems with any of this.
"Are you okay, man? You don't look to good…" I went to look at his once silver-grey eyes, only to see a solid black.
"You know what? No, I'm not." I stopped in my tracks and started to rub my eyes violently, praying that this had all been a long-ass nightmare, and that I'd wake up… hell, even in a hospital if needed. Praying that I'd wake up in the hospital after being in a coma, for however long I'd been… here… as though I'd been hit by a car, or SOMETHING! "How in the fuck are you so CALM, Trent?! We just watched a fourteen-year-old DIE in front of us, not even ten minutes after talking to him!" I was breathing deeply, looking directly at him. All he did was smirk and look aside, almost shamefully.
"When I was ten, there was a... eh..." He ran a hand through his hair nervously. "There was a mass shooting at my school…" Trailing off, he looked around the tunnel, unaware of any bystanders. "Let's go to my room. I'll continue there." I opened my mouth to argue, but stopped myself. Maybe he needed to get this off of his chest. Not only that, but I was pretty damn curious as to what could've happened. I gulped and nodded, following him. In the mean time, I stretched out my arms and legs, still hearing a few cracks and pops from my joints. I frowned at the noises, closing my eyes tiredly. I opened them a few seconds later and continued to tag on.
We reached the cell momentarily, and I looked around, intrigued. His cell was quite similar to me and Kumi's, but different at the same time. His mirror wasn't shit, like ours… it was still surprisingly intact, not cracked, but sagged on the wall. His bed had a broken prop and was being supported by a large rock. The room was otherwise scarce, a few rocks sporadically placed, and the sink and toilet like all of the others. I sat down on the end of his bed, inhaling. The stale yet horrid stench of this entire… realm (I guess that's what you could call it) was already normal to me, to everyone. I sighed and waited for him to speak.
"Like I said…" He started, picking up where he left off. "There was a shooting at my school when I was ten." I watched as his eyes flickered back and forth between his hands, which were already shaking. He leaned against the wall behind him. "When it started, I was in the bathroom, so I, myself, wasn't involved." I felt my heart race, and I continued to listen, feeling sorry for my friend. "The cops showed up before I left the bathroom. Once I'd heard all of the screaming and pleading, I locked myself up in a stall and tried to wait it out, curled up in a ball on the toilet seat. Now that I think about it, I probably looked really pathetic, back then…" As he trailed off again, I tried to search for words. I never would have expected anything like that to have happened to a friend of mine. I wasn't against it, who could be? It was unexpected… just like ending up where we were. I had just… never expected something like that to hit so close to home. "While the shooter was being dealt with in the cafeteria, I took my chance and ran back to my class. But when I got back…"
The silence after he spoke said it all. I could thoroughly picture the blood-stained desks and walls, students and fellow friends sprawled amongst the overturned chairs. I swallowed hard, attempting to prevent myself from vomiting.
"The teacher from the class across the hall saw me and grabbed me, bringing me to her room. With the amount of cupboards and cabinets she had in her room, not to mention a large desk, she managed to hide her 14 students without a problem. She tried calming me down, but… I'd already seen everything… everything…" I nodded at Trent's emphasis. "I guess that's why I wasn't very fazed by the gore… I'd seen it at such a young age, and grown so used to the image in my head, it stopped affecting me."
"Trent…" I choked out, looking in his eyes. Because of the solid black color, it was almost impossible to read any emotion. It all looked like one large pupil, with no iris. "I'm so sorry… I shouldn't have blown up on you. You.. fuck, man, you didn't deserve that."
"Don't sweat it, Tony." He waved his hand in response, ignoring my apology. "I had to repeat my story to the cops about thirty times, not to mention the therapy." He scratched the back of his head awkwardly, shoving his other hand in the pocket of his black skinny jeans. "I'm sadly used to talking about it. Though because of it all happening, I don't really… well.. cope at all with death. I don't even react anymore." His face was expressionless. "Hell, just as I'd gone to the bathroom, I'd finished a conversation with my friend Nick about watching the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air without getting in trouble…" He chuckled to himself and I grimaced. "Guess it's good that I had a shitty bladder back then, right?" He laughed a bit more, shoving his other hand in his pocket. I laughed, too.
"We've all got our stories, I guess." I announced thoughtfully. He looked at me almost instantly, tilting his head.
"Yeah, you never told me what happened with you. When did you guys get… here?" I grinned.
"Well…" I laughed inwardly. "As we had all gradually found out, all the prisoners had arrived in a five-day period, Kumi and I being among the first to show up. I was going to take Kumani trick-or-treating, and had just got my license. Anyway, we were passing a cemetery when we both saw… well, him, darting toward us from the middle of the graveyard. Kumani was freaking out, but I was going my best to stay calm. He had me in some invisible grip in no time, and I got pretty snappy. He told me to shut up and warned me that he'd do something bad if I didn't. About two minutes later, Kumani started talking. Almost immediately, he," I held up my hand and snapped on cue, "killed our parents." His eyes widened for a split second before softening. Apparently Trent did have some sympathy left.
"Damn… I'm sorry, man." He ran a hand over his face as I stopped a tear from falling, feeling immensely weak at the thought of crying. "I- thankfully- still have my 'rents." He took a deep breath before coming over to sit next to me. "Anthony, I'm sorry.." I made a face at the irony of how quickly we'd switched positions. Five minutes ago, I was comforting him. Mocking him, I simply waved it off.
"No biggy, bro."
We were silent for a few moments before I decided I should seriously head off to talk to Kumani.
"Hey.." I started. "I think I should go see Kumani." He smiled apologetically and nodded.
"Totally. Sorry for keeping you, man. I ain't gonna keep you prisoner." He joked, shooing me away. "Go. Begone." I laughed along with him, standing up and stretching quickly before heading to the entrance. I stopped momentarily at the doorway to turn back to him with a smile.
"If ya ever need to talk, man, I'm here."
"Sure, sure, yeah yeah, get out of here you piece of shit."
I laughed in return. "Fuck off, asshole." He waved me away and I flipped him off, smiling widely. Then, I headed toward my cell.