Chapter 15: Not So Crazy
The thought of discussing all this over with an exorcist hasn't really occurred to me. Now that it has I have visions of it going down like the movies. I've never seen any of those exorcist movies, but they look scary. I won't be visiting anyone like that for help.
I stare at my eggs and bacon. Bacon. It looks nothing like rotten flesh yet...I shove the plate aside and gag. This is something mother takes notice of. You see, it's weird for me to refuse food. Well, not lately, but they don't know that.
"You okay, Alex?" she asks with that concerned mother voice.
"Fine, fine," I tell her. Suddenly what the dead bitch said last night comes flooding. "Mom..." I start, "could you stay away from the backyard today?"
"...Is something wrong?"
Oh, everything. "Nothing, I just need you to stay away from there."
I don't know if it's the sincerity that I think is in my voice or the terror in my eyes, but she says "Okay, okay, I'll stay away." Thank God. "I have to go shopping anyways." Or it could have been that.
"Shopping? For what?" I ask.
"Food, Alex," she says as if it should have been obvious.
"Right." I get up from the table and slide my backpack on. "I have to go catch the bus. Love you, mom."
The doors swing open and the garden lays before me. The bushes, shaped like monsters, they all stare at me expectantly. Some of them grin. It's probably just me being jumpy, though. I try to ignore it and charge forward, head down.
No, head down means death. Watch them. I clench my fists as if punching my fears would destroy them. Oh if only it were so simple. As I walk, I see them all, staring, but not just bushes. People, too. People in old clothing...without faces. My heart races and then I step onto the bridge. The dreaded bridge.
Horned snakes wait patiently, staring at the entrance to the yard and the road beyond it. I look around. The faceless people have vanished, the bushes have returned to their original poses, and I feel like an idiot.
I am an idiot. I take another step. The boards beneath my feet creak and the snake eyes flare up in that same colour the dead bitch's did. They're staring at me...hungry. Run. Run, you stupid idiot! I do as I tell myself and run across the bridge. A horrible whining sound goes off in my head, I have to stop. No! I can't stop, have to run, run or die.
I...can't see anything, it's all clouded by...faces. Dead, screaming faces. I'm crawling, I can feel the pebbles beneath my hands. Crawl faster! Hissing, hissing, screams and whining, I can't take this! The gate. I grab hold of it and force it open, lunging onto the other side, and laying on my back.
It all stops. The screaming, the whining, the faces...the dark voice laughs in my head again. Shut up! I hate it. I hate it so much. I let my head fall back and stare at the road. The bus pulls up into my upside down view. I don't care enough about how much of an idiot I look like. Nevertheless, I roll over and get up, dusting myself off in the process.
Hannah, our resident Ardri'Shakiri, is waiting in the front seat. This time when I sit with her, she doesn't sigh, she actually acknowledges me. A tiny wave. Really tiny. Barely noticeable. I half-ass smile back, sit down, and rest my head against the thingy in front of our seat.
There's a slight jabbing in my shoulder. It's been going on for quite some time and is a bit annoying. I can't focus on my violin – wait. I don't play violin. My eyes open again and I jump back from the thingy. Hannah laughs a bit.
"You fell asleep right after you got on the bus," she tells me.
"Did I?" You know, that actually makes a lot of sense. My mouth feels...wet. I've been drooling. How lady-like. I wipe my mouth on my sleeve. Even more lady-like.
"Well we're at school," she says, pointing out the window. I'll be damned, we are. Dozed right off, didn't I? I've never had the slightest desire to ever play the violin, why would that – a question better left for another time. I get up from my seat like everyone else and we all get off the bus. "You have a bad night last night?" Hannah asks me as we walk towards the school doors.
"You could say that," I tell her. "How are you?"
"I'm fine..." she eyes me strangely. "You don't look so good."
I strike a pose. "Oh, why thank you."
"You just look a bit pale. Like you've seen a ghost." Hah! "...You know, again."
"Oh, you have no idea," I tell her. "Come on." Just as I say that, David appears before me. I'd jump, but I think I'm all out of those today.
"Hi, Alex," he says. Fuck him.
"Yeah, hi." I push past him, all angry like.
"Can I talk to you for a second?" he asks persistently. Like hell. But I turn around anyways.
"What?" I ask.
"Hannah, we can meet up at lunch, right?" I ask my new friend the shape shifter. She nods and walks off. "Okay, what?"
"How did you find out?" he asks. Find out about what? Oh, I see.
"Not so crazy now, am I?" I ask spitefully.
"Just answer the question," he demands.
"I've been stalking you for the past ten years," I lie.
"Listen, you don't get to demand answers out of me, okay? You were an ass yesterday and I have full rights to slap you in the face and walk away right now," I tell him. Feels good, too.
"Well then why don't you?" Ah, my Achilles's Heel.
"...Um..." No good response comes to mind, "Shut up. So obviously I was right about you."
He sighs heavily and comes dangerously close to rolling his eyes. "Yes, I do have...talents," he admits.
"Then why the fuck did you make me feel like a total idiotic ass yesterday?" I'm almost yelling. I need to keep that in check. Can't afford the attention.
He sighs again. "Okay, I'm sorry. It's just...it hasn't been easy." Easy?! Oh boy, do I have a thing or two to tell him about easy. I'm very tempted to, but...too soon. Keep it to yourself.
"How's that?" I ask.
"It all has to do with why I moved here. I don't really want to get into it," he says. I sigh. "Now can you tell me how you found out?"
"It's just like I said; I can read memories," I tell him. He looks at me in a disbelieving sort of way. I sigh again. "I don't know how it works. Seems to work better with blood than skin, but still. When my hand brushed against yours, I saw you doing some crazy shit."
"It's magic," he says.
"No, what I was doing, in the memory. It was magic." Thank you, like I didn't already guess that.
"I know that," I tell him. He's hiding more from me though. Something...darker. I can see it in his eyes. I...I can feel it. I grab his hand. The world falls away from me and...and I'm in a room. An apartment, if T.V has taught me anything. A dead body is on the floor in front of me...scorched and burnt, unrecognizable. Panic and horrible sorrow well up inside me. I turn around, the room darkens suddenly, like the entire day went by. A man bursts through the door, short grey hair and silver eyes. He grabs my shoulders, he says something but I...I can't hear it. He hugs me and leads me out of the apartment and...
And I'm back, back in front of David, his hand still in mine. I look at him, tears in my eyes. Emotional transfer, Vulcan mind link. Pain in the ass. Even so, the sorrow and misery from that...that memory, they linger.
He doesn't say anything, but the look on his face tells me he knows what I saw. It felt like a distant memory, from long ago.
"...Who was it?" I ask.
He takes his hand back slowly while he stares at the ground. "I..." he hesitates, "I can't get into it." There's a dark air around us, something he clearly can't feel. I can, though. "I'm sorry for making you feel like an idiot yesterday, but that stuff, I buried it a long time ago, I guess I just wasn't expecting it to come up again."
I don't want to slap him anymore. I want to hug him, hold him close. But I won't. "I'm sorry, I didn't know." Duh.
"How could you?" Mind reading? "Now, are we good?" he asks. It's been less than a week and I had a first fight with a new friend. I am making real social progress. I nod. Now that that is out of the way, I have other things to think about. A lot of other things. Or was it just one thing? I'll file them all under the "undead" folder in my brain. That's right. I have folders. Most of them are scattered on the floor or flying around the room, but I have them.
Everyone goes into school ahead of me. I stay behind, outside, to take in some silent moments mixed with fresh air and sunlight. I need it. The sun isn't too high in the sky, which makes sense. It's morning. The morning air is crisp, cool and fresh. It feels good flowing into my lungs. Then my peace is invaded.
"Alex Walker," says a distinct voice with an English accent. I look to my left to find none other than Nathaniel Corin. My so-called guidance counsellor. After one day I've established that he sucks at it. Also that he's a bad guy. His amber yellow eyes do that digging thing they always do. "Shouldn't you be heading inside?"
Shouldn't you be burning to a crisp from the sunlight? I've also theorized that he's a vampire. As if waiting for it, the sun begins to darken. I'd say a cloud blotted it out, but that most certainly is not a cloud. Black tendrils or...something stretch over that part of the sky. What in fucking hell? The lovely Mr. Corin smiles. No teeth, though. He wouldn't want to show me his fangs.
"Well, I have work to do. We both do," he says, eyeing me creepily as he walks by. "Be sure to check in before you leave after school." Well why would he want that?
"You already know why," the dark voice says in my head. "You were told. You were warned. Now you will only be able to watch as your life begins to fall apart around you." Like it hasn't already? I've been through more than most teenagers. "This has barely begun, my child," the voice snaps. I don't like that...I don't like that at all. The black tendrils leave the sun, and I'm alone in front of the school again.