This is the revised version of this story, with all spelling, grammar etc mistakes removed (to the best of my knowledge ^_^;;) and any other issues fixed. No plot changes though, but hopefully I've made my ideas a little clearer. The full story should be re-uploaded soon.
Author: Edana [email protected]
Rating: PG-13 (for violence, attempted rape, non-explicit sexual situations in later chapters, nothing hardcore)
Summary: Eadoin's perception of normal changes when he meets two angels, a demon, and finds out the 'truth' about his roommate.
Disclaimer: All owned by me I'm afraid ^_^
Chapter One – Shattered Rainbow
There's not always a clear-cut beginning to every story, and this tale doesn't begin with 'Once upon a time . . .' Perhaps it began when I was three years old and saw something no one else could see. Or perhaps it started before I was even born, when my aging grandmother muttered unbelievable words that twenty years later turned out to be true.
Personally, I think none of these events actually started the story, but remained a background, or prologue, to what happened. My name is Eadoin. I'm a nineteen-year-old man and I go to the college close to my house so that I can visit my worried mother almost every other day. People say I'm shy, but really I just don't talk to those who strike me as snobby or disturbing, even if they get the wrong impression.
But the strangest thing about me is what I can see.
People take sight for granted. Until I was eight-years-old I never realised that I was seeing anything different to them. People, cars, houses; they all existed to both them and me, but they couldn't see the house at the end of the street that sat strangely in the middle of the new road, casting no shadow. The house that had been torn down years before and no longer existed. They couldn't see it, but I could, and it was as clear as any house until a car or lorry drove through the unreal bricks.
I never realised that no one else could see it until I asked my mother why there was a house in the middle of the road. And then she shook her head, put a hand on my forehead and asked in a motherly tone if I was feeling well. So I never mentioned it again, because no one seemed to want to talk about it, like it was forbidden. And yet the house remained.
When I was three years old, and playing quietly alone in the garden, a little girl approached me. She was probably about my age, or slightly older, and she had a beautiful though bittersweet smile, and her large grey eyes reminded me of my grandmother's. She said nothing, just watched me play, and I felt at ease with her. Like I knew her.
Then, moments later, she smiled warmly and left. I can't remember how, she was just gone, but it didn't seem to faze me because some part of me deep down knew, and always knew. I asked my grandmother who the girl was, but she just smiled that same bittersweet smile, and I never saw her again. But when I was eight I found an old photograph lodged between the wall and the bookcase, a photo of my mother, younger than she looked at the time, holding the little girl I had seen on her lap. She looked happier than I had ever seen her in my short life, happier than I ever saw her, and the thought made me a little sad. My mother cried when I showed her the photo, so I tried to forget what I had seen. Forgetting became a habit for me.
But like I said, this is all just the background to the real story. I had grown up unaware that I had a gift, or a curse, to see the things that no one wanted to believe I saw. I kept everything to myself, to please my mother, and mentioned it to no one. All the figures I had seen draped in black, walking silently through the graveyard, were mine alone to see. All the spirits that walked the earth passed me by and no one else knew their grief.
This was normal for me, and it was just another day the day I walked into the college campus with my bag thrown over my shoulder, hands in my pocket, my messy dark hair blowing in the wind and covering my eyes. I saw the people I knew walking past and laughing, discussing schoolwork or the programmes they had watched on TV the night before, and strangely it all seemed so useless, so pointless, so meaningless. Perhaps it was then, with the strange, sickly tingling inside, that a part of me knew everything was about to change.
I saw Jake sitting on the wall closest to the canteen, his head in his hands, looking miserable. No, destroyed. I frowned and approached him, taking a seat beside the man I barely knew, wanting to comfort him because I knew what it felt like to be alone and hurting. "Hey Jake, what's wrong?" I asked quietly, my voice almost dying in the wind.
He turned and looked at me as if I was an alien, his eyes wide in horror and pain, his mouth open as his eyes focussed on me. Well, they tried to focus, but his pupils seemed so large; my heart began pounding at the thought. "Are you all right, Jake?" I asked, slightly nervous at the horrendous look he was giving me.
"Eadoin?" Another, more familiar voice. I turned and saw my best friend Kit looking at me as if I was sitting in my underwear. Slightly shocked, baffled, but mostly concerned. "Eadoin, what are you doing?" he asked.
I frowned, wondering what he meant. "I'm talking to Jake," I said. "What do you think I'm doing?"
Kit slowly took a seat beside me on the wall, pale blue eyes narrowed in concern and something like sympathy. He placed his hand on my denim-covered knee and squeezed in a way that was supposed to be reassuring, and I knew he was going to say something I didn't want to hear. "Eadoin, Jake died last night. He . . . he took an overdose."
Heart pounding. "Oh don't be -" I turned to show him that I was talking to Jake, that he was alive and well and sitting beside me, but I met only emptiness and cold air. Jake was gone, and he had been gone from our world since last night, when he took his life. I sighed gently in horrific understanding and acceptance of what I was, what I saw, while Kit shook his head. Just another thing my best friend couldn't see.
"You just must be shocked," he muttered, trying to find an explanation. They always tried to find one.
I didn't want to worry him. "Yes," I said. "Shocked."
I saw Jake, or the soul or imprint or image of Jake, whatever it was, several times that day. I had grown used to the feeling of seeing things that other people couldn't, and was able to hide my abnormality, but nothing had ever struck so close to home before. As I was sitting at a table in the canteen I saw Jake standing with his old friends like he did . . . like he used to, everyday. Only now his friends were hushed, and Jake looked at them with his huge pupils and said nothing, but seemed pained. So pained I suddenly found myself unable to eat anything. All I knew was that Jake was sitting like he belonged there, and they couldn't see him, and he was dead.
"Eadoin, what is up with you today?" I turned slightly, trying to keep Jake in view, and saw Kit from the corner of my eye. He was sitting at the end of the table, a hamburger in his hand, looking somewhere between annoyed and worried. I didn't want to worry him, and I didn't want to lose his friendship by ignoring and annoying him, so I smiled weakly.
"I'm just shocked is all," I murmured, dropping my sandwich. I had no appetite anymore.
Kit exhaled and closed his eyes. "You didn't even know Jake that well, and now suddenly you're so shocked you can't even eat? And you look like you've seen a ghost. Come on, please don't keep secrets from me."
He sounded pained. I winced at his words, and at the irony. If only he knew; if only he could understand and not judge me like most people would. I cared for him more than anything, we were best friends of three years, but I couldn't tell him this, I couldn't. I wanted to tell him I was fine, but I knew that Kit would never take that as an answer. At best he would roll his eyes and ignore me for a while. At worst he would stand and leave and ignore me for a few days, because it hurt him, I knew it did. Keeping secrets from Kit was one of the worst betrayals because he cared so much. So instead I shook my head and murmured, "You just wouldn't understand."
"How do you know I wouldn't understand?" he asked, annoyed.
"It's just . . ." I froze, not sure what to say. This was quite a delicate situation, and being the 'shy' person I was, I didn't have a lot of experience with keeping people happy through false words and promises. And I hated people who did. "It's just personal, okay? Do you understand? Just give me some time . . ." I trailed off.
Kit seemed much happier, assuming that my unfinished sentence meant that I would tell him in my own time because it was painful for me, and not that I was keeping secrets from him. I vaguely wondered which was the truth.
It was a Friday, thank God, but while that meant no college classes over the weekend, it also meant a visit to my old home. It wasn't that I despised or even disliked visiting my mother and grandmother, but I did it so often for an independent nineteen year old I felt my freedom slowly slipping away every time I answered the beck and call of my only family. Kit had often tried to persuade me to skip my visits and go out with him, but whenever I did my grandmother would say how upset she was that she didn't see me, in that clueless way of hers. I always felt so guilty when she said that.
It was still early and bright outside, April fading into May. I said goodbye to Kit as the class ended, and he pulled a face because he knew where I was going. I told him I didn't mind and he grinned, winked at me and told me to be a good boy for my family. I had to fight back the blush when he said things like that. It reminded me of . . . that time . . .
But little did I know that this trip would be more interesting than most.
The sunlight poured from the sky, not intense in heat or light, but reassuring. I sighed contently as the golden rays danced across my skin, forgetting about Jake. As I walked past the graveyard where my father rested, I saw a young woman in a black veil and dress walking between the stone monuments. I wondered if the woman was alive, or if the slightly old-fashioned dress belonged to another restless spirit. Either way she didn't even glance at me, and I was glad.
Only minutes later I was at my old home, inside and sitting on the sofa with tea in a delicate flowery cup resting on the coffee table before me. My grandmother informed me that my mother was poorly again. I couldn't understand growing up why my mother was always so quiet and fragile, and more often than not bedridden. But then I learnt that she was plagued by grief more than any illness. Paralysing grief that crippled the soul more than the body: she was simply wasting away.
I suspected it had something to do with the little girl who watched me in the garden, but no one said anything about it. It was strange because in contrast my Nan was as tough as old boots; she just had a tendency to say insane things. "Hello Eadoin dear," she chirped with a smile, joining me on the sofa with her own cup of tea. "My, you look rather shaken."
"Yes, Nan," I murmured. "I just had a couple of shocks today is all." I raised the cup to my mouth, and tried to cover the hiss I made as the tea burnt my tongue. The liquid was practically scalding.
"Yes, well, sometimes spirits are restless," she said.
I nearly choked. "Excuse me?" I cried. She just looked at me with a small smile on her face.
"Oh nothing, don't listen to me," she said in a singsong way. "Anyway, how's that friend of yours?"
"Kit?" I asked, blowing onto the surface of the tea.
She shook her head and looked slightly confused, as if she was really thinking hard, the truth eluding her. "No, not Kit. The new friend you have. The one with the wings."
"Uh . . . Nan," I began, but decided not to continue. I don't know why I was taking her words so seriously. My grandmother was saying strange things like this as she grew older and became more senile. So while she beamed at me, I tried not to take her words seriously. "Yeah, he's fine," I murmured.
"That's nice dear," my Nan said, swallowing half the cup of tea in one go. I wondered how it wasn't burning her mouth and throat. Then again, maybe it was. "But you really should stay away from the others."
"The others?" I asked, then winced. Why was I trying to encourage her?
She suddenly looked serious, as serious as my grandmother could possibly look. "Yes, the others. You shouldn't hang around with people who try to trick you like that. They're not to be trusted."
I sighed, wondering what she was talking about. My Nan had always had a secret smile while I grew up, as if she knew more than I did. But she never said anything about the vision I had, not even when I asked her. So I automatically assumed that everything she revealed now was just a figment of her age-tormented mind.
"I won't Nan," I assured her. "I promise I'll stay away from the others."
She shook her head then placed a small hand on my shoulder. "You're a good boy, Eadoin, and I don't like seeing you mixed up in stuff like this. But then, I suppose it's not your fault really. Just be careful."
I nodded, slightly confused and partially intrigued. Whatever my Nan was thinking, it was quite complex. Strange, nothing she had ever said like this before made the slightest bit of sense, but it seemed that now my grandmother knew what she was talking about.
By the time I left, which wasn't too long after our conversation, it was still light outside. Not bright, but still light. Evening was approaching, the blue of the sky silently giving way to light purples, but I didn't mind. The streets were unnaturally devoid of human noise and activities, but that only allowed nature to intervene. Bird song warmed my heart, and the sound of the breeze cutting through leaves. I sighed gently, realising that I was heading towards the park, and allowed myself to stray from the path. After all, what was waiting for me at home?
So I continued walking as concrete faded into warm and slightly wet grass, as buildings gave way to huge and ancient trees. The park was always a tranquil place and although many students came here in summer to 'study,' at the moment it was practically devoid of all life. And all spirits too. More often than not the park was empty of the things only I could see, and coming here meant a chance for me to pretend that I was normal.
But not this day: no, I was about to see something that would change my whole life.
I continued to walk through the park quietly, listening to the birds singing sweetly before they rested for the night. The park wasn't huge because the town wasn't particularly large, but it was beautiful. Flowers littered the grass like shards of a shattered rainbow, and I found myself unconsciously smiling at something so naturally beautiful.
I hadn't come across a single person as purple skies slowly turned navy. I couldn't see the sun from where I was standing, but I was sure it was setting, and the warmth was slowly fading from the air. I turned to head towards the apartment I shared with Kit, when something stopped me. A noise so quiet I barely heard it, but a noise none the less. It was a human voice, I was sure. And for some reason I wanted to find out who was in the park with me when I thought myself alone. So I closed my eyes and exhaled gently and listened to the sound again, and this time I knew it was the sound of someone singing.
I walked across the grass, paying no attention to the flowers or the sounds of birds or the darkening sky. With every step the song grew louder, more beautiful and more haunting. Unlike any I had ever heard, the voice caused shivers to run down my spine, tears to come to my eyes. It was haunting, natural, and powerful, and it changed everything inside of me. I was drawn to it by some invisible magnetic power.
When I realised I had stopped walking I was standing in a small clearing, and my heart caught in my throat. There was a person sitting before me on the grass, their knees raised, their bare feet on the grass, the blades pressing gently against pale skin. The figure's elbows rested gently on their knees, one hand holding the other wrist.
At first I thought it was a girl, but the more I looked at the slender form, the more masculine I realised it was. The boy was wearing a pair of jeans and an unbuttoned white shirt, black and white beaded cords around his neck, nothing more, bare chest and arms. His head was lowered slightly, long strands of pale platinum hair falling into his face. But I could see his lips moving, and hear the song he was singing. The song that seemed to have no words, just beautiful sounds, and yet a powerful meaning.
In that moment it was hard to think of him as real. He was like a statue of silver and pale marble, a moonlit creature, ancient and painted with shadows. Perhaps my age, or slightly younger, more youthful: a slender build, but so natural and carefree as he rested. And was it my imagination or did he look slightly pained? It was hurtful to see this boy suffering, to hear the pain in his voice.
But then I tore my gaze from his face and saw the boy as a whole, and I gasped in disbelief, adrenaline surging through my body. From his back protruded two great wings, pale as snow, barely there. There were no feathers; it seemed these wings were made from light and light alone, and large enough and strong enough to carry him through the air. They trailed to the floor, the light becoming more blurred as they fell, but brighter as the sun died and gave way to darkness. They seemed to shine, glowing in the pale light, beautiful.
His singing stopped, broke the hold over me, and I finally realised what I was seeing. There was a boy on the grass before me, and he had wings.
A/N: Eadoin is pronounced = A-DOin (the letter 'A' followed by doing without the 'g')