An Angel RIses

"After almost 400 years of slumbering, the ancient and mysterious Angel of Retribution has once again awakened in the body of a mortal, but so has the entity it was created to destroy."

An Angel Rises is the first story in the (planned) chronicles of Selena Wayland who has always had trouble fitting in, but soon finds out that her life might be more interesting than she had originally wanted it to be.

Note: The story is written in 2010 and is suppose to take place in that time period.

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2. Burned at the Stake (pt. 2)

 

Matt’s expression changed from confident to worry in a second, “What do you mean, Sel?”

I wrapped my arms around his neck, and he saw what I was doing, “She isn’t here.”

“Then you won’t mind” I said and looked teasingly at him.

“No, but I’m wondering if you will mind” he said, moving his hands to my back and down to my waist. I raised an eyebrow in response and then he understood. He gently took my wrists and led them down to my sides, “You are stoned young lady.” Now he was the one with the teasing smile.

My mouth automatically turned into a frown, but then the cell in my hand buzzed and the teasing smile returned to its rightful place on my face.

“What is she doing? And then there’s a smile that winks at the end” I read to Matt. “So she is here after all.”

Matt gestured for me to give him back his phone, “Please?”

“You want me to translate this?”

“You know I’d rather not you do that” he said and took back his phone, without me resisting.

“Okay, but she’s definitely interested” I said while turning around and starting to walk.

I could hear Matt quickly picking up his backpack and running up to me. “Wha- Why would you...” he said in a flustered voice. I shot him a telling glance and he got his voice under control. “How can you tell?”

“You first.”

“What do you mean?” he asked confused.

I turned my head towards his, “Bus or walk?”

He let out a small laughter. “Walk.”

I nodded in a way that said ‘of course we are walking. Again.’

“Now it’s your turn” Matt was now determined to know what I knew.

“Ooh look: There she is!”

He looked in the direction where I was pointing; Merissa was only a little shorter than him, with a beautiful round face, framed by her brown hair which was beaded a couple of places. She wasn’t wearing anything too challenging, but she could easily pull it off. No wonder he liked her.

Matt tried to appear casual, as if he wasn’t walking with a girlfriend but a friend. I on the other hand wasn’t done grilling him, so I waved frantically at her. She held her notebook in front of her chest like she was trying to shield herself, in this case; from any public acknowledgement (she just wasn’t that type of girl), even from a couple of her friend that were standing right next to her and they hadn’t – probably to Merissa’s relief – noticed me and Matt.

After I had stopped waving, and she had looked at her friends to make sure they weren’t focusing on us, she waved one delicate hand at us. She was blushing, and so was Matt.

I got my cell from my pocket and found her number and started to write. “Who are you texting?” Matt asked – luckily he couldn’t see my screen due to the sunlight, so I lied.

“Sis” I said.

“Which one?”

“The non-biological one.” The ‘other’ Sis was the other girl member of the band, she played the drums. Really her name was Rebecca Dawson, but I called her Sis because I could confide in her (I could tell Matt most things, but there are just things that you can’t tell a boy so he’ll understand) and she’d been more of a sister for me since I came to NYC than Annie had been.

While I lied to Matt, my fingers flew over the buttons on my phone. When I was done, I looked over the text: ‘Dont worry, hes into u, im just yanking his chain xD’ and satisfied with it, I pushed send.

“So?” Matt said.

“What?”

“How can you tell?”

I looked confused, “Tell what?”

“That... you know” he nodded towards Merissa.

“Oh, that” I nodded.

Matt stared expectantly at me for a few seconds. I looked at him. Now he got frustrated, “Spill it Sel” he said, trying to fake intimidation.

I grinned and caved; “When you text Merissa, does she always put a smiley at the end?”

He nodded, “Yes.. What are you getting at?”

“A smiley that winks isn’t appropriate when asking that kind of question, so she used it because her cell lacks a smiley that can convey the right emotion.”

“And what emotion is that if I may ask?”

I mimicked Merissa’s voice the best I could: “I am jealous, yet it is too early to be jealous about anything since we aren’t even dating. I know; I’ll just put in a winkey, that way I seem cool and supportive of what he does without revealing my true intentions.”

“And what are her true intentions?” Matt asked in a slightly shocked tone.

“World domination” I said calmly. I saw Matt shaking his head. “Alright, but the rest of it was true” I assured him, and a second later I got it confirmed: Merissa’s reply to my text.

It read: ‘Thanks Selena, I really like him too, but don’t tell him I said that :o’.

As we walked away from the school, I found my headphones in my shoulder bag, connected it to my phone and made Scarlett Pomers sing to me.

Matt started talking, he looked at me like he was expecting an answer from me, so I nodded, and he continued on whatever subject he was talking about now.

While we walked, I noticed how in-sync Matt was with what Scarlett was singing. Maybe I was just imagining it, but either way, it looked like it: “You want me tied up, bound forever in love. Your plans for me are made. Gotta life together set in stone, but until you change, I’m leavin’ you alone!”

It went like that for the entire song, and when he looked like he was waiting, I just nodded or said ‘yea’ or ‘sure’.

After Valentine was over, there were ten seconds where I could hear what he was talking about; something about architecture. But then it switched from Scarlett to Paramore, and Haley Williams started singing the lyrics for Crushcrushcrush, and this time they were nowhere near perfect synchronization, so I started singing the lyrics instead.

First it was just half-mumbling that only made sense in my own head: “I got a lot to say to you, yea I got a lot to say. I noticed your eyes are always glued to me, keeping them here, and it makes no sense at all..”

Matt started looking at me, and I started singing the chorus so he could guess which song I was singing: “They taped over your mouth, scribbled out the truth with their lies, you little spies. They taped over your mouth, scribbled out the truth with their lies you little spies,” I shook my head to the rhythm and waited for the rest of the chorus to begin. “Crush... Crush...” I let my headphones glide down around my neck, “Crush, crush crush!”

“Two, three, four!” Matt joined in.

“Nothing compares to a quiet evening alone, just the one-two of us, who’s counting on.”

I stopped and Matt quickly sang the next line: “That never happens.”

“I guess I’m dreaming again” I continued, and we both sang the last line of the chorus: “Let’s be more than... This!”

We both sang the rest of the song and we both laughed when we were finished.

When the song stopped, I turned my head and saw one of those neat little cafes where you could get freshly made sandwiches to go.

I licked my lips and walked into the cafe, luckily the line was short.

“Of course your hungry..” Matt sighed.

“What’s that suppose to mean?” I asked to keep the conversation going – I already knew the answer.

“Normally, you eat like a teenage boy..”

“Not always!” I interrupted.

“Anyway; it gets worse when you’re like this” Matt finished.

“Like what?” I asked, but I knew what he had meant the second I had asked, “Aah, like this:”

Matt nodded, “Exactly.”

“I’m gonna get the one with bacon, tomatoes, roast beef, salad and dressing...” I said mostly to myself. “You?”

“Huh? Oh, I’m not hungry” Matt said with a careless tone.

I looked at him with disappointment. “Matt, you know how important nourishment is. Besides, you can’t have any of mine, so you gotto decide if you eat now or if you wait till we get to Brooklyn.” The line moved up and it was our turn.

“What would it... Oh hey Selena, the usual?” In my current state I’d forgotten that we walk past this place every time we were going to Matt’s and that I buy a sandwich here almost every time.

I pressed my face up against the glass counter so I could get a look at my meal. I could smell it from here, fresh from the kitchen. “I want that one!” I enthusiastically burst while pointing towards the sandwich.

The girl behind the counter giggled, “So, yes, the usual” she said and took the sandwich from up behind the counter.

“Guess so” I said still smiling.

“That’ll be 5,99” she said, so I dug through my bag, found my wallet and gave her six bucks.

“Oh what the hell, I’ll have the same.” Matt said.

“I knew you couldn’t resist” I said, quoting him, before taking a bite of my sandwich.

“Come again!” she said as we walked out.

“We will!” Matt answered.

I set my phone to play music again, and we ate and walked in partial silence.

As usual, Matt stopped when we reached the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge.

I had continued walking for a bit, but quickly realized he wasn’t following. “Really, Matt? The Brooklyn Bridge, again?”

“Yea, why not?” he asked.

I swallowed a bite of my sandwich and said “Uh, I don’t know. Maybe because we stop here every single time?”

He smiled. “It’s a testament to how advance the modern human is.”

“It’s not that modern, Matt. What is it, a hundred years old?”

“A hundred and two” he corrected me. I guess I should expect him stopping here by now. His greatest wish was to become an architect and create a building on the New York skyline. It was ambitious, but dreams are allowed to be.

I leaned against the railing and ate some more of my meal. While we stood there, I finished the sandwich. I crumbled up the paper it had been wrapped in and threw it into the East River.

Matt looked disappointed at me. “Don’t judge me” I simply told him. “Are we done here?”

“Just about.”

I turned around to look at the city. God I loved New York. Virginia had been nice, but the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial couldn’t compete with the opportunities in the Big Apple. New York City was in a whole different league.

“Wanna go?”

My thoughts were interrupted by Matt. “Ooh, yea.”

I started to listen to my music again but decreased the volume so I could hear what Matt was talking about.

When we reached Matt’s place, his parents were both at work. Nice people; His dad was an NYPD detective and his mom was a teacher at one of the nearby schools.

“So what do you wanna do?” I asked.

“I...” he put down his backpack, “Want a rematch.”

I stared intensely into his eyes. “Halo 3?”

“Hell yes” he happily replied.

“Well well sir, power up the Xbox” I said with a comical version of a British accent.

“And where are you going?” he said while walking towards his room.

“The kitchen.”

“You can NOT still be hungry Sel. You just ate an entire sandwich!”

I walked into his room. “I know you are trying to formulate words, but all I hear is: Bla, bla bla, bla bla bla. Bla.” Before I walked back towards the kitchen, I caught a look of him shaking his head at me. “You annoy me when you try talking sense into me, Matt!” I yelled from the kitchen while starting to make some sandwiches.

“I hate you too, Sel!”

“What do you want on your sandwich?”

“Nothing, I just ate!”

“Tuna it is...” I said to myself. He would unconsciously reach for the plate when I’d massacred him a couple of times.

After I’d made about ten sandwiches, I took the plate and went to Matt’s room. “So, you ready to be beaten?” Matt asked cocky as hell. Just for that, I’d make sure to get a few headshots in.

Immediately after putting down the plate on a trunk at the end of his bed, Matt threw a wireless joystick at me and said “Heads up!”

Matt’s room wasn’t big, but not small either. When you entered, the entire right wall were closets, at the right wall, there was a window and a desk which contained Matt’s laptop and various other trinkets and some pencils and markers. In the middle of the room, up against the back wall, was his bed and opposite the bed was bookcase which had various movies, books, games and of course his television and his Xbox 360. I’d always admired how neatly Matt kept his room, especially his bookcase; we had almost as many books – though his were all non-fiction while mine mostly contained fiction – though I had more movies and he had more games, and yet all of his were in alphabetical order. When I had finished reading a book or watched a movie, it usually ended up on a table or on the floor, which eventually lead to giant piles of movies and/or books in my room. He was a perfectionist, and that didn’t really go with my nature.

Matt was seated in a computer chair, so I sat down on the only other piece of furniture that you could sit on; the bed.

“So, how did you and Merissa get to know each other?” I asked, genuinely interested.

“Na-ah, your psychological warfare aint gonna work on me this time ‘343EvilSpark’” Matt said.

I threw myself down onto the bed; I was always more comfortable when I was lying down. “Okay, have it your way ‘Architect95’” I said to him. “Sudden death?”

He looked at me, trying to be serious, “Definitely.”

After only a few minutes of gameplay, most of Matt’s team was dead and he was on the run. “Come-on, humor me; how did you get to know Merissa?”

“You really wanna know?”

“Of course,” I chose my words carefully, “If a person I care about meets someone new I wanna make sure they don’t get corrupted.”

“Well, thanks, that’s very considerate of you.”

“Actually I was referring to Merissa; I wanna make sure your not a bad seed.” He turned towards me and I winked, simultaneously blowing his head off with a sniper rifle.

“Headshot!”

“Damn it” Matt sighed.

“No one hides from me and my mad sniper skills, I tell you; NO ONE!” I yelled out while jumping up and down on Matt’s bed.

“Keep it down will you, Dr. Harper still sleeping at this hour.”

I stopped and considered that. “Bill Harper?”

“Are there any other Harpers in this building?”

“I don’t know Matt, are there?”

He sighed again, “No, but there’s a family named Harper living across the street.” Matt was the fortunate owner of an eidetic memory, he was like a camera. Made it very easy for him to study.

“So, Bill Harper is in his apartment, right down the hall, still sleeping?”

“Yes” Matt said while preparing for another game, but I had other plans.

I started opening his closets until I found what I was looking for; his electric guitar and amplifier.

“What are you doing Sel?” he said, a little worried.

“You’ll see.”

Bill Harper was a 24 year old hot-shot doctor who worked night shifts. The guy had this incredibly arrogant way of walking, of talking and of being that I just couldn’t stand.

I dragged the amplifier out of the apartment, and down the hall towards Bill’s apartment. My little prank wasn’t going to annoy anyone else because everyone else living in the building were at work.

I kicked the guitar to life, turned up the volume.

“Please don’t Sel” Matt pleaded.

I turned around, “Now, why would I do such a thing, Matthew?”

“Because you value our friendship?”

“Are you asking or telling me?”

He had a thoughtful look on his face for a second or so. “I am telling you.”

“Alright” I said, faking defeat. “Although; do you remember that time when you were 11 and Willy in there and just moved into the building?”

“Yes, what’s your point?”

“My point, dear Matthew is; that guy bullied you all the way through puberty!” I remember cause you told me all about me.”

“I’m still waiting for that point Sel.”

I looked at him with disbelief, “What? You think he has changed? The only reason that he isn’t doing that anymore is because he’s too tired because he has to work night shifts!”

He shook his head as a gesture for me to explain further.

“Do I really have to spell it out for you?” I looked at him, apparently I did. “Wouldn’t you like to get that smug son of a bitch back?” Matt just stood leaned up against the wall. “Don’t you want to give him Hell?” I asked.

He started smiling, “You wanna give him Hell?”

I nodded.

“Let me get my guitar.”

I bit myself in the lip while waiting for Matt to return. His acoustic wasn’t going to make as much noise as the electric, but it would still add some.

When he returned, he played a few accords to see if it was tuned; it was.

“You ready?” He nodded in response. “One, two, three, four.”

We had played this song before, so we both knew how we did it best: Matt would sing the verse while I would take the chorus.

“I wake up every evening, with a big smile on my face, and it never feels out of place!” he sang as we played.

“And your still probably working, at a nine to five pace, I wonder how bad that tastes!”

“When you see my face, I hope it gives you hell, hope it gives you hell! When you walk my way, I hope it gives you hell, gives you hell!”

When we had played half of the second verse, Bill came out of his door, only in his boxers, and something was clearly going on in that region.

Me and Matt started to laugh.

“Okay kids, scram!” he nearly yelled at us.

“Well, well Dr. Harper, I had no idea you were this hung, especially in the nether region.”

Matt laughed while Bill tried to cover his crotch.

“Well, he is clearly angry at us Matt, so angry that he could yell, but he doesn’t. He knows that there aren’t any other people in the building right now, so he’s not yelling because there’s someone in the apartment he doesn’t wanna upset.”

Matt picked up the speech where I left it, “Yea, so you have a lady in there Willy?”

“No” Bill said, but he started to blush.

“Is it a guy then?” I teased.

“No” he said this time, but with disgust in his voice.

“So it is a girl?” Matt asked.

“Fine, yes it is a girl. Which is exactly why the two of you should make like hockey players and get the puck out of here” he said with a flustered voice.

“Fine” I said.

“Good” Bill said, clearly relieved.

“20 bucks.”

Bill looked confused at my request. “Wha- what?”

“We want 20 bucks to get out of your hair, right Matt?”

Matt nodded, still grin on his face.

“Fine!” This time he didn’t bother being quiet.

“What’s going on Bill?” a female voice called out from somewhere in the apartment.

“Nothing, just wait for me” he answered and then quickly grabbed his wallet from the counter. “Here you go.”

I took the money, “Where’s the rest?”

“The rest?” he said annoyed.

“It was 20, each.”

He mumbled something while finding another 20, just as his female companion came to the door, wrapped in the covers, and automatically went to stand behind Bill when she saw us.

“Here” he said and gave the other 20 to Matt.

“What’s going on Bill?” the girl asked as if we weren’t standing there.

“Your boyfriend just paid us to have sex with you, have a nice day” I said with a smile, and started dragging the amp back to Matt’s apartment.

“Don’t come back!” Bill yelled and slammed the door at us.

“See; that was fun and profitable” I told Matt.

“Not to mention morally wrong” he said.

“So?” I asked. “Did you mention something about another round of Halo before?”

An hour later, I was sufficiently sober to go home.

Band practice had been cancelled since Toby (our base player) had to babysit and Sis was having dinner with her parents to show them that she wasn’t always a ‘disobedient, boys-clothes-wearing little brat’ (her parents words, not mine). They could be really strict; for the first thirteen years of her life she had gone to bible camp every summer, until the year she turned fourteen where they wouldn’t take her back because she had called one of the other girls a bitch the year before. And when she was to start high school, they seriously considered sending her to a boarding school.

I left Matt’s before his parents came home, and started to walk back to Manhattan.

Ten minutes after I’d left Matt’s apartment, trouble found me.

The first time I’d gone home from Brooklyn, it was almost the same thing that happened; this girl, a couple of years older than me I guessed, was walking towards me. She was probably some wannabe-bikers girlfriend I’d thought; she was wearing a pair of leather pants, a tight tank top and heavy makeup. Turned out that the biker wasn’t a wannabe and she had her own girl gang. Anyway; the first time I saw her, she bumped into me intentionally, to test me I guess. It was right after we had moved to New York, and I was mad about leaving Virginia, so I didn’t think twice before opening my mouth.

“Excuse you!”

As I turned and started walking again, she turned towards me, “What did you say?”

I really wasn’t in the mood for any shit, so I just shut off all logic – completely neglecting the fact that she had to be one head taller than me and looked like she could handle herself in a fight. “Are you deaf or something, bitch?”

“I know you did NOT just say that girl” she angrily replied.

“And what if I did?”

“Then I think daddy’s little princess deserves to have some sense beaten into her before I send her back to whatever part of the Upper East Side she came from, especially when she walks in MY neighborhood, trying to be all goth and tough and shit.”

Something about the mentioning of my dad – even though she didn’t even know him – made me snap, so I punched her in the nose. Hitting someone was a lot harder than it looked like in the movies; turned out that it hurt on my frail hand as well. But the breaking noise and the blood running from her nose convinced me that I’d done some real damage and that made my heart pound like it hadn’t ever done before, and gave me a feeling of invincibility.

“Aah! You broke my fucking nose you little bitch!”

The much larger girls fury and outstretched hands with fingernails that looked more like talons, snapped me out of my blood rush. Luckily my blitz attack had surprised her, and the other strikes I made were instinct; I stepped down hard on her one foot and then I kicked her on the shinbone so she couldn’t follow me, and then I ran.

She yelled something after me, but my heart was pounding so hard in my chest and in my ears that I didn’t hear what it was, but I could guess.

The next time I went to Brooklyn, I couldn’t help but watch my every step like some paranoid little dog, convinced someone could and would jump out every moment.

I never made it to Matt’s that day, cause when I heard that familiar voice yell “There she is, get her!” and saw the same girl who’s nose I’d broken – standing in the centre of eight or nine other girls just like her, I just ran like hell back towards the bridge. Luckily I was faster than they were, and I made it over the bridge where they seemed to lose interest.

That was the first time I bumped into the girl I later learned was named Bonnie.

Every time it had come to fight or flight with her since then, I’d chosen flight.

This time, when I saw her, I was once again walking towards the bridge when I saw her and four of her girls turn a corner towards me. She had seen me.

For a minute or something, it was like we were cowboys in a Mexican standoff. Then she yelled for her girls to get me.

I quickly scanned the area for an immediate escape and seeing none, I ran back the way I had come.

“You aint gonna get away this time!” Stupid girl was all I could think; wasting her breath on yelling when she would need that when she got a side stitch.

After having sprinted for a hundred yards, I turned into an alley. It wasn’t a dead end, but when I saw that the fences between the buildings were only six feet or so, I jumped it into what turned out to be a playground/garden. Hopefully, Bonnie would think I’d run towards the end of the alley.

I held my breath, but was mostly worried whether or not they would hear my racing heart.

I was lucky today; I heard all four sets of feet continuing down the alley.

Four? Weren’t there five with Bonnie?

A second later she herself jumped the fence.

“I told you that you weren’t gonna get away this time” she said with an evil grin on her face. To my horror, she drew a switchblade. I would’ve screamed if my tongue hadn’t tied itself up.

Like the first time I met her, I acted on instinct: I rolled to the side to avoid her direct attack towards me. As I got to my feet, I bumped into her, hoping she would fall down, and without checking, I ran towards the other side of the garden.

When I passed her, I felt a sharp pain in my back, but I kept running. When I reached the end, I heard her cuss, had she tripped or something?

Either way, I didn’t have time to look; I just kept running and jumped the fence once I reached it.

I kept running, not looking, not hearing and not thinking. I just kept running till I reached the bridge again and was halfway over it.

Once over the bridge, I reached over my back to feel how bad it was. It was wet, and when I looked at my hand, there was blood.

I refused to panic. Instead I started thinking: The New York Downtown Hospital was what? Half a mile from here? Less? At least I knew the way, so I started walking.

I didn’t know why, but I definitely didn’t want my mother to know about this, so when I entered the Emergency Room, I quickly located the security cameras and was careful not to turn my face towards any of them.

The ER was for once not so busy (in a NY hospital, can you believe it?), so there was immediately a nurse that came to me. The second that she came, I felt safe, and then immediately weak.

“Oh my God, doctor Miles! We need help here!” the nurse turned to me. “Where are you bleeding from sweetheart?”

How did she know I was bleeding? Then I looked down and discovered that I’d dragged a small but noticeable trail of blood after me. “My back” I answered.

A redheaded woman came walking, her nametag said Dr. Miles. “What’s going on?”

“She says she’s bleeding from her back” the nurse immediately answered.

Dr. Miles went behind me and looked down my tank top. I could hear her sigh, “Alright, let’s get her over to a bed. Hey, can you talk?”

“Yes, of course I can talk” I answered a little annoyed while Miles lead me over to one of the beds.

“Okay, what’s your name sweetheart?”

“Haley. Haley Williams” I lied.

“Okay Haley, I’m gonna need to take that bag off and then the top” she said and started to take my satchel off.

I pushed her hand away and looked into her eyes, “I’m not that weak.” Then I started to do what she said.

“Okay then.” Miles went away for twenty seconds, and when she returned she had a tray with different steel instruments.

When I had put down my bag and removed my top, my bra fell off almost by itself. “Guess that’s ruined huh?”

“Yea, sorry. You can lie down on your stomach, please.”

I lied down on the bed, and felt Miles’ hands on my back. “How bad is it doc? Am I gonna live?”

She laughed even though it wasn’t funny, “I think so, Haley. Actually, it looks good all things considered.”

I turned my head towards her. “All things considered?”

“The knife could easily have cut deeper. By the looks of this, I can clean the wound, give you a bandage and you can be on your way. But I’d still like to keep you here overnight for observation. Where’s your parents?”

I suppressed a sigh when she mentioned the overnight stay and my parents. “They’re in Washington.” I fancied myself a pretty good liar, and from what I could sense, this doctor believed it.

“Can you sit up for me?”

“Can you pull the curtain so that that guy on pain killers doesn’t see my privates?” Typical, even in a situation like this I couldn’t resist mouthing off.

The doctor smiled and pulled the curtain in front so we had a little privacy. Then she bandaged most of my torso.

“Now you can lie down again and relax. I’m gonna go get you a gown and then we’ll get you a room.” She smiled at me, and I nodded.

I waited a minute before I got down from the table and grabbed my top. I pulled it on, and then my satchel, and then before anyone could notice or stop me, I walked out. If I was lucky, Dr. Miles wasn’t one of those really passionate doctors who had to save every patient they came into contact with.

When I was out of the ER, I was pretty sure I hadn’t revealed my face on any of the cameras, but I still kept the quick pace with which I’d walked out of there.

After one or two blocks, I realized that I was actually shaking. I reached into my pocket and found my cigarettes and my Zippo lighter – a souvenir from a vacation in LA – and lit one of them. I could feel my nerves calming almost immediately.

I smoked the rest of it, and then I started to walk again.

The sun was hanging low, and I’d like to be home before it became dark, so I picked up the pace, and I reached the penthouse just before darkness fell upon the city of New York.

The weak feeling I had back at the hospital was gone.

When I walked past one of the windows, I took a couple of minutes to look at my reflection. There wasn’t much of a difference; my top was slashed open on the back, and you could see some of the bandage. What I was most worried about was my jeans: The backside of one of my legs had a very noticeable line of clotted blood running from my waist to my foot.

After a couple more minutes of thought, I decided that I was going to go in there, rush to my room, pretend to take a shower while washing the blood off my jeans and underwear and wash the non-bandaged part of my back and then hop into some new clothes.

But as it turned out, none of the planning had been necessary; when I entered there was a note on the kitchen counter that explained that my mom was at a late meeting and she’d left money for me and Annie so we could get a pizza or what we were in the mood for.

“Annie?” I called out. No answer. Looked like it was my lucky day; besides from the chasing and backstabbing anyway.

My hands had begun to shake again, so I went to the fridge and got a candy bar, just to get some sugar into my system.

After having consumed the candy bar I ate another. Then I went to my room and dumped my bag, undressed and carried my clothes into the bathroom.

It was surprisingly easy to wash the blood off of my jeans, but I threw them into the hamper anyway. The slashed part of my top was something that could easily be repaired or overlooked.

After having thrown the clothes into the hamper, I looked at myself in the mirror. I wondered how bad my wound was going to be and if there was going to be a scar.

As I stood and wondered, curiosity got the better of me; so I turned my back to the mirror and twisted my head, then I started to unwrap the bandage.

At first it looked horrible, but that was just because of the clotted blood. At closer examination, I realized that it was going to go away in a week or two. I could definitely take a much needed shower.

I turned on the hot water, and stepped in. After the water hit the thin wound, a jolt went through me and I made sure to keep the water from that part of my back.

The hot shower quickly released tension in my muscles that I didn’t even knew I’d had.

After five minutes, I started to get sleepy, I sat down so I wouldn’t fall if I was to get too tired, and slowly the hot water made me drift...

 

Kendra.

 

We should do the ritual as soon as possible, which was now.

“Are you ready?” Alistair said while having one hand on my shoulder.

I tried to swallow, but was unable to, so I just nodded.

Alistair walked towards the pentagram where he was chained. “We need to get this done as fast as possible lads, so let’s get a move on.

While Alistair and the others got to work on the preparations, I cast a quick incantation and my spellbook appeared out of thin air, and while levitating, it opened itself and flipped from page to page until the one I needed revealed itself.

On the page, was a drawing, showing how the banishing ritual was to be done, along with the incantations needed for it; each of the participants had to be marked with the cross, for protection. The drawing showed what Alastair and the others were doing to the Vampire Lord; they were nailing him to the floor with nails, a nail through the hands, the feet and once the prayer had been said, I would have to put one in the heart.

A wooden stake to the heart would instantly turn a vampire’s flesh to dust and banish them to hell, but Pyroxar was different. The only thing a wooden stake would do to him was destroy his body, but then his spirit would drift into the shadow realm, and from there he could take control of any vampire in this dimension. The nails used for the ritual had to be made out of silver, which would ankh him to this dimensional plane until his spirit was sent back to where it came from.

I walked towards my hooded brothers and sisters, and as I reached them, the first one kneeled before me.

I conjured up a goblet filled to the tip with holy water, dipped my fingers in the cold water and drew the cross on his forehead. “From what we are about to witness, you shall be protected. So it was written, and so shall it be.” Then bend over and kissed his forehead. The next one kneeled as the previous stood up, and I repeated the prayer. After having done it to all of the participants, four of them bend down and withdrew a hammer and a silver nail from their robes. Then they all said the same phrase in perfect synchronization, “Light lucere per argentum caro maledicti,” they hit the nails with the hammers and they pierced the skin, “Light lucere per argentum caro maledicti,” they hit the nails again and it went through him entirely, “Light lucere per argentum caro maledicti!” as they struck the nails the last time, they dug their way into the marble floor, making sure Pyroxar was unable to move during the entire ritual.

I went to my knees besides the Vampire Lord with the goblet in my hands. I dipped my fingers in the cold water and started drawing the cross on his chest. He opened his cold black eyes the second my fingers touched his skin and the holy water started to burn. I turned my head towards his bewildered face; his ferocity scared me, but I was determined not to let it interfere with the rest of the ritual.

“From what we are about to witness, you shall not be protected. So it was written, and so shall it be.” I got to my feet and he knew what was about to happen. I could see that he bit down on his own teeth, resolute in his decision not to show us fear or pain.

I emptied the rest of the goblet onto his body, and even though he had looked so determined a second earlier, he couldn’t help but release a scream of agony.

“Brothers and Sisters, we exist because he does. It is because of his kind that we are pariahs amongst our peers, and we will not yield until every one of them is but a distant memory. The deepest depths of hell are reserved for someone like him. We shall send the Beast back to hell. Mittamus ad Bestias inferno.”

“Mittamus ad Bestias inferno” the others repeated and started to chant.

“Mittamus ad Bestias inferno,” Alastair stepped forth from the ranks.

“Mittamus ad Bestias inferno,” he withdrew a silver nail from his robe and handed it to me.

“Mittamus ad Bestias inferno,” I dropped back on my knees, and joined the others in the chant.

“Mittamus ad Bestias inferno,” I raised the nail high above my head.

“Mittamus ad Bestias inferno, mittamus ad Bestias inferno, mittamus ad Bestias inferno!” and the chant stopped. I took a second to brace myself for what was about to happen.

“I’ll be back before you know it, darling” Pyroxar grinned at me, no, not at me but the Angel within me.

“Jeg inte Bestia mittere ad inferos” I said once and thrust the silver nail in his heart.

For a moment, we could literally see his black spirit in the air. It filled the room, almost made us choke in the darkness, and then it evaporated.

We all stood there for a second, but only a second, because then it was over.

There was an explosion and the stone roof above us, came tumbling down on us.

“There they are sire, the witches and warlocks!”

How?

Somehow, the paladins had found us.

I turned around only to see a sea of white-armor clad men rushing towards us.

Alastair was about to head towards him – I could already see his hands burning – but I grabbed his arm. “Hold them at bay until I find the box!” He only nodded.

Panic started to get a firm grip in me, but I ran past the now empty pentagram and to a room that was at the very back of the room. It was a simple wooden door. Once past it, I closed and bolted it to buy me some more time.

The room turned out to be where the Vampire Lord had slept and the box was easy to locate; a blue cube with a strange pattern running around on its surface, right on the nightstand.

I quickly flipped through pages of my spellbook; time was running out, I could already hear the paladins trying to break down the door.

Finally!

I held the blue cube in an outstretched arm, and read aloud from the pages: “Mitto patrem dimittere, as far as I can!” I concentrated hard on a picture of the Ahkasja Fields I had seen long ago, hoping I had enough strength for the cursed thing to reach its destination.

Only had the box begun to burst into flames when I felt a hard and sharp object penetrate my back, and I my eyes turned black just as the box was ate up by the flames. Had I done it? Or was my concentration broken before the spell was finished? Would it be caught in limbo? And was that a better alternative? A place where it would just drift through the void?

“This was the last one. Let’s drag them to the bonfires!”

I felt my body being lifted somewhere, but I didn’t care.

Not a minute later, or maybe it was hours later, I could feel myself being tied to a pole.

I heard someone yell, and hundreds of other voices cheered. Was this how my life was going to end? All the years of protecting these people and I was going to die with them cheering.

I started to cry. I tried to find comfort; maybe Alistair had escaped? No. Not even at death would my mind let me have that unrealistic hope.

Fine, if it was God’s will, then it would be so.

I would be burned at the stake.

The same man as before yelled, and someone stepped closer. The people cheered, and I felt my feet warm up. As the flames ate their way up my body, the people cheered to my pain. I hadn’t realized that I was screaming.

 

Selena.

 

I jumped up, awoken by the extremely hot water. I turned the knobs and the water turned pleasantly cold. I guessed that my story about Kendra was going to have a sad ending, I thought to myself.

Perhaps I should get out of the shower before anyone came home. Had they come home? How long had I been in the shower?

I quickly stepped out and wrapped myself in a towel.

The room and the mirror were all filled with steam, so I opened a window. That helped. I stood in front of the mirror for a while.

When the room had cleared up completely, I walked out, but quickly turned back to the mirror. I had caught something out of the corner of my eye, something on my shoulder. I twisted my neck in order to see what it was: It was black, some kind of pattern. Then I saw the greater design of it: Across my back, two wings were artistically illustrated with thin black lines…

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