I Refuse To Fall, When They Still Exist

Rio has been hunting for angels since she can remember; travelling from state to state since she was born. When a shadowey succubus nearly takes away her breath, she has to fight to survive. And fight off her desires for the mysterious emo kid that helped her out.

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19. Chapter 17

School started the day after that incident, and Belial persuaded me to go the day after that. I'd given in to him only after a heated arguement, and because I was coming dangerously close to insanity. I was marked by an angel, and it was getting to me. Pretty soon, I'd start having conversations with household items.

It wasn't that bad, the first two lessons. I'd put my head on the desk and gotten some sleep without any bother. In history class though, Retchford had other ideas.

"Are you with us?" She asked, as I lifted my head off the desk. Her delicately outlined eyes shone with delight, even though she had a poker face. Must have gotten more Botox injections done, and the paralysis hadn't quite gone away yet. I was fully awake now, and pissed off. That was a nice nap ruined.

I'd been unable to sleep at night since my encounter with Charles, or even shut my eyes at night, as the flashbacks start up. Dad pushing open the bloodstained hospital doors in my dream, the tapping of his bone fingers on the back door, the whoosh of flame along a broad, hairy back, blood bubbling up from the half-severed jaw of the pink-streaked angel, Belial's terrified expression as I held a gun to his head, the vengeful snarl on the healed face of the same pink-streaked angel, and the fangs sliding out of Charles' jaw, to touch gently on his bottom lip. I couldn't control which one would show up next, nor did I care which; they were all equally disturbing.

"No, I don't think I am with you, Retchford. In truth, I doubt anyone else is, as you clearly don't like anyone over the age of 21. But then I realised something, you're scared of us."

Belial shifted next to me, and I heard him whisper, "Oh shit, not again." I was thinking the same thing, but I couldn't be asked to listen to myself. That little voice was telling me I shouldn't be saying what I was thinking, even if it was true. Adults probably listen to that voice a lot, which kept them out of trouble.

"You thought that teaching is gonna be so easy. A whole class of hopeless little brats for you to bully, as nobody cares about us. After all, we're kids. We can be picked up, shoved here, shoved there, and then thrown away. We've just gotta take it though, as we're not properly alive. As you probably see it, life begins when you can legally buy a beer. We're not technically people, as you think." I got to my feet, knocking my desk over and barking my hip.

"Sit down!" She ordered. 2 pink spots had appeared on her cheeks, like she'd been stamped with one of those things they put on your hand at clubs, to show you paid the door fee. She might have thought I'd listen to her, as the weight of authority got me. That's what hard teachers count on to shut you up before you can think of protesting. I might have, if I gave a shit, but I wasn't done yet.

"More every year, and not one of us will complain. Either because of authority, or because nobody will believe us. After all, who would you believe? A well-respected, hard-working member of society, or the trash they have to deal with, who are too immature to even spell the word "complaint". After all, you're the one with power."

She opened her mouth, probably to tell me to sit down, shut up, or get out. It wasn't happening though.

"I don't think so. I think every bit of hatred towards you by a student you bullied, is going to build up inside you then swell up tremendously, AND I HOPE IT MAKES YOU BURST!"

I was barely aware I'd been shouting, until I had to draw breath again. The colour drained from Retchford's face, as her mouth started swelling up. it was dramatically bigger now, and looked comical on her face. Her cheeks started swelling to join those oversized lips, and her forehead. Her blue blouse strained over her chest, before the buttons pinged off like bullets, exposing the Victoria's Secret bra underneath. She was swelling up. Well, all her fake stuff was. The botox, the implants, and she must have had collagen injected into her cheeks and lips. They showed no sign of stopping, and bloody splits appeared in her lips.

Someone screamed behind me, as the teacher wasn't only swelling up, but the whiteboard was shaking and rattling on the wall. I turned to it, and it ripped cleanly in half, in a neat-edged zig-zag. I grabbed my heavy bag, heavy because of what was in it, and dashed out the door, as the bell sounded in the middle of lessons. That felt so good.

I stomped down the icy streets, before there was the thudding of footsteps and a hand caught in my collar, yanking me back. They pushed me upright again after I nearly landed on my ass, but I was overcorrected, and face-planted the mounds of snowplough ick piled on the side of the road.

Belial cursed me a blue streak, ending with "- the fuck did you do that for?", as I staggered to my feet. Snow had crusted itself on my coat, and  tangled in my hair.

"Fuck OFF, I'm dead right now. I'm 100% fucking dead! There's a fucking angel trying to kill me, and I bet it'll go for you next!" I shoved him hard in the chest with both hands, as he caught them both.

"I thought a succubus was after you." He replied.

"It was, but I...well it's dead now. An angel's still after me though." I replied, snatching my hands away.

"Rio, you're not telling me everything. I know you're lying. That stain on the laminite is the size and shape of a body. Your Dad...I'm not stupid, Rio. There's something more beneath the surface that you're hiding."

Again with that angel thing coming through. How the fuck did he know I wasn't telling him about that Charles guy, or the encounter with the pink-streaked angel.

"Forget it. Forget all of this, as I shouldn't have dragged you into it. Just go back to getting through school, and imagine I never existed."

"If you don't wanna talk about it, that's fine, but in case you haven't noticed, I haven't got a home to go back to. We're in the same boat now. I didn't have to get involved at all; I could have left you in the mall, but I didn't. I told you first one's free, but this ain't the first one."

We were walking in step now, our shadows nearly identical. Again with the same deafeningly wide silence between us, broken only by Belial lighting up a coffin nail. "Why is it that my first girlfriend has to be absolutely batshit crazy?"

Girlfriend! Where the fuck did that come from? Yeah he's a mate, but that's it. "I don't-" I don't date. I was about to say it, but I just couldn't be fucked any more. After all, once the real world has gotten its teeth into you, it's downright impossible to go back to the "normality" that society wants. I could beat him up, but why bother?

"One last question. Was that you? Did you do that to Retchford?" He asked, before a violent coughing fit. "This doesn't even taste right anymore."

"Then why do you do it?"

"Habit. The nicotine withdrawl is far worse. Nice try at changing the subject, by the way."

Fuck! "I guess it was me. It looked like a curse, but I've never used or broken one or anything like that. I didn't know I could."

"You cursed her, okaay. It looked like she was having an allergic reaction, or a seizure after someone accused her of bullying us."

"I accused her of bullying? I don't remember saying that. Do you know if she'll be well...ok? I don't know how strong that curse was."

"I don't...know. I ran out shortly after you did, and all this plasticky stuff was bursting out of her chest by then." He didn't sound too sure, and probably wanted to replace "I don't know" with "I don't think so", but decided against it.

"We should get out of here. They've called the paramedics for Retchford, and it won't be wise to be here when they show up. Questions will be asked, and I'll be in shit." I said. This time, Belial was grateful for me changing the subject.

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