When Raina falls to a death clouded with mystery and horror, one which not even The Elders can figure out, she is placed into Purgatory. As the mystery unveils, as well as the secrets of the place between Heaven and Hell, she learns that at every corner a sea of possibilities awaits. But will she be able to realise the correct ones, or will she stay in Purgatory for eternity?


2. 2

Kai glanced at the horizon. "I see you've got your survival skills sharpened to a T." He gestured towards the fire.
 "Yeah, well, what was I supposed to do, starve?" I answered back. 
Kai suddenly started laughing again. I scowled at him. "What's so funny?"
He tried to splutter out an answer, but instead carried on laughing. "No, it's just that..." He took a deep breath. "Were you actually hungry?"
 I shook my head. "Well no, but I was going to get hungry eventually."
He started drumming his fingers again. "What's the worst thing that could happen if you don't eat?"
"You die...Oh. Right. We're already dead." I bit my lip. "Yeah, I knew that."
Kai reached out his hand, and ruffled my hair. "Of course you did."
I patted my hair frantically. I hate having my hair touched. "I'm not five, Kai!" I scowled
"No, you're not," he said quietly. "You've got the logic of a five year old, though." He smirked.
I narrowed my eyes at Kai. "I have the logic of a five year old? Look, I might not have realised at first that I didn't have to eat, but I made this crossbow. I made this fishing rod. And I...Where are you going?"
Kai was walking away towards the fire I'd lit. "Away from you."
"Chicken!" I shout after him. "Can't even handle one single argument, huh?"
 I heard him chuckling. He perched himself on a large chunk of rock, and turned towards me. "I'll talk with you rationally once you've calmed down," he called. He grabbed a few pebbles and started skimming them across the ocean.
I sighed, and headed to the cave. We had only been talking for five minutes or so, and we were already arguing. Great partnership this was going to be. IF it was going to be a partnership. I started to climb the cliffs, to try and find some sort of haven. Stupid Kai. Stupid, patronising Kai.  As I got closer to the top, the cliffs got more slippery. Just as I'd got to the last slope, my foot skidded on the smooth stone. My hands grabbed onto the first thing they could find, but the rocks they clung onto we're also damp. Slowly, my fingers started to slide off. I lost my grip entirely. I started falling into the oblivion. What would happen to me? I couldn't die. I was already dead. Would I combust? The moment I closed my eyes in fright was the moment I felt firm arms catch me. Kai? I looked up to him, to thank him. But it wasn't Kai. It was Guardian. As if I was scalding hot, he placed me on the ground in an instant. "The gods aren't prepared for you to dissipate just yet," his gruff voice said. 
"Have they made a decision?" I asked, eagerly. The sooner I was away from this dreary beach the better.
"Yes and no," he simply answered. 
I frowned, crossing my arms, partially because of the cold, and partially to show my frustration. "What do you mean?" 
Guardian sighed, and scratched the back of his head. "They wish to tell you themselves." 
I perched myself on one of the lower cliffs. "Okay. Let's hear what they have to say." 
He snorted. "The Elders don't come at someone's whim. Especially at a mortal whose name has not been cleared."
 My eyes widened. "My name hasn't been cleared? Of what, exactly?"
"Suicide," he said, the word bouncing off the cliffs.
 "Suicide?!" I choked. My whole body started shaking. Whether it was from anger or fear, I did not know. "Okay, first off, I did not commit suicide." I started breathing heavy, ragged breaths, suddenly very frightened. I know I didn't commit suicide. I remembered the shadows I saw in the flashback, and my horrible, horrible scream. Even so, I was scared. "Secondly, if I did , what difference would it make?"
Guardian shook his head, cocking his head towards me as if he was giving me a pointed look. "You haven't read The Bible?! I knew you were headed straight for Hell. You're lucky The Elders haven't found your cause of death yet," he barked. "Corinthians 3:16-17. 'Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple'." His mouth pinched into a thin line. "There's your reason. God will send you straight to hell if you're found guilty of taking your life."
 I looked down at my feet, feeling like a student being scolded for not revising. "I'm sorry for not doing my homework," I muttered. 
For a split second, a smile played on Guardians lips. But then he composed himself. "We had better not keep The Elders waiting," he said in a clipped tone. Firmly, he placed his hand on my shoulder, and all I saw was a blinding light before I closed my eyes, as a wash of nausea hit me...

"She's asleep."
"Great, it'll be ages before she comes around, and when she does, she will be too groggy to answer rationally."
"What in heavens made you do that, Guardian?"
"Yes. Explain yourself."
"If I had more training in sorcery, I wouldn't have to."
I sat up, and observed the scene before me. Five people were standing opposite Guardian, in a straight horizontal line. They were all clad in red and gold robes, with porcelain masks concealing their faces. Although their faces were hidden, the tension in the air gave the notion they were not happy.  Guardian had his hand gripping his sword tightly, and his jaw was clenched. It was clear what his intention was. Despite the fact I did not care for him overly, I didn't want him to make a stupid mistake because of a moment of anger. 
 "I'm awake," I called, getting up on my feet. All of them turned to me in unison. 
One of the people walked up to me. They had a golden tailored suit on and a shimmering crimson cloak. Their mask was engraved with various symbols, Christian most likely. His poise and the authority that oozed around him indicated to me he was a male. "So you're the one whose soul is the debate of the Heavens." I nodded, nervously licking my lips. 
"I don't see why," one of The Elders hissed. "Nothing special."  I darted my eyes in the direction of the voice.
 "Not at first glance. But she's certainly something if her death hasn't been recorded," the male in front of me replied curtly. 
Guardian nodded. The second member in line pointed a gloved finger at him. "Nobody wants your opinion, especially after that little spell. Look, she's barely even spoken..."
I coughed, slightly annoyed I was being spoken about in the third person. "If you gave me a chance, I might." The male waved his hand at the other Elders and Guardian. "Hush, all of you," he scowled. "Anyway, Raina, I think it's time to cut to the case. Do you remember anything about your death?" I nodded, the shadow flashback playing back in my mind. I felt cold fingertips press against my temples. The nausea started to hit me again. "Concentrate!" he muttered to me. I pushed my mind through the cloud the sickness was creating in my mind. Promptly, the male let go. "You didn't commit suicide," he announced, his voice full of surprise. He shook his head. "That sets us back to square one," he sighed. 
The last Elder in line stepped forward. "May I propose a suggestion?" his dry voice asked. The male beside me nodded.
 "Whilst we try and solve this mystery, why don't we trial Raina? Track her every move, in order for her to prove her purity." Everyone murmured in agreement. Everyone except me, and for some reason Guardian. "All in favour say aye!" the male shouted.
"Aye!" Four firm voices replied.
"Then it's settled," the male bowed. He turned his head to Guardian. "Take her back to Purgatory."
Guardian’s fists were clenched by his side. "Using what spell?"
"Oh, just use the one you used earlier. We'll commence sorcery lessons tomorrow."
Guardian smiled at this prospect. "Fine." This time he used two hands to cast his enchantment. And this time I was prepared, keeping my mind focused in order not to go to sleep. Eventually we were plunged back into the darkness of the cave. Guardian still had his hands in my shoulders for a few moments. He took a step back, quickly and awkwardly. "I'll be going," he said quietly, and with a click of his fingers, he was gone.

 Once again, I was stood, not knowing what to do with myself. Should I see Kai?  I decided not to, despite the fact I could've done with some comfort from the shock of what had just occurred. I was pretty embarrassed by my childish behaviour towards him, though. Instead, I surveyed the cave, and spotted a rock pool. There was plenty of fossils and creatures to keep me slightly entertained, so I headed over, minding my footsteps so I wouldn't have another accident. The fossils seemed to have been chiselled at already, though the crabs were skittering around frantically, which was probably my fault. "I'm sorry for frightening you," I whispered. I doubt they could understand me, but it was soothing nevertheless. "I'm frightened too. I've lost everything I had and loved in an instant, and all I have now is rocks and you guys. I've even lost my only companion because of my stupid temper." Tears trickled down my face. "Everything I do now is in the hands of The Elders, if they can't find the cause of my death."
 A warm hand rested on my shoulder. It was probably the guard again. "The Elders don't want you to have a breakdown just yet." I smiled weakly, and turn around. To my surprise, Kai is standing in front of me. "Are you crying?" he murmured, sitting down beside me. 
I sniffed. "Maybe."
He gently moved my hair behind my shoulder, and tilted my head toward him. "It's scary, I know. But you'll get through this, Raina. I promise you."
I wiped my eyes on the back of my hand. "I'm sorry for shouting at you," I said, my voice cracking slightly. 
Kai sighed, and stared out into the distance. "I'm sorry for being mean to you. That was out of order on my part." He gently patted my hand. "Kaina?"
I laughed. "Well, okay." We both stayed silent after that, for a very long time.

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