Purgatory

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?

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7. 7-Raina

I stared at the exact spot that Guardian had disappeared from. There were a few leads? Did that mean suspects? Did that mean...I'd be departing from Purgatory fairly soon? That thought filled me with an emotion that I could not depict. It was not happiness. Nor sadness. It felt more like...disappointment, which  was crazy, considering that not only had I not been there for even a week, not forgetting the fact that bluntly, it was a very depressing place to stay. Even though Kai had unveiled the many silver linings, it still wasn't a particularly great place. 
My heart plunged ever so slightly. Kai. Why was he being all moody again? I thought had recovered from his stage  of anti-social behaviour. Clearly not. Or was there something was bothering him? He had come to me when I was mourning the bitter truth; that I was in Purgatory and everything I did was under a magnifying glass. Even though it didn’t seem like that would be the case for long, I owed Kai for picking me up. We were 'Kaina' after all. I smiled at that , and observed the temple. It was slightly lighter than it was when I woke up. However, it wasn't safe enough to swim back to the main part of Purgatory, so I decided to explore the temple a bit. I glanced at the section where I had completed the first trial. With Kai's help, mind.

I walked over to the doorway, and stepped in. It looked exactly like it had the previous day. There was no real reason why it would change, though. Nevertheless, I walked over to the little perch where Kai had sat, and picked up the book. It was a fairly slim book, and I had assumed its only purpose was for the trial. However, when I flicked through it, the book was filled with what seems to be a story, only the letters were the symbols. I laughed a little. Were people really stuck here so long that they had nothing better to do but translate it? I placed the book back on the perch, and walked out of the chamber. The temple was filled with light, even though there were no windows. The powers of the heavens, I assumed. Seeing as it was light, I decided to venture out of the temple, to see whether Kai was in a better mood. I opened the circular door on the ground, and hopped out, my legs shaking just a little as I saw the darkness below me far too late. I swam frantically, even though I had no idea where I was going. The copper tang burned my throat, only this time it also was making me gag, and I choked on the salty water. 
The overwhelming taste was making my whole body feel nauseous with repulsion. I was shaking, tears brimming in my eyes from the dizziness. Trying to find somewhere to rest, as I had a firm feeling that I was far away from the temple, I dove deeper into the ocean. It seemed to be a bottomless pit. An oblivion. After a while, despite almost collapsing from the sickness that was slowing me down considerably, I found a hard surface to sit down on. I didn't know what it was, but it was sturdy, and to be perfectly honest, that was the only element of it I cared about. If it was remains, or something else foul, so be it.
 My toes skimmed the sand as I perched on the hard surface. This was a stupid idea. I mean, why did I not swim back to the temple the instant I realised that I couldn't cope with the copper taste? It would have been safer. 
 

Coming to think of it, why wasn't Guardian here, shielding me from disappearing like he did last time I was in danger? To be fair, it was not his responsibility, but it felt as if he was my 'Guardian', at least whilst I was in Purgatory. I kicked a rock, dismissing the slightly pathetic thought from my mind. I had to stop being so reliant on people. I didn't need protecting...I kicked the rock again, averting my mind back to the situation at hand.  Where was I supposed to go from here?
'Go back to the temple', said my head. 'There's no use swimming into oblivion if I have no idea which direction to go in'. 
'Carry on,' said my heart. 'Kai is alone, and needs you. And you need him. Loneliness hurts.'

 'Kai's been here on his own for God knows how long. He coped then, I'm sure he can cope now'.

'But Kai...'
This bizarre debate that was going back and forth in my mind carried on for quite a while. Eventually, I decided to carry on with my journey. I was slightly less nauseous, and besides, I'd been swimming for what seemed like forever. Surely I couldn't be that far away now? I got up, and shook myself off. Then, I proceeded to swim. The physical nausea that had previously washed over my body had disappeared. Glad and motivated at this fact, I swam even faster, and harder. The water was the perfect temperature, I noted, the pleasure noticeable now I was feeling better. It was so relaxing... I could just float there, forever. That was a good idea...just stay, bobbing...a cloud was covering my mind, and I was feeling lightheaded. But wouldn't it be lovely, to stay there forever? And ever?  Slowly, surely, I started falling down. Down…

Warm arms clutched my waist, and I felt a strong force lifting me upwards. In a situation where I was in only a small amount of danger, I would have kicked that person hard, wanting to defend myself, now that I was trying to learn to defend myself, the decision I had made but a few minutes ago. But I was dizzy, and unable to control my thoughts nor was I really aware of the fact I was floating to the bottom of the ocean. So I collapsed into my saviour’s arms, and let them tow me to the surface. The copper taste in my mouth disappeared, and the flavour of salt was only minimal. After a few minutes, I felt a cold sharpness hit me as we reached the main area of Purgatory. I felt myself be placed on the sand, feeling its grainy texture graze my skin and scatter into my hair. Then, hands started to pump on my chest, occasionally resting on my neck, presumably to check my pulse.  
I wanted to sit up, speak out, assure them I was fine, whoever was saving me. But I couldn't move. My voice was choked in my throat. I attempted to open my eyes, yet I only sank into a deeper state of dream, or dizziness, or whatever was clouding my thoughts. "Stay with me," a deep male voice muttered, as I started to give into the temptation of darkness. Guardian? It must have been. A small wave of guilt brushed over my body, for thinking such bratty thoughts about the fact he had not come earlier. The pace of his hands slowed down. My mind was pushing through the curtain keeping it from being sane.
 "Focus on me". How could I focus on him? I could only feel his breath occasionally skimming my cheek. I could only feel his warm hands pressing down firmly on my chest. I could only..."Open your eyes". I tried again. This time, nothing was mentally clamping them down. A grey sky was the first thing I saw, it's clouds large and dark, probably taking their aim to hurl down the rain. Then, I saw a pair of piercing eyes frantically scanning my face, and worriedly glancing into my own eyes. It was his eyes. Him. Kai... Kai...? "Kai?" I muttered, looking at him in wonder. 
He grinned at me, his auburn hair glinting as he ducked his head. "You're okay," he murmured. His smile grew broader. "You're okay!" He laughed a little, in relief. 
I sat up, and dusted myself off a little bit. "Yes, I am...Thank you." He stared out to the distance behind me. "I wasn't going to let you drown". He let out a shaky sigh. "I'm so, so, sorry Raina. I shouldn't have let you even get in that situation.". His eyes glistened slightly.
 "It's not your fault. I shouldn't have swum back from the temple..."
"I shouldn't have left you in the first place" he sighed, shaking his head sadly. "I've come to learn how gung-ho you are."
 I smiled weakly at his phrase. "It's fine. Really. You don't need to apologise."
Kai scooped me up, and perched me on a nearby rock, his arms lingering slightly over my body. I shivered at his cool touch, and he pulled away. "I at least owe you the reason why I got so..." He waved his hand around, trying to think of a phrase I assumed. 
"Cheesed off?" I offered, cocking my head towards him. 
He threw his head back and laughed heartily. "Yeah. Cheesed off." He patted my hand cheerfully. "Only you could come up with that, Raina." I giggled, glad that he wasn't upset anymore.  In fact, he seemed far from it now. " Well, the reason I got 'cheesed off' was because basically...I just don't like Guardian, to be perfectly honest with you. I don't like his attitude, I don't like how he thinks he's God flipping Almighty AND I really don't like the way he decided to heal me, only because you were around. I guarantee he would have just left me there if it weren't for you." He took a deep breath. "I don't know what his deal is with you. I mean I appreciate you're special and all..."He awkwardly cleared his throat, and rubbed his cheeks, which were turning a dusty pink. "Special in the fact that...Your murder is ...unsolved," he stammered. 
I smiled at him again. "You know, they think they've found a few leads."
He smiled back at me, his teeth gleaming and his eyes sparkling. "Great!" He picked me up, and spun me around again. This time I didn't mind too much about feeling dizzy. Instead, I just basked in his embrace. Kai placed me on the ground again, and our eyes locked. We simply stared at each other for a few moments. My heart started to beat just a little bit faster as he tucked a strand of my hair behind my ear with his cool fingertips. "We should find some way to celebrate," he murmured, a happy tone in his voice. 
I nodded in response. "What can we do?" I asked, slightly doubtful about the possibilities. 
He pondered for a few seconds. "Have faith, Raina. I'll think of something," he said, drumming his fingers on his thigh. "We could have a party?" he grinned, mischief covering his face entirely. 
I snorted. "A party? A party of two?"
"Why not?" he chortled. "We could make it happen."
I couldn't help but wonder if there was a hidden message in his previous sentence. But I ignored it nevertheless. "Okay...Where do we start?"
"How about I take you to my humble abode?" Kai offered. 
He had a 'home'? Just how long exactly had he been here? "Sure." And with that, he took my hand, and let me back to the cave where we had first met each other.

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