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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We both stared at the inside of the cave, in complete and utter shock. It was not a cave anymore; it was an opening with a pile of rubble inside. The cliffs had collapsed, and seawater from various water sources were dripping softly, clearly collapsed from the weight of the subsided cliffs. The crabs were no more, clearly. Nothing seemed to have survived, or if it had, it was sure to be piled under a heavy pile of rock, far too heavy for Kai to lift, let alone myself. My heart plunged. Something was wrong. Something was terribly wrong. Kai walked further inside, to inspect the damage, his hand straying from mine in the process. He stood still after taking a few steps. His shoulders were shaking ever so slightly. I lagged behind, not sure of what he was feeling. Not sure of what to do, or say. Kai traced his fingertips on the edge of the closest pile of rock, almost testing to see whether it was just an illusion. It wasn't. He covered his face with his hands, and let out a muffled sob. Now knowing he was distraught, not angry like I'd feared, I walked over to him, and touched his arm softly. 
"It's all gone," he sighed, his voice laced with a strain only obtainable from trying not to cry. 
"What's all gone?" I whispered. "Your home?"
He nodded. "It's not just my home though. It's all my possessions, beautiful things I have found here. Now, I have nothing at all. I have nothing to define me, even just a little bit."
I knew how that felt like. To feel like you’re worthless, now that everything you had was taken off you. Even though Kai took his own life, it still must have been scary. Knowing that you can't have anything back. And Kai had got a few possessions to make up for that fact, and now they were most likely crushed. That feeling now he was back to feeling empty, however, however...I had no idea about. "Kai, you don't have nothing." I hesitated before saying my next sentence.  "You have me," I said softly. I ducked behind my long brown hair. 
He embraced me tightly, to my surprise. I gently wrapped my arms around him, as he collapsed onto me, tears clearly brimming in his eyes. We stayed, entwined together, for a few minutes, whilst he sobbed into my shoulder. Eventually he lifted his head, and looked at me intently. "I'm so glad you're here, Raina," he murmured, twisting a strand of my hair with his fingers. "It's hard, you know?" Kai let out a shaky laugh. "Of course you know. We are going through this together." He frowned. "Even though, by the sounds of things, you aren't going to be here much longer." 
I pulled him a little bit closer to me. "I don't think I want to leave, not just yet. And besides, haven't you completed most of the trials?"
He gestured towards the rubble. "Yes, but just look at that. That was no accident, Raina. It's not the first time something like that has happened."
My eyes widened. "You don't possibly think..."
"I know it."  He cut me off, him tensing ever so slightly in my arms. "Someone up there, whether that be The Elders, or the big man himself, wants me ridden of." He started shaking again. 
"Why?" I gasped.
His pale blue eyes gazed sadly into mine. "Because I'm too much of a handful. Committed suicide, yet was virtually a saint in life other than that. Despite the fact I've practically proven myself, it seems they'd prefer to kill me that have me grace the gates of heaven." His eyes darkened. "I'm a mixture between Heaven and Hell."  He laughed shortly. "I'm the face of Purgatory."
"Kai, there must be something we can do, surely?"
He shook his head mournfully. "I made the stupid decision to top myself. I'm now paying the price, to the full, and maybe a little bit extra."
I rested my head on top of his. "A whole load extra. I wish I could make it all go away, or at least make it marginally better."
Kai grinned, that mischievous look dancing in his eyes. "Well..."
"Well?" I smiled, playing along.
He grazed his fingers along the side of the face. "I can think of something." He sighed. "It's something I've been wanting to do for a while now."
I knew exactly what was going through his head. "And what is that?" I whispered, stringing him along. 
His fingertips rested on my lips. "You know what. I know you do."  He leaned in closer, his warm breath tickling my skin. Kai sat up slowly, and leaned even closer towards me. For a moment, we simply looked at each other, if a little uncertain about breaking our friendship. A shiver crept down my spine at his intense gaze. However, the cave suddenly started filling with a brilliant light the second Kai pulled my waist close against his body. Guardian’s light. Kai and I sprang apart, and smiled at each other weakly. It was a little soon, I suppose, anyway. One day, we both knew that we would. But not today, it seemed. Not now that Guardian was standing in front of us, his arms crossed and his jaw extremely tense. He was not happy. At all. But then, when was Guardian ever truly happy?

Immediately, Guardian grabbed my wrist, and pulled me into the light. "What the hell are you doing?" I said angrily at him. 
His grip on me tightened. "Taking you to The Elders."
I stayed silent. I couldn't really counteract that statement. I looked apologetically at Kai. He was sitting stiff and awkward, almost in shock as to what just happened. What we'd just said and done. It was slightly mad, considering we hardly knew each other, and there was the fact that we were constantly switching between hot and cold. No. HE was the one switching between hot and cold. I just had to deal with his two different personalities. The light blinded me, and swallowed me, and I was travelling upwards with Guardian. I glared at him, though I reckoned he couldn't see me do this, seeing as he was wearing a veil. "I can see you," he muttered, a hard edge to his voice. 
He'd practically read my thoughts. "How does that work?" I wondered out loud. 
Suddenly, Guardians mouth lost its tension. His whole body also relaxed. A contented look was now on his face. I blinked, wondering how why had happened. Guardian cleared his throat.  "I don't know, actually. I think the material is made so I can see the world, but the world can't see me."
"What material is it?" I asked. I couldn't really believe we were having a civil conversation about the material of his veil. 
He cocked his head, pondering. "I'm not too sure about that either. I suppose you could ask Alexander when we get to The Elders' chamber." 
"Alexander?" I questioned.
"The person who you mainly talked to when you first met them." He let out a husky laugh. "You don't know any of their names, actually, do you?"
I shook my head, in a prompt for him to tell me them.
He held out his gloved hand, and ticked the names off one by one on his fingers. "Well, you know who Alexander is. Then there's Edward. He's the broad one. Very brash, and can be very aggressive. Not my favourite guy." He laughed a little. "Let's see, where was I? Ah yes. Then there's Harold. He's the skinniest one, and he has black hair and a Cockney accent." Guardian paused for a moment." I'm not entirely sure why he's on the council. I think it's because of his wit."  He looked at his hand " So that's one, two, three...Oh, yes! There's Chance, the wisest one. And then there's Brian, who'll you know because he'll be the first to answer any question." Guardian glanced upwards. "We are nearly at The Elders' Chamber now."  He straightened his posture, and let go of my wrist, folding his arms into his usual aggressive body language. 
"Why are you doing that?" I sighed.
Guardian turned slightly towards me. "Doing what?" he gruffly answered, his normal voice also coming back. 
I waved my hand at him. "Why do you put all that on? That..." I searched for the right word. "That act?"
"I got my job for being like this. I'm not going to lose it by..."
I interrupted him. "By being you? By being actually you?"
Guardian nodded, almost bashfully. "Yes, well..." He sighed in almost relief as we reached a large brown door. "We are here now." And with that, he opened the door, gesturing his hand for me to go in. We both stepped inside the chamber. I felt the eyes of four Elders giving me a withering look, even though I could not see them. I suppose I deserved it a bit. I mean, it wasn't my fault my death was so mysterious, however I must have been causing them more trouble than I was worth. Alexander was not giving me this look, however. He was merely shuffling some papers. A few of them caught my eye as they had the crest of my school on the top left corner of them. What did my school have to do with my death? I didn't remember being at school when I was...stabbed. But then again, I didn't really remember much from my death. Guardian had left my side to gather two chairs, and he had placed himself on one. The spare one Alexander vaguely waved towards. "Take a seat," he sighed wearily. "There is much to discuss."

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