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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9. 9

I nodded towards the pieces of papers in Alexander's hand as I took my seat next to Guardian. "What's my school got to do with my death?" I asked. Funny how I was able to refer to my death so casually now. 
Alexander practically puffed up his chest in pride, clearly being the one to have made the link, whatever it was. Just as he opened his mouth to speak, the broad man opposite to me on the table cut in. Edward. I recalled his name from Guardians description. "Alexander believes that the date of your death ties in with the date of a school trip you were invited on. He believes that could be the location of your murder," he said, blunt with the murder part.
Alexander nodded. "Yes."
I leaned forward a little bit, intrigued. The fact didn't ring any bells in my mind, but not much did, to be fair. "Right. So what I am here for?" I felt slightly naive.
"You're here to answer questions." Edward tilted his chin in my direction. "Mind you, I think we need more evidence than a letter. But Alexander knows best, doesn't he?" His words were curt, and harsh.
Alexander sat still for a moment. But then, he got up from his chair and made his way towards the door. He then opened it. "Get out," he stated sharply.
I glanced anxiously at Guardian, if a little bit stunned at Alexander's brutality. Nevertheless, I rose from my chair. "Not you," Alexander sighed. I sat down again, promptly. 
Guardian however did the opposite. "Who am I escorting out?" he boomed, both authority and excitement ringing in his voice.
 Alexander pointed at Edward. "Him."
"Me?!" Edward roared. He slammed his fists on the table. I recoiled at the sudden loud noise. "What the Hell did I do?"
Guardian seized Edwards collar. "Don't say Hell's name in vain again," he hissed. He then cocked his head to Alexander, indicating he wanted an explanation as to why he was turfing Edward out of the Elders' Chamber.
"He is not only taking my authority in this room, but he is also being completely out of order in the fact he is insulting me and patronising Raina. I want him out!" Alexander yelled. I thought the patronising line wasn't exactly true, but this was the Chief Elder, so I didn't dare contradict. Edward shrugged off Guardian, and pushed him aside, sending Guardian flying against the wall. Edward then walked out of the door, grabbing the door knob quickly to shut it dramatically. Alexander darted out of harms way nimbly. For a few moments, the room was completely silent. Then, Alexander walked back to his chair, and slumped onto it. "Where was I?" he said wearily. "Oh, yes. We better get questioning, it'll be getting dark soon. Raina, do you have any recollection of your death, first off?"
I nodded, remembering the 'Brainstorm' I'd had with Kai, for use of a better name. "The murderer had long hair."
Brian's head lifted up. "Long hair? Surely she's a female, then?" His immediate answer indicated who he was
"Men can have long hair too," Chance pointed out. His voice had a strain to it, singling him out as the oldest.
"I don't know any blokes with long hair," Harry retorted, his cockney accent clear as day. 
"Yeah, well..."
Brian, Chance and Harry bickered for a few minutes, purely on the subject of males having long hair. Eventually Alexander held up his hand. "That is enough," he sighed. "We'll simply agree...actually, Raina. Who do you know with long hair?"
"Did know," I corrected sadly. "There were lots of people I knew with long hair."
"Any males?" Chance asked.
 Harry snickered at his question, even though it was fairly valid. "Right, we get it Chance. You'd love to have long, voluminous hair."
Brian also joined in with the jesting. "Long, blonde, beautiful curls." They both collapsed into a heap of giggles. Considering they were supposed to be The Elders, the highest group of authority in the Heavens, as far as I could tell, they were being very immature. Even Guardian was struggling to keep his jaw clenched and firm. It was only Alexander and Chance whom were silent and showing no signs of amusement . And myself, actually. Alexander moved slightly, leaning towards the door. It was a minute gesture, but it was enough to calm them down. "Did you know any males with long hair, though, Raina?" he inquired, repeating Chance's question to emphasise the fact it was important it was answered.
I frowned, thinking. "Not that I can remember," I answered slowly. 
"Lets go back to square one," Chance suggested. "To the subject of the trip."
Harry nodded in agreement. "Aye. Lets do that." Brian also nodded.
"Right." Alexander agreed. "So about the school trip. Do you recall anything about it?"
A fact suddenly came into my brain. "I didn't go," I said, stunned I'd recalled something, somehow.
The remaining Elders leaned forward, as did Guardian. They also seemed surprised. "Why didn't you go?"
I frantically tried to remember something else. I couldn't. I sighed. "I can't remember anything else."
Alexander rested his chin on his hands. "That sets us back anyway. If you didn't go on the trip...thats all my questions made irrelevant." He waved to Guardian. "Take her back," he muttered, exasperated. Guardian and I stood up in unison. 
I had my own question before I went, though. "Will I have to continue with the trials?" I asked, as Guardian opened the door. Alexander contemplated. "We'll see," he eventually said. Although not satisfied with the answer, I walked out of the Elders' Chamber, with Guardian behind me.

"That went well," I stated dryly, as Guardian and I walked side by side down the corridor, back to what looked like the portal we had come from. 
Guardian turned his shoulder slightly towards me. "It got done what needed to be done, whether that outcome became positive or negative," he answered, his voice possessing the authoritative tone that I had started to come to loathe, especially as I knew it was an act.
"Drop it, Guardian," I sighed, shaking my head.
"Drop what?"
"You know what."
Guardian looked behind us, seeming to make sure no one was around to see his real demur. After a few seconds, he relaxed, and threw a lopsided grin at me. "Okay, okay."
"So what do you think of..." I waved my hand towards the chamber. "All of what went on?"
"What do you mean?" Guardian frowned, clearly perplexed by my question. I wasn't particularly clear, to be fair.
"Well, the fact it's back to square one."  My lip trembled a little bit. "Back to square one," I said bitterly. "It's just going to go around in circles, isn't it? They aren't going to find my cause of death. Who know, I might not even have been murdered." 
A gloved hand turned me around. Guardian’s gloved hand. "There's a possibility you didn't see your murder?" he breathed.
"That was a flashback. I also had another flashback whilst I was asleep. It was different, and it wasn't me being killed, yet there's no way of knowing if both of them are just pieces my memory coming back." I leaned against the wall. 
Guardian stood in front of me, if a little uncertain as to what to say. Eventually, he also leaned against the wall, and patted my shoulder. "Possibilities, Raina. Possible possibilities. But let’s stick to the little information we have, and disregard it if there is any evidence that indicates it's not true." 
I half glared at him because of the fact he was slipping into his 'Authoritative Persona.’ 
He half laughed at this. "I'm not being like that, Raina. It's just hanging about with The Elders has rubbed off on me. The language they use is quite..."
"Ye Olde?" I suggested.
"I was going to say formal." Guardian’s mouth upturned slightly. "But Ye Olde works too, I suppose." 
"The Elders? More like just Alexander." I pressed my lips. "The others are like over-excited schoolboys."
Guardian laughed properly at this. "Over excited schoolboys at a private school," he added on. We both chuckled.
"But seriously. They are supposed to be the most eloquent who ever lived, and yet..." I trailed off.
Guardian licked his thin lips. "It's about what's in here." He tapped his head, sending his veil slightly askew. I saw one of his eyes for a second, before he arranged the veil back into its original position. The eye that I saw was of a most unusual colour. It was black. Pure black. No glints of brown, or even blue. Pure black. He clearly saw the wonder in my own eyes. "One day I'll tell you," he said evenly. "Anyway, they were human, once, you know. They still had a life. A sense of humour."
I raised my eyebrows. "They were?" Guardian nodded. "Even Alexander?" He nodded again. "That's a strange thought." 
"Why is it so strange?" he questioned.
"All I can picture them as are with those masks. It's odd thinking they have a face. And that they used to be normal. Well, not normal. They are geniuses. Coming to think of it...Why isn't Einstein an Elder? He was pretty clever."
I imagined Guardian rolling his eyes at this. He certainly weren't smiling at it, anyway. "I think it's partially because it was too cliche for The Lord’s liking, and partially because although he was a genius, The Elders are much smarter. Their intelligence was just undiscovered by the world on Earth." Guardian paused for a moment. "This certainly counts for Harold. You see, he was a normal boy living in his time era. He had no education, though. When he died, The Lord sensed he was intelligent, and let his mind grow by giving him various tasks in Purgatory."
I pounced at the words 'Task' and 'Purgatory'. "HAROLD had to go through the same tasks I'm going through?" I gasped. 
"No. There are different tasks set in Purgatory for different people. His were more to do with his intelligence. Yours are to test..." He cleared his throat. "I can't tell you that, actually. But anyway...What were we talking about again?"
I shrugged my shoulders. "I can't remember." 
"You can't remember much, can you?" Guardian sighed. I shook my head sadly. He then threw his weight off the wall, and cocked his head to indicate I should do the same. "I better drop you back off, I suppose." 
I headed towards the portal. Guardian chuckled, and took my arm. "I click my fingers to take you back, remember?"
I clicked my tongue against the roof of my mouth. "What's the portal for, then?"
"I'm not entirely certain," he simply answered. Guardian reached for one of the pitches on his belt. Then he frowned. "I swear I put it in here..."
"You aren't supposed to swear," I mocked. 
He pointed at me, and pursed his lips. "Not the time, Raina." He sighed, and turned to one of the nearby tables. He logically took out his various powders and potions in rainbow order, until he reached the colour purple. He smiled in relief, and poured the powder that was the deepest purple onto his gloved palm. As I was close to Guardian, I could see him rubbing dust between his fingertips, which in turn created an almost glow. He then snapped his fingers quickly, and we were both swallowed by the light again.

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