Claimed *Completed*

"I'm already living on borrowed time. When it comes to it, it will be my time to go."

500 years ago Cathy should have died, but she didn't. She was saved by the Devil.

"I agreed to something ... Something that cant have been important then, it seemed too far away.
I'd agreed, after five hundred years, to hand myself over to the Devil, to become his."

Now her time's up, but back in the city where it all started, things are far from over. Cathy finds out that there is more to the Devil than she ever thought. A new boy, a best friend and a deadly enemy, things are about to get complicated...

"No one's that good or bad, it's not that simple, nothing's that black and white. It's more grey."

*Hi, this is my first Movella, so I'd love some feedback and constructive critsism! Thanks :)

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23. Monday, 17th January 2012

 

Monday, 17th January 2012

 

 

 

 

  A roar fills my ears. I clamp my hands over them to stop the noise. I can’t think where it might be coming from until I look up and see the rain falling heavily around me; I’m kneeling in a puddle, which is steadily forming a pond. The storms still as violent as ever, but what ever it was that made me deaf to the sound of it has been broken by the flash.

  I look around. At first I’m not entirely sure what else has changed, I’m still disorientated; the bridge looks the same, the Devil’s still there, the Angel, Katrina... oh no. Katrina.

  She’s lying on the ground where she’d been standing a minute ago. She’s not moving. There’s no blood, but...

  Oh, not her too, please not her as well...

  I crawl over to her, my knees scrape and start to bleed, but I ignore them. Her eyes are closed, and she might have looked peaceful if it were not for the terrified expression on her pale face. She looks like she’s sleeping and just having a bad dream. But I don’t have to check her pulse to know she’s not.

  I breath heavily, oh god, oh no, not again. I look up at the Angel, who’s turned around to face the Devil. She seems to have forgotten about Katrina already. I scowl at her back.

  It’s nothing on the looks the Devil and the Angel are now giving each other. Slowly, and without a word, they start to circle, leaving me next to Katrina, as bad as I feel, I really don’t want to be left with the dead body. Even if it is all her fault in the first place. If she hadn’t pushed Jess, then she wouldn’t be dead.

  No. I can’t blame her for her own death.

  “So...”

  “So,”

  “You know who’s going to win this fight, don’t you?” The Angel says in a strangely high voice compared to the Devil’s deep one. Although I suppose they are opposites; the Devil and the Angel, Heaven and Hell and all that. Natural enemies.

  “Me?” suggests the Devil.

  “Huh, in your dreams.” They sound like two bickering kids – which might have been funny, if they weren’t arguing over me.

  Just to prove me point, the Devil growls, “She’s mine.”

  “Not if I can help it.”

  All the time the light around them both brightens even more. A strange humming grows steadily in the background, even over the noise of the storm.

  I can’t help thinking that my fate might and up to the same as Katrina’s and Jess’; well, that is what I told the Devil I wanted.

  I’m stranded between running or stopping this all now. Running I can do, but that’s the cowards way out, and one thing I’ve never been is a coward.

  So that leaves stopping all this. I’ll have to do it the only way I can. I stand up, slowly, without alerting the attention of the two figures in front to me, they’re so absorbed in staring each other down that they don’t see me. The humming in the air intensifies. I take a few steps forward – not entirely sure what I’m doing. Still no one notices me, even with my feet crunching loudly. The noise is almost inaudible over the storm.

  I look down to realise that there’s a large chunk of rock that dislodged itself from the bridge. The road is scattered with similar pieces, although I can’t see more than a couple of feet in any direction. I remember my knife and reach down to grab it, however useless against the Angel and the Devil it might be. But it’s gone, along with most of my dress. I don’t contemplate it for long.

  I pick my way through the wreckage until I’m in the middle of the Devil and the Angel. Still, they look right over the top of my head.

  Then I’m on the ground again, clutching my head. The humming reaches a new level. The high pitched noise drills itself into my head. Light is pulsing behind my close eyes. I force myself to look up. The light around the Angel is growing, like someone blowing a bubble of light around her, but the Devil is the opposite; it’s a black bubble instead of white. They’re growing and growing like they’re reaching out to me.

  No. I try to push them away, but they’re closing in on me; black-white-black-white.

  Cathy. At first the voice doesn’t register, “Cathy!” No, there’s definitely a voice, it’s not just a figment of my imagination. It’s struggling to reach me through the humming. “Cathy!”

  Who is it? Chrissie, it’s Chrissie. Chrissie’s here, she’s okay. But, if she’s here, she won’t be okay if she stays here too long,

  Another voice; “Cathy?” Jack? A lurch in my chest, what’s Jack doing here? I left him; I walked out on him...

  But the Angel said that he wasn’t telling them anything, so... he’s still my Jack.

  This thought gives me the strength I need to pull my head up off the ground. I still crouch on the ground, but the humming no longer flattens me and the light doesn’t make me squeeze my eyes shut.

  I peak through one eye. The Devil and Angel still glare at each other with intense looks of concentration. The Angel’s perfect brow furrowed. I can see the bubbles of light a few feet either side of me, but they’ve stopped advancing on me; they’re not retreating, but they’re not closing in on me anymore either. The wind whips my hair around my face and into my mouth and I have to spit out the taste of shampoo in my mouth. Slowly, so as not to get blown over by the force of the wind, I stand. My limbs feel heavy.

  Both the Angel and the Devil’s eyes fly straight to me: yellow and red.  For a moment no one moves, then BANG. It’s like a gun going off; white and black shooting at me from both sides and I just manage to stay upright. I can hear a scream, but it’s muffled by the wind.

  I clutch my head. It hurts, it hurts so badly I want to cry out, but I suppress it. The pain is nothing like I’ve ever felt before. A raw, child like part of my brain whimpers. The black and white force their way into my head; it’s as if they’re hamming it open with a blunt chisel. They clash, fighting for control over my head. There the black and white meet, rather than turning grey, it sends off sparks that send fresh stabs of pain tearing through me.

  “Cathy – no, Cathy!”

  The lights in my head flicker slightly.

  Jack. Jack – I need to think about Jack.

  The lights are definitely dimmer. I fight back for control over my own head.

  You’re mine. Catherine, you can’t fight it. You’re mine.

 The Devil’s voice echo’s inside my head, but I force it back out. No. No, I won’t be owned. I am my own person, nobody else’s but mine.

  With my renewed strength, I push with all the force I can muster against the light. Red seeps into the black and white, like blood soaking a cloth; it absorbs it and spreads, taking over. I urge it forward. Jack, I concentrate on him, he seems to be my trigger; the thing that pushes me forwards and gives me my strength.

  My eyes snap open. The red isn’t just in my head, it’s around me too; a bubble of bright red light. Then it fully registers that it’s me. The red – that’s my light, the light Jess told me about, except now I’m using it, I’ve pushed it outside of myself.

  The Devil looks that the new light in disbelief, too shocked to defend himself, but the Angel looks as though she might combust with the effort it’s taking her to hold back the red. Me.

  But I push back. I keep going and I don’t stop. The red pounding in my head start to ache, like I’ve got a headache, but it’s worse. I have to squeeze my eyes shut. I can’t stop. I can’t.  I have to keep going.

  But the pain grows and grows. It hurts even more than it did before, more than I thought possible. But I can’t stop. The red gets brighter and brighter and the pain increases, until finally – nothing.

  Everything goes black before I hit the ground.

 

*

 

  Jack?

  Through the haze of pain, a voice reaches me, “Cathy? Cathy, wake up!” What’s Jack doing here? No, a hazy memory floats back to me... he was here before I’d blacked out too. “Cathy, give me some sign you can hear me, please! Come on!”

  Another voice joins the first, “Cathy, wake up, or so help me I will kill you myself.” I smile, or at least, I try to, but I feel detached form my body.

  “Cathy, please, wake up.” He sounds so desperate – why? I’m still here and he’s not a spy – he’s my Jack again. Everything’s okay.

  But I can feel myself coming back to my body, the fog being pushed out of my brain. Part of me wants to hang on to the fog – it’s warm and comfortable – the real world is too hard, and painful. My whole body aches, especially my head, but it’s not nearly as painful as it was.

  All the details slowly seep back to me as my mind becomes clearer, but I really wish it wouldn’t.

  “Cathy, please!” His voice softens, and I vaguely feel lips against my ear, warm breath tickling my hair, “Come on Cathy, wake up. I love you.”

  I’m instantly back in my body and my eyes flash open – he loves me... He said it before, but now I know he’s not lying, he actually loves me...

  I stare up at Jack, into those blue-green eyes, the sweep of brown hair and worry etched into his face, but as soon as he sees my eyes open, relief so real floods over his face. Wow, he really is amazing – how did I ever leave him? I study him; deep shadows tug at his eyes and I can see a faint line of stubble across his chin.

  That was me, I realise, I did that to him. I open my mouth to say something, my voice is raspy and my throat is burning, but still I croak out, “I’m sorry Jack, I’m so sorry.”

  He looks pained, “Cathy-” but suddenly another face replaces Jack’s.

  “Cathy, I swear to god, if you do that to me again, I will personally push you off this bridge.” Chrissie reaches down and holds out a hand to help me up. I take it and stand unsteadily, rubbing my head.

  I scowl at Chrissie. “Way to ruin the moment.”

  She smiles, “Good to have to back.” Jack slides a hand around my waist and I lean into him, just like I did that day Katrina pushed me, but so much has changed. I know I can trust Jack now. I’m not letting him go again. I cling tighter to him, feeling his heat travel into me.

  Looking down at myself I can see the dress that survived so long in tatters around me. Blackened and burnt in some places, ripped in others. Actually, I’ve hardly got anything left on. The Victorian gown looks more like a mini dress now.

  Jack catches my glance down and smiles, “I like it.”

  I look up to smile at him, but I catch a sight of the bridge behind him. “Oh my god.” I look around for the first time. The whole bridge looks like a building site; there’s a huge hole in the road and shattered brick and bits of tarmac scattered all over the bridge. It looks like a mad bulldozer has come through and smashed everything in sight. I think even the bridge itself is leaning at a slight angle. I can just make out the still form of Katrina on the other side of the bridge. I quickly look away.  

  There’s no sign of the Devil and the Angel. The storm has completely disappeared, even the waves lap softly against the bottom of the bridge. It’s as if the storm was never here. In the sudden quiet, I can hear the far off sound of sirens.

  Then I realise that the sirens are not so far off. In fact, they’re coming this way.

  Time to go.

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