Killing the Dead

Eris has always felt weird, out of place, and lost in her life. She is alone, apart from her brother Ciel, because of her eyes (left eye purple, right blue) and her unfriendlyness. But she is deadly smart, cunning, clever and curious. One day her curiosity goes too far...and she is sent into the world where the humans kill the dead...otherwise known as the Dead Hunters!

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4. The Tree's Strange Message

     I stare, dumbstruck, at what has just occurred before my eyes. I must have been dreaming. I must still be in bed. Yeah that's it. I must still be in bed. However I know that's not the case. I think I'm smart enough to tell dreams from reality. And this is reality. And what I just saw in front of me, even if it's hard to believe, was real. But what was it? What was it exactly?

     Is this a bad thing? Maybe. Is it dangerous? Most certainly is, I think when I remember the blood-curdling Noises, and the tree falling down. Though it could be a big trick that Axel played, pay back humiliating him in front of the school. Then I think about the wink he gave me yesterday. Maybe he wants me to encounter this, for whatever reason. And I had to admit, it was intriguing. It was like something out of a storybook. I was frightened, but also curious, about what would happen. So I get up (not without difficulty; my dive out of the smoke bomb made my leg feel bruised and sore. I limped.) and after a moment of hesitation, carry forward toward the glowing trees.

     The glowing trees, which now looked like any other tree from afar, were tall and shallow. Their leaves hung low, blocking out the sunlight, but in a beautiful way. They swayed in the wind, and a leaf fell onto my shoulder. I picked it and examined it. It was unlike any leaf I had ever seen before. It had seven spikes, and the veins were curvy and elegant. I put it in my pocket. Ciel would love this.

     Puffing the hair out of my eye, I take a closer look at the place Axel Maddox had entered, and realize that there was no way he could have entered it. It was literally a wall of trees. Not even a gap could be seen between one tree. This was really odd (though not the weirdest thing today) because trees needed space if they want to grow, and these ones were the size of regular healthy trees. Yet they stuck together like glue. Approaching it, I feel the bark. It was papery and soft and rather fun to touch. It had a lot of different colors, brown, beige, ebony, grey and a faint lavender color of some sort.

     Then, as I was inspecting the strange plants, something caught the sight of the corner of my eye. I whip my head around. It was hard to detect, because the long branches of the trees covered it, but if you looked closely, you could see it. It was a sign, camouflaged in it's green and brown habitat. Brushing the branches out of the way, the sign seemed to have a message, but was covered in dust and sand, so I brushed that off too. The sign read:

Be careful
The next step you take
May be your last

If you truly wish to pass,
Know that you will hunt the dead,
Kill, capture and set them free
There is no turning back

And under the words - I flinched at this - was three overlapping squares, diagonally layered in a chain.

The words didn't make much sense to me. Hunting the dead? Killing the dead? How do you kill someone who is already dead? I understood that the main theme of the wannabe poem was to be careful, but the rest of it was just weird to me. What really intrigued me, though, was the squares. Axel's tattoo. Is this why he fled from me during school? Because he thought I've been here before? Made sense to me that this place was not normal, but what was it? A sacred place? Could it, possibly, be a place where the dead went after their lives were over? No, that was Hell. Or heaven. Or wherever, but not here. What did it mean, what did it have to do with the dead?

I run my fingers on the squares. At first, the grey symbol felt rough and bumpy, but then they become smooth and soft. Then - big surprise - something peculiar happens. The squares begin to glow, taking the color of green, then red, then blue, then purple then pink, and repeating. A strong wind blows, revealing my Heterochromian eyes (look it up) blowing my hair behind me, almost pulling it. To my horror, I start hearing the Noises again, and they grow louder and louder every time I wish it to do the opposite.

     Then the blinding light surrounds me, consumes me, and then, hugging myself, I hear a scream.

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