The City of Lost Souls

Arcanum Corvus is an author. He has a book on the New York Times Bestseller list called, Amissus animarum. There's a catch, nobody know's what he looks like. Matter of fact, nobody knows who he is; well there are a few. Arcanum has a past, and he cautiously exposes it through his characters. There's more to Arcanum than meets the eye. So who is the mysterious author, nobody truly knows.


5. Chapter Five


     I snatched my phone off the coffee table, and took a picture of the picture. I sent it to Abby. The caption read, "Micah is a fool. He's truly sorry. He needs his Noodle </3" I hit send. I hated the emojicons that everyone absolutely loved. Even my brother who was 37, couldn't get enough of them. I was the boring old man, who just used the generic keys on my keyboard. I put the phone back, and brought my attention back to the photo album. Abby's graduation picture was in the album. I'd flown back for her graduation. I sat there in the crowd. I looked around to see if anyone else had come for her. I was the only one. Emily was scattered somewhere in the crowd. When they called her name, I stood up whistling as loud as I could. She stopped, and looked at me. The smile that was on her face was priceless. She glowed. She was the last one to receive their diploma. Abigail Zydef. She took it, then walked off the stage. Instead of returning to her classmates, she made her way to me. The principal continued to speak. 
     I smiled, "I'm proud of you Noodle." I leaned down, and rubbed noses with her. 
      "Thanks Arc." She teared up. I carefully brushed the tears away with my thumbs, as I held her face.
      "No crying." She smiled at me, just as the crowd erupted around us. I watched her, as she rested her head against my chest. I gently stroked her back, as she closed her eyes. 
     “This means more to me then you’ll ever know.” she smiled.
        I saw her as so young, and vulnerable at that point. I felt like a brother, possibly even a father. Bloody hell, her own parents didn't show up. I wasn't too shocked by that. Even her foster parents couldn't be bothered. 
        "Arcanum, can we go please?"
        I looked at her, "Go where Noodle?" 
        She didn't move her head to look at me as she spoke, "Boston. I want to go back with you for the summer." I was a bit taken back, but she was eighteen.
        "What about your parents? Foster parents?" 
        She shrugged, "Foster is done. I've graduated. It's either my parents, or well I figure out something else."
        I inhaled deeply. It allowed me to take in the scent of her shampoo, vanilla, and lavender.   "I'm living in a small flat. Well what you call a studio. It's tiny, and no privacy." 
        She pulled away slowly, unhooking her arms from my waist. "It's ok. I just thought I would ask. I need to get my stuff from their house, and bring it to my parents for now." 
        I wrapped an arm around her shoulder, "If you're ok with sharing my place, and no air conditioning; then yes."
        She smiled, "I will be out of your hair come late August."
        I smiled, "I can take the couch, you take the bed ok?" 
        She shook her head, "The couch is perfectly fine. You keep your bed." 
        I laughed, "I'm not arguing over sleeping arrangements love. Now no arguments. We'll figure it out."         She wrapped her arm around my waist, and I held her by her shoulder, as we headed towards my car.

     We pulled up at her foster parents house. On the front lawn was a suit case, and a box of her belongings. The box said, Abby Zy. They couldn't even remember her last name. I saw her face, as she reached for the door handle to climb out, and get her stuff. I climbed out quickly, and went around opening her door. She walked over picking up the box, 
     "Zydef. Not that hard to spell my name.” She looked in the box. An envelope was in there., but she ignored it, and put the box in my trunk. I put her suitcase in then closed it. 
     "Can we swing by my parents. I just need to get the rest of my stuff for school." 
     I nodded, "Of course." 
      She smiled faintly. I walked to the passengers side of the car, and opened her door. She slid in quietly, and just looked at the house. I shut her door, walking around and climbed in the drivers side. My door shutting broke her concentration, "You ready love?" 
      She slowly brought her gaze up to me, and a small nod was all that she responded with. I slid the key in the ignition, and my car came to life.
     "Arcanum?" Her voice was soft. 
     "Yes Hun?"
      She looked at me, "Do you love me?" 
     I turned to look at her dead in the eye. "What makes you ask such a question?" I searched her hazel eyes, as she stared back into my blue eyes. "I do love you Abigail. Nothing will ever change that." 
     She looked at me, a tear slid down her cheek, "You're the first person to tell me they love me." I leaned across the space between us, and pulled her in for a tight embrace. She started to cry, her tears dampening my shirt. I couldn't let her go. How could I be the first person to tell her that. She slowly pulled back, and I let her go. 
     She sniffled, "You're the best friend I could have ever asked for."
      I smiled, and adjusted myself in my seat, and shifted the car into gear, and pulled back onto the road.

     I remember how excited Emily was to hear, that I was letting Abby stay with me. 
     "Arc is there something going on between you two?" 
     I laughed, "Dear god Emily no. She's just a great friend. She's an old soul, like myself." 
     Emily squinted at me, "You better not hurt her. She's gone through enough." 
      I nodded, "Well I'm glad you met her at camp. They left her bloody belongings on the front lawn. They couldn't remember her bloody last name either." I looked at my sister, rubbing the back of my neck, "Emily she asked me if I loved her. She told me I was the first person." I had to stop, because I was becoming infuriated. 
     "First person to what Arcanum?" 
     I closed my eyes, and calmed myself down slightly, "I'm the first person to tell her I love her. How can someone go that long in life not being told." 
     Emily cleared her throat. "Um, hmm. Mom never seemed to be able to say it to us?" I sighed, "That was a different story. She was terrified of saying it." 
     Emily rolled her eyes at me, "Well make sure you take care of her. I also have some clothes to give her. When do you head back to Boston?"
     I checked my watch, "Actually I should be going soon." 
     Emily smiled, "We'll miss you." 
     I looked at her, "We'll?" 
     She looked at me, "You know mom will miss you. She doesn't say it, but you know it." I nodded.

     Abby smiled, taking the bag from my mom, "Thank you Ms. Presley." 
     My mom smiled, "You're quite welcome dear. Don't be a stranger." She hugged Abby, then looked at me. "Please be safe. Call me when you get back." I nodded, and leaned down so she could kiss my cheek. She hooked her arm around my neck, "Curam illius. Curam habe de corde suo. Curam habe de anima. Illa vulneratus. Tu angelum suum arcanum." She let me go, and patted my cheek. 
      I stood back up to my full height, and nodded, "Promitto."
      My mom stood beside my sister, and watched as I walked to the car. Abby was inside. 
     "Your mom was speaking Latin again." 
      I smiled, "Yes, that's how she usually does." 
     Abby looked intrigued by something, "She's from London, but speaks Latin." 
      I nodded, "One day you'll understand." 
      Emily whispered to my mom, "Take care of her. Take care of her heart. Take care of her soul. She's wounded. You're her angel Arcanum." 

My mom nodded, "Yes my dear child. You each have a purpose. One day you'll understand it." 
     I waved, and then we took off. Abby was quiet as the music played softly. "You can put on whatever you'd like. I don't bite."
     She glanced up at me, "It's ok. I'm just thinking." I looked down at her. She'd pulled her knees up to her chest. Her arms were interlocked around her legs. She rested her chin on top of her knees, and stared ahead. 
     "If you're hungry, please let me know ok. We can stop whenever you'd like." 
      She shrugged, "Thanks but I'm ok." I could tell she was scared. 
     "Illa enim vulneratos" I whispered. 
     Abby looked up at me, "Can you teach me Latin?" 
     I smiled, "Of course my dear. But you'll have to forgive me if my accent makes it harder to understand." 
     She smiled, "I like it.” 
I rested my hand in between us, palm up. Slowly she let go of her legs, and placed her hand on top of mine. I gently squeezed it. "et peregrini." 
     She smiled, "et peregini?" 
     I nodded, "It means, The travelers." 
     She raised an eyebrow, "Where are we traveling to?" 
     I smiled, "Well have to wait and see." She let out a small giggle, and visibly relaxed. I was so glad that she had felt so comfortable with me. The radio disc jockey said something, then the next song started. Abby reached over turning it up with her free hand. Tracy Chapman's Fast Car. Emily's soothing voice, along with my deep voice blended perfectly.

You got a fast car
I want a ticket to anywhere
Maybe we make a deal
Maybe together we can get somewhere
Any place is better
Starting from zero got nothing to lose
Maybe we'll make something
Me myself I got nothing to prove

You got a fast car
I got a plan to get us out of here
I been working at the convenience store
Managed to save just a little bit of money
Won't have to drive too far
Just 'cross the border and into the city
You and I can both get jobs
And finally see what it means to be living

See my old man's got a problem
He live with the bottle that's the way it is
He says his body's too old for working
His body's too young to look like his
My mama went off and left him
She wanted more from life than he could give
I said somebody's got to take care of him
So I quit school and that's what I did

You got a fast car
Is it fast enough so we can fly away?
We gotta make a decision
Leave tonight or live and die this way

So remember when we were driving driving in your car
Speed so fast I felt like I was drunk
City lights lay out before us
And your arm felt nice wrapped 'round my shoulder
And I had a feeling that I belonged
I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone

You got a fast car
We go cruising, entertain ourselves
You still ain't got a job
And I work in a market as a checkout girl
I know things will get better
You'll find work and I'll get promoted
We'll move out of the shelter
Buy a bigger house and live in the suburbs

So remember when we were driving driving in your car
Speed so fast I felt like I was drunk
City lights lay out before us
And your arm felt nice wrapped 'round my shoulder
And I had a feeling that I belonged
I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone

You got a fast car
I got a job that pays all our bills
You stay out drinking late at the bar
See more of your friends than you do of your kids
I'd always hoped for better
Thought maybe together you and me find it
I got no plans I ain't going nowhere
So take your fast car and keep on driving

So remember when we were driving driving in your car
Speed so fast I felt like I was drunk
City lights lay out before us
And your arm felt nice wrapped 'round my shoulder
And I had a feeling that I belonged
I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone


You got a fast car
Is it fast enough so you can fly away?
You gotta make a decision
Leave tonight or live and die this way
When the song ended, she closed her eyes, and dozed off as the sun set behind us.



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