The lake was its usual, beautiful, pristine self. It mirrored the mountains that stood over our little town with such pride and dignity. There was not a ripple in the lake, no disturbance whatsoever, the complete opposite to my mind. It was not like a calm lake, it was like the sea in the eye of a storm. No where was safe, everything was confusing and I didn’t know what to do. I envied the peacefulness of the lake.
I didn’t know what I was expecting to find once I was there, but when I found only the lake and the trees I felt confusion, anger, sadness and most of all fear. This Anabel was no where to be seen. I held the book in my hands, the leather cover becoming damp from the sweat of my palms.
‘shit’ I breathed and turned around to storm off, but there she was. Her hair was a deep purple that curled down to her shoulder blades. She was tall, thin..She was wearing thick, black leggings and a Dark green jacket that covered s black vest, just showing the top of a black mark on her chest.
‘Hey’ she said with utter nonchalance.
I fell back and tripped on a tree root that stuck out of the ground, but before I could fall, she caught me, her hands were wrapped around my arms and she lifted me back up and steadied me.
‘You alright?’ she asked with a smile but I could not answer.
‘Yeah’ I managed. ‘yeah, I’m fine. Thanks’ She took a step back but her focus remained on me.
‘You’re Jack Night?’
This was a mistake. ‘Well..yeah’ I was sweating uncontrollably now, shaking.
She stuck her hand out to shake mine, I hesitated but met her hand with mine.
‘I’m Anabel’ Like she had told me on the phone.
‘Hi, Anabel,’ I said with a hint of relief. I didn’t feel as alone any more, the storm in my mind was calming. ‘so, can you tell me what is going on? I feel like I am going crazy!’ I admitted.
She laughed and shoved her hands in her pockets. ‘Yeah, that happens with people like you, don’t worry. You’re not going crazy!’ Anabel had a reassuring smile that calmed the storm even more. I smiled back at her. I still didn’t completely trust her, but she was all I had.
‘People like me?’
She laughed again. ‘Yeah’ She sang ‘You didn’t think you were the only scribe out there did you?’ this time she was serious. The songful voice was gone and she just looked confused.
I paused. Scribe? what?
She must have seen my confusion because Anabel looked horrified. ‘Oh my God’ she said, covering her mouth with her hands. ‘You don’t know?’ she looked a little angry too.
‘Know what?’ I demanded.
‘Okay’ Anabel said to herself. She took a deep breath and then ‘You are a member of a race called the Scribes. They have the ability to command fate and the universe through what you write.’ She looked serious.
I laughed. A lot. ‘what?’ the laughter continued and Anabel did not look impressed. ‘Did Ben put you up to this? You and Orion?’ I stepped towards her and she didn’t back down. The laughter ceased when I saw the anger in her eyes.
‘You think I would make this up?’ she challenged with fury. I had gone too far.
Anabel saw how this rage was scaring me and she took a step back and took a deep breath. ‘I’m sorry’ she said. ‘This is just really important’ I nodded.
‘Sorry’ I said with reserve and regret.
‘Well well well’ we both turned around to see a man standing there, he looked the same age as Anabel, who judging by her facial expression, had no idea who this was. He was walking over to us and his eyes were glued on Anabel who was now standing in front of me, like a shield. The man laughed, but continued to walk.
‘It’s so funny to see a demon, of all creatures, protecting a scribe’ he chuckled out. Demon? he then looked to me ‘oh’ he sarcastically said ‘You don’t know? Oh, I’m so sorry..’ he whined. He was standing right infront of Anabel, so close even I could feel the brush of his breath on my face. I knew that I should be feeling scared in his presence, but I didn’t. I felt happy and overwhelmed. I wanted to kneel and bow before this man, but I didn’t. He laughed. ‘He is strong. Normally when I shimmer, they kneel, no matter what they are. Well, apart from demon scum like you’ He spat out.
‘I don’t kneel for anyone’ I said, stepping out from behind Anabel who moved so she was still between him and me. ‘Jack’ Anabel hissed for my silence. The man looked at Anabel with surprise. ‘You know who he is?’ He tilted his head to the side, much like a bird.
Anabel laughed. ‘Why else would I be here?’ She took a step towards him. ‘Why are you here?’ She demanded Silence. The man looked genuinely surprised. Anabel’s head dropped. ‘You are here for him aren’t you? For the same reason I am.’ The man straightened his head and sighed. Just as the silence began to crawl back the man’s hands were gripped on Anabel’s jacket and he flung her against a tree, pinning her to it. ‘Now you listen to me Demon’ he growled. ‘I need him to save my people and I won’t let you or anyone else stop me’ Anabel struggled beneath him and kicked him off her. ‘Why do you think I need him? To make him my slave? My pet? You angels are so full of prejudice I can smell it from a mile away!’ Anabel hissed back at him as he was collecting his balance from her assault.
‘Your people aren’t the only ones who need him, mine do too. The balance is failing’ She said calmly. She looked at me with regret, like she didn’t want me to have heard that. And with that, the man held his retaliation and paused. ‘Why should I allow him to help demons?’ She scowled. That was it. This was too much, I didn’t even know who I was and now there are angels and demons? What? While they were busy arguing over me I saw my opportunity and ran. I didn’t know where but I couldn’t stay here, putting my friends and family in danger? no way. I ran through the trees, the roots tripping me like they were grabbing me, wanting me to stay. The leaves brushing against me as I ran. There was an old walk way, a path barely visible that no one ever went down. I shoved the book back up inside my jacket and ran down there and didn’t look back. I couldn’t hear anything behind me but I didn't look. Once again I was running. I must have got at least a mile of distance between us when I stopped. I didn’t know where I was but that was a good thing. I caught my breath and sat on a rock behind a tree. I listened to the chirps of birds and rustling of wildlife around me, taking it in. I loved this place, I didn’t want to leave, but I had to.
That was enough of a rest, I didn’t want Anabel and who ever that was to find me. I stood up and adjusted myself, turned to walk and but there was another man, older, taller. I got the same urge to kneel and worship him as I did the other guy. He was wearing a long black jacket that hid a gray shirt and gray baggy pants, like something a modern day monk would wear. His hair was white and clean and he had a friendly face. I backed away from him, ready to run again but I felt a body standing behind me, blocking me. I turned around to see another man standing there and he didn’t look as friendly as the other man. He looked angry. Crap
‘Who are you?’ Anabell demanded of the stranger. She walked forwards, towards him.
‘Ryan. And thats all you need to know’ He snapped back. Anabell laughed at him. ‘You’re right, that is all I need to know.’ she chuckled back.
‘And what the hell do you mean that the balance is failing? It can’t fail’ Ryan questioned.
‘The balance between us. Good and evil? Haven’t you noticed that that has going down the toilet? We are supposed to be equal but we are powering each other out!’ she said like it were obvious. Ryan thought back to the demon they caught trying to steal something from the archies. They put it in a cage that nothing, not even an angel could break out of. But it did. They questioned everything, the guards, the smith who made them, they even looked into the demonic activity to see if there was an increase in their power. But there was nothing.
‘But why do you need him?’ Ryan asked like he was understanding everything. But Anabel didn’t answer, she looked at where I had been standing but I was not there.
‘Shit’ she swore out as she ran after me, looking at my tracks.
‘Where would he go?’ Ryan asked running with her.
‘I don’t know. But if he is a good as I think he is, he wouldn’t want to put anyone around him in danger.’ She came to a hault. She looked to find my tracks but they had gone, like I had flown away.
‘This way’ Ryan said as he continued to run past her. He looked to the ground to see golden foot prints that glowed. LIke some form of chemical that reacted with the ground. It was a footprint that was mine and only mine. They ran down the old path that I did and then I saw them and they saw me. They stopped when they saw me and these two men. Ryan looked like he knew who the man in the robes was.
‘Ryan’ The man said. ‘I knew it was you. Leader of the rebels, trying to find your way back home.’ He walked over to them, pushing past me. ‘Grab him’ He gestured to the man that stood behind me who then grabbed my arms and locked them down with his, so I couldn’t move. ‘Hey’ I yelled and struggled but I couldn’t move. It was like was made out of stone, strong and unwilling to move.
‘Let him go!’ Ryan demanded as he tried to walk over to me, but the robbed man gently touched his shoulder and ryan sank to his knees. He looked like he was in pain but he didn’t want to show it. His breathing increased both in depth and in frequency, like someone was choking him from the inside out. I looked for Anabel who was standing next to him, but she was nowhere to be seen. Had she ran away? Left me? Ryan looked up to where she was standing too but he growled with anger to see her absence.
‘Who are you looking for, young ryan?’ The man asked. But before ryan could reply, Anabel came up behind the man restraining me and covered his face with her hands. The man started screaming and his grip loosened enough for me to wriggle free. I fell to the floor and scrambled away and Anabel came to stand in front of me once again, like a shield. ‘He was looking for me’ She said in the songful voice she had used before.
Anger arose in the robed man and he stormed towards us, although I think Anabel was the target of this rage, not me. I started to step back but tripped on ock and landed on the floor.
‘Was he now?’ The man said like it was no big deal.
‘Yeah. Hope it doesn't give you a heart attack, old man’ She hissed at him. I looked at Ryan whose face turned into shock and horror and slight amusement. The old man laughed.
‘Don’t worry about me, Anabel. Yes, I know who you are, and I know what role you played in a recent war between our two species. Very admirable. Such a pity you’re a demon though.’
He sighed and stroked her cheek, pushing a strand of purple hair away from her face and behind her ear. Ryan looked at her with a completely new perspective. He didn’t look at her with anger or resentment like he had done before. He almost looked scared.
Anabel however, stood her ground and looked the man straight in the eye. Ryan could see that with his other hand, the old man was revealing a knife from his pocket that Anabel didn’t see. Ryan jumped up and waved his hand over the old man who then disappeared into a flash of light that was so bright and illuminating, I had to look away, because shutting my eyes didn’t help.
When I looked back, Anabel was on the floor panting a few meters away from and and ryan who was standing above where the man was consumed by the light. He looked shocked by his own actions, almost confused. I stood up first with the help of Ryan who grabbed my elbow to steady me. Anabel stood up and brushed the leaves off her clothing and caught her breath. She looked at me and smiled to make sure I was okay, so I smiled back. Then she looked at Ryan who was glaring at her with query and confusion. Anabel paid no notice to this though. She walked over to me to check if I was wounded and when she saw that I was not, she spoke. ‘We need to get him out of here.’ She said to Ryan who nodded on a daze, still staring at here.
‘Where? Who was that?’ I asked with urgency. I didn’t want to stay in Jackson any more than necessary. Everyone here was in danger. If I was as important as everyone was making me out to be, then I needed to leave. Forever.
‘That was a fallen angel and I’m thinking we take you to Orion’ Anabel said. ‘Who?’ Ryan asked with a dead tone, like he didn’t even care.
‘Where do you think he got the book from?’ Anabel laughed as she gestured to me, standing between her and Ryan.
‘Okay’ Ryan rubbed his face with his hands. He sighed and his face popped up again. ‘Where is this Orion?’