We were in a city, which one? I wasn’t sure but it was huge. There were people everywhere, buildings taller than I could ever imagine, cabs and other cars driving around honking horns.. It was amazing. The culture change was what amazed me the most, coming from Jackson to this? To be honest, I was scared and didn't for one second allow Ryan and Anabel to escape my sight.
‘Okay’ Anabel said as we walked down the sidewalk and into the heart of wherever we were. ‘Follow me and don’t let each other out of your sight.’ she ordered. It smelled like food. I could smell pizza, fries, burgers..everything I wanted to eat. Anabel lead us into the city and a few blocks later, we were standing outside a bank. What?
‘Why are we here?’ Ryan asked. Anabel laughed and walked in, Ryan and I followed.
It was possible the poshest place I have ever been in. There were marble pillars, desks and the floor all matched. Everyone in there, employees and customers alike were all wearing perfectly tailored suits, all clean and smart, all looking so professional. What were we doing here? All wearing or some variation of the classic ‘jeans and a tshirt’ outfit. Anabel looked the smartest, Ryan closely followed. I looked a mess. Still in my jeans and AC-DC hoodie.
We walked over to a desk that was occupied by a tall man, he was handsome and clean shaven. He looked like he owned this place. He saw Anabel and smiled.
‘Anabel!’ he cheered and walked over to her. They hugged and then smiled at each other. He had a deep voice but the biggest smile.
‘Hey, Jerry. Have you lost weight? You look good?’ she asked, and to my utter relief, her voice returned to the songful cheer I had once heard. Jerry nodded. ‘Yeah, I’ve been working out a bit’ he almost blushed. Ryan looked uncomfortable in this situation, as was I. Anabel said to Jerry ‘So listen, I need to pick up a few things. You know my boss won’t get off my back about collecting this paperwork!’ she smiled and jerry nodded.
‘Right this way’ and he gestured for us all to follow him. We were lead down to a elevator. When all our of us were inside, the door shut and we didn’t move anywhere. I looked at the panel of buttons and to my surprise, there was a button numbered ‘13’. Hotels, infact any building didn’t usually have thirteen floors, not numbered anyway. Jerry pushed it. Crap. I wouldn’t say that I believed in thirteen being an unlucky number, but it most certainly freaked me out. No one spoke in the elevator. Anabel smiled at me and Jerry smiled at her. The elevator ‘dinged’ when we reached floor thirteen, and the doors opened. Into a complete casm of utter nothingness. Everything was racing through my mind. Jerry smiled at Anabel once again and then they both walked forward and out of the elevator and into nothing. Their bodies disappeared as if they had fallen, but they had not. They had stepped onto something, they must have. I looked at Ryan for reassurance, hoping that he would know what to do, but he looked as scared as I was.
‘Guys?’ Anabel’s impatient voice rang out.
‘Angels have wings right?’ I asked unsteadily as we both reluctantly stepped forward. I closed my eyes and hopped that the worst wouldn’t come.
Solid ground. My feet hit solid ground! We didn't fall! I looked at Ryan who again, shared the similar look to me. Why was he scared? He was an angel. He could just fly away..Right?
We walked into a hall that looked even grander than the lobby. The marble was black and everything had gold rims, even the floor. The ceiling had a grand chandelier make out of floating glass surrounding an orb of light, illuminating the room. Everyone there was wearing a gray, metallic suit and looked smart, clean and crisp, like it was mandatory to look beautiful.
Anabel turned around to face us and gave us a surprisingly reassuring smile. I smiled back and Ryan nodded. What was going on? Anabel turned back around to the man who greeted her in the lobby.
‘Jess, I hate to rush, but we really need to be leaving.’ She said with a smile. The man, Jess smiled back. ‘Why are you in such a hurry?’ he almost sounded like he was mocking us..but why? did he know?
‘It’s a matter of great urgency. We need to get to Everon’ she persisted, meeting his tone. Silence. ‘Of course’ Jess said as he walked away, leading us to another door. It looked older than the rest of the facility. Beaten and scratched and dented. It looked wooden and had a golden hanel, the only thing that matched the theme of the rest of the building.
Jess opened the door and stepped aside so that we could enter, but there was nothing. It was just an old, cleared out store room with a sink that’s hygiene was extremely questionable.
‘What?’ I asked as I looked at Ryan, who looked like he was hiding back a smile.
Once we were all in, Jess looked back at us, outside the tiny room. He was smiling and had his hand on the door, preparing to close us in.
‘Good luck’ he said to Anabel who bowed her head in response just before the door closed and the lock turned.
‘Anabel, what is happening?’ I demanded. I had a fear of enclosed spaces, a fear that I had always kept to myself. I never knew how such a fear had developed inside of me. I was fine with cars, but elevators and tiny store rooms were on the ‘no go’ list. My breathing rate began to increase, my palms started to sweat and my vision started to blur.
‘Jack’ Ryan said in a calm manner, placing his hands on my shoulders. Anabel sighed.
‘Okay’ she said, pushing me and Ryan out of the way to get to the sink. She stood before it and looked at us both. ‘This is better than it looks’ she tried to reassure me. Ryan smiled at her just before she pulled out a small silver knife from her jacket. It was tiny, but looked incredibly sharp. She brought it to her palm and scratched it so that blood oozed out of it and landed in the centre of the sink, perfectly. She sighed and wiped her bloody hand on her trouser leg. She then handed the knife to Ryan. He looked at me and smiled. ‘It’s going to be okay’ be promised, looking into my eyes. He then released my shoulder from his grip and met Anabel, and due to the size of the room, was only a small step away. I closed my eyes and tried to control my breathing. Anabel looked at me, worried. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. I looked at her, and the fear inside of me was gone. I was able to look around and see the enclosed space we were in, and the weight of the claustrophobia was lifted and I was free. I laughed both out of relief and fear. I looked at Anabel and so did Ryan.
‘What?’ she asked innocently. ‘Demons give fear to people but we can take it away..most of us just choose not to..’ she said with a shrug and again, I laughed and smiled at her., and Ryan did the same too, only his smile was different. Instead of a smile filled with gratitude and relief, he gave a smile beaming with admiration and honor. Ryan then returned his focus to the small knife handed to him, the handle covered in Anabel’s blood. Like Anabel, he cut his palm until the blood poured down and landed perfectly on Anabel’s in the sink. He flicked his hand to get rid of any excess blood, but it just kept on coming. Ryan turned to me and looked at me, asking me to do the same with his eyes. I froze.
‘Why do I need to do it?’ I asked with an uneasy voice.
‘Because to enter Everon you need to prove that there is an angel, a demon and a human. It’s a place of refuge for all kinds and you need to prove who you are’ Anabel replied in a matter of fact tone. I nodded. I didn’t completely understand but I needed to do it. I stepped to the sink, Anabel moving out the way so I could do so’ and cut my hand, watching the blood fall on Ryan’s. That was it. Phew!
I looked at them, ‘What now?’ I asked, but there was no reply. Anabel and Ryan looked past me, through me and their faces lit up with joy and happiness and relief. I turned around, and that was it. That was when it hit me. I was no longer Jack Knight, from Jackson, Wyoming, a nobody who had one friend, whose favourite pastime was video games, I was Jack Knight, Scribe, accompanied by an angel and a demon, escaping to a far away land to write the fate of the world. I was hunted by both angels and demons and I could only trust two people. My only friends.