I don’t remember falling asleep – or passing out for that matter.
I also wasn’t sure if it was my thought producing skills or his telekinesis which brought us into the dream together, all that I was sure of was that I now had to deal with an intruder into my only place of solitude.
How? The voice questioned, before I could feel his eyes land on me warily. You?
He didn’t expect an answer to his question, for which I was thankful because I couldn’t give him one. I concentrated on the white expanse in front of me and changed it to a loose rendition to a garden courtyard. With an elegant white terrace table in the centre, I concentrated a moment more and he was sitting in front of me.
I thought I had the better of him, but when I looked, I saw that he had configured a golden mask to cover his features. I sighed deeply, but allowed it, knowing I couldn’t pressure him to reveal himself – especially considering he was the only person I knew so far.
I collapsed on the chair opposite him, leaning forward and placing my elbows on the table, mentally preparing myself for the answers I needed.
Are you sure?
He asked, the words forming above our heads, and I wondered whether it was me or him who had made them real. I nodded in answer and he leaned back into his chair, surveying me momentarily before spreading his arms in an invitation to ask him what I may.
“Who is he?” I asked, trying to keep my voice neutral but knowing I was failing.
“Winston” I interrupted and the boy smiled in concession.
“If that’s what he called himself.” The boy supplied and I suppressed a cringe.
I had made a mistake by interrupting him, one I wasn’t planning on doing again if the look in his eyes was anything to go by. I motioned with my hand for him to continue.
Winston as you know him is a poisoner and a thought disrupter. Any power that has to do with the mind he can disrupt.
“Like your telepathy” I concluded and the boy smiled as though I had won some great prize by figuring it out.
“How does he find us?” I asked, motioning between the two of us, and a haunted look crossed his face.
One of his poisons allows him into our minds, and from there he traces our link to our soul-mate. He tracks the second part of the pair and voila.
“They end up here.” I summarised and he nodded gravely.
“Were you the first or the second?” I asked quietly, almost regretting it when pain flashed in his eyes.
He answered curtly, and I subtly moved away from any question regarding him and his past.
“And I?” My voice wavered, betraying the fact I wasn’t sure whether I really wanted to know.
I don’t know.
His answer floated through the air, but his eyes were hard and unforgiving. In that moment I knew he knew but he just couldn’t bare telling me. It would explain why there was this building feeling of connection to someone in one of the cells. It had started off as an uncomfortable feeling in the pit of my stomach and had grown to a nauseous feeling.
It’s time to go.
His words were accompanied with a pain in my shoulder, as though something had clawed me in an attempt to wake me up. I knew that I was being pulled away from my dream and I felt the need to stay, to remain unconscious for the rest of eternity and to leave the super fight to the real heroes. But the clawing in my shoulder would have none of it, and the second I had made the choice, I was back in the real world.
I sprung up from the ground and jumped onto my bed, breathing ragged as I stared at the tiger in front of me. I pinched myself mentally but the beast didn’t disappear, my heart beat increased and I had to lock down my power which was begging for me to create a cat trap.
In the time it took for me to lock down my powers the tiger had sat down in front of my bed, slowly but surely transforming into the figure of a woman with a long black, shimmering dress that almost reminded me of the night sky. A black cat appeared at the ladies feet, and I wondered briefly how it had gotten there.
The women with brilliant red hair smirked at me and opened her arms as though she had just provided the greatest of shows. I clapped sarcastically and climbed off of my bed, choosing to sit on it instead.
“Who are you?” I asked, my voice still quivering slightly, though I rushed to cover it with a threatening snarl.
“I’m your cell mate it seems. My name is Celeste.” I nodded along, accepting the fact that she probably wasn’t lying to me considering we were both stuck in the same cage together.
“I’m Ella.” I supplied, still watching her as she took in the bed opposite mine – which had seemed to appear while I was unconscious.
“I’m a witch, cursed slash blessed with the ability to transform my body into that of any animal. This is my companion Belladonna who has some magic of her own.”
I raised my eyebrow and she smiled slyly, shrugging as if to say ‘if she wants to show you she will’. I had the funny feeling the cat was one of the most independent creatures I would ever meet.
Celeste sat on the bed and the cat jumped up and curled up on the pillow, as if the conversation were not worth listening to. Celeste asked me about our captor, swearing when I explained about his ability to disrupt thoughts and poison our systems.
“So…am I the first or second?” She asked at the end of it, much like I had to the boy across the hall.
“I don’t know. Do you feel anything?” I asked fidgeting, unsure if everyone had the same connective feeling with their other half.
Celeste shook her head and I frowned – meaning she was the first. Her expression hardened and I saw resolve flash in her dark grey almost black eyes. If she was so prepared to fight, then I would happily fight with her.
“I’m not letting this creep get my mate.” She let a little of her fury into the statement and I nodded a smile forming on my lips.
Don’t do it.
His voice demanded in my head, and I periodically ignored it – he couldn’t rule me, he couldn’t make my choices or argue against them. He had no power over me.
“How?” I questioned and Celeste’s smile increased until she looked like the Cheshire cat – an evil plan lurking in the midst of her mind.
The plan was set and Celeste was hiding under the covers while I stood at the bars, staring across the hall, giving a meek smile to the boy who was there shaking his head, knowing he was a part of our crazy scheme.
“KARTER!” I screamed and threw myself against the bars, my hands reaching through – so close and yet so far. I didn’t expect him to retaliate but he did, reaching through his side of the bars until our fingers almost touched.
As soon as they did he was there, tearing us apart and snarling at us until the boy shied back to the furthest wall in his cell, eyes locked on mine giving the slightest nod. The man jangled his keys picking out one of the dozen silver ones and unlocking my cell door.
My eyes drifted to the open door like I knew they should and Winston smiled knowingly.
“Don’t do anything stupid or else” He made a slicing motion across his neck and I shivered, nodding once to show him I understood just how much this plan could cost us.
As Winston neared the bed he seemed to still suddenly and Belladonna leaped out from the shadows – her power – and attacked the man, clawing at his eyes and the rest of his face until blood was pouring from his orifices. I climbed from the bed, careful not to slip on the blood as I grabbed his keys.
Celeste smiled ruefully and we slipped from the cell, closing it behind us and locking it. After a few tries of the different sets of keys Celeste and I realised Winston had used the same key for every cell, meaning it took us longer to get every one out, and by the time we had a thick layer of green mist had started forming on the floor and some of the captives were starting to choke.
Celeste led the front, since she seemed to have been the most conscious coming through the doors. I stayed at the back, making sure all the stragglers made it up the stairs. In the few moments it took everyone to get up there the poison was waist high and I was really beginning to feel the effects.
Winston gripped the bars of what was once my cell, every second seemed to make him stronger and I was wondering when he would break through them and really unleash his rage upon us all.
“Do you have any idea what you’ve done girly?” He asked, brows furrowed and a snarl accentuating his features.
“Yes” I answered, realising I shouldn’t have taken the unnecessary breath; the poison was now in my system, filling my lungs and turning them to acid.
At least that’s what it felt like.
In a few moments I was on the ground writhing in pain, I made my eyes stay open, watching as Winston struggled with his silver bars, and I hoped to high hell that they were as impossible to break as they looked. He growled and I felt myself shift. I felt like I was on a ship, and the motion was making me sick, to the point I had to resist the urge to throw up, knowing my savious would not appreciate the vomit.
The voice seemed to whisper in my mind and I felt my face slip into an unconscious smile as I gripped with the need for sleep and the knowledge that I had to stay awake to stay alive.
“I know” I answered quietly, my hand lifting to touch his face.
In my mind he still wore the mask from our dream, but as soon as I touched him it disappeared, and kind green eyes stared at me, concern and pain flashed in his eyes before he realised I had seen them, and he relaxed his features into a cool smile.
“How many times do I have to save you princess?” He asked, voice lilting to reveal he was joking, trying to keep my spirits high.
I mumbled something incoherent and he smiled, brushing my hair from my forehead and smiling. I thought about my words until they consumed me, wondering if he had heard, knowing he had, and wishing that I hadn’t said them.
I love you Kaleb.