Seeing Souls (EXCERPT)

It's a normal day when Sam walks to school to pick up his little brother, Pat - but maybe not everything is as it seems.

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1. Seeing Souls

This is an excerpt from "BURNING IN HELL" by Willow Angel.

Coming soon.

 

 

 

Sam turned the corner onto the next street that would lead him to the school. He sighed, once again regretting that he didn’t drive, but everything was so damn expensive these days. He stuffed his hands in the pockets of his favourite blue hoodie as the wind picked up slightly, blowing on the back of his neck and sending involuntary shivers down his spine.

He’d always walked to and from school with his brother, even after he left school to keep earning the money that their absent mother didn’t. He did it because their father, a busy scientist, never did. And now, after the lab turned into a bomb, he never would.  He also did it purely because he wanted to – Pat was the only family he had left, and he was the only family Pat had left.

But today he was running a bit late, so he’d texted Pat to tell him to start walking, and he’d meet him along the way.

He saw three advancing figures, and he squinted to see who it was – who except he and his brother walking along this street after school? They’d always walked to and from school this way, and he couldn’t remember the last time Pat had brought home friends. Not to say he didn’t have any, but he rarely brought any over to their house.

Probably because Sam was a lazy mess that made stupid puns and jokes all the time, but hey – he’d always been that way.

As Sam and the group drew nearer to each other, he saw that the figure in the middle was, in fact, his little brother, with his sandy, white-blonde hair that perfectly matched Sam’s, and that red scarf Sam had made for him the Halloween after their father died – he rarely took it off. It was flapping around slightly in the now gentle breeze. Pat looked less than happy to have company, as his pale face was flushed slightly red, and he was walking quickly. Even from the distance, Sam could see Pat’s orangey-red eyes were squinted, trying not to acknowledge his surroundings. Sam was almost unsure of why he could tell this was happening, but he’d always had good eyesight.

And for some reason, he could sense his little brother’s unease – it was like it floated to him on the wind.

Sam walked faster, but Pat was looking at the ground and didn’t notice. Seeing his little brother unhappy was a sure-fire way to get Sam’s temper up, and anyone that’s ever crossed him knew that, just like that prat Jonathan back when Pat was in fourth grade. Jonathan had been teasing Pat about his ADHD, and Sam had made him feel sorry he’d ever opened his mouth. Luckily, Pat had stopped him before he’d thrown a punch (Pat had always been more of the pacifist type), but the mental scars were probably still there. Sam had always had a short temper when it came to people hurting his little brother – it came with the whole big-brother package.

As he got closer, he saw Pat stumble sideways, and the other two guys laughed – he didn’t like the sound of that laugh. That was when he saw it.

A push to one side, a shove to the other. Those jerks were physically hurting his little brother. They were pushing him from one side to the other, like a beach ball, and Sam knew for a fact that Pat would be unwilling to fight back. His little brother couldn’t hurt a fly, he hated violence. But seeing those pushes and shoves and Pat’s scrunched up-face was all Sam needed to lose his temper.

One might say that he “saw red”, but he didn’t – he saw blue. A dark blue that somehow looked bright at the same time. In his sudden rage, everything seemed to have layered a blue filter over it.

All he felt was hatred for those two punks who dared harass his little brother. It filled his every thought, erasing anything else that he may have been considering. Any and all rational thought left him as if someone had snapped their fingers. Nobody hurts his little brother and gets away with it.

He didn’t remember moving, but suddenly he was three feet away from them, glaring up at them.

“Sam?” Pat’s voice was a mixture of both shock and relief, in the high-pitched tone he’d always had.

“Who are you?” the two guys asked in unison, one cocky, the other one looking slightly worried – apparently he hadn’t thought this one through, or his companion hadn’t told him the tales of Sam’s anger. He seemed to be powerless, like a natural follower of the bullying leader just for the popularity.

“Hey, jerks.” Sam’s voice was low and husky, as always, but even he heard the dangerous tone leaking into it. “Why don’t you two punks back off from my little brother before someone loses a limb.” It wasn’t a request – it was a threat.

The cocky-looking one flipped his dark fringe back and grinned down at Sam. “Tryin’ to be scary, huh?” His voice was high-pitched, mocking. “I’m not scared of you, shortstock.”

Whilst the comment on his height was true (he, at 18 years old, was only a little over half the size of 16-year-old Pat), this didn’t bother him. He had long learned to accept his shortness, and he knew that Pat’s teasing of it was always good-natured. The guy’s attitude, however, did bother him, and now he was pissed.

“Laugh all you want-” he took a step forward, “-but if you ever cross me or my brother again-” another step, “you’re gonna have a bad time.” One more step.

The dark-haired boy threw back his head and laughed, but his friend (was he a friend, or just a mindless follower?) still looked wary. At least he has some sense, Sam thought bitterly, almost seething in his anger.

“Gabe,” the boy muttered to his dark-haired companion, who ignored him, and threw an arm over Pat’s neck. Pat immediately looked uncomfortable, but offered no resistance.

“Aww,” he cooed sarcastically, his voice going even higher, like he was talking to a baby. “Does wittle Patty need his bwover to come save him?” Then, with a menacing grin he grabbed Pat’s hair and pulled, hard, making him cry out in pain, reaching back at his holder’s hands.

Seeing the immediate look of pain on his little brother’s face made the one string in the back of his mind holding him together, snap.

The blue intensified, and time seemed to slow.

And suddenly, Sam could see. He could see everything, coated in that strange shade of blue.

But what amazed him most of all was the little red heard he could see in the pit of the boy’s - Gabe’s – stomach. This was when instinct took over, and Sam didn’t quite feel like himself anymore. It was if some long-forgotten muscles had started moving again, and he felt in control.

That little red heart was Gabe’s soul. It was the very culmination of his being. And Sam had power over it.

He snapped his fingers, and the soul turned that shade of blue, and now he was in complete control as time returned to normal. Gabe’s brow furrowed as he felt something chance.

His outline started glowing blue, and both his friend and Pat jumped away in surprise, Gabe’s grip on Pat’s hair forgotten and loosened.

Sam felt power as he raised his hand and Gabe floated into the air, making noises of surprise. His dark eyes were wide in sudden fear, blood drained from his face, and from what he could see out of the corner of his eye, his companion was exactly the same – just without the floating.

But Sam felt nothing but his hatred-fuelled power as he grinned dangerously up at the terrified boy. “Heh,” he chuckled, his voice still dangerously low. “I told you. Now you’re gonna have a bad time.” He flung his arm up, and Gabe lifted to the height of the single-storey rooftops; arm down, and Gabe slammed down to the ground with a deafening crack that almost made Sam’s ears ring. Lifting him up again, Sam could see that the boy’s nose was smashed in and blood covered it, and a few teeth had probably been knocked out, too, judging by the blood he was spitting out.

He was about to slam him down again when a hand on his arm pulled him out of his rage-driven fight.

“Sam!” Pat cried, his voice full of fear. “Sam, stop!”

He turned, and his eyes widened when he saw something completely impossible. It was a skeleton, with a thin skull, body armour, and a red scarf identical to the one Sam had made for Pat. And his soul… it was different. Instead of the red of Gabe’s, it was a light turquoise. And it was… it was so much less powerful than Gabe’s, they weren’t even remotely the same. But he sensed something within the skeleton’s soul, something that made it powerful, and that didn’t make sense to him. He struggled to think of the word…

Magic?

All at once, he remembered.

“Papyrus…?” he whispered in disbelief. The name came so easily to him, like he had been saying it his whole life.

“Sans?” Papyrus returned, his voice equally shocked.

But then Sam blinked, and Pat stood in Papyrus’s place, and everything was back to normal. No blue, no power, no control. Sam dropped his hand.

And Gabe came crashing down again with a yelp. The two boys scrambled away, yelling in fear and pain, but Sam couldn’t care less. He and Pat still stared at each other in shock and confusion.

They were silent for a few seconds, trying to comprehend what had just happened. Out of the blue, Sam’s knees gave out, but Pat caught him as he fell, suddenly exhausted. Pat picked him up, hugging him close as he started to walk.

“It’s okay, Sam,” he said soothingly. “I’ll make some spaghetti for dinner later? Or we can go to Grillby’s!” he exclaimed. “Yeah, let’s go to Grillby’s later for dinner, I know you love that place. Your favourite pub, right?”

Sam hummed his agreement. “Thanks, bro,” he murmured sleepily. “You’re the coolest.”

“I know.”

Sam had absolutely no idea what had just occurred, but he would figure it out later. For now, he fell asleep in his favourite pair of arms.

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