Death Bringer Part 1
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Death Bringer Part 1
12-05-2012, 12:02 PM
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Death Bringer Part 1
Chapter 1My life started to get exciting 4 years ago. I was attending my cousins wedding, this was before I knew what I truly was. For 18 years I lived as Luna Logan Weston, daughter of a catholic mum and workaholic father, an only child for which I was grateful, I never was good at sharing. I attended college, studying history, grade A student. Had a few friends, although I never really hung out with them outside of college. I was a private person and liked to be alone most of the time.
I remember the wedding like it was yesterday, a dark wet day, thunder clouds were forming and I remember being glad that I wasn't a bridesmaid. Me and high heeled shoes were a disaster waiting to happen. At home I had managed to talk my mum out of making me wear a dress and slipped into the only nice dark coloured skirt I could find. One with no flowers, stripes, butterflies or spots, anything that would make me stand out in a crowd. Teamed with a pair of black pumps, I looked presentable. My mum gave me an expression when she saw my outfit as if God himself would have been embarrassed to be seen with me.
I left the house that morning with mum and dad in tow, dad was wearing one of his many suits, to be honest I couldn't tell if the suit was one from work or a special occasion outfit. They all looked the same, I can't actually remember the last time I ever saw him wearing normal people clothes. Mum was wearing one of her many curtain creations, a flowery number with a hat to match. To think I almost didn't escape from that nightmare. Mum and me wearing matching outfits from someone's bathroom just didn't appeal to my fashionable side.
All three of us got into the family car, a sky blue hatchback that was friendly to the environment and looked good on the drive. It was a car that was intended to give a message to the neighbours. It proudly stated that we were a God fearing Earth loving family with a penchant for pastel colours. Dad drove, as always. Mum believed that driving was a man's job and the mere sight of a female behind the wheel was akin to putting yourself on the road to drugs, alcohol and frequent sex with numerous partners. I sat in the back seat willing this day to be over so I could crawl back into my own quiet world and disappear again. The clouds were getting darker and the rain threatened to fall. I loved this kind of weather, so dark and gloomy, a bit like me I suppose. Mum was forever trying to get me to be the little girl she used to dress up in bright pink cardigans and flowery tights, then I grew up and started refusing to play along. I had found my own tastes in life and funnily enough they were the exact opposite to hers.
Dad steered the car up the gravel path to the church, it was a small church but it was the only one in our small town. It had just recently been painted white and against the dark sky it stood out like a lone flower in a barren field. Dad parked the car and I got out, trying desperately to be discreet so that none of my family would notice me. I hated attention but instead of repelling it I seemed to attract it. At 1 o'clock my family and soon to be extended family started to enter the church. As if on cue the thunder started to roll.
That's when things started to get crazy. People started talking loudly and I had to put my hands over my ears to keep the noise out, the vibration of the constant chatter felt like it was going to rupture by eardrums. I kept thinking that surely they would be quiet once they realised how loud they were being. However when I looked around me everyone had gone into the church. I was the only person outside on the grass. Another roll of thunder and the voices were getting louder, I looked to the floor and noticed that the grass under my feet was turning brown. All around me the once green grass was drooping and dying as if a plague was destroying it, a plague that was radiating from my feet. A flash of lightning ripped across the sky, the crowd of voices in my head was creating a pressure trapped inside my skull and I felt like it was going to explode. The sky darkened even more and a black helicopter appeared out of nowhere and descended onto the lawn. I fell to my knees as the pain in my head reached critical levels, before I slipped into unconsciousness I saw a man jump from the helicopter and as though a warm blanket enveloped me, I gave in to darkness.
My eyelids flickered and I prised them open, instead of sunlight beaming into my room I found grey walls with no windows. A feeling of unease started to creep into my belly as I attempted to sit up. The bed I had been laying on was made of metal with a black rubber mattress and one white pillow. I began to take in my surroundings, a square room with a cream shiny floor, grey metal walls and one big blacked out window was next to a heavy duty metal door. Am I in a prison? Feeling too confused to move I stayed still and waited for some form of communication from somebody. I stared at the black window, I had a feeling that I was being watched from the other side. Somebody was probably watching me, letting me continue my anxious suffering. A memory flashed in my mind, the helicopter, the church, the voices. What happened at the wedding? The memory of the pain that accompanied the voices in my head started to trigger a thumping headache. As if on cue a crackling noise filled the room, like radio interference. Then a voice broke through the static, it was a males voice, deep and emotionless.
They know my name, my nerves were still constricting my stomach but it was better to hear from an actual person than sit in fear of the silence. I raised one hand and gave a slight wave to the black window.
“Do you know why you're here?” the voice asked.
I shook my head, so I was right that someone was watching me.
“You're in a Government facility, we have taken you here for your own safety.”
A frown creased my forehead, was the world ending outside or something? Was I one of the few brainy people on Earth who would be saved in order to re-populate the planet with super intelligent people?
“In a few moments someone will come to talk to you in person, stay seated until then.”
I slumped back and brought my feet up on the bed, I guess I might as well wait. This was like something from a film. Although in this scene I probably should have been banging on the door demanding my freedom or collapsed on the floor in tears but I was more eager to speak to someone. I'm not one for dramatics, I've always been calm and logical. I waited ten minutes, I knew because I counted the seconds, then a noise at the door alerted me to someone's presence.
I sat up on the bed and waited for the door to open. A man in a black business suit entered the room, followed by a man wearing a floor length dark purple robe and two men in camouflage military uniforms flanked them on either side, what commanded my attention most was that the military men were each holding a gun. The suit smiled and took a step toward me, he was aged around mid forties, brown eyes, dark hair combed back into a sleek wave and Impeccably white teeth.
“Hello Luna, my name is Andrew Lintmore. This is my assistant Akiva.” Lintmore gestured toward the man in the robe.
Akiva was looking at me intently, as if he was trying to see inside me. No emotion crossed his face, he seemed like he was far away from this place.
“Hi.” I decided to let Lintmore do all the talking.
He was looking at me as if I was a shiny new penny, it made me feel slightly uncomfortable.
“I assume you have no idea why your here.”
“Something to do with my safety?” I decided to repeat the Voice's words, it seemed better to stay clear headed and let the information flood into my brain rather than have all the questions I wanted to ask spew themselves out of my mouth into a big verbal vomit pile.
Lintmore smiled, “Yes that's right. Luna, you have a very special gift. We've brought you here to help you nurture that gift and develop it into something very useful.”
“A gift? At the wedding, I could hear people in my head and then a helicopter came.”
“Luna, what you experienced at the church was you recognising your gift. Gifts don't always make themselves known from birth, occasionally they lie dormant inside you until the time is right for it to manifest itself. The helicopter came to transport you to this facility so we could take care of you and ensure that your gift didn't hurt you or anyone around you.”
“Hurt anyone? What do you mean, I would never hurt anyone.” I was confused by that, I don't even have the ability to prune a plant for fear that I'm hurting it in some way.
“Your ability is very rare, in fact there is no-one like you in the entire world. You have the power to take life.”
I was stumped, take life? “You mean kill things?”
“Well yes I suppose, although we like to look on the bright side of things. There have been others like yourself in the past and they have helped their country greatly. You could do the same.”
I thought back to the church and remembered how the grass had died beneath my feet.
“If I can kill things, how come your okay being near me?”
“Ah, that's down to Akiva here. He has a talent like yours, although Akiva can create a protective force field around people. Currently your ability seems to have receded since bringing you here. But we prefer to be safe rather than sorry.”
“Can I kill myself?”
“One of the things we have learnt about your ability is that the wielder seems to be immune from its affects.”
“So if I can't harm myself then you brought me here mainly to protect everyone else.”
“Yes, clever girl. But there is a high price to pay for a power like yours and we want to ensure that you stay well cared for. You're not alone in this. We're here to help you. We are effectively your extended family.”
Oh God, mum and dad, I totally forgot to ask about them. “My parents, do they know where I am, or what happened?”
“Your mother and father have been informed and they understand that you need time to adjust to these new changes.” Lintmore had a look in his eyes, he had never stopped smiling since he first came in the room and that smile was starting to look a little thin. I couldn't believe that my mum and dad where okay with me being a potential freak. That was when the first seeds of doubt where planted. A God fearing mum like mine would probably be casting an exorcism right now if she knew her daughter was able to kill people, she certainly wouldn't understand.
I looked towards Akiva and saw that he had ice blue eyes which glittered like glass shards reflecting off the sun. I caught my breath and he looked away, back into his own world I assumed.
“I don't know how to handle all of this, things like this don't exist. Maybe in films but not in real life, not to me.”
“That's an understandable reaction. I have heard it said many times before. First we need to get you settled in, then we can begin looking at your ability in more detail. You shall stay in this room for the time being, we will bring some furnishings to make it a bit more comfortable for you.”
“Does my gift have a name?”
As Lintmore began to walk out of the room, he turned and said “The previous person was known as a Death Bringer.”
Lintmore left the room followed by Akiva and the two armed guards. The door closed and I was alone again.
Time passes so slowly when there's nothing to entertain yourself with. Thoughts travelled through my mind like a midnight train, so many logical questions flitting past, so many hypothetical questions. What if I destroyed the world? The thought of that scenario sent shivers down my spine. Wiping out the world in one go, so that only I remained. At least I would have the quiet that I so constantly craved. But could I cope with the guilt? No, I couldn't. Even though I have this power, this position of high authority, I could never wield it as a weapon. I am not the Judge of who gets to live and who doesn't. How could anyone use this gift for good? No-one deserves to die. Even the really bad people have the right to a life, behind bars and under constant surveillance of course. Could I control this power? Well I suppose that's why I'm here, in a cold dark, lifeless room. Awaiting the key to self control and the knowledge of what my ability has in store for me.
The sound of the handle on the metal door is a tinny echo that bounces off all the corners of this box I'm sat in. I sit up to attention and two men in white overalls enter my room pushing a trolley full of plants. Tall evergreens, small shrubs, all in terracotta pots, were being brought in. I noticed Akiva stood in the doorway, that same transfixed stare on his face. Not making eye contact but creating a force field around the men so I don't hurt them. The men in overalls unloaded the the plants off the trolley and put each one on the floor. They left the room and returned with another trolley of plants. The same ritual continued three more times, as they left the final time the door shut behind them.
I looked around and saw that my room had now become a forest of potted plants. The tallest ferns stood at the back of the room, while the smallest of shrubs were a few feet from my bed.
When Lintmore said about furnishings I thought he meant a chest of drawers or a wardrobe. Then again a wardrobe would be pointless as I don't actually have any spares clothes.
Sleep beckoned and I surrendered. No dreams visited me that night, just a black canvass. I must have slept for hours, although it was hard to tell as I didn't own a watch and there was no daylight to refer too.
Turning over to face my forest environment I was greeted by a scene of death. I blinked a few extra times to clear my sleepy eyes and still the forest was dead. Every single plant that had been placed in my room hours before had been in full bloom with large, shiny green healthy leaves. Now each one was lifeless, brown, brittle and flat. Had I done this? I got up off the bed and touched one of the smaller shrubs, the brown leaf was brittle and crumbled into dust. Looking to the big black mirror I addressed my invisible nanny. “Did I do this?”
The intercom crackled and the voice answered me. “Stay seated, Mr Lintmore will attend to you shortly.”
I obeyed, and sat back on my bed. The door opened a couple of minutes later and Lintmore entered, followed by Akiva and the armed guards.
“Hello Luna, did you sleep well?” That smile was still there.
“Did I do this?” I motioned to the dead forest at my feet.
“I'm afraid so. We used the plants as a visual tool to determine if your gift was dormant during sleep or active. It seems the result is that during sleep there is little control. This is something we will address when training begins.”
“When will that be? I could use some fresh air and some clean clothes.”
“Of course. Akiva will escort you to the dining hall and then to the shower block. We will provide you with some new clothes. Is there any particular colour you prefer?”
“Interesting, the previous Death Bringer also favoured black. A fitting colour for the power you possess.”
“My name is Luna, I don't want to be called that. I'm still me.” Death Bringer was a cold name, a killer name. I have a name and I'm not a killer.
Lintmore smiled and made his way to the door. “Akiva will take you to breakfast.”
Lintmore and the guards left, leaving me with Akiva. I looked at him and he met my eyes briefly. Akiva had the most perfect face I had ever seen. Short platinum blond hair, with ice blue eyes that reflected each particle of light individually. I had never been interested in boys, I was always too shy to even look at them, but something about Akiva made me want to fall into his eyes and never look back. He struggled to to look at me, then he spoke.
“Follow me.” His voice was smooth and deep, no imperfections.
I followed him, I left the room and entered a long hallway. White walls with wall lights, hung sporadically, illuminated my path. It was clinical, it reminded me of a hospital corridor except that this one was more expensive, a private hospital corridor would be more accurate. Clean cream floors reflected the clip clop noise of my pumps. Akiva made no sound. He wore a baby blue robe this time and it trailed along the floor. The material looked like silk and it floated on every pocket of air making random ripples as he walked.
Akiva stopped at a set of grey double doors and pushed them open. Looking into the room, I realised it was a canteen. Round tables with chairs littered the floor. I passed through the doors and saw that the room was empty. I had expected and rather hoped to see someone in the same position as me. Someone I could relate too. I turned and found Akiva stood at the food counter watching me. On the counter were plates of food already prepared. A selection of fruit, toast, fried goods and cereal was on offer. I fancied something heavy so went for the fried goods. Akiva walked to the table with me and we both sat opposite each other. I was the only one eating. I decided to break the thick ice that had formed between us.
“Your not eating?”
“No, I have already eaten.”
I was hoping to have cracked off a huge chunk of ice with that conversation starter. However it seemed I had only managed to loosen a few chips. I ate in silence and hoped to get this meal over with as quick as possible.
I was surprised to hear him say my name and forgot to empty my mouth before I acknowledged him. A chunk of sausage fell to my plate.
“Your not a Death Bringer. I mean you are, but not in the sadistic way that Andrew portrays it.”
“Can I control it?” A niggling thought had been in my head since Lintmore called me Death Bringer. His smile seemed real when he called me it. He saw darkness in the gift that I had. I was worried that If I couldn't control it, would it eventually control me?
Akiva looked at me before answering. “I have seen other's control it yes.”
“But?” The hesitation was enough to confirm that there was a bad side to this. I wanted to know everything.
“But, I have also seen them lose control of it.”
“What happened to them?”
Akiva looked uncomfortable but he had an honesty to him that made him transparent to the point where I could almost read his thoughts.
“They lost their souls. Although the Death cannot kill you, it can manipulate you if you allow it. You need to get clean.”
That last statement threw me off my train of thought and I remembered that I had an appointment with the shower block. I took the last bite of my breakfast and stood up. Akiva led the way back out of the double doors and once again I was in the clinical hallway. Akiva stopped at a white door.
“This is the shower room, inside there are towels and clean clothes. When your finished I will return to collect you.”
“Thanks, I hope we can talk some more, another time maybe.”
A flit of a smile danced across his face and he walked away. Maybe I knocked off more ice than I first thought.
Chapter 4 The shower block was a large white room decorated with tiles from floor to ceiling. There were four cubicles along one one wall with frosted glass doors. The opposite wall was covered in large square mirrors positioned above a cream marble work surface. On top of the marble was a neat pile of folded black clothes. A pair of skinny jeans, a t-shirt and a hoody. These Government types really knew the current fashion for a socially inept recluse teenager who just found out she was a freak.
After the shower and a change of clothes I stepped into the hallway, Akiva was there waiting for me.
“Better?” I tried a playful tact with him.
That smile returned and I discovered that Akiva was a person too, just like me. I started to relax more around him and decided that my best chance of having a friend in this place would be with Akiva.
“You have a training session this morning with Dr Fletcher, we should go now.”
“Dr Fletcher? Who's he?”
“She actually. She's going to help you control your gift. Don't worry, she's nice.”
We walked back down the corridor and stopped at another grey door. It had the name Dr Fletcher written on a gold plaque stuck to it. Akiva knocked on the door and opened it, he pushed it wide and motioned for me to enter.
Looking into the room I saw it was like a psychiatrists office, a dark leather chaise longue occupied the centre, a matching tub chair was next to it. Stepping in front of me with an arm outstretched was a red haired woman which was cropped short to her head, she wore the brightest smile I had seen in a long time and green eyes that shone like emeralds. She also wore that dreaded white coat which was the universal symbol for “This won't hurt a bit”.
I took her hand and instantly the warmth from that smile eased me into a place of melted chocolate and fluffy jumpers. She led me to the sofa, still wearing that smile, never taking her eyes off me. I had no urge to pull away and let her direct me to whatever experiments she had waiting for me. Finally she spoke.
“Good morning Luna, did you sleep well?”
“Er yes thanks” The words eventually came out of my mouth. I sat on the sofa.
“As you have already guessed I'm Dr Fletcher. I'm here to help you in whatever you need. Now if you don't mind I would like you to tell me what you know about why you are here.”
Dr Fletcher's voice was so nice and inviting that if I was a criminal I would have spilled all of my secrets in that moment. I concluded that she must have a gift of her own and she was using It on me. It wasn't an unpleasant feeling but I could see how it could be manipulated to one's advantage.
“Lintmore told me that I have a gift. I was at my cousins wedding and I heard voices, the pain was horrible and they were so loud. I couldn't make out the words because there were so many talking at once. The next thing I know I wake up here. They put plants in my room and when I woke up this morning they were dead, Lintmore told me I killed them during my sleep but I don't remember anything.”
Dr Fletcher was sitting opposite me and she gently placed her hand on my knee giving me the signal that I didn't need to carry on.
“I understand that you are still needing answers and I want to say that you have been dealing with this situation remarkably well. You haven't shown any panicked behaviour since coming here which tells me you have good self control.”
“But I killed those plants. I couldn't control that from happening.”
“Luna, you have so much to learn about your talent. Episodes like the one last night with the plants will probably happen again. But try not to dwell on the fact that some plants died. There is a cycle of life that we all must endure, YOU are a part of that cycle of life. I can see you are very much in tune with living things and I like that quality. It will help you with the training that's to come. We use the plants as a tool to help us instead of using an animal or a person. The last thing we want here is for anybody to get hurt and that includes you.”
Dr Fletcher's words worked on me and I looked towards Akiva who had been standing in the corner of the room watching me.
“Lintmore said I'm a Death Bringer” I wanted to know more about Death Bringers and why I had been chosen to have this power.
“I would have preferred it if he'd kept that from you for a while until I had a chance to gently ease you into this new chapter of your life. But nevertheless there is truth in what he told you. Previously there have been other people who have had your gift. They were each given the name Death Bringer. The first person we found that could take life was called Alden, he was seventeen years old when we met him. He was stood in a fairground, alone. His parents were dead beside him on the floor, as was the entire fairground population. His gift had manifested itself on a family day out. We were too late to save anyone so we took Alden back to our facility. We cared for him and taught him self discipline until he could control the Death. Some of the other residents who lived here donned him with the name Death Bringer and from then on the name stuck.”
“What happened to him?” I wanted to know more. I craved the knowledge of what I was to encounter.
“Alden lived a good life, he had a few accidents which was to be expected. Each time we counselled him and helped him. He lived to an old age and died when it was his time to do so.”
“Why do I have this?”
“Unfortunately we don't know. Every person is different and there doesn't seem to be any pattern which dictates who will be next. We do know that there is only ever one Death Bringer alive at a time. From past experiences we now keep an eagle eye on were the next manifestation will occur.”
“But how do you know who will be next?”
“I'm sure you've already guessed that your power is not the only one in existence. Akiva has a gift, you have a gift and even I have a gift. There are some people who have abilities which help us find people who need us. They helped us find you.”
“Will I ever see my family again?”
Dr Fletcher's smile turned into one of sympathy and I hoped that it was genuine. Even though I was a world apart from my parents I still loved them. I could last a life time without having to ever see another curtain creation or go to a church, but I couldn't last without seeing them again.
“One step at a time Luna. So far things are looking good. We are in contact with your parents and they are being very supportive. We are giving them regular updates on your progress and they are happy that you are being cared for.”
I couldn't help but think that that was a lie. Dr Fletcher, the nice doctor with the welcoming smile was lying to me.
“Lets start your first training session shall we, are you ready?”
I felt like a bucket under a leaking pipe, each drip was a feeling of suspicion that was slowly filling me. There was little else I could do but agree and begin my journey.
I followed Dr Fletcher through a second door from her office. This door was the same colour as the walls and was concealed perfectly. She opened the door and led me into a room that was filled with plants, they looked the same as the ones I had massacred in my room this morning. In the middle of the room was a single white chair. The doctor led me to the chair and motioned for me to sit, I obeyed. Akiva had followed us into the room and was still watching me, no doubt keeping up his shield to protect people from me. Dr Fletcher left the room, Akiva left with her. On the wall facing me was another blacked out mirror, the doctor and Akiva were probably behind it watching me. Dr Fletcher's voice filled the room through the same intercom system that the Voice used.
“Okay just relax Luna. We're going to begin today by regressing to the day at the church. I want you to listen to my voice and try to relax. We're going to attempt an almost trance-like state in order to locate where your gifts are in your mind. Close your eyes please.”
I closed my eyes.
“Remember the morning of the wedding. You woke up and made the journey to the church. We are going to start remembering from that moment. Okay Luna?”
I let my mind travel back to that day. I was back in the car, dad was driving and mum was in the passenger seat. Church hymns were on the radio. We came to the gravel drive of the church and dad drove the car up it. He parked up next to my auntie Linda's car and mum made a comment about how dirty the wheel trims were. I got out of the car and tried to keep low so as not to draw attention to myself, I closed the car door quietly and made my way behind mum and dad to the grassed area in front of the church. Where my whole family were gathered in small groups talking to each other excitedly. That's when the voices began. I put my hands over my ears. The pain started to return to my head and I squeezed my hands over my ears tighter. Darkness enveloped the memory I had managed to re-create in my mind and the voices turned into screams. Painful, blood-curdled screams, then a flash of a blooded face appeared in front of me. The shock brought me back into the room and I found that I was kneeling on the floor with my hands squeezing my head, shouting “stop!”. I lifted my head slowly and saw that the room was again filled with dead plants. I'd done it again.
“Luna, can you hear me?” The doctor's voice was back in the room. She must have come in without me realizing it.
I nodded my head.
Akiva walked into the room, he took my arm in his hand and lifted me up. Holding both of my arms in his hands he looked into my eyes.
“Luna, are you okay?” He seemed genuinely concerned.
“I saw someone. There was blood on their face. The voices, they weren't voices this time. They were screams, screams of pain Akiva. It was horrible. What happened that day?” Tears started to well in my eyes.
Akiva looked towards the doctor who was still standing by the door.
“That's what we are going to find out. These training sessions will help us understand what happened to you that day.” The doctor looked as shocked as Akiva did, nervousness apparent on her face.
“No, I don't mean what happened to me. I mean, what happened to my family. Those screams I heard were other people's screams of pain. The person I saw was covered in blood. I need to know if I hurt anyone. You told me Alden was found in a fairground with everybody dead around him. Is that how you found me?”
“Luna I can't say, you need to stay calm.” The doctor had become even more nervous, she looked as though she wanted to leave the room.
A feeling had begun pooling in my stomach, it was powerful, warm and tingling.
“No. I know your hiding something from me. Tell me what you know!” Akiva was still holding my arms, looking into his eyes I saw that they had become like crystal again, but this time they were glowing, he was creating a force field around me. I must have been using my power.
“Luna you need to relax. Please, don't let this power consume you.” The doctor was scared.
“What happened to my parents?! Tell me now!” The feeling that had begun pooling in my stomach was starting to seep into my arms and legs. Akiva's grip on my arms was stronger, he had begun trembling. Was my power too strong for him?
“Okay! Luna your parents died. That day we found you, you had already killed everyone at the church. I didn't want to tell you straight away because we didn't know how you would react. Especially with your power being so raw and uncontrolled. I'm so sorry.” The doctor released that information with a big breath, tears welling in her eyes.
That confirmation was the key to my undoing. The powerful feeling that had been spreading through my body released me instantly and I crumbled into Akiva's embrace. He released a deep breath and crumbled with me onto the floor. I sat there for what seemed like hours absorbing the knowledge that I was now a killer. Lintmore was right, I am a Death Bringer.
Chapter 5 I was in a daze as I walked back to the box that was my room. Akiva walked me back along the corridor escorted by two armed guards. They still had their guns but that didn't bother me. I was a monster, I had killed my parents. Hell, I'd killed my entire family. The grief that had settled over me like a blanket weighed heavy in my bones. Shuffling up the corridor I dreaded being alone in my room with only my thoughts to haunt me. Those screams were the screams of those I killed. Two of them would have been my parents, I couldn't pick them out from the chaos that the noise became. Part of me was thankful for that.
Reaching my room, Akiva opened the door for me and led me inside. I went straight to my bed and laid down facing the wall. Akiva stayed in the room for a couple of minutes and then left followed by the two guards. The door closed and I curled up tighter, maybe if I squeezed myself into a small ball I would become tiny and insignificant to the point were I eventually disappeared altogether and this twisted tale would end. Sleep eventually entered my room and I disappeared into a dream.
Luna. Luna. Luna.
The Death walks through your veins.
A black cloud that paints the arteries with darkness.
Let it breathe.
Let it out to play.
Life has a ball and Death has a bat.
Death will swing and the lights will fade.
I awoke from sleep with a heaviness draped upon me. I was still in my ball, the heaviness wasn't from a blanket but from the dark realization that my life was doomed. Staring into nothingness I can hear my mother's voice telling me that if I didn't stop wearing dark colours I would eventually blend into the background of life. My father smiling at me from the table in my room as he reads his morning paper. I watch them in my room and a smile spreads across my face, I shouldn't have complained so much about my life at home. I had great parents and I showed them my appreciation by killing them. A knock sounds on the door and it opens to Lintmore. He's probably come to gloat that he was right about me. That slimy smile is on his face again. I decide to stay laid on my bed, formalities have now been officially dispensed with. A monster doesn't need to be polite, after all I doubt that good manners are going to be my ticket into Heaven. Lintmore walks into my room accompanied by Akiva. Akiva looks concerned, no doubt worrying that I might wipe out the entire human race with a sneeze.
“Good morning, how are you feeling?”
I just stare at the memory of my parents sitting in my room.
“I see. I understand that the session you had yesterday with Dr Fletcher exposed the truth of how you came to be here.”
Still no reaction from me. He already knows what happened yesterday.
Lintmore takes a seat in front of me and obscures the view I had of my parents. I look at him with my monstrous eyes and try to instil the message that I don't care any more. Maybe one day I will kill him too. Whoa, where did that come from? A voice dripping with hunger invaded my mind, the thought so fleeting that I almost agreed with it.
“Luna, can you hear me?” Akiva walks toward me where I still lay and crouches to the floor in front of my face. Inches separate us and I look into his eyes, he may be my only friend in this hell hole. But he works for Lintmore, how can I trust him? He stopped me from raining terror down on the Doctor, that could be worth some brownie points I suppose. “Luna, I can help you.” The sincerity in his voice pours over me like silken reassurance, his eyes twinkle at me and for a moment it's as though he has stars in his blue eyes. A night sky embedded in that flawless face. I nod once to show I understand his words.
Sitting up slowly on my bed I reluctantly face my fate. A small smile appears on Lintmore's stone face and I know that my cooperation brings him joy. We could wipe that smile from his face together. That voice again, am I thinking this? The voice is strangely familiar, as if I've heard it before. Akiva stands up and moves to the back of the room.
“Andrew I think that Luna could do with some recreational activities. The truth she has learned has had a large effect on her. To push further could have consequences.” Those words bring me relief as they leave Akiva's mouth and I want just to say “thank you for understanding I need time.”
Lintmore looks at me and his smile fades. “Very well. Today Akiva will choose an activity for you to partake in. I expect you ready for further training tomorrow morning.” Walking towards the door he stops in front of Akiva and in an ice cold tone imparts his final words “I have no choice but to trust in your talents Akiva.” Lintmore leaves and I am finally free of the suffocating atmosphere that has formed in my small room.
“Come, lets get you some air.” Holding the door Akiva motions for me to lead the way.
With a smile I appreciatively accept his offer.
Walking down the long corridor a silence erupts between us. “Thank you for what you said.”
“As you will find out Andrew doesn't have an empathic bone in his body. For all of his human qualities it appears that this one escaped the mould. He pushes but your the one who carries the power. He doesn't understand the emotions your going to have to deal with.”
“But there were others before me, can't he use them as a template?”
“The previous Death Bringers were all male Luna. Your the first woman to have this ability. Your emotions travel far deeper than the men who wielded it before you. He needs to learn, just as you will about the pressures he is under.” Akiva is so insightful. I think we could be friends after all.
Pushing through a metal door, a green expanse awaits me. A field of green grass with trees dotted about in full blossom, pinks and whites, stuns me into silence. Daisies growing from the ground greet a perfect blue sky, not a cloud in sight, just the sun feeding life into everything. Looking into the distance I notice a fence with barbed wire on the top encircling this oasis. My breath is still caught in my throat and I cough as I try to express my amazement at what Akiva has shown me.
“What is this place?” My mouth still hangs open and I watch as a butterfly flies past my face.
“This is The Garden. A place of relaxation and to mingle with other residents.”
Residents? Only then do I notice that there are people milling about, some chasing each other through the trees and others sat on the grass picking daisies or just talking. Men, women and children of all ages living here together. I notice some of them staring at me and my self consciousness rears it's head.
I follow Akiva through the door and follow him to an empty wooden park bench. We both sit down and I continue to stare at my surroundings.
“I would never have guessed that this place would have a beautiful garden.”
“I bet you thought this was just a metal box throughout.”
“Yes actually.” A small laugh escapes my lips and my smile gets bigger.
I notice Akiva staring at me with a smile on his face and I really see how beautiful he his. The moment is disturbed when a little girl of about five years old with black hair and pale snow white skin hands me a daisy. I take the flower that's just been beheaded and smile, a small gesture but full of acceptance about who I am. “Thank you.”
A shout from a distant tree catches the girls attention and she runs away to the voice that called her.
“It seems you have already made a good impression. That was Mya, she's very receptive to others emotions. I think she picked up on yours.”
Still looking at the flower I watch as it disintegrates to brown dust in my hands. A rush of electricity rushes across my skin and I look toward Akiva, his eyes have turned to crystal and I realise i'm radiating the Death. My breathing quickens and I can't control the feeling of warmth bleeding from my skin. The ground beneath my feet starts dying and i'm panicking. Why isn't Akiva making this stop? I stand up and scream as the warmth starts to bleed from my mouth. Akiva appears in front of me and pulls me into an embrace radiating a blinding light that rushes into my every pore cooling the warmth that's been flowing from within. Shards of ice stab into my body as a voice shouts in my head, Let me out! Darkness descends and I am gone.
Chapter 6 Voices awake me from my slumber and I decide to keep my eyes closed. I want to know what's happening to me and If eavesdropping is the only way to do it then so be it. Laying on my bed, I stay still.
“Andrew listen to me. Her power is stronger than we have ever experienced before. We can't use her yet until she gains full control of herself.” The doctor is in the room.
“And how long will that take?” Lintmore's slimy voice fills the room.
“I can't give you an answer. We don't know what we're dealing with. Akiva struggled today, that in itself tells us a great deal.” The doctor sounds worried, maybe she actually cares.
“Do you propose we keep her sedated until then?”
“No, it's not fair. She's a person Andrew. She never asked for this, we are the only ones who can help her.” The doctor is fighting my corner.
A whisper in my ear startles me for a moment, “Luna, I know your awake.” Akiva is whispering in my ear, he must be sat next to me keeping a watch on me. “Don't blame yourself for what happened today, I made a mistake in putting you in close proximity with the other residents. Their presence sparked some sort of reaction in you. Everything is okay, you didn't hurt anyone.” A breath of relief escapes my lips at that revelation and I open my eyes to see Akiva looking at me intently.
“Thank you.” I mouth the words and Akiva's eyes soften.
“How are you feeling?” The concern in his eyes makes me want to say something that will make it disappear.
“A little achy.”
“That's understandable. I had to use quite a bit of force to contain your power. I was afraid I hurt you.”
“I think I deserved the forceful approach, if it wasn't for you I could have killed everyone in that garden. I should be thanking you. Thank you.”
Holding out his hand I place my hand in his and he helps me get up from the bed. His touch is silken. Standing up, the muffled voices in the corner of the room from Lintmore and the Doctor cease and they turn to face me.
“Luna, are you okay?” The Doctor is the first to speak. Lintmore just looks pissed.
“Yeah, thanks to Akiva. If he wasn't there...I hate to think what would have happened.”
“We need to make progress on your training. Sooner rather than later. Incidents like today need to be contained. I'm sure you understand, this isn't punishment it's for everybody's safety.”
I nod my head and smile at the Doctor. She may have lied to me in the beginning but she's shown that she cares for me, maybe I should cut her some slack.
Lintmore sighs from the corner and stomps out of the room. Strangely his reaction brings a smile to my face, seeing him angry pleases me. I could maybe use that to calm myself in the future.
“Akiva will take you to get some supper, you must be starving.”
I had lost all sense of time. The Doctor leaves and I realise that I have been holding Akiva's hand the entire time, looking at him he has eyes of a calm blue sea and his grip tightens ever so slightly. A message to say he likes me maybe? I squeeze his hand back, message received and understood Mr Forcefield.
Sitting in the empty canteen with Akiva we both enjoy a bowl of tomato soup with crusty bread. Considering this is the first time I have seen Akiva eat I'm more excited about food than normal.
“How are you feeling?” He asks between mouthfuls of soup.
“Better now I'm having something to eat. Killing things really gives me an appetite.”
Akiva lets out a gasp and his serious face confirms that he didn't catch onto my joke, a smile begins at the corner of his mouth and he realises I was being flippant.
“I didn't realise you had a comedic side to you.”
I shrug my shoulders as I take another spoonful of soup.
“I hope you don't mind but I will be sleeping with you tonight.”
That headline makes me spit my tomato soup out of my mouth and back into my bowl, splattering that table top as I do. Looking up at Akiva in disbelief I see he has a smile on his face, luckily none of my projectile soup landed on his blue robe. I wonder if there are any gifted people in this place with the power of stain removal?
“Don't worry Luna, I didn't mean for that to sound like it did. I meant that i'll be sharing a room with you from now on just until you have more self control.”
Oh. My heart does a little flutter. Act casual. “Fine, okay. You don't snore do you?” I stealthily try to mop up the mess from my chin with a napkin. So unattractive.
“I wouldn't know. I've never been in a position for anyone to tell me.” The seriousness has come back into his eyes and I realise that this is a conversation that could rapidly turn too personal. Thinking back to my mother I can just imagine her approving of this man. Standing behind Akiva I see my mum smiling at me, I know she would like him. An ache pulses through my heart at the memory of her and the grief washes over me again like a relentless tide.
“I think i've finished here.” placing my spoon down on the table I look to Akiva and he does the same.
“Come i'll show you your new room.”
Back in the white corridor we walk straight past my old room and stop at a white door. The last in a row of 8 doors, I counted. Stenciled on the door in black are the letters D.B. For Death Bringer. A shiver runs down my spine and a voice invades my mind again Home.
Pushing the door wide I expect to see more grey walls, instead white walls greet me. Windows just below the ceiling no more than a foot wide and a foot long dot the wall opposite the door letting light in. I can see nothing more than blue sky but it's cheerful nonetheless and better than the windowless box I used to have. They have given me furniture this time, at least I can't kill that. A chest of black drawers with a glossy finish, a comfortable black leather armchair, a single black framed bed already made up with crisp white sheets occupy the windowed wall. Stepping through the door with Akiva behind me I see a desk with a wooden chair is on the other wall, a desk lamp and a notepad lay there ready for me to pour my thoughts and feelings into. The biggest obstacle in my room is the glass wall that partitions the room in half. The glass is frosted for added privacy and double doors made of clear glass allows passage into the next room. Akiva's room.
“May I have a look?” I'm curious to see his new living space as much as I am curious about my own. He nods his head and extends an arm, a clear indication for me to go right ahead. Stepping through the double glass doors into his room I see that it is similar to my room and just as spacious. He has a double bed made up with silken blue sheets, a writing desk and a large wardrobe. No doubt full of his flowing robes. A set of drawers next to his wardrobe completes the room.
“What do you think to your new room?” Lintmore's voice breaks the comfortable silence and I am reminded that this room is designed to house a killer. My mood drops several levels and I am back in the sticky pool that is Lintmore's control.
Striding back into my room I face Lintmore “It's nice, better than the last one.” My brassiness towards this man is growing with each moment and I wonder where it's coming from. I was never this gutsy before all of this happened. Could it be my power? If so, it's definitely enjoyable.
“Yes,” he pauses looking me in the eye, he can see I'm changing too “well this one should be more appealing to you, we have provided you with a collection of clothing, you'll find an extra pair of shoes under your bed. Training with Dr Fletcher will commence tomorrow morning at 9:00am. I expect you there promptly.” And with that briefest of visits Lintmore departs.
Turning to Akiva, the awkwardness in the room starts to throb and I wring my hands nervously “I should get ready for bed.”
“Of course, i'll be in my room.” Without another thought Akiva goes into his room and closes the glass doors. Letting out a big breath I didn't realise I was holding I walk over to the chest of drawers and pull open the first of six. A selection of underwear greets me, no frills or lace to be seen thank God. The next drawer holds socks, excellent, can't forget the socks. The third drawer is full of t-shirts and a couple of hooded tops in a mixture of black and navy. The fourth drawer has some black jeans and, oh wow, shorts. I can't imagine when I will be showing my legs off. The fifth drawer houses some white cotton pyjama's, cool, nothing like my sheep and cow pyjama's at home but they'll do. The last drawer is full of shampoo's, lotions, cotton balls, toothbrush and toothpaste. They thought of everything. Pulling out a pair of white P.J.'s I begin to undress. I make a quick check of the glass wall and satisfy myself that he can't see me. I wonder what he wears for bed? After changing into my oversized P.J.'s I scrunch my long hair up into a messy bun atop my head. I fold my clothes and place them in their respective drawers. What to do now? Glancing up I see a clock on the wall above my desk and realise how much I have missed having something so simple to look at. Finally I know the time. 8:30pm, the sky outside is a darker shade of blue and is getting darker as each minute ticks by. Switching on my desk lamp I hear a tap on the glass partition “Come in”.
Akiva pushes open one glass door and kicks a wedge under it to keep it open. He's wearing grey sweatpants and a black vest. He has an amazing body, the muscles on his arms and the slimness of his waist call to me like a siren from the sea. Akiva's voice releases me from my open-mouthed trance.
Damn it, why couldn't I have been given some nightwear that actually fit me, I look like a child wearing one of dads big t-shirts, it looked cute ten years ago but not now.
“Err, thanks. I see that the government still haven't appointed someone with a knowledge for fashion or who knows anything about women's sizes.” I laugh to break the tension in the room.
“I was going to ask if you needed anything?”
“Actually, would you mind talking with me for a while, I have some questions and I feel I can talk to you more freely than I can with Lintmore? I know I could ask the Doctor but with her having some sort of mood control going on I want to keep a clear head and go with my genuine feelings.”
“Of course, you can ask me anything Luna.”
I sit on my bed cross legged and Akiva joins me sitting on the end of the bed.
“What do you want to know?”
“Okay.” I take a deep breath. “Back in the garden when I freaked out you did something to me, what was it?”
“Firstly you didn't freak out, don't ever think that your power makes you a freak. Secondly, I tried to make a force field around you but it wasn't working so instead I made a forcefield in you. It was the only way to stem the flow of your power. Your incredibly strong Luna, the strongest Death Bringer I have ever encountered.”
“Really?” I almost feel flattered.
“Why do I only channel at random times? Why aren't I doing it all the time?”
“Luna, you haven't stopped channelling since you were brought here.” A frown creases my brow, “I've had a forcefield around you constantly. The only times you've noticed it is when your power hits a peak. It ebbs and flows like water. That's why I've never been far from you.”
Oh, I thought it was because he liked me. It was just because I have the power to kill everyone on the planet if I want. Of course, what was I thinking having a crush on someone who sees me as a weapon of mass destruction?
“Hey, what's wrong?” A look of concern twinkles in Akiva's eyes and he places a hand on mine. His touch is soothing and that crush I've been holding onto fires up again, like kindling placed on an already blazing fire.
He's going to destroy you. That voice, penetrating my mind again. That can't be me, my sub-conscious maybe? Answer him. Shaking my head I come back to reality, staring into those blue eyes with stars that shine in them, I decide I have to be open with him.
“Are we friends?”
Akiva sits up and cocks his head to one side trying to puzzle out my reason for asking. “I hope so. Why do you ask?” he has a frown on his face but those eyes tell me he's nothing but truthful.
“I just want to know, your not hanging around me just because I could go thermo-nuclear any minute, right?” I brace myself for the answer that I know is coming, he's a glorified body guard nothing more than that.
He smiles and his grip on my hand tightens “No, not just because you could go thermo-nuclear.”
I smile and release my breath which activates that flutter in my chest once more.
“You should get some sleep. You've had a long day.” Akiva stands up and walks to his room.
“Would you mind leaving that door open?” Nodding to the glass door that he propped open earlier. With a smile and a nod he walks into his room.
Turning off my desk lamp I climb into my bed and sleep quickly rushes to me.
Luna. Luna. Luna,
You can't keep Death locked away forever,
Embrace me, bond with me and we will rule.
We made your parents proud that day,
They saw your power, felt the gift that they had given you.
See their faces, see their smile......
Screaming rips through my dream like a strike of lightning and opening my eyes I realise it's me screaming. Light fills my room and rapidly starts to fade as I register that I am in my bed and Akiva was just erecting a force field around me. The light disappears and Akiva is panting, out of breath, sweat glistening on his shoulders. Putting his arms down he walks straight towards me and gathers me in an embrace. Tears well in my eyes and they burst their banks trickling down my cheeks as the memory of my dream returns.
“I saw them, saw my parents. They looked at me with such fear as each person dropped like a stone. They ran to me, trying to help, and I killed them.”
“Shh it's over now. It wasn't you Luna.”
We stayed in that embrace until the sun rose. I feel safe when I am with him.
Chapter 7 My appointment with Dr Fletcher arrives and I knock on her door at exactly 9:00am. Dr Fletcher opens the door and greets me with that amazing smile. I walk in followed by Akiva wearing a green robe this time and I sit on her couch. I'm wearing my usual black t-shirt, skinny jeans and converse trainers, my dark hair flowing freely. She takes a seat next to me and picks up her notepad.
“Good morning Luna, I understand you suffered an episode last night.”
I nod my head, still reeling from the memories of the dream, I am not in a happy mood. As long as I don't touch Dr Fletcher she can't cheer me up. I don't want to to be happy, I don't deserve it.
“Would you tell me about it?”
She's not going to give up.
“I saw my parents, I saw what I did to them and I heard a voice, it was talking to me.”
“Was it your voice Luna?”
I shake my head.
The Doctor frowns and begins to scribble in her notepad “What did it say exactly?”
“It said I couldn't keep Death locked away forever, that I should bond with it.”
The Doctor's eyes widen momentarily and I can see she's familiar with what I'm telling her.
“What is it?” I need to know.
“Err, I..” The stutter starts to get under my skin, I will get the truth.
“Tell me.” Akiva's eyes start to turn crystallized again and the Doctor spills the truth.
“A previous Death Bringer, he experienced voices too.”
“What did they say?” All of a sudden it seems I am the one interrogating the Doctor, how the tables have turned.
“They told him to kill everyone, to embrace his gift and turn rogue.” She licks her lips, the nervousness creeping out again.
“What happened to him?”
She pauses and Akiva takes a step forward, his eyes glinting like glaciers trying to contain my power.
“He lost his soul. It consumed him, he killed thousands of people. We had no choice Luna.”
“You killed him.”
She nods and the revelation becomes clear in my mind.
“How do we stop this happening to me?”
Akiva releases a breath at the same time as the Doctor and his eyes become calm blue oceans again. A smile of relief washes over her face as she comprehends that I nearly flipped out but stopped myself. See, I can control this, I just need training....and a constant force field.
“First I need you to document your dreams. Also I think that your moods are vital to when you channel, so....try to stay happy okay?”
I let out a small laugh “Okay, i'll try.”
“We also want to keep Akiva strong so we were hoping you would agree to letting me sedate you on occasion to allow him to get some rest and so he can practice unlocking more of his power. Your the strongest Death Bringer we've ever had and we want to stay as prepared as possible. When your sedated every part of you is unconscious, even the Death. It's the best way.”
I agree, if Akiva is the only life line I have to keeping my soul and my sanity then I'll do whatever it takes.
After my heart to heart chat with the Doctor we make our way to the training room that I had visited previously, the same place were I first learnt the truth about my parents demise at my hands. The room contained plants that been arranged in a circle on the floor. Fours rows of plants made up the circle, the inner row started with small plants and each row consistently grew bigger until the last row at the back of the room had plants as tall as me.
Standing in the middle of the room surrounded by plants is oddly calming as if they are radiating a calming drug. I love nature, listening to the birds and the smell of fresh cut grass are my soothers. Doctor Fletcher enters the room next to mine and stands behind her glass wall. Speaking into the microphone she gives me my instructions, “Luna, this training session is all about control. I want to see how much control you have over the Death. I want you to close your eyes and listen to your body. When you feel the sensation of the Death stirring I want you to let it flow ever so slightly and then try to reign it back in, okay?”
“How am I going to reign it back in myself?” On all of the previous occasions Akiva has been the one to subdue the beast.
“As Peter Pan would say, “Think happy thoughts.”” I see her smile and I reciprocate the gesture. Maybe we can be friends one day, maybe.
Closing my eyes, I take a deep breath and start the journey into the beasts lair. My heartbeat thumps in my ears and my skin becomes responsive to the cool temperature in the room. The smell of the flowers in the front row fills my nostrils and the memory of watching my mother in the garden on her knees planting flowers appears before me. It's a bright summer's day and she's wearing that God awful curtain creation apron. A tingling in my stomach pulls my focus and I recognise the feeling instantly. A slight panic starts to rise in my throat as I prepare to give the beast inside me some room to play. It coils in my belly and tingling tendrils snake their way across my stomach and spread around my back, the warmth it creates is almost comforting, a strange feeling to embrace knowing what the consequence would be if I fully succumbed to the darkness. My mother is still on her knees gardening, she turns her head and her expression changes from blissful peace into one of fear, standing up she runs to me with her arms outstretched, the background changes to the church.
“Luna, reign it back in.” The Doctors voice seeps into the background and I open my eyes.
The first row of plants are already dead, crumbling to the floor making little piles of brown dust. The next row is starting to wilt as my power continues consuming the room. Closing my eyes, my breathing quickens as I hastily try to find a memory not tainted by death. The image of Akiva forms and instantly the arms of Death begin to retreat, his image in my mind brings me back down to Earth, my focus never wavering.
“Well done Luna. You can stop now.” The Doctors voice radiates with pleasure over the microphone, she's pleased with me. Maybe I can control this.
Opening my eyes I let out a breath, the scene of dead plants is saddening but at least I managed to save the other three rows. The Doctor enters the room with a beaming smile and I feel how pleased she is. Her emotions can be projected it seems, she's not even touching me and I can feel every happy atom in the air around her.
“You did excellent, these are very promising results. Next, I want you to release the Death a bit longer and then bring it back in okay?”
Nodding my head I feel a confidence that I have never experienced before. I have never been confident in anything, always lurking in the background trying to blend into the shadows. But this feels good and I want more of it.
Akiva appears behind the Doctor and he's smiling at me. He's happy too, maybe if I can control this he can have some of his life back rather than having to babysit me constantly. At least I would know for sure that he isn't here just because i'm dangerous.
Leaving the room with a smile on her face, the Doctor steps back into the observation room with Akiva in tow for the next round of self-control. Alone in the room again I close my eyes. The tingling starts almost immediately before I have even had time to pick a memory to work from.
Free me....the voice. “No.”
Your not strong enough to ignore me.
“You're not going to take my soul.”
It's too late Luna, i'm already rolling in it. You think you're toying with me when in fact it is I who toys with you.
The tingling starts to snake it's way up my chest, travelling to my arms. Quick, think of Akiva, he's my anchor. His face comes into my mind only to be wiped out by a cloud of black swirling through my head like a dust storm.
“Luna, that's enough, reign it back in!” The Doctor's voice shouts at me from a distance.
Opening my eyes I see the room of plants all dead, I failed. No! Don't let this happen, reaching into my memories I fight through the dark fog in my mind and grasp the shape of Akiva. Hold on to it, don't let it go. The tingling has reached my fingers and courses through my body, I can't stop the flow, falling to my knees I scream with panic. Hands embrace me from behind and a wave of cold pins stab into every pore of my skin. I buck in Akiva's arms as the Deathly warmth reacts to the cold force field being laid inside me. Silence consumes every nerve of my body and I collapse into his arms, those strong enveloping muscles protecting the world from me and protecting me from myself.
“I think she's had enough today Doctor.” He says while stroking my hair and rocking me like a child “I'll take her back to her room.” Picking me up with one sweep he leaves the dead forest behind and takes me back to our room.
Walking through our door I expect to planted on my bed, instead Akiva strides into his room and places me on his bed, “Shh sleep now.” With a final stroke of my head I drift into unconsciousness.
I awake with a start, “How are you feeling?” Akiva is sitting on my black leather armchair at the end of the bed. He's wearing his sweatpants again with his black vest, he must have dragged my chair in his room so he could watch me.
“What time is it?” Disorientation starts to dissolve as I stretch out and sit up.
“It's two in the afternoon. You slept for a few hours, not surprising really.”
Memories come flooding back and I remember my failure, “I failed.”
“No! No you didn't. I saw how hard you tried, I could feel you.” Coming to the bed, he sits next to me placing a reassuring hand on my arm.
“You could feel me?” My curiosity peaks, I thought he could only create force fields, does he have more talents i'm not aware of?
“I can pick up on people's feelings. I've been in tune with you ever since you arrived. And not just because your dangerous either.” A cheeky smile crosses his face and reflects back at me through his sea blue eyes. I flush with his boldness.
“You want to go to the gym?”
“The what now?”
“I thought you could do with a release, being cooped up here is a little restraining. I'm used to being active and exercise helps me relax. I was wondering if you wanted to join me?”
Memories of running cross country flit through my mind. Me straggling at the back of the class, bedraggled hair stuck to my face and crumbling to the ground after only a few minutes of running.
“Like running and stuff?” The frown of distaste creasing my face should tell Akiva my feelings on exercise.
“No not running, I meant Tai Chi, its a meditative martial art. I thought it would help you recover. It balances your body and clears your mind. You have gone through a lot recently and your body needs to be strong to cope with everything that's to come.”
“I've never done Tai Chi before. Sure I could give it ago. What should I wear?”
“Something comfortable. I took the liberty of getting an extra pair of sweatpants for you. I noticed they only gave you jeans and shorts.”
That was so thoughtful of him. “Okay, lets do this.”
A few minutes later, i'm dressed in my sweatpants and a white vest making my way with Akiva down the corridor to the Garden. I can already feel the relaxation seeping into my muscles with just the thought of having some fun time with Akiva. Pushing through the door that leads into the garden I see that it's empty.
“Where are all the people?”
“I booked the Garden last night so that we could use it to exercise. I thought it would be best for you to have no distractions.”
Wow, he made reservations for the Garden. Stepping onto the grass, a breeze blows through my hair carrying the scent of grass and blossom past my nose. The smell is divine and it triggers a huge grin on my face. Turning I see Akiva is watching me.
“I like it when you smile like that.”
Blushing I turn away.
“Come.” I put my hand in his and he pulls me to the middle of the field under a pink blossoming tree. I sit at its base and watch him as he begins his exercises.
The shapes he makes are beautiful and he looks majestic in the sunlight. Every muscle holding poise and grace at the same time. I fall into his hypnotic dance and stare for what seems an eternity, I could watch him all day. All too soon he extracts me from my reverie and takes my hand gently pulling me to my feet. Standing beside him I try to mirror his moves, awkward at first but gradually falling into the rhythm and pattern. The fog and tension that had been weaving their way into my body finally lifts and a feather light apparition of myself at peace takes their place.
Sitting on the grass after our exercise we share a picnic of sandwiches and snacks that Akiva had arranged to be left in the Garden before we got here. He's so strong and reserved, it masks a caring side that surprises me at every turn.
“I really enjoyed that.”
He smiles as he picks apart a sandwich.
“I thought you would. We could make these sessions a regular thing if you wanted?”
Is he kidding? Of course I do! “Yes, i'd really that.”
Laying down on the grass on my belly I pick daisy and marvel at it's construction. Delicate white petals surrounding a miniature sun supported by a furry green stem. I wonder if I could direct the power into this daisy without killing anything else? The Doctor would be proud of me for sure and it would make me feel better about my failure earlier. Concentrating on the flower in my palm of my hand I will the Death to stir from it's slumber. The tingling feeling responds to me immediately and slowly turns under my skin.
“Luna, what are you doing?” Akiva, no doubt sensing my power waking up, asks me with a hint urgency to his voice.
Ignoring his question and keeping my focus I let the Death slide down my arm, reaching my hand the flower starts to wither. The once green stem collapses in on itself, the petals turn from white to brown and the yellow sun crumbles to dust. Time to restrain the beast again. Reaching into my filing cabinet of memories I pluck a picture of myself doing Tai Chi with Akiva not minutes earlier.
The pleasantness of the memory causes the tingling in my arm to retract harshly, I watch the video of the memory play out until the tingling ceases completely. Looking down at the destruction of an innocent being of nature brings a smile to my face. I did it. Turning towards Akiva, I see he is pleased with me which generates even more satisfaction within me. Looking back at the dead daisy the reality of my actions pours cold water over my happiness. I am happy that I was able to kill a flower. I shouldn't be happy about this. This isn't a gift for any good purpose that I can think of, why would I need this? Where is the pleasure in having the ability to kill?
Akiva's touch on my shoulder breaks me from my maudlin thoughts.
“What are you thinking?” Concern swims in his voice.
“Just mulling over the purpose of my gift. Why would anyone need this power? What use am I to the world?”
“I really don't know Luna. That is probably the one question I cannot answer. Who knows why any of us were given these gifts? But I am sure of one thing, you're very important.”
“To you or the Government?” Why did I say that?! The question came tumbling off my tongue before I even had a chance to switch the filter in my brain on. Please don't answer that, just pretend you didn't hear me.
“Both.” A short answer but full of meaning.
“We should get back, our time here is running out and pretty soon people will be coming here. I don't want to put you in a position where you could lose control.”
Packing up the picnic we leave the garden and head to our room.
After all of the exercise I could do with a shower, picking up all of the things I need to get clean I head to the shower block. Akiva does the same, his shower cubicles are in the room next to mine.
Chapter 9 Standing in the empty shower room I place my clean folded clothing on the marble work surface and start to undress. Walking into the shower I let the hot spray fall over me washing away the days grime and sweat. After spending not nearly long enough under that hot waterfall that was my fantasy, I wrap a towel around myself and give my hair a quick rough towel dry. Walking back towards my clean clothes I fling my hair towel on the marble top.
Feeling clean? Gasping with shock I look up into the mirror and nearly fall backwards as I jump with fright at the sight reflected back at me. Through the steam in the room an image of me stares back but it's not me. My brown irises are black including the whites of my eyes. The veins in my face are black lines that look as though a child has scrawled over me and i'm smiling a hideous grin. Regaining my ability to breathe I take a tentative step forward toward the mirror.
“Wh...Who are you?”
I think you know Luna.
The reflection smiles even wider and nods her head in confirmation.
I shake my head fiercely and strands of damp hair stick to my face.
Why do you fight me?
“Because I am a good person. I'm not evil like you.”
Of course you are evil, I can only reside in a human that has the potential to wield me and guess what? I reside in you.
No, that can't be true. “I don't want to kill anybody.”
You killed your parents. The evil me cocks her head to one side twisting those words into something more than what it was, uncontrolled, never deliberate.
“No, I..I..didn't mean to. I loved my parents.” The emotion of grief wells up in me again and tears threaten to fall.
You don't remember, I remember. You felt pleased and relieved when you killed them. We rejoiced afterwards, before you fell unconscious that is.
Tears stream down my face and the words Death speaks ignite a rage inside me that I cannot quell. Screaming at the monster I pound my fists at her smashing the mirror to pieces and shattering the image of myself. Looking down at the shards of mirror around my feet I see another colour, red. My blood, running down my arms. Bursting through the door Akiva takes one look at me and a mixture of fear and anger contorts his face. Grabbing my hands in his he pulls me to him, keeping my arms raised to stem the flow coming from my wounds. Picking me up in his arms he runs down the corridor to a room I haven't been to before. A bed that you would find common place in a doctor's surgery dominates the middle of the room and stainless steel cabinets and drawers line the walls. He lays me on the bed and picks up the phone on the wall beside the door, “Doc, she's hurt.” Replacing the receiver he dashes to one of the cabinets and pulls a drawer out onto the floor in a desperate attempt to find what he's looking for. The Doctor opens the door and stops in her tracks at the sight of me wrapped in a blood stained towel with my arms in the air. Grabbing the dressings and towels from Akiva's hands she comes to me and starts to address my injuries. Akiva moves to stand by the opposite side of the bed and strokes my hair.
“What happened Luna?” The worry in his eyes pulls at my insides.
“I saw it. Death.”
The Doctor stops what she is doing briefly and glances at Akiva with apprehension in her eyes.
“You saw it?”
“In the mirror, it looked like me but it was monstrous. It's eyes were black and it's smile....it said awful things, that I was evil.”
“No, your not evil Luna. It's trying to corrupt you, don't listen to it.”
The Doctor finishes bandaging my hands and looks intently at me, “Luna, i'm concerned. The Death is getting very unpredictable and I'm worried about you. Will you let me sedate you tonight, you will wake up again tomorrow evening? A full twenty four hours. It will give you time to recover and Akiva can train his power. I want us to be fully prepared.”
Looking into Akiva's eyes, I nod. I need him with me, i'm scared of what's happening to me.
Akiva leaves the room and returns with a set of white cotton pyjama's for me. The Doctor helps me dress whilst he turns his back, always the gentleman.
Laying back on the bed in the medical room the Doctor hooks me up to an IV line. Keeping my body hydrated and nourished while I sleep. The needle doesn't hurt, after killing my parents nothing could be more painful than that. Akiva holds my hand as the doctor fills the syringe with the drug that's going to subdue the monster that dwells within me.
“I'll be here when you wake up.”
“I always keep my promises. Sleep well, before you know it you will be awake.”
The Doctor attaches the syringe to the IV tube and injects the sedative. Within seconds my eyes become heavy and the curtains close. Sleep well Death.
Chapter 10 Welcome to my world Luna.
What...what's going on? Am I asleep?
Yes you are and now you are trapped with me.
But the Doctor said you would be sedated too.
I am, like you I am physically unable to do anything right now. But mentally I can communicate with you, so get comfortable, we're going to be here a long time.
I'm dreaming. Maybe I can get some answers, I may be trapped with the Death but at least we can't kill anybody. Okay what do you ask a force so powerful it could wipe out the Earth?
I wouldn't go that far.
I have never wiped out the Earth although it would bring me great pleasure to do so. The world is filled with people who crave Death.
That's not true. People want to live, to share happiness and change the world.
Don't make me laugh. People are destructive, they're never happy. The world is changed by their own disasters that they create, I help them help themselves.
You have a sick way of looking at the world.
You're mistaking sick for simple. People are destined to die, the world is destined to die. We can do it together and set the cosmos at peace.
I will never join you.
You don't have much of a choice Luna. I am stronger than you.
I've managed to keep you at bay so far.
Only because you have that creature protecting you from me. I am older than you can imagine. I may not be able to take full control just yet but you can feel me getting stronger and very soon you will feel me corrupt that mind of yours. You will see the world how I see it and we will reign together.
I won't let you kill anybody.
But you will and you will Basque it. I know you already enjoy the feel of me crawling across your skin. The warmth I create in you, it's comforting isn't it? Aren't you curious about how it would feel to just embrace me?
I can imagine horrors like no other at that thought.
You could have the world crumble at your feet...literally. All of that grief you've been carrying around could disappear. All of those weak human emotions will vanish completely. No more pain.
But what about the rest of the world?
Have you ever asked yourself, who cares about you? Now that your family are gone, by your own doing I might add, your all alone.
I have Akiva.
I was waiting for you to mention him. Your white knight. He doesn't care about you, he's only here because Andrew told him to watch you. To protect everyone from you. What do you think is going to happen when they realise they can't control you? They will kill you Luna. They did it to the last Death Bringer, he didn't even have a chance to fight me. They just killed him. Don't trust these people, your only friend is me.
You are no friend of mine.
Wrong. I am your only real friend. I am the only one who has been honest with you. I may be a monster but at least you know what I want. Have they told you what your purpose is yet?
No, Akiva said he didn't know.
Lies. He knows. He was here when the last few Death Bringers were here. He helped prep them just like he's doing to you. You can't trust him.
I don't believe you.
Of course you don't. Your blinded by your feelings for him. I don't particularly care whether you believe me or not but just consider this as a warning. When I finally take control of you, and I will, Akiva will be one of the first to go. It will be easier on you to accept if you take heed of my advice.
A warm breeze blows through my dream state and voices start to penetrate the background.
Wake up Luna.
Chapter 11 Flickering my eyelids I see Akiva stood over me. Has it been twenty four hours already? The Doctor is next to appear in my field of vision and she smiles as she removes the IV line from my arm.
“Welcome back.” Lintmore's voice.
Akiva helps me to sit up and I quickly check for bed hair. All clear.
“How did you sleep?”
“Heavily.” I decide to keep my conversation with Death quiet from Lintmore. The Death was right about one thing, I don't trust him.
“Well there were no accidents and Akiva has managed to train while you slept. Seen as the time is now 6pm I suggest you get something to eat and then I wish to see you in Traning room one after you have eaten.”
“The Government pays a lot of money to keep you here. Obviously we expect something in return. Your talents are useful to us and we would like your cooperation in these matters.” That slimy smile is plastered all over his face and I feel like a fly caught in his sticky web. It makes me feel dirty.
“Andrew no, she isn't ready.” The Doctor steps in, she doesn't support his decision. That must mean something bad.
“Dr Fletcher Luna has been with us long enough now, we expect to see results and patience is not something we have copious amounts of.” With a stare hard enough to break ice Lintmore leaves the room. Staring at the door I make a decision for myself, should I get taken over by Death, Lintmore will be the first to go.
Back in my room I rummage through my drawers and pick out some clothes which aren't oversized P.J.'s. After dressing in my trademark black jeans and a t-shirt I walk over to my writing desk. The Doctor told me to write down my dreams. I should write about my conversation with Death. But I feel compelled to keep the conversation private. Maybe i'll mention it at a later date.
Entering the canteen Akiva has already brought two plates of food over to our table. Burger and chips, nice choice. Tucking into solid food after twenty four hours of a liquid lunch is a luxury. Akiva has a concerned look on his face and I notice that he's been playing with his food the whole time I have been stuffing my face. Swallowing my last mouthful of burger I put the rest on my plate and confront the atmosphere he's created.
“Usually you're the one asking me if i'm okay. What's up?”
Dropping the chip that's he's pretty much decimated he looks up at me and the stars that are usually twinkling aren't there any more, the blue ocean is now a dark cloudy sky. “I'm worried about you.”
“Because when you were asleep I realised how deep the feelings are that I have for you.”
I hope to God I don't have ketchup on my face right now to spoil this moment. Smiling I reach for his hand across the table and give it a squeeze.
“I care for you too. But you don't have to worry. I'm going to be fine, whatever Lintmore has planned for me i'm not going to make it easy for him.”
He squeezes my hand harder and the look of worry deepens on his forehead.
We finish the rest of our meal in silence and we walk towards Training room one.
Chapter 12 The door is black and bears the initials T.R.1 in white. I knock and enter. Inside, the room has black walls and is extremely large. Halogen lights bathe the room in an artificial light that is painful to the eyes. Stood at the back of the room is Lintmore, on his own. For some reason I expected more suits with him.
Walking into the room I make my way towards Lintmore with Akiva in tow.
“I thought there would me more people here.”
“Our sponsors and clientele prefer to watch using our closed circuit cameras.”
“You could have just said CCTV, I would have understood.” The tartness returns to my voice and I feel myself enjoying being rude to this man.
The small smile that had been on his face earlier drops and his eyes glare at me with an inkling of hate. This man does not like me in the slightest. His previous Death Bringers were probably manageable and predictable. His plans aren't going as smoothly as they once did for the others and that makes him angry.
“Let's begin. You have up until now been training with plants. I want to start your next stage of training with an animal.”
What?! “I'm not ready for that yet.” He can't seriously think i'm able to concentrate knowing I have a life in my hands.
“Well, all the more reason for you to give it your best.” That smile of his returns and he's pleased he has put me in a position that will make me uncomfortable.
“Andrew, think about what she's been going through. She cannot handle an animal at this early stage.” Akiva speaks up, backing my corner.
“You are not kept here to advise me Akiva. You forget your place. She will tackle this session with the poise and responsibility of a true Death Bringer. If she fails then we will simply try again. I expect you not to interfere with this session. If the animal dies then so be it, you will not stop it.”
Akiva's eyes have turned dark blue and anger misshapes his beautiful features.
“Luna, please stand in the middle of the room.”
Knowing I have no choice in this matter I walk slowly to the centre of room and stand facing Lintmore. He's going to watch this and I hope he gets scared at my power. Another door opens to my left and a man in overalls walks into the room holding a beautiful huskie by a lead. No. Not a dog, something smaller, like an insect but not a dog. The dog is excited and wags it's tail at the sight of me. Immediately I can feel Death stir at the sight of the animal.
No, this isn't going to happen. I won't hurt the dog. The man in the overalls commands the dog to sit opposite me, it does as it's told and the man exits via the same door. Lintmore claps his hands once and four glass walls appear from the floor encasing me and the dog in a transparent prison. What the? Glass won't protect Lintmore from me. Of course, they don't want the dog to escape. That's what the walls are for. That sick bastard. Looking at Akiva I can see he his struggling with this set up. Why won't Lintmore listen to him? Oh no, please Death don't do this. The tingling starts to creep from my stomach and I look at the dog, it whimpers and starts to back away from me. It can feel the darkness brewing inside me and it's scared. Hold onto a memory Luna, searching through the filing cabinet in my head I pull open a drawer and select the memory of doing Tai Chi with Akiva. The creeping starts to subside, I can do this.
That memory is getting faded around the edges Luna.
Watching myself with Akiva a cloud of black dust swirls across and distorts the memory. Death wants me to fail, no it's not going to happen. Warmth spreads up my chest and I try to shake it off unsuccessfully. I run back to the mental filing cabinet and open the Akiva drawer again, a cloud of black spews forth and the tingling sensation flows faster down my arms and legs. Death has invaded my memories, it's trying to take me. Turning toward the glass wall at my back I try to get as much distance between the dog and me as I can. The dog has already done the same and is pacing back and forth trying to find an exit. It's cries pull at my soul and tears start to stream down my cheeks. “Damn you Lintmore, don't do this!” Sinking to the floor I back myself into the corner of the glass box and watch the poor dog as it's fate is sealed. The warmth starts to flow from my body and I can sense it travelling across the stone floor towards it's prey.
That's right, give in to it.
Why won't Akiva help me? He's stood right there, he knows this is wrong.
Here doggy doggy.
Closing my eyes I try to still my panicked breathing, focus Luna. An image of me and Akiva walking hand in hand on the beach fills my senses. I imagine the sea air and listen to the sounds of the seagulls as they fly over our heads. The feel of the wet sand beneath my feet pulls Death's focus away from the dog. The sinking sun glints off the ripples in the water.
This isn't a memory Luna.
“Exactly, its a dream. A dream of what my future holds with you under lock and key.” The warmth starts to retract as I delve deeper into my fantasy. I make it fill my senses entirely not giving Death any room to manoeuvre. The tingling slides back up my arms. The sound of children splashing in the water, laughing and screaming with excitement. My arms feel like my own again, i'm winning. A summers breeze blows through my hair and heats my body. Opening my eyes, the dog is safe and Death is subdued. I did it.
Lintmore claps once and the walls slide back into the floor nearly making me fall backwards as I had been pushing myself against them earlier. The dog runs to the door on the left where the man in overalls is standing waiting with it's lead. The man strokes the dog and a look of relief crosses his face, that must have been his dog. He glances at me briefly and gives me a nod of appreciation.
Akiva comes to me swiftly and helps me to my feet. Lintmore joins us, strangely without a look of satisfaction on his face.
“Well, I passed. Your sponsors should be proud.” The contempt in my voice is rank. Maybe now he will back off.
“Yes I believe they will be. Your emotions are vital to your control I see.”
“Yes, if i'm in a good mood I am less likely to kill anybody.” Let me infuse that message to you Lintmore, piss me off and I will destroy your soul from the inside out.
“We're finished here.”
I can't leave the room fast enough. Stomping down the corridor frustration courses through me, how dare he?!
“Luna, wait.” Akiva can tell i'm fuming with Lintmore.
Ignoring his request I carry on stomping towards our room. Grasping my arm, Akiva pulls me to a stop and turns me to face him. “Hey, why are you so angry?”
“What, you really don't know? Look at what he made me do in there. I never want to be put in that position again.”
“I know, I was there, I saw.”
“Why didn't you stop it?”
The look in Akiva's face is one of pain. “I couldn't Luna, i'm tightly bound to my role here. I would have only stepped in if their was a persons life at stake. I know what Andrew made you do was cold but it was also necessary. You faced the Death and you beat it back. This is a good result.”
Shaking my head I take a step away from Akiva. He sounds as though he is on Andrew's side, was Death right about him?
“No, it's not. It's a good result for Lintmore and his precious sponsors. You didn't feel the fear of that poor animal, it was scared for it's life and I was scared that I was going to be the one to take it. And speaking of Lintmore, did you see the look of disappointment on his face afterwards? It's almost as if he wants me to fail, I don't trust him. The voice of this creature inside me is constantly in my head and i'm getting tired of fighting with it. It wants to take my soul and it will do it by force if necessary. You are the one person who can stop me from killing, I can't do it on my own.” The tears start to fall and Akiva reaches out to touch my cheek. Wiping my tears away his touch melts my anger, cupping my cheek in his hand he stares at me intently.
“I won't let it take you Luna.”
We walk back to our room hand in hand.
Chapter 13 It's 2am. Akiva fell asleep hours ago, he doesn't snore either, i'll have to let him know when he wakes up. My mind has been active since nearly killing the dog, thoughts run through my head about what I nearly did, how I would have felt afterwards, Lintmore's disappointed reaction. Getting out of bed I decide I need some air. Nobody will be awake at this time I should be safe. I pull a hoody on over my pyjama's and slip my Converse trainers on. Gently sliding out of the room I make my way towards the Garden. This is my first time without having Akiva with me, it feels weird, like i'm being naughty because i'm out alone. Well, I shouldn't encounter anybody at this hour so it's not likely i'm going to have an episode. Pushing through the door a full moon greets me. The Garden is silent, good. The light of the moon casts a moody glow on the trees and large shadows loom across the grass. Taking a deep breath I fill my lungs, the scent of the blossom in the air is intoxicating and makes me smile. A shadow moves in to my right and I react quickly, a figure shrouded in a cloak tending to the flowers.
The figure stands up straight and turns slowly. Blonde hair peeks out from under the hood, the face is in shadow but i'm pretty sure it's a girl. She looks to be my height, she takes a step forward then halts abruptly.
“Are you the new Death Bringer?” Hesitation marinates in her voice.
“Yes, who are you?”
“I can't talk to you, you shouldn't be here.”
“What? What do you mean?”
“It's dangerous for us to be so close to each other. Please go, before something bad happens.” Fear rises in her voice. I'm too curious to just leave her, I want to know more. Why is she in the garden at this time?
“Look I know i'm not safe to be around but I won't hurt you. Just tell me who you are.”
“No Luna, it's not just that your unsafe, it's unsafe to both of us if we come into contact. Our powers are like the same ends of a magnet when you put them together. You really need to leave now.”
The panic in her voice is enough to make my feet move backwards and I make my way out of the door. How did she know my name? I'll ask Akiva about her.
Pushing my bedroom door open, Akiva is standing there, concern etched across his face.
“Thank God your here, where did you go? I woke up just a few seconds ago and you were gone.”
“I needed some air.”
“Luna, you can't go anywhere without me understand? What if something happened?”
“I didn't think anyone would be awake at this hour, I just couldn't sleep that's all.”
He lets out a sigh and pulls me into a surprise embrace. His hug is strong and I can tell he really missed me. Wow, he wasn't lying when he said his feelings for me run deep. I cuddle him back.
“I met someone in the Garden.”
He pulls me away and holds me by my shoulders staring at me, those stars in his eyes are back and are twinkling brighter then I have seen before.
“Who did you meet?”
“I don't know, I didn't get her name. She was tending the flowers but she was worried when she saw me.”
“What did she look like?”
“She was wearing a black hooded cloak so I didn't really see her. But I know she had blonde hair. Do you know her?”
He nods, “You shouldn't be around her.”
“That's what she said.”
“Not everyone's powers are compatible together Luna. Sometimes they can create a negative reaction. She has a power that could have drastic consequences if it came into close contact with yours. Promise me you won't go anywhere without me, please?”
The need in his voice is frightening and I nod my head. He brings me back in for a cuddle and this time he squeezes, the need in him cuts through me and in that moment I know i never want to do anything that would cause him this much worry.
We spend the rest of the night playing cards on his bed and talking about anything but my power and this facility. We discuss my childhood mostly and what foods we like and dislike. I tell him about all of my embarrassing moments and there are many.
Chapter 14 Lintmore has requested me to come back for another round of 'training'. I'd call it more of a sadistic show for his for his own pleasure. I wonder what he's going to throw at me this time, something bigger perhaps, a lion or a bear? Well he's going to be disappointed because, i'm not going to give him the satisfaction of watching me kill an innocent creature.
I knock on the Training room door once and push my way inside. I squint my eyes under the halogen lights, they are so harsh, not welcoming at all. Lintmore is stood at the back of the room again, his hands clasped in front of himself. He's wearing a smart navy blue pinstripe suit, as always he is impeccably dressed. Akiva is behind me as we make our way inside. I stop in the middle of the room, I don't see the need for conversation considering I already know what's going to happen. Akiva stands by Lintmore's side, apprehension visible in the way he is holding himself. The door on the left opens and the same man who had delivered the dog to me previously walks in pushing a metal trolley like the one in the Doctor's office. What animal is this? Stopping the trolley in front of me my eyes widen to their extent. Mya is laid on the bed unconscious. No, he can't expect me to do this to her. Looking at Akiva, the recognition crosses his features and he turns to Lintmore ready to speak. I get there before him.
“Lintmore, what the hell is this? You can't expect me to do this to a child!”
He smiles, that sick bastard. He wants me to kill her.
“What's wrong Luna?”
“You know damn well! She's just a little girl, what if I...?” I can't even get the words out. I could never forgive myself if I hurt her, or worse. That sweet girl who gave me a daisy, she wasn't even afraid of me. I won't take her life from her.
Yes you will, look at her sleeping, she looks dead already.
“Back off Death, you're not having her.”
I hear the sound of a faint laugh and I realise it's Death laughing at me. It's excited at the prospect of feeding on this delicious buffet that has been placed in front of us.
“Lintmore don't do this.” Akiva is fighting my corner this time. He knows this is wrong, I remember him telling me that he would only step in if a persons life was at stake. Well now is his time to take a big step and protect Mya.
“Akiva, as I made it clear the last time we were here, you will not interfere with this. You will protect myself and this facility as a whole. This is a test, if she fails then so be it. It will be a valuable lesson for her to learn.”
“And what about Mya? Doesn't she deserve to live?”
He shrugs his shoulders, “We all have a role to play, hers has now become apparent has it not?”
“She's just a little girl.”
“Exactly, she is just a little girl. Her loss will be sad for a time but I am sure we will all move on eventually. Mark my words Akiva, if you interfere in this I will send you back to the place you used to belong to. I know you remember the pain.”
Akiva's mouth drops open, terror and shock in his eyes. “You wouldn't.”
Lintmore smiles that evil smile again “Try me.” He claps his hands once and the glass walls come up, sealing me inside with Mya.
Panic starts to rise in my throat and the tingling in my stomach begins, calm down Luna. You can manage this. I push Mya's trolley to the other side of the glass box with my foot, not wanting to get too close. Moving to the back wall I push myself against it.
A delicious meal all for me.
“It's not happening Death, your staying locked away just like last time.”
I beg to differ Luna, you are weak. Those memories you use against me won't work this time. You and me will be one.
No! The warmth spreads down my legs and up my arms, it's quicker this time not slow and creeping like before, it's hungry that's why.
Scrabbling through my mental filing cabinet I pick through memories I have stored. Memories of my parents are too painful to use, it will only make things worse. Me and Akiva. A swirling cloud of black dust forms a tornado through my mind and flings my memories everywhere. They are a mess, it's chaos, I can't concentrate. The warmth starts to bleed off my skin and I can sense it travelling through the air towards Mya. I form a fantasy of myself with Akiva instead. The beach, the sounds of the waves as they lap at our feet.
Another fantasy Luna? You think you that will work this time? Real memories are stronger, these make-believe sounds and feelings are scraps of worthlessness.
It's not working, shit, try another fantasy. Me and Akiva sitting together in a meadow, the smell of the flowers and the feel of the grass. For a moment the Death slows in it's tracks and I concentrate harder.
A new fantasy? You are wasting your time, your stubbornness knows no bounds. This is futile.
Desperation fills my being and I shout at Lintmore.
“You've seen enough, you know I can't control this, stop it now!” I bang my fists against the glass to make my message as serious as possible. He's made his point, whatever point that is. He looks at me and smirks, “Carry on.”
What! This man is a monster, I was right all along. Akiva's eyes start to crystallize, he's going to save her, oh thank God! Lintmore looks at Akiva and flings his right wrist in over his head. Akiva crumbles to the floor shouting out in pain. What has he done to him?
“Stop, don't hurt him!” Watching Akiva in pain only makes the Death stronger and my resolve weakens critically. I'm at a dead end, Death is my only way out of this. Lowering my voice I face my fate.
“Death, lets make a deal.”
Immediately the warmth halts in it's path just feet away from Mya.
Accepting your destiny are we?
“It seems I have no choice, there are however, conditions.”
Foolish girl, you think you can bargain with me?
“Yes, because the smallest part of me wants what you want and if you expect your existence to last longer than the last time, you will listen to me. I know that you're stronger inside me than you were inside the others.”
I am intrigued.
“I will bond with you on the basis that you don't kill Mya or try to wipe humanity off the face of the Earth.”
I brace myself for the bonding process and feel all of the warmth that was radiating towards Mya retreat back inside me. The heat is getting hotter, a furnace under my skin. My vision darkens, looking down at my hands my veins turn black and form delicate scrawling lines on my skin that crawl up my arms, I can feel it infecting my chest and up my neck. The pressure in my head contracts and a pounding rings in my ears. Falling to my knees I hold my head, screams of those I have killed already get louder with each pound, Death is breaking into my humanity with a sledgehammer. I scream out as the pressure and the pounding reach a scale that I cannot tolerate and then suddenly the pounding stops and the pressure releases. All that is left is a laughter welling up inside me. This feels....pleasant. I release the laugh and it bounces off all four corners of the glass box. Death was right, no more pain, no more worry. Lintmore has fear in his eyes.
“Not smiling any more? Drop the walls.”
He does as I command and claps his hands together once. The walls drop and I have my freedom.
“Luna...” His voice breaks under his panicked stutter.
“Scared Lintmore? You should be, I embraced Death just like you wanted.”
Walking towards him a hum of strength buzzes through my muscles like a force of nature, feeling his fear intoxicates my senses. Stopping just inches from his face I stroke one finger down his moist cheek.
“Are your sponsors happy now?”
“Shh.” I stifle his stutter with my finger and kiss him on his head. He falls to the floor in a heap. Akiva has been writhing on the floor in pain the whole time and now whatever connection Lintmore had over him breaks. Looking up at me his eyes are still pained from whatever torment Lintmore had been putting him through but at the sight of me his eyes soften slightly.
Looking at Lintmore I shrug my shoulders and reply simply “I gave him the kiss of Death.” I smile at my pun and offer a hand to Akiva.
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