Chapter 12

Chapter 12

A Chapter by Iron K. Tager
"

The twelfth chapter.

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Everything was white, everywhere.  The sky was white, the horizon was white, the ground was white, and all of it was featureless and flat.  There was no noticeable light source, but only the ability to tell the light was coming from somewhere above.  It was nothing but a white void.

His shadow was cast directly below him, and was the only thing that could discern the light source’s location.  No wind was blowing, and no sound was audible.  He stood still, trying to understand what was happening.

Jeremy slowly took a step forward.  “Where... is this?” he asked looking around tiredly, hoping someone could tell him.

“Your head, I’m guessing,” a voice came from the sky in front of him.  Jeremy looked up to find someone’s silhouette floating about fifteen feet in the air and few yards away.  It sat silent for a moment, as if expecting a response.  “This is a dream I have placed you in.”

“A… dream?” Jeremy repeated slowly.

“Yes.  Though I hate to dirty my hands with you, it seems they hypnotized you with the time I could not keep with, their constant bantering.  Though the lie with you is as strong as mine, and no reel is provided for you to follow suit,” the silhouette said.  It was one of a young man, possibly in his later teens or early twenties.

“...What?” Jeremy responded, confused.  He took two more steps towards the silhouette, but it remained the same distance from him.  Jeremy’s shadow was still directly below him.  Something else began to slowly form in his mind.  He felt something, like a lightly coiling force around his limbs.  He could hear the screeches of a metal track and the running and the yelling voices in the back of his mind.

“Someway or another, you will be deceived by their phantom ploys, led through the murk of darkness,” the silhouette stated, “unless I can shift the light to burn the wall incessantly raised out of spite for my path of solidity.  You will be hypnotized by their falsities and trickery.”  He took a pause, as if again waiting for a response from Jeremy, then continued: “yes... those feelings that they so hated in me, trapped in you.  But I know how to break the stained glass of this begrudged kaleidoscope allowed passively in for your optics as if a replacement was warranted.  Yes... You are being used.  The night of fire tore through their dreams, and star’s length tore away their mask.  A gap of reality, the curtain over us, laughs at us, but stray thoughts orbit and superscribed author remnants left a path by which eyes cast the body behind to move in clarity.  They could not hide their murky lies.”  As he spoke, images of his words superimposed themselves on Jeremy’s vision.  They flashed before him, mixed with things that he recognized, scenes, but could not interpret as they moved too fast.

“Who… who are you?” Jeremy was confused and was struck by a sudden fear as the silhouette talked.

“I?” he asked.  “You may call me Morpheus, for I have constructed this dream in order to commune with you, and finally destroy the barrier insensitively placed to section your being and soul.”  The silhouette did not move a foot closer, but he seemed to become increasingly over-bearing as he spoke.  He raised his palm to point it at Jeremy, and then made a fist.  The flashes before Jeremy’s consciousness flashed even more rapidly.  “Choose your judgment for yourself.”  The silhouette quickly opened his hand, and an explosion of colored sparks could be seen, and quickly took up his entire perception.  “If someone approaches you and remarks they will take you to see Morpheus, accompany them.”  Then, suddenly, the same scene returned with the silhouette gone, and slight sparkles of light came from the ground as it all faded to black. 

Jeremy’s eyes slowly parted the darkness as he lifted his eyelids, and silently lay still, staring up at the ceiling.  His eyes began to sting, and he noticed that his vision was blurred.  He could feel water running down both of his cheeks as his eyes poured out tears.  He didn’t understand this feeling that was ripping through him; he did not remember it at first.  However, slowly, he began to remember what this feeling was.  It was empty, sad, and painful.  It was the feeling of loss, of suffering.

Jeremy rolled over onto his right side, away from the door.  He did not know why he was having this feeling, or what he had lost.  What was so great a part of him that it would cause this?  The feeling tore at him so strongly that his sobs became greater, until he finally remembered what he had lost.  He finally realized what it was he was missing: everything.

He could not stop himself from letting out a pitiful wail, and then slowly curled into himself, drowned in sorrow and short, labored breaths.  He continued to cry, and muffled out words only a few words between his pants to regain breath.  “Gone… gone…” he stuttered between breaths, “e-everything…”  He did not know any other words to say.  There was nothing he could possibly bring himself to do now but remember and cry.  He dove back into crying loudly, even louder than before, trying to bury his face in his small pillow, failing to contain himself.

A tumble could be heard above him on the second floor, and wide footsteps were quickly pacing towards the stairs; but Jeremy did not care, or rather could not care, as his loud cries prevailed and his tears continued to sting his eyes and soak the pillow at his face.  He curled up slightly and whimpered out again:  “e… everyone…” 

Lance came quickly to the doorway and looked in to see Jeremy curled up and crying aloud.  He seemingly ran into the room and knelt down next to Jeremy, grabbing a folded towel from the small table across from the bed. 

“What’s wrong?” Lance asked frantically with great concern coating his voice.  “What happened?”

Jeremy sniffled, lifting his face from the pillow.  It was bright red, both his face and his eyes, and was moist from the tears and mucus.  He labored out the words as best as he could.  “Th… they’re… all gone.”  He responded.  “Ev… everyone.”

“Who?” Lance asked worriedly, leaning a little closer to Jeremy while trying to see his face.  He already had an idea of who Jeremy was talking about.

“Everyone…” Jeremy managed to say again.  He tried his best to hold back his tears, but he could not.  The memories he had would not allow him.  He cried out, and could no longer hold back the sorrow as it crushed him inside.  The tears were pouring out of his eyes, and his powerful crying began again as he shoved his face back into the pillow.

Lance stood up and turned around, quickly walking towards the door.  Lucia was leaned over to the side, looking through the right of the doorway with an unsure confusion.  “Lance?  What’s going on?” she quietly asked, as Lance passed her.

He stopped right outside of the doorway.  “He… He finally realized,” he said in a baffled way, more to himself than to Lucia.   Lance then paced to the back of the shop as fast as he could manage. 

Lucia silently looked back into the room where Jeremy was crying, curled up.  She watched him lay there with concern, and then slowly backed away into the kitchen. 

 

Morning had fully revealed itself at the shrine, and the sun had risen over the horizon to softly touch the shrine grounds with a gentle light.  Its grey shingles and wooden exterior sitting silently with forest on all sides, giving the image of a peaceful morning.

With a jump into the air, she threw her fist, covered in a glowing, ball of white fire, down onto the ground next to Soro, who jumped to the side and avoided it.  His feet slid on the ground and he came to a stop a few yards away.  He looked at his opponent, who was dressed in a button-up, tan short-sleeve shirt over a long-sleeved white one.  On top of the tan one were dark blue straps that ran down diagonally from her shoulders to her pants on the sides of her shirt, crossing another one to form an X on her flanks, but stop at the shirt’s length.  The white under-shirt had folds along its sleeves, and was buttoned at the cuff.  Her pants were a faded and battered shade of red, with disappearing purple flowers sparsely placed on it.  She looked not much older than Lucia, more than a head shorter than Soro.

She stood up.  “Give up, now,” the girl demanded.  “If you know who I am, then you know you have no chance,” She stated, smiling deviously.  She brushed her short, pale-brown hair back, but it just went back into place.

“I don’t know who ya are whatcha want,” Soro responded, “but I don’t exactly give up against someone who acts like ya do.”  He chuckled a little, “though you probably already knew that, didn’t you?”

“Heh, enough talk from you, geezer,” she snapped, and jumped at Soro with both of her hands covered in a condensed white, as if the fire had been turned to a liquid. 

Soro jumped over her head and threw two talismans made of white paper with red markings all over them down at her.  Sano stopped in her tracks, spun around and shot bolts of the white substance up at Soro.  They burned through the talismans and headed straight for him. 

In response, Soro held out a talisman in his right hand and erected a circular barrier the size of his body.  The two bolts hit the shield above and below his hand with tremendous force.  They disappeared, shattering the shield, and the talisman Soro had in his hand fell down and dissolved in a quick flame.

She quickly jumped up, with her hands still bathed in white, and struck the barrier Soro could make in only a split second.  It cracked in the middle where she hit, and he barreled down onto the shrine grounds from its impact, rolling once before stopping on his feet.

“NOW give up!” she yelled at Soro.  He looked up to see her holding both of her hands over her head, palms stretched up and facing the sky, leading to the gigantic outline of a box the size of the shrine dotted by orbs of the pure-white energy, which seemingly had slight variations in color.  Soro stood up fully, his back to the woods. 

Soro sighed.  “I guess I have no choice…” He reached into his shirt and took out four talismans for each hand, holding them between his fingers.  “I’ll have to get serious.”

Her grin widened and seemed to mock Soro’s statement.  “Sure sure,” She called out mockingly, closing her hands.  The outline of the cube began to rotate on all axes, leaving more orbs in its wake.  She threw her hand forward, and thousands of the small, white orbs shot towards Soro.  “You just need to die!” she yelled.

Soro put both of his talisman-bearing hands together to his left, and rotated them to the right, leaving them in mid-air as the circle continued, having five of them evenly spaced in front of him, and the last of them on his palms.  Then he closed his hands and threw his palms forward, the outside five arranged themselves into a pentagon, and the inside three kept on his palms in a triangular fashion.  Cara jumped out of the woods from behind him to his left and put her hands up with his, and the shield grew just large enough to encompass protect them both.

“Sorry I’m late,” she apologized, “I got held up.”

Waves of the orbs slammed into the shield and surrounded them, practically blocking the sky and every other direction in a flood of light.  They disappeared just after smashing into the ground, bursting into sparkles that floated back up towards Soro’s attacker, leaving virtually no mark behind.  The waves continued to pound on the shield and give off a blinding-white light.

“I’m going to burst this,” Soro said, looking at Cara determinately.

Cara understood what it was that he wanted her to do.  “Right!”

“Burst!”  Soro shouted as he forcefully tore his palms away from each other, and the shield exploded forward, destroying the talismans and clearing a path in the endless wave of orbs for him to jump through.  Cara took off first, pushing off of the ground and through the gap at great speed and past her attacker, and turning right towards the stone stairs leading towards the village.  Soro followed her, but headed straight at the unknown girl instead, placing his palms together to his right and throwing them open to the left, creating an arc of talismans, seemingly from nowhere, that flew at her. 

Cara glided down only a few feet above the steps, making them only a blur.  The wind strongly lashed her hair and clothes as she picked up speed.  She arced her body upward by shifting her wings and landed at the bottom of the stone stairs on the dirt of the road, sliding to a stop with the last of the momentum.  She then spun around and stepped over to a wooden sign, flipping a card hanging on a hook from its red side to its black side.  Two of the women villagers were not far away from her, and watched her do so silently.

“The shrine is closed right now,” Cara stated quickly.  She nodded, crouched down, and jumped up with a powerful flap of her wings, taking off into the air towards the middle of town.

She rose above the wooden houses and shops, over the village and high into the air, casting a shadow that spanned from one building to another.  Only a few villagers who were walking below looked up as the shadow passed them to see what was flying overhead.  All of the buildings looked like they fit into a neat grid, each square playing its part to make the whole into tightly organized blocks. 

Cara slowly glided down in the direction of the shop.  She could see a woman stick out in her landing area: someone holding a scarlet parasol and a pink and purple dress, slowly walking towards the shop.  Looking up, she watched as Cara made her decent and landed softly on her feet only a few yards from the shop’s entrance.

“My, what seems to be the rush?” she inquired in a rather feminine manner.  Her purple hair seemed to compliment the rest of her outfit well.

“Something came up,” Cara responded quickly, “I came to check on someone.”

“Do you mind if I accompany you?” the woman asked.  “I was about to pay Lance a visit myself, and thought maybe that is where you were going as well.”

Cara debated with herself in her head.  She looked at the woman, and decided that it would be suspicious if she denied the woman entrance into someone else’s house.  “I... guess it would be ok.”  She looked off and then turned around, walking towards the door to the shop.

“Hmm?” the woman responded.  “Is there something I should not see?”  She followed behind and to the right of Cara.

Cara put her hand on the doorknob and thought for a minute.  “No.  There’s just… someone living with them, so I didn’t know if you were fine with that,” Cara responded oddly.

“I don’t know why I wouldn’t,” the woman stated happily.

  Cara stood still for a second, realizing how moronic her last statement was, and then turned the knob and opened the door somewhat quickly.  They could both hear a thud on the other side of the open door as soon as it came to rest.

Cara walked inside, making sure to mind her wings by folding them down so she would not accidentally hit something, and the woman slowly lifted her dress just a tad higher over her elegant shoes, high enough so her feet would not catch while she was stepping up into the shop, and then closed her parasol and hung it on her arm.  Cara slowly closed the door.

“Anyone home?” Cara asked aloud, looking around for someone.

Lance looked out of the kitchen to see them standing in the shop.  He had a concerned look on his face, disappeared for a second, and then came walking towards them. 

“Sorry, did we interrupt something?” Cara asked.

“No… no, we just have a little situation.  Velia, glad to see you could drop by.”  He nodded at the woman and walked with a wet cloth towards the hallway.  Cara and the woman, Velia, could hear sobs coming from down the hallway where Lance was headed.  They both slowly followed Lance as he turned to the right into the medicine room where a balled-up Jeremy was laying on the wooden bed.

“Oh my, what seems to have happened?” Velia began to ask even before making it to the doorway. 

Lance knelt down next to Jeremy and tapped him on his shoulder.  Jeremy’s crying had gone down, and Lucia was sitting on a short, black seat next to the doorway.  “Are you feeling all right?” Lance asked concernedly.

Jeremy sniffled, “I… think so.”  He took the wet cloth from Lance’s hand and wiped his face.  He then looked at Lance, who smiled to one side.

“That’s good,” Lance said relieved.

Velia leans towards Cara and asked “did I miss something?”

Cara glanced at her and then back at Lance and Jeremy.  “A few things, I guess,” she said silently, sighing.  “He just lives with Lance for now,” she explained.  “I don’t know about this,” she said meekly.

“Hmm?” Velia raised her left eyebrow and looked at Jeremy.  “What is his name?  Is he lost?”

“Jeremy,” Cara answered.  “And he was homeless before Lance took him in, something about his family, I think,” she expertly fibs.

Before they even knew it, Lucia was slipping past them to get out of the room with a cup in her hand.  One moment later, she came back with it filled with water and gave it to Lance, who offered it to Jeremy.

“Poor thing,” Velia responded.  “It looks like he has been like that for quite a while.”

Cara continued to look at Jeremy, whose face was still half blocked by his hands and Lance’s shoulder.  It was still a deep pink, and with contrasting white spaces around it.  Lance whispered something to Jeremy, who nodded in response, before he stood back up. 

“Jeremy?” Cara asked, “Are you ok?”

Jeremy looked up at Cara, a little surprised that she was there.  He was still somewhat red and his eyes were not completely clear, but he nodded his head and tried to remove the expression from his face.  Jeremy slowly shifted himself up into a sitting position and rubbed his eyes once more, placing the pillow he had in his hands off to the side.  His vision was mostly normal again, and he looked around the room at Cara, then Lance, Lucia, and finally Velia.

Before he could say anything, Velia stepped forward and bowed her head slightly, “Jeremy, was it?  Hello, my name is Velia Pulcherflos.”  She smiled gently at Jeremy, “it is a pleasure to meet you.”

“Um, likewise,” Jeremy bowed his head a little in the same way.  ‘How nice,’ he thought to himself.

“So, what brings you here?” Lance asked Cara after a short pause.

“I came to check on Jeremy,” she said, figuring that telling the whole story would make things too complicated.

“Are you sure that nothing is the matter?” Velia inquired.  “You seemed to be in quite a hurry.”

“Something happened, didn’t it?” Jeremy asked.  He understood now, just as Lance and Velia did, that Cara would not have been called to check on him in Soro’s stead unless something was amiss.

Jeremy looked back and forth between Cara and Velia.  “Soro’s in trouble, isn’t he?” Jeremy said it as more of a statement than a question. 

Lance looked between Cara and Jeremy before sighing.  Then he looked once more at Cara.  “Jeremy is safe,” he said following it up quickly with, “you should probably go back and help him if you can”

“Yes, I think that is a good idea,” Cara said, obviously worried, and relieved at Lance’s utterance.  “But I’m not sure…”  She looked toward Jeremy, who seemed to have completely changed gears.

Jeremy looked down, as if to process the information, and then quickly shot back up at Cara.  “I’m going too,” he said.

“That might not be a good idea,” Cara said.  “It could still be dangerous there.”

“You should take it slow,” Lance advised.  “You haven’t eaten yet, and you just got up.”  He was about to say something else, but everyone in the room already knew, so he resealed his mouth. 

“Right,” Jeremy confirmed as he shifted himself and jumped off the bed, putting on his sandal-like shoes and taking a big gulp of the water Lucia got him.  “Thank you.”  He flashed a smiled at her, she smiled back, and then stood up.

“Jeremy,” Lance said with a more demanding voice, “this is not a good idea.”

Jeremy stood still as he tried to decide on what to say.  Then, it all came to him at once; a thing that should have felt normal, but surprised him at its clarity.  Not wanting to make a scene, and knowing that Velia was in the room as well, he came up with something else.  He tried his best to hide the sudden frantic feeling that was growing inside.

“I just want to make sure Soro’s fine.”  It was not a lie, but also not the whole truth.  “I’ll have Cara with me, is that enough?”  He was talking directly to Lance.

Feeling both shocked and strangely relieved with Jeremy’s first argument since arriving, he gave in, sighing with a small, defeated smile.  “Just be careful.”

“Will do,” Jeremy smiled back, and followed Cara as she quickly walked towards the door.  The door opened and then shut as they both left.

Lance and Velia looked at the closed door for a moment in silence, and Lucia retreating into the kitchen with the damp cloth and cup.

“I have the feeling that I came at a bad time,” Velia commented.

“Sorry about that,” Lance apologized, “he misses his family.” 



© 2013 Iron K. Tager


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Added on October 23, 2013
Last Updated on December 6, 2013
Tags: Break Down the Unknown, Soro, Jeremy, Jay, Velia, Cara, Lucia, Morpheous, Lance, transfer, dream, visitor, shrine, shop, 12, chapter 12


Author

Iron K. Tager
Iron K. Tager

NC



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Hello! I'm not really that good of a writer at all, but I do enjoy writing. I tend to only write things when I feel like it, so sometimes I go long stretches without putting anything down. I wrote .. more..

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