Memories (Completed)
Author: Jewel Heart

Chapter 25
25

Death seems to be the best thing to have happened to me tonight. It’s quiet. Peaceful. Then again, there were no feelings. No sadness or happiness. Just acknowledgement. It is something that I haven't managed to understand yet. It was as if I could comprehend everything in the world, but could not understand how I felt. It was as if I did not have an opinion.

I was in a forest. There was a heavy mist surrounding me and the air was cold. Only that I didn’t feel it. I could see my breath, but I wasn’t cold. I wasn’t warm either. I was just a hollow shell. I stared across the mist to a tower. Why am I staring at Big Ben? Why am I in London period?

I took a few steps towards Big Ben. Just as I took my next step, I saw something move in my peripheral vision. I turned my head to look at whatever had just moved. There was nobody there. Instead, the Great Wall of China stood there. I frowned and turned to look back at the Big Ben. It was still there.

Even if I should have been confused, I couldn’t feel it. My expression was of confusion, though I felt nothing inside. I stared back and forth between Big Ben and the Great Wall of China. Something moved in front of my eyes. It passed so quickly that it was a blur. I blinked. There’s a vampire here? Why would a vampire be running around here?

I followed the person with my eyes. They finally stopped. I realized then that it wasn’t a vampire. It wasn’t even someone from Black Moon. It was a human.

It was a tall boy with layered shoulder-length brown hair. He had light skin and more muscle than I’d ever seen on a teenager. I stared at him for a moment.

I tried to make sense out of this whole experience, and came up blank. Big Ben and the Great Wall are in different continents, though now, they are practically next to each other. This boy, who is human, has the speed and grace of a vampire even though he’s about six foot ten. Maybe a second opinion on what was going on would help me understand this scenery better.

“Hey, you!” I called. I ran towards the boy. “Do you know where we are?” I asked, allowing myself to ask help from a stranger while nobody I knew was around.

He didn’t seem to hear me.

“Hello? I'm talking to you.”

I tapped his shoulder, feeling a lot of muscle in his arm with just that simple touch. His head turned slightly, but it was enough for me to see the penetrating stare. The one that could have probably killed. But again, no feelings.

“Yes?” he asked with wide eyes.

He turned around to look at me and I realized then just how much muscle he had. He was wearing an unbuttoned button down shirt and pajama pants. Strange.

I blinked in amazement. I never thought a human could reach the level of beauty of a vampire. This guy just contradicted that theory. He had chiseled features. He had a square jaw and eyes blue like the ocean sea.

“Where are we?”

He frowned. “I don’t know.” His head tilted. “Who are you?” he asked with a spark of interest in his eyes.

I smiled emotionlessly. “You don’t need to know. But I need to get back.”

I turned around and began walking towards Big Ben. I can't speak Chinese. Maybe I can find some relative of James in Britain. It shouldn’t be so hard.

“Get back where?” he asked.

I paused, staring ahead. Where was I supposed to go?

“I don’t know,” I admitted. “But I have to go somewhere.” I bit my lip and frowned. “There’s something that I have to take care of.” I looked down at my feet. Gross. High heels.

“You can't go anywhere if you don’t know where to go,” he argued.

“There’s trouble, though,” I said, recalling what had happened.

I looked down at my hand. I was becoming translucent. How can this guy not run away screaming? It might not be obvious that I am a vampire, but it’s pretty clear that I am a ghost.

“What kind of trouble?” the guy asked alert.

I pressed my lips together. It wouldn’t hurt to tell someone. I’ll never see this person again. “People that I love are in danger,” I said. Emotions were beginning to come back. Sadness washed over me. “I have to help them.”

You won’t be able to help. You’re too—” he stopped and reconsidered his words. “My point is that if someone is in danger, then you should ask for help from someone more…qualified.”

My hands balled up into fists. “I won’t back down again,” I said shakily. “I won’t let myself be afraid of death again. People need my help. And I am the only one who can save them.”

“Hey, look,” the boy said, taking a step towards me and putting a hand on my shoulder as a form of restraint. Not a smart move. “I admire your determination, but I just don’t think that someone so—” he searched for the right words, “—untrained can take on anyone if they are half as dangerous as they sound.”

I arched my eyebrow challengingly. I grabbed his hand and flipped him over. He fell to the floor with a thud.

“Looks are deceiving. Next time learn more about the person before you make such an accusation.”

He blinked, disorientated. “So I’ve been told,” he muttered dryly as he sat up. “The only problem is that you don’t have a ounce of muscle on you. You’re as skinny as a twig, if not more. You’re pale like a ghost—what else do you want me to think?”

“About something else,” I said. He pondered that.

I took off my shoes as he stood up. I might have a vampire’s grace, but I'm no Harmony. I threw them to the side and looked back at Big Ben. I won’t get there in time to save James if I have this human on my trail.

The question is, how do I get rid of him in a place like this?

Something suddenly whooshed past me. I looked over to see a girl. She was fading, almost translucent. She was short and had hair as red as fire. She began picking some flowers that had suddenly emerged from the ground. I looked at her just as another person flew past me. A boy this time, who was sitting on the branch of a tree, reading a book.

“Who are those people?” I asked the boy.

He rubbed his head. “What people?” he asked after looking around and shooting me a curious look. “Look, I don’t know what happened to you, but if you were hit in the head that badly, then maybe we should get you to a hospital.” I looked over at him and then down at myself.

I was wearing the same white dress that I had been wearing in that dream where I had met face-to-face with Chloe. Only that this time, there were dried up blood stains all over it, including a large one in my chest from where Rakesh had staked me.

“What the fuck?” I mumbled, running a hand through my hair. I frowned and touched my forehead. There was a hard spot—a scar, apparently.

Another person passed me. I looked up to see that there were much more than just three people surrounding me. There were at least twenty.

“Damn, where are all these people coming from?” I mused to myself as I backed up.

“What people?” the boy demanded, his eyes searching the area.

Before I knew it, more people had appeared. We were completely surrounded. Suddenly they all turned to look at me in unison. My eyes widened, but I held my ground as I glared back at them. The ones who sat, stood, and they ones who stood, began marching towards me. I took a step backwards. I'm not stupid. I'm not a coward. I'm simply, outnumbered.

“What’s wrong with you?” the boy asked, a hint of fear in his eyes as he stared at me.

“These people are after someone,” I whispered. I breathed heavily. “You can't see them, so it must be me.”

They reached us.

“STAY AWAY!” I screamed, now afraid. They began reaching for me, grabbing at my hair and my arms. It was as if they wanted me to go with them. “GO AWAY!” I cried.

The boy next to me was starting to freak out. He was staring at me helplessly. He looked around for whatever was causing me to act like this, but he still couldn’t see them. And they probably didn’t see him either.

Why is it that only I can see them?

One of them reached for my throat. He missed, but I was still being pulled from all ends. Suddenly, I heard someone scream. It was painful. My heightened senses picked up everything, especially the high pitched cry. I grabbed my head, trying to block out the sound waves.

“STOP IT!” I screeched.

They stopped. They stared at me, all of their faces suddenly as deformed as the ghost that I saw at the cemetery. They stared at me with white eyes and opened mouths. There was one in front of me, a girl with ruffled brown hair and clothes from the sixteenth century.

She spoke in a raspy and shaky voice, “Change the stake to the shape-shifter. And return him to us.”

I stared at her for a moment with tears in my eyes. I blinked them away and then everything was gone. They all vanished, along with the boy, and along with everything else.

I was back in the darkness.

I was alone for what seemed like seconds before I began hearing voices.

“I'm sorry,” it cried. “I'm so, so sorry. It shouldn’t have ended like this. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. I'm sorry. I'm sorry.”

I opened my eyes slowly. There was a figure in front of me. He was crushing me to his chest as he whispered apologies and cried. It wasn’t long before I found out exactly who it was that was caressing me so tearfully. I once again experienced the feeling of having the world disappear from under my feet and have my head spin without any explanation.

“James?” I whispered softly.

He froze. He regained himself and pulled away so that he could see my face. I probably looked like I had just been beaten and seen a ghost because—well I had. But James’s expression was so happy—so lighthearted—so relieved that I didn’t care how I looked. His expression was enough to make my heart flutter.

I frowned as he pulled me back to his chest. My heart. It isn’t moving. Is it? I listened past James’s cries of happiness to a steady beating that was almost impossible to hear. I listened harder, feeling my pulse in a manner that James wouldn’t see. It is my heart. But there’s no time to worry about that. There’s a bigger issue at hand.

“James,” I said.

He kept mumbling things into my hair in between kisses he gave me. His lips moved to my mouth and I was silenced for the moment. We kissed softly for a moment and then the kiss’s desperation grew. My thoughts were lost. Abruptly I remembered my purpose and forced myself to stop kissing James back.

“No. Stop,” I mumbled. I blinked when he finally pulled away, trying to straighten my thoughts. “Wh—where am I?”

His eyes turned painfully sad. “At your house. Rakesh is missing,” he said dryly. “I'm sorry, if I had only gotten here sooner—”

“No—not that,” I interrupted. “Where in my house?” I looked around. We were in a hallway somewhere inside the mansion. If only Molly had decorated the rooms a little differently.

“West wing,” he answered. “You were in that room over there when I found you.” He pointedly eyed the scratched door thirty feet away from me. He paused. “Explain to me, exactly how have you survived.”

“Shh,” I demanded. I scrambled to my feet. “Don’t talk.” I tried to walk to my room, but my legs crumpled under me. James caught me. “Dammit, you made me dizzy,” I whispered angrily at him.

He looked at me disbelievingly. “You were almost killed with that stake! You should have died—and don’t get me wrong, I'm exceptionally glad that you didn’t—but you survived after that! And it was about five inches into your chest!”

“Shhhh!” I begged. “Just take me back in there,” I asked. He shot me another look. “Please,” I pleaded. “It’s important.” He hesitated before finally picking me up and carrying me to my ex-room.

“I swear, I never thought that I’d see the day that you would willingly allow me to carry you somewhere like this.”

“Enjoy it while you can, because this is the only time I'm letting you.”

There was humor in his eyes. How could he be so happy at a moment like this?

He put me down on the bed inside. There were so many memories from here. But right now, the most recent one burned in my memory and made my temper flare. I looked across the room to the shackles and the pool of blood that was below it. It wasn’t there.

“Where’s the stake?” I asked, standing up and walking over to the blood. I stared at it.

“What?” James exclaimed.

“Where is it?”

He frowned and pointed over at the tea table. I looked over and saw that the tea table was tipped over. At one side, a piece of wood stuck out. I walked over to it.

“Why do you need it?” James asked as I grabbed the long stake. It seemed so delicate now.

“I don’t know. I just do.” To be honest, I didn’t even know what I was doing. This just seemed natural. It was like an impulse. I studied it. “Why are you so calm? Shouldn’t you be mad now?”

“Purebloods don’t always show their emotions as you’d expect,” he said. “You might go into an uncontrollable rampage when you get frustrated, but I have a little more self control than that.”

“Even when it comes to me?” I argued. I had to admit that a little of my anger had to do with James being so happy when I had practically died.

“Don’t even play that card.”

We were quiet as I worked on the stake. I broke the stake in half. Then I stood up and walked over to the bed where I jumped onto James’s lap. Even if this was serious, that didn’t mean that I wanted him any less than ever. He arched his eyebrow, but wrapped his arms around my waist. I shook my head.

“Hold this,” I ordered, handing him one of the halves of the stake. He obeyed and studied it. He frowned when he saw the red liquid oozing out from where I had broken it.

“What the—?”

“I don’t know what I did. Just trust me and do what I say.” He nodded. “Hold it like this.” I kneeled in front of him and held my half of the stake from the center. He mirrored my movement. I stood and walked to the side where the stake’s end wasn’t red. “Hold this.” He held the other half of the stake just like the first part. The side where the wood was dripping blood was pointing outward.

I stood in front of right where the two sticks touched. I stretched my arms and grabbed the two bleeding sides and pushed them together. They slid into place like a piece of a puzzle. James’s eyes widened as he saw the aftermath of what I had done. What used to be a long stake was now a brick-shaped, ten inch block of wood.

“Lumex, you’re making me anxious,” James said wide-eyed. “Please rationalize what you just did.”

“I can honestly tell you that I have no damn clue,” I murmured. “It was…automatic. I couldn’t control it.” I cursed. “How am I supposed to kill him with this shit?”

“Kill who?” James asked, wrapping his arms around my waist and pulling me back onto his lap. He stroked my hair gently as he watched my frustration.

“Who do you think?”

“He’s gone.” James shook his head and a spark of anger flared in his eyes. “And if I know you half as well as I know I do, then I'm pretty sure that you are not capable of killing someone that you love.” I grimaced.

Why does he have to be right? No. I have to do this. If I don’t do this, then he’ll just come back again and again and kill me. And eventually he would kill James. I can't allow Rakesh to harm anymore people.

“He’s in the cellar,” I argued. James frowned confused. “He used to go there all the time when I was little. He’s probably searching for that thing.”

“What thing?” James suddenly asked alert.

“He used to have some project that he spent most of his time on. I was never able to see it, but it must have been important if he went to all that trouble to hide it from me even after he died.” James’s expression blanked. “What?”

His eyes came back into focus and he stood with me in his arms. “We have to go. Right now.” He ran out of the room and began running down to the laundry room.

“Why are we in such a rush? I was coming up with an attack!” I exclaimed, suddenly ignorant of the fact that I should have been quiet.

“In the twelfth century, I blurrily remember him owning something. It was rather big and looks like what one of those tanning machines look like today. There’s something bad about that.”

I remembered Rakesh’s explanation on how I was made back into a baby. Maybe that was where he did plastic surgery.

James reached the basement before I could tell him my theory. He set me on my feet and I stored my block of wood in my back pocket.

“Stay. I need to do this alone.” I frowned upon his order, but kept my mouth shut. James quietly opened the door and disappeared inside. I followed his orders.

It wasn’t more than five minutes before I heard the sound of things breaking and punches being thrown. James didn’t specify how long I had to stay. Five minutes is long enough in my book. I easily slid into the basement.

My basement was dark and humid. My eyes quickly adjusted, but I could feel my hair frizzing up as the seconds passed. I hoped that nobody could hear my heart beat at this minute. James would be happy to hear it later, but it would only distract him now.

I quietly climbed some boxes that were stacked up to the very top of the staircase. It was a big basement, so if there were these many boxes in here, then I would have to discuss with Molly the meanings of: Spring cleaning. Why is it that even with help she can't seem to manage to organize a simple thing? Why is it that she always needs to be instructed and watched over like a little kindergartener?

I easily slid into the small space that there was between the boxes and the ceiling. I crawled to the edge where I got a good look of the fight.

James and Rakesh were at each other’s throats. For once, I wished that I hadn't been right. James could get hurt. They were a blur as they fought and it was hard enough to see from up here because of all the things that would block my vision.

Something—or someone—crashed against a wall and left a dent. I saw that James recovered quickly and he and Rakesh began circling each other.

“You are becoming quite a bother,” one of them said. I had no idea why Rakesh was filling the silence in with small talk.

“I could say the same,” James retorted.

“I won’t argue there, Prince Eventide. But, why would such a vampire of high standards settle so low as to choose a half-blood? Is it because they are rare? Do you pity that they are discriminated? Wanted something more extravagant for your collection?”

James jumped for his throat. Rakesh evaded. “There’s no collection for some vampires. You might be a man whore, but I surely am not.” Rakesh laughed. “Besides, what kind of a person kills someone over and over again for revenge against someone else?”

“Hmm, it seems that even you are unable to break this black magic. You do not remember a thing about Atriplex or me.”

“I know enough,” James barked as he punched Rakesh. Rakesh again evaded, and kicked James in the stomach. I dug my nails into the cardboard.

I can't get involved now. It’s too dangerous for both of us. Wait for a distraction.

“Oh, but you don’t.” Rakesh and James became a blur once more as they continually fought. “You do not know a thing about Bloom and that will hurt you. What you haven't seemed to understand about all of this is that there is a reason why I erased that part and only that part from everyone’s memory.”

“What, is she a killer or something?” James snorted.

“Funny how you are always so close, yet so far. And, ah, you have guessed it correctly. But out of which theory is the guess the correct one?”

“Out. Of. My. Head.” James side kicked Rakesh and then karate chopped his neck. He missed with the karate chop and received a blow to the head. “You’re a lowlife, attacking someone so innocent and naïve. This is the first time that she has gotten the chance to remember her past!”

“And why is that a good thing?” Rakesh retorted. “I've been doing you a favor all of these centuries. Do you really like her knowing how much you’ve failed? How pathetic you are when it comes to being her bodyguard?”

James frowned. I recognized that look. He didn’t want to admit that Rakesh was right about something that he hadn't even admitted to himself yet.

“And should you not be happy that I have brought your beloved back from the dead so that you could have a reunion? Most people would be happy.” Rakesh’s reasoning was becoming annoying for both James and me.

Suddenly I felt something warm in my pocket. I remembered the block of wood and took it out, stunned that it had warmed up.

When I pulled it out, I felt some engravings on the side of the wood. I brushed my fingers on the side, making sure that I hadn't imagined it. I hadn't. I looked at the wood. My eyes widened when I saw that there really was an engraving. It read:

To the princess of the middles. Use this weapons to destroy and protect those who deserve the reverence and fortification of the gods. In a starry night, learn to see the difference from love and hate to understand the truth of your world.

 

To the princess of the middles? What the hell did that mean? I wasn’t able to even come up with a hypothesis. My head turned to the sound of falling boxes.

James was down. And Rakesh was coming at him.

Rakesh picked James up by the neck and lifted him so that his feet didn’t touch the ground. I saw Rakesh pick up something. My eyes widened when I saw the wooden picture frame. He’s going to kill him.

It’s time to interfere.

I jumped down from the cardboard boxes, aiming directly at Rakesh. He turned to look at me for half a second before disappearing. James fell to the floor before I reached it.

James hissed—at either me for disobeying him, or at Rakesh for getting so close to killing him. By the look he shot me, I was guessing that it was at me. But there was gratitude in his eyes too.

Rakesh was standing about twenty feet away from us with an annoyed expression. “Atriplex, you didn’t die,” he said a little shocked. “Impressive.” His scared face returned. I had to take a step back because of the dream. “How about I propose a new deal? You and Mr. Eventide die forever. That way neither of you bother me ever again.”

I gritted my teeth. James growled. “Let’s do the opposite,” I argued.

I jumped at him, going for his head instead of his body. He evaded the attack and I jumped onto the top of a stack of boxes. I searched for him. Abruptly, I lost my balance as the boxes shook under my feet. I jumped to another stack. A few of the boxes fell, but it was alright. I saw James fight with Rakesh again.

Rakesh hit James in the head, sending him across the room. James cursed after crashing and then watched me try to punch and kick my father. It was almost impossible to land a hit on him. He was quicker than I was and he seemed to know more moves. He kicked me backwards and I tumbled down.

James took Rakesh again and I joined him. James tried to spring for Rakesh’s neck and I came from the opposite side. Rakesh disappeared again and we stopped before we could crash into each other. I jumped backwards, into the shadows behind a stack of boxes.

I listened for my father. There was no sound except my beating heart. It was still soft and barely heard. I didn’t understand it.

I stepped out of the shadows after a minute of silence and made my way towards James, who stood in the same spot, looking around warily. Before I could reach him, though, I was kicked back into the stack of boxes, which began falling on top of me.

I covered my head and prayed that nothing wooden would hit me. In a few seconds I was covered in boxes.

There was no air here and I was holding a box on my back. I cursed to myself. The box fell and almost crushed me to the ground. Just at that moment, I was burned.

What was that? I looked down at my hand in the darkness. The wooden block had burned me again. I stared at it. Why is this thing so magical? I wondered. It doesn’t smell like a witch has cast a spell on it.

I heard movement outside and hurriedly lifted some boxes off of me. James was cornered. Rakesh was nearing him with exposed fangs. His eyes were golden orange.

NO!

I stood up, grabbing something from the floor on my way.

I looked down when I felt something move in my hand. I looked down in time to see the wooden block of wood shape-shift into a gorgeous scythe.

What the freak? I stared at it, forgetting James and Rakesh for a millisecond.

The scythe was almost as tall as I was. It was a perfect object. I felt the engraving that had been on the wooden block on the bar. Though, what amazed me the most was that the blade was sharp, delicate, and made of snakewood.

I didn’t question what just happened. I used the time. I pushed myself so that I ran as fast as I could. When I reached Rakesh, I didn’t hesitate to use the scythe. Automatically I swung the scythe back, as if it were a baseball bat, and decapitated Rakesh. He had turned around just in time to see me swing it back. His eyes had been wide.

His head rolled behind a cardboard box and I wasn’t able to see it. The rest of Rakesh’s body fell to the floor, blood spurting out in every direction from his neck. A pool of blood was quickly created. I stared at the corpse, paralyzed. My eyes were wide as I realized what I had just done.

I’ve killed my father. I’ve murdered someone that I loved. I don’t recognize myself any longer. In my head, those sentences were repeated. And I couldn’t explain why there was happiness lost somewhere among the sadness.

I remembered the girl in my dream. Change the stake to the shape-shifter. And return him to us, she had said. I realized now what she had been talking about. The stake was meant to be a weapon. It might be so small so that it’s more portable, but that didn’t really fit the shape-shifter description. And it was Rakesh who I was supposed to return. It was Rakesh who I was supposed to return to the ghosts; to the world of the dead.

James suddenly pulled my into a bear hug. I was still paralyzed. I was still stunned by my actions. I felt something wet rush down my face. It took me a minute to realize that I began crying.

James pulled away and brushed away my tears with his fingertips. A tingly feeling was left wherever his fingers brushed. James hugged me, his hand stroking my hair in comfort.

“Shh, shh,” he whispered. “It’s okay. It’s okay now. Just cry. Let it all out. Everything is alright now. He won’t be coming back after you, my love,” James comforted me while I cried. I hugged him back, pressing him to me and sobbed into his chest.

“Are you okay?” I asked in between breaths.

“I'm fine. Don’t worry,” he assured me. James kissed my hair. “Are you okay? That was such a brave thing that you did. I don’t think that anybody could have done that.”

“I don’t know what I am anymore,” I laughed.

“It’s over now. I won’t let anyone harm you. I promise.”

I kept crying. I was filled with various mixed emotions. My eyes were beginning to sting from crying and I was beginning to tremble in James’s arms.

The scent of blood was overpowering. It wasn’t in the sense of the bloodlust, but it was the nauseating, feeling that I had had every time I saw blood before I knew that I was a half-breed.

I wept for a long time. Tears kept flowing out, making my feelings visible to the world. I felt safe in James’s arms, though sick from the dead body of the person who I had once thought of to be a loving father next to me. It was a good thing that James was tall enough that I couldn’t cry into his shoulder. That way I couldn’t look at the body and head which was only a few feet away.

Somewhere in between the tears, the scythe fell to the floor and I fell unconscious.


 

 

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