Kasin's Real, I Promise
Author: Kassandra

Chapter 12
Let me tell you a story.

Again I am lying down in a vast field. I’m in the white dress from before and there is a nice breeze. I sit up, my body feeling lighter than air. I look around. All I see is grass and sky. The grass is green and uniform while the sky is bright blue, not a cloud in sight. There doesn’t seem to be a sun anywhere but the plain is brightly lit.

“Hell, Roseline.”

I turn my head to the right and see Leumas sitting there with his elbows on his knees, hands dangling lazily. The light breeze tousles his thick hair and he looks at me with those black, fathomless eyes. I pull my eyebrows together. “What?”

“I said hello,” he answers, his smile friendly.

“Oh… uhm hello.”

He stands up again in a fluid motion and offers me his hand. “Take a walk with me?” he requests.

I accept his hand and we walk through the meadow, not a sound around us except the whistle of the breeze flowing through the air.

“Do you like it here, Roseline?” he asks.

“You’ve asked me this question.”

“Yes.”

“It’s beautiful,” I state yet again.

 Leumas lets go of my hand and turns to look at me. I feel like he jumped on me and pinned me to the ground, but he remains still. Funny how much power someone’s gaze can hold. He glances around at the beautiful scenery in disgust.

“But do you like it is what I’m asking.”

I blink. “Well, I mean kind of. It seems very peaceful. But my family isn’t here, so how can I really like it?”

He grimaces.

“Why do you ask?” I inquire.

He chuckles deeply, an instant switch in expression. “You can’t know yet,” he mutters mischievously.

I sigh begrudgingly. “Leumas why are you always so esoteric?”

He smiles and makes a wide, exaggerated gesture. “Oooh, using big words eh? Looks like someone’s been doing well in English class,” he teases.

I roll my eyes. “You still haven’t answered my question,” I remind him.

“Let me tell you a story,” he says, completely changing the subject. I look at him and his expression is unstable, changing from amusement to anxiety to frustration to fear to serenity and back to amusement and all over again.

“You make my head spin,” I tell him in a haze. He laughs and pushes on my shoulders until I am sitting in front of him. He looks at me and everything about him seems to be glowing, not like beauty glowing, but more as in power glowing. His large black eyes bore into me and I find my body going slightly limp. He leans back and starts to speak, but his lips do not move. He is inside my head, speaking right between my ears. I close my eyes, as I find it is difficult to keep them open.
“There once were two men,” he starts. His soft voice resonates throughout my mind. “They were brothers, the closest of brothers. They lived in a beautiful castle and had everything they could ask for: money, women, food, drink, servants, and of course the immaculate castle. Now the king ruled over the castle, the only thing he asked in return for living in this beautiful, perfect place was to believe in and serve him over anyone else. There were other kingdoms in distant lands with different people, so the king just asked that they served only him.”
I open my eyes and see Leumas staring at something in the distance. He continues in my head again. “But there was an evil king in a faraway land who promised power and strength to anyone who served him instead of the other king. He promised the brothers he would give them anything they could ever imagine. The older brother was enticed by this offer, he tried convincing his younger brother but their views conflicted. The younger brother told him they already had everything they could ever want, why would they need to serve another king?
But the older brother countered with the fact that their life in the kingdom was boring, he wanted change. They argued about it for twelve days, the issue tore the two brothers apart. The older brother denounced his king and rode into the new kingdom the next morning.”
“What happened to the older brother?” I ask. “Did he get the power and strength and everything else he wanted?” Leumas looks pained. “Oh he did, all the power he could ever want. He could set peasants on fire if he wished, turn soil into pure gold, command vast armies... But it was not enough. He didn’t have his brother by his side. He tried to go back to his previous king, but he was told that only his brother would have the power to bring him through the gates.” Leumas pauses for a long time. I find myself growing impatient.
Well? What happened? The younger brother does let his brother come back, right?”
Not in this story, Roseline. His brother rejects him, says he let dark power take him over and he didn’t deserve the luxury of living in the castle. He said they were no longer brothers, for he had served an evil ruler, and could not be saved. This angered the older brother; he had simply made a mistake. He didn’t know he wasn’t allowed to try and fix it. He got angry at his brother, so angry he swore on that day he would do anything in his power to get him back for what he did.”
“But he wasn’t allowed in the castle, how did he plan to retaliate?” I ask, really into the story now.
“That is another story, for another time,” he says, and I open my eyes.

I am back in my room, sprawled out on my bed. I sit up and grimace at my headache. Why do I keep having these weird dreams? I glance at the clock – it’s 10:31, about three hours since I left Ash’s house. My stomach flips and guilt nestles into my chest. I sit here for a moment and then sigh heavily. I have to go make this right. I slip on my converses and grab my car keys.

 

As I approach Ash’s door, my hands become cold and shaky, which always happens when I’m nervous. What do I even say to him? ‘Hey, sorry I flipped out because you flipped out because my demon friend almost got me killed’? ‘Sorry I looked in your private little room’? Why don’t they make Hallmark cards for these things? I take a deep breath and reach for the door handle. It turns before I can touch it, and the door opens, revealing a very tired-looking Ash.

My expression of shock mimics his and we both stand here for a moment, speechless. I begin first. “Look, Ash… I’m really sorry about earlier. I know you were just worried about me, I mean… it was a really stupid decision on my part. And I shouldn’t have peeked in your room; it was obviously very personal and it was wrong.” My cheeks burn with shame and I can’t look him in the eye, so once again I stare at his nose.

He bites the corner of his lip and simply says, “I’ll always be here to catch you when you fall.”

I smile faintly, knowing that means I am forgiven and that he’s sorry as well. I think.

 He looks at me and says tiredly, “Come on, I’ll give you the grand tour of my art closet.”
I smile wider and follow him up the steps, my knee aching all the way. We walk inside the room and I am dazzled all over again; he really is so talented.
“Ash, these are so incredible. How did you all of this?”
He walks up next to me. “Well I’ve got a lot of time on my hands, being an insomniac.”
I turn to look at him in shock. “You have insomnia?”
He nods casually and looks up at his pictures. “When you’ve been to hell and back, almost literally, you tend not to be able to rest. I always feel like he’s going to hurt me again.”
“Who?” I ask in concern.
He looks at a specific picture on the wall. Immediately I know which one it is. But I look anyway. Seeing that picture chills me to the bone.  ”Is that the one who...” I touch his back gently. He winces slightly and nods. “Yup. That’s him. He comes around from time to time. I drew that about two weeks after he came into my life. That was the first picture I drew seriously. I found out I had quite the knack for capturing images in my mind. I mean they could still use some work but, they’re not totally shit.”
I scoff at him. “Totally shit? Ash these are amazing. You’ve got a serious talent. Hell, you could probably sell these if you wanted to.”

I see the picture of us from yesterday again. “I like this one of us,” I tell him. He emits something incoherent as I walk over to the painting. Even if I’ve seen it before, my fascination with the marvel washes over me once again. He walks stands beside me. “Yeah, it is, but I don’t want you to think I’m a creep or something. I drew us because... Well I consider it an important memory.”
“Why’s that?” I ask him thoughtfully.

He sighs. “You’re going to think I’m stupid.”

I turn to look at him. “You have to trust me,” I assure him. He looks at the painting, not at me, as if he were talking to the Rose in the picture. I see vulnerability in his expression, and I like it. “Rose-”
“Hope I’m not interrupting something.”
I jump, startled, and turn around. There stands Kasin leaning on the doorjamb. “Oh, hey Kasin. No, you weren’t interrupting. Did you take care of that... Whatever it was?”
He nods stoically. “Yes I did. It’s time to go home now, Rose.”
I turn to Ash. “I really should probably be getting home.”

Whatever vulnerability was there before is gone now. Ash’s expression is a hard, emotionless mask. He just nods and grumbles, “Yeah, he’s right. Just text me if you want I guess.”
“Will do. Goodbye Ash.” Kasin leads me down the stairs and out into the car.
I strap myself in and ask Kasin, “So what did you have to do?”
He starts driving the car. The brilliant sunlight of the morning illuminates his handsome face and his multicolored eyes stare directly in front of him. “That’s classified information Rose.”
I look at him incredulously.
He laughs and his humorous expression makes the sun seem brighter; his voice fills the car. “Come on sweetheart you need to have a sense of humor if you’re going to roll with me.” I roll my eyes and protest, “I do too have a sense of humor. Jerk.” I lightly push his shoulder.
“You know you’re lucky I don’t have that arm’s hand on the wheel or else you would have been screwed,” he jokes.

I chuckle until he says, “Then Ash could come save you again.” His remark makes me uneasy. “You sound like you regret that he did save my life,” I counter bitterly.
He looks at me with an expression of something like disgust on his face. “Rose, I don’t regret that your life was saved, it’s just that... I dunno. I just don’t want you hanging around with him is all.”
I raise an eyebrow. “You don’t want me hanging around with him. So you’ve gone from my spirit guide to my mother – an impressive magic trick, do you do birthday parties?”
“Rose, I’m serious, he’s bad news.”
“Well that’s your opinion and I accept it but I’m not going to stop hanging with him. He’s the only person I can talk to about... You know-” I make an elaborate gesture towards him. “This kind of stuff.” Kasin exhales through his teeth. I honestly don’t know why he’s acting this way. He closes his eyes for a moment and I grip the ‘oh shit’ bar on the side of the car. “Kasin, open your fucking eyes please,” I order softly in terror. He looks at me but my eyes are trained on the slippery road ahead of us.
“Okay, look, my eyes are open; I’m watching the road like a good little demon.” I settle into my seat and swallow the lump in my throat. He reaches a hand over and touches my cheek gently. I turn my head away and look out the window. I can’t believe him.

“Rose,” he pleads.

I continue to look out the window, unable to look at him.

“Rose, I know what that meant and I’m sorry. Please just look at me.”

The hurt in his voice chips away at my armor and I break. I turn my head and look at him. He glances at me briefly before returning his eyes to the road. The concern in his expression is undeniable.

“I’m sorry for scaring you Rose. I just needed to calm myself down. What I was trying to say was, did Ash let you in on the story of the Eye?”
“Yes, he did.”
“Then he didn’t tell you the complete story.”
“And you do know the story.”
“Yes. I actually know the demon that did it. Very well.”
I wait for him to go on, speechless with intrigue.
“I can’t tell you his real name, that’s one of the biggest rules we’ve got, but he usually goes by Lucas. But what exactly did Ash tell you?”
“Well he said he woke in the middle of the night with a searing pain in his back, and it went on for a while, and then his mom just died. Her life force was needed to be put into Ash so he could see those with no life force so he could help them.”
“Ah, but he didn’t tell you the other interesting detail.”
I narrow my eyes at him. “What other interesting detail?”
“Oh so he didn’t tell you what it means to have the Eye? The purpose of having one?”
“Well he said something about how now that he could see the ghosts and stuff, he could help them.”
“Not could, had to.”
“What, so Ash has to help these things whether he wants to or not?”
Kasin nods. “Now do you see why he’s so dangerous? One word and he could be ordered to kill you. There are a lot of sadistic beings out there that feed off of mortals’ agony. And I’m guessing you already know about the visions.”
“Well yeah, I do. What was the purpose of that?”
“Just a side effect. Many clairvoyants can see supernatural beings.”
“So wait, this Lucas guy just decided to carve Ash up, kill his mom, enslave him to all these dead people, and make him see things... For what?”
“Lucas didn’t exactly always looking ahead for the ramifications of his actions. He only needed Ash for something simple, but he finds little value in human life, so he didn’t care about the fact that he would forever serve the supernatural, see visions, and also be destined to join those in hell when he dies.”
“Why?” is all I can say. “Why?”
“Why what?”
“Why does he get the fast pass to hell, he didn’t do anything wrong?”
“Doesn’t matter, hell’s not always strictly for bad people. There are many exceptions. His soul has been altered by a being from hell, therefore his soul is attached to Lucas forever.”
Anger rises within me. “There’s got to be a way around it.”
“Well I suppose if Lucas were to be destroyed, Ash’s soul would be freed from the connection, but demons are nearly impossible to destroy.”
“We have to do it,” I urge him. We pull into my driveway and I push open the door with feeling. “I mean come on, just because someone decided Ash’s soul was his doesn’t mean it can work that way. You can’t take control of someone’s soul for Christ’s sake! That’s just impossible in my world.”
Kasin’s eyes darken. “That’s where you’re wrong, dear.”
I ignore his remark. He helps me into the house. “Kasin, we have to help him. I owe it to him.”
“Rose you don’t owe him anything. He chose to save your life, you didn’t ask him to.” I open the front door and trip on the first step. Kasin chuckles as he squeezes me tighter to keep me from falling. “Oh that was excellent Rose.”
“Shut up,” I joke.

We head up to my bedroom and I pull off my white long sleeved. Kasin points to a thorn stuck in the strap of my tank top. “You missed one there.”
“Oh, thanks.”
I crash onto my bed with a sigh. “I’m so tired still.”
Kasin lies facing me. “Go to sleep then,” he suggests.
I shrug. “I’m not really like sleep tired though. Just drained.”
He nods and that marks a period of silence. Not awkward, just long.
A thought occurs to me. Something that I asked. The answer didn't make to much sense. “Kasin?”
He turns towards me. “Rose?”
“You’re my spirit guide, yes?”
“Congratulations Sherlock.”
“What exactly are you here to guide me through? Because as you can see, I'm fine. I mean, I'm sad about my dad and all, but... i don't know, it just doesn't make any sense to me. You haven't said one word about my dad to me, so why are you really here?”
Kasin opens his mouth and then closes it. He looks torn, as if he wants to say one thing but is deciding against it. I wait patiently. He pulls his eyebrows together. “That’s a very difficult question to answer.”
“Doesn’t seem so difficult to me,” I counter.
“It’s hard to explain.”
I give him a look. “Try me.”
He sighs heavily and sits up. “Rose, I really can’t discuss this, it’s confidential.”
“So is it confidential or hard to explain?”
“Listen Rose, just take it as I’m here and my purpose doesn’t matter. Just drop it, okay?”
I recoil and turn away from him. Well then.
He pets my hair softly. “I-I’m sorry Rose. I’m just... I don’t know. I’ve really been on edge lately.”

“No it’s okay,” I tell him. But I don’t look at him.

 

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