By: Michael Mulhollon
A two story Japanese style cottage stood cornered with a forest on both sides of the cottage and the side of a steep cliff behind the cottage with a stream that ran from the forest, and alongside the road that ran from the cottage and beyond. Arsenal steeped out from the forest alongside of the road with his left hand against a tree as he stared at the cottage. A little girl’s voice called out, “Aunty the soup is getting cold!” Carrie replied, “Keep stirring it, I’ll be right out!” Arsenal grunted with frustration and when he stepped forward he felt a wave of dizziness and stumbles, but catches himself on a tree as he put both hands under his helmet and removes it as he is breathing heavily and sets the helmet beside the tree and says to himself, “That felt strange.” He stood up and continued walking till he reached the front door and he hesitated for a few moments before he raises his fist to knock, but then stops and was about to turn away but then he pulls himself back forward even as he heard cries of excitement going on inside till all of a sudden the door opens and Ryogo was about to run into him till she suddenly stopped and yelps in shock as she stumbles back and punches Arsenal in the nose. Arsenal throws both his hands to his face as he cringed and groans in pain and stumbles back as well as Ryogo stood as if she is ready to fight, but looked shocked when she noticed it was Arsenal. Ryogo (stammered) said, “Arsenal, wha...what are you doing here?” Arsenal groaned as he whipped the blood away from his nose and said, “Carrie.” Ryogo stood calmly with her hands on her hips and said firmly, “Arsenal, you can’t see her.” Arsenal looked at her a little curiously and said, “Why?” Ryogo replied (trying to keep her voice down), “Cause you already caused her enough pain. When you left she kept having nightmares about you coming after her and recently she has just gotten over it! If she sees you she will break down again!” Arsenal was about to speak when Ryogo said, “She even makes the house shake when she is having nightmares and when she screams some of windows shatter!” Arsenal said, “I have changed.” Ryogo said (depressingly), “I’m sorry Arsenal but she just moved on and she is living a better life with her niece and nephew around her.” Arsenal was about to speak when Carrie called out, “Ryogo, need help with the garbage?” Arsenal stepped back and looked on helplessly as Ryogo replied, “No I’m fine! It’s just...” Suddenly she moved to the side as if an invisible force lightly shoved her away and Carrie stood behind her as Ryogo looked a little surprised as Arsenal stood his ground with his shoulders slouched over as Carrie stood before him. Arsenal stammered, “Carrie...I...” Carrie said, “Leave.” Arsenal said, “I...want us... to be together again. Like we use to be. I can take care of you.” Carrie crossed her arms in front of her and said, “Like you did when you came back from the woods?” Arsenal said, “I have changed.” Carrie said, “That doesn’t matter. What you did is unforgivable.” Arsenal said (in a pleading tone), “Carrie, I know it was wrong. Please...” Carrie said sternly, ’Go!” Arsenal extended his hand as he slowly approached her (while Ryogo stood tensed) and said, “Carrie...” Carrie then extended her hand in a stopping motion and she said, “Go!” Arsenal’s body tensed as he was pushed back a few inches as his feet dug into the graveled ground and he continued slowly approaching her and said, “Carrie, please...” Carrie looked angered and said, “Stop saying my name!” Arsenal felt intense pressure in his head and heard a screeching sound and he fell to his knees with his hands over his head as he groaned in pain.
Ty and Joey appeared from behind Carrie and looked both at Arsenal and up at Carrie with concerned expressions and Joey said, “Aunt Carrie, what’s wrong with uncle Arnie?” Arsenal continued to clasp his hands around his head as he groaned in pain, but tried to keep from crying out, as Joey held on to Carrie’s farmer jeans as she looked afraid and Carrie replied firmly, “Don’t worry, he’s just having a headache.” Arsenal then removed his hands from his hand and tried to stand, only to fall on his left side as he groaned and struggled to stand again and began stumbling away while holding onto his stomach. Tench appeared behind them with a look of concern and said, “What’s going on?” He saw Arsenal and looked shocked while Ryogo and Carrie looked on with firm expressions and Joey and Ty both looked concerned as Ryogo replied, “Nothing to concern yourself Tench.” They all went back inside as Carrie stayed back for only for a few moments and said to herself, “Decrypted monster.” And she went back inside and closed the door behind her.
Arsenal felt a massive wave of nausea and pain spreading from his stomach throughout his body and the pain is so intense that he fell against a tree, from almost where he came from, and he cringed in pain. He tried lifting himself up but for some reason he couldn’t and he is sweating profusely. Arsenal said to himself, “What’s happening to me?” He suddenly leaned down behind the tree and threw up. When he leaned up against the tree and looked down where he threw up he felt both confused and shocked and said, “No, it can’t b...” He threw up again this time painfully and he continued, with stopping intervals as he wheezed in pain, as what he was throwing up drained down the embankment with a mixture of oil, hydraulic fluid and bits of metal pieces till suddenly Arsenal stopped and he fell on his back. Arsenal wheezed and breathed heavily with a painfully expression on his face as he tried to get up, but is only successful of lifting up his head. He groaned in pain and said to himself, “No, Carrie.” He cringed as he desperately tried to lift himself up but his suit is unable to move and he dropped his head back down and breathed heavily as he gave up. His vision began to blur as he saw Carrie’s face looking down at him as he hallucinated. He smirked up at her image and breathed, “Carrie.” There is a sound of a helicopter as he looked behind Carrie to see a twin propped helicopter lowering before him as Carrie’s face blurred, followed by the helicopter and Arsenal’s vision went black.