Phoenix Feathers: Cult of the Pseudo Phoenix

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Continuation

Chapter 2: Continuation

Whoever said: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me...” had to be deaf.


It’s not fun...

Shooting yourself in the head that is.

It doesn’t hurt.

Sure, it would hurt to get shot in the head.

But if you’re dead before you get the chance to let the pain seep in...

It really doesn’t hurt.

It never hurts when you’re dead.

Besides, I was dead long before I pulled that trigger.

What was fun was seeing the looks on their faces…

So full of fear or so-called concern...

For the very person that they killed.

Hell, it was hilarious.

~’Who’s laughing now, jerkwads!’~

“Oh, my God!”

Jade, of all the people, broke the silence. I had never seen Jade lose herself like she did. I just couldn’t help but laugh at her reaction alone. I had seen the situation play through my head so many times before. That hilarity paled when compared with the real thing.

~‘This is better than I thought it’d be!’~

Tyrone was a different story, though. He was shaking so hard that he peed his pants. Not that I cared... I just wasn’t expecting this. I was almost afraid that he was about to join me in my liberation.

~‘What’s a matter! Can’t stand it Tyrone!’~

“Oh, my God,” Jade repeated as she fell to the ground.

“Someone call somebody!!!”

Some kids were running around screaming. Some reacted similarly to Tyrone. A few other kids were “returning” their lunches all over the cafeteria floor. Mostly they just stood there with their mouths open agape, staring off into space.

~‘Yeah, look at what you’ve done! Look at what all of you have done!’~

“John,” Brandy pushed past the other kids.

~‘It won’t help! I’m already dead!’~

“John...”

~‘It’s so much better this way. I’m free! I’m above all of you now!’~

“You Idiot,” Brandy kicked my body’s stomach.

~‘Ow! What the!?!’ ~

“How dare you do this to yourself!”

~‘It wasn’t worth living.’~

“Nothing is worth killing yourself over!”

Brandy continued to kick my defenseless corpse. Every strike hit its target. Every single shot was like a cannonball to the gut. Just when I registered the last pain a new worse ache decided to join in.

~‘Someone stop him! He’s killing me!’~

“Now it’s too late! There no coming back! You Stupid! Insensitive! BASTARD!”

No one made an attempt to stop Brandy as he continued to defile my body. My ghost (or me as I was at the moment) curled up on the metaphysical ground as the pain kept escalating.

~‘P-please... stop... make it all stop...’~

As if to answer my prayer, it all stopped. Kids stopped losing their lunches. Jade’s face was stuck in that same fearful look. Tyrone stopped shaking. Brandy stopped kicking. Everything froze in place, but my pain. My pain didn’t stop. My pain didn’t go away.

~‘Make it go away...’~

“(Stop being, so melodramatic.)”

~‘It hurts...’~

“(It doesn’t hurt as much as you hurt all of them. Some of them are going to need therapy after this.)”

~ ‘Serves them right... They hurt me.’ ~

“(Oh boohoo. Go cry me a river, build a bridge, get over it... and then jump off of it too.),” the voice snickered.

~‘Quit laughing!’~ I was in so much pain that I failed to see the joke that the voice had made. Thinking back now, I guess it was funny.

~‘Why does it hurt... I’m supposed to be dead.’~

“(Not yet, you’re not. You’re actually barely alive right now. Holding on by a tiny dangling thread.)”

~‘But I shot my head clean off!’~ I looked up at the source of the voice. It was a floating cat-like creature known as Nekometa. And it was a talking Nekometa at that. I wasn’t really in the right mind to care that I was seeing what had to be essentially my personal grim reaper. ~‘There’s no way that I’m still alive!’~

“(Yes, I suppose you are quite dead, aren’t you?)”

~ ‘Of course I’m dead! My body’s right...’~ I froze in place like the rest of the world seemed to have done. If I wasn’t already dead, I would have died from fright. It’s horrifying enough to see a dead body. It might even be a little disturbing to see your own dead body. But I was seeing my freshly killed, brain blown corpse of a body. It’s enough to make sane men crazy.

I, however, came back to my senses.

~‘Oh God. What have I done? My mother’s going to kill me.’ ~

“(Technically... oh, never mind.)”

~ ‘Please, let me go back! I have to go back. I’m sorry, I tried to kill myself. Please, let me go back.’ ~

“(You do realize that you’re...)”

~ ‘I don’t care if I’m brain dead! Please, I have to take back what I did!’ ~ I pleaded with the twin tailed cat.

“(Sorry kid, you don’t have anywhere to go back to. So let me do what I came here to do.)”

~ ‘No! Please! I’ll do anything!’ ~

“(John.)”

~ ‘Don’t just leave me like this!’ ~

“(John.)”

~ ‘Help Me!’~

“(Jonathan Tyler Lawrence!),” the Nekometa burst into flames,“(Would you just shut up for one second and listen to someone besides yourself for once in your life!)”

I think that image was burned into my mind. Once the flames died back down the Yokai continued, “(Thank you. Now come with me.)”

The twin tailed cat floated back through the crowds and into the hallways. I took just one more second to look at my body. I guess that the reality of it hadn’t settled in just yet. Despite I knew the truth, I couldn’t stand it. I had to look at something else. Anything else. Everyone was still frozen in place. That was the only reason that Brandy had stopped kicking me. He was well prepared to give me another one. Anger and tears flowed from his eyes.

It was strange. He was stopped, but his tears were still flowing. He was still moving. Not much faster than the hour hand on a clock, but still moving. He moved another inch before Nekometa realized hadn’t left yet and came back for me.

“(Hey, Johnny Boy. You coming or what?)”

~’Sorry’~ I floated after the cat, ~ ‘Um, Nekometa.’~

“(Kasha-neko. Try not to lump all Cat Yokai together, John. It’s very dangerous.),” the feline warned

~‘What’s the difference?’~

“(Well, besides the flames, I’m more known for eating the corpse, kid.)”

~’WHAT!?!’~

“(Oh what a face! I love seeing that face.)”, the cat snickered to itself.

~‘You’re going to eat my body!?!’~

“(No. It’s a silly rumor, I assure you.),” that Yokai turned to look at me as it continued floating backwards, “(I only eat the corpses of really bad humans.)”

I waited for the cat to finish laughing to himself. I couldn’t even tell if he was kidding or not. Not that it mattered. I was at his mercy either way. I had absolutely no clue how gracious he was actually being.

“(By the way, it’s Sigma.)”

~‘Sigma?’~

“(My name. I know you didn’t ask, but I just didn’t think it fair for me to know yours and you not know mine.)”

~‘Okay, Sigma?’,~ I addressed him more formally, the cat stopped to look at me, ~‘Can I ask you something?’ ~

“(You can try.),” Sigma said as it continued to float to the lockers, “(Won’t mean I’ll answer, though…)”

~‘Why did Brandy…? I mean, I’ve always known him to be...’~ I paused when Sigma stopped snickered, ~‘what’s so funny now?’~

“(Oh, you’ll see.),” Sigma turned to the lockers again, “(let’s see... 330, 328, 326, 324...)”

~‘You can read?’~

“(No, I can’t read. But when you exist as long as I have, you tend to pick up a few things here and there. Ah, here we are… locker 316.)”

~‘My locker? What are we doing here?’~

“(You said that you wanted to go back, right?)”

~‘Well, yeah, but...’~

“(Well, all you have to do is go in there.),” Sigma pointed to my locker door with his surprisingly dexterous paw.

~‘But my body is back in the...’~

“(Your body is gone, John. It has been for a while now. Remember, you were laughing at the top of your lungs, bragging about how much better you were than them.)”

~ ‘I think that I was dancing on them too.’ ~ I smiled, Sigma gave me a look, ~‘My lungs... I was dancing on top of my...’~

“(Yeah, not that funny.)”

~ ‘See? That’s the very reason why I...’ ~

“(Why you what? Huh? Don’t have any friends? Get beaten up? No one notices your pain? Oh, I’ve heard every excuse in the book. Believe me, Johnny Boy.)”

~ ‘There’s a book?’ ~

“(Don’t make me reconsider giving you your second life.)”

~ ‘Second life? You mean, I’m getting a second chance?’ ~

“(Sort of... You won’t exactly be...)”

~ ‘Be what?’ ~

“(Human.)”

~ ‘I don’t care, as long as I get to go back.’ ~ Personally, I was thinking Sigma meant that I’d be a zombie. I had no idea what the little flaming fuzzball had in store for me.

“(Well, if you say so...)”

~ ‘So why are we here?’ ~

“(You said that you’d do anything, right?)”

~ ‘Yes, anything. I need to undo what I did.’ ~

“(You can’t do that, but you can start anew.)”

~’But I don’t want to start new. I want to… No, I need to take back what I did.’~

“(Look, either accept my offer or don’t. Either way, your body’s fate is sealed.),” Sigma grinned with those fairly sharp fangs of his.

~ ‘Fine... I’ll take the chance to live again.’ ~

“(Then go right in there.)”

Do you ever have one of those moments, where you feel like God (or some other higher power) wants to play a trick on you?

~ ‘Can I ask why?’~ I asked floating closer to the locker.

I wish that I had that moment right then.

“(Nope.),” the overgrown rat answered as he kicked me right through the locker door, “(have fun...)”

My head hit something in there. Everything was dark. I tried backing up, but my head was stuck. When I moved back in the thing started to pull at me. I put my hands up to get the thing off of me, but my hands got stuck. The more I pushed the more it pulled me in and the more stuck I got. It hurt to fight it.

... Sigma! Sigma, I change my mind. I don’t want this... Sigma? Sigma!?! ...

“(John, stop fighting it and just let it happen.)”

... but ...

“(Everything will be fine.)”

... but I...

“(Just let go.)”

I took Sigma’s advice. I stopped resisting. The object sucked the rest of me inside of it. I whited out after that.


I eventually stopped kicking what was left of John. I just wish that he could feel it. Not just my kicks, but the pain and trauma that he had infected into the minds of everyone present. The school quickly covered up John’s suicide. Classes were canceled, homework nullified, (almost) everyone was sent home, parents were informed. His mom would be called soon, I’m sure.

No one ratted on me about kicking what was left of him, not that anyone was in their right mind at the moment. All of us, ‘witnesses’, were not allowed to leave school grounds until everyone else was long gone, but there was something important that I needed to get.

Opening the locker, I thought that he would have been so happy to find it...

It was still there...

Just as I had left it.

Getting cold.

“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry,” I said as I pulled out the orange and yellow egg, “I’m sorry, that he didn’t live long enough to find you. But don’t worry. I’ll find you a good home.”

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