In the Shadow of the Mask

Despair, My Name is Sparrow

The sky seemed to reflect how she was feeling. The grey clouds hung low and couldn’t stand up straight… there really was no point in doing so. The light drizzle had started late the night before. It had rained so hard the day before… the day that Hannah had dragged her from the water and onto the beach. The sky… the sky cried to hide her tears. Now the sky had no more tears and could only weep what little it had felt… like her.

They pulled her and John up from the cold waters. She could hear everything, but she refused to see. They tried to stir her, but she would not listen. She was tired of listening. All she wanted to do was get lost in the darkness that she was creating. There was no point in looking for the light… there was none. The world had no point… she had failed to save the woman that saved her and watched over her. True that she had only known her for a short time, but she… that explorer risked everything… everything to save a failure of a Hero.

She winced.

She should have done things differently. She should have hurried up the stairs or helped Aja into the stands. She should have fought hard to get inside Aja’s bubble barrier. She should have helped Aja up to John so she would have been the one in the Arena. She should have stopped Hannah when she smashed the statue of the Jack… instead of secretly cheering her on. She should have made Aja stay behind and asked what kind of symbols to look for. She should have never let Aja come.

She felt a tear roll down her cheek and to the pillow that cradled her head.

She and John were brought up to the inn at Westcliff. She couldn’t remember the excuse that Garth had come up with to explain why she and John were unconscious. Not that it really mattered. She was here now; in an unfamiliar bed; feeling like the world was about to turn in on its self. Her insides were in knots. Her mind was torn to shreds. Her body ached and her muscles were tight. She hadn’t fought; she wasn’t allowed it. It was between Jack and Aja and the strange history they had.

Aja had said that they had a past and that Jack had taken much from her… someone that meant everything to her.

What past did they have? How long ago did all it take place? Why did Jack play his games with Aja? Why did he say he would take her back? Not once, but twice; once in the Arena and the time before at the Spire. The way he looked at her and she at him. There was a sense of longing every time he spoke to her. He wanted her… but why?

“Has she woken up yet?” a voice entered the room.

“No,” another sighed, “she’s stirred a little, but she doesn’t seem to want to wake up.”

“Let her sleep,” a woman’s voice came into the conversation; “She and you have been through… a lot. You both need your rest.”

“I’m fine,” the sighing voice answered back, “I’ve slept for three days already and I’m tired of being in bed. I know my parents would be disappointed with me for staying so long in bed…,” the voice sniffed.

“You poor thing. You have lost so much,” the woman’s voice came closer.

“Yes…,” the voice sighed, “I have… but at least… well… It’s hard to find the silver lining during times like these…”

It became quiet once again. There was tension in the room. Though Sparrow couldn’t or wouldn’t open her eyes, she could tell that everyone was in a somber mood. What could they be feeling? John had lost all of his family. The group of Heroes had lost someone that had taken care of them for so long. She was someone that they learned from, someone that they had shared meals with. She had showed them places that they didn’t know. There were so many things that she could have showed and taught them.

Now she was gone…

“I suppose she went out the way she wanted too…,” the sad voice started.

“What makes you say that?”

Yes… what makes you say that? Sparrow asked herself sarcastically.

“She… always said that she wanted to die on an adventure,” the voice laughed, “She wanted to disappear and never be heard from again... create mystery about her.”

“That’s an odd thing to say,” the first voice remarked.

“That’s Auntie for you. She was always an odd individual. Never did things the way they were supposed to be,” the voice laughed again, “That’s why I always love it when she visited Bowerstone. She would regale us with stories of the far beyond and speak of creatures that only existed in nightmares. I would spend hours asking her all sorts of questions. My grandfather would try to shoo me away and say that she needed to rest. But Auntie always said it was no bother and would continue long into the night until I would far asleep and my father would have to carry me up to my room,” Sparrow felt a hot tear land on her hand.

“Here my dear boy,” there was the sound of someone shuffling across the floor towards her.

“I know that there are more important things to be worrying about, but,” the voice sniffed once more, “I can’t help but be… sad…”

There was a long period of silence.

“There is something that the monks taught me in the mountains,” the woman’s voice broke the silence, “That people are never truly gone. They are always there, watching over their loved ones. I know that… she will watch over us as we do what we need to do.”

“Yeah...,” the voice sighed.

I wish they would stop talking like that… another voice entered Sparrow’s mind.

Who… who’s there? She asked.

Who do you think? The voice huffed.

Aja? Is that you? Sparrow couldn’t believe it.

I’ve only got a little strength left, she sighed, but please Sparrow you have to listen to me. Don’t give up. I know that despair is deep in your heart, but you mustn’t give up.

He killed you… I let him kill you, Sparrow could feel tears, I just stood there and let him pierce you through the…

SILENCE! She screamed, Everything I’ve done till now is to ensure that you would succeed! Jake has tried his hardest to undo what I have done… It seems to have worked...

But you… you, Sparrow felt depressed.

But nothing! I have sacrificed my freedom so you may life. I was hoping that you would have the strength to push forward; even hoping that that scene would push you harder. I was hoping that you would remember that one innocent thought close to your heart and chase the darkness away. Be the Hero that you are meant to be. Be the Hero that this world needs. Your friends have faith in you… Please give peace to this world and to those that have face Jack before… I have faith in you… her voice started to faded, I have but one warning… in the next battle, if Jack stands alone, fight him with everything that you are… he is weakened… if his old servant stands by him… run…

Aja? Aja? Aja…

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