Chapter 12: The Bed Intruder
I sat in the circle for a long time. The person watching me didn't move, so I knew it was working. I was finally all by myself. That was what I've been wanting for a long time. Now I can finally have some peace without Jen always hurting me.
The nature around me calmly made its noises. With the soft grass underneath me, I felt for a little flower or an insect within the little green blades. My mind wandered as I listened to everything else. Birds chirped in the tops of some trees. Rabbits hopped out of bushes. Even deer came grazing off in the distance.
There was a plentiful forest a hundred yards behind me. That was where the core of my happiness abounded. Many animals came out to eat and browse their world. All I felt like doing was that. Eat and browse, then sleep.
The breeze that had been mindfully blowing into the bedroom suddenly stopped. My eyes instinctively opened. The room was just as dark as it was when I dosed off. I was also just as warm under the wool blankets. The curtains no longer swayed. I about shut my eyes to go back to sleep, but an unmoving shadow shone onto the bed.
I froze. The shadow had a distinct head and shoulders. The rest of the body fell into one solid strip. My breathing slowed. A stranger was in here with me. I prayed it was only Jen…I'd rather have her feed off me than be attacked by whoever this was. For all I knew, it was a villager getting revenge for the loss of his/her loved ones.
Trying my best to not completely panic, I slid away from the shadow inch by inch. The slightest noise I made could jump start something I knew I would regret.
The fibers in the wool brushed past my skin. I intently watched the shadow until it disappeared behind me. It never moved. Once I got to the other side of the bed, I slid my foot out and rested it against the ice cold wooden floor. I sunk out from under the blanket and crouched out of sight.
I cringed. The curtain shifted with my body and the rings holding them up moved, too.
Shit, I cursed to myself.
The stranger's stare bore through the thin curtain to look at me. I stayed out of sight, though, the salt water starting to build up to the rims of my eyelids. With all hope lost, I got up and ran for the door.
My hand just barely grabbed the doorknob when I was snatched. Hands restrained me and pressed me up against his body.
"No! Stop!" I shouted with his gloved hand over my mouth, making it muffled and distorted. I writhed in his grasp and reached for the door. "Charlotte! Trent!" I cried, kicking my feet and striking him.
He nearly dropped me. Apparently he fell to his knees and rested me in his lap. I sobbed into his hand. We both sat there without moving. What confused me the most was why he hadn't taken me yet. Slowly, I calmed down, taking in the way he was holding me. When the trails of tears down my cheeks began to dry, he removed his hand from my mouth.
It all started coming back to me. With the back of my head resting against his shoulder and his arm wrapped around my stomach, from my memory, I saw faint stripes of red, blue, and black.
I stumbled out of his hold and landed on my knees. When I rolled onto my rear, I turned around and saw who the stranger was. He wore a suit that consisted of pure white. A golden dragon stretched across the front of it, ice crystals shooting out of its mouth. A white mask covered his whole head. The only feature I could make out about his face were his piercing blue eyes, but it was too dark to see any details within them.
"There is nothing to be afraid of," he assured me in a low voice. "I'm not trying to harm you." The way he spoke his vowels was odd to me. They were…formal? Was that the word? He made them somewhat tall, but not over the top. It gave him a unique accent in my opinion.
I didn't reply at first. His words didn't match up to my original idea of the situation, but after the mysterious flashback, I had no idea what to believe. All I did know was that both of us have met before, and I was the one who didn't remember.
"I'm only here to be certain that you were unharmed from the Serpentine attack," he continued.
I could barely get the word out. "…W-Why?"
He calmly blinked, probably wondering why I was struggling so much right now. "So you don't remember," he said, almost as if he just proved something right. "Do you remember the Serpentine?"
I nodded, not wanting to try to verbally respond.
"Do you remember the wolf pack?"
"Wolf pack?!" I shrieked, almost too loud. I slapped a hand over my mouth and listened for someone to come check on me. There was nothing, though.
The man concentrated on the door for a moment before speaking again. "Not a genuine wolf pack," he corrected himself. "The Hypnobrai hypnotized you and many other civilians into thinking you were wolves."
I broke eye contact with him after hearing what happened. That was why people were eating each other. We were predators who were hunting for their prey.
"H-How many people did I kill?" I hesitantly asked him, looking back at him.
He gave me a confused look. "You didn't murder anybody."
"But…everyone else did."
"Yes, and what happened was horrific. I still think about the scene my brothers and I came upon. It's not something to easily forget, and I can't help but wonder how many people would've been spared if we'd arrived earlier than we did."
"But why are you here? Why aren't you checking on other people?"
He sat there for a moment, looking at me intently. When he didn't say anything, I felt my face. Of course there were tears, and my lip was also quivering. I only sniffled once, and then I made myself relax.
"Because you were the alpha of the pack," he began. "I'm the one who saved you. You were injured at a minimum amount, so there was nothing else I could do. I was told to leave you, but when you awakened, I witnessed how distressed you actually were. Mental inflictions are far worse than physical ones. I wanted to assure myself you weren't still in that state. This is why I'm here."
I didn't remember being saved. I just remembered the snake and then waking up surrounded by all the mutilation. But yet, I remember those weird colors. I looked over this man and compared him to those colors. The colors were big just like the white he was wearing. He did mention brothers…
I crawled over to him. I didn't remember seeing white, but maybe I can remember his face. He didn't move as my fingers reached for under his chin. Carefully, I clenched the visible fold between his mask and suit. Before I pulled, I looked into his eyes to see the illusion of blue pristine diamonds taking the place of them. I'd never seen anything like them before. He never blinked, almost as if he were also examining my eyes.
When he didn't protest, I guided the mask over his face. He waited patiently until it slipped over to reveal his hair. I made a face when his platinum blonde hair came out from underneath and immediately stood straight up. I know some men like to spike their hair up with hair gel, but there was nothing glistening in any of the strands. When I let the mask drop, my wrists barely touching his shoulders, I found that every strand resulted in a flat surface at the top. He didn't acknowledge my reaction, though. Instead, he waited until I settled back down in front of him.
I didn't recognize him.
"I wanted to ensure you were safe," he finished.
"I've already checked on every other villager. You are the last."
I sat there, having nothing else to say, but trying to find something else to ask. But before I could, he silently got to his feet and covered his face once more. "You are safe," he said. "I'm sorry I disturbed you." Then he turned toward the open window.
It was all so quick. One moment, he was walking to the window. The next moment, he vanished out of thin air.