Chapter 2: Her Voices
I gasped as I sat up awake. I looked at my orange shirt and jeans that were soaked in water but contained no blood on them whatsoever. I looked at where I sat, water about seven inches up filled the entire plane. I looked towards the sky. Black spirals filled the area for as far as the eye could see. I stood from my sitting place and felt no pain at all. No bruises, scratches, or even a single mark from today’s fight or the car wreck were evident. Wait the car wreck? Where am I? Where is Mom, Dad, Cassie, and Julian? Did that really happen or did I just dream it? Maybe I’m dreaming now and I’m just knocked out in the hallway in school. That’s it Palace just knocked me out, that’s why I heard that voice and that’s why I’m here now. Wherever I am.
“Hello? Anyone out there?” I called into the empty space.
I was met with silence and nothing more.
“Hello,” I called louder to get the same reply.
“Hello is anyone here? Hello!” I screamed.
Hello Hello Hello
I heard my echo but it sounded off, as if it wasn’t me calling.
Anyone Anyone Anyone
“Please if anyone’s out there I need help, I don’t know where I am or what’s going on.” I’m speaking with my own echo, I must be mad but it’s the only reply I’m getting.
“Help help help?” The voice became different this time, it sounded sweeter with a female tone.
“Who’s there?” I yelled into the blackness.
“Who’s here?” She answered.
“I’m here,” I answered the invisible force.
“I’m here,” she replied.
“Where’s here?” I asked pleading for any answers.
“Where are you?” She asked ignoring me.
“I don’t know I was asking you,” I growled with annoyance.
“And I was asking you,” she laughed.
“Please I need a straight answer no more games. I’m afraid and I don’t want to play,” I cried.
“You’re no fun…” Two red eyes appeared from the blackness, they were much like those belonging to a cat; narrow and slated .
I jumped back against the water floor. “What are you?”
“A way,” she answered blinking quickly.
“A way?” I questioned.
“A way out Seeker,” she whispered almost seductively.
“Seeker?” I questioned.
“Boy doesn’t know?” She laughed sweetly.
“What don’t I know?” I questioned desperately into the shadows.
“Ask him…” She growled playfully.
“Ask who? And you still haven’t told me where I am?” I shouted in so much confusion.
“Pandora… you’re in Pandora, home of the lost souls and contractors.” She moaned as if she had grown bored of the conversation.
“Pandora? Where is Pandora?” I questioned sitting in the water.
“Pandora is where Pandora is. It’s the gateway of all and the doorway to none.” Riddles, had to be riddles.
“English?” I sighed.
“You’re dead, plain enough?” Her eyes gave an annoyed look.
“I’m what? I died?” I asked in shock.
“You, them, all of you poor unfortunate souls. It’s a pity too a Seeker’s soul is by far the best tasting life.”
A shadow formed around her eyes forming an almost body shape, a figure of a female maybe sixteen or seventeen about a foot shorter than me but, her appearance still held a shadowy outline blocking all features and detail of her being. She simply looked like a shadow you’d see against the pavement.
“My family?!” I cried as tears poured down my cheeks.
“Is that what you call them?” As she spoke the shadow moved closer to me but I took a step away.
“I’m sorry I’ve never thought I’d see you. I assumed this Seeker was a lost cause but, here you are.” Her hand reached for me but I jumped away.
“How can they be dead?” I screamed cracking my voice.
“You really loved them didn’t you?” She laughed, “Dead, that’s a joke.”
“Dead, they’re not dead yet. Only scattered, scattered until death collects,” she spoke innocently walking circles around me.
“Can I get them back?” Her eyes lit up with joy with that line.
“Oh, indeed you can my sweet. You see it’s quite simple, form a contract with me with this single wish and as long as we both shall live I will fulfill your desire. But be warned nothing comes without a price, boy,” she grinned wickedly with an unnaturally wide smile.
I shuttered, “whatever I can do I’ll do it, no matter the cost.”
“Even your life?” She whispered close to my ear.
“I don’t have a life, I’m dead right?” I questioned confused.
My vision began to blur as it faded in and out, soon her image left and was replaced with full darkness. Pain began to fill my body and I screamed but no noise came from my lips. I tried again, it was so much hurt I could do nothing else.
“When you wish to speak again look to the truth of yourself and speak the name and location and I will join you…..Dominic”
My right eye shot open all I could see was the back seat of our family car. Nothing moved, no sounds could be heard and only the eerie silence existed. I tried turning my head with horrible pain erupting in my neck, I tried to yell but I could make no sound. I licked my chapped lips as I surveyed what I could. I could see little and I’m glad for that. From my position I could see the true damage of the inside of the car. Sides were bent and twisted from the hits while glass scattered across the wreckage. I breathed deeply causing me to cough up blood onto my face. I looked right and once again tried to speak. Julian leaned against Cassie as the seat belt stretched as he limply lay against her in the seat, his body slightly falling downwards towards the upside down ceiling where I laid.
“Ju-j….julian,” I whispered though to me it felt as if I were screaming.
There was no answer. My mind finally caught up with my memory as I remember what she had said. My mouth curled as if to cry but I had no tears to give. I mutely cried as sound invaded me. Sirens could be heard closely as well as several men speaking to each other close to the car side. I could hear their statements about what had caused the accident and what time it had occurred. They also spoke of the death count. A third man walked next to the others, I listened to the sound of his boots against the blacktop as he walked closer. I wish I could turn my neck to see who was there or at least call out to them.
“Chief Franchester, we didn’t expect you to come in today,” one of the men spoke.
“A crash like this is too important to ignore because it was my day off.” Chief told in a sturdy voice, “What’s the details John?”
“Crash took place at 2:58 pm on August 17th. Cause, the father got distracted driving into opposite lane of traffic hitting side of opposite traffic spinning the car until it hit the road rails flipping the vehicle. Ambulance arrived on scene where it was declared five fatalities. The driver of the other car seems alright with minor injuries. All passengers but one were wearing seat belts. A young man we predict sixteen was thrown through the right side window and then was trapped once again inside the upside down car as it overturned. We predict all passengers died by the final turn of the compartment.” My eye widened as I yelped, but it was only a whisper.
“I’-I’m he…re. I’m, I’m here!” I whispered/yelled.
“Help…!” nothing was working, they couldn’t hear me.
I closed my eye and waited for death. But I couldn’t wait for it, for I don’t want it. My eye shot open as I stared at the inside of the car. I will not die here, I can’t die here I have to save my family. I tried to scream with nothing to show for it. I tried to move my legs but couldn’t move more than a toe. There has to be something, anything. I thought to myself in the emptiness of my mind, there is a way I know it I just have to use my head. My head? That’s the answer.
I took in a deep breath only able to fill half my lungs, I hold it. This is going to hurt but if it means I get heard that’s all that matters. Holding my air for my dearest life I twist my neck quickly to the right. The air escapes my lips in a blood curdling scream of pain that would make the bravest of men weep. I cringed coughing up several clots of blood and spit. The strange metallic taste filled my mouth as I could now see the feet of the three men out the broken car window. One of the men who I guess is the Chief laid against the ground looking into the small opening. His mouth moved but I hear nothing, vision blurs dazing in and out of focus. His eyes lock with mine and relief fills his face as he calls to several others who hurried to me. I smile weakly, blackness consumed me.
Does he know? Know what I am? If he did would he care? That boy, that boy whose eye marks his destiny. Straw like hair with tangles of auburn weave into the mess. His pale skin, strong features with little scratch and tear. Weak body but resilient mind. Heart of gold painted with blackness. Yes… he’ll do fine. I lick my lips thinking about it. He smells of pain and misery with evident fear. His soul is drenched in the blood of sorrow and hurt. Ancestry, I’m sure he is unaware, but oh he knows. The old man knows and he kept me away. I’ll call out again to the boy. I’ll call out and he will be helpless. I’ll call out and he will be mine.
I felt my body awake from my slumber but I dare not open my eyes as fear of what I’d see. It feels like a nightmare from which I can’t wake up from, or I choose not to. Everything feels numb, sort of the way it does when I wake in the morning from a sleepless night. Weak and sluggish with the heaviness of the world weighing down on my chest. I could feel my slow breath swelling in my rib cage, in and out, in and out, barely keeping me alive. If I’m alive.
As hearing re-entered my field I listened in the way I had before the blackness I now held so close. A steady beep filled the silent room with small mumbles of whispers too far to make out. I moved my finger slightly as my body recognized its own senses. One by one I could feel this world becoming more realistic from the smell of chemicals to the touch of something smooth and cold. But still no sight, I kept my eyes closed, for a reason unknown I didn’t feel right in opening my eyes. I wish to keep them closed for as long as my curiosity would allow. I’m scared…. It’s been so long since I’ve known this feeling. Still I’m scared of finding out what’s truth and what’s dream, I’m scared of finding that I am alone, and I’m scared of it being my fault.
I squint my eyelid, only one would move. Concern filled my mind at this. Why can only one move? I thought. Curiosity took hold of me with little resistance as I slowly began opening my right eye. The light shined brightly at first. I continued to widen my view pass the blinding beams to gaze upon white tile ceilings. Peripherals allowed me to perceive the edges of what seemed to be a pillow garbed in white matching the medical tape that enfolded against the left side of my appearance along with a black object unclear to me. I blinked several times slowly as my mind raced. I took a breath in feeling the pipes that lay against my face. I looked at my mouth to see the oxygen tubes resting upon my snowy skin that seemed whiter than I had remembered. I coughed twice as I continued processing my surroundings. I couldn’t move my head nor could I open my other eye, I could only stare half blind into the ceiling listening to the muffles of others from afar. My hand reached from against the bed frame to my lips feeling the tubes and the needle within my forearm.
I pulled the tube as sirens filled my ears and alerts. I watched as suddenly the muffles became louder and louder. Soon they were no longer muffles but full audible words and then faces in which those words belonged to.
Three women came into my view all wearing colorful scrubs and all working very hard as if there were surprised by something and were trying to fix a mistake once made before someone were to notice. One of the women looked at me with a sweet face. Her skin was tannish with more of a yellowish glow. Her hair was black tighten in a ponytail reaching her mid back. She smiled as she asked me questions about what I remember and if I was ok.
“Hello there sleepy head, my name is Nurse Ross. Do you know your name?”
“Do..Domin…ic” I managed to say clearing my throat.
“Good, now Dominic do you know where you are?” Nurse Ross asked.
“Pandora?” I answered.
“Not quite right, you’re in the hospital. We’ll call your Grandfather soon so he can see you.” Her voice was sweet and inviting.
“Gramps?” I asked still dazed.
“Yes,” Nurse Ross said with a cheery tone, “Your Grandfather is coming to see you.”
“Are my parents coming too?” I asked dizzy from the confusion.
She looked down from my eyes as if something had caught her attention.
“Where are they?” I asked noticing she was dodging the question.
Again I was met with a silence that I hate. “Where are they?”
The other two nurses looked up at Ross and then to me with saddened expressions. The room was silent with only the sounds of busy work and avoidance.
My eyes brows narrowed as my voice became hoarse, “Why won’t you answer me?!”
I knew the answer,
I just didn’t want to believe it.