Chapter 4: Restless Blood
Night came with no ease. The day I had only slept to escape the emptiness but I could only slip into my nightmares that seemed to know exactly how to make me question my life even further than before. I feel sick, I turn my head slowly to the right. It feels good to be out of a neck brace but I still had to be slow and careful when moving my head. My eyes locked on the clock on my nightstand, 11:11 pm. I sighed, I could no longer sleep which only left me in my own unanswerable questions. My head screamed in silence as my lips dare not move.
I thought of what she said, over and over it repeated in my head.
“When you wish to speak again look to the truth of yourself and speak the name of location and I will join you…..Dominic”
Her voice was so clear, so clean, so soft, so warm, so trusting, how is she evil? I want to speak with her again. I want to know what no one will tell me. I want to know what to do. I want to know her. I threw the covers from my body. Staring down at my blue and white striped PJ bottoms that covered the twin braces on both legs with a bare chest marked with little scarring or injury. I grabbed the crutch that leaned against my bed frame. I stood slowly using the bed as support. The room was as black as the spirals of Pandora’s walls. My eyes glanced over to the box Gramps had insisted on giving me. He went to great lengths to convince me on keeping them for protection of whatever was on the other side. I limped over to the box taking both guns in hand, I took a deep breath looking at my reflection in the cracked mirror. The mirror I was so upset with, the mirror that has seen all my forms, the mirror that had all my secrets and the mirror that held my truth.
“My name is Dominic and um… I want to go to Pandora?” I called aloud to the mirror.
“Dominic?” a voice rang in my ears almost like a whisper.
“Dominic. I want to go to Pandora,” I stated more firmly hearing her voice.
“There you are, I was beginning to think you would never call me.” Her tone was almost flirty with a sick twist that made me shiver.
“You must invite me….”
“OK? I invite you,” I hesitated doing as she wished.
“To?” she asked sarcastically.
“All together,” she sighed.
“I invite you to Pandora,” I said as a laugh filled the room.
“I humbly accept your offer…..”
I closed my eye and felt a force pulling me through the mirror. Blackness began to spin and a sickly feeling filled my body. The motion continued for a few more moments and soon I felt myself thrown into water. My eye opens and I look to see the same room I had found myself in before. I pulled myself up from the water and looked at myself. I still wore the same clothing and braces as well my eye remained the same. Unlike the last time I still had full sensation of my body. I could still feel the slight pain as I moved my neck from side to side including the pain from my leg braces from being thrown. I did however notice how the crutch I had relied on was gone. I pulled my hands quickly out of the water to see the two pistols still in my possession.
Laughter filled the room and I turned still sitting to a throne like object. Several pieces of stone piled onto each other making a high chair like object with two pillars on either end with flames atop both with nothing between them. A shadow sat upon the jagged seat with two red cat like eyes. The shadow began to move and grow tighter against the figure. The blackness soon disappeared from her body, slowly and then suddenly as if the shadows missed their homes in the dark.
She sat upon the throne, right leg crossed high over left and pulled closely to her chest by her hands. She had pale white skin that looks similar to that of snow white. Her hair was long and black tied in a fishtail braid coming forward over her right shoulder with bangs coming right above her left eye. Lips red as her blood stained eyes and features sharp and soft much like those of a photoshopped model. Her body was skinny with smooth flowing shape. She wore no shoes and black wrapping around her breasts and hips. She wore a flowing night shaded, tattered skirt that reminded me much of girl’s goddess costumes for Halloween. The strangest features included sharpened ears, cat like nails, and a thin black tail.
“Took you long enough, you shouldn’t keep a lady waiting,” she growled playfully.
“What are you?” I questioned.
“Echo,” she smiled.
“What are you? You? You? You?” I repeated creating my own echo.
“Are you stupid?” She enquired annoyed.
“My name is Echo,” she said re-crossing her legs to the other side.
“Echo?” I asked confused.
“Seems the boy can be taught. Now did you think about my offer?”
“Answer these questions first,” I said sternly.
“What is a Seeker?”
Echo jumped from the throne coming into the water floor where I sat. “A Seeker is a decendent of a special race of tamers and reapers. They are generational with only one to a blood line and you my dearest are a part of this elite group, how lucky for you,” Echo explained.
“I am? How do you know?” I asked.
“Your left eye, when you still had it was a mark of your ancestry. The black pattern told of your relatives and blood line.” She looked down at the pistols and growled. “And those…”
“These?” I said lifting up the black one. She flinched at this action before regaining her composure.
“Yes, those. They are passed down from generation to generation as a sign of power of a family. Seems someone wanted to keep them from you now didn’t they?” Echo said walking away from me.
“I don’t know.” A wicked smile formed across her lips.
“Do you still wish to form a contract?”
“Wait.” This seemed to annoy her, “Gramps says I shouldn’t listen to you, he says that you’re evil.”
“Do you trust everything you hear?” Echo whispered.
“No. Maybe?” I blushed.
“If you could have anything in the world wouldn’t you take it? I’m handing you all the answers and all you have to do is grab it,” her eyes grew wide as she spoke.
“I don’t know, I want to save my family but my Gramps.”
“Is a crazy old man who got the wrong end of a deal and is now taking it out on you. You don’t have another shot boy, it’s now or never understood?” Echo snapped.
I thought, I didn’t have much time but I know well what I want, If I am to die I care nothing but if I can give my life for theirs isn’t it worth it? I do not fear what is to come, I fear what will happen if I do nothing.
“Ok,” I spat.
“Do you wish to make a contract with me Dominic?” Echo held out her hand to me.
“I do, I wish to make a contract with you Echo!” I yelled grabbing her hand.
In a quick movement she slit my cheek with her thumb nail. Red fell down my face as she came close to my skin. Her breath felt warm against my cheek as she licked the blood from the wound. She continued to suck the red liquid from my face as I tried to pull away but it was to no use. Echo was a lot stronger than she had appeared. My movement attempts were nothing against her. Her lips moved from my skin as our eyes met. A crazed look filled her vision when she looked at my blood. She had a taste and wanted more, I could see it in her eyes. She looked like a wild animal and I the food.
Her nails scraped across her own arm as black poured from her veins much like blood would have. Red eyes locked on mine.
“Drink...” Her voice sounded wild and demonic.
“What?” I said trying to force away her oncoming arm to no avail.
I soon met lips to arm. The black liquid tasted almost salty with a nauseating taste of brine and what reminded me of liquorice wrapped in a disgusting mixture. I gagged pulling my head away when I noticed it no longer hurt to move my neck. I felt little to no pain in my movement as I had before. Her hand pulled away my eye cover and she smiled. The blackness soon became a fuzzy image and soon cleared into a full view. I looked around quickly with the ability of a new eye stunned by what she had done. Echo’s arm pulled away from my mouth and I began to cough heavily from the liquid.
“I couldn’t have a broken toy now could I?” Her words bounced off each other like a playful child’s lullaby. “Our contract is set, till death do us part…”
Her hands pushed against my chest and we both fell back into the water and then through. My vision scattered between the spinning vortexes we were falling in. The sky spirals matched the pattern pass the water. I yelled from the falling motion, it felt more like a dream. A clear exit formed below us as we continued our descent. A pure cracked image of my empty room sat at the bottom of the black hole. My eyes grew at the impact sure to come but never did. I fell through the mirror as if it were nothing, it did not break, it didn’t crack further, and I was unhurt. I looked up now in my room at my reflection. No scars held on my appearance except the one across my nose. I looked perfectly healthy and healed. I pulled myself up using my hands and stared at this new image locked on this new eye. This new red eye.
Pained filled my gut and I yelped. Black filled my mouth as I began to cough up the odd black substance. Breathing became a challenge as I choked from it, vomit erupted from me as my body tried so hard to erase the blood like liquid. Gramps opened my door with a great speed probably from my wails. I looked up at him with a painful expression. He stood in shock as I continued fighting for air.
"You drank the blood didn't you? What did I tell you? I told you to stay away from her!" Gramps yelled with fear in his voice.
"I did it to save them..." I choked through my coughs.
A sweet laugh filled my room with a deadly sound. I turned my head as well as Gramps to the sound. There Echo stood in the darkness of the night. A wicked look took hold of her with crazed eyes wide staring at Gramps in the doorway. In her hands were the duel pistols pointed at him in a steady hold aiming perfectly for a deadly shot. My mouth opened wide with black still dripping from my lips.
"Nice to see you again Jonathan," she growled with razor teeth.
"Echo release this boy from your blood," Gramps yelled.
"Now why would I do that old man? It took me so long to find him, thanks to you. And you know just as well as I that to release him one of us have to die, isn't that right?" Echo mewed pulling back the triggers.
"Don't," I coughed.
No one seemed to listen to me. I crawled slightly from the mirror closer to Gramps legs.
"I've been waiting for this too long..." Echo smiled.
"Stop," I yelled. A red light filled the dark room. My head throbbed from the image.
She stopped falling slowly to the ground. Her legs bent slowly reaching the small grey carpet in my room. Her hands dropped the pistols and she fell flat against the ground as if she didn't have control of her motions.
A scream came from her as she lay. It was a mixture of pain and annoyance for what she couldn't do. Gramps pulled me off the floor, I stood with no issue that I had before this night. The light from my eye continued to light the room with a soft glow.
“Wh…What are you doing?” She screamed.
“I, I don’t know I just wanted you to stop,” I shuttered.
“Ahhh! I stop it, I can’t move!” Echo squealed.
“Whatever you're doing don’t stop,” Gramps said walking over to the girl.
He picked up the black gun pointing it at her head. She growled but couldn’t move. Gramps reached into one of my drawers pulling out a red shirt and a belt. He proceeded to sit up the girl tie the belt around her wrist and bed post propping her up like a prisoner. He then wrapped the T-shirt around her head gagging her. My hand came to my eye from the throbbing the glow began to lighten in intenseness until it all but faded. I gasped, I felt tired and weaker than I had. My legs bent until I sat upon the ground. I looked at the blue and white fabric that held the braces I had depended on. I frowned unhooking the metal bars and hooks that held them together. I pulled the support beams off throwing them weakly to the side. I could feel myself shaking from the exhaustion as I stared at my Gramps tightening the restrains on the girl. She seemed relieved that I had stopped the glow.
“That should hold her for a bit.” Gramps stood from her walking over to me. His eyes looked with my dazed expression. He placed his thumb on my face under my left eye.
“I’ve never seen a human with a curse such as this,” Gramps said pulling away.
“Curse?” I supposed weakly.
She seemed to laugh at this.
Gramps flicked the light switch filling the room with the warm light of my lamp. Echo sat with a look so many in my school have, boredom. She was gagged and bonded and she seemed bored. Still holding the black pistol Gramps stood between us.
“This is the last time you grieve our family beast.” I’ve never heard such power come from Gramps before.
Flames formed around the gag as it turned to ash revealing her twisted grin. “Jonathan you know me better than that, as if a rag and these, “she ripped the leather with little trouble placing her hands in her lap. “Would hold a demon.”
“Demon?” I gasped.
“You didn’t tell him did you?” Echo asked.
“I was trying to protect him from devils like you,” Gramps yelled.
“And all I want is to protect him and see his wishes through,” she said innocently.
“Name one thing you’ve done to help him,” Gramps roared.
She stood slowly turning from us to face the opposite direction. Her hands lifted the black wrappings up to show a long scar across her back. I remembered the wreck and how I felt something on my back and the cut on my clothing but no marks on my own skin.
“You were there?” I asked in shock.
“I’ve been protecting you since you first heard my words. I only want the best for you boy.” Her words seemed sincere enough but still held some sense of lie.
She turned to Gramps, “He has made his choice and nothing will change it. He drank the blood. Let him complete his wish, let him do what he has chosen.”
Gramps looked at me with tears in his eyes. “I can’t help you in your quest Dominic, I can only give you this advice. Remain who you are and never think less of yourself. You have the potential to be good or evil and you must never falter from who you are, no matter how great the temptation.”
“I love you Gramps,” I spoke as if I was saying, good bye forever.
“I love you too Dominic.” Gramps smiled through his own tears.
Echo pressed her hands against the cracked glass and began to mumble quickly as she spoke the mirror image turned to that of a black spiral. Her cat like eyes locked onto me with an impatient look. I walked over to her and stood in front of the vortex looking into the darkness. My eyes shot down to my bare feet. I don’t know where I am going, I don’t know what’s going on, I don’t know who to trust, there’s a lot I don’t know. I look back to Gramps who waved to me slowly.
A deep breath filled my lungs as I stepped forward into the vortex leaving all the answers behind me to enter the unknowns.