Chapter 10. The Airport
Cathy hadn’t fully regained her consciousness when someone knocked her bedroom door. She was staggering to walk before she could open the door. It was her mom that already dressed nicely in her long black coat and jeans, making her surprised.
“What you’re up to?” She asked. “There’s still an hour left before I can go to school.”
“No, I already sent your absent letter to school,” her mom sounded rushing. “Now, prepare your suitcase, we’ll be going at nine a.m. to the airport.”
“What?” She rubbed her eyes.
“Oh, our time isn’t enough,” Haile sighed and barged into her bedroom, and started taking her suitcase above the wooden wardrobe.
“Wait, it’s definitely not today,” she confused to watch her mom taking out random clothes of some thick sweaters and jackets into the suitcase.
“At least, we need to visit Dalton by tomorrow, before the demons hunt us down.”
“Dalton—is he our distant relative?” She flickered. “Shouldn’t you take a good rest since you fought the beasts, last night?”
As if it sounded like a joke, Haile squinted in annoyance at her. “They were like nightmares. Luckily, I’ve survived, huh?”
Cathy stood there, foreshortening her mom’s adroit manner.
“After this, I should talk to Manson, I feel sorry for him.”
“You haven’t told dad yet?” She astounded. “We won’t be allowed to go out suddenly. He needs the real explanation.”
Haile stopped and stared directly at her. “You think he would listen about the miserable incident that we just got yesterday?”
“No one knows that we got into the incident. We aren’t getting any news channel to expose us, or it’ll be easier for the demons to find our family,” she stared resentfully. “Do you get it?”
“I get it.”
Haile was suddenly breathing hardly, her lungs felt suffocated. It was exceedingly painful for her to endure.
Cathy panicked, while caressing her mom’s shoulders. “Mom, what’s wrong?!”
Haile felt a tremendous pain like a sharp knife that was stabbing her chest. The ceiling was the last view she saw as she closed her eyes unconsciously.
They had to bring her to the hospital. The lamps in the corridor almost killed her eyeballs once Cathy sat on the bench at the waiting room. At the same time, she noticed how her dad looked extremely stressful. Manson was walking back and forth in front of the emergency room.
She rose from the bench to hug him. “Dad, will mom be okay?”
He nodded assuredly, although his nerve weakened.
The examination was undergone pretty long before a doctor walked out from the door and accompanied by two nurses to see them. The doctor known as the most wanted cardiologist in Bisbee. People could recognize him straightaway from his appearance as a 45-year-old blonde man, with gray eyes, white skin, slender body, and he was a bit taller than Manson.
However, this was their first encounter with the doctor. His name was Clay Breckenwood.
“How’s my wife?” Manson asked.
The doctor smiled politely to greet them. “Your wife has a serious injury in her chest—it’s cardiac sarcoma.”
“What do you mean?” He snapped in rage, letting his worriment clouded his mind. “She’s always been healthy.”
Cathy didn’t dare to tell him the truth about yesterday night, since she wouldn’t know how to make him believe of what really happened.
“It seems that she just got this injury,” Doctor Clay said empathically. “We’ll try our best by giving her a routine treatment that will get her better.”
“Doesn’t she need a surgery?” He exaggerated his panic.
“May we talk privately in my office?” Doctor Clay asked him, and glanced slightly at her.
One of the nurses followed them to his private office, while the younger nurse went forward to confront Cathy. “Are you her daughter?”
“Yes,” she said instantly.
“Don’t let her fall into a glass window again,” the nurse admonished her. “She had a temporary coma, and then she’s able to recover so suddenly. This is the first time I saw someone in that kind of state of consciousness.”
The first nurse just realized that the intern nurse was mumbling ahead. She returned to scold her, and whispered, “Don’t say too much. You’re a nurse, not a doctor.”
They left her wondering alone in the corridor as they went to the nurses’ station.
While Cathy was waiting alone, she started contemplating what the nurse had said earlier, but then she saw from afar that Elle and Josh had just arrived.
He stopped by at the nurses’ station to talk with a nurse. Concurrently, there was a fragile grandma dressed in a green cardigan, and sat on the wheelchair, she kept staring up at Elle. From a meter away as Cathy walked forward to them, she could hear them talking vaguely.
“I know, you’re an angel,” the grandma said tremblingly. “The kind-hearted creature—”
The grandma hadn’t finished her words when a nurse led her to move away. Elle waved affectionately as she smiled at the old woman. Josh noticed what just happened too before they went to see Cathy.
“Hey, the nurse said something weird to me,” Cathy frowned at them. “I thought I was the one who fell from the glass window in that grocery store, but what happened exactly to my mom?”
“She didn’t fall, but her chest got injured by the attack of those beasts,” Elle explained.
Cathy bulged out at her statement, and so she ran hurriedly to see her mom.
In the patient room, her mom was asleep on the bed, while looking exceedingly pale. She dragged a chair to sit next to bed, and she started caressing her mom’s palm hand gently.
The nurse told them to wait outside once they were all in the room, but Cathy didn’t want to leave her mom alone. Manson came in time before the nurse forced them to leave.
Cathy wondered whether her dad supposed to tell her something after he talked privately with the doctor. “What did the doctor say about mom?”
He sighed. “Cathy, you need to go home, let me take care of her.”
“No, I need to be here too,” she insisted.
“We’re sorry, sir, but—” The nurse stopped talking when Haile wailed, and opening her eyes slowly. Everyone looked relieved.
Cathy hovered to her quickly. “Mom, how do you feel?”
“Not pretty good, I guess,” her voice sounded hoarse and weak.
“Nurse, please give them a little family reunion,” Josh admonished her, and soon, she nodded understandingly and left the room.
Haile could survive from the illness, her eyes started exploring the room, and she noticed that Elle stood frozenly next to Josh, which reminded her of the overseas trip.
“How’s the preparation?” She reprimanded.
Elle squinted at Manson. “I told him, earlier.”
He didn’t seem to like the topic, his eyes rolled in annoyance. “No one will be going anywhere in this particular time.”
Her dad didn’t like to be repressed, but her mom always had her way to handle the problem.
As Haile winked, Elle understood her in an instant. Thereafter, Elle told Josh to wait outside since they would like to have a private conversation. He understood and walked away.
“There are some important things in Austria, which Cathy needs to know,” Haile said firmly to him.
Manson shook his head, refusing her idea. “We can talk about this later. All of you can go on the weekend.”
“I bought the flight tickets already,” Haile said.
“Well, it’s over. It’s ten a.m. now,” he argued.
Haile shook her head exasperatedly. “Is it?”
“Mom, we don’t need to force this, things won’t go in vein—”
“You don’t get it,” she snapped before Cathy could finish her words. “This is about life and death.”
“What’s wrong with you?” Manson asked agitatedly. “If the things are enormously important, you can tell her in here.”
“There will be the time when she has the right to know, and you start to waste it,” Elle snapped, her keen eyes were frightening, and the atmosphere turned eerie. “You’ve heard from Haile about the Aloise.”
Manson sighed. “I don’t know. I just can’t let go of my wife and my daughter at this kind of moment.”
“I won’t go. I’m too weak in this condition,” Haile said. “Cathy will go with Elle instead of with me.”
“Wait, today?” Cathy protested and panicked. “I have no preparation, I can’t speak of their language, and my suitcase—”
“It’s already well prepared. The suitcase is in the car,” Elle calmed her “—and Josh has repaired your car.”
Cathy gawked, as she had no reason to refuse. Otherwise, Haile felt relaxed to know that everything had been taken care perfectly.
But Manson was disquieted with what the girls would encounter later, and so he asked, “You two are adolescences, with no guard, with no ID, except Elle that she’s twenty, right?”
Cathy glanced bafflingly at the girl who apparently was not what she seemed to be. It was still hard to believe that Elle wasn’t human, even to assume if she owned an identity card or not.
“Dad, I know this is hard to accept,” Cathy had to say it again. A sorrow crafted on her eyes. “I’m seventeen, and mom knows what the best for me. I don’t want to leave her too, but you need to give us permission.”
“I understand her wish,” his eyes glossed as he glanced at Haile. “Anyway, you two will need money for the new flight tickets.”
Although Haile felt guilty to do this to him, but eventually, the consideration granted, and he gave the girls enough budgets for the overseas trip.
Haile frustrated that she missed this chance. She didn’t know that the incident would lead her to stuck in the hospital. One thing she kept was a promise of the angel that would guide her daughter to the right path.
Cathy gave her parents a warm farewell, even with a heavy heart.
Once his phone rang, he answered it and walked out hurriedly from the room. Concurrently, Elle gazed at them, waiting to watch their last goodbye.
“I want you to be honest before I go,” Cathy reprimanded. “Is this girl beside me… is she literally an angel?”
She stared frozenly at her, and didn’t blink at all, but there was no hesitation in her eyes. “Yes, my love.”
“Is that really easy to say?” Cathy baffled. “Why would I want to believe if she really is an angel sent from heaven?”
“No one asks you to believe, I supposed you have an intuition to use,” Elle said, sarcastically.
Cathy stared back at that white hair girl. Although she looked calm, but every word she said, felt like a razor.
“When you’re faced with the reality, it must’ve been hard to contemplate the situation,” Haile murmured. “Have you thrown away all the fairy tales from your heart?”
Cathy stared at her mom again, and felt condemned. “After all this time, I’m not crazy, right?”
She was silent, feeling the remorse. “That’s forever my fault, I didn’t tell you earlier. I didn’t know that the time would come sooner than I expected.”
Cathy clenched her jaw. “Good to hear.”
“The whole things about superstition are real, if you want to believe in it,” Elle shouted, standing next to her. “The journey we’ll have might be beyond your amazement.”
Cathy narrowed her eyes, baffling. “What?”
“She’s right. That place is miraculous,” Haile added, smiling warmly. “Just… don’t be fearful, my love.”
The car looked better after it was repaired, and she relieved that her dad didn’t know about the details of what happened in the incident.
In the parking lot of Bisbee Hospital, Josh already leaned down on the car while he waited for the girls.
“I’m sorry that you have to skip school today,” Cathy said, as she felt bad for him.
“Not at all, I was rather shocked to hear about your mom’s condition. Martha worries like hell,” he muttered.
She grimaced. “The situation is just unpredictable.”
Soon, they surprised to see Scott was running to them like a marathon boy.
“Why are you coming here?” She wondered if he knew too about her mom.
Josh stared at him resentfully, since he was still annoyed at his presence around Cathy.
“I heard from Max, you’ll be leaving today,” he said, looking sad.
“Max knew about my mom?” She baffled.
“He knew your mom got injured. He’s on the way to the hospital now,” Scott talked breathlessly.
“Who told him?” Cathy bewildered, but then she realized the only one who paid him a visit as fast as lightning, possibly was Elle. “Well, never mind.”
“Are you skipping school too?” Josh asked curiously.
Scott nodded. “I got oversleep.”
He smirked then, and mumbled, “The teacher won’t mind someone like you—”
“Josh, stop it—” she warned agitatedly before he could start a war in here. “I need to go to the airport now.”
Scott squinted at her, baffling. “Why do you have to go?”
“Is it really your concern?” Josh confronted.
He shook his head, trying to deal him calmly. “Dude, I just want to ask her. It’s so sudden, especially when her mom just got into hospital.”
Josh was still in rage, but Cathy pushed his chest, trying to calm him. “Hey, I won’t go if there’s nothing important. Can we just go to buy my flight ticket?”
Soon after, they rode with her car. Josh insisted to be the driver, while she sat by his side. He had practiced a few times with his neighbor’s car. Surely, Cathy amazed that he was a quick learner. She could always count on him, that he was her life saver.
Bisbee Municipal Airport was located eight miles away from downtown that it took about less than fifteen minutes, and they arrived exactly at eleven.
Cathy felt less unease about this trip when she wore a charm bracelet that Josh gave her. Whenever she would feel homesick, she would look at it. Cathy had not felt ready to leave, especially when she didn’t know that it was today, and she wore nothing fancy; of a black leather jacket and white shirt, skinny jeans, and boots.
However, Cathy shouldn’t even have to concern about her clothes since Elle looked worse. That girl had not changed her clothes since the night of incident, which was the same brown leather jacket with a collar that had a white feather. And now, she wondered where Elle got that special jacket.
Nevertheless, Elle was the only one who moved adroitly than the others, and appeared as if she was Cathy’s personal assistant. She bought flight tickets and went to the money changer, all by herself, while the others sat quietly on the bench in the waiting room.
The airplane delayed about twenty minutes. It made Cathy stressed out, and so she wanted to seek a fresh air. Until then, she found a heavenly place of a small bookstore among the food stalls. Scott accompanied her to go there, as she would want to buy a book to accompany her during the trip. He observed her secretly, and he started noticing what stuff she liked—it was the web of supernatural.
Gladly that Josh didn’t see them together since he was still in the restroom. Once he returned to the waiting room, Elle suddenly gave him one of the weapons’ bags, which already mixed with random swords and guns.
He perplexed. “Why would—”
“Use it wisely, just in case if something came up. I trust you with this one.”
“How do I know when to use it?” He asked and conflicted if there would be real demons around him. “I have nothing to do with the weapons.”
“I tell you later,” Elle snapped. “I know that you know who I am. You can see things too,” she spoke, convincing him. “You hide it all, because Haile won’t allow Cathy to know anything about supernatural. You never talk about it, even with Martha.”
“I don’t mean to deny it,” he sighed. “I just don’t want Cathy to get hurt.”
“Lies cannot run forever. And I’m sure you want to stop saying the term of out-of-human-brain again,” she said, quoting the words with her fingers. “That’s kind of offensive.”
He surprised at her words. “You aren’t serious.”
“Am I look like joking now?” She asked firmly.
It wasn’t the right time for him to feel overwhelmed by this conversation, since none of this was ever made sense. He still confused why she gave the bag to him.
This is insane, as if the world might collapse sooner, he thought.
“Nothing will ever collapse, if you do what I’ll say later,” she made him ever more confused.
Josh bulged out his eyes at her, astonished with what he just heard. “You’re good. Are you a mind reader now?”
Subsequently, Cathy and Scott had returned from the bookstore to remind them about the flight schedule.
Before she dragged her suitcase, Scott grabbed her arm, and shouted, “I’ve heard a little talk between you and Max before we went home last night… about finding the stone.”
“Yeah, Max said that it’s sacred and hard to find,” Cathy said.
“Just in case if you need help, my mom is a gemstone collector,” he offered.
“I just know that you’re such a punk—or a peeping tom,” Josh shouted from behind, and then he grabbed her arm to walk away from him. “Cathy, if Martha was in here, she would tell you a million of secret legends, included about that stone!”
He squeezed her arm so hard that she felt pain. And so she snarled, “What do you know about legends? They’re just stories!”
“The legend is not just a story,” Elle snapped firmly. “Remember the old proverb—you will never find it, if you don’t believe in it.”
They stared at Elle, at the same time when the speaker finally announced the airplane arrival. Soon, they had to stop this argument, and said goodbye instead.
Cathy hugged Josh yearningly, that she almost couldn’t let go, but Scott only gazed at them jealously. He knew he didn’t have a strong bonding with her that he could do that.
Elle stood waiting, and she could tolerate their humanity time.
Until then, they had to get through the security check first. Cathy’s heart pounded nervously since she worried about the weapons’ bags. Elle just stepped forward, throwing the bag calmly to the rolling machine, and then nothing really happened, no beep sound, no alarm, as if they saved by a miracle.
The worriment thought of being interrogated by the police finally vanished from her mind. Cathy wondered how it could possible, but Elle chuckled lightly, and said, “Calmness is the key.”
Inside the airplane, Cathy sat next to the window, seeing the beautiful view of blue sky and thick clouds, and she felt the roller coaster feeling in her stomach once the airplane took off slowly.
After the situation was stable, Cathy said, “So, you brought the economy class.”
“Is there something wrong with that?” Elle baffled.
“No,” she said and shook her head, “my dad used to have the executive class for our vacation. It’s good to see a different view now.”
Elle smiled back at her, leaning on her seat calmly while Cathy started reading the book she just bought. Nevertheless, something bothered her in the way, whether her mind was playing a trick or not, there was a creepy figure of black robe, sat along with an old man dressed in formal suit who he had been coughing a lot.
The stewardess disturbed her observation to offer snack and beverages. Cathy took the snack, and stole a glance again at the strange figure, while hiding her face with a book. The figure’s head almost touching the roof, although he was sitting there like a statue.
The airplane landed in Vienna International Airport that located in Schwechat, Austria. They spent twelve and a half hour of flight trip. Cathy had hoped to arrive in the morning, and her wish literally granted although the sky was still dark at one a.m.
They walked to the luggage retrieval, where the passengers waited to take their own belongings in the queue line. Elle noticed what Cathy had been looking since they were in the airplane. She kept stealing a glance at the strange figure that following an old man, although she couldn’t see the face behind that dark robe.
“Trust me, you don’t want to see it,” Elle said, while taking the suitcase from the baggage carousel.
Cathy didn’t move, still staring at them. Soon, the figure suddenly stared back at her, showing off his skeleton face. She almost jumped backward after seeing his scary look. Hurriedly, Elle dragged her arm, while the other hand busied bringing their suitcase and bag so easily.
“If you want to see more, I can show you sometime,” Elle teased her.
“You could see him too?” She astounded.
“Why not?” She giggled over her absurd question.
Cathy just remembered that the girl beside her was an angel. Nevertheless, she could only assume that it was a grim reaper, waiting to take that sick old man with him.
The old building in brown-red brick walls was their first stop. It was the small inn, the cheapest than the others. Elle took care of everything; she paid the taxi, and found a bedroom for Cathy.
There was a comfortable double bed, television, mini kitchen, and bathroom. This place no longer needed an air conditioner since the weather felt really cold, and surrounded by lily aroma.
Cathy opened the red curtain to see a desolate street view, where only a few cars that passed by. She also noticed there was a public transportation near this building.
Afterward, she didn’t want to take a shower since the air was really cold, but she wanted to sleep. She took off her boots, and jumped up at the bed that had a white sheet.
Elle giggled while observing her innocence look, and said, “Sleep nicely.”