Death of a rose garden

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A subconscience connection

"Shh, shh. It's okay honey, let it out." Ricky crooned as he held me in his arms and rocked me gently as I practically snotted myself on his shirt. Very unattractive.

"I-I c-can't believe i-it!" I hiccuped out between gasps of air, "She's really gone! I-I thought I-I would celebrate wh-when it happened, b-but it's s-so wrong!" I choked out before another wave of hysterical tears washed over me and I hid my face in Ricky's shoulder again. He just kept rocking me back and forth as I cried myself to a complete stand still, and as the sobbing became hiccups and eventually complete silence we sat there in the comfort of each other's presence. It seemed like an eon before I stirred from my comfortable cocoon on Ricky's lap and started pacing the length of his room while trying to pull myself together and stalling until I could trust my voice. "Okay." I said a little too emotionally for my liking, "Mattie's gone and I'm left behind to try find out how and why. Well, any ideas?" directing the question to the wall as I contemplated the horrible truth. "Maybe because someone got tired of all her b.s and her bitchy ways and probably strangled her when she went on one of her little tantrum tirades?" Ricky piped up as he quietly watched me pace. "Stop kidding Ricky! This isn't one of our '1000 ways to die' ideas for her, this is for real!" I said in a hushed scream of annoyance. No point in getting Mrs Barlow worried and asking questions.

No one can know. For now at least.

I continued pacing as my mind raced through endless possibilities of why this could've happened to Mattie, if in fact she was even dead. Yeah she was obnoxious and thought the sun shone out of her skinny ass, but not so that someone would literally kill her. (Although metaphorically many people had already had the pleasure of doing that) I was stumped, I couldn't think of anything plausible or logical. I was suddenly exhausted and so flopped down on Ricky's bed again with my legs dangling off the side and let out a huge sigh. I closed my eyes to fight against the tears that were threatening behind my eyelids and swallowed down the lump that was rising in my throat. I really couldn't afford to get emotional or sick right now, I had to get to the bottom of this.

A huge yawn escaped my mouth. Okay, I'll get to the bottom of this after a good night's sleep.

"I got to get home buddy. I'll see you tomorrow again." Another heavy sigh as I heaved my way to a wobbly standing position, having to catch myself as the stars flew around my vision from getting up too quickly. Great! A puffy read face and a headache that I could feel was starting up, just what I needed right now. "Please don't do anything stupid Lucy. Just go straight home and lock all the doors and windows and don't let anyone come inside, understood?" Ricky said with a very concerned look on his face. "I'm not stupid Ricky." I said with a bucket full of sarcasm, "I'm going to let someone in my house when I'm home alone at freaking nine o'clock at night. That is the best idea I've ever thought of." Another perfect eye roll before I pulled Ricky up from his bed and gave him a hug. We stood there in a warm embrace for only a moment before I pulled away before the streaming tears stained his t-shirt again. I gave a quick nod of acknowledgement in Ricky's direction without looking at him and rushed out the house. I didn't bother saying goodbye to Mrs Barlow as I knew she was probably half asleep on her bed, reading another one of her lame romance novels, and it would be criminal to disturb her.

I ran around the corner to fetch Black Lightning and started pushing her down the dark snaking road back to my house. I counted the street lamps as I passed them, restarting the count every time I saw a street lamp that was out. I restarted at least five times before I finished the short trip back to my front porch. I didn't even bother putting my bicycle away, I just left it lying pathetically on its side under the hammock that was swinging gently in the cool night breeze and unlocked the door and simply walked in. For the second time that day I had almost forgotten to lock the door and quickly walked the few steps back to the door and double checked that I had locked it up properly. I suddenly found myself feeling very ninja-like and started skulking around the dark house trying to be as stealthy as my clumsy feet could manage, jumping around corners and running and sliding across the lacquer floors while switching some lights on. When I was satisfied with the amount of lights on everywhere, I skidded to a halt in front of my room where I almost fell face first into the door. I decided then that I would leave the ninja stuff for the professionals, too dangerous for the inexperienced and the clumsy.

I flicked the lights on and flopped myself in front of my computer as I waited for it to switch on. I did my usual spins on the chair as impatience took over which almost caused me to fall off the chair trying to stop myself when I heard the monitor come to its final phase of switching on. Man, I really need to work on my balance. I stared at the screen for a while without touching the mouse, looking at the time at the bottom of the screen, "11:18. Damn! I haven't even started my homework yet! I'll just do it in free period tomorrow." I'm such a bad ass nerd, I thought to myself with a hint of a smirk on my face. I knew sleep wasn't going to come easily to me so I decided to do some internet surfing before fatigue took hold of me. I decided, with a heavy heart, to try find out something about the man Mattie had mentioned in her final text. So I brought up google and typed in 'Peligro' and waited for something to come up, I wasn't sure what I was looking for so I just clicked on a random site that was given. All I got was some Spanish translations that I already knew, and the more I browsed the less I got and as I was about to nod off I found a site the had me wide awake when I read the title. "Legend of Peligro. What the hell?" I scrolled through the site and the more I read the wider my eyes got as all I needed to know (I hoped) was right there in front of me. One particular paragraph caught my eye.

"Peligro is an ancient fiend who has always thirsted on the blood of young prey. It never hunts itself but sends out minions or its trusted right hand man 'The Red Mask' for a dangerous target. The only people that have ever been able to banish Peligro is the 'Quinto círculo' a group of powerful young people who are given certain affinities according to their strengths. These affinities in combination to each other are powerful enough to banish Peligro for a certain amount of years depending on the strength of the castings. It has never been reported in mythical stories that Peligro has been banished for more than a thousand years and never has their been a group strong enough to overcome Peligro and completely destroy It. Legend has it that the last 'Quinto círculo' were outwitted and fell into doom and met their ends too early for their youthful years. Every hundred years a new 'Quinto círculo' is born and are bonded together without realising their strong and ancient bonds to each other, and their bonds and affinities are only revealed to them when the dangers of Peligro is near. Their strengths will be put to the test as they are forced to the extremes as the dark forces try and destroy them before they fulfill their destinies."

I just sat there staring at the screen with what I knew was a big question mark on my face as what I had just read sunk in. "Okay, so the freak that killed my sister is some mystical 'It' and the only people who can stop them is a bunch of, what I'm hoping is not kids, teenagers with apparent magical powers to send the 'It' somewhere for a couple of years. That sounds about right and INSANE!" I banged my head against my desk a few times, hoping in vain that I was dreaming and making all of this nonsense up. I had had enough for the day, so I heaved my way to my bed and just fell face first.

Before I knew it I had passed out into a fitful sleep...

I found myself standing in a dark corridor in a very old looking building with no windows to illuminate my path. The only source of light came from a door at the other end of the long corridor that only barely made enough light for me to see silhouettes of everything around me. At first I felt very disorientated and stood frozen as I tried listening for anything that could help me understand my surroundings. From nowhere an icy breeze swept over my skin, causing goose bumps to rise up all over my arms and sending a chilling ripple down my spine giving me the impression that I was being 'pushed' forward towards the end of the corridor. I took a deep breath in, exhaled a shaky one out, causing me to catch my breath at how loudly it echoed around me. When I got my lungs to work again I took another breath in and inched my way forward with fumbling fingers until I reached a huge oak door with an intricate pattern of swirls and circles filled with the most beautiful emerald colour. I traced my finger along one of the swirls, letting my finger be guided by the grooves in the ancient wood. I hadn't even noticed how the path of swirls began lighting up with a soft golden shine until a very audible click sound resonated from within the giant doors as they slowly swung open to a very spacious room, well lit from above and a single round table in the center of the room. My hand was still in the empty space where the doors had just been, and it wavered for just a second longer before returning very stiffly to my side.

I stood in the doorway for another awkward second before stalking forward on pointed toes, and after realising how stupid I felt creeping into a totally deserted room I went back to walking up straight again. As I inched forward I was taken aback at the beauty of the room, all the walls were covered with massive bookshelves with endless hard covered books in deep colours of burgundy, jade and red. As my eyes followed the fraying spines I took a peek at the ceiling and almost doubled over backwards as the huge chandelier loomed above me in sparkly wonder. My dropped jaw brought my head back down to eye level as soon as I neared the center table. A hexagonal shaped masterpiece that had interesting symbols carved into it presented itself before me and quietly sat in vain as I marveled at its beauty. As I ran my fingers over the patterns of swirls I recognised it to be the exact same pattern as that of the great oak doors that still stood open but just with a dark figure occupying its empty mouth. It wasn't until the dark figure started speaking that I noticed his presence, and a flimsy twirl and a squeak later I faced him while hanging on for dear life to the table behind me.

"Welcome Lucinda. We've been expecting you."

"W-who are you?" Brilliant start Lucy, I said to myself with a mental eye roll.

"I am known by many names, but you may call me Esperar."

"Wait, doesn't that mean hope? Why would you want to be called that?"

"Because without me, you have no hope of surviving what danger you will be facing very soon." Touché.

I tried prying my fingers from the table I was grasping onto for dear life but tragically failed, so I decided to go for second best and leaned against the table in a very spastic way. I thought it looked very cool but I knew I was just fooling myself. "Okay fair enough, so why am I here?"

"This is the start of your possible end." He said solemnly

"Great pep talk, so are you going to be the old fogey that's going to train me how to die with honour or at least not embarrassingly?"

"Well, I was expecting one of the chosen ones to have an attitude. You're oozing negativity, unfortunately your facade does not fool me at all."

I didn't know how to respond to him, so I decided to go the safe way and act offended, "It's not an act, I have the natural tendency to hate everything." That should teach this know-it-all adult, I add to myself with a mental nose lift.

"Regardless of your egotistical wounds of the past we have more pressing issues to tend to. So let us begin." He walked with an eerie grace that made him look like he was gliding instead of walking, the only thing that broke the illusion was the sound of footsteps. Without giving me a second glance he walked past me and to the opposite end of the table and stood there waiting for my full attention when I realised I was still fixated to the table. I quickly pulled my whitened knuckles away from the table and turned around to face Esperar. We stood there eyeing each other until I start fidgeting to fill the awkward silence until I couldn't help but blurt out a very rude, "What are you looking at?" I knew immediately that the first test was patience and I totally screwed it up when his face went from complacent to having a perfect arc of the eyebrow. Snap. "I-I'm sorry, I didn't mean to..." I trailed off as the arc became a frown and so I opted to just shut up and wear an embarrassed expression instead.

Eventually he cleared his throat and opened a thick leather binded book that sat neatly on his side of the table, turning the delicate pages until he found the one he was looking for and ran down the paragraphs with a crooked finger and tapped the exact position of information. He looked at me with an unreadable expression, "So Lucinda, do you know why you are here?" No I don't you idiot, you were the one who brought me here in the first place! "I'm dreaming so the possibilities are endless, but how about you tell me since you invited me here through my subconscious?" No response. "I have school tomorrow so I might be waking up anytime so the sooner the better we sort this out the less chance I have of having to come back tomorrow night." Still no response. I was just about to start another smart-ass comment when he started to speak again, "I know what it is now." And he started to walk towards one of the shelves and reading the line of spines.

Suddenly I felt very confused which is always closely followed by desperation and a hint of aggression, "What are you talking about?" No reply, just more searching. He finally found a novelette sized book and handed it to me with its title written in perfect golden cursive 'The bloodline of power and control' "Uhhhh...?" Was all I could get out of my whirring mind while I was trying to make sense of the book. "I expect you to study and memorise that book within the next three days. Everything will be explained in the book." He started to walk towards the doorway without looking back. I could feel the fear clogging my throat and the book burned cold in my hands. "What is this for? What does it mean?" My hands started trembling as a sudden wave of great responsibility filled every bit of my being, it filled every corner of my mind.

He stopped, turned around in a simple swivel and stood to face me with a hint of a smile shadowing his face. "Congratulations Lucinda, you are now the leader of the new generation of Quinto círculo." And he walked away through the corridor and disappeared.

I stood there with my mouth hung open and a book in my hand staring after the old man. "Well this is just freaking awesome." I said with a sarcastic sneer as the edges of my vision began to darken until it went completely black.

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