“What are you doing?” A voice echoes around me as my eyes open, nothing but darkness and the smell of the trees surrounding me. “Hello?” I ask as I sit up from the muddy forest floor. “Is anybody there?” Dying leaves crunch under my bare feet as I stand; the mud getting between my toes. I turn around when a rustling come from behind me. “I know someone’s there so come out!” I walk a little closer, stopping abruptly when a little girl walks out.
I stumble backwards when the girls face shines under what little light the moon provided. “I said, what are you doing?” The small but firm voice of my 10-year-old self echoes around me once again. “I-I don’t understand; what’s going on? Where am I?” My head started to ache as I tried to remember what was going on. Who even am I?
She giggled and walked even closer. “We’re in your head, silly.” She lifts up the little panda I used to carry around; my little Hoshi. She picks off little clumps of dirt, humming to herself. “Don’t you remember? We’re Celeste, we protect people, but we can’t do that when you’re sleeping.” She looks back up. “They’re here with us you know, our parents. They are the ones who told Alpha Fosters what we were.”
“What are we?” I ask quietly. “A demon. We’re the chosen one according to our dear old pop-pop.” Pop-pop? We have a grandfather? “Oh yes we do. His name is Zeke and he’s looking for us as we speak, but he’ll be finding us dead if you don’t wake up and fight.” My heart speeds up and the color drains from my face. “We’re going to die? W-Why? We haven’t done anything.” She sighs impatiently and with the flick of her wrist, I’m on my knees clutching my head as memories flood through. “Cat needs to stop blocking your memory. She thinks she’s helping us, but she isn’t.”
My ear’s start to ring as blood drips down the side of my face. “The pain will leave soon.” She sits on the floor and watches me. “For now, I need you to listen,” My heavy breathing is the only thing around us as I slowly look towards her. “Foster thinks you won’t wake for awhile because of the drugs he has pumping through your system, so you need to work harder than ever to fight it. Once you’re awake, you’ll have to act fast ’because someone checks on you every hour and that hour is almost up. Do you understand so far?”
I slowly nod my head so she can continue. “Good. Once you’re awake, you’ll need to do the best you can to undo the knotted rope around your wrist. It’ll burn so you’ll have to do your best not to scream. Since you can’t use your claws, you’ll burn your fingers and Austin will feel bits of your pain through the bond, but you’ll have to ignore that fact and completely shut down your emotions or else you’re not going to make it.”
“What do they want with me? Fosters already knows I won’t work for him no matter how much he tortures me.” My voice is weak and cracked as I try to speak through the soreness. “Our mother has given him a way to control your demon; a spell. He’s hoping he’ll be able to convince you to join his side without having to resort to magic. What he doesn’t know is that she is going to double cross him and use you for her own gain. So, we need to kill them before they can kill us.” The ground begins to rumble, and my child form begins to fade in and out. She looks up, her eyes wide before they turn back to me.
“Cat’s fighting the drug; you’ll wake soon.” Her voice is panicked as she runs up to me and lifts me from the ground. “Before you go, I have to tell you; save Austin.” She starts to fade some more, her body becoming translucent. “What do you mean? I thoughttheycouldn’t findme.”She starts leading me through the dark woods. “I said Zeke will find you dead if you didn’t fight.” She corrects. “But Austin will if you’re not gone within the next 2 hours and once, he arrives; he has no chance of getting out alive. So, you need to get out and stop him from raiding the house that you’re held up at.” Light starts to flood through the forest; a clearing appearing ahead of us. She pushes me forward into the light and I raise my hand to shield my eyes from the blaring white light. “And remember, you promised that boy you’d help his little brother, too.” After that she disappears, and I’m lifted from the ground.
My eyes snap open, my breathing picking up slightly as I look around the room. It’s the same one I was held in when I was younger.
I twist my wrists and hiss in pain when the silver rope beds itself deeper into my skin. My gaze snap down to the ties, remembering my dream. I turn to the door as I hear the sound of footsteps coming from someone walking back and forth in front of the door keeping me locked in here. I start to take deep breathes, slowing down my rapidly beating heart as I stare back down at my hands.
Taking a deep breath, I dip my head down and start tugging at the knots with my teeth, wincing and swallowing a cry of pain as the silver digs in deeper and burns my lips. As I pull, the knot slowly starts to come undone until I’m finally able to grab hold of it and pull it loose. Using my one free hand, I undo my other one and free my feet. I rub the stiffness out of them before pulling out the IV drip that was keeping me sedated and going towards the door. I make sure to keep my movements as quiet as I can so the person outside can’t hear me.
I press my ear up to the door, only picking up one heart beat. Sighing in relief since I won’t have to fight more than one person right off the bat. I was still a little sluggish and weak from the drugs. I turn back around, scanning the room for a weapon. Knowing Fosters there’s some weapon of torture here.
I smile in relief when I see the familiar drawers of weaponry. I never thought I’d be happy to see these tools again.“You know, you really should keep those out of the room, someone can use them against you.” I smile sarcastically up at him as blood drips from my mouth and down my chin. He laughs a humorless chuckle before another punch was landed against my cheek. I shake the memory from my head as I stumble towards the little desk.
I pick up a silver coated blade and walk back to the door, listening once again for more people. Listening as the man behind the door paces back and forth, left, right, left, right before stopping abruptly right in front of the door. This all feeling so familiar to the last time I escaped, except this time I actually have something besides my hands to defend myself. He forgot my warning unlike last time.
I pull the door open a little bit to peek out when there’s no more movement. The man outside is about 6′4 and completely frozen in place, his body tense. Someone must be mind-linking him. I wait a few seconds for him to stop talking to the other person, watching as he shakes his head clear before taking that as my opportunity to swing the door open and plunge the knife into his back, putting my hand over his mouth so he can’t make a noise.
I drag his heavy body into the room, with much effort, before poking my head back out and searching the hallway for more people. Once I find it empty, I tip toe out, making sure to shut the door to my personal hell and going right. My memory deciding not to fail me for once. When I reach the end of the hall, I rest my back up against the wall and peek over, getting a view of one of the main rooms. About 5 people are sitting and roaming the room as they chat and watch TV.
I curse silently to myself, knowing I can’t take them all and make my way back down the hall, this time heading left. I walk quickly before I hear two voices coming from the turn up ahead, one being a voice I recognize quite well. Drawing in a sharp breath, I duck into the first room I can and quietly shut the door and lock it. When the footsteps get closer, I slow down my breathing and heart so they can’t hear me.
They pass and I release my breath, finally taking the chance to look at my surroundings. In front of me is a large desk sitting in front of two floor to ceiling windows, a couple couches and a few bookshelves. It’s probably the nicest room in the whole house. I walk forward cautiously to the windows. Looking down I can see I’m on the fourth floor which means no jumping from here without injuring myself.
Suddenly an alarm starts blaring around the house and I’m forced to cover my sensitive ears. “ATTENTION, PRISONER ON THE LOOSE. IF SEEN DO NOT KILL. SHE IS OF GREAT IMPORTANCE.” A voice comes in through a speaker and I huff in frustration. They must’ve beefed up security since the last time I was here. The sound of marching feet come from up and down the halls as the wolves of this ‘pack’ bust down doors and check rooms. The knob of the office door starts to turn but stops as the lock keeps it in place. “Over here! I think we’ve got something!” More feet join the others, stopping outside the door. The sound of so many heart beats coming from the hall, too many to count.
“Knock down the door.” Fosters angry voice comes from behind the piece of wood, the sounds of guns cocking following after. “Yes, sir. Everybody step back.” There’s a small shuffling noise before a foot crashes against the door, sending it flying open and people invade the large office, guns pointed at me. “You’re cornered Celeste, give up.” Foster calls from next to his top warrior, Alex. “Hello Alex, how’s the leg?” I ask sarcastically as I watch him lessen the pressure on his right leg. The same leg I stabbed and nearly ripped off the last time I escaped. “Fine, no thanks to you.” He growls lowly while Foster steps forward. “No banter Celeste, I know you’re just stalling to find a way out but we both know there isn’t one.” He’s right, I am stalling.
“Tell me, how’s my mother and father?” He looks a little taken back by my question. I guess I wasn’t supposed to know they’re here. “Did my mother tell you she was going to betray you and kill you once I was under that spell of hers? Seeing how she only needed you to track me down and capture me, that should be happening soon.” Two new sets of footsteps sound down the hall, the crowd splitting apart for the unknown people to pass through. “Don’t be ridiculous, darling. He’s my partner and I don’t betray my partners.” A familiar posh British accent comes from behind Fosters back. “No, you just save the backstabbing for your family, right?” I turn towards the woman, taking in how much she’s aged before turning to the man behind her. “Hello mother, father.”