Piercing Chill

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Chapter 18

I woke up after what felt like days. Every inch of my body aching as I straightened myself on the concrete floor. My throat was dry and hot. I searched my head for the last time they gave me food or drink but I couldn’t remember. I should have eaten as much as possible before Carla and Craig took me into this cold and lonely room. My stomach growled at the thought of my last untouched meal that Joan had prepared. I really hoped that Joan was alright. I shouldn’t have placed that spell on her. I should have just let it go and played along in their scheme. I sighed. What an excruciating way to start the new year. A year I wasn’t going to live through.

My father and mother must have been so worried. Was Jason worried too? I didn’t even know how I was going to face him after what Craig’s father told me. If his motive was to sacrifice me as well, did that mean he didn’t like me? Was he lying to me all along?

I clutched my chest as soft sobs escaped from my mouth. Someone I just started to trust was lying to me. Before I knew it, tears were raining from my eyes. I dragged my body to a corner, far away from the entrance, and curled myself into a ball. Why did it have to be me?

I was startled by a rattling sound of chains. I hurriedly wiped my eyes before meeting Craig’s dark and bloodcurdling eyes. A wide grin was plastered on his face.

“It’s time.” He announced with his arms wide open. He made his way towards me causing me to press myself against the wall in attempt to run away. Soon I was going to be dead. I tried to comfort myself by crying but no tears came out of my eyes. My cheeks remained dry and sticky from the previous tears. “Oh, how much I looked forward to this day.” Craig cheered in my face. “Jason is going to be so disappointed. His little angel will be dead. Even better, I will be the leader of the coterie.”

Craig continued while tracing a finger along my arm. “It is such a shame though, a beautiful angel like you didn’t deserve to die.” If I wasn’t in this situation I would have been flattered by his words. I glared at him even though I knew it wasn’t going to change a thing. “I kinda wish I found you first before Jason. Maybe I would’ve been lucky to kiss an angel.” Craig chuckled looking away briefly.

Why was he saying all these things all of a sudden? I searched for his eyes. They were glassy, yet dull. Did Craig have feelings for me?

“Craig.” I croaked.

“I’m just mocking you. Don’t take anything to heart.” He sniffed before standing up. “I’m sorry.” And with that, he walked out of the door and two men charged towards me.

I didn’t resist as they dragged me out of the room. There was nothing I could do now, I was powerless and had nowhere to run to. I didn’t know what to think or what to do. My life was going to be over probably within the next hour. We walked through a series of corridors before reaching a wide door that led to what looked like a normal backyard moderate in size and impressive green grass carpeted the ground. Surrounding the backyard was a thick blanket of trees. Where had all the snow gone?

My expectations were wrong. I expected to be welcomed by a loud cheer coming from every angle of view. However, there were only a dozen odd people seated in a semi-circle around a large oval shaped rock supported by four smaller pillars. The scenery looked as if everyone was gathered for a funeral. They were all covered in dark cloaks and had grim expressions on their faces.

I recognised Craig’s father and mother and Carla’s grinning faces. The others I couldn’t recognise, however, a glance at one particular face caught my attention. The striking resemblance made me double take. A beautiful lady with long wavy dark hair was seated stiffly next to Craig’s mother. Her deep blue eyes stared off into distance as if she was trying to supress a strong emotion. She must have been bothered by the whole situation. After all her son wasn’t going to be the leader of the coterie anymore and her husband was killed by his own sister. Did she know this? My heart fell for her.

Suddenly she snapped her eyes towards me. Usually I would immediately turn away when I get caught staring but in this case I couldn’t. Her eyes, nose, face shape, they were all chillingly similar to Jason’s. What was she doing here? Why wasn’t Jason here? She suddenly turned towards Craig’s father who was making his way towards Craig. I averted my eyes to him as well. He whispered something in Craig’s ear before turning his attention towards the gathering. My gaze fell onto the woman again. Tears formed in my eyes. I missed Jason, I wanted to see him. I diverted my gaze away from Jason’s mother and fixed it on Craig’s father.

“Let the sacrifice begin.” Craig’s father proclaimed.

Craig turned his back to us and nodded to his father. The men dragged me towards the rock table. I managed to get a glimpse of Craig’s face before stepping up the steps. He couldn’t meet my eyes. He seemed more interested in his shoes than what was happening. Why did I care how he felt? All he wanted was to become the leader. He made clear of that when he lied to me and kidnapped me.

The men who held me suddenly released me. Craig’s father motioned for me to walk up to the table, I did as I was told. I had nowhere to run now and the only thing I could do was abide to their wishes. I remembered the book had said the angel had to be hypnotised so that they neither agreed nor disagreed to be sacrificed. They had gotten that part wrong. When stuck in this situation there was no other choice but to surrender yourself. I couldn’t run. I didn’t have anywhere to run to. I didn’t even have the energy.

Tears that I thought had dried up started falling from my eyes once again. This was it. This was the end of Mary-Kate. I sighed before making my way towards the rock table.

“Lie down on the table.” Craig’s father commanded. I hesitated before lying on the stone cold and hard table. “We may now begin.” I heard Craig’s father speak. “Please stand.”

There was ruffling coming from the audience before he continued. “We will begin by saying the blessing. Our creators we come to you on this glorious day …”

I slowly closed my eyes and drifted away from the situation. My thoughts went straight to my parents, Tina and Jason. I regretted telling my dad that I hated him. I was never going to see him ever again. Did Tina know that I was missing? How was my mother coping? Was I ever going to see Jason again? I felt someone take hold of my arm, followed by the deep voice of Craig’s father. “I will now call upon your future leader to take the first sup of the blood”

Silence followed before someone else took hold of my arm. A cold chill travelled up my arm making me snap my eyes open. I met Craig’s amber eyes, they were glassed and sad. His eyes lifted from my eyes to my arm. He slowly brought it towards lips. I watched him attentively as he lifted my wrist towards his open mouth. I could see two sharp teeth that weren’t there before slowly growing to a size twice his normal teeth. Craig glanced at me before his sharp teeth connected with my skin.

Intense pain pulsed into my skin making me close my eyes in agony. I could feel blood being drained from my body. I felt weaker and weaker with every drag Craig took from my body. I didn’t feel Craig detaching from my skin. All I heard next was Craig’s father speaking. His voice was faint in my ears but strong enough to rumble my stomach. “I shall now pierce through the skin to let the power in this Angel’s blood flow for the Gods to feast and grant us with what we need.” Craig’s father took hold of my other arm.

Piercing pain pulsed on my wrist. I screamed from the unexpected pain. Panic settled in my stomach. I tried to jerk away my arm away but Craig’s father only gripped it tighter. I felt another sharp pain on my other wrist. And the procedure continued on my neck, legs, upper arms and stomach. I felt hands pressing the wounds as a way to let the blood flow out faster. I screamed and cried but I knew that no one cared. The throbbing pain from the cuts was unbearable, I squeezed my eyes shut and opened them again. Black spots flooded my vision. The sky swayed and swirled above me. I closed my eyes once again as more tears slipped from my eyes. All I could see was blood. I didn’t hear the continuation of the ritual. My ears were ringing, my body was burning and pain pierced every inch of my body.

With every drop of blood lost, the weaker I felt. I could feel my powers being drained from my body. The sounds around me became shallow. I was slowly drifting away. I didn’t try to stop it. This was my fate, I was going to die on this stone table and no one was going to come to my rescue. If they wanted to rescue me, they would have done so sometime during the few days that just passed. There was no hope for me now.

Memories of the times I have had with my parents, Tina and Jason flashed before me. I was never going to see them again. I said a quick prayer to the Lord, to guide and protect them and not let them suffer on my expense. I closed my eyes waiting for the sacrifice to be over and done with.

A loud thunder roared above me making me snap my eyes wide open. The sky above me was filled with dark clouds and dangerous flashes of lightning. A flash of lightning struck the ground, merely missing a man situated near the door of the house. The rock table moved beneath me making me brace myself for a fall. Someone shouted, “Take cover.” As another lighting struck the ground near the gathered crowd.

Everyone dispersed away from the lightning flashes. I looked around, searching for one face. I saw her beautiful face filled with terror. Jason’s mother shouted something at a man running next to her before shielding herself with the dark cloak she was wearing. She continued to run away from the scene until she disappeared behind the forest. It was total chaos. Craig was crouched at the bottom of the stairs, anger and fear distorting his face. His father was busy giving orders to his men while shielding himself using his cloak. These cloaks must have worked as their shields.

Suddenly a bright light formed in between dark clouds and the flashes of lightning. I noticed figures descending from the light. From this height I couldn’t tell if the figures were human or some kind of weird creature. A silhouette of wings framed each of the figures. Could they be angels? Did this mean I was dead already? After all the only place one could see angels was heaven.

With everyone distracted I struggled into a sitting position. The invisible force that was keeping me strapped to the rock table seemed to have vanished. I lifted myself from the rock, throbbing pain existent on every part of my body forgotten. The site before me was mesmeric and spectacular. Every single one of the angels shone bright as if they had little diamonds engraved on their skin. Golden light radiated from every single part of their bodies reminding me of joy and peace. Their disposition made me question their entrance that involved thunder and lightning. Weren’t angels all about sunshine and happiness?

“What is happening?” Craig’s father ordered. “Guards, get them.”

As soon as the angels landed on the ground a group of men started towards them. A wisp of worry flooded my veins. The angels were outnumbered. Before the guards attacked, a strong and beautiful man among the angels made his way to the front of the flight.

Dad?

He looked so different. Every inch of his body shone bright. It was a mesmerizing site to see. Was my dad really an angel? No words could express how beautiful he looked. Feathery, silky smooth and snow white wings stood tall behind him. My hands ached to touch them.

“This is not the time to be admiring my wings Mary-Kate.” I heard dad say in my head “Run”. My eyes snapped wider, I wriggled on the rock.

“Craig, get the girl out of here.” Craig’s father called.

I didn’t get far as I was snatched from where I sat unexpectedly and at lightning speed I was carried over someone’s shoulder. The person was running very fast, faster than any mere human being. I tried lifting my head to call for my dad but Craig was moving way too fast for me to even lift my head. I tried kicking and hitting but Craig didn’t stopover. The movements made me feel nauseated and light headed. So I gave up with fighting.

A bright light reflected the grass below Craig’s running feet. I knew exactly what he was doing. He had opened a portal. Soon the grass beneath us turned into a pavement. Craig came to an abrupt stop. He dropped me on a cold and hard ground before I could even catch my breath. I looked up at him, he was looking behind him to see if anyone was coming but quickly turned back to me before I could make any move.

“This was not the plan, but I am going to have to go through the procedure all over again.” Craig puffed.

Shock filled my stomach. I was going to go through that agonizing pain again? I could taste bile in my mouth. I tried to get up, but just like earlier, it seemed as if all the power in my body had been drained. I was pinned to the cold, hard ground. Craig began doing the prayer, the same prayer his father did earlier.

“Let her go!” A familiar voice interrupted Craig’s prayer.

Rage filled Craig before whirling his heard towards the voice. “How’d you get here?” Craig growled.

“You’re not the only one with the ability of speed, cousin.” Jason pointed out.

The power forcing me down on the rock table seemed to lift. I sat up on the rock to check if my instinct was right. My breath was caught in my throat as soon as I laid eyes on him. He was here, in flesh and as beautiful as he has always been. His gaze fell on me and my heartbeat increased. I couldn’t move, all the feelings I had before I was kidnapped came back again. I yearned for his touch, his kisses, everything. Jason, I had missed him very much. All the stupid stories about him being a vampire were forgotten in that moment. He seemed to read what I was feeling because he started towards me. However, Craig stopped him before he moved any further.

“Where do you think you’re going? Stop right there or else I will hurt her” Craig warned with his hand raised towards me. Small sparks shot from Craig’s palm. I could not read Jason’s emotion, but his face seemed to be distorted with worry and anger. He stopped in his tracks knowing what Craig could do if he did not obey.

Craig mumbled something under his breath and fire shot from his other hand like a fire machine. I didn’t know vampires had the ability to control fire. He was so focused on making a ring of fire around us and I realised this was my chance to make a run for it. I shifted myself into a sitting position on the rock table, I had to do something. I was seated with my legs dangling at the edge of the table. I jumped to my feet but I didn’t get anywhere, my legs buckled beneath me and I fell on my knees. Pain shot through my knees making me cry in pain.

“Kate!” Jason called.

“Don’t even think about it.” Craig warned Jason, abruptly stopping the formation of the fire ring. He turned his head towards me and ordered, “Get up now and go back on that rock.”

I lay on the ground with no energy to lift myself up. I looked at Jason with plea in my eyes. Jason glanced at me before glaring at Craig with death in his eyes. “What did you do to her? Why does she have wounds all over her body? How dare you touch her like that?”

“What are you talking about Jason? This is the normal process of sacrificing. There are a lot of wounds because we knew that you’d come and interrupt, so we wanted the blood to be drained faster.” Craig continued, “For your own information, I can touch her any way I want. She is the key to my success, so I could care less ab-“

Jason strike at Craig before he could finish his sentence. He moved so fast I didn’t even see him leave where he was standing. Before I knew it, they were both sprawled on the ground ripping each other’s throats. If any mere mortal was to walk upon the fight, he would think that they were just silly teenage boys fighting over a girl. However, their extreme force, power and incredible jumps, gave them away.

Jason flung Craig high towards the sky. Craig landed gracefully on his feet and charged towards Jason. He didn’t get far as Jason held out his hand and a force of wind sent Jason flying back where he landed earlier. He fell on his back before lifting himself from the ground breathing heavily. He didn’t give up. Jason charged at Craig as well. They threw punches at each other for what felt like hours. One time they both disappeared into the forest on my right and came back running again. However, I could see that Jason was weaker than Craig.

Jason breathed heavily, watching Craig on the other side of the field. Jason closed his eyes before opening them again. Anger in his eyes. I saw his eyes turn red and his canine teeth extended. He was indeed a vampire. Jason charged towards Craig with all his power. He blew wind in Craig’s eyes making him disoriented for a few seconds. Jason used the situation in his advantage. He picked Craig from the ground and flung him into the ground. He plunged a silver stake into Craig. He went limb.

Jason sighed before rushing towards me. He lifted me into his arms calling my name.

“Jason.” I whispered a smile on my face. I eyed a cut on his forehead, it was already healing.

“Mary-Kate.” I could see tears forming in his eyes but they didn’t fall. He brushed a few strands from my face before continuing.

“I missed you.” I whispered lifting my hand to touch his face. He closed his eyes when my fingers grazed his skin.

“I’m sorry Mary-Kate.” Jason sobbed opening his eyes. They were back to their normal blue. “Do you want to know why I ambushed you that night?” Jason whispered. He didn’t wait for my reply. “It’s because I had a dream about you for more than three months. It may sound crazy but that is the honest truth. A fortune teller told me I was going to find you here. I didn’t believe her. Coincidentally, my uncle and Craig were moving here as well. Hence why, I came with them. I had to find you and see if you were real.”

“Fortune tellers are not real Jason.” I whispered to him in disbelief.

“Where I’m from they are.” Jason implied confidently. Where exactly was he from? “Mary-Kate please believe me. I would never hurt you. I promise you and I never go back on my promises. I don’t know what Craig told you but please you have to believe me. I wish I can tell you everything about me but the time isn’t right at the moment. You need to survive and get out of here.”

“What about you?” I sobbed.

“I’ll be fine.” Jason replied, tracing his finger on my face. “You’ve to listen to me. I can’t defeat Craig. He’s too powerful. He’s had human blood and I haven’t for a while. The silver stake will only hold him down for a few minutes. He is strong enough to kill me but he cannot kill you if you use your powers on him. The portal has already closed and your father cannot get to us unless another vampire or witch leads him here.”

“So, what am I supposed to do?” My voice slurred. I clutched my bleeding stomach.

“I’ll give you my blood.” Jason spoke before gazing behind him. Craig was still sprawled on the ground but I could see him waving his arms around.

“What?” I questioned him, my voice coming out in a whisper. “What good does your blood have on me?”

“It will help you to heal faster.” Jason replied reaching for something from his pocket. “I’ve heard you’re able to shoot lightning from your fingers. If you do that, you’ll be able to shoot Craig down and it should give us enough time for your dad to make it here.”

“But you said he needs a witch or another vampire.” I slurred again, my eyes becoming heavy.

“We’re wasting time right now. Here.” Jason whispered before running the blade across his palm. He winced in pain before shifting me in his lap. He held it to my lips. “Drink.” I shook my head. I couldn’t drink his blood. I didn’t even know if he spoke truth about the lightning. “Please Mary-Kate. Drink it for me.”

“Won’t I turn into a vampire?” I spoke in his head, too tired to open my mouth.

“No you won’t.” Jason sobbed out loud. I felt a drop of blood fall onto my lips. “Please drink before the wound closes.”

More drops of blood fell onto my closed lips. Jason believed in me. The least I could do was obey his plea. I opened my mouth. Metallic taste filled my tongue. I swallowed when my mouth was full. I did again until I couldn’t feel Jason’s blood falling into my mouth. I opened my eyes. Jason was smiling above me. Suddenly he was pulled away from me. I felt my head hit the concrete ground below me. I cried from the sudden impact.

I turned to face the field. Craig was pinning Jason to the ground. I felt tingles and warmth spreading all over my body. I suddenly felt my brain becoming less hazy. I lifted my arm to my face and watched in astonishment at the cut closing and leaving nothing on my skin. I wiggled my toes, feet and fingers. They all moved freely. I lifted my legs wincing ahead of time but no pain came from my knees. Had Jason’s blood already reached all the places that needed healing? I propped myself on my elbows, still shocked at how great I felt. I lifted myself to my feet. I watched Craig punching Jason repeatedly. I felt my hands forming into a fist.

“Stop.” I roared, the sky above me agreeing with me by sending shards of lighting.

Craig snapped his head towards me before releasing Jason who lay limb on the ground. My heart ached at the sight of him but I couldn’t let him down now. Craig laughed before storming towards me with a smirk on his face.

“You’re no match for me Mary-Kate.” Craig boomed. “You haven’t even learnt the basic techniques in using your powers. How can you defeat me now?”

I felt anger building in my veins for Jason, for Craig hurting me, for Carla’s evil scheme and finally for Kevin. I watched Craig. My anger increasing with every step he took. I felt my whole body warming as I breathed loudly through my nose. I felt electric buzz go through me. I felt its power running from between my shoulder blades to my fingertips. I could hear a zapping sound coming from below me. I looked down and small sparks emitted from my fingertips. Jason was right. I lifted my hands to my face. Could lightning really shoot from my fingers? I turned my gaze towards Craig. He was still charging towards me, a huge grin on his face. I lifted my hands and pointed my fingers towards him. I willed my fingertips to release the electricity charging in me. Nothing but a few sparks emitted.

Craig laughed at my pathetic attempt closing the distance between us. Panic settled in my stomach. I couldn’t do it. Craig was going to finish me now.

“Focus.” I heard Jason’s voice in my head. I looked around Craig at Jason. He was still sprawled on the ground motionless. Tears streamed from my eyes. He looked like he was dead. “I’m not dead. Please focus on the power that’s in your body.” Jason said again in my head.

I closed my eyes and breathed in and out. When I opened my eyes Craig was in my personal bubble grinning at me. His eyes were red and teeth were bared. He threw his arm to my neck, squeezing the breath out of me. I struggled to free his hand from my throat. “Please, let me go.” I struggled to speak. His grip only got tighter.

“Focus,” I heard Jason’s voice in my head again. I did just that. I focused on the electric power that filled my body. I could feel it charging from my shoulders and slowly making its way down to my hand. I heard sizzling sound when I held Craig’s hand.

“Ow.” He exclaimed before throwing me across the field. I rolled on the ground until the momentum decreased. “You stupid bitch.” I heard Craig’s voice near me. “You burnt me.”

In a matter of seconds, he was crouched next to me. He lifted me by pulling on my shirt and hissed in my face, “You’re going to pay for what you did.” He released me and turned away from me, recharging himself.

I gazed at Jason’s motionless body before turning towards Craig. I was the only one who could save Jason and I in this situation. I stood up with my hands clenched into tight fists. I had had enough with Craig thinking he could control everything. I could feel electricity charging in my body. I glanced at my forearms, golden swirls traced my arm to my fingertips. This was it.

I slowly lifted my hand towards Craig’s back, sparks teasing my fingers. Craig whirled around and his face filled with horror. Lighting cracked from my hand and hit Craig square on the chest. He flew backwards before falling onto the ground with a loud thud. I waited for him to get up again but nothing. It was all over.

I turned towards Jason with shock and fear creeping inside me. I rushed to Jason’s side. He was still limb. I lifted him onto my lap. I stroke his face, tears falling from my eyes. Suddenly I felt very tired. Too tired to hold him. I gently placed Jason’s head back onto the ground and I laid myself next to him, watching him. He slowly opened his eyes. The corners of his mouth tugged into a small smile. He pulled me towards him and placed a small wet kiss on my forehead. A chill ran through my body. My body moved involuntarily towards him. I buried my head on his chest as my eyelids became heavy and it became impossible to move away from him.

“They killed my father. I’ll not let them take you away from me too.” Jason whispered, a small tear falling from his eye. I lifted my hand to wipe his tear away. I could feel tears escaping my own eyes. I mourned with him. I closed my heavy eyelids feeling Jason in my heart. I wanted to gaze at him a little longer but I was exhausted.

“Go to sleep my love. I shall see you in another life time.” He whispered in my head.

Those were the last words I heard from Jason before everything went black.

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