Metanoia

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Chapter Ten

The forn was quite kind, and quick to come to me in my broken state. He stood, in front of me, with his head high and his gaze low. I felt a sense of shame, for a forn should not be met with such a shamble such as I was.

I hastily rose from my knees, wiped the tears from my eyes and asked the forn what his presence required, since a forn would not come unnecessarily. Its presence always had a purpose.

“What have you come for, great Forn?” I asked.

The forn simply stood there, staring into my soul with its luminescent eyes. I could not comprehend his intention. Perplexed, I asked once more. “What have you-”

The forn roared. Falling to my knees once more, I bowed my head in shame, for I must have overlooked something.

I knew that I was completely unkempt and surmised that my appearance had insulted the great form.

“Forgive me, great Forn, I did not anticipate your arrival.” I uttered nervously.

“Stand up, Augustine.”

The forn’s mellow and feminine voice soothed my fear. “Follow me.”

I stood up and followed. Still fearful for his presence emitted a powerful aura, which suppressed my natural arrogance and replaced it with a more respectful attitude.

“Where are we headed? I hesitantly inquired.

The forn replied as I had expected he would.

“Patience, Augustine, patience.”---

---A loud bang awakened me from my deep slumber. The house was still creaking and making eerie noises, because of its floating predicament. Since we had been taking turns at the helm, sailing the house throughout both day and night, I dismissed the sound as being either the house making the noise, or someone who was, at the time, on shift.

Returning to my slumber, I once again heard the noise, this time continuously.

Rising from the makeshift bed of tangled sheets and blankets I cautiously lifted my flint lock pistol which lay beside me. As I emerged from my room into the dark and gloomy hallway, I felt a sense of dread, and fear. The banging noise was now constant, as if someone was hammering on the wall. The complex disarray of the dark wood house did not help my confusion.

Turning a few corners, I arrived at a long hallway. There was sand all over the floor; I quickly dismissed it, thinking that someone must have tracked it in on their boots.

At the end of the dark hallway was a broken window, with slabs of dark wood nailed onto it, as if to prevent anyone from entering.

The moons’ rays pierced through the barricaded window. As I continued to look, I noticed that there was something else blocking it. Further exploring, I could see a figure banging his head on the wooden planks. Bang! Bang! Bang!

The sounds put in me a sense of unimaginable fright. I stood paralyzed in the middle of this tight hallway. Not being able to deduce who or, what it was, I lifted my pistol and aimed.

Cocking my pistol, I readied myself to confront whoever was persistently causing this racket.

As soon as I thought of saying anything, a hand reached out, covering my mouth preventing me from uttering a sound. This person dragged me backwards, into a room, pinning me to the wall.

It was Bartholomew. He put his finger to his lips, in a gesture of silence. I felt greatly relieved, since for a second there, I thought I was going to perish.

I was nevertheless, still fearful, for the identity of the head-butting man had not yet been revealed. Bartholomew gestured me to the corner of the room, behind a bookshelf.

“What is that thing?” I anxiously whispered.

“It’s a soul.” -Bartholomew answered.

-“How did it get in?” I inquired, as the head banging persisted.

“I don’t know, but what I do know is that we have to get it out of the house.”

“Can’t we just kill it?”

“No…”

Bartholomew stopped, and confusion flooded his face, quickly being replaced with dread.

“What is it?” I silently inquired.

“The banging has ceased.”

Bartholomew’s words impacted me like no other. I began to shiver as I peeked over the shelf to see if I could notice something.

Bartholomew crept out towards the hallway, slowly drawing his sword from its sheath. I cautiously followed him, constantly looking back, as if the soul appears behind me at any moment.

Bartholomew stopped at the doorframe and peaked into the ominous hallway. To his surprise, the soul was nowhere to be seen. This but fueled the dread of us both.

Hesitantly we made our way out into the dark hallway, with our backs toward each other. We walked down the hall and turned a left. There we encountered the wall with barricaded windows on the one side of the hall, and on the other, about a dozen doors.

Bartholomew and I looked at each other as if we were approaching a certain death. With cold sweat dripping down my forehead, and eyes as wide as the sea, I continued down the ghastly hallway.

The old dark wood creaked profusely as we continued down the hall. It felt as if someone were sitting on my chest preventing me from breathing. My legs were shaking like twigs in high winds. I could barely stand, when presently a figure flew out of a room and through the wall. Another figure then emerged from the same room and leaped after the flying individual. Bartholomew and I had no choice but to follow the two shadowy figures.

It appeared as though the figures were fighting in a part of the house that was demolished. Bartholomew stretched out his sword as it began to illuminate the two individuals.

One of them had a cape, and a beak shaped mask, whilst the other was an angered soul with torn robes, pale translucent skin, and eyes which were empty and without life. The masked individual fought off the enraged soul successfully but finally Bartholomew was forced to intervened, seeing that the soul was gaining strength.

Bartholomew struck the soul jerking it forward into the missing wall. As the soul got back on its feet, the masked man and Bartholomew charged at it with all their strength.

The soul had the obvious advantage, and thousands of years of wrath and hatred were now unleashed on Bartholomew and the masked man.

The soul flung them around like puppets striking them to the floor numerous times. The masked man had finally landed a blow hard enough to jolt the soul closer to the edge of the elevated house.

This served only anger the soul more. Grabbing the masked man by the neck he threw it forwards, causing him to land directly in front of me. This drew the attention of the soul upon me. Sensing my presence, it gazed directly at me.

My skin turned pale and the hair on the back of my neck stood up, but nevertheless, I directed my pistol at the soul, and shot it in the heart. Staring down at its torso, it raised its gaze back at me with a blood curdling scream.

The bullet served only to be a successful distraction. Bartholomew, who lay not far from the soul, stood up and pierced it through the abdomen. Raising the soul up into the air with his luminescent blade he threw it from the house.

Bartholomew stood on the edge, looking down as the soul struck the sandy ground.

“Good riddance.” Bartholomew whispered as he put his sword back in its sheath and turned toward me.

Processing the situation, I realized there were many unanswered questions, but one perplexed me the most.

“How did you see me?” I asked Bartholomew.

“A floating pistol gave you away.” Bartholomew answered with a snicker.

“Oh…”

I started down at the pistol confused.

“Where did you find that pistol anyway?” Bartholomew inquired.

“I found it in a drawer, so I kept it for precaution.

Bartholomew’s face changed into a poignant state, that quickly changed as the masked man awoke. Hastily coming to the man’s aid as he removed his odd raven shaped mask.

The man was badly injured and slipping back into an unconscious state. Amalia and Rahil descended just in time to be greeted with the entire shamble.

“Quick, Rahil pick up his legs!” Bartholomew ordered.

“Is that another uninvited guest?”

The professor jested as he came around from the other side of hall.

“I thought three was quite enough.”

“He helped us fight of the soul!” I exclaimed.

“Throw him out Bartholomew”!

The professor ignored my statement and proceeded toward Bartholomew.

“Shall do no such thing! “Bartholomew objected. “This man defended the house from the soul!”

“What was he doing inside the house in the first place?” The professor countered.

“We should at least question him before throwing him out!” Amalia intervened.

“I will not let one…”

The professor stopped himself and gazed at the mysterious individual. Coming closer he removed the hood from his face.

Imbedded into the forehead of the nameless man was a symbol. The professor’s face and shoulders relaxed.

“Put him in one of the rooms. I shall watch over him.”

This stunned the crew, as they had not expected to win in this debate. Gratefully they complied and laid the mystery man on the floor of one of the rooms. The professor took an old wooden rocking chair and placed it in the room where the man lay. Staring back at him, he sat on the chair, rocking back and forth.

I did not have the strength to ask any questions at the time, since I was quite exhausted from the prior incident, so, I went back to sleep in my uncomfortable moldy room, filled with spiderwebs and splinters, to dream of a better place.

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