Pandora's Box

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Chapter 4

“Where to ma’am?”

The cab driver yelled at me over the music blaring from the front of his car and had me cringing from the thundering booms and screaming voices.

“Um, here? In long Island, sir.” I could just barely yell at him and he glanced at the sheet of paper with the address in and handed it back to me before turning the car down the streets, away from the subway tunnel.

I breathed in deeply, exhausted and tired and stressed and the music - if you could call it music - in the car was painfully grating. But I didn’t dare say anything, preferring to keep to myself.

I was almost there.

The tram ride was a long ride and thankfully some people were kind enough to let me know when my time to get off was and thankfully, I wasn’t in any problem situation. Yet.

But the cab driver was not a short one either and my body didn’t particularly like the bumpy hours just sitting down without barely any movement.

“Uh, you sure this the place you want to go to miss?”

The drivers voice cut off my inner thoughts as he lowered the volume down and glanced out the window and I followed suit. The houses were smaller from what I had seen in the last few days and a little less bright or put together. All of it was rustic, some windows were barred with pieces of wood, there wasn’t much movement around but there were kids playing around with a large, orange ball, cheering and playfully jumping one another.

“Yes, I guess so.” The driver went silent as he continued driving, turning down a rocky road, the car bouncing along the path. The further we drove, the more spaced out the houses became until no houses came in view for a while either way.

“Well, this is it, here.” The driver shook his head as he pulled to a stop in an even more secluded area. The house was alone, the others back minutes away, surrounded by trees and it looked abandoned. The walls had spiderweb cracks running over the dirtied egg-shell painted walls. Spiderwebs, cobwebs covered the shading. Large round pebbles led the way to the rickety door which hung slightly open. The windows at the front and one on the roof were cracked and stained brown with clumps of dust. Shards of glass glistened on the pebbled ground below the windows. Old curtains jutted through lifelessly.

It was a pure ghost house. Eerie, abandoned, lifeless.

“Are you gonna be long miss? Like, am I going to have come back and get you?” The driver stared at the place and then at me, a heavy frown on his face, as I opened the car door and closed it behind me.

“Um, I don’t know. I mean, I can pay if you would wait until I don’t need you too?”

“Yeah, well, it’s your money Hun. I’ll wait here til you skedaddle. Just don’t be long.” The driver rolled up his window and with a click, he locked the cab up and his music blasted out even from inside, loud and clear.

Taking a deep breath, I turned back to the house, my unease growing with every step I took closer to it. A wind blew by gently but the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end, a shiver running down my spine.

I could only hope the Fates would still be here. I was meant to see them a couple days ago at their demand. I just hoped everything could still work out. Hopefully I would hear from Daphne soon. It was stressful and frightening without knowledge of what to do.

The door creaked horribly as I pulled it open, and the smell from within hit me hard. The musty dank smell of mold, decay and filth made my eyes water, my throat dry and my stomach churn horribly. I accidentally let the door close behind me with a loud sharp bang, making me jump.

The place was dark, no lights on and from the looks of it, no one had been here in years. The lounge chairs were dusty and torn all over, and dark stains were splattered all over it. I didn’t really want to know what kind of stains they were. There were no valuables on tables, in the kitchen, or in the hallway, except one large frame sitting over a mantle, that was so heavily caked in dust and other filths that I could not see what the picture was at all.

“Hello,” I called out, coughing slightly feeling the dry stale air on my tongue as I breathed it in. “Is anyone here?”

There was no answer.

But the hairs on my arms and back of my neck rose, goosebumps all over and a permanent chill resided over my body, as I looked around. The house was small, so there wasn’t much to look at except the stairs that led up.

This is not a good idea. Don’t go up the stair’s woman.

The wooden stairs creaked under my feet as I ascended up slowly.

“Hello,” I called out again, almost desperately, needing to hear anything and rid the creeping feeling growing over me. “I know I was meant to be here a couple days ago. I am sorry, but I am here now.” The opening above was pitch black until I peeked my head through and some light came through from one broken, arch shaped window at the top. There was no one else in sight. The attic was empty except for a large brown box that was placed in the middle of the attic and the light from the window just barely grazed one side of it.

Some items were set atop the box, which I hesitantly approached, brushing my cheek as I felt something soft like cobweb brush against my skin. Sat atop the box were bronze scissors stained a dark brown at the tips that had my stomach churn. A pair of long needles that glinted coolly also stained a horrid brown and a little black box that could fit easily on the palm of my hand with a red ball of string inside, and a few dozen tiny strands of red stuck out all edges from the box.

Something flickered in the light before me and in the light, something long, thin glistened in the dusty light coming down from the window. Several long, thin lines glistened there. I straightened up moving around the box in the centre of the attic and approached the almost invisible lines running crisscross in the light.

Something tickled against my cheek, making me jump and reach up, brushing it away frantically. I gasped when a sharp painful sting radiated down from my finger. Pulling away, my fingertip almost appeared to have no cut until a thin line of red glistened on the fleshy part of my index finger. A thin line, piece of string rested on my hand.

No, it was stuck to my finger.

What on earth?

The thin line, just like the one glistening in the light was actually pale red, darkened where my blood from my finger stained it. I plucked at the red line sticking to my finger which was stuck so badly, it pulled my skin harshly.

“Ouch!” I yelped, finally ripping it off and like strings of a musical instrument, pulled taut, it released and gave a low twang that vibrated deeply. And it vibrated all around me. I could suddenly see it all.

Thin, almost invisible red lines vibrated around the attic, head high, the low thrum like bees humming, seemed to follow a direct line.

I plucked the Red strings...of Fate...

Some movement in the light flickered above, and I saw them.

Birds. Rats. Dead birds. Dead animals. Wrapped up tightly in red strings swayed when I plucked the string on my hand and all around, bodies swayed and twitched at the vibrations and my breathing grew heavier.

Or something even worse...

Something dusted over my head. I swiped at it, and watched the dust fall from my hair and my body chilled, instant panic growing. The attic roof creaked from above, and my palms sweated and my breathing grew heavier as I clutched the handles of my small bag in preparation.

Athena, help me.

I heard the sudden silence and didn’t waste a second, throwing my bag around and it hit something. With a shriek, I leaped to the side when something long, black and pointed swiped for my head, crashing through the floorboards. I scurried around the black bulbous body that descended from above, refusing to slow or stop as I swiped through the webs that brushed past me. I took the stairs two at a time, landing painfully on my knees in my rush. I heard the shriek of something inhumane, almost like a shrill wind, my blood chilled and curdled and I leapt to my feet and practically ran into the door, throwing it open with a bang.

I didn’t look back in case it was still there following and slammed against the car door, yanking at the handle once the driver who woke up from the fright opened it for me.

“Jesus Christ lady, you okay?” The driver yelled while I dove in and slammed the door behind me and finally glanced behind me.

There was nothing following.

My heart thundered in my ears and chest, my breathing was heavy and raspy, my body felt slick with sweat from panic and risen adrenaline. The door at the front swung slightly from my brutal shove but there was no movement from within.

The window at the top of the house also showed no movement, just swaying cobwebs.

I slumped back in my seat, breathing deeply as I fought to regain my heart under control.

“Am I able to drive off?” The drivers voice snapped me out of my terror thoughts and I quickly uttered my assurances.

“Y-Yeah, can we go back to where you picked me up, please?” The driver wasted no time in starting the car and driving off quickly, turning the car around sharply and down the road.

“Lady, you okay? Sure, thought I was gonna be part of some murder-horror situation there?”

“Yeah, it’s okay. Um, there was no one home. It was just a creepy house.” I squeezed my eyes shut, shaking my head slightly as my nerves faded.

The Fates had been there. But they didn’t seem to be there now.

And now, I had to go back and try and find that damn Church and Daphne. Cause I had no idea what to do or where to go now.


“Wherever you’re headed, goodluck. And try not to get in trouble, alright miss.”

“I’ll try. Thank you again.” I thanked the driver after swiping the money card over his machine and quickly leaving the cab and followed the crowd down underground into the subway.

I followed the crowd leading into New York and the large machine rolled up in perfect time. People shoved and pushed their way through in or out and I followed the tide in, gripping my bag closely and finding a seat alone.

Sitting in the train, feeling it shake as it moved along, I lay my head back readying myself for the long ride back to the city, my thoughts taking over from the peace I was hoping to take in.

The Fates had not been there. They had been at least, but now it was too late. So, I’d insulted the Fates by not showing myself at their request and offer of help or advice. So, that was wonderful.

And now, I had to go back to the city, and try to find the Church, which for the life of me I had no idea where it was. I could hopefully find a decent place to spend the night.

Maybe Warren might give me a place for the night? Or could help me find that church? No, probably not a good idea. He was unaware. He was human and he would question things and I had no clue what to say or do. And if I did find the church and something had happened...what do I do?

With a groan, I buried my face in my hands, my shoulders rising and falling heavily.

I was out of my comfort zone in this new time and world. I had no clue where, what, who or when to do anything. I was absolutely clueless. Useless, unless it came to trouble. Because of me, the only people I could trust were most likely in trouble and I couldn’t find them or help. I was unable to do the one thing they needed me to do. Granted, I’m not at fault for being attacked but bloody hell.

Why am I here again?

I pulled away from my hands, reaching around for my bag and pulling out the sheets of paper I’ve seemed to collect the last few days. The one with the address I have just visited. No good anymore.

The other one Daphne gave me with another address.

Oh, of course.

Daphne said I could go to this address if something goes wrong. Well, that was better than nothing at least. I pulled out the other piece of folded paper with a list of numbers and R written above it.

Maybe, I could...no, better to keep to myself for now.

Thinking of that man, Warren Red, my mind flitted back to the scarring on his inner wrist. It was still there in my head, an uncomfortable push going on in my thoughts desperately trying to break through.

I swear I’ve seen that mark before. But I could not remember where I’d seen that before. And it was forever going to bother me now.

“The next stop is New York City.”

I glanced up at the flurry of movement and activity, seeing people get up with their bags and move towards the door as the train slowed to a stop and I quickly scurried to my feet, grabbing my bag.

That was certainly quick.

I followed the crowd outside into the underground tunnels where people bustled all around. I moved with the crowd, like a herd, away from the train doors and off the platform. People chattered, and a man was singing nearby a catchy tune and melody, the activity was wild and bustling and lively.

And it all slowed down around me.

Everything inside me slowed down, a chill ran down my spine and the hairs on the back of my neck rose as pin pricks of heat burned the back of my head. I could my own shallow breath rather than the suddenly dimmed down crowd. Movement around me seemed to slow down as I turned around amongst the moving crowd, my eyes sweeping through the crowd.

A woman walked past, talking excitedly into her phone, holding her young child’s hand, a man shoved past shoulders without care, young adults moved rapidly laughing, hair flew around me, shoulders bumped into each other amongst the sea of activity. A tall figure in all black stood still almost unmoving amongst the sea, which parted and moved around them, almost like they weren’t there and yet instinctively avoided them. They towered over the crowd. Wore a thick, long black jumper and long black pants, the hood of the jumper was over their head and the only movement was the head raising slowly to face me from the other end of the crowd.

There was no face. Just a hollow blackness inside its hood. Yet I could feel the eyes burning as they stared at me and my blood ran cold and my lungs tightened almost like my breath was frozen inside my chest.

They remained unmoving, staring in my direction as I stumbled back and quickly moved with the crowd trying to get away and yet despite turning the corner, the back of my neck burned. Terror followed me like predator and I hurried down the tunnel with the crowd and glancing back, I almost tripped, blanching in horror and terror.

The immobile figure stood motionless at the other end, ignoring the moving crowd as they stood there, watching me within the hollow blackness.

Fuck!

I followed the crowd up the steps and out of the subway, desperately fighting my way through out onto the streets, ignoring the shouts as I swiped through the crowd. I almost ran too far ahead onto the streets where the cars drove by, beeping at one another.

I hurried down the street, glancing back and seeing nothing at least and down another street and find a busy little shop, where people were eating and drinking. I quickly slipped inside, ignoring the couple looks, mostly from my frantic appearance.

“A table for one, miss?”

A lady approaches me, a confused look on her face and I nod quickly, unable to answer her and she leads me through the seated crowd down to a single table with a glass and some water. Leaving a large, shiny sheet of paper with a list of food, promising to come back, I shakily breathe in and out.

Okay, Pandora. Don’t panic. You’re safe for now. You can eat and drink in here and hide away from whatever that was. And once everything is in the clear, we can go and look for the other place to go-

“Are we after anything yet?” The lady approaches me, a sheet of paper in hand with a pencil, her expression a confused frown. “We have a list of specials, if you’re interested.”

“I, um, I’m not...” My voice trailed off when goosebumps rose over my skin and my breathing heavier.

I glanced around and saw nothing odd and unusual. Ignoring the lady speaking to me, I quickly hopped out of my seat with a quick apology and slight bow and quickly leave the shop and outside and into the moving crowd.

I looked left, right, behind and ahead of me every few seconds frantically and seeing nothing, but the feeling was still there. The chill in my body and the terror and panic rising. The crowd moved along like nothing dangerous was around, the cars driving by quickly in a blur of colours, much like the people around me, the tall hooded figure in black staring down at me as I was pushed along with the flowing crowd.

My heart stuttered painfully and absolute fear settling, as I passed it, standing on the side, seemingly invisible to the crowd but its head followed the direction I followed, eyes swallowed in pitch black hollowness.

How was no one seeing it?! Lord help me!

Glancing back at it, I saw it moving smoothly with the crowd like a ghost and I quickly pushed my way through the crowd, refusing to let it catch up to me.

I hide in front of a couple men who were much taller than me, and allowed me to remain hidden and disappeared down the right onto a quieter street and I hurried down the street, refusing to look back until I came out the other side.

Very few cars drove by, the sky was starting to turn an orange hue, getting dark soon. A few people walked by and I scurried up to them, refusing to be alone -

I skidded to a heart stopping stop.

It was here!

It stood on the corner of the street staring in my direction and I quickly turned around, bracing myself to run and-

Another one stood on the corner from where I had just turned out from on.

My heart thundered wildly inside my chest and I backed up, glancing back and saw the other slowly moving closer to me. Seeing no cars on the road, I quickly ran across the road, barely avoiding a car that jumped out of nowhere and ran down the streets. I didn’t bother to look back. No doubt it was still following me and I wasn’t going to give it any easy to catch up to me.

Zeus, if you had at least any slight care or appreciation for anything, help me, for God’s sake!

A tall figure in black with a no face hidden in hollow blackness suddenly stepped out from the street corner, bringing me to an awkward stop, where I had to grab the street pole to stop myself from following over my feet.

Glancing back, I saw the other two and now a third stood before me.

Oh God. Athena, Zeus, gosh even Hades! Help me!

The moved in closer and the few people on the other side of the street seemed to remain oblivious to what was happening here.

The third one moved its hand from out of its sleeve, revealing a hand in black gloves but a knife unlike anything I’ve ever seen before winked cruelly at me, the silver blade curved like crescent moon, jagged edges grew my terror even further.

It spun the knife smoothly between its fingers and stepped closer to me.

A sudden screech and then a squeal from behind had me jumping and spinning around to see a black car squeal past and turn sharply, creating a painful screech and a burning stench left in its wake. The backside of the car suddenly slammed into the third hooded figure. They bounced off the cars side and into the wall of the building next to it, slamming back down on the ground with a thud.

A voice suddenly shouted at me from inside the car.

“Get the hell in!”

I’m too stunned to move until Warren shouts at me again inside the car.

“For the love of God, get in already!”

Shaking myself out of my stupor, I ran for the door and yanked open the car door and jumped into the car, pulling the door close but it was stopped when a large clawed hand curled around the edge, pulling the door to a sudden stop.

I screamed when the clawed hand yanked open the door and reached for me, slicing downwards, just barely missing my throat but caught my thighs. I screamed as a brief shot of pain radiated. A hand shot out from behind me, grabbing the wrist of the creature and yanked them sharply forward so they slammed face first into the car with a wicked thump. Warren twisted the wrist and I lashed out with my foot, kicking them in the stomach so they fell back. I reached for the door, closing it as Warren already started driving down the street.

Breathing heavily, shaking from the shock and stinging ache, I barely registered the how’s and why this very person was just suddenly getting me out. But glancing back when Warren cursed, I saw a large blocky car, where Warren had just saved me and the three creatures hurrying after it, jumping inside, and starting to follow.

“What the Hell?!”

“Tell me about it!” Warren exclaimed, his eyes glinting dangerously and glaring in the mirror as he watched the approaching car. “I was bloody right about you being absolute trouble!”

“I-I didn’t-Aaaaahhhh!” I screamed, grabbing the hand-hold on the side of the car as Warren suddenly pivoted the car around so suddenly, causing me to lean into the door and the car to tilt dangerously. “Oh lord! Oh lord! Oh lord!”

“It’s hardly the lord and keep your screaming to a minimum please, for God’s sake!” Warren snapped, speeding the car so I pressed back into my seat and I just saw a glimpse of the other car spin around to follow us. People glanced at us from the streets and something tall and dressed in black suddenly shot out from the crowd.

“LOOK OUT!” I shrieked as a fourth hooded figure suddenly leapt from the street onto my door, clinging onto the car. It’s hollowness in the hood stared back at me.

“FUCK!” Warren snarled. The creature slammed a fist against the window, the glass shattering around us as I leant away, covering my face. It reached for me and I lashed out, hitting it, scratching it, punching it in any way I could as it clung desperately to the car. Warren reached out, still gripping the wheel and grabbed the creature’s wrist again, twisting it sideways with a vicious crack and yanking forward twice so it slammed against the cars wall a couple times. It didn’t let go, but it slipped a little.

Warren suddenly turned the car down a narrow street suddenly, people jumping out of the way quickly as we drove through. Warren moved the car closer to the building on my side and with a sickening scraping sound, the hooded creature was scraped off and I felt the car jump up suddenly and straighten.

“Oh god, oh god, oh god!” I chanted, clutching my heavily rising chest as I glanced back. “Oh no, oh Zeus! Oh my god!” The same black car sped down the street behind us. “It’s still coming!”

“Jesus Christ, I know!” Warren turned onto the street we entered onto, cutting off several cars which beeped aggressively but they faded as Warren drove down the busy streets, slipping in and out and around cars. “It would be a busy day for you now, wouldn’t it!?”

“You have no idea!” I muttered, gripping onto whatever I could out of sheer panic.

The sounds of cars honking and beeping behind us made me look behind and watch the large black car weave in and out of cars right behind us, had me start to break into a full-on panic.

“Jesus Christ lady, relax already! You’re making me bloody nervous!” Warren snapped, reaching for the radio and rolling the dial. Music suddenly blared loud and clear, becoming the only thing I could hear instead of the sound of angry drivers.

“What the hell are you doing?” I yelled over the music. “You need to play with the damn music-”

“Good way to keep distracted instead of breaking into a full-on panic!” Warren glared down at me and yanked the wheel sharply away from me, throwing me against my door with a grunt. “I suggest you try not to let yourself get killed if they catch up! I mean, if they manage to at all.” Warren hissed, smirking harshly.

“Uh, may-maybe drive faster...” I stammered, seeing the nose of the car chasing us almost in line with me as it drove next to us. “It’s catching up-”

“What-” Warren and I grunted when the car shook around us, jumping to the side as the other one slammed into my side. The door bent in, the metal screeching as it was rubbed against the car. “Those bloody fuckers! I just got this car!” Warren snarled, gripping the wheel, and yanked the wheel, slamming the car back against the other one, throwing them aside, slowing them down briefly. Shards of glass fell on my lap, some cutting into my already long, deep cuts on my thighs.

Warren drove the streets, which grew emptier with every passing second but the aggression grew further.

A loud clank beside me from outside made me jump and saw the car’s door slide open and a hooded figure lean out, just as Warren cursed harshly and pulled the car away.

Too late.

It was a brief flicker, but a shadowy figure jumped from the car onto Warren’s, right beside me.

“SPREAD YOUR LEGS!”

“WHAT?!” I screamed, momentarily dumbstruck and just barely managed to duck as a hand reached inside my window and lash out. I yelped as it caught some strands of my hair.

Warren suddenly reached over and harshly shoved my legs across the seat and with a quick flick of the wickedly curved knife in his hand, he slammed it down on the car seat where my legs had previously rested and reached in pulling out something odd shaped. He suddenly grabbed the back of my head and bending me over while yelling at me to get down.

I felt movement above my head as Warren sliced his hand upwards and a several loud bangs made me cover my ears at the painfully loud bangs.

I straightened up, just barely missing a lash out from the hooded figure as it leant its upper body inside the car.

“No! No! No!” I yelped, grabbing anything I could find or reach, my bag, a book, anything and started slamming it against the creature’s head with several loud, heavy thuds. Its head jolted with every hit, but it continued to crawl in closer, its clawed nails digging into my thighs. Warren yanked the car on the right, towards the other car and slammed against it, the creature jolting as the lower half its body was suddenly crushed between the two cars.

A horrid snap. It lashed out like a madman with both hands, but I had thrown my body into Warren who shouted something but I kicked out with my feet, taking the clawing on my thighs and abdomen. I kicked into the hollow emptiness inside the hood, finding something solid to keep kicking at until it was just clinging to the side. I slammed the heel of my boots against the fingers until it disappeared.

The other car didn’t stop as one of its own rolled down the road and continued to follow us.

“Bloody hell, they are determined alright! Did you need to piss off anyone?” Warren growled.

“I didn’t do anything!” I snapped, sitting back in my seat. The car jumped over a bump and the car behind us nudged the backside of the car, making the car tilt dangerously. Warren whirled the wheel desperately, fighting to keep our balance.

“Keep close to your seat!” Warren shouted and shot out his hand, a bright glint flittering out from his hand and through the window towards the car in line with us. The window shattered cleanly and the car swerved dangerously, losing pace with us. Warren didn’t slow down, pulling out the ‘L’ shaped black piece of weaponry and pointing it at the shattered car window and loud bangs and blast of air hit my ears, making me cry out as the shuttering bangs echoed viciously.

The car trailed off, slowing down as it swerved wildly, until we had a decent headstart.

Warrens slumped back in the seat, sweat glistening off his forehead as he sighed irritably.

“Bloody hell, I haven’t this much excitement in so long.”

I stared at him in a panic and shock, my heart racing and my breathing wheezy. My body felt completely numb and cold yet I could feel the sweat over my body sticking my clothes to me.

“Wh-Who-What...what? What, who are you?!”

Warren glanced at me out of the corner of his eyes and grimaced, opening his mouth until something caught his eyes and he cursed.

“For now, I’m the one saving your ass, princess!” Movement on Warren’s side and Warren suddenly shot out his hand, lashing it across my chest and throwing back against my seat as something whistled past and catching on the door with a wicked thump.

Oh God, that could’ve hit me!

Warren shouted and I glanced back at him to see the car suddenly slam into his side, crunching the door against him, the glass shattering around him further. A hand reached out from the other car’s window towards him and claw at him. Nicking his cheek but I grabbed the silver feather blade and stabbed towards the long pale hand, thankfully not cutting at Warren but stabbing at the wrist. It pulled away and the car swerved and slammed into us again. My head thumped against the car, spots lighting up in my vision. The car screeched behind us, following Warren as he sharply turned left and down a hill, making me lean forward but grip onto the dashboard to stop from falling against it.

“Bloody hell, where the hell is your seatbelt?” Warren shouted.

“You think this is the time to be worrying about that!?” I snapped back.

“Anyone ever tell you seatbelts are kind of useful?”

“Did I have the time to put it on dammit!?” I yelled back. “I am in a little bit of a difficult spot!”

“You can at least put it on now for Christ’s sake! Be a bloody waste if you die from not putting your seatbelt on, after I went through all the trouble to save your ass princess!”

“Why you-”

“Get down!” He glanced behind me, out the window and the car jolted sharply. The door bent in with a horribly screech of metal, painfully pushing against my ankle and thigh. The car slammed into us, crushing the side further in and Warren cursed.

“This is gonna hurt!” Warren shouted, loud bangs echoing in my ear, metal crunching, a sharp stench burned my nose and then another slam and suddenly there was nothing beneath my seat and the car floor and we were flying briefly before the world turned over.

And over.

And over.

And stopped.

My vision swam, going in and out of black.

I wasn’t sure for how long it went black.

What happened...

But my eyes hurt when I opened them and everything was a blur and doubles everywhere. From what I could tell, slumped in my seat, the car was upright and another black car...or two, or three were sitting some distance from us. There seemed to be smoke coming from those three cars. And some movement...

Was there a fight? And when did three cars chase us?

With a groan, I slumped against the door, finding the latch and slipping out awkwardly. I wasn’t even really aware of moving, my body stumbling out and losing strength I fell back against the car, sliding down until I hit the ground.

Something hot dripped down the corner of my eyes making me flinch.

The light hurt my eyes but a large form blocked out the light, moving closer.

“...am I holding up?”

The voice, deep and strong but was still a distant hum like I was slowly creeping to the surface of the ocean. I could see fingers sticking up in front of my face, several fingers, blurring next to each other.

“...Pan...hear me?”

Pan?

Pandora? That’s my name. How did he...

“Picking you up...” The eyes glinted black like onyx with a red storm flickering within and I could feel the slight jump in my heart.

Those eyes...his scar...

“...got you...’re safe now...” He reached for me, his arms curling under me and lifting me up. I slumped heavily against him, feeling like I weighed several tons.

The scar on his wrist as he picked me up burned deeply and the last thought that crossed my mind before everything went black were those red eyes.

I know those eyes.

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