Chapter Twenty: Clueless
As soon as I’m transferred back into my body, I use all my strength to shove her away from me. It takes even more energy to swallow the scream collecting in my throat. My breathing is harsh and every muscle aches as I tumble onto the dirty ground.
Katie- her face is confused, and she raises a sharp eyebrow at me.
I should’ve known she turned into a dark soul. My Katie would’ve tried to contact me in some way, or even her family. She was always the type to worry about other people rather than herself. At first, I had hoped it was only her appearance that had changed. I didn’t even think to connect how she looks to the way she might be now. Afterall, judging a book by its cover has never served anyone right... until now.
Katie is truly gone, physically and mentally.
“Millie...” I crack out, finding it’s the only word that I can utter.
The name doesn’t seem to resonate in even the slightest when I look in her red eyes. I can’t tell if she’s trying not to give anything away or truly doesn’t understand what the name might mean.
There isn’t any time for her respond as a large voice boom “Grab her” and suddenly two people are looping their arms around my own. Dragging me backwards out the door I came in.
Cala’s wings appear in front of me and I watch as they flex back then flap forward, sending a gush of wind towards my once best friend; knocking her off of her feet and into the wall on the other side of the room.
That’s the last thing I see before Nat and Asher drag me down the stairs and out of the building. I don’t struggle. I let them carry me across the courtyard, through the fence and out to some alley way. I’m not entirely sure how far they took me. They drop me onto my knees. Not purposefully, only because I can’t hold myself any longer.
“What the hell was that?” I hear Cala say as she enters the alleyway.
I don’t respond. Instead, I look at my hands, imagining the same blood on them that were on Katies.
A hand presses on my shoulder and Nat’s much more delicate voice coats my ear. “Who was that, Lark?”
It’s a question I’m not quite ready for. I expected it but hearing it out loud is entirely different. The reason being, because I have no idea. It had Katies voice, but didn’t at the same time. Her hair yet not, her features yet she looked completely different. It was Katie, but in every way possible, it wasn’t.
“Her name was Katie.” I don’t say anything else; I just leave it at that. Letting the ‘was’ in the sentence fester on my tongue and in their ears.
“Just my luck.” Cala says after a long second of silence. “Not only am I the angel to a psychopath, but one with a death sentence. Whoever she was, you should have listened to me the first time I told you to get away. You’re lucky she didn’t rip your arm off when you took her freaking hand. I mean seriously, what in gods glory is wrong with you.”
“God’s glory?” Asher snickers. “The whole angel thing is really getting to you, isn’t it?”
“Do you ever take anything seriously?”
“I don’t know, do you ever not take anything seriously?” he retorts back. “Look obviously this was all a trap of some sort and that girl that hurt Miri clearly had something to do with it. We were all a little shocked. So, let’s just give her a break, okay?”
“What is with everyone and wanting to give her all these stupid free passes. I get it she’s not a dark soul, but she’s not even trying to be careful. She’s being reckless and I’ll be damned if I let her get away with it. Guardian angel or not.”
“Oh, take the stick out of your ass- ”
“No, she’s right.” I decide to butt in. “I shouldn’t have gotten so close to her, I’m sorry. It was a lapse in judgement and it won’t happen again. I promise.”
When I was still training for the Olympics, my coach -Tracy Hancock or T as she was more commonly referred to- always told me the same thing. “You make a mistake, you get up, evaluate and you never do it again. If you do mess up again, it’s nobody’s fault but yours and you deserve all the repercussions that come with it.”
In those moments, she was mostly talking about injuries. When it comes to gymnastics, one over correction could ruin your entire career. This situation fits pretty well for her mantra too though.
I’ve made a big mistake, and it didn’t just involve blindly trusting a disformed rendition of my best friend. My mistake was and is not truly understanding the world around me.
I think until now I’ve been in complete shock. Unknowingly I had tried to adjust and accept the world around me, but in reality, I have no idea what this world has become.
“She was a dark soul?” there’s a hint of a question to my statement.
“No dip, Sherlock.” Cala says as she checks outside the alleyway, making sure no one followed us. “A dangerous one at that. Did you really not feel the energy shift when you were near her?”
“Oh my god, are you absolutely clueless?”
“Calm down Cala.” Asher grunts, then turns to me. “Everyone who turns has a certain... frequency that they emit. It’s part of the reason the lights won’t stop flickering and why all electricity is constantly overpowered.”
“Dark souls have a much more potent energy about them.” Nat continues. “Is this really your first time coming in contact with one?”
“Yes? I mean I would hear stuff on the streets at night; the screaming and terrifying growls but I never witnessed it firsthand. There was a curfew remember? Also, I had huge restrictions because SIFA always had their eyes on me.”
“Well consider yourself lucky.” Cala says, a new emotion shining through in her words. One that crackles and pricks at her eyes as she speaks. “A lot of us didn’t get that kind of naïve luxury.”
I don’t say anything, mostly because I have no idea what I can say. I know nothing about Cala’s past but I have a feeling it’s a lot more painful than she likes to let on.
She just stares blankly at me, her jaw ticking into place. I can hear her swallow hard from where I’m standing. “We should get back to the bunker. The sun will be rising soon and we don’t want to be out without protection when the morning rush starts.”
She holds out her hand slightly and Nat moves to take it before they go to exit the alley way. Cala leans over and I think I see her kiss the top of Nat’s head but I can’t tell for sure.
Asher slumps his arm casually over my shoulders, jolting me out of my stare at their backs. “The worlds a tragedy, Brimstone. Better get back before it wakes up and destroys us all.”
“Seems to me like it already has.” I’m too emotionally exhausted to push him off.
“Nah, that’s just what we want it to think.” He jokes and I find myself partially smiling.
As we begin walking, I turn my head in the direction of the warehouse we were at. Millie’s face flashes in my mind, along with a bloodstained version of my best friend. The best I can do is push it back, deep down where I know a scream is waiting to be released.