The Last Guardian | Darkling Academy

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chapter two | the message

“Alexis, can you stop going on about that thing already? It’s just one app, you aren’t going to die if you don’t find out what it is,” Ronnie says as she lays on the wooden floorboards beside my bed.

I grumble under my breath as I repetitively tap on the mysterious app, trying to open the damn thing up. But no, it just wants to be a pain in my ass and stay closed forever.

Ever since Ronnie and I got home from the hospital, I haven’t done anything apart from try to open this stupid app. I’ve researched the name, Darkling Academy, but nothing came up. I even tried deleting the thing, but after fifty or so times I realized that it wasn’t going to budge anytime soon. I couldn’t even find it on the app store.

And the most annoying thing about this is I can’t just touch it and figure out what the emotion the person who made this app was feeling because it’s in my phone.

Irritation crawls underneath my skin as I chuck my phone on my bed beside me.

I’m half tempted to just chuck my whole phone away.

I’ve never been great with things I know nothing about, especially since I can understand someone’s emotions with just a tap of my finger. I never had to wonder if someone disliked me or was pretending to be my friend. And that’s something I’ve always had to watch out for because when you wear leather gloves constantly and freak out when someone goes to touch you, people tend to see you as a bit weird.

If it wasn’t for Ronnie and Jason, I probably wouldn’t have had friends growing up.

I slide up towards the end of the bed and stare down at Ronnie as she shovels through Jason’s files. I plop my arms on top of my bed stand and lean over slightly.

“But don’t you think it’s weird that this app suddenly popped up on my phone through?”

Ronnie arches a brow as she sits cross legged on the floor. “There’s a lot weirder things going on right now then just some app, don’t you think?”

Well, she isn’t wrong.

“Now, hurry up and help me sort through these files.” Ronnie passes me a thin piece of paper as she goes to pick up another one for herself.

I slip it out of her grip and skim over the contexts on the page, but nothing we need comes up. Just some details about the case that give us no lead or anything of importance to help us find Jason. About forty minutes later, I’ve gone through five different files and yet I still have nothing.

I huff out an irritated sigh as I drop the stack of paper onto the floor.

“Well, that’s the last one,” Ronnie says, tossing the case file into her lap. “There were twelve different files in that case and not one of them have anything useful.”

A thud echoes from down below me as Ronnie flops onto her back. Long purple hair flows around her as she stares up at my white celling. Her brows perk up as interest swirls around in her eyes and a moment later she pushes herself up onto her elbows.

“Hey, did you find anything in that morgue? I remember reading about Jason’s shoulder pad that they found. Did you see that in there?”

My muscles tense as I rub a hand over my thick curls, feeling the soft stands of my light brown hair.

Breathing in a heavy breath, I say. “No, I never found anything like that in there.” the lie flows past my lips with ease.

I can’t tell her about the shoulder pad that was in there or most importantly, the condition I found it in. The image of slashes all over the white plastic seeps into my mind. It honestly looked like it had been mulled at by a savage animal. And it’s not like I can tell her what I felt from the object, because nobody but me knows I have this ability.

The top half of my body falls onto my light blue quilts as my long curls flops around my face.

No evidence. No lead. No Jason.

I breathe out a heavy sigh as drought plagues my clouded mind.

What if we can’t find him? What if...he isn’t aliv-

A soft nock on my door has me bolting upward in a matter of seconds. I stare down at the case files spread all over my bed and floor, just waiting to have my parents discover them and ground me until my hair turns grey.

Ronnie cusses as she starts flinging the files underneath my bed. I start grabbing the files littering my mattress and shoving them beneath there as my bedroom door creaks open.

“Hey sweety, Ronnie needs to go home now...ah, what are you two doing exactly?” dads brow furrows as he stares between mine and Ronnie’s odd positions on the floor.

I lean my back against the cool metal of my bed as my lips pull up into smile.


My dad’s button up shirt ruffles as he crosses his arms over his chest. The corner of his eyes cress as he mildly squints and glances between the two of us.

“Alrighty then, I guess I’ll just pretend like you two aren’t acting weird,” dad jokes.

We both let out a tense laugh, trying to act natural.

Dad clears his throat and awkwardly runs a hand through his greying hair. “Anyway, did you hear what happened down at the hospital today?”

My breath shallows as panic tightens in my chest.

“Apparently someone was fiddling around in the morgue and my office,” dad tsks, “they took all the files for Jason’s case. The officers working on his case reckon whoever it took them is related to the case in someway.”

Rubbing my hands along my knees, I ask. “Was there any evidence left for you guys to track? So, you know...they can find whoever took the files?”

Dad shakes his head in answer.

My constricting throat loosens its death grip just enough for air to flow back through. Ronnie glances in my direction as dad stares down at his watch for a moment.

“Ah, right.” he looks up towards Ronnie and I. “Ronnie’s mum just said she wanted her back at home.”

Ronnie leaves a few minutes later, leaving me with the cluster of files hidden beneath my bed. I stand up and look down at my mattress in question.

I really don’t think it would be a good idea to keep them hidden beneath my bed, but maybe if I stick them in one of my memory boxes? My parents know that I don’t like them being touched.

Getting on my hands and knees, I reach for one of my memory boxes from under my bed and stuff the files beneath all my things and shove the pretty purple box back under the bed.

Dusting my hands off, I get up of the floor and glance over to my alarm clock on my nightstand. The red glowing numbers, 11:52pm, glare back at me as a wave of exhaustion washes through me.

The movies really don’t warn you about how tiring this whole sneaky around thing is.

My blankets ruffle as I crawl over them and flop my head against my pillows.

With heavy eyes-lids, I slowly drift to sleep, leaving all the my issues behind for a short time.


My tired eyes open to my pitch-black room as something vibrates beneath my warm pillow. The muffled sound of a notification beeps through the cushioned material beneath my head, pulling me further away from my sleeping state.

Why is someone messaging me at this time of night?

With the side of my face still squished against the pillow, I slide my hand under and grab ahold of my phone. Bringing it up to my face, I push my finger against the side button and squint as the bold light assaults my tired eyes. In a harsh tone, I lightly cuss beneath my breath and turn the screen brightness down before letting my eyes gaze back at the home page on my phone.

You have one notification from Darkling Academy.

The springs in my bed creak as I push myself up into a sitting position and stare down at the screen with furrowed brows.

Dear, Hayden Mikkelsen, we are thrilled to inform you that you have been discovered by one of our Seherins and are more than thrilled to welcome you to our school, Darkling Academy. But before you can be approved into our school, you must first do something to prove youself capable of being a student at this academy.

Complete this task.

- Insert document -

You can choose not to do this task, but we do advice against that option. Also, if you tell anyone about this task such as a parent, friend or any law enforcement, there will be repercussions. We hope you make the right decision.

Sincerely, the school secretary for Darkling Academy.

I stare wide eyed at the screen with only one thought going through my mind.

What in the living hell did I just read?

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