Chapter 22 – The highest protection [S]
Friday, October 21st, 2016
I’m wading through shallow, dirty water, pulling my nose up because of the nauseating stench that is penetrating my nostrils.
I can’t describe the stench other then decomposing bodies, mixed with mould and a pinch of… gas?
I’m not sure, but it’s hell of a stench.
My clothes are drenched, my body cold to the bone, and I’m not even sure why I’m wading through this mess, while my feet keep sinking into the muddy bottom, not wanting to know what the hell I’m actually walking on.
A with mould covered bottom of a lake?
Please, let it be mud.
Let it be mud or I am definitely going to throw up.
But, trying not to think of whatever the hell is in this water, that is black as the darkness that haunted me for weeks, that took over.
It’s the blackest of black, in strong contrast with the heavenly white fog that is floating on top of the water surface, quite not touching each other, but still somehow mixing.
The top layer of water mirroring the cleanest of white, while the lower parts of the mist reflect the darkness beneath it.
All the while I keep wading forwards, wanting to get the hell out of this water.
I didn’t even want to get into the water in the first place, but I was on the banks of a small river, and a faint whisper is calling out my name, almost begging me to come. It’s like a little kid’s cry for help, a whiny sort of voice, over and over repeating my birthname.
Not my name that everybody uses, but the full name;
A name only my parents use when they are really, really angry with me.
And while it’s a whiny cry for help, it is also sort of enchanting to listen to the call, dragging me forwards, forcing me forwards through this disgusting water.
The annoying part is that I don’t seem to come closer, as the whisper of my name remains as faintly present as ever.
I groan, splashing and trudging forwards while I grow more tired by the second.
My breathing is heavy, with deep raspy inhales to get as much oxygen in as possible, while my heart thuds loudly in my chest.
My surroundings become darker by the minute, the fog rising higher and higher around me, suffocating the light that was shining around me just a second ago.
I contemplate on turning around, getting the hell out of this water, wondering which direction is closest towards land, when the fog suddenly darkens all around me, waving tauntingly as if it grew tentacles, that are turning circles around me. I stop moving, staring enchanted at the phenomena as the tentacles become like a whirlwind, waving my shirt, messing up my hair. The hairs on my arms rise as a chilly wind is suddenly sweeping up, the whisper gone, the heavenly white engulfing the black of the water.
Until there’s only darkness, and I get an eerie feeling. Flashes of the tunnel flash in front of my eyes, the forest, a cabin that seems familiar, yet not familiar at all.
There’s a heart-breaking scream that suddenly sounds right behind me, causing me to swirl around in the waving gulfs of darkness, finding Angie’s face right in front of me, tears streaming down her face, while there’s blood gushing from stab wounds in her stomach. Her hands covered in blood, her skin pale, but more colourful then I’ve ever seen.
She reaches a hand towards me but is too far to touch me.
I stare at Angie in shock, wanting to help, but frozen solid in my spot. I can’t lift my arms, I can’t move forwards. I feel as if something has a hold of my entire body, as beside Angie, there’s more and more children showing up vaguely visible in the dark fog.
“It’s your fault…” Angie cries out, as blood colours her white dress red. “You killed us.”
I stare at her in horror, wanting both to move towards her to hold her, and get the hell away from these kids. But as I spin around, suddenly able to move again, I’m surrounded by children of all different ages, all bleeding to death right in front of my eyes. But all I can do is turn and watch powerlessly how they’re getting closer and closer.
As I turn towards Angie again, she is right in front of me, her face inches away from mine.
“Your fault, Sidney Hayes,” she whispers with a cold, hateful voice. She stares at me with cold eyes, while there’s suddenly water starting to bubble up from her throat, soaring out by the tons.
Thick, disgusting black water coming out of every kids mouth, mingling with the blood in their clothes, the blood that’s still seeping from their wounds.
I start crying, I start screaming, and they scream right back at me, as they all start to pluck my clothes, yank my arms, my hair. Hands are everywhere, tearing up my clothes angrily, pulling me in all directions.
My legs give in, as they pile on top of me, all wanting to scratch me, grab me, pull me apart.
I scream, and as I sink below surface of the black water, I swallow in large chunks of water, wanting this to end. Wanting to die, give up, stop this madness.
I stare upwards, as the shallow water suddenly became too deep to stand. Deep enough to sink further down as the surface quickly vanishes into darkness.
I cry out once more, swallowing more water, and then there’s a flash of light, followed by a calm, silent darkness.
I grasp for air, waking up in bed with a scared to death Annika next to me, holding my wrist. My mom is on my other side, my dad right in front of me, both looking bewildered and shocked.
I grasp in the air, grabbing my shirt, pressing a with fabric filled fist against my painful chest, gagging, once, twice, and then throwing up a dark substance that seems way too familiar.
And smells disgusting, like dead corpses, mould and… gas.
“How is this possible? It’s been a week!” My mom sounds worried, scared, angry, because I had the worst nightmare I ever had, ending up throwing up the same disgusting water I was wading through in my nightmare.
“It’s a mystery to us all,” Mrs. Grayson answers tiredly. “All of it seems as if it’s in fast forwards with Sid. The nightmares within a week, instead of a month…”
“His wounds heal three times faster…” Mrs. Bray adds with a just as tired voice.
“We have to take him there…” Mrs. Brand’s voice sounds calm.
“No…” Mom now sounds as if she’s on the edge of crying. Ever since they woke me up last night, she’s on the verge of a mental breakdown.
“We can’t risk anyone’s life, Olivia.” A strange voice speaks sternly. “If everything develops at least trice as fast, he won’t be your son by the end of the month.”
“I… I…” Mom stutters, and I think she’s now sobbing. “He’s my son… I can’t lock him away in there…”
Lock me away where?
“What if the nightmare was a one-time occurrence? Can’t we wait until he gets at least one more?” Mrs. Bray suggests. “He’s been through a lot, he has to process finding out about the coven and being a half-blood angel, knowing way more then any previous victim… Maybe it’s a stress-induced nightmare?”
“Yeah, because stress-induced nightmares cause him to throw up the black slurry. We know it’s the start. The shell is breaking already, and we can’t wait until the first child goes missing.”
“But, how is it possible it’s breaking? Annika is still able to touch him.” Mom tries to defend my safety.
“She admitted to me she felt the barrier, and she admitted it did hurt. It didn’t burn yet, but it will soon.”
“I vote to wait until the next nightmare occurs. We’ll keep a close eye on him and make sure he won’t ever be alone. If he starts lashing out against people, we need to step in and…”
It remains silent and I press myself closer against the door, wanting to hear what they say next. But there’s complete silence. And what!?
“Mom?” Liza sounds unsure and doubtful, but a silence tells me they’re willing to listen to whatever she has to say. “Why… don’t we try the spell… we talked about on Monday? Maybe it’ll buy us a bit more time… maybe we… get to spend a bit more time with him first…”
“I’m not saying goodbye to my son.” My mom firmly speaks up. “We will save him.”
“Olivia. You have to be realistic. The chance he will make it out alive is close to zero. Nobody ever found a way to save the carriers…”
“Don’t you dare to speak of my son as a lifeless carrier!” Mom now sounds angry and I can’t help but feel shitty, useless, and given up on.
A lot less love coming my way right now. I degraded from half-Angel, beloved son and boyfriend, to a carrier.
“It’s all he’ll be soon, Olivia…”
“Not if we cast the spell to give him back some much needed energy.” Liza suddenly sounds a lot more sure of her case. “If he’s going to become a lifeless puppet to that goddamned fucking Baywick, then we should at least try! We deserve to… to…”
“Say goodbye…” Mrs. Grayson sounds emotional right now. “They’re right, Carla. They deserve a bit more time.”
So, that’s it? They’re giving up on me after one freaking nightmare?
Why did it have to be me!?
“Why won’t you leave me alone!?” I cry out softly, slamming my own chest. “Get the fuck out of me, fucking pathetic Baywick…”
I grasp for air as a jolt of pain shoots through my chest, knocking me off my feet.
My breathing becomes ridged, the pain not for a second subsiding. But it’s a different pain from what I felt yesterday, and suddenly my entire chest starts burning.
I pull my shirt up to find some sort of sign forming on my chest, while a bright light fills the entire hall, so bright it’s blinding me. The sign is growing redder by the second, and I squeak out in fear, kicking the door to the living room to alarm my mom something seriously weird is going on.
The burning pain is almost too much to bare, causing me to see lights in front of my eyes, having trouble to stay conscious, as the door of the living room flies open and my mom and Mrs. Bray rush into the hallway, shock filling their eyes as they find me on the floor, pressing my fists against my chest, surrounded by a blindingly bright light.
The pain – for about three seconds, subsides – only to return more intense right afterwards, a new burning sensation marking my skin, as I cry out and curl up to a ball at my mother’s feet.
“What’s… happening?” I squeak out, as she kneels beside me, grabbing my hands to pull them away.
Mrs. Bray kneels beside her as the rest of the women are staring down on me with worry from the dooropening.
“Help… me…!” I cry out, clenched jaws to bite away the pain, as I lift my shirt to show them the sign… which mixed with another, possible leaving burn marks.
“Sid…” Mom cries out, cupping my face, tears dripping down her face.
“Olivia…” Mrs. Bray traces a sign on my chest, me whimpering as she touches the burn wounds with a feathery light touch.
“Michael and… Raphael…” dad’s voice sounds close behind me.
“Wh-what?” Mom cries out, as the pain yet again subsides, this time long enough to allow me to catch my breath.
“I asked… for help… for protection…” Dad whispers, kneeling down beside me, carefully leaning in to touch me. As it doesn’t appear to hurt him, he pulls me in his arms. Cradling me protectively. “You’re safe… for now.” He whispers, rocking me back and forth, calming me down.
“Harold, what do you mean!?” Mom demands an answer, as she cups my face to peck kisses all over it. “He’s safe?”
“Raphael and Michael, they… they marked him… they’re now protecting him…” Dad is still whispering, seemingly a bit shocked, or surprised. “I told the Archangels about Sid. I begged them to save my son.”
“I’m so confused…” I mutter, though I start feeling more energetic then I did in a while.
“Raphael… we have parts of his power. The healing powers…” Dad cups my face, forcing me to look at him. “He’s now helping you to heal faster…”
“And… Michael?” I whisper, not wanting him to let me go right now, because dad hasn’t held me like this in a long time and for some reason it makes me feel safer then anything else.
“Angel of justice, strength and protection…” Dad shows a weak smile. “He’s now giving you strength, and protection…”
“Does this mean…”
“The seal won’t break, as long Sid’s energy is strong enough to keep a connecting with the Angels. But…” dad looks back and forth between us, before settling on me. “The forest is off limits to you, until we get Baywick out of you. Because the forest is such a dark place, even Archangels aren’t at their full strength. If you step foot on that ground, they won’t be able to feet you with the needed energy.” Dad taps my chest. “And they might do this again if needed.”
“That hurts, damn!” I groan, rolling over a bit to rest my head against his chest.
“It’s because they’re repairing the small cracks in the seal, coming in direct contact with evil. It’s the same reaction Annika and I get when we touch your skin…”
“Right…” I take in a couple of deep breaths. “Thanks, dad… for asking help.”
“I’m not even sure why they helped. They normally do not intervein unless absolutely necessary.”
“Well, this is necessary…” Mom tries, but dad cuts her sentence short with a firm look.
“Sid’s our son, and therefor we find this necessary. To them, he’s one of many. If they prevent each human from dying, the world would’ve been over-populated by now. So… I don’t know why they answered my call for help. All I know is that we have more time on our hand to fight back. To save Sid.”
“Well, let’s make good use of that time.” Mrs. Brand claps her hand, sending me a sad smile. “We need to find a way to get the entity out of Sid. Even with the protection of Archangels, the seal could still break, setting it free.”
“It could?” I ask shocked, since I kind of hoped I could keep going like this until we figured out a way to get it out without me dying.
“It’s still magic. And I think you should be at your best behaviour to prove to the Archangels you deserve their protection. If they end the protection, the bond, it will break.”
I swallow hard, and nod in understanding.
I just have a lot to process right now.
Like the fact two freaking Archangels decided to intervein with this entity trying to kill me. Or make me kill.
Maybe they decided to intervein because it’s not just my life that is at stake, but those of five innocent children too.
I don’t know why I deserve such great honour. All I know is that I should do everything in my power to prove to them I’m worthy of their effort.