Chapter 2: Betrayal Drags Under (Ash)
After receiving one hell of a lecture from the Gods three weeks ago, I was trialed. My punishment was helping others who are suicidal or caught in a web of chaos. The Gods did not want to place myself in Tartarus; they wanted me to use my kindness to save other lives. They knew that I have saved or manipulated others not to kill themselves like I did when I was alive. Sadly, I helped many lives; however, couldn't save myself. The cruel irony...
Winter in the human world; the dreadful season of death, depression, coldness, and agony. Death was so common in the winter that it is considered to be mundane. I watch a girl with dirty blonde hair and hazel eyes. She is not beautiful, neither is she ugly. I invisibly observe the girl who weeps while scrolling through the messages on her phone. Through her profile, I knew who she is: Lavender Queen Peals. What a pretty name, I compliment in her head.
Thanks to my power of empathy, I can feel the emotions of others. When I was alive, my feelings were based upon the people I hung out with; I was basically feeling ecstatic or a down mood. Weeks after death, my empathy grew; my ability makes me feel everyone's essence. I mostly go after to help others that I see potential in life, but they are neglecting their own bodies.
Here, Lavender is facing conflict with an ex. He leaked her personal photos all over the Internet. The breakup must have been rough because he is humiliating her online or he's just a jerk in general. I see the messages and comments; they were obscure and vile. The people were urging Lavender to go kill herself. Every second, I can feel the girl's suicidal emotion escalate.
"I don't want to live here anymore!" Lavender shrieks in pain while she throws her phone across the room. The device crashes in the wall.
Finally, you got off, I coldly state in my head as I cross my arms. How blunt my emotions are... When I was still alive, I had people who used suicide against me as a mental weapon. One made me broke me down for weeks. I have loved him very much until it was all a lie. I couldn't love the same after him. If he ever crosses my path, I would not hesitate for revenge. After many times, including with my friends who have broken mental states, I would either be emotionless, angry or wanted to help. Even when I was ticked off, I did help.
The girl pulls out a razor beneath her pillow. I am not going to let her cut herself to death. My eyes glow blue for what I am about to do next. I practiced magic ever since I was young. Believe it or not, it is one of the things I am experienced at. I can make events happen. No, I can not make cash rain down in your room, although that will be astonishing. I can already see my improvement in my sorcery. When I roam the house earlier, both parents are home, They were unaware of Lavender's action.
I utilize my power to implant an urgent need to check on their daughter. I look back at the girl and see her cutting her thigh. Even with blood oozing out her wounds, she is frustrated from not blacking out. It is only a matter of minutes until the woozy effects set in. She quickly moves to her wrist. My eyes turn red as I use my powers to implant hesitation in her mind, which made her stop. She severely shakes while she eyes down her wrist. Her parents went into her room and they freaked out.
"Laven!" Her mother cried. Their daughter notices and starts to quickly move the bloody razor to her wrist. Luckily, her dad is fast; he restrained her as he threw the knife away from her. Her mother is dialing 911. That was my Que for departure. My feet lifted off the ground and I fly through the wall. I am going back to my astral temple. I have saved over eighty people in the United States alone from suicide. I gaze back while both parents hug their child. I can hear the sirens off in the distance.
I am not a hero; I am just a criminal that is repaying the fine, so I can reincarnate or stay in the astral. When I first started my sentence, my save count was lower. Then, I went into libraries in the afterlife and read helpful tips for magic. The fun ones were reading were cursed. What are they going to do to me? Kill me? Haha! I am already dead. They are not going to try to kill my soul because they know I can kick their butts now. I am no longer weak as I used to be.
Thanks to my new role as a ghost suicide hotline, there are fewer souls entering Hell, astral, or Tartarus. It may be exhausting, yet it feels rewarding. Moreover, I can also use my magic to screw up enemies that made their targets suicidal. I let karma take get them. Karma can hide all these years until it hits like a bomb.
And no, I do not believe that they go to the Bully Trials. I have seen what they had done to Jacelyn and my friend, Jamie. Yeah, it is great that they were getting hell handed to them; however, the way they executed was horrible and immoral. I would've been happy if Jacelyn was arrested along with her friends. It was the reason why I have regretted my suicide and wanted to go back to save Jace.
When I was there with the Bully Trials, I got a reading about the council. Ramen and Drea did felt they were once human; however, they were taken over by something evil and powerful. I did feel Jamie's anger. I knew she was aggressive; however, never would've gone this far. The last time I saw her, she did feel human, but something has gotten to her. That is why I have used my darkness to drain whatever that is causing Jamie to go crazy.
I close my eyes and teleport back to my astral temple. I have constructed my temple when I was fourteen when I became a polytheist. It looked like an ancient Roman villa. Pools with lily pads in the front. It was a two-story atrium. I usually leave the courtyard for parties or I wanted my skin to glow under the moon while I dance.
The moment after I opened the double stone doors, Plicitpatia, the Daughter of Death standing before me. Her fellow twin is Konatheus, Daughter of Life. Other than Markaria, they are the twins born from Hades and Goddess Feronia, a Roman Goddess of fertility and abundance. They have raised their twins on Earth to avoid conflicts on Olympus. That is when Roman Emperor, Augustus, sent out warriors to kidnap the girls because he was ravished by their odd beauty.
They were successful; however, the twins escaped. Plictipatia risked her life to save her sister. Plictipatia died and reincarnated as a girl named Ellen. Konatheus was enraged and she made Augustus's wife poison him. It took thousands of years for her to reunite with her long lost sister and rediscover her powers. Konatheus did tell me about an incident with a mortal named Belen. I laughed when they made him no longer exist in the mortal world; he is eternally wrapped in chains with flames burning him alive. They lived in the underworld now because Persephone, Hades's wife, approved it.
I scan the color of her hair. There are two color changes that I am familiar with. One of them indicates that she is going to attack while the other one is the opposite. Dark blue means she is safe to be around. When black, she is like Morta. If not, Morta herself. She can disguise in a human form as Ellen, which makes her more mysterious and lethal. She can wander around Earth and can attack anybody mortal.
"Greetings, Plictipatia," I say with gratitude while kneeling. "What brings you here?"
"Let's take a walk around your garden," Plicitipatia answers, "I shall speak."
With a nod, I get up and we begin walking. I understand why the Daughter of Death doesn't like to stand in the same spot. In her life as Ellen, when she unlocked her hidden powers, the authorities were after her. She kept on running and running until she caught up with Konatheus.
"We know what you did after your punishment has been sentenced," Plictipatia states with no emotion.
"Since when?" I ask quietly; they were referring to the night where I attempted to save Jacelyn.
"Apollo saw you upon the same night."
"Why didn't you stop me, nor did you tell me about that?" I question.
"We are still debating. We all know you regretted your suicide. Some Gods voted that your sentence shall be reduced while the others debated to keep it the same," Plictipatia explains.
"Fine. I will stay neutral with the debate, whether reduced or not," I answer. Plictipatia softly smiles. I will be happy with less of punishment; however, I am happy if not. At least, I can get away from Earth's people for a while because they are too... depressing. I then opine, "It is kind of relaxing getting away from humans."
Plictipatia glares at me. She sighs. "Look, you might have been under adversity; however, that doesn't mean that you can hate the whole world."
"No, no, no" I respond, "You misunderstood me. I am fine with the world, but the ones who think they rule it are the ones I disdain."
She shrugs to my words. "Huh, maybe an asteroid will hit and set the human population back to when they first appeared."
When we reached my courtyard, she stops. Plictipatia informs, "I need to depart. I shall return when we reached a conclusion." The tone being eerie calm. I bow to her as a farewell before she flies off. I went back inside and decided to head to my large library.
When I open the library doors, I feel something is wrong, very wrong. An uninvited trespasser has entered my temple. What is worse is that my library is pitch black.
"Hello, Ash," A dark and raspy whisper comes from the library. I can feel as if it's walking towards me. The lights come back on but only dimmed. The one who made the whisper is me... My old self with shortened curly hair, glowing green eyes, with my wrists, legs, and stomach sliced open. I cringe at the sight of it. Can't believe that I have done that to myself; however, this thing in my library wasn't my physical body coming back to haunt me. I remember seeing it during the Bully Trials.
"Not this again," I muttered in annoyance. Light particles went inside my hands. I can feel the power inside of me while it makes my hands illuminate brightly. I use the power of light to blast the impostor in-front of me. They fly backward with immense speed and hit a bookshelf. The impostor makes the shelf tip backward while only many several books rain down upon their body. I kind of stifled my laugh when literature finally pounded their head.
The illusion fades away and all I see is Ramen looking injured from the attack. "Ramen? I am not surprised," I remarked coldly. Ramen chuckles evilly. "I did not recall anything funny!" I spat menacingly at him.
I should've been more aware; the top of my back was kicked. My body crashes onto the floor with high speeds. I grunt and moan from the agony. I look up to see my old friend, Jamie, with glowing eyes. She smiles triumphantly from her kick.
"Jamie, since when did you how to astral project?" I ask with a growl.
"Since your demise!" She barks darkly.
Ignoring the pain, I got up and get into my fighting position. The rage bubbles towards the surface. "You are a traitor and a fiend for working with these dogs!" I yell at her without hesitation.
Jamie just snickers to my outburst. "Oh, Ash, I wanted to avenge your death. Now, you have intervened with our plans, you will not get away easily."
"Jamie, the Gods are already punishing for my death!" I imply in defense. "You don't need to punish me even further!"
The light turns into darkness and I blast Jamie into the shelf behind Ramen while he gets back up. It doesn't take much time for Jamie to recover and get up. Soon, all three of us were battling. They were trying to kill me or something while I am trying to defeat them. It seems whether darkness manipulating Jamie is still there or Jamie is just crooked in general. She was an old enemy when I met her before we became friends.
The darkness turns into the light as I try to punch Ramen in the face until Jamie kicks me in the stomach. I let out a forceful groan as I slide out of the library to the wall across. Rotten tendrils come out of Ramen's back as zombie hands rise up and grab me tightly. Jamie walks closer to me. That is when the floor turns into a thick liquid and the zombie hands tenaciously pull me under slowly.
"Jamie, how could you?!" I shriek at her from her betrayal.
"You are in the game now." Ramen implies while he stands behind Jamie.
"Welcome back to reality," Jamie adds in with sick amusement like she is pleased from what it is about to happen.
The corpse hands start to pull me in faster under the liquid. "Nooooooooooo!" I scream out before I sunk under the liquid. When I was fully in, everything drifts into darkness.
The floor returns back to normal. Jamie and Ramen were grinning. They looked at each other from what they have done. Jamie feels no remorse for beating her old friend and letting her friend be dragged under by the zombie hands from Ramen. For now, she is only dormant in the void. Once she wakes up, the real nightmare will return.
What is the nightmare?