Chapter 3: Betrayal Drags Under (Ash)
I thought I was going to wake up underground; however, I found myself laying in a bed in a darkened hospital room. I see myself dressed in a patient gown. The room is lit by an eerie red glow with yellow smoke that smells like sulfur. According to the supernatural research, blood-red glowing lights along with a sulfur smell is associated with demons from hell. Not a good sign; something demonic is here in the room with me.
The smoke starts to pull itself inward to manifest into a figure. A slim, tall, and feminine figure. When the sulfur smoke fades, all I see is Jamie with the glowing red light behind her. Her eyes glowing the same eerily green from before. I try to make myself transform into my fighting form; however, I realized that I am no longer in the astral. I am somewhere else the requires myself to astral project. If I do it now, this thing would've already been attacking me.
She slowly pulls out a blood-stained knife. Her cold expression morphs into a frenzy one. She stares at me with a psycho look upon her face like she is going to enjoy this. "Jamie, stop!" I warned but it came out as a beg.
She plunges the knife directly into my abdomen. I let out an ear-piercing scream as my insides slice open from the knife. Then, my eyes shoot up like I was having a false awakening. This time, below my shoulders refused to move. I sit up using my neck and let out a hiss when I felt sharp pains in my abdominal area strike. I stare at it as I see blood appearing from the place Jamie stabbed me from the prior dream. The bloodstain began to grow and grow. As the stains expands, the pain continues to spread.
My heart violently pounds when the stain reaches there. Tears start to flow down my cheeks because all I can do is watch while it spreads like an infection. I feel hopeless lying here while I am in so much pain. The pain keeps increasing, increasing, and increasing. "Will this ever go away?!" I shriek out of my lungs. The screech makes the pain suddenly burn; burn and agony makes it feel worse than a heart burn.
A burst of deep maniacal laughter booms within the room. It sounded deep, masculine, and demonic. Before I knew, the bloodstain com-busts into flames. I shriek again as my own body burns into ashes. I try to urge the rest of my body to move; however, no avail. The fire is at my neck. "Stop it!" I weakly mutter. I never felt so hopeless than the time I actually wanted to kill myself. I can feel my forehead soaked with sweat that doesn't settle the blazing fire.
I am surprised that I never lost my consciousness, neither my life yet. My mid-section is completely charred. At this point, I gave up trying to move and stop the pain. I tip my head back and shut my eyes while the fire takes over my neck.
Everything went black for a second until my eyes shot open. I suddenly move forward as I scan around the room in vast disorientation and horror. Cold sweat drips down my face. Hopefully, this is actually a reality and not some demonic attack again.
My heavy panting resulted in a nurse coming into the room. Her eyes widen and she gasps in shock. "You're awake!" She says baffled. "How are you feeling?"
"Terrified, to say the least," I say dryly; I am stilling concentrating on the nightmare.
"There is no need to worry; you are safe now," the nurse informs sweetly, "Let me notify your parents."
After an hour, my parents arrived. They were so relieved that I am alive. Mostly, I am shocked to think about how I am alive. I remember dying in my room. I scan my body to find any scars on my wrists; however, there is none to be found. The confusion leads to me ramble on, "What happened?"
"You were out at night and you were stabbed in the gut," dad explains nervously.
What..? That didn't happen!
"You are not allowed to leave the house after sunset ever again!" Mother implies sternly. Mom is the overprotective one in the household other than my older sister and my nerd brother.
"Listen to your mother, kiddo; the attacker has never been found," the nurse buds in.
Why am I not surprised? Oh! It's Pricksburg! Full of indecent and crazy people!
My mother resumes blabbing on to the nurse while I go in thought. Something isn't right like the events changed to where I am alive. I reckon when Ramen dragged myself under with those rotten hands, my fate has changed. Hm, maybe Ramen has more abilities than I previously assumed. If he and his partners hated me so much, why didn't they kill me in the astral? My soul would've been gone and I will cease to exist. They probably want me alive to torment me.
I have stayed in the hospital for the next three days. Parents were here for me after their jobs were finished for the day. Doctors were surprised that my body healed fast. The regeneration will probably leave a faint scar. I mostly walked during my last days in the hospital because I have not been using my legs for a long time; my muscle mass has decreased. The reason why I have been in a three-week coma is that my brain went into a major panic attack and needed some time to reboot.
My parents planned to keep me home from school for another week or two just so I can recover a bit more. After a month of absence, I am so left behind on work. Honestly, pretty sure, my teachers think I didn't make it from the so-called attack. Well, at least, I can go back in and make things right.
It is early Tuesday morning. Mom and dad left early for their jobs. My sister is away at college and brother is at school. Since my legs needed some exercise, I went to school on my bike. I am happy that I left my home because being there gives off an eerie vibe like you are not alone in the house. It didn't scare me though; however, it makes me paranoid when I am in the shower.
No one is expecting my arrival until the following week; I went in from the back doorway near the janitor's area. I put my hood up, so no one will notice me. Better to surprise them later. Since the students' parking lot is hard to get into, some students go into the back. Sadly, they still have to go to the hallway of the high school lobby and wait until they are dismissed.
A feeling hit me that someone is coming. To add onto the suspicion, I can hear footsteps coming down the ramp. Just in case it was staff, I dive right into the bathroom. I watch whoever is crossing by. It's Jacelyn. Even though she bullied me, I never held a grudge against her. With all the hell she has been through thanks to my suicide, I have forgiven her. As long she never does it again, she is on my okay side.
"Jacelyn!" I called out to her. She stops and looks around like she is tracking the sound. I back away from the door and went onto the window's indoor ledge. Since it's the window is in the bathroom, the window is crafted by a fogged-up glass. I call out to Jacelyn again but this time, louder.
Jacelyn must've heard me the second time; she went into the bathroom. I kept my head lowered. "Hello, Jacelyn? Did you miss me?" I ask her. I raise my head and asked with the sweet tone like she was my friend because I think she obviously knows.
"Impossible," she mutters in pure shock. She veils her jaw-dropping with her palm. "How is this happening?!" She asks again baffled. "Why are you here alive?"
"I am in the same thought," I agree with her. Then, I realize something if Jace was able to get passed the staff without them calling out to her and I didn't hear the students dispersing, how is she here with me? The thought of her death coming to life. I can see her depressing aura and her appearance looks kind of faint. "I can see you are a ghost..." Weird, I thought I saved her but she is dead while I am alive. What the freak is going on here?!
"I don't know," Jacelyn shrugs, "What I've heard from my friend that I've killed myself."
I study her words. "Jacelyn, I need to warn you about something," I announced in a whisper like someone is eavesdropping.
"Spit it out," Jacelyn says urgently.
"The Bully Trials Council can alternate events; it explains why I am alive and you are dead."
"Do they hate you now?" She asks out of curiosity; hinting about when I helped her escape the Bully Trials.
"Yes," I say without fear. "They brought me back to life just so they can torture me."
"I saw Jamie at school," she informs me like I didn't know.
I shrug it off because I didn't want to talk to her because she's ticking me off. She irritated me more than Jacelyn. I know that Jacelyn and her group of hot chicks humiliated me to death; however, dealing with the supernatural for revenge is not on my list.
"Why are you here, then?" Jacelyn questions.
"Since I have been out for a month now, I need to get schoolwork, so I can graduate with my class," I explained to her. "Call me crazy but I miss school a lot."
"Even when I harmed you?"
"Yep." I nodded. "Forget about it, Jace, that's in the past."
Jacelyn miserably sighs. "Second chance at life for you, I guess..."
I disagree. I shook my head and reply, "No, just punishment from the Bully Trials Council, despite being punished by the Gods from my suicide."
Then, the sounds of the students being dispersed. I smile with glee because I just need to wait a little bit longer until I can leave. "I guess, that's my cue," I say with a smile while I get off the ledge; "This is goodbye for now."
"Okay, I will go stalk my friends," Jacelyn says with a grin. Aww, even when she is dead, she still goes to her friends to catch up on the latest with them. I wish I have those types of friends.
I quickly left the bathroom and start to head down to the counseling office. Kids were too occupied to notice me and teachers were preparing for the first period. The counselors were happy to see me alive and I request them for my work. I inform them that I will be back in a week or two. It took several minutes to receive the assignments and guided notes that I missed. Piles of work; however, I am not strained. With myself being alone in the house, I can knock it all out within a couple of hours.
I thanked them and stuffed my assignments in the bag. I walk out the door and see Jamie entering the hallway. We both notice each other; our eyes locked in contact. I feel it's Jamie I know but another part is warning me that she is losing it. From all the treacherous torment she done to me, my moods went south. "Don't try anything stupid," I warn with a cup of threat, "I may be alive; however, don't take it as a minority."
"Do what?" She asks in a nice feign innocent voice. "Why would I try anything stupid?"
"You've just done it a couple days ago," I remark. I growl, "You've been doing bad deeds ever since my death."
She turns sad and cries that she didn't do anything. She also labeled me crazy. Oh please, Jamie never acts like this. When she does stuff, she admits it and not afraid of doing it. Hell, that explains why she gets into fights. It could also explain why Ramen and Drea went after her.
"Oh please! Deep inside, I can sense what you are trying to do!" I sneer at her; dismissing her lies. My menacing glare tells her that I am not joking around.
"Keep going, Ash, and you will never make it out alive," her voice turns dark while her eyes glow lime green.
"I was already dead!" I barked at her harshly. I am not afraid of death. In my past lives, I knew that I died violently and knew it won't be my last.
"Keep intervening and see what happens," Jamie inhumanly growls. "I know you are an unbaptized heathen; we are waiting for you, Ash."
Just like that, she turns around and walks away. What are Ramen and Drea doing to her?! She is becoming crazier. It's only a matter of time until she becomes dangerously violent.