In the Mind

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Chapter 17: The Seed that Grows

Elijah couldn't help but shake in fear. All color from his face drained at the sight he saw before him. Not only was Noah accompanied by Kishiki, everyone he loved that was now dead stood behind him. The real Noah. Elijah's dad. Their cold gazes burrowed into Elijah's eyes, giving him the urge to scream from both fear and sadness.

"What the hell?" Damion shakily said.

"You know, I thought of doing this the easy way. Just slice your throats while you're asleep, or have Kishiki do his signature move and rip apart your heads. But, that would be too cliche wouldn't it. Just an ordinary death. Too predictable. Now however, I have drained you guys dry of any emotion except fear. That way it's easier for your loved ones to rip you apart and not care." Noah explained coldly while pacing back and forth in the hallways.

"What the fuck is wrong with you?" Natsuki screamed at Noah. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she collapsed on the ground.

"Wrong with me? Ha! It's funny how you say that, because none of this is actually 'my' doing." Noah said, air quoting the 'my' part.

"How is it not your doing! You're the one trying to kill us! We're just kids! Can we have a normal life without you having to come in and rip it apart? Can we live like kids our age should? Not in fear of being ripped apart by someone that isn't even real?" Natsuki screamed at Noah. His cold glare rested on Natsuki's broken self, a venomous smile appearing.

"You're right. I'm not real. Neither is Kishiki. Yet, we're still able to hurt you three. Still able to kill you if we wanted. And you were never going to be involved if it wasn't for your precious Elijah." Noah evilly said to Natsuki, both their heads slowly turned to look at Elijah.

Elijah's stomach dropped into an empty pit. It began to swallow his heart and the last bit of love for the world he had.

"He's right. I should've never brought her into this. And if I never got close to her, Damion wouldn't be involved either. Yes, I wouldn't know I had a brother, but that is worth sacrificing if I know both him and Natsuki are safe. But now they're not. I fucked up.......I have to fix this."

"You're sweet Elijah dragged both you and Damion into this mess. Originally I was going to kill him, but then you two came along. Thanks to him, I now have more people to feed to Kishiki." Noah said again, his venom filled smile turning into a smile that would drive a person crazy just by a quick glance.

"He's right. You did drag us into this. We'd be safe if you never got us involved. But you did. What was your goal? To watch Damion and I get hurt?" Natsuki asked, even more tears were running down her face. Guilt consumed Elijah, his world was spinning.

"I tried not to get you involved, but you came up to me! You pushed me to tell you!" Elijah yelled defensively. He instantly regretted his remark. He was defending himself for something he didn't want to defend anymore. He wanted to let go. To give into the thing he's been fighting.

"You're a selfish asshole! This is all your fault!" Natsuki screamed at him, causing the last remaining pieces of Elijah's heart to shatter. He imagined all his heart's pieces scattering across the floor, then sinking into the floor to never be found again.

"Why would you do this?" Damion asked Elijah. His eyes focused on him with fear, but almost understanding.

"You're right. I need to fix this. And I will." Elijah said, walking in between Natsuki and Noah. He faced Noah and looked through his deep old eyes.

"Kill me. Kill me and leave them alone. I've caused enough pain in this world and I'm done being a burden. Just kill me and be done with it. We'll both get what we want." Elijah confessed as he spread his arms out to show his vulnerability.

"Elijah! Don't do it!" Damion yelled.

"You just asked me why I would do this to you. And to be honest, I just wanted some clarification. To know whether I was crazy or not. And I needed someone by my side, someone I could trust as a friend. Someone who was like the Noah I knew. Not this piece of shit." Elijah said, his eyes staring into Noah's.

"Yeah, we might be pissed that we're about to die and it's partially your fault, but I don't want you to die. You're my brother. I'm not gonna sit here and watch you get taken away from me. The last person in this family I actually trust. Don't do this Elijah." Damion replied. Elijah took a deep breath.

"Do it quick Noah." Elijah said then looking down.

"Don't!" Damion screamed. Natsuki looked up from her crying, her face showing her guilt in the insults she shot at Elijah.

"You see. Normally I would kill you on the spot." Noah started, then tilting his head some.

"But you see, that's too easy. I think I'm going to wait it out some. To let that suffer you're feeling right now intensify even more, that way when I kill you, even if it's fast, that suffer will have already taken it's place." Noah said.

"But before I go, I wanna let you in on a little secret." Noah said, then leaning in to reach Elijah's ear. He whispered something that sent chills down his spine. Noah began to walk back with his cold smile until he was next to Kishiki.

"Let's go Kishiki. We've got some waiting to do." Noah said again, then fading away with Kishiki and the relatives of his family behind him.

"I'm sorry!" Natsuki yelled, she wrapped her arms around Elijah's shoulders and began to cry into his back.

"I said things.....I.....I didn't mean....It's just.....he.....he showed me something.....something I've been trying to forget for a long time....but.....but it never seems to go away." Natsuki said, her voice muffled from her face being buried into Elijah's back.

"It's okay. We'll figure out a way to destroy Noah. And this time, we'll be better prepared." Elijah said as confidently as he could, but he felt the pain he shoved down for a while rise up so high, it hurt worse than ever before.

"Don't ever sacrifice yourself Elijah! You're lucky he didn't kill you just then! I would've fallen apart if you did. And I'm the older brother, I should be the one who's saving everyone." Damion said as he walked over to Elijah.

"I won't. I just.....wanna get through today." Elijah said, pulling Natsuki's arms off from around him. He turned around and he saw the broken looks of both Damion and Natsuki looking at him. They nodded at Elijah's remark and they each headed to their classes.

The entire day, Elijah had been consumed in his mind. Between spacing out and wallowing in his hurt, he could barley focus on anything. He quietly walked home with Damion and Natsuki who were both just as quiet as he was. Natsuki soon departed from Damion and Elijah, and they soon reached their house. Natalie wasn't home from work yet, so they decided to focus their minds on video games instead of the horrifying reality.

The evening shifted into night, and Elijah slowly went to bed feeling the same as he did the entire day. Not an ounce better, not an ounce worse. He felt as if it couldn't be any worse. He sighed and slipped into his bed and closed his eyes. His mind replayed bits and pieces of all the horrible things that had happened during the past week. It was hard to believe that so much could change in a matter of a week. His mind filtered through old pictures of the real Noah, the one who was always happy. Then those pictures were compared to the new Noah. The psychotic imposter. His voice echoed in his mind.

"Wrong with me? Ha! It's funny how you say that, because none of this is actually my doing."

"But for now I leave you with the one answer that you've been told before. It's in the mind."

"You know why. It's in the mind."

Elijah got scared and confused at the words that repeated. Elijah remembered what Noah whispered in his ear, causing him to break into a cold sweat.

"A saying I like to say goes like this. The seed that grows will learn either two things. The truth, or the lies. You are the seed, and this world is the lie."

Elijah's mind spun at the thought. He opened his eyes to look at the fading dark room. His head felt like it was going to split in half, but the pain went away as soon as he entered the flashback.

Elijah was laying in his bed, but not in the same bed as in the gigantic mansion he was used to seeing. Instead, it was a house......his house. He raised his torso up and looked around his room. The sun was shining through the blinds of his window, causing him to squint his eyes. He slowly got up without knowing it and walked out of the room. A figure swiftly moved past Elijah and down the stairs and into the kitchen. It was Damion.

"Mom! Are we ready to go yet?" Damion called out. He exited the kitchen as Elijah came down the stairs.

"Ready to go where?" Elijah tiredly asked, rubbing his left eye.

"We're gonna go to the store, but I can't find mom." Damion replied, walking through the hallway and into the living room in search for her.

"Did you check her room?" Elijah asked with yawn.

"Of course I did! That's the first place I checked!" Damion replied. He turned his head from left to right a few times to make sure he didn't accidentally miss her.

"Did you check the basement?" Elijah asked, looking around with Damion in search for their lost mother.

"Why would she be down there?" Damion asked hesitantly, his expression showing his slight fear of the basement.

"I don't know. It wouldn't be bad to check though would it?" Elijah asked with a shrug.

Damion sighed and slowly walked down the hallway and towards a door that lead to the dark basement. He creakily opened the door and stared down at the endless abyss. He gulped and took a deep breath. He slowly walked down the stairs and grabbed a flashlight off one of the basement shelves and quickly turned it on. Elijah spectated from the top of the basement stairs, awaiting Damion's response.

"Is she down there?" Elijah called down, and saw a small raw of light reflect on the ground from Damion's flashlight.

"No I don't thin-" Damion started before he dropped his flashlight and screamed at the top of his lungs.

"What!" Elijah yelled down the stairs before Damion came running up the stairs as pale as a ghost.

"What?" Elijah asked again, his curiosity and fear overwhelming him.

"She.....she......she's hanging." Damion shakily said pointing down the stairs, tears rolling down his cheeks. Elijah's stomach dropped to the floor, and everything went black.

The dark room around Elijah came back to his sight, and Elijah felt even more scared than before he got the dream like flashback. He didn't know if it was a dream or a flashback, but every time he got one, it felt extremely real. He didn't understand it, but the more he thought, the more he got scared.

"You are the seed, and this world is the lie." Noah's voice echoed in his head, and Elijah realized something it took him so long to figure out. He felt like time itself had completely stopped.

"This is all fake." Elijah said to himself before drifting off into something that was more than just a nightmare.

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