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Chapter 25 - Isaac


Mum softly knocks on my door. I ignore her, and don’t move from my place against the wall. I hear her sigh, and her footsteps becoming quieter before the sound disappears altogether.

I shift my position, crossing my arms and chewing away at my lip.

She is missing.

The words still hurt me immensely. They slam into my chest with unimaginable force, stealing the air from my lungs.

My brother. My best friend. Who next will I lose? Mum?

An Antithetical got to her. There’s no real proof, but I can just feel it.

I’m due back at the Arc tomorrow evening, where my schedule should resume as normal. Except, that won’t happen. Because I will get some hopefully willing friends to help me search for her. I don’t know when or how, but I will do it. I will walk hell or high water to get what I want.

Gideon may be gone, but there’s no way I’m going to give up on Isolde. She doesn’t deserve death, especially not at the hands of a brutish Antithetical.

Why do they have to exist? What drives the cacodemons to tear apart lives? I’m sick, sick to the pit of my stomach.

The walls suddenly seem to press into me – I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe. I get up and fling open the door, running down the stairs. I have to get out of here.

There’s another forest I know that’s close enough. I flee the house, deciding to go to that forest. After boarding a bus, I bite down on my fist, trying not to explode in public. Finally, I arrive at the woodland, and sprint through it for a minute before slamming my fist into the nearest tree.

I barely feel the pain; it is nothing compared to the one inside of me, the hungry, raging beast tearing away strips of my insides.


The word is intended to come out as a scream, but instead it is a broken, weak whisper.

I stand in the forest, still. Not crying or moving or doing anything. Just standing, immobile, as the agony rips me apart inside.

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