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Keyhole (only an exerpt)

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'So you left Trinity at the entry way of the woods. You let her traverse through the dark malicious forest back to the chateau?' Trilogy took a step forward and simultaneously Matt took a step back. Trilogy's eyes were bright as a solar flare and gave the interpretation that any second he could pounce and pin Matt to the ground, a gesture that Trilogy would never maneuver.

'Well when you say it like that it sounds a little ' troublesome.' Matt agreed.

'Tell me about it. Well Matt I'm not mad at you just a little irritated and disappointed. I understand the Tracey situation, but you could've taken Trinity all the way home and not done a mediocre and meager job. It was your responsibility to safeguard Trinity while in out of mine and my Grandma's care.' Trilogy reminded Matt, obviously late in the occasion for rules and regulations for going on a date with Trinity Stone.

'Yes, I understand what you mean Trilogy' I'm sorry for worrying you about your sister.'

'I accept you apology but it's not me you should be apologizing to.' Trilogy implied to Matt. Trilogy stepped back into his stream of hot water. After rinsing one last time, Trilogy turned the dial to off and motioned to exit the room, but stopped directly behind Matt.

'And Matt,' Trilogy said behind Matt while reaching an arm over Matt's shoulder blade and resting his forearm against Matt's chest creating a vise on Matt's body and holding him in place. Trilogy let his legs relax letting much of his body weight don on Matt.

'Next time you go on a date with Trinity or any other girl: don't botch it up, okay?'

Trilogy was very close to Matt. To the others, physical contact wasn't taboo, but actually welcome: a trait Matt hadn't adopted yet, which Trilogy targeted vehemently. Matt could feel Trilogy's chest across his back and one of Trilogy's shins along his calf.

'Sure thing Tril. Thanks.' Matt said narrowly.

Trilogy stuck Matt chest gently twice.

'I'll see ya later buddy, okay?' remarked Trilogy as friendly as possible, as if nothing had happened between them.

'Yeah, see ya pal.' Matt answered.

And like that: the status quo returned and everything was peaceful between Trilogy and Matt. And Trilogy exited the shower room, hardly containing his laughter. Once out of sight, Trilogy couldn't contain the fun he had had, he chuckled and laughed until tears streamed down his face. It was obviously cruel what he had done to Matt, but he had it coming. Trilogy felt strange about how easy it was to change the atmosphere with Matt. One second it was a normal scene but then nervousness returned in another second. Shame plucked at his strings of ethics within him for what he did, but it passed momentarily. Matt was fine and everything was well.

Trilogy dried and dressed for the day as Matt still showered. Trilogy left the locker room, bag in hand, and returned to his car to grab his backpack and leave his bag in its place. But Matt wasn't alone in the locker room, someone was waiting aloof unbeknownst to Matt. He hid in the shadows, awaiting the time to ambush Matt.

After shampooing and soaping his body, Matt rinsed off and turned the dial to OFF. He walked to the rack and retrieved his black towel and raised it to his head drying his hair and face first.


Clank'

Matt yanked the towel off his head to the sudden sound as it was cacophony in the silence of the locker room.

'Hello,' Matt called out, 'anyone there?'

Nothing answered back.

Matt panned left then right out of the doorway of the shower room, hesitant to leave the openness of the room and enter the rows of lockers, but with the fright the room appeared more like a labyrinth then organize architecture. He dried again and walk to his gym bag with his towel caped over his back.

Cough'

'Trilogy, are you still here?' Matt yelled, 'This isn't funny Trilogy, I thought we finished this?' Matt looked down the halls of lockers and crept to his gym bag, nervously cautious around every corner. He reached his black Nike bag and reached in for some underwear.

'I'm not Trilogy.' Matt heard behind him at the end of the hall of lockers.

Matt whisked around, his towel billowing on his shoulders and saw a figure standing nonchalantly scrutinizing him. He seemed very slim and scrawny and therefore ectomorphically framed. His sepia wavy hair flowed left across his head and forehead along with jade eyes that seemed to glow as light pierced them. The shadows on his face showed how boney he was; all his facial features were distinct and precise. He wore a white shirt with the insignia of a phoenix, wings unfurled, escaping from a cloud of darkness. Above the phoenix's head and between the carpal wings, rested a red disk outlined in black. Within the disk, black swirling strings hazed around a triple spiral formation all in a red background. His pants were dark denim, which were somewhat tight along with a white sweat band on his left wrist. He appeared about Matt's age, maybe younger, and possibly a student at Ocean Front.

'Who are you?' Matt questioned, 'Were you the one making the sounds?'

'Yes that was me,' the stranger answered calmly, 'and you may call me Midnight.'

'Midnight? That's not a name it's'never mind'do you need something Midnight?' Matt asked, caught very off guard by his visitor and didn't know how to act.

'Well actually I have to keep this brief, so I am glad you brought that up.' He raised his hand and pointed to Matt as he said it. He continued,

'I was wondering if you could:'' a strange feeling surpassed Matt's body. He could feel the air escaping him as his lung expanded and deflated without his control. His joints began to twitch in the slightest manner as his muscles constricted beyond management. He continued in a different tone, one of authority and influence, 'Turn around and face the lockers, please.'
His eyes somehow glowed bright with a dark forest green and Matt felt his legs moving, on their own accord, turning himself facing the lockers. Matt attempted to struggle against the overwhelming power of his body, but to no avail. It felt as if he were a marionette tethered to invisible strings of manipulation to the stranger called Midnight.

'What are you doing to me?' Matt demanded harshly while turning.

'Me? I'm doing nothing. You're the one 'doing it'.' Midnight replied in the clich' of studying his fingernails with utmost apathy.

Matt's skin scorched to his resistance in his malleability. His muscles and bones ached as each struggle sent tremors of pain throughout his body.

'What do you want?' Matt shouted, 'What do you want Midnight!'

Matt rippled in pain and gnashed his teeth as once again he tried moving his body from its steadfast and stubborn twirling to the lockers. He gasped for air in his efforts and could feel drool skimming down his cheeks. Wave after wave of spasms ravaged his body until Matt could barely keep calm as claustrophobia clawed at his trachea as his body moved into a stance uncontrolled unto himself.

'I just need your help with an errand. Don't get all huffy about. Now don't resist Matt, it will only hurt worse.' Midnight responded, but Matt didn't listen, his face contorted into a knot of pain.

'Adamant aren't we?' Midnight replied while picking at his bottom lip.

Matt now stood helpless and fragile only to move at the whim of Midnight and facing the interweave doors of the metal lockers.

'That's a good boy, Matt.' Midnight congratulated as he approached Matt, 'Now if you don't mind, I have to remove this towel on your back.'

Matt felt the towel slip off his back and could only move his eyes to see the towel dwindle to the ground by his feet.

'Do you see this?' Midnight asked holding a long wooden prism in front of Matt's face. It seemed old, hand crafted and eight sided. Midnight opened the box at a hatch and showed a scroll rolled up with in the prism.

'Do you see?' Midnight asked again.

'Yes,' replied Matt, barely able to utter words.

'Good,' Midnight said as he retracted the flask back behind Matt. He continued,

'Inside is a letter I need you to deliver.' Midnight explained.

'To whom?' Matt asked thinking frantically of how to escape; to somehow get away from the Midnight personage.

'Don't worry about that. Now this is going to feel a little'unpleasant, ah, who I am kidding? It'll be painful, but don't worry; your body will heal itself immediately afterwards, no matter what happens. Are you ready Matt?'

'What are you doing?' Matt required.

'Why should I tell you when I can show you'wait a minute, no, when I can'help you 'experience it'yeah I think that sounds right.' Midnight said from behind Matt.

'Now if you'll hold on for a minute.' Midnight reached into his pocket and fished around pulling out a piece of folding paper. He unfolded the paper and said,

'I'm sorry this is going to take a minute, and I'm sorry you have to do this naked, but it seemed the most opportune moment. Anyway, this is an old incantation and I don't even do magic on a regular basis nor did I create this; I'm just following the note.' Midnight explained. This confused Matt for unknown reasons because he knew not why Midnight was here.

'Magic?' Matt interjected to the absurd idea of magic.

'Please Matt, I'm trying to concentrate.' Midnight snapped.

The wood made contact with Matt's back. It caressed vertically along with Matt's spine; two parallel columns, with one soon to pass over the other.

Midnight cleared his throat,

'The winds of four seasons glide through a flowered field

Suns and moons cross the sky leaving trails of time

Fire works burst in the eyes of the volcano as lava oozes on.'

Matt had no idea what Midnight was saying nor doing. Pusillanimous and frightened of something with no name, Matt's struggle became violent. Midnight went on,

'The earth summons forth its mountains and hills to sing

Ocean waves crash against the clouds conjuring mist

The moon shatters dwindling snow universally

Nine souls tear open the flesh to conceal mine hidings, now!'

A massive earthquake erupted from Matt's body with the epicenter starting at his back where the wood touched his skin. Midnight pressed the wooden canister forcefully against his skin and then the canister penetrated that skin using colossal power. Matt gasped for breath as Midnight firmly permeated the canister deeper and deeper into Matt's body. Intense pressure crushed Matt's body as he heard cracks where his bones in his feet and hands where breaking. His left hand dislocated from the energy emitted from the disturbing procedure. Matt eyes dilated until his blue eyes became black and stoic like dolls eyes. As the pain became insuperable, Matt began to wonder if the pain would ever cease and that a sempiternal feeling of torture would overshadow him forever.

'One sec, I'm almost done. Don't fidget.' Midnight comforted as Matt's body began to spasm on the verge of a seizure.

Matt screamed in agony as Midnight pulled his wrist and hand out of his back leaving the flask within Matt. The canister was now apart of Matt's body for if fit in like a hand in a glove; His organs, of course, made accommodations for their new visitor. At once Matt collapsed on the floor, sweat drenched and wheezing. He touched his left hand which was fine now and in its proper location and all his broken bones had mended instantly.

'What happened?' Matt rasped.

'Like I said, I just need you to run a little errand for me. That's all. Was it that so bad?' Midnight mused.

'What did you do to me?' Matt ordered.

'Nothing really, you're just smuggling a little note for me now. Don't worry. Now if you'd be a doll and look at me Matt, I'll relieve you of this bizarre reminiscence.' But Matt's head stooped in misery and frustration. Midnight sighed in agitation, 'Hey Matt! Hold on there buckaroo.' He snapped loudly at Matt several times attempting to recapture his attention. 'Fine if you won't look at me then I'll look at you.' Then Midnight clenched Matt's chin and lifted his head and stared into Matt's normal cerulean eyes. Midnight's eyes once again shinned dark green. Matt blinked inconsistently then a blank stare donned his face, manifesting the daze he was trapped in. Midnight let go of Matt's head, which drooped downward, and tip toed around the corner of lockers, while Matt lay slouched on the ground trapped in a mental bewilderment. Then he awoke,

'Oh, my head' Matt said blankly.

Midnight rounded the corner quickly as his prey stirred into awareness,

'Hey man, are you okay?'

'What'where'who are you?' Matt couldn't focus.

'I just walked in and found you on the floor; I think you slipped on some soap, man.'

'Oh,' replied Matt weakly.

'Here, let me help you up.' Midnight offered.

Midnight grabbed Matt's arm and hoisted him up, wrapping Matt's arm around his shoulders and back then with Midnight's other hand clasped Matt's hip to further support him becoming a human crutch. He helped walk Matt to a bench then set him down next to his gym bag.

'Are you going to be okay?' asked Midnight.

'I think I will. I must've hit my head or something.'

'Okay well I'm just getting something from my locker here. You get dressed and holler if you need anything, okay man?'

'I, I will, thank you'uh' what's your name?' Matt replied.

'Oh, my name is Steve.' Midnight lied.

'Thanks Steve, I owe you one.' Matt promised.

Matt dressed slowly but surely and left the locker with some assistance from Midnight. Together they walked out of the PE building where Matt finally regained enough strength to walk alone.

'I'll see ya around Steve.' Matt said.

'Ditto.' Midnight remarked nodding his head, 'Hey, if you still feel woozy, go and see the school nurse, okay.'

'I'll do that, thanks again.' Matt said with gratitude for his old assailant and new friend.

Matt walked away to the parking lot wobbling this way and that. Once far enough away, a female entity walked out the doors of the PE building behind Midnight. She had mud brown Hime hair which cascaded down to her mid-back in a perfect straight stream with absolutely no ripples. Her smile was a ruby crescent moon as crimson donned her lips. Her chocolate eyes were the shape of lily petals, perfectly elliptical. Her figure was a flawless hourglass as if someone had sculpted her body and actually poured sand within her; all of which accented her light-brown skin. She was clad in a slim black hooded shirt with denim pants tighter than Midnight's with black converse shoes. Her whole persona emitted a pulchritude which seemed impervious of fade and remain everlasting.

'Everything go as planned?' She inquired approaching Midnight. Her hands were enveloped in the hooded shirt pouch.

'Besides the feeling that I should've bought him a drink first, it went pretty well.' Midnight replied bowing his head in hilarity.

'So we'll release the charm when he's with Trilogy then?' She presumed.

'Yup, that's the idea Rainfall.' Midnight assured her.

'Did you have any trouble with the spell? You know, the Enchantress wrote it long ago for concealing dangerous letters.' Rainfall revealed and questioned. She moved to his side and faced him.

'It was a little tough to pierce the skin, but after that it was quiet simple.' Midnight answered.

'I saw how much pain he was in, he looked liked you were ripping out his spine.'

'You saw him? Gee, have you ever heard of privacy. He would have been really embarrassed if he saw you' or if you came in to help him.' Midnight joked.

'We should have done that, he would've freaked.' Rainfall agreed with a smile.

'That would've been too cruel.' Midnight sighed, 'Now we just wait for him and Trilogy to meet.' Midnight added.

'Fantastic, and when will that be?' Rainfall questioned.

'That's already taken care of actually; we didn't even have to do anything too? Can you dig it?'

'Awesome possum.' Rainfall agreed raising her eyebrows lightly.

Matt arrived in the parking lot and opened his truck and threw his gym bag on the bench seat then grabbed his backpack with five minutes until school started. Grabbing his phone, he flipped it open like switch blade and scheduled a time that day when he would go over to Trinity's and apologize.

And hopefully, Trilogy would be there to see the gesture.





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