The FamilyI turned for the forest, despite protests. When I got in the foliage was almost choking off you air. It completely surrounded you and all the happiness that you could see from outside was strained out as you got deeper and deeper. The farther you got the more the bushes had spikes and thorns. After calling her name a million times, about, I heard something in the bushes. I turned, sword and hand and called out one more time for her. suddenly she burst out of a tree and hugged me and started crying madly. “Oh Rachna you’re ok! Thank goodness! Thank the goddesses! You’re alive!”
I hugged her back and it felt good to see my big sister again. After she was done crying, I asked her, “Why aren’t you out there, with the others?”
“I’ve been here almost all the time, I was ashamed because this was all my fault. if I had just listened to you in the first place we wouldn’t be here.”
“Kinita! Never feel that way! You know that’s not true.”
“I know but-“
“No! Come with us! Come!”
She sighed and smiled a little, and we raced back. When we got back my sisters cheered. Then we had a huge hug, which we ended up falling and laughing. “Come on you guys! Come back to Earth with me!” I said as we went over to the door and they all stopped dead and looked at me like I was crazy.
“We can’t, Rachna. We’re dead, we aren’t allowed back on earth,” Linya said.”
I started laughing and they were asking me with their eyes what was wrong, “You guys never studied anything, did you!” I laughed some more and started explaining. “We’re immortals, we can’t actually die. Your souls only get sent down here, your bodies are waiting upstairs! You just need one of the Judges to let you go!”
I kept laughing as they slowly started to understand, “So you have gotten us out by winning a swordfight with a Spirit…”
“Yep, and I did, so come on! Let’s go!” so then they stepped out, and we were back to the long and winding hallway, with Jeru. The first thing Kinita did, was punch Jeru. I laughed harder than I think I’ve ever laughed before. “That’s for messing with my sister.”
We laughed harder as he got up with his bloody nose and watched as it healed. He wiped away the blood and silently, probably listening to me tell my sister what happened and how short it was and how exhilarating and how amazing it felt afterwards. We made our way down the hallway till we got to another door, but it was huge with a enormous brass lock on an at least three feet think steel door. When Jeru opened the door he smiled, and me and my sisters gasped.
It was like one huge machinery, with people covered in black mud and ripped clothes. They were pulling these huge wheel that must have weighed three thousand pounds and had ten people per, but it wasn’t enough. There were tigers prancing around them, shouting orders. They were harsh, and would scratch the person if they weren’t satisfactory, or if they were just bored. They all looked eternally tired. It was like you were stuck in a volcano when you stepped in. The wall were glowing red and black. There were so many people, even for a big room, it was overflowing. I could barely see anything, but I was disgusted with what I saw. “JARED NASH! FRONT AND CENTER,” I heard Jeru yell, but I could barely hear it over the squeaks and squeals of metal rubbing against each other.
Suddenly, from somewhere far away, a very athletic handsome boy ran up, cover in soot from head to toe with only a couple spots where you could see the brown of his clothes. He didn’t see me at first, my sisters and me where still too afraid to step in the place. It was so gruesome and appalling, and against everything we believed in, we couldn’t. But when I saw Jared I got over excited, I ran towards him and hugged him. He seemed extremely surprised at first, then hugged me back. It felt good to have him in my arms again, the he leaned away and smiled. Then he kissed me. It had felt like forever since I had. It was like heaven all over again.
Jeru’s throat must have been really blocked, because he kept coughing. Once we finally walked outside, all my sisters were staring wide-eyed at us. I had forgotten to tell them this whole time! I just laughed and said, “Jeru, one last thing.”
He nodded small and I swore I saw tear, but he faced away too fast and sped off in the other direction. The whole time I asked Jared about how it felt. And he seemed really depressed as he explained it to me briefly, “Well, without you it felt like forever, and guess since time is slower down there it really was. Every hour up here is three days down there. With thirty-two hour days, we’re exhausted, but it doesn’t end. We have to pull the machinery and work with the beasts for two days straight, then you sleep on top of the hardest, coldest thing ever, I bet it’s not even on earth. But it’s like sleeping on ice that doesn’t melt, and you only get two hours! Then they force you take showers, while standing on hot coals and acid coming down, but the acid, it doesn’t leave a mark, it just burns your soul and all you feel is pain. And some of the people there…”
He shivered and I knew he didn’t want to talk about it. It was hard to comfort him when he towered above me, but I tried. I held him close and so did he. I cursed at Jeru in my head, and as we made our way back down the hall, I almost felt myself cry but wouldn’t let my self. Once we made it down to the end, he opened a door, and we were back in Perisu’s office. I was still holding onto Jared, and I had to pry him off to talk to Perisu. I whispered to Jared, “I just got one more thing, then I’ll be right back.”
Jared looked at me, frightened that I would be away so long. But Kinita came and pulled him back. He kept staring at me, and I nodded but it didn’t give him any reassurance. Now he probably hated all Spirits. Even Half-Spirits, even though he was one. I hope that wasn’t the case.
When I stepped up, with full confidence, I put it simply, “My powers. Now.”
Perisu sighed and nodded and grumbled as lazily got up from his leather chair. He still had on the dark leather jacket, dark wash jeans, and sunglasses. I took a deep breath and I felt him touch my forehead slightly then bring his hand back and go over to sit down. All I felt was lightness. When I opened my eyes, I realized I was floating and forced myself back on the ground and I smiled. I turned to Jared. He was too frightened to smile, since he just saw the who enslaved him for must have been gone for a week in the time down there, touch me. He must have been revolted but as soon as I got my unlimited powers back I went straight back to him. He held me closer and whispered, asking me if I was okay. “Better then ever.”
He looked around and then I made a turn and suddenly, we were walking back out into the sunshine from a tree. When we were out, it was like heaven, except this had an actual sun and sky. The sun was blinding at first. Then it focused and we realized that were back in our moms’ garden. The Aunt’s giggled then everyone ran to their mother except Jared and me. We walked over to my mom Tini and watched as she hugged Kinita.
Everyone was overjoyed, and I wished it could stay this happy forever.