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The Afterlife of Faylene Harps
Author's note: I really hope you guys love reading this piece as much as I enjoy writing it! :)
A girl stood at the corner in angst. Her best friend Colt Brenner was late to the bus stop again. She had already held the bus for him twice. If he was late again the bus would leave without him, and he would have to run two miles to school. Not that he couldn’t do it, and make it school on time it’s just that he would burn energy later for basketball practice. All of a sudden a boy ran out the front door of a row home down the street. He’s got dirty blond hair that compliments his face perfectly, a fair complexion with rosy cheeks and big ocean blue eyes that sparkled in the light. He was built tall and strong, basically your typical hot jock.
The girl had heard many a time how Colt Brenner was by far the hottest guy in the 11th grade, not to mention the school, how she was living every girl’s dream, being his best friend and that they would probably end up dating because they were so perfect for each other. She just rolled her eyes. In her eyes Colt would be nothing more than a friend. At that moment he ran up to her, huffing and puffing.
“Hey Fay, am I late?” he said, his head in-between his knees in exhaustion.
“Yeah, about five minutes, but that’s five minutes less then yesterday. I mean I’m sure any competent athlete could do better . . .”she said looking away from him.
“Are you saying I’m not a good athlete?”
“Well . . .yeah.” Fay replied.
“You’ll never beat me if you have those baggy clothes on, forget to brush your hair, and yeah. To be honest, you forgot deodorant.”
“At least you didn’t say I smell . . .” he said optimistically.
“No, but I implied it.” she responded, smiling all the while. Colt just looked at her. Fay was always clean cut, and looked perfectly well presented in the mornings. She was about as tall as Colt was, a little over 5’8, had long, shiny, smooth, and wavy brown hair, she had big brown eyes that shined through her skin which was a little on the pale side. She was strong, and healthy looking but only because she plays three sports at once. Colt observed her friend carefully from her long legs in her jeans to the plaid flannel shirt, to her hair which was down and looked super long.
However while Colt just stared at her, Fay noticed something behind Colt a woman stood in the middle of the street, staring straight ahead. She seemed to be lost in thought, as if her mind were in another place. She was ghastly pale, winkled from head to toe, had a hunchback, and her eyes were glazed over as if she were deathly ill. She was standing right at the end of the street where it met the main road. However she had her back turned to the main road and was looking down the street as if scanning each row home.
“I’ll be right back . . .” Fay mumbled, as she stepped off the curb and into the street.
“Fay, where are you going? Fay?” Colt asked. However Fay had to talk to this woman to see if she was alright. If Colt had any sense he would follow her but he was acting as if she wasn’t there. However Fay’s mind wasn’t on her confused best friend, but on the strange old woman standing in the middle of the road. Fay approached her, but the woman didn’t acknowledge her existence.
“Mam? Are you okay? Mam?” Fay asked. The woman still looked straight ahead. Fay stared at her for a long moment, unsure of what to do. All of a sudden the woman’s head snapped to look at her with terrifying speed. It made Fay jump back three feet. Then she screamed. It was the loudest, most terrifying blood curdling scream Fay had ever heard. It wasn’t a sound any normal old woman could make.
“YOU CAN HELP ME!!!! . . . . YOU CAN HELP ME!!!! . . . FIND THOMAS!!!! . . . HELP ME FIND THOMAS!!!!” she moaned in-between the screams. She approached Fay while screaming, their faces only inches apart, her loud voice coming so close to hers. Fay tried to cover her ears but it was as if the sound went through the tiniest cracks in her fingers and to her ears. Over and over again she said “FIND THOMAS!! FIND THOMAS!!!” All of a sudden Colt was there. In an instant he had his arms around her, pulling her backwards until they both fell back onto the concrete. The bus zoomed around the corner and stopped right where she was standing.
“Oh my God, Fay! What was that? You scared the hell out of me! I thought you where committing suicide! Or going nuts in any case . . .” Colt shouted at her as he helped Fay to her feet. However his tone softened. She did not even realize it, but Fay had been crying the whole time the lady had been screaming. Tears now stained her face and made her mascara run. The bus driver came out of the bus. She was young, no more than thirty, and looked scared.
“Hey, are you kids alright?” she asked worriedly, rushing over. Colt looked at Fay who was awkwardly wiping the tears away.
“Yeah . . .yeah, I’m fine.” Fay replied, sniffling.
“Good. Now you know better than that. I’m going to have to report this incident. There may be consequences.”
“Right, I understand. I deserve them. I’m sorry.” Fay admitted, although she had no idea what she was sorry for.
“Good.” The bus driver replied, turning and heading back to the bus. Colt was about to follow when Fay stopped him in his tracks.
“Did you see that lady standing in the middle of the road?” she asked quietly, letting the question slip out before she could stop it.
“What lady? What are you talking about?” Fay could tell he was being honest. Colt had a funny little eyebrow twitch when he lied. As far as the eyebrow told, Colt wasn’t lying.
“Oh my God . . .” Fay mumbled to herself.
“Look Fay, Maybe you don’t feel well. Why don’t you go home?” he asked.
“No, I’ll be okay. I need to be around people to take my mind off of it.” Fay replied. As she said this the bus driver poked her head out the window and looked impatiently at Colt and Fay. The two were standing so close and talking so quietly that they looked as though they were professing their love for each other.
“Are you two love birds coming to school or what?” she shouted out the window. Fay and Colt looked at each other and took two awkwardly long steps backwards. At that moment everyone on the bus cheered and both Colt and Fay got seriously red. Then finally, they both got on the bus.
~ ~ ~ ~
Teenagers streamed in the front doors of Skipton High School like a great procession. It was hard to drown or get lost in the shuffle. However Fay never tried to stick with a group of people. She navigated the halls easily, gliding by people as if she were a ghost in the night. Being a 5th degree black belt can give you that skill.
She came up to her locker and fumbled with the lock. It always took her three times before she could actually get her combination right and open the lock. One of the things she was bad at, remembering. Fay fumbled with the books in her hand, switching them out for the books she needed for her morning classes. Finally she reached for a history notebook.
All of a sudden a small piece of paper fluttered out of her history notebook and onto the floor. She knelt down to retrieve it. Immediately she noticed it was different then a normal piece of paper. It looked older, because the color was an off white instead of a pure white. To the touch it was less pliable, as if she couldn’t bend it without breaking. Lastly the edges were burnt, making the paper look like a demented circle. It was turned face down on the ground. Slowly she picked up the note and turned it over. On the other side there was a faint cursive handwriting, barely readable. Fay squinted, and focused on the writing.
We have seen your incredible progress over the last few years in your physical and mental abilities. It is time for your training. Come to Club Afterlife at midnight on Saturday to learn your true identity. All will be revealed to you once you get there. See you soon.
Fay reread the note over and over on the ground. The bell rang, and the hallway cleared and she was still on the ground. Was this a joke? Could the strange things that were happening to Fay all the time be explained just by one night at Skipton’s notorious rough night club?
Over the years Fay had many experiences with the super natural. She always heard creepy noises, moaning whispers, and heavy footsteps. The old woman she saw topped it all. Fay had no idea why she saw, and heard these things. By then she thought she was going insane. How could she explain these things to her best friend Colt? Could it all be explained, or was she going nuts? Finally after five long minutes of thought, sitting on the ground in the hallway, Fay stood, walked over to the trash can, and threw the note away. There was absolutely no way that the note was real. It was just a clever prank. Fay never realized how wrong she was until it was too late.
That week past like any other boring week in the spring. All you do is tell yourself you’re one week closer to the summer to suppress your overflowing boredom. Fay was counting down the days until she could go Maryland for her family’s annual vacation with the Brenners. It was the highlight of her entire summer. Alone with Colt for the entire week, It was every girl’s dream apparently.
On Saturday there was a sharp rapping at Fay’s door. It was later in the day, so Fay read her bible, Little Women. Fay sighed and walked from the living room, into the little hall in-between the living room wall and the stairs, and walked up to the front door. She opened it, and standing there was Colt dressed in dark jeans and a white t-shirt. Underneath you could see his muscles protruding forward but Fay ignored that. He pulled her out the stoop of her doorstep and out onto the porch.
“Fay! Come downtown with me! Sharp Sugar is playing!” he said excitedly. As soon as Fay heard the words Sharp Sugar she dropped the book onto the cold concrete floor.
Sharp Sugar is both Colt, and Fay’s favorite local band. They play music that has a classic rock mix, with a hint of Indie punk. Fay and Colt can’t get enough of it. Throngs of fans used to come and watch them play. However when they hit a recording deal from a major record label they left Skipton. Now, they hardly played in Skipton anymore, so when they do come back it’s a rare spectacle.
“Wait here!” Fay said loudly. She ran in her house and up the stairs. From there she ran down the small hallway and into her room. She threw on dark skinny jeans, and light cotton tang top, high tops, a long necklace, and pulled her hair down. It fell in waves along her shoulders. Then she ran back down the stairs, and left a note for her mom in the kitchen.
“Five minutes, that’s pretty good.” Colt said grinning.
“Shut up, and lets go.” Fay ordered, and together they turned and ran down the sidewalk of Main Road.
Downtown Skipton was not too far from their street of row homes. All you had to do was run down the sidewalk of Main Road to Bridge Street and you where there. All of Bridge Street was shut down for the event. The stage for Sharp Sugar was set up in one of the parking lots next to Club Afterlife. It seemed so reverberate the base through the walls and into Bridge Street itself. Behind it was a small alley also leading into the parking lot. It separated Club Afterlife, and the down town from the backyards of annoyed residents. Throngs of people surrounded the stage, so to get close Fay and Colt would have to fight their way past them.
They came down to the parking lot and made their way past lawn chairs, street performers, and food sellers to get to the stage. There was a huge, tightly packed crowd that surrounded the stage, singing along to the words of the band.
“As my heart will go on
As will yours in the end
And the words of the angel
Whisper loud in my head.”
They sang as Colt, and Fay fought so hard to get close, and to stay close. They wove and dodged in and out of people. They avoided fights, flying objects, and drunken men just to get closer. Finally they were so close they could reach out and touch the feet of the lead singer Leon Macy. Once they were there Colt looked at Fay, tired and sweaty, looked at each other as if to say we did it. Together they jumped up and down, dancing to the music along with the other freaks and weirdos of the town.
“And death will reign in the end
There’s nothing more to say my friends
But lay pass away all the pain
To open to another day.”
Everyone there all sang the famous words. It was as if all the troubles in Colt, and Fay’s life seemed to trickle away as they danced. They let all their toiled mixed emotions through the dance, letting the music carry them, control their bodies.
During the dance, Colt stopped and stood rigid for a split second. Fay gave him a concerned look but he shrugged it off, as he tried to tell her he was okay, but the music was so loud it was hard to hear anything.
At eleven the concert was finally done. People started to trickle away to their cars, tired and happy while other go-getters held out for autographs. They stood, leaning against the stage, just in hope that Leon Macy would glance at them once. Colt was one of those people, waiting in anticipation, while Fay stood a good twenty feet away watching him. She loved the way he gawked over the bands he liked, especially Sharp Sugar. She also loved the way his eyes sparkled when he was passionate about something. There always seemed like there was something there, between them. However the boundaries of a different kind of love, friendship, always got in the way.
Colt started to pace as Leon Macy still packed up his things. Fay was sitting on the ground watching everything all around her. All of a sudden, out of the corner of her eye, she saw something. It was a shadow, no, a silhouette of man standing behind Club Afterlife. It didn’t move but stayed there. It looked as though it were facing her, staring directly at her. A part of her wanted to go over there and find out what or who it was, the other wiser part told her to stay put.
As Fay battled these feelings a huge crowd of fans ran up from behind her to the stage screaming out Sharp Sugar’s names and lyrics. It was a random mob of screaming fans. Fay had to stand quickly or get trampled by all of them. They pushed her around, to one side then the other, and made her squeeze into the tiniest spaces. She tried to make her way out but this crowd was aggressive. They pushed and shoved, and were violent. They started to push and yank her over to the left as more people came and flooded in. Colt was now nowhere in sight. She screamed his name over and over but her words flooded the ears of people who could care less about what she had to say.
Finally someone pushed Fay out of the crowd, and onto the cold, unforgiving concrete. Now the entrance to Afterlife was right in front of her, and so was the scary looking silhouette. It still had rapt attention on her, so she refused to look at it. Bruised and broken, she stood, wiping off the dirt, dust, and sweat from the hands of other people off of herself. She sighed. Fay had to find Colt and get home before midnight or her mom would kill her. All of a sudden the silhouette of a man, or a boy, a teenager, came forward into the street lights of the parking lot. She saw his face. He had a deep tan, big brown eyes, and long thick wavy black hair. He was the only other boy she had ever seen her age that was more attractive then Colt Brenner. He came up to her, so by instinct she stepped back.
“Faylene Harps?” he asked.
“How do you know my name?” she snapped back.
“Relax I’m not here to hurt you. Only to make you an offer.”
“What kind of offer?” she asked, a little more curious.
“An offer to join our group, I assume you got our message.” Fay thought back a little bit, then it hit her.
“You sent the note?”
“Yes, and no. I didn’t send the note personally. Our group sent it to you. We want you join us. We think you could be a great help to our mission.” He replied.
“What’s the mission?” I asked. His expression grew contorted, and hard to read. He stared at Fay, who looked scared, however he was only looking through her to his own thoughts. There was a long moment of silence. Fay was about to ask what the heck was wrong but he cut in as she opened her mouth to speak.
“Look, you’ll have to come with me before I explain, only because I doubt you’ll believe me here.” He answered. Fay gave him a skeptical look. He just shrugged, and waited for her answer. It went against every instinct Fay ever had about strangers but she oddly felt that she was able to trust this guy. She didn’t know if it was her hormones speaking, because he was gorgeously hot, or the fact that the whole situation intrigued her. However something told her she should go. In the end, it was right. Fay nodded, and he smiled beckoning her forward.
Fay followed him to the back of Club Afterlife. They walked into the alley behind it, and surveyed the land around them. Graffiti, stains, potholes, and dirt covered it. The back of the club was a brick wall, with a mural on it at big as the back of the truck. There was a small back door leading into the club. On the other side of the alley there was a fence blocking off the properties of the row homes behind it.
Together Fay and the boy walked down the dark alleyway. Loud music and thumping of feet streamed out of Club Afterlife. The rest of the street was dead silent. They walked by the office buildings next to Club Afterlife. They were in row home type buildings, ugly and gray. However all Fay and Beck could see was the road at the end. It seemed like they were going to get to the road, when all of a sudden the boy stopped. Fay stopped too.
“What?” Fay asked, for she neither heard, nor saw anything. The boy stared straight ahead, looking off into space again. All of a sudden four figures appeared at the end of the street and started walking towards them at a rapid pace. Fay started stepping back, while the boy stayed put. He stared at them fiercely, like a hawk stalking its prey.
“What are you doing here?” the boy asked. By now they were only a good twenty feet away from the boy and Fay. Their silhouettes
began to form actual bodies.
“Our prize.” several grating voices whispered in unison. They stepped into the light. Their skin was pasty white, their teeth were jagged fangs, and their eyes had a glaze over them. Only one thought reached Fay’s mind when she saw them, vampires. They stared directly at Fay who was off to the side of the boy. There was a long pause where no one moved. Slowly the boy reached into his back pocket.
All of a sudden all four vampires charged at Fay. As soon as she saw them coming she screamed and protected her center. Meanwhile the boy jumped in front of Fay blocking the vampire’s path. From his back pocket he whipped out a small metal circle, a dial that had several settings. Quickly he flipped it to the word vampire and pressed the dial. All of a sudden the vampires stopped and covered their ears, screaming in agony. It was screaming that no human could make, like the woman in the street. Fay looked at the boy in amazement. He turned back to her and smiled.
Then he pulled out something that looked like, and was shaped like a pocket knife. He flicked his wrist with it, however instead of s small knife flipping out a small wooden knife came out. The edges where engraved in silver. He pressed a small button in the center of it. All of a sudden the knife grew until it became a real full sized sword. He looked at his opponents, who were trying to get their bearings, and attacked.
He slashed down on the first one who was hunched over in agony. As soon as the wood touched his body he disintegrated, his ashes falling to the ground. He slashed at the second, while the third and fourth charged at him from the left. In an instant he spun to the left, letting the first charge by, and decapitating the last. It screamed as it disintegrated. However the other two had a clear shot at Fay who watched the boy in amazement. They ran at her at an alarming speed. She tried to scream and run but she knew that wouldn’t help. She readied her stance.
They came at her from both sides. She charged forward at them, extending her arms, punching both of them in the gut. They seemed un-phased and went for her arms. She tore her arm out of the grip of one, while kicking the head of the other who leaned down to bite her on the arm. That one fell over while the other went for her again. This time the boy was there. He stuck his wooden sword straight through its back. It’s disintegrated with a look of surprise on its face. Then the boy spun while the other one tried to stand, but it was met by the wooden sword. Its ashes fell to the road as its scream fell away. Fay looked at the boy who slowly drew his sword back, and made it shrink back to its original size.
“What the hell was that?” Fay asked. “Were those vampires?”
“No, they were demons, in the form of vampires. They’re one of the upper class demons under the hunter.” He replied. Fay gave him a confused look. So he sighed and tried to explain again when all of a sudden more people appeared near them. There were two girls, and two guys who were all Fay’s age, and a sweet looking older gentleman.
“We got a call that there were vampires.” One girl said, running to the boy’s side, taking hold of his arm. She was as tall as he was, and really lanky. Her hair was shagged in a mullet, and jet black with streaks of red all through it. She was pretty, with big hazel eyes, and fair skin, but it was as if the boy, Beck, had failed to notice. “Are you alright Beck?”
“I’m fine, now get off.” He snapped back, shrugging his arm. The other girl looked dejected as the boy, Beck, went to Fay’s side. “The question is, are you alright.” She looked up at him and smiled.
‘I’m fine.” She said nodding. He smiled back at her. The other girl glared at her fiercely as if imagining all the horrible, twisted things she could do to Fay. However Fay didn’t even notice. She was lost in the eyes of Beck. The old man, rolled his eyes, and pushed back aside snapping Fay out of her trance.
“Hi, Faylene Harps? My name is Wolf Bonds. How are you?” he said, extending his hand. Fay jumped, snapping out of her trance, but as soon as she laid eyes on the old man she couldn’t help but smile. I mean he didn’t seem that old. His hair was a blackish gray, cut short, his eyes big and gray matched his hair and his equally kind face. He was wearing a fresh tailored suit, top hat, and walked with a cane. It looked as though his left leg hurt him severely every time he put weight on it.
“Yes, and I’ve had better days. How about yourself?” Fay asked, gesturing to his leg. He looked at it and laughed.
“Oh that’s nothing sweet child. Don’t you worry your pretty little head about it.” He said, patting her cheek. She couldn’t help but smile at him. A short pause came, than he spoke again, more serious now. “So has Beck told you about our organization?”
“Well yes and no. I’ve been making some guesses.” Fay replied. The old man Wolf looked at Beck who gave him an apologetic look. He sighed and turned back to Fay.
“Well I applaud you for your bravery Faylene. Most girls could not handle a situation like that with vampires, and stay as strong and as put together as you did.” He said.
“You can just call me Fay.” Fay cut in. A short silence followed so Fay broke it. “And thanks.”
“No my dear, you’re the one who should be thanked. Those vampires had been giving us trouble for days. It’s was about time we sent them back to the abyss.” He said. Now Fay was more confused than ever. Wolf looked at her, and noticed her confusion.
“I know your confused my dear, so let me answer questions. By the end I’m sure you’ll understand. Okay?”
“Alright.” Fay answered, however she sounded unsure of herself.
“Well I’m going to start with our organization. We are something along the lines of ghost hunters my dear. Have you ever heard anything, or seen anything weird over the past few years?” he asked. Thinking of the woman, the noises, and the footsteps, Fay nodded.
“Well that’s your sight developing my dear. It allows you to see beyond what the human eye can see to perceive the image of ghosts. However we prefer to use the term lost souls. Ghost is a term the hunter developed to create fear into humans that have partial sight. A lot of them do unfortunately but they cannot see the darker side of spirits, which is required to become a bridge. Do you understand sofar?” Fay nodded again, so Wolf continued.
“Our organization is called the Bridges. Our mission is a simple one. We track the lost souls of the world, for us its this area, and take them back to the haven. The haven is the light in which they need to enter to get to heaven. It’s like the heavenly gateway. However the task is not as simple as it seems. . .” This made Fay cringe. How hard could this job be? Something told Fay it was going to sound much worse by the end.
“You see the first problem is that the souls can be visible to those with the sight unless they want to be visible.” Wolf said.
“They can un-detected for generation by the bridges until it’s too late, and get taken into the abyss, or dissipate. If they get taken into the abyss then one of our own men, has to go into the abyss and attempt to retrieve that soul before it’s free will is replaced with evil. If it’s free will is removed and replaced by evil then it’s too late, the soul transforms into a demon and the person it once was disappears. Dissipating is a different matter entirely. You see Fay, on earth there is time, and with time comes age. So in effect soul’s age. The way they age is simple. They are stripped of their outer earthly appearance made into their true form, a whisper or a shadow. A whisper is something extremely delicate but unable to be disturbed by demons. They can find the light on their own. However a shadow needs to be dealt with immediately for they are a demon’s prime targets.” Already questions started to arise into Fay’s mind, making their way to her mouth before she could stop them.
“What differentiates a whisper or a shadow? How do we find whispers and shadows?” Fay asked.
“Whispers are souls that have an absolutely clean conscience my dear. All their sins were forgiven in their mortal life, and they are worthy to pass through the haven. Shadows are souls whose minds are plagued with guilt and sorrow. They can be free of that guilt of they enter the haven, however they must do it with absolutely no regrets, or wish for their previous life. The elderly are easy to pass through the haven, the young, not so much. As for catching these two things before they dissipate . . .will all be revealed to you during your training if you accept.” He’s leaving me hanging Fay thought to herself. He wants me to join because my curiosity wants me to find out more.
“The second problem is demons.” Wolf continued. “The hunter, or as he’s known on earth, the devil, sends his minions to retrieve certain souls that he think might be useful as demons to him later. There are many kinds of demons, however because the story needs to be short and sweet so I’ll just name the basic three, monsters, vampires, and werewolves. It sounds silly but these are the creatures the hunter uses to intimidate humans with. They will do anything in their power to stop our organization from retrieving those lost souls and take them to the haven. That’s why we recruit young people for our organization. We need strong fighters, good persuaders, and non-adults. Teenagers and children are less intimidating to spirits so they are more drawn to them. However only certain children are given the sight, it’s in their blood the day they are born. It’s tested for in every baby in every hospital. We are given a list once a month of children who have the sight through their bloodline. When you were born Fay I knew you would be a worthy person to our cause. So I am asking you this now in full hopes that you will accept my offer. Will you help us track the lost souls of the world?”
Fay thought for a moment, letting his words soak in. So all those weird things she thought were fake were actually real. That woman in the alleyway was real. Everything. It was too much to take in. She had so many questions already piling up.
“Wow, it’s just. Does my mom know? Should she know?” Fay asked. There was a long pause. Wolf sighed and looked away as if he was about to give bad news.
“Fay, I know your close to your mom, and have been ever since your dad left. I know it’s just you two in your row home. However she never knew anything about the Bridges and you can’t tell your mom about your bridge identity, I’m sorry. It’s as if you’re a secret agent for lost souls! It’s like your normal teenager by day, and by night you’re like a secret agent, searching for lost souls.” He replied. She sighed and looked away. It was too weird that these people so much about her, but she understood at the same. It was convincing her more than anything else, to trust these people and to join.
“I understand.” Fay said. A long pause followed, than Wolf finally spoke.
“So are you now in our group?” he asked. Fay paused. All that he said explained everything weird that happened to her, the strange noises, the creepy footsteps, and the woman. However the fact that she had to keep it a secret from her mom bothered her. They never had secrets. Not until now anyway.
“Yeah, I guess I am.” Fay said, sighing. Wolf smiled, and looked at the others who looked equally happy except for Torrin.
“So we might as well introduce to you the group. You see Fay everyone in the group has a special role they play in hunting, catching, and leading the lost souls to their havens. You will also have a specific role, but for now let me introduce you to the current members of our group.” He said, and gesturing to a girl who looked a ghastly pale, with really thin light brown hair, and really big hazel eyes. She didn’t look at Fay but instead looked at her own two feet in her converse. She leaned against the fence opposite the club, looking dour. Wolf gestured to her looking a little embarrassed she was even there. “That’s Celina our tracking expert.” She looked up at all of them, and smirked, then looked away again. “She’s a little shy.” Wolf said trying to cover for her behavior. “Once you get to know her you’ll find that she’s a sweetheart.” Fay just shrugged.
Then he looked over at two boys standing side by side near sour girl. One was black, had an afro, big brown eyes, and a charming smile. He was making the other boy laugh hysterically. The other boy was fair, had longish auburn hair, baby blue eyes, and boyish appearance.
“The boy who’s laughing so hard is Sol. He’s our weapons maker, and can kill a demon efficiently because he knows his weapons inside and out. The other boy is Edison. He’s our persuader. He can persuade any lost soul to go to the haven.” Wolf said. Then looking at the girl, Torrin, and the boy, Beck, standing opposite them, he gestured.
“That’s Beck, he’s great at classifying demons. Within a second of the sight of a demon he can classify it, know it’s strengths, and weaknesses, and whether it’s really dangerous or not.” Beck smiled at Fay and gave a little wave. She smiled back at him.
“The girl next to him is my daughter, and the best fighter on our team, Torrin.” He finished. Fay looked at the girl who eyed her warily, and tried to not look intimidated. However Fay realized that was an impossible task, and stepped back at her look. She smirked and turned away towards Beck as if she was going to say something to him in private. All of sudden she turned in a flash and stomped at Fay as if she was going to charge at her. Fay jumped back in surprise, tripped as she tried to catch herself, and fell to the ground with a thud. Torrin burst out laughing, and the others did too, even Celina who seemed as though she had no personality.
“Torrin!” Beck rebuked.
“What!? It’s fun to scare the newbies.” She said grinning darkly at Fay who was monumentally red. Wolf just had his head in his hands.
“Don’t you ever get tired of being the fun killer Beck?” Sol asked, laughing.
“Says the guy whose seventeen and can’t even watch a PG 13 movie.” Beck snapped back.
“Fair enough.” Sol said, putting his hands up in the air and walking away. Beck glared at him darkly. Wolf just rolled his eyes as they all started to argue, and went to help Fay up.
“Are you alright? I’m sorry, sometimes they’re like a pack of wolves. They single you out until you make your place known.” He said, extending a hand to Fay. She gratefully took it, stood and brushed off.
“Don’t worry about it. I’m in High School. I have plenty of experience with that.” Fay answered. Wolf smiled.
“Now, since you have accepted the offer. We will come find you when the time is right to begin your training.” Wolf said. Fay nodded. “And remember this, now that you know you have the sight the lost souls will be on you like moths to a bright light. If one of them dares approach you and attack you say "go under the bridge." That’s the only way they’ll leave you alone until we have gotten you in training. Do you understand?” Fay nodded.
“Good. We must be off for now. Until next time.” He said, smiling at her. She nodded. He turned to the others who were arguing with surprising ferocity. He barked at them to stop and follow. They did so, with heads down as if they disobeyed their master. Fay vowed that she would not end up like that. They started to walk down the street away from the club. Fay watched them go, and as soon as they reached the end, they vanished in a flash of light. She stood in the empty alley, gaping.
“I got to learn how to do that.” Fay mumbled to herself as she walked back down the alley to the parking lot.
“I can’t believe Leon Macy himself signed my CD!” Colt exclaimed as they walked back home. He was about to speak again when Fay interrupted she had seen. She wondered if telling Colt was forbidden. However if they didn’t want her to tell her own mother what was going on then Fay doubted that they’d let her tell Colt, aka the biggest blabber mouth on the face of this earth.
“Good for you Colt. You should hang it up in your room.” Fay said happily, however her words sounded kind of hollow from her pure exhaustion. He looked at her, then down at the record.
“No, you should hang it up in your room.” He replied. Fay did a double take she was so taken aback.
“No! You waited in line for two hours for it! It’s yours, not mine!” she answered.
“Hey,” he said, putting his hands on her shoulders. “What I was about to explain before is that the only reason he signed that CD was because I begged him to, for you.” Fay looked at him skeptically.
“What?” he asked defensively.
“I don’t know.” Fay replied. “I don’t get why you would wait in a two hour line just to give this to me. Is there some ulterior motive I need to know about?” Colt sighed. If only he could tell her the truth without the fear of wreaking their friendship. However the one thing Colt Brenner knew was that he was in love with Fay Harps from the day they first met. Now he had the perfect opportunity to make a move and was blowing it.
“There’s no ulterior motive. . .” he replied, stepping closer to her. They were now so close. Their bodies almost touching, they were standing at the corner of Main Road, and their street, Lane Ave, their bus stop, with the street light illuminating them in the night. “Just take the CD.” He gentle pushed it into her hands. They gentle grabbed the edges of it, their fingers overlapping ever so slightly.
Fay looked up her friend. She saw him now as a man, a beautiful man lit up in the night. Why had she never seen him in that way before? The way he looked at her sometimes was like he was in love with her. Fay had always thought her friend had good looks but never thought of him as anything more than a friend. However, looking up at him now she saw nothing but him, his ocean deep blue eyes, loosing herself in them. The same way she got lost in Beck’s.
Before she knew it his hand was on her cheek, hers on top of it. He leaned down and in, and she stretched up to meet him. They connected. It was as if what they both yearned for years collided head on with their conscience minds at that moment. It seemed to fill the void they both had missed out on. Colt pulled her in closer to him so their bodies were touching. She didn’t fight him at any point. It was as if the moment itself created its own heat. Their bodies, their lips got hotter and hotter as they explored the wonder and beauty they both had missed for so long.
When it all seemed to come to a dramatic close, as they pulled away, bewilderment and wonder filled both of their minds as they entered a new chapter in their lives.
They stared into each other’s eyes for a long moment, his hands on her hips, holding her close while here’s wrapped around his broad, strong shoulder, pressing their foreheads together. It was a moment in both of their lives that marked the beginning of a new chapter, an end of one era and the beginning of another one.
Their first intimate moment, alone on that street corner at two o’clock in the morning, could never be forgotten.
From there on Colt and Fay were a couple. They were the power couple of Skipton High School. Everyone in it just ate them up. Everyone always told Fay how good she and Colt looked as a couple, while Colt got praised for scoring such a great looking girlfriend. Whenever they saw each other Colt and Fay would either kiss or hold each other in a way that made them all cheer. They got a good laugh out of it all. A week passed. Fay totally forgot all about the bridges and the offer she had accepted just out of natural curiosity and a certain impetus of duty she felt within herself.
~ ~ ~ ~
Colt and Fay had agreed for a study date that weekend. They both had a very tough old history teacher and figured a few hours of hitting the books that weekend, with designated breaks in-between, would help them with the test that Monday. Her mom was out of town that weekend, leaving Fay alone to her own devices while she went on an all expenses paid business trip. Fay never minded her mom’s absences, especially with her new boyfriend, but it made the bonds she had with her mom weaker and weaker. She hated the secrets and lies but she had no other way.
They were studying in her room that Friday night. It was small, her queen bed taking up most of it, but it had a small little window with a view of the street below, a small desk looking out it, a place for her to do her work, and a tiny TV on the opposite wall facing her bed. The lights were out in her room except for one lamp by her bed, and the door was closed. Colt was on the ground, leaning against her bed, diving into the Industrial revolution, while Fay laid on her bed, trying to do the same, but kept getting distracted.
“I can’t believe how much things have changed in a week.” Fay finally said, breaking the silence of concentration. He turned to look at her smiled.
“I know, I had no idea it would happen this fast. Just one little kiss . . .” He mumbled.
“Changed everything?” Fay finished.
“Exactly! You know you get me too well.” He laughed turning closer to her. She scooted up, letting her head hang off the edge of the bed. He leaned up to meet her and they kissed again, feeling the magic of it. He let his fingers run through her long hair, holding her head to his. They broke apart their foreheads pressed together.
“Your amazing.” He whispered in her ear. She smiled and laughed.
Later they laid together on the bed on their side facing each other. Their fingers intertwined, whispering sweet nothings. The TV was turned on to romantic music, playing in the background.
“When did you first start to like me?” Fay asked. Colt thought for a long time, but then he decided to go with the truth.
“To be honest Fay, it may seem cliché but since the first time I saw you I was hooked.” He replied. She laughed as he blushed. She pulled his face her hers kissing his cheek so lightly for so long, then pulling away.
“What about you? When did you start liking me?” he asked, when she finally pulled away.
“Well when we kissed at the corner, I realized I never had a boyfriend because there was no one I’d rather be with.” She replied.
“So when we kissed you liked me all along but never realized it?” he asked.
“Yeah, exactly.” After she said this she thought for second, then a realization hit her. “You know sometimes our relationship seems too good to be true.” She said. He kind of grimaced but sighed.
“Well I guess that’s the only way we know we’re meant to be.” He replied. However it didn’t have Fay convinced for a second. Doubts started to form in her mind like a raging storm cloud. As she thought he leaned in to kiss her again, pulling her closer to him. She kissed back creating the magic of their kiss over again, letting all the storm clouds in her mind fall away. The heat between them grew stronger and stronger. However Fay couldn’t help but feeling like it was the same as usual. His fingers on her shoulder, hers around his shoulders. She started to explore. She let her hand come up to his hair, running her fingers through it. It was smooth and silky, and smelled like the freshness after a rainstorm. He gasped in surprise but took it as his cue to explore. He ran his hands down her spine, sending shiver back up it, making her grip him even tighter. His hand was on the small of his back exploring every pore of her skin. It sent them both to a different place beyond either of their understanding. However in the background she heard something distant like a ringing or a pinging. It grew louder and louder until it hit her. It was the doorbell. She pulled away as fast as she could, leaving Colt in complete bewilderment. As she opened the door she stopped.
“Sorry, this could be mom. You better pack up. If she knew what we were doing out here . . .” Fay started.
“I get it. I can take a hint.” He said, sitting up and going to get his stuff on the floor. She watched him then ran out her room to the stair, taking them two at a time. She ran down the hall, and to the door, and flung it open. Standing there was Beck. She jumped back in disbelief as he smiled.
“It’s time.” Was all he said.
There was only darkness. That’s how he liked it. It was very cold. The heat bothered him. Sometimes it rained. He hated the sunshine. He sat on his throne waiting for his subjects to return with the girl. It had been weeks since he sent them out, and they still had not returned. He was starting to get anxious. What if they failed? Of course his worry was only to a point. He had already set in motion a chain of events as his backup plan.
“But of course they couldn’t fail.” He reassured himself as they paced. “They’re my upper class demons. Unless there was an intervention by a Bridge, nothing could go wrong.”
He sat down on his throne made by the darkness itself. It made him invisible, and invincible, in his kingdom. However the only way to conquer the upper world, the world of the living and of good was to fill it with the seven deadly sins. They were only way to sever their relationships with the one.
The girl though, he need the girl! The girl was the key to his whole plot. She held the power he needed to conquer the upper world. If only his idiot slaves would return with her. If only. All of a sudden four silhouettes formed in front of him. They were darker then the darkness around them all and stood out against it. They were liked coolers, radiating coldness into the realm. He glared at them.
“Well?!” he hissed angrily. “Where is she?!” None of them spoke, as he glared at them in anger. Finally one of them pushed the other forward. He bent feeble before his master, shaking in fear.
“Master, Cold Blooded Hunter, we have failed. The girl still lives. She knows not of her power but has the met the bridges capable of giving her the knowledge to use it. We apologize greatly master. . .” cried out feeble.
“YOU APOLOGIZE!!!” he shouted, letting his icy words sting them to their souls. “An apology now is the least of your crimes!!!!”
“But the sound, master the sound. It is one of our weaknesses. The boy had a device to emit it, making us helpless, disoriented, and slow!” the silhouette cried out again.
“You’re already helpless, disoriented and slow without the help of some stupid over world sound!” he shouted back. He stopped, giving himself a minute to gain his composure and think. This task was too challenging for them. He had to step in and conquer where they have failed.
“You have failed for the last time vampires, I shall now enter the world of the living myself and find the girl!” he declared. They all began to cry in delight and failure. Delight because the impossible task they had been assigned was now lifted off their shoulders and in failure because the master that they know and loved could be destroyed in the world of the living.
“But Master!” one of them called as their master stood. “What if you come on contact with a bridge, go near a holy, or even touch a holy? Who will take your place?”
“If I am sent into the abyss then death is in charge until I am able to return to power, but watch him my subjects for sometimes he abuses his power over us.” He replied. They nodded vigorously. He looked at them then walked through them, making them all cower in fear. Then he continued on into the darkness, leaving his subjects alone and afraid.
“What do you mean, it’s time?” Fay asked.
“You know the time, when Wolf would send me to come get you, you know, to begin your training?” he asked.
“Well yeah, but I thought you’d come in the dead of night or something!” Fay said, her voice rising.
“No, that’s dangerous without your gear. . .” he replied. At that moment Colt came trotting down the stairs, and turned towards them. His eyes went wide at the sight of Beck who was clearly a foot taller than he was. He slowly approached them, came behind Fay, putting an arm around her, while surveying Beck. Beck gave him a sideways glance.
“Who’s he?” Colt asked, staring threateningly at Beck.
“He is Beck.” Beck replied for Fay, extending his hand. “And you must be jealous boyfriend number 3.”
“Beck!” Fay reprimanded. Now Colt pushed past Fay and was up against Beck nose to nose, staring him down. However Beck would not back down.
“Guys this is stupid, stop it now!” Fay said as the tension grew. When neither would back down, and Colt seemed to slowly lift his arm as if to strike out at Beck, Fay jumped into action. Grabbing Colt by the arm, Fay pulled him away from Beck back into the house. She gestured at Beck to stay, and he did so with a little smirk on his face. She rolled her eyes.
“Look Colt, let me explain . . .” she started, however he cut her off right away.
“What the h*ll Fay?! You never told me that was coming, and why! Is he taking you out on a date or something!? Do you even like me at all!?” he ranted, giving Fay enough time to devise an elaborate lie.
“Colt, listen. I like you a lot . . .” she started, however he cut her off again.
“Oh here we go!”
“Listen to me! God Colt if I wanted to break up as fast as we became a couple I never would have said yes in the first place! Now listen!” That made him silent, and sour. She continued before he could interrupt again.
“Beck, is just a friend Colt. My mom and his mom are friends, so she asked me if I could help him with a computer problem at his house. You know how my mom taught me everything she knows about computers! He figured I could help him work out a glitch in his system.” He stayed silent for a minute, then spoke, desperately trying to find a way out of the dilemma.
“You know I’m also good with computers . . .” he started, however it was her turn to cut him off.
“Not like me, and you know it.” Fay replied. Now showing the desperation in his voice he spoke, in anxiety and desperation.
“But what if I walk you guys to his house then leave? Then . . .” he begged, but her decision was final.
“No Colt. I can take care of myself, and you should trust me to make the right decisions! We’ve been friends for long enough! We know each other well enough! Why don’t you trust me?” Fay argued back.
“I do.” Colt gave in. “But it’s that guy I don’t trust. Beck, or whatever.” Fay put her hand affectionately on his arm, and stared up into his eyes.
“You don’t have to trust him. Just trust me when I say I can handle him.” He smiled at her. Slowly he leaned in gentle pressing his mouth to hers. She felt the spark of it, however it seemed a little dimmer then it was before. He pulled away grinning, she smiled back but she had to put effort into it, unlike before.
“Well I guess I’ll go now then, don’t beat up that guy too much. I want to have a crack at him when your finished.” He said happily.
“Alright I will.” She said laughing, and opening the door. They kissed each other goodbye, a little peck on the cheek and parted their separate ways, while beck stood awkwardly in the background. As Colt passed Beck he eyed him through the corners of his eyes. Beck just smirked at him as he passed. Then Colt was off down the street back to his own house. As soon as he was out of eyesight and earshot Beck turned back to Fay and raised his eyebrows.
“Well . . .That was interesting . . .” he mumbled. However, all of a sudden Fay stepped out of her doorway and slapped him hard.
“That was for being a jack*ss in general!” she shouted, then hit him harder again. “And that was for pissing off my boyfriend!” She hit him a third time but didn’t explain why, he looked up at her with big sad confused eyes, like a puppy. She wasn’t falling for it.
“What was that for?” he asked.
“That was just for fun.” She said smiling. He laughed.
“Well if that’s your idea of fun then I’m sure you’ll enjoy being a bridge.” He remarked, chuckling. The word Bridge was when it all flooded back to her. Now she began to realize what she was getting into.
“So this whole bridge thing, what’s it really all about? Like why are we even called bridges in the first place?” Fay asked.
“Well we are technically bridges for the lost souls to cross over into their havens. There they are free to go or stay as they wish. We can only guide as a bridge guides but not follow.” He replied.
“Okay, then what's the haven?”
“The haven is the place where spirits are supposed to go after they die. They can’t go into the abyss, which is the epicenter of all evil in the world so the other opposite side would be. . .”
“Heaven?” Fay asked.
“Well sort of . . . depends . . .” He replied.
“Okay?” Fay said, unsure of what to say next. The way they referred to the haven she thought it was heaven, but the way he said it now, it was as if the haven was evil almost.
“Look I shouldn’t be the one explaining this to you so let me take you to people who can.” He said. She gave him a skeptical look. As he extended his hand to her. “Do you trust me?”
“Of course not!” Fay said backing up towards the door. “Besides I can’t leave, my mom’s not home for the weekend. I have to guard the house.” Beck snorted in laughter.
“What are you? A watch dog?” he laughed.
“No, I’m responsible.” She snapped back.
“Well good for you!” He said sarcastically. “I bet being responsible all the time really does it for yah.”
“Yes! It does!” she argued back. However he eyes her, wore down her walls. “Well sometimes, I mean . . .”
“Just say no.” he cut in.
“Alright fine! Sometimes I just want to tell my mom screw you and run away, but I can’t. She needs me, and I need her. Sometimes I want to scream at her to stay home for once in her life, and actually pay attention to me and what I have to say! But she’s not home often enough for me to get a word in!” Fay ranted.
“Okay Okay, I didn’t ask for your whole like story!” he said defensively. Fay looked at him, her eyes sad, and tired. He lightened on the sarcasm a little.
“Just take my hand, for your own sake.” He said, extending it again. She looked at his hand, then into his eyes skeptically, and slowly reached out.
“Don’t make me regret this.” She said, taking his hand. He smiled, and closed his eyes, and before Fay could get another word in there was a big flash of light, so blinding that she thought her eyesight would never recover. Beck’s grip on her arm tightened as it flashed. The door was left wide open, just begging someone to step inside.
Fay was in a dreamy state, however her mind slowly started to awake from its slumber. Slowly her senses started to come alive. It seemed as though they were trying to tell her something important, something urgent. Smells started to fill her nostrils, catching their attention. The place she was in reeked of sweat and determination, nothing like her bedroom at home. Then it happened, her senses came alive, sending a flood of realizations into her mind.
First off she was sleeping straight up. Second, she was hanging by one arm that was in agony.
When her eyes snapped open she looked around herself. Everything was pitch black. She was hanging by her arm, and someone’s death grip. She could tell she was high up, but she had no idea what her surroundings were because even the hand in front of her face wasn’t visible. She tried to look up and see the person gripping her arm but she had a pretty good idea who it was.
“Fay, are you awake? If you are can you uh, help me out and actually stand on the rafters up here?” Beck’s voice said, filling her ears. Where her eyes failed her other senses took over. She could feel him, the warmth of the touch of his hand to her arm, his soft steady breath. She could smell him. He always seemed to smell like a fresh summer breeze, cooling the day, signifying the start of the evening.
Slowly she reached up and grabbed the arm that had hers tight. Slowly he pulled her up. Something thick and heavy brushed against her leg. Putting her feet on it, she used it for balance and leverage as he pulled her up onto her feet. Once she was steady on what seemed to be a huge wooden beam. She tried to see if she could make any kind of detail that beck was there, however there was only darkness.
“You know, we’re alone, and it’s dark.” Beck’s voice said. She couldn’t help but smirk. What he couldn’t see wouldn’t hurt her. He began to rummage through his pockets.
“Don’t be a jack*ss.” She replied.
“Now where the h*ll are we?” All of a sudden the rummaging stopped and light went on right next to her. It almost sent her flying backwards into the abyss below her however she steadied herself and gave an annoyed look at Beck. He was shining the small flashlight up at his face, making him look stupidly mysterious.
“We are on the rafters of the Gym, where the team practices. It’s in one of the abandoned buildings of the Skipton Iron Works. It’s been fully restored on the inside by the bridges, but looks ready to crumble on the outside. So people stay out, and we go in.” he said. Fay looked around. It seemed to make sense, however she was still skeptical.
“Okay, well then how’d we get here in the first place, and why did I black out to do so?” she asked.
“I took you here with special transportation only available to a blood member of the bridges. However it’s only meant for one person travel, with two people, especially ones who have never used it before usually black out on the way. It can take you any location in the world. The only problem is that it’s unclear where in that location it drops you. . . .” he explained.
“You know, I still don’t believe you.” Fay said honestly. Beck just shrugged and pointed his light at a huge pool of oil right below the rafter they were standing on. Fay gaped at it.
“I landed right on the rafter you landed right next to it. You would have fallen into that if I didn’t save you, and gripped your arm to keep you from falling to your death.” He said. Fay had no idea what to say.
“Well . . .I . . .Uh . . .I . . .” Fay stuttered.
“Thank you?” Beck asked. Fay was about to give a smart retort when her conscience stopped her. He saved her life after all.
“Yeah, Thank you.” She replied. He smiled.
“Well I guess the only reason I did it was because I figured your jealous boyfriend will owe me. . . “he said smirking.
“Shut up!” she said, and was about to slap him, but restrained herself because they were both on rafters. He just laughed to himself at her pure frustration. There was a long silence that followed, than Fay broke it.
“So, how do we get off this death trap?” she asked. Beck turned around, and shined the light to what seemed like a hundred feet, past two pillars that blocked the entire rafter path, to a really dark small doorway with no doorway. Nothing was visible beyond it.
“Seriously?” Fay asked.
“No, there’s also a pool of oil at the bottom calling your name.” Beck said sarcastically. Fay gave him a look. He just smiled.
“Lead the way.” She said gesturing ahead. He gave her a surprised as if he didn’t expect her to take their alternative. He started down the rafter path. He walked on the beam, one foot in front of the other. He acted as though he had done this before which made Fay ultra nervous. He came to the first pillar, side stepping around it to the other side with ease, not even gripping the pillar. Then Fay approached it. Death, gripping it, she slowly brought her foot to the other side she made it over, just barely, using beck to keep her balance. They walked another twenty paces to the second pillar. Beck side stepped it with ease again. However as Fay death gripped it, and tried to bring her foot to the other side, both her hands slipped, and she started to fall. Then Beck was there, grabbing arm. He spun her in the air as if they were dancing up onto the pillar in front of him. She landed on her feet perfectly. She looked at Beck, amazed. He smiled and shrugged.
“How’d you do that?” Fay asked in disbelief.
“Besides amazing skills, I have no idea!” he said sarcastically. She just sighed, gave him a look, and turned around, walked towards the dark entry way. Beck shined his light into it. There were a row of tall gray lockers against a black wall. All of a sudden a light went on in the room, and group of teenagers started to swarm the lockers. The light hit Fay’s eyes burning them however she kept going and stepped into the room, Beck close behind. The teenagers turned to look at her, the same as the ones she had met that first night.
“Well, look whose back.” Torrin said, glaring at her.
“Guys, you remember Fay.” Beck said gesturing to her. Fay looked up feeling all their eyes on her. It took all her will power not to get red in the face.
“Yeah, I remember. Hope you told her about stealth training today, Beck. If you didn’t then she’s in for it.” Torrin said, grinning evilly at Fay. Fay tried not to tremble in fear, as she turned to look at Beck.
“Torrin! Stop it! Fay’s not in stealth training she’s only watching it!” Beck snapped back.
“What’s going on?” Fay asked. “What’s stealth training?”
“Lovers’ quarrel. . .” Edi said in a sing song voice. The others started to laugh, and chat about them. Fay used the distraction to round on Beck.
“Look, stealth training in simple. We get dressed in our gear in here, and then we go out into the gym, and hide from the light. If the light catches any form of our bodies then we get attacked. But don’t worry about it. You’re only watching us from the locker room. You won’t start stealth training until after you go on your first mission.”
“What’s the light? What are attacked by?” Fay snapped at him.
“The lights are spotlights in the ceiling that get larger and large every ten minutes until they can cover the whole area of the gym in one circle. As for the attackers, they’re ghosts who have agreed to stay on earth and help with the training program. . .”
“Ghosts!?” Fay asked.
“Yeah, but If we survive the attacks, then we win. However if you are able to hide from the light for exactly two hours then you win also. When you win you become a full fledged agent.”
“Alright, I mean as long as I don’t have to participate . . .” Fay said. Beck sighed and rolled his eyes.
“Yeah, you’ll be totally safe up here. It might be dark and a little scary for a while but you’ll get through it.” Beck replied. All of a sudden Torrin was there, her hand on Beck’s shoulder pulling him to the side.
“Hey Beck, better get your gear on. It’s four minutes before start time . . .” Torrin said, while she turned and walked away. Fay looked at the others, each of them with a locker open, putting on what looked like black spandex. Beck looked at Fay, then walked off to his locker at the end.
“Your locker’s that one.” Torrin said, pointing to a small beat up looking locker on the opposite wall next to the doorway. “It’s for the newbies.” Slowly Fay turned and walked over to it. It was like a normal old locker, except without a lock. Slowly she opened it, the inside containing folded up black clothes at the bottom. A note was taped to the door.
This is the type of gear you will need for your first training session. Even though you’ll only be observing, I want you to get a feel for your gear and how to wear it and use it. The gear, all of it is made of a special otherworldly material that allows you to be impervious to ghost attack and possession. Make sure it covers every inch of your body, and most importantly put on your goggles. This suit will allow no ghost to pass through your body and put you at war with your soul. Despite what you’ve seen on tv this can be painful and ugly, especially if a demon posses it. Even though this is only observance I want you to know what the gear is, how it works, how to put it on and use it, and what you can expect before your first mission. Also, take the night vision goggles I left for you. It will definitely help you to see how stealth training works.
Fay read the note again and again. It explained a lot, but not to the point where it told her how to put her gear on. By now the others were already shutting their lockers and starting to stretch. They’re black body suits were as skin tight as it gets, yet they put them over their clothes. It made no sense. Slowly Fay picked up the first garment. It looked like a spandex shirt about two sized to small. Slowly she put it over her head, stuffing her arms inside the sleeves. Once it was finally on her it started to shrink closer and closer to her body. It chocked her, for her clothes were in the way of her skin. However all of a sudden her clothes were gone and there was nothing between her skin and the cool spandex material. Fay looked at the others. Some started laughing.
“Weird Huh?” Sol asked, walking up her. “That freaked me out my first time too. It was like they were stripping me without my permission.”
“Uh huh.” Fay replied, nodding her head as if nothing was wrong about that statement. Slowly she turned away from him, and went for the pants. They were like spandex skinny jeans. When Fay put them on over her old jeans it repeated the same pattern as the shirt. Next came the spandex socks and gloves that attached to the pants and shirt, and a mask and the night vision goggles. Soon she was dressed like the others, except for the goggles, and stretching as well, smiling because she had figured it out on her own. Beck smiled at her, and she smiled at him then Torrin as if to say whose laughing now?
All of a sudden a beeping went off, like a fire alarm. The room went black and silent. Then above the door a red light started flashing. The others stopped stretching as if it were normal while Fay quaked in fear.
“Well this is it. Good luck to everyone except to you Fay. I hope you fail miserable.” She said, smirking at Fay.
“She’s only watching us Torrin! God why do you have to be . . .” Beck shouted, however Fay touched his arm gentle, stopping him, then looked at Torrin.
“Thanks for the support,” Fay answered sarcastically. Torrin just sneered at her as she started to run. She ran from the far wall straight through the door and onto the rafter. After that her body quickly vanished in the blackness. Then Beck came up, saluted to her, and also ran from the back wall, and out the door, disappearing into the blackness. The others followed, diving into the blackness, hiding in the shadows.
Everyone was gone and Fay was alone, seeing nothing except a split second of redness when the light flashed. The few seconds of red light scared her, as if there was a fire going on in some other distance part of the building, so she went out into the blackness. However the night vision goggles made the whole place as clear as day.
The Gym was absolutely enormous. The rafters crisscrossed in a maze all around her. She looked down to see foliage, and vines stretching up the walls. However some parts of the gym were desert like, some were Antarctic like. In fact it seemed at though different parts of the Gym were different climates. Trees popped up in certain parts of the foliage. There were occasional houses here and there. In the distance Fay could swear she was a glow graveyard. Where the ground and headstones glowed like a lantern in the night. However that was impossible, it must be something else. Instead she turned her head to the other side to see a huge vat of oil right below the spot where she and Beck first landed.
“He wasn’t kidding . . .” Fay mumbled to herself, as gentle noises and rustling filled her ears far below. All of a sudden a huge bright light came on right above her head from the ceiling, shining from where she had some. It light up the locker room, and slowly and surely traveled up the beam. Fay was going to get caught in its path!
If the light catches any form of our bodies you get attacked, Fay remembered. Quickly she grabbed the bean and swung herself around to the other side just in time. The light passed the spot where she was standing and traveled up the beam. Fay didn’t dare to move or breath, even though she knew in her mind that she had to get back to the locker room.
It started to scan the ground below her. Fay looked over her shoulder to see the light passing along the different parts of the Gym. Fay tried to see if it caught any of the others. It didn’t. However all of a sudden the light shut off, and another one turned on at the opposite side of the gym. It started scanning the beam that Fay was on. She quickly the middle beam and stepped to the other side again, however she stepped right into the light of another beam. She looked up into it but shielded her eyes from its power. However then there was something in the light’s way, making it dimmer. She looked up it again, looking at her in complete disbelief.
“Remember me!?” the old woman, from the road shouted. In disbelief Fay looked up at her. She came at Fay and was in her face in a fraction of a second, traveling faster than anything normal could. She made a creepy smile staring at her eye to eye. Fay jumped back in horror and surprise, losing her footing on the bean she tumbled into the open air and down into the abyss below. The woman followed her, dancing in the air around her, cackling with an evil smile. Then others joined her. Men dressed in old tailored suits and top hats laughed evilly at her and circled her as she fell. Fay closed her eyes, hoping that it was all just a realistic dream.
Fay felt herself slowly come to in something soft and warm. The first thing she wondered was if were dead. However she felt cool sheets around herself, smelled warm cookies, and heard gentle mumbling around her. The memories of the night came to her, however the only thing she truly registered was that she was back in her normal clothes. Slowly she fluttered her eyes open, letting them be accustomed to the light. She was in a hospital bed, and it was early morning. They were standing at the end of her bed, chatting vigorously with Wolf who sounded angry.
She groaned, lifting her hand to rub the back of her neck. They all turned to look at her, some sighed in relief, while Beck smiled and Torrin frowned like she always did. Wolf rushed to her side.
“Fay, thank goodness you’re awake!” he exclaimed, sitting down on the bed. “I was worried! Is there anyone home expecting you dear, unfortunately you were out the entire day, and night. . .” Fay groaned at her neck cracked loudly. Sol covered his mouth as if he were going to vomit, but Torrin slapped him upside the head. They all looked at them.
“Stop it butthead! You’ve seen people bleed out before!” she rebuked. Sol just sighed, and dropped his hands, but became deathly pale.
“What happened?” Fay groaned, everyone turned back to her.
“Well you fell five stories and almost died from shock and trauma. “ Torrin said as if it were a good thing. Now Sol slapped Torrin upside the head. Torrin looked at him say if to say what the hell?!
“Now who’s the butthead?” Sol asked. Torrin glared at him and turned away, fixating her gaze back on Fay.
“Stop it you two!” Wolf snapped at them, then turning back to Fay he smiled. “Unfortunately what she said was true dear. You will be very sore and in a lot of pain, but you survived the fall. I’ll have to tell the ghosts to go easy on you next time. . . “
“Next time? ” Fay groaned.
“Yes, but don’t worry dear, I think you’ll need a bit more instruction on the Gym before I let you enter on a stealth training session again. I do feel you need it.” Would replied. In that instant it came back to her.
“It was my own dumb fault I was on that pillar. All I wanted to do was get a better look, and I paid for it.” Fay said. No one said anything or argued against her. There was nothing shielding her from attacking herself, but instead she asked. “Wait if I fell five stories, how did I survive?” Immediately everyone began to smile while Torrin just looked hot.
“Here comes the interesting part . . .” Edi said, cocking his eyebrows and looking at Beck who was standing the farthest away from the bed. He leaned against the door frame, his long black hair covering his eyes. He looked up at Edi. All of a sudden a realization hit him, and he charged at Edi, almost tackling him to the floor. However Edi got his footing at the last second pushing Beck back from covering his mouth. They wrestled while everyone else looked on. Wolf had his head in his hands, while Torrin smirked at the horse play. Fay just wondered. By then Edi had Beck in a head lock right in front of the end of Fay’s bed. He looked up at Fay and smiled and Beck tried to fight out of his grip.
“See what happened was,” Edi said while he struggled with Beck tearing at his arm. “Beck saw you fall a mile away, ghosts surrounding you. So he decided for your honor he fight for you! He ran to the place where you were supposed to land like lighting and jumped up to catch you as your fell slicing the ghosts away with his light saber! Then . . .”
“Okay okay Edi, haven’t you humiliated me enough for one day?” Beck asked pushing Edi off of him.
“He kissed you, than wiped your memory of it!” Edi proclaimed. The others begun snorting with laughter as Beck just rolled his eyes. Even Torrin and Wolf laughed.
“Guys! Can we tell her what really happened?” Beck shouted over the laughter. Immediately the room grew quiet.
“Alright,” Edi said, gesturing to Fay, who was now forcing herself to sit up, even though it hurt everywhere. “Tell her what happened.” All eyes turned to meet Beck, who refused to get red. He just took them before he spoke, pretended they weren’t there, only focusing on Fay.
“Well, see I was hiding in some bramble by that pillar when you fell. I was also holding a ghostly trunk because one of the ghostly tenants was leaving, you know I was helping her move some stuff. And you just kind of fell through it into my arms.” Beck finished awkwardly. There was a short pause then everyone started cracking up. Then in seconds everyone was hurling in laughter more then before. Edi as he was laughing put his arm around Beck who eyed it skeptically.
“Come on man!” Edi said chocking in laughter. “A ghostly trunk?” Beck just pushed Edi’s arm off himself, then walked out of the room. This is only made them all laugh even harder. Fay laughed too, even though it hurt her. She felt his pain too.
They stood up to leave, Wolf saying a few last words before he left.
“Now are you sure no one is going to miss you at home?” Wolf asked.
“Who would miss me? My house is empty for the whole weekend.” Fay replied.
“Good.” Wolf said, smiling and nodding. With that he turned and walked out however another girl, Celina stayed behind. She smiled at Fay.
“I’ll tell you the real story later.” She said winking at Fay. With that she walked out, catching up to the others. It left Fay dumbfounded. She thought Celina couldn’t speak at all.
A few hours past with Fay sitting in her bed flipping through the channels to her TV, still wondering where she was, and being mad at herself that she hadn’t bothered to ask, even if she had just woken up from a traumatic injury. She thought back to last of the conversation, would anyone miss her at home. Then all of a sudden his face popped into his mind, seeming so distance. Colt. Immediately Fay slammed her hand inside her pocket, and pulled out her phone, dealing speed dial two.
“Hey Babe! Where have you been? You didn’t answer when I called this morning.” He said, picking up after half of the first ring.
“I know, I’m sorry, I was busy, doing chores around the house!”Fay said apologetically.
“No way! It’s cool!” he replied. “Speaking of cool, it’s so cool how you’re doing chores for your mom before she gets home, need a hand?”
“No Colt, it’s fine. I’m almost done, anyway.” Fay replied, twitching nervously in her bed. All of a sudden wolf and woman who was dressed like a nurse walked in.
“Then how about we hang out then?” He asked.
“No colt I can’t. I’ve got tons of homework.” Fay said, trying to make up an excuse.
“Great! Me too! We can do it together!” He exclaimed, sounding happier each time Fay tried to say no. Fay sighed.
“Look Colt, I need to be by myself for a little while . . .” Fay started.
“Are you breaking up with me!?” Colt asked.
“No! No! I just need a little time to myself, that’s all. We hang out all the time. Why don’t you do something fun with your friends from the basketball team?” she suggested.
“It’s probable because you’re going to go see that Beck guy again, aren’t you?” he asked.
“No! That’s not it at all!” Fay argued back.
“Okay, I get it. I know when I’m not wanted. But get this into your little head Fay. If you’re cheating on me I SWEAR TO GOD I’M GONNA FIND YOU AND GET YOU FOR IT!” he screamed. Fay gaped in disbelief. She had never seen this side of him before. When they were friends he had never ever yelled at her in this way. He had always been sweet, never aggressive.
“I would never cheat on you Colt, you know that.” Fay said quietly, a single tear running down her cheek.
“I hope you know that as much as I’m supposed to know it.” He snapped back, as if she had yelled at him for cheating. Then he hung up, letting the silence fill Fay’s ears. All of a sudden the tears started to flow, and before Fay knew it, she was full out crying. Wolf was by her side, patting her on the back. The nurse scoffing at whoever she was on the phone with, saying they were no good for upsetting her patient.
All of a sudden Celina walked in. She stared at Fay then Wolf and nurse for trying to comfort her. She waved them away, and sat down on the bed, next to Fay who was sobbing with her head in her hands.
“Come on, let’s go have a little girl talk.” Celina said. Fay just nodded, letting her trust fall into the hands of a complete stranger. She attempted to stand up and follow Lina. A lot of pain flooded Fay as she stood, but nothing like this morning.
“Um, Ms. Lochrie, What are you doing?” The nurse asked, clearly objecting to Fay standing and walking just yet.
“Fay’s coming up to my room. She can lay down on my spare bed. We need to have a little girl talk alone.” Celina replied. She said it nicely but strongly so the nurse stepped aside to let Celina and Fay pass.
When Fay stepped out into the hall it was nothing like she had expected. The hallway was decorated like a lavish five star hotel. A long expensive Persian rug, wood paneling covered the floor, fancy brilliant green and golden wallpaper covered the floor and ceiling, and priceless looking tables, and knickknacks lined the small hallway. They walked to the right, passing door after door on both sides. They were all heavy wooden doors with a different type of floor poking out underneath each one. At the end of the hall there were huge double doors as the hallway veered left. It was short and stopped at a golden elevator. Fay gaped at it all in amazement.
“What is this place?” she said in wonderment. Celina just laughed.
“It’s the bridges hideout. We’re underground the gym building.” Celina answered, chuckling, as she pressed the up arrow for the elevator.
“This is some hideout . . .”Fay said’ letting her eyes scan the little hallway they were in.
“Thanks . . .”Celina replied. “I’m Celina by the way. I know Wolf introduced me but I didn’t get a chance to introduce myself to you.” She extended her hand warmly. Fay shook it, smiling at her. “But you can call me Lina, all my friends do.” At this Fay was surprised. This girl thought they were friends right off the bat. No one ever had done that to Fay before. This made Fay grin even wider.
“Thanks, I’m Fay.” Fay replied, still grinning ear to ear. All of a sudden the elevator dinged, and the doors slid open. Fay and Lina quickly stepped inside. Lina went straight for the controls. There were several floors on the panel, however there was one long button at the top reading Lina’s room. Under it was a warning label. Warning: If your name is not Lina of Celina you may be subject to electric shock upon touch of this button. Fay burst out laughed.
“Electric shock? I so want to see someone press the button now!” Fay said laughing.
“Oh no! It’s true! If your name is not Fay that button will shock you. I have it set up so that it only responds to my touch only. No one knows but Wolf. It comes in handy too. One time Edi tried to go to my room and dig out one of my bra’s but when he tried to touch my elevator button, he got one nasty surprise.” Lina replied laughing. This only made Fay laugh even harder.
“If only I had seen that!” Fay said.
“Oh, I got pictures of it! You have see his afro!” Lina said flipping out her phone. She opened her camera on her phone and scrolled down through pictures of Edi, with his fro bigger then a tire off a monster truck. By then Fay and Lina were snorting with laughter. By then the elevator gave a little ding and the doors opened, they were at Lina’s room.
Lina’s room was on the top floor, right next to the locker room. They were going to use it for storage but Lina claimed it after sharing with Torrin had gone not so smoothly. Lina explained this has Fay hobbled over to one of the beds in her room and crashing down onto it, letting her tired muscles rest. Lina grabbed a chair from her desk, and spun it around, resting her arms and her head on the end of it.
“So Fay. If we’re friends now we have to honest with each other right? What’s wong, and tell me the truth . . .” Lina asked.
“It’s just. . . “Fay started. “I have a boyfriend, his name is Colt. He was my best friend since birth, before we started dating. I have always had a little of feeling for him though, I don’t know what but something more then friends. He’s cute, and funny, and used to be so sweet to me. However the night Beck brought me back to the alley, when we fought the vampires, and when you guys offered me a position in the bridges was the night Colt and I finally started going out. We went out for a week, and it couldn’t be more perfect. Then yesterday Colt met Beck.”
“I see where this is going . . .”Lina said.
“Exactly! So they had a little clash before I came with Beck here, and it was all so confusing.” Fay said, venting all her feelings out to this girl.
“Confusing? How so? If you like Colt then why was it confusing?” Lina asked.
“I don’t know why! It’s just ever since then, I think he’s been really jealous.” Fay replied. “Then I called him and he yelled at me! I just don’t know what to do anymore . . .”
“Dump him, he sounds as though he’s been getting too clingy.” Lina said bluntly.
“I can’t! He’s been my best friend since birth! I can’t just go and dump after only a week! We’re supposed to be meant for each other, our whole High School knows it!” Fay argued. Lina just looked at her, lost in thought.
“Have you ever thought that maybe this fairytale romance was too good to be true?” Lina asked.
“Not for a second.” Fay replied.
“We’ve had struggles before, but we overcame them! I’ve always loved him but never really knew until we kissed! It has to be true!”
“I don’t think you’re in love Fay.” Lina said, saying Fay’s name in a sentence for the first time. It struck her dumb, made her listen to what she had to say. “You just think you are. . . . This is the kind of guy who should be your brother, not your boyfriend.” Fay didn’t know what to say to that. She just stared up at Lina as if to say then tell me what to do because honestly I have no idea.
A long awkward pause followed. It was finally interrupted by the hum of the elevator. Lina snapped her head in attention to it. The doors opened and in stepped Beck. He sheepishly walked in then looked at Fay, who quickly wiped away the tears on her face.
“Can I talk to Fay alone?” he asked.
“Only if you tell me how you managed to get up here without being shocked?” Lina snapped back.
“Rubber doesn’t conduct electricity.” He replied, holding up a rubber glove while smirking at her. She looked slightly taken aback, but then shrugged and looked at Fay, beckoning her to follow. She slowly stood and looked at Lina who shrugged.
They rode down the elevator together in silence. Beck hadn’t pushed the button for the basement though instead he pushed another random button.
“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have done that. I really don’t want to get in-between you and your boyfriend.” He started. However Fay looked at him, and smiled.
“You’re apologizing for saving me?” she asked, in a half smiled. He looked away from her and chuckled.
“It’s just the way they exaggerated it, made it seem like I was trying to . . .” Beck said, fumbling over his words.
“Look, what’s done is done. The only thing we can do now is get over it.” Fay replied, still half smiling at him. Beck sighed.
“I guess you’re right. The thing we did learn out of all of this is that you need to be a bit more knowledgeable before we try that again.”
“Definitely.” Fay agreed. “The only thing that gets me is, you guys all dove from those rafters like you were diving into a pool. . . How?” Beck laughed.
“It’s all about how you land. See the trick with that kind of stuff, or in fact everything about the bridges is mind over matter. You can control everything around yourself if you just concentrate.” He replied. All of a sudden the elevator dinged, and the doors slowly opened. Beck walked in and turned on the lights. As the room lit Fay knew what it was, a very sterile looking laboratory, with lab tables and all kinds of lab equipment. On one wall, there were small doors, going all the way up to the top, as if it were a morgue. However the room felt different then a morgue normally would. It felt warm and hopeful instead of cold and scary. At the back there were three huge, glass, cylinders with some kind of green goop inside. The goop was going through a tube connected to the cylinder at the top, and came out the base at the bottom.
“What is this place? It feels like a . . .” Fay started, however Beck cut her off.
“A happy morgue?” Beck asked. Fay nodded. “That’s what everyone says in their first encounters here. The reason for that being normal hospital morgues are demon infested. This one is demon proof, even quite possible Hunter Cold proof. It keeps the demons away from the bodies that they can possess, and the spirits they can take.”
“Wow.” Fay said, letting her eyes look all around. She looked up to the ceiling and realized there was no ceiling. The walls just stretched into complete darkness. However all of a sudden purple light lit the darkness and dances and waved around like worms in dirt. It was like mini-version of the northern lights. It was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. “That’s so beautiful. What’s up there?”
“That’s the haven.” Beck answered.
“This is where we take souls after they agree to comply with what we ask. Once they get here a bright light appears where the darkness resides now, and they go into it. If they are worthy of passing through the haven, then they don’t return. If they aren’t they appear a few days later, and we work on them to make them worthy to pass through. They are usually given simple instructions. Words like repentance are often used. Once we think they are able to pass through then we pray that the light appear again and they be allowed entrance.”
“Wow, that’s incredible.” Fay said, still staring around the room. “Hey eyes met the green cylinders again, this time she thought she saw something moving inside.”
“What are those cylinders for?” Fay asked.
“They’re for the ghostly residents here. See since on earth there is time, and with time comes aging, we age right?” he asked. Fay just nodded. “Well ghosts can age too. They are eventually stripped of what earthly appearance they have, and turn into the purest and truest forms of themselves, either a whisper or a shadow. Normally that only happens beyond the haven, or in the underworld, but it can happen here too, to spirits who chose to stay. Once they are in their purest form they start to slowly dissipate until they are gone, unless taken into the haven or into the underworld. If they fully dissipate here on earth then they die.” Fay stared at him, stunned. How can ghosts possible age? They’re ghosts, their dead.
“These . . .” Beck continued, as he walked towards one of the glass cylinders and rapped sharply on it. “are to keep our ghostly residents in their earthly forms until the next trio of souls volunteers themselves to take their places. They cannot leave unless someone else takes their place to train Bridges, it’s as simple as that.”
“So they just volunteered their afterlife to help the bridges?” Fay asked.
“Yep, and they are why we’re here. See Wolf told me I needed to take you to meet them so that you learn not to fear the dead.” Beck said. Fay trembled.
“I don’t fear the dead.” She stated simply.
“Of course you don’t.” Beck replied hollowly, reaching and grabbing her wrist’ and pulling her over to the center cylinder. Fay tried to resist but he was stronger. Inside was the woman, who scared Fay twice already. She opened her eyes and stared down at Fay. Then she did what Fay thought was hilarious, she smiled.
“Hello girl. I don’t think I quite got your name . . .” she said kindly.
“Well that’s because you were too busy shouting Thomas and scaring the h*ll out of me,” Fay replied sarcastically. The woman laughed.
“Come now, those were just tests to test if you were a bridge or not. I’m not like that. The real lost souls are like that though, and are much scarier than I am.” Fay gave her a skeptical look, so Beck cut in.
“Fay this is Fiona McCarthy. She was eighty one years when she died. She has been on earth training bridges for almost two hundred years.” Beck said. Fay stared in disbelief at Fiona in the cylinder, who looked slightly annoyed.
“It’s two-hundred and thirty years you nitwit! Get it right!” she snapped back.
“Sorry! Sorry . . .” Beck said defensively. “Two hundred and thirty years.” Fay looked at him, so he just shrugged. Then he gestured to the one on the left.
“That’s Henry Potter. He’s been teaching bridges for three hundred years.” Beck said.
“How do you do?” a man on the inside said. He was wearing a tailored suit, and a top hat.
“Fine thanks.” Fay smiled. He smiled back at her. Beck just smirked and turned to the other cylinder on the right. Inside there was another man. He was dressed in a military personal’s uniform for the civil war. He was apparently a confederate.
“Lastly this is Lieutenant Major John Carter. He served under General Robert E. Lee during the civil war. He was protecting Lee from the demons stealing his soul to the underworld before his time. It’s honor for him to serve us here. He’s been with us for 91 years.” Beck finished. Fay looked at the man in uniform. He looked gruff and hardened. Fay tried to be nice at first.
“How do you do?” she asked. The man just looked at her and grunted. He crossed his arms and puffed out his chest, as if brushing off her act of kindness as rudeness. She tried her hardest not be taken aback.
“So?” Beck asked. “Are ghosts still scary now?”
“I’m not scared now!” Fay said defensively. “I just get scared when they jump out at me, surprise me, and or scream like a raging psycho. If they act like normal people, then I’m fine.”
“Look,” Beck said turning to face her. “The one thing you have to remember above all else is that no matter what, lost souls are people. They aren’t monsters or demons, but people. They have to be given a chance no matter how terrifying.” Fay sighed.
“I guess. It’s just going to be hard to cope with this for a while.” She replied.
“You know your probable the only person in our whole group who coped with it as well as you did when you first heard the secret. When Lina first heard the secret, she almost had a mental breakdown.” Beck said trying not to laugh.
“How is having a mental breakdown funny?” Fay asked.
“Oh come on! She didn’t actually have one . . .”Beck said defensively.
“Yeah, she only almost had one, that’s so insignificant it’s okay to laugh at.” Fay replied.
“You know I’m not that horrible of a person . . .” Beck stated, while a smirked. Fay couldn’t help but smile.
“Yes you are!” She said, letting her voice rise. She slapped him on the arm. “You are so horrible it’s not even funny!” He laughed, letting himself lean back against the table.
“You know your boyfriend is a really lucky guy.” He said, sweetly. Fay smiled, and stared down at the ground.
“Thanks. You’re not too bad yourself.” She replied, leaning on the same table next to him. She nudged him with her elbow, and laughed with him. “Except your hair is so fluffy and disheveled, it’s like a manic comb ran through it with a small heard of wild cattle.” He started laughing hysterically.
“Okay that is the strangest thing I have ever heard anybody say about my hair!” He exclaimed. Fay stood back on her own two feet and chuckled.
“Well it’s clear you have a lot to learn about me,” She said.
“I do, don’t I?” He said, standing with her.
“Yeah you do.”
“Okay then what’s your favorite type of music?” Beck asked, starting to walk towards the entrance of the door.
“Mainly rock with some indie, and punk mixed in. you?” she replied, quickening her pace to catch up.
“Me too,” Beck answered, mystified.
“Really?” Fay asked in surprise, as they walked out the door. “Then let’s talk music.” The ghosts stared after them, smiling, as Beck and Fay walked out the room.
Fay got back to her house just before her mom got back. It was late that Sunday night. Fay came to the door, still hanging wide open. She gaped in surprise, then remembered that she had left it open. Quickly she ran in the house searching for anything broken or missing. There was nothing except a few rouge squirrels running around.
When she had finally gotten the squirrel out she went into the kitchen and went for a snack in the cabinet. The bridges had given her dinner early in the dining hall then Beck brought her back home via light traveling. He was being so sweet to her, wanting to know more, but giving her space. She appreciated it, as she pulled out a box of granola bars from the cabinet. However he had given her, his cell phone number, something she would not be telling Colt, to text as friends.
When she turned around she came face to face with man. Fay dropped the granola bars and jumped back in surprise. He was covered in blood, bullet wounds all over his body, and his eyes were wide in pain. Fay tried to back away but she was met by the hard granite countertop.
“Please help me.” He whispered, drawing closer to her.
“I can’t, I’m sorry. “Fay stuttered. “I don’t know how. I can’t.”
“The ones who see are the ones who can help. You see me, so you can help me.” He whispered, drawing closer and closer. Fay’s blood pressure was spiking to abnormally high levels. Her mind was racing, trying to think of something to say or do to make him stop. Then her experiences with Beck caught up to her. Ghosts are people too, beck seemed to whisper in her ear.
“What’s your name sir?” Fay asked shakily.
“Please help me.” He said, again, getting so close to her body it was as if he were going to pass through her. Fay thought again, hard. She closed her eyes, and thought of everything Wolf and Beck had taught her in the past week. Finally it hit her, as the spirits whispers where turning into words. They would soon turn into malevolent screaming.
“Go under the bridge!” Fay said loudly at the spirit. Immediately it began to shudder and quake, all of a sudden it was sucked into a small part of the earth like a vacuum. Fay relaxed and smiled, at her quick thinking, however it was short lived. All of a sudden the forms of spirits started to vaporize in her kitchen, all saying the same thing. Please help me. In an instant they cornered her. However Fay was ready this time.
“Go under the bridge!” she shouted again. As soon as she said it the spirits in the room would vaporize, however they would get replaced with more and more spirits all saying the same thing, please help me. Fay yelled at them but more and more came, it began to overwhelm her. They started to power her down. It was as if the more that were present in the room, the more they drew life out of her and into themselves. She grew so weak so quickly. Soon she was leaning on the countertop for support, trying to stutter out useless words. She was so lost and rattled by so many at once she didn’t hear her own mother walk in the door.
“Fay?” her mother asked, walking in the kitchen. She looked at Fay who looked as though she were about to pass out, and ran over to her. “Fay sweetie! Are you alright!? Here, come sit down!” At the sight of a person who could not see them the spirits dissipated, leaving Fay’s thoughts, mind and body at ease, allowing her strength and life force to return.
“I’m fine mom, seriously . . .I’m fine . . .”she said, while her mother started pressing her hand to her forehead and her cheeks. “Look I’m fine.” Fay repeated forcefully. She pushed her mother’s hands away from her body.
“Well someone’s woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.” She snapped back. “Speaking of which how was your weekend? What did you do?”
“Sorry, I mean it was fine, but boring as usual. Look, I better go upstairs I have a huge history test to study for and . . .” Fay said standing, however her mother interrupted.
“Woah woah woah. Fay! I just got here!”she exclaimed. “Are you avoiding me? What’s going on?”
“Nothing mom, I just need space.” Fay said, trying to leave, but her mom stopped her.
“Don’t you think I give you enough space? I left you alone for the whole weekend! You don’t think that’s enough space? Come on Fay! Talk to me!” she exclaimed. Fay just stared at the ground, all the thoughts swirling around in her mind. Maybe even the voices of ghosts as well. Her mom might have said something but Fay didn’t hear it, she was too lost in thought, about only one fact.
“Do you think it’s a privilege to stay home alone every single weekend?” Fay asked accusingly. “Do you think I want to be alone all the time?”
“I know why your upset sweetie . . . loosing dad must have been so hard on you and now you’re pining for him, but that’s not the issue right now. The issue is you wanting something that’s already been given to you . . .” she said. Fay snapped her head up and stared at her mother in disbelief. She could not believe the words she was hearing. It was the exact opposite thing she had expected her mother to say.
“Leave me alone.” Fay said, pushing her mother out of the way and storming out of the kitchen.
“Excuse me young lady! Come back here right now!” her mother commanded however Fay ignored it. She shouts of her mother grounding her, and taking her to counseling mixed with the gentle whispers of the spirits filled Fay’s ears as she stomped up the stairs to her room. It was all happening so fast. Her world was falling apart.
Fay stood alone at her bus stop. When Colt finally came out of his house, there was no warm smile on his face, no happy greeting when he got the corner, nothing. He just stood there, cold and stone faced, not even acknowledging Fay’s presence at all.
“Colt, are you mad at me?” Fay finally asked, breaking the tense silence.
“That depends if you can tell the truth about where you were this weekend.” He snapped back.
“I told you, I needed a little time to myself, that’s all.” Fay pleaded.
“Please Colt, listen to reason.”
“You’re lying!” he shouted back. Fay stood tall, in bewilderment. How could he possible know where she was that day? A long moment of silence followed. Colt seemed so riveted with anger that he struggled to take each breath, while Fay watched him in agony. This can’t have been the Colt she’d known for so many years. It just can’t be.
“I came to your house that morning after our conversation. No one was there . . .” he said.
“Well maybe I just didn’t answer the doo . . .” Fay started, but he cut her off.
“The door was wide open Fay!” He shouted. “I went through your entire house looking and you weren’t there. Have anything to say about that?!” Fay stared at him in disbelief. He went to her house, and entered without asking or knocking. Granted it was a little concerning with the door wide open, but he entered unannounced. He could have done anything.
“I . . .I . . .I don’t know what to say Colt,” Fay stammered.
“How about an I’m sorry to start.” He snapped back.
“Look Colt, I didn’t . . .” Fay started, however at that moment the bus pulled up. Fay stopped and looked at Colt who looked angry. She gave him a pleading look, but he ignored it, and went onto the bus.
That whole week went the same way for Fay. She fought with her mom at home and Colt during school, and when she wasn’t fighting she was up to her eyeballs in homework. Worst of all scarier and scarier ghosts were approaching her, asking her for help. She would respond the same way and they would vanish. However as the week dragged on she would have to say it more than once to get the message across. More than anything overall, Fay wished for an escape from the life she was living right now. . . .
When the weekend finally came Fay was about ready to keel over from stress. Her last fight had been really tough with Colt, and it ended in the final words. Colt, I am breaking up with you. That’s right, Fay ended it. She was sick of the fighting. The only way to save their beaten friendship now was to end it there in the hopes things could somewhat go back to normal years into the future.
“Fay! Get up, we’re going to the counselor’s!” her mother shouted Saturday morning. Quickly Fay got out of bed and readied herself for the moment she had been dreading all week. If the family counselor found out she could see the dead, they would probable send her to an asylum somewhere far away. Fay came down the stairs in ten minutes, and turned towards the hallway to see her mom, waiting by the door.
“Well that took way too long missy. Come on, the appointment is at ten.” She said, stoutly, heading out the door. Fay just sighed and followed.
It seemed as though nothing could please her mother anymore. Her used to be happy-go-lucky mother was now a constant griping troll.
They drove in silence, and walked inside the office in silence. From the outside in it was the peak of niceness and perfection. The whole place looked bright and everyone was friendly. Even the over worked receptionist. It almost seemed too perfect. Like the building itself was hiding a deeply buried secret. Fay’s stomach churned at the mixed vibes she was getting from the place. What she was seeing wasn’t matching up to what she was feeling.
When they finally called Fay into the office from the waiting room, Fay didn’t hear the doctor at first. All of a sudden Fay was forced out of her chair and onto the ground. She turned and looked up at her mother who looked absolutely furious with her. She sharply pointed at the woman calling her back. In disbelief at her mother’s actions, Fay slowly stood, and walked to the woman calling her back. She was tall, lanky, and had half moon glasses, with a chair going around her head. In her hand she held a clipboard.
“Are you Faylene?” she asked nicely. Fay just nodded, fearing that her mother would get even angrier with her then she already was.
“Alright then, come on back. We have a few things to discuss today Faylene.” She said, gesturing Fay to follow her into a different room. This room was decorated with lavish antiques and huge semi-circle windows facing an enormous meadow. It was like a paradise suite, for an office. In the center was a small couch, a big arm chair and a coffee table. Fay sat down on the couch, and the woman took the arm chair.
Already, Fay was feeling sick. It was like the bottom of her stomach was churning, and simmering like a cauldron over a roaring fire. She felt her face getting paler and paler. She felt a presence here. All of a sudden white shadows started to form all around the room. Worst of all, the shadows were in the forms of children, and teenagers.
“Now Faylene, my name is Doctor Dresher, and I am here for you. You can tell me anything, even the worst things, and I won’t rat you out to your mother. Now tell me how your feeling.” She said. The only thing Fay could do was clutch her stomach. The ghosts kept whispering to her. Their voices filled her ears, except their lips weren’t moving. She even felt the breath of every single syllable.
“She kills. She’s death. She is not your friend. Leave now.” They whispered. Fay tried to block them, and tried to speak.
“Uh . . .I . . .No . . .Uh . . .fine.” Fay stuttered out. Immediately doctor Dresher started taking notes. As she was looking down Fay tried to mumble the words that had saved her from attack so many times, however when she opened her mouth no sound came out. The words forced their way into her ears as she tried so desperately to block them.
“Now Fay, are you sure you aren’t having any trouble at home or at school. How about any dating troubles? Have you recently experienced any harsh break-ups, any fights, or abusive relationships or sexual . . .” she said but Fay couldn’t stand it anymore. The voices were overpowering her. However there was something weird about them. They kept saying the same things over and over again. Like a broken record. The white shadows didn’t draw any closer but they stared at her. They knew who she was. They were trying to tell her something. At that moment Fay relaxed and let the voices in. There were so many though, one over lapping another when they would try to explain what they were saying.
“Fay? Hello? Can you hear me?” Doctor Dresher asked. Immediately Fay snapped out of her trance, looking around at the ghosts in the room. Doctor Dresher kept getting more confused by the second.
“Excuse me, I have to make a phone call.” Fay said, slowly standing and walking over to one of the windows. Immediately she took out her phone, dialed a number, but didn’t press the call button. Then she put the phone to her ear. Doctor Dresher just sighed, stood and walked over to a corner of the room which had a small door leading into a small closet.
“Hi, I’m here. Is there anything you want to tell me?” Fay asked loudly.
“And only one of you speak.” In a flash one of the white shadows was in front of Fay. It was a girl no older then Fay. She looked bruised and beaten. Her throat was cut almost halfway through and dripping with translucent white blood.
“The woman is not who you think she is. She’s not in the world of the living or the world of the afterlife. She is death, and she kills to achieve her own ends . . .” The girl whispered.
“Are you all the children she’s . . .” Fay asked slowly, catching herself at the last second. She glanced at Doctor Dresher who was still fumbling in her closet.
“Yes.” The girl answered. “She has thought of us as the enigma but when she found out she was wrong it was too late. Our bodies are hidden in a hollow panel in the basement. Knock on the wooden walls to find it.”
“Thank you.” Fay said, not asking what the enigma was. “Now go under the bridge to find peace . . .”
“I don’t know. I think I’ll wait for you.” The girl replied. Fay gave her a confused look. However the ghost girl’s look was unchanging the whole time, so she didn’t react to Fay’s expression. “Rummaging through her closet is how it always starts . . .” At that moment the girl dissipated, leaving Fay alone with Doctor Dresher.
“Faylene, I think you and I should broach on a different subject matter. . .” Doctor Dresher mumbled. She stepped out of the closet, holding something behind her back. Fay stepped back into the window sill as Doctor Dresher slowly started to approach her.
“See Faylene, usually my clients give me something other than money in return for my services as a doctor. However since you’re just a hopeless case, and a bridge, I figured why not get it out of the way now?” she said sweetly, however grinning darkly. Fay couldn’t help but tremble in fear. Seeing her fear made Doctor Dresher laugh, sending cascading waves of laughter to the ceiling. It echoed of it and plunged back down. It was nothing of normalcy.
The next scene slowed down. In Fay’s eyes it played frame by frame, as if she were in a movie theatre. She saw Doctor Dresher’s essence spew out of her, a black shadowy light form around her as she lunged for Fay. Behind her back she pulled out a twelve inch carving knife. Then she came closer and closer until she was inches away from Fay. All of a sudden out of nowhere comes Beck, tackling her to the ground. They scream, and flail at each other, both in fury. Beck let out a cry of pain as Lina appears, getting in the fight, followed by Torrin, Sol, and Edi.
Together the four of them pull Dr. Dresher off of Beck, and threw her into the corner. Beck just laid still on the ground, moaning in agony. His fright soldier was draining in blood and claw marks. Immediately Fay ran to him. He tried to smile weakly when he saw her. His mouth covered in blood. Fay tried to fight back tears, as she tried to think of something to help beck. Then she remembered something. She quickly took her shirt off, knowing she had on a tank top and a bra underneath, and tore it. She began to wrap it around Beck’s shoulder, letting the thick cotton stop and absorb the blood.
“T-t-tell them-m Aaauuu.” Beck moaned. This time Fay let her eyes water as she tried to hush him down.
“No. Don’t speak. It’ll be alright I promise. We’ll get you out of here, and to the hideout in no time.” Fay whispered, trying to stop his bleeding shoulder.
“It’s death.” Beck whispered, before blacking out completely. Fay thought for a moment, trying to decipher what he meant. She heard shouting in the background, but her mind was a fog.
“I’m not your enemy bridges. I’m only trying to rid the world of the one. We will all better off without it!” Dr. Dresher shouted.
“Fay is not the one!” Lina shouted back, hurling herself at Dr. Dresher, while Torrin, and Sol charged from the side. Each of them had an identical sword. It was made of a watery purple substance Fay had seen before but didn’t remember where.
“The cold blooded hunter places me in charge while he searched for her. He yearns for her. It is the epicenter of his existence is through the eyes of some stupid girl.” Dr. Dresher hissed. Her voice changing, coming from deep inside herself. Fay’s mind, still trying to decipher what Beck said while pressing the compress to his shoulder, came up with a solution.
“That thing is some personified version of death himself.” Fay mumbled to herself. The idea seemed too ridiculous however it seemed as though there was no other option. Slowly she stood, leaving her blood soaked shirt pressed to Beck shoulder and ran over to the fighting.
“Guys!” Fay shouted. “That thing death!” When the words reached Torrin’s ears she laughed and continued trying to bring down Dr. Dresher who became stronger every minute. With each attack a bridge tried to use Dr. Dresher would take that bridge and throw them against a wall. When her words reached Lina’s ears she stopped dead in her tracks. Seeing Lina looking terrified, Dr. Dresher smiled evilly, and began to grow, looming over her. Slowly her skin began to peel off like the skin peels off an apple, revealing all the inner working of Dr. Dresher herself. At that moment Lina ran.
“Fay! Grab beck!” Lina shouted. Immediately Fay ran to Beck, and grabbed his hand tightly, and reached out to Lina. On contact a burst of hot white light appeared and the three of them were transported somewhere else.
This time Fay didn’t pass out during the travel. Instead she tripped on a cold tile floor and went face first onto the ground. When she stood, she saw Lina and Wolf trying to heave Beck up onto the bed so she went and helped. From there, nurses from the hideout attended to his wounds while Lina and Fay watched, unable to take their eyes off of him. After a while Wolf escorted them outside, shutting the door behind them.
“What happened?” Wolf asked. Lina recounted the whole story perfectly; from the time she got there to when they transported themselves away from Dr. Dresher’s office. However Wolf looked to Fay for more of the story. However all she could do was think about Beck.
“Fay, what happened before Lina got there?” Wolf asked. Fay took a deep breath and told about how her mother wanted her to go see a counselor and that’s how she ended up in Dr. Dresher’s office. Then she talked about the ghosts, and finally when Dr. Dresher charged at her with a knife and how, in that final moment, Beck came in and saved her.
“What I want to know is how you all knew I was in trouble. It was a moment that was too good to be true.” Fay said. Wolf looked at Lina, who nodded as if to say go on, tell her, she can handle it.
“You see Fay, sometimes bridges can share certain special connections called Links. They're empathetic connections between two bridges, allowing the other person so see their partner’s feelings and thoughts . . .” Wolf said, pausing to see if Fay understood. However Fay knew what he meant even before he said it.
“Beck has a link to you Fay. That’s how we knew you were a bridge, and that’s probable how he knew you were in trouble.” Fay just stared at him, dumbfounded.
“Do you mean he has access to my thoughts whenever he wants to?” Fay asked.
“Well you may have access to his but that depends. Usually when one person starts to get a connection the other does as well . . .” Wolf replied.
“Well Wolf, I really don’t feel emotions other then my own, and apparently Beck feels my emotions too!” Fay said sarcastically.
“Look Fay, I know you feel violated but . . .” Wolf said.
“But what? He was just waiting for the right time to tell me? Not like I haven’t heard that one before!” Fay ranted. The anger and her feelings of violation consumed her. They took away any sort of filter she had over her speech. She let her words flow freely no matter how hurtful.
“Look Fay, I didn’t bring you out here to make you feel hurt. I came out here to warn you . . .” Wolf said.
“About Beck? Well thanks for the warning I greatly appreciated it!” Fay interrupted, her words virulent and sarcastic.
“No, about death!” Wolf shouted back. This time Fay didn’t dare to speak. She had made Wolf angry. He always seemed so calm and comforting. Like a father or grandfather. However now his voice was strained and his face was pale and gleamed in sweat.
All of a sudden Torrin, Sol and Edi appeared in a flash of light in the hallway. Sol was badly hurt, and Torrin and Edi were supporting his weight. Immediately Lina and Wolf rushed to them while Fay watched. So many things were going through her mind at once. She saw death in the form of a human. Fay had no idea death could even be a human let alone even be. However, worst of all was Beck’s betrayal, and the feeling of violation that came over her every time she thought of him. All those moments alone they had spent together. It seemed so much like real true friendship or even something more then that.
“Fay! Can you help?” Torrin shouted in an annoyed tone at Fay who was just staring at them. Fay just looked at her in a cold indifference and walked away. Nothing bothered her or confused her; her senses were just numb. She needed to be alone above all else, no matter how much it hurt the ones she cared about the most.
She walked down the long hotel-like hallway to the end. Not even looking to take in the grandeur of it like she would normally. The elevator was open there, waiting for her. She stepped inside it and looked at the control panel. There were tons of buttons, and of course the one marked to go to Lina’s bedroom above the gym. Fay would have pressed that one except she knew it was electrically wired. Instead she pressed the button below it. Since Lina’s room was on the second floor of the hideout maybe the button beneath it would take her to some sort of ground floor.
The elevator hummed as it sky rocketed upward. Not knowing where it would lead Fay felt a little bit of anxiety fill her. However nothing was as great as the relief of getting out and as far away from the hideout as possible. She wanted to go home, and deal with her virulent mother, rather than be at the hideout. That was saying something.
When the elevator doors opened, to Fay’s surprise it led right outside the gym building. She looked back at it. As the elevator doors closed the lines of it vanished and it blended back in with the decrepit wall. She just stared up at the building. She had never been this close to it before, partially because she was never allowed to be. The other part being that it was scary looking. However now, knowing what was inside it was her main drive for getting out of there. With one final look she turned and ran away from the hideout, from the bridges, and most of all, from Beck.
Beck felt the weighed down by his own muscles. They felt like stone cold bricks in his body, unwilling to move unless brutally forced. He allowed his mind to wake and his eyes to flutter open. The visions of that night were blurred, but the more awake and aware he became the more the memories flooded back. The most vivid out of all of them was the gentle touch of Fay’s hand as she tended to his wounded body. Slowly he forced his left arm to lift and touch his right shoulder. Instead of Fay’s shirt there was heavy padding and a cool ace bandage covering it.
“Beck! You’re awake!” an all too familiar voice exclaimed. It was Torrin, standing by his bedside, smiling down at him. Everyone knew she’s had a crush on him for at least two years now, but her extreme virulence towards everyone else except to him was what drove him away from her the most. Slowly Beck allowed himself to roll over on his left side and push himself up to a sitting position.
He looked around the room. Most were standing by the bed next to him. In it, laid Sol who was awake but extremely pale. They were all quietly talking to him, in hushed low whispers, as if there was some big secret he couldn’t know.
“Hey guys!” Torrin said loudly, as if reading his thoughts. They all turned to look at her, then seeing Beck up rushed to his bedside. Sol looked over and smiled at him. He looked at them, most looked happy, except for Wolf who looked unusually strained.
“Hey guys, what did I miss?” Beck asked light heartedly.
“Well we fought death. Somehow managed to escape alive, oh and Fay’s missing.” Edi said. Everyone turned to give Edi a look who just shrugged. However Beck couldn’t help but feel his face fall into a state of panic and worry. Had death gotten to Fay? Where was she now?
“Beck, she knows.” Wolf said quietly. Beck attention snapped to him. He couldn’t possible have meant the link he shares with her. Could he? He had to. However he did not want to face it because the fear of her knowing of the connection that scared him the most. If she knew about it then she would know everything.
Beck felt guilty for invading Fay’s private thoughts. The link that had developed from him to her was something out of his control because it was before he had met her. He blocked out her thoughts, unless forced to access the ones he needed or was forced to let her emotions in. He felt like a horrible snoop for doing so, because he figured she would have no idea what a link even was or what it meant. At first his guilt was only minimal. However, as his bond with Fay grew into something real, so did his guilt, and stress of it all. The question of telling Fay the truth always plagued his mind.
This time he needed to know whether Wolf was right. He took a deep breath, and relaxed. He let all the pressures from his mind fall away and only focused on one thing. Fay. In that instant a wave of emotions flooded his mind, anxiety, sadness, and worst of all betrayal. Something inside Beck had desperately hoped Wolf was wrong.
“Who told her, and how much did you tell her?” Beck asked.
“That does not matter now. What matters is that two of the most feared beings are out to catch, and kill Faylene Harps. The spirit of death wants her dead, so that control of the abyss can be placed back into the hands of the cold blooded hunter. The cold blooded hunter wants her alive because he believes she is in herself, the enigma of the ages.” Wolf replied.
“Well that only leaves one question then.” Sol piped up from his bed. “Is Fay the enigma of the ages?”
“I don’t know Sol and to be honest I really don’t care. All I know is, Fay is missing and the two most feared being in the world are out to get her. As Bridges it is not only our job to not only escort the dead to the haven, but to protect the innocent so we . . .” Wolf said.
“Fay isn’t innocent! All she’s done is put a burden on our shoulders.” Torrin interrupted.
“And we have put one on her. We have forced her into this so fast that we have not given her time to think about what she has committed to. We have not given her the time to even learn the proper steps to becoming a bridge, and yet less than a day ago she was faced with death himself.”
“And what about the rest of us? What about our own welfare?” Torrin said, her voice rising.
“What has she done that’s so wrong Torrin?” Beck snapped at her.
“Take away attention from what really matters here!” Torrin argued.
“On what? Yourself?” Lina shot back at her. At this Torrin fell silent but not without giving Lina a mutinous glare. Then without another word, she stalked out of the room. No one tried to stop her. After a long awkward pause Wolf spoke up, but only softly.
“Alright.” He said, trying not to let his voice quaver. “How are we going to find Fay?”
Fay walked through town, dodging in out of the people that walked by her. She couldn’t go back home because some strong impetus told her not to. She couldn’t go to the police because what could she tell them? She couldn’t even go to Colt, who probable wouldn’t even answer the door anyway. In her mind there was only one option, but she refused to face it. She paced up and down the main street of Skipton. She walked past all the shops and restaurants, through the parking lot where Sharp Sugar played only what seemed like fortnight before, down the narrow alleyway and back into town again. Her mind refused to work for her, and her body seemed to work on its own. Fay herself drifted in and out of conscience control, and unconscious control. A dreamland of real and unreal she couldn’t control.
As she entered the alley for the tenth time there was someone else there. It was a boy standing facing her. Fay squinted to get a good look at the boy, her eyes refused to work for her. When her vision cleared she saw none other than Colt Brenner. He was standing tall, smiling down at her with pearly white teeth. She heard him shout something then saw him run at her. However Fay didn’t catch what it was he said.
In an instant she was lost in his embrace. Her dazed mind forgot everything about Colt that had gone wrong. The way he treated her, and yelled at her. How in the end she had broken up with him, even though it was hard, for her own good. The way he threatened her and stalked her was lost with Fay in his arms. After a long while she felt try and pull away. The warmth and happiness that came with his smiling embrace was leaving her. She tried desperately to make him stay in her arms. She clung to him, not letting him go. Her eyes closed, burying his face in his shirt.
“Fay?” He asked. She lifted her head to meet his gaze. It was she had wanted and had for only a short time. She never realized how much she had missed it. When their eyes met, their gazes sparked something beyond either of them. At that moment the betrayal and hurt she had previously felt for another boy, who she forgot the name of just fell away.
His hand gentle slid under her shin grazing it the slightest bit. It drew her face closer to his. He leaned in, and Fay closed her eyes, and leaned in also. In that instant Fay felt light and airy. The butterflies in her stomach were returning. She knew how she felt now. Colt was her one and only. Her other half she was desperately missing.
Slowly their kissing intensified, drawing them closer. His hand was wrapped around the small of her back, pushing her against him. She didn’t fight it. Instead she put her hands around his head, feeling every follicle of his blond hair. She wanted him, and no one else.
All of sudden he picked her up into his arms. She didn’t even have time to gasp when he laid her down onto a bed, and gentle laid himself on top of her. She didn’t question that or any of it. The only thing she knew was Colt, their feverish heat in their kissing, and feeling herself wrap her legs around his. She didn’t question when Colt’s shirt suddenly disappeared and she could feel the smooth solid body. She didn’t question it when his hand ran up the curves of her thighs. When he started to undress her shirt she helped him along. She wanted to reveal herself to him, show him everything she had. She wanted to show him her true self. Now he was around her reaching for the clasp of her bra. This was it-the big moment where he would either approve or disapprove. However something strange was nagging at the back of her mind. It was a small voice. Not her own, but someone, or something else. It grew louder quickly screeching in her ears. It made her jump.
“FAYLENE HARPS YOU ARE IN DANGER!!!!!!” an all too familiar voice screeched. It was a voice she had feared for a long time. That’s when everything flooded back to her. That’s when her full conscience mind realized something was wrong. Her eyes went wide as she registered the scene. All she knew was that Colt Brenner was on top of her on a bed, about to take her bra off. However there was something else too. His eyes were black. That’s when she lashed out.
In a split second Fay’s hand went from hugging Colt Brenner to socking him in the stomach. It made him cringe. Then she went for the pressure points-shoulder, knees, sides, and that area. When she hit him there, he winced, covering it. At that moment she punched him hard in the face, knocking him backwards. She jumped up from the bed to come face to face with Fiona McCarthy.
“That was juicy sweetie, maybe a little too juicy. That’s why I told Henry and John to get lost. I think that’s the closest that anyone has ever gotten to the cold blooded hunter and lived.” Fiona said, smiling a little. Fay gave her a confused look and glanced around. They were in a small dirty room with no windows, and nothing inside it except for the bed, and a door diagonal to it. Everything was covered grime, the white walls, the hardwood floor, even the bed was dirty. Fay looked back at Fiona who just shrugged.
“But that’s Colt . . .” Fay stuttered. Her mind tried to think of what she meant by the cold blooded hunter but it refused to work for her. Fay feared she might be going into semi-conscience dreamland again where all she ever wanted to do was have sex with Colt.
“Not at the moment sweetie.” Fiona said, looking over to where Colt was sitting. He had his head in his hands, turned away from her. It shook in pain, something he was not used to. Fay looked at him in bewilderment. All of a sudden he snapped to attention without turning around. It made both Fay and Fiona jump. All of a sudden a hissing, raspy voice coming from everywhere yet nowhere filled both dead and un-dead ears.
“Fiona?” It asked. “Is that you? I’ve missed you Fiona. You’ve eluded me for so many years . . .” Fiona gasped and vanished. Fay could swear she apologized for the split second it took her to vanish. Then Colt turned around to look at her. His eyes were pure charcoal white, and skin was pasty white. He hissed at her. Fay felt naked with only her bra and panties on. She looked around the room for her clothes but they were gone. She was exposed.
“Hello Faylene.” The voice hissed. In a snap Colt was standing in front of her, and not sitting against the bed. His nose was bleeding heavily but he didn’t seem to mind it as he did before. Fay took a step back from him.
“My name is Hunter Cold.” He continued. “I came to you today to ask you a very important question. I need you for a very important mission I need to complete in the abyss.” At that moment she realized who he was, and what was going on. Hunter Cold or the hunter was speaking to her, needing her for some sort of mission. Most of all, her ex-boyfriend had been possessed by the devil.
What was left of the Bridges searched Skipton four times over. They came up with nothing. Together Beck, Lina, Edi, and Sol, Beck and Sol after being given plenty of pain medication, searched every nook and cranny of Skipton. They checked Fay’s house, Colt’s house, but they both weren’t there. Colt’s mother claimed Colt was with Fay when Beck asked her, claiming to be his “friend”. This made him worry even more.
The day came and went by so fast. They came up with nothing. There was no way to track Fay because she wasn’t a full member of the bridges. Beck tried to use his link to get to her but there was no response. It was as if her mind was shut off. He prayed she wasn’t dead. He prayed so hard.
Beck sat alone in his room, the lights dimmed and his curtains closed. He was reading one of his favorite books The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. However he couldn’t admit he read such classics as that to his friends. So when Torrin stormed into his bedroom he had no choice but to throw his beloved book over his head.
“Damn it Torrin! What are you doing?” Beck snapped.
“Did I scare you? I’m sorry, I’ll just go . . .” She said apologetically.
“No, you stormed in here for a reason. Now spill.” Beck replied.
“Well I was just wondering how you were doing . . .you know . . .” she said awkwardly. She stood, looking unusually feeble. Her arms were tight behind her back, her face looking at the ground, one foot casually going back and forth on the ball of her foot. She looked almost pretty and innocent. However Beck stared at her, un-phased.
“Do you mean when Fay vanished? I’m fine I just can’t figure out where she could be.” Beck said, sounding slightly defeated.
“We can search again tomorrow, and the next day until we find her,” Torrin suggested.
“No. If we search the same spot over and over again we’re just wasting our time.” Beck replied spitefully.
“Look I . . .” Torrin started however Beck cut her off. He had enough of this.
“I don’t why you’re here or why you care about Fay so much when you never have before. You didn’t even come searching with us today! What’s your issue Torrin?” Beck said loudly.
“What issue!? I have never had an issue with Fay!” Torrin shouted right back.
“Then why are you always so mean to her when she’s around. Huh?”
“Beck, I don’t have a problem with Fay. . .” Torrin started, but Beck cut her off again.
“Then what is your problem!?” he screamed.
“You pay more attention to her then you do to me!!!” Torrin screamed back over him. As soon as she said Torrin covered her mouth with her hands and turned away from Beck. She couldn’t look at him now. He looked away from her clearly confused. A long silence followed, where no sounds were made. Not even the hideout itself made a sound, as if respecting the moment between them.
“Are you talking about that night on the train? When I first came to the hideout? When you were my link and Wolf told me it was too dangerous to be living with my parents anymore?” Beck asked.
“I . . .I thought . . .just maybe . . .we had something . . .” Torrin stammered.
“I was high Torrin. The memories of that night were a blur. I don’t even know what I said to you, but all I know whatever it was, it was a lie.” Beck said.
“But . . .you . . .” Torrin stammered.
“I’m sorry if I led you on,” Beck apologized, not really sure whether he meant it or not. Whatever he could say to Torrin off of his back would suffice. At that moment Torrin ran out of the room as brashly as she had entered. Beck could swear she saw a hot fresh tear rolling down her cheek as she left. He couldn’t help feeling like a guilty lowlife after that. That night he could swear he heard Torrin’s sobbing from two floors above his own.
“I will only answer your questions if you explain to me where we are.” Fay said indignantly. She knew Hunter Cold would comply. He needed her for something. He wouldn’t touch a hair on her head if he didn’t. Colt sighed, his back eyes unchanging.
“We are in a place between life and death. It is known in the abyss as the crossroads.” He replied. “Any other questions?”
“Yes.” Fay replied. “Why were you pretending to be Colt? Why did you kiss me the way you did?”
“I will not pretend to be an honest and charitable man Faylene. I know what I want and will do whatever it takes to get it. I lured you here with my own accord because I needed to talk to you about something very important. Here you are safe from everything and everyone, including death. In this place you could live forever.” He answered. “Now can we get on to my questions?”
“No.” Fay said bluntly. In him she saw a slight cringe of anger, his skin getting slightly paler, the shadows of his skin growing a darker purple for a split second. However in an instant he was back to the way he was before. She spoke again, cutting him off as he took a breath to speak.
“How do I know you’re not killing Colt from the inside out?” At this he smiled. That reaction shot a impetus of fear through Fay.
“That’s the catch. . .” He said grinning darkly. “If you don’t give me what I want I will kill your friend and take his soul into the abyss for all eternity.”
“No!” Fay shouted out.
“Yes,” Hunter answered, cocking Colt’s blond eyebrows. However Fay could see it. The golden blond of Colt’s hair was leaving him. It was getting duller and duller. His glowing tan like skin was gaining more pallor every minute. Fay knew that Colt’s body was dying from the outside in.
“Now will you give into my demands?” hunter asked.
“Yes.” Fay answered, bowing her head in defeated. He walked around her now, like a wolf, or a wild cat stalking its prey, just waiting for the right moment to strike.
“What is the enigma of the ages?” He asked, looking at her darkly. Fay looked at him now as he paced around her, in a dazed and confused way.
“I beg your pardon . . .” Fay asked, not sure how to respond.
“What is the enigma of all ages?” He asked again, his hissing rasping voice growing louder with each word uttered from Colt’s mouth. At that moment, Fay knew she was going to have a problem for she had no idea what the enigma of all ages was, let alone what enigma meant.
“I . . .I don’t know . . .” Fay stuttered, unable to respond.
“Fine. Please tell me what the enigma of all ages is.” Hunter snapped back at her. When Fay just meant him with confused eyes, he only grew angrier.
“I don’t know what you talking about.” Fay said sincerely. However sincerity was not going to get her out of this.
“Alright then, watch as Colt Brenner suffers.” Hunter said. All of a sudden something snapped inside of Colt. His mouth opened and sound came out. Not of the voice of the hunter whose rasping gurgling voice was everywhere yet nowhere, but Colt’s own true voice. From deep inside of him he was screaming in agony.
“I will tear this boy body from soul until you give me what I want!” the hunter proclaimed. Colt’s scream was not the kind of scream you can hear every day. It was the kind of scream filled with not only pain but true terror. Fay tried to block it out, and tell herself Colt meant nothing to her anymore but his screams filled her eyes, smoothing off any hurt feeling and turning them into pure pain.
“No! Stop it! STOP IT!”Fay shouted. However the screams only got louder, making the spirit of the Hunter inside Colt laugh maniacally as he suffered. Fay couldn’t help it. She was on the ground now, trying to block out Colt’s screaming. It wasn’t working. The hunter walked over and stood above her, still laughing like a madman.
“I will do anything to make it stop.” Fay begged, trembling at his feet.
“Just please, please.” The Hunter stopped laughing and smiled evilly down at her.
“If you don’t want the boy to suffer I guess you can share his pain . . . lighten his load a little bit. I will give mercy . . .” The hunter said. In a split second he lashed out at her. A whip-like could of black matter formed from his hand like a whip, and curled around Colt’s gnarled looking fingers. He struck Fay with it, knocking her backwards, into the wall of the bedroom. Waves of pain were forming on the wound of the whip, which had sliced across her shoulder to her left side.
“Where mercy is due,” The hunter finished. This time his smile looked tremulous. As if the evil he committed was a good deed to an elderly woman crossing the street.
“I will . . .I’ll take . . .it . . .his pain . . .”Fay stuttered. At this the Hunter smiled.
“With each blow is for each time you refuse to tell me the enigma of the ages. Each time you are closer and closer to dying Faylene Harps.” Be warned. With each time he whipped Fay he asked a question beforehand, usually being a question she didn’t know the answer too, or couldn’t answer because of the agonizing pain.
By the time the Hunter was fed up with twenty questions, all Fay could see was blood. It was everywhere. It was in her mouth. The taste of it was salty and bitter. It was in her nose, creating a foul stench. It was all over her body, even coming over her blurred and weak vision. She was close to it now, to death. She thought of everything that had happened to her so far and how one little note and one night behind the building of a nightclub could change her whole life. Then she thought of seeing Beck for the first time. She thought of his long, flowing silky black hair, his huge puppy dog brown eyes, and the way his tan skin seemed so smooth and soft to the touch. She wished he were here with her in these, her final moments. She wanted him so badly.
“Now I’m going to ask you one more time,” The hunter said angrily. “What is the enigma of all ages?” Fay tried to open her mouth to answer but only blood and feeble whimpers and moans came out. He screamed angrily and whipped her again. She could feel it. However she was used to the extreme pain it felt as if it were nothing. She took on the pain with grace, failing to notice shouting in the background.
It came so quickly. There were black spots across her vision. She knew death was on her doorstep. Out of the corner of her eye she swore she could see Dr. Dresher, dressed in a black robe and carrying a scythe, smiling at her, holding her gentle in her arms, ready to take her away. Then she let her eyes close, and let the sweet warmth of death take her, because for all she knew, that’s where she was going to go.
Beck paced in the place known as the happy morgue. All of this at once weighted down on him. The anxiety of not knowing where Fay was, his battle with Torrin earlier that night that had caused him to get out of bed and go to the lab in the first place, and the fact that he could find no way to go into Fay’s mind if he needed to. All of this weighed down on him as he paced. The more he thought about it, the more he paced.
“You’re gonna make a rut in the ground soon boy.” Henry Potter called out from his cylinder. Beck turned to look at him, his eyes wild, and deep from the sleeplessness.
“Then you tell me what to do!” Beck snapped. “How do I get Fay back?”
“It almost sounds like you’re in love boy. . .” Henry said, letting the slightest ghost of a smile form on his lips. He knew he hit a nerve with Beck. Beck just looked away, his heart full of pain.
“I don’t know anymore . . .”Beck said at a barely audible tone. Henry heard it, and this time an actual smile formed on his old lips. Beck glared at him, his big brown eyes emanating hatred.
“Have you ever lost the one you loved and had no way of getting her back?” Beck asked, meaning to put more coldness in it then he did. He was starting to give up his hatred and succumb to the tired sleep that awaited him.
“I’ll tell you a little secret . . .” Henry said, gesturing Beck over to his cylinder. He did so, not even questioning that he could just say something fowl instead of giving helpful advice. Beck leaned as close to the cylinder as he could, and Henry’s pale lips coming close to the glass on the other side. “The ones you love always come back to you in the end, but if they don’t, then they were never yours.”
Beck just looked at Henry in confusion, while Henry just smiled. Beck sighed and walked away, going back to his incessant pacing. It seemed like hours droned on by while Beck paced, the same sounds filling his ears. Beck himself zoned in and out of real and unreal, not much unlike Fay’s trance. However he had no outside influence. So when the Haven above lit up in a flash, and glowed a brilliant light, Beck stopped and tried to stare up into it. There was a huge flash of wind that blew beck backwards against the bolted down table. When it finally stopped and the light dimmed, there standing before him, was Fiona.
“Fiona? What?” Beck asked in total confusion.
“Beck! You don’t have much time!” Fiona exclaimed as she tried to help Beck to his feet but her hands slid right through him. He jerked backwards in pain, holding his hand. He gave him an apologetic look and continued.
“Fay’s in the haven with The Cold Blooded Hunter. She’s in the paradox to the abyss from the haven. You know the place where all demons still attached to the lost souls from the haven go . . .”
“Yes I know what the paradox is, now get to the point!” Beck shouted interrupting her. Fiona gave him an indignant look, and continued.
“But she doesn’t know it. I tried to get back here as fast as possible but MARTY!” she said, with emphasis on Marty. She also looked up to the haven, shaking her fists in rage. Beck looked up too, wondering who Marty was but now it had become covered in the shroud of darkness once again. “was being difficult and tried to force me into the light. I got away but it took time. Apparently the one wants me there as well. He thinks I’ve been working too long and it’s time for me to retire.” Fiona finished.
“Oh my God! I have to go in and get her. He could have done anything to her by now!” Beck exclaimed.
“Wait! There’s something you need to know!” Fiona shouted, as Beck started to run towards the back of the lab where all the extra supplies were held in case of necessary missions to the haven by a living person. He heard her words but he did not stop.
“The hunter has possessed Fay’s boyfriend Colt. He’s using Colt as blackmail to get to her!” Fiona shouted, as Beck threw on his gear. He knew his mission would be hard, but he had to do it. No matter what the cost. Fiona watched home for a little, than something dawned on her.
“Aren’t you going to tell the others?” Fiona asked worriedly.
“No.” Beck said flatly. He came out of the back of the room, dressed in the gear needed for the mission, and looked up into the haven. At this Fiona didn’t respond but instead planned to tell everyone anyway. She looked up into the darkness of the haven, and called to Marty. Then disappeared from the spot she was standing. When the light came it sucked up Beck instead of herself. She watched him go, fly into the brilliant sparkling light, and wondered whether she would ever see that boy again.
As soon as Beck’s feet landed on the ground, he could feel her. Fay’s absolute terrible pain was thundering through his body. He felt her again, but she seemed distant. That’s what proved to him that Fiona was right. Fay was here and he could feel it.
The haven itself was a nice looking place. Everywhere around him was white as far as the eye could see. The ground of the haven was hard but covered by light gentle clouds. They wrapped around his feet, giving him gentle hugs as he walked. He had to find something, anything, or anyone that would tell him were the paradox was.
Beck himself had never been in the haven. In his training he was given the skills to enter it alive if he needed to, but never had to until this moment. To him it seemed like a paradise. He felt as though he could walk aimlessly here forever, but because of Fay’s link, it made him run.
He used his link to Fay like a beacon, or a metal detector guided him were to go. If her pain got fainter then he knew he was going in the wrong direction, but if he felt greater and greater pain at more direct places he knew she was near. He started to walk faster and faster in one direction as the pain increased. He could feel himself drawing closer and closer to the place. Then he saw something-a speck of black in the world of white. That’s how he knew he was there. It was a small black dot on the floor, no bigger than the top of a glass jar. He stood over it wondering how he was going to get in. He felt himself getting weaker, as Fay’s pain began to overcome him. All of a sudden a burst of new pain came right across his back. It made him stagger, onto the dot.
In a split second Beck was sucked down through the small dark hole and into the paradox. He fell, landing right on top of the Hunter. They both fell to the floor with a large thud. Beck looked around, at the small bedroom. It contained nothing except a bed and a door leading to who knows where. In a second the Hunter threw Beck off of himself and stood, Beck flipped and landed on his feet like a cat. However instead of looking at the very devil himself he was staring at none other than Fay’s ex-boyfriend.
“Colt?” Beck asked. Even though Fiona had told him this, he was still surprised to find that it was true. His eyes were closed so he opened the. Beck jumped back in surprise to find that they were pure black.
“Hello Beck Lovett. I can’t say I’m surprised to see you . . .” the raping hissing voice on the hunter echoed from Colt’s mouth. The body of Colt looked dead in itself. The Hunter was only using it as a puppet to stay in the haven.
“Did you get what you want, the enigma of the ages?” Beck asked sternly.
“Unfortunately, that is a no. She had no idea what I was talking about . . .poor dear. She paid the price for it anyway.” The hunter replied, looking down at Fay in a pity so false in made Beck cringe in anger.
“Well then if you were just going to kill her, then why use Colt?” Beck asked, angrily.
“First off she’s not dead.” The hunter said a matter of factly. “She’s alive but just barely.” There was a long pause where Beck just glared at him and the hunter smiled right back.
“And my other question . . .” Beck said.
“Oh yes, well if you must know I possessed the boy a while ago to get to Fay. I allowed my most trustworthy demon to posses her mother later on. I wanted to win her heart over so she would trust “Colt” just a little more, so that when you, and her mother broke her heart later on I could come back and be her hero at the exact right moment. Strange how easy it is to manipulate the mind of a stupid teenage girl,” He replied. Beck had no reply for the horrifying plan. It was something unexpected that should be expected from the one who is the epicenter of evil.
“Why tell me all of that? You know I will never ever let you touch another hair on Fay’s head ever again.” Beck stated, glowering darkly at him.
“No,” The hunter said, as if weighing the options in his mind, and when coming to a firm resolute he continued. “I mean it’s not like you of all people can stop me Beck Lovett. You’re as evil as I am . . .”
“I am nothing like you!” Beck shouted at him, getting ready to draw his sword from his pocket.
“I wouldn’t say that . . .after breaking that poor girl’s heart like that . . .” Hunter Cold replied calmly, knowing he was getting the upper hand in this battle of minds. Beck had no response, only that off hanging his head.
“That’s right Beck, Tisk Tisk. You should never mess with a girl’s heart . . .” The hunter said, walking over to pet Fay’s bloodstained head. At that moment an impetus for bloody murderous rage filled Beck. He charged at the hunter, knocking him off to the side of Fay. He tumbled backwards and fell with a great thud.
“B*stard!!” Hunter screamed, as he jumped to his feet. Two huge thick black whips extended from his hands now, solid and strong. He turned on Beck in fury, lashing out at him from the right. In amazing speed Beck dodged the whips as the struck, jumping and ducking. Then he charged at the hunter, long sword in hand. However the Hunter was just as fast, whipping one of his whips over his head and coming down on Beck’s sword with incredible force, while the other snapped Beck’s head. This time Beck tumbled to the ground, with a broken sword and a bleeding head. The shock of the blow to head stunned him, and tortured him in the wretched pain it brought. The hunter just stood over him, laughing.
“Not even the most experienced bridge can defeat me boy. Don’t you know that?” he asked, while laughing hysterically. Beck just turned his head to look up at him, not letting his eyes display any pain or fear, only cold hatred.
“Well,” The hunter continued. “I guess you’re about to learn it!” The hunter raised his whips high, prepared to strike. All of a sudden the room began to shake so violently that even the hunter was knocked backwards. Then, through the ceiling came this brilliant white light, even brighter then the haven. It filled the room with its luminescent glow.
“What are you doing here?” the hunter snarled, slowly standing up. There was only silence, but the hunter’s facial expressions changed after a short time. Beck figured the light was speaking to him in a voice only he could hear.
“This is my business! Not yours! I’m not even in your territory and you dare step into mine!” the hunter shouted. At this the light got so bright Beck had to shield his eyes in his arm. When he thought the light was gone Beck slowly looked up. The light was there, staring down at him. It looked like a flashlight from nowhere, except for the fact that it was shaped like a human body. Beck just stared at it, not knowing what to do or say. However, a certain fear came over him that he could not explain.
“Do not be afraid, Beck Lovett.” A sweet melodious voice said, speaking softly in Beck’s own mind. “I only came to finish what you started . . .”
“the-the-the Hunter?” Beck stuttered out.
“The Hunter is indeed gone. Now hush child for one moment.” The voice said. All of a sudden an arm like light protruded from the main light, and the whole light reached down to ouch Beck’s head. Beck didn’t recoil, only bowing his head. As soon as the light touched his head a certain warm energy overcame him, and he knew right then, that the whip to his head was gone. As the arm of light retracted Beck looked up at it, then over to where Fay was. She was still un-conscience, but clean, not a drop of blood in sight. Colt was sitting next to her, also un-conscience, but not the dead portraying look he had before. Beck couldn’t tell if his eyes where black, because they were closed, but Beck had a slight inkling they weren’t anymore.
“Your friends are fine,” the gentle voice whispered again. “Take them boy, and treasure them, for Colt is too a bridge. He will eventually have a link to Torrin Bonds, but not yet. For now, just take both of their hands, and I will send you back to where you came from.” Beck nodded, slowly stood, and walked over to where Fay and Colt sat. He grabbed each by the hand, and waited. The next time he opened his eyes, they were in the laboratory, and the three ghosts, along with the rest of the bridges, were staring at him, gaping.
Fay slowly awoke in her usual bed in the infirmary of the hideout. It was warm, and morning light was streaming through the windows. No one was in her room, an occurrence that happened often when she would awake in the infirmary, so she allowed herself to stay lying flat. Eventually she fell back to sleep again.
When Fay awoke, the light was dimmer then it was in the morning. She also knew someone was in the room with her this time. It was beck, and he was alone. He was just looking at her, as if lost in some faraway place. She sat up and looked at him. He smiled and walked over to the side of her bed.
“How are you feeling?” he asked.
“Pretty good actually,” Fay said, sounding surprised. “Rested I guess.”
“That’s good.” Beck said. There was a long awkward moment of silence. Fay was about to ask what went on and how she got there in the first place, when Beck tried to speak also. They both laughed a little, and looked away.
“You first,” Fay said. Beck sighed, and seemed a little hesitant because it was something hard.
“I don’t know how to sugar coat this Fay in a way to make it sound better then it is . . .” Beck started, however Fay cut him off.
“You don’t have to.” Fay said. “I’m not some helpless little girl. I’m capable of taking care of myself.” Beck sighed again, this time just coming out with the words.
“How much do you remember?” Beck asked.
Fay hadn’t really thought of the night before at all since she had woken up. The memories came back to her in little bits. First there was the kissing with Colt, then waking up in a bed somewhere completely different, then agonizing pain, then a warm darkness. The scarps of memory played in her mind over and over again but she couldn’t make sense of any of it.
“A little bit . . .” Fay said, still concentrating on the memories floating through her mind.
“Okay. I’ll just tell you what happened, and then maybe when I’m done it’ll make sense.” Beck said. Fay nodded.
“You were kidnapped by the Hunter, the devil, to a place called the paradox. It’s a place in the haven that’s like a trash chute for demons still attached to lost souls. The demons are torn off the souls, thrown into the paradox and from there travel back to the abyss. The hunter took you there because he needed you completely alone because he didn’t want any outside influence from the living or the dead. He wants you for his mission to dominate the living world, the haven and beyond.” Beck explained.
“I remember something . . .” Fay said, still lost in thought about her own scrambled memories. “The enigma of the ages?”
“Exactly, he thinks you have the enigma of the ages, and tried to torture it out of you.” Beck replied.
“But I never knew what that even was . . .Okay, so what is the enigma of the ages?” Fay asked.
“It’s a really complicated subject matter and half of it is a mystery in itself.” Beck said. “The only way I can explain it is that, it’s a riddle that only one person throughout all eternity knows. It is said to be the key of life. Once the person knows it, and can figure it out they will have the key to the heavens, the earth, and the abyss.” Beck explained.
“Hunter Cold thinks I know the enigma of the ages?” Fay asked. “Why?”
“No one knows.” Beck replied.
“Oh.” Fay just looked down at the ground. Something didn’t add up. Her scattered memories were still trying to convey something. Somehow Colt played into this, but another thought was also nagging at the back of her mind. One she couldn’t ignore.
“Is that why death is after me too, because he wants the enigma of the ages?” Fay asked.
“No, but he does want to kill you. See when the hunter is gone from the abyss he puts death in charge, and death hates to be in charge of the abyss. He knows Hunter Cold won’t rest until he has captured you and brought you to the abyss, alive. In order to get the Hunter out of his hair he wants to kill you, then catch your lost soul, before a bridge can get to you, and hand you over to the hunter to be free of the second in command job of the abyss. Does that make sense?” Beck asked.
“Yes and no. Yes, it does but there’s something else too . . .is Colt?” Fay asked but Beck cut her off this time.
“The one thing you need to know Fay is that Colt . . .” Beck started.
“What about Colt?” Fay snapped. Beck sighed, and continued.
“He was possessed by Hunter Cold for a while. He used Colt so that he could get to you. Then later he used a demon to possess your mom. He wanted you to feel lonely so that when he found out about my link to you . . .” Beck said. Immediately that memory flooded back to her. All the hurt and the pain she had felt over that one was somehow numbed. She couldn’t explain it, but the hurt feelings she had towards Beck before had vanished. Now the only thing she was really curios about was hot it worked.
“So you can really read my thoughts?” Fay asked.
“Yes, but it’s not like I can’t block them out of I don’t want to. I only read your thoughts if I feel like I have to. The only time your thoughts or emotions over power mine is if you’re feeling something really strong, so strong that it burrows deep into my head, and I can’t get it out.” Beck explained.
“Will I ever get a link to your thoughts?” Fay asked.
“Maybe,” Beck replied, not wanting to explain the links in and of them. Links are connections to a bridges’s mind only formed by love, or who a bridge will love. They’re strong but can be broken. They’re also how a bridge knows they’re a new person meant for the team, because they grow a new connection to a different unknown person.
“So about everything that happened,” Beck started again. Fay looked at him, so he continued. “The hunter wanted to use your own hurt and pain so that you would trust him again, and let him use you. So he took you to the place and wanted to . . .”
Beck tried to finish the sentence but he couldn’t. Fay gentle put his hand on his wrist.
“I know what he wanted to do. I remember that part perfectly well, just continue.” Fay said gentle, as if knowing Beck’s true feelings. Beck smiled and pressed on. Fay had no idea what he was talking about but figured it was something morbid.
“The point is he started to manipulate you on the night we first met. He wanted to get to you before we could but we got there first.” Beck said.
“How is Colt? What does he remember?” Fay asked slowly, dreading the answer.
“He thinks he blacked out at that sharp sugar concert. We had to lie and tell him he was in a coma and in a specialized hospital until further notice.” Beck replied. Fay thought of that night, after the concert. The first time they kissed. It wasn’t real. Hunter Cold was just trying to manipulate her. The thought of it was just bringing tears to her eyes.
“Can you take me to him?” Fay asked.
“It would be my pleasure.” Beck answered.
As Fay stood up she discovered she was in normal clothes again. They were pajama clothes, none that she recognized but they fit her so she just shrugged and walked on. She found that she felt very good physically. She had no pain or numbness or anything. The only thing that truly bothered her was her memory, which seemed scattered and distant. However the thought of seeing the true Colt again pushed it all out of her mind.
Fay followed Beck out of her infirmary room. Instead of going to the right, towards the elevators, he went left and headed in the other direction of the hallway. It looked exactly the same as the right except at the end it turned to the left. Halfway down it Beck stopped and slowly opened a white door. Inside Colt sat sitting up, reading a magazine and sipping Hot Chocolate.
“Hey Beck! Hi Fay!” Colt said smiling. “Have you come to visit me Fay? Why are you in your pajamas?”
“Too many questions Colt, you might overload her.” Beck said smiling. Fay gave him an appalled look, then laughed and looked at Colt and smiled.
“Have you two met before?” Fay asked, knowing they have but wondering what happened to the animosity between them.
“We bonded while you were out cold.” Colt replied, looking at Beck. Beck nodded approvingly but cringed at the word Cold. Both he and Fay knew what it referred to, but couldn’t say it.
“So how have you been?” she asked, sitting down at the end of Colt’s bed. She looked at his golden blond hair, his handsome face, and big blue eyes. She remembered kissing him, and how magical it felt. She remembered hugging him, pressing her own body to his smooth muscles. She tried not to cry as he answered.
“Not good, I can’t remember anything past the Sharp Sugar concert. You know when we were dancing? Nothing it just completely blacked out. I feel like my body and soul went through a washing machine with a few kinks in it, but spit us out as good as new. Does that make any sense?” Colt asked. Fay thought for a moment, trying to think of something the old Fay would say.
“No, but I’ll just smile and nod.” Fay replied. Colt laughed.
“Shut up!” Colt said, whacking her with the pillow next to him. She laughed and went for another pillow on the other bed. They ended up in a full out pillow war, Colt had a complete disadvantage because he was sitting down, however when Beck got in the action they both were history. Once the fighting was over, and Fay was done rolling around on the floor in laughter, she stood and walked back over to the bed, and sat down, exhausted. That was the Colt she remembered.
“I so beat both of your butts.” Colt said laughing. Beck started to protest while Fay stayed quite. The one thing that was nagging at the back of her mind was the fact that the real Colt may still have feelings for her. If there was any chance for the two of them to be together at all she wanted to know it. There might be some hope for the two of them yet.
“Do you like me Colt?” Fay piped up over they’re shouting. The one thing Fay found the weirdest was how Beck and Colt were getting along so well now. Before it was as if they animosity was there before they had even met but now, it vanished. There was a long moment of silence, where Beck started to head for the door.
“Course I like you Fay!” Colt said smiling. “You’re my BGFFGCEH!”
“What’s that mean?” Beck asked.
“Bestest girl for a friend a guy could ever have!” Colt replied. Beck just stood stone faced then his mouth just turned into a smile.
“B.U.R.N.,” Beck mouthed over Fay’s shoulder which sent Colt into fits of silent laughter. He hid it in his still armed pillow.
“But you don’t like me more than normal, do you?” Fay asked. Colt sighed, the same way as Beck did, and looked at Fay. She remembered how lost she’d get in those big blue eyes and how at the last moment she would get confused over Beck. It was agonizing to her.
“Look Fay, your great . . .awesome . . .totally insanely awesome, but we’re only going to be friends. I’m sorry if you feel differently . . .” Colt said, but Fay cut him off, trying not to give him the wrong idea.
“No! No! It’s just that I’ve kind of got feelings for this guy . . .I don’t know if they’re real yet, but was just being sure I had your approval.” Fay replied.
“Oh.” Colt said, heaving a sigh of relief. “Well as long as it’s not me, I don’t care who you go out with! Who is he?” As he asked this question he looked over at Beck who was standing stone still by the door. He gave Beck a look and Beck couldn’t help but smile while giving Colt murderous looking eyes. This also made Colt double over in laughter.
“Nobody . . .” Fay replied in a sing-songy voice, while glancing slightly over her shoulder to Beck. Then turned back, she spoke again.
“Besides, I thought you said you didn’t care?”