Genesis

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There was a dream the other night. Or whatever you call memories that come back when you’re asleep.

I must’ve been fifteen then. Might not seem like much, but Daniel and I had done some math concerning my ‘actual’ age. The time that I’ve spent in Delirium probably amounted to almost two years. It’s just a matter of calculating the weeks. And then there was that last trip, where I ended up spending months or maybe even years running away. I’ll guesstimate that I spent three or four years there.

Now, from what people have told me about my blackouts, they only lasted for a few minutes. And from what my friends said about Kaya, she didn’t tend to hang around a lot. More often than not, she’d only stay an hour when I’d go to Delirium for a week or so. Either way, it’s really not that much time, which allows me to add those years in Delirium onto my actual age.

So mentally, I’ve lived for twenty years. Maybe twenty one, but I prefer twenty.

…yes. My head is fucked. Its productivity rate of sense is negative fifty thousand. Now shush up and read, nonexistent viewer.

Anyway, there was a dream/memory thing. It was back when I had begun to go to Delirium, when Daniel and I, and Delirium for that matter, were still reeling from Kaya’s death, and suddenly I came and fucked things up even more.

So let me tell you about it.
_______________________________________________________________________________

Blue.

I run my finger down a blade of grass. It’s the colour of the night sky, and when I bring my finger away, a soft powder is left behind on it. I gaze at it curiously before quickly wiping it away on my clothes.

This whole place is strange…but I know it. I’ve seen it, felt it, smelt it, all through her. But this isn’t her…my hand has ordinary nails, and is about half the size of hers. And my hair isn’t white and falling into my eyes; it’s dark and past my shoulders. But…I feel…disconnected…like merely raising my hand feels like I’m moving through water…

My eyes suddenly close, against my will, and I hear a voice. Lie back down, he says. Let your mind sleep for a while, before they come collect you.

Some part of me recognises him. Not mentally, but my body shivers slightly at the sound of his voice. But before I can connect the face to the voice, my mind slips into unconsciousness.

Something jolts me awake, and I gasp. My head throbs and pulses as I try to gain sense of what’s happening. I hear voices. “Human…childling…esper…Kaya…

At the mention of her, I make myself speak. “Kaya?” I croak out, before a sword is suddenly thrust at my face.

“Silence,” I’m told. I close my eyes, nodding my head slightly, praying I don’t make a wrong move.

“Shall we kill her?” One growls eagerly.

“Don’t be an idiot,” the sword wielder hisses. “Didn’t you see that? Didn’t you hear her speak? Kaya, she said.”

“Why would she know her?”

“Maybe Blackrim’s kidnapper got help from this one, before poisoning her and knocking her out.” I resist the urge to gasp as the sword grazes under my chin. “What is Kaya to you?” he demands.

I don’t know how to answer this question. What relation should I claim? Mentor, jailor, guardian, acquaintance, friend. But as more pressure is applied to the sword, I give an answer. “Sister,” I whisper. “Kaya Blackrim is my sister.”

They’re shocked. It’s hard to hide my disbelief at how stupid they are; Kaya’s whole political career was the result of her being her the only living offspring of her parents. The other speaks first. “Then we should kill her,” he said. “Blackrim’s sister? They’ll send for our heads if they find out we let her go free.”

“Are you a fool?” The sword is taken away from my neck, and I breathe a sigh of relief before I’m suddenly pulled up. “We’re bringing her to the court. High chance they’ll pay a high price for information. Huh?” He pulls me close to him, and I can smell how sickly sweet his breath is. “After that, we’ll split her. What you say?”

I resist the urge to vomit, and he starts binding my arms before throwing me over his shoulder. I close my eyes, squeezing out tears as I’m carried away from the sticky blue grass I’d never forget.

I don’t speak again, not for the whole length of the journey there, despite the both of them providing details of the things they’d do to me after I wasn’t needed any more. There isn’t anything I could do. I know what it’s like to die; Kaya’s death had prepared me for that at least. I swallow the acid that rises inside me at the memory of her dying, and try to think of other things.

It’s fine, I tell myself. Dying is fine. It’ll be okay, you won’t hurt anymore. You won’t have to go through anymore pain, and you won’t see them again. You’ll be free, free from everything. You can finally get away. These thoughts, despite how painful they were, numbed the fear inside me, as I came to terms with my imminent death. Because they were true. Absolutely true.

There’s new voices, and the sound of thunder rings in my ears, getting louder and louder, until the man stops and drops me at his feet. Then, silence.

“A human?” A man barks suddenly.

I open my eyes. The owner of the voice has silver hair, like Kaya did, and moonlike eyes which glower at me when I look at him. He towers over everyone that crowds around, intimidating in both body and voice. Some part of me knows him, though I can’t put a name to his face. “Is that what you have to show me? I am already aware of the plague, there’s no need to bring one of the rats to show me.”

“Human?! Impossible!” The crowd bristles at the stupidity of these two, who are now becoming very, very frightened now that they realise that I lied. “She claimed to be related to Kaya! Her sister, she said…” the man stammered, his voice losing confidence by the second. He glares towards me and raises his foot to kick me. I hiss as he belts me in the ribs again and again. “Lying little shit…” he growls. “I’ll kill you!”

“Cease.” The giant of a man sounds bored. “Is it just me, or are humans proving themselves more capable than ourselves lately? The both of you are letting our race down. You prove yourselves poor excuses for Etheral beings.”

The kicking doesn’t stop. Sighing, the man raises his hand and suddenly, two figures rush past him, heading for my captors. There’s a scream, and something wet splashes against my face, and I slowly look up to see the both of them slump to the ground next to me. For that moment, I can’t breathe. I scramble backward, away from the fresh corpses, only to back into the large man. “As for you,” he says, just as bored as before, “give me one reason to keep you alive.”

“W-what?”

He sighs. “Just as I thought.” He raises his hand again.

I feel them behind me, and it’s only a split second before my throat will be opened. “Miranda!” I blurt out suddenly. I don’t know what the point of that word was, but everything freezes. And for the first time, the large man shows something other than complete boredom on his face. His eyes are narrowed at me, and he lowers his hand.

“Miranda…” he muses. “Another sister of yours?”

Flashes of memory come to me, of a woman with long silver hair and wide gold eyes as her throat is spilled out. “No,” I say simply. “Kaya’s mother.”

He belts across my face, and I’m thrown back to the floor. “I don’t recall asking you to speak,” he retorts. “Shut up.”

I hate him. Everything floods back to me. Kaya’s memories fill my mind, I can see everything that this man is responsible for. I get past the pain, glaring at him. “Then kill me,” I growl. “I’m only here because of what I have to say. So if you’re done with listening, then get those shadow things to slit my throat already!”

The crowds are silent, and I’m now deeply afraid. I was all talk, and this dictator before me knows it. All that was a burst of anger, Kaya’s anger. I’m going to die now.

Then he grins, and takes out a knife himself. He’s going to kill me himself? “Maybe there’s more to this ‘human’ than she’s letting on,” he muses, coming towards me. The knife presses against my cheek, biting into my skin, and digging deeper even after scarlet starts trickling from the wound. “Hmm? What’s this?”

I look up, shaking. “Blood,” I whisper. “What do you think?”

He pauses. “So you’ve become one of your pets, have you?” he enquires. “You must be desperate…”

Blood is pooling inside my mouth. I don’t know what to say to this. Does he think I’m Kaya?

“Well? What do you have to say for yourself, Kaya Blackrim?” he hisses, so quiet that only I can hear.

Cat?!”

The crowd looks away from the both of us, as if a parent had scolded them for staring for too long. The knife never wavers as the man turns toward the source of the voice, irritation evident on his face. “What do you want?” he asks.

I know him. It’s not Kaya’s memory this time, I can immediately put a face to this voice. But can I trust it? I close my eyes, not willing to look at him.

“What is she doing here?” His voice is trying to remain level, though it’s not succeeding well.

She? You sound like you know her….” The knife finally moves away from my face, leaving behind a bitter sting.

“I…I do. Kaya and I know her.”

Knew her.” The man’s voice is smug as he delivers this reminder.

There’s quiet for a moment. “Knew her,” he amends. “Give her to me. I can talk to her.”

“Out of the question.” The large man’s voice is a growl. “I’m interrogating her.”

I hear footsteps approaching me. “About how she ended up here? With a knife? Why are you concerning yourself with these new humans when there’s Kaya’s disappearance to worry about?”

“That’s precisely why she’s being interrogated! Because she knows things only Kaya herself knew!”

I resist the urge to ask him how he knew about those things, in case he decides to stab me in the cheek again. Blood is starting to spill out of my mouth, and I feel like I’m going to faint, or vomit, or both.

“Kaya and Cat knew each other.” The voice is tired. “They were close. Kaya protected Cat when she started seeing shadows, and they began chasing her.”

There’s murmuring that this. “…So that’s the cause of your trips to that realm?” The man says softly. “I see.” I can feel footsteps retreating, and when he speaks again, his voice is fainter. “Question her. And you will tell me everything.”

I jerk as a hand touches my shoulder. “Stand up,” the voice tells me. I obey, and try to stop shaking as he takes my hand and leads me away. “You can open your eyes, you know.” Tentatively, I blink my them open. “Are you alright?”

I look at him and shrug. If I speak, more blood’s just gonna come out. He just sighs. “Here.” He pulls out a piece of cloth and dabs it across my mouth. I freeze. “Calm down. Only wiping away the blood.” He hands me the cloth. “Here. Spit out the blood.”

Hurriedly, I cough everything out, trying desperately not to vomit. “Come on, let’s get away from here,” Daniel says calmly, before pulling me along with him.

He leads me to a room and closes the door behind him. “What the hell did you do?” he hisses suddenly.

This change in temperament catches me off guard. “Wha-”

Daniel grabs my arm. “I swear to god, with everything that’s happening right now, this is not the time,” he growls. “I don’t know how you got away from the monsters, but please understand that-”

“WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!” I shout at him, pulling away from him. His face is surprised at this and my mouth hurts from simply talking, but I’m not in the place to care. “I haven’t…I haven’t done anything! I just…” I’m shaking uncontrollably, but I’ll be damned if I start crying in front of Daniel. “Just tell me where I am. Please.”

After a moment of silence, he speaks, somewhat cold. “You’ve…probably seen it before. Through Kaya I mean. The palace of the Etherals. Remember?”

I think for a moment, and nod. I can now see the similarities between Kaya’s memory and the decor of this room I’m in. “Fine,” Daniel says, before grabbing my wrists and examining them. I freeze up, but let him do it. “Nothing…” he murmurs. “What did you do then? Drugs? Jumping? Gun?”

“What?” I croak, realising what he’s talking about. “I…I never…”

“You ended up here,” Daniel says stonily. “Look, right now, I could care less why. I can already guess myself. After Kaya’s death and you still having dreams and getting attacked, it would be enough to drive anyone over the edge.”

This chilling assumption makes me feel ill. “Daniel…”

“What?” His voice is still devoid of emotion, of caring.

“I did not, fucking, kill myself!” I hiss. “I get it, I’m weak. But that doesn’t mean…” The urge to start sobbing is hurting my head, and I turn away from him in case it overflows.

He’s quiet. “You didn’t…”

“No.” I focus on getting my breathing back to normal.

“I…I see.” His hand touches my shoulder and I flinch away. “I’m sorry,” he sighs. “I shouldn’t have…it’s just…” He goes quiet and stands up. “That man who…carved into your face. He’ll want information. Where did you wake up?”

“Um…” I remember the strange grass I was lying in when I first opened my eyes. “I’m not sure. It was just…a field. The people who found me would be able to tell you more, but…” I indicate the blood splashed over me. It’s dark, like tar.

“Right…” He thinks for a second. “I’ll tell him that. And…I’ll try to get him to let you stay here. I’ll assume responsibility for you, and you’ll stay in my room most of the time.”

“Wait…I…” It finally hits me. This is my home now. Kaya’s world. But…I see the faces of everyone I’m leaving behind. Batman, Papa Willis, Delamore, Slenderman, Snugglepot… “Never mind,” I whisper.

“Here.” He indicates a large bed sitting in the corner of the room. “Sleep there for now. Things are going to be okay, Cat.”

“What happened then?” I blurt out. “Why am I here?”

“…I really don’t know,” he sighs. “I wish I did. But if you didn’t…then…”

“…am I dead Daniel?” I whisper.

“I’ll find out…but I don’t know Cat. I really don’t know.”

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Come On Out, Shadow

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Before I could move, Noah grabbed the blade of the knife in what I assumed was a panicked attempt to stop her. He hissed as it cut into his hand and black blood ran down his arm, but he didn’t let it go.

“Fool!” Emisair fumed, furiously trying to twist the knife out of his grasp. I finally came to my senses and swiped her with my foot, throwing her across the room, and the knife falling out of her hand.

Noah ran and grabbed the knife, where it was swiftly dropped into his pocket. He gave Jhaq a once-over to confirm she was alright before we both turned back to Emisair.

She was staggering towards us. “She’s not safe!” she hissed. “Either we kill her, or she’ll kill us.”

“There has to be another way!” I insisted. “It’s possible! It just happened for fucks sake!”

“You stupid bitch…lightning never strikes twice in the same place. You’re delaying what is inevitable!” Emisair’s eyes were filled with rage.

“We’re not killing her!” Noah snarled. “Not when we can still save her! That’s all there is to it.” He was more furious than I had ever seen him, and he completely ignored the blood gushing out of his hand from Emisair’s knife. I was about to offer a cloth to wrap it with when Emisair suddenly leapt at him and my focus changed.

I managed to push him away in time, but as a result, it was I who was being pushed against the back of the room by a frenzied Emisair, right next to where Jhaq lay. Her nails were clawing into me, as if she were trying to rip out my heart- maybe she was- and as she did, her eyes seemed to glow completely red and her teeth spread into a sinister smile. “Come on out, Shadow,” she said maniacally. “I know you’re there! Come out and plaaaaa-”

With that, I socked her in the face and kicked her away. “Stop it!” Noah yelled at the both of us.

I ignored him. I had no care in the world anymore. “What are you trying to do?” I asked Emisair, walking towards her. “If you want to kill me…” Everything around me sharpened, intensified, amplified. I could see and feel her heartbeat from where I stood, and it would be nothing to rip it out…”Go ahead,” I finished with a grin.

So she did.

Or rather…she tried to.

I dropped to the ground when she flew at me again. She came to a halt standing above where I lay. Still reeling from her charge, she couldn’t block my foot smashing into her chest, sending her flying into the ceiling. It was almost too perfect that a chandelier was dangling right where Emisair was about to fly into.

Killing was far easier sans a human body.

There was a loud crashing sound as the thing shattered and fell to the ground around me, a shower of glass and crystal. I watched Emisair drop before my feet, shaking with rage and pain. Blood ran down her back, mixing with the glass on the ground. She hissed at me and I could see her body becoming longer, her claws scraping against the ground. A feverish grin spread across her face, and Noah started yelling at both of us to stop. But that wasn’t going to happen.

I raised my claw, ready to strike.

It wasn’t Noah who stopped us. Or even Daniel. It was Christan who yelled out “STOP!” from the doorway, perhaps saving the life of Emisair in the process.

Both of us froze and looked at him. He looked terrified, not at all like a natural king, though the crowds behind him wouldn’t be able to see that. “Step away from eachother,” he commanded shakily.

I immediately obeyed, partially out of sympathy for Christan, but also because I was slowly coming out of my psychotic/demon mode and I wanted things to stop. I fell back into my body, the cold of the room reaching me even with Emisair’s cloak. Emisair merely glared at him. “Your human’s slut has physically assaulted me,” she informed him, her body changing back as she spoke. “I shall not stand for it! Either discipline her or I shall gather my men and leave. Now.

I slowly got up. My senses were still distorted by my rampage. Christan was looking at me, trying to seem stern. “Cat…”

“She was going to murder Jhaq!” I croaked. “That was the only reason why I-”

“It’s true,” Noah confirmed. “It was Emisair who attacked first. Not Cat.”

Emisair flared up. “I was going to kill the demon inside her,” she said. “These two would put their fellow people in danger due to sentiment. I wasn’t about to let her slaughter us all when we knew that she was a danger.” She turned to Jhaq, lying asleep on her bed. “The woman that she was is no more. She would mercilessly murder everyone from her king to her little daughter. And these two would risk that.”

“No…” I took a deep breath. “I had the same monster inside me,” I confessed the boy-king, and the people behind him inhaled. “But I managed to force them out before I could be taken over completely. I believe that Jhaq is capable of doing the same, if she’s given the chance.”

“I agree,” Noah spoke up. “I don’t see the need to take a life in order to destroy what is only a potential threat. We have the time to stop it, it is still-”

“What time is this?” Emisair retorted. “The longer we wait, the stronger that thing is. We’re putting everyone at risk here by waiting for what is inevitable.” She looked directly at Christan. “I will not stand by and wait to die. Either stop this threat…or I’ll leave, with my men behind me.”

Oh please, please do.

Unfortunately, Christan was reluctant to let that happen. “You can’t,” he said weakly. “You know that-”

“I do know. Your forces are far weaker than theirs. Our alliance is the only thing that keeps your people safe. But if you will put them in danger, I see no point in my presence here,” Emisair spoke coldly. “Take a side. Now.”

I knew what Christan would pick, but I tried to speak out. “Listen-”

“What is this?” A voice called out.

The crowds moved around to make way for Daniel who strode into the room. He immediately went to my side and put his hand on my arm. I immediately felt warmer, calmer. “What has happened?” he questioned Noah.

Noah spoke immediately. “The Lady Emisair tried to end Jhaq’s life. Cat managed to stop her, and now Emisair is claiming that she is in the right.”

“I am in the right,” Emisair spoke with utter conviction. “That thing inside her is a slaughtering machine. It nearly took your paramour, and now it is succeeding in taking your servant.”

“And now she’s blackmailing his Grace into submitting to her will,” I spat. “If Jhaq doesn’t die, she’ll leave.”

Daniel’s face didn’t show anything. “Daniel,” Christan spoke. “What do you see?”

He remained silent. I myself had no idea what Christan meant. Noah took Daniel’s silence as an opportunity to speak. “Cat Madigan was able to escape unharmed. I have no doubt that she can assist me in helping Jhaq recover. Just give us that chance, your Grace.”

Before Christan could speak, there was a voice. “Master…Nnnn…”

Jhaq was slowly rising from her bed. “Don’t let her move,” Christan ordered, and several guards dashed in and raised their blades to her.

Slowly, Jhaq backed down, and opened her eyes. Still black. “What is this?” she asked, and her voice made my stomach flip.

“Drop your act,” Emisair ordered. “There’s no doubt of this now.”

“No doubt of what?” Daniel retorted. “Will you explain yourself?”

“Your servant is being taken by the same entity that nearly took Cat Madigan. And now that she speaks, there’s no doubt of it.”

Daniel looked at me in confusion. I bowed my head. “Her voice…it’s Axyl’s,” I admitted. “Not Jhaq’s.”

Emisair turned to Christan. “I believe we have more than enough to confirm this?” she enquired. There was a murmur of appreciation from the crowds, and Christan looked away from us. I knew he had made his decision.

“Cat…”

I flinched at the voice of the monster calling my name. I slowly looked at her, but I couldn’t keep my eyes on her terrified face for more than a second. Daniel watched me in silence.

“Now.” Emisair spoke as if the matter had been settled. “Onto the matter of the assault. I want the girl locked up, considering how she cannot be executed. I believe this is fair-”

“What on earth are you talking about?” Daniel spat.

“I kicked her into the chandelier,” I informed him.

Daniel raised an eyebrow, but Noah spoke before he could reply. “An attack which was initiated by Emisair’s own assault.” He raised his hand to show everyone the ugly knife wound that Emisair had given him.

Suddenly, the atmosphere changed. The crowds started murmuring again, but this time, they were discussing Emisair’s own behaviour. It occurred to me from what they said that while Emisair could outrank both Daniel and myself, she was still an outsider, a visitor in this world. And by wounding one of their own…

“He was stopping me.” Emisair replied, unfazed. “That cut was his own fault, not mine.”

That was her big mistake. The people bristled at her for dismissing what she had done, for making herself out to be higher than the likes of themselves. Emisair seemed to realise what she had done, but she couldn’t recant now.

“Put her under house arrest,” Noah interjected. When Christan looked at him, he went on. “Both of them.”

“What?” Emisair spat.

“Noah…” I was about to argue.

“I will not pretend that Cat Madigan is innocent,” Noah said, meeting my eye. I remembered the moment when I lost control, when I was ready to kill the red eyed woman. “But it was Emisair’s actions which triggered her behaviour. If they’re both placed under house arrest, they will not be within proximity of eachother. No more incidents of this kind shall occur.” Noah shifted his gaze to Emisair. “If that does not stop them, then the next course will be, of course, imprisonment in the cells.”

Emisair fumed. “I am not to be treated like her. I do not need to be punished.”

“By that logic, neither should Cat,” Noah replied. “Your actions are equivalent to hers. And one can go on to say that while Cat’s behaviour is expected of her, because of her humanity, you on the other hand should be able to control your actions.”

She bristled. Noah, as the victim in this, had the most influence over her fate, and she knew it. He may not be letting me off the hook for my behaviour- I was about to kill her for fucks sake- but Emisair would’ve murdered Jhaq in cold blood, and he wasn’t going to stop till she was punished for that.

“I believe this is fair,” Christan finally said. “Cat Madigan will be confined to her chamber for a moon, as will Emisair. Remove them now.”

“Wait,” Emisair said suddenly. “For Cat Madigan, this is not a long period of time. More often than not, she’s unconscious in her room. She could sleep for a moon, and wake up when she’s ready to be released.”

Even I had to admit she had a point. If our roles were reversed, I’d find it pretty unfair too. Of course, I wouldn’t be such a bitch and start a fight with her.

Well, maybe. I dunno.

“Then I’ll watch her,” Noah proposed. “I’ll account for when she’s awake and when she’s not. She can be released after thirty days and thirty nights of activity.”

“And separate her everyone?” Emisair interjected, a sudden gleam in her eye. “Including Daniel?”

Daniel put his hand on mine, covering the light that was about to be thrown in her fucking face. “Her chambers are my chambers,” he reminded her. “We can house Noah if he wishes. Either way, her punishment is identical to yours, my lady.”

She scowled. “Fine. But she is still confined.”

“As you are,” Daniel agreed.

She turned on her heel and stormed out, only to be grabbed by a guard. “I know my way,” she snapped.

Another guard approached me, and gestured for me to walk with him. I was surprised that he didn’t grab me. Perhaps he was afraid.

I followed him, but Daniel stayed behind. As the door closed, he raised a hand to me, as if to wave.

That’s when I remembered Jhaq.

And Axyl.

“What’s going to happen?” I asked the guard urgently. “Will she be alright?”

“What do you think?” There was no unkindness in his face, he even appeared sorry, if only a little bit.

I shook my head. I knew what I thought. I loved Jhaq…but I was even more afraid of Axyl. And if she attacked me, I knew what my first instinct would be. Still, Jhaq hadn’t hurt anyone. The only signs of Axyl she had shown us were her voice and her black eyes…

“Why can’t Daniel see her eyes?” I questioned.

Unexpectedly, the guard answered my question. “I wouldn’t know,” he said. “Perhaps it’s part of his humanity. That would explain it.”

“But I’m human too,” I reminded him.

“Are you?” he replied. “We all saw you.”

I grimaced. “I have no excuse for that,” I admitted. “But even if I’m not human, I’m still treated like one.”

“We cannot change the manner of our birth,” he pointed out. “We have no control of how our lives turn out.”

I thought of Kaya, one moment a promising politician, the next a deadly weapon. I remembered Nereida’s brutal death at the hands of the same one who killed Kaya, her old friend. Daniel himself had been thrown into this world the minute he left mine. And who would’ve thought I would’ve become this? A depressed paranoid schizophrenic with a growing detachment from Reality, no longer able to feel pain or death. “Believe me, I know.”

Confrontations

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I opened my eyes. “Pink.” I immediately hear gasps coming from above me. I roll over. “Was it pink you chose?” I ask Ray.

She hesitates and shakes her head. “Green.”

“Should’ve guessed that,” I grimace. I lie back down. “I feel disgusting, what time is it?”

“Eight morn,” the doctor says from somewhere.

“Hello Noah.”

“You shouldn’t call me Noah.”

“Kaya was allowed to call you Noah,” I say provocatively.

“Oh, she didn’t have permission.”

“Mmmmph.” I roll over and knock against Daniel. “Daniel?” I immediately straighten up. Then I collapse back down again. I’m too lethargic to lift myself up. “How is he?” I ask.

“No response yet,” Noah says. “Anything could be happening.”

“Jhaq, did you give him tea again?” I had gotten Daniel to swallow a couple spoonfuls of tea when he was barely conscious to help improve his colour, at the advice of the doctor. She nods. “That’s good.” Once again, I try sitting up, and I just lean against the head of Daniel’s bed. “Crap…I have to do things today,” I groan.

Noah frowns. “What do you mean?”

“In…” I’m not sure what to say to these people. “In…my own world, I have to go to an appointment,” I say. “Therapy.”

“For what? Your health is perfect.”

“Not exactly, it’s complicated.” I roll out of bed, onto the floor. I struggle to stand, and Jhaq helps me shrug into a robe which smells like Daniel. “If anything changes, you’ll let me know, won’t you?” I demand Noah.

“Of course. We’ll send Jhaq or Ray.”

“Good.” I catch a glance of myself in the mirror. “How long was I unconcious?”

“I wouldn’t know how long it would be in your world,” he told me. “But you were…gone for two nights. We removed the rest of Daniel’s eye during that.”

“His blood levels?”

“His colour’s better, but like I said, there’s been no response yet.”

I look over at Daniel. If I didn’t know better, I would’ve said he were sleeping. “Be good,” I tell him, as if he could hear me perfectly well. I recoil at myself in the mirror. “I look like shit.” Then I saw Jhaq’s disapproval in the reflection. “Sorry, sorry,” I say hurriedly.

“Dying tends to do that to you,” Noah reminds me dryly.

“True, very true.” I stumble to the floor again. “No need,” I tell Jhaq as she rushes to help me up. “I’ll have you know that I fall at least three times a day, I can handle it.” I pull myself up onto my bed. “My dear doctor, what is recommended that I eat after mass blood loss?”

He frowns. “Anything that helps restore iron in your blood, that’s what Kaya once told me.”

“Wonderful. It looks like I’ll be having steak for breakfast.” Steaaaaaaaaaaaaak.

Then I remember I’d have to cook it in front of my family. “Or crappy gluten free cereal, that works too.”

“Maybe you should sit down again,” Noah suggests.

“No, I’m usually like this,” I tell him. “Just ask…yeah, I’m fine. Okay…” I open the door and a boy falls to the ground at my feet. Not knowing what to do, I look out into the hallway. It’s the same hallway as my house in Reality.

Then I look down. “Hello. Can you bring me a plate of steak?”

“I-I-I-I beg your p-p-p-pardon?” The boy was trembling, and slowly crawling back from me, it was clear he wasn’t meant to be there at the door, but my bloodless brain wasn’t aware of that, at least not immediately.

“Steak,” I repeat to him. “Something along the lines of beef, if you don’t have the genuine article. And make it medium rare, I need blood today.”

The boy begins to hurry away, only to be tackled by Noah. The sight of Noah holding the boy in a headlock brings me out of my hunger induced confusion. “Also,” I add, “you probably shouldn’t be listening to our conversation behind that door either. It looks uncomfortable.”

“What do you want?” Noah growls at the boy. He merely whimpers. “Answer me!”

“Don’t shout at the kid,” I tell Noah. “Bring him in here first anyway, so he can’t run.”

Noah proceeds to throw the kid into Daniel’s chambers, and he stumbles onto the ground. Noah slams the door behind him. “That’s not necessary,” I raised my voice. “You’re not to beat him, he can’t be more than seven.”

“A seven who records everything he hears and gives it to his master,” Noah replies.

“Even so, this is a hospital,” I tell him. “Or that is the case right now anyway. And no violence in the ward is allowed.”

He frowns at me. “Kaya told me you were kindhearted,” he says. “But I didn’t take you for someone who is soft.”

“I’m anything but. I’m simply tired,” I told him, and his face changed. “Kaya died a year ago. I’ve changed a lot since then, and I can assure you this has nothing to do with kindness or weak hearts. There’s a time and place for that sort of punishment, and it’s not now.” I sigh. “If you want to beat the boy, do it away from here, and away from me. I can’t stop you. But there’s been enough blood and death here today.”

“That’s a bit of an exaggeration,” Noah says, but he doesn’t move toward the boy.

“Question the boy and be done with it,” I said. I open the door and I see the glamorous hallways of the castle. “If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find my prey.” Steaaaaaaaaaak.

_____________________________________

When I told Lolly about Daniel, I didn’t mention how I was drained until I was dead. That’s not what she cares about though. She’s more concerned about on how Daniel’s death would affect me than what I would go through to save him. So I didn’t say anything.

I was told to take my mind off things, as if Daniel slowly dying alone in his bed was as insignificant as a patch of dust on a jacket. I had become depressed as the day went on, worrying about Daniel and life without him. Talking about it only made me realise how much he meant.

And then I saw the last person I wished to see.

“Lady Madigan,” Christan greeted me outside the adolescent centre.

“Save it.” I walked straight past him, and I heard him hurry after me. “Are you deaf?”

“I was told to come here by the physician. I bring news of Him, my lady.”

“He said Jhaq would be sent.”

“She was, before I intercepted her.”

I turned around to glare at the golden prince. “You think that’s clever?” I hiss. “Going after me again after you’ve broken me already?”

“Listen to what I have to say and I’ll be gone!”

“That had better be the case.” I continued walking, but I slowed down, so I walked behind him. “Speak.”

“Daniel awoke for a few minutes, before going into a seizure. That is all I got of the message from the girl.”

“What exactly made you think that it would be safe for you, of all people to tell me that?” I growled.

“Calm down, I-”

You stuck a dagger in the eye of the man I trust the most!” I screamed. “If he’s dead, it’s on your hands.”

“It wasn’t my intention-”

“Save it. I’ve had enough.”

“I’m not done speaking.” He continued to walk beside me, and I remained completely silent. “He came at me and knocked me to the ground. He was throttling me, I had no choice! But I didn’t kill him!”

I didn’t respond. For some reason, this gave him confidence. “I only wanted to get him across the face. A scar as a warning. But he moved.” His voice became frantic. “I had no intention to hurt him in the way that he was. I swear Lady Madigan.”

Both he and I were silent as we walked. I looked over to him. “You want my forgiveness,” I said.

“I do,” he said. “And I am willing to give you anything to have it. Whatever you desire, you can have it.”

“Very well.” My tone is pleasant, but I’m glaring at him. “Rip out your own eye, and have your guards beat you till you’re at the edge of your wits.”

“Wha- My Lady, be reasonab-”

“I’m being perfectly reasonable,” I said, in the same kind of voice I would use to explain something to a little child. “It’s an eye for an eye. So to speak. That’ll pay for my forgiveness. I think you can figure out what you would have to pay for Daniel’s.”

“I…”

“You must know.” I smiled sweetly at him, my eyes full of poison. “Take the one thing you care about the most and have your guards hold her down while she is-”

“Stop!”

“Should you really be saying that to me? Of all things?”

“I-”

“Don’t bother. Just understand this.” I was shouting then, but I didn’t care the slightest. “Daniel and I are not toys for you to enjoy and to throw away as you please. Neither is anyone else, no matter what you think of them. And if Daniel dies because of you…” I broke down sobbing on the pavement. I don’t know what it was; despair, anger, madness, one of those three. When I finally looked up, Christan held out his hand. I saw his face, full of pain and sympathy. But most of all, he looked frightened.

I took his hand, and I crushed it in my grip. “If Daniel dies because of you,” I repeated, ignoring his cries. “I will not hesitate to make every fibre of your being burst into flames. So I suggest that you stay a long distance away from me, if you want to live.”

“I don’t want him to die,” Christan said to me. “He’s the last person in this world I want dead, trust me my Lady, I wish him no harm.”

I gave him my poisonous smile again. “Then I think you understand my message,” I said sweetly. “Now go.”

The Last Day on Earth

Standard

Thankyou, lack of Internet. Thanks to you, I can only post this four or five days after it happened.

Before what happened, I had been doing a lot of thinking. About everything.

My Delirium, according to numerous psychologists, acts as a reflex mechanism. Whenever I am stressed or emotionally unstable or even simply tired in Reality, I leave it, and go to Delirium. Where even more bad stuff begins to happen. I think you have a good idea of what ‘bad stuff’ is, nonexistent reader. If not, maybe you should actually read what I’ve posted.

It’s tiring, being torn between two worlds. Not to mention confusing; when I’m in Delirium, I can stay there for weeks, and then I snap back to Reality where I’m expected to know everything that happened seconds before I blacked out. And other times I don’t black out at all, I merely switch, and my evil twin is there instead.

Hey!

Fine. My split personality is there instead, and is also expected to know everything. Did I mention we both have very different upbringings? Kaya can rabbit on for ages about politics and social expectations in her world, Delirium. And I can talk about drawing and books and how to take care of a baby (our current topic in Children, Family and the Community), until she interrupts me by asking Who’d want to have a baby for god’s sake?

My point is, I was exhausted of becoming adjusted to Reality again and again, only to keep being dragged down to Delirium. But then I realised something; I would never just snap back to Reality. I’d only do that by my own choice, from what has happened thus far.

And if I left Reality, no one would notice if someone else was in my place…

I think, imaginary reader, you can see where my thoughts were headed. In my own defence, my brain is not only prone to sending me into another world, but it is also prone to depressive mood swings and anxiety attacks. And it seemed like a good idea at the time. It usually does, doesn’t it?

So I decided to spend one last day in Reality. I drew zombies (one of them I’ll post soon,) I watched Game of Thrones, I left one last message to the person I loved and hated the most. I had been left all alone in my house, so I could do anything I wanted.

I’m not sure if what I was going to do was equivalent to suicide. In a way it was, I guess. It would be leaving the world permanently, well, if I had my way.

But then I thought of Flash.

And how much Kaya hated him. Along with everything else.

Could I really let this madwoman take over me, and tear apart everything I hold dear?

Yeah, I could. It wasn’t like I would be there to see it all unravel. I’d be in my own little world.

And then Daniel was beside me.

“Don’t,” he growled, “Even think about it.”

“Why not?” I retorted.

“I wasn’t talking to you.” His eyes bore into my skull and the look on his face was as if I had slaughtered his little goddaughter. “Let Kaya come out, Cat. I need to speak to her.”

“Wh-” I was cut off, and I felt myself falling back, faster and faster until I hit a wall.

“What do you want, Daniel?” Kaya snarled in my voice. It echoed in my head, and sent a chill down my spine; it was me, yet…

“Why are you doing this? This is her own life Kaya.” Daniel didn’t cower before Kaya.

“She doesn’t want it!”

“You shouldn’t have thrown your own away!”

“Do you think I wanted to?” I was suddenly shaken around, and I realised that I, well Kaya, was sobbing. “You should know better than anyone that I have no control over what happens to me!”

“That was your own choice though. Not anyone else’s. Yours.” Daniel’s voice was cold, and so unlike him.

“Daniel, she wants to stay in Delirium! She wants to be there, be with you. You would take that away?”

“She doesn’t belong there,” he told her softly.

I felt myself rising and falling. “Neither do you,” Kaya whispered. “You’re not like anyone there either. If anyone shouldn’t be there, it’s you Daniel.”

“I’ve got nowhere else to go.” His face was lined with sadness. “That’s the difference; I’m trapped there. The only reason I’m here right now is because of her.”

“I have a name!” I shouted out.

It didn’t come out of my mouth, but I knew Daniel could hear me. Something flickered across his face, but he didn’t reply to me.

“It can work out Daniel,” Kaya insisted. “I’ll be good, I promise. I’ll keep my head down, I won’t attract attention, I won’t hurt anybody. Please…I want to live Daniel.”

“Kaya…” Daniel closed his eyes. “When you had died, I would’ve given anything to bring you back. You were my only friend in that damn place.”

“And now?” she whispered.

Daniel inhaled. “You’re still alive,” he told her. “In a way. Besides,” he grinned. “How many times have you complained about wearing human bodies?”

Kaya didn’t laugh. “I could get used to it,” she insisted. “It’s just the feel of it, but I-”

“Kaya.” Daniel became serious. “It’s not right. It’s not far to Cat’s friends and family. Even if she wants to, it doesn’t make it right.”

“Oh for fucks sake!” she screamed out suddenly. “This is the one thing I’ve wanted in my entire life. The one thing that I can have no questions asked! She would allow it, I-”

Daniel’s hand cracked around my face. I felt something rush at me, and suddenly, I could feel Kaya’s breath on me. “Ugh…..”

“Cat Madigan.” Daniel caught my hand as my body went tumbling down. “I need to talk to you, young lady.”

“Don’t!” Kaya pleaded.

I hesitated. “Cat Madigan,” Daniel repeated. “If there’s one thing in this world that means something to you, come out, even if it is for the last time, come out!”

Ignoring Kaya’s protests, I came forward.

I could feel my cheek stinging. “Ow!” I complained. “You backhanded me!”

“I backhanded Kaya,” he corrected. “And truth be told, I’m not that happy with you either.”

“Are you going to hit me too?”

“No, I-”

“We’re the same person Daniel,” I pointed out.

“No, you’re definitely not.” He paused. “Do you still want to leave?”

I nodded. “I know, it’s weakness. But I am weak in case you haven’t noticed.”

“Before you make any rash decisions,” Daniel cautioned. “I think you’ll find that someone really wants to talk to you.”

“What do you mean?” But he was gone already.

It took me a while to realise what he had meant. Then I remembered.

The person I loved and hated the most had messaged me back.

And he made me change my mind. Twenty minutes of messaging managed to change my decision. Needless to say, Kaya was not happy, but she didn’t argue much. Maybe she’ll wait for me to be in a more fragile position before trying.

And then, it happened.