C3 3. Lost
I stared at Him; the wonder was noticeable in my gaze. He did not open his mouth, just lingered there; staring back at me, the supernatural green of his eyes penetrating the brown of mine. There was some kind of flame in his gaze, there was unexplained concern in his eyes which alarmed me. I noticed he hadn’t blinked for more than three minutes, something that scared me to the bone. At that very moment I just wanted to run, to hide somewhere but was so immobilized by his eyes.
I ordered myself to move, to lift my feet, but couldn’t. I tried again, with no positive outcome. I turned my head around, pulled my limbs and stretched my muscles. I was trying so hard to move I was gasping. I looked into his eyes again which were still unblinking and unmoving. It was like… like he was using his eyes to keep me still. It was like he was using… magic.
I tried to break eye contact but found myself unable to do so. In just a second my heart beat frantically. My breathing became heavy and uneven. Pure fear overwhelmed me and forced adrenaline into my veins. I tried to swallow but had no drop of saliva in my mouth. “Please, not fear,” he whispered and moved closer. I would’ve instinctively pulled back but was absolutely powerless. “Fear is something you shouldn’t feel…” he went on in the same low voice.
How could I not feel fear? It was out of instinct, I had no control over my body… He was something… dangerous, and kept me still with that deep set of eyes he had. I’d lost my voice and kept on staring at him with that disorientated and terrified look I certainly had. That feeling of safety I had initially felt with him was long gone. “It is hard to understand… but you have to realize, we have no luxury of time…” he whispered and for just a moment his eyes darkened, almost predatorily.
Fear transformed into horror. He detected that. “Please, do not fear Us… We mean no harm,” he said, his voice softer, milder than before, as if to reassure. Us? We? Currents of electricity made me shiver. He suddenly blinked, freeing me. I dropped to the ground at once as I did not anticipate that unexpected release. I swallowed as hard as I could and prepared to scream for help – the only thing I could think of. He covered my mouth with his palm just on time. I tried to shriek, to shout but his firm hand muffled my cry. I opened my mouth and bit his flesh. He seemed completely undisturbed by that. He pulled me up, made me stand on my feet and held me tightly by the arm, so hard blood stopped reaching my fingers.
I fought for a moment and then gave up realizing it was pointless, he was much bigger and impressively strong. I was panicking; I couldn’t think clearly, I couldn’t make any sense out of this situation.
“Just let me show you,” he said, moving his hand off my mouth. “Just let me show you…” he repeated. The green of his eyes liquefied and his gaze softened. I opened my mouth but couldn’t form words. There was something in his stare, something that did not mix with that harshness of his eyes.
I looked at him for a moment, gave him a look of surrender. He immediately let go of my arm and allowed me to walk in front of him. I don’t know what made me gather myself up, control my anxiety, but I think it was mainly because of his eyes, that honesty I distinguished.
The breeze had turned into a mighty wind carrying snowflakes – a snowstorm.
“April Josephine Smith…”
It was the voice! I was so surprised my breath stopped. My name, how did they know my name? “Come…” the voice ordered, sounding so satisfied by my presence. I obeyed and walked closer towards the glow. I was hypnotized again, had no sense of my surroundings, and was unaware of anything else. Nothing else seemed to matter to me.
The circling glow sent out an intense wave of heat. From a distance it was pleasant, but from just two feet away where I was standing, it was insufferable. I felt myself sweating and my body temperature rising. My breathing had evened out and my pulse was much calmer than before though, and all because of the voice.
“The Chosen…” murmured the voice in apparent pleasure. “You are a creature of perfection. The three virtues in you are so perfectly balanced… It is so hard to believe something like you can exist…” the voice went on, now sounding admiring. What was it admiring? Me?
“Love, kindness and forgiveness. Things so simple, but yet so rare, and especially in the perfect ratio you have all three,” continued the voice. “Stretch your hand in front, April, allow the Powerball to be absorbed into you, for you are our only hope…” instructed the voice, any trace of harshness had disappeared…
I followed the instructions and stepped closer submissively. I hesitated for just a second, feeling the warmth, the heat which now seemed life-threatening.
“Do not fear destiny, my child…” whispered the voice, musically, giving me some courage. Courage enough for me to push my right hand all the way down the big rotating sphere.
At first, it was just a tickle on my fingertips and then it travelled up my fingers and then up my hand. Pain, excruciating pain followed making me scream desperately. He came up behind me and covered my mouth with his palm. He tried to murmur something to me, something reassuring and soothing, but I made no sense out of it as I was so taken over by pain.
I felt it. The energy of that golden glow travelled in my veins, it moved from my hand to my entire body eventually. There was a point when every cell in me was stung by pain, the more the glow got into me, the more I screamed. My cry was impossible to muffle, impossible to stop. It was the kind of pain that you never forget, the kind of torturous pain that scars your memories forever. I tried to move my hand, to pull it away, but he stopped me, he pressed it down again, deeper into the Powerball. “Don’t do this,” he said mildly. Another series of shouts came out of my mouth.
The pain felt like burning. It was like someone had thrown me in a fire, in a wild, huge fire. Every bit of flesh on my body burned. He was there, muffling my shouts with one hand and pushing my hand deeper in the glow with the other. His body kept me from dropping to the ground. Why was he doing this to me? Why? Tears travelled out of my terrorized eyes and down my pale cheeks.
And suddenly, just as suddenly as it had begun, it stopped.
He slowly let go of me, first moving his hand from my mouth and then uncurling his fingers from my wrist, which had gone absolutely white because of his strong grip. He allowed me to fall to the ground making sure I didn’t hit it hard.
I stayed there, gasping; my heart kicked my ribs, so totally terrified.
What had just happened? What was that? What am I even doing here? I started questioning myself but was unable to answer. And as the night unfolded it got even more complicated, far more complicated than I could’ve ever imagined.
My body had instinctively recoiled, I was facing the ground trying to make sense out of everything but was disappointed to find out that nothing made sense. Absolutely nothing.
“I’m sorry you had to live through this…” he murmured, I turned my head around abruptly, so fast it wasn’t human. He was leaning against a massive pine tree, his eyes showing in the dark exactly like a feline’s. It was something so creepy and so interesting simultaneously.
“You see, I had no other choice, I just follow instructions…” He excused himself staring at me. Instructions from whom? And instructions for what? I was incapable of stopping my heart from pounding in my chest.
I feared him now, I feared him a lot. “Why would you fear me?” he asked, sounding so surprised and made a step away from the pine tree.
“How do you know that?” I enquired, astonished.
“You’re a human. Your heart beats fast, your eyes open wide and you have this light shaking. You sweat as well, you have trouble breathing and your body curls protectively… That’s how I can tell,” he replied emotionlessly, just stating the facts.
“I’ve been observing humans a while now… Intricate creatures…” he said walking towards me. It was so dark now, the only thing I was able to see was his eyes glowing as he approached. “I know you must be very confused.”
Confused was a very mild term. I was more than that; I was lost – in multiple ways.
He froze. Just like that, he stopped moving.
What happened? I could’ve sworn his heart stopped beating for a moment and then wondered if it was normal for me to hear his heartbeat from this distance. I turned my head around alarmed now, but just saw darkness stretching endlessly, saw nothing but that. His eyes had opened wide and focused on something far away.
“Can you feel that?” he asked. His voice was full of concern and his eyes did not move from that faraway spot he was looking at fiercely. I didn’t answer immediately unsure of what I was supposed to be feeling. “Stand up,” he said firmly. “Stand up now!” he ordered protectively and I knew I couldn’t argue. I managed to stand up, though my knees were still wobbly and unstable. “April, this will most probably freak you out. Don’t try to make sense out of it,” he said alarmingly.
And in that intimidating silence of the woods, in that veiling gloom he started uncurling a pair of fluorescent green wings, huge wings. So slowly, so amazingly slowly. I lost my breath at the sight. They glowed in the dark, exactly like his eyes. From that point on I was sure that something was terribly wrong, that nothing was normal that everything was just insane and crazy.
Out of this world.
“We need to leave…” he said walking towards me. I stepped back when he outstretched a hand to grab me. I was backing away instinctively, running away from a creature I didn’t recognize. “Listen, we have no time for this. If you want to stay alive, you’ll just give me your hand so we can get out of here. Okay?” he said and I could tell he was really agonized now, very impatient, he was almost growling at me. His breathing was heavy and his gaze concerned.
Stay alive? Is there a threat?
He just grabbed me by the wrist and tossed me closer to him. I didn’t fight back, still overwhelmed by shock. He started walking mechanically in front, towards the woods dragging me with him. “Damn it…” I heard him muttering. “Not now, just not now,” he said through a stiff jaw, pulling me with him in the woods.
“Where are we going?” I asked disorientated.
“Shut it,” he replied abruptly.
He stopped for a moment and just listened. His eyes scanned our surroundings, I couldn’t distinguish a thing; it was amazing, his senses were so sharp. He cursed, badly. “How did They find us? How?” he asked himself, so frustrated.
“What’s wrong?” I questioned in a terrified whisper. He didn’t answer my question maybe because he wasn’t sure himself. I started feeling weird, as if someone was following us, I felt exposed.
“Get on my back,” he demanded. I wasn’t sure if he was addressing that to me. I hesitated. “Get on my back now!” This time it was a yell, a deep yell.
“How am I supposed to do that?!” I retorted raising my voice. There was this panic I sensed between us.
“Just do it!” he shouted impatiently through clenched teeth. For some reason we were both breathing unevenly, fearfully. He knew, but I didn’t know what for. I just felt something, I felt being monitored.
He kneeled down and I placed my body between his wings, I curled my legs around his waist and my arms around his neck. “What do we do now?” I wondered, discomforted by the velvet texture of his wings.
“We fly,” he said and took off immediately. He was flying, his wings moved, slapping my body. I was scared like hell. He maneuvered mechanically avoiding the numerous trees surrounding us.
I was holding my breath, if I didn’t remember to breathe I would’ve suffocated. I held tighter, I remembered I was afraid of heights. Then I heard it, something was approaching. I felt him going faster responsively – slicing the air. He was running away from it.
Suddenly, I saw fire, flaring flames ahead of us. He didn’t stop, just kept on going, seeming to be unaware of the danger ahead. “We need to get out of here,” he said, taken over by panic and turning to fly towards another direction. His heart along with mine created a symphony of wild beats. Adrenaline ruled his actions and kept me on standby.
He flew a distance of a kilometer in less than a minute, there was fire again and flames eating up the trees creating dark smoke traveling up the moonless sky. The smell of combusting wood made me feel dizzy. In just an instant we were surrounded by flames and smoke threatening to burn us alive. “They are planning to kill you while you’re still human,” he said over the snapping sound of smoldering logs; searching for an exit.
“Who?” I asked, horrified, clinging on to the fabric of his shirt.
“Demons,” he said.